Hysterically Perfect: 'The Bachelorette's' exotic overnights in Fiji (review)


If there’s one place I’d like to be in the world at this very moment, it’s the island of Fiji in Savusavu. The views of the turquoise water, dramatic sunsets and tropical fish can never get old. BTW, the resort where Ashley stayed, the Namale Resort & Spa, looked like it was out of a dream. As for this week’s exotic overnight dates, I thought Ashley looked great. This has everything to do with her developing feelings of comfort and love for the remaining two guys. She’s more relaxed, which makes me feel more relaxed. Plus there was such pointed use of the romantic bachelorette music that I knew something special was happening on these dates.

I must interrupt this review to highlight one tidbit of information that may not have fully come to light during the hometown date episode.   Did you guys know that Ames’s mother is the President and Chairman of the Board of the United State Tennis Association? That’s right! Blonde, sweet Mamma Ames is really Jane Brown Grimes.  Kudos to ABC for hiding this information and keeping the focus on Ashley and Ames’ nonexistent passion under the magnolia tree. Sadly, it looks like Ames’s father, Charlie Grimes, died of pancreatic cancer in 2007 – but not before winning a gold medal for crew in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. No wonder Ames is such an over-achiever. I have a whole different perspective on Ames. Perhaps he really is the one that got away. Is it worth marrying someone to get kick-ass seats at the US Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens each year? Perhaps. The annual tournament is coming up and the finale will air just in time for this year’s festivities. I wonder if Ashley factored this in to her decision. Of course Ames is nice enough that he’d probably invite Ashley and her new fiance to his stellar box regardless. Ah well, at least we’ll get to see more of him on Bachelor Pad 2.

It’s kind of funny and somewhat cute in a “love is blind” kind of way to hear Ashley gush about her remaining men. For example, when Ashley says she finds Constantine, “so physically attractive” and that JP is “absolutely gorgeous…and look(s) like a model…” I have to smile. I mean, come on. Yes, they are better looking than the average young single male. I see charming qualities in both of them. But I think Constantine is one of those people that appears to get better looking because he has a nice personality, not because he’s necessarily attractive. Ashley likes that he’s tall and feels protected around him. When they were hanging out together, it was like watching Tarzan and Jane. JP is adorable, but I think even he’d agree that he’s no supermodel. Still, I like Ashley’s blind enthusiasm.

So thankfully, it wasn’t too long into the show when the mystery man was revealed. I definitely thought the mystery man would not come around until the finale episode, similar to how Reid Rosenthal came back for Jillian at the last second to propose. I also really thought the mystery man was going to be Ames, so was delighted that it was Ryan P!  His approach to Ashley’s hotel room was a bit on the creepy side – do you agree?  From the camera work, they made it look like a stalker was on the loose. What I don’t understand is how the mechanics of Ryan convinced ABC to bring him back. Once you’re kicked off, shouldn’t that be the final decision? Why else would Chris H keep telling us each week that Ashley is about to hand out “the final rose?” As awkward and intense as Ryan P is, I thought he might actually have a chance of getting back in the line-up once Constantine dumped Ashley. I was surprised she didn’t go straight to Ryan P’s room that night just to get some comfort and build her ego up again. I guess the repercussions of her taking Ryan back would have been far worse than the whole Bentley situation. Because at this point in the journey, if she’s not comfortable with the final two, she’s got a major problem. And how would taking Ryan P back work exactly? Would they get an exotic overnight date too or would she just take him straight to meet her family? It was an impossible scenario. I genuinely felt bad for Ryan – particularly when he was watching the helicopter go by and he was standing in some mudlands, definitely smart enough to realize that Ashley was getting pawed by one of her boyfriends in that aircraft. Ryan’s confession speech to Ashley was the saddest part of all, particularly when he confesses that he’s “31 and it’s gotten (him) nowhere.” That’s not true, Ryan – you’re in Fiji for free!  Some people have commented that they are shaping him up to be the next Bachelor.  If that’s the case, they’re going to need to do a lot more selling – Ryan has an intensity to him that I’m not sure is universally appealing.

Who didn’t fall in love with Ben F all over again this week? I loved his orange shirt contrasted with a great Fijian tan. He looked adorable – very Bachelor worthy. What followed on their private date on the yacht was nothing short of soft porn. For example, did anyone notice that when the two of them were staring at each other on the deck and as Ashley’s flower fell out of her hair, she said, “I lost my flower.” Is this a metaphor for Ben’s de-flowering of Ashley later on? Is it foreshadowing? The whole sunblock application session was probably the most physical contact the audience has ever been allowed to witness on this show. Ben’s hands were everywhere and Ashley liked it! Then after they’re done rubbing each other down, Ashley thanks him, “for his HARD work.” Gross! Do we really need to know what’s brewing between them? This is certainly Rated R. Hide your children!

The chemistry between Ashley and Ben is “Hysterically Perfect” as Ben says. They are very into each other and like their dorky little jokes between each other.

“Honey, you cooked,” Ben says to Ashley upon arriving at their exotic diner.

I loved Ashley’s long yellow cotton dress and the fact that she was not wearing any make-up. The two are falling hard for each other. The Husband was smiling at the mutual admiration and when Ben confessed to Ashley that he was on his way to the whole “I love you,” The Husband said, “He can’t say it and it’s cute!” If The Husband is getting sucked into their romance, I know it’s got to be good. The Fantasy Suite for these two is one of the nicest ones I have ever seen in Bach history.  These guys have such an easy way about them.  The best part of the whole show was the outtake of Ashley and Ben laughing about each other’s toes.  They are so at ease with each other.

As soon as Constantine’s date arrived and he declared that he had a “Euro mullet,” I got the sense that this was not going to end well. Constantine was more excited about the helicopter than at any single moment that he’s been with Ashley up to that point. I was disappointed that Ashley used the whole “leap of faith” analogy to describe her relationship with Constantine while they are jumping into a waterfall together. This must be scripted because every single time any Bach couple jumps into a body of water holding hands it’s all about taking that next step together. Blah blah blah. Overdone.

I agree with Ashley that Constantine was a hard read. While he had one of the best families ever witnessed on this show, I never got the sense that he was overly into her. In fact, the night that Ashley confessed that Bentley came back to the guys – I remember Constantine admitting that he was not that into Ashley, even contemplating going home then. I don’t think his feelings ever quite recovered nor that more time would have helped their cause. It was shocking, however, that as they are verbally fleshing out their lack of chemistry, Ashley is trying everything she can to make this thing work.  She thinks more time will do the trick, but in a shocking conclusion to their date – Constantine breaks up with her right then and there! Quite a gentleman, that Constantine. He easily could have taken her to the fantasy suite and had his way with her, but he respected her enough to end it before any more body lotion rubbing took place on this show. Of course – it’s right before Constantine intiates the break up that President Obama comes on – did ABC plan this timing? It left me wanting more for one of the first times this season!

We get a brief flashback of the old Ashley, “What if I end up all alone…and all of this was for nothing?” Oh Lord. We’re all rolling our eyes at this point. Thankfully the Bachelor Pad 2 commercial comes on right after this and we once again get to witness Jake Pavelka wishing Vienna Girardi to fall 3,000 feet to her death.

So now I’m convinced that Ben F may have this thing afterall – until I see her greet JP. There’s something about these two – I just don’t think their chemistry can be outmatched by anyone else. Interesting that she saved JP for last – does she get to decide the order? Namealala Island looked incredible and watching them embrace and whisper to each other in the ocean – I’m 190% convinced that JP’s our winner. It was kind of mean of Ashley to tell JP that she sent two guys home that day. JP’s heart must have leapt into his chest – he probably thought he was the winner at that very moment! How cruel.  These two have their date at the Koro Sun Resort – another incredibly beautiful establishment in Fiji.

As soon as Ashley takes JP to the fantasy suite and comes out sporting the long white dress shirt and little else, I knew she was pulling a Chantal.  As you may recall, Chantal did this same thing to Brad when the two of them got caught in the rain and had to run back to his room for cover and making out.  Then they waste no time getting straight into makeout mode in bed.  Guarantee if/when Ashley breaks up with Ben, she will say that they have more of a playful “best friend” relationship versus a passionate, romantic relationship.  It is blatantly obvious every time she looks at JP that she just wants to rip his clothes off.  Luckly JP’s in love too.
It’s interesting that Ashley later revealst aht she’s the “most compatible with Ben.”  I wonder if that she means she’s more down for picking grapes and kissing Ben’s toes versus hanging out in Long Island with JP.

After almost 24 hours of letting this week’s rose ceremony sink in, I’m still not convinced it was necessary.  First off, JP knew that Constantine was gone and he was very clear that he wanted to be there in the end.  So why couldn’t she just have had this same conversation with Ben privately?  No, that wouldn’t be normal.  Instead, she has to have her two possible fiances lined up next to each other, explain to them that if they want to be engaged the following week, they need to accept the rose.  Most ridiculous rose ceremony ever. Not to mention awkward for both of them.
I’m looking forward to this season being over and to finding out who the next Bachelor will be.  The only problem is that The Husband and I are away this weekend and won’t be back until late Monday night.  Which can only mean that we’ll have to pull an all nighter to watch the 2 hour finale followed by the 1 hour After the Final Rose.  Not sure that Mexico will have ABC to watch The Men Tell All, but we’ll have to figure that out.  These are wonderful problems to have, I guess.  Chris H promises us from his blog that the finale is going to be “amazing.”  Let’s hope so!

Stacey B