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).
Red velvet cupcakes
Little smokies in cranberry chili sauce
Pretzels with garlic herb cheese
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!