The Bachelorette Recap episode 3, season 7

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 from The Bachelorette & Carl from Ghost

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. 

Rose Ceremony:
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)
Ben F.
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.


The Bachelor Recap episode 7, season 15

This week I’m a lucky lady to be spending Valentine’s Day with my two favorite people: Mumbles and my BFOTB to watch this week’s episode where the ladies and Brad find themselves in the turquoise, clear water, white sand oasis of Anguilla in the Caribbean. There will be three one-on-one dates with no roses required to stay, and one group date.  Two ladies are going home this week.   

One-on-One Date: “Three things I would bring on a deserted island: picnic, champagne and Emily”

Brad says he doesn’t feel like he deserves to be with Emily so he gets nervous around her.  To take his mind off the nervous of screwing it up with the prettiest girl ever, he blurts out “What do you want to do today?”  And cue the helicopter.  If Emily would have answered “I want to fly somewhere in a helicopter” I’m pretty sure Brad would have proposed right then and there.

Brad takes Emily to Sandy Island in Anguilla – a private island that looks a lot like a phallus from the aerial view.  All alone on this island and they’re still very tense and awkward.  Brad confesses that he gets very nervous around Emily and doesn’t help much on her end either. Brad tries to have a really sincere moment and he tells her that he cares about her more than she knows and “probably more than he should be saying at this point” and they have a nice kiss.  Emily says that she wants to bring Brad home but she still isn’t sure if she wants Brad to meet her daughter yet.  Not a good outlook, Mr. Bachelor.

Brad quizzes Emily about whether he will be allowed to meet Ricki on the hometown dates.  She says she’s nervous about letting her meet anyone. Brad has linked her acceptance of him with meeting her daughter. Brad breaks the Bachelor rules and tells Emily that he’s giving her a rose; he’s going to her home town. He’s such a rebel…a rebel in manpri’s.  Is this the first woman in the history of the Bachelor where the parent is really actually protective of her child? I don’t recall this much drama before – another reason to like Emily.

Second one-on-one date is with Shawntel N. Brad takes her on her ideal date and he doesn’t even know it: the farmer’s market.  A sage Anguillan lady tells them how to be in love and says they’re a cute couple.  Shawntel tells Brad she’s falling in love with him but all he can think about is Emily. She starts asking him about his family and Brad admits that he doesn’t have a relationship with his dad. This is BIG because he can’t talk about these things with anyone (aside from his shrink).  When it starts to rain the magic hits and they both go in for the kiss. But this date gets better because they are about be serenaded with a private show by the Bankie Banx, who, according to Brad (aka the producers), is the biggest reggae band in the Caribbean.  I can’t remember what the date card actually said but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it said something like “Let’s bank on love.”  (was I close?!?)  They also brought in a group of party-goers so when Brad and Shawntel were tired of the crowd they snuck away to frolic in the water, where we get full view of Shawntel’s enormous tramp stamp.

Third one-on-one date: Britt – “Let’s sail on the sea of love. “

Brad says that tonight really is make or break for Britt since they are so behind the other relationships he’s formed, which is completely his fault due to the fact that she hasn’t had one-on-one time with him. 

Brad starts their date by telling Britt how special she is:  “I’ve picked up women in helicopters, convertibles, and a boat…but never in a yacht.”  Then it’s made very clear that Brad doesn’t own the yacht, as they are required to swim out to the yacht to board.  Haha.

Michelle says she doesn’t see Brad and Britt getting married. In fact, she can hardly see Brad friending her on Facebook.  Oh, Michelle, don’t you know as your comments become less crazy and entertaining, your odds of getting a rose also diminish?  Step it up a bit, will ya?

Little Bay in Anguilla is so gorgeous.  Britt confesses that she is willing to “jump right in” but she’s terrified.  She also says that terrified is pretty much her go to feeling when it comes to this show. I can relate: mine is anxiety. Ashley and I understand why she’s a little tentative about jumping off a cliff…for Brad.  We’d hesitate too.  (But hey, we also took turns quoting Forgetting Sarah Marshall “Peter, I can see your hoo-ha!”) 

Brad explains that they’re sitting on the beach having a great conversation, asking all the right questions in the most romantic place in the world but he isn’t getting the urge to just grab her and kiss her.  I can give him that. Britt does seem to be putting out a bit of a little sister vibe. I also note that she looks a little Elvish.  Nothing wrong with that but would Brad know and appreciate a woman with Elvish good looks? I think not.  In what little air time she gets, Britt makes some pretty funny comments and I feel like we could be friends in real life, which means she’s probably not Bachelor material.  (Heidi, you can fall in love on The Bachelor and we’ll still be friends or you can just be really pretty and fun and entertaining – totally your call).

After a few awkward small talk comments over dinner Brad says that there is no romance. She’s a sweet woman, but it’s just not there.  Brad starts his breakup talk but he’s really not good at these.  He doesn’t have a rose to not give to her but he tells her that he doesn’t see a future with her.  She tries to talk rationally (sorry, Britt, I think you forgot you’re on The Bachelor) about taking more time to get to know each other but Brad pulls his best defense: during his last season he was crucified for stringing girls along.  At least Brad has the decency to arrange a boat to pick her up so she didn’t have to swim to the shore.

Britt walks back up to the house and the girls are so happy to see her and ask her about her date…and she has to fight back tears to tell the girls that she’s going home. 

Group date: Ashley, Chantal, Michelle – “This is the dawn of a new love”

Brad wakes up the girls in the middle of the night to tell them they are starting their date early.  Brad says that they’re going to be doing something that millions of women dream of doing…they are going to be in a photoshoot for Sports Illustrated, which just so coincidentally happens to hit newsstands on February 15 – tomorrow.

Chantal is all Debbie Downer “I’m a fatty” and don’t want to be photographed today.  Ashley puts some conch shells over her boobs and the other girls are pissed with envy.  Chantal is not feeling confident and sexy but decides to take her top off anyway.  Brad is looking at the girls with clothes on instead of the ones that are taking their tops off.   Huh? Michelle got ambitious because she didn’t want to take her top off so instead she crawled on top of Brad, really getting the other girls jealous and angry as they now realize they probably didn’t have to go topless for a national magazine and instead could have just had a steamy makeout session with the guy they like.  Oops.

(P.S. What is Ashley drinking that’s bright green?  Scooby Snacks?)  Ashley tells Brad that she feels like the kid sister or the friend.  Brad acknowledges that he hurt her and put her in a bad position.  Now he has to go apologize to Chantal.  Brad asks if her feelings have changed and Chantal says that she is still in love with him and she’d be stupid to ignore it.

Brad tells Michelle he sees a very strong, almost volatile woman and that they might be just a little bit too alike.  Michelle acknowledges her stubbornness and that it is true that they are alike.  Not great quality alone time together.

Chantal pulls Brad aside for more alone time together to ask if everything is okay.  Brad says he’s having a hard time showing emotion because he’s trying to respect everyone’s feelings by not showing any emotion.  Oh, so now I get it! This whole season he’s been boring because he’s trying to respect everyone!  Got it. What a gentleman!

Ashley says she is scared that she screwed up with Brad because she’s retracted in her fear of getting sent home.  Ashley gets needy and desperate and begs “please don’t send me home.”  Brad had to walk all the way back to the cabana to grab the rose right out from under Chantal and Michelle and the moment he turns on his heel the tears have appeared in Chantal’s eyes.  Lots more tears and then Chantal tells Brad that “if you can’t choose me over two other girls then you should just send me home now.”  And I think someone should tell her to watch her words because he did just choose another girl over her. She ends their date all pouty and teary, hoping to push Brad away just enough so that he’d pull her in closer. Not sure that worked, buttercup, but good luck.

Brad and Chris Harrison sit down and Brad says he doesn’t feel that he needs a cocktail party tonight – he made his decision earlier today.  Chris asks if someone might be able to change his mind and Brad says no.  I really would have banked on Ashley but now that she has the rose it seems like it could be Chantal but then again Ashley had a full on emotional pity party too and Brad rewarded her with a rose. So that leaves us with Michelle, which also seems fitting.  He got to enjoy some passionate moments and now he’s done because her craziness is not as entertaining anymore.  

Brad is 100% confident that he’s making the decision. So here it is for hometown dates next week:

Ashley, the artist dentist
Emily, Southern Belle Barbie
Shawntel N., the funeral director
(and drumroll as it’s down to the two enemies: Chantal and Michelle. And insert totally pointless cut in from Chris: “Ladies, Brad, this is the last rose of the night.”  Thank you, Captain Obvious!)
…Chantal O. 

After much ado and drama, Michelle has fulfilled her crazy contract and is going home.  Brad asks to walk Michelle out and as they walk he says “can I have your hand or absolutely not?” and she curtly replies “um, probably not.”  Haha.  Then Brad asks if she wants him to talk and she says “no” so we don’t get to hear that awkward conversation.  Brad explains that he had an intense physical connection to Michelle but he realized that would wear off and they would become extremely volatile because they butt heads so much.  Smart man, I guess.  In the limo, I think the producers were very sorely disappointed not to get a big dramatic cry and cuss fest out of Michelle.  Instead, she simply laid her head down on the seat and looked sad.  Kudos to you, lady.

Today’s beverage of the episode: Rockbrook Chardonnay, 2008.  Delicious for cooking veggies and for sipping. 

Next week: home hunting, cremations, and mother-daughter reunions. 

P.S. After today’s bikini-clad, beach bunny episode our dear friend Melanie sent in a fabulous tip for our good friend Heidi: Heidi, when you send in your application make sure to list that you were a lifeguard, look great in a bikini, tan easily, and dive into water as elegantly as an Olympian (minus the broad shoulders).  You’re a shoe in.

The Bachelor Recap episode 6, season 15

Well hello there.  Let’s get right to it and helicopter on in to Costa Rica. Ashley H, the artist dentist is ready to get down and dirty in Costa Rica. They arrive at Springs Resort & Spa in Costa Rica to see its gorgeous grounds and a sweeping panoramic view of a volcano in the distance.  In the foreground is Brad, also looking like he’s ready to explode with [insert any boring emotion you can think of].  The girls say he’s ready to let loose and I completely disagree…he is so rigid and forced.  In the voice of the great Chandler Bing: Could he be any less excited?

One-on-One Date: “Close your eyes, hold on tight, love is in the air tonight” -Chantal O.
“All I can do is be patient and hope Chantal gets attacked by monkeys. Or apes.” – Michelle, the crazy

Chantal is concerned that this date means Brad is second guessing her because she let out a bit of her jealous crazy side last week.  Someone should tell her Brad likes crazy and jealous [see every reference to Michelle in this blog].

Surprise! More helicopter transportation.  For their date, Brad and Chantal will be taking on the longest zip line in the world, six hundred feet off the ground.  Brad says they’ll be taking their relationship to new heights.  Oh, brother.  And just as they get ready to take the plunge, the rain arrives.

“The rain comes your way and you make the most of it. That’s what you do in a relationship.” -Chantal O. being profound, comparing the weather raining on her zip-line parade to her relationship with Brad.  Very ominously we see Chantal spot a monkey in a tree nearby and for a split second I think Michelle might get her wish, but alas, it just led to more kissing.  Sorry, Michelle.

Now for a picnic dinner by the river with fresh coconut. I’m uber jealous.  Especially because the coconut is all cut in half and perfect. No need for your husband to drill holes with a power drill and crack it open with a hammer.  Oh, that’s not how you do it? Hmm…I’ll have to talk to Mumbles about that.  Chantal says she’s feeling things tonight that she’s dreamed of feeling but has never felt…ever.  Next thing you know, it’s pouring down rain on her dinner parade.  This girl can’t catch a break.  Maybe it’s foreshadowing…every time she thinks it’s going well the rain comes…nah, this show’s not that deep. So, Chantal and Brad ditch the cute picnic dinner to find cover and head straight to the hotel room (don’t mind if I do, right?!) 

“It makes me happy to think that the rain has completely ruined their one-on-one date. There’s a chance it could be the worst date Brad’s been on [Michelle also said this about Shawntel N.’s date, which turned out to be a shopping spree in Vegas] but I just…it’s hard to know; I’m not there.” -Michelle, the crazy.

Back in the hotel room Brad gives Chantal a Risky Business-esque white shirt to get comfy in. Chantal says she likes this casual, on-the-fly date. Brad says he thinks it’s their best date yet, then brings up her crazy mind games last week and her only defense is to say that she was just in a bad place. 

“I feel so good with you. I want more of it. Every day.  Forever.” – Chantal says then embarrassed, with a childish laugh, followed by a passionate kiss.
“This could happen every night.” -Brad
“I want it to.” – Chantal
Which earns Chantal the rose.   

Brad is confident that Chantal isn’t overly dramatic now.  He says “it just works” with her.  Chantal confesses that she fell in love with Brad tonight.

Group Date: “Love springs eternal” – Jackie, Michelle, Emily, Ashley, Shawntel N., and Britt

Now Britt is the only girl left that hasn’t had a one-on-one date.  And, in case you weren’t already aware, Michelle hates group dates.  Here’s another thing to add to the list of things she hates: rain and cold.  And that Chantal came home in Brad’s shirt after her date last night.  Man, what a good ploy!  [Heidi, when you become a contestant on The Bachelor, be sure to bring a stash of men’s dress shirts and pack one in your purse each date so you can come home wearing it and make all the girls crazy and jealous!  Write that down.]

True: there’s nothing sexy about a harness and a helmet.
They will all be repelling down the waterfall to prove to Brad that they’re adventurous. Most of the girls are freaked.  The girls are comforted by how encouraging he his, proving that he’ll be a good husband and father.  I think it proves that his expensive therapy sessions are giving him good one-liners to use.

Here are the highlights from the group date:

  • Jackie is deathly afraid of heights. She doesn’t like ferris wheels.
  • “Jackie may have soiled herself.” – Britt. haha.  I’m sad because I think she may be going home and that was funny.  This show needs all the funny it can get.
  • Michelle is pissed that Brad broke the vow he made to her on their one-on-one date. Brad acknowledges that he made a pact with Michelle, Michelle throws a few punches at Brad to give him a hard time, and then she jumps around giddily once he tells her that they will be repelling down together, thus not breaking his vow. Now Brad is worried about not spending time with the other girls and the fallout it will cause later in the evening. 
  • Soaking in the natural hot springs Michelle eloquently shares that “Watching Brad take his shirt off makes you like want to go home and [insert sexual expletive of your choice].”
  • Brad pulls Jackie away and takes her into a little nook of the hot springs pool and she calls him out on not going down the waterfall with her since she was the one that needed his consoling. 
  • Brad complains about how hard it is to keep all the women happy.  And he thinks he’s ready for marriage, huh?
  • As if we didn’t believe her before, Michelle says she is seriously starting to get bugged by the other girls.  She even calls out Alli and she’s not even on this date.
  • Emily warns Brad that she usually does things in relationships to sabotage them.  Then she jumps in the water and comes back up with black raccoon eyes.  Sabotage?  No.  But definitely not her best look. 
  • We get a close up view of Brad’s HUGE back tattoo and suddenly Emily’s makeup doesn’t matter so much.

Alli is very scared of bugs. Not just any bugs. But bugs in particular that make a crunch sound when you [hypothetically] step on them.  Chantal picks up a beetle in their hotel room with a piece of paper and taunts Alli with it until she screams bloody murder.  Cut to Brad with a very fake concerned look on his face as you hear the screaming in the background.  Now, this is funny television.

Michelle tells Brad that she didn’t think Chantal was coming home last night and she’s pissed about it. Brad seems a little pissed too and he seems to be [finally] getting sick of Michelle’s crap.  When she realizes her crazy gabbing isn’t working she just puts on the sexy eyes and goes in for the kiss.  Brad is frustrated but he still likes to kiss.

According to Brad the roses now mean more to him than ever.  Tonight, he’s not giving the rose to anyone.  Brad explains that he’s “…not just giving this rose to the woman who jumped first or the woman who overcame fears.”  

One-on-One Date: “Meet me at the altar” – Alli
Chantal tries to pull the whole “how do you feel about your date card not having the word ‘love'” bit again but Alli doesn’t bite quickly pointing out that she prefers the reference to marriage. Alli – 1  Chantal – 0

Brad slowly strolls up on horseback to pick up Alli.  He doesn’t look at all natural riding the horse but I’m happy it’s a refreshing change from the usual helicopter. What is up with the tiny little horse babies following them around?!?  How cute is that?!

They’ll be going into a 40 million year-old cave and Alli is terrified of all the poisonous jungle bugs awaiting her inside.  If it wasn’t already obvious that the girls are lined up on dates that align with the fears indicated on their application forms, it’s now fact.  [Heidi, write something silly as your biggest fear and practice making your phobia seem intense and sincere.  Something like karaoke. You’d be so good at pretending to have stage fright and then overcoming your fear!  You’d be like a pool shark but with a microphone instead of a pool cue!] 

“Look at that spider!”…ugh. I hate spiders. Bats, though, come on, bats are cute! Okay, they do make weird hissing/screech noises.  After their dark, long wet hike with all the bugs, they arrive at the altar, natural stairs in the rock where Brad has a little camp picnic laid out.  I wonder what poor production assistant had to climb through that cave first with all the picnic stuff to set that up.  Then later, they sit down for a nice romantic dinner that appears to be floating in the middle of a pool.  I’d be worried about scooting my chair back a little too far because this guy’s in intensive therapy so you never know when you might need to make a quick dash outta there. Girl’s gotta have an escape plan.  [Heidi, write that down.] 

Alli appears to be fighting her food with fork and knife then says, a little frustrated, “What is this, really?” To which Brad helpfully points out: “Chicken.”  Lady, you’re totally going home.  They’re making small talk and Brad is struggling.  Alli starts to list off countries to see if Brad’s never been there. This could go on a while.  Then more stimulating gems like this exchange:  
“Austin is a great city…”-Alli 
“It’s big” -Brad

Brad claims he can make conversation with just about anyone.  You stand corrected, sir.  

All the girls back at the room are placing bets that Alli isn’t coming home.  Brad tries to dig deeper into Alli’s relationship past and he asks about her last relationship, which she shares lasted for two years but as she imagined her wedding and walking down the aisle, she just couldn’t see her ex’s face.  She explains that it was really hard, she really tried to convince herself that there was something there because he was such a great guy…leaving a HUGE opening for Brad to pop in and say “I’m so glad you said that because that’s very much how I feel about you – I’m trying to picture this working and I just can’t see you holding a rose at the end of tonight…” which would have been awesome but he doesn’t say that. Here’s what actually happened: Brad leads into a vague monologue about finding his wife and knowing if not the first date, then very close to the first date, that there’s a very strong connection (which he hopes will lead to his letting her down gently, telling her that he doesn’t feel that strong instant connection like he’s already established with the other girls).  Instead, what really happens is she says “I absolutely agree!  And I want you to know that I feel just as comfortable around you as I think I’ve felt with anyone before…and I think I could hang out with you all day, every day.”  Brad starts into the “let’s be friends” speech and clarifies that he doesn’t think that constitutes falling in love and so he can’t give her the rose.  And that’s where it ends.  Friends it is.  And she thanks him for being honest, cries and gets embarrassed.    Back in the hotel room the girls are all shocked and awed that Alli’s bags are being taken away, which I don’t quite understand. 

Brad is now in his pensive alone time to process what he’s feeling [no doubt good advice for post rose rejection, a la the trusty therapist] when there’s a knock on the door.  “iHola!” and voila, there’s Michelle, the crazy.  Brad says it’s a nice surprise.  They exchange “I miss yous” then kiss for a bit.  Michelle really looks like she’s working out a strategy in those kisses.  She has her eyes on the rose and she asks how it went, full well knowing that Alli has been sent home.  Brad makes a little flub by saying “any others you want me to do?” haha. oops! busted!  Michelle tells Brad who it’s gonna be in the final four: herself, Chantal, Emily and Ashley.  Of course, she predicts herself to be the victor. 

Cocktail Party:

  • Brad shares that this has been really difficult for him.  Hmm…that therapist doesn’t travel?  No Skype?  Total fail.
  • Brad and Emily take some time away on the hammock.  Brad says he thinks about her a lot. He says he’s scared of her.  Emily regrets telling Brad that she sabotages things.  She tells Brad she cares about him a lot and that she feels vulnerable.  He tells her that he wants her to feel comfortable.  She says she needs his help, addressing his concerns before he could even bring them up. 
  • Chantal asks the group who gave Brad grief about not giving out the rose on the group date. 
  • Brad tells Michelle that he feels he’s taken 10 steps back with her and finally stands up to her confirming that he’s doing what’s best for him.  She tries to spin it back onto him that he asked for it.  Michelle gets a furrow in her brow and I can see the wheels churning in her manipulative mind …hmmm…crazy manipulation isn’t working so let’s try the tears and I’m genuine bit to see if that’ll work for a while…
  • Shawntel N. wants to confront Brad about who gave him grief about the rose but realizes that she’s here to fall in love, not play games with girls.  So instead, she decides to play games with the only boy here.  The Silent Game, which leads to making out.  Lots of making out.  And she should just be sassy and walk away but she screws it up by talking.  Shawntel reports back that someone confronted Brad after the group date and they all continue to discuss and Michelle confesses that she went to Brad’s and spent 30 minutes with him. 
  • Ashley the artist dentist says it best: “There are certain boundaries that I thought we had; it surprises me that we don’t.”
  • Chantal O. tells Brad that she wants to share something with him, especially tonight because she already has a rose and she wants him to know that she isn’t expecting anything in return.  Chantal tells Brad that she has fallen in love with Brad.  They kiss and he asks her if she could explain how she knows she’s in love and she gives a really great response, explaining that a change has occurred in her heart- she no longer thinks about how the experience is affecting her but is now concerned with how everything is affecting Brad.  Aw.

Rose Ceremony:
Chantal O., the first to fall in love
Ashley, the artist dentist
Emily, Southern Belle Barbie (also, did I share my revelation that she is totally Holly Madison’s doppleganger?!)
Britt, the wild card for the night…she gets absolutely no air time!
Shawntel N., the funeral director
Michelle, the crazy

Going home tonight is Jackie, the Wicked/Glee Singer.  Not too surprising.  Brad gives her a lovely goodbye speech and it’s all very classy.  I wish as these girls said goodbye they would say something super scandalous to the Bachelor to really screw with his mind and mix things up.  It’s never that fun.  [Heidi, let’s plan for a really awesome scandalous rumor for you to plant into the Bachelor’s mind just in case you get sent home because of all the awesome advice I’m giving you].

Next week: Anguilla
Hello, paradise! Blue water, boats, sunny skies, romantic walks on the beach, crying, kissing in the sand, hard questions (including a “can I meet your daughter?” and an “I don’t know” response), and, of course, roses.

P.S. To my friend Jessie – this one’s for you. I stayed up way past my bedtime. You’re welcome.