The Best of 2010

Last year welcomed a new blog into the world. Since the birth of ‘Out of the Wilderness’ in April, the site has attracted 26,604 views. The postings on this site cover everything from dolphins to Nashville to mustaches, Boney M, music, the power of words, ghosts, personality types, the BP oil spill, online dating, and much more. With all the variety of topics, though, the highest viewed posts are about the 2010 season of “The Bachelorette.” I posted a weekly review after each episode from the very first episode (meet the Bachelors) to the last when Ali picked Roberto Martinez over Chris Lambton. Curiosity about Chris drew in the most clicks among Bachelorette posts. However, the post with the most views overall will surprise you. It’s about a band called Boney M, international stars from the 1970s. Sadly, the male lead from the band died recently so searches for Bobby Farrell and Boney M have surged quite a bit since then. Without further explanation, here are stats from ‘Out of the Wilderness’ this year, in order of most viewed:

1. Boney M In A Green Taxi
views: 9,699

2. The Bachelorette, Chris L.’s Tattoo Pictures
views: 6,887

3. The Bachelorette Episode 10
views: 839

4. The Bachelorette, Chris L.’s Birthday
views: 448

5. The Bachelorette Episode 4
views: 412

6. Slept Like A Log
views: 376

7. About the Author
views: 252

8. The Bachelorette Episode 8
views: 163

9. Will You Accept This Prose?
views: 147

10. Where Are All the Men
views: 138

11. The Bachelorette Episode 3
views: 138

12. Music Roulette: 50 Songs In 1 Paragraph
views: 134

13. Popular YouTube videos
views: 120

14. Fantasy Football 2010 Draft Order
views: 112

15. Ben Wilder vs. Nick Shell: A Facebook Battle
views: 110

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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 9.

The only thing more frightening than the Haunted House ride at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida is…. a Frank mental breakdown! As predicted in the episode 1 recap, Frank sealed his fate this episode when he left Ali for a love interest back home. Let’s get personal, though. I’m at Disney World and I think I need therapy. I almost skipped Splash Mountain and Pirates of the Carribbean so I could stay in the hotel room to watch the Bachelorette. Sad day in my life, to be sure. I can guess what happened though. Frank freaked, Ali cried, Chris L. consoled, Roberto comforted. Chris and Roberto were shocked by frank, Ali cried and questioned her Bachelorette existence, and did Chris Harrison say, “Coming up, the most dramatic reveal in bachelorette history,”? Oh, Chris Harrison! Frank is gone, but the real loser is me. Because I’m sitting outside my Disney hotel room typing on my Droid about a show I didn’t even watch when I should be packing my lunch and playing wih my nieces. Mourn for me. And check back next week for a recap of whatever they’re showing, perhaps “The Men Tell All”?

Ali Fedotowsky The Bachelorette, Episode 8.

The only solace I have today is knowing that George Steinbrenner was alive long enough to see Ali meet the remaining four bachelor’s families. Talk about weight lifted off the shoulders. Wooo. *wiping nervous sweat from forehead*

First up on the hometown visit episode was Roberto. He takes Ali to the University of Tampa’s baseball field, where he played in college. They walked around the field and practiced batting and fielding. Clearly Ali is smitten with Roberto but an expert Bachelorette consultant friend of mine pointed out that Roberto doesn’t seem to be reciprocating the affection quite as much. Holy Justin Bieber, Batman! This could be crucial info as the season comes to a close. Ali and Roberto did more baseball related things, which apparently makes Ali laugh because she laughed quite a bit throughout the baseball field tour.

Ali: “Today’s date had all the elements I want in life.”

Yeah, first base, second base, third base… places you’ve already been with how many bachelors? Hiiiyoooo! Later Ali meets Roberto’s family. His dad pulled Roberto aside and called him “a big price.” I love when parents are encouraging. So much of what’s wrong in the world (and in this show!) would be remedied if parents would love their children and encourage them. Justin Bieber! I didn’t mean to get deep so quick. Sorry. Before the hometown date was over, Ali mentioned she’s getting cold feet. I only hear that phrase when it’s related to a wedding. Interesting.

the circle of trust.

The next hometown date was with Chris L. If I had to describe Chris in a few words: solid, genuine, deep. We learn from this date that Chris comes from good stock. His dad is cool, his brothers are cool, and his sister-in-laws are cool.  They live by the motto: “Love is the only reality.” While they were all talking, Chris’ sister-in-law asked Ali about the tennis bracelet he gave her in Portugal. My only question is, will Roberto mail the bracelet back to Chris L. when the show is over? There’s a Lambton circle of trust, and Ali won’t make it in.

Kirk Sir-Smiles-A-Lot hosted Ali in his hometown next. His parents are divorced so this date will include two separate visits with his dad then his mom. Turns out Kirk’s dad is passionate and professional about stuffed animals. Literally. Real animals. Stuffed. He brings Ali down to the basement to show her his trophies.

Ali: “What is this thing?”
Kirk’s Dad: “What that is, is a caribou foot that I put eyes on.”
Ali: “Wow.”

Unfortunately, this little visit didn’t seem to please Ali, which will not award Kirk any points. She probably thinks of Kirk as an apple that won’t fall from the tree. On a sidenote, Kirk’s dad if you’re reading this, I have a few moles digging up my yard that I’d love to have taxidermied. Email me. Part two of this date is at the home of Kirk’s mother. The headlines from this portion are that the cheesy potatoes were a big hit. That’s about as interesting as it got for the rest of that date.

The final hometown date was in Chicago with I’m-Wearing-A-V-Neck-That’s-Not-Really-A-V-Neck Frank. They meet on the Navy Pier, run to each other and hug. In a raspy voice, Frank says, “Ali.” They take a boat ride across the water, aaaand scene! On the boat ride, Frank revealed some of his insecurities about the relationship, which surprised Ali. Eight episodes into the season and this is the first time we hear of Frank’s doubts? Whatever happened to reality television? I’m suspicious that somewhere deep in the bowels of ABC there’s a host of writers along with a team of producers along with a pack of wolves along with Kasey who’s pitching songs he makes up on the fly.

In the end, roses went to Roberto, Chris L., and Frank in that order. It was Kirk’s time to go home, so he made like a pelican and flew out of there.

caribou foot with eyes.

Ali Fedotowsky The Bachelorette, Episode 7.

Let’s go ahead and call this what it is, the Jake and Vienna episode. We’ll get to that shortly. First, though, Ali went on dates with the five guys that remain: Ty, Kirk, Roberto, Frank, and Chris L. This round was different though, in that no roses were given out on the dates, and one of the dates was a two-on-one. The first date card arrived and named Roberto as the datee. Ali showed up at the guys’ hotel room and greeted them in Spanish, an attempt to welcome them to Lisbon, Portugal. Roberto translated, turns out she said, “Toilet sandwich in ocean airplane.” Nice one, Ali.

The date went well, and it’s no surprise if you’ve been watching the show to see that Ali and Roberto have chemistry. He’ll end up in the top three, no question. Date two was with Ty and Frank. Frank admitted that Ty is his toughest competition so he’s miffed they’ll be together for the two-on-one. Hey, when you’re fighting for fourth place, does it really matter? Cue the helicopter ride. So does anyone believe in regular transportation anymore? I mean, I can hardly remember the last time I picked a girl up in a helicopter. It’s not normal to do that. What’s normal is a car. Two cars. Meaning the guy and the girl drive their own car to meet at an agreed upon location. That way when the date goes sour, they can drive around to find something better going on. No helicopters! The highlight of this date was when Ali asked Ty to chat privately. As they left, Frank saluted them. Didn’t that happen to a curly-haired Cory on Boy Meets World? He saluted Topanga and was so embarrassed. He still became her boyfriend by the end of the episode, but I don’t think Frank will fare that well. Later, Frank gets away with Ali and they talk about their own families. He’s worried about telling Ali that he lives with his parents but eventually spits it out. She says, “Awww,” and hugs him like he just fell off his bicycle. Had he just told her without acting like it was a big deal, he wouldn’t have emasculated himself.

The next date went to Kirk (who will end up in the top three). They got along well, but is Kirk reminding me more and more of a great camp counselor? He smiles a lot and seems to have a lot of energy. Perfect for Swim Day at the pool and thrilling children with late-night adventure stories. But this is about what Ali thinks of him, and she likes him.

The last date was with Chris L. She kept mentioning that “it may be a little too late” for Chris to make a solid romantic connection. Isn’t it a little strange that this is the first we’ve heard of Ali’s concerns about the Chris L. relationship developing too slow? Producers are awarded zero points. Anyway, he gave her what is perhaps the most personal gift anyone has given her so far, except Kasey’s two freestyle songs. He gave her a tennis bracelet that is like the ones his sister and his mom had/have. Pretty cool.

Roses went to Chris L., Frank, Roberto, and Kirk. Poor Ty Longnote (clever reference to last week’s recap) got sent home this time around. I think he would have been sent packing last week but because Justin left on his own accord, Ty got to stick around one more episode.

The last forty-five minutes were dedicated to Jake and Vienna. Honestly, the best forty-five minutes of The Bachelor/ Bachelorette I’ve ever seen! It will go down in the annals of history as the moment this show turned a corner, earning it a spot in reality television goldness. Songs like Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”. Songs like “Gives You Hell” by the All American Rejects. Songs like “Baby” by Justin Bieber. All are being considered for the theme song of this episode. It was amazing. Somewhere in America, Tenley is pressing play on the track “Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles and she’s dancing like no one’s watching! Jake and Vienna acted like two third-graders fighting about who gets to sleep in the cot by the window. Highlight #1 was when, after Chris Harrison got the rundown from Jake, Vienna appeared from the forest. She was there to tell her side of why they broke up. Jake said it’s because she cheated on him. Vienna called him a “fame whore.” But evidently Jake has evidence she cheated. We found this out when he gave us the quote of the night:

“Oh yes, baby, I’ve got text messages.”

Then Vienna called him a fake liar. Wait, wait, doesn’t that mean he’s telling the truth? Oh yes, baby, you just used a double negative! She turned to Chris Harrison and asked if Jake can take a polyagraph test. Last I checked polygraph didn’t have an “uh” in it. Polyuhgraph. Hilarious, Vienna! Somewhere Tenley’s doing the hokey pokey and shaking it all about!

Check back in next week for a recap of episode 8!

Ali Fedotowsky The Bachelorette, Episode 6.

The Bachelorette meets Cheaters meets I Survived A Japanese Game Show.

If you saw this episode, you’re painfully aware (the first thirty minutes were dedicated to this) that Justin “Rated-R” Rego is long gone. Turns out, dun dun dun! he has a girlfriend. For more digression into all of that, read other recaps, I want to get to the good stuff! Afterall, The Driftwood Detectatory, II is nothing if not “good stuff.”
Seven guys remain after last week’s episode. They’re bunked up at the Hyatt in Instanbul, Turkey. It’s the normal routine of two one-on-one dates split in the middle by a group date. The first single date goes to Ty from Tennessee. Their date was at a Turkish bath. Ali informs us that usually only men are allowed there so she’s happy to be allowed inside. Is it an honor to have access to where men bathe? Really? I used to shower at the Y downtown and let me tell you, it’s no place for a woman. Think showers full of wrinkly naked men. With no shower dividers. Anyway, she and Ty rub lotion on each other and kiss a little. Ty has restored her faith in wrinkle-free men. Mine, too. The chemistry between these two is blowing up. Especially with the background drum track ripped from a 1997 soft porn video. Country singer Ty’s new nickname, “Ty Longnote,” if you know what I mean. It’s dinner time, so while they eat Ali asks him about his divorce. He explains why his first marriage went South, telling her he’s learned and become a better person because of it. He couldn’t appear more sincerely ready for a new attempt at marriage. Or, as he likes to call it, verse three. Ali offers Ty the rose and he accepts. They go outside and dance on the street.

Next up, the group date with Chris L., Roberto, Kirk, and Craig R. This date took place at a fifteenth-century fortress and had some surprises. First, no rose will be given out. Instead, the guys must wrestle covered in olive oil to win a date with Ali. Of all the athletic guys who remain, Craig (a lawyer) ends up winning and gets his first one-on-one date with Ali. Nice work, Craig! Maybe you won’t be pegged as “The Protective Big Brother” afterall. The rest of the guys return to the Hyatt and tell Frank the Smotherer all that happened, who’s surprisingly upset that all he can do is wait in devastating anticipation.

“Roberto is a really good oil wrestler.”
-Craig R.

Craig and Ali go out on a boat for dinner, where he jokes about olive oil wrestling. This was an attempt to belittle Justin (the professional wrestler), similar to his Kasey tattoo joke last week. Unfortunately it floats right by Ali’s little blonde head and Craig got no bonus points. Is it obvious here that Craig likes her, or more accurately, he wants to like her? Ali wants to like him, but knows something’s not there. His “protective big brother” characteristic bites him in the booty, never more clearly than when they watched fireworks from the boat. That’s when she called him, “so sweet,” which, if you’ve ever been a guy you know that’s the kiss of death. Just ask Krazy Kasey. She called him sweet in episode 1 and look where he is now. Last week I predicted Craig wouldn’t get a rose this week, and so far, he’s right on track.

The final date of the evening went to Frank the Smotherer. Before it started, Ali commented that she wants the old Frank back. I don’t think she has a clear recollection of “the old Frank” but hey, she wants what she wants. The date begins with snacking on some candy-like treats from a carpet shop, of course. The owner sells them a rug. So now they’re walking around Turkey with a huge rug from IstanKEA. Frank says he feels like they’re in a movie. Aha! He’s thinking back to the U.S. soccer game versus Algeria when Landon Donovan scored a late-game goal, the commentator exclaiming “Hollywood couldn’t write it any better!” Well watch out, Landon, Frank’s out to prove he can! Anyway, they chat over a romantic dinner. Ali confesses she’s scared about something, I don’t know, I was busy thinking about the Donovan goal. It was awesome! Ok, Ali feels really good around Frank the Smotherer. She smothers his chest with a rose. He accepts then smiles smothererly.

The cocktail party is cancelled and the guys are, guess what, shocked! Ali already knows who she’s going to eliminate and doesn’t want to delay. Roses went to Ty, Frank, Roberto, Chris L., and Kirk. Craig’s eliminated. Runner-up for quote of the episode goes to ABC for this one: “If you’d like to be on the upcoming season of the Bachelor or Bachelorette, go to bachelor.abc.com and click apply.” Don’t apply, we all know it’ll be Frank or Kirk.

Check back next week for a recap of episode 7!

Ali Fedotowsky The Bachelorette, Episode 5.

Tonight I’ve realized out of the ten bachelors interested in this show (the nine guys left on the show, and me), I’m the crazy one. Why? Because it’s Tuesday night and I’m overwhelmed with excitement to catch up with episode 5. You see, I was out of town Monday night shooting video on the Gulf Coast and missed The Bachelorette, something most married men would consider a dodged bullet. Maybe that’s why I’m single. Watching The Bachelorette. On a Tuesday night. Alone. I’m pressing play now.

The crew’s in Iceland and all the guys are excited. The first task is to write a love poem to Ali. At stake, a one-on-one date. Some of the poems are funny, some are thoughtful, but let’s be honest here, they’re terribly corny. Ali picks Kirk as the winner, earning him his first one-on-one date of the season.A rose is on the line so if Kirk drops the ball, he’ll be going home. On their date, he and Ali are pretty natural together. They feed some geese in the wild tundra of Iceland. They also wear matching clothes. She asks him to tell her things she doesn’t already know but he’s nervous about something big in his past. By the end of the date, though, he tells her a little bit of his death-defying history and gets a rose.

Next up, the group date including Roberto, Chris L., Chris N., Craig R., Ty, and Frank. It’s a horse ride out on the frozen mountainside. They travel up to a cave where Ty arises as a cowboy among justboys. Each of them repel down into the cave with Ali and freeze their little digits off. Chris L. offers Ali a pair of gloves, because he’s had two pairs of gloves this the whole time! Hello, it’s Iceland! Later, Ali calls Frank out on not smothering her enough. At the end of the date they all jump into the “magical” Blue Lagoon. The other bachelors (see how I’m excluding myself this time?) seem to be excited about the sausage fest in the warm lake. Ali pulls Ty aside to chat. I wonder what the other guys do while Ali’s with Ty? Probably say things like, “Is that an iscicle or are you just happy to see me?” Or “This pool is warm, isn’t it, guys?” Or “I feel a warmer spot, did someone just pee?” At the end of the group date, Ty gets the rose.

Time for the two-on-one date with Justin and Kasey. Ali will give a rose to one, and send the other home. Justin pretty much threatens to kick Kasey’s ice. Will Kasey reveal the tattoo? Will Justin tell Ali about it before Kasey can? I see a blizzard of iceberg proportions approaching! Ok, yes I miss Jonathan the weatherman. Anyway, the guys meet up with Ali at a helicopter and in Kasey’s voiceover, he still seems to think physical pain is the key to Ali’s heart. If it is, he’ll have his chance to bring the pain on their date at an active valcano. Honestly I don’t see this ending well for Kasey. Or the valcano. Justin gets the rose by default. Ali gives a classy break up speech to Kasey, then leaves him in the middle of the snowy embankment. That’s cold, Ali! No really, that’s cold.

The quote of the day goes to Kasey: “This physical pain is nothing to me. I like feeling pain.”

Before the rose ceremony the guys were given some time to be alone with Ali. Frank goes first and promises to turn the smother-meter up to full blast, Ali’s happy. Kisses. Fingers through hair. Kisses. Nasaly talking from Ali. Craig R. pulls out all the stops by drawing a tattoo a la Kasey on his arm. Ali eats it up, laughing all the way. That’s cold, guys! No really, that’s cold. Ali chats with Chris N. who talks about how funny he is. Awkward silence. Chris L. asks Ali what her concerns are. She says it’s location, location, location! Ali’s trusting this guy more and more, but I’m still concerned about his teeth. Does that make me wierd? Possibly. Or genius. Roberto is humble. We get that and I like him. So does Ali.

Roses go to: Kirk, Ty, Justin, Frank the Smotherer, Chris L., Roberto, and Craig R.
going home: Kasey and Chris N.

Check back next week for a recap of episode 6 where I predict Craig R. will be eliminated, and if there are two eliminations, Ty.