Every season of The Bachelorette has a second episode, and every second episode is the same. It starts with a magical one-on-one date with the first Gentleman, leaving our Bachelorette feeling "exactly where she is supposed to be." Ben F. went so far as to call this initial date "huge." We couldn't agree more. That is followed by a large group date, involving anywhere from 10-15 of the Gentlemen, only 2 or 3 of whom are real contenders. The group date is designed to showcase "personalities," so, naturally, the Gentlemen are forced to do something they don't want to do and that you want to fast forward through. Meanwhile, back at the Mansion, the four or five Gentlemen who have not yet had "one-on-one time" with the Bachelorette wonder what it all means...does she not like me? Or does she like me so so much? Who is staying awake to watch West tonight?** Will I ever get to meet the Bachelorette?
How sure are we that we have this formula down? We managed a compelling 13 minute Raw Emotion podcast on Monday night, and Artistry hadn't even watched the show yet. Now that we're both up to speed, here's what else we can tell you:
What we can tell you, after the jump...
- As Ashley and William emerge in Las Vegas for the first date of the episode, it's immediately clear that the Bachelorette is already a bit of a celebrity. It's equally clear she has no clue how to handle it. Several female fans reacted to her with the familiarity of an old camp counselor, and she could only respond by grabbing poor William, frantically pointing at him, and repeatedly squeezing his face. Stand still, Ash. Whether these fans are there for the right reasons or are plants by ABC to convince us that America is rooting for Ashley is still an open question.
- What follows is a bizarre exercise in which Ashley and William pretend to prepare for a wedding, then actually begin to exchange marriage vows. "Oh my, what do we do now," Ashley exclaims. "We're going to be legally married!" William looks like he's going to throw up, but somehow musters an "I do." You can go ahead and tattoo "Here for the right reasons" on his face. This does wonders for the perpetually fragile and insecure Ashley. "You're the cutest thing ever!" she shrieks. "This is the best first date ever!" Follow that up on an over-sized concrete lilly pad in the middle of the Bellagio fountains with a quick "My dad was an alcoholic beaten to death on the side of the road and I still wear the watch that stopped ticking the minute he died" story from William and a "my Dad is an alcoholic too and it's been an ongoing, like, struggle" from Ashley, and yep, that's a Rose for William. Or, as William said while the fountains exploded, "This is for us." Amen.
- Next up is the group date. Ashley decides to go for the Marianne from "Gilligan's Island" look, no doubt seeking a counterbalance for the very Ginger jabberwocky dance performance to come.
|Striking, Like, the Right Balance|
- To fellow dentist Blake, Ashley remarks "I see so much of myself in you." Order? Check. Precision? Check. An utter lack of charisma? Check. We could be heading for a Brad Womack-Michelle Money style "We're too much alike" confrontation, but color us stunned if this Gentleman gets more than a minute of air time the rest of the season. Maybe these two have a torrid affair at a dental conference in their distant future, but not now.
- "You're scaring me," Ashley tells West, as he prepares to hit her with carefully selected portions of his backstory. Good instincts. Says West, "I've learned to cherish every moment with loved ones." Until you murder them. Allegedly.**
- Ashley "has a great body, amazing butt, rocking legs, and having her tickle my [bleep], I mean, that would be amazing," Bentley observes. We suspect he says this to all the girls at the "Family Fun Center."
Ash- Bentley is TFTWR. keep ur <3 protected. Go find a guy who appreci8s u then swallow his tongue. lol.- Despite this dire text, Ashley can't keep her Walls up around anyone with the savvy to exploit her low self-esteem. That, Bentley can do. At the mere suggestion that he may not have the strength to continue the Journey, Ashley literally begs him to stay. "Please stick around. Just please, please, please stick around. Please, please, please."
- GTOG CONSPIRACY THEORY ALERT. It doesn't take a logician to do what we do, but it's a damn good thing we're licensed. Consider:
- Michelle Money has a daughter.
- Michelle Money went on the Bachelor
- Michelle Money was TFTWR.
- Bentley has a daughter.
- Bentley is on the Bachelorette.
- Michelle reported to Ashley that Bentley was TFTWR.
- As a friend of the blog pointed out this morning, Ashley speaks to these Gentlemen as if they are puppies. Consider her response to "Gorgeous" Mickey's revelation that he is an only child. "Ooooooonnnnnnnllllleeeeeee cccchhhhhhhiiilllllllllllldd?!?!!?? Woooooowwwwwww." Ashley also responded predictably to Mickey's disclosure that his mother had died: that is, with a rose and a kiss. If a contestant ever came on the show with a dead mother, an alcoholic father, a dead spouse, and a disabled child, he'd get to 3rd base in the driveway.
- We learned that the last time Ashley cried was when she was watching last season of the Bachelor. Same for us.
|"HOW MANY OF YOUR LOVED ONES ARE DEAD?!?! TELL ME NOW!"|
- We also learned that Ashley can shill with the best of them. About her date with Mickey, she remarked softly, "I had such a magical night with Mickey ... [ad sales guy panicking in the background] ... here at the Mandalay Bay!"
- If you're going to wear a mask on a reality show, you're creepy. If you swim with that mask on, you're extra creepy. If you go #2 with the door open in a house full of strangers, you're gross and extra creepy. But if, on top of that, you decide that it is a good idea to corner Ashley on the steps with no access to the exits before discussing why you are wearing the mask, then GTOG can understand your ex-wife's "untruthfulness."
- It was a night of redemption for Chris Harrison. After a slow start to the season (he called it "exciting" instead of "shocking" -- huge mistake by him), he upped the energy for the Rose Ceremony, telling the Gentlemen that Ashley already has strong feelings for several people and seeming completely on board with Ashley lecturing the group, again, to "have faith in the process." By the time there was only one rose left, and Chris came out to remind everyone, "Ashley. Gentlemen. That's the final rose tonight. When you're ready," we knew our hero was back. Unreal performance. And his blog -- dripping with intensity.###
- Finally, the night ended with goodbyes to Matt, Stephen, and Ryan M. Devastating, of course, but each of them had a fatal flaw: Matt's mom is alive; Stephen never got to meet Ashley; and Ryan M., had to clear the way for
Apollo Ryan P. But don't lament. The road to the fantasy suite is paved with broken hearts.
**GTOG recognizes the sensitivities surrounding these types of jokes. And we hope you recognize them as jokes.