January 9, 2012
Because the Bachelor Mansion was due for a fumigation, deep bleaching and de-crabbing (there’s only so much time between Bachelor Pad and The Bachelor, and Vienna and Jenius left quite the film behind), the ladies are packed onto an airplane and flown up to Ben the Wine Dude’s “hometown,” Sonoma, CA. And I only put “hometown” in irony quotes because in the preview for next week, he’s all, “We’re going to my hometown! San Francisco! Yayayay!” So which is it? Which is your real hometown, Ben the Wine Dude? If that is your real name …
The ladies are then herded into a fleet of convertible Rolls Royces and plied with champagne and this CAN’T POSSIBLY BE LEGAL WITH THE LADIES AND THE DRINKING IN THE FANCY CARS ON THE HIGHWAYS. But then I don’t know what the laws are in California, so.
Also, and I don’t know if you know this, but Ben the Wine Dude? His dad? He died. And this is sad. BE SAD. BE SAD FOR THE DEAD WINE DAD.
So the women, they arrive, somewhat buzzed and Ben the Wine Dude is all, Here’s the new Northern California Hen House! Everyone is all, HOORAY!!! DELOUSED SHEETS AND TOWELS!!! Ben the Wine Dude then tries to convince us that he’s SO LUCKY!! and that the women are REALLY SMART!! And somewhere, Gloria Steinem is rolling in her grave. Ben the Wine Dude announces that the first one-on-one date will be with Sweet Innocent Southern Kacie, St. Kacie of the Tennessee. This pleases St. Kacie of the Tennessee, greatly.
The big date is to Exciting! Downtown! Sonoma! On a rocking Tuesday night!!! WHAT’S UP, CLOSED CHEESE STORE! WHAT’S GOING ON, SHUT DOWN CITY HALL! And I’m not saying that there are crickets chirping, because that is a cliché, but yes. Kacie manages to hide her disappointment as they wander around in front of such exciting locations as A Parking Lot! and The Oldest California Winery! which is Over There Somewhere! Also, Bar With a Piano In It! BEAT THAT, LAS VEGAS.
The couple wander into a toy store and purchase (or perhaps just wave around in front of the cameras? it’s kinda unclear) a Kermit lunchbox, which is not Disney product placement, why would you ask that, GAH. Kacie then spies a baton — which certainly was not placed there by the producers — that she then “purchases” and subsequently forces Ben the Wine Dude to spin around while marching about in the middle of the street WHICH IS OMG SO EMBARRASSING BECAUSE THE CRICKETS! THEY CAN SEE! And I could make a joke about Kacie twirling Ben the Wine Dude’s baton, but it’s cheap and easy and I won’t go there.
Ben the Wine Dude leads Kacie to some restaurant about girls and figs, and they make uncomfortable conversation while trying to convince us that they are connecting over Dead Wine Dad. I remain unconvinced. Ben the Wine Dude offers Kacie the date rose after some interminable speech about how this whole Bachelor experience worked for him once before. (NO. IT DID NOT. QUIT SAYING THAT. IT WAS A HUGE HUMILIATING FAILURE. NO PART OF IT “WORKED.”) Kacie accepts it, because, duh.
They then head to the local movie theatre, and watch a bunch of boring home movies of themselves and BEFORE YOU GET ALL SENTIMENTAL ON ME AND ARE LIKE, “BUT DEAD WINE DAD! THIS IS VERY SERIOUS AND SAD!” I want you to tell me that this entire part of the date wouldn’t have been vastly improved if the producers instead made them do their own DVD commentary to the videos:
Anyway, Kacie and Ben the Wine Dude cry over Dead Wine Dad, and I cry over the fact that their baby home movies were made in 1989 when I was a junior in high school, and most certainly not shuffling around in a diaper with a bubble lawnmower. I mean, aside from that handful of keggers I might have gone to.
But I digress.
Back at the Northern California Hen House, the women receive notice of the participants on the dreaded Group Date: Sheryl’s Granddaughter, Rachel, Jennifer, Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley, M.C. Infectious, Shawn, Monica, Samantha, Jamie, Nicki and Picasso Face. “Come play with me!” urges Ben the Wine Dude. “Gross!” urges Therese the Blogger. Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley lets us know that she will be playing the role of the villain on this particular date. Thanks for the heads up, Chesty!
The next day, Ben the Wine Dude welcomes the pack of women to what appears to be the lawn of Sonoma City Hall, and announces that they will be performing a play written by the Very Best Sonoma Playwrights: a bunch of 6th Graders. This does not say much about the state of the arts in Sonoma, CA.
The children announce that the women will have to audition for their roles, and proceed to make the ladies act like weasels and pigs and hippies and gingerbread men and jog in slow motion and do sexxxy dances, and, y’all: #1. These kids are The Very Best and #2. Did these kids win some sort of contest? Is there a contest that I can enter and the prize is that I get to make the bachelorettes do my insane bidding? I could make them mime and do the Humpty Dance and pretend to be hedgehogs and antelopes and honey badgers? Because this is a contest that I would very much like to enter and win, please.
After the children have tired of making the women hop around like idiots, they assign the roles for the Big Play, and Ben the Wine Dude passes out the respective costumes, which include a head-to-toe gingerbread costume that the children chose for Blakeley as a way to tell her to put it away already, and a wizard costume, complete with 4-foot-long beard, for Blogessa, because why don’t you go cry about it, Crazy. Ben the Wine Dude then leads the women to the Sonoma Community Theater, where they will be performing the Big Play in front of the 6th graders and their parents entire city!
The play, it turns out, is entitled “Prince Pinot of Bachelorville,” and it took me a while to get that it was “Pinot” and not “Peeno” or “Pino,” neither of which made any sense, but then in my universe, 6th graders don’t know the word, “Pinot.” There is some sort of a story wherein Prince Pinot, he is attacked by hippies and valley girls before being turned into a sheep and subsequently attacked by weasels and pigs and donkeys, and then his clothes fall off revealing that his crotch is covered in cotton and then he is attacked by a dragon and a wizard and Princess Broken Face, and truly, it is a terrifying nightmarish journey into the id.
ALRIGHT EVERYONE, time to pop those antibiotics and get in the hot tub! The hot tub portion of the evening starts off friendly enough, with everyone agreeing that Jennifer the Accountant really brought to life the weasel in “Prince Pinot of Bachelorville.” But soon enough, Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley begins growling at everyone near her that SHE WANTS THAT ROSE and SHE IS GONNA DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET THAT ROSE and WHEN SHE GETS THAT ROSE, SHE IS GOING TO RUB IT IN EVERYONE’S STUPID UGLY LITTLE FACES. Surprisingly, this does not go over well with the other ladies.
Ben the Wine Dude, however, misses the entire thing, because he’s been cornered by Rachel and M.C. Infectious who demand that he kiss them because they missed their opportunity to do so in the play or something? Who cares? The point is, this is how herpes is made and of all the people who should know that, it’s M.C. Infectious.
Samantha, the pageant girl, has had enough of Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley’s yelling about how she is going to claw everyone else’s eyeballs out for that rose, and stomps into the house, muttering about people who are desperate and aggressive and cougars which I am pretty sure is a dig at Blakeley’s age — to which I say, well done, Miss Pacific Palisades! Samantha hopes that Ben the Wine Dude can see Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley for who she really is, which Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley is more than happy to oblige, and does so by putting on her bikini and waggling her cocktails in his face and yammering about how everyone loves her.
After a rousing game of Grab the Other Girls’ Boobs Chicken, Accountant Jennifer takes Ben the Wine Dude aside to awkwardly make small talk about how much she likes Sonoma and how fun the day was and no, really, it was just so much fun and Ben the Wine Dude, bored with this, begins kissing her to make the awkward stop. Accountant Jennifer, she’s pretty sure this means she’s taking the rose home tonight. Good luck with that!
Not to be deterred, Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley leads Ben the Wine Dude into the pool for what she calls “grown-up time” and proceeds to mount him as he notes that she’s “come out of her shell.” Indeed. Now that she would go back in it. Picasso Face and Accountant Jennifer spy on the two, which makes poor, delusional Accountant Jennifer VERY SAD. Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley, however, tells us in a later interview that just thinking about her time with Ben the Wine Dude in the pool is making her VERY EXCITED. Gross. Now go fetch me me a Levaquin cocktail, please and thank you.
Ben the Wine Dude then brings the ladies together to give out the date rose to the one who really owned the day and the night: Accountant Jennifer Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley’s boobs. The other ladies, Accountant Jennifer in particular, are unamused. M.C. Infectious wittily notes that Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley’s boobs “pulled the wool over the sheep’s eyes.” Points to you, Dr. Bon Mot! Very clever! And Samantha stomps around furiously, yelling that Very Important Person Cocktail Waitress Blakeley is a horse-faced hooker, which, yes, probably.
Back at the Hen House, Courtney the Villainess is busy torturing the other ladies, specifically Horse Girl: Lindzie with a Z. It seems Courtney the Villainess is still miffed that Ben the Wine Dude gave Lindzie with a Z the first impression rose, and suggests that it was, in fact, the horse who earned the rose, not Lindzie or her Z. Furthermore, Courtney the Villainess explains to the assembled ladies, she and Ben the Wine Dude, they have a connection. She can tell by the way he looks at her. It is undeniable. OH BROTHER, say all the other ladies.
The final one-on-one date card arrives and St. Kacie of Tennessee retrieves it while Courtney the Villainess busily villains about how it would be awesome if she were chosen for the date because she’s very competitive and used to WINNING!! and that’s not me making a tired and outdated Charlie Sheen reference — she made it herself, honestly. Sure enough, the date card reads: “Courtney the Villainess, let’s spin the bottle.” And Courtney the Villainess immediately spits at St. Kacie of Tennessee “HOW’S THAT TASTE COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH?” Which takes everyone aback, because, seriously? Who says that? St. Kacie of Tennessee is so shocked that she is all, “Excuse me?” And Courtney the Villainess, she repeats it — “HOW DID THAT TASTE COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH?!” — because you don’t want to waste a golden line like that.
Ben the Wine Dude decides to bring his hyper Jack Russell Terrier, Scotch, along on his date with Courtney the Villainess, which is a picnic down by the river and has nothing to do with bottles or spinning or spinning the bottle. But sure. Just make up whatever, Producers. The three of them go into a redwood forest and make poor Scotch howl, for laffs, before heading to the river where Ben the Wine Dude wraps Scotch up in a towel, for laffs and refers to Scotch as his “son.” Father of the year, right there.
Somewhere along the way, the two ditch Scotch and get on a tractor to ride through a vineyard towards their dinner, as you do. Over dinner, Ben the Wine Dude gives some rambling back story that involves the University of Arizona and internet advertising and partying and monies and The Bachelorette and CATHARSIS! and growing up and relationships and next stages. Ben the Wine Dude, he’s confused as to why someone as beautiful and intelligent as Courtney the Villainess is not in a relationship. Yes, Ben the Wine Dude! Follow your instincts! Why, in fact, is she not off the market already? Courtney the Villainess makes some noises about not liking nice people (alarm!) and that she dated a photographer and an actor for a while (alarm alarm!) and that relationships, they always starts off well enough but then one day you find the underpants in the bed (SO MANY ALARMS!! ALL OF THE ALARMS!!). But Ben the Wine Dude is too busy staring into Courtney the Villainess’ evil eyes to hear the words actually coming out of her mouth, and instead of shaking hands and calling it a night like any sane, unhypnotized person would do, he turns into Oprah Winfrey and starts blathering about “A-Ha!” moments before giving her the date rose. Because he just got Kaa’d. Again.
Quick everybody! Put on your sluttiest dress and smear some orange on your face, it’s cocktail party time! Lindzie with a Z grabs Ben the Wine Dude first and dumps a bunch of insecurity on his shoes, which is, I suppose, one strategy. Ben the Wine Dude prattles off some random trivia about her to reassure her that he knows who she is before getting away from her and her yammering about trucks and tractors and dirt and her piles and piles of neediness as quickly as possible.
Ben the Wine Dude then seeks out Miss I Hate Blakeley 2012, Samantha, whom he takes to a private room for about 20 seconds before Very Important Cocktail Waitress Blakeley interrupts. Because she wanted to make sure to alienate ALL the ladies in the house, not just the ones who had gone on the group date with her. Samantha comes stomping out, yelling about how “Jugs” just cocktail-blocked her, and how it ISN’T FAIR since Jugs ALREADY HAS A ROSE. And can I just say, “Jugs?” That is brilliant. Simple and brilliant. New nickname for Very Important Cocktail Waitress Blakeley = Jugs. Jugs McJuggsy.
Jugs then goes on to stalk Ben the Wine Dude for the remainder of the night, sending the other ladies into fits. As they Mean Girl out, loudly talking about how Jugs is not the type of girl you’d take home to your parents, and that all she’s good for is motorboating (!) and Picasso Face shrieks that she wouldn’t want Jugs’ horse-face in her broken face all the time, Jugs lurks in the kitchen, wondering to someone why the other girls are beating up on her so much. MYSTERY! Jugs then heads into the suitcase room, crouches in a corner and pretends to cry.
MEANWHILE, Ben grabs Lady Blogessa of Crazytown and takes her outside for a little chit chat. Blogessa, who I should remind you IS A WRITER and who CRAFTS WORDS FOR A “LIVING,” launches into some of the most incoherent ramblings I’ve ever heard. Something about how she’s like a guy? And she doesn’t like other girls? And she’s abnormal(!)? And she’s not a good girl? Fortunately for everyone, Picasso Face interrupts these ravings, and sends Blogessa back into the house, sobbing.
Ben the Wine Dude, he is very confused! This night has become so awkward!
Ben the Wine Dude heads back into the house to find Jugs fake crying in a heap of suitcases, and Blogessa curled up in a bed, wailing and pulling out clumps of her hair. So very awkward!
(And did that alarm clock in Blogessa’s room say that it was 2:05 in the morning? That is very early in the morning! Everybody should stop crying and being bitchy and go to sleep now!)
Rose ceremony time, everybody!
Rose #1: Accountant Jennifer
Rose #2: M.C. Infectious
Rose #3: Elyse the Terrifying Trainer
Rose #4: Picasso Face
Rose #5: Erika
Rose #6: Rachel
Rose #7: Lindzie with a Z
Rose #8: Texan Nicki
Rose #9: Casey S.
Rose #10: Samantha
Rose #11: Monica
Rose #12: Jamie
Rose #13: Sheryl’s granddaughter
Which means Shawn of the two-colored hair and masculine upper body, you shall be going home to your son Gavin.
And Blogessa. Sweet, sweet Blogessa. Our time together, it was too short. But you must return to your blog, for who else shall write about colored denim and Kate Moss’s wedding and baby photography? The internet needs you! NAY, the world needs you. They need someone to remind them that their friends are like family and tell them about feather hair extensions and to exhort them to make coffee dates every once in a while. And so do not cry, do not sob and rend your garments and shriek “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!” over and over and over again at no one in particular and yet at everyone, at everyone in particular, at the universe itself. Do not do these things, sweet Blogessa, but instead return to your blog, your very very important blog, and share with the world your gift: entries about St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes and quotes by Robert Pattinson about how hard it is to be a celebrity.
And paint the rest of your fingernails, you just look ridiculous.
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 7 p.m.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.