I’m not usually one to put much stock in preview clips for reality shows. The people responsible for these shows are way too likely to pull that old trick where they use a highly edited clip that, when put in its true context, doesn’t go anywhere near where you were led to believe it would.
But this time is different, in a sense, if only because I really, really, REALLY want what I think I saw in last week’s “Next week on…” segment to happen. There, and in numerous repeats of the same clips in the lead up to the actual events, we’ve been promised that William would make an ass of himself and make Ashley cry with a remark about her not being the one anyone was hoping for in this go ’round, followed by Bentley packing up and heading home. These were promised, but what would be delivered?
Sorry Charlie, it’s not time for that stuff yet. First, Ashley needs to teach Ben C. some dance moves so that they can be in a flash mob together and then they need to be in the flash mob together, and then…what? You don’t know what a flash mob is? Oh, that’s when one minute, Ashley and Ben are sitting in the park with a bunch of people standing around gawking at and taking pictures of them, and the next, they’re all dancing to some sorry pop song by Far East Movement, and then they’re all hanging around on cue so they can sway on cue to the group’s second song and urge Ashley and Ben, on cue, to kiss.
So now is it time for the stuff they promised? No, but remember, coming up a little later on this blog, we’ll be talking about what happened with William and Bentley in those upcoming segments we were promised! But first we’ve got to sit through the rest of Ashley and Ben’s date, wherein she needs to find out if she’s someone he could fall in love with. Well? Can he? Ben tells Ashley that regarding love, he would like to live in a bubble, “an unrealistic, idealistic bubble with someone.” In other words, he’s hoping for something completely impossible and unattainable, but failing that, it needs to at least be guaranteed to end in bitter, bitter tears. And what a coincidence! So is she!
Hey, did somebody mention bitter, bitter tears? Then it must be time for The Worst Group Date Ever!
A roast. They’re going to roast Ashley*. A bunch of them go to the Comedy Store where they’re greeted by Nick Ross, celebrity roaster extraordinaire, who gives them their assignment and then reminds them, “Roasting comes from a place of love and affection,”** which William promptly forgets, or misunderstands, or perhaps disregards. Most everyone else makes cracks about her small boobs, but William? This is a roast, baby: “I mean, I thought I was signing up to be with Emily or Chantal and then Ashley is here.” Next thing we know, Ashley’s off in a corner of the club, sobbing her way through the first of many refrains of, ‘One of my biggest fears coming into this season was that it would be made painfully obvious what a distant third I came in last season.’
But if you think that’s as bad as it gets, imagine a long line of guys whose best response to this is to sit there and stare at her with pitying looks on their faces. Thank goodness for Ryan P., who may yet turn out to be a phony but who won the date rose for knowing what to say when a woman is crying out for just one of ten men to say directly to her that he’s happy that she’s the one he’s trying to fall in fake love with on this TV show, and for Bentley, who’s got a comforting untruth for every occasion.
But enough of Bentley’s comparatively minor role in that piece of crap date, it’s finally time for Bentley’s Segment. Moments after he doesn’t get the rose on the group date, he decides that 1- he misses his daughter and 1a- Ashley might be totally into him (and she is), but he’s not so into her and he’s tired of wasting his time with this lot***, and so he’s packing up and going home. So he does. He packs his suitcase, says goodbye to the schlubs, and heads over to Ashley’s place to make her cry. And cry. And cry. And see if there’s any last ditch possibility of getting in her pants.
I slowly shake my head from side to side as I say this: Oh Bentley. I so wanted to root for you as a kind of jerky anti-Bachelor breath of fresh air, but at the end of the day, you’re just a garden variety sociopath, aren’t you? And now you’re gone. I wonder if you’ll live to regret any of the stupid shit you said in public on this show.
Finally, the last solo date. You might be inclined to think of poor J.P. as a guy who can’t get an even break on this show. Last week he gets no date at all based on the flip of a coin. This week, his date is scheduled for right after Bentley does his nefarious deed. But on the other hand, after a shitty turn of events like that, maybe there’s an advantage to having that date. Whatever the big ridiculous date they had planned was, where the two strangers would mostly have remained that way, it doesn’t happen. Instead, J.P. gets to be the first dude on the scene, staying in with the Bachelorette, comforting her, making her feel better, gettin’ the rose, etc., etc., heh heh.
Then it’s practically the end. Chris Harrison’s on the scene as Ashley’s staring at a photo of Bentley, and he’s got the audacity to claim, regarding Bentley’s departure, “We didn’t see this coming,” which of course is about the biggest freakin’ lie he has possibly ever told and makes him every bit the sack of crap that Bentley is. Of course they saw it coming! Every single time they turned a camera on him, he would say something about how he’s not into Ashley, doesn’t like Ashley, didn’t think Ashley could hold a candle to someone like, say, Emily****. Fuck man, they’re rotten.
So then, no cocktail party. Ashley doesn’t feel like it. Instead, she gets right to the roses, sending Chris D. and Jeff home. “Wha’?” you exclaim, completely surprised that William doesn’t get shown the door. Yeah, well, you’re not nearly as surprised as William, or as ripped off-feeling as Chris D. Or as stupid-feeling as Jeff. Or as self-satisfied as Bentley. But no one could ever feel as self-satisfied as Bentley. And no one could ever feel as steered right by the previews as we were tonight. Thanks, The Bachelorette‘s producers, for being every bit as scummy as you promised you would be, for once.
*Got that bad feeling yet?
**Okay, yes. Love and affection, which has developed between people with personal and professional relationships that are well-enough established that the participants could be said to know one another, as opposed to between a group of people who are all trying to win the favour of one person who they met three days earlier.
***Hey, I totally forgot to mention that The Mask unmasked, and he looked exactly like you probably imagined he would – neither frighteningly ugly nor appallingly handsome enough to warrant a mask. A bit anticlimactic actually, except for the hilarious sequence as the end credits roll with him sitting on the toilet, wearing the mask as he reads classified ads to Bentley.
****Who he’s fooling himself to think she would ever have anything to do with him.