Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Stupid Human Tricks (Bachelor 12 Round of 25)

My favorite moment in the opening cocktail party for Matt Grant’s season came when the Karl Rove protégée Denise was telling the 6’5” bachelor that she loved London because so many people there were willing to talk about politics. Carri Perrier, a church marketer from Oklahoma, responds by ripping through a beer can (likely provided by the producers) with her teeth then handing a chunk to the rugby playing Bachelor. At the end of the evening, Matt gives Carri a rose and gives Denise a record low approval rating. If a former Bush White House aide can’t make the first cut with Matt, I have to sort like the guy. It would, however, have been great to chat with my former boss Karl Rove about my co-worker.

For whatever reason, the cocktail party has hung on as a Bachelor tradition. I know they say one man chooses among twenty five lovely and eligible women (each season it’s really closer to twenty with four to five out and out lunatics), but that’s always been a bit of a stretch. The Bachelor goes to one cocktail party and is then expected to dump ten of them after the look test and a brief “Hi, where you from and what do you do?”

Generally, the Bachelor takes the more physically attractive women and at the end of the evening you see all the women who couldn’t possibly be 33 or who looked like they came straight from the casting call for some tv series version of Hairspray get the long limo ride home. The last few seasons, they’ve included at least one woman straight out of rehab or at least a casting reject from Rock of Love to enliven the cocktail party. Some of them like Doctor Rotting Eggs have been reality tv memorable, others like Lindsay who laughed at the woman who fell off her bar stool seemed to be like some sort of high tech take on Punch and Judy.

Stacey, the woman in the blue dress who stuffed her panties into the top of Matt’s pants, came straight out of the nothing is too embarrassing for Mike Fleiss school. The show billed her as a graduate student of some kind, but she was basically inchorent throughout her camera time with talk of inventing something to fix some sort of problem and then a final shot of her passed out on a sheetless mattress dreaming about all the hybrid cars in London. My guess is that she was cast to make some sort of ruckus. The show allegedly does drug and STD testing for all its contestants btw. I assume she was there as a test of Matt Grant’s poise and he handled the situation and her just fine. Unfortunately some of the women didn’t manage quite as well as the Bachelor. If there are thirty people in one very big house and there’s someone like that, can’t you just avoid and/or ignore her? People used to complain that there was too much gratuitous sex and violence on network television. In Reality tv world, my take is that there’s too much gratuitous embarrassment.

I was, however, glad to see that Matt Grant did take my advice. Instead of limiting his choices to the women at the cocktail party, he had the good sense to show up half an hour early to check out the women on Dancing with the Stars. They gave Julianne Hough a dud partner this season. She once lived in London. It would make perfect sense for her to cross over to the Bachelor once she gets exited from DWTS. Anyway the women on DWTS seem much more attractive than your average Bachelorette and far more normal. In the meantime that odd Miss New York woman, Marshanna, who seemed to think she was on Project Runway does Flava of Love with her self-designed I Dream of Jeannie outfit could maybe design gowns for that show. More reality show swaps would make perfect sense.

The first impression rose has been one of the better additions to the Cocktail party segment. Usually it unleashes all the bitchiness in Bachelorette Manor on the recipient, but the truth is that most of the first impression rose ladies have made the final four. Jenni Croft, the slightly delusional Sarah from Charley’s season, Trish the Stalker, Lisa Blank and her Wedding Dress, Susan Edds all stayed on the show a long time. It’s just that none of them have ever won, though Jenni sort of won by not getting stuck with that pathological liar guy. The only exception was the let me rub up against you again Stephanie from Andy Baldwin’s season and she still lasted four shows.

Matt gave his to Amanda Rantuccio from Florida as opposed to Amanda Peterman (Las Vegas), one of two women who said that she’d lived in England. I liked her claim that she hiccoughs when she gets nervous and the relative shyness played well on camera. It also worked from Noelle Drake the one who claimed to have grandmotherly qualities in addition to impressive mammary qualifications for rose bestowal.

Stupid human tricks appears to be an adjunct to the First Impression Rose. Chris Harrison, loyal butler to the bachelor and now the Alex Trebek of Reality Tv, apparently convinces the women that the best way to get the first impression rose is to do something memorably outrageous in front of the Bachelor. In the past, we had a human pretzel, a lawyer who challenged Andy Baldwin to a pushup contest, a nice looking young woman who stripped down to her underwear and jumped in the pool (she got a rose), Tina Wu singing the national anthem, etc. This year, in addition to Marshanna doing Project Runway, we got another American Idol reject Ashlee who looks a bit like Helen Hunt and who got a rose for a song that would have gotten a tongue lashing from Simon Cowell. Chelsea, the arm wrestling lady, also got a rose. My take is that Matt threw the contest but won the war by saying that he usually only arm wrestles pregnant women. There was also a lawyer from California who did kind of a strange booty dance. I wouldn’t have mentioned it, but she felt like the sister of the sort of bug-eyed lawyer who challenged Andy to the pushup contest even had the same fake tan.

If you back up, you’ll notice that almost none of the first impression rose winners did anything bizarre to get the Bachelor’s attention. Usually it’s simply been a matter of their being physically attractive. Jenni Croft was the one exception and she was more or less goaded into doing her cheerleading routine for Brad. I did think the clarinet player was pretty good, but that one seemed to be from America’s Got Talent.

The basic message of the first show though was that Matt Grant held up pretty well. He appears to have a sense of humor, some level of discretion and grace in awkward situations, and appears to be modest enough. It is interesting that this one is pointedly well-educated, Cambridge. He may or may not be taller than Travis Stork, but he’s a bit more outgoing and certainly wittier than any Bachelor in recent memory. Btw, iirc Jesse Palmer is Canadian. I’m also amazed that they’ve now had something like 13 white guys as the Bachelor (this is Bachelor 12, but Byron Velvick’s season also had Jay Overbye). You’d think that ABC would have noticed this whole Obama phenomenon. We could have a mixed-race president before we have a non-white Bachelor.

Shayne Lamas is the daughter of one time Falconcrest minor character Lorenzo Lamas. Her grandparents were Fernando Lamas (best known as a Billy Crystal takeoff) and Arlene Dahl. Esther Williams was her step-grandmother. Her mother is Michele Smith, the second of her father’s 5 (more or less depending on how you count) wives.
Matt seemed quite interested in her if only to do the home visit and say “You look Mahvelous…It’s better to look good than to feel goo…” in his British accent.

Holly Durst from Ohio scored some points by being the only woman not to comment on how nervous she was. Maybe she’ll write a children’s book about her experience with the Bachelor. “Did she stuff those panties in Matt’s waist? Did she do it in great haste? Did she do it in bad taste?” Did Matt give a rose to any of the hoes?

Apparently she also once dated Justin Guarini of American Idol. After that, who'd be scared of anything?

Erin from San Diego will probably stay on the show long enough to find out why she’s a hot dog vendor. She handled the whole underwear incident well even though she had to handle the underwear.

Robin Canfield mentioned Oxford in her British spiel and I think she was the one who also spoke some French and said she liked soccer better than rugby. I figure she’s good for at least three roses.

My only question is why they gave such a “high road” Bachelor such a strange group of women, based on those previews. It is interesting that they’re not promising anything this season. Bottom line, there’s enough here to at least give this installment a chance.

other Chancelucky reviews
Sir linksalot Bahcelor links

Buddy TV Bachelor page



At 3/19/2008 10:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great recap. I 100% agree with your descriptions of the bachelor. He seems like a really likable guy. I loved the outtakes of him at the end. It's great to see a guy who doesn't take himself too seriously!

At 3/19/2008 10:59:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

Thanks anonymous. I should probably have mentioned the outtakes. His personality came across best there and the big thing is that he actually is funny. Andy was a good bachelor (maybe not in real life), but not sure he had much of a sense of humor. Charley O'Connell might have been the last Bachelor with any kind of wit and he managed to take a possible disaster of a season and keep it watchable. Hopefully, Matt will do the same, though I don't know that this setup is necessarily disastrous.


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