You Dim Sum, You Lose Sum

Hello my favorite Bachelor fans! I missed you all last week. Welcome back.

One quick housekeeping item: Y’all will be happy to know that the sweet girl I met a few weeks ago in the movie theater while praising Ryan Reynolds’ abs does NOT think I’m a chach and has a name…hey Meghan! Thanks for writing me back and being so cool about our little run in. See you when Captain America comes out!

I’m sure most of you are rested up from 4th of July festivities and ready to tackle another week of annoying whining (courtesy of JP), atrocious wardrobe choices (courtesy of Ashley) and flowing, greasy locks (courtesy of the Grobans.) Let’s get to it shall we?

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 nephew/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.

According to the high tech cartoon map, our Bachelorette has loaded up her six remaining suitors to make the quick jaunt from Hong Kong to Taiwan, extending their whirlwind tour of the Orient with the hope of finding love.

Ashley: “I’m ready to put the past in the past and start fresh. I MEAN IT THIS TIME. Bentley who? Dot, dot, dot, what? Whatever is more like it. Taiwan is the perfect place to fall in love. It’s also known as the ‘Hidden Jewel of Asia.’ Not many people know about it.”

No Ashley. I think you’re thinking about quantum physics. Not many people know about quantum physics. The majority of everything you touch in America has a “Made in Taiwan” stamp on the bottom. We’ve all heard of the country that has a population of roughly 24 million people. Why don’t you just stick to what you do best? Waxing poetically about the remaining guys while wearing four-inch heels and two-inch skirts?

The scene changes and we are greeted by Our Host Chris Harrison sporting an electrifying blue shirt that rivals his sparkling eyes. He gives a quick plug to the Taipai Chamber of Commerce, announcing that they are celebrating 100 years, and then begins his spiel.

I found it interesting that Harrison stood so far away from the Bachelors. One can only assume it’s dangerously breathtaking to be in the vicinity of something as awesome as Our Host.

OHCH: “And then there were six.”
Guys: “What?”

OHCH: “AND THEN THERE WERE SIX. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?”
Guys: “Yes.”

OHCH: “THERE WILL BE FOUR DATES. THREE ONE-ON-ONES AND ONE GROUP DATE. ONLY ONE ROSE UP FOR GRABS THIS TIME AND THEN WE WILL BE DOWN TO THE FORTUNATE FOUR.”

As the men make their way to the suite, I can’t help but notice Ames’ lumberjack plaid button up paired with Adidas wind pants. From the waist up, he’s the Brawny man. From the waist down, he’s Sporty Spice. Clearly, he must have lost a bet.

I’m quickly pulled out of this train of thought by JP moaning and complaining about how he’s ticked off that Greek Groban has been chosen for the first one-on-one. He doesn’t want Ashley going out with any other guy so much that I’m fearful the vein in his forehead is about to pop.

The Greek Groban dresses in a plaid pearl snap, adjusts his black rubber bracelets, runs his fingers through his slick curls and heads off to the train station. Ashley meets him at platform 9 ¾, hands him an enchanting black ticket stub and goes in for a hug from her gentle giant.

That’s when the camera reveals backless shirt #1.

I have to admit that the front of this frock was just as intriguing. The grey material patterned in such a way that I could have sworn that Ashley was suffering from an embarrassing display of boob sweat. Of course, once I saw the back and confirmed that yes indeedy she was NOT wearing a bra, I concluded that my theory was probably accurate due to the immense humidity. Too bad no one has ever heard of Taiwan, or her stylist could have prepared her for such a circumstance.

Ashley and Greek Groban board the train and head out to the quaint little village of Ping-Shi. Color me skeptic, but I saw little to no chemistry between these two. Perhaps ABC is editing out anything that remotely resembles normal conversation. It appears that the pair love sitting in silence and occasionally holding hands. I was bored. I had a fleeting moment where I hoped that Ashley would reject Greek Groban and kick him off the train right there in the middle of the jungle like Jillian did with that guy from her season. No such luck.

Instead (surprise, surprise!) they visit a local market where Ping-Shis are painting wishes on love lanterns.

That’s right. I’m going to let you read that sentence again. Go on. I’ll wait.

Greek Groban looks at the darling Ping-Shi-ite holding an antiquated paint brush made from the branch of an old elm and oxen hair dipped in mud. Ashley begins swirling hearts and smiley faces all over the sides of a deep red paper lantern, wondering why Greek Groban has not jumped in to help.

Ashley: “Come on Groban! Paint something! You could do that elephant you made in the orphanage…the moment I fell for you!”
Greek: “That was the other Groban, Ashley.”

Ashley giggles, flashes her backless shirt and bends over in her skin tight jeans to distract Greek Groban from her mistake. It works, because he begins scribbling nonsense on the delicate surface. They talk generically about “family” and “marriage” and “wanting someone special” but never use each other’s names.

Even though she could use the boost, I don’t think the Greek Groban wants to be the one to raise her up so she can stand on mountains.

After graffiti-ing their love lanterns, they sit down on a bench and immediately a dog wanders by and hikes his hind leg directly on the delicate piece of art. I about fell out of my chair as Greek Groban calmly questioned, “Did that dog just take a piss on my love lantern?”

That, my friends, will go down in Bachelor history as one of the greatest moments of all time. Kudos to the ABC intern who trained that dog. My hat is off to you my friend. Well done.

At dinner, Greek Groban makes a bold move and begins to talk about himself instead of pumping Ashley full of confidence boosting adjectives. He wants to know if she can fit into his loud, crazy, intimidating big family. She says she would love to and gives him googly eyes.

Ashley: “You are what I’m attracted to. I like that you hold back and that you’re being you. I love that you are a family man. Could you see yourself falling in love after hometown dates?”

Our saucy Bachelorette places a well manicured hand on the upper thigh of her Groban. Unfazed, Groban responds:

“For me, it’s just a moment. Where you know you’re falling in love. Me with you and you with me. You can’t speed it up. You can’t slow it down. It’s just a moment that you know.”

Ashley is determined to make the releasing of their love lantern this “moment” that Greek Groban is determined to experience. They are careful not to grab the dripping pee side of the paper, light a fire in the middle and release the delicate creation into the wild. Ironically, approximately 47 other love wishes were set free that same moment. I wonder what all those ABC interns wished for? The chance to dress Ashley in something not ridiculous? The opportunity to help Emily out of the car when she returns back to the mansion? An encouraging word or flash of that dazzling smile from Chris Harrison?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Regardless, I thought that part of the date was pretty cool. It did look very romantic and I found myself reminiscing about the Disney movie Tangled where the two leading characters release lanterns of their own. I’m reminded from my days at Walt Disney World that the Mouse House company owns the ABC network.

Subliminal marketing at its best.

One-On-One Date Two
Other Groban
Let’s Spend a “Gorges” Day Together in Taiwan

Darling Ames reads the date card and is quick to point out that gorgeous has been misspelled. Lord bless his sweet heart under that flannel shirt. Ryan chants repeatedly “she’s saving the best for last” in hopes to score his first one-on-one. JP is left to brood alone by the others.

The other Groban pulls on a plaid pearl snap, adjusts his brown beaded bracelets, runs his fingers through his slick curls and heads off to meet Ashley at on the side of the road near a dangerous curve cloaked by mist inside a Taiwanese gorge. Our Bachelorette has been dressed in a tiny red tank and denim shorts from Build-A-Bear. She’s excited to explore the gorge on the back of their very own scooter. Groban is game and makes a quick “Harry and Lloyd” reference before puttering off into the unknown.

Bonus points to Groban for a solid Dumb and Dumber reference. I hope Ashley appreciates what she’s desperately holding on to.

With a specially mounted camera, we are able to experience the moped ride in all its glory. Although she claims to feel safe and protected with Groban weaving round and round the curvy roads of the gorge, she constantly reminds him to keep his eyes on the road.

Groban: “How can I do that when I have such precious cargo behind me?”

Cancel the bonus points for Groban and get me a bucket.

They apparently reach the end of the road and make their way across a suspension bridge, pausing long enough for the ABC camera man to shimmy his way alongside them, wait for the bouncing to stop and then capturing a kiss full of “I’m ready to get off this rickety bridge in this place no one has ever heard of” passion.

Later that night, the pair head to Silks Place for dinner. Ashley’s stylist assumes that one must wear silk when dining at Silks Place and chooses an emerald green billowy top with a tiny black skirt. Although the piece does have a back, it is without one of the sleeves.

Ashley asks Groban how he feels about hometown dates. He eloquently answers her question:

“I feel good about a hometown date. I’m ready to see this relationship go to the next level. You’ve got me right where you want me. I’m at a teetering point. I’d like it to progress. I don’t throw the L-Bomb around. When I say it, it means a lot. It all came pouring in today while I was on the scooter. This is good and feels right. I want to tell you that I remember and cherish the moments…little things, scooter, moped, kissing you here and there and butterflies, feelings that I haven’t felt in a long time.”

Here are three things that were interesting about that soliloquy:

1. Groban made Ashley speechless. Such a refreshing break from the Kardashian accent!
2. Groban used the term “L-Bomb.” Lame.
3. Ashley took a sip of wine and said that it tasted like Groban’s wine. I thought he was going to smack her!

The next morning, all of the viewing audience is gearing up to see how JP is going to handle the group date. However, ABC throws us a curve ball and we learn that Groban has yet to return from his one-on-one date.

Touché producers. I did not see that coming.

JP is seething, cursing and generally bringing the mood down in the suite. Greek Groban and Lucas are indifferent. Ryan has taken to the balcony to harness the positive rays of the sun. Ames is smiling as always. Groban calmly walks into the room, wheeling his suitcase (why did he pack?) and settles down by Greek Groban with a pleasant smile on his face. Ryan begins peppering him with questions, beginning with the ever appropriate:

“Let’s address the big unspoken elephant in the room. Did you sleep in different beds?”

Groban assures his brethren that he was a gentleman and they did sleep in separate rooms. He chose to leave out the part where he raised her up to more than she could be on the suspension bridge.

Group Date
Lucas
Ames
JP

JP wants nothing to do with a group date and hopes above all else that there will NOT be a romantic theme. Oh if only he had a red paper lantern to wish on!

Naturally, Ashley has decided that the least awkward thing to do would be to take wedding photos with each of the guys since people from all over the world travel to Taiwan to have their wedding photos made. Just as I’m about to write in my notes, “I thought no one had ever heard of this mysterious ‘Taiwan” you speak of Ashley’, I see Ames. In high water cargo pants. With stuffed pockets. And some sort of weird t-shirt.

Inconceivable.

JP whines about how he doesn’t want to see Ashley in a wedding dress next to other guys, but he changes his tune once he is given a modern-day black tuxedo with the largest bow tie you’ve ever seen. This is a huge deal because Lucas has been given a traditional long gold shirt worn by many a Taiwanese man and Ames has been given a powder blue jacket complete with pink ruffled shirt, bedazzled lapel and feathery accents worn by many a drag queen to a commitment ceremony on the upper east side.

First up is Lucas. Since this is a traditional setting, they aren’t allowed to touch or look at each other. FUN DATE! Ashley keeps asking him if he’s having fun and he answers through gritted teeth that he’s having a ball.

Next is Ames. Ever the good sport, he flashes that Ames smile we all love, owns the ruffles and works the rhinestones to produce optimum reflection. He and Ashley are perched in a tree and focus more on not falling out than chemistry between them. All in all, he looks to be having a great time.

Finally, JP steps up in front of an Olin Mills backdrop of Moab, Utah. Even though he got the better costume, JP can’t seem to shake what’s been irritating him all day…that he has to share Ashley. She quickly snaps at him to “BE HAPPY” and “SMILE” or their fake wedding pictures will turn out ugly. JP forces enthusiasm but Ashley can tell that he’s faking it.

At the cocktail party, Ashley hoists up her strapless lime green dress which in turn reveals all her business down below due to the lack of length in the micro-mini. While pulling the dress just enough to cover her money maker, she admits to the camera that the boys didn’t have much fun on the fake wedding shoot as she had hoped.

Ashley: “I totally get it. I mean, when I was dating Brad, it was hard to see him with other girls.”

Really? Do we call what y’all did “dating?” Maybe the people from the magical land of Taiwan do, but I’m not sure that’s what you and Brad were doing.

She decides to have a few minutes of alone time with each suitor.

Ashley: “Did you have fun today?”
Lucas: “Nope. I felt stupid. And foolish. I get that it’s the culture over here, but whatever. I was in a dress.”

Ashley: “Sorry.”
Lucas: “I’m just being honest. No worries. I’m ready to take you home, put you on a horse and ride off into the sunset. What do you say?”

Ashley: “Would be hard to be married a second time?”
Lucas: “No. I miss married life. I want it to be simple. I want to look over in my bed and think, wow…I’m married to her. Now, let’s sway back and forth because you don’t know how to two-step and just hold on to each other for a minute.”

ENTER SIDE BAR CONVERSATION
Something Lucas said struck me and it’s been on my mind to talk about this in the middle of my fun-loving, wacky recap.  So here goes.

Anyone who cares for me or has read my “about me” section knows about what I affectionately call “the dark years.” When my husband chose to live a life with another woman, one of the things that got me through that awful time was this website and my readers. Since I don’t feel like crying right now over what a precious gift from above that was, I will move on and get to my point.

Lucas wants a simple life. Oh how I understand that feeling. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want fun or adventure. Would he really be on this show if that was the case? Clearly not. From my own experience, I believe it means that he is prepared to live a stripped down version of his previous life and is willing to not sweat the small stuff, but rejoice in the blessings that life already offers. Because you never know when things are going to drastically change in the blink of an eye. Life’s too short to worry about anything but the moment and how to make it better for those around you. I guarantee today’s Lincee is better, stronger and wiser than Lincee six years ago. I have a gut feeling that Lucas is in the same boat and west Texas better watch out because Odessa’s most eligible Bachelor is coming home.

In other words…call me Lucas. I totally get you.

Next up is Ames and the obscurity of the random cargo pants is finally divulged. He had all the pockets stuffed with pictures from back home, including a precious elementary school photo from fourth grade! This is NOT a speculation because during his trip down memory lane, Ames had auspiciously replaced the cargos for a more colorful pant. I love a man who can rock a pair of red chinos. Ashley adores him and so do I.

Last but not least, JP finally gets his one-on-one with his beloved Ashley and decides the best use of this valuable time would be to whine incessantly.

JP: “I’ve watched you go out with three other guys this week and it’s just not faaaaiiiiiirrrrr. I just don’t wanna do it anymooorrrrrreee. Groban doesn’t come home, you kiss other dudes at our wedding photo shoot and that puts me in a bad moooooood. All I do is sit around and think about it and it’s driving me craaaaaaaazy.”

Ashley understands his frustration and rewards him with the date rose. And sweet Ames congratulated him when he came back into the room with the rose boot on his jacket. TEAM AMES!

One-On-One Date Three
Ryan
Let’s Get a Taste of Taipai

Ryan hasn’t been able to sleep because he’s bursting, just BURSTING for the chance to hang out with Ashley. We see him in his bright hot pink shirt, huge smile, humming along to the sounds in his head, when he spots her. He breaks out into a calm trot and then full out 50-yard-dash to meet her in the middle of a tai chi field where he picks her up and twirls her around.

Annnnnd there’s backless shirt #2.

It’s fairly simple to describe the engineering phenomenon of this garment. Imagine a bright, royal blue cape that hangs waist level. Tie said cape around Ashley’s neck. Twist in order to ensure the cape part normally reserved for one’s back…is covering her front. Proceed with caution around windy gaps or oscillating fans.

Ashley takes Ryan to a religious ceremony in the square where locals are praying to their various gods. Ashley leads him over to the “matchmaking god” and explains that all they have to do is make a wish on a little red brick, chuck it on the ground and if the bricks land in OPPOSITE directions, they are destined to be together forever.

Ashley wishes harder than any other moment in her life and her wish comes true – the bricks land facing the same direction. PHEW! CLOSE CALL!

The duo head back to the tai chi pavilion and cop a squat on the stairs. Trying to get through this date on surface small talk, Ashley wonders aloud the history of tai chi? Naturally, Ryan gives a pretty decent guess and adds a few details of his own imagination for good measure.

I just couldn’t help thinking how much more charming and delightful the answer would have been if our Ames had offered his opinion. Sigh.

Ashley admits that she is struggling to feel a romantic connection with Ryan (no…really?) and that she has no desire to meet his family. After marveling at the size of the inhabitants of a nearby coi pond, Ashley decides to give Ryan one more chance to win her heart over dim sum.

Ryan: “How do you feel about the environment?”
Ashley: “I’m okay. I can see how you would think that this backless shirt would make me chilly, but Taiwan is a warm climate. I’ll make sure to add it to the entry I’m compiling for Wikipedia.”

Ryan: “That’s good. Do you recycle?”
Ashley: “I threw away a plastic bottle once and a guy broke up with me.”

Ryan: “I would never do that.”
Ashley: “Darn. Okay then, what can I do to help the environment in your opinion?”
Ryan: “What do you know about water heaters…?”

Ryan begins to recite, verbatim, the research paper he submitted to the development board of the Environmental Protection Agency. Ashley looked extremely bored and Ryan looked overly animated. Even for Ryan. Riveting as it probably was, ABC chose to roll a voiceover of Ashley talking about Ryan’s positivity and all of the great things he’s going to inevitably do to save the planet, but she’s just not interested. Sadly, we’ll never know the ending to the great water heater story. Instead, she interrupts him and confesses that she doesn’t see him as her future husband.

Ryan: “You mean you don’t want to meet my family?”

This was followed by the longest pause in the history of the show. I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, did a couple hundred crunches and wrote the first half of this recap just in time for Ryan to buy a clue with the money he saved by not running his water heater while overseas not finding love in the mystifying world of Taiwan.

Ashley pulls an Ali and tells Ryan she respects him too much to put him through a rose ceremony. They hold hands while she walks him back to wait for his rejection rickshaw.

Bye Ry.

The producers pull him over to the coi pond for his rejection speech. Sergeant Sunshine is too verklempt to harness any positive energy and is overcome with grief as he walks off camera. Fortunately, many episodes ago, the ABC intern was given important task of following Ryan around incognito with strict instructions to call for reinforcements the minute he sensed the Sarge was crashing from his energy high. The intern was to have in his possession one Prozac, a small Evian water spritzer and a mirror to reflect natural sunlight in to the desolate eyes of our greenest bachelor until the ABC Psychotherapist arrived on the scene.

Rose Ceremony
Thank goodness the Lin’s were able to give up the family mansion for a night and let ABC borrow it for the cocktail party! We find Ashley basking in the glow of the candles surrounding 8×10 glossies of the six remaining men.

We also find backless outfit #3.

It was a mixture of “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Girls Gone Wild – on Mount Olympus.” I would have been willing to place a hefty bet on the possibility of Ashley wearing some sort of butt shaping apparatus (butt Spanx maybe?) in hopes to submerge herself in full Kardashian mode, but the majority of those at my watching party were convinced it was her microphone pack. When you don’t have a back to your gown, the crack is the next best place I reckon.

Like a pink lemonade daiquiri on a hot Houston day, Our Host Chris Harrison refreshes our thirsty souls and invites Ashley to sit down and debrief. I’m going to take this time to say that I will not be commenting on the unfortunate puffiness of his hair. Instead, I will hone in on his words.

OHCH: “Good Lord, when will this season be over? You’re killing me Ashley. Good call on sending the Chihuahua home early, but seriously…let’s get on with it already.”
Ashley: “I know Chris. I’m ready to find my true love too. Sending Ryan home was hard but I didn’t want to get his family involved.”

OHCH: “Right, right. Do you need to borrow my chapstick before the rose ceremony? You seem to have a lip biting issue that is brutally annoying.”
Ashley: “No Chris. I don’t need your chapstick because I don’t need a rose ceremony.”

OHCH: “Sweet. Emily’s arriving any minute. We are all looking forward to seeing her. I’ll go tell the guys, but first I need you to stop crying. I didn’t say we were looking forward to seeing her as the next Bachelorette. I said we were looking forward to seeing her. Can I get a Lexapro over here? Someone? A shot of whiskey? Here take a sip from my boot flask.”

Harrison tells the men that there will be no cocktail party. The Grobans look confident in their plaid. Lucas looks indifferent. JP settles into security and Ames gives Harrison the name of his tie guy because that electric blue number would look ravishing on our host.

OHCH: “Just because her mind is made up, doesn’t mean this wasn’t a tough decision. She knows just how important these hometown dates are. Three roses will be handed out. One of you will be leaving. I’m sorry to say that we will all be on the first plane out of here in the morning, so be prepared for some pretty awkward moments.”

With only 20 minutes left in the show, Ashley shoves boutonnières in the hands of the Grobans and Ames. Poor Lucas is left alone (call me) and JP over shares by saying he did not expect Ames to win the coveted bud.

Wow JP. Vying for the role of resident chach now that there’s a vacancy?

Emily Returns
ABC has been pimping this moment for several weeks now. I just knew we were going to find out a bunch of juicy details about the breakup of Emily and Brad and Harrison would be announcing her as the next Bachelorette, but that didn’t happen. Basically, Our Host asked the same thing nine times and Emily responded with vague answers. I don’t know. Perhaps I was distracted by the fact that this gorgeous 25-year-old had some severe Botox and only her jaw moved? Or was I too busy wondering how many times she said “you know” (according to a reader, that number is 47…thanks Cindy!). There was a lot of hype for little information.

With that said, I think Emily was extremely gracious and portrayed the appropriate nerves for being interviewed on a subject that she would probably rather forget ever happened. She was poised, honest and never threw Brad under the bus. I like her, but truly hope that she doesn’t succumb to ABC’s requests for her to be the next Bachelorette.

Therefore, I think portion will be best reviewed in a beta cap format:

Emily arriving. Harrison smiling. Limo door opening. Leg extending. Tiny gold skirt wearing. Some Guy In Austin jaw dropping. Emily fabulous looking. Hands shaking. Courtesy nodding. Harrison escorting. Face not moving. Tears not forming. Voice shaking. Brad praising. Engagement breaking. Dot, dot, dotting. I’m not lying. Her saying. Dot, dot, dotting. Contractually obligating. To sit here saying. I’m regretting. Harrison nodding. Tears not falling. Austin moving. Just kidding. Ricki loving. Relationship overshadowing. Brad not committing. Very disappointing. Heartbreaking. Brad loving. Brad supporting. Paparazzi shooting. Taylor Swift impersonating. Story telling. Tears still not falling. Brad texting. Mom focusing. Ride ending. Leave me alone-ing.

Harrison slips her a seven figure contract to be the next Bachelorette before escorting her back to the limo and hopefully going to get a hair cut.

Next week we are treated to hometown dates. From the looks of it, Greek Groban woos Ashley with culinary delights from his restaurant, other Groban entices her with crushed grapes from his vineyard, JP shoots the duck with Ashley around a roller rink and Ames delivers a most convincing Mr. Darcy while accompanying Ashley on a horse drawn carriage ride through the countryside.

TEAM AMES!

All about the shame, not the fame,

Lincee

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