The Bachelorette 2011 Episode One Recap
by Sheri H on June 6, 2011

Should I lie and say there was a small part of me that wasn’t planning on watching because of who the bachelorette was and the potential for boredom this season had?  Sure.  I could.  But we’ve all made that promise to ourselves, or our friends, only to be immediately called out when Monday night rolls around and we’re screening calls.  We’ve sang that tune before and it’s a tune of lies.  And, as evidenced by Deanna’s season…even if you think the Bachelorette is an annoying heifer whose mere voice rattles you to your very core, you can still be entertained watching her flounder in the pool of love without water wings.

So I’m just not going to say it anymore.  Because we all know I will watch, pretty much till this show self-destructs.  There, I said it.

Last night, I think Ashley herself said it best during one of her interviews when she was expressing her fears about what the guys would think before the limos pulled up when she said ‘I hope the guys aren’t like eh, it’s Ashley’.  That’s pretty much how we were all feeling.  Meh.  It’s Ashley.  Even Chris Harrison’s voiceover at the beginning sounded totally bored.

Even still, I settled in with a glass (fine, two) of Pinot Grigio (it’s summer now, the Shiraz can take a break for a bit) to watch the drama unfold.

I could write a book on Ashley’s opening montage.  I think there should be a no frolicking rule set in place from now on.  Anyone second that?  Between the running backwards in the red pea coat smiling at the camera, to the introspective interpretive dance (isn’t she a dentist??) which culminated in her lying across the stage totally still, to swinging on the beach with the wind in her ever-changing hair, the cheesiness was truly astounding.  And that was just the show!  Did anyone else notice the ‘sponsored by Nair’ lead-in to EVERY SINGLE friggin commercial break of Ashley crawling towards the camera on her hands and knees in the orange outfit, in an attempt to look seductive?  I did not feel seduced.  I felt scared.  Scared that she was actually going to swallow the camera lens filming her whole because she was so close to it, or crawl right out of the TV screen into my family room, dragging sand all over my area rug.  I can just picture her, “Oh my god!  I just totally got sand on your area rug!  I’m like the clumsiest thing EVER!!!  Yay!!!!!”

What is there really to say about her?  Let’s remind ourselves of what she revealed to us last night.  She’s the most sceptical person ever…really?  Great TV show choice, Ash.  She’s ready for love (that’s original).  She has no regrets (except for that dress).  She’s passionate about what she does…still not clear on how dentistry can really be the glue that binds one’s soul to their heart, but to each his own, I guess.  She speaks several languages, including English, French and Up-speak?  Her confidence has improved slightly, as evidenced by her exposed midriff as she arrives at the house (that’s how you know these girls are all under 30).  Really???  She likes to experiment with hairstyles.  Wow.  How many layers can one person have?

Before we even get to the mediocre-at-best crop of guys this season, can I just say for the record, that I am now officially distracted by the décor.  Seriously, it’s ruining my experience!  Last season it was a mere observation.  This season, I can tell its’ going to totally consume me.  I just don’t understand.  It looks like they’re filming the show on the set of Disney’s Beauty & the Beast.  You’ve got the red velvet drapes, the alarming mixture of paisleys and brocades everywhere you turn, the surplus of hurricane lamps (just in case there’s a…hurricane, I guess?) the mixture of metal finishes, complimented by the Dashboard Blue lights highlighting the exterior archways.  And then there’s the landscaping which looks like someone vomited up an English garden.  I don’t know if I can take another season of this house of hot mess.

Ok onto the lads.  Overall, I’m pretty disappointed.  One of the only saving graces to watching a season of the Bachelorette instead of the Bachelor is the eye candy. If we don’t have a solid line-up of hotties to check out, then honestly what is the point?  We all know the drama is way better when it’s girls fighting over a guy.  It’s like watching the sequel to Fight Club starring a bunch of Uteruses  (Uterai?).   There’s no desperate tears, no ‘I just don’t understand!  I put myself out there!’ post rose-ceremony interviews where the girls are covered in smudged mascara, with snot hanging out of their noses wondering where it all went wrong.  No obvious cougar making it to eight girls left out of pity (and because someone needs to stay to clean up the kitchen).  If you’re going to have a season with a Bachelorette, especially one as lame and annoying as Ashley, you better show me the money and make those boys cute.

The limo scenes were painfully awkward, as they always are.  I feel like at this point, I could conduct a workshop on how not to be a douche when you get out of that limo.  Time and time again the same mistakes are made.  The poems never win.  Most of the time they are one step above a third grade limerick and if they actually demonstrate talent, it sounds so cheesy under the circumstances that any actual room for appreciation is automatically cancelled out.

The hand-held gifts presented right at the intro are a bit much, though the dental floss thing was cute.  First of all, don’t blow your load that quick, boys.  Make her work for it a bit.  Second, what is she supposed to do with these things when she still has a line-up of 60 guys waiting to meet her?  Hold it in her sweaty palm?  Put it on the filthy, soaking wet ground (did you see the bottom of her dress?  Did a street cleaner go through the place five minutes before the limos arrived?)

I think this season can boast the highest number of super-awkward introductions.  Maybe Ashley was trying to make up for this by literally YELLING at everyone?

There was Frank, the wide-necked guy who attempted to dance his way into Ashley’s heart.  When he did the half bend to romantically kiss her hand, he looked more like he was holding onto a tree taking a dump on a canoe trip.  Then he tried to twirl her, but quickly realized he had no skills so he had to resort to brute strength and just pick her up over his shoulder.  Shame.

Tim – wow.  Don’t know what to say about him.  From the moment he lost his speech at the limo, to his angry f-bomb infused rants at Batman to his slurring and eventual snoring, he had us all at hello.  There’s nothing worse than a reality show contestant who bails on the first day, thus wasting such a coveted spot for thousands (or in Ashley’s case, tens) of disappointed would-be suitors.

The Fonz:  You are awesome.  I can’t image why you’ve been single for seven years.  You might want to keep practising that aloof/cocky routine in the mirror a bit more.  It came across as a bit more special needs than you were probably going for.  It was just uncomfortable.

Mickey Blue eyes – Really?  The kiss?  I think I actually leaned back myself just out of reflex!  And for the record, you did not actually kiss her, as you reported upon entering the house to the other guys.  You attempted to and bombed.  But, you are a chef.  Points for that.

Steven, the hairstylist?  Could you not have washed your own hair?  And way to go with the ice breaker of ‘you have good colour’.  That was right up there with one of the guys asking Ashley to gas him (that’s hot), or another guy attempting to show her his secret handshake with his uncle.  Listen Buddy, what you do with your uncle is none of our business.  And let’s not forget the guy who wanted Ashley to take his picture with Chris Harrison…um…alarm bells much???  Red flags???  Gaydar???

Ivy league Ames – um, is it just me or does he have one alarmingly white tooth spread across his whole upper mouth?  He looks somewhat computer-generated (I think his controls are hidden in his dimples).  I don’t trust anyone that into physical activity and while part of the soliloquy about his degrees made me nauseous, there’s another part of me that thinks he might be a nice guy.  Maybe his blank stare?  The steel rod that seems to be lodged up his spine preventing him from moving his neck?  His side-swept hair style?  We’ll see.

West.  The fact that you have a dead fiancée scores you immediate points with the viewers.  Obviously I love you.  Obviously a single tear trickled down my cheek as you told your story.  Will it replace the mark of Ricky’s plane crash forever imbedded on my soul?  Only time will tell.

Batman…sigh…

Of course, they had to have one Canadian and he happened to have the strongest accent ever.  Can’t these American shows ever throw us a friggin’ bone?  I didn’t understand one word of what he said though he did have kind eyes.  But judging by the fact that he got the boot and they didn’t even do an interview with him, no one else could understand him either.

Now the guys who actually stand a chance…

I have to say I liked William best.  He’s got a cute smile and an obvious sense of humour as his opening sequence consisted of him getting beaten up by an umbrella.  Just one tip, buddy; selling yourself as a thirty year old boy?  Not exactly a girl’s idea of a dream come true.

You can tell there’s chemistry between Ashley and JP by the onslaught of Mandolin music every time he comes on the camera.

Winemaker Ben – pretty sure this kid’s part of the tribe, so I took the liberty of looking him up.  His last name is Flajnik.  Could go either way, I think.  Anyways, though I’m not attracted to him, he seems like a nice normal guy.  And the wine is an obvious bonus.

Solar Stud gets the first impression rose.  He sort of reminded me of Jake Pavelka minus the abs (though he didn’t look like a masochist wife-beater) with his squeaky clean, über-nice persona, nothing that good-looking nor aesthetically offensive about him.  That heart carved out of his hands in front of the sun was a bit much.  Actually more than a bit.  Meh.  He’ll probably go pretty far and then get the boot because ‘he’s too nice’ while Ashley chases the assholes all over Southeast Asia.  Will these girls ever learn?

And, finally what a surprise.  She’s into the one guy she was warned about (who by the way has about as much personality as Emily did all season, so it’s no surprise that Bentley would be into her.)  I gotta say though, I am digging this new ‘I don’t give a shit about her’ twist for the season.  That’s guaranteed entertainment  peeps!  Hopefully I won’t end up liking her too much and then feeling bad for her.  Not too concerned.

Highlight for me of the episode, was Other Ben and his signs.  That was pretty damn cute and definitely would have gotten my attention.   He should have gotten the first impression rose.  Though, where did he get those materials?  You can’t exactly hide Bristol boards and markers under your suit.  Was there an arts and crafts table we missed somewhere?  Jealous!  Actually, come to think of it, I do think I saw Tim eating paste at one point.

I guess that’s it for episode one.  Hopefully these guys will get cuter as we get to know them better.  As of now, I’m not overly impressed.  Guaranteed the drama will keep us entertained all season long…

Good luck, Ashley.  You’re gonna need it with this Motley Crew.  But just in case you’re having trouble getting through it, just remember the immortal words of recently departed contestant Frank – If you can’t take the heat, get out of the oven.



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