Welcome back to The Bachelor, the show where love is a journey, everyone is there for the right reasons, and, we assume, Valtrex is handed out like party favors. This season, in a desperate attempt to remain relevant in an increasingly crowded field of progressively lowbrow reality programming, The Bachelor has decided to shake things up a bit. They started the show in Ben’s hometown, moved the production to his current residence of San Francisco, and last night introduced us to Ben’s sister, who offered her ideas on who he should bring home to mom. At the rate this show is going this season, everyone will be shacking up in Fantasy Suites by next week.
Here’s how our pilgrims of love progressed this week:
Best Supporting Role by an Inanimate Object: Sometimes a bridge is just a bridge. But if the Bay Bridge shows up on The Bachelor, it means something. When Bachelor Ben invited Epidemiologist Emily on a nice climb up the wires of the Bay Bridge, they both know that if they could manage this feat (harnessed, wearing helmets, and safety measures up the wazoo) they could do anything! It’s not a date so much as a trust fall with a Cal Trans crew in tow. Highlights: When Emily panics because she is walking up a freaking bridge, Ben checks in by asking, “Talk to me, Goose.” If Ben keeps making Top Gun references we may end up liking him.
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Word of the Day: “Leap List.” When Ben invited ten women on a date, he followed the appropriate etiquette and sent an invitation with a mysterious inscription teasing a “leap.” This tantalizing clue lead to Ben’s explanation that skiing down the streets of San Francisco was on his so-called “Leap List.” What we gather is that a Leap List is basically a list filled with nonsensical things that require a lot of municipal permits. Runner up word of the day: “Journey”, which was used at least four times in the first hour.
Most blatant product placement: Ben mentions his “Leap List,” and then we get a Honda ad with a “Leap List” theme. Plus all the bachelorettes are driving New Honda CRVs to their date and showing off the unique and exciting features of the car.
Best way to annoy the neighbors: Put a ski slope filled with snow bunnies in the middle of a neighborhood. Somehow The Bachelor crew convinced the city of San Francisco to let them fill a street with snow so that Ben and his gaggle of bachelorettes could inexplicably strip into their skivvies (this is snow-skiing, not water-skiing ladies) and snowplow down the road. Then the whole neighborhood gathered to watch poor Kasey B. ski down the hill backwards with her bikini-clad butt in the air smiling so that Ben would know she was a real sport. It was an eyeful, but probably nothing that San Francisco hadn’t seen before.
Best Sloppy Seconds: After Britney walked out following Ben’s invitation to a one-on-one date, Ben found himself with a free night and invited Linzie (but not her horse) for a date around the city. Stops included an ice cream store, a trolley ride, a dance break at City Hall (where Matt Nathanson sang just for them) and an interlude at a piano store so Ben could serenade his sweetie. Ben thinks Linzi has “something special.” Namely, dimples, boobs, a short skirt, and a sob story about getting dumped after a year and a half via text message.
Most Fateful Words: During the postmortem of her date with Ben, Linzi uttered the worst thing that a reality contestant could possibly say: “There’s nothing that could ruin this night.” Don’t these people know that such a statement is catnip to producers! Sure enough the camera cut to a mystery woman driving a New Honda CRV (naturally), with San Francisco and a date with Ben dialed into the GPS.
Worst New Addition: Much like a girl who graduates from high school but comes to prom the next year anyway, Shawntel, a funeral director by trade and a castoff from Bachelor Brad Womack’s season by choice, has returned to Bachelorlandia to make a play for Ben. To justify her return, Shawntel claimed that she and Ben had met and there was real chemistry between them. She couldn’t stand waiting for the farce of a Bachelor engagement to come to its inevitable conclusion and opted to return to the show to throw her stilettos and chandelier earrings into the proverbial ring. In one of the most hysterically naive moments in Bachelor history, Ben hoped that the girls would be gracious and welcoming to the new arrival. It’s like he’s never seen the show.
Most Insulting Historical Comparison: When Ben wanted to get some alone time with Courtney the Model, he led her to a small book-lined room at the Fairmont Hotel and announced that John F. Kennedy had brought Marilyn Monroe there. Not that he was comparing himself to an over-virile U.S. president and her to a tragic, drugged up fame hussy that got passed around the Kennedy family like an old shirt or anything.
Best Line of the Night: Once again Nicki won the rose of our heart by announcing, “Shawntel just flaunts in on her high hearse, no pun intended.” Close runner up Jaclyn’s: “On a scale of one to ten, I feel like I’m going to throw up.” So, is that a six then?
Most Dramatic Rose Ceremony Ever?: While the producers throw that phrase around a lot (read: every episode) this one may actually take the title. Not only did recent arrival Shawntel stand glowering in the front row as Ben handed out rose after rose to everyone but her, but then Shawntel was upstaged by Erica, who forgot to eat (possibly ever), and fell over. Almost twice. Paramedics were called. Erica was given some juice and the ceremony continued. In the end, Ben ended up not handing out a final rose at all sending Jaclyn, Shawntel, and Erica home. Hopefully Erica will have a meal. Shawntel didn’t take her arrival and immediate departure well. Ben told her that he didn’t think it was fair to the other women, but as she cried, Shawntel claimed that Ben simply wasn’t man enough to admit his feelings and he cracked under pressure and Shawntel felt dumb. Don’t worry, Shawntel, we all feel dumb. Every single week when we watch this show.
Come back next week when Ben takes the ladies to Park City to judge films at Sundance or something!
Do you think Ben made the right choice in sending Shawntel home? Tell us what you think in the comments or tweet us @TimeCulture.