In case you couldn’t make it to your television because you were camped out at the magazine stand waiting for the latest Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue to go on sale, here is your weekly re-cap of what happened on ABC’s the Bachelor.
Ah, Anguilla, a tropical paradise where anyone could fall in love. Except for two lovely ladies, that is. This episode started with the Anguilla Tourism Board getting their promotional consideration. The girls hopped on a plane and headed over separately from Brad. They showed a little map with the icon of a commercial airliner flying over from Costa Rica to Anguilla. It reminded me of Indian Jones movies, except he wasn’t on a Delta 747. Where the hell did that plane land? Anguilla doesn’t look long enough to have a landing strip for a plane that size. I found myself daydreaming about the plane crashing into the water and the girls having to use their breasts as flotation devices. That’s when Ashley said that Anguilla felt like it was “straight out of Bay Watch.” Right then I knew this would be the “most controversial season ever!”
Someone has never told Chris Harrison that if you roll your clothes before you pack them that they will resist wrinkling. Nor have they taught him how to use an iron. He meets the women and tells them that this week there will be a total of three one on one dates and one group date. The individual dates will not offer a rose, but the group date will. I’m sure he probably said other stuff, but I spent the whole time looking at Michelle’s shirt. Was that Spanish moss on her boobs? What is that? Why would she wear that? It was like a poly-cotton Rorschach test.
Emily got the first one on one date. She starts out with her new signature side braid. Brad picked her up and she was wearing a swim suit with a cute, little, sheer, black cover up. They were having a glass of champagne when the helicopter arrived. She told Brad to “shut up” for the first of many times during this date. Her continuous use of the phrase is just one more reason to like her. Those other chicks that break out with the “oh my good gosh gollys” just get on my nerves. He also says the word ass in front of her. When they are together it feels like he is less censored and more genuine. Anyway, after their Magnum PI tour of the area, they go to their own private island named “Sandy Island.” It’s this island about the size of my kitchen in the middle of crystal blue water. They are dropped off alone (except for the camera people, sound guy, whoever the hell cooks their dinner, the dude that makes the fire, etc.) and have a picnic. Brad is all tense and nervous. Both of them are wet during the conversation so either they went swimming and we didn’t see that part or they are both just very sweaty. Brad tells her that he cares for her more than he should say. The sun goes down and they have a private dinner by a fire on the beach. It looks like they’ve showered and changed clothes, although I’m not sure where they did that on the 10 by 10 square foot island. Brad asks if he would be able to meet Ricky if he went to her home town. She just isn’t sure. She’s very torn over it. Brad says that he knows he isn’t supposed to do this, but he doesn’t care about the rules. He wants her to know that she will be getting a rose this week and that he wants to come to her hometown. I guess she was happy with this because they make out in the surf.
Britt gets super upset when the date card comes for Shawntel. At this point, Britt is the only girl that has not had a one on one date. Shawntel is excited to get the date and confessed that if she were like Britt and hadn’t had a date that she would “go crazy like some of the girls here.” For their date, they start with a bike ride to the farmer’s market. Shawntel acts like at trip to the farmer’s market is her end all, be all idea of the best date ever. But this chick hangs out with dead people, so I suppose we shouldn’t expect too much. Oh, and she is rocking the Emily side braid. They drink something out of some sort of fruit or vegetable (vodka, maybe?) and then we see them jumping rope on the street and playing dominoes. I’m confused. Are they still in Anguilla or did they ride their bikes to Harlem? Anyway, they meet Aunt Jemima on the side of the road and she imparts a precious pearl of wisdom to them, “hold hands and kiss and tell your parents before you get married.” Thank you oh wise one. We shall all take that clever insight to heart. Next we see the couple walking with nice wine glasses into a little area with baby goats (aka next month’s street vendor gyros) where they have a picnic. Shawntel tells Brad that she’s falling in love with him. Brad then confesses that all other girls are now compared to the sliding scale of Emily.
At dinner, Shawntel reiterates that she’s falling for him. Brad talks about his father leaving him when he was four years old and then confesses that this is eye-opening to him. He is surprised that he can talk about personal stuff with Shawntel that he can’t even talk to his brother about. It starts raining (Wait, it’s the wrong Chantal) and they make out. Then they are treated to a concert by Bankie Banx, a reggae singer, known as the “Anguillan Bob Dylan.” Apparently, he’s not into intimate performances like “Mr. Seal” because all these random tourists show up for the concert as well. For the first time I can remember in Bachelor history, we see the couple drinking beer directly from a bottle and then they go for a dip in the ocean. When they strip to their swimsuits, I was momentarily blinded by the sequined top Shawntel had on, but then I clearly focused in on her lower back tattoo. I was magically transported to the SNL skit about lower back tattoo removal and souvenirs from Jamaica.
Britt gets the last one on one date of the episode which prompts Michelle to start her crazy analogies about sinking ships. Brad picks her up on a yacht which makes all the other girls jealous. Michele confesses that it’s a waste of a one on one date and that she doesn’t even think Brad and Britt would be Facebook friends, much less husband and wife. As soon as the two are on the boat, they are in swimwear with drinks in hand. They start the date with some cliff jumping. Britt is terrified “as normal” but has to “do it for the relationship.” After jumping, they swim back to the boat. We are treated to a shot of scurrying crew in black outfits ducking down at the top of the boat. It was like they were being attacked by secret service. I was hoping it was going to turn into a Jason Bourne movie, but instead it was just Brad and Britt sitting on the beach. Brad tries not to yawn while Britt provides voice-over about how she is scared of rejection. Why the hell did she come on this show if she is scared of rejection? Is it like people that sky dive to get over a fear of heights? Brad confesses that they are in an amazing, romantic place but he has no urge to kiss her and hope that they will find a romantic connection over dinner. However, even though Britt is wearing a slip at the dinner table, they continue to talk about the weather. Brad confesses again that she is really sweet but that there is no romantic chemistry. He tells her that it was a nice day, but wants her to know that he doesn’t have romantic feelings for her and doesn’t see a future with her. Of course, she interrupts him about fifty times, so it takes him a million years to get it out. He tells her it’s time to say goodbye. Poor girl went from thinking “no rose; no pressure” to see you later, alligator. Or in this case, see you never, alligator. The girls greet Britt at the door and she tells them that she needs to pack because it’s not there for them. She starts crying, packs her stuff and leaves.
At this point, we are treated to the highlight of the entire night. We get to see an awesome commercial for a cell phone. In the commercial, there is this chick in a tree outside of a guy’s bedroom window. She looks remarkably like Michelle and starts the voice-over with “Brad and I just had the best first date, I think he’s the one” or something to that effect. But dude’s name is Brad. She then talks about using her phone to stalk him on his Flickr account and Four Square check ins, follow him on twitter and send her mom pictures of him. The tag line: Go Crazy on Android. Best played and placed advertisement in the history of man.
At 2:07 a.m., Brad goes to the girls’ house and wakes up Ashley, Chantal and Michelle to leave for the group date. None of them is thrilled with being awakened or being filmed without make-up. The girls find out they are being photographed for the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue. The girls get their hair and make-up done and Chantal starts freaking out in confessional voice-over about feeling fat. At sun up, they all go down to the beach and meet the photographer. They photograph Ashley and she takes her top off and covers he non-existent boobs with shells. Chantal continues the voice-over about feeling like a lard. Sure enough, when she takes her top off with little to no encouragement, she really does look tubby standing there. When she is laying down, she looks fine, but she’s looking pretty preggers in the side shots. Brad declares it all awkward and Michelle claims she is not so easily persuaded [to take her top off]. She also decides she wants Brad in her photos and the two of them set out to recreate the famous beach scene in “From Here to Eternity” while the other girls stand there watching them wondering “what the hell?” Michelle claims her photo was a 15 on the hotness scale of one to ten. Brad realizes quickly that this date is going down hill and admits he went too far by kissing Michelle in front of the other girls.
He spends the afternoon doing damage control with Ashley and Chantal. We discover Chantal also has a back tattoo which consists of some oriental lettering. (Oh, by the way, in case you care, Brad’s tattoo of a cross has the word Prosapia over it. This means family in Latin. Either family means a lot to him, or he’s hoping to hook up with sisters at some point.) Brad tells Michelle that he thinks they may be too much alike and that he thinks she may be too volatile. She gets defensive, but agrees they are a lot alike. Brad tells Chantal that he’s trying to be respectful and not closed off. He confesses that he knows the girls’ walls are going up and he is fearful that giving a rose will do more harm than good. After calling it the date from hell, he talks again to Ashley. She says she doesn’t want to go home from there and is freaking out that he’s going to send her packing like Britt. He excuses himself and she flips out even more. He returns with the rose and she becomes all smiles and rainbows, calls him Babe and runs to hug him. He tells her to trust in what they have. Meanwhile, Chantal and Michelle are beyond pissed off. Chantal starts crying. Brad begs her to talk to him while Ashley whispers sweet nothings in her ear. Michelle and Ashley exit and Chantal tells Brad that if he can’t choose her over two other girls then to just send her home. He tries to encourage her and tells her it is all about timing and reminds her that there are more roses coming that night. They hug it out and she waddles off.
The girls arrive for the cocktail party barefoot. Apparently, none of them have ever heard of hookworms. They settle in with some wine and start to wonder where Brad is. We see Brad chatting with Chris Harrison (thank goodness, he is no longer in that wrinkled shirt). Brad tells Chris that he doesn’t need a rose ceremony because he already knows who he is sending home. Chris tries to reason with him, but Brad’s mind is set. Chris goes and tells the girls to meet him on the beach as there will be no cocktail party that night. Michelle confesses that she needed the time to “pull Brad back in.” Chantal is scared out of her mind and feels like she’s going home. Ashley is wearing pants. Smart girl; she already has a rose, so why waste a good dress.
Brad tells the women that he promised them in the beginning that as soon as he knew for sure one way or another about them, that he would tell them and this is why there was no cocktail party. He says his goodbyes to the unnamed girl before giving out the roses. He also tells them that he is 100% confident in his decision. As Chantal freaks out and Michelle blinks her eyes in slow motion, the roses are handed out to Emily and then Shawntel. Chantal looks like her head is going to pop off and Michelle is now slow motion blinking with sideways glances. The final rose goes to Chantal. Michelle looks stunned then smiles. She hugs the girls and walks past Brad. He follows her out, darting around her like a puppy, trying to hold her hand and talk to her. She ignores his attempts, says she doesn’t want to talk and gets in the car. Brad confesses that there was a ton of physical attraction with Michelle, but that he knew it would fade and he’d only be left with crazy. As the limo drives away, Michelle lays down in the back seat and blinks herself to sleep.
Brad returns to the beach to toast with the women. They all raise a glass to their families in anticipation of the hometown dates.
And that’s what happened on the Bachelor.
(P.S. The annual Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue hits news stands Tuesday, February 15th.)