Bachelorette Week 1 – Gonna Light It Up Like a Hotel Lamp

Three years ago, my Lovely Better Half introduced me to the Bachelor. What started off as indulging a new girlfriend turned into full-blown fandom as I watched Ben Flajnik sleep his way through a bevy of starry-eyed hopefuls only to surprise no one by choosing the skankiest girl in the group. The drama, the tears, the loose morals – I was hooked. So, recognizing full well the irony in starting a blog entitled “life after sf” with a rundown of a reality TV show, I hereby throw my hat in the ring with yet another Bachelorette recap. And away we go!

Chris Harrison (best job ever, btw) starts off with a few words about Eric Hill, the contestant who was killed while paragliding. He seemed like a pretty good guy, and from the montage it looks like he squeezed in a whole lot of livin’ in the short time he was here. It was a nice touch, and a classy way to start the season.

On with the show. Andi appears for the first time, wearing shoes that are way too uncomfortable for her and taking pictures of gang tags with an iphone. Next, we see her asking to approach the bench and doing other lawyer-ish stuff in a completely empty courtroom, in what is the first of many staged film shots that will include, but not be limited to, surprise concerts by Andi’s “favorite” new singer (with no one else there), impromptu street celebrations in foreign lands (with no one else there), perfectly timed fireworks displays (with no one else there), and playing with random children in a park (with no one else there). I’ll give her credit, though. She’s the first Bachelor/Bachelorette in a long time to have a real job, and it’s a big move to put that on hold, so more power to her.

Andi visits her family, and you can tell right off the bat that her dad still isn’t thrilled with the whole thing, but he seems happy that his daughter’s in the driver’s seat this time. I like the old man, he seems to have a good bullshit meter. He definitely had Juan Pablo pegged from the beginning. Then she chimes in with this winner: “I just want to be real with everyone and have a good time and fall in love. Falling in love should be fun.” She’s seen this show, right? She remembers last season, right? It’s NEVER fun. It’s a mountain of drama that leads to a river of tears. Every. Single. Time. But, I commend her on her positive attitude. It’ll be fun to watch it slip away as the season goes on.

On to Los Angeles. Andi shops for clothes and tries on some make-up. Don’t they usually bring in some ex-bachelorettes for a group advice session? Were Emily Maynard and Desiree Dress Girl not available? Or did Andi not want advice on how to ruin a relationship by sexting with another guy or how to convince yourself you’re in love with the runner-up because your first choice bailed during the final episode? Whatever – she’s on her own, then drives to the Bachelorette house in an Audi convertible. Nice car and all, but the producers gave Desiree a Bentley for her season. And yes, I would be petty enough to bring something like this up at the next production meeting.

Then, we get to the string of starry-eyed Bachelorisms: “My Life is changing forever”, “It’s my time to fall in love”, “I’m ready to meet the man of dreams”, “I could be engaged by summer”. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but isn’t the actual marriage rate on this show something like 4%? Not to mention that last season, the one Andi was on mere months ago, turned into a complete train wreck. Juan Pablo went from America’s sweetheart to the devil incarnate faster than Miley went from Hannah Montana to smoking weed on stage and grinding on Robin Thicke. Not sure where she’s getting this doe-eyed faith in the booze-fueled, semi-scripted, reality television “process” of finding love, but god speed, sister, let’s meet the man of your dreams!

Of course, my Lovely Better Half put it much more succinctly when she snorted in amazement and exclaimed “She actually thinks this going to work!” I LOVE that woman.

(A side note on Juan Pablo’s season: While my Lovely Better Half and the rest of America were working themselves into a frenzy of hot flashes over JP’s accent enhanced abs, I wasn’t buying it for a second. I don’t claim to have some great understanding of people. Hell, half the population remains a mystery to me at times. But, I can smell a playboy from a mile away upwind, and that dude reeked of it. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Juan Pablo to walk down the aisle.)

Andi shows up at the Bachelorette house, Chris Harrison is waiting out front with a gigantic grin on his face. “This is crazy!” she says. “I know!” he replies. “I’ve been milking this gig for 12 years and I still haven’t had to find a real job!” Her sister shows up and they immediately get into how many guys she’s going to hook up with. They try on a couple dresses (“Those are horrible. They look like they’re from k-mart.” – Lovely Better Half).  More sisterly love and motivation, then on to the guys leaving the hotel. In the limo, one actually says “I can’t wait to finally meet her, and just get drawn into her eyes.” A little insight ladies – guys don’t actually talk like this around other guys. Not unless they’re on camera. Or the other guys are the girl’s very large group of older brothers.

Again, Andi tells Chris how crazy it is to think that she could be meeting her husband tonight. He nods knowingly and says, “Yup. That’s pretty crazy.” That you actually believe that…

On to the parade of limos. I’m not going to pretend I actually took notes about names, occupations, et al – I got the list from the website. Sue me. BTW, if you look at the website, they actually list the guy’s shoe size. That cracks me up for some reason, like the producers asked themselves “How close can we get to saying how big their dick is?” You know what? I’m including it, just because some people might consider that pertinent information. Here’s the rundown:

Marcus, 25, Sports Medicine Manager, size 12 – well, well – Marcus elicited an “Oh!” from my Lovely Better Half, so I hate him already. Turns out he was a pro soccer player in Europe, which is something you probably don’t want to be this season. Wisely, he doesn’t mention it. Andi lit up like the Fourth of July when he stepped out, so she’s keeping this one around for a while. I’m making an early call: Marcus is a top 4 finisher.

 Chris, 32, Farmer, size 13 – nice, nervous, boring…big shoes, though.

 JJ, 30, Pantsapreneur, size 14 – Why do the weird ones always have to be from San Francisco? Not everyone here is a hippy or a tech geek or a bow-tie wearing hipster.And it takes a lot of stones to actually introduce yourself to a girl as a “pantsapreneur”. Where does this guy get off? Oh, look! Size 14 shoes! That explains it…

Marquel, 26, Sponsorship Salesman, size 10.5 – Hi, nice to meet you, you look nice, blahblahblah…

 Tasos, 30, Wedding Event Coordinator, size 11 – opens with a story about Lover’s Bridge in Paris, then brings out a padlock, they lock it to a railing and make a wish and throw the key into a fountain. Pretty smooth, and Andi eats it up. Though I have to wonder how many locks have been left around the greater Denver area.

Cody, 28, Personal Trainer, size 11 – Pushes the limo up the hill, which doesn’t bother me as much as the guy popping the collar on his blazer. I’m fairly sure that’s not a good look, on anyone, anywhere.

 Steven, 30, Snowboard Product Developer, size 9.5 – The first of the long hairs. Says he’s stoked to be here. He also says in his online bio that it would be awesome to see a T Rex. Like, totally. You know what else would be awesome? To get a haircut and use grown up words when you’re talking to a girl with a law degree.

 Rudie, 31, Attorney, size 10 – Asks to approach the Bachelorette and then gives her a fake subpoena. Nice guy, but that wasn’t funny, and she doesn’t look hot and bothered by him. Isn’t it a bad idea for two attorneys to get married anyway? It seems like all they would do is argue.

 Carl, 30, Firefighter, size 13 – LBH loves the globe as a gift (What, no fireman calendars left?). Oh, and size 13 shoes, for all the ladies keeping score at home.

Jason, 35, Urgent Care Physician, size 10.5 – Doctor by day, fancy-free pageboy by night! He tells her she must have a fever, because she looks so hot, but he doesn’t pull it off in an ironic way, so it just comes out awkward. Umm, yeah…enjoy the free food while you can.

Nick V, 33, Software Sales Exec, size 10.5 – I don’t know what it is, but this dude looks like a bro-drunk: the type of guy that hangs out in dive bars, doing shots and high-fiving a lot. Maybe he reminds me of too many of my college buddies. Actually, he kind of reminds me of me in college. Not sure how I feel about him. LBH did not say “Oh!” when he got out of the car, and I’m not sure how I feel about that, either.

Dylan, 26, Accountant, size 11 – 26 going on 40. This dude has some miles on him. Most 26 year-olds look like they’re 12 to me. Dylan looks like some of the guys in my neighborhood dad’s group.

 Patrick, 29, Advertising Executive, size 13 – Another soccer player, but he plays it off well, and Andi seems to dig him.

 Emil, 33, Helicopter Pilot, size 11 – Holy cool job, Batman! Way better than a hairstylist! (See next guy) Can you imagine if he was a helicopter pilot that cut hair? He’d be the perfect dating machine. I’m making a note for my future father-son talk. I’m also making a note that you never introduce yourself by making an “anal” joke. You only get one chance at a first impression, son.

Brett, 29, Hairstylist, size 12.5 – So, in the first completely random episode of the night, this dude steps out of the limo with a lamp. No explanation, no joke, he just hands her a lamp, because his mom told him never to greet a lady empty handed. When she asks if he took it from the hotel, he matter-of-factly replies “Yes”. LOVE this guy, and for the sake of my own entertainment, I hope Andi keeps him around. As a side note, in my pre-LBH days, I used to date a hair stylist, and she had a male co-worker that had to chase women away with a stick. A straight guy in San Francisco with a good paying job (high-end salons make bank) that worked his own hours, wasn’t a finance douche bag, AND could do your hair? Done and done. The guy was Don Juan in skinny jeans and a hipster shirt. These are things I’m going to tell my son when he grows up.

Craig, 29, Tax Accountant, size 10.5 – Craig steps out carrying a bong and a six pack of Pabst. No, wait, he finished all that on the way here and just decided to spray a bottle of champagne he found in the limo. He tells Andi that he wanted to celebrate her being the Bachelorette, so he started partying last Tuesday, and doesn’t really have any plans to stop until production is over. I’m not sure he knows where he is.

Ron, 28, Beverage Sales Manager, size 12 – grew up in Israel and Barbados, and now he lives in Nashville. Those are three kinda random cities to have spent your life in. Seems cool, polished, not sure I’m seeing any chemistry.

Bradley, 32, Opera Singer, size 13 – Don’t you think there might be some subconscious aversion toward this guy because everyone hated Sharleen from last season? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, and Andi embraces the whole water-under-the-bridge thing with both arms, but just to be safe, I wouldn’t want to be a soccer player or an opera singer this season. Or have long hair.

Josh B, 29, Telecommunication Marketer, size 10.5 – short, boring.

Nick S, 27, Pro Golfer, size 9 – shows up on a golf cart. Outgoing, friendly – he’s a middle-of-the-pack guy that will be gone by week 4. And what about that shoe size? If you have feet that small, you at least lie about it.

Brian, 27, Basketball Coach, size 10.5 – another nice guy, another boring introduction. Blah…

Andrew, 30, Social Media Marketer, size 10 – Let me get my smug face on! There’s something skeevy about this guy. Squints too much, smiles too big. In another age, he would have been a snake oil salesman. Which is basically social media marketing.

Mike, 29, Bartender, size 10.5 – A bartender from Alta, Utah. Sooo, you’re a ski bum? Annnd, you call yourself “Camps”? Thanks for coming, long-hair. Better luck next time.

Eric, 31, Explorer, size 11.5 – gives Andi two dolls that a girl from Peru gave to him to share with his girlfriend. That ties with the lock and the lamp for smoothest move of the night. Although the lamp wasn’t really that smooth; just really, really funny.

Josh M, 29, Former Pro Baseball Player, size 13 – Tall, athletic, clean cut, Andi likey. She even turns around to watch him walk away. This highlights the problem for the snowboarders and bartenders and guys who say words like “rad”: she’s an educated, accomplished woman with a real career, and she likes clean-cut men with jobs. Andi strikes me as reasonably type A. Not saying she’s pretentious, but she’s definitely wound a little tighter than dress-designing Desiree from Oregon. The sketchy looking dudes are gone tonight.

Chris Harrison makes a token mid-episode appearance, because, you know, he’s working hard for a living. Then Andi heads in for the cocktail party. Let the festivities begin! They start off with a montage of the guys fawning all over Andi. She walks in to say hello to the boys. Craig yells “You look incredible!” Craig looks like he’s about to fall down. Andi says “y’all” a lot. They toast.

My personal highlights of the evening:

Marquel sets up a cookie tasting, because no one can match his “knowledge of cookies.” He eventually gets her to focus on the black and white cookie. “Go to the black and white cookie.” Clever, charming, Andi was digging it. As a side note, cookies are pretty much my favorite food on the entire planet. Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, sugar, ginger snap – doesn’t matter, baby. If it’s a cookie, I’m eating it. I’m rooting for Marquel right now.

Eric talks about his World Odyssey film project, where he’s trying to visit every country on the planet, combining cultural experiences with extreme sports – just a hugely ambitious undertaking. He is, by far, the most interesting guy on the show. It’s an absolute tragedy that this guy passed away.

Andi seems to be digging on Nick V, and he definitely seems like a nice guy. I feel like my first impression was way off. Ten brothers and sisters raise some alarms for me, though. Thanksgiving would be frigging exhausting. And forget about the hometown date. Out of 10 siblings, there’s going to be at least one nut bag waiting to pounce.

My boy Craig puts his leg up on a table and announces “I got a little Captain in me!” then laughs like it’s the funniest thing in the world. I want to party with this guy. It’s too bad Andi is sending him home by the second week, because I love him.

As for people I don’t like, Skeevy Andrew and Soccer Patrick spark up a little bromance. Andrew thinks Patrick is suave and a snazzy dresser. Patrick feels that Andrew is someone of his “caliber”, which doesn’t sound douchey at all. Then they talk about which Formula 1 drivers they want to have sex with. The whole thing makes me queasy.

Andi loves Marcus. LOVES Marcus. She might have to fight Lovely Better Half for him in an iron cage match. I’m reiterating my early call for Top 4 finisher. Though I think it’s a little weird that Polish is his first language and he doesn’t speak a word anymore.

In a shocker, Nick V gets the first impression rose. He seems surprised and humble and he’s getting nicer by the moment. Clearly not a bro-drunk, which only proves beyond all doubt that my first impressions are always wrong and I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Of course, in the biggest curveball of the evening, Chris from Emily Maynard’s season shows up to talk his way onto the show. He waits by the food cart while Chris Harrison asks Andi what she wants to do. While he’s waiting, the security guard takes his flowers, saying he’s going to give them to his wife that night. Better hope she doesn’t watch the show, buddy. Of course, Andi gives an emphatic “no”, because not only has she watched this show before, but she’s probably also watched Bachelor Pad, and she knows exactly the kind of scumbag Chris is. When Harrison delivers the news, Chris does everything but get on his knees to stay. Apparently, he’s so desperate to hang on to his 15 minutes of C-level fame, that he waited outside the mansion for 7 days, because he wasn’t sure exactly when they would start filming. It’s insane what people will do to be on television. Harrison finally tells him to leave before “it gets bad.” Chris, visibly dejected, turns and starts the long, lonely walk back into the real world. And by that, Chris, I mean reality, not Real World the TV show. Don’t wait outside MTV’s offices for 7 days.

Chris Harrison comes out to announce the start of the rose ceremony. It’s like the fourth time he’s had to be on camera this episode. These first nights must be brutal for him. Between saying “when you’re ready” and dealing with Crazy Chris, he must be exhausted. Anyway, Andi comes out, says “y’all” a lot, then starts handing out roses.

Those playing on:

Nick V – First impression rose

JJ – Andi loves her some pants!

Eric the adventure movie guy

Marquel and his cookies

Drunk Craig – “Of course I accept this rose! There’s an open bar!”

Tasos, who politely asks her for another glass of juice in French

Josh M and all his smiley, handsomey goodness

Brian Basketball coach

Bradley Opera singer

Marcus the Good Looking Kid, who Andi will have to fight my wife for.

Skeevy Andrew – Patrick looks nervous that he might be separated from his new boyfriend.

Ron – I have no joke. Was he in this episode? How would you feel if you got sent home before this guy, when he was literally not on camera once the entire night?

Firefighter Carl

Farmer Chris

Old Man Dylan

(That’s a LOT of clean cut guys so far. The long hairs are starting to look nervous)

Brett and his magic lamp – this and Drunk Craig absolutely made my night. I’m actually excited for next week now.

Patrick – Skeevy Andrew just breathed a sigh of relief.

Cody, because you just never know when the car might break down.

Nick S the golfer.

 

Heading home:

Anal

Rudie

The three musketeers – Mike, Steven, and Jason

Josh B

 

In the post-game interviews, Rudie says “Everyone I know told me ‘omigosh, you guys are going to get married and have kids’.” That was everyone being polite, bro. Pageboy Jason spends a lot of time wondering if there was something he could have done to change her mind. Yup. Get a haircut.

Josh B steals the show, though. He gives Andi a hug and walks out without saying anything, and then goes on a rant to the camera crew. He’s embarrassed, his friend put him up to it, he accomplished nothing, only lasted one night, needs to call his parents tomorrow (“mommy, she didn’t like me!”), and now he’s going to take some vacations (?). Wow, bitter much? My take is that this guy quit his job, cancelled the lease on his apartment, put his shit in storage and basically went all-in on the reality TV train. Problem is, he didn’t make it past the first night. Now he’s unemployed, he has to move in with his parents and he’s pissed. Tough break, but bitching about it on national TV doesn’t make you look any better. Good luck on those job interviews.

Finally, we get a preview of all the upcoming drama. A lot of yelling, a lot of “disrespecting”, a lot of tears, but not a lot of Drunk Craig.

Just sayin’…

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