This episode of The Bachelorette could have been titled “What happens in Chiang Mai stays in Chiang Mai because everyone fell asleep.” For those of us who are spending our warm, summer Mondays indoors watching the pint-sized bachelorette whine and mope through some of the most beautiful places in the world — well, we’ve been spoiled. Thanks to Bentley we came to expect drama, intrigue and emotion. And sure, JP gives us a little man snack we wanna nibble on and Ames seems to be every straight woman’s fantasy man… But those two can only give us a few short minutes of respite; a few drops of precious water before we’re back in Ashley’s emotional wasteland.
So. At the beginning of Monday’s episode the boys headed to Chiang Mai, Thailand, arriving in some old school limos that look like they were owned by Sadaam during the Gulf War.
While they get settled into their hotel in the ancient city, Ashley’s walking around in nothing but a shirt and heels and says things are looking up! It’s a new beginning! She was in a dark place but she’s ready for her happy ending. How many commercial breaks will these good feelings last for?
Feelin’ so fine she forgot her pants.
Chris Harrison tells the boys that there will be a one-on-one date, a group date, and a two-on-one date in which at least one guy will HAVE to leave. Ryan is dying for the first date, but it goes to Ben F., the winemaker, who guarantees that Ashley will get kissed on the date. Whether she wants it or not.
Ames is worried because Ben F. and Ashley have a lot of chemistry. He says this is serious because they’re halfway through this “PRO-cess.” And perhaps a bit pre-TEN-shus.
Ashley has “planned” a low-key date with Ben because she wants something close to “real life;” not one of those crazy, exciting dates, but like an everyday kind of date, which actually makes sense. It just doesn’t make great television.
“Hey! Is that Bentley over there?”
So they walk around the market and eat street food and try on clothes and paint rainbows and unicorns on parasols. They go sit outside of a temple and talk and make googly eyes at one another. Ashley tells Ben F. that they’re not allowed to kiss at the temple because they’re on sacred ground. Not so sacred that she needs to have her cooter covered up in a longer skirt, but far too sacred for making out.
Later, they go to a beautiful outdoor dinner where thousands of flower petals and candles are arranged in a gorgeous and intricate pattern.
Those are all flower petals! Amazing! She does not deserve…
They make small talk and Ben tells her that he was an emotional zombie until a year ago but since then he has grown and matured and learned to count his blessings. She offers him a rose and he accepts and beautiful Thai women come dancing out and there are musicians and a man who breathes fire. This is just like in the real world! In fact, I did this very same thing last Wednesday. True story… except replace “flower petals” with “discarded needles;” “fire breather” with “shouting drunk man;” and “rose” with “boner.” I live in a weird neighborhood.
Constantine, Ames, Nick, Blake, Lucas, Ryan, J.P. and Mickey are all tapped to go on the group date which means that either William or Ben C. is going home at the end of the two-on-one date. More on that later, though. First, the brutal group date! The card reads: “love is worth fighting for” and Ashley greets the guys wearing a tiny workout outfit and pink boxing gloves because they’re going to be training for Muay Thai. This is Thailand’s national sport and utilizes elbows, knees and feet as well as fists. It’s pretty brutal.
The crazy in Ryan’s eyes lights up and he seems especially excited about it. Lucas claims to have been in some street fights, so he says he’s prepared. Ames is less than pumped but says that Ashley is worth it. The boys train and there are lots of sweaty, bare chests and a tiny, tattooed man who yells at them. Ames takes the brunt of the little man’s ire and literally falls on his ass as he attempts to kick a punching bag. Hmm… you’d think someone in such great shape would have better coordination.
“It’s so nice to meet you. Thank you for having me at your training center.”
“I’m going to kick your ass.”
“I mean, welcome…”
After training for awhile, they put on colored shorts and gloves and head to an open air ring where two men are sparring. The guys watch as one fighter gets KO’d, which seems to freak everybody out, particularly Ames and J.P. who is worried because he’s the smallest guy there.
Lucas and Blake are called into the ring first. Neither of these guys has had much opportunity to shine and Blake wants to prove to Ashley that he’s more than just a dentist. Clearly, the boxing ring is the place to do that. As the boys start to spar, it suddenly occurs to Ashley that having her dates beat the shit out of each other may not be the best idea. Blake wins and says he has added confidence.
Mickey and J.P. are next. Uh-oh. Not the faces, boys! Those are my two favorite faces… J.P. says he’s ready to take his beating like a man and there will be no crying in Muay Thai. It’s obvious when they step into the ring that neither of these two are fighters. It’s reminiscent of the fight scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Sad and sexy at the same time.
Mickey has the upper hand at first, but little J.P. comes back swinging, leaving Mickey cowering in the corner. The Jew from Long Island kicked the Irish guy’s ass from Cleveland, J.P. proudly tells the camera. Now that he’s failed the English language, perhaps he can become a Muay Thai champ?
Ames is up next and between his boyish face, his old school boxing stance (put ‘em up, put ‘em uuuuppp), and his hot pink shorts, he seems to be in for a world of hurt. Ames is taller than Ryan, but Ryan is crazier and goes after him with a lot of zeal, getting in quite a few punches to the head and kidneys. Ames is either stunned early on or is simply refusing to fight.
Wishing he’d taken boxing classes instead of cooking classes the last time he was here.
Ryan wins and Ames is shaky as he climbs out of the ring.
Nick and Constantine represent the battle of the heavyweights. As they get started, Ames sits off to the side and stares with his mouth hanging open. Constantine wins, but no one’s really paying attention because Ames is in some serious trouble. He gets put into an ambulance in which he starts into space and blinks very slowly as Ashley waves goodbye. She goes back to her date and Ames heads for the ห้องฉุกเฉิน.
I’m actually too scared for him to write something snarky… I just hope the producers of this show have an iron-clad release form.
Later, during the dressy-cocktail-hour part of the group date, no one seems to know where Ames is or how he’s doing. His absence doesn’t stop Ryan from pulling Ashley aside to talk about how bad he feels about having to send Ames to the hospital. He says this with a giant smile on his face. He also points out that he has some boo-boos, too.
The boys are all talking about how embarrassing it is for Ames to have had his ass handed to him while wearing hot pink shorts when he walks in. Ashley pulls him aside and he’s still pretty out of it, but manages to turn on the charm, saying the doctors told him that he’s totally in love and has a mild concussion. He apologizes repeatedly for being a little fuzzy and Ashley releases him back into the wild.
Blake the boxing dentist pulls Ashley aside and wonders if it is a setback that he’s quieter and shyer than the others. He tells her that he thinks that love is a marathon, not a sprint. This makes Ash think of Bentley and how quick and hot their romance was. Allegedly. Actually, in her head only. This kills me — all of this is entirely in her head.
This happened, too, and it was about as sexy as a pastrami sandwich.
Later, Ashley gives the rose to Blake, telling him that they have great potential if they keep moving forward. Meanwhile, Ames gazes off into the distance as a long, sparkly string of drool slips from between his pillowy lips and dribbles down the cleft in his chin.
The next day it’s time for the two on one date with William and Ben C. William hopes this date will put him back on track after his mean-spirited jokes at the disastrous roast they had a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, dude, you not only burned the earth with that move, you salted it and made sure nothing would ever grow there again. Hope you didn’t forget anything when you packed!
They take a raft down a river, past some elephants and to a picnic lunch. Ben C., who seems to be perpetually sleepy anyway, goes to take a nap while William whispers evil in Ashley’s ear.
What’s he so tired from? Drinking and sunning himself all day at the Mandarin Oriental?
William says Ben is ready to go home and said he’s looking forward to getting on the dating websites where he’s going to “clean up.” Is this what the contestants of this show want out of this? A better eHarmony profile? Dear readers, have any of you ever run across one of the bachelor/bachelorette contestants on dating sites? Please tell! The closest I ever got was when Dr. Andy Baldwin followed me on Twitter for a couple of days. But it was a scam! He’s one of those Twitter users who follows you so that you’ll follow back and then he (or his assistant) unfollows you and then his ratio of following to followers is small to large. This is cheating, people, and it irks me! It’s a method of communication, not a popularity contest. It’s like getting your yearbook and then asking all of those people you haven’t talked to all school year if they’ll sign it and write stuff like “have a great summer! TTFN!” Do yearbooks still exist?
Where were we? Yes. Ben C. and his dastardly plan to turn a boring appearance on The Bachelorette into a plethora of poon and William doing some cockblocking in Chiang Mai. Upon hearing all of this Ashley marches back to Ben, who has woken up from his nap and is contentedly eating. She tells him that she’s sending him home because it was “very recently” “brought to her attention” that he’d “considered” online dating. Ben says that he’d been looking forward to getting to know her and “the person” who told her that knew he’d been joking around at the time. But he doesn’t put up much of a fight and sets sail down the river as he tries to decide if his dating profile name should be BacheloretteGuy69 or LawyerDude4U.
At dinner, William points out that Ashley didn’t question his tattling on Ben and that means she trusts him and he’s happy again. Hold your ponies there, Wills. Turns out it means that Ashley’s sick of both of you. William puts the final nail in his own coffin when he talks about being a 30-year-old manchild who still has “a lot to do” and is just looking for someone to have fun with. Ashley sends him packing, which causes him to make really depressing comments to the camera about what an asshole he is and how everything he touches turns to shit and how he can never catch a break in life. Um. It’s always strange when someone thinks reality television is a good alternative to therapy. Let’s be clear: it’s not.
Time to start acting the age you look…
Cocktail party/rose ceremony time. Ashley says she feels like something’s off and she wants the guys to be honest with her about everything. I feel like we already went through this in another episode… Ashley tells the camera that she’s afraid of falling in love with someone who doesn’t feel the same way about her. The words “me” and “I” sure do enter her vocabulary a lot…
She tries to make small talk with the boys, but she still looks sad and tells the camera that without getting closure from Bentley she can’t move on. Ever? In life? Ugh. Now I want to meet Bentley. The man’s kisses must be like crack for her to be hooked so quickly!
Chris Harrison comes out to have some one-on-one time of his own with Ashley and she tells him that she’s certain about some of the guys, but it’s really Bentley who’s on her mind. They both agree that her feelings for Bentley aren’t normal. I’d say they left Abnormal long ago and are well on their way to Crazytown. They agree that she needs a clean break in order to move on with the other guys and Chris says he’ll work on something.
Rose ceremony time. More talk about honesty. Ashley being dishonest some more. There’s no way she’s walking away from this with a man who’s going to stick with her after seeing these episodes…
“You guys, be honest with me. How needy and insecure am I?”
First rose goes to Constantine, who was very honest and real during the cocktail party about the slow (and realistic) pace at which his feelings for her were moving. Lucas and J.P. get roses next, leaving Ames looking pretty incredulous that he took a beating to the head and still hasn’t gotten a rose yet. But the next one goes to him. Then Mickey. It’s down to Ryan and Nick, the personal trainer who we haven’t seen a lot of, for the final rose. It goes to Ryan, leaving Nick and the other guys looking very irritated.
Nick says he can’t believe it ended this way and she’s missing out on a perfect husband. Oh well. Nick, we hardly knew ye.
Coming up on Monday: Honk Kong, the return of Bentley, and the rest of the boys get pissed. Finally! I’m rubbing my hands together in glee. See ya’ll then!