Welcome back, Bachelor fans! This season, the incomparable Iguanachocolate and I will be recapping the festivities—it’s a new year, a new pair of writers, and a new set of ladies getting in cat fights. Just about the only thing that isn’t new is the Bachelor himself—recycled from a retread season—and Chris Harrison’s phrasebook. While I may not be fond of the choice for the prize in this competition, good ole Chris can do no wrong in my view. The guy’s ability to say his lines without breaking out into fits of giggles is inspirational to anyone who is trying to achieve the perfect poker face. And remember the buzz words folk, and let the drinking game begin!
Let’s set the mood, shall we?
Cue the violins, folks, it’s time to hear the sad tale of our Bachelor, Jason. He has been seriously unlucky in love…divorced from his first wife, rejected by Deanna, is a single dad to Ty, and has the personality of paste. Nevertheless, fans across the nation allegedly begged ABC to bring him back as the next Bachelor. Well, casting does cost money and, in these hard economic times, it’s probably better to just reuse what you’ve got lying around. Goodness knows Fleiss & Co. really spent the dough digging up our twenty-five potential Wife #2s. We’re introduced to a gaggle of lasses in fast succession, and they make quite the impression. There are girls jumping on beds, dancing, practicing golf swings, and packing loads of shoes. Clearly these girls are intellectual giants.
Amongst the group, we meet Jillian, the self-professed “polished hick” restaurant designer; Stacia, mother of two who is re-entering the dating scene because of Jason; and Dominique, who has dated a lot of duds but is waiting for her stud. (Oh, she rhymes! What talent!) Melissa was a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader (there’s always a cheerleader), Nikki was a pageant girl who still wears her sash to polish the coffee table, and Renee yammers on about creating vision boards to forecast eflect her destiny. Jackie is a divorced wedding planner and
VampriaStephanie is a young widow with a small child and a serious addiction to over-plucking her eyebrows. A somewhat indistinguishable series of gals promise for serious throw-downs to get Jason’s attention; it makes one wonder if they actually saw last season and are at all familiar with Captain Bland, er, I mean Jason.
Before the limos start arriving at the Bachelor
brothelhouse, Jason and Chris have a bit of a chat. In what is my fast-favorite moment of this episode, Chris asks Jason, “Obviously you haven’t been so lucky in love. What happened?” Good lord, I love that Chris. Jason stumbles around his recollection of proposing to Deanna; he thought it was the real thing and then couldn’t figure out what went wrong. He says that he’s a better man now for the experience and his wee son Ty brought him out of his funk when he got home. Jason goes on to add that this night of meeting the twenty-five potential Wife #2s is the most exciting thing to happen in his life, aside from Ty’s birth. Then, in true Bachelor style, he says that this night is all about making connections in the amazing environment. Okay, peeps—connections AND amazing. That’s two drinks!
The onslaught of cleavage commences.
With Jason all full of nervous excitement, the limos start to arrive, carrying a bevy of pre-party drunk ladies sporting low-cut dresses. The first limo holds Lauren, a teacher who is spending her birthday night on the Bachelor (which would seriously send me into therapy); Kari, an advertising executive in a seriously bright pink dress (clearly, she’s no Don Draper—he’d never wear that color); Melissa, a sales representative from Dallas; Sharon, another teacher who awkwardly tries to get Jason to salsa dance and has an annoying habit of slouching her shoulders; and Natalie, who works in human resources, doesn’t own a television, and is apparently fond of helmet hair.
The arrival of the second limo introduces us to Naomi, a flight attendant; Jason was also the first person out of the second limo on Deanna’s season, and he mentions it. Maybe you too, Naomi, can have your own season! Next up is Megan, a lacrosse coach and the mother of a 14-month-old child; Stacia, a charity accountant; Jackie, the divorced wedding planner; and Lisa, who works in PR and is from Idaho, to which Jason has never traveled, despite its proximity to Washington.
The third limo rolls up and we meet Stephanie, the widow works in medical marketing and has entirely too thin eyebrows; Treasure (yes, that’s her real name), a nurse practitioner; Raquel, a medical student originally from Brazil and who kind of reminds me of a young Paulina Porizkova; Shelby, an account executive; and Nikki, an administrative assistant with her gals on big-time display to hypnotize Jason, which they clearly do.
So, that’s the first fifteen, and there are ten more women to meet, as Chris reminds Jason. Jason hardly has said anything to the women as he’s met them other than, “We’ll talk more inside.” Maybe their beauty dazzles him or maybe it is that whole lack of personality thing he’s got going on. The next limo approaches and Chris departs, with a pimp’s wink and admonishment to enjoy the experience.
The fourth limo holds Molly, a department store buyer and golfer who tries to get Jason to show her his swing (goodness, the cheese factor is getting to my lactose-intolerant self); Erica, yet another account executive; Nicole, a menswear buyer who wore an orange dress because she knows orange is Ty’s favorite color; Renee, a fairly quiet and kind of nervous looking jewelry designer; and Jillian, a Canadian interior designer who has a curious theory about hotdog toppings and men, which we will explore a bit more later.
Finally the last limo approaches and Jason meets Dominique, a wild-eyed gal who sells medical supplies; Emily, a casino marketer sporting seriously tacky sparkly shoes; Julie, a teacher; Ann, another flight attendant; and Shannon, a dental hygienist who sports some scary fake teeth to meet Jason. She says she’s a tooth Nazi, but if that were the case, she’d have seen an orthodontist about that overbite. Yeah, I’m going there…nearly five years in painful braces entitles me a bit, okay?
As all the ladies await in the house, presumably for the “talk more inside” part of the evening (did the writers go on strike or something?), Jason and Chris have yet another one of their little chats. Jason says meeting all of the women was “incredible” but that could be good or bad. He has the look of, “What the hell did I get myself into?” for a few seconds there, but quickly recovers and says that his wife could very well be in that room waiting for him. Now, what I’d like to see is his ex-wife in that room waiting for him and checking out all the potential #2s. But we know that isn’t going to happen.
Things to never talk about on a first date: being a stalker, toe implants, and hotdog toppings.
The cocktail party gets off to its official start as Jason thanks all the women for being there and says that he can’t wait to “get to know you guys.” Maybe that’s some Northwestern affectation, or maybe he’s seriously confused about anatomy. As Jason makes his way around the room, he looks like a kid in a candy store and hopes the women are there for the right reasons. What are these right reasons, anyway? I mean, it’s not like they stumbled into the place, thinking they were just showing up to pick up some milk and bread for the morning and got swept up into a television show. Anyway, it’s on the list, so everyone drink!
Shannon, the dental hygienist, gets some alone time with Jason. She confesses she knows his birthday, his brother’s name, his brother’s girlfriend’s name (also Shannon), and comes off as a completely insane stalker. She says he has beautiful teeth, too. I don’t think this one will be around all that long. Jason also spends time with Dominique, who divulges that her medical sales job is all about selling implants—toe implants—and asks to see his feet. Man alive, these casting people have a great sense of humor.
Of course, Jason chats with all of the girls to some extent. We find out that Shannon quit her Spanish teaching job to be on the show, Megan has kids, and some of the single moms get a little clique-y. Jason sits a while with Kari of the tacky pink dress and Nicole, an elegant brunette. Kari busts out a long-ass poem she wrote for Jason and reads it to him while Nicole just sits there, feeling awkward. I can’t blame her.
Over in the kitchen, Jillian and some of the other ladies are cooking up hotdogs so she can put to the test her hotdog topping theory of men. It seems that ketchup guys are tight with their mothers, mustard guys are settling-down material, onion guys will never get married, and sauerkraut guys are “bad boys.” (What does it say about me that I top my hotdogs with mustard, ketchup, onions and jalapenos?) So, once Jillian gets Jason into the kitchen, he goes for the mustard. Swoon, everyone! He’s the marrying type! (Although how many times he will get married is still an unanswered question.)
Out in the living room of the house, Chris arrives with the first impression rose; this causes the tension level in the room to go up by a few notches. Jason tells the ladies not to look at the rose, because he knows the pressure. He’s shocked by the women’s sincerity; I’m shocked he can deliver such a line with a straight face.
Women’s suffrage has come to this? This is not what the Seneca Falls Convention was about.
Jason goes outside with Nikki for some one-on-one time. She’s seems like a nice girl, but even I’m distracted by her breasts falling out of the top of her dress. At any point, I fully expect Mo’Nique to pop in and give these ladies some Charm School lessons on how to dress. They talk about how she wants to have kids and how she watches her nieces and nephews. Really, though, this girl probably could have pulled off a bad poem and talk of toe implants and Jason wouldn’t have noticed. I guess pageant experience has a way of setting one apart—just ask Sarah Palin.
Back in the house, Jason visits with a trio of ladies, including “vision board” Renee. It’s crazy talk like this that casts us mid-30s gals in a bad light, and she annoys me. Anyway, she creates good thoughts by making “vision boards” of pictures of her desires for life and love on these little bulletin boards and expects them to come true. Jason was clearly relieved when Raquel came by and pulled him away. She tries to get him to dance, but he’s not good at it. Molly then cuts in, in a loud, pushy way and takes him off for a bit of a chat. She says she’s never been to Seattle but she’s open to moving there. Raquel then comes back and steals him away from Molly. She also believes a bit in fate, and finds it peaceful to be at the party. Clearly she is not drunk enough.
Jason chooses Stephanie to go outside for some one-on-one time. She explains that her husband was “tragically killed in a plane crash” and has a kid. Now, I don’t dispute that his death was tragic, but who says it like that? Well, maybe this crazy Southern Belle Vampira. Jason then spends tome time with Lauren, the birthday girl. They talk about teaching government to 12-year-olds, and he passes her pop quiz. He leaves to get her something, and everyone thinks it is the first impression rose. But no. It’s a little stack of cream-puffs with a candle for a birthday wish. Psych!
And enter Mr. Harrison yet again to spring another surprise on the Bachelor and his harem. The women all get to cast a vote as to which woman they think needs to be booted out first! Mee-ow! The claws come out and there’s a lot of generalized bitchiness. Jason isn’t thrilled at the idea but thinks it’ll be pretty interesting. The women are pretty drunk, get more torqued up over voting situation, and pretty much have a catty time of dissing each other.
While the voting goes on, Jason has a chat with Megan, the mother of the 14-month-old. She talks about living on a large tract of land and loves animals more than people. Then Jason enters the house to retrieve the first impression rose. He finds Nikki, who “really stood out” to him—probably the cleavage—and gives her the rose. Meanwhile, I was more excited to see a techie run out of the scene, looking like a startled deer.
Chris arrives back on the scene—the ballots have been tallied and it is time for the first rose ceremony. Three women got the majority of the votes: coming in at third place is Jackie; second is Erica, and in first place by far is Megan. But, in a twist of fate, she will be leaving, but she will be leaving…with a rose! She calls the ladies asses (or something to that effect) and then mumbles in a confessional interview about how she’s pissed off that the women don’t like her. I was worried about her for a minute, though. She was seriously swaying in that way people do when they’ve had entirely too much to drink and passing out is imminent.
Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.
Finally this two hour amazing journey of people here for the right reasons is drawing to a close. Chris takes Jason back to the deliberation room—the same deliberation room Deanna used!—and tries to figure out if he wants to keep the impressive stalker Shannon, the unbelievably sexy Raquel, or the job-quitting Shannon. He says he would have given Megan a rose anyway, so it’s good she’s still around. Ultimately, our bland hero is looking for a woman with a kind heart and believes his wife is in this group of famewhores.
With copious amounts of eye makeup reapplied, the ladies assemble to see who is going to get the boot. Jason thanks everyone for coming but says that it has been a very difficult decision. He gives roses to Lauren, Kari, Naomi, Natalie, Molly, Raquel, Stephanie, Melissa, Jillian, Shannon, Lisa, Sharon, and Erica. The other women are sent packing. Stacia is disappointed, Renee’s vision board turned out to be dead wrong, and Jackie is seriously drunk and prattles on about how she’s not good enough for the men she wants. However, nothing as exciting as that crazy guy who ripped off his shirt and howled at the moon happened as did last season; thus, on the whole, the rose ceremony was a tad anti-climactic and Joel McHale will have less material to work with.
Jason and his fifteen ladies toast to their amazing journey (two more shots!) and ABC throws a ton of previews at us. I’m not going to go into all of those, but the one where Jason is sobbing uncontrollably while leaning over a balcony still has me laughing.
Come back next week when Iguanachocolate will take you through this incredible, amazing journey of true love. Bwahahaha…I can’t even type that without laughing.