Hands up, I confess: I watched ABC’s “The Bachelor” tonight.
Oh, wow, it feels good to admit that, to fess up to a weekly reveling in the trials and tribulations of Brad Womack (he’s a returnee from a past “Bachelor”, but I never watched that season, so Brad’s newer to me than he is to most of the competitors – sorry, participants) and what began as 30 and is now down to four young women eager to find love with . . . him.
Gone are the unsure, the self-absorbed, the too-confident, the vampire (with fake teeth and a suck-your-blood air). Whittled down, as well, are the ones with whom Brad felt no emotional connection or pheromonic attraction.
This week, shooting took place on Anguilla in the Caribbean, and the group date (the rules are too bizarre to explain) was an actual photo shoot. Three “lucky” women, Ashley, Chantal, and Michelle were awakened at 2 AM, whisked to stylists, their make-up and hair done, inserted into red bikinis, and swept to the beach for a modeling stint for the swimsuit edition of, you guessed it, Sports Illustrated. Two of them posed with their tops off (shells or a forearm covered their chests), but Michelle decided to forgo exposure and instead incorporated Brad, sand, and sensual kissing into her shots.
Embarrassed, much? Not Michelle.
Who was finally dismissed, something she never saw coming. Every week, Michelle had dissed the other women, first to the camera, then to Brad, and acted as though she owned all rights to him and his surrounding airspace. To see her shock and anger was surprisingly satisfying: she spoke in monosyllables as she left, and rejected the usual in-vehicle interview, preferring to lie silently on the limo’s back seat.
The four who remain – Ashley, Chantal, Emily, Shawntel – will each bring Brad back to meet the family (in Emily’s case, that means her young daughter, as well) – then the four will become two, then Brad will make his decision. To whom will he propose? Last time, he apparently ducked out of any choice. This time, having done three years’ worth of counseling – his therapist has made himself available for on-site sessions – Brad declares he’s ready to opt.
Not that these couples end up together in the long run. Generally, they’re a People magazine story for several months, after which they part.
My money’s on Emily, but perhaps she’d feel happier without a ring. Brad’s not the only pebble on the beach.