Welcome back, Bach Fans! It’s a New Year and a new Bachelor. Or at least a newly recycled one. When last we left Pilot Pavelka in August he was contemplating leaping from the fifteenth floor balcony of a Texas hotel. Okay, maybe he wasn’t really thinking of a dive over the railing just because he’d been unable to convince Jillian Harris that seriously under-talented country crooner Wes Hayden was a lying two-timer unworthy of her love. It could well have been that he was just distraught at the possibility he might not be chosen as the next Bachelor. Never has an individual wanted a reality TV role so fiercely—or been so gosh-darn grateful when it was given to him—as Jake wanted to be the Bachelor. Now that he has it, let’s watch him take it out for a spin.
We can’t expect our guy to just jump into his new role without first going back to Dallas to lick his wounds and “heal.” I think any qualified psychiatrist would tell you that the best way to get over a broken heart is to do push-ups and jump rope right at the precipice of the roof a skyscraper, so that’s just what Jake heads off to try. Shirtless. Judging from what I saw in the eight-seven lingering close-ups of Jake’s abs, I’m thinking ABC might have thrown in a few bucks for a little gym time and a personal trainer.
Did I mention that Jake’s a pilot? In addition to the aphrodisiacal effects of seeing him at the controls of a really big red and green Christmas-colored jet, we get the adrenaline rush of watching as he takes his vintage Red Baron plane through a dizzying series of loop-de-loops and upside-down rolls. Jake: “For fun, I fly aerobatic airplanes. Flying is like a drug. Flying is my art; being an average pilot is not what I’m about. I’ve been in the pilot seat most of my life, but I’ve never been in charge of anything like this. My office is at 37,000 feet.”
Other activities which seem to have helped Jake to get over his last-season heartbreak include running on the beach (shirtless), pretending he’s Ty Pennington wielding power tools in the back yard (shirtless) and thoroughly lathering up in the shower (shirtless and pant-less).
All healed emotionally and buffed-up physically, Jake is ready to Become the Bachelor. Hopping astride his motor-bike and vroom-vrooming his way to Los Angeles, he stops only long enough to do a Tom Cruise Top Gun pose astride his bike on the beach as the sun sets behind the Pacific Ocean. Sighhhh.
So where shall we begin the season? Ahh, here’s Host Harrison at the ever-familiar Wino House, err Villa Vino or whatever it is they call that Mediterranean monstrosity they’ve been using for the show for the past zillion seasons. Harrison gives his usual lecture about how we’re getting exactly the guy for the Bachelor that we all demanded after the previous season. According to his account, a whole horde of mail-carriers are now recovering from back injuries incurred while carrying heavy sacks of letters demanding that Jake be the next Bachelor. And I’m sure you personally penned a note back to each and every one, didn’t you Harrison? Oh. Tweeted maybe? Well, it was sure gosh-darn nice of all those people to write in.
AND HAVE YOU MET…
With Caesar the Limo Driver waiting outside the gates ready to start popping out fair damsels like a ticket machine at the airport parking lot, let’s take a few minutes and meet some of the women who’ve waited all their lives just to meet Jake Pavelka.
Our first candidate for Jake’s heart is Ali. She’s a hopeless romantic with a tragic story. Not only has she lost boyfriends to (gasp) Video Games, but get this, “Me and my boyfriend were living with a roommate. He’d sneak into her room and cheat on me.” She expects to go weak in the knees on first laying eyes on Jake.
Alexa is an adrenalin–junkie who rides a Harley. Her description of that experience is not suitable for small children or this G-rated site: suffice it to say the words straddle and orgasm are uttered with infinite enthusiasm.
Tenley dances on the beach now that she’s no longer playing Disney princesses in Tokyo. In the TMI category, she reveals that she and her husband were both virgins when they got married. They’re now divorced. Maybe they should have practiced first.
Elizabeth from DC is a captain in the DC National Guard and considers it her duty to protect our nation’s capital. She admits to having no fashion sense and previous affairs of the heart with pilots.
Rozlyn has been a model “forever, like maybe about 10 years.” (Some of you may be pleased to hear that’s only how long it lasts.) She thinks “there’s something sexy about uniforms” and likes firemen with their “little hats” and big….hats.
Christina’s secret plan is to kill all the other girls, who she’s sure will be catty, with compliments. She practices in front of a mirror.
Vienna looks to be the gal cast to be the spoiled socialite. She’s shown in a bikini sashaying down the street, nearly splatting on her face as she trips in her too-high heels. Her daddy, she’s told us, has “bought me like five cars”. Daddy’s insurance rates not discussed. She likes to dress up her ersatz dog Chloe (okay, it’s a long-haired Chihuahua) and take her out to lunch for Mommy-Daughter days. How can somebody whose name makes me think of greasy sausages in a can with a pull-off lid have pretensions to grandeur?
Round-faced Ashley, is a teacher. Her claim to fame is that her mother, desperate to marry her off, has sent her boxes and boxes of clothes to aid her quest to snag the Bachelor.
Elizabeth from Nebraska, on her day off from Nanny duties, is lolling on the beach in a bikini. Funny, I didn’t know there were beaches in Nebraska.
Ella, a hairdresser, is from Tennessee. Ella has a kid. Kid needs a father.
“Me and Jake and my son Ethan—I’m already looking forward to our life together.” Ella is pictured in the boxing ring with an imaginary opponent. Perhaps we shall find out more on the subject at a later time.
Gia is a New York “swimsuit model” who claims to have had only three boyfriends in her whole life. Either she’s lying or she’s only recently acquired the massive boobs which appear quite determined to escape from the top of her strapless gown. She talks like a five-year-old.
Good lord, how long is this going to go on? Must they all be allowed to speak? Oh good, there are only a couple more: Kimberly is an NBA dancer (don’t think she ever got to be a Disney princess, though); Emily owns tons of shoes; Tiana’s a little long in the tooth but thinks she can hold her own with the ‘younger’ women and Kirsten plans to “definitely cut a bitch.” (I’m hoping that will not involve an actual knife.)
LET’S GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD
Having showered again and put on his best suit, Jake climbs aboard his motorcycle and roars off to meet his future wife, “Tonight I’m risking it all for love.” Vroom. Vroom. He pulls up in front of the mansion where Harrison’s waiting for him. They go inside to talk about the Amazing Journey he’s about to take. Surrounded by the ceremonial votive candles, Jake’s just so gosh-darn excited he can barely sit still in his chair.
He’s really nervous about having to hand out the roses all by himself. (Well, who wouldn’t be? What if that rose-fluffer lady forgets to cut off one of the thorns?) Harrison makes him swear that at the end of this Jake’s going to get married. Shoot yeah, says Jake, “I believe in the process.” Any anyway, says our Bachelor, he wants to wind up just like his parents: “They still hold hands in the grocery store. I think they make people sick.” Okay, okay, I know he meant it in the nicest way possible.
Harrison also makes Jake fess up to coming on a little strong when he first meets a girl, “I can be too intense. I see that now.” But what about this, supposes Harrison, “you meet this girl; she’s terrified of flying, wants you to give it up. Would you give up flying for love?”
“Uhh,” splutters Jake, suddenly fearful his Bachelorness may be in danger, “I gotta breathe in for that…” But yeah, he says, he’d do that. In a pig’s eye, he would.
And now, at last they begin to arrive, these flowers of womanhood, ready and eager to embrace the Pilot as their Future Husband. There’s a horrifying noise: I’m thinking Caesar has taken the curve in the road too fast, but it’s just the ladies squealing in the limo. It looks like someone has decided to help Jake remember “who’s who” by color-coding the gowns—red, green, blue, yellow, purple, pink. Either that, or they were forced to reach into a bowl of M & M’s and then wear the color of the candy they pulled out.
The ladies have obviously spent the previous weeks thinking up some shtick to make themselves memorable to the Bachelor. Rozlyn tells him her name means “little rose” and warns him “Fasten your seat belt. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” I deduct points for cute airline reference. Jessie grabs his biceps and coos, “You have a registry for those guns?” Tenley hopes he can remember that her name is “like the number ten.”
Elizabeth from DC makes him flip a coin to see if she stays. It’s double-headed. Alexa arrives wearing black leather gloves. Gotta have some excuse to mention the Harley. Vienna, the socialite sausage, practically rips his shirt off as she demands a “feel” of Jake’s abs.
Corrie makes Jake turn crimson with embarrassment and nearly run away in fright when she asks “How do feel about kissing me?” Except she said Kissime, which is the name of her home town. Gia, whose 1940’s dress was made for someone about two sizes smaller than she, wants to fool with his hair. She says she owns a hair salon in Manhattan. Guess the swimsuit modeling gig didn’t work out.
A number of the ladies come bearing gifts. Ali offers him a peacock feather, ‘cause that’s how they attract their mates, by preening. Valishia gives him a bag of dirt. Texas dirt, but dirt nonetheless. Corrie has made a pre-school project with a paper plate. It’s a “spinner” to help him choose his mate. Her picture is glued on the plate in about six places. She thinks his mother will be impressed with her creation. Christina has brought a basket filled with bags of jelly beans, intending to present them to the other girls as “parting gifts.” Sheila, a pilot herself, gives Jake the aviator sunglasses she’s wearing.
Channy, who looks as if she forgot to put on the bottom half of her dress, greets Jake in Cambodian. More about which later. Ashleigh, whose skirt is slit from the ankle to her rib cage, pretends to trip as she walks up to Jake and falls into his arms. Oh, puhleeeze. Michelle is the last to arrive. She gets out of the limo and starts flapping her arms, pretending to be an airplane, “hopefully in the end,” she tells Jake, “I can be your co-pilot. I’d love to be the passenger in your plane.” Points deducted for cutesy flying reference. Additional points deducted for idiocy.
PARTY PARTY PARTY
The arrival formalities have been concluded. Jake comes in to make the required speech about finding his best friend, falling in love and getting married. Oh, and he wants the girls to have Fun while they’re here.
Jake eases his frame onto a sofa, amid a sea of silicone. And we now pause for a word from our imaginary sponsor: “This recap brought to you without interruption by the Bargain Boob Doctors of America, LTD.” Honestly, some of these fake bosoms looked as if they might have been the result of excessive tequila shots while fooling around with a pack of balloons and a tank of helium rented from The Party Store.
The first “quality time” will be with Ali. On the way outside she’s so nervous she trips and rips her dress. Later she tells the girls she’s going to “keep it forever.” Presumably pressed in the pages of her carefully tended “I Heart Jake” scrapbook. Ali confesses to Pilot Jake her horrible fear of flying. She’s even missed family cruises and vacations because she “didn’t like fly for eight years.” Hmmm, wonder if Harrison’s heard about that? Anyway, she’s really into Jake: “it’s like it’s Christmas and you’re the gift.”
Jake cannot believe his good fortune: “There are girls here I wouldn’t have dared to approach on my own.” No kidding. Funny thing about that: dress a guy up in some decent clothes, bring out a tray of half-wilted posies, hand around a few drinks and keep referring to him as THE Bachelor and suddenly there’s a roomful of women lusting for him like he’s about to be crowned King of England.
Channy has intrigued our guy with her mysterious Cambodian greeting, so she lures him outside for the translation. “Jake, you can land your plane on my landing strip any time.” It takes Jake a few minutes to get the point; then he turns six shades of purple in embarrassment.
Christina offers a little editorial comment, “There are some girls who have their ta-tas out to play.” The camera lingers on those belonging to GIA.
Ella, wearing a dress handed down to her from a contestant in the Miss Tennessee Poultry Princess Pageant, makes her move on Jake. She has this little boy. He’s seven and would’n ya know it, he wants to be a PILOT when he’s all growed up. She presses a toy plane into Jake’s hand, telling him it’s her son’s “lucky airplane that he’s had since he was like two years old.” I think Jake’s a jerk for taking the poor kid’s favorite toy.
Trashley Ashley has come prepared to seduce the Bachelor. She disappears upstairs in the mansion, then reappears wearing a cheesy “stewardess” costume. Stealing him away from Ella, she confides in Jake that the hat that came with the ensemble is too small for her head because “apparently I have a huge brain.” Dear, I hate to be the one to tell you, but it’s not apparent to me at all. She claims to be only two courses away from earning her PhD, saying she’s going to be a “professor.” In what, I wonder: Coffee Tea or Me?
Oh, wait, here’s the Nanny, Elizabeth from Nebraska. And she’s carrying a…Football! Now there’s a way to a guy’s heart, toss the old pigskin around. For a girl, she throws pretty well, but her best toss is the one which allows Jake to reveal that in high school he was a member of an actual Football Team. Who’d a thunk it?
Their private game is soon interrupted by all the other ladies, who want to play, too. Now, I’ve said for years that football would be a better game if the uniforms had strapless tops and long skirts with thigh-high slits. Ever the gentleman, Jake volunteers to quarterback for both teams, the Blondes and the Brunettes. Rumor has it the Brunettes slaughtered the blondes. The game ends with a horde of women chasing Jake into the house. Not shown: interns Tiffany and Phillip setting free small furry critters to scamper about the premises.
GIMME THAT ROSE!
Host Harrison enters with a silver bread tray bearing a single rose. It’s the coveted First Impression Rose. Jake’s gonna give it to some lucky girl and she’s gonna be around for at least another week. Sort of Bachelor’s version of the Hidden Immunity Idol.
Vienna certainly makes a good effort. First she takes Jake’s hand and lays it on her breast. Using getting hit by a softball as her excuse, she then puts his hand on her thigh and demands that he kiss it. He obliges. Yechhhh. For her part, Kathryn shows Jake her “fake engagement ring.” Telling him she no longer needs it now that she’s met him, she gives him the ring. I’m hoping it wasn’t made by that nice Mr. Neil Lane. His feelings will be so hurt.
Michelle is desperate to be chosen, “It will kill me if I don’t get that First Impression Rose. I deserve that in my life right now. I’m here to fall in love and get married. I want a husband. I want children.” She means every word of it. By the end of the episode, we’ll all be convinced that Michelle has a secret room in her basement with pictures of Jake in his pilot’s uniform plastered all over the walls, a moldy wedding dress on a mannequin, an altar with some spluttering candles and a really really big knife. I’m screaming at the TV: Run Jake Run!!!
Michelle is off by herself, looking scary crazy. She’s staring wildly, “I’ve been sitting here for a couple of hours looking at other women being touchy feely. It’s really hard.” The tears are gathering in her viper-red eyes as she rushes into the bathroom. Finally she emerges, sniffling, and interrupts Alexa to demand one-on-one time with Jake.
Alexa observes: “Some people are craaaaazy.” Vienna agrees, “This girl Michelle, she’s having a mental breakdown.”
Taken prisoner, Jake listens kindly as Michelle informs him that she’s here to fall in love and become his co-pilot. He become teary himself (is he out of his bloody Mind?), “Michelle’s a very emotional person.” He’s so very worried about “sending the wrong girl home.” That, Jake-o, should be the least of your worries.
Just then, who should come riding to the rescue but the dapper Chris Harrison! (Oh, give him a break. He needs Something to do during the show, doesn’t he?) Chris announces, “We thought Jake could use a little help tonight.” Ohhh, goody, I’m thinking, they’ve brought in the Yodeler for some pay-back. No? Well, Jillian and Ed are almost as good. Chris introduces them to the ladies, “You all remember our successful couple from last season.” I guess even the Bachelor folks got embarrassed about trotting out Trista and Ryan one more time.
Jake consults with Jill and Ed. Ed assures him they’ll take their duties as fiancée evaluators very seriously, “Let’s go meet some ladies!” He’s very enthusiastic. I’m pretty sure I see him fire up his cell phone to get ready to put some new numbers in there.
Jill and Ed, notebooks in hand, interview some of the ladies. Jill wants Elizabeth from DC to tell them what she thinks about sex before marriage. Ed crows, “WE went for it right away.” And now look where they are in the relationship, “We’re trying for a puppy!” “Yeah,” Ed explains further, “she just went off the pill.” I’m sorry, this guy is just goofy. And not in a good way. He apparently likes women in uniform, though, because when Sheila reveals she’s a pilot, he enthusiastically starts making marks by her name, “Star, Star, Star.” Jill and Ed also inquire of several of the contestants, "What kind of animal would you be in the bedroom?" Dying to know what the Right Answer was for that one...
Meantime, in the living room, Christina has made Jake lie on the floor and raise his legs in the air so she can climb aboard his feet to play “airplane.” New low for the show.
Back with Jill and Ed, scary Michelle reveals that she’s been “waiting and waiting for The One.” I don’t think Ed’s going to be texting this one any time soon.
Tenley has a list for Jake, “Ten Things About Tenley.” She has an extremely annoying voice. Sounds like she just sucked on a helium balloon. Among Tenley’s ten claims to fame are being a cuddle-bug and being passionate. I’m hoping she doesn’t do those two things at the same time. And, by the way, she add, “I think I’m a pretty good kisser. I wanna try that.” Her effort is so feeble I’m wondering if she afraid he’s still in Frog-Phase. Still, it’s enough for Jake. He’s so thrilled at being kissed he takes Tenley outside and gives her the First Impression Rose, telling her, “some of the things you said were very endearing.” I guess he’s into cuddle-bugs.
GET ON THE BUS, LOSERS
Jill and Ed are brought in to give Jake their impressions. Ed likes Elizabeth and Jill likes Ella. Ed tries to warn Jake about stalker Michelle, “I think you should send home Michelle from Orange County. I didn’t get a good vibe from her.”
Enter Host Harrison with the dreaded Clinking Spoon. It’s time for Jake to retire to the jury room to contemplate the five-and-dime framed photos on the Contestants’ Console.
Chris and Jake have an earnest conversation. Jake is still amazed, astounded and ever-so-grateful that he was chosen as The Bachelor. So, let’s dish some dirt, suggests Chris, “That Channy came at you with some Cambodia.” Jake blushes again. “And hey,” Chris reminds Jake, “let’s talk about Ali. She’s horribly afraid of flying. This goes back to our previous conversation.” What do you think: Will they force little Ali actually get in an airplane before this season is over? Will she make Jake choose between her and flying?
Chris has noticed another one of the girls: “Vienna seems to be more the aggressor.” Jake defends her, sort of, “I thought she was being playful. The conversation didn’t go very deep.” There’s one more to be mentioned: Maniac Michelle, who it’s obvious they’re going to make Jake keep around for entertainment’s sake. Jake recites, almost as if from a script, “I like Michelle. She’s so sincere, almost over-sincere. I wonder if this process is going to be overwhelming.” Victims to be determined at a later time.
Speaking of which, it’s time for Jake to face the music. He’s being brave, “I’m really nervous, but one thing encouraging is that I know my wife is in that room. I’m gonna try to take some risks. As long as I let my heart lead, I know I can’t go wrong.”
Harrison precedes Jake into the den of lionesses to reassure them of Jake’s honorable intentions. Tenley, he notes, already has a rose. Jake enters and makes one of the strangest Bachelor speeches ever. First he thanks the girls. That’s expected. Then he shares, “When I realized I was going to be the Bachelor, I wished upon myself that the decision would be really impossible. Now I’m regretting wishing that. If you don’t get a rose, it’s nothing personal.” Not personal? You’re being told you’re so undesirable you’re being kicked off the ranch after one lousy cocktail party. That’s about as personal as it gets!
Jake starts to hand out the roses. Ella, who by now is more than slightly the worse for wear and looks like she slept in her clothes, gets the first one. Then it’s football Elizabeth from Nebraska, Ali, Vienna, Christina and Gia, who feigns astonishment and joy. Michelle by now is looking distinctly murderous. Ashley the stewardess dress-up girl gets one, as do Rozlyn, Jessie, Corrie, Valishia, Ashleigh H. and Kathryn. And surprise! Maniac Michelle is invited to stay as well.
The diaries of the departed are mixed: a few are teary, others resigned to their fate. Former NBA dancer Kimberly can’t understand the injustice of it all: “I really saw something with him. I thought we could have gotten married. He had to let ten girls go; I just happened to be one of them.” From the altar to getting axed—all in one memorable evening.
You won’t want to miss next week’s episode—a delicious scandal where “one bachelorette crosses a line that should never be crossed” is what we’re promised. I just hope it isn't the girl who claims to be a virgin. My partner in crime L.G. will be here with all the delectable details.