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Real men are from England.
Welcome, beloved readers to the 12th and greatest season of The Bachelor! I have missed you so much since my Amazing Race stint. I’m so happy to be back with my favorite of all shows, The Bachelor. This season has been dubbed The Bachelor: London Calling. I’m not really sure why. Is that like Avon calling? Is it like making an international phone call? I don’t know. What I do know is that The Bachelor has a British accent, which goes a long way in making a man sexy and also a long way in covering up flaws. I’m just saying. Rita’s British accent had Michael Bluth fooled for more than a month. Mr. F.Well it seems that Great Britain has reached a major crisis. There are no more women in the United Kingdom. This crucial shortage has led to the arrival in America of towering international banker Matt Grant. Matt is quite assured of his amazing sense of humor as he looks into the camera and tells us, “I am here to steal your women,” and then bursts into satisfied laughter. Bloody good joke, old boy! And speaking of old boys, our treasured Chris Harrison returns to introduce us to lucky Bachelor Number 12. We see a montage of Matt jauntily leaping and twirling through the streets of London, umbrella in hand, just like Mary Poppins. He also gets into an English cab, walks in slow motion down the street gazing at the lack of women, and craps on Hugh Grant for destroying American women’s view of Englishmen. If I were you, Matt, I’d rethink that theory and send Hugh Grant a gift basket pronto. Ever hear of Notting Hill? Mr. Grant did you an enormous favor.
“Bloody hell, where are all the women?”
It seems that Matt grew up in a town called Bishop’s Stortford (how very English) and didn’t really come into his looks until young adulthood.
Matt was apparently a fun surprise for his aging parents as he was born about 18 years after his next-oldest sibling. Oops. He shot up into a 6′ 5″ giant and went on to attend Cambridge University where he rowed and played rugby, cricket and soccer (football he insists on calling it). He didn’t have much time left to study, but somehow managed to become a banker anyway. His firm wins the regional cricket match every season thanks to him. Matt tells us that he’s not a traditional banker because people are entrusting him with large amounts of money – remember that, large, and trust is the most important thing to him – besides rowing, rugby, cricket, soccer and large amounts of money. He tells us that his life is brilliant, but he’s missing true love. He wants to hurry up and find someone so he doesn’t end up an old geezer having kids like his father. He may only be 27, but he is genuinely ready to snatch up an American and bring her back to London. No, she won’t get to have a life of her own, she’ll get to be a part of his.
Since Southwest doesn’t fly internationally, ABC sends Matt on a cargo ship over from England and then from New York to Los Angeles via Greyhound. He is super excited because what Brit wouldn’t want to date 25 beautiful American women? American women are independent, confident, strong, amazing, double jointed, etc. All the while Matt is buttoning his shirt, picking out a tie, and getting in his ABC company car to drive over and meet Chris Harrison.
“So I said if they gave me a raise this big,
I would host Season 12.”
Hello Chris Harrison! What’s that you say? Love has no borders? That is so profound. This is the first Bachelor ever to actually cross a border to find true love. And now it’s time for lucky us to meet English Gentleman Matt Grant… again. Matt pulls up in the pouring rain and hops out to have a chat with Chris. Chris manages to extract from Matt that he’s nervous and excited. Great sleuthing skills, Chris. Oh wait, there’s more. Matt’s happy to be in America because it means he’s out of his comfort zone and being tested. Guess what else. Matt is a banker – he works in finance. Also there are no women in London. Finally a new question: What does Matt think the American women will like about him? Well Chris, he hopes they “dig” his stupid sense of humor (he really says that), his height, and his British side. Would that be the left or the right? Sorry, I got distracted. Chris asks if the cultural differences will get in the way of love. Oh for pete’s sake. He’s not from Namibia for crying out loud, he’s from England! The only closer to American he could get is by coming from Canada (don’t go there, ABC). Luckily Matt realizes that there’s not that much cultural difference between England and America, except that we say tom-a-toe, and he says tom-ah-toe. That was your best example, Matt? Not biscuit, torch, bonnet, pussy? Anyway, now for more repeat information. He’s the youngest of five boys, all of whom are married (and much older), but he feels no pressure to be married (welcome to the male sex, Matt). At last, something new! Matt has been in love before! Sadly the timing wasn’t right, but happily, right now the timing is perfect. He’s ready to believe in fate and find his woman. More repeat information, but enough of that. Let’s go meet the bachelorettes!
And now it’s time for the Parade of Desperation. Per tradition, I will include a list of highlights since there is way too much to care about during this first episode. We lead in by watching a limo pull up and hearing all kinds of shrieking and squealing as the Bachelor shows himself for the first time.
- Amy is a nanny and when she steps out of the limo she actually stops and poses with her hand on her hip before twirling up to Matt to demonstrate that the back of her dress is almost non-existent. Then she makes Matt twirl and compliments his bum.
“Feast your eyes on this!”
- Chelsea is a pharmaceutical rep and challenges Matt to an arm wrestle. Then she walks through the door and screams.
- Erin H. is an event planner and apparently she’s already planning the event of her wedding because she waves a huge fake engagement ring in Matt’s face and tells him it’s a placeholder until he gives her a real one. That trick works for me every time.
- Denise is a former Bush aide, which implies that she’s unemployed.
- Erin S. is a hot dog vendor from Venice, CA, which is actually my fantasy job. If only Wienerschnitzel had a benefits package.
- Leelee Sobiesky is apparently single and looking because she pops out of the limo in a tiny gold dress claiming to be Ashlee, a singer/songwriter from Florida.
You were great in Deep Impact.
- Shayne is an actress from Malibu who is evidently on some sort of sedative because she is talking in slow motion and does a little shimmy while thanking Matt for complimenting her dress. When Matt tells her he won’t forget her if she can name his hometown, she fingers her chest and says, “That’s the only way you won’t forget me?” Someone knows how to work the casting couch.
- Marshana thinks it is Diwali because she is dressed in an elaborate gold sparkling sari, complete with jewels cascading down her forehead. Her heritage consists of Brooklyn, New York, and she proudly tells Matt that she made her costume herself. And I personally, can’t think of a more appropriate time for her to wear it.
“No, I’m not from Bangladesh. Why?”
- Amanda P. is a law student in Vegas wearing a hot pink prom dress from the 80′s. She hands Matt a hot pink stuffed dice to remind him of Vegas… and her dress.
- Holly from Ohio is not nervous, for your information.
- When Tiffany tells Matt she lives in San Francisco he tells her he wants to get one of the trams. Brits don’t say “trolley” because that is what you push around at the supermarket and put your groceries in.
- Stacey seems like she knocked a few back in the limo on the way over. She’s a little dazed and tells Matt he’s “so gorgeous.”
All of the girls – except Holly – are nervous, and most of them figured out that Matt is British. They are all pleased to meet him and will talk to him more inside. No porta-wives this time. I guess neither a nursing license nor a teaching certificate will transfer over to England, so it wouldn’t have done them any good anyway. Matt is blown away, of course. His wife may be in there! Chris explains the concept of the First Impression Rose and sets Matt loose on the women.
The girls all scream and run up to Matt as he walks into the mansion. He toasts them all to getting the party started and there’s more screaming. The girls take turns gushing to the camera about how absolutely perfect Matt is. They just know that he is the one they’ve been waiting for – all of them. Chris strides in with the First Impression Rose and you know what that means – it’s on.
As promised, Chelsea arm wrestles Matt and it actually looks like she’s standing a pretty good chance. When Matt loses he claims it is because he is an English gentleman, and not because Chelsea is strong. Whatever, Matt.
Unemployed Denise launches into that perfect first-impression topic – politics. We don’t get to hear much except that she’s yammering about working for the Bush administration. Bush is still in office, so I’m not really sure why all of this is past tense, but okay. Carri decides to lighten the mood from all the political blah-blah so she bites a beer can in half. She then claims that this move makes her all that and a bag of chips. Well, if that doesn’t say “English Rose” I don’t know what does. Besides, chips are french fries in England.
Rebecca is an attorney, and figures that the best way to make her clients take her seriously is to dance like a coked out ho on television.
“Let’s call that a half hour.”
Michele R. challenges Matt to a match of rock paper scissors and promptly loses. Marshana takes this opportunity to announce to us that she is a beauty queen – Miss Earth New York to be precise. What is that you may ask? I have no idea and do not care. Apparently it involves making and wearing your own costume sari.
Leelee Sobiesky corners Matt and forces him to listen to a song she wrote for him. Matt tells her she’s far away, which confuses her a little since she’s almost on his lap. Then he clarifies that what he actually said was, “Fire away,” an English term which means show me. Um yeah, Matt? Leelee? We say it in America too. She plays on her guitar and sings the following:
I want you
No one else could ever want you more
I’m crazy for you
Yeah baby, I’m so crazy I’d compete with 24 other girls… yeah
Well, I guess “you” rhymes with “you.” Other than that I’m stumped. Give it up, Leelee. We all know you’re an actress.
Amanda R. lets us in on a fun fact about herself – she has chronic hiccups which are extremely loud. Luckily she stifles them long enough to ask Matt how tall he is. Michelle P. breaks out a box containing her dismantled clarinet. She puts the reed in her mouth and tells Matt that it has to be wet in order to vibrate. An hour later, after the clarinet is assembled, Michelle licks the mouthpiece and plays Matt a little ditty. It’s actually quite lovely, just really out of place.
“I have no ulterior motives here.
Get your mind out of the gutter.”
By this point Stacey has gotten pretty wasted and she’s slurring at the other girls that Matt is her man and they’re all going home. Then she says something that requires about a 15 second bleep. Then a 10 second bleep. I also think her hair is fake. None of the girls seem to like her, particularly Erin H., who is assigned as Stacey’s partner for a conversation with Matt. Stacey talks some trash to Erin before Matt arrives and when he gets there she starts rubbing his knee and thigh drunkenly while Erin tries to explain her job. Stacey’s slurred explanation of her job is priceless:
I have my Bachelor’s in nutrition and nothing and no one will ever stop me…? I want to find a pharmaceutical that will cure something that no one has thought of…?
Great idea, Stacey! Then she says to Matt, “I don’t know much but I want you to teach me,” to which he pats her once on the knee and says, “Okay! I appreciate that,” and turns back to Erin. Ha! As Matt and Erin discuss a perfect day in London, Stacey pipes in with her own suggestion saying she loves the ocean. Poor Stacey, as London is nowhere near the ocean. Matt asks her what she does know about London and she says, “The new upbringing cars…” which, of course, is jibberish, but it turns out that she’s meaning hybrid cars, because who doesn’t automatically think of hybrid cars when London is mentioned? Matt goes, “Is that all you know about London?” and starts laughing.
“Wow, you’re from Egypt? That’s sexy.”
Now Erin S. the hot dog vendor walks in clinking her glass and takes Matt away for a chat. Stacey doesn’t like this at all so she staggers after the two of them and slides in on the couch next to Matt, then she proceeds to try and cram something in his pocket. It turns out Matt doesn’t have any pockets so she sticks it in his waistband and staggers back out. Both Erin S. and Matt think that it must be some kind of note, but when Matt pulls it out to read it, it’s lace panties. C-L-A-S-S-Y. Matt holds the panties up to the camera and tells us that he doesn’t care what country you’re from, that’s not cool. Hmm, I’m beginning to sense that British men are different than American men.
“I can’t believe she went through my suitcase!”
The girls sit around giggling about giving Stacey the First Impression Rose, but they can’t find her. Turns out this evening has been a little too much for Stacey and she’s passed out on a mattress in what looks like a bathroom.
“I’m just looking for my contact.”
Next we sit down with Shayne the actress. As Matt follows her into a room she turns around and says, “Do you like my dress?” and it’s eerily reminiscent of Anna Nicole slurring, “Do you like my body?” Matt tries to impress her with tales of being an Adventure Scout and Shayne is thrilled. Well as thrilled as one can be when under the influence of valium. She tells us privately in slow motion that her family is made up of all actors, including her father, Lorenzo Lamas, but this has nothing to do with her – she’s just here to get to know Matt. All this is accompanied with grand hand gestures. Interesting development – the daughter of Lorenzo Lamas competing for the Bachelor? Is there a man shortage in LA like the woman shortage in London? Wait, I know this: yes there is.
“Trim Spa, baby!”
Noelle, a photographer wearing a really cool dress, is next up for alone time with Matt. They bond over being the babies of their families, but really old people at heart. Wow, that’s fascinating. Robin tells Matt about her fabulous summer living in England and offers to teach him French.
And now for the bestowing of the First Impression Rose. Matt saunters all around the mansion, first to fetch the rose and then to carry it to some lucky lady. Will it be the arm wrestler? The politician? The beer-can-biter? The clarinet player? No. None of the girls who put on a talent show made the best first impression. Matt tells us that if he could sketch his ideal woman this girl would be it. Oh, so he’s choosing based on looks, not personality or ability. And it’s Amanda R., the first girl out of the limo. Welcome to Smugville, Amanda. It’s nice to have you here.
“Thanks! I studied really hard to get this pretty.”
Matt showers her with compliments on her beauty and says he feels something special. I’ll bet he does. Needless to say, the rest of the girls are put out. But there’s no time for that now because Chris Harrison is here to tap the glass and bring on the first Rose Ceremony.
Naturally Matt is torn to shreds because he is so impressed with everyone and this is the hardest thing he’s ever done. Whose dream of marrying an English gentleman will be crushed forever? Well, he has 14 more roses to give out and here’s how it goes:
Chelsea, Shayne, Michelle P., Marshana, Leelee (Ashlee), Noelle, Erin S., Amy, Carri, Kristine, Robin, Kelly, Holly… ladies, Matt, this is the final rose tonight… when you’re ready… Erin H.
Lucky, lucky ladies
All right, unchosen losers, it’s time to get out! Devon is shocked, but admits that rejection is nothing new for her. Geez. Stacey comes stumbling out of the mansion announcing that there is something wrong with Matt and too bad for him! “I don’t want to be with him anyways!” Yeah, so there. Tamara cries. Matt toasts to the remaining 15 and they all scream “Cheers!”
This season, Matt reveals that American women are great kissers, and it looks like he’s going to prove that theory with many lucky contestants. The girls run around nearly naked doing body shots off of each other, they go to Barbados, they go to Vegas, they go horseback riding, zip lining, rollercoaster riding, skiing, it goes on and on. Oh boy, they’re playing rugby. Will there also be a banking challenge? The girls will do whatever it takes, and Matt has no idea how he’s going to make his decision. On top of all that, the girls hate each other, as usual. We are in for another exciting ride!!!
During the credits, Matt dances like a retard and pretends to hump a phone booth. Yes, it’s true – Matt’s dignity is really just the accent fooling you.
Jeepers, where can I get one?
So! What do you think about our very first international Bachelor? Will he find his Yankee true love?
Thanks for reading!