The other day I was returning home from a trip to Sam’s Club and came up on an old Lincoln Towncar with little tires. It was bouncing up and down and I thought to myself, “Hey, the mid-90s called and want their hydrolics back!”
The show opens with Brad packing his bags to leave New York City and fly to South Africa. In the voiceover Brad tells us that he’s feeling lots of emotions, listing two. Hey, he’s a guy, give him a break. Balancing one emotion with another is more difficult than watching two football games on TV at the same time. Brad admits to having trust issues and making mistakes last time he was on The Bachelor. He flies to South Africa, alone. During the flight we see highlights of his relationship with Chantal… can it last? Highlights of his relationship with Ashley… it’s had some speed bumps. Highlights of his relationship with Emily… nervous about joining Emily’s family.
Brad lands in South Africa. There’s a montage of wild animals with the soothing sounds of The Lion King soundtrack. Somewhere Timon and Poomba are hacked when they find out The Bachelor is using Simba’s music. Royalties, man, royalties! We see a lot of elephants. The producers must’ve got my postcard with shot selections for South Africa. I love elephants. Then they cut to a momma monkey licking her feet and a baby monkey approaching the camera. Reminds me of Congo. Amy hungry. Amy angry. Amy roar and throw your camera. Just show the elephants again. Rhinos. Dirt roads. Then bam! More elephants. Elephants are good for ratings. Baby monkeys must be, too, because they show that baby monkey again.
The first date is with Chantal on a safari ride. They hug. They hug and have big hats. Touring around the land they see wild animals. Brad’s favorite- the lion. Giraffes stare at them. More elephants. I’m gonna have to send a thank-you card. It’ll say, “Thank you The Bachelor producers who got my post card and took my suggestions to show lots of elephants. Signed, An Ele-fant in Nashville.”
Brantal descend to a river guided by a gun-wielding man. I’m hoping this guy is part of the tour. They eat lunch while a couple of hippos watch. Apparently there’s bull in Africa because Chantal talks about how the safari is a metaphor for her and Brad’s relationship. That’s bull crap! But I never saw the bull. They toast to perfect beginnings and even better endings.
Brad goes on and on about what he likes about Chantal, and she returns the admiration. They talk about what “engagement” means, and if the rumors are true, Chantal can explain what it doesn’t mean. At this point though, Brad thinks she’s an incredible woman and Brantal make their way to the fantasy suite. What part of fantasy suite includes a tree house in the middle of the African safari? Who’s fantasy is this exactly?The sun sets. Brantal share in pillow talk in the
bait trap tree house.
The next morning Brad tells us that he has missed Emily. He’s waiting for her to appear from around some trees, and of course, she does. Brad tells her he forgot something and runs back to get it. Emily becomes concerned that she’s standing alone like a defenseless gazelle. Brad and friend come riding in on an elephant. I’m gonna need to send more than a card. Elephants are all over this episode, and I think we can all agree, the real hero is the elephant. Am I right? Emily climbs up and they go elephanting through the forest. Is that a thing? “Hey bro, me and Emily went elephanting.” Yeah?
Emily compares the experience to the Lion King, except it’s better. She noted that Ricki would love this. Brad tells Emily he’s missed her and missed her daughter. They discuss the husband/father role and ask if Brad’s ready. He says he is. Brad’s thought about Ricki a lot. Brad is over-the-top committed to Emily and her daughter, so he says. They kiss. Her shorts seem even shorter at this point. Dinner time. Brad assists Emily in her seating, then reaches for the wine and says, “I need it.” Ouch. When’s the last time that ever meant something good at the beginning of a dinner date? There’s a baby elephant on a nearby lamp table being awfully still. It may be a statue. Emily comes clean about how she’s feeling. She’s all in and is eager to find out all that is Brad Womack. Brad’s nervous about offering her the fantasy suite but finally pops the question. Emily, being the good mom, talks about being a role model for her daughter, which evidently is enough to count as a good role model. She accepts after using the phrase “just talk.” When’s the last time that ever meant something good at the end of a dinner date?
They enter the fantasy suite to find food native to South Africa, cheesecake. Emily shares more from her heart, even confessing that she’s falling in love with Brad. Brad scratches his face, looks around, then says he’s falling in love with her, too. Bremily gaining momentum. This fantasy suite has turned into a fantastic suite! Hiyo!
The next date is with Ashley H. I’m not totally sure she didn’t have to check where in Africa was South Africa, but she arrives and Brad hugs her. They start the day by walking hand in hand down a dirt road, through some trees to discover a helicopter. It looks like a father walking his daughter to the park. She is scared to ride in the helicopter. Cue the Rocky music as Miss H. overcomes her fears. Ashley’s just like my puppy. She was afraid to jump off the step into the backyard, but she didn’t need Rocky music to get her to do it. Similarities between Ashley H. and Piper the puppy: Freak out about everything, curious, always needing entertainment, endless energy, pout when they don’t get their way——- Ok I’ll admit it, Ashley gives me a headache but Brad may like her so I’ll try to be fair.
Brashley flies over the African landscape. Rivers, trees, cliffs…
Ashley: “It’s like we were on top of the warld.”
World doesn’t have an ‘a’ but I’m not judging. They land and trek to a place called “God’s window.” Ashley asks if this is real life? Was she referring the kid who asked that same exact question after a dentist visit? That’s a funny video, if you haven’t seen it.
They set up a picnic and drink the juice. They talk about Ashley’s family. Brad talks about watching football with her dad at Thanksgiving. Then Brad asks where she wants to live. She had her heart set on a place that’s warm. She mentioned South… Maine. Yeah, that’s what Brad wanted to hear. Sure. They talk about her faults and her “need to achieve.” Brad says she reminds him of himself in his twenties. Working but having some regrets, missing out on some things. Brad says 10 years ago he was in the same place she is now. In other words, “10 years ago I would’ve given you a rose. But not tonight, Spazzy McEnergy.” They stand on God’s window sill and stare into the future. Ashley sees Brad, Brad sees the sky.
Show breaks to announce the cast of Dancing With the Stars. Perfect timing because I need a snack aaaand returning to the tv, oh they’re still announcing… I need milk for my cheerios. Alright back the program. The sun has set on the African plains. That means a Brashley dinner date. He eats meat and she eats puppy food—— I’m sorry! I just don’t like her. She and my puppy have so much in common. Except that my puppy doesn’t annoy me when she talks.
Ashley quits eating so she can talk. She communicates what she wants Brad to believe. I’ve been in a relationship and tried to make it work when it wasn’t working. That’s what’s happening between Brad and Ashley. She talks about unbreakable chemistry, compromise and living location. Brad confronts her about not mentioning Austin. Sounds like Brad has a case of the needs-to-get-over-it’s. Texas people, there are 49 other states and at least three that are better than you. Fourth is shameful, Texas people.
It’s becoming clear Brashley won’t be a “thing” as soon as Ashley begins to shut down and nit pick. Brad gets frustrated and defensive. Ashley, take advice from my beagle: calm down and eat your food. It’s all gonna be ok. We are witnessing the 28th breakup of the show. As the date goes on, Brad is losing his train of thought and getting a tan from Ashley’s meltdown. The fantasy suite. One last hoorah for Brad and the last chance for puppy to be adopted.
In the fantasy suite, they kiss. Then silence. They talk about the mosquito nets. In humanitarian circles, this talk is so sexy. However, the USS Brashley has sunk. Ashley has little hope at this point.
Brad sits down with Chris Harrison before the rose ceremony. Brad says this time around is no comparison to the last season he was The Bachelor. So the therapy paid off! Sweet relief, I was waiting to exhale. Brad gives a quick recap of the three dates…
Brantal had chemistry since day one. He feels like himself with her.
Brad says he feels like he has known Emily for a decade, if not longer.
The date with Ashley was rough.
Brad is about to leave a girl in Africa so fast she’ll think Zimbabwe is a new birth control pill. Brad’s about to leave a girl in Africa so fast she’ll think Cape Town is where Batman’s from. Brad’s about to leave a girl in Africa so fast she’ll think she’s being punk’d. Ok, I’m done.
Brad pulls Ashley aside just before roses are given out. They chat about stuff… the calm before the storm. The dark before the dawn. The puppy before the love——I’m sorry, I just don’t like her. Ok, I’m done. Crap, Ashley! Don’t cry. Ah, what the H, my bachelor fantasy season is ruined! Go ahead and let the Nile River flow. Kibbles is sent home with no bits before the rose ceremony even happens.