Brad 'The Bachelor' ladies need some hugs (review)


As I slushed my way through the snow and sleet of Manhattan earlier this week on my way to work carrying two laptops (one for work, one to blog), I couldn’t help but wonder, “How many girls did Brad kiss this week?”

The Husband (who was happily sleeping while I was commuting from Grand Central Station), said that take away the candlelit dinners, the ball gowns, the live performance from Seal and what you really had this week was a typical episode of “Jersey Shore.” Brad already has the big tattoo. All you would need to do is change the music and the location – and I agree, the shows are somewhat parallel.

Last Monday’s episode was particularly wonderful because (a) we are seeing a real shift in the ladies who will become front runners (Emily, Chantal, Shawntel, Ashley S) (b) the ladies who can’t take the heat (Chantal, Ashley H, Michelle) (c) the fangs come off (finally!) and my personal favorite: (d) just how tan a Caucasian girl can make her skin either from fake bake, spray tan or lying by the pool.  Michelle’s facial expressions were all over the place last night – from angry, to frustrated, evil to flirtatious.  One thing’s for sure – her earlobes were stretched out from all of the heavy earrings she’s been wearing and I couldn’t tell why.  I love how Brad justifies all the kissing to Michelle Money by stating that unlike last time when he was too “rigid,” this time, he’s trying to open himself up more.  Which means, he has a free license to jam his tongue down any woman’s throat that he sees fit. And if the ladies don’t like it (who would like it?) they are free to go. As for the actual number of ladies lucky enough to pucker up, let’s count. There was Ashley S, Shawntel, Chantal, Michelle, Emily, Britt and Ashley H. Am I missing anyone?

Michelle is definitely this season’s villain. Everything that comes out of her mouth is absolutely appalling. She hates the other girls. She wants to practice making babies with Brad. She takes Brad away and tells him that they are, “kind of in a fight.” Certainly she likes to stir things up. What is quite clear is that Michelle has an agenda on this show. She is using this opportunity to draw as much attention to herself as possible. Whether that’s because she actually is interested in Brad or because she sees this whole experience as one big audition for her next movie is pretty clear. Michelle strikes me as the type who is used to getting what she wants. The fact that there are some other ladies around her who Brad is genuinely interested in spending time with must not translate well to her. I am fearful for the lives of Emily, Jackie, Chantal, Shawntel and Ashley S because these five seem to be the frontrunners and Michelle will do anything to eliminate her competition. I’d lock my door at night if I were them.

Ashley S’s date was kind of odd – two tone deaf people needing to record a song together. Notice how we didn’t get to hear the final cut? It was that bad. I wonder how long they were recording that thing because he picked her up in the day time, and after some singing and a really cool live performance by Seal, it’s night time. I don’t think the fact that “Kiss From a Rose” was the song chosen for Brad and Ashley was pure coincidence given its significance to Ashley. The Bachelor writers probably elicited this information from Ashley during one of her pre-show interviews. “What is your favorite song and why?” I bet she revealed this at some point and BAM – a dream date is made to look like fate, when really it’s the product of some very basic research and implementation by the show. Does Ashley know this or is she really thinking it was a pure chance?

Was it me or did every girl on this show have some horrible personal back story? Perhaps the next group date should be a group therapy session. You’ve got Chantal who didn’t even get to discuss her divorce – she just revealed the horror of discovering that her biological father is dead. Ashley S reveals that her father died of a brain aneurysm. Then there’s Emily’s tragic story of the death of her ex fiancé coupled with finding out she was pregnant at the age of 18 (this had every girl in the house in tears as well as THE HUSBAND – gasp!). Alli talked about her father’s unfaithfulness and the divorce of her parents. Michelle is all choked up because she misses her daughter and thinks it’s selfish of her to be on the show (it is). There was so much crying going on, I lost count, but I think there was a direct correlation between who cried the most and who has it bad for Brad. Chantal seemed to cry the most and I’d say she’s the first who has totally lost it for Brad. The look in her eyes as she cried her eyes out and repeatedly told Brad that she’s not really the “tough girl” (really? I’d pegged her as the strange cat lady who’s pretty but kind of emotionally unstable) revealed she’s fallen madly in love for our Bachelor.

Back to Ashley’s date – I’m glad Brad didn’t bring one of the ladies to Capital Records who could questionably be looking for a singing/acting career. That’s what made their date watchable. They both realized they were tone deaf – so watching Ashley participate in the recording session was equally painful for everyone. I still think Ashley is absolutely adorable. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She does seem a bit young, but I think she’ll stick around for a while longer.

The filming of an action movie on the group date was an interesting twist to the soap opera group date that usually appears around this stage of the competition. Finally, we got to see a little more of Shawntel’s personality. I love this girl. She’s completely calm and hasn’t let the nonsense get to her. Very naturally pretty, I think Brad realizes that she’s worth getting to know (very awesome that he gave her the first impression rose over Chantal who poured her heart out, Michelle – who used her daughter to evoke sympathy from Brad and some of the other girls). I loved that last scene when Shawntel is rocking those tight leopard pants and Brad is carrying her with explosions in the background. I thought from the previews that this was Michelle, but was completely delighted to find out it was Shawntel.

The girls all arrived in workout clothes, which was nice to see them in something other than over the top gown wear. But what on earth was Alli wearing? It looked like something that you might see in a Star Wars movie – her mid-drift was unnecessarily exposed. What happened to wearing t-shirts with a workout outfit?

There were a few girls we still haven’t seen much from. Stacey the Bartender is difficult to get a read on. Sometimes she looks absolutely stunning and other times (like last night), her hair is a wavy / frizzy mess. We have yet to hear any substantive conversation between her and Brad. Speaking of frizzy hair, Sarah the blonde has lots of it. She seemed really sad to get the boot last night, but out of the remaining ladies, she did not appear to have any real connection with Brad. Kimberley, on the other hand, had gorgeous hair, but no chemistry. Luckily, she didn’t seem to mind at all that she didn’t receive a rose. Lisa M is another one that we haven’t seen much of. She seems sweet and quiet, but she’s going to need to step it up if she wants a chance with Brad. My guess is that she’ll be the next to go.  If Madison hadn’t left, it would have been Lisa, I think.

? Michelle had some ridiculous one liners last night. Especially when she was plotting her first kiss with Brad: “I’m going to give Brad a sexual, sensual, slithery kiss.” Then watching Shawntel plant one repeatedly on Brad during their action movie scene together, Michelle is seen putting her own hair over her eyes so she doesn’t have to watch. Later on, Michelle steals Brad away from his one on one time with some others. This of course makes her extremely unpopular. I wonder what Brad thinks watching all of this and seeing Michelle say things like, “He’s MINE!” and “It will be me and Brad…in Tahiti…practicing making babies.” Shawntel’s best line of the night, “I’ve got these hyenas after (Brad)…and now I have to watch.”

The party on the roof top after the filming of the movie is becoming a regular part of Bachelor group dates. Chantal O proved that she is on the verge of losing it emotionally. I find that Brad doesn’t seem to know how to comfort these ladies when they reveal such intimate details.

The most anticipated date of any recent Bachelor season had to have been the first one on one date between Brad and Emily. Meghan has the best description of Emily, “She’s this itsy bitsy Barbie doll with the soul of mother Teresa…you want to hate her, but can’t.” Ah, so true! As soon as I saw the little plane that Brad drove Emily up to, my heart sunk for her. What a gracious lady that she didn’t even mention how uncomfortable she must have been because Brad seemed so excited about it. It makes me love her even more.
When Brad is trying to get Emily to open up, I was screaming at the TV – “Just tell him, Emily!” Brad will understand! He’s a changed man. Then The Husband kindly reminded me that of course she will tell him. That ABC does this every time – they make you believe that the lady won’t open up and that they won’t get the rose, but of course they will. And he was right. She finally opened up to him and Brad felt this “intense connection” to her.

Of course Brad’s therapist is there to have a session with. Don’t we all have our therapists on call? Brad is learning how to get the girls to open up. It seems to be working because they all are dying to tell him the most intimate details of their lives. So then it’s the rose ceremony, which they showed us for about 45 minutes of the show. Why Alli is dressed like a Tiffany’s gift box, I have no idea. I find her way too intense, but she seems to have it bad for Brad. We do get to learn that Brad has never cheated on a girl. Good to know.

We also get to see one last crazy initiative from Michelle. “Can I have you?” she asks, once again interrupting his intense conversation with another lady. Then she gives him the bull about them being in a fight. On the one hand, I can see that Brad would appreciate Michelle making it VERY clear that she’s interested in him. This is unlike Ashley H’s strange behavior of pulling away from him. Ashley even says to him that “(he) should go,” at the end of their alone time during the rose ceremony party. What girl actually tells The Bachelor to go?? I also heard them reference back to their first date at a couple of points during their conversation proving the “First Date theory” that it’s impossible to get back the chemistry of the first date and the more you talk about it, the less likely it will be to get that magic back.

I was the most impressed with Madison last night. Emily’s story truly touched her and Madison is kind enough to admit that she really did come on the show to further her modeling career. I mean she didn’t say that, but that’s what she really meant. She was done playing the “I’m in love with Brad” game after seeing that some really genuinely nice Mother Teresa types could have a real shot with Brad. I like Madison. Fangs or no fangs, she seems like a cool girl.

So Kimberly, Sarah P and Madison are gone. Sarah P seems to be the only one that cares. The tensions are high and some of these ladies are really on the brink of losing it. Stay warm, Bachelor fans. Now that Monday night football is over, the whole world can tune in to the drama that unfolds next week. Just remember to wear your waterproof mascara the next time Emily tells us about her fiance’s accident and prepare yourselves for a possible reunion of her with her mini-me daughter.  That’s got to be coming!

Who is your favorite? Does Michelle scare you? Do you know anyone named Shawntel or Chantal besides these two people on the show?  Did the writers know that Ashley S’s favorite song was “Kiss From a Rose?” or was this a major coincidence? 

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Stacey B