Archive for Bachelor Babblings…

Flashback Friday Feature: Kiptyn Locke

When I first had the idea for Flashback Friday Features I wanted to focus on all the charitable work I knew past contestants were doing. I was aware that there were a wide array of charities and that many of them had started their own organizations, but some of them literally dedicate themselves completely. Today’s guest exemplifies that level of commitment in a manner that is nothing short of amazing (drink). Whether you remember him as the lovable California surfer from Jillian Harris’ season of The Bachelorette, or the fair-minded, loyal friend from Bachelor Pad, it’s clear that Kiptyn Locke is one of the good guys.

 

 

 

1.What was your favorite experience while on the Bachelorette or Bachelor Pad?

I feel like one would expect something from Hawaii or Spain here. Honestly, though, one of my favorite memories was snow shoeing at Emerald Lake (Alberta, Canada). On the final group date of our season. The guys and Jillian were all having a blast. I grew up around the ocean with sun and surf, so running around in the snow was a fun new experience. Emerald Lake was stunning as well.

Surfing - Oxnard


2.What was the most difficult aspect of being on the show?

Initially, getting used to cameras being around and adjusting to all the things that go into a TV show being made. Pretty foreign to my prior life experiences. Overall, not being able to communicate with my friends, family and the closest people in my life.

3.How did the experience of filming Bachelor Pad differ from your Bachelorette
experience? Was it easier/harder/more or less fun?

I’d have to say Bachelorette was more fun than Bachelor Pad. With Bachelor Pad you’ve got people who are already friends, put into a competitive situation where everyone is second-guessing everything each person is doing. I’m generally very trusting, and being in that situation was pretty uncomfortable. I’m hoping in future seasons of Bachelor Pad the Bachelor producers will have a better understanding of the show they’re trying to make and put it together better.

 

4.What unexpected thing happened as a result of being on these shows?
Friends? A new way of looking at things?



This is one of those “all of the above” answers. So much has gone on since the show and I’m incredibly appreciative for and in love with the life I have. I’ve met some amazing people from all over the spectrum and each of these people in one way or another affect/shape the way you think and live. Of the greatest impact is definitely the increased support for my philanthropic ventures.

Kiptyn & Tenley with Ali & Roberto

5.What are you working on now?

I’m working with the same three companies that I was involved with before the shows. I’m also working on creating a new online business that has a charitable focus. Recently a couple new show ideas have been presented to Tenley and me, but I’m not sure where any of these conversations are going. For me, I’m just keeping my focus on my business and upcoming projects in the charitable or health and fitness space.

Kiptyn & Tenley on ET Emmy Party Red Carpet

6.What charities have you supported? Have you teamed up with any other
past contestants for charity projects?

Wow, in the last couple years I’ve supported a few dozen or more different causes. The charities I’m most regularly involved with include Cystic Fibrosis Foundation , and Cancer Angels of San Diego ,a non-profit my mother that I’m on the board of.

I’ve been working with the band Switchfoot for seven years now. The beneficiary for the Seventh Annual Switchfoot Bro-Am is Stand Up for Kids. We’ve worked with Stand Up for Kids for four years.

Presenting at the Classy Awards - honoring non-profits and volunteers

A number of different Bachelor contestants have joined in supporting events. It’s pretty amazing because so many of them have their own causes they already support. I think we all try to help each other with our respective charitable ventures.

After School All Stars Dodgeball Group

Also, the Bachelor Franchise started “Bachelor Gives Back” in late 2009 so at least a coupe times a year they pull past contestants together to support causes. I’ve done a few events with them as well.


Speed Round:

1. Take out or dine out? Dine out.  (I love cooking too.)

2. Plain or peanut? Peanut.

3. Coke or Pepsi? Neither, generally. If either, Coke.

4. Beach or lake? Beach!

5. Breast or thigh? Breast.

6. Pajamas or nothing? Nothing. (Pending temperature or company.)

7. Out to the movies or home with the DVR? DVR lately.

8. Popcorn or Twizzlers? Popcorn.

9. Fancy restaurant or local diner? Favorite local diner.

10. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate. (With the peanut from question 2. Mmmm.)

11. Power to fly or power to be invisible? Invisible.

12. Boxers or briefs? Boxer briefs.

Give Back Hollywood Red Carpet

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Flashback Friday Feature: Chris Lambton

While most past contestants from The Bachelor/Bachelorette will agree that the best aspects of being on the show are the AMAZING (drink) travel opportunities and the number of lasting friendships they make, many also believe in using their time in the spotlight to bring attention to causes they hold dear. All of the above is true for today’s featured guest. Fans will remember him as the lovable, big-hearted Cape Cod boy from Ali Fedotowsky’s season of the Bachelorette. Time to catch up with Chris Lambton….

 

1. What was your favorite experience while on The Bachelorette?

Favorite experience was definitely the travel. I mean when can you travel around the world for “free” and stay in beautiful hotels and do crazy adventures!

2. What was the most difficult aspect of being on the show?

The most difficult experience about being on the show was being away from my family and friends. I talk to my family every day and have a really close group of friends, so to not be able to talk to them AT ALL was the hardest part.

3. What unexpected thing happened as a result of being on the show? Friends? A new way of looking at things?

The most unexpected part of the show was the great group of friends I made.  You would think that all those guys together competing for a girl would cause drama and hatred, but it caused just the opposite on our season.  I came out of it with some really great friends who I talk to all the time and get together with as much as possible. And Roberto, who I “lost to” is one of my close friends too.

4. What are you working on now?

I am now back on Cape Cod working with my brother and dad, landscaping for our company. My brother and I own our company, E. Lambton Landscaping, and are just working and living!


5. What charities have you supported? Have you teamed up with any other past contestants?

I have supported Compassionate Care ALS (organization that helped my mom when she was sick, that I help all I can), the NOAH Shelter which helps homeless on Cape Cod, any military/soldier charity benefit I can do, and anything to do with hospitals and nurses as my mom was a nurse!

I have teamed up quite a bit with people for charity. I have run a race for Compassionate Care ALS with Tyler Vermett (from my season), I’m also doing a fundraiser dinner for Compassionate Care ALS with Kasey Kahl (also my season) and Peyton Wright.

I’m running the Tough Mudder with Kasey Kahl and Tyler Vermett and some Real World, Biggest Loser and Big Brother people for the Wounded Warrior project for soldiers.

Reality people have a soapbox so we should use it for good and for giving back!

(Editor’s note: The Tough Mudder is this weekend, 5/7/11, so please join me in wishing Chris and the others good luck!)

Speed Round:

1. Take out or dine out? Cook it myself…. I’m a great cook!

2. Plain or peanut? Plain

3. Coke or Pepsi? Don’t like soda….not good for you

4. Beach or lake? BEACH. I’m a Cape Cod boy, that’s the only answer!!

5. Breast or thigh? Breast

6. Pajamas or nothing? Boxers

7. Out to the movies or home with the DVR? DVR

8. Popcorn or Twizzlers? Reese’s Pieces

9. Fancy restaurant or local diner? Local diner or dive bar, all the way

10. Chocolate or vanilla? Black Raspberry

11. Power to fly or power to be invisible? Fly, all the way

12. Boxers or briefs? Boxer briefs

 

with Shawn Thornton of the Bruins

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Flashback Friday Feature: Kirk DeWindt

One of the main things that has always impressed me about the contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is how much time they devote to supporting charities. This week’s Flashback Friday guest is a stellar example. Viewers will remember him as the kind-hearted, charming  Midwestern guy who won a hometown date on Ali’s season. When he’s not helping people  improve their lives with his personal training business, he’s busy volunteering at numerous local charitable organizations. Keep reading to catch up with Kirk DeWindt.

 

 

 

 

1. What was your favorite experience while on The Bachelorette?

The best part about being on The Bachelorette was the friendships I made with the other cast members. Although it is a “dating” show, the guys spend way more time together than they do with “the bachelorette” herself. Naturally, we got to know one another much better than we got to know Ali during our time there. The travel and wild experiences were great, but the friendships are what have lasted since the show ended.

2. What was the most difficult aspect of being on the show?

The hardest part of being on The Bachelorette was being let go after the hometown date. It wasn’t difficult because my relationship with Ali ended, it was more difficult because when it happened it was the first time I reflected back and said “Wow, the entire nation is going to see me get dumped on national TV!” Not an easy pill to swallow. My biggest concern was that my family didn’t think it was any part their fault for me leaving the show when I did—of course they knew it wasn’t their fault and they grinned and were happy to be a part of the experience.

3. What unexpected thing happened as a result of being on the show? Friends? A new way of looking at things?

Two things: 1) I realized there is an ENTIRE world out there I have yet to explore. The travel was unbelievable and opened my eyes to the fact there is so much more out there than the Midwest and the United States. 2) By going through the process of the show it helped me realize I am indeed ready to find the person to spend the rest of my life with.

4. What are you working on now?

Since the show aired I moved from Madison, WI to Minneapolis, MN. I left my corporate sales job and started my own personal training business. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the US for different social and charity events, as well as do a good bit of television and radio in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Mostly my life has consisted of “normalcy”—work, fitness, family, friends, and being social, of course.

5. What charities have you supported?

Most of the charity work I’ve been involved with has been in the Minnesota and Wisconsin area. Up to this point I’ve donated time and services to:

1) Children’s Cancer Research Fund   (www.dateforlifemn.org)

2) Minnesota Special Olympics (http://specialolympicsminnesota.org)

3) Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (http://no2benefit.org)

4) Minneapolis School District (www.mpls.k12.mn.us)

5) Minnesota Zoo Foundation (www.mnzoo.org)

6) Village of Prior Lake (http://priorlakerotary.org)

I’ve also been meaning to team up with past Bachelorette contestant Kasey Kahl and his “Guard and Protect Hearts” (www.guardandprotecthearts.com) campaign.

Celebrity date auction for Children's Cancer Research Fund

"Polar Plunge" for Special Olympics Minnesota

Speed Round:

1. Take out or dine out? Dine Out

2. Plain or peanut? Peanut

3. Coke or Pepsi? Coke

4. Beach or lake? Lake

5. Breast or thigh? Breast

6. Pajamas or nothing? Nothing

7. Out to the movies or home with the DVR? DVR

8. Popcorn or Twizzlers? Popcorn

9. Fancy restaurant or local diner? Local diner

10. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla

11. Power to fly or power to be invisible? Invisibility

12. Boxers or briefs? Sport trunks

 

 

 

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Flashback Friday Feature: Richard Mathy

Fans will remember him as the lovable science teacher from DeAnna Pappas’ season of The Bachelorette. I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with Richard a few times and I can tell you that as likable as he appeared on the show, his edit didn’t come close to doing him justice. He’s charming, intelligent, and one of the most hilarious people I’ve ever met. I’m thrilled that he gets to do the first installment of Flashback Friday because not only does he devote spare time to working on charity projects with a variety of other previous cast members, he chooses to make a difference every day by teaching high school students—he’s the perfect example of someone who’s making a daily effort to help others. Not only did he graciously agree to be interviewed for my blog, he even sent some pictures (which I supplemented with a few of my own). Please click on the links below to check out some of the charities he works to support. Without further ado, I present Richard Mathy.

1. What was your favorite experience while being on the Bachelorette?

As much as people like to rag on the show about this, it really is the relationships.  I didn’t hit it off with DeAnna, and if I had the full six weeks with her, I probably still wouldn’t have hit it off with her romantically… I did however find life long friends.  Starting with De.  While we would make an awful couple, we make an amazing pair as friends.

I have also made friends with fellow cast members Brian Westendorf, Jeremy Anderson, Chris Bradshaw, Graham Bunn, and Jesse Csincsak. I will keep in touch with these guys for the rest of my life.  While they haven’t all stayed friends with each other for one reason or the other, I for one will keep my loyalty to all of them because (as lame as it sounds) we bonded through a unique experience.  Through that experience we have created relationships with each other that, even though our meetings where brief, they left a mark where it counts.


2.What was the most difficult aspect of being on the show?

The most difficult part of being on the show was seeing just how negative the
country can be.  To read peoples’ posts and blogs with negative
comment after negative comment was a sad commentary on American life.  I spend
the day teaching children in high school and I am constantly telling
kids to be nice to their fellow man.  Yet the internet offers anonymity so any
Jane Doe can shoot out what she sees as an “insightful stinger”.

I can remember a comment about a tie I was wearing that said something along the lines
that I needed to not shop in the bargain bin.  I was hurt by that because
as a teacher I can’t afford $100 fashion ties, I liked the tie and color combo a
lot, and my mother actually bought the tie as a “good luck gift” for my first
night.

Editor's Note: It's hard to imagine a tie that wouldn't look good on this man - just saying....

3. What unexpected thing happened as a result of being on the show?Friends? A new
way of looking at things?

The most unexpected result of the show was my increase in travel.  I used to
take one vacation a year to go camping in the Adirondack Mountains with my
friends.  Last year, because of visiting friends of the show and cast get
togethers, I was on a plane at least once a month.  I’ve met new people from
other seasons which have led to more friendships and more travel to stay in
touch with those friends!

4. What are you working on now?

Currently I’ve been trying to write grants for our school district  trying
to get money for educational opportunities.  Our students today are at a
disadvantage because when they enter the workforce they are no longer competing
locally for jobs, but globally.  The earlier I can get technology into the
students’ lives and have them engage their creativity, the better equipped they
will be for the future.

5. How many other past contestants have you teamed up with for charity
projects? What charities have you supported?

I’ve worked with Graham Bunn on his 46 charity (http://www.46nyc.com/) .  I had my volleyball team purchase the “valu46le” T-shirt to promote sports and education, as well as attended several of his functions.

The bachelor crew helped with “Jeans for Teens”  ( http://www.dosomething.org/teensforjeans/take-action)this year in NYC to get pairs of jeans to homeless kids in NYC.


Personally I support the local humane society as I have always had a soft spot
for unwanted and abused animals (I started working with Spring Farm Cares in
Clinton, NY when I was a junior in high school).

Speed round:

1. Take out or dine out? Summer out, winter in
2. Plain or peanut? Peanut
3. Coke or Pepsi? Vanilla Coke, Cherry Pepsi
4. Beach or lake? Lake (gotta get my wakeboard on)
5. Breast or thigh? Thigh
6. Pajamas or nothing? I’m a PJ pant and A shirt guy
7. Out to the movies or home with the dvr? At home DVR and Netflix on the Wii
8. Popcorn or Twizzlers? Popcorn
9. Fancy restaurant or favorite local diner? By myself, I mingle with the
locals…first dates are what fancy restaurants are for
10. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
11. Power to fly or power to be invisible? Come fly with me…
12. Boxers or briefs? Boxer briefs!

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New Blog Feature…

Sorry for my blogging absence for most of the past month, but I’ve been busy with a variety of new projects. First off, although I am still actively in the process of trying to get my first novel published, I’m pleased to announce that I have just finished the first draft of my second novel. Eventually I’ll get around to posting more info about both books, but for now I want to concentrate on some new features you’ll see on my blog in the next few weeks.

As fans of The Bachelor know, the show is on hiatus until the new season of The Bachelorette begins in late May. In the interim I will have a new Bachelor feature called Flashback Fridays where I will interview contestants from past seasons, let you know what they’re up to now and, most importantly, give them a forum to talk about their favorite charity projects.

I love to joke about The Bachelor just as much as the next person, but I’ve never lost track of the fact that these are real people, with very real lives. The thing that has always impressed me the most about people who are on this show is the amount of time and energy they devote to charity organizations. So many of them use their  newfound celebrity status to support not one, but several worthwhile organizations. I think it’s AMAZING (drink) the amount of money and awareness the Bachelor family has been able to raise on behalf of an array of special causes.

This Friday I’ll be featuring a contestant I’ve had the good fortune to hang out with on a few occasions, and I’m thrilled that he will be the first of hopefully many future Flashback Fridays. Check back on Friday to see which handsome, hilarious cast member will be my “first”…

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The Bachelor – Season 15 – So, it’s Brad?

I’m SO sorry that this blog is SO late but I declared the word “SO” to be a keyword this week (after SO much use of the word in the opening segment) and I’ve only just now SObered up. Just kidding. It really only took ‘til Wednesday.  Not kidding about the watch word for this episode being “SO”…be prepared…and, if you’re playing (drinking) along don’t plan on driving after reading this blog. You might want to schedule a pee break too. That concludes the public service portion of this blog. On to the actual post…

Snacks served:

Bread sticks with garlic-herb cream cheese and prosciutto
Wasabi rice crackers
Bananas with chocolate sauce
Red grapes
Pineapple chunks
Vanilla cake with chocolate fudge frosting

Brad opens the episode by listing the locations they’ve shot at thus far this season. I wasn’t really paying much attention because a)I already know where they’ve been this season and b) I was busy wrapping prosciutto around pub cheese covered bread sticks because they need to be made right before they’re eaten, and I have my priorities.

He sums up their itinerary by saying this week is “SO (drink) important” because he has “four AMAZING (drink) women left.” He then runs down the list of who remains.

Brad’s summary of each gal:

Chantal’s up first. Brad claims he has “SO (drink) much fun with this woman.” He and Chantal had an AMAZING (drink) date. “I don’t hold back a single bit with Chantal.” (*cough*) He tells her “I have SO (drink) much fun with you.”

Ashley’s up next. Brad describes Ashley as “SO (drink) happy and outgoing.” He’s not sure we heard him the first time so he tells us two more times. “I’m SO (drink) happy, SO (drink) happy.” He’s just concerned because he wants to move forward and “reconnect” (*cough*) He repeats, “you make me SO (drink) happy.”

Shawntel N. has her own share of keywords in her description. According to Brad he and Shawntel “have this unsaid CONNECTION (drink).” Flashback to her telling him how much she wants him to come to her hometown “It’s AMAZING (drink)”, and her telling him how much she’s enjoying Anguilla “Oh, that’s SO (drink) pretty.” Brad’s hopeful they’ll take a step that’s “SO (drink) much bigger than the one in Anguilla.” (That’s what she said. *cough*)

Emily is last in the lineup, rundown, list. (*hic*) He kicks off with a flashback where he asks her “SO(drink) how are you?” then launches into the story about how she lost “someone she cared SO (drink) much about” and how there’s “SO (drink) much love that Emily has for her ex, and she holds on rightfully SO (drink).”  He also thinks Emily is  “SO (drink) much deeper than her and I.” (Don’t get me started on the whole me/I usage thing, seriously.) Is he done? Nope. Why not? Because he wants “the opportunity, SO (drink) badly (he’s) falling SO (drink) hard for Emily.” (That’s what she said. *cough*)

Just to recap, that’s SIXTEEN “SO” uses in the opening three minutes. Plus two AMAZINGs and a CONNECTION. Phew. Is it hot in here or am I dehydrating?

There’s no drinking reprieve in sight.  Brad tells us he’s “looking forward to meeting four different families…I’m SO(drink) excited.” And he just can’t hide it. (Those compression shorts sure helped a lot last week, though.)

Don’t even put your glass down, folks.

Brad(upon arriving at Chantal’s hometown date): This  city is AMAZING (drink).
Chantal: Isn’t this AWESOME (drink)?
Brad: Isn’t this AMAZING(drink)?  I can see myself hanging out here a lot.
Chantal: That would be AWESOME (drink)

(Editorial note: Are they trying to get us drunk and take advantage of us?)

Chantal is thrilled to be home with her family. How does she feel about it? You got it. “ SO (drink) AMAZING! (drink)” (*thud*)

The date goes well. I’m pretty sure Brad is now in love with Chantal’s dad. That could be the liquor talking. Dunno.

On to Ashley’s date. Things are hazy, but this date made me giggle. Brad attempts to say something in French to the restaurant owner where Ashley takes him for the French Canadian treat (known at diners across NJ as cheese fries with gravy) but the only French Brad has on the tip of his tongue is the word “Si” which is actually Spanish. Oh well. “A” for effort, Mr. Womack. Ashley reprimands Brad for trying to eat his cheese fries, I mean poutine, with a fork. She feeds him one with her fingers and announces “I can see your crown.” Seeing as she’s supposedly a dentist I’ll go on the assumption she’s talking dental work. (*cough*)

Ashely’s mom thinks Ashley and Brad have a “CONNECTION”. Thanks Ashley’s mom, I was feeling parched.

Shawntel’s date opens with scary organ music and a shot of her striding through her family mausoleum. (Seriously, producers? Organ music?) Shawntel’s dialogue isn’t much better than the opening music. “Do you want to be cremated?” she asks. I was hoping Brad would say “Not today” and run out of the building waving his arms, but instead he said “never thought about it.” Granted, I haven’t been on a date in a long time, seeing as my husband frowns on that sort of thing, but I’m thinking that’s not the most seductive question she could have asked. Also, I’m all for the gals getting Brad into a reclining position and having their way with him, but my choice would be to skip the vein drain, aneurysm hooks, face mask, etc. That’s just me.

Mind you, Shawntel is actually my favorite contestant. She seems very down to earth and appears to be a total sweetheart, plus she asks Brad a lot about himself, which is a nice change of pace from the women who can only talk about themselves or dwell on the rose they may or may not be getting. I REALLY felt bad for her during the family portion of her date. I know how this show is edited, but I also know what I heard come out of her father’s mouth, and the way some of it was worded gave me flashbacks to many a guilt-laden talking-to’s I’ve had from my own parents. At dinner her Dad announces how Shawntel will be his successor in the family business and a nervous Shawntel swills her wine before and after telling him she may just move to Austin. Dad doesn’t redeem himself one bit, in my eyes, when he tells his daughter in their “private” chat that she already disappointed a local high school teacher who needed Shawntel during the tragic ordeal she went through when her son recently passed. That may be the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard anyone say to anyone on this show. Ever. And I’ve watched a lot of seasons. Like I said, I know I’m bringing personal issues into this, but to sum up—NOT COOL. Me no likey. Poor Shawntel. Quick someone say “so” or “amazing”, I’m losing my buzz.

Dad tries to make up for things by giving Brad his blessing before he leaves. It was a nice sentiment. But too little too late, imho. (*falls off soapbox in drunken huff*)

Brad, ever the gentleman, tells her “you have an AMAZING (drink) family.” (Thanks Brad, I needed that one.)

He then graciously goes on to provide comic relief during his date with Emily by uttering my two favorite lines of the night:

1)    …when it comes to Emily “I’m rock solid.” (That’s what she said. *cough*)
2)    …when saying goodnight at her door “I don’t want to leave weird.” (Too easy.)

I’m not even going to get into an editing analysis of Brad’s interaction with Emily and her daughter—suffice to say I think their date was likely a lot less tense than they made it seem, the daughter warmed to him much faster than they made it look like, and they had to work to add the “drama” to this segment.

Chris Harrison earned his paycheck by reciting his mandatory weekly seed-of-doubt-planting-statement”:

CH: “One house where you seemed to fit in the best was with Ashley…Ironically she’s the one girl who really didn’t express for love for you this week.”

I’ll conclude with a coma-inducing list of all the “so” statements I counted in the final wrap-up:

So comfortable
So right
So passionately
So warm
So good
So glad
So sweet
So I can’t be guarded
So if she isn’t feeling it
So much deeper
So much different
So highly
So great
SO GREAT
So perfect
So good (again)
So much respect
So great (again)
So perfect (again)

Cheers! Please comment below if you’re still conscious.

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The Bachelor – Season 15 – It’s just Brad

Forgive me readers, it’s been almost a week since the last episode of The Bachelor and I’m only now getting around to my recap. Sometimes reality interferes with reality TV—wrong on so many levels!

Better late than never…

Snacks served:

Barbecue flavor pop chips

Ghiradelli filled chocolate squares (milk chocolate caramel, dark chocolate raspberry and dark chocolate mint)

Red grapes

Port wine cheddar on pretzel thins

Chocolate silk pie

So it was Valentine’s Day and what was I doing? Out for a romantic dinner? Off for a day of pampering at the spa? Showered with rose petals? No. I was driving carpool, rushing my kids to scout meetings, and watching The Bachelor with my friends. None of our husbands minded at all. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Not sure.

Since it was a holiday and all I decided to modify the drinking rules for the night. It became apparent in the first five minutes of the episode that the word “amazing” might not be featured as heavily as one might hope or expect, so I adapted accordingly. The secret words of the night were “awesome” and “nice.”  This amendment made the first half hour of the show go down much easier. (That’s what he said.)

This episode opened at the exotic location of Anguilla.

What do the gals think of Anguilla? “It’s so NICE!” (drink)

You what else they think? “So AWESOME!” (drink)

And what does Brad say when he walks in to see his bevy of beauties? You’ve got it… “Everyone looks so NICE!” (drink)

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind drinking to other key words, but I’m really kinda jonesing for an “amazing.”

The first date card arrives announcing that Brad would like to take three things to a deserted island—-a picnic lunch, champagne, Emily.  Not my top three choices, but then I guess that’s why I’m not the Bachelor. Among other reasons.

How does Emily feel about her helicopter ride to the private strip of sand, I mean island? “It was AWESOME!” (drink)

What does she tell Brad? “This is so NICE!” (drink)

After some edited in awkward silences to make it look like Brad and Emily have a horrible date, Emily turns to Brad and asks him every guy’s favorite question: “What are you thinking?”

They have a brief chitchat then head to dinner.  What does he think about their private meal on the beach? “This is AMAZING!” (drink) *yay, I was really missing that word*

While they eat they talk about home town dates and Emily tells him she’s never let a man meet her daughter before. (Danger Will Robinson.)

Brad hears the canned robotic warning, I mean my sincere concern, because he immediately says, “These are the moments when I get SCARED.” (drink)

Brad breaks with tradition and turns rebel, telling Emily that even though he shouldn’t say it, he’s got to let her know she’s getting a rose at the next ceremony. With caution now thrown to wind Brad can relax and frolic in the ocean with his beautiful blonde-du-jour.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I mean green room, I mean hotel  the girls are going nuts over the arrival of the next date card. Does it go to Britt, who has yet to have a single moment alone with Brad save for two stolen kisses? No, of course not. It goes to Shawntel.  “Let’s find love on the streets of Anguilla,” the card says. Really? Is that legal in Anguilla? Don’t know.

Shawntel lets us know that she’s very excited about having another one-on-one date with Brad, and she feels she must concentrate on Brad, not the other girls, lest she “go nuts like some of the girls have.” Can’t argue with that logic. I can, however, argue with the statement that she needs to focus on “Brad and I’s relationship.” Now I’m used to the misuse of the words “me” and “I” and “his” and “him” and all the other pronoun confusion that seems to go hand in hand with a group dating show. But turning “I” into a possessive word by making it I’s? That’s a new one, even for The Bachelor. It’s so new I’m tempted to drink a toast to it, but I don’t want to run out of beverages and it’s still early in the episode. I’ll eat an extra piece of chocolate instead.

Shawntel also tells us she’s “definitely feeling a strong CONNECTION (drink) with Brad.” He arrives for their date and announces “You look _________” and he kisses her instead of saying the word we all know he wanted to say (amazing). Dammit!

Brad and Shawntel pedal off on their shaky bicycles. He tells her he loves how “natural” she is. She tells him “That’s our word, natural.” Clearly they don’t know the secret words for tonight have already been set ahead of time. Shawntel says she’s “having an AMAZING (drink) time.”

Brad, who’s still aching to say the word “amazing”, lets us know that “There’s no denying Shawntel and I are CONNECTING(drink), but last night I CONNECTED (drink)with Emily.” Hmmm….does he mean connecting? Or connecting (wink, nudge)? Who cares?

Did Shawntel enjoy her night with Brad? “This date was so AMAZING (drink). I didn’t need another one on one to know how I feel—I’m falling in love with Brad.” I’ll take that as a yes.

Back “home” the last date card arrives and Britt finally gets her one on one date.

Michelle, who’s had no notable quotables  yet this episode, more than makes up for relative silence. She breaks into a total Shatner imitation (and no, I’m not snarking on her lack of make-up) and delivers her best Kirk-like line thus far this evening “Brad…and Brit are apparently…going to set sail…on the sea of love…but I think…there’s a good chance…this ship will go down.” (Again, that’s what he said.)

Shawntel’s a little worried the drinking, I mean viewing audience hasn’t become inebriated enough to stay tuned for the rest of the show, so she helps us out by summarizing her date with Brad: “I’m in the most AMAZING (drink) place on earth, with the most AMAZING (drink) man…it was the perfect ending.”

Michelle quickly brings the comic commentary. “You’re gonna use the yacht for Britt?” she asks. “Seems like a waste of a one on one if you ask me. Brad…and Brit…although it sounds really cute, not only do I not see them getting married, I don’t even know if I see them friending each other on Facebook.” Ouch! Sheesh. Kinda makes the way she tries to console a distraught Britt a few hours later seem a tad less than sincere.

Sadly for Britt, things don’t go well. It probably should have been a sign that she had to swim out to her boat. Word to the wise, gals, if your date shows up and tells you you’ll have to walk, jog, swim a mile to get to his car/limo/yacht, just say no.

Britt doesn’t seem to notice all the awkward moments or the fact that Brad has zero feelings toward her. In fact, she says she’s had an “AWESOME (drink) day!” *sniff*

Brad tries to nip her enthusiasm in the bud (oddly enough that wasn’t meant as a pun or a euphemism…I must be slipping). He explains to her that the last time he did this show he was “absolutely crucified for stringing people along (he’s right, he was), then he utters the most amazing double entendre  of the day “I’m not gonna do that with you, I don’t want to do that with you, at all.” Note: if a guy doesn’t want to do that with you, at all, he’s just not that into you, and he has no plans to be, literally.

I was a bit concerned they might have made poor Britt swim back to shore in the dark, but instead they gave her a boatride back, with an interrogation light glaring in her face, then had her trudge back up the beach to tell the other girls she’s managed to get dismissed on a date that wasn’t supposed to be a “rose-or-go” affair. How much Ambien does it take for these producers to sleep at night?

After a teary-eyed Britt packs her bags and wheels them out the door the other gals go to bed…only to be rudely awakened by Brad a few hours later. They’re tired. They’re cranky. They’re not wearng make up. So of course he takes them to a photo shoot. I can’t even summarize the photo shoot. If you haven’t done so yet, watch it. It will speak for itself. And I’m open for comments on how you think Brad got through a photo shoot with hot topless chicks whilst wearing a pair of white board shorts. I’m guessing the black bike shorts he wore underneath were of the strong support nature. But what do I know?

Let’s just say it didn’t go well. Even Brad realizes.  “Today’s date is not going well.” Sharp as a tack. I’m shocked he can think so clearly with so little blood flowing to his brain.

He takes Michelle, Ashley and Chantal for a post photo shoot cocktail party at a pool so they can stare at each other in red bikinis for just a little while longer, you know, in case the tension level wasn’t high enough already.

Chantal wonders if “Maybe Brad is SCARED. (drink)”

Brad tells Michelle he’s “SCARED(drink) that they’re a little too much alike.” He’s also “SCARED (drink) that I see an almost volatile woman.” How strong are these concerns? “It SCARES (drink) me a little bit.”

Things go from bad to worse. According to Brad “Today  by all accounts has been nothing short of brutal.” That’s nice.

He feels like he’s losing the women. He sees walls going up. It’s a good thing Chris Harrison is on hand to give him some advice. Oh, wait. No, all Chris does is fuel the fire. Brad says he doesn’t want a cocktail party (again, oddly enough, neither pun nor euphemism—I’m really off!), so of course Chris has to earn his paycheck by making sure all possible seeds of doubt are planted.  “Let me just throw this at you,” Chris says, clearly speaking off the top of his head and in no way reciting memorized lines or reading off cue cards. “I’m gonna play devil’s advocate…what if…”

Good ole Chris gave it his best shot, but Brad doesn’t change his mind. When that man says no cocktails he means it. Chris, on the other hand, was so worn out he couldn’t even make it out to the beach to announce the final rose of the evening. I was shocked. I mean there was only one rose left, but I wasn’t sure what was going on, because Chris is always there to explain it. Chaos ensued. I may or may not have had to drink to calm myself. I can’t recall.

To make matters even more shocking Michelle left in silence. After all the ranting she did all season she managed to be the first silent limo ride in the history of this show (or the history of my somewhat unreliable memory, whichever is accurate). Usually they drive the rejectees around for hours until they crack. Michelle curled up on the back seat and that was it. I guess she used up all her dialogue already. Her outrageousness will surely be missed in the remaining recaps.

I have no best lines for you this week—-there weren’t any. Or maybe I added one too many keywords and the resulting drinks made me miss them! In any case, stay tuned tomorrow for the most dramatic whatever episode this is of Brad’s second season….ever. (hic)

Cheers!

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The Bachelor – Season 15 – Brad, not this again

So, some of you may have been wondering where my weekly recap was for Monday night’s episode. I was wondering too. I wondered a lot of things this week. When I was watching the episode on Monday I wondered if I had the right show on, because the entire opening passed without a single mention of anything being AMAZING. I got confused. Not to mention thirsty. It threw me. My viewing pals were particularly chatty this week, which lead to lots of needing to rewind to catch things.

When I finally sat down to write I couldn’t get past the increasingly loud murmurs about the “news that was about to break.” No, not talking about Egypt, talking about the US Weekly article about Brad’s ex-girlfriend, Laurel. Between the boring, unusual nature of this episode and the breaking story my heart wasn’t into blogging this week. Not because I was disillusioned by the article—please, when is there a season that news about someone doesn’t break? I could care less. These are adults (some older than others), of course they’re going to have pasts. Some juicier than others. So what? Unless we get a season where it’s The Virgin Bachelor Who Grew Up In Seclusion and his Thirty Virgin Potential Brides who’ve worn chastity belts since birth and never been allowed in the presence of men (now THAT might be the most dramatic season ever—are you listening ABC?), then every single person on the show is going to have some dirt than can be found.

My personal take on dirt in general? If it’s true, and you were directly involved in the situation, and it had an impact on you, and you’re being talked about and feel a need to set the record straight, then you should have the right to do so, in as public a forum as you choose. When people decide to be on this show they make a conscious decision to open themselves up to public scrutiny and to have their “real life” out on display for the viewing world. Unfortunately, the lives of people who are in their life go up on the same public display, only those people didn’t have it happen by choice. That, in my opinion, sucks (and not in a good way).

“But it’s in a tabloid! They never print the truth,” you cry.  Well, yes and no. There have been seasons where I’ve known for a fact that US articles are completely accurate and there have been seasons where I knew they were, shall we say, not so much so. There are also times where it’s simply two ways of looking at the same thing. The fact that the tabloids sometimes embellish/misconstrue/fabricate stories doesn’t mean that other times the stories didn’t need any of that to make it sensational. Sometimes the outrageous stories are factually accurate. Sometimes not. Makes it impossible to tell which is which unless you have an inside line. That’s unfortunate for the people who are telling the truth, because readers don’t believe them, and it’s unfortunate for people who are being smeared, because readers then doubt them. It’s a lose-lose situation. It’s still the best option for some people, though. As I said, if you didn’t agree to have your life opened to public scrutiny, but it is anyway, and you want to publically defend yourself since you’re being publically trashed, then you may as well take the money and tell your side of things…because often times if you don’t tell your side someone else will tell it for you, with much less accuracy.  That said, just because someone appears to be defending themself doesn’t mean they’re telling an unbiased account. Of course it’s not unbiased—it’s one person’s side of the story. Are you unbiased in the way you regard your own life? I’m not.

There are other variables at play too. Like the number of supporters people have—and by supporters I DO NOT MEAN FANS—I mean actual friends and family members who make an effort to stand up for the people being discussed. There have been other seasons (not going to stir the pot with specifics) where dirt has come out about someone and NO ONE has come out from their camp to stick up for them or refute the negative stories. That’s not hard evidence that the dirt is real, but it’s a strong indicator. Both Brad and Laurel have people jumping to their defense. To me that indicates that there’s truth to what each of them says. Again, not my place to judge, and I frankly don’t care enough to give it more detailed thought than that.

Clearly Brad and Laurel have a long complicated past. I don’t believe anyone is denying that. And anyone who has been in a long complicated relationship knows that they don’t go away easily, quickly or with a whole lot of dignity. Is Brad changed? I’m sure he is. Changed in all the ways ABC is portraying? Not necessarily, it’s a TV show, folks, the word “reality” is open to major interpretation. Did Laurel have the right to sell her story? Of course she did. Did she do it for the cash or revenge or closure? Who knows? Would Brad prefer she hadn’t gone that route? Probably, but it wasn’t his choice. Would she prefer Brad wasn’t dating multiple girls on her TV every week? Probably, what ex wants to see that?

So, have an opinion, get mad at who you feel is wrong, cheer for whoever you like best, but let’s try to remember that unless you actually know these people all of this is just a tiny glimpse into their very complex lives. Lives that are much more real to them than they are to us. We’re just spectators.

Now on to a recap of this, my least favorite episode so far this season (too bad Chris didn’t announce it that way, would have lowered expectations and saved some time).

Snacks served:

Red velvet cupcakes

Milano cookies

Little smokies in cranberry chili sauce

Pretzels with garlic herb cheese

Pop chips

Grapes

As I already lamented, no mention of AMAZING in the opening. What’s up with that?? Were they concerned people were still nursing their Super Bowl hangovers? No alcoholic beverages sponsoring this episode? Trying to keep the viewers sober for some unknown reason? No idea.

There were several times I thought the word AMAZING was coming and it didn’t—endless description of the excitement about going to Costa Rica, tons of babbling about  the beauty of Costa Rica, and lots of use of the word “awesome”. Hmmmm, word of the day? Noted. Watch for AWESOME, keep drink ready.

Emily informs us she didn’t grow up in a jungle and she’s pretty sure Brad didn’t either. No argument here.

Finally Michelle gives us what we want and tells us: “Costa Rica is an AMAZING (drink) place!” She goes on, in typical Michelle fashion, to tell us that the more time she spends with Brad the more sure she is that: “I’m gonna make HIM fall in love with ME.” No mention of her falling in love with him, but then this is just a competition, right?

Chantal gets the one on one date, even though she’s already had a one on one date.  Michelle is miffed. “All I can do is be myself, be patient and hope that Chantal gets attacked by monkeys or apes.” Sounds like a plan.

Thankfully on  my local channel they aired a Campbell’s soup commercial in which the slogan was “It’s AMAZING (drink) what soup can do!” Thank heavens. The key words in the show were not doing enough for me.

Brad helps outs a little when he talks about Chantal and how they have an “electric CONNECTION (drink)”. I’d have been happier if it were an AMAZING connection, but I’ll take what I can get. Sheesh.

Michelle utters her best line of the night when she says, with a totally straight face: “I just think she (Chantal) is really aggressive ad really overly confident, almost egotistical.” Uhhhhh, hello, pot? This is kettle….

After the most boring zipline ever…I mean the longest (sorry, easy mistake) it rains on Brad and Chantal, again. Wow, ABC’s connections (drink) are getting stronger—they’re getting much better at getting the weather to cooperate with their plot needs.

Brad graciously helps us viewers out by telling us today was “ AMAZING (drink) beyond words” and it’s “the start to the most AMAZING (drink) evening ever.”

Guess what happens next? Yep, more rain. Of course. It’s their “thing”. Even Michelle notices, though she has a different label for it, calling it “Crazy rain.” Who am I to argue?

Brad throws out the first secret word of the day—scare(d). He tells Chantal “You scare me a little bit.” From now on we drink on any form of the word scare.

Michelle is, of course, more than a little miffed when Chantal comes home with a rose.  “That is NOT Chantal’s man, he’s MINE!” Ummm, okay, if you say so.

The group date finally arrives. More rappelling. I’m finding it to be a bit repelling. But that’s me. I’m bored. I’m tired. These pretzels are making me thirsty.

Ashley thinks Brad is AMAZING (drink) because he reassures all the girls who are SCARED (drink). What’s he supposed to do? Tell them to look down like Michelle tells the terrified Jackie? I don’t think so.

Michelle is miffed again, big time, because she didn’t want Brad to repel, I mean rappel, with anyone else. Ever. Evahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Seriously. She literally beats on him, yelling at him, then jumps up and down like a three year old in front of a birthday cake the second he tells her they’re going to rappel together. Mood swing anyone? No thanks, I’ve already had mine.

Michelle is confident: “I know there’s gonna be a rose tonight and I’m 100% confident I’m gonna get it.” Yeah. Hold that thought.

The gals strip down to their bikinis and it’s time for some warm water catty chatting, I mean fun. Jackie mercifully declares the hot springs to be AMAZING (drink).

Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what Michelle says when they bleep her and blur her lips in this sentence: “Watching Brad take his shirt off makes you want to go home and ______ _________!”  Seriously, I must know. If you don’t know, feel free to Mad Lib it with your best answer.

Brad’s showing signs of distress as the gals take turns whining at him.  He tells the camera “I want to make her (Jackie) feel better—that’s what I’m here to do—I want to make everyone happy.” Whoa. Make everyone happy?? That’s a tall order under any circumstances and not even a remote possibility on this show. Get a grip, dude.

Ali’s one on one date was so uncomfortable I don’t even want to talk about it. Spiders. Eeek. Cave. Eeek. Most awkward, foreshadowing dinner conversation ever. Eeek. The island/raft they’re dining on is sinking. Seriously, producers? Can you think of no more clever metaphor for this pair? Sinking? Who’s not being paid enough?

Brad gives us a break by telling Ali she’s “an AMAZING (drink) woman, but….” And he sends her home. No big surprise. Every gal at the house knew she wasn’t coming back.

Brad’s emotionally exhausted and says all he needs is a little down time. So of course the producers encourage Michelle to go stalk him. She takes the opportunity to once again give him grief, and a nice orderly list of who should go home, and in what order. How considerate! She’s apparently attended the Jenna Jameson/William Shatner school of acting because her delivery is stilted but interspersed with seductive kisses. At least she got her money’s worth out of the class.

Okay folks, here’s the payoff with the aforementioned word of the night: SCARED.

Brad tells Emily: “I think good things about you. I’m SCARED (drink) of you.”

Brad tells Michelle: “ You’re SCARING (drink) me. You’re SCARING (drink) me badly.” Us too, sweetie, but please stop ending sentences with adverbs. Thanks.

Brad also tells Michelle: “Thank you for telling me, but now I’m SCARED (drink).”

Michelle mirrors the sentiment: “I do think I’m the one who’s supposed to be with Brad, but it SCARES(drink) me.”

The only part of this episode I actually enjoyed was Shawntel and Brad playing the silent game. I thought that was funny and they both seemed to get a sincere giggle out of it. Or maybe I just finally drank enough the show became tolerable. Dunno for sure.

I have no best lines wrap-up for this episode, because there weren’t any other than the ones I’ve quoted throughout this post. I do, however, have another questions for you:

In the coming attractions did anyone else hear Brad say “I feel very, very hard tonight…” ???? Anyone? Just me. Rewind if you recorded it.

See you all in a few days when we talk about the most ridiculous episode of the season yet. And please, tell me what you think Michelle said about shirtless Brad!

Cheers.

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The Bachelor – Season 15 – More Brad

Snacks served:

Cheesy stuffed pizza bread
Sour cream and cheddar potato chips
Red grapes and pineapple chunks
Ultimate chocolate brownies
Chocolate covered raisins
Lindt chocolate truffles

My viewing trio was all present and accounted for this week, so we celebrated with an appropriate blend of cheesy and chocolaty goodness. We also chatted so much during the show that I had to rewatch tonight just so I could write this blog! I made the husband watch with me, again, but I shared the same snacks with him so he didn’t mind.

The secret word for this episode is JOURNEY (drink).

Chris Harrison introduced today’s secret word in his opening monologue (so glad the cardigan is gone, not sure what was up with the cuffs of his sleeves) “(It’s) already been a long JOURNEY (drink)…(now you’ll be) leaving LA on your JOURNEY (drink) to find love…your first destination on this JOURNEY (drink) is Las Vegas!” (hic)

Was anyone else surprised when they didn’t see Journey play in Vegas? Just me? Must be the drinks talking….

The gals are excited to be going to Vegas. Ashley S. has a prophetic close-up where she tells the camera “Go big or go home, baby!” She had that right.

Brad’s also excited about his time in Vegas. He’s looking forward to spending the time with the girls to figure out their relationships. A week in Vegas to figure out relationships seems a bit counter intuitive, but I’ve heard the word JOURNEY enough that I don’t care.

Once they’re all settled into their suite Brad delivers the date card and makes a mad dash out of the room before the chaos ensues. Smart man.

Shawntel is the lucky winner of the one-on-one date: “Let’s end tonight with a bang!” Michelle’s card last episode was conspicuously devoid of the word “love”, tonight’s card rather boldly emphasizes the word “bang”. Wondering if Jamie the wonder therapist has had a hand at writing this season’s cards,..he seems to be a master of the double entendre.

Brad arrives to pick up Shawntel for their date and immediately tells her she looks (you guessed it) AMAZING (drink).

“She’s sexy without trying to be sexy, which makes her even sexier…” he tells the camera. Aww. Nice sentiment. I like that.

They shop till they drop, trying on countless outfits. Loved Brad in the purple Willy Wonka jacket. When they’ve bought as much as they can carry Brad loads up Shawntel’s arms with all her colorful shopping bags full of designer purchases and she is glowing with happiness. Did she enjoy her spree? You betcha. In fact, she thought it was AMAZING (drink).

Shawntel arrives back at the suite and shows the other girls her bountiful take. They’re more than a little jealous and she can tell. “I know they weren’t really happy for me,” she astutely observes.

Brad’s equally astute when he notices that “there’s some tension among the girls tonight”. Yeah, buying one of them a bazillion dollars worth of designer duds will up the drama level a little.

Shawntel looks stunning in her newly-purchased dress and she’s psyched about her upcoming bang, I mean date, with Brad. Why? Because she thinks “he’s an AMAZING (drink) guy!”

She does, however, wonder how he’s going to take hearing about her day job. “My profession is…different…” she says, as they begin their rooftop meal. Brad’s all ears and encourages her to tell him how so. She announces that she’s a funeral director and embalmer. Brad’s facial expressions for the rest of the date are priceless as he listens to her detail (and I mean detail) what exactly this means. Shawntel is a riot, open, chatty, “I’m gonna eat as I’m talking,” she tells him as she explains the process of vein draining. “That makes one of us,” Brad answers, a mix of amusement and horror on his face.

This was one of the most natural and funniest dates I’ve ever seen on this show. Brad had a serious case of the giggles, which was nice to see, particularly since he spends so much of his time consoling teary-eyed women. Shawntel not only tells him all about her job, she also somehow segways into imitations of Peaches, her apparently cross-eyed kitty. The two of them are laughing and seem to be sincerely enjoying themselves. I don’t sense a lot of heat, but I really think they had a fun date. As I said, after all the tears and melodrama, this had to have been a nice change of pace.

When the fireworks start booming overhead the gals rush to press their faces against the suite windows as they wonder where Brad and Shawntel are and whether or not there’s any banging to go along with the banging. Always with the double meanings. So wily, those producers.

The date card announcing the group date members arrives and everyone waits with baited breath to see which two girls will get stuck in 2-on-1 date hell. It’s Ashley and Ashley, probably so Brad can finally stop referring to them with their last initials and only have one to contend with for the remaining episodes. The Ashleys are upset, because they’re BFFs. The other girls are all upset for them. Tears ensue. Except for Michelle, who delivers another classic line: “I’m really, really glad that this is happening,” she announces. “I think it’s time for the Ashleys to part and go their separate ways…and there’s a chance maybe both Ashleys will go home…really at the end of the day I don’t care who it is, I just want to get out and see Brad.” Miss Congeniality.

Michelle then goes on to tell us how excited she is about the NASCAR date. “I think this will be an AMAZING (drink) experience because I’ve never done anything like this, plus I am fun and hot…and you should see me in a race car.” (Uh, dialogue writer, you coulda done a bit better with that punchline. Seriously.)

The NASCAR date is going well except for the fact that poor Emily is stoically suffering in silence. In spite of his racecar glee Brad notices that something is up. “Something’s really wrong with Emily, she’s smiling but it’s almost a forced smile.”

Again, if Brad was this sensitive and intuitive during his last stint as The Bachelor, they left all that footage on the cutting room floor. Maybe he’s matured, or maybe his years of therapy (YEARS) have really paid off, but he’s certainly in tune with this group of ladies and their mood swings. He takes Emily aside for a chat to find out if she’s okay.

Emily tries to pass it off as nothing, but finally tells him why a NASCAR date is particularly emotional for her; her deceased fiancé was not only a NASCAR driver, but he crashed on that very track, thus ending his career, and he died in a crash on the way to a NASCAR event. Brad’s jaw muscles clench repeatedly as he listens to her story. He’s been through this with ABC before, he knows how the producers work, but I’m thinking even he was appalled that they’d stooped quite this low. I know I was.

I hate it when they make people do the things they’re afraid of (diving, jumping off things, flying in a helicopter (I still get flashbacks of both Twilley and Bevin freaking out about the helicopters) etc.), when they use emotionally intense things like children or loss it quite frankly pisses me off. This was, in my opinion, a truly unnecessary new low. I give Emily a ton of credit for making it through the date with such grace and for facing her fears and memories and plugging along with determination. And I give Brad a ton of credit for saying to her “the very second you feel uncomfortable I’ll leave, we’ll all leave, I don’t care.” I believe him. Nicely said, Brad.

After the extreme tension of the racing date they all head off for some well-deserved cocktails and we, the viewers, are thankfully rewarded for our patience with an onslaught of drinking opportunities ourselves.

According to Britt it was an AMAZING (drink) day. Someone else randomly announces “It’s AMAZING! (drink)” Brad has another one-on-one chat with Emily, to check on her, and she tells him “I wouldn’t be here for half a second if I didn’t see something totally AMAZING (drink) in you.”

I don’t know about the gals on the date, but I feel better now.

One person who doesn’t feel better is Ali, because it’s hard for her to feel special when Brad’s spending so much time focused on Emily. Does the person with the saddest story have to win?? I think we have our runner up for Miss Congeniality.

Chantal’s also having a moment. Or several. She slips and says it makes her love, oops she means LIKE, Brad even more that he’s such a sweet guy….but she’s struggling with “the highs, the lows, the highs” and apparently all the related hand gestures. Brad’s flummoxed. “Is that a high or a low?” he asks while she manically giggles. Poor Brad. I don’t know either. I think he needs a hug. Or needs to start drinking every time the word “journey”, “amazing”, or “connection” is said. Seriously, it works for me.

The tension of the two-on-one date is cut for the viewing audience by the use of those very words. “Two girls, one rose, one stays, one goes” (how much should it scare me that I recite that from memory before each two-on-one date? That much, eh?)

Brad gives us all permission to imbibe: “Tonight’s been AMAZING (drink) but I only get to be with one woman… Ashley (S) from the very first time I met you we had a CONNECTION (drink)…Ashley (H) you have solidified that I have changed and that I am capable of this JOURNEY (drink)….a true CONNECTION (drink) has been made… a real CONNECTION (drink). I have to say goodbye to people I care about along the road on the JOURNEY (drink) to find a wife….I always knew we had an intense CONNECTION (drink) this reminds me how intense the CONNECTION (drink) really is.” (Hurry up and finish talking, Brad, I have to pee!)

Ashley cries and no one hands her a tissue. She needs a hug too. This episode is depressing me. I still have to pee.

After all that, Brad feels the need for a chat with Jamie the wonder therapist. Jamie feels a need to allow the viewing audience to drink some more and throw some more sexual insinuations into his advice. “All of you are on a JOURNEY (drink),” he explains. “You’ve got your individual JOURNEY (drink) and the JOURNEY (drink) you’re experiencing that you’re sharing with each other, you have to get to the deepest place you’ve ever gotten to with a few of these women let alone ultimately with the one of your choice.” Wait, what? Is he saying what I think he’s saying? Nevermind. I don’t want to know. Deepest place you’ve ever gotten… Cough. Okay.

Brad has some more chats with the gals before the final rose ceremony, the most memorable of which are with Chantal and Michelle. Michelle delivers yet another psycho soliloquy and tells Brad: “From here on out, no talking…you have some really big decisions to start making…and I think you should go send some girls home now…and the next time we’re together you can talk.” (She scares me.)

My favorite lines of this episode:

1. Michelle: “I look at all of these girls and to me I don’t think any of them is Brad’s wife material except me.” (Okayyyyy.)
2. Emily (when Brad expresses concern that she’s only been in love once but he’s been in love several times she tells him…): “Well you’re a little older than me, my dear.” (Touche!)
3. Brad (to Chantal): “But you have to stop giving me so much crap!” (Ha! Don’t hold your breath, honey!)

See you all here next week when we review the most controversial sixth episode of Brad’s second season, ever! Cheers!

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The Bachelor – Season 15 – Brad once more

Snacks served:

Buffalo Chicken Wings with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks
Sour cream and onion potato chips
Chocolate covered raisins
Milano cookies
Mallomars

Okay, after so many seasons of watching this show there are very few things that surprise me. This episode started with the typical flashbacks/flash forward montage, which I admittedly didn’t pay much attention to because I was hungry and was more focused on the snacks than the TV, then I looked up and Mr. Rogers was addressing the girls. I was shocked. Then I realized it was just Chris Harrison in a cardigan and a plaid shirt. I was no longer shocked, just confused. Was the wardrobe person polishing off everyone’s drinks? Did Chris accidentally spill on the shirt he was supposed to be wearing and that was all they could find? No on both counts. Turns out his opening outfit was a hidden clue of sorts. The real reason is that this episode was brought to us by the color “plaid”. First worn by Chris, then on the group date Ashley S., Stacy and Brad. There may have been others, but the overuse of the word AMAZING (drink) in this episode had me unable to count them reliably.

It all started with Chantal’s date. “I’m going on this AMAZING (drink) date, with this AMAZING (drink) guy, and he’s picking me up in a helicopter. How cool is that?” Well (hiccup), actually, considering that lots of dates every season start with helicopter rides, and I personally would be terrified to ride in a helicopter, I’m gonna have to weigh in with a heartfelt “meh.”

But hey, it’s not my date, and I’m glad she was happy. And she was happy. How do I know? Because she said, “This is AMAZING!” (drink) Then she realized they were going to Catalina Island, and you know what she said? “It’s AMAZING!” (drink)

My memory at this point is a little hazy but I’m pretty sure Chantal “really, really, really” didn’t want to get in the water. I hate that they make everyone do the thing that’s scariest for them to do—as if being on this show in the first place isn’t scary enough on its own.

I loved Brad’s summary of the day while they chatted on the little outdoor lounge-couch. “You’ve made today seem very real to me, like something that could have happened in real life…you’ve made me feel like myself, you make me so comfortable, I want to continue this badly.” Also love how Brad likes to put his adverbs at the end of his phrases…cause it makes me giggle. Or maybe that’s just all the AMAZINGS and their resulting drinks. Dunno. In any case, I’m hoping he continued the evening well instead of badly. ;)

While all this is going on Michelle is back at the house, chatting up the other gals, and holding a Popsicle to her face to try to soothe the black eye she mysteriously acquired overnight. Okayyyyy.

I’m glad the mega group dates are finally getting down to a more manageable size. Especially since this one was supposed to be so intimate and all about sharing personal info. Brad’s all excited to be spending time with the women and Dr. Drew. This date is supposed to be “a safe place to open up”—you know, because whatever is said is safely within the confines of the studio walls (except that it’s being filmed and will subsequently be broadcast to the world)…and it’s only in front of Brad and Dr. Drew…and his assistant…and, oh yeah, the other girls. Seriously, what is it about this season and the lack of understanding of the concept of therapy and confidentiality going hand in hand? And I wonder why ABC never calls me for a consultation…

Brad seems to have no problem with this open concept counseling thing, so I’ll acknowledge it as my issue and let it go. He seemed quite pleased with the outcome of the group date. He talked about his walls and he left feeling like they all got so much closer. In fact, he was so pleased he said, “Tonight is going to be an AMAZING (drink) party!” (Good thing, too, I was starting to sober up.)

The group pool date had its share of awkward moments. Ali was none too pleased when Ashley S. interrupted her very brief one-on-one chat with Brad. Ashley squeaked an “I’m sorry” several times, but wasn’t getting anywhere with it, so she changed her squeak to “Hug?” instead. Wow. I don’t know about you, but if I were in that position the last thing I would have wanted to do was hug Ashley S.

Actually, I take that back, as much as I wouldn’t have wanted to hug Ashley S. the last thing I would have wanted to do was go back to the hot tub and listen to Ashley H. whine and make that “urghhhhhhh” sound she kept emitting. I LOVED the fact that Brad appeared to be about to give Ashley H. the rose then decided to give it to Britt instead. I realize that could have all taken place in the editing, but as whiny and guttural as Ashley H. was being I’m just glad she didn’t get the rose right then. Besides, Britt was sweet at the Dr. Drew thing, telling Brad how much she likes him—I’m glad she got the rose and didn’t have to worry for the next rose ceremony. It must be such a relief to get an early rose and not have all that tension.

Speaking of tension, Michelle of course created her share of tension, for herself and everyone else. First there was the spontaneous black eye. Then there were the pre-date-card freak out statements. Then the date card arrived and she awaited its reading with buggy eyes. Then for a moment all was right in her world—she had the one on one date she’d been chanting about—so of course the other gals had to mess with her head. (You know, cause it’s not messy enough on its own, and cause this is, after all, The Bachelor.)

“All the other cards said love.” That’s all it took. That one observation was enough to turn “yay-I-got-the-date” into “wait, what?” It was mean. These women have nothing else to do, day in and day out, but think about Brad, so of course they’re going to micro-analyze every last little thing—I would—but to point out that all the other cards said love? Just mean. True (How deep is our love? Love hurts. Love on the line. Love song.) but mean. And poor Michelle (yes, they got me to say “poor Michelle”) worries, “Why didn’t he put love in mine?” (As if Brad writes these cards himself—ha!) Chantal’s response is definitely a nominee for classic line of the night as she tells Michelle, “Oh, it’s probably nothing….”

Of course that’s not enough stress for Michelle, they have to amp it up further by having Brad take up part of Michelle’s date time by comforting the still-whiny Ashley H. Brad reminds Ashley H. that they had an AMAZING (drink) first date. Thank God! I was getting parched….

Michelle’s date involves, of course, her biggest fear—heights. (Memo to me, should I ever suddenly start aging backward and lose all sense of reason and decide to try to get cast on a reality TV show I must remember to tell them I love all the things that terrify me….I’ll have to convince them that it’s a pastime of mine to be covered with spiders, hanging off a high building, and then leaping into shark infested water—that ought to do it.) I felt sympathy for Michelle as she climbed over that guard rail (a counter intuitive move in and of itself). I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I don’t even think I’d have been able to watch him do it. Hell, my palms were sweating while I was sitting on my sofa watching it. For the love of God can’t one of them say something about it being AMAZING or them sharing a CONNECTION so I can drink and calm down? :thud

They make it down safely and Michelle has a chance to tell Brad that she doesn’t see him with any of the women. I’m sure that’s what he needed to hear.

Two one-on-one dates and a group therapy session made it necessary for Brad to check in with his own makeshift therapist, Jamie. It seems Jamie must have been concerned with the viewers not having imbibed enough during the AMAZING (drink) early portion of the show, so he made sure to use the word CONNECTION (drink) as many times as possible. “Strong CONNECTIONS (drink), strong…kissing is a sign the CONNECTION (drink) is taking place.” He encouraged Brad to deeply interact and explore it fully. I’m thinking Jamie is a Freudian therapist, anyone else?

When the cocktail party finally arrives there’s a renewed sense of panic amongst the girls. Meghan frets to Brad that she “has a WALL up…(uh-oh)…and that a lot of the girls have all their WALLS down….” (Dun dun dunnnn.)

I’m getting stressed. Good thing Chantal is there to remind us about how AMAZING (drink) her date was with Brad…and how if she hadn’t had such an AMAZING (drink) date with him she’d have felt worse. In the meantime it looked like she was feeling pretty bad and her mascara was running way worse than it was when she worried it would on the diving date. Would like to know when that teary-eyed private interview took place though—she’s wearing a light grey t-shirt and light blue eye-shadow—which is totally not what she had on at the cocktail party, so was this an earlier crying jag or a spliced in moment from a tearful spell in the future? Sleuthers? What have we got?

You have to love the “aww, that’s sweet but the producers still manage to make it painful and uncomfortable any way possible” impromptu picnic re-enactment. Whisk Emily away for few private moments to reassure her and relive a moment of their one-on-one date—-awwwww, nice. Make Emily sit on a teeny tiny towel on the heavily puddled, rain-soaked patio while wearing an up-to-there cocktail dress and sky high heels—-uh, yeah, thanks, that’s comfy. Seriously ABC. Invest in some space heaters and some industrial hair driers—dry off the rain drenched stuff, and for God’s sake stop putting them in situations where everyone needs to be snuggled under a blanket. Either that or give them all Snuggies. Please.

For those paying attention Meghan, Stacey and Lindsay were all sitting together on the couch. Coincidence? Or did they all know they were the three to go?

No recap would be complete without a recounting of Michelle’s crazy statements of the week:

1) “There’s a really good chance that if I don’t get a date this week Brad might get his own black eye.”

2) “It’s MY day, nothing is going to stop me today….if I don’t get the rose because Brad is still dealing with Ashley H.’s issues I would elbow Ashley H. in the face.”

3) “Tomorrow. Big day. Michelle and Brad. One on one. Competition has begun. Start packing your bags. It’s been really great knowing all of you. I wish all the very best. Bye.”

4) “Boom” (followed by violent hand gesture)

Other classic lines this episode:

1) Ashley S.: “I wish I was the one who gave Michelle her black eye.” (Shocking talk! Hug?)
2) Chantal: “Could be a make it or break it night….turned out to be a make it night.” (cough)
3) Brad: “If I’m standing there…and I don’t see forever, I’ll walk away again.” (Good for you, Brad.)

Questions:

Why do we have to use last initials for Chantal and Shawntel? Can’t we just enunciate?

And can someone please tell me who the hell Lisa and Marissa are? They got roses and I didn’t even know they were on the show!

See you all next week at the most dramatic fifth episode of Brad’s second season ever! Cheers!

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