The Bachelorette: Tears and Fears

Not that it ever has, but that “Do you want to sign up for the next Bachelor or Bachelorette?” promo ABC runs before commercials has never looked less tempting than during Monday night’s tear-filled episode of The Bachelorette.

The men really did a number on old Ashley this week, first with the worst group date idea EVER, a roast of the bachelorette herself, and later with Bentley’s not-shocking-at-all exit. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Flashdance, Crazypants

For Ashley’s one-on-one date with Ben C. they – wait for it, it’s such a surprise! – went dancing!!! Has there ever been a more blatant audition for Dancing With The Stars? Is Ashley going to dance in every damn episode? Come on! There is a reason I don’t watch So You Think You Can Dance.

First Ashley took Ben to a dance studio and taught him a really lame routine, and then they went and had a picnic. After a large enough crowd had gathered, Ashley begged Ben to publicly perform the routine with her by saying “No one’s watching us!” No one is watching you? Really? It was like you were in a freakin’ zoo cage, there were literally people standing on the other side of the fence taking pictures and oohing when you did something fun, like they do with monkeys. It’s like every date on this show has a live audience now.

Ben got up and did the routine, because almost all the guys on this show are schmucks. Seriously, if this were real life there is no way a guy would stand up in a public park and do a dance routine on a first date. On any date. Of course, it was all a big surprise – it was a flash mob! Oh, how very fun and 2009.

Later, at dinner, Ben let his freak flag fly. First, he told Ashley “I’ve been thinking about love since I was, like, not that old.” Yes, like most normal little boys, Ben spent his days putting together a wedding scrapbook. The colors will be peach and yellow and they’ll get married on a beach – he’s been planning since he was seven. Ben told Ashley that his goal was to live in an unrealistic, idealistic bubble. Oh my god, me too! But, like, I mean literally – I want to be Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz. That’s what he meant, right? Seriously though, it was one of the worst things anyone who’s not Bentley or William has said all season. I mean, come on. No guy who says that is capable of forming a lasting relationship. Naturally, Ashley ate it up and gave him a rose.

I can’t be the only one who thought Ben C. was a bit odd, right? The guy talked a mile a minute, what was with that? Is he on crack? Was he a Kristen Wiig SNL character in disguise? CALM DOWN.


Before the group date, Jeff has some business to take care of – the mask came off! Whooo! Or, oh…. Yeah, the problem with wearing a mask for the two weeks of the show? Your face is inevitably disappointing. Ashley was probably hoping he’d be Zoolander-quality really, really, ridiculously good looking. I was hoping he’d be horribly disfigured. To each her own.

What I couldn’t believe about Jeff was not his average, approaching middle age white dude face, but the platitudes he was trying to sell about going masked. The guy called it “an amazing, life-changing experience.” What? How the hell was Ashley not laughing right in his face? Not to mention that earlier in the episode, Jeff had complained “I’m at a disadvantage because she hasn’t seen my face.” A self-inflicted disadvantage there, buddy. The mask was not medically required. The only thing it was shielding you from was reality.

After revealing himself, Jeff told Ashley that some of the guys in the house really liked her and that “I’ve begun to develop feelings for you, too.” Um, based on what? The stories you’ve heard from other dudes’ dates? “When I heard about how you took William to a wedding chapel in Vegas, I just knew you were the girl for me!” Riiiiiiight.  

She’s laughing so hard she’s crying! Oh no, wait…she’s just crying.

For the group date, Ames, Ben F., Chris, Blake, Jeff, Lucas, Nick, Ryan, William, and Bentley went to a comedy club to do what most people do on a first date – roast the girl they’re trying to impress! While I may hurl insults at people when I first meet them inside my head (“Ew, his hand is sweaty”; “You sort of look like Matt Damon, but in a funhouse mirror”; “There’s no way I can carry on a conversation with someone who thinks Two and a Half Men is a good show”; etc.) I have never dared to sling such barbs at someone’s face. I save that for the third date.

Jeffrey Ross, a comic known for hosting roasts, was at the event and was the only person not in my own living room who even came close to saying funny things. Most of the men were either terrified about performing in front of an audience or anxious about roasting their crush, but one guy was elated with the chance to tear Ashley a new one in front of lots of people. Yep, I’m looking at you, William! It turns out that William is quite the budding comic and he was more concerned with impressing Jeffrey Ross. “I’ve always wanted to be a comedian, so this is a huge opportunity for me,” William said. In fact, the poor kid thought he was on route to be roasting real celebrities in only a couple months!

For the most part, the guys’ routines were standard fare. Most of them made fun of each other, and many of them made fun of Ashley’s breasts. Yes, this is what reality TV has stooped to, World. I’m not proud either. Women are now subjecting themselves to letting men publicly mock and criticize their bodies. Even Bentley’s “compliment” that “her ass makes up for it, believe me” made me throw up in my mouth. We’ve come a long way, baby. I haven’t been this ashamed of my gender since I found out what a Snooki is.

When William was up, though, he took things a step further. Sure, a couple guys had made fun of Ashley for coming on third on Brad’s season of The Bachelor. That’s fair game. But William actually said all the guys had expected to walk out of the limo and see either Chantal or Emily, and declared “Who gives a s**t?” Well, I do for one. So did the lovely audience member who yelled “Too soon!” That was offensive, William. No, seriously – it’s one thing to be mean, but it’s worse to not be funny. As a person with a sense of humor, I will never forgive you.

After the show, Ashley disappeared back stage to dissolve into tears. Wasn’t this roast a great idea? I bet she was so glad she agreed to it. Considering the girl’s self-esteem is about as secure as an icicle in July, I don’t know why she’d ever let this be a date. Bentley saw Ashley crying in the corner and decided not to pass up the opportunity for a little alone time. To comfort her? No, no, of course not! “So I’m not going to mess up an opportunity to mess with her head,” Bentley told us with psychopathic joy. He also said ‘”I hate it when people cry…it’s not attractive at all,” and at this point I’ve really lost count of how many villainous things he’s said. I’m pretty sure he has them written on the palm of his hand. Ashley moaned to Bentley that “I just need somebody to talk some sense into me,” because lord knows, the girl hasn’t got any sense on her own. Otherwise she wouldn’t be talking to Bentley.

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

At the cocktail party Ashley confided in the guys that her main concern in doing The Bachelorette was that the men would want Chantal or Emily instead. The men all feigned the appropriate amount of surprise upon hearing this confession, and then William took Ashley aside to apologize…or, you know, something.

Really, what happened there? Let’s review. First, William seemed to defend himself by saying he wasn’t thinking about Ashley’s feelings, only about his own professional aspirations. Awesomesauce. Exactly what I want to hear from my boyfriend. Next, he started to cry (not attractive at all) and said “There’s nothing I can say that can undo what I did.” Um, how about begging for forgiveness? Did you try that? So then William left, to wander the streets of L.A. in search of some compassion. But wait! While Ashley was meekly trying to make small talk with the rest of the guys, William returned – AND IT WAS NEVER ADDRESSED.

Sorry for the caps, but I had to scream that. What the hell? One second, William is literally running down the street away from the camera, and the next he’s moping in the stairwell with a drink in his hand? And we never see him apologize or ask for a second chance or simply say “Hey, I changed my mind”? Are you kidding me?

Ashley, of course, was in dour spirits the rest of the night. Not even Jeff’s story of adopting a three-legged dog could cheer her up. For reals, Jeff? You had a brain hemorrhage, a divorce, and you adopted an abused three-legged dog? You have three sad stories, you did not need a mask as well. Every time Ashley spent time alone with a guy, she waited for him to comfort her and cheer her up. Argh! I hate girls like Ashley. Call the waaahmbulance and get her out of my face.

It wasn’t until Ashley spent some time with Bentley that she perked up. Yet, despite saying things like “If you did choose to leave it would be harder than anything I ever went through the last time I was here” and “I believe every word he says” and “I feel like I could trust him forever” and other assorted comments that made her look even more naive than she already did, Ashley gave the rose to Ryan P.

Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool

The next day, Ashley wandered around her house talking about how she “completely fell in love with Bentley last night” while he was back at Casa Chlamydia packing up his belongings. To be honest, I was hoping for a more explosive and emotionally damaging scene – I like my trashy reality television to be cruel.

Bentley had convinced Ashley the night before that the texts Michelle Money had set her had been lies, and I don’t exactly blame her for believing him. Would you believe anything coming from a woman named Michelle Money? But I’m just not really sure what it was Bentley set out to accomplish. Was he just there to promote his business? Is there a bunch of footage of him talking about it that was left on the cutting room floor? Or did he just want to be an infamous reality TV show villain? If it’s the latter, he should have stuck around longer. “It’s something that’s never been done before,” Bentley bragged of his mind games. What? How? Didn’t Wes and Justin also pull the same heartless gag? In fact, didn’t they pull it off for longer?

Heading over to dump Ashley, Bentley menacingly told the camera “I’m gonna make Ashley cry…I hope my hair looks OK.” Since ABC showed us this clip approximately 2 billion times beforehand, we knew that yes, he’d made her cry and, no, his hair did not look good. Then, instead of breaking the devastating news to Ashley that he was playing her all along and really wanted Emily (which is what a really villainous villain would do), Bentley just fed her a line about missing his kid. And guess what? He doesn’t even miss his kid! Take that, Cozy.

Ashley took the news badly, fiddling incessantly with her bangs, whimpering about how the process wouldn’t work for her now, and practically crying her thick, false eyelashes off. (What, you don’t put on false lashes first thing in the morning?) Bentley reminded us one more time that he should never be a father, not even to a child with a name like Cozy, by saying “It’s annoying, to hold a girl who’s just crying, and crying, and crying.” And with that, Bentley was gone and Ashley was curled up in bed feeling sorry for herself.

Nobody’s Home

Poor JP, the guy can’t catch a break, can he? After losing a coin toss to get a one-on-one date in Vegas, JP had the terrible luck of scoring the at-home post-breakup date with Ashley. She answered the door, eyes puffy and hair scraggly and they spent the night in pajamas. No seriously, it was like a freakin’ girls’ night in. Glasses, PJs, take out. I’ve had more romantic dates with my cat.

JP gave the date his best effort, but Ashley was vacant and forlorn the whole time. She gave him a rose, but the date was a dud.

Pretty Woman

Time for the rose ceremony! Ashley showed up looking like a very sad, high-end hooker. It was like Eliot Spitzer had just dumped her for another escort…who looked just like Emily.

Ashley cried a few tears before turning over Bentley’s photo, and then Chris Harrison came in to talk to her. And frankly, I was appalled – OK, I don’t care enough to be appalled…I was miffed, that he didn’t tell her the truth about Bentley. What, are they just going to let her put this guy up on a pedestal as The One That Got Away for the rest of the season? Come on, show her a little footage! What, did they make her wait until it aired? They didn’t keep Jake Pavelka in the dark when Rozzzzlyn was screwing around with a production assistant, did they? Bentley’s gone, so why not show Ashley what she’s not missing?

Anyway, Ashley was too depressed to submit to a cocktail party so she chose to move straight through to the rose ceremony. It was a shame, since the men had gotten all gussied up. Except for Ames, who looked like a GI Joe that was left out in the sun to melt.

First Ashley called Constantine (yeah, I have no idea who he is either), followed by West, Mickey, Ben F., Blake, Nick, Ames, Lucas and…William! Yes, she gave the schmuck a second chance without even having a conversation with him beforehand. I’d say I’m surprised, but at this point Ashley’s self-loathing, self-destructive ways are par for the course. We said goodbye to stranger Chris D., and the masked one himself. Jeff threw his mask in the fire as he departed, and hopefully we’ll never, ever have to see it again…

…except that we did, in the final bizarre scene where Bentley silently styled his ugly hair while Jeff read classified ads out loud while sitting ON THE TOILET. First of all, is this the same toilet scene as before or a new one? Why does this guy keep letting them film him on the can? Because he’s wearing a mask? We saw your face, we know who you are! And most men I know are so ridiculous that they’d rather sleep on the floor than share a double bed, so who wants to be in the bathroom with someone? What the hell?

This is a weird, weird season. Until next time, folks.

Update: In her blog, Ashley says we haven’t seen the last of Bentley. She has got to be kidding me.




Staff Picks: Relish by Ruth Cowen / Killer Colt by Harold Schechter

Cobequid Cultural Centre AGM tonight