Friday, August 29, 2014

Bachelor in Paradise: I Never Saw That Coming!

What a cliffhanger, folks! Did any of you see that coming?! When last we saw AshLee offering the rose to Graham, he walked off set with Crazy Michelle 2.0 close on his heels. Did she finally get through to her buddy that his chosen partner was actually an evil wench and he should not accept her flower?

No, silly! He just felt a little flushed and clammy. Nothing to see here. Keep moving.

CM2 attributed the anxiety, which was making him lose eyesight, to AshLee who was, quite literally, making Graham sick. Again, according to the Crazy woman, Michelle.

Graham took a few deep breaths then went back out. AshLee, who didn't bother to follow her man to see if he was okay, picked the rose up again and repeated his name. Would he accept? You could cut the tension with... pretty much anything because there was none. He accepted with a smile. Lacy did not see that coming, she said. It was making her sick.

And she wasn't kidding! She then ran off, threatening to throw up. And good ol' CM2 again made the illogical connection that just the very idea of AshLee was causing people to get physically sick. Lacy was carted off the the hospital in an ambulance with cramping, vomiting and "pretty severe" pain. Marcuszzz, her boyfriend, was "scared the worst that could happen." Not sure what he meant by that. Death? Really? He's a worrier, I guess.

The rose ceremony continued without Lacy and Marcuszzz. I can't remember if she had already given it to him thanks to the fake cliffhanger, but it was a foregone conclusion anyway. The others were:

  • Michelle leading poor Cody on
  • Sarah getting sweet on Robert
  • Jackie foolishly giving hers to Jesse
Yeah, we knew Kondescending Kalon would be a goner, but Marquel? That makes no sense, although I guess he was a bit of a player himself, switching women from week to week. But isn't that the point of the game? It just seems so static with all these couples and knowing every week it's going to be between two people who are sent home.

Clare was feeling excited. Love is everywhere, she said. "We're unbreakable." I swear, I bet the producers pull everyone aside and get them to say the most optimistic statements they can think of, then they save them until disaster looms.

Christy, another no-name from Juan Pablo's season, then showed up. Sarah gets her up to speed on who's dating whom. Duly noted. Christy then asks Clare's man, Zack, to go on a date. He tells her how rock-solid he and Clare are... in his own inimitable fashion. He said they started as friends. And he acknowledged that he was hoping Christy would be in Paradise.

But he did turn Christy down so Clare was safe. For now. She did want to know if Christy pulled him aside first. You hear that on this show when someone is asked out and every time I wonder if these people even know how the game works. They know there are date cards. They know the newbies don't usually know who's coupled up. Why are they always shocked?

Sarah then introduced Christy to Jesse, the only free agent in the field. He readily accepted her invitation because "how can you cut yourself off from experiencing Paradise?" Especially when asked by a blonde with the best farmer's burn I've ever seen. A farmer working the fields in Hee Haw, maybe, but a farmer nonetheless. Jackie, his last date, would have done the same thing. And, in fact, she did, forsaking Marquel to kick it with Jesse. See, that's how this stupid game works!

Christy tells Jesse about her former "douchebag" boyfriends and Jesse sweats. Could have been the heat, sure, but not likely. She told him she once found a bra in her boyfriend's bed and the guy said, "That's not mine." Showing how he leans more to the douchebag side than not, Jesse replied, laughing, "That's what I would have said." Which caused Christy a moment's hesitation, but she was relieved when Jesse explained, "No, I was just thinking if I was a douchebag, that's what I'd say." Oh, good. Makes perfect sense. If he says he's not a douchebag, then clearly he isn't.

Sarah got a date card and she whined through her nose, "Robert, will you come with me?" She sounds like a cross between Myrna from The Odd Couple and Laverne, both played by Penny Marshall. So I guess she sounds like Penny Marshall.

Tonight was going to be the night they finally kiss. Robert admits he's not the most romantic guy in the world. But he gets the job done. They start off tepid hugging in the pool. Then kapow, Sarah's "wildest dream came true." Just think about that for a second. It wasn't just a dream to kiss Robert, it was her wildest dream! Crazy!

Meanwhile, CM2 was frantically trying to think of something to get back her screen time. So she agreed to be bench pressed by musclebound Cody. Atta girl, CM2! You still got it!

Lacy popped back on our screens, too, no mention of sickness. She was fit as a proverbial fiddle, casting aspersions on Cody's relationship experience. I think she's onto something. Cody seems to be falling fast, telling CM2 "it's you or no one." CM2 pulls back, realizing what she's wrought. It's all just a silly game and this moose is falling in love! In fact, he said to her, "What if we fall in love?" Oh, it's fun to see CM2 squirm.

Don't forget about the Zack-Clare-Christy conundrum. Christy said, "I could be leaving in two days. I wanna get fucked up." Music to Zack's ears. He was having second thoughts about saying no to her. "Christy seems fun; Clare is intense."

So off he went to have a heart-to-heart with Clare, telling her he's "trying to figure out if a relationship for us is the right thing to do." You just knew Clare would take that well, right? "What do you mean?" she asked icily. He told her things just got intense very quickly and he tends to take things much slower. Determined not to make a scene on national television (again), Clare says, "I'm gonna go to bed, 'kay?" and gives him a peck on the cheek. Then runs off into the jungle to melt down.

"I'm having a panic attack on national television," she said. "Looking like a fool. Again. I just want to leave."

She was serious, too, I'm pretty sure. That is, she left. Then again, no one really tried to stop her. Or at all. "I'm not here for games," she said. "This is not paradise for me. It's torture." This was all said while the love of her life, Zack, snored blissfully on his top bunk.

But not for long. Clare walked in and uttered those four little words no one wants to hear, least of all when they're awoken from a deep slumber: "We need to talk."

She tells him she thought they were good and on the same page. Her regret from Juan Pablo's season was seeing that red flag and not listening to her gut. She tells him she's going home. How often have we heard threats like this over the years and it's usually met with urgings to stick it out. Instead, Zack just put his arm around her and talked nicely about their relationship – in the past tense!

She told the others, too, searching in vain for someone to try and stop her. It was not to be. "I'm going out crying with a stuffy nose and puffy eyes," she said to the camera. "Do I have snot in my nose?... This is why I just wanted to do Dancing with the Stars."

Just when it was down to six females and six males, Lucy arrived. You remember her? She was the "free spirit" from Juan Pablo's season. Not much to look at but she compensates for that by walking around naked.

Actually, was she naked? The censors sure wanted us to think that since they affixed a black box to her top and bottom wherever she went. But Jesse kept saying she was "topless" – a weird way to describe someone who's buck naked.

Christy, one of Lucy's besties, told her not to make out with Jesse because she already did. But Jesse was salivating at the chance. It was his third date with "three awesome chicks" and he just "can't wait for her to take her top off again."

CM2 also got a date card and felt she had to ask her puppydog Cody. "What if she ends up being my future wife?" he wondered. Poor sap.

They got a photo session with a professional photographer at the beach. Cody told CM2 he hoped the pics would be up on their wall someday. And CM2 hoped the evidence of them even being on a beach together would be burned by the look she gave him.

Then there was a wardrobe change. She walked in her change room to find a wedding dress and bouquet. Why, exactly, I'm not sure. Is this something anyone does, play dress-up in a wedding gown on your first date? I'm not blaming CM2 at all. In fact, she was rightfully horrified, all the more so because Cody was just a toy to her, not a real object of affection. A means to the end of sticking around until someone better came along.

She said she wasn't ready to do this and was freaking out, as Cody told us he could see her as a future wife. But she does it anyway because a rose is a rose is a rose, right? And primetime TV is primetime TV is primetime TV.

She was so horrified that she couldn't even humour him. Strangers on the beach saw this couple – newlyweds for all they knew – and she felt the need to scream out to them, "It's fake! It's not real!" as if it made any difference to them at all. Cody kissed her neck and she scrunched up her shoulders.

AshLee also got a date card and Graham didn't hesitate to go. "Everything's pretty cool with us," he said, despite saying yesterday he was questioning his future with her.

They went to a race track and AshLee showed she's a pretty cautious driver. Graham said she's "ready for a minivan."

Back on the beach, everyone was chilling in the arms of their loved ones. Except for Christy, who tried to get things going with a game. Nope, not gonna happen. They weren't into it. She felt very alone. And also sober. "There's so much booze and no one's drinking it. Why?! It makes me so mad," she said. Must be because CM2 was away on her date.

Christy thought she'd come to Paradise and meet so many single guys, but there's only one, "if that." And that does appear to be a big flaw in this show. I'm sure there's a method to their boring madness, but where's all the fun? Bring back Bachelor Pad!

Like Cody, Marcuszzz was also falling too fast. First with Andi, now with Lacy. "I realize what true love is by meeting Lacy," he said. "I hope you know by now that I love you," he told her under the moonlight. I think Marcuszzz and Cody should date.

I guess despite that Christy warned Lucy not to kiss Jesse, she did. But just the one kiss, she said, before shaking her head and mouthing silently, "That's a lie." She tells him not to tell anyone, i.e. her best friend Christy. She tells us she's "pretty sexual all around" and "open to just about anything." She says "it's not the end of the world if two friends like the same guy. I believe sharing is caring. It's natural. It feels good. Why not do it all the time?"

And so she, Christy and Jesse proceed to get it on. Apparently, anyway. There was enough talk of a ménage à trois. I guess I believe it. Maybe I just want to believe it. But that grainy night-vision shot of Jesse rubbing Christy's butt cheeks was a little creepy. I wonder how long the cameraman sat there breathing as quietly as possible.

Sarah thought the very idea was "really horrible and awkward." Lacy called Jesse the "manwhore here in Paradise."

But Jesse seemed to be digging the free spirit Christy more than the freer spirit Lucy. (Lucy would never be seen with tan lines, for God's sake!) He told Christy she was one of his favourites "of all time." Christy said she would "100 percent accept the rose" from him.

Spoiler alert alert!: Someone said "spoiler alert" when Cody blew his load and told CM2 she's got his rose.

Lucy knew this was a game, though. Her only option was to scheme against Christy. That's what friends are for! She called Jesse "hot, funny and smart." Hmm. Okay. Sarah thought Lucy wasn't there for the right reasons. As much as I'm not a fan of Lucy, I'd say she's one of the few who's there for exactly the right reasons!

Chris Harrison arrived to tell everyone the show was working. Okay, if you say so, Host Boy. Now it was rose time. Here's how it went down:

  • Robert called upon Sarah
  • Graham, to the disgust of Lacy, gave his rose to AshLee
  • Cody uneventfully gave his to CM2, adding she would get all of his roses "forever and ever and ever and ever"
  • Marcuszzz gave a long, boring (naturally) speech to Lacy before giving her the rose. I'm sure it was all he could do to not get down on one knee
  • Zack, now Clare-less, gave his to Jackie
  • Jesse chose Christy
So goodbye to the free-spirited Whatsernuts, as Jesse kept lovingly calling her throughout the show. Lucy said, "I think I'm kinda good-looking." She is not without confidence, that girl. But she was "bummed," she said. "I don't like to lose." She said she was sad for her friend Christy because Jesse's "a jerk." A hot, funny and smart jerk, I guess.

Until next week. And follow me on Twitter, for crying out loud! @BachelorBlogger

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bachelor in Paradise: Lights, camera, AshLee!

It's a race against the clock. Damn ABC and damn the producers who think they need to foist back-to-back episodes on us. Don't they care about the bloggers who toil away for nothing in support of their show? Or is it payback for all the nasty things we say about it? Now I've got to scramble to get my thoughts up on last night's episode before tonight's episode airs. Because I certainly do not want to have to do a behemoth recap on the both of them. (Remember I'm on west coast time, so cut me some slack.)

Monday's show started with a tease that did more than tease (in effect, it did a lot less than tease). Chris Harrison told us about a "shocking ending" we "won't see coming," then proceeded to show us AshLee offering the rose to Graham and him walking out the door. Well, now we'll see it coming, that's for sure.

This episode was almost unwatchable for me because of Crazy Michelle 2.0. I keep calling her that because that's what I called her originally due to her, um, craziness. I'm not so sure she's crazy anymore more than just a total publicity whore. She crafts everything she says to optimize the amount of screen time she'll get. Everything is calculated with that in mind. She's been coached in soundbites. Or course, there's also the possibility that the producers just have a mammoth hard-on for her, which is why they permitted Creepy Chris to circumvent the rules and give her his rose even though the instructions called for the men to give them to the women they want a relationship with.

Crazy Michelle 2.0 (CM2) was so all over this episode it was all I could do to keep watching. I can't remember ever having that reaction to anyone before. ... Oh wait, I had a really bad reaction to Andi in Juan Pablo's season, but that was for different reasons.

CM2 was grateful to Creepy Chris (CC) for allowing her to complete her journey. That journey being exposure, lest anyone think it has anything to do with a relationship. Still, she was on her own. Nobody (understandably) wanted anything to do with her.

The rose ceremony just ended from last week and the gang headed to the beach where Robert was given another date card. Keep in mind, even though we saw the ceremony seven days earlier, he had just moments before given a rose to Sarah. So quite naturally he asks Sarah on the date. Makes total sense.

CM2 had to think quick to get the camera back on her so she went off to her room crying. Her buddy Graham came a-knockin' to console her woe-is-me act. Maybe that's why she drinks so much. He told her a million guys would love to go out with her, but she lamented that no one asks her out. Uh, that might have something to do with the fact that the vixen lives in Salt Lake City, the most religious city in North America.

Then the next day she was still crying crocodile tears, blaming her situation on being a single mom. You know how guys hate single moms, right? Remember how nobody wanted to date Emily either?... Oh yeah, right. Sorry.

Even though she was (pretending to be) miserable, she mustered up enough courage to braid Sarah's hair before her big date. Not because she's a selfless individual; it just guarantees more screen time.

Brawny Cody then strolled onto the set, greeted exhuberently by his buddies Marquel and Marcuszzz from this past season with Andi. He had been following Clare for some time and asked her out on a date, not knowing Clare was hooked up with Zack. Sounds like a soap opera, doesn't it?

Clare took Cody aside and turns him down gently. He gave it the hard sell but she was undeterred. He said, in effect, what's the harm in going out to get to know me? It won't affect your relationship with Zack. So Clare then excused herself to go ask Zack.

Zack said he's not a jealous guy and doesn't want to tell her what to do. So she asked him what he'd do if the situation were reversed. And Zack offered a textbook response on how not to answer a woman in your life: "Depends on who the girl is." You cannot take that back no matter how hard you try, and he tried. "Depends on the situation," he clarified. Too late.

They had a bit of a tete-a-tete. Zack was saying she wants something serious, and she was saying she wants a man who knows what he wants. I thought Zack proved that. He knows he wants something better if it happens to come along. If not, he's perfectly happy with Clare.

Clare thought Zack was a little wishy-washy, which was disappointing to her. Cody, on the other hand, knows what he wants. Not that it helps him. She still turned him down. "You're killing me!" he kept repeating to her. He kept at it, telling her how beautiful she is and how much better looking in person she is, and that she's the reason he's there in the first place. Clare was clearly flattered but she's a woman of morals and stood her ground.

Cody couldn't see dating anyone else so he gave his date card to Marcuszzz, who almost smiled for the first time in two seasons. "I'm very smitten with Lacy," he said robotically.

Then the guy who fell in love too quickly with Andi dropped his pants too early with Lacy, too, telling her, "I love... er, like you for who you are." Can you say "rebound?"

I found this episode more than others had too much needless play-by-play commentary by the others. That is, we'd see what happens, then we'd get an interview with somebody telling us exactly what we just saw, without any interesting or clever take on it.

Zack said he was happy with Clare's decision, saying all his "eggs are in [her] basket." He regretted how he handled the situation earlier. Nice save!

Back by the fire, CM2 was dropping hints like acid to Cody, telling him she's only been on one date. That should have been a red flag for Cody, but he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Remember Kalon from Emily's season? The pretend-rich guy who allegedly inferred that Emily's child was "baggage"? Yeah, well, he showed up. As desperate as CM2 is, she wouldn't stoop that low. Not sure why. Kondescending Kalon was nothing but class. He said he had "tunnel vision for 5-foot-10 with some boobs." I thought Clare would have dug him since he clearly knows what he wants.

When he saw what he wanted, he approached, asking CM2 out on his date. "Oh, that's nice! I would love that," she enthused. For his part, he said he wanted to "zip-line right into her tits. Oh my God, I would motorboat the fuck out of that." Clearly he was told by the producers to play up the jerk angle.

Kondescending Kalon had it coming. CM2 sat him down and told him very clearly she didn't appreciate the "baggage" stuff, especially since she has a kid of her own. Kondescending Kalon didn't budge, still refusing to explain or apologize. He called it water under the bridge. She respectfully declined the date.

KK was undeterred, though. He approached sun lizards Jackie and Sarah, saying his date card involved "sperlunking" [sic]. Sarah whined, "What's 'sperlunking'?" through her nose. He asked Jackie to go with him. She turned him down, too. Sarah didn't like what she saw coming, since she said she's "zero percent attracted" to the "fake, cheezy, and sleazy" Kalon. "Kalon wouldn't get close enough to my mouth for me to throw up in his mouth when he kissed me," she said, trying her best to be quotable.

Sure enough, he came back to ask Sarah. Aaaand... strike three and you're out! So off he went to make Bachelor history with the first one-on-none date. There was all manner of joke – from him and the others – that it was the perfect choice.

Off he went, solo. He arrived at "an enormous man cave." Uh, no, Kalon, that's called a "cave." A real cave. Continuing his classy appearance to date, he said, "I can't say I've ever rappelled into a giant Mexican hole but I've rappelled into a tight Mexican hole."

He then proceeded to say all the right things to himself, like toasting, "To us!" and "I found someone I could really spend the rest of my life with."

Cue the foreshadowing. Marquel said, "What could possibly go wrong." Enter Jesse, from Jillian's season. Some thought he was a bit of a playboy, a bit of a player. But Jackie apparently didn't. He asked her on a date and she accepted, as Marquel pulled his hoody up over his head in shame.

I guess with the exit of Creepy Chris, the producers realized they needed a new creepy dude. Don't know what Jackie was thinking, but she seemed to be into finding someone other than Marquel because when they arrived at their dinner, she said it was a "perfect romantic setting to get to know someone." I woulda thunk you'd want to get to know someone before you brought in the romance, but that's just me.

To top it all off, there were a couple of cave-dwelling musicians living under the rocks. Turns out cave-dwelling musicians are just as bad as the usual variety this show sees.

CM2, realizing her time was slipping away, saw everyone getting massages except her own bare neck. Cody wasn't offering, either. But he was the only option so she made him think she really wanted one from him. And he obliged, wrapping his big, muscular arms around her. She hid her revulsion well, knowing she must use him to keep her face in the public eye. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

And then the drama began. We saw AshLee sitting with Zack asking him if he wants to be "tied down like that" with Clare. And, "If you're not totally sold on her and committed, I'd advise you to meet other people. I love Clare but cuckoo!" Then she brought up Clare's ocean romp with Juan Pablo. Good gossippy stuff.

And even better when she said, "I'm surprised there's not a camera on us." Whoopsy!

Turns out she's extremely aware of where all the cameras are, when they're on her, and how she presents herself in said situations. She may not be who she presents herself as.

Then Lacy told Clare about what AshLee had said. As you do in soap operas. And hell hath no fury like Clare scorned.

Zack told Clare, basically, to calm down. "Don't focus on other girls," he said. "It's hurting us." Then she turned it on him. He should have stuck up for her, had her back. She walked off. He followed with his tail between his legs. "I don't want to involve you," she said, meaning, "I want to involve you but you're a coward so I won't."

It didn't last, though, because we next saw them sitting at the fire, Clare between Zack's legs, all cozy-like.

AshLee took Clare aside saying she wasn't sure what was up, even though she knew full well what was up. And what would go down.

Clare told her she felt "super disrespected." AshLee countered that she was simply talking in the general sense, forgetting for a moment those cameras also had microphones attached and Clare would find out soon enough what AshLee really said.

AshLee, panicking, talked calmly, saying, "I don't feel you did anything wrong," to which Clare rightfully responded, "I didn't do anything wrong!" Well, except for making sweet, sweet love to Juan Pablo in the ocean. But that's water under her legs.

AshLee asked, "Want to hug it out?" hoping for a truce. "I'm good. I'm good, thank you," replied Clare, and she walked off.

AshLee was upset because, as she put it, "I work hard on my character." At least when the camera's on, anyway.

Cody's closeness to CM2 through touch did the trick. He told her he thinks he has a better connection with her than he'd have had with Clare. Then again, he must have realized the women were handing out the roses and he wasn't paired up with anyone. Necessity is the father of invention.

Before the rose ceremony, CM2 pulled Graham aside to tell him what everyone else but him already knew about AshLee's miscues. Graham doesn't approve of things like that. CM2 wanted him to decline the rose from AshLee. Gee, I wonder if he would. I certainly wouldn't see that coming!

But he did say he's having "serious doubts about AshLee in [his] life." Da-da-dum!

At the rose ceremony it was:
  • Lacy giving a rose to Marcuszzz
  • Clare handing hers to Zack
  • Then AshLee calling on Graham with a big expectant smile on her face.
That's when Graham – beyond anyone's wildest expectations! – took a moment and walked off. CM2 followed, asking, "Are you okay?" Then... then...

To...

Be...

Continued...

I think I made it just in time. Now back to the TV.