The Bachelor Tells All! Yeah. Your mileage may vary. *

(*Edited, with added content from the original USA Today posting.)

Tonight we’re promised a very special episode of The Bachelor. They’re calling it “The Bachelor Tells All.” Which, that can’t be true, because “telling all” means we get to know who wins. So it’s more like “The Bachelor Gets a Chance to Make Himself Look Better to Viewers”.…except we’ve seen the clips. And it’s not either of those things. So, I’m pretty sure what we’re getting is “The Bachelor Whines About How Haaaaaard This Is For The Longest Sixty Minutes Of Our Lives.” I could be wrong, but would you bet your salary on it? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

So...Sean. Sean, Sean, Sean… Where do we begin? You know how you’ve made this whole thing all about you from the start? And I get that, ostensibly, it is all about you. You get your own show where you get to pick out your wife. But the women aren’t just emotionless cardboard cut outs, brought in for your amusement until you get “clarity.” (Right now, I’m calling that as our Top Word of the night. Pop some chocolate every time he says that word. You’ll be sugar buzzing by the fifteen minute mark. Add in process, journey, wife, and “I’m crazy about ____” and it’ll be a sugar coma inside thirty minutes for sure.)

But our Sean, he can’t be bothered, really, worrying about how “these women” feel. In his mind, it’s not about how they feel, now, is it? They’re not searching for love. They’re just hoping they get the ultimate prize of loving him. Because whether or not they will love him? Not in question. Not to Sean’s way of thinking, anyway. Last night, for example, when he sends Des packing. After saying she really felt it was the wrong move, she does pull it together enough to say that “if you’re happier with someone else, then I get it. And I understand. I want you to be happy.” At any time while breaking her heart to bits (on tv), did he say “I want what’s best for you, too?” (the “and that’s not me” would be implied…by all of us.) No, he kept telling her he was really going to miss her and he was sure he was making a mistake, but oh well, but I’m really going to miss you even though please get in that limo. “Hey, did I mention how much this is tearing ME up inside? Can I get one last hug? I’m in pain here.” Or, you know, words to that effect. Wow. Talk about cruel mind games. In what universe is that a kind or thoughtful thing to do to someone you’re breaking up with? In no universe except the one that Sean inhabits all by himself. The same universe he’s going to be inhabiting tonight when he complains about how haaaaaard it is to be The Bachelor.

No, Sean. What’s hard? Watching you BE the Bachelor. Try a two hour Monday night in our shoes, my friend. So am I feeling a lot of sympathy going in to tonight’s cheese and whine fest? Um….what do you think?

I think I’m grabbing my go cup sized fruity umbrella drink, a fistful (okay, a bagful) of chocolate, and am settling in at the very (very) shallow end of the pool to see what is about to unfold. Join me, won’t you?

Host Chris walks out of the set mansion and assures us this is going to be a very special evening. I think Host Chris and I have very different scales by which we measure the term “special.” Chris explains that Sean is at a crucial moment in his journey (Chocolate!! Sippy drink!!) with only three women left to alternately torture with “fun dates” and make out with. (Some would say, also torture. You be the judge.) Catherine, AshLee, and Lindsay have managed to make it through to this very special juncture without being on crutches, or running screaming into the night to escape one more minute of what they now have come to realize is the most ridiculous way ever to find a lifelong partner. How they’ve managed that is the very special evening I wish we were watching. And yet. No.

With their trip to Thailand airing next week, which includes the always popular fantasy suite dates, we start our gripping Q & A with Host Chris asking Sean if he’s really falling in love. (Okay, so mostly the gripping part is my stranglehold on my fruity umbrella drink cup, but still…)

But first, let’s step away from this very special moment for a reality break. This show concluded filming back in November. So Sean and The Chosen One (TCO) have been furtively seeing each other and making out in secure, anonymous locations now for three months. And the TCO has also had the benefit of watching the season up to this point. What we’re about to watch wasn’t filmed back when Sean was actually at this point of taking three women for their joint romantic flings in Thailand, one after the other (there are so many things wrong with that sentence, I can’t even begin to explain, so I won’t.) No, this was just filmed, like, last Tuesday. Sean looks thinner. Sean looks stressed. Sean looks…well…like a man who has been scrutinized by a female viewership in the millions and found, oh, a wee bit wanting. I can’t even being to imagine how TCO is feeling. But we won’t get to talk to her for a few more weeks. If, you know, she stomachs this and him for that much longer. Maybe tonight is also his way of getting back into her good graces by explaining why he—no. I can’t even finish that sentence. Because, not humanly possible.

Sean chuckles as he marvels that he didn’t just develop feelings for one person, but for three of “these women.” (Add that phrase to the list and you’ll fall over dead from chocolate toxicity. Fair warning.) He assures Chris he knew all he needed to know by that point. (To get married. Really? Really?) So….I guess that means now you just get to toy with their affections for a few more weeks for grins. Yay? Also? A week prior to the upcoming trip, you and AshLee didn’t even know both of your parents were pastors. Not necessarily critical to a lasting relationship, but a surefire indication of just how vast that sea is of the things you actually don’t know. You didn’t know Des’ bro was a straight shooter who’d see right through your BS, either but boy that sure turned the tide, didn’t it? So…a little disingenuous. Okay, a lot.

Instead, he’s viewing the upcoming overnights, away from the cameras, as a time for them to tell him any other deep dark secrets they haven’t revealed, like that whole uncomfortable brother thing, and, you know, ask him to talk more about himself. Because…oh…right, this isn’t really about getting to know your future wife, just making sure she meets your “wife clearance qualifications” and has the chance to hear you pontificate on why they’ll be so thrilled you picked them. M’kay. More sipping, more chocolate. Okay. A few more sips, a refill, and…do we have more chocolate? Back up supply?

Chris brings up how shocked and stunned we all were to watch him send Des home. Only, show of hands? Anyone? Bueller? No, not really stunned, Chris. Just you. In fact, in your blog today, you said you were certain Sean had sent home the love of his life, because of her tough love brother. We say that bro had it right when he said Des was way more into Sean than Sean really was into Des. So I definitely don’t see the love of your life assessement. Maybe you might want to ring up Des yourself, Chris. Because that infatuation? Didn’t include Sean. But we’re okay with the decision Sean made. (Chris also said he thought she’d make a good Bachelorette. What say you, Blog Babes? Yay? Nay? Sarah?) Sean says it came down to “could I spend the rest of my life with this person” and he says with Catherine it was a resounding yes. With Des it was “I think so.” Now…we know Catherine is still in the running at this point, so way to cover your backside there. Because last night you weren’t even remotely that sure. There was nothing resounding except your uncertainty about both of them. So…don’t try and cover now, months later after she’s seen it, to score points. With her. Or us. (Also? Way to make Des feel as badly as possible again on national television.)

Now we’re doing the in depth on Nathan (her brother) who is being painted as a villain, whereas I saw him as the only voice of (say it with me) clarity and sanity in that entire date. Sean is still both flummoxed and peeved at how his integrity was questioned and I’m still wondering how in the hell he can think his integrity wouldn’t be in question when he’s dating three women at the same time, making out with them on national television, and sitting next to the brother of one of them who is understandably—to everyone else on the planet except Sean, apparently—skeptical about what’s going on between Sean and his baby sister. Seriously? Like, how dare he question me? How dare he NOT question you? You say “anyone who knows me”….only this guy doesn’t know you. Other than you’re trying to get into his sister’s pants on national television. So get way over yourself. You might think you’re a pillar of the community, but at the moment you’re macking around with three women at the same time in front of millions of television viewers, so own that for a few minutes why doncha? We can add arrogance to the list, right after clueless.

And, can I just take a moment to add: since when is the term “playboy” - which factually fit Sean exactly during that time, especially as viewed by any outsider looking in on the situation – so heinous an insult that it warranted the physical beat down Sean said he was itching to make. Wow. Can we say overly sensitive? And while we’re on the topic of Sean’s apparent hair trigger self defense mechanisms…one of my very happening Blog Babes pointed out to me after last night’s Hometown Date episode that when Des’ “ex” came back and was trying to muscle his way into the house to talk to Des, the only time Sean wanted to do him physical harm was when he laid his hand on Sean. He had his hands on Des several times but Sean said nothing about wanting to chill the dude out then, nor made any move to intervene. So true!

So…back to the bro show: Now, apparently Nathan talked to Sean earlier that night in some footage we didn’t see, trying to scope him out, looking for flaws, which he tells Sean straight out he expected to find, but couldn’t. Yet. He says that Sean seems to be what his sister is looking for. Then, at the end of the evening, comes the conversation we saw. Sean feels like Nathan was just being a jackass for the cameras. (Sean’s word.) I think Nathan was being nice for Des’ sake at the open of the night, but by the end of the night, he couldn’t let it go without calling Sean out on the behavior as he’d observed it. Was he looking for it? Sure. But haven’t we all noticed the same thing about Sean and Des? Yes. And we’re not the sibling of either one of them. If you recall, Nathan’s main bone of contention was that throughout the night, Des seemed to be a lot more into Sean and Nathan wasn’t seeing the reciprocation. So that’s what he asks Sean about. That’s it. And if you go back and watch it, you’ll see Sean really doesn’t say anything in his defense other than his tired “I’m crazy about your sister” which we all know means absolutely nothing. Other than that, he uses things Des says about him as his way of trying to prove himself. Not anything from his personal point of view about his feelings for Des. Well, we all know what Des thinks. That wasn’t the point. So the brother is having none of it. And neither were we. Your mileage may vary. Sean’s certainly did. But if there was a jackass in the room….from my standpoint, it wasn’t Nathan.

Chris asks Sean that if Nathan had knelt in front of the altar of goodness and purity that is Our Bachelor (or, you know, words to that effect) would it have changed the outcome of the evening. And Sean says he’d be lying if he said no. But didn’t he just tell us five minutes ago that his decision was based on “can I spend the rest of my life with her” and even if he could more clearly see his life with Des if he saw his life being easier with her family, he said it was a resounding yes for Catherine. So how would that have changed? Anyway, we don’t have to go there, because Sean is just going to back up the truck and run it back and forth over Des by telling all of us what we really don’t need to know, which is that there were other areas that were lacking which I guess he’s going to detail for us. And we get yet another replay of him being thoughtlessly cruel and selfish while kicking her to the curb. Not once is it about her, just about how bad this is making him feel. (Des, please tell us you are now so incredibly thankful you escaped.) Because that was about as ungentlemanly, thoughtless, and downright disrespectful as a guy could be to someone he claims to have cared about. And now he’s done it twice, and added to it by saying he had other issues with her and knew she wouldn’t make a good wife for him. Oh right, what am I thinking? This interview isn’t about Sean having the opportunity to apologize or make Des feel better (wow, clearly) but about him thinking he’s making himself look better.

EPIC. FAIL.

As the minutes tick by, my opinion of him lowers and lowers. And we all know it was pretty much at sea level when we started. Why is he doing this interview? Doesn’t he have an agent by now who would tell him not to do this? Of course, the jaded cynic in me wonders if the show isn’t trying to get him to throw Des hard under a very big bus so we’ll all feel really, really sorry for her and up her ante as next Bachelorette. Host Chris also mentioned Sarah in his blog as being in the running for that dubious crown based on what viewer feedback he’s been getting, so we’ll see if he gets Sean to do a similar test drive back and forth over her as well.

Or, possibly, Sean simply is this big of an insensitive idiot. Or both. Yeah, I’m going with the nightmare twofer.

Aaaaand, whaddya know? It’s Sarah’s turn. Shocking! We get a quick overview of her talking with Sean about having one arm and Sean assures us how he was totally attracted from the get go. We get Sarah talking about her pride and determination, and then Host Chris has to go remind us all about how Sean set up these “dates” which were essentially horrifying to all the women, and most every viewer, only tenfold for Sarah. And Sean is all “it broke my heart to see her struggle.” REALLY?? It broke my heart to see those women putting themselves in mortal danger just to spend time with your sorry—anyway, he planned the stupid trip, but he takes zero responsibility for not just once but repeatedly putting her in situations where watching her breaks his heart. (And I’m going on record right now that if he takes credit for “helping her” to “conquer”…well, anything, the rest of this recap will have to be in a very long string of alternate swear word symbols.) Aaand….&^%&^%$&^%$(&^%^(%*^$^*%$&^(%(&$%*^%$&*^%$&^$%*^$^$

Chris asks him why he chose to send Sarah home direct from the post date party and not have her wait for the rose ceremony. Aaaaand, here we go, folks! Beeeep! Beeeep! Look out, we’re backing up that bus!!! Sean has already mortified her on national television by kicking her off in the middle of the date and now feels the need to tell us he chose that exact moment specifically because their post group date kiss sucked. W-O-W. Harsh. Cruel. Needless. I know he’s saying the chemistry wasn’t there and fair enough. SO JUST SAY THAT. So, yep, now we’re feeling sorry for Sarah, too. Show? We knew you had the ability to suck (letting Sean plan those “dates” comes to mind) but this is a whole new level of suckage. The lowest level. And Sean? Shut up with the telling us how happy she’s going to be when some other man loves her. And stop chuckling when you say your heart is being ripped out watching her cry over the humiliating way you sent her home. Just for those few seconds, try to look sincere. Sarah, I don’t know if you’ll find love, but thank goodness you didn’t waste any more time with this guy.

Now that they’re all done prepping us for next season’s Bachelorette finalists, we spend time on filler we don’t care about as Sean dishes a little about Selma…and they’re making it all about the “I can’t kiss you” thing, (until she did, in a desperate last ditch effort, the night he sent her home.) But we all know the actual pertinent part of their relationship was that he sent her home because he claimed, in his blog, that she was rigid and unyielding about not going in the water on the polar bear plunge. He kept insisting he was really okay with her not doing it but that he wanted her to at least consider doing it, and she wouldn’t. (Wha?) I saw it as “I know myself and this isn’t something I’m going to do just because you command it. I hope you understand.” But she was supposed to pretend she was actually considering it to….what end? I don’t get it. But Sean said a woman that rigid and uncompromising wouldn’t make him a good wife. Which I can only take to mean “a woman who didn’t do something I expressly told her I wanted her to do.” So the rigid one, to my mind? Not Selma. Again, Selma? Lucky you. Escaped early.

We also chat about Worlds Longest Kiss Lesley, about whom he says that if she had told him she loved him on their last date, which we saw and he has since seen, she was contemplating doing, it could have been a game changer. Oh, TCOooooo? How’s that make ya feel? Yikes. But, Lesley? You SO did the right thing in not pretending to be in a love affair that hadn’t had the chance to actually become one yet. You held back for a reason, and it was a good one.

And can I just say that all those screen crawls at the bottom showing tweets about how awesome Sean is? Well, I’m reading the Twitter #TheBachelor feed too…and let’s just say they’re being realllllly selective. Because the dominant number I’m seeing? Well, scroll up and pick pretty much any sentence I’ve written so far, cut and paste, and you get the idea. (Sorry, show, the whitewash isn’t working.)

And now it’s time….for Tierra. Sean is like “how in the world didn’t I see it?” Honey, she didn’t let you see anything. What we’re all like is “why didn’t you listen to the overwhelming chorus of ‘she doesn’t get along with her peers’ and believe it?” – including that of your sister who told you to be aware of that very thing??? He says he was duped. By Tierra? Absolutely. But you were told, r-e-p-e-a-t-e-d-l-y, that you were being duped and chose to ignore it. So, kinda negates your getting to use that as an excuse. You kept searching for this elusive “proof” and now you’re saying “Golly gee, I watched this back and like…did you know she doesn’t get along with her peers?” Really, Sean? We knew. And you knew. Now, I’m no fan of Tierra, but wow, could you be more patronizing? “I hope she’s learned from this.” Well, Sean, we sincerely hope you’ve learned something from this, too!! Like shut up and listen when people who know what they’re talking about tell you things you don’t want to hear. And please, use the head on your shoulders next time. Double gah!

Next up (oh, will the fun never end?) Sean reflects on the Montana Hell Week, culminating in the cocktail party from all seven levels of hell with all the Tierra drama. He claims he was so upset because the girls were all caught up in the constant battles with Tierra and not (waaaaaah) focusing on meeeeee. He was really put off that Des questioned his feelings because he claims he gave her no reason to question him. Uh…yeah you did. And it’s really a shame you watched it back and you still don’t get that. By sending Jackie home and keeping Tierra. By bringing back the losing team to the group date, including Tierra, thereby sending the winners reeling wondering what your motives were. By spending extended alone time with Tierra after yet another injury. And, mind you, you’d heard more than a few times now that she was causing an enormous disruption in the house, but every move you made that week only underscored that you had no respect for their opinion and your choice was to keep the source of the drama in the game regardless…then chastise the rest of them for letting the drama get to them and take their attention away from him. Just…wow. Where do you even begin with that??? I can’t. So I won’t. Also, sidebar: When Des had the nerve to question his feelings for her? That was when he switched it off with Des. She was dead bachelorette walking from that point on. (Which included that hometown date, btw.) The plank was just a little longer than I thought it would be.

Now we get some more “It’s hard being the Bachelor, waaaaah, I had to leave my life….waaaaah…….and they weren’t playing along like I wanted them to, having their own thoughts in their heads…waaaaah….” Well, Sean? They gave up their life, too. To live in a house with a lunatic (or two.) The only reason that week was hard was because you were so freaking clueless and kept the crazy in the house. That’s on you. Not them.

And because the excitement just never ends…next up? Outtakes! Please, lighten the mood show. Honestly, it can’t be all that hard to do at this point.

We get ourselves a good chuckle over the smashed Shades of Grey girl. Who apparently told Sean about how her mom loved him every time they crossed paths. Well, Chris thought it was funny.

Then we hear about “nerd notes” Catherine would send Sean and I perk up. Something pertinent maybe? She’s still in the running! We find out she passed him dorky notes and they show one of them, and I’m still not sure if Sean actually got that they were supposed to be totally irreverent, but hey, he kept her around, so…. yeah, I still don’t know what that means. We see them being goofy together and how Catherine is easily just as often the catalyst as he is. This doesn’t surprise me given how they are with each other in the few times we’ve seen them. It does make me wish we’d gotten more of this with the two of them. I would say I’d think their bond is even deeper than we knew, except he was still thisclose to sending her packing last week because she also had family who dared to question the process of a show that has the most astounding relationship failure rate on the planet.

In perhaps the one moment of true humor? We get to see Daniela do her Host Chris impersonation. More of that please!

Now we get extra clippage of Sean & Lindsay during their Whitefish concert and they go crowd surfing. Um…not all that illuminating.

What, no bonus AshLee footage? (I say a silent prayer of thanks.) But, I’m just wondering. Foreshadowing? Or have we simply seen all the pixie dust crazy we can stand? Or…both? Again, I’m going with the twofer.

Chris closes out this gripping, hard hitting Q&A by grilling our bachelor about his intentions with the fantasy suite dates. Now, Sean realizes that other bachelors might have done a little bomp chicka wow wow during their alone time, but hey, that’s not going to be this guy! No, our Sean, he draws the line at really sloppy macking on national tv with as many women as possible. Because he has integrity, yo. (And if you dare question him on that he’ll punch you in the face.) He tells Chris it’s not anyone’s business what he does in the fantasy suite.

Which, okay. But in his blog today, Host Chris promised that Sean was going to open up and talk about his views on premarital sex. I should say his current views. Why? Oh, haven’t you heard? Sean claims he’s a born again virgin.

Say what? Can you…do that? Do you just what, up and get an annulment for all the sex you had before? How exactly does that work? Does it require some kind of surgical procedure? Who do you contact?

But they wimp out, or Sean does, because no way the producers aren’t having a field day with that admission, but hunh….somehow the promised reveal doesn’t happen. Host Chris, however, assures our bachelor that viewers everywhere are really, really rooting for him. Notice he doesn’t exactly say what we are rooting for, but…if it makes them feel better, go for it!

We conclude with a sneak peek of the final two weeks… And I’m sneaking right past them. (Goodness knows we’ll see them all week, and before next week’s episode and before every commercial break all through the episode.) I say we jump on ahead to something a lot more gratifying!

Yes, it’s Giveaway time!! Oh, oh, wait! Wow, we did just jump ahead to something a LOT more gratifying! Talk about your bomp chicka wow wow (we even get that music! HA!) Apparently the female camera operators are back from vacay because along with the closing credits we get a nice, long, incredibly gratuitous bit of clippage of Sean taking a steamy, soapy shower. And hey, we’re enjoying every shameless second because we earned it! You owed us that much, Show.

Whew! I need to freshen up my drink a little there! Maybe plug in a fan. Where was I? Oh, right! I want to thank you (and your umbrella drinks and chocolate) for joining me this evening. Strength in numbers. And that was never more true than getting us all through this very special hour.

Okay, so up for grabs? A copy of ANY book on my website bookshelf!

To enter: Drop me an email with “I don’t need no stinkin’ rose. But a book? I accept!” in the subject line. Then drop by my website bookshelf and peruse the titles. Pick the one you want and include that in your email along with where to send it if you win. (Digital is fine, too, just let me know the format!) So…go browse!

Then join me next week in Thailand as we continue to pursue clarity during our journey through this process to our fairytale happily ever after where we can be crazy about each other forever! (And with that, you may now down the rest of whatever beverage and chocolate you have left!)

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