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Love was on parade during this week’s episode of The Bachelor. Love and bitterness tears and the dank smell of rejection. This week was The Bachelor: The Women Tell All. Some sort of Bachelor-y tradition in which there is a reunion show before Brad even announces the name of the woman he’ll propose to and then later break up with in a fascinating public spectacle.
Yup. This about sums it all up.
So, since I started watching this show I’ve been wondering when Chris Harrison was going to get his big moment in the spotlight. This was it, huh? I know I may come off as a Harrison hater; mostly, though, I’m bitter because he clearly gets paid enough to be swimming in the Men’s Warehouse suits, yet all he has to do is walk out in front of everyone once in awhile and point out that there’s only one rose left on the table. I see how this is useful to Brad who seems to have trouble dealing with the high-stress situations of the rose ceremony. But Chris could probably just wear a Hawaiian shirt and sandals, sit over to the side with a Corona, and holler from off camera — “one rose left, fool! Back to muh drank!”
Anyway. Chris is working hard tonight. He’s on an opulent stage with a live studio audience of the type of people who have time sit around all day and watch the taping of a show. There’s a lot of unemployed people out there, so the producers had a lot to choose from and they seem to have stuck with The Bachelor’s core demographic.
Cougars and tweens whose moms couldn’t get tickets to Justin Bieber.
Chris reminds us, once again, that all of America was pissed off when Brad rejected each and every bachelorette the last time he was on the show. Well, this was in 2007. We were all fat, happy and our homes were worth millions. Maybe this was all we had getting us down. Or perhaps we can trace the very beginning of the recession to that fateful moment when Brad refused to propose to a woman he didn’t love. Maybe that’s the day all of the cash registers fell silent. Subprime mortgage lenders were so angry about it all, they started convincing mortgage holders to sign bad papers. Wall Street execs felt terrible so they began to overpay themselves. And somewhere in Manhattan, Bernie Madoff slipped into a deep, deep depression. When he came out of it, the feds were rifling through his personal papers and he had no idea what happened. Or maybe Chris has hyperbolic tendencies, I don’t know.
Before he trots out the rejects, Chris shows a video tape he and Brad made, in which they re-live the most memorable moments of the season.
They think back to when Chantal O. was skinny and hot and could get away with slapping strangers in the face.
Brad says it was a fiery, sadomasochistic start to the season.
What did he think of Madison, whom the other girls called Fangs? Because she had fangs over her teeth. Those are some clever girls to come up with a name like that. See, she has fangs, so they just capitalized the first letter and started calling her Fangs. With a capital F. Fangs.
Brad was cool with Fangs ‘cuz she kept it real. “She… will make some vampire very happy one day,” Brad says. He probably thinks she would be perfect for a gentlemanly vampire like Bill Compton.
Sook-eh! I love how real you keep it!
What about Shawntel N.? Did Brad enjoy visiting Morticia’s morgue, lying on the cold hard steel of her prep table and gazing up at her blank, dark eyes while she stood over him, scalpel in hand. No. No he did not enjoy that. Chris deems it the strangest hometown date ever in the history of the show.
Next, they talk about Michelle. Crazy Michelle and her mystery black eye. They laugh about how she didn’t know how she got the black eye and I laugh, too, because women with black eyes are hilarious. Hilarious!
But, seriously, though, Brad says, wiping away some of his tears, Michelle is a sexy woman with serious game, which was interesting because he has none. He is right of course. He clearly has no game. I wonder why. He’s so hot. Is it because he hasn’t had to try?
Anyway, Brad tells Chris that he’s looking forward to seeing all of the women at the reunion episode because many of them weren’t mean to him when he rejected them, unlike the last time he did this show.
But before we bring the rejects out, Chris makes us check out a couple parties that were thrown in preparation for Bachelor Pad. 500 other rejects were at these parties and the spent a lot of time either making out or glaring at one another.
I don’t know who that guy is, but he came off as a real douchenozzle in the one clip they showed of him speaking. I don’t know any of these people. The only person of interest seems to be Rozlyn, who I read about in my tabs. She’s the bachelorette who was accused of sleeping with a producer. I’m not sure of the point of this segment… are all of these people going to be on Bachelor Pad? Why are Alli and Roberto there gazing into each other’s eyes? I’m confused. We’re going to move on.
Back in the studio, Chris introduces the women who agreed to further embarrass themselves and the audience goes nuts. Who are these people in the audience? These sad-looking women with their desperate smiles and these meek, well-dressed men?
We jump right into the questions. Or rather, Chris makes stammering statements and the women agree or disagree. Jackie, the NYC artist, was excited that Brad was the Bachelor because he is a real man and charming. Some other women talk about how they went into the experience planning on being cordial, but the tension and small space made things escalate very quickly.
And that brings us to Molechelle. Oh, Molechelle and all the zany, crazy things she said. Lisa, the small girl from Kansas who wears a bird’s nest on the back of her head was ready to come to Molechelle’s defense immediately. Molechelle is very sarcastic, she explains helpfully. Most of the girls didn’t have a problem with is.
Most of the girls, though, say they liked Michelle while they were taping. But when they watched the episodes, they were shocked. Shocked! She is two-faced! Jackie says Michelle is like a spider: she’s creepy and everyone’s afraid of her.
Michelle starts to cry and bawls that she went on the show for the right reasons, leaving behind her daughter to find love. We all said things we regret, she adds. She gets a big old crickets on that one. No one else had any regrets. None.
“Come on, you guys. I wasn’t the only one who said the other girls were dumb bitches who needed a beat down!”
More on that in a moment, but first Chris wants to settle the infamous, historical feud between Raichel and Melissa. Who? you ask. Exactly. Raichel was the manscaper with the extra vowel in her name. Melissa was the professional waitress with the bad boob job who quit her job and blew all her money on colorful, ugly dresses to wear on the show.
Chris invites Waitress up to the hot seat. She hugs him and he tries to hide his revulsion. They play clips of the mean things that the other girls said about Waitress: she’s old; she’s a cougar (though still much younger than Brad, I might add); she has fuckin’ square tits. We are forced to relive the embarrassing moment when she whined to Brad and realized halfway through that her breath was foul. When you can smell your own breath, you know it’s foul. We’ve all been there.
Somebody please hire her so she can get those things fixed.
Chris says this all ruined Melissa’s chances with Brad. What happened? Melissa sees herself as totally innocent and not crazy during her stint on the show. Raichel is apoplectic about it all. Ashley S. boils down the whole situation by saying you should never behave like that in front of a man because it’s really unattractive. This is the dating parable of our time: hide your crazy until he puts a ring on it!
OK, back to Michelle, the most talked about, controversial woman of the season, according to Chris. Her eyes are watery and swollen as she goes to the hot seat. She was there for the right reasons, she sobs. She left her daughter behind. She’s totally misunderstood.
Chris is touched. It’s the first time she’s been vulnerable, he says. He puts on a sweater vest and pulls out a pipe. Was being a smartass your defense mechanism? asks Dr. Chris, PhD in crazy. He found her to be terribly funny.
Eventually, Michelle reveals to Dr. Chris that she really feels terrible about leaving her daughter for so long. She just wanted love for herself and her child.
Someone wasn’t thinking about the reunion show when she was doing snide interviews. Or this:
A blonde whose name I don’t remember pipes up that she’s not buying it. This opens a whole new can of worms and Bartender Stacey flips out, accusing Michelle of putting herself ahead of her daughter. Michelle bawls and Stacey shrieks and Chris whistles and snaps at them to leave her alone. He says it’s time for a break and tosses to the commercial, barely able to keep the smile off his face as he thinks about what great TV all this makes.
OK, we back. Michelle, do you want to respond to Stacey? Michelle says she’s a good mother and Stacey had no right to question her parenting skills. Stacey says she never said anything negative and back pedals on her earlier comments. Michelle is surprised that she came off the way she did on the show. She says the editing made it look like she had an obsession with all the other girls, but she and Brad talked about other things besides who she wanted him to get rid of.
Dr. Chris wants to know if the other girls are mad because Brad enjoyed Michelle’s special blend of aggression, sarcasm and crazy. Britt adds that everyone reacted so strongly because Michelle is so beautiful and has so much going for her.
In the end, Michelle says she and Brad weren’t right for each other, but she’s got her money on Emily for the win.
Up next in the hot seat is Ashley S.
She wore her sparkliest t-shirt.
Everything was going so well between you and Brad until Las Vegas, Chris says. Let’s re-live all the horrible embarrassing moments! There was the butt-grabbing. There was the time they murdered Seal’s song. And there were tears. Good god, were there tears. Tears in the hallway. Tears on the stairs. Tears in the limo.
Dr. Chris wants to know what horrible thing happened in Ashley’s past that made her so upset. Ashley squeaks that she gets into relationships with men who like her and then decide they don’t want to be in relationships with her so they cheat or the relationship falls apart. Hmmm. Maybe someone should tell her that’s what most relationships are like before you find The One. Anyway, having Brad tell her that she’d make someone a great wife one day — but wouldn’t be his wife — was especially hard.
Do you deserve to be happy? Dr. Chris wants to know. Ashley says she does and wants to know if Chris has any single friends. All jokes aside, though, she needs more closure from Brad. Yes, he gave her a truthful reason why he was rejecting her, which is more than most of us get, but she needs more. Because she’s needy.
Next on the hot seat is Ashley. She has gotten a makeover: very long dark hair, the orange glow of a fake tan, and a bright red lip. She somehow looks older.
Time for a makeunder.
Makeover fail. So Chris says Ashley had something special with Brad… until they went on the worst date in the history of all mankind — the South Africa date. Ashley says she still doesn’t know how it all went so wrong.
Defense mechanism, guesses Dr. Chris. Ashley says she’ll take the blame for the relationship failing. Chris tells her she was in love, even though she said she wasn’t sure about that. I don’t remember what else happened in this segment. It was that interesting.
It’s finally time to bring Brad out. He enters to loud squeals and applause, which is odd because none of the audience members we’re seeing are doing any squealing. I wonder if they had a track playing during the taping or added it during editing.
In any case, Chris shocks us all by pointing out that this is Brad’s second time in the hot seat, if you can believe it. Brad says he promised his significant other that he wouldn’t be too happy, but he is excited to see all the bachelorettes.
Ashley S. gets straight to the point and wants to know why she wouldn’t be a good wife for him. Who the hell am I to say you wouldn’t make a great wife, Brad says, ending the conversation. He thought Michelle was funny and awesome. Ashley H. apologizes for wasting his time and hugs him.
There’s a segment in there about Brad and Chris exploiting small children in an impoverished South African preschool by bringing cameras in to show all the good charity works they did. They gave the kids a solar something or other so now the school has warm water. So all those environment-destroying helicopter and limo rides they took are now made up for, karmically speaking.
“Thanks fer allowin’ me to exploit you, lil dude. Now how ’bout that tea pot dance you were tryin’ to teach me before?”
Finally Chris wants to talk about Chantal O. and Emily. Brad is happier than he’s ever been, but he doesn’t say with whom. A video montage helps him relive the most special moments. I present to you a photo essay I have compiled of each woman’s experience. Chantal’s is entitled: “A Growing Love.”
Emily’s photo essay is entitled “The Second Greatest Love Emily has Ever Known”:
Next week we’ve got the finale — it will include love, sharks, abandonment, laughter, tears, wine, limos and Chris H. getting to touch the women one final time. Everything a young couple needs to start a healthy relationship. See you for the finale!