My guilty pleasure: The Bachelor shows

I’m a 40-year old man and I’m an addict. Hi, my name is Ben.

This relationship I have with the Bachelor family of shows started over a decade ago and I’ve always said I can quit whenever I want. It’s not a problem.

But it IS a problem when I wake up Monday morning and think, “Ok, I need to plan my day around the goal of being home by 7pm to watch Bachelor in Paradise.” Or when I become the very proud commissioner of a Bachelor fantasy league at work. And it’s not even the fantasy game ABC created.

We created our own league with our own points and categories and a giant excel sheet. 

To be honest, it was awesome. I loved keeping stats on kisses, who cussed or said “here for the right reasons,” who shows up with a gimmick on episode 1, who gets the first impression rose, and on and on we would go with the circus.

But it’s not like there’s ever been a lot of real romance on the show, even dating back to the very first Bachelor couple, Adam and Eve. There is some romance, for sure. However, the romance we witness rarely leads to marriage. In fact, if I were a divorce lawyer, well, I’d be poor (because of that whole not getting married part) BUT I’d be waiting right behind Neil Lane with a packet of papers and a couple of pens.

Producers pressure you into a premature proposal? Fantasy suite got you all confused about stuff? Pump the brakes and put your trust in me. Hi, my name is Ben. I’ll be your lawyer friend.

…would be my way-too-long slogan. If there were a way to make money off engagement breakups, THEN I’d be more than a poor divorce lawyer. Because this is dating in real life. So why do I, and we, keep coming back? I guess it’s for entertainment value because there sure is a heck of a lot of that. And the drama. With the current cast of Jordan and Blake and Hannah G among others, my heart rate is equal to a brisk jog on a Planet Fitness treadmill.

I guess we could call this post “Confessions of a 40 year old man: Why I admit to watching The Bachelor.” My confession: I just do. I can’t really explain why. With the windmills and the Stagecoach and Jordan being the best cast member ever, we just can’t get enough, can we? 🙂

What are your thoughts about the show and if you’re willing to share, why do you watch? Comment below!

-Out of the Wilderness

The Bachelorette in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The lucky guys are still in Thailand trying to win Ashley’s love and devotion, this time, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I liked how last week when Ashley announced they’d be going to Chiang Mai, Thailand all the guys cheered. Come on, no one besides Ames really knew where it was. But that’s where they found themselves and so they settle in to the Mandarin Oriental dadada Hotel. Ashley’s monologue about how she’s ready for new beginnings was accompanied by the music of Crystal Pepsi. I became inspired, and thirsty.

This is the first episode featuring a two-on-one date, but first, let’s see who got the one-on-one date. It went to Ben F., the winemaker from California. Their date included two pink shirts, a rickety 3-wheeler and a trip to the downtown market. I was expecting the Thai version of a flash mob, but they made umbrellas, instead. Wouldn’t it be cool if every episode had a flash mob from now on? Anyway, Ben had pink striped shorts on, too. I think it worked but what do I know? I do stuff like this:

After the umbrellas Ben F. and Ashley view an ancient temple. They aren’t allowed to kiss near the temple, so they close their eyes and kiss, Representative Weiner style, a.k.a. in their minds. Later, Ben F. and Ashley eat dinner at a breathtaking picnic setup including candles, flowers, and well, food. Ben F. opens up about his dad dying. Ashley replies with a “rhhhhhhhhhlly” which is a breathy way to say “really.” I suppose that means she was extremely moved by Ben’s story. So when you want someone to know you’re sympathetic, add h’s to the words you uhhhhse. Ben F.’s fan base is sure to grow after this date, so does his chances with Ashley. She gives him the rose that was at stake, then they kiss.

The group date included Constantine, Ames, Nick, Blake, Lucas, Ryan P., J.P., and Mickey. They guys take part in Muay Thai boxing which is basically kickboxing. The guys boxed each other in short one-on-one matches. The matches really could’ve went either way, but there were some winner and losers. Ames lost his match to Ryan P. and actually went to the hospital. He later caught up with the gang at dinner. Ashley pulled him aside to make sure he was alright. Ames explained the doctor said he was suffering from being totally in love… and a mild concussion.

Did anyone else notice the excessive use of cell phone video camera footage? I guess no one’s safe from the budget crunch, eh, ABC? Cheer up, you still have “101 Ways to Leave a Game Show” game show.

Blake gets the rose from the group date, which he accepts and then kisses Ashley. The first two-on-one of the season went to William and Ben C. and one of the guys will go home at the end of the date. William comes across awfully arrogant in his interviews, a side we haven’t really seen before. The three take a log raft ride down a river and I’m suddenly having flashbacks of the one time I watched Deliverance.

William talks separately with Ashley and proceeds to throw Ben under the bus, something he said he wasn’t doing. He told Ashley what Ben said to the guys about wanting to get back to online dating. In a shocking twist, Ben C. is sent home immediately. Ashley and William sit down for dinner where Ashley took a longer than comfortable sip of her drink. Why? Because she was about to send William home, too. Bam. William’s now wondering “…what was Ben C. saying about Match.com again? Or was it OKCupid?”

Later Ashley meets the guys for the cocktail party. She has some ultra boring talks with the guys, sponsored by my DVR. Fast forwarding to the rose ceremony, roses went to: (Ben F. and Blake earlier), Constantine, Lucas, JP, Ames, Mickey, Ryan P. The men sent home were (Ben C. and William earlier), Nick.

Quote of the episode… Ashley: “hhhhhyy gyyyyys” (a breathy “hey guys”)

Thanks for reading! For a relationship that has a better chance of surviving, and is simply more real, check out these two people getting married:

Ashley Hebert Tattoo Pictures (The Bachelorette 2011)

Ashley Hebert has a tattoo on her right wrist. Check it out below. For show recaps, click here!!

Ashley and Lucas in Episode 3

Ashley and Blake in Episode 3

Ashley's "crazy beautiful" tattoo

Ashley Hebert tattoo image

Ashley and the Jabbawockeez, and her tattoo


The Bachelor Brad Womack, Episode 5: Fantasy Bachelor.

Bachelor Party

From left to right: Couch- Anna, Naomi, Nameless Guy #2, Nameless Guy #1. Floor left: Chris, Ben

 

Episode 5 (01/31/2011)

I have a confession for all you Bachelor readers out there. I’m the self-appointed Commissioner of The Bachelor Fantasy League in Nashville, Tennessee. And when I say Nashville, I mean 8 of my friends. It’s set up a lot like fantasy football with points for different things that could happen each episode. For instance, when a bachelorette kisses Brad Womack, that’s +3 points. Getting a rose is +6 points. Negative points include crying (-1), saying anything about “commitment issues” (-2) and a few other random occurrences. Honestly, and I’m not exaggerating at all, it’s the greatest thing ever. For episode five, I invited League Members to my house. As photographed above, Nameless Guy #1 and #2 were also in attendance. Most of the conversation revolved around the question, “Is Michelle crazy or just forward?” A few doubts were raised about Emily as well. Obviously Mack Braddy feels strongly for Emily, as made evident in the number of moments he took her aside for some one-on-one time. He defended himself by saying he would do the same for any bachelorette he felt needed support.

Shawntel was honored to have the only one-on-one date which went really, really well for her. Just think, even if her time on the show ends with no rose at the final ceremony, she loaded up on some goods that’ll last her longer than an engagement to Brad would. She’s already won. In a bachelor-esque twist, both Ashley’s joined Brad for a two-on-one date. I wouldn’t give my left leg to be Brad on that date. I was sure he’d send Ashley H. home after her breakdown last week, but he ended up sending Ashley S. (the girl from the Seal date) home. I can’t fault him for that, she’s only 22 years old and still has some growing up to do. He’s 38 if you forgot.

Roses went to: Shawntel, Emily, Ashley H., Michelle, Alli, Britt, Jackie, Chantal O. Sent home: Ashley S., Lisa M., Marissa.

The preview for next week in Costa Rica looked promising. You may ask, “Ben, what can I take away from your recap of episode five?” My answer: Honestly, not much. But I’ll leave you with three take aways… 1. I still like Shawntel the most, 2. Emily will not be offered the final rose, 3. Nashville Fantasy Bachelor is the single greatest contribution I’ve given to this world.

Check back next week for a recap of Episode 6, and to find out if I’ve come up with something better to contribute to the world.

Ali Fedotowsky The Bachelorette, Episode 11. Roberto vs. Chris L.

This episode comes to us from “everybody goes here on their 6th date” Bora Bora. All I can do is extend a hearty congratulations to Roberto for earning the very first rose, and now the last. It’s been dramatic, embarrassing, funny, thrilling, scary, and that was just the Jake/Vienna confrontation episode. Good luck to Roberto and Ali.

My advice to Roberto:
Stay humble and be a good man.

My advice to Chris L.:
Move on, brother. You’ll be fine without her.

My advice to Ali:
Stop going to the tanning bed as soon as and/or before your body is darker than your face. That goes for men and women everywhere. I’m just saying.

In the words of my junior high yearbook signature, it’s been real. It’s been fun. But it hasn’t been real fun.

Ben.

P.S. the best commercial out right now is Geico asking how much a bird in the hand is worth. They show Antique Roadshow and the expert is pricing how much a bird in a statue hand is worth. He concludes that it’s worth two in the bush. Great commercial.

Ali Fedotowsky The Bachelorette, Episode 10. The Next Bachelor Revealed?

Last night’s episode, “The Men Tell All” “Welcome The Next Bachelor: Kirk DeWindt.” Despite rumors that he’s dating Jessie Sulidis (yes, the former Jake-season contestant that outed Justin Rego), Kirk will be the next Bachelor. Please note that I haven’t read any spoilers, this is all based on my instinct and cold, hard evidence. I’ll explain now.

The show kicked off with a heart-to-heart between Chris Harrison and Ali. The discussion focused on Justin, Kasey, Kirk, Roberto and Frank. No need to explain that Justin and Kasey aren’t options for next season. And Nicole won’t let Frank leave. Roberto’s going to win (that’s my educated non-spoiler reading guess) , so next year’s Bachelor must be Kirk. Remember how they clumsily set Ali up at the end of the Jake season? Kirk is the new Ali just like “the paid off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice.” Thank you, Dave Ramsey, for that not-totally-unrelated quote that just popped into my head.

Chris Harrison then introduced us to the bachelors who showed up for “Welcome The Next Bachelor: Kirk DeWindt,” who the heck is Kyle? My guess is he’ll be next season’s “surprise guest” that shows up to reveal startling information to Kirk, who will cry a little and say something like, “I didn’t know it was going to be this hard.” After all the introductions, the guys took turns ragging on Kasey, ripping Justin apart, and half-way defending Frank. Cut to highlights of Ali with Kasey: the awkward moments, the singing, oh wait, those are the same thing. Now here you may think, “They haven’t shown Kirk much. Is he really going to be the next Bachelor?” Yes, he is. If you missed it, here are all the words used to describe Kirk on this episode.

Sincere, great chemistry, major moment, sweetness, a lot of the qualities I’m looking for, feel safe, feel appreciated and comfortable around him, love, upbeat, positive, something missing, Kirky, think the world of you, never had heart broken before, bruised heart, inspiring, bed ridden, healthy.

Ok, some of those are taken out of context, but you’re picking up what I’m laying down, right? Kirk is next in line and if you need more proof, let’s move on through the rest of the show. Guess what’s next, more talk about Justin. However, Kirk emerges as a comedian during this segment. The crowd (of girls) applaudes vivaciously. After the break, more talk about Justin. Wow, for someone no one likes, they sure are spending a lot of time talking about him. Wait, this is about ratings. Oh, yeah. Villains have high ratings. So guess what? Let’s talk about Justin some more. More about Justin leaving messages on a social networking site. Justin and Canada. Who’s Kimberly? Jessica is the main girlfriend, Kimberly is the new one. Jessica isn’t allowed to have a Facebook account. Kimberly left wall posts on Justin’s page. Jessica signs back on and messages Kimberly. Text messages, wall posts, more than just voicemails. Valentines with Kimberly. Walks to Jessica’s. Wobbles over. Two girlfriends. Trying for a third. Justin from Toronto has a girlfriend, pictures to prove it. Phone call to Ali. Whew, I’m exhausted. Next the audience got a chance to ask questions. A girl hits on Craig R. who doesn’t understand that’s what just happened. He agrees to wrestle Justin in an olive oil ring and doesn’t understand a girl just hit on him. She sits down.

Ali comes out and runs back through the season, the ups and downs, and how she feels about Justin. Ok, producers, we get it, you want ratings. At one critical point, Ali said it was hard to say goodbye to people she really cared about and they cut to a shot of Kirk smiling. Chris Harrison gives Kirk a chance to speak to Ali, he says he’s ready to find somebody to spend the rest of his life with. Come on, people! Isn’t it obvious? And is it just me or is Ali’s upper lip getting smaller?

Kasey sings a song, we see some bloopers, here it goes: dancing guys, Ali laughing, Kirk landing on stiff bed, Roberto’s crotch, Ali says idealacise, wants to do it with Roberto, dog barking, Ty barking, mom jokes, Ali as Legolas, mouse, beeps. Then highlights of the two remaining bachelors, Roberto and Chris L.

Check back next week to read my recap of Roberto proposing to Ali in episode 11!

Click here for Chris L. tattoo pictures!

Ali Fedotowsky The Bachelorette, Top Three Bachelors.

Ali Fedotowsky’s narrowed it down to her top three: Roberto, Frank, and Chris L. Most of us probably have seen the previews that Frank leaves the show by his choice. Rumors are that when he went back to his hometown (episode 8 recap) he rekindled a flame with an old girlfriend. So if that’s true and Frank goes home, that’ll leave Roberto and Chris L. for the season finale. When this season started, I made some predictions on who would make it into the top three. I chose Roberto, Justin, and Kirk. Here was my take on each of the recent contenders, as noted after episode 1.

Roberto: 26-year-old who recently moved to Charleston, SC. He grew up in Tampa, FL learning to admire his parents and wants a relationship like theirs. When he first met Ali, he complimented her, and she complimented him. He also spoke Spanish to her and said he’d teach her to salsa dance. He hadn’t said his name yet so Ali said she’d just call him “Cutie.” Roberto emerges quickly as a fan favorite, and the producers will edit the show that way. He got the first impression rose.
My take: Top three. I expect him to last a long time this season because he seems very likeable.

Frank: 30- or 31-year-old from Chicago or Geneva. He tells Ali that he quit his job to chase his dreams. When he found out Ali was The Bachelorette, he was very excited. He’s the Clark Kent of this season. He’s already said he loves Ali, and they’re getting married. Arriving at the mansion to meet Ali, he climbs out the limo sunroof, so needless to say he’s got a flare for the dramatic. He seems nice, he’s adventurous and sees that same quality in Ali.
My take: he’s a firecracker, so Ali better be careful that he doesn’t blow up. I predict he’ll have some sort of meltdown which will cause his elimination. Top ten, possibly top five because producers love drama.

Chris L.: 32-year-old from Cape Cod, Massachussetts. He moved to New York to teach at an inner-city public school. This will possibly set him up as an emotional favorite. When he met Ali, he acted a bit creepy. He uses words like “wicked” and lives with his dad, near his brothers. His mom died recently. Again, the emotional favorite.
My take: There’s something guilty about him that I don’t trust. I think it’s his teeth, however, I put him in the top ten, possibly top five.

Kirk: 27-year-old from Green Bay, Wisconsin. He cleverly made a rose out of a red napkin when he first met Ali. Later in the show, he also gave her a homemade scrapbook highlighting his personality. The guys made fun of him for this.
My take: girls like guys that spend time doing something special for them. If he keeps this up, he will go far. Top three.

Justin: 26-year-old entertainment wrestler from Toronto, Canada. He claims he’s a villain in the ring, Mr. Rated-R, but opposite in real life. He appeared comfortable upon meeting Ali, though he was on crutches. In episode 1, he got some one-on-one time and explained the broken foot. Although some guys doubt, he claims he’s “there for the right reasons.” He also received a first impression rose, even after the guys vote him as the one who’s there for the wrong reasons.
My take: Some guys are threatened by him, so they want him eliminated. He seems genuine. Top three because either the audience will love him, or love to hate him, and this is a show producer’s dream.