Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This week on Country Hoe-Down

The season is heating up. That said, I’m not digging it.

It starts with a Not-So-Amazing Race to find Jill culminating in a date in a bank vault, moves through country 2-stepping, some pick-up basketball, desperate stunt stripping, and ends with another patented Bachelor/ette fake ballot box.

And boy was I wrong last week when I suggested tongue-tied David might be normal. That boy has anger issues.

What can I say? Jillian’s one of my all-time favourites but this season sucks. But I won’t stop watching. I won’t quit Jillian that easily.

After the record-shattering first episode when a whopping 30 bachelors vied for Jillian’s heart and free TV exposure, there were 20 remaining for episode two. Why is it the guys have to stay in a lousy frat house but when there’s a house full of gals, they get to stay in the nice house? Sexism! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really care. I’m just an equal rights advocate.

Early on Jill says she’s not some 5-foot-5 big-boobed model. I love how that’s her definition of tall. Reminds me of when the diminutive and eponymous star of The Nancy Walker Show was walking on air and said, “I feel five feet tall!” I highly doubt there are any 5-5 models outside of Japan or China.

First group date consisted of breakdancing Michael, invisible Brian, nerdy Brad, hairy-toed Sasha, foot freak Tanner P., intense country warbler Wes, Ed and Mathue. Ed and Mathue will go adjectiveless this time.

We see Jillian lying poolside in a hot white bikini. We see Jillian riding someone’s shoulders in the pool, just like we saw last season. That must be her go-to move.

We got a big psyche-out when she took the utterly forgettable, if not for the ridiculous breakdancing thing, Michael up to the patio first. Then she returns to grab the rose. What the--?! It couldn’t be!... And it wasn’t, of course. As bad as her taste seems to be, it’s not that bad (although, come to think of it, she did say she finds Michael “sexy and manly” Say what?). She took off in a car to begin a ludicrous chase throughout L.A.

The bachelors are paired up as they drive around the city looking for clues. Road rally scavenger hunts are barely enjoyable when you’re doing them yourself so this was hardly riveting television. The foot freak Tanner P. and the breakdancer Michael were like little schoolgirls, screaming at every clue they discovered. Michael was so excited at one point he says he peed just a little bit in his bathing suit. Michael, that red light on the camera means it's going out to the world. Use your internal editor. Hey, but at least they’re getting along, unlike the surly Wes and nerdy Brad. Brad says he’s the brains of the team, and I believe him. He’s gotta have something going for him.

But Jillian – sweet, fun, smart Jillian – really is clueless when it comes to guys, I think. I mean, Michael sexy and manly? And then choosing Wes to be locked in a vault with? I’d be afraid for my life with that Billy Bob Thornton wannabe.
And what was with the necklaces? Was there a point to having the guys pick one of four necklaces to give her? Was there a point to being locked in a vault? I know, I know, it’s The Bachelor/ette we’re talking about and there’s not really a point to anything. It’s like watching Superman and scoffing at the fact the guy is flying. You buy into certain things. But there still has to be some kind of internal logic.

Nerdy Brad says Wes isn’t there for the right reasons. Every season needs one of these people. Wes is this season’s “not there for the right reasons” contestant. Now, I don’t like Wes. At all. But really, how many of these dudes are there for “the right reasons”? Just because he’s an awful musician with a grating voice and hokey songs and a career that needs publicity is no reason to dump on him.

Jill asks Wes if he’s a relationship guy. He says he’s had three girlfriends his whole life. When Jill suggests that he must have had lots of girls in between, he gets visibly uncomfortable. “Me? No, ma’am,” he says unconvincingly. Little does he know that Jillian wouldn’t care. Even though she apparently loves country music (sigh), she’s no innocent southern belle.

Do you think Wes is the cad they hinted at last week that has a girlfriend back home? I wouldn’t be surprised, but we didn’t find out tonight. He's needs drama in his life so he can pen those awful songs.

First kiss goes to Wes as the rest watch on close-circuit TV. She grabs the rose and they say, “Don’t do it, Jillian!” I think the viewing public at large also yelled the same thing at their sets.

But he gets the rose so he gets to stay in the house with her. “Of course you’ll have your own bed,” she reminds him. Her eyes say, “But it’s a short hallway.”

We see them the next night (or whenever it was) hugging goodbye at the door of the mansion as she’s off on another date. Oh yeah, they totally did it. No question about it. She's probably wearing a vile of his blood around her neck by now.

She wore a short cute black dress and red cowboy boots. For my American readers, that’s not an uncommon site in her native Alberta. Only usually they’re white boots.

On her one-on-one date with pilot Jake, she makes him country it up. Shee-it! She says she goes to the Calgary Stampede every year and likes country music. Still, though, we already have the country crooner Wes on the show. Do we need more blue collar dates? This is the worst season ever.

Jillian wants to see if the uber-responsible Jake can shake it up. Because, you know, she’s here to find a life mate and that’s important.

They go to the House of Blues and have the run of the place. She hops up on the bar to do the Coyote Ugly thing as Gentleman Jake tries not to look up her skirt. Then he teaches her to 2-step. Why isn’t this on the Country Channel?

Jake is already using the S-word (soulmate) and talking about marriage. He tells her he flew an airplane so low when he was 16 before he had his drivers license. That’s not good, I thought, until I realized he said solo, not so low.

When he asks her why she’s doing this, she says she wants to find her best friend. Poor girl doesn’t have a best friend. I wonder if there’s some girl sitting back home in Vancouver thinking, “I thought Jill and I were best friends.”

In the middle of talking about marriage, Jake plows forward and plants a bit wet one on her. I mean, fast. I thought she might have chipped a tooth.

It gets worse. The floor separates and out comes country music legend Martina McBride! I’ll take their word on that. I’ve never heard of her, but outside of Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton, I couldn’t name another country music legend. Apparently this legend needs the 30 seconds of airtime to help grow her legend status. What can I say? Worst. Season. Ever.

Jake gets a rose, as he should. As they’re dancing and necking to the godawful twangy music, Jillian says she was thinking of her grandparents. That’s an odd thought process. Hot pilot... sucking face... nanny... grandpappy... That doesn’t speak well for Jake’s chances.

The next group date saw Jesse the wino, Mark the pizza dude, Mike the baseball camp owner, Simon the British giant, Kiptyn the dreamy business developer, and Juan the fake Argentinian smoothy play some ball of the basket variety.

I’m a big basketball fan, but there is no worse sport to try to play if you simply can't. With softball you can stand there on defense or run to first base on a feeble attempt to hit. With volleyball you can bump the cushy ball when it comes your way. But basketball? If you can’t dribble or shoot, there’s no reason to be out there.

I thought I liked Kiptyn even more when I thought I heard him tell the camera, “Descartes said...” I thought I was going to here some Cartesian philosophy, maybe a cogito ergo sum quote. But no, he said, “Date card said...”

The British giant Simon admitted he’s “rubbish. Not very good.” He was talking about basketball, but really, it could have been about anything. He’s come a long way since last week when we needed subtitles to decipher his accent. He was subtitle-free this week. So even though he didn’t get a rose, he’s a winner in my books.

David was the star of the afternoon. Until the Harlem Globetrotters show up. They come walking over the grassy knoll in t-shirts and shorts before pulling them away to reveal their world famous Globies uni's underneath. That really psyched out the fellas. Yeah, right. Tell me they weren’t shitting their pants (or peeing a little bit in their swim trunks) when they saw the tall, athletic black guys in regular old t-shirts. I’d much rather play against the Globetrotters. At least I know their offense. I wouldn’t fall for any of their shenanigans.

Unfortunately, the Globies know as much about character as Jillian does. They choose David for Jillian. Mike is so desperate, he actually follows through on a joke Jill made about borrowing some anonymous guy’s Speedo and jumping in the water. That’s just gross. They shared nut sack sweat. You don’t do that. Not even for a rose, which he got.

When all the fellas do shots, David started fuming about the pseudo-Latin lover, Juan, who, apparently, dumped his shot out and pretended to do the shot with everyone else. There was no evidence to support the trucking consultant’s claims, but, man, he wouldn’t let it go. Juan was breaking man code. He said Juan should be tied to a tree and beat up. Did I mention David is a trucking consultant? I think I did, yes. Remember when he was sweet tongue-tied David?

Jillian sucks face with Kiptyn just because. She sees him, she says, and she just wants to make out with him. I bet Jillian sets records left and right this season. I bet she’ll sleep with more bachelors than any other Bachelorette. God love her.

Back at the house, Tanner P. goes into full creep mode. His wish that Jillian be wearing open-toe shoes is granted. He grabs her foot and starts talking about them, making Jillian uncomfortable. He lets her know that Sasha has the ugliest feet in the house. They’re hairy. Jillian winces.

At the cocktail party, Wes is even more like Billy Bob. i.e. wasted. Despite already having a rose, he interrupts poor Robby the bartender, who was dateless, just as he starts talking to our heroine. But Robby needn’t worry. There’s no way Jillian sends home a bartender.

Chris enters and brings in a ballot box, telling the guys they have to vote for the one guy they want sent home. Didn’t any of these guys watch last season? It’ll never happen. This time, the three rosed guys, Nutsack Mike, Gentleman Jake and Wasted Wes, are safe.

If I were on that show – and really, don’t you all think I should be? – I’d have voted for Wes anyway, and lobbied hard for everyone else to, too. It would have sent the right message to the otherwise oblivious Jillian.

While the votes were being tallied – hey, there were 20 of them, remember – Juan showed his smooth moves, offering his jacket to Jillian. Invisible Brian, who claims he’s usually the life of the party, desperately needed to get noticed so he one-ups Nutsack Mike and strips down nekkid and jumps in the pool. When he comes out and tries to get a kiss, Jillian didn’t even want to kiss him on the cheek. Not even the one on his face.

When invisible Brian doesn’t get the rose at show’s end, he admits that he was most likely hung like a light switch because it was chilly in there.

With the votes in, The Big Smooth, Juan, is voted most hated, followed by jealous David and dateless Julien, for some unknown reason. But surprise, surprise, Jillian, looking drunk by now, got the final say. She gave Juan a rose. She then left to make her final decisions.

With Billy Bob Wes, Nutsack Mike, The Big Smooth Juan and Gentleman Jake safe, twelve roses are handed out. Four fellows go home. Why 16, I wonder? It seems an odd number to keep. Is there going to be an NCAA bracket with this Sweet Sixteen? Who knows, but the roses go, in order, to:

1. Wine-maker Jesse, who chose Jillian over Italy.
2. Raging David. Clearly this was the producers’ choice.
3. Ed. Solid guy. I can’t remember a thing about him.
4. Hairy-toed Sasha.
5. Mark, the pizza dude. Meh.
6. Breakdancing pee’er Michael. Blah.
7. Creepy toe guy, Tanner P. You’re shitting me. Seriously? Cleary another producers’ pick.
8. Dreamy Kiptyn. Yay.
9. Reid. He only had a bit of airtime this week, but I support this rose.
10. Robbie the bartender. Of course.
11. Tanner F. Still two Tanners? Is that necessary? I don’t think we saw this one at all this week.
12. Nerdy Brad. Nice guys get the last rose.

So that means Light Switch Brian, British giant Simon, adjectiveless Mathue and dateless Julien have to say their goodbyes. Julien uttered something in French. Too late now with the sweet talk, mon ami. Mathue is choked. Jillian tells him he is such a sweetheart, but he just looks at her, offers a half-hearted hug, and walks out. Poor guy got himself an achy-breaky heart.

As bad an episode as it was, I’m hopeful because it can’t get any worse.