Tonight the men and Andi tell all in a special episode that cost far less to shoot, and which gives the season’s participants a forum to present their unvarnished opinions of each other, assess controversies, and reveal their general disgust with their experience. So basically it repeats everything in the comment section here.
In other news, people still think Andi is pregnant, and she still insists “it’s so far from the truth.” That may not be the most accurate way to characterize the situation, since the farthest you can be from pregnant is virginal, and we know she’s not that. Rumors also abound, at least among agriculture-fetishists, random bloggers, and likely his PR firm, that Chris may be tapped to be the next Bachelor. E-I-E-I-ooooh! That’s a barn-burner! I’ll consult his almanac anytime. Yeah, you know I want to cover that.
Chris welcomes us jovially. He’s in a good mood because for once he gets more than three minutes of camera time. He first introduces one of America’s favorite couples from the show, Ashley and JP. She’s hugely pregnant, and her implants have grown to basketball-like proportions. Chris tells her, “In front of everybody, congratulations,” as if we were gravely disappointed to have missed it when he said it privately. We are assured that she has had an easy pregnancy. What a relief. With the current violent Mideast conflict and that plane being shot down by the Russians, I was really worried about Ashley’s morning sickness.
The couple announce they are moving to Miami, which elicits an open-mouthed look of shock from one audience member. She should watch some news channels once in a while. Wait’ll she hears what’s next: a live ultrasound to determine the baby’s gender! How apt, as this show feels as enjoyable as a Pap smear every week.
We return from commercial to find a scrubs-wearing technician character pretending to ready his ultrasound equipment. He spreads the goop on Ashley’s abdomen as she sits on the sofa. I would need a referral from my primary care actor before my insurance would cover this procedure. Asked if he wants a boy or girl, JP assures Chris, “Just a healthy baby.” Everybody claps approvingly. Of course, they would have applauded if he said he was hoping for a rare roast beef. An image appears on the big screen–it’s a picture of Chris. Another argument in favor of reproductive rights. Let’s get serious. Now there is the fetus. There’s an ear, there’s the thumb, there’s its contract with ABC. It’s a boy! Everyone oohs and ahhs to see the miracle of The Bachelor 2039 in utero.
Next is a sneak peek –if a peek can last longer than it takes to make a bag of microwave popcorn–of Bachelor in Paradise, which looks like a cross between Big Brother and Naked and Afraid. It’s in Mexico, where everyone keeps leaping into bodies of water in between crying and running from upsetting encounters. The audience cheers in anticipation. The sponsors cheer for the cheers.
Now we welcome back all the Season 10 guys. They are all wearing scarves. Do they read here? Chris asks Chris what stuck out about Andi, besides her cleavage. The pro-golfer was embarrassed that his body didn’t measure up to the other guys. You’d think he’d have had some therapy for that by now. They all recall Craig getting drunk that one time, and some of the other guys being variously obnoxious. It’s like those bull sessions we used to have in the late-night hours at summer camp, just without the zodiac symbol nightshirts and diet Dr. Pepper. They didn’t accomplish anything, either.
Marquel, who is wearing a cookie lapel pin, is asked about the disturbing incident wherein Andrew was accused by JJ of using an inappropriate term to describe him. There’s a tense few seconds after Andrew refers to Ron, the only other black guy, as having handled it well. Chris dramatically threatens an irate Andrew, who insists he never uttered the declamatory sentence, that they have the moment on camera. But it turns out they don’t have the audio, so without the producers hiring a lip-reader when they contracted the ultrasound technician, showing it was was pointless. JJ stands behind his presumption that Andrew said the terrible thing, which, because it is so terrible, we never find out exactly what it is. This kind of confused miscommunication is what drove many episodes of Three’s Company. Inexcusable!
Chris the Farmer weighs in next, accusing JJ of meddling and purposely making trouble, like telling everyone about Andrew getting another girl’s phone number. Everyone claps, in support of either Chris’ masterful leadership skills or his fabulous new tan. Chris the Host brings it back to Marquel, because a racist comment is far more ratings-worthy. Someone wishes Andrew would just say he’s sorry that Marquel felt bad hearing about the supposed incident, instead of trying to deflect blame. The show has now devolved into a CSPAN panel discussion on race relations, only more boring and with suits that are not off the rack. Come on, we watch this for shots of oiled abs and man-tears. Meanwhile, Andrew just wants to be friends again, and not have people spamming his Facebook page with death threats. Everyone claps because the sign lit up telling them to.
Suddenly, JJ speaks up to defend himself. His peach-colored bow tie is enough indictment. He stands by what he said about Andrew, then adds that ultimately he doesn’t care what anybody thinks, which makes Brian scoff. Chris brushes JJ off like so much pants lint. He has a show to keep on schedule, and the segment where they talk about JJ is over now. It’s time for Marquel to join him on the Elevated Sofa of Special Attention.
We see Marquel’s journey on the show, which being so brief, is more like a jaunt. He says it made him a believer in love again, which seems an odd response to getting dumped in favor of a dozen other guys. Chris asks about his getting stuck in the friend zone, and why he didn’t just kiss Andi. It seems he didn’t know the other guys had done that. Is that how he decides to go in for the move? But he gets another chance to pretend to be straight in Paradise.
Next up is Marcus, who fell in love more quickly than anyone else, and got his heart broken the worst. How do they measure that kind of thing? Do the guys all fill out forms afterwards? Marcus looks pained watching the footage of Andi rejecting him, or maybe just his stubble is itchy. The audience coos in sympathy as the clip ends. Marcus matured a lot knowing Andi, although he is still struggling with why she chose three other guys over him. Apparently he is not struggling with the concept of competing with three other guys to get her. “If you love somebody, tell them every day,” Marcus instructs knowingly, because he regrets he didn’t tell Andi sooner. He’s going to be on Paradise, too, so he has the chance to tell a number of girls that he loves them in Cabo.
It’s Chris and Chris talking now. America has fallen in love with the handsome farmer from the sticks. Ha, take that, Andi! Women in the audience shake their heads disgustedly when Chris the Host reminds us that Andi was not interested in a life in flyover country. We have to watch that painful scene where she blubbers about it being Iowa, then not being Iowa. Everyone in the audience is bereft. Even the hogs back home are desolate, but that might have more to do with the current popularity of bacon.
What will Chris do now? As he mouths platitudes about being the best person he can be, a lady in the crowd pipes up. Ketra, from small-town Canada, joins them in a surely unrehearsed moment to ask if Chris thinks he will be able to meet someone in Podunksville. She’s right there for the taking! They will have a speed-date during the commercial. Her agent will leverage this into a spot on an ad for allergy medication. We return to see Ketra giving Chris her number on a Post-It note. I bet he can line the entire length of fence around the north 40 with all the numbers on Post-It notes he has.
Now it’s time to hear from Andi, who appears in a sequined dress the approximate size of a dish towel. Chris asks her first about what changed her mind about him after the successful hometown visit to the Joads. She says nothing different from what she told him during the goodbye scene. As she’s thanking him for his kindness, he sneers in a gentlemanly fashion. Marcus gets to waste his breath next, wanting to know why it didn’t work out for them. She babbles some mindless stuff at him about opening up. These guys are only encouraging more people to break up by text message. Cody regrets her not seeing the real him. I think the issue is that she did. Marquel wonders why they never left the friend-zone, a question which kind of answers itself. Some other boob complains about how nervous everyone is in that situation, as if she could control it. But now we must break up the substantive content to shill Paradise again.
Next Chris gleefully brings up the is-Andi-pregnant report. She repeats that she is not. The ultrasound guy looks disappointed. Next Chris hauls out the lie-detector results that she tore up during the show. We are reminded that three men told no lies: JJ–why not use that information when addressing Marquelgate?–Chris, and someone else. The three that did lie: Marcus, Dylan, and Josh. That’ll serve Andi right. Marcus claiming he has slept with fewer than 20 women was a lie! So that’s how he keeps that fabulous bod in shape. Dylan does not prefer brunettes, apparently, and is, in fact, not ready for marriage. So finally, someone who really wasn’t on the show for the right reasons.
Now for Josh. Does Andi want to know what he lied about? She says no. She will trust the process. I bet the IRS is interested, though.
Time for bloopers. Lots of people slipping and spilling things, camera guys knocking things over, and Josh in a cowboy outfit, sans pants, riding a rocking horse. That’s more informative than the lie detector results.
Next week, we will learn if Andi has found the man of her dreams. The first choice is Josh. We review their journey, and are reminded of how smarmy and slick he is. He says “I love you” like Clint Eastwood asks a punk if he feels lucky. Then there is Nick, who is glib and banal. They have a once-in-a-lifetime thing, Andi says. Well, except for Josh. When he tells her he loves her, it’s more like a 10-year-old remarking on his feelings for ice cream cones. Next week will be heartwrenching.
The live event will come to an emotional end, Chris enthuses. Maybe neither one will propose! Maybe Iowa will suddenly seem appealing! Maybe there will be a nationwide power outage and we will be spared the whole fiasco! Like Andi, we can dream.