That's right, this week Emily and her merry men descend upon the UK. On behalf of an American who is fascinated by British things, I apologize to London.
This time, the cheesy FlipCam video isn't of the guys traveling but rather Emily and Ricki riding around on a double decker bus. It was really riveting stuff.
Chris meets up with the guys in Trafalgar Square. Or, as the guys probably call it, "Ummm... that one place..." He congratulates them on being the last 10 left. Once again, I think we should hold our congratulations until maybe the 4 guys who get hometown dates, but what do I know? Chris then asks the guys if one of them is ready to be her husband. "Yeah, I said it. Because that's where this is headed." Really, because I thought it was headed for an engagement, a tension filled reunion show, then a special with Chris talking about the demise of their relationship. I mean, I really do hope Emily finds happiness, but I'm just playing the odds. Again, what do I know? Oh, I know how the dates will work this week... because it's the same as always. 2 one-on-one dates and a group date. If you don't get a rose on one-on-one, you'll be on a plane headed back to the States immediately. Am I right??? DING DING DING!! I'm right!!
The first one-on-one date goes to Sean. "Love takes no prisoners". The writing on these date cards is getting worse, right? I didn't think it was possible, yet I feel like it's happening.
Emily greets Sean and they board a double decker bus. Probably the same one she and Ricki rode, but hey, at least we're renting buses and not private jets this week. Sean doesn't care. He says if London is calling, he's going to answer. Wow! Good one! Almost as lame as my opening sentence this week. Of course, it's a perfect chance for them to slip in a few bars of "London Calling" since that music has just been gathering dust since Matt Grant's season.
They stop off and see some touristy sites. They ask strangers to take pictures of them. All this would be perfectly normal behavior (I almost typed "behaviour". Using British spellings seems appropriate this week, doesn't it? Frankly, I would use them all the time. They just look fancier. "Realise" instead of "realize"? Yes, please. I think all the punk teenagers in America have ruined the letter Z for me. For realz.) Anyway... asking strangers to take pictures of you would be perfectly normal behaviour were you not being followed around by a camera crew.
They stop outside Buckingham Palace. Emily says "This is where Queen (long pause) Elizabeth lives." Did she really forget the Queen's name? There's has been one queen in my lifetime, and in my parents' lifetimes for that matter. How hard is it to keep up? I'm fairly certain nothing could make this worse, except, wait...
"There's the balcony where William and Kate had their first kiss..."
Um, no. If I had to guess, they had their first kiss somewhere near their college campus. Or, at the very minimum, during their wedding a few hours before they kissed on the balcony. Ugh. Also, maybe call him Prince William, not just William like you're old pals. If that's too formal, you may call him my pretend brother-in-law. Because, in my head, Prince Harry and I make a darling couple.
Where were we? Right, Emily was demonstrating that she has absolutely no knowledge of major events in the world. And Sean was telling her that if that's where (Prince) William and Kate kissed, maybe they should take a picture of themselves kissing with the balcony in the background.
Because what every girl wants is for her first kiss with a dude to involve one of his arms stuck out awkwardly for a self-portrait. Come on, surely won't agree to that, right? Oh, crap...
Next, they sit and chat in Hyde Park. Instead of waiting for dinner to ask Sean for a DNA sample and the FBI file of his past girlfriends, Emily starts in immediately.
"Tell me about the last date you went on..."
Sean says it was a couple months ago (I think, I didn't write that down, anyway, recently-ish) but they just went out once. He realized pretty quickly that she didn't have the qualities he wanted. Before that, he hadn't been on a date in about a year. Because he's selective.
Emily tells him that usually guys who look like him are really boring... "But you're not boring! Yay!" Yes, she actually said "Yay!"
Next, the swing by Speaker's Corner. (It's a real thing. I checked.) Sean is called up to give a speech. He rambles on about love, and never having really been in love, but having seen the type of love he wants by looking at his parents, and that he's hopeful he'll find it with this beautiful girl... (sweeping gesture to Emily)... and some other stuff. I got kind of bored.
Later in the evening, Emily says "The date card says 'Let me take you as my prisoner of love'". Actually, the date card says "Love takes no prisoners", but it's nice to know where her mind is. I do not, however, know where her voice is. She sounds like a 3 pack a day smoker. She obviously belongs in bed, drinking plenty of fluids, but instead she's taking Sean to dinner in the Wakefield Tower at the Tower of London.
As they sit down to eat, Emily tells Sean that this is where King Henry VIII had two of his wives beheaded. Because nothing says "romantic dinner" like polygamy and beheadings. Whoo hoo!!
Since she already got the ex-girlfriend stuff out of the way, Emily can jump right to her next most common topic of conversation. "I want a lot of kids..."
Sean notes that she clearly wants them ASAP and that he's open minded as to how many kids he would like to have. Well, first he said "Two" but then he must have seen the look on her face and quickly changed his answer to "Open". Hey, maybe she lost her voice due to a bad case of baby fever.
She gives Sean the rose. Apparently not a germaphobe, Sean gives her a small kiss. After dinner, they kiss some more.
Of course, this reminds me of a Monica being sick on Friends. And also Phoebe's "sexy phlegm". And any number of other things I was trying to focus on instead of the fact that Sean was licking the tonsils of a sick person.
But, aside from his lack of respect for communicable diseases, I like Sean. He's in my top two. He (or at least his edit) seems fairly down to earth and normal. So far he hasn't said anything wildly inappropriate. On this show, that's really all I look for.
Now to the group date.
While Emily was infecting Sean, the guys were discussing the group date. Kalon points out that any date with Emily would be a group date because it will always be "you, her, and Ricki". Jef and Arie are quick to tell him that's pretty douchey. As if Kalon cares. He's too busy being mad he's on the group date, leaving the remaining one-on-one to Jef.
The group date card says "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." The guys are all like "Huh? What?" One guy says "I believe that's Shakespeare." Then another guy - I wish I knew who it was - made me laugh by saying "No wonder we didn't know it with a bunch of jocks in this room."
Needless to say, the date will have a Shakespearean flavor so the guys head to Stratford-upon-Avon. (See... another reason why I think Britain is cool. Their towns have such fun names.)
Arie and Doug are a little freaked out because they apparently hate acting. I only say "apparently" because they are on a show that is televised nationwide on a major network. Obviously you have to have a little bit of Look At Me Syndrome to agree to do something like that. Not that that is entirely bad. Just saying that anyone who is truly painfully shy isn't going to go on TV or the radio or even have a blog. So no, you won't be the first to accuse me of Look At Me Syndrome. Just don't look too closely. My hair is kind of frightful today.
Anyway, a series of "auditions" follows. In my opinion, Travis was the best. Not the best actor, but the best sport. He hammed it up but didn't try to be fake British. Instead, he says "Shakespeare is huge in Madison, Mississippi. It's all we do. I just stay home on the weekends and read Shakespeare." You've got to appreciate someone who lives in a small town and isn't afraid to show. And, living in Greenbrier, Arkansas, I can assure you that some nights there isn't much to do besides read Shakespeare. Or watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory, which is usually what I choose. No one said I was particularly cultured. Although I made my first purchase on my Kindle the other day (up to this point I've just borrowed books) and it was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's complete works of Sherlock Holmes. Granted, it was for my husband and it only cost 99 cents, but that's not the point.
Okay, the auditions yield three Romeos: Alejandro, John, and Ryan... assorted roles for the other guys... and two nurses: Arie and Doug. Hey, isn't it funny that the two guys who made the biggest deal about not wanting to act end up with the two dumbest roles?
During "rehearsals", Emily stops by to visit with Ryan and Kalon. After a couple seconds, Kalon tells her "We need to get back to rehearsals" and shoos her away. Like, with the annoying hand gestures moms do when they want their kids to leave the room and be quiet. Why she didn't just shoo him away right then, I don't know. But we'll get to that later.
In the meantime, a live audience arrives and the guys begin their performances. Everyone generally does awful but has fun. Especially Nurse Doug. Somehow this relates to him being a dad, or something.
Ryan's big moment comes in the final scene where Juliet / Emily has already drank the poison ($10 says she was wishing it were real poison by that point) and he kisses her. So he kissed her. It was awkward. The guys heckled.
Arie tells us that if Shakespeare were alive today and say Ryan, he'd say "Thouest suck". So at least it's not just modern English in which Arie can't conjugate verbs or use pronouns correctly. I think the Bard would have said "Thou suckest", but again, what do I know?
They head to a pub for an after party. I know, right? First she and Arie talk and kiss. Then she and Ryan head into a little alcove, where he pulls the curtain and gives her a necklace or something. While all this is happening, Kalon gripes some more about being on a group date and then says something about "an exhausted, sick mother just wanting to get back to her child".
Some of the guys begin whispering about this. Finally it gets around to Doug that Kalon (the previous night) called Ricki baggage. Doug ask Kalon about it. He says "Yes, I said it but I meant like a huge responsibility." Ryan tells him that's uncalled for. Doug says some things that were mostly bleeped out.
Doug pulls Emily aside and tells her what Kalon has said. Emily is visibly upset and says that she is trying to figure out how to handle this in a ladylike manner, but mostly she wants to rip his limbs off and beat him with them. She then tells the camera that she will go "all West Virginia hood rat on his (impolite word for "butt"). Instead of focusing on the obvious (that Kalon sucks at life) I find myself wondering if West Virginia has a lot of hood rats. Or even a lot of 'hoods. I've never been there but I mostly picture it as mountainy and rural-ish. Also, I can't name a single city in the state. In fact, despite the thousands of dollars my father spent on my private school education, I just had to Google the capital. (To be fair, I didn't switch to private school until seventh grade and state capitals are usually learned before that time, so it might be public school's fault. Perhaps if my dad had spent more money on my education, I could immediately recall the capital city as Charleston.) Anyway, my point is that nothing about Emily screams hood rat to me, not even her NASCAR roots. Because she looks like a driver's wife and not like a fan. Nevertheless, I think she would be completely justified in dismembering Kalon. I'm sure she would have plenty of help if she needed it.
So, she composes herself a bit and then heads out of the room. Doug calls the meeting to order and airs his grievance against Kalon. Kalon again says "Yes, but I didn't mean 'baggage' baggage, but a huge part of your life."
Emily firmly states that Ricki is not baggage, she's a blessing. Kalon begins to speak again but Emily quickly says "Let me talk. I love to hear you talk but not until I'm done."
Aaaaand... +100 points for Emily. You've got to give someone credit for being furious and witty at the same time!
After a bit more back and forth, Emily says that unless Kalon can say he didn't say that, he should "Get the eff out!"
He gets the eff out.
And probably jumps to the top of everyone's most hated contestant list.
|(Yes, I've seen a number of reports that he will be on Bachelor Pad 3.|
I find that to be incredibly likely.)
Back to Emily, she's still upset and walks off. Doug follows her but she tells him she'd like to be alone for a bit. Sorry, Doug. I hope you can see the writing on the wall. You're in the dreaded Friend Zone. If Austin were 5 years younger, Emily would probably want to set up a play date with you guys, but I feel like that's probably the only kind of dating she's interested in. You're her fellow single parent on the show. You're the one who tells her about the guy saying mean things to her. You're the one who didn't kiss her on your one-on-one. You're her buddy. Not that there's anything wrong with forging a friendship with her but I think your days are numbered as a potential suitor.
Emily rejoins the guys and admits she's a little taken aback that they knew about this and no one told her. Except Doug. But she doesn't mention that. I guess she means none of the guys she's still interested in making babies with told her. Arie says it's because they all thought she had such a strong intuition. Ugh, Arie. Just stop.
She decides not to hand out the rose and calls the evening to a close. She tells the camera that she can take care of herself but that she does want someone who has her back and is willing to fight for her and her daughter. I'm guessing she meant that literally. Several of the guys did tell Kalon he was being inappropriate and Doug did tell her what was going on. So I guess she means she wants someone who will junk punch anyone who upsets her and her daughter.
Before her final date of the week with Jef, Emily spends some time with Ricki talking about London. Ricki says that the King and a dragon live at Berkingham Palace. So, Ricki has about as much knowledge of London as Emily and her "They had their first kiss on this balcony" business. Nevertheless, she tries to convince Ricki it's the Queen and it's Buckingham Palace but Ricki is having none of it and continues to insist there's a dragon. Okay, so Ricki is easily the coolest person this season, right?
She leaves Ricki and meets up with Jef. She says they are going to afternoon tea. Jef says that sounds delightful. And I think he means it. Most people would have said it with a hint of sarcasm but Jef really may be the kind of dude who uses "delightful" in everyday conversation.
Unfortunately, "tea" includes an etiquette teacher named Jean. Jean tries her best to educate this SK8R BOI and West Virginia hood rat on how to have tea. It doesn't go well. Jef tells us he's tired of Jean "yapping our ears off about how to eat two-bite sandwiches". When Jean excuses herself to go to the loo, Emily and Jef ditch her and head to a pub. Suffice it to say they failed etiquette class.
At the pub, Jef lets her know that he was who Kalon originally said what he said to and the Jef immediately told him that he should leave if that's how he felt. (If that is the case, Jef really wouldn't have seen Emily since then to tell her, so it's plausible.) Jef then says that if Ricki is baggage, she's a Chloe handbag that you'd want to keep forever. I'm trying not to know how Jef knows about Chloe handbags. Maybe he has a rich sister. Let's go with that. Emily says "Or vintage Louis Vitton luggage". Hmm, like the kind Kalon packed his things in as he was getting the eff out? Good stuff.
Next, they head to the London Eye and have dessert in a private car. (Bubble? Room? I don't know what you call the things on the Eye. Oh, capsules. Wikipedia says capsules.)
Emily tells Jef that the Kalon thing had really made her question her own judgment. She knew Kalon was coming across as condescending and rude but convinced herself there was no way he was really like that. Ooops. Jef then tells the camera that he really likes where "Emily and my relationship is going".
AND... JEF IS MY NEW FAVORITE! Sure, his name is missing an F. (Maybe Kalon took it with him... you know, literally got the F out. BaDumChee!) His hair is squirrely. Last week he wore shorts and knee socks (yes, I now know it's a common business look in Bermuda but, as an American, I still think it's odd.) But, he said "Emily and my relationship" and not "Emily and I's". Sure, sure, it should be "Emily's and my" but that still so much closer to correct grammar than 98% of the people on this show that I think it totally counts. Plus, his quirkiness has really grown on me. I like the soft-spoken, well-mannered, babyface thing he has going on. So, there you have it... Jef is my favorite. Sean is my second favorite. If you add Arie into the mix, I think Emily is agreeing with me. Except I still hate Arie.
To further my decision to like Jef the best, he tells Emily that he likes her (romantically) but he also wants to be best friends with her. I know almost every person says they want to marry their best friend but, with Jef, I think he actually means it and would work on the friendship aspect right along with the dating relationship. (Again, yeah yeah, why is he on the show? I don't know. Maybe he also secretly murders people. Whatever.)
Jef makes up his mind to kiss Emily but their ride on the Eye comes to a close before he can make his move. Instead, they pause on a bridge or something and he tells her he regrets not kissing her in Bermuda so he doesn't want to let this opportunity pass by. She agrees and they kiss.
Okay, -1 for Jef. Am I the only one kind of annoyed with this season's theme of talking about kissing before actually kissing? Again, I'm not some sort of hussy who, in my single days, went around kissing everyone whether they wanted it or not. Nor would I like a guy who did the same. But, I don't know, something about talking about it beforehand makes it seem a little scheduled. "Dinner at 8:00, dessert at 8:45, kissing from 8:50-9:00..."
This brings us to the following night and the cocktail party. As expected, the main theme of the evening is Emily quizzing the guys about the Kalon situation. Who would or wouldn't tell. Why didn't they tell to begin with? Blah blah blah. No real need to go into much more detail.
Ryan decides to lighten the mood and they walk into a different part of the hotel. He leaves her upstairs or on a landing or something and heads downstairs to reenact the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. At some point, he goes off script and says "I'm super excited to be here". I am sure Shakespeare was thrilled by Ryan's hyperbole. Or not. But Emily was, so they do a little kissin'. Then she tells the camera that she's mad at herself for liking Ryan because she knows he's too smooth and can get any girl he wants, but here she is falling for it. So, in case you were wondering what Kalon taught her about trusting her instincts: nothing.
Next up, she and Sean spend some time together. They do some kissing. (No wonder she's sick. She's probably got mono.) She really likes Sean and says that she knows it sounds corny but he gives her butterflies in her heart... Aaaawww. Or gag. Whichever.
Time for the rose ceremony. Mostly it consisted of Emily making a big speech repeating everything she'd been saying for the past three days and me being completely focused on the cuff of her dress. The dress itself was fine. I'm not a big fan of one shoulder bare and a full length sleeve on the other, but Emily can pretty much wear whatever kind of dress and still look like a pageant girl, so fine. But the 7 inch rhinestone cuff... really? I bet it weighed more than she does. Plus it must not have been camera tested because it kept reflecting and glaring and kind of hurting my eyes.
Anyway, the roses. Jef and Sean already have them. And, as usual, I have my psychic insights into Emily's mind as she handed out the remaining roses:
Doug: You're such a great friend. I should introduce you to my friend Sandy. She's a single mom, too. I think you two would really hit it off. Here, can you hold this rose for me while I look up her number?
Ryan: Kalon's gone now so I need you to really step up the douche factor, okay?
Chris: Wow, have you been here all week? I don't think I said two words to you. But, um, have a rose anyway, I guess.
John: Hey, you got a haircut. Now I can see even more of my cuff reflecting off your forehead. That deserves a rose!
Travis: I loved your Mississippi Hood Rat rendition of Shakespeare. And also, I need someone to vote out next week...
Chris arrives. Gee, I wonder why. What's that? One rose left? Okay...
Arie: Your beady eyes make it less likely the rhinestone glare will sear your corneas.
Chris reappears to point out to Alejandro that he's the only chap without a rose. Except Chris calls him "Ella-hand-ro". Chris is supposedly a Texan. Alejandro is a fairly common Hispanic name. Yet, Chris manages to pronounce it like a total dork. I find this extra odd since usually he does the opposite and puts way too much fake Spanish into names. Remember Roberto? Man, that was a long season. And, if rumors are to be believed, it might not be the last time we have to endure Chris saying Row-BEAR-to for weeks on end. Hint, hint. But, for whatever reason, he does a total white boy butchering job on Alejandro's name as he sends him on his way.
"Ella-hand-ro" says he wasn't expecting to go home. Really? Unless he and Emily had a lot of time together that didn't make it through the edit, it seems to me the two of them exchanged about four words in the past five weeks. I'm surprised he made it this far. He wishes Emily the best. He doesn't cry. +1 of Ella-hand-ro.
Emily tells the guys that they are off to Brevnik, Croatia next week. Now, while I may not know the capital of West Virgina offhand, I can tell you that I'm pretty sure Emily meant "Dubrovnik". That's an actual city in Croatia. Brevnik, not so much. (The fact that I know that because of House Hunters International is irrelevant.) So, Eastern Europe, brace yourself. Hood Rat Barbie and her boyfriends (and Doug) are coming at you. I apologize in advance...