Welcome to the women tell all! Here's our host, Chris Harrison, greeting an audience of cheering women and two or three very confused and unhappy dudes. Audience participation is very important in this episode, as we will soon learn.
CH: When people first learned that Brad Womack was going to be the bachelor again, they were skeptical!
Audience: (skeptical faces)
CH: And angry!
Audience: (nodding in agreement): Yes, we were angry!
CH: But that's before they watched the show and realized he was CHANGED! Finally ready to be in a committed relationship!
Audience: Yeah, uh...we saw that one article in US weekly and we think that is some bullshit.
Before the women come back to TELL ALL, we get a little clip of Brad and Chris reminiscing about some of the MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS this season. There is a montage, unfortunately not set to "Friends are Friends Forever". That, bachelor producers, is what we call a Missed Opportunity. Remember the slapping? Remember that creepy-ass carnival? Remember that one chick with FANGS? I do! Fangy for bachelorette!
Brad thinks that Madison will "make some vampire very happy one day." Aww, look! He makes jokes!
Remember Shawntel and her creeeepy job? And all the talk of leaking and orifices? Damn, don't taunt me, show. It's like, remember how good things were? Before we got rid of all the interesting people? Speaking of interesting people...now we're speaking of Michelle, who you love to hate and hate to admit that you totally love. I'm guessing this isn't the last we'll be hearing from her.
After the first commercial break: An update from Bachelor Nation! Uh...what? Turns out there's a whole Bachelor subculture of former contestants who hang out, hook up, and sometimes even marry. And then presumably give birth to the next generation of reality-show contestants. They also have the CRAZIEST PARTIES EVER, where everyone tries to outdo each other in sluttiness, drama, and general insanity, all for a chance at being selected for the steaming turd-wreck (get it? it's a cross between a train wreck and a turd!) that is Bachelor Pad.
So of course we cut to footage of one of these CRAZIEST PARTIES EVER. Look, there's Chris Lambton! I spy Vienna, I spy Rozlyn of the inappropriate sexual relationship, I spy Wes "love, it don't come eeeasy" Hayden, I spy Kasey Kahl still looking for a woman to guard and protect his heart.
I also spy Craig, from Ali's season, draping his tongue down some chick's throat in what might be the most awkward-looking kiss ever. Damn. He seemed like one of the normal ones.
And holy crap, it's Erica Rose! I feel obliged to root for Erica because I she went to my high school (one degree from me to Prince Lorenzo Borghese! yesss), and despite all the princess talk, she's actually a really decent person. Not quite sure what's going on with her lips, though.
Erica and Kasey make out in a pool, because it's not really a bachelor event without someone making out in a pool. Get you some girl! Although...isn't he with Vienna now? I am thoroughly ashamed at how much I know about this stuff.
Omg, did someone order up a big steaming plate of DRAMA? Cuz here it comes. Apparently Gia and Vienna were bff, before Vienna slept with Wes (who was Gia's boyfriend? Maybe?) behind Gia's back and now they've gone from being BEST FRIENDS to BEST ENEMIES.
Gia has some advice for people hoping to appear on Bachelor Pad 2: (coughVIENNAcough): you DO NOT talk to, or look at, or even think about, guys that your best friend has hooked up with. That's just like, the rules of feminism.
Then Ali and Roberto show up and everyone is all like, OMG THEY FOUND LOVE ON TV! SO IT IS TOTALLY POSSIBLE!, and then they all start hooking up. John (uh...who's that?) thinks that there is something special about people are cast to be on the Bachelor and the Bachelorette. Yes, John. The willingness to have the minutest details of your life broadcast to a national TV audience makes you very, very special.
Finally, after yet another commercial, we're introduced to those women we've been hearing so much about. APPLAUSE. Who coached them all to do the twee two-handed wave??
There's Sarah, Lisa, Melissa, Ali, Britt, Marissa, Raichel, Meghan, Stacey, Ashley S, Jackie, and...holy crap, who is that? Ashley H. decided to change...her hair, her face, everything. She has turned the makeup up to "cougar". Let's be honest here: it is less than good.
There's also Michelle, Madison, and Shawntel, who we will never see again.
First up: the "OMG Brad is so hot!" montage. We're reminded of that time adorable shy Britt swallowed his face while filming some infomercial, and also of that time Michelle called Britt "desperate" because she is so FUNNY and IRONIC. We see clips of Raichel and Melissa's stupid, stupid fight. Memo to producers: I DO NOT CARE. Good gosh, why is this show two hours long? Then: more of Michelle being CRAZY.
Chris is practically foaming at the mouthing thinking which pot he's going to stir first. But before he can make up his mind, a bunch of the women (Sarah, Marissa, Stacey) are all up in Michelle's grill about the bitchy things she said about them in her voiceovers. (Like how she was tired of dealing with all these "little girls" and they all needed to go home.) Michelle says she only said these things because she's so HILARIOUS and SARCASTIC and if you don't GET IT, well - it's probably because you're a little girl and you need to go home.
Look, let's all recognize: Michelle was one of the most entertaining things about this season of the Bachelor. When she was on screen, I bemoaned her craziness, but then when she was gone, I missed her like whoa. But let's also recognize: just because something is funny and entertaining doesn't mean it isn't also totally bitchy.
Like, if I were one of these girls? I'd be pissed too. Also, last I checked, claiming to be "sarcastic" doesn't give you carte blanche to say whatever nasty things you want to about other people. The other girls are totally not buying it. Jackie calls Michelle a "spider", by which I think she means: Michelle is potentially venomous but also incredibly useful in controlling the insect population. Michelle starts fake-crying, while Ashley H. fake-comforts her.
What follows is possibly the world's stupid conversation. Remember the fight between Melissa and the manscaper I was complaining about earlier? It is even stupider than that.
Stacey: So, uh, what's up with the fake crying, Michelle? Are you just not gonna answer our questions? I mean, c'mon. Your makeup's not even smudged.
Michelle: I was GENUINE. I left my DAUGHTER. I was there for the RIGHT REASONS.
Jackie: Yeah, but, uh...what about the part where you said all that bitchy stuff?
Michelle: EVERYONE makes MISTAKES. We all said things we REGRET.
Jackie: Uh, except for the part where you said way more stuff than anyone else.
Michelle: I LEFT MY DAUGHTER. I MISSED HER SO MUCH. My DAUGHTER. LOOK AT ME! I am CRYING, you guys! It is because I am so damn GENUINE.
But before Michelle can get a chance to explain herself, again, we've got to talk about stupid Melissa and the stupid manscaper and their stupid feud. Ugh. We get to see a video clip which reminds us how CRAZY Melissa was and how much better Ashley's old hair looked. The best part is where Raichel and Melissa are engaging in a shitstorm over the head of beautiful Lindsay from Dallas, and she's all like, bitch plz.
Then Sarah makes this face, which accurately illustrates how I feel about this ENTIRE SEGMENT OF THE SHOW.
Raichel thinks that she will stay and Melissa will go because Jesus loves her. Aw, honey. Don't drag Jesus into this.
Back at the WTA, Melissa's in the hot seat. From Melissa: everything I said, I said, and I'm gonna own it, but I had all these emotions and shit, see, and it was TOTALLY NOT MY FAULT. Besides...she started it.
From Raichel: there are people you gel with, people you don't, and then there are people you HATE and you WANT TO DIE. Raichel blames Melissa for ruining her chances with Brad, or something. I blame ABC for WASTING MY LIFE with this conversation.
All that crap is finally over! But, oh, wait - more crap! Michelle's in the hot seat. She is crying, again. She would like to remind us that she was here for the RIGHT REASONS. And that she LEFT HER DAUGHTER, for gosh sakes. HER OWN FLESH AND BLOOD. That's how badly she wanted to FIND LOVE. That's how RIGHT her RIGHT REASONS were, bitches.
While our host Chris Harrison tenderly assures Michelle that all her antics were surely just a "defense mechanism", the camera cuts madly between Michelle and the other ladies.
Sarah B.: skeptical face.
Jackie: skeptical face.
Stacey: skeptical face.
Michelle: RIGHT (sob!) REASONS!
Finally Michelle (sort of) addresses everyone's concerns about her behind-the-scenes bitchery: Do I really want monkeys to attack Chantal? No! I am really gonna elbow someone in the face? Well, I dunno, but you sure looked pretty damn serious when you said it.
Chris thinks it's a defense mechanism. It's where Michelle goes to relieve stress. Well, I go to the bottom of a tall can of lone star. Right now I'm thinking that's a lot healthier.
Michelle takes this and runs with it. It was to relieve stress! It was all so emotional! I LEFT MY DAUGHTER. I am trying so hard to cry that I CANNOT EVEN BREATHE. Take a deep breath, says sweet fatherly Chris, and the crowd starts clapping madly. I'm wondering what, exactly, they are clapping for. BREATHE DEEP MICHELLE! WE ARE BEHIND YOU!!
Guess what? The other women still aren't convinced. Stacey points out that leaving your child to go on a reality dating show doesn't exactly make you a model parent, which Michelle takes as her cue to BREAK DOWN. She is fluttering her lashes and rubbing her nose with a hanky more vigorously than ever. Give this woman an Oscar. Chris yells at all the other women to like, lay off of Michelle already, because he is totally buying what she's selling. Crying: it works!
Granted, calling Michelle a bad parent is a pretty low blow - but she did kind of invite it when she reminded us about fifty times that she LEFT HER DAUGHTER to FIND LOVE. Chris calls for a commercial break to allow Michelle time to regroup. He leans back in his chair, and for a moment there's a break in his Concerned Camp Counselor facade and you can tell he's thinking this is going to be RATINGS GOLD.
After commercial: Michelle is still in the hot seat. She thinks she is being targeted. Jackie thinks Michelle is shady.
I LEFT MY DAUGHTER, JACKIE. Why can't you understand this? I HAD A DAUGHTER. As in, a child, THAT I SQUEEZED OUT OF MY VERY OWN WOMB. AND I LEFT HER. TO FIND LOVE.
Chris suggests that maybe the other women's real problem with Michelle was that they resent that her super-agressive tactics worked on Brad. Chris gets Jackie to admit that yeah, she did have a problem with that, and Jackie smiles all good-naturedly, like, haha, you got me! No, Jackie, nooo! You're playing right into his hands! Apparently Chris wants us to think that it's totes okay to be as nasty as you want behind other women's backs, as long as Brad Womack is still attracted to you. Sometimes I hate this show a little.
Gah. It's the women tell all, part 2, because 45 minutes of this was not enough. ABC tries to sweeten the deal a little by sending my very favorite bachelorette, Ashley S, to the hot seat. Of course we have to be regaled with footage of the Most Heartbreaking Elimination Ever.
Ashley has been through a lot of bad relationships, she says, and she thought this one might be different. Here, she thought, was a guy who was Ready to Find Love. And then he dumped her, unceremoniously, for her best friend. Who is also named Ashley. While also dating like, 12 other women.
Chris says that everyone wants to see Ashley find true love. APPLAUSE, because yes! everyone DOES! Ashley S. for bachelorette? Please?
Up next in the hot seat: the other Ashley, fresh off of the Date Where It All Fell Apart.
Ashley H. montage. Nothing new here. Except maybe that Brad looks even toolier in 10-second clips.
CH: I see the emotion in your eyes right now. Isn't that nice? I got it from a Harlequin romance. This is my absolute favorite episode because I get to do things besides stating the obvious and pretending to listen to Brad. What a snoozefest. Let's talk about how he broke your heart.
Ashley: I had WALLS. I doubted Brad's feelings for me.
Chris: What you had was MAGIC.
Ashley: And I messed it all up by worrying about all his other girlfriends. I'll never do that again. I might have missed out on TRUE LOVE.
CH: Were you in love with him?
Ashley: You know, it's hard to tell...
CH: C'mon, you totally were.
Ashley: I TOTALLY WAS! Damn, Chris. It's like you see into MY SOUL.
CH: I read the emotion. In your eyes. Do you regret not telling him?
Ashley: All the time. I lose sleep over it. But you know, I've learned. I've CHANGED. I'm excited to start dating again.
CH: Could we be selling you any harder as the Bachelorette?
Ashley: Maybe say something about my makeover.
CH: Yeah, what happened to you? Your teeth are BLINDING ME.
Ashley: Brunettes have more fun! (APPLAUSE.) I'm like, ALL NEW. And ready to date again. Very soon. Very very soon. Like possibly on your television. This summer. Show some clips of me laughing and waving my hands around. It'll make me seem Real.
And, after commercial....heeeeere's Brad! APPLAUSE. He is back to face the women he SENT HOME IN TEARS.
Ashley S: Why did you think I wouldn't make a good wife for you?
Brad: Did I say that? Wait, I totally said that. Yeeeahh...that was all bullshit. I really just liked my other girlfriends better.
Michelle got dumped because she was too much like Brad. Ashley H. apologizes for spending too much time worrying. Wait, what? Brad thinks Ashley is an Exceptional Woman. Shawntel gets no screentime at all.
After COMMERCIAL: we see some footage of Brad playing with kids at a pre-school in Africa. It is sponsored by the Bachelor, so we won't feel like such horrible human beings for watching this dreck. I've gotta admit: these kids are pretty cute. Go to bachelor.abc.com to find out more.
CH: So, Brad. Enough philanthropy. Let's get down to the real business. You know, tears and heartache. What everyone wants to know is: where is your head?
Brad: Chris, I can't tell you who I'm gonna pick! It'll ruin the surprise!
CH: Just say some stuff. We've got eight minutes to kill.
Brad: I'm in LOVE. The process, man. It works.
CH: You bet your britches it does. I hope you stick with this one. We've pulled a lot of shit on our viewers, but I don't think they'll accept you as the bachelor again.
CH: And since you guys have been such a good audience, we're throwing you a bone. Turns out these lunkheads whose conversations you've been suffering through all season do know how to have fun! Who knew?
Basically, this is the best three minutes of the whole season. Dear bachelor producers: why have you been holding out on me? I just spent an entire season listening to some idiots yammering about feelings when I could have been watching:
Brad is totally plastered. In case you couldn't tell.
So then there's the part where Brad re-caps his relationship with both ladies. Because, you know, that is a thing that happens on this episode, for maximum SPECULATION over the next week.
First up: Chantal. Chantal just relaxes him. They have the. best. time. together. Their Connection is Electric. He can see her as his Wife.
Then: Emily. Brad thought Emily was beautiful from the moment he met her. (How did I not notice how totally awkward Brad was around Emily the very first time they met? "Thanks for being here. So much.") Emily is so sweet. She makes him want to be a better man. He wants her to be his Wife.
P.S. If you're still playing the drinking game - this section is a real killer.
That's all folks! Coming up next week...it's the episode you've been waiting for all season. That's right...it's the one with the SHARKS. Oh, and it's also the episode where Brad makes his DRAMATIC FINAL DECISION.
Don't miss it.