Chris Harrison apparently promised that last night’s episode was the most emotional Bachelor yet. He lies. Sure, Ali’s grief causes her to momentarily lose the use of her legs–someone nominate that woman for an Emmy!– but this show was as boring as any of the others before it. Even with special guest star appearances by the poor(er) man’s The Situation (with Pauly D hair and glasses!),Â Lazy Eye’s dad King Squirrel Chaser (sporting Mr. Magoo glasses!), and Camela Soprano (no glasses but poured into a very, very, very short dress!), this thing was a total yawn. Here’s why: Jake is as terrible as those Jamaican beads he rocks for a few minutes at the beginning of this episode. Nothing is going to change that. But for those so inclined, let’s put on the leotard, fire up the Canon in D, and choreograph the most lyrical recap ever after the jump.
We begin with Jake packing for a series of hometown dates, wherein he must convince four sets of parents that he has honorable intentions and wants to marry every one of their daughters. (Good twist possibility here: Jake is telling the truth. Turns out, he is Mormon. He marries them all. The show is called Big Bachelor Love.)Â He is musing on the state of affairs.”It’s really crazy to me that I have four amazing women left,” he says as earnestly as possible. “I’m also seeking approval from these families.” Cut to him exiting his hotel room while sporting a pair of Dockers shorts. No worries, Mr. Big Shot. Approval is in the bag. (Maybe even in that roller suitcase you’re pulling behind you.Â No hotel porters here on the most bargain-basement Bachelor season ever!)
A trip to New York is the order of the day. Jake puts on long pants to meet Gia, about whom he has a “burning desire to get know her personality.” He expresses some concerns while they enjoy a romantic river cruise. Jake tells her that her past relationships seem to be “sense of soreness.” Between the burning and the soreness, this should be way more exciting than it actually is. Luckily, we get to meet the family. How to put this delicately? If the producers of The Bachelor had a penny, they would have paid to play “Woke Up This Morning” from The Sopranos during this bit. Alas. They apparently didn’t even have the cash to play “On the Wings of Love” on an accordion.
Anyway, just in case you don’t pick up on the fact that Gia and her family are Italian, the clues abound! They’re in an uncrowded Italian restaurant! (One wonders why we don’t get to see the house. Under FBI surveillance?) Plates of spaghetti litter the table! Everyone talks with their hands! Michael Corleone asks to use the restroom, and Sollozzo gets nervous! Once the stage is set, we notice Gia’s mom is dressed in a very, very short dress, which was apparently inspired by the Rorschach test. And you know how Gia talks funny? Well, she speaks the King’s English compared to Mama Mia. “I miss huh,” she tells Jake. “I have to toolk to huh every day.”
But the real star of this show is step-brother Eric. Oh Eric. I love how you’ve lovingly coated every single piece of hair on your head with product and somehow managed to get it to stand straight on end. Someone needs to call Jersey Shore‘s Pauly D and let him know that he has lost the hair contest. I think it’s great that hair maladies run in your family–your dad has a ponytail! I adore that you pair Bill Lumbergh-style glasses with a diamond stud. And it’s just fantastic that you’re probably a buck fifty soaking wet and yet you tell Jake, “If I gotta hunt you down and break few legs…I’m not trying to be like…just treat her right.”
After dinner, Gia’s mom shows her business to the camera one last time–that dress is so short!–Â and says, “I was watching him at dinnah. I see love in his eyes.” Gia’s hopes are sufficiently raised, and it’s time to part. She asks if Jake would mind sitting on a stoop for a spell to watch some taxis go by. One presumes this was Gia’s favorite past time before she got away from her family. Jake attempt to make small talk. “Your parents are so sweet. Your mom especially,” he says. With that out of the way, he senses that Gia is ready for some action. “You ever kissed on a stoop,” he asks. “No,” she replies.
I think Gia might be a liar.
They kiss. And we’re done.
Next up, we head to Ali’s haunted Halloween date in Massachusetts. The date begins in a park, where it is painfully evident that these two have nothing to talk about. They look at piles of leaves. They discuss the age-old practice of making a wish on leaves. (I sang “On the wings of leaves” a couple of times, and none of the guhls laughed.) They kiss. And then they start walking. In the distance,Â a werewolf howls. “The last time I was home was for my grandma’s funeral,” Ali says ominously. “Having the man that I marry meet my grandma is very important to me.”
I know what you’re thinking–graveyard right? Wrong.
Ali takes him to her dead grandma’s house, which was apparently hit by burglars earlier in the day. They obviouslyÂ stole every single item in the house except forÂ a photo of Granny (Vain granny loved looking at pictures of herself.) and an old kitchen table. Instead of calling the cops, Ali takes this opportunity to tell Jake that under normal circumstances, she would be bawling. But she has it on good authority that “my grandma accepted Jake into our future at that moment.”
Poor granny has had just about enough of this. “Thank God, I’m dead, Ali,” sheÂ wails from the dead. Â “Because this would have killed me. Next time bring some of those cuties from Paranormal Activity. I like that A &E.”
The kids flee the house in terror–they hate A&E–and headÂ to Ali’s (living) mom’s house. Everyone’s a little blue. Or maybe that’s just the horrible blue v-neck that Jake is rocking. More likely, it’s the unbelievably blue kitchen. Wow. That is one blue kitchen. Anyway, from the looks of things, Ali’s mom Elizabeth is serving toquitos and wine. Hard to tell, really. But she seems like a niceÂ enoughÂ lady–I think my mom has that same Chico’s sweater. She tells Jake that she didn’t know who he was before doing a search on the Internet. Too bad she didn’t dig deeply enough becuase she likes him enough to take Ali aside and give her blessing.Â “My intuition tells me–my gut feelings tell me–that he’s good for you…I look forward to planning a wedding,” she says.
Suddenly, there’s a minor disturbance. Is it an earthquake? No, it’s just Granny turning over in her grave. Poor Granny.
Ali is giddy with excitement. Since she lives in a small town, there’s no stoop from which the couple can watch taxis go by. Instead they get to sit on lawn furniture and watch leaves burn in the backyard. “I love your family,” he says. “I especially love your mom.” . And then comes theÂ weird kissing exchange. Jake takes off his gloves andÂ paws her face while they make out. But then in the next scene, the gloves are mysteriously back onÂ as he’s kissing her! The only reasonable explanation: he’s obviously going to kill her.
It’s a new day.Â I’m thinkingÂ Ali didn’t go down without a fightÂ because Jake isÂ sporting a very, very large scarf (presumably to hide the scratch marks). But we can’t focus on that. It’s time for the Tenley date in Oregon. Heavens. I know people are rooting for this girl to win, but she wears me out. Give me Madam Googly Eye any day over this baby talking tiny dancer.
The two meet in a park (of course), and they begin the big talk. “How do I say it,” Tenley begins, “Like, what part do your parents play in your life?” I LOVE this talk. It’s so great, right? Because Tenley was so clearly saying that her ex’s parents played too big of a role in his life, and that bugged her. But Jake doesn’t get that. Like, not even a little bit. In fact, he says that he runs everything past his folks, and she has to totally backtrack! She calls him “honorable” and “wise.”
And now it’s time for something even more humiliating than our stint at John Lovitz’s comedy club. Tenley has planned a little surprise for Jake at a dance studio. Don’t expect any pole dancing here, folks. “I choreographed a little dance for you,” she says. “I’m going to actually ask you to press play.” So, Jake gets the jam box going and we hear Beyonce Lady Gaga Canon in D. Come on. Please tell me that the producers couldn’t afford the rights to the song that she actually chose. Because seriously. Who would choose this song–it’s the song used while bridesmaids walk down the aisle in about 99.2% of weddings worldwide. And Tenley has been married before. She knows that–for even the most craptastic dance number?
After a quick water break–she’sÂ a maniac, maniac on the dance floor, and that can be dehydrating–we get to meet herÂ parents. A few observations: her mother looks younger than Tenley. TherapyÂ mightÂ do the whole family some good. Sure, Tenley refers to her ex some 3,000 times during the date, but her family brings him up a lot, too. Tenley’s dad wears jewelry and watchesThe Bachelor.Â More offensive: OfÂ Jake’s first tenure on the show, he says, “You appeared to be a man of integrity.” There are no words.
Jake loves it all, and he asks Tenley’s dad for her permission to marry her. Sort of. I suspect he went through similar motions at all four places, but because ABC is mad that Reality Steve has all the answers, they showed us Tenley’s pre-proposal in an attempt to throw us off. Tenley doesn’t care if it’s a ruse. She loves him. “I can honestly say that my heart feels safe,” she says. “I am falling for Jake.”
Finally,Â Jake fleesÂ Oregon and heads to Florida for a luxury date that includes alligators, hair extensions, and some quality time with Google McGoogle Eye. Here’s the thing: For as much as Jake goes on and on about how he’s fallen in love with all four girls and for all the tabloid talk about what a trash lady Vienna is (all of which I’ve bought and read.), he loves this girl, right?
As with Gia, we begin this date on a boat–apparently the local parks in those hometowns were closed. Vienna is teasing him about the prospect of meeting her dad. Apparently, she doesn’t often introduce her beaus toÂ Pop, and after seeingÂ her interaction with him, we know why.How weird is that household?Â Yes, yes. Obviously,Â we understand where Vienna’s ocular birthright comes from–even as Dad attempts toÂ temper his maladyÂ with the Mr. Magoo glasses. But there are much odder things afoot here. First of all, her dad cries about weird stuff. “I’m just crying because she hugged the dog first,” he says of Vienna.Â Instead of killing the dog in a jealous rage, heÂ reacts by takingÂ Jake out to the shed.Â (Despite his best efforts–disco lights and a motorcycle–it’s still a shed.)Â It’s the perfect setting to discuss feminist topics. “You’ll come home, and the house will be clean,” Dad saysÂ to Jake about a possibleÂ life with Vienna. “The kids will be raised right.”
On the whole, Vienna’s dad seems to approve of Jake.Â That’s what makes her next move even weirder: She takes Jake into a bedroom for a makeout session. In her dad’s house. Never mind that it’s super disrespectful; it’s not at all in keeping with her royal breeding.Â Her dad eventually interrupts (so creepy on so many levels), and Vienna reacts without shame. In fact, she asks for a few more minutes. Now, if you’re Jake and you seriously want to marry this woman, wouldn’t you be embarrassed? Wouldn’t you rush back to the dinner table? Maybe try to make conversation? Eat the Twinkie on the dessert plate? Talk about how awesomeÂ that shedÂ is? Â Anything to appearÂ respectful? But he doesn’t do any ofÂ that. He stays put. He makes out with Vienna and gets lost in her eyes, which is easy to do since they go in two separate directions. (Okay, that’s the last lazy eye joke for today.)
I really don’t want to talk too much about the rest of this charade. After many tears, some temporary paralysis, some legs on the lap, and more tears, Ali opts to leave the show. There’s no rose ceremony, and Gia lives to make out with Jake another day–you know she was so going home had Ali not fled.
Next week: St. Lucia.