Bachelor Recap: I Know What Love Is, What’s It To You?

So there I was sitting on my red and white gingham ottoman, shouting a hearty “AMEN” when my friend Susan offered up some pretty solid advice to The Model:

“I think when you quote Charlie Sheen, it’s a red flag.”

Exactly. Courtney’s tendency to wander around the mansion with a glass full of wine in one hand and constant pawing and twisting of her model hair with the other muttering, “WINNER” under her breath after playing mind games with Emily reveals a lot about her character. Since Groban is so gosh darn normal, I welcomed the blatant flying of her freak flag with fingers anxiously hovering over the home keys of my Mac, waiting for her to truly unleash the Mean Girl that lives just below the surface of those symmetrical facial features. Thankfully, she did not disappoint. And it wouldn’t surprise me if she tries to make “fetch” happen next week.

SIMPLE DISCLAIMER
The following information you are about to read is of personal opinion. However, if you or someone you poked on Facebook happens to personally know, sort of know, is friends with the niece/former classmate of someone who is obsessed with the Hunger Games trilogy and looks exactly like one of the contestants on the show…none of this is personal and I’m sure they are all lovely people.

Great news everyone! It’s week four and a shaky Blair Witch-style documentary camera reveals that the girls have arrived in Park City, Utah which is totally the best place to fall in love, like, ever. We join Groban in a helicopter where he is blown away by the breathtaking scenery.

Groban: “It’s just so beautiful. Everywhere I look I’m amazed by nature. I can see every color in the rainbow.”
Lincee: “Guess what Grobe? You can actually wear clothes that come in those same colors! Perhaps you can branch out from your charcoal, taupe and oatmeal wardrobe bases. I’m not hinting that you go full-blown red trousers like Ames, but maybe you could start slow and comfortable with a plum-colored sweater. That’s close enough to grey in the color wheel, isn’t it?”

Like the high you feel after dropping 300 feet spelunking, Our Host Chris Harrison’s presence radiates a sudden surge of energy. Could it be that the combination of his well-fitted jeans and über trendy navy sweater is making his eyes pop more than normal, therefore firing neurons to the brain resulting in accelerated heart rate?

Do we even have to ask?

Harrison breezes through his script detailing the date lineup this week. We all know the drill. Two one-on-one dates, one group date, not everyone goes on a date, blah, blah, blah. We aren’t even paying attention because it appears that Our Host has been toning up during his non-hosting duties. Dare I say someone is joining a certain Hotter Than Crap Bachelor in Austin for arms and chest day at the gym? I zero in on the eyes again when I sense that Harrison is wrapping up his speech. This means he’ll be dropping off the date card and heading back to his suite where the ABC intern has stored his free weights for shoulder shrugs and I need to soak up as much of his presence as I can. But wait! Harrison isn’t leaving! Instead, he’s bestowing a bit of free advice to our eager ladies.

OHCH: “You know not everyone will get a date this week. If you get time with Groban, use it wisely. Don’t just talk about the weather. I hope to see you all at the next rose ceremony.”

Interesting. Other than in the privacy of the Pier One Photo Bureau Room (which is uncharacteristically absent this season) Harrison never offers unsolicited advice to the contestants. And what does it mean? He could have said anything in that moment. “Don’t mention Groban’s awful hair…he hates that.” Or “He likes to wear the color boring. Never encourage him to stray from that palette.”

Yet he warns the ladies to not hem and haw about the forecast. I am intrigued by the enigma that is Chris Harrison.

First One-On-One Date
Bangs
“Let’s Let Nature Take Its Course”

Lindzi announces that Bangs is the lucky recipient of the first one-on-one and Kasie B. begins her high stepping journey down a potentially dangerous path. Jealousy does not look good on you my friend. I understand you are a sweet, innocent girl, who just wants to conform to everything your pretend boyfriend wants you to be, but you have a good shot at winning this and you need to SUCK IT UP NOW.

Instead, she cries in her leather, grey Member’s Only Jacket (probably vintage…from her Mom’s closet), adjusts her scarf and finds sanctuary in the fact that staring at Groban longingly as he picks Bangs up for their date is more fulfilling than not seeing him at all.

Later, we’ll find her outside searching for odd numbered petals on daffodils.

Groban picks Bangs up in the first helicopter of the season and whisks her away for a day filled with fun activities in nature. He’s wearing a grey Henley. Right away, I can tell something is off. Being The Bachelor connoisseur that I am, I know how these dates typically unfold. The girl fakes being afraid of the flight so she can be comforted by her date. This gives her the opportunity to place her hand on his thigh, lean over him to see the scenery below, conveniently pushing her amble bosom into his face, regale in the fact that this is the coolest thing she’s ever done before gazing into his eyes with that come hither stare, just begging for a kiss. Of course, we all hear every bit of the conversation in those muffled head phone voices.

But Bangs is silent. There was no bosom pressing, no high pitched shrieking and certainly no making out. There was a well-timed thigh squeeze, but that could have very well been turbulence.

Groban compliments her by saying she’s super mellow and easy going. Careful Bangs. If you are any less enthusiastic, I might have to dress you in something neutral and call you Groban. Our Bachelor paddles out to the middle of a secluded lake. That would have been accurate had it not been for the camera dude in the canoe to his immediate right and what appeared to be swarms of mosquitoes buzzing around, but hey…I’ll take anything to break the silence. They begin to make out because there’s nothing else to do. The moment made me pine for the romantic gestures of both Noah Calhoun and Prince Eric. Those guys really knew how to properly execute a canoe date.

In the next scene, we find Groban and Bangs on the bank of the lake, squinting at each other in silence. Then they decide to talk about how they are squinting and Bangs brings up that you can get crow’s feet from too much squinting. Groban pretends to be interested in this dermatological fact before casually pointing out a beaver dam. An unimpressed Bangs takes a sip of wine.

I begin to squirm in my seat and subconsciously hum the song “Kiss The Girl.” Show editors augment the awkward silence by making us all watch and stew in its uncomfortable juices. “WHY ISN’T ANYONE SAYING ANYTHING?” I shout at my television, desperately rocking back and forth internally begging for the moment to end. How hard is it to ask a simple question? I understand that you don’t dare deviate from Harrison’s counsel by remarking on the fabulous weather we’re having, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Talk about the food in front of you! Make an inappropriate beaver joke woman! If we’ve learned anything from this show it’s that the possibilities for idle chit chat are literally endless.

Just as I’m recovering from the pregnant pause that birthed its baby and is currently celebrating a potty training milestone, Groban proudly admits that he thinks there is chemistry with Bangs. What in the world? I guess the executives chose to not air the part where Bangs changes into a tan bikini (excellent choice for Grobe) and has her hair braided by a local from the Bahamas before she runs down the beach to classical introspective music playing in the background.

Behold the power of editing.

I have to give extreme props to the ABC intern for his amazing set design on the dinner portion of this date. How he was able to construct and entire teepee, complete with pot belly stove and bear skin rugs without torching the place from the 18 thousand vanilla candles strewn about is beyond me. Well done my good man. Well done.

But the rustic ambiance is not enough to distract our Bachelor. Apparently the edited bathing suit buzz has worn off and he’s becoming curious of Bangs’ mute behavior. He begins to talk about relationships, being in this for the long haul and if they are actually worth pursuing.

Bangs: “The fire is hot.”
Lincee: “Quick! Run down the beach toward him again you fool!”

Sensing that he’s not experiencing her true personality, Bangs decides that she needs to up her game. Confusing, verbal diarrhea is just the ticket.

Bangs: “For me, in past relationships, I’m no good. I’ve struggled with it in my most recent one. I’m honest, but it’s just hard for me to be the way I want.”
Groban: “What’s hard again? I’m not following.”

Bangs: “Oh. Sorry. Communicating. I’m not good at it.”
Groban: “You don’t say? Talking is overrated. Here’s a rose. Now go put on that skin-toned one piece so we can eat s’mores and make out again!”

Group Date
Jamie
Casey
Jugs
Lindzi
Miss Pacific Palisades
Nicki
Kasie B.
Courtney The Model
“Let’s See If You’re a Great Catch”

The familiar twang of stereotypical country music alerts us that this date is going to require boots, a square to dance around and the mandatory use of the conjunction “y’all” when addressing the group. Wearing a plain brown shirt, Groban tells the camera that he’s ready for the ladies to see his “country” side. A quick Google search confirms that his Sonoma winery indeed does not double as a Dude Ranch. Bless Groban’s heart. If we weren’t convinced, the sheer terror on his sweet face as his horse galloped through the river was evidence enough that the closest he will ever come to cowboyhood is the 50-yard-line at an NFL stadium in Dallas. Lindzi did a great job abstaining from rolling her eyes and even admitted that she loves a cowboy in a saddle.

We both wonder where we can find one.

After a leisurely walk through the countryside, the girls dismount and are ecstatic to see waders and fly fishing poles waiting for them by the river. I thought this was an interesting reaction, but let’s go with it. Almost everyone vies for one-on-one time, including Courtney who could care less about catching a fish and vows to make the exercise all about catching Groban.

She makes her move just as our Bachelor is instructing Kasie B. to flick her wrist like so.

Kasie B.: “Just like twirling a baton!”
Groban: “If that helps you, sure!”

The Model somehow manages to fling her line about in a way that convinces Groban that she’s actually done this before. Wow. Outdoorsy and hot. Who would have thought?

Meanwhile, the girls all stand around in shallow water about five feet away from each other complaining about how no one has caught any fish. I can’t imagine why the trout aren’t biting. And does it really matter? I assume most of these women would choose not to partake in any activity that acquires them to snare their own dinner, let alone eat it. That’s what alcohol is for silly. Obviously, the ABC intern hasn’t listened to country music in the last few months because our bachelorettes are chugging beer daintily from wine glasses instead of red Solo cups. Why catch dinner when you can drink it?

The keg is floated within minutes of Groban arriving to present Courtney’s limp, sad little trout to the rest of the group. After 30 minutes of gloating, she feels sorry for the little sucker and makes Groban toss it back in the river since her model diet only allows protein ingestion every seventh day. Having sucked its last ragged breath 20 minutes prior to this decision, the fish floats along the bank before becoming a beaver’s fine feast later that night. Circle of life people.

Back at the Waldorf Astoria fly fishing after party, Groban takes comfort to new levels by wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, black yoga pants and flip flops. He asks for alone time with that chick you never can remember. No, not that one. The blond one. Other Casey is her name and blue fingernail polish is her game. Before we can learn anything about her, Nicki comes to steal him away.

Nicki: “I love your American Apparel hoodie!”
Groban: “Thanks. I have another one in ecru.”

Nicki: “You’re so cool. I am thankful that we have these times together to live life to the fullest. And I want to take every moment to do that with you.”
Lincee: “WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? THAT’S WORSE THAN TALKING ABOUT THE WEATHER YOU FOOL!”

After sharing stories about recent losses in their lives, Nicki feels that she and Groban have bonded in a way that no one else has. To my recollection, she has yet to bond in the way everyone else has…by Groban sticking his tongue down her throat.  Nick still has a long road ahead of her.

Miss Pacific Palisades finally scores one-on-one time with our Bachelor. Instead of conversing about things that she understands, like Bumpits, dark eyeliner or the power of hemorrhoid cream under baggy eyes, she chooses to open with this little gem:

MPP: “I was just wondering why I’ve been on so many group dates instead of a single date?”

Groban: “Wow. Well, group dates are very important and it helps me to observe to see if I’d like to ask someone on a solo date.”

Groban calmly explains that he is looking for specific characteristics in the group dates, while reminding her that not everyone is granted an invitation to bask in his presence. That’s code for: Count your blessings, chick. Unfazed by his gentle warning, Palisades presses the issue again.

MPP: “Well I’ve been on three group dates. What have you observed?”
Groban: “To be quite honest, you’ve been highly emotional and I’m wondering if you can hang and if you are really here for me. According to your actions, I don’t see it. You spend more time in the handicapped bathroom stall than you do with me.”

Harrison has taught him well.

She licks her lips and maintains a clueless stare, just waiting for…a buzzer? A bell to ring? Someone to escort her into a sound proof booth? We can’t be sure.

Groban” “From what I’ve seen, I don’t think there is any reason for this to go further.”
MPP: “Why?”
Groban: “Let me explain in a way that you can understand. You will not be advancing to the talent round. There is no need to steam your evening gown. You will not be receiving a bouquet of runner-up roses, let alone a coveted bud from me. It’s time to pack your bags and go home. Here’s a 20 so the driver can pick you up a cheeseburger on your way back to the Palisades.”

Our beauty queen says farewell to her fellow female dates and then bids adieu to the women back at the mansion. Even though she’s crying uncontrollably in her exit interview, we’re comforted by the necklace that reads “World Peace” in Hebrew. Never fear dear one. There could be a sash with “Miss Santa Monica” in your near future. Our fingers are crossed for the 2012 pageant circuit.

Groban saunters back to the other ladies, reminding them that he will always be honest and everyone is mere moments away from hitting the road just like Pali.

Kasie B. might actually spontaneously combust if she doesn’t get some one-on-one time. Groban quickly figures this out, plucks her from the outdoor rattan furniture and guides her to a hotel room that Harrison uses for wardrobe staging. She’s wearing a sweater version of the Flashdance top. It’s what a female welder might wear when she’s chilly. It’s also the color of eggshells. Groban loves it.

They talk about how hard this process is and Kasie B. begs Groban to just affirm their relationship whenever he can. All she needs is a little reassurance. Groban apologizes for not kissing her in the river and then makes up for lost time on Harrison’s guest couch.

Groban: “I’m in trouble with Kasie B. My feelings for her are growing faster than most. I like this girl. Her smile. Her demeanor. Her toss turnaround. She’s wonderful. I just need to make sure she knows that.”

The Model decides it’s time to go topless and really show Groban a good time. At least that’s what it looked like when her side boob flashed for the entire world to see. As it turns out, strategic hand placement and hunched over posture made popular by all cycles of America’s Top Model camouflaged the tiny bikini strings. She immediately begins weaving her manipulative web in the most annoying baby talk.

Courtney: “I am having a rough time. I really like you and feel good about us. I didn’t think that I would feel this way. I’m not used to being insecure. It brings me down to not be with you. I don’t know what I might do. I think I’ve lost sight of everything…of us.”

Groban brushes his bangs out of his eyes in a concerned fashion. He can’t believe that the hot model doesn’t know how much she means to him. He seizes the next few moments to grovel, beg, persuade, insist, beseech, defend, apologize and plead for Courtney to just hang in there with him. He wants her to be confident in the feelings that have developed after knowing each other for a collective total of six hours.

Groban: “I’ve learned on this journey that I should provide reassurance to the women who are feeling insecure, lonely or somewhat threatening to return to a runway waiting for them in Milan. I can’t remember who told me that but I know they’d be thrilled to see me providing that service to The Model by giving her the group date rose.”

Congratulations Groban. You’ve been Bentley’d.

Second One-On-One
Jennifer
“Let’s Pick Our Love Song”

I like Jennifer. Had the cameras not been there to document her creepy spelunking date, I might have been fearful for her life. It started off with a seemingly endless hike, leading to a barrier that read “NO TRESPASSING,” followed by a law-breaking hop over said barrier to break into a fenced-in area protecting a huge hole, which ended up being the mouth of a cave that had a questionable depth of water below it; i.e. it was the exact intro I saw one time on Criminal Minds. Assuming that Groban is up-to-date in his harness certification, why did she have to strip down to a string bikini? Had she known she would be suspended over water, waiting for the big plunge, I’m sure she would have chosen something a little more athletic in the swimwear department.

Groban uses metaphors like “diving into the unknown” and “conquering a fear together” before he bruises her gall bladder by landing on her after the 300-foot drop. After ditching the harnesses and helmets, they try to make out while treading water.

Groban: “This is perfect.”
Jennifer: “It is perfect.”
Lincee: “I you mean perfect for a serial killer dumping ground, then yes.”

Later, no one seems to care that they just sent two people up on a ski lift in the middle of a lighting storm. Jennifer is wearing Harrison’s Army coat. Groban has borrowed Kasie’s Member’s Only grey jacket. They talk about relationships and being flexible and then the rain comes pouring down monsoon style.

Groban rewards her normal behavior by presenting her with the rose after basically admitting that up until then, he didn’t really see a future with her. This makes her blush. Groban celebrate next steps by arranging for a private Clay Walker concert in a nearby meadow. Well, private in the sense that 100 other folks from the Waldorf would be joining them but THEY get to stand on a platform in the middle of all those people. Groban takes Jennifer’s hands and twirls her around as if attempting to pretzel her. Obviously, this is the perfect opportunity for him to once again show off his country side. All hope was lost when he executed the telltale sign of non-country dancers in every honky tonk this side of the Mason Dixon Line…the rocking horse.

I’m sure he’s really good at stomping grapes though.

Rose Ceremony

Ben arrives in a black suit with a skinny grey tie and hair that rivals the rattiest of nests. He toasts the ladies and begins to mingle with the crowd. Emily’s disgust with Courtney becomes open for debate when she compares The Model to a cold statue made of marble…beautiful on the outside and hard as stone on the inside.

Emily: “Either he doesn’t know what he wants or he doesn’t really know her. We are fooling ourselves to think that he wants someone normal if he likes her. If I were in his position, I’d want someone to tell me what’s going on.”

Emily is strong. Heartache to heartache, she stands. No promises. No demands. She’s going to go for the jugular when it comes to Courtney by giving Grobe the infamous “she’s different around us that she is around you” speech.

Emily: “I feel like there is one girl here who is different around you that she is with the rest of the house. I don’t know if that’s a big deal to you or not.”
Groban: “I don’t know who you are talking about and I don’t care to know.”

Emily [irritated]: “It’s just that on this recent group date we were all surprised to see that she got the rose.”

Groban rolls his eyes, curses women for being so catty and reminds Emily that Courtney is not only hot, but a model and she needs to concentrate more on herself before others or it will end in her own demise. Courtney learns of Emily’s tattling and plays mind games the rest of the night. Emily’s defenses slowly begin to crumble and she even cries. Yes, love is a battlefield, Emily. And with late night/early morning booze, sleep deprivation and those Spanx cutting off the oxygen to your brain, the odds are not in your favor. But you do look darling in your shiny silver toga!

Emily returns to the couch feeling dejected and confused. She confesses that she just told Groban that Courtney is fake and Other Casey (the blond one wearing a lilac 60s inspired negligee with a necklace in the shape of a noose) was quick to defend The Model claiming that they are total besties.

Emily: “How can you say she isn’t fake? She doesn’t have any social etiquette.”
Casey: “I’m her friend. Obviously we aren’t going to see eye to eye, so we should stop talking. I’m going to get a drink and retire to the billiard room where I will share every inch of this story with Courtney.”

Casey spills the beans that Emily is talking smack behind Courtney’s back. ABC does a nice job of bleeping out the f-bombs as Courtney assembles her Burn Book while acknowledging her desire to verbally abuse Emily and/or shave off her eyebrows while she is asleep.

Outside on the veranda, Nicki’s tongue can’t catch a break. Instead of playing tonsil hockey with Groban, they are catching snowflakes . Despite the obvious below freezing temperatures, she seems perfectly fine in her chocolate brown, tight, strapless cocktail dress. I guess the love in her heart and the booze in her liver is enough to keep her warm.

Courtney continues to slowly pick away all of the confidence Emily has left by using the power of the freeze out. She sashays over to the couch with the rest of the girls, plops herself on the end, takes a deep whiff from her rose and proceeds to stare Emily down. Kasie B. is allergic to confrontation and quickly begins a game of 20 Questions.

KB: “How many of you know yourself better in these two weeks verses the previous two months?”

Everyone raises their hands except Courtney who volunteers that not only does she feel totally comfortable with her own skin but she likens this exact scenario to what it must be like to be in a sorority.

Oh honey.  Emily would have you black balled faster than you can say, “She does not possess Pi Phi qualities” if this was rush week.  Stand down pledge.

Courtney begins her maniacal laughter as Emily hits her limit.

Emily: “WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT?”
Court: “You.”
Emily: “Why? I’m confused.”
Court: “Oh you know…”
Emily: “We are not in fifth grade. Let’s be adults.”
Court: “You’re on my list butt munch.”

Once Harrison arrives, Emily and Courtney are allowed to leave time out to take their places at the rose ceremony. The Waldorf banquet hall has been transformed into an indoor livable forest. We assume the ABC intern’s inspiration was Kate Middleton’s wedding. He is on FIRE this episode!

Along with Bangs, The Model and Jennifer, roses are given to Lindzi, Jamie in Miss Pacific Palisades retired sequined pageant dress, Nicki, Kasie B., Elyse, Jugs and Emily.

Discarded Monica wishes she hadn’t worn a dress that looked like a blood clot as she exits the hotel.

Monica: “It’s awful when someone doesn’t feel the way you feel. I want marriage and kids and I want it to last. I just need that special someone.”

She’s talking about Jugs McGee.

Groban is happy to announce that they will be leaving Utah for gorgeous Puerto Rico! There will be skinny dipping, more maniacal laughter and round two of the Emily/Courtney feud.

What did you think about this week’s episode? Did Jugs McGee slowly endear herself to you like she did me? Did the combination of her stomping skills on the picnic table during the group date with the revelation of her secret life skill in the art of hair highlighting help her chances in becoming this season’s Miss Congeniality? Do you think she stomps like that in pasties and a g-string as a VIP waitress? Sound off in the comments section!

I’m all about the shame, not the fame,

Lincee

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