'The Bachelor' South Africa the erotic adventure (video – review)


This week’s highly anticipated, overnight, exotic dates in South Africa was quite a journey! My friend Melissa and I talked earlier in the week about who our predictions were coming down to the home stretch. She is a Chantal/Emily fan, predicting that Ashley was out. I said that Brad has this very strange connection with Ashley that was hard to understand. How do you send home a great chick like Shawntel instead of Ash? It must have been all the dad talk at the damn carnival date. Funeral home date aside, Shawntel was the real deal. Anyhow, Melissa was dead on. I only hope that if he’s keeping Emily around for this long – he’s got serious intentions for her. It’s not right to make a kid wait around for her mommy for weeks, only to send the mommy home heartbroken.

If you can’t tell by now, I’m for Team Emily. Chantal seems like a nice person and all, but to me, she’s not emotionally stable and has a little growing up to do. What on earth was she talking about when she tells Brad that she was ready to just get married, and didn’t need an actual engagement? Yes, I understand that when you get engaged to someone you have already committed to get married and that both people should be ready to do just that. But an engagement is a great time to actually get to know your betrothed in a way that’s more serious than casual dating – it’s the last screening to determine whether this person could actually be your life partner outside of African reserves, helicopter rides and shopping sprees in Vegas.  Its a unique opportunity to kick the tires before committing to a live together. I can understand being head over heels in love and wanting to be with someone for life. But they’re on The Bachelor. Which means they are in la-la land. What’s wrong with being engaged for a few months and figuring out whether Chantal likes living more than 4 blocks away from her parents?

The dates in South Africa were pretty awesome. Predictably, we got to experience a safari, an elephant ride and what was hopefully the last helicopter ride of the season to God’s window (which was breathtaking). The safari with Chantal looked virtually identical to the safari at the Animal Kingdom The Husband and I did at Disney a couple of week’s ago. Ok, maybe Chantal and Brad had a closer view of some of the animals, but the idea was the same. I was half expecting to hear “The Lion King,” soundtrack playing in the background as one commenter on this blog noted. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” would make a very appropriate theme song for this season. Brad kind of looks like a lion, so this would work.

Once again, Chantal looked incredible from the chest up. She’s back to her straightened hair look, but the tiny shorts and fitted button down khaki top were not flattering. I appreciate that she’s a real woman with real curves, but there is a very apparent difference between how she looked on day one of this journey when she smacked Brad across the face and how she looked on the most recent episode.

When Brad and Chantal were having their picnic post-safari by the water, Chantal looks over and says something about it being surreal and she asks Brad whether he can believe he’s having lunch with a hippo. I burst out laughing at this remark. But only because the angle she was sitting at was particularly unflattering. I wonder if ABC intentionally did this or if it was accidental comedy. They also kept flashing back to Chantal’s emotional roller coaster throughout the past few weeks. “Highs and lows. Highs and lows,” she said. Again, is ABC alluding to her weight? Mean! The most ridiculous part of their date was that Chantal actually believes that having lunch in Sabi Sands, South Africa is a metaphor for her relationship with Brad. She’s risking it all to be out in the hot jungle to find love. She’s convinced that Brad will protect her. Let’s be honest, Chantal. If a lion came out of the grass and pounced at you, Brad would be outta there in a split second.

One thing I was very concerned about on these dates was the bathroom situation.  Like when they dropped Ashley and Brad off at God’s Window, I’m wondering whether God has a toilet they can use or will they have to get back on the helicopter and head to a tree house before they can relieve themselves?  What if they got a stomachache or drank too much?  I guess nature is their bathroom.

As for Emily, Brad still seems quite smitten. He has nothing but incredible things to say about her. Emily definitely got the coolest date: riding on an elephant! That’s definitely not something we have seen before on this show. I love how uncomfortable Brad is around Emily. She intimidates the hell out of him and I think she knows it and is starting to enjoy it. Around Emily, their roles seem to reverse. Brad is totally pursuing her. This is evident when Emily says to him things like, “Are you ready for a five year old?” Brad actually gives her the best answer that I’ve ever heard any guy give in a response to a single mom – he understands that they are a package deal and he loves that about her.  Brad genuinely seems like he could be up for playing insta-dad.  This could be the first Bachelor in history that chooses a single parent for a mate. Interesting!

I was so thrilled that Emily was able to tell Brad that she’s falling in love with him (and that he said it back right away). First, because it means that our Emily is really ready to move on and find love. For another, Brad’s breaking the rules left and right because everyone knows that Bachelor Rule #1 is never tell the girls that you are in love with them even if they tell you. (Rule #2 being – never tell a girl that she’s getting a rose in advance of the rose ceremony because we have to build suspense and edit things accordingly). There was no doubt in my mind that Emily was accepting that fantasy suite invite – obviously they will use the alone “intimate” time in a camera free environment.  The editors LOVE to try and trick the audience, but we’re on to you!

Speaking of which, what on earth did Brad and Ashley H talk about in their suite besides the mosquito netting? They may win the award for most awkward fantasy overnight date of all time – which blows past Jillian and Ed’s awkward overnight date where nobody understood what was going on, but where they later announced that their chemistry was off.

With 10 minutes left of this commute, here’s my top 10 favorite moments from South Africa:

(1) Emily telling Brad she’s falling in love with him. Brad having a complete look of shock on his face. Emily tells him it’s true, smiles sweetly and says, “Surprise!”

(2) Realizing that the entire time Brad was with Emily on their date, he had most likely slept with and woke up with Chantal that very morning. (This is more of a “gross” moment, than a favorite moment)

(3) Watching Ashley H have a meltdown when she learned she was going on a helicopter ride. Her kid sister factor was at an all time annoying high, and I knew it was over at this point.

(4) Brad trying to comfort Ashley H about the helicopter by saying, “Do you know how many times I’ve done this and been ok?” Yes, Brad, we know you’ve had 600 helicopter dates with your bachelorettes from this season and the last. Way to remind Ashley how experienced you are.

(5) Brad cracking his knuckles while Chantal casually tells him that she’s totally fine with skipping the engagement and having a wedding in Africa.  He doesn’t know whether to make out with her or run to the lions and beg them to eat him.

(6) Brad actually asking some very reasonable and important questions to Ashley.  Before this date it was all hypothetical questions about their dreams and what they wanted to do with their lives.  Brad is trying to actually shed some reality on his relationship with Ashley by asking questions about how they would be able to function together in the real world.  Basic things like where she wants to practice dentistry, where she’d live.  She tells him “somewhere in Southern Maine” near her family.  When Brad later points out that he lives in Austin, Ashley seems to rely on “having faith” to get them through these decisions.  Um yeah, but the dude’s going to propose next week so he’s going to need a little more than faith, Ash. He’s going to need some answers from you that actually make sense. Ash seemed to retract from Brad way too easily.  Then she does the thing where she bites her lower lip, and it all fall apart.  Thumbs up to Brad for a) trying to ask the tough questions b) apologize to Ashley for putting her on the spot c) calling her out of the rose ceremony to give her one last shot and d) not making her stand through a rose ceremony.

(7) When Brad announces after the rose ceremony that they are going to Capetown to meet his family, Chantal screams out, “I knew it.”  Brad responds, “You called it!” and I just felt bad for Emily because Brad and Chantal obviously had a private conversation, probably while swinging through their tree house naked, about all the fun things to do in Capetown.

(8) I LOVED Emily’s outfit at her dinner date with Brad. Black sequin skirt, great make-up job – she looked tribal sheek.  I also loved the gratuitous shirtless shot of Brad walking through his room as he ponders what to do about the 3 remaining ladies.

(9) Chantal’s eating of worms during her picnic with Brad and then his refusal to try them. I wonder if he didn’t want to kiss her after that.

(10) Brad giving out the final rose to Emily at the rose ceremony WITHOUT the help of Chris Harrison. I’m sure this was a very tough circumstance, but they all survived!

It’s the Women Tell All Next Week and Chris Harrison promises that Michelle will blow our socks off with what she has to say.  Here’s hoping!

Stacey B