If you were somehow lucky enough to avoid all of the spoilers out this season revealing what happened on this week’s episode, you must have been shocked by the Justin showdown. Justin is being portrayed as the worst villain of all time. Some of you think the whole scenario was set up by ABC from the beginning. That they “cast” Justin to add some drama to this otherwise, genuine, fun, and drama free group of guys (once we got rid of a couple of bad eggs). I’d believe it. I don’t think that Ali actually knew what was going on though (her hair was way too messy when Chris H confronted her), and I have to say, this girl has nerves of steel. Ali’s character grew leaps and bounds last night as we were able to witness her confront Justin in front of the others, then watch appalled as he ran away from the Grand Hyatt Istanbul suite, hopping over bushes, without a word of explanation. It was a pretty awesome escape scene. A+ to Ali for holding it together enough to 1) not cry 2) tell us once again how much she has given up to come on this show and 3) make Justin look like the biggest liar since Rozlyn.

Here are some of my questions about this whole scandal, and then I will happily put it to rest so that Rated-R doesn’t get any more attention than he deserves: how did Jessie find out about this? Did she know Justin’s girlfriend before or did Jessica find her in a Bachelor chat room? Why did it take her 5 rings to the answer the phone? Where is her dog whose life she swore on that she saw Rozlyn making out in the stairwell of the mansion with the producer last season? Is Jessica going to stay with Justin once this show is over or will the alluded to other woman that Justin was supposedly with for 2 months before he went onto the show be too much for Jessica to handle? And more importantly, how come Jessie is the one who is always involved in calling out scandalous things on this show? Could it be that ABC gave her this info because she happens to be one of the contestants on the upcoming Bachelor Pad show? It seems just a little too convenient and scripted.

ABC must have been very angry with Justin (or at least pretended to be), because playing those voicemail messages as the cameras followed Justin out the door was pretty awesome, and clearly contradicted everything that he said. According to the voicemail messages, he was always in love with Jessica, wanted to marry her and felt this way as recently as Iceland. I wonder how the show got access to those voicemail messages.  Chris Harrison reveals on his blog that while they do take away the guys’ cell phones during the show, Justin was making his calls to Jessica via the toilet phones at the hotel suites where they stayed.  Then he would call up the front desk and tell them to erase those calls from the bill.  I guess that system didn’t stay so private.   I wonder how soon the show found out about this little scandal, and why they waited for a camera man to fly all the way to Canada so they could tape Jess and Jess before telling Ali the news. That must have wasted at least 24 hours. But whatever, he’s gone. The show will go on. It’s just a shame that Justin couldn’t have been around for the professional olive oil wrestling which he certainly would have had an advantage at. The fact that he managed to deceive some of the guys in the group lends evidence to the fact that he really could have been a hired actor. His bull about how much he respects women because of his mother, that he really was on the show for Ali and how he cried to the guys when his integrity was questioned screams LIAR. What a jerk. Does ABC not do a background check on these guys to make sure they don’t have girlfriends?

Speaking of Canada and all things Canadian, not everything and everyone in that country is scandalous. I am sitting on my commuter train at 7:25 AM with a box of 40 Timbits from Tim Hortons which I have been asked to pick up for a work meeting. I have already consumed 4 of these things and it is taking every ounce of will power not to reach in for more. The guy sitting across from me is staring at my 40 pack box and judging me. He is counting how many I have eaten, I’m sure, secretly hoping I’ll drop one. For all of you that have not had the pleasure of trying a Timbit (the equivalent of a munchkin from Dunkin’ Donuts, but way tastier) you are missing out. Tim Hortons is a Canadian chain of doughnuts and coffee, which rumor has it has more locations in Canada than McDonalds. They have recently taken over a ton of the Dunkin’ Donuts’ locations in NYC. Please take these away from me.

Back to the show. So minus Justin, we are down to 6 in Istanbul, Turkey. What a beautiful city! Once again, I have never traveled to Turkey, but ABC did an incredible job of showcasing some if its finer points. The spice bazaar and all of the old architecture looks incredible. I was a little confused by the Turkish bath date. Mostly because I didn’t see any actual bathing and I have heard that at these baths, a person who works there physically bathes you. The only thing that looked like it was going on at these baths was some massaging given between Ty and Ali and him thanking her repeatedly which made me nauseous. I know I wasn’t alone because I got a text message from a male high school friend of mine who lives in Arizona (his wife forces him to watch, though he loves it) who mentioned how annoyed he was about Ty’s thankfulness. But Ty lays it on thick. He’s falling for Ali. He takes his time going in for the kiss, but eventually gets there. As The Husband said, “He’s a little too enchanted.” Ty is ready to book their honeymoon in Instanbul. He has restored her faith in men.

When it’s dark out and the two of them have dinner together outdoors, we finally hear some real conversation between them. Ali asks him about the reasons behind his divorce and my red flag radar started to go off, when he indicated that it was because his wife wanted to work and he grew up in a more traditional household where his mom stayed at home and raised the kids. RED FLAG. Ali quit the show last season for her job. This does not seem like a good match no matter how much Ty insists that he learned a lot from his experience and now realizes that women have brains too. Good job, Ty. It also seems like Ty has a lot to learn about women in general and maybe he’d be better off dating for a while rather than diving back into a marriage. Don’t get me wrong. Ty seems like a nice person. But he belongs with a Tenley or someone that will have supper on the table and then after she’s done doing the dishes, he can sing to her and their young ‘ins on his guitar.

The group date seemed absolutely absurd. Professional olive oil wrestling? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. It’s a good thing these guys like each other or it could have turned violent. Can you imagine Weatherman and Craig M wrestling against each other? I guess there’s not much else to do in a 15th Century Fortress built during Ottoman empire.

Chris L had some of the best lines (as usual) to describe the olive oil wrestling date:

    “There are 4 of them. 4 of us. We’re in a place that looks like arena. I don’t like where this is going.”

    “What did you guys do in Turkey? I got naked and wrestled with another man.”

    “Usually what I do with olive oil is dip bread in it…”

The Husband says, “This is the most retarded group date ever. Any one of them could have broken their necks.”

It’s a good thing that Craig won the one on one time with Ali, but I could have told you before the group date that he was going home tonight. The two of them have absolutely no chemistry, they have yet to kiss and Ali has absolutely no interest in him. Poor Craig really believes that the feelings he has are mutual. As soon as he teases Ali that he is “5 for 5 with the group dates,” and Ali just giggles awkwardly in response, I know Craig is doomed. You’re on a group date, Buddy, because Ali has no interest in wasting precious one on one time with a guy she’s not really that into. Their alone boat time with his arms around her was painful to watch – Ali looked uninterested. He really laid it on thick during their private dessert time, telling her that he’s never met anyone like her. We see just how much Craig misinterprets Ali’s feelings for him when he honestly believes that he’s “leaped over Frank.” He’s out of his mind.

As soon as we see Frank greet Ali for their one on one date with a passionate kiss, that puts the nail in the coffin for Craig. Frank swoops in, lifts her up and gets that puppy love look on his face immediately. Their date through a spice bazaar was pretty cool. It was fun to see all of the various things one could purchase there and I liked that they tried on a Sultan’s hat and belly dancing outfit. The whole carpet scene was pretty funny too. I don’t know about these too.  Frank seems unstable.  He becomes a depression medication advertisement every time he is not with Ali.  And then as soon as he sees her, he lights up like a firefly.

Did anyone see the Bachelor Pad promo during the show last night? It looks to be every bit as cheesy as one might guess. This will not stop me from watching it.

So Frank and Ali end their date at a romantic cistern where they walk through freezing cold water to eat a meal on a platform. Frank makes it very clear that he will only propose once and only marry once. But he wants to be confident when he does it that he’ll know what the answer will be. That’s a pretty smart strategy, I’d say. Ali gets this weepy look in her eye and tells him to trust his heart. Almost like she’s telling him that she’s fallen for him too, and not to worry, he should propose. He even winks at her. Ali says she’s never felt this way before. She’s drunk.

Another A+ for Ali for skipping the pre rose ceremony cocktail party and getting straight to the point. She knows Craig is toast and wants to get rid of him as soon as possible. This was a no brainer. Craig makes a very classy exit, despite the tears in the car to the airport.

So now we are down to 5 and this is where ABC loses its mind. Why on earth did they give so much away during its preview of what’s to come? In case you missed it, I won’t ruin it for you, but basically – they tell us that next week they are going to Lisbon, Portugal. But then they show scenes in Tahiti which we must assume comes after the cuts made in Lisbon.  They even show us a couple of the guys that are there. We then see Ali visiting the families of two of the guys (hometown dates come the week after next).  Then of course we see an upcoming dramatic scene with Frank, which we really didn’t need to see.  Why are they telling us all of this? Are they afraid we won’t watch if we don’t know the ending?  Don’t they know that it’s so much better when we are surprised by the drama rather than spoon fed it?  Why not just tell us who Ali picks? I mean really – can’t they keep anything sacred? It’s really annoying.

What do you guys think? Any final thoughts on Justin? Are you rolling your eyes that Jake and Vienna will be on next week or are you excited to hear what they have to say for themselves? Do you think that the guy who just sat down next to me holding a Dunkin Donuts coffee is secretly begging me to offer him a Timbit? Not going to happen. In any event, I hope you all have a very safe and happy 4th of July weekend. Oh and a very happy birthday to my sister, Wendy.

Stacey B