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Make it stop. The Most Painful Season in the History of The Bachelorette. Episode 3 Recap Part I

And we’re back. Back to repeat dates, insecure Ashley (wait, you’re all here for ME!) and douchey dudes or what I like to call an awesome Monday night (yes, my life really is that lame). I will say though that half-way through this episode I considered throwing in the towel on this show. What was once an entertaining train wreck of a dating show is turning into a re-run taken over by Backstreet Boy wannabes dancing around a desperate cheerleader. It’s getting ROUGH to sit through two hours of this.

Chris Harrison, professional reality TV contestant herder rounds-up the dudes (lots of  cowboy, dude ranch references this season – wonder where that is coming from?) to tell them how the show works. Again. Chris, we get it. They go on dates every week. And every week Ashley gives out roses. Can we just skip this part next time?

The guys look mildly excited at best with the exception of JP who has a huge grin on his face (don’t ask my why I love this guy, it’s unexplainable other than his good looks. Normally I would be ripping the excited dude in a v-neck tee. This season, I love him).  Despite his excitement, JP does not get the first date instead it goes to our friend Ben “I just want to dance” C.

Before heading out, William (my new least favorite) is acting like the goofy uncle always pulling your leg at the family Christmas party. “She doesn’t like it when you open the car door for her.” “Make sure you don’t compliment her.” Ugh, if I was Ben C. I would have pushed him in the face and left already.

Shocker, behind-the-scenes Ashley is talking about how she can’t believe the guys are here for her. I’m guessing the 987 times she’s said this up to now has been foreshadowing the insults coming at the comedy show but honestly enough already. The shows about you. You’re the Bachelorette. If these guys aren’t here for you (which they’re not, they are there for fame with a chance of hooking up), then you send them home. That’s how it works. Chris Harrison should be explaining the rules to Ashley each episode, not the guys.

Snap if you think I'm a good dancer! (ABC/Rick Rowell)

On to the date, you know this one is gonna be a doozy. We head over to a dance studio where Ashley, once again, shakes her groove thing in an effort to show us how hot and sexy she really is (“I’m a good dancer! Let me choreograph some sexy dance moves so you’ll think I’m really pretty and then you’ll like me… hopefully.”) We get it, you’re a good dancer. But is it now required for every episode to have you in a Flashdance-style outfit baring your midriff while you sway your hips seductively?

Ben tells her they make a “cute team” (what straight man says that?) while he practices his dance moves. After mastering some steps, the duo head over to that mall in LA where they film ‘Extra’ (where’s Mario Lopez when you really need a good dancer?). Instead of doing something original (like stage a fake wedding) the producers opt to rip-off an episode of ‘Modern Family’ and thousands of You Tube videos by creating a flash mob which in case you didn’t notice from the 67 product plugs was created by Flash Mob America.

Side Note: Are flash mobs that big now where there is a company dedicated to their creation? Also, is Flash Mob America opening franchises? If so, I want one.

So Ben and Ashley are having a really weird picnic in the middle of the mall (cause isn’t that the best place for a romantic picnic?) while hoards of people watch them. Despite the fact that there are obviously at least 1000+ people watching them, Ashley tries to reassure that no one cares about their picnic and that they should practice their dance moves.

SURPRISE! I taught you the electric slide! (ABC/Rick Rowell)

C’mon dude. You’ve got to know something is up. I mean, really? Wasn’t he even like a little suspicious. I thought you had a law degree Ben, you’ve got to be smarter than this. Apparently not though, because he looks insanely surprised when the music starts (Ashley’s face when the music started gave me enough SE that I wanted to change the channel that moment).

Cue the contrived flash mob. Now, as a pretty big fan of a well-done flash mob (see here and here and here) I thought this could be promising from the previews. Instead this was the worst, most awkward and embarrassing flash mob ever. What made it even worse was the dancing white dude in the center of the action. Horrible.

As I try to contain me secondary embarrassment, Drew (the hubs in case this is your first time here) looks over at me with a giant grin on his face and confesses that he REALLY wants to be in a flash mob. I’m a little worried that he may be looking to join any Louisville-based flash mobs ASAP or even worse, he could be in the process of orchestrating his own right now. Hopefully he knows a good dancer to choreograph cause it sure as hell won’t be this gal (or the flash mob would be even worse than the one we all just watched).

Oh and in case you all forgot, Flash Mob America put this whole thing together. Sometimes ABC is so shameless with the plugs that I wish they would take it one step further and just put the company’s phone number and website on the screen.

Then in another boring twist,  a band performs on the date. Not only did they do this last season (and the one before that and before that and before that into eternity) but they did it LAST EPISODE!!!!! This time the performers were those other guys from the Black Eyed Peas. Ben C. grinds on Ashley with his white-man overbite while the crowd chants, “Kiss Kiss Kiss” like they’re the royal couple.

I think the producers have thrown in the towel on dates after the wedding date ridiculousness. They are clearly out of any original ideas that could take place within the confines of the continental 48. So rather than anything new, we get another dinner date on the top of a building.

Plotting ways to get Ashley to his love bubble. (ABC/Rick Rowell)

Ben C. is for sure that guy you meet that seems nice and cool and normal who then drops the creepy, desperate, clingy bomb on you a couple dates in. Even Ashley seems a little caught off-guard with his ‘live in a love bubble’ monologue. Slow down Carrie Bradshaw, I know you’re not settling for anything less than butterflies but pull-up a little on the reins. This is after all, your FIRST DATE.

CUE BENTLEY DOUCHEBAGGERY

Back to the date, Ben C. is chatting like a nervous 14-year old on a date with Brad Pitt. I think it can’t get any worse and then he says “Do I put an emoticon?” Um no. Do not ever put an emoticon. The fact that you said the word emoticon makes me want to crawl underneath my couch and never come out.

The date ends as all Bachelor/Bachelorette dates do, with an uncomfortable open mouth kiss. (stop smothering her in your sport coat!)

I am considering tuning out on this commercial break but then I’m sucked back in by the preview for  “101 Ways to Leave a Game Show.”  Don’t act like that doesn’t look entertaining.

We’re back with the group date. You know Jeff is gonna be on this one since they are playing the creepy vampire music. Jeff is sulking around the mansion acting weird and makes an appearance on the balcony to lord over his creepy domain. All I can think is, little balcony big creep.

During these dumb monologues, I wish ABC had put a countdown to the MASK reveal in the corner of the screen. 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2, AHHHH. He finally takes the MASK off and Ashley is all, “you’re kinda old.” The charade is over, just like that. (Side note: Why were there cut aways to a hawk and a squirrel multiple times during this segment? Are the animals just as confused and embarrassed as we are?)

On to the date.

Ashley asks who the funniest guy in the house is and everyone says William. This means there can’t be anyone in the house with a decent sense of humor if the best you’ve got is a guy doing lame old George W. impersonations.

We get to the comedy club where I pray that Jeffrey Ross will single-handedly roast the entire cast and crew. Instead, the guys get to roast Ashley. This seems like a great plan. Let’s have a bunch of dudes make fun of the insecure girl. What fun! This is going to be the best date ever in the history of the world and the sea and the sky (just had to throw in some Bachelorette-hyperbole for you).

The jokes are pretty tame and lame. Although we do find out that Constantine is a big Baywatch fan ([Jeff Ross] is known for roasting Pam Anderson, David Hasselhoff and….”)

This part was pretty boring. Yes, the SE was through the roof. Bad comedians are bad enough. But coupled with the fact that they are contestants on a reality tv dating show, it makes it unbearable. I grit my teeth and attempt to make it through these next few minutes without fleeing the room, arms flailing, in embarrassment. (During this time, I do realize that Ryan P. is the human personification of Prince Charming from Shrek.)

Let's all make fun of the girl we're being paid to like! Yay! (ABC/Rick Rowell)

Until William takes the stage. William has set this up off camera as his big break. Clearly he thinks we’ve crossed over onto Last Comic Standing. By roasting Ashley he’s hoping Jeffrey Ross will be amazed with his talent so he can leave his lucrative cell phone sales job behind. So long T-Mobile Columbus!

William decides that he isn’t settling for dumb Brad Womack and boobs jokes he’s going straight for the jugular (we know this because in his interview he says that he “doesn’t give a f**k.” damn you’re tough). So he makes fun of Ashley for not being Emily or Chantal (thank god for that, those bare midriff scenes would have been ROUGH).

William tries to advance his career while simultaneously advancing his chances of getting sent home. Even Bentley, the resident shoulder Satan,  knows this is a bad idea. No one laughs, everyone cringes, I cover my eyes and pray for it all to go away (my stomach literally turned, the SE was so horrendous).

The show ends and Ashley goes off to cry alone in the corner. She may be sad but she is still makes sure to adjust her shirt, just so, making sure to show enough just the right amount of skin and, of course, no boobs (she’s flat remember? every guy said so in their roast).

At this point, William is still trying to act tough and is all “I don’t care.” Bentley sees the opening and swoops in with his Pantene Pro-V Volumizer hair and his mesmerizing plaid shirts to comfort crying Ashley. I think he does this because Bentley knows that crying on TV is not attractive. Finally, there’s something we can agree on.

While trying to console/emotionally damage Ashley, Bentley comes off like a 15-year-old valley girl . Giggling awkwardly and saying “yeah” weird. Just writing this I am getting SE chills. It’s just as awful to re-imagine as it was to watch the first time.

Ashley is touched by Sweet Valley High Bentley and tells us that she “loves the way he thinks.” I’m not sure if Ashley still feels that way this morning since she got to see Bentley tells the audience, in detail, how much he dislikes almost every aspect of her. This whole segment was brutal. I am personally embarrassed that I dedicate a large portion of my free time to this show. But at this point, I’m committed (unlike any of the 14354534 contestants who have appeared on this show).

At the cocktail party, William flees in shame (thank god we at least get a few minutes without his doofus face filling up my television) but not before the producers expertly film him sitting in solitude in front of a Mobile PCS Free Cellphone sign (just when I thought they didn’t care anymore!) finally realizing that he’s not on Last Comic Standing. At this point, I’m hoping he’ll leave and go back to the Verizon kiosk in the Columbus mall. Unfortunately, we were not that lucky.

I've come to save you Princess Ashley!

Ashley thinks no one can comfort her but that’s because she hasn’t let the Sun God use the solar rays of love to warm her heart. I thought it couldn’t get much worse than making hand puppets around the sun but I was wrong. Ryan P. drops about 5 corny lines in succession before going in for a big sloppy open mouth kiss. I cover my eyes like I’m 12 years old watching Scream for the first time.

Thankfully, I am saved when we find out that JP gets the next one on one date (did you all notice his tan? seems like a little tanning does a hipster good).  Thank the lord above. I need some JP camera time to relax after an exhausting hour of secondary embarrassment. Little did I know, I would have to sit through an eternity of Bentley acting a fool time before getting to sweet, sweet JP.

So now it’s time to get down to business with Bentley. Ashley breaks it down about Michelle “man i wish you were the Bachelorette” Money giving her the 411 on bad news Bentley (there I did it, I used the name everyone has given him). Bentley acts all appalled at the accusations and tries to say that Michelle is unreliable (oh no you didn’t).

Ashley tells Bentley that she heard he only wants to stay a couple of weeks and promote his business. Uh, duh. He wants to stay a couple of weeks (check), make a name for himself (check) and get casted on Bachelor Pad (hopefully check).

In a scene that had to be scripted, Ashley tells Bentley that she can’t bear to lose another plaid lover (bear, plaid. get it?)  and if he leaves her it will be worse than anything last season. Ruh roh. This is gonna be bad. Ashley snuggles into Bentley’s mid-section while he does his best Mr. Burns “egggggcellent” impression to the camera.

Egggcellent.

Uh oh. Ashley drops the bomb. if you leave it will be worse than anything last time. This is gonna be bad. Just trust this. Yikes, yikes, yikes. she is about to jump those mormon bones.

Sun dude steals the rose and this date is a wrap.

I’ve got to take a break on this recap for now. I need to get back my strength to write about the nausea-inducing Bentley break-up segment.

Until then… stay tuned.

p.s. – because of the more awful than normal turn this season has taken, after this week my recaps will be shorter. Last season I started taking notes while I watched the show. I am going to go back to pure viewing in hopes that it will help. I know it will help take up less of our free time.

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