'The Bachelor' A changed man? Brad gets grilled (review)


Watching the first ten minutes of The Bachelor’s season premiere this week, one could almost picture the strategy sessions amongst the Bachelor producers and writers that must have taken place behind closed doors before the season began.

How could they sway the public’s view that Brad Womack is a non-committal, hunk of womanizing flesh unworthy of a second chance at being The Bachelor? A man who had his pick of 25 beautiful women, but sent them all away one by one, after everyone expected him to fall madly in love for life on a reality TV show? How dare he come to the realization that neither of the final two girls, strangers to him weeks earlier, were his wife?

And so the Bachelor crew had their work cut out of them:

Step One: Let’s get Brad in shape, tanned and show numerous gratuitous workout clips of him to draw in the ladies. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but ripped abs and pectorals might. The Husband couldn’t contain his laughter when watching how many times they showed Brad running down a beach at sunset, or showering – because that certainly reflects a man who has made some revolutionary life changes.

Step Two: bring in the adorable nieces and nephews. Show Brad playing with them and how comfortable he is around kids. Women will see this and picture him with their own babies. Make sure to point out that Brad is envious of his brothers, who are both married with kids.

Step Three: Let’s get an interview with Brad’s brother Wes and mother Pamela telling us what awful things Brad had to endure in the aftermath of life as The Bachelor. Poor guy.

Step Four: Bring in Brad’s therapist who sums up Brad’s progress over the last three years.

Step Five: Bring in DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft, the two final scorned lovers from Brad’s previous season and have them be skeptical but hopeful for Brad. Let them come in looking hot and have them flash their diamond rings, an indication that they are completely content for getting dumped. Brad is a hero, really. DeAnna still seemed bitter and alluded to the fact that the one person she put her trust into let her down. Word for word, this was the same line she used on the Brad season After the Final Rose, on interviews, etc. We get it. Getting dumped sucks.

Step Six: Let’s hear from Brad himself and how torturous the fallout from his season has been. How he couldn’t date or leave his apartment. Let’s definitely mention his father issues to shed some light on Brad’s behavior. Be sure to mention that he wouldn’t come back and put everyone through this if he wasn’t a changed man. That he is sure his wife is amongst the group of THIRTY women he has to choose from.

Step Seven: Let’s get the hottest girls that The Bachelor has had of any recent season I can remember and distract fans with their beauty.  Seriously – I was in awe of some of the beauties who stepped out of the limos. Between Emily (the gorgeous blonde Holly Madison look alike), Michelle (the Hair stylist from Salt Lake City), Chantal O, the feisty divorced brunette beauty who works for her father’s car dealership and Shawntel, the funeral director beauty, Brad seriously lucked out. The Husband did not complain at all about having to watch the show with me and I imagine boyfriends and husbands everywhere may have felt similarly. Fine. They’ll agree to watch the ridiculously exposed, large breasts of Alli and judge whether her rear end is large or not. They won’t spend hours pondering how a man like Brad can simultaneously date a dentist and a manscaper like Raichel – they just want to see the bikini scenes.

Step Eight: Let’s have the girls badger the crap out of Brad. Challenge him. Distrust him. Slap him. Call him a jerk. Build sympathy for the guy while showing off his good looks.

Step Nine: Do NOT reveal any of the ages of the girls on the show. At least not by subtitling them throughout the show whenever each girl is introduced.  Viewers will not like that almost all of these ladies are in their mid 20s, and that the chances of them successfully pairing up with a 38 year old for the long term is probably not going to happen, minus the moms, who may be a bit more willing to settle down. 

Overall, a pretty impressive job of redeeming Brad, who in my personal opinion, didn’t have anything to apologize for.

As for the ladies, I’ve already got some early favorites. Emily Holly Madison will hopefully go far on this show. Besides her obvious good looks, her tragic story of her ex fiance combined with being a young mother bumps her way up in maturity. I like that she’s the daughter of a coal miner – just like that song. I wonder where they found this woman.

I absolutely loved Ashley S – the Kelly Pickler personality clone that received the first impression rose. I loved that she called Brad a “tall drink of water,” upon meeting him and that she pinched his tush. I bet she’s funny without meaning to be, in a Kelly Pickler kind of way. I also liked that she wasn’t beating Brad up about his past – she just agreed to take things from the present and leave the past in the past. Magical words, clearly, as she got the first impression rose. I also am impressed that Brad didn’t give it to one of the supermodel types – he gave it to the down to earth, cute girl who was sweet and sincere. My only concern with Ashley is that she’s 24 years old and seems a bit too young / naive / innocent for Brad.  This poor thing is going to get her heart broken. Yes, she’s gone through some awful stuff with the death of her father, but not sure she’s quite in the same mindset of a 38 year old. But let’s see how things play out.

Obviously, we need to discuss Model Madison and her ridiculous fangs. I don’t think we got a straight answer out of her on whether they were real or not. Michelle’s comment as to whether Madison carved these out of her own teeth may indicate a lack of intelligence, but was funny. First off, I guess the fangs worked, because Brad called them “sexy.” But does a model really need fangs to get Brad’s attention? And who is she trying to be? Yes, vampires may have been all the rage recently, but I don’t recall the Vampire Diaries, Twilight Saga or True Blood fascination spilling over into the reality tv sector. Did anyone else see her bite Brad after he gave her a rose? Lose the fangs, Madison. You don’t need them. They are more creepy, less sexy. And assuming she’s not a vampire, and it’s not Halloween, it’s kind of hard to make friends with fangs.

In the interest of cutting to the chase, I have created an unofficial list of superlatives to help us break down these women.

1.  Hottest Girls

Emily and Michelle, no question about it.

2.  Biggest Drama Queen

Looks like Chantal, the car dealership divorcee may take the prize for most outspoken and unstable.  She’s gorgeous, but her personality felt a little too strong.  The Husband thinks her slap to Brad was completely staged. Brad stated in his blog today that the slap was very unexpected.  If these ladies did NOT know that Brad was the Bachelor until they drove up in the limo, then Chantal’s speech was a little too polished regarding that she had something for him from women all over the country and then to actually smack him?  Not the best way to win a guy’s heart.  Brad keeping her around is absurd – he deserves whatever wrath this drama queen brings.

3.  Quirkiest, but Potentially Cool

Funeral Director girl, Shawntel, has a very wholesome, naturally pretty look.  What a strange job she has, but it kind of adds to her personality. 

4.  Why on Earth Did He Keep Her?

Lisa M, otherwise known as the Dorothy ruby red sequin slippers girl.  We didn’t see much interaction between them, but Lisa M. did not seem particularly appealing to me and her red shoes freaked me out.  Also, Meghan, who works in “Fashion,” did not seem particularly attractive to me.  The Husband kept referring to her as “gorrilla woman,” and I think it was because between her blindingly hideous magenta platform shoes matched up with a Little Black Dress, it was not such a flattering combination given her larger frame.  He kept Alli, who I think resembles Rachel McAdams in the face, but that whole back and forth between her and Renee stealing Brad from each other was absurd.  I’m still not clear on the rules around that. Is Brad required to go with whoever takes him away? Couldn’t he just say, “I’m talking to X, give us a few minutes?”  Clearly Brad will find his way to the ladies he finds attractive.  He sought out Emily, but if you have to look like Emily to be sought out, then most of these girls are out of luck.

5.  Jewish Lady Appeal

So as a fellow Jew, I try to guess which of the ladies are also Jewish and how this will affect their perspective on Brad.  First things first.  Brad has a gigantic cross tattooed into his back.  I’m sure nobody missed that, especially the Jews.  Watching a nice Jewish girl bring home a boy with a Christian symbol on his back could actually be quite comical just in watching the parents’ reaction the first time they see it.  So let’s see, that would most likely eliminate Melissa (the Westport, CT waitress, who now they say is from Florida), Lisa P from Dix Hills (though Brad already eliminated her), Renee (who tried repeatedly to steal Brad for some conversations, but who failed miserably), Jackie the Singer (who can’t sing) and potentially Marissa the Sports Girl, though can’t say for sure.  Lindsay the red headed teacher is a maybe. The red hair is always questionable and Dallas is not home for many Jews, but I’m leaning toward Jewish.

6.  Crazy Alert

Ashley H, the Dentist, seemed really cool at first.  She’s cute and has her own career, yet has a lot of personality, particularly when they showed her dancing around like a lunatic.  The previews of the season, however, paint her as the nut job of the house.  Can’t wait to see how this unfolds…

7.  Jury is Out

I couldn’t get a good read on Kimberly, Sarah P, and Britt (except that she’s soooo skinny and should eat more if she wants more credibility as a Food writer) besides that they are all blonde and smiley.  Keltie also seemed pretty cool (who wouldn’t want to date a Rockette?), but her energy might be a bit too high kick for Brad.

8.  Most Surprised She Got the Boot

Jill. She was so cute and sweet and so ready to get married it was one of the first things out of her mouth when she met Brad.  Luckily he said it back because what a strange thing to say to a potential love interest when you meet them.  We didn’t see much of her, but I liked that she was an athlete and thought Brad might like that.  Guess not.  Thankfully we only had two criers last night upon not receiving a rose.

If you are still reading this (thank you!), I will sum up by saying that if you watch this show purely to get some travel ideas for the future, it would be worth it.  Those upcoming trips to Costa Rica, Aguilla and South Africa look unbelievable.  I’m also super excited (as is my friend Melissa) for Seal!!  At least the dates look to be entertaining even if Brad disappoints us this season. 

Who were your favorites? Do you think Brad has changed? Let’s hear your take!

Stacey B

Previously in RBR-TVBR:

‘The Bachelor’ Brad gets advice as Ali and Roberto return

‘The Bachelor’ why Brad Womack will end up Alone Again (review)   #1 01/02/11

‘The Bachelor’ Brad Womack, get to know what is going on

Calling all ‘Brad Womack’ fans, 30 Bacheloretts named