BWW Recap: Patti Murin Dives Deep into Five-Hours of THE BACHELOR
Hey Bachelor fans! I'm so sorry for missing last week (for all three of you who read this religiously; Hi Mom! Mom? You there?), but I was busy traveling across the country to the home base of "The Bachelor," Los Angeles! As it turns out, it's a damn good thing I couldn't recap, because this week we get a whopping FIVE HOURS of The Bachelor-related programming, and my brain needed the rest before this circus. Here. We. Go.
Hour One: Chris Tells All
I am armed with water, Clif bars, all of my iDevices fully charged, comfy clothing, and the state of mind of someone who is about to run a marathon. The first hour is a special sit down with Chris Harrison, who interviews Kelsey, Chris and poor heartbroken Andi Dorfman, the former Bachelorette whose relationship recently went south. Unfortunately, there's not much to see here. Chris is media trained to within an inch of his life and doesn't shed any light on anything, and Andi spends the whole time crying so hard that they no longer need to use hoses to wet down THE BACHELOR driveway. And even if Kelsey is an alien, she gets so screwed by the editing that it makes it virtually impossible for her to defend herself and her lunacy to America. However, in this hour we do learn some fun facts:
- Kelsey pronounces the word "controversial" like this: con-tro-VER-see-al. This is annoying, as is her use of the words "ameliorated" and "malintentions," WHICH ISN'T EVEN A REAL WORD. I know. I checked.
- Chris Harrison reveals to Farmer Chris that Ashley S. (onion girl who tried to kill other human beings with her paintball gun and liked to talk to cats) had a habit of wandering around THE BACHELOR property, through the production offices, and snacking at craft services and staring at little doors. This sounds about right.
This is literally all we learn that we didn't already know. Moving on to...
Hour Two: First Half of First of Two Episodes
My energy is flagging a bit, so I pour myself a bowl of cereal to keep my blood sugar up. We begin where we ended last week, in the town of Deadwood, South Dakota with 7 ladies remaining, and within the first four minutes of the show, he pulls Megan aside and sends her home. He knows in his gut that things aren't going any further with her, but it is genuinely hard for him to send her home. Good call to rip off the Band-Aid, Chris. Megan should probably go get her concussion checked out anyway.
Farmer Chris opts not to have a Rose Ceremony, as he has very strong feelings for these six women: Britt, Carly, Becca, Kaitlyn, Whitney, and Jade. The girls are relieved, and then thrilled (maybe a little too thrilled?) when Chris tells them that their next stop is...IOWA!!! I ask myself once again why they haven't left the country, and if maybe there is some legal reason that he can't, but then I realize that it would just be cruel and unusual punishment to take these girls to tropical islands and fancy European cities and then force the winner to live in a town of 400 people in the middle of nowhere for the rest of her life. So going on a tour of abandoned/nearly abandoned/should be abandoned American towns is actually doing them all a favor. Huh.
They land in Des Moines, Iowa, which is a truly lovely city and the home of some of my future in-laws (hi Ryan and Catherine!). Jade immediately gets the first One on One Date, and the Date Card asks her to join Chris in his hometown of Arlington, Iowa. It is roughly three hours away from Des Moines, and as she drives there in THE BACHELOR SUV, her panic grows as the population drops. She meets Chris at his house and he shows her his farmland. No, that's not a fun farmer metaphor, he literally shows her the fields he owns. He then takes her downtown, which consists of...a bank. Sadly, Chris explains that as computers started taking over people's jobs, many of the businesses have shut down, so now there isn't a single bar or restaurant or grocery store in Arlington. I have an internal anxiety attack just as Jade realizes that not only will she not have easy access to hair extensions, she won't even be able to drink away her sorrows without a twenty minute trip to a neighboring town. Does Amazon Prime even go there?
That night, they attend a football game at Chris's high school, which is the only time you actually see that other people live in Arlington. Everyone is there watching the big game, and Jade and Chris are treated like celebrities. They cheer the Starmont Stars (no joke) on and meet his parents briefly before Chris takes Jade into his old high school to show her around a little. Now, as all of America knows, it turns out that Jade did a little bit of modeling back in her self-proclaimed "rebel" years. And, oh yeah, it was nude modeling for Playboy. She tries to steer the conversation in the direction of confessing this to him, but can't seem to bring herself to do it.
In the end, the fact that other people actually live in this town is enough for Jade to change her mind and consider the fact that she could fit in here after all. They share a very public kiss in the middle of the football field, and she admits to falling in love with him.
Back at home, the second Date Card arrives, and it is for...Whitney! We start to see Britt slowly decline into what will become a full blown jealous rage temper tantrum as we enter...
Hour Three: Second Half of the First of Two Episodes
Dehydrated, I call for Colin to bring me some more water as I massage my brain in hopes of sparking some brain cells back to life. My fingertips have the beginnings of callouses on them, but as I am dedicated to proving my love for this show by sitting through five freaking hours at once, I soldier on.
Whitney and Chris begin their date at an art gallery in Des Moines, where they look at a series of photographs of people around Des Moines who were inspired by love. So their project for the day is to walk around the city and take their own pictures, which is really just an excuse to make out in different places and have people take their picture while doing so. They have dinner that night and three of Chris's best friends show up and proceed to grill Whitney about her intentions. Whitney, in true form of AWESOME GAL, rocks their worlds and answers the questions like a human grownup. She then tells Chris that since her mother died when she was 20, and she doesn't have a relationship with her father, finding someone with a great family and a great relationship with their family is very important to her. She has been waiting to find a family to call her own. Still my favorite, Whit! I'm rooting for you! Chris takes her outside to show her an ENORMOUS mural of one of their photos from the day that has been painted on a huge wall. It's not necessarily a true to life mural, but I'm sure the artist meant well. She asks if it is going to stay there forever, and he says yes, which means it will be REALLY awkward if she doesn't win and Chris's new wife has to stare at that mural every time she travels to Des Moines to get sushi or see a movie or get a haircut that doesn't look like Kate Gosselin's. Whitney is thrilled to pieces, though, and I shed actual almost-tears because I want them to get married and make little farm babies together like, now.
Back at the hotel, Jade tells the girls about her date, which causes Britt to break out into instant hysterical tears. Did someone maybe forget to explain the rules of the game to Britt? Cruise Ship Carly comes up with the idea to road trip to Arlington so they can see Chris's hometown for themselves and make a proactive decision whether it is a place they want to spend the rest of their lives. I LOVE that they do this, because for this entire season, it's been about finding a girl who will move to Chris's home, with no other options. So the fact that these ladies are taking this matter into their own hands and trying to make a decision for themselves is really encouraging, and shows that maybe they really are interested in Chris and not just winning the game. They hop in the SUV, and the closer they get to Arlington, the quieter the car becomes. They drive through downtown Arlington without realizing that it exists, and Britt declares that she could never live there. The gals return to Des Moines, and when Jade asks how they liked it, Britt tells some clearly BS story about how she could see the sun setting and realized that this is a beautiful country and she loved the town and could totally live there with Chris. Carly is PISSED and exacts revenge by...painting a Britt face on her hand with lipstick and making it talk? Reminder, these girls haven't had TV or Internet or cell phones in weeks.
Jade decides to confide in Carly about her nude Playboy modeling, and Carly can't hide her shock and instantly judges Jade with every part of her face. She is totally unhelpful, but what does Jade expect her to say? He won't care? Cause he probably will. Most men in Arlington (or anywhere) would dream of Chris bringing home a Playboy model, but I don't think momma is going to like that too much.
The Group Date begins, and Carly, Kaitlyn and Britt meet Chris at an ice rink for a fun (?) afternoon of ice hockey, while Chris proves once again that he literally has no idea what a woman is. Britt pulls Chris aside to gush to him about how much she luuuuuved his hometown, but Carly quickly steps in and informs him that she is Lying with a capital Glitter Eyeshadow. He talks to Britt again that evening to see if he can get any more information out of her, but she distracts him with warm thoughts of bringing him home to her family, where they eat in the living room off of paper plates, and apparently eat off of each other's paper plates. If I were Chris, I would send her home right now. Ain't nobody touching my chicken with their germy ass fork.
Chris ends up giving Kaitlyn the Date Rose, which prompts Britt to EXPLODE in frustration and rage. Evil Disney Princess BARBIE tells Chris that she wants her husband to always pick her first, and not be second, or third, or fourth. Once again, I really don't think Britt knows how this game works. She is having this incredibly private and awkward conversation in front of the other girls, and Chris eventually has to excuse himself. Britt makes a weak attempt at threatening to go home, as every woman left is, once again, forced to pay attention to Britt. The third hour ends on a cliffhanger, and with me sticking a fork into my feet because I can't feel them anymore.
Hour Four: First Half of the Second of Two Episodes
Now I'm drinking. It has come to this, plus I've called in the reinforcements in the form of my fiancee and our friends, Brad and Sarah. I'm delirious, tipsy and ready for Round Four. And by ready, I mean asdkahsdkshe.
We finish off the previous round of dates by accompanying Chris and Becca on their boring One on One Date in Des Moines, where Becca tries peplum, bright yellow, and large chunky turquoise necklaces all in one fashion-risky shot. They hang out at his loft, and it's uneventful, as I'm slowly realizing that Becca is just an uninteresting person. She does admit that she has never fallen in love before, but still withholds the fact that she is a virgin. Moving on...
Back at home, Britt tells the girls that she just packed her bags and is planning to tell Chris at the cocktail party that she will be leaving. To my expert eyes, it seems as though Britt is campaigning to be the next Bachelorette by pretending to be an independent woman who makes her own strong decisions. We may be America, Britt, but we're not THAT dumb.
Rose ceremony night arrives, and Chris decides not to have a cocktail party. Britt, however, interrupts Chris to ask to speak to him, and he relents, being the kindest, most patient man ever to walk the earth. But instead of telling him of her decision to leave, she instantly apologizes for her actions and essentially begs his forgiveness. He asks to speak his mind, but good old Britt won't let him get out two sentences without interrupting him and pleading her case. Eventually he tells her that it is over, and utters the four best words in Bachelor history: "I'll walk you out." Britt immediately collapses on the driveway, sobbing into her little red party dress, wearing non-waterproof mascara for the first time in her life. Chris goes back inside and ends up sending Carly home, keeping Becca, Whitney, Kaitlyn and Jade for hometown dates.
First up is Becca's Hometown Dates in Shreveport, Louisiana, home of Britney Spears and....um...Becca. Chris meets her entire family, including a terribly sour sister who is seemingly out to sabotage their relationship because Becca is the pretty sister and she's jealous cause she got stuck with the frizzy hair. She tells Chris that Becca is not at all interested in being intimate or affectionate with any male and comes across as a word that I'm not allowed to say on the Internets. After family time, he steals Becca and they go to the Louisiana State Fair, where they ride the Ferris Wheel and kiss awkwardly for hours at a time. Sounds like high school in Dutchess County, New York.
Next up, my girl Whitney! She lives in Chicago, and she takes Chris to see the fertility clinic where she is a nurse. Whitney is just a wonderful candidate for Chris, with her eternal optimism even in the face of a less-than-stellar family past. Since Whitney doesn't have parents, she introduces Chris to her sister, brother-in-law, uncle and grandma. Right before they walk in, Chris asks her who he should talk to about proposing to her, as he wants their blessing. Awww!!! Note: this is the only person Chris does this for, or at least the only woman they show him doing this for. Whitney directs him to her sister, which seems to be a bit of a mistake, as Kimberly isn't really into the whole Bachelor thang. She tells Chris to call her when he is ready to say that Whitney is his one and only, which really just makes sense when you think about it. Like, hey Chris, once you decide that you're done dating these other 3 girls, then maybe come back and ask for my sister's hand in marriage. Duh. Whitney ends the date by telling Chris she is falling in love with him, and my wide shiny eyes can tell that he wants to return the words, but can't. Like, contractually. Right about now, we begin...
Hour Five: The Home Stretch
My eyes are burning, my autocorrect is working overtime, and I've drunk (drank? dranken?) an indeterminate amount of wine in this ultimate quest for love. My friends and I have taken it upon ourselves to go on Expedia to find flights from Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Chicago to ensure that Chris and Whitney can visit their families often while living their small town life, and to call a local business called House of Hats in Arlington, only to find out that the business has now moved to Aurora. I am quickly losing my mind, but I'm in this for the right reasons, and I can't give up now when the final rose is in sight.
We are now in Phoenix, Arizona for Kaitlyn's hometown date, which starts with the bizarre task of recording a rap in a studio. Chris once again proves his musical ineptness, as he is just an abomination to the craft, but they have fun anyway. They go to Kaitlyn's house where they meet her divorced parents and their new partners and various siblings and other people that don't talk so they're not important. Kaitlyn's mom is drunk and unable to move her face, prompting my friend Brad to utter the quote of the night: "Kaitlyn's mom is 55, but her face is 7." As Kaitlyn is fluent in Emoji, she takes Chris to a random neon sign that projects the message "Kaitlyn ?? Chris," and they make out to celebrate this momentous occasion.
The last hometown date is the
creepiest most awkward of the bunch, as Chris goes to meet Jade's family in Gering, Nebraska. Her mom proves expert with a tight spiral curling iron, while Jade's brothers describe her to Chris as "a wild mustang," which is something my brothers better not ever feel comfortable saying about me. The general vibe here is "Murder House," and they exit quickly to go back to Chris's hotel room, which has a general vibe of "Murder Hotel." Jade final summons the courage to tell him about her nude Playboy photo shoots, and then offers to SHOW HIM THE PICTURES. She breaks out her laptop and signs into her online Playboy account, and he instantly starts sweating. He has no idea where to look or what to do with his face as they watch a video together of her stripping down for Playboy, for the Internet, and now, for America. He tells her that he won't judge her on her past, but I'm just not convinced, Chris. Your mama ain't gonna be happy when she Googles your fiancee and THOSE photos come up. Cause duh, we all looked.
Finally, it is Rose Ceremony time. Chris hands out roses to Whitney, Kaitlyn and Becca, leaving Naked Princess Cinderella Jade to return to Nebraska, forever afraid that posing for Playboy has ruined her dating life. Don't worry, Jade. There are literally millions of men out there who will proudly date you. Cause you know what? You're really sweet, kind, pretty smart, and really freaking hot.
Now, I shall sleep for a billion hours while my brain rebuilds itself. Send wine and chocolate, please.