Ah, fantasy dates. Where couples are placed in the most unrealistic, extravagant locales, in order to come down to earth and get the most clarity in these final oh-so-important moments. Go figure.
Though I was initially surprised that Brad and the girls weren't whisked off to exotic destinations to work on their tans and relationships all at once, there is certainly no denying the absolute stunning beauty of Atlantic Canada. And why shouldn't we honour these provinces by welcoming them into "Bachelor Canada" fantasy date territory. There's no doubt that after this week of dates, all of them, along with the sheets on their fantasy beds, will never be the same.
As a viewer, it's impossible to imagine Brad having strong feelings for any of these girls -- and I mean strong enough feelings to propose marriage, not strong enough feelings for a BJ when the cameras turn off in the fantasy suites. That goes without saying.
This week's episode actually started out with a very sweet tone ... it may have been the music, but I actually found myself entertained as Brad prepared for the big week and enjoyed listening to him talk about what losing his friends has taught him and how eager he is to be in a committed relationship with someone to share life's moments with. Plus, those shots of him staring out the window of the plane, his piercing green eyes sparkling in the sun certainly helped.
Bianka was the first horse out of the gate in Ferryland, Nfld, which seems to be a fitting analogy if you ask me, since her nostrils tend to flare up more and more each week -- perhaps to counter the adult acne flare-ups the stress of the show seems to be inducing? Despite her severe trust issues, she manages to channel her eight-year-old self and fling herself into Brad's arms upon seeing him.
Can I just ask a question here? Is it mandatory to jump into the arms of the Bachelor on all seasons of this show and wrap one's legs around him? Because seriously, as excited as I've been to see my boyfriends in the past, which have included two long distance relationships and months of travelling apart, thus warranting many opportunities to appropriately hurl myself into awaiting loving arms, I don't think my feet have ever left the ground to greet them. In fact, if I were to jump into my husband's arms now, I'd probably have to have his chiropractor on speed dial just in case, and I'm not exactly huge here. I mean sure, I've been hitting the mini chocolate bars in my kids' stash pretty hard, but I wouldn't say that MILF status is out of reach. In any case, am I missing out?
Bianka's glee was pretty short-lived. Once she realized she would be kayaking in ice-ridden waters, waves crashing around her, the date became less fantasy, more torture. I don't know what they were thinking. Bianka collects shoes, not Girl Guide badges. I get the whole "Let's go explore our more rugged side and see how we fare when a challenge is in place," but I barely jump into lake water in the summer. The thought of having to kayak in ocean water that's so cold you need mittens, with the glare of a massive iceberg looming nearby as your teeny tiny boat threatens to capsize -- not exactly my idea of a fantasy date.
Again though, gotta hand it to Brad. He really does say the right thing at the right time. His line about not every experience being good but remembering the importance of having fun together while going through those challenges, seemed to really centre Bianka, who was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and brought the smile back to her face. And later, when they canoodled by the fire enjoying glacier-tinis and he actually tried to convince her to shack up with him for the night by whining that the other girls would be all over it, he managed to get her to agree to that too. One minute she's saying "Homey don't play dat," and the next she's 'cheersing' to their journey of love by candlelight. Nice one, buddy.
Next up, Kara meets Brad with a huge smile and they board their jet for the Fox Harb'r Resort in Nova Scotia for some skeet shooting action. I actually enjoyed their date the most -- not so much because of the shooting (and these dates are getting a little too Canuckified. Are they going to be tapping trees for maple syrup for Whitney's date?), but because of the ease with which Brad and Kara seem to feel around each other. The question cards were almost a bonus, despite the discomfort their instructor clearly had with memorizing his lines and explaining the complex game they would have to play against each other, it was nice to see an attempt at the two getting to know each other. After all, they could be getting engaged next week. I have no idea what Brad meant when he said he had his certified Canadian marksmanship (uh ... what now?) but it didn't seem to pay off too well as he struggled to shoot the target while explaining that the most important thing in a relationship is to make sure you can tolerate the things that annoy you about your spouse. Interesting.
Later on, when Brad and Kara were at dinner, he really seemed to be overwhelmed by his desire to share life's moments with her, and clearly they made good use of the fantasy suite because we were barely given a moment to count the rose petals on the bed before they hopped in it and the lights were out. Based on the outcome of the show, this begs the question: what happened??? Did she use teeth???
And then there's Whitney. It's bad enough that we had to relive every moment they've spent together at the beginning of the episode, from her ill-fitting dress on night 1 to her pseudo-provocative hushed voice and delayed speech. Few girls on this show have made me truly nauseous before, but she's certainly one of them. It's pretty clear that Brad can jump off a cliff with her, drive a racecar with her, and scale tall buildings, but honestly can you sit on the couch with this girl and run over to Home Depot with her for some rebar on a Saturday? Please.
So Brad meets up with Whitney in PEI, in a sweater that he may have actually borrowed from her given how tight it was, and they head out for a local lobster fishing expedition (is it called fishing when they're not fish?). I'm sure Whitney felt right at home among all those bottom feeders and the two of them seemed to be having a great time, making out while they're supposed to be listening to instructions with Brad mixing in a few down-home phrases like 'Giv'er' for good measure. Sometimes, that's just all you need to say.
I honestly don't remember too much about the evening portion of the date, other than finally witnessing a glimpse of that horrific lamé bathing suit that has haunted my mind since the first episode where we saw a preview of the upcoming season. At the time, I actually thought it was an evening gown, because I could actually see her wearing a dress like that -- I guess my eyes never ventured south of silicone city to notice that it was swimwear. Brad offers Whitney one last chance to put her emotional repression aside and open up to him and she throws him a bone by telling him he's the one for her. He thanks her for that and for 'making it an easy day with her' (?!) and we blissfully avoid having to watch them act out their sexual fantasies in the fantasy suite which no doubt involve a dog collar for Brad and some hot wax. Thank you producers, for sparing us the visual -- now I'll be able to sleep tonight!
The sun rises at the stunning Dalvay by the Sea, PEI and you can sense the angst. Poor Whitney has woken to groom her mustache and unfortunately has a wee bit of anxiety about the fact that she actually wants nothing to do with Brad. So of course, we are all prepared for her to search deep within herself and do the right thing and set him free before the rose ceremony. Right?
Wrong. The biatch stands there, stone-cold, watching Brad awkwardly make his speech, give Bianka a rose and then instead of growing a pair and saying goodbye to Brad before he ditches Kara, she accepts the rose that she doesn't even want. And it's not over yet.
As Kara stands there stunned and probably dying to get away from the situation even stating 'I go first!' Whitney bulldozes the situation and makes her awkwardly wait while she basically tells Brad it's not going to work with the two of them. Seriously? This is how we know these shows are real. You just can't write this stuff!
Brad and Whitney have a very quick fight about how selfish she is, while Brad's life with Bianka, who will ultimately become his default fiancée, flashes through his mind. Kara exudes the only class left on the show by saying a pleasant goodbye to Brad and dismissing his apologies as unnecessary and we are left mouths hanging open at this tasteless turn of events. Brad begs Whitney to "just get through this" and I'm thinking -- dude, if this is how you're referring to your relationship, something to "just get through," do you not see a problem here?
I guess this is the kind of stuff we wait for and hope for, right? TV gold? But still, I am uncomfortable and slightly nauseous about how this just played out and if I were Brad at that point, I'd be shaking my head wondering what the F just went down.
Maybe we'll get better insight on The Women Tell All -- but probably not.
Til next week!
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