Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Bachelor Begins to Pick Them Off

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We start off getting reminded that Prince Lorenzo Borghese came to Rome to find his princess. 25 American women came and gushed all over the place, then two Italian women came and acted sophisticated and cultured, so he naturally cut one of them loose really quick. This “prince” is not impressive so far. He’s pretty cute as long as he doesn’t turn sideways, but he grew up in America, so I’m not really sure what makes him so interesting besides this title that the producers have decided to fixate on. He does, however, create makeup for dogs, so he might actually be insane, which is way more interesting than past Bachelors.

Here we go with this week’s episode - #2.

How gorgeous is Rome? How awesome would it be to get to live in Rome for a while? Too bad these women are stuck falling all over the Pet Beautician and won’t get to go out and party the way Rome is meant to be partied. Suckers! The 12 remaining losers-to-be gather outside their new digs and listen to Chris Harrison tell them what everyone on the planet already knows. They’re going on dates with the Pet Beautician. If they get a rose from the Pet Beautician, they get to stay on a while longer and go on more dates. We are reminded that Lisa received the very first rose and a pair of diamond earrings, which means she also gets the first one-on-one date with the Pet Beautician. Erica comments that she is not happy about this. Erica is my favorite character so far, and you will see why if you read on. Anyway, a “date box” has arrived to let the girls know who will be going on the first group date and what that will involve. The Pet Beautician has taken a gold metallic marker and written the following names in beautiful cursive: Erica, Jami, Ellen, Sadie, and Agnese. Just kidding. There’s no way the Pet Beautician did that. There’s no way he did this either: Rome is truly the eternal city and I can’t wait to show it to you. –Lorenzo.

Lucky ladies, meet the Pet Beautician.

Agnese, the remaining Italian bachelorette, is adorable. She speaks a little bit of English, but she seems so sweet and is always trying to participate and be friendly with the American idiots. She confessionals that the American girls are crazy. That’s the understatement of the century. And we’re on to Erica. She is the socialite from Texas, and it is very clear that she is taking her cues from America’s favorite socialite, Paris Hilton. She has carefully studied (and mastered) Paris Talk – the inflections in her voice sound eerily like Ms. Hilton’s, she does very familiar little poses and head tilts to the camera, and she is doing her best to be a huge bitchy diva as well. She immediately lodges a complaint to Chris Harrison – as if he can do anything about it – that she doesn’t like sharing a small room and that she can’t believe there are no maids. The reason that Erica is my favorite is because I’ve decided she is faking. There is just no way this is real. For crying out loud, she goes around in a tiara! That’s awesome. If she’s not faking, then she is a seriously disturbed individual and probably the perfect match for the Pet Beautician! Either way, I’m rooting for her. She also has this long, stringy blonde hair that she is always lifting out on both sides of her head with her hands. It’s very insane-looking and adds to the persona.

"I pretend to be aloof, like Paris, and insane, like Hamlet.
Think it will work?"

Ah, here we go on the first group date and stop number one is the Colosseum. Beautiful! Do you know what is all around the Colosseum? Extremely good-looking Italian men. And I mean real Italian men, not American posers who make pet cosmetics. Another huge loss for the girls on this date.

Lest you think I kid:
Cooling Cucumber Spritz and Almond Exfoliating Scrub for dogs.
It's made in Tuscany!

Those crazy kids get wild in front of the Colosseum taking pictures of themselves with the guys in gladiator costumes. I’m remembering The Girls Next Door and their little stint in this very same place! Careful girls! Those pretend gladiators might scoop you up and show the world your underwear! I know you’re already making huge fools of yourselves, but you may want to salvage some shred of dignity to take home with you.

Agnese takes the Pet Beautician to a bench for a little private moment with him. She offers to teach him how to say something in Italian. How tragic is this? This woman is offering to teach an Italian prince how to say something in Italian. Naturally he chooses something very classy: “I want you to say ‘You are a handsome man and I’m in love with you.’” Well, you never know. The Pet Beautician may actually need to know how to tell other men they are handsome. I’m just saying! (Wow, Rome is beautiful!) Yeah this girl is way too cute and sweet. She’ll be leaving before long. I don’t think the Pet Beautician will stand for someone who can’t gush all over him in his mother tongue.

Next everyone hops on a moped and goes for a little spin around Rome. If you’ve never been to Rome, then you need to understand just how Roman it is to ride around on a moped. They are everywhere, and usually occupied by very attractive Italian men. Did I mention what a shameful pity this all is? Erica claims that her license is expired and therefore she has to ride with the Pet Beautician on his moped. Chalk one up for Erica! Of course the other girls are not happy about this, but we all know that they would have done the same if they had thought of it first. Erica chatters at the Pet Beautician the entire time she is on his moped, but he doesn’t seem to be paying much attention. Come to that, he hasn’t really been paying much attention to anything so far. He’s always looking around and coming off very unfocused. Could he be looking for Italian men to practice his new phrases on?

Back from commercial, and goodness gracious Rome looks amazing at night! The Pet Beautician takes the girls into a room with a bunch of fancy gowns and tells them each to pick one to keep forever, and then they will all have a cocktail party. Dresses selected and donned, the girls rush in to continue gushing all over the Pet Beautician, telling him how handsome he looks now that he put on a sport coat. Oh brother! All I can think about is how quickly I would try to sell whatever goodies I got in a situation like this so that I could get the freaking money! Those diamond earrings Lisa got for example? Yeah, gone. They all stand around drinking champagne and gushing. Jami tells the Pet Beautician about her tattoo. She throws her head back and laughs at everything he says.

"HA HA HA! Oh Pet Beautician, you are so incredibly clever!"

Home at the tiny house with no maids, Lisa receives her “date box” telling her that the Pet Beautician will be taking her to his favorite park for a picnic. The other girls resent that she gets the first single date and that she acts haughty about it.

Back to the cocktail party, where Erica steals the Pet Beautician away to gush at him and play with her stringy hair. She is very consciously striking her Paris poses and putting on the Paris Talk. Jami says that Erica is the biggest spoiled brat she’s ever met. The Pet Beautician starts questioning Erica about her experience in Rome so far and Erica, in perfect Paris Talk, says that she doesn’t think Jami is a good match for the Pet Beautician. Jami didn’t go to college, you see. To Erica that is very important because she likes “to have nice conversations with people.” Geez! I could think of about 12 much better reasons for going to college than that in under one minute. For starters, you might not end up making a giant ass of yourself on a television show about fighting over a guy. Anyway, the Pet Beautician takes Erica down a notch or two, telling her she can’t judge people because they didn’t have what she had. Uh oh. Red alert! There is nothing in the Paris manual about this situation because nobody ever calls Paris on the carpet. Erica has no idea what to do, so she pretends to have a nervous breakdown. She goes in front of the camera and does this huge sobbing fit about how she’s embarrassed and it’s not fair, and she probably won’t get a rose. There are no tears in her sobbing, just the whiny Paris Talk and hair pulling. Brilliant!

Next the Pet Beautician has a boring conversation with Sadie about nothing. They ask each other why they’re single. I’d like to take a moment here and say that is the dumbest question on earth. There is no answer to that! Why is anyone single? Either they want to be single, or they haven’t found the right person yet. These desperate girls obviously don’t want to be single, so there you go! What is she going to say? Well, whenever I start liking a guy I start looking through his garbage every day and standing outside of his window with binoculars. That’s why I’m still single. Hello! Duh. Sadie gets the rose of the evening for having the best conversation with the Pet Beautician. This is the fairy tale she dreamed about. We flash back over to Erica’s fit and she’s bawling (still no tears) about how she was raised to be a princess, so he must not want a real princess. I keep thinking she’s going to bust up laughing, but instead she ends crumbling into more fake sobs. Ha ha ha! Ooh, the Colosseum looks amazing in the moonlight!

Back from commercial, Lisa is getting ready for her big one-on-one date with the Pet Beautician. She confessionals that she is 25 and has a plan for her love life. She wants to be engaged in one year, married in two years, and have kids in five years. It’s funny because girls with plans like that usually make them happen. And that lucky guy they happen to land on during the last month before the engagement deadline gets to join in and live the plan right along with them! Lisa is so sure she’s not going home – meaning the Pet Beautician has to give her a rose on this date. The Pet Beautician takes Lisa to Villa Borghese Park, which belongs to his family. He confessionals that this park means a lot not just to him, but to his entire family history. Oh yeah? Well, there is a playground a mile from my parents’ house that bears my middle name and every time I pass it I tear up with the sentimentality. The Pet Beautician looks very out-of-place here in his family’s park. The locals seem much more at home riding their bikes around and, you know, speaking Italian. So much for heirlooms.

This park means so much to the Pet Beautician
that he's visiting it for the first time in his life at age 34.

Of course, for Lisa, this is the best date ever. She confessionals that with her timeline she needs to find someone right away, and she thinks the Pet Beautician fits the bill. In what I’m sure is a total coincidence and has absolutely nothing to do with producer interference, the Pet Beautician tells Lisa he feels like a lot of people get married just because they think it’s time. Lisa looks like a deer caught in headlights and she confessionals that she thinks she’ll keep a lid on her five year plan for the time being. Yeah, he already knows, brainiac. You think that came out of nowhere? My gosh, Rome is stunning!

And now comes the controversial conversation that’s been teased every time we go to commercial: Sadie announces that she’s a virgin and saving herself for marriage! Oh the horror! How can she show her face after admitting such an embarrassing secret? She’s all worried that someone might blab to the Pet Beautician. What is this, Planet of the Ho’s? Who cares? Why would the Pet Beautician care? Why is this a secret, and why is it a scandal? These days the poor girl who is a virgin is ostracized and the girls who have slept with 10+ guys are celebrated. Bizarre I tell you. This is crap.

"Shh. Please don't let on that I am not a slut. It would ruin me."

Over in the city, still on their date, Lisa is keeping her mouth shut about her ticking clock, and the Pet Beautician tells her that he likes to fly. Lisa asks, “Like fly planes?” No, Lisa, he likes to climb to the top of buildings, hold out his arms and jump. He has superpowers. Does that fit in to your five year plan? I notice that they are dining on hamburgers for dinner. Yeah, nothing like traveling the globe to Italy, home of the most delicious food on the planet, to eat a freaking hamburger! Where is the pasta? Where is the veal parmesan? Where is the buffalo mozzarella? Seriously – you’ve got to be kidding me.

Yipee, at the house another “date box” has arrived. Jennifer, Sarah, Kim, Desiree, Jeanette, and Gina get to go to the beach with the Pet Beautician.

Surprise, surprise, the Pet Beautician gives Lisa a rose. She confessionals that the girls are all going to think she is their biggest competition, and she says oh-so-charmingly, “I am. How could I not be?” How gracious.

"I'm smug."

Back from commercial, the Pet Beautician is taking a helicopter to meet up with the girls. The girls, of course, commence gushing. They can hardly breathe and are all about to have heart attacks as the helicopters come closer and closer, and finally land. Ellen confessionals that princes usually come in on a white horse, but this one came in on a white helicopter. Oh Ellen, no need to hurt your brain like that trying to think of princely parallels. Oh how romantic! It’s just like a fairy tale! The Pet Beautician confessionals that he’s had girls happy to see him, but he’s never had six girls jumping around and clapping for him. Yeah, because there were never producers there telling them to! Whatever, I’m sure producers were holding cue cards for this very confessional, so it doesn’t hold much water. Wowza, Rome is striking from above! The gang is choppered over to the coast, where their afternoon of gushing awaits at another Italian villa. The producers have intelligently provided the group with an open bar to see what’s really going on. Can I just say that the Mediterranean coast is absolutely breathtaking? There are these gorgeous little mountains that come right down to the beach. Some have little towns built on them. It brings tears to my eyes to think how all of this is being squandered.

This is actually from my trip to Italy.
No Pet Beautician cramping my style - I got to have fun!

First we are treated to a game of beach football. And I do mean American football, because why would an Italian prince play soccer? That would be weird. It looks absolutely ridiculous as the girls “tackle” the Pet Beautician and run around bumping boobs with each other and pulling each other’s bikini bottoms down. The Pet Beautician gives himself a high five, but wishes he could actually have a real game of football right about now.

With a rose sitting on a black silk pillow taunting everyone, the girls take turns trying to score points with the Pet Beautician. Jennifer tells him she used to be a cheerleader and even shows him a jump. Desiree tells the Pet Beautician that she loves being in love and is the kind of girlfriend who would show up at the office to have sex. Hmm. What would the dogs think of that? She continues saying that she loves sex morning, noon, and night. Wow, Desiree, don’t play so hard to get. The rest of the girls sit under some umbrellas and trash talk everyone. Kim admits she’s totally wasted – thanks for the open bar! She tries to do a standing confessional on the beach, but ends up falling headfirst into the production equipment. Then she gives up and passes out on a beach chair. The Pet Beautician rewards Jennifer for her cheerleading demo with today’s rose. The other girls are upset, of course, except for Kim, who is unconscious. Jennifer says it’s just like a fairy tale. The Pet Beautician decides to wake Kim up, who is still wasted and starts talking gibberish, mistaking the Pet Beautician for a waiter. Nothing but class all the way.

"Ready? Okay! Gimme a rose!"

Once again back from commercial, it is time for the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party. The Pet Beautician reads the cue card that tells the girls that Rome is beautiful, but not as beautiful as they are. Barf – and I beg to differ. He has a few more one-on-one conversations to determine who will get a rose and who will go home brokenhearted. Agnese tells him once again how crazy the American girls are, but offers to study English so that they can communicate better. Of course she will. Why would the American come to Italy and learn Italian when the Italian can stay home and learn English? Makes perfect sense to me! Agnese gives the Pet Beautician a big smooch, which truthfully makes him look very uncomfortable – he purses his lips really tightly and tries to turn the kiss into a hug – but he confessionals that it was a pleasant surprise.

"My days are numbered. Ciao!"

Next the Pet Beautician wants to talk to Kim because she fell asleep on their date. Oh please. They were all lying out on the beach and Kim fell asleep, is that really so weird? I’ve never remained conscious on the beach, and I’m always dead sober. Kim, foolish though she may be, is probably jet-lagged, definitely drunk, and lying in the sun while he splish-splashes with Desiree and gives Jennifer a rose. Is a catnap really a personal affront to the Pet Beautician? Way to make a big awkward deal about nothing.

And now for tonight’s drama. The Pet Beautician takes Lisa outside for yet some more one-on-one time (she already has a rose) and while they walk past Ellen and Sadie, Lisa whispers, “Yeah, quit talking crap about me.” Ellen responds, “We don’t talk crap.” And Lisa retorts with, “Those two? Never. Never ever.” This was all filmed from behind so it’s hard to tell if a) anything was actually said, and b) anything was meant maliciously. But Ellen isn’t having it. She and Sadie run back to the other girls and stir up a whole jaw-dropping bitchfest.

Jami and Desiree run up to the Pet Beautician’s bedroom to snoop around. Desiree writhes around smelling his bed sheets and saying she just had to know that her body had been in those sheets. I think we can safely guess at this juncture that Desiree is playing the sex angle. In walks the Pet Beautician to bust up the girls little party, and instead he hops into bed with them and awkwardly watches them have a pillow fight.

"Pick me if you like sex."

Downstairs, Ellen calls Lisa out for saying something to her and Sadie in front of the Pet Beautician. Lisa acts like she has no idea what Ellen is talking about. Ellen proclaims, “When I hear comments, I’m going to go after comments.” No! Please, not comments! Anything but comments! Lisa starts bawling (for real, not pretend). This is so lame.

All the girls join the bedroom party and turn it into a dance party. According to Sarah, they wanted to see if the Pet Beautician has skills. Well, he doesn’t. He clumsily stands there and lets the girls grind on him and each other, and then Kim falls asleep again – but I think it was just a joke. Uh oh! Chris comes in ringing his bell and it’s time for the rose ceremony.

Erica confessionals that she really wants a rose because the Pet Beautician is royalty. He’s not a commoner and he definitely needs her. Commoner? What is this, the French Revolution? What a funny thing to say. Oh yeah, but I’m cheering for her. Go Erica, you insane little socialite. Down with the peasants! Keep the blood royal!

And we’re back from the final commercial to the whispery, lip smacking rose ceremony. Lisa, Sadie and Jennifer are safe as they all got roses on their dates. There are six roses left, so three girls are going home. The Pet Beautician comes out to give another awkward speech and says that if he could he would date them all, but he can’t. Can’t the producers finally get rid of those Season 1 cue cards and come up with some new lines? Come on! The first rose goes to Jeanette. Gina puts on her grotesque face-wide pout and we keep zooming in on her. Creepy. The second rose goes to Desiree, and I just can’t imagine why. Guys usually don’t go for easy sex. Jami gets rose number three. Gina’s face is still distorted. Thank goodness she gets the next rose because I was starting to twitch looking at that. Agnese gets rose number five and the Pet Beautician makes an embarrassing attempt at saying thank you in Italian. Long live the prince! Chris tells us all what is totally obvious on the little rose stand – only one rose left. Erica can’t stand the pressure and waves her hands around, announcing that she is so nervous. She gets the final rose and bounces up to hug the Pet Beautician. She says to him, “Thanks for your message.” What? What message? I’m not pleased with secrecy. But if it’s only her insanity talking, then that’s cool. Yay – Erica is around for another week! Sarah, Kim, and Ellen, have to leave in shame – and brokenhearted. Sarah says it’s hard because she put her heart out there. Whatever, you went on one group date. You’ll be fine. Kim demands to know who doesn’t take a nap on the beach. That’s awesome if that’s the reason she’s leaving. Ha ha! No sleeping during filming! I would have been eliminated in the limo ride over on the first night. Ellen leaves clearly miffed. She snaps, “Good luck!” to the Pet Beautician. He thanks her and she just says, “Yeah!” and storms away. She cries to the camera that she’s not ready to go home because the Pet Beautician is like no one she’s ever met. Oh Ellen, he’s really not that special, trust me. There’s a reason that he’s 34 and still single. He’s a prince for crying out loud, it shouldn’t be hard for him to get women. The Pet Beautician, of course, hates to hurt anyone’s feelings, or send anyone home, but he’s excited because one of these girls might be his future wife. Again with the Season 1 cue cards.

No roses for these losers!

Next week – more fairy tales. A two million dollar necklace is at stake, and Erica loses her mind. They literally said that. And it shows her talking at high speed about being judged while the Pet Beautician appears to be leading her away – presumably to some men in white coats waiting with a straight jacket. Sweet! That’s my girl!

What do you think? Is Erica really crazy, or is she actually the smartest cookie ever to weasel her way onto The Bachelor? Is boring Sadie on track for the win – or will news of her virtue spoil everything?

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