Usually, in movies or TV shows or books — and even in real life — the more time you spend with a character, the more you like him or her. Redeeming qualities that were once hidden are revealed. Personality quirks are explained by significant events in the character’s past. You learn to see beyond the physical and the personality shines through. So why is it that my distaste for many of the people on this show seems to be growing. Especially for Ashley! Sigh. I liked her on The Bachelor! What happened?? Remember when sitcoms used to have spinoffs? But then it’d turn out that the character who got the spinoff couldn’t carry a show, so the spinoff was a trainwreck? Cases in point:
Anyway. Chiang Mai, Thailand. A one-on-one date, a group date, and a two-on-one date (which means at least one of those guys will be going home).
First date goes to Ben F., the wine-maker and Constantine’s long-lost bro-ham. Ben F. says the weather forecast calls for a 100% chance of spit swapping. He and Ashley go to a market and a temple where they’re not allowed to make out because it’s so sacred so they just stare at each other instead. Tongue-blocked by Buddha! It’s a boring date. All we learn is that these two think they have chemistry. I think they suffer from mutual delusion.
Constantine, Ames, Nick, Blake, Lucas, Ryan, JP and Mickey are all on the group date, which involves Muay Thai boxing. After learning how to wail on one another, they get paired up to spar. Especially excited about this is Ryan, the guy no one likes. I can understand why he’d be excited to have the opportunity to kick some hater ass. But between his high energy and that insane smile he sometimes flashes, he’s coming off a bit psycho. Least excited is Ames. He has a killer body, but a really old school boxing stance and Lucas says that while Ames was gettin’ all educated at Harvard and Yale, the rest of them were brawling in the streets, so Ames is at a real disadvantage.
Lucas and Blake battle first. Blake the dentist wins, and Ashley says she’s starting to think the date might be too dangerous.
Mickey and JP climb into the ring next. This is like a fantasy come true! Take off the boxing gloves, boys… we can find other ways to get our aggression out… JP says he’s the smallest guy there and is ready to take his beating like a man. At first Mickey has the upper hand, but JP makes a comeback that leaves Mickey cowering in a corner of the ring. JP says he’s proud to be a Jew from Long Island that kicked the Irish guy’s ass.
Next, Ames and Ryan get into the ring to battle it out. Ames has the height advantage but the muay thai ring is where crazy really comes in handy, and Ryan proceeds to hand Ames his ass. Ames takes a lot of headshots, loses the fight and leaves the ring looking completely stunned and dopey. After sitting slack-jawed for a few minutes, they put him in an ambulance and take him to the ER. He stares off into space drooling as Ashley waves goodbye. Um… thanks for your concern, Ashley!
Later, at the group date, Ashley whines that she can’t focus on all of the other guys until she knows that Ames is OK. He eventually shows up, dressed to the nines, but still slack-jawed. He says the doctors at the ER told him that he’s totally in love; but also that he has a mild concussion.
Now that she knows he’s not dead, Ashley can focus on the other guys; guys like Blake, who’s worried because he hasn’t had any intimate time with Ashley. Lucas talks to her about golf and Bentley. Only one of those things can make this episode more interesting…
Later, Ashley gives the date rose to Blake because she thinks they have great potential. Well day-um. What about Ames?? Homeboy took a punch to the head, went to a hospital in a foreign country, and then came back to keep the party going! And still no rose??
Ben C. and William have the two-on-one date. After riding a raft down a river, they stop for a picnic lunch where William proceeds to sabotage Ben C. as soon as he’s out of earshot. Wills tells Ashley that Ben thinks that being on the show will really help his online dating. LOL. What?! Can someone explain how any of this makes sense?? Is there a special “Bachelorette rejects” dating site? If so… I have a profile to go create.
This is devastating news to Ashley because how very DARE one of the 11 guys she’s dating have plans that don’t include her! The nerve! She immediately dismisses Ben, who seems annoyed, says he was joking around, but doesn’t fight particularly hard to stay. William looks pretty pleased with himself until dinner time, when Ashley is clearly distant and cold. Eventually, she cuts him, too, and he gives a really sad exit interview in which he talks about how he can’t get a break and everything in his life turns to shit.
At the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, Ashley reminds the guys that they need to be honest with her about their feelings, and she doesn’t expect all of them to fall for her. Ryan is the first one to maniacally assure her that he has feelings for her. Her face says “wha’eva.”
She and Constantine have a very real conversation in which he says that he’s not as nuts about her as all of the other guys are claiming to be, and that’s actually a reasonable reaction, seeing as how he doesn’t really know her. She and JP chat and look adorable in general, but she tells the camera that she’s still thinking about Bentley and really needs some closure.
Later, Chris Harrison promises to work on that for her if she’ll stop moping and try to give some attention to the guys who did stick around. At the rose ceremony, first rose goes to Constantine (Ames gets the shaft again!). Then Lucas, JP, Ames and Mickey. It’s down to Ryan and Nick for the last rose… it goes to Ryan.
Nick seems pretty pissed but… whatever. We never saw much of him anyway. He does let us know that Ashley is missing out on a perfect husband, though. OK, thanks Nicky.
So, next week the gang’s all headed to Hong Kong… and Bentley. Finally some excitement! And red hot anger from red hot Mickey…