Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bachelor Canada: Three's a crowd

Whining is beneath me, guys, but not a single comment last week?! Is it me or is it the show? As I've said, I think the show is as good/bad as the American version, but I guess a much smaller audience can see this one. That's what I'll console myself with. Yeah, that's it.

I was speaking to a woman last week who watches the show and she was saying how horrible this version is. Why? Because they say all the same things as the American ones. But to my way of thinking, every season all the contestants say the exact same things. It's branding. That's what they do. Everyone's on a "journey", some people aren't there for "the right reasons". We know the game.

She also didn't like the host, but the guy (whose name was finally mentioned – three times, yet! – tonight) is hardly around at all so that's no reason to dislike the whole show. Probably more than anything, she was one of many Canadians who automatically hate anything on TV that even hints at being Canadian. Usually there's good reason to feel that way, but I think this is an exception. That is, if you hate the U.S. franchise, you'll hate Bachelor Canada, but I can't see liking one and disliking the other because they're practically identical, for better or for worse.

One major difference, though, is the time allotment. We were down to the final three women tonight and the network gives up a whole hour for it. When was the last time any Bachelor/ette season clocked in at under 2 hours? Maybe in the first season, whenever that was. It was surprising all they could fit in given the constraints.

Brad took his three ladies to the Maritimes this week. Or what the producers erroneously called the Maritimes. Yes, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are two of the three maritime provinces, but Newfoundland & Labrador (one province, if you're reading from outside the Great White North) isn't included, for some reason. No idea why. Maybe because they were late to the party, constitutionally speaking. (Hey, maybe my ignorance on the subject will spur an irate Newfoundlander to comment!)

Bianka got to go to Newfoundland, Kara to Nova Scotia, and Whitney to PEI. No love for New Brunswick, for some reason. They're the forgotten Maritime province. I've been there many a time. I was there this past summer, as a matter of fact. Sure, it's not as glamourous as the others but I'm sure they could have scouted out a decent location or two.

The episode started with Brad gazing pensively out a private jet's windows as he reflected on his three remaining potential brides. Bianka would make a great wife, but he's still waiting for her to trust him. Kara is an all-around nice person and most like him, but he wonders if he can be around a girl who's exactly like you expect. Yeah, consistency sucks. Better to get one of them mercurial models where you never know how the day is going to go. And, of course, Whitney and her eyebrows are hot. So much to consider.

The first fantasy date went to Bianka. They met in Ferryland, Newfoundland. I thought maybe they should have taken a day trip to Dildo. Yes, there's actually a town called Dildo. That's awesome. (On the topic of oddly-named town names, this time on the decidedly not awesome side, did you know there's a place in Ontario called Swastika? I kid you not. How is that even still allowed?)

Bianka showed her smarts right off the bat. They were standing near the water, in which sat a big (but surely shrinking) iceberg. At the mention of it, she said, "I didn't know what that was." She thought maybe it was a giant piece of foam floating on the water. She said that.

Brad thought it was time the two of them had an "adrenaline date" so the two of them kayaked out and around the Titanic killer. Bianka wasn't thrilled with the idea, especially given her fear of deep water, but she went along. Barely. She wasn't having fun. When Brad said he'd do the rowing, she said she'd help because she just wants "to get to this frickin' piece of foam and go." And once there, she said, "Let's just get out of here, please."

You just know Kara would have been all over such an adventure, laughing all the way. But it's clear Brad prefers drama in his women.

They got back to shore and Brad poured some vodka over glacier water before handing her the card. You know which card. Yeah, that card. Only this time it was signed by Tyler. I know that because each girl read his name. Glad to see the producers read this blog! I'm influential. Tyler is the guy's name. Got it. Tyler. Don't let me forget it.

Bianka didn't gladly jump at the chance to spend the night in the fantasy suite. She's a lady. Remember last week she said she wouldn't give up too much too soon. She's learned her lesson. Live and learn. She expressed her concerns that Brad was loving two others and reiterated that she had been cheated on multiple times before. Yeah, well, she should be used to it then, am I right, gals?!... No? Oh, okay.

But really, is it cheating if she knows about the other two? It's not like he's running around behind her back! Come on, this is 2012! Get with the program, Bianka!

So she said her piece and was therefore true to her word that she wouldn't give up too much too soon. Mission accomplished. Usually she jumps straight in on an offer like this, but this time it was a good five or ten minutes before she accepted. Because a lady waits. "Here's to our journey of love," she said. A helicopter whisked them away to St. John's and a bed covered in rose petals.

(Quick question: Has anyone in the history of real life sprinkled rose petals on their bed? And who cleans up that mess?)

She admitted to the cameras that she's "definitely falling in love with him" and she thinks she "can make him a very happy man." Presumably in the future, not in the fantasy suite, although probably there, too.

Don't know if you caught it, but there was a hilarious exchange as they sat gazing into each other's eyes. Brad said, "Whatever made you change your mind in Mexico, I'm glad you did." Then there was this long uncomfortable pause. He finally physically nodded to her, as if to say, "Your turn. You speak now." And she jumped right in with, "It was you." Finally she remembered her line.

The second date was in a place called Wallace, Nova Scotia, with Kara. She's just so full of life. Brad took her skeet shooting. As dull as that sounds, Kara was all over it. It truly was a dream date for her, god bless her. They got dressed in hunting gear and were given a lesson. The deal was, when one person got one, they got to open an envelope and read a question to the other person, who had to answer honestly. Problem was, they both sucked at skeet shooting. Brad said he had his Certification of Canadian Marksmanship, but that was for stationary targets not little plates whizzing by.

But he eventually snagged one. His question to Kara was, "What do you need from me to be happy?" She answered that she wants a family, not to take life too seriously, and live life to the fullest. Mutually exclusive wishes?

Next she hit one and asked Brad, "What are you looking for in a wife?" He said something about wanting someone with the same values and who can tolerate his annoyances as he will tolerate hers. Whoever he marries one day, that should be on the wedding vows: "Do you, Brad, promise to tolerate Kara's annoyances till death do you part?" Actually, now that I think about it, it's kind of funny but also maybe should be on people's vows.

The last question (that we saw, anyway) was for Kara from Brad: "What did you expect going into this and what has surprised you the most?" (I'm paraphrasing.) She said something about how she's now thinking of a future.

When the card came, she got all throaty and replied, "I would love to go upstairs." I thought of the three, she was hands-down the best. Not only for my tastes, but for his. They seemed like a great couple. We know now that she was the one let go. Too bad, but at least he's consistent in choosing the worst people available every week.

While she was still in the game, she said, "I'd be happy if he proposes. I'm definitely ready to start a life." Remember this when we get to his reasons for sending her home.

The last date was in PEI with Whitney. Brad said if she doesn't open up, it's a deal-breaker. But we all knew what he meant by that. She would just have to utter some meaningless platitude and he'd hear what he wants to hear. And that's exactly what happened.

They went lobster fishing, which is a bit of cliché but way more subtle than what might have been. It's probably the first time in the history of the smallest province that no reference was made to Anne of Green Gables. Well done, crew, well done.

They followed this adventure up with drinking in a hot tub, because that's always recommended. He asked her if she'd thought about what he told her at the last rose ceremony and she replied that she's had lots of time to think. "I can see myself with you in the end," she said and he was blown over. That's all he was looking for her to say! But what did she say? It was so vague and ambiguous. She didn't say she wanted to be with him in the end, just that she could see that being the outcome. And the end of what? Their lives? The series? Yeah, probably the latter.

And her lack of communication continued unabated, despite his warnings that he needed her to open up. At a sunset dinner, he did all the talking: "I hope that when you look at me you see someone who's good enough for you." No reply other than a simple, "Mm-hmm." Aw, she doesn't say the most beautiful things, doesn't she?!

When he handed her the fantasy suite card, she read it aloud. Brad asked, "What are your thoughts?" One word: "Absolutely." Those are some well-formed thoughts, I think you'll agree.

We never did see their suite I guess because Whitney created some drama away from Brad. She made a call to someone (a friend? her mother?) and was second-guessing if this is what she really wants. The person agreed that if she's not sure, she should tell Brad. Whitney said, "I don't know if I'm ready for the next step."

So at the rose ceremony, we were waiting anxiously for her to break up with him. As he walked about, Kara was the only one who actually smiled. Brad handed out the first rose to Bianka. Okay, Whitney, speak up now. Take Brad away for a moment. But then Brad picked up the second rose and called Whitney's name. Unbelievable. And she accepted! Before Kara got a chance to say goodbye to Brad, Whitney then said she had to speak to Brad.

They whispered on a porch. Whitney said, "I don't know what's wrong." Brad said, rightfully, "This is the most selfish thing you could have done, do you realize that?" She said, "Something doesn't feel right." Brad said, "This is not the time and place to do this." So you just knew it was over between them, right?


Unbelievable. All he wanted was for her to go apologize to Kara. That's it. Then business as usual. She was still hot, after all.

I was gobsmacked. Kara, the lovely Kara, was still all smiles. She said there was no need to apologize. Brad was morose as he walked her to her stretch Hummer, or whatever vehicle that was. "Do not feel bad for me at all," she said, proving she's the best of the three by a country kilometre (if you're American reading this, no we don't actually say that).

There was drama with both of the other two, but this is the girl he's sending home? Maybe she was the worst in the sack, er, sorry, in the fantasy suite. Who knows? But from what we've seen, he deserves to be alone. Although, if Whitney had done the honourable thing and not accepted the rose, there's no way Kara would or should have taken it. Then we'd be left with Bianka and no rival. And no rival equals no mystery, which equals no viewers.

What was particularly galling was his explanation to her for why he didn't select her: "Do I see it being further than dating for you?" It was awkwardly worded, but the sense was that he felt she wasn't ready to get married and he was. Now scroll back up to her answers to his questions earlier if you don't recall. She said she's ready, willing and able. At the car, she said, "I don't know, I would have loved to get married in the end." In the ride home she said, "I wanted to be with him forever. I really thought I was going to marry him."

Back in private, Whitney said, "I don't know what to think." Brad, treading water furiously, said, "Let's just get through this." Love is in the air! Can you feel it?!

He then goes in to kiss her and she... lets him. Nothing reciprocated at all. It was like he pulled a mannequin towards him. See, what's not to love/hate about this Canadian version?! It's as awesome/horrible as the real show. Brad said, "I still believe I could be the guy for her." Yes, keep telling yourself that, big fella.

Next week is the After the Final Rose episode and it's already been filmed! You know what that is? That's horse hockey, that's what that is. No invitation? Who are all these people in attendance? How did they hear of it? When was it filmed? Where was it shot? How can I be Canada's Reality Steve if I don't have these scoops?

Oh well, it looks good. Whitney gets brow-beaten and sheds a tear. This is really where whatisname will earn his big Canadian paycheque. Looking forward to it.

Tyler. Yes, Tyler. That's it.