Bachelor Brad: Do the Math

"Hold your hand? Meet your daughter? No? No? Make you feel awful about yourself? Yes?"

Dear anybody who mighta swung by here last week to get my perspective on Bachelorial goings-on,

Sorry about that. No blog last week. I was on holidays with the family, and while I had everything I needed to blog – computer, broadcast of the show – certain factors conspired against the actual doing. While the schedule where I was had the show starting an hour earlier than usual for me, meaning I only got to see Brad n’ Alli’s cave date, its Michelleian aftermath and the Gettin’ Rid Of party where Brad very nearly recognized that Michelle is the worst person in the world enough to ditch her, but then remembered that she gives more action than, um, Whatsername, its earlier-than-what-I’m-used-to finish was still not early enough to make for an early enough bedtime, in anticipation of a day in the Magic Kingdom.

Which, I think, is as good a place as any to begin getting at the heart of this, a Valentine’s Day edition of The Bachelor.

To be or not to be. That used to be the question, and I suppose there are times when it still is. But nowadays, the question is undoubtedly Is it worth it? It is the fundamental question of our modern times, the question that everyone asks themselves twenty bazillion times a day with regard to their work lives, their budgets, their relationships. For instance, how long do you figure Chris Harrison lays in bed every morning, thinking about his stupid freakin’ job as host of this show, how just about any old schlub can do what he does, wondering what sort of damage he does to his personal brand with each dumbass appearances at the heads and tails of every single episode, before he rolls his eyes, heaves a sigh and rousts himself toward collecting his paycheque?

Or, how many times a day do you think Emily asks herself that same question? She obviously thinks Brad’s a nice enough fellow; she does, after all, keep going on dates with him and smiling politely at just about everything he says. Granted, some of that might have to do with all that picking her up in helicopters and flying the two of them to private islands*, but he’s starting to apply the pressure. Brad wants more than polite smiles and pleasant conversations and some smooching. The hometown visits are coming next week, when he goes to the places where they live and meets the ladies’ families, and when that happens, Brad wants to meet Emily’s daughter. As obvious as her not complete indifference to Brad is, even more obvious is her discomfort with exposing her daughter to all this reality TV nonsense. At least until they make her the star of the show.

Probably Shawntel and Britt are of differing opinions on the worth of it at this point. Though Shawntel started off her solo date with Brad on humble bicycles as transportation, Brad expressed to the cameras a great deal of optimism about taking their relationship “to the next level.”** All this we bear witness to, through games of dominoes, encounters with goats and old ladies, until all of a sudden it’s raining and they’re making out, and then Banky Banks, who we’re told is the most famous artist from Anguilla (which is where they are, which I haven’t mentioned) is playing a concert for them, which is better than the episode with the Train concert because 1) Banky Banks isn’t Train and 2) there are actually other people present for the concert, possibly a first in Bachelor history. Worth it? For Shawntel, absolutely.

Britt, on the other hand, gets picked up on a yacht and she and Brad go cliff jumping, but Brad doesn’t think there’s a romantic spark between the two of them and he tells her so AFTER SHE JUMPS OFF A CLIFF BUT BEFORE SHE FINISHES HER SUPPER, before dropping her off and making her pack her own bags in front of everybody, which I also don’t think we’ve seen before, before she leaves. Worth it? NO, NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO. Well, not to Britt, anyway.

Which leaves the group date: Ashley, Chantal and Michelle. It’s a photo shoot for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Ashley and Chantal get talked into taking their tops off for their shoots, which Michelle feels she needs to try and beat, which she does by pulling Brad into the shoot, mounting and making out with him in front of everybody. Worth it for Brad? You might think so at first, but nope, he’s got some kinda shitstorm from the other two ladies to deal with for it. Ashley freaks out the way she will, Chantal cries the way she does, and somehow it doesn’t even make things better between him and Michelle, who, if you’ll remember from the second paragraph here if not the actual episode from last week, he was right on the verge of becoming disenchanted with.

Wait – check that – he’s called for Chris in advance of the cocktail party, he’s cancelled the cocktail party and opted to get right to the kicking out part, and it’s official – Brad is disenchanted with Michelle, and she’s going home. Now here’s the thing that makes this part SO COMPLETELY WORTH IT to me: it’s not such a long rose ceremony anyhow, but partway through it, Michelle sort of comes to know that it’s her who’s getting the boot tonight, and her face suddenly gets so hard looking. And when she doesn’t get a rose, she says goodbye to the ladies who remain and starts walking to the car. Brad starts walking her out – “Do you think I could hold your hand?” “Um, no, I don’t think that’ll happen.” She doesn’t say another word to him, and once she’s in the limo, she’s not giving anybody the satisfaction of seeing her cry or carry on. She just lays down on the seat and blinks. A lot. I mean, you definitely get your money’s worth in blinks from Michelle.

*How uppity would you get, out in the middle of the ocean, if he was your ride home?

**Which, even though he seems to say it a lot, if I had a dollar for every time he said that, my family still wouldn’t be able to afford the vacation we just took; please send money.

    • Karen
    • February 15th, 2011

    I thought it was funny that, with 6 women left, Britt got her first one-on-one with Brad and he was surprised there was no connection. For most of this season, I thought he was just sort of dumb, like he wasn’t smart enough to realise that these women were actually forming some sort of attachment to him and that’s why he continually put them into uncomfortable situations and was surprised that they didn’t react perfectly. But last night, with the way he talked to the two women on the group date, it was clear that he’s just an asshole. “There are more roses tonight,” was his response to Chantal’s tears about how ridiculous it was to have a rose on a 3-person date.

    Also, how did I not know that he’s 38? He’s 38 and dating 22, 24, 25 year olds and wondering why there isn’t a connection more than just physical. And his method of giving out roses, i.e. give it to the saddest woman, will hopefully result in no one marrying his sorry ass, or at least him winding up with the manic depressive of the group.

    I did, however, enjoy that Michelle wouldn’t hold his hand or hug or kiss him when he cut her loose. I never understood why people do that on this show, the pretend niceties after the dump. Realistically, most people would want to punch the person rather than hold hands like there’s any affection involved. Hers was one of the best exits for a long time.

      • 68comeback
      • February 15th, 2011

      Yeah, Michelle was fun last night, wasn’t she? Like, it was fun to see the reactions on the group date when he gave the rose to Ashley (why? WHY?) – Chantal cries because, well, it’s what she does, but also because she doesn’t get the public display of affection, as represented by the rose, that she has quite literally begged him for, while Michelle glowers because she doesn’t get the rose. That’s been her all along, hasn’t it? She’s in it to win it, not to find love, for all that means under conditions like this.
      Hmmm…maybe I’ve been rooting against Michelle so strongly all this time because I suspected there was a spectacular exit to be witnessed when the time came. Uh, no, I think I’ve been rooting against her because of the way she is, but that was some kinda exit, wasn’t it? Good on her, not giving him the satisfaction of the customary “It’s okay, I understand” bullshit, and not giving the producers the satisfaction of turning into a blubbering mess for the cameras.

    • Rachel
    • February 15th, 2011

    I hope Michelle comes back for the Women Tell All episode. I bet she won’t, though. The best ones never do.

      • Karen
      • February 16th, 2011

      Oh, I think she’ll be there, but she won’t say much about the whole thing. Instead, she’ll say something about protecting her daughter from an unhealthy exposure to reality television. Because her daughter is EVERYTHING to her, despite her not talking about her as obviously as she did before Emily’s sob story.

      Can I just say that I saw that wrestler from Ontario from the Bachelorette on E!News or the like? Guess he got enough exposure to be entertaining on entertainment news shows.

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