‘The Bachelor’: Can you feel the love tonight?

The Bachelor
February 28, 2011

We begin with Wombat busily working his little wombat brain over the fact that this next trip is a BIG DEAL. This is a FACT. And … wait a minute … is he packing again? Is the Wombat packing yet another suitcase in yet another New York City hotel? Or did they just reuse footage from last week when he was busily packing a suitcase in a New York City hotel while musing over how important these next trips were going to be? OR? OR? Am I trapped in some sort of Groundhog Day-esque nightmare, forced to relive the same episode over and over again until I decide to quit being so snarky about Wombat’s super-orbital ridge or his endless need to take his shirt off mid-sentence? Heaven help us all if it’s that last one.

But I gotta tell you things aren’t looking good for any of us, because the Wombat then heads out onto his Balcony of Contemplation AGAIN to think about his Wombatty feelings about the remaining women AGAIN, and I’m not making this up, but my 6-year-old said at this point: “He’s standing out on his porch and looking at New York again?” AND NEVER YOU MIND WHY I’M LETTING MY 6-YEAR-OLD WATCH THE BACHELOR. DON’T YOU JUDGE MY PARENTING.

Anyway, long story short: Issues, trust and otherwise, Wombat still has them.

Fortunately, Wombat is boarding an Air Flashback flight to fly to South Africa, and he has plenty of time to have a montage sequence of the remaining three women and their dates together.

Points in favor of Chantal: Immediate connection, sparks, easy to be around.

Points against Chantal: Sometimes she gets jealous.

Points in favor of Not Yet!Dr. Tube Socks: Ambitious, comfortable to be around.

Points against Not Yet!Dr. Tube Socks: Sometimes she gets jealous.

Points in favor of St. Emily: She’s sweet.

Points against St. Emily: She has a past. And a kid. But hey! Not always jealous, so!

Air Flashback arrives in South Africa where TRUE FACT: lions are right there on the runway when you land. They just cold lie there next to the stair car and wait to eat you while you struggle with your overhead bag. I saw it on The Bachelor so it must be true. Wombat is then driven through a mess of animals to get to the lodge — or so the Producers would have you believe — monkeys, antelopey things, elephants, baby monkeys, zebras, and yet more monkeys and their babies. Wombat is having YET MORE internal dialog about how FREAKING IMPORTANT these dates will be and how he doesn’t want to be alone and he’s had therapees and he’s going to have “intimate” time with the ladies this week (WINK WINK) and he’s just going to sit here on this balcony of his hotel and watch the elephants go by and think things over some more and ALRIGHT. WE GET IT. BIG DECISION THIS WEEK. It’s not so complicated an idea that we have to spend half an hour on it. Honestly. Oh and other things I’m sick of? That baby monkey. Enough with him, too.

OH LOOK, SOMEONE HAS GIVEN WOMBAT A SAFARI HAT!!! Whoever it was that: 1. came up with the idea to make Wombat wear a safari hat and then 2. convinced Wombat to put on the safari hat? YOU ARE A GENIUS. YOU WIN TUBULAR’S GENIUS TROPHY. (Internet: I need you to make me a Genius Trophy. KTHNXBAI.) Wombat picks up Chantal for their big date, all of the clothing for which was apparently provided by Banana Republic circa 1988, and makes her guess what they’re going to do. And Chantal? Has no idea. HINT. LOOK AT WOMBAT’S HEAD. AND THEN THINK FOR TWO SECONDS ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE, DUMDUM. Safari. You’re going on safari. And I know that being in South Africa on a game reserve and being in the jeep and being feet away from actual lions that could actually attack the jeep and chew off your actual face if they suddenly decided they were peckish is very different from the Kilminjaro SafariĀ® ride at Animal Kingdom at Disney World. I know this intellectually. But watching it on television? It doesn’t seem like there’s much of a difference, honestly. There are animals. There are exactly the kinds of animals you would expect to see on safari. Lions and giraffes and wildebeast, oh my.

They pull over for a champagne picnic next to a river containing a very agitated hippo which Chantal then begins to use as a metaphor for her entire relationship with Wombat, something about how it’s scary and there are feelings and she just has to trust him or something but I can’t really pay attention, so floored I am that she not only knows the word “metaphor” but that she used it in a sentence correctly. Wombat, in the mean time, explains: RELATIONSHIP NEED DANGER AND FEAR TO BUILD BOND. Um, NO. Actually, Wombat, millions of people are successful in relationships that are not built on a foundation of sheer terror and adrenaline and drunkenly poking hippos with sticks. I’m not entirely sure what kind of therapy you’ve been going to since you dumped DeAnna Pappas and That Other Lady, but maybe you should look into a psychotherapist who requires less bungee jumping as a method of getting over your daddy issues. ANYWAY. Wombat also tells Chantal that he misses her family. Gag.

At dinner that night, Chantal jokes about just going and getting married right now, which briefly panics poor Wombat who asks YOU DO THAT? Chantal explains that to her an engagement means you’re going to get married. She’s not just going to get engaged and not get married. And I wasn’t aware that someone would think that an engagement was anything other than an intention to get married, BUT OK, CHANTAL. You’re very novel and daring with this belief that an engagement is serious marriage business. Wombat is all, FINE, WHATEVER, WE GO TO THE FANTASY SUITE PART, and pushes a card from Chris Harrison towards her, and can I just ask why Chris Harrison? Why does Chris Harrison offer them a key to the “fantasy suite” if they choose to forgo their individual rooms for some, AHEM, “intimate” time? What’s it to Chris Harrison? Why is it necessary to get him involved at all? Do not understand. ANYWAY. Chantal barely finishes reading the card before she’s practically undressing and they head to a tree house? Sure, a tree house, where they kiss and talk about what special people they are until we cut away to the African bush and the sounds of giggling and lion noises. Gross.

His “intimate” (ick) evening with Chantal over with, Wombat moves on to his date with St. Emily. He greets her only to say WOMBAT FORGOT SOMETHING. ST. EMILY STAY HERE, and scurrying off to the bush. I assume he forgot his safari hat, but nope, he returns astride an elephant. Which they are going to ride atop to look at more monkeys. So, so many monkeys. St. Emily squeals “Oh my goodness gracious” no less than 30, 35 times, occasionally mixing it up with a “Oh my dear Lord.” They arrive at some sort of elephant swimming pool and ZOMG BABEE ELEFANTZ! You know who’d love this? RickyBobby Jr. would love this. Speaking of, is Wombat ready to be a father? Is he ready for a 5-year-old in his life? Wombat stares blankly at St. Emily with his dim, dim wombat eyes, before stammering out an unconvincing UH, YEAH? WOMBAT THINK ABOUT RICKYBOBBY, JR. A LOT. WOMBAT UNDERSTAND ST. EMILY AND RICKYBOBBY, JR. A PACKAGE DEAL. Well, I’m sure St. Emily appreciates the fact that you won’t ask her to choose between you and her daughter, Wombat. I’m certain she’s relieved. They kiss to the sounds of elephant noises. Gross.


St. Emily appears for their dinner wearing SPARKLEPANTS! Yay, African Sparklepants! (Fine. It was a skirt. But Sparkleskirt doesn’t work as well as Sparklepants, because let’s be honest, “pants” is always funny.) At dinner, Wombat is even more inarticulate than usual, but to be fair, so is St. Emily. She babbles something about being able to separate things from the other girls but she can’t do that anymore and she is ready for it to be over and something about having waited forever for the right person and you know, and you know and you know and you know it’s the best feeling in the world and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE IS TALKING ABOUT. NOT A CLUE. However, unsurprisingly, Wombat does appear to understand whatever it was that she just said and liked it enough to think that it’s the perfect time to give her Chris Harrison’s invite to the Boom-Boom Room. For half a second, St. Emily acts as though she’s not going to accept, but is then all HAHAHAHA, Let’s do this thing, ApeBoy. Oh, and she tells him that she’s falling in love with him which I guess is a big deal because she hasn’t said anything like that to anyone since RickyBobby, Sr., but we’re just going to have to take her word for that.

Having “talked” to St. Emily all night, the next day belongs to Not!Dr. Tube Socks. Here’s a fun fact that we learn about Not!Dr. Tube Socks for the first time tonight: she’s terrified of helicopters. And those of you who have been playing along all season know this means only one thing: HELICOPTER DATE!! Literally. Their date is flying around South Africa in a helicopter while Wombat yammers on about how happy it makes him to see her doing this thing that terrifies her. Because when the clowns at the Bad Clown Nightmare Carnival didn’t do it, he knew he had to step up his game. Eventually they arrive at some cliff or something, where Not!Dr. Tube Socks asks “Is this real life?” Too easy, Not!Dr. Tube Socks. Too easy. (And just like you, David might have gone to a dentist, but isn’t a dentist himself. OH SNAP.) Because the Producers clearly instructed (using monosyllabic words, obvs) Wombat to mention each of the ladies’ families on their dates, he notes to Not!Dr. Tube Socks how much he liked her family. But it’s all to lull her into a false sense of security before he delivers a trick question: WHERE NOT!DR. TUBE SOCKS WANT TO LIVE? Not!Dr. Tube Socks makes a bunch of noise about how she can picture herself back in Maine one day before blathering on and on and on about her (future) career and school and ambition. And Wombat pouts and says something about balance and how when he was her age, he worked too hard and didn’t balance out his life and that’s why he’s single today, and HEY. DUDE. Instead of encouraging a 22 year-old dental student to adjust her life choices to live with you in your sad bachelor closet, HOW ABOUT YOU DATE A WOMAN YOUR OWN AGE?

Ugh. This guy.

Things I learned during the commercial break:

1. Ralph Macchio is still alive.

2. Arby’s is still happening.

At dinner that night, Not!Dr. Tube Socks wishes she had communicated with Wombat better during their date earlier, and I wish she’d worn a bra. She tries to explain to Wombat that she just didn’t explain herself very well earlier, she wants balance, too! She wants to be Superwoman, which she can totally do! BUT WOMBAT WANT NOT!DR. TUBE SOCKS TO MOVE TO AUSTIN. NOT!DR. TUBE SOCKS NEVER SAY SHE MOVE TO AUSTIN. And the two of them talk at each other for a while about ambitions and plans and not communicating and I’m not really hearing anything because I am so concerned about her choice of undergarments or lack thereof, and the next thing I know, they’re heading back to the fantasy suite, but it’s awkward because everyone knows it’s over and the saddest part is no one really cares. Not very much, really.

The next morning, Shirtless Wombat puts on a shirt. This is an important thing to film. Once he’s managed to button said shirt and put on a tie, he meets up with that nosy Chris Harrison whom Wombat spends a lot of time and energy assuring that he really cares about these ladies and he’s going to propose to one of them. PROMISE. SWEAR ON MOMMA WOMBAT’S LIFE. Chris Harrison basically confirms what we already know: Not!Dr. Tube Socks better be packing her tube socks, and Wombat is all, YUP.

Chris Harrison then greets the ladies and wishes them luck, before Wombat stomps down and asks Not!Dr. Tube Socks if he can speak to her alone. As Chantal and St. Emily try to not panic, Wombat and Not!Dr. Tube Socks head up to a balcony somewhere, where he basically tells her that he’s going to dump her and but when she starts talking about how she could just kick herself for the dumb mistakes she made, Wombat is all YOU NO COUNT YOURSELF OUT YET, and once again, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. We all agreed, Not!Dr. Tube Socks? She’s getting cut? Right? She knows she’s getting cut, Chris Harrison knows she’s getting cut, the American people know she’s getting cut, so what’s the deal with Wombat backpedalling all of a sudden? We all know where this is headed, and we have for the past half-hour. FINALLY, Wombat puts poor Not!Dr. Tube Socks out of her misery and tells her that he’s not going to humiliate her in a rose ceremony, he’s just going to put her into the Oldmaidsmobile and send her back to Maine or Philadelphia or wherever it is that she is learning about bicuspids. And while Not!Dr. Tube Socks was never one of my favorites, I have to give her props for not entirely losing her cool on the way to her 20-hour-long Air Regrets flight back home. Dignity is an underrated virtue.

Wombat makes serious faces on the balcony at the lodge, leaving the other two women down at the Rose Platform wondering if they can go back to their rooms yet.

Interesting facts about me: I have no idea what a Hines Ward or a Mike Catherwood is.

Wombat finally returns to the Rose Platform to explain WOMBAT NO MAKE NOT!DR. TUBE SOCKS NOT GET ROSE. WOMBAT GIVE YOU ROSES?

Rose #1: Chantal
Rose #2: St. Emily


Hey! Reunion show next week, kittens! BRING ON MICHELLE THE VILLAINESS! BRING IT!!

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.

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