'The Bachelor' Brand turns up the charm (review)


Carnivals, Charity and Jewels; It was so long since we have had a season of The Bachelor, I almost forgot how amazing this show can be with the right combination of crazy mixed together. How can this much drama be happening during week one in the mansion?

I was very surprised at Brad’s picks for individual dates this week.  Ashley H was an unlikely choice, especially when she’s competing with perfect Emily, hot Michelle, the Shawntels, and the other Ashley, etc.  But there seems to be some sort of curse around whoever gets the first individual date.  Still, how great of a date is going to your very own carnival??  I give this an A+ in creativity, but a D in terms of wardrobe.  Did she really need to be wearing a gold / yellow sparkly mini strapless dress with heels to endure a brief walk in the woods at night followed by running around outside between game booths and rides?  And poor Brad had to wear a tie?  Unnecessary.  I’m still craving one of these ladies to show up for their date in a t-shirt and jeans. I found Ashley H’s nervousness when Brad took her into the woods annoying.  She was asking too many questions and seemed very high strung.  Relax.  You’re on national television with The Bachelor.  He’s not taking you anywhere bad.  I wish she could have just gone with the flow a little bit more.  Chris Harrison said in his blog today that the ticket booth used at the carnival was from the movie set of “Grease.” Now that’s cool.??

Once Ashley and Brad started speaking, it was one of the deepest first conversations we have ever seen on The Bachelor.  The fact that she got him to admit things about his father and how this may effect his current view of relationships is about as deep as we’ve ever heard.  Also, Ashley’s comment to him about being worried that Brad will pick someone because he feels he has to, is in the 99% percentile amongst intellectual comments on this show.  She’s a dentist, so this should be expected, but it’s baffling because there’s usually not too much analysis being expressed rationally on this show, at least not coherent analysis.  Thankfully this was balanced out by the Raichel vs. Melissa showdown and the ridiculous Michelle antics of the night.  The making out between Ashley H and Brad was unexpected, but cute.  By the time they ran off to the ferris wheel together the sesaon could have ended right there and then.  Which is why this date will probably be the peak of Ashley H and Brad’s relationship.  Guaranteed that for the rest of the season, she will be trying to recapture what they had on that first night.  She won’t be able to handle the other girls going out with her “boyfriend.”  And because she’s smart, she’ll crack after thinking about why on earth she agreed to date someone who is cheating on her every day with really hot girls.  Poor Ashley.

The group date was a step up from the ridiculous scripted scenes that recent Bachelor / Bachelorette contestants in the past have had to endure.  But only because it was for charity.  Of course from the previews it looks like we may be subjected to a scripted scene after all.  Too bad.  What stood out the most from the group date was how screwed Keltie was in being forced to wear a neck brace and arm casts when others like Madison were dressed in her scary, but sexy seductress outfit (plus fangs).  Did anyone think Madison enjoys dressing up like an S&M vampire a little too much?  What was up with her whole, “LICK!” exclamation?  This was not a fake pornography foot fetish / S&M shoot.  Or was it? Melissa was totally put into the “cougar” outfit on purpose, which is kind of funny, but sad because 32 years old is YOUNG!  But not compared to 24 and 25 year old models.

Someone asked Chris H why they don’t show the ages of the women on the Bachelor. He said they had redone the artwork of when they post the contestants’ names / occupations on the screen and there wasn’t room for the ages. That is total bull.  They don’t want you thinking about how much younger the ladies are than Brad constantly.  The ages are listed on the website and Chris says the women will reveal at times how old they are.  For example, we learned very well that Michelle is 30.  And that Melissa is 32. And that Raichel acts like she’s 21, which isn’t really that bad considering all these ladies are doing are sitting around drinking and sunbathing in their bikinis all day. 

I really liked Britt on the group date. She seemed shy, like a normal person who would be nervous to do a kissing scene with a guy she barely knows.  I also think it’s cool that she used to be a gymnast and her quote about despite being calm, “It doesn’t mean (she’s) not growing ulcers at an alarming rate inside.” ?? Funny.  Which makes me thinks she could be smart too.  I hope Brad gives her a shot. She was the last one called for a rose this week and I thought she was a gonner.  

Jackie’s date is being referred to as the “Pretty Woman” date.  Again, I was surprised he chose Jackie to give an individual date to.  First off, she’s 100% Jewish, and I wonder if Brad knows this or cares.  Second, she used the phrase, “OH MY GAWD” so much, that I’m going to refer to her from now on as OMG Jackie.  So who wouldn’t want to get taken to a gorgeous hotel, changed into a robe, and then get a mud mask with a guy you barely know?  Jackie’s best quote, “I’m sure (Brad) looks great in his robe…and out of his robe.” That was kind of predictable, no?

When she walked into a room with dresses all her size, shoes to match and someone to do her hair and make-up, it was a little overwhelming.  Then to top it off, Brad gives her Neil Lane diamonds, and apparently she was able to keep the earrings. It seems a little much to be given all of these things on the first date with someone.  What is Jackie supposed to say?  She just kept thanking him the whole night and eventually this date ends with a private performance by Train.  Once again, Brad is falling fast.  He pretends to have concerns with OMG Jackie because she’s only had two boyfriends and never dated anyone in college. This doesn’t seem like too big of a concern to me.  The bigger concern will be how she feels about having a goyish husband with a gigantic cross on his back as a Jewish lady.
In the interest of not being a zombie during my meetings here in the UK this week, I’m going to just point out a few of my favorite moments from the show and call it a night (or morning, depending on where you are):

1.  Michelle Money’s jewelry choices. What on earth is up with her enlarged and unusual jewelry collection?  When she debuted those hanging round disc silver earrings, the Husband asked whether she was trying to pick up a Satellite tv signal with those things.  I think they were mini silver lip gloss cases that she could carry around with her.  They were so distracting it was hard to listen to anything that came out of her mouth.  The big hanging turquoise necklace was kind of funky (I think that was either an Ann Taylor loft piece of Banana Republic), but also distracting.  The 80s punk colorful earrings she was wearing during the charity shoot was equally outrageous, but since it was technically part of her costume, I won’t count it.

2.  Michelle’s Outrageous Antics.  Already this woman is becoming a nuisance. Yes, it’s less than ideal to be spending your 30th birthday on a date with 14 other women competing for the same guy, but that’s what you signed up for. I burst out laughing after taking in the huge silver disc earring shot when Michelle exclaimed, “I just want Brad to notice me.”  Like that was even possible.  The references to her birthday were non-stop.  We didn’t see it, but Brad even pulled her aside to give her a cake.  Then he gave her the rose on the group date. I think she can safely feel noticed.  Her whole obnoxious rose dance was unwatchable.  Brad should have snapped that rose right out of her hand and asked her to leave. I am also sick of her immature attempts to get alone time with Brad, like grabbing him as soon as the rose ceremony cocktail party began to ask him what kind of coffee he likes and what he keeps in his fridge.  Then she stares at him with that ridiculous look on her face and it’s difficult to tell whether she’s playing the role of an adoring admirer trying to appear mysterious or she thinks she’s Angelina Jolie. 
I rolled my eyes when she said things, “Every girl (Brad) kisses after me is going to be one big disappointment.”  Get over yourself, Michelle.  Her comments to Brad such as, “You have walls..” and “I want to connect with you” and “I want to peel all the layers,” are not only absurd, they are rehearsed.  I can now say that Michelle might be my least favorite contestant, mostly because I don’t find her genuine. 

3.  The Raichel versus Melissa showdown.  I’m not sure what to say about this one except that there must have been a lot of alcohol involved and lack of sleep.  Melissa came off worse here, I think, because she just wouldn’t stop expressing her rage.  She became a bag of tears and went from “shaking” when speaking individually to Brad to crying to Ali and Roberto.  Regardless of who was the culprit, crying over this sort of thing and being so negative to someone else in the house is pretty much the kiss of death, particularly in the first week.  As Melissa was exiting the show, I just kept thinking how skinny she looked.  Her dress was practically falling down and I wanted to feed her something (perhaps onion pizza?). The look on Brad’s face when Melissa admitted (in between crying) that she might have onion breath, was pretty awesome.  As for Raichel, I feel bad for her because a) she has gorgeous shiny black hair, b) she had gigantic boobs that Brad surely would have loved and c) what does she have to look forward to besides men flocking to her from all over the country to get their back waxed?  Ah well…
4.  Ali and Roberto.  It was so great to have them back on the show to help Brad out.  Roberto was absolutely stunning, as usual, and it was great to see the two of them still very much into each other.  Poor Ali Tweeted during the show that she hated her dress.  I think she could have picked something more flattering and done her hair differently, but she’s still a cute girl.  What I’m pissed about is that we never go to see what they said about the girls!  All we know is that they liked Emily. But who did they not like and why???  Can we see the B Roll please?

5.  Make-up. Was it me or did every woman have intense amounts of pink blush on?

6.  Brad’s Interaction With Emily.  This was awesome. Ali and Roberto confirmed for Brad that Emily’s intentions were true for being on the show. Kudos to Brad for even being worried about that before diving head first into pursuing her.  Could Emily be any more perfect? She’s drop dead gorgeous. She seems smart (I loved her comment about not caring what kind of coffee Brad drinks). She makes Brad lose his train a thought (a sure sign she’ll go far).  She’s got an awful past, but this seems to have made her a stronger person.  It’s hard to believe she wouldn’t want a modeling or acting career, but I guess we’ll have to see what happens after this season. She can always move into the Playboy Mansion.  Hugh Hefner probably can’t see that well these days, so will just assume she belongs.

7.  Most Underappreciated Ladies.  Shawntel O (the funeral director).  I think this girl is adorable and seems pretty cool. I want to know more about her.  Britt. I hope she gets a chance.

So that’s it for now.  What did you think? Who are your favorites? Who are your least favorites?

Stacey B,