Bachelor Recap: Bradley Goes Rogue
Hello everyone! It’s been one of those days. My AOL buddy got stuck on a train in NYC and missed our video date this morning. Then I got stuck behind a normal train for 45 minutes and couldn’t get back for our rescheduled video date. This day job certainly gets in the way of my favorite past time. Hopefully next week, both the written and video recaps will be up in a timely manner.
Let’s get to it!
For the second week in a row, ABC allows the designers in the graphics department to bust out the cartoon map to draw a dotted line from Costa Rica to the Caribbean island of Anguilla. The girls dream of romantic dates to the tune of festive calypso music as they ooh and aah over the villa where they will be staying.
Our Host Christ Harrison joins the ladies and the sight of his electric blue linen shirt sends a jolt of energy into the room. And by room, I mean my couch. That shirt. With those eyes. I begin crooning, “In your eyes. The light. The heat. In your eyes. I can’t compete.” All of a sudden, I’m longing for someone as romantic as Lloyd Dobler to stand outside my window blaring easy listening tunes from an old school jambox.
It makes me sad if you weren’t able to follow that tangent.
He eloquently welcomes the ladies to Anguilla and then follows up with a few important reminders. There will be three “rose free” one-on-one dates and one pornographic group date that is clothing and rose optional. He leaves the first date card a safe distance away from Michelle’s greedy clutches, retreating to the nearby town to see a man about a goat.
The first one-on-one date card reads: “Three things I would bring on a deserted island: picnic lunch, champagne and Emily.”
Britt is disappointed that she has never received a one-on-one and takes to brushing the middle three foot portion of her hair to calm her nerves. Chantal cries and then reminds everyone how rare it is that she’s crying because that hardly ever happens. And Michelle shares that she would take a mirror, nail file and fireworks on a deserted island.
Shawntel: “It actually makes sense. A mirror to start a fire. Nail file to defend yourself. And fireworks as a distress signal.”
Michelle: “Actually, the mirror is for looking at myself every morning. Yes the nail file is for stabbing things if I don’t get my way and the fireworks are for when Brad and I kiss.”
Emily is excited for her alone time with Brad and looks forward to getting beyond the initial butterfly stage. This is best achieved by wearing a black sparkly tunic top and no pants.
Brad arrives in a fetching turquoise v-neck Gap t-shirt. He leads Emily to a tiny little bench and offers her some champagne. Confused by the random location in which Brad has decided to conduct this little afternoon booze fest, Emily daintily perches on the edge of her seat, waiting for Brad to offer some sort of explanation. He awkwardly fumbles for words, trying to pretend he doesn’t hear the familiar sound of helicopter blades arriving overhead. Since no one bothered to remind us that Emily’s fiancé was killed in a flying contraption, we assume that she has conquered her fear and will probably be piloting the helicopter by the end of the date.
Our Bachelor tells us that he’s excited for his relationship with Emily to “take off” and can’t wait to “reach new levels” with her. She thinks everything is SO pretty and the water is SO blue while pointing to an island in the distance that is SO cute.
Brad: “Guess what? We are going to land the helicopter there! It’s our own island in the Caribbean. Just the two of us.”
That’s right Brad. Pay no attention to the camera man. And producers. And boom mic operator. And the intern. And the wardrobe people. And psychotherapist. You’re completely and utterly alone with Emily. Have fun.
For the most part, the date was uneventful. Brad confessed that he turns into a prepubescent boy when within a five mile radius of Emily and she thought that was charming. He admits that he’s nervous and has fumbled the ball a few times when it comes to romance.
Note to the guys: This is how to properly manipulate a girl into kissing you:
Brad: “I planned this perfect day and now I’m just nervous.”
Emily: “It has been lovely.”
Brad: “I’m trying to be cool and tough, but I’m failing miserably.”
Emily: “No you’re not.”
Lincee: It’s still up for debate.
Brad: “I care for you so much. I take things slowly…not for a lack of interest…but because I respect you. I care for you more than I should probably say right now.”
Emily: “Oh Brad!”
Lincee: Why is your shirt on?
They make out in the rolling tide. Then they share philosophical dialog about the sun setting and the moon rising while looking pretty.
Later, Brad arranges for a romantic dinner on the beach. Emily has braided her bangs for the special occasion. But before she can compliment the ABC intern on how creamy the garlic mashed potatoes are, Brad peppers her with questions about visiting Charlotte and Little Girl Ricky. She answers with a deep sigh which throws our Bachelor into miniature hysterical fits. Someone is sent to locate a brown paper bag.
Emily: “I’ve never introduced my daughter to anyone I’m dating. I don’t want to confuse her. I’m really protective. I know you wouldn’t propose to a woman if they never let you meet their kid. That’s crazy. It’s just getting very real and I don’t know what do to.”
Once we recover from the shock of such a mature statement coming from anyone on this show, Brad decides it’s time to ease Em’s fears. Like Sarah Palin in the blistering subarctic of the Alaskan wilderness, he must go rogue.
Brad: “I don’t care about breaking the rules. I’m going to tell you right now that you will be getting a rose at the next rose ceremony and we are going to your home town. I want to see where this goes and so do you. ABC wouldn’t dare mess with Rogue Bachelor. It’s not like anyone will know. We’re the only ones on this deserted island and…”
The stun gun team arrives sending roughly three million volts of electricity into the rouge Bachelor’s neck. After careful consideration of the raw footage, the producers agree that Brad’s willingness to break the rules is about as close to a dramatic and/or action sequence as they are going to get, and agree to air the date.
Ding dong! A wimpy excuse for a date card pedestal reveals that Shawntel N. is about to find love in the streets of Anguilla. She’s relieved that there isn’t the pressure of a rose on this date and tackles a surprised Brad with a full-blown arsenal of wet kisses. Brad suggests they ride bikes around the square of the tiny town and is impressed that Shawntel is unfazed that she will have to hoist her green wrap dress up to her waist so they won’t get caught in the spokes. The bang braid protects her eyes while keeping her hair from whipping in the wind.
Brad and Shawntel arrive at a farmers’ market and dance to the beat of their own calypso soundtrack while jumping rope with the local street kids, playing a mean game of chicken foot with the local grandfather types and getting some cryptic advice from your average gypsy lady named Auntie B. Brad spreads a blanket in the front yard of one of the town’s goat farmers and attempts to push his romantic beach date with his beloved Em out of his mind. Due to her line of work, Shawntel has a major radar for people with dead personalities and tries to save the moment by telling Brad she’s falling in love with him.
Later that night at dinner, Shawntel once again rocks an off-the-shoulder deep purple Flashdance shirt, which is conveniently one hue darker than Brad’s eggplant oxford. She begs him to come to Chico because she wants him to meet her family. She somehow gets Brad to open up about his own father as an instrumental version of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” plays in the background.
Brad: “My father divorced my mother when we were four.”
Shawntel: “We? Is that a split personality thing like Michelle?”
Brad: “No. It’s a twin thing. I can’t believe I’m telling you all of this stuff. I love how comfortable I feel when I’m with you.”
Shawntel: “Well I’m falling in love with you too.”
It begins raining and Brad sensibly takes advantage of this romantic moment. She thanks Brad for arranging the rain shower and he smiles slyly as her other surprise arrives. Anguillan singer Bankie Banx busts in with several dozen local Angullianites who were paid in gold doubloons to pretend they were excited about this impromptu live show. Shawntel dances, drinks and makes out with our Bachelor while everyone watches. He looked uncomfortable and wisely stuck to the back and forth steps, elbows in close to the side moves he learned from Hitch. There may have been a wayward white man overbite or two. The crowd faked enthusiastic emotion as Bankie began the second set. To show their appreciation, the duo ditched the concert and went swimming in the ocean.
Clearly, Brad was shirtless. Someone has been working out! Holla!
As they wade into the moonlit tide, one can’t help but notice Shawntel’s enormous back tattoo. It is in width what Brad’s crucifix is in height. Could this be a match made in heaven?
Third One-On-One Date
Britt is excited that she FINALLY gets a one-on-one date with Brad and is even more stoked that there isn’t any pressure since the safety rose won’t be an issue. Brad arrives in a black version of the blue v-neck Gap t-shirt and fails to compliment Britt on her bubble gum pink hoodie because he was tongue tied by Em’s physical beauty.
Brad: “This date is super important. Britt is behind the other women. So are her shorts. I’m pretty sure they are from 1983, but whatever. It’s time she rises to the challenges that I’m going to throw her way today. If she can’t handle it, I’m afraid she’s a goner.”
Brad and Britt make their way down to the shore and he points at a small black dot on the horizon that he claims is their own personal yacht. He makes her swim the 7.2 miles out to the boat, but we don’t mind because Brad is shirtless.
When Britt ascends the yacht, we learn that home girl needs to eat a sandwich. Brad follows close behind and we pause the DVR for five minutes before moving on.
They yacht around for a few minutes and end up at a special spot called Little Bay. Brad points to a cliff in the distance and tells Britt that there is a rope hanging from said cliff. They will climb the rope, scramble to the top of the rocks and then fling themselves off the edge. Oh. And you have to swim 2.8 miles to get there.
Britt dives back in the ocean and dog paddles her way to the rope. Being a gymnast, she has extreme upper body strength and shimmies up the rope with ease. Brad plunges into the gorgeous water below and demands Britt follows him on the count of three, even though he can tell she’s nervously shaking in her tiny plaid bikini. Britt waits for the wind to stop blowing and hurls herself over the edge with all the force her 98 pounds can muster. With no time for paltry celebrations, Brad makes Britt hold her breath for 10 minutes and then tread water for 30. It is only then that she is allowed to swim ashore to Little Bay for deep conversation. After a few minutes of unbearable silence, Brad can no longer take the quiet and suggests they head back to the boat. Britt returns via back stroke.
Brad: “I tried to knock her down with Navy Seal training and she just wouldn’t budge. We were at a romantic beach and I had zero urge to grab her and kiss her. I just don’t see this working out.”
Back on the yacht, Britt arrives to dinner in a flowing tangerine negligee. It looked like something Trudy would wear on Mad Men. Brad feeds her a protein shake and begins to break the news that he is once again going rogue by sharing with her that she will NOT be getting a rose at the next ceremony.
Brad: “I think the world of you any guy would be lucky to have you. You’re so athletic.”
Britt: “And bendy.”
Brad: “I wanted to take you on a date today to see…”
Britt: “How far I could swim. I know.”
Brad: “Well that, and if we had anything in common. I just don’t know if we have those romantic feelings for each other. I don’t see a future. But you are great.”
Britt. “Thank you.”
Brad: “Do you understand what I’m saying? It’s time to say goodbye.”
Britt tries to ask for more time, but Brad refuses. Thankfully, he doesn’t make her swim to shore in her 1960s nightgown.
Brad: “I have a darling little boat with a darling little Anguillian man who is prepped and ready to take you back to the villa. Don’t mind the big spotlight in your face. We just need to have you well lit when you start crying because I channeled Rogue Bachelor and sent you packing ahead of time. Now I’ll be looking longingly at you as you ride away, but it means nothing. I’m sorry. There’s no time to get your shoes. This is goodbye.”
The cameras follow Britt back to the villa where Ashley greets her with a high pitched scream, beckoning for the other girls to come hear about her fancy yacht date. Britt breaks the news that she’s going to be going home and conveniently tells the remaining baffled girls that “there just nothing there for her and Brad.”
Well played Britt.
It’s 2:07 a.m. and Brad is breaking in to the Bachelorette villa with nothing but a flashlight and a camera man. I half expected him to do some creepy sleep watching with his beloved Em, but he heads to Chantal’s room instead. He tells her she has 10 minutes to get dressed and meet him outside. He does the same with Ashley and then makes his way to Michelle.
I begged the TV to show Michelle in some scary face mask or a frankel or Pi Phi crush t-shirt from 1998. No such luck. The all looked relatively normal. What a waste.
Brad tells them that millions of women dream about what they are going to do and leads them into a room with the Sports Illustrated swimsuit makeover team. String bikinis and big hair all around!
Michelle settles herself into a fluffy robe, barks at the ABC intern to get her a vanilla soy latte and tells the makeup artists to make sure and pluck the mole hair. Ashley giggles when she can’t fill out the top of her bikini and shouts “NO BOOBS” as she jumps into Brad’s arms and Chantal complains that she doesn’t feel sexy.
Ashley is first up and kills the photo shoot. She flings and flails about before stopping short when the director tells her she would look fabulous without a top on.
Ashley will have none of it. She is not an exhibitionist. These are TASTEFUL photos in Sports Illustrated. This isn’t Playboy.
Director: “Here are two conch shells. Why don’t you hold them up to your boobs?”
DONE! Ashley flings and flails about holding shells up to her boobs for the next 20 minutes. Chantal begins to melt down and Michelle begins to plot. Brad wonders if he puts his ear up to Ashley’s boob, will he be able to hear the ocean?
Chantal decides she must go the extra mile to get Brad’s attention. She wallows in the wet sand for a few minutes and before the director requests someone find some really big shells, Chantal has whipped off her top. She strategically places her hands and arms in various locations and what portions of the nipple are not covered up are conveniently concealed with a black box modesty patch.
Stay classy ABC.
Brad doesn’t know where to look. If he checks out Chantal’s cans, he’s a douche. But if he doesn’t, he’s a pansy. Plus, Michelle and Ashley look like they are ready to murder him. He decides to stick with what he knows: topless girls are hot.
Stay classy Bradley.
Michelle decides to take it to the next level and invites Brad to join her in her photo shoot. She shoves him to the ground, sprinkles water over his glorious pectorals, sprinkles water over his pectorals…wait…that was me rewinding. My bad. Then she straddles him and proceeds to have her way with his tongue. Think an R-Rated version of From Here to Eternity.
Once he comes up for air and removes the superfluous granules of sand his nether regions, Brad astutely concurs that Chantal and Ashley are probably a little bit irritated with his porn star behavior.
Brad: “Look, Michelle got aggressive and I got caught up in it. I want to calm everyone down, but I’m afraid the damage is done.”
Ashley is first to tell Brad that she is insecure. She diplomatically says that her personality is not the same as Michelle’s and she felt like a kid sister all day. She chokes down a sip of her green energy shake made with kale and seaweed as Brad assures her his feelings are the same as they were when they laughed at that one-eyed carny so many weeks ago. Brad can feel that she’s putting walls up as he takes her back to the poolside day bed and places her beside Michelle before grabbing Chantal’s hand.
Chantal laughs at the fact that she’s crying, because she never does that, and tells Brad that she feels like he is shutting her out. She wants him to meet her family because she is in love.
Brad: “I’m glad to hear your feelings have not changed for me.”
Chantal: “Are you kidding? Did you seem my Chinese tattoo on my back? Do you know what that says Brad?”
Chantal: “It says C + B = L4E. I’m the real thing Brad.”
Exhausted, Brad leads Chantal back to the poolside day bed and exchanges her for one of Michelle’s personalities.
Brad: “We have an uncanny knack that allows us to just talk. I want to ask you about your family. Would you let me meet your daughter if I gave you a rose tonight?”
Brad: “Your daughter. Brielle? Ring a bell?”
Michelle: “Right. Yes of course. Do you have a phone I can borrow?”
Brad tells Michelle that he feels they are a little too much alike. They are both stubborn, and volatile. Michelle gives him sultry eyes and promises to agree with Brad, even though then they’d both be wrong.
Michelle plops herself on the day bed and Chantal asks to see Brad for some alone time again. Brad slaps figurative mortar on some bricks and begins building up his emotional “help me” wall. It makes him sad to think that Dr. Jaime would not be proud of him right now. Chantal cries and whines. Brad shuts down further. This makes Chantal cry and whine at a more annoying octave than before. Brad closes his eyes and thinks of his beloved Em on their secluded island.
Determined to end this date from hell, Brad grabs Ashley’s arm and leads her over to the infinity pool. Ashley immediately thinks that Brad is ditching her a la Britt and she will be forced to go home in her Sports Illustrated red string bikini bottoms and conch shells. Brad assures her that all is well and goes back once again to the poolside day bed to retrieve the safety rose. Ashley sees him coming and runs toward him, jumping in his arms and wrapping her legs around his waist. She stays locked in this position until he reaches the day bed. He considers using her as a human shield from the grief he is about to receive from Chantal and Michelle, but she slithers off.
Like a big chach, he asks if anyone wants a drink and then begs Chantal and Michelle to smile. Instead, Chantal melts into a fit of snotty crying and Michelle practices subliminal voodoo. Brad immediately goes for the teary damsel in distress which ticks Michelle off even more. She and Ashley make their way inside leaving Brad with an emotional hot mess to clean up.
I won’t waste any more time on this nonsense that has already lasted a quarter of the entire show. To sum up, Chantal cries. Brad sort of defends himself. Someone makes a promise and then shows that their fingers were crossed. Reality TV at its finest folks.
The silver lining? Brad was shirtless the entire exchange. Otherwise, this would have been a big huge blank section.
The ladies arrive in vintage 70s fashion, complete with jump suits, feathered hair, flowery accessories and psychedelic stripes. Shawntel decided to wear a cotton skirt from Old Navy and a purple satin slip. None of the girls are wearing shoes.
All agree that they are going to reign in the psycho tendencies and really show Brad calm, cool and collected women during the cocktail party.
But what’s this? The Pier One Bureau room has been transformed into the Pier One Shack of Love! And there’s Ashely’s boob shells by her picture! Oh ABC intern. You think of everything.
AND LOOK! It’s Our Host Chris Harrison! Finally! We have a confessional session with the master himself.
OHCH: “You wanted to see me?”
Brad: “Yes Chris. I want to break the rules.”
OHCH: “Look Brad, we’ve talked about this. I’m a happily married man. I think you’re great but I just don’t see us…”
Brad: “It’s not that Chris. I want to skip the cocktail party.”
OHCH: “I’m obligated to ask you why even though I don’t care because that means more booze for me.”
Brad: “I know who I want to leave.”
OHCH: “Michelle’s contract is finally up?”
OHCH: “Okay. I’ll go prepare the ladies.”
Our Host informs the women that Brad does not want to delay the inevitable and asks each of the women to join him down at the water’s edge near the rocks and hanging lanterns.
Shawntel: “I’m more nervous than I’ve ever been in my life. I wish I had brushed my hair.”
Michelle: “If I go home, I’ll be pissed. We have chemistry. I want him as my own. We have something that he hasn’t forgotten about.”
Lincee: “Like you forgot about your daughter?”
Chantal: “I’m scared out of my mind. What if I go home and the last time he sees me is with a huge purple flower in my hair?”
Brad tells the girls he is one hundred percent confident in his decision. He quickly hands roses out to Emily, Shawntel and Chantal.
Michelle appears to be in a state of shock. She makes her way back to the path leading to the limo. Brad offers his hand and she refuses. Then we experience the first miracle this season of the Bachelor.
Michelle does not speak. There were no words. She climbs in the limo and lays down in the fetal position, blinking erratically. Once can’t be sure if she was trying to hold back tears or conjure them up. But you could see crazy just below the surface.
My guess is that she’s saving up for her 15 minutes of fame in the hot seat with Harrison during After the Final Rose. I predict that we will see at least four of the personalities come out to play.
Brad toasts the remaining four ladies and congratulates them on making it through to the Final Four. Next week, we will be treated to family drama and what appears to be complete disregard of the Bachelor from Baby Girl Ricky.
Until then, I’m all about the shame, not the fame,