Ty Goes to the Winner (Bachelor 13 Round of 25)
It’s Bachelor time again and the news has been mixed for prior Bachelor couples. The big news was that Deanna Pappas dropped Jesse Csincsak about five months into their “engagement” possibly because he didn’t want a televised wedding. Deanna may now be the only person in America with a lower approval rating than George W. Bush and Bernard Madoff. There have been rumors that the soon to be ex-president and Laura Bush might divorce. Deanna did fall for at least one other guy who spent time in Austin. George W. Bush on a home visit would be a ratings bonanza. I can see him waterboarding would be Bachelorettes to make sure they're on his show for the “right reasons”, maybe having Dick Cheney come on the show for duck hunting and helpful advice about the ladies, and maybe doing a fantasy date in New Orleans as part of his journey. Condi, will you take this rose?
In the meantime, Matt Grant and Shayne Llamas broke up officially although they were so fake on Where Are They Now hardly anyone seriously believed they were still together. Mary Delgado got arrested again. On the positive end, Charley O’connell and Sarah Brice got back together (something to do with his dealing with the drinking issue) and Trista (Rehn) and Ryan Sutter (the franchise) are expecting another baby. Travis Stork also appears to have taken the lead in the “Ex- Bachelor how famous are they still” sweepstakes by getting his own medical advice show and dating American Idol’s Carrie Underwood. Andy Baldwin from the Bachelor installment Officer and a Celebrity got stationed somewhere in the Pacific.
Jason Mesnick was one of the most popular “losers” in Bachelor/Bachelorette history. Part of that is that has to do with the show’s cliché “Being there for the right reasons”. I don’t know that anyone made it clearer that he was there for “the right reasons” than this guy and he acted accordingly. Second, there’s a widespread belief that Deanna Pappas mistreated him or at least made a mistake. First she spent 2 full installments of the show telling America how much she was ready for marriage and family, then chose a professional snowboarder. Second, she let Jason get on his knee and propose when she already knew that her answer was “No”.
Second timers on the Bachelor have been about fifty-fifty. Bob Guiney, Jen Schett, and Deanna Pappas definitely should have quit while they were ahead. Trista obviously did very well. Meredith Phillips certainly fared well and Mary Delgado did very well her second time through, it was the real life relationship that tripped her up. Jason faces two challenges. Is his head going to be turned by all the attention and will the situation transform him from Bachelor-Dad into Bachelor-Cad? More significant, Jason’s taste in women doesn’t really match what he says he wants either. His first wife started doing music videos. Deanna turned out to be “All about the fun”. Maybe there’s a pattern there?
Going in, we know that Jason claims that he’s engaged to someone from his Bachelor experience. At the end of last night’s premiere, we also learned that Deanna returned in some capacity. There also seem to be a lot of posters who insist that Melissa Rycroft (the former Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader) is an uncanny combination of Deanna Pappas and Jenni Croft. She’s not only considered one of the favorites by the screencapistas, her resume doesn’t exactly send off “motherly” vibes. Okay, yeah I got burned last time because I trusted both Deanna and the producers to deliver what the edit seemed to be promising. I didn’t like feeling manipulated. If I wanted that, I’d start recapping Ashton Kutcher’s “True Beauty” instead (I might anyway). Anyway, I’m going into project “Find Ty Mesnick a Stepmom” even more skeptical than usual.
So lets’ begin! One agenda this year appears to be to establish Jason as “gorgeous”. I counted at least 5 occasions when some Bachelorette was moved to proclaim this for the camera last night. They’ve also thrown several single mothers into the mix possibly to test Jason’s intentions at a “good for the goose, good for the gander” level. Fwiw, Mrs. Chancelucky had two children when we met. Twenty years later (yikes) we have one more. Even though she had kids, she admits that she liked the fact that I didn’t.
I’d say that they didn’t exactly go to central casting to find tv moms, even though many of the ladies really are moms. Anyway, none of them exactly screamed June Cleaver or even Janine Turner as June Cleaver. One of the problems with letting the contestants do their own makeup and wardrobe is that they didn’t get the memo that Ty’s mom wasn’t likely to dress like Lyndsay Lohan or Jessica Simpson even if that’s been the custom in earlier Bachelor installments. My wife also had her usual complaint, “They didn’t stick Jason with the most attractive choices there.”
To be clear, she was referring to some of the behavior as well. So, I know it was a joke, but someone wearing the tiara and her Miss Illinois banner while holding her niece doesn’t necessarily strike me as Ty’s mom material nor does that level of cleavage exactly scream “Stepmom” now that Ty’s too old to breast feed (though if anyone remembers that wet nurse scene in the Last Emperor, I suppose it’s possible). The fact that she scored Jason's first impression rose maybe should be taken with a grain of milk in terms of where this installment may go.
Of course, Nikki’s not a mom, and I’d say that the new Morticia Addams, Stephanie, the widow from Alabama, probably set off the most alarms with her backyard shrine to her husband who “tragically died in a plane crash”…..like there are non-tragic ways to die in plane crashes. Anyway, the shrine takes the form of a giant cross and Stephanie tells her daughter that Dad went on a flight to heaven. There’s one little problem here. The last time I checked, Jason Mesnick was Jewish. While to a fundamentalist Christian having your wife run off with a rock band (I know that’s not really what happened to Jason) might be the same thing as having Dad die tragically in a plane crash, I don’t know that those are comparable events to Jason. He gives her a pity rose anyway a la Danielle from Andy’s season.
Stephanie should clearly have checked in with Sharon the stalker beforehand. Not only would she have gotten free dental floss for life, she would have known beforehand to downplay the cross thing, though maybe she’s assuming that Jason will convert once she gets him in the fantasy suite. As for Sharon, I would say that she should have watched Travis’s journey. The last lady to do the fake fangs thing got about ten more seconds of air time before the mystery suitcase movers showed up.
Fascinatingly, Jason consciously or not, cut several of the single moms. The second most notable mom got a rose the hard way. After confessing about the kid before she ever stepped into the house, Megan, the lacrosse coach, had the honor of being voted off by the other women. She was about to start arguing about hanging chads and apparently called the other women “bitches” when Chris Harrison reversed the field by telling her she got a rose instead of the door. We then got to see Jason mutter something about being concerned about anyone who couldn’t get along with the other ladies (I suspect that’s why Jeremy Anderson didn’t get to be one of his choices). Perhaps the most fascinating thing was that the ladies supposedly singled Megan out because she has a 14 month old and shouldn’t be leaving her child for that long just to be on the Bachelor. Think about this, they’re all hot for Jason who left a two year old son back in Seattle to meet a woman who ran off with a snowboard guy and who once wanted to marry a guy who owned a bunch of bars. Megan, somehow, is an unfit mother because she does more or less what Jason did. At least she didn’t quit her teaching job just to be on the show, talk about stalkers.
I was very glad that they stopped the whole bit with stupid Bachelorette tricks during the opening cocktail party. This time no pushup contests, no biting beer cans in half, no one sang or played a musical instrument, and no panties thrust into Jason's pocket. The weirdness got limited to the innuendo-filled “Let's see what Jason puts on his wiener” with Jillian, a civics test that I'm not sure Deanna would have passed, and one slightly drunk wedding planner, Jackie, admitting something about a former fiance and that she'd tried out twice to be a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and never made it (I'm not sure which was more embarrassing).
The drama seemed to come from more natural situations like Racquel, the Brazilian med student, getting Jason to samba,having Molly cut in on her, then fighting back by cutting back in on Molly. The Bachelor has had more than its share of bad rhymed poetry and Kari's was right down there, but this time Nicole got to comment about how awkward and impliedly stupid it is to sitting on the same couch in the midst of a poetry slam er....crush. Perhaps the best moment of unforced drama came when Lauren, the birthday girl, was led to believe that Jason was about to give her the first rose. Instead, he shows up with a cake (how many birthdays have they happened to have during those cocktail parties?), eventually leaves, and the camera cuts to the uneaten cake and Lauren's look of disappointment.
After 11 installments of the Bachelor, I've given up on worrying about any of the ladies who don't get roses after show one I did notice that of the ladies who did get roses, it may have had less to do with who offered proof of being great “mom” material than with who happened to look good in the bathing suits in the previews (great "mam" material). Funny thing about that... The previews seem to promise lots of drama in the house and Jason kissing a bunch of different women in addition to an appearance by Deanna that the viewer is led to believe leads to Jason crying on some balcony in agony (it's my hope that that's because he threw her off the thing moments earlier).
I had said that I might not recap this season. My wife tells me that Bachelor season is one of the times when I really seem to be having fun (talk about the truth being really scary!) I did have fun with this mostly brunette installment of the show. So far, Jason Mesnick is staying pretty likeable. Right now, I wish they'd given him better choices, but I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised. Part of that may be due to a suggestion made in True Beauty (yeah I watched it) where one of the judges suggests to a contestant that she's in need of a Make Under instead of a Make Over. It might be fun to see a few of the women look normal, act normal, and actually just try to get to know the guy. I know that's a strange concept, but I'm mostly rooting for a season where I actually like most of the principals at the end.
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Labels: Jason Mesnick Melissa Rycroft