Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bachelor Sean: A tortured life

A little late again this week, but this will stretch out your Bachelor experience a little bit. You watched the show on Monday, read whatever other blogs and spoilers on it on Tuesday, then come back for the final say here today. Or something like that. I can't even think about next week and shows on both Monday and Tuesday. Do I do one mammoth blog covering both (like the regular ones aren't mammoth enough)? Or two separate entries? I guess I'll play it by ear.

You know what was missing from this week's episode? I'll give you a hint:

Kacie: Lest we forget
Not only that, but my two other favourites got next to no face time this week. Neither Des nor Les got dates. That'd be Desiree and Lesley M. I could barely stay focussed. No wonder it took me so long to muster up the energy to write this. Although I gotta say AshLee is starting to grow on me.

We started out the program watching Sean parade around in his boxer briefs. No biggie, right? But the very first date was with Selma, whose conservative Arabic parents aren't even fine with her being on the show. Surely they're watching and wondering where they went wrong.

Then they had to witness their daughter saying things like, "I want to take it to the next level, and then the next level, and then have babies." Presumably not on the date. But the date was bad enough, in their eyes, I'm sure.

This is NOT Selma
She sure was radiant, though. I hadn't really noticed her beauty before. I knew she was nice looking but today she looked stunning. Her date card read, "Let's turn up the heat." She had no idea what that meant. On the way there she told Sean, "I cannot dance with a partner to save my life." Ah, how I love a woman who can't dance. But if you parse that statement further, what does it reveal? What's the "with a partner" all about? Does it imply she can dance alone? That's stripper talk! And we know she'd never do that. How about a simple, "I cannot dance to save my life"?

Sean takes her to a private jet and Selma asks, "Are you kidding me? ... Is every date going to be like this from now on?" Not clear if she meant every date on the show or real life. Either way the answer is no. We all know the next time he'll use the helicopter.

On board the jet, Selma lost control of her spine and slouched to one side. Maybe she was just getting away from the window to prove to Sean her fear of heights, but we know by now these phobias are all bogus. Regardless, her date was going to test her fake fear. And discomfort.

They started off in the decidedly unglamorous desert. Selma is a girl who is used to wearing 6-inch heels rather than athletic shoes. Add to that, she just does not do well in the heat. At. All. "I am so disappointed," she said. But who knows where they spliced that quote from because she appeared to be happy throughout. And did I mention radiant?

Sean took Selma rock-climbing in Joshua Tree national park. (The U2 album was apparently such a hit they made a national park out of it.) I don't want to belittle this feat because it actually looked hard. And it made me wonder a couple of things: 1. How do real rock climbers get the rope hanging from the top? It seems if they can get to the top to affix the ropes, then they don't need them because they got there without them in the first place. And 2. How did Sean and Selma get down?

Sean, like the true gentleman he is, allowed Selma to go first on their ascent. You see, he'd be there to catch her or support her if she slipped up. The fact he could also get a great view of her bum in the Spandex played no part in it at all. I know this because he said, "You look cute in that helmet." See? No mention of her caboose.

Once they arrived at the top, she walked to the edge and soaked in the view. You know, the way anyone with a fear of heights would. Looks like that fake fear was conquered. Well done! Then she says, "Let's go" and they walk off. Off screen, anyway. Huh? I know it's not important, but I really want to know how they got down.

The date continued at a kitschy trailer park, where Selma practically admitted her hatred of heights was a put-on. She said the favourite part of her day was standing on top of that mountain. The conversation took place under a shared blanket as the two got cozy. She talked about growing up in a strict, conservative home and being born in Baghdad, Iraq. This is why she can't kiss on national TV yet presumably it's perfectly okay to wear low-cut tight t-shirts and Spandex, cuddle with men you barely know, and whisper, "I would like to kiss you." She said she can't kiss him until she's "his only lady." So I guess we won't see her winning it all. Not if the producers have any say in it. But Sean says he's fine with it: "If I have to wait to kiss her, I'm happy to do it... She has everything I'm looking for in a woman." And he gives her a rose.

On the group date, the first thing I noticed was the Dark Cloud smiling and joking with the other girls in the limo. Come on, editors, strive for consistency. If you're going to paint someone a certain way early on, stick with it or at least show that others have noticed a change.

The girls were taken to a warehouse where they would learn the finer points of Roller Derby and then go at it. I didn't write down everyone on the date, but one of them was Sarah. Yes, Sarah. You know, Sarah...? The Valley Girl?... Blonde?... Everyone knows Valley Girls have balance issues.

It was quite rough for Sarah. As she pointed out, "It's not just an emotional hurdle, but also a physical hurdle. My body works in different ways. I don't have great balance and don't have two arms to prop myself back up quickly." So was Sean insensitive to include her on such a date? Or should she have expected that there would be certain challenges along the way she might have trouble with?

Probably a bit of both. But she knew there'd be lots of challenges on the show if she stuck around and the idea isn't necessarily to excel at them but to see how she reacts to such challenges. One thing I'm glad didn't happen was she didn't get the rose. Wait, hear me out. Nothing against her. I just think the rose should go to someone he likes the best out of the group (he's there to ultimately find a mate, at least in theory), not just someone who has a hard time and he feels sorry for. And it's not just Sarah. Every season there are several contestants who get roses for those reasons.

During their practice, the Dark Cloud claimed she had roller derby-ed before. Then she told the cameras she was just lying in an effort to intimidate the others. But curiously she also happened to be the best at it, making me believe she had, indeed, done it before. And then she fell on her face. So much for that.

Everyone wondered if she had a broken jaw. They didn't wonder too much because no ambulance came. She was just driven off to the hospital in a van holding ice to her chin.

That accident spooked everyone because, as someone said, "if the girl who knows what she's doing is injured..." what does that mean for the rest of the newbies? They'll be carted off on stretchers, no doubt. So sensitive Sean called an audible and announced there'd just be a free skate. AshLee, proving that she's only ever been with total jerks before, said, "I'm just glad he was in tune to a woman, probably one of the few men ever."

After the skate, the gals donned their fancy clothes. Robyn's shoes were on loan from the Fred Gwynne estate apparently.

The little party was marred by the moody Tierra. Somebody dubbed her Tierrable and I wish I had thought of it. But I'm not above stealing it, so that will be her name from here on out. Tierrable said she was losing her mind. In a callous knock at Sarah or the Dark Cloud, she said she doesn't want a sympathy rose. Wish granted, because there's nothing sympathetic about this one.

She claims she needs to leave. As in the program. "I just don't like the environment, the girls, everything," she whined to Sarah, aka one of "the girls." "Like, I can't do this. At all."

So up she gets and sees a producer on the way out: "Can I go? I wanna leave. Like, I don't want to be here at all. I'm done with it." Then walks off blubbering looking for Sean.

We see Sean kissing Lindsay, then cut back to Tierrable: "I deserve so much more than this. Sean's a great guy but why should I be tortured every day and live life uneasy? Why? ... I cannot take it. I am breaking down inside and holding it all in. That is not fair."

The best part was her pig-like snorts between sentences as she sobbed. "Will I probably regret it? Absolutely, but I can't be tortured like this. (snort)"

Somewhere Terry Waite is practicing rolling over in his grave.

By this time, Lindsay has suggested she and Sean hit the hot tub, so she gets into her bikini and they head that way. My first thought was, how long does each girl get with Sean? Every other week for years we've been seeing contestants being interrupted after just minutes. Here Lindsay has enough time to make out with Sean, get changed into her bikini, and head to the hot tub thinking they'd have even more time.

But Tierrable caught them in transit and has some private time with Sean before she leaves the show... At least that's what I thought would happen. She tells him, "It's torture, it's seriously torture! I don't want to walk away giving up but it's hard seeing you go with other girls and to not think about you going on these amazing adventures and dates. It's hard because I'm so sensitive and so emotional when it comes to something I want to go after."

I seriously thought Sean was going to say, "Well, if that's how you feel, I think you should go because you clearly can't handle this and it's just going to get more intense." Did any one of you think he was going to say, "Hang on" and then go get the rose? That was the strangest turn of events I've seen maybe ever on this show.

Sean said, "You know what I know? You like me and you want to spend more time with me. How do I know? I can tell by the way you look at me." Yes, granted, she does have stalker eyes, Sean, but grab a clue, buddy!

She immediately smiles and all the tears go bye-bye.

"I really like this girl. If she goes home I'll always wonder what could have been." What's odd is that Tierrable, I believe, isn't in this just to win it (TV exposure); she actually wants to be with Sean. But she's so one-minded in her pursuit that she's not considering what he'll think after he watches the season. There's no way he could stay with her knowing what we all know. Then again, it's Sean, so all bets are off after this move tonight.

Oh, I forgot, the Dark Cloud returned from hospital all smiles. She got some time with Sean and looked like nothing had happened. So much for broken jaw. She told the cameras, "I love the sympathy card. I play dirty. I will take it. I'm gonna milk the heck out of this. This didn't happen for nothing." Judging by her miraculous recovery, it didn't happen at all. But as we know, nobody got a sympathy rose. Tierrable's rose might look like it a bit but Sean really likes her. Sean is the one we should sympathize with.

I thought the perfect ending to this date would be the rest of the girls all walking out en masse. Just leaving the show in protest. That would have been glorious.

The final date went to Leslie, the poker dealer. It's the first we've really gotten to know her and I quite liked her. She has a great smile. And I didn't realize what a big nerd she was. I mean in a lovable way. She was positively giddy to be given the date card: "I'm super-duper excited," she said. And throughout her segments dropped "Holy-moly" three times (once with the "Batman" appendage) along with "Winner-winner chicken dinner."

The date was Pretty Woman-themed, which just happened to be Leslie's favourite movie. Leslie got some diamond earrings to start off then Sean took her to Rodeo Drive to shop for a dress, shoes, purse and necklace that Cleopatra would think was too garish. I'm no Mr. Blackwell but I thought the outfit made her look like a wrapped present. Unfortunately for her, she wasn't unwrapped. Sean didn't feel any romantic connection so he sent her home even before the generic musician could play for them. And this after she told us, "I see my future husband. He's everything that I ever could ever, ever, ever wish for. And more." Either she has low expectations, her imagination isn't that great or Sean is simply amazing.

As you may know by now, I'm not one to agree with sending people home who I like. I don't care if there's a connection or not. If I see something in someone, I think everyone should see it. And when you put Leslie up with some of the others (hello Tierrable!), there's no way she should have been sent home.

Leslie looked crestfallen when Sean picked up the rose only to announce he wasn't giving it to her. On her way out, she asked incredulously, "You really didn't see any romance at all?" Out on the street, she took off her necklace to give back to him. I thought she should have thrown it at him. I like that she warned him about "some girls" who have roses who weren't there for the right reasons. Usually a girl will do the warning while still in the hunt so it could appear to be gamesmanship. But here she had nothing to gain. It had to give Sean pause, knowing the description fit only two people – Selma and Tierrable. But he's also a little thick so it probably didn't even register.

He said they had a "very romantic evening, great conversation, unfortunately the romance just wasn't there." Hmm. Interesting. If romance wasn't there, how was the evening "very romantic"?

At the cocktail party, AshLee impressed Sean with her strength, confidence and goodness of her heart. He also described her as the sweetest and kindest, and liked that she doesn't let the other girls get to her. Yes, she does seem more mature and above the fray than many others. Like I say, she's growing on me. If she had a sense of humour, she'd be right there at the top.

No double entendre here. Move along.
Robyn tried a pick-up line on Sean. She picked up a wrapped chocolate and said, "Do you like chocolate?" Yes, replied Sean, oblivious to where this was going. She tried again: "Do you like the taste of chocolate?" Mm-hmm, he said, looking confused, as in, "Sure, who doesn't? Are you offering me that piece of chocolate or what?" She kept trying: "Do you want to taste the chocolate?" Yes, came the answer. She didn't slap him across the face and tell him not to be so literal. She finally said, "Which chocolate do you want to taste?" He laughed nervously, but it didn't seem like a knowing laugh. It seemed like a very confused laugh, like he was thinking, "So where's the other piece of chocolate? I need to see them both before I decide which one I want. But why can't I have both?"

So she just gave up and kissed him. And it was everything she thought it would be. "I'm so happy it's ridiculous," she said after. "Oh, he's perfect." Someone likes the taste of vanilla.

Meanwhile, Tierrable confided in the Dark Cloud. She told her that on the group date, "Robyn attacked me for no reason." Talk about a persecution complex. Robyn, of course, did no such thing. But stalkers are unpredictable that way. You can't truly understand them. "It sucks that I'm the one taking all this blame and heat." So she takes the bull by the horns and asks to speak to Robyn and Jackie. [Note to self: Find out who Jackie is.] She actually and sincerely apologizes to the two of them. Well, as sincere as a crazy stalker can be, which is to say not at all. Apology accepted, because it seemed sincere. But she then told the cameras, "It was definitely fake, definitely forced. But if I have to get that way, I will."

She then continues with the deceit by telling Sean, "I hate drama. It's not who I am." Sean says, "I don't think you cause drama; I think you are your own worst enemy and you freak yourself out." That is one loyal dude. Then comes the real reason for her talk. It was a pre-emptive strike against the inevitable: "The biggest thing is I don't want any of the girls to come out and discourage you from your outlook on me."

Sean tells us, "She requires more reassurance than anyone in the house but I don't see it as a bad thing." Bless his dumb little heart.

Catherine was here
Not sure what was up with Catherine. In an effort to be noticed, she smeared her lips on a piece of paper and stuck it in her garter, making Sean take it out. He didn't know what to make of it. In case it went over his head like everything else, she said, "I'm so attracted to you." The others were sitting nearby so they couldn't really kiss so she suggested they take a walk. They got their kiss in private, which was, according to Catherine, "perfect – short and sweet and leaving us wanting more."

The party ended with some more choice words from Tierrable: "I'm smart. I'm ahead of everybody. In life I get what I want always." So we have our enemy, which the producers always want. We can now cheer against her and he'll keep steadfastly holding onto her so we'll keep watching in hopes that she leaves. They've got us right where they want us.

With Leslie gone, and Tierrable and Selma already with roses, nine more would get to stick around, sending just one on her way. Who would it be? The flowers went out in order:

  1. Catherine (who whispered, "I want to kiss you")
  2. Desiree
  3. Lindsay
  4. Lesley
  5. Robyn
  6. AshLee
  7. Sarah
  8. Jackie
  9. Daniella
Who's left? Amanda. That's right, the Dark Cloud floats away and all is sunshine and light. Amanda felt rejected and really miserable. "Heartbreak is such a different emotion," she said. But otherwise took it well.

As mentioned, for some unknown reason they're going with two episodes next week: Monday and Tuesday. And I have no idea how I'll handle that. Looks like there'll be some drama, though. Does Tierrable get hypothermia? Who knows? Talk to you at some point next week.