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The Bachelor… the Home Stretch

This Bachelor season certainly has been dragging along, hasn’t it? Finally, after a season of episodes that each have moved at the speed of a particularly dull, Texas-style molasses, things are starting to get juicy. In this episode, Brad brings the lehdez to South Africa and narrows the pool even more – from three to the FINAL TWO. And, as we all know, this is the episode where the Bachelor traditionally receives obligatory “Fantasy Suite” sex from each of the desperate contestants. This episode is always the gross, degrading cherry on the disgusting television sundae that is the Bachelor franchise.  Pile it high and deep!

  • Brad’s in South Africa! Hippos! Hakuna matata! Lions! Jeeps! As an elephant slowly lumbers past his Jeep, Brad comments that South Africa is “a little dangerous.” Yes, Brad, South Africa IS dangerous. But you’re not gonna get mugged by that elephant. And you’re on camera. Pretty sure you’ll be fine.
  • Chantal, who is gushing about how “amazing” everything is, already is irritating me five seconds into her date. Brad and Chantal get “scared” by a pack of the most non-threatening lions ever, all of whom are lying around yawning, looking dazed. How much you wanna bet that they were all drugged personally by Chris Harrison? He IS good at hiding in shrubbery.
  • Brad and Chantal eat lunch near a hippo, which actually IS a super dangerous animal and weighs like 5000 pounds, and Chantal says that she is “trusting Brad to keep [her] safe in this situation.” HA!
  • During dinner, Chantal is REALLY angling for the fantasy suite. She really wants to “prove” how much she “loves” Brad. Oy.
  • She also tells Brad that she is willing to marry him right then and there. And then Brad drops the “she wears her heart on her sleeve” line, which was the catchphrase from Ali’s Bachelorette season that most made my skin crawl.
  • Brad gives Chantal the Fantasy Suite card, which reads, “should you choose to forego your individual rooms….” UGGGGH this is so grossssss! I’m not even TRYING not to be judgmental.
  • And somehow, the fact that Chantal and Brad will be bumping uglies in a tree house makes this whole thing even WORSE.
  • WHOA, did anyone else notice how much booze they have in that tree house? It’s like 4 bottles of champagne and 10 bottles of liquor. Luckily, Chantal’s already perma-drunk, so they’ll probably only need to go through four or so of those bottles.
  • For Emily’s date, Brad and Emily (and the unfortunate soul who has been chosen to accompany them/drive the elephant) ride an elephant to a watering hole.
  • Right off the bat, Brad tells Emily that he “misses [her] daughter.” Come ON. Can you be a little more disingenuous, Brad? You were freaking out about giving Emily a chaste kiss when her kid was upstairs asleep – there’s no way you miss that child being around. Emily, I suspect, picks up on this and asks Brad whether he’s ready for a five-year-old, and he says “yeah.”
  • Brad and Emily make out and the pervy elephants in the watering hole freak out about it.  Whoa, the trumpeting! Is this normal? I’m uncomfortable.
  • At dinner, Brad gives Emily the Creepy Card, asking if she wants to spend the night with him in the Fantasy Suite. She says she wants to set a good example for her daughter BUT she also wants to spend more time with him….
  • Soooo she decides to spend the night with Brad. Nooo! Ugh, Emily, I am so disappointed! I thought you were actually going to stick to your guns and, you know, set a good example for your little girl. Guess no one can resist the mystique of Brad’s giant cross tattoo.
  • Once in the F.S., Emily tells Brad she is falling in love with him. He acts weird about it for a sec, then says he is falling in love with her, too.  Bingo. *Soaring music* –> *gratuitous close-up of the bed* –> *Stephanie barfing in a paper bag*
  • Oh boy, it’s time for everyone’s favorite dental student, Ashley H! She starts the date off with an uber-annoying bang by freaking out about having to ride in a helicopter. Much shrieking ensues as the helicopter takes off…
  • AAAAAAnnnnd the obligatory helicopter-rising-over-mountain shot rears its cliched head AGAIN. Ashley: “it’s like being on top of the world.”
  • While drinking booze overlooking a valley, Brad asks Ashley if, once she finishes school, whether she will “allow [her]self to live” while having a career. This is code for, “Will you quit your job while I try to leverage this experience into TV appearances until our one-dimensional, manufactured relationship inevitably fizzles out?”
  • Ha, Brad tells Ashley that maybe he can help her “find balance,” which appears to mean quitting dental school and getting a couple of DUIs under her belt.
  • Ashley says that she’s totally willing to compromise, as long as she can live right next to her family in Maine. Tension ensues.
  • This is one of the only substantive conversations I’ve ever seen on the Bachelor, actually. Brad and Ashley tangling over logistics and compromise is actually interesting because this resembles a conversation a *real couple* would need to have. Imagine that! All of the other convos on this show are about feeling “amazing” and having “butterflies” and whatever, but figuring out where to live as a couple is, you know, kind of essential.
  • And I liked Brad’s point about how you can’t build a relationship out of “one amazing carnival date.” Wait, did Brad actually just say something… wise?
  • The end of dinner seems like a resignation. Brad and Ashley both realize that this shizz ain’t gonna work, and they’re just trying to stuff their food (and booze) down before going to have loveless sex in the Fantasy Suite.
  • Brad throws out the (trashy) life buoy of the Fantasy Suite card, and, shocker, Ashley says yes.
  • Trying to justify the situation, Brad says, “we have so much, and we can have so much more.” Gross.
  • Rose ceremony is gonna be interesting. Brad pulls Ashley aside and tells her that he’s sorry their date didn’t go well, and that he’s shocked that their relationship went south. This is followed by much hemming and hawing and “apologizing” for the bad communication. But it’s not really bad communication at all, Brad. It’s that you want her to move to Austin and be a housewife and she wants to live in Maine and be a dentist. So, um… there ya go.
  • Finally, Brad tells Ashley she needs to leave, and she kinda bitches out! Which I love! Before she gets into the Jeep/limo, Brad gives her an awkward head kiss, and she’s off. Wow, what a whirlwind.  I kinda think Ashley is going to be better off sticking with school and just being an intense, annoying dentist.
  • After the “devastating” goodbye to Ashley, Brad comes back and runs through the motions with the last two women. Yawn.
  • Next time, Brad takes the women to Cape Town to meet his family. Personally, I think it would be a lot more exciting if everyone packed up and went to Johannesburg! They could all camp out in Soweto!  No? Not gonna happen? Too bad — that could have enlivened this season considerably.
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