Wow, what a show. It’s hard to believe we’re only in episode 3 (let alone only in the second week of Ashley knowing these guys) and already the tears are flowing, biggest insecurities are being realized, hearts are breaking, and our villain is going home – so soon!. [pssssttt…i heard a rumor that he’ll be back!!] Maybe ABC wasn’t so crazy last season hiring that therapist to make regular house calls. They oughta think about hiring that guy full time on call. Here’s how it all happened:
The first one-on-one date was with Ben C, the french lawyer, nay flash mob dancer! Ashley takes Ben to a dance studio to learn the dance moves she’s choreographed for a secret flash mob dance (which immediately made us think of this awesome commercial – speaking of which, AT&T is really spot on with brilliant commercials lately – my other favorite is this one) she has planned at The Americana at Brand, a lovely outdoor shopping mall. Ben is smitten with Ashley having seen her in the dance studio where she’s so comfortable, confident and sexy (oh, Benny Boop, just wait until later when the insecure Ashley resurfaces!). Whilst they’re lounging in the grass in the middle of the shopping center, random passersby all with their phones out to snap photos of the darling couple, Ashley states that she’d really like to do their dance. Right now. Ben. Is. Freaked. But, all in the name of love, right? He gets up and rocks that dance and soon notices that the gawkers are now joining in too. Here’s my version of what’s going on in Boring Ben’s mind strictly interpreted via eyebrow movements and anxiety in the eyes: “Wait, how do they know this dance? Does everyone know this dance and I only just learned it? Oh…oh, I see what’s going on here – this here was planned! Ashley, you trickster!” Now Ben is having fun. My favorite part is when the dance has ended and everyone just walks away nonchalantly like nothing happened. Not even a hug it out, high five or “good job, bro.” Other than that, the BFOTB and I decide that we NEED to be part of a flash mob. Heidi’s gonna come (Note: Heidi and BFOTB Ashley are big fans of the choreographed dance having created and performed a marvelous one at the wedding of yours truly and Mumbles. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all.) and you can come too – “bring your green hat!” Flash Mob America – write that down.
Next part of this date is a live performance by the Far East Movement. The Bachelorette and her lawyerman (who BFOTB thinks looks just like the bad guy/backstabbing friend Carl from Ghost, right?!) have a nice little kiss in the crowd to the background of a collective “awww…”
Ben explains his unrealistic views about love to Ashley: “I want to live in an idealistic bubble where we believe we are more in love than any other couple. Ever.” That’s intense. He softens that up a bit by saying he’d like to go on a second date with her. She gives him the rose and then they suck face for a while.
Group Date: Ames, Ben F., Mike, Blake, Jeff the Phantom, Lucas, Nick, Ryan, Wills & Bentley – “Make me laugh”
Phantom Jeff is perched on his balcony and today is the day the mask is coming off. The unveiling is quite underwhelming but entertaining too. A) because I already know what he looks like and B) He’s not attractive nor does he have any jarring facial disfigurements to have really warranted the “get to know me without my looks” phase for so long and C) I realize he’s had that mask custom made to fit his face/large nose. Ashley, too, is disappointed when she only says “He’s a lot older than I thought he was.” Not a good sign. Blake says it best comparing it to “when someone tells you ‘I got a surprise’ and you open up the present and there’s not much there.” Well said, sir.
The large group heads to a comedy club to meet with Jeffrey Ross, the Roastmaster. And everything goes south from here. In front of a sold out house, all these guys are going to be tearing Ashley apart. Not a brilliant idea of a date for such an insecure lad. We learn Wills’ life aspiration is to become a comedian so he’s using this like an audition. Lucas the oilman has a good plan – play it safe. Best to not impress than to offend. Smart man. My favorite line was naming Phantom Jeff as Zorro’s unemployed brother. For someone who has only spoken about 10 words to Ashley and just revealed his face, he gets ballsy and makes a rude comment about her small breasts. One of the guys said it was like “Whoop, here’s my face; you have small titties.” Inappropriate. Bentley, ever the chivalrous man he is, defends Ashley’s small boobies because she has the butt to make up for it. Class act, that guy. Wills gets his shot at glory to impress the Roastmaster and completely bombs, telling the crowd how disappointed he was to find Ashley as the new Bachelorette instead of Chantal or Emily. Bentley is surprised Wills said that out loud…he’s been thinking it all along, too, but just couldn’t believe Wills actually said it. The audience is silent. Not even the crickets are chiming in. Whoa, awkward. After the show, Ashley quickly exits the stage and finds a dark corner to cry in. Bentley uses the opportunity to mess with her head and console her. Meant to sound like a reassuring compliment he says, “Of 25 guys, I can promise you 24 were really excited it was you.”
Of all the guys, Wills is the one that almost married Ashley on date 1 so she was most hurt that he would say those things at her expense. Instead of trying to make it up to her he just quits and tells her to go talk to the other guys, even saying that he’d go home to pack. He leaves the party to go brood on a bench somewhere and then wait….he’s running! We were hoping at this point for him to come storming in out of breath but instead he apparently just ran back to sulk on a stairwell closer to her.
Ryan comes to the rescue all sweet and sugary, telling her that she is exactly who he wanted to be there. He finishes by throwing in a “you’re gorgeous” and a nice long kiss. Just what the dentist ordered!
Ashley gets some alone time with Bentley and confesses that she received warnings about his intentions prior to their meeting. Bentley correctly guesses that these warnings came from [crazy] Michelle Money from Brad’s season. Apparently, according to Michelle, Bentley was coming on the show to promote his business and would only stick around a few weeks. Bentley’s job occupation title reads “Businessman.” (As in “Excuse me, do you have any businesswomen’s specials?”…movie title anyone? anyone?!) Ashley makes it known to Bentley that if he leaves it would be harder for her than anything she went through last season. Bentley says they’re both on the same page. [Liar] “Definitely feelin’ some feelings.” [Insert evil grin] Ashley says she’s falling in love with Bentley right on time for Bentley to declare in his confessional that he doesn’t want to be here anymore. The next morning he’s packing his bags and Phantom Mask-less Jeff is quite the counselor asking Bentley if he’s sure he has to go, prompting him further by telling him (as if he didn’t know) that he’s a front runner and Ashley likes him more than all the other guys. There’s that evil grin again. Bentley is quite pleased he’s played everyone.
My favorite quote: “I’m gonna make Ashley cry; I hope my hair looks okay.” I’m seriously starting to wonder if this guy isn’t Michelle Money’s ex-husband. What a pair!
After calling Ashley an ugly duckling (not to her face, of course) compared to Emily, he concocts a story about missing his daughter (Cozy) and being consumed by worry that she’s missing him and asking about him. I imagine Cozy’s mother has already had a version of this conversation with her daughter that goes something like this “Oh, he’s off in Hollywood breaking some girl’s heart on national television, Cozy, that’s where daddy is right now. But don’t you worry, sweetie, it won’t take that long. He’ll be back before you know it!” Bentley is annoyed beyond belief at all the tears and hugging and crying and kissing he’s having to put up with right now. He gets a little more interested when Ashley straddles him, legs around his waist noting “something good could happen right now [read: sex]…but I’m not into her.” He demands that Ashley leave a “dot dot dot” [an open loophole for him to return to cause more mischief later this season, I presume]. She’s hopeful. He leaves with one last touch of the glass that separates them and then Ashley retreats under the covers and sobs into her pillows. A lot.
That night she’s got a romantic dinner at home date lined up with JP. Frankly, she looks like hell because she’s been crying all day. Ever the gentleman, he brings flowers and tells her how beautiful she looks. He’s quite the looker, this one. BFOTB has narrowed him down to a cross between Joseph Gordon Levitt and Heath Ledger. Sure. He’s pretty. And, also very understanding that she’s had a rough few days so he asks her if she’s okay and then transitions to making the night about them, all while making sure she’s comfortable. So comfortable, in fact, that they both change into their pajamas. PJ’s with JP! Cute. Ashley is thankful that JP let her be herself and have a bad day. They have some romantic kissing moments on the plush bear skin rug and she’s mesmerized for a little while.
Cocktail party comes around and Ashley is back to being devastated. She thought Bentley was going to be her husband and now is at a loss for how to continue being the Bachelorette. Broken hearted, she’s talking to Chris Harrison and I actually like the role he’s playing for once, trying to help her navigate through the Bentley crap. See, no need to hire a therapist if Chris Harrison does his job right! Chris asks if she was just attracted to Bentley because he was forbidden from the beginning. Doing his best, he’s trying to steer her away from Bentley, letting her down easy with the honest truth that there is no dot dot dot and that if Bentley really was a good guy and wanted to be there, he would have said he was coming back. Also a nice time to remind her that there are plenty of other good looking fellas in the other room dying to see her. She could care less and opts to skip the cocktail party and get to sending some guys packing.
Boring Ben C., the bad guy from Ghost
Ryan P, the solar energy specials (received the group date rose for his good kissin’ and consoling skills)
JP (received a one-on-one date rose on a bear skin rug by the fire)
Blake, the dentist
Lucas, the oilman
Wills (kind of a shocker, but hey, masked man had to go!)
The Phantom Jeff burns his mask in the fire. I’m almost a little sad because I feel like he probably spent some cash on having that custom made for the show. Maybe he’s writing a research paper about awkward social situations.
Next week: Thailand, elephants, kayaking, boat rides, man claws, and everyone hates Ryan P.
P.S. The clip at the end of the show of the masked man on the toilet looking through the classified ads in the paper to find a car or a boat is hilarious. All this is happening whilst Bentley does his hair. “The boat doesn’t have an engine or a steering wheel – think it’s worth it? …it’s only a hundred bucks!” …end scene.