I won't even bother to pretend. ABC certainly didn't. This episode has nothing to do with the usual suspense we've grown used to on the Bachelor and everything to do with DRAMA! Every commercial run this week has featured Hillary the Crybaby in paroxysms of hysteria. A complete meltdown! Or in Texas-speak, Look out fella's, she's gonna go nuke-ular! So after waiting an entire week it's time for Hurricane Hillary to strike Malibu. So let's get on with it. Wingman Chris Harrison, looking casual, strolls about Casa Kitty letting the ladies know the score for the week: two one- on-one's and a group date with no roses on any of them. The remaining favorites will have to walk into the Rose Ceremony without the comfort of their favorite assault weapon. It's probably a good thing too. I'm not sure anyone managed to remove Dee Dee's last rose from McCarten's nose yet.
The date box arrives and Bettina the Divorcee is called out to the first one-on-one. Brad takes her for some picnic time and a ride in a gondola boat (Where the hell does Fleiss find these things?) and these two perform a weird, painfully awkward mating dance that is just completely beyond me. Listen, I know they have cameras right in their faces but c'mon, Brad, get her sauced or something. It's not like there's any shortage of booze around. Guys need a hint. The green light. It might come from a gal's eyes, or her gestures or smile but carried within the gesture is an invitation. But this chick is giving our boy nada, zilch. This is a dating show isn't it? Come on, Bettina, we all know you've had hot honeymoon sex already. Give the guy a kiss for shit's sake. Finally the gondola boat goes under a bridge and because it's tradition they kiss...on the cheek. Wow. Smokin'. How do I know it's tradition to kiss under a bridge in a gondola, dear reader? I mean, I'm a guy and don't know jack about romantic traditions. It's because Kristy the former mute told me. That's right, Kristy clued Bettina in on when to kiss her boyfriend. Or is it our boyfriend? The former, I think. Kristy has clearly had all The Bachelor Experience she can stand and spends the balance of this week's show doing everything possible to ensure she doesn't get a rose.
Group date: Dee Dee The Steel Magnolia, Jenni the Perky One, Kristy the Former Mute, and Hillary the Crybaby.
Brad has the girls over to his Bachelor pad for a dip in the pool. Not exactly something different, is it? Brad shirtless and the gals in bikinis. Fleiss just saved another $200 bucks. Bully. Anyway, Kristy the former mute becomes Kristy the black cloud of misery. She refuses to get in the pool, refuses to slip-n-slide--even refuses to act like she's playing football with Brad and in general all but begs the producers to let her go home. They grant her that wish but first Brad has some gals to talk to and kiss. The first one, Hillary the Crybaby, is definitely in the talk category but she's not buying as Brad tries to let her down easy, "You feel like a friend--too good a friend really." Brad looks for a minute like he got his got his point across but Hillary didn't seem to hear a thing. Any doubts about her sanity can be summarily dismissed.
Then he snatches Dee Dee away from the group and they sit in lawn chairs talking and obviously want to kiss but they are in plain sight of the other girls. Brad then commences some cuteness by lightly elbowing Dee Dee and they both giggle in lieu of kissing. It's official. These two dig each other but after the asexual Bettina date this is starting to look more like Blueballs Brad than the Bachelor. But when they can't kiss Brad immediately snatches Old Reliable and drags her around a corner to a hammock and they suck face, no words needed. Oh, yeah! A douche bag move at last! That's my boy, horniness makes even a gent into a pig. Argh! As he leads Jenni to their hammock rendezvous, it's obvious they other girls know they're going to make out. DeAnna takes it quietly but with some pain but Hillary begins to spin up in a test run of what's to come later. Tears pour where only moments earlier she had been cussing like a sailor about Brad "spanking her." Fleiss sets a new benchmark for editing insanity by trying to convince us that when Hillary starts cussing she goes off like someone with Tourette's Syndrome--one long block of unbroken profanity like Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet. Eat me, Fleiss.
Anyway the final date box arrives and an embittered, jealous Bettina is strong armed by producers to read it to Sheena Knievel, who grins like only a 23 year-old can...pretty impressive when she looks 33 but still, it seems sweet. Sheena looks so old compared to Bettina it's weird when Bettina starts to rip her for being too young for love and marriage. It's official. With McCarten gone and Hillary on her way out it looks like Bettina has nominated herself for the dual position of psycho-bitch of Casa Kitty. Brad arrives, looking rustic, and takes Sheena out for a series of surprises. The Cinderella Date has officially started. He hauls her to some hole where she gets her pick of dresses. She decides on some red number and takes this opportunity to continue the theme of this season and falls down some stairs. (Somewhere in Jersey, Michelle is giving her the thumbs up.) Fortunately for her, Madam Knievel only falls a couple of steps on her bottom but she sounds concussed anyway saying, "I fell on my face." Huh? Where exactly is your face, Sheena? Nevermind. Brad scoops her up and its off to some balloon-filled room for dinner. Look, I know he greased her with some diamonds she got to keep but the complete lack of chemistry between these two was nearly enough to put me to sleep and I don't remember much else. They danced or something. The only thing I remember is Brad kept telling us and her just how much his brother likes her. So what? Is he going to marry her? Is Chad a Fundamentalist Mormon, Brad? If not, shut about it already.
Well, as boring as I thought Shena's and Brad's date was, Bettina seemed to think it rocked. Sheena gets home and tells Bettina and Jenni about her date and Bettina gets pissed and gripes, "Compared to that our date was boring!" She stalks off and Jenni tells Sheena that Bettina is "Here for the wrong reasons." I don't know about that. Bettina has been alternatively frigid or "in love" with Brad, depending on her mood. I personally think the reason she's there is because they wouldn't take her at the nut farm but hey, Jenni's actually lived with her so I'll defer.
All the women enter the battle unarmed with roses this time but there is absolutely zero sense of suspense as to who will be going home. ABC has showed us Hillary falling about in surround sound all week and Kristy acted like a girl looking for an escape, not a romance and since Brad's only cutting two this week they could have skipped the rest. The only things we would have missed was another cute moment between Brad and Dee Dee, who displayed a sense of humor about her butt and her and Brad finally get the kiss they didn't get at the pool party. We also would have missed seeing Jenni confront Bettina over her comments about her date with Brad being boring. Bettina lies like she's on fire, "I meant it in a joking way. It didn't come out right." Yeah, right. Anyway, Brad also makes one last attempt to let Hillary know the ax is heading her way but she, like a character from Two and a Half Men, hears only potential wedding bells. Brad just lets it go. He'll let the rose do the talkin'. Kristy isn't heard from at all and until they're lined up for the ceremony we don't even see her. Oh, the suspense is killing me!
Enter the rarely sighted species, the Wingman (Latin: Wingmanus Weakus), who taps his glass and calls Brad to make his moves. Brad grinds out some noise about how hard it is...blah blah before it's time for some rose justice, Texas Style:
Dee Dee, Jenni, and Sheena all collect flowers. Re-enter the Wingman, "Brad, ladies, my astronomical calculations are correct; this is the last rose of the night. Brad, whenever you're ready, let 'er rip, the camera's are ready."
Brad: (Gulp) "B...B...Bettina." Before she can collect the foliage, Hillary is starting to rev up.
Wingman: "Ladies if you didn't receive a rose, please say your goodbyes...and if either of you would care to step outside and lose your minds, we're ready for you."
Kristy shoots forward like someone escaping a concentration camp, kisses Brad, and (unsurprisingly) exits without a fuss and in a classy way. Kristy heads home with her reputation, dignity, and mind intact-- a Bachelor rarity. We've seen the last of her. The remaining women take pity on Hillary who is beginning to meltdown and try to comfort her. Brad stands there, obviously feeling like a murderer and waits for her to kiss him goodbye. She makes her exit and then, with editing blossoming everywhere, her little tropical depression becomes Hurricane Hillary; complete with three inches of 'eye rain' and hyperventilation winds of over 120 mph.
All kidding aside, I 'm actually worried about this woman's sanity. She wails, babbles, and has trouble breathing. Brad, who obviously isn't an actual douche bag in real life, paces back and forth in front of the four remaining ladies while Hillary loses what little of her mind she arrived with. Whether by producer prompting, or his own conscience, we don't know, Brad hands his champagne to Dee Dee and goes outside to dump her all over again. Funny how the best of intentions usually never work out, eh? Brad answers her questions but as he walks back indoors she wanders back over to the camera for more comments. (shakes head). Brad grabs his glass back from Dee Dee and hastily toasts with the air of a condemned man. To his credit, Brad looked like he wanted to follow Kristy out the escape hatch.
Next week: Hometown dates and it looks like Bettina's parents don't like Brad. Another fun bit of drama, sans romance. No wonder people are saying there is no love connection this year. Argh! See ya then
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