Week 3 of The Bachelor and we've got big news right off the bat. Are you ready for it? Okay, here it is: I LOOKED AT A MAP OF CALIFORNIA! I know, right?! (PS: My husband hates it when I say "I know, right", but I figure I can say it all I want here because he doesn't read my blog... I know, right?!) Anyway, that map. So, San Fransisco (UPDATE: Yes, it's been pointed out to me that it's "Francisco" and I've spelled it wrong... but no, I don't care enough about California to fix it. They should really look into spelling it my way, actually.) is nowhere near where I thought it was. I guess I was confusing it with San Diego. But now the fact that it's foggy and rainy a lot makes more sense. Maybe if the opening scene of Full House had featured a map with a big star over where they lived, I would have learned this earlier. Anyway...
San Fransisco is also only about an hour from Sonoma, which makes it a little less annoying that Ben calls both places his home and says he wants to live in both places forever. But, since it's only a hour, the girls take limos back to San Fran for this week's date. Mercifully, no FlipCam videos. (Oh, and it also annoyed me how everyone kept saying "San Fran"... because, as all of us Elf fans know, "Fransisco... that's fun to say!"... but typing it is different. That's too many letters. So I'll also be going with San Fran. And hoping you'll still read it with the "-sisco" at the end.)
Before meeting up with the girls, Ben and his sister Julie have a sit-down to talk about the girls. Julie (or Mitzi, as I like to call her, given her propensity for wearing cardigans, pearls, and probably playing tennis at the country club) asks if there are any girls Mom would like (or Bitzi, as I like to call her, for the same reasons). Ben mentions Lindzi first. Then Kacie B (KCB), citing her baton twirling - because I'm sure that's something Bitzi would love. He says Emily is a science nerd and super pretty. (Yes, the super duper super overdone use of the word "super" continued this week. Super.) Jennifer is super attractive and the best kisser in the house. And, in the middle, he also mentioned Courtney. I listed it out of order, despite my OCD, because the things he said about her really need to be at the end of the paragraph, so I can conclude with "I know, right?!" Ben says Courtney is a model and that he thinks she and Mitzi would hit it off. And that she's really mellow and drama-free. Courtney. Drama-free. I know, right?!
Back at the HOtel, Chris Harrison greets the women and tells them to make the most of any time they get with Ben. He explains the date situation for anyone who hasn't watched any of the other twenty-something seasons of the show. He leave the first date card. For Emily.
Emily says she's super excited, but nervous. She's afraid the date - which the card described as "Love lifts us up" - will involved heights. Shockingly, she's terrified of heights. I know, right?! She's afraid she might "pee my pants". Because that's sexy.
Drama-free Courtney tells the camera that, while some of these girls are well educated, she always says book smart can be a little boring. She always says that? Really? How often does this come up in conversation for her?
Ben and Emily begin their date in accordance with "Bachelor Date Rules 101" and run at each other like they are in a butter commercial. I am trying to think of a time in my adult life (20+) when I've ever been so excited to see someone that I ran at them. I can't think of one. I've missed people. I've been really glad to see them. But I've never felt like I couldn't wait the extra 12 seconds for them to walk to me. Or maybe it's just that I hate running.
Anyway, they are going to climb the Bay Bridge. (Which, yes, I know is different than the Golden Gate Bridge. The Bay Bridge isn't red. Nor is the Golden Gate Bridge golden, but that's a different matter.) Some employees of CalTrans give a speech about how "official" this is and show them how to connect their harnesses. Ben tells us it's 535 feet high and 280,000 vehicles a day travel across it. Wow. He knows that off the top of his head? Impressive! <-- Sarcasm.
Both Ben and Emily say cliche things about bridges connecting two things and relationships and blah blah blah. Ben then says relationships are about trust and diving head-first into the unknown. He lost me there. Diving and bridges seem like a pretty bad combination. But, whatever. Let's get climbing.
Emily does okay for a bit, but then freaks out. Ben's response: "Talk to me, Goose". From the kitchen, my husband said "Did he just say 'Talk to me, Goose?' This guy's a winner. Those are some lucky ladies." To ease her fears, Ben kisses Goose. To which my husband also added "That's good. Kissing is what you should always do in an emergency."
And if that wasn't bizarre enough, guess what's going on back at the hotel room. As part of the decor, there just happens to be a telescope. And Nicki just happens to be looking through it. And she just happens to SEE THEM ON THE BRIDGE!! I know, right?! Of course, she calls all the other girls to have a look too. After all, I'm sure the Pottery Barn telescope was strong enough to zoom in on their faces and clearly identify Ben and Emily, as opposed to some CalTrans employees actually doing their job.
Next, Ben and Emily reach the top of the bridge and make out some more. Then they go to dinner. I have no idea how they got down. I like to think the helicopter swirling overhead for the aerial shots threw down a line and they crawled up.
At dinner, Emily discusses her abysmal dating experiences. Points for using abysmal! Bonus points to anyone who can make the Friends reference. Anyway, she says she tried online date, but when she reviewed her matches, the top choice for her was a guy named Peter. Oh, and it was her brother. I know, right?! Oddly, she never said whether they went out or not.
Back at the HOtel, the group date card arrives. Jamie reads off the names: Blakeley, Jaclyn, KCB, Erika, Samantha, Jamie, Monica, Rachel (he he he... Monica and Rachel... another Friends reference!) Nicki, Elyse, and Casey S.
Only, my OCD alarms quickly realized that wasn't the order listed on the card. Yes, the card that was shown for .5 seconds. In answer to your question about who notices crap like that, people who need medication, that's who. And me.
And wow, either Ben has SUPER girly handwriting or all this time when they say "Oh, Ben wrote such-and-such on the date card" has been a farce. I know, right?! Somewhere on the card, it said "Let's cross something off our Leap List." Like me, most of the girls had never heard of this. Bucket List, sure. But Leap List? Luckily, Rachel gives a completely non-rehearsed answer and explains it's something you want to do before your next big milestone in life, like getting married or having kids. Aah, okay. Whatever.
The girls go back to gazing out the window just in time to see some fireworks. They assume it's for Ben and Emily. I beg to differ.
See, Ben and Emily have been having a stellar time. He gives her the rose and says his dad loved his mom because he thought she was smarter than him. And Ben also thinks Emily is smarter than him. (Which is true, though not smart enough not to come on this show, but anyway...) They kiss. She wonders what could make the night better. Fireworks begin exploding overhead. Ben says "Yep, a private fireworks show".
So clearly the girls at the hotel saw a different set of fireworks. Ben and Emily's were PRIVATE! In the PRIVATE sky. Where no one else can see. Duh.
And speaking of things no one else should see, how about tongue when you're kissing. Gross!
Okay, the group date.
Ben mentions his Leap List again. Then they drive to the location. Ben points out one of the features of the car is a wallpaper option, which shows a picture just above the GPS. Of course, it's Blakely. Everyone loves that. They also love the skis on the top of the new Honda CRVs. Ugh. I don't mind product placement when it comes to a Coke can sitting on a table. I do mind blatant crap like this. The only thing that could make this worse would be if they cut to commercial and showed a website called leaplist.honda.com or something. Oh, right.
Now that we're done being forced to watch Honda propaganda, it's time for the date. We all know there are skis on top of the new Honda CRVs, but where is there to ski in San Fran? Apparently Ben has always wondered (and by "always", I mean "since the producers told him to wonder about it") what it would be like to ski down a street in San Fran. So, let's close a street and cover it with fake snow. And, since it's 85 degrees outside, let's strip down to the bikinis we all happen to be wearing under our clothes.
Yes, that happened.
I will say I'm glad the show is back to completely insane dates. The last few seasons have been too low-key. Almost naked skiing... that's what this show is all about! Just ask the locals who gathered to watch. Like Clapping Guy and Dude on Cell Phone.
Nice splits. I'm actually a little jealous. Mostly because I went to a yoga class for the first time last night and am now really sore as a result of holding my arm over my head for 30 seconds. Needless to say A) I am no where near flexible enough to do the splits and B) I am super out of shape.
While the girls are doing their snow stripper show, the final date card arrives back at the HOtel.
It's for Brittney. It's a necklace that's also a key, because Ben wants to unlock their love with the key to the city. Or something. Brittney suddenly becomes sullen. What if she doesn't have fun? What if this isn't right for her?
What if, as Reality Steve has reported, she's actually in love with one of the married members of the production staff, who doesn't want anything to do with her but whatever? And, you know me, I tend to believe Steve on this one. Besides, it's not unreasonable to assume that not all 25 girls are going to instantly fall in love with The Bachelor. And when you're around the crew 24 / 7, I can see where you might develop feelings for one of them instead. That all makes perfect sense to me. The part where I'm sure she knew he was married and had kids makes me think some very unkind things about Brittney, but the overall concept of liking someone better than the Bachelor, I can totally understand. Of course, she can't tell the girls that. So she just says her heart isn't in it and she packs up her bags. (UPDATE: I just re-read what I had originally read and it's a different girl who leaves because she's interested in a producer. I got confused. I guess Brittney really did just want to leave. Whatever. Do you even care that much? Someone left. Someone else leaves because she like a producer. There are still too many girls for me to get worked up about who's who.)
The group date girls have made their way to an after party. I know, right? But not just any after party. It's a pool. Ben describes it as an "iconic landmark", "cool scene", "it rains in the pools", "kind of rad", and "historic". Yeah, okay. He also says he's looking forward to no drama tonight. Because that seems likely.
First, he and Rachel talk. Then kiss. She tells us "Honestly, I really want the rose." Honestly? You do? So you're not lying? And you want the rose? The thing that guarantees you another week on the show? Honestly?
Next, KCB becomes "that girl". The one who had such a great time and then got nervous because of the stress and the other girls and needs constant reassurance. She and Ben "sneak out" for a walk. Yeah, it's really sneaking when a film crew follows you, but whatever. They talk and kiss too. Ben declares that she's trouble. Good trouble. He likes her.
He sneaks back in and talks to Blakeley. She declares that everyone hates her. I, for one, hate her giant feather earrings. They hung to her shoulders. Ugh. Ben encourages her to stick with it and not worry about the girls. He'd sure hate for anyone to leave.
Almost as if it were a cue, Brittney shows up and tells Ben she's leaving. And, almost as if he had a heads up... or if he didn't even remember which one Brittney was, he doesn't seem to care much. He walks her out and tells her to say hi to her grandma.
He rejoins the girls and gives the rose to Rachel.
For his last one-on-one date, Lindzi gets to be sloppy seconds for Brittney. But she doesn't mind. She loves a last minute date.
Ben wants to see if she "can hang" in San Fran, so he takes her on a trolley car. On the off chance anyone from San Fran is reading this (and doesn't hate me for my lack of geographical knowledge regarding your state), please tell me if any locals every ride trolleys. That seems to me like a total tourist thing. Maybe I'm wrong and it's actually a viable source of public transportation, but I see it transporting a lot more people with fanny packs around their waist and Nikons around their neck than I see residents on their way to work. Anyway...
The trolley stops at an ice cream place. Ben greets the owner by name. He must come here a lot. Or was told the name 2 seconds before. But probably he comes here a lot. Ben and Lindzi get the same kind of ice cream. (Also, a friend of ours named Ben was once married to a women named Lindzi - maybe spelled slightly differently, but still spelled wrong. Anyway, someone slurred their names once and called them Len and Benzi. Which, having remembered that, I will now call Ben and Lindzi "Benzi" whenever they are together.)
After the ice cream, Benzi goes to City Hall. It's pitch black and empty but Ben has a key. Wow! What are the chances?! Lindzi says she doesn't know who this guy is but he's amazing. Um, sweetie, it's Ben. The Bachelor. That's who he is. You've met him, like, 5 times now. And he's not particularly amazing.
As soon as Benzi walks in, lights go on and music starts. What?! A concert? Just for them? This NEVER happens! Who is it this time? Matt Nathanson?! Well, at least I've heard of him. That's an improvement over many of the musical guests. Although, I will say that The Bachelor still manages to get more relevant guests than Saturday Night Live sometimes does. What is with SNL having a big name like Kelly Clarkson weekend before last and then some weird, half dead, awful chick this weekend? Ugh.
Anyway, Matt plays. Benzi dances. (Or "dance". I'm not sure how to conjugate a verb when the subject is a made up blend of two people.)
Next, Benzi go to a speak easy. Ben gives a password at the door. I couldn't tell what he said. I played it back twice but really didn't care that much. They look around at al the "super fun" hidden rooms. Over dinner, Lindzi tells about her boyfriend of a year and a half dumping her via text message. They kiss. She gets a rose.
But the Benzi fun isn't over yet! They stop in a piano store and he plays a little. I think it's safe to say that Ben is going to play any piano in sight this season. I suppose he thinks it's sexy. And, when the right person is playing, it is. Ben is not that person. Earlier this week, I got a tweet asking me what I thought of Ben. All I could come up with was that he looked like a soap opera villain. Of couse, with all the sneaking into City Hall and stuff, he just might be. Look out, Stefano DiMera. (Is he even still alive? I haven't watched Days of Our Lives since high school. Okay, college. But anyway, I was under the impression he couldn't die, being The Phoenix and all. So I assume he is.)
Benzi close their evening dancing or hugging or something while "This Year's Love" plays. Okay, first of all - why didn't a Matt Nathanson song play? Second, did you know he's saying "This year's love, it better last"... not "love in Italy." It sounds JUST LIKE he says "Italy" and nothing like "better last". What a weird, mummbly accent.
Finally, it's time for the cocktail party... but not before a mysterious girl calls and leaves a voicemail for Chris. All we see are her hands and body as she's driving, and her voice saying she'll be there soon. Wow, speaking of soap opera villains. Oh, and then she calls again (or it's the same pieced together junk) and this time Chris is on the line. They chat a little. She's sure she wants to do this. She's 20 minutes away. She'll call when she's closer. Um, why? Are you not driving a Honda CRV with the navigation system that has the wallpaper option? Plus, oh my goodness, who could this be?!?!
The girls, unaware that some chick is about to ruin their night, continue with the party. First, Ben and Jennifer kiss. He tells her she is - hands-down- the best kisser in the house. She says "You're, like, dreamy!" I know, right?!
20 minutes must have gone by because Chris is downstairs to meet the mystery woman. It's... SHAWNTEL NEWTON!? Holy cra--- yeah, never mind. I don't care that much. Anyone who follows them on Twitter (I don't) apparently already knew she and Ben had had some flirty exchanges (when he wasn't busy flirty with Jennifer Love Hewitt, mind you). That led to some phone conversations. From that, Shawntel has decided they belong together. She's come to ask for a chance to be included among the girls. Or, more likely, someone called her and offered her a little cash to show up for one night and stir the pot. Either way, here she is.
(If you don't know, she was on Brad's season. She made it to the hometown dates but was sent home. She's also a funeral director. She made Brad lay on the embalming table. Eeew.)
Back upstairs, Nicki is playing some weird game with Ben. She asks a question and they both write an answer on an index card to see if it matches. Courtney, always congenial, tells us she'd never be friends with most of these girls and that Nicki, bless her heart, looks like an idiot. Well, Courtney, bless your empty cavity where a heart would be, you do too.
She also says that Blakeley looks like the kind of girl your boyfriend would cheat on you with. (Okay, on this point, I agree.)
Next up, she doesn't like the way Lindzi looked at Elyse. This turns into catty comments. Courtney says she can't sit there anymore and stomps off. The girls gossip about her. Emily says Courtney should be diagnosed for a social disorder. (Again, I agree.)
Courtney finds Ben. She starts using her Ben voice. You've noticed, right? Her voice is totally different with him than with the girls. Also, she is the worst ever. They explore the building and find a secret passageway. Suddenly, Ben is an expert on the building and tells Courtney that JFK used to bring Marilyn Monroe here. Courtney thinks this is cool. So, she hates Blakeley because she seems cheater-y, but the location of presidential adultery is cool? Ugh.
They end up on a roof. Courtney tells Ben they would make cute babies. Gag. She also talks about how the stress and drama from the other girls is a lot on her shoulders. But she can deal with it. Because she has big shoulders. (Which, if you remember, I have pointed out before.)
Back inside, the girls are assembled (randomly, of course) in a hallway-type area. Shawntel breezes by. The girls all look back and forth and wonder who that woman is. Naturally, they all assumes she's a "bleep". They sneak around and listen in as Shawntel asks Elyse to vacate the seat where she is talking to Ben. Ben's response: "Holy bleep!"
Believe it or not, Ben actually seemed surprised to see her. I can't tell if he's just a good actor or was actually surprised. Either way, doesn't matter. She gives her speech about wondering what's between them. Inside, the super drunk girls realize it's Shawntel and start making all sorts of funeral director-y puns. How she drains other people's blood. And how she rode in on her high hearse. (That one made me laugh. Although I doubt Nicki thought of it on her own, after who knows how many drinks.)
Ben gathers everyone together to introduce Shawntel and ask them to give her a nice welcome while he thinks about what to do next. Yeah, that's going to happen. More like the girls who all hate each other suddenly are best buds and all collectively hate Shawntel.
The girls split up into small groups to discuss how awful she is. My favorite debate was between Courtney and Rachel. It started with Courtney saying "This is whack!" (another Friends reference... anyone?) and Rachel calling Shawntel a creeper. But the real reason I liked the two of them talking was it gave me a chance to see who needed braces more. Come on, you've noticed too.
Courtney announces that she doesn't need to find love like this (really? A model doesn't need a dating show? Shocking!) and that if Ben keeps Shawntel around, she's leaving. Elsewhere, Erika is declaring that Shawntel is uglier in person and has thicker thighs than she does. Apparently this makes Erika happy. It just makes me continue my dislike of a lot of skinny people. But that's just because one of my thighs is thicker than both of Erika's. Also, in general, I don't like when people attack one another based on looks. It's so shallow. Granted, I just posted a picture making fun of two girls with overbites, but that's because of my stupidity tax theory. You know, how if you're willing to go on TV (or out in public in general) and call attention to yourself and be ridiculous, I get to make fun of you. If you're going about your daily life quietly and not being in my face about it, I shouldn't make fun of you.
Finally, it's time for the Rose Ceremony. In a rare glimpse of the crew, we see some guy in a golf cap ushering the girls to the ceremony area. Wait? They don't go there all on their own and magically know where to stand? Because if that is orchestrated, what else could be?!
Ben begins by making a long speech about excusing himself earlier to think through everything. I don't know. All I could focus on was the really loud water in the background. I guess there was a fountain nearby. Or Chris Harrison forgot to turn off his mic while he was in the bathroom.
Emily, Rachel, and Lindzi all have roses already. Ben begins to hand out the others as I turn on my psychic powers. (I leave them off when not in use. Like Bluetooth. It drains too much battery to run all the time.)
Courtney: Everyone hates you, so I have to keep you around. In fact, everyone hates you so much, I'll probably choose you in the end.
** Courtney accepts the rose but gives her own speech about how tonight was a lot and that it was hard seeing him talking to what's-her-butt. Yes, she seriously said "what's-her-butt". Not only does she look like a 15 year old boy, but she has the mentality of one too. And she smells the rose. As she does with every rose. Annoying.**
KCB: I can't wait for you to teach my mom and her Bridge club how to twirl a baton.
Elyse: I'm still afraid you can beat me up.
Jennifer: Best kisser earns you another week.
Casey S: Again, I kept the other Kacie, so...
Blakeley: Your giant bosom didn't get enough air time this week, so I'm keeping you in hopes that changes next week.
Monica: Still waiting for more girl-on-girl. In a minute, when I dump Shawntel, maybe you can comfort her or something. Just sayin'...
Nicki: Hey, Nicki and "hickey" rhyme...
Samantha: Miss Pacific Palisades... which, if Audreya knew more about California, she would know was nowhere near San Fran.
Enter Chris Harrison to make is final rose speech... except, wait! Someone is getting faint. Oh no, it's Erika. I guess her thinner-than-Shawntel's thighs just couldn't hold her up any longer.
The girls all rush around her. Golf Hat Guy returns and urges them to give her some room. One girl asks if she's anemic. Yes, probably - since no one on this show eats.. but I'm guessing the problem was more alcohol-induced. Whether because she consumed so much she got faint or she consumed so much she was easily persuaded by a producer to "pass out", I'm not sure.
My favorite was when Jamie said "I was afraid she was going to die." The problem? Jamie is a nurse. If, as a nurse, someone passes out and you automatically assume they are dying, maybe you need to work in a different branch of nursing instead of the "everyone here dies" department. Though, of course, if she had died, at least Shawntel could embalm her on the spot.
Erika regroups. Ben prepares to hand out the final rose. He addresses the remaining women. Or, rather, a terrible voiceover does. Something about difficult decisions, blah blah.
Ultimately, he decides not to hand out the rose at all... sending Erika, Jaclyn, and Shawntel home.
Shawntel walks out. Courtney yells "So long! Sayonara!" at her. Klassy, right? Yep, the kind with a K.
Erika is feeling faint again, but Ben elects to walk Shawntel out rather than check on her. Hmm. Maybe he and Courtney are a match made in klassy heaven after all.
Ben tells Shawntel he didn't think it was fair to her, to the other girls, or to himself to keep her there. Translation: There are hotter chicks here. Shawntel tells us that she was so confident, but now she's confused and she guesses Ben just wasn't man enough to accept the connection between them. Or she imagined the connection. But whatever.
Ben also walks Erika out. Jaclyn left as uneventfully as the rest of the time she spent on the show.
Ben comes back and informs the girls they are off to Park City, Utah next week.
Cue excited squeals.
I'm not sure what they will be doing, but I bet all the guys forced by their wives to watch the show hope for more bikini skiing. I know, right?!
Speaking of bikini skiing, the link to my radio recap about the skiing and other silliness is HERE
And finally, two other bits of Bachelor news. 1.) Kasey (formerly of Kasey and Vienna.... who broke up, in case you didn't know) was arrested this weekend for being drunk and disorderly at a bar. Also, the sky is blue and water is wet. 2.) Reality Steve found out who the next Bachelorette will be. It's not someone from this season. It is someone that I think will make a good one, although I wish she had followed through with her original plans to avoid public life. Anyway, because some of you don't like spoilers and because it's his news anyway, I won't say who it is. You can go HERE if you want to know. Just be advised he has spoilers for the rest of this season up already. (Though, for once, I've barely skimmed them. Usually I read every word, but lately it's more fun to make fun of if I don't know too much in advance. Still, if you like that sort of thing, he's the best source.)