Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Curaçao: The island of blue balls

Not just a liqueur anymore
We're getting down to the nitty-gritty. This episode answered a lot of questions for me. The biggest one was, "How do you pronounce Curaçao?" Now I know. The second biggest was, "Do you mean Curaçao isn't just a liqueur?"

Miss Emily and her two remaining hunks, along with One-F Jef, flew to the island of the liqueur for a week of really-getting-to-know-you. If you know what I mean. If you catch my drift. If you're picking up what I'm laying down. Nudge nudge, wink wink. It's Fantasy Suite week, y'all! Miss Emily's gonna get her groove on.

Or not. Miss Emily got each of the guys all hot and bothered before sending them all on their way to a cold shower in their own apartments. But let's go in order of the dates.

We start with Selective Sean. Just as this segment was starting, I jotted down, "Sean – out – my prediction." I don't know why. I just got the feeling he'd be the one let go. Miss Emily made a big thing out of him not yet having told her he loves her. Every time she mentioned it – and she mentioned it lots – I was thinking she might, you know, tell Sean what she's thinking along those lines herself. Later in the show, she mentioned that she couldn't say what she was really thinking to one of the other guys, so I assume it's part of the nebulous rules of the game we never hear about. Not sure why that'd be a rule, given that she's ostensibly trying to find her husband and life partner. She should open up to him. Give a guy a sign.

They hop on a helicopter with the least fanfare in Bachelorette history! It was just sitting there. Nobody got excited. Just as it should be. (Also, was this the first appearance by the Bachelorette Chopper this season? If so, well done, squad!) They flew to their "very own private island." Sounds romantic. But you should have seen this island if you didn't. I've never seen a more desolate piece of barren land described so romantically.

As they sat on the surf, Sean got all tongue-tied as he tried to express his feelings: "I'm crazy about you," he started. And then reverted to: "I forgot what I was going to say."

Thankfully, he had a letter written. To Miss Emily's oft-mentioned daughter, Little Ricki. Ah, a trusty device to let her hear what she wants to hear without actually saying it directly to her. It was the usual blather. What blew me away was his beautiful printing. Okay, so it wasn't cursive, but it may as well have been it was so gorgeously penned. Maybe he paid money and dictated it to a local 14-year-old girl.

My suspicions were confirmed when he told her his life was going to change drastically and she looked down sheepishly. He didn't appear to notice because he then said, "I have fallen in love with you." Again, not a direct 'I love you', but it's a start. Miss Emily said, "I feel like the luckiest girl in the world."

... all night long
At dinner, she hands him the much anticipated fantasy suite card. Sean says he'd love the chance to "stay up." Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Well, I know one thing that stayed up all night. They embarked on a long, slow, steamy kiss in the "fantasy suite" – which looked like a regular house to me. That kiss would lead nowhere, though. Miss Emily said, "I'd love to stay up with him but I'm a mom." Uh, yeah, that's how you became a mom, remember? That's what moms do.

When Miss Emily was on the other side, and Brad Womack was offering her the card, she expressed the same phoney misgivings, but she finally agreed to "stay up" so long as they just talked all night. And who knows if they did. See, that's the magic of the fantasy suite. Nobody needs to know. She could easily have made that same proviso with each of the guys, and then gone inside and got her freak on and nobody would be the wiser. If the guys came out bragging, she could say, "In your dreams," and we'd all think they were just being the frat boys they all look like.

The next date was with One-F Jef. From what I gather on Twitter, a lot of ladies are quite taken with this little feller. Frankly, I don't get it.

They went fishing on a boat. Or at least Jef did. Fishing for compliments. "Do you think I'd be a good parent?" he asked Emily. When she answered in the affirmative, he followed up with, "Why?" It was also humorous when he looked around on the vessel and said, "Look where we are. We're in the middle of the ocean." Camera pans back to the other side and they're about 100 feet from the shore throughout their voyage. Hope they brought lots of fruit. It'd be a shame if they caught scurvy.

While I've always thought he was out of her league, and charming but harmless, this week for the first time I actively disliked him. Maybe it's just my natural antipathy towards confidence – he was the most confident of the three, with the least reason for it – but he came across to me as super oily. But chicks dig confidence, even when it's coming from a tiny dude with a bouffant and no body definition. I dunno, though. It just seemed he kept trying to say what she wanted to hear. I think he's full of it.

This was nowhere more clear than when she offered him the fantasy suite card. "I completely respect that your daughter will be watching, my family will be watching, blah, blah, blah. There's a time and a place, blah, blah, blah." But then they used the key, found a comfy couch and proceeded to make out in front of the camera. Little Ricki will be okay with that.

"Please, Ricki, just 3 more hours."
She saved the best for last: Arie. Miss Emily loves how protective he is of her. And indeed, on this date he protected her from a vicious dolphin attack. What she had to find out, though, is if there's anything more than chemistry between the two of them. They love to kiss. And kiss. And in between kiss. So they decided to talk this time. She wondered about a typical day for him. He said he gets up around 9 each morning and Emily had the look of "You poor sap, you don't know what you're in for, do you?" in her. She told him she and Little Ricki arise around 6 am.

Still not sure everything's registering with Arie, though. He asked her if at the end of this process he's the man, what would they do about visiting each other. Or maybe it did register. After hearing she gets up at six every morning, maybe he thinks it prudent to keep two residences.

There was no fantasy suite card offered poor Arie, but only because Emily said she didn't trust herself. Arie is just too stinkin' hot. Oh, and she's a role model and mother, don't forget. That, too.

The final 40 minutes were tearfully spent in the realization that Miss Emily will have to send one of the guys home. Who would it be? She could see a happy future life with each of them and is "falling in love with each of them in different ways." (Not sure how many different ways you can fall in love with someone, but we'll go along with it.)

Chris Harrison told her that each man had left her a "very private, personal video message." So private and personal that only Miss Emily and whoever else was watching on broadcast television or the internet could watch.

After looking the least confident on his date, Sean came across the most confident on video. Probably because he didn't have to speak directly to Emily's face. He told her he's "head over heels in love" with her and said he looked "forward to being a father to your daughter." And then, "I love you and I don't want you ever to forget that." Her eyes filled with regret-filled tears.

"... a thousand sunsets..."
Jef continued with his line of BS, talking about their "journey" and saying, "We'll watch a thousand sunsets." Or, to put it another way, almost three full years' worth. Obviously not thinking long-term. But long for Bachelor/ette standards, I guess. His delivery sounded like he was reading from cue cards.

Arie sounded heartfelt and sincere (I guess, judging from the outtakes at the end of the show, after numerous takes at sounding heartfelt and sincere). He said, "I don't think you realize how beautiful you are inside and out. I can't wait to remind you of that every day... I love you so much."

In fairness to Sean, Emily looked just as sick during all their very private and personal presentations. There were no smiles.

Finally the moment Emily could not postpone any longer. It was brass tacks time. The first rose went to One-F. While she stood there quivering, Arie looked unsure. Sean was gaining confidence by the second. What could go wrong?!

Well, Arie got the second rose. Which, if math is your strong suit, meant Sean was the unlucky lover. Gob-smacked, I say he was. Numb. She led him outside. They sat down. They didn't speak. "What are you thinking about?" Miss Emily asked. She'd make a fine sports reporter.

And Sean handled it like a champ. Sad but not babyish. He said he felt kind of stupid, didn't see it coming... You know, the usual. When he said, "I think you should know it's gonna hurt me," Miss Emily broke down in sobs.

As he spoke stoically in the limo ride of shame, my feeling was that we're watching the next Bachelor. He has it all: blond hair, blue eyes, money and muscles. And he seems like a decent guy. And I'm sure all the ladies swooned when he said, "Honestly, when she walked out tonight, in my head I thought that's my wife." (The head, by the way, is the best place for thoughts.) "I knew without a doubt I was going to marry her... I had a beautiful picture of what my life was going to look like and now it's gone... I want to love someone with every ounce of my being."

And so we're left with two. Or one-and-a-half. I can't believe Jef is even in it at this point. I'm thinking maybe the harder decision was cutting Sean, so she kept Jef around so it wouldn't be so hard in the final week.

Next week, though, is the guys tell all episode. We'll have to wait two weeks – and on a Sunday yet when I'll be three thousand miles away – for the finale. The highlights hint at trouble in paradise! Maybe Emily pulls a Brad 1.0 and picks neither of them!