'The Bachelorette' takes Manhattan – w/ Her Tone Deaf Boyfriends (review)


 The Bachelorette grew its overall audience year to year for the 3rd week in a row.  Again The Bachelorette took the ratings June 14: From 8-10pm, ABC’s The Bachelorette finished #1 in its 2-hour time period for the 3rd week running in both Total Viewers (8.3 million) and Adults 18-49 (2.6/8). The Bachelorette stood as Monday’s #1 TV program among Adults 18-49 (tie) and registered as the night’s top-rated show for the 3rd week in a row across all key Women (W18-34/W18-49/W25-54). 

The show was also built over the prior week by 5% (8.3 million vs. 7.9 million), rising for the 2nd straight week.This week’s episode of The Bachelorette reminded me of why I still love this show. Just when you think you’ve seen every date, every crazy contestant, every, “I’m falling in love” starry-eyed pursuer, something happens that changes it up all over again. From the time we learned this group was flying out to New York for the dates this week, we saw several original events unfold. Like the ability to perform in a Broadway show with only a couple of hours practice and the opportunity to nuzzle Ali’s bosom in front of hundreds of Broadway viewers while suspended in mid-air on wires. Or the decision to get a tattoo of a shield and heart to show a girl who is probably going to dump you in the next week or so that you are sincere about “protecting and guarding her heart.” And let’s not forget, we were able to witness two spontaneous live amateur musical performances for Ali, both of which sent me into convulsions of hysterical laughter for several minutes based on how out of place and awkward they were. Man, do I love this show.

I actually left my college sorority reunion so I could watch this week’s show and blog about it.  There are not many times in life when I can leave a social function with the excuse of, “Sorry, I have to leave. The Bachelorette is on.” Strangely enough, my friends understood. 

Not to take away my love for The Husband, which could never be touched – but I think I have a huge crush on Chris L.  I know I am not alone – my iPhone lit up with text messages and emails of many of my friends declaring the same thing.  We are his groupies.  In fact, if Ali does end up with him, we will be secretly heartbroken.  If she doesn’t end up with him, we for sure have our next Bachelor and I know about 100 girls who would be first in line for the casting calls.  Chris L is the full package – good looking, smart, family oriented and funny.  But what I like best about him – is that he seems like someone we would be friends with already.  He’s not someone you would expect to be on this show – he’s just a real person, having a ball on a reality tv show.  But last night, we saw he might actually have an interest in Ali.  Sigh.  Another one bites the dust.

My friend Neha commented about Chris L: “I am obsessed. (My boyfriend) is jealous.”

First things first. It was interesting to see the guys on their actual journey to New York. I often think that there is a ton of traveling on this show that is never shown. Especially when the fantasy dates are in places like New Zealand and the Caribbean, etc. It really looks like the guys get along quite well. I would have loved to be on that flight from LA to New York and hear the conversations that took place. I also found it interesting that this was one of the first times in Bachelorette history where we got a glimpse into the behind the scenes “primping” process that takes place before we see the finished Ali product. Ali says she’s most comfortable in sneakers, jeans and a big t-shirt, but she couldn’t get away with that in New York. Ali – take it from a New Yorker – I spent 85% of my weekends in a sports bra, leggings and my running shoes. Real New Yorkers are understated (at least that’s how I justify my sporty look).

Of course, this turned out to be one major plug for In Style magazine. The outfits chosen for her looked great, but in all honesty – nobody in New York would have any closet space to store such things. Check out some of the outfits at my blog: http://bachelorlove.blogspot.com.  Although, I’m sure those outfits cost thousands of dollars, so the people wearing the clothes probably would have the space. It was funny that she had to bag most of the outfits and opt for pajamas, due to her cold. Side note: I love how In Style tried to pump Ali up by telling her that she was going to be in the same issue as a “stylish blonde,” and yet she was probably thinking, “Why wasn’t I the stylish blonde on the cover of the damn magazine? Move over Cameron Diaz!” Not sure if she was feigning enthusiasm, or what.

So we’re down to 11 this week, and once again there’s a group date, and 2 individual dates. I was absolutely shocked when we learned that Kasey got an individual date. Certainly she had to have wanted to take someone else. What about Kirk? What about that Chris N guy we know absolutely nothing about? Seriously – does Chris N speak English? Why does she pick him week after week and yet we know nothing at all about him? All we know is that she thought more of him than Jesse, the tall, hot stud who wants to milk cows, sings Lion King songs pretty well and misses his dogs. Was Jesse that much worse than Kasey?? Seriously??  I do have to give credit to Ali for keeping an open mind.  I mean clearly she’s got at least four guys she’s definitely into: Roberto, Kirk, Frank and Chris L.  She could have easily said – ok, my husband has to be one of those guys, the rest can go home…but she’s taking it all very seriously.

Back to Kasey, though. So he’s never been to New York before. Some of you commented that Kasey may have a hearing problem or speech impediment and I should stop calling him Marblemouth. I have spoken to several of my speech pathologist friends and all of them are of the opinion that he most likely does not have either of these issues – he simply is a mumbler. But, I will take the high road here and not continue to refer to him as Marblemouth or Mumbler. Let’s call him Tattoo Bachelorette guy (thanks to Chris L for the suggestion). He may not have a hearing problem, but he is certainly tone deaf. 

One of my favorite lines of the night was Chris L’s take on Kasey’s feelings for Ali:

“I think Kasey closes his eyes, thinks of Ali and thinks of doves flying out behind her…Cupid hitting her with an arrow. Hearts floating around her head. Them in a meadow magically running toward each other with unicorns. I don’t see her as that kind of romanticized love. Not like unicorn love…”

Ahhh, does anyone else think that Chris L is one of the funniest bachelors to ever appear on this show? I love this guy! But back to Kasey’s date – yet another helicopter appears. Ali has surely kicked her fear of flying by now, no? It really is possible that Kasey believes they are actually in a Disney movie. I love how he says, “This is how I’m supposed to spend every day of my life…with her.” Yes, because most people spend every day flying around in helicopters and taking private tours of The Museum of Natural History with a beautiful girl who is way out of your league. Soak it up, Kase! He is in way deep. He’s making statements like, “This is where his love story begins. This is reality.” This is certainly not my reality!

The sun is going down. Ali and Kasey are sipping champagne together and having a romantic picnic. Then all of a sudden, totally unexpectedly, one of my favorite moments in Bachelorette history is upon us: Kasey’s impromptu, toned deaf and completely awkward love song to Ali. Perhaps if there was some music in the background or if he had any kind of musical ability – this would have been somewhat appropriate.  I mean, at least Hunter’s songs had humor and Ty is actually talented.  But Kasey had neither, and it was a disaster.  What on earth inspired him to sing her a song out of the blue?  Actually, I felt like we were watching a really bad American Idol audition.  I have no idea what he actually sang to her because I was too busy trying to prevent the diet coke I was swallowing from snorting through my nose. The Husband and I were howling in laughter. I think the song was something about how he wanted a rose. Ah well, he gets an A+ for courage. I would have paid serious money to have seen Ali sent him home right there and then. It would have been the kind thing to do.  For a second, I thought Ali was trying to hold back from laughing. She says she found him a bit “cheesy,” which is so much of a kinder description than I would have used. Some of you may think Kasey’s gesture was sweet. I found it overindulgent (as Simon Cowell would say) and unnecessary.

This week’s dates were definitely the most interesting that we have seen (minus Chris L’s, but we didn’t get to see what they were supposed to have done). Having the entire Museum of Natural History to themselves is pretty awesome. Especially when Ali was running away from Kasey through the dinosaur exhibit with matching lanterns. I’m not sure if Ali was attracted to Kasey’s monkey noises or to him scaring the crap out of her near the Tyrannosaurus rex, but I was shocked that she didn’t send him home. In fact, I didn’t know there was an option of indecision on these dates, but she went for it.

Worst line of the night goes to Kasey: “I choose you. I hope that some day you choose me. I’m here to guard and protect your heart. Jump in. Stay a while.”

Ewwww. I almost gagged. Can Ali honestly be interested in this crap? And just as I’m questioning Ali’s sanity, Kasey starts up with his ridiculous singing again at the museum. Ali misinterprets scary awkwardness for insincerity. He’s being real, Ali – he’s just crazy! Kasey is so insulted that Ali didn’t buy his singing act that he eventually goes off and tattoos his wrist for her. If any of you all didn’t think he was crazy before, the tattoo had to have sealed the deal. I actually do feel kind of bad for him at this point, because he just has no idea how creepy or nuts he is. The only reason he received a rose this week is because he didn’t show Ali his tattoo. Jonathan the Weatherman actually saved him by interrupting their conversation just as Kasey was about to reveal it to her.  When this season is over let’s hook him up with Michelle from last season.  These two would be a perfect match.

Just when you thought nothing could top Kasey’s singing, the group date is upon us and watching the guys in spandex on a Broadway stage learning choreography, was pretty cool. Frank is beyond thrilled to be back in the company of his love, but I find it stressful watching him because he is seriously going to have a heart attack from seeing Ali with his competition. Roberto’s cute dimples and sincere singing directly to Ali wins him a role in The Lion King with Ali. The guys are so jealous and spend the rest of the afternoon kicking themselves that they didn’t sing directly to Ali. As Kirk says, Roberto is “Rico Suave.” I like Kirk.

As I was watching Roberto and Ali dressed in Lion King costumes, practicing their act on stage together and putting his head in her cleavage, I couldn’t help but think how completely pissed Hunter must be somewhere watching all of this. These guys get a trip to New York and the chance to be on a Broadway stage. Even psychotic Kasey gets a private tour of one of the greatest museums in the world. Hunter? He gets a couple of burgers and hot dogs and the chance to wear an apron at Ali’s house. Not exactly a fair playing field here.

Watching Roberto with Ali on stage – you can see their connection is really strong. The guys can barely sit in their chairs watching the two of them together. During the nighttime portion of their date, Ali’s cold is picking up speed.

“We’ve got a high pressure system moving in,” says Roberto. He’s pretty funny too.

I was happy to see Ali take Frank aside and try to reassure him that he’s still in the game. This lit up Frank’s soul in a matter of seconds. As we already know however, the guy who gets the first date is always going to be forced to watch his lady out with other guys. And this initially strong connection is doomed to be repeatedly tested.

When Craig R is giving his song and dance to Ali about how his heart is 110% in this, Weatherman is watching them like a puma, with a little creepy smile on his face. He’s biding his time, waiting for the right moment.  Another highlight from last night: Jonathan approaches the two of them and asks for alone time with Ali and Craig R basically tells him to go take a hike. Classic. Weatherman retreats for now, but is proud that he took the initiative, whatever that means.

I loved that Kirk pulled Ali away and insisted that she go to bed. Smart move, Kirk. I also liked that he didn’t try to take advantage of her weakened state while they were alone together. He tucked her in and blew out all of the candles around her. He’s a good guy, this Kirk. I hope we get to see more of him.

And then we get to the part of the show which had me smiling ear to ear: Chris L’s date. It’s the poor guy’s birthday and I really thought his date was going to get canceled. Instead – he gets the opportunity to win the flu from Ali. I just wanted to hug him when he showed up with soup and flowers. What a nice guy! You can almost see the fireworks start flying between these two during their time together. If Ali is feeling like crap and she’s still feeling a connection with this guy, it must be strong. Also, before this one on one date, Chris L was pretty neutral about Ali. He probably just thought she’s a cute girl, but hadn’t had much time with her. I thought we could actually see his interest in her take on a real shape during their date. He might be in it to win it.  I think there was a lot of editing going on of their date, because I’m not really clear on how they went from sipping soup on the couch to cuddling in her bed, but it must have taken some intense conversation which we missed.

Once we see him lounging in bed with Ali, something clicks with these two and it’s evident – we finally have a real competitor to Roberto. Chris L has arrived! By the way, 230 Fifth Ave, the club that Ali takes Chris L to, is one of the snobbiest scenes in New York. It’s one of those places where if you’re not a supermodel and don’t have a $1500 handbag, you’re going to get the stink eye. It’s a good thing they had it all to themselves. Once Chris opened up about his mother, I think he had every woman in America and Canada falling for him. I loved that Ali called Chris L’s dad and you can tell Chris has a great relationship with his family, which Ali loves (who wouldn’t love that?). I think we are going to see a lot more rainbows in the episodes to come. I was so happy when he got the rose.  Once the Joshua Radin and choir act come on, Ali’s disease miraculously disappears.  Chris L goes in for his first real kiss – and it’s passionate!  As the Husband pointed out, “If you don’t have the flu by the end of this episode, you’re nobody.”
Meanwhile, back at the loony bin, Kasey is missing. The guys want to put out an Amber alert. The whole “I want to protect and guard Ali’s heart,” is not only getting old – it’s creepy. There are much better ways to prove sincerity than tattooing a shield and a heart on your wrist. I can understand being a bit embarrassed by it, and calling it a burn, so I won’t give him too much crap for lying to the guys about it. It’s probably one of the smarter things he did – until he told them the truth.  But making up a crazy story about going to the hospital for a burn, etc. is a bit strange, to say the least. How about rolling down your sleeve so nobody will notice your bandage?  My friend Amie had the following to say about him:
Ali needs to get ABC to pay for her bodyguard after the show is over because he is total stalker material.  Also I think his voice kind of sounds like Kenneth the Page from 30 Rock.

Final highlight from last night: Weatherman’s last ditch effort to woo Ali with his voice and a guitar.  Poor guy.  I agree, he’s definitely harmless, but oh so dorky.  Another favorite line from Jonathan, “I’m more of a singer/song writer…” Oh really, Jonathan?  So he does afterall have Hollywood in his eyes.  If only he had the talent!  Given, he was slightly better than Kasey, but only because he had a guitar with him.  I was cringing during this performance.  Ali actually looks intrigued, suprisingly.  Even more amazing than his performance is the fact that Weatherman honestly believes his singing/guitar playing has guaranteed him a rose.  In fact, he says, that the “skies are clearing.  Looks like sun in the forceast.”  Not so much.  Some of my friends could not control their emotions about Weatherman and Kasey last night.  Here’s what they had to say:

My friend Melissa’s husband, Jim, apparently walked in while she watching the show only to witness Jonathan’s serenade and had this to say: “This guy is a tool bag.  He’s bad.” 

My friend Nyieri, “Weatherman sounds like a d-bag. No?”

My friend Jennifer, “The Weatherman is pretty awful. Tattoo guy too!”

My friend Alana, “All that singing…and the tattoo – insanity!”

Kirk: “We need one more guy to play guitar in the house.”

Watching the guys sit around prior to the rose ceremony, I have a couple of last observations:

1.  I still have no idea who Chris N is.

2.  Kasey is wasted and I’m not sure why he chose both an orange shirt and tie that matched his skin tone.

3.  I was waiting for Justin to tell Ali about Kasey’s tattoo, but I guess nobody spilled the beans on this one.

4.  If I hear the phrase, “guard and protect her heart” one more time…  Did Ali ever ask Kasey to do this for her? 

5.  Kasey is smart enough to bring Ali Swedish fish, her favorite candy and smart enough to keep his mouth shut about his tattoo. But crazy cancels out the smart here.

Roses go to Kirk (hooray!), Craig R (ehhh), Chris N (who?), Roberto (of course), Justin (he was really sweaty and shiny last night), Ty (The Husband and I chanted for him to get a rose), and…KASEY??? 

Jesse didn’t seem to bummed about going home.  Why should he? He got all expense paid trips to Vegas and New York, along with amazing seats to Lion King.  He certainly has nothing to complain about.  He’ll be the biggest stud for acres and acres of farmland in his town when he gets home.

Jonathan’s reaction to his rejection is awesome. He’s surprised.  He doesn’t know what he did wrong.  Ugh.  His facial expressions are priceless.  He lived through the storm and hopefully there are calmer seas ahead for him.  Definitely not as a singer/song writer, but hopefully some weather station somewhere is desperately in need of him. 

I can’t wait for next week when we will be headed to Iceland.  Will we find out more about Chris N?  Does anyone really care?  Will Kasey reveal his tattoo?  Do you have a crush on Chris L? Or is Roberto more your type?  Who will be needing the ambulance that we have seen in previews?  Is Frank going to hold it together?  Let’s hear your thoughts!

Stacey B