Let’s all start this Tuesday by giving Ames a big round of applause. Well done young man. You have officially saved this season from the depths of despair (and boredom). Your make love not war attitude and concussed cocktail persona are a god send. Well done.
Now that we’ve got that out-of-the-way we can proceed with our regularly scheduled recaps.
But I don't want to fight.
We kick off with, what else, a montage. You may have thought you were you free of Bentley montages. You were wrong. More dot dot dots and periods, in case you had forgotten how punctuation had ruined their love affair.
Once you’ve had your fill of looking at Bentley’s ugly mug it’s on to the Chang Mai preview. Basically the producers are letting us know that shit gets real in Thailand. We’re fighting, burning roses and acting insecure for attention. Let’s do this. Chang Mai here we come.
The dudes hit the road and are all amped up to check out another city (Ames told them this place is nice. He’s been there twice). We know they’re traveling because it’s home video time. I sometimes wish that the brahs were allowed to use their video camera all the time (I think later this episode we learn they are but we just don’t get to see enough of it). I think there needs to be an additional episode, maybe before “After the Final Rose” where we get to see their greatest home video hits.
Ames tells us that Chang Mai is the perfect place to fall in love and we believe him because he knows everything and is vastly superior to us all. It’s got monks and temples so why wouldn’t it be perfect for love. I’m going to take Ames’ word for it because I’m just not seeing the correlation.
Chris Harrison pops on the scene, all cleaned up and in khaki, ready to show the dudes their new place and read them the rules (wait, i thought there were no rules. I’m so confused). The guys are bunking up at the Mandarin Oriental, which I must say it pretty swanky. I know this because Drew and I got our honeymoon on at the Mandarin in Mexico (I know, we’re fancy like that. Okay, not really). And like the dudes on The Bachelorette, we got the hook-up and didn’t pay full-price (that’s how we roll).
During the Real World-style house exploration, I notice that one of our bachelors is wearing manpri’s (men + capri’s = not good/manpri’s). Who is it you ask? I was thinking it would probably be JP (c’mon, he’s a hipster) but thankfully my love remains intact for him. Rather it was Mickey rocking the manpri’s. Didn’t know he had it in him. Must be a huge Nadal fan.
Bro fives ensure because this place is so rad. But the high-fiving abruptly ends when CH breaks it down and drops the two-on-one date bomb. Yup, we’re at that episode. The always awkward two-on-one. Ashley knows all about this set-up. She survived her own total elimination challenge date with plaid Brad. Hopefully it won’t disappoint (we all know it does, but for excitement sake, I had to include this).
Me paint pretty.
Ashley meanders over to the house (taking in all the romantic sights and sounds) in her top-as-dress get-up. Okay Ashley, I know you are skinny. I’ll give it to you that you have amazing stems but enough with the tops as dresses routine. Where are the pants the stylists put out for you to wear? Do you just hide them under the bed hoping no one will notice? This aggression will not stand. (Yup I just snuck Clueless and The Big Leobowski references in that paragraph. What about it?)
Ben F. scores the first one-on-one date (that Ryan wanted REAL bad). Forecast: 100% chance of kissing.
So Ashley is REALLY excited (that is until she realizes that it’s Ben on this date and not Constantine), she tells us so like 19349 so I believe her. And who wouldn’t be excited to get picked up in an itty bitty scooter taxi (“OMG! I can’t believe this scooter taxi can carry me!).
Since Ashley doesn’t want to make the twins jealous of each other, she takes Ben on the exact same date as Constantine. Except this time, instead of getting fortunes from old Thai convenience store workers, Ben and Ashley get the scoop from an umbrella painter. Ashley knows how much Ben likes to do bad paintings of jungle animals, so she buys him a paper umbrella to ruin. They talk about how much fun they’re having (could have fooled me) and then head off on a little stroll. Here’s where s**t gets awkward.
The two of them head over to a bench outside a temple and stare at each other. Then this conversation occurs:
Ashley: “I’m so glad you came.”
Ben: “I’m so glad you invited me.” (said in really weird, 13-year-old puberty voice)
Are they serious? Um, Ashley did you really think Ben was gonna be like “Nah, I don’t really want to go on this date. Tell Ashley I ain’t coming.”
I yell at the TV while Ben F. gratuitously compliments Ashley off camera. If only Ashley could hear how amazing you think her eye lids are. (These are the things insecure girls need to hear.)
Mental Open Mouth Kissing. Woof.
As the pair act all googly-eyed, Ashley tells Ben that there is no kissing allowed in front of the temple (for once, a rule I can get behind). So Daphne and Fred just gaze into each other’s eyes and do a MENTAL KISS. No seriously, I didn’t make that up. They really said that. I forget who proposed engaging in a mental kiss, but it happened. And my life has been forever changed for the worse.
To make matters worse, Ashley “rarrs” like a cat into the camera and talks about wanting to jump on Ben. This whole exchange makes me want to jump off my mantle (it’s not too far, just enough to kinda hurt). It appears that these two cannot fight the urge to act like 12-year-olds on their first date of all time when they are together.
The dinner portion of the date begins with Ashley sporting a paisley capri jumpsuit. I hope no one is looking to purchase that and that Possessionista can sit this one out.
We know this part of the date is special because ABC is playing the special romantic music. They are really pulling out all the stops on this one with the candles and flowers. I think they’re putting their money on one of the cavemen to win.
Ashley looks like she’s about to fall asleep the whole meal (mental kissing really takes it out of you) especially when she hears her 24th sob story about a dead relative. I thinking having a dead or alcoholic/abusive mom/dad/significant other was a requirement on this season.
She perks up when Ben starts talking about his vineyard, making sure to sound both innocent and slutty at the same time when asking him if she can help make wine with him (was that supposed to be a double entendre that i missed?)
We’re all bored to tears as Ben talks about letting his walls down and his inner Scooby out.
So we break up the boring with the Group Date reveal back at the pad.
The Group Date goes to (please, pretty pretty please let William be on the two-on-one) Constantine, Ames, Nick, Lucas, Ryan, JP and Mickey. These lads will be fighting for Ashley’s love.
This means Ben C. and William (yes! send that cell-phone selling sucker home!) will duke it out on the two-on-one
Back on the Mystery Machine.
Ashley is struggling to not fall asleep in her dinner plate when Ben drops a well-timed wink. Since I am openly a sucker for a good wink, I like Ben a little more now. Scooby may have won me over with that move. Ashley is clearly a sucker for a good wink too since she jumps up and snags him the rose.
This is what love looks like.
The date ends with some Thai dancing, epic music and open mouth kissing. (Do dates on this show end any other way?)
Ben tells us he has puppy dog love for Ashley and we all groan at the TV. We know Scooby Doo. You went ruh-roh on the last episode. We get it.
On to the Fight Date.
Group Date, party time, excellent.
The dentist is ready to get his fight on (and help put teeth back in after they’ve been knocked out).
I’m a little afraid for everyone other than Nick. That dude is huge and a personal trainer. Which dude is going to be like “Nah bro, I don’t like her that much. I don’t want to get the s**t beat out of me just to win this insecure chick’s heart for a few weeks.”
So we find out the guys will be Muay Thai boxing which translates to “beating the hell out of one another.”
Most of the dudes are hype to get their fight on while Ashley is excited (duh) to look for the masculinity in these guys (that could be a little difficult).
Ames introduces himself to his 70-year-old trainer like he’s meeting a toddler. And when you think about it, everyone is a toddler mentally compared to Ames. But seriously, if someone can find video of this or any other of Ames’ awesome moments, please send it over. It is at this moment that Ames takes the reigns and saves this show from itself.
Side note: I think this date is just a chance for ABC to show every guy without a shirt. I also think Ben C. and William got the two-on-one because their abs could not compete on this date.
We learn that Ames has never been in a fight in his life. This is apparent when, while training he kicks the bag and proceeds to fall flat on his ass (falling is always funny. I literally laughed out loud and then rewound this part like 5 times). If that didn’t clue you in, him taking punches to the face from a 70-year-old man with 8 teeth was another indicator.
Suit up to defeat evil. (ABC/DAVE HAGERMAN)
It’s time to gear up and the Power Rangers head over to pick out their favorite colors. No surprise that Ames is the pink power ranger. When he grabs the pink gear, we also know that Ames is the one who gets the crap beat out of him and has to go to the hospital (thank you over-dramatic previews).
I want to be mad that I know the outcome but then I realize that the producers knew that it’s not about the outcome but the journey. And Ames’ journey is epic. Thank you for putting together the best segment of the entire season. Thank you thank you thank you.
The guys head over to a public square (dang, you all aren’t kidding around). I am guessing that the Thai onlookers are betting on which Backstreet Boy goes down first. Before getting underway, Ames (our resident Wikipedia) let’s us know that Thai boxing is brutal. Yup Ames, this isn’t going to end well for you.
Side Note: What’s the deal with having the dudes fight on The Bachelorette? They did this with oil wrestling on Ali’s season. I think they need to stop discriminating and do a fighting date on The Bachelor too.
Wax on Wax off people. It’s on.
Fight 1 – Blake vs Lucas. Pretty well matched. Decent fight. Some good punches but nothing too brutal (wouldn’t want to ruin their pretty faces).
I’ll give it to Blake, he looks pretty hot right after that fight. I’m thinking he should stop geling his hair and dressing like a wedding DJ and he could be a hottie.
Fight 2 – Mickey vs JP. JP’s a little nervous (and I am a little nervous for him). The fight starts and Ashley says “I’m cringing when I see Mickey throw punches at JP.” Yeah you and the rest of the women in America Ashley. This fighting thing was your idea (I know it wasn’t but I am going to blame this one on you). It doesn’t look good for our boy JP and then all of a sudden, he gets a burst of energy and goes off on Mickey.
JP Wins! Ladies of the world rejoice! We also learn that JP is Jewish (who knew?) so you know some nice Jewish girl is going to snatch him up if Ashley doesn’t. Watch out Ashley, Long Island is watching you.
Fight 3 – Ames vs. Ryan. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Can the Hunchback of Notre Dame take down Prince Charming? Will good defeat evil? Not when a guy takes this stance on fighting “My take on physical violence, is that there is always another way.” Sorry Ames, not this time. The only way to Ashley’s heart is through a beat down by Ryan.
This fight of Fairy Tale proportions is a doozy. Ames turns out to be the worst fighter in the history of the world. But to redeem himself he is the best on-camera fighter of all time. Did you see those twirls? Those half-kicks? The dancing away from Ryan?This fight is single-handedly the best scene of this season. It’s all over too quickly though (that’s what she said!) when Ames takes a shot to the head and throws his hands up in surrender. Wait, I thought he gets carted out of here? That’s it?
Ames wobbles out of the ring and Ashley halfheartedly tells him he did so good. At least Mickey gets it right when he says Ames got his bell rung. The general consensus at this point is that something’s not right. Did they just now notice that Ames has a wonky eye? You guys, he’s fine. He always looks like that.
Fight 4 – Nick vs Constantine. This fight (which had the potential to be amazing) gets ruined by Ames and his poor fighting ability. We hardly see any of it. Just enough to know that Constantine wins (how did that happen?)
S**t is not right with Ames and he is escorted out in his pink trunks. I almost feel bad for the guy. But then I realize that he is way smarter and richer than me and that he’ll be fine. Ames gets carted out while the rest of the dudes stand around shirtless like they’re about to shoot a firemen calendar.
Where is Ames?
Ames getting his bell rung is the least exciting way this whole thing could turn out. I thought this was gonna be some serious s**t not just a concussion. (I know, I know, a concussion is serious too but you know what I mean, some stitches or something that requires a cast.) How emasculated is he right now – he can’t fight, he’s in pink and a 78 lb dancer is telling him it will be alright.
Despite this set back, the cocktail party must go on and so Ashley finds another top to wear as a dress. At least this time she pairs it with some nearly invisible shorts.
Ashley is recapping the date and I want to jump through the TV and smack her. How did she not know this date would be brutal? Even Drew wants to shake her and admonishes her for clearly not understanding guys very well (I want to tell him DUH! she’s on a reality tv dating show because she can’t figure out guys in real life, but I let it go). I will agree though that getting 8 guys together to do Thai Martial Arts in a quest to win your love isn’t going to end with rainbows and puppy dogs. It’s going to end with concussions and black eyes.
There’s no Ames here and I wonder if that is a blessing or a curse. Last episode – blessing. This episode – curse.
Ashley says there is a black cloud on this date (cue the Thunder) and Ryan steps in with his super Sun skills ready to make it shine. This heart to heart is ruined when Ames wobbles back on the scene. (I also like how one of the guys stood up for Ames and said that he could rock pink shorts. Am I getting soft? Yes.)
A “dizzy but good” Ames is ready to mingle fully equipped with his standard model pearly whites, perfect tan, loafers and sport coat. Ames knew this cocktail party was headed downhill so he’s brought his awkwardness back for our viewing pleasure.
I was down but I'm not out.
He and Ashley sit down and it’s clear that this concussion has left Ames with a temporary speech impediment. Despite his inability to form a sentence, Ashley gushes all over him and I swear he will get the rose. That is until he offers her an uncomfortable hand shake. C’mon Ames. You know better than that.
Back at the Mandarin. William is getting drunk and making fun of Ben C. Classy William. Real Classy. Does anyone else hate him? William breaks out the “who has two thumbs” routine and I leave the room to vomit.
The single greatest moment on this show happens next. Ashley says how great Ames looks and asks the other guys if they can believe he’s sitting there. Lucas says “You look great man.” To which Ames responds with an epic “thanks man.” As I write this I realize you really have to see it/hear it to appreciate it. So check out the 4:58 mark of this video. Feel free to check out the Ames section beforehand too. It really is fabulous.
Ames has, on his own, made this the best episode of the season. I wanted to get rid of him for a while but now I am hoping, praying, dancing for the gods that he stays. I have laughed out loud at least 3 times this episode. I was doubting this show and Ames has brought me back.
Back to the alone time. We find out Blake is the male Ashley. All dentisty and full of insecurity.
All I needed was some open mouth affirmation.
Rich oil Lucas teaches Ashley how to golf. This is just an excuse for her to act slutty and put her booty next to his crotch. I ask Drew if i could golf in the shoes Ashley is wearing. He says that I sound like Ames while he keeps watching the awkward flirting. As the sexy golf lesson continues, I ask Drew when I am getting one of those and he says not never. Good to know.
This awkward exchange between Drew and I ends (sorry if I was just giving you SE – sometimes I want to remind you what it’s like) when Lucas calls Ashley out about Bentley and she breaks out in nervous hives.
Ashley finally realizes that her initial instinct was ful of poo and that Bentley is a pile of dog shit. At least that’s what I am hoping she realizes.
Side note: Nick is this season’s big boobs Ali and/or heart-shaped earrings Britt.
Ashley understands how insecure dentists can be so she gives the rose to Blake. I’m thinking that Ashley just wants to start a family dental practice with Blake. Who knows? But Blake is feeling reaffirmed and waxes poetic about how awesome it will be to tell his kids about the start of their love story in Chang Mai.
This re-cap is getting a little long (blame or thank Ames for that) so I am going to take a break. I promise to be back with the second half of the recap shortly. In the mean time, go back to that video and check out the priceless shots of Ames on this date. He seriously has no idea where he is and I love it. Way to redeem the season Ames.
Until part two… stay tuned.