Who’s ready for love?! Who’s ready to fall in love in a totally contrived setting surrounded by people seeking fame and fortune? Who’s ready for… The Bachelor?
Lay off the teeth whitener, Ken doll.
I have a confession to make. I have never seen The Bachelor before. I’m very aware of the concept, and I’ve seen clips — mostly on The Soup — but I’ve never sat down to watch a full episode. Fact: dating shows should have aging celebs, booze, stripper poles, spitting and poop. If you don’t have those things, all you’ve got is a white slave auction.
Since I’m new to this show, feel free to school me in the comments: “IceQueen you ignorant slut, everyone knows that the woman who gets the first impression rose leaves midway through the show and is then transformed into The Bachelorette.” In exchange, I will offer you my timeless dating wisdom. First tip: try to cry hysterically on the first date. It lets the other person know you’re capable of emotion. This works for men and women. Please pay attention. I have been on, like, a million first dates.
You know who has experience at this Bachelor thing? Brad Womack. It seems that he was The Bachelor three years ago, but he ended up dumping the two women in the final episode. He sent them on their way into the warm California night in their tacky stretch limos, and Brad headed back to Austin, TX, sad, lonely and beefcakey. He played the decision over and over in his mind on his TV.
“TV helps me remember my life.”
Host Chris Harrison says that America was stunned (!) by this development. Brad says he felt like a jerk. What’s wrong with me? he asked himself. He had panic attacks and shut down. He read nasty things people said about him on blogs (ahem). He hit rock bottom and stayed there, not working for four or five months. And then he decided to make a change.
He became pensive. He walked down streets pensively.
He stood on balconies thoughtfully.
He sat ruminating, even when it began raining inside his apartment.
Taking his shirt off didn’t make him feel better, and that always used to work.
So he put his shirt back on… but that didn’t help either.
Because even his chest was sad.
Also, it’s much larger than mine…
It was the most thinking this pretty boy has ever had to do, and he and his therapist finally came to the conclusion that he has severe daddy issues. It’s actually quite sad. Brad had an absent father who’d tell Brad and his brothers he was coming to see them and not show up for FIVE FREAKING YEARS. Ugh. What a terrible man. John Mayer should write a song about it: Fathers, be good to your sons/ Sons will love like you do/ Boys become attention whores/ Who turn into TV stars/ So, mothers, stop having babies with assholes.
It’s a work in progress….
So after all this thinking and talking — sounds like the past three years have been very boring — Brad has come to the realization that he’s been closed off all of his life because he wants to push people away before they can hurt him. All the tough guy stuff is a facade.
OK, I’m not totally buying this. He’s trying to convince us that he went back to Austin sad and lonely and has spent three years just working on self improvement. Bull honkey. His story is the greatest pick up line evuh! “Yeah baby, you do recognize me. I was The Bachelor, but I was too heart broken to love. I’m still looking for the right woman to heal my aching heart.” Women love fixing men. That reminds me of another dating tip ladies: they’re totally fixable. You can nag the flaws right out of them. They’ll thank you all the way to the altar!
Since the last time Brad was on The Bachelor, his two less attractive brothers have started families. He plays with their kids contemplatively while his brother, Wes, and mom, Pamela, assure the cameras that he’s a changed man who is ready for love.
Here’s some lady porn for all you ladies out there.
Brad’s therapist also tells the camera that Brad is more capable of being honest and vulnerable in a relationship. Note to Brad: don’t hire therapists who rent bus stop benches to advertise their 1-800-GIT-HELP hotline. They’ll convince you to go back on TV and then insist on doing interviews themselves. Quack.
“What is this HIPAA you speak of?”
All this talking is accompanied by lots of shots of Brad who apparently does nothing but work out and stare off into outer space all day. It’s working for him. He looks… great. He heads for L.A. taking a laughably small suitcase with him.
Planning on wearing very tiny clothes all season.
It’s nearly time to meet the 30 women who want to marry a stranger, but first, Chris Harrison slinks over to him with a hideous tie on and invites him out back for a chat. They sit on some outdoor furniture and chat about therapy, commitment, trust issues. Snore. They should just have some appletinis and gossip. “Oooo… what’s in these drinks? Whatever it is, it’s makin’ me feel soooo naughty, girl!”
Brad feels bad about his last turn as The Bachelor and wishes he could apologize to the two women he hurt. And guess what? He has a chance to do just that! Chris calls out Jenni and DeAnna who were waiting in the wings for their apologies. Brad is in shock, saying “you gotta be kidding me” over and over.
The two women come tipping out in their high heels and low-cut dresses.
One of them has been time traveling. She brought back a fabulous dress with shoulder pads from the 80s.
They both hug him and they both have gigantic sparkly rings on their left hands. There’s some awkward silence and giggling. They haven’t talked since the finale.
Brad thanks them for coming and says he’s profoundly sorry.
Jenni was embarrassed by the whole situation. DeAnna had a difficult time opening up to him, and when she finally did he really let her down. They both wish him luck but say they’re skeptical. They sit there with tight smiles on their faces.
I don’t understand what the big deal is. If he wasn’t in love with them, what was he supposed to do? Marry one anyway so “America” wouldn’t be so pissed off? America has a lot of stuff to be pissed off about. Two women not marrying a guy but then going on to get engaged to other people is the least of our concerns. Marrying the wrong person sounds like just about the worst thing in the world to me.
Chris and Brad head up to the driveway where Brad will be meeting the women for the first time. “Last bit of advice, friend to friend,” Chris says. “Don’t screw this up.”
I wish Brad had said “we’re friends?” Where was Chris when Brad hit rock bottom? When he’d drunkenly walk, sad and lonely, from bar to bar in Austin, allowing drunk sorority girls and single moms to buy him drinks. Where was Chris when Brad woke up all those mornings in some strange bed in some dusty trailer park? Tattered, yellow curtains blowing in and out of a tiny, bug encrusted window. Where was Chris when Brad lifted his pounding head from a small, lumpy pillow and looked around, wondering where he was? Some friend.
OK, the first limo is pulling up and perhaps someone can explain to me the significance of greeting all of the bachelorettes outside on the driveway. Could that be any more awkward? You have to crawl out of a limo in your evening gown while everyone else watches, then walk all the way across the drive — which seems to be perpetually wet; why is it so wet? — up to The Bachelor. Make small talk while everyone else in the limo listens in, and then head into the house. What a strange, useless ceremony.
The women in the limo recognize Brad immediately. The first one gets out and walks up to him. She has something for him from every woman in America, she says. Then she slaps him across the face.
She wound up and everything.
Wow. Ballsy. Brad gets extra points for not immediately punching her in the nose. Who does that sort of thing? Chantal O., that’s who.
Chantal O. is an executive assistant at her daddy’s car dealership. She gets away with bitch slapping strangers because she’s cute.
Chantal says that she’s very successful working as daddy’s assistant. But at the end of the day all she goes home to is her dog and two cats. She got divorced a year ago and is ready for love again, but she hates dating. According to her bio, her best date memory is: “There was a date where we were having so much fun that we kept finding more stuff to do….” So she is a blast and articulate.
Kimberly: 27, marketing coordinator
What is a marketing coordinator? I don’t know. But I do know that she looks like a grown up Cabbage Patch Kid. She wears a sparkly purple dress and tells Brad that she has a lot of questions for him. He says all will be answered in time and sends her on into the house.
Alli: 24, apparel merchant
Alli is named after the diet pills that make your butt leak uncontrollably. That’s why she has that look on her face. I know America hates you, she says to Brad, but I am more than willing to you a second chance.
Ashley S.: 26, nanny
“How are yewww?’ Ashley S. drawls as she walks over to Brad. She’s one of a handful of girls who get a video montage of their lives. She’s a southern girl who is a nanny in New York City. Two years ago her father died of a brain hemorrhage and she feels she didn’t tell him she loved him enough. When she finds love, she’s gonna jump right in! She flirts with Brad and plays a little grabass while making a honking noise on her way inside.
Make yer daddy proud, girl!
Meghan: 30, fashion marketer
Meghan says finding a boyfriend is like shopping for shoes; you have to go through a bunch of cheesy ones before finding the right pair. Apparently, she’s still looking for both.
Hot pink hooves. Ugh.
Brad tells Meghan he’ll look for her shoes when he gets inside, because her face is unmemorable, and she’s on her way.
Marissa: 26, sports publicist
When Marissa walks up to Brad, he compliments her dress rather than complimenting her. Not a good sign. She tells him that sports are her life and she hopes he’s ready for that. Something tells me this is a line she uses early and often.
Lindsay: 25, 1st grade teacher
Lindsay is a teacher with pretty red hair. That’s all I got. Cut her.
Ashley H.: 26, dentist
When we first meet Ashley H., she’s in Philadelphia sitting on a bench talking to Ben Franklin. A statue of Ben Franklin. She’s a dentist who seems to take full advantage of the laughing gas at her disposal. She chatters away to a patient while she cleans the poor woman’s teeth, asking her if she’s ever been in love. Ashley promises her man fun, dancing and healthy gums. Super sexy.
When it’s her turn to meet Brad, she bounces out of the limo in a stripper dress and he lifts her up in a hug.
Raichel: 29, manscaper
Yes, that is a name and that is an occupation. Even if spellcheck doesn’t agree with either. Raichel waxes men for a living. She’s looking for love at first sight and a smooth, hairless butt crack. Hate to break it to her, but both are myths.
Not sure what’s happening here, but it will give me nightmares.
She greets Brad with orange, oompa loompa arms and shoulders and a slightly paler face.
Madison: 25, model
Well now, she looks like an attractive girl, doesn’t she? Madison is a model. Oooo… In New York City. Ahhhh… She has fangs. Record scratch! Madison, you see, is obsessed with vampires. She informs us that she knows some leader in the underground world. I don’t know what’s happening. Whatever it is, it’s not normal.
I’m 95% sure those are fake. Madison walks up to Brad sultrily and tells him he looks delicious. Brad says she’s mysterious. Seriously, if he goes for this level of crazy then there’s no way I’m believing he’s doing this show “for love.”
Melissa: 32, waitress
Melissa runs at Brad and jumps into his arms. She’s boring and has weird cleavage.
Renee: 28, nanny
The smell of desperation clings to nanny Renee like the stench of a mildewy locker room. She has a squeaky voice and is very excited to be there.
Cristy: 30, attorney
Cristy is an attorney with a big smile. She shakes Brad’s hand and asks him what’s one thing she should know about him. He says it’s that he’s changed. She shakes his hand again and walks inside. The shake hand means you’re going home at the first rose ceremony.
Jackie: 27, artist
Jackie hugs Brad and makes him pinky swear that he won’t break her heart. Oh ladies, pinky swearing is not nearly as cute as you think.
Sarah P.: 27, real estate broker
Sarah P. makes Brad get on one knee and say “will you marry me?” to prove how easy it is. Sight gags and beauty pageant hair don’t go too far, so I hope she’s got something more in her bag of tricks.
Lacey: 27, insurance agent
Lacey gets out of the limo and adjusts her bra before heading over to meet Brad, promising to give him a chance.
Lauren: 26, teacher
I’m sure Lauren is a lovely girl – but with her perma-stankface, she doesn’t stand a chance among all the aspiring Stepford wives.
Lisa P.: 27, sales consultant
Lisa P. looks like Kristen Cavallari and is wearing a dress that makes her lower half look like a snow globe. She asks for advice and Brad tells her to be herself.
Shawntel N.: 25, funeral director
If Shawntel N. looks like an extra from Night of the Living Dead, it might be because she’s a mortician and licensed embalmer, she proudly tells us. We also get to see the mausoleum where she’s planning on being buried with her parents. Is this show always so dark? Anyway, she’s got some straggly hair-do thing going on and a look of low self-esteem in her eyes. She brushes her hand across Brad’s shoulder, wondering to herself what sized coffin might fit such a broad upper body.
This is the next thing Brad sees:
That hand beckoning awkwardly from the window that won’t roll all the way down belongs to Britnee.
Britnee: 25, paralegal
Britnee’s lip to teeth ratio is way too off for her to be demanding hot men brave slippery driveways for her. You want about a 3:1 ratio. She’s working with a 5:1 there. Britnee uses up most of her meeting time walking back across the driveway, so Brad sends her into the house almost immediately.
Stacey: 26, bartender
Bartender Stacey is from Quincy, Mass. and has a Jersey Shore look about her when she meets Brad. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the tight, black dress she’s wearing or the DTF aura she’s giving off. She’s one of the few women, however, who chose not to dress like a Disney princess preparing for a ball with Prince Charming, so she’s a-ok by me. She says she doesn’t know anything about Brad, so they’re starting with a clean slate.
Jill: 28, sales director
Jill has bad posture and a sparkly dress. She tells Brad she’s ready to get married. I’m not going to spend anymore time on her. She’s out.
Lisa M.: 24, marketing coordinator
Lisa M. is cute but awkward — destined for the friend zone. She wears ruby red high heels. Guess where she’s from?
The Titty Bar Kansas
Rebecca: 30, esthetician
Rebecca is a squinty-eyed lady who walks up to Brad unconfidently and tells him that her grandma told her she has to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince, or some cliched old lady nonsense like that. So she kisses Brad. Ladies. Never take dating advice from your Meemaw, trust me. You’ll never get laid that way. And neither is Rebecca. Grannies think your “special friend” is taking you to the nickel talkies and trying to get his sweaty fingers between your cashmere sweater and pointy bra. And that’s just not how it works anymore. Men don’t want to be compared to frogs, either.
J: 26, operations manager
J is not a name. It’s a letter. It’s only a name if you’re shady and deal drugs when you’re not managing operations. Anyway, today is J’s birthday. Happy birthday, J, you’re getting dumped.
The next bachelorette makes a memorable, swampy-smelling entrance.
She’s got a child-bearing vagina.
Keltie comes out with a high kick because she’s a Radio City Rockette. She looks like Melissa Rivers and promises to teach Brad to high kick. I’m sure he’s always wanted to be able to get his foot over his head.
Sarah L.: 25, musical theatre performer
Sarah L.’s claim to fame is that she can’t snap her fingers. Doesn’t she look like the type of girl that would irritate you in high school? A) because she’s a musical “theatre” performer, b)she has terrible bangs and c) her bio on the ABC website says that her favorite Disney princess is “Belle.” That’s not even a question on the application — just information she volunteered. Not a fan.
Emily: 24, hospital event planner
Speaking of Disney princesses, Emily looks like she stepped out of a Disney fairy tale. She shakes Brad’s hand, but he asks for a hug and says that she looks perfect. Emily says she’s really happy that Brad is The Bachelor. Emily also gets her own video vignette, and get out the tissues ya’ll, because this is a sad one.
<sad piano music starts> Ricky was the love of Emily’s life. They’d known each other since she was a teenage coal miner’s daughter in West Virginia. Ricky went on to become a race car driver and they moved to North Carolina. Most weekends they’d travel out of town for Rickey’s races. One weekend, Emily decided not to go because she wasn’t feeling up to it. She received a call because Ricky’s plane had crashed. There were no survivors.
Emily says she wished she’d been on the plane, too, because she didn’t want to live without Ricky. A week after his funeral, she discovered that she was pregnant. Now she lives in Charlotte with her daughter, Ricky, and works at a children’s hospital. Gawd. If Brad doesn’t want her, I’ll marry her. If this lady doesn’t get a marriage proposal I’m guessing she’ll be the next bachelorette.
Britt: 25, mop head food writer
Britt has a crazy head of uneven, limp blond curls. She says she’s a chef and she brought Brad a brownie because the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. They should change the name of this show to Cliched Gender Stereotypes.
Michelle: 30, hair stylist
Michelle is lucky number 30. She either looks like Maria Menounos or a man. I’m not sure which. Maybe both. She’s wearing a beautiful dress and I think she’s pretty in an overly made-up, lie-about-your-age kind of way. She gets off on the wrong foot with me, though, when she claims in her video that she’s not here to make friends. She says that women are intimidated by her. Hey Michelle, maybe they just don’t like you because you’re bitchy and frowny faced.
“I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to angrily pump up my pecs.”
Michelle is a single mom from Salt Lake City who’s ready to get married. According to her Bachelor website bio, she has a mole on her face that grows hair. Sexy.
So there you have it, the 30 bachelorettes. Two things that stand out immediately: they’re all significantly younger than Brad, who is 38; and this is the whitest TV show cast since Friends. Geez. Usually they have a token or two. Not even an Asian?? Boo ABC and Brad. I say Boo.
Inside, the women sit around in their ball gowns and speculate about Brad’s motivations. “I’m not in the mood for another heartbreak,” Renee says. Don’t worry, Renee, you’re one of the least attractive women there. I don’t think it’ll come to that.
Outside, Brad and Chris are having a couple of Skinny Girl magaritas and talking about first impression roses and redeeming one’s self through one’s actions. Chris gives Brad a kiss good luck and sends him on inside.
“Don’t mind me. Just takin’ a walk through my harem.”
Inside the ridiculously decorated mansion, Brad tells all of the women that he’ll understand if any of them want to leave. Now is their chance. No one moves. They have a champagne toast and then the mingling begins.
The women take turns grilling Brad, who seems to eventually tire of answering the same questions over and over again about his intentions and heartbreak. These women are all getting a little ahead of themselves. Finally, Ashley S., the southern nanny from New York, drawls to him that everyone has done something in past relationships that they’re not proud of (Amen, sister) and that if Brad ever needs a friend, she’s there to listen. Finally. Someone with some sense who’s thinking about something besides kissing frogs and Prince Charming.
Chris Harrison earns his pay by walking into the room with a single rose, laying it on the table ceremoniously, and then walking out. All of the women ignore his awkwardness and gaze silently and hungrily at the rose as though it’s a tiny life preserver they can see from the deck of the Titanic.
Brad ignores the rose and continues with the awkward meet-n-greets. Cabbage Patch chatters away nervously. Morticia looks at him hungrily.
“God, I want to embalm you so hard right now.”
Raichel, the manscaper with too many vowels in her name, just wants to rip his hair out. She has set up a waxing station out by the pool and starts telling him about waxing men’s “undercarriage” and making “bat wings.” Brad looks confused. Balls, Brad, balls!
She snaps on some latex gloves and gets ready to wax.
“Just bend over and relax, sugar. Mama’ll take care of everything.”
Unfortunately, Raichel only waxes part of his wrist, leaving his grundle hairy, smelly and pain free.
Jackie, the New York “artist” wants to sing for Brad. Why do people insist on embarrassing themselves? Is there a cash prize involved in this show? Anyway, Jackie’s song goes a little somethin’ like this: I came here today/ All the way to L.A./ What more can I say?/ Take me away.
Ugh. Cut her. Please.
The women who haven’t had one-on-one time with Brad are starting to freak out. He’s sitting between Renee and Alli, when Alli decides to bust out the big guns. She tells Brad that her last boyfriend broke up with her because her butt was just too big. She turns around to show him and asks if he can handle it.
Smooth move, ex-lax.
The other girls give her the “hoe, sit down” look, but Brad seems genuinely shocked that men break up with women because they’re just too damn curvy.
Poor Renee. She’s stuck sitting next to them, totally ignored in favor of some skank’s giant badonk. She asks Brad for a moment along and leads him outside. Junk in the Trunk gives them about 30 seconds alone before she steals him back. Renee goes in to pout to the other girls when Melissa Rivers encourages her to go steal Brad back and high kicks Renee’s ass into high gear.
Renee tries to snag Brad from Alli again but is soon thwarted by a chick in a sparkly dress. Renee tries again and manages to sit down with Brad, when the Boston bartender comes over and requests some one-on-one.
Because the Bawstin bahtenduh is the hottest to try to steal him so far, Brad goes with her, leaving Renee outside, alone, and with the crazy thoughts creeping back into her brain. She’d managed to hold them at bay for a couple hours, but here they were, back again, giving her that insane glint in her eye.
“The tricksy hoes keep taking my precious…”
“I’m aggravated,” Renee says. “I’m better than all these bitches here.” Clearly.
Brad seeks out Emily, the pretty blonde who lost her husband or baby daddy in the plane crash. She tells Brad she’s missing that special someone in her life, but she’s not willing to settle ’cause mama told her it’s better to be home alone than home wishing you were alone. Brad says she’s sincere, comforting and here for the right reasons.
Up next is Queen of the Night, Madison. Brad wants to know if her fangs are real. She wants to know if she scares him. I’m going to guess that she does, but not in the way that she intends. We never do get a straight answer about the fangs, and I think Brad needs to get rid of the psychopath immediately. There should be a First Rejection Rose for people like her. Brad is less concerned about her drinking his blood or injuring him during a particularly enthusiastic BJ, and more worried that she’s not there for the right reasons. She’s not, genius.
“I’m here for love. And morbid sexual fetishes.”
Michelle Maria Menounos — the one with the great dress but no friends — is worried. There are a lot of great girls here, she says, but I’m a woman. Perhaps. The jury is still out. She nervously tells Brad that she has a daughter and is relieved to find out that he’s cool with it. Her hairy mole? He’s on the fence about it.
Brad heads over to the First Impression Rose and 30 hearts begin to beat a little faster. With the rose in his hand, he asks Ashley S., the nanny who offered to be his friend, to go outside with him. The other women take it well.
“Only the release of sweet, sweet death will relieve the pain I’m feeling.”
Brad offers Ashley the rose, telling her that he appreciates the fact that she wants to be his friend, because that’s what he’s looking for in a wife. Ashley says she’s surprised she got the first rose, unlike the others who thought they had it in the bag.
Shortly after that, it’s time for the first rose ceremony. 10 women will be going home tonight. Here’s who gets the roses and the order in which they’re called:
Michelle Maria Menounous Hairy Mole… Cabbage Patch Kid Kimberly… Madison, who pretends to bite his neck… Emily… Manscaper Raichel… Keltie, the Rockette, who does a jig like a long-legged leprechaun… crazy dentist Ashley H… Meghan… Lisa M. from Kansas… redhead Lindsay accepts with a beauty pageant smile… Alli’s giant ass… Sarah P., who I don’t remember, but who’s excited… Marissa… Britt [at this point, Renee is starting to tweak]… Boston bartender Stacey… Chantal aka Morticia…. Singing “artist” Jackie… Melissa… and there’s one rose left.
Chris comes out, tells everyone who is staring at that last rose that it’s the final one, and walks out.
And the final rose goes to… Domestic Violence Chantal O., who slapped Brad in the face. Kinky boy.
The outcasts say their goodbyes. The one who kissed Brad sadly tells him that she’ll just have to keep on kissing frogs (ooo! burn!). The stank-face high school teacher tells us that it’s obviously Brad’s loss and sounds like she has a lot of practice saying things like that. Britnee and Lisa openly sob, even though they’ve known Brad for mere hours and came to the house believing that he’s an asshole.
And with that, The Bachelor 2011: Gimme Another Shot, America begins! The most sensational thing ever showed on television has a lot in store for us this season, including: trips to Costa Rica, Anguilla and South Africa… shark diving… hot tops… 80s style, kissing on the beach, bondage, fighting, black eyes, explosions, fangs, secrets, kissing, ultimatums, sabotage, fireworks, helicopter rides, lightning storms, pensive staring, kissing, love, horseback riding, Seal (the singer, not the creature), limos, pensive gazing, pensive limo rides, crying and tounging.
I have no idea what “hot tops” are, by the way, but that’s what my notes say, so they must be in there.
So, what did we think of the show? I found it very depressing. So much hope pinned on a stranger and a free trip to L.A. So much disappointment. So far, my front runners are Michelle Hairy Mole and Disney Princess Emily. Ashley seems nice, but a bit young in age and demeanor. Do you think Brad will find a wife this time? At the end of the episode, he said he was 100% sure his wife was in the room with him. We will see!