Episode One

Several of you have asked me if I’m watching this season of ABC’s The Bachelor. The answer is simple; Hell, yes! So I figured that I would do sort of a “Watch What Happens Live!” update for you, except that it is read instead of watch, it isn’t live and it isn’t on Bravo!

SPOILER ALERT!!!!  If you think that this is the year that ABC stacks the pool of bachelorettes with rocket scientists and pretty plump girls with muffin-tops; you’re going to be very disappointed.

I’m really not going to focus on the girls that get eliminated, unless there is just a real stand out, but I will give you my opinions on the remaining lucky ladies.

This season’s bachelor is Brad Womack, who really pissed off a lot of people years ago when he was the bachelor the first time around. He wined and dined the ladies, but in the end, he sent both finalists packing because he was the smartest person to ever be on the show, um, I mean, he had commitment issues that he has been working on for the last three years since the original show aired.

The show starts with a recap of what happened the first go around, blah, blah, blah.  Just like the typical Bachelor episode is filled with 20 minutes of replaying what happened on a previous episode, this one spends 20 minutes showing what happened on a previous season.  I did, however, have an epiphany when the episode started. When I worked in marketing for a metal building manufacturer, I learned that buildings look better in photographs if they are wet. The asphalt really pops and everything looks fresh and clean. As the Steve Miller Band would sing, “everything’s better when wet.” I noticed that the shots of the Bachelor’s mansion, all of the rocks, pavement, etc. are soaking wet. Yes, everything is sparkly and shiny, and this hints to what extent the Bachelor is filmed through a rose-tinted camera.

In the opening, Brad talks about his amazing therapist and then blames his decisions from his first season on his father being a dead-beat. But he’s learned to open up his heart, not to mention he got a pretty kick-ass back tattoo. He talks about how his brothers’ have both had kids since the last show, so expect some wayward glances with Brad checking out to see if the girls have good birthing hips when they’re at the hot tub. Brad then spends a few minutes looking down and then up at the camera (sort of like the original opening of Beverly Hills 90210; think Ian Ziering) while we hear voice over of his therapist talking about how much progress Brad has made and how he thinks Brad is ready to make a commitment. Wonder if the good doctor got paid by the hour for filming this? (“Um, I’m sorry, can I get another take? I accidentally flubbed my line, I mean; I messed up while speaking from the heart.”) Then we see Brad walking up to the house carrying one small bag. Hell, that thing wouldn’t carry all of his hair products, much less all of his clothes (after the commercial break we watch Brad gratuitously shower and then dress in his closet that is filled with clothes that would have taken about 12 of those stupid red bags).  Cut to a Rocky IV type training sequence with Brad splashing about the pool and working the jump rope.

Now let’s get this party started. First we get a chance to meet the girls who will fight for Brad. ABC presents them in their own words with a short video clip of them doing what they do in their normal life. Actually, we only meet nine of them like this. Amazingly, these nine get a rose. Now for the montage of lips being made up, champagne flutes clinking, dresses twirling, girls saying stupid stuff about it being “on” and lots of woo-hoo’s from the ladies.

Chris Harrison (who I actually really like. I know, right?) greets Brad at the mansion. Chris is looking impeccable in an amazing tailored brown suit with a great tie. Brad has a few panic attacks in the driveway and Chris reminds him about what a giant jack-weed he is. Chris sits down with Brad to rehash everything we just watched and drag things out so that this will be a two-hour episode. Just as Brad is starting to feel better about things after his ten minute dissertation about how sorry he is; Chris tells him that the two girls he dumped are there and that he is going to get to see them face to face. After Brad soils himself, ABC politely cuts to a commercial so that he can change his shorts.

The girls come on flashing giant diamond rings and are super happy; although Deanna makes it clear with her demeanor that she wouldn’t spit on Brad if he were to spontaneously burst into flames. Chris asks them how they feel about things and they take the opportunity to make Brad feel like shit before flashing their rings again and saying how super happy they are. I’m not sure why they didn’t spring for the therapist to join them for some further psychoanalysis, but whatever.

And now the girls arrive. Same as always; some are hot, some are awkwardly hideous but in a skinny with a weave so it’s o.k. sort of way. I’ll introduce them in the order that they arrive, but I will throw in information from their “let’s meet the girls” bios and the stupid stuff they do at the cocktail party just so that we can move this along and not have to jump around too much (although Kris Kross does make me want to jump, jump). There’s really no reason to detail the cocktail party, either. It starts with ten minutes of the girls questioning Brad as to if he’s changed, if he will actually pick someone this time, etc. Brad spends most of the time doing voice over of how hard this is, how he’s changed but no one seems to believe him, etc. Then the girls spend the rest of the time being stupid, getting jealous that other girls are talking to Brad and adjusting their strapless dresses.

Chantal O. is the first out of the limo. Although she is the only girl named Chantal on the show, the producers put her last initial on the screen because even they are confused on the difference between the pronunciation of Chantal and Shawntel. Chantal works for her family and they basically pay for everything. She was married before, but that didn’t work out. She hasn’t been divorced long (I’m wondering if the ink is even dry) and she doesn’t like being alone and wants to get married again. Apparently, she hasn’t figured out that you can hire someone to come over and take the garbage out. She and her boobs get out of the car and she promptly slaps the hell out of Brad on behalf of every woman in America.

Kimberly, a Marketing Coordinator from Orlando gets out next in a short, purple, full-sequin dress that makes her lower half look enormous. I have no idea what Kimberly says or does the entire show, because every time she is on screen, her dress causes me to have a seizure.

Alli, an Apparel Merchant, starts out by saying “I know America hates you.” Apparently she read How to Make Friends and Influence People on the plane over. She asks Brad to check out her ass and make sure that it is acceptable to him because someone broke up with her once because it was too big. She and Renee get into a tug-o-war over him. I was sort of embarrassed for them both.

Ashley S. is a nanny from New York, but she’s really from the South. This is great because unlike Brad who’s dad left and made him a cold-hearted man-whore, Ashley’s dad left when he died three years ago leaving her with an understanding of how short life is and how you have to treasure crap and all that. If nothing else, you’ll enjoy the number of syllables she manages to put in the word “now.” She tells Brad he’s a tall drink of water and he’s so freaking happy that he’s not being assaulted, that he tells her that he loves her already. Then she grabs his ass. Brad likes her at the party because she told him that she wasn’t going to question anything and that if he needs a friend that she’s there for him. He eats this up with a spoon a gives her the first impression rose. The girl’s so country sounding, I half expected her to respond with an “Aw, shucks” when he gave it to her. I’m from the South, and I need subtitles when she talks.

Meghan is a Fashion Marketer that thinks dating is like shopping and thinks that men are an accessory. I hope she ends up with Brad, because she needs a better accessory than the shoes she is wearing. They are hot pink platforms that look like small cartoon characters on her feet.

They flash to the girls in the house starting to drink and discuss whether or not Brad will be able to commit and start placing wagers on if anyone will actually get a ring. If you can move your eyes away from the large amounts of cleavage, you can actually see some of the girls trying to do math in their head and calculate their chances of finding love.

Back outside on the wet concrete, Marissa arrives. She’s a Sports Publicist who doesn’t have a life outside of her job. Brad, once again, tells a girl that he loves her.

Lindsay is a 1st Grade Teacher from Brad’s home state of Texas. I can already see the stupid-ass stuff they will have her students do if she makes it to the hometown dates. I see little kids with high-pitched voices screaming in unison to pick their teacher while they hold up “homemade” signs in her honor. That’s right, you heard it here first.

Ashley H. is a Dentist. Oh, I’m sorry. She’s an artist and the mouth is her canvas. We may need a drop cloth over here, Da Vinci, because I just threw up a little on your canvas. She has a smoking body, even in the prom dress that she holds like a full diaper when she walks. Oh, and she’s a hugger.

Raichel is a “Manscaper” also known by respectable people as an esthetician. Her outside meeting is forgettable, but as soon as she is inside the mansion with the Bachelor, she uses the term undercarriage and bat-wings in casual conversation. That’s right, keep it classy. Chick needs to go. She hangs out with guys’ balls all day long, for crying out loud. And not just any guys, but guys that can take the pain of hot wax on their unit. It’s like hanging out with a fastidious group of Hell’s Angels. I’ve seen your eyebrows, Brad, you can’t compete with that.

Madison tells Brad that he looks delicious, throws out a phrase in French and then pretends that she can’t remember his name. She takes intentionally aloof to a whole new level. She is a Model from Forks, Washington. She has been sent to the Bachelor by the Volturi and only has until Twilight to change Brad or they will be forced to take action. Chick has fangs. The only thing more disturbing than the fact that she has fangs is when Brad asks her about them and she totally evades the question. Then he mutters under his breath that they are kind of hot. They are kind of hot like a straight-jacket is kind of sexy. Um, no. I love the fact that ABC changed the music ever so slightly when she got out of the limo to a horror movie sound track vibe. Extra points for whoever came up with that little gem. Oh, when she gets a rose from Brad during the ceremony, she fake bites his neck; underlining the clear writing on the wall that claims that she is nothing short of bat-shit crazy (pun intended).

Melissa is a 32 year old Waitress. Wait for it…..from Connecticut. If she were a thirty-something waitress from Hollywood, maybe, but from Connecticut? I’m guessing Chick may lack ambition. However, she is very spry, as she leaps out of the limo and then leaps into Brad’s arms and admits that she did not watch his previous season. And then they have a conversation (while he holds her off the ground). When he puts her down, he asks if he can hug her again. Maybe he was hoping for a happy ending.

Renee is a nanny with an annoying voice that floats up in intonation every time she says something. But she gets cut, so it will be o.k. She spends more time talking to the camera than to Brad and makes it pretty clear that the other women are “bitches.”

Cristy is an attorney. I almost noticed how wrinkled her dress was and how bad she needed a pair of Spanx, but I go so distracted by her enormous breasts that I got confused. Also, when she laughed, her teeth looked like the love child of that plant from Rocky Horror Picture Show and the creature from Alien. Yeah, she’s going home.

Jackie is an Artist who lost me when she asked Brad to pinky swear. She finds Brad “sexy” and then proceeds to sing to him. Badly. Very badly. She tells the camera that she really, really wants a rose and how it would totally suck if she went home tonight.

Sarah P. is a Real Estate Broker. She has one eye that opens a millisecond after the other one when she blinks. It’s like one of those baby dolls from when I was a kid that would close its eyes when it was lying down and open them when it was upright. After time, there was always one eye that sort of got stuck and you’d have to give it a little shake to make both eyes pop open. Something tells me, we’re going to have to give Sarah a little shake after a cocktail or two. Chick had Brad get on his knees and propose; just to make sure he knew how.

Lacey is an insurance agent that gets out of the limo and indiscreetly adjusts her dress. She shakes her finger at Brad and questions his sincerity. I think she’s trying to sound facetious, but she comes off as a bitch. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t get a rose.

Lauren is a high school teacher who is about as exciting as dry toast. Ba-bye.

Lisa P. is a bubbly Sales Consultant that doesn’t realize that when she is standing directly in front of Brad adjusting her dress that HE CAN SEE HER! No rose for you.

Shawntel (not to be confused with Chantal) is a Funeral Director. Chick hangs out with dead people. Dan Aykroyd couldn’t make it non-creepy in “My Girl” and she isn’t going to make in non-creepy either. The only reason she’s around is because Brad couldn’t figure out how to say her name any differently than Chantal and so she got a rose. She seems pretty laid back, but I suppose you’d have to be to hang out with dead people all day. She has a small tattoo on the back of her neck. It looked like something in Chinese. It’d be cool if it was Chinese for “I see dead people.”

The next girl does something different. She rolls the limo window down just a smidgen and waves for Brad to come over to the door. He walks over and opens the door and out comes Britnee, a Paralegal. She’s super cute, but she used all of her chat time by making him walk all the way over to the limo. Enjoy it while it lasts, Britnee, because your time is ticking.

Stacey arrives next. She’s the only woman I’ve ever seen that could make a black velvet dress look slutty. She’s a Bartender and since Brad owns a bar, I see them making up specialty drinks at some point, probably making all the other girls jealous. Oh, and I found out where Snookie’s Bump-It went. Stacey is wearing it.

Jill is a Sales Director from Texas who says, “Hi, I’m ready to get married.” As she walks into the house, the camera shows Brad’s face. His teeth are clinched into a grin and his eyes are slightly crossed. You can actually hear him thinking, “Holy shit, that one is a nut job.” No rose for Jill, bless her heart.

Lisa M. is a Marketing Coordinator. She is wearing ruby slippers. She is from Kansas. She even had on a short blue (although not gingham) dress. I’m willing to bet money that she will get on my nerves before this whole process is over.

Rebecca is an esthetician. I don’t understand. Why doesn’t she just say she’s a manscaper? She quotes her “grandma” and then offhandedly kisses him. In about ten hours she’ll be crying in the back of a limo talking to grandma on the phone saying, “I don’t understand, Grandma, the stuff about the frog and the prince didn’t work!”

J is an Operations Manager. She is also in the witness protection program. Seriously? You just go by one letter?  J announces that it’s her birthday (I can think of like four ulterior reasons to tell him this in about a nano-second and they have nothing to do with casual conversation) and I notice that the back of her dress is ill-fitting. Maybe she had extra fabric put in to compensate for the microphone unit. Oh, happy birthday, J, you’re not getting a rose (cue up the Morrisey).

Keltie is a Radio City Rockette that shows her leg, does a kick and uses the word bananas in a sentence without looking stupid. This girl’s a keeper. She’s in my top two. I just wish her name didn’t make me think of horses. She’s a “dancer and a hugger” and she’s even wearing some long feather thing in her hair, yet I still like her. I wonder if she’s the anti-christ?

Sarah L. is a Music Theatre Performer with a dress down cut to South America. She says she has to get something off her chest, but it looks to me like she already did that. Her revelation: she can’t snap her fingers. I’m sorry, was she talking? I just fell asleep. Hope you didn’t pack your suitcase full of bud vases, because you’re on the first limo home, sister.

Emily is a Hospital Event Planner. You can tell that Brad is smitten with her as soon as she gets out of the limo. I really like this girl, but it could be because I already know her back story. She was the long-time girlfriend of Rick Hendricks’ (who owns the NASCAR racing ream comprised of Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Mark Martin [Mark Martin is still alive, right?]) son who was killed in a plane crash after a race several years ago. She found out right after he died that she was pregnant. She is Southern and classy and I hope she makes it far because I don’t want her to get cut, but I hope she doesn’t end up with some total douche bag; which Brad may or may not be.

Britt is a Food Writer. She sort of looks like Daryl Hannah in the movie “Splash.” In an attempt to get to Brad’s heart through his stomach, she hands him a minuscule bag of some sort of food. I only wish it was Gummy Bears and that she’d said “it’s been in my pocket, they’re real warm and soft.”

Michelle is a Hair Stylist. She stole her dress from the movie set “Coming to America.” It was once worn by one of the servants in Zamunda. She is a single parent with traces of desperation mixed with crazy.  If she was older, I’d wonder if the screen play “Fatal Attraction” was based on her, but since she’s not, I don’t. She lets it out of the bag real quick that she’s not there to make friends; she’s there to find someone to be her baby daddy. She makes it clear to both Brad and the camera that she is a “woman” and not a little girl. When Brad asks her what’s she’s been through, her response was basically “child birth.” Then she interrupts him repeatedly while he tries to tell her he’s cool with her having a kid.

The rose ceremony is as awesome as ever with the drawn out presentations intertwined with close ups of the girls faces fake smiling, slow motion blinking, swallowing down clumps of vomit, trying not to look utterly dejected and looking around the room like Susanna Hoffs in the “Walk Like an Egyptian” video. After Brad hands out the final rose of the night, the rejects scurry out all teary eyed while the remaining women share in a champagne toast. Brad is so happy and feels that his past indiscretions have been forgiven, that the women here are here for the right reasons, and that his wife is in this bunch! Yay, for Brad! My picks for favorite are Emily and Keltie, but the Bachelor never picks my favorites. So, I’m going to call the final four as Emily (who may actually not be over her dead ex-boyfriend), Ashley H. (because, let’s face it, she has a banging body and he’s a guy), and Chantal and Shawntel simply because he can’t figure out how to pronounce the subtle nuances in their names.

And that’s what happened on the Bachelor.

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