When we left off last time, Shawntel was going back to Chico and the remaining three ladies were packing for a trip to South Africa. Because nothing prepares you for what a REAL relationship will be like, quite like going on ridiculously far-flung trips with your would-be beloved.
The first date goes to Chantal and she looks super cute in her safari chic button-down and cut-off shorts. As my viewing buddy, comedian George Gordon put it, “Chantal’s got a badonka donk” and indeed she does. Brad is wearing a corny hat that doesn't COVER his limited vocabulary. Heyo! The two hop in an open jeep and see a bunch of animals. Brad does what existentialists would call, “creating your own omens” when he thinks that somehow seeing a lion (his favorite animal) while on a date with Chantal (specifically), has some sort of special meaning. OK Brad, if you decide that means something, then believing makes it so, I suppose. Brad and Chantal change clothes and eat dinner in the bush. I’m going to keep it clean and not make any tawdry bush jokes here, dear readers. You see how classy I am!? I’m so classy that I’m hosting a cocktail party on Thursday night. I’m a WASP, it’s what we do. But back to the bush. They eat dinner, then Brad breaks out a note about potential humps, which he refers as “from Chris Harrison” which I find creepy and bizarre. Why is Chris Harrison the one giving his blessing for these two lovebirds to be “intimate”? They decide to “forego their individual rooms” and hook it in a treehouse.
Emily is up next and apparently she and Chantal went safari shopping together, as her shirt is just like Chantal’s from yesterday. Emily and Brad ride an elephant, watch baby elephants bathe, and eat snacks. I found their segment wholly forgettable. Then they eat dinner and, despite the misleading promos for this episode, Emily DOES opt to visit the fantasy suite with Brad. In the words of the wonderful, pixie-like gay dude who lived downstairs from me during my freshman year of college, “Awww sookie sookie now.”
Ashley’s date is last and, unfortunately for her, least. They spend the day enjoying a beautiful view while drinking, but conversation is stilted somewhat. Brad seems to want every woman to expressly say that she will drop her life, move to Austin, and work around him. I truly think that Ashley *would* do that, but she doesn’t verbalize it well. When he asks her about where she’d want to live, she talks about warm weather and family. I don’t think she grasped the gravity of that question—that Brad was basically asking if she would move to Austin, specifically. Dude should have just outright asked, if that’s what he wanted to know. He seems to think that her career as a dentist will limit her willingness to relocate, which makes me bananas because Ashley is being punished for being career-oriented and driven. Meanwhile, executive assistant Chantal and party planner Emily are never grilled about their ambitions. It’s all very retrograde, but I’m kidding myself to expect anything remotely progressive from a reality TV dating show. OK, I’ll get off my soap box now.
Things go from bad to worse over a candle lit (and bug-filled) dinner, where Ashley shoots for a new record in the use of the word “like.” Yes, I have officially become my father. Brad and Ashley talk in circles, with her adjusting her hair and repeating “like” while managing to say nothing, and Brad looking dumb behind the eyes while saying he has a hard time expressing himself. Painful. They hit up the fantasy suite, though, because nothing erases a night of strained conversation quite like an awkward hump, am I right? (No.)
Time for a rose ceremony at sunset. The three ladies line up with the sunset directly in their eyes--ouch. Emily’s dress is fantastic. Chantal’s hair looks great. And as a predictor of what’s to come, Ashley doesn’t look so great. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s white women in near-flesh-tone dresses or any clothing that’s tan/beige/flesh tone. It’s not doing anybody any favors, white women. Brad walks down to the ceremony and assumes the position to dole out the roses, but instead he asks Ashley if they can talk. I wonder if Ashley knew that this would be her walk out, at that moment. She probably did. I must say: for how thick Brad seems, and the fact that this is his second go-round on the Bachelor, he’s actually quite sensitive to how the women feel. He explains that he didn’t want to put Ashley through a formal rose ceremony and have her only figure out that she’s going home by not hearing her name. He’d rather talk to her about it. Maybe I’m a sucker (yes), but I was really impressed by that. Ashley handles it remarkably well. Of course she’s upset, but she’s smart enough to get out of there quickly.
So it’s down to a blonde vs. brunette match-up—I love it! Emily’s sweet platinum perfection versus Chantal’s gorgeous chocolate locks. It’s like a good hair-off, and the prize is a dumb guy with a sick body.
Next week is my favorite episode of the season, “The Women Tell All” and we’re going to hear from crazypants Michelle; brawlin’ and self-destructing duo Melissa and Raichel (remember them? Melissa is pretty… pretty BUSTED (Boom! Thanks to the 6th grade boy who wrote that joke for me) and Raichel doesn’t know what “obstruct” means); Chico chica Shawntel; Madison the overrated vampire; Sporty Spice look-alike Alli and more. Aww snap I’m ready for drama drama! I have a feeling a whole lotta ladies are going to be insisting that they were misunderstood and misrepresented—bring it on! In the words of Jason Aldean, this episode is “my kind of party” am I right!? What, no country music fans amongst my legions of readers!? Get with it!