Archive | January, 2014

“You’ve got class, but…” The Bachelor January 27 2014 recap

27 Jan

There are 13 women left, and Chris Harrison announces that all of them will be traveling to … Seoul! The gals are not just excited, they start shrieking like it’s 1964 and they just saw the Beatles.

We next see them at the airport, where each gal is pushing a cart with an average of four enormous suitcases!

Juan Pablo says the first date is going to involve “gay pub.” It turns out that’s his way of saying K-Pop, i.e. Korean pop. The plan for the date is for everyone to learn some dance moves and then be backup dancers for the performance of a group called 21. A performance at a mall, mind you, but still, the gals feel pressure to perform on the dance floor. For some reason Kat the medical sales rep thinks she has this in the bag, despite the presence of Cassandra, who is a professional dancer and much more graceful. Hmm, turns out Kat is on the Phoenix Suns dance team in her spare time (while Cassandra danced for the Detroit Pistons, your intrepid reporter has discovered).

Nikki the pediatric nurse observes all of this and decides she wishes Kat would just stay in Korea for a permanent gig with 21. While the other girls don’t seem to love Kat, they are also annoyed by Nikki and her negativity, and boy do we see a lot of the latter this week. Elise goes on record as saying that if she were a mother she wouldn’t want Nikki around her child (Elise is pretty much declaring all of the others to be unsuitable mothers, one by one).

Back at the hotel suite, the date card is read out by Kelly, whose dog apparently didn’t make the trip. They are in Korea now, so maybe she thought someone might try to make a meal of her little pooch? Anyway, the only solo date of the episode goes to cool-as-a-cucumber Sharleen, the opera singer. Juan Pablo wants to hear her singing but she says she doesn’t do it on a first date. Finally she does sing for a moment , and sounds like …. a professional opera singer! Sharleen makes her strongest statement yet, saying “There is a shot that we could fall in love.” Talk about putting yourself out there! Later, Juan Pablo asks her how many children she wants to have. She fears that being honest will doom her chances, but does tell JP frankly that she hasn’t thought about kids much. JP has an odd expression on his face when she says this. He picks up the rose and says “You’ve got class, but (music swells with fake drama)… I appreciate your honesty.” He hands it over.

On the second group date, the gals first go to a weird private karaoke house, then to a place where they dangle their feet in a little pool of fish, and the fish swim over to eat dead skin off of the gals’ feet. Yuck! The other girls are somewhat annoyed by Clare’s act here, even more so when they go to a market and Juan Pablo hands each of them a tiny piece of octopus to eat. Clare freaks out. Now, this is not exactly on a par with a “Survivor” eating challenge where you need to eat bird fetuses or hideous live worms. As Alli the nanny point out, you can get octopus at every Italian restaurant in Chicago. Clare eats the tiny piece and commences a major martyr act.

An aside: Alli the nanny and Andi the district attorney are extremely difficult to tell apart. It’s reminiscent of the Ben and Constantine confusion of a couple of years ago.

At the afterparty, Lauren the composer from Austin decides it’s time to get out of the friend zone, and wants to start her solo time with JP by getting a kiss. Alas, he balks, saying he wants to be a good role model for his daughter. I’m not sure what happened to that philosophy the other 10 times he has kissed a girl this season. Anyway, as soon as she leaves him she starts bawling.

The rose ceremony takes place at a spectacular palace, and in the most shocking rose ceremony development ever, different music is played from the music played each and every week! That’s no consolation to Lauren or to buxom Elise, who do not get roses and have to take the 12-hour flight home. Elise puts on a brave face for the most part, while Lauren looks like she’s going to throw up through the whole ceremony.

So who is actually the favorite to win this thing? I have to say  don’t see anyone having all that much chemistry with Juan Pablo so far. But if you insist on my picking a favorite I guess I have to go with negative Nikki.

“They look really good in piyamas”: The Bachelor January 20 2014 recap

22 Jan

I wish they would show subtitles when this person talks. No, not Juan Pablo. I’m talking about Kelly the dog lover. Between her nasality and her Valley-Girl-ness, I have no idea what she said to begin this show.

After Kelly’s comments, Chris Harrison arrives at the house to find all of the girls “surprised” to see him. But not so surprised that they weren’t all sitting together in a semicircle, shoulder to shoulder. So they’re not really surprised at all. Chris is either wearing a two-tone blue shirt, or just a blue shirt with water spilled on the top half of it. He runs down the basic rules of the game, as he does almost every show. When it comes to complexity, we are not talking about the rules of 43-man squamish here, and I have no doubt that all of the girls are 100% clear on what happens if you don’t get a rose on a date.

The first date goes to Cassandra, a beautiful if oddly long-necked “former NBA dancer.” JP picks her up in an amphibious vehicle and drives right out into the water! Then they go to… JP’s house! How forward!

Meanwhile, back at the house, the participants in the group date are announced, and it’s everyone but Elise (the blonde Italian-American teacher with the one-in-a-million chest) and Chelsie (another blonde teacher, a perky sort).

The group date is what has turned out to be almost an annual event on this show: playing soccer. I think the producers like it because either the players will get competitive, or someone unathletic will embarrass herself, or both. It turns out that a minimum of cattiness ensues. Alas, Sharleen the opera singer is hopeless at soccer, and takes more balls to the face than … (insert your own joke here). Meanwhile, Ally the nanny, who I’m not sure has been on camera more than 1 minute all season, turns out to be quite skilled at soccer.

The afterparty is at the stadium itself. Nikki the pediatric nurse gets some alone time with JP, and he tells her “You have a no sé que.” Anyone who has seen her body would probably tend to say “Yo que,” but whatever. Andi the district attorney gets some time with JP as well, in her case it’s behind the concession counter, and a makeout session in the kitchen ensues.

On to Sharleen the opera singer, who has made no secret of being underwhelmed by everything. Well, one look at JP takes this ice queen from cold to … the cold side of lukewarm. “There’s a chemistry there that you don’t necessarily come across every day,” is the best she can do. However, once she and JP are alone at midfield, things heat up. “What was that sweet word you taught me, mondo?” she asks. For an exotic-looking type who’s from Canada and lives in Germany, she seems to know surprisingly little about the world. Anyway, JP clarifies that the “sweet” word was mundo, or world. And soon thereafter they make out.

The rose goes to Nikki, to the great horror of every other woman there, as each thought she had a stronger connection with JP than Nikki does. Even blasé Sharleen has to admit, “It both surprises and bothers me that I care.”

In the meantime, we got a look at Elise and Chelsie lounging by the pool discussing the world. Elise (27) tells the camera that Chelsie (24) does not seem like a grown woman to her who could be a stepmother to a child. She thinks of Chelsie as more of a little girl, and proceeds to repeat this thought many times throughout the show. Hmm, I’m not saying Chelsie strikes me as the ideal mother, but neither does Elise, now that we know she “was once Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino’s booty call.”

By the way, it is Chelsie who got the other date. Which turns out to involve a Venezuelan meal in Pasadena (so far so good), followed by a “tandem ankle bungee jump.” The latter is administered by a guy who I miiiight trust to pump gas in my car. That’s about as far as I’d go, though. Chelsie gets strapped in, shuffles out to the end of the bridge and freaks out. Now, give JP credit — he’s the first Bachelor I’ve seen to say “holy s–t, I’m scared.” Who wouldn’t be? JP also tells Chelsie she doesn’t have to do it, and he’s OK with her decision either way. What a guy! She does ultimately decide to do it. Gulp!

Later, Chelsie says “I’m proud of you for talking me off that ledge.” Though of course the expression “to talk someone off a ledge” means convincing them not to jump. Well, I will cut her some slack.

Back at Bachelor Mansion, JP pulls up at the house in what’s supposed to be the wee hours of the morning, though it looks like it’s about 11. He wants to surprise the gals by making breakfast for them, and sneaking some peeks at what they look like when they’re not all made up. (All in all they look pretty darn good). He tells them he likes their “piyamas” and then announces there will be a pool party instead of a cocktail party. A few petty jealousies aside, the pool party is uneventful. But Clare, the 32-year-old hairdresser, freaks out anyway, and for the third time in two shows Renee ends up comforting somebody who’s crying.

Two girls are ousted at the rose ceremony:

– Christy, a blonde who hadn’t been seen much on screen, and:

-Lucy, who loves to get naked and whose best friend is Kate Upton. Those two things being the case, I think she’ll be OK as far as drawing interest from guys.

 

 

“That’s what life is about, straddling people” : The Bachelor January 13 2014 recap

13 Jan

What great entertainment! But enough about the M & Ms commercial featuring Juan Pablo at the Bachelor Mansion.

On to “The Bachelor.” We begin with Clare the hairstylist talking about how psyched she is to have the first date card. Wait, the show just started, how did we miss this? Well, apparently the producers are going to start putting some actual developments into the Sunday night “pre-game” show to get people to watch. Sorry, I’m not falling for it. Clare seems pretty level-headed and normal… perhaps not so much when she says that JP “smells like heaven in a bottle.” JP takes her to a fake winter wonderland somewhere in LA, and a good time is had by all.

Back at the mansion, what sort of odd black bikini top is Lucy (the “free spirit”) wearing as she stands in the pool? Oh, she’s not wearing a top at all, that’s a black bar superimposed by the show. One of the other girls notes, “It was only a matter of time before those boobs were going to pop out.” Lucy takes the opportunity to make the odd assertion that she would rather go on a group date than a one-on-one.

The next date card is brought in by Kelly’s already very overexposed dog. The date goes to Kat, the medical sales rep from Arizona. JP drives her to a private jet, and once airborne he produces outfits for both of them that look like something you’d wear to run track … if you were in the movie “Tron.” Turns out they are participating in something called the Electric Run in Salt Lake City.

The group date involves a photo shoot … with a bunch of dogs, for a charity. The art director, a creepy fellow with a goatee that’s painted blue (the beard part only, not the moustache), has special outfits for all of the gals. However, Andi and Elise are supposed to pose nude with just a sign covering their privates. Both are very uncomfortable with this, especially given their professions (assistant D.A. and first grade teacher, respectively). Elise takes her concerns to the art director. He’s gay, so he must be a sympathetic mensch, right? His reply: “It’s not about what you are wearing, but about what you are doing for a good cause. All right sweetheart, thank youuuuuu,” he says dismissively.

Both then Elise displays excellent problem-solving skills. She realizes that one of the other people on the group date is Lucy, who loves nothing more than being nude (see above)! She suggests a costume switch, and a crisis is averted. Alas, this doesn’t help Andi much, but when JP tells her he’ll be naked as well, she warms to the idea a bit. Personally I would rather have seen her refuse to give up her dignity to suit a reality producer’s whim. Oh well.

At the afterparty, Cassandra, the “former NBA dancer” with a cute little cleft chin and a very long neck, has a shocking confession to make to JP… she has a child! Oh wait, JP does too, and so does one of the other contestants. Maybe it’s not that shocking.

Meanwhile, Victoria, the legal assistant whose “limo gimmick” was to say she was from Brazil and spoke Portuguese, has had a wee bit too much to drink. Nikki says “you need to tone it down, OK?” in a sisterly way, but Victoria is having none of it. She says that life is about straddling people, and then she sashays around in her bikini, including parading past JP and another girl.

By the way, here’s how Victoria answered a question in her bio:

Do you like being the center of attention or do you prefer being more mysterious, and why?
“I prefer to be more mysterious. It’s best to leave some things to the imagination.”

Well, so much for that. After putting on a show, she runs to a bathroom stall and cries. Renee, at 32 one of the more mature contestants, goes to check on her. She sees Victoria is crying in the stall… so Renee crawls under the stall door! I thought this was very funny. I was trying to think of a scenario where a man would ever crawl under a stall door (if he could even fit). I decided a small child would have to be drowning for this to happen.

Of course, we get to see the ensuing conversation, because the cameraman gets down on the floor for a worm’s-eye-view under the stall door. Seeing that angle is a first for me!

Victoria gets her second wind and runs around some more, then decides it’s time for her to go and runs over to the elevator. But a sleazy producer won’t let her leave. Maybe not the worst idea since she doesn’t have shoes, money, etc. JP tries to talk with her without much success, and finally he just goes back to the other girls. The rose goes to Kelly, who put on the most outlandish costume of all (blackface, but not that kind of blackface) for the dog-charity photo shoot. Still, Kelly and her dog are both annoying. Mostly Kelly.

The next day we find out that Victoria was whisked to a hotel rather than returning to the mansion. JP goes to see her, and she says “I might have overreacted a little.” JP points out that he’s a 32-year-old man with a daughter, so it’s probably best that she leave now. Well said, though I have to say most of the women on this show are probably too young for JP. Lord knows he wouldn’t have been a good fit for Desiree (on whose season of the Bachelorette he first appeared).

Before we get to the ceremony, Renee, who’s sort of the mother of the house, has to comfort another crier, namely Cassandra the NBA dancer. JP makes sure to get one-one-one time with everyone who didn’t have a date, including Sharleen, who apologizes for last episode and treating the first impression rose like it was a steaming turd (my phrasing, not hers). Also, Amy, the irrepressibly smiley local news reporter, gets some time, and decides to do the shtick of doing a fake interview with JP. See below for how that worked out.

At the rose ceremony, two women are shown the door:  black Chantel who didn’t get much camera time, and says she hasn’t had a date in a really long time (these girls say that a lot, and I never know if they mean three years or three weeks), says her goodbyes, and Amy the reporter “signs off” as well.

The Bachelor Season Premiere recap: “I do have some insecurities”

10 Jan

This season’s two-hour premiere was preceded by a two-hour Sunday night “countdown to Juan Pablo.” I don’t watch the Super Bowl pregame show, so why watch a Bachelor pregame show?

If you were worried that skipping  Sunday night would make you miss some important fact about Juan Pablo, Monday night’s show calmed your fears, as it recapped every possible fact about Juan Pablo. Follow that up with a shirtless jog and a talk with his boring predecessor Sean, and it’s time for us viewers to meet some of the ladies, including: Amy, a brunette massage therapist who you only need to look at for one second to see she’s the season’s designated psycho. All of the others are more or less saints, or at least portrayed as such.

Time to head for the mansion as JP has his final talk with Chris Harrison. Big news: rather than the usual 25, this time there will be 27 women vying for JP’s affection (JP being my abbreviation for Juan Pablo, not to be confused with the J.P. who is now married to the “perr-fact” Bachelorette Ashley Hebert). Among the people the limousines disgorge are:

– Nikki, a blonde pediatric nurse from Missouri. My opening line would have been, “I think you might need a nurse yourself, because you have a sick body.”

– Lucy, whose occupation is described as “free spirit.” She proves it by showing up barefoot. Frankly I suspect that this shtick might have been concocted by the producers. Also, I had a look at her bio, and one of her answers on the questionnaire begins “I admire my best friend Kate Upton…” Holy Moley, talk about burying the lead! I would definitely give my (real) number to Kate Upton’s best friend. Probably even her third-best.

– Elise, a first-grade teacher from Pennsylvania who has the most spectacular chest this side of Pennsylvania. Either the cameraman is under orders to put her at the center of every group shot, or my eyes are drawn to her no matter where she is in the frame. Or both. It seems she has won just about every pageant that involves Pennsylvania, Italian-Americans, or Italian-Americans from Pennsylvania. I had no idea so many pageants existed.

– Lauren H., a mineral coordinator from Oklahoma. She never explains what the heck that job entails, but does explain her last breakup at great length. At the cocktail party, she’s not one of the first to get a conversation with JP, and this fact turns her into a basket case, such that she can’t get a sentence out when she does finally talk to JP.

– Lauren S., a composer from Austin who doesn’t get out of the limousine, but rather comes down the driveway pushing a piano (and playing it at the same time). This notwithstanding, lame opening gimmicks are at an all-time low this season. Most of the gals just introduce themselves and not much more. Or perhaps their gimmicks were so weak that they were edited out.

– Sharleen, an exotic-looking Canadian opera singer who lives in Germany. She and JP have a normal conversation, and JP is so impressed with how un-psycho she is that she receives the first impression rose… which she seems to only accept with great reluctance!

There’s a minimum of drama, so let’s go right to the rose ceremony, with all 27 women and a dog. You read that right, a dog is at the rose ceremony. It belongs to Kelly, whose occupation is given as “dog lover.”

The most interesting thing that happens is that Kylie, an interior designer from Rockford, IL, thinks she heard her name when in fact the heavily-accented JP said someone else. Much embarrassment ensues, and in interviews Kylie has expressed shock that the moment was used on-air. Kylie, it’s the only interesting thing that happened in two hours!

Kylie, Amy the psycho massage therapist, and Lauren the “I do have some insecurities” mineral coordinator are among those shown the door.