Murphy's Blachelorette Blog: Week 1 Part 2

Night two of the "epic" two-night premiere thankfully goes light on the intro and dumps us right into revealing who the men selected as The Bachelorette.

It ain't Britt Britt. Chris tells her in private, which is kind of unlike this show. I figured whoever lost would be shamed with the chorus of dudes looking on. Britt is absolutely floored that she's less likeable in ANY situation than that some stand-up clown, Kaitlyn. You can see the shock on her face as Chris tells her that, yes, in a subjective, quantitative competition, the woman you think has that engaging personality and sense of humor to make up for being less attractive than you has been chosen by a couple dozen guys as their potential wife OVER you. Britt Britt is sent off privately in a limo, crying. I would love to tell you what she said and I actually rewound the show to see if I could make it out, but without subtitles I could not get one word between sobs. I didn't know if it was one last jab by the producers or if they thought subtitles would be in bad taste, but it was seriously unintelligible. If I were to guess it was like every other exit interview, "I thought this was it. When is it going to happen for me? I just want to find love. etc. etc."

Then Chris gets to break the news to Kaitlyn, only he tries the ol' reality show host switcheroo and begins with "Unfortunately...." Kaitlyn's heart sinks! "I had to send Britt home. You're going to be The Bachelorette." Unfortunately, her competition was sent home and she gets to be on the show? That doesn't make sense, even as a joke. Chris, watch fellow reality host Phil Keoghan on The Amazing Race mat and learn how a pro does the "You're off the show... J/K, you're still in!" switcheroo.

Kaitlyn is surprised and giddy. She does fake caring about how Britt took the news before catching her breath and jumping into the dude soup. Because there will be a Rose Ceremony tonight. How long have these people been UP!? It must be 5AM! Should be easy for Kaitlyn though, right? "Who didn't vote for me? YA GAWN!"

Everyone starts kissing up to Kaitlyn, as they should and must. The Team Britt dudes are confused, nervous and conflicted. Do they stay and join Kaitlyn on this journey or do they bail because they shouldn't take the spot of someone who voted for Kaitlyn? Guys like Tony, Brady and Ratface. Ratface decides to 'fess up and tell Kaitlyn he voted for Britt BUT he still wants to be there. Kaitlyn appreciates the honesty and it makes her want to start finding out who is there for her and who was there for Britt.

JJ tells Kaitlyn about his daughter. I must've missed something amazing he said because Kaitlyn gets WAY into him for some reason.

The Dentist, Chris, decides to go for it  and gets the first smooch of the series. It was kind of off putting because they both knew it was coming but he wouldn't shut up about it so they both had to keep wetting their lips. It looked like two lizards having a staring contest.

As she talks to more guys, Kaitlyn starts to change her tune about Team Britt and says she's ready to reset and not factor in who voted for whom or if the guys are disappointed she's The Bachelorette.

Despite Ratface, the Dentist and welder Chris Soules, Jr. making big strides with Kaitlyn (CSJ gave Kaitlyn the rose he forged from metal. It is pretty awesome.), Ryan Gosling (AKA Shawn B.) gets the First Impression Rose and some smoochin'. It's not surprising if you saw his intro on Monday, but it is surprising because I don't think he's said three words to her.

The First Rose Ceremony is always an exercise in "Who's that?" Daniel? I honestly do not remember a Daniel from Monday. Kaitlyn starts doling out roses, but right in the middle, Brady, the songwriter, stops her and takes her out of the room. He tells her his heart was with Britt and he must go "find her." Chris is waiting outside the house and says he can "hook him up" if he's serious. They walk through the gates off into the sunrise... THE SUNRISE! The SUN is coming UP! Let these men sleep! I am thankful Brady booted himself because now we won't be subjected to any overwrought, banal musical performances.

Who went home? Ian Ziering (who DOES suck), Miguel, stripper Josh and some other white guy. Wikipedia says their real names are Shawn E., David, Josh S. and Bradley.

"Cyuming yup" this season on The Bachelorette: they actually go to interesting places like Ireland, NYC and... The Alamo! There's jealous dudes, feats of strength and... Nick from Andi's season?! That snake in the grass?! It looks like Kaitlyn is super into him too. I soaked my DVR after I deleted this ep just because he showed up. There's dramatic boning and subsequent slut shaming! Yes, Kaitlyn breaks the cardinal rule for women on this show: you must remain chaste and virginal until the men give you permission to do anything but smooch within the Fantasy Suites. Just ask Claire how it turned out for her. We'll burn that bridge when we get to it though.

During the credits Brady, in a limo, rips off a line from Good Will Hunting and says he left because he has to "see about a girl." So glad. So glad he's gone. I just hope he doesn't come back as one of those no-names they always have to dance dates.

Murphy's Blachelorette Blog: Week 1

The pool has been shocked, the house and been hosed down and we've been promised a premiere that's going to be... dramatic!? Drama?! On MY The Bachelorette? It's more likely than you might think...

As you probably remember we're starting this season with TWO Bachelorettes, Kaitlyn, the funny one, and Britt Britt, the stereotypical and crying one. Chris (who after last year's confusing two Chris season will go back to being called Chris) says people have been angry about giving the men the power to choose who The Bachelorette will be. This is a reality show competition that lasts mere weeks where the prize at the end is you enter the timeless and sacred institution of holy matrimony for eternity and THIS is what makes people angry about it? WHY?

After we're reintroduced to Kaitlyn and Britt Britt, the cavalcade of dudes begins. This is why I especially hate the premiere into the first few weeks of this show. Twenty-nine ripped car salesmen is just too many to keep track of. It doesn't help that there are like 6 Ryans this year. I'll run down the basic stats of the dudes. I can't guarantee this is correct, just what I scribbled down during the show.

-Jonathan, from Detroit, is an Automotive Spokesman. Like Matthew McConaughey? Jonathan also has a kid. Later in the show, some other dude will tell one of the Bachelorettes he has a kid, too, but I don't know who it was.

-Joe sells insurance in Kentucky

-Josh is 27 from Chicago and is stripping his way through law school, or more likely studying law until his stripping career takes off.

-Brady is a 33 year old musician from Nashville who is going to punish us several times this season with overly-sentimental, cliche-ridden country-ish songs.

-Joshua is a welder from Idaho. Yes, basically Chris Soules 2.0. He's even from the other "I" state!

-Ian is 28 and lives in Venice, CA. He's a runner who was told he'd never walk again after a near fatal car wreck. He did eventually walk and run again. Nothing snarky here, what am I, an animal?

-Jared is a 26 year old restaurant manager from Rhode Island. I will be referring to him as "Ratface" on the show. I apologize, but it's just the easiest way to remember him at this point. He is also already married to an unfunny joke about his alter ego "Love Man."

-Tony is 35, from St. Louis, and has the first made-up profession flash on the screen this season: "Healer." He is shown talking to plants and stretching people. He also has severe dark circles under his eyes or was recently socked, possibly by an unhealed plant/NFL player

-Ben is a 26 year old personal trainer from San Jose. The Bachelorette producers force him to stare at a picture of his deceased mother for an inordinate amount of time during his intro package.

-Ben H. does something with software and is 26 and lives in Denver.

That's 10 guys so far and ZERO dadbods!

We're to the point now where Kaitlyn and Britt have pulled up to the Bachelor Pad in their separate limos and had a chat with Chris in his ultra-skinny, super slim fit suit. Now the guys are going through the greeting ritual of trying to seem funny/sexy/charming but usually failing miserably. Some guys greet Kaitlyn first, some guys greet Britt first. Much will be made of this.

Like, Clint, the 27 year old architectural engineer from Chicago goes to Britt first. So does Ryan B., the 27 year old realtor from Florida. So does Ratface. Kaitlyn is feeling dejected and "nervous" about being chosen as the one true Bachelorette.

Out of the limo steps Kupah, a 32 year old entrepreneur from Boston who I haven't decided whether to nickname King Kupah or Kupah Troopa... he goes to Britt first. As does Brady, the singer.

Just when I'm starting to think this may not be the producers' trademark clever editing, Cory, a developer from Texas exits the limo and saunters up to Kaitlyn! So does Ian! And JJ, a former investment banker and hockey hobbyist who brings Kaitlyn a puck and says he wanted to "puck you." Cheesy to you and me, sure, but you gotta admit, that's a total Kaitlyn joke.

Then Ryan M. makes his entrance. I didn't know it at the time, but I was meeting my favorite Bachelorette character since Craig. Ryan M. is 28 and runs a junkyard or something in Kansas City. He is Team Kaitlyn. Just how much Team Kaitlyn, we'll soon find out.

Bradley is a 25 year old Auto shipper from Georgia and makes a Kaitlyn-approved "Love-Love match" tennis joke. Josh does his stripper dance. Joe brings a jar that he SAYS is Kentucky moonshine, but judging from the swigs he and Kaitlyn take it in no way actually is moonshine.

Now Britt is feeling insecure because he river of dudes has dried up and Kaitlyn is swimming not only in dudes, but dudes with gifts. Like Shawn B. aka Ryan Gosling Stunt Double (RGSD). He's a personal trainer from Connecticut and you can tell he's something because he gets his own special music and he tells Kaitlyn she's "the reason why I'm here."

At this point Kaitlyn runs inside to throw the men a little red meat. Britt Britt says it's in bad form and "unfair," but she's probably just upset she didn't think of it first.

David, 26, real estate, Florida and Corey, 30, banker, NYC sneak in under the guise of not really having personalities interesting enough at this point to feature on the show.

In the house, Ryan M. is getting even more tanked than he probably was when he got out of the limo! It's hilarious in the way that people I would despise if I encountered them in real life sometimes are. He goes on and on about how he's drinking straight Fireball whiskey and he's so "horned up!" All of the other guys get judgy and  holier-than-thou, clutching their pearls, saying "Oh, my! I believe that gentlemen has over-indulged! I would NEVER!" I'll admit that this is neither the time nor place, but don't act like you're Carrie Nation (I Googled "famous prohibitionists").

Ryan M. gets more awesome when Shawn E. aka Ian Ziering pulls up in a hot tub car. It's exactly what it sounds like. A convertible sealed up to hold water and be driven around. This guy is 31, red-faced, puffy, Canadian and calls himself an Amateur Sex Therapist, which is the Canadian way of saying he'll watch you have sex for free and he has to introduce himself to his neighbors when he moves. While the ladies are cooing over the "car pool" Ryan M. says what we're all thinking, "That car sucks!" Text does Ryan's delivery no justice. When Shawn E. says, "OK, buddy, we'll talk inside," Ryan fires back a simple but brilliant, "No we won't!" I mean, I'm still laughing at his inflection. It's perfect. Kaitlyn says Ryan M. would get the Worst Impression rose, which I'm suggesting they actually introduce next season.

FINALLY, the parade of dudes ends with ANOTHER Ryan in a cupcake car. We still have another hour of this?! TWO if you count Tuesday!

Inside, Kaitlyn is her usual self and opens with a joke. Britt Britt does not approve. This first huddle is a chance to say what you're about and say stuff like "right reasons" and "journey," NOT do stand up. Britt implies that this proves Kaitlyn is not serious about this process.

Both start connecting with guys in that usual first night cocktail party kind of way. Britt pretends she likes kids. She regurgitates some mumbo jumbo back to Tony the Healer. Somedude asks Kaitlyn about her tattoos. She's so excited to talk about them because Chris Soules NEVER asked her about them. Yeah, they're your run-of-the-mill bird tattoo. Like, 8  out of 10 girls your age have them. Mark McGrath has them! Google Mark McGrath bird tattoo right now if you don't believe me.

Elsewhere, Ian Ziering confronts Ryan M. about disrespecting his entrance and once again Ryan M. delivers the goods. Ryan has no memory of the event but assures Shawn E. that he DOES suck. "Everything about you." Shawn E. can tell when he's bested and starts to walk off. Ryan M. still wants to know what he's talking about and tries to turn him back around by grabbing his shoulder. At this point a dude must say what Ian Ziering says, "Don't lay a hand on me ever again." Any chance of an actual physical altercation is quickly extinguished by Shawn who runs off sarcastically saying he's scared of Ryan, which looks exactly the same as if he were actually scared... because he is.

Any entertainment in this episode came strictly from Ryan. Without him it would've been two boring hours. He does a striptease, gets in the pool in his undies, walks around the house mostly naked and dripping wet. Some dudes try to ask him what the deal with Shawn E. was and Ryan comes back with the hilariously untrue, "I've never had a problem with anybody before..." being sure to add, "but that guy sucks." His use of the word "sucks" has reinvigorated me. I feel like I've never said it before. It's like a whole new word with gravitas it's never had before.

But, Ryan, who is still HORNED UP!, starts getting handsy and grabby with Kaitlyn, at one point holding her on the couch by her face. He steps over the line, however, when he smacks Kaitlyn's ass. That's when a giant bodyguard I've nicknamed Uncle Vito informs Ryan he's been called to the Dean's office. Chris Harrison tries his best to add a little weight to the situation by saying stuff like "it's obvious you're not here for sincere reasons." Are those like "right reasons?" Why did he say it that way? But, Ryan simply does not care. He got a night of free drinks and that's a win in his book. Also, as it's been revealed, he's the ex-boyfriend of Juan Pablo's season's winner Nikki, so he was a plant all along.

After 15 minutes of vote rose counting, big surprise we have to wait until night TWO to find out who the dude's chose. Oh, and don't worry, Ryan's vote won't count because he just threw a flower at the wall and walked out of the voting room.

Murphy's Blachelor Blog: The Finale

Two nurse enter. One nurse leave.

It's The Bachelor fin-ah-lay as Chris Harrison (CH) keeps saying in the live cut-ins from the After the Final Rose studios. Sometimes these are just people clapping into commercial, sometimes they are just a chance for CH to spout more hyperbole about this being the "wildest season," or about the "shocking" twist coming that the "whole country will be talking about tomorrow," or how the studio in which everyone is sitting is "standing room only."

When we do finally jump in, Whitney is up first to meet the fam in Arlington, IA. She's planning on telling one or all of them that she's in love with Chris. Whitney is personable and outgoing, which makes everyone comfortable immediately. She gives a toast at lunch that even brings dear ol' dad to tears. As my wife Sara said, "if you make dad cry, you've won."

In her final interview with Chris' sisters they continue to harp on making sure the women are ready to move to Arlington (pop: -3). Whitney says she'd move there with "no hesitation." Chris' sisters can't imagine anyone being better than Whitney for Chris. He has a tough time explaining to his sisters the difference between the two relationships, but it's pretty clear to me. Whitney and Becca represent the two things men love, the sure thing (Whit) and the chase (Becca). It's something that CH and one of Chris' bros will also point out later on. Chris' explanation about what he loves about Becca is stumbling and mumbling, but he's very straightforward about Whitney. Chris has an equally tough time explaining what he loves about Becca to the boyz in the fam.

Whitney, having already put dad in tears, also makes quick work of Mama Soules. How could a mom say "no" to someone who wants to call her "mom?" She's sold.

Later on Everybody Loves Whitney, the family's expectations are unsurprisingly low as Becca comes to visit. She starts winning them over with some killer Arlington humor. During Becca's sister interview (sisterview?) she tells them she wouldn't move to Iowa right away, they'd do the long-distance thing until she's sure he's the one. The sisters tell Chris he needs to push her a little to get some answers and get past their relationship hurdles. 

Those hurdles of course are what's known as "rational thought." I get so immersed in the world of the show that when someone makes it seem like they are not take-a-bullet-for-you in love with someone after 4 weeks, it seems irrational. When Becca says she's not ready for the relationship to end but she's not ready for a proposal, that's a perfectly rational place to be after a month or two! But, inside the physics of the show, it's a problem.

It's also very diplomatic and political of Becca to put it that way. It's the kind of response you expect after asking anyone these days if they're running for President. Becca is equally political when talking about Whitney to Mama Soules. She sort of paints Whitney as blindly rushing in to the relationship. "She's ready to get married, have babies, move here," as if Whitney would marry anything that's breathing and move to where it is. 

Mama Soules hits the nail on the head when she tells Becca whoever Chris ends up with is up to her. Becca just has to say the word. Her last chance is during her last date with Chris in the romantic Al Capone Suite in the nicest hotel they could find in Dubuque. She tells Chris she doesn't know why she's not in love. She won't put anything on a timeline when he asks where she wants to be in 5 years. This is a classic committophobe line, I know because I still use it to this day. It's a defense mechanism, but is also super-realistic. Sure I can tell you where I'd like to be in 5 years, but if it's 1 or 10 or 50 that's fine too. You don't have to compare when you achieve your hopes and dreams to when anyone else achieves theirs. 

But, I digress. Becca is noncommittal because she's in uncharted territory. Even when talking to Mama Soules she kept describing the feelings and actions of someone who is in love, but they were alien feelings to her. She's never been this close to a guy before. Chris seems mostly satisfied after their talk, but still obviously has no idea what he's going to do. Take a chance on Becca's potential or bet on Whitney's sure thing?

Whitney's last date- Wait. That was really Becca's whole last date? A latenight chat with Chris in the Al Capone Suite? Whitney gets to go harvesting with Chris and his dad in some of his expensive farm equipment. She goes on a tour of Arlington with Chris that sounds like when Mufasa tells Simba what makes up the Pride Lands in The Lion King. "Look, Whitney, everything the light touches is our kingdom," (a joke I'm sure I also made here when Chris took Andi to Arlington). Chris takes Whitney to his house, which looks considerably better decorated since Andi was there. Later at their nighttime date (How long is this date? See what a raw deal Becca got?!), Chris asks Whitney what makes her so certain he's the one. She gives some pretty good answers about it being unspoken, "It just is," how comfortable she is around him. Chris says, "Everything you said, I reciprocate," which is as close as he's contractually able to get to saying "I love you," at this point. He does add a "no matter what happens," as the date comes to a close, which must have been the producers trying to inject at least a little drama.

The day of begins, as always, with a montage of contemplative stares as Chris gets ready and the women think "God, I wish I was in the Bahamas." Chris meets with Neil Lane who makes no bones about hating every second he's forced to be in the desolate wasteland of Iowa. 

CH meets up with Chris at the barn he was born in and the first limo pulls up. Out steps...

Becca. Chris gives her the classic "You're not really ready" dodge. Becca seems fine with the situation. I don't doubt that she and Chris both wanted it to happen, and maybe on a long enough timeline (sorry, Becca!) it would have, but wanting it to happen just wasn't enough.

That means Whitney is up next. She's shaking and CH tries to attribute it to nerves, but we know it's because she's wearing nothing but a gown in negative temperatures and the sun is setting on the frozen tundra of Siberia's sister city, Arlington, Iowa (pop: -32F). Of course, Whitney starts talking immediately and forever. Eventually Chris says "I love you," proposal, final rose, "We're engaged!" etc. But, what happens AFTER the Final Rose???

Murphy's Blachelor Blog: After the Final Rose

Not too much to say about After the Final Rose. What a nice change that is from the LAST Bachelor. Even the shockingest shock that ever shocked they teased for three hours didn't turn out to be a big deal.

CH hits Chris early on with a great question. As Mama Soules said in the finale, the whole thing really was up to Becca. So, what if Becca WAS ready and said "I love you, moving van will be there Monday." Chris nails it and says, "There were a lot of 'what ifs'" in this experience and he's not looking back, he's ready to move forward. He's comfortable lying like this because Whitney told him she ONLY watched the parts of the show she was on. Anyone believe that?

When Becca comes out, everything still seems cool. She wasn't ready for it to end, but not ready for a proposal. What she is ready for after the experience is finding love, because I guess she has some inkling of what that is now. Chris tells CH his feelings for Becca were never about "the chase" of what his brother-in-law called the "girl at the bar no one can go up and talk to."

When Whitney makes her big debut, it's the same ol' "we don't have to be secret anymore" stuff. Chris reveals a little too much about how he wanted to marry someone exactly like sisters, like, for instance, his sisters. Hey, Iowa has rednecks too. Speaking of which, we get an extended post-engagement scene where Chris and Whitney talk extensively about making babies with Chris' parents. This is probably pretty normal farm talk. Like they are talking about planting crops or putting up fences. "Well, I reckon you'll want to get started sirin' before March, else the birthin' interfere with the harvest."

After her stupid/profound non-answer to being invited to Bachelor in Paradise last week, Ashley S. sort of commits to showing up.

Jimmy Kimmel shows up to deliver us from boredom and asks all the questions we're not supposed to want to know as viewers, like, "Are you making love regularly?" He also gives them something they can use on that "horrible farm you're moving too," a cow named Juan Pablo. CH's makes an "Iss OK" joke that goes criminally overlooked. 

So, that shocking moment? Just like Chris, Bachelor Nation and Producer Nation couldn't decide who they wanted to be the next Bachelorette: Britt Britt (smattering of applause) or Kaitlyn (deafening applause). I think the producers assumed the audience would be as split as we all supposedly are. Britt? There are people who think Britt would be a good Bachelorette? Well, anyway the twisty twist is that Britt AND Kaitlyn are the next Bachelorettes. There will be TWO Bachelorettes for the first time in Bachelorette history. Of course, longtime viewers will remember they did this same thing for season 6 of The Bachelor in 2004. I guess the producers also expected the announcement to take a hell of a lot longer because Britt and Kaitlyn stand there laughing awkwardly while CH STRETCHES for time asking each of them alternately "What do you think of this?" "What do you expect?" "What do you think of this?" "What do you expect?" All we can really expect right now is for the 25 men to choose which one of them gets to be The Bachelorette on the first episode and then the rest of the episodes to be like every other season. 

Until then, I'll try to keep this blog updated with interesting things... and see you in paradise!
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