Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bachelor Sean: The day the sparkle died

Welcome back to the last instalment of The Tierra Show everyone. Hope I didn't give anything away. Last night's episode took place in St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Tierrable's fingerprints were all over the whole show. It made for a fun night with lots of over-the-top drama, but we're finally left with relatively normal and likeable ladies. I'll take that any time over manufactured conflict any day. Although I'm sure the producers will set someone else up as the crazy person now that Tierrable's gone.

AshLee got the first one-on-one date. Tierrable wasted no time in getting screen time, calling the 32-year-old a "cougar." "When I'm 32, I want to be married with kids," she said. "Why hasn't she found anyone to settle down with?" She might have spoken too soon. Yes, she's got eight more years to get on it, but she better hope she finds a guy without cable or access to the internet.

While all the other girls staked out their beds they'd share with each other, the anti-social Tierra found a rollaway cot and set it up so she could be by herself. I didn't find that particularly weird or noteworthy, but it was presented as another sign of her otherness.

Sean and Ash take a walk to the beach where he points out a catamaran in the water, which will take them to a private island. First, though, they have to swim to the boat. So they peel away their clothes. I was thinking about their clothes lying there on the beach all day, with possibly their wallets or money in the pockets. Then I gave myself a slap in the face. This isn't real reality. They have people to pick up after them.

Once again, Ash brought up her abandonment issues, which were accompanied by tears. She's got a lot to work through, that one. We see how heavily it weighs on her every episode, leaving the impression that it's a daily hindrance in life. But is it? Most likely the producers just know which buttons to push and they're frantically pushing them every time they speak to her.
And the award goes to...

While lying on their own private beach, Sean asks Ash point-blank about Tierrable: "Has the drama subsided or are people just not telling me?" he wants to know. Ash, who is nothing if not sincere and earnest, told her that Tierrable is "just not polite" and is a "pouty pants". Ash said, Sean believes it, so that settles it.

And the producers look like they're setting her up as the future unstable crazy person, showing her say, "This is my future husband." It seems reciprocated. Sean said, "I haven't felt this way about someone in a long time and I can't imagine anything going wrong." Okay, that's a bit of foreshadowing, isn't it? And in fact, Ash had a terrifyingly sordid story she needed to get off her chest. It turns out... are you sitting down?... wait for it... AshLee was once married!!! Run for your lives!

Okay, she was a junior in high school and was divorced by the time she was a senior. I always have to stop and figure out the Canadian translation when I hear the sophomore/junior/senior thing. She was in grade 11 when she tied the knot. Who does that? But she was fighting with her mom and... wait, that was the reason? Does that make sense? Regardless, it's hardly that big a deal. Ash thought it could be a deal-breaker: "It breaks my heart to tell you that," she said. "I don't want to ruin today and I feel like I did." Sean just said, "I thought you were going to tell me something terrible."

So she jumped up and screamed, "I love Sean!" Well, after yelling, "Hello, St. Croix!" Sean said he was amazed that she's this strong confident woman after what she's been through. And I was amazed he thinks she's a strong, confident woman. But he's not seeing her emotional memories flooding out like we are.

The next one-on-one was with Tierrable herself. The date card suggested they would explore the town. Proving she can roll with the punches, Tierrable whined, saying how being attacked by bugs and sweating in the heat is not her idea of fun. She'd rather have a boating date. Lesley mumbled, "I hate that bitch."

On the date, Tierrable was all smiles for Sean, naturally. To the camera, though, she complained: "I'm hot, I'm gross, I'm thirsty." But it was nothing some street jewelry couldn't fix. Sean said her energy was "off the charts." He also described her as a "fun, outgoing, sweet girl" and said "she's a blast to be with."

But he had some questions, too. He wanted to know if things were getting better in the house. Tierrable equivocated: "Mmm... yes and no," she said. It's just that the other girls don't accept her, she said. She tries to talk to them but they won't. On the one hand, we've seen no video evidence of this ever happening. But if you really think about it, we've also seen no video evidence of any of her rudely and outrightly ignoring greetings from the other women. But we do have the testimonies of almost every other contestant on the show, so that probably means something. I'm just waiting for the After the Final Rose episode where there'll inevitably be one or two that'll rush to her defence.

Sean also asked if she would have handled things differently if she could do it all over again. It won't surprise you to learn that she wouldn't. "They're not going to be around much longer," she said, as if that excuses her rudeness.

She at least had the sense to note that the "vibe was a little off" between her and Sean. She felt more distant from him than she ever had in the past, and told him as much. So she did what she had to do: She threw out the L word. "I am falling for you," is what she said out loud. Then she whispered in his ear (if the subtitles are to be believed): "I am falling in love with you." I think Sean thought she said, "I've fallen in love with you," which is different, but it's just semantics at this point.

The next date was a group effort, with Desiree, Catherine and Lindsay. Sean wanted to see what they looked like without makeup. Granted, we have the television version of them, but it looks pretty clear to me they're all natural gals who don't get all made up. Methinks he just wanted to hopefully get a sneak at Lindsay sleeping in the nude. And sure enough when he snuck in, she said (I'm assuming it was her, anyway), "I'm naked!" And yes, she was sharing a bed. But again, we saw no video evidence of her bare body. Not even a pixilated version.

Catherine claimed to be the lowest maintenance of all: "I just need to pee and I'm good to go." And maybe the one with the least dental hygiene, if that's the case.

Sean took them on a road trip of the island, from east to west. They saw the sunrise at what he said was the farthest eastern point in the United States. I'm not sure why they get to count territories as part of the U.S. That's kinda cheating. But whatever. Then they toured all day going to historical points, cafes and a treehouse. Apparently Des hogged Sean for much of the day, calling shotgun for most of the car ride. Catherine said it was like her and Lindsay on a date with Sean and Desiree.

Cath also showed she's pretty strong, putting Sean on her shoulders and carrying him. Yes, they were in the water but I was still impressed. And then she got serious with Sean. She told him about her father, who suffers from depression and lives in China. Throughout her discussion about him, she had the thousand-yard stare going on.

Des also got emotional when talking about her family. Her parents are "so simple yet so happy." I'm going with a charitable definition of 'simple' because that's what I think she meant, not that they were of abnormally low intelligence.

But the rose went to Lindsay. It wasn't an easy decision, though. Sean said it was "by a mile the hardest decision he's had to make" so far. I don't know why since all three eventually got a rose anyway.

Back at the hotel, there was some fancy editing when Ash and Les were talking outside about Tierrable. The producers would have us believe that Tierra, inside on the couch, was eavesdropping. But I guarantee you that wasn't the case.

The final date (everyone got one) went to Lesley, one of my early favourites. She's smart, she's attractive, she's funny. And she's not really a blonde, as it turns out. Her dye was quickly fading and maybe that's why Sean felt the relationship wasn't where it needs to be. So it was a little awkward when she hinted at a hometown visit, "Are you ready to go to Arkansas?" There was a telling pause before he said, "Yeah." Then when talking to each other, Les said she felt they're like best friends but they also have that raw passion and chemistry. Uh, not so much. And Sean's look told her just as much.

He noted how she doesn't really look him in the eye, but I just see a shyness beneath her confidence. I find that refreshing. They have a long slow kiss and when they pull apart she said, "I never wanna get used to that." I wonder if Sean interpreted that in the negative sense. Put a different inflection in her tone and it sounds like she thought it was disgusting.

Sean flew his older sister to the island for consultation. It turns out the last word of advice she gave him before he left to do the show was, "Don't end up with the girl nobody likes." And we're just finding this out now? How long has Sean known that nobody likes Tierrable? Since week 2 maybe? He clearly doesn't value his sister's advice. But while they were outside talking about Tierrable, a storm was brewing inside the hotel as AshLee and Tierrable were yelling at each other. Tierrable was constantly interrupting until Ash mentioned that it was Sean who asked her directly about Tierrable. That gave her pause. Until she saw an opening when Ash mentioned Tierrable's raised eyebrow as a sign of snark. "I cannot control my eyebrow!" she shouted, hiding her tweezers.

The Bachelor editing suite
So while that was going on (at least if the editing is to be believed, which, granted, we should take with a silo-ful of salt, Sean tells his sis he'll go get Tierrable so they can meet and talk. He walks in and she's off by herself bawling. "Why is this happening?" she wailed. Lending a sympathetic ear, Sean said, "I don't understand why you're acting like this." Tierrable mentioned how she was scared of the process and didn't know how to take it, and claimed that AshLee was out to get her. But then added, "I hate confrontation like this and I hate getting emotional." Clearly.

AshLee said Tierrable is a great manipulator, but it didn't work this time. Sean made a gutsy decision. He told Tierrable he's crazy about her and has been since the first night, but because he cares for her so much, "it might be for the best for you to go home now... I can't keep you here knowing how hard this is for you." I guess she believed it. I would have expected more gnashing of teeth. He asked – with a straight face – if she wanted to say goodbye to the girls. That wasn't going to happen. So he walked her to the car and said, "I think the world of you, I really do." She replied, "Obviously not enough" and hopped in the van where she wept, "I can't believe they did this to me! I just wanna go home. I hope the girls got what they wanted... Nobody will take my sparkle away. I will not let that happen!"

And then the van drive drove her and her sparkle away.

Sean told the others there'd be no cocktail party and informed them of his "moment of clarity." He told them Tierrable was "obviously a source of drama" and "I'm not looking for that in a partner." AshLee said he looked right at her when he said that and she wondered if it was a look of comfort or a warning. If it was the latter, that's unfair given that he was the one who asked her point blank about Tierrable. You can't claim to want to know details and then shoot the messenger when they supply the details.

But there was no reason for her to feel scared, as it turned out. The rose ceremony would send one girl home. Lindsay was safe. The other three to get roses, and a hometown visit next week, were:

  1. Desiree
  2. Catherine
  3. AshLee
Okay, it's true AshLee came off a little stalker-y herself when she said, "This is my husband. Love does conquer all."

Lesley, one of my early frontrunners and a definite top two in the final six, was given the heave-ho. She smiled through the pain. "Rejection hurts; heartbreak hurts. It sucks," she said. Her eyes got moist but she maintained her composure and held onto her dignity. Lesley for Bachelorette? I wouldn't be against that at all.

In an odd turn, one of the advancers broke down in tears. Catherine was sobbing over Lesley's ousting. Not because they were such good friends but because "if he doesn't want Lesley, I don't know why I'm here. He has more in common with Lesley than with me. My beliefs are shattered."

The highlights for next week look great. Sean seems to be given a hard time by Catherine's sisters, Lindsay's military dad, and Desiree's brother. It even hinted at a physical confrontation with the bro. That can't be good. But we know how the editors work. That's just to get us to watch, forgetting that we'd watch anyway.