“One, two, three. Fall in love!”
This week marks the grand beginning of Group Dates for Brad The Bachelor. After getting rid of the seemingly non-promising girls, he’s ready to buckle down with girls who are cheerleaders, models, and realtors. And I have to admit that he did, in fact, keep one porta-wife – Hillary who is a nurse. Let’s head out into public and let the cat fights begin!We start with Chris Harrison asking the remaining girls what they all think of The Bachelor. They all gasp and nod and give subdued little “woo!” sounds – apparently they are a bit hung over from the festivities of night #1. Before announcing who will be going on a date with Brad today, Chris explains the rules that are news to no one. There will be two group dates and Brad will have one rose to award on each date. If you get a rose, that means you are safe at the Rose Ceremony. Oh… that’s what it means. I guess this season there will be no Special Quality Time on the dates. Also no solo date for the smug cheerleader. And you know, I’m glad. It’s nice to have The Bachelor back down to one hour per episode. That’s plenty.
And it’s time to open Date Box #1! The box has fringe and a blue ribbon on it, so it looks like they may be off to the Malibu Rodeo. Sure enough, a couple of the girls reach in and pull out little plastic horses, causing everyone to forget their hangovers and scream like N’Sync just walked into the room. Jade reads the note that Brad carefully penned for them: “Join me for a day at the races. -Brad.” The screams all morph into a big collective “Aaawwww,” like that is the sweetest sentiment they have ever heard. Yes, I’m sure that not only did Brad write that himself, but that he was up late into the night with a poetry volume and a thesaurus to choose the perfect phrasing.
“OMG! A Barbie horse! He’s amazing!”
Here’s who will be going: Erin, McCarten, Kristy, Mallory, Hillary, Jade, and DeAnna. Kristy tells the camera that she hopes Brad chose her to go on the first date because he couldn’t wait to see her again. Oh Kristy, Brad will be just as surprised as you were to find out who’s going on the first date. In the bathroom McCarten and Erin argue over who will be first to make out with Brad. Jade tells us she has a good shot at the rose because she’s better looking than the others. Nothing like a little humility to get the season started!
Group Date #1
The Horse Girls
The date takes place at the Del Mar Racetrack (not Santa Anita? It’s always second best on this show) where Brad is anxiously waiting to be fawned over. The girls arrive wearing flirty sundresses and a couple of them are even wearing the big floppy hats from the Date Box… ha ha, tacky. Brad shows them into their special box and begins pouring wine for everyone and telling them how aflutter he feels at being with all of these beautiful women. Next he has a big surprise for them and pulls out a wad of cash so that they can all place bets. He tells the camera that you can really tell a lot about a lady by the way she bets on horses. I’m guessing these bets will be nothing but a bunch of blind shots in the dark, but whatever. Brad did say he was going to propose to someone, so I guess judging the way they bet someone else’s money is as good a criterion as any at this point. I’d like to tell you how the race went, but I couldn’t hear anything over all the screaming. I think Number 3 won, which seems to make DeAnna happy after Brad explains to her that it was in her favor.
Back at the mansion Date Box #2 arrives, so plug your ears. It is a straw beach bag full of towels and sunglasses. The girls puzzle over what all of this could possibly mean for the next 45 minutes until Jenni realizes that Brad has written another note. It says: “Join me for some fun in the sun in Malibu.” So wait, does that mean they’re going to the beach, or just outside? Do you think we’ll ever know? It’s a brainteaser for the ages. Just kidding, they’re all psyched to go to the beach because that means they get to strut around almost naked to show what good wives they’d be. They start speculating on just how Brad’s muscles will look in swim trunks. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is true love in the making.
“Woohoo! He gave us a Frisbee!”
Just as the girls seem to reach a consensus on the mapping of the lower male abdominal muscles we hear a blood curdling scream – but not like the ones we’ve been hearing so far. This one implies pain and humiliation, not just nonsense. Sheena runs up the stairs to find Michele lying there badly injured, so she turns around and runs out the front door screaming for help. Out the front door? Is that where the production first aid station is, or is Sheena just insane? I only ask this because I am picturing the outcome of me running out of my front door screaming for help. I don’t think it would result in help. Where’s Dr. Mayo when we need him? Anyway an ambulance comes screeching up and I’m still not sure what happened to Michele. Did she just fall down the stairs? Do we need to cool it a little bit on the poolside cocktails ladies? Apparently not one of the EMT’s wishes to appear on The Bachelor because every last one of them has their faces blurred out as they strap Michele to a back board and carry her down into the ambulance. Good call, boys.
“No, I will not sign that release form.”
The other girls sober up quick as Michele is hooked up to life support and carried away. Just kidding, it isn’t that bad. Lindsey the model wisely ponders that if Michele doesn’t come back there will only be 14 girls in the house instead of 15. Yes, thank you Lindsey. How long did that take you?
Meanwhile at the Del Mar Racetrack, Brad and Hillary are taking a little handholding stroll around the facilities to find out if they’re compatible. Hillary starts that by telling Brad that on a scale of 1 to 10 he is an 11.5. Oh brother. The other girls are back up in their box trying to spot their Bachelor and they are not happy with this set up. They bust out some binoculars and start getting snippy. Jade is mad because she wanted to be the first to hold hands with Brad. Sorry Jade, you might as well go home now. Brad and Hillary return to the box to a barrage of snotty comments. It’s so funny how these girls always think that displaying their worst selves will win them the guy. Now the producers have decided to bring in a man who will actually make the Bachelor look like a chump in comparison – Shawn Phillips of the San Diego Chargers. Um, Brad, which professional athletic team were you on? None you say? Aw, that’s a shame. Shawn Phillips is a Charger, and just so no one forgets he gives all the girls Chargers t-shirts. Brad, are you going to hand out Dizzy Rooster t-shirts? No? Okay, it’s your funeral. Out in the hall Brad wants to know which girls Shawn Phillips liked. Shawn singles out DeAnna for being cool and McCarten for being from San Diego, go figure. Brad says he’ll take Shawn’s thoughts into consideration, and now can he please leave so Brad can be the cool one again?
“Thanks, dude. Now get out.”
Back inside Brad’s ABC phone rings. He picks it up to find Michele on the other end with her tumbling tale. The other girls listen as Brad tells Michele he just wants her to be okay and he’ll be thinking about her. He hangs up and finally lets us all in on what happened. I was right – Michele fell down the stairs. Oh geez I guess that’s what happens when there is a constant supply of alcohol and a twisty staircase. Michele has a mild concussion. I’m sure she’ll be fine because isn’t your body more relaxed when you’re drunk? It probably saved her from a severe concussion. Some of the girls act concerned and others just try not to laugh (Kristy!). McCarten tells us that her biggest concern is how did Michele get Brad’s phone number? No fair! She stands up and pulls Brad outside for some one-on-one time. She toasts him for a perfect date and then just leans in and gives him a McKiss. Brad is talking through the whole thing and doesn’t seem very swept away by it. Then he wipes his mouth off. He tells us privately that the kiss wasn’t good or well-timed. Ha ha! No McRose for you, McCarten!
Later Brad is on the roof with DeAnna watching the sunset and she tells him the Bachelorette sob story about how hard it is to be competing for his attention with all these other girls. She tells him she’s just being herself and if he likes her – fine, if not – fine too, she’ll go home to her dog.
“You may not love me, but Rover always will.”
Brad decides this is genius and runs downstairs to the box to grab the rose for her. The other girls see him fetch the rose and launch into bitterness. They decide this sucks and run up to the roof to break up whatever might be going on up there. Just as DeAnna tells Brad that her boyfriend of five years cheated on her, the other girls burst onto the scene. Jade wonders if DeAnna’s quietness is real or just a front. Hillary wonders how on earth Brad didn’t give her the rose after holding her hand and rubbing her back. Brad wonders what the heck he’s doing here and I wonder when Chris Harrison is going to break in with previews – I’m getting hungry.
The next morning, the girls going on the Beach Date decide to put on a bikini fashion show for the girls who went on the Horse Date. It’s quite obnoxious. The beach girls are certain they have a leg up because they get to be almost naked, and the horse girls are mad because the beach girls are acting like floozies. Michele is double mad because she can’t go on any date at all and just has to hang out on the couch with her concussion. Brad pulls up to the mansion in a Beach Boys Woody and starts telling us how the beach girls have a lot to live up to since he got to know so much about the horse girls yesterday. Inside Brad’s first order of business is to have a chat with Michele to find out how she’s doing. She’s fine, of course. She’s just sad that she has to miss out on all the fun. Sheena shows us her compassion by telling us that it may be sad that Michele fell down, but they’re all here for the same reason, and in the end, it’s just one more down. What a sweetie.
Group Date #2
The Beach Girls
Brad drives the girls in the Woody over to the Polaroid Beach House in Malibu – whatever that is. The point is that they are here to get drunk and run around in their bikinis. Lindsey even tells us that her plan to get the rose is to flaunt her body. Lindsey, you’re a model. When aren’t you flaunting your body? Do you have anything else to offer? While Brad mixes some cocktails Stephy decides that they’ve waited long enough for him to undress and she pulls his shirt off. I think we can all see how this date is shaping up.
Back at the mansion, the horse girls sit around wondering what the beach girls are up to. I love Jade’s quote: “I think they’re prancing, because they pranced like whoa this morning.” That is awesome – and so true. The funniest part, however, is that if Jade had been assigned to the beach date, she would have pranced right along with the rest of them. Jade tells the camera that there is a division between the classy girls (horse girls) and the non-classy girls (beach girls). The other horse girls also seem to have adopted this theory and speculate that Brad probably wants a girl he can take home to his mom and not just some skank in a bikini. Interesting that every last one of them is in a bikini right at this moment. Bitter, bitter Betties.
At the beach the girls are taking shots, screaming, playing football, screaming, surfing, screaming, and screaming. Sarah asks Brad to take a walk with her, which causes Jenni to tell us that she would never dream of being so overbearing. Sarah and Brad have a stupid talk about how Brad is too serious and Sarah is too not-serious – what a perfect match they’d make! Then Brad describes her as down-to-earth. Um, how do you figure there, Brad? Back in the group, Solisa announces that she wants Brad to take a body shot off of her. After Brad sucks alcohol off of her belly button lint, he tells the camera that he’s glad to find out that Solisa is wild and crazy. Cut directly to Solisa explaining to Brad that she is a Christian and takes her morals and values very seriously. Brad’s like, “Uh, okay.” Solisa tells us that God made her the way she is and that’s why she’s so comfortable with her body. First of all, nice excuse for acting trashy. Secondly, was I wrong about her breast implants?
Later Stephy decides to jump on the body shot bandwagon and starts licking salt off of Brad’s body. Seriously, there are a lot of shots going on here. Luckily there is no twisty staircase in sight. Brad and Jenni step inside to chat and Brad tells her that whenever he’s around her he can’t stop laughing. I can’t really figure out why – is being a cheerleader that funny? Jenni just sits there giggling and they start kissing, leading the sappy music to kick in. Like this is so sincere. Jenni giggles and giggles.
“Wow, I never dreamed I could date a cheerleader.”
Back home Hillary and I think Jade (I can’t see her face) start digging through Jenni’s bag and find her modeling portfolio. They are really mad because they decide this means she is only here to advance her career. What, does she think that Brad works for a modeling agency? Or does she just have it ready to hand over to a member of the crew if the right moment arises? It is a rather odd thing to have with her, but I’d be pretty mad if two strangers went sifting through my suitcase. Yes Jenni is a smug cheerleader, but I don’t hate her enough (yet) to go along with Hillary and Jade.
In Malibu, Brad stands up in front of everyone, picks up the rose, and asks Sarah to take a walk with him. Uh oh, here comes the cattiness. Jenni and the Christian just don’t get it, but down on the beach Sarah of course accepts the rose.
“You’re serious and I’m not serious! Together we’re idiots!”
Lindsey decides that Sarah is fake because no one can be that happy all the time. Is someone mad that the flaunting her body plan didn’t exactly pan out for once? The girls have seriously had it, so they propose that everyone gets in the hot tub. Here we go. In said hot tub, Brad wants to go around and hear the craziest thing each girl has done. Lindsey plays wrong, and just says what she hasn’t done, which is skinny dipping or getting naked. This prompts the Christian to pop right up and run down to the beach, tearing her top off along the way. How demure. I bet her minister is really proud. I’m not sure what she thought was going to happen, but no one joins her. Everyone just holds still in the hot tub and sort of wonders what to say. The Christian tells the camera that sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. Uh huh. Did you learn that in Sunday School?
“My body is a temple and it’s open to visitors.”
Woohoo! It’s time for the Pre-Rose Ceremony Cocktail Party! Everybody scream! Brad’s top priority is once again to sit down with Michele and see what she has to say for herself since she didn’t get to go on any dates. He asks Michele to tell him a little about herself and her answer is very bizarre. Like in this situation, I would tell someone where I grew up, what I studied in school, where I studied abroad, and what my interests and passions are. And if I were Michele I would add that I have a propensity for getting drunk and falling down the stairs. Michele says that she is 30, the oldest girl there, and that she wants to get married and have kids, but she doesn’t mind if she doesn’t have kids right away. Um, Michele? All that besides your age applies to every girl here. Brad too. This wasn’t your chance to state the obvious, it was a chance to tell about who you are. You lose.
Inside Bettina is fretting because she has some big news to drop on Brad that she is afraid may ruin her chances. SHE IS DIVORCED! It could be worse, Bettina. You could be a virgin. She is really tense and stumbles all over herself, but ultimately she chickens out and doesn’t tell Brad anything. She just acts all awkward and nervous.
Mallory pulls Brad outside for a sit-down and he asks her to describe a perfect day. I don’t like this question at all. My perfect day would be that I get to stay in bed all day and eat and doze. That’s not impressive to anyone. Although, I may want to do it in Europe – I guess that makes it a little better. Anyway, I’d be out of the wife race with this question unless I made up a big lie about hiking or something. Mallory says that her perfect day would be Brad making her breakfast in bed (ooh, a girl on my wavelength), but then she goes into the breakfast menu. Um, okay. Then she wants to go outside and either do watercolors or read. I guess the difference here is that I would have known in advance to keep my actual perfect day to myself and tell the guy something he’d want to hear. Sorry Mallory, it doesn’t look good.
Hillary and Jade sit around talking more trash about Jenni and her modeling portfolio. They really want her to be sent home. Jenni walks by and hears them talking about her, so she goes directly to the camera to tell us that her main goal in life is to fall in love and have a family. Then she retreats to the bathroom to bawl to Stephy about being misjudged. Stephy tries to assure her that any mean things are said out of jealousy, but Jenni just keeps bawling. She launches into a speech about how she would never say anything bad about someone else, and I can’t help remembering how she called Sarah overbearing earlier for wanting to talk to Brad alone. Hm, not so fun when you’re the one being talked about, is it Jenni? DeAnna advises Jenni not to trust anybody. Wow, this show looks so fun. Where can I try out?
“No one understands how hard it is to be this pretty.”
Jade sits Brad down and tells him she’s not going to name names, but some people have their modeling portfolios here and that she (Jade) is not the type of girl to go around with her ta-tas hanging out. Brad tells her not to worry about it and that everyone is here to have a good time. It’s so funny to me when these girls try to talk to the guy like he is another girl. What does she expect, that Brad will get in an uproar and start demanding to know which girl has a portfolio so he can publicly order her out? Please. He doesn’t care – even though he says he wants a girl who’s here for “the right reasons.” Inside, everyone takes their last shot of the episode in honor of Michele – who fell down the stairs after drinking too much, how fitting. Here comes Chris to ruin the party and Brad tells us he’s never been someone to break people’s hearts and that’s why he’s here on The Bachelor – so he can get really good at it.
Here we are at last at the Rose Ceremony. Chris explains how it works and Brad comes out and says this is soooooooo hard. Remember, DeAnna and Sarah already have roses. Here’s how the rest go:
Kristy, Bettina, Hillary, Stephy, Sheena, McCarten, Jenni (and her modeling portfolio), Lindsey, Jade, and… the Christian, who calls him a stinker for giving her the last rose. So our rejects are Erin, Mallory, and Michele. Later, losers!
Erin says that just as her faith in relationships was beginning to be restored she finds herself out in a parking lot. Ugh, why would you come on The Bachelor to restore your faith in relationships? You shouldn’t even watch The Bachelor if that is your goal. Mallory says she has no idea why she’s leaving, and Michele says she wants to blame her rejection on falling down the stairs, but in reality if Brad didn’t feel it, he didn’t feel it, which sucks because she’s a nice person. Aw, don’t feel bad girls. Trust me, you’ve escaped a much worse fate.
Just not good enough.
Next week the girls go to the circus, Hillary goes on a crying jag, and Brad’s twin brother, Chad, helps to trick the girls. Brad and Chad? Please tell me someone is joking.
So what do you think so far? Do you like the girls who are still around? And how about the Bachelor himself?
Thanks for reading!