Sooooooo a big thing happened to me this episode. Brad grew on me! That’s the funny thing about the set-up of this show. You can look like a robot the whole time and then as soon as they pull out the blooper reel and never-before-scenes montage (Brad at a South African school, what?), we see your laid back hotness. But I’ve said too much.
I knew WTA would be boring. It always is. The time allotments are always wrong (Shawntel didn’t get to speak and Michelle got three-quarters of the show? Hmmm) and I feel like ABC always guesses wrong what we’re going to want to emphasize. It’s like, I was over the Melissa/Raichel drama like 11 years ago. Who? And who? No one cares. But Chris Harrison cares. He always cares.
So we open with Chris in a spiky ‘do, not befitting of his age or American roots (it looked a little young and Euro to me), but I won’t skewer guy. All these hot tub scenes all these years and he is still with his college sweetheart. Or something like that. So then Chris and Brad have some contrived sit-down chat in front of a roaring fire and about 30 lit candles. I am all into fluid notions of sexuality, but did two dudes need so much romantic ambiance to debrief on the show?
We are then treated to a montage of what ABC considers to be the season’s “greatest hits”. It goes something like this:
Chantal and her melons tucked into a satin green dress slap Brad
Ashley and Brad romp around at a carnival date
“Madison is affectionately called Fangs throughout the entire country.” (She is?)
Then in my least favorite moment of the show, poor innocent Shawntel who was herself the whole season and classy upon exiting, got thrown under the bus with a montage showing all the mortician/funeral highlights available. Noting about their connection or other dates or ABC’s complicit role in making her camp up the “leakage” and embalming bits. And then Brad, surprisingly (because he does always seem painstakingly diplomatic), twists the knife and tells us the hometown date with her was awkward. And then Shawntel has to be mute the whole show.
We learn that Michelle “has a lot of game”.
Bachelors and Bachelorettes from seasons past
Now this is where we get the GOODS! I am like a kid in a candy store now. Like 50 of the hotties from past seasons get to vamp it up and bring their libidos to mass gatherings of people who can’t stay away from their 15 minutes of reality tv fame. You know who is the biggest offender? She is like the Beth from Real World, appearing in 25 different reunion capacities. Nikki. Oy.
It’s fun to see people come across differently from the seasons they were on. It’s heartwarming to see Kasey the Kermit-voiced tattoo-obtainer has no trouble racking up the ladiez. Vienna is her usual sleazy self and has humped her sleazy match: Wes. Gia is not amused. She is betrayed. Gia, you were a Maxim model, dated a Yankee and have a body to weep for. Do not spend one second on trifling and sorry Vienna.
Ali and Roberto make an appearance. Yawn.
Women Tell All finally begins
I wasn’t paying very good attention because I was so bored, but I think Michelle started her crying episodes pretty early on. We also get to see another side of Jackie who goes on the relentless attack and an expected side of some girl whose name I can’t remember but looks like at the tender age of 29 she has already had work done on her face. She is unremembered in the season so decides to make up for it by expressing constant vitriol for Michelle.
But oh wait! ABC has an itinerary to follow. First, we have to rehash the drama no one gives a shite about and inexplicably sit through special hot seat time for Melissa. Okay, I agree with the girls that Melissa and Raichel the Manscaper brought all their eventual pain on themselves. They both seemed mildly surprised that Brad wasn’t turned on by their sobbing, complaints about the other and descriptions of how many exact pieces of onion pizza it takes to create bad breath. These rehashes are good in a way – you do realize in retrospect that the Bachelor or Bachelorette does often manage to successfully weed out the crazy.
Now Michelle is in the hot seat. And we are literally subjected to a 30 minute group discussion/Salem witch trial about whether Michelle is an inherently good person or bad. It is basically a circuitous dialogue that goes: “I was here for the right reasons.” “I missed my daughter.” “She is just hilarious and sarcastic.” “I hate you.”
Chris tries to goofily contribute that he likes that he and Michelle “are both smart alecs.” You know what I like? ANYTHING THAT IS NOT THIS BORING. My Restless Leg Syndrome started to flare up and I came to the realization that on my deathbed I will deeply regret the two hours I spent watching this episode.
Then it’s Ashley S in the hot seat. She is the young nanny with the strong Southern accent who got the First Impression Rose and who can’t seem to get a guy to stick. Sad. And boring too.
Now Ashley H in the hot seat. This one was a little more enjoyable. She’s now a brunette with bangs wearing bronzer and bright red lipstick and although the new look has aged her about ten years, she is wearing it well and seems like a whole new more confident person. She also, astutely, acknowledges how much of the time she wasted where she could have just connected with Brad and enjoyed one another, but instead chose to obsess about and guard against her vulnerabilities.
Brad is in love, buddy.
Recap of final two girls and Previews of finale
The whole spoiler-free world thinks it’s Emily at the end. I am more concerned with how to have a kick-ass finale party. Ideas? I think we should watch from a hot tub or a helicopter.