The Bachelorette Recap episode 5, season 7

Another attempt at a new start, this week Ashley and her “not as good as Bentley” men (I think I shall call them Bentley Crew) are inChiang Mai,Thailand.  At the Mandarin Oriental, a super awesome line of luxury hotels – I am impressed. And jealous. Bentley’s name has already come up more times than I can count but Ashley swears that’s all behind her.  Liar!

There are 11 men left for Ashley to choose from and it looks like another is going home in an ambulance.  Other bad news (for the guys) that’s exciting for us: there’s a two-on-one date this episode!  Nothing like an awkward third wheel date to really spice up the drama and awkwardness! 

Ben F., the winemaker/orphanage painter, gets the one-on-one date and when Ashley comes to pick him up, all the men sense the palpable sexual energy between them (between Ben and Ashley, not all the men…well, it was Ames who said that so can’t be quite sure, really).

They take a Volkswagen van/bike (seriously, what was that thing?!) to a marketplace to eat street food, buy a robe, walk hand-in-hand.  Seems a lot like Constantine’s date from last week, right? Ben says it feels like he’s on vacation with his girlfriend. Ashley says she was surprised to have felt so much chemistry and meanwhile, Ben is starting to see her as a possible fiancé or wife.

There’s a lot of awkward silence which on this show always means its time to make out but because they were in front of a sacred temple they couldn’t actually kiss. Instead they had a mental kiss. Not as good. But they pretend it was and now Ashley is feeling feisty, she’s ready for dinner, where presumably they’ll be able to kiss all they want.

A gorgeous dinner table is set up surrounded by thousands of flowers on a garden lawn. They talk about how he got started in winemaking and Ben shares that his father passed away really screwing him up emotionally until the last year.  Now he’s ready for love and makin’ out. Ashley thinks Ben is getting an A+ on their date, she gives him the rose and then music starts, fire dancers come out, and Ben goes in for the kiss. Ashley is not disappointed and thinks it could be forever. (Maybe. If it’s not Bentley. Okay, I just threw that in there, but come on, you all know she was thinking it!)

Group date: Constantine, Ames, Nick, Blake, Lucas, Ryan, JP, Mickey

The guys are excited/terrified when they figure out that they will be training with Muy Thai boxer/fighters.  Lucas has no clue about training to fight but he’s been in some street brawls. I believe him – he’s a country boy. Ames? Never been in a fight. Surprised? Not at all. Surprised thatAmes gets the pink set of boxing gear? Not at all.

They arrive at a fight and realize that they’re going to be fighting against each other. Shock! (Ashley is in a state of fright and fear the whole time…whichever producer thought up this brilliant idea probably got promoted). Here’s how the matches went down:

  • Blake v Lucas – Blake wins.
  • Mickey v JP – JP, the self proclaimed “Jew from Long Island beat the Irishman from Cleveland.”
  • Ames v Ryan – Ryan knocks Ames in the head. Ooh. Ouch.
  • Nick v Constantine- “the heavyweights”Constantine wins.

Ashley, ever they worrywart, is troubled by the far off look Ames has in his eyes so she runs to alert the paramedics to her damsel in distress and they cart him away. Not dramatic at all. I hate this show.

At the post fight party:

  • Ryan is feeling super guilty but still shows off his battle wounds.  Chicks dig scars. Write that down. Ames is back, prep boy suit and all. He has to know he can’t go home tonight – this earned him at least one more night here. Pity rose is a for sure.
  • Blake is totally getting the friend vibe from Ashley. He tells her that “love is a marathon, not a sprint” to try to win his case. 
  • Lucas is apparently more comfortable now that he’s punched some dudes in the face. He is a golfer so at Ashley’s request, he gives her a little lesson. Very cliche, very sexy.  Lucas calls Ashley out on her attraction to Bentley and she pulls that brand-spankin’-new wisdom from Blake out of her pocket to reassure Lucas that love takes a while to grow.
  • Ashley gives Blake the group date rose and he goes in for his first kiss.  

Two on one: William and Ben C. “guide me to love”

The two men paddle a boat (while Ashley sits comfortably) down the river to a little picnic area. William tells Ashley that Ben C. can’t wait to go home to all the ladies waiting for him in the realms of the online dating world. Instead of asking Ben any questions she just announces that the two on one date is over and walks Ben back to his little getaway boat. It’s a slow getaway. Definitely not romantic.  What I liked most was that in their brief “it’s been real” goodbye, Ben says something along the lines of “aw, come on, I was joking about that. It was funny. Ask anyone!” 

Wills is pleased his plan worked out. He’s at ease at dinner. Ashley asks Wills if he still feels like a 30-year-old boy. A stupid grin emerges. Ashley is not feelin’ it. She tells William she’s lost that lovin’ feelin’…whoa whoa whoa. I’m beginning to feel like Ashley is getting her brain back. She proclaims that she needs a man, not a boy. And the rose is set to burn in a firepit. So dramatic.

Cocktail Party:

  • Ryan is totally way excited. Ashley looks bored.
  • Constantinelikes Ashley’s realness.Constantineis asked if he is closer to the guys than her. He says “naturally.” Good answer, bud.
  • Ashley asks JP if he could see her in his everyday. He says that he already feels like that.  Ashley wants to tell JP what she feels for him but she’s afraid of getting hurt. And, she’s in love with Bentley.

Mumbles is mad at me for not keeping a Bentley counter going. Is there an app for that?

Ashley tells her ole buddy Chris Harrison that she can’t stop thinking about Bentley. Ashley wants to talk to Bentley to get some closure. 

Rose ceremony:
Ben F.
Ames, the pity rose
Ryan, the enthusiastic solar energy specialist 

Nick, the surfer/Matthew McConaughey look alike says a sad goodbye to love. Not as sad as Wills who earlier said he wants to go to bed and never wake up. Again, where’s that on-call therapist from last season??

Next week:Hong Kong, bad boy Bentley’s back, Mickey tellin’ it like it is (wow, he’s good looking!), lots of tears and drama. Oh, also, from the looks of it I really don’t like Ashley next week.

Can’t wait!

P.S. Anyone count how many times she said Bentley?
P.S.S. Anyone watching Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition after The Bachelorette?  Uh-mazing.


The Bachelor Recap: After the Final Rose, season 15

Let’s skip through the first part where Chris Harrison says pointless, obvious facts and get to Chantal out in the hot seat, reliving the hurt and humiliation that comes with falling in love on reality tv. She confronts Brad about stringing her along, keeping her around because she was fun.  There’s gotta be a winner and a loser for the show to work so it might as well be someone fun, right? She’s very emotional and Brad tries to console her but he’s careful not to do anything to piss off princess Emily backstage. Despite the tears and snot covering her face apparently Chantal is happy with a new man back in Seattle and he’s everything she’s ever wanted. No pressure, dude.

Brad says he is more in love with Emily than he has been in his entire life.  Yay, audience cheers.  Chris breaks the news to the audience that Brad and Emily broke up and have had really hard times, all while almost getting married twice. Boo, audience is very sad and confused. Brad explains that they have a very real relationship and that comes with ups and downs. Chris asks if he considers himself engaged to Emily and he takes a roundabout way to reply that he can’t speak for her but in his eyes “yes.” He seems unsure. That’s even more awkward.  Brad alludes sarcastically to the fact that Emily is not the sweet, Southern Belle that the producers painted her to be on the show.  I believe him. When Emily comes out so do the claws and there are definitely some restrained fighting words whispered back and forth between her and Brad.  I think I see a few eye rolls too. She confirms that it hasn’t been all roses but claims she’s in love, they’re still engaged (Brad is visibly relieved) but she’s not ready to get married (her exact words: “I love you, but noooooo.” Ouch.) and she’s not ready to move Austin right now.  The audience boos loudly (again). Even more awkward.  It’s all a bit confusing. I wonder if they’re already in couples therapy. Actually, I’m a bit surprised his tv therapist didn’t make an appearance. 

Emily says she watched the show and felt like Brad should have picked Chantal because they had so much fun together.  She was a bit of a complainer noting that she would have appeared to be fun and adventurous if she got to go on dates swimming with sharks, which I’m not quite understanding because she won (Brad’s heart) – it’s not like she was sent home and she’s upset she was set up to appear dull. 

Emily cautiously explains that Brad has a bad temper and that’s one of the things he needs to work on before they get married.  She says his family warned her, asking if she’d “poked the bear” yet. She now knows what that means, as both she and Brad fess up to having “knock down, drag out fights” that are “volatile”…geesh, sounds like love to me!  On top of that Emily is seemingly carrying a grudge knowing that Brad said he fell in love early with her, now wishing he would have saved “certain things” just for her.  Ruh-roh.

It seems like they’re in a weird place. I respect them for not coming out and smiling and telling America that everything is all bunnies and sunshine and roses and they can’t wait to get married to just see them split a few weeks later (a la The London Bachelor and his “monkey” fiancée Shayne Lamas).  Clearly they aren’t living together (let alone living in the same city) with no real plans to do so anytime soon, which means they haven’t been given an opportunity to test their relationship out in the real world and also that Brad hasn’t been spending time with Emily’s daughter. And that’s all fine but then it confuses me as to why Brad would talk about wanting to get married while the show was taping or during the ATFR episode.  They never did explain that. More bizarre talk about their possible future wedding and they keep having to look at each other to see if they’re on the same page…or even reading the same book.

Then Chris Harrison brings out Ali & Roberto, Jason & Molly, and Trista & Ryan to keep their Google rank numbers up give them support and encouragement to get through all the tabloid fodder and reality tv to reality transition. I wish that Molly or Jason would have just flat out said “The first step to starting your real relationship would be to move to Austin.” They did the long distance thing too. I’m being honest here (such a Brad thing to say) but no one believes their relationship will last or even be serious unless she moves to Austin.  Not necessarily living with him but at least to be dating seriously and seeing Ricki on a regular basis. 

Chris asks what we’ve all been wondering since she stepped out on stage: why isn’t Emily wearing her ring?  Brad answers by pulling it out of his jacket pocket, telling Emily he’s had it sized to fit her and slips it on her finger.  Aww…it’s either sweet or a “this is a good story so please just go with it” and act like we’re engaged moment.

So, do you think they’ll last?  I hate to say it but I give it 2 months.

No announcement of the next Bachelorette during the show but it’s all over the news today that Ashley H., the artist dentist (nay, dental school student) is the newly recycled cast off that will get another chance to find her dream man. I don’t know why I still keep all my fingers and toes crossed for them to find a fresh one.  Stay tuned, friends, the first episode airs May 23.  Will you watch?

The Bachelor Recap: final episode & proposal, season 15

Brad is reunited with his family in South Africa and starts crying uncontrollably, unable to contain himself enough to sit down.  I chuckle when I see Brad’s twin brother Chad because all I can remember is Brad’s first season when he tricked the girls by having his twin take his place, pretending to be him.  Good stuff.

Brad says he’s falling in love and is 100% considering proposing. His family feigns dramatic shock and emphasizes how much of a new man he is.

Chantal arrives first.  She tells the story of how they fell in love in Costa Rica in the pouring rain running back to the hotel room to…uh, well, just talk for hours…

Wes thinks Chantal clicks with the family and that she’s very attractive and vibrant.  Wes and Chad get some alone time and they tell her that Brad said he is planning on proposing. 

Mom asks what everyone wants to know: “how could you fall in love so quick?”  Chantal says it’s easy to fall in love because of what she went through in her divorce working to find herself, now knowing what and who she wants is what led her to a place where it was easy to fall in love with Brad because he’s everything she wants and needs.

That seems to get the stamp of approval from mom.

Brad says he wasn’t nervous about Chantal but he is a bit on edge about them meeting Emily because of her past. I did notice that Emily didn’t get hugs but Wes explains that Emily seems much more reserved than Chantal.  Then again later Wes, as a parent himself, is concerned about how much it would affect Emily and her daughter to move to Austin.

It gets really emotional around the table as questions unfold in a natural way about how Ricki’s father would feel about Emily and Ricki moving to Texas.  Emily shares her story and there are tears welling up in everyone’s eyes, with a new found respect for Emily and what she’s been through to get here.

Brad reassures his brothers that he welcomes the opportunity to be a father.  His brothers are surprised. Wes says “I left this place yesterday feeling like my brother was ready to be a husband and now I realize that he’s also ready to be a full blown father.”

Mom pulls Emily aside and tells her how much she respects her for being hesitant about letting Brad meet her daughter and also for allowing him to.  Emily expresses her gratitude in meeting Brad and how much of a blessing he’s been to her even in this short time together.  Mom loses it when Emily tells her that Brad is her angel. She knows Emily has had a very difficult time so Brad’s mom is rooting for her, hoping she’ll have a happy ending.

As for the brothers, I know they are on Team Emily too.  I can see the restraint in Chad’s face because he totally wants to blurt out “she’s way hotter, dude!” …trust me. I can see it in his eyes.

 Mom gives her vote on Emily.  Brad says if his mom could pick a woman for him it would be Emily.  At this point it’s in the bag. 

On his date day with Chantal Brad says his family thinks Emily is the one but he’s looking for Chantal to show him she’s the one today.  It’s totally over and I know it when she goes barreling towards him and tries to jump in his arms and he is struggling.  Not romantic, and quite frankly, kinda scary. As my smart friend Matt Prince stated so eloquently on Facebook yesterday, “No matter what decision Brad makes tonight he will be dealing with 50 unexpected lbs…for Emily it’s her daughter, for Chantal it’s the weight she’s gained since the first episode.” It’s true. It also may explain why Brad chose to take Chantal swimming with the sharks. Either he knew they’d go for her meaty body first or he wanted her covered up in a wet suit.  Just like with the snorkeling on their first one on one date, he took her to face her fears and she overcame them for him. 

Chantal gives Brad a map she made showing all the places they’ve been – she says it shows that she has traveled the world for his love.  She also wrote him a mushy love letter – front and back (but not 18 pages, a la Rachel Green).  Brad says it was very sweet.  Chantal says she needs Brad to tell her he loves her. He calls it a night and never said the “L” word so she’s desperately holding onto hope that she’ll hear it the next time they see each other.

Brad’s family chose Emily and he says he is still exploring his feelings with Emily – he needs to feel confident at the end of today. He takes Emily to the Cape of Good Hope via helicopter, naturally. It’s really windy and I’m pretty sure every guy in America forced into watching The Bachelor is sitting on the edge of the couch, eagerly hoping for the wind to blow her short shirtdress up. He tells her that his family really loved her and Emily realizes that she is letting her insecurities get the best of her and it’s all downhill from there.  What seems to be the most serious, real conversation they have and should be having is going disastrously.  Brad seems upset that she’s looking for the reassurance that he’s actually thought about what it will take to become a stepfather. Brad makes it very clear that he wants to be Ricki’s dad and Emily comes back with a lot of warnings that being a parent isn’t always fun or glamorous. Brad is very frustrated.  He asks Emily if she’s ready to let somebody in. She says “not somebody, but you.” It seems as if his anger is getting the best of him so now he’s trying to push the blame onto her for these hesitant feelings.  Emily knows her head is sabotaging her heart and Brad walks away defeated from his night with Emily.

Neil Lane arrives the next morning with the rings for Brad to choose from. Brad picks out a stunning sparkler of rock with a split shank band.

Brad is very confident, excited, scared, and happy about being in love.  The clue to his choosing Emily is when he says he knows he’s in love and he just hopes she loves him back.  I think everyone in America is confident that Chantal loves Brad. 

Chantal, it appears, is doomed to be the first girl out of the limo yet again.  And yeah, that’s sad and all, but all I can think is “Chunky gold shoes with that dress? Really?” 

Brad gives his “you’re so great” speech and then transitions into the “here’s where it gets tough” part and explains that he has stronger feelings for someone else and immediately the tears fly.  Brad tries to reassure her by asking “are you alright?” which at this moment in time is probably the worst thing he could ask. No, Brad, no she’s not alright.  I wish that Chris Harrison would’ve popped out just to say that.  Would’ve been perfect!  Brad continues to tell Chantal that the connection they had was very real and she didn’t do anything wrong. I think Brad might have to call Chantal’s dad and break up with him too. If you’ll remember, they too had quite the connection. Chantal wonders how she could have felt Brad was The One when Brad didn’t even love her. Someone get this woman a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s, stat!

Now that the sad part is over, Brad is all smiles when he sees Emily walking toward him.  It takes him quite a while to get out his rehearsed speech, telling her about a promise he made to himself to take a leap of faith if he found even just a glimpse of love. He says, “And all it took for me was coming here and finding you. You’re it; you’re The One. You’re so much more than a leap of faith. You’re my once in a lifetime.”

And his proposal went like this:

Please give me your forever.
Please let me be your best friend.
Please let me protect you and your beautiful daughter,
And please give me the opportunity to love you for the rest of your life.
I love you, Emily.
(on bended knee)
Please make me happier than I’ve ever been in my life and marry me.”

And she says “I’d love to!” and has to do the awkward bend at the waist to kiss him. She straightens up and he puts the ring on her finger. She says she loves it and it’s perfect.  Cue the montage of their love story unfolded in Bachelor episode clips to the tune of Train’s “Marry Me.”
So, what did you think? Were you rooting for Chantal? Did you know it would be Emily?    How do you feel about them not really dealing with the real issues of what their life will be like together as a family with a daughter?

The Bachelor Recap episode 8, season 15

In New York Brad has the following nuggets to share about the four women left:

“Chantal is unlike all the other girls. I don’t hold back a single bit with her. I see a very real life with her. In a lot of ways I do want her to be my wife. She’s emotional. What I can’t deal with is an emotional roller coaster.”

“Ashley…the very first night I spent with her I knew there was something there. So outgoing, energetic, and bubbly. She has what any guy would want.  Ashley has second guessed things. Instead of moving forward we have to keep reassuring each other. We need to move forward.”

“I know Shawntel is wife material. We just have this unsaid connection. No roller coaster, no games, no drama. I like where I’m at with Shawntel.”

“And then there’s Emily. There is so much love that Emily has for her ex, and rightly so, but it sets the bar very high for anyone else to come in. I’m gonna try. There’s something very real between Emily and I. She’s what I want in a wife – she just is. I’m falling so hard for Emily. How can I propose to a woman if I haven’t met her daughter?”

His overall view: “My feelings are so much deeper. One of these women is going to be my wife.”

It was a bit piecey this week so here are the highlights of Brad’s hometown time with each of the women…

Seattle for Chantal O.

  • After they run to each other across the grass Brad says he missed her.
  • Chantal lives four streets away from her parents. She lives by herself with cats and dogs.
  • Brad is up front about living in Austin but tells Chantal that he’d be happy visiting Seattle a lot. She seems absolutely fine with it.
  • A cute little teddy bear of a pup named Boca greets them at the door.  Boca loves Brad. Chantal says it’s a whole package – she and all the animals are a package deal so Brad might need a big house. Brad says he lives in a small loft. And there’s definitely not enough closet space. Chantal says they’ll have to find another place and he doesn’t disagree.
  • They were lucky to get a blue sky sunny day in Seattle – no wonder Brad likes it so much.
  • The pull up to a HUGE house. Brad says that walking into this VERY large, nice home is intimidating.
  • Brad tells Chantal’s family about getting slapped the first time they met. Mom is mortified, Dad is is beaming with pride.
  • Chantal tells her dad that she “just knew” when she saw Brad – just like her dad did with her mom. Then she lets Dad know she’s in love.
  • Dad takes Brad outside for a little one-on-one time and they come across a statue of a man carving himself out of a rock.  Dad explains that the statue is symbolic of a self-made man. Dad and Brad bond over their masonry family backgrounds, growing up with no money, and not having good relationships with their fathers. Brad affirms that he will make sure he is a damn good father. Dad believes him.
  • Brad tells Chantal’s dad that his intentions are true. Dad gives Brad his blessing on their possible marriage and says he’d be proud to have him as a son-in-law.  
  • Brad says he sees why Chantal is so amazing now that he’s met her family.
  • Brad’s expectations are exceeded and he sees a future with her.

Madawaska, Maine for Ashley, the artist dentist

  • They’re at the restaurant she worked at as a bartender in high school.
  • They’re close to Canadian border so she tells Brad that they speak French and when the waitress comes over speaking French Brad answers “Si”….as in Spanish. Haha. What a winner.
  • When he opens up for the Putzin french fry covered in cheese and gravy she says “did you like it? And i saw your crown!” – totally awkward but he makes it funny when he says “Spoken like a true dentist!”
  • They pick up Maine lobster for dinner and grab veggies from an unmanned fruit stand that operates on the honor system – pay in the box and take what you will.
  • Brad says the small town feel is giving him an idea of what her life was like growing up.
  • Ashley is so excited, feeling very reassured and confident around her family.
  • Her family really likes them together. Her dad seems to like Brad a lot and he is wondering if he’ll be supportive of Ashley’s career ambition. Now Brad is wondering if he’ll be holding her back. Would she be scared of a proposal? Kids?
  • Ashley is feeling that the timing is really right. She’s starting to feel like things are meant to be. Meanwhile Brad is thinking he needs to talk to Ashley about her ambitions to determine how she’d feel about a proposal – would it scare her?
  • I am thinking it is so ridiculous that he’s thinking about proposing and doesn’t even know her stance on marriage, kids, and careers.
  • Brad says he doesn’t want to leave their house, the town, or Ashley.
  • We don’t see Brad ask dad’s permission for her hand, but it could have happened – producers are sneaky like that.

Chico, CA for Shawntel N.

  • Brad looks terrified entering the mortuary and confesses that he’s never even thought of death.
  • Shawntel shows him the crypts, crematory, and the embalming room.  Creepy!
  • Brad is realizing (probably as he lays on the prep table) that if they get married, a lot of their conversations will be centered around death and he doesn’t know if he can handle that.
  • She explains the embalming process, draining blood and injecting fluids in the body.  I’m pretty sure that killed (ha!) any of the romantic thoughts he had about her.  
  • Brad says he doesn’t handle death well. He doesn’t handle saying goodbye to people well. (foreshadowing a goodbye to Shawntel soon, perhaps?!) Brad says he’d cry with the families. I believe him.
  • Shawntel explains how much love she sees in her line of work, even though it’s in saying goodbye and Brad respects her for her compassion. I just don’t think he wants to come home to a woman that smells like embalming fluid every day.
  • Shawntel may be a hot mortician but her dad looks exactly like you’d expect a funeral director to look. Dad explains with pride that Shawntel is gearing up to take over his business. Uh…now it’s a little awkward but she explains to her parents that Brad lives in Austin and she is falling in love with him, which may mean she will move to Austin.
  • She talks to her dad and he explains that shes already established herself as a caretaker in their community, in fact missing an opportunity to take care of the services of her high school teacher’s son who was tragically killed while she was away on the show. Her dad is disappointed and upset at the idea of her moving to Austin and ruining his succession plan. Mumbles thinks he should have had a better succession plan than just having kids. Or maybe he should have had some ugly, socially awkward kids to ensure they wouldn’t get married and move away.
  • Shawntel says she is praying that everything works out for the best.  
  • Dad gives his blessing on their marriage, if that’s what’s in the cards.  
  • Shawntel says she needed him to meet the other part of her – her family – and then says that she isn’t just falling in love, she is in love with him.

Charlotte, North Carolina for Emily

  • Emily has a happy reunion with her daughter, Ricki.
  • Emily tells her daughter that she met new friends while she was away and one of them is a guy who has come to Charlotte just to meet her.  It doesn’t look like the daughter is too excited.
  • Emily has never introduced Ricki to anyone and she says that if Ricki doesn’t mesh with Brad then it would be like her not meshing Brad.
  • Emily has never introduced her daughter to someone she’s dated.
  • I think it is so darling that Emily calls Brad “Mr. Brad”
  • Ricki is being really really shy. She is not even looking at brad let alone answering any of his questions.
  • The first time Ricki laughs Brad’s heart melts and the awkwardness disappears. Brad is thrilled that he’s still in the running with Emily now that her daughter isn’t going to scream or run away.
  • Brad says he would welcome and cherish the opportunity to be a father figure for Ricki. Emily says she would be happy to have Brad in Her daughter’s life.
  • Hello, gorgeous house!
  • Emily says it feels really good just sitting around the house playing board games. Brad says he feels like he’s in the right place.
  • Emily is oh cloud nine and she’s been waiting on brad to kiss her all day, and therefore is extremely disappointed when Brad says that he respects her enough to not kiss her while her daughter sleeps upstairs. Emily understands that he’s being sweet and chivalrous but it’s hard for her not to get disappointed. She wanted some sugar.
  • Emily smirks and says “Brad Womack is not getting out my front door without kissing me. That’s for damn sure.”
  • Brad revels in how much he enjoys kissing Emily.
  • “This is definitely is the happiest I’ve been in a really long time. I’m definitely ready for brad to change my life forever.” -Emily

Chris Harrison points out that Ashley’s family is maybe the one he felt most comfortable with but Ashley is the only one who didn’t profess her love for him this week.  (Did Emily?) Brad said he’s basing the decision on who to give a rose to on his feelings, not theirs.

Rose ceremony

  • Ashley, the ambitious artist dentist
  • Emily, Single Mom Southern Belle Barbie
  • Chantal O., the Shannen Doherty Doppleganger who for some reason is looking really big during this rose ceremony. Not a flattering dress at all – seriously, what’s the deal? She’s not a big girl. Maybe it’s the camera angle…(“how many cameras are on you?” – Chandler Bing)

Brad really isn’t ready to face death (and especially not being married to someone who lives it every day).  He explains he just didn’t feel the way a guy should when a woman says “I love you.” Shawntel N. doesn’t seem too distraught but she is appropriately disappointed, feeling sad to be losing the first guy that she feels was very perfect. She is super cute and classy even while crying. Shawntel says she’s never been treated like Brad treated her and maybe she’ll find someone like him that treats her like a princess. I hope so. Maybe they’ll make her the next Bachelorette – that would be entertaining and quite likely to attract even more interesting suitors. Haha.

Next stop: South Africa
Stars, sunsets, helicopters, safaris, elephants, and the fantasy suite (x3)

P.S. After the preview of next week’s episode Mumbles is offended that Brad would even ask Emily the Angel to stay in the fantasy suite with him. Repulsed. He’d like to have words with Brad about how out of his league she is. I think this is evidence she would be a great Bachelorette candidate for next season, going against my anti-recycling campaign (only as it pertains to Bachelor/Bachelorette participants). America loves Emily. My husband is proof.

Who’s your pick to win it? Think there’s a proposal coming?  Do you think they’ll use a girl from this season for the next Bachelorette?

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.