Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bachelorette Desiree: That settles it

Here we are, at the finish line. Whoops, wrong metaphor for what happened. Let's try that again:

Here we are, at the end of the poem. Thank God. What a train wreck. Des's bro, Nate Dawgg, may be crazy, but he's crazy like a fox. What was the one bit of advice he gave Des after giving his blessing of Chris? He told her not to settle. And she agreed, repeating the words to him.

And what did she then do? She settled. There's no other way around it, as great a guy as Chris is. Her spin – that her heartbreak over Brooks made her realize what was standing in front of her the whole time – was plausible but not realistic. Chris Harrison kept trying to get to the bottom of it by asking if it was a rebound relationship (which it clearly is), but no one would give him a straight answer. But when you're in the middle of the hurricane, it's hard to know what's happening and that soon you're going to be in shambles.

This shocking conclusion started with a rose ceremony. Actually it started with Chris Harrison sitting down with Desiree and performing a mind meld on her so she would continue with the show and not leave. At this point, she was still devastated and crying at the mere mention of Brooks' name. She even said, "I just want to go home, to be honest."

So there we have it. She wanted to go home. Honestly. Then she said, "I'm still not broken. My heart might be, but my spirit isn't." Okay, so she's smart enough to realize that life goes on and she'll eventually be okay. How is this translated in Harrison's head? He says: "What I'm hearing from you is you want to carry on." Say wha–?? Des stares at him and gives an almost imperceptible nod. You could almost hear her saying, "No, what? That's not what I'm saying. I just said I want to go home. Are you insane?" But the captor's will won out.

And then came the useless rose ceremony. Two roses for the two remaining men, Chris and Drew. Oh, the tension was palpable!

Des came out and explained to the two about Brooks' absence, crying all the way through. Did it give them pause seeing how close she was to the other guy? Nah, they're still in the competition, baby! Besides, she lied to them, giving them hope. She said from day one she had taken every relationship individually. She neglected to mention that every date she went on with them she wished it was with Brooks. Details, details.

Bawling, she told them to please let her know when she offers them the rose if they're not feeling it. It matters not that she wasn't feeling it herself. That's beside the point. Who's side are you on, anyway?

In the studio audience, Harrison interviewed various women about their hopes and dreams for Des. Some were for Chris, some for Drew, and some still for Brooks. Wow, riveting stuff. It was like living, breathing Tweets.

You know the show has taken over when the idea that Brooks would return sounded like a reasonable option. The guy said he wasn't in love with Des and that when he's away from her, the feelings only lessen. What was he going to say, "After leaving you, and my feelings lessened again, I realized that while I still don't see a long-term future, I know that this is how the show works. Now send me on my way again to prove you're over me."

Des still had two dates to help her reach her decision. She and Drew would ride horses down to the beach and then set the horses free. Drew tells Des he's been "very relaxed" on this trip to Antigua. She inquires if he's been to the beach or gone out to see the sights. Nope, "Just hanging out in my room," he says. Probably re-imagining his fantasy suite night.

"To Brooks!"
Drew, who said he was ready to propose, told us, "I'll never leave Des and it's important that she knows that." So they're sitting at the beach and, as per series rules, Drew gives a toast. "To being madly in love," he says. Uh, "I really need to talk to you," Des interrupts. And then to rub salt in the fresh wound, she adds, "Especially after that."

That should have been it. That one sentence suffices, doesn't it? There's nothing anything needs to be said beyond, "We need to talk." He should have packed up his belongings right then: "Got it. Nuff said. See ya."

But he stuck around to hear that Des has been so lucky to have him in her life, that she just doesn't see a future with him, and that she "was hoping I could be the one that could love you the way you need to be loved." Sound familiar? She was channelling Brooks! Paying it forward, if you will.

She even did the multiple apology tack. Drew, who was shocked, kept his head: "You don't have to be sorry for not being in love with me; you can't control that," he said. But it was hard on the guy. I'm just afraid that maybe Des has turned him off all women.

Then he got up, looked around for his horse, realize he had set it free, then trudged down the beach and up a path to a waiting car, that somehow knew to be there even though Des didn't know she'd dump him.

The original Round Mound
of Rebound
The next date was with Chris. Would she send him home, too? You could tell immediately she wouldn't. Her sullenness turned into perk when she saw him approaching. They even kissed. Lots. They went on a catamaran and kissed some more. There were "undeniable sparks that keep you wanting more and that's what I wanted with Chris." So she didn't feel them before with him? Classic round mound of rebound.

Chris, trying to buy his love, brought her a gift. A journal. Just what she needs. Only this time the poems in it weren't written in invisible ink. At the end of the book he wrote out all his poems for her. That was considerate. They're easier to rip out that way.

Des felt guilty: "How could I not have loved him from the beginning?" she asked. Um, because you were so much in love with someone else that nobody else mattered. Did you forget? Here's a little poem an athlete like Chris has probably heard before:


Then it was Des' turn to toast: "To the greatest man I have ever known, not to mention loyal friend." I thought that was the death knell of their relationship (loyal friend), but that's the beauty of a rebound: it doesn't differentiate. Any dude'll do.

Back at the studio, Harrison introduced us to Sean and Catherine. Remember them? Boy, they looked happy and in love, didn't they? (I'm being facetious. I thought they looked like they were contractually obligated to be there. Catherine, who looked really uncomfortable, couldn't even respond when Harrison asked her if she was still in love.)

Pretty, but useless, penny
Then Jackie, Lesley and Lindsay chipped in with their two cents worth. Canada has done away with pennies. America should, too. Now I know why. Two cents is useless.

Back to Antigua. Chris was going to meet Des' family. More importantly, Chris was going to meet Nate Dawgg, Des' unpredictable brother. I was just impressed the guy is allowed to travel internationally.

Nate was doing all the probing, while mom and dad sat quietly praying he wouldn't embarrass the family. And he didn't! Prayers answered! Chris answered a bit stiffly but he was understandably nervous. Nate even asked about "the other guy," Drew. Do you think he was just dutifully playing along so as not to tip Chris off he was the only one left, or did they keep the information away from the family so they couldn't let anything slip out accidentally?

Chris asked for, and received, Des' dad's blessings for his daughter's hand, should it come to that. He should have asked Nate. But sitting with Des, Nate gave his blessing, saying, "If you choose him, I think you're definitely making the right choice." And after that, Des stopped listening.

She had to have stopped, because Nate switched the conversation over to Brooks. It was all Des could do to keep from crying. Nate was rehashing everything and Des was on auto-pilot agreeing with everything. Then Nate said, "You realize you couldn't change him." She stopped. "I... I don't know," she mumbled. Yeah, she's over him.

Chris visited the jewelry travelling salesman and picked out a ring. A ring that would symbolize him caring and providing for her – yes, the ring that was bought and paid for by someone else.

Talking to the camera, Des was crying ostensibly about how much Chris loves her, but probably still about Brooks. (Rebound!)

All that was left was the final rose. What would she do? More importantly, what would Chris do after he learned the truth of what really went down with Brooks?

The ups and downs
Ah, who are we kidding? He wouldn't find out the truth. He arrives and starts reminiscing about their time in Germany, Madeira, and all the horrible poetry he had written. Then the roller coaster begins. Then he starts to go down on one knee and she stops him. (Oh, no!) "You're the only one here," she tells him. (Yes!) "But I was torn apart by Brooks leaving. I loved him." (Oh, no!) "But really I was torn between the two of you the whole time." (Yes!) "I was so blindsided by him leaving..." (Oh, no!) "... that I couldn't see what I had right in front of me." (Yes!) "I love you. I love you so much and I want nothing but to spend the rest of my life with you." (Yes, yes yes!)

Do we buy that? She was torn between the two of them the whole time? That's a different tune than she was singing last week, isn't it? You can certainly understand why he felt he could still stick around after that. Although it's not so easy to see why it lasted once he saw last week's episode. Maybe she called and kept distracting him through all key parts.

He finally got down on one knee. It would have been a classic time for a call-back to his original joke where he pretended to tie his shoelace. But there was no time for jokes. There was a proposal to make. "I want to be your first; I want to be your last. Will you marry me," he said. "Yes, a thousand times!" Des boxed out and pulled down that rebound. Settled.

At the altar, she told him she loved him. Finally. "I was waiting for that," Chris laughed. "Truthfully, it never entered my mind before now," she didn't respond.

At the After the Final Rose she came out smiling. See, I told you she was fine. Harrison marvelled about Chris, "He got stronger as you told him about Brooks." Well, sure, because she didn't really tell him the full story.

Brooks came out and to his credit, he stuck to his guns in a most respectful way. He didn't say he made a mistake. He even sat far apart from her. He didn't watch the final but when told Des and Chris got engaged, you could see the relief on his face. He claims he noticed their bond from the beginning.

Drew came out. Hang on, I mean he walked out and sat down with Des and Harrison. He was a lot more confident than he was all season. And he looked much younger. He had a bunch of unanswerable questions for Des, such as could he have done anything different (yes, he could have been Brooks), when did she know she saw no future for them (when it turned out he wasn't Brooks), was he always a little behind Chris and Brooks (no, a lot behind), and did she notice herself holding back with him (only when her eyes were open and she could see he wasn't Brooks).

But Drew spoke so well and looked so handsome I briefly thought he might be named the next Bachelor. But when Harrison announced the next Bachelor was "handsome, charismatic and funny," I knew it couldn't be him, as Drew only fulfills one of those criteria.

When the lucky man, Chris, was introduced, he wrapped his arm around his fiancée. She, though, pulled herself slightly away from him. Did anyone else notice that or was that just me? She was leaning in the opposite direction.

Harrison asked if he could trust the love given her feelings for Brooks. Yes, Chris responded, avoiding the topic. He talked about his connection with her after the group dodgeball date. No, said Harrison. He  rephrased the question, stressing he meant could he trust the love after learning about the Brooks situation. Yes, Chris responded, saying Des told him some "pretty great words" like "I'm the greatest man." By this point, Harrison was too exhausted (or too polite) to point out that those words were spoken before she spilled the beans about Brooks.

So anyway, I predicted to my wife that they would be engaged in record time, because that's the nature of rebound relationships. And as if on cue, they announce that she's moving from her beloved California to Seattle this weekend and they've got a new place together. 

Fallen petals
Then Chris brought out a gift. Just when I thought we could finally get through a Chris segment without a poem, he pulls out a frame with an original work outlined by petals from the roses he was given throughout the process. The poem is called My Girl and it goes something like this:

I found the woman of my dreams

Sorry, that's all I could stomach. I really tried to focus but I just couldn't.

The last bit of business was the announcement of the new Bachelor. I thought they should bring out five of the possibilities, talk to them about why they'd make a good Bachelor, make them sweat a little, and then announce it. Hey, we'd all watch a half-hour on that, wouldn't we? Why haven't they thought of this before? They could have pre-recorded segments with each of them, and of course they'd all have to sign contracts ahead of time in the event they're the one chosen. Come on, producers, do I have to do all the work for you?

Oh, so who will it be? None other than the phantom Juan Pablo. Handsome, charismatic and funny is right. This guy has more personality than any Bachelor since the fat guy. Did you catch the Tweet from Emily Maynard?: "All my prayers have been answered." Maybe she'll pull a Kacie B. and come back on the show.

The big question, though, is will Juan Pablo be edited out of his season the way he was on Des' season? We won't find out until January. My Mondays have just opened up! God forbid they bring back Bachelor Pad. We'll talk to you again in January. Thanks for sticking around.

Meanwhile, speaking of Kacie B., indulge me one more time...

Now I can go relax.

Photo credits:
Photo credit: ....Tim / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: Erik Anestad / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Photo credit: Army Medicine / Foter / CC BY
Photo credit: JD Hancock / Foter / CC BY
Photo credit: Scallop Holden / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: yamaken / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bachelorette Desiree: It just sucks

Caught unawares
Poor Desiree! Did anyone see that coming? Sure, anyone who's watched the show so far this season saw it coming because they kept telling us exactly that. But I mean did anyone else see it? I'm sure sheep herders in Romania didn't. I rest my case.

As I mentioned last time, we know Desiree is fine now. We know that because we saw her on The Men Tell All episode last week, which was recorded after the season ended. And she was her usual cute, giddy self.

In retrospect, her harsh words to some of the men last week ring a little hollow this week knowing that she's been stringing them all on as much as any single one of them was stringing her on. But let's get to that in order.

The episode this week took place in the Caribbean isle of Antigua. I learned something this week. I learned Antigua is not pronounced Antig-wa; rather it's Ant-ee-ga. There you go. This program is educational, I keep telling people, let alone "the television event of the summer."

Early in, we hear an as-yet-to-heartbroken Desiree exclaim, "I can't believe this fairy tale is happening to me!" The fairy tale quickly turned into an Aesop's Fable, with the moral, 'Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.'

She also enthused that 25 guys showed up "just for the chance to meet" her. Yeah, something like that. There might have been other reasons (15 minutes of fame, publicity, see the world) but we'll go with her pared-down version.

Before the dates, we got to hear Des' full-on love for the man called Brooks, which simply never happens on this show. If love is expressed, it's always edited out. But here she was saying Brooks was set apart from the other guys. She told him she loves him (or so she thought, in so many words) even though he was the only dude not to express his love for her. Didn't phase her one bit. "It feels great to fall in love and find the man of my dreams," she said.

But the first sacrificial lamb was Drew, who says he's fallen even more in love with Des. He's finally found "the one"; his "soul mate." The man can simply not stop kissing her, even in the pouring rain. So forget the outdoor dinner, they've got a fantasy suite card to get to.

Again, knowing what she thought of everyone else other than Brooks, are you at all surprised she took the fantasy suite with them? Drew talked about the chance to get physical and intimate, code words for "playing doctor". If she was sure Brooks was the only boy for her, do you think she let the other guys down gently behind closed doors? If so, Drew was probably secretly relieved.

He was ecstatic about the possibility of waking up next to her. "I haven't had a good morning yet, only good nights," he said. Soon he'll get a "Good day, sir," I'm sure.

Des told Drew about her ex-boyfriend, whose big problem was expressing feelings. Or, in Des' words: "He would think those things but he couldn't... like... communicate." Ah, yes. It's difficult, isn't it?

Also funny given that the guy she fell for (Brooks) was the one guy who didn't express any feelings towards her at all. Maybe he reminded her of her ex.

Drew went all-in, even before the overnight date. He said he could get down on one knee right that very moment – even without a ring – and propose. In fact, he'd known this for a few weeks. What must she have been thinking?! And he followed it up with this nugget to us: "My mind is made up: I'm going to marry this woman." Ah, pure gold!

I wonder if he learned the full extent of her true feelings toward him (and anyone not named Brooks) on Monday along with the rest of us? There really needs to be a separate show of contestants watching what we're watching. Or just put their faces in a corner of the screen as they're watching live at home. It wouldn't be any more distracting than the damn Tweets.

Before we got to Chris, there was an unexpected stopover in Boise, Idaho, where Brooks needed to go to talk to him mom and sister in person. He told them the idea of proposing makes him "really uncomfortable." He loves kissing her and "the physicality is there," but he's not prepared to propose. Not sure what advice he was looking for: "Brooks, you marry that sweet young thing or go straight to your room!"

Which brings me to the age-old question: Why isn't the status quo good enough? I bet if Des were given the choice of continuing on with Brooks as boyfriend-girlfriend but without an engagement ring, she'd go along with it. Maybe he'd grow closer to her and they'd eventually get married. Maybe they'd split up. I'd say the odds are no worse than if they did it on camera. Probably even better.

Brooks' mom and sis agreed that he shouldn't propose if that's how he was feeling. Brooks concluded that a hard conversation now is better than a horrible one later. Putting it like that, sure. A no-brainer. But maybe the conversation he ended up having was the horrible one. If he waited it out, they could have grown sick of each other naturally and it wouldn't be as hard down the road. But either way, Neal Sedaka was right.

Next up was Chris. When a helicopter came to pick them up it made me realize we saw precious few choppers this season. Not only that, but there weren't many (any?) death-defying stunts, either.

Things were going well with Chris, despite his fear of heights and his first helicopter ride. They talked about a future together. Chris asked Des how she would feel about living in Seattle. She said she was open to the idea. Not a ringing endorsement, but it's pretty much moot at this point anyway.

He accepted the fantasy suite invitation but wanted to "keep it simple" i.e. missionary position only. And just when I thought we could get through a Chris segment unversed, he pulls out another "poem." I tried to pay attention this time, I really did. I even considered transcribing the thing to see if I could make any better sense of it reading, but couldn't be bothered. With this "poem," I really got the sense Chris just wrote down his thoughts in sentences, then divided them up so it kinda looked poetic. Because it sure didn't sound poetic.

As he finished his love offering, a sappy singer-songwriter crescendoed. For a second, I thought it was Zak getting one last audition in.

Brooks had a sit-down with host Chris Harrison, to further the illusion that the host is something more than a cue card reader. Brooks told him his head says 'yes' but his heart says 'no.' He concluded that Des is not the love of his life. He's not afraid to commit or anything – he really wishes it were Des. Must be true because everyone with a fear of commitment readily admits it when confronted with the facts.

He realized that his break-up was going to bring tears and heartache. "And I'm the cause for a lot of that," he added in complete sincerity. He sure knows how to read that woman, doesn't he?

Meanwhile, the producers made sure they didn't tip Des off. They needed her gushing words about the love of her life before he got there to ruin the fun. She said, "I'm in love with Brooks and I miss him every day when I'm not with him... It feels good because I haven't been in love for quite a while... If Brooks got on one knee and proposed, I would definitely say yes." Oh, look behind you, Des, there's the man of your dreams bounding down the path towards you. Yippee!

She was positively giddy as she watched him approach. He nipped that in the bud. His look foretold ominous words. Des picked up on it in the exact same way she didn't pick up on him not expressing any love for her for the past nine weeks. "Talk to me," she said, worried. "I'm trying," he struggled.

Remember two paragraphs ago when she was saying how she misses him every day she's not with him? Well, turns out it's unrequited. Brooks has the opposite feelings. He loves being with her but during those days when he doesn't see her, he loses it. Nada.

"I really want to be madly in love with you," he told her as she broke down in tears. How does that work in the real world? If you're not madly in love with someone, why on earth would you want to be?

Sums it up
They should have flown Greg Behrendt in to tell Des, "He's just not that into you." Simple as that. Nothing personal. You're a great gal. You know, take all those talks with every single guy you've let go this season, change the masculine nouns to feminine, and apply to this situation.

"Why now?" Desiree wanted to know. "Because I didn't know before this," Brooks lied. Had he been given truth serum, he would have said, "Because I needed Antigua for my frequent flyer points."

When she asked, "You don't see it lasting?" Brooks blundered: "I don't feel it." That probably made it worse, dude. It was at this point Des dropped her head in her knees and sobbed inconsolably. (Remember, folks, she's fine! Keep reminding yourself that. It'll get you through next week, too.)

Then Des finally lays her cards on the table: "I love you," she told him. Brooks was flabbergasted. "Why didn't you tell me that earlier?!" Not sure what difference it would have made, but Des replied, "I can't." Brooks rightfully told her that she can say anything she wants, although I'm sure he got a stern talking-to from the producers for suggesting such a thing. Des reminded him that she told him she was running and later was at the finish line. The poetic Chris would have picked up on those metaphors right away, but apparently it went right over Brooks' head.

"For once in my life I was so hopeful," she said, giving a kick in the groin to Sean. And then she began her medley of "sucks." Not sure how many times she said "It sucks" but too many to go back and count.

"It just sucks that I loved you... I do love you. Regardless. I do. I don't care that you just broke my heart, I love you." And you could literally see gray hairs popping out of the 28-year-old Brooks' head. At this rate, he's going to look like Steve Martin by the time he's 30.

They take their final walk in a light wind. I could have used some more subtitles, but really the picture told the whole story anyway. There would be no fantasy suite. As they started walking, she instinctively went to put her arm around him then quickly pulled it away.

"I wanted you to meet my family," she cried. And then the words that tell us there will be no winner next week (and if there is, it's probably over by now): "You know why I was conflicted throughout this whole thing? Because I didn't want to share my heart; I wanted to give it to you... When I was going on dates, I wanted to go on dates with you." Do you see now why I say we need to see Chris and Drew in a box on screen in real time watching what we're watching?

Also, what does it say about the show that she has to go through the motions when she knows who she wants?

Brooks kept apologizing. "I heard you," Des said. "Just stop saying it." She walked out and sat at the end of the pier alone with her tears. Brooks kept looking back, beside himself: "This is way worse than I thought it was going to be," he said. He's pretty clueless, now that I think about it. But I try not to think about it.

It looked for a moment like he might change his mind. But how could he after what he's said? To his credit, he stuck with his plan. He told us he misses those moments they had together already. And then added, "I was hoping she would be in love with Drew or Chris."

As for Des, she said it throws everything off having Brooks gone and said she just can't love the others as much. "Honestly for me it's over," she said.

We'll see about that. What will next week bring? I can't see it ending with a proposal, that's for damn sure. I think she should break up with both Drew and Chris and then sign on with the show to be the perennial Bachelorette.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bachelorette Desiree: Juan Pablo steals the show

What drama! At least you would have thought so if you watched the episode with the sound down. Those faces in the crowd were a tad over-the-top, weren't they? It must have been filmed in Los Angeles and every single extra in town was hired to fill the seats. That explains the overacting from the audience. I've been to TV tapings before. We're told when to applaud, cheer or act excited, so is it any wonder they also told the ladies last night to act shocked and surprised and disapproving at key moments?

And did you get a load of those upcoming highlights?! Wowza! They were almost exactly the same ones we've been seeing for a couple of weeks! Crazy, hey? But the audience acted like this was startlingly new information. As shocking as it looked and as upset as Des looked in those teasers, and even though Chris Harrison calls it "the most emotionally intense" ending yet – so intense they've had to split it into two parts – please remember that Desiree is fine. We just saw her talk to all the guys and her twinkle was still there. She's doing great now. So if the tease holds true, just laugh it off.

The episode started out with a new tradition since it went so well with Sean. It's where Chris and our protagonist go around and crash Bachelorette parties to the faux-surprise of all in attendance. I was suspicious when I saw rooms packed with dozens of men and women supposedly routinely watching the latest episode. Yeah, dudes go to Bachelorette viewing parties. I buy that.

But let's go with it. Let's say they really do. And that these viewing parties are more populated than most regular parties you ever go to. The tell was watching people answer the cold call knock on the door with knowing smiles before their eyes even registered who was visiting. No peering out from behind the door wondering who could be arriving at such an hour.

Not to mention that someone would have to alert the producers about their parties to give them their address. It's not like you can just randomly stroll down any block in the country and there'll be a Bachelorette-viewing party.

And then spontaneously Harrison says "I think we have to take this on the road" and – presto! – they're in New York. New Yorkers are more jaded and cynical so to prove that it really was Desiree, she made sure to wear her patented Knee-High Boots.

And it got a bit ridiculous when Ashley and JP, the Mesnicks (Jason and Whatsername), and Trista WITHOUT RYAN! Stop the presses: Have they broken up? Has she ever been anywhere without her trophy husband? You'd think they'd at least say he couldn't make it for whatever bogus reason to stop the rumours. Then again, maybe it's common knowledge they've broken up. I have no idea. I suppose I could Bing it but who has the time or energy?

Trista had a great line, though: Des is "as deserving as anyone else of happiness." Ah, so you mean she's a human being? Got it.

Three of America's supposed favourites dropped by to give Des advice about meeting all her exes. Ashley (seriously? one of the all-time favourites?), Emily and Ali gave their two cents. Ali did the most talking, saying she thought Ben didn't look too bad but then piling on James for daring to entertain a what-if scenario. Big ups to Ali's hairdresser, Alex Haley, too. Her black roots were proudly showing.

In the studio. the fellas were introduced. One year I'd love them to plant a complete unknown in one of the first few chairs. Nobody would know the difference because we forget half of them anyway. This point was driven home when Jonathan, who misguidedly played the fantasy suite gag in the first episode, said, "I'm shocked I didn't get booed." Michael, for once right on the money, responded, "That's because no one remembered you."

James and Ben got the big boos. I think Vince McMahon or Jerry Springer were the floor directors.

Brian, who was confronted by a woman pretending to be his girlfriend and sent home, chose not to show up to the proceedings. Chris Harrison chose to talk about him regardless. Why? I wouldn't mind if someone would represent his side but everyone just sat their agreeing like bobble heads in a Rush Limbaugh informercial audience. Meanwhile, Bryden, who was an early favourite and chose to leave on his own accord got zero (0) time in the hot seat. He wasn't brought up at all. My mind was successfully boggled.

The first one up in the hot seat was Ben. More boos, of course. He said he's aggressive in love: "When I pursue a woman, I pursue her," he said when he said it [sic]. The guys all accused him of being different around Desiree than he was the other guys and Ben made a very valid point, in a patented doubly expressed phrase: "You should be different around a girl. She's a girl." I see their point, too. You should still be essentially the same person, but we all modify our behaviour around different people, be it a "girl", your boss, friends of your grandparents, kids, whoever. Point to Ben.

Yes, Bing
One of the back-row guys said he met Ben's ex-wife in Las Vegas, who told him a different version of Ben the good father that he presents. Ben said, "Let's call her." The offer wasn't taken up. We need some investigative journalism here. Was this woman really who she claimed to be? Would someone please make the call and report back here in the comments section. At the very least Bing it for me.

Cut to: Des addressing Ben. She was quite harsh, calling him "very insincere" and that his comments from the limo showed us everything that he really is. He was putting on a persona. Clearly she didn't hear his explanation that she's a girl so a persona is fine. Could a guy in striped socks be all that bad? I mean really?

James made it to the hot seat without boos. But that was the extent of everyone's politeness with him. He defended his comments that he could possibly look forward to a future as the next Bachelor as "just a conversation normal men have." That's obvious. Ask any normal man you know. I know every time the phone rings, my gut instinct is that it's the producers calling me offering me the position. One day.

I was heartened to catch a glimpse of one of those distracting tweets they run during the show. Someone wrote that anyone with a "normal functioning brain" would at least think about the possibility. Granted, I didn't catch if it was one of James' relatives tweeting.

Harrison claimed that this tempest in a teapot was "one of the biggest controversies" of the season. That's telling, methinks. When lacking a real controversy, create one!

With Mikey in attendance (remember, he had already been sent home when the accusations started flying), James had some backup. And Mikey rose to the occasion. Literally. He stood up, sockless, and spoke sternly to Kasey. The expressions from the disapproving crowd were classic. The next step was torches and pitchforks, I'm certain.

James' detractors couldn't get over this perceived fact: that if his claims of falling in love with Des were true, he couldn't possibly envision a moment when it didn't work out. His very valid point was that it's a two-way street and she has to be falling in love with him, too. He couldn't possibly know that. Point to James.

But Harrison has a cold streak in him. He set James up, asking him if he'd every be the Bachelor. James responded reasonably without committing. Harrison snidely said he'd take that as a yes. Then he turned to the Romans gathered and said, "Quick poll: Would you trust this guy to be the next Bachelor?" Michael bit his tongue and didn't shout out, "Objection, your honour! Leading the witnesses!"

Cut to: Des addressing James. With the advice of Ashley, Emily and Ali ringing in her ears, she said she felt manipulated by James "100%".

Next up in the hot seat was Juan Pablo. You may ask what Juan Pablo did to deserve sitting in the hot seat. You may, in fact, what Juan Pablo did at all. Well, the meaning of the hot seat changed slightly when he was sitting there. In this instance, it clearly meant a chair for hot people.

The ladies swooned. Some wore tee-shirts in his honour. Not bad for a guy who got virtually no screen time all season. Then we saw a whole bunch of footage of Juan Pablo being sexy, charming and funny – none of which we saw all season! Boy, the editors and producers really have their fingers on the pulse of the nation, don't they? They assume we all want to see made-up drama instead of nice, interesting contestants. And then some Rico Suave dude enters, grabs American females by the lapels and plants a big wet kiss on them, and the bigwigs at the show edit him out of the whole season (almost). If they were politicians, they wouldn't be re-elected. Harrison kept calling him the "man of mystery" but it was his bosses that made him that.

Harrison then showed why he gets paid the big bucks. The former sports reporter asks the hard-hitting questions. To Juan Pablo, he demanded, "To clear this up once and for all, how do you pronounce your name?" Boom! Nailed! Isn't Spanish an official language of the US, or close to it?

Next up was Zak, the most recent ex of Des. He told Chris he spends half the year on an oil rig and there aren't a lot of women around. He had everyone's sympathy, but he lost any from me I had when he had his roadie hand him a guitar so he could transparently audition for any record producer who might be watching. Oh, and Des, too. He forgot that a song was what got him sent home in the first place. Good God it was the worst thing out of a season full of awful things he's produced, from his obsession with his abs, to his teeth whitening, to his pathetic attempts at poetry. Remember that journal he gave Des? He wrote a poem with his spy pen in invisible ink in it because boy scout gadgetry is about the same level of his writing.

I don't know how Chris Harrison got a hold of the journal, but there it was. Zak had no idea if Des had read it. Harrison got out his trusty black light pen and read the scribblings to the gathering. No idea what it said or meant, and I don't think anyone else did, either. But some women were actually crying in the crowd. But remember, they're all extras, or actor-wannabes so when they were told to cry they were probably thinking of a dead pet dog or something.

That's basically it. We saw some bloopers because, apparently, they're "everybody's favourite." This from the group that edits out Juan Pablo for a season. Maybe they need a better data research team.

Who's going to be the next Bachelor? It's gotta be Juan Pablo, right? I'd say it's his for the taking. If it's Zak, I don't think I could stomach a season of horrible poetry and song.

Okay, I'm looking forward to the big heart-wrenching two-part finale. Knowing that Des is now smiling and happy, I hope it all goes terribly wrong. I want Chris to strike out, Brooks to get cold feet, and Drew to come out of the closet. Or anything like that. Or how about her brother running them all off his property with a shotgun?

Remember, Des is fine now. We saw proof of that on Monday. Keep reminding yourself.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bachelorette Desiree: Blah blah blah

It's the day after tomorrow already
Okay, enough procrastinating. I seem to live by the words of Mark Twain, who said, "Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well."

It was hometown week on The Bachelorette. Desiree went to visit the families of Zak, Drew, Chris, and Brooks. And there were no disasters.

In Dallas, hometown on Zak, Des sported one of her seemingly endless pairs of knee-high boots. I can't quite put my finger on it, but these boots are not made for walking when Des wears them. Normally I love me a good pair of knee-high boots on a lady. But maybe Des' legs aren't a good match. Or maybe I'm a sexist pig who shouldn't objectify women and comment on their body shapes. Keep in mind, I think Des is adorable. And a great person. With a good head on her shoulders. Am I covered?

Zak was geared up for this date. I mean even more than usual. He pulled up in his family's sno-cone mobile and the two drove around making kids' days. Zak even donned the family penguin costume to entertain the children. Des said, "The penguin's my boyfriend." That statement gave him added confidence that would come back to bite him in the butt at episode's end.

Bypass this line
Zak started out as the freak-show dude with a bad gimmick (to spend the entirety of the first episode shirtless). And first impressions are everything. Which is why I never really warmed to him. Until this episode. I finally saw what she saw in him. He's fun, he's genuine, he's smart. His family is cool, too. Completely normal. Or so I thought until Zak broke out the guitar and got his brother and sister to sing an original song to Des. Clearly it was a favour to them to help them get discovered without having to stand in line on American Idol. They gave it the full delusional karaoke singer treatment. I mean, their voices were good, I guess, but that was one of the most awkward moments on a series filled with awkward moments.

Des, who's proven she loves bad art, sat teary-eyed. It looked like she was really touched. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20 so we can see now she was crying because she knew she'd be breaking his heart very, very soon. It must have been even more painful when the guy who had given up on love finally worked up the nerve, after "weeks and weeks and weeks," to tell her he loves her. And to make matters worse, he popped out a ring to symbolize that moment he'd fallen in love with her. And then those words: "Des, I love you. I do."


But we were still innocently clueless and could dream of a life happily ever after between them at this point.

On to Scottsdale, Arizona, to meet the heart throb Drew's clan. I need to be very delicate here but this was the first week I'd noticed that Drew... um... didn't seem like... well... like he'd be the kind of guy to go on The Bachelorette. If you get my drift. It was just a feeling. It wasn't the pink shirt or the fact he said he doesn't think his family had ever seen him like this before. Maybe he's just too damn handsome for his own sake. He said, though, he'd fallen in love even though he hadn't yet "said those three magical words in order to her" before. That's the key, isn't it: They've got to be in order.

Drew took Des to pick up his sister, who is severely mentally handicapped. That was a nice moment and something I don't remember ever seeing on national television before.

Something else I've never seen on national television, or elsewhere: A man named Malachi. That was Drew's dad, who wasn't informed that his son had told the world all about him so was still on good terms with his son.

"I don't see a rose next week"
Drew finally screwed up the courage to put those three little words in their proper order. Nailed it on the first try! Maybe he and Zak had been practicing together because they said the same thing: "I love you. I do." He also added: "I see a future. I see happiness." He should have added, "I see dead people," but the guy isn't exactly known for a wicked sense of humour. Or any sense of humour, for that matter. He's very serious. I guess you either get looks or a funny bone.

Chris' family was in McMinnville, Oregon. Right off the bat (pun intended) we learn that Chris once played pro baseball. This was mentioned as if we all knew it. Did we? I must have missed it if we did. When Des marvelled at his athletic ability, I always thought she was being sarcastic, because the little Lord Byron wannabe never struck me as athletic in the least.

They played some baseball before heading over to the folks' place. Des could hit and that gave Chris a boner. And Des, always quick on the metaphor uptake, said Chris was "stealing" her heart. Get it? Baseball? Is this mic on?

Oh, she also whipped out a sketch book to show Chris her drawings of their time together. Let's just say it was on par with Chris' poetry, and just a little worse than that song Zak and siblings performed.

At his family's house, she mentioned falling on her back. Again, something I don't remember. I know I'm late with these blog posts every week but I swear I watch each episode from start to finish with the computer and iPhone off. Maybe my memory is just shot. Or my brain knows to expunge any needless information immediately.

Oh, so Chris' dad is a chiropractor, a well-respected arm of the medical community that is completely safe. He jumped right up and offered to take Des down to his basement office to perform some cracking on her. He put on his white doctor's coat, laid her down on the table, and began his manipulation. She laughed that it was "not weird at all" her lying there with her butt in the air, but was fine with it. The man's a professional, after all.

Then Chris came down to get his nose adjusted. Say what? No mention on why his nose needed adjusting but it looked damn painful. I can't even describe it without flinching. So I won't. After the adjustment, Chris sat up and talked to his dad about the girl of his dreams. The dad asked how she eats. He thinks it's very important to find a woman who takes care of herself.

Cut to: Mrs. Quack. Not the warmest of women. But I guess that was just her way. Her face gave no indication she actually liked Des. When Chris told her she was the one, Mrs. Quack heaved a heavy sigh, then said, "Well... I like her a lot." Who knew?

She also revealed that perhaps Chris is a bit of a stalker. She told Des that when she asked Chris what he wanted just prior to him leaving for the show, he responded, "If it's Des, that's what I want." So this guy saw this girl on TV and fell in love, then made it his mission to meet her. When he arrived at the show, he texted his mom excitedly and wrote, "Mom, it's Des!"

But Des doesn't seem to mind. To her, Chris is a blend of all the things she's been looking for. To Chris, they have a unique bond: "No way these feelings are being expressed with anybody else. They're too right and too real." I'd love to watch the series with him on TV.

Finally we go to Salt Lake City, Utah, to meet Brooks' family. And what a family it is. No idea how many there were but they wore name tags, so that'll tell you. They must be Catholic. Yeah, that's it.

There's been no mention of religion from Brooks, and he doesn't give off the religiony vibe so I can't see him being Mormon. Also, they sat in a park drinking wine and that's a Mormon no-no. Not only a Mormon no-no, but a legal one, too:
State law prohibits consuming liquor in a public building, park, stadium, or on a public bus.
Granted, perhaps it was just grape juice in a wine glass to keep up appearances, but still.

Des greeted Brooks with the Jillian Harris-patented running leg wrap. Remember, last week she said she was in love with the guy. She sat and shared with him her Unabomber-like scrawl of memories the two had shared. Oh, and she was wearing yet another pair of knee-high boots.

While Brooks seemed stand-offish, he was beginning to thaw. He said he was feeling closer to seeing them together in the union of marriage. Still not at the finish line stage, but it's a start.

At long last we got to see Des' brother. And he didn't disappoint! He's the same lovable mensch he was last season!

Clearly the producers were responsible for this little tete-a-tete. Turns out Des was quite pissed after he sabotaged her relationship with Sean and she didn't talk to him for a couple of months. She tried her best this time. He asked who was her favourite and wouldn't accept her non-answer. "They're all great, blah, blah, blah," he said mockingly.

She tried to tell him the positive attributes of each one but he wasn't the least bit interested. She said, in all seeming sincerity, "I think you would like all of them." Clearly she knows her brother more than we viewers do, but I think it's safe to say she couldn't be more wrong here.

When Des sat down with Chris Harrison, she said something I had to replay four times and I'm still not sure I heard her correctly. After admitting, "Yes, I love Brooks," she said she was "hopeful for a proposal and with Brooks." Did I hear that right? I'd say that's a rare admission on this show, but I don't think anything of the sort has ever been admitted at this stage of the game before. Something's gotta give. Clearly it was foreshadowing. In other words, it ain't happening. Which would explain the tears and the "I wanna go home" in the upcoming highlights.

She also mentioned that after Chris' hometown visit, she's now a little unsure, which I took to mean that Chris is a dark horse coming up the middle and making it a close race. Which means Drew has got to be the next to go. Although I'm still trying to figure out those highlights we saw a few weeks ago where it looked like Drew was leaving on his own and Des was telling him she only stuck around for him.

The rose ceremony was at the Beverly Hills Hilton and Des' brother was skulking around in the shadows catching glimpses of the guys he's going to torment later on. But there were no confrontations. The roses were handed out, predictably, to:

  1. Brooks
  2. Chris
  3. Drew
Okay, Drew wasn't predictable. I wasn't sure which of him or Zak would be chosen. I was hoping it was Zak because I just started to like him. But it was not to be. He was pretty choked, as you can imagine. "Completely shocked," is how he put it. And "completely numb." As she led him outside to explain herself, I was hoping he'd rip off his shirt and say, "Have you forgotten about these abs?" Maybe end it the way he started.

"I went on The Bachelorette and
all I got was these lousy abs."
He got in the limo, fully clothed, and tried to piece it together: "I tell her I love her and she cries. I don't get it." Again, maybe she was crying because she felt bad for how she was stringing you along. Then, to make matters worse, she gave him the ring back. Ouch. But just know that you were once her penguin boyfriend. They can't take that away from you, buddy.

And in a pity move that may get him named as the next Bachelor, he said, "I don't want to go back to the life I had because it's a lonely life." Then he tossed the promise ring out the window.

With that, we're done for another week.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bachelorette Desiree: Have some Madeira, m'dear

Late again but whatchagonnado? I'm writing this from Seattle because I just had to come down here to get a better sense of the freak show that is Chris. Does everyone here speak in iambic pentameter? I haven't noticed any rhyming couplets since arriving. Maybe they're more into free verse and he's just a throwback.

Not much to write about this episode. There wasn't that drama promised last week with Drew. That'll come, I guess. Or not. You never know with these upcoming highlights. And that's exactly how they want it.

This week they were on the island of Madeira in Portugal. Another gorgeous locale. Des even got to invite her three besties from last season to come and give her advice. Jackie, Lesley and Catherine got a free trip and didn't have to do a single thing. They didn't even talk to the guys; just admired them from afar and cackled. That was it. Thanks for your help, girlfriends. Nice work if you can get it.

Tell me this isn't Brooks
First date went to Brooks. (Sidenote: my son was watching Home Run Showdown and the lead actor looked so much like Brooks I actually IMDB'd the movie to see if the actor's name was Brooks. It wasn't.)

Des and Brooks stood at the edge of a vertigo-inducing cliff. Not a guard railing to be seen. Later on she and Michael went street tobogganing down narrow city roads at breakneck speeds without a seat belt. Not that a seat belt would have helped any if a car came through an intersection. I guess Portugal isn't the litigious (let alone safety conscious) society North America is. Good Lord. Maybe that's why Europeans seem smarter than us – they let the dumb ones die doing dumb things.

Brooks and Des went even higher after that. They drove up the tallest mountain in all of Madeira, which may not sound like much but it was above the clouds. This afforded them the chance to break out the metaphors. She's "on the road to falling in love with him." They didn't just break through the clouds; she felt she had a real breakthrough with Brooks. And, of course, they were on "Cloud Nine." In case you missed it the first time one of them said it, they drove the point home by repeating it approximately nine times.

On their date, they were trying to come up with words for leading up to the love stage of romance. Des came up with: stepping, skipping, running, and going in for the finish line. (There was one more I've since forgotten, but you get the idea.) When Brooks asks where she is in that process, he's gobsmacked to learn that she's in the running stage. Gah! He's not quite there yet, he admits to the cameras.

Chris got the second date and they hit the high seas on a yacht. There were some softcore porn shots of them sunscreening each other. Or maybe it just seemed that way because I was watching in slo-mo.

Back on shore, Chris said, somewhat enigmatically, "You seem very independent. Which is huge." Huge? I think I know what he means. But huge? I guess it's hard to find a word that rhymes with 'independent.'

Warning: Contents may cause nausea
Here on this Atlantic island, the always creative Chris got a brilliant idea. He and Des would send a message in a bottle. They'd write it together. How romantic! How horribly hokey! But things went from bad to verse (get it?!) when he suggested it be another trademarked Bad Poem. This guy just has no quit in him. I just wish the delightful Des didn't seem so enamoured of his "talent." I could just see Jillian Harris or even Emily Maynard go along with it playfully but knowing how stupid it really is. But damned if Des isn't totally into it.

Yes, it was predictably godawful. I can't imagine the disappointment some future beach bum is going to feel opening up that nautical time capsule.

Chris told Des he came into the show as a skeptic but has totally fallen for her. Does that mean he wasn't there for the right reasons? Did he enter just for a lark? Or for some more nefarious reason, i.e. publicity? Why aren't these tough questions being asked! The point being nobody is there for the right reasons, so it's silly to single out the obvious bad guys when they're no more guilty than the less obvious ones.

Chris decided he was going to tell Desiree over dinner that he had fallen in love with her. Huge, right? Only he's going to add the patented Bad Poetry angle and tell her in verse. How totally natural. It didn't sound forced at all. Especially when he was fidgety and sweaty. I'm sure it was the sentiment that carried Des away. "Chris, that was beautiful." Then, to prove she can be just as enigmatic as he can, she added, "It melted my heart... In a good way!" As in, not literally. Because that would be very bad indeed.

The guy is so serious it's hard to see what she sees in him. But we must not be seeing the real Chris because she loves his boyish qualities. Best I can figure that means the way he writes poetry to the level of a 12-year-old.

The third date went to Michael and his grating voice. They just explored the town, including the aforementioned street tobogganing. The federal prosecutor looked terrified, probably figuring out who to sue should things go awry.

Michael on his date
The robotic lawyer has a side we didn't get to see, apparently, because Des said, "You're the sweetest person I've ever met in my life." And later said he's "one of the greatest guys" she's ever met. Girls will say anything when they're about to dump you, won't they?

Michael, who Des noted hadn't shown much vulnerability to date, was in job interview mode throughout the date but in his defence, it was their first date. So I'll cut him some slack. In an effort to appear human, he spoke of experiencing heartbreak.

The final date was a two-on-one. There was a rose on the line, but nobody was going home. Zak and Drew went go-cart racing. Zak won the head-to-head race, but Drew won rose. In their alone time, Zak whipped out a sketch book in which he recapped his journey so far in drawings. It was the illustrated equivalent of Chris' awful versification. But Drew trumped the amateur hour talent show with an honest declaration of love. In unscripted words yet.

Before the rose ceremony, Chris Harrison sat down with Des. And when talk turned to Brooks, she got emotional and admitted she's hit the finish line with him. Yikes. Harrison must be onto something because he then asked, "How do you think he feels about you?" Okay, maybe that's a leading question, maybe it isn't. But when Des said she's falling in love with him, Harrison says, "Wow! That's complicated." Thanks for the words of support!

So Drew was safe. Three roses would be handed out, with one man going home. And we all knew who that would be. They went in order to:

  1. Brooks
  2. Chris
  3. Zak
The federal prosecutor just lost his case. Michael is heartbroken again. He made it seem like his mother was the one he was really sorry for. All he wanted was for her to meet Des, who she loved from last season. So he gets in the limo and phones home. "You're not going to meet Des because she sent me home tonight," he told her. The mom didn't sound too upset, although maybe she sounded a bit fed up with her son's bad luck in love: "Here we go again," she said.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bachelorette Desiree: The three amigos accusate

It's Thursday. Where does the time go? This is simply unacceptable. Let me just say it's hard to crank this out during the summer months. It's sunny and hot, days are full, drinking may or may not be involved. But here we are. I don't blame you for not reading.

Anyway, on to Barthelona! Sorry, I mean Barcelona! But you gotta love a place where everyone adorably lisps. Plus, it's gorgeous there, no? Made me want to go. Then again, almost every location does. And I'll probably never go to any of them.

Chris Harrison showed up early (no idea why he needs to be there at all given his limited role in the show) to inform the guys there'd be no cocktail party this week. I guess Desiree doesn't like to party. That's two weeks in a row. And she decided this week before they even did anything. Does she have her mind made up already? Well, judging from the end-of-show upcoming highlights, she might have. She said of Drew that "the only thing that's kept me here is you." But more on that later.

Speaking of Dreamboat Drew, he got the first date. A solo one. He pulled an Alvy Singer and planted a big ole kiss on her just as they headed out to get it out of the way.

When they got time to talk, Drew told her that his father is his hero because he's a recovering alcoholic who has dedicated his life to helping others. Then he told her he has cancer and "not many people know." Including the people in his office. Uh, they might now. This is a man who can clearly keep a secret. He's quick to blame others for saying certain things when the cameras aren't rolling; couldn't he have told her about his dad when they weren't filming? Des said she felt closer to him after hearing his story, but she would have heard it regardless of whether it was captured on tape or not.

Even though they were on a one-on-one, Drew felt the need to "steal her away." Cut him some slack. He's new at this. Maybe he doesn't understand the concept. So he took her away to an alley as the cameras scrambled to follow them. You could see the POV shake as a camera operator was taking it out of the tripod. The crew gave chase and found the couple making out again. Maybe in those moments when they had lost the crew, running hand-in-hand to their hideaway, he could have frantically whispered, "By the way, my dad has cancer!" And his secret would still be safe.

While in the alley, Des happened to have the rose with her. So she quickly offered it up to Drew. Once that was secured, he could start the James nonsense going. He told her he overheard a conversation between James and Mikey where he said if he made it to the final four, he could be the next Bachelor. I know what you're thinking: "So what?" Well, we're sitting back dispassionately and rational and not under the bright lights so it's easy for us to see that the comments, by themselves, meant absolutely nothing of significance. But this is reality TV and emotions are heightened. Des, who has shown herself to be extremely trusting (i.e. gullible), believed every word and the accompanying interpretation. "I'm so disappointed in James," she said. "He can go screw himself." No room for alternative explanations or context. Drew said it, Des believes it, that settles it.

But in the light of day, she said she wanted to give James the benefit of the doubt. It's group date time and James is one of the gang. They get a soccer lesson on a professional pitch. Juan Pablo is in his element. Not only is he a Spanish speaker in Spain, he's a former professional soccer player to boot. But he's irrelevant here. Sure, he scores the first two goals of the game against Des and a team of women, but we know how these things end, right? Goliath always gets beaten by David. Or in this case Davida.

The women go on to win 10-2. You read that right. Can we pin the blame on James? Sure looked like it. Every goal the gals scored, James was a statue in net. That being said, how about a change in keeper? It's 5-2 and the guy's still there? Make a change, coach! He clearly wasn't cut out for the job.

But it just led into all the James drama, which is what the producers wanted. The rest of the show was basically all James against the world. Or at least James against the Three Amigos: Kasey, Chris and Michael. But other than Drew and sometimes Brooks, the others remained quiet on the bogus brouhaha. It also occurred to me that Des was a former contestant who finished in the top four and went on to become the Bachelorette. So it's perhaps a tad hypocritical of her to judge James so harshly. Yes, I get it that she maybe wasn't thinking of that at the time, but I also don't think it's so wrong to imagine the very real possibility that out of a dozen or so others, you might not be the one she chooses.

And now here's the part I really hate
When Des meets Chris on a date
Or any time they're all alone
He reads to her a silly poem.

This time, though, it was her turn
She'd written one, too, we soon learned
I don't know if I was mad or sad
I just know it was really, really bad

But it worked for Des in her process of downsizing
The love scale between them is rapidly rising
And as she lay on the bed in hot pursuit
She made sure to wear her knee-high boots

Was her poem this bad? It could be argued
So ends the Ode to Des and Drew
I hate to be the one who has to rebuke
But one more poem and I'm gonna puke

Next Kasey took a turn attacking James and misrepresenting his statement. He said James said he was in the best position to become the next Bachelor, which, given all other reports, isn't what he said or meant at all. But he and his dos amigos took the opportunity to confront the big fella.

Make that 226 reasons
Type I Michael went full-on prosecution mode. Boy, he gets annoying fast, doesn't he? He didn't hear anything first-hand, but acted like he not only heard it but had transcribed recordings of the conversation. The guy is giving lawyers a bad name… Wait. Scratch that. He's confirming everyone's opinions of lawyers.

James' defence was he said it in jest. That was his first explanation. Throughout the show he had different excuses. Normally that kind of inconsistency would be enough to make me doubt him but for some reason I don't. I think it's just extremely difficult to explain private guy talk. Yes, he was talking to three guys, but he was also talking to the world through the cameras pointed at his face and he knew how it sounded. And even if he was being completely serious with his comment, it's not any slight on Des or his intentions to wonder about all the possibilities which might arise from this experience.

Line of the night went to Kasey, who said James is so out of his mind, he's irrational and willing to "accusate". I've since added it to my personal vocabulary and am petitioning Webster's Dictionary to have it included.

After Kasey went to Des to tell all, she decided there'd be no rose for anyone. They were all to go home… except James, who she wanted to talk to. "Shit's about to hit the fan," she bleeped.

She told James she was okay with his future Bachelor plans (in so many words) but what really irked her was his talk of the women and boats he and Mikey could get in Chicago. Again, it's hard to explain or defend out of context guy talk and James was hooped on this one. For any woman reading this, trust me, men never talk about women. This was clearly the exception that proves the rule. Des said she believes everything because she fully trusts the rat finks who told her.

James cried, which may have kept him around an extra day. He got to go back to the hotel and shock all the guys. I really thought he should have the limo drive stop off at a store on his way home so he could buy a rose. It would have been so funny to see the looks on their faces with him walking in with a rose. Instead, he just walked in and said, "Gentlemen, good night."

The last one-on-one date went to the old guy, Zak. Barthelona brought out the creative side of Des so they went to an art studio to draw a model. Both of their efforts were pretty good, too. Then out came a naked guy. We didn't get to see their artistic renderings. But it did give Old Man Zak an idea: The former priest wannabe who gave up his spiritual quest so as to dedicate his life to his abs, decided it was his turn. He exited then re-entered wearing a robe, took to the stage and dropped it. He didn't do the Full Monty – he was wearing tighty-whities – but he only wanted to show off what he could work on. Some things in life are just what nature intended them to be, nothing more and nothing less.

James decided he needed to talk to Drew, who was the first to squeal. Chris politely left the room. James entered reasonably and I had high hopes Drew would keep things reasonable. But he wouldn't budge from his unreasonable interpretation of events. When James said he was just being realistic, Drew responded, "How can you acknowledge there's any other possible reality?" Hmm, maybe because he's a sentient human being with an imagination.

Chris added that he, himself, is "100% not thinking about becoming the Bachelor. Ever." Oh, how sweet it would be if Chris, Kasey, Michael or Drew became the next Bachelor. Hypocrisy would reign supreme. Not that Michael would ever be picked for anything, but the point remains.

Des woke up knowing she must send James home. And Michael, the federal prosecutor, said of James, "He was found guilty. The People versus James: Case dismissed." I'm not legal expert, but if the case were dismissed, doesn't that mean that there'd be no legal case against James and he would be exonerated? 

But at least he got to the rose ceremony. Old Man Zak and Dreamboat Drew already got their roses. Tonight three guys would go home. Weird when some weeks only one leaves, but it is what it is. The three remaining roses went in order to:

  1. Chris
  2. Brooks
  3. Michael. Yes, that Michael.

That meant James, as we knew, along with Kasey and Juan Pablo were goners. James said, "I got bullied right out the door. I just became the next Ben. How? How did I become a bad person? Why me?"

Now, on to those dastardly upcoming highlights. I know they are always misleading but it sure looked like she doesn't go through with this. I know, I could simply Bing some spoiler and find out what happens but what fun is that? It looked like Drew dropped out, after all that fuss he made over James. She tearfully tells him, "The only thing that's kept me here is you," and he responds, "It's just never going to work." Drew for the next Bachelor!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bachelorette Desiree: The prosecution never rests

Willkommen! We're in Germany this week. Actually, I'm sitting on my couch at home but wouldn't it be wonderful if The Bachelorette paid me to blog from on location? Hell, wouldn't it be cool if anyone paid me to blog from anywhere? But I digress.

It was a big old sausage party in Munich as Des and her ten dates wandered around the Bavarian capital. She continued to wear her Puss In Boots-style footwear, which aren't the most flattering but her charisma and cutesiness override any fashion miscues.

Her first date was with Cross-Dressing Chris, who managed to stay out of women's heels this week. Des likes him because he's "cute, goofy, funny and himself." They did, though, dress up in traditional German costumes for fun. Because that's what you do on dates, I've learned through years of watching this franchise.

There was some drama on the date, but not with Chris. Rather Broodin' Bryden felt the need to leave Munich soon after getting there. Not only that, it couldn't wait until after her date. He hit the town asking passersby if a) they spoke English, and if yes, then b) had they seen television cameras anywhere in town. They all resisted the temptation to respond, "Yes, look over your shoulder. There's one right behind you."His queries eventually struck gold when a man pointed him in the direction of the town square (I'm guessing), where Desiree and Chris were blissfully dancing alone while the local citizenry looked on aghast.

In classic foreshadowing, Chris said, "I don't think anything could go wrong."

Broodin' Bryden interrupted them. I believe that's a first on a private date, isn't it? Either way, it's extremely rare. You can imagine the surprise and anger that must have caused. Actually, it caused neither. Both seemed happy to see him. Des let out a big, "Yeah!" and Chris gladly handed over his date to the interloper.

Bryden then broke up with her. Poor girl was devastated: "Alright, bye Bryden," she said. Okay, it wasn't that dramatic at all. But she did tear up in the interview. Still, she was fine. And when Chris told her he was there for the long haul, any hurt she might have felt all disappeared.

She told Chris her last boyfriend had been unexpressive. He couldn't say, "I love you" and had a hard time dishing out a compliment. This inspired Chris to read from a prepared script. What's worse, it was a poem. And what's even worser is that it was an original poem, i.e. clunky sentences strung together with a lame rhyme at the end of each. The poem was entitled, "Thoughts So True." I think that tells you enough right there. Des actually teared up listening to it, but that's probably because she was still thinking about Bryden. Or else there was a whiff of onion in the air. It couldn't have been due to that piece of written garbage.

But no, it was! She loved it. It only got worse from there. They got a private concert from some American singer. They're in Munich and they get Matt White? I know Marlene Dietrich is dead but surely there's someone with a bit of Euro-flair they could have used. Or how about an oompah-pah band?

Oh, and of course Chris got the rose.

True love
The group date went to the top of Germany's tallest mountain, where they met the Slim Whitman of Germany who yodelled and doled out marriage advice (a woman should do whatever the man wants). Then they took to mini-toboggans and slid down an icy path. Des lost control and crashed, as did some others. Which prompted Zak (new nickname to follow) to draw another patented Bachelor/ette analogy: Love is like sledding down this hill. I guess it makes sense given the show's success rate. Love is beautiful (the view from the mountain top) and new (tobogganing), and soon after falling in love (heading down the mountain) you crash (break up).

Then they went to an ice hotel. I'm just glad this wasn't in Canada. Americans already think we're a frozen tundra. Now they can think that of Germany for a while.

Brooks got the first private time with Des. He started talking and she shut him right up by grabbing him around his neck and yanking him towards her eager mouth. That's her go-to move, it seems.

Meathead Mikey looked the most freshly shaved I've ever seen him. He felt he deserved the rose because he's had to "sweat out every rose ceremony" so far. If you're keeping track at home, that's his second "sweat" reference in as many weeks.

While he was having his tete-a-tete with Des, we could see Zak in the distance preparing for his unique interruption. Instead of the usual, he cupped his hands to his mouth and yodelled over to her. Mikey smiled but during the interview he was miffed, calling Zak a "jackass." Which leads to the new nickname: Zakass.

Zakass then revealed to Des that in college he had thoughts of becoming a priest. To do some soul-searching, he took a trip to Europe, climbed a mountain and reflected. It was then that he decided instead to devote his life to his abs.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago I thought Zak looks really old. That revelation cemented it for me. No young people are becoming priests anymore. I told you the guy is probably at least 55.

Meanwhile, James became the focus of attention. He supposedly mentioned that if he came in the top four, he'd have a good chance of becoming the next Bachelor. He denies it, but it rankled the guys. Presumably, that has never crossed their single-purpose minds before.

Brooks described James as "cutting, short and vulgar" when he's around the fellas. Imagine that, a man being vulgar around other men! I've never heard tell of such base actions before! He sounds like an absolute scallywag. Pardon my language.

Brooks was the lucky recipient of the group date rose.

The last date was the dreaded 2-on-1, where one person was guaranteed to go home. It was between mortal enemies Type I Michael (whose nickname derives from his medical condition but also applies to his personality trait) and Big Bad Ben, whose smug demeanour rubs everyone the wrong way. Ben said he was going to treat the date as a 1-on-1 with Michael as just an onlooker. Didn't exactly turn out that way.

Michael, a federal prosecutor, went into full-on attack mode. He threw around terms like murder, prosecute, guilty, fraud and Armageddon. That kind of strategy may work well in the courtroom but it really backfired on the date. Don't get me wrong, he still won his case, but he didn't win over any fans. Ben wasn't suckered into Michael's argumentativeness. He sat meekly by as any- and everything was turned into an assault on his character. Michael finds Ben "repulsive" and he couldn't hide his disgust.

The date started on the frosty lake in a hot tub boat, probably the greatest invention I've ever seen, and then moved indoors. Throughout both, Michael wouldn't let up. He called Ben an "absentee father who uses his son" and called into question his professed faith. That last one prompted Ben to excuse himself and go out to catch some fresh air and gather his thoughts. Des was uncomfortable and looked not at all happy with Michael's button-pushing.

When it came time to hand out the rose, I thought neither one would get it, but if someone had to, it would be Ben. To my surprise, the judge ruled in the prosecution's favour. When she made her decision, Ben got up, said, "Continue dinner. It's okay. I'm fine," and walked out. When Des saw him outside, he graciously said goodbye. He seemed like the Christian gentleman he purports to be.

Inside the limo, though, was another story. Were his true colours revealed? His first words were, "Do you want me to sit here and look unhappy? I'm not." He then proceeded to get bleeped a few times, made a reference to Hollywood (no idea what he meant by it), then suggested he makes the most out of his last night in Munich by getting drunk.

All the guys back at the lodging celebrated when they saw Ben's bags being carted away. Kasey, the Hashtag man, didn't like how Ben was there to promote his business. Did you catch the irony? A marketing guy who hashtags his way through life doesn't approve of self-promotion.

The rose ceremony would take place in a beautiful castle. But Des didn't need no stinkin' cocktail party.  What the hell is up with that? She didn't want to put them through such an ordeal. Now, tis true, I've never been a part of one, but is it such an ordeal? Plus they've got the loan of this amazing building and she just wants to hand out roses and go home? Boo to that.

Some of the men didn't like it, either, because they wanted time to warn her of James' perceived deceit. But no such luck. And since she wasn't warned – this time or any time previous to this – we can now conclude once and for all that producers make the final call on the order of roses handed out. James was selected last, leaving us in breathless anticipation. Last is usually reserved for those controversial types. But in Desiree's eyes, anyway, he wasn't controversial in the slightest. She knew nothing. The fix is in, people!

So, as you know, Brooks, Chris and Michael were pre-rosed. Bryden had already removed himself from the competition (what are the odds he comes back, by the way?) and Ben was given the boot. That left five roses to hand out, and one gentleman to be sent packing. They went in order to:

  1. Zakass (Father Zak)
  2. Hashtag (Kasey)
  3. Sexy Soccer man (Juan Pablo)
  4. The Jaw (Drew)
  5. Big James
That meant the likable Meathead Mikey would not advance. Do you wonder if being a plumbing contractor led to his exit?

Drew was pissed. He said, "James is a cancer and he's put Des in a spell." He characterized the big fella as an "immature, shallow, materialistic, self-serving piece of shit." And those are his good points!

Next week: Barcelona. Methinks Juan Pablo will figure prominently in this one. And the requisite tears.