Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bachelor Canada: Zipping along

Wow, is this thing ever moving along rapidly. This was the fourth episode and we're down to the final four already. And don't forget, one Canadian episode = 90 minutes rather than the bloated 2-hour American version. Even though they keep telling us Brad is making these decisions, I've got to think he's being guided. If the network wanted the show strung out a bit longer, he'd be eliminating one or two per show, not four a week. I guess it isn't the cash cow the original series is. Too bad.

Too-Tall McGhee
Last week I suggested someone should mention the host's name once or twice just to put it in our heads. My wife read that and emailed me an article on the guy, name and all. Which went in one eye and out the other. Or something like that, because I don't remember what it is again.

That gangly host told the women at the start of the show that Brad insisted he needs more time with the frontrunners so he'd be eliminating four more. Is anyone buying that excuse? Sure, he says he's starting to develop deep and "intimate" feelings, but the more women he eliminates, the shorter the series will run, meaning less time, not more, with his favourite(s). Or maybe he just wants to hurry things along to the anticipated fantasy suite so he can act on those intimate feelings.

Tonight, Gabrielle continued her record of never uttering a sentence without invoking the name of Whitney. She started off saying she thinks she's going to get a rose and, indeed, hopes she's going to get a rose. Not because she digs Brad or anything, but "so I can shove it in Whitney's face." Who's there for the wrong reasons?

The first date was a 4-on-1 with Ana, Kara, Gabby and Britany and they got to shoot an 8-page spread in Lulu magazine. Or something that sounded like Lulu magazine. I'd never heard of it and Brad mumbled both times he mentioned it. There's money well spent, Lulu! (Just Binged it: it's actually LouLou magazine.)

While Gabby was always reminding us about Whitney, Britany told us she was a small-town girl every time she opened her mouth. And an insecure one at that. The Swift Current native was also intimidated. She wasn't sure her connection with Brad was the same as some of the others. And, in case you missed it, she's a small-town girl. Note to self: small-town girls like to cry a lot.

On Gabby's photo shoot, she and Brad got to make out in a limo. I almost didn't recognize her as she was heavily made-up. It was almost clown make-up. Not attractive. Since Whitney wasn't on this date, Gabby felt the need to attack someone else. Britany was her victim. She said professional hair and make-up people can make anyone look good. Irony – I love it!

Britany had other things on her mind. She was all worried about potentially introducing Brad to her family. Here's the problem: the girls barely know Brad. It's way, way too soon to be meeting families. So what this has done is force somebody like Britany, who wouldn't even have been in this position if they had taken their time, to open up way too soon. Not only that, but open up about her family on national TV. I get that in small towns, everybody knows everybody else's business, but maybe her dad didn't need his problems exposed like that. I'm not even going to mention them here.

Brad said he'd normally give a rose just for being so brave about opening up, but in this rushed format he had to take his time. One woman was supposed to get a rose but he said he wasn't in the right frame of mind to make such a rational decision.

Back at the mansion, Whitney wasn't going to wait around for Brad. She took control and ran off to find him. She said she had a pretty good idea where he was. Okay, fair enough. So she gets to the hotel, but knows to go up to the fifth floor? And has a hunch which room he's in? She's amazing.

Brad was "so happy" she was there but worried if she or he would "get in trouble" for her shenanigans. Maybe he hasn't even seen an episode so it's a fair question. But if he had, he not only would have known it was fair game, but he'd know that it's always the beautiful sociopath that pulls the move.

All she says is that she really wants him to meet her family. Then somehow he feels the need to open up to her about the deaths of two of his best friends. Not sure how that came up, but it was very emotional for him. And they are the reasons he got that giant hideous tattoo on his chest. I suppose I can't make fun of it now. But couldn't it have been more discreet? You know, I've spoken to plenty of old people who have had tragic losses when they were young, and none of them have forgotten even without the aid of a tattoo. But yes, it was sad so I'll say no more.

He also revealed to Whitney that for a while he treated people terribly until a couple years ago, when he started being the nice guy he is now. So it was an emotional one-way conversation. Whitney sat there stoically. Of course they kissed when he was finished and she said she was glad he told her, but one got the sense she was only glad because it gave her the upper hand in the competition. In fact, she then said, "I better get that 1-on-1 date!" You see, she does exhibit empathy!

The 2-on-1 date was next and it was a doozy because one of them would be going home. If you've read my previous missives, you'll know my favourite has been Laura B. So a date with her and the almost NBA wife Bianka was a no-brainer. Bianka had been the most closed off of anyone. This date was all Laura's. Done deal.

They flew to Paris. Yes, that Paris. Not Paris, Ontario. Not Paris, Texas. The real deal. On the date card, they called it the City of Love. With a group that didn't know the Big Easy was New Orleans, you could be sure they wouldn't be sure about the City of Love. Was it New York? No, that's the Big Apple. Yeah, but it could be called something else. Was it Oakville, Ontario? No, that was a joke. But whatever, surely they couldn't be going to Paris, France. This is Bachelor Canada! Canadian shows don't do things like this.

Well, they do, but then they blow their budget in the first three weeks and have to pull the rip cord early.

So Laura B. met Brad in front of the Eiffel Tower in the pouring rain. It was sexy. They kissed under the tower. There was passion. There was cheesy accordion music. But Brad couldn't let go of the night Laura had "an emotional meltdown." You know what I call that? Just about any episode in the history of the show, just about any contestant in the history of the show, and just about any woman in the history of womankind. What's the big deal? She had some wine and her hormones were kicking in. Other than that, she seems utterly delightful.

They then went to Brad's room, changed into the hotel robes and drank wine. He admitted he gets nervous around her. As he should. One of them said, "I like how we are together." Can't remember who but the other one agreed. I like how they are together, too.

It was make it or break it for Bianka. Her guard was still up. She said she can't see herself being engaged after this. Smart cookie, sure, but is that what you're looking for, Brad?

They stop at a creperie and Brad effortlessly converses in French with the server. It made me proud, for some strange reason even though I don't speak French. When he got up to leave, leaving Bianka behind, she called out, Au revoir in the worst French I've heard since grade 8. It made me the opposite of proud.

Bringing the two women together the plan was to take a carriage ride for three around the city. But we know enough about Brad to know he makes up his mind quickly. So right there on a bridge he gave the rose to... Bianka! Unbelievable. But Laura B. was a trooper. She smiled and waved them off. In her goodbye interview she fought back some tears but still laughed as she said, "I love how much of a goofball he is." Then, to prove she's not an emotional juvenile after all, she said, "That's how life goes." Que sera, sera and all that. Let this be an audition for many future dates. If there's a Bachelorette Canada, my vote is for Laura B.

The 1-on-1 date was between Whitney and the virginal Chantelle. No surprise as he picked Whitney, leaving Chantelle as the only one not to get a date this week. The chaste one said it's "definitely hard to not be pursued."

So Brad flew back from Paris and met Whitney in Penticton where, after a leaping leg wrap-around greeting, they took a helicopter to Diamondback Wall to face Brad's biggest fear. I can't believe one would have a fear of rappelling only. He must also fear heights. Anyway, they attempted (and, spoiler alert, completed!) a simulated rock rescue.

Whitney descended first while Brad fretted and almost lost his lunch. But if we know anything about daredevil stunts, extreme sports and relationships, they're all about trust. That's why in the history of extreme sports, not a single couple has ever divorced or caused the other to mistrust them. Because if you can trust them in extreme situations, it's a given you can trust them 100% of the time in real life situations. Or so goes the silly Bachelor narrative they trot out each and every season. "Trust is huge in a relationship," said Brad. "For Whit to trust me, we're in a really good place."

After their successful descent, they went to my favourite summer getaway, Osoyoos, and the gorgeous Spirit Ridge winery. Whitney admitted that she doesn't "verbalize my emotions very well." Brad wanted to see her soft side, so she talked about butterflies in her stomach. She's a gamer, that one.

Back at the mansion, Chantelle got a phone call from her dad. She was super excited. Actually, maybe not. She was how she naturally is, which always seems super excited. Not knowing what he was going to say, she took the call on speaker phone. Turns out her grandpa died and there'd be a funeral the next day. Well, he said Saturday, but when she finally left she said "tomorrow". I'm guessing she might have stayed a night but it was edited to look like all one day.

Needless to say, she packed her bags and left. Brad was understanding, as expected. But maybe he wouldn't have picked her anyway since she didn't go on a date. We don't know. It was a little suspicious when he said, "I always look forward to spending any time with her." Except when there are seven other women to choose from, apparently.

So with Laura B. and Chantelle gone, that leaves only Kara as my favourite. I guess Brad and I are very different people. (I can hear my wife smirking and agreeing completely. I'm taking that as a positive.)

Whitney isn't in love. And how could she be in such a short time? But, as she said, "I can't see it going any other way." She also said no one else has a chance against her. She's probably right, but that's no reflection on them or her. Although it's a very real reflection on her manners.

Was it just me or did Whitney look different all throughout the show? I couldn't put my finger on it. But just one look at those bushy eyebrows and cartoon boobs and I knew it was her.

With a rose, a 1-on-1 date, and a secret rendezvous in Brad's room, Whitney still felt the need to make her presence felt at the cocktail party. While Gabby sat down with Brad, Whitney waltzed in to interrupt. Even Brad couldn't believe it. He said, "What?" as it was happening, in a kind of incredulous way, but didn't put a stop to it. Gabrielle called Whitney the "devil. She's evil. Very evil."

With six left standing at the rose ceremony, and with Whitney and Bianka already avec rose, only two roses would be handed out. The first one went to Kara, showing Brad has some semblance of taste, afterall. He picked up the second and last rose but then needed to walk away. When he returned he told them he needed some extra time because he realized he didn't have a clue. Throughout it all, Britany smiled hopefully. Would she get it? Or would it go to Ana, with the supermodel body? Or maybe quirky little Gabrielle, for reasons unknown?

What most likely happened was the producers told Brad to pick Gabrielle. He picked up the rose but couldn't do it. So he walked off for a meeting with them and they read him the riot act. "Listen, bub, you're going to do as we say and pick that mouthy little one. Don't you understand good TV?... Er, I mean, she's marriage material!"

And so it was Gabby. We didn't see if she then shoved the rose in Whitney's face. Instead we got our goodbyes. Because of the quick nature of the series, neither had developed that strong a relationship so they were both fine with it. Ana said she'd miss his jokes. And Britany continued smiling, although she "really hopes she can get past this funk."

That was it. Next week is the hometown visits. Just like that. It's looking like Whitney all the way but they do tease us that Brad emotionally wonders at some point if he even knows a particular woman, and that can only be Whitney. No other of the final four would elicit emotion from him.

I wonder where the After the Final Rose show will be filmed. And I wonder if the producers will invite me. It's the least they could do for all my fine blogging. I'm a pussycat in person. And I promise I won't hit on Laura B.