Tonight on The Bachelorette, it’s perhaps the most dramatic episode of the show EVER (imagine that in your best Chris Harrison voice), as Jeff takes off his mask, William roasts Ashley to tears, and Bad News Bentley makes his big, bad, blow-out exit. So much to talk about, let’s get to it!
BENTLEY CAN GO GET BENT, AND YOU CAN ENJOY THIS RECAP:
Date #1: Flash mobbin’ with Ben C.
Date card: “Love strikes in a flash.”
Before his one-on-one with Ashley, Ding Dong gives Ben C. some dumb and unfunny advice about how Ashley doesn’t like it when you open car doors or are nice to her. This is not the last time we will hear William say something dumb and unfunny this evening.
Ashley teaches Ben a dance routine for, what seems to him, absolutely no reason. He has NO IDEA that he’s about to go on one of the most embarrassing Bachelorette dates ever, designed to make a straight man miserable. Imagine: “First we’re going to learn a dance where we do jazz hands and pretend we’re airplanes, and THEN we’re going to the mall! Where we will perform this dance publicly about eight times in a row.” Of course, Ashley can’t say that, because the flash mob is a surprise. She convinces Ben to do the dance without music, just to please her power-drunk Bachelorette whims. She says “No one is watching us!” and then “So many people are watching!” just to mess with his head some more. Yes! Keep it up, Ashley! More puppet mastery and less weeping from you, please.
Dance for that rose! Dance, I say!
Then, in a FLASH, Ben gets MOBBED! They dance to that “G-6” song by Far*East Movement with a bunch of strangers, and something about the way the show orchestrated this event convinces Ben that Ashley is marriage material. The Far*East Movement show up and play a concert, and then the crowd chants “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” How romantic. They kiss like they will soon find out they’re actually first cousins. Ben is nice enough, but I do not think he is long for this show.
At their rooftop dinner, Ben gushes about what a romantic he is, layering hyperbole atop hyperbole until everything is meaningless. Ben: “I want to live in an idealistic, unrealistic bubble where we are convinced that we are more in love than any other couple that ever lived.” That sounds very appealing, doesn’t it? Not living in the real world, I mean. We watch this show because we want love to be idealistic and unrealistic, so I get it. But we also watch this show because we know that’s not how things work.
We can actually see the moment in Ashley’s eyes when she mentally checks out. It’s around the third time Ben says “Burn the roof!” about feelings, whatever that means. Ben talks so fast that it’s like he’s addicted to love, and it affects his brain like speed. Ashley says, “I would be crazy not to give you this rose,” which is code for, “I guess I owe you this,” and if she doesn’t give it to him he might (romantically) jump off the roof. They kiss again, if you can call shoving their cold, unmoving face-holes together a “kiss.”
🙁 If this is kissing, NO THANKS!
For a date that included a surprise attack by a couple hundred people and an impromptu concert, this date was Boringville, USA. Sorry Ben, but your princess is in another castle. Next!
Date #2: Roasting Ashley’s Rack with Ames, Ben F., Blake, Chris, Jeff, Lucas, Ryan, William and Bentley
Date card: “Make me laugh.” [More like, “Don’t make me cry, jackasses.”]
And now the real story of the evening begins: Bentley is happy to hear his name on the date card because he wants to get out of the house, “not necessarily to see what’s going to happen with Ashley.” Also: “Ashley is digging what I’m putting out, and I’m going to go in for the kill.” This is not the last time we will hear Bentley say something selfish and inconsiderate about Ashley this evening. In fact, it’s just the beginning!
But first, Jeff’s mask rash is reaching critical condition. He either needs to take off the mask and give it some air, or get emergency Face/Off surgery with Nic Cage. So he decides to finally show her what his upper eyelids look like. It occurs to Ashley, as it’s probably occurred to many of you (and me!) that Jeff’s plan has backfired with delicious irony, because the longer he’s worn the mask, the more the presence of the mask has overshadowed, literally and figuratively, everything about his personality. He will forever be the Mask Weirdo. As Jeff pulls off the mask, a hawk ominously poops and a squirrel steals a scrap of food off the lawn and scampers away. Nature is in tune with this world-changing event. Then, the moment of creepy truth!
“Hi, I’m Jeff,” he says profoundly, comma, stupidly.
But, SURPRISE, instead of seeing a foreign yet magically familiar face that radiates with the inner beauty she’d slowly learned to love without the lewd distraction of human eyebrows, Ashley says, “He’s a lot older than I thought he was.” Blake the Dentist says, “I feel like it’s one of those things were someone says ‘I’ve got a surprise!’ and you open the present, and there’s not much inside.” I like Blake. He gets it.
The guys think they’re going to be in a comedy show, a la the hate crime against comedy that occurred during Jake Pavelka’s season. But this date is even worse. If the Bachelor producers are composers whose art is human suffering, then this is their magnum opus: A roast. Roast Master General Jeffrey Ross takes a break from, I don’t know, eating brunch, to introduce the date and tell the guys, “If you can make a woman laugh at herself, you can make her do anything.” Ugh, WHO TOLD?
This date is right up Jeff’s alley! He’s already got some material ready to mock the other guys: “There’s a guy here whose outfit looks like the Backstreet Boys, and I mean, that’s game right there.” Edgy AND topical! Once again, Blake is the resident it-getter, advising Ames and Ben F. to focus their harsh jokes on the other guys and only poke gentle fun at the woman they hope to poke later.
But no one tells Joke Doctor Ding Dong, whose delusions are already shaking hands with Jay Leno after performing a five-minute set about airplane food. “If I can impress Jeffrey Ross, it could open up the door for me to do my dream. You know, do a roast with Ashley tonight, and do a roast with some famous celebrity in a couple months, we’ll see what happens!” He admits he might make Ashley cry with his jokes. He hopes he won’t, “but it’s ruthless tonight.” William may be emotionally disabled. All grown men hoping to get with a lady should know: A) If you think it might make her cry, don’t say it, B) If you think it might make her cry, DON’T SAY IT, C) If you think it might make her cry but you say it anyway and it doesn’t make her cry, STILL GO BACK IN TIME AND DON’T SAY IT.
The “roasts” begin, and Ashley is excited because apparently she’s never seen a roast before. Ryan’s “jokes” were ghostwritten by a first grader whose best after-school zinger is, “What were you THINKING?” Ames takes the easy route and just makes fun of Jeff with a paper mask. One shortcoming of Ames’: He has no idea where his own eyes are!
Blake calls out the guys’ shortcomings by process of elimination (“Take away Nick’s muscle, you get Bentley. Take away Bentley’s good looks, you get Ames…”) and it’s pretty funny, but only if you actually know these guys, which the audience doesn’t. Uh oh, it’s Jeff’s turn. Tragically, we never get to hear his Backstreet Boys zinger. Instead, he kicks off the Insult Ashley’s Small Boobs parade.
Ding Dong is furious that the guys are taking the easy way out: “It’s a roast! If you get up there and you’re soft, you’re a [bleep]! It’s a f***ing roast.” And so, like the real [bleep] in the room, Ding Dong gets up on stage and proceeds to viciously rip into Ashley about her biggest insecurity. What’s even worse is that nothing he says is original or funny or even based out of any sort of affection. It’s JUST mean: “Ashley, so beautiful, so gorgeous, so used. They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I thought I was signing up to be with Emily or Chantal, but then Ashley’s here, so who gives a s**t?” He laughs harder than anyone else at these “jokes.” (Nobody else laughs at all.)
Bentley: “I can’t believe he said that. I feel the same way, but I’m not going to say that to her.” HOLD ON, dude, one douche at a time!
Ashley’s face is tragically crestfallen. She looks like she’s sucking on a lemon made of sadness. In two minutes, William has managed to kill both his unrealistic dreams: He will never marry Ashley (for real) or be a comedian. Somebody in the audience yells, “No rose for you!” and then Jeffrey Ross makes the best joke of the night to wrap it up: “Give it up for William, he was never funnier.”
Ashley runs off to the corner and cries into 5,000 tissues. Bentley goes over to comfort her, and we hear him say he wants to mess with her head and get another rose. She’s hurt that William confirmed her biggest fear, that none of the guys would want to date her, and Bentley actually succeeds in making her feel better. First by saying her small boobs are “great” (eeeeuuugghhh) and then: “Of the 25 guys, at least 24 were really excited it was you.” AHHHH! That 25th guy is … HIMSELF! The call is coming from INSIDE the house!
After the roast, all Ashley wants is for William to apologize and comfort her, but instead he says “roasting was the dumbest f***ing idea we could have done tonight.” No, William, YOU are the dumbest f***ing idea. BOOM, roasted. Instead of doing the right and easier thing (APOLOGIZING) he offers to quit the show, tells her to talk to somebody else, then literally runs away because he is a 30-year-old baby with baby thoughts and baby ideas. Selfish baby needs a nap. Go to bed, baby, and DREAM ABOUT WHAT YOU DID!
So Big Baby Ding Dong walks the mean streets of Hollywood and cries about it, while back at the “wrap party,” (LOL, that never gets old) Ryan makes Ashley feel better with his solar-powered tongue. Then Ashley decides to tell Bentley what Michelle told her about him before the show (that Bentley would show up for a couple weeks to promote his business and then bolt). Which, we now know, is exactly what he’s going to do. But for now, he says Michelle isn’t a “great source of information.” What a convincing defense.
Ashley says if Bentley does leave it will be “harder than anything she went through last season.” HUH? Ashley! Stop showing all your weaknesses to the bad guy! He puts her head in his lap and sinks his talons into her neck so he can air out his human mask and show us how he REALLY feels.
Look at that troll! He doesn’t give a crap.
Ashley feels comforted and protected in the embrace of the goblin. She’s falling hard for Bentley, but gives the date rose to Ryan P. for his magical healing kisses, which Bentley pretends is the last straw: “I’m checking out.” OH NO!
The Bentley Breakup
The next day, Bentley wakes up and decides he’s done with Ashley. So while she’s walking by her infinity pool, fantasizing about marrying him, he’s packing his bags. Jeff walks in and asks what’s going on. Bentley says he’s out: “It’s just time.” Jeff’s fully exposed face is floored by the news: “Gosh. But she likes you the most!”
Bentley says he’s leaving because he can’t be away from his daughter any longer and the other guys say he’s a “good dad” because of that. Again, all of the soundbites sound suspiciously chopped up, but the story they’re telling is this: He’s not attracted to Ashley, he knows he’ll never fall in love with her, and he’s just using his daughter as an excuse to leave. Man… that’s low. And he’s really relishing that he duped her and the other guys. “I’m going to make Ashley cry. I hope my hair looks OK.” Eww. On his way to her door, we hear Bentley say that Ashley is an “ugly duckling” compared to Emily, and he’s about to put on a “performance” for her.
And so the performance begins. He says he’s going home to be with his daughter, and doesn’t think it’s an option for him to return. Voiceover: “I talked a lot about needing to be with my daughter, and she went for it. She, like, consoled me and stuff.” Wooooof, this guy is the worst. Ashley starts crying as we listen to him spin more lies about why he’s leaving and manipulates her into not getting closure. He says he wants to leave a “dot, dot, dot” on their relationship even though he has no intention of coming back. Ashley: “I pictured the end, and I pictured you there.” Voiceover: “It’s annoying to hold a girl that’s just … crying. And crying. And crying. And crying. I was already checked out.” Then, in person: “Can I call you?” UGH.
Not content to just be feelings-gross, he then describes how he “tried to turn on” Ashley by kissing her neck, and picks her up so she’s straddling him. Voiceover: “She wrapped her legs around me and I was like, we’re in a good position to start something right now. … I talked to her like I would talk to a girl I’m really interested in.” UGHHHH! It’s like watching someone commit a crime and not being able to stop it.
Earlier today I was skeptical, worried that Bentley was (at least partially) the victim of editing. And while I still think a lot of what he’s saying has been chopped up, now there’s really no question in my mind that he’s full of hot garbage. And I’d like to put him in a trash compactor. After he finally leaves, Ashley flips out. She starts sobbing uncontrollably, runs to her bed and curls up in the fetal position as Bentley walks to the van in the rain. She thought he was the ONE! Even though I seriously question her judgment there, I still feel bad for her. “My heart is like, totally broken. Was I wrong about everything?” Well, yes. But thankfully, the big, strong, hot arms of JP are here to make her feel better.
Date #3: Kickin’ It Casual with JP
Date card: “There’s no place like home.”
Ashley isn’t feeling up to a date, and feels bad for JP. “He deserves to see the best in me, and he’s not going to.” Screw Bentley for ruining JP’s moment. I demand JUSTICE for the hot and bald men of America!
JP brings flowers because he’s a class act. They have a romantic dinner on the floor in front of the fire, and they’re so cute I could barf (with jealousy/happiness). “You’re all that matters right now,” “No, YOU’RE all that matters right now!” Aww. They talk about past relationships candidly and rationally, like normal human beings. How refreshing!
“It’s the little things that matter most,” says JP about their cozy night at home. After dinner, they change into their comfy night-night shirts and cuddle. JP likes seeing Ashley in her downtime clothes and doesn’t mind comforting her about the other dudes, because he’s a gem. “Do not feel defeated. I really want to be here, and you’re going to be OK.” JP is the anti-Bentley, and I love him! Ashley doesn’t quite love him (yet) but she likes him enough to give him the rose, and a kiss, and to promise they’ll have a fun “next date.”
FINALLY, a good decision!
“JP over Bentley in the kiss department,” says Ashley. Yessss! “But Bentley over JP in the heart department.” Nooooo! Girlfriend, get a grip. Onto JP’s beautiful buzzed head.
NON-COCKTAIL PARTY and ROSE CEREMONY
Ashley dramatically grips Bentley’s picture, letting her tears splash the frame before morosely turning it over. Each piece of glitter on her dress is like a tiny piece of her shattered heart. Chris Harrison walks in, and it’s time for a little heart-to-heart between the two pals. Ashley reveals that she LOVED Bentley (yuck! no!) and Chris Harrison tries to talk sense into her: “Are you sure it wasn’t the idea of him? Because it was… forbidden?” Nope. She does not yet realize that Bentley is like one of the jewels in her Liz Taylor estate sale necklace: Diamonds on the outside, brown poop stones on the inside.
Ashley doesn’t have closure because of Bentley’s cowardly “dot, dot, dot.” Chris Harrison tries his best to be the voice of reason: “That’s such a guy thing to say. He could have stayed. A real man would have moved heaven and earth to fight for you, if he wanted to be here.” YEAH! Well, I mean, sure. A little bit of exaggeration, but whatever will eventually convince her that Bentley is a scum-suitcase.
Our heartbroken Bachelorette is too emotionally drained to have drinks with her lesser suitors. The cocktail party is (gasp!) canceled. This rose ceremony will be quick and painful, because it will be sober.
Two men are getting dumped. Ben C., Ryan P. and JP already have roses. And the other nine go to:
West (the Widower)
Mickey (Dolphin teeth)
Ben F. (Bowtie!)
Blake (Dr. Love)
Nick (the Trainer)
Lucas (Texas Tea)
And the final rose goes to … William. DING DONG?! Nooooo! That means that, along with Furniture Chris, Jeff is out. After we FINALLY got to see his face. I guess he should have kept the mask on after all. On his way out, Jeff THROWS THE MASK IN THE FIRE! AHHHhahaha! At least he went out with a bang. I miss him already.
Next week: The final 12 and Ashley head to Thailand, and “hopeless Ashley is starting to be hopeful again.” But one of her frontrunners, Ryan, is going to get on the other guys’ nerves, and possibly reveal an ugly jealous side. Maybe, in one way or another, they’re all wearing masks.
SOUND OFF: What do you think of Bentley’s exit? How about Jeff’s big reveal and untimely departure? How about William’s mean-spirited roast? And is JP dreamy or what? So much to discuss!
(Images courtesy of ABC)