Dance what’s in your heart
Congratulations ABC! You managed to make me feel irritated, embarrassed, ooged out and bored in one two-hour episode. Experiencing that range of emotion must be good for the soul.
Yeah. I’m going with that theory.
The following information you are about to read is of personal opinion. You probably aren’t even reading this because the simple disclaimer has been a part of my recap since the days I emailed this puppy to just a few of my closer friends. HA! Fooled you. You’ve skipped this amusing mockery and will not know what in the world your friends are talking about when they say, “Did you like the new disclaimer Lincee did?” However, if you or someone on your Facebook page happens to personally know, sort of know, know the brother/cousin of, thought you saw in the grocery store buying leftover Christmas candy or have a Bikram Yoga instructor that looks exactly like one of the Bachelorettes on the show…none of this is personal and I’m sure they are all lovely people.
Right off the bat, we are thrust into the roller coaster that is the home town dates. Jake reminds us that when forced to visit a girl in her home town, you get to know her on a deeper level and you get to see her in a family environment.
Jake: “Getting to know these families is huge. Because families are a big part of my life. And I could be proposing to one of these ladies. Wait. I WILL be proposing to one of these ladies in just a couple of weeks. I want to get along with my in-laws. I want them to like me. I want Harrison to be proud. Is he here?”
Home Town Date One
Setting: New York City
Theme: “I’m Gonna Make Him an Offer He Can’t Refuse”
ABC pulls from their Good Morning America footage and graces us with a nice montage of all the New York City icons visited by tourists from around the world. Gia reminds us that she was born and raised and this is her city and she is excited to show him her world.
Jake pulls up in a black SUV, hops out on the curb and Gia tackles him with full force. Jake is super stoked because this is a sign that someone likes you. He goes in for the twirl and Gia obliges by wrapping her legs around his waist. He carries her on his hip for a good 12 blocks until he develops a muscle crap.
Jake: “So what are we doing today?”
Gia: “I thought the best way to show you my city would be by boat.”
In my head, I was thinking they were going to take one of those ferries that goes around Ellis Island. To my surprise, Gia boards what appears to be a pimped out yacht.
This was my first clue that Gia’s family was more than likely members of the Mafia.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Gia is ready to let her guard down on the yacht. She wants Jake to know she is spunky and fun and insists they take pictures of each other.
Gia: “We are going to make memories today.”
Jake: “Okay. How about one of you in front of Lady Liberty?”
Gia: “Sure! Do you want cute, romantic or sexy pose?”
Jake: “Sexy. Definitely sexy. Hey? Why are there bags of cement over in the corner?”
Gia: “Oh. Pay no attention to that. Here. Get in the picture with me. Let’s do one kissing.”
Jake: “Oh boy! Let’s do two or three this way!”
Jake tells the camera that he gets lost in Gia’s kisses. He does not, however, tell us why he is sporting a 1994 black beaded necklace that looks as if it was straight from the wardrobe trunk from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
I’m guessing someone bet the ABC intern that he couldn’t get Jake to wear it on national TV. That’s the only logical explanation. Truly.
Jake admits to Gia that he is nervous to meet her parents. She doesn’t realize that it’s because he saw some questionable “red paint” on the railing of the yacht. He wonders why she never talks about her past relationships and assumes this must be a sore topic for her.
Gia: “My last relationship was bad. He wasn’t a good guy. He was into bad things. He was not committed to the family. And he cheated on me with all my friends.”
Jake: “That sounds awful.”
Gia: “We didn’t communicate well. We fought all the time. So my Dad took care of it and now here I am!”
Jake: “Your Dad took care of it?”
Gia: “Never mind. Hey! More sexy kissing pictures!”
Later, Jake and Gia meet her family for dinner. Jake is greeted by her step-father Tony, her step-brother Eric, her half-brother Dylan, Uncle Silvio, Uncle Paulie and a rather large man, no relation to the family, named Vito who insisted he sit between them and the front door.
Gia’s best friend forever (AKA: Mom) is also there. They all cry, kiss cheeks, slap backs, kiss rings and sit down for some delicious connolis.
It is at this moment that I realize Gia’s lack of New York accent. Sure it pops out every once in a while, but when her Mom started quizzing Jake, I had to turn on the mute button so the closed caption for the hearing impaired feature to pop up in order to understand what she was saying.
Mom: “Jake. So you wanna marry my dawtah?”
Mom: “You know I’ll have to tawk to huh every day. Does that bothah you?”
Vito cracks his neck. Eric squints his eyes. Tony puts his hand on Jake’s shoulder.
Jake: “Nope. S-s-s-sounds great.”
Mom: “Because if you fawl in love and get maired, that means you have each utha’s back. Will you have huh back?”
Mom: “Are you going to break huh hawt? You’re dating fowah girls Jake. That’s not a way to make my Gia feel special. What makes huh so special Jake?”
Jake: “She has an organic way about her. She’s different from all the others.”
Eric: “She’s been hurt Jakey Boy. I don’t wanna see anything happen to huh, capiche?”
Jake: “Oh you betcha.”
Gia confesses that her Mom’s opinion means the world to her. They later go outside for a smoke to discuss Jake and his intentions.
Mom: “I think he loves you Gia. I watched his bawdy language. He grabbed your arm. That’s love kid.”
Gia: “Mah. He does that with awl the girls.”
Mom: “He loves you. I know it. Cawl it intuition, but I feel it in my hawt. Reach for the staws kid, but leave one foot on the ground. And one eye on the enemy. And one hand on your piece. Are you packin’ right now Gia Doll?”
Mom: “It’s okay. Your brother has his knife.”
Meanwhile, Eric has been scaring the life out of our Bachelor.
Eric: “…I mean, she’s been screwed around by so many people.”
Jake: “Ha. You said screw.”
Eric looking upset: “Watch it fly boy. Hear me clearly. If I have to hunt you down and break a few legs, I’ll do it. Oh I’m not being funny. Treat her right. Or you’ll be sleeping with the fishes.”
Jake swallows hard and shakes his head so that Eric will know he understands. They leave the restaurant and Gia suggests they sit on a brownstone stoop to watch the cars go by.
Jake: “Wouldn’t you rather we go somewhere less open?”
Gia: “No. I’d rather sit here and make out with you.”
Jake: “Sounds great!”
Home Town Date Two
Setting: Willamstown, MA
Theme: “I Am Here for All the Right Reasons. JUST KIDDING!”
Ali tells us that she is ready to leave the drama behind and just focus on Jake. When he arrives in a black SUV, she tackles him, he lifts and twirls. Then they kiss and tell each other how amazing they both look.
Jake takes her hand to try and generate some friction because this good ole’ southern boy is COLD. The ABC producers insist they sit on a bench and talk about missing each other. Ali says that she used to come to this very park to catch falling leaves so she could make a wish. Jake, excited at any opportunity to get his blood pumping, takes a tree branch and begins shaking it fiercely so Ali can catch a leaf. Ali thinks this is adorable and takes about 10 minutes to decide what she should wish for.
Next, she tells Jake that there is an impor-ant place she wants to take him.
Jake: “Is it someplace warm?”
Ali: “No. The heat’s been turned off. It’s my grandma’s old house. The last time I was here was for her funeral. It was so sad. I can’t explain in words how super, super impor-ant it is for you to go there with me.”
They walk to the house and sit on the steps outside. Ali says that she cared for her ailing grandmother. And that she was like a mother figure. She confesses that before she died, she called her to say that she was going to meet this boy named Jake and she was so excited.
Ali: “I hoped I could introduce you and now you’ve met!”
Jake: “Oh. Wow. That’s neat. Do you see her now?”
Ali: “Oh no silly. I know she’s looking down on us. See how the clouds are parting and that one stream of sunlight is beating down? That’s symbolism.”
Jake tells the camera:
“That was so intense. It made me think of life and love and death and stuff. This could be the woman I share those types of experiences with in my own life. Sort of weirded me out a bit, but I’m over it now because I keep thinking surely she’ll give me another one of those back rubs.”
Later, Ali takes Jake to meet her Mom, sister and brother. At the dinner table, Mom shares that she had never seen Jake on the Bachelor before, so she Googled him.
Poor Jake looked like he was about to hurl his chicken spaghetti all over the table in fear that Ali’s Mom might dare mention He Who Must Not Be Named.
Fortunately, Mom talked about a clip in which Jake said that physical beauty fades, but what’s inside your heart is the important part.
Jake wipes away the rather large bead of sweat pouring down his face. Ali beams with happiness.
Ali’s Mom takes Jake out back to sit by the fire. They talk about the importance of family and she gives Jake her blessing to marry Ali. Then she tells Ali that she knows he will pick her because her gut says it’s so. And she looks forward to planning a wedding. And then she tells the camera that her gut doesn’t fail her.
Ali: “Today was perfect. My family is smitten. I am soooooo in this. I want to be there at the end. I want it. I want you. If you asked me today, I’d say yes.”
Jake is so touched by her confession that he dramatically removes his black gloves, grabs her face with baby soft hands, gives her a long seductive stare and goes in for a Wings of Love instrumental kiss.
Home Town Date Three
Player: Tenley and the memory of her ex-husband
Theme: “Oh I Wanna Dance With Somebody”
Jake tells us that he connects with Tenley on so many levels and is excited to see her. When he does see her, guess what? She runs, jumps, twirls, wraps and kisses him.
Tenley takes Jake off to a gazebo to talk about her ex-husband and the important of making your own decisions.
Tenley: “What parts do your parents play in your life?”
Jake: “How do you mean?”
Lincee: “Are you a Mama’s boy?”
Tenley: “My ex let other people plan his life. Like his parents. Do you make your own decisions? Or do they help you along the way?”
Jake: “I run most everything by my parents.”
Tenley: “I’m glad you make your own decisions and want to be a team you’re your wife. That is honorable and wise.”
Now part of me just wants to rush through this next section because it is so gut-wrenchingly embarrassing to me that I can barely make myself type the words.
But life isn’t about me. It’s about you. What would Our Host Chris Harrison say if I just up and skipped this part?
Ten takes Jake to the dance studio where she taught ballet when she was young.
Tenley: “I love to dance. I express myself through dance. My ex-husband never appreciated that about me.”
Jake: “Well I certainly will.”
Tenley: “Oh thank you Jake! It’s the dance of my heart. Can you push play and then come sit right here?”
Jake: “Sure, but isn’t that stool a little high for what…oh who cares. I’m sure you’re very flexible. I’ll keep my mouth shut.”
Tenley proceeds to lyrical dance to one of the more memorable “march down the wedding aisle” songs with a huge grin on her face. It was awesome and awful all at the same time. I kept waiting for her to grab a bouquet of flowers. Jake kept wondering when the pole was going to extend from the ceiling.
But we can all agree: Home Girl is sporting some impressive calf muscles.
It was a little like this:
Tenley: “Jake was beaming. He was beaming! He made me feel confident and adored. Just like a June bride! Now I have someone to dance with FOREVER!”
Jake: “When Tenley told me that her ex never saw her dance, I thought that was pretty strange. But I get it now. I’m glad I never pulled out the singles I had in my wallet! Heh, heh! But I was glad I got to see her do her thing. I just wanted to melt right in the floor.”
Jake meets Tenley’s family. We learn that the last time Tenley was home, she was telling her mom that the love of her life would never, ever be returning. We also learn that Jake is looking for clues to see if Tenley is over her ex.
Upon arrival, the family immediately begins crying. Dad takes Jake upstairs to get to know him.
Dad: “Tenley is grieving. (clue one) Her divorce was hard on all of us. I saw the show and thought you were a man of integrity. I admired you. Are you really that guy?”
Jake: “I think so.”
Dad: “The most painful thing for a dad is to see his daughter go through heart ache. I’m protective of her. It’s been a hard year.”
YEAR? She hopped on the reality train when she hasn’t even been divorced for a year? CLUE TWO.
Ten and her Dad later cry about Jake. Then the Mom cries with Jake.
Mom: “Are there any questions you would like to ask me?”
Jake: “Yes. Is Tenley ready to go down the road of marriage again?”
Mom: “I was choked up because she is different form the last time I saw her. Tenley is going to have emotional spill-overs for a while. Because of her divorce. (clue three) As far as her being ready, if anyone could be, it’s Tenley. She’s amazing and it’s my pleasure to be her mother.”
Jake then asks the Dad if he can marry his daughter. The Dad says yes and they both cry and then hug it out. Bro style.
Home Town Date Four
Theme: “I’ll Be Right Outside This Door”
Vienna sees Jake on the river pier and runs to him for the embrace and twirl. Vienna wants to show him where she grew up and that means getting in a pontoon boat and hunting for turtles and gators.
After gearing up to make fun of Jake for not knowing how to drive a boat, we learn that Jake does know how to drive a boat. And that he’s eaten gator tails. And can point out a turtle to Vienna who acts as if she’s never seen one before.
Jake: “So. Does your Dad like the guys you bring over?”
Vienna: “Nope. He’s only met two and really hated them.”
Jake: “What about the dude you married?”
Vienna: “Oh right. Him. I think they met once or twice. No big deal.”
Vienna admits that getting her father’s approval is super important. She puts him on a pedestal and wants nothing more than to give him every opportunity to treat her like a princess.
When they enter the house, we see Dad holding the infamous Chloe dog. Sadly, Chloe didn’t get as much TV time as I thought she would. She was dressed for the occasion though. Tiny pink shorts and a belly shirt.
Keeping with the theme (excluding Ali who has a heart of stone) the families cry at the reunion of their daughter. Snot and tears and Kleenex are abundant. The Dad quickly whisks Vienna off to see how serious she is about this yahoo.
Dad: “How do you REALLY feel about this guy? Is this a Justice of the Peace kind of love? Or the full enchilada Vegas wedding love?”
Vienna: “It’s weird. I feel like I’ve never been in love for real before. You can’t control it. He’s exactly what you want for me Daddy. I love him. And I love you so much.”
Jake follows the Dad into his pimped out garage and talks about how Vienna is a princess and he expects the boy to pay for dinner before extracurricular activities begin.
Dad: “I want her to be happy Boy. If you marry her, the kids will be raised right and the house will be clean.”
Jake: “Cleanliness is important to me too, Sir.”
Later at dinner, the Mom figure asks what qualities Jake liked in Vienna.
Jake: “I really like Vienna’s honesty. Sometimes, she’s brutally honest.”
Dad: “Nothing wrong with telling the truth Son.”
Jake: “Oh I know. Vienna and I connected just like that and the other women were very jealous.”
Sister: “You bet they were because she is so amazing. She’s been through that all her life.”
Dad: “You have him trained well my Princess.”
Jake and Vienna make out on her bed after throwing 19 stuffed animals onto the floor. He questions her fancy ring on her left hand and she reminds him that it’s her “promise you won’t go off and elope” ring from her Daddy. As if on cue, he enters and insists they keep 12-inches open between them. Vienna laughs hysterically and then tells Jake to take his shirt off before asking her father for five more minutes.
Jake: “It’s awesome to feel this way about Vienna. But it’s also scary.”
That’s right Jake. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Back in LA
Jake has just started his talking head montage about how the week was awesome and how he has fallen for all four girls equally and is later meeting with the ABC team of crack lawyers to see if he can get restraining orders put on anyone related to or involved in Gia’s life, when he hears a sharp knock at the door.
Ed is on the other side telling him that he has to leave the show to go to work. He’s wearing green shorty shorts and it makes me think of Larry Bird and Mike Brady all over again.
Oh. Sorry. Déjà vu. My bad.
Ali is on the other side with the most pitiful look on her face. She starts fake crying immediately.
Ali: “I have the most impossible decision to make right now. I just found out that I have to choose between staying here and going back to work.”
Ali: “I can’t believe that I have to make this decision and I haven’t made up my mind. I need you to help me.”
Jake: “So what are you asking?”
Ali: “I don’t know!”
Jake: “I can say we have something really special. Ali, life is about minimizing your regrets. You just have to weigh which one is going to be a bigger regret. You are lucky and blessed to have a job, but I am lucky and blessed to have met you. Selfishly I would say stay here and take a chance on me. But I can’t guarantee you that I’m going to put a ring on your finger. But I can’t and say I’m not going to.”
Ali begins to look nervous that her diabolical plan is not going the way she imagined in her head. Jake stares at her with hurt puppy dog eyes, but gives her nothing.
Ali: “I’ll let you know at the rose ceremony.”
Jake: “Whatever you decide is okay.”
Lincee: “Cute pillows.”
The camera follows Ali out the door and down the hallway. In a moment of sheer desperation, she flings herself in the middle of the floor and proceeds to melt down in great sobs.
Not quite Academy Award nomination reel worthy, but close. She hopes that this display of emotion will be enough to merit her an invitation to be ABC’s next Bachelorette.
Thankfully, Our Host Chris Harrison is there to pick up the pieces with our dear Jake.
OHCH: “Dude. What’s going on with you and Ali? I heard there was some dramatic turn of events?”
Jake takes a 10 minute pause before summoning the courage to answer:
“Okay. This has never happened before in the history of the show I’m pretty sure. Get this. She will lose her job if she doesn’t go back! Can you believe it Chris? And she doesn’t know what to do? I don’t want to tell her to stay, but I did. I don’t want that burden, but I think I might cry if she leaves. But I can’t tell her she’s the final one because you guys said that I’ve fallen for four women.”
OHCH: “No, no Jake. You said that you are in love with four women. Remember how we practiced? Forget about them for now. Let’s milk this for a good 45 minutes. Let’s say she does stay and quits her job. Can you handle that if you don’t pick her in the end?”
Jake: “But I do pick her in the end.”
OHCH: “Dude! Calm down. Listen to the question. How can you live with yourself when she loses her job because of you? Obviously, tonight is going to be difficult. I’ll go get the girls. Figure out what you want to say. If you can’t figure it out, I’ve made an outline for you. Here. Read this.”
Jake looks longingly at the Pier One Bureau of photos and ponders:
“I thought all the drama was over. Now, the biggest bombshell is dropped on me. I thought I might spend my life with Ali. But Ali isn’t the only girl I am falling for. Vienna is hot. She lets me know she is here for me. Gia is attractive but it’s not about her beauty. I’m truly scared for my life to not pick her. Tenley is bright, vivid, wonderfully flexible and our kids would have amazing calves. We are totally connected and in sync. Tonight the tables have turned. I have no idea what’s going to happen.”
Our Host heads over to the ladies to wait for the sign from the producers that Ali should ask to talk to him for a moment. He takes her back to Jake who is still starring at the pictures.
OHCH: “I’ll give you guys a few minutes to talk. But just a few. The clock is set because I have reservations and will not be interrupted like I was last time. When the egg timer bings, you come get me.”
Ali to Jake: “I didn’t know I would fall in love and I would have to choose between a guy and my job.”
Jake: “Where are you with us?”
Ali: “I don’t know what to do. I’m more mad at myself for not knowing. So many what ifs and maybes. Here are my feet. Hold them. I couldn’t even fix my hair because I’m so confused.”
Jake: “Did you know that you would be signing up for about three months of this when you first applied?”
Ali: “I want it to be your idea for me to stay. I want to leave on my terms.”
Jake: “I don’t want you to go. You came here for a reason. When we were by that fire and you were kissing me, what did you feel Ali?”
Ali: “I felt like I met someone who was deserving of my love. But remember, there are still three other girls downstairs. I keep going back and forth. My mind was set that I was going to stay. Then I saw the other girls and had to go. Now that you’re rubbing my aching feet, I have to stay. If you were mine, the choice would be easy. I have everything I want in life except for you. Now I could leave with nothing if I stay.”
Harrison walks in clinking his bourbon glass just before Gary the Camera Guy gets a money shot of Ali’s business.
OHCH: “Cmon Ali. Sink or swim. In or out? Right now.”
Jake: “Ali, I don’t want you to go. Our time has been very deep and meaningful. I love the fact that I’m falling in love with you. I don’t want you to go. If you leave, I’ll be devastated.”
Ali: “Finally. Was that so hard? Let me muster up a sour face and some big tears. Hold on. Okay. I’m sorry Jake. I have to go.”
Jake and Ali hug, cry, sob, snot and walk down to the lobby so she can hit the road in a limo. Jake looks like his favorite puppy was kicked in the throat.
Jake: “I feel like you are slipping through my fingers and I don’t know how to stop you. So I am going to take my fingers and grab your face and kiss you like I’ve never kissed anyone before and then start crying at the end. That should be good.”
The door is shut. And then shut a little harder because it didn’t shut right the first time. Ali gives the performance of a lifetime as she wails to the camera that she’s not sure if she made the right choice.
Jake leans over the hand rail of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel ala Jason Mesnick and cries like a little girl.
Jake: “It hurts like crazy that Ali is gone. I didn’t expect to get my heart broken. Why does that always happen to me? I’m trying to find my inner strength. The easy thing is to give up right now. But there are three great women waiting for me. Each have given their heart. If I give up, I don’t deserve to find true love.”
An hour and a half later, Our Host tells the remaining girls that there will be no rose ceremony because Ali has left the building. The smiles that issued forth were priceless.
Jake is excited that he doesn’t have to hand out roses. And because he is so exhausted, he makes the girls come and grab their roses themselves because he knows Vienna is keeping a scrapbook of their life together. Then they group hug.
Coming up, we learn that the fantasy forego dates will be on the beaches of St. Lucia. There will be helicopters, a pirate ship and what appears to be a topless Gia.
And of course, Ali tries to come back.
All about the shame, not the fame,