This episode opens with what I would consider to be an extra-long recap from all the Bentley crap from last week. We also know from Ashley’s blog on People.com and previews/spoilers that ABC kindly plays at the end of the episode that we haven’t seen the last of Bentley yet. So both these things make it painfully clear that ABC wants to milk his storyline for all its worth, and then in typical Bachelor fashion, continue to milk it for all it is NOT worth. Because, and I repeat: Bentley is actually boring, monotoned and his big scam was as dramatic in execution as when I’m at the grocery store and I think they’re out of cheese puffs, and I feel my heart rate quicken a little, and then I spy a bag at the back of the shelf.
The real episode begins and Chris Harrison comes in wearing a boring celadon green shirt. Then he dramatically announces that Ashley has agreed it’s time for a fresh start and to leave this mansion forever. Wait, Ashley just picked Thailand so she could get a fresh start? You mean the production team wasn’t planning the venue for the months that would be required to logistically bring that many people to a foreign country and sort out passports and visas before-hand? Anyway, the douchebags get an awesome free trip to Phuket and clearly this is the stuff that makes people still try out for this show. This and the prospect of heavy petting on a later filming of Bachelor Pad. My only consolation is that it’s the rainy season in Phuket. ABC might as well have sprung for the cast to go to Dayton, Ohio.
Ash is strolling the beach now in Phuket in a little red short/white tank ensem that makes me think ‘cute lifeguard’ and the voiceover is that she is still thinking about Bentley. Now, Bentley’s name will come up in 82 more voiceovers and convos in this episode but I feel the need to get a major question out of the way: am I the only one that is confused how and when she had so much time to fall head over heels in love with him? As far as my recollection, they never had a 1 on 1 date and their interactions that I ever saw were a bit short and coy. Either some shit was edited out or Ashley is a total nut job and is in love with someone lame she barely hung out with.
Yay, cartoon map with flying cartoon plane!!
Let’s Sea Phuket Together date with Constantine
Constantine is a restaurant owner, 30 and ready to get married. When they meet, Ash has an umbrella and they seem like they don’t know each other. Oh cause they don’t. There is a monsoon so they can’t go out on the boat, thus rendering the “sea” play on words in his date card sadly moot. But they can go shopping! Ashley remarks favorably that “Constantine goes with the flow” as though the fact that he didn’t throw a fit that on his all-expenses paid trip that he couldn’t go on a boat is a credit to his personality. Um, I’m pretty sure all these people are just happy to not be at work and have free food, drink and travel all the time. They’re never going to bite the network hand that feeds them.
Then because there is an old, Asian person in a shop, Ashley and Constantine assume he will give wise, sage marriage advice. They are eating up every Thai syllable he utters. This is racist and ageist to elderly Thai people. But the man says “Always let the woman win”, or something so actually, he is a wise sage!
I like that they’re kicking back with some Thai beers in beer holders so that there is no inadvertent Thai product placement. It seems too early for this, but Constantine starts debriefing on the date and how flexible they both were. They really seem surprised they just went with the flow on the change of plans. Are they OCD Type A or something? There is a bizarre amount of back-patting IMHO.
Loser Ash is still thinking about Bentley.
Now couch and candles and tiki torches on the beach for dinner. I think Constantine asks a nice question which is how Ashley stays positive through the experience. Unfortunately, what he doesn’t realize is, she doesn’t. Remember how she cried and complained every time she was with Brad. And then how this season she cries and complains about Bentley. But Constantine can’t help himself, he is actually being insightful, positive, genuine and great. Shockingly, Ashley mentions her insecurity. This season should be dubbed “Ashley Self-Loathes.”
And because it’s always fun on a first date, Ashley asks Constantine about his relationship history. But Constantine scores a home run again by explaining his recent epiphany to become vulnerable and loving of family and open to true love with a lady. He’s articulate and genuine. So Ashley will never like him. I like him though. But their chemistry is not evident to me. Ashley gives a boring speech and hands over a rose.
Let’s Make the World a Better Place group date
Rain again. Ashley with an umbrella again. Voiceover about Bentley again. I want to pull my eyeballs out. Ashley launches into a speech about the 2004 tsunami and how on the group date the men can renovate an orphanage. Some of the guys don’t look psyched.
(I got nervous with those mattresses in the rain. Mildew city!)
Mickey starts the shit-talking about Ryan. Which is unfortunate since it’s the only time ABC lets him talk all episode. Ben F’s Ryan-Meter has reached its max.
Ashley notes the boys are being hard-core about their orphanage renovation duties and not flirting enough with her. Not only is this sort of a pathetic thing to say while people are trying to do good volunteer work, but she also pulls a double axle and manages to miraculously tie her lament on this date back to Bentley and equates the men actually doing their service work as ignoring her and not trying to manipulate them sexually the way a nice, devious, robotic valley guy Bentley would.
Ben F is being cute and paints a mural.
Then a bunch of Thai orphans come running. And love the place. And the bikes and toys. And the men are moved. Especially JP.
Cool beach bar. Ashley cheerses the men. Her subtext is: don’t ignore me his time, boys. I will not be passed over for some two-bit orphans who lost everything important in life in a terrible natural disaster. Look at my abs!
One on one time follows with Ben F. Ben wants to hear from Ashley for once. A little flirting and he goes in for the kiss kill. Good man! The Constantine/Ben F lookalikes are doing well this week!
Lots of negativity from the dudes about Ryan. But he snags some one on one time with Ashley. She mentions she wants someone who makes her feel secure. The world reacts in shock. Ryan and Ash agree they have a connection.
JP and Ashley hang out on the beach under an umbrella. JP is here to stay for Ashley. He wants another date, and stat. He thought pajama time was the perfect date. JP is by far best kisser in her opinion. That would be so hard for other guys to hear if she goes with someone else. Then he picks her up in the rain and carries her. Movie moment!
Ryan pulls a weird move and steals Ashley right as she is about to present the group date rose. Blake calls is “foul play” and someone else calls him a “goober”. I would just say it was a one-on-one FAIL.
Ben F takes the rose for the win! And he’s on Cloud 9.
Then Ash leads the crowd in her purple bikini into the pool. Seems weird there is no footage after this. Bikini pool time is usually the best time.
It’s More Romantic in the Rain date with Ames
Third umbrella wait by Ashley. Ames runs barefoot to her. Ames has been to Phuket a few times. To climb a mountain and then for cooking school. “Last minute is the best minute”, he says. And all of the sudden my own heart goes pitter patter for Ames. What’s up, Wall Street!
Uh oh, Ames gets out of my good graces when he analogizes rounding corners kayaking in a cave to a relationship. But I will forgive this one transgression. The two are awed with the views and the scenery.
Ames is cute. He picked up a girl in a shoe store once. Ames reiterates later that he’s into spontaneity. I see that. But I also think maybe he’s not ready for marriage? Although he says he really likes her. And he’s good at leading convos.
Dinnertime. But of course no one is eating. And Ashley calls them both nerds. Um. Then Ashley trashes her sheltered upbringing. Sorry, mom and dad. Then the two discuss timing. And then Ashley tries to fake she isn’t giving him the rose. Ames says their intimate convo is better than kissing. And actually seems to mean it!
I like Ashley’s brown stripey dress a lot. There is only one way she can ruin this evening for me… AND SHE DOES IT! She claims she is still in a dark place. Presumably about Bentley who we never even got a falling-in-love story arc from. UGH.
Ashley wants to quiz West on whether his recent murder of his wife is allowing him to be ready for a new relationship. Ashley worries about the big shoes to fill.
Lucas is chatting about life post-divorce. “They fell out of love.” So I have to say it would make me more nervous to hear a man in his 30s say that than they murdered their wife while she laid in a bathtub. So to speak. And then Lucas cavalierly tells Ashley she is a “sweetheart”. Total deal breaker for me.
Meanwhile Blake is telling Ryan he grates on everyone’s nerves. GIRLS, BEHAVE! I love it. Then Ryan inexplicably mentions soldiers in Afghanistan and uses the word “stoked”. Then Blake calls him disingenuine. A few minutes later (by tv editing time), Ashley also addresses Ryan’s terrible habit of being happy.
Chris Harrison first has a sit-down with Ashley ro re-hash the Bentley dog poo and the “dot dot dot” thing. Then she wants to change the rules and only send home one guy, not two. Um, that’s embarrassing for that one guy. Only one guy is “terrible enough” to get sent home. ABC caves to her wishes, and that one terrible guy is West. Kinda makes sense though.
By the way, did you see Chris come up behind Ashley before the final rose and she flinched? That was hilar.
JP is my pick.
look awesome and terrible. Bentley somehow is still on Ashley’s mind and then also gets a free flight to Thailand on ABC’s dime if he’s willing to cause some fabricated stir in Ashley’s heart so the season will be more dramatic. It is now par for the course for someone to “come back” ever since DeAnna busted in on Jason’s new season. Kudos to Frank (from Alli) for never showing his face again. I think I will discuss Frank every blog post.
In MUCH more exciting news, the new cast of Bachelor Pad has been announced!