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“I was born. I had a Mom and a Dad. Just like you.” Lessons in {Thug} Life and Love on The Bachelorette Season 9 Episode 2

Can we all agree that it appears that ABC and the producers have thrown in the towel and are just letting this thing get as weird/awkward/embarrassing as possible? If so, I think we can all move forward with Des’ season prepared for the madness that’s to come.

Where can I get more of this guy? Image: ABC

Preview are up and I’m already becoming consumed from head to toe in secondary embarrassment (which was referred to, quite often, in the tweets as second-hand embarrassment. Let’s all stick to one term, you know, the one that leads to my blog). This Soulja Boy music video has the makings of an epic SE experience. I’m still mentally preparing when we get to the house where we’re all met with an eyeful of…

AMERICAN APPAREL V-NECK TEES

What is this? An infomercial for v-necks, the rejects from their latest ad campaign, a gay vacation spot? I’m leaning towards the last because these shirts are just way too snug and way too plunging for a roomful of straight men.

There is one exception, sweet little Drew but instead of his standard issue v-neck, he’s got on one of their signature hoodies. Maybe one of the dates should be to the factory sweatshop where they make these. (Too much? Sorry)

The first date card arrives and it goes to the WAY over eager, Brooks.

“I’m doing arm pumps, I’m doing the Rocky Balboa, I’m pumped.” Um, Brooks – what exactly are “arm pumps?”

There’s something about Brooks that is just off. I’m pretty sure it’s the combo of his giant teeth and the wavy semi-mullet he’s rocking. Add to that a slight lisp and his childish/girly excitement and I’m thinking there’s no way he’s looking to get married to a lady. Married? Sure. To a girl? Not convinced yet.

But enough about Brooks’ sexuality, let’s focus our attention on Desiree’s outfit. Why in the F is she wearing black, shiny riding boots with a hot pink tank top? Can Emily Maynard stop by and help this gal pick out some ‘fits? There’s got to be someone in the LA area that can stand outside Des’ love shed and give her yays or nays on outfit selection. I’m available for hire if not.

Anyways, all the other dudes are totally jealous and offer grunts galore as Brooks & Des (not to be confused with Brooks & Dunn although in a twist, Brooks does look very similar to Ronny Dunn) hop into her Technicolor Bentley.

Side note: Did anyone else notice the way Ben pronounced the word genuine as “Gen U WINE?” Hey Ben, that pronunciation refers to a hottie r&b singer best known for his hit single “Pony.”

Des’ decides there’s no better time than the present to take things to the awkward extreme – so our first date is at a bridal salon. You know, because what is a straight guy’s ideal date?

Wait did you say watching you shop?

No that’s not it.

Watching you shop for WEDDING DRESSES?

Yup! Nailed it.

Brooks is all into it though (obviously) and they play dress up until they find the prefect ensemble to run around the streets on LA in. Unfortunately for us all, they didn’t pick my favorite pairing – the green suit with whatever Desiree was wearing.

Next stop, the Hollywood sign where they officially ruin a national landmark and Des shares some sob story about how the sign is some beacon of hope for her. More talk of fairy tales and princes. Woof.

Just when you thought you had been spared from total misery, you find out that this date is still going on.

But instead of coming up with something new, we’re treated to the EXACT SAME DATE that Lindsay and Kalon went on during Bachelor Pad. Same sketchy neighborhood, same closed off street, same chandelier and I’m pretty sure the food is left over too. Nice work.

Whatever it’s not like I’m mad, these two definitely deserve sloppy seconds.

After some sob story spewing (with a 50% divorce rate in this country, can we all stop acting like your parents splitting up is the equivalent of like losing a limb?) Brooks gets the rose and I pray for a commercial break.

But we’re back at the bropad where the doorbell interrupts push-up-palooza. The group date card is revealed and I’m just happy because we get a quick look at Juan Pablo. Thank you ABC for throwing us that bone.

WAIT and then we’re back at this date. Why won’t this end?

There’s a concert, which Brooks calls “magical.” (The case continues to grow against this guy.) And then it happens. Brooks starts dancing and a small piece of my soul dies.

Did you all see it? Hopefully you didn’t it. It was beyond horrible. But I did the whole train wreck move where you want to look away bit instead you rewind it three times to make sure it was real life.

Desiree closes with a warning to us all: “Tonight set the tone of the rest of my journey.” Oh lord, it’s time to reconsider watching this season.

My apologies to Andy Grammar (that singer guy in case you, like me, had no idea what his name was) for having to witness that madness. Time to talk to your agent Andy.

Speaking of talking to your agent, Soulja Boy – you’re on deck.

Who’s here for the right reasons? I’m looking at you Dan, Juan Pablo, Will, Zak K., Ryan, Drew, James, Mike D., Zak W., Nick, Michael, Brandon, Ben and whatever the guy who read the card’s name is.

Next stop on the journey is one for the record books. We’ve seen many an awkward and embarrassing photo shoot but nothing like this before. Yes, we’re filming a rap video (that will never be seen anywhere other than this show).

I know, I can’t believe how slutty I look either! Image: ABC

Not sure how much Soulja Boy got paid to do this but it certainly was not enough.

They show up at some nondescript McMansion and find Des is a SNUG dress. I want to hate her (I do hate the dress) but her body is on point. Shes accompanied by the Boy of Soldiers who explains that they will each need to do a quick rap to determine who will be the best worst and therefore, win a speaking/rapping (let’s not really call this rapping – it’s more like spoken word).

“Who wants to show me some love,” SB yells and the guys simultaneously attack him and start kissing him. Okay, that didn’t happen but they all did emphatically raise their hands in eagerness.

Here’s hoping Soulja Boy got REALLY HIGH before filming this.

A select few guys are chosen for their douchiness resemblance to Bachelorette stars gone past. I can’t help but squeal in delight when I realize that the producers are in on the Kasey Kahl lookalike status and have assigned him the plum “guard and protect your heart” role. Robert Mills FTW!

Bonus points for casting Ben as Mad Brad in Plaid. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’d take another season of Brad before another moment of watching this turd burglar.

The “rap song” they are performing is titled “Right Reasons.” One of the big buzzwords on this show alongside journey and anything said with “Most” and “Ever” as bookends. The fact that they were able to get the tune stuck in my head has me regretting I ever watched this show in the first place but at least it showcased these guys willingness to do anything to be on TV.

I’m getting paid for this right? Image: ABC

This entire segment is a blur because I spend half of shielding my eyes and half of it with my eyes glazed over, trying to comprehend what is happening on-screen.

I lose all faith in Des when I realize that she is kind of enjoying this. I also spend a good part of the segment wondering where they are hiding Juan Pablo. Come out come out wherever you are!

I come to when I hear Des say “It’s nice to see that looks and personality can combine” and I wonder if they have just introduced another cast member because I know she can’t be talking about any of the guys on this date. (Except JP but we all know that she has no idea what is personality is like since he mostly only speaks Spanish.)

This madness goes on about 10 minutes too long and we’re finally a wrap. Poor Poor Soulja Boy. Is this what your career has come to SB?

Thank god we’re done with this horrible rap video and moving on to the part where they get liquored up and fight.

Des is hopeful and excited since, “From what I’ve seen there are a lot of guys that are marriage material.” Um Des, you okay? I’m worried about you. Have you been watching the same thing I have? Yikes a million.

Biggest surprise of the night comes early when Zak W. (or as I refer to him, no shirt guy) presents Des with a somewhat heartfelt gift. It seems nice until we realize that he gave her a used, old notebook. Just what she’s always wanted (and duh, you know all the drawers at her place are stocked with diaries. We’ll be seeing her jot down her emotions in them as she whittles away some of you losers).

Who knew shirtless dude would bring a thoughtful antique present. Although the chances he picked it out himself are slim to none. Oh Zak W.

P.S. – Love the fight going on in the tweets. Although I’m on team no tweets for selfish reasons since I haven’t had a chance to live tweet the show.

While Brandon channels his inner (very emotional) Kasey Kahl, Ben is going the creeper route by sneaking up behind anyone talking to Des. His creepy smile and deep side part makes me wonder how many girls he roofied in college. It appears the rest of the guys are on to this though and have pegged Ben as the guy that’s “not here for the right reasons, right reasons, here for all the wrong reasons.” (Sing it with me friends!)

Ben is back using his kid for brownie points and generally being sketchy. The way he gropes her face gives me SE chills just thinking about it. There is definitely a trail of sexual assaults following this guy.

Some other observations from the bro-party:

* Mikey is definitely not going to win but I like having him around. Even if he does get all distracted when Ben complements his shoes.

* Brandon has got to stick around. He’s got a lot more embarrassment in him and I can’t wait to hear what he says next time he gets a couple of champagnes in him.
“I was born. I had a mom and a dad like you.” Thanks bro. You and everyone else.

These sob stories are getting out of hand. Is that a requirement on the application? If so, we’re going to need to step up our game. Sarah from last season had a sob story (you know, she was missing an arm). We’re going to need to get on that level if this is a new requirement.

* Juan Pablo hasn’t gotten nearly enough screen time.

Just like every contestant on this show before her, Des gives the rose to the contestant everyone else hates. The guys sneer as Ben gives that smirky smile that makes you wonder if he’s hiding something (or someone) in his trunk.

Roadtrippin with Bryden

Last up is a good old-fashioned road trip with Bryden. Other than the spelling of his name, there’s not much that I hate about Bryden. Scratch that, his bangs. I hate those bangs. Can we get someone to cut those stat?

Des picks Bryden up and he’s pumped. “She looks amazing, the car looks amazing.” Good thing you put them in that order bro. He probably would have switched it up if the car wasn’t that girly color.

Points to Bryden for actually wanting to drive (Brooks, you could have at least asked). But no Bentley for you buddy. It’s time to hop in that passenger’s seat cause Des is driving.

Des is pumped about taking this Montana boy on a California road trip, “For him to experience this is just insane.”

Hey Des, I’m thinking that’s not the adjective you were going for there. Maybe really exciting, very cool, such a fun experience. Insane, not so much.

This is followed up with the comment that “All you need is a car, some gas and some good company.” Well good thing you all have two out of three.

First stop is the beach where Sean filmed all his shirtless beach montages. Can’t we find another beach in California ABC? Is this the only one that allows filming?

Next stop is Ojai. They do a little orange grove exploring while I explore the Internets for new items to add to my closet.

Sorry pals, when the third date isn’t totally embarrassing, I tend to lose my attention and start online shopping.

But I know things are getting romantic when I name that tune in two notes – EPIC LOVE MIX!

It’s dinner time now and it appears that Bryden is quickly able to kill Des’ appetite by showing off some pictures of a serious car wreck he was in.

Was I the only one wondering why he just carries those around? Obviously he printed them out to show her before the season but did he really thing the first date was the best time to show those off?

Either way, we learn that this experience is what led him to join the military. Still no insight on what led to that haircut though. Clearly he knew what was up though, Des loves that he’s “opening up” and gives him the rose.

Now it’s on to, BY FAR, the biggest SE moment of the show (and that’s saying something. oh and because I’m a pal, I included the video). Des and Bryden in the hot tub. They inch closer together like two middle schoolers and then stare at each other going back and forth talking about “how great” today was.

I want to walk up to them and push their heads together while yelling “JUST KISS ALREADY!” As I shielded my eyes from the events taking place on screen, I saw Drew make a break for the next room. Too overcome with SE to even be within the vicinity of the television.

Thankfully Des recognizes the pain we’re all in and tells him to “just kiss me already.” I immediately feel relieved but the relief is only momentary because I’ve forgotten how horrible the slurpy, sloppy kissing noise is.

Just when I’m about to make a run for it, they end the scene.

Rose Time.

This post has gotten WAY long so I’m going to try to keep this short.

First up, what’s up with Desiree’s mermaid dress?

Second, hey Michael from Miami – I want to like you since I’m from the MIA too but that diabetes story was WAY TOO DRAMATIC. You know Des though he was about to tell her he accidentally ran over his little brother or had a love child in high school. Instead, he just drops some low blood sugar knowledge. Bro, that can be controlled. Let’s not take this whole sob story requirement too far.

Third, Ben you have got to stop being such a stage four clinger. The way you just circle around convos like a shark in bloody water is making me MUY UNCOMFORTABLE (that Spanish was for you Juan Pablo).

Not cool how you totally cut-off Michael even if he was telling a completely over dramatic story.

And then that part about it being your little secret that you’re the only one who has kissed her. Um, jokes on you buddy. It’s her little secret that she’s already kissed like four dudes.

Last, Mikey I love that you’re trying to be a stand up guy and call Ben out but it just seems a little early. Either way, I still heart you and your snug suits.

Woosh – There you are CH. I thought you’d never show up to save us. It’s rose time.

Brooks, Ben and Bryden are all safe (say that three times fast).

Roses go to…

* James
* Kasey
* Dan
* Juan Pablo – YES! HOLLA!
* Brad
* Chris
* Brian
* Zak W.
* Drew
* Mikey
* Zak K.
* Michael Diabetes
* Brandon

All I know is that she cut that cutie little Armie Hammer lookalike. Bummer.

What did you all think? Did you survive that rap-sanity? What do you think about next week?
That GF that makes an appearance kind of looks like Olivia Munn to me.

Anyways, until next time… stay tuned!

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DESperate Measures or How ABC learned to stop fighting it and embrace the insanity. The Bachelorette Season 9 Episode 1 Recap

Did you guys think I’d never come back? You probably never cared enough to ask but alas, here I am. Back for another mind-numbing season of The Bachelorette.

In general, I love The Bachelor more (obviously Bachelor Pad is #1 in my book but since it was cancelled, Bachelor, by default, gets the #1 slot) but Bachelorette can be counted on for 1. the largest assembled group of douchebags outside The Jersey Shore 2. 25 hugely overinflated egos 3. abs for days 4. hair gel. lots and lots of hair gel.

Do I have anything in my teeth? Image: ABC

This season is no different. But you know what is, Des. Not sure how I feel about her. First off, I hate how EVERYONE calls her Des. No one has even attempted to call her Desiree yet. I can totally understand why but really, you all just met. Let’s skip the overly familiar nicknames for now. Second, what is the deal with her Bachelorette pad? Did they lose the lease on that swanky pad down the road from the mansion? And last, what’s the deal with the seafoam Bentley. Was a standard black one not available? Was it necessary for her to look like she’s driving one of those ’04 throwback Thunderbirds?

Whats neither here nor there. I’m committed to watching this season. If nothing else to see who the dude with the girlfriend is, haha who am I kidding. I’m watching to see those dudes get in a fight (why they would fight over Des is beyond me but I guess that’s what makes it worth watching).

High five if you hate your life right now? Image: ABC

So anyways, last night I decided that I needed to get back into the show without taking notes. So today’s post will be strictly from memory and will not include as many completely ridiculous direct quotes. Instead you’ll have to thank your brain for immediately forgetting them so they can’t haunt your secondary embarrassment dreams forever.

On to the show:

I’ve already mentioned my displeasure with the new bachelorette-pad so I’ll move on to Chris Harrison’s obvious displeasure for Des and his own dignity (What was up with that shirt CH? Floral trim, really? Bring back the Brad Plaid!). Seriously, how miz did he look in that cliff side interview. I know the sun had to be in his eyes (intentionally to shield him from Des’ out of control fake eye lashes) but he couldn’t have looked more bored. Clearly he was just counting down until he could escape to knock back a few cocktails before the party.

Next up, let’s discuss that montage. Did you see the part where Des (not sure why I think it’s appropriate to call her Des myself but whatever – I’m sticking with it. Yeah I get it, I’m a hypocrite) slid down that concrete ball thing? WHAT THE WHAT WAS THAT? I get that we have to see the silly, senior pose moments but that shit was unreal. Can’t it just be like what they do for the dudes – basically just showing them in a bathing suit (+ American Apparel tank top)? If I had forgotten what extreme secondary embarrassment felt like in the off-season, there was no escaping it once that bit of brilliance hit the screen.

Side note: Drink every time Des says “this is a dream come true,” “i feel like a princess” and/or makes any sort of fairy tale reference. For the record Des, you are no Disney Princess.

Now on to the guys. Where in the hell did they find these people? I didn’t even realize that so many guys still wore that much hair gel. Also, I get that you have muscles but is it so hard to get your suit tailored to keep it from looking like you’re about to HULK out of it? Couldn’t that magician/tailor have done some last minute fittings?

On to the magician, Nick, is it bad that I liked him? Not sure why because he committed so many of the SE cardinal sins but something about him didn’t make me want to run down the street to escape my TV. Lord, at least he was more up front with his day job than the “Painting Contractor” and the “Plumbing Contractor.” Oh you mean you’re a painter and a plumber? That’s cool. Those dudes can make some solid dough but let’s call it what it is, k?

Out of left field Side note: Not sure how I feel about the live twitter feed during the show. I kind of love it because it shows that ABC knows this show is a joke and fully embraces it. But I also get kind of jealous since I never live-tweet the show and will therefor never get my 1.5 seconds of fleeting twitter fame. Oh well, I do love that @finalrose account.

Moving on to the rest of the guys – there are A LOT of lookalikes this season and you all know how much I love lookalikes (well maybe you didn’t but now you do).

Up first: Brandon and Kasey “Guard and Protect Your Heart” Kahl

Brandon and Kasey Kahl Lookalike Don’t even act like you don’t see it. It becomes even more pronounced (or less pronounced maybe) when he talks and you can see that he has the same tiny, tiny mouth as Kasey. Not sure how I feel about Brandon. Don’t hate him… yet.

Next up, Dan and Jeff Probst.

jeff probst and dan lookalike

Props to Dan for being one of like three guys on the show that didn’t load up a case of L.A. Looks before coming on the show.

LA Looks Gel

Wish I could have found a lookalike for that L.A. Looks bottle but alas – it was one of a kind.

Last but not least, Robert and Armie Hammer. And yes, I intentionally chose a crappy picture of Armie Hammer – sorry Armie and not just because your name is Armie.

armie hammer and robert lookalike Okay so now that I’ve got that out of my system, on to the rest of the events.

Since I abandoned my computer this episode (the real truth – it was dead and I had no power cord. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail – I know, I know), there will be no detailed explanation of every douchebag and the seriously douchey thing he did to impress/mortify/embarrass Des. Here were the most memorable:

* Nick. I told you I liked the magician. I liked the trick. I’m not even embarrassed about it.

* Larry the ER doctor/raging alcoholic. What the what buddy? So the dip didn’t go as planned, that’s no reason to throw yourself off the deep end into a glass of scotch. Yikes a million.

* That sleezy dude that used his kid as rose bait. I get it bud, your little guy is precious. But dragging him out here to parade in front of Des gave me the mehs. I’m guessing that his mom just REALLY wanted to get a peek at the mansion and this was the only way to make it less than pathetic. What’s that guy’s name? Ben. It looks like he’s in the running for supreme douche from the previews.

* Zack. What the what are you wearing? The tuxedo cutting off circulation to his head and those chucks made him look like an overgrown four-year old (I’m hoping you all like that joke because it went over well with Drew). I’m guessing he packed up his collection of v-neck tees and can’t wait to break them out with some snug shorts on the next episode. Will he pair them with TOMS? We can only wait to find out but one things for certain: Zack, my friend, you are no Sean.

* Hashtag Guy. #killmenow

* Brooks. This guy is a total Monet (sorry I watched Clueless this weekend and needed to work in a reference). From first glance, he seems alright but then he opens his mouth and you see those wonky teeth and hear his effeminate voice. It’s disarming. Also, cut your hair.

* Armor Suit. I’ve only got three words. Bless His Heart.

* High Five Guy. Is Will on a mission to set the world record for most high-fives on one network TV show? Dude is high fiving the plants, each contestant – twice, the limo driver, Des, the waterfall, the guy that waters down the driveway before the limos arrive, my mom, his mom, EVERYONE.

* And the only one seriously worth remembering in my book, sweet sweet Juan Pablo. I’ve got a soft spot for the latin lover (see: Roberto) and JP is no exception. He’s got no chance of winning but here’s hoping she keeps him around long enough for some gratuitous shirtless shots poolside. Hola!

At the party, it’s now standard practice to just go handing out roses willy nilly. Thanks a lot Sean. I can appreciate the anxiety this gives everyone though. The mix of panic (for fear of missing out on their 19 second of fame) and testosterone makes for a pretty deadly combination and dudes are going all out to get their moment with Des. Why? I’m still not sure. Guys and just swinging from the portico trying to steal her away from one another.

Each rose symbolizes your willingness to abandon your morals, dignity and self-respect.
Image: ABC

Since I forgot to mention the shirtless Chippendale’s dancer in my first impression section, he warrants a mention now. Can one human be any tanner? I’d love for him to make it to hometowns just so we could see what his natural skin tone is supposed to be. For all we know, his mom could be a red head. Also, really with the no shirt? It’s like you automatically won the first douche-pression rose. The fact that Des gave him one after he jumped in the pool just shows the kind of gal we’re working with. At least the creepy fantasy suite frat guy put some thought into his douchebaggery.

Speaking of the fantasy suite frat guy, can we all just give him a moment of recognition. Lil buddy was hella persistent. I know all the twitter people were hating on the fantasy suite card when he got out of the limo but I thought then that it was mildly clever. And it should have made Des feel better since she never got one of those from Sean. Then our forward friend got a little too much franzia in his system and started to set the mood like it was a Boys II Men video. I was hoping that one of the producers would “accidentally” lock him in there so we could watch him panic as his rose dreams burned down like those giant pillar candles he relocated.

Des puts her foot down, cause you know – she wants to be treated like a lady (um, I’ve seen the previews Des and heavy petting and open mouth kissing while pinned up against a building in the middle of the street does not a lady make). So her kicks Jonathan out. So much for you being the creepiest dude here anymore Larry.

It seems like poor Des knows that she’s been intentionally given the worst group of bachelorette contestants ever assembled (just had to get some good ole fashioned Bachelor hyperbole in there for you). Poor thing is just running around, trying to avoid getting hair gel in her eye, self tanner on her dress and the smell of Drakkar Noir out of her hair.

In the end, she keeps a rag tag team of nice guys (and by nice guys, I mean guys with good jobs), abs guys and cutie pies (i’m looking at your childish good looks Drew). There’s also a few questionable picks (both Zacks, Mikey) and a few guys you can’t remember ever seeing before (Brad, Nick M.). So we’ll see how this plays out.

Next week, I promise to power up the laptop and get my note taking on. I also promise to prepare more for the onslaught of SE that is sure to take over next week.

What do you think of Des? What was your most cringe-inducing moment? Who’s your favorite, or better yet least favorite?

More importantly (to me only) are you hype that SE is back? Should I try to tackle more shows?

Until next time… stay tuned.

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Dizzy But Good. -The Bachelorette Epsiode 5 Recap

Let’s all start this Tuesday by giving Ames a big round of applause. Well done young man. You have officially saved this season from the depths of despair (and boredom). Your make love not war attitude and concussed cocktail persona are a god send. Well done.

Now that we’ve got that out-of-the-way we can proceed with our regularly scheduled recaps.

But I don't want to fight.

We kick off with, what else, a montage. You may have thought you were you free of Bentley montages. You were wrong. More dot dot dots and periods, in case you had forgotten how punctuation had ruined their love affair.

Once you’ve had your fill of looking at Bentley’s ugly mug it’s on to the Chang Mai preview. Basically the producers are letting us know that shit gets real in Thailand. We’re fighting, burning roses and acting insecure for attention. Let’s do this. Chang Mai here we come.

The dudes hit the road and are all amped up to check out another city (Ames told them this place is nice. He’s been there twice). We know they’re traveling because it’s home video time. I sometimes wish that the brahs were allowed to use their video camera all the time (I think later this episode we learn they are but we just don’t get to see enough of it). I think there needs to be an additional episode, maybe before “After the Final Rose” where we get to see their greatest home video hits.

Ames tells us that Chang Mai is the perfect place to fall in love and we believe him because he knows everything and is vastly superior to us all. It’s got monks and temples so why wouldn’t it be perfect for love. I’m going to take Ames’ word for it because I’m just not seeing the correlation.

Chris Harrison pops on the scene, all cleaned up and in khaki, ready to show the dudes their new place and read them the rules (wait, i thought there were no rules. I’m so confused).  The guys are bunking up at the Mandarin Oriental, which I must say it pretty swanky. I know this because Drew and I got our honeymoon on at the Mandarin in Mexico (I know, we’re fancy like that. Okay, not really). And like the dudes on The Bachelorette, we got the hook-up and didn’t pay full-price (that’s how we roll).

During the Real World-style house exploration, I notice that one of our bachelors is wearing manpri’s (men + capri’s = not good/manpri’s). Who is it you ask? I was thinking it would probably be JP (c’mon, he’s a hipster) but thankfully my love remains intact for him. Rather it was Mickey rocking the manpri’s. Didn’t know he had it in him. Must be a huge Nadal fan.

Bro fives ensure because this place is so rad. But the high-fiving abruptly ends when CH breaks it down and drops the two-on-one date bomb. Yup, we’re at that episode. The always awkward two-on-one.  Ashley knows all about this set-up. She survived her own total elimination challenge date with plaid Brad. Hopefully it won’t disappoint (we all know it does, but for excitement sake, I had to include this).

Me paint pretty.

Ashley meanders over to the house (taking in all the romantic sights and sounds) in her top-as-dress get-up. Okay Ashley, I know you are skinny. I’ll give it to you that you have amazing stems but enough with the tops as dresses routine. Where are the pants the stylists put out for you to wear? Do you just hide them under the bed hoping no one will notice? This aggression will not stand.  (Yup I just snuck Clueless and The Big Leobowski references in that paragraph. What about it?)

Ben F. scores the first one-on-one date (that Ryan wanted REAL bad). Forecast: 100% chance of kissing.

So Ashley is REALLY excited (that is until she realizes that it’s Ben on this date and not Constantine), she tells us so like 19349 so I believe her. And who wouldn’t be excited to get picked up in an itty bitty scooter taxi (“OMG! I can’t believe this scooter taxi can carry me!).

Since Ashley doesn’t want to make the twins jealous of each other, she takes Ben on the exact same date as Constantine. Except this time, instead of getting fortunes from old Thai convenience store workers, Ben and Ashley get the scoop from an umbrella painter. Ashley knows how much Ben likes to do bad paintings of jungle animals, so she buys him a paper umbrella to ruin. They talk about how much fun they’re having (could have fooled me) and then head off on a little stroll. Here’s where s**t gets awkward.

The two of them head over to a bench outside a temple and stare at each other. Then this conversation occurs:

Ashley: “I’m so glad you came.”
Ben: “I’m so glad you invited me.” (said in really weird, 13-year-old puberty voice)

Are they serious? Um, Ashley did you really think Ben was gonna be like “Nah, I don’t really want to go on this date. Tell Ashley I ain’t coming.”

I yell at the TV while Ben F. gratuitously compliments Ashley off camera. If only Ashley could hear how amazing you think her eye lids are. (These are the things insecure girls need to hear.)

Mental Open Mouth Kissing. Woof.

As the pair act all googly-eyed, Ashley tells Ben that there is no kissing allowed in front of the temple (for once, a rule I can get behind). So Daphne and Fred just gaze into each other’s eyes and do a MENTAL KISS. No seriously, I didn’t make that up. They really said that. I forget who proposed engaging in a mental kiss, but it happened. And my life has been forever changed for the worse.

To make matters worse, Ashley “rarrs” like a cat into the camera and talks about wanting to jump on Ben. This whole exchange makes me want to jump off my mantle (it’s not too far, just enough to kinda hurt). It appears that these two cannot fight the urge to act like 12-year-olds on their first date of all time when they are together.

The dinner portion of the date begins with Ashley sporting a paisley capri jumpsuit. I hope no one is looking to purchase that and that Possessionista can sit this one out.

We know this part of the date is special because ABC is playing the special romantic music. They are really pulling out all the stops on this one with the candles and flowers. I think they’re putting their money on one of the cavemen to win.

Ashley looks like she’s about to fall asleep the whole meal (mental kissing really takes it out of you) especially when she hears her 24th sob story about a dead relative. I thinking having a dead or alcoholic/abusive  mom/dad/significant other was a requirement on this season.

She perks up when Ben starts talking about his vineyard, making sure to sound both innocent and slutty at the same time when asking him if she can help make wine with him (was that supposed to be a double entendre that i missed?)

We’re all bored to tears as Ben talks about letting his walls down and his inner Scooby out.

So we break up the boring with the Group Date reveal back at the pad.

The Group Date goes to (please, pretty pretty please let William be on the two-on-one) Constantine, Ames, Nick, Lucas, Ryan, JP and Mickey. These lads will be fighting for Ashley’s love.

This means Ben C. and William (yes! send that cell-phone selling sucker home!)  will duke it out on the two-on-one

Back on the Mystery Machine.

Ashley is  struggling to not fall asleep in her dinner plate when Ben drops a well-timed wink. Since I am openly a sucker for a good wink, I like Ben a little more now. Scooby may have won me over with that move. Ashley is clearly a sucker for a good wink too since she jumps up and snags him the rose.

This is what love looks like.

The date ends with some Thai dancing, epic music and open mouth kissing. (Do dates on this show end any other way?)

Ben tells us he has puppy dog love for Ashley and we all groan at the TV. We know Scooby Doo. You went ruh-roh on the last episode. We get it.

On to the Fight Date.

Group Date, party time, excellent.

The dentist is ready to get his fight on (and help put teeth back in after they’ve been knocked out).

I’m a little afraid for everyone other than Nick. That dude is huge and a personal trainer. Which dude is going to be like “Nah bro, I don’t like her that much. I don’t want to get the s**t beat out of me just to win this insecure chick’s heart for a few weeks.”

So we find out the guys will be Muay Thai boxing which translates to “beating the hell out of one another.”

Most of the dudes are hype to get their fight on while Ashley is excited (duh) to look for the masculinity in these guys (that could be a little difficult).

Ames introduces himself to his 70-year-old trainer  like he’s meeting a toddler. And when you think about it, everyone is a toddler mentally compared to Ames. But seriously, if someone can find video of this or any other of Ames’ awesome moments, please send it over. It is at this moment that Ames takes the reigns and saves this show from itself.

Side note: I think this date is just a chance for ABC to show every guy without a shirt. I also think Ben C. and William got the two-on-one because their abs could not compete on this date.

We learn that Ames has never been in a fight in his life. This is apparent when, while training he kicks the bag and proceeds to fall flat on his ass (falling is always funny. I literally laughed out loud and then rewound this part like 5 times). If that didn’t clue you in, him taking punches to the face from a 70-year-old man with 8 teeth was another indicator.

Suit up to defeat evil. (ABC/DAVE HAGERMAN)

It’s time to gear up and the Power Rangers head over to pick out their favorite colors. No surprise that Ames is the pink power ranger. When he grabs the pink gear, we also know that Ames is the one who gets the crap beat out of him and has to go to the hospital (thank you over-dramatic previews).

I want to be mad that I know the outcome but then I realize that the producers knew that it’s not about the outcome but the journey. And Ames’ journey is epic. Thank you for putting together the best segment of the entire season. Thank you thank you thank you.

The guys head over to a public square (dang, you all aren’t kidding around). I am guessing that the Thai onlookers are betting on which Backstreet Boy goes down first. Before getting underway, Ames (our resident Wikipedia) let’s us know that Thai boxing is brutal. Yup Ames, this isn’t going to end well for you.

Side Note: What’s the deal with having the dudes fight on The Bachelorette? They did this with oil wrestling on Ali’s season. I think they need to stop discriminating and do a fighting date on The Bachelor too.

Wax on Wax off people. It’s on.

Fight 1 – Blake vs Lucas. Pretty well matched. Decent fight. Some good punches but nothing too brutal (wouldn’t want to ruin their pretty faces).
Dentist Wins!
I’ll give it to Blake, he looks pretty hot right after that fight. I’m thinking he should stop geling his hair and dressing like a wedding DJ and he could be a hottie.

Fight 2 – Mickey vs JP. JP’s a little nervous (and I am a little nervous for him). The fight starts and Ashley says “I’m cringing when I see Mickey throw punches at JP.” Yeah you and the rest of the women in America Ashley. This fighting thing was your idea (I know it wasn’t but I am going to blame this one on you). It doesn’t look good for our boy JP and then all of a sudden, he gets a burst of energy and goes off on Mickey.
JP Wins! Ladies of the world rejoice! We also learn that JP is Jewish (who knew?) so you know some nice Jewish girl is going to snatch him up if Ashley doesn’t. Watch out Ashley, Long Island is watching you.

Fight 3 – Ames vs. Ryan. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Can the Hunchback of Notre Dame take down Prince Charming? Will good defeat evil? Not when a guy takes this stance on fighting “My take on physical violence, is that there is always another way.” Sorry Ames, not this time. The only way to Ashley’s heart is through a beat down by Ryan.

This fight of Fairy Tale proportions is a doozy. Ames turns out to be the worst fighter in the history of the world. But to redeem himself he is the best on-camera fighter of all time. Did you see those twirls? Those half-kicks? The dancing away from Ryan?This fight is single-handedly the best scene of this season. It’s all over too quickly though (that’s what she said!) when Ames takes a shot to the head and throws his hands up in surrender. Wait, I thought he gets carted out of here? That’s it?

Ames wobbles out of the ring and Ashley halfheartedly tells him he did so good. At least Mickey gets it right when he says Ames got his bell rung. The general consensus at this point is that something’s not right. Did they just now notice that Ames has a wonky eye? You guys, he’s fine. He always looks like that.

Fight 4 – Nick vs Constantine. This fight (which had the potential to be amazing) gets ruined by Ames and his poor fighting ability. We hardly see any of it. Just enough to know that Constantine wins (how did that happen?)

S**t is not right with Ames and he is escorted out in his pink trunks. I almost feel bad for the guy. But then I realize that he is way smarter and richer than me and that he’ll be fine. Ames gets carted out while the rest of the dudes stand around shirtless like they’re about to shoot a firemen calendar.

Where is Ames?

Ames getting his bell rung is the least exciting way this whole thing could turn out. I thought this was gonna be some serious s**t not just a concussion. (I know, I know, a concussion is serious too but you know what I mean, some stitches or something that requires a cast.) How emasculated is he right now – he can’t fight, he’s in pink and a 78 lb dancer is telling him it will be alright.

Despite this set back, the cocktail party must go on and so Ashley finds another top to wear as a dress. At least this time she pairs it with some nearly invisible shorts.

Ashley is recapping the date and I want to jump through the TV and smack her. How did she not know this date would be brutal? Even Drew wants to shake her and admonishes her for clearly not understanding guys very well (I want to tell him DUH! she’s on a reality tv dating show because she can’t figure out guys in real life, but I let it go). I will agree though that getting 8 guys together to do Thai Martial Arts in a quest to win your love isn’t going to end with rainbows and puppy dogs. It’s going to end with concussions and black eyes.

There’s no Ames here and I wonder if that is a blessing or a curse. Last episode – blessing. This episode – curse.

Ashley says there is a black cloud on this date (cue the Thunder) and Ryan steps in with his super Sun skills ready to make it shine. This heart to heart is ruined when Ames wobbles back on the scene. (I also like how one of the guys stood up for Ames and said that he could rock pink shorts. Am I getting soft? Yes.)

A “dizzy but good” Ames is ready to mingle fully equipped with his standard model pearly whites, perfect tan, loafers and sport coat. Ames knew this cocktail party was headed downhill so he’s brought his awkwardness back for our viewing pleasure.

I was down but I'm not out.

He and Ashley sit down and it’s clear that this concussion has left Ames with a temporary speech impediment. Despite his inability to form a sentence, Ashley gushes all over him and I swear he will get the rose. That is until he offers her an uncomfortable hand shake. C’mon Ames. You know better than that.

Back at the Mandarin. William is getting drunk and making fun of Ben C. Classy William. Real Classy. Does anyone else hate him? William breaks out the “who has two thumbs” routine and I leave the room to vomit.

The single greatest moment on this show happens next. Ashley says how great Ames looks and asks the other guys if they can believe he’s sitting there. Lucas says “You look great man.” To which Ames responds with an epic “thanks man.” As I write this I realize you really have to see it/hear it to appreciate it. So check out the 4:58 mark of this video. Feel free to check out the Ames section beforehand too. It really is fabulous.

Ames has, on his own, made this the best episode of the season. I wanted to get rid of him for a while but now I am hoping, praying, dancing for the gods that he stays. I have laughed out loud at least 3 times this episode. I was doubting this show and Ames has brought me back.

Back to the alone time. We find out Blake is the male Ashley. All dentisty and full of insecurity.

All I needed was some open mouth affirmation.

Rich oil Lucas teaches Ashley how to golf. This is just an excuse for her to act slutty and put her booty next to his crotch. I ask Drew if i could golf in the shoes Ashley is wearing. He says that I sound like Ames while he keeps watching the awkward flirting. As the sexy golf lesson continues, I ask Drew when I am getting one of those and he says not never. Good to know.

This awkward exchange between Drew and I ends (sorry if I was just giving you SE – sometimes I want to remind you what it’s like) when Lucas calls Ashley out about Bentley and she breaks out in nervous hives.

Ashley finally realizes that her initial instinct was ful of poo and that Bentley is a pile of dog shit. At least that’s what I am hoping she realizes.

Rose time…

Side note: Nick is this season’s big boobs Ali and/or heart-shaped earrings Britt.

Ashley understands how insecure dentists can be so she gives the rose to Blake. I’m thinking that Ashley just wants to start a family dental practice with Blake. Who knows? But Blake is feeling reaffirmed and waxes poetic about how awesome it will be to tell his kids about the start of their love story in Chang Mai.

This re-cap is getting a little long (blame or thank Ames for that) so I am going to take a break. I promise to be back with the second half of the recap shortly. In the mean time, go back to that video and check out the priceless shots of Ames on this date. He seriously has no idea where he is and I love it. Way to redeem the season Ames.

Until part two… stay tuned.

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