Tag Archives: Ames

Hometown happenings

Hometown dates are among my top three favorite events of every bachelor/ette season. Why? Because you don’t quite know a person until you’ve met their family. Who would have known that Constantine was born from a legend of a man who most likely coined the term and invented “making it rain“?  And who would have guessed that Ames grew up in a house that has bookshelves on literally every wall? Oh wait, we could have guessed that.

Despite his cultured upbringing and astonishing poise, Ames was sent packing this week. I must admit, it was sad to see him go. It took me a while to warm up to his abnormally large forehead, impossibly perfect and denture-like front teeth, and delicate nature, but I did start to like him. Let’s take a look back at the events leading up to his unfortunate departure.

This week, Ashley is visiting the hometowns of all of her suitors. While bustling around her apartment in preparation for her travels, she takes a look back on her relationships with each of the men. Her thoughts on each, in a sentence:

Ben: I love him and his long hair.
Constantine: He’s the total package.
Ames: He’s…unique.
JP: I feel secure and comfortable around him.

Deduce what you will from these statements but…she only used the word “love” in Ben’s description. Just sayin.

Constantine’s hometown

1) As if having the first name ‘Constantine’ weren’t enough, we discover that his middle name is Demetri. But, I’m actually fine with it, because it reminds me of this guy, who is hilarious and perfect.

2) Constantine takes Ashley to his restaurant and immediately puts her to work. After high fiving the cooks and snuggling with the waitresses, Constantine takes Ash to the kitchen, where he instructs her on how to prepare a pan pizza.

Making a pizza together definitely has the potential to be cute but…if I were Ashley, I’d much rather just sit on the counter and watch him make me a pizza because a) this is a date, I shouldn’t have to risk getting burned by a pizza oven before enjoying my meal b) cooking sucks and c) guys are sexy when they cook. But that’s just me.

3) After leaving the restaurant, they roll up to Constantine’s parents’ house. We can already tell it’s gonna be party time in no time because balloons and a ‘welcome home’ banner are strewn across the entrance. And because Constantine’s father is greek.

4) Constantine’s papa speaks to the camera: “Oh my boy, my son, my Constantine. Will he be happy spending life with scrawny, non-greek girl? Well…I don’t know.” Uh oh. Signs aren’t pointing to yes for a future engagement between these two. Because old foreign men are always right.

5) After a traditional greek feast, the family and Ashley are sitting in the living room when the front door suddenly bursts open and a flood of people rush in. Babies are sailing through the air and being caught all over the room, children are ducking under legs and squealing, middle-aged women are pinching cheeks left and right. Is this a scene from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”? Nope. This is real life. Constantine’s family is AWESOME.

6) Well, it’s not a greek party unless there’s dancing. And unless there is money falling from the sky. The family gets into a circle and dances around the room. Before we realize what is happening, papa is standing in the middle and making it rain all over the place. It’s a good thing Ashley opted out of wearing one of her backless shirts/skin-tight booty shorts/anything else she typically wears because she’s tiny and can get away with it, because otherwise we would all assume other reasons for money being thrown at her.

dolla dolla bills y'all

ames’ hometown

1) “Ashley and I are like boyfriend and girlfriend,” Ames tells the camera. Oh, Ames. We forgive you for sounding like you are in 5th grade. Between a rigorous study schedule and drawing up theories of relativity to counter Einstein’s work in your spare time, you have understandably fallen behind in the dating scene.

2) Ames looks rather adorable in a plaid button up (always a good choice). He immediately whisks Ashley off to meet his family. Ames’ sister wastes no time in having a chat with the bachelorette.

Sister: “Are you comfortable with him?”

Ashley: “Well, Ames is very unique.”

Sister: “But do you actually like him?”

Ashley: “He’s unlike anybody I’ve ever met before.”

Sister: “Well, he’s amazing, just so you know. Not only is he ridiculously in shape, he’s also smart and he’s traveled the world.”

Ashley: “…….”

Sister: “But you know what, I wouldn’t expect you to understand him. He’s like an onion – you have to peel off all of the layers.”

Waaaaait a minute! Did anybody else catch that? She totally stole that line from Shrek.

Ames’ sister leaves Ashley to have a chat with Ames.

Sister: “I can see that you like what’s-her-name, which is beyond me, but anyway…I don’t think she’s into you.”

Ames: “According to what I’ve read and in conjunction with my personal studies, sister, love is a complicated and fickle creature. My original checklist of requirements for my mate included an education from at least 3 ivy league schools, a mastery of 3 to 4 languages and a deep appreciation for international cultures. After meeting Ashley, however, I have obviously thrown that checklist to the high winds. She may be ditsy and unappreciative of modest clothing, but she is energetic and I love her.”

3) Ames decides to kick the romance up a notch to convince Ashley to love him back. He takes her to a gathering of magnolia trees and it is possibly the most romantic setting for a picnic I have ever seen.

If my future husband ever reads this, I want to be proposed to here. Just so you know.

4) Ames tells Ashley that he went to boarding school and was a “bad student”. Yeah right, like we’re gonna believe that. He then starts to talk about extraordinary moments in ordinary life. ….Is that poetry? Is he quoting John Keats? Nope, that’s just Ames having every day conversation. What a guy.

He is way over Ashley’s head with all of his amazingness, so all she can do is stare and say “You are unlike any man I’ve ever met before.” Duh, Ashley. He’s a genius.

4) Ames takes Ashley on a horse-drawn carriage ride next and it looks straight out of a fairytale. I never thought I’d say this but….marry me, Ames?

Ben’s hometown

1) Ashley finds Ben wildly attractive. “Everything about him screams sexiness to me,” she tells the camera.

2) Ben takes her to his winery and then takes her outside to sit on the damp porch of what appears to be an abandoned house while it rains outside. Alright, not his best idea, but he’s still Ben. So I’ll look past it.

3) Ben admits that he has only brought one girl to meet his mother before and that his past relationships haven’t lasted very long. “If my mom and sister don’t like you, you’re as good as dead to me,” he tells her. Harsh, but direct. I can dig it.

....What is this?! Seriously, abc needs to release an out-takes dvd, stat.

4) Ashley meets Ben’s mom and sister and the four sit down for dinner. Ben’s sister tells Ash that she signed Ben up for  the show because she hated all the other girls he’s dated. She figured hooking him up with some rando who gets her mack on with a dozen other guys at the same time as him would be ideal. Sisters be crazy.

5) Ben has a precious conversation with his mom. “I want to model my relationship after you and dad,” he tells her. “Dad is looking down on you and he’s sayin ‘well done’, he is so proud of you,” says mom.

Uh…I just saw Harry Potter a few days ago, I don’t need to jump on yet another emotional roller coaster, folks. I can’t handle the man tears. I know I was just really into Ames a second ago but oh my gosh…..BEN.

jp’s hometown

1) JP takes Ashley roller skating. She acts all, “I’m gonna fall, I suck at skating!”, but then she skates circles around the rink like she was born on wheels. Not cute, Ash.

2) JP wipes out a good two or three times, which gives Ashley ample time to lay beside him and make out in the middle of the rink. Good thing he rented it out for the day, I’d hate to see a little tot’s birthday party ruined by such a display. Who needs Mtv when you’ve got The Bachelor to steal away innocence?

Eaaaaaaasy girl, watch the hand.

3) JP tells Ash that he’s had his heart broken, and that he’s been unsure of every other girl  he’s dated. “How do you know you are sure about me, then?” asks Ashley. “I’m on a high when I’m with you,” he says. “When I’m without you I’m miserable and it sucks. I don’t want to be without you.” …..somebody pregamed for this date by watching Titanic and got in a real sappy mood.

4) The couple arrive at JP’s mom’s house and mom grills JP on his feelings for Ashley. “Are you in love with her?” asks mom. “Uh…I mean, there are signs pointing toward it but I’m having difficulty saying yes.”

I’m surprised by this. After JP’s behavior last week (do we all remember the temper tantrum?) I was expecting him to fully admit that he’s fallen for Ash. Interesting.

5) The date is ended on the best note possible. Mom pulls out a poster-size photo of JP as a child. Was JP a character on an 80’s TV series?! The mullet. The tie. The striped shirt. It’s all just too good.

rose ceremony

1) I was expecting either Ames or Constantine to go home. Since Ames left this week, she better send Constantine home next week. Seriously.

2) Poor Ames looked so bewildered when his name wasn’t called, I actually felt like crying a little. Despite being devastated, he exits the show gracefully. Ashley sits with him on a bench and he says “I’m lucky to have had you in my life. I’m composed all the time, but now I don’t know what to do…This has been totally beautiful and full of the unexpected and even more poetic than I could have ever imagined.”

Um…you are more poetic than we could have ever imagined. Dang, boy. Ames for the next bachelor? We can hope. In the meantime, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for him on the next season of Bachelor Pad (premiering Monday, August 8).

Next Week: The final 3 go to Fiji and, should they choose to forgo their individual rooms, will be able to join Ashley in the Fantasy Suite. Can’t wait.

-V

Taiwanese matchmaking

The Bachelorette returned on Monday night and the show was more full of tears and anguish than ever. Ashley didn’t have to bring the water works alone this time, though – she had plenty of help from a normally slap-happy Ryan and a certain (snooze-worthy) Bachelor contestant of the past. This episode also opened our eyes to a few new tid bits of information about our spritely bachelorette, one of the more prevalent ones being that she doesn’t own shirts that properly cover her back. But can we blame her? She’s got a nice set of shoulder blades and, naturally, they need a little breathing room every now and then. It’s the only decent way a good shoulder-blade or two should be treated, as we all know.

Exhibit A

A quote from my mom: “What in the world does she have on?! A handkerchief??”

Exhibit B

This episode takes place in the lovely Taiwan. According to Ashley, Taiwan is a hidden part of Asia that nobody really knows about. I’m thinking maybe she skipped out on 6th grade social studies. Regardless of her level of geographical education, Ash at least seems more decisive and clear on the men that she is truly into this go around.

 Harrison meets the men in front of a hotel. “Sup, fellas? Welcome to the beautiful city of Taipei, Taiwan. This city may be wonderful, but your experiences here probably won’t be. At least one of you will cry at the end of this. And it will probably be the one of you who has a special interest in water heaters. Four of you will make it out of here with a rose and you can then introduce Ashley to your families (winks at JP).”

With that, Harrison the prophet leaves the men to mull over his words and read the date card: “Constantine, let your love-light shine.”

constantine & ashley’s date

1) The couple hops onto a steam engine and head for a small village that specializes in lantern making. As the train pulls into town, Constantine is sure to give a friendly wave to all of the locals. “Hey, what’s up?” he says out of the window to a quizzical looking asian baby as the train slows down.

2) Ash jumps onto Constantine’s back and he carries her over to a big red lantern, on which they draw their “love wishes”.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel….

The next date card arrives. Ames reads it aloud: “Ben, let’s spend a gorgeous day together in Taiwan.”

“And the word gorgeous is spelled “g-o-r-g-e-s,” says Ames. “I actually recited that word in a spelling bee once. When I was three.”

Back at the date…

3) Ashley and Constantine discuss his family and the possibility of them ending up together. “Do you think you could see yourself with me?” asks Ashley. “Uhh…well, I mean, if we fall in love.” Emphasis on the “if”.

4) Ash decides to shake that off and release their lantern into the night sky. Then they decide to make out a little. When they come up for air they realize that the sky has filled with other lanterns just like theirs.

Excuse me…um, Taiwan? Did you rip off your tradition from one of Disney’s recent films?

Who saw Tangled? Just sayin.

This might have had a shot at being more adorable if Ben or JP were there....

Ben and Ashley’s date

1) Ashley and Ben go on a moped ride around Taiwan. The good news is that Ben is adorable when he tells her he’s the happiest he’s been in a long time. The bad news is that he calls her “kiddo”. Pretty sure her request at the beginning of this season was to be called “cupcake” and, although that is slightly nauseating and nearly as bad, it is not quite as disgusting as a man calling a woman “kiddo”.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel….

The group date card arrives and is granted to Lucas, Ames and JP: “I’m grooming you for the big day.”

This means that Ryan has been granted the one-on-one date. His response to this news? “YES!” he exclaims while slamming his right elbow into the left palm of his hand. I’m not sure what kind of opposite-of-a-gang-symbol-because-you-are-too-dorky-to-be-in-a-gang sign that was, but it terrifies me.

Back at the date…

5) Ben and Ashley have relocated to a romantic dinner. Ben basically confesses his love to Ashley and admits that he gets butterflies in his stomach when he kisses her. Alright, a moment of truth: Ben is perfect. I know his hair is in the awkward stage between being long and short, which causes it to flip out strangely above his ears sometimes,  and I realize that he’s kind of dorky but…I think I’m in love with him. Marry me, Ben.

The next morning at the hotel….

Ben has still not come home from his date with Ashley and things aren’t looking pretty over breakfast in the old suite.  JP has become unrecognizable. A demon has possessed the body of what was once a mild tempered and tolerant, love-struck man. The new JP sits alone and in silence, his bulging eyes darting between the men. When he does speak, it is only to drop the f-bomb a dozen times before descending into mute anger once more.

JP with a murderous look in his eye.

 Group DAte

1) Ashley has planned yet another creepy, wedding-themed date for the men to enjoy. Lucas is given traditional Taiwanese garb to wear and, in true hick form, dubs it a dress. Ames dons a glittery, pink and powder blue get-up that is, and I quote, “the offspring of an otstrich and Elton John”, and is an excellent sport about it. JP gets to wear a traditional tuxedo.

Lucas: “JP has been acting like a little girl, so thank God he gets to wear the tux.”

My sentiments exactly, Luke.

2) Lucas and Ash kick off the shindig with a series of “traditional” photos. All is going well until Lucas leans in for a posed kissing photo.

3) Things continue to go downhill for JP during Ames’ photo shoot and by the time it is JP’s turn to pose with Ash, he’s in a more foul mood than ever. He doesn’t get into it at all and the photog struggles to get a picture of him actually smiling.  “These are gonna be the worst photos ever,” Ashley murmurs under her breath. But we aaaaaaall heard it.

4) During the after party, Lucas and Ashley sit down for a chat. “I was pretty pissed off that I had to wear a dress instead of a tux for the pictures,” he admits. “Other than that, I had an okay time.” Are you serious. Alright, I’ve had it. It’s time for these guys to man up. Did they forget what they signed up for? A reality show. Nobody is asking you to wear a Taiwanese dress on your real wedding, Luke. And everybody knows the bachelorette macks on tons of men at once, JP. So let’s all grow a pair and buck up, boys.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel….

Ryan’s date card arrives: “Let’s get a taste of Taipei”

“OOOOOOO BOY!” he squeals and claps his hands. Somewhere, a fairy is revived and a unicorn jumps over a rainbow.

Back at the date…

5) Ames shares some family photos with Ashley to get her hyped about visiting his hometown. “You are so well-rounded, beautiful and charming,” he tells her. “It would be fantastic for you to meet my family.”

baby genius

6) JP sits down with Ashley. He is sweating profusely and the veins in his forehead are popping. He tells her of the strong feelings he has been having and that he is in fact not as “cool as a cucumber” as she had hoped. Ashley finds his deranged demeanor refreshing and therefore grants him the date rose. Well played, JP.

Ryan and ashley’s date

1) The couple begin their date by crashing a religious ceremony of sorts and Ryan is blown away by the majesty of it all. “People praying with all of their soul really gets me in the romantic mood,” he admits to the camera. I fail to understand that.

2) The pair seek guidance from the matchmaking gods and throw a couple of bricks down. Apparently they landed on the wrong side which isn’t a good sign. As far as Ashley is concerned, this was all she needed to know. Game over, Ryan. The bricks don’t lie.

3) Ashley and Ryan sit down for some lunch. “How do you feel about protecting the environment?” he asks her. “Honestly, I don’t really care, but I’m glad that you do,” she replies. Ryan frowns a little. “Well…don’t you know about water heaters?” he inquires. Ashley starts to cry. “I just…don’t like you Ryan, okay?” For the first time this season, Ryan stops smiling. “You don’t want to meet my family…??” Ashley avoids the question and the two hug it out.

And now, a brief monologue from Ryan:

“I just don’t want to be alone. I want to share this life with someone. [his breath catches in his throat and he looks away from the camera. He gasps for air for a few moments and then turns away, disappearing into the bushes behind him. We hear his muffled curses to the Taiwanese matchmaking gods] Ugh…you’ve got to be kidding me. Geeeeze, man. F***. Oh S***. ”

Somebody get this man an academy award. Breathtaking, heart-wrenching and riveting, all at once. This performance beats out both Jake Pavelka and Jason Mesnick’s balcony cry. Only by a hair, though.

Don't cry. Okay, do. It's kinda funny.

rose ceremony

1) Harrison greets the men and tells them that Ashley will not need a cocktail party to make her decision. As he is explaining this, a bright, golden figure slowly walks across a bridge in the background. What the….is that a Taiwanese phantom? A matchmaking god descending upon earth to have its wrath upon this blasphemous affair?! Nope. That’s awkward Ashley making her way down to the rose ceremony in a gold gown.

2) She finally sends Lucas home. Bout time.

3) Despite having made the absolute right decision, Ashley bursts into tears and tells the camera that she doesn’t know if she’s “cut out for this” and that she thinks she might be “making mistakes”.

….Harrison? Could you come get this girl, please? We need you to set her straight. Thanks.

interview with emily from brad’s season

1) Folks, this was a waste of time. We all saw what happened last season. Brad picked Emily despite the fact that she wasn’t really that into him and she has a bratty kid. None of us were surprised when the two of them broke up but apparently, abc feels as though we are in desperate need of an explanation for their falling out.

2) “Everybody deserves to know what happened,” Emily says. “We aren’t engaged but he will always be a part of my life.”

2)….Yeah, so….what happened? Where’s the scandal? I guess it’s the thought that counts, abc, because we still don’t know why they broke up. And do we even care at this point?? I’d venture to proclaim a resounding NO.

Until next week,
V

The Bachelorette resumes

Don’t worry friends, the Bachelorette is back tonight. I’ll venture to say that our week-long hiatus from America’s best reality show was a much needed break for all of us. Between the scandal surrounding Ashley’s premature claim to be love-struck by Bentley and numerous emotional breakdowns on the part of both the bachelorette and her men, I was getting a little worn out.

Now, I’m refreshed and more ready than ever to watch the drama unfold. There are six men left: Ames, JP, Ryan, Ben, Constantine (wth?) and Luke.

 What have we to look forward to tonight?  I wonder….

Will Ashley and Ben form a stronger bond and deeper connections? Let’s hope. Will JP continue to be the perfect example of what a man should be? Absolutely.
Will Ames have the ability to recite the species and genus of any creature that is encountered by the group for the rest of this exotic journey in Asia? Most likely.
Will Luke give Ash another golf lesson aka will Ashley back that thang up on him without his request? Crossing fingers.
Will Ashley cry again? Without a doubt.
Will Harrison be perfect? Always.

Ben and JP mean mug a timid Ashley during the customary rose ceremony huddle.

 Whatever happens, I hope that terrified expression from the end of the last episode is wiped off that woman’s face. It’s time to fall in love and stop angering your suitors. Get it together and get your head in the game, Ash. Cheers to the drama.

-V

Moving forward (for the hundredth time)

For the past few episodes, Ashley has made bold claims about “moving forward” in her relationships with all of the men. As far as I can tell, the opposite seems to be happening. In fact, after last night’s shenanigans, many of the men seem to now hate her. Between Lucas cursing her name in a southern drawl and Blake smirking over a glass of hard liquor, Ashley was having a really rough time “moving forward”. Oh, well. At least JP and Ben love her; they are the only two that really matter anyway.

The bachelorette is awaiting her men in Hong Kong in this episode. She stands on a busy street as the cars and people rush around her. She’d like to enjoy this beautiful city, but her soul is in turmoil.

“Part of my heart is still with Bentley in the U.S.”

Did anybody else just scream, rip their hair out and/or contemplate setting fire to their television set?

Meanwhile, Harrison is welcoming the men to Hong Kong. He points them in the direction of the hotel where they will be staying and whisks off to pay Ashley a visit. Once they are seated in her hotel room, Harrison looks her square in the eye and lays down a few facts.

“Listen. You have eight outstanding men here and there are some great relationships developing. My biggest fear for you is that in the end, a guy is going to be getting on his knee and you’ll be thinking about Satan, uh, I mean, Bentley. As idiotic as it may be for you to think that you ‘love’ him, I’ve brought him here to talk to you. He’s in the hotel right now.”

Ashley’s face is frozen with fear/surprise. “SHUT UP. No. Shut u – are you SERIOUS.” She clutches her heart and begins to cry. “Is this a joke?! Is this one big lie? You aren’t serious right now, no. No. No.”

You’re right, Ashley. He’s not serious. You thought you were on the Bachelorette, but this is actually an episode of Punk’d. I’m sure Harrison was just looking for an excuse to sit through another one of your emotional break downs because they’re a blast and a half.

Harrison just stares and lets her get it all out before calmly addressing her. “Clearly, your crazed and more than slightly disturbing obsession with Bentley has caused you to forget that I am the perfect man. I’m not here to mess with you, Ashley.”

He jots down Bentley’s room number and slides it over to Ashley, giving her a long, fatherly glare. “Don’t make me regret this. If you don’t get over him immediately after this, I’m quitting.” With that, he leaves her to wander down to Bentley’s room. Ashley arrives at Bentley’s door and knocks. Approximately 15 hours pass. Ashley’s heart is palpitating and she can hardly stand still. She knocks again, this time pressing her lips against the door in mute agony. Another hour passes and then, a muffled, “Who is it?” from within and the door swings open.

There he is. In all of his two-timin’, slime-ballin’ glory. He gives her a smile and she clutches to him, stealing a desperate kiss. Gross.

"Uh oh, my lip gloss is poppin all up on yo mouth. Let me get that, boo"

They have a seat in his room and begin to chat.

B: “I thought about calling but Harrison offered a free trip to Hong Kong so I was like, duh, I’ll be there.”

A: “How’s Cozy?”

B: “Who? Oh, yeah, she’s alright.”

A: “It was so hard when you left, I thought you were the one.”

B: “Yeah girl, me too. Come live with me if it doesn’t work out with JP, okay?”

A: “That’s not fair, you can’t leave it open-ended. I thought you came into my life so we could fall in love.”

B: “I think you know where I’m at, you know where I’m coming from, right. I think you’re here for a purpose.” (note: this makes no sense)

A: (In a sudden twist, her emotions turn to rage) “WHY DON’T YOU RESPECT ME AS A HUMAN BEING?! Did you come here to hurt me? Well, mission EFFING accomplished! I’m holding onto a dot dot dot when you should have left with a period. UGH, why is it so HOT IN THIS ROOM!!!”

Ashley storms out of the room. She is livid when she speaks to the camera: “He disrespected me to the core. If you are watching this Bentley, F*** YOU!” Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, people.

While Ashley simmers down, the other men are in their  hotel room, reading the first date card: “Lucas, let’s find our good fortune on the streets of Hong Kong. Love, Ashley”

lucas & ashley’s date

1) An outright display of rage and dramatics is a tough act to follow, and Lucas’ date struggles from the get-go. The pair walk along a few streets, watch some dragons dance, and it’s super boring.

2) Things start to get a little more interesting when they hop onto a boat. “Do you think I’m the type of girl you would date?” asks Ashley. “Absolutely not, I’m just here for a sweet boat ride,” says Lucas. They both chuckle. Way to avoid the question, you sly dog.

3) Lucas opens up and tells Ashley about the love of his life and the moment he realized that she was a fugly slut and decided he didn’t want her anymore. “I mean…you don’t have to talk about this…” says Ashley.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel…

The group date card arrives: “Let’s get our hearts racing”

Everyone is called on the date except for JP. BOOM.

group date

1) Ashley greets the men on a beach and informs them that they will be dragon boat racing. They are split up into teams of two and are ordered to walk around and recruit a few locals who can help them row the boats.

2) Team Ryan and Blake immediately locate a local named Domino and have him translate for them.

3) Ames strikes gold when he finds a real-life dragon boat racer. The athlete gets on his iphone and texts all of his team members.

4) Ben and Constantine find zero recruits, but they aren’t worried. They shimmy into red silk robes and hop into their dragon boats.

5) Naturally, the dedication that it takes to be a true scholar is the same that is needed to win a dragon boat race, so Ames comes out the victor. He and Mickey are awarded a trophy and everybody rests on the beach and squints out onto the horizon, searching for Ben and Constantine, who are still lost out on the deep blue sea.

6) At the after party, Ames takes Ashley by the  hand and leads her into an elevator. After his boat racing victory, he’s kicked back a few drinks and loosened his tie. Put him in, coach, he’s ready to get off the bench and play the game. He grabs Ashley and starts to kiss her. We’re all on the same page as Ashley when she exclaims, “Wooaah Ames, where did that come from?!” Who knew this nerd was such a sensual beast?

Meanwhile, back at the hotel….

The date card arrives for JP: “Let’s take a peek into our future”

Oh, no. Is there a Hong Kong version of Vegas? Run, JP. Run.

Back at the date….

7) Ben is looking dapper in a yellow sweater. He kisses Ashley and then tells the camera that he’s decided he’s falling in love with her. NO, Ben. Save yourself for me.  

8. Ryan and Ashley sit down for a chat. Mid-sentence he grabs her hand and kisses it. She stares at him. “Sorry, I just felt that,” he says. Yikes. “I would love for you to meet my family,” he says. Then he playfully sticks his tongue out. I wish I were lying.

To the amazement and surprise of every viewer, Ashley runs off to fetch the rose and bestows it upon Ryan. His reaction? “SHUSH!!” Come on, girl. You can’t be serious.

Could you love this face?

Ashley & jp’s date

1) “She makes me feel alive,” JP tells the camera. The couple sit down to a steak dinner and pour themselves shots of sake. JP tells Ashley that he can see himself getting down on a knee in the near future.

2) Ashley begins to clutch her heart, as usual, and sweats a little. “What’s wrong?!” JP wonders. “I’ve got something to tell you, and it’s really hard,” says Ashley. “Basically, I was in love with Bentley a day ago.”

JP takes this news rather well. He’s a pretty laid back guy and he’s really disinterested by Bentley (which is refreshing, to say the least) so he just shrugs it off and thanks Ashley for being honest with him.

What a man.

3) After dinner, they hop onto the Hogwarts Express and watch the scenery rush by. JP gets behind her and kisses her neck. Is anybody else going weak at the knees? Oh, wow.

4) Their next stop is a rooftop where they dance to unidentifiable instrumentals and JP tenderly kisses her. Okay, I’ll give it to him. JP is perfect.

Cocktail party // rose ceremony

1) Ashley looks much like Tinker Bell in a sparkly mini dress with her hair pulled back in a top knot. Watch out though – under certain lighting, all of the men and America’s viewers alike get a full view of her thong and butt cheeks. That dress is a taaaaad see through, dear girl.

2) Sadly, displaying her toned tush does not get her out of trouble with the men when she explains to all of them that she had Bentley flown in because she thought she was in love with him mere hours ago.

For a minute, the men are silent. They shoot each other looks to confirm that they are all on the same page. Lucas gives Constantine the nod that he should begin the attack.

An enraged Blake gives Ashley a murderous look and awaits his turn to attack.

Constantine: “Everything that you’ve told us is a lie. You said that the past was behind you, but that’s clearly contradictory because you brought that idiot back here.”

Lucas: “Beezy move, Ash. Why didn’t you get this ‘closure’ earlier? We’re putting a lot on the line to be here, this is a joke!”

Blake: (snickers) “You claim you had such a strong connection in such a short amount of time. Well, it must have felt good to see him again, huh.” (rolls his eyes and kicks back the last of his drink)

Ashley excuses herself to go cry it out. I can’t say I entirely disagree with the men, but it is sad to see little Tink cry.

3) The men continue to bash her behind her back. JP sticks up for her. Ryan goes to comfort her. Constantine becomes the leader of the rally against her:  “Men. We have been wasting away in hospitals with concussions (Ames shuffles his feet and looks away). We have traveled over oceans for her. We have trained in ancient martial arts. Only to waste our time!”

“YEAH!” the men roar.

Woah woah woah….where are the swords and spears? This conversation is on the brink of becoming a medieval riot.

4) Ashley talks to Ames. She asks him how he felt about her Bentley speech. He strokes his chin and answers, “I suppose we would prefer our fairy tales to be simple. But life isn’t as simple as we would hope. In fact, that’s why it’s beautiful.” Can we get this guy a robe and call him pope? A crown and dub him king? A wizard hat and name him Dumbledore? Hell, a cape and call him batman?! What a hero. What a wise sage.

5) Meanwhile, Lucas looks like this.

6) Blake pulls Ashley aside for a chat. He basically says the worst things he can think of while making terribly sassy facial expressions and drinking scotch. She cries again.

7) Mickey sits down with Ash and gives her the stank eye. “I honestly feel lied to,” he says. “Why am I even here anymore? You need to send me home.” Ashley promptly obliges and Mickey rides off in a boat.

8. Once again, Harrison has to sweep in and save Ashley’s sanity.

Ashley: This is so hard.

Harrison: (stares and blinks for a few seconds) “Well, this path is different for every person, and for you it’s just not easy for obvious reasons. Look at your choices. You basically just told all of the men that you fell in love with the closest thing to Satan walking this earth. Can you understand how playing second fiddle to the definition of evil would kill a man’s pride? Yeah, thought so. Now get out there and get rid of Blake, we both know he’s not for  you.”

9) Ashley heads out to the rose ceremony and looks over her men. Ames is an obvious choice for a rose. In addition to surprising us with his impressive demeanor, he’s dressed to the nines in white slacks and a navy blazer with a red tie. That’s right, Ames. You can rock the nautical look from the waist down and the politician look on top. You’re both leisure and business – a renaissance man.

10) Blake peaces out but oh, don’t worry, folks. We haven’t seen the last of him. Blake will be starring in the upcoming season of Bachelor Pad.

Next stop: Taiwan.

-V

The madness continues

I think I speak for all of us when I say that Ashley has swiftly taken the title of dumbest bachelorette in the  history of this show. This woman has fallen in love with a person who would literally bathe in urine, and who knows what other vile excrements, before even dreaming of dating her.

We get it, Ash. You aren’t over him. But we sure are. So do us all a favor and stuff a cork in it or just leave the show, one of the two. I’d be happy to just watch JP and Ben F. for the rest of the season,  your presence isn’t really required. And while we’re on the subject of Ashley’s mental state, I find it appropriate to list a few of the occurrences that have happened, without fail, in every single one of the episodes so far:

  • Ashley has an emotional breakdown because she feels ugly/underappreciated/inadequate.
  • It is storming/raining outside, which is symbolically appropriate.
  • Ryan has to tell Ashley that she is pretty because he seems to be one of the few who thinks so.
  • Ashley mentions the cursed name of Bentley a minimum of fifty times.

Needless to say, homegirl has issues. Let’s recap how those very issues revealed themselves in Monday’s episode.

The men have been transported to Chiang Mai to continue their journey to love. According to Ames, world traveler and graduate of every ivy league school in North America, Chiang Mai is the most romantic city in Thailand, due to its majestic temples and thousands of…monkeys? Thanks for the info, A.

Harrison is waiting for the men in front of one of those very temples. Wait, no. That’s a hotel. And the men get to stay in a private villa. “Check it out boys,” Harrison says with a smug smile and the men tear past him to explore their new digs.

Meanwhile, Ashley is walking along the streets of Chiang Mai in heels and what appears to be one of Bentley’s old button up shirts and a belt. “I’m coming from a dark place,” she says. “I’m hoping that being in this romantic city will get me back on my feet.”

Look at your life. Look at your choices. Go put some real clothes on.

Back at the villa, Harrison is bringing the men back down to reality with some harsh news. This week, there will be a two-on-one date, and whoever doesn’t get the rose will be sent packing back to the U.S. post-haste. “Here’s the date card. You can try to enjoy your time here, but I wouldn’t get too comfy,” Harrison says over his shoulder as he struts away. Don’t go,  Harrison. Don’t go. ….I love you.

The date card reads: “Ben F., let’s fall in love in Chiang Mai”

As good as done. “There is a 100% chance that Ashley will get kissed today,” says Ben.

Ben & Ashley’s Date

1) Ashley and Ben are appropriately decked out in matching outfits for their date. They jump into a vehicle that appears to be a cross between a bus and a rickshaw and head out for some shopping.

2) After shopping, they happen upon a temple. The two sit on a bench, hold hands and stare at each other. “Thanks for coming,” says Ash. “Thanks for…having me.” says Ben. Okay, so he’s a little awkward but I find it adorable.

Ashley: “You know, you can’t kiss me  here because it is such a sacred place”

Ben: “Ooooo, that’s gonna be hard” (sweat begins to trickle down the sides of his face)

Ashley: (inches away from his lips and breathing heavily) “Yeah I know…let’s go offsite to kiss, okay? But for now, let’s have a mental kiss.”

Ben: “Oooo yeah I like the sounds of that.” (said breathlessly)

One would think that this whole exchange was very sexy and seductive. But….have a look at Ashley’s face. I’d say she’s a taaaad too eager and slightly terrifying.

The definition of sex-crazed. Calm down, girl. The fantasy suite isn't for another couple of weeks.

3) Ashley to the camera: “There’s so much tension, I just want to jump on him [growls]….I can only imagine what tonight is going to bring.”

…..did Ashley just…growl?

4) Ashley thought it appropriate to dress in a floral patterened, capri-pant romper for their dinner date. Pretty much the opposite of sexy. Pretty much something my grandma would wear. This may have contributed to why it took Ben until the end of the date to actually lay one on her. He felt weird kissing someone who looked like grammie in her gardening gear.

5) While the two are having dinner, an asian man in stockings kneels down to pour them wine. This sparks conversation about how Ben got into the wine business. Saying his company came from humble beginnings would be an under statement. He was inspired to become a wine maker when he and his best friend began making wine in middle school. They were able to make quite a profit selling their product to fellow classmates after school and to shady single moms. Kids do the darndest things.

Meanwhile, back at the villa….

The group date card arrives: “Love is worth fighting for”

Everybody gets called on the date except for Ben C. and William. This means that they have been selected for the two-on-one date.

Back at the date…

6) Ben is explaining to Ashley that he wants to spoil his wife and to throw parties for her and her friends. All of this sounds ideal, so Ashley is more ready than ever to kiss him. Suddenly, they find themselves surrounded by belly dancers and fire throwers. Bad choice, abc producers. What you needed to do was have surprise guest Michael Buble show up and start crooning a classic tune to get them in the mood. Once again, poor date planning on your part.

7) Just when every viewer across the country has begun to think that the date has gotten way too awkward for the couple to comfortably have a makeout session, Ben leans in for the kiss. Passion explodes between he and Ashley, much like the fire exploding from a nearby flame thrower’s mouth. What a poetic image.

Group Date

1) The men are decked out in athletic gear as they walk up to Ashley. She informs them that they will be training in muay thai, a martial art designed to destroy brain cells, vital organs and a man’s pride.

2) The guys are led to a training facility, where muay thai masters force them to sweat off all of the booze they have been consuming throughout the show thus far.

3) While many of the guys are spitting up blood and doing push ups with Ashley sitting on their backs, Ames is giving out diplomatic handshakes to the trainers and making a mental note to write out  a flash card for  his  quiz bowl collection titled “muay thai”.

4) A trainer, disgusted by Ames’ lack of aggression, forces him to practice kicking. Poor Ames falls right on his butt, marking the first blunder in a downward spiral of physical trauma.

5) After rigorous training, the men are offered fighting uniforms and led to a boxing ring. “It’s onnnn,” growls Ryan.

Really, Ryan? Are you able to stop thinking about rainbows, unicorns and how lucky you are not to be a soldier fighting overseas long enough to actually hit someone?

6) The fights begin. The men aren’t pulling any punches and friendships are being broken.

Seriously...where's raincoat guy when you need him?

7) Mickey v. JP: Mickey beats the crap out of itty bitty JP and Ashley is near tears in the audience. Ryan is laughing. JP decides that he has had enough. Much like the little engine that could, he makes a huge comeback and wins the fight. Thata boy.

8. Ames v. Ryan: Well, we all can guess how this one will end. Ames’ delicate days holed up in the library studying ancient hieroglyphics under a magnifying glass haven’t prepared him for this. He takes a couple hard hits to the head, the crowd goes silent, and he staggers out of the ring.

9) The next fight begins and Ames is sitting in an open-mouthed daze. The world is beginning to blur around him. Ashley runs to get help and he is quickly escorted to a rickety ambulance, in which he is jostled around so much he receives concussion #2.

10) At the after party Ashley is wearing yet another romper and is in yet another bad mood. As usual, she’s feeling insecure and ugly.

11) Ames shows up and tries to talk to Ashley but he’s still feeling a little dizzy. “They tested me at the hospital and they said that I’m completely in love and that I have a mild concussion.” …..Okay, that was adorable. That cancels out him going to the hospital. He still needs to man up though. 

Meanwhile, back at the villa…

The two-on-one date card arrives: “Guide me to love. Love, Ashley.”

“*Bonus: A message from Harrison – Two men, one rose. One stays, one goes.”

….I just got goosebumps, did anybody else?

the dreaded two-on-one date

Two dudes. One girl. It’s not gay.

1) Ben C., Ashley and William head down a river on what appears to be a piece of drift wood, Huck Finn style.

2) William pulls Ashley aside for a chat. “I’m not trying to throw Ben under the bus or anything, and when I say that I mean I’m completely throwing him under the bus, but…..he’s not into you. He told us guys that he wants to do online dating.”

3) Ashley is appalled and disgusted. She sends Ben C. home immediately, without remorse. William smiles to himself.

Who's a weasel? This guy.

4) An elephant ride later, Ash and William are sitting down to dinner and barely a minute passes before Ashley says, “There’s no spark between us. You’re a terrible person. Please leave now.”

BOOM. Roasted.

Rose ceremony

1) Ashley starts out the night on a great note: She tells all of the men that they most likely won’t fall in love with her.

2) Everybody is kinda confused and are beginning to wonder why they should try to fall in love with a woman who doesn’t even love herself. Constantine pipes up and admits that he can’t really envision himself being with her.

3) Ashley tries to mingle with the men but something is holding her back. Oh wait let me guess…she can’t keep her mind off of Bentley. Ding ding! Ten points to Gryffindor, we’ve got it right. The woman is insufferable.

4) Somebody, dear God, please hit her. Just one swift slap across the face. Use the back of your hand if you must. Harrison sits down with her yet again for a chat.

Harrison: “Are you okay?”

Ashley: ” I have to be open and honest. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about something . In order to move forward I need to put this in the past. I know you are gonna hate me but, it’s Bentley.”

Harrison: “You’re right, I do hate you. So does everybody else at this point. But I’m going to try to help you, because I’m gracious and the perfect man.”

Ashley: “Thank you! My head tries to forget about him and my heart goes back to him. In times of comfort, I go back to him. That’s not normal.”

Harrison: (said with a dead  pan stare) “Nope. It’s not. What can I do to make this stop. You are being unfair to everyone here.”

Ashley: “I just want to talk to him and ask him a few questions”

Harrison: (holds back a strangled scream of rage) “Well, I guess you haven’t noticed this but, we’re halfway around the entire world. You know, as in, the other side of the planet? But that’s fine. I’ll do what I can to make this madness come to an end. Now shut up about Bentley and go give out some roses, I’m officially done with you for the night.”

5) Ashley sends soul-patch guy home.

Next week: The group is in Hong Kong, Bentley returns and the men are enraged.

P.S. I recently found this little treasure…

Since Ames dropped the ball on their date, Ashley resorted to having a crew member recreate the famous Titanic scene with her. Reaching new lows, per usual.

-V

Team Ben F.

Compared to the scandal of Bentley‘s departure last week, Monday’s episode fell short in the drama department. Although the show featured many moments that were yawn-worthy, a few things presented themselves that were notable. Among them being the fact that Ashley’s forehead is as large as Ames‘, noted due to her hair being constantly wet and slicked across her massive noggin throughout the episode. Are Ashley and Ames a match made in heaven? They’ve got matching foreheads and matching (kinda) names…only time will tell. Until then, let’s dive into the recap.

The men are assembled and ready to receive Harrison’s weekly announcements. They are all super chummy with one another and this makes Ryan a tad uneasy. “At some point, the man claws are gonna come out,” his voiceover says. “It’s gonna be dangerous.” Little does he know that he himself will be the recipient of man-claw wounds, due to a ridiculously sunny attitude. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Harrison rubs his hands together and takes a long look at the motley crew before him. “I think you’ve all realized by now how serious Ashley is about all of this. And if any one of you are anything like he-who-must-not-be-named, I will personally slaughter you and feed you to the millions of housewives who watch this show. Now go pack your bags. We’re heading to Thailand. That is all.”

The men erupt into guffaws of excitement and immediately begin to fist bump, chest bump and kiss each other.

Meanwhile, Ashley is already on the beaches of Phuket, Thailand. As she sashays along the water in tiny red shorts and a bikini top, she dreams of Bentley. “While I’ve been in this beautiful place, I’ve often closed my eyes and wondered how it would be if he were here,” she says. Well, it would be real sucky if he were there, Ash. Take our word for it.

Deciding that she’s had enough nostalgia for one day, Ashley gets her act together and begins planning her dates. Cue the asian music and wide shots of waterfalls. There is so much to explore, so many men to seduce, and so little time to fall in love. Ash’s personal event coordinator Annie has practiced her English for months in preparation of her television debut. Annie gives some great advice for date locations and then Ashley is off to greet the men. She gives the first date card to Constantine:

“Let’s see Phuket together”

Constantine & Ashley’s Date

1)  Ashley has a great date planned. She and Groban are going to take a boat out to a private beach! Just as they are preparing to depart, a native in a raincoat runs up to them. Speaking rapidly in a foreign tongue, he makes several hand motions. Somehow, the couple is able to decipher from this that a hurricane is coming. No amount of true love is worth death by drowning, so they decide to head inland for the duration of their date.

2) Groban soon gets bored of window shopping and trying on scarves, so he suggests talking with the locals because, why not? They grab a random teenager and have her translate for them as they talk to an old man about the secrets to a successful marriage.

Meanwhile, back at the resort…

The men are discussing Groban’s possible demise. “I’ll be honest,” says JP, “I hope the date is awful and he doesn’t get a rose.” It appears as though the man claws that Ryan spoke of are beginning to reveal themselves.

The group date card arrives: “Let’s make the world a better place” 

Everyone was called on the date except for Ames. The men try to keep from punching him smack dab in the forehead.

Back at the date…

3) In the spirit of fun love and spontaneity, the couple sprint down a side street together and giggle like school children. Ashley feels as though Groban is helping her gain some of her heart back. You know, the parts that were lost when Bentley left. Just in case you forgot about that guy. Because she’s not over him yet, in case you haven’t gathered that from the fifty references she’s made to it so far.

Just a couple of young kids living life to the fullest on the dreary streets of Phuket.

Meanwhile, back at the resort…

The men discuss the fact that they are all going after, and I quote, “the same piece of fruit”. What began as a civil chat takes a turn for the worse when each man decides to share the intimate details of their relationships with Ashley.

Man 1: Don’t want to cramp anybody’s style but…I kissed her on our date.

Man 2: Wait…what?! I kissed her.

Man 3: No way! I kissed her like five times.

Man 1: Um…what. You of all people kissed her? You’ve got to be joking…

Clearly, these guys have never seen a bachelor/ette season before.

Back at the date….

4) Ashley debates giving the date rose to Groban. “You really got me back on my feet during this date,” she tells him. “Even though I’m still in love with Bentley and you could never hold a candle to him, try as you might, I will go ahead and grant you this rose.”

Group Date

1) Ashley brings the men to an orphanage and informs them that they will be fixing it up for the children that live there. JP is near tears. It speaks volumes to him that Ashley would rather help children than booze it up on some boat off of the coast of Phuket, which would be typical of this show.

2) While the men are painting and assembling bunk beds, Ryan makes his way from room to room, critiquing their work and giving out orders. I’m beginning to sense some man claw damage in that man’s near future.

3) In one of the rooms, Ben the wine maker is hard at work. He claims that he “can’t paint” but creates a top-notch elephant mural. Ashley is so attracted to his compassion and/or art skills that she rubs her painted hands all over his chest. Geeze, hope that wasn’t his best American Apparrel tee.

What a stud.

4) After revealing the newly improved orphanage to the children, the group heads to the after party. Ben is feeling pretty confident because he can wield a paint brush like no other man Ashley has encountered. He’s talking to Ashley about their day together at the orphanage and mid-sentence goes right in for the kiss. I must admit, that moment made my heart skip a beat. I think I just switched teams. GO TEAM BEN! (William is a joke anyway, no pun intended)

5) Ashley has some alone time with Ryan. She tells him that it is very important to her that her relationship has a strong physical connection. “I get along well with guys,” he replies. Yikes?

6) Ashley pulls JP aside for some alone time. “So…when’s my next date gonna be?” he asks. “OMG, our last date was so bad, I totes fell asleep on your chest,” she says. “I was at my lowest point after Bentley, the love of my life, left me.” for some reason this doesn’t phase JP at all  – he’s in the mood for a makeout session. He chucks the umbrella over his left shoulder and pulls Ashley in for some intense lip locking.

“JP’s kisses are magical,” Ash tells the camera.

When they are done sucking face, JP takes Ashley in his arms and attempts standing up while holding her like a child. His legs buckle under him like a newborn calf and they both collapse to the ground. Wow, JP. Just, Wow. She weighs 5 pounds, are you serious?!

Meanwhile, back at the resort…

Ames receives his date card: “Ames, it’s more romantic in the rain. Love, Ashley”

Back at the date…

7) Ashley grabs the rose to present to her favorite man of the night. Before she gets a chance to speak, Ryan interrupts her and asks to speak to her outside. Murder flashes in every man’s eye. Is it man claw time yet?? I’m sick of waiting around, I want the alleged man claws to reveal themselves and for a gruesome battle to ensue!

Despite Ryan’s last-ditch efforts to gain the rose, Ashley grants it to Ben. Well deserved.

Ames & Ashley’s Date

1) Ashley is waiting for Ames on a pier. He runs toward her barefoot and looks extremely awkward. Oh, Ames. This is gonna be a long date.

2) They get on a boat and head toward the mountains. “I feel like we’re on the Titanic right now!” Ashley exclaims as she thrusts her arms out from her sides. Ames misses the cue to get behind her and reenact the famous romantic moment between Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio. Ames is no good.

This could have been you, Ames. Gettin real close and personal. But you blew it.

3) They switch the boat for a canoe and paddle into the mouth of a cave. It’s mighty twisty and turny in there and Ames is quick to compare the contours of their watery course to the elements of romantic relationships. “Navigating this cave is just like navigating a relationship – around every corner, you don’t know what to expect!” Ames says. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have a modern-day Descartes on our hands.

4) The pair paddle up to the shore and break out a picnic. The silence is deafening as they munch on their food. Just as the date is about to breach new levels of awkwardness, Ashley breaks the silence by asking Ames about his dating history. It turns out that this guy is known for his spontaneity. He asked a girl out in a shoe store once. Never mind the fact that he was in the women’s section of a shoe store. Let’s focus on the fact that he’s bold and daring.

5) Later, at dinner, Ames takes charge of the conversation and Ashley likes it. “I really am impressed by you, Ashley,” he says. “I think you’re funny and you tell good jokes and I’m actually going to go ahead and give you this rose…oh wait. I forgot. You’re supposed to do that. My bad, got carried away.”

6) Ashley decides that Ames is worth keeping around, despite the fact that he’s kind of boring and his front row of teeth may or may not be dentures. She had plans to send him home, but she grants him a rose.

THe cocktail party

1) Ashley means business. She sits all of the men down and interrogates them on their checkered pasts. She speaks with West and feels that she will never be able to fill the shoes of his late wife.

2) The man claws have officially come out and the result is quite anticlimactic and disappointing. After murmuring among themselves how deeply they hate Ryan, the men elect Blake to confront him. “Listen buddy,” says Blake, “We all hate you. You kind of suck. You’re way too happy and it creeps us out big time.”

Ryan can’t even wipe the smile off of his face for this brief and uncomfortable moment. Through a large grin he exclaims, “Really?….really. REALLY?! Really…”

Blake stares back at him. “Yes, really Ryan. Really. You get extremely intense and boisterous at times and, to be honest, it makes me nauseated. I literally get sick to my stomach watching you.”

Ryan confides in the camera: “This is just preposterous. Excuuuuuse me for not being Mr. Grumpy Pants all the time. My fault for being grateful that I’m not a soldier over seas risking my life every day. I’m so sorry for not enlisting in the army and joining in the war effort. MY BAD for being jolly at the fact that I’m not on the front lines.”

….wait….I’m confused. I mean, I support our troops and all but…when did this become a discussion about war?

3) Meanwhile, Ashley is having a sit down chat with Harrison. “I’m still in love with Bentley,” she says. “I don’t feel as though I have closure with the whole situation.”

“Will you ever get OVER IT?!” a bewildered yet composed Harrison asks. Were he a tad less of a man, he would take this opportunity to smack her across the face and knock her senses back into her head. But he is a perfect man. So he would never do such a thing.

4) At the rose ceremony, Ashley says goodbye to West and he is left with the bitter reminder of his wife’s death extra fresh in his mind and an empty heart. Oh, West. You should have known that you couldn’t fill the void of lost love with a reality television show. Healing takes place outside of a world in which 25 men live together and compete for the same woman’s lust/heart. But you know better now.

Next Week: A surprise visitor throws Ashley for a loop. Who could it be?! Stay tuned and cheers to the drama.

-V

Guts and Nuts

I think a bachelorette contestant summed it up best with his impeccable use of rhyme during the season’s premiere. “It’s gonna take guts and nuts to do this,”  cried the muffled voice from the crowd of men as Ryan, an instant fan favorite, was the first to pull Ashley away for one-on-one time. It’s a treacherous game, but they all must play it…and we must ridicule them. Shall we begin?

The episode opens with a look back on Ashley’s track record with love/emotional breakdowns. I’ll spare you the gritty details and just provide a rough timeline:

  • Ash goes to a makeshift carnival in the woods.
  • Ash makes out with Brad.
  • Care-free dates ensue, to include a zip line ride, a car ride and a helicopter ride.
  • Ash cries by the pool.
  • Ash cries in the mansion.
  • Ash cries everywhere else.
  • Rejection in Africa

Despite being hopelessly in love and having her heart broken, Ashley found that her passion for the arts has helped her bounce back rather quickly. If it weren’t for black spandex and an empty theater, who knows what type of sniveling wreck she would have become.

That crying, blonde “fool” that we all came to know last season is no more. We are transported to Philadelphia, where a gazelle-like woman is jogging, chestnut locks flowing behind her. Ash has been upgraded emotionally, mentally and most importantly (in the world of reality television), physically.

It seems as though jogging isn’t her only pastime. Ashley keeps her body toned by dancing, dramatically and alone, in theaters. She also practices dentistry and teaches a hip hop class, which gives her that urban edge that every American loves to see in entertainment. This girl body rolls, booty dances and jogs around Philly like nothing you have ever seen. Her cup may be full, but it does not runneth over – she’s still in search of love.

Cue the music and pan over to the mansion, because here comes our dear friend and host, Chris Harrison. Harrison is back and ready to sit back and judge with the rest of us, but first, he’s introducing us to a few of the 25 men that Ashley must choose from:

Ryan

This modern-day hero wants nothing more than a better world. And love too, of course. He’s in the business of solar power and says that he is searching for the, and I quote, “light of my life, light of my soul…love that is brighter than the sun” Cheesy, but since you’re cute, I’ll roll with it.

Ames

Stats:
Schooling: 3 Colleges – Yale, Columbia, Harvard
Travel: 70 Countries
Fitness: 39 Marathons, 28 hours of nonstop running
Attractiveness: 0

Ben

Ben loves New Orleans. And on a scale of 1 to 10 of romantic-ness, he’s a 15 or 215. Because those numbers are pretty comparable.

Bentley

 Bentley is bad news bears. Strike one: he named his daughter “Cozy“. That should be enough of an indication. But I’ll go ahead and give a strike two: He has a pug dog, which he frolics with and kisses on the lips. Strike three:  He wishes the bachelorette were Emily and has plans to destroy Ashley. He’s out. Sexy or not, he’s a skeeze.

William

The unlucky soul whose dad was an alcoholic and who can’t use an umbrella. A personal fave. In addition to having an adorable smile, he seems to really like Ashley, so I think he’ll go far.

Ashley Meets the Men // The Cocktail Party

Before highlighting the wildest and most precious introductions of the night, I will first explain how a viewer is able to tell Ashley’s level of attracted-ness to a man, based on her initial reactions:

A timid and wavery “hi”
Translation: “Your face is ugly.”

A gasp
Translation: “You are dead sexy.”

A giggle, a “hello” and, often, an “Oh my God!”
Translation: “Totes into you. I can envision what our babies will look like.”

 

Introductions:

1) Remember Mickey? With the spiky tendrils atop his  noggin? He tries to kiss Ashley smack dab on the lips, but she recoils before he has the chance to slobber on her face. This doesn’t stop him from bragging about the fabricated kiss to  fellow contestants. What a weirdo.

2) West gives Ash a broken compass that is stuck on, you guessed it, West, and tells her to refer to it any time she’s feeling lost. Was I the only one who thought of Pocahontas?

Stop stealing ideas from Disney, West.

3) The Phantom of the Opera decided to leave the dungeons of an old French theatre to grace us with his presence on ABC television.

4) Benjamin the wine maker is absolutely adorable. He admits that he brushed is teeth at least 8 times that day and gives her a glass of wine that he made himself.

5) Some joke named Ryan (not the solar energy one) busts out his digital camera and takes a few pics of himself and Ashley. He then asks if he can get one with Harrison as well. Are you serious, Ryan?! I mean, no woman in America can blame you for having a crush on Harrison, he is perfection, but still. You’re supposed to be here for Ashley.

 

The Party & Rose ceremony

1) The Phantom is gliding around the party and freaking everybody out. Tim, a New York mob boss, is especially upset.

“I knew this would happen,” says The Phantom. “You put on a mask and people start thinking that you’re strange.”

Yeah. That, or the fact that you are peeking from behind every curtain in the room. But you’re right.

2) “I don’t want ya no where’s near me,” screams Tim. He sets up a throw pillow fortress around himself on the couch to protect himself from The Phantom’s advances.

3) William has a seat with Ashley and tells her that he’s in sales. “Sell me yourself,” says Ashley. This show is family friendly, so there was no actual selling of William’s body, as much as Ashley may have wanted it. Instead, he did a bunch of impressions and accents and he was adorable/hilarious. Big fan of William.

4) Ashley wanders outside to find Tim sitting on a couch alone and staring into nothingness. “Hey, Tim!” she chimes. Tim slowly turns and stares at her face with glazed-over eyes, grinning. “So…tell me about yourself, Tim…” Tim grimaces, squints, stares, smiles, drools, etc.

5) After Ashley walks away, Tim wanders back into the party. He spies The Phantom and asks him if he wants to dance. The men sit in circle around them and stare/laugh.

We manage to catch The Phantom saying, “With my poise, I am not intimidated,” before he whisks off behind another shadowed curtain. 

6) Later, Ashley comes outside again to find Tim wrapped in a snuggie and snoring on a couch. She tries to wake him but there is no rousing sleeping drunkie.

7) Ash enlists the men’s help and has toasted Tim dragged off of the property. They load his body into a shady black minivan and he is taken away. I sense a morning full of confusion and bewilderment in that man’s near future.

8. Ashley falls under Bentley’s spell.

9) Ashley admits to a contestant that she has always wanted to be called cupcake. Noted.

Coming up this season: Flashdancing, jet plane rides, an Asian battleship, Thailand, elephants, the Hogwarts Express, paper lanterns as seen in the newest Disney film Tangled, The Phantom dropping a deuce while reading a magazine, someone going to the ER and Ashley crying in her bed.

Stay tuned.

-V