Welcome back, Bachelor fans, for all of us sitting at home on Valentine’s Day watching other people dating. This week the happy group heads off to the beautiful looking island of Anguilla, and the island itself looks pretty awesome, but the dates seemed rather low-budget and lame. Not to mention that only one of the dates actually seemed enjoyable.
I’m an old married lady with kids, and I can have lame dates at home that are more fun than most of the dates on this episode. Tonight, Mr. LG got me a lovely bunch of red tulips (my favorite flowers) and a box of chocolate and we shared a pizza with the kids for dinner. No beer with the pizza tonight because he is on call (he’s a volunteer firefighter / EMT for our town), so no fancy cocktail party for us, but I think we had a better night than any of the people on this show this week.
Castaway for Two
First up is a one-on-one date with single mom Emily. They are picked up by helicopter, which is always a promising start, but they get dropped off on a private island. And by island I mean sandbar with no trees or any type of landscaping. I’ve been to sandbars like this on the Mississippi River, where boaters gather to drink and mingle. Not what I’d consider a romantic destination, however, as it usually involves peeing in a minnow bucket as there isn’t even a bathroom so you can go somewhere to shake the sand out of your swimsuit.
There is a tiny little tent they put up for purposes of sheltering their picnic from the sun and random rainstorms, but they are essentially in the elements, sitting in the sand. Stranded. Waiting for a volleyball to show up so they can name it Wilson and have someone to talk to. This date has the potential to become claustrophobic and awful if Brad and Emily don’t have enough chemistry to entertain themselves for hours and hours.
So what do they talk about from sun up to sun down? How to turn little Ricky into the next Tyler, apparently. Brad is pressuring Emily to let him meet Emily’s daughter Ricky during the hometown dates next week. Emily is reluctant to introduce her young daughter to a man that she is dating when he is still also dating three other people. Completely understandable. Yet also the complete opposite of what the producers want, apparently.
Has anyone else noticed that there is hardly any mention of the fact that Michelle is also a single mom? I’m guessing Michelle’s baby-daddy hasn’t signed a release for the kid to be on tv (which I think is definitely the way to go), so Emily is the one and only mama this season, and the producers just seem to love having scenes of kids. We’ll be seeing Emily next week, and according to the previews, Ricky too. Back to Emily’s date – it ends and they are rescued from being marooned on that little sandbar before it is swallowed up by the tide. Too bad we’re not being rescued from this episode as expeditiously.
Serenades By The Most Famous Singer in All of Anguilla
Next up is a one-on-one date with Shawntel, our undertaker with the great chemistry with Brad, but the occasional awkward silence pauses and weird background. Shawntel is my favorite this year. I think she’s really grounded. I really dig her. Ok, enough gravedigger puns.
I like Shawntel because she looks like she is enjoying herself even in the most awkward of situations, such as dating some guy who is also dating other people, and going on cheap dates. Brad and Shawntel’s date also seems quite low budget this week, as they spend the day hanging out in some town in Anquilla, playing dominos and jumping rope with the locals. She is the only one who seemed to have enjoyed her date this week.
In the evening they have dinner and then some random crowd shows up for a concert by the most famous singer in all of Anguilla, Bankie Banx. I’m glad to have learned that bit of knowledge for the next time I’m playing trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings and the category is either Singers of Anguilla or Guys with Similar First and Last Names – I’m looking at you, Cool Runnings actor Doug E. Doug and Tommy Thompson, former governor of Wisconsin and US Secretary of HHS.
Shawntel is my favorite, but I fear she’ll face the same fate as my favorite from last year. Kirk made it to the hometown dates, but was booted after Ali saw his dad’s basement full of taxidermy heads and freezers full of carcasses. It would be cruel déjà vu if Shawntel gets the boot right after Brad gets a tour of her mortuary and crematorium. Did they really need to focus this much on Shawntel’s career? I guess it is better than being protrayed someone still hung up on the death of his mother, as Chris from last season can attest.
From Yacht to Rowboat
Next up is a one-on-one date with Britt. Who, you say? Apparently there is someone on the show named Britt, as she hasn’t done anything of note yet. They blow the entire date budget for the week and rent a yacht for Brad and Britt to set sail. This is the best opportunity for some actual romance that doesn’t involve a sandy swimsuit or a crowd of Bankie Banx groupies (or two fellow contestants) in tow.
The scene is set for romance for this date. So what happens? There is zero chemistry, and Brad kicks Britt out mid-date. Let me remind you, they are in a boat. So, she needs to swim for it or hang out with the guy who just dumped her and wait for a smaller boat to come get her.
Brad gives us a very pithy statement that “There is never a good moment to say goodbye.” That may be true, Brad, but there are some moments which are better than others. Standing at a cab stand is a good time, as you can get someone in a cab. Being on a boat is not a great time. Reminds me of the old camp song about the boy and a girl and little canoe with the moon shining all around. I’d swim for it too, Britt.
She gets back to the mansion and is greeted warmly by the other girls, who are shocked to learn that Brad kicked her out and she needs to pack ASAP and vacate the villa. It looked to me like Michelle was actually nice and consoling Britt (as were the rest of the girls). Is this small glimpse of humanity the start of the softening of Michelle’s edit, or the beginning of the end of her story arc? Or was I mistaken and Michelle was actually swimming towards the yacht to tell Brad who he should kick off next?
Take Off Your Top and Pose – A Fun Date For Foursomes
Michelle, Chantal and Ashley are all on a group date from Hell. Some male producer thought that having three ladies pose with the photographer for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition would be a fun date. Fun for the producers to shoot and fun to edit through all of the tape to find lots of drama, nudity, and uncomfortableness, but not fun for any of the contestants.
First up is dentist Ashley, who is apparently a proud member of the IBTC. Yes, that is the Itty Bitty Titty Club, and I’m a member. Hey, at least they’re real, and I’m fairly confident we can say the same about Ashley’s bosom. I would have never mentioned it about Ashley except she took off her top just because someone with a camera thought she should pose with some shells.
Next up is Chantal, who frolics in the sand and gets all wet for the camera. Michelle is shooting eye darts as the other girls go, chiding them for exposing themselves. Then it is Michelle’s turn and she pulls Brad into her shot, climbs on top of him on the beach From Here to Eternity style, and makes out with him in front of the camera crew and his two other dates, Chantal and Ashley. This photo shoot is so demented, it seems like something Tyra Banks would come up with as a challenge for America’s Next Top Model – but wait, this date is about to get worse.
Ashley and Chantal are really annoyed that Brad is making out with Michelle right in front of them, so they stomp off to the pool party portion of the date. They all take turns talking to Brad while the other girls fume and pout back on the lounge chairs. Ashley goes all insecure, saying she doesn’t think he feels the way he used to about her. So Brad gives Ashley the single rose for this date, causing Chantal to run down the beach pouting and crying while Michelle shoots dirty looks at everyone. Fun date. Great times. Wish I were there.
No Cocktail Party for You
After a really crappy date, everyone is feeling like having a drink and relaxing. Well, everyone except for Brad, who is in such a hurry to boot someone off the show that he wants to skip the cocktail party completely and get right to the not giving someone a rose business. Chris Harrison prods Brad to have the cocktail party under the guise of offering some lady a final chance to plead her case to him, hoping to get some good footage of the ladies under the influence. However, Brad’s hurry to get “somebody” out of his life cannot wait, and the rose ceremony starts. He says that today’s date (the three on one with Ashley, Michelle and Chantal) cemented in his mind someone that he realizes he is not compatible with at all, so either Michelle or Chantal will be on the expressway off the shore soon.
With Britt already gone and Ashley already holding a rose, there are three roses and four ladies. The roses are for Emily, then Shawntel, so it is between Chantal and Michelle. The final rose goes to: Chantal. Despite her crying jag (that Mr. LG declared should have been grounds for instant elimination), Chantal survives to make it to the hometown dates, and Michelle is headed for the limo of shame.
So alas, we have seen the last of Michelle. I knew she was doomed when there was no mention of her child and we were only one episode away from the hometown dates, especially after that was practically the entire focus of Brad’s lame date with Emily this week. She was rather aggressive towards Brad on their group date, but otherwise didn’t really have any crazy or catty comments towards the girls this week, so she can leave on a high note. She also wisely didn’t give the producers any material in the limo ride home, as she decided to lay down and take a nap instead of crying out her eyes Trista-style.
Join us next week where Ariel will host the hometown dates from the comfort of her armchair. Hopefully they’ll find fun dates in all of their varied venues.