'The Bachelor': Bankie Banx, Anguilla, toplessness and rule-breaker Brad
The first solo date is for Emily. When a helicopter pulls up, Emily acts like this is something amazing, like it doesn't happen on every date on this show. If I were on this show, nothing but a talking camel would impress me at this point. She then tells Brad he does too much for these dates. Um, you know he has a huge budget and a production crew planning these, right? He doesn't just dial up a helicopter pilot and then buy an island and then phone the Barenaked Ladies or whatever. *sigh*
They have a nice picnic and while I like Emily, I don't get a spark here. I don't think she has nearly the chemistry with Brad that either Chantal or Shawntel have with him. I could see them being friends, but not more than that. Also, Brad needs to stop saying things like, "We lose the sun and gain the moon."
At dinner, Brad wants to know that he'll get to meet Emily's daughter if she makes it to the hometown dates. Man, that is a tough one. I can understand why he'd want to, but I can understand also why she would not want her daughter involved. It's not like her daughter's dad is just a divorce or he's out of the picture. He died and Ricky never met him, so ... it's trickier.
Emily says she's never introduced Ricky to anybody she's dated and to me, there's your answer. You cannot introduce the first boyfriend ever as some guy with a camera crew following you around. Brad seems disappointed that he might not get to meet Ricky, but he's not being too difficult about it. Brad then tells Emily that he is giving her a rose at the next rose ceremony (spoiler alert, Brad! God!) and then says that they are having a hometown date and that's that.
Oooh, Rule-Breaker Brad. You rebel.
Shawntel gets her second solo date and they go riding bicycles, which is adorable. Brad keeps saying "Anguilla" like he's getting paid by the mention. Maybe he is. They head for a Farmer's Market, which Shawntel just loves. I would get along well with Shawntel, she is so laid back. They jump rope and play dominoes with some locals who are probably Hollywood contract players.
They go have a picnic near a goat and her babies, which are the cutest things ever. Shawntel confesses that she's only said "I love you" twice to a guy, but she is definitely falling in love with Brad. They have decent chemistry, we're on board.
At dinner, they talk about families and whatnot. Brad is really impressed that he can open up to her about his daddy issues (all the best cowboys have 'em). Then a torrential downpour starts and it's very romantic. Ugh, jealous.
But that is not all! They are now treated to a concert by Bankie Banx, a famous local musician. We've embedded a video below if you'd like to see more of Bankie. I love getting to see an artist I'm not really familiar with. That is a seriously good date.
Poor adorable Britt finally gets her first solo date. They set sail on a giant yacht, as Michelle takes aim from the shore with her harpoon. Not really, but hey -- even "Bachelor Pad" winner Dave thinks Michelle is crazypants. She comments that it's "a waste of a one-on-one, if you ask me." Nobody asked you, lunatic. I just know I'm going to have to keep recapping her this summer on "Bachelor Pad." I just know it.
After sailing around, they go cliff climbing and then cliff diving, which is very cool. Britt's a good sport, even though she's scared. Afterwards, Britt talks about how hard it is for her to open up. I think she's a goner. She and Brad seem to lack chemistry, plus the other girls have such a leg up on her, alone time-wise. Brad is also having doubts. So let's hope for a Michelle/Britt elimination, huh?
Their dinner on the yacht is absolutely gorgeous, but it still is uber-boring. I keep expecting the sound editors to overlay the cricket sound. To his credit, Brad is honest with her about the lack of feelings and he tells her he doesn't see a future with her. Wow, Rule-Breaker Brad is busting out all over the place! She says they should see how things go, but he says he doesn't want to string her along and then says it's time to say good-bye. Wow. This shizz just got real, yo!
To the show's credit, Britt gets to zoom off in a dinghy and is not left adrift on a circular life preserver, like they would've done if the gender roles were reversed (pours one out for Kasey and Robbie).
When Britt gets back, she tells the girls and they are upset. Even Michelle is nice to her, so you know Britt must be well-liked because if Chantal was leaving like this, Michelle would be looking for a gun to fire in the air in jubilation.
Brad wakes up the other three women at the crack of dawn and takes them to a photoshoot for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. I hope they put these pictures online at SI, I don't want to have to buy one and I canceled my Sports Illustrated issue years ago.
Michelle and Ashley are pumped, but Chantal is having a fat day. Aww, we've all been there, sweetie. Plus, Chantal does have more curves than most of the girls there. She's not fat by any means, but she's curvy (with real boobs, unlike Michelle).
They convince Ashley to take her top off and hold shells in front of her boobs, which really raises the stakes for the other two. Because you know this is a contest. Chantal dribbles sand on herself, then totally goes topless too, but she has considerably more to cover than Ashley.
So how does Michelle raise the stakes? She says she wants to model with Brad and straddles him like a porn star. Chantal can't really handle it and walks off. But seriously, are they going to put a Brad picture in the SI swimsuit issue? That's dumb.
Brad realizes that he screwed up by getting pulled into the photoshoot with Michelle becuase it really hurt the other two. Thumbs up for having the awareness to realize that, but thumbs down for not stopping it sooner.
Afterwards at the pool party, Brad takes alone time with both Ashley and Chantal. You know, I make fun the therapy crap but I really do appreciate that Brad acknowledges the other girls' hurt feelings and doesn't make them feel crazy or stupid for having them. I have dated someone who was like that and it made me feel so crappy.
Ashley says it made her feel like "why am I even here?" on that date and he asks how he can make her feel cared about? She says even just talking about it makes her feel better. It's a good working out of the issue.
With Chantal, Brad asks her if her feelings have changed and she says no, but that it gets put to the test on days like this where he is sucking face with a she-demon. Those may be my words, not Chantal's.
When he spends time with Michelle, they say their conversations are "deep." Um, really? Her feeding you lies and BS about how no one is right for him but her? He also says they are too much alike. Who is he talking about right now? Is he completely blind?
"I'm am on the date from hell," says Brad. Yeah, you kind of are. You took three girls to a photoshoot that involved toplessness and kissing. Good lord. Brad says he knows exactly who he should give the rose to, but he's scared to do it and make the other two even more upset. So he gives the rose to Ashley and Chantal says to Michelle, "Didn't see that one coming."
The rose going to Ashley pushes Chantal over the edge. She starts crying and doesn't want to talk about it, but Michelle and Ashley excuse themselves and he talks with her. She says if you can't choose me out of three girls, then just send me home. She says at this point it's not about who put themselves out there, it's about whose family does he want to meet. He responds that's her perception, but I'm with Chantal. That is exactly what that rose says right now - he chose Ashley over her and she's upset about it.
He says it's not about choosing one out of three, it's a matter of timing. What does that even mean? He is not making her feel better this point because to her, you give the rose to whichever girl you like best and it's probably hard to see it any other way. I totally get it.
The girls are taken to Brad's villa and they have on such beautiful tropical outfits. I especially like Emily's striped dress. Also, the house he stays in is un-freaking-believable. The girls cheers for their final night together. That's right, they don't see each other after this!
Brad takes some alone time with Chris Harrison ("I need to talk to Chris Harrison") instead of his therapy session. He then says he doesn't need a cocktail party before the rose ceremony. Because tonight he is a RULE BREAKER! Yeah!
He has his mind made up and knows who he is sending home (pleasebeMichellepleasebeMichelle). Gotta respect that, especially from a recapper's perspective. Chris informs them that there is no party and they are surprised. Chantal looks like she's sure it's her. Michelle says if she goes home, she's going to be "f****** pissed" and that she wanted to "pull him in" and "pull him back to [her]." Which really means she feels that her games and shenanigans have stopped working and she knows her talons have lost their grip on Brad.
They head down to the beach for a nighttime beach ceremony, which is gorgeous. The girls look pretty somber. We know Emily is getting one, so one of the Shanteals better not be eliminated. I like them the best.
Brad says that once he knew he was going to say good-bye to someone that night, he didn't think it would be right to string her along knowing nothing would change, so that's why he's having the Rose Ceremony early.
The roses go to Emily, Shawntel and ..... Chantal! WOOO! As Chandler would say, "Ding dong, the psycho's gone."
And then Michelle stabs Chantal and runs at Brad, eyes blazing. No, but would anybody have been that surprised? Michelle conspicuously only hugs Emily and Ashley. That's because Shawntel and Chantal are awesome.
Brad walks her out and she's a total snot about it, which is also not that surprising. She lays down in the limo and acts like she just heard her dog died or something. Seriously, I was over her awhile ago, can we move on please? Knowing my luck, she'll crash someone's hometown date.
Next week: My favorite part of the whole season, hometown dates!