Second half! The second half promises to be waaay better than the first half, because there is more crazy Michelle. Also because I am already working on my second mojito.
2 AM. The ladies' villa. Brad creeps into their bedroom, all creepy-like, to awaken them. Because this group date is gonna be the MOST SURPRISING EVER. No no, he assures Ashley, You are not dreaming. Man, Brad is so humble. Don't worry Brad, you're in all my dreams. The ladies tromp grumpily (tromp grumpily...say that five times fast) over to some random building, only to be greeted by...the editor of their PHOTO SHOOT! They are all like, WHAT THE SHIT. The ladies are about to be in the legendary Sports Ilustrated swimsuit issue, which hits newsstands February 15! Conveniently, the day after this episode aired so go out and buy a copy NOOOOW.
Also...aren't most people who watch the Bachelor...female? Aren't most people who want to see scantily clad women sprawled out on beaches...male? This product placement befuddles me. Is there some secret contingent of dudes who love the bachelor?
The ladies start getting ready for their photo shoot. Ashley yells something about how she has no boobs. I feel your pain, sister. Brad assures Ashley that she is beautiful while the camera zeroes in on her ass. Chantal's worried cuz she's having a fat day.
To the beach! The ladies are introduced to Raphael Mazzucco, swimsuit photographer, who will be played by Fezzik in this episode. (THIRD princess bride reference. I can barely hear you over the sound of how awesome I am.) Ashley jumps up and down a lot and Fezzik, I mean Raphael, repeatedly tells her that she is beaaauuuuutiful.
Then Raphael Mazzucco (so hard to type! seriously, dude) stops being Fezzik and starts being that little devil on your shoulder. Fantaaaaassstic. This would look incrrredible without a top on. Ashley's like, no. Absolutely no. Then the chick who's running the photo shoot is like, no, seashells! Put the seashells on your boobs, like this! She awkwardly demonstates, saying something about Ashley having the "best butt" (I think? Is everyone here drunk?) and suddenly Ashley's like, aww hell. I'll do it.
Hey Chris? I know you're reading. Don't like, pretend you're not. So you know how you added the women's ages to the graphic on the bottom of the screen, just cause I asked? Well, I have one more teeeny request. When each contestant shows up on screen, I would like a little graphic under their name indicating how many glasses of champagne they've had. Now that's good TV.
Much cheering, because everyone loves you when you take your top off. This questionable sentiment brought to your by the steaming cesspool of immorality that is The Bachelor. Ashley does the seashell thing and Fezzik (I refuse to write that other name) thinks it's Faaaantaaaastic. Chantal feels all self-concious and fat because Ashley is Rocking. That. Body.
Chantal's turn! She writhes around on the beach for a while and I'm like, this chick feels fat? I'm definitely gonna have to go for a run after this. Thanks for the self-loathing, this episode. Of course they try to get her to take her top off, and of course Chantal's all over it, because she doesn't want it to seem like Ashley LOVES BRAD MORE, or is sexier, or something. Sigh.
Chantal takes it off. There's a big ol' black bar on the screen, and in case you didn't notice that, Brad is like, It's Off. Uhhhh...It's Off. He repeats this about 14 times, while shuffling uncomfortably and looking at his feet, because boobies make him nervous.
Michelle's not cool with taking it off, so she decides, instead, to straddle Brad on the beach. Beaaaauuuuutiful. Chantal thinks it's "funny". Yeah, totally hilarious when some other girl is lying on top of your boyfriend and exfoliating his face with her tongue. THIS SHOW IS SO WEIRD.
Michelle and Brad get up from the beach and you can just feel the jealousy coming off the other women in waves. I know what will make this less awkward...a pool party! Brad says this was supposed to be the Ultimate Dream Fantasy Date From Heaven, but now it has become the DATE FROM HELL. I dunno, it just looks like you in a pool with three chicks. So far, so good.
Ashley's worried that she's the girl next door and what she's got will never stand up to sexy sexpot Michelle. Brad tells her that this is "bad crazy" if she's worried about why she's here. As opposed to the good crazy we see all the rest of the time! Oh, The Bachelor.
Mojito number...crap, I lost track. This one with freaking mezcal. Yum. This show is the worst thing to ever happen to my liver.
Ashley wants Brad to know that she cares about him, but whatever decision he makes, as long as it's the best one for him, she'll be okay eventually. Brad's worried that Ashley is putting up Walls. He then steals Chantal away. I'm wondering what these lime-green libations are that everyone's drinking. Pretty sure my grandma had countertops that were exactly that color.
Chantal's feeling Shut Off. She tells Brad: your body language sucks with me. I'm pretty sure that means: take me in your arms and have your way with me. Right now. But Brad doesn't take the hint. Instead he decides to talk about his freaking FEELINGS. Group dates are So Hard. It's hard to get caught up in the moment when he knows that there are other women waiting for both of them. Not just me, he says: both of us. This show just got Big Love-ier than ever. (Didn't get the joke? Watch Big Love. It is maybe the best show on TV. You're welcome, HBO.)
Chantal assures Brad that she still loves him, just in case you forgot that awkward little bit from the last rose ceremony. Brad steals Michelle away. He's worried they may be a little too much alike. Michelle may be the SheBrad, she says, but at least she's willing to own up to her mistakes. She's 100 percent confident she's supposed to be here.
Ashley and Chantal watch Brad with Michelle. They think he seems Closed Off with her, but also that he's been Closed Off with them. Ruh-roh. Brad comes to steal Ashley, again, and she begs him not to send her home, about 14 times, because I guess that whole deal with Britt got everyone worried that they could be eliminated AT ANY MOMENT. Brad's like, um, dude, chill, and he goes to get her the date rose. Ashley sees him coming back with the rose and jumps up and wraps her legs around him and vows to never let go.
Brad and Ashley return to the pool and Chantal's bitchface is so withering I want to curl up under the coffee table and die. Brad asks Chantal if she is okay. She is SO NOT OKAY. In fact, she starts crying. Michelle might be crying, too, but it's Chantal who gets the coveted Alone Time with Brad. If Brad doesn't like her better than those other two girls, Chantal says, he should just send her home, because Chantal has never seen this show and doesn't realize that the date roses are completely meaningless and are ABC's way of throwing us off the trail. Chantal cries and her bosoms heave and she is more incoherent and irrational than ever. Ahh, Brad. The date from hell thing. I feel you now. Finally Chantal stalks off down the beach, not completely pacified. Brad watches her leave, all conflicted and shit.
Rose ceremony time! Brad's hanging out in his own little tiki hit, staring at pictures of the ladies all like, who do I chooooose? Chris comes to rescue Brad from this EMOTIONAL HELL, because a long-distance call to Dr. Jamie would've been too expensive. Chris puts on his very best Serious Face and Brad delivers a real doozy: he wants to SKIP THE COCKTAIL PARTY. I guess all the angsty-looking-at-photos was a big fraud, because Brad's already decided who he wants to send home. Chris blathers for a while about how the next step is LIKE SO HUGE, because there's no cocktail party and we've gotta have something to fill the next 15 minutes with.
Rose ceremony time! All the women feel insecure as all get-out, except for Emily who Brad told she was totally getting a rose even though that's cheating. Oh, and Ashley. Who already has a rose. Roses go to: Emily (obvs), Shawntel (yay!!), and...
FINAL ROSE TONIGHT. Love you Chris, but you do know that's kind of stupid when there's only three roses, right?
The last rose is for CHANTAL. I hope Michelle and her giant earrings are gonna unleash some serious havoc now. Maybe telegraph the mother ship to begin the full-scale invasion. Brad tries to take her hand while her walks her out and she's like, no. He asks her if she wants to talk. Also no. Honestly, it's refreshing to see someone shut Brad down like this. You just REJECTED her, dude. She no longer thinks you are the cat's pajamas.
Brad talks about how hard it was to let Michelle go but then immediately gives a million reasons Michelle was TOTALLY WRONG for him. Meanwhile, in the limo, in the most SHOCKING TWIST of this entire season, Michelle does not scream, or rage, or cry, or plot revenge. She simply lays down on the seat. All the fight has gone out of her. Tara. She'll think about this tomorrow, at Tara. After all...tomorrow is another day.