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MURPHY'S BLOG

Murphy's Blachelor Blog: The Women Tell All

Chris really kissed more women than any Bachelor in the show's history? More than Juan Pablo?! More than anyone? That's the first shocking fact we learn during The Women Tell All special and it wasn't even told by a woman! It was of course the first of many possible exaggerations from world-class hyperbolizer Chris Harrison, or CH, so we don't get confused.

As with all the WTA specials, this one starts with CH and Chris crashing watch parties. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous. I couldn't help but wish it was Chris and CHris barging through my door to find my wife, my one-year old daughter and myself in PJs eating dinner watching the show. Most parties are fairly tame. Yes, there's wine and decorations, but nothing too crazy. Then they get to the last apartment, which appeared to be a ragtag bunch of women from a raunchy college comedy where all the rejects form their own sorority. (Why wasn't there an Old School 2 where they tried that?) It's at this party that Chris drops not one, but two shots of "whiskey" on the floor and one girl is shown drinking directly out of the bottle and killing it. "Whiskey" is in quotes by the way, because they're drinking Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey. Hardly actual whiskey.

We get a clip package recap of all of the season's drama so far culminating with Britt Britt vs. Carly. Remember Carly told Chris Britt said she never wanted kids, loved being single and hated Arlington, contradicting what Britt told Chris herself.

Britt Britt is up first in the hot seat. Jillian is Team Britt and 'roids out on Carly for betraying Britt. Oh, and saying that Jillian has male genitalia. So THAT'S what they were covering up with that black box?! Sadly, Jillian never gets a chance to take CH and the producers to task for blocking out her butt and no one else's. I fear we'll never get an explanation.

Britt feels like her statements on kids, etc. were misinterpreted by Team Carly. She says that what she meant was that you have to be comfortable with yourself as a single person before you can get married or the relationship will be doomed from the start because you're trying to fill holes in yourself with a person that won't fit. Even for backtracking, it's a good point that I wouldn't expect to hear from someone on The Bachelor. Carly says her big issue was about what she said about Arlington on camera vs. off camera. Britt says her opinion of the town just changed. Changing opinions is not something we usually give reality show stars the right to do. Again it feels like backtracking, but it's probably true. CH finally puts a stop to the cat fight and calls it a draw. Me too. You don't have to be Team Britt or Team Carly. They are both conniving.

Kelsey is next up in the hotseat. If you thought her laugh was fake, you haven't seen anything until you've seen her cry. She first snots on CH's pocket square. Then she rambles about her panic attack, telling Chris about being a widow, being hated by the other women, specifically Ashley I. CH shuts down interjections from other women so he can tease them having their say after a commercial. Kelsey is still clueless as to why the other women dislike her ("big words?"). After the break, the season's other widow, Juelia, calls her the fakest person she's ever met and manipultive. Megan, who lost her father suddenly, similar to the way Kelsey lost Sanderson Poe, says it felt like Kelsey was using her husband's death as a tool.

Kelsey asks for forgiveness from all of the women for whatever she did to make them upset. Ah, the best kind of apology. Blind and patronizing. Kelsey specifically asks for forgiveness from Ashley I. for what she said about her in the heat of the moment. CH calls Ashley I. out on the awful things she said about Kelsey. Kelsey calls AI out on suggesting the tale of Sanderson Poe is fiction. I hadn't even considered that, but I like it. In the end Kelsey says she regrets saying "amazing story" (duh). She sniffles her way through the whole interview like someone badly impersonating a human welling up. She's trying her hardest to cry, but the tears just ain't comin'.

Ashley S. is next on the hot seat and I'm more confused than ever. Is she insane? Stupid? Trolling? I know she's not acting. CH hears America's prayers and invites Ashley S. to Bachelor in Paradise. This exchange constitutes Ashley S.'s response:
"It's so weird."
"What is?"
"That we're on TV."
The crowd, and myself, erupt into applause. That's Ashley S. in a nutshell. That statement could be taken any number of ways. Stupidly obvious or simply profound. I'm so glad Bachelor in Paradise is coming back.

After a dumb commercial for a new hidden camera show I fast forward through, Jade is next on the hot seat and who cares?

Then comes Kaitlyn, who doesn't really say anything new. She still feels blindsided and confused by Chris decision and still dwells on it.

Chris finally makes his appearance in the hot seat. Britt Britt begins crying immediately. She tells Chris she understands why he believed Carly. Chris tells her he made his own decision based on their journey together, not anything Carly said or did. This seems to put Britt at ease.

Kaitlyn asks Chris why, if he knew he was sending her home, would he put through a rose ceremony and make her stand there and play out the end of their relationship in front of the remaining women? I don't know, Miley, maybe because that's the show? I'm sick of this canceling cocktail parties and rose ceremonies! If we're going to let them do whatever they want, why don't we just have one night of 23 fantasy suites and whatever bed he wakes up in, that's who he marries!? Also, if anything it proves Chris' point that he had no idea what he was going to do up until that last second. The pressure of a rose ceremony had to be on so his gut could make the call. Why would you want to make the decision easier on him by saying goodbye in his hotel suite? If Kaitlyn is the next Bachelorette, I'm afraid they've already started her on the same battery of stupid pills they gave Andi.

Jade is next to take on Chris and asks why he thought that lookig at pics of her spread eagle on the internet was "awkward." If he didn't want to look at them right then, he could have said, "Let's save it for a special occasion."
Yeah, like, "Hey, what did you guys do for your one year anniversary?" "Well, we ate our wedding cake topper and I finally watched my wife's sex tape."

Again, I agree with Chris who said basically BECAUSE IT WAS AWKWARD. "I've never done that with a woman I'm dating. That's awkward."

In the end, the drama this season has pretty obviously been all girl-on-girl. Chris leaves relatively unscathed, a welcome change already from Juan Pablo. Next week: crying in Idaho.

Oh, and it's true. Chris Harrison has written a romance novel. Can't wait for the Lifetime movie.

Murphy's Blachelor Blog: Week 9

Sorry about the missed eps last week. What'd I miss? Britt Britt and Carly got into it and both are gone. Jade showed Chris her hoo-ha and she's gone. That it?

This week, the top three women finally get to go somewhere more interesting than Dusty Brothel, South Dakota and jet off to Bali. Chris calls it "the most exotic place [he's] ever been," bumping the previous record holder: when he straddled the Iowa/Minnesota state line.

Besides being kind of boring, the hardest part about watching this episode was seeing Chris and the women frolicking in shorts, jumping in the ocean, etc. while here in the US everyone's dealing with varying degrees of wintry mix.

Kaitlyn is first up for her one-on-one date. They visit the first of several temples and take a stroll through town to some sort of monkey preserve. Chris' girlish giggle acts as some sort of mating call and he is sprayed and claimed by a dominant male monkey. The show is over. Chris has found the one.

I wish. The date goes fine. Kaitlyn starts to crack her shell a little bit. At dinner, the connection seemingly deepens. Chris says several times he's "excited" for the date to progress to you-know-where. Kaitlyn accepts the Fantasy Suite and both seem pretty eager to catch the last train to Rambone Central. Kaitlyn tells Chris she's falling in love with him and Chris reciprocates. Cut to obligatory shot of shutting the doors/windows on the camera crew.

Whitney's date is next, of course, as they're continuously teasing Becca's admission to Chris that she's a virgin. They go boating and Whitney tries to put Chris' mind at ease about her sister not giving her blessing to a reality show union (Whitney and her sister lost their parents early in life). Chris says he's not worried about it. I actually agree with him. Mom and dad's blessing is one thing. A sister just doesn't carry as much weight. Whitney says being with Chris in Bali feels so natural, but it all seems forced to me. Maybe it's because she can't stop saying how natural it feels, as if she's trying to convince herself. She tells Chris she's in love with him. He's still worried that she won't want to leave the job of her dreams in the big city of Chicago for BFE, IA.

At dinner, Chris reminds Whitney just how much Arlington, Iowa sucks. Whitney, though, says the happiness of starting the family she wants would offset leaving her job and city life. Whitney accepts the Fantasy Suite Challenge.

Becca is up last and her mind is completely preoccupied with when and how to tell Chris that she's a virgin and how he'll react. They go on a date to a farming village and Chris geeks out. It was actually kind of interesting seeing how interested he was in ancient agricultural practices. I can't believe I just wrote that. But, I've always been of the mindset that I could listen to anyone talk about anything if they were passionate about it. And he is passionate about irrigation and generations old farming techniques! 

They visit yet another Temple and visit with a Love Guru who tells them to make love facing west tonight. Chris still doesn't know that any love making is going to be solo, but before dinner Becca says she's planning on dropping the V-bomb when the Fantasy Suite card makes it's appearance. 

At dinner, Becca tells Chris she's falling in love????????????? She really did say it with the inflection of 13 question marks because she's never been in love before, but all these feelings must be the start of something like love. Did I just write a Disney song? Chris says definitely he's falling in love and can't wait "to get to know each other on a whole different level." He really makes it known that he's turned on. Sure enough as they enter the Fantasy Suite, Becca tells Chris with a little more certainty (like, 2 question marks worth) that she's falling in love and that-surprise!-she's a virgin. I still have this episode on my DVR because it's fun to rewind and replay the second the realization he's not getting any washes over Chris' face. He gives her the standard nice guy lines about respecting her, it's not important, etc. Becca is happy with his reaction. She's the only girl we really get to hear from the morning after and she does allude to the difficulty of not giving in to carnal temptation, so who knows, maybe she was really happy with his reaction. The Fantasy Suite. You know. What happens, stays.

As usual after his long distance foursome, The Bachelor has a sitdown with Chris Harrison. Chris seems completely torn between the three women. He tells CH one rose is locked in, but has no idea what to do with the other. Specifically, he has reservations about Becca not being where he thinks they should be emotionally and about her reluctance to commit to being buried in an unmarked turnrow next to the Soules family cats in Hobosex, Iowa. Chris doesn't seem like he's 100% with any of the women either, but he does seem 100% committed to the concept of ending up with a wife after it's all over.

At the rose ceremony at yet another temple, Chris, the women, even CH don traditional Balinese garb. Chris pulls Becca aside for one last chat. She pleads her case with directness that Arlington is still on the table and she is, no question marks, falling in love with Chris. Meanwhile, Kaitlyn is over the moon that Becca is most likely being given the boot. Which, of course, means her blonde hair crests the top of the temple steps as the words are leaving Kaitlyn's mouth. Whitney, mum till now, is surprisingly harsher saying in a one-shot that Becca is too young and lacks "life experience," if you know what she means...

It seems to me that the women have fallen victim to the classic Bachelor trap, that bone zone=rose zone. I feel like they all know he's fulfilled the Fantasy Suite's mission with the other women, but they think he's only done it with them. 

That first locked-in rose goes to Whitney. Rose 2 goes to... Becca. Why? Even Chris doesn't know.

He walks Kaitlyn out and tells her even he doesn't understand his decision. I listened hard to make sure I wasn't missing some subtle explanation, but nope. That's it. He literally says it's a gut decision that makes no sense. But, he does tell her it was difficult, if that's any consolation. Which it might be if the conversation was taking place somewhere beyond the stares of the final two. 

In the van, Kaitlyn says she's humiliated and confused. About what? Chris' 15 minute rambling explanation that he doesn't understand why she's leaving? What's humiliating and confusing about that?

Next week: The Women Tell All. If during the episode Chris Harrison says, "Lock all the doors. There's been a MURDER." I will not be surprised.

Murphy's Oscar Blog!

Sorry there's been no Blachelor Blog this week. My sister was in town and couldn't even stomach watching five minutes of the episode I called up on demand. I'm going to try (an probably fail) to catch up with all 8 hours of Bachelor madness from the last week, and the BB returns NEXT week.

But, until then I thought I'd blog about something I'm really excited about this weekend: The Oscars and offer some (almost completely uninformed) predictions and analysis. If this wins you your Oscar party pool, I get 10% of your haul. By the way, if you like seeing me type about movies, you'll LOVE hearing me TALK about movies with Carson from afternoons at Y101 on our podcast I Heard That Was Good. Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or www.IHeardThatWasGood.com.

"Birdman" and Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" tied for the most Oscar nominations with nine apiece. "The Imitation Game" follows with eight. Let's just run down some major categories.

Best Picture:
 
"Selma"
"Boyhood"
"American Sniper"
"The Imitation Game"
"The Theory of Everything"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Birdman"
"Whiplash"

This is probably a three-horse race between Boyhood (which won the Drama Globe), The Grand Budapest Hotel (my favorite movie of the year, which won the Comedy Globe) and Birdman (which won the SAG). I didn't appreciate Boyhood as much as everyone else seems to have. It seems like a bigger concept than a movie. While the process was pulled off well, it didn't hit me like a Best Picture usually does. I was more moved by Whiplash and The Imitation Game. But, I don't think those have a shot. TGBH should win, but Boyhood will continue it's award season sweep.

Best Director:
 
Richard Linklater,  "Boyhood"
Alejandro Iñárritu,  "Birdman"
Bennett MIller,  "Foxcatcher"
Wes Anderson,  "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Morten Tyldum,  "The Imitation Game"

I like the same three movies I mentioned above for this award and Pic and Dir usually go hand-in-hand. I think TGBH is some of the best work Wes Anderson has ever done. He continues to evolve as a director. But, he'll lose to Linklater. I hope I'm wrong.


Best Actor:
 
Steve Carell,  "Foxcatcher"
Bradley Cooper,  "American Sniper"
Benedict Cumberbatch,  "The Imitation Game"
Michael Keaton,  "Birdman"
Eddie Redmayne,  "The Theory of Everything"

The acting categories are all but sure things after the Globes and the SAG awards. Michael Keaton will bring home some hardware for Birdman. But, Benedict Cumberbatch NAILED his performance in The Imitation Game and it's about recognizing someone all but banned from the history books, which voters sometimes love. If he swooped in on Birdman, I wouldn't be surprised.

Best Actress:
 
Marion Cotillard,  "Two Days, One Night"
Felicity Jones,  "The Theory of Everything"
Julianne Moore,  "Still Alice"
Rosamund Pike,  "Gone Girl"
Reese Witherspoon,  "Wild"

I cried just seeing the TRAILER for Still Alice. Julianne Moore will walk away with this. Let's hope she actually mentions Alzheimers and the Alzheimers Association in her speech, unlike at the Globes. 
 
 
Best Supporting Actor:
 
Robert Duvall,  "The Judge"
Ethan Hawke,  "Boyhood"
Edward Norton,  "Birdman"
Mark Ruffalo,  "Foxcatcher"
J.K. Simmons,  "Whiplash"

Ethan Hawke's performance is one of the few highlights of Boyhood for me. After stuff like The Purge or Getaway, I forgot how talented he can be with the right material (Gattaca, Training Day). But, Whiplash is one of the most intense movies you'll ever see and JK Simmons ranks among the best A-holes in movie history along with R. Lee Ermy in Full Metal Jacket and Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast. Simmons has this wrapped up.
 
 
Best Supporting Actress:
 
Patricia Arquette,  "Boyhood"
Laura Dern,  "Wild"
Keira Knightley,  "The Imitation Game"
Emma Stone,  "Birdman"
Meryl Streep,  "Into the Woods"

I hear Emma Stone is great in Birdman (I hope to check it out before Sunday), but Patricia Arquette has won every other award, so she's bound to keep the streak alive. I did not find her performance particularly transcendent, but I'm not in The Academy so....

Best Adapted Screenplay:
 
"American Sniper"
"The Imitation Game"
"Inherent Vice"
"The Theory of Everything"
"Whiplash"

Whether he's verbally abusing his students or expounding on what creates greatness, JK Simmons has some stellar lines in Whiplash. The story is compelling too. I hope it takes this category.
 
 
Best Original Screenplay:
 
"Birdman"
"Boyhood"
"Foxcatcher"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Nightcrawler"

Boyhood's concept and slice of life storytelling isn't enough to carry it in this category, I don't think. I'm genuinely think The Grand Budapest Hotel has a shot at this. It did win the Writer's Guild Award, too.
 
 
Best Original Song
 
"Glory" . . . performed by John Legend and Common for "Selma"
"Grateful" . . . performed by Rita Ora for "Beyond the Lights"
"Lost Stars" . . . performed by Adam Levine in "Begin Again"
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" . . . Glen Campbell's farewell song, from "Glen Campbell… I'll Be Me"
"Everything Is Awesome" . . . performed by Teagan & Sara for "The Lego Movie"

Everything was not awesome to those expecting to see The Lego Movie in the Best Animated category, but at least this catchy theme song got a nod. The Oscars don't favor comedy, though. Glory has this.

Best Animated Feature Film:
 
"Big Hero 6"
"The Boxtrolls"
"How to Train Your Dragon 2"
The British movie "Song of the Sea"
The Japanese movie "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya"

I didn't see any of these movies. so I'll just go with Dragon 2 because it won the Globe.

For everything else on your party voting sheet, just put Dick Poop and you should be fine. Maybe next week I'll update with just how wrong I was.

The Oscars air live Sunday on ABC.

Murphy's Blachelor Blog: Week 6

No "cyuming up" tease at the beginning, we're just right back into where last week's ep left off, with Kelsey's "panic attack." Which, big surprise, she uses something awful in her life to get ahead in the game. The medic asks "Is there someone we can get for you?" Oh, I wonder-Chrisduuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. He is unsurprisingly sympathetic.
Absolutely no one is buying her act, though, which makes it all the more cringe-inducing when she's telling the other women about her episode. If you saw the episode, you know what it looks like when some one who is lying tells that lie straight to the face of someone who knows they are lying.

While Kelsey is certain the whole ordeal means she's "definitely getting a rose tonight," Ashley I., the Kardashivirgin, is upset that she doesn't have a sad story to compete for Chris' affections with Kelsey. But, I guess her life is sad in a different way because she gets a rose. Speaking of the Rose Ceremony, you did notice the women shivering like freshly-shorn Chihuahuas, right? Thank God Chris canceled the cocktail party or Jade would have lost a toe!

In the end Mackenzie and Samantha (WHO?) are sent home packing, while the rest of the women start packing for beautiful, exotic Deadwood, South Dakota. The Ibiza of the northern midwest. This week there will be a one on one, a two on one and a group date. While Kelsey thinks that her amazing and tragic story means she "deserves" the one on one date, it actually goes to my front-runner right now, Becca. Kelsey is not happy and I'm sure the producers advised them each to sleep with one eye open as long as Kels is there. Becca, the virgin who doesn't make a big deal out of it, is the only one who hasn't smooched Chris. They go horseback riding and have a picnic where she unfortunately makes Chris laugh-or rather girlishly giggle profusely. Becca and Chris are so perfect for each other at this point it's frankly boring, which is good. She gets the rose of course, probably after Chris saw how well Becca handles firearms.

Back at the nicest hotel in South Dakota (Holiday Inn. Yes, really), the women confront Kelsey about being psycho and fake. Kelsey starts weeping and blames being so confused after taking such a big step in sharing her story with Chris. It's like Kelsey has never been in a group of women before. Her manipulative powers don't work on other women. It's like trying to put out a fire with a flame thrower. In a one-shot, Kelsey says the real reason no one in the house likes her is because she uses big words and they are dumb and just misunderstanding her.

The arrival of the group date card reveals that the two on one date will be Ashley I. vs. Kelsey. The Virgin vs. The Psycho. I couldn't be happier and it seems the women feel the same way. At the very least that means we're getting rid of one of the worst women in the house.

On the group date, the women write songs with the help of country music duo Big and Rich. I was all set to make fun of these hip-hop-appropriating one-hit wonders, but Big and Rich are actually really nice to everyone and are obviously adept at at least teaching songwriting. OK, that was kind of a dig and I'm sorry, but I'm not deleting it. Chris ducks in for a surprise appearance and appears to just want to make out with Britt Britt, which is great lyrical inspiration for all of the other women staring at it as it happens. After that, I really expected a good showing from Britt Britt and five songs that sound like Before He Cheats. But, after Chris "sings" first, it's pretty obvious all the women really embraced the challenge of writing a song. Like the old prospector banjo player accompanying them embraced the challenge of being forced to change keys after every bar.

At dinner, Chris grabs Britt Britt and they run off for over an hour to a Big and Rich concert. Which is slightly less shocking than the fact that they found enough people in Deadwood, SD to fill a concert hall (this is a dig at Deadwood, not B&R). Chris gives her the date rose on stage. The second most cringe-inducing moment of the night is when Chris and Britt Britt return to a room of 5 pissed off women and he's forced to sheepishly explain that the date's over, Britt won. He then awkwardly exits on the line "I'll let you have the rest of the evening to yourselves..." to cry and glare and Britt Britt, I guess.

On the 2-on-1 date, both women think they are the sure thing to be returning when all is said and done. They jump on a helicopter, pass Mt. Rushmore, where Kelsey shows off those famous smarts (she can name four presidents!), and set down next to a picnic bed in the middle of a canyon. Kelsey says the date format will force Chris to think about his feelings about the two women. He gets right to the thinking with Ashley I. and her mouth. After the smoochfest, Chris asks her how the group is getting along, at which point Ashley makes the fatal mistake of bringing Chris into the house drama. Even when they say they want to know these things, The Bachelor never really wants to know these things. Best bet for a contestant is to clam up and let some other woman talk trash about the one they all hate and let them both go down together. Two birds, one stone.

But, Ashley I. spills to Chris that all the women dislike Kelsey for being a big phony. Then Chris, being the normal dude he is, essentially says to Kelsey "Hey, Ashley says you're a big fake. What's up with that?" Kelsey says she's hurt and says what Ashley did was "unladylike." What? That's what women do! Snipe other women. Kelsey seems bent on revenge, though, when she gets back to the canyon bed.  She gives Ashley the Corleone treatment with a "I know what you did." Then they have a smart-off and compare degrees (yes, they did). Then Ashley grabs Chris to berate him, "Why did you tell her what I said?"

This is fatal mistake number two for Ashley, since the only thing The Bachelor hates more than being brought into the house drama is being held accountable for his actions, being accused, fighting, etc. So, it's pretty clear it's bye bye Ashley at this point. I mean, if you could signal to a producer and remove someone from your life forever that made you feel bad or sad or not have fun, wouldn't you? Chris has that power right now. He tells Ashley that regardless of what happened on the date "we're in different places" and he can't give her the lifestyle she wants. Ashley immediately begins throwing everyone under the bus she can, especially Britt Britt. "OH and you think Britt wants to live that lifestyle." As the ax falls, Ashley goes into a total hissy fit breakdown that makes Kelsey's "panic attack" look Oscar-worthy.

When Ashley I.'s bag is removed from the hotel suite, indicating that she won't be returning to the show, you could hear a pin drop as the ladies watch in shock. It's like a dagger to the group's collective heart.

Kelsey can taste victory, but not so fast. Chris tells her she deserves someone who can give 110%, says "I wish you the best" and takes off in his chopper, leaving both women stranded, wandering in the canyon like some weird 127 Hours sequel.

As Kelsey's bag is picked up, the women echo my sentiments, "Let's get DRUUUUNK!" and pop some bubbly. This was the best possible but most unexpected outcome of the 2-on-1 and everyone is glad we won't be seeing Kelsey (and Ashley I.) again....

Until next week when we're expected to watch TWO nights of The Bachelor, including some Before the After the Final Rose special where Kelsey gets to talk more for some reason. Also, the rest of the women visit Chris' hometown and Jade reveals her NEWD photo past...

Murphy's Blachelor Blog: Week 5

And we all thought Kimberly was crazy for walking back 100 yards after a rose ceremony. More on that later. Also, this seems to be Face Your Fears week on The Bachelor. Fears like intimacy, heights and alcohol addiction.

This week we welcome the 11 women and one farmer to exotic... Santa Fe, New Mexico. All of the women feign excitement when CH tells them where they're being jetted off to to enjoy one group date and two one-on-ones. Megan actually is excited because she is misinformed about just how exotic New Mexico really is.

Things we know about New Mexico thanks to Megan:

1. It is "out of country"
2. It is a "beach resort place"
3. They wear sombreros there.
4. Much more idiotic stuff in stuff shot in the interview cut from show and put over end credits.

Carly gets the first one-on-one date, a session with a Love and Intimacy new agey mentor kinda lady. Chris calls her a "Love Guru," after his favorite movie, the only one his town ever got after its theater picked the worst weekend to open its doors. This is terrific for Carly who is "terrified of physical intimacy" to the point of tears. During a disrobing exercise, it takes no prompting to get Chris to remove his shirt and even though she's wearing a bikini underneath, Carly's top does not come off as easy. It's around this point Chris realizes she's more of a SEX Guru! The name of the unofficial sequel to his favorite movie Chris filmed with his high school buddies. Carly quickly becomes uncomfortable and they stop.  Chris and Carly say it felt like more of a 7th date rather than a first. It seemed to me like something 60 year old retirees would do on their third honeymoon. It does open Carly up, though, and the session ends with what New Mexicans call "muchas smoochas."

At dinner, Carly explains the root of her issues saying he last boyfriend never wanted to touch her (which the producers definitely knew, which explains the Love/Sex Guru). Chris is sure to assert that getting physical is part of a relationship. Just so she knows. This last guy obviously had a huge effect on Carly's view of herself, almost to the point of dysmorphia. I know we have a lot of widows, fathers who have passed too soon, and outspoken virgins this season, but they may have finally found someone someone genuinely too emotionally damaged for this show. Carly gets the rose, of course, because jeeze we're not animals. Chris makes the pretty bold statement that he'd be "lucky to spend the rest of [his] life with Carly."

Jade, Megan, Kaitlyn, Whitney, Mackenzie, Becca, Samantha (WHO!?), Ashley, and Kelsey get the group date, much to Kelsey's dismay. She was hoping for the one-on-one to tell Chris about being a widow. Would she tell him as casually as she told Ashley I.? We'll find out. For reference, imagine telling someone the grocery store had everything you needed to make chili except onions. That's how bummed Kelsey sounds telling the women about how her husband (the impossibly named Sanderson Poe) passed away.

The group date is a reenactment of the Meryl Streep/Kevin Bacon thriller The River Wild on the Rio Grande. With Cisco, the grizzled river guide as Meryl Streep. Jade falls out of the raft and almost dies but is saved by... who's that? It's Jillian's Butt Censor Black Box! He's back to save the day and appears to lift Jade from the violent river's frothy maw. Either that or Cisco fished her out with an oar and the river stole her bottoms. Back on land, Jade tells Chris she has a condition where she can get hypothermic at normal temperatures. The condition is called being a WOMAN! BROS! HIGH FIVES! C'MON! Ladies be chilly, amiright?! BROS!

Later on even drier land, a blast from the past... Drunk Jordan, who was booted at week 2, shows up having driven from Colorado asking for a second chance because she feels her drunkenness overshadowed Chris getting to know the real her. In reality, we all know she's hit rock bottom and getting back on the show might be her last shot at more booze. I'm not certain she didn't just escape from one of the Southwest's many excellent rehab centers. Even though she's already eaten up a ton of the remaining ladies time with Chris, he agrees to let her stay. How Jordan's head did not explode like that dude from Scanners with all of the laser stares from the other women, I have no idea. Most of the women use their alone time with Chris to trash his decision and Jordan, which I guess was kind of the point of this whole set up. To find out which women are like Ashley I. and see each woman as a threat to "winning" The Bachelor and who is like Whitney who can not like something or something, but still be positive and treat them nicely. How Whitney maintained that I have no idea because it doesn't say much for the remaining women when essentially a stranger off the street can waltz into the competition. Chris ends up booting Jordan (again) which makes him 2/2 for making the women cry on dates. Even though Jade almost lost her toes, Whitney's ray of sunshine gets the date rose and Ashley I.  runs off to have her bitch fit about it.

Britt Britt is the only girl left, so she gets the last one-on-one date. The card makes reference to heights, which drives her to tears (3/3!! Perfect game!). Chris wakes Britt Britt up at 4:30AM and tells the other girls in her room to shut up and go back to sleep, at least that's how Carly takes it. Chris remarks that even at 4AM Britt Britt looks beautiful. I guess one might if it's the first time you've showered in months and you go to bed with full make up on. The date turns out to be a hot air balloon ride, which Britt is cool with, since it's not repelling or bungee jumping or the like. So, I guess she's afraid of falling more than heights. Or rapidly increasing or decreasing heights...

Back at the hotel, Ashley I. tells the other women Britt Britt said "I love being single and I don't understand wanting to have kids or get married and settle down." But, after their date on his bed Britt tells Chris she's wants 100 kids. She ends up with the date rose and a little between the sheets action with Chris, which she'll later tell the girls was a "nap." Someone please make a gif of Britt's head exploding like the dude in Scanners after she tells the women she took a "nap" with Chris in his bed!

Knowing the minutes until the rose ceremony are ticking away, Kelsey takes matters into her own hands and goes to visit Chris to tell him her story of being a widow. It is a lot less casual than when she told the women. Infinitely more tears when discussing the untimely end of Sanderson Poe. More smooching too. She later says in an interview shot, "Isn't my story amazing?" She killed Sanderson Poe, right? There's plenty of poisons that can mimic the symptoms of congestive heart failure that a young wife could slip into her husband's breakfast, right? Or did she completely make this up? Sanderson Poe. That's a made up name, right? I think we just found a great case for Serial Season 2.

Before the cocktail party Chris gives a little lecture about what a tough week it's been, his tough talk with Kelsey... and then he walks out to compose himself and get a little pep talk from CH. Kelsey says she was TOTALLY going to tell the other women that she went to see Chris, which none of them buy. Kelsey starts getting emotional about the competition and how it's going to be to say good-bye this week to some poor chick without a dead husband. Carly and Becca for accuse Kelsey in interviews of using the late Sanderson Poe to get a rose during the week she was definitely going home. I'd normally be angry at front-runners saying something as heartless as that, but I think it's true. CH comes back in to tell the women Chris has pulled the old "don't want to waste anyone's time" move and canceled the cocktail party (Jordan would've been crushed). This leads Kelsey to *gasp* have *wheeze* a *le sigh* panic attack! *swoon!* and collapses by the bathroom!

TO BE CONTINUED!

More crying in Santa Fe... Next time... on Serial. (plink plink plink plink plink plink)

Murphy's Blachelor Blog: Week 4

We're learning so much about The Bachelor this year. First Jimmy Kimmel finally shines a light on the one way street that is hooking up on the show and when the women are allowed to identify as sexual beings and this week Chris is taken to task on the same subject. More on that later...

This week we learned there'll be two group dates and one 1-on-1 date and Chris' three sisters will decide who gets to go on that.

On the first group date 8 girls take a couple convertibles to a lake. Ashley I. remarks that she's so lucky to be sitting shotgun in Chris' car because "the sexiest thing a guy can do is drive." Other things a man can do that Ashley I. finds sexy: checking facebook on his phone, clicking a pen, tying his shoes...

Chris is excited to see how the girls react to being in nature. What is he expecting? Screaming and pointing? "What is this green stuff?! What's this wet stuff!? What's this gritty brown stuff?! SAVE US!" No one does that, but some of the ladies do some skinny dipping. This pisses off Kelsey who acts like a sourpuss and sits out the games, trashes the lake setting, and awkwardly fakesmiles and laughs. For her bad attitude she is stung by a bee on her thighgap.

Back at the mansion, Chris' sisters show up unexpectedly. Jillian and her uneccesarily censored butt are napping by the pool. They interview all of the girls basically to make sure they are cool with moving to Iowa. They decide Jade is the most cool with it and give her the 1-on-1 date, a Cinderella-inspired, product placement princess date. They better hope it's better than The Lone Ranger, which Des was forced to watch with Juan Pablo during her season. My God, they should use that same set up on terror suspects. Oh, and Chris doesn't know who his sisters have picked.

At the lake, Chris tells the girls they'll be camping overnight which means drunk dummies setting up tents. How no one was skewered I have no idea. Kelsey's attitude is beginning to wear on the other women and make them suspicious that she might not be there for the Right Reasons. Especially when her response to "we're the luckiest girls right now," is "Really?" One of the girls remarks that she "can't believe Chris would find that attractive." Then again, this is the guy who finds Ashley S. attractive.

We know Ashley S. comes alive at night, and she does not disappoint, covering all of her favorite topics (the moon, aliens) and I think at one point doing one of the chicken dances from Arrested Development. During her one on one time with Chris she tells him she really loves him. Are you allowed to do that this early on the show? I thought we were still at "I'm falling for you." The look on Chris' face during this exchange is like if he was face to face with a tiger, certain that if he makes a wrong move or one that's too quick or that the animal would find threatening would mean instant death.

Kaitlyn ends up getting the date rose possibly because she swam bottomless in the lake.

After lights out, Ashley I. sneaks into Chris' tent to make sure he knows she's a "nerd" (as a self-identifying nerd, let me assure you she is not and our ilk does not claim her). He says his first impression of her was that she was smart (huh?) and she awkwardly tries and fails to vaguely imply that she is a virgin. This is the first of 37,000 times Ashley I. will point out that she's a virgin. Also, I definitely get the feeling she's a "technical," "everything but" virgin. You know what I mean.

At Bachelor HQ, Edna Mode from the Incredbiles shows up to get Jade ready for her Cinderella date. Jade ditches the sparkly, Disney princess style gowns and opts for the one that looks like what Cinderella was wearing BEFORE the ball. On the date, which is modeled after that Disney movie where they have dinner in a hotel lobby, Jade tells Chris she was engaged at 21. Chris tells her he was engaged before too, which I either never knew or just plain forgot. I'm sure it came up with Andi... Jade gets the rose, of course. It'd kind of be a slap in the face of his sisters if she didn't, right? Wait. Cinderella. Sisters. More synergy? They dance to an orchestra and Chris says the date has been like a fairytale, but "just like a fairytale, Jade has to go home." I don't think that came out the way he intended.

On the second group date the rest of the girls (including someone named Nikki?) put on wedding dresses and travel to San Francisco to go through one of those mud runs called MuckFest MS. Jillian, who learned her lesson at the farming obsctacle course, trounces the others and wins a rooftop one on one date with Chris. At first, on the surface, Chris says Jillian is probably in the top 3. Can you blame him? Look at those arms, that back.  Imagine her pushing a plow, baling hay, carrying hogs two at a time. Then she makes the cardinal Bachelor sin of opening her mouth. She talks a lot and at great speed. To fast for slack jawed Chris who is not feeling the romantic vibe of the date's setting anymore. How could he when a woman won't stop talking! After an AMAZING conundrum posited by Jillian (would you rather have sex once with a mentally ill, homeless "bitch" or be celebate for five years?), Chris tells her his gut feeling connection with her is just not there and sends her packing. I am dying to know Chris' answer... or anyone's! (Some guesses - JP: Homeless woman. Ben: Homeless woman. Sean: celibacy)

At the cocktail party, Ashley I. decides she wasn't clear enough in Chris' tent (she wasn't) and comes right out and tells Chris she's a virgin. Chris says all the usual stuff you hear on the show following such a confession: I respect that, etc. And then is all "Let's hug!" This causes Ashley I. to freak out because he didn't decide to take her right then and there and she tells anyone who will listen and everyone who doesn't want to that she's freaking out about him freaking out that she's a virgin. "Virgin Virgin Virgin Virgin. I'm a virgin. Hey, virgin over here!" These are direct quotes.

Then, Becca mentions in passing during the conversation "I'm a virgin too." WHAT? Why haven't you said it 37,000 times? Is it because you're comfortable with yourself and aren't so starved for attention that you define yourself by this one thing that isn't even that big of a deal? Remember last week when I said I think Becca is around for a long time? Yeah.

Meanwhile, Britt Britt confronts Chris about rewarding the, let's say, seemingly looser women in the house by giving them roses. Chris is shocked and offended and nearly speechless that a woman, who is talking, is holding him accountable for his actions. He rambles incoherently trying to explain nicely that he's there to have as much sex with as many different women as possible and then hang out with one for a contractually obligated time period after the show. Before the rose ceremony he lectures the group "If any of you think I'm not here to find my wife you can leave." In other words, question me? Hit the bricks.

Britt Britt isn't sent home, though. Free limo rides go to Juelia and a brunette (Nikki?) and the female Gary Busey, Ashley S. (Gary Busty? Is that too much of a stretch?). Chris' parting words to Ashley S. are "Take care of yourself." Translation: Get help. I'm still not convinced Ashley S. isn't just a Molly Shannon character.

Next week: Crying in Santa Fe and Chris is forced to get rid of women I probably, actually recognize.

Murphy's Blachelor Blog: Week 3

Guys, if this was the episode of where you finally relented and watched The Bachelor with your girlfriend/wife/whatever, congrats because you picked a good one and I hope you ended up in the Fantasy Suite. 18 women are left, but more importantly, Jimmy Kimmel is taking over. I don't know if this was the best episode ever, but it was the funniest.

Jimmy starts by introducing The Amazing Jar, to which contestants must contribute a dollar if they use one of the show's most overused words: Amazing. Start a "Right Reasons" jar and we might be able to afford to buy Juan Pablo a moral compass!

It's not the last time Jimmy will hold a mirror up to a show that is notoriously self-unaware. For instance, Miley (I mean, Kaitlyn) gets the first one on one date to, as Jimmy promises, "an exclusive club with vaulted ceilings" and so on. It turns out to be a shopping trip to Costco to get supplies to cook dinner for Jimmy. In other words what "real couples do" after the cameras are turned off and Neil Lane has gone home. At dinner, Kaitlyn lies and says she wouldn't be upset if she's in the final three and Chris does whatcha do in the Fantasy Suite with all three women. Because, as she says "the hall pass would extend to me after the show." Jimmy and Chris have a good laugh at this. Jimmy tries to make it as obvious to Miley as he can what this show actually is. Women are allowed to be as sexual as the man is ready for and when the man is ready, no sooner, or later for that matter. Reference: Claire on JP's season.

Back at the house, Jillian works out while her completely covered butt remains censored for no apparent reason. A group date card arrives and a bunch of women are picked for another of Jimmy's diabolical dates. This time it's a farm task obstacle course featuring milking goats, drinking freshly milked goat's milk ("warm and salty in my mouth" says one girl. hahahaha.), shoveling manure and wrestling greased pigs. Despite Jillian going HAM on the course (pun def. intend.), Carly walks away with the win and steals Chris right away later at dinner. She explains to him "You are a man. I am a woman. And I just want to take advantage..." I don't know if that was the end of her sentence but she goes in for mucho smooches.  In fact, Chris smooches everyone, much to Mackenzie's chagrin because she was the first to be kissed! Isn't it whoever gets kissed first is the only one to get kissed? She flat out asks Chris why he's kissing everyone else and he pretty much says "Have you not seen this show?" It's not a race, Mac. Her immaturity is showing and I expect it to be her downfall very soon.

Becca comes out of no where and sounds like Chris' wife already. Her accent, conservative values, reluctance to smooch too soon. All of which play right into Chris' hands and he gives her the date rose. A bit of a screw you to the smoochers, but hate the game not the player, right?

Whitney, a human raised in Santa's workshop as an elf, gets the last one on one date at a winery where Chris tells her he's looking for someone who can "roll the cob." A Google search for this term only yields recipes for corn and bread. Chris says it means someone who can talk to anyone they've only just met. Carly notices a wedding at the winery and comes up with a plan to crash it. Possibly to prove she can R the C, but also because "there's something about weddings that's romantic." OH REALLY?! WEDDINGS?! ROMANTIC? WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE ROMANTIC ABOUT A COUPLE EXCHANGING VOWS OF UNDYING LOVE IN FRONT OF THEIR CLOSEST-Sorry. That's just one of the dumbest things that's ever been said on this show...

Now, this crashing is probably about as real as Maroon 5's video for "Sugar." First of all, Chris and Whitney change clothes AND grab a gift to bring. They manage to leave the cameras behind, but they are still mic'd and the cameras get pretty good footage seemingly from afar. Also, some faces are blurred out and some are not, which means ABC did get a good deal of the guests to sign releases. But, the evidence that it's at least somewhat legit is there. We learn Chris is a terrible liar and improv-er. He almost blows it when he asked someone who just introduced herself as a sister of the bride "how are you related?" Whereas Whitney is supremely talented at BSing. She could've probably convinced everyone at the wedding that she was the bride. That might raise red flags for some people, but not Chris, who gives her the date rose.

After a shower with Chris, Jimmy announces to the women there will be a pool party instead of a cocktail party. Again, bros helping bros. Jimmy does Chris a solid by making it gowns out, bikinis in. The women are SHOCKED when Jimmy tells them Chris will be there in an hour. How long does it take to get ready for a pool party!? Does it take Jillian longer nair her whole body or something?

At the party, Juelia interrupts pool time fun to tell Chris that she's a widower by suicide. It is a 5 minute sequence that is heavy beyond belief. She recounts the entire ordeal to a sympathetic Chris that was so tough to watch because you don't want to believe that things like that happen in the world....

...

HOT TUB TIME! Jade (who?) who has gotten little one on one time with Chris asks for a tour of his bachelor pad and pretty much secures her rose by "testing the bed" with Chris by jumping on it for smooches and snuggles (with a Skinemax score). By the way, what is Chris' bed stuffed with? There was ZERO bounce when either of them landed. Hay? Some sort of putty? Just outside, Jillian has crashed the hot tub. A rare uncensored butt shot proves the producers are just messing with us/her.

Ashley I., who is wearing a thong on her head, Megan and Mackenzie crash Jillian's hot tub time, but then leave because of the "alone time" rules, the structure of which is becoming a little clearer. How long is long enough to be considered one-on-one time with Chris? Someone says "5-10 minutes." At what point can a woman steal Chris away or join the conversation without disrupting the alone time "clock" and making sure that girl's alone time "counts?" and so on...

Mackenzie has had enough of Jillian and Chris' smooching and interrupts. Ashley I. is inconsolable that Jillian is not leaving the tub and giving the other three girls their turns. So, she leaves, fumbling her plastic drink cup on the way back up Walk O' Shame Hill.

Back at the house, Ashley I., still in a head thong, grabs Chris immediately and literally drags him up to the roof where she makes a fatal mistake: telling Chris about the girl-girl drama in the house, specifically between her and Jillian. The Bachelor never cares about these situations and usually gets rid of the tattler first because the one supposedly causing the drama is smart and clams up or doesn't even know she's the "villain." But, he apologizes and they smooch causing Ashley I. to regain her SUPER fragile confidence (it's a 9 going into the Rose Ceremony)...

Which she probably shouldn't have told anyone because the producers make her sweat it out and Chris gives her the final rose of the evening. Going home: Amber (who?), Tracy (who?) and Trina (WHO!?).

We are treated to one more hilarious Jimmy Kimmel scene where he cries unintelligibly in the back of a limo leaving the mansion. We'll miss you, Jimmy... Pull a Kimberly and go back in!

Murphy's Blachelor Blog: Week 2

At two hours this episode of The Bachelor was a little more palatable, but with seemingly 67 women remaining in the house it is still tough for me to keep track of who is who. But it is this blog's solemn vow that I will not go to great lengths to make sure I'm using the right name for the right woman. Prove to me you can stick around another week or two and then we'll talk.

This ep picks up right where the premiere left off with Kimberly begging for her life after not getting a rose. Since she didn't get any one on one time with Chris, he decides to bring her back. This pisses off all the other women because who is Chris to decide whether he gets to spend more time with someone he might like and want to propose to?

Something new this season: Chris' bachelor pad is right down the hill from the Bachelorette pile. CH tells the girls this and then, just in case they didn't get the hint, tells them there are no rules in this game! Break in anytime! Maybe during one of his outdoor showers?

The first date card arrives and Jade, Tandra, Ashley I., Mackenzie, Kimberly and Tara get to go to a rooftop pool party. Kimberly finally gets her one on one time with Chris, it is uneventful. Then the women are treated to a bikini-clad walk of shame to a super low speed tractor race. The producers really attempt to play up the humor of a slow tractor race, but find that there isn't any. Ashley I. wins as much as anyone CAN win a tractor race and gets some alone time with Chris.

Back at Bachelorette HQ, two drunk girls waste no time breaking in to Chris' place. One is Megan and she tries on Chris' motorcycle helmet and "tests it out" by bashing her head into the wood and brick walls and his fridge. She might be the smartest of the bunch. The other girl is Jillian who, even though she's wearing full-sized bikini bottoms, still has a black censor bar covering her rear. At first we don't know why. But, is it because she has a hairy butt? More on that later. We also meet the other widow at the mansion. It's Juelia and her husband committed suicide and left her with a kid. It is maybe the saddest thing that's ever been on The Bachelor.

After Ashley's one on one time with Chris he sends the ladies back home. Everyone but 21-year old mother of Kale Mackenzie. At dinner, Mac tries to get into Chris' good graces by shaming his once-pierced ears and his big nose. She brings up two great first date topics, talking extensively about aliens and telling him about raising Kale (her son). Chris misses a huge opportunity to say, "Oh, I raise soybeans! It's a very similar irrigation technique when raising kale!" Mackenzie gets the date rose, which I almost miss because I'm geeking out about The Addams Family pinball machine at the restaurant. Many quarters were pumped into that thing in my youth.

Drunk helmet tester Megan gets the one-on-one date, which is actually pretty amazing. First they jet to Vegas where they hop on a helicopter (the season's first huey!) and fly over Hoover Dam before landing at the Grand Canyon. It's a great dam date. Megan continues the light hearted nature of this first hour by telling Chris that her dad died three days before she was to head to LA. Two widows, a dead dad. Is Chris an angel of death or is he just attracted to death? Maybe we'll find out as the season goes on. I can't think he's still as into this as he was on night one. His life has gone from a fun and flirty never ending cocktail party to a HEAVY dose of REALITY in 24 hours. But, what is he, an animal? No, so of course Megan gets the date card and some smooches.

The next group date brings 11 or so women to a nighttime zombie paintball experience. Another example that Chris might be aroused by death. He is giddy with excitement seeing the women in this element. Ashley S. is especially excited too. She is unclear on who she is supposed to shoot (the men dressed up as zombies, not her teammates) and when to stop shooting. Several times men (and maybe women) probably barely paying the bills dressing up as a member of the undead, lying on the ground already removed from the game by a sharply shot paintball, are shot several more times at point blank range by Ashley S.

I can't imagine what Ashley S. says that didn't make it into this episode because she sounds like Charlie Sheen in his prime any time she's on camera. This is the pomegranate/onion girl from last week if you're keeping score. She is either on drugs or off some very important drugs. During her one-on-one time with Chris she drags him through the zombie maze asking him things like "Are we in a dome?" and "What's your biggest fear?" The latter probably to factor in to her SAW-like booby trap she's planning for his pad down the hill. She interrupts his interview to babble at him some more and stretch his Midwestern politeness to it's limit. He's so polite Chris never seems like he's making fun of Ashley S. He seems genuinely concerned.

Back with the other women, Chris smooches with Miley-I mean Kaitlyn and continues to hit it off with Britt Britt. He gives her a coupon for a free kiss and she cashes it in immediately. Hey, if it worked on Valentine's Day in 4th grade, why shouldn't it work when your 30-something? Kaitlyn ends up with the date rose.

Back at the ABC Home for Wayward Daughters, Jordan has been drinking since the premiere ep and twerks on the wall. She also expounds on the woman in the house she likes the least, Jillian, saying her self-proclaimed rock hard ass is also very hairy. Is THAT why ABC decided to censor her completely covered butt during the break in? Or did they do that knowing we'd think that and she's actually very nicely womanscaped? We may never know. For what it's worth, Jordan has taken back her comments on twitter and Jillian seems just as confused at the censoring of her H&M bottoms as anyone.

At the cocktail party Whitney gives Chris some of his favorite whiskey. I didn't know Iowa was whiskey country, but evidently it is and though ABC tries to hide it, I did some research and Chris' favorite whiskey appears to be Templeton Rye, if you're curious.

Ashley I. admits to some of the women that she's a virgin. Mackenzie is jealous, which is the weirdest reaction to this announcement I could imagine. It's because since she had a kid at 17 or whatever she can't use that line (she'd lie to Chris? Wrong reasons! Wrong reasons!) and "guys love taking your virginity!" I have a feeling she's basing this on experience and her ex slipped one past the goalie her first time and sowed the seeds of Kale. Ashley I. tells Chris her belly button ring is magic and grants three wishes. Chris rubs it and rather than wishing she had a slightly deeper voice (maybe Whitney can spare an octave?) he wishes for a kiss and boy does AI deliver. Mackenzie's mind is blown that Ashley I is hardcore making out since she's a virgin and does Mackenzie know what sex is?

Someone who doesn't get smooches is Wasted Jordan who says she wants to kiss Chris, but says now she can't because it'd be awkward. And Chris' politeness is once again stretched to its limit.

At the rose ceremony the possibly hirsute Jillian is once again made the fool as Chris calls "Juelia," she starts walking, stops short in 6 inch heels and slips and falls on the rug. She laughs it off. Ashley S. amazingly gets the last rose (Chris is weird!).

Going home: some brunette (Allison? Alissa?), Drunk Jordan, Kimberly (go back in! Third chance!) and Drunk Tara who sobs outside during her exit interview about always being rejected. She sobs extra hard when she hears the remaining crew "cheersing" inside. She's not missing Chris so much as she's upset she's missing out on another drink.

Next week: Jimmy Kimmel appears! I am actually looking forward to that.

Murphy's Blachelor Blog: Week 1

New year. New season. New name! Thanks for checking out my weekly blog recapping The Bachelor!

A three hour premiere? Live? Why?

Why not give us an hour on Sunday and two on Monday? I still sat through it for you even though these first few episodes are always an indiscernible tidal wave of fake tan and taffeta.

For the first time, the Bachelor premieres with a live special, "Before the First Rose" if you will. Tens of fans referred to 37,000 times during the telecast as "Bachelor Nation" lined a red carpet in "Hollywood," according to Chris Harrison. No where in particular, I guess, just one of the many red carpets just lying around LaLaLand.

We're reintroduced to Chris Soules. Farmer. Iowa. The man who, in his own words, helps "feed the world." The man who reminds us he will never leave the farming life. The man who speaks without moving his jaw. I still think the dude is loaded too. With his giant equipment (FARM equipment, sicko!) and 6,000 acres it's pretty clear he's not getting any assistance from Neil Young. But, he is getting help from a former contestant with getting in shape. CODY! I hope this wasn't a one-off Cameo. I want Cody to be like Chris' Kato Kaelin. Man. Farm Aid and the OJ Trial in the same paragraph. I clearly need to update my references.

Back at the live event Chris talks to Sean and Catherine. They waste no time making an awkward sex joke and Chris even gets his own in! Chris Harrison. Yes, hearing people refer to Chris and NOT mean Chris Harrison will probably confuse me for the rest of the season. I'll just call Chris Harrison "CH" from now on.

CH also talks to Bachelor in Paradise success story Marcus and Lacey. Lacey calls-back her math snafu referencing something about being 80/40 on picking between two wedding dates. Yuk-yuk-yuk.

It's time for some Bachelorette intros. We meet:

-Britt, 27 from LA who has the decency to list her occupation as waitress and not aspiring actress.

-Jillian, 25 year old news producer. She's from DC so I know she's going to be super-bitchy.

-Amyanda, 24 from Illinois. I don't think I've misspelled that. It's how she says it. Amyanda teaches byallet and lives with her mom because she hates cooking and paying bills. Sure sounds like the homemaker type Chris is looking for.

-Whitney, a 29 year old fertility nurse from Chicago

-Mackenzie, a 21 year old dental assistance with a kid named after Kale. How's this for a weird coincidence: I was eating kale (the leafy green) when I was watching this. Even weirder: Someone named their kid Kale.

-Alyssa, a 24 year old flight attendant from New Jersey.

-and Kelsey, a 28 year old school counselor from Austin who happens to be a widow. One of two on the show, we're told.

Back at Before the First Rose, "Bachelor Nation" is referenced 506 more times and CH talks to Andi and Josh who dance around any concrete plans for an actual wedding, leading me to believe they've got a few more paid appearances on the docket before they decide to announce their split.

Then CH brings up Nikki to talk for a seemingly endless amount of time about her short time with Juan Pablo. She says she wanted to "styand by my myan" and they gave it a go and figured out they are just two different people. Wouldn't it have been great to have a month or two with the guy to have figured that out? Maybe televise it? I guess what I'm trying to say it isn't that THE POINT OF THIS SHOW??!?!?!

Sixty minutes in we finally hear the first "Right Reasons" of the season as we get Chris' obligatory shower scene. Then the limos start to arrive. It's a cavalcade of the usually cheesy, awkward introductions.

There's Regan, who is a donated tissue specialist and bring Chris a organ donation cooler with a bloody heart inside. "It's fake," she says. Yeah, AFTER you saw him freak out.  Where'd you get that, Dexter?

Among the pretty good tricks are Tara who comes out not in a slinky dress, but daisy dukes and cowboy boots. She wants to show Chris the "real me." She goes in and orders Jameson on the rocks (my ears perked up) and gets hardcore jort judged by the other women. Jokes on them though, because she changes into her slinky dress and gets back INTO the limo on the other side and greets Chris again. I also liked Amyanda's trick. She had Chris close his eyes and called herself his secret admirer (remember? Like he did for Andi?) and to find her inside. Kaitlyn had a funny line about how Chris can plow her field anytime and an even funnier line when she picks a piece of glitter from Chris' cheek: "Who is she!? I'm kidding!"

Then CH tells Chris to head on inside to get to know his 15 women... WHAAAAA?! This year the producers pulled a funny trick of their own to get the car fights started early. They had 15 women make small talk with Chris (for what one contestant says is THREE HOURS!) and then rolled in three more limos! Now the first 15 feel like the second 15 are horning in on their territory. How dare they? We've been here for three hours! To be fair that is like a week on The Bachelor's truncated timetable. The new batch has WWE divas, karaoke, motorcycles. There's school teachers everywhere in both batches, which leads me to believe the little red house in Chris' hometown needs a new schoolmarm.

Ashley S. is your resident cuckoo bird, in case the goofy music that plays behind her scenes wasn't a dead giveaway.... or the fact that during an interview she pulls a pomegranate out of a tree thinking it is an onion. Maybe that goofy music is justified.

Everyone makes a big deal out of Tara being drunk, but good lord people it's been hours! She's probably just hoping to pass out. Although, most of the girls have switched over to water or coffee. It must be 3AM by now.

Chris gives the first impression rose to Britt Britt and they make out. Back at Live HQ CH keeps talking about some party I'm supposedly having. My party is my wife, a beer, chicken and kale and trying to stop our one-year-old from touching the TV. Why is she still up anyway? Also, Michelle Money alleges that Britt Britt doesn't shower.

Finally the Rose Ceremony. What is it, 4AM? Jillian lets her DC shine through by rolling her eyes at everyone who gets a rose. The producers show their sadistic side and put drunk, wobbly Tara on the top row. Chris hands out about half of the night's roses and then walks out. He consults with CH about whether he should give a rose to Tara. Possibly whether or not being of unsound mind legally can she enter into the verbal contract that is agreeing to accept a rose. I guess legal clears it because Tara gets a rose and all the sobers are pissed. Especially when another drunk named Jordan gets a rose too.

Among those shown the door: Ginger, Amyanda (no!), Kara (a high school soccer coach), and yoga-instructor Kimberly. Just to show you how much time has passed, as the girls are leaving the house THE SUN IS RISING! It is morning! Kimberly can't take it though and goes back in to talk to Chris. What happens next? TO BE CONTINUED... We'll have to wait until next week to find out if she gets to hang around or if that's even what she wants to talk about.
In the extra-long preview of this season we get a taste of what's to come: exotic locales, crying and puffy vests.

See you next week!

Murphy Watches Bachelor in Paradise: The Finale!

Due to a DVR SNAFU, I missed the first 17 minutes of the Bachelor in Paradise finale. I could catch up OnDemand or something, but would it really be worth it? It's all "previously on" and "cyuming up." According to my cable guide's description, Chris Harrison tells the remaining couples they have to leave the island unless they can see their relationship continuing into their daily lives. Why anyone would feel bad lying about this to stay in "Paradise" and on TV is beyond me.

My DVR picked up with Michelle convicing Graham to break up with AshLee. I'm guessing it didn't take that much convincing. AshLee is oblivious, using the BiP equivalent of "Right Reasons," saying she and Graham are on the "Same Page." She tries to take some of the pressure off of Graham saying a relationship off the island is no big whoop, who cares? But, Graham, smartly, doesn't buy it and is steadfast. AshLee says she knew it was "way too good to be true." Graham says it was the right thing to do for both of them, but he's still sad. Amazingly it's Lacy who makes the astute observation that Lacy was "delusional." In AshLee's parting interview she says she was embarrassed in front of 10 million people, which is a more than generous estimation of BiP's ratings.

Back on the beach they are dropping like flies. Tasos breaks it off with Christy super easily. Jackie and Zack have a totally amicable split (Zackie! NOOOO! (I hate myself)).

Cody is worried he and Michelle are next on the chopping block and wisely starts calling her stuff like "a potential girlfriend." Sure, he still throws in "and maybe a future wife," but that's pumping the brakes in the Codemeister's world.

At this point, Lacy and Marcus are practically already buried next to each other. Robert and Sarah seem great. Michelle says she and Cody are the "wild card." The producers allow her to talk to her daughter. At probably around 13, she might be the smartest person to ever be on the show. She tells mom it's worth at least a shot with Cody. He treats her great and it's only been a few days!

Chris gathers the group and tells the three remaining couples to keep having those tough talks, especially during their simultaneous overnight dates. Marcus spends the night with Lacy, who is dressed as a member of The Misfits from Jem and the Holograms. I'm too lazy to go back and check my own blog, but I could've sworn she'd already told Marcus she loves him. But, now on the date the best she can muster is "you're everything I ever wanted." She can tell the camera she loves Marcus, but not him, for some reason.

Robert and Sarah seem to be having a good time as well, smooching in the hot tub, putting the ol' Do Not Disturb on the door... aw yeah...

Michelle says her overnight date with Cody (which someone finally just calls the Fantasy Suite) is a chance to get a taste of "real life," without all the cameras. This gives her a chance to spend the night with Cody without falling back on the "I can't, I have a kid," thing that has given us all blue balls so many times before. Then apropos of nothing, the next second she drops all that facade and starts speculating about Cody's wang size.

Post-overnights, Michelle is "really sore" (Sexx, you guyz!) and no longer confused about her relationship with Cody. What we can deduce from this is the only thing that was keeping Cody at arms length for Michelle was knowing his peen length. Michelle annoyingly overacts to the point of overcompensation. Saying she has big news "I have a boyfriend! I have a boyfriend!" The day after the overnight date, she and Cody had probably already posted song lyrics and pictures of sunsets with inspirational quotes on eachother's facebook walls. One of THOSE couples.

As I said, all seemed well with Sarah and Robert, but in the cold light of date, Sarah looks at Marcus and Lacy and Michelle and Cody and notices she's not walking around with the same smile or limp that they are. As is the death knell for every Bachelor franchise relationship, she starts comparing how she feels to how the other contestants are acting and notices a disparity. She fills us in on what REALLY happened when the cameras were turned off. Robert went right to sleep, wore his jeans to bed and wanted no physical contact with Sarah. Which is weird, because according to the shots inside the suite, he must have changed INTO his jeans after getting in the tub. Does the man not own any jammies? Whereas cody's is all Michelle can talk about Sarah says she'd not even sure if Robert "has a penis." They break up because Sarah doesn't feel loved. Robert says he was taking it slow. I don't know, maybe he was afraid of offending or scaring the girl who constantly cries about how all men think she's a piece of garbage, but tell her she deserves the best. Sarah's pretty broken up, to the point where she has some second thoughts. But, it's too late.

The last two couples meet up with Chris and are surprised with some couples therapy thanks to some rare, returning Bachelor/ette success stories: Jason (I think?) and some lady???, Des and Chris, and Sean and Catherine. They all give the stamp of approval on the BiP couples. The whole thing was cutesy time-filler.

At the final rose ceremony Cody and Michelle trade final roses. I did not see that coming 2-3 weeks ago, I'll be honest.

Marcus asks for a moment alone with Lacy before giving his final rose and takes her down to the beach... where he PROPOSES! With a Neil Lane ring, of course! Neil you RASCAL! You got us! This of course means Marcus committed a big Bachelor no-no and didn't ask for her dad's blessing. I'm sure we'll sort that out later. Chris still INSISTS they trade roses, like it's not official unless roses change hands. And they all walk into the sunset 5 happy couples.

The episode ended with bloopers and an 80's movie-style "Where are they now?" montage epilogue. Sarah is back in LA looking for a new man; Robert still sleeps in his jeans (complete with pic of Robert taking a nap in his clothes); Graham is still mending his broken heart... and has deleted his Instagram account (complete with clip of AshLee admitting cyberstalking him); Michelle K and Ryan Putz are no longer together. They continue to make excellent life decsions; Clare is back in Sacramento and still looking for her soulmate... The raccoon is hoping that she picks him (complete with doctored clip of Clare "talking to" a raccoon); Chris and Elise broke up after only two weeks ("only?" Watch your mouth Bachelor producers! That's like 2 years in regular time!); Michelle and Cody are still very much in love... Cody has met Brielle [Michelle's daughter] and is moving to Utah... But first he's training the next Bachelor, Chris Soules (that doughy farmer!? good luck!); Marcus and Lacy are still in love and she is moving to Dallas... They are planning a wedding for this Spring... There's an 80/40 chance they'll have hot babies ('member when Lacy said that?).

Marquel is a writer living in Colorado; Jackie was decorated for her service in the Siege of Khe Sanh and is a building contractor in Florida; Kalon grew up and married Wendy Peffercorn. They have nine kids; Chris Harrison got really into the 60s, and no one ever saw him again.

All in all, Bachelor in Paradise was a huge disappointment to me because rather than make it about money, which is what Bachelor Pad was about, they made it about love. So, it was missing all of the fights and drama and trainwrecks and back-stabbing and booze and debauchery that made BP so great. Please bring Bachelor Pad back. At least we didn't have to sit through an "After the Final Roses" special tonight.

I'll try to keep this blog updated with other interesting stuff until January, but be sure to check back in early 2015 when we head down on the farm with Chris and Chris!
 
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