Actually, we got a bit of clue when they showed Jillian back home after getting dumped by Jason last season, doing all the regular things Vancouverites do all the time. You know, like visiting the Gastown steam clock, jogging on the seawall with the city as the backdrop, walking in the rain. We also got a glimpse of her real-life bachelorette pad. The exterior looked familiar. Is it in Yaletown? Or on the south side of Granville Bridge? Somewhere central, anyway.
In the inaugural episode, Jillian wasted no time in asserting her cuteness. “I think I’m cute,” she said. Later on she said she doesn’t rely on her looks; she relies more on her personality. Normally it’s at this point that I’d call someone out with a deftly placed bon mot, but I think she nailed it. She’s not a ditzy beauty with nothing to say. She’s spunky.
However... and here’s the big ‘but’. I thought there would be nothing she could say or do that would turn me against her. That still might be true, but this is close: she’s a country music fan. God, I’d forgotten that she’s actually from Alberta. Damn, I should have known. What was I thinking? I need a moment to regroup here. She’s thrown me for a loop.
You see, like that toe freak Tanner P. who thinks ugly feet are a deal breaker, I think a C&W fan might be enough to send me scurrying. If they just casually liked the music, I could maybe live with that. But to have a favourite band (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, she rattled off without hesitation), that’s hard core. At least it wasn’t some new country artist. I’ll give her that.
Speaking of Tanner P., I get where he’s coming from. I kinda have a thing for feet, too. But not quite to his extent. It reminds me of the joke by Kevin Foxx (and I’m paraphrasing): “I thought I had a foot fetish. Until I went to a foot fetish website. I found out I just have a foot interest.”
My lord, Tanner P., get a hold of yourself. He was just creepy, wasn't he? He says he can tell everything about a woman by her feet. So he led Jillian to the pool under the pretense of just getting away for a private chat, but he only wanted to get a glimpse of her feet. He had a set of criteria she must meet: high arches, painted toenails, not dirty, no cracked soles, no corns. She passed. He was all giddy that he got a glimpse, like most guys would be if she had a nipple slip. She thought he was cute. The rest of us thought he was mildly disturbing. (For the record, that's not Jillian's foot in the photo.)
Early on in the show, Jillian swore she had no more rules. Literally. “I don’t give a shit what he puts on his hot dog,” she said. Well, they bleeped and pixilated her so I’m only guessing at the word. Knowing the producers, she could have said “crap” but it’s more extreme to make it seem like she swore.
But the rules flew out the window as soon as she met someone with potential. The first guy she grabbed and took outside was Kiptyn. Yes, Kiptyn. That’s his name. (“That’s a great name,” she lied to him when they first met.) But she immediately asks him what his hot dog topping is. So much for that. He tells her he’s a ketchup man. Nothing else. I forget what that means. Boring, I think.
As predicted yesterday, Kiptyn’s cool. And by cool I mean in the traditional sense. He doesn’t put on airs, has no agenda. He’s just a solid guy being himself. There were a few like that: Ed was one. Jake, the pilot, was another. Robby (or Robert), the bartender, too. Maybe even Julien. And quite possibly David, who got the first impression rose. Not coincidentally, all those chaps made it to the next round.
I loved how the added twist was five extra guys after the 25 had already started partying. That was a first in the show’s history, they told us. Maybe they should think about not giving it away before the show even airs. On their website, we could see all 30 contestants.
Yesterday, I went through the 30 and chose ten who I thought would make it. Jillian had to choose 20. But of the ten I thought she should pick, I got nine right. Not bad. So I’ll advise you to listen to me the next time I offer a prediction. The one I thought she’d pick yet didn’t was Stephen, the lawyer. After seeing him in person (on TV), I stand by my choice. He was kinda nerdy, but funny. She keeps mentioning sense of humour as a quality she's looking for. He had it. I loved his line when he was sent packing. He said, “Maybe she doesn’t like awesome guys.” With some people, that would be ridiculous. But I could sense the irony with Stephen.
Before the party got started, we got to meet 11 of the bachelors through little video vignettes. Why only 11 I don’t know. It wasn’t a portent of things to come since only eight of them got a rose.
In those vignettes, we met Kiptyn’s abs, Michael, a break dancer right out of Bizarro Central Casting, suicidal Julien jumping out of planes and racing cars, the lovable loser Stephen, Juan the fake Argentine doing pushups on volleyballs, Mark the pizza dude wearing too much spandex, Kyle the artsy thrift store maven with poor grammar (“I look good, I smell good, I make love good”), Sasha the Serbian, Wes the country crooner, Greg (or is it Billbro, bro?) modelling, and Jake the pilot doing stunts in a little plane.
Couple of comments on those guys:
- They play up Juan’s Latin lover background. When he walks into frame, the music switches over to South American rhythms and sonorities. Yet when he speaks, there’s no South at all. He’s all American. Turns out he’s lived in the States since he was two. At what point do you stop telling people you’re from Argentina? At least put on an accent, hombre.
- Yesterday, based on the head shot, I gave thumbs up to Wes, the musician. I’m sure you know by now if you’ve read this far that I’m rescinding that opinion. I had no way of knowing he was a country music singer. With an armful of tattoos. That’s two strikes. The third? He boasts that he had a #1 hit song in Chihuahua, Mexico! What does that even mean? Can you get hit songs city by city?
- Also the blog received a comment from Texas yesterday. Someone who claims to know Wes said he’s a goof. That’s good enough for me. They also suggest -- SPOILER ALERT! -- that he’s made it quite far in the competition. That saddens me a little to think that my Jillian could fall for such a guy, but at least I’ll have someone to direct my hatred to.
- Jake, the overly sincere pilot, is looking for a best friend, too. I think Jill’s going to hear that a lot. These guys are no dummies. But Jake isn’t that conniving. He looks like a decent guy. He’s "America’s hopeful romantic", he says. I like him because they showed him jogging and he’s got no visible abs.
- Bryan, the high school coach who also happens to be a teacher, we find out. He’s the guy who lifted Jillian up when they first met. Those staged greetings always backfire. Remember that if you’re on the show. (Incidentally, the other Brian, who fake jogged with his thumbs up to her from the limo and called her Hot Tub Harris got a rose, so all bets are off.)
- John P. was the guy who said he didn’t know what hickness meant in Canada. Maybe that cost him. But I liked him. Although when he had to go he said he thought Jillian was his soul-mate. Totally understandable since they probably spent ten minutes together all told. He reminded me of Adam Corolla.
- John H. looked drunk from the get-go with his tie all askew.
- Kyle screamed “look at me!” with his consciously quirky wardrobe. He was all cool, then couldn’t find the door to enter the mansion. Priceless. He made up for it by drawing a moustache on her index finger because... well... isn’t he quirky?!
- Adam was an Olympian. Sure, only in cycling, but an Olympian nonetheless. Maybe he should have brought that up. And maybe he shouldn’t have worn that turquoise shirt.
- Stephen the funny lawyer. When he met her out of the limo he said, “Thanks for going to all this trouble for me.” I’m starting a campaign for him to be the next Bachelor. Nerdy is in, ladies.
- Caleb, the photographer. She said she loved the fact he wore jeans. I think she just said that.
- Josh, the lifeguard from Newport Beach. Upon meeting her, he said there’s lots of sun there; not much snow. I wonder how many of the guys think Vancouver is under snow for six months of the year.
- Greg Billbro. What was up with Billbro? Is that even how you spell it? I have no idea. He greeted her with, “Wanna hug it out?” He also said something about marrying five couples. He married his first couple when he was 17. I was confused. But I was impressed when he battled the actual break dance teacher and showed his moves. Two old white dudes breakdancing. It doesn’t get much better than that.
- I can’t figure out who the tenth guy to not get a rose was. In looking over all the contestants from yesterday’s entry, I see it was Bryce. Man, that guy got zero TV time. He must have been one of the five who came late. Was he the guy with the cheesiest pickup line in Bachelorette history? The guy who threw her a ball and when she caught it said she was a great catch. If so, I heartily endorse her decision.
David, the trucking contractor from Dayton, Ohio, was star struck upon meeting Jillian. He looked down. The music stopped. Once inside, spunky Jill called him on it, saying she didn’t buy it. She thought he choked up on purpose so as to stand out. But he seemed genuine. Time will tell. If that was a stunt to get noticed, I can’t wait to see what other goodies he’s got in store for Jill. Maybe he’ll walk around with his fly undone. (David got the first impression rose because Jillian has a great sense of humour, like I said.)
Hey, speaking of flies, did anyone catch what Brad did when he first met Jillian? First off, he fake-brushed the dandruff off his shoulders. But then he said he wanted her to see his best side and it looked like he pointed to his dick. What did I miss? I mean, I love it if that’s the case. I just can’t believe that’s what he did.
I also loved how they used subtitles for the British giant, Simon. Seriously, America? The good old boys from the deep south we’re expected to understand, but a jolly British pituitary case needs subtitles? It makes for good comedy, though. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I believe the producers select certain contestants to advance just for the show’s sake. I believe the homely Brit is one such selection.
(On a side note, is this the first Bachelor/ette series in history there wasn’t a token black contestant? Since there’s never a black bachelor/ette, I always root for the black contestant to go all the way just so middle America can get up in arms. And isn’t it time for a black Bachelor/ette already?)
Jesse, the wine maker, made an impression with Jillian a few different ways: 1. he makes wine, and I do believe the gravelly-voiced Canadian has enjoyed a glass or two in her time, 2. he called it “love juice”, thereby confusing Hot Tub Harris, and 3. he revealed a t-shirt underneath his dress shirt that read “Aspiring Canadian” beside a maple leaf.
Mark, the pizza dude, brought up Jillian’s famous condiment theory. He said he has a theory of his own, then asked her what she likes on her pizza. She responded immediately: pepperoni, green peppers, black olives, mushrooms, ham and sometimes anchovies. That apparently threw him for a loop. The dude couldn’t even fake an answer. What, he thought he’d stump her with that difficult question? He said he’d have to think about it. And yet she kept him around!
Jake, the overly-sincere pilot, says he can totally picture Jillian being her co-pilot. I bet we’re going to hear lots of flying analogies while he sticks around. I wonder if he's going to take her into his cockpit, if you know what I mean. He should stick around because he seems like a solid guy. Although I could never get too attached to a pilot. But that’s just my fear of flying rearing its ugly head.
When Wes whipped out his guitar, Jillian said he just found her weak spot. Ugh. She said she melts for a guy who can play a guitar and play a country song. Damn her. Why couldn’t she just be perfect like she is in my head? Why did she have to fall for that twangy bastard?
The 20 to get a rose, in order, were David, Jake, Jesse, Wes, Mathue, Michael, Robby, Ed, Reid, Simon, Kiptyn, Mike, Brian D., Sasha, Julien, Tanner P., Mark, Brad, Tanner F., and Juan.
Is Mr. Invisible in this group? Or the dreaded H-word? Maybe. Although judging from the upcoming highlights, who knows? Someone, it seems, has a girlfriend. Jill sobs, “I can’t handle any more of this!” Then again, there’s another hot hot tub scene. With love juice.
Tune in again next week for another semi-thrilling episode of The Bachelorette. I know I will.