Monday, October 22, 2007

The Bachelor: Yikes.

Tonight on The Bachelor, we had gondolas, pool parties, romantic dinners, blah, blah, blah. It was all pretty boring, up until The Most Dramatic Exit Ever. Which, while I could imagine many more dramatic exits, was pretty freaking crazy. Brad must have some serious in-person magnetism to get these chicks acting this way around him, that's all I have to say.

To start us off, Chris informs the bachelorettes that this week is HUGE, because the four women who don't go home tonight will get to take Brad home to meet their families. Also, there are no roses up for grabs on the dates. Bettina scores the first date, a "romantic" one-on-one on the water. Wait, how do these girls recognize a random straw hat in the date box as a "gondola hat"? Is that even a real thing? (Google says yes. My bad.)

Bettina interviews that it's tough for her to let loose and have fun, because she was brought up to think that girls should play hard to get. She and Brad settle down for a candlelit picnic on a dock, where they discuss Bettina's divorce before taking a gondola ride. The kissing doesn't really work out like Brad would've liked, but he seems cool with it. All in all, I give this date a three out of ten. Pretty boring stuff.

The next group date, with much more potential for entertainment, is with Jenni, Hillary, DeAnna, and Kristy. They'll be headed to Brad's house for a pool party, so there's basically no way this won't be hilarious. Kristy claims to not be a "pool person," which...what the heck kind of person ARE you, Kristy? You weren't an improv person, either. I feel like Kristy's just not a fun person. I mean, at least pretend to make an effort. It's a freakin' slip 'n slide! Who can't have fun with that?!

Hillary has been driven mad by Brad's shirtless torso, and gives an interview about how she wants him to "ravish" her (which I kind of thought only pirates in romance novels did), apparently going into the gory details enough that they have to bleep and blur out everything she says. For a while. It's odd. Hillary chats with Brad about how much she's into him, and how he reminds her of her dad. Weirdish? She asks him what he thinks about her, and he lets loose with the compliments. However, he interviews that he's not really feeling it romantically with her. Hillary interviews that she "can just tell by his eyes and the way he looks at [her] that he feels that there's chemistry between [them.]" Someone's in for a nasty surprise (as anyone who saw the previews for tonight's episode already knows).

Brad pulls DeAnna aside for some one-on-one time, but doesn't pull her far enough. That's right, several of the other girls are just hanging out within eyesight, daring him to kiss DeAnna in front of them. And Brad just isn't man enough to do it. (Or, more accurately, he's too gentlemanly to do it.) He's pretty bummed, but learns from his mistakes when he takes Jenni out of eyesight for their one-on-one time. They spend it all making out in a hammock. Hillary is crazy jealous. And I do mean crazy jealous. I have to quote here: "He could be my best friend, but he could also be my lover, and he could be my husband...and Jenni's going off making out with him on the beach, and I'm sitting there like wondering what the [bleep]'s going on, like why isn't that not me?" Oh, Hillary. Why isn't that not you?

Sheena, the lucky recipient of another one-on-one date, gets a mysterious date box about treasures. And torsos. And evening gloves. Hrm. Brad basically admits in an interview that Sheena's mostly still there because Chad, his twin, loved her. Aaand...Brad's a generous brother and has some sort of swinging arrangement with Chad and his wife? No? The evening of surprises begins with a selection of six gowns for Sheena to choose from. For Brad, "this is about as romantic as it gets." Hilarious enough that glorified dress shopping is romantic, right? But then, cue Sheena coming down the stairs in her chosen gown, and then totally face planting on the stairs. HA!

She's okay, and Brad escorts her into an outdoor dining room filled with balloons. Yeah. How are those not randomly popping every few minutes and ruining their audio? The next surprise is better: a nice pair of diamond earrings to match their nice conversation. He seems really happy around her, and comfortable, though I don't sense fireworks yet. But ABC isn't above forcing fireworks, and Brad escorts Sheena over to the pool, where a string quartet is playing for them to dance and kiss to. I'm assuming that if that didn't work, the next stop on the date o' surprises would've been a giant rotating bed with Barry White on the stereo. Upon Sheena's return, the other women don't even bother to hide their jealousy, especially Bettina.

At the cocktail party, Sheena recites a poem she wrote for Brad during their one-on-one. It rhymes, and is a magical cute/stalker combo where she runs through his distinctive physical traits (she'd easily be able to identify his body if he ever wound up headless in the morgue) and the way he makes her feel. Opening couplet: "I love your laugh, your smiles, your touch, and the moles that run up your arm / The patch of blonde hair on your ear, your goals, and most of all, your charm." He's speechless. But inexplicably in a good way.

In his one-on-one with DeAnna, Brad seems pretty enthused with her, and they kiss. She can't stop smiling, which actually makes me like her a little. Meanwhile, Jenni confronts Bettina about her lack of enthusiasm for the gondola date once she saw what Sheena's date was like (and, presumably, the earrings and dress Sheena got). Bettina says Jenni misunderstood her, in that she was joking around when she said her date sucked compared to Sheena's, and meant it sarcastically. Riiight. I mean, maybe she said it jokingly, but that definitely wasn't sarcasm. And Jenni's not buying it. Brad, during his one-on-one with Bettina, says that he thinks the date was perfect, and she agrees, secretly thinking it would have been more perfect with the addition of diamond earrings. She claims she wanted to get physical with him at the end of the date, though I didn't really see that come across.

And now, the precursor to the moment we've all been waiting for: Brad's one-on-one talk with Hillary, in which he intends to break the "just friends" news. He asks us, "How can I relate that to someone who won't listen to a word I'm saying?" She looks like a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown during the entire conversation, ready to either scream with elation or with sorrow. Elation wins the day when he breaks it a bit too gently, and she comes back with a "Yeah, we totally feel the same way, in that I want to marry you tomorrow and have tons of sex and babies" answer. She walks away smiling. And talking about how she hopes her white dress reminds him of how pretty she'd look in a wedding dress. Oh. My. God. How has she seemed at all normal all this time?

Rose Ceremony! DeAnna, Jenni, Sheena, and Bettina get roses. Hillary tries not to lose it in front of everyone, as Jenni tries to comfort her. Kristy accepts the inevitable. How did she even make it this far? And now, the much ballyhooed Most Dramatic Exit Ever. First, there is soft crying. Then, a minor panic attack in which she can't breathe. Then, mascara-smeared outrage and actual weeping. Brad finally goes out to comfort her, and she asks him why he's sending her home. He tells her he's too scared to meet her family and then have to decide that they're just friends. Hillary is too far gone to even realize that doesn't really make sense. She just looks up at him with her red, raccoony eyes (this show is just crying - get it? - for a waterproof mascara sponsorship) and sobs about how much she was falling in love with him. He's really nice, and does a good job hiding his disgust. In the closing interview, she just keeps crying and sniffling about the injustice of it all. Yeesh.

Next week: Brad visits the hometowns and families, including Sheena's crazy mother and Bettina's rightfully disapproving folks.