Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bachelorette Andi: The Men Tell All, Special Gimmicks Episode

Holy gimmicks, Batman. The Bachelor/ette franchise is always looking to out-do itself. They love superlatives. So last night we witnessed the most gimmicky Men Tell All episode in series history! From ultrasound technicians to audience plants, this one took the cake.

The evening started out with a visit from Ashley and JP. The couple got married in December and Ashley is bursting at the seams, looking like she might give birth any moment now. But they told us she's not due until October 7. Good Lord! How can she be so big? Maybe she's going to be the new Octo-Mom. Or she's giving birth to a sumo wrestler.

Since nothing is sacred in Bachelor/ette-land, they thought it would be a good idea to find out the sex of their baby on TV. Sure, why not? Luckily, an ultrasound technician (or a reasonable facsimile) was standing by. So Ashley slit open her dress, the guy lubed her belly up, and boom, there was a tiny heartbeat. Thank God. How awkward would it have been if there wasn't one?

By the way, big ups to Chris Harrison for correctly saying "the sex" of the child rather than "the gender," which is fine for words but less so for humans.

Harrison asked JP if he wanted a boy or a girl. JP replied, "It doesn't matter to me." He said he just wanted a healthy baby. And the crowd exploded with applause! Good for JP for taking the health of a baby over the sex. Although I suppose he could have answered something like, "I want boy as long as it's healthy. If it's not healthy, I'll take either."

The technician informed them and us – at the same time! – that it was, indeed a boy. JP was ecstatic because now his name would continue. Apparently, females in his family wouldn't ever dare keep their own surname when they get married. Ashley said she knew all along it was a boy. JP reminded her she had a 50-50 chance.

Before we got to the Men Tell All portion of the Men Tell All episode, we had a segment plugging the upcoming Bachelor in Paradise show starting in two weeks. Just what we all need. There were lots of former contestants crying in Mexico, and even blood, cops, and handcuffs. They want us to believe someone will be spending at least a night in a Mexican prison. As if.

I say there were lots of former contestants but that's just a guess. Out of the dozens they showed, I recognized only a couple: Marquel, the one-armed girl, and the creepy guy Chris. Oh, and Marcuszzz. With a Bachelor Canada also coming up this summer, it looks like my holidays are cancelled.

Finally we got the Men. Sixteen of them, anyway. I wonder if the others are invited or if they turn the invitation down. Where was Anal Emil? Didn't want to face up to the hoots? How about the rad snowboarding dude? Just as well they didn't show because most of the guys are but chair candy. We had Craig the Lush in attendance but he wasn't referenced at all. Same with Bradly the Horrible Opera Singer (which was a huge relief).

The fellas sat in their places and were introduced, each wearing a scarf. Another gimmick. True to the show's love of superlatives, Harrison mentioned it was "easily the scarviest season we've ever had."

The first issue of the night was JJ's reporting of Andrew's comments about Marquel and Ron. It was a veritable he said-he said. Essentially, long after it allegedly happened, JJ claimed Andrew leaned over during a rose ceremony and snickered something about Andi choosing the two black guys. Or maybe he said "blackies," he thought. It seemed at first as if Andrew would be piled up on mostly because of the controversial alleged statement, and also because Marquel is beloved. Marquel is friends with JJ, so he chooses to believe him. Others, like the upstanding Farmer Chris, attacked JJ, saying if Andrew really said that, JJ should have confronted him immediately.

Andrew insists he said nothing of the sort. And that the allegations were hurting his personal and professional life. If he did, in fact, mention Andi choosing the two black guys, it sounds worse than it is. Because in the history of this show, each season includes anywhere from zero to two people of colour. And in every season, those people don't advance very far. If there are two, one is always quickly dispatched. So for him to have mentioned it doesn't necessarily imply anything more than observation. However, if he said "blackies," that's entirely different. But I haven't heard that term since early minstrel movies.

Anyway, Andrew eventually apologized and seemed sincere. We don't know if Marquel and Ron accepted it. What was hilarious, though, was in the next segment, JJ "interrupted" Harrison to bring up the subject again. (I use quotation marks because these shows are so scripted, I find it hard to believe he just would speak up out of the blue like that.) JJ said he felt he got attacked earlier "and I don't feel like I really got to defend myself. I don't think it was the time because it wasn't about me what we were discussing."

Um, neither is this segment, but continue.

"I just want to say I stand by my actions and what I did. Maybe the timing was off. Maybe I should have come in a different way. I did what I did because I thought it was right. You guys can question that all you want, I actually don't really care that much."

Farmer Chris jumped in, "So why are you telling us?" Someone in the back row chimed in, "Because the cameras are rolling." Then Coach Brian laughed, "Your apology would have been fantastic if you didn't say you couldn't care less."

Boom. And with that, the affected and bow-tied pantsapreneur was effectively shut down.

Marquel was the first on the hot seat. They talked about him being in the "dreaded friend zone." Harrison compared it to quicksand: the more you struggle, the more you fall in. He asked Marquel straight up: "Why didn't you kiss the woman?"

It was a great point. For a couple of reasons. I don't have the best memory, but I don't ever remember an African-American kissing a Bachelorette. I remember Sean kissing a black woman, but not the other way around.

And for the obvious reason. Marquel answered, "I don't think she wanted to kiss me." He also said he had no idea until watching the season on TV that "you guys were kissing her so fast. Someone could have dropped me a note!"

I've said a few times in this space that I think Marquel should be the next Bachelor. But then I was thinking if that was something ABC would ever do. And if they did, would they throw in one or two token white women, or would they make it an even split? How would that work? I'd love to see it, but I just don't think a major network would do it. Sure enough, Harrison reminded us that a "shirtless" Marquel would be featured on Bachelor in Paradise. That'll get the fans off the scent.

But if not Marquel, who?

Next up on the hot seat was Marcuszzz. I nodded off during this segment. The guy is just so dull! I woke up in time to hear Harrison plugging Bachelor in Paradise some more and telling us the hot Marcuszzz is on it. Thank God! That means he won't be the next Bachelor, either. There's no way his personality could sustain a full season.

(Incidentally, he sold the BiP show twice by promising near-naked men. Double standard.)

But if not Marcuszzz, then who?!

Next up was Farmer Chris. Harrison told us, "American has fallen in love with Chris." Nooooo!!!! Not, Chris! I've said there's no way Chris could be the next Bachelor because the producers couldn't find 25 primetime-worthy women who'd want to uproot themselves to go live on a farm in northeastern Iowa. Sure, they like him in theory, but not in reality.

But Chris wasn't on BiP so how could they stem this groundswell of support? The producers had to scramble. Their solution? They planted a woman in the centre of the crowd, at our eye level, right between Harrison and the Farmer. In the middle of the segment, she raised her hand. The cameras caught the guys whispering about it. Amazing! Finally the distraction was so great, Harrison summoned up his best acting chops and asked the woman what she wanted. Since she wasn't miked, he invited her to the stage. That could happen, right?

Wrong. Never in a million years. Try it some time. You'll be escorted off the set pretty quickly.

But she got up there, told her she was a Canadian from a small town, just like Farmer Chris, only a bit bigger. Yeah, a bit. Turns out she's from Toronto, the fourth largest city in North America behind Mexico City, New York City and Chicago. And she was at the taping all alone. Yeah, that happens, too.

Harrison asked Chris if he wanted to do a speed date. They could talk to each other during the commercial break. When we came back, we saw bits of their conversation and she ended up giving the Farmer her contact info. Phew! That was a close one. They almost had to bow to pressure to make him the next Bachelor. Hopefully he can enter into a relationship with this plant. I'm sure her contract tells her she has to keep him amused until a new Bachelor is announced.

But if not Farmer Chris, then who? My vote now is for Coach Brian. Who's yours?

Finally it was Andi's turn to make an appearance. She was absolutely glowing, but that's to be expected because of her pregnancy. What? She's not pregnant? She had an abortion? That is shocking! I'm surprised more wasn't made of it.

Harrison asked her point blank if she was pregnant. She said she wasn't. So I guess that's that. I don't know if I was imagining this, but I've always felt pregnant women get a different kind of look on their face, particularly noticeable in the mouth area. Is that a thing? Anyway, I could have sworn Andi had this look. But maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see.

She also took some questions from some of the fellas. Farmer Chris started by saying, "I hope you're doing well. You're beautiful." Andi ignored him and just turned to Harrison and said the Farmer is "always a gentleman."

Marcuszzz asked her if it scared her that he was so open with her. She replied, in essence, with, "Uh, no."

Bodybuilder Cody said she never got to see the real Cody, which "kinda sucks." But it was great for the viewing audience.

Marquel asked about the friend zone. Too late, bud, too late.

Nick S., the golfer, told her her guard was up. She replied, "And you are...?"

And you know she had to throw in a "y'all" for good measure. This one was a doozy! Check this out: "Y'all's guard is up." Impressive!

Finally Creepy Chris, who showed up unannounced in the first episode and wasn't allowed in to meet her, and who was sitting in the audience as an invited guest along with other BiP'ers, was given a long-distance introduction. He stood up to make his way down to the stage and Harrison stopped him, saying, "We can't allow that to happen." That's right. Only strangers sitting alone in the audience who want to date Farmer Chris are permitted on stage. Sit your ass down, fella.

Harrison also brought out an envelope with the results from the lie detector test. Of the six fellas who took the test, you'll recall, three passed with flying colours, and three were lying liars. The three truthful ones were Farmer Chris, Coach Brian, and JJ. Hey, why didn't they solve the alleged racial comments issue by putting both Andrew and JJ under the lie detector?

As for the liars, they were Marcuszzz, Dylan, and Josh. Marcuszzz's fib was telling the machine he had slept with fewer than 20 women. Dylan said he preferred brunettes (turns out it's blondes) and was ready for marriage (not). That left Josh, one of the two finalists. You'll recall Josh was quite upset over the whole lie detector test. Now we know why. Harrison asked Andi if she wanted his results. He said one of Josh's lies would be something he'd want to know about someone. But Andi passed. She said she didn't want to know. She trusts the process. Not him, now; just the process.

And then there were the never-hilarious bloopers. The only thing I learned is that Coach Brian has a fear of pickles. Yes, pickles. As in a run-from-the-room-screaming fear of pickles.

So next week it all goes down. We saw one upcoming clip with Harrison delivering a letter from one of the final two and Andi sitting staring at the unread missive. What could it say? Maybe it's Josh coming clean.

Who's she going to pick? I've got to believe it's Nick. Anyone out there have Josh?

If you've read this far, thank you. Now go follow me on Twitter @BachelorBlogger.


Amy said...

Thanks, as always, for the entertaining update.

I thought the next Bachelor would be Chris, but maybe not now. I don't think it can be the coach because of the way his face looks. That leaves one of the final two. Nobody likes Nick, so I guess Andi picks him so that Josh can be the next Bachelor.

Anonymous said...

You are quite entertaining! Thanks for the laughs.
I think she picks Josh. They look related as some married couples look after awhile together.....or like dogs quite often look like their owners! Good reasoning on my part, huh?
Actually I think they look cute together and to me they look smitten. Their eyes seem to have a sparkle when they are together plus they have " the in- love smile."
I totally agree that Ashley looked wayyyyyyyy more advanced in her pregnancy than someone expecting in the beginning of Oct.!!!!

Anonymous said...

Finally a true twist for the show, "Do you accept this rose..... or would you prefer to go on a season of bach pad/paradise?" then maybe everyone wouldn't accept a rose.

Anonymous said...

I think it has to be Nick. Andi was wary of Josh's jock status (in his mind) from the beginning, then add to that the tizzy he was in over the lie detector test, and then add the fact that her life would be centered around the brother's football career and.....you get Nick!

Anonymous said...

As usual, loved your blog. I think she picks Josh. Nick seems a little too whiny.