Tuesday, July 26, 2011

7/25--Fantasy Dates Courtesy of Captain Obvious

Fantasy Date Week Means its Time to Get Jiggy!...or Not.
Hmm. I'm starting to wonder if Executive Producer, Mike Fleiss has been sniffing glue. Either that or a rug of biblical proportions is about to be pulled out from under the viewers. In all the renditions of this show I've watched, I've never seen one look as obvious as this one. Spoilers, schmoilers; I don't even have to look, and unless the FleissRat is planning to pull a fast one, neither do you, Dear Reader. I'm sure hooks, and dives, and god knows what else may await us in the finale, but for now at least, this sucker looks like you could end it right now. Last season I wasn't able to cover the end of that obvious outcome where Brad Womack came out and told Emily Maynard he was in love with her on the Fantasy Dates, but I did watch it. And even that ending had more doubt in my mind than this one does. Maybe Fleiss just threw his hands up when he figured out what a terrible actress Ashley Hebert is and decided to play it straight? Definitely not his style. That's the one thing that worries me. Be that as it may, Fleiss seems to have simply given up on this season and spent an enormous amount of last night's time promoting his next Bachelor, Sunny Ryan Park. If I'm right and the sleazebag is actually playing it straight for once, that's the payback we're gonna' get. Oh joy! Oh, unmitigated joy! Jake Pavelka didn't knot my colon sufficiently, so Fleiss is gonna' hire his twin brother to try and finish me off. Drop dead, Fleiss! I'll not be defeated! But first things first.


Ashley wanders around the south pacific paradise and spends a load of time recapping her men and their individual journeys. She also acts as a tour guide for the Fijian Chamber of Commerce, on whose dime this entire trip was undoubtedly paid for. They get their money's worth, that's for sure. Fiji is a wondrous-looking paradise and if you're into tropical getaways, its an eye-stopper. But that's hardly news, and neither are Ashley's feelings about the men. Constantine Hercules? She thinks he's hot, loves his family, but barely knows the guy. Vino Ben? Gushes on about him and let's us know she "may be in-love with him..." but fails to add the ending of, "...like my brother." J.P., the Skinhead? Wants him to strip her naked and paddle her with a Jewish cricket-bat. So much for mystery. Anyway, it's on to the Fantasy Dates....but first!

Son of Cheesemachine

Back for the second part of his Bachelor interview is the relentlessly sunny solar energy dork, Sunny Ryan; the obvious producer-pick to be next season's Bachelor. And just to make sure he's an episode-long irritant, Fleiss puts him in the lead off position to go and pester Ashley. Ryan comes walking down the jungle path to Ashley's bungalow sporting his carefully crafted 5 o'clock shadow and Hawaiian Tropic wardrobe; absent for only the most precious moments is his fake, disingenuous grin. Don't get used to it. He tells us he wanted to give her another chance...make sure she's certain...can't stop thinking about her, and a bunch of other lies. This guy was such an obvious plant, he smells like a bonsai bush. They made Ashley give him the First Impression Rose and then she avoided having a 1-on-1 date with him like the toothache he is until she was ready to dump him; collecting meaningless Group Date roses and irritating everyone in sight until she finally spent a painful afternoon with him, and dumped him before lunch even with no rose on the date. But she needed another chance to think about it? Yeah, right. Ryan knocks on her door and barges in like a vacuum cleaner salesman. She stares at him in horror: "Uhhh, Ryan! What are you doing here?"
He makes himself at home on her sofa and it's cheese time. "I couldn't stop thinking about you so I called Chris."
Uh-huh. Reached him at the Boom-Boom Garbage Dump, did you, Ryan? And let me guess: 'Ol Wingman moved heaven and earth and told you to come right on over to Fiji, did he? (The most depressing aspect of this is that there are people in this country dumb enough to believe any of this.) Anyway, before she can tell him to buzz off again, he drops his room number on her (in case the cameramen forget where they are) and departs to haunt the rest of the episode.

Vino Ben

Now that we have that out of the way (for the moment) it's time for the actual dates. Up first is California vinter, Vino Ben F.; a guy who I think everyone has come to like, even Ashley. They meet near the Resort and she greets him with a squeal and a hesitant peck. Heading out to view the gorgeous Fijian waters, Ben does some P.I.'s and lets us know he is either deep in the bachelor bubble or a half-decent actor. Swearing his deepening love they head out on a product placement gimme-boat named the Belmare and proceed to do some mighty awkward-looking suntanning. Ben gets to maul her while putting on some sunscreen and she obediently climbs atop his saddle to oil him up to. Giggling with embarrassment she rubs in the lotion and he asks, "Are you ok with this?" Wow, calm down. Wanna ask J.P. if he's ok with it, Ben? You know Constantine won't care. She finally climbs off and he thanks her for her hard work. Giggling, she nods towards his crotch and smirks, "Thank you for your HARD work." Nothing feeds a woman's ego like the knowledge that they are more in control of a certain part of a guy than he is. Some funny outtakes at the end of the show illustrate how well these two get on and just how falling down drunk they both got, but in the interest of pure romance, these are skipped so they can mouth platitudes and go snorkeling amongst the tropical fish. Later, they have dinner and Ben starts mouthing all around the 'L-word' but gets close enough to guarantee Ashley will use the sexcard Harrison wrote for them in between lap dances at his "office". Ben, who never looked like he sobered up from the boat trip slurs his ways through enough P.I's to insert some drama about the ending, or he would have if Ashley would have been capable of carrying off the charade well enough. Which she isn't. Too many close-mouthed, quickly broken kisses between these two makes it look like siblings trying to fool their aunt. Doesn't matter, Ben still gets to take her into the the season's first hot tub (can you believe that?) and get her blasted enough to try and take his shot. Date over

Constantine the Honest

Next up is Constantine Hercules, and at last! we see a helicopter. Ashley hauls him aboard and we are treated to a look at the gorgeous Fijian coastline until...haunting the rocky shoreline is Sunny Ryan, made to look like he's stalking their date. He's not. He's stalking us! Go away! Ahem, anyway, Ashley takes the guy she hasn't dumped out to an island oasis and a beautiful waterfall for a swim. It's all breathtaking except for the constant voice overs Ashley is doing: "he won't open up to me...he won't let me in." They finally get out of the water for a picnic and she starts comparing his slow house-shopping to getting engaged. As politely as possible, he tells her that time isn't the issue; loving her is. They finally break camp and head to dinner as darkness falls. I'll keep this short because it doesn't require a long-winded description. I'll summarize:
"You're not really into me, are you?"
"No, not really."
"Guess I'd better leave."
Constantine gets up and heads back to Georgia while Ashley dramatically reads Harrison's sexcard before leaving it on the table and wandering back to her room. Props to Constantine; he didn't try and lie his way into the Fantasy Suite for a high-pressure handjob. Date over.

Finishing the Job Interview

The next morning Ashley wanders over to Sunny Ryan's suite to put him out of my misery (for the moment) all the while admitting that Constantine did the right thing by pulling the plug and he set an example for her. Into Ryan's she goes and the director leads them out onto the balcony so Ryan can be close enough to a railing to perform a Mesnick when she dumps him. After a little preamble, and a ton of his fake grinning, Ashley says the magic words that have undoubtedly been spoken by a chorus of people who know Ryan Park in real life: "Ryan, get lost!" Ah, music to my ears. But this is just his cue, of course. As she leaves he starts winding up his Pavelka Act, "When am I going to find true love?" He breaks down bawling and goes all tourettes on us: "It'll happen; It'll happen; It'll happen; It'll happen." He should have tried, "There's no place like home; there's no..." It sounds better. See ya next season, you douche nozzle.

J.P., The Fiance

That might be a bit premature, but not by much. Ashley greets J.P. by practically tackling him onto the ground and they board a seaplane for yet another breath-taking view of Fiji. But really what we see is that these two can't keep their hands off one another and instead of her pasted-on smile, Ashley is beaming like a loon. The plane lands near a deserted island, but instead of rescuing Gilligan and the Castaways, these two hang out in the surf and marvel they're alive. Ashley hangs on him, bowing her back so broadly to get close to him she practically gives him a standing dryhump. Not content with that, he takes her out into the surf and she wraps her legs all the way around him and only a bathing suit slip is required to reclassify this as porno. They then lounge about on the beach looking like they need a cigarette and Fleiss makes one last-ditch pointless attempt to insert some drama by trying to show J.P.'s hesitant to tell he loves her. Wow, is that all ya got? Show the tape to Vino Ben and ask what he thinks of those short pecks now? As darkness falls and they have dinner at Tarzan's Loft, Ashley tells him that she had to "say goodbye to two guys today." Cheap trick, Ashley. Trying to convince him you dumped Constantine and Ben to get him to tell you he loves you.(Remind him to spank you for that later.) She finally confesses that someone had come back, and she didn't dump Ben and Constantine, but that Constantine and she both mutually decided that he had a ton of babes to score back in Georgia. Naturally, J.P thinks Big Head Bentley has returned once again. When she tells him it was Ryan, he practically snorts with derisive laughter. Ashley starts fingering the sexcard still trying to rook him into launching an L-Bomb her way, but J.P holds firm...until next week. Like it mattered anyway; nothing short of him slapping her face and telling her she was ugly was gonna stop that card from coming out, and sure enough, "Here; I have something for you," she hands it to him shyly. J.P takes the sexcard with a smirk and reads aloud:

                      Git ir done!

Argh! He takes her straight into the Fantasy Suite and this time Ashley doesn't need a gallon of wine and a hot tub to make it look like she's gonna perform. She instantly changes into a see-thru nightie and J.P tackles her onto the bed and they make out...and this time, she opens her mouth. The cameras pull back in a crane shot, only the flickering lights inside the suite visible from the exterior. But if you look on the bottom left, you can clearly see Harrison crouching by the window sill with a bottle of Old Collie in his trembling mitts, peeking inside. Date over.

What happened then? I have no idea. Seems the president and speaker of the house went a little too long blaming each other for this country's budget mess and the Wench Queen didn't adjust the DVR, so you know more than me. I could online and watch it, but since the entire family is down with a virus (including me) it's taking all my strength just to type this. If there's something relevant I need to know, feel free to leave a note in the comments down below. When we got back to Live TV it was...

Rose Ceremony Time

Not only time, it was late in the game. Whatever long-winded string of BS Ashley tossed at them was over and all she did was dramatically call out the 2 roses for the two guys who are left.

1) Vino Ben: All that winking and smirking and eyebrow raising he did to her makes me think somebody may have gotten a pocket massage as a consolation prize.

2) J.P., the Skinhead. So exhausted he practically stumbled forward.

Next week: More Fiji and Ashley's tattoo-covered, loud-mouthed sister comes forward to act like, well, a bitch.

Stay tuned next week for a double Blast! Monday will be a short write-up on the MTA and Tuesday will be the recap of the finale. See ya then!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

7/18--Hometown Harmony

This is Why I Get the Big Money, Kids!
It figures that with a season as depressing, mopey, and dour as this one, that we would get hometown dates that went swimmingly well. While the rest of Ashley's season as the Bachelorette has been about as interesting and fun as touring a landfill, the hometowns came off without a hitch. It was all smelling like roses, or bittersweet persimmons anyway, as Ashley finally gave up trying to ruin the Asian tourist trade and returned to the States to jaunt around and meet the families of the four guys she has left. And since Harrison had a bottle of scotch and an "important commitment" (see photo); Ashley starts us off with a look inside her very modest student apartment while she packs and recaps the guys for us. There are zero surprises as she highlights the men's strengths and we also see that Ashley fills another important qualification to be the Bachelorette: she has a piece of shit little dog. Now that's different.

My Big Fat Greek Family

Cumming, Ga.--First up is the twin brother of Vino Ben: Constantine Hercules, a guy way too normal for this show. Constantine, who hails from the Deep South, is Greek, but he happens to own an Italian Restaurant from some reason. I seem to remember that DeAnna, who is also Greek, came from the same part of Georgia. I wonder if there may be an enclave. Anyway, he meets Ashley by a lake in a park and they canoodle around on a park bench before Constantine takes her to his restaurant for some free advertising. They go to Giorgio's (Named after...Uncle Georgia?) and he guides her into the kitchen and they make a pizza. Stacking a pie with various ingredients, he fills his hands with mozzarella, looks at Ashley (but probably said to the director) "Is this cheesy enough?" Oh, you know it is, Dino. Once they're done, he takes her to the outside portion of the dining area so the restaurant waitresses can crowd around the window, ignore any other customers, and "ohh", and "aahh". The commercial over, its now over to mom and dads to meet the family. Awaiting them are Constantine's father, Dmitri, his MILFY mamma, Eleni, and his major league hottie sister, Maria. Mamma Eleni cuts straight to the chase and hauls Ashley aside and asks the big question: Since Constantine is a restauranteur and a local boy, would Ashley be willing to relocate? Ashley, smiling happily, assures mamma that in the one in a million chance she actually falls in love with her son, she'll be happy to relocate to Georgia, or frozen hell, whichever. Pleased, mama praises Ashley in a PI, and for some reason I'm surprised when I hear the Georgia twang from the Greek mama. I won't have that problem once daddy Dmitri gets going. Sounding like Zorba the Greek, pops tells Constantine to simmer down, and not to rush. Pops is solid. So is mom, and sis is hot. Great family. After dinner, when they get up to leave, the director cues the 4,000 Greeks they've had stashed in the garage and in comes My Big Fat Huge-Assed Greek Family. The living room is suddenly filled to bursting with every aunt, uncle, granny, and kiddie Greek you can imagine; they may have even borrowed a few of DeAnna's army of relatives, because if they didn't, Greeks must now make up the ethnic majority in Georgia. They spontaneously start Greek dancing, since its a well known fact that no more than 4 Greeks can get within 10 feet of one another without being require to dance and shout "Opa!" A fat uncle tosses cash everywhere as Ashley the dancer joins in and merry is had by all. Some 4 year-old Greek relative, showing wisdom beyond her years, stops dancing and collects the floating cash while Ashley parades around and is made an "Honorary Greek." Ashley and Constantine finally depart about 5 feet out onto the driveway, so half of the 4,000 Greeks can watch them share a tepid peck from the door and shout "Opa!" once more. Ashley gushes to the camera, "I've fallen in love with Constantine's family!" Ehh, Constantine not so much though. Date over.

The Eraser Head Goes for Broke and Comes Up Empty

Chadds Ford, Pa.--Yep, nothing snotty about that name of that town. Its on to the succulent meadows and meandering golf courses of Rich People, Pennsylvania; home of Ivy League Overeducated Finance 'bot, Eraser Head Ames; a guy who has grown on me as this season has progressed. I expected Ames to be from Money, how could he not be? And I wasn't disappointed either. As Ashley pulls up in this beautiful region, we see Ames throw us a curveball, however. Used to seeing him dressed like a yacht captain or a circus clown, Ames has raided Constantine's closet on the way out of Asia and goes for the rugged lumberjack look of flannel and jeans. Trying to show some macho, Ames waits on her and when she gets out of the SUV he jogs over and he, he....well,....that looked a bit gay there, Ames. Well not gay really, just a touch effeminate, especially with the baby blue boxers exploding out from around your waistband. C'mon son, I'm trying to cut ya a break here and you're not helping. Anyway, Ashley, transparent as ever, hugs him like what he is: a friend she kept around because he was a nice guy and fun to talk to. That's all. She had thrown the friend card down on him from the first night. Awaiting them is Ames' family: mother Jane, sister Serena, and his brother, Jim. The family senses Ames is in over his head almost at once. Sister Serena, immediately tells us she sees a light in Ames' eyes that lets her know he is thrilled, but sees nothing coming from Ashley. She sits her down and Ashley, to her credit, basically tells sis there is nothing between her and Ames without too much polite obfuscation. "Our relationship has developed much slower than the others." Sis nods and goes to find her brother. She tells him what Ashley said and tell him he better get moving if he wants a chance. Ames nods, and with his baby blue boxers sticking out everywhere, he takes Ashley to a magnolia tree in a beautiful park. The baby blues safely stashed behind denim, they sit among the soft falling petals of the magnolia with wine, brie, and caviar and Ames goes all poetic and starts saying outrageously smart things again. "I want Italian love. The Italians love ordinary love; they see the extraordinary in the ordinary." Ames lets us know he lost both father and stepfather and went to high school at a boarding school (surprise!) and was basically a very unpopular nerd. Ashley looks like she wants to hug him and whisper, "Sorry!" Firing his last bolt, Ames takes her for a horse and carriage ride along the Brandywine and still nothing. Shame, really. Date over.

A Family Still Reeling

Sonoma, Ca. Now that Ames is about to be dispensed, its obvious that unless something else goes tragically wrong from here on out, that Harrison, if he finishes with Minnie Mouse and the scotch, should just go ahead and be a no-show at the Rose Ceremony as well. But the visits continue anyway, and that means its time for Ashley the Former Lush to visit her dream area of North America: Wine Country. Sonoma, California, home of the first of the two fan-favorites, Vino Ben, is her next target. Ben greets her at his vineyard and they tour the fields and stop off at his wine storgage barn to taste the goods. Ashley, who was more drunk last season than any serious contender I've seen, must have gotten a load of herself on TV, remembered her alcoholic father living in the cardboard box, and called a halt. She has barely sipped anything this season, and has never looked even buzzed. That trend continues here, as she and Ben sip his vino but barely wet their lips. As rain falls, they crowd up on somebody's front porch and thus begins a series of pretty damn serious discussion, most of them centering around Ben and his passed away father. Ashley's eyes pop when she hears that she is only the second girl to meet his mom, and the "commitment phobe" red flags fly up her lanyard like a Hurricane Warning. Ben explains his insular nature since his father's death and Ashley asks tough--but fair--questions. Ben's explanations are given life when they go to meet his family. Greeting them nervously are his mom and sister, Julia; who looks a ton like last season's mortician-hottie, Shawntel Munster. Yum. But it turns out sis is one tough cookie. They never say if she is Ben's older or younger sister, but she sure acts like an older one. Sis expreses her doubts and even has a private get down with her brother, questioning the wisdom of this whole thing. Mom shows some pictures of her kids while she and Ashley talk about her passed husband and the effect it had on Ben and his sister. Truthfully, the most illuminating thing on the whole date was Ben's talk with his mother, where he apologizes for going AWOL on her and his sister when dad died. Its a good moment for the family, but I'm not sure its a great one for Ben and Ashley. The thing whole thing, pleasant and of a healing nature though it was, was loaded with potential red flags. Ben acts eaten up by guilt about how he acted and it would have been easy for Ashley to read some of his comments as being told she would always come behind mom and sis in his eyes. The date ends with Ben crying in a private interview about his father, but he's saved the pussy label because he cried about one of the few exemptions written into the International Mancode; crying about your passed father. Date over.

J.P.'s Terrified Family

Roslyn, N.Y.--Man; I'd love to know just what happened to J.P when his last relationship ended. In all the seasons I've watched this show, I've never seen a family more terrified that their guy is gonna' get dumped; and all of them finished every terrified cringe with the remark "...like happened last time!" Wow, J.P. The Human Grenade. But before we can get to their terrorfest, J.P. meets Ashley on Long Island near a duck pond and takes her to the roller rink. As they skate up, Ashley lets us know that she roller blades and figure skates, but is nervous about being on roller skates? Ok. Anyway, both she and J.P make it around the rink in apparent silence, while we at home are bombarded by Kevin Cronin and REO Speedwagon and their 30-year High School reunion favorite, I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore. How do I know this? Because the second J.P. takes a spill, the music abruptly stopped. How cheesy. They leave the rink with kisses all around and head over to the meet the Bomb Squad J.P's family. Dad Peter, who must be a mute, Mom Ilene, Brother Roy and his girlfriend, Andrea smile and greet them before things turn serious. Mom Ilene is the first to get breathless with fear. She sits her son down and does the 'ol "...like last time!" bit. J.P. assures her that he and Ashley have a deeper connection than she does with anyone else. Ashley moves into mom's terror seat and Mom trembles that J.P might get dumped. We never see what Ashley actually says to mom, but her fears are instantly allayed. Meanwhile, brother Roy is cringing in a sit down with his brother. "I'm afraid...like last time!" J.P assures him he is ready to get hurt if necessary while in the other room mom looks ready to throw a party and dad sits in his chair like a big lump. Ashley and J.P. talk and Ashley does express concern about why its been so long since J.P has been in a serious relationship since he's so old. Ouch! J.P just grins and shrugs again. Finally mom, now euphoric, whips out a huge framed photo of J.P.'s bar mitzvah that J.P. himself accurately pegs as looking like "Kirk Cameron." Date over

Cocktail Party
I see the wingman managed to shake loose from Minnie Mouse and he greets Ashley at the Bachelor Mansion and good lord, Ashley looks good in a supertight black dress. Wow, her best look of the season. They sit down and Ashley praises Constantine's family "best hometown by far!" and generally recaps what we just saw without a hiccup. Harrison bolts for the open door as she stands to deliberate and there is no sign of indecision this time.
Harrison and the boys wait in the next room and the only thing that looks different is Ben's hair. Obviously feeling penitent to mom, who had ragged his stringy locks at home, Ben has gotten a haircut, but I'm sure I like it any better than my wife did.

1) Vino Ben--maybe red flags or not. Or a good setup as the next Bachelor. We'll see.

2) J.P. The Human...the Skinhead--I better watch myself or his legions of wild-eyed female fans will lynch me.

Wingman: Ashley, gentleman, it's the last rise of the night. Ames, you are a unique person. I'll see you on Bachelor Pad, and I was NOT with Minnie Mouse!

3) Constantine Hercules--ho hum. "Is that rose for me? Really? I barely noticed."

Dumped: Eraser Head Ames, aw, damn, what a shame. Poor Ames starts looking around like Sunny Ryan popped out from behind a drape and punched him in the noggin again. The guy is stunned, and in a millisecond you can see the horrifying memories of being a nerd in a boarding school and the nightmare of a thousand wedgies come over his face. But maintaining his cool, Ames pastes his perma-grin on, and tries to wink at Ashley. She walks him out and he maintains the class, "You are an exceptional person," shakes her hand and gets into the limo. The guy is just crushed. Can't get mad at Ashley; there was just nothing there, but it's a shame. I'm sure there is a lot of sweetness being sent out to Ames, but most of the women I've spoken to about the guy like him like Ashley did; he's just not alpha male enough.
Although I've stayed away from the blizzard of spoilers on the net about Ashley's season, I have looked at the Bachelor Pad spoilers to see if I want to blog about this year. And lo and behold, who is there, but the Eraser Head. And according to what I saw, Ames gets himself a hook up, and damn if he doesn't seal the deal in true Ames fashion. Sally forth, Good Eraser Head and take not counsel of your boarding school fears, and when you're done plying her with you cultural erudition and poetry, how about knockin' the bottom of that a few times for your old redbeard. Remember, your Captain believes in you.

Next week: Off to Fiji for the Fantasy Dates. See ya then.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

7/11--They Call Her the Wanderer

Hey I got a cute idea: let's wander around, shall we? Just in case you were wondering; there it is, the entire script for all 10 Bachelorette episodes this season. Man, I hate to say this, especially since I like Ashley (she's sorta-a-little-kinda-hot, in that "maybe I could have actually scored with her when I was younger" type of way, as opposed to say, Emily Maynard; who if she saw me coming would leap to the other side of the street from a mile off.  Yes, I mean she has her own teeth, her own boobs, and looks absolutely ridiculous in false eyelashes; but I like her. True, they have to hide her great huge forehead under professionally coiffed hair, and she gets a little nutso when she hits the sauce {which this season is NEVER!}, and she seems to have developed a sudden allergy to hot tubs, and the only kind of kissing she seems to do on camera is closed mouthed, chaste, and stiff, but I like her. I can't help it, I really do. She's bubbly; she's a regular gal; she's an extremely well-educated professional. True, her taste in men is worse than Mrs. Hannibal Lecter's, but I like her.) this season has sucked! Just to try and cheer myself up, I picture Executive Producer/Human Drain Field, Mike Fleiss, seated in his ritzy digs watching the final cut of these episodes with his forehead in his hands wailing, "Oh, Chantal! How could you desert me?" Its also cheering to imagine Chantal O'Brien handling the part instead of Ashley. Chantal, who spent her interim months after Brad dumped her, getting engaged to some lucky bastard in Seattle, probably sits on her fancy couch watching these episodes with said bastard and laughing, "Man, I would have assaulted that guy!" when Ashley offers up one of her tepid pecks; and damned easy to imagine said bastard raising a steely, Clark Gable-like eyebrow at her, and then assaulting her. Poor Fleiss. If Chantal had been on board, instead of hanging out with that lucky bastard, we wouldn't be wandering around Asia watching tepid pecks handed out sober on park benches.  Eraser Head Ames would have smoke coming out of his ears, I'd bet. Poor us. Poor me.

Paging Dr. Howard; Dr. Fine; Dr. Sun Yat-Sen?

Well I better quit digressing (and fantasizing) and get to it. It is what it is. And what it is, is some strange commercial for Taiwan, which I didn't know needed any advertising. You may remember Taiwan; its the country that we used to call Nationalist China before Big China got pissed off and demanded we call them the "one and only China" or they would invade Taiwan and stop selling us shower clogs and rubber dog shit. Since many a U.S. president values the rubber dog shit market, we gave in. So, Taiwan is now just the little island off Real China's coast where I'm wishing Chantal O'Brien was this week instead of being assaulted on her couch by some lucky bastard. Regardless, Harrison is in the house, so we're go. Ashely starts off the episode by wandering around a few city squares and explaining to a new generation of Americans where we get our rubber dog shit from while the wingman gathers the boredom survivors and pimps for Taiwan's 100th Anniversary. Ok. The town-center-crowd-clearings paid for, the winger lays out the date line-up for the week: there will be three, 1-on-1 dates with no roses anywhere in sight; and one, terrible Group Date. Harrison packs the boys off and here we go.

Constantine Demonstrates Why He is Not the Next Bachelor

Yea, I was wrong. This guy's got too much sense to be the Bachelor. What's all this "Take it slow; let it happen naturally" shit? What a killjoy you are Hercules. C'mon, make like Sunny Ryan and fall in love halfway through one solo date. What the hell's the matter with you? You think this is some kind of wandering frat party? Look at your bromance buddy, Vino Ben; he's in the bubble. Stop being normal! Jeesh. Anyway, Constantine heads out to meet Ashley at a train station, but since we're Big Head Free for the first time this week (I won't say the name if you don't) that means we need a new, troubling sub-plot. And that sub-plot is J.P., The Skinhead, who winds up instantly into what will become an episode-long jealous tirade about how he is sick of sharing "his woman" with these other turds. (More on that later). Ashley picks up Constantine and takes him on a steam train ride to a tiny village inside the Taipei countryside. She whines about how slow her relationship with him has been as they ride through the jungle while Hercules plays it casual as usual. The arrive in Ping-Shi village where they, they wander around. He piggybacks her over to some paper lanterns and she forces him to paint their wishes onto them. They grab the lantern and head off while back at the freebie hotel another date card has arrived. Vino Ben scores another 1-on-1, much to the consternation of Sunny Ryan, who has scored nothing but irritation to this point, and the fury of J.P. Back at dinner, Ashley and Constantine eat and have a chat. Constantine makes all sensible and intelligent again. Boo! She finally quits grilling him and they share some closed-mouthed, stiff pecks and release their Wish Lantern. Right on the director's cue, a bunch of locals releases their lanterns skyward and it does look pretty cool. Date over.

Vino Ben Discovers "the Bubble"

Finally deciding to showcase some cool Asian vistas, Ashley takes Vino Ben to Taroko National Park to wander around amidst the gorges and skip bungee jumping on a suspension bridge. Ashley packs him off onto a moped and he drives them (gasp! No one tell DeAnna or Ali) the wrong way down a one-way into the park. They drive around on some scenic roads and he drools on her a bit. While Ben is scoring some tepid kisses on the no jumping suspension bridge, yet another Date Card arrives and tells Lucas, the Texas Cowboy, J.P. the Jealous Skinhead, and my man, Eraser Head Ames to get ready for a really crappy group date. Sunny Ryan finally gets his chance to dance around and spike one in the endzone when he does the math and figures out he gets the 1-on-1 at last. Ryan explodes with "Golly-Gee-isms" while we head back to Ashley and Ben. Darkness has fallen and Ben starts the evening by confessing to the camera that he is ready to be a Fleiss-stooge, "I'm falling in love with Ashley, but I'm not ready to tell her yet." Ouch. Best of luck, buddy. Ben earns some Argh! by showing some confidence and sounding very genuine about the whole thing. He confesses he is on the tipping point of falling in love and sounds like a coerced, but genuine dude. He gets close to the "L' word and Ashley grimaces. With her, that could mean she is horny, has cramps from the crab they ate, or thinks he needs to simmer down; I have no idea. But they kiss and we get some nice scenery. Date over.

Ames and Lucas Get Shafted

In a painful repeat of the time-wasting date that started this season involving future non-comedian, William the Wise in Las Vegas, the producers decide to stage some Taiwanese wedding photos that aren't going to happen either. Just to add some cruelty, two of the alleged "groomsman" are forced to dress like circus clowns, while the biggest crybaby in the group gets to dress like James Bond and picks up the rose anyway. Before they head out, J.P. gets a chance to mope and be a grouch. Vino Ben was deliberately held overnight in a separate room from Ashley just so he can come wandering in dressed like a smurf and set J.P. off like a firecracker. Ashley pimps for the local wedding photo industry and J.P. gnashes his teeth a little more. Lucas, the Cowboy comes out first dressed in a gold lame mu-mu. Yeah, that looked like fun. Unsurprisingly, Lucas thinks he got rooked. If he wants to feel better, he just needs to wait for Ames. The Eraser Head goes next and comes out dressed in some rental tux nightmare Adam Sandler would have refused to wear in the The Wedding Singer. It looked like a crackhead Liberace get-up, circa 1966. J.P. finally comes out dressed in a tailored black tux, just in case the other two aren't aware of their status in the pecking order. Ashley comes in dressed like a geisha, laughs at them, and poses with Lucas, who looks ready to open his veins. Lucas, who had the temerity to kiss her during the wedding photos, sets J.P. off again into another whining fit. Ames goes next and kisses Ashley in a tree. J.P. smolders, even though he gets a beach backdrop and Ashley dressed in a regular wedding dress. In the evening, they view their framed photos, and Ashley can't understand why the guys didn't love looking like tools. Lucas tells her he felt like an idiot. Ames whips out some private photos and shows even more chops and his world class brain. J.P. goes next and complains about the Group Date and shows off some jealousy. Whether this whole edit was designed to make us think J.P. is a normal guy who is (understandably) jealous over a girl he's fallen in love with or they are warning us that J.P. is going to move her to Alabama and beat the living shit out of her the first time she looks at the mailman, I have no idea. Regardless, what would've been "red flags" in any other guy makes her all squishy and she gets the rose for him. Date over.

Sunny Ryan's Bachelor Interview, Part 1

Damn, its sad when I can get inside the head of a dirtbag like Mike Fleiss, but I don't know who he thinks he's fooling. Not me, that's for sure. Solar energy dork, Sunny Ryan, who reminds me so much of perennial Bachelor constant, Jake, Cheesemachine Pavelka, it makes me nauseous, is ready for his interview and his 1-on-1 date at last. Wearing a five-o'clock shadow and pink shirt to go with his permanent grin, Ryan meets Ashley at the Taipei version of Tienanmen Square and they wander around. She takes him to a Buddhist temple where folks are lined up praying in surgical masks, letting us know the Avian Flu threat is not over in this part of the world. Ryan is just overwhelmed that people outside of the U.S. actually pray and he nearly breaks down foaming at the mouth. Big on making wishes this episode, Ashley takes him over to the Altar of the Matchmaking God so they can make a wish and toss some bricks on the ground to see if their wishes come true. Having the same luck that Constantine's Wish Lantern had in the credits when a dog pissed on it, Ryan tosses the bricks hoping for the augur of eternal love. Instead, the bricks make like an ancient Chinese proverb, land on the wrong side and tell him: Bricks say; YOU hit the bricks! Ryan stares at the bricks and tells us maybe that isn't a good omen. Yeah? Better than getting your Wish Lantern coated in dog piss, but probably not good. They then head over to a park where Ashley, desperate for anything to speak with this clown about, asks about his environmentalism. He peps right up and bores the hell out of her with a long-winded lesson on the virtues of tank less water heaters. Letting us know she knows and cares nothing about environmentalist whackos, Ashley winds up and dumps him. Ryan stares at her and thus begins a truly horrible performance of heartbreak that must have had Pavelka filing a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Despite the fact that they shaved nearly thirty-minutes off this episode so Harrison could get a load of circuitous and incomplete answers from Emily Maynard about her bust-up with Brad Womack, we still had plenty of time to see Ryan run into the bushes, sit on a park bench and break down into not one, not two, but three--standing and sitting, Full-Mesnicks! He whined, hyper-ventilated, told us he thought Ashely was "The one!" after less than one date alone with her where she dumped him, and blubbered like a GIANT VAGINA. Knowing the sadistic editors and fiendish producers like I do, I'm sure this performance caused a sizable portion of the 18-49 female demographic sweet spot audience to cry "Awwwwww!" while I cried "Owwwww!" Ashley finally got rid of him but followed up the dump with some painful words, "Looking into his eyes, I'm not sure I made the right decision." Thanks for the foreshadowing so we won't be shocked if he mysteriously shows back up for part two of his interview. God help us, and date over.

Quick Axe So We Can See Emily

No cocktail party needed, Harrison lines the remaining five down and sets them up as Ashley comes in and gets right to work.

Already safe: J.P. the Jealous Skinhead.

1) Constantine Hercules--Mr. Normal will take her to Georgia.

2) Vino Ben--Deep in the bubble and on his way to the vineyards with her.

Enter wingman: "Ashley, gentleman, this is the final rose tonight; hurry up so we can interview Emily and the boss can curse bog that she didn't dump Brad before we started filming."

3) Eraser Head Ames--score it.

Dumped: Lucas, the Texas Cowboy for not wanting to wear a lame dress frock and failing to show the necessary cultural sensitivity.

Next Week: Hometowns

Emily Interview: Didn't want to be there, didn't want to discuss her private affairs, which proves she is either a liar or those people who think she wants to the next Bachelorette are crazy. I'll believe her and respect her wishes and continue not writing about she and Brad.