In case you gouged your eyes out last night when James Franco appeared in drag at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony, here’s what you couldn’t see on tonight’s episode of the Bachelor.
We begin with Brad packing in the concrete jungle of New York for the jungle of South Africa. Considering the heat and the fact that most of his time will be spent in a fantasy suite, I’m not sure why the hell he needs two full-sized bags all of a sudden. He confesses that he is scared and that he has trust issues. Where is the shrink? Is Dr. Phil going to meet him under a jackalberry tree on some game reserve once he arrives? What happened to his Austin doctor? What happened to his L.A. doctor? Will they be on next week’s After the Final Rose? Will they appear on the show The Doctors with former Bachelor and Nashville hottie, Dr. Travis Stork? Anyway, on the plane he laments his strong connection with the final three girls. With Chantal he had immediate chemistry, but she cries too much. Ashley is comfortable but she is insecure. Emily is one in a million and makes him a better person, but he is intimidated by her past. He arrives and they roll the tourism footage of stinky animals and golden sunsets as the Lion King soundtrack plays in the background.
Date one is with Chantal. She is busting out of her safari shirt. She and Brad wear matching hats and they tour the land on a safari. They hang out next to some sleeping lions (a dream come true for Brad) and the whole time they voice over how awesome everything is and how awesome the other is. I wish Emily had been there to say “shut up” every time they saw an animal. Brad brings up the danger of Africa for the second time as their guide walks them to the riverside with a gun in his hand. There are hippopotami all over the place and I am reminded of a statistic I read once about more people in Africa dying as a result of hippo attacks than of cancer. Chantal is trusting Brad to keep her safe (I personally, would take the gun, but whatever) and they sit by the river and cheese about how great they are and voice over metaphors about their love and how they have come a long distance and braved heart-ache, blah, blah, blah. When they start kissing, the hippo starts eying them. I think it is a little jealous; thinking Chantal is one of its own.
After an outfit change, Chantal starts her voice over about hoping for a happy ending later that night. They discuss getting married and Brad used the adverb “badly” for the eight millionth time during this journey. He gives her the key and note from Chris Harrison explaining the fantasy suite. She compares the fantasy suite to Vegas, as in what happens there; stays there, although it’s pretty clear what she intends to happen there. She says she’s ready to skip dinner and go straight to the suite. The suite is an elaborate tree house with a bed in it. Is there indoor plumbing? Because if I had sex in a tree, I’d sure as hell want a shower afterward. After they make out for a bit, the cameras leave them alone to do whatever it is that people do in a tree overnight. In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion may sleep tonight, but I don’t think Brad will be getting any shut-eye.
The second date is with Emily. She rocks a pair of Daisy Dukes and cowboy boots like only a Southern belle can. Brad says he forgot something and leaves almost long enough for Emily to remember he’s a putz. Then he returns on an elephant at which point she says “shut up!” She says her life long dream has been to go to Africa and ride an elephant. (Seriously? Where do these people come up with these dreams?) I’ve got to tell you, my son rode an elephant one time at the circus. He was on it for maybe five minutes, tops. Afterward, he smelled like feet. Bad feet. Really bad feet. You know how a horse will just do it’s business while you’re riding it? I’m guessing an elephant will, too. That is not my idea of a romantic Saturday night. Emily says this is just like the Lion King, only better. She’s right; it is better. Can you imagine if we had to endure Whoopie Goldberg voicing an animated hyena right about now? Emily asks Brad if he’s ready for an instant family and he says that he is. He says that he loves that she’s a package deal and they make out as elephants shriek in the background.
After a clothing change they go to an intimate dinner. It appears to also be in a tree. I’m hoping this isn’t the same tree as the night before. Brad can hardly speak because of the partnership between Emily’s cleavage and her short skirt. Emily confesses that she’s falling in love with Brad and hope she will be able to tell him how she feels. She struggles to get it out, but does manage to tell him that she likes him. Brad confesses that he wants her to go to the fantasy suite so they can talk off camera. He gives her the card and she says that she needs to set a good example for her daughter. However, she wants some more time with him and will go. She makes it clear that they will continue to take things slow and there will only be talking going on at the suite. Brad seems thrilled that she said yes, even though she basically said “you ain’t gettin’ any.” Their fantasy suite is indoors. Emily doesn’t waste time telling Brad that she loves him and he starts stuttering and breaks the rules and tells her that he is falling in love with her also.
The last date is with Ashley. This whole day is the worst thing to happen in South Africa since apartheid. She shows up in some cheeky uneven cut off shorts with the pockets hanging out of the bottom of them. Brad confesses that he has concerns about Ashley after meeting her family. They walk through the brush to a helicopter. She promptly begins to freak out and run away because she is scared of helicopters (shocking). Brad says he will take care of her and she agrees to go. She freaks out as they take off but then confesses how safe she feels with Brad. Brad confesses how proud he is of her conquering her fears. They arrive in the middle of nowhere to a place that locals call “God’s Window.” They sit down for a picnic and the train wreck becomes more gruesome. Brad toasts her family and uses that as a segway into asking her about her goals. She doesn’t appear to have made any plans past next Tuesday, and doesn’t really answer his questions. She confesses that their conversation is a wake-up call. Brad confesses that they need to have another serious conversation because he is even more concerned.
Before we get to their outfit change, ABC interrupts programming for a “live press conference” to announce the cast of Dancing With the Stars. We learn that “boxing’s best” Sugar Ray Leonard will be a part of the program. Also, “Disney Dream Girl” Chelsea Kane (don’t worry, I haven’t heard of her either) will star. “Master of hip hop’s son” Romeo will be along for the ride, as will “the original karate kid” Ralph Macchio. And although she could not be there tonight because she was speaking at the U.N., “super survivor and supermodel” Petra Nemcova will join the cast.
To stretch things out like only ABC can, we return to the date. The couple has changed clothes and is at dinner by a fire in the middle of the woods at a table and chairs made out of tree stumps. Ashley brings up that he really made her think and that she does want balance in her career and life. She sits there swatting invisible bugs and tries to explain that everything is compromise, yet she isn’t really listening to the questions or what Brad has to say. She wants him to just have faith that things will work out, but he doesn’t think she’s getting it. He sounds like he’s breaking up with her and she again says he should do what’s best for him and that she feels like he’s “just looking for a wife.” Let me repeat that, she said “I feel like you’re just looking for a wife.” Um, can you turn those cameras off for a second. Yeah, I need to see the producer. Um, do you think someone can explain to Ashley what the premise of the show, the Bachelor, is all about? Because apparently, she’s smart enough to get through 80% of dental school, but she hasn’t grasped the whole point of why she’s sitting in the middle of the freaking jungle in hot and more than likely humid South Africa. At this point, Brad gives up and just asks her how her food tastes. He confesses that he needs more from their relationship and then gives her the fantasy suite card. She acts all shocked about the key and card (maybe she really doesn’t know how this show works after all), but says yes and that she hopes they can move forward. This suite is a mix between the first two. Although it is indoors, it has trees inside of it. They go straight to kissing, but then they just sit around soaking in the awkwardness.
I don’t know about where you are, but in my area, every other commercial during the Bachelor is for Beyaz birth control. Another one of those airs at this point. Is Beyaz just a redo of the old birth control Yaz? You know, the one that was supposed to be hip and clear up your zits, but really turned out to like rot your insides and make all of your future offspring have two heads or something? And is it just me, or does anyone else always think of the slang word Biotch every time you hear them say Beyaz? Anyway, just curious about that one. At least they aren’t singing the days of the week and diving into a stupid swimming pool.
The next day, Brad waxes poetic in voice over while he gets dressed and heads to the rose ceremony. He sits down with Chris Harrison to chat. He tells Chris how difficult this is because he doesn’t want to say goodbye to someone. He says he knows he will more than likely be engaged at the end of this. They talk about how the date with Ashley sucked and Brad all but says that he’s going to send her packing, but he wants to talk to her one more time to make sure. Chris re-caps to the girls about their journey and introduces Brad. Ashley looks seriously worried. Brad fumbles around and asks her to come talk to him. They walk up to a patio while Emily and Chantal wait below to sweat it out; literally. She looks pissed and he apologizes that their date was so rotten. She asks what happened and he says he just wanted to work everything out. She says she wanted this and he asks, “then what the hell happened?” He says she doesn’t feel like he fits into her life. She says she just doesn’t know how to do this any better and she seems to be counting herself out. He realizes that she’s not the one and he says that he needs to tell her goodbye and doesn’t want for her to have to go through a rose ceremony. She says she’s not going to beg him for a rose and gets all bitchy with him. He walks her out and helps her into the car. In the back of the car, she cries but doesn’t really say anything worthwhile. She thinks they were “lost in translation.”
Brad goes back into the house where the rose ceremony is to take place and spends some alone time pondering life and love. At this time, we get to go back to the live press conference. The next contestant on Dancing with the Stars is the “bunny next door” Kendra Wilkinson. Thank goodness, now she will finally be able to lose that baby weight. There is no applause whatsoever for Stealer Hines Ward, as even the audience members don’t know who he is. From the Love Line is Mike Catherwood. He’s the guy that you saw earlier this season when the Bachelor went to the Love Line show. He was the one that wasn’t Dr. Drew. The “queen of all media” Wendy Williams will also be on the show along with WWE star Chris Jericho. Last but certainly not least is “Hollywood’s most outrageous actress” Kirsti Alley. Time for some questions from the press (i.e. the two people who work for ABC that are on the shit list). Right off the bat, one has to wonder if Kirsti Alley is stoned. And why didn’t she answer the questions? She has been approached before to do the show; why did she say yes this time around? Just say it, Kirsti, just tell everyone that you need the money for liposuction and be done with it. Own it, sister! And how about Ralph Macchio? where the hell has he been? And will someone please give him Ashley’s number now that she’s been cut from the Bachelor? Those two need to hook up because his teeth were looking all sorts of shades of nasty.
Back at the rose ceremony, Brad finally comes back to Emily and Chantal. He talks about how great Ashley is and how he is looking for forever. He presents a rose to Chantal and she accepts. Then he presents one to Emily who also accepts the rose. He tells them they are going to stay in South Africa and will be meeting his family in Cape Town. Although I was hoping for a group hug, he hugs them individually and they raise a glass to love.
And that’s what happened on the Bachelor.