Bachelorette Emily Recap: Team Wendy
As I mentioned in my Huffington Post article and Y101 radio interview this morning, I found myself pleasantly surprised by all of the brutal honesty pouring out from Emily and her suitors. Who knew that telling the cold, hard truth could be so entertaining? It’s such great timing too, because we needed something to dilute the memories of last week’s Muppet charade, and the promise of country music pop star Luke Bryan making my speakers go boom boom was less than thrilling.
I’ve said it often before and I’ll say it again. Thank you Lord for Dolly Parton.
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.
Aside from a few moments dedicated to the camera following Emily’s mother into her rented bedroom to bring her breakfast in bed, the opening scenes were presumably identical to last week’s opener. Our Host Chris Harrison displays his Alpha Male command, all members of the pack choose to stand and or sit on rattan furniture in the driveway, Harrison briefly explains the upcoming dating situations, the lucky date card is retrieved from his back left jeans pocket and is dropped on the table before he confidently strides away from the testosterone in his modern-day take of a wrinkly, grey Members Only jacket.
A quick scan of the bachelors leaves me discouraged at the lack of color in the wardrobe department. I’m sure somewhere in Sonoma, Groban is brushing a strand of wayward hair from his forehead, smiling to himself that he totally made “blah” happen on The Bachelor. To which I say…please Groban. If anyone can make a style comeback using debatable unisex 80s fashion in the hue of dusty grey, it’s Chris Harrison.
TBI Charlie crushes my entire sarcastic wardrobe theory by emerging from the sidelines in a bright pink, red and white horizontal striped v-neck, originally intended for female attendants serving in the pediatric ward of children’s hospitals everywhere. He announces that Chris is the lucky winner of the first one-on-one date and I squash my sudden urge to dip Travis’ dragon egg in a bowl of colored vinegar before listening to the message. “Love is a Steady Climb” it reads and Chris kicks off his constant reminders to the viewing audience that he thinks Emily is the greatest thing ever and he hopes to kiss her before the night is over.
Wearing a grey Henley (Groban = 1, Lincee = 0) and jeans, he meets bandito Emily in her motorcycle tank and tight black pants, as she casually saunters over to the edge of a building. Ropes drop from above and Chris is shocked beyond all measure that he must shimmy into a harness and scale a wall in order to earn his dinner and prove his manhood.
As with Mesnick and Molly bungee jumping, Jake and Vienna bungee jumping, Roberto and Ali tight rope walking, Hotter Than Crap Brad and Crazy Michele cliff climbing, Groban and Gangster Emily bridge tripping, Groban and The Red Head spelunking, the producers insist Emily and Chris talk about how they are nervous but feel comfort from the other and have no doubt that conquering their fears together will bring them closer to yadda, yadda, yadda, yes they are forced to wear dorky helmet cams so help me make it stop.
This isn’t Chris’ first rodeo. He knows that halfway through the life-changing challenge, there will be a you-can-do-it-here’s-a-boost-to-help-you-kiss that is shared before the swelling musical melody signifies certain pending victory in the near future. Due to ill calculated distance between the two ropes and harness chaffing, poor Chris had to settle for a hive five. He was disappointed. We know this because he tells the camera no less than 12 times.
“GET ON WITH IT!” I yelled, frustrated at the clichéness of the entire ordeal. I knew it was time to reach for the remote to fast forward when “On the Wings of Love” crept into my subconscious. Stupid Jake Pavelka.
Then lightning struck in the distance. How in the world did the ABC Intern manage that? Harnesses and helmet cams roughly six stories up in the air? This installment of “Conquer Your Fear: Lightning Edition” might be viewable. Bring it on! I’ll even stomach a few lightning analogies.
Chris: “That moment proved to me that a kiss from Emily would be electrifying.”
Emily: “Each flash bolted right through me, but I was determined to reach the top.”
And reach the top they did, celebrating the moment with another triumphant high five. Come on Our Bachelor Chris Not Harrison. What would your namesake do? Lean over and kiss her for crying out loud!
Emily takes him to dinner on the roof and showers him with compliments before asking what happened in his previous relationship. We learn that Chris dated his high school sweetheart for almost six years before recently breaking up with her. Emily quickly does that math in her head and cautiously asks, “How old are you?”
Answer: Chris is 25-years-old even though he acts and looks much more mature. Unfortunately, a suitor who graduated a year later than her in high school is not on a check on the “pro” side of the column and she lets him know it. Is he prepared to be a father to Little Ricki? Does he even know who the Backstreet Boys are? Does he consider Tobey Maquire the original reboot Spiderman? These negative feelings are mitigated with the gentle crooning of Luke Bryan and a swarm of people who just happened to be in downtown Charlotte gathered around the lucky couple as they swayed back and forth, eighth-grade dance style.
Emily: “I heard you liked country music, so I arranged for a little concert.”
Lincee: “Go ahead and put a stake through my country music loving heart ABC.”
Chris: “I’m a man. There’s no other place I’d rather be than right here.”
Lincee: “You and half of the straight men watching this exchange, but go on.”
Chris: “Would it be okay if I kissed you at the end of this song?”
Lincee: “Would it be okay if I petitioned that every man this season learn the basic intricacies of two-stepping because Emily has clearly negotiated live country music elements in her iron-clad contract?”
Emily coyly answers, “Why don’t you try it and you’ll find out” before craning her neck up to meet Chris in the most intimate and loving kiss since Wesley and Buttercup in The Princess Bride.
This is according to Chris of course. To the rest of the viewing audience and rambunctious members of the Charlotte chapter of the Luke Bryan Fan Club, it was consistent with the eighth-grade theme Chris established at the beginning of the slow dance. Props to him for having the stones to actually go through with it though. Too bad he’s going to get his young heart broken by someone older (almost in their 30s), wiser and more than likely in a tighter t-shirt. Or a race car driver. Who knows?
Portuguese Brad Pitt Andro
Snape’s Son Michael
One F Jef
Travis & Shelly
Emily arrives at the mansion in tiny cut off shorts and a green and white off-the-shoulder striped number. Clearly this outfit was borrowed from Ashley. She takes the guys to a freshly mowed meadow and begins to toss a football around before randomly wandering off over a hill. Doug absent mindedly tugs at the arm hole of his medium-sized shirt, wondering aloud why Emily would ditch them so early in the date? He’s eager to find out if he skins in the scrimmage because he’s slowly losing circulation to his brain and it may become medically necessary that he takes off his shirt and the last thing he wants to look like is a complete chach in front of Emily.
Or her friends. It turns out that Emily has gathered four very important women to help her decide which of “her boys” is worth her time and energy. These women took their responsibility seriously.
For the most part.
It is my hope that Emily’s friend Wendy hit the sauce earlier than usual that day because she was nervous about being on national television. That is the only logical reason that she behaved the way she did. Sure, I was fully engaged when she insisted that Sean remove his shirt and do push-ups for her, but was it really necessary for her to sit on his back while he performed the request? With that said, I think the show needs a little more Wendy in future episodes. Bring on the crazy. And tell the ABC intern not to forget the shot of Vodka in her juice box.
Ryan was also forced to do push-ups on a picnic table. Stevie busted out the break dancing moves. Wolf choked. One F Jef charmed. Tony lamented about his kid back home. Doug shared a nice lemon bar recipe that he received through a PTA email chain. Wendy asks Travis if he fertilized the random egg he’s carrying around. This woman is awesome. And Portuguese Brad Pitt began digging his own grave by honestly answering that he has cheated on a girlfriend before and yes, he’s had a one-night stand and he doesn’t have pets because it’s too much responsibility. That’s how gypsy bandits roll!
Just when they think the torture is over, Emily whistles and a bunch of kids come running from an unmarked van and command control of the entire community park. Emily takes a juice box and stands over by the monkey bars by her friends handing each a spiral notebook and large magic marker so the boys can be judged Olympic-style on their elementary playground technique.
Ryan immediately makes the beefier kids pick up tires and roll them to the far end of the perimeter. One F Jef finds the awkward kid and bonds with him as they go down the slide backwards. Sean piles three on his shoulders and becomes a human jungle gym. Tony cries. Snape’s Son Michael chillaxes on the swing set with the kid who refused the chocolate chip cookie snack, opting for the organic, glutten-free granola bar instead.
Ryan instructs his impromptu training camp kids to take five and wanders over to Emily and her entourage. One of Emily’s confidants noted that Ryan was “put together in a pretty, but manly way” (okay, it was slurred and it was Wendy) and the conversation somehow turned to Emily apologizing for not being dolled up at the park. Obviously, she was fishing for a compliment. Daftly, Ryan confided that he wants a woman who is always put together. Five women eyed him carefully as he explained he would love Emily if she chose to “get lazy,” but he wouldn’t love on her.
Emily: “He has the guts to tell me that I better not get fat. I don’t know how I feel about that.”
Much like the bump-it in his hair, Emily, I’d suggest you proceed with caution when it comes to Ryan’s questionable motives.
For the record, Emily’s posse all agreed that Doug and Sean were the two best candidates. She decides to take their advice and seeks both men out when the cocktail portion of the date proceeds.
Let me just say that Sean was looking extremely hot in jeans, crisp white shirt and black blazer. There was resounding agreement all around that this look is typically preferable without a tie, but Sean’s choice to loosen the knot and own the decision was well played. He further endears himself to me by complimenting his parents’ 28-year marriage and vows that he has the best example to ape when it comes to a husband and father. Then he kisses her on the cheek.
I can’t say the same for Doug. There’s just something about him that make me want to throw my yellow flag. Yellow, because I’m cautious. He talks about how life was hard growing up and how his Mom left and his Dad died and he and his sister were forced into foster care. That’s very sad and Emily was so touched that she cried. She is amazed that he doesn’t have anger issues and appreciates that he knows what it’s like to really have a bad day. I believe him. But I feel like there’s something under the surface that is about to bubble up. I just can’t put my finger on it.
Emily retreats into the weeping arms of Tony and they bond over how hard it is to leave your child for weeks on end. I don’t have children and can’t imagine what it must feel like to be apart from your little one. Emily does a great job of encouraging Tony, even though his sweater deserves constant abuse. She promises that the experience may be worth it if he really tries to make it work.
A few more sips of her Cosmopolitan and a kind word from One F Jeff and we’re back in the alley where Tony has walked into the loving arms of Doug. Doug straight up asks Tony if he wants to go home and is answered with a wavering, “I don’t know.” I was glad Doug took the high road, ensuring Tony that his kid was totally fine and the minute he got back, he would forget he was ever gone.
Tony calls the boy for the second time that day and begins to emotionally break down against the brick wall. The ABC psychotherapist is called in to administer some sort of comforting message in the form of a Valium when Emily walks up. Seeing him in such pain, she eloquently reveals that her feelings for him are not strong enough to make him stay when he doesn’t really want to be away from his son in the first place. She tells him that his son is the luckiest kid in the world and walks him to a waiting taxi.
Emily further exudes grace by telling the other contestants that Tony decided to go home because he was so distraught over being away from his kid. The men seem to respect her even more and none were openly irritated when she bestowed the coveted date rose to Hot Sean.
What am I watching? This can’t be the reality show I’ve been reacapping for almost eight years, can it?
“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to ABC. It is a dimension as vast as Mike Fleiss’ little black book and as timeless as Our Host Chris Harrison. It is the middle ground between gallant and chach, between classy and bless her heart, and it lies between the pit of Kalon’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of The Bachelor. It is an area which we call “The Twilight Zone.”
Second One-On-One Date
“Love is a Wild Ride”
Another pair of tiny denim shorts and striped shirt is paired with very tall knee boots. Clearly this is the perfect outfit to traipse around Dollywood with her favorite beau Arie, who is somehow wearing a black shirt and grey jeans. (Groban = 2, Lincee = 0)
Arie calls Dollywood “cute” to Emily’s “happiest place on earth.” They ride roller coasters, dance along with a banjo, toss a few rings and win Little Ricki a stuffed animal. They are forced into a concert hall to write a love song (gag me) when the curtains open and Dolly Parton stands before a shocked Emily and confused Arie.
Just as he’s about to ask, “Who is that lady with all the plastic surgery, obvious wig, boobs resting on her guitar and bedazzled henna and why are your crying?” Emily squeezes his hand, uttering, “I could die. I could die. Dolly Parton. I could die. It’s Dolly-Friggin’-Parton.”
Wishing he had access to a smart phone with a Google ap, Arie quickly realizes that he is standing before THE Dolly who is THE Dolly behind DOLLYwood. He tries to quickly recover with a dropped jaw of his own.
Arie: “I couldn’t believe Dolly Pardon was right in front of us. Emily was so excited and it was amazing to see her stand there in awe. Dolly Pardon!”
Lincee: “It’s Parton Formula 1 boy. Now put your arm around her and sway you fool.”
Dolly sings a song she wrote five minutes ago (so talented) and then sends Arie to fetch her a funnel cake. She and Emily have a heart-to-heart and it was obvious that Emily was freaking out about crossing off an item on her bucket list. Arie comes back, Dolly sings again and they dance back and forth eighth-grade style. Even though in three weeks we’ve witnessed Emily sway back and forth two feet away in the straight out arms of three different men, I’m going to choose to be in the moment, wishing I could have switched places with Emily for this portion of the date. Dolly Parton at Dollywood? So cool.
At dinner, Emily asks about Arie’s relationship with the Mom of two kids. He goes into great detail about how they lived together and his responsibilities as a father figure to the kids. But she didn’t want any more children and that was a bit of a deal breaker for him. He switched topics and asked if his career as a driver and the busy schedule that accompanies it would hinder a relationship with her. She admits that she would be okay with it and would embrace the time she spent alone when he was away.
She messes with him for a few minutes, pretending that she’s not going to give him the date rose, before giving him the date rose. He kisses her cheek and then they walk the familiar path toward the carrousel. Just when I’m writing in my notes, “weird purple animal print dress + black blazer = something about Bon Jovi groupie on the Slippery When Wet Tour” I notice that Arie is leading her to a bench on the carrousel. You can’t very well make out on two horses bobbing up and down in opposite directions can you? They sit side-by-side and he smoothly moves in for the kill. Solid lead in. Nice head tilt. Great form. I give it a well deserved 10 and for the second time I wished I could trade places with Emily.
Emily: “Where did you come from?”
Lincee: “According to his bio, the Netherlands, but I’m equally confused by the identifier under his name and age that reads Scottsdale. The real question should be why do you care at this exact moment in time? Stop asking silly questions and keep kissing him Emily. Geez.”
Ever the gracious host, Emily adjusts the peephole in her golden gown and seeks out the men who were not lucky enough to be invited on dates this week. First up?
Wearing luxury, driving moccasins.
And no socks.
This should be good.
Kalon: “I took it personally when I didn’t get a date this week. I’ve never had to share my life with anyone before.”
Lincee: “Yes. This is key information to provide the woman whom you are woo-ing who happens to have a daughter. Selfish behavior is such a turn on!”
Kalon: “We were talking about how you let Tony go. Obviously you’re a lady of class.”
Emily: “Thanks. How do you feel about me being a Mom?”
Kalon: “Of course, I never assumed as I recorded my inner most thoughts in my luxury journal when I was a kid that my first child would not be one of my own.”
Emily: “Wow. That’s…
Kalon: “I love it when you talk, but I wish you’d let me finish.”
Murphy from the Y101 Morning Show and I are going in together to make this the next big pop culture catch phrase since “I want to go to there.” and “That’s what she said.” It will be available in bumper stickers, buttons, mugs and embroidered pillows. Patent pending.
Next up? Travis.
You probably don’t recognize Travis’ name because you affectionately refer to him as The Egg Guy or Humpty Dumpty. Of course, Emily’s entourage peppered her with questions regarding the strange dude who carries around a dragon egg like it was a security blanket. Travis got the message and ceremoniously escorted Emily out into the courtyard to free himself from further embarrassment (and the responsibility of making sure the egg was kept safe from harms way). The best decision he made was to allow Emily the honor of smashing the egg to smithereens before the ABC intern was sent to clean up the mess. One moment that will go down in Bachelor history is when a handful of men raised a glass to “Shelly” and toasted her over easy demise. I love this show.
The Shaggy Andro steals Emily away to get some much needed one-on-one time. He uses this time to share that he has no experience with kids and is willing to compromise his life to have Emily and Ricki a part of his gypsy lifestyle. Emily does a great job trying to convince Andro that he must be mistaken and that there is a language barrier because SURELY he doesn’t mean that she is a compromise. He means it would be an honor, right?
Andro: “No. I do not see it that way. It would be a compromise. There is no language barrier. And if you haven’t talked to your friends yet, I cheated and had a one-night stand with a bohemian woman I met when admiring the texture and simplicity at the Valley of the Moon. There were no words spoken. Only caressing.”
Honesty is the best policy kids. Emily kicks him to the curb with one dainty combat boot before the rose ceremony has even begun. This just gets better and better.
Emily storms into the house and is immediately handed an appletini. Sean senses that Chilean Andro has shared too much. Ryan smiles and Kalon regrets that he didn’t get to share his deep conditioning luxury hair treatment before the gypsy left in the night. Arie wisely pulls Emily to a secluded part of the mansion, puts a comforting, yet protecting arm around her shoulders and genuinely seems concerned for her well-being. He gives her sweet little kisses over and over and over again, making sure she’s fit to face the other idiots.
Taking cues from Arie, Sean steals some time and confesses that he would do things differently if this were a conventional courting. Since time is of the essence, he needs Emily to know that if things went his way, she should have no doubt that he would embrace Little Ricki as his own. He vows to be the greatest father and husband in the world. This earns him a long, lingering kiss by the fire.
Harrison clinks his champagne glass, irritated that there is but one bachelor who will NOT receive a rose and wonders again why we don’t reverse the rose ceremony and save Stevie the trouble of having to wait forever and day before he centipedes right out the front door. Alas, we have to sit through the process, almost witnessing a vein pop in Ryan’s head and checking our cheat sheet to figure out who the blonde kid is at the end before the axe is dropped on Stevie. Kalon hands him a luxury razor for that awful patch of hair on his chin and bids him adieu.
Next week? Bahamas baby! And Ryan’s competitive side is out to get Arie. WATCH OUT FORMULA 1! Good luck One F. TEAM WENDY!
All about the shame, not the fame,