VEGAS! Where prostitution is legal, the sanctity of marriage gets run over at drive-thru wedding chapels, and the cheap vodka runs like rushing waterfalls down the throats of beautiful, sad young people in tube tops desperate for a taste, any taste, of glamor and excitement! Where better for Brad and his remaining 11 women to continue this journey of love and friendship (and bitterness and misery) than the land of unrealistic expectations and shattered dreams? It is there that The Bachelor belongs, in the truest sense.
Chris Harrison tells the ladies to pack their bags, because things are about to get “very serious” for them. It’s cute how the only lines he gets are just blatant lies now!
VIVAAA LAS RECAP:
Date #1: Shopping SPREEE!!! with Shawntel of the Dead (LOL I’m seriously proud of that one.)
Date Card: “Let’s end tonight with a bang.”
What it should have read: “Let’s put a dent in ABC’s Bachelor budget.”
The girls’ minds “go there” when they hear the date card mentions a “bang,” but deep-down they know Brad won’t demand them to put out until there are only three of them left. What is he, some kind of slut?
And speaking of sluts (because, you know, prostitutes), this date is the “PERFECT PRETTY WOMAN MOMENT!” But not like Jackie’s “perfect Pretty Woman moment” a couple weeks ago. That was a bunch of crap compared to THIS Pretty Woman moment, which is also obviously “every woman’s fantasy” and the end-all, be-all of perfect dates because the only thing better than falling in love on fast-forward is doing it at the MALL! While watching a guy try on a bunch of SHIRTS! (“His preference in button-downs really showed me a window into his soul.” – Nobody Ever)
Not to say I would pass up a bunch of fancy free stuff. What am I, some sort of self-righteous hippie idiot who hates free stuff? No, that is not what I am saying. I would TAKE the stuff, for sure (even the ugly stuff! hiiii, eBay!), if only because I know I would get (nor want) nothing else out of Brad or The Bachelor.
Treat it like Supermarket Sweep, Shawntel. Just grab it ALL and run.
I’m just saying that to say that living out the one non-hooker-y scene in Pretty Woman by getting a bunch of free handbags and dresses constitutes “every woman’s romantic fantasy” is the stupidest and most cliched and offensive superlative statement about an entire HALF of our species that you could pretty much ever say. And it’s the women who are saying it. When Shawntel comes home during Date Halftime to show off all her new stuff and change into her dress for the evening-wear portion, everyone is like:
BITCH GIMME DAT BAG!
WE WISH, MICHELLE!
It’s so expected and yet infuriates me so much. Probably because everyone JUST KEEPS SAYING IT over and over. Even Shawntel is like “This is real love…” (between me and my new purse)! And she seems pretty awesome. I know I shouldn’t expect contestants on The Bachelor to be stuff-eschewing, bra-burning, Gloria Steinem-reading feministas. They’re fashionistas. And feelingistas. And a couple of them are probably baristas. It’s just … ugh, whatever, let’s get to the good part of the date: The embalming!
Brad takes Shawntel up to the roof (just like The Hangover! I hope they get stuck!) for dinner, and it’s the same ol’ sort of first date dinner chatter with your favorite funeral director who says things like “vein drain” and “molding people’s faces” and “body leakage” and “think about all of our orifices.” Think about all of our orifices.
You guys. Someone on The Bachelor just said …
THINK ABOUT …
ALL OF OUR …
Shawntel, you are my star.
So it turns out that Shawntel is very passionate about her job, and about grossing out men during dinner with details about draining dead people’s blood. At first Brad is like, “Um,” but then he’s like, “LOL,” and at last he’s like, “You’re the hottest funeral director I’ve ever seen,” because he’s CLEARLY never seen a “Men of the Mortuaries” Calendar!
A REAL THING THAT EXISTS!!!
So Shawntel gets a rose, which she takes downstairs and hangs upside down to preserve it forever. It’s her job. But not before Brad can WOW HER with a bunch of fireworks! Not the “bang” Shawntel was hoping for, or that I was hoping for (the end of the world!) but they’re both like, “Oooh! Ahhhh!” and Brad doesn’t cry afterward, so it probably ends up better than the bang she was expecting.
Date #2: NASCAR racing with Jackie, Emily, Lisa, Marissa, Alli, Chantal, Britt and Michelle
Date Card: “Let’s go speed dating.”
What it should have read: “Let’s go be emotionally manipulated while operating deadly weapons.”
I pretty much already said what I wanted to say about this mean-spirited, manipulative excuse for a date. The producers are just plain LUCKY that Emily is such a good sport and was willing to turn the date (“date”: an event at which you are supposed to have FUN!) into a profound growing experience, and that she didn’t get furious that they forced her to do it on their terms without warning. Just because she is an angel-faced saint without a vengeful bone in her body and handled the situation gracefully doesn’t mean they’re not a bunch of cruel-clawed boneheads for pulling this crap on her and all of us. They should have AT LEAST just stuck Ashley H. on the date and put Emily up against Ashley S. on the two-on-one. But they didn’t. This is The Bachelor, and as you know, The Bachelor is …
… as real as it GETS!
LOL, cool subliminal messaging. The show skips over the part where the women have a three-hour safety seminar about how not to kill themselves or others with a race car (I HOPE) and just skip to the racing. “It’s every single guy’s dream to drive a race car!” says Brad, because he’s not living out enough men’s fantasies already just by being The Bachelor. Next week, maybe he’ll get that train set he always wanted as a kid, and the women will get to watch him play with it.
So Brad and the women are driving around and around (because it’s such a good way to get to know each other), and Brad “notices” that Emily isn’t having fun, so he pulls her aside and she tells him that her fiance was a racecar driver, and this is the track that ended his career, and it brings up a lot of painful memories for her. She says, “You think you leave it behind…” but trails off before she can finish: “and that’s when the Bachelor producers dredge it back up and mine your pain for their storylines!”
“I’m way too good for this s***.”
Brad offers to end the racing date, but Emily says she needs to do this and it will help her move on. The hardest part for her is getting into the car, because the only other time she’s been inside one was as a passenger with Ricky. She’s crying, sitting in the car, but after Brad comes over and asks once more if she wants to opt out, she drives it, like the champion of our hearts that she is, and says “Those first few laps were for Ricky, and the last one was for me.”
After the racing, everyone goes to a poolside afterparty (as you do) and, obviously, instead of being supportive of Emily’s big emotional steps, all the women are annoyed that she got all Brad’s attention. Alli really puts it best (and by best, I mean the most insensitively): “We all have problems, we all have issues, we’ve all been through things. … Just because someone comes in with the worst story, they get the most attention?!”
Whoooops, did I say that out loud? Do you think the cameras got my horns in the frame, too?
At the pool party it’s still mostly about Emily, because Brad is worried about “replacing” the love of her life. “That’s a hard, hard, hard space for any man to fill,” says Brad, and I can’t even whisper “That’s what she said” because it’s EMILY! Brad, you are a dummy if you run from this princess with the pearly whites. She reassures Brad that she wouldn’t be there if she didn’t see something “totally amazing” in him (perhaps Emily’s only flaw?!).
Then the other women take turns cornering him and crying for attention. Alli is like “It’s hard to feel special” (because that’s the purpose of the premise of this TV SHOW YOU ARE ON), and Chantal is like, “I love you, oops, I mean, I like you,” (also part of the script here, no duh). Love in a month, it’s a reality TV miracle!
Michelle drags Brad away, tells him that all the other girls are “immature” and then sinks her talons into his face and bites it off. But then Brad surprises everyone/no one and gives the date rose to Emily. And Michelle is like:
I thought I said all my incantations perfectly!!!
As Chantal says, “Highs and lows, highs and lows.”
Date #3: Ashley H. VS. Ashley S. in the ULTIMATE Elvis-themed CIRCUS SHOWDOWN!
Date Card: “Come swing with the King.”
And number two: “Two girls, one rose. One stays, one goes. – Chris” (Shawntel is good at reading the cards dramatically. Probably because she’s a funeral director.)
What it should have read: “There can be only one.”
The two Ashleys are BFFTDOF (Best Friends for the Duration of Filming) and so it’s tearing them APART to think that they need to compete for Brad’s love and only one of them will survive the night. They hugged and cried about it earlier, but now that they’re in their sexy evening gowns, it’s all business. Except, uh oh, Ashley S. is already beating herself up and saying that if she loses tonight, she can only blame herself.
For his unavoidable duel-date with “both Ashleys,” Brad takes them to Viva Elvis Cirque du Soleil, which is clearly so incredible that it had me wondering after only a few seconds: Why can’t I be watching this instead of The Bachelor?
Whoooomp whooooomp 🙁
But they’re not just watching the show, they’re IN THE SHOW! (No doy.) The artistic director tells Brad and the Ashleys (cool band name) how he’s going to compromise his vision and shoehorn a couple of amateurs into his high-class circus show: by putting them as high up as possible, so they will be out of most viewers’ line of vision! So now it’s a matter of “Which Ashley is more graceful in a harness?” to determine who lives and who dies! (Of a broken heart.) The music of Elvis accompanies several dark and depressing minutes of both Ashleys expressing deep-seated insecurities and fears while the other flies around in the air with Brad. The Bachelor lighting director wets himself with masochistic joy.
This is what purgatory looks like, I bet.
Before the show, it’s up to Brad to pick which woman will run away to the circus with him, and who needs to GTFO ASAP. The women and Brad change back into their normal clothes (prom attire) for the most uncomfortable dinner in the world. You know how if you say a word so many times in a row that it starts to sound and look funny? That’s what happens to Brad. “Ashley. Ashley. Ashley. ASHLEY? Ashley. Aaaaaashley! … Ushley?” Brad looks back and forth, and back and forth, until he finally kicks Ashley S. out and gives the rose to Ashley H. (If only Ashley I. and Ashley T. could have been there, too!)
And then, as the world comes crashing down atop the tiny English teacup that is Ashley S.’s dreams, we learn that everything in this world balances out, because that’s when THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD HAPPENS: The Bachelor‘s luggage-toting juggalo (“luggalo”) earns an Emmy for Most Dramatic Luggage Carrying Scene in a Reality TV Competition Series!
Which one is it? WHICH ONE IS IT? WHICH OOOOONE
It’s seriously so awesome. The only time I LLOL’d (literally laughed out loud) the whole episode. Good job, luggage man! You win the night.
Then Brad dresses up as G.I. Jojo and Ashley (who will henceforth be known as ASHLEY) dresses up as a mailbox and they fly around in front of a bunch of underpants in the shape of an American flag and manage not to embarrass themselves too badly. Not for lack of the camera man’s efforts, though:
LOOK AT THE HANDS, YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING AT THEIR HAAANDS!
“Are You Lonesome Tonight?” plays as the two of them bow and clap and hug and kiss, and then it shows Ashley S. weeping, forever alone in her stately, sterile towncar bound for Nowheresville with a pitstop at Old Maid Lane.
Brad calls his therapist again, because apparently this is going to be a regular thing (goodbye, Chris Harrison) and they talk everything out. Have you ever sat in on someone else’s therapy session? It’s suuuuper interesting. It’s almost too interesting, as you can see from this special Bachelor Thought-Cam footage:
To self: Just say some four-syllable words, juxtapose a few opposite adjectives and throw in some heart-talk, blahbedy blah, bada bing, bada boom. To Brad: “Strength and vulnerability can coexist, be true to your love-mission…”
I wonder if they made a 2011 edition?
The only interesting thing about this cocktail “party” (at which everyone is miserable and filled with dread–cool PARTY!) is Michelle’s Scary Time, which I already covered pretty extensively here. So, Bachelor brain-experts, it’s time to give our diagnosis: In our very scientific “What’s wrong with Michelle?” poll, “she’s an actress” has a slight lead over “she’s a lunatic,” with “she’s an evil tyrant” bringing up the rear (but still with more votes than “she’s a normal woman doing normal woman things”!!!), and “two or more of these” is the clear winner. So there you have it: Michelle is an actress-lunatic with a slightly higher chance of being evil than of being normal. (Or as she’s probably say, she’s a triple-threat!)
Meanwhile, at the cocktail party, Brad tells Chantal to “stop giving him crap” and Marissa the Mute handa Brad a note because she’s a mute. The rest goes a lot like this:
The ghost of Chris Harrison pops in and whispers “rooooose ceremooooony” and everyone shivers and is like, “WHAT WAS THAT?”
Emily, Shawntel and Ashley already have roses. And the rest go to:
Michelle (WTF! Someone break her seashell necklace already!)
Chantal (“You’re killin’ me.”)
Eliminated: Lisa (pretty sure this was on statutory grounds) and Marissa (hope the note said goodbye!), along with Ashley S. (…is for sobbing).
Next Week: They’re going to Costa Rica, where they’ll go ziplining, horseback riding and tongue kissing. And Michelle is going to hump away Brad’s will to live on the beach in front of everybody, once again reinforcing my now stone-solid theory that SHE LITERALLY IS URSULA THE SEA WITCH.
(Images courtesy of ABC)