SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION TIME: I am currently drinking a Carmen Sandiego cocktail, my latest creation for the booze blog. You should check it out. You know, if you like booze.
Now on to your regularly scheduled programming.
Previously on the Bachelorette! Ames was rich and well-traveled and J.P. was hotter than asphalt on a Houston summer day, but Ashley did not care because of BENTLEY and his nefarious dot dot dot. "Dot dot dot is better than just a period", we hear Bentley say, as grammarians everywhere beg to differ. But this week! A new location! New beginnings! And (I can only hope) a new hot makeout with J.P.
The Bachelors are headed to...Chiang Mai! Yeah, I don't know where that is, either. But I will soon! Their tourism bureau must've paid a boatload. Dear Ames: Love the bangs. Stick with the bangs. Chiang-Mai, opines our man Ames, is famous for being full of monks "in saffron robes". Aside: Yeah, I read internet forums about the Bachelorette. I would hang my head in shame, except that I read the forums at TelevisionWithoutPity, which are full of smart people like you and me who watch this show as ironically as hipsters drink PBR. I bring this up to say: a bunch of my compatriots at TWOP think Ames, er, bats for the other team. I've always been inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, but now, I can't help thinking: what straight man identifies "saffron" as a color? Is this a Harvard thing? Enlighten me.
The bachelors arrive at their man-palace in Chiang-Mai in a limo from 1978. Perhaps they have fallen through a wormhole and Chiang-Mai is actually in the past. Which makes it a perfect place for catching up on the Wonder Years and Who's the Boss. Chris, wearing his best crocodile hunter outfit, greets the dudes and directs them to their private villa. J.P.: "this place is just prime for romance." Too bad you will be sharing it with 12 other dudes!
Ruh-roh. Chrissy-poo tells us this is the week of the dreaded two-on-one date, one of the crueler cruelties devised by the heartless bastards who produce this show. One man on this date will continue in the LOVE JOURNEY. One man will be going back to America. FOREVER.
"I think you all get the gravity of that situation," says outback Chris, with a completely straight face. His soul is pickling in a jar in Mike Fleiss' study. "I will see MOST OF YOU at the next rose ceremony," says Chris, as he saunters offscreen to get plastered. "Except for the ones who LOSE YOUR CHANCE AT LOVE. FOREVER."
Someone get me another drink.
The first date card is for winemaker Ben, who some of you may remember as a slightly hotter version of Constantine. Ashley shows up, all cute and dentisty, and all the bohunks are jealous. Ashley takes Ben to a street fair, so they can hang out with the locals and like, get real. And there are corn dogs!!! They have corndogs in Thailand?? I would like the pad thai and a side of corndog, please.
Ashley and Ben wander around the market for a while, and then paint tiny umbrellas. Ben paints a smiley face on an umbrella. He can see Ashley as his Wife. Ashley and Ben go hang out in front of a temple, as you do, and exchange awkward platitudes. They almost kiss. But not! It is FORBIDDEN. Because this place is so SACRED. All this unmet desire...SO SEXY. No, just kidding. It's kind of annoying.
"This is fun, but let's go", says Ashley. To someplace we can MAKE OUT.
After commercial: dinnertime! Ashley is wearing a romper, and that is wrong in so, so many ways. Ashley: I kept looking at your outfit, hoping it would be a skirt, and then it wasn't. How could you do this to me?
But honestly, now that I think about it: it is so refreshing to make fun of your clothes, and not your interminable obsession with BENTLEY. On second thought, carry on. I love the romper! Or rather, I love what the romper represents. Wild clothes! Not wild men.
Ashley and Ben have dinner inside of a giant candlelit tattoo. Constantine (whoops, Ben) tells Ashley about making wine - first you pick the grapes, then you smash the grapes....but no, really.
Oh, and then Ben gets the rose. Thanks for Opening Up!
Ben is ready to take down his Emotional Walls. Dear Bachelor Producers: This is not Oprah. Where is the hot tub?
Back at the resort of product placement, a date card comes for: Constantine, Ames, Nick, Blake, Lucas, sunshine, JP, and Mickey.
So...the dreaded two-on-one date is...Willz, and NoLa Ben. Yiiiikes. That just blew my (as yet unpublished) predictions out of the water. That said...my money's on the guy who doesn't sell cell phones for a living.
Back on the tattoo date: there are some Thai dancers. They dance with candles or something, and it's pretty cool, and Ben and Ashley kiss. But honestly, I would've preferred a hot tub. Dear Mike Fleiss: I know you read this blog. What happened to the hot tubs? I miss hot tubs. These kisses are super chaste. NEED HOT TUBS.
Group date!!! 8 men vie for the affection of 1 lovely lady! Ashley wants the guys to "see what things are traditional to Thai culture", Like organized violence!! The bachelors will be battling each other to the
Training! Lots of gratuitous shots of shirtless men. Freaking finally. Three hours into the training, there is a Big Unveiling. It is...new boxing gear!! All the bachelors rush to pick their favorite color, leaving poor Ames with the Barbie-pink short shorts. Which, as we all know, is bad news. If you're like me, you've seen about twenty teasers of the pink power ranger being taken away in an AMBULANCE with SIRENS BLARING.
Whaddya wanna bet that this a little bit less of a big deal than it's been made out to be? It always is.
The clusterchump are bussed to a square in Chiang Mai where a boxing ring has been set up, surrounded by locals eager to watch the funny American men make fools of themselves. Ashley: "I'm nervous for you guys!" Aka: "haha! suckers!"
First up is Blake vs. Lucas. Ashley begins to wonder that someone may get hurt. FORESHADOWING. In the epic battle of J.P. vs. Mickey, J.P. gets pummeled at first but then wins because he is so sexy. Then passive resistance Ames gets his poor overeducated ass handed to him by sunshine Ryan (aka Hurts-a-Lot bear), who packs a mean punch.
Next up is Constantine vs. Nick, but no one really cares because funshine bear just did a number on Ames and suddenly he is not feeling so good. Ashley runs to get help. Ames is whisked away, via ambulance, to a Thai hospital, pink shorts and all.
After-party! Everyone's feeling less than festive because Ames is maybe dying and they're all sitting around drinking champagne like a bunch of assholes. The guys hang about, glumly comparing boo-boos, when...hey, it's Ames!!! He is alive!! And rocking a blazer, so feeling sufficiently himself to look way better than you.
Ashley pulls Ames aside. His head feels a little fuzzy, but he laughs off his NEAR DEATH experience. It was only a mild concussion! I mean, heck, Nancy Drew had like, fifty of those, and she turned out fine. Ames gets a hug. Ashley thinks the new, mildly disoriented Ames is "charming".
Blake pulls Ashley aside to stir up some romance. He admits he's "shy" but says he thinks relationships that heat up too fast tend to not last. Of course, this makes Ashley think of BENTLEY. Woman! Almost half an hour in with nary a Bentley mention! You were doing so good.
Lucas gives Ashley a golf lesson. Points for Lucas! Then he decides to bring up BENTLEY again.
Lucas thinks Bentley is Ashley's type. Ashley admits that maybe she was initially really attracted to Bentley, but now she's giving everyone else a chance. She swears.
Ashley ends the date by giving the rose (and a little peck) to Dentist Blake. And not to the guy who NEARLY DIED. Jeez.
to be continued in part 2!