What on earth has happened to Chris Harrison? Remember when he was little more than a poorly dressed, nerdy referee on a dating show? Last night’s episode–”The Women Tell All”–revealed that he has transformed into a despicable little man. (Alas, his wardrobe remains the same.) He’s judgmental, condescending, surly, and combative. Just the way I like ’em. Special message to Chris: When you tire of the wives–both your own and the mysterious producer’s–call me! As for the rest of you, jump to discuss the train wreck that took place last night.
We begin the episode with a romantic, candle filled tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte with the only couple that truly makes sense this season: Chris and Jake. As is the case every week, the producers clearly don’t have the goods to fill two hours, so we’re forced to witness a “remember when” between these two dullards. Chris brings up Rozalyn’s alleged act of treason, and Jake says, “It knocked me off my high horse.” What does that even mean? He says that her crimes against humanity caused him to take this process much more seriously. So seriously in fact that he speaks about himself in the third person: “Jake isn’t here for adventure,” he says gravely. Again, just to clarify: about himself.
And then we have to talk about Elizabeth, Ali, Google McGoogle, and Baby Talking McGee. Yawn.
We’re back from commercial! Is it time to nail Roz to the cross yet? Nope. Instead we get to watch two segments about former Bachelor/ette contestants–that would be “losers”–who get together for reunions, Carnival Cruises, and charity. We see all sorts of folks from past seasons like Gwen, Breakdancing Mike, Minstrel Wes (strum, strum, strum!), Stink Shayne Lamas, and some joker who boasts a tiara and a gavel–now all a little longer in the tooth–cavorting in swimsuits, drinking, and making out with one another. But later, things get serious. They feed the poors. My favorite scene?Â A pile of donations that includes a bunch of Clorox Wipes and a used Dell computer. Someone alert the Nobel committee about the good works going on here in Bachelor land.
Finally, it’s time to bring out the ladies. Elizabeth is the first on the couch. Chris gives her a hard time about playing games. “You toyed with him a little bit…Come on,” Chris says. The lady played a game. She refused to kiss Jake. Ultimately, it didn’t work. Or did it? I mean, she didn’t end up with Jake, so she’s a winner in my book. She handles Chris’ pointed questions with a sense of humor. “Watching it, I look pretty stupid. I was going, like, ‘Boo Elizabeth’ the whole time, too,” says says. I like her.
In the distance, we hear, “I saw Goody Papa with the devil.” It’s Ashlie–she’s casting stones while showcasing the goods. Seriously does this woman not own a bra and/or tops that fit? “I thaw Goody Papa with the devil, too,” Gia lisps. And then all the girls pile on–hey, the less you say, the less camera time you get–with tales of how Rozlyn Papa disappeared late at night and chose to sit on the couch in odd ways (on all fours). All of that is perhaps easily explained–poltergeists, bad back, what have you. But then Jessie–our green eyeshadowed friend from many moons ago ups the ante. “I actually didn’t say anything until right now,” she starts. But apparently the secret she has been keeping is just too painful to hold onto for one more second. It seems that one fateful day, Jessie decided to leave the daily pool party a little early–upset tummy, sun poisoning, a need to apply some more green eyeshadow, all of the above?–and stumbled upon Roz lying on the stairs. What’s the problem, you ask? We’ve already established she may or may not have back problems and or demons. Well, according to Uncle Jessie, a producer was on top of her and they were making out.
In order to prevent people from having heart attacks due to this shocking–shocking!–news, we have to bring the room down. Hello, Gia.Â (One of of the guhls told me that her name is actually “Gina,” and she dropped the “n” for the show. I don’t know if this is true, but if she was trying to become more interesting, I can think of a number of better options–reading some books?–than losing a letter in your name. But good for her.)Â This segment is about how Gia has no one to blame but herself for getting the boot. Chris accuses her of not telling Jake how she felt. “What was it that held you up?” Chris asks accusingly. Unfortunately, Gia did tell Jake that she loved him. Like a whole lot. With words. With actions. She introduced him to her ghastly family, for God’s sake. She slept in the same room as Squirrel Chaser. She likely attempted to throw some leg in the Fantasy Suite. (I assume Jake is saving himself for marriage, so what can you do?) What more could this woman have done? But don’t feel too sorry for Gia. She’s not smart enough to let any of that leave a mark. “Being on The Bachelor was probably the best experience of my life,” she says. “I really learned what I’m looking for. I’m going to be more like Michelle.”
Chris is delighted. He, like the rest of America, is bored with Gia, and he is happy for mention of Michelle. Gia is tossed from the stage, and he introduces Michelle with this: “She probably shed more tears per hour than anyone else.” As a reel of her craziest greatest hits plays, Michelle grabs Chris’ cheap little tie and attempts to strangle him, but they don’t make ties at The Men’s Warehouse like they used to, and the darn thing breaks. As Chris attempts to catch his breath and think of yet another smug thing to say, our girl Michelle simply laughs her way through the recap. Later, she says, “I wore my heart on my sleeve. No regrets.” She tries to explain what she’s learned from being on reality television. “Coming onto the show, it’s different,” she says. “It’s not the true way to find love.” Sounds pretty reasonable, right? Well, to the producers, this is blasphemy. They press a button and ask the women to reallocate some of the venom on reserve for Roz. Ali is incensed! She fell in love on the show! How rude to imply that it’s not the right venue! (Ali does not cop to the fact that there’s about a 99.2% chance she is the next Bachelorette.) Then another reject calls Michelle “emotionally unstable.” Chris continues to needle her. And yet she doesn’t break. For someone who is supposedly nuts, I think she handles herself fairly well.
Chris really is an odious little man.
I liked Ali throughout the season. I loved how mean she was to Vienna. I was overjoyed that she chose her job over Jake–even with all the over-the-top crying and temporary paralysis she pulled on her wayÂ out. I don’t like her anymore. As soon as she begins expressing regret about leaving with this: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m the biggest advocate of women having careers…” I felt my affection for her diminish. And then she goes on to express sympathy for Vienna in the tabloids? No. I’m sorry. That’s not going to work for me. If she really is the next Bachelorette–well, it’s on, Lady Stink Feet.
Okay, it’s finally time for Rozlyn’s big entrance. Apparently, she is too volatile to even merit a seat throughout the proceedings. Instead, she’s been forced to sit backstage with a 200-pound man who sports a leather newsboy cap. Other sites have said that she wasn’t even allowed to hear what was being said about her beforehand, so when she walks out there, she’s completely unprepared for the allegations. I don’t know if that’s true. What I do know is that she couldn’t have been prepared for Chris’ venom. He begins the interrogation by saying, “I appreciate you showing up tonight. For some reason this ended up as a he-said she-said between you and I. I want you know I have no will will for you at all.” But that’s so not the case, right? When she’s trying to tell her side of things, he mocks her and tells her that when his kid starts talking about unicorns and magicians, he has to ask the kid, “Isn’t the simplest story the truth?” Rude. He forces the girls to confront her with the crap stories. Previously unknown stay-at-home mom Valisha goes for her 15 minutes of fame by volunteering the coup de grace. “I always wanted to think the best,” she tells her former friend Rozlyn. “And I just don’t think I believe you anymore.” (Today, usweekly.com reports that Valisha felt pressured to gang up on Roz, and she regrets her participation in the pile-up.)
Chris goes on with the inquisition. “Has your relationship continued?” And so forth. Let’s try to get some perspective here. THIS IS A DATING SHOW. Jake is the prize. Let’s say Rozlyn started screwing the producer. They have no visual, but okay. They don’t have any audio. Fine. The girls seemed genuinely shocked when she left, but they suddenly remember all of kinds of horrible things the two lovebirds did to one another. Okay. She has no reason to lie–she owes Jake nothing. And, unless she was sleeping with Chris, she owes him nothing, either. But let’s say she’s just an evil liar. She likes swearing on her kid’s life when she’s telling big fat lies. Let’s just say that’s all true.Â She found love on a television show designed to help people fall in love. Chris should be delighted. What with Jake finding love with One-eyed Willy, we could have a double wedding!
But nothing about Rozlyn delights Chris. And she does herself no favors when she accuses him of hitting on the producer’s ex-wife back in the day while in New Zealand. “I won’t even dignify that with a response,” he says. And then he punches her in the boob.
After that fiasco, it’s Jake’s turn to come out. (On stage. What did you think I meant?) He’s sporting a blue t-shirt under a blazer. Don’t his teeth look odd? That’s really all I have to report on that end.
Next week, we’ll finally be done. Except for “After the Final Rose.” And Jason and Molly’s wedding. And Bachelor Pad. Oh my God. We’re never getting out, are we?