It’s a good thing Walt Disney had himself frozen into a human popsicle, because the latest styling of the Bachelor franchise, Bachelor Pad, would have had him spinning in his grave.
What, exactly, you may ask, is this Bachelor Pad? Ahh, there are so many ways it might be described. Maybe co-ed summer camp for hot-bodied, emotionally stunted young-adults? (Except for Gwen. She was in high school when most of these dudes were in diapers.) Sure, they’re all sleeping on bunk beds in the living room, but they’re special bunk beds built for at least two, maybe three, at a time, and there’s more free booze than at a high-roller’s Vegas poker table.
The site of our summer adventure is the usual hangout, Villa Vino, the mansion where so many past seasons of the Bachelor and Bachelorette have begun. No Bach show could possibly take place without its beloved Host, Chris Harrison, who’s to be assisted in his very important duties by the ubiquitous Jason Mesnick rejectee, Melissa Rycroft. Except she’s married now, to some dude named Tye, and we’d better not forget it.
At first I was puzzled why the very competent Harrison possibly needed a Girl Friday, but then I realized that the only possible way to get through this circus and keep a shred of dignity for our beloved host was to have someone else around to handle the ridiculous tasks like yelling out “right foot green” at Twister competitions and passing out roses at the end of the episodes.
Harrison strolls outside the manse to wait for Caesar, our long-time, long-suffering limo driver (how many drunk dumpees has he driven to the airport over the years?) to start dropping off the kids. Tenley, the former dancing Disney princess is the first to arrive. Her outfit makes me think they promised her she’d be starring in a Chiquita Banana commercial. And before we get any further along, let’s just all take a moment and remember that horrible no-good scumbag of an ex-husband of Tenley’s who she found out was cheating on her by reading his cell phone bill. Okay, I now declare a moratorium on talking about Tenley’s ex-husband, although I’m sure she’ll mention it at least ten times an episode for the duration.
And here come the rest of the campers:
Jesse Beck, the guy from Peculiar who likes to do things with his hands (woodworking, you gutter-minded people). Ali bought him a suit and took him to Vegas, but it wasn’t enough to take the country out of the boy. Jesse is the main source of support, it would appear, for the Peculiar tattoo parlor.
Natalie. Jason took her to Vegas, too, but discovered her conversation was limited to teddy bears and sent her packing right after ripping the diamond necklace from her throat.
Meanwhile, inside the house, Natalie and Tenley spy one another and start screaming OHMIGOD, OHMIGOD, OHMIGOD like a couple of tweeners finding out they’re in the same cabin with their best friend.
David Good, or “bad David Good” as I knew him on Jillian’s season. Famous for having a “Man Code” and angry that it was always being violated by Juan. In interviews after the show, he claimed he was supposed to have been the next Bachelor, but lost it due to the pity party for Jason after he was rejected by the lovely Deanna.
Juan. Violated Dave’s “man code” by pretending to down shot, but poured into fake potted plant instead. After that, the plant was pretty much Juan’s only friend. Why Juan may be in trouble: he hooked up with Nikki at a Bachelor reunion, then promptly dumped her for another babe. Nikki’s out for his hide.
Gwen.. Could use the quarter-million to get her face-lift repaired. Peculiar Jesse says she’s “definitely someone I look on as a mom.”
The Weatherman. Seriously? Tiny guy. Recently fired from TV weather gig in Texas. Earned rose from Ali by being a tattle-tale and ratting out ChrisM. Should never be allowed in public in a speedo. Says CraigM “is an alcoholic and probably out of shape.”
CraigM. Every day is a bad hair day. No doubt invited to join party to terrorize Weatherman.
Wes. Yodeling yokel from Jillian’s season, serenaded her with original caterwaul: “Love It Don’t Come Easy.” Drunken ramble in his limo ride after being eliminated: “I’m in Spain, where everybody knows my name. Only guy in Bachelor history to make it to Top Four with a girlfriend back home.” Threatened to sue ABC for character defamation. Apparently rewarded with opportunity to appear on Bachelor Pad and made to look ridiculous in new ways.
Jesse K. Heart-throb winemaker from Jillian’s season. Brother was a jerk on hometown date. Reported to have romanced multiple former contestants. Announces on arrival, “Lying, deceiving, that’s my middle name.” Currently in some sort of unhealthy relationship with Elizabeth.
Krisily. Can’t think of a reason she was invited to play. “Runner-up” on Charlie O’Connell’s season.
Elizabeth. Wrote Jake a long letter about why he couldn’t kiss her. Seems to have had major conversion to lip-smacking endeavors since that time. Maybe it was just him she didn’t want slobbering on her face? Has ruined her looks with bottle-blond hair dye. Is fixated on Jesse K. Here’s his opinion of her: “I’ve known Elizabeth for three months; we’ve hooked-up here and there. I kind of see us as friends, she’s got other ideas.” Okaaaaay.
Kiptyn. Got the final “friend card” from Jillian. From well-to-do family who, according to the less than worldly Jillian, “speaks a whole bunch of foreign languages.” Kiptyn known for gentlemanly qualities and exceptional abs. Regrettably the bald spot on the back of his head seems to be growing. Tenley so excited to learn of Kip’s participation she almost wets her pants.
Jesse K. seems pleased what what he’s seen hop out of the limo so far, “This is a revolving door of hot chicks.” Bad David Good agrees, “There are some crazy hot chicks.”
Peyton. Andy Baldwin left her on the freezing deck of an aircraft carrier. She hasn’t done much since, some of us thought she might still be there.
Michelle. Fruitcake. Tried to make Jake kiss her; instead he gave her a kiss-off. Likely to go postal at any moment. Wes has heard about her, “She has a hot body, but if you hook up with her, you probably have to worry about her chopping of your *** during the night.”
Gia. Former holder of the title, “Miss USA Bikini Hot-body, Short Girl Division”. I know, you can’t make up this stuff. Put up with Jake all the way to third place. Has a boyfriend back home. Obviously here for eye-candy and to make the guys happy.
Ashley. Wore an el-cheapo flight attendant’s uniform purchased from the Halloween Store to try to impress Jake. She might have done better with a Hooters tee shirt.
Nikki. Her boobs got the first impression rose from Jason, then she had a meltdown over the thought of writing and performing an “original song” for one of the competitions. Guess they promised the Bach Pad competitions would not involve singing. Recent hook-up with Juan ended in humiliation for her. She’s out to get him.
Jessie S. Add her to the “tattletale club.” Punched her ticket for the show by blowing the whistle on Rated R’s multiple girlfriends back home in Canada during Ali’s season.
First impressions: Natalie and Tenley are going to be the ring leaders of the “mean girls” club. Elizabeth may well go psycho sometime during the season. A few of the guys may have to answer for bad behavior in past relationships—both bromance and romance. The producers are obviously hoping for a fight between CraigM and Weatherman.
Exploration of the Bachelor Pad by the campers reveals lots of locked doors, and then finally one big “bunk room” where they’ll all be living together. Weatherman reacts: “my brain just like ate itself.”
The first competition, announced by CoHost Mrs. Rycroft Strickland (sometimes known as “the toothy one”), will be a game of Twister played on a mat so big you could park your dump truck on it. And before you start pooh-poohing Twister, saying, “Oh, it’s just a kid’s game,” remember that to play it well, one must be quite smart. A player must be able to identify several colors, know his left from his right, and be able to distinguish his feet from his hands.
As Mrs. Rycroft Strickland twirls the spinner, the game begins. The camera-persons do a superb job revealing as many abs, legs and boobs as possible. It soon becomes apparent, however, that many of the contestants will be readily eliminated due to confusion about red and blue, green and yellow, left and right, foot and hand. Alas, and I had such high hopes…….By and large, however, most of the participants proved to be very limber.
The highlight of the event was the near-wardrobe-malfunction of “Miss Bikini Short-Body’s” top, but that was remedied. The determined winner of the contest was Craig, who’d almost surely have been going home otherwise. Craig acts as if he just won the PowerBall lottery: “I feel like the man. I’m running the show.” The Weatherman Jonathan is not thrilled “When Craig won the competition, I knew for sure there was no god.”
But Craig must wait ‘til the morrow for his reward, first everyone must pile into the bunk beds for a good night’s sleep. Elizabeth climbs up on the top bunk to give JesseK a good-night kiss. The lights go out and loud smooching noises are heard. Camera on: Tenley, looking dismayed.
Next morning at breakfast, Bad David Good mentions the nocturnal activities. Speculation runs rampant. Tenley helpfully announces she’s positive it was Craig and Crazy Michelle.
At this point, Michelle seems to know what was said about her, but not who said it, “Somebody is trying to (bleep) up my game.”
To accompany him on his date, he chose fellow Canadian Jessie S, the woman no one thought could get a date, Old Maid Gwen, and Elizabeth, whom he’d decided he needed to convert to his cause. The lucky foursome piles into Caesar’s limousine, and nearly freeze to death in the air conditioning owing to the fact that the girls were only allowed to wear skimpy bikinis. Craig has on rolled-up jeans (maybe that was part of his prize?). At least they wind up at the beach.
Highlight of the beach date: Elizabeth asks Jessie if she’d make out with Craig to win the rose. Jessie says no, and Elizabeth asks, “Do you mind if I do, then?” Elizabeth, it seems, is still a tease, but a tease willing to put out. Elizabeth lectures Craig that she had a very bad opinion of him on account of his treatment of Weatherman, and warns him he’s going to have to work to win her over.
Part two of the date sees the foursome arriving (miraculously changed into cocktail attire) at a private concert by some some obscure singer whose last name must have been difficult to pronounce because he’s now called just Alex Band. Not Alex the Band, just Alex Band. At the behest of Mrs. Rycroft Strickland, who’s magically appeared on site, Craig awards the rose to Jessie and sends Elizabeth and the Old Maid packing in the limousine. Craig and Jessie dance on stage, badly, while sloshing champagne, to the stylings of Alex Band. I’m thinking it’s a good thing there’s no audience because if there had been, they’d have had to sew some more fabric to the bottom of Jessie’s little skirt.
Meanwhile, back at the Casa, Natalie and Peculiar Jesse are getting hot and heavy in front of the outdoor fireplace. She’s totally into him, “You’re like small town and you have freakin’ tattoos.”
More about the other Jesse (the one with the wine-yard) and Elizabeth. He’s getting paranoid because she thinks she has “dibs” on him, owing to those pre-show hookups between them (see above). Jesse fears this (in his mind imagined) relationship is going to hurt his chances with the other women. Elizabeth shares with the other girls, “I am completely in love with Jesse Kovaks and I don’t think he feels the same about me.”
Elizabeth is not happy about Jesse’s desire to be seen as a “free man.”
Jeses: “You’re taking this the wrong way. I’m just explaining bad strategy versus good strategy.”
Elizabeth: “If you treat me poorly, it could have negative consequences on you.”
Elizabeth: “By not letting you have the money.”
Jesse: “Are you threatening me?”
Watch this space: this dysfunctional relationship may provide some fireworks before the season concludes.
Another night passes—Natalie appears to be bunking in with Peculiar Jesse. Tenley is up bright and early, in the bathroom, brushing her pearly whites. Crazy Michelle seems to have figured out it was Tenley who started the rumor about her and Craig on night one. She follows Tenley into the bathroom, closes the door and confronts the Disney princess. The conversation can only be heard in bits through the door, but it’s clear Michelle is on a rampage and she’s forcing Tenley to stay and listen.
Tenley emerges, sobbing uncontrollably. Natalie goes to comfort her. Tenley claims to have been terrorized. Natalie assures Tenley, “you’re here, no one is voting you off. I think what should happen is she’s gotta go.” That is exactly what Tenley was hoping to hear; her tears dry up immediately, “Do you think they (talking about the guys) feel that?” Suddenly she’s all smiles.
A bit later in the morning, another unhappy couple converses. Juan, realizing Nikki has been been bad-mouthing him to the other girls for his shabby treatment of her, tries to make amends. His apology is straightforward¬–“I’m sorry I was kind of a %*&^.,”, but Nikki is having none of it. In sum, she tells him, “Too little, too late.” Woman scorned and all that.
Wineman Jesse is quickly realizing he may have more than he can handle with sort-of girlfriend Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: “I think you care about me, you need to express it if that’s the truth.” She tells him he needs to make a public apology, ‘I hurt Elizabeth. I’m in love with the girl.’
Jesse: “To your girlfriends?”
Elizabeth: “Why are you arguing with me, you know its right.”
Jesse: “You’re putting me down, like: ‘You’re dumb, you’re stupid’.”
Elizabeth: “I’m not gonna let you just be here, I’m in love with you, I’m giving up 250,000 dollars to help you out.”
Jesse: “Why are you crying?”
Elizabeth: “’Cause you don’t appreciate what I do for you.”
Jesse: “There’s no other guy here with somebody pulling for him like you’re pulling for me.”
Worried that she may sabotage him for the night’s vote, gives in, “I apologize.”
By now, it’s almost time to gather in the driveway for the awarding of the week’s roses. Juan seems to realize he’s failed at repairing his relationship with Nikki, “If you’re gonna vote for me, at least don’t rip up my picture into little pieces. Just drop the whole thing in the box.”
One by one the contestants go into the Walmart Picture-Frame Display room to cast their ballots by dropping into a box the photo of the person they’d like to see go home.
Rose ceremonies for the Bachelor Pad Season will, of necessity, be different. Host Harrison will call the name and Mrs. Rycroft Strickland will hand out the posies. No one seems shocked when, at the end, it’s Juan and Michelle standing flowerless. The Weatherman put it best, “There just weren’t enough roses for all Michelle’s personalities. Besides, it’s hard to put a rose on a straight jacket.”
Tune in next week to find out if Bad David Good’s observation that “Women are really really sneaky” proves true. MsFroggy will be here to report on all the shenanigans.