My six-month old is still struggling with the house rule that We Do Not Bother Mommy When She is Watching Her Show. He keeps grabbing the keyboard and pressing things, so apologies for any earlier technical glitch. Now on to The Show!
Previews for this episode: shocker, the producers exploit someone’s fear of heights.
Also, I had read the spoiler about Shawntel (stupid Google News headlines) but I love how in the previews they just keep showing her legs. Look at those LEGS of a funeral director!! Total Guinness Book of World Records, right there.
Nicki is psyched to go to SF. There is a limo and they’re all drinking champagne. What do you think the alcohol intake frequency does to all the eating disorders of the girls?
Ben is in San Franscisco and he’s walking up a… HILL. (Heather, why are they always shooting on your location?)
Ben’s sister, Julia, sits for a chat with Ben. JULIA FOR NEXT BACHELORETTE!!!
It’s interesting to hear Ben recount to his sister his take on the girls: “Lindzi rode in on a horse. Kacie B was twirling a baton ‘like mom’. Sister would hit it off with model Courtney because she is ‘drama free’.” HAHAHAHAHAHA. “Emily is a nerd, or something but really pretty. ‘Mom would like that.’ Jennifer is an Accountant and super attractive and best kisser.” And now we know his faves.
Upon arrival, Brittney can see why San Fran is “everyone’s favorite city.” Um, is it?
Sister Julia and Ben both use the word journey. She is so on board with the lingo! NEXT BACHELORETTE!
Chris Harrison shows up at hotel with a nice casual blazer. The camera lands on a blonde I swear I have never seen before.
Can we talk about Rachel’s bangs again? Oh wait, date card is here.
Emily’s “Love Lifts Us Up” Date
The PhD candidate is super excited and happy and beyond pumped but nervous and also afraid of heights. Will she pee her pants?
Courtney thinks the date with Emily will be boring because “book smart is boring”. Being well-educated is nothing compared to the street smarts gained as an LA-based model and human being-hater.
The date pair are climbing to the top of the Bay Bridge. So even though Emily hates heights and would rather do anything else (including being murdered I am pretty sure she says later) and feels like she wants to die, she carries on. As Ben points out “overcoming fears blah blah blah relationship analogy.” They have to move their carabiner clamps over each pole. I don’t even like this date. Emily has a little panic attack. She is absolutely petrified beyond any description.
From the hotel Jennifer the brainiac accountant just located them on the bridge through the telescope. All the girls feel bad because Emily is afraid of heights. Except Courtney- Courtney wants her to drop to her plunging death.
Ben kissed Emily halfway up the bridge and she got butterflies and got over her fear of heights. This is what therapists and hypnotists need to try! Oh no, then EMILY makes a bridge-climbing relationship analogy “…blah blah…fear and what someone has to offer you”. The top of the bridge blows Emily away. “A bridge takes two things that are separate and brings them together and that’s like Ben and I from our different backgrounds coming together blabbedy blah”. Ben said, “if we can accomplish this, there is nothing we can’t do together.” This date wins the award ever for most analogies and metaphors and similes about relationships eked out from the activity at hand.
Dinner date time. With the bay Bridge backdrop at night Emily tells Ben about on-line dating and how she got matched with her older brother. Hmm. And then she and Ben agree they want to wait to be muuuuuuch older before they settle down and get married. So it’s totally good they’re on this tv show where you are supposed to get married.
The two things in life Emily is most afraid of are rejection and heights. One has been conquered on the date. Now we just have to get the pesky date rose out of the way. Ben grabs the ‘elephant in the room’ and starts his little speech: likes where this is going, likes how they interact, Emily is quick and witty and “just gets it”, Emily handled the Bay Bridge monster, his father loved his mother because he thought she was smarter than him and Ben wants live up to his father’s expectations and the man that he was and Emily is smarter than Ben. Emily accepts the rose and they have kind of an awkward kiss because she was sitting too far away. Does Emily win best legs for an epidemiologist? “I can’t imagine anything topping this” she says, which means: Cue fireworks! Emily makes a fireworks analogy. Quit it, you guys!
The girls sulk from the hotel.
Let’s Cross Something off Our Leap List Group Date
I kept thinking they were saying “Leaf List”. Casey S is tired of no one-on-one dates. Casey, too bad for you. Because you are on the group date with: Blakeley, Jaclyn, Kacie B, Erika, Samantha, Jamie, Monica, Rachel, Nicki and Elyse. The girls each make a little happy face when their name is called. It’s funny to me.
Casey S’s Leap List includes running with bulls, swimming with sharks and falling in love and sharing those things with that person. Hope Ben likes sharks. Oh wait, he does. Courtney. Badump bump.
Group date starts in hotel lobby. Ben is stoked! Snow skiing! The girls in their sundresses. This has been on Ben’s Leaf /Leap List. Yeah right. Ben is driving one of the three Honda CRV things and the car has a “cool feature” where you can put a girl’s face as wallpaper on the dashboard. First it’s Rachel. Then Blakeley, to which Monica pouts “I would rather look at Rachel.” I guess the lesbo love for Blakeley is off. Promise me, Chris Harrison, it will be discussed at the Girls Tell All.
Look at these leggy ladies walking up the hill. A whole street is closed down and covered with snow?? Wait, can someone explain this? My friend works for the Mayor’s office. I need to call her stat even though it’s the middle of the night on the West Coast.
Bikinis? Are you serious? Is San Francisco ever bikini weather? Holy, look at Ben’s abs. There are weird starey gawkers everywhere. Can you blame them? Bikini girls skiing down a street in San Fran? This is like some weird porno. Kacie B has never skied before. I want to know how everyone gets back to the top of the hill. Butt skiing backwards is on Ben’s Leap List. Ben, your Leap List is starting to sound like a sham.
After Party at Tonga
Iconic landmark, apparently. Cool scene with rad rain on the pool. A no-drama night with little cocktail umbrellas and leis.
Bang-y Rachel gets some one on one time. She tells Ben he is cool, chill and funny. Then she is giddy with their first kiss. The girls watch. Yuck. Then Elyse gets time but then Kacie B steals Ben away and they sneak outside. Ben feels like Kacie B sparkles and she is going to be “good trouble” for him. She’s always been a frontrunner and I like that she doesn’t act as much of a hosebeast (spell check wants me to write “horsemeat”) as the rest. She has her moments but I will make small allowances since we’re in the first ever season where every single person is a shit-talker.
(Brittney Let’s Unlock Our Love with the Key to the City date… or not.)
Back in the hotel, Lindzi is sad she keeps not getting any dates. FORESHADOWING ALERT. San Francisco key necklace. Brittney didn’t see it coming at all. Brittney admits she’s torn and confused. She’s overwhelmed and not feeling like this is the right decision for Ben or Brittney. The circumstances of all the girls together is not for her. Her heart’s not in it so she’s going to go home. “This is the hardest decision of my life.” (You’ve had a good life then, Britt.) It’s an awkward situation and her heart’s not in it. Not for her. Etc.
Too bad Ben. Cause Brittney is tall and leggy and cute and wait, making the right decision for a change!
Blakeley meanwhile is telling Ben everyone hates her, they all spite her and Ben says “you are not part of the club.” Ben tells her to try to make friends. Good advice actually. But with boobs like those, no one’s going to be friends with her. Human nature.
Brittney shows up with her suitcase! Wait, where is the club in relation to the hotel? That was bizarre. Brittney gives a little goodbye speech. Ben seems like, WHATever. She is crying. Maybe she wanted him to talk her out of it? Ben slams the door and practically flips the bird at her in the taxi. He could care less.
Ben tells all the girls on the group date what happened and you can tell Samantha is like HELLS YEAH, ANOTHER ONE DOWN. Ben then gives the rose to Rachel because he got to know her better and she is “unexpected” or something. I would have given her the rose for her bangs.
Plan B Second Choice Date with Lindzi after Brittney Bails – San Fran At Night
Courtney is despising on Lindzi. Court, give it a rest. You are winning.
The trolley comes to pick them up at the hotel- as trolleys do. Lindzi has great teeth. Just sayin’. Market Street. Ice cream shop where they totally cut in line and the mere mortals take photos. Wait, Ben says this hometown is where is wants to live for the rest of his life. Huh? He said that about Sonoma.
San Francisco City Hall. My friend works there! Ben has the “key”. Come on San Fran, why are you slumming for this show?
Then, a private concert by Matt Nathanson. Of course Lindzi name checks the band even though there is no way she actually knew who it was. Open mouth kiss. Even though Lindz doesn’t kiss on a first date. Ben says “Lindzi has potential. She is something special.” I’m not feeling the heat from him though.
Then the couple goes to a secret locale where you need a password. Unmarked door to some speakeasy. I wonder when the whole speakeasy trend will die. My baby screamed through the secret password so I don’t know what it was. Bourbon & Branch is the spot. The couple get their own room.
Lindzi says she’s been in love once and was broken up by text (Babe, welcome to Dumpsville. Population YOU.) out of left field. Yeah, right. Can someone Snopes this story?
Ben says Lindzi is making a lasting impression, not a first impression. And she accepts the rose.
I like that her hair is straggly and disheveled. Ben feels she is the “complete woman” (death knell!) Now they’re in a piano store and Ben is tickling the ivories. Then they dance and kiss.
Cocktail Party Night
Courtney leads the toast to a “positive, drama-free night”. Since Courtney is such a positive person, it makes me feel good she is leading by example. I just know she will remain a positive person tonight.
Mystery woman calls Chris Harrison to say she is on her way and she really feels like this is meant to be. What a spontaneous voice mail! Then 20 minutes away they have a totally unscripted conversation again.
Ben walks in to the cocktail party and says the girls have exceeded his expectations, relationships are forming and he believes he will find love. I am pretty sure he said the exact same thing last week. I think Ben is actually a cool, laid back guy and what you see it what you get, so I hope he can move away from these little canned sentiments.
Kudos to Jennifer for her cute little fuchsia and pink dress and for telling Ben she likes him and thinks about him all the time. Ben then says to her: “I think you are hands down the best kisser in the house.” Okay, wait. I know that is a major compliment but if you are falling in love with a guy it’s also sort of gross because they only way he can bestow said compliment is if he’s checked out the competition. I kind of feel like it would have been more special to say it later if Jennifer made it to the end. Saying it now means she has the pressure to keep up her skeelz and just knowing he is being a tongue whore. Whatevs. They tongue it out and even though Jennifer think it’s their little secret, everyone is watching. I think she might even say she is in love to the camera.
Mystery woman Shawntel in her convertible voiceovers that she fell in love with Brad, was heartbroken, confused and grieved and it was the best thing that happened. Anyone who is able to dodge the Brad bullet: I agree. Now Shawntel is here because Ben is the bachelor and everything she wants in a guy and she has to do it now or else he will be engaged in a couple months. If she didn’t spontaneously arrive at the Fairmont Hotel which is camera-ready with no other guests pulling up or leaving and Chris Harrison is there and it’s right in time for the cocktail party, Shawntel would always wonder “what if?” “In a ways, I feel like this could be a total fairytale.” It’s “way” Shawntel. Singular. Ugh. These girls.
Um, the producers have pulled this kind of stunt before and it’s always so anticlimactic and brief that I wonder why they go to the expense to do it again. I swear we will watch the show even without meaningless 5-second cliffhangers! Also, do they consider the viewing audience this pathetic? IF Shawntel genuinely felt that Ben might be the man of her dreams and she knew they had a connection and she wanted to make a last romantic gesture to see, well it wouldn’t be in the middle of a rose ceremony cocktail party. That is just rude, unnecessarily provocative, counter-productive, distracting and obnoxious. There was a time (I don’t know, maybe ten years ago) where we all would have watched the tv and screamed “Oh my goodness! Oh wow! Look what is happening!” and pumped our fists in the air and covered our gaping mouths with our hands in aghast excitement. Oh yes, there was a time. But those days are long gone. This show is so staged and phony and any genuine moments are best left to actual simple spontaneity off-script. These big stupid gestures with old faces? Boring, and worse: patronizing.
Kay, I am jumping off my soapbox now. Let’s watch for some Shawntel Shenanigans! (It would be nice if we had some context to what exactly their past relationship is but I’ll still watch.)
Nicki meanwhile is doing some trivia game with Ben with paper and markers and gets really excited about some question of red or white.
Courtney exclaims she would never be friends with these naive and juvenile girls. She says: Nicki looks dumb. Blakeley is the kind of girl who your boyfriend cheats on you with (autobiographical?). Me? I’m just so proud of Courtney for sticking to her toast decree to “stay positive tonight”.
In a further ode to her positivity, Courtney is calling out Lindzi for her facial expressions and then accuses Lindzi of making terrible faces at Elyse. Emily is so confused because in her PhD graduate school classes no one is that batshit ca-ca-crazy.
I love how Monica calls her The Model. They all trash Courtney except some blonde I forget (oh, Casey S or something. Casey, if your claim to fame is that you defend Courtney, I feel sorry for you). Meanwhile The Model snares Ben for some alone time with a view. Courtney bites her lip, brings out her baby voice and exchanges “I like yous” with Benster. Then she goes for the big guns: “I think we’ll make cute babies.”
Shawntel thinks she’s going to walk through the door and fall in love with Ben. Wait, aren’t you supposed to already be in love when you pull a stunt like this?
I can’t even type out the pathetic and mousey convo Elyse is trying to have with Ben, because the Shawntelinator is walking. She’s walking! She has a nip poking through her one-shoulderless dress. Do the girls really not know who she is? They don’t watch the show religiously every season? Liars.
Ben says: “HOLY SHIT”. So at least he didn’t know this was staged. I will give ABC a thumbs up for the ambush.
The girls all get their claws out. Jaclyn says they are “not friends, so scram bitch”. Is that the criteria? Jaclyn will only compete with her “friends” for Ben? That actually makes no sense, unlikable Jaclyn. The girls all figure out it’s Shawntel. And stand basically five feet away and watch her conversation with Ben. Um, that’s annoying. Elyse is giving such a strong stink eye that her whole forehead goes zigzag crazy. At least no Botox. Emily lays down the gauntlet that if Ben kisses Shawntel, Emily’s going to go home. I just want to make sure I have this correct: if Ben kisses Shawntel, then game over. If he kisses 15 other random harlots, no probs. Okay Ms. Smartypants, whatever you say.
Shawntel meanwhile is telling Ben she has feelings for him, thinks/hopes he feels the same and wants to get a rose tonight. Ballsy, yes. Timing: poor. Possibly genuine: I think maybe. I can’t help that I still like Shawntel. I always did. SHE should have been the Bachelorette. Ugh.
Ben introduces her to the crew of beotches. I like Shawntel’s red dress. And look at that ass! Run for your life, Pippa Middleton!! Ben hopes the girls are gracious and welcoming but I mean, come on. Too. Much. To. Ask.
Erika is annoyed. Elyse is yelling a whole bunch. Rachel’s black dress and purple necklace are fly and accentuate her bangs. Yay, bangs!
WAIT, HOLD THE PHONE! I had to pause my tv. Erika is saying in her confessional that she is happy because Shawntel is “ugly in person and has thicker thighs than me”. I am so confused by Erika’s blatant pathetic insecure shit-talking because it is delivered all the while she is wearing a 1980s-era turquoise dress with gold rope chain trim. Erika, please go bye bye today. Please. Please. PLEASE. I am glad we didn’t go to law school together because you were probably the girl who wouldn’t share your study outlines and raised your hand too much.
Courtney is “pissed and done”. Oooooh, a chink in The Model’s armor! Me likey. Elyse is calling Shawntel a loser and the girls are barking and making fun of her profession. (Mature.) They all want Shawntel to move on because she was from an old season. She is “Brad’s dumpster trash.” So I guess none of these girls then would be wiling to go on Bachelor Pad or be the next Bachelorette? They are so against recylcing on this show, apparently. LIARS. HOSEBEAST LIARS. And my faaaaaaaavorite, Cruella deJaclyn, says: “I feel like I’m better than Shawntel, I do.” Jaclyn, I need you to know very specifically that you are not. Not even remotely.
THE MODEL IS CRYING. She is not willing to find love “like this”, meaning: She will compete, but not if there is real competition.
Why did Nicki say Shawntel rode in on her high horse and then say no pun intended? Was there a horse involved?
The girls cry and melt down. This episode is awesome.
I don’t need the dramatic music and pausing to know Ben won’t keep Shawntel. I know this, like you know, because (a) the cliffhangers never materialize and (b) nothing ever happens on the show that I want to happen. Shawntel sticking around would be a good thing and therefore, she will get the boot. ABC exploited 5 minutes of the drama and then we’ll go right back to business as usual: Elyse making angry faces, Courtney sadly dominating and Jaclyn telling the world its business.
Remaining roses go to:
- Courtney. She calls Shawntel “what’s her butt”. Worst put down ever.
- Kacie B
- Elyse. Ugh, boo.
- Casey S. Who? I need her to talk one episode.
- Blakeley (I will say this: Shawntel’s arrival made everyone forget they hate Blakeley for a second. Blakely is like the Gary Condit to Shawntel’s 9/11.)
- Nicki. She cries too much. Also a boo.
- Samantha. A bitch and a crier. Third boo. Wait, fourth.
Last rose and Ben is going to make a speech. The first ACTUALLY DRAMATIC rose ceremony. And then Erika faints! If Erika gets the rose, that is an awesome maneuver. The girls are saying this is a three-ring circus because of bitch Shawntel. It’s totally NOT because of the producers who allowed the whole thing to transpire in the first place.
So Ben decides not to hand out the final rose. I sort of like this loop that’s been thrown. The girls don’t have anything to be mad about anymore or anyone to blame but the two losers still get the boot. I am bummed Shawntel is leaving but she doesn’t need to slum it like this anyway. I am reminded that she is naturally beautiful, too. Guess what? Shawntel is more beautiful than Courtney (less fetal alcohol syndrome around the forehead, if you know what I mean). And with better job security. I agree that Ben didn’t man up because it did seem like he felt something for her. Certainly more than he feels for a few of the randoms he kept around. But Ben’s loss.
Jaclyn cries and heads to the bathroom. No, Jaclyn, the limo is the other way!
Courtney yells see ya and sayonara to Shawntel. She is a class act right to the end.
Park City, Utah
Horse-riding group date. Major heat with Kacie B. Everyone hates The Model. Emily is at war with her.
Ben looks super uncomfortable when Erika is trying to bait him into guessing where her hidden tattoo is. She clearly thinks she’s being sexy and coy but Ben is gulping like he wants so badly for an interruption so he doesn’t have to guess the stupid location for her stupid trashy and uninteresting tattoo. It’s amore inked inside her lip. It would have been 2,000 times more interesting to let a partner discover that down the road, during a moment with some heat. When you drop it as cocktail party conversation, you get the expected reaction: people think you are a little unstable and want to excuse themselves. Turns out axing Erika was even more right than we all thought.
Until next week!