Mike Fleiss, Chris Harrison, and all of the other philanthropists associated with ABC’s The Bachelor are playing cupid for the 17th time. And while these folks have not been particularly successful at matchmaking, that won’t stop them from giving it another go. And if there’s one thing these people have mastered during the course of the 16 previous seasons, it’s casting. It’s like they’ve built some sort of Bachelor/Bachelorette factory in Riverside where wide-eyed, large breasted, super skinny brunettes with Chiclet teeth emerge. These are beautiful women, adorned in James Avery religious jewelry and backless, satin gowns. They’re armed with mysterious job titles like “fashion model,” “Jumbotron operator,” “cruise ship entertainer,” and “community organizer.” From the assembly line, they pile into limos and as they head for the Hollywood Hills, they’re joined by a smattering of blondes and women of color. Off they all go in order to compete for the love of some man.
In this case, that man is Sean Lowe, an insurance salesman from Dallas, Texas. Apparently, he was a loser in love on Emily’s season. (I managed to avoid all that.) Here’s what we know from the first episode: Sean Lowe is a man who enjoys taking off his shirt, working on his fitness, and giving out roses. Seriously, Sean Lowe will not be stopped when it comes to the distribution of roses. He doesn’t need a rose ceremony to make decisions. Let’s say, for example, that a very tan leasing agent named Tierra steps out of a limo and immediately wants to talk about the “open heart” tattoo on her ring finger. That’s the kind of woman who deserves to be rewarded with a rose immediately. Sean Lowe will not wait. By the time the rose ceremony finally happens, 12 of the 19 roses have already been handed out.
That’s all I’m going to say about Sean Lowe today. At this point, it’s all kind of a yawn. I suspect even Chris Harrison has even given up. Not a word about this being “the most dramatic season ever.” Seventeen seasons, guys.
Let’s talk about the true stars of the show: the ladies. The producers obviously wasted no time in delivering the booze and the “go big or go home” message. Women emerged from limos with props aplenty. Lesley, a huge advocate for the environment, came with a football. Lacey came with a doily and a message: “A lot of people call me ‘Lace.’ Carry this in your pocket so you don’t forget me.” Perhaps the best gift though was Kelly’s Carrie Underwood impression. The cruise ship entertainer crooned, “You’re from Texas, I’m from Tennessee. I want to bring you home to taste my mama’s sweet tea.” Katie, the yoga instructor approached with no shoes, dirty feet, and instructions on how to breathe. Robyn gave the gift of tumbling, Unfortunately, there will be no Cirque du Soleil in her future. Robyn suffers a nasty spill midway through her back walkover.
And then there’s Lindsay, a woman of many drinks and few friends. How else to explain how and why she shows up in a wedding gown? She slurs. She slumps. At one point, she says, “I wish I was more sober right now.” While trying to charm Sean Lowe, she begs him to dance and says, “Gimme a kiss. I swear, I’m not contagious.”
Don’t worry. She gets a rose. A lot of women do. A couple don’t. It’s so early in the game. Who cares?
The real reason I’m here is to talk to about my favorite contestant ever: Miss Ashley P., the hairstylist from Michigan. You guys, I love her. “I have no idea why I’m still single,” Ashley says during an interview. She may not know why she’s single, but she knows what she’s looking for: Christian Grey. Ashley is ready to reenact some scenes from Fifty Shades, and she’s hoping Sean Lowe is up to the task. “Everything is bigger in Texas,” she says. “I totally hope Sean rips my clothes off and spanks me.”
Things go from glorious to even more glorious when Ashley shows up at the house. Undeterred by the religious jewelry aplenty, our girl Ashley presents Sean Lowe with a lock of hair. From her chest. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist the Grease reference.) No, no. She actually pulls a necktie—suitable for tying her up, tying her down—from the bodice of her dress. When Sean Lowe seems nonplussed by her fascination with Fifty Shades, Ashley retires to the indoors to drink about 100 drinks. How do we know this? Midway through the classy cocktail hour, Ashley begins dancing. Alone to no music. And it’s freaking greatness. She manages to sexify the knock knees from the Charleston, guys. She leans her leg on a wall. She grinds imaginary friends. She also lurks in the shadows, staring into space while Sean Lowe entertains less randy girls. I loved her, but alas, Sean Lowe is afraid of her—he mentions he might need a rape whistle—and he sends her packing.
But she’s not done, dear readers. During the end credits, Ashley lifts her dress to reveal a tattoo (for whatever reason, the producers blur it out), dances again, remarks that Sean missed his chance to do something dirty to her privates (the producers bleep what and where), and then apologizes to her mother.
You will be missed, dear lady. Until next week.