Those of you who are new to the blog may be asking yourself, what are guys who love to talk hockey doing recapping ABC's "The Bachelor?" Number 1, we're watching this show so you don't have to. You shouldn't be asking questions, you should just say "thank you" and go about your day. Number 2, we send each other texts during the show with messages like "Critical episode for so early in the season" and "Chantal really brought it tonight." Even a Friend-of-the-Blog texted in, "what a great episode." In other words, we do the same thing we do while watching a Penguins' game. The players are just different. Now buckle your seat belts; it's time for the retroactive live blog conversation that never actually happened, and probably never should have. [Discussion of Monday's episode in the last 4 minutes of this podcast]
Finesse: I spent a week watching last night's 2-hour Bachelor, and it quickly became clear that this episode was about Brad's insistence that Walls come down. It began with Ashley S. telling us that her daddy passed away 2 years ago.
Artistry: I think on the contestant application, one question is definitely "Daddy issue, single mother, dead spouse, or all of the above?"
Finesse: If not for those, what else would be behind Walls?
Artistry: True, and it's really the source of tremendous conflict on this season's journey, because Brad really doesn't have patience for Walls. Along with shirts, he can barely tolerate them. A bit hypocritical, is it not?
Finesse: Also hypocritical is the decision of the producers to not unveil the first use of the term "journey" until 8:46pm. But you're right on Brad having Walls.
Artistry: In contrast, Walls were not really a problem for Ashley S. She seems to understand that the Ladies all need to share their most painful experience with Brad before they can take it to the next level; the next level being Tuesday. Here, she had a painful experience to share, and she got to share it to the music of Seal. This brought Mrs. Artistry to tears.
|Brought Mrs. Artistry to tears.|
Artistry: It couldn't possibly be orchestrated by the producers. Too genuine. Look at the singing performance. You can't fake that.
Finesse: Brad isn't a bad singer because he can't sing. He's a bad singer because he can't read fast enough to keep up with the song.
For more Bachelor conversation, read on after the jump...
Finesse: And as if Brad isn't working with enough of a head start, being the Bachelor and all, ABC has given him the extra advantage of actually bringing out Seal to sing to his dates. I cry foul. That's like if Jack Lambert played linebacker with the Cream & Clear smeared all over the inside of his pads - just a huge advantage. Oh wait...Lambert did do that?
Artistry: Here's the difference between me and Brad. When Ashley S. was telling the story about her daddy, I would have been eating some of that edamame on the table. That is the only difference.
Finesse: You both do have terrific abs. Have you noticed that Brad's exasperated voice and difficulty reading bears an uncanny resemblance to George W. Bush? If you can't envision what this sounds like, just find a fourth grader to read the following sentence: "I am so excited to take Ashley S. on a date today."
Artistry: I thought the date went pretty well, but I can't see Ashley S. hanging around until the finals. Shawntel, on the other hand, gained some momentum on Monday. She snagged a rose after the action movie group date and noted that she and Brad have a "ridiculous" connection. Agreed.
Finesse: The Shawntell/Chantal combo was the clear winner last night, making this a 5 horse race when combined with Emily, Michelle, and Ashley S. The big losers last night, other than the people who got booted off who I don't ever recall seeing before, were Alli, Jackie (who exceeded her 15 minutes of fame last week in devastatingly boring fashion) and Ashley H. (she of the reconstructed Walls). Lisa, Britt, Lindsey, Marissa, Megan, and Stacey will prove the formula that No Camera Time = No Chance.
Artistry: It's not easy to compete with Emily right now. Her Walls looked virtually indestructible going into her one-on-one date, but she just played that perfectly. Textbook.
Finesse: I think the key was first letting her Walls down to the other ladies, sparking a quick-spreading conflagration of runny eye-shadow. Then in wine country she erected the Great Wall of Walls around her heart while Brad sawed away at a piece of salami. Voicing over his own date, Brad frustratedly pondered, "If I can't break though Emily's Walls, I'm not sure if Emily and I are going to work out." As a last gasp effort, Brad took her to a barn, smothered her in a blanket, looked visibly confused when it was implied that Emily had only been with one man in her life, then, after hearing her tragic story, exclaimed perhaps too excitedly, "GREAT!" He then reflected that Emily's Wall had weighed exactly 100 pounds, which makes her erection and maintenance of said Wall all the more impressive given that the other women described her as "an itsy bitsy Barbie Doll with the soul of Mother Theresa."
Artistry: Emily is formidable, and the other Ladies know it. And I think we saw during Brad's therapy session that she's in his head. The therapist is just a brilliant touch, because there is no discussion of why Brad felt the need to find love on a reality television show not once, but twice. The "therapist" was insightful enough to point out that, much like Chris Kunitz on the forecheck, Brad "created space" for Emily, and now I don't think she's going to be stopped. Not legally anyway.
|Walls Down. Stock Up.|
Artistry: The Black Swan was really hamming it up on Monday. A jump the shark performance in my view. She has no Walls...that we know of. I expect some problems for her in the weeks ahead.
Finesse: Agreed. The whole thing with promising a "slippery" kiss, it was too much.
Artistry: We're still in Wall phase, and if you don't know that, you're not taking this seriously. And if you don't take the Bachelor seriously, then you're here for the wrong reasons.
Finesse: Case in point: At one of the eleven cocktail parties, Brad was not feeling a "connection" with Chantal O. In other words, her Walls were up. But we learned that Brad means business when he exercised the nuclear option for Wall-destruction, pleading with Chantal O. to "Tell me the worst mistake you've ever made." She did, and she cried. And then they made out. However, still clearly smitten with Chantal O., Brad returned to her at yet another cocktail party to not only deadpan "sexual chemistry is not lacking," but also to, obviously, thank her profusely for letting down her Walls and then apologize for, obviously, leaving his Walls up. Brad's Diaspora to a land without Walls continued when a fang-less Madison revealed that, "I came in to it with Walls up," but was ready to let her Walls down to Brad. Behind her Walls was a recognition that the other ladies were more deserving of Brad because they had let their Walls down first. But, alas, this was not to be a Perfect Game for Brad, as Ashley H. began reconstructing her previously crumbled Walls, showing incredible strength in doing so while being yelled at by Brad, "ARE YOU OK?!?! I WANT TO KNOW THAT YOU'RE OK!!!!"
Artistry: I'm telling you, he is aggressively anti-Wall. Who gets Monday's first star of the night?
Finesse: Has to be host Chris Harrison. He continues to not disappoint us by disappointing everyone but us. He began the show by walking into the "living room" to opine to the ladies that "the previous night was emotional." Not a soul seemed to agree. Then, with heroic stoicism in the face of raging hormones and ticking clocks, he entered the "living room" during the Rose ceremony when there was only one rose remaining to remind everyone, "Ladies. Brad. This is the final rose tonight."
Artistry: Chris Harrison: best player on the ice. I think that's our cue to get back to talking hockey. We'll be back with more Bachelor talk after next week's episode.
Finesse: Biggest one of the season so far.