Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bachelor America: Kacie and the Sunshine Band of Misfits

I gotta admit when my wife informed me yesterday that our favourite guilty pleasure was starting up again tonight, I felt deflated. So soon? I guess the Americans haven't had one in a while, but it seems we just got through Bachelor Canada. And the draw this time around was big Moose himself, Sean. How could I get through another season?

The always delightful and cute Kacie B (as in Back For More)
But shortly into the premiere episode, I was buoyed. The ever-delightful Kacie B. is back! That'll keep me going. If she doesn't make it to the final (and I'm kinda hoping she makes it at least as far as the hometown dates just so we can see if her parents will get involved this time), I hope she at least lasts long enough so I get to know and like someone else.

Starting off the show, we heard some upcoming quotes. Sean said, at some unseen future point, "Is one of these girls really bad for me and I don't see it?" Um... yes. Yes, she is. I say that without having seen a single one of them, Sean, but trust me on this. One of them is really bad for you. Maybe more. I'll bet anything on it.

There was also a bit of a Miss Emily montage, reliving his bronze medal showing with the southern belle. But now that her second show-inspired relationship (with the Mormon teenager) has fizzled, why not just bring her back and set her up with Sean? Give her one more kick at the can.

Couple other thoughts I had during this first segment: You can totally see Sean's scalp under his thinning hair. Let's see... He's 29... Yep, that's about right. I remember those days. I remember my mom telling me I should get a woman before it all falls out. I waited it out, just so she'd know what she was getting. I'm honest that way.

And this quote from Moose: "God still has another plan for me." Yes, He does. And that plan is more reality TV, clearly. God works in mysterious ways.

Fan of God and country, but still really cute
Now that my infatuation with Kacie B. has been rekindled, I checked out her Twitter and Facebook page. In both she talks about the big guy: "GOD is number one in my life! Love my family, friends, country music, Target, marshmallows and fun! -Psalm 25 LIVING MY DASH!" And "I'm a woman of God and value the simple things in life." Maybe she and Sean are made for each other.

Still, she's so darn cute I would put up with her country music... Or at least try.

Anyway, there are other women on the show. We'll get to them. But first he invited Ari over to receive his Euro-wisdom. They practiced how to say, "Will you accept this rose?", how to break up with someone (Sean: "I can't use 'it's not you; it's me' because it's obvious it's going to be them"), and then Ari gave tips on his patented kissing technique: eye contact, use of hands, pull close, very little tongue. "I think that's gonna be very helpful," said the wide-eyed Moose.

At the start of every new season, the producers decide to highlight a handful of contestants, showing them in their homes. It's a taste of what's to come, although not a guarantee that these ladies will stay beyond the first night. I decided I would rate each one out of 5. Consider it my first-impression rating, based on a combination of looks, sense of humour, normalcy and gut (mine, not theirs). These ratings can, and will be, adjusted as I get to know the characters in coming weeks. Or even minutes.
  • Desiree is a 26-year-old bridal stylist and a contender for cutest girl in the mansion. ✭✭✭✭✭ (that's five out of five stars!)
  • Tierra, is a 24-year-old Denver gal who wears a cross on its side around her neck (not sure of the significance) and screamed when she found out Sean was the Bachelor: "He's family-oriented!!" ✭✭✭1/2
  • Robyn is the first African-American we've seen on the show in a long time. She describes herself as a little quirky and likes to do backflips. ✭✭✭1/2
  • Diana is a 31-year-old hair salon worker and mother of two. I think that's a first on the show. ✭✭✭
  • Sarah is a 26-year-old ad designer from L.A. with one arm. It's a season of firsts! ✭✭✭
  • Ashley P is a 28-year-old delusional hair stylist with a fixation on the steamy novel 50 Shades of Grey and can't understand why she's still single. "I hope Sean rips my clothes off and spanks me." ✭1/2
  • Lesley is a 25-year-old political consultant in DC but hails from Arkansas. ✭✭✭✭
  • Kristy is a 26-year-old model who says, "Girls will be jealous of me." ✭
  • AshLee F, 32, is an anal-retentive professional organizer (and amateur, too, by the sounds of it). She was adopted. She cried telling her story. ✭✭
Those were the vignettes. Next we got to see their grand limo entrances, which each come with their own unique 5-star rating. Here was the line-up, in order:
  • AshLee F, who we just met in the vignette. I didn't consult my earlier ratings while I jotted down new scores. I gave her a ✭✭✭✭1/2 here. (Wow, a big improvement from her 2-star rating moments earlier)
  • Jackie put her mark on Sean by smearing her mouth in red lipstick and planting a kiss on his cheek. ✭✭✭1/2
  • Selma, 29, pulled a napkin from her boobs and wiped the lipstick off Sean's cheek. ✭✭✭
  • Leslie, a poker dealer, was also African-American. I don't think there's ever been a season with more than one. There will be no tokenism this year. ✭✭✭✭1/2
  • Daniella was a blonde with messy hair and an overblown handshake. Trying too hard to stand out. ✭✭1/2
  • Kelly, 28, is a cruise ship entertainer from Tennessee who sang an original ditty. ✭✭1/2
  • Katie, 27, is a yoga teacher. I originally gave her 3.5 until my wife pointed out she was barefoot. A walking cliché. Down to ✭✭✭
  • Ashley P, the 50 Shades chick, pulled a man's tie out of her front, presumably for some cocktail bondage. ✭1/2 (her rating stays consistent)
  • Taryn, 30, a health club blonde who hasn't watched the past few seasons. ✭✭✭✭
  • Catherine, 26, from Seattle. Looks vaguely Asian. ✭✭1/2
  • Robyn, who we met in a vignette, provided a backflip flop. ✭✭✭ (dropping half a star)
  • Lacey, 24, died blonde, gave Sean a heart made of lace. Get it?! ✭✭1/2
  • Paige, 25, was a contestant on Bachelor Pad 3. She has the best job: Jumbotron operator. ✭✭
  • Tierra, the one who was all a-tizzy over the fact Sean is family-oriented, showed him an open heart tattoo on her ring finger (not as gross as it sounds) and hopes he can complete it. Sean asked her to wait right there, then walked off. Ooh, was he going to have her escorted off the premises? In the history of this show, every single time those three words have been uttered ("wait right here") it's been to retrieve a rose. This was no exception. Nor was it at all tense or dramatic, despite them going to commercial in the middle of it. ✭✭ (dropping from 3.5 earlier)
Incidentally, Sean went rogue by giving a rose so early because Tierra made a big impression on him in the 15 seconds they talked. She was sweet and outgoing with good energy and a magnetic personality, he said. "We have a connection," he also said, leading one to believe Sean is a big proponent of love at first sight.
  • Amanda, another model. She had a good sense of humour by getting their awkward pause out of the way early. ✭1/2
  • Keriann, 29, who drove 2775 miles to be there. ✭✭✭1/2
  • Desiree brought some pennies to throw in the fountain. Still cute as a bug, but down one star. ✭✭✭✭
  • Sarah, who we met earlier, drops half a star, too. ✭✭1/2
  • Brooke, 25, a record third black bachelorette for the ultra-white Sean. ✭✭
  • Diana, the single mother of two gets a star for each child. ✭✭ (dropping a star)
  • Lesley M, the political consultant, brings a football and gets Sean to be the centre. He bends over as she calls out an endless play. Turns out she didn't have a play, except for the one she had on getting a good look at his ass. ✭✭✭ (dropping a star)
  • Kristy, the model we met in the vignette. ✭✭1/2 (up from a single star)
  • Ashley H, the third variation on Ashley, the fourth African-American, and the third model. ✭✭
  • Lauren, a blonde Italian who relayed a message from her father: "If you break my heart, he'll break your legs." Nice. ✭
  • Lindsay, 24, a substitute teacher dressed in a full-on bridal gown. She asks for a kiss then sneaks one on the lips. She says, "I've got balls." To which Sean quickly adds, "I hope not." ✭1/2
Oh, and one more person specifically wanted to meet him there and she arrived in her own limo. Of course we now know that was:

Guess who?
  • Kacie B! ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭ (yes, a record 10/5)
When she walked in the mansion, there was uncertainty. Most didn't know who she was, which had to be a big slap in the face. And others thought she might be there to offer advice. Her main competition in the cuteness category, Desiree, dropped a further half-star in my books when she whined about it not being fair. Hey, suck it up, Buttercup. You're not the only cute girl in town.

But as soon as Des sat down and talked with Sean, she shot right back up to ✭✭✭✭1/2. And just as I made note of that, Sean offered her a rose. I can call 'em.

If you're reading this without having seen the show, 1. Are you lost? Did Google send you to the wrong place? And 2. yes, that's two roses handed out before the rose ceremony. And there'd be a lot more. Sean was calling the shots. In total, he handed out 12 roses just while sitting and talking to girls. Not sure this strategy worked since it made it highly awkward when he'd dismiss one without a rose. They'd sit down all hopeful, having seen almost everyone else wandering around with a flower, then he'd stand and say it was great talking with them. It was the Bachelor equivalent of a handshake. And a wet one at that.

It also didn't work for the viewer, i.e. me, because I couldn't keep track of who got one. I know Selma, Robyn, Lesley and Sarah got one, but that's it. I'll have to do the math later.

Lindsay, the substitute teacher dressed in white, was hoping Sean understood the wedding dress was just a gag. She's a goofball, that one (or so she keeps telling us)! But in a rare moment of self-reflection said, "Honestly I wish I was more sober right now." She made Sean dance with her then slurred, "Gimme a kiss, I'm not contagious." And again went straight for the lips. Afterwards, she had second thoughts: "Maybe I blew it. I went big. Maybe he didn't get it." She regretted wearing the get-up and trying to kiss him. Would it hurt her? Stay tuned!

Classy Kacie
Meanwhile, Ashley P, was "obliterated". Or, as the classy Kacie B. said, "she needs water". Always the lady, that Kacie. After her mating booty dance summoned him, Ash got her moment with Sean and pulled out the tie again. Sean said he brought his rape whistle. That's two good – and quick! – lines from Sean this episode. I wasn't expecting even one. Ash told him that when he "got dumped" by Emily, she called her mom and told her Sean was the guy she was going to marry. Sean handled it all gracefully. Ashley then tripped on a step.

Taryn sat sniffling and whining that she won't fight over a guy or interrupt anyone. Made me wonder why she was even there, then I recalled her saying she hadn't watched the past few seasons. I guess she forgot that's kind of the whole point of the show.

Despite handing out 12 roses already, there'd still be a rose ceremony because 7 more were still available. 12 + 7 = 19. That means seven women would be saying their goodbyes. Let's see who Sean selected:
  1. Lipstick Amanda. No, not the one to leave her mark. This was a model. She just happened to be wearing way too much lipstick at the ceremony. (I had given her ✭1/2)
  2. Lesley M, the DC consultant (I had given her ✭✭✭✭)
  3. Kacie B!!! (I had given her ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭)
  4. Kristy, the bragging model (I had given her an average of ✭3/4)
  5. Messy-haired Daniella (I had given her ✭✭1/2)
  6. Taryn, still sniffling (I had given her ✭✭✭✭)
  7. Lindsay, in her wedding gown. I guess Sean "got it" that she's just a goofball. (I had given her ✭1/2)
So who's in? Who's out? Let me try to figure this out. Hang on a second...

Gone are:
• Paige, now a two-time loser having lost out on BP3 without a rose (✭✭)
• Kelly the cruise ship entertainer (she said she was embarrassed by her singing and hurt by the rejection; surprised she didn't break out into Love Hurts) (✭✭1/2)
• Ashley H, the black model (✭✭)
• all 50 Shades of Ashley P (✭1/2)
• Lacey (✭✭1/2)
• Lauren (Sean's legs are safe... or are they?) (✭)
• Keriann, presumably driving 2775 miles back home (✭✭✭1/2)
I won't bother listing the winners because we'll see them again next week. The upcoming highlights look just as ridiculously awesome as always. If Kacie and Desiree can just remain above the fray, they should be good to sail through this thing, keeping me happy. Because that's what it's all about. But I'll try to add other images next week. I just couldn't contain myself this week.