Bachelor Recap: On a Scale of 1 to 10, I may throw up
Raise your hands if you were confused the first 10 minutes of last night’s episode? Me too. As I recall, the bulk of last week’s show was a platform in which Groban shared his love for all things Sonoma, their abandoned Town Square and his undying passion to reside down the street from his mom and sister in an adorable cottage. Wasn’t that the whole purpose of caravanning all 90 contestants to his home town in week two? Or did I miss the explanation where he wants to live in San Francisco, traipsing the zig zaggy streets, discovering every nook and cranny between riding trolleys and eating Rice-A-Roni before driving his Treep out to the vineyard for a long weekend?
Before the conundrum of Groban’s career location versus his residential location is even sorted out in my brain, he’s having tea with his sister in broad daylight! It’s week THREE people! Suddenly, she’s peppering him with questions about the women and he’s rattling off a list of desirables like a kid in the Town Square Confectionery. Our boy wants to sample First Impression Lindzi, Kacie B., Courtney the Model (his title…not mine), Emily the Epidemiologist and Jennifer the accountant who is by far the best kisser. Take that Jugs McGee!
The girls have all been whisked away to the Fairmont in San Francisco. As evidenced by all the screaming and OMG-ing, this is a treat for most of them. Courtney exclaims, “LOOK IN THIS THING! HOW COOL IS THIS!” when peering through what we non-models call a “TEL-E-SCOPE.” I’m glad she’s expanding her horizons.
A hush falls over the crowd as Our Host Chris Harrison enters the room. He looks dashing as always in an Army green coat. Even though we’ve heard the parameters of this week’s dating lineup for 15 seasons, he manages to deliver each line with certain poise. There will be two one-on-one dates and one group date. If you don’t get a rose on your one-on-one, you’re going home. Remember, not everyone gets a date.
He pulls the first card out of his back pocket and places it on the table and leaves with a confidence that can only be mastered by someone who just hosted the Miss America pageant. One of the brunettes jerks it up. It’s still warm to the touch. She resists the urge to smell the envelope before reading the lucky girl’s name.
FIRST ONE-ON-ONE DATE
“LOVE LIFTS US UP”
Moderately annoyed that someone in the writing room couldn’t come up with a better title than the theme of Dr. Lieutenant Andy Baldwin’s entire season, I missed the inevitable “run and jump into the arms” greeting and began paying attention to what Groban was droning on about while trying not to be distracted by his ridiculous hair. I heard something about a view he’s never seen and then I heard “climb the bridge” and I begged for Emily to NOT admit that she was afraid of heights.
Instead, Emily said she hated heights and would rather do anything else than climb the stupid bridge with Groban. This is clearly not an attitude that will help love lift her up where she belongs.
I began rolling my eyes roughly three minutes into the date. Not a single viewer watching was surprised to learn that overcoming her fear of heights with Groban is a direct metaphor to their nonexistent relationship. Both blabbed on about “getting through this” and “facing challenges together will make us a stronger unit” and Emily even went above and beyond this tired scenario by saying that “bridges bring two separate things together…just like me and Groban!”
Regrettably, Emily’s mad skills in disease control were unable to ease her manic fear with each trudge up the tilting steel base. Her motor skills ceased functioning. Groban insisted on shouting stellar advice like, “DON’T LOOK DOWN” and “KEEP MOVING” but the fear and taken hold. He resorted to Top Gun quotes, begging her to, “Talk to me Goose.” In normal circumstances, I’m pretty sure “Take me to bed or lose me forever!” would have been an appropriate retort, but Emily is unable to utter any phrase other than variations of, “HOLY BLEEP!!!” He realized things were legitimately shaky when she started calling him Ghost Rider and that that she could no longer move forward because the pattern was full.
WHAT TO DO??? Why, he did what any gentleman would do in that moment— a scripted kiss to calm her nerves at 600 feet. Ah. Love is in the air. And it lifts us up. To the top of the bridge. Just in time for the other girls at the Fairmont to conveniently discover the “TEL-E-SCOPE” pointed directly at the exact longitude and latitude of Emily and Groban’s near death kiss followed by a self cleansing tribal scream marking the halfway point of their journey. What are the odds? And where’s a well placed volleyball scene when you need it?
1. You’d be surprised how much time can be wasted when you YouTube “Top Gun volleyball scene.”
b. Oh Tom. How I loved you before you became weird.
III. Oh Val Kilmer. Whatever happened to you?
4. You are welcome.
I won’t bore you with any more details of the bridge date. If you feel like reading all of the “taking a leap of faith” or “together we are going to tackle our fears” or “we were completely vulnerable,” go ahead and read the Jake/Vienna bungee jumping or Mesnick/Molly bungee jumping or Roberto/Ali tight roping dates. It was the same music. Same fear. Same kiss. Same dorky camera helmets.
That night, with the bridge looming in the distance as a symbol of their quest to conquer the fiercest of fears, Groban puts on his favorite corduroy dinner jacket over his button up sweater and completes the ensemble with a fresh swipe of Carmex. Emily didn’t get the memo that it’s chilly outside and shows up wearing a lovely purple tunic which barely covers her who-ha. She tells Groban the story about how she was matched with her brother on E-Harmony and he does his best not to be too grossed out or laugh at the circumstance, although he secretly thinks it would be a little awesome if Dr. Warren’s 27 levels of compatibility matched him with his own sister. A boy can dream.
Groban points out the elephant in the room, even though they were outside, and gives the rose to Emily because she is fearless, witty and doesn’t wear pants. Plus, his dad always told him that he needed to marry someone smarter. They kiss and fireworks begin to go off. Somewhere in Utah, Michelle Money nudges the current guy she’s dating and tells him that she experienced the exact same scenario when making out with Brad. She makes the universal sign for “fireworks” over her own head while he decides if crazy hot trumps just plain crazy.
Jamie the Nurse
“Let’s Cross Something Off Our Leap List”
Rachel does a great job explaining to those of us who are unfamiliar with the phrase, exactly what a leap list involves:
Bangs: “It’s something you want to do before your next significant birthday or milestone. It’s like running with the bulls and swimming with sharks or falling in love with Groban.”
Huh. Interesting leap list Bangs. All fine ideas, but Groban has something a little more creative in mind.
As a questionable resident San Franciscan, our Bachelor has always wanted to snow ski in the city. Who hasn’t? It’s a good thing the fine folks over at ABC made the intern do his bidding because after some blatant Honda product placement, a gaggle of ladies in matching nude footwear freak out at the sight of a snowy street, mercifully lined with rows of protective hay bales and innocent bystanders. FUN! They squeal with delight as Groban encourages each of them to hop into a pair of skis and go for it! For some reason, this request bids the girls to begin stripping off what little clothing they were wearing in the first place to reveal a vast array of swimwear that loosely resembles the majority of the current Victoria’s Secret catalog.
And who wouldn’t want to speed down the manufactured slope in nothing but a string bikini? Sign me up! The viewing audience…and actual audience for that matter…is treated to a bouncing montage of “Girls Gone Wild” but with darling snow hats and warm fuzzy scarves. One more than one occasion, faux snow bunnies bit the trail, providing uncomfortable split moves, painful wipeouts and crotch shots galore for the surrounding neighborhood children to see. Thank goodness for laser hair therapy in all the right places.
Hands down, the most entertaining part of the date was when Kacie B. accidentally, but gracefully, managed to bend over and ski backwards down the hill while holding on to her own ankles. I’m sure folks were convinced they were watching a scene from the upcoming adult film “Debbie Does Downhill” with the bounty of boobs and butts whizzing by. You can imagine one mom’s disappointment when she learned that this exhibition will be available in her own home on primetime television in January. Wholesome education for the entire family, am I right? I think I speak for dozens of prepubescent boys watching when I say I can wait to see what other exciting things are on Groban’s leap list.
Meanwhile, First Impression Lindzi, who ironically sports a dark, smoky eye instead of her aforementioned preference to “dirt makeup,” tells the camera that she really, really wants the next one-on-one since she didn’t get a date last week. Unfortunately, that honor is given to Nana’s Granddaughter along with a fake key to the city disguised as a piece of gaudy Neil Lane jewelry. Emily is quick to congratulate her, ensuring the shocked recipient that she’ll have a good time on the date. Nana’s Granddaughter does not look convinced.
It has been settled that Club Tonga is the coolest place ever because it rains on the inside. Groban has passed out fruity drinks with little paper umbrellas to everyone. He pulls Rachel away and they both compliment each other on their mellow demeanor and generally chill attitude. Even though the humidity is doing a number on both their bangs, the Grobe dives in for a kiss while an on looking Kacie B. becomes jealous.
She pulls him away from Rachel and the other girls and escorts him out the front door. Stop the presses. The Bachelor has gone rogue on the streets of San Francisco. The last time this happened, a particular contestant revealed his commitment to guard and protect by getting some fresh ink. Fairly certain that this was not on young Kacie B’s leap list, I begged her to pull out the baton. No such luck. Her side pony would probably get in the way of her toss turnarounds.
KB: “I just don’t know how to play this game. It’s hard being on this side.”
Groban: “I don’t have any words of wisdom for you. But I do have a tongue.”
And then he proceeds to shove it in her mouth. This makes Kacie B. feel better and the excess lip balm transferred from the Grobe is a definite bonus. They return to the club where everyone’s hair has grown out a few inches. Jugs McGee admits that no one likes her, her boobs or her feathery earrings. Groban encourages her to make friends with the other well endowed contestants before Nana’s Granddaughter arrives, interrupts and explains that the best thing for her to do is follow her heart and not go on the romantic one-on-one unlocking door date. He remains calm, walks her to the cab and yells, “SAY HI TO NANA FOR ME!” before slamming the door shut and having a solid heart-to-heart with a tiki post he drunkenly mistook for Harrison. Deflated by his rejection, he hands the date rose to Rachel because he admires anyone who can rock a rhinestone nose stud. He hopes to cross that off his leap list by his 30th birthday. Rachel and her cowled neck are elated.
SECOND ONE-ON-ONE DATE
First Impression Lindzi manages to not be offended at being called up from the minors to secure the botched date with Groban. They ride a trolley, cut a bunch of people in line to get ice cream and roll through China Town. She thinks he is super cool when he pulls out his own set of keys to City Hall. They use flashlights to maneuver the tricky pitch black hallways. We can only assume the place was so dark because several people were scrambling to yank the “WELCOME BEN AND NANA’S GRANDDAUGHTER” sign from the balcony. At last! The lights finally come on! It’s a super special concert for just the two of them! Very cool!
Lindzi: “It’s your piano muse David Gray! Is that right?”
Groban: “Uhm. No. I think it’s the main guy from Train gyrating with a guitar! Let’s get him to play Soul Sister!”
Lindzi: “I don’t think so. It appears to be a Blake Shelton look alike! He sure is proud of his sexy singing face! WORK IT BLAKE!”
Groban: “Do you feel like this is an abnormally long time to have to wait to be told who is the somewhat familiar and trendy guy playing the guitar?”
The ABC intern rushes over to announce that Matt Nathanson is the super special artist nice enough to stage an impromptu concert in the privacy of City Hall on the exact week that his new album is dropping on iTunes. A quick Google search reminds you that he sings that “Come On Get Higher” song which remains in your head until this very moment. Groban is basking in Nathanson’s indie glory, happy that he wore his favorite purple plaid shirt and baggy Levis in lieu of a plain tee and grey skinny jeans. It was a solid choice and the time has come for him to aim his tongue at Lindzi’s mouth. A DIRECT HIT! And Lindz admits to never kissing on the first date. I guess the combination of Groban’s luscious locks and Matt WhatsHisName’s bedroom eyes was enough to for her to let her guard down.
Later, they hit up the local speakeasy. Luckily, this is our Bachelor’s home town and he’s cool enough to know people who know the password to get in, as well as the exact book to pull on the shelf that opens to a secret back room where patrons can learn about each other on a deeper level. Is that what the kids are calling it these days?
I was happy to see how Lindzi took all of our advice by toning down on the bronzer this week. Although there were definite signs of some citrus, she was not as tangerine as our previous encounters. She tells him the story of how she went to Dumpsville via text and Groban laughs the appropriate amount of time before toasting both of their failed relationships.
To top off the longest date ever, the pair use the fake keys to the city to legally break in to a piano store where Groban starts, I assume, playing Matt WhatsHisName since he’s clearly sponsoring this date. Turns out, I was wrong and he settles for an old stand by. Our indie heartthrob is found seething after listening in the adjacent secret room and immediately calls his lawyers. Groban checks off “play David Gray song on red piano” in his leap list journal.
Across town, Nana’s Granddaughter has sold a certain piece of Bachelor history on EBAY for $40 to the highest bidder. That should buy a few batteries for Nana’s hearing aids. Silver linings are cool.
Across town, a headless girl wearing an orange top and Wilma Flintstone turquoise necklace calls Our Host Chris Harrison to let him know that she was moments away from the Fairmont. You can almost hear Harrison smiling as he recites the message from the cue card that reads, “You’re really going through with this?”
He ignores the producer’s hand written note that suggests he execute the line with a tone that conveys extreme concern and instead reads the line while simultaneously shooting both whiskey and pool, happy that the headless girl does not have his actual cell phone digits but a pre-paid phone his assistant purchased from Wal-Mart mere weeks before when he was pulled in on an emergency meeting that involved a stunt from Hotter Than Crap Brad’s season.
Back at the party, strapless dresses are hoisted, drama free nights are toasted and Groban arrives in his signature grey suit with a pink tie.
We easily deduce that Jennifer the Best Kissing Accountant is not a true red head due to the fact that she defies the cardinal rule of all genuine gingers…she wears a hot pink tank top with a clashing orange skirt.
Groban brushes his bangs out of his face and allows Jennifer to profess her “like” for the monochromatic Bachelor. She uses the words dreamy when describing his physical stature. He tells her she is by far the best kisser in the house. She blushes. With the bottled hair, flushed face and Pepto skirt, it was a bit of a hot pink mess, but Groban still chooses to test his theory one more time before letting her go. After literally smacking her face off, he pulls back to declare, “Yep. You’ve still got it.”
The faceless girl has finally parked in front of the Fairmont and is ready to reveal herself. Agreeing with IHGB commenter Jean from last week’s recap, I shouted at my television for Harrison to “BRING ON JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT!” (My how we easily forget.)
Instead, Shawntel the crypt keeper emerges wearing faded jeans and flip flops opposite her brightly colored tank and prehistoric jewelry.
Shawntel: “I was on the Bachelor a year ago and fell in love with Hotter Than Crap Brad. He couldn’t handle the fact that I pretended to embalm him during my hometown date and ditched me. It was actually a blessing in disguise. Sure I walked myself through the grieving process but then I read that Groban was going to be the next Bachelor and I knew I had to come here and force my fairy tale to come true. We’ve been to a couple of Bachelor-related reunions. He accidentally brushed up against me at a bar when he was trying to introduce himself to Cape Cod Chris. I totally felt a connection and I’m certain he did too. I don’t want to live a life of regret, so here I am.”
Harrison stands at the front door of the Fairmont looking both irritated that he’s been asked to personally handle this spectacular act of spontaneous inhibition and yet equally hopeful that at least two of the production assistants will be handing over a vintage bottle of whiskey from the Dalmore Distillery in Scotland when he collects on a bet that at least one girl will go down through means of physical contact or emotional duress my the night’s end.
OHCH: “Just so everyone is perfectly clear…Groban has no idea that you are here, correct?”
OHCH: “And you have actually talked to this guy before and he will recognize you by sight?”
Shawntel: “I asked him for a piece of gum once. He didn’t have any on him.”
OHCH: “I’m sure you’d like to go upstairs and freshen up. Perhaps something loud and one shouldered. Nude shoes are mandatory this season. You understand.”
Shawntel: “I have the perfect, ill-filling outfit.”
Upstairs, Nicki has initiated a exhilarating game of “50/50 Chance” with our Bachelor. She asks gripping questions, such as “Red wine or white wine?” Groban writes and answer, she writes and answer and they compare cards. I can’t report on the outcome of the game because I was both a.) totally bored and b.) looking for the hickey I know I spotted on her neck earlier in the episode.
Courtney the Model thinks Nicki is juvenile, calls Jugs a boyfriend stealer and somehow becomes so aggravated with Lindzi’s mere presence that she has to leave the room. Emily diagnoses her with a social disorder known as “being so weird.” Then “Other Casey” whom you never, ever recognize pops into the shot and you laugh when your friend Jill applauds Casey’s bold fashion risk of wearing something straight from the Designing Women’s wardrobe closet. We laugh even more when it is discussed and confirmed that Suzanne Sugarbaker would not be caught dead in that hideous hot pink color.
It becomes apparent that the Fairmont and the speakeasy share an owner when Groban shoves the edge of a bookcase forward, uncovering a private outdoor balcony.
Courtney [read in baby talk]: “I missed yooouuuuuuuuu.”
Groban: “You’re hot.”
Courtney: “Do you like me?”
Groban: “You’re hot.”
Courtney: “Dealing with all this drama is so worth it to me and my future 15 minutes of fame.”
Groban: “You’re hot. Let’s make out.”
Courtney: “We’d make cute babies.”
Groban: “I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that because you’re hot.”
Groban tongue handles the model and she clearly pulls away playing hard to get. She’s totally not in to him and it is obvious to everyone but the Bachelor.
Enter Shawntel. Harrison tells her that he’s quite certain she must saunter through at least half of the women before stealing Groban away from Elyse the Personal Trainer. Shawntel is not scared and embraces the fact that she will be assaulted with f-bombs, whining, an abundance of SHUT UPs and various other verbal abuses. And there she goes!
Slowly but surely, little heads snap up from their never-ending supply alcoholic beverages when the strange girl enters the room. Whispers and murmurs slowly build until catty Samantha practically shouts, “WHO IS THAT?” In a matter of seconds, the questioning begins and rumors fly from lips of jealous contestants.
What is she doing?
Who’s that girl?
Is it one of his ex-girlfriends?
How has no one recognized her yet?
Who told her to wear nude shoes?
Shut the BLEEP up!
Why is that weird funeral music playing on that old organ?
Is this a clue?
Finally, Jennifer the Great Kissing Accountant recognizes the mysterious party crasher as Shawntel, the funeral director from Hotter Than Crap Brad’s season. Groban utters a choice explicative of his own before sending the current brunette off to sit a few feet away with fellow stalkers Nicki, Samantha and Courtney.
Shawntel recognizes that she may appear crazy, but it in fact not a complete lunatic for taking her chances on love with a somewhat stranger. How is she different from that chick who was just sitting here whose name no one can remember?
Shawntel: “You don’t have to admit your feelings to me or say anything right now.”
Groban: “I probably won’t”
Shawntel: “I’ll be at the rose ceremony tonight. I hope you have feelings too and are willing to give me a chance and a rose.”
Groban: “I’m glad we spoke.”
He goes outside to collect his thoughts, allowing the cool breeze to blow through his mangled tresses. Shawntel introduces herself to the rest of the contestants. Nicki begins to hiccup between bouts of ugly crying and constantly whines about wanting a grilled cheese sandwich. Erika Esquire shoots low and thanks her lucky stars that Shawntel’s thighs are thicker than her own. Jugs McGee heaves her bosom in angst. Elyse the Personal Trainer will slug someone in the throat if a punching bag is not soon provided. Bangs thinks that draining people’s blood is creepy, therefore Shawntel must be creepy. Samantha wonders why Groban would want Brad’s sloppy seconds when she herself is vying for the sloppy seconds of Ashley. Courtney the Model threatens to walk and on a scale from one to 10, Jaclyn may throw up although she never actually gives us a number in order to gauge her likelihood of hurling. Clearly, the wheels have all fallen off this crazy train. It was glorious.
Harrison arrives in classic black, convinced that it’s high time to land the plane. He announces that the party is over and that the nice gentleman in the black cap will be placing them in position for the rose ceremony immediately. Along with Bangs, Lindzi and Emily, Groban bestows the first rose to Courtney.
Groban: “Hot Model? Will you accept this rose?”
Courtney [long pause]: “Yes. But I saw you talking to What’sHerButt and I don’t like that.”
Other roses are given to:
Elyse the Personal Trainer
Jamie the Nurse
Jennifer the Best Kissing Accountant
Harrison steps in to announce to Groban and the ladies that there is one remaining rose. Groban takes his sweet time lavishing compliments on Erika Esquire, One to 10 Jaclyn and Shawntel. Suddenly, Erika Esquire begins to feel a touch woozy and completely steals Groban’s thunder. I’m guessing that she didn’t follow the age old rule that you never stand at a rose ceremony, wedding or pageant with locked knees. She slowly begins to melt into the floor.
Woman down. WOMAN DOWN PEOPLE!
Everyone begins to talk at once, except Harrison who just sits back smiling, daydreaming about a certain beach, chair and tumbler of whiskey.
Are you anemic?
Did you eat anything other than dietary supplements they gave us?
Did you chase it with a few swallows of bourbon like Harrison taught us?
Can someone get her a pillow?
Why is Nurse Jamie just standing there?
Can’t she pull up her dress if it’s too tight to squat down beside the patient?
Why is Emily running around like she knows what she’s doing? She’s not a REAL doctor?
Shawntel calls dibs on the body if things go south, but Erika Esquire ended up being fine. Nothing a few saltines and some time with her head between her knees couldn’t fix.
Groban tries to milk the moment for all it’s worth, but it’s lost on Erika’s swaying body, Shawntel’s reality check and Jaclyn’s stink face. On a scale from one to 10, I think she’s leaving. He tells the remaining three girls that they are aces before sending them all home budless. Jaclyn storms into the bathroom. Esquire Erika is checked for a pulse before an intravenous line is inserted. Groban walks Shawntel out to her car to say goodbye. The two agree to be an alliance on the next Bachelor Pad before fist bumping and blowing it up.
Next week the gang travels to Park City, Utah for some horse back riding, water aerobics and genuine cat fighting! Sounds like fun!
Until then, I’m all about the shame, not the fame,