“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.

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