Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"He feels like a boyfriend!"

This year marks the centennial celebration of the founding of Taiwan. And to help celebrate this milestone, ABC sent The Bachelorette for a week of dating and skinny jean-wearing. Taiwan, what ever happened in the past 100 years that led up to this, I hope you learned your lesson and use the next 100 more wisely. We aren’t afraid to send you Charlie Sheen. Or Michele Bauchmann.

Constantine, a Josh Groban look alike, was the first bachelor to land a one-on-one date in Taiwan and Ashley took him on a train ride to a small village outside of Taipei called Ping-Shi. Ping-Shi hosts an annual lantern festival, so Ashley and Constantine wasted no time immersing themselves in the local culture and constructed a lantern. Traditionally, one would write wishes on the sides of the lantern, but because this is “The Bachelorette” and it’s required by law to have one gag-inducing moment per episode, Ashley thought it would be cute if they each wrote “love wishes” on the sides of their lantern. So, with words like “everlasting”, “family”, and “happiness,” their lantern was ready to be launched. But before they released their love wishes into the air, Ashley treated Constantine to a candlelit dinner and asked him about his family and the possibilities of a hometown date to Atlanta. Ashley tells him that she’s very attracted to him and loves that he’s a family man. Constantine thinks she’s a very genuine woman and hopes she’ll make the trek down south to meet all his sisters. Once the sun has set on their date, it’s time to light their lantern. The two stand draped in each others arms and gaze up into the air as their love wish lantern gently drifts towards the heavens. While they share their first kiss, the love wish lantern loses steam and ends up deflated in some puddle on the bad side of town. Wait, that’s what happened to me Saturday night. Nevermind. I’m sure their love lantern is resting on a puffy cloud and not hung-over reeking of vodka drinks and bad decisions.

The next day Ben, the other Josh Groban look alike, received the second one-on-one of the week. For this date Ashley planned a moped ride around the city then a romantic poolside dinner. Over dinner we learn that Ben has fallen for Ashley and feels very confident that he’ll be taking her home to Sonoma and introducing The Bachelorette to his family. Ashley tells Ben that of all the guys remaining, he’s the one that feels most like her boyfriend. He’s also the one that looks most like Josh Groban. Then the two spent the rest of the evening just lovingly gazing at one another, kind of like how your boyfriends looks at his iPhone. That is love.

Next up was the group date and what a miserable one it appeared to be. Ashley took Lucas, Ames, and JP on a wedding photo shoot. Apparently this particular episode of “The Bachelorette” was allowed two gag-inducing moments. Lucas had to dress in traditional Taiwanese wedding wear and pose with Ashley in a traditional Taiwanese wedding dress. JP lucked out and got a regular tuxedo and posed with Ashley while she donned a modern-day wedding gown. And I’m not really sure what the theme was for Ames’ photo shoot. He had to wear a powder blue tuxedo with a feathery pocket square while Ashley wore what looked to be a fairy costume. Needless to say, none of the guys enjoyed it and I was tempted to turn to “Swamp People.” And I have never been tempted to change to channel during “The Bachelor.” Not even the season with Byron Velvick. Go ahead, Google him.

The final one-on-one of the week went to Ryan, who has yet to have a one-on-one. Ashley meets Ryan for a picnic by a koi pond. Ashley confesses to us that she hasn’t felt romantic feelings for him but hopes this date will change that. As soon as they sit down to eat, Ryan talks about his job as a solar engineer and asks Ashley what she does to help the environment. When she can’t come up with an answer, Ryan launches into a diatribe on the wastefulness of water heaters. Ashley interrupts and tells him that she doesn’t see him in the romantic way she sees the other guys and decides to send him home before the evening’s rose ceremony. Ryan, I hope you haven’t gotten rid of your water heater yet, looks like it may be the only thing keeping you warm at night…

Later that evening at the rose ceremony Ashley tells Chris Harrison that she wants to skip the cocktail party because she has her mind made up on who she is sending home. Next week it looks like we’ll get to meet the families of Constantine, Ben, and Ames. With much regret we had to say goodbye to Lucas. He was one of my favorites, which of course means he’s way too good for her and should clearly date me instead.

Next week is Hometown Date Week! Next to March Madness, celebrating anyone’s 21st birthday, and Fourth of July, Hometown Date Week is my favorite time of the year!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 6 - "I can't believe I wasted so much time on Bentley"

You know it’s going to be a good night of television when an episode of “The Bachelorette” starts out with a knock on the door from Chris Harrison. A knock on Ashley’s hotel suite in Hong Kong during week five, a crucial time of the season, can only mean one of three things:

1. Poppa Harrison is stopping by to make sure she read the portion he highlighted in “He’s Just not That Into You”
2. He’s informing Ashley that Bentley has made a surprise return
3. Or he’s hand delivering the Double Stuffed Oreos and bottle of Skinny Girl Margarita Ashley requested. Or maybe that’s what I requested. Sometimes I get us mixed up…

If you guessed door number two, you are correct! Poppa Harrison pops in and bears the good news that Bentley agreed to fly out to Hong Kong for a chit-chat with our Bachelorette. Upon hearing that, Ashley bounds out the door and down the hall to room number 4315. (Note to self: Should I ever find myself staying in the Conrad Hotel in Hong Kong, remind me to specifically ask for any room other than 4315. Something tells me not even professional strength laundry detergent could get those sheets clean enough after a visit from Bentley.) I knew this wasn’t going to go well for Ashley when she had to knock on the door twice and on the third try you hear Bentley asking, “Who is it?” Once he finally decides to let her in, they have a seat and Ashley asks what he meant by leaving things between them with a “dot, dot, dot” instead of a “period”. He tells her she’s welcome to come out to Salt Lake City if it doesn’t work out with any of the guys on the show. But that isn’t the closure Ashley’s looking for. She flat out asks Bentley if he wants to put a “period” at the end. Surprise, surprise! He tells her that they should put a “period” at the end and hurries her out the door before the hookers and blow show up. Something tells me this wasn’t the first time Bentley was hoping for a period…

After that fiasco, Ashley has a one-on-one date with Lucas. She takes the sweet southern, Texan to downtown Hong Kong for a lightshow then a dinner cruise along the harbor. While dinner cruising, Lucas tells Ashley about his ex-wife and how devastating it was to realize their relationship wasn’t meant to be. Then he looks her in the eye and tells her, “But I feel very strongly that God has a plan for me.” Ashley tells him how genuine he is and decides to give him the date rose. God bless Texas!

The next day Ashley takes the two Josh Grobans, Ames, Mickey, Ryan and Blake on a dragon boat racing group date. She divides the guys into three teams then sends out onto the streets of Hong Kong to recruit other teammates. One of “The Bachelor” producers must’ve gotten sick this week and a producer from “The Amazing Race” was filling in. Despite language barriers and just plain awkwardness of the situation, all of the guys were able to round up enough rowers for the race. Beefcakes Ivey League Ames and Mickey win the race. No surprise there; I think most Ivey Leaguers come out of the womb already a crew member.

That evening at the after-race cocktail party, Ames sweeps Ashley up and away to the rooftop of the hotel for some alone time. After a make-out in the elevator, they gaze out at the Hong Kong skyline and into each other’s eyes. Next she talks with one of the Josh Grobans and he tells her, “I didn’t feel ready in the beginning, but I feel ready now.” But it’s Ryan who gets the date rose after they talk about the possibility of a hometown date and meeting each other’s families.

JP is next at bat for a one-on-one date. Ashley takes him to dinner at Zodiac Park where they drink red wine and talk about the future. Just when JP is getting smooth and ready to make a move, Ashley tells him about her visit with Bentley. She explains that she’s needed closure from him and now that she’s gotten it, she is ready to move on. A little shocked, JP appreciates her honestly and never wants her to be nervous to tell him anything. And that attitude earned him the date rose.

But the attitudes toward Bentley’s return at the next night’s rose ceremony weren’t all as calm as JP’s. Blake feels like he’s been played, the Josh Grobans wonder what she sees in them if Bentley is her type, and Mickey calls her a “liar” and decides to go home. After a tearful chat with Poppa Harrison, Ashley summons the courage to hand out the rest of the episode’s roses. Returning next week we have Ryan, Lucas, JP, both Josh Grobans, and Ames.

Usually I have a sixth sense when it comes to picking who will win the engagement ring on “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette.” But the season, I haven’t a clue. If I were Ashley, I’d be swooning over Lucas or Ames. But, she clearly has a thing for the Josh Grobans…so, right now my rose is on Ben F. Tune in next week for a trip to Tiawan and another surprise visit from a cast-off cutie!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Week 5 - "Lets have a mental kiss."

This week’s episode really packed a punch. There was a boxing match, an ambulance scene, lots of shirtless hunks, and the dreaded two-on-one date. There was also lots of whining about Bentley. One would think the shirtless hunk bit would nip the Bentley bit in the bud…

The Bachelorette’s glob-trotting continues as she takes the guys to Chaing Mai, a city in northern Thailand. We get started with a one-on-one date with Josh Groban #2, Ben F. Ashley and Ben take a rickshaw into downtown Chaing Mai to explore the marketplace. Ashley felt a strong connection last week with Ben at the Thai orphanage and hopes sparks will fly on their one-on-one. After their trip to the market, Ashley and Ben cuddle on a bench in front of one of Chaing Mai’s 300 Buddhist temples. Because the temple is built on sacred ground, they aren’t allowed to kiss in its presence. Trying to fight the urge of forbidden passion, Ben and Ashley close their eyes and settle for a “mental kiss.” Let’s all take a moment and remember where we all were when we had our first mental kiss. I hope yours was as special as mine...

After their mental make-out, Ashley treats Ben F. to a romantic dinner where they dine surrounded by flowers, candles, and band of fire-eaters. Over dinner Ben tells Ashley about the death of his father and how he’s spent the past four years being very guarded. But over the past year he’s made positive changes in life and finally feels ready to be in true love. Liking what she’s hears, Ashley moves in for a real kiss and offers him the date rose.

The next day is the group date where Ashley takes eight of guys to train for a Muay Thai boxing match. The guys train for three hours which meant lots of sweaty, shirtless hunk footage. I envy the cutting room floor! After they train, the guys change into silky boxing shorts and lace up their gloves, because It. Is. On.

Lucas, who tells us that he doesn’t know anything about Muay Thai but has been in several street fights, takes on Blake the Dentist. Proving that cavities aren’t the only thing this dentist can fight, Blake wins the fight against Lucas with a jab to the rib. JP, who “frickin’ hates being on group dates, takes on Mickey and walks away unscathed and victorious. Ames takes on Ryan and takes a few too many blows to the head and ends up being rushed to the hospital with a mild concussion. I hope none of that Ivey League education fell out of that noggin of his. And the final match is between the heavy weights, Nick and Josh Groban #1, Constantine. As it turns out, Constantine’s Muay Thai boxing was as good as Josh Groban’s voice and he wins the last fight of the date.

After the boxing match, the guys unfortunately put their shirts back on, clean up, and meet Ashley for a mixer. Ryan P. is the first to steal some alone time and braggingly shows Ashley all the bruises he received from the day’s fight. Mickey, in horrid detail, describes to Ashley how painful the punches were, and Ames, who’s recently been discharged from the hospital, apologizes for being quiet because he’s still feeling dizzy. Great date choice, Ashley! Your bachelors are all bruised up and dizzy. What’s wrong with bowling and then sharing a waffle bowl at TCBY?

Ashley did have a nice chat with Blake and found out he was feeling very insecure of where he stood with her. She tells him she feels good about where they are and for him not to worry. And as an act of reassurance, offers him the date rose.

And if this episode wasn’t vicious enough, next up we have the two-on-one date with William and Ben C. With the exception of Fox News, the two-on-one date has to be the most painful event on national television. And like Fox News, it’s neither fair nor balanced. Ashley takes the guys for a ride on a wooden raft through the Thai jungle and then for a picnic by the water’s edge. William pulls Ashley aside for alone time and discloses that he’s overheard Ben tell the guys in the house that he’s ready to “Go home and go back to online dating.” With ammunition like that, Ashley pulls Ben aside to confront and ultimately send him home. So, William essentially ends up with a one-on-one. Fair? Balanced?

Over dinner Ashley hopes to rekindle the flame she and William shared on their first date in Las Vegas. But that flame starts to flicker when William tells her that he’s just a 30 year old boy and wants to find someone to be silly with. Ashley pulls out the proverbial fire extinguisher and tells him she doesn’t feel the same as she did in Vegas. So, William boards the reject limo feeling like a “jacka$$.”

Ashley kicks off the night’s rose ceremony with a speech to guys about being true to themselves and their feelings. What was behind her mild diatribe you ask? If you guessed Bentley you are correct! Ashley tells us that she “fears what happened with Bentley could happen again” and still feels she needs closure with him before she can move on with the other guys that want to date her and didn’t leave the show. She even gives Poppa Harrison a whiney earful about how much she still thinks about Bentley and wishes she could just ask him a few questions. Chris Harrison of course dusted off his copy of “He’s Just Not That Into You” and instructed her to read the highlighted passages.

Ashley shuts up about Bentley long enough to give out roses. Returning next week we have Ben F., Blake, Constantine, Lucas, JP, Ames, Mickey, and Ryan. And from the looks are next week’s preview we also have Bentley returning. It just got interesting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Week 4 - "But I'm still thinking about Bentley."

If I had taken a shot of whiskey everytime Ashley said "I keep thinking about Bentley" I'd have more typos in this blog than usual. I know she isn't aware of what an a$$hole Bentley is, but there are clearly, for some reason, good eggs clamoring for her attention that are still willing to be in the game. Allow me to name a few; William with those blue eyes and dimples, Mickey - all tall, dark and handsome, and after this week's episode I'm even a fan of Ivey League Ames and Josh Groban #1 (Constantine). All Bentley had going for him was a good head of hair...

This week Ashley whisked the guys away for a week in Thailand. Remind me to pack an umbrella if I ever find myself in Thailand during monsoon season. It's a good thing I wasn't the Bachelorette this season; I have awful rain hair. In fact my hair looks bad in any type of inclimate weather or on any body of water. I have bad ocean hair, lake hair, pool hair. I'm sure if I were out to sea I'd have bad sea hair or pond hair. I'm pretty sure it would even look bad in a creek or puddle. So, yeah, good thing I wasn't the Bachelorette this season...

Ashley's first one-on-one date in Thailand was with Josh Groban #1, Constantine. She had planned for a boat ride to a private island but because of the rainstorm, the boat trip was cancelled. Ashley looked absolutely panic-stricken at the thought of having to plan her own date. Without a Dave & Buster's or a Chili's nearby, whatever will they do? Constantine steps up and suggests they go into downtown Phuket and walk around the open air markets. And that's when I started to like Constantine. Throughout their date it almost seemed like Constantine was the Bachelor and Ashley was the one hoping to recieve a rose. He chatted up the local Phuketians, suggested they grab some Thai beers, and asked Ashley some good questions about her journey as the Bachelorette. Later than night over dinner on the beach, Ashley tells Constantine that she had the best date with him and feels like she's off to a fresh start this week. Despite not giving him kiss, she gave him the date rose.

Day two in Thailand brought more rain and the week's group date. For this date Ashley planned for the group to help renovate a local orphange. As the Extreme Home Makeover gets underway, Ryan P. starts to ruffle some of the bachelor's feathers. Some of the guys complain that his take-charge attitude is starting to come off as just plain bossy. They also start to wonder how genuine Ryan P. is and if his seemingly ever-happy desposition is just an act. But Josh Groban #2 (Ben F.) really stole the group date when he free handed a mural on one of the walls of the orphange. Finding the elephant he painted adorable, Ashley started to realize that she had been too caught up in Bentley to realize how unique some of the guys were.

Later that evening Ashley hosted a pool party to celebrate the success of the newly decorated orphange. The first guy to snatch some alone time with the Bachelorette was Ben F. Ashley tells him last weeke was a bad week dealing with Bentley, but she was excited to spend time with him while they painted. He tells her that he was happy she spent time with him and boldly went in for a kiss. She then meets up with JP where they sit on the beach near the water. Too bad Ashley didn't bring her tackle box, because she did nothing but fish for compliments. I think the only reason JP kissed her was to shush all the questioning of why he liked her and if he was thinking about leaving.

Just as Ashley is about to award the date rose, Ryan P. asks to steal her away for moment. As the two walk away from the group Ryan tells her, "I hope we get to have more conversations. I think you're beautiful and I know we have a connection." But, the last minute stay of execution didn't work as well as he hoped on our Bachelorette. Ashley awarded the date rose to Ben F. That makes the second Josh Groban look-a-like to recieve a date rose this episode. Someone has a type...

Ivey League is on deck for the next one-on-one date. The rain must have let up some because they were permitted to go on a boat ride and kayaking excursion. While boating along Chalong Bay, Ivey League Ames tells Ashley this marks is third trip to Thailand. His first was for a mountain climbing expedition and the second was to attend a Thai culinary school. Maybe on their next date she can take him to Richmond, KY. I bet he's never been there. After they cruise around the bay, Ames and Ashley board a sea kayak where they paddle around caves and waterfalls. Though they don't talk much while aboard the kayak, they both feel a strong connection just by being in such a beautiful setting together. Over dinner we learn that Ames finds Ashley very funny, smart, and beautiful. And Ashley finds Ames very diffrent from the rest of the guys and offers him the date rose.

The next night's rose ceremony has a few of the guys on edge. Ryan P. feels ganged-up on by some of the other bachelors, Lucas feels like he hasn't had much time alone time with Ashley, and Widower West fears that Ashley doesn't feel he's ready to be in love again. Before she hands out the roses, Ashley asks to speak with Poppa Harrison. Since Bentley's departure, Ashley has realized that she's had on Bentley goggles and now sees that there are some truly great guys that want to be here. Afraid that she will send the wrong on home, she asks Poppa Harrison if she can give out an extra rose at the ceremony. Her request was granted, and I think Lucas was the big IF. So, while Josh Groban numbers 1&2, Ivey League Ames, Lucas, Ryan P., JP, Nick, Mickey, Blake, William, and Ben C. return next week, West heads back home to South Carolina.

Next week their trek overseas continues as they travel to Chaing Mai in northern Thailand where we'll see some sort of boxing match, some serious hand holding, the ever-popular ambulance scene....and could it be the dramatic return of Bentley? *takes a shot*

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Week 3 - "All I wanna do is catch the next flight home."

That had to be the most awkward Bachelor episode ever. Between the flash mob date, Zorro's de-masking, all the drama with Bentley, this episode made the entire "Jon & Kate Plus 8" series look....well, slightly less awkward.

The night started off with a one-on-one date card for Ben C., a lawyer from New Orleans. Last week during the rose ceremony, 'Nawlins Ben told Ashley that he loves to dance if there is ever another date that involves dancing, then he's her guy. Well Ben, I hope your jazz hands and self esteem were for ready this date. Ashley picks him up and takes him to a dance studio where she teaches him a hip-hop dance. After the dance lesson the two lounge around on a blanket at a park where mid-conversation Ashley suggests they perform the dance they just learned. Feeling embaressed and hopefully thinking this is the most ridiculous idea ever, Ben C. remembers a rose is on the line and hops up and starts to dance. To his surprise music starts playing and a flash mob breaks out and joins them. After the dance mob, Ben and Ashley have a romantic dinner where the hopeless romantic Ben tells Ashley she's totally the kind of girl he wants to spend the rest of life with. You know how the saying goes, those that flash mob together, stay together. I'm pretty sure that's an old Chinese proverb. Ashley offers 'Nawlins Ben the date rose and a kiss that probably has him thinking about china patterns.

The next day Ashley has a group date. Because it's early on and there are lots of guys left, I can't keep straight who all went on the group date. They all just look like a mix of Abercrombie models and Josh Groban look-a-likes. But before the group date began, Zorro pulled Ashley aside so he could reveal his face. He takes her outside and tells her, "Wearing this mask has been a life-changing experience," and with that pulls the mask off to reaveal an average looking guy whose gone a little grey in the beard. I'm betting somewhere deep down, Ashley was hoping it was actually Brad Womack behind that mask... And what was Ashley's response to Zorro's face? "He's a lot older than I thought...but cute." Fellas, lesson learned; save the masks for halloween.
The night's group date also has to be the most awkward group date ever. Ashley takes the guys to The Comedy Store where comedian Jeffery Ross helps them host a roast honoring the Bachelorette. I don't know if it's the crying, the obvious insecurities, or her bad bangs, but something tells me that Ashley isn't the best candidate for a roast. And as it turns out, she all but run ran off stage in tears. A few of the guys played it safe by just roasting each other. But William, who moonlights as a stand-up comic, took the roast he should! He starts his act by saying how dissapointing it was to step out of the limo to find that Emily wasn't the Bachelorette. I LOL'd... Ashley, on the other hand, didn't find his bit funny and felt really hurt by his jokes. After the roast Ashley hides in the corner and cries. While Ashley is crying, I'd like to take a moment and propose a roast of my own;

What do the battries in my remote control and Ashley's bra size have in common? They are both triple A's!

Hey Ashley, you know why they call it a Wonder Bra? Because you wonder what you're gonna put in it!

Zorro, you can take your mask off now. Oh? You did? You mean that's your face...

Ashley, do you realize you've given roses to two Josh Groban look-a-likes? Just making sure...

Thank you, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress...

Bentley waltzes over to a crying Ashley to, as he tells us, "mess with her head." Ashley whines that the one thing she was most afraid of about doing the show was people being dissapointed that she wasn't Emily. Bentley calms her fears by saying, "24 out of 25 of the guys here wanted it to to be you." Hm, wonder who the odd a$$hole out could be...

After she's dried her eyes, Ashley meets up with the rest of guys and pulls William aside, hoping for an apology. William does apologize for his jokes and even offers to pack his bags ad go home becasue she didn'r deserve to be treated that way even though IT WAS A ROAST! Then he suggests they she spend time with the other guys because there is nothing he can say to make things better. Ashley saunters over to Ryan P. where he tells her, "I'm happy it's you that's here" and gives her kiss thus clinching the date rose.

The next day Ashley gets a knock at her door. As we all know, a knock on The Bachelorette can mean one of three things:
1. An a$$hole is coming to say that he's leaving the show because he misses his daughter, when he's really just an a$$hole who isn't attracted you
2. Chris Harrison is stopping by with the chocolate and wine coolers that were requested
3. Emily dropping in to say, "Yeah, it should have been me."

If you guessed number one, you're correct! Bentley tells us, "All I wanna do is be on the first plane home." So, he packs his bags, tells the guys he should be home with little girls, and heads to break the news to Ashley. Surprised, sad, and sobbing, Ashley tells Bentley that she pictured him at the end and he has her heart. In response, Bentley tells her, "You have mine, but I don't know if I'm ready to share my heart with you and my daughter." Ashley's buys his story and confesses that she doesn't know if she even wants to go on with the show because she felt so strongly for him.

But, the show must go on. Bentley leaves, which has me counting the days for the "Men Tell All" episode, and JP recieves the next one-on-one date. JP, who has yet to even be included on a group date, gets to enjoy another awkward evening with Ashley. Remember, in the last 24 hours Ashley's been roasted, dumped, and she still has those awful bangs. JP arrives at Ashley's mansion with a sweet grin and bouquet of flowers. Ashley opens the door in a rumpled shirt, messy hair, and red eyes. They sit on the living floor and eat oranges then she suggests they change into sweatpants and cuddle. For some reason JP agrees to this, and Ashley returns wearing an oversized sweatshirt, plaid pajama pants, slippers and glasses. She looked like me on a Monday night. All she lacked was a Lean Cuisine and an episode of..."The Bachelor." JP told her this was the perfect way to spend an evening and was offered the date rose.

Before the rose ceremony Ashley was a little emotional, so she had a sit-down with Poppa Harrison and decided to skip the evening's cocktail party and go straight for the roses. Returning next week are Ben C., JP, Ryan P, Constantine, West, Mickey, Ben F., Blake, Nick, Ames, Lucas, and William. Like I said, nothing but a bunch of Amercrmbie models and Josh Grobans...
Tune in next week where we'll find the brood of bachelors in Thailand. Looks like there will be lot of kissing and ocean frolicking...shocking!

Week 2 - "I'm not gonna last two months."

It's good to see that a$$holes still exist. I was beginning to think they were all taken and I was just going to have to one day settle for some nice guy. But Bentley, you have restored my faith in a$$holes. Good to see they are alive, well, and getting roses on "The Bachelorette."

Before we get to Bentley, we have to muddle through dates with nice guys like William and Mickey. William gets the season's first one-on-one date and Ashley flies him to the fabulous Las Vegas for their first date. As they board the private plane I'm sure William is envisioning a day at the craps table, maybe taking in a show - Cirque du Soleil, perhaps - then eating some crablegs at a buffett and at some point probably taking a dip in a hot tub, it is "The Bachelorette" afterall. So, I hope William was unpleasantly surprised when the Vegas date turned out to be his wedding to the Bachelorette. The date started off with a wedding cake tasting, followed by ring shopping, and capped off with a walk down the aisle in a hotel chapel. And I think going the movies is intense for a first date. Clearly my date activity choices are far too non-commital and sane to ever be a Bachelorette. Thankfully for William, the wedding was fake, unthankfully for Ashley, she didn't get to keep the two carat diamond she picked out...

After the fake wedding Ashley surprises William with a romantic dinner in the middle of the Bellagio fountian. Over dinner William tells Ashley about the death of his alcoholic father. Having an alcoholic father of her own, Ashley becomes emotional and the two bond over this experience. William tells her this is the best first date he's ever been on and just as the fountian starts up, Ashley offers him the date rose and the first kiss of the season.

Back in LA the first date card of the season arrives for 12 lucky bachelors. The group daters join Ashley in Vegas for a performance by America's Best Dance Crew, The Jabbowakeez. For this date the bachelors were divided into two dance crews and choreographed a routine. The members of the winning crew performed later that night in the Jabbowakeez show and the losing crew flew back to the Bachelor Cave in LA. The first crew, appropiatley named Best Men, to compete did a routine that acted out a wedding ceremony. The second crew, No Rhythm Nation, made their rountine to look like a rose ceremony. Incidently the crew that had Bentley, No Rhythm Nation, won the dance battle and performed with Ashley and The Jabbowakeez.

After the show Ahley and the boys after partied by pool. The first guy to get some alone time with Ashley was Blake, the dentist. Ashley tells Blake that she sees a lot of the same qualities in him that she sees in herself; hard worker, dedicated, perfectionist. Feeling confident that he's a rose-in, Blake is ok to turn Ashley over to Bentley for his alone time. Despite the warnings from a friend that knows Bentley, Ashley is obliviously smitten with Bentley. As the two curl up on the couch by the fire, Ashley asks if there is anything that would make him decide to go home. Bentley tells her that his young daughter would be the only reason he would ever leave the show early. Upon hearing that, Ashley tells him to please stay if he feels anything for her. As Ashley is hearing this, we, the audience, is hearing Bentley tell a prodcuer, "She's got a rockin' butt. Competing is the extent of my interest. She isn't my type." And that he would "rather swim in pee than plan a wedding with her." If I close my eyes, I can almost picture Carey Grant saying these things. And because even a$$holes deserve a chance to finish first, Bentley was offered the evening's date rose.

Meanwhile, back at the Bachelor Cave, another date card arrives. This one is addressed to Mickey and JP. The card instructs to the guys to flip a coin to decide which one will join Ashley in Vegas for the next one-on-one date. Mickey wins the coin toss and meets up with Ashley at Mandalay Bay. They decide to keep the coin toss trend going throughout the date. Mickey is cool to go along with the idea until it comes time for Ashley to give out the date rose. Luck was a rose that night, because Mickey called heads and that's what it landed on!

Tensions were high the next night before the rose ceremony. William, Bentley, and Mickey were all safe. JP, Ben C., and Zorro were the only ones that didn't make it on an one-on-one or a group date. JP was the first to steal Ashley for alone time and he flips a coin for a kiss, and gets it. Ashley tells him to she thinks tey will have a lot of fun togeter later on and not to worry about anything. Ashley also spends some time talking to Zorro, who has yet to reveal his face. Zorro tells Ashley that his life was turned upside down when he suffered a brain hemorrhage a few years ago. Since then he's realized how short life can be and doesn't want to waste it being superficial. He tells Ashley that he's ready to expose himself and just has he's about the take off his mask, Matt interupts...

Ashley also spends alone time with William which ticks all the other guys off becuse he's already accepted a rose. And she spends time with Bentley who suggests they quit talking ang just kiss by the fire.While Ashley was hearing that, we the audience, is hearing Bentley tell a producer,"That kiss was just boring. There's no way I'm gonna last two months." Is that Shakespeare he's reciting?

At the rose ceremony Ashley keeps Blake the dentist, West, Constantine (Josh Groban look-a-like #1), Ben C. (Josh Groban look-a-like #2), Ryan P,. Ben C., Nick, Ivey League Ames, Lucas, Nick, JP, Chris and...Zorro. Matt from Boston said it best on his way to the reject limo, "I was an open book and wasn't wearing a mask. I lost to a guy in a mask." Matt, don't foget to add "on national television." You lost to a guy in mask on national television.

Tune in next week where we'll get to see more of Bentley perfecting the lost art of being an a$$hole.

Week 1 - "He's Really Cute!"

It's that time of year again; the hot tub's been disinfected, the spray tan's been applied, and the roses have been pruned. Bachelor Monday's are back...and so is this blog. For the next several weeks we'll watch as Ashley H. kisses her way through 25 frogs in hopes of finding a prince.

As you recall, Ashley H. was a contender on last season's "The Bachelor" with Brad Womack. Regretting her hesitation and reluctance last season, Ashley is ready to get serious about finding a husband on reality television. If only we could all be so dedicated...
Before she can start doling out roses, we must meet all 25 bachelors. Among the brood of are some handsome, blue-eyed blondes (William and Ryan P.), two Josh Groban look-alikes (Winemaker Ben and Constitine), a drunk (Tim) and a guy in a mask (Jeff). Sounds like the kind of guys you would meet out in Knoxville if you ask me. Especially the drunk. Knoxville has those covered, amiright ladies!

First out of the limo was one of the handsome blondes, Ryan P. Ryan is a solar engineer from California and he just wants to "make the world a better place." And Ashley made his world a better place by offering him the First Impression Rose. We also meet Ivey League Ames who was quick to mention his degrees from Yale and Columbia. Drunk Tim can hardly put two words together before passing out drunk. And then we meet Zorro. Zorro is actually a guy named Jeff from St. Louis. When asked about his mask he tells Ashley that he "wanted to take his face out of the game." Well, I hope that face is worth it when he decides to take it off. And I hope he takes it before the Fantasy Suite date otherwise, it's like prom night alll over again and I'd rather not relive that.

Bentley should be a pretty interesting/ratings booster character this season. Supposedly, Ashley heard through a fellow Bachelor alum that Bentley is only doing the show to promote his business and he isn't there for the right reasons. Ashley wants to hold this against him, but oh those dimples and that head of hair! She's too smitten by his charm and good looks to let that information sway her decision. Ashley also finds William from Ohio quite charming as his celebrity impressions have her in stitches. William is also my pick of the litter, but I think Ryan P. and Bentley are the early frontrunners.

After Ashley has a chance to chat with all her suiters, it's time to give out the roses. Among those advancing to next week are Ryan P., William, Ivey League Ames, Bentley, both Josh Grobans, some other douchebags, and....Zorro! And among those boarding the reject limo are Tennessee boy Frank, and someone who had the best parting words in Bachelor history, Anthony from New Jersey. Dissapointed by another heartbreak, Anthony tells us, "I'm just a small town butcher from Jersey. What do I know?" Beautiful.

One of my favorite parts of the premiere episode of "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" is the season preview and this year's preview did not dissapoint. Ashley takes the guys glob trotting to Hong Kong, Thailand, and Fiji. We'll also witness what looks to be a heated boxing match, accusations that one of the guy's wishes it were Emily that was the bachelorette, and an ambulance scene! No season of "The Bachelor" is complete without a good, old-fashioned ambulance scene...