The eighth season of The Bachelorette vows to be unlike any other. The famewhore making the decisions this season is Emily Maynard. America’s sweetheart, America’s famewhore, same difference. You probably remember Emily from Brad Womack’s second season. Brad’s the frequent-flyer bachelor who handed out roses in both seasons 11 and 15 of The Bachelor. His second attempt at true love ended with him proposing to Emily. Emily accepted Brad’s proposal, but her ridiculously high expectations and naiveté quickly wilted the relationship.
Emily is a single mom. And, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but she was engaged once before Brad. She was engaged to Ricky Hendrick, of NASCAR fame, in 2004. Sadly, on a rainy Sunday afternoon in October of the same year, Ricky boarded a plane sans an ill-feeling Emily. The plane crashed, leaving behind a pregnant Emily. Now, Emily is a single mom looking for true love on The Bachelorette. Even though it didn’t work for her the first time around, she “knows the series works.” Because, you know, that 17% success rate is a great testament of the true love that comes from appearing on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. I’m obviously grading on a curve, here. I’m including Trista Sutter, Jason Mesnick, by way of U-turn, Ashley Hebert, and Ben Flajnik, who is still collecting money on the deal.
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Emily is delusional if she thinks this journey is going to end well. With empty eyes, she tells Chris Harrison that she’s 26 and been engaged twice, both times believing it was her happily ever after. She’s lonely. She longs to fall in love, to get married, and fill a mini-van with babies. She cannot handle being hurt again, so, naturally, the wildly successful Bachelor franchise is the way to go.
Chris asks Emily if she’s ready. Emily retorts, “How do you prepare for this?” I would think the season-long audition named The Bachelor: Brad Womack would have been sufficient enough prep time.
The show features only eight of the twenty five men in the meet the bachelors segment. First, we meet Kalon. He’s badass in his sunglasses and goes everywhere in a helicopter. He’s a recovering womanizer. Ryan is an ex-pro football player who now works with kids. He runs with a cute dog. Tony starts out with promise. He sells lumber for a living, and he tells some random dude, “This is some great wood you’ve got.” Well, he says lumber, but replacing lumber with wood makes a pointless segment marginally entertaining. He also has a five-year-old son. He ruins my good feeling about him with the kind of corny joke that makes me hate these people.
Lerone is a full service kind of guy. David is this season’s token singer/songwriter. No singer/songwriter bachelor has ever come close to Wes Lee’s awesomeness or Kasey Kahl levels of batshit crazy, but I always enjoy the singer types. They’re each unique in their own special way. This guy says writing songs comes naturally to him. He sings us a song that solely consists of, “Emily, Emily, Oh, Oh Emily.” He never said they were good songs. Charlie nearly died after falling off a balcony. I hate when that happens. He also has the cutest English bulldog. Jef, with one F, is the CEO of a bottled water company and travels via skateboard. A skateboard isn’t as impressive as a helicopter, but Jeff’s boy band hair gives him a slight edge. Lastly, we meet the race car driver. Of course, there’s a race car driver to rub salt in Emily’s wounds, were you expecting different from this show?
Cue the limos and uninteresting men, Emily’s amazing journey is about to begin. We’re going to meet twenty five men. I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly hard to remember who is who at this stage in the show, and I even studied their bios and may or may not have prepared flash cards. To help us both remember who is whom, I’ll give them each a nickname.
PHOTOS: GET TO KNOW EMILY’S BACHELORS!
Blonde Sean is first. He’s relatively forgettable despite the paper airplane sticking out of his suit jacket. David, of “Emily, Emily, Oh Oh Emily” fame, is up next. His name is Less than Wes. He asks Emily who chose Charlotte as the location. What he really wants to know is does this mean no Vegas this season? Doug makes sure Emily knows he is a dad and asks her about Ricki. Doug’s name is Single in Seattle. Joker Jackson immediately gets down on one knee to quote something about life not being measured by the breaths we take but, instead, by the moments that take our breath away. If Emily has any sense at all, this will be the last time we see this ignoramus on bended knee. Up next is the love child of Bob Guiney and Jesse Csincsak. His name is Joe Bob Csincsak. Emily is completely smitten with Salt in the Wounds Arie. It’s written all over her face. Kyle fails to make an impression on me. The only thing going for him is his tie. He’ll be known as Kyle, he’s that dull. Bobble head Chris’s forehead is massive and no stranger to Botox. Funky Aaron gets funky music to match his funky glasses. Funky Aaron teaches biology, he says, but he’s found chemistry with Emily. Emily, always the thought-provoking conversationalist, tells him, “Awesome, I failed both.” Alessandro is from Brazil, a grain merchant, and fixated on Emily’s chest. His name is He Who Buys Rice. Jef, with one F, rides in on his skateboard. Full service Lerone is boring. Stevie brings a boom box to show off his sweet moves. Stevie will be known as Jersey Shore. Head-injury Charlie is the owner of the bulldog and my interest ends there. Tony continues to irritate me. He shows up with a pillow and glass slipper and refers to himself as Prince Charming. He cannot leave fast enough.
We get to see the first clip of the guys sitting around talking about their rotting ovaries and the amazing connection they feel with Emily. Oh, wait, wrong show. Usually, the men are just chill, slightly drunk, and happy to be hanging out together. Every once in a while we get some guy preaching the man code or a foot fetish freak, but, there is much less cattiness among the guys. Single in Seattle thinks she’s a catch. Bobble head Chris rubs Salt in the Wounds Arie the wrong way by comparing this amazing journey for love to a competition. There’s always at least one that goes down that road.
Back at the limos, Randy shows up in drag. He’s dressed up as a Grandma, in a lame attempt to be remembered. No impression Nate is on and off my screen in record time. Brent wears a “Hello, my name is Brent” name tag. His name tag should read, “Hello, My name is Grateful for the lack of good looking applicants this season.” He had no chance in hell of making the show otherwise. John, also known as Wolf, is excited to be there. He’s very, very excited. Travis brings a big yellowish Ostrich egg. He plans on guarding and protecting his egg as long as he’s on the show to symbolize how he plans on guarding and protecting Emily and Ricki. He basically tells Emily, “I’ll just be over here in the corner sitting on my egg until you decide I’m a nutcase.” I truly hope Travis and his egg last a long time. I want to see him carrying around this huge egg on the dates. I especially hope he gets the building rappelling date.
Michael loves music, so he brings Emily a guitar pick and tells her it’s so she can remember to “pick” Mike from Austin. Jean Paul is a marine biologist who tells Emily he doesn’t know much about her. Alejandro speaks mostly Spanish. Alejandro is a mushroom farmer. Something tells me that mushroom farming isn’t going to provide Emily with the lush lifestyle she desires. Just to be clear, we have Allessandro, He Who Buys Rice, and Alejandro, He Who Grows Fungi. Runs with Dog Mike shows up with two hand-written signs that touch my heart more than I do care to admit. Last, but not least, is Badass Kalon, who shows up in a helicopter. He apologizes for his tardiness, but explains that sometimes a Badass just needs to take care of Badassery stuff. He assures us he’s completely worth the wait.
Grab a glass of wine or a shot glass and a bottle of tequila; this is the cocktail party we’ve all been waiting for. Is it just me? None of these guys even come close to Ryan Sutter or JP Rosenbaum levels of hotness. The smartest dude in the room hands her the biggest glass of wine I’ve ever seen, because he knows everyone looks better after a few goblets of wine.
Bobble head Chris brought Emily bobble heads, hence his nickname. They’re Chris and Emily bobble heads and he says that they’ve already been through a lot together, which is super creepy. Travis and his egg share a tender moment on a porch swing. Travis reminds me of Jeff Medolla, the masked man from Ashley’s season. He’s a very dull guy who makes the other guys uncomfortable. Only, this time, instead of a mask, he’s sporting an egg. Jef, with one F, actually impresses me. I’ll admit I was too quick to judge him, with his skateboard and pompadour hairstyle. He seems down to earth and fun. I’m getting Michael Stagliano vibes from him. Emily says, “He’s super cool, and I hope he thinks I’m cool, too.”
Single in Seattle tells Emily, “You’ve got mail,” which is a letter to Emily from his son. I feel like ABC is cross promoting a new Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie. The only thing missing is a volcano, but those don’t usually erupt on this show until the fantasy suite dates. He asks Emily, “Where’s Ricki tonight?” Is he going to ask about Ricki every time they interact?
Chris brings in the first impression rose. Many men sit around and talk about the rose and needing time with Emily. And then they sit around some more, contemplating what no time with Emily will mean. What they should be doing is finding her and trying to talk with her or doing something incredibly awkward to catch her attention. Jersey Shore is the ringleader of this “talk and does nothing” group.
Badass Kalon wants the first impression rose. He knows first impressions are everything and, fortunate for him, he showed up in a helicopter. He’s super pleased with his helicopter. Badass Kalon doesn’t know when to shut up. Meanwhile, Jersey Shore is still mentoring his bachelor Jedi. Kalon and Jersey Shore exchange some words. I can only hope one of them is sobbing later, either behind closed doors or in the fetal position hiding behind some luggage. Something needs to happen to liven up this party. Salt in the wounds Arie tells Emily right up front that he’s a racecar driver. She finds it hot.
At this time, Emily retrieves the first impression rose. I would have guessed Jef, with one F, as the recipient. She walks into a room where he is sitting and the look on his face suggests he thought he had a shot at it too. Instead, she rides the wave of his hair right out the door, to find Single in Seattle Doug. Jersey Shore ponders the situation. He declares it’s real now. Badass Kalon isn’t impressed. Bobble head Chris thinks he deserved the rose. Chris enters the room with the glass chime of doom signaling the end of the party.
Going into the first rose ceremony of the season, Single in Seattle already has a rose. The other recipients of roses include Bobble head Chris, Runs with dog Ryan, Badass Kalon, Salt in the Wounds Arie, Head-injury Charlie, Jef, with one F, No Impression Nate, Blonde Sean, Joe Bob Csincsak, Kyle, and Funky Aaron. Why is everyone whispering? More roses go to, He Who Grows Fungi Alejandro, John Wolf, He Who Buys Rice Alessandro, Pick Mike from Austin, Jersey Shore Stevie, and Prince Charming Tony. The final rose goes to, Travis and his egg. Thank goodness, I was getting nervous. I’m not ready to accept the end of the egg.
Less than Wes, Joker Jackson, Full service Lerone, Grandma Randy, Jean-Paul, and Hello, my name is Brent go home without roses. I can’t imagine why she cut Brent and his six kids. Emily hit Brent like a freight train. He ponders, is love ever going to happen for him? He reeks of desperation. He’s this season’s rotting eggs. Jean-Paul, who just a few hours ago admitted knew nothing about Emily, is reeling from his lack of rose. He’s heartbroken and devastated. He’s crying like this season’s Jenna Burke.
In the beginning of the night, Chris promises us a season like no other. The season highlights reel presents to us, kissing, romantic dancing, kissing, fireworks, kissing, beaches, kissing, and randomly placed picnics. There are tears. Lots and lots of tears. There’s always one guy or gal there who has two sides. Vienna Girardi, Rated R, Bentley Williams, and Courtney Robertson (never likely to be Flajnik) played this role in past seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this season’s Cybil is being played by Badass Kalon. Joker Jackson strips for the camera as the credits roll. What a douchebag.
Well, the season like no other looks exactly like the others. I’m looking forward to the start of the dates next week. And hopefully some drama!
TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE PREMIERE? WHO CAUGHT YOUR EYE? WHAT’S YOUR STANCE ON EMILY – VAPID FAMEWHORE OR AMERICA’S SWEETHEART?
[Photo credit: ABC Media]