Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Bachelor Episode #8 - A Review

This week Brad goes to meet each of the girls’ families.  We can only hope that Brad dials the awkward up to eleven.  Especially when the fathers have to take him aside and ask the “tough” questions.

Judging by the replay of every single moment of every girl’s relationship with Brad, there will be about six interesting seconds on each of the dates.  Why couldn’t they do this when Monday Night Football was still on so that I could tune out for the first twenty minutes?

Chantal — Seattle, WA
Brad meets Chantal in the park.  You know, the one park in Seattle where is doesn’t rain.  Chantal takes him to her place to meet her pets.  She has two cats and a dog named Boca that looks like a cat.  I feel much better knowing that when Brad doesn’t choose her, she’ll still have her cats.  Chantal insists that the pets are coming with her and he immediately tells her that his condo doesn’t have enough space.  

After sharing a drink at her place, they head off to her parents’ place.  Chantal’s parents are wealthy.  Their foyer looks like a museum.  The first thing they discuss with her parents is the slap Chantal dished out when she first met Brad.  Look how far they’ve come.  

After dinner, Chantal takes a moment with her dad to tell him that she loves Brad.  Then it’s Chantal’s father’s turn with Brad.  He and Brad immediately bond over being masons — the actual kind, not the ones with secret handshakes and funny hats — and when Chantal’s dad holds his glass out for a toast, Brad flinches before clinking glasses.  Looks like Brad’s daddy issues are solved.  When Chantal’s dad mentions that he too had an absent father, everything becomes clear for me.  Brad isn’t looking for love, he’s looking for a dad.

Ashley — Madawaska, ME
Ashley’s hometown is near the border of Canada and she explains that there are a lot of French speakers in the area.  She takes him to a restaurant where she worked in high school and when waitress asks him in French if he is ready to order he says, “Si.”  Thank god he didn’t speak German or the waitress would have surrendered.  Over a plate of gravy fries, they talk about how they always talk about reassuring each other.  Then I shoot myself in the face.
These are free in Maine!

They go to buy a few lobsters and stop at a little fruit and veggie stand that works on the honor system.  No one supervises the stand, there’s just a little box where you put the money once you’ve chosen your food.  So, free vegetables and free money.

When they finally arrive at Ashley’s home, everyone freaks out and screams and jumps up and down.  It’s like Justin Bieber showed up at a Junior High School.  It’s the most grating ten minutes of television I’ve ever seen.  I feel sorry for Ashley’s dad.  He has to live with this shit every day, though he seems okay with it.  

During Brad’s discussion with Ashley’s dad, it comes out that Ashley is not actually a dentist even though every graphic I’ve ever seen says she’s already a dentist.  Can we trust her?  Besides, who wants a bubbly dentist?  I like mine on the verge of suicide, it gives them a nice focus.

I didn’t think that Ashley could get more annoying but she took it to a completely different level with her whole family.  It’s like they created a new circle of hell — and that circle speaks French.

Shawntel — Chico, CA
They open with a bad commercial for Shawntel’s funeral home.  It’s awesome and you can see it right here on YouTube.  This one is even better, because you can actually feel the sadness when the kids say, “…and now it’s ours.”

Brad meets her at the funeral home.  There’s no buffer zone on this one.  Straight to the weird stuff.  When she shows Brad the crypt he almost immediately begins to freak out.  If you couldn’t tell by the scared look on his face, the tinkly piano music lets us know that he’s definitely freaked out.  He finally admits that he’s not comfortable with death.  Just like all Americans who try to avoid everything uncomfortable.  God forbid he be a man about something.

I think Adam Carolla based his book, In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks, on this guy.

They go to her parent’s house for dinner and Brad seems to be shocked that her family is actually alive.  He marvels that they’re not constantly mired in gloom.  Shawntel’s father mentions that he’s expecting Shawntel to take over the family business.  He then takes her aside and lays a serious guilt trip on her by telling her that a family friend wanted her to be there for an embalming.  He basically tells her that she’s ruining the family plans if she moves away with Brad.  

When they reconvene with the rest of the family, Shawntel’s father gives them his blessing but it’s clear he’s only doing it because he doesn’t want to look like a dick in front of the cameras.

As Brad is leaving, she tells him that she’s in love with him.  That probably won’t be enough to save her.

Emily - Charlotte, NC
Emily and her daughter are reunited in a park.  Emily tries to explain that she “made a friend” while she was gone and the kid looks pissed.  Her name is Ricky or maybe Ricki.  I’m going with Ricky because I hate it less.  When Brad shows up Ricky predictably hides behind her mom.  Brad brings her a kite.  You know, because it’s the 1940s.  Basically, Ricky completely ignores Brad the entire time.  Eventually, Brad convinces her to fly the kite and they actually interact for a few seconds.  It looks like a win for Brad.  

They go back to Emily’s house and spend the evening playing games.  Emily wants Brad to see what it’s like to spend a regular night with her and her daughter.  Brad hits it off with Ricky and she even asks him to say goodnight when she goes to bed.  Big win for Brad.  Time to close the deal.

Back in the living room, Emily is dying for Brad to kiss her.  Instead, he explains that he’s not comfortable kissing her with Ricky upstairs.  He feeds her a line about how he respects her too much to kiss her right now.  She doesn’t buy it.  I don’t either.  It gets weird and he abruptly leaves.  Before he gets out the door, she basically forces him to kiss her.  

Really, dude?  Did your dad take your balls with him when he left?

Meeting with Chris
Brad meets with Chris Harrison to discuss the meetings with the families.  We relive every single meeting but this time it’s in soft-focus.  Why does Chris even bother to ask questions he knows Brad can’t really answer?  It doesn’t make Brad seem any smarter when he always has to speak in bad clichés.

The Rose Ceremony
Ashley and Emily get the first two roses.  I have a feeling Ashley is going to win this.  She’ll be so excited she’ll puke rainbows.  He gives Chantal the final rose.

Brad walks Shawntel out to the balcony for their final conversation.  Instead of using the family excuse, he tells her that he didn’t feel what he should feel when she told him that she loved him.  She looks hurt but manages to tell him that she respects him and wishes him all the happiness in the world.  Good move if she’s angling to be the next Bachelorette.

My roses go to…
Shawntel — for talking Brad into laying down on the embalming table.  I’d have given her two roses if she’d joined him there for a make out session.

Chantal’s Dad — for being the father that Brad never had.

Ricky — for not bowing to society’s standards and continuing to suck her thumb at age five.

Shawntel’s Dad — for not bowing to society’s standards and rocking the creepy mustache. 

Dentists everywhere — my condolences for counting Ashley among your numbers.


Monday, February 21, 2011


Just so neither of you get worried, I wanted to let you know that I'll be taking a break from the blog for the next week or two.  The well is dry, my friends.  I've been struggling to come up with anything interesting to write about and I feel like I could just use a break.  I'm hoping a little time away will re-energize me and give me a chance to think a little more about what this thing should be all about.

Don't worry, you'll still get my reviews of The Bachelor.  My overlords at Schadenfreude.net won't let me get away with not writing those.  Plus, I'm not going to quit when it's just getting nice and terrible.

See you in a couple weeks.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yesterday Was My Wedding Anniversary

Three years ago yesterday, I married my wife.  She wasn’t my wife at the time, not until we got married.  Anyway, I married Dee.  We’re still married now and for our third anniversary I got her this.

That pretty much sums it all up.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Bachelor Episode #7 - A Review

This week they are in Anguilla.  The most beautiful place in the world.  Until next week, anyway.  

Next week, Brad goes to meet the remaining girls’ families.  Two girls go home this week.  Plus, there are four dates — three one-on-one dates and a group date — but only the group date will yield a rose.

One of the side effects of writing these reviews is that people send me news about the contestants on the show.  Like I care.  Last week someone sent me a story about how Brad proposed to some other girl before coming on the show.  Boring.  The most shocking part of the article was when they revealed that Brad is 38 years old.  I should never be younger than The Bachelor.

First Date — Emily
What am I to do with you, Helicopter?
Oh, Helicopter.  I feel like we might be seeing a little too much of each other.  I need my space.  I hope you understand.

Helicopter whisks Brad and Emily off to their own little private island.  They sit down for the standard picnic lunch and awkward conversation.  Brad begins to tell her how he feels, but I can’t pay attention because of the poor editing.  When he begins talking, their hair is dry.  Suddenly, their hair is wet and we’ve not seen them in the water.  Then it’s dry again.  Back to wet.  It stays wet for a while and then returns to dry.  Strangely, the conversation we hear makes sense.  I can’t imagine how stilted and uneven it was in real life.

Seriously, Helicopter.  Stop calling me.  You’re making it worse.

They have dinner on the beach and their hair actually stays dry the whole time.  Brad asks her if he will be able to meet her daughter.  She sighs heavily and he mentions it about a thousand times.  Emily has never introduced her daughter to anyone that she’s dated, but Brad pushes the issue.  In a last ditch effort to convince her, he guarantees that he will be giving her a rose at the upcoming rose ceremony.  WHAT?!  He broke the rules!  Nooooooo!  The integrity of this show has been impugned!  IMPUGNED!  How can we go on?

I can’t stay mad at you, Helicopter.  Let’s never fight again.

Second Date — Shawntel
Brad and Shawntel take a bike ride to a little farmer’s market.  Didn’t they do this last season?  There is a good chance they’re rerunning the clips from the last season of The Bachelor.  I can’t really tell any of these people apart.  Brad and Shawntel — if that’s really who they are — drink mystery juice from a coconut, play dominos with the locals and have a long conversation with a toothless old lady.  If only the old lady had a cloudy eye and a crystal ball, the stereotype would be complete.

They wander off to a goat pen where they sit down and have some wine.  Seriously, they are in a goat pen.  There is a goat with its kids roaming around.  Shawntel thinks it’s adorable, but she hasn’t yet realized that she stepped in baby goat poop.

At dinner Shawnel reveals that she is falling in love with Brad.  It’s that time.  The girls need to talk about love in order to stay around.  Brad and Shawntel have what I can only assume is deep, meaningful conversation.  I didn’t really pay much attention.  Shawntel is about to declare it the perfect day when suddenly Bankie Banx appears and plays a half-assed reggae song for them and there is suddenly a party.  So much for the perfect day.  They get tired of the reggae music and go for a late night swim and make out session.  

There is no rose.

Third Date — Britt
Michelle makes her first appearance forty minutes into the show to comment about Britt’s date as, “…a waste of a yacht on Britt.”  Yes, Brad and Britt are going yachting.  Brad and Britt Go Yachting is also the name of a children’s book that rich parents read their children in the Hamptons.  Britt is frighteningly skinny.  She’s skinny enough that I’m worried about her breaking when she, you know, does anything.  She’s also a food writer.  Never trust a skinny food writer.  The yacht takes them out to a secluded cove where they jump off a rock into the bay.  After that, I’m not even sure they interacted with each other.  Very romantic.

Back on the yacht, Brad has dinner ready for them on the top deck.  I’m pretty sure Britt is wearing lingerie to dinner.  It may look like a grandma nightie, but it still looks like underwear.  I’m beginning to wonder if Britt thinks she can speak to him telepathically because there is zero conversation.  Brad decides to put her out of her misery.  I love these moments.  The girls always plaster on a tight-lipped smile because they know the cameras are on them.  To her credit, she did try to talk him out of it.  Too bad she didn’t try to talk to him earlier.  

There is no rose to not give her, but he manages to send her home anyway.

Group Date — Michelle, Chantal, Ashley
Brad shows up before the sun rises and rousts the women for the group date.  They go to get makeovers for a photo shoot for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.  Nothing like a swimsuit shoot to really put the girls at-ease and get them ready to have fun.  The photographers manage to talk both Ashley and Chantal into taking off their tops.  Ashley holds large pointy shells up to cover her breasts.  Isn’t every guy’s dream a woman with hard, pointy boobs?  Michelle is appalled that they would stoop so low, but she still needs to top them.  Instead of taking off her top, she lays down on top of Brad in the sand and makes out with him.  Chantal, Ashley, you’ve been Michelle’d.  Queue the meltdowns.

Is this face worth the whining?
Are there any girls left that don’t have tramp stamps?  Not just on this show, in the world?

The “pool party” becomes more of a “pity party” as all of the girls have little freakouts.  Ashley does her standard, “Please validate me, I have absolutely no confidence in anything, I’m not sure why I even get out of bed.”  When Brad tells Michelle that they might be too much alike and that he thinks they’ll fight all the time, Michelle decides to fight with him.  Chantal just tells him she loves him again in a half-hearted way.

Brad goes for another round of alone time with each of the girls.  Basically he’s freaking out that the girls are upset.  One damsel in distress he can handle, but three?  Too much even for Brad.  He decides to give needy Ashley the rose which prompts Chantal to break down.  When Brad tries to comfort Chantal, she gets all passive-aggressive with him.  The true way to a man’s heart.

The Cocktail Party
Instead of the cocktail party, Brad calls for Chris Harrison.  He tells Chris that he doesn’t want to have the cocktail party.  He already knows who he’s sending home.  Chris tries to talk him out of it, but his mind is made up.  

Chris informs the girls that there will be no party and it sends the girls into panic mode.  Everyone cries, which is the theme of this season.

The Rose Ceremony
Ashley is the only girl who has a rose and Brad has already promised a rose to Emily which leaves Shawntel, Chantal and Michelle to battle for the remaining roses.  Emily and Shawntel receive the first two roses.  Chantal looks terrified and Michelle remains confident.  Chantal gets the final rose.

Michelle breezes past Brad on her way out.  He asks her if he can hold her hand and she says, “Probably not.”  Those are the only words she says to him.  Brad treads lightly because he knows the bomb could go off at any second.  It doesn’t.  In the car, Michelle doesn’t cry.  She just lays down on the seat in silence thinking about how hard it is to make yourself cry when you have no soul.  Utterly disappointing.  We needed a blowout.  We better get some raging during the “Before the Final Rose” show.

My roses go to…
Chris Harrison — cushiest job in the business.  He does absolutely nothing.

Toothless Lady — for offering the following advice: “Hold hands and kiss a lot.”

The Producers — for allowing the integrity of this show to be impugned.  IMPUGNED!

Baby goats — for appearing in this show more than Marissa did in five episodes.

Helicopter — for being my Valentine despite my craziness.


Monday, February 14, 2011

My Review of the Grammys

Let’s see.  How should I describe this year’s Grammys?  I think I’ll try bullet point form.

  • Man, isn’t Lady Gaga crazy?  That crazy thing she did/wore was crazy.
  • Everyone cheers wildly for lazy, over-produced pop music performances.
  • The lights/effects are better than the music.
  • Bieber looks way cockier than he has reason to and wears sneakers two sizes too big.
  • Everyone wonders why Kim Kardashian is there.
  • They give out a bunch of awards for songs/bands/performers I hate.

Does that seem about right?  You see, I don’t watch the Grammys and I didn’t last night.  They basically gather up the worst music they can find and pack it into a three hour show.  Is it three hours?  More?  I don’t care.  Too long, anyway.  People don’t get Grammys for creating good music, just popular music.

I sat in my room and read a book.  It was awesome.

Also, Happy Valentine's Day, jerks.


Friday, February 11, 2011

The Friday Roundup

Guess what I’m doing? I’m just chillin’ and listening to some Huey Lewis and the News. Why? Because it’s Friday and that’s what cool people do on a Friday. Right?

Read the Friday Roundup already.

This Week in Mindsilt
I was fresh out of creative juice this week. Also, I was lazy.

I reviewed The Bachelor once again.

Tweet of the Week
From Josh Malina:
“Gnomeo and Juliet” looks pretty cute, but Disney’s “Lawn Jockey Othello” strikes me as racist.
See it here.

From the Mindsilt Archive
Since I was totally boring this week I thought I’d throw back to what happens when I’m boring and I decide to post anyway.

Video of the Week
Football trick shot video. That’s an accurate description.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Bachelor Episode #6 - A Review

This week Brad and the Eight Mental Dwarves head to Costa Rica.  It is roundly agreed that Costa Rica is the ideal place to fall in love.  As will be the next place they go to — even if it’s Gary, Indiana.

First Date — Chantal
Gary, IN. The most romantic place in the world.
Chantal gets a one-on-one date again.  She’s the first to get two one-on-one dates.  Michelle is so pissed that she wishes monkey death upon her.  Seriously.

Helicopter!  This time Helicopter is not simply a mode of transportation.  They fly over the beautiful scenery of Costa Rica.  Eventually, they arrive at “the longest zip line in the world.”  Somehow, I think there are several zip lines that claim this title.  Just before they are about to zip (that’s the right verb for this, yes?), it starts to rain.  There is about three seconds of drama where they wonder if they should continue.  Then some Costa Rican dude just shoves Chantal down the zip line.  On the other side, they see a black monkey.  In Costa Rica, they are now technically married.

In the evening, they have a picnic near a small waterfall.  The rain starts again.  There is no shelter nearby so they head up to Brad’s hotel room.  Chantal changes out of her wet clothes and puts on one of Brad’s button down shirts.  I’m not sure there’s any straight guy who can resist a girl in his button down shirt.  Back at the suite, Michelle is imagining that the rain is ruining Chantal’s date.  Not even close.  In fact, it’s going so well that Chantal admits to the camera that she is in love with Brad.

She gets the rose.

Group Date — Michelle, Jackie, Emily, Ashley, Shawntel, Britt
On the way to the group date, Michelle complains about the rain, mud and Chantal.  She is a broken record of hate and jealousy but she’s all this show has right now.  I can’t wait until After the Rose when she tells herself (and everyone else) that everything was edited to make her look bad.

Brad takes the girls to repel down a waterfall.  Michelle is pissed because she and Brad made a pact to not repel down things with anyone else.  That’s a really stupid pact, by the way.  Sometimes you need to repel out of life or death situations.  Even though she’s pissed, she takes the opportunity to step up and help the other girls by standing in the back and pouting the entire time.  Once everyone else has gone, Brad tells her that he’s going to repel down with her.  She’s now convinced that she’s getting the rose.  Not that there was any doubt.

In the evening, they head to a natural hot springs.  Nothing like alcohol and a hot springs to get the girls really wasted.  

Brad immediately grabs Jackie since she was clearly the most afraid to repel down the waterfall.  She jumps on the fact that he repelled down with Michelle.  Brad is slowly beginning to realize that he can’t please everyone.  Slow learner, this guy.

Emily admits to Brad that she sabotages relationships.  This scares Brad but not so much that he won’t make out with her.

Michelle takes her alone time to berate Brad about going on dates with other girls — especially Chantal.  When Brad tries to speak, she shouts him down.  This dude is blinded by her hotness.  He just won’t cut her loose.  At the first lull in conversation, she makes out with him.

Brad leaves his one-on-one time with Michelle and immediately announces that he’s not giving out a rose.  Good for him.  Choosing not to choose is still a choice.  

Frankly, I hope that Brad chose Michelle and now he’s sitting at home watching this show thinking, “I have to dump this girl on After the Rose.”

Third Date — Alli
The next Bachelor?
Alli’s date card reads, “Meet me at the altar.”  Of course, Alli and Chantal only know of one use for an altar — marriage.  I can’t wait for Alli to discover she’s going to be a human sacrifice.

Brad shows up with horses and takes her on a horseback ride to an ancient cave.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the cave from Lost.  The one with the light.  Maybe we’ll get to see Hurley again.  Of course, Alli is terrified of bugs and dirt and basically anything that might ever be in a cave.  They see a few bats and she pees her pants.  Eventually, they arrive at the altar.  It’s just a flat spot in the cave.  Again, it’s picnic time.  You know, because it’s about the journey, not the destination.

They sit down for dinner on an island in the middle of the hot springs.  Awkward conversation ensues.  Why is it so awkward?  Alli is boring.  There’s really no reason she should still be on this show.  She has no personality and there’s absolutely nothing sexual about her.  No surprise that she’s the first girl who doesn’t get a rose on a one-on-one.

During the post date wrap-up Brad says that he “needs a little down time to process how he’s feeling.”  Before he finishes the sentence, there is a knock on the door.  Guess who?  That’s right, Michelle.  Brad seems completely thrown by the whole thing.  They make out.  She launches in to her usual rant about how all of the other girls are evil.  Brad is on to her and he’s clearly not enjoying this.  She doesn’t get the hint and proceeds to list the order in which the other girls will go home.

The Cocktail Party
When Brad arrives, he sits down and tells the girls that he’s having a hard time.  Michelle is sure it’s because of the other girls.  Dumb and crazy.  A real catch.

To everyone’s surprise, Brad and Michelle have another fight.  She insists that he asked her to say all those nasty things about the girls.  Brad basically shuts down and he makes up his mind to punish her by giving her the very last rose.  She might win this whole thing.  She’s put her crazy on full display and he’s still going to keep her around.  She needs to go home at some point so that we can see her breakdown on the ride home.

Shawntel is smart enough to take her time with Brad to help him relax by making out with him.  
The other girls have figured out that Michelle is talking trash about them and upsetting Brad.  They confront her and she tells them that she doesn’t go to Brad and “run off at the mouth about all of you.”  Does she not realize that all of this is being taped?

Chantal tells Brad that she is in love with him.  Instead of looking happy, he just looks fucking exhausted.  This dude is emotionally wiped out.  He can’t even enjoy his make out sessions anymore.  Being the Bachelor is hard.

The Rose Ceremony
Brad has five roses to give out which means that only one girl is going home.  As I predicted, Jackie and Michelle are the two vying for the final rose.  He eventually give it to Michelle.  Poor Jackie has been sacrificed at the altar of TV ratings and we’re treated to another boring car ride exit interview.

My roses go to…
Alli — for screaming loud enough to interrupt the hot springs date when she saw a bug.
Brad — for finally sensing that all of this is going to end badly.
The group date girls — for picking the least attractive bathing suits possible.  C’mon, Emily, you’re not five.
The altar — for being completely disappointing.
Alderman Ed Bus — for helping me dig out my car.


Friday, February 04, 2011

The Friday Roundup

If the blizzard didn’t take out your Internet, welcome to the Friday Roundup.  If the blizzard did take out your Internet, you’re a liar.

This Week in Mindsilt
I gave a quick update on my weekend construction projects

As usual, my weekly review of The Bachelor

I posted a pic and some video from the Chicago Blizzard of 2011

Tweet of the Week
From Alec Sulkin
Suicide doesn’t run in my family. It crouches, waiting.
See it here

From the Mindsilt Archive
In honor of the near world ending blizzard this week, I throw back to a post on the impending end of the world

Video of the Week
Yeah, I’m phoning it in this week.  I’m sure you’ve seen this.  If not, you’re welcome.


Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Chicago Blizzard

The big news in my area has been the blizzard that roared through Chicago, so I thought I'd share some pictures and video that I shot this week.  Enjoy.

This is a picture I took while on Lake Michigan.  Or maybe I was on the ice planet Hoth.  You decide.

And now my moving pictures from the blizzard and its aftermath:


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Bachelor Episode #5 - A Review

This week, Brad and his crazies head off to Las Vegas.  Remember when people still used the “Las”?  Those were the days.

When Chris makes his once-per-episode appearance, he drops the bomb that this week there will be the “dreaded” two-on-one date.  Two girls go on a date but there is only one rose.  With that, Vegas has gone from being a super awesome party fest to super annoying pity party.

Brad welcomes the girls to their swanky suite, delivers the date card and vanishes in a puff of smoke.

First Date — Shawntel 
Every girl on this show
The card says, “Let’s end tonight with a bang.”  We all know what that means.  Fireworks.  It’s way too early for rough sexual intercourse.

Brad takes her into an enormous mall with a bunch of high-end stores.  If I had ever been to Vegas, I’m sure I’d know exactly what this is called.  He is treating her to a shopping spree with ABC’s money.  They buy everything.  If Shawntel doesn’t win, this will be the first time that someone goes home with consolation prizes.  If she does win, well, that’s just greedy.

Shawntel goes back to the suite with all of her bags and tells the other girls her story of the spree.  She then shows off her clothes.  There couldn’t be any more fallout if someone dropped a 50 megaton jealousy bomb in the room.  Plus, I think one of the girls must have farted.  That’s the only way to explain some of the faces.

In the evening, Brad takes Shawntel onto the roof of the mall they shopped at earlier.  Over dinner, she informs him that she is a funeral director and embalmer.  I’m sure most of you think that dinner is the worst possible time to talk about embalming, but I don’t.  Hell, I watch Bones while I’m eating dinner.  Despite the fact that she mentions “leakage” they still manage to laugh and finish their meal.

She gets the rose and the Brad leads her over to the edge of the roof to see a fireworks display.  See?  What did I tell you?

Meanwhile Back At the House…
Marissa is finally getting some serious screen time.  That can only mean that she’s going home.

Group Date — Everyone but the two Ashleys
Everyone does the math and figures out that the two Ashleys are going on the elimination date.  Crying ensues.

Because the producers of The Bachelor have no shame, Brad takes all of the women to a NASCAR racetrack.  In case you don’t remember (or care) Emily’s fiancé was a NASCAR driver.  It’s all she can do to keep from breaking down.  Brad notices that something isn’t right with Emily.  He pulls her aside to talk with her and she admits to him that he crashed on the Vegas and it ended his NASCAR career.  To Emily’s credit, she got in the car and she drove the damn thing as the producers fed us some bullshit about how it’s finally healed her.  We should all be ashamed for taking part in this.

Again, to the rooftop for the after party.  Brad immediately grabs Emily again and the girls freak out.  He talks to her about her fiancé and tells her that it’s a “hard, hard, hard space for any man to fill.”  Pretty sure he means her vagina.

Alli takes her opportunity with Brad to break down and cry.  Ladies, you know this doesn’t work.  Stop doing it.

Chantal accidentally drops the “L” word.  Then she starts crying.

Brad walks over to the group of girls and it immediately becomes awkward.  Everyone is pouting.  C’mon.  Since when has pouting ever won anyone over?

Eventually Michelle pulls him away and tries to talk trash about the other girls.  He changes the subject so she makes out with him.  You know, because she’s the smart girl.  She the only one who doesn’t cry, though.

In case you didn’t see it coming, he gives the rose to Emily.  Because he can’t resist a woman in distress.

Two-On-One Date — Ashley S and Ashley H
He chose these two because he likes both of them but he also has doubts about them.  He takes them to go see an Elvis themed Cirque du Soleil show.  I can’t imagine anything worse than that.  The next time I’m stuck on a mountain and I have to cut my own arm off to free myself, I’ll keep my spirits up by telling myself, “At least I’m not at an Elvis themed Cirque du Soleil show.”  The big surprise is that they will be in the show, but only one girl will get to perform with Brad.  He has to choose.  In the meantime, they beat us over the head with how tortured these two girls are about this date.

This is the most miserable group of people I’ve ever seen.  Can’t they at least enjoy that they are doing a bunch of cool shit that no one ever gets to do?  Everything is awesome and no one is happy.

After rehearsal, they sit down to an awkward dinner.  Brad doesn’t even try to make the dinner enjoyable.  He immediately launches into his rose decision.  He feeds Ashley S the old, “I think you’ll make a wonderful wife, just not a wonderful wife for me.”  I have a feeling she’s heard that before.

Back at the house, the hefty goatee guy barges in and takes out Ashley S’s bag.  The girls are shocked.
Ashley S is devastated.  She breaks down and the cameras refuse to turn away.  She admits that she has heard the “not for me” line before.  Is she the new frontrunner for the next Bachelorette?

Brad is truly broken up about sending Ashley S home, but not so much that he can’t fly through the sky in front of 1800 people with Ashley H.  

Therapist Time
Brad calls his therapist after the two-on-one.  He tells him how hard this whole thing is and that he’s a little freaked out that every single woman cries every time he talks to them.  Jamie tells him that he needs to be vulnerable.  The problem with these segments is that good advice is boring and obvious.

The Cocktail Party
Prior to Brad’s arrival, the girls talk about their various crying strategies.

Chantal has realized that crying isn’t the best strategy and she apologizes to Brad for being such a wimp.

On the other hand, Brad brings champagne and a special dessert to Alli so that she can feel special.  During her earlier crying spree she told him that it was hard for her to feel special.  

Marissa gives him an envelope of little notes for him to read.  Too little too late, sister.  You should have been in the first four episodes.

Michelle takes Brad into the bedroom and closes the door.  She sits him down and tells him not to talk.  She then proceeds to awkwardly paw his face and tell him that none of the other girls are right for him.  When he tries to speak she covers his mouth and says, “Next time you can talk.”  He now knows she’s full-on crazy, right?

The Rose Ceremony
Shawntel, Emily and Ashley H already have their roses.  This week, two girls will go home.  We already know that Marissa is going home since she has suddenly been featured in this episode.  Who will the other girl be?

Lisa.  That’s right, there’s a Lisa on this show.  Apparently, she’s been hiding inside one of the sofas the entire time.

Both Lisa and Marissa cry because that’s what every single girl on this show does every waking minute.

My roses go to…
Me — for making it through this unwatchable cryfest.
Marissa — for one final Hail Mary with the envelope of notes.
Me — for not thinking of writing AShley and AsHley instead of Ashley S and Ashley H, respectively, until one of them was already gone.
Alli — for hanging around despite being pissed at Emily for having a dead fiancé
Michelle — for pretty much staying out of this episode.