Better late than never?
I have to admit, I was very stressed about this week’s update. Here I am at the cottage, with no internet and my choice of Oliver’s coffee shop or Ye Old Neighborhood Laundromat for WiFi this morning. Not to mention my kids in the background begging for attention as I type this up rather than my usual civilized morning coffee at my desk before the office starts filling up. But still with two hours of Ashley, not to mention The Demise of Bremily – the icing on the cake this week – I had to put my fears aside and just focus, dammit.
So this week – the week of the backless shirt – right off the bat, Ashley informs us that she’s on a mission. It’s not so much about whether they can have great conversation or an emotional connection anymore. It’s about if the physical attraction is there. That’ll be great to hear her telling the parents around the dinner table next week. ‘I always knew Constantin was a great guy trust me. But once I could picture him inside me, I knew I just had to meet you guys! Isn’t that cuuuute?????’
We start out in Taiwan, which Ashley refers to as the hidden jewel of Hong Kong (way to let the cat out of the bag on that one, Ashley). Gotta say, I did dig the home video style footage on the subway of the guys. It almost made the show seem real. Nice of Chris Harrison to meet the guys on the stairs to welcome them and coin the term ‘Fortunate Four’, since Ashley was too busy staring off into the distance wearing about fifteen pounds of makeup to meet them. Geishas are from Japan, Ashley. Japan. I’m not even sure that the guys heard anything Chris was saying as he yelled at them from twenty feet away on the stairs. It’s like the guys are trained to stand at least an area rug’s distance away from Chris. Awkward much?
There were several moments last night where I found myself reaching for the remote to fast forward the commercials and shamefully had to stop myself and remember that this week, I’m a PVR-less peasant. I mean honestly, what is this, the 1400’s? The good news is that at the cottage, when you have four spare minutes, you find snacks to fill your time, so my good friend chocolate kept me company during the messages from our sponsors, including of course, Nair, which kept me just nauseous enough to still puke in my mouth, but not nauseous enough that I’d show any amount of self control and not actually overeat.
So the guys get settled into their room with a crazy view and the first date card for Constantin shows up. Do we really think Ashley dots her I’s with hearts? Could it actually be? I wouldn’t put it past her. What a surprise, she shows up for yet another walking date with four inch stilettos and the Vajtastic jeans she spray-painted on when she bid adieu to Bentley. Listen. I totally get the heels thing. I dig heels. One of the (only) good things about returning to work post mat-leave was trading in my Uggs for some sexy stilettos. But honestly, she is like the Mel Gibson of shoe wearers. Give some of the other shoes a chance. If you don’t want to go totally caj with a cute runner (Cas? Cag? There really is no way to correctly spell a short form of the word casual), how about a ballet flat? Or fancy yourself a riding boot, perhaps? Honestly the girl is going to need surgery after this season. And these ones were open toe! I can just imagine the blisters! Obviously she can’t walk on the pebble-ridden train tracks and cobblestone streets in them so what a surprise, Constantin has to carry her. Well played, Ashley. Well played.
So once again, we find her searching for deep spiritual meaning in her one-on-one date and they decide to participate in the lantern ritual. I have to admit I totally teared up at the beauty of the lanterns in Tangled when I watched it with my four year old son, so I totally get getting swept up in the moment. To me it seemed pretty simple but for some reason Constantin seemed to be having trouble grasping the concept and actually needed the instructions to be repeated several times. Dude. You think of a wish. You write it down. You let go of the lantern. Cool? Cool.
Over dinner, once again Ashley chooses the most romantic moments to ferociously clean her teeth with her tongue. Even as she expressed her appreciation for Constantin‘s great qualities such as the fact that he’s real, doesn’t pressure her to like him and that if she’s really having trouble on those molars, she can always check her reflection in his forehead. I actually had to double check the remote to see if I had accidentally put the TV on pause while Ashley and Constantin were kissing, there was so little movement. But once again I remember no PVR. Slummin’ it. Despite the great date they had it’s no surprise that by the end of the episode the spring in Ashley’s step had turned more into a limp.
Onto Ben. I still have mixed emotions about Ben. On the one hand, he seems very sweet and just the right amount of quirky and awkward to be considered humble and likeable. Plus he’s a winemaker which definitely has sex appeal. But then I think about his tween mustache, akin to a half-dead, uncared for lawn that hasn’t been watered in weeks and his Smurfs hat and really, I’m not so sure. Nevertheless, I settle in to watch Ashley’s date with Ben. Thank god she’s not wearing heels on this date. After watching them on the moped and the hanging bridge it seemed like a normal date to me. Actually more normal than most because this time the girl actually brought a friggin’ purse. I swear, normally she leaves without so much as a stick of gum or a lip balm (unless she’s hiding them in her bangs), and this time her ‘satchel’ was so big she must have been carrying the stray dog that peed on her and Constantin’s lantern the night before.
So at dinner, as Ashley dons her office Christmas party emerald green top, once again, the only thing she can talk about is the wine Ben brought her on night one. You could totally tell Ben was pissed when she said the wine they were drinking at dinner was just like his version…he’s probably thinking, they’re nothing alike, you idiot. Her experience with fine wines is probably limited to Ernst and Julijo Gallo’s white zinfandel – the wine chosen and vomited by high school girls the world over. Things seem to be progressing naturally, nothing too exciting and then all of a sudden in an off-to-the side interview Ashley informs us that Ben is basically her boyfriend and that she’s falling in love with him. Um, did we miss something? Are they forgetting to air important footage? Next thing you know it’s morning and JP is sitting in a cloud of seething rage waiting for Brainy Smurf to do the walk of shame. Usually when a date ends with a ‘night cap’ (I never thought I’d use that term in my life, I swear), there is a suggestive closing of double doors, basically telling the camera guys ‘don’t come a ’knockin’. There’s also the outside shot of the building when the lights go out in the room. But with Ben’s date there was none of this. Weird.
What’s the verdict here? Is JP’s jealousy at this point sweet? Romantic? Controlling? Possessive? Not quite sure. I mean don’t get me wrong, I do like the guy, but he really can be a Debbie Downer. He’s in such a bad mood that most of the time the other guys end up having to comfort him even though they’re upset about the same thing. Get some coping skills, dude. Maybe you’re the only guy in your mom’s life, but you’re not the only guy here.
The Group Date. Sigh. As if watching Ashley say wedding vows with William in Vegas wasn’t bad enough now we have to go watch her do mock wedding photos? Really? These guys really can’t catch a break. They’re either doing manual labour, getting beaten or being forced to participate in possibly one of the worst parts of a wedding day ever – posing for pictures. Awesome. And I’m a bit confused. Apparently people come from all over Asia to have pictures done here? I thought when Ashley said this that they would actually take them to some beautifully landscaped place or something. Instead they unroll whatever background comes with the $29.99 package and snap away. All of the pictures were brutal – I honestly don’t think I even saw Ames getting his done, and the sad thing is I can totally picture him wearing that suit in real life (though I did tune out the show for a few minutes, so maybe I just missed it.) I felt so bad for Lucas and his man boobs in that dress, but what a good sport. Unlike JP. The only part of the date that was entertaining was hearing the female photographer give them instructions during the shots – “yayayayayaya, one more, one more, one more, more kiss, more kiss.” Guess I can cross watching Asian porn off of my To Do list, since now I know what it sounds like.
The only thing more awkward than the evening portion of the date in general was the specific fact of Ames’ flaming reddish pink pants. Though initially I didn’t notice how horrific they were because they blended in so beautifully with the walls, once they did catch my attention, I couldn’t look away. Then we had to listen to JP spend ten minutes trying to explain to Ashley how bad his day was, how brutal he’s feeling and that he’s going crazy. “Bad crazy?” she asks…um, did you not hear him? In conclusion, this date sucked.
It’s pretty obvious as the group date ends and we see the preview for the next segment with Ryan’s date that Ashley is giving him the boot on his date. Still, Ryan wakes up like it’s Christmas morning, eager to go on his first date with Ashley (how do you get this far without a single date???) Obviously things started out rocky when they tossed the bricks and they landed on the wrong side. They should have just stopped there. I honestly didn’t take too many notes during their date because what is there to say? As animated as Ryan always is, I saw what true passion looks like when he started to talk about water heaters. You could see Ashley’s eyes glazing over right before she dropped the bomb. And the fact that her only contribution to discussing environmental consciousness had to do with an ex boyfriend basically beating her for throwing out a plastic bottle? Wow, you guys are a match made in heaven. The only thing I could really focus on during their discussion was their dim sum. So jealous.
The moment when Ashley broke the news that she was sending him home was truly painful. All jokes aside, I could actually feel the poor guy’s heart breaking into a million little reusable, sustainable, recyclable pieces. It was like she punched him in the gut. Poor guy never saw it coming. Did he even pack his stuff? I liked Ryan more in those last few minutes than I have all this season but he better not be the next bachelor.
Onto the cocktail party that never was. Bet Lucas was wishing his last impression of Ashley wasn’t in a dress. Ashley once again, has to flaunt her perfect back to the world. We get it. You have no muffin top. At this point in the episode, I had basically tuned out and was spending my time admiring my newly-acquired flip flop tan lines instead of paying attention to the show. The rose ceremony was uneventful. I did think she was going to send Ames and his vacant stare home, and obviously so did JP, who didn’t hesitate to tell everyone he was equally surprised that Ames stayed. Nice one JP.
In Ashley’s post rose ceremony interview, you can tell that she’s really starting to crack under the pressure. Honestly would it kill her to stop picking her eye crust and examining it the whole time she’s talking? You might as well pick your nose and roll your boogers in your fingers at this point.
I was pleased to see that they were devoting a full 15 minutes to Emily’s post-show interview (clearly we’re not the only ones who have given up on two full hours of Ashley). It was nice to see Emily in all of her physical perfection again and my heart broke for her fragile state as she cried through the whole interview. It really did. She really should have considered valium before getting out of the limo. But in true Bachelor ratings-grab form, we basically find out NOTHING about the breakup. She refers to circumstances that made their situation unworkable, but god forbid she should throw us a bone and tell us what those circumstances are! And they forgot the most burning question of all. Hello??? Would Emily date Bentley if given the chance??? The public has a right to know!!!
Next week’s family dates don’t even look too exciting…what a surprise. Anything will be better than watching Ashley and Brad share a plateful of ‘pouTAN’ at the truck stop Ashley called home back on Brad’s season, but still, I’m really hoping for a minimum of a slutty sister, a drunk uncle, a gun-wielding father…something…anything…sigh. Oh well, at least now we have Big Brother to fill the void.