Once upon a time there was a Bachelor named Brad who rejected Deanna and went home empty-hearted . So Deanna became the Bachelorette and she rejected Jason. And then Jason became the Bachelor and rejected Jillian. And then Jill begot Jake and Jake begot Ali and Ali begot Chris -except Chris decided he didn't want to be the Bachelor. So the reject of the reject of the reject of the reject of the reject of the reject ended the cycle and there was nowhere left to go but back to the beginning. And now Brad the rejector is getting another shot at love.
In the not-worth recapping season premiere Brad and Chris Harrison spent 2 hours assuring us our Bachelor was a "changed man" who had done some serious "soul searching", was "so profoundly sorry" and was now there for the right-est of reasons. He confronted the two women he'd dumped the last time he was on the show and tearfully talked about his daddy issues and 3 years of "intensive therapy". The Potential Future Wives displayed serious concerns that he hadn't changed. One girl even had the grave responsibility of slapping him on behalf of America.
Fast-forward to the next day (and next episode) and everyone was totally over it, totally in love with Brad and totally 100% there for him (even though but 24 hours earlier they really didn't know who they were there for.) Yup, things are perfect on this season of The Bachelor, and in case you didn't get the memo, everyone made sure to remind us constantly. Nothing was going to get in the way of this perfection, not emotional baggage, not a questionable dating past, and certainly not any amount of drama.
One on One with Ashley H.
Brad's first date was with Ashley H. There are two Ashleys this season. They are both little, have the same haircut and are disconcertingly enthusiastic. The other Ashley got the first impression rose, so we'll call her Number 1. On this date, Brad drove Ashley Number 2 to a dark abandoned spot off the highway. She joked it was like a horror movie, and then Brad reveal an abandoned carnival, just for them. So it continued to be like a horror movie.
They ran around in their fancy date clothes, playing on the rides. They kissed and Ash2 really went for it, grabbing Brad's head in a way that also felt more horror movie than first date. Next came emotional over-sharing time and she talked about her absent dad who was homeless and an addict. Brad talked about his absent dad (yet again) and how it messed up his first Bachelor try. He even got musical underscoring. There was more kissing and again Ashley 2 was the one to grab his face first, which lead this amateur body language expert to conclude she was more into it than he was. Don't worry though, she still thought the date was "just perfect."
Brad thought so too. At the end of the night he felt: lighter, happier, like he could breathe, like he could be himself, and like he was on his way to finding his wife. I felt like he might be getting a bit ahead of himself.
Group Date with a lot of really worked up women
This date was the requisite foray into "acting", where all the contestants have to watch their competition make out with the Bachelor/Bachelorette. But it was in the name of charity so it's okay. The group filmed a number of PSAs to promote giving blood for the Red Cross. I guesss "Make out awkwardly on camera. Throw a hissy fit." is the Red Cross' new slogan. Or maybe it's "Giving blood is less uncomfortable than watching this."
On this date we got to get to know 2 of this season's crazies. First, there is Melissa, she's the desperate crazy one. At the ancient age of 32, she's the oldest of the group. In her scene, she obviously had to play "the cougar" hitting on Brad, even though she is 6 years younger than him. Melissa revealed that she'd spent 8 years wanting to get on The Bachelor and spent a "fortune" on outfits for it. Still not desperate crazy enough? She even stormed onto the set and kissed Brad when it wasn't her scene!
After the shoot, there was a party on a rooftop bar, which Brad called "the perfect environment for a fun lighthearted evening". Just 15 girls, unlimited booze and the one guy they're all fighting over. Raichel, the professional Manscaper (read: waxer of man private parts) and Melissa (desperate crazy) got into a very heated argument and all the women started to hate on Michelle.
Michelle is the evil crazy one. She's not there to make friends and will do anything to get alone time with Brad. That meant storming off the set so Brad would have to console her and whining about it being her birthday until she got the date rose. She even did a creepy victory rose dance in the pool to solidity her evil crazy standing.
One on one with Jackie
Before this date Brad gleefully declared, "This date is Jackie's very own Pretty Woman experience". Then they pulled up to a Beverly Hills hotel.
Don't worry the Pretty Woman experience isn't getting paid to have sex with no kissing and being shamed on Rodeo Drive. It is a trip to the spa, expensive borrowed jewelry and a hotel room filled with fancy dresses. Which seems like a much better first date plan than the former.
After the spa, Jackie and Brad put on their black-tie attire and had a private dinner. After talking about how perfect the day was, it was time for emotional over sharing. Brad freaked out when he learned Jackie didn't have a boyfriend in college. The fact that she'd only had 2 serious relationships made him fear she wouldn't be able to put herself out there. But he gave her a rose anyway.
The date ended with a Bachelor classic: a band performing just for them. There was some more discussion about how perfect everything was and kissing that was less scary than Ashley 2's. Brad felt "like a brand new man" and like he was "truly embracing the experience". By not wasting any time to make out with as many women as he could.
Michelle infuriated the other women by stealing Brad away for one on one time even though she already had a rose. But she had important questions to ask about where he liked to get his coffee and what food he had in his fridge.
Raichel and Melissa continued their epic battle. Both of them tried to involve the other women and each cried to Brad, blaming the other one. Melissa told him she felt Raichel was "sucking the life out" of her and "draining" her. Was she suggesting Raichel was a vampire? (This might seem far-fetched but it should be noted that there is already one vampire living in the house, Madison. So it's not such a stretch to think she might be turning her housemates into vampires too.)
Then, Ali and Roberto showed up to help Brad discern who was there for the right reasons. They spoke to all the women and consulted with Brad, who then gave Emily the Ali-Roberto Right Reasons Rose because she was, "really honestly looking for something real". Emily also has a kid and heartbreaking back-story, but she's waiting for "that perfect time" to tell Brad.
Booted: Raichel, Melissa and Keltie, the skunk-headed Rockette who upon leaving decided she'd never find love since The Bachelor didn't work out.
Melissa blamed the other girls for targeting her and pushing her "over the edge". Though earlier Raichel told Melissa, "I will not have you like obstruct the rest of my life" by the time she left she was thought Melissa was in fact her life obstruction.
With Keltie gone, Brad won't get to work on his high kick anymore. With Melissa gone, he is now guaranteed to end up with someone at least 8 years his junior--and maybe double that. With Raichel gone, he will need to find some else to wax his... heart.
Next Week's Drinking Game: the words perfect and real, and everyone time there are tears or a hug.