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The Bachelorette: Wine and Whine in Portugal

First of all, don’t worry – there will be a complete and separate post on the trainwreck that was Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi’s post break-up interview. I’ll only give you this teaser on my thoughts: I never, EVER thought I’d say this, but after that whole spectacle, I’ve found myself on Team Vienna. In fact, I was surprised at how quickly I found myself on Team Vienna. Though there’s still time, I could still jump ship and declare myself Team Nobody. It happened to me with the Gosselins, I used to be disgusted by Kate and would vaguely, halfheartedly stick up for Jon. I mean, she was so mean. But Job Gosselin saw to it that I hate him too, and Vienna could do the same thing. Let’s see if she starts posing for tabloids wearing Ed Hardy clothes and diamond earrings.

But, on to the real (and far less interesting) Bachelorette drama. Ali and the remaining five guys traveled to the last stop on their Euro-journey of love, Portugal. Let’s get the elephant out of the room right away: How completely beautiful did Portugal look? (Don’t tell me you thought I was going to say Ali. What the hell is going on with her hair? Did they give her Vienna’s hairstylist from last season?) Can someone buy me a trip to Lisbon ASAP? I would audition for the Bachelor just for the trips if they’re always going to hit gorgeous European locales. I’m sure I could do a better job of hiding my Canadian relationship than Justin did.

This week, Ali talked a lot about how she needed the guys to open up to her, but she seemed to completely shut down. And freak out. And say things like “I have a lot on my mind”. (No spoilers pleeeeaase) I wouldn’t be surprised if Ali chose no one at the end of this thing. In fact, it’s looking like a huge mistake that she ever did it. Like maybe she liked her job and her life, and didn’t want to give all that up to go get married at the ripe old age of 25. But, there were still three great guys (and two annoying and weird ones) vying for her attention while on a dream vacation. Oh, the stresses of being a bachelorette.

Come be the King of my Castle (Not the Dirty Rascal?)

There were four dates to be split between the five guys – meaning there would be an awkward, hilarious two-on-one date. The first date went to Roberto, who Ali still sees as somewhat of a mystery. Perhaps because he doesn’t have a sad, life-changing story to share? Ty went through a divorce. Frank quit his “successful” job and “moved” to Paris to become a “screenwriter”, Chris’ mom died, and Kirk beat MOLD for god’s sake. What does Roberto have to convince Ali that he’s “opening up”? He played baseball, has a great family, has traveled everywhere, has been blessed with a gorgeous face and charming personality. At this point if I were him, I’d make up a story about being in a car wreck and having his whole face changed through plastic surgery just to keep up with the competition. “I used to be ugly” would surely trump “I beat mold”!

Frank, naturally, had to whine about the fact that he wasn’t going on the date and analyze the note Roberto received to a point where, once again, I wanted to rip those glasses off his face and shove them down his throat. When will he learn that he is on a reality TV dating show and therefore DOES NOT HAVE A GIRLFRIEND. The only guy on the show with a girlfriend was Justin, and that got him sent home. The rest of them? They can safely keep their Facebook statuses set to “Single”, or at the very least “It’s Complicated”. But as I’m sure former Facebook employee Ali can tell them, you can’t all be “It’s Complicated” with the same girl on Facebook.

Don’t Call My Name, Don’t Call My Name, Roberrrto

As the note obviously suggested, Roberto and Ali would be spending the day in one of Lisbon’s beautiful castles. And not in the dungeon, in the pretty parts. Roberto and Ali seemed like they got along really well. Ali had seen Roberto’s romantic side and wanted to see his fun side. The producers must have tipped him off on that (obviously they want him in the finals so he can be the next Bachelor) because the couple trotted around Lisbon taking funny/adorable photos of one another. See! A fun side! They slow danced in the middle of the street (something I would normally mock, but won’t because I love Roberto), and generally had great chemistry.

As Ali and Roberto sat in the castle overlooking an amazing view, Ali told Roberto that he’s still a bit of a mystery to her and she needs to figure him out. I think that’s code for “I still think it’s a mystery why you’re on this show, because you’re way too cute and charming to need a reality TV dating show to find a girlfriend”. This would have been an opportune moment for Roberto to tell her some devastating, all-revealing story (like that he used to be ugly?), but instead he told her that he just likes to keep life simple and fun. Once again, too good to be true.

Let’s Find our Future in the Past(with a DeLorean?!)
Frank and Ty were the poor saps who had to go on the two-on-one date, which made sense because they both just had one-on-ones with Ali. Don’t try to tell Frank that, though, because he clearly believes he’s entitled to receiving every single one-on-one date over the course of the show. Frank was also intimidated by Ty, whom he believed to be his biggest competition. Um, for reals? Have you seen Roberto? Have you met Chris? Based on what we’ve seen of Ty, I think he needs to hope a train to wherever Tenley lives and go out with her.

Thank GOD they had Ali, Frank and Ty take off for their date in a helicopter. It was about time. They never use those on this show, and I was beginning to wonder when poor Ali would have the opportunity to have a ride in one. Also, the dry spell of helicopters would be really annoying if you are playing a drinking game where you drink every time they have a helicopter.

Ali was feeling awkward and stressed out before the awkward, stressful dinner even began and it was obvious as soon as the threesome sat down for dinner. After a few glasses of wine and what looked like zero food were consumed Ali pulled Ty away for some alone time. She was still hesitant about what a future with Ty would be like after hearing about his traditional values and how that career-driven wife of his with those newfangled values killed his marriage. OK, he never said that but you know that’s what you were thinking. Ty went on about how he thought her ambitions and goals were great, and that it “tickles me to death that you have a plan, that you know what you want” but I didn’t buy it. Never take a man who says “tickles me to death” seriously.

Next, Frank got some alone time, and he took the opportunity to reveal to Ali that he still lives with his parents. You know, because he “moved” to Paris (took a 6-week vacation) and is chasing his dreams (watching a lot of movies, smoking pot and talking about how he could write something better). Watching Frank try to make living with his parents sound as cool as possible was hilarious. He talked about how “close” his family is – like, physically, on the same couch. To his surprise, though, Ali was totally cool with it. Perhaps because she is also homeless. He didn’t drop the “Oh, and in my spare time I work as a retail manager” bomb on her yet, though. Perhaps that’s what has her in tears in a couple weeks? Doubt it.

Once Upon a Time…(A guy named Kirk beat Mold)
Kirk received the second one-on-one date, which meant that Chris would get to hang with Ali the day of the rose ceremony. Once again, the guys analyzed the note that Kirk got and came up with “Fairytale, romance, love, etc…” and told Kirk to “Go get ready for the ball”.

On this date, I thought Kirk was super nice and Ali was kind of a tool. She was super distracted, and he kept trying to get her to open up by saying that he was nervous too. Instead of talking to him, she would say “I just have a lot on my mind”. Come on, Ali – you can’t judge these guys based on how much they “open up” to you if you can’t even manage a couple sentences on why you’re so distant and stressed out. The best she could manage was that she had thought she was really in-tune with her emotions, and is now wondering if maybe she is not. Translation: She hates fake-dating on TV and doesn’t want to marry any of these guys. And she misses Facebook.

At dinner, Ali wondered if maybe one day she wouldn’t be good enough for Kirk. Kirk talked about beating mold some more, and overall they had a pretty boring date. He did convince her (and me, a little) that he’s falling in love with the real her, and not just the idea of her. That’s more than I can say for Frank.

Love gets Better with Age…(and wine)

I was surprised to hear that Ali thought her relationship with Chris was more friendship-based and progressing more slowly with him than with other guys. Of all the guys, I think Chris seems the most well-suited to Ali. I was also surprised to hear her say that she really needed him to open up more, because a) He told her all about his dead mom and b) She’s been shut down like frozen laptop ever since they got to Portugal. Chris was looking forward to the date, with a few conditions. “‘As long as it doesn’t involve oil wrestling or that stupid horse in Iceland that I don’t like at all, I’m good,” he told the cameras.

The first thing that Ali and Chris did was ride a scooter around Lisbon. It looked like fun, but is probably scary if you’ve never done it before. Chris drove slowly and carefully, like a normal person. After all, he said “I can’t be the dude who killed the Bachelorette. That’s just not gonna look good at all.” Ali drove like a maniac with a death wish, speeding through curves and crossing over the median. “Look at the ocean” she said to Chris. “Look at the ROAD!” I yelled to the TV.

A Trip to the Whinery

Chris saved the date by opening up (even more) about his mom. She was a nurse, very compassionate, and so well-liked that her friends still stop by to bring his family casseroles.

Things got real when the pair visited a winery, though, and Chris gave Ali a bracelet he’d brought from home. This was well-played. Instead of gifting Ali with the bracelet on the first night, along with every other schmuck who tries and fails to set himself apart, he waited until he was sure that he actually liked her. This is why I like Chris. Too many guys come on to The Bachelorette (and girls on The Bachelor) as though they’re already in love with the person they’re there for. Obviously it’s the spirit of competition, but it’s stupid. The bachelor or bachelorette has to woo them too. So the fact that Chris held on to the bracelet until he thought he really liked Ali, I think, says a lot about him. Though, as my friend Nicholas pointed out, Chris should have practiced opening the bracelet before giving to to Ali to avoid looking like such a goof. Nicholas also thinks Chris looks like a bear mauling a human when he kisses Ali, but whatevs. I still love him.

Chris closed out the date, which looked like a smashing success, with one of my most favorite lines ever: “‘You make me feel all warm inside. What does that mean?” Ha! That one line is way cuter than all the gushing all the other guys do.

Roses and Rain
Once again, Ali was so sure of her decision that she didn’t need a cocktail party before the rose ceremony. She called Chris (awww), Frank (barf), Roberto (swoon), and finally Kirk (yawn), meaning Ty (yee-haw) went home. I thought there was a possibility that it would be Kirk going home, but that was because I’d forgotten how we saw Ali visit his family’s basement full of dead animals. Ali made the right decision in getting rid of Ty, though. If we can learn anything from the Jake and Vienna debacle, it’s that people with clashing values should cut their losses early. Ali said goodbye to Ty, who seemed pretty upset, in the rain without an umbrella. Really, Bachelorette producers? No umbrella? It would have looked just as pathetic if she wasn’t getting soaked. Ali’s pouty-sad face would have made sure of that.

Next week, Ali will be visiting the guys’ families. We know Frank will make it through, because he still has a bomb to drop on her in a tropical location. My guess is that Kirk will go – there’s no way she’ll dump Chris after meeting the famed father and brothers, or dump Roberto after seeing him in his baseball uniform.

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