Friday, March 31, 2017

Album Recording Postponed

Due to the recent small fire at Union Hall, my album recording is postponed.  I'll keep you informed of when we reschedule it!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bachelor Nick V. Finale, After Final Rose, Hell Let's Just Start Rachel's Season


Monday night was the finale of Nick Viall's tenure as Bachelor Nation's "nice guy" who perpetually finishes last and I, for one, couldn't be happier to see him go.  I mean, find love, Nick--sure--great--but also PLEASE let somebody else get some face time on my favorite TV franchise, OK?

The episode kicked off with our intrepid Bachelor Nick roaming the Arctic tundras of Finland all alone, wondering if his "desperate search for love" (Chris Harrison's words) would result in an engagement or instead a broken heart.

I was pretty annoyed by the whole "maybe Nick will end up alone AGAIN!" possibility that the show kept on pushing because, I don't know, NOTHING in the season made me think that. But I suppose that every season they HAVE to find some angle to keep us on our toes.

Nick and the gang are in Rovaniemi, Finland for this the FINAL WEEK (sorta like FINALS WEEK in school and I hope you studied for the KISS TEST, ladies!).  Nick's family has flown up there (they must be SO TIRED of all this by now)--his sweet mom Mary (who seems like a gemstone, or as Raven calls her, "a jewel"), his dad Chris, an assortment of siblings (blonde, brunette, bearded, Bella) and they are all living embodiments of the Great White song "Once Bitten, Twice Shy."

Raven is the first up and she has already met Bella (and they're BFFs, it seems) and the parents (at Bella's soccer game in Wisconsin) so she's got an advantage.  Raven makes a good impression, but I couldn't help but wonder if her confidence and excitement made her seem a bit too casual about the potential of an engagement and a marriage.  Raven doesn't seem worried about Nick and Vanessa's relationship at all, saying that "this year is going to be filled with events because now I have all these family members" and at that moment, I was like, oh Rav-Rav--you're going back to run your boutique and slide around mud pits in Hoxie, aren't you?  Comments like that are just TOO MUCH and if there's one thing my lifelong membership to Bachelor Nation has taught me, it's that the girls who SEEMS to be in the lead is NEVER the girl who wins.  Could also be a cool metaphor for life right there.

Vanessa is up next and she rocks a light grey jacket and straddles Nick on sight. Hope the family wasn't watching through the window, Canada Goose!  They all sit down for chit chat and Vanessa serves up their first date puking story like a stiff actor on Letterman's couch but it falls FLAT.  Ouch.  It was like watching a bad standup comedian just sorta EAT SHIT up there, then stare off and almost cry.  Very odd.

Vanessa spends the 1:1 conversation being the heavy and asking Nick's mom what happens if they aren't ready for marriage (errrrmmm well Neil Lane won't give you a free blood diamond, so you may just want to SAY you are ready and see what happens?) then weeping with Nick's dad.  Overall it felt SO DAMN EMOTIONAL and I thought, perhaps it was to Vanessa's detriment, but now I'm thinking that maybe it was good because it made Vanessa seem adult and serious about marriage (in contrast to Raven, perhaps).

Back in the studio, Chris Harrison takes a casual poll of the Bachelor Nation residents in attendance--will Nick end up with Raven, Vanessa, or [lotsa laughs on this one] ALONE!??!? HONK!

Finally it's time for final, final dates and Vanessa is up first.  She meets Nick in the woods (what is this, every romantic encounter in my high school career?) and they walk over to a hut,  knock on the door, and are greeted by SANTA!!! Vanessa freaks out as if she's a child who doesn't understand where Christmas gifts ACTUALLY come from and Nick seems to find it cute (they deserve each other). The trio hangs out in Santa's weird hovel before Nick and Vanessa split off for Weep-Fest 2016 (or 2017?).

That night as they spend their final moments together, Nick and Vanessa overthink the definition of romance, talk about whether this all should be easy or hard, and Nick says "there are no guarantees" then Vanessa cries as they kiss.  HOT DATE, GUYS!! Nick attempts to reassure Vanessa, saying "when I've been with you, I've only thought of you" which is a phrase with a pretty big loophole, my friend.  As much as I think that Vanessa has morphed into a sentient wet blanket these past few weeks, I'll admit that I might behave that way, too.  I mean, it's a silly reality TV dating show but your heart is TRULY out there, if you're playing in good faith.

The next day is Raven's final date, so cue up the worst song that ever came outta the 1990s, "Kiss Me" by one hit wonder band (rightfully so) Sixpence None the Richer. Good Lord just the NAME of that band gives me horrific dumb chills. Like, what are you DOING with that band name? Why can't you follow the 90s template, combine 2 nouns (Silver Chair, Green Day, Pearl Jam), and stop being a cheesedick?  Anyher--Nick and Raven pull out some pairs skating moves (despite her TIGHT jeans) and frolick around the pond having SO MUCH FUN, which makes Bachelor Nation think: he'll go with FUN over heavy weeping, right?  WRONG!  But hold on a minute.  Oh yes, Nick walks up with 2 puppies and Raven makes a joke about their children being as cute as these puppies. Oh girl--you keep making these comments and reminding me that you're 24 years old and have never had a major HEARTBREAK that would prevent you from so much as guessing about something that might happen TWO WEEKS from now (just me? Been burned? Too many times? Incapable of love? Doubt everyone?).

That night Nick and Raven snuggle by a fire and Raven shares her feelings very thoughtfully and candidly, saying that she knows that she's ready to marry Nick and it will be easy to say yes when he proposes.  Nick responds, "more than anyone--I never worried about you" which is a polite way of saying "YOU ARE ALL UP ON MY CRANK AND I KNOW IT, APPRECIATE IT." Nick then speaks in vague circles about how he's confident in them (or something) and departs, leaving Raven feeling SURE that she will be proposed to tomorrow.

The next day, Nick roams the woods of Lapland WITHOUT A JACKET ON (my mother would KILL him) and then retires to his cabin (aka the Bear's Lodge, which sounds like a place where they stock "my type") when he hears a knock at the door and who is it but his old pal Neil Lane, going door-to-door peddling diamonds in the woods of Finland.  Nick selects a rock and laments that he must dump a girl.  Such is life, Mr. Viall.  Such is life.

Meanwhile the ladies are getting ready and they both pick fantastic looks.  Raven rocks a sparkly white/grey textured gown with light shoes and her gorgeous, dark hair swept to one side (I LOVE the one side sweep and recommend it for anyone trying to make their hair appeal more full.)  Vanessa looks gorgeous in a sequined black gown with side cut outs (not easy to pull off), black pumps, bold lip, and a super chic short fur coat.

As any Bachelor Fan knows, the first girl to arrive is the girl whose world is about to be ROCKED and not in a good way.  Whose little toes do we see first?


Aww sweet sweet daughter of Hoxie, your world is about to be rocked.  Raven is escorted from the car down a snowy red carpet by Chris Harrison (earning that MONEY) and into the house, where she joins Nick and starts in on a monologue that the producers obviously told her to simply launch into.  Poor thing.  Nick can barely look her in the face and is hardly holding it together as she shares her feelings. Soon it's Nick's turn and he reflects on all the fun they have had, how much he loves her, but says that he's not "in" love with her and his heart is somewhere else.  Raven handles this rejection with such grace--simply listening and sorta smiling.  Props to her for having a poker face.  They tearfully hug goodbye and she hops in the car.  Next Stop: PARADISE!  Well not really, but during After the Final Rose we learn that Raven is indeed going to Bachelor In Paradise, which rules!

Up next is Vanessa and her voice overs are very dramatic (maybe taken from MUCH earlier in the season?)--she wonders if Nick can handle the pressure of having to BE engaged, if he can compromise (ummm girl can YOU?), and if she is going to hurt Nick (huh?).  She walks in and Nick grabs her, picks her up (his FAVORITE move), then they sorta fingertip touch hold hands (barf) as he says that he started to fall in love with her at the 2nd rose ceremony (ya hear that, Corinne?) and how so much of him being here is about his past, but "when I look at you all I see is the future." Goodness gracious are those lyrics off a Justin Timberlake single?

Vanessa shares that she was initially doubtful and she wondered if he would even notice her, but then says "instead, you have notice every part of me" which sounds strangely sexual and creepy. She mentions that she can be a little "emotional, a little crazy, and tend to overthink things" (way to list off your faults right after a guy finally admits he's into you). Nick gets down on one knee to propose and, contrary to almost everything Vanessa has said previous to this, she DOUBLES OVER in tears and emotionally, immediately accepts his proposal.  They make out and quite LITERALLY ride off on a sleigh into the Finnish wilderness, but not before Vanessa says, "let's do it, literally" just to be sure that we all know THEY FUCKIN'.

Then we have After The Final Rose and I'm sorry but that portion of the Finale Extravaganza is always a snooze fest to me.  The person who was rejected is obligated to look better than he or she has EVER looked in LIFE (and Raven delivers), the happy couple has to show that they are SO HAPPY (Nick and Vanessa do NOT deliver, I don't think--there was SO much talk of how damn HARD relationships are and I just feel like, THIS early on it's a daily struggle?), and Chris Harrison has to plug a few other things (the Vegas twins doing some lame spin off TV show on a D list network, Bachelor In Paradise, probably other things that I would have noticed if I weren't busy undercooking a pizza then overcooking a pizza).

The close of After The Final Rose is our girl Rachel who I am SO EXCITED about!  Rachel is our next Bachelorette (and first ever black Bachelorette) and her looks is a 70s dreamscape: 70s-style pantsuit romper thing that shows off her cleavage and has sleeves with slits to show off her arms, plus AMAZING sparkly rings on both hands.  She talks about trusting the process and taking the journey (because she's obligated to hit those talking points, no doubt) then, in a historic move in Bachelor Franchise history, Chris Harrison starts her season then and there!  I HATED THIS!! NO NO NO NO NO!! Rachel deserves better than this!  Some stage hands pop out with a giant backdrop of the Bachelor mansion (sucks to be the 50 people seated behind that backdrop) and 4 random guys come out, one by one, as if hopping out of limos on Night 1.  No no no.  No thank you.  Rachel is, at first, like, "no I'm not ready" but they just keep pushing and I DO NOT like it.  But if I must judge, I'll say that DeMario (first guy) is a gemstone, Blake (2nd guy) should be sent home immediately, Dean (3rd guy) immediately makes a racial joke which was fine, but I just found a little distasteful (and I'm a fucking professional comedian), and Eric (4th guy) didn't rock my socks although his little dance at the end was very cute.

And that's that!!  What did you think, dear readers?  Were you happy with Nick's decision?  Are you fired up for Rachel's season (starting in May) and for Bachelor In Paradise??

If you're rather listen than read (too late), listen to Dava Krause and I dish all the dirt on this episode on our podcast, The Fantasy Suite.  

Thanks so much for reading this season! See you in a few months--same time, same blogspot! xo

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bachelor Nick V. Fantasy Suite Part 2, Women Tell All

On Monday night, Bachelor Nation slogged through 3 hours of Bach and barely made it out alive. There were tears, bold lipstick choices, and at least one orgasm.

We left off last week with Raven and Nick heading into the Fuck Hut--I mean, Fantasy Suite--where they could hump down while watching the Northern Lights. Finland really DOES have it all!  This episode kicked off the next morning, with Raven saying that "Nick is really good at what he does" (software sales? being a repeated romantic reject? licking genitals?) so "I'm pretty satisfied today," then she proceeded to skip around Lapland, giving high fives to passers by and making snow angels to celebrate her orgasm.  Hey, to each her own.  This reminded me of a hilarious scene from 500 Days of Summer:  

Up next is Rachel and she is looking cute in snowbird style--red flannel shirt, red hat, jacket, boots. She runs to Nick and gives him a big hug and straddle (the only way I will greet ANYONE from here on out), then they go cross country skiing (the worst "sport" in the world), feed reindeer, and cruise on a sled. As they sit by a fire and drink tea (or hot booze?) Rachel explains that she struggles with being open to this experience and her fear of rejection, and assures Nick that he's a rarity--a genuine good guy (or something) to which Nick jokes that "I may be white, but I'm still a minority" which cracked me up but seemed to piss off some people on Twitter.

That night Rachel rocks a belly top, winter weather be damned (girl after my own heart), plus a striped sweater and black pants. She and Nick have a great conversation about following your heart and letting yourself fall in love, which prompts Rachel to tell him that she's falling in love with him. Nick responds, "I'm falling for you 100%" which is weird to hear when you KNOW THAT HE SENDS HER HOME IN MERE DAYS.  They make out HARD then open the Fantasy Suite card in which Chris Harrison implores them to explore each other sexually and offers them an old school skeleton key.  They head upstairs (so skeleton key was just a prop?), hop on a bed, and, presumably, have a night of sweet, sweet lovemaking.

The next morning Rachel is ALL IN and feels very confident while looking cute as a button in her sleeper suit (or were those pajamas? same thing?).  Nick has gotta jet and body check another lady, so he says goodbye.

We see Vanessa roaming the woods in a Canada Goose jacket (so much controversy about those jackets lately!), boots, and a hat thinking about how her hometown date "didn't go as well as hoped" (that's a nice way to put it) and that it left her with questions ("can anyone ever handle my HUGE, very loud, very intense family?").  Nick found their hometown date to be "a little on the serious side" which is another great way of admitting that this isn't fun anymore and perhaps his relationship with Vanessa has run its course.  They dress up in American Gladiator style blue swimsuits and spend their date submerging themselves in a frigid ice bath outdoors (WHY?) then running back into the hut to flail around. I thought that how that type of thing worked was that you immerse yourself in cold water, then hot water, then cold water, and so on--am I wrong? When did it become: scamper to an ice bath and shriek then sprint back into a hut and curl up in a ball on a wooden bench? Is this a new thing?  Finally they end up together in the hot tub (where they SHOULD have spent the entire damn date) where they discuss family. Nick says hers is very "traditional" and has many "big personalities" but claims to like that or maybe no? I literally couldn't understand what his point was, while Vanessa admits that she has CORE VALUES that she won't compromise on (what those specific values ARE, I couldn't tell, beyond weekly Sunday lunch with her family) YET she also thinks that Nick needs to learn how to compromise.  Huh?  Yikes!  Any way you slice it, this didn't go well.

The "If We Were In the Real World We Would Just Stop Hanging Out at This Point" tour continues that evening over drinks by a fire, where Nick essentially sings the Star Spangled Banner to Canadienne Vanessa. I'm sorry, but if you can't even begin to have the conversation of where you might live, I don't think you're going to make it.  Nick wonders if they are perhaps too similar, which doesn't seem like the real issue here, but probably a good smoke screen for "I'm just not that into you."  Vanessa says that Nick makes her feel like "the only person in the world who exists" which is a strange thing to say to ANOTHER person, but whatever. Generally, their interaction feels like a contract negotiation and I can't tell if that bodes well for Raven ultimately, or if the producers are tricking us into seeing Vanessa and Nick as a nonstarter.

Actual picture of Vanessa (ironic that their 1st date was floating in zero gravity!)

They rip open the card from Chris Harrison encouraging them to test drive it before they buy it, head out to the Fantasy Suite, and get to business.  The next morning we see shots of them cuddling and Vanessa says "I love you" in a way that is VERY natural, considering that they each member of this couple probably refuses to move cities for the other.

Soon it's rose ceremony time and the ladies are ready and dressed in black.  Rachel's dress has a dramatic, beaded neckline and back straps; Vanessa is in a mermaid cut dress (my fave) and looks gorgeous, Raven wears a black cocktail dress with a keyhole cleavage cut-out and it shows a LOTTA boob.  Wow.

Nick arrives and gives a semi-weepy monologue then hands roses to Raven, then Vanessa.  So sweet Rachel is going home, as we expected to happen WEEKS ago.

Rachel and Nick both cry and have some great hugs and conversation about what happened and it's actually not THAT hard to watch, since we know she has better things coming her way next season.  To be completely honest and corny, seeing her crying as she left and then seeing her in Women Tell All looking gorgeous and gearing up for HER season gave me a lot of hope.  I may be trying to get over a certain guy right now and pained by thoughts of him, but in a few months I'll be in my own metaphorical one shoulder dress feeling confident, looking great, and having a studio audience applaud me.

The Women Tell All was a 2 hour episode that really could have been a little over 30 minutes, if I had my druthers.  We watched Chris and Nick "surprise" Bachelor viewing parties all over southern California then headed back into the studio to see 19 rejects one last time.  Who was there?

-Jaimie - cute pink dress but later in the show her cleavage was background when Kristina was talking and it was a lil awkward.
-Liz - aka The Girl Who Humped Nick Pre-Show, But Also Digs Wells for Poors. I loved her red dress and red lip--great look, even if her strange pro-sex speech was pretty corny.
-Elizabeth - LITERALLY WHO?? She's very pretty (maybe overdid it a lil bit on the under-eye concealer, though) and I LOVE her bold, fuscia lip but everything she said just made me feel like I was listening to The Who's hit song "WHO ARE YOU"???
-Josephine - I had forgotten what a sorta sad wanna-be sidekick she was to Corinne, but she reminded Bachelor Nation. I LOVE the dark lip trend, but when you combine black lips and white-ish hair AND a mustard colored crushed velvet dress, you are playing with FIRE. No thank you.

If I knew how to make a gif, you could see that Josephine was rolling her eyes here.
Can we agree that the whiteish hair/black lip combo is just TOO intense??? 

-Lacey - NYC gal who didn't leave much of an impression, but seemed to want to do SOMETHING in this episode. Now her hair is light brown, which was meh. Also her dress was a snooze and a half in an unflattering color.  I'm sorry.
-Christen - LOVED that red dress with cool neckline, her question to Nick was sweet.
-Alexis - Dolphin Girl bein' Dolphin Girl with NJ state issued hoops and a plain black top.
-Dominique - sparkly top--I like it, but also she seems confused as to how love works. You like what you like, ya know?
-Astrid - in a cute fuscia dress but her hair/personality made me take a quick nap.
-Hailey - white separates, looking good, chiming in a LOT, whatever.
-Taylor - STILL has yet to figure out how to pull together a flattering look for herself.  During the episode Taylor begged Corinne to apologize for, essentially, making her look bad/unprofessional, but I'm sorry girl--you did that to yourself.  Her montage was PAINFUL to watch--wow.
-Sarah Smiley - cute, patterned romper thing with lace up neckline. Super cute.
-Jasmine G. - loved that bold pink dress, eye make-up was a lil heavy.
-Danielle L. - black patterned dress wasn't the most flattering and she seemed STILL UPSET over Nick. Wow. May I recommend "Start Where You Are" by Pema Chodron? For real.
-Corinne - holy clip in hair extensions, Batman! She looks good and during her time in the hot seat, she actually came off really well then handed out cheesy pasta. Way to stick the landing, girl.
-Whitney - aka Astrid in a black dress. Chimed in with some gems a few times.
-Danielle M. - she has gone from a golden blonde to an ashy blonde and I LIKE it. She wore a bold, white romper thing with low cut chest and I admire her strong choice in outfit.
-Kristina - looking beautiful in a red dress with high neck.

They joke around, discuss whether Corinne was the unfriendly know-it-all in the house or Taylor was (my money is on Taylor), and Liz strategically tries to make her one night stand with Nick pre-season into a feminist issue of slut shaming (which it wasn't--I think some girls were weirded out by that situation only because it seemed to give Liz a leg up--pun intended--from the start).  They form a pro-napping political party, there is SO MUCH EYE ROLLING, they all agree that they were all hyperventilating and having anxiety attacks ALL the time in the house (mmmK--I have a feeling none of you know what those things are), and Kristina helps make everyone else seem petty by talking about orphan life as a stepping stone to possible sexual slavery.

Nick comes out and sort of apologizes to a few of the women for simply not having chemistry with them (that's always the weirdest part to me) then Rachel comes out and talks about her excitement about being the first black bachelorette in franchise history.  She put it so well--she doesn't want that fact to be the FOCUS of her season, but she does want to acknowledge it.  Perfect.  I cannot WAIT for her season.

But first, we gotta see who wins Nick's heart for the next 6-8 weeks: Raven (fun, young, American) or Vanessa (seemingly not quite as fun anymore, adult, established, Canadian).  If history serves, Nick will pick fun over adult and besides, it's probably easier for Nick to break up with Raven during Dancing With the Stars than it would be to dump Vanessa.  Am I being too cynical?  Stay tuned!

Also, listen to the latest episode of The Fantasy Suite where Dava Krause and I dish on this episode and last.  All that here (ep 8):

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Bachelor Nick V: Random Ep from Monday 2/27


I am SUPER late with this recap of whatever-the-heck we saw on Monday 2/27.  That evening I was flying back from Puerto Rico where I went on my yearly Adult Spring Break trip.  First off, if you want a lovely place to visit that FEELS like an international trip with doesn't involve changing currency or toting a passport, I highly recommend Puerto Rico! My pal Chelsea and I stayed at the El San Juan which was featured in The Bachelor! How much of a Bachelor psychopath am I? The lady who checked us in appreciated that I knew that tidbit. It's pretty pathetic to admit, but so much of what I know about geography is thanks to The Bachelor. I don’t think I would have known what Vieques WAS, if they hadn’t gone there on an episode (was that during Juan Pablo's season?).  We went into Old San Juan one evening and I was wishing that I was on a daytime date—trying on hats, popping into bars—my own little Bachelor day! 

OK so I finally watched Monday's episode and what a strange situation--a single hour and we get a visit from Andi, a rose ceremony, and then a detailed sexual history of Raven. So weird! 

We start off with Andi "surprising" Nick (I couldn't tell if he was totally unsurprised or just low energy) with a visit to his Brooklyn hotel and trying to act like she has something important to say ("we'll need whiskey for this conversation") when she really doesn't.  It's a cute conversation between exes and, of course, Andi mentions Nick's cringe-worthy question "why did you make love with me if you didn't love me?" because she LOVES trotting that one out and feeling like SHE was somehow done wrong by Nick. Girl, YOU dumped HIM so I'm sorry, but he gets to play the victim card here. Her hair looks amazing and her outfit is fantastic--no surprise.  I always love her style and I'll admit that her Instagram is pretty cute--lots of fashion shots of her in the street in the West Village and I can dig it.  Andi gives Nick what she calls a "feminist rant" (encouraging him to have sex w/ the ladies if he wants to), but I don't think a feminist rant about not feeling ashamed of ones sexuality needs to be directed at a DUDE, ya know? Society isn't punishing DUDES for being sexually active--it encourages that as a sign of machismo. But I digress. Andi leaves Nick with a strange mantra: be kind, have fun, and most importantly, fall in love, which sounds like it came off of a series of Bachelor themed greeting cards (wait--great business idea?) or maybe is something that lifelong Bachelor producers have tattooed on their bums.  

Before we know it, Nick is looking SHARP in an all black suite (black tie, black shirt, black suit--GREAT look) and the ladies are waiting and freezing.  Who gets roses and thus a 1 way ticket to SexyTown, USA, population: Nick and you? 

-Raven: first rose! Raven's rocking some perfect bronzer and a dark lip, plus a sparkly black dress and black jacket with some type of red details. Great look and I've been a Raven fan since the start.
-Rachel: sporting a super flatting green, one shoulder dress with a grey jacket over. I adore Rachel and she definitely feels strongly for Nick at this point, but it is SO ODD to watch this play out and know that he sends her home soon! I'm sure the producers HAD to reveal that she's the next Bachelorette (probably threats of a leak from inside the Bachelor camp), but still, WTF? 
-Vanessa: looking gorgeous in a grayish/tan-ish flowy dress with an interesting neckline, sparkly earrings, and fierce leather jacket. 

So, at long last, Corinne and her platinum vagine are going back to Florida so that she can eat cheesy pasta made by Raquel and "run" her parents' "multi-million dollar company."  I'll admit that I never thought Corinne would make it this far. I thought she'd be comparable to Tierra and burn out within 5 episodes or so.  Before she leaves, let's discuss her outfit: she rocks a fuzzy, ombre jacket (from Bebe I think I read online) over a VERY revealing black dress that's low cut on the breasts and ALSO cut up BOTH legs. So basically, sparkly fabric strips worn on a vern chilly, very windy Brooklyn night.  

Upon hearing that Vanessa is getting the final rose, Corinne sorta smiles, then bursts into tears but I felt like it was an act. Am I too cynical? What did you think? Her entire exit just felt very carefully choreographed by her in order to make her look good.  Perhaps she was jockeying to be the next Bachelorette? It just all felt too deliberate. I mean, she and Nick start walking out down the stairs and she stops him mid-stairway and says that she's sorry if she ever did anything to make him upset. HUH? Girl, that makes no sense and you know it doesn't! But she is doing a SUPERB job of making herself seem sympathetic on the way out.  She hops in the limo and rants about how she will NEVER AGAIN "kiss up" to a man, which was a weird thought on your way out of a dating COMPETITION show, but whatever. Her exit made me wonder if she was ever really into NICK or mores just into winning and pissing off Taylor.  

Next the gang is all heading to Finland for fantasy suite dates in the frozen tundra! Peel off those long johns and let's do the nasty! Raven gets the first fantasy suite date and bless her Razorback heart, she is VERY candid about the fact that she has only "had sex with" (love that she doesn't use corny euphemisms) one person and he did NOT make her orgasm. She seems pretty surprised that her ex never made her orgasm and it's positively charming.  Girl, plenty of guys 1. don't know how to make a woman cum; and 2. don't care. Oh gosh how much of a sad veteran living in the land of Bad Lays do I sound like? My point is this: Raven, sometimes you gotta take care of YOU. Plant your own garden, so to speak. And it's quite a bit of pressure to the fantasy suite situation to be like, "OK Nick let's be alone without cameras for the first time, let's hump it down, AND you'd better make me cum. Here we go!"  

Nick and Raven have a sweet daytime date of drinking, cuddling, and losing at darts before they retire to their Hump Cottage.  But wait--first they have dinner and Raven gives a pretty beautiful little monologue that ends with her saying "I do love you" to Nick.  I loved her off-the-shoulder red top but ALSO I loved what her father has always prayed for her: that she would have an easy love.  I can mock reality TV dating shows with the best of 'em but that "easy love" line really struck me. It also made me realize that this guy who I've been pining after for 2 years off and on is absolutely NOT an easy love, so I should walk away and also maybe I should start praying--hell, it's gotta be more powerful than staying on Tinder. 

Nick says that he likes women with big personality and an edge and describes Raven as the perfect combination of salty and sweet, which makes her sound like kettle corn and I LOVE THAT STUFF! They discuss ironing versus steaming (I'm Team Iron 100%, sorry Raven) and other such issues that they probably discuss in those Pre-Cana classes. Then they're off to the Sex Chamber and the bed is set up beneath a bunch of windows so that they can see the Northern Lights from their bed, so maybe Reverse Cowgirl or Doggystyle? Wow this recap has become one of my most crass ones! Sorry/you're welcome!  

And that was that--what a STRANGE episode!  Next week ABC serves up three hours of Bachelor and I already feel like I'm overdosing. First we'll see the other 2 fantasy suite dates and a rose ceremony (will he send Rachel home?) THEN we'll experience everybody's favorite episode, the women tell all! Taylor and Corinne will face off and I'll bet $100 that Taylor mentions "emotional intelligence" again.  After the 3 hour onslaught, my Fantasy Suite podcast co-host Dava and I will record a super sized episode, so stay tuned for that and catch up on this season here.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bachelor Nick V. Hometowns: Olives, Okra, Scrapbooks


As ever, I'm late.  I'm sorry!  Also, FYI next week I'll be away on vacation so my recap will be very, very late.  I know--how dare I take an Adult Spring Break getaway mid-season!?!?!  Who do I think I am: an unpaid blogger who is only doing this for the love of the game?

OK first, if you prefer to listen to two major Bachelor heads discuss this episode, you can do so here where my sweet pal Dava Krause and I discuss each episode mere moments after it has ended.

But here's my run down.  I need to keep this short, so we'll go with bulleted lists for the hometowns.

The episode kicks off in Bimini after Kristina has just been sent home and Corinne is STILL freaking out because she knows how to keep the attention on her.  Nick shows up to their paradise house with a handfull of roses ("I can't tell HOW MANY roses, though--I mean, what, should I use my eyeballs to count? Raquel always counts FOR me!" -Corinne) and conducts the most casual rose ceremony of all time, doing it right there on the couch.

So Raven, Corinne, Rachel, and Vanessa are each going to take Nick to their respective hometowns to meet their families and/or servants!!!

HOXIE, ARKANSAS -Raven's Hometown

  • I'm a sucker for a Razorback because I have wonderful family in Arkansas (Searcy, what what!) and have visited that beautiful state numerous times.  
  • Nick and Raven hop on some 4 wheelers to go mudding, drive through a friggin' swamp, then hop off their 4 wheelers to HOOK UP in said swamp.  Wowie zowie watching that swamp make-out made me want to get another Tetanus shot.  
  • They go to hang out at the "grain bin" (felt very Dazed & Confused "party at the Moon Tower") where Raven's police officer brother BUSTS them and demands their papers. TRUMP'S AMERICA, people!!! 
  • Everything about this date felt like a Top 40 country video come to life. 
  • Nick meet's Raven's dad (newly cancer free!), mom (seems super sweet), brother again (barely ANY camera time at dinner) and everybody cries a lot. 
  • Raven and her family ALL agree that they thought Nick would be a smug prick and are pleasantly surprised that he's not. He seems to get that a LOT. 
  • Rather than saying "I love you" Raven tells Nick "there's no hesitation on my end of what becomes of this." How romantic!??!!?

DALLAS, TEXAS - Rachel's Hometown

  • Rachel's outfit is classy and sexy--serious heels, black dress, white, sleeveless jacket thing over. Nice work! 
  • Their daytime date is CHURCH and I am loving it! I'm impressed with how well ABC is talking about race head-on and also, putting Nick into situations where HE is the minority. 
  • Rachel's church is what would probably be called a MegaChurch and they make a point to welcome Nick. Later on he says that "this a little bit different from my church at home" (ya think?) but that "Amen is Amen, ya know?" So corny. 
  • Rachel and Nick de-brief then head to lunch with her family. Sadly, Federal Judge Dad won't be there (because he has "work obligations" on a Sunday afternoon (riiiight) and also probably doesn't want his face plastered all over TV). 
  • Family lunch goes well and Nick properly identifies okra (10 points, whitey!) then has good conversations with everyone there. 
  • Good points are made by Rachel's big sister and mother that while Nick and Rachel might be totally comfortable with being an inter-racial couple, society at large sometimes has issues with it and speaks out about it--especially in THIS political climate.  Those conversations were a sharp contrast to Corinne's date (up next) which was basically shop 'till you drop!! 
  • Overall, great date but it was painful to watch, knowing that Rachel gets sent home soon!! 

MIAMI, FLORIDA - Corinne's Hometown 
  • Date planned for a place that Corinne calls her "holy ground," THE MALL! HONK! BLECH! 
  • Corinne and Nick shop like maniacs and Corinne does secret handshake with all of her BFF salespeople who have missed her over these last 6 weeks.  She drops $3,423.00 on a silver Amex and Nick breaks out in anxiety hives (as would I). 
  • Over drinks in nearby restaurant, Corinne says "I love you" in the most adolescent, roundabout, robotic way and Nick responds, "it was a fun day today." Maybe these two idiots deserve each other? 
  • They eat lunch with her family (mom, dad, sister who MAY have lip injections going on, and woman of the hour Raquel) and Nick is force fed homemade Greek olives. 
  • Could those wine glasses have been ANY larger? Good Lord! 
  • Corinne's dad raises important questions: can Nick support her or will she support him (she claims she's happy to support him--GOOD ONE, GIRL!) but for reals, will Nick ever have a job? 
  • Dad and Nick have some laughs over single malt Scotch and as Corinne and Nick say goodbye, I wonder, maybe these two playful wackadoos are made for each other? What is going on here? 
Corinne enjoying her dinner. 

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA - Vanessa's Hometown

  • First "activity" that Vanessa's students (developmentally disabled adults who seem like absolute GEMSTONE sweethearts) get to do is make a scrapbook about Vanessa and Nick! What fun for them! JK JK JK not at all! But hey, glue sticks! 
  • Dead pan guy at that school was CRUSHING with his commentary. 
  • Vanessa seems pretty hung up on Nick quickly learning Italian phrases and also memorizing all of the names of her relatives.  You realize he's on a friggin' TOUR of family dinners, right? 
  • Vanessa's family dinner looks and feels like an Olive Garden commercial. 
  • Vanessa's sister is full of threats and doubts and I love it. How is is that Nick and his final 4 have not discussed AT ALL their plans for what will come post-show, where they might live, stuff like that? 
  • It always makes me sad when the show has to do TWO "meet the family" meals because of divorce. Meeting with Vanessa's dad and new wife is not super comfortable and Dad and Nick's 1:1 conversation is BRUTAL! Wooooowie. That was painful, and not just because that dad is a lil awkward and speaks with a thick accent. Dad was asking the important questions!! 
  • How much did Vanessa's face FALL when she realized that Nick is going around asking EVERY dad if he can marry his daughter? OOof. That's a punch in the gut. Also, girl, have you watched the show before? Come on. 

Finally Nick heads to The William Vale, some ritzy hotel in Brooklyn that I have never seen or heard of, despite the fact that I live in that borough.  There's a whole lotta staring off at the NYC skyline and we get exactly what we thought we'd get, a surprise drop-in from NYC's newest resident, former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman.  But it will have to wait until next week. 

So we got 4 hometown dates, 0 people sent home, 2 extremely skeptical families, and a whole lot of wine drinking. Not too bad, but I'll be curious how the rest of this season plays out.  Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bachelor Nick V. Episode 7: CAN HE EVEN DO IT ANYMORE?

As ever, I'm late with my recap.  Sorry, Bachelor heads. Things have been bananas lately!

OK so Monday night's episode kicked off with Nick and the 6 remaining ladies still in St. Thomas, fresh off the departure of 3 women. There is tension in paradise and Nick can't stop crying.  He chats with his spiritual advisor, Chris Harrison, and says, "I don't know if I can keep doing this." Oh man yeah--what a heartbreaking decision--do you have the strength to keep traveling all over the world for free and having producers plan fantastical dates for you with a harem of knockouts??? CAN YOU DO IT, BRO??? DO YOU HAVE THE FORTITUDE??

He plays up this manufactured drama because the producers need something more to happen in the story and he even emotionally manipulates the women!  This guy can do it all!  Nick goes to their hotel room and addresses the gathered women, giving a tearful monologue about how he has been confident in his romantic choices before and he has had the rug pulled out from under him. The ladies cuddle each other (they are VERY physical with one another which is sweet, but feels a bit forced to me) and stare at him with sympathetic eyes as he subtly insinuates that maybe none of THEM are right and he's worried about it.  The whole thing feels like when a standup comedian berates a small audience for not being more people. Just when we think all hope is lost and Nick simply CANNOT cruise around on ANY more yachts, he does a metaphorical U turn and reveals that WAIT--he is excited about YOU all, ladies!! You six give him faith!  No like those other bitches! Wheeeee!! I love drama!

They scrap the rose ceremony and hop on a death trap sea plan bound for Bimini, the northernmost island in the Bahamas (other than Bermuda, but is Bermuda considered a Bahamanian island with how far up it is? I'm going there in August and I can't WAIT. Just me, my sister, her husband and kids, my parents, and old Aunt Selena FLYING SOLO because dating in NYC is a daily hell and I literally gave up two months ago).

They land in Bimini and Vanessa scores the first 1:1 date, so she dresses up in her red bikini with metallic accents (great choice) and dumpy romper (WHY WHY WHY?) to meet Nick on a yacht. Vanessa reveals that has never been on a boat before which STUNNED me, but perhaps that's because I grew up not far from the ocean? They sit on the boat and talk, do some snorkeling in a shipwreck, make out underwater, and then clean up for dinner.  Vanessa rocks a grey-ish dress with interesting cut-outs (too many cut outs, though?) and Nick wears a snug, white henley shirt (kid has been working his pecs) and she confesses that she's falling in love with him but he doesn't give her much back. Ouch. Corinne claims that Vanessa doesn't have much personality and I hate to agree with her, but I think she may be right.

Up next is a group date for Corinne, Kristina, and Raven and the activity of the day is drinking, swimming with sharks (LITERALLY), and tangling your hair.  Corinne has been on a bigger boat than this, she reminds us, then strips down and presents herself to Nick (barf). Kristina seems to dominate the date (foreshadowing) and Corinne loses confidence (delightful), but Raven is the big winner in that she scores the date rose and will definitely be taking Nick to Hoxie, Arkansas. I have been a Raven fan since the start and I'm so psyched for her! I also LOVE her baby pink lip--great choice.


That night at the "afterparty" (for 4 people, 3 of whom are trying to date 1) Kristina is very pragmatic ("listen, you can't keep us all"), Raven seems to forget that female relatives exist (speaking only about how her "daddy" or brother might be skeptical of Nick), and Corinne can barely keep her eyes open as she rambles and repeatedly refers to herself in the third person.  After Raven wins the rose, she and Nick walk over to a private concert (of some dweebus named Adam Friedman whose entire performance gave me dumb chills--especially the part when he and his band mates jumped up and down) where they dance and kiss.

The next day blonde Danielle gets a 1:1 date and I'm sure that Nick is hoping she somehow found a personality in the last few weeks, alas NO.  Danielle rocks some TINY jean shorts and the cruise around on bikes, eat, drink, shop--a cute date overall.  They dance on the beach (SO AWKWARD) and then sip beers and engage in stilted conversation about their shared home state. Nick puts it tactfully as if Danielle is part robot, saying, "we seem to be struggling having a natural conversation" and it's hard to watch. That night Danielle rocks a red romper (again--I just don't think that rompers are flatting in the stomach/butt area on ANYONE yet this season has been all rompers, all the time) and cute gold jewelry, but the damage is done and despite the fact that she's "fun to have fun with" (Nick's own words), he sends her back to Wisconsin.  She goes back to the house, tearfully packs her bags, and says goodbye to the rest of the girl gang.

Corinne is continuing to spiral and thinks that it's a good idea for her to put on HER OWN romper (STOP STOP STOP), high heeled shoes that she can hardly walk in, and surprise Nick at his hotel with her "sex charm."  This is when we get her most gloriously awful quote of the season: "My heart is gold, but my vagine is platinum" but sadly, Nick doesn't get to experience that platinum "vagine," as he pumps the brakes when she tries to initiate sexy times.  Oof.  Corinne handles it with ZERO GRACE and walks off like a 5 year-old who got into mommy's shoe closet.

Up next is Rachel with the final 1:1 date before Hometowns, which she poetically explains is quite fitting since she got the first impression rose and now she gets the last date.  She rocks a hot, black, crop top and a flowy skirt with shorts built in (island attire perfection) for a daytime date of walking and drinking in a local bar (my kind of date!).  Rachel talks about her family and says she's a daddy's girl and has never brought home a white guy before, so this will be a first.  We know that Nick and Rachel DO NOT end up together, though, as she is slated to be THE NEXT BACHELORETTE!! I am SUPER fired up for that, but confused about the timing of the announcement.  Was there a leak, perhaps?  Who knows.  They have a great, quick date and Rachel goes back to the house floating on air as Corinne continues to unravel.

That afternoon Chris Harrison and Nick have a heart to heart and Nick knows which lady he wants to send home and doesn't want to wait for a rose ceremony.  Go for it, man.  He heads over to the ladies' house and all of Bachelor Nation says a silent prayer that he will call for Corinne and send her back to Florida, but no, he inquires about Kristina.  Oh girl.  Nick retrieves her from a bedroom and walks her outside by the hand and she must know by now, right?  Perhaps not, as she seems STUNNED (and ANGRY) as Nick launches into a diatribe that starts, "you're someone... from the moment I met you.." and ends as you'd expect it to.  Kristina is ANGRY immediately and says he never gave her a chance, but girl, the heart wants what it wants.  As some random asshole said to Desiree when she dumped him on the beach, you can't be ANGRY at someone for not loving you. Kristina and Nick have a somber hug goodbye and she heads inside to pack and double over in tears.

Somehow, through all of this, Corinne is STILL FREAKING OUT because she's the second biggest narcissist in the world (Trump is #1 obvi) or MAYBE it's because she knows the camera will stay on her if she continues to freak out.  Either way, girl, take a deep breath and calm down.

Next week we have a surprise woman showing up at Nick's door (my money's on Andi--that hair) and the proposal will take place on the goddamn arctic tundra!  I'll be back on my podcast as normal and recapping here!  Talk soon! xoxo

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bachelor Nick V. Episode 6: Russian Orphanages, "Chokey," and Too Many Rompers

Bachelor Nation!

Last night's episode was a doozy!  We saw the departure of SIX women in one episode (unprecedented this late in the game?), we had a conversation about child prostitution in Russia (spooky/timely), and joked around about "chokey" aka erotic asphyxiation! All on network television during prime time! Holy shit what is going on?

I've got to whip through this recap today, so let's get to it and get through it quickly.

The episode opens up with Corinne and Nick on a dinner date (after Taylor's recent dismissal), but we haven't seen the last of America's Favorite Emotional Intelligence Expert!  Taylor BUSTS INTO their date to say two things to Nick:
1. Corinne lied, and
2. Come outside so I can berate you on the dimly lit front steps of this old church, please.

Nick and Taylor talks outside and she continues her same diatribe as before--SHE IS NOT A BULLY! Part of love is respect! SHE IS NOT A MEAN GIRL! But Nick needs to "open your eyeballs" (exact quote) because Taylor, a girl he has known for mere weeks, KNOWS what is right for him!!!  Why won't he let TAYLOR make his choices!?!??  That's what gets me about all this--these girls are like, "Corinne isn't right for you!" but they hardly know Nick!  Sure, Corinne's a helpless, obnoxious booze bag who needs to grow up, but maybe Nick WANTS that?  Who knows?

Nick essentially says, thanks for caring, Taylor, then sends her packing again. He returns to Corinne, they make out, and he wants to see what could happen (or at least play tonsil hockey for a few more weeks).

Now we're down to 12 ladies and it's rose ceremony time!  The women get dolled up, hop in a horse drawn carriage, and head to a huge plantation house where they sip on BIG glasses of wine (Danielle's was almost larger than her face). Chris Harrison informs them that Nick has chosen to skip the cocktail party (WHAT!?!?! WHAT!? But I brought a PowerPoint Presentation about why he should love me and now I don't get to show it?!?!) in favor of going straight to the forced departure ceremony--I mean, rose ceremony.

Corinne, Danielle M. (blonde one), and Rachel all have roses.  Who will live to see another group date?

-Kristina - wearing a lovely maroon dress with interesting cut outs up top.
-Raven - in an odd blue dress with, again, detachable arm cover things. WHY WHY WHY?
-Vanessa - our 2nd maroon dress of the night, looking great.
-Danielle L. - hair back in sorta curled bun, tits out in a low cut black patterned dress.
-Jasmine - looking great in a retro style black and white cocktail dress.
-Whitney - aka Astrid's Body Double in a bizarre mesh dress that has some white pieces, but is mostly tan white girl flesh tone, so she looks like a L'Eggs plastic egg with a brown wig attached to it. Her skin looked great, though--fantastic shimmer contouring.

Actual photo of Whitney in her weird mesh, flesh toned dress. 

So heading home we have Josephine (who seemed perfectly nice but didn't have much real, 1:1 connection with Nick), Alexis (who is RAD and goofy and seemed to have a great friendship with Nick, but no romance), and Jaimie (whose purple lipstick was BOLD but who we never saw going too far, did we?).

We're down to 9 girls and it's time to head down to an island whose weather can best be described as "perpetually overcast": ST. THOMAS!

The gals land in St. Thomas and do the requisite beach walk, patio scream, and suite exploration. They meet up with Nick plane-side and he announces that a 1:1 is starting right then for KRISTINA, the sweet Russian girl who was adopted by a Kentucky family. As Jasmine begins to unravel, Nick and Kristina fly away and head to the Annaberg Ruins for beers and real talk.  Nick is fascinated but also wants to get Kristina out of those pesky clothes, so they head to the beach for swimming and straddling.

That night over dinner, Kristina (done up in a super cute white dress and tan wedges) shares her harrowing life story--a brutal childhood in Russia, a neglectful mother, and 6 years a Russian orphanage before she was adopted at age 12. Kids who aren't adopted are forced out of the orphanage at age 16 and often go into prostitution and I must say PROPS to Kristina and The Bachelor for having the guts to speak about child sexy trafficing with such candor and for shining a light on this issue.  Wow.  Kristina dealt with some feelings of guilt when she was adopted but decided to move to the U.S.A. and "live life in color" (sorta corny, but also very sweet) and Nick seems to be smitten.  She gets a rose and they dance in a gazebo surrounded by steel drum players and local dancers.

Meanwhile, Corinne has found a local St. Thomas woman (Lorna) to act as her new Raquel and sure, I suppose it's a funny little aside, but there's also something very yucky about watching a native woman wait on a white woman who is visiting the resort, ya know?

Up next is a group date for Rachel, Raven, Vanessa, Corinne, Danielle M., Jasmine, and Nick and I haven't seen that much sloppy day drinking since season 3 of Bachelor In Paradise or maybe Sunday at my friend's boyfriend's Superbowl party!  Corinne wears a beige bikini top (NIGHTMARE), Vanessa rocks a super cool black bikini, Raven does mismatched bikini top and bottom (my favorite style), and nobody has any fun.

That night the gang SOMEHOW rallies for more drinking (I would have been riding the struggle bus--a day of drinking, a hellish forced volleyball game, then MORE drinking a few hours later? Can I get a nap and some uppers, plz?) and alone time with Nick.  Nearly every woman is saying that this has been more stressful than any week before and Jasmine, unfortunately, goes a step farther, telling the other women that she feels completely ignored and forgotten.  She has been stewing on this for a few days, so when she finally gets alone time with Nick, she pounces. She starts off OK, simply saying, "I like you a lot and I feel overlooked and it sucks" but then she DOES NOT STOP TALKING and it just gets worse with every moment.  She's upset that she hasn't had a 1:1 so far, she is here to find love--not just score a free vacation and enjoy open bar.  Then she goes off the rails and "jokes" that she wants to choke him and slap him (cringe!), then bizarrely tries to sorta redeem herself by saying that she wants to do "chokey" and straddle him, choke him (which, if this were 1996 and I were a high schooler watching this show in my parents' basement would DEFINITELY be THE MOMENT when my father would come downstairs and say, "WHAT IN THE HELL DO THEY SHOW ON TV NOWADAYS??). Nick literally looks scared and creeped out, so he gingerly suggests that maybe it's time to say goodbye and he walks her out.  Jasmine was such a solid contender at first--it's sad to see her leave in such creepy circumstances, but this show makes people go crazy.

Everyone is emotionally drained and snuggling, but soon it's time for another 2-on-1. ANOTHER ONE!? Bachelor lovers--I thought that usually we only had ONE 2:1 per season--am I wrong? Right? The greatest of all time?

The 2-in-1 is Nick, Danielle L. (aka Tits McGee), and Whitney (snooze) and both ladies are in rompers, though Whitney's is a LOT more unflattering. Does no one own separates anymore? Am I an old lady for owning frigging tank tops?

You're both in rompers? Cool cool. I'm over here in separates like a goddamn pilgrim.

The trio hops a helicopter and cruises to a desert island where there is nothing except a canopy bed and drinks.  I got the feeling that Nick wanted to ditch BOTH women on that island, but somehow Danielle L. charms him, so he only abandons Whitney (who turns MEAN and begins trying to insult Danielle L. because she's a pawn in the hand of the patriarchy and they love to always pit women against other women).  Whitney gets the Olivia treatment--being forced to stand there alone on the beach as Danielle and Nick escape in the helicopter.  Man--the only thing more brutal than being ditched on a desert island is being ditched on a desert island while you're wearing a super unflattering romper.  Sorry, Whitney.

That night Nick and Danielle L. (aka D. Lo) have dinner and D. Lo explains that they have so much in common because they both enjoy hanging out with friends and being close with family (OMG they are like, FATED to be together with those SUPER UNIQUE commonalities that aren't shared by the majority of humans on the planet).  Nick seems to suddenly realize that he and D. Lo actually DO NOT have much in common (perhaps because of the answers to that "2 word to describe ideal relationship" question?) and finally notice that she says "like" every other word, so he sends her home and cries about it.  Danielle handles it gracefully (and rocks a gorgeous, very vacation chic, flowy dress) and reminds us of Bonnie Raitt's immortal words: you can't make someone love you.

Nick's down to 6 women and he's having a personal crisis.  Did the casting directors pick a girl who he can marry? Is one of these 6 "the one"?  And whatever will he do if he does NOT find love on national TV--what then?  Will he be forced to just KEEP DATING!??! We'll find out next week!