The Right Reasons (Bachelor 11 review Brad Womack)
My wife insists that it’s very strange that I follow the Bachelor forums at fansofrealitytv.com, Nineof hearts, Joker's Update, etc. I do it at least partly because people there are so good at “sleuthing”. Anyway, I caught this item about the circumstances of Chad Womack’s proposal to his lovely wife Dillon. Apparently they didn’t meet on Elimidate or Meet the Parents. They met the old-fashioned way, she worked for him as a bartender. In the meantime, I've convinced my wife that I hang out on those message boards for the right reasons. In this case, it's to get odd news items about the show rather than to find a woman who wants me for me as opposed to having a chance to be mentioned on my blog with all the celebrity that comes with that.
So, Chad tells Brad that he really liked Sheena then Brad apparently plans a one on one date with Sheena Stewart. What do we see? There’s a floor lined with rose petals-check. There are all these surprises including an expensive set of earrings courtesy of a Chopard product placement-check. There’s Brad doing his version of an emotional confession-sort of check. Finally, note that detail about how Chad had kept and put on display every note and card that Dillon had ever written to him. When Sheena shows Brad her poem that talks about the moles on his arm, the hairs sticking out of his nose, and that boil underneath his armpit, Brad asks for permission to hold on to it.
We’re talking serious copy cat courtship here. In the meantime, Sheena is the only lady standing who hasn’t suffered from a Mean Girls edit yet. Brad’s soliloquy about being an awkward guy who keeps repeating himself because he’s so nervous etc. also happened to be the closest he’s come on the show to talking about his actual feelings.
Despite this evidence, I’m not completely sure that Brad and Sheena are going to be doing doughnuts on their wave runners as they motor off into the sunset. For one, there’s that rather odd footage of Sheena’s mom looking or sounding slightly drunk with the two of them on the home visit. For a guy who keeps talking about “family”, it was the least family-like of the previews. At least that’s compared to My Big Fat Greek Bachelor Home Visit, the refugees from the Scarlet Letter who masquerade as Bettina’s much less attractive parents (think Mary Delgado’s family) and act horrified to learn that Brad owns not just one but four bars, or Jenny showing Brad how she won Little Miss Sunshine, Kansas prior to bringing him home to Krisily’s grandmother. Mostly though, I’m just not comfortable with the whole “Chad made me do it” theme with the Walnut Creek interenet executive.
As a Bachelor stalker, I sometimes read articles about the participants and then as the show unfolds I have these moments of sudden recognition. For instance, last week I linked an article about Hillary Reisinger which just happened to mention that she was headed to India to work as a volunteer. Mmmmm…..After the edit she got on the show and some of the things she inflicted on herself as in Bettina as a used car and her x-rated poolside fantasies about Brad, is it a shock that she’s going to be looking for her lifemate a mere twelve thousand miles away from home in a country that still practices arranged marriage. I still say that a Hindu version of the Bachelor would be terrific. Could you imagine the Bachelor gone Bollywood? Brad would come out strip off his shirt while twenty women would break into a song and dance number behind him in the middle of his one on one dates.
I know it’s more the exception than the rule, but there are thirty or forty occasions a season when the producers lapse into breathtakingly bad taste. Advertising Hillary’s meltdown was one of those. So the woman was upset and managed to miss Brad’s “let’s be friends cue”? No, Brad wasn’t exactly subtle about it, but a few minutes earlier she had been straddling his shoulders in the pool and he did say things like “I have more fun with you than anyone I’ve met” and “I’m totally comfortable around you.” Still, that rose ceremony dress looked like she was channeling Terri Garr from Young Frankenstein.
She was guilty of hearing what she wanted to hear and ignoring everything else. Certainly other people do that, in fact it’ll likely get you a job as a White House policy consultant these days. The show made her out to be Glen Close from Fatal Attraction. Is it just an accident that Hillary happened to be the one remaining woman with a profession?
It does seem that every year there’s one left in the final six who for want of a better term gets completely ignored in the edit. For some reason Kristy Katzmann literally got nothing to say during this installment. We got to see her sitting by the pool refusing to act like a horny teenager around Brad. Fwiw, I was really impressed that Jenni was able to carry Deanna on her shoulders for an extended length of time during the mock fight scene. Given what they did shoot of the Illinois acupuncturist, I also understand why she was reluctant to do the slip and slide given what was likely to slide out.
Last week, Brad told Kristy that she might be too “refined” for him. She sure didn’t work too hard to prove otherwise. Also her exit was noticeably cool for this stage of the show, “Hey Brad, nice knowing you. See you around some time.”
She got no pre-rose one on one. She got no one on one time during the pool date. Did she piss off the producers? Did she confess that she just wasn’t interested? Did she refuse to act judgmental and provide the show with video fodder in those staged gossip sessions? Perhaps she’ll show up on a special edition of Leonard Nimoy’s “Reality TV Mysteries”. Kristy Katzmann of Bachelor 11-Was She there for the Right Reasons?- Why did she suddenly stop talking to Brad, did his tongue turn the wrong color?
In the meantime, the producers appear to be setting up a “war” between the other three ladies. Last week, Bettina lectured Jenni on treating her time on the show as a game instead of an attempt to help Brad determine his true romantic destiny. This week Jenni returned fire on Bettina with the ultimate Bachelor insult, “She’s not in it for the right reasons.”
Actually, Bettina’s been shown being very clear about wanting a serious relationship with Brad. In fact, it’s been a bit too clear. Jenni, however, was suggesting that Bettina should never have dared to be comparatively critical about her one on one date with the “sexiest bachelor ever” (though wasn’t it interesting that this was the first installment not to bring that up). Just because Sheena came through the door in new evening gown with diamond-encrusted earrings (did she get to keep them because she mentioned the company name?) to talk about her date, that’s no reason for Bettina to comment on just getting a picnic and a ride in a fake gondola. After all, all time with Brad is precious.
Obviously, Bettina’s being jealous in the moment is a sign that there’s something seriously wrong with her. Fwiw, I thought it was tacky for Brad to comment on Sheena’s earrings in front of the other ladies. You want to rub it in a bit there? Also, I have this question. Why does the show want the ladies to "ooh" and "ah" over necklaces, earrings, gowns, trips, etc. given by the show through the Bachelor, then suggest that you should only want the "Bachelor" for who he is?
Brad’s kissing ethics also seem a bit weird. First Deanna rather classily resists the impulse to start making out with Brad during their poolside one on one time. She said that she feels it’s not right to do it in front of the other ladies. I know it might have been the edit, but Brad is then shown pulling Jenni away for one on one time and all but jumping on her in that hammock left over from Meredith and Ian’s installment. He does later kiss Deanna fairly passionately at the pre-rose ceremony. In the meantime, does Jenni ever actually talk to the guy?
Play this all against, the whole slow boil technique that Brad seems to be working with Bettina. The show is making her appear to be the one who has fallen so hard that she can’t hide her jealousy of the other ladies, yet so far they’ve only exchanged a kiss on the cheek. That said, the edit kept doing these close-ups of all this very telling hand interaction between the two. Did she answer him when he asked if she’d dated since her divorce?
One can watch the show on many levels. Andy and Tessa wound up reviving the show because they got both an actual romance and Andy was faced with a genuine choice between Tessa and Bevin. This season appears to be about the “guessing game” aspect of the show as in how well can they hide Brad’s final choice. In the process, Fleiss has worked too hard to build up the drama factor especially between the ladies. As a result, three of the final four are limping in with significant claw marks. So this is what it looks like,
1) Jenni Croft has Bevin-like physical chemistry with Brad, yet she’s hardly been portrayed as someone who wants to get married, have a family, etc. any time soon.
2) Bettina Bell seems to be looking for love and looks like a cross between Brad’s own ex and his sister in law. There’s a possibility for a slow build romance, but she’s been shown to be sarcastic, jealous, and not completely on the level. i.e. her reaction shot after protesting that she was just joking was great reality tv. There’s also the whole matter of Brad’s awkwardness when she talked about having deeper feelings for him than she’d had with anyone.
3) Deanna Pappas has a kind of “you want a relationship with a real woman” appeal, but that two on one date edit was so far over the top in the way she was competing for rather than relating with Brad. She does have the thing of being a bartender at night though, which just might appeal to the copy cat part of Brad's personality.
4) Sheena alone has no negatives. She did a great job recovering from the fall down the stairs, Fleiss really likes ripping off Pretty Woman for some reason. They established some physical chemistry with the kiss and the pre-rose dance. The issue is that Chad seems to be the only one who’s enthusiastic about the match. I’m not sure that the viewing audience has been given anything to relate to with her. That is unless you write iffy love poetry on binder paper.
5)Brad remains impossible to read. Is he that bland? Does his taste in female personalities really vary that much? He keeps saying that he’s looking for a wife, but he’s offered no clue about the sort of wife he might want. On the other hand, maybe he'll propose to Dillon Womack in the most unforgettable final rose ceremony ever?
As we head into the final four, I'm the one who's starting to wonder if I'm still watching this show for the right reasons.
btw, for those interested in how the show works, I'm recommending Kate Brockhouse's blog. So "shut up" already :}
Sirlinksalot bachelor stories
Other Chancelucky Bachelor reviews
other Chancelucky reviews