Take a deep breath and smell the fresh air.
On a chilly March day there is nothing more refreshing than walking bare foot on white Malibu sand. Yes, we are back with the seventh season of The Bachelorette; this time tagging along for the journey of 26 year old dentist-to-be, Ashley Hebert (pronounced Ay-bear)
For those with really short memories, having forgotten all about Bachelor 15, Ashley is from a very small town in Maine where the cheesy/fry dish poutine is a highlight and a delight. She had been attending Dentistry School in Philadelphia, but took time off to see if Brad Womack might be the man of her dreams. He wasn’t. Basically she questioned whether her feelings were real or the result of the Bachelor bubble and flaked out…but he wasn’t, really. For some reason she decided that if she were in charge, she would find that man, that special man to call her own. Stop me at any time. Anyway, there are new glam shots because she is the lead – remember her now?
There will be men, of course; twenty-five of them…mainly there for female drooling purpose, but maybe one or two who are there for ‘the right reasons.’ Who are they? What do they look like…oh, mystery. I love a mystery.
Hunks to Keep in Mind
Ryan, 31, visits one of his solar energy projects and truly wants better for the world. “The only thing stronger than the sun is love.”
JP, 34, is shown at one of his construction projects in the New York area. His career is important, but not the most important thing.
Ames, 31, shows off his Ivy League degrees and travel experience as well as bragging on the marathon running he does.
Ben C., 28, walks Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Playing the piano, he rates himself very high on the romantic scale.
Ben F., 28, features his winery in Sonoma, Northern California. He hopes she is a brunette because he has a bad track record dating blonds.
Bentley, 28, is a divorced father of a two year old girl. He hopes the Bachelorette is Emily. He’s ready to have some fun.
Anthony, 28, is a fourth generation butcher from New Jersey. He loves his work because it makes people happy.
West, 30, is a prosecutor for the State of South Carolina. His is shown jogging and then reflecting on his dead wife. He is looking for that great love once again.
William, 30, walks in an Ohio rain shower with enough wind to turn his umbrella and shares his dismal dating history. He remembers his father by wearing a watch that stopped at the time his father died.
All right, Fleismeister! You and the crew did a bang up job selecting candidates to highlight this time around…well…except for two egocentrics (Ames and Bentley) and a couple of weepers (West and William).
Ashley Sits with the Bachfather
Ceasar opens the limo door for Ashley and she steps out to present her gown for the evening. It is a very sparkly sheath in a champagne/bronze color fitting her small frame like a glove.
Sitting with Chris, she says, in her nasal voice, that she did love Brad. Is this for real or the Bachelorette script? She gives the speech about being ready for love with some conviction, and that her one fear is some of the guys watched last season and won’t be happy she is the Bachelorette.
Warning! Drama Ahead! Ashley tells Chris that a girl she was close to during Brad’s season called her to give her a heads up that Bentley would be coming on the show to promote his business, not to find love. It seems that the ex-wife and Ashley’s friend know each other and thus the phone call was made.
Chris: I can’t believe this. We have drama before the limos even arrive.
With her theme of No Regrets, Ashley downplays the information and is willing to give the guy a chance. Though she does hope he has only one tooth so it will be easy to let him go. Run, Ashley, these things never turn out well; especially on the Bachelorette.
March of the Hunks (You are allowed to sing the Toreador Song from Carmen as you read this.)
Ryan P, 31, a solar energy executive from Corona Del Mar, CA – he is excited to get to know her. She fans herself and sighs as he leaves for the door. (2HUGS)
Jon, 26, an e-commerce executive from Vancouver, WA - She loves his tie. He throws her over his shoulder. She’s afraid her dress might break. (NO HUG)
Lucas, 30, an oilfield equipment distributor from Odessa, TX - She thinks he smells good. (HUG)
William, 30, a cellular phone salesman from Galloway, OH - He is so happy it is her. Her mouth dropped open on his exit from the limo. He forgot his name as he was lost in the moment. (HUG)
Mickey, 31, a chef from Cleveland, OH – He has something to give her from all the men in America. She asks that he not slap her, but he goes in for a kiss and only makes light contact. (NO HUG)
Tim, 35, a liquor distributor from Long Beach, NY – He plays the pauses and loss for words gambit. (HUG)
Ben C., 28, a lawyer from New Orleans, LA – He tells her in French that he is happy it is her tonight. He continues telling her she is beautiful and that she can find out why he speaks French so well. A Parisian accordion plays the background music. (HUG)
Stephen, 27, a hairstylist from Manhattan Beach, CA – She likes his floppy hair, but it is a short hello. (HUG)
Chris D., 25, a sports marketing coordinator from Chicago, IL – He raps bad poetry to introduce himself and makes her laugh. (HUG)
West, 30, a lawyer from Chapin, SC – He sports closely trimmed facial hair and presents her with a broken compass stuck on West. (Cheese factor ratchets up with this one.) (2 HUGS)
Anthony, 28, a butcher from Wyckoff, NJ – makes her laugh by doing the Italian stud collar straighten then turning to give her the smoldering eyes. He plays it cheesy cool. (HUG)
Rob, 27, a technology executive from Monroe, MI – He says that a big difference between him and Brad is that he doesn’t have any crowns for her to point out. (HUG)
Ames, 31, a portfolio manager from New York, NY – Knowing she loves to dance; he presents her with ballet tickets for the two of them. She keeps one and returns one to him which he waves at the camera when he enters the house. (HUG)
Matt, 28, an office supply salesman from Bridgewater, MA – He has to shake out his nerves as he approaches her, but she is still focused on dance and thinks he is dancing for her. He teaches her a secret handshake. (HUG)
Jeff, 35, an entrepreneur from St. Louis, MO – He wears a mask to conceal his face from his forehead to his mouth – much like a masquerade mask. While she looks questioningly, he goes on as if all were first meet normal. She is okay with him taking his face out of the game so she can learn about what is inside. I have many questions here – mainly, what game is he really playing? Is this just to stand out? Does he believe what he says? Phantom of the Opera organ music follows him into the house. (NO HUG)
The guys grouped in the living area already enjoying the beverage of their choice think it’s creepy and cheesy.
Ben F., 28, a winemaker from Sonoma, CA – He is also from the San Diego area and brings with him a bottle of wine and two glasses. He opens it and pours then toasts to new beginnings. She drinks and declares the wine so good. (HUG)
Frank, 29, a college admissions director from Murfreesboro, TN – He kisses her hand then gives her a twirl and pronounces that he is delighted to meet her. Does he stop with the twirl? Oh, no…he goes for the lift and goes for a few Tango steps while carrying her then a dip to finish off their dance. Am I recapping DWTS for the second time today? She thinks it was really, really sweet. Hey, it was cleverer than the broken compass. He kisses her hands once again before he leaves. (NO HUG)
Michael, 29, a technology salesman from San Diego, CA – Caution: Cheesy line coming up! “This is the first time I’ve actually been excited to go see a dentist.” (Kiss/HUG)
Chris M. 27, a construction company CEO from Edmonton, Canada – Gives a very short hello and charges toward the door.
Ryan M., 27, a construction estimator from Royal Oak, MI – He exits the limo with spread eagle arms and a huge smile in imitation of an “Ashley” greeting seen on the previous show. He takes out a camera and she gives him the pose, then he takes one of them together. Will these photos show up on his Facebook page? He does deflate her by asking her to take one of him and Chris Harrison later. (HUG)
J.P., 34, a construction manager from New York, NY – He immediately compliments her dress and has no props but his smile, which delights her. (2 Kiss/HUGS)
Nick, 26, a personal trainer from Tampa, FL – He recites a poem – the second of the night. (HUG)
Blake, 27, a dentist from Greenville, SC – Very short greeting as he runs for the door. (HUG)
Bentley, 28, a businessman from Salt Lake City, UT – Uh, oh…here he is – the first drama situation of the season. And he is handsome as she feared he might be. In the hug, he tells his name and she does an uhhh…and pulls back. She screws up her mouth as she watches him walk toward the door. (HUG)
Constantine, 30, a restaurant owner from Atlanta, GA – He presents her with floss and she thinks it is the cutest thing ever when he ties a strip in a bow around her ring finger. Ahh – cute cheese. (HUG)
William is the first in a PI (personal interview) to declare his love, but it is Ryan P who grabs Ashley for a sit down as soon as the opening toast is complete. As commented…it’s going to take guts and nuts to get time with her. Ryan P gives her his resume, but throws in he likes to be active. Ashley thinks he is the whole package and that first conversation set the bar very high. But you know that feel-good moment won’t last; this is The Party, after all.
Ben F also gives a mini resume about an internet start-up in San Diego and his small winery in Sonoma. She tells him again that she really liked the wine they drank on the flagstones. Then comes Matt, who produces a cell phone so they can speak to his mother. Where’s the vampire stake? You decide – heee – did he smuggle in the phone or did production hand it to him? Anyway, Mom offers some pithy advice that has Ashley cracking up.
Uh, oh – another interruption of quality group time; Mike, strumming a chord on a guitar entices her away with promises not kept. It turns out he doesn’t actually play the guitar and once he has her alone, throws it into the pool. I think my cheese meter just exploded on the ceiling.
Silliness evaporates as creepy music once again introduces masked Jeff. He thinks everyone is prejudiced about how someone looks on the outside. I feel you Jeff, but real world and attraction scales and all... (Side Note: see the latest developments on The Voice.) In a way he proves his point as Tim pulls away from him in disgust. I wonder if Tim has a clown phobia.
This section ends with consensus that something is going to happen tonight drama-wise and Ben F states, “It’s already started.”
The next section is all about making a connection, or not. The ‘or not’ refers to Tim, a wine and spirit distributor, but we’ll let him finish his drinks first.
Chris sets the first impression rose boutonniere on the table and the competition heats up. As Mickey states, “You either got to bring it or go home.” Duh.
Blake, the dentist, gets a duo sit-down, but cue cards directed at Ashley show up almost immediately in a window behind his head. In a clever bid to win time, Ben C woos her with magic marker. He gets his time where he explains why he speaks French.
William downplays his sales experience, but wins her with a cheesy impression and confession that he wants to maintain his boyhood spirit throughout his life. He makes an impression as she does a PI describing his qualities.
Tip-toe music cues us that it is Tim’s turn. By now he is so drunk that he is close to unintelligible. Ashley goes into nice mode and tells him to sit back and relax.
The guys are disturbed that Tim is throwing away his chance by being drunk. It particularly disturbs William whose father died of alcoholism. Ashley feels bad for Tim as he will have regrets in this No Regrets themed season. Inebriated and stumbling, Tim invites masked Jeff to “dance” with him – uh, fight. Jeff walks away because in his words, he is a mature adult and has the poise not to be intimidated. Uh, masked Jeff…what IS going on in that head of yours?
At the end of this section, Tim’s snores draw Ashley to an outside lounger where she tries to wake him to no avail. Sleep on, Tim.
The third party section picks up with Tim’s snores, but Ashley is ready to pack him in a car and send him home. She enlists the eager help of a few of her suitors and as soon as Tim is ensconced in the car’s back seat, they disappear so Ashley can be seen waving off the car and clasping her hands in a familiar prayer position under her chin.
Watching from a balustrade, masked Jeff takes on the aura of the Phantom as a Bach fugue captures his mood. He gets the next sit-down and comes away satisfied that she gets the mask experience.
JP, he of the great smile and Beckham shaved head, admits to picking up the nick name “cupcake” on his first day at work. Holy coincidence, Batman! Ashley has always dreamed that her love would call her cupcake. He gets a ‘maybe’ PI from her.
Ruh…roh…Bentley is up to impress. While holding onto her skepticism, she thinks he is being upfront with her about his divorce and his love for his daughter, Cozy. She does say that if the phone call hadn’t happened, he would be at the top of her list. Hang onto that skepticism, Ashley, because if you don’t this could be the spanner wrench in your hopes and dreams. Can you tell I don’t like this slimy toad of a liar? He is the one who wanted Emily to be the Bachelorette.
Ahhhh…finally, time for the first impression rose boutonnière to be presented. I truly hope it isn’t pinned on Bentley. It isn’t. Whew! Instead a taken-aback Ryan P – he of the bar setting standard from the get go – gets to happily accept.
Goodbye and Hello to the Potentials (or at least those needed to make the numbers)
It is the first Rose Ceremony of the season and Ashley pins boutonnières on the following:
Ryan P – first impression rose
And for dramatic effect…Bentley
Anthony, the New Jersey butcher, leaves with panache and smoldering eyes intact. Rob is crushed. He pinned his hopes too high. Jon gave it all he had, but it slipped away and that thought pulls some moisture to his eyes.
No previews for next week, but the season preview shows exotic places and mucho drama. Will Ashley find and receive love, or is that too much to ask?