Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bachelor Premiere Recap: Already the Most Shocking Season in History; Breaking Down Each Contestant's Odds

By GTOG Staff

As we ran down the roster of ladies for this season of The Bachelor, we knew it was going to be a good season.  We had a Chantal and a Shawntel, a Britt and a Britnee, a 26-year-old dentist, a woman named "J", and spunky looking blondes and brunettes, several of them only 24-years old, but clearly still ready for love after a life of broken hearts and erected walls.  But when Chris Harrison began the show by pronouncing it "already the most shocking season ever" before it had even started, we were hooked.

Bachelor contestants or Fox News anchors?

- One of the many appealing things about ABC's "The Bachelor" is that it's so thematically rich. This seasons' journey brings us Bachelor Brad Womack as a man with a tortured past searching for forgiveness, redemption, love, and balconies from which to gaze. Years ago, this very same man spent 6 weeks with dozens of women he'd never met and failed to propose to even a single one of them. You heard that right. Shame on him.  This guy makes all the great GTOG villains of 2010 - Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick, Adam Schefter, Scott Hartnell, that football coach Pitt hired, to name a few - look like choir boys.  Brad Womack is the moral equivalent of a war criminal. So even after he went into a three year tailspin spent "totally alone" on film, hired a therapist, gazed off of every balcony in Texas and showered outside at least 14 times a day, he couldn't get the nation to forgive him any more than he could get rid of the back tattoo he got with Ronnie from Jersey Shore.  Or so said "the blogs" that he reads.

But this is America, and we believe in second chances. Brad revealed that he worked endlessly for three years to get back to the mansion.  He went to "intense" therapy for three years and stared off of balconies.    Throughout this inner journey, he realized it was his father's fault that he couldn't open up and fall in love with two strangers he was being told to fall in love with by People magazine.  Damnit Dad!  As he looked deep inside of himself, he discovered with unflinching honesty, that it was the "proverbial wall" that was preventing him from falling in love.  Presumably, his therapist corrected this mistaken belief that the walls are proverbial and reminded him that there are, indeed, actual physical walls erected around one's heart that need tearing down.  Perhaps that's why the recommended course of treatment appeared to be climbing mountains and doing shoulder presses at the top of said mountain with weights that he wasn't carrying when he climbed the mountain.  We were witnessing a broken man peeling back the layers of his own skin. Like torture, but possibly worse.

- Brad's reaction when Chris Harrison announced that the women he left at the podium years ago, Jenny and Deanna, were in the house was priceless. "No kidding," he said. Right, because they never do that kind of thing on reality shows. Jenny, as her 16th minute of fame was coming to an end, advised Brad that the road ahead would be long and difficult. "You're going to have to break through their walls, for sure," she said.  Wait...what if his walls are up when he breaks down their walls?  Is there still a wall?  Is that even possible?  Does he have to break his wall down before he breaks their walls down?  What if their wall is still up when his is down?  We're confused.  Or disgusted.  One or the other.

- If there is one thing that everyone on the show has in common, it's that they insist they are there for the right reasons and they demand that Brad be there for the right reasons.  What is unclear, however, is what these right reasons are.  We just know that they matter.  We're going to go out on a limb and predict that some of the ladies will accuse the other ladies of not being there for the right reasons.

While we have endless thoughts on the first hour of the show, let's take a look at the 20 women who received roses last night and handicap each one's odds of making the finale after the jump...

In alphabetical order...

Alli, 24, Apparel Merchant

Alli, who was in heat, was memorable for two unavoidable reasons. You can put up all the walls you want, and you're not keeping those things at bay. She showed true vulnerability when she thrust her booty in Brad's face and asked if he needed something more petite. Brad was touched.  Or he touched himself. The curiosity factor keeps her around, for now.

Here for the right reasons?  Skeptical.

Odds on making the finale: 50:1

Ashley H., 26, Dentist

She's a dentist, and the mouth is her canvas. But more importantly for Ashley H., she loves to dance, she's a hugger, she's bubbly, and she's not out to make Brad feel like he just kicked her grandmother in the kidney. He needs someone to build him up, not tear him down, and Ashley H. fits the bill. She may be relatively annoying, when compared to mosquitoes, but we like her chances.

Here for the right reasons?  We hope.

Odds on making the finale: 7:1

Ashley S., 26, Nanny

There will come a time a few weeks down the road, after Brad has already confided in Ashley S., when he will ask her to tear down her walls. She will consider his request and reflect on it in a voice-over as she gazes out at [insert body of water here.] She will then open up to him, he will thank her profusely, and they will meet each others' families. Personal tragedy (her dad had a brain hemorrhage) + telling Brad she's there for him if he needs a friend = top 4. Book it.  The only concern we have is that since Ashley's father is no longer with us, who will give Brad the "blessing" to propose to Ashley?

Here for the right reasons?  Definitely.

Odds on making the finale: 3:1

Britt, 25, Food Writer

"I've been told that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach," Britt said, as an opening line. Really, Britt? We'd never heard that before. To anyone who ever thought this show was boring, use Britt to bolster your argument.

Here for the right reasons?  Who cares.

Odds on making the finale: 35:1

Shawntel, 25, Funeral Director

The funeral director and embalmer really let Brad have it on behalf of the women of America, slapping him in an opening sequence that looked entirely spontaneous and not at all staged. Someone try to convince us otherwise.  We dare you.  Then, at the rose ceremony, she admonished him not make her hit him again. And he loved it.

Here for the right reasons?  Mrs. Artistry thinks not.

Odds on making the finale: 25:1

Chantal, 28, Executive Assistant

We wrote something about her but then Blogger didn't save properly.  Not worth caring about.

Here for the right reasons?  Let's hope.

Odds on making the finale: 30:1

[NOTE TO READERS: At all points during this show, we were confused about which Chantal/Shawntell was which.  Is it possible we are getting them confused here?  Likely.] [FOLLOW-UP EDITOR'S NOTE: We're now being told that, yes, we got them confused.]

Emily, 24, Hospital Event Planner

We knew Emily was a keeper when producers went with harp and violin music as she made her approach from the limousine. Married at 19 to NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby, she's known love, and she's known loss.  And she's known hair dye. Proceed with caution here, Brad. You have big shoes to fill.

Here for the right reasons?  Probably not in Ricky's opinion.

Odds on making the finale: 2:1

Jackie, 27, Artist

Jackie: "Pinky swear you won't break my heart."

Mrs. Artistry: "Really?"

The female Casey will hang around too long, yet not long enough.

Here for the right reasons?  Yes, if those reasons are to break down in hysterical tears when not given a rose in three weeks.

Odds on making the finale: 100:1

Keltie, 28, Radio City Rockette

Strong play by Keltie to pull a Roberto right off the bat by offering to teach Brad some dance moves. It will temporarily overshadow the fact that she's crazy. Sadly, she appears not to have any true friends, because she is 28 and no one has yet told her that her dancing is not funny.

Here for the right reasons?  Maybe, but it won't help.

Odds on making the finale: 80:1

Kimberly, 27, Marketing Coordinator

Speaking of crazy, we were mildly surprised that Brad didn't notice this one's eyes popping out of her head as she interrogated him, but, in fairness, he was busy tearing out his hair and beating his chest. For all of the self-flagellation going on here, our next Bachelor may be the albino priest from the Da Vinci Code.

Here for the right reasons?  There is never a reason to wear that dress.

Odds on making the finale: 60:1

Lisa M., 24, Marketing Coordinator

Emerging from the limousine and walking across the stone driveway that appeared to be covered in fake wetness, Lisa excitedly reveals to Brad that her goal is to introduce him to her parents and family.  Now that's how you let your walls down.  It's also how you get a restraining order against you.

Here for the right reasons?  Perhaps too much so.

Odds on making the finale: 40:1

Lindsay, 25, 1st Grade Teacher

It came as somewhat of a surprise that she received a rose, given that Brad greeted her by saying "I can't wait to talk to you inside" despite the fact that producers were giving them a few seconds to chat outside.  That's a bad sign.  Also bad is that he physically pushed her inside as if to say, "now get the hell away from me."  This leads us to wonder whether he picked her only because he remembered her name.

Here for the right reasons?  Probably.

Odds on making the finale: 60:1

Madison, 25, Vampire

Scolded by Brad, who chastises her that "I'm not here to play games", Madison puts her tail between her legs and says that she is there for the right reasons.  Those reasons may be that the producers forced her to wear fake fangs in a failed attempt at being interesting, but they are reasons nonetheless.  Somewhere, someone cares about this woman.  Just not here.

Here for the right reasons?  Um, no.

Odds on making the finale: 800:1

Marissa, 26, Loves Sports

With a dramatic setup that made it appear she was about to reveal an STD, Marissa asks Brad if he is ok with a woman whose life revolves completely around sports.  Breathless, as he was through much of the evening despite an introduction showing him running shirtless up every hill in Texas, Brad says he thinks he is going to like her.  She's a darkhorse.

Here for the right reasons?  It appears.

Odds on making the finale: 10:1

Mehgan, 30, Fashion Marketer

Seeking to draw attention away from her face and body, Mehgan emerged from the limo in pink felt elevator boots, sending our "right reasons" meter into a frenzy.  We think we saw Mike Green wearing those in episode 2 of 24/7.  Nevertheless, she received a rose and, in turn, Brad will receive a tax-write off for this charitable donation.

Here for the right reasons?  Won't matter.

Odds on making the finale: 50:1

Melissa, 32, Waitress

As the oldest of all contestants at 32, Melissa, sporting Chris Bosh's neck, took a cue from Ali (The Bachelorette) and awkwardly jumped into Brad's arms.  As she is competing against 24 and 25 year-olds, you can't blame her for pulling out all the stops.  She's like a pitcher who lost her fastball and is competing on guile.  Jumping unfunnily and awkwardly into the Bachelor's arms is her spitball.  Nicely done.

Here for the right reasons?  Desperately.

Odds on making the finale: 25:1

Michelle, 30, Hair Stylist

While we were still debating whether she was one of Tiger Woods' mistresses, her and Brad almost had to ask for some privacy at their initial meeting.  The previews let us into a world where Michelle appears to stick around for a while, and, if Brad is making selections solely on looks (which obviously wouldn't be the "right reasons") then she is a keeper.  But this ain't our first rodeo.  Are the producers setting her up to appear as an obvious favorite, only to reveal a dark secret about her that no one really cares about?  They would never.

Here for the right reasons?  Yes.

Odds on making the finale: 4:1

Raichel, 29, Manscaper

If we learned anything through Raichel, it's that Brad's package is off-limits for waxing.  That's confidence.  She won't win, and she won't be interesting, but she will spoil a few minutes of the show for the next week.

Here for the right reasons? Skeptical.

Odds on making the finale: 90:1

Sarah P., 27, Real Estate Broker

Our concern at this point is that no one is still reading this post. We barely are.

Here for the right reasons?  We think.

Odds on making the finale: 12:1

Stacey, 26, Bartender

No season of The Bachelor would be complete without a Stacey and a Lacey, and it's just too bad that only one could get through the initial rose ceremony.  At some point in the show, she may have said something interesting.  If so, we didn't write it down.  She's flying under the radar, a reasonable strategy.

Here for the right reasons?  Maybe.

Odds on making the finale: 18:1

Final Thoughts: Hopefully, next week is only 1 hour.

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