Bachelor Brad: Mysteries and Miracles

"Please be patient. I will tell you how little you mean to me soon."

What a show. Week after week, I’m amazed by this show, the Bachelor. If you don’t watch it, then keep up the good work, but if you do, answer this question, and answer it honestly: do you ever cease to be amazed by the mysteries and miracles that you witness every week on the Bachelor? For starters, there’s the fact that Michelle woke up with a black eye. She didn’t have it when she went to sleep, but there it was when she woke up, and what’s more, no one took credit for it. That’s a mystery.

In the way that this show encourages you to treat people like mail, I must say, I’ve had Michelle sorted wrong. For weeks, I’ve had her slotted in as another version of Michelle from Jake’s season – a lunatic who, with very little help from anyone else, would Lorax her own self right out of the house in due course. But she’s not that crazy Michelle – with all her possessive talk about “My man,” and how all the other girls should just pack up and go home and junk, she’s Vienna.

But why are we talking about the mystery of Vienna, er, Michelle in the space where we ought to be talking about the miracle of love that was Brad and Chantal (Slugger) O’s date at the bottom of the sea? This was one of two dates that started with a helicopter, so while we knew everything was going to work out great (helicopters, right?), we couldn’t possibly know how, because Chantal is deathly afraid of putting on big undersea helmets and immersing herself in water, and yet, that’s what they were doing on their date!

Fortunately for Chantal, she’s the one the show has chosen to put forward as the good-natured type foil for Michelle’s crazy bitch routine, and as such, she realizes the importance of this date. “This date could change my life,” she says, and she must believe it to one degree or another because not only does she get in the water, but later on, she apologizes to Brad for hitting him. It’s Bachelor Miracle #1! Rose City, here Chantal comes!

Oh, but Chantal is only just about to discover the mystery (misery?) of the rose. The rose, it makes them crazy! Why does the rose make its recipients so craaazy? Check out Ashley H. on the group date – she got a rose once, and does she look happy? Not at all.

The theory at work here is that, having received a rose, its recipient is led to believe that in a house fulla women who are all vying for the same man’s affections, she’s got a ‘connection’ with that man. In the world where they come from, many women believe that a connection like that makes them ‘special,’ but in a house fulla women, though it may be a little bit special, it’s not a lot. It doesn’t get them any more time with him and in fact may get them less and it doesn’t make the other women back off at all like it might out in the world*. All it gets them is confused and upset and less likely to get another rose if they can’t get control of their womanly feelings, which makes them even more upset, which is exactly what happened to Ashley H. She had such a crap attitude that he was going to give her the group date rose just to cheer her up, but then her attitude got even crappier so he chose to curse Britt, an eager smoocher, with it instead.

Did I mention the group date was a trip to go on the Dr. Drew radio show? Yeah, Brad wanted to create a safe atmosphere for them to get to know one another really deeply, and he thought a nationally syndicated radio show would provide that sort of safety. Yeah, Brad’s thought processes are a bit of a mystery sometimes.

Meanwhile, back at Estrogen House, Michelle finally gets the note inviting her on a solo date – “Let’s hang out together,” it says. She acknowledges that she’s been flipping out a little (um, yeah, the last thirty years), apparently punching herself in the face in her sleep**, not sleeping well (what with the punching), she’s got heartburn, and of course she’s strange and off-putting and she’s from Utah***. But everything’s okay now, or it would have been if Chantal hadn’t pointed out that all the invitations except for Michelle’s have featured the word ‘love’ in some way, and if Ashley H’s behaviour the night before hadn’t so resembled her own previous attention-whoring**** behaviour, requiring Brad to cut out some of the time he would have spent with HER, on HER day, on HER date with him, in order to calm those waters.

But none of that matters once Michelle is in the car with her man, going to her man’s house, getting picked up and dropped off on top of a tall building by helicopter (two in one episode!) with her man and rapelling down the side of said building with her man, which she could never do without her man beside her because Michelle is SOOO afraid of heights, and yet she did. So there. Bachelor Miracle #2.

And then it’s the party. Say, have you noticed that Emily hasn’t been mentioned once yet today? Well really, lots of people haven’t been mentioned by name, and that’s for a good reason – they’re not really all that special, and to try and remember all those faces AND put names to them when they’re just going to be shown the door in a week or so is, like, too much hassle.

But that’s not why Emily didn’t receive a mention. Emily hasn’t been mentioned until now because she’s more special than anyone else. She didn’t go on any of the dates this week, but that doesn’t stop Brad from pulling out a little box (in front of everybody!) with pillows and blankets and booze and setting up a little recreation of their vineyard date in the front yard because he wants to make sure she knows how special he thinks she is. Isn’t it funny how everyone else has to make do with vague promises and stern reminders that they need to hang in there and be the patient and confident women they are? We wouldn’t want anyone else showing a spine like Madison did last week and quitting the fun before they can get fired, would we? Though it’s a mystery to me why more of them don’t.

It ends in tears: Meghan, Stacey, Lindsay.

It has yet to end in tears: Chantal, Britt, Michelle, Emily, Ashley S., Alli, Shawntell, Lisa, Jackie, Marissa, Ashley H. (who really didn’t look any happier for “getting” to stay than did the ones who had to leave).

*in the case, in the real world, where another woman doesn’t back off, it confers on the special, ‘connected’ one a certain moral advantage, if nothing else. Not so here.

**does anyone else find it sort of strange that no one else appears to find this sort of strange?

***I’d like to pretend that it’s a total mystery where this show finds these people, but it’s no mystery at all. The planet’s crawling with them.

****thoughtfully pointed out by Chantal, with whom I am now in love

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    • Karen
    • January 27th, 2011

    I did not watch this episode, but I can see that I didn’t miss anything. Where is the hair pulling from previous seasons? Why doesn’t anyone have a boyfriend accusation against them? Why is it just the women who are being tormented, having to face whatever fear they told producers on the one-on-one dates? I want to see Brad cry. Until that happens, I don’t know if I can stomach watching.

    • Rachel
    • January 29th, 2011

    I think you’re going to have to wait a few episodes for man tears. But I’m pretty sure they’re coming.

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