Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bachelor Recap: Bradholm Syndrome

By Artistry

In psychology, Bradholm syndrome is a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their Bachelor that appear irrational in light of the fact that (a) they just met him; and (b) he is blander than a piece of stale melba toast, essentially mistaking a lack of abuse from their captor as an act of kindness. Common side effects of Bradholm Syndrome include uncontrollable sobbing, toplessness, and the desire for Brad to meet their families. You could argue that the "Ladies" continued their Journey on Anguila for Episode 7 of their own free will, but I'm not sure that assertion stands up under careful scrutiny.

Emily, for one, is clearly being coerced. Here is a woman who has never introduced her daughter Ricky, by her late fiancee Ricky, to anyone she's ever dated, regardless of whether they, too, were named Ricky. Yet we are expected to believe that she's suddenly at peace with the idea of opening up her home to Brad, Chris Harrison, and the ABC camera crew? Folks, that's akin to swinging a psychological wrecking ball into Emily's walls. To her credit, Mother Theresa Barbie tried valiantly to protect her mental health, even as Brad kept the pressure on with yet another one-on-one date to open the show.

Hopefully, Ricky got out
 "What do you want to do on our date?" Brad asked, prepared to take off his shirt.

"I really don't even care," Emily replied, as I shouted "Run, Emily! Run! Go now!"

Does Emily escape? Will Britt eat something already? Who goes topless on the group date? Find out after the jump...

But it was too late. The helicopter was in view. "You do too much on our dates!" Emily cooed, possibly under the impression that Brad himself planned this and rented a helicopter. They were off to a private island, and now it was only a matter of time. Sure, it was awkward for a few minutes as they sat on the beach. Brave Emily put up every Wall she could muster, then built an auxiliary wall on the perimeter of those Walls. It still wasn't enough. All Brad had to say was, "I care more for you than I should probably say right now," and Emily completely lost control of her faculties, inserting her tongue in Brad's mouth in what appeared to be an attempt to reach his back tattoo. "I love our conversation," Brad managed, during a break in the action. Sensing that the syndrome that bears his name had now completely decimated Emily's carefully constructed walls, the Bachelor pounced, announcing he was breaking the rules to promise Emily a rose, because doggone it, he was coming to meet her daughter. And there wasn't a thing poor Emily could do to stop him.

Perhaps an even more heartbreaking case of Bradholm Syndrome involved Shawntel, AKA the Comely Mortician, AKA the Smoking Hot Undertaker. "How do you not fall in love here," she said, as Brad escorted her through the Anguila farmers' market during the episode's second one-on-one date. I can think of so many, many answers to that question, Shawntel, but I'm afraid you won't listen. Especially not after Bachelor producers planted some adorable, ancient little Yoda lady in the middle of the street to give Shawntel and Brad her blessing in marriage. Indeed, next thing you knew, Shawntel announced that Brad is "perfect" and she would love to marry him. Those delusional feelings would only intensify during their seaside dinner, where Brad turned the intimacy up to 11 by revealing that his brother's name is Chad. Chad and Brad. This revelation triggered an intense make-out session. Later, as Bankie Banx, who, if you didn't know, is the most famous singer in the entire eastern hemisphere, provided the sound track, Brad continued to explore Shawntel's passion, and her enormous back tattoo, during a late night swim. She had so much promise, and now she's just another funeral home director with a tramp stamp.

Also does Bar Mitzvahs
Britt, Mrs. Artistry observed, is just another food writer who doesn't eat. What's more, she is that rare victim of Bradholm Syndrome whom Brad had no desire to hold hostage, making her condition all the more tragic. In short, she and Brad went on the final one-on-one date of the week and did some cliff jumping, leading Brad to prove once again that, for him, no metaphor is too obvious. "I hope she can continue to make that leap to find love," he noted. But by the time they sat down for dinner on the Bachelor Yacht, power almost went out in Chez Artistry because of the lack of electricity between Britt and Brad. Literally, the lights flickered. Brad unceremoniously informed Britt that it was time for them to say goodbye, leading to perhaps the most awkward sequence in a season that continually strives for seemingly unreachable heights of awkwardness. "Uhhhhhhh, please watch your step," Brad said, as he ushered Britt off of the yacht and right into a dinghy. But that wasn't the only humiliation for poor Britt, as she still had to go pack in front of the other Ladies. According to Brad, this was an act of mercy on his part, as he did not want to put Britt through "the grueling process" of the rose ceremony, attendance at which is apparently akin to taking the bar exam or doing a triathalon.

Not for the weak-willed
That's nothing compared to what Chantal, Michelle, and Ashley endured on the group date. The worst thing you can do to Ladies afflicted with Bradholm Syndrome is put them together with other Ladies. Watching them compete for attention during the Sports Illustrated swimsuit photo shoot was a little like watching Ron Burgundy without a teleprompter. Total meltdown.

Ashley and Chantal took off their bathing suit tops, prompting the Black Swan to try to one-up them by essentially having sexual relations with Brad in front of the entire nation, her daughter, and Emily's daughter. Ashley responded by renovating and reinforcing her walls, drinking copious amounts of a frothy, green cocktail, and, as she likes to put it, "retracting." Confused, Brad awarded the tiny dentist the date rose. [Ed. note: producers should have worked harder to book Elton John to sing "Hold me closer Tiny Dentist" during this scene. Missed opportunity.] Chantal, changing things up this week with some persistent whimpering as opposed to convulsive crying, then promptly challenged Brad to send her home. But if there's one thing Brad Womack knows, its that when Ladies suffering from Bradholm Syndrome say "Just send me home," what they mean is "I'd love for you to meet my family and seek my parents' blessing for our eventual wedding, to be broadcast live on ABC."

"My mom makes the best Blessing Pie.  You have to come over."
On the other side of the spectrum, Brad telling Michelle, "I think all of our conversations are deep" had an ominous feel to it, mostly because Brad also thinks Winnie the Pooh is deep. Our hero knew what he had to do. "I'm losing the women," he said. "I see these walls going up." And he waved his hand in front of his face, which, as readers of this blog know, is the universal sign for walls going up. At the hastily commenced Rose Ceremony, it was time for Brad to set the Black Swan free. It seems, despite appearances, they were not cut out to grow old together. Michelle refused to speak as Brad escorted her to the limo, and it's entirely possible she was already hatching her plan to haunt him for the rest of his life. Say what you will about the Swan, she was never boring. Adieu, you lunatic. Adieu.

Stay tuned next time for a regrettable episode, where, I predict, Shawntel will not receive a rose, despite her attempts to romance Brad by showing him a bunch of corpses. We'll be watching.


  1. Wondrous review. That was the Mark Eaton of Batchelor recaps.

  2. with michelle gone, theres really nothing to watch for. Best one liner "Not only do I not see them falling in love, but I'm not even sure if they will facebook friend each other"

  3. Rebecca, you can't discount the possibility that Michelle stalks Brad next week as he visits the other Ladies' families. I think you need to tune in.

  4. Don't know who was more stunned about Brad's rose ceremony decision - Michelle or Chris Osgood and Mike Babcock. You tell me...


  5. Excellent post. I have only seen three episodes until now, and you describe the one I saw perfectly.