Monday, September 12, 2011

BP 2, episode 6: The Bachelor Pad Dilemma

Whew! We made it. It's over! And there's sweet freedom until January 2, 2012, when lovable jilted Ben makes his debut as The Bachelor. In the meantime, let's talk about this entertaining train wreck of a show that became even more entertaining when I got my way and King Ding-a-Ling and his Drama Queen were finally given ye olde boote.

It was an episode where sultry Michelle unveiled her innocent schoolgirl look in a last-ditch effort to prove to the world she's not the unstable psycho she appeared to be on an earlier season of The Bachelor, nor the family-wrecker she was reported to be (see number 7 on this list) in gossip pages. It's no surprising she and Graham hit it off. She apparently has a thing for basketball players.

It was an episode in which Chris Harrison stated that "it's all about relationships here at the Bachelor Pad." Hypocrite. Most of the contestants come on as singles. And in fact, the winning relationship wasn't even an existing relationship, except in the sense that any two people who know each other have a relationship. Holly, who had a thing for creepy Blake throughout the show, finally hooked up with him. As in she's moving to South Carolina to live with him. As in they're engaged. Yet she is partnered up with her ex-fiancé Michael. (Which one of you didn't answer Holly as she excitedly cooed to Blake, "We're gonna get married?" after he proposed to her on camera, with "Uh, not if your past engagement is any indication, you're not"?)

It was an episode where we learned this all took place over three weeks. Three weeks! Blake and Holly didn't even know each other on day one. So they had a little flirty thing going, then hung out for a few more weeks after taping, then got engaged. Yeah, this has 'till death do us part' written all over it.

It was an episode where Graham admitted he was "literally pissing down [his] leg." Literally.

It was an episode where perhaps one of the dumbest and least witty contestants in both Bachelorette and Bachelor Pad history, King Ding-a-Ling, bragged, "I'm smart. I'm witty." Then later Gia backed him up, saying he was the smartest guy in the house. Keep in mind Gia is a swimsuit model and in her world, Kermit would pass as a rocket scientist.

Oops, did I say Kermit? Sorry. He revealed he has a speech impediment that makes him mumble and swallow his words and sound like Kermit the Frog. My bad. I'll no longer refer to him as Kermit. From here on out, it's only King Ding-a-Ling.

It was an episode where the southern belle Ella feared for her life strapped in a harness 100 feet in the air in Las Vegas at the theatre where Cirque du Soleil performs the very same feat every single night without incident because, "Sorry, but I don't trust harnesses." I know, right?

It was an episode where the four remaining teams were judged in a very difficult and scary artistic endeavour not by expert choreographers or performers but by three members of the vast Bachelor family: Tristin, Jason and Ali. Because, you know, they know art. And they have no biases whatsoever, and couldn't possibly be bought off by the show that gave them a career. Nope, completely on the up and up. (Their expertise was driven home when, after an impressive aerial display by Holly and Michael, Judge Jason says, "Wow! Are you guys a couple now?")

It was an episode where the bought-off judges got to eliminate the worst pair: Ella and Kirk. Poor Ella. She really needed that $250,000 to raise her son. Now she'll have to get a job. That sucks.

It was an episode where one member of the Power Couple brow-beat the other, and the other went off and pouted... Oh wait, that's the same as every other episode.

It was an episode where the challenge winners, Holly and Michael, got to choose their final opponents and send the others home. And after what seemed like forever (but my blog post title suggests is only six weeks), King Ding-a-Ling and the Drama Queen finally got their come-uppance. The other finalists would be the formerly wacko Michelle and her new basketball-playing beau Graham.

The live portion of the evening was entertaining. We learned many things:

Ames, who ran off to console and be with the love of his life, Jackie, upon her elimination, quickly dumped the heart-broken Jackie soon after real life gave him a wake-up call. I figured it was because he wanted to be single in the off-chance the show offers him the role of the next Bachelor. Now that Ben has been named, maybe Ames will get back with the heart-broken Jackie.

King Ding-a-Ling offered a mea culpa and actually came off both sincere and, dare I say it, likable. He apologized for his actions in general and to Jake in particular. He also kept saying the relationship he saw on screen with Vienna was not one he wanted to be in. It was cryptic, to say the least. Chris Harrison said he was confused about where he stood with Lady V and frankly so was I. I was kinda pulling for another public break-up for her, but that's the romantic in me.

Michael was blind-sided with the news that his partner, and gal of his dreams, Holly, was now engaged to Blake the Snake. He seemed upset at first but quickly let it go and reverted to the old happy-go-lucky Michael that we grew to find so annoying on The Bachelorette. But Holly seemed to like the old carefree Michael more. I think we're all hoping for a Holly & Michael reunion at some point, aren't we? I mean, New York over South Carolina, right?

Knowing what we know, and what I had forgotten from last season, that the BP rejects vote on which team they want to advance, does it make any sense whatsoever for next year's cast to backstab each other and be jerks like they were this season? Last year, when this was all new, nobody knew how the final would play out. But let's not forget it for next season. Or maybe the writers will come up with another formula (as they probably should). Because even King Ding-a-Ling and the Drama Queen seemed to know that, had they made it to the final, nobody would have voted for them. How is that smart strategy to alienate the whole house when that very house will have the final say on you winning or losing?

Holly & Michael received the needed eight votes (Jake, Blake, Erica, Jackie, Ames, Justin, Ella and Gia – with the exception of the Snake, all the good people on the show), while Graham & Michelle received four votes (Drama Queen, King Ding-a-Ling, Melissa and William – with the exception of William, the deranged people on the show).

And then it got down to the classic game theory with the Prisoner's Dilemma, the writers having taken psychology in high school. Holly and Michael each had to choose, in private, whether they wanted to share the total money or keep it all for themselves. If they both chose 'share', as they did last season, they'd each be $125,000 richer (minus about $100,000 they'll have to pay in taxes and agent fees). If one chooses 'keep' and one chooses 'share', the one who chose 'keep' gets it all. If they both are greedy bastards and choose 'keep', then the quarter million is divided up between the other 13 losers, who'd become winners to the tune of $19,230.76 apiece.

And that's possibly a flaw in the whole BP ethos of relationships: Everyone chooses 'share'. If they were assigned teammates, or had to draw teammates names out of a hat, and there was conflict within the team, then maybe there'd be some real drama. Then wouldn't it be fun trying to guess if they'd pick 'keep' or 'share'? We knew that both Michael and Holly are decent people and would do the right thing. And if it's a real couple, like Graham & Michelle or, heaven forbid, King Ding-a-Ling and the Drama Queen, then of course they're going to share. I can't envision a scenario where the teammates wouldn't share the money. But if, say, Jake and Vienna were assigned each other, how would that play out? Exciting, no?

But hey, it's not about the money. It's not about winning. It's about relationships and doing the right thing. They're all winners.

Except King Ding-a-Ling and the Drama Queen.

(Okay, I'll let it go. As I said, Kasey actually seemed remorseful and Vienna had softened. They're winners, too. Group hug!)

See you in January.