Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Stephanie Sandwich with Mayo

"Ready for another week of man-fun?"

So here we are, back in front of The Bachelor. But what’s this? They’re showing some strange guy in a military uniform saluting, running, biking – who is this guy? Oh, thanks Chris Harrison, this is Lieutenant Andy Baldwin, our Officer, Gentleman and Bachelor. Also known as Mayo. I forgot what this is all about, so I’m really glad ABC deems fit to reintroduce us every week to this guy and why he’s here and why they’re here and why we’re here. So far there have been ball gowns, swimsuits, races and hot tubs. Smug Stephanie thinks she’s going to win and we’re down to 12 girls total. Now I remember and I’m ready to go.

If you’ll kindly recall, I speculated in episode 1 that if the producers are going to stick to their theme of imitating the movie An Officer and A Gentleman, one of the plot elements would involve an abusive drill sergeant. Never to disappoint, ABC has provided just such a man bright and early this Los Angeles morning. He must be Sergeant Foley, Richard Gere’s nemesis… challenger… mentor. Welcome, Sergeant Foley! Sergeant Foley makes his grand entrance standing in the living room next to an amused Chris Harrison and screaming rabidly upstairs to all of the girls to get their butts downstairs because they’ve had enough beauty sleep.

Chris Harrison laughs for the first time in years.

His screaming is one continual string of mildly degrading orders until each of the hung-over girls has rolled herself out of bed and down the stairs to the living room. They stand there blinking in disbelief, wondering when sipping cocktails by the pool will commence. Chris Harrison offers a snide apology, then welcomes the girls to boot camp. You see, Mayo is in the military, so it’s highly necessary that all of the girls wishing to date him experience what that is like for him. By the same token, I really enjoy experimenting with makeup, so I make every guy I date give himself a full makeover, just so he can see what it’s like to be me. Anyway, there is one rose at stake this morning and Sergeant Foley will decide who gets it. He continues screaming, “Life sucks and then you die, ladies! Upstairs! Change into your PT – that’s ‘physical training,’ not ‘party time’ clothes!” Ha! I kind of like this guy. He follows the girls upstairs and orders them to make their beds and then clean the bathroom with toothbrushes. Yeah right. Danielle and Amber pose for the camera on their knees with toothbrushes for three seconds, then jump back up and finish primping for boot camp.

Outside the girls line up in front of Sergeant Foley, then proceed to jog in place and do pushups, chanting “I don’t know but I’ve been told – I am going to get a rose.” Actual military personnel must be cringing right now. Next the girls will run through some lined up tires like they’re at football practice, then belly crawl underneath some string with leaves on it. (In my scenario, this is where the guys would apply liquid eyeliner.) They take turns complaining to the camera about how grueling this is. Good job reading the cue cards, girls, since none of you have even broken a sweat.

Now comes the dramatic moment we’ve all been waiting for since the premiere – and I must shamefully admit that I was wrong in my Dehydration Theory. Bevin trips running through the tires and falls to the ground complaining that her ankle is broken. Sergeant Foley and some production assistants gather around her to poke at her ankle. The rest of the girls are vaguely concerned that something may be wrong with Bevin, but mostly relieved that they can stop the training charade.

"I'm sort of athletic! I'm sort of athletic!"

Someone calls for a medic and who comes bursting through the shrubbery? That’s right – it’s Dr. Mayo himself! Sergeant Foley says, “Are you the medic?” Sergeant Foley! This is no medic, this is The Bachelor! How dare you not know Mayo on sight? Mayo says, “I’m the doctor. And The Bachelor. Who do you think you’re talking to?” Okay, so maybe he only said the first part. After tinkering with Bevin’s ankle, Mayo gives a thoughtful diagnosis. “Yeah, it looks like a displaced fracture of her left ankle.” That’s really funny because it’s actually Bevin’s right ankle. Just kidding, but wouldn’t that have been cool? Apparently this necessitates an ambulance, which pulls up and flashes its lights for a second just for the benefit of the cameras. While they pull out a wheelchair for Bevin to be rushed away in, Mayo yanks out a rose and asks Bevin if she will accept it. Bevin tearlessly sobs, “Yes!” and buries her face in her hands. “Why, oh why does this always happen to me? Boo hoo hoo!” Still no tears. Mayo tells the camera that he gave the rose to the “fallen soldier” and the woman who really gave it her all. More accurately, he gave the rose to the biggest klutz, but that’s just a detail.

Later Chris calls the girls into the living room for an update. He tells them that obviously the morning didn’t go as planned – that should teach ABC to quit having these exercise challenges – but that Bevin didn’t break her ankle, she’ll be fine, and she’ll be back soon. The important thing to take from that statement is that Mayo misdiagnosed Bevin’s ankle. I find that very amusing, is that wrong? Chris goes on to say that this week there will be two group dates and one 2-on-1 date. On the group dates once again, there will be Special Quality Time at stake, but no roses. The first date box is already here, so Chris leaves the girls to attack the little basket filled with chenille throws. Stephanie Kansas, Nicole, Amber, Tina and Smug Stephanie: “Let’s spend the day relaxing together. Love, Mayo.” Amber is worried that Smug Stephanie will try to hog Mayo.

Group Date #1 – Mud Slinging

At last we have a date that doesn’t involve Mayo watching the girls work out. They are headed to some mud hot springs, which sounds like my kind of afternoon. I must make note of this Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa. Now Mayo says he likes a girl who can get down and dirty. Okay, he said that two, maybe three times last week. Down and dirty – we get it! Can you think of something else to tell us, please? Anything?

The group jumps into the mud pool and every girl is pushing to try to get a chance to smear Mayo with mud. He stands there letting the girls smear, and smearing the girls in return. Smug Stephanie confessionals that she and Mayo are very attracted to each other because they are both into taking care of their bodies. Oh you mean unlike all of the other fatties here? Not so much, Smug Stephanie. She goes on, saying that whenever they see each other in bathing suits they just can’t stay away from each other. Oh puke, you’re all fighting to touch him and he’s touching you all back, get over yourself. Stephanie Kansas tells us she’s going to redouble her efforts and Tina tells us that she was just standing off to the side feeling awkward. “I don’t want other girls putting their hands all over the man that I’m supposed to be marrying.” Oh really, Tina? Then you shouldn’t have come on The Bachelor. Next is a group shower, and more shoving to be near Mayo. Smug Stephanie is once again right in his face marking her territory. The other girls continue to complain about it to the camera.

At least the mud is covering her moles.

Back at the house Bevin comes hobbling to the door with a splint and crutches. The girls run out to greet her. She tells us that Mayo rescued her and put his entire date on hold just to be with her. Excuse me, but rescued her from what? The wild animals living in the front yard that would surely have eaten her had she been left there to die? He didn’t really rescue her; he didn’t even give her first aid. All he did is ask for an ambulance and then accompany her to the hospital where apparently he decided that the rose wasn’t enough and he presented her with an expensive watch. Wow, as we learned from first Whitney on “The Hills,” and now Bevin, falling on your butt on television is really becoming the next big thing. And the more attention you draw to it, the bigger your accolades. Like Bevin and the expensive watch that ABC – not Mayo – gives to her. It’s their way of begging her not to sue. Let’s just call it an “out of court settlement.” The other girls are jealous because Bevin got some inadvertent alone time with Mayo at the hospital. Well girls, you know what to do! What’s a measly arm or leg when you might get to talk to Mayo in private at the hospital?

Over on the group date, the day spa has become a night spa and the group gathers around a small table of spa food and champagne in their robes. We learn that Mayo’s longest relationship was two and a half years. Wow, she must have been really hard core into triathlons and breaking nails and getting down and dirty. I wonder if she was a he… just thinking out loud. Smug Stephanie says she’s had a four year relationship and a three year relationship. She’s 26, so that makes her what I like to call “codependent.” How can she have a clue about herself if she’s never been on her own? It’s finally time for the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Time to announce the lucky recipient of this date’s Special Quality Time. And the winner is… Stephanie Kansas! Smug Stephanie is aghast. The other girls are happy to see her confidence go down a notch.

"Jigga wha?"

Mayo and Stephanie Kansas head over to get dual massages and gush all over each other about how wonderful they are. Soon of course, the massage therapists wander off and Stephanie Kansas ends up on top of Mayo giving him a body massage of her own. Did you know he has muscles in places she didn’t know existed? I do have to say here that his muscles are a bit out of control – but I am not into beefcakes. He looks like he’s on the verge of steroid body-builder territory, and that is just not my thing. I’m going to go eat some pasta now.

Hooray! Date Box #2 is arriving at the house. Kate, Danielle, Erin and Amanda: “Ladies… Start your engines! Love, Mayo.” Hmm, that sounds kind of like gentlemen start your engines, so I guess that means they’re going racecar driving! The most important thing to gather from this Date Box, however, are the names that aren’t present, which are Peyton and Tessa. This means that Peyton and Tessa have been chosen for the 2-on-1 date, and so one of them is going home pretty quick here. They both start shifting their weight and looking around uncomfortably.

Group Date #2 – Days of Thunder

Mayo comes to the house to pick up the girls who are anxiously anticipating a day on the racetrack, or a day racing for Mayo’s heart as Chris Harrison explains. Please no. It seems that Bevin was meant to come on this date, but she is out of commission and must sit home with her leg on a pillow. The daters pile into an RV and head over to the racetrack. Erin is apparently a huge racing fan because she seems to be the most excited about all this. She and Mayo step over to his DeLorean (how’d that get here?) for some alone time. I have to pause for a moment and point out here how touchy-feely Mayo is. He stands there with his arms around Erin’s waist and it occurs to me that he’s done this with every girl at some point. It makes me think that he recently broke up with someone and is missing that physical contact. Anyway, Erin says that the only way the date could have been better is if they had gone to a shooting range. Oh my. She may not like to get her hair wet, but she’s sure a fan of some rough-and-tumble pastimes. Of course Mayo finds that attractive because he’s looking for a he-she.

Now Danielle gets some alone time and what does she immediately bring up? Death. That is what the two of them bonded over on the first night, and I for one can’t think of a more cheerful topic of conversation. It’s sad that Danielle had a boyfriend who died, but she kind of seems like Miss Gloomy. It’s all about death and earaches with her. She’s kind of a downer. Mayo says he can tell she’s here for the right reasons. Um, okay. I guess a grave persona equals the right reasons.

The girls show Mayo that they can
kind of look like guys.

It’s race time! Mayo tells us that he thinks women who race cars are sexy. Well, that figures. The girls emerge from the RV in slow motion wearing racing jumpsuits and Mayo explains that they will be driving through a course that is marked off with orange cones. They will be timed and there is a two-second penalty for every cone they hit. Mayo will be riding along with each girl. First up is Amanda. She whips around the course without hitting any cones and finishes with a time of 53.14 seconds. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Gloomy Danielle is next and what surprises Mayo most about her race is that she actually seemed happy. I’m surprised about that too. Mayo correctly points out that giddiness and happiness is a different side of Gloomy Danielle. She has a time of 54.20 seconds. Loser. Up next is Kate, who gets a time of 53.97 seconds, but wipes out about half of the cones, so with all of her penalties she may as well have walked the course. Mayo says he appreciates her gung-ho attitude. Erin is last and we learn something interesting about Erin as she begins her turn – she can’t drive a stick shift. Since all racecars are stick shifts, this does not bode well for her. She stalls several times at the starting line while the other girls laugh and point. She finally gets going around the course with Mayo giving her shifting instructions the entire time. Interesting that the biggest racing fan is the one who has the most trouble with the racecar. She ends with a time of 57.72 seconds – the slowest of all, but without all of the cone penalties Kate had to take. The car promptly dies as Erin crosses the finish line.

It’s now the moment of truth, also known as the awarding of Special Quality Time. Mayo chooses… Erin for learning so quickly how to drive a stick shift – which she actually didn’t. The reward is a ride in the DeLorean which Mayo will drive as it too is a stick shift. I wonder which year they’ll choose to visit. Kate says that watching them drive away together was like watching Barbie and Ken getting into the Barbie sports car. Ha! That’s true. We get a long shot of the DeLorean driving up Pacific Coast Highway on a sunny day, but the close ups prove that Barbie and Ken are actually driving through some fields on a drizzly day out in the boonies where the racetrack must be. Ken lays it out, telling Barbie he really likes her and wants to know if she feels the same. Barbie says absolutely, but the circumstances are making her a little shy. Ken wants her to come out of her shell. Barbie says she wants to stay, but she’s not going to be competitive with the other women. Ken is a bit not-pleased with that since this is a competition. One more long shot of the sunny coastline on some different day.

The girls at the house are all aflutter because Tessa and Peyton’s Date Box has arrived, and it’s an army duffel bag. What is it this time, will they have they have to enlist? Oh, there’s a note. “Tessa and Peyton: For your special 2-on-1 date there is only one rose. One stays, one goes… -Chris Harrison.” Aw, I guess Mayo couldn’t bring himself to sign such cruel tidings. The girls look in the duffel bag and pull out sailor outfits and t-shirts that say “Future Sailor’s Wife.” Ew. In the limo on the way to the date, Tessa says that tonight is about figuring out if Mayo is the one for her. Finally one of these girls is trying to figure out if the guy is right for HER instead of just trying to win.

2-on-1 Date – You Sank My Battleship!

The girls arrive in the San Diego harbor to join Mayo on an aircraft carrier for their date. Mayo proceeds to take them on a tour of the ship. This is how he lives being in the Navy and he wants them to be able to experience that. Remind me to make the next guy I date learn how to blow dry his hair with a round brush. They get to see the hatch, the passageway, the bunks, the cafeteria (all mocked up to look like it’s in use right this minute). In the cafeteria, Mayo actually demonstrates how you go through the line and get your food. Wow, thanks, Mayo that was eye-opening. Then they get to see an operating room, also mocked up with some mannequin doctors performing surgery. Mayo is sooooo proud because this is what he does on the aircraft carrier. He makes up a nice little story about appendicitis to illustrate the purpose of doctors on the ship. Oh, now I get it – doctors take care of you when you’re sick! Taking that one retarded step further, he listens to Peyton’s heart and tells her it needs some love. Oh brother. The girls are both so wowed to see how passionate Mayo is about his job that they can hardly stand it. Mayo is glad they got to see that life in the military is sometimes uncomfortable because that is what they will be signing up for if they end up with him. Really? Last I heard, sailors don’t take their wives with them to live on aircraft carriers, but what do I know? Next comes dinner and alternating alone time.

Peyton gets the first alone time. She tells Mayo that getting to see him here in his element has made this all very real for her. She so admires his passion, she’s crazy about him, and she thinks he’s wonderful – definitely the kind of person she’s looking for, and on and on. Why don’t you go ahead and tell us how you really feel, Peyton? Mayo tells the camera that Peyton embodies so much of what he wants in life. Now it’s Tessa’s turn. They talk about San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, blah blah blah, who cares? Tessa says that when she’s not around Mayo she doesn’t think this is the right experience for her, but when she’s with him she’s really glad she’s here. Mayo says he likes Tessa and Tessa says she likes him too. Mayo thinks both girls are amazing and it will be so hard to choose one of them. Yeah, yeah make with the rose already.

"I wonder if these girls want to get down and dirty."

What’s this? A helicopter comes circling the aircraft carrier and proceeds to circle several times before landing right in front of the dinner table. The girls huddle together in the cold wind wrapped up in some blankies and Mayo runs over to fetch the rose. He gives a speech about how wonderful both girls are and he wishes he had two roses, but he has to pick one, so he picks… Tessa. She gets to board the helicopter. He’s almost weeping at this point, my gosh. Peyton is devastated. She really put her heart on the line and became emotional and it sucks. Mayo tells Peyton several times that she’s amazing and he knows the right man is out there for her. They bid each other a tearful farewell and Mayo scampers over to join Tessa in the helicopter while Peyton is left for her rejection speech. There is some snuggling and smooching in the helicopter while Peyton stands alone all tiny on the deck of that huge aircraft carrier – just like she’s alone in the world now that she’s lost her man in uniform forever. She might as well hurl herself into the ocean right now.

It’s time for another pre-Rose-Ceremony cocktail party! Mayo says these are his favorite thing, but then of course, they end with some of the girls having to leave. How sad. Amanda and Mayo step outside to chat. Mayo wants to know more about Amanda and Amanda says that she usually tells stories about herself. But she can’t think of any right now, so Mayo is not impressed. Next Kate steps outside and tells Mayo that she’s worried he just thinks she’s this happy-go-lucky party girl, when in reality she’s very laid back and just a cool person. Mayo says that now is the time to show him that side of herself and then Kate says something really funny to the camera. “What do you want me to do, like rescue an orphan from a fire?” Yes Kate, and make it snappy. We’re on a schedule here. Meanwhile Mayo sits in between Smug Stephanie and Stephanie Kansas - forming a Stephanie sandwich... with Mayo! He asks them to compare and contrast each other. After they reveal their differences Mayo makes a startling observation: “The Stephanies might have the same name but I really don’t think they have that much in common.” Whoa, what? They have the same name, but they’re not the same person? My head is spinning. Bevin hobbles outside to feel sorry for herself – even though she already has a rose and a watch – because she didn’t get to go on any dates. Mayo finds her on the porch and sits down to pinch all of her toes and make sure her foot isn’t about to fall off from her major injury. This leads to some giggly smooching and the girls inside are peering through the window, madly jealous that they don’t have a medical emergency at the moment. When Mayo joins a few girls on the couch, Tina asks him what he thinks his flaws are and he answers that he is too hard on himself and too analytical, but that is the math and science part of him coming through. How fascinating. At last Chris comes in tapping his champagne glass and we can finally get this overdrawn show on the road.

Mayo makes the usual speech about how he hates this part and the girls who are going home tonight are just wonderful. Here is how the roses go: Amber, Gloomy Danielle, Stephanie Kansas, Tina, Kate, Nicole… Ladies, this is the final rose tonight. And it goes to… Smug Stephanie. So tonight’s D.O.R.’s are Amanda for having no stories, and Erin for not being competitive. Erin says she put herself out there as much as she could, but apparently it wasn’t enough. She doesn't seem too bothered by it at all - you go, girl! Amanda is shocked that she’s leaving so soon. She doesn’t think she got the chance to show Mayo what he’s missing out on, and she's a little teary about it. Relax Amanda. I'm sure there are more group dates in your future.

Dropped on Request
Sorry girls, you just weren't manly enough.

Once again, Mayo toasts to – what else? – true love. See you next week!

Speaking of next week, the entire gang gets to go to Lake Tahoe and some major backstabbing begins. It looks like it’s about to get interesting.

So what do you think? Is injury the way to Mayo's heart? Will Smug Stephanie survive another round? Will Kate rescue an orphan anytime soon?


NoiXdeCoco said...

I'm going to play along, cause if I don't I might have to hurt someone.

So in my mission "soul mate 2007" I would take all the guys to a mall that was more like an homage to a mall, rather than a working mall. There would be mannequins cashiers, and sales associates and other shoppers. I would take my gaggle of boys around from store to store and re-enact what a shopping experience is like for me.

"I would browse through these dresses, but not really look for anything, cause I am just trying to get the sales associates' attention, you see. Then when she comes over, I would grab a dress and say 'do you have this in a size 0?' And she'd rush off to find me a dress. That's what it's like to be ME!"

And then on another date, I would implant a giant watermelon in their colon and have them push it out through their butt holes, because it's important for me that they know what giving birth is going to be like!!!

Oh my gosh, I can go on and on and on...

I did notice that Erin's fake attempts to be liked with her "this would be just perfect if only we'd be shooting guns" act got Mayo to actually say:

"Erin likes manly things, and that turns me on" or something very close to that.

He really does just need buddy and not a wife. Or he needs to come out of the closet, preferably in private please.

Laura Roemer said...

yo honey gangsta - don't forget about the near-drowning that happens in that flight simulator thing...perhaps that might have happened to dear departed erin had she been forced to get her hair wet! keep up the great posts!