'The Bachelorette' When did this show get annoying (review)


One of the greatest joys of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, is watching with good friends and hearing their reactions to the insane conversations, questionable choices and dates unfolding before us. For this week’s episode of The Bachelorette, I had the luck of hosting my good friend Melissa who was in New York on business. Melissa was one of the original lawyers who watched The Bachelor with me from the depths of our insane law firm back in Washington, DC. We’d sneak away from the billable hours, the pressures of “wordsmithing” documents for demanding partners and reserve a conference room during lunchtime with several other female associate friends. Under the auspices of an “associate training” we’d secure a TV for the conference room. In the fashion of the 1800s, someone would bring in a VHS tape with the coveted Bachelor episode from the previous night. We’d gather round with our lunches and watch in delight as helicopter rides to beautiful waterfalls and hot tub parties under the stars were then original dates and let us escape from legal briefs and Westlaw searches.

Melissa had not been religiously following this season and was immediately agitated when Ashley could not stop get Bentley off the brain
“He’s not that cute,” said Melissa, “And he left. So why won’t she stop talking about him?”.
When did this show get annoying? When did the audience start to not only pity the Bachelorette, but wanted to scream at her choices in frustration? If this week’s show had a theme, it would be: Bentley’s trip to Thailand, despite his absence. Again, she’s got to be completely humiliated watching this in retrospect. Besides that episode where we saw Ali Fedotowsky break down when Frank broke up with her for another woman, I don’t think we normally watch the main character have so much regret over a contestant who has left (ok, maybe a little with Jillian when Ed left initially, but on the whole, it’s not the focus of the entire episode). When Ashley was considering telling Constantine on their one on one date that she was still bummed about Bentley, I think our neighbors could hear us screaming from down the hall. DON’T DO THAT, ASH!! How awful to finally get some alone time with the objection of your affection only to be told that your date has the hots for someone else. She’s hopeless at this point.

The weather was horrendous in Thailand. I don’t think it stopped raining for any part of the dates. The Radisson resort where they stayed looked beautiful, despite the rain. If you need a break from it all (i.e., you’re thinking Phuket, let’s go to Phuket) – you can check out where they stayedhere. I love how they make it seem like Ashley plans all of these dates and decides to take the guys to Thailand. JP fell in love with Ashley this week because she planned the orphanage date. Hate to tell him this, but I’m sure the writers of the show scouted out these dates months before they even knew if Ashley was going to be The Bachelorette (i.e., because Chantal already had a boyfriend).
Constantine and Ash’s big adventure to an island to show off Ashley’s white bikini and toned, tan physique got canceled due to inclement weather. If we can’t see Ashley romping around foreign lands in a bikini, what’s the point of this show? (that’s my Husband talking, not me).  I like Constantine. He is a very laid back, go with the flow kind of guy and despite his ape like hair and mumbling, I found him one of the better eligibles still remaining. He seemed sincere (at least sincere in wanting to hang out with the boys per next week’s preview). We had to rewind the part where he was telling Ashley about being afraid of failing at a relationship and therefore sabotaging them as we had no idea what he was talking about. At first we thought we missed something – like he had a dead
wife, or a previously bad relationship or a child or had recovered from some illness, but turns out it was none of that. He just started thinking differently about relationships for no reason. Good for him. There was a very palpable lack of affection on both of Ashley’s one on one dates, which is the only reason I think both Constantine and Ames may not make it too far. JP and Ben managed to steal some affectionate “snogs” from Ashley as my SWF (Scottish Work Friend) would call it in just the few minutes they had with Ash. Constantine and Ames had an entire day and night with Ash, and we didn’t see one kiss. I did like their stroll around Phuket and their attempt to speak to a “local.” Did anyone else start giving their own interpretations of what the Thai man was saying to them? Still, I liked Constantine’s free spirit and personality enough and watching him tower over Ashley as they walked hand in hand through the streets was kind of funny by itself.

Melissa wanted to know why they kept showing Ashley in these crazy bikini/short short shots and I think this is a valid observation and one that deserves a full answer: (1) she’s the Bachelorette and these shots are supposed to distract us with her beautiful body rather than her wandering Bentley thoughts. I’m going to stop at 1, because that’s really the only answer. Her outfit on the group date was trying to show a damsel in distress wearing a blue bikini caught in a fishnet-made-of-seaweed dress. Very Little Mermaid circa 1990s. She loves the off the shoulder look.
The orphanage date at Baan San Fan Orphanagebecame the venue to start spotlighting Ryan P’s annoyingness. I liked the idea of giving back, but these guys have got to be somewhat annoyed (except for JP who found this life changing) that they’ve flown all the way to Thailand to paint some houses. At least if they’re not interested in Ashley, they can feel good that they’ve helped some orphans.  So we’re done with Bentley for one episode and Jeff the Mask guy is gone (despite his soulmate who is still sleeping next to me on the train this morning). What will keep viewers interested? How about people bitching about Ryan P’s over the top happiness? It’s hard to tell whether they were just giving him a hard time or whether he really was that bossy and annoying. Ryan is a successful solar power company owner who employs over 600 people. A person that bright must be bursting with energy, especially surrounded by people like Nick the personal trainer and William, the cell phone salesman who has no future in comedy. Ryan naturally wants to dominate and execute – it’s what’s made him successful to date. I can see how that might rub people the wrong way, but watching Blake call him out on it seemed completely unnecessary. Eye on the prize, Blake. Leave your competition to crash and burn by himself. Although, Ryan P taking Ashley away moments before she was going to give out the group date rose just to say absolutely nothing of importance seemed ridiculous. 

Ben F is still one of my favorites, mostly because he just seems to have kept the most level head during this process. I like that Ben described Ashley’s interactions with him at the orphanage as “buzzing around her.” Kind of like a gnat in your ear that you can’t quite swipe away? Or like a bee you’re trying to avoid?

Another observation this week – the overuse of romantic Bachelor music. They usually reserve this for when the “L” bomb is dropped for the first time, but perhaps they’re trying to get us to believe that these guys are actually falling for Ashley (or that she’s falling for them). I also got confused when Ryan P started touching Ashley’s thigh, calling her beautiful and smiling at her in a puppy dog kind of way. Is he really that sincere? Or am I getting the cheese factor from him because he has Jake Pavelka’s smile? Does he have a temper like Jake? Or will Ashley be attracted to anyone or anything that calls her beautiful and confesses that they have “it” with her. I was actually worried that if Ryan got the group date rose whether any of the other guys would leave. Perhaps Emily could be flown in, kick out Ashley and her confusion and say, “I’ll take it from here.” 

JP is getting very into this thing – more so than I expected him to as he seems like a cool cat and he’s got the city street smarts of New York City in his advantage. I hope he keeps it together because I like him and his shaved head.  When Ashley pulls him away on the group date’s evening gathering to see where his head is at, we learn that his orphanage experience has “forever changed him.”  Then we learn that Ashley in her pjs and ugly glasses is the best date this guy has had in his whole life.  Wow, she should marry him on the spot!  When they busted out the Latino romance music I got confused and thought we might be back in Costa Rica or Spain for a moment. Then I realized they were trying to make us think of JP has her Latin Lover and it’s a requirement for rain, lightning and passionate kissing to be paired up with this music.  Job well done, JP.

As the group date guys strip down and follow a blue bikinied Ashley skipping into a pool as her fishnet seaweed cover up gets tossed up with giggles, The Husband says, “Honestly, I’d rather be watching hockey, but it’s 4-0 right now.”  Yeah right.  The Husband will watch this train wreck no matter what.  Even if it’s the Stanley Cup.  This is why I love him.  Unfortunately, there were no steamy kisses in the Phuket rain during this pool orgy.  Ashley is kind of a prude.  Or maybe they all have bad breath and she’s searching for the guy with the best oral hygiene.

So then we see Ames get a one on one date and learn that Ashley was expecting to send him home before the date.  Why she would waste a one on one date with someone she planned on sending home doesn’t make much sense, but ok.  Take cute Ben F!  Or give JP a real date.  Or even Blake who seems to have more spunk.  I can’t figure out Ames.  They definitely had the most interesting conversations to date.  Ames seems mature and asks all of the right questions, all the while flashing his pretty perfect teeth and revealing small, quirky details that intrigue Ashley (ex. He’s been to Phuket to climb mounts after college and for cooking school. WTF? Sounds like a lost soul).  I don’t know anyone who’s been to Phuket “a few times,” so I guess I can’t relate.  He must be mega loaded.  Good for him.  At least he can back it up with intelligent conversation and Ashely finds him witty, funny and spontaneous.  Their date was definitely the coolest individual date so far this season, with the sea kayaking adventure.  Phuket looked awesome, didn’t it?  Like some fantasy land in Disneyworld where they brought in an incredible fog machine to impersonate mystical clouds.  I found out from Chris H’s blog that they were eating dragonfruit during their date – that white looking fruit with black seeds.  He says it tasted like a cross between kiwi and watermelon. Yum.  Ames looked different in almost every shot taken of him.  In some of them he looked scary and very Herculean.  In others he didn’t look so bad.  I can’t tell if he’s handsome or scary looking.
As Ashley was pouring her heart out to Ames about wanting to “travel with (her) kids,”  Melissa bust out laughing.  “Uh, if she had kids, she’d know it’s best to leave them at home” when going on vacation.  Impressed with his perfect smile, beautifully flossed teeth and charm, Ashley gives him a rose.  Well first she pretends like she’s not going to give it to him, but we all know this is a farce. It’s the only time Ashley feels like she has power.  Are any of these guys going to turn down a rose?  If I’m in Thailand and a frog handed me a rose, I’m taking that rose.

Ashley looked great at the rose ceremony party.  I loved her dress, shoes and jewelry.  Perhaps it was the fact that it wasn’t raining and she was able to wear make-up, etc (there were a couple of shots taken of her throughout the dates where the make-up person did some serious work on her eyebrows) but I thought she looked great.  When she sat down with West and started questioning whether he was over his ex-wife, I knew he was a goner.  In Ashley’s head, West was too big of a contrast to her personality.  He seemed very reserved, shy and not quite the bubble fest that Ashley is.  But the fact that she could let such a genuinely nice person go home and keep Nick Soul Patch who specializes in doing push ups while Ash takes a seat on his muscular back, is ridiculous.  Her choices are very questionable.  My friend Neha was outraged when Ashley didn’t pick West this week.  Her text to me, “I hate that she sent West home…so mean and didn’t give him a chance but she leaves Cell Phone Guy (William) on?  The girl makes the wrong decisions!”  As Melissa pointed out, it’s not West that can’t move on from her past, it’s Ashley who can’t get over Bent.  She needs to stop talking about “big shoes to fill,” as this is a lame attempt to come up with any reason to let someone go.  How about Soul Patch’s soul patch? There’s a reason to let someone go!  I thought she might have given Lucas the boot – talk about someone who might be caught up in his past.  He admitted that he would “always care for his ex wife” as they were ex college sweethearts who lost the passion.  Ashley should run for the hills.  The last Texan she fell for did not work out so well.

I loved when Chris H takes Ashley away at the pre rose ceremony cocktail party and he’s carrying a knife with his champagne glass.  Does Ashley get to stab someone?  Is she considering ending it all now so she can avoid 1) any additional Bentley talk 2) making one more bad decision or 3) talking about whether these guys actually like her?  His talk with her revealed that no matter how many mystical skies/clouds she kayaks by, it’s just not the same without Bentley.  Even JP’s passionate kisses have not cured her.  And I almost gagged when she started talking about a “woman’s intuition” in relation to Bentley and how she’ll “never know what could have been.” Oh yes you will, Ash.  And it’s not going to be pretty.  She says her biggest fear is that the process is not gonig to work for her.  What about getting completely played on national TV by the biggest Bachelor jerk of all time?  That’s got to be worse than figuring out that your husband is not amongst 25 guys picked to compete on a reality dating show. 

The only thing more annoying than Ashley thinking she’s intuitive, is that she was allowed to give out an extra rose this week.  Come on, Ash – you really still think that all of the guys still left could potentially be your husband? Soul Patch is really going to put your kids to bed at night?  Over West? Come on!  And did she seriously need to hand out all of those freakin’ roses only to let West know that he was dumped?  Couldn’t she just go just pull the poor guy aside to let him know she wasn’t interested in him?  That’s so not how it works in La-La Phuket Land.  And why was her back to him when he left and got into the car? Very odd.

Next week we’re off to Chang Mai which looks incredibly beautiful.  Plus we’ll finally get the big Bentley reveal.  Gone for a whole episode and things looked so bleek they had to bring him right back to stir up some trouble.  My question is – why is he back?  Whose idea was it for him to come back?  Who paid his airfare/hotel arrangements?  If the show paid for him to come back, we know this must all be scripted acting on his part. Here are some possible scenarios and why they’re moronic:

(1) He’s back to confess his love.  This is not going to happen. Because if this was the case, they’d be engaged and Bentley would be the ONE.  But he’s not attracted to her, and this probably didn’t change in one week away.

(2) He’s back to give her closure.  The show got boring since he left, so the producers begged him to come back (and pay for his trip) and let Ashley know the truth – that he left because he’s not interested.  This is the only way that the show could possibly have a happy ending.

(3) He’s back to torture her. A likely scenario – also because the show got boring after he left.  He’s back (paid for by the show) to say he misses her and wants another shot in the line up.  At this point, Chris H better tell her what’s up or I may have to stop watching.

(4) He’s back to annnounce that he’s on Bachelor Pad 2 that comes out in August.  Most likely scenario. 

That’s about all I’d care to say about this week’s episode.  I’m ready to move on and hope you are too.  Nothing really happened besides some rain, some platonic dates and some complaining about someone being too nice.  So why do you think Bentley is coming back next week?  How will it all go down?  Will there be closure?  Do you love JP and Ben F as much as I do?  Do you think the other Ben or Blake have a chance? Will Mickey, Ames and Constatine be able to build on their relationships with Ashley?  Let’s hear your thoughts!

Stacey B

Coming next:
Is Ashley over her heartbreaking setback