In case you were busy watching the BCS National Championship and didn’t see it, here is your weekly update on what you missed on ABCs the Bachelor. More passes were completed on the Bachelor than in the football game, and the blushing hopefuls on ABC actually had more low blows than Auburn’s Nick Fairley. Here’s the play by play:
Episode two starts off with previews of what you’re about to watch, even though you’re about to watch it. After a minute or so of that, they cut to Brad walking around the manicured backyard of his mountaintop digs, wiggling his toes in the lush lawn before picking up a randomly placed football and ambling out onto the pebbled area overlooking an amazing city view. At this point, his voice-over about how the women put him through the ringer yet he feels closer to them in a week (read one night) than he did with the other girls after a month (could it be the three years of being heckled by America combined with intensive therapy, maybe?), is suddenly lost on me. I hear his voice, but all I can do is wonder if those pebbles hurt his bare feet and scrunch up my forehead with my fingertips on my temple, mentally willing him to toss the ball off the cliff.
My telepathic urging of “Toss it! Toss it!” is interrupted by the sound of the squealing girls as Chris Harrison enters the mansion to explain to them how things will go (in case they didn’t read their contract). Each date will have a rose. If it is a one on one date and you do not get the rose, you must go home. If you get a rose you are safe from elimination at the next ceremony. Not every girl will get a date. With that, Chris (looking dapper in a chambray shirt that is conveniently complimentary to both his coloring and the color of the walls that serve as his backdrop) leaves an envelope containing information on the first date and quickly escapes before the shrill screams of the excited women puncture his ear drum, break the glass of the mirror behind him and cause random dogs in the tri-state area to begin barking for no apparent reason.
This episode is speckled with “confessional footage” and we get our first real hint of crazy right off the bat. Melissa confesses that she has been thinking (obsessing) about being on the Bachelor for eight years. She has planned out her ball-gowns and dresses and has even quit her job, so she thinks it’s imperative that she get this date. Get ready for disappointment, Melissa.
We learn that the first one on one date goes to Ashley H. when the girls open the card and read some cute little clever clue-type note that is allegedly from Brad, but please, we all know some twenty-year-old Twi-hard intern writes those things. Ashley tells us that she’s just so honored in that same upward intonation that she introduced to us last week, however this week her accent is also laced with hints of Sarah Palin (she is from Madawaska, Maine – don’t even get me started on all of the jokes about “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” and “Mad Awaska” that I could make). Ashley S. then reveals how hard it is to see the “Other Ashley” get the date. Apparently, if you get humiliated on national television, there is consolation in not losing to someone with the same name as you (I will file that away in case I’m ever asked to be on a reality show with Corey Haim or Corey Feldman, whichever one isn’t dead. Man, that would really suck to lose to a dead person with the same name as you!).
Brad walks in dressed to the nines to pick up his date. The other women (who know he’s coming over to get his date, right?) are sitting around the living room with their bare feet all over everything, wearing sweaty swimsuits and generally looking a mess. Of course, they shriek when he walks in. Ashley H. walks in wearing a gold sequin tube top with a tutu. Brad says, “Look at you! My God!” She takes this as a compliment, not realizing that his filter kicked in before his third sentence which would have been “You look like you’re going to a formal at Clown College.” They hop in the convertible and take off. We are treated to more voice over about how excited Brad is and some crap about how he planned this great date while they show footage of poor Ashley H. looking like Carrie Underwood in a wind tunnel. Yeah, I believe he planned the date just like I believe he writes those stupid date cards.
They pull off the highway and onto this dark, dirt road. Carrie Underwood, I mean Ashley H. is sort of nervous giggling. You can tell she is thinking that she has been tricked into some Blair Witch/date rape sort of thing. They get to this big power switch that looks like it’s straight from A.C.M.E. (think Wile E. Coyote). She throws the switch and suddenly all of these lights flash on and music starts and they are at their own private carnival (go ahead, convince me she didn’t have any clues and just so happened to put that clown dress on). They run around and knock over bottles with balls and ride the rides and take awkward photos in the photo booth and eat cotton candy and hold hands and skip and giggle. Ashley H. uses her knowledge as a dentist to suck the enamel off of Brad’s teeth in a hot-and-heavy kissing session. Brad’s just so happy that she’s happy until they sit down and actually have a real conversation. Brad opens up about his dad being a dead-beat and coincidentally, Ashley H’s dad was a jack-weed also. He gives her the rose and they have a quick kiss. Brad gets sort of freaked out that her lip-gloss is on his lips and the cameras are rolling, but he get over it soon enough for some more making out on the Ferris Wheel. Brad tells us that “I like this girl. I like this girl a lot.” All I heard was Forrest Gump. I was shocked when the editors didn’t include him yammering on about how he and Ashley were like peas and carrots.
Meanwhile, back at the mansion, another date card arrives. It names fifteen girls to go on the date (the largest group date in Bachelor history – how ground breaking!) and none of the girls are thrilled about that. However, Michelle is down-right pissed. After all, tomorrow is her birthday and she wants some alone time with Brad on her birthday. It’s her birthday. Did I mention it’s her birthday?
In case you’re not sure you want to come back after the commercial, we are treated to another preview of what is about to happen. After the break, Michelle gripes to another one of the girls that she is not thrilled to be sharing Brad with so many other girls. After all, it’s her birthday. Then she tells us through her confessional that she is not thrilled to be sharing Brad with so many other girls. After all, it’s her birthday. Other resident psycho, Melissa, lets us know that she’s going to bring it because she always brings it. This is when I realize that if Gwyneth Paltrow chain smoked for about twelve years and slept only in direct sunlight for those same twelve years; she would look exactly like Melissa.
For this group date, the girls and Brad are going to star in public service announcements for the American Red Cross. It’s nice that the producers at ABC are using their power for good instead of evil. The girls arrive and find out what is going on and get their parts for the commercial. I’m so distracted by Raichel’s shirt that I don’t hear anything Brad says. Her breasts are so large and she has them cupped in this hot pink halter top with black fleur-de-lis print. It’s like Mardi Gras. It’s all of the excess and fun of New Orleans wrapped up in her halter top. They were like one of those black and white polka dot negative image patters that you stare at for ten seconds and then when you look away, you can still see that pattern. In fact, I can still see them.
Keltie finds out that she is playing the part of a butch, trucker type with a neck brace and two broken arms. She immediately starts to freak out and feel insecure. That and the fact that her turkey feather from night one has been replaced with a dangling peacock feather for day two looks like it’s signaling the beginning of the end. Crazy Melissa is cast as a cougar (with a great gem when the costume designer on set cuts her down without realizing it). She reminds us that she quit her job to be here and then proceeds to walk on to set while the camera is rolling and kiss brad in the middle of the Spanish soap opera style commercial. Oh, in case you forgot, it’s Michelle’s 30th birthday. Not her 29th. Not her 31st. It’s her 30th. Just wanted to remind you. Vampire Madison is cast as an S & M type and my favorite, Emily, is cast as a maid. Nobody else really matters at this point so I won’t go into everyone else. Oh, except for Britt. Britt is very reserved and shy and doesn’t know how she will ever be able to kiss Brad as the script instructs. But that Britt is a team player, and she musters up the strength to full on stick her tongue down his throat. Way to come out of your shell, Britt. I’m sure you made Mama proud.
Michelle finally works herself up into such a lather, that she sulks off the set. Michelle is clearly not a favorite of her fellow contestants as each one (even the ones back at the house!) take the opportunity to vocalize and eye roll over Michelle. Gold star to Kimberly for her quote “It’s her birthday, she can cry if she wants to.” Ever the gentleman, Brad goes to find Michelle and put an end to the drama. He finds her sitting in a doorway wearing an Indian outfit. Please note that she was in an 80s outfit for the commercial, meaning that the Pocahontas get up actually came out of her suitcase. She deflects Brad’s questions about her being a self-centered bitch and they hug it out. Michelle then informs us that she is the best kisser in the world. Hum…I wonder if Brad will get to find that out for himself?
They leave the studio and head to the Roosevelt Hotel in dressy clothes. The night is filled with Raichel and Melissa fighting with each other and trying to get the other girls involved so that they will choose sides. Everyone ends up in swim suits in the pool, of course. Michelle unzips her inner crazy and lets it all hang out. Brad, scared that she will kill him in the night and wear his skin like last year’s Versace, gives her the rose to ensure that he will live another day.
Jackie gets the next one on one date which will last all day long. Brad picks her up in the convertible, and thus starts the voice-over about how Jackie has no clue about what’s about to happen and how he planned this great date, blah, blah, blah. Same shit; different date. He says that this date is going to be her very own “Pretty Woman” experience. Um, wasn’t Julia Roberts a hooker in that movie? They go to Beverly Hills and have a spa day. They have mud facials in their matching robes and he gives her a greasy hand massage before taking her upstairs to reveal a suite filled with designer shoes and ball-gowns for her to select from. A hair and make-up artist start to get her all gussied up.
Back at the house, Emily calls her daughter. This is the longest she’s been away from her. She has not yet told Brad that she has a child or about how her baby daddy died. She wants to wait until she can tell him in her own way and without rushing. She wears too much eye-liner, but I still am pulling for her to win.
Jackie is ready now in one of the ugliest dresses to choose from and Brad loads her down with jewelry before they are whisked away to their next stop. They end up at the Hollywood Bowl. I’m scared for a moment that she is going to sing to him, but thank goodness that doesn’t happen. Over dinner, Brad finds out that she’s only had two boyfriends in her entire life. He thinks she may be where he was three years ago. It’s like Jackie is sitting there waving a huge red flag right in his face, but apparently the thrill of it all or the endorphins from seeing their name together in lights (yeah, their names were on the marquis) caused Brad to go ahead and give her the rose. Next the stage swivels around and the band Train performs a private concert for them (I wonder who they pissed off). They (Brad and Jackie, not Train) dance and kiss the night away.
Time for a rose ceremony! Brad walks (across the freshly wet so they will sparkle landscaping rocks) in to the mansion met by the usual shrill squealing. The first thing I notice is Keltie’s hair. This girl is just going from bad to worse. It looks like she is wearing a Renaissance period hat only it is her hair (with that damn peacock feather again). I can’t even talk about it. Let’s move on. Brad hardly gets a sentence out before Michelle (who already has a rose) grabs Brad’s hand and drags him away. She asks him if he likes Starbucks of Coffee Bean and what he keeps in his refrigerator. When she reveals these very important questions to the other girls, they want to kill her even more. Sweet Emily thought she was being a smart-ass but quickly realizes that Michelle is serious. Two points for Emily who takes a drink of champagne to keep from verbally saying what you could read all over her face.
Raichel and Melissa fight some more. They get everyone else involved and they cry like the nut-jobs that they are. Then they take it to Brad so he can witness the lunacy first hand. Now we learn from Chris Harrison that there are some special quests about to arrive. Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez are stopping by! Great pick by the producers at ABC. This is not the first time that others have come in to interview the girls and help the Bachelor make his decision. Ali, much like Brad, left the show empty handed when she chose to leave as a front-runner so that she wouldn’t lose her job. She came back the second time and selected Roberto. They are one of the few couples matched on the show that are still dating in real life. Kudos for this subtle reminder that they have actually had success on this show before.
Ali and Roberto interview all of the girls and take notes. Michelle tells them that yesterday was her birthday. Keltie scares them with her hair. Melissa cries all over them because Raichel is mean. They clue in to the Raichel/Melissa drama and more than likely tell Brad to run away, run away! Their pick for girl most likely to be there for the right reasons is Emily. So Brad goes with their suggestion and gives Emily a rose.
The rest of the roses went like usual. The camera zoomed in on each girl biting her lip, looking around, faking joy with each name called. Sweat beads began to form at their hairline as the seconds ticked by and they did not have a rose. As each finalist accepted their rose, they each tried to accept it with a new phrase such as yes, my pleasure, of course, I would love to, definitely; and then they awkwardly hug the Bachelor before returning to the herd. Raichel at one point is literally biting her tongue. Melissa is looking around oscillating from smug to pure horrified. Keltie is looking down and then up and then down and then up; not only revealing her genuine worry, but her poorly applied eye shadow. And then, as the music comes to a climax, all of the roses have been handed out. “Ladies, take a moment to say your good byes.”
Keltie is nice to Brad, but then walks out and bawls about how awkward she is and then chronicles her dating disasters from set ups to online dating to dating people at work (“that never works out well”) and the regular dating. Wait, go back to dating at work. Aren’t you a Rockette? Aren’t they all girls? I think there is a good story in there. Spill it, sister. Cut to Melissa who tells Brad it was nice to meet them as if she had just met him at the grocery and not spent the last 72 hours crying and fighting and acting completely insane. She exits and reveals that she is a really nice person and that people targeted her. She also revealed that the top of her dress didn’t fit properly as she tugged it up continuously. And last, but certainly not least to leave the mansion was Raichel and her globes of awesomeness. She doesn’t feel like she should be crying and she isn’t going to keep crying because then it means Melissa won. Then she starts to cry even more.
Back in the house, everyone raises a glass and we get to see previews. ABC is going to break out Seal very soon (take that, Train), Michelle takes crazy to a whole new level and Emily struggles with telling Brad that she has a kid and that her kid’s dad is dead. I’m sticking with Emily as my favorite at this point and I’m just hoping that crazy gets weeded out before anyone actually gets slaughtered. Because if someone dies, they would take the show off the air and we wouldn’t have this quality example of how we can’t all be both smart *and* pretty.
And that’s what happened on episode two of the Bachelor.