Once upon a time, several married men were thinking about television programming, and felt since they had to suffer through marriage, why should they suffer alone? So began the ABC creation known as The Bachelor. Although the only marriage to come out of this show thus far is from the female version, The Bachelorette, ABC knows it can count on an endless supply of vapid, competitive, intoxicated women to fawn over The Chosen One. And who is our Chosen One for this season? He’s a prince of a guy. *Ba dum ching!* Really. He’s an honest-to-goodness, non-Disney Prince. *waiting for the swoons to die down* Prince Lorenzo Borghese is a somewhat goofy looking, yet handsome, 34 year-old cosmetics entrepreneur. He was born in Milan, has lived in Rome and outside Paris, and was raised in Connecticut since the age of five. He has an MBA from Fordham University in New York, and in addition to managing cosmetics, he also is the founder and president of Royal Treatment Pet Spa, a high-end bath, body and skin care line for pets. Oh, and he flies his own private plane when he feels the need to get away. Woot! He may be Italian, but says his grasp of the Italian language barely allows him to order dinner from an Italian restaurant. He wants to get married and have a family, and we all know by now there’s no better way to fulfill that dream than to do it on a reality television show. *falls down laughing*
Twenty-five women from across the United States were hand picked to try to win our doggy prince’s heart. PLO (I refuse to type Prince Lorenzo more than once -- I shall dub him PLO…think JLO as in Jennifer Lopez), and the ladies will be living out this fairy tale in Rome. Many of the ladies are already adding Princess in front of their names, like high-school-aged girls tagging their boyfriend’s last name onto theirs in the margins of their notebooks.
Chris Harrison tries to convince us that during this season “the fairy tale is more real than ever.” Wait, does that mean there will be a wicked witch and poisonous apples? Before we find out, ABC has decided to prolong the suspense as we meet PLO’s family. His parents have been married for 40 years, and appear to be very gracious. There certainly must be something to their cosmetic line (or Mama has had some work done), because she looks fabulous. She’s a beautiful woman who could be PLO’s older sister. When Papa heard PLO was going to be the new Bachelor, all he could muster was, “Mama Mia!” Mama says PLO has a big heart, but he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve. She compares him to Rome and says they both have a special soul that you feel when you get close to it/him. Cut! Good work, Mama, that’s a wrap.
What follows next is a montage of over-stimulated, screaming women as each is surprised to receive a dozen red roses signifying they’ll be leaving for Rome immediately. If someone were to surprise me right now, I fear they’d be the one surprised, because shockingly, I’m not wearing my best jewels, my special-occasion dress and flirty, spiked heels. Yet so many of these ladies answer the door in just such attire. Socialite Erica’s mother even comes to the door in a red party dress, diamond necklace and heels. Fortunately for Erica, her mother, her mother’s breasts and the housekeeper are around to help her pack, because she’s clearly not up to the challenge. Mike Fleiss must have thanked his lucky stars when he found this gal, she’s reality tv gold (more about her later).
My favorite part of each season’s premiere night is the meet and greet between The Bachelor and the ladies, and tonight’s show is no exception. Right away it’s clear to me a man designed the area for the meet and greet. How do I know this? Because the limo stops about 50 yards shorts of PLO, requiring each woman to walk all the way to him…on gravel…in heels…in five-inch spiked heels, to be exact. Since I was raised to look for the bright spot in any situation, I’m hoping with some luck one of them will trip, heheh. In the meantime, I love to watch the Bachelor desperately trying to keep his eyes on the woman’s face, and not her plunging neckline. I’ve seen this show often enough to know if she’s peaked his interest, he’ll take a quick peek at the woman’s backside when she walks indoors, too. Watch for it.
Yoo, Hoo! Bachelor! Here We Come!
The 25 women are already liquored up, and can hardly curb their enthusiasm as the limos approach. The following is the order in which they’re introduced, including my inept description of their dresses (a fashionista, I’m not). I should probably include a disclaimer, too -- keep in mind I have not been spoiled, so my first impressions may be waaaaay off. Therefore, like any woman, I reserve the right to change my appraisals at any time. However, if I’ve pegged them correctly, remember you read it here (Momma didn’t raise no fool).
Lisa, 25, Portland, OR, Marketing Manager - wearing a long, black, beautifully understated dress. She’s adorable, perky and emits a good-girl vibe as she kisses him on the cheek; PLO seems pleased.
April, 23, Chicago, IL, Model - wearing a long black strapless dress, with a slit up to *here* accentuating her long, shapely legs. She not only checks him out, but the castle as well. He longingly watches her walk inside.
Kim, 27, Long Beach, CA, Interior Designer - wearing a black blouse and white skirt, her hair up in a weird, sort of refined Princess Leia do. He confesses he’s nervous, and she offers to help him if he needs assurance during the evening. Um, okay, he does not check out her backside.
Jeanette, 23, Bloomingdale, IL, Teacher - Ding! Ding! Ding! We already have our first winner for Ugliest Dress of the Evening award. She’s wearing a crinkly, knee-length red dress that does nothing for her. They talk over each other, and he doesn’t wait to see her backside either.
Jessica, 25, Charlotte, NC, Assistant Buyer - she’s wearing a powder blue dress and he breathes a heavy sigh when he sees her. She tells him this is her first time in Rome, needs a tour guide, and is hoping he’ll oblige. He watches her walk inside.
“I’d get closer, but my Daddy’s awatchin’, and he said to always keep five feet between my privates and yours.”
Jami, 27, Galveston, TX, Event Planner - greets him with a “howdy”, wearing a long, vibrant pink halter dress with a slit up the middle. He kisses her hand.
Claudia, 22, Boca Raton, FL, Restaurateur - wearing a cadet blue long dress with our second halter top of the evening. She pronounces her name, “Cloud-ee-ah,” and although it’s a perfectly fine name, that would be enough for me to bid her farewell. However, her boobs are springing free under her dress, so he may have other ideas. That and they notice his tie matches her dress. Ooooh.
Brit, 28, Columbus, OH, Beer Chemist - wearing the first younger looking dress of the nigh, in an apricot color, with beading along the bodice. PLO actually asks if the ladies picked out their own clothes, and although she doesn’t answer him, she twirls for his benefit, which prompts him to do the same for her. They both approve of each other.
Rita, 29, Richmond, VA, Policy Advisor - she’s wearing a taupe colored, strapless dress with a black sash around the waist. He compliments her on her smile.
Laura, 29, San Diego, CA, Dolphin Trainer - wearing a kelly green strapless knee-length dress, she kisses him on the cheek, and he notices her dress matches her eyes.
Rosella, 27, Chicago, IL, Make-up Artist - wearing a long, strapless black dress which exposes the tattoo on her left shoulder; she greets him with the European double-kiss and speaks to him in Italian. I have no idea what she’s saying, but it appears I’m not alone. He looks mystified.
Meri, 27, Biloxi, MS, Attorney - she’s wearing a long taupe, beaded gown. I hate to say it, but my first impression is she reminds me of Goofy, and I half expect her to do that well-known “yuk yuk” of his. She’s probably a very sweet girl…
Gina, 28, Chicago, IL, Ultrasound Technician - wearing a long, copper-colored dress with a plunging neckline. She’s either nervous or unimpressed, because after a brisk hello, she walks inside. Did he just get dissed?
Heather, 34, Aliquippa, PA, Registered Nurse - first long white dress of the evening, she reminds me of Dyan Cannon. She tells him she’s honored to be there. He’s honored to be there, too. I burst into laughter.
Sarah, 30, Nelson, British Columbia, Journalist - she’s wearing a long silver dress and obviously has been experimenting with sunless tanners, because she looks a tad orange. The way her boobs are being pushed up to her chin, however, PLO probably didn’t notice. He did compliment her on her necklace and glitter. Glitter? I thought women stopped using glitter by the time they graduated high school.
Jennifer, 24, Pembroke Pines, FL, Teacher - knee-length red chiffon dress and she immediately tells him she’s from Florida and reminds him he went to college there. Is she implying he’s scatterbrained?
Carissa, 25, Cattaraugus, NY, Attorney - wearing a strapless black and white knee-length dress. She comes across as self-assured yet approachable. I like her. (Uh oh, with my track record, that could mean she doesn't last the night).
Andrea, 28, Cincinnati, OH, Hotel Concierge - wearing a strapless red dress with a broad black sash at the waist. She speaks Italian to him, and this time he seems interested.
Desiree, 22, Salt Lake City, UT, Realtor - wearing a white halter top, knee-length dress, and the girls are bobbing happily inside. He tells her she’s beautiful and they hug. She tells him they’ll “bubble it up for sure,” then squeals as she runs inside. We’ve just met our party girl, and last season’s Tara is probably drowning her sorrows in booze, as she realizes she’s been replaced.
Tara, 24, St. Augustine, FL, Realtor - wearing a knee-length red dress, she seems to think this is his real castle.
Erica, 23, Houston, TX, Socialite - okay, really -- her occupation is a socialite? She exits the limo wearing a tiara, and she definitely deserves to take the Ugliest Dress of the Evening award away from Jeanette. She lends credo to the saying that money can’t buy class. She’s wearing a hideous long, purple bunchy dress, that even her million-dollar boobs are trying to bust out of. She tells him they have a lot in common (she knows this how?), and says she wants to get to know him better, as dollar signs flash across her pupils.
Ellen, 30,New Haven, CT, Realtor - she’s wearing a long blue and gold dress and is the first to call him by name.
Elyse, 27, New York, NY, Physician - wearing an understated, classy long black dress, she says he’s been very well built up, and he asks if she’ll marry him. She giggles and says she looks forward to talking to him more later.
Renee, 30, Baltimore, MD, Broadcast Marketer a stunning blonde she’s wearing another knee-length black dress, and tells him he’s “kind of cute,” and she hopes she can stick around for a while so they can do lots of fun things together. Wow.
Sadie, 23, Carlsbad, CA, Publicist - wearing a strapless knee-length white dress, she seems to immediately interest him. Her smile is engaging, and when he tells her he’s a little nervous having to entertain 25 women, she quickly tells him “that’s kind of a problem I have actually. There’s 24 extra people here, and if you could do something about it, I’d appreciate it.” She baits the hook, throws out the line, and he bites -- hook, line and sinker. Looks like Sadie caught the fish of the day.
With that, Chris walks back into the picture and tells PLO that’s all 25 women, and when the sun rises tomorrow, he’ll have to make his decision as to who will be staying. He also tells PLO that inside the house is a single rose and a pair of two-carat diamond earrings. When he has decided who he’d like to get to know better, he can present her with these gifts. She can then spend the rest of the evening with the security of knowing she’ll be safe during the Rose Ceremony, and flaunting the diamonds that will make her whole head sparkle. Oooh, shiny…
Recare l’ Attivo! (that’s Italian for Bring It On)
The women have been drinking and chatting waiting for PLO to finally come inside so they can begin wooing their way into his
walletheart. He immediately approaches Heather and asks where her drink is. Frankly, I think her drink (and probably the drinks of those around her) is already well into her bloodstream, but more on that later. Jennifer thinks he looks like a Roman god, and Erica hopes she can kiss him. He thanks the ladies for coming to see him, and is awkwardly cute.
The small talk begins, and Jami wants to know what kind of music he likes. As he starts rattling off The Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, she says, “right on.” What year is this again? I haven’t heard that phrase for at least 30 years. She confesses to the camera, “holy crap, that could be the guy that I’m going to marry,” and I’m thinking I wouldn’t count on it, sister. Erica informs us that she wore her tiara to get his attention, and she was mortified to discover that the first four girls she met had tattoos, and hadn’t gone to college. Obviously she’s a Tattoophobic and looks down on women without an upper education. It’s here that we learn another terrific lesson in life. Not only can’t money buy class, but a college education can’t insure intelligence. She then tells him he should be flattered because she flew coach for him, which is something she’s never done before. Ellen, who is sitting with them, thinks Erica is “kind of a crazy person.” She’s a perceptive one, that Ellen. Kim is surprised at how competitive the women are, and Rosella says she sold her car to come on the show. I’m not sure what to make of that statement. Perhaps she needed the money to buy the huge sparkly inner tubes she’s got dangling from her earlobes. Oh, and by the way, Rosella considers herself Cinderella. If she’s brought a pair of glass slippers, PLO is in trouble.
(Must keep my eyes on her face…must keep my eyes…)
PLO sits down with Lisa, Rosella, and Andrea and Lisa thinks he was most interested in Rosella. He then moves on to Jennifer, and I’m not sure if she’s just excited, or had a little too much alcohol, but she seems a little ditzy to me. At this point the Rose and Earrings make their debut, and Sadie knows all about the First Impression Rose, but the earrings elevate the level of excitement even more. Desiree and her bouncy boobs grab PLO away from Ellen and Carissa, and within 20 seconds, she’s uttered the word baby at least 10 times. Running out of engaging conversation, she begins flouncing her boobs in his face. Then as Cloud-ee-ah, Laura and Carissa watch from the balcony, Desiree stands up and wriggles in front of PLO to some cheesy 70’s disco music. Carissa laughs loudly and PLO, in typical man-fashion, describes her as the life of the party. I’m pretty sure the women would describe her much differently, but he looks pretty happy. She asks if she can kiss him, and he coyly offers his cheek. Later she tells us they bonded, and she’s convinced she’ll be getting a rose, baby.
(I wonder if I'll ever tire of hearing her call me 'baby?')
C’Mon, You Knew There’d Be At Least One
Lisa tells us she’s 25, and wants to be married by the time she’s 27, which only gives her about 10 months to find Mr. Right
Now. She and PLO are talking away from the others, and she tells him she’s a tree hugger and likes to hug slugs. I think she’s a little tipsy, but he takes her up on this, and the two of them walk outside. Was I the only one who was disappointed they were looking for a tree and not a slug? Some of the other women watch as the two of them hug a tree together. It’s silly yet adorable, and seems like one of those genuinely bizarre things that sometimes happen between two people. What? You’re not getting any more out of me. PLO tells us that it was nice in a weird kind of way. Suddenly Heather comes to the forefront. She’s progressively gotten drunkerlouder throughout the evening, and wants to toast to drinking too much, which cracks me up. I do have to point out in her defense, I notice there isn’t a scrap of food to be found, not even one of those chalky dinner mints. Not to mention we’re all well-schooled in the Fleiss Handbook of Tricks, and the technique of plying the ladies with plenty of booze, lack of food and sleep. I don’t begrudge her, but she’s going to be hurting tomorrow.
“And then there was this time once at band camp…”
Andrea, who somewhat reminds me of a young Liza Minelli, decides she has got to grab his attention somehow. As he’s sitting outside with Rita and Gina, she joins Jeanette and Jami on the balcony and serenades him with her operatic voice. Although Rita and Gina are livid, he seems quite captivated by her. That was a first for this show, but what really grabs my attention is seeing Heather attempt to carry on a conversation with PLO. I’m guessing it’s long into the night by this time, and she bumbles and slurs her way along. He asks why she doesn’t have a boyfriend, and she replies she’s had many, but breaks off at this point. He laughs and says he’s sure she’s had m-a-n-y, and she dissolves into drunken laughter. Our orange-tinted friend, Sarah, gets some alone time with PLO and adds an “eh?” to the end of each sentence. He’s a quick study and correctly guesses she’s Canadian (our own Miss Filangi would love this). Sarah asks PLO if he’s ever dated a Black woman, and he tells her no because he’s always been in long-term relationships. I’m not sure that answers her question, but she doesn’t seem to notice or care.
Sadie takes her turn with him, and she tells him she’s been to Paris, and she went to USC. When he asks if she’s from California, she informs him she came a long way to meet him, and teases he’d better be worth it. She’s adorable, and confides to us that she’s saving herself for marriage, but she’s not comfortable telling him that yet. If past history is any guide, that’s something she’s better off keeping to herself for as long as possible. I’m just sayin’.
What’s A Reality Show Without A Twist?
Chris Harrison interrupts the frivolity to introduce two local Italian women to the mix, Agnese and Cosetta (sp?), who look like they’ll be giving the other women a run for their money. Chris lets everyone know these two ladies will also be vying for a rose, and the American women are not happy. PLO thinks they’re gorgeous and the three of them sit down. Conversation is a bit strained because of the language barrier, but Cosetta finds a way to converse with PLO by dancing for him. She proceeds to shake her bon-bon and every other part of her body, and he says it works for him, but Agnese admits to being jealous. Jeanette says she’s intimidated and scared by these new women and her eyes begin to bug out of her head as she morphs into Run-Away-Bride woman. It’s not a pretty sight. *shudder* As PLO struggles with the language, Erica and Lisa drag him to a bench across the patio. Not to be outdone, the Italian ladies come back to claim their prize. He says he felt like he was in a ping-pong match with four of the most beautiful ladies he’s ever seen. Poor Prince of Pity. Cosetta eventually leaves, and PLO is left to struggle trying to converse with Agnese. For all she knows, he could be telling her he likes men.
Finally PLO picks up the rose and earrings, and as all eyes are on him, takes them to Lisa, the tree hugger. The girls are disappointed, but Gina is particularly aghast. For a pretty woman, she sure can contort her face into the most sour pouts/grimaces/frowns I’ve ever seen. I suspect at some point she must have pissed off the cameramen, because throughout the rest of the evening, close-ups of her displaying the most ugly facial expressions, are flashed across the screen. Erica tells us she doesn’t judge people, and then demonstrates the word contradiction by judging their compatibility, saying Lisa doesn’t have anything in common PLO (because she knows him so well, doncha know). Heather looks like she’s going to throw up. Maybe she is.
A New Day Dawns
Roosters crow and the sun also rises, signifying it’s Rose Ceremony time. These ladies have been up all night, most likely without eating, and I must say, they look damn good. PLO has 27 women standing before him, and Chris wants to know if he’s worried about the possibility of sending Mrs. Right home. Yeah, like anyone takes this show that seriously. PLO is quite the diplomat, and says very nice things about each woman.
Chris reminds everyone Lisa has already received a rose, and PLO graciously states that he’s grateful they’re here, and he’s had a terrific evening. Without further ado, the roses are given out as follows:
Kim - of course she accepts the rose and gives him a little peck on the cheek.
Jeanette - she definitely accepts as her eyes bug a little.
Jamie - absolutely accepts and delivers a quick peck.
Ellen - she smiles brightly and they exchange a quick peck.
Sarah - she absolutely accepts and thanks him.
Desiree - she sashays up to him, calls him baby and accepts. *gag*
Jennifer - quick peck and thanks him.
Gina - her sour facial expression fades momentarily, and she thanks him by offering a quick peck.
Erica - she approaches him with her arms outstretched grabbing for the rose before it’s even offered. Then says “yay” as she returns to the group.
Sadie - she’s relieved and innocently giggles. I suddenly realize she reminds me of Sarah Brice, the ’winner’ from Charlie O’Connell’s season; foreshadowing perhaps?
Agnese - she gladly accepts the rose, but we’re spared another cringe-inducing awkward conversation, as they silently kiss, kiss.
Now the fallout. The roseless women are disappointed, but Rosella is extremely sad her fairytale didn’t work out, and I hope ABC ponies up a car for her. April is the first to approach him, and he tells her he is sorry, adding that she’s absolutely gorgeous. On a high note, Heather has had time to sober up, and looks remarkably well for the rough night she must have had.
Next week promises dramatics. PLO cries, and Erica confesses she doesn’t know how to make a bed, although I’m quite sure she knows how to make out in a bed. Read all about it next week in Yardgnome’s fantastic recap. Ciao, baby!