February 27, 2012
Pack your lederhosen and Ricolas and Zithromax, we’re going to Switzerland! As Ben the Wine Dude flies Air Flashback from Los Angeles to Switzerland, he stares out the window and contemplates his journey so far. He reminds us that there are three “incredible” women left, and here’s a fun drinking game: every time Ben the Wine Dude uses the word “incredible” in this episode, take a drink. This entry will be considerably funnier if you do.
Ben the Wine Dude wants us to know that he gets it, OK. He’s just as worried as you are that he might pick the “wrong” person, i.e. the person that he has been warned against multiple times by different people. It’s a big risk! Despite everyone — bachelorettes, cameramen, Chris Harrison, strangers on the street — taking him aside and being like, “No, seriously, dude. She’s truly, truly awful,” Ben might make the wrong decision and choose her. What can he do, though?
In his Very Serious Voice, Ben the Wine Dude then tries to convince us that he is falling in love with the remaining three incredible women:
Texas Nicki: She didn’t freak out when it rained that one time!
Lindzi the Horse Girl: Her parents are wacky!
Courtney the Villainess: She leaves him with an incredible feeling; there’s a magical force pulling them together; she’s unique; she’s unlike anyone he’s ever met; she’s a little nerdy (???? Does he know what that word means?); he holds her in high regard; she’s spontaneous and rebellious; they have chemistry unlike anything he’s ever felt before; it’s incredible.
Gee, I wonder who he’s going to choose.
HEY, LISTEN. BEN THE WINE DUDE KNOWS THERE ARE CONCERNS, HE HAS THEM TOO. He knows that Courtney doesn’t play well with others, and he’s taking that into account, trust.
Cue the Courtney the Villainess villains montage! (How did I miss the moment when she asked MC Infectious if she was expected to just “bend over and take it up the tailpipe?” HOW DID I MISS THAT?! Take it up the tailpipe, indeed!)
Air Flashback arrives in Switzerland as Ben the Wine Dude burbles on about how much he loves this country with its trains and bridges and mountains and army knives and cuckoo clocks. He’s also excited to spend “uninterrupted time” with the ladies; uninterrupted being a a euphemism for “pantless,” because it is Fantasy Suite Week! Gross! Ben the Wine Dude reminds us that he might be proposing to one of these women in a couple weeks, so this is Important, and not just an excuse to get it on with three different ladies in one week. I mean, “spend extended time” with them “asking questions,” “digging deeper” and seeking “clarity.” Gross!
The town of Interlaken has been emptied of its citizens so that Ben the Wine Dude and the ladies can be “uninterrupted” this week; seriously, there are no people around anywhere, which is certainly in the best interest of the fine people of Interlaken. Let’s just hope the producers scrub down the town with bleach and antibiotics before they let the residents return to their homes.
Texas Nicki is the first to arrive for her “extended time” with Ben the Wine Dude, burbling on about how happy she is she told him she loved him during the home town visit. Ben the Wine Dude meets her and promptly shoves her into a helicopter for their date. Which is just flying around in a helicopter. That’s it. The entire date. Still, Ben the Wine Dude is able to wring a bunch of metaphoric nonsense out of it; about how they are going to new heights in their relationship and how love is a wild ride, something about glaciers, &c.
Eventually, the helicopter deposits them atop some mountain where they have a picnic, of course, because The Bachelor essentially only has two types of dates: 1. The Helicopter/Picnic Date and 2. The Hey, Go Jump Off This High Thing Date. As they picnic, Texas Nicki admits she was a little freaked out to tell Ben the Wine Dude that she loved him, but that she has no regrets about doing so. Ben the Wine Dude then compares her father to his own, which is HIGH PRAISE, considering he worships his dead father like some kind of golden calf. Texas Nicki jumps all over this, because she is not stupid and understands that when the Dead Father card is played by Ben the Wine Dude, it is Serious Business. Then they scream into the mountains to see if there are echoes. There are not.
The helicopter then drops them off onto a smaller mountaintop which allows Texas Nicki to yammer some nonsense about how their future is like this view — it could go on forever or fall off the cliff, ending too soon. Profound!
Ben the Wine Dude and Texas Nicki are plucked from the mountaintops — without making a single “The Sound of Music” reference! Not one! Not even a spin for good measure? Were the rights too expensive? Couldn’t they get the free, unlicensed version?
ANYWAY. Ben the Wine Dude leads Texas Nicki to some sort of barn for dinner, because based on his visit to Texas, he’s pretty certain we all eat in barns with the cattle. After placing her on a stump — literally a stump — and filling her full of fondue and chocolate, Ben the Wine Dude asks her about integrating into his life. Will she be able to leave behind all the horses and the saloons and cowboys and live in California? YEP, says Texas Nicki before asking him how many kids he wants, which is not a weird and presumptuous question to ask on a third date, not at all. Ben the Wine Dude explains that he and his sister both want 4 kids, which, what? How’d his sister get dragged into this? That’s strange, right? Texas Nicki only wants 2, but is sure they can work this all out. And one way or another it will be worked out, Texas Nicki, you can count on that.
Ben the Wine Dude then presents her with the fantasy suite invitation, and she — like all the bachelorettes throughout the history of this show — feels the need to pretend like she has no idea what it could be! What could possibly be in this envelope? Why, a key to a “fantasy suite” and some disinfecting wipes! Quelle surprise!
The two retreat to the fantasy suite where they find a fireplace and a bearskin rug and a tub full of bubbles AND IT IS TIME TO GO AWAY NOW, CAMERAS. PLEASE, FOR THE SAKE OF MY SANITY/EYEBALLS.
The next day? Sure, let’s say it’s the next day, Lindzi the Horse Girl trots in wearing not nearly enough winter clothing. Yes, she’s from Florida, and perhaps she doesn’t own a winter coat, but maybe before she got on the plane, one of the producers could have shown her some pictures of Switzerland and suggested she go to Burlington Coat Factory or something? Ben the Wine Dude announces that they have an “adrenaline date” planned, otherwise known as Date #2: Hey, Go Jump Off This High Thing. After hiking up a mountain, all the while with Ben the Wine Dude yammering about how Interlaken is the extreme sports capital of Europe and maybe the world, they arrive at a rappelling platform. Hey! Remember how both of you guys have a debilitating fear of heights and we pushed you out a helicopter that one time? Hope you liked it, because we’re doing it again, except this time we’re pushing you into a giant gorge!
Ben the Wine Dude and Lindzi the Horse Girl are strapped and rigged and helmeted and but for Lindzi’s completely inappropriate high-heeled boots, ready for some rappelling! Except they don’t rappel at all, unless rappelling is actually just being lowered down to the ground on a strong wire. Ben the Wine Dude uses the occasion to draw yet more metaphors to how “rappelling” is just like being in a relationship: You strap on a lot of gear and some Swiss guy slowly lowers you to the ground while you shriek in terror. Ben the Wine Dude cries out, “Oh my Dads! Oh my Dads!” for no good reason, which, NO. STOP THAT. IT’S CREEPY. Also, why is it plural? How many dead fathers do you have, Ben the Wine Dude?
Finally, they reach the ground, and Ben the Wine Dude leads her to a nearby hot tub, which apparently just litter the Swiss countryside. It’s all giant Alpine horns, rappelling platforms and hot tubs.
That night, they have dinner at a swanky hotel where Lindzi the Horse Girl natters at Ben the Wine Dude about her past relationships and vulnerability and heart broken and “Dumpsville. Population: You,” until Ben the Wine Dude just hands her the stupid fantasy suite invitation already, because COME ON. WE ALL KNOW WHY WE ARE HERE, LET’S GET ON WITH IT ALREADY. Lindzi tries to act coy for a moment, but only for a moment, and the next thing you know they’re rolling around on a bed in the fantasy suite and there is A LOT of Lindzi the Horse Girl’s legs, TOO MUCH of Lindzi the Horse Girl’s legs, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, PULL DOWN YOUR DRESS ALREADY, OR AT LEAST TURN OFF THE CAMERAS, MY HEAVENS, THIS IS NOT BIG BROTHER: AFTER DARK, YOU KNOW.
The next day (I guess — time is relative on The Bachelor), Courtney the Villainess arrives to a great deal of handwringing both on her part and Ben the Wine Dude’s. In a moment of blinding self-awareness, Courtney has come to the conclusion that perhaps she wasn’t particularly nice to the other women and that this might impact her chances of being with Ben the Wine Dude in a negative way. Nevermind that it has never been a problem before, and that Ben the Wine Dude just keeps on keeping her no matter what anyone else says, Courtney has seen the light, you guys, and she shall villainess no more!
Ben the Wine Dude announces that he has “something romantic” planned for their date, or Date #1: HelicopterTrain/Picnic. They take a train ride to a marginally more populated town where they first have to shop for their picnic items, and OH NO, SPARKLE PONY! COURTNEY STOLE YOUR GROCERY STORE DATE! Curse her! Curse her villainous ways!
They then plop themselves in a cattle pasture, because nothing says romance better than cow patties and a round of “HEY, COW!” a clever game that Ben the Wine Dude and his sister invented where you scream at cows until they look at you. Fun! Courtney finally admits that she wasn’t exactly nice to the other women, and she’s sorta sorry for that. Kinda. Ben the Wine Dude tells her that he has been concerned and that when she went out of her way to twist the knife — during rose ceremonies, for instance — it made it difficult for him to deal with the other women. 1. Wait, he heard all that? He SAW Courtney behave like that, and he HAS KEPT HER AROUND THIS LONG? All this time I have been giving Ben the Wine Dude the benefit of the doubt; that perhaps the show was edited in such a way to make it look like Courtney was being awful and brazen and AWFUL to the other women in front of his face, but in reality it was all happening when he wasn’t in the room. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT HAS HAPPENED? SHE DID THIS RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF HIM? How have the other women not just walked away already? How have all the other ladies not been like, “Wow! No thank you! I am better than this!” (I mean, aside from the fact that they clearly already have some underlying self-esteem issues that have led them to be on The Bachelor in the first place.) 2. No, seriously, Courtney acted that way while Ben the Wine Dude was in the room and he saw it happen and he still hasn’t eliminated her? Wow. Just, wow. Ben the Wine Dude? You are officially The Worst. The Very Worst!
That night, they have dinner in a wine cellar where Ben the Wine Dude tells her that he was worried about her inability to not be awful to every woman who crosses her path: he has female friends and a mom and a sister, after all. But now that Courtney the Villainess seems so very, very contrite, he no longer is worried about anything! It is all going to be fine and perfect and they should go roll around naked in the fantasy suite now, please and thank you. (Gross.)
Hey, everybody! Merry Leap Day! Look what Leap Day William brought us from the Marianas Trench: a sneak peek at St. Emily’s upcoming season of The Bachelorette! Hooray!
St. Emily, for those of you who do not remember, was on Wombat’s season of The Bachelor. The prettiest and nicest of the bachelorettes with the sobbiest of stories (she discovered she was pregnant the same weekend her boyfriend died in a fiery plane crash and now she is raising her daughter, RickyBobby Jr., all on her lonesome), St. Emily “won” The Bachelor when Wombat proposed to her. And then, about two months later, she realized she had no interest in moving RickyBobby Jr. to Austin to go live with a waxed ape with a limited vocabulary and daddy issues.
So now she’s The Bachelorette.
And we have to fill these two hours somehow, so the producers reintroduce St. Emily and RickyBobby Jr. and remind us that St. Emily, she is very lonely and very bored after RickyBobby Jr. goes to bed at 7:30 every night. There is only so much time one can kill by picking up scattered Polly Pockets and drinking bottles of pinot grigio.
So she leaves RickyBobby Jr. with … someone … and flies out to Los Angeles where she meets former semi-successful Bachelorettes Ali and Dr. Tube Socks who are in quite the Leap Day spirit, what with their blue and yellow outfits:
They are there to give her advice on how to be The Bachelorette? Sure. This involves St. Emily trying on outfits and having her makeup did and being given such sage wisdom as “stay open” and “everything happens for a reason.”
The three then go to see Titanic in 3D, which, hey! Great choice, Producers! Why wouldn’t St. Emily want to go see a movie in which a woman outlives the one great love of her life when he dies young in a tragic accident? It’s the perfect movie, in fact. Better would have been if it was a double feature with La Bamba or The Buddy Holly Story. Maybe when they are transferred to 3D.
Dr. Tube Socks claims that J.P. looks at her the way Jack looks at Rose in this movie, and everyone exclaims that Jack and Rose’s love is the kind of love they want for St. Emily. You know, the kind that ends in tragedy. Good luck, St. Emily! I for one hope your new love doesn’t DROWN ON A CRUISE SHIP.
BACK TO SWITZERLAND.
Ben the Wine Dude ponders the three incredible women he is supposedly falling in love with, when there is a knock at the door, and Ben the Wine Dude is shocked and surprised to find Chantal Ryan Sparkle Pony standing there. Ben the Wine Dude is like, Uh, what? Didn’t I put you in the spinstermobile back in Los Angeles? How on Earth did you get to Europe? Is Picasso Face with you? MC Infectious? What is happening?
Sparkle Pony, having learned absolutely nothing from Ryan on The Bachelorette, explains that there was too much left unsaid between them, and that she simply could not rationalize why he would dump her. She’s Sparkle Pony! She’s cute and sweet and sparkly! He can’t dump her! But Ben the Wine Dude sighs heavily and explains that, in fact, he could dump her, and won’t she please stay dumped. It’s for her own good. Sparkle Pony narrows her eyes, and is like, This is about the whole “living together” thing, isn’t it? Well, the funny thing about that is that she is an adult and her parents don’t get to make decisions about her living arrangements, so. But Ben the Wine Dude is unmoved and just shrugs and is all, Whaddya gonna do, right?
Sparkle Pony finally realizes that she is seriously, no, for reals, dumped and decides that if she’s going down, she is taking Courtney the Villainess with her, by golly. Sparkle Pony explains to Ben the Wine Dude that she is worried that he will get his heart broken by Courtney, and her big smoking gun is that Courtney once said there are other fish in the sea aside from Ben the Wine Dude. The villainy! Ben the Wine Dude, he is unimpressed by this because he knows there are other fish in the sea, fish with much more reasonable hair, in fact. And so he just shrugs and is like, Whaddya gonna do, right?
Sparkle Pony then takes her leave, apologizing to Ben the Wine Dude who scratches his head in response. She then lies down in the hotel hallway because jetlag.
Ben the Wine Dude frowns and worries and scowls and tries to look Very Concerned about this development. He is thrown for a loop! He hopes he is not being “played!” What to do?
Chris Harrison eventually appears, and Ben the Wine Dude explains all his angst, again, in case we didn’t get it from the earlier monologue. He just hopes he is making the right decision, Chris Harrison! Chris Harrison asks Ben the Wine Dude if he wants to bring Sparkle Pony back in the rose ceremony, and Ben the Wine Dude is like, Nope! We then enjoy flashbacks of dates that happened some 30 minutes ago, and Ben the Wine Dude uses the word incredible some 4 times in a two-minute span. BOTTOMS UP.
As Ben the Wine Dude ponders in the Glamour Shots Alcove of Contemplation, Chris Harrison escorts the women into the rose ceremony, and then warns them that this is the last rose ceremony, SO YOU KNOW, IT’S A BIG DEAL.
Ben the Wine Dude emerges and calls them all incredible as a foreboding bell tolls in the background:
Rose #1: Lindzi
Rose #2: Courtney
DO NOT ASK FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS, TEXAS NICKI. IT TOLLS FOR THEE.
Ben the Wine Dude escorts our Texas Rose out to the Oldmaidsmobile, so that he can assure her that she is incredible, her family is incredible, he’s cried a lot about this, but it is time for her to go home now, goodbye. Texas Nicki becomes the second woman that evening to sob at him that she hopes he is making the right decision, and Ben the Wine Dude is like, Yep! No worries! Okbai now! You go home! Please for you not to come back and cry on the hotel floor!
Goodbye, Texas Nicki. Trust me, it’s better this way.
The Bachelor airs on ABC Mondays at 7 p.m.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.