Falling in love, Falling for Brad, metaphorical falling of any kind
Any reference to Brad being Different, Brand New, or a CHANGED MAN
Brad is shirtless.
One of the women cries.
"Leap Of Faith"
"Here for the Right Reasons"
"Not here to make friends"
THE CLAWS COME OUT.
Drain your entire drink for:
"Go home in tears", or
Let's see how we get on.
Note: By "drink" I mean take a sip of your drink, not a big ol' gulp. I mean, I guess you can take a big ol' gulp if you really want to. But you've been warned. And I shouldn't need to tell you, but: enjoy the Bachelor drinking game responsibly. That is, if you start to feel your internal organs begin to fail: please stop.
I am drinking my new bachelor cocktail, naturally. And eating a delicious and variegated meal of: re-warmed chicken nuggets, leftover pizza, and half a meatball sandwich from Jason's Deli. It is truly an embarrassment of riches.
In the teasers: Michelle is LIKE SO CRAZY. She actually says: "In the end, it will just be me and Brad. In Tahiti. Practicing making babies." Holy shit, somebody say "journey". I need a drink NOW. Emily struggles to tell Brad her story. The other women cry. (Does stuff in the teasers count? I decide it counts.) Also, one woman sees through all this bullshit and wants to go home.
Back at the mansion, Chris summons all the ladies to the living room to remind them how EMOTIONAL last night was. (I forgot what happened last night. Oh yeah - those dramariffic girls nobody cared about got sent home. Super EMOTIONAL. Also: why didn't I add "emotional" to the list?) But it's only going to get more EMOTIONAL from here. Chantal voiceovers that there are "normals" and crazies" in the house. I think by this she means there are some women in the house who are crazy, and others who are SUPER CRAZY. And then there is Michelle, who has been marinating in crazysauce and then lovingly deep-fried in a vat of insanity.
Chris warns that not everyone will get a date with Brad, so, "when you get time with him, use it wisely." Aka: "when you get time with Brad, act as crazy and desperate as possible, because this show's ratings depend on it." Chris is wearing the same blue shirt that clashes with the wall. Does he only have one outfit? Or maybe Chris has a whole closet full of identical outfits, because he is one of the Berenstain Bears.
The first date card is for Ashley S., and it says: Ashley! Let's find our love song! If this date is karaoke, says Ashley, she will just daaah.
Brad picks Ashley up at the mansion, accompanied by the jealous and creepy stares of the other women. Michelle thinks that Brad needs to be with a Strong, Confident, and Loving woman. The other girls are NOT RIGHT for Brad, by which I guess she means: not afflicted with my particular brand of insanity. "I'm not gonna lie. I HATE them," says Michelle, and suddenly I love her. She has passed right over from CRAZY into SUPER CRAZY, past legitimately comittable and on to the best thing to ever happen to this show. You make your evil pronouncements, Michelle, and dip your hair into the pool evilly, and I will sit here and be entertained. Bless you.
So far my drinking game is turning out to be an absolute failure. Darn you, Bachelor producers and cast, and your expanded vocabulary! No matter. I have downed an entire glass of champagne anyway. You don't OWN me.
The reason he decided to take Ashley S on this date, Brad says, is because, when he first looked at her, "my nerves went away". He feels so comfortable with her, which I guess is not unusual considering his newfound lack of neuroreceptors. This, the comfortableness (or maybe complete absence of sensation) is a quality he is looking for in a Wife. Yayy, drink.
Turns out they are going to a recording studio! And they're going to like, record stuff! Ashley is freaking out because she knows her accent is like, really charmin' (it is, Ashley! it is!), but her singing voice is not so good. Singing in front of other people is Ashely's lifelong fear, which is why the producers, who are the spawn of Satan, have chosen her for this date.
The song they're going to sing is Kiss From a Rose, by Seal. This song was really meaningful to Ashley and her late father, and she is suddenly excited to be butchering it in a professional recording studio. Brad voiceovers that he can't sing, either. Uh-oh. They start singing and...boy howdy. They were not kidding. Brad says that the experience is "nerve-wracking", which is clearly a lie because he DOESN'T HAVE ANY NERVES. The poor man in the recording booth pronounces it "dreadful", and urges them to "concentrate a little more". Somehow I don't think that will help.
Brad and Ashley concentrate. Their last attempt is just as terrible as the first, although somewhat louder. Brad says he picked the perfect girl for this date, because nobody else could sing as badly as him. He feels so Comfortable around Ashley, and I'm kicking myself for not adding "comfortable" to the list. Brad has one more surprise for Ashley, and it is...Seal! Actually singing the song they just destroyed!
Man, Ashley S is so stinking cute. They watch cutely as Seal sings. Ashley thinks the date is Perfect and she is starting to Fall for Brad and it's Amazing and I imbibe deeply. Yay, Ashley. Ashley thinks it's important to tell Brad about her father's death because this is the Episode Where People Tell Brad Things. Commercial.
Bonus: Much has been made of how much older Brad is than the women on this season. He's 38 and apparently the oldest girl left is 30. Ashley looks like she's wearing one of those crazy bands. You know, the rubber bands that are shaped like animals or whatever? That you put on your wrist? My six-year-old cousins get super excited about those. How old is Ashley, anyway?
Post commercial: Brad and Ashley chill on the rooftop of a building (what is it with this show and being on top of things?) and it is Romantic and Perfect and Amazing. Ashley tells Brad that the song choice reminded her of her dad, because they used to always sing that song together, and that now it's even more important because he passed away. Brad is sweet and sympathetic and touches her leg a lot. You guys, Ashley S. is so cute. I guess I should tell you that she is my favorite, crazy bands and all, which probably means she is doomed. Sorry, Ashley.
Back at the mansion! Date card! DATE CARD!!!! If Michelle's name is on this date card that will mean she doesn't get a one-on-one date and she will LIKE FLIP OUT and boil some bunnies. Keep it up, Michelle.
Date card is for: Lindsey, Shawntel embalmer, Britt, Kimberly, Sarah, Chantel Slapper, Ashley H., Lisa, Stacey, Marissa, and Michelle. The message on the card is "Love Hurts" (just like this show!) and they all GASP and Michelle is PISSED.
Back on the rooftop, Brad thanks Ashley for Opening Up and gives her the rose. He can totally see her being his wife and she thinks it's so Perfect and Romantic and my drinking game is so full of win right now. They slow-dance, and Brad says a lot of nice things about Ashley without using the word "amazing", and I swell with pride. Kissing. Oh, and then they say "perfect" three more times. Commercial.
The next morning, the 12 chosen ladies all pile into a church van. Everybody hates group dates. Brad is excited about this date because he wants to figure out which of the ladies likes to get down and dirty and physical. He's an active guy, y'all, and he wants a wife (drink!) that does the same thing. I can't stop giggling. Thank you, bachelor producers, for this thinly disguised extended metaphor. Brad asks, "how is everybody?" and everybody is "woo!!". Then something blows up and a bunch of guys attack Brad and he dies and the show is over.
(Except for the funeral special. It is called "When Love Dies", which incidentally was also the name of a Sweet Valley High novel.)
No, Brad doesn't die. He takes out all of his attackers with a shovel and says "just another day at the office!", which I take to mean that Brad owns some pretty intense bars. The ladies are all like, omg you so sexy!!, and Brad explains that they are going to film their own action adventure movie called "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Michelle."
They film a series of scenes where things EXPLODE and there are NINJAS and I wish the Bachelor was ALWAYS LIKE THIS. Mike Fleiss, are you listening? (Also: why didn't I put the word "ninjas" in my drinking game?) Michelle wishes the ninjas would like, kidnap some of other girls and put a bag over their head and take them to the desert. Whooooa, Michelle. You were funny in the pool, but now you are FREAKING ME OUT. Next thing you know, you'll be driving to Florida wearing an adult diaper. Michelle films her scene and destroys some people with the power of her psychotic rage.
Back at the manse. Date card time! Madison really wants the date, which means she won't get it. Don't worry, honey. You are a whole sack full of crazy and the producers would be stupid not to keep you around for at least a few more episodes. The date card is for Emily and she's worried about having to tell Brad the Truth about her daughter and her dead husband.
Back to the movie set. Shawntel gets to make out with Brad (see, I told you there would be making out!) and the director has them shoot the take like, 17 times because it's guaranteed to push Michelle over the precipice into the Grand Canyon of Crazy.
Sho nuff, Michelle is jealous as hell and predicts that when she kisses Brad it won't be scripted: it will be Sensual, Sexy, Slippery (slippery? really??) and many other words brought to you by the letter S. She promises that fireworks. are gonna be going off, and motions helpfully to the background, where said fireworks will be. Oh, Michelle. You light up my life with the brilliance of your CRAZY.
Brad and Shawntel make out, again, and Michelle covers her face with her hair because she is FIVE. Commercial. I go ahead and make myself a damn LIT, because there is a whole 'nother hour of this.
The afterparty is on the roof of something! It has a pool! No one is surprised. They all jump in the pool and toast and it's so amazing. Chantal pulls Brad aside for some alone time. Chantal starts to cry. She feels like every time she has something Special with Brad, one of the other 16 girls who are dating her boyfriend has the same experience. She also says something about Brad being Different. You are schnockered now, which is good because Chantal lays one on us: her birth father abandoned her, and she tried to get back in touch with him years later, only to discover he was dead. Holy crap, this episode is for real: dead fathers, dead husbands...Brad handles this one well. He's a bit dumbfounded (so much drama!), but he and his pecs are sweetly comforting. You are a beautiful man, Brad. Chantal feels a Connection and she's Falling and they kiss and I think it's kind of sweet. Damn you, show.
Back at the manse, Emily unfolds to the ladies her Tale of Woe. Her husband (or was he just her fiance? Should I be calling her Dead Fiance Emily?) died in a plane crash on the way to a race. Shortly afterwards, she found out she was pregnant. The ladies cry, and I tear up too (damn you, show!!), although fortunately I have a cat and some delicious cheese to comfort me. Emily's worried about telling Brad.
Back at the pool: races! Chicken fights! Jealousy! Basically: if you were nostalgic for junior high, here it is. Bootylicious Alli is having some alone time with Brad and Michelle creeps up on them and is watching all creepy-like. Alli is like, "you have to be like, oh, let's watch football, and then go make out", and I'm thinking this sounds like the perfect relationship, and Michelle comes in and is just like, hanging around and drumming her fingers on things and it's real awkward. Brad finally succumbs and takes Michelle away and Alli voiceovers that Michelle is EVIL and I'm kind of in your camp, Alli. Entertaining, but EVIL.
Switching to beer. Southern Star Pale Ale, you complete me. Let's watch football and then go make out.
Michelle has some alone time with Brad. She seduces him with the power of her evil vibes and they kiss and some Evil Vibes music plays. Also, Brad: your giant tattoo is totally distracting. There is plenty to look at without the huge-ass cross on your back. Michelle voiceovers about how all the others ladies need to leave like RIGHT NOW because Brad belongs to HER and I realize: Michelle is the evil boyfriend-stealer from Sweet Valley High. Actually, there are so many similarities between this show and Sweet Valley High it blows my mind. Is Francine Pascal an executive producer? It's still blowing my mind. Mike, call Francine, because your craptastic entertainments are THE SAME. Together you can form an empire of terribleness that will rule the world.
Brad gives the rose to Shawntel embalmer, for making out with him 4,000 times. They make out some more. Happy music. The ladies watch the movie they have made from the pool and Michelle voiceovers the thing from the teasers about making babies. SO SCARY.
Brad arrives to take Emily out on her date and she is wearing some kind of sparkly short jumpsuit with a really long cardigan. This is a strange, strange choice, Emily. Megan (of the SHOES (remember the SHOES?)) voiceovers that Emily is a little bitty Barbie doll with the soul of mother Theresa. And you can't hate mother Theresa, right? I hate girls like that.
Emily and Brad are taking a private plane to their date. I knew it was only a matter of time before one of these showed up. They go to wine country, aka Santa Maria, California, which I have never heard of. Back at the Manse, Madison starts to cry, and is talking to Ashley S. and says about 14 of my drinking game words. Back in supposed wine country: Emily likes everybody. When she gets tired, she gets grumpy, just like everyone else on this damn planet. Brad tries to dig a little deeper, and...commercial. Naturally.
In commercials: Matthew Perry is back. I'll take some.
Back to Cali: Brad and Emily have dinner in a barn, which is like so romantic? He gives her a blanket for her legs, because she inexplicably insists on wearing shorts everywhere. Emily spills her guts to Brad: dead husband, little girl, the works. She talks about how Special he makes her feel, they kiss, and I have lost track of how many women Brad has made out with. Brad, you big slut.
Back at Brad's pad in California: Brad is DEEPLY CONFLICTED. Oh please, not this. His freaking THERAPIST stops by. I'm sorry, forget I said "drink twice" when THERAPY is mentioned. It should say "drink 4,000 times". This is so, so stupid. Brad's therapist has a British accent, which I guess is ABC throwing me a bone, but it's not enough. I refuse to recap this. The therapist plows on. I assuage my grief in beer. Southern star...will you accept this rose?
Cockail party! How are there still 35 minutes in this episode? Brad talks to Chantel and says "open up" 4 times, in rapid succession, and if you're still following the rules you just drank, a lot. You're gonna need it. Still half an hour to go. Michelle steals Brad and she's mad because he kissed all these other women. I'm mad because it's almost 2:00 and I'm still awake. Brad explains that now he's a man-slut because last time he was all uptight and now he's Different and he's LIVING IN THE MOMENT, or something. And the moment is real slutty. Brad likes that Michelle makes no bones about how she wants his...time. Mm-hrmm.
Commercial. Brad talks to some more women. If I had included "comfortable" on the list, you woud be shitfaced. That's an option for next week. Brad talks to crazy Madision. Madison takes out the fangs. They come out? Madison starts talking about how the other girls are so into Brad, and she doesn't want to get in the way of that. Wait, Madison is the one who goes home? So much props.
Brad and dentist other Ashley talk. They have normal problems that you would have when your boyfriend is dating 16 other women. This show is so. weird. Brad feels that Ashley H. is pulling away and wonders how to make her feel better. Maybe you could make her feel better by, I dunno, DUMPING ALL YOUR OTHER GIRLFRIENDS. Gosh. Instead he makes out with her. That's one way to do it, I guess.
Chris comes to retrieve Brad and Brad gives a speech that nobody cares about. Dramatic music. Commercial.
In commercials: Your gps is some insolent guy in a tux lying on your dashboard. If only.
Back to the manse: Rose Cermony time. How are there still fifteen minutes? Brad's stupid speech is even stupid longer than usual. Blah blah blah. Real real real. If you're having second thoughts, please don't accept the rose, MADISON.
Those other chicks are safe. Roses go to:
Michelle, Chantel slapper...
Madison steps out of the group of ladies and DRAMATICALLY EXITS. DRAMATIC MUSIC plays. Brad follows Madison to a room decorated with enough candles and sconces and bullshit for several Pier 1 stores. (I swear, the set designers don't look anywhere else. One-stop shopping, Pier 1. Get some originality, set designers. I am calling you on this. And I went to ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL.) Madison doesn't want to take a rose from another girl who's here and has her heart on the line. Brad likes Madison "I care about other chicks" Madison better than the old "I am a crazy-ass vampire" Madison. He doesn't understand how anyone could possibly walk away from him. But on the other hand, if she's not feeling it...that's totally okay? I'm a little confused. They hug. Dramatic music. Madison leaves and if you're going to walk out like this, your dress better look good from the back. And hers does. Props, crazy vampire friend.
Now that that's over, more roses go to: Lisa, Jackie, Ashley H., Marissa, Britt, Alli, Lindsay,
LAST ROSE TONIGHT. Gosh, I swear they carried that out with dramatic music like, half my life. And the rose goes to...Stacey. Sarah and Kimberly, both of whom we have NEVER HEARD OF, are going home.
Kimberly is totally fine with it. She has no regrets and is totally awesome and could turn around and have another boyfriend next week. Bleep Brad and all his reality-show bullshit. Um...yes. Yes, you are awesome, Kimberly. Although I'm not feeling the length of that dress on a grown woman.
Sarah is sadder. Aww no, honey! You have cute hair, and ABC tells me you live in Denver, Colorado, which has summer sports and winter sports. Swimming, hiking, skiing, curly blond hair? I refuse to accept your sadness. It is factually incorrect.
Next week: Helicopters! Brad makes out with EVERYONE. Hot tubs! Dramaz! Wait, where's the toasting part? I feel incomplete without it. I guess ABC is not going to give me that satisfaction. In the words of Sarah, "when you put yourself out there, you hope for something to come back, but...snifff...sometimes it doesn't." Indeed. I feel hurt. And betrayed.
Until next week!