Tuesday, May 29, 2012
As Emily drags herself out of bed (perhaps to a bath her mother drew for her), Chris is up at the guys' house. "Congratulations! There are only 16 of you left." Really? Congratulations? Maybe at 5 or 6 we can start with the "only so many left" bit, but 16? I still don't know half their names. I doubt Emily does either. Anyway, Chris goes on to explain to the lucky 16 how the dates will work this week. Which is the exact same as last week. And the first two weeks of nearly every other season. But, in case anyone was in a coma until recently, there will be a group date and two one-on-one dates. On the one-on-one dates, if you do not receive a rose, you'll be going home immediately. The one-on-one date card goes to Chris. The guy from Chicago, not the host. Much to the host's chagrin, I imagine.
Emily shows up in a tank top with a motorcycle printed on it. Luckily, not a Harley. An old-fashioned, kind of cool looking motorcycle... but still an odd clothing choice. I know I always harp on what the Bachelor or Bachelorette is wearing. Sorry. It looks like this season will be no different. At any rate, the biker babe and Chris leave the guys' house and head downtown.
The date card promised that "Love is a steady climb". Emily tells Chris he's been at the top of her list for a while and she's got a nice dinner planned for them. About that time, rappelling lines drop down off the roof of the building they are standing in front of. Chris tells the camera that he thought "Those ropes must be for us." At this point, I had to pause the DVR for a good 90 seconds so my husband could compose himself. Between his snorts of laughter, I think he said something about "Who else would the rope be for?" and maybe mentioned Spiderman not needing ropes. I'm not sure. It was hard to keep up.
They step into harnesses. Chris says how no woman has ever looked sexier in a harness. I have to pause the DVR for another 90 seconds of laughing.
Once they are properly in harnesses, they begin their assault on the summit. (Yes, I'm still on my Mt. Everest kick... and this past weekend was the peak of the climbing season. I can't promise this will be my last nerdy mountaineering metaphor.)
I'm not sure what you call this kind of climbing. Basically, the ropes made some sort of steps. They did StairMaster-like movements until they reached the top. But not before a freak out halfway up because of thunder and lightning in the distance. When they do reach the top, Emily notes that she wants a man who can stay by her side... and this proves Chris can. When bound by ropes and harnesses, at least.
On top of the building, Chris gives Emily a high five. He tells us he would have liked to kiss her, but he high fived her instead and now he feels like an idiot. As he should. I'm not saying you should just ram your tongue down someone's throat partway through your first date... and I'm not even criticizing high fives... just saying that when you're on a dating show and there are still 16 of you left, you better step up your game beyond a high five. Even a kiss on the forehead would be better.
At dinner, Emily immediately starts in with wanting to know the age, social security number, and blood type of all past girlfriends. Chris says he's only had one really serious girlfriend and it lasted from high school until not too long ago... about 6 years total. Because Chris is 25.
Aaaaaand... gasp! Emily is 26 but can't bear the thought of a 25 year old. She's mature and independent and her mom brings her breakfast in bed. Chris probably lives in a rinky-dink apartment with a futon and a TV on a milk crate. Okay, the apartment part might be true, but I don't think that's related to his age. Just to his male body parts. After the shock wears off, Emily decides Chris acts much older than 25. I guess that means he didn't make fart noises with his armpits. Bummer. That would have livened things up. At any rate, Chris assures her that he might just be 25 but he's a man. He left home at 17. He believes family comes first. (Which must be why he waited so long to leave home.) She gives him the rose and whisks him off to another concert.
Last season, every date had a helicopter. This season it seems like every date will have a concert. Or two. And a private plane, but we'll get to that later.
This date's concert? Luke Bryan. At least I've heard of him. Given that I live in the South, I listen to a really small amount of country music... well, new country music, that is. If they were at a Willie Nelson concert, I'd be all about it. But Luke Bryan, just whatever. Emily and Chris participate in even lamer dancing than she and Ryan did last week. Chris whispers in her ear that he'd like to kiss her if that's okay. She replies that he'll just have to try and find out. Ugh. He should have just gone for another high five. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you should ever force a kiss on someone who doesn't want it or anything like that. But, if you're on a date and you feel like things are headed in a kiss-worthy direction, just take the chance. If she pulls away, well, at least you know where you stand. But asking? It just seems a little Jane Austen. Nevertheless, they kiss. Luke Bryan then waves the crowd in and they all dance around Emily and Chris. It was like the world's most boring flash mob. Thankfully, it was also the end of the date.
The group date card arrived while Emily and Chris were high-fiving. It said "Let's play" and invited a lot of guys. Again, I won't name them all. I feel sad if you care that much.
Emily meets the guys in the park. This time, she's ditched the motorcycle tank top in favor of a striped shirt about 10 sizes to big for her and shorts about 10 times too short. Like Ashley a few seasons ago, Emily is TINY TINY TINY... I'm guessing her fat pants are a size 0. She's also probably not very tall. I get that the shorty shorts are meant to show a lot of leg and make her look taller and older. Instead, they make her look younger and trashier. And the shirt? Why is it so huge? Why does it look like a pajama top? Why? Just why?
At some point, she picks up a football. The guys top the hill and see her with the football and get all testosterone-y. Ryan attempts to show her how to Heisman. She says she already knows and pushes him away. He says must have practiced that last night (on her date with Chris). The guys high-five him. Seriously, what is with all the high-fives? Do I sometimes high-five? Yes. But 200 times in the first half hour of an episode is a bit much. She then tells the guys she'll be right back.
Lo and behold, her friends are in the park again. And wearing wireless microphones again. How lucky is that?! I mean, I'm not a mom, so maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think people spend that much time in parks. Of course, I also don't think people get breakfast in bed, so what do I know? Heck, unless their husbands have good jobs, the friends might actually live in the park. Clearly they are never at work. At any rate, Emily wants them to meet the guys and "interview" them. Of course, they agree. But first they show her the morning paper, including a shot of her and Chris climbing the building. Ugh. And speaking of "ugh", what's up with her friend Ashley?
If she has a medical condition resulting in hair loss, you can all call me a jerk. Otherwise, there is no reason to have that few eyebrows. I mean, has she never visited CelebsWithNoEyebrows.com? Yes, it's a real site. And it's disturbing. There should be an overplucking support group. Ask my dear friend Rose. In our late teens / early 20s, she declared war on her eyebrows. She never got as bad as this chick, but it was bad enough that I teased her about it as recently as last week. Seriously, people. Put down the tweezers. (Granted, I say all this while I'm about 5 months overdue for a wax, but still, that's better than no eyebrows.) Bottom line: I hope Emily doesn't rely to heavily on the opinion of a woman with 12 brow hairs.
The interviews themselves are not too exciting. Travis introduces her friends to the egg he's been carrying around from time to time. They thinks it's gross and dumb. So maybe they do have some sense. Stevie dances. He has no sense. Then it's Sean's turn.
We've hardly seen him for the first two episodes but he got a lot of camera time this week. Historically that means he'll be sticking around for a while and they decided they better start making it believable the he and Emily actually spoke. Anywho, the friends like him. He speaks about family and faith and how his dad has spent the last 28 years teaching him how to be a man. All nice things... until Emily's friend Wendy opens her mouth. Wendy is obviously a little older than the other ladies. And obviously using Emily's time as The Bachelorette to audition for her own show... The Charlotte Cougars. She tells Sean he's like a genetic gift to the world. She asks if he works out. She wants him to take his shirt off. (He does. I hope it was just to shut Wendy up and not because he's that "Takes off his shirt" guy.) She has him do push ups. She sits on his back. Yes, it was as awkward as it sounds.
After Wendy has finished playing with her cub, everyone gathers back around and Emily blows a whistle which triggers a thousand or so kids to bum rush the playground. I sure hope it was a Saturday... otherwise any parent who checked their child out of school to participate in this should be immediately reported to Child Services.
She dispatches the guys to go play and the girls to help her keep an eye out for any potential dads in the group.
While everyone else plays, Ryan decides to "crash girl time" and heads over to chat some more with Emily and her friends. Cougar Wendy says he's pretty. This somehow turns into a discussion of letting oneself go after marriage. Emily asks Ryan what would happen if she got fat. (You know, like her weight actually made it into triple digits.) He says he's not okay with that... stammer, stammer, long pause... if, you know, it was from being lazy. If it was, like, pregnancy or something, that's different, but not just sitting on the couch and ballooning up. He then says he would still love her, just wouldn't love ON her as much. Quoting from one of my favorite movies - The Social Network - "I need a second to let the classiness waft over me."
The friends conclude that Doug and Sean are their favorites. Hopefully every woman in America concluded that Ryan is a wank.
The "after party" is at a lounge called Butter. Do we need to revisit my stance on places with one weird name? Rain, Salt, etc. Good grief. Now that we've got Butter, all we need is a place called Flour and we can mix them all together to open a place called Dough.
Sean and Emily talk first. He says her friends are awesome. He talks about how he won't settle for a girl because he's looking for what is parents have. He mentions for the second time that, for the past 28 years, his dad has been teaching him how to be a man and a father. You're 28. We get it.
Next up, she visits with Doug. She says she knows there more to him that just being a dad. He tells her his life story in a nutshell. Dad was a good guy, mom was a loser (he called her "the woman my dad married and had my sister and me with" and not "Mom"), and that his dad passed away when he was young-ish. Since Mom was already out of the picture, this left Doug and his sister in foster care. Emily is really touched by this. And, for once, I'm not going to make fun of it. Kids in such rough situations hurts my heart. Moving on...
She talks to Tony next. Seeing all the kids playing really made him miss his 5 year old son. He says he talked to him earlier and his son wanted to know when he'd be home from "Nerf Caroline". Emily assures him that it's harder on Tony than on his son. That's he's playing and having fun. That it's okay for Tony to take some time to focus on himself.
Soon, Doug and Tony are outside. Tony is still upset. Doug basically says the same thing Emily did. He adds that 5 year olds have the attention span of a hummingbird. Doug leaves and Tony calls his son. He proceeds to talk to him like he's 2 years old. No wonder the kid says Nerf Caroline instead of North Carolina. I guess I'm just spoiled because my niece isn't even three yet and carries on conversations better than many adults I know... but, Tony, geeze, enough with the kiddie talk. As for the arguing over who is Batman and who is Robin, I pass no judgments. I'm pretty sure my husband and brother-in-law have had the same conversation.
Emily comes back out and talks to Tony some more. She says if Brad had thought for a second that she wasn't his girl, she'd have wanted him to send her home and back to her daughter. She says if she knew 110% that Tony was the guy, she wouldn't let him go, but she can't say that... so they part ways. Really, I'm not sure whose idea it was for Tony to leave or if they really did arrive at it mutually. Either way, I thought it was handled okay. Tony seems a little squirrely but like a nice guy. It's probably best for everyone that he go back home.
Back inside, Emily gives the rose to Sean. And Travis utters some of his only words to date as he make a toast. Toast... hmm... that goes with eggs, right?
The next day (or at some other point in time which was designated as the next day in the Bachelorette world) Emily and Arie get ready for their one-on-one. His date card said "Love is a wild ride". He assumes it's about racing. He's wrong.
They board a private plane. See, I told you this was private plane season. They fly to Pigeon Forge. Now, immediately, every self-respecting Southern woman and any woman who stands a chance at making it in the South should have immediately said "DOLLYWOOD!!" A basic knowledge of a Dolly Parton is required here. As well as a respect. You can think she's an odd duck or not care for her music, but you must respect her. Period. And I do. Plus, I also like her music. I don't have iPod playlists dedicated to it or anything, but I like her. She's Dolly.
Emily likes her, too. More accurately "I love me some Dolly". Okay, stop. Can we please, please quit with the "love ME some _____"?! That is one Southernism I can't get used to. (Is it a Southernism? I don't remember any of my Illinois folks saying it, but maybe I just blocked it from my mind.) Anyway, I hate it. Or, more accurately, I hate me some saying unnecessary pronouns. This falls right in line with "My mom, she went to the store." We know you're mom is a she. No need to emphasize that. "I love me some chocolate"... as opposed to what? Ugh. Just stop. You're ruining Dollywood for me, Emily.
Further ruining Dollywood... Emily has never been on a real roller coaster. WHAT?! How is that possible? I mean, if you are prone to motion sickness or something, that's totally fine. But if you're just a chicken? Suck it up and get on the coaster. Roller coasters rule all. Period. So, she and Arie ride the roller coaster. Then they wander into Dolly's theater.
Naturally, pen and paper are on the stage so they can write love songs. This show loves it some writing crap down. While they are fumbling through some barely rhyming lines, Dolly sneaks on stage and says "Hello". Emily freaks the freak out! She can't believe she's meeting Dolly. I can't believe Emily's wearing shorts and a striped shirt again. And boots. Oh, the boots.
Dolly sings a song for them. Then she talks about love and her husband of 45 years. She sings another song. Basically the date consists of Dolly and Emily. Arie is kind of just sitting there wondering who the lady with the big hair is. In fact, Dolly eventually tells Arie to scram so she and Emily can chat.
Oh, and no, I don't think Dolly is a sell out for coming on this show. Emily, yes. Arie, yes. But Dolly? No. Like the Muppets, sometimes you're cool enough to just do whatever you want and the rest of us have to be okay with it.
After her date with Dolly, Emily joins back with Arie for dinner. Of course, the first topic of conversation is the ex-girlfriend. Arie says he did date a woman with 2 children. They lived together, he took the kids to school, the whole shebang. Then she decided she didn't want more children, so they split. (Last week, Reality Steve mentioned that she and Arie had gotten pregnant but she miscarried. How that may or may not relate to the split, I don't know. Whether Arie told Emily any of that, I don't know. However, if after the miscarriage, she decided she didn't want more kids, I don't fault her at all for that. Or maybe she just decided Arie is a loser with teeny, tiny eyes.) Oh, by the way, I don't like Arie. Not in the way I didn't like Courtney last season and kind of hoped a shark ate her, but just in a "Ugh. Not that guy, please." kind of way. I think it's the beady eyes.
He asks Emily if his racing schedule and the amount of time he spends traveling will be a problem for her. She says no and that it's actually ideal because she likes her space. Hmm. I'm not sure how I feel about that. In a way, I get it. Best Friend Dena and I are both "need our space" people. It's something we've both talked a lot about in the years since we got married. Sometimes we like our houses to be quiet and no one to ask us where stuff is. (Seriously, men of the world, find your own stuff!) So, I totally get that. But Emily isn't talking about Arie being gone for a few hours or just overnight. I'm thinking this is more like days and weeks at a time. If you need days and weeks at a time on your own, you might be a little too set in your ways to get married. If so, that's cool. But maybe don't get married.
After their conversation, Emily fakes like she isn't going to give Arie the rose. Halfway through her "break up" speech, she starts laughing. She gives him the rose. He gives her a kiss on the cheek. Then they wander Dollywood and ride the carousel. They do a lot of kissing. They get off the carousel and kiss in front of it while it whirls in the background. It was editing almost as cheesy as last season's misty montage deals. Ugh.
Finally, it's time for the cocktail party. First, she pulls Kalon aside. He didn't get a date this week, so (mercifully) we haven't heard much out of him. He's about to make up for it. First, he tells Emily this (watching her date other guys) is hard for him because he's never had to share much. Really, Louis Vitton luggage? You never had to share much? Color me shocked! Then she asks him about his thoughts on her having a daughter. He says he always pictured his first child being his own. "This isn't how I would have written it up in my journal..."
"But think about your mom..." Emily says. Kalon was raised by a single mom and Emily brings up a few points about that and if she had wanted to find love. Then Kalon says:
"I love it when you talk but I wish you'd let me finish."
And then Emily punches him in the junk and tells him to hit the road, as any self-respecting woman would do, right? Wrong. She says "Ok" and lets him finish rambling on about how he has realized now you can't control things. How his mom tells him he tries to control too much, etc.
Okay, A) Has he ever had a conversation where he didn't mention something him mom told him? He has a wise mom. Good. But it's not necessary to reference her every 5 seconds. B) Why is he still here?! If someone told me "I love it when you talk but I wish you'd let me finish", it would get ugly. Let me explain. I hate HATE being interrupted. On that much, Kalon and I agree. My husband and my sister are both interrupters. I blame their ADHD. To them, I will say "I wasn't done yet..." and, more often than not, they are like "Oh, sorry!" Usually they were just eager to talk and interrupted without meaning any harm. And they are probably two of the only people I would call on it. Everyone else, I would just judge silently. I certainly wouldn't say that to someone I barely knew and was trying to date! Plus, could he have found a snarkier way to say it? "I love when you talk..." like "Look how progressive I am. I don't believe women should only speak when spoken to. I think they can speak at other times too. And if they want to be nurses or teachers, that's probably okay. Just don't let them get any wacky ideas about being CEOs or anything. Now, sweetie, finish your sentence so you can get back to ironing my underwear." So, Kalon sucks. This isn't new information, but just proving my point.
Emily even tells the camera that she wasn't sure what to make of it. She likes tall, skinny, and funny. She doesn't like tall, skinny, and condescending. Well then, you better send Kalon packing.
In case that wasn't weird enough, Travis talks to her about his egg, Shelly. Get it, eggs have shells... Shelly. He says her friends thought it was time to get rid of Shelly. Um, you think? He offers to let Emily smash it. She wastes no time. And would you? It's a nasty egg he's been carrying around for days. Of course, the egg is more popular in the house than he is, but that's beside the point.
Just when you thought the night couldn't get any weirder, she talks to Alessandro. (The Brazilian who looks like he should be a bad guy on Days of Our Lives, not the Colombian mushroom farmer. That's Alejandro.) She asks how he would feel about being with a single mom. He says it would be a compromise. She's like "Huh?" He says "Yes, me as a dad. Me as the chief of a family."
Um, chief?! Like, with a feather headdress and stuff? Otherwise, not a good word choice.
They talk some more. She's afraid maybe it's a language issue and he doesn't really mean "compromise". He says "No, I mean compromise. Like, I would have to tell my company I couldn't move or travel because I have a wife and a child. Compromise." Emily insists that her daughter isn't a compromise. In the first real show of backbone this season, she marches him through the house and out the front door into a waiting SUV. Tchau, Alessandro! (That's "bye" in Portuguese. Google says so.)
In the car, Alessandro says he couldn't have given Emily and Ricki what they needed. It sucks, but he's just going to live life like a gypsy king now. A gypsy king, huh? More like soap opera villain.
Arie rushes to comfort Emily... by making out with her. Some of the guys see. They aren't thrilled. Ryan assumes his role as "that guy" and takes it the hardest.
Later, she talks to Sean. Again, he mentions how his dad has been preparing him to be a good man and father for the past 28 years. Wait, how old is Sean? I can't remember. Anyway, he says he would be proud to be Ricki's step-father, but really she'd be his daughter. She could call him Dad or Sean or whatever, but she'd be his daughter. They kiss.
Despite his constant references to age, I think this episode made Sean one of my favorites.
Chris Harrison finally breaks up the party. Chris, Sean, and Arie already have roses. Alessandro and Tony are already gone. So, only one more guy will be sent home tonight. Let's delve deep into Emily's brain as we find out who gets roses and why...
Jef: You're a weird one. If I picked you, it would be like when Deanna picked Jesse. The weird guy has to win every now and then. So, maybe...
Charlie: You didn't call me fat or my child a nuisance, so you can stay.
Doug: I've got to keep at least one other single parent around for a bit longer.
Michael: I like that you and Ricki could share ponytail holders.
Travis: I'd feel bad if I broke your stupid egg and then sent you home.
Alejandro: Well, I'm going to need someone to vote out next week, so...
Ryan: You're turning into a giant douche, but your beard has a Seneca Crane thing developing. I want to see what comes of that.
John: See "Alejandro"
Kalon: The uber jerk always has to make it to at least Week 5.
Chris comes in to deliver his shocking news that there's only one rose left. Emily stares at it for a loooooong time.
Nate: I don't know jack about you but it was you or Stevie and your face is less weird, so, have a rose.
With that, Stevie is sent home. I guess being a grown man named Stevie whose occupation is Party MC didn't have "Competent stepfather" written all over it. He takes it pretty well in the limo. Just says the usual stuff about it sucking and wanting to fall in love.
Next week, it's time to begin this season's efforts to break down international relations. The gang is headed to Bermuda. There looks to be some sailing interspersed with arguments between Doug and Chris, Emily and Ryan, and Ryan and everyone. Sounds riveting, right?
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that the clip at the very end showed Alessandro earlier in the day talking to Emily's friends. After admitting to having cheated on a girlfriend and to having had a one night stand, he revealed his longest relationship had been with his cousin. "Third cousin..." he added when the friends looked icked out. Long relationship with third cousin?! See!! I told he was straight out of a soap opera!!