Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tessa Horst Baldwin? (Bachelor 10 review home visits)

Andy and Tessa Horst face one another on the couch after Tessa’s dad has told the officer doctor that his daughter went on the show for “fun.” Andy has told us that he isn’t leaving Washington D.C. until he knows how serious Tessa is about being on this reality show. Tessa confesses “I’m ready to fall in love.”

Andy follows up with “Say it. Who are your looking forward to falling in love with?”

I was rooting for more interesting answers here.

a) Chris Harrison
b) My possibly jealous best friend, Samantha, who flew in from Denver to cross examine you.
c) That guitar player who follows the Bachelor around and strums whenever anyone’s about to kiss.
d) Bevin
e) Howie Mandel, America’s only OCD gameshow host, from Deal or No Deal

Unfortunately, Tessa sticks with the script and says “I’m looking forward to falling in love with Andy.”

They kiss though a bit less passionately then he used to kiss Bevin before she confessed about the divorce. Still, I turn to my wife and say “Wow, it’s over.”

My wife responds, “I don’t think it’s over. He really seemed to like Danielle.”

“For real?”

“Yeah, it’s not that obvious to me. He said “It felt like home with Danielle’s family.”

“But, that was a Bachelor moment. Did you see the way they softened the lights, brought out the guitar guy, and did the fadeaway? Surely they didn’t show Andy kissing Tessa good-bye because it was too much of a giveaway.”

“There’s just something about the way he is with Danielle. He gives her all of his attention, well except maybe when he was belly dancing with the sister. Also, that was a much more passionate kiss at the end.”

We then both break up laughing. We can’t actually be having a serious conversation about who Officer Andy might choose can we? How did that happen?

I would hate to ever have to talk on the phone with Andy Baldwin. If you witnessed his post-rejection conversation with Amber Alchalabi, you’d understand that he’s not Mr. Glib. He speaks carefully even haltingly at times and always with a Bachelorese accent, but Doctor Andy has also managed to come off as someone who takes the whole mission with a seriousness that seems to transcend the show’s faux romanticism.

I have no idea if this is a good idea or if any of the ladies are actually suitable over the long haul for him, but Andy is intent on finishing his challenge. Thus far, he hasn’t been the sort for creative romantic gestures, witty conversation, or subtle insights about his choices. His one on ones seem to have one theme, “I’m in this for the right reasons. Are you in this for the right reasons?”

Sometimes, I honestly think that he expects the ladies not to lie. “Well actually, Dr. Baldwin, I really just wanted a free trip to Hawaii- I’m here to get more hits on my page.- I just want to be on television and I collect roses to sell on E-bay.”

Come to think of it, the triathlete thing is just an extension of Dr. Andy’s basic personality. The idea behind a triathlon is not to do any of the three skills either super fast or especially well. You do not have to be a world class runner, swimmer, or cyclist. Basically, you have to enjoy endless training and pain. The best triathletes don’t quit and you take pride in things like personal bests and always finishing regardless. Andy is on this show to finish. He’s not here to promote dog shampoos, meet soap opera stars, to revive his acting career, or to bicycle across Paris without a helmet. It’s weirdly riveting to watch him make his way to the finish line and I find myself rooting for “Mr. Right Reasons.”

Amber- I can’t remember ever seeing a sadder home visit than this one. This is way beyond having Meredith find out that you’re an unemployed pharmaceutical salesman who’s living at home- Having your mother tell the Bachelor that you were “engaged” in every sense of the world if you know what I mean all too recently- Lannie's mom. Even Trish’s family rallied around her enough to host Jesse Palmer.

Amber does have almost the same last name as Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi expatriate who helped lure the United States into war. It did occur to me that the family might be relatives who weren’t sure if Andy was down with Project for a New American Century. I don’t know where Amber’s family is from or anything about their religious beliefs, but it seemed possible that the family is both from the Middle East and Moslem. They may not have approved of meeting men on dating shows, because they don’t approve of dating at all. If this was the case, it would have been a genuinely fascinating thing to explore.

It’s also possible that they may not have thought it was a good idea for their 23 year old daughter to risk her job by missing 22 days of the school year to go on group dates and attend rose ceremonies. Honestly, it was weird to know that Amber’s principal had to resign in the wake of granting her leave to go on the show while watching her kids meet her new possible boyfriend, Dr. Andy, and a camera crew from ABC.

So, why did Andy kiss the dog if he wasn’t serious about the owner? Andy’s rapport with dogs including Tessa’s family dog was much better than Prince Lorenzo’s. Personally, I don’t think “youth” was the issue with Amber and her roomie. My take was that it was a social class issue. Andy wasn’t going to say it, but Amber and friends wouldn’t advance his Navy profile much. The aunt seemed nice enough, but everyone in Amber’s life looked like they got pulled out of line at Walmart. Everyone made it clear to Andy that Amber was plenty old enough and ready. Andy just couldn’t say the real reason.

This is what scares me most about Amber’s adventure on the show and its aftermath. Her job is now in jeopardy, her family relationship is strained, and she can’t be all that happy with the roommate right now. Who knows what was said or done at the rose ceremony (those were some odd reactions from the other ladies to her exit)? Amber didn’t exactly keep her poise and there was the sad bit in the car about all the right men backing away from her. Yikes! Some journey that was.

I really liked Amber. It sounds like she had a tough adolescence and has shown the grit to do well nonetheless. I knew she was toast, but I started to root for her.

This is the irony though. ABC keeps playing up the Officer and Gentleman thing and the one contestant who was a precise match for Deborah Winger was Amber Al Chalabi. What a great scene it could have been. Andy showing up at school X and carrying Amber out of the classroom, officer’s cap on her head, while the roommate and dog shout, “Way to go Amber” and dozens of cute little kids applaud while parents start complaining that they’re not spending enough time preparing for the TAS exams.

Bevin- Once she confessed, I just didn’t think he looked all that in heaven with Bevin. He did say that the family was “My kind of people.” I thought the mutual gift of the painting from mom was strange. It’s like “I’m giving this iffy looking water color as a gift to the both of you. No pressure there Mr. Bachelor.”

I loved the visit to the falls though, it had this whole David Lynch Twin Peaks vibe, particularly when Andy asked Bevin if she used to bring boys there to make out. Okay, this must be a good time to tell the guy that I got married as a teenager.

Great scene with the father. First Bevin, who has basically thrown herself at Andy, can’t quite say that she’s in love with the guy. Instead, she’s going “When will I get another chance with a guy like this?” like he’s on auction at E-bay or something. Second, Dad encourages her to take the risk then starts crying too.

Here’s the math. Military wife and crying all the time don’t add up. Remember Blythe Danner in the Great Santini- totally stoic. All good officer’s wives in military movies never allow themselves to cry, sometimes even after the husband dies in the heroic mission. Even Deborah Winger tells Richard Gere that he owes her nothing and refuses to show that she’s breaking up inside as she tells him.

Danielle- That was a picture of the family at the New York City marathon and Andy did say something like “My kind of family photo”? Danielle lives at home but Amber’s the one who’s not old enough? Enough with this dead boyfriend business, does Danielle do anything else with her life? I mean, what’s with don’t break my little girl’s heart because she already had a boyfriend die? Geez, maybe the family should become Hindu fundamentialists and just throw the girl on the guy’s funeral pyre.

I liked the banana scene, though I confess that’s partly because of the odd psychological implications. Sometimes though a cigar is just a cigar, but it did look like a scene out of Fear Factor. Also, it was interesting that three of the ladies have a younger and arguably more attractive sister and no brothers.

I think the best case though for Danielle is that if you want a military wife, she’s the best candidate of the three. Andy appears to be highly rational and he noted that Danielle had already been through stress. Family is stable and would enhance a military career. Danielle also looks like someone who might hang out with the other officer’s wives and be there to greet and support Andy at the triathlon rather than competing along side him.

Tessa - Am I the only one who remembers that Tessa faked hurting her ankle after being thrown from the mechanical bull and how that foreshadowed Bevin’s injury? This was an oddly edited home visit to the point where I wasn’t sure if this was Tessa’s biological dad or her stepdad. I wouldn’t underestimate the fact that Tessa reads Andy well. She doesn’t spend their pre-home time talking to him, she wrestles in the snow with him.

Wow that was a lot of questions! It was very upper-class East Coast. I don’t know that Andy or Fleiss quite understood that he was supposed to banter back. It was a very interesting scene washing dishes with the Dad. What a crass question though, has Tessa brought a lot of guys home before? What’s Dad supposed to say, yeah my daughter brought the whole ninth fleet home and basically she’s a total tramp? Really fascinating answer though, “She’s very careful.”

Tessa’s actually the chess player of all the ladies. The whole time she’s been playing “defense”, she’s actually been attacking or chasing the guy, just that Andy doesn’t play the game at that level. He’s think he’s cornered her into the big moment by forcing her to say “Who.” It’s Tessa who’s pretty much forked him. Now that Andy’s lured her there, if she says “Yes, I want you,” the guy’s going to look like Officer Doofus if he backs off.

The one thing that doesn’t add up though. Tessa hardly seems the sort who would want to be the sort of military wife who sublimates her own needs to her husband’s career. She’s probably winning the game, but does she really want what comes with winning?

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At 5/09/2007 02:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the visit to the falls though, it had this whole David Lynch Twin Peaks vibe,
Funny you should say that: they were at Snoqualmie Falls, the very waterfall that appears in Twin Peaks.

At 5/09/2007 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Anonymous, thanks for reading and clarifying. It was my version of a subtle reference :} Wonder if Bevin will wind up doing something Twin Peaks like though, would be really cool.

At 5/09/2007 03:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the best articles I've read on the show! Thanks and keep up the great work.

At 5/09/2007 03:54:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

thanks for your kind comments and encouragement.

At 5/09/2007 08:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have bee a TEssa fan since day 1 and glad she isA still on. Get rid of that bff sam and I can be your bff. i would be a better friend than that ugly wench sam. from all the things i read about her.. geez.. what a horrible person. she should be ashamed .. and i dont even know the girl..

At 5/09/2007 08:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be quite honest I found the clip of Tessa's best friend with her city vs. suburb comment a bit silly. I certainly didn't see it as that "serious" of a question yet she said she wanted to see how Andy could hang and that he was good at avoiding the question. Just wasn't that impressed with her "grilling" techniques. Hope things are a bit smoother than the edited clips show! My vote is for Tessa all the way, but she should have reconsidered inviting her so-called "best" friend! She was horrible!!!!!! Why do "best" friends have to sell out their friends at crucial times? Clearly, that biatche must not be happy herself and misery loves company!

At 5/10/2007 09:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Tessa's friend was not a nice person. I have liked Tessa all along, but, if that is her best friend, gosh. It began to make me question her character.

At 5/10/2007 09:42:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I think I get the general idea here....It appears that you don't like Tessa's best friend.

At 5/10/2007 04:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Tess is playing Andy. A lot of the women have thrown themselves at him and she's playing the Meredith card with "oh, I don't know if I should stay, this like so not like me." Ummm, did you not see the previous seasons of the bachelor? Poor little Tess just didn't know what she was getting herself into. Bullsh*t. Check out her bff and you have an idea of the real Tess. That and her lame jokes say it all.

At 5/10/2007 05:54:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Are you the same anonymous or are there multiple versions of you on this thread?

I sort of like Tessa, at least the on show version. But I do agree about the "I'm not sure" business.

She's the one
1) who faked spraining her ankle to get Andy to play Doctor with her.

2) Shortly after the exchange of muffin joke, she was exchanging foot rubs with his trithleteness.

Neither act is a sign of someone who's trying to decide.

At 5/10/2007 06:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tessa got recruited by the casting crew while running a half marathon. Submitted a "ridiculous" video of herself as she said. Then decided to go on. She may never ever have seen an episode of the bachelor.

She did go for fun but she's not going to be an idiot in front of millions of viewers by throwing herself at Andy like EVERYONE else in the show. It's sad and pathetic to see all these women throw themselves at him in such a short amount of time (3 weeks and like he's the last guy on the planet. ie Bevin.

So why question her hesitance to emotionally invest herself basically to a complete stranger? Any other plan of action is idiotic.

At 5/10/2007 07:20:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

It's a bit of a fine distinction. I wouldn't question her hesitation per se. It's just that some of it looks like a "game" more than real hesitation about Andy.

I'm just pointing out that she may be doing and has done a bit more chasing than meets the eye.

At 5/13/2007 09:32:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Love your blog. Very clever.

Not to offend ya'll but am I the only one that can't stand Tessa. Has she ever completed a sentence or is ABCs editing that bad? Every other word with her is like something...not too mention she can't ever look Andy in the eye when talking to him.

At 5/13/2007 09:52:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

thanks for stopping by. I'm not offended, in fact I agree to a certain extent. One of my earlier reviews mentioned that Tessa's conversation hardly seems to have been worth Middlebury tuition. She either tells corny jokes or uses the word "like" as a universal modifier.

Oddly, the one thing I remember her talking about was her stepfather meeting her mother in Peru and I was disappointed not to see the stepdad on the home visit...unless the dishwashing guy was the stepdad and not the biological dad.

At 5/14/2007 01:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Andy's excuse to Amber was lame. She may act like a bit of a sorority girl, but as you said, at least she doesn't still live at home the way Danielle does. And to me, Tessa does not seem that interested in him. I think she just wants the conquest. If Amber is socially below him, Tessa is socially above him....if you think that sort of thing matters. A nice townhouse in DC like that costs some bucks.

And Bevin? The crying, the desparation...ick. He made a mistake letting Amber go; she's a fun girl and she'd be a good wife and mother. But I don't see why she had to go on the show in the first place. I live in Houston, and attractive young teachers like her should have no problem finding husbands. Houston is a good place to be singal...all of the teachers at my kids' school get married within a few years of starting their jobs.

At 5/14/2007 01:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the spelling error..."single," not "singal." I must have been combinging "single" and "gal" in my head.

By the way, I like your blog. Good work!

At 5/14/2007 05:06:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

thanks for coming by and commenting. No need to apologize for typos, you wouldn't believe how many I wind up with here. I try to pick them up and fix them, but even months later I find them.

I hope Amber does find the right man. I would honestly say that I didn't get the sense that the two were all that well matched, though she did fit Andy's outward criteria.

I suspect that Bevin is getting one o fthe all time worst edits.

I do think Tessa's upscale world is part of her allure to Andy. He's an ambitious guy and I'm sure it doesn't hurt. I don't think Andy's so crass that it would consciously be on his list of things he wants, but....

At 5/14/2007 09:05:00 PM, Blogger Fancy C. Poitras said...

Wow, that was a tad harsh as far as Danielle was concerned. First of all, it's not really a big deal that she lives at home, as the costs of living are rising beyond what most of my peer group (the 20-somethings) can afford because salaries aren't keeping up. And some people are just close to their family. But the part I take issue with is snorting at her grief. Grief is such a personal experience, do any of us have the right to tell someone to lay off it?

Bevin, I have a huge problem with! She pouts, she's got a bit of a forked tongue, and worst of all, she seems to think that life without marriage at age 28 is the end of the bloody world. Krist, I'm 28, and I'm supposed to believe that I'm sad or pathetic because I'm not married yet? Puh-leeeze. Obviously her divorce left her with feelings of failure that makes her come off so freaking scary.

As for Amber, there was a strange dichotomy there...she's working, living away from her parents, semi-independent, but at the same time, her home visit was just painful to watch! Raggedy Andy is 30 years old, and he's treated to what seems like the first unsupervised sleepover for a couple of 16 year olds. I half expected Amber and her roommate to jump up and start lipsyncing Spice Girls songs at any minute.

Finally Tessa...she's intriguing, guarded, yes, she's not a Rhodes Scholar Conversationalist, but really, Raggedy Andy's conversation chip is also short circuiting, so I don't see the problem there. If they keep their lips locked, there's no problem with the fact that both come off as very boring talkers. I won't judge Tessa based on her BFF's cross-examination/harsh spinster teacher routine, because the dynamics of each friendship, as I've learned, defy the logic that you are who your best friend is. My best friend is my fiance, and I know that his dorkiness doesn't define how the world sees me :)

At 5/15/2007 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

thanks for stopping by.
You may be right. I've been very hard on Danielle for constantly bringing up the deceased boyfriend. It is a sad story, but it still strikes me as a peculiar dating technique.

If Bevin wins, she's gotten maybe the worst edit of any winner on the show.

I think I said above that I don't think Amber was necessarily a match for officer Andy, I just didn't think his reason was his real reason.

I don't know that Tessa's friend Sam necessarily hurt her cause. Best of luck with you fiance. Being a dork myself, I admire any women who still like dorky guys.

At 5/15/2007 12:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming by this site for the first time. Really interesting -- I'm just so curious to see who he will pick. I love Tessa simply because she is so much more REAL and respectable. I really can't stand girls who throw themselves at men (ahem Bevin) and I love that Tessa is honest when she says that she doesn't want to get hurt (which is why she has a hard time opening up... very typical of a respectable girl). It's so true though -- the guy's dating other women - what a strange situation to be in. I wonder if Andy's family is even going to like Bevin. I'm so excited for the season finale. Tessa all the way!

At 5/15/2007 01:47:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...


my guess is that Bevin wins. The scene with the little girl, the bit with Andy cornering her into saying she wants to fall in love with him from the last show....He'd look like a total jerk if he then chose Bevin. in the meantime, he's cataloging "doubts" about Bevin.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

At 5/26/2007 04:26:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

yikes, just read my own comment and realized that when I was trying to say "tessa wins" I actually wrote Bevin wins then gave all these resaons why Bevin loses.

oh well :}

At 5/31/2007 12:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy has an asian fetish.. so obvious!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and that bff i just pure ugly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At 6/03/2007 12:34:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I did discuss Andy's possible "Asian" thing in another post. IIRC Amanda didn't stay around for very long, but the women with some Asian heritage stayed around for a long time in this installment.

Over time, I've learned not to read too much into these preferences. It just seems that many people have arbitrary and sometimes surprising physical preferences. I've met people who date people who look like they're male/female half. I've met folk who have more exogeneous tastes.

Over time, it becomes clear that it's just a particular look that attracts them for whatever reason. It was knid of nice that Andy's tastes were a little different.

Of course, I say that as an Asian man who married a woman whose ancestors came from Norway.

At 6/03/2007 12:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

for all of you who question tessa's ability to speak...when you can get a master degree in Columbia University, you can question her.

At 6/11/2007 10:24:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

There are many people with relatively modest formal educations who are very articulate. I've known of a lot of people with very impressive educational credentials who do not speak well or in person. The President went to Yale and Harvard Business School and there are many people who feel that he's not terribly articulate.

It may well have been the Bachelor edit, but Tessa and Andy's conversations weren't exactly the sort of thing I'd write down for posterity.

It doesn't preclude the fact that that they may be very bright.

At 6/28/2007 08:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Intelligence is not the only thing that gets you into an Ivy League school. I graduated from one and must say that I was disappointed by the level of intelligence and talent of some of my classmates. The fact that Tessa graduated from Middlebury and Columbia only means that either she is definitely very wealthy or she is in a lot of debt!!!

At 7/02/2007 07:41:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I think at even the most selective colleges, there's still a surprisingly wide range of intellectual quickness.

I did read somewhere that Andy was instructed by the producers to simplify his speech which may account for him seeming a little awkward at times and saying the same thing over and over. He did seem quite a bit wittier on the After the Rose show.


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