'The Bachelor': 'Queen for a Day' in disguise
And (spoiler alert!) Emily is "Queen for a Day." Twice.
The first date card is for Ashley S., the 12-year-old First Impression Rose girl or Ashley With the Dead Dad. There are many things about her that annoy us, hopefully Brad figures that out and sends her packing.
At Capitol Records, they record "Kiss From a Rose." Ughhhh. We enjoy that song -- you know, if it's 1995. And if it's not being sung by people who sound like manatees in the throes of passion. The redeeming part of this trainwreck of a date is that Seal is there to perform the song live and that's awesome.
Afterwards, they have a rooftop dinner and Ashley tells her Sad Story of her dad dying and she thought of it because they both loved "Kiss From a Rose," which kinda makes us laugh just a bit. We are sympathetic to her loss because that would be really hard, but it's just too much with the plinky-plunky strains of sadness accompanied by the wailing guitar of melancholy in the background. Ashley gets a rose (of course, how do you not give a rose to Dead Dad Girl?) and as she gets her rose, guess which song kicks up? "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Ha, no. But that would've been really funny. For those slow readers out there, it was "Kiss From a Rose."
The group date is for Lindsay, Shawntel, Alli, Britt, Kimberly, Sarah, Chantal, Ashley H., Lisa, Stacey, Marissa and Michelle. Michelle is really mad about not getting a solo date -- and probably also because last episode was her birthday and nobody cared. She doesn't say it, but we're hedging our bets that she's still hanging on to that.
The date involves another video-shooting premise, but this one is an action movie instead of Red Cross PSAs. And Brad introduces them to it by staging a scene where he is ambushed by four guys and a little person (seriously, didn't one of those guys look like a little person?) It is beyond words how cheesy it is, with the crown jewel being how he round-houses four guys with a shovel.
All the girls are concerned about not standing out. Chantal goes hard-core in her fight scenes, it looks real. OK, we think this looks like a really fun date. And finally, Shawntel wins the fight scenes because she is totally channeling her inner Buffy -- we knew there was a reason we liked her the best. Props to the Chawnteals (see what we did there?).
At night, they have a cocktail/pool party. Chantal is crying already about not being "special" because there are so many girls vying for attention. Uh, were you unaware of how "The Bachelor" works? Anyway, they start talking about making mistakes and she relays her Sad Story of trying to contact her dad who was not in her life anymore and she finally tracked him down, but he had passed away. That's sadder than "Kiss From a Rose" Dad.
Alli takes her alone time, but Michelle saunters up and lurks in the shadows. Props to the sound guys for the total Snidley Whiplash music. We bet if Michelle didn't have a good waxer, she'd have a mustache to twirl. Chantal nails it when she astutely observes that the best way to deal with Michelle is to hang back and let her self-destruct.
During her alone time, Michelle spins her Sad Story about missing her daughter. Oh, Michelle. That is a weak "Queen for a Day" submission. No washer and dryer for you.
Ya know, we heard/read Michelle described as "stunningly beautiful" by Chris Harrison twice before the season aired and we just don't see it. She's monochromatic and has kind of a pointy rat face. We are not fans.
The rose on the Group Date goes to Shawntel, which is awesome. It should go to the action movie butt-kicker, not a Sad Story. Props to Brad. Michelle is bitter (shocker!) because she thinks her Sad Daughter Story should've gotten her the rose. Little does she know she's a distant 4th place on the Sad Story ranking.
Emily is telling her Sad Story to the other girls because she knows she has to tell Brad. Oh geez. This trumps both Dead Dads, but it would've been more effective for the viewers to save this reveal for this episode and not tell us in the first episode.
Meghan astutely observes that Emily is a Barbie doll with the soul of Mother Teresa and you want to hate her but you can't. Yep. Anyway, Brad and Emily pull up outside a small prop plane for the date and wow, that is kind of mean of the producers and poor Brad doesn't know. And who can blame her if she's not completely thrilled to be there?
They fly to wine country and drive in an old roadster (might not be a roadster, we don't know cars and our boyfriend isn't here watching this week to tell us what it is). They have a picnic in a vineyard, very nice, but Emily isn't really opening up to Brad. He can tell something is there and she's dodging things. He finally worms Sad Story out of her that night in a barn when they eat dinner.
Brad is pretty blown away, but now he likes her even more for opening up and he wants to know all about Emily's daughter. Aw, that's nice. She, of course, gets a rose because you can't not give the No. 1 Sad Story a rose. She accepts it with an "absolutely! Gimme that dang ol' rose!" She's just too adorable. They share a kiss.
Brad's Reflecting Pool
The giant metaphor that is Brad gazing at his reflection in a pool sees Brad meet with his therapist. Oh. My. God. Really? We get that you are changed and not a jerk anymore (though we would argue you weren't a jerk in the first place because hello? honesty = good), but this is laying it on a bit thick. They dissect the three dates he's been on, it's a real snoozefest.
Brad drives off while he voice-overs that some of the girls have opened up, but he wants all of them too. If he's not careful, he's going to get all Jack Bauer on them. "Tell me your Sad Story! Tell me your Sad Story! [ waterboards] Tell me your Sad Storrrryyyyyy!"
Chantal has on a lot of rouge. There's a reason one of the four types of clowns is "Tramp." (Not really, she's not a tramp, it's a joke. Don't email me.) Alli makes a play for "Queen for a Day" with her Sad Story about a cheating dad and unknown little sister. We'll say she's eked into fourth place, edging out Michelle. Michelle probably doesn't even have a daughter, she just hired some doe-eyed moppet to interact with during her intro video.
Michelle lists off all the things that bug her about the other girls. And that it's her birthday.
Chantal takes some alone time and Brad thanks her for opening up to him about Lost Dead Dad. Guess who saunters up with a loud clearing of her throat (and twirl of her mustache)? Michelle tells Brad that they are in a fight. Oh, she's one of those girls. These kinds of games completely disgust us. Girls like Michelle give us normal girls a bad rep. Brad totally falls for it, though, because most guys do.
Brad justifies kissing all the other girls as part of "opening up" because last time he didn't kiss very many girls. That's an interesting spin on sucking face with every pretty girl in sight. There's an "Opening Up" montage of Brad taking alone time with a bunch of girls. It's the "Bachelor" version of a training montage from an '80s movie. (If you hear any inspirational power chords, just lie down until they go away.)
Madison has been taking Emily's story to heart and confides to Brad during her one-on-one that she's having a hard time because she wants Emily to succeed in her quest for love. She can see that some women already have their hearts on the line and she is just taking away from them. Brad tells her if she doesn't want to accept a rose, then don't. Very mature all around, though slightly over-dramatic.
Ashley H. takes her one-on-one time and she's having that common problem of you got a solo date already, so you get kind of left out in the cold for awhile. So she's "pulling away emotionally," Brad therapy-speaks.
The roses go to Michelle, Chantal and then -- Madison just walks out. The most dramatic vampire exit EVER. Madison tells Brad she would have a really hard time taking a rose from one of the girls that goes home. She would rather go home than do that. A couple "Survivor" contestants could take a page out of her book, NaOnka and Kelly Purple. Brad commends her for her choice.
She admits in her exit interview that she came on the show because it sounded fabulous, but she realized it's not for her. She says she wasn't the real her, which we're assuming means she wouldn't have put those fangs in and would've just been normal (we hope).
Brad comes back and gives roses to Lisa, Jackie, Ashley H., Marissa, Britt, Alli, Lindsay, Meghan and Stacey, so Sarah and Kimberly are going home. Bummer, I liked Kimberly and wish we would've gotten to see more of her -- right up until she's kind of a witch in her exit interview. Meow, Kimberly. Don't take it personally!
Next week: More therapy, but at least it's Dr. Drew.