While watching this week's episode:
Me: (to my boyfriend, Andy) “Do you ever see me so feministic as when I watch this show?”
Andy: (who's a sport for watching) “Well, it’s hard not to be. This show takes women back about 50, 60 years.”
"Whenever somebody wants me to describe myself, that comes up." —Ashley I, who I hope is exaggerating, on being a hopeless romantic Disney Princess
Chris Harrison gets the episode started by reminding the girls that Bachelor Chris sees his wife in this room and that while that's exciting, it really UPS THE STAKES. Just as those same stakes are upped in every episode in every season of this show ever.
FIRST GROUP DATE
Ashley I provided so much fodder this week that my mind is awash with the possibilities and I almost don't know what to focus on. I'll do my best.
First, I'm in support of folks wearing whatever the hell they want. How you dress is a form of self-expression. But it must be said: if you're a virgin and want the object of your desire to know that, wearing undone short shorts and a tank that shows borderline under-boob—when the dress code is decidedly more covered up—might not be the most productive choice:
About the stripping: I'm all about doing whatever makes you feel comfortable. Believe it or not, that includes undressing in public, if it's your choice. Whatever floats your boat. What I'm not okay with is being made to wear bikinis while pitching tents as the Bachelor, fully clothed, watches on.
So, Exhibit A is not okay (and it appears Kelsey agrees with me):
While Exhibit B, because Kaitlyn chooses to take off her bikini bottoms, is fine with me:
Also, according to Chris' People Magazine blog, Kaitlyn and Ashley I stripped as part of a Truth or Dare game, a detail conveniently edited out. So, their behavior was more playful rather than a "bimbo"-esque (Kelsey's word, not mine) attention grab.
Back at the house, the dichotomy of Jillian being so disheveled and taken off guard next to Britt's perpetual "on"-ness is hilarious to me:
A side observation, did anyone else find it weird that, while these two are always draped all over each other...
... suddenly when Jillian tries to get a feel in while Chris' sisters are present, Perpetually "On" Britt barely acknowledges her existence?
I get the feeling that Britt's wheels are always turning. More on that later.
At the campsite most of the half-naked girls struggle to pitch their tents, and Ashley I says a profound truth which I think can account for most of her screen time this week:
At the house, Chris' sisters interview the girls. Carly, who I really like and who is redeeming herself after her singing limo exit, describes her grandparents' ideal relationship. It really is touching, but one should never, ever say:
I found it endearing when Chris admitted: "I am a touchy-feely guy. I've learned that about myself as I've become an old man." The thing is, so many men—dare I say, most men?—are touchy-feely, but they're often too macho to admit it. It speaks volumes to his maturity and self-possession that he can just come out and say that (especially while being self-deprecating at the same time).
About Kelsey, I'm a bit torn. On one hand, I completely understand being out of your element. I was uncomfortable A LOT during filming and I, too, don't know if I'd classify the opportunity to be on the Bachelor making us "the luckiest girls in America". (I'm admittedly sensitive to hyperbole) I can also relate to Kelsey in that I'm totally transparent. Meaning, if I'm uncomfortable or unhappy, it's written plainly on my face, despite my best efforts.
However, one should know better by now than to complain on this show. At the end of the day, it's just one night of your life (and one captured for all eternity for television, no less). I would have respected her general sourness better (honestly!) had she committed to it and expressed it to Chris instead of pretending to be happy. However, I do understand the pressure to seem happier than you are, in many, not-just-Bachelor ways.
Crazy Eyes Ashley S went MIA last week but this week returns in full force. Chris' attempt to keep his face straight is priceless:
Later in the night, Ashley I makes the wonderful, likely producer-suggested decision to crash Chris' tent:
Ashley I's desire to speak in code about her you-know-what (wink, wink) and not just come out and say what she wanted to say had me face-palming. Don't get me wrong; I don't think she should have told Chris (or America) that she's a virgin (though I guess that ship has sailed), but if you're going to insist, just get the damn thing over with. Don't monopolize an entire episode agonizing about it. I explain my frustration with Ashley I's need to go public with her virginity here.
The entire segment can be summarized with:
Fun Fact #1: This isn't in relation to anything, but I saw this shot and found it worth mentioning:
The mansion is OVERFLOWING with candy and junk food. I'm talking hundreds of Oreos crammed into an enormous cookie jar and enough chocolate and marshmallows to make S'mores every day if you wanted. It's a blessing and a curse since, well, you're expected to wear a bikini on national television. Cruel!
Hey, have you guys heard of this Cinderella movie?
I like Jade. She wasn't basking in the attention of this date the way I think some girls might have. She appreciated it but never once came off like a diva. I also don't mind her and Chris together. But the date was SUCH a movie plug...
... every step...
... of the way...
... that by the end, I declared I would never see the movie out of spite alone. (Okay, fine. Maybe on a flight if there's nothing better. But ONLY THEN.)
SECOND GROUP DATE
I'm all for raising awareness for MS but am still scratching my head as to why the girls had to be in wedding dresses. It goes back to two weeks ago, when I soapboxed about how wearing bikinis to ride a tractor doesn't make any sense. The MuckFest MS looks like it would be challenging enough to complete in actually appropriate clothes. Whoever's idea this was deserves some serious karmic revenge:
Surprising nobody, this won:
Ashley I finally comes out with it...
... and in her insistence that her virginity is not a big deal ends up talking about it EVEN MORE. Another priceless expression from Chris.
Carly makes every woman watching want to be her friend:
Onto Britt's confrontation with Chris. She first gave herself away earlier in the cocktail party when she said, "The last couple of weeks it's just been Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn."
I think it's safe to assume that Britt is not used to being overlooked, but honestly, that goes part and parcel with the social experiment that is The Bachelor. Just because you feel "confident" and refer to yourself as a "frontrunner" doesn't mean the Bachelor isn't going to do what he's there to do, which is get to know better the women he's interested in. You don't see other frontrunners (Whitney? Becca?) spending their sole one-on-one time of the week using Manipulation 101 to plant a seed of doubt about another girl.
In the span of about 3 minutes, Britt impressively manages to:
- massively judge Kaitlyn, insinuating her behavior doesn't make her wife material
- imply Chris is interested in Kaitlyn because she's willing to strip for a game of Truth of Dare and because she talks about sex
- passively threaten that other girls "were thinking of going home"
- say "we've all been wondering" as though she's the voice of 12 other women. (None of whom voiced such complaints, mind you. You can bet those ITMs would have aired if they had.)
Furthermore, to make it about Kaitlyn "taking her clothes off" and "talking about sex" as arguments is an insult to Chris' judgment since those are things he could plainly see. If Britt felt Kaitlyn were, say, two-faced or manipulative (cough, cough)—attributes Chris wasn't privy to but should be made aware of for his own good, I could maybe understand that. (Still not okay, though) But the gripes she had hardly made Kaitlyn a poor match for him. How does she know what Chris does or doesn't look for in a woman? I've been hearing beef that Kaitlyn has a potty mouth but—news flash—so does Chris. It's a strange example, yes, but my point is clear. The whole thing just reeked of pure jealousy, plain and simple, and was handled the way I imagine Regina George would.
LIVE AND LET LIVE. This is my mantra when I feel myself judging others. Guess what: If the guy chooses you—and you him—it's because you're a good match. Skinny-dipping, winning a race, being a virgin, having suffered a loss in the family, and acting holier than thou should and will make ZERO DIFFERENCE.
To Chris' credit, he saw right through it. After he unsuccessfully attempted to string together a few sentences (we've learned that he's endearingly inarticulate in confrontation), he abruptly left. Aaannnd, proceeded to confront all the women, which I don't agree with. (sigh) The only person who deserved to be confronted—and preferably knocked off her high horse—was Britt.
As always, for my top 4 frontrunners, head over to my Flare column.
My favorite casual look of the week was Carly's cute jumpsuit:
Carly told me she got some mixed reviews on this Forever 21 floral jumpsuit ($22.80) and I'm not surprised, but I personally think it's adorable. It's a youthful, easy piece you can just throw on. A girlfriend of mine said it looks like pajamas but, hey, I love pajamas. (I'M WEARING MINE RIGHT NOW.)
My best-dressed was Ashley I with her "princess date" gown:
This dress is such a knockout. The fit, the perfect shade of nude, the intricate embellishments, the train in the back... Plus, it looks fantastic with her dark features. I only wish she hadn't chosen to wear this a) when other girls chose fairly casual knee-length frocks, and b) to eat corn on the cob while pouting:
I suppose Jade can't get full credit since she was gifted these, but HOLY CRAP THESE SHOES:
I had a hard time finding anything that offended me, so I figured, why force it? No worst-dressed this week!
Until next week, fellow pandas!