Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bachelor Canada, eh?!

Well, look who's back! You thought I had retired when I wasn't around to blog about Bachelor Pad? But no. I was simply resting. They can't keep adding franchises and expect endless copy. I'm but one man. Not only was it in the middle of a very hot summah (cue Six White Boomers by Rolf Harris), but I had to rest up for Bachelor Canada. Because if a Canadian-based blogger can't get on board with this, who can?

Are there any American readers out there? I know there were for the American versions. But is BC even on your radar (or cable packages)? Maybe you're curious. I'm sure in today's world, there's a way for you to watch from abroad. If so, you'll see that BC looks identical to BA (Bachelor America, I'm dubbing it) minus Chris Harrison and plus more hockey references and the occasional "eh?" thrown in for bad measure.

The Canadian Chris Harrison is a giant by the name of Tyler Harcott. And if he isn't 7 feet tall, the Bachelor himself, an entitled jock named Brad Smith, is a shrimp. Harcott stands a full head over Brad. It was a little disconcerting. He should practice being shorter. It's the polite thing to do in human-sized company.

If you read what passes as tabloids in Canada, you'll have heard that Brad is a former CFL "star". Now, I'm not up on any football, let alone the Canadian version, but I've got a passing knowledge of the stars. And I've never heard of Brad Smith. Early in the show he reveals he's 28, i.e. an athlete's prime. If he's not in the league now, suffice it to say "star" is being used as a synonym for "player". Or maybe that hideous chest tattoo caused a career-ending injury.

But I do know enough about the CFL to have immediately known his dad was former CFL commissioner Larry Smith as soon as it was mentioned Brad was the son of a senator. Hence my use of the adjective 'entitled'.

Blogging about the show's various incarnations has always felt safe as I sit at a comfortable distance away in a foreign country. Now how do I feel about being snarky to someone I might run into one day? It gave me pause... for about a second before I realized how old I am – we're not exactly running in the same circles. And the fact I barely leave the house might also be a factor.

But the show's mansion is in my hometown of Victoria. I couldn't tell which part of the city it's in from what we saw, but maybe I'll clue in as the season moves forward. One interesting difference in the show is that this opening episode was a very manageable 90 minutes rather than the bloated 2 hours the US serves us. But fast-forwarding the PVR through the commercials leads me to believe the total air time was probably very close to the same. There are hardly any ads at all. Is that a death-knell to the northern version? Time will tell.

Does this look like a "star"?
Okay, let's get on with the nuts and bolts of the episode. Brad admitted he once had a big head on his big shoulders. He was caught up in being in the CFL, if you can believe it. But then he decided he didn't want to be defined by football. You know, the way we always think about football when we hear the name Brad Smith.

I'm jumping around here, but I have scribbled in my notes that Harcott had the nerve to tease an upcoming segment by calling it "the most shocking entrance in Bachelor history." Seriously. He didn't say Bachelor Canada history. And that entrance? Dear beloved Jillian Harris returning to the show to help Brad with his decision. Ooh, shocking! Yes, she was the greatest Bachelorette in history, but her entrance tonight was whatever the opposite of 'shocking' is. (Still, it was great to see her.)

The women ran the gamut, as they always do, from hot all the way to smoking hot. Some less than charitable readers might scoff at this description but let's just say beauty is subjective and in some cultures many of them would be considered hot. Here's a quick rundown, in order of appearance, with their fate in parentheses.
  1. Laura B., 23, from Ottawa. (rose)
  2. Michelle B, yoga instructor with the Shirley Temple hairdo. (rose)
  3. Michelle V. I scribbled down "shoes" for some reason. Was she the one in Herman Munster platforms? (rose)
  4. Jessica, a CFL cheerleader. A natch, right? Wrong. (buh-bye)
  5. Whitney, 24, from Calgary. A boxing beauty. (first impression rose)
  6. Ana, a 26-year-old Romanian from Ottawa with a body that won't quit. (extra rose)
  7. Mindy, 33, from Alberta, works in a photo lab, studying to be a funeral director, and loves hunting. Tattoo in the centre of her chest and a big one on her back. Wore hiking boots under her cocktail dress. Seriously. (buh-bye)
  8. Clarice, 25, office administrator from Toronto. (buh-bye)
  9. Sophie, 26, a university recruiter from Moncton, who speaks French. (rose)
  10. Britany (rose)
  11. Rebecca, aka Bubba, 27, a real estate agent from Toronto. (buh-bye)
  12. Tracy, 28, from Victoria. A local girl representin'! (buh-bye – at least it's a short walk home)
  13. Fawn, bleach blond from Ajax, Ontario. (buh-bye)
  14. Stephanie, a model/neuroscientist (I am not making that up) from Montreal. (rose)
  15. Amber, a Winnipeg strip club server (I am not making that up, either) who made her entrance on a motorbike. (buh-bye)
  16. Bianka, 28, a nurse who dated Mr. Kim Kardashian (Kris Humphries) for two years while he was a Toronto Raptor before he dumped her for KK (rose)
  17. Chantelle, a giggly pastor from Sylvan Lake, Alberta (rose)
  18. Melissa Marie, a 28-year-old single mom and Playboy model from Vancouver (rose)
  19. Tia from Ottawa (rose)
  20. Tina, a trial lawyer from Thunder Bay who wore heart-shaped sunglasses getting out of the limo (buh-bye)
  21. Nicole, a drop-dead gorgeous optician from Ontario (rose)
  22. Laura F., a medical student from Winnipeg (rose)
  23. Gabrielle, 24, law student and certifiable psychotic (rose)
  24. Sandy, a make-up artist from Alberta (buh-bye)
  25. Kara, a competitive softball player from Delta, BC (rose)
That'd be 16 roses. Because Brad asserted his independence after handing out the assigned 15 roses. He felt bad about not having given one to Ana, whose efforts to talk to him all evening were squashed by the headstrong women he gave roses to. And he made a potentially horrifying statement that could come back to haunt him: "Any person that wants to fight for me that much is worth keeping around." Cue the cat fights.

Once again, we've gotten ahead of ourselves by revealing who advanced, but what the hell. I don't break the rules; I make the rules.

Right off the bat at the cocktail party, the dreaded stealing away became an issue. The girls were shocked. "What the hell was that?" one of them said. Uh, it's called the standard Bachelor gambit. Get used to it.

Gabrielle proved herself the most cunning of all right from the start by strutting over to Brad and getting the 'stealing away' ball rolling. When my home girl Tracy in turn went to steal him away from Gabrielle, she wasn't impressed. She asked for two more minutes, which the Victoria native graciously allowed. When Tracy returned for Brad, Gab told her it was "very rude what you're doing." Thus beginning her psychotic breakdown wherein she called Whitney an easy girl and a skank and proving herself to the producers that she must be kept around because shows like these need villains. I hope for her sake it's all an act to get more TV time.

Bianka, the nurse, cemented her rose by telling Brad she specializes in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I'm not sure Brad understood she was just joking.

A funny moment came when the worldly single mom and Playboy model Melissa Marie stood off to the side with innocent giggly pastor Chantelle and admitted she had fake boobs then pointed out all the others in the house who were sporting them. It rocked Chantelle's world. I don't know what it says of me that I'm kind of looking forward to sexualizing of Chantelle. Will she make out with Brad? Will she wear a bikini? Will Melissa Marie recruit her for the pages of Playboy?

Then there were the Bubba segments. I kinda wish she had stuck around for the havoc she'd most certainly wreak. Full of piss and vinegar, she said things like, "I don't fight for cock. That's not how Bubba rolls." But she also revealed a vulnerable side when she revealed she was really insecure around the girls while otherwise so confidant. And when she was let go, she shed tears, saying all the other girls were "so skinny and I'm not." Before judging, remember that Canadian beer packs more punch than the American stuff.

Just before Jillian made her entrance, all the girls were floored when it was hinted that yet another contestant would enter the mix, who would represent .038% of everyone there so of course would provide a challenge. But of course, there would be no other surprise contestant. Rather it was just THE MOST SHOCKING ENTRANCE IN BACHELOR HISTORY!!!

As I said, and as you know, I'm a big Jillian Harris fan and it was great she could drop by. The women looked more excited to meet her than they were at meeting Brad. Her role was to help Brad by interviewing the girls. Not sure how much help he got. Her way of weeding out the women was by asking such hard-hitting questions as, "If you were an animal, what animal would you be?" Still, it gave Gabby a chance to repeat ad infinitum that she will always be herself. I'm thinking that's not such a selling point.

I hope we get to see the other Canadian former Bachelor stars, like the Wrassler. In fact, I wish he were the Bachelor. How fun would that be?

When Brad gave the lady boxer Whitney the first impression rose, they sealed it with a long, sultry kiss. I thought maybe it was a bit soon for such an in-depth saliva exchange, but I'm of an older generation perhaps. But young Gabby thought so, too, calling Whitney a skank to her face and implying she'd also sleep with a guy on the first date. The future lawyer was getting practice at leading the witness, your honour. Whitney took it with good humour and grace while Gabby kept on gabbing into the ether. She was obviously inspired to go to law school by watching A Few Good Men because she defended her outburst with, "It's not my fault people can't handle the truth."

Whitney, while showing grace under pressure, also revealed a cocky side, saying, "I will be safe for the rest of the rose ceremonies." We'll see about that.

Upcoming season highlights include trips to Las Vegas, Paris, New Orleans, and PEI. It's nice to see there was a decent-sized budget. The show really does have the same look and feel as the American version. I'm impressed. Also we can look forward to plenty of slammed doors, tears, helicopters and family concerns. And the ending sure looks like it might be in doubt. I guess we'll have to follow along.


Anonymous said...

You could totally become Canada's version of Reality Steve. Imagine what that would do for you. It would be easy for you to get insider information too.

Guy MacPherson said...

I like it! Okay, so any Bachelor Canada contestants or crew who want to anonymously feed me backstage gossip or upcoming tips, drop me a line. Reality Guy at your service.

Anonymous said...

So do we call you Bachelor Blog - Canada? No comments about the low budget bring your best prom dress because we can't be spending $$ on wardrobe and still go to Tofino? At least he made a last minute hail mary and kept Ana. Don't bother fighting to talk to me, just walk by on a regular basis and you'll keep getting a rose.