It's always hotly debated, every season - do people actually do it in the Fantasy Suite? Isn't that...kind of gross? Considering that the bachelor has like, three dates with three women in as many days? The answer, as far as I can tell, is: some people actually do do it in the fantasy suite. Not everyone. Just some people. SPECULATE.
Supposedly Jesse Palmer set the record by scoring with 5 different girls from his season, even though he was possibly an even bigger lunkhead than Brad. (What I always wonder about that stat is...when? On the hometown dates, after dinner with mom and dad?) So now every time I see him on Sportscenter (which is not very often, since I pretty much never watch sports), I think - there's that man-whore from the Bachelor!
On to the Bachelor: safari edition!
So all the footage of lions and tigers and bears in this week's preview gave me a great idea: what if they did a sort of Bachelor/Man vs. Wild mashup? Like, all three women are stranded in the wilds of south africa, and the last one ALIVE wins a romantic fantasy date? Who's with me? There's appeal for both genders! I think it could have a real following.
Also in the teasers: the producers want us to think that Emily turns down the fantasy suite card. I say they're messing with us. I mean, has anyone ever turned down the fantasy suite card, ever?
In new York: Brad is feeling like so many feelings right now. He is anxious, nervous, excited...SO MANY FEELINGS. Thankfully, he does not call Dr. Jamie. Instead, he logs some time on the Balcony of Staring Soulfully off into the Distance, just like last week. Only without the newsie cap. Sad.
Brad reminds us that he is SO CLOSE (to the end of the season! yesss) and that he has NO CLUE what he's doing right now. (I, uh...this would be a really cheap shot. Yeah, Brad. No clue.)
He also reminds us, helpfully, of how last time he had WALLS and it DESTROYED HIS WHOLE LIFE. He is TERRIFIED OF ENDING UP ALONE. Which, last I checked, was uh, a great reason for getting engaged.
See, the man-vs.-wild collaboration could really exploit the whole fear thing this season's got going on. Am I more afraid of opening my heart up to love, or of being ripped to pieces by man-eating beasts? I DON'T KNOW. Seriously, it would be so great. Think about it, Fleiss.
Brad's ready to "talk to these women on a very intimate level", which I think means...make sexytime? Speculate as you will. He then adds, "I need this. Badly." What? Sexytime? The flight attendant in the fetching scarf? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
Brad feels lost and cold and alone until he realizes that his airplane window provides him with a prime opportunity for soulful gazing. Ahhh.
Helpfully, the producers offer us a little peek into Brad's Inner Thoughts. Brad feels comfortable with Chantal, and like he can Be Himself. They have so much chemistry. Kissing her is "close to perfect". If only mayyybe she would floss a little more.
Somewhere midway over the Pacific ocean, brad thinks about how Ashley and how she has so much to offer. He is comfortable with her, he can be himself - wait, isn't that exactly what he said about Chantal? Ashley's an accomplished, professional woman, by which I think he means "has not yet finished dental school". Oh, and her family is SO FUNNY and KOOKY! Ashley, however, is insecure about all Brad's other girlfriends. Jeez. Why can't she believe in the JOURNEY?
Close to the coast of Africa: Emily. Emily is one in a million, which means there are a thousand Emilys in China. No one can rock a side braid like Emily. She makes him want to be a better man. But Brad is intimidated by Emily's Past. Also, Emily is a single mom, and last week Brad showed us he has a curious defect where he cannot woo a woman when a child is within a 350-ft radius.
I only took this screenshot becuase Brad looks really stupid, and screenshots where Brad looks stupid are funny.
I am beginning to tire of Brad's thoughts, but the producers have got my number and we're finally in Africa. Wildebeasts! Zeebras! Monkeys! Elephants! I've got so many Lion King references at the ready it's not even funny.
Brad describes south africa as a VAST LAND full of EXOTIC ANIMALS. "Vast" is a fun new word he just learned from the cue card. It's really, really cool...but also a little dangerous. JUST LIKE FALLING IN LOVE. Oh man, this show is so deep it freaking kills me. Brad sits on the balcony of his hacienda or whatever and thinks about how he's Changed and his Connections and finding his Wife and I drink a million times. Oh, look at the little animals!
COMMERCIAL. Aka, the part of the show where I get another beer. I'm dubbing this episode "project drink every beer in the fridge", because I'm thinking that's what it will take me to get through this. Next up: Harpoon IPA. So far, so good. So, so good.
Chantal, wearing a pair of curiously short shorts, is greeted by Crocodile hunter Brad.
Chantal and Brad are going on...a safari! They see some lions sleeping:
And a hippo. Hippos make a sound like a really nasty fart.
Chantal and Brad have a picnic at a watering hole. Because the producers really want to beat us over the head with this metaphor, Chantal compares the scary animals to the Scary Things in her and Brad's relationship. Like Ashley, and Emily. She is confident that Brad will protect her from the scary fart-noise hippo. I'm not so sure.
Later, Brad and Chantal and Chantal's serious, serious cleavage have dinner in the bush. (That was not a dirty joke.) Chantal wants to get married, right now. Skip the engagement. She goes on to say that getting engaged means you're going to get married, not that you're playing around and you're going to get un-engaged later. Amen, sister. We'll see how this plays out in the Bachelor-verse if Chantal is the Chosen One. P.S. Chantal's hair and makeup look seriously great right now. And Brad keeps cracking his damn knuckles. I hate it when people do that.
Brad loves Chantal's boldness and spontaneity and great rack. And oh, it's that time. You know what I'm talking about. It's that time we've all been waiting for...when the note, which comes, creepily, from Chris Harrison, arrives to invite the couple to spend the night in the Fantasy Suite, where they may or may not make suite, suite love. (I'm so funny it kills me.) Brad and Chantal deliberate for several seconds before deciding they are all over that. Thanks Chris!
Brad and Chantal's fantasy suite is a treehouse, which is wicked awesome. They sit on a couch in the treehouse and lavish Bachelor praise upon one another while I lavish my throat with beer. Also, Chantal: dirty shoes on a white couch! No.
Nighttime! A light goes out. A lion yawns. Brad and Chantal may or may not be doin it they do on the discovery channel. SPECULATE.
Commercial! More beer. Shiner Black. This one may be expired, but the lights in my kitchen are dim so I can't tell. I mean, does beer ever expire? It's alcohol, for gosh sakes. Tastes like bacon.
Obligatory animal shots. Last night with Chantal was Amazing, Brad opines, but...he's been looking forward to seeing Emily all week. You and Bill Henrickson would have a lot to talk about. (The Big Love jokes never run dry, do they? So much love for Big Love.)
Brad greets Emily and then is like, wait! I forgot something! He runs off and returns...WITH AN ELEPHANT. Emily is like, SHUT UP. (I...didn't say anything.) This is like, Emily's DREAM. (Ahh, the elephant dream. It plagues us all.)
So how does one get on a elephant? I've always wondered about this. Here is the answer, Bachelor-style. The elephant SITS DOWN (How do you get an elephant to do that? Elephant biscuits?), and a nice african man hands you up. I think I imagined there would be steps, or a sort of pulley system.
Emily and Brad get to tour the savanna via elephant, which is way better than a stupid jeep, CHANTAL. They watch some elephants at a watering hole, which remind Emily of her daughter and how much she would love this, which pretty much shuts down Brad's sex drive entirely. Emily asks Brad if he's ready for children. As in, a five-year-old child. Right away. Brad says - "yeah". Unconvincingly. They kiss, while the elephants squeal triumphantly.
At dinner, Brad is drinking white wine (why is it always white wine on this show?) and sweating like a pig. Awkward small talk. Emily breaks the ice. She just wants it to be her and Brad and Ricki. You know? That little confession is all Brad needs to present The Card.
Welcome to the amazing country of South Africa. Should you choose to forgo your individual rooms, please use this key to stay as a couple in the fantasy suite and TOTALLY GET IT ON. Or not.
Emily wants to set a good example for her daughter (sex bad!), but more than that she wants to spend more time with Brad. She wants to "get to know each other better and just talk". Emily and Brad both agree that they are Falling in Love with each other. Kissing. Lights out. SPECULATE.
After commercial: Brad has missed Ashley. Badly. (New game: take a shot every time Brad says "badly". Is...that a word?) Brad marvels that the last time he was with ashley was in Madawashkughushasuhshah, Maine, and now they are in freaking AFRICA. Which is the same, only in Africa there are less cheese fries and way more monkeys. Not sure that's a trade I'd make. Ashley is also wearing questionably short jean shorts, only hers are mullet shorts: short in the front, long(er) in the back.
Ashley and Brad and the jorts (or are they only jorts when dudes are wearing them? enlighten me, readers) are trekking through the wilderness when...SHUT UP. They encounter the very rarest of all African fauna, the helicopter. Also, I just killed a bee in my kitchen. I am an inebriated badass. So much for the lack of pollinating insects in my neighborhood. I hope this bodes well for the blueberry bushes.
Ashley is FREAKING OUT. Wait...what? Ashley is deathly afraid of helicopters? I guess it's never too late in the season to be facing one's worst fears. Brad reassures her. He has faced down waterfalls and tall buildings and hippos and Michelle and he can totally handle a tiny helicopter. Plus, this looks like a Safe Helicopter, as opposed to those death-traps he rode in with Chantal and Emily. Unfortunately for Ashley, her worst fears do not merit much screen time, because we've seen this shit before.
Bachelorette: OMG THING I AM SO SCARED OF! I am so scared!!!
Brad: I will protect you from this Thing You Are So Scared Of.
Bachelorette: I am no longer scared! I LURVE YOU.
Brad: I am contractually obligated to mention that this experience deepened our Connection. Thank you for being so Amazing.
REPEAT 17 TIMES.
Ashley doesn't know how she'd be able to deal without brad and the mysterious jean-clad leg we see in this shot. whose leg is that? Being next to Brad and mysterious jean guy makes Ashley feel So Special.
Ashley and brad have a picnic on the edge of a cliff somewhere. Brad's worried that Ashley's dedication to her career might mean that she is NOT READY FOR A RELATIONSHIP. Because everyone knows that a woman can't have a career and a happy relationship! Hello, dickhead. Feminism? Equality? Heard of it? Gah.
Dinnahtime. Brad's worried about The Future. He keeps repeating himself and Ashley keeps grabbing her hair and pulling it into an imaginary ponytail, which is a thing i always do when i'm nervous. Basically: I just spent the last seven minutes watching a really, really awkward date. That's time I can never get back, Fleiss. Thank goodness for beer. So then it's (freaking finally) time for Chris' awesomely awkard fantasy suite card, and it's the same wording and the same damn faux-key (because who really believes that a treehouse has a key?) as with the other women.
In the fantasy suite: Brad and Ashley pop some champagne and kiss, awkwardly. Like, Luke-Leia awkward. Then: COMMERCIAL. What, no suggestive lights-turning-out, curtains-billowing scene? C'mon, why do you think I'm watching this show? I want to SPECULATE.
The next morning: Brad and his ridiculously well-defined pecs and ridiculous back tattoo awake, thoughtfully. They have have had some good conversations, and reached some turning points in some relationships. (Which relationships? We want to knoooow.) But what I really want to know is: how are there still 22 minutes in this show? Aw, hell. This better not be some Dr. Jamie bullshit.
Oh, never mind. It's just Brad talking to Chris. You know what, Chris? I love you. Or at least, I have a modicum of regard for you, like you do for that kind of annoying kid that you grew up next door to that you never really liked but hell, you've been through a lot together and you have all those shared experiences and honestly, there are people you like a lot less (and you'll probably go to the wedding, even though you haven't seen each other in years, because your parents are goading you into it and you heard the caterer is really good, but you'll probably buy the 25 dollar gift and not the 50 dollar one because of that one time when he said that one thing that nobody else will ever remember but you're going to hold against him forever). Nobody else pretends to listen to Brad better than you do, Chris, but you know what? I skipped this part.
After COMMERCIAL: Rose ceremony. Chris welcomes the ladies to south africa. Dress criticism time. It's like I'm gofugyourself, if only for an instant. Chantal: meh. I wore that to work yesterday. Or I would have, if I had a job. Only the giant boobs raise it above mediocrity. Nice hooker shoes. Emily: meh? I feel like I should be able to work up some enthusiasm over this, what with the colorblocking and all, but I can't. It's like some kind of herve leger tiny tight blahhh. Also: I had no idea you were so much taller than the other women. And nice hooker shoes. Ashley: whaat? Maybe in real life this looks awesome, but in my tiny screenshot it looks like an unholy alliance between a lot of ruching and a paper sack. You're adorable and tiny, but that color is awful. Also, those shoes: halfway between what I wore on easter sunday, in third grade...and a hooker.
Brad arrives. He clears his throat and grunts for about 15 minutes, and then asks to talk to Ashley. PRIVATELY. Brad says: I wants to be Real. You and I both know our date didn't go so well. And that the color of your dress is really, really terrible. Brad has Questions. They are not legitimate questions, like: what made you pair those shoes with that dress? Actually, the nature of the questions is never quite specified. Brad is worried he doesn't fit into Ashley's life. Aka: it's not you, it's me.
Finally, Brad tells Ashley that he has to tell her goodbye. He puts her into a hummer and stares after it, soulfully, as is his wont. While Ashley cries in the car, Brad executes a classic Jason Mesnik balcony lean, because it's all so EMOTIONAL. Emily and Chantal are getting a little sweaty waiting for Brad to finish up with his histrionics.
Brad talks to the two remaining ladies. He admits to them that he's let Ashley go. Awkward throat clearing. This is TOUGH. Emily and Chantal are like, whatever asshole. I'm perspiring over here. Brad decides to continue with this sham of a rose ceremony. Look Brad, math isn't my strong point, but even i can tell that 2 roses + 2 women = no great suspense.
Roses go to...Chantal. And uh, Emily. NO WAY.
Brad makes a joke about how Chris didn't have to tell him that was the last rose. Hey! That was my joke! If the Bachelor gets too smart...what I am gonna do? Next week, says Brad, they're going to Cape Town, a city he's always dreamed of going to. At least since two days ago, when the producers told him of its existence.
Next week, on TV: some damn stupid clip show! Will Raichel and Melissa continue their stupid feud? More importantly, who the hell cares? Is Michelle crazy, an actress or a crazy actress? And my very favorite Ashley is back. Does the fact that they're calling her "the girl with the most heartbreaking goodbye" mean that she's going to be the next bachelorette? I can only hope. Fleiss? Please?
Until next week!