The Bachelor: What happens in Cabo ends up on TV

Bachelor_l This week’s installment of The Bachelor proved to be a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am(s) experience. In an abbreviated, 45-minute episode set in Cabo San Lucas, Brad bedded three different women, booted one of them from the competition, and sullied the reputations of dolphins, the America’s Cup yachting competition, and famed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in the process. No wonder our leading man was sweating like a barnyard beast through his clingy t-shirts!

Of course, in his defense, the final-three episode is always tricky territory for The Bachelor, who must perform the grotesque dance of trying to get each of the remaining women to declare their love for him (most likely under orders from the producers) while also cajoling them to spend a night with him in the "fantasy suite." (Or, is that "Fantasy, sweet!") Side note: For the love of all that’s holy, why is the hotel-room key always presented along with a hand-written note from Chris Harrison? There’s something inexplicably creepy about the way the show injects its smarmy host into the most intimate moment of the bachelor-bachelorette relationship, turning their decision to spend the night together into a sordid, three-way contract.

Anyhow, Date No. 1 this week found Brad and Jenni (a.k.a. Gummy Bear, pictured) swimming with dolphins. I wasn’t sure if Jenni’s squealing was a fear response or an attempt to communicate with the aquatic mammals, but thankfully, Brad was there to assure her he wouldn’t let their magic moment devolve into an episode of When Dolphins Attack. I just wish someone had been there to comfort Flipper. I mean, what did the little guy do to deserve winding up on the sleaziest episode of America’s most embarrassing reality-dating series. If that dolphin could speak English, he’d have turned to the cameras and demanded, "Bring back the fiery hoop! Anything! Just get me away from these freaks!"

Oddly enough, Jenni seemed far more comfortable when the camera crews zoomed in for a discussion of the overnight date, manically stroking Brad’s hand and declaring, "I’m pretty sure you have something special in your pocket, and I’d like to have it." Classy!

Date No. 2 — or, more accurately, the Doomed Date — found Brad and Bettina (a.k.a. "Damaged Goods") boarding a onetime America’s Cup yacht and sailing to a desolate beach for some sexytime. You pretty much knew this was going to be Bettina’s last hurrah, because on The Bachelor, being divorced falls somewhere on the scale between being an axe murderer and having the Ebola virus. While Brad said he needed to see "the woman in [Bettina]" (eww), Bettina, showing the kind of intelligence and survival instinct you don’t expect on a reality-dating series, declared herself "kinda scared" of getting intimate. Which meant, of course, that after her dinner at a Frida Kahlo-themed restaurant, Bettina confessed to the camera that her growing love/lust was "the best feeling in the world. I mean, it’s the best feeling in the world. I’m feeling it, and I’m shy about it. But at the same time I know I just need to go with it and be with it and be with him." (Translation: "The producers really want me to go into that bedroom and shut the door.") That aside, mad props to Bettina for refusing to cry after Brad ditched her, then put her in a stretch limo with a producer who I suspect did everything short of cutting up a pungent onion in an attempt to get the waterworks underway.

Finally, we had Date No. 3 with DeAnna, where Brad noted he was going to "focus on one woman and one woman only." But which woman was that? After DeAnna crushed Brad on the auto track, we got three seconds of beach footage, and then — bam! — the couple ended up at a restaurant with very prominent Day of the Dead figurines and some truly awesome pink, carved-wooden chairs. I kind of suspect my brain zeroed in on the décor because I actually like DeAnna, and couldn’t bear to witness her rapid-blinking confession that she was falling in love with Brad. Said emotions, by the bye, must’ve ruined girlfriend’s appetite, since her plate was still chock full when she and Brad retired to their hotel room. Also, did anyone else love the way Brad asked, "Just you and I?" after DeAnna agreed to spend the night with him? Was he trying to hint that he wanted to invite Bettina and/or Jenni along for the ride, or was he merely alluding to the fact that a camera crew would need to be present to capture some candlelit foreplay footage?

I’m betting DeAnna "wins" the finale two weeks from now, since Jenni has expressed an interest in keeping her job as a Phoenix Suns dancer and dating Brad long-distance, and ABC probably would like Brad’s "engagement" to last at least three weeks into the next Bachelor season. Are you with me, or do you think Jenni will end up as Brad’s top dog? Also, is it just me, or are daytime rose ceremonies far less dramatic than evening ones, even if they take place at the precarious edge of an in-ground pool? Discuss!

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  • Kelley

    Great snarking as usual Mike!! This show is God Awful…the only thing good that comes out of it is your mini watches. Kudos to you!

  • Janine

    “rapid-blinking confession”– so funny. I’m kind of pulling for Jenni. Their “connection” seems to be the most natural.

  • Second that!

    The best thing about the Bachelor is the fact that Michael is willing to call out the producers on the ick factor on this show. I suppose at one point it was “charming” but now it’s just sickening. Television shouldn’t make you feel dirty after watching.

  • mells

    I watched a lot of bachelors before and we always know what will happen. For f’s sake we even know when it’s down to 3 you will get the same letter from Chris for the fantasy suite. This show is pathetic and I could not fall asleep last night and watched it for the first time this season for the last 10 minutes. So lame!

  • El

    I think he’s going to choose DeAnna as well – just a feel. Jenni was the early favorite, but DeAnna seems to have pulled ahead with her confession and blinking. The whole Jenni “you have something in your pocket that I want…” thing was a bit weird, particularly after her finding her spine last week. She reverted to the *Pick Me! Pick Me! — let me SHOW you how much I CARE!!* thing… Not surprised about Bettina — she looks like she’s fading away to nothing, and may not have had the sustenance to make it through to the finale — get that girl a burger, fries and shake – Supersize it!

  • JLI

    Slezak – I don’t even watch this show but I love to read your awesome take on it. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Wait a second. He bedded these women? They have to get some finanical percentage for every show that’s taped as well as possibly getting the guy at the end. Still this sounds like free-willed prostitution.

  • thisissad

    this is obvious folks…just like every bachelor before him…he’s setting up for the gal that will ultimately turn him down, ergo–he’s off the hook but with a lot of TV exposure. For that reason, he’ll pick Jenni. She might say yes, but you know her heart is set on dancing in front of the cameras for the Suns, not being a barmaid/housewife in Austin. If he was serious about a wife, he would have kept a sure bet like Shanna (sp?) from last week. She all but had the dress–maybe she had the dress? Maybe her mom had the dress. He won’t ask Deanna—I bet he’ll pull the ‘no chemistry’ line on her.

  • anne

    DeAnna’s blinking was driving me up a wall last night. What’s up with her?? I think she’s got it in the bag though, eyelid spasms and all.

  • jane

    “Side note: For the love of all that’s holy, why is the hotel-room key always presented along with a hand-written note from Chris Harrison?”
    SO TRUE!! I got the giggles last night every time they read the note aloud: “If you decide to forgo your individual rooms,” blah blah blah, “signed CHRIS.” It just cracks me up. Like Chris really cares whether they forgo their individual rooms!! Chris probably hates that part as much as he did the “Ladies, this is the final rose” line. Which has thankfully been retired.
    Love your recap!!

  • karen

    Mike,
    I do love your TV watches. I do love this show but have had a very hard time liking any of the girls this season. That said, I think that Brad has been the most genuine bachelor they have ever had. My “ick” factor was also high when he took all three women to bed. If you’re up for a good read, check out Lincee’s blog at http://www.thebachelorrecaps.blogspot.com She’s also hilarious!

  • junior

    Sorry, this has nothing to do with “The Bachelor” but I didn’t know where else to put it. When did PopWatch become a series of Mini TV Watches? “The Bachelor,” “Prison Break,” “Chuck,” “The View,” “Women’s Murder Club”… Just do TV Watches for them already! Is there anything else going on in pop culture?

  • Arden

    Good miniwatch, Mike. I liked Jenni but she doesn’t seem grounded (literally AND figuratively) enough to be in a serious relationship right now. Compared to DeAnna anyway. Plus D was the only one he used the word “soulmate” with/about. Jenni might be heartbroken, but she’ll dance it off.

  • Jimbo

    I think it’s Jenni. The 1st kiss was her’s and I think it stuck !
    I also think Chris needs to STOP with the “Ladies, this is the final rose of the evening”. WE KNOW THAT Dufus ! It’s so stupid for him to come in and say that, jsut to get his face on TV…it DOESN’T make it more dramatic, it makes it STUPID.

  • WH

    MS – I love this miniwatch. I actually tuned in twice this season to watch. OK, I couldn’t make it past the first commercial either time, but I love your commentary every week. (Loved: “bring back the fiery hoop!”)

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