Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Bachelor Season 19, Episode 9 (Fantasy Suites) Recap: "I Love You, and You, and You Too"

Goodbye Middle America, hello Bali. It's nice to travel, even if there's 100% humidity. Fun fact: At this point in the show, the women all get separate flights and hotels. Supposedly, this is so they can focus on their relationships with Chris. Or maybe it's just because any dude would seem attractive after being in solitary confinement. Let's bachcap!

Monkey See, Monkey Pee

Kaitlyn gets the first date in Bali. Chris offers her the city date, which means "I saved the yacht for someone else." Chris and Kaitlyn walk around and meet Balinese people and Chris weirdly hugs everyone even though he's sweating like mad. The sweat isn't his fault, but the sweaty hugs are.

The Balinese and their monkeys have partnered in a tourist trap. Tourists buy $10 bananas and monkeys climb on the tourists to eat the bananas. I'd never agree to this monkey climb. Just, nope. Kaitlyn does an excellent monkey impression but keeps her distance. Chris lets the monkeys climb all over him and he's rewarded with a monkey tinkle. It was so disgusting, his entire arm was soaked with primate pee. The monkeys do it on purpose because: no consequences. I'll eat that banana and pee all over you, and whatcha gonna do about it?

He's lucky it wasn't a number two

The relationship dynamics on this show are so twisted. Kaitlyn talks about letting her guard down, and Chris also talks about feeling vulnerable. Not a fair comparison because Kaitlyn's auditioning for the role of wife and Chris wields all the power. This huge power differential means that all of Chris's relationships are being formed in la-la-land. In real life dating, he'd have to work so much harder with these same women.

As per the custom, Chris proposes the fantasy suite at dinner, saying, "We deserve this." Kaitlyn accepts because they always do. Inside the fantasy suite there's a tub full of rose petals. Chris better pre-shower to take off the monkey pee. Kaitlyn says, "I'm completely falling in love with you." Chris reciprocates: "I'm falling in love with you too." Whoa, a reciprocation on this show. Just wait, there's more of these.

My analysis: Kaitlyn is funnier than Chris and has better judgement in matters related to monkeys.

The Yacht Means "I Love You"

Let it be known that the yacht means that the Bachelor likes you best. Whitney greets Chris by jumping up and wrapping her legs around him. Why are all the women doing this move this season? It's a monkey move, come to think of it.

Chris and Whitney board the old-fashioned yacht with a drunk looking Balinese captain at the helm. The captain backs into the docks, but sure, let's go out on the open seas with this guy. Surprisingly, no seasickness for the two lovebirds. Other than the drunken captain, the date isn't so interesting. Chris must reassure Whitney that it's not a big deal that her sister didn't give Chris the blessing to propose. Whitney feels "disadvantaged" because she didn't get the blessing, even though the sister said that Chris could ask again when he's actually ready to propose. Sigh. Her sister is so rational, Whitney's lucky to have such a level-headed big sis. It's too bad she can't appreciate this in her single-minded quest for a hubbie.

Was there anyone standing on that dock?

At dinner, Whitney explains that she also feels "disadvantaged" because she didn't get to spend time in Arlington. She won't be wishing for more Arlington time once she's stuck in that house with 4 to 6 kids (his number). Her word "disadvantaged" means that Whitney sees this as a competition. She's soooo set on this prize. Chris is (stupidly) worried that Whitney won't want to quit her job. Whitney explains that she only had her career "in case" her plan to be a wife and mom didn't work out. Helpful hint: Don't say this at your job interview. Whitney's employers are watching and they're feeling less excited that they let Chris mess with the embryos. Whitney tells Chris that she's ready to have babies and he looooves this. He just wants the housewife. Her fertility job was a convenient advertisement: "I make babies."

Whitney has long ago said that she loves Chris. Chris is also falling in love with her and he can see himself proposing. He offers the fantasy suite. Whitney pauses for effect, but we know she's all in. Him: "Let's take things to the next level." Her: "Check please." Seriously, they both said these things. It's a fair bet that Arlington will soon have 4 to 6 more inhabitants.

My analysis: Whitney and Chris want to reproduce and populate that town. This shared goal unites them and makes her the frontrunner.

Becca Better Say Something Soon

Really, enough with this whole "Becca's a virgin" thing. The whole date is a preamble to the big reveal. For this date, Chris takes Becca to a Balinese farm town where he can geek out over the agricultural techniques of yore. They visit a medium who makes really boring predictions, but at least he doesn't pee on you. "You are a very good couple. You will be good parents." Chris dares to ask what's Becca's biggest weakness, and the medium says "Hard to Control." Okay, that one was intriguing. Then the medium suggests "making love" and facing west while doing this. You must be completely covered in the Balinese temples, but here's the Dr. Ruth of Bali with the sexy advice. Or maybe he's the Balinese Dan Savage. Take your pick.

"Hahaha your producers paid me $100 US dollars to say this"

Becca keeps talking about the "temptations" of the fantasy suite. That medium really got to her. At dinner, no word about her secret, though. Becca tells Chris that she'd have to be very sure about the relationship to move to Arlington. This is so reasonable a statement, but on this show it's considered brave to admit having any sort of preference as pertains to your life. The right answer on the Bachelor to every question: "Whatever you want is what I want."

Becca tells Chris she thinks she's falling in love but she ends this with a question mark. He tells Becca he knows he's falling in love with her. Okay, what? He loves them all? Chris would totally propose a sister-wives scenario but he must know that wouldn't fly.

In the fantasy suite, finally, FINALLY, Becca tells Chris her secret. He's shocked but recovers nicely.

"I told everyone else this already, so here goes"

No idea what went on in the fantasy suite with the temptations, but how gross is it that Chris just did the same thing with two other women in the same week. Turns my stomach more than Captain Tipsy's yacht. The next morning, Becca and Chris are not doing okay. They had some sort of serious conversation that didn't sit well with them.

My analysis: Chris can see Becca as his baby-mama, and she'd fit in with the Iowa people. Her withholding nature makes him work harder, and this farmer ain't afraid of work.

Chris Harrison is the Advice Monkey on Your Shoulder

Farmer Chris is freaking out the morning of the rose ceremony. He has a heart-to-heart with Chris Harrison who proposes the excellent strategy of weighing the pros and cons of each woman. Like you would if you were hoping to buy a vacuum. Farmer Chris is sure about one rose ("I'm falling in love with Whitney") but he's debating between Kaitlyn and Becca. He knows that Kaitlyn would move to Arlington, but Becca isn't sure yet. He knows she's "passionate" from the fantasy suite but he's not happy that she wouldn't move to Iowa right away.

"Do what's best for you and our ratings"

Time for the rose ceremony. And they're wearing these outfits:

Farmer's looking cinched

The women are also in special temple outfits:

Not awkward at all

Farmer Chris preempts the ceremony to talk privately to Becca. No kissing allowed in the temple, just how Becca likes it. Okay that wasn't nice, but that's what her mom and sister would have said. Chris sits down with Becca and gets the reassurance that she's also falling in love with him. She comes back to the rose ceremony with a big smile on her face and we all know Kaitlyn's a goner.

First rose goes to Whitney, second rose to Becca.

Kaitlyn's so blindsided, it's hard to watch. All she can say: "What happened?" Fair enough, Kaitlyn. The guy just told her that he was falling in love, of course she's surprised. I also thought she'd be final two. A maniac rooster is making a racket in the background during their break-up. Hopefully, with time, Kaitlyn will find this whole thing hilarious. Not yet, though. Chris's platitudes are useless. In the limo of rejection, Kaitlyn calls this the most humiliating moment of her life. She says she's confused and the whole cockadoodledoody thing blows her mind.

Let's take a step back here. Chris and Kaitlyn weren't the perfect match in terms of personality.  I really couldn't see her cooped up in his farm house with the 4 to 6 kids. Kaitlyn's too dynamic for that kind of lifestyle. My opinion: she's a great option for Bachelorette. Kaitlyn's like Desiree with a better sense of humour, and minus the homicidal brother. If she doesn't get Bachelorette, some awesome guy will snap her up as quickly as a monkey will pee on you.

Coming Up Next: Women tell all next week, then a 3-hour finale the week after that. From Eyelashley to Kelsey to Britt to Ashely S., there's a lot of potential for interesting stuff next week. Can't wait!

"But who will he pick?"
This monkey's not stressing about it

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Bachelor Season 19, Epsiode 8 Recap - Farmer Chris and the Wild Mustang

Anyone else feeling overdosed on Bachelor this week? Five hours is quite enough in two days. But we love this show and - in theory - we can't get enough. So let's bachcap!

Becca's First Love?

Before hometowns, we're still in Iowa. This state just sucks you in for the rest of your life. The last Iowa date goes to Becca. Chris learns that Becca has never been in love. Possible red flag. Not the fact that she hasn't been in love, that can happen. The red flag = never being in love and going on this show as your first stab at it. Chris doesn't seem to mind.

First love should occur off-camera

Bye-Bye Britt 

Pre-rose ceremony, Britt is packed and ready to go home. She can't handle the non-mutual nature of Bachelor relationships. I.e., Britt told Chris she wants to marry him, Chris gave a rose to Kaitlyn. I get it, this would not fly in real life. But this is The Bachelor and there are The Rules. Britt knows that Chris was not pleased with her outburst on the last group date. She is probably trying to preempt the dumpage. 

Carly is so uber-jealous this episode and she's itching for Britt to leave, as are the others. The others remember that last week was the "Chris & Britt" show. They don't think that Britt's really going to leave - she just wants Chris to beg her to stay. They may be right. No cocktail party so Britt must grab Chris as the the rose ceremony starts. 

Chris confronts Britt: "I'm not saying that you're lying. But I've been told that you've potentially been lying." Smooth. He caves and admits Carly told him that Britt didn't like Iowa. If you tell Chris a secret it's like posting it on Facebook. He'll tweet your secret while you're not looking. 

Britt apologizes about challenging Chris on the group date, but it's too late. He was over her since the group date. He's harsh: "The way you reacted is not what I want for a wife." Ouch! Britt's not a bad person, she doesn't gossip. She's just in the pretty person bubble, and for that we can blame society. Goodbye, Britt. You won't have a hard time finding a boyfriend who lives in a more populated city. 

"I'll walk you out of Iowa"

Roses go to Whitney, Becca, and Jade. Kaitlyn already has Britt's rose. Carly is out and has a typical limo-cry, saying that she's always the rejected one. Although Carly is sweet and funny, I'm always frustrated with this attitude. The whole drama of this show is BASED ON REJECTION. If you want to feel wanted, date a guy who's not as cute as you and lives with his mother. 

Goodbye Carly, we'll miss you! But you were getting bitter and aren't cruises more fun than cornfields? I hope you find a nice boyfriend soon. 

Hometowns #1: "This is Big"

Becca's hometown date is in Louisiana. It's remarkable only for the shocked attitudes of her family members. Becca has never brought a guy home. She won't hold hands with guys. She seems uninterested in relationships. Her mom and sister are completely shocked that she could be dating anyone. In her mom's words, "This is big." Becca's floopy red blouse is perhaps bigger, but this thing with Chris is big too. 

Hometown #2: Whitney Wants a Sample

In Chicago, Whitney takes Chris to work at the fertility clinic. She pranks him by pretending she wants a sample. Psych! I found it disturbing that they were all hanging out as an embryo was being created. Can you really just hover over it like that? Is that sterile? 

Beware: This clinic lets just anyone play with the embryos 

Let us note that this is the only Hometown where Chris asks for a blessing for a proposal. This may mean that Whitney and her helium voice are the frontrunners. Whitney defines her sister as the one who can give the blessing. Whitney is so in looooove and begs for her sister's consent ("Please do not ruin this for me"). But the sister can't agree when Whitney remains one of four. She tells Chris she can only bless the proposal if Whitney is the final choice: "Call me when you have that for her." Now that is rational. It's so weird when the guy asks all four families for a blessing and three families are left looking like idiots. 

Whitney optimistically opens a bottle of wine that she was saving for her husband and they toast. Hmmm maybe should have waited a week or two longer, just in case.

Hometown #3: Stop Rapping Now Please

Kaitlyn is from Alberta but her family lives in Phoenix for the winters. I'm freezing in Canada right now, believe me this family is smart. 

This date revealed that Kaitlyn is way cooler than Chris. She takes him to a recording studio where they write a rap song together. Chris has zero rhythm and the techs are smirking and they have to do a million takes. Even worse, he didn't come up with even one funny line for the song. It was all about love and journeys and roses. Kaitlyn is cool and hilarious and I just can't imagine her with such a serious and awkward dude. I like Chris, just not for her. 

One of these people is funnier than the other

An example: Chris goes to every house with a bottle of wine and flowers. It's polite and sweet but generic and traditional, while Kaitlyn's an original. Kaitlyn can't say that she loves Chris, but she "hearts" him and she paid for a billboard to prove it. See, cute and creative. If she doesn't "win," I'm voting Kaitlyn for Bachelorette. 

Hometown #4: The Wild Mustang

The most dramatic Hometown goes to Jade, whose family lives in Nebraska. Chris keeps saying how he loves Jade's "midwest & small town values." Chris meets Jade's family (dad and fiancée, mom, brothers) and presents her with a letterman jacket from his high school. Like she'd wear that ugly thing. 

The family is hinting so hard at Jade's Playboy past. They call her a "wild mustang" and "free spirit" and say that she's been "too much to handle" for some guys. You gotta watch out for the quiet ones! I find it funny that the family has horse pillows - this date now has a horsey theme. Jade's dad was so sweet when he cries and says that he wants her to be with someone who "doesn't put you down for being you." I love how her dad accepts her so completely.

The date goes downhill when Chris and Jade go to this seedy hotel room and Jade reveals the whole Playboy thing. Chris is so shocked! Jade asks if he wants to see the photos and videos. He absolutely does not want to see them, but he says he's okay with it. This is his face while they look at the laptop together:

Oh, a video too...

Chris wanted to see Jade's wild side and now: "I saw her out of her shell...completely out of her shell." He tells Jade that it's not a dealbreaker. But he tells the camera that he would have to explain this to his conservative neighbours and coworkers. And what would the pastor think?

The Mustang is Set Free

Rose ceremony in Iowa and Chris is falling in love with multiple people. He calls Whitney first, then Kaitlyn, then Becca. I suspect this is the true hierarchy. Poor Jade is kicked out because of her past. Chris sits with her and lies to her face. Chris says it's only because the other relationships were moving faster. Ya, right. He can't lie and he twitches so obviously while saying this that Jade actually laughs - before she starts to cry hysterically. She gets what's really going on.

This was the twitch of lies

Very obviously, Jade was a frontrunner. She was the only one who: saw Chris's home, met his parents, got his letterman jacket. But the racy pics (and video) changed everything. Chris can't admit it, but they did. And this is fair enough. Chris is tortured and crying because he's afraid he'll regret this decision. He's a conservative guy who couldn't handle the Mustang. He made the right decision for himself, and Jade deserves much better for herself. 

As her dad said, Jade needs to be with a guy who can accept her for who she is. She doesn't seem embarrassed of the pictures and neither should her boyfriend. I predict there are likely many great guys who are perfect for the Wild Mustang. She just needs to tell them about the Mustang soon so she can weed out the ones who can't handle it.  

Here's something funnier that happened at the end. I'll just say that Whitney's dog has already found her true love. 

May Chris be as happy with his choice

Coming up next week: Fantasy suite dates! I'm curious to see how Becca handles it and whether she will "order room service" as her sister insinuated. See you then!

Monday, 16 February 2015

The Bachelor Season 19, Episode 7 Recap - Chris Tells All (Or Nothing) and Hellloooo Iowa

The Bachelor had a special night on Sunday, February 15: Chris Tells All followed by a full episode in Iowa. The Bachelor is messing with its format, leaving rose ceremonies as cliffhangers. If you missed the drama on Sunday, or if you just want to relive it, here's your bachcap.

Chris Tells Nothing

This was a non-event. First, Chris Harrison interviews Kelsey (disliked widow). Kelsey really needs PR advice. She counters the allegations of manipulation and condescension by overusing big words and making up a new word: "malintentions." I checked, not in the dictionary. I think she meant "ill intentions." Kelsey anticipates a "crucifixion" at Women Tell All - a metaphor some people may not appreciate. Humility, humour, and genuineness would have helped more. I miss Eyelashley. 

In the news: Kelsey resigned from her guidance counsellor job and will be moving to Paris to be a writer. No comment.

Next, we have the completely banal interview with Farmer Chris. Nothing happens, just a bunch of old footage, but I find their treatment of Ashley S. to be rather insensitive. Who knows why she was wandering around the mansion and saying odd things. Maybe she has a real problem, maybe she's messing with the cameramen. It just seemed in bad taste to exploit this more. 

But seriously, can we spend some time wrecking reputations here.

The most interesting part of the episode was Chris Harrison's interview with Andi Dorfman, the Bachelorette from last season who recently split from winner/fiancé Josh Murray. They lasted about 6 months, which is typical for this show's relationships. Andi cries the whole way through, but she uses the same mascara as Eyelashley so no streaks.

Main points: Josh was her soulmate. They were too similar. There was tension. They didn't "better each other." Neither would back down in a fight. Josh was her first love and first heartbreak. The break-up was mutual. Andi feels grateful to "be a part of everything" (Bachelor family? Famous now?). But this was the "biggest failure of my life." Chris Harrison does some counselling. The end.

Chris Harrison obviously adores Andi. Could this be hinting at a second run on the Bachelorette? Or maybe Chris Harrison wants to ask her out himself. After a respectable amount of time has passed, of course.

The Iowa Episode

Last week left us in Deadwood. Sweet 'ol Megan is sent packing prior to the rose ceremony. Upon returning home, she learns geography and takes an actual vacation to Mexico (the country) where she falls in love with a cabana boy.

But wait, there will be no rose ceremony. The remaining women have to fake looking excited to go to Iowa. By this time on Andi's season, they were in Belgium. And on Juan Pablo's season, they had already been to Vietnam, New Zealand and South Korea. For Chris's season? Fields. 

Not a top tourist destination.

The Small Matter of Uncle Iowa

This week, the theme is: Could you really live in Iowa? As I've said before, Iowa is treated as Chris's deranged uncle who lives in the basement. Chris is a real catch, but can the women grow to accept life with Uncle Iowa? 

I picture Uncle Iowa as Steve Martin's "Ruprecht" in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Small town Iowa is fine and beloved by those who live there. It's just not going to work for most of the women who go on reality television shows.  

Jade Gets the First Look

First date goes to Jade. Chris is so insecure about Arlington, Iowa, he probably picked Jade for the date because she's also from a small town. But even Jade is taken aback. Her commentary: "There's so much corn. Cows. Dirt road. Telephone poll....I'd have to readjust to the slow pace...It's more isolated than I though it would be." This does not bode well for the others.

Chris and Jade do the only possible date activity in Arlington: Tour the ghost town and go to Chris's high school to watch a football game. Oh goodness. Already I'm crossing Britt and Kaitlyn off the Iowa census. 

Chris likes Jade but wants to see her "wild side." He could use Google for that, as we will find out soon. Later this episode, Jade tells Carly about her nude modelling. It's doubtful that conservative Chris will take this too well. His idea of wild: Kissing Jade next to his high school locker. 

Whitney Gets the Best Date

Chris gives another one-on-one to Whitney. They go take pictures of themselves around Des Moines to document their "love story." Can you say, "Cheese?" Whitney can! She even wants to show the pics to their future kids. Do people really think like this on second dates? Whitney then meets Chris's three best friends and they love her because she honestly wants to become the farm wife. Sadly, Whitney doesn't have parents. She's looking for awesome in-laws, a great husband, and a future dad. All the boxes are checked for Whitney!

All in.

The date ends with a mural:

Based on this photo:

Whiney says she saw the mural and fell in love in with Chris. She jumps onto Chris and wraps her leather-clad legs around him, and it's a bit icky but okay because it's love. I like how the mural makes Whitney look generic so it could represent whomever Chris picks.

Secret Road Trip

Carly, Britt, Kaitlyn, and Becca take a secret road trip from Des Moines to Arlington to see what they'd be getting themselves into. This is the last time this 3-hour drive will be any fun. Same ride every time you have to go to a big hospital, take an international flight, or have a craving for Starbucks. 

Enjoy it while you can

Britt and Kaitlyn don't seem too impressed by the ghost town. What happened to that bar that was on episode one? Carly is okay with the town because the church has the same picture of Jesus as the one that hang on her grandparents' wall. Ye looketh for signs and thee shall find them. 

No Starbucks here

Carly is utterly frustrated with Britt. She can't handle that Chris may propose to someone who will reject Uncle Iowa and she's protective of Chris. There may be some jealously here too. This is what Carly thinks of Britt's behaviour:

Reminding me of Amy Poehler on this episode

Carly's "Britt Hand Puppet" takes it a step farther:

Behold the hand puppet of jealousy

Possibly, Carly learned the hand puppet trick on the cruise ships. Low budget entertainment and fun for all ages! 

Britt Skates on Thin Ice

Iowa has a skating rink that sets the scene for Chris's group date with Britt, Kaitlyn, and Carly. They are all terrible skaters. There is no hand-holding while skating that you'd expect on a date like this. Only a lot of the following:


In Canada, men are expected to skate well and play hockey. Canadian Kaitlyn cannot be impressed. At least no one got a head injury. On the bleachers, Carly tells Chris that Britt is fake. 

Thankfully, Chris doesn't sell Carly out - he learned his lesson from last week. He subtly seeks the truth. Britt goes far to try to convince Chris that she can live in Iowa. She mentions having "reinvented" herself several times, and this can be another positive "reinvention." Wave the magic reinvention wand: I'm a farm wife! She says she wants to be a mom wherever she is. Chris doesn't doubt her for a second. 

Britt also talks about her family who likes to sit around and eat on paper plates. Then they all eat off of each other's plates. This would drive me bananas. 

Good salesperson

Although Chris seems convinced of her intentions, Britt is struggling to keep the "special feeling" she had from last week. When Kaitlyn gets the group date rose, Britt loses it. In front of Kaitlyn and Carly, she complains that she should have received the rose because, hometowns are coming, he'll meet her family, and she only has one family. Unlike the other women, who have two to four families each. 

See, Britt's thinking that she's making a huge compromise with the Iowa thing. She expects a lot in return. To suck up Iowa, it better be for a guy who adores her. Or maybe this is just her way of sabotaging the relationship without rejecting Iowa out loud. This way, she can appear to have given it a shot, when really she doesn't want to. 

Not the right time, Britt. And, what is this weird place?

Chris then does what he always done when confronted and uncomfortable. He stands up and walks off: "Goodnight!" Kaitlyn and Carly aren't too pleased with Britt. Later, Carly is downright giddy because she feels that Britt can't bounce back from her outburst. 

To be continued! The Bachelor's loves its cliffhangers this season. The previews show hometown dates with Jade, Kaitlyn, and Becca. My prediction: Whitney gets the final hometown, while Carly and Britt go home. Guess we find out real soon. À Bientôt!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Book Review: "I Didn't Come Here to Make Friends" by Courtney Robertson

As we gear up for Hometowns with Bachelor Chris Soules, we all can't get enough of The Bachelor! Here's a fun book to read as you wait for the next episodes. Recaps for Sunday (Iowa) and Monday's (Hometowns) episodes will be up as soon as possible! 

In the meantime, here is the recap for Farmer Chris (Week 6): Kelsey/Ashley 2-on-1 date (click here). Or read this book review!

When I saw that Courtney Robertson had written a tell-all book, I was intrigued. If you don't remember Courtney, she's the model who won Ben Flajnik's season of The Bachelor (Season 16).

Hard to forget

Up until the final rose, Courtney was the consistent frontrunner on Ben’s season. She was also the season’s villain. As the title suggests, she wasn't there to make friends. And friends she did not make. The other women sensed her status with Ben and wanted to throttle her. And thus was born one of the most memorable villains of Bachelor history.

Like the other contestants, Courtney fell for Ben quickly. In retrospect, she can list all the little icky red flags on their journey from engagement, to real-life relationship, to ultimate break-up. On the way, we get also insight into to the tabloid frenzy that ensued after the show. Turns out that being a villain kind of hurts one's modelling career. We also learn about Courtney’s pre- and post-Bachelor relationships, including her trysts with Adrian Grenier from HBO’s Entourage, Jesse Metcalfe from Dallas, and Arie Luyendyk, the race car driver from Emily's season of the Bachelorette.

I'm happy to report that Courtney's offering is compulsively readable. To the delight of Bachelor fans everywhere, she doesn’t mind kissing and telling. Fans will also appreciate the inside scoop about the Bachelor interview process, filming/editing, and living conditions.

I really liked her recaps of the season's memorable moments - like the time Ben and Courtney went skinny-dipping in Puerto Rico. She also caused controversy when they went to an indigenous village - all the contestants were asked to wear revealing beaded tops, but Courtney was the only one who didn't have a bikini top underneath. Also, we hear about the fake wedding she planned for Ben on her hometown date. Did you know that Courtney really didn't like the dress and gloves she had to wear to the proposal? The producers gave her limited choices and that's what she was stuck with. And yes, she had to return the ring.

Courtney goes for the jugular when discussing the other contestants: Remember Lindzi (who she calls horsey), Emily (Courtney hates her), and Blakeley (the one she called a "stripper")? Who knows where the real truth lies, but I was so entertained that I didn't really care. 

As a Bachelor viewer, I found this to be the perfect light read. Courtney says what she thinks and no one is spared. She’s not diplomatic, but that’s what makes this book so much fun. Some people may not like her character (she's a Reality TV villain after all), but you can't help but appreciate her frankness – and her propensity toward TMI. Her sense of humour comes out better in the book than it did on the show. 

As a Bonus, Courtney enticed other Bachelor/Bachelorette alumni to write little sections in the book. You gotta invite the Bachelor family to all events, right? Only Chris Harrison and the producers themselves are missing. I do wonder if she had to run it by them prior to publishing. 

Do bring this book to the beach, read it on the bus, or curl up with it on the couch wiih a nice glass of merlot. Bonus points if you read it with a bottle from Ben's own vineyard. But any red would do. 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Bachelor 19, Week 6 Recap: "I Know What You Did" (AKA The Most Dramatic 2-on-1 Date EVER)

The Bachelor promised and delivered! This season is seriously awesome. Let's Bachcap!

Don't Smile Like This if You Want to Be Pitied

This week started off where last week ended. Kelsey (Carly calls her the Black Widow) is lying on the floor with an oxygen mask. She quickly recovers from her "panic attack" and looks like this:

What she sells, no one buys

She's joking around too much with the oxygen mask on. The other women are none too pleased when Kelsey rejoins them all smiley, after Chris helped Kelsey off the floor. Some of the adjectives that were used: manipulative, full of %*&, really weird, tactical. They shouldn't have felt so threatened. Guys don't tend to be like: "Pseudo-panic attacks are so attractive!"

The show must go on and there's a rose ceremony. Kelsey says: "They should be worried, they wasted their time." Queen of Empathy, she is not. Roses go to: Jade, Kaitlyn, Megan, Becca, Ashley, and Kelsey. Already have roses: Carly, Britt, and Whitney. Yay, down to 9!! Herd is culled.

Going home are Samantha The Unknown and Mackenzie Mother of Kale. At least Samantha gets to keep her privacy and won't have embarrassing footage to haunt her for years. Go forth and date men in real life! As for Mackenzie, she will get married and have another kid named Goji Berry.

Goodbye Samantha, sorry they didn't even give you a limo

Deadwood - They Call it Dead Because No one Visits There Ever

I heard a rumour that Chris is limited in travel because of a past DUI. Although he's been one of my favourite bachelors, he has alleged run-ins with the law, some alcohol related (here's a link to the alleged offences). So helllooo, South Dakota.

This is where Calamity Jane did her business, Chris says. I have no idea what business this is. The 1-on-1 date goes to Becca, the soft-spoken virgin. The date is non-eventful but sweet. They hang out with two horses and a donkey, and then sit by a fire. Becca notices that Chris giggles like a girl and she initiates their first kiss.

He reveals he wants 4 to 6 kids which means: a) being stuck in the farmhouse for 8 to 12 years and b) no more bikinis after 6 pregnancies. That's a lot of birthing! Becca says she wants 5 kids (suspiciously, this is the average of 4+6).

Cute together, despite his Woody Woodpecker laugh

Blessed with Eloquence, but Low on Humility

The other women remain furious with Kelsey and they want her to go home. Carly, Whitney and some others confront Kelsey. Kelsey seems to hear them out, but later says that she's disliked because she's "blessed with eloquence" and 'cause she uses big words and is smart. As a reminder: This is a guidance counsellor speaking. God help the children. I'm not sure she'll be keeping her job after this public image disaster. Parents will not be saying: Yes, guide my child now.

Must Like Country Music

It's a group date with Whitney, Jade, Britt, Kaitlyn, Carly, and Megan. Poor Megan is confused about the date card. The others explain that this means she's safe from the 2-on-1 date. Bless her heart.

Chris loves country music so musical duo Big & Rich show up for the group date and help the ladies to write country music love songs to woo Chris. If you have no idea (I didn't), B & R wrote the classy 2004 tune "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy."

We come from 2004 to guide you

B & R are rather endearing, though. They astutely observe that the women are very different and there is not much "redundancy" amongst them. They also seem eager for any of Chris's leftovers. The women write pretty decent songs and sing with the accompaniment of a Country Elf. Carly's song was a standout, since she's a singer.

This is the country elf of which I speak

The issue is that the women have poured their hearts into this, but Chris once again proves that he is not the best with the social situations. His errors:

1. Kissing Britt in front of the other women as they write love songs - for him
2. Running off with Britt - without saying goodbye
3. Leaving the women waiting for an hour for no reason, as he takes Britt to the B & R concert
4. Returning holding Britt's hand - and Britt has a rose
5. Running off, leaving Britt to explain what happened (weak move, dude)

BAD, Chris, BAD. As an aside, when Britt is on stage with Chris at the B & R concert, she says how great it was that "everyone in the crowd wanted to be me." First off, no, not everyone wants to be one of nine women vying for a man on a reality TV show. Second, what is up with this observation? It makes her seem like she judges experiences by how jealous others will be. Kind of yucky, n'est ce pas?

High Drama in the Badlands

Both Ashley and Kelsey are overconfident for the 2-on-1 date. As they fly in a helicopter of awkwardness, Kelsey shows off that she can name all the presidents on Mount Rushmore. Again, not a selling point.

Kelsey's 4-step action plan to catch her man: Elicit pity due to widowhood, have random panic attack requiring oxygen, use big words, show off about dead presidents.

Ashley's plan: Frequent kissing, extreme eyelashes, short shorts, virgin advertising ad campaign.

Both plans are flawed, but I give Kelsey's an F and Ashley's a C-.

Turns out that Ashley CAN'T EVEN when it comes to Kelsey. I heard that the helicopter ride was 2 hours long. When they get to their Badlands destination these things happen:

-Ashley tells Chris that Kelsey is hated by the group
-Chris tells Kelsey what Ashley said (Why Chris, why?!?! Get a filter, dude!)
-Kelsey totally lies to Chris saying she considered Ashley a friend (In what universe, I'd like to know)
-Kelsey gives Ashley the stare of death (Scarier than zombies)

After a full 2 minutes of death stare, Kelsey gives best line of the season: "I know what you did." Ooohhhh.

Would you rather this stare or a zombie attack?

Let the Insults Begin!

Ashley: I may be a virgin but at least I'm sexy and she's not.

Kelsey: She's a Kardashian who didn't go on her princess date and wears way too much make-up.

Ashley: You think I'm not as smart as you because I don't use big words, but we both have our master's degrees and mine's from a good place.

Kelsey: She needs to go home and play dress-up.

Ashley for the win: I'm not from Pleasantville, I'm from 2014.

Chris decides that this drama is too much. He dumps Ashley saying that he can't give her what she needs. Because, you know, Crazy Uncle Iowa. He's totally right, she'd hate Iowa. I love what Ashley says next: "Do you think that Britt fits the lifestyle more?" Her eyelashes speak the truth.

I'm regretting that I didn't call her Eyelashley all season. Oh well.

I watched Ashley on the Jimmy Kimmel show later that night and she was pretty awesome. She had a sense of humour about everything. She's over Chris - she hadn't thought the Iowa thing through. She was redeemed, and I'm developing a crush on Jimmy Kimmel. Here's the YouTube video of their chat.

Back to the Badlands: Chris dumps Kelsey too. He doesn't feel chemistry with her Stepford wife vibe.

Ding Dong...

When Ashley's carry-on is removed from the house, the remaining contestants are all: Noooooo! But when Kelsey's carry-on is removed, there is a raucous celebration. It's kind of like this (but with alcohol):

Ding dong the wicked witch is dead!

In the Badlands, the most hilarious exit of all time. Chris jumps back on the helicopter leaving both women in the middle of nowhere. On Jimmy Kimmel, Ashley said it was a 10-hour van ride to get back. At least they were in separate vans!

Salt in the wounds

Coming Up Next:

Set your PVRs/DVRs for Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, there's a rose ceremony and a trip to Iowa. Monday night is Hometowns. I'll try to blog as fast as I can. My pesky full-time job keeps getting in the way. I have a day off on Monday, so I'll be blogging Iowa that day.

See you next week in Iowa!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Bachelor 19, Week 5 Recap: Showering is Optional

Welcome to Week 5 of Chris Soule's search for looooove. Chris feels that Santa Fe is the "perfect place to fall in love." So is every other city according to this show. Let's bachcap!

Geographically Impaired

Poor Megan thinks that going to New Mexico means leaving the country and going to the beach. Oh, honey. She's looking forward to the beach resorts and sombreros. The American education system hangs its head in shame. 

Doesn't own a passport

Playing Chicken with a Love Guru: 

For the first one-on-one date, Chris takes the bubbly Carly to meet a “Love and Intimacy Mentor”. Carly exclaims, "This may be the best day of my life!!" Gotta admire her realistic expectations. The Mentor normally works with couples married for a decade or two, but sure she’ll burn some sage for you on your first date. She is paid in hemp and love beads. 

Small issue: You probably FIRST need to have love and intimacy before getting a mentor like this. Kind of like you’d first need a job before you can have a workplace mentor. 

What ensues is horribly awkward. Chris and Carly are forced into close-face breathing exercises that make me hope they had breath mints on hand. The worst part was Carly feeding Chris a strawberry while blindfolded and smearing chocolate all over his lips. He doesn’t bother to lick it off and it just lingers. So gross. He’s passive with this whole date and I just keep waiting for him to call it off! Chris asked Carly on the date, he should have told the guru to back off. 

If you're wondering what the opposite of intimacy looks like...

Chris and Carly play a game of Love Guru Chicken until Carly says the safe words: “I’m uncomfortable.” Thank goodness, they were about to do a clothes-free version of that thing where you have to fall backwards into the person’s arms and hope that they catch you. Chris and Carly end up kissing with the creepy guru watching. She and her feather earrings need to fly away.
Later, Chris and Carly hang out alone on pillows in front of a fireplace. Carly asks Chris the question we are all thinking: Are you worried people will go home once they see, like, Iowa? Answer: Ya, he’s worried! We also learn that Carly is very insecure because she wasn't treated well in previous relationships. She works on cruise ships - maybe not the place to find a nice, solid boyfriend. This show's not better: having a 1 out of 11 chance of getting the guy won't help her insecurity problem. Carly gets the rose but she may not be final four material because we know that Chris prefers strong women who can smooth over awkward situations. 

Rapid-ly Going Downhill

Chris invites 8 of the women on a white-water rafting group date (Jade, Megan, Kaitlyn, Whitney, Mackenzie, Becca, Samantha, Ashley and Kelsey). An “orientation” guy named Cisco scares everyone with unlikely scenarios of dying on the relatively calm river. Megan is already scared that the river is full of "alligators and dead bodies." Oh boy. Jade manages to fall out of the boat and can’t warm up. She gets an over-the-tube-sock foot massage from Chris. 

Jade remains in a Cinderella pose (her theme = feet)

At the evening party, Jordan of drunken twerking-handstand fame returns from Week 2 and confronts Chris. She knows she drank too much and regrets it. Chris is hesitant, but sympathetic. Jordan explains, “Something brought me back here.” If you’re wondering, that “something” is free booze. 

All the other women freak out about Jordan’s return even though she poses zero threat. Ashley wants to be mean to Jordan, while Whitney prefers being nice to Jordan’s face but mean behind her back. Ashley and Whitney clash over these different approaches. 

Chris finally realizes that the women can’t handle Jordan’s gatecrashing and he rightly sends her packing. He gives Whitney the rose who’s happy to meet her “goal.” Everyone else sulks.

The Attractiveness Bubble

Britt gets the one-on-one date called "The sky's the limit." She sobs on Carly’s shoulder because she has a “phobia” of heights. Carly is more concerned that Britt never showers, which Britt readily admits. Michelle Money called this on Week 1, if you recall.

Let's talk about this showering thing. Either: a) Britt is really pretty AND has no natural scent or b) When you are really pretty no one seems to notice how bad you smell. Britt also sleeps in full make-up. How she is not covered in acne I will never understand. Britt wears filthy socks to the date. 

See, Britt is in the attractive person “bubble” (as coined by Tina Fey in 30 Rock) where you are not subject to the normal human rules if you’re really good looking. I don't know if you remember the episode where Alec Baldwin thinks he can speak French (he's just babbling) but no one will tell him the truth because he's good looking (here's a clip from that show). In the same sense, Britt can stink as much as she wants.

Bet that Chris doesn't realize she's wearing make-up (they don't have make-up in Iowa)

Chris and Britt go on a hot air balloon which would terrify someone with a phobia of heights. Miraculously, Britt is totally fine. She has no phobia, she was just afraid of going bungie jumping. I must point out that both dates this week had a third wheel: Guru on Carly's date and Hot Air Balloon Operator on this one. 

This is not a phobic person

The date ends in Chris’s bedroom where he says he wants as many kids as possible (to work the farm) and Britt says she wants "one hundred" children. This is too many children. Britt is a solid actress and she’s turning on the charm so hard. The other women know that Britt’s not into marriage/kids but that she’ll be safe anyway. At the end of their date, Chris and Britt “nap,” which means they just make-out like crazy. 

There is no way Britt’s moving to Iowa. She needs constant human contact. Chris’s sisters don’t look like free huggers and Britt will be left alone to hug the corn. I’d bet the farm that she’s staying in L.A.

The Kelsey Drama, AKA My Story Beats Your Story

All week, Kelsey has been surly, as she wants to share her widow story with Chris. Finally, she crashes his room and tells Chris how her husband died suddenly of heart failure. They have their first kiss. Chris is pulling away slightly, but Kelsey doesn’t seem to notice. To the camera she says, "I love my story!" She really should have been more careful in front of the cameras, this does NOT look good.

Later at the cocktail party, there is major tension. Everyone is scared they'll be booted. Whitney is like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland – obsessed with TIME. People are worried that Kelsey’s story keeps her safe another week. Kelsey is the identified villain this week. She doesn’t seem genuine, gloats about her “amazing” story, and has incongruent facial expressions when talking about sad stuff. The editors give her menacing music whenever she speaks. Never thought they could make a widow look so awful. I can't tell if I'm being manipulated by the producers or what. 

Can you tell who is going to need paramedics in 5 minutes?

Mackenzie, Mother of Kale, realizes her teen pregnancy has nothing on Kelsey’s widowhood. Ashley is also worried - she has lots in terms of eyelashes but nothing in terms of tragic stories. The women need to understand: Guys don’t find sad stories especially attractive – the sob story will keep you safe for a week on this show (maybe), but that’s it.

Chris Harrison comes in and announces that the cocktail party is cancelled because Chris Farmer has made his decisions. Everyone is terrified because they want their “tiiiimmme!” Kelsey, suddenly concerned, runs out and hyperventilates on the hallway floor. The paramedics tend to her and TO BE CONTINUED! 

I predict that Samantha Who and Megan the Geography-Impaired go home. But Mackenzie and Kelsey are also vulnerable. Lots of tears ahead!   

This bird is skeptical of Kelsey...and this show's editing

See you next week!