February 14, 2011
Can you think of a better way to spend Valentine’s Day, the most romantic holiday of the year according to Hallmark and FTD, than with Wombat and his increasingly diminished harem of desperate women? Nope, you can’t. Because there isn’t one. Nothing says love better or more accurately than a dimwitted reality “star” flexing his pecs and furrowing his brow in what is supposed to be emotion at a bunch of women roughly 15 years younger than him while on over-produced “dates.” So, so romantic.
The Producers Wombat has brought the remaining six women to Anguilla. Angwilla? Angilla? It’s impossible to know what the name of this Caribbean island actually is, as Wombat and the ladies each pronounce it in their own unique way while explaining that this week’s dates will be super-important, as the next stage is Home Visits. However, the name of this island is never spoken again, so we needn’t worry over what the correct pronunciation is after this point. You can relax.
The ladies come screaming onto the island via speed boat, and Dr. Tube Socks describes the scene like something out of Baywatch. OH MY GOD, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, LADIES! THE HOFF COULD BE ANYWHERE. Once safely inside the new Hen House, the ladies are visited by Chris Harrison who explains using small words that there will be three one-on-one dates, none of which will involve a rose, and one group date that will.
The Producers finally give That One Blond Lady who has managed to not be eliminated because Wombat can’t remember her name a little screen time, where she explains that she needs a one-on-one date. O RLY? But the date card reads “Three things I’d take to a deserted island: a picnic lunch, champagne, St. Emily.” Sad trombone for you, That One Blond Lady.
Wombat arrives to collect St. Emily as the ladies are sipping more white wine and bitter, bitter jealousy in the pool, and he notes how nice everyone looks, all bikinied up and everything. He’s met with icy glares, which he does not notice. Oh, Wombat. In a little pre-date interview, he explains WOMBAT NERVOUS. WOMBAT LIKE ST. EMILY. WOMBAT NO DESERVE NICE ST. EMILY. Self-awareness! Wombat can haz it! When a helicopter arrives to ferry Wombat and St. Emily off to their date, she protests that he does “too much on [their] dates,” which he laughs off AS IF HE HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF THIS. YOU DID NOT HIRE THAT HELICOPTER. YOU DIDN’T EVEN BUY THAT CHAMPAGNE. STOP TAKING CREDIT, WOMBAT.
WOMBAT WANT RELATIONSHIP TO GO TO NEXT LEVEL. WOMBAT WANT RELATIONSHIP TO TAKE OFF. WOMBAT LIKE CLICHES. The two fly to another, smaller “island,” (watch out for those polar bear cages, St. Emily) which is actually more of a sandbar, but whatevs, we’ll play along. It’s romantic because they are all alone, aside from the entire camera crew, on this “island,” which WOMBAT LIKE. WOMBAT CAN TELL GIRL HOW WOMBAT FEEL. Mostly because she can’t very well escape. The whole thing is super-awkward and super-painful until Wombat finally confesses, WOMBAT NERVOUS. WOMBAT TAKE THING SLOWLY WITH ST. EMILY. WOMBAT CARE ABOUT ST. EMILY. WOMBAT KISS ST. EMILY.
Special Valentine’s Day guest commentary from a 9-year-old boy: “Why don’t these girls get angry? Why don’t they get into a punch fight? I mean, he’s dating like eight other girls? Do they know that he’s kissing that girl? They should get into a fight on television. That would be awesome.”
And that, my friends, is how a reality television producer is created.
Back on Hydra Island, Wombat waxes poetic about perfectly natural phenomena: WOMBAT LOSING SUN, GAINING MOON. Never a miscommunication.
At the Hen House, WIN! Dr. Tube Socks IS WEARING TUBE SOCKS!!! as she and the other ladies recite the script that The Producers gave them regarding whether or not St. Emily will allow Wombat to meet her daughter. The next one-on-one date card is delivered, and That One Blond Lady looks all hopeful for about two seconds, but ALAS: “Shawntel N., Let’s find love on the streets of whatever this island is called, Love Wombat.” Shawntel is feeling bad for That One Blond Lady, but not really. Not really at all.
Back on Hydra Island, The Producers have reminded Wombat that he needs to ask St. Emily about the possibility of meeting her daughter RickyBobby, Jr. if she’s one of the women whom he chooses to give a rose. St. Emily blushes and looks away and flaps her hands and all but says, “Nope.” So Wombat does something CRAZY. WOMBAT BREAK RULES. WOMBAT TELL ST. EMILY HE GIVE ROSE TO ST. EMILY LATER. WOMBAT NO CARE ABOUT RULES! And yet, despite all this, St. Emily still doesn’t agree to let him meet her daughter, at least not on camera, because she’s not completely* dumb.
*I mean, she’s dumb enough to go on a reality television dating show looking for someone to marry, so I’m not exactly prepared to call her “intelligent” or “capable of making good decisions.” Still, for your reality television dating contestant, she at least has the good sense to try to keep her innocent daughter out of this sideshow. Or, at least, she does for now. I don’t expect such good decision-making to last, however.
The next morning, Shawntel arrives for her date, yammering unconvincingly that she’s TOTALLY RELIEVED that there is no rose involved on this date. NO. SERIOUSLY. FOR REAL. This is MUCH BETTER. The date involves riding bikes to a farmer’s market where they drink from coconuts, dance awkwardly, play dominoes and get advice from some older lady who makes everyone uncomfortable. Shawntel explains that this is her perfect date! How could Wombat have possibly known? And, let’s just stop right there, Shawntel. For one thing, and for the one thousandth time, Wombat had nothing to do with this date. He did not plan this. Secondly, I’m guessing that when you were going through the whole applying for The Bachelor process, one of the questions they asked you was “Describe your perfect date.” That happened, didn’t it. I’m not asking, because I know that it did. So let’s quit acting so surprised. It’s dumb. Wombat then leads her to someone’s front lawn, complete with goats, to have a little picnic. Romantic?
The two then head to dinner on some sort of pier or something, I don’t know, where Shawntel declares about five or six times that she is “in love” with Wombat. In return, Wombat smiles tensely. Shawntel begins asking Wombat questions about his family, The Wombats, and unwittingly opens the daddy issues floodgates. WOMBAT TALK TO SHAWNTEL ABOUT DADDY WOMBAT. WOMBAT NO TALK TO WOMBAT BROTHERS ABOUT DADDY WOMBAT. WOMBAT COMFORTABLE. And then it begins to rain and they kiss and then suddenly there is a reggae singer whom Wombat acts as though we should know (The Bob Dylan of whatever this island is called!), and they dance with a bunch of strangers that The Producers trucked in so it wouldn’t look so pathetic.
Back at the Hen House, the last one-on-one date card is delivered, and finally! Good news, That One Blond Lady! “That One Blond Lady I Was Sure I’d Already Eliminated: Let’s sail on the sea of love. Love, Wombat.” BREAKING NEWS! Michelle the Villainess is jealous.
The next morning, as she prepares for her date at the Hen House, That One Blond Lady explains that she’s super-relieved to have this one-on-one date with Wombat because there’s no rose involved, which means she’s for sure going to come back home! FORESHADOWING. Wombat arrives to pick her up, and The Producers shoo the rest of the women out onto the beach so they can see the date yacht and seethe with jealousy. Michelle the Villainess thinks that 1. It’s a shame to waste a yacht on That One Blond Lady, 2. It’s a shame to waste a one-on-one on That One Blond Lady and 3. Wombat is not going to marry That One Blond Lady. (None of which, I’m ashamed to say, I disagree with.) That One Blond Lady is all, wow! A yacht! How do we get out to it? And Wombat? He makes her SWIM TO IT? Really? OH WAIT, I GET IT, this must another Wombat Date of Terror. And sure enough, the yacht takes them out to some isolated cove where Wombat forces That One Blond Lady to jump off a cliff, even though she’s terrified. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? Suck it up, That One Blond Lady. Unless your fiance/baby daddy/love of your life died in some sort of dreadful cliff-diving accident, you better get on that rocky perch and jump with a huge smile on your face. Should I should be more sympathetic to That One Blond Lady’s plight, considering that personally I would be terrified? Maybe, but then again, I’m not on some dumb reality television dating show trying to win the affections of a shaved ape who feels the need to force women to prove their willingness to “put themselves out there” by taking ridiculous and dangerous risks. So jump, honey. Jump and like it.
At the Hen House, the group date card arrives for Dr. Tube Socks, Chantal, and Michelle the Villainess: “This is the dawn of a new love. Love, Wombat.” Michelle the Villainess just comes right out and announces that she doesn’t want to go on a group date with the rest of them, and they give her the stink eye.
WOMBAT PROUD OF THAT ONE BLOND LADY. STILL, WOMBAT NO HAVE URGE TO KISS THAT ONE BLOND LADY. WOMBAT MAKE THAT ONE BLOND LADY SWIM BACK TO YACHT.
Back at the yacht, That One Blond Lady and Wombat have an awkward dinner where Wombat immediately announces WOMBAT NO GIVE YOU ROSE. WOMBAT SORRY, BUT NOT REALLY. NOW SWIM BACK TO SHORE, THAT ONE BLOND LADY.
That One Blond Lady stomps into the Hen House and begins throwing clothes into a suitcase while all the other ladies look on in shock and secret pleasure and hug her in sympathy/delight. And I hadn’t noticed previously, mostly because The Producers never allowed her any camera time until now, but That One Blond Lady really needs a hair cut. Seriously, That Blond Lady, I know you’re really sad right now, but you’d feel much better after you trim off all those dead ends. K BAI.
That night, at 2:07 a.m, Wombat sneaks into the Hen House with a flashlight, waking Dr. Tube Socks, Michelle the Villainess and Chantal for their group date. WOMBAT KNOW THEY NOT HAPPY NOW. BUT WOMBAT TAKING LADIES TO DATE ALL WOMEN DREAM OF. After some protests, the ladies are taken to a woman who introduces herself as the editor of today’s photo shoot for the Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit edition. Which they will be in. And, just, wow. This? This is a date that millions of women wish they could be taken on? Are you sure, Wombat? ARE YOU POSITIVE? Because leaving aside any concerns a woman might have about the Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit issue’s inherent objectification of women (I’ll grant that the ladies who voluntarily go on The Bachelor might not exactly self-identify as feminists), even the most gorgeous women might be apprehensive about taking off all their clothes and rolling around in the sand while photographers capture every moment of it so as to spread it all over the pages of a magazine published for 12-year-old boys who aren’t old enough to buy themselves a copy of Playboy. They might actually be bloated or something that day, you don’t know.
And in fact, Dr. Tube Socks is concerned about her chest size, Chantal is worried about feeling fat that day, and only Michelle the Villainess is super-excited about any of this. Because of course she is.
Dr. Tube Socks is the first to be photographed, and she hops around for a while as Tyra and Ms. J yell at her to lengthen her neck and SMIZE. At some point, Dr. Tube Socks removes her top and places a couple of shells on her boobs because she’s easily talked into things. Chantal is next, and after rolling around in the surf and dribbling sand all over herself, she knows that the top must come off if she’s going to compete with Shell Boobs. So she does, and Wombat’s head very nearly explodes and just … gross. Just, all of this is just so gross. I hate all of these people. HAVE SOME DIGNITY. YOUR PARENTS DID NOT RAISE YOU AND SEND YOU TO COLLEGE AND DENTAL SCHOOL SO THAT YOU WOULD ROLL AROUND TOPLESS IN THE SAND OR PRANCE AROUND WITH SHELLS ON YOUR BOOBS WHILE SOME MAN-APE GAPES AT YOU. THIS IS NOT THE DREAM YOUR PARENTS HAD FOR YOU WHEN THEY HELD YOU IN THEIR ARMS AS A BABY. PUT YOUR TOP BACK ON.
Michelle the Villainess, however, has a different tack. She announces that she wants Wombat to join her in her shoot, and so he does and they recreate From Here to Eternity while Dr. Tube Socks and Chantal (both having put their tops back on, thank decency) watch on in fury. Wombat, having come up for air, realizes that this has angered the other women and begins to fret. WOMBAT SUPPOSED TO GIVE ULTIMATE FANTASY DATE. WOMBAT NO KNOW HOW DATE WENT SO WRONG. And for a moment, I actually felt sorry for poor Wombat. If he’s too stupid to understand that making a woman get up at 2 a.m. to put on bikinis and model topless for a national magazine isn’t exactly the “ultimate fantasy date,” it’s simply beyond his ken to understand the potential problems of said date when compounded by a factor of three women. You’re out of your depth, Wombat.
But at the “pool party” or whatever, Wombat flutters between the women, trying to make everyone feel better, and fails miserably. There’s crying, there’s “I just want the best for you” conversations, there’s hair pulling, there’s teeth gnashing, fortunately there’s no more garment rending. Finally, Wombat gives Dr. Tube Socks the coveted group date rose which she dances around in front of the other women’s faces, leaving Chantal in more tears and Michelle the Villainess fantasizing about giving Dr. Tube Socks a punch in the eyeball.
Time for the final rose ceremony! The ladies are rousted from the Hen House and herded to some beach, where nearby, the Wombat is staring at their photographs placed precariously on some rock. Wombat has summoned Chris Harrison to his Rock of Contemplation, where he announces that he wants to break the rules again. WOMBAT NO WANT COCKTAIL PARTY. WOMBAT THINK HARD. WOMBAT KNOW WHAT WOMBAT WANT. Chris Harrison tries to play devil’s advocate and suggest that the women might have something to say that could change Wombat’s tiny wombat mind, but Wombat is not having it. NO. WOMBAT GO STRAIGHT TO CEREMONY.
Chris Harrison explains to the ladies that there will be no cocktail party tonight, and everyone has a scared, while Wombat stares out into the ocean meaningfully.
WOMBAT PROMISE HONESTY. WOMBAT CHERISH MOMENTS WITH LADIES. THIS HARD FOR WOMBAT.
Rose #1: St. Emily
Rose #2: Shawntel
Rose #3: Chantal
WHICH MEANS, GASP! MICHELLE THE VILLAINESS! SHE IS GONE! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT HER?
Wombat leads Michelle the Villainess to the Sobmobile, which she gets into silently, and then lies down on the backseat. No crying, no talking, just lying. And plotting. You just know she’s plotting something. All I’m saying is don’t be surprised if next week, Michelle the Villainess shows up in Chantal’s hometown during Wombat’s visit, with a fresh black eye and some duct tape, rope and astronaut diapers.
In the meantime, I’m off to start a campaign to get Michelle the Villainess to be the next Bachelorette. Until next week, kittens.
The Bachelor airs on Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC. And you should think seriously about getting some therapy.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.