BachCap II: Tops Optional

Oh, hi. For those of you coming for the USC End of Sanctions post, click here. For those of you here for the right reasons, let’s BachCap:

Chris Harrison stared into the mirror. His face implant looked great. Better than great, better than he expected. When a Cuban surgeon suggested over Cohibas and Guatemalan rum that he could have a more youthful version of his current face 3D printed on baby calfskin and grafted onto skull, he could hardly believe it. Still, he took the  man’s number in his 24K gold iPhone case designed by his personal slave Neil Lane and often debated using his untraceable server to call the surgeon. He figured maybe he should get it done now before Trump rescinded passage to Cuba and his chance for a new face was gone.

Looking in the mirror this morning, the results spoke for themselves. Already handsome before, no one would even know he’d undergone a procedure. But he did. Confidence came from within, and also from his standard week two breakfast, a modification of Hunter S. Thompson’s menu del día: Half a cantaloupe drizzled with rum, chicory coffee flown in from New Orleans and served black, a rasher of Kobe bacon (hard for even him to get as it comes from pigs owned by Kobe Bryant) and one double-wide line of cocaine.

Elan Gale came to tell him it was time to start week two. For a moment, the familiar nerves returned, but that might have been the blow. Or the coffee. He knew what America knew. Anything he said to these “women” would be received much the same way a merle-colored labradoodle would be received by a middle-school sleepover. Reactions of shock, glee, surprise and delight and the total lack of impulse control followed anything he said. At the bottom of the bottle, he often fantasized about writing on a date card, “Tonight, one of you dies, one of you gets extra time with Nick.” He already knew they would do this.

“Chris.”

“Huh?”

“Chris, it’s time.”

“Right, Elan. It is. What exact time is it?”

“6am.”

“How long have they been drinking?”

“They haven’t stopped.”

“Right. Perfect. Thanks.”

“And sir?”

“Yes, Elan?”

“Your face. It’s beautiful.”

“We said we’d never speak of it. [long pause] But, thank you.”

The first tear Chris Harrison was able to produce with his new face rolled down his cheek and he bottled it. He locked it in a safe in his house and told no one.

But I know about it. If there was a movie about my own life, and there should be, it would be like Indiana Jones and I would go on a quest for that one, bottled tear. It cures cancers, but it also produces the most intense chemical high possible. What would I choose? The fate of the world or to truly understand the feeling of being Chris Harrison, my lifelong hero, a man who stands on the winner’s podium of my influences along with Prefontaine, Rick Steves, Gordon Ramsey (pre-2008) and Corey Seager.

Oh, shit. You wanted me to talk about the parts of the show they filmed. Fine. MY WIFE CLOSED THE BROWSER FIVE MINUTES AGO BUT NOW SHE’S DELETING MY NETFLIX ACCOUNT INEXPLICABLY.

Chris Harrison tells the women that it’s time to get down to business and maybe it was the dragon blood talking, but he said that it’s “physically impossible” for Nick to get dates with everyone. But I think he just meant logistically. Or maybe it was because they could physically only fit so many people into the awful Tom’s Natural Toothpaste colored Buick Whatever-The-Fucks some media exec sold through.

They looked like three Tic Tacs rolling through Kanan Canyon. Those cars were an ad for a midlife crisis. They made me want to buy a Porsche RIGHT NOW™.

These minty suppositories were heading for the Getty Villa and Franco Lacosta, who is my personal spirit animal. One part partyboy™, one part West Hollywood safari guide, one part fernet branca and two parts 70s cop, this man is a national treasure. Literally, he’s Puerto Rican so we get to count him! Also, he’s got less instagram followers than I do. Fix it, America. Tell ’em the Bearfighter sent you.

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Nick talks like he is secretly hiding a tongue ring from his family. I dub thee – SECRET TONGUE RINGER™. Secret-T is way too stoked for this photo shoot. He’s wearing a metallic tux with no buttons. He’s not looking at the naked women, instead mugging for the camera like a toddler who knows they’re cute.

It’s weird. He’s the bachelor, but he doesn’t feel like he’s in the show at all. He was a great villain. He’s just sort of a meat-filled humanoid going through the motions on this show. I kind of want him to let the cat out. Show those claws, Nick!

Dolphin Shark is made to dress like “shotgun bride” – which just means pregnant. Having the girl from New Jersey do this is racist against New Jerseyans if being New Jerseyan was a race. (editor’s note, I lived there until 3rd grade and that explains a lot). She’s up there with my favorites, especially when she celebrated her boobs’ birthday with two flesh-colored cupcakes.

Ivanka managed to get drunk by 7am and go full a-hole on everyone. The Girl With The Heart Tattoo who is Two Inches From Crazy thinks Ivanka would be a bad person to bring home to parents. But like, you put the most generic tattoo in the least generic place. I want to know how it happened and why. What’s the statement? You’re pro-love? You wear your heart on your heart? I’m fucking lost.

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What else, oh. Brittany makes a whole big deal about how small the bikini bottoms she’s been given are and then comes out looking aces. I’m guessing central casting had clocked that ass from before she got there. Good for her because it pisses off Ivanka, causes her to drink more and then awkwardly go topless in the pool while Nick keeps going “ewwwww” although in this case I agree.

Ivanka at one point at night is bragging about how no other man will ever hold her boobs – her nanny is a woman so her adjusting her bra for her in the morning doesn’t count. She says something like, “He’s the first, first, first person I’m falling, falling, falling, falling in love, love, love.” Holy shit. Shut shut shut shut up up up up now now now.

She gets so drunk while stealing Nick (can Nick be stolen?) she says, “I think the world to him.” I am sure I know the two things her brain is trying to say.

Look, more and more I’m convinced the “multi-million dollar business” she runs for her Dad is just like, The Sims or something. Like, her Dad put The Sims on and was like, “keep them alive and we make millions” and that’s what she does all day, staring at the ocean and forcing a nice lady to cut cucumbers for her.

Someone else mentioned “getting naked is the most romantic thing ever.” I dunno. My last physical wasn’t romantic.

Ivanka gets the rose, mainly because of the success of crime dramas at the Golden Globes and they want a murder at the mansion. Speaking of mansion, this cool thing from Trulia let’s you tour the mansion in my hometown. I was not paid to say this. I just like it. Also, probably a solid investment for an IVF clinic. Plenty of specimens in that pool alone.

Oh yeah. Taylor, who is NO WAY A PSYCHOLOGIST™, tells Nick she loves how he does this thing where he has a thought and goes with it. Jesus. You’re describing being alive.

Danielle had a date with Nick and the only thing I remember was the relief on Nick’s face when she told him her ex died of an overdose and thinking man, he just wants to be on TV and got relieved he could just be nice and talk instead of trying to figure out how to turn on all of America at once and be everything his family and the producers expect all while selling software and working out and waxing and holy-shit-I-need-a-psychologist-that-isn’t-Taylor.

The last date is mainly about Crazy Ex Girlfriend (great show) and her giant-ass back tattoo planting the fact she slept with Nick to Christen, who is a Powder Puff Girl that de-animated and grew up. The time bomb is set. They go to the museum of breakups which apparently is a thing and we’re meant to believe Neil Lane left a five-figure ring there for art. Nice try. Also, Nick, no one cares or remembers.

They do a bunch of fake break ups, whatever whatever. Eventually, Crazy Ex Girlfriend just alludes to the whole thing in her scripted breakup and then Nick dumps her like third period French. Which is fine because she was probably going to peel his skin off eventually and make one of those ugly doctor evil cats out of it. Like it doll form.

Shit, I’m talking about skin peeling a lot today. My wife just closed the browser.

And I’m spent. See you next week.

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The End of The Sanctions Era

 

We meet again. I don’t know what this post is going to be. But I know I need to post. You all have asked me to weigh in. I expect it’s going to be about the future and about this team. It’s going to be about the school. It’s going to be about the end of the Sanctions Era and my small, but shockingly bigger than I’d have expected role in it.

Let’s just start in the beginning.

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I started this blog so long ago I barely remember the guy who wrote it. I’d write about my weekend. I’d write about not much at all. And eventually I started writing about USC football because I love it. I love my college and their football team. I love that we were named after an army that lost and became famous for how hard they fought in doing so. I’ve played our fight song heading to cancer surgery, to job interviews, on my wedding day and any time marathon training sucked on a cold, rainy day here in Portland.

This blog exploded when USC got handed sanctions by the NCAA because Reggie Bush and his parents took money from an ex-convict hoping to become a sports agent. They said we should have known. Maybe we should have. But the committee was lead by Paul Dee, the AD at Miami, who was paying for abortions for strippers impregnated by players on a booster with on-field privileges’ yacht while doing cocaine. You can’t make that shit up. Playing for Miami under Paul Dee was doper than any party montage in Scarface and in USC’s case, the NCAA let Scarface judge their case.

The penalties were second only to SMU’s death penalty. A two year bowl ban. 30 scholarships. Vacated wins. And other things that came from it, our severed relationship with Reggie (which is thankfully being slowly mended, but damn dude you couldn’t just pay the dude off like the other guy?).

Our Rose Bowl opponent (Penn State), fought the NCAA harder than Pat Haden ever did and they actually shouldn’t have because Penn State is horrible. More on that later.

Uncle Pete had just left. We had very, very limited coaching options and when we hired Lane Kiffin, it seemed like a low point. We all felt it. I saw on social media something I never had before. Trojans not being sure how to feel. Wondering what the Coliseum would be like. Wondering if Rome, who we celebrate with our architecture and with our name (Rome was said to be founded by Aeneas, a Trojan), had fallen. After the Pete years, the fall was steep. It was a long way down.

I didn’t want us to fall. No one did.

As I said, I love my school. I have a screenwriting degree from the best film school on earth. It’s statistically harder to get into than Harvard Law School (at least it was then). I heard Tom Hanks was one of the people who read our 70+ page applications. I am hell with a pen.

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The only thing I could think to do was write. So I wrote this.

I suggested that the Trojan identity, both tongue-in-cheek and in reality, was about a lot more than football games that count. I suggested something we already knew, something we already identified with – our arrogance. I knew that our parents and grandparents who went to USC when it was a “gentleman’s C school” felt the same way about it that the current students feel about a school that’s sitting in that just-out-side-Ivy-League crowd with UCLA, Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon. There was never an option to not go to USC.  We’re better than everyone else when there’s data to support it and when there isn’t.

We’re a cult of personality.

And that personality is arrogance with a smile. We’re fundamentalist Trojans and it makes us so, so intolerable for our rivals. It was classic Sun Tzu, Disruption, whatever you want to call it. While the Bruins wait for a good season to emerge and boast, I figured correctly that with the right motivation we didn’t even need to be playing football that “counted” in order to be a better fan base, better school and better story than UCLA. Or anyone for that matter. If someone had to line up against us, we still had the opportunity to violently impart our “culture” on them and the scoreboard.

The NCAA was going to let us play games (because business), so it became obvious. We had to ignore their attempt to throw salt in our game. In fact, we had to celebrate everything that sucked. Nothing demoralizes the enemy more than celebrating when you should be sulking.

Those that follow me on Twitter or Instagram know in Portland I’ve fallen in love with the Timbers. They’d hate to hear it, but what attracted me to them was their fundamentalism. When the rain starts, we get louder. “Let it rain! Let it pour! Let the Portland Timbers score!” and then you dance in circles dumping lager on everyone around you flipping middle fingers.

You can’t lose if you refuse to. You can win if you change what that means. It was already in us. I used a focus group of every Trojan I ever met from the old salty dog talking about the 60s to the fratboys on campus and realized we all needed a kick in the ass and a reminder to just keep being ourselves – because everyone else hates us.

When sanctions hit, people weren’t just rooting for us to lose. They were rooting for us to shut up. Losing, well, not much control there. But shutting up? Not on my watch.

So, the Bearfighter was born.

I made shirts. And thousands of them sold. Enough that I related to the Catholics vs Convicts 30for30, except for the fact that shirt and Notre Dame in general is super racist and South Bend is boring, I don’t care if Rudy was a good movie (and he was offsides and a hobbit).

Lane Kiffin was the only coach who wanted the job and Tennessee fans drew dicks and vandalized his home?

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Got a shirt for that. All hail the mighty visor, his hot wife and everything wrong with this deeply flawed man! Follow the arrogant man into battle!

Bowl ban?

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Eff that shit, anyway. It’s only a party if we show up.

And for the Pac 12 schools who thought we were going to vanish and it was their time?

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This last shirt was easily the biggest seller and the most personal. It really is as Fight On as it gets. It’s been copied, parodied and there are so many more stories I never put on the blog. At one point, I got a cease and desist from USC signed by Kiffin, Haden and company. It was amazing.

But then it took off. You couldn’t go to a game, walk campus or watch on television without seeing signs of the fan base I dubbed Arrogant Nation.

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On my wedding day, I shit you not, I woke up and turned on GameDay who was at the Coli for an Oregon game (we lost, whatever, we won emotionally) and a reader had a “CONGRATS ZACK AND EMILY” sign. Dude. Trojan fam!

The greatest contribution of the blog, in my opinion though, was that as I got to know some players and students, I found out the players were reading it. I loved knowing they knew the fans were behind them no matter what. The games mattered to us. In fact, this is the most special era in the history of our school because in any normal year, we’re favored to win the conference.

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This was an era we were supposed to lose. But we “qualified” for bowls both years. Won the south one of them and it lead to UCLA having to play in the title and get smashed by a Duck team we beat. We totally screwed that year up for Larry Scott. We never had a losing record. We are unkillable.

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After games we lost, I’d spin it that we won because “we don’t live in Tempe” or “Berkeley is a shitty town” – just kidding, we haven’t lost to Berkeley in a decade, lol. Bears.

I started to get a ton of traffic from fans of the other team. Stanford and Oregon especially. They just wanted to see if we’d break. Nope. Not even a little. We actually became friends at times.

The school quietly tolerated me, if not embraced me. It became really clear from my insiders, friends and friends of the program that I was saying a lot of the stuff about the NCAA they couldn’t. So, they gave me the mic.

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The most surreal moment in my life was hosting our pep rally the first time at Galen Center. When I came out and thousands of students cheered instead of treating me like a whack ass MC, it blew my mind. I got to introduce The Spirit of Troy, the band, my biggest advocates. I wear the t-shirt they game me every big game. Band people, if you are reading this, you guys kept me going even when we lost and I didn’t want to spin it. You guys are a gift and you did more than almost anyone to get us through the Sanctions Era.

This was rad. I used to buy drinks there and then they named one after me. I didn’t even have to play football. BRAND RECOGNITION STRONG!

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We had some fun with things like Arrogant Game Predictions, guessing how many times Kiffin would go for 2, how far Kyle Negrete (hey homie) would punt the ball (predator drone launches) and what Kiffin would wear.

We made it fun. We kept it alive. It was no small feat. Building a culture is hard. Maintaining it is hard. Ask UCLA. It’s not like they haven’t won games and bowls. It’s just that their culture sucks. They don’t demand the best. They never fight on. They clap 8 times and ride buses to their stadium that’s nowhere near their campus. They wear powder blue because Cal claimed actual blue because in black and white television broadcasts they needed to stand out. Basically, they know they aren’t more relevant than anyone.

And when they think they are, they try to win like a loser.

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How’d that work out? That’s how it started. Know how it ended?

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Culture breeds confidence. Arrogant Nation was all about maintaining our culture despite being painted unfairly (see pending McNair lawsuit) as cheaters or whatever they made up. I’m sorry we looked good winning and had fun. I’m sorry I think your school is worse than mine. No, you can’t change my mind. And you never will.

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Arrogant Nation wasn’t all roses. There was the time the Daily Trojan tried to take me out. Then all of you jumped to my defense and I had to tell everyone to chill out because the journalist was getting a lot of flack from my readers. His punishment was covering Ohio State for a while. It worked out in the end, he’s covering USC. Fight on!

I didn’t want to hire Coach O for reasons I put on the blog and reasons I couldn’t. We beefed hard on that. I still stand by it. But yeah, I pissed you guys off.

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We also disagreed about Clay Helton. While at 1-2, I was a little shaky. I believe I said it was “getting hard to defend him” – but I also came out strong that when he took over the team started to play like we did under Uncle Pete. More later on this.

Enough about the blog. I want to talk about the talisman of the Sanctions Era. Matt Barkley.

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In some ways, it felt better than Barkley didn’t win the Heisman. He did something so much bigger. He became Mr. Trojan. He’s everything I want our school to stand for. He’s smart and also a fierce competitor on the gridiron. He’s obsessive about technology and reading defenses. When we begged him to stay, he did. When the season didn’t turn out how we’d hope, he still got a legend’s send off. He is the fiercest Trojan I’ve ever written about. In life, you have to put your money where your mouth is. He, and his teammates, certainly did.

I got to know him a bit at events. Now and again, we’d text about shit. I once got a drink with him at the 9-0 with Negrete. No, I didn’t pay. Yes, he was 21 years old. Chill out, NCAA. It’s been a minute, but my wife and I still check out how he’s doing in the NFL and it takes us back to the days when I was WAY younger in my career, spending nights with my business partner Morgan drinking a fifth of whiskey and hand delivering the first batches of t-shirts and making friends with everyone in Arrogant Nation. Everything was scrappy.

BTW, Morgan opened a killer brewery – Indie Brewing Co. – and it’s near USC. Go on gameday home or away and drink beer. Fun fact, I write a lot of the labels. When you buy Indie, you support Arrogant Nation and USC.

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The point is, whatever uniform Matt wears, you should pull for him to win. He’s the good part of what the USC culture is all about.

I’m the other part.

Lastly, let’s talk about the End of the Sanctions Era, which concluded with a last second field goal and our 25th Rose Bowl win.

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The media attempted to make this a “mirror” story. Two sanctioned teams that made improbable runs meeting in a bowl game. We were both back.

First, it’s important to remember why Penn State was “gone” – three decades of systematically covering up and looking the other way from the child abuse going on in their facilities. They were cowards to put football and money ahead of children and I will never support or respect Penn State. I can’t.

Had it been one incident that was immediately dealt with, ok. Bad things happen all the time. But even though it’s new players and new administrators, they didn’t shut the program down and they fought to lessen sanctions. They should have sat out four years. A game. Anything. It’s about money. It’s embarrassing. Like most Americans, when I see their logo, I see the cover up of sexual abuse.

If you ask me the one thing that could make me stop watching USC football, it’d probably be what Penn State did.

But, we do owe Penn State a bit of gratitude. They provided the stone to sharpen our sword. This 25th Rose Bowl win was maybe the most special. It was the end of sanctions. I know the effects are technically still being felt, but USC won the Rose Bowl. The stated goal of Uncle Pete every year. Achievement unlocked.

Here in Oregon, everyone knows we’re back. Recruits know we’re back (not that they ever left, there just were so few of them compared to teams that weren’t abused by the NCAA).

People generally know we were unfairly treated at this point as well, which is incredible. Those that don’t certainly will when McNair wins his case the NCAA has been trying to postpone for years. When they write him an 8 figure apology check for “maliciously” lying about the evidence they never had, that chapter will be over.

More importantly, our chapter of not feeling like USC on the field is over. When USC beat UCLA last season the way it did, by pounding the rock and staying in control, I had a feeling Clay was using Pete’s playbook. They went back to throwing it up for our wide receivers to let them make plays. They controlled games so the other team makes mistakes.

We are passing the eye test. As great as Darnold is, and wow, he’s great, great players often emerge when things click. I’ve never been so fired up about where we’re going. In fact, I’ve been so fired up I’ve largely retreated to just tweeting about SC and enjoying things as a fan.

A lot of you have asked why now that we’re back I don’t write that much. It’s because I hate being the last one to leave the party and in the end, this isn’t about me. I wanted us to get through sanctions. I wanted to brand Arrogant Nation. I wanted SC to be SC again.

Since all that has happened, I’ve been doing what you’re doing: enjoying the ride.

Fight on. Thanks for everything.

And you never know. If a bear jumps out, I’ll won’t be far away.

FTFO.

 

 

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BachCap I: A New Hope

O Waddup, 2017. Now that the earth has finished rotating around the sun and we arbitrarily are calling it a new year, everything will be better. Starting with this blog. I’m all in this season, but I need to warn you of a few things before we get started, you start tweeting at me all day asking where my posts are and all the cute things we do as a couple together.

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Trump is the president. I am trying to Make This Blog Great Again (#MTBGA) so you don’t have to solely focus on what promises to be THE MOST DRAMATIC SEASON OF AMERICA EVER™. That doesn’t mean from time to time I won’t slip into pointing out the giant burning turd monsters we’re all going to be dealing with. If you supported Trump, that’s okay. You’re more than welcome to enjoy my free content. If you don’t like it, I’m sure there are plenty of hilarious, GOP-alt-right-friendly reality television bloggers in REAL AMERICA™ because Mississippi is known for two things: holding on to the Confederate Flag like the last person at a party who just won’t go home and BLOGS ABOUT WEST-COAST LIBERAL ELITES LIVING IN A MANSION TRYING TO FIND LOVE.

Oh crap. You’re stuck with me. Like we’re stuck with Trump.

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Let’s BachCap™.

The first episode is always the worst. We’re treated to some staples of the show, all of which are less fun than what comes later.

We start this time, like we start every time, with a Nick-retrospective. This is Nick’s public rehab tour and the first thing we have to do I get him to never-ever talk or appear in public. But that would make for bad TV, so they decided just to coach him up. It’s sort of like when Chris Columbus was directing the first Harry Potter movie and he’d literally just say every line to the young actors exactly how they are supposed to say it and with the perfect facial expressions and then tell them, “Don’t act, just mimic what I did.”

What I’m saying is Elan Gale or someone is sitting in front of Nick being like, “If I get knocked down, I’ll get up and show everyone my true self.” I’ve seen Nick’s true self. It’s on his Instagram. He’s shirtless. He’s a shirtless “software salesman” who is shirtless with ten other shirtless folks at Chicago nightclubs. He’s a man who posts pictures of himself like this:

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Kudos on not eating carbs and what I assume is a pretty good pilates regime. But, when people tell Nick to go eff himself, he’s like, obviously, what else would I eff? Take the lower left photo. Outside of a 25 year old, pre-metabolism girl taking an “I’m thinking, but mainly about how fun I am” staring off to the side photo on a daddy-sponsored beach vacay, who takes this shot?

Actually, what guy have you ever met that created a five photo montage, pic-stitch of themselves? Did you like that guy? I don’t either.

Look. I think the person deep inside Nick is probably solid, but his family is super religious and he’s constructed some kind of effeminate playboy image that he thinks pleases them. Which is weird because how is that what pleases a 37 person family is Waushcheecadka, Wherever USA?

Be yourself, Nick. Like you almost were on Bachelor in Paradise. I got your back.

Wow, Elan Gale is good. He got me to say it. Shit. I’m brainwashed NICK I LOVE YOU TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF. My wife just closed the browser.

Speaking of his oddly religious family (oddly because Trump proved God moved on to another planet already), kudos ABC for only showing 5 or 6 of them and mainly just Bella, who seems like a good kid. As they moved through Nick’s varying “suit game” – which I interpreted as the many personalities he’s tried on over the years to feel accepted – his dad asked if one look was a “vampire thing.” For clarity, naming your daughter Bella in the Twilight Era is the most vampire thing you can do short of actually drinking another human’s blood.

LEAVE NICK ALONE RELIGIOUS FAMILY. HE LOVES YOU.

Anyway. Nick, like all broken men who want to be the Bachelor, is afraid he won’t find love. After coming in second to so many men on this show, you start to break down what happens. The question I ask is what is happening when he sleeps with women? I’ve never seen someone succeed so often in conversation-leading-to-coitus or (CpC in advanced metrics, write that down) with such a terrible Deal Sealing Fail Rate (DSF/R).

He mostly nails private convos with girls. He’s mastered being something between the Backstreet Boy they grew up fantasizing about (maybe it’s One Direction now) and their female best friend they listened to the Backstreet Boys with (maybe it’s One Direction now).

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Then, the girls sleep with him and decide it’s not a forever type of thing. Which is very ungirl after finding the unlikely mix of sensitive guy with a ripped body who also is kind of a dick. See my point? What isn’t adding up? That is literally the 3 part recipe for MILLENIAL GIRL HEROIN™ (maybe it’s Molly now).

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They did the awful scene where they have Nick meet up with former Bachelors for advice. This was the bottom of the barrel. Ben is a child who couldn’t make it work with an Oregonian flight attendant, a human who comes from a state known for politeness in a profession requiring you to deal with turbulence and assholes simultaneously while trapped in the air. Oh, and she won’t eat a carb unless she gets the stomach flu.

They brought out Chris Soules, who’s back to being Fat McConnaughey and still has no personality. The fact he did the show to drum up promotion for his hardcore Trump-style land-takeover business makes him even worse. Chris Harrison said this show is a journey to find love, not land ripe for fracking. The only fracking this show allows is in the fantasy suite. My wife just closed the browser.

Then there’s Sean Lowe (Strawberry Lemonade), who at this point looks like a Westworld robot somewhere between being in milk form and human form. I commend him for getting married and having a kid. I just don’t know if that’s because Jesus told him to (personally) or he means it. Still, I’m leaving him alone, because unlike the other two cowards “pretending” to drink whiskey, he finished his glass.

BTW, they were at Bogie’s, which is in my hometown. It was voted the Conejo Valley’s Best Spot To Hook Up With Your Friend’s Newly Divorced Mother Now That You’re An Adult While Santana’s “Smooth” Is Playing. When I bought a house out there before moving to Portland, I tried to take my wife, but it became obvious we were both going to end up swingers by the end of the nights. My wife just closed the browser a record third time.

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Side note, snuck into the Golden Globes once and smoked a cigarette with Stiffler’s Mom and the lady who wrote My Big Fat Greek Wedding. They were lovely. We just smoked and talked shit about Diane Lane who “doesn’t eat.” I thought it was a brutal, rockin’ takedown and they are perfect.

I’m just gonna cover girls I remembered because it’s frankly too damn early to care.

  • The first-impression rose recipient who’s a litigator, LOVES VACUUMING and most be broken in some way if she is on this show.
  • The Canadian Italian French special needs teacher (bacon must be confusing in that house) who seems great so she must be broken in some way if she’s on this show.
  • The girl from Secaucus (read, the train station in NJ where you transfer trains trying to get to your family in better parts of NJ while you are staying in NYC and don’t want to pay 232 dollars for an Uber in 2 hours of traffic) who dresses like a shark and claims to be a dolphin.
  • The girl who slept with Nick and didn’t give him her number (read my previous explanation of what happens when girls sleep with Nick) and then lost 30 pounds and her fucking mind and now wants another round, but not of pastries. She’s past that.
  • TEETHY, who wore yellow and thought it was SO WEIRD™ that she had a fan. Um.
  • The Golden State Warriors cheerleader who brought Neil Lane’s botox-reanimated-latex face with her on day one.
  • The 1990s Love Interest girl who said she wasn’t wearing underwear and when she smiles it’s like A LITTLE TOO BIG and you wonder WHAT’S WRONG THERE.
  •  IVANKA TRUMP, the horrible bacon-wrapped-turd who speaks in the third person, runs a “multi million dollar business” and has a nanny who brings her cucumber snacks. Please bring back MESA VERDE and CHAD and lock her in a room with them. Spin off. Bachelor in Horror-dise. I’m in.
  • Other people who are probably totally broken in a really bad way that we’ll all exploit while drinking wine (bourbon for me).

Well, Nick. You got what you told your parents you wanted. A bunch of weird girls virtually guaranteed to pick you first. Hope you stopped doing whatever that thing you’re doing in bed is. Stop reading Cosmo for male sex advice. It’s not something you can reverse engineer.

I got your back. Make this season great.

One other piece of housekeeping. Have a quick read Trojans – or people who don’t feel like going back to working yet!

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I’m CLINICALLY LIT™ that my USC Trojans won the Rose Bowl last night, effectively ending the original purpose of this blog, which was to be a propaganda machine to combat the NCAA sanctions handed to USC for “not knowing Reggie Bush (the one who dated Kim Kardashian) and his parents took money from a guy who wanted to be an agent.” Last night, USC beat Penn State, another team who was sanctioned, but managed to get their penalties lessened – even though they got in trouble for three decades of covering up 30+ cases of child abuse that happened on campus in team facilities at a state school with tax payer money.

Just because I have a large readership, I want to point out that there’s a big difference between Penn State and USC. Or Miami (who did some pretty gnarly stuff). Penn State put business/football ahead of morality and good judgement. I know people love their schools. I know we want to fight against people who point out that we’re wrong. But Penn State covered up something really bad for a long time and their excuses are terrible. Especially that the current players and coaches and administration “had nothing to do with it.”

I object to Penn State having a football team the way you’d object to  your meth-addict child having meth. It’s the bad influence causing you to make really heinous decisions. I’d buy the argument “it’s all new people” if you had the courage to shut your program down for four years and hit the restart button. Maybe then we’d pull for you or admire your team. You have to actually repent to be forgiven.

Until that point, rooting for Penn State football sort of feels like seeing the movie Spotlight and rooting for the Catholic Church. Sorry.

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BachCap Finale

Where did the time go? This season never really got going for me. The guys were boring besides Chad. JoJo flushed all the goodwill of being a seemingly smart, calculating person down the toilet with each choice she made. I saw more sequined dresses than it takes to elect a decade of Miss Americas.

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I know I bummed a lot of you out by writing so little. Sometimes, like when I was in Amsterdam on business, there was just no way to see the show. Sometimes, the episode was so, so, so boring I couldn’t bring myself to squeeze a G of words out for you. Sometimes, honestly, I meant to and then just got busy, tired or all the other stuff that happens when you are not as young as you used to be. I started this thing I think in 2008, when blogs were a thing, and 8 years and millions of reads later – I’m a suit.

But I’m writing today. Thanks for reading. Let’s BachCap.

The last episode is always the same. My wife, the blonde genius forensic scientist on CSI: Future Breakups pointed out as much. They always make the underdog seem WAY better to the parents to create drama and then the first dude out of the limo is invariably that guy. He eats a rejection burger and then she marries the boner.

This episode was no different.

A couple quick notes before we go macro, because there is no way I am describing the play by play of a show that made no effort this year to create a compelling play by play. Thank God Bachelor in Paradise starts tonight. That’s the real MVP now. That’s the one the crew gets excited for . It’s the new GOAT. It’s LeBron’s return to Cleveland. It’s Becky with the Good Hair.

JoJo has had some work done. Her mother had too much. Her sister, so little they made her sit off screen and not talk. This is the Goldilocks Principle at work. Somewhere in between too much and too little is JoJo: the ideal amount to the tune of being worthy of a show about twenty men vying to wed her.

Is that messed up? Yes. Should you all vote for Hillary now to repeat for what this show says about the fairer sex (yes, but also because Donald Trump is a human turd dipped in orange paint with a speaker in it that reads facist manifestos in a tinny voice)?

Her mother, to be fair, lowered her daily dose of bacterias injected into various parts of her face and I was surprised at how much her face mask could emote. Let’s give her credit. She was mainly sober. She was kind. Parts of her face moved. She was a big winner. Dad was great. And her brothers didn’t like how they looked last time. They just smiled and enjoyed their dress shirts worn only by Cam on Modern Family and guys in Dallas who don’t get that when the fashion lords created the oxford, they got it right. We didn’t need more to the tune of floral prints in the inside of your shirt. Just stop. You aren’t a Tootsie Pop. We don’t need a surprise inside.

While they tried to play up how great Robbie was and what a d-bag Jordan was, it honestly seemed true. The only thing I like about After The Final Rose is that you get to see everyone without editing so you know it wasn’t the producers faking a story.

Jordan is a huge tool. And let’s get into that. It’s for a good reason. He’s got no self confidence. Want to know why the older brother plays in the NFL and dates an X-Man? He can make decisions. He doesn’t waffle. When Aaron Rodgers sees a man open, he throws the ball. Quarterbacks make decisions. They try to get in the endzone.

Jordan answers every question by repeating what was asked of him so he has time to think of a non-response. Like, JoJo can’t think this would last. She can’t think that when her normal, clever brain we experienced on Ben’s season will put up with Jordan after the tenth time they have sex. Does she not know that the only way she will be able to get off will be to picture different things to bludgeon him with when he runs his hands through his hair.

I’ve never had a friend like Jordan, and not because he’s this bad guy. Because he is not confident in anything. He can’t even tell you what city he will be failing as a sportscaster in. He couldn’t ask her parents for her hand. He called them the day of and didn’t even FaceTime – but that might be because her mom just looks like a screengrab in that format.

Robbie is a boring, basic himself, but I’d be his friend. He can make decisions, even if they are horrible, like wearing a hot pink tie with that suit. Maybe it was to match her nails so the shot where she reached into his chest and pulled out his heart really popped on camera. Maybe he was gonna sell a time share. Dunno.

I felt bad when JoJo said how everyone is rooting against them when she said it’s been rough going for her and Jordan. But the thing is, advice turns to annoyance when you just ignore everything. He just smiles, walks super weird, dresses fly and gives zero shits about you. I feel horrible for both of you. Just break up and save yourself your quality years. He’s a fine human. He just isn’t going to be anything you want him to be and the weird part is YOU ARE SAYING IT OUT LOUD.

I get that the “heart wants what the heart wants” but the heart wants donuts and strippers and hardcore narcotics and that is because your heart is a drunk two year old with the nuclear launch codes to your heart and no matter what the brain tells it, it’s just like “FU I can have another bottle of rosé and text him right now because he loves me guys, you don’t get it.”

We get it. We just want to avoid the next six months of the same depressing talk with you. My wife just closed the browser. OUT OF RESPECT™.

So, another failed season. I need a good one. I’m working on a new plan for next year. Maybe a pod. Maybe some Snapisodes (ghost emoji: lostangelesblog).

Thanks for playing and have a great offseason.

 

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7 Bdr Victorian in Historic NW Portland Alphabet District

This actual housing listing in Portland, America’s hottest real estate market, was brought to my attention. I felt the need to rewrite the listing based on the photos provided. A link to the actual listing is at the foot of the post. 

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FOR SALE!

Rare, spacious Victorian in the Alphabet District in close-in NW Portland. This 7 bed, 2 bath classic oozes with potential for the discerning home buyer. It’s what we call a true fixer’s dream! While the house boasts three stories, it’s clearly had thousands of stories. Picture your family adding to this tapestry of life just a stone’s throw from the bustle and glamour of the Pearl District.

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The grand living room is laid out shotgun-style to a second drawing room. Pictured here configured as a young-man-about-town’s paradise boasting an indoor garage band setup with original stained glass windows providing a natural light show that will have you and your guests feeling like they are taking in a show at the Crystal Ballroom. Original wood floors bounce just as much as that famous night club. The dust on the floor tells you the room inspired the kind of musicians that are currently on tour.

The room features dual viewing stations for quiet, rainy Portland days where you just want to stay inside and watch the big game while also watching pornography in a private setting with original sliding doors.

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The reverse view reveals a Scottish tartan-inspired couch guaranteed to remind you of your fraternity days. A non-functional fireplace (shown here functioning via Photoshop) will warm you and your loved ones. The renaissance pagan worship alter housing it is built-in and adds mystical charm.

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Step through into the drawing room illuminated by giant bay windows and relax in the included chaise-lounge-slash-lazy boy that’s survived two small fires leaving it with a rustic, northwest campfire smell that will transport you to glamping at Crater Lake or shopping for Danner Boots at nearby Union Way. The Persian rug hides wonderful stories – come view the property to peek under and into the past (NDAs required).

The window coverings serve a dual purpose, providing a soft gauzy light and partially hiding the vintage 1993 Panasonic 6 CD changer component stereo (speakers not pictured).

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A true meth chef’s kitchen features a freestanding, hoodless four burner cooktop stove and non-matching kegerator with an extra keg provided. A cozy five seater breakfast table (with cantaloupe) rests adjacent to an oversized window complete with 50% of the original plantation shutters. Get the best of both worlds!

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The wainscoting lining the rich terror-wood staircase bears rustic, original nail scrapings and charming dings from several lifetimes of forced detentions, terrified animals and demons clawing their way upstairs. Every day is Halloween!

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Emily Rose was exorcised in the Lavender Room. Her original christening gown has been lovingly framed as part of what many feel will be a future historical site in Portland. Tuck your children in nightly with the peace of mind that Satan has already been forcibly removed from this full-size bedroom. As a parent, it’s wonderful to have one less thing to worry about.

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The hallway was crafted in the sexually-repressed all male boarding school style complete with a love seat reclaimed from the Clackamas County office of top Ear, Nose and Throat doctor Larry Eichleman. Feel free to enjoy indoor bonfires and seances. Fire extinguisher included (and unable to be removed without damaging the drywall).

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The house also contains a multi-purpose room. Previous tenants used it as an art gallery and taxidermy studio. The head of a stag and half of a pouncing black bear are included. The artwork of a violin playing girl (who now haunts the house) are negotiable with purchase, unlike the ghost herself, who has 273 mortal years left on her haunting lease.

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Original hardware in every door! No need to ask Chown Pella to recreate these beauties! The brasswork improves grip, essential when fleeing from ghosts and vagrants living in undiscovered crawlspaces in this 1800s charmer.

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The bathroom contains a full-size bath and sinkless design evoking a simpler time when the bath was more than just a relaxing retreat from the stress of the day. Tankless water heater? No way. Who needs one when you have a space heater included at the base of the tub, perfect for accurate, gentle temperature control of the people waking up in this tub without organs. Ingenuity reigns supreme with a shower caddy hung in the absence of a shower. Shave or stare at yourself and question your life decisions in the mini mirror hung directly above the space heater.

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A private backyard complete with abandoned bathtub gives you a respite from this nightmare of a home. The bathtub can also double as a rain catcher so you can “live green” like most PDXers do and save money on bottled water. Make your own!

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A half size garage is included for storing your horse drawn carriage. Just don’t ask what’s under the leaves. Seriously, because the realtor has refused to enter the property. There will be no one to ask.

Asking price $974,900 (not kidding).

 

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BachCap CatchUp

I’ve been busy. I told you this wasn’t going to be the season I was consistent. But I also said I wouldn’t let you down, so here’s some musings from the season so far in no particular order.

I’m going to start with JoJo, which would be a cooler name if she was a dope wide receiver names Joe Johnson and he had like a Twitter handle like “YungJoJo” and his snaps were lit af. For a girl named Joelle, can’t it just be Jo? Or how about Elle? How cute do we need to be? Do we need to duct tape a kitten on every facet of our existence? Can’t being wealthy and attractive be enough in Dallas?

Truth is, if we need to rename JoJo, we rename her Beady, because she exclusively wears beaded, sparkling dresses. It’s like she’s been chained to the DJ booth at a never ending prom and chewing her leg off to break free would be bad because calories.

Truth-truth is, I like Beady. She got the raw deal last year. She’s really pretty smart all things considered and genuinely seems like someone who’d be fun to be around. So other than the fact her STYLE ICON™ is a disco ball, I love her. I hope she finds love. And any form of matte fabric. And a better plastic surgeon than her mother.

Come to think of it, this season a lot of the people are likable.

But not Chad.

Chad is what the guy from Veep would look like if he was weaponized by the people who turned Wolverine into Wolverine.

This guy from Veep:

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And Wolverine:

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Chad is LOOKING FOR A FIGHT™ and this house of dudes seems to want to give it to him, only they never really do. Most interactions are like this:

Chad eats a raw sweet potato and sweats through the same fleece zip up he wears in every scene. Someone gets mad at him for eating and not being in love with Beady yet. Chad tells everyone they are idiots if they are already in love with a girl they barely know. Someone gets upset and tries to define what Chad is all about. Chad responds by eating a pound of deli meat and saying he’s trying to mind his own business. Someone else calls Chad a joke who is there for the wrong reasons. Chad threatens violence while eating a head of lettuce. Someone says the answer with Chad is always violence. Chad threatens to kill said person while drinking some kind of glowing neon protein drink.

That’s been the season so far pretty much. I just wish Chad let me write his threats. His are like 90% ridiculous, but I think if he got to 100% ridiculous, we’d actually totally love this future restraining order of a neck vein. I think he’s like right near the line of the villain we love. Like, we love the Joker and he actually kills folks. We loved the Terminator. If Chad just upped it a little bit stylistically, he might be our Deadpool. We might end up rooting for him to kill everyone in the house instead of JoJo finding love.

Since anyone can tear an empire down, here are some suggestions next time Chad puts a threat on someone:

“I’m going to crawl up your ass and tackle you from inside your body, bro.”
“I’m going to cut off you fingers and fax them back to your house in the early 90s so you are afraid to grow up, bro.”
“I’m going to buy you tickets to Hamilton and then when you get out, I’m going to beat you so hard you don’t remember seeing it and can’t brag to your friends, bro.”

Side note. I haven’t seen Hamilton on any of my business trips to NYC, but I’ve seen the titular song performance a lot. Does anyone else get pissed off at the SERIOUS ACTOR FACE™ that goes on when Lin Manuel Miranda gets all quiet and drops into singing “Alexander Hamilton” – ???

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That’s the face The Rock would make before he gave people the People’s Elbow:

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Hamilton probably is pretty badass, but this blogger who so cavalierly connects the worlds of Tony Award caliber theatre and WWE gamesmanship is not ready to compare the moment Hamilton gets introduced with the moment The Rock sends 50,ooo Trump supporters into a frenzy with the promise of a choreographer elbow to the face of someone who probably just told the crowd they are huge assholes.

Lin, you’re singing man. You didn’t just blow my mind by proving we live in the Matrix. I’ve never seen anyone so amazed the music went from aggressive to reflective. Aaaaaand… my wife just closed the browser.

What are we talking about?

Chad’s number one enemy is Mariney Mouse, a small dude who dresses to look smaller somehow. This guys seems ready to fight Chad but never does. They are both Marines. It made me sure I wasn’t supposed to be one.

In the grand tradition of the 2 on Juan date ending with one person left in the wilderness, Chad got removed, but we are made to believe he’s out stalking everyone. I’m sure not much happens, but let’s be honest. In the same way that 23 Jump Street is going to be Men in Black 4 (for real, Google that), Chad can turn Bachelor in Paradise into I Totally Still Know What You Did Last Summer. DO IT, ABC.

Hey, Jake Pavelka is still alive! Next.

We had one helicopter so far, but I was more focused on the date. I’m not counting it.

Let’s spend some time on Zorg from Fifth Element (who Chad and many readers called out). Evan, who fixes penises for a living, is the kind of person in civilian life you probably like, or at least tolerate. But put in this environment, it just seems like he’s the guy at the high school party trying to clean up as it’s all going down. He probably collects keys and stocks bowls with condoms. He’s just a fish out of water. Maybe a fish in outer space. He actually is such a fish that he makes you question what a fish is in general. They don’t have hands? They breath underwater? They aren’t lovable. I don’t know. You may not realize you’re thinking things like this when you see Evan on screen, but you are. That’s why you aren’t into him ladies and gents.

Also, poor dude. His nose just bleeds on contact. And on non contact. And he’s not doing blow and rocking out or anything. He just stores emotion in the capillaries in his nose.

The Canadian dude deserves a little ink too. He is so an actor and crisis negotiator ABC hired to handle Chad. Like, the dude just acts goofy, jumps in the pool first night and lasts this long? Please. He’s ABC’s man on the inside. He’s undercover. He’s in so deep he may even think he’s a contestant at this point. His contacts at the station are calling him and getting his voicemail. He’s creating a backstory. He’s no longer there for protection. He’s there for the right reasons.

OK.

That’s all I feel like writing about right now. Sorry.

But good news. More next week.

 

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BachCap: FANTASY SUITES

First, a humble apology. For fans of my Instagram (INSTAFANS™) I have spent a month between Portland, NYC, Dallas and LA for work. I’ve watched each episode, but by the time I have absorbed them, the next one is basically on. I have drained several hotel mini bars out of pure guilt (and wanting to be NOT SOBER™). I’ve had many of you offer everything from words of support – come on Zack, hang in there and post! – to messages that were more like Zack WTF my Tuesdays are hard enough without you taking selfies at the Soho Grand whining about being tired. Being tired is having a 6 month old and negotiating 2 hours and 15 minutes of me-time a week. That’s 2 hours for this godforsaken show and 15 minutes to read your stupid, un-proofread blog.

So yeah. I got some of those too.

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Instead of going into Olivia getting sent home in what is now a disturbing trend of 2 on 1s ending with one person being stranded in the wilderness like they are suddenly started an impromptu episode of Naked and Afriad (or Survivor Wench) – I am just going to talk this week.

After I talk about JoJo’s mother, who drinks champagne right from the bottle, didn’t realize she was on TV and has had so much work done you’d think she married a contractor.

Also, her brothers. What’s up with that? And the fact her ex is a man after all.

Also, Caila and Lauren only two to pass the PARENTAL FITNESS TEST™. You know what I mean. They will always look good. JoJo is fencey. She looks great, but there’s more debate over DNA in her family than in The People vs OJ Simpson.

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OK.

WE’RE GOING TO JAMAICA AND THERE’S HELICOPTERS THERE!!!!!

The thing is, and I’m not anti-Sandals or anything, I just have to point out the specificity of this particular Sandals. This is where Michael Scott takes Jan. This is where the naked photo happens. This is like, a stop on The Office memory lane tour.

And now these idiots are going to ruin it with television-mandated sex in front of millions. Actually, that ruins nothing. I love this episode and what’s more, this was a GREAT version of this episode. I said early on that Benilla was dangerous. Ben crushes hearts because he wants you to feel something you’ve never felt. He lulls you into a coma of telling him that yes, in fact, HE is capable of being loved. And when you finally give in – BOOM.

HEART RAPE™ – in theaters, July 7th.

My wife just closed the browser.

While Neil Lane was getting some last minute botox touch ups, date one went to the Disney Princess herself, Caila. For real, I’ve said it before. Any time anyone tells her anything, it’s the reaction an animated squirrel has when they discover a bunch of acorns.

She’s dressed like she’s playing some 90s vision of the future aerobics death match competition, but whatever. According to the women around he her hair game is strong. I was more focused on her looking like she was attacked by pastel wallpaper.

There’s a generic rafting date to go eat spicy jerk chicken and enjoy a sexual metaphor. Jerk. Get what I mean? What I mean is that the word jerk has a sexual connotation in this case. Oh. You got that? Sorry. I thought it was SUBTLE™.

The date is weird. Caila who was once afraid of breaking Ben’s heart now is cold buggin’ about having her heart broken because she JUST NOW realized he’s dating (and having sex soon) with two other girls. Eventually she relaxes and just violently makes out with Benilla like she’s bobbing for a hidden apple behind his face.

Ben talks more about being unlovable. Jesus, Ben. This is why you are the guy who we call for rides and not the other way around. This is why you went and got me a Powerade Zero in Vegas while I was fighting a hangover without me even asking. Ben, you would be more lovable if you were less lovable. Girls love their teddy bear. They just don’t date them when they grow up.

Go ahead and marinate on that for a minute, lady readers. I wish we lived in a world where nice guys could simply be nice without having to find other ways to ADD VALUE™ – humor, being a dick, sports, money, being an even bigger dick, having a boat – but we don’t. That’s why nice guys perfect the slow roll.

My wife just went to close the browser. Paused. Had a think on it. Paused again. Closed it and made a note to ask if I “slow rolled.”

Caila at one point said she “can feel his in his breath he feels the same” – maybe about what to order for lunch. All she found in his breath was jerk spices. Also, girls don’t say shit like that. Ever. It’s pulling an Isla Fisher in Wedding Crashers.

Either way, she says she loves him. He smiles and offers “Chris Harrison’s Sex Contract” and she accepts. Off to the room to make out in front of enormous FIREWORKS METAPHOR™. In Benilla’s case, I don’t think it was coincidence the fireworks were going off before they even got busy.

Flight Attendant rolls out to date two in a sweater tank top because I guess that’s happening again now. That’s cool because most of us had a thing for Rachel on Friends and so this trend will probably close some fetish loops for men out there who were too young to date a women with this item of clothing the first time it was around. Good luck out there, fellas.

Their date is sort of adorable as they lead baby turtles to the ocean where they will be eaten by basically everything. You could almost hear the crunches as Benilla waved at them.

Ben goes into total “this would ruin it if I wasn’t the Bachelor” territory saying he cried in front of her parents and that she is too good for him. Honestly. Readers. If your prospective partner told you all this after a month, what are the odds you would feel comfortable falling asleep before them? If you step back, this is “collect your hair and make dolls out of it” talk.

Not to fear. He’s the man of her vanilla, non-fat greek yogurt dreams.

The night portion is where the HEART RAPE™ happens. Ben reciprocates “I Love You.” No, no, no. They profess love for each other 100 times and then take it to the mattress and now he’s got 2 girls he’s slept with in love with him and 1 of them hearing it back.

Lauren has this won…

Until…

JoJo’s date starts WITH A HELICOPTER!

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They go to a waterfall and do the classic make out in the water date. Fun was had by all crotches, by all accounts.

The night portion is identical to the other two. AM I UNLOVABLE? Dude. I got over my homecoming crown in college. I feel like he needs one every year. See that part where I told you I won homecoming. Man, I’m lovable. Ben. Get me a fucking Americano.

So here’s where this goes off. JoJo says she loves Ben. AND HE RECIPROCATES AGAIN. JoJo is like wait, what? You can say that? YEAH. To everyone, I guess. Wow. This is gonna end bad.

One CHAMPAGNE POP METAPHOR™ later, the tally becomes clear.

3 Sex
2 Love Yous
1 One Effed Dude From Indiana and Not Just Because He’s From Indiana (but a little bit)

Caila comes to surprise Ben, but he decides he needs to cut her like fifth period French, which was #17 on his list of 100 Things I LOVE About High School – by Ben Higgins (written in crayon).

She’s going home. She’s getting in the car. She’s getting out of the car. She’s asking if he felt this way all week. She’s wondering if he slept with her with no intention of picking her. YES. But he just says no and she leaves. Man. That could have been an honest moment. Girls, don’t be confused. Saying a lot of things that sound like feelings doesn’t mean a man is telling you anything. Don’t let him coo you to sleep like a baby.

There’s a weird rose ceremony because they all sort of awkwardly high five that they are the final three.

It’s going to be weird. See you at the finale.

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BachCap #5: Viva El Mispronounxico

We were immediately welcomed to another night of entertainment by Benilla being coerced to yelling confidently, “Viva El Mexico!” I love the producers, all living in Southern California and well aware of how to pronounce Spanish words, if not being fluent, that Ben was saying MEX – SI – CO and not MEH – HEE – CO, and just saying whatever, doing nothing to help the perception of midwesterners.

That said, the Iowa caucus celebrated Trump and Cruz, so, Ben might be the best thing that region has going. Chicago, you are exempt.

Chris Harrison was predictably not present this entire episode. I am glad we have gotten back to the habit of Latin American trips where we are treated to a vibrant culture and Harrison is treated to incredible options of smuggling narcoticas back into Los Estados Unidos (EEUU).

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As we head to Mexico, the women fly coach which is a great metaphor for this show in general. Benilla is telling us all about how Mexico City is the cultural hub of Mexico. That said, it’s always dangerous as hell these days and dangling ten of the least culturally aware humans in the world out reminded me of parading a gaggle of pugs through the raptor cage at Jurassic Park.

Lord, help them.

Their suite at the Four Seasons is pretty epic and Mexico City is on my bucket list. I regret not having been there yet. That’s what I get for not being on this show. I live in Portland and despite all the accurate things you hear about the amazing food scene, the brunch paradise, the whiskey dripping ceilings – there is no Mexican food of note and I’m not hearing anyone say otherwise.

I want to go to Mexico City. I want to be Chris Harrison’s accomplice. We know he’s how El Chappo got caught (think of when this show was filmed) and we know that had I been there, it’d have been a buddy cop movie far better than Ride Along 2 and instead of being cops, we’d be the new Westlake Village Drug Cartel making waves south of the border.

Harrison. Jerome. South Of The Border. Tuesday nights on Freeform (formerally ABC Family). TV-MA. Stick around for an all new Pretty Little Liars. My wife just closed the browser… ON MY DREAMS™.

Amanda, the mom for OC (Orange Mommy?) gets the Juan-on-Juan date (see what I did there?) and we’re all glad because she seems like a pretty good person. Harry Potter Mermaid (Olivia) throws some serious shade and now I’m starting to think she’s crazier than MESA VERDE from last season. We all know Olivia is going home at some point, can we just commit to enjoying her on Bachelor in Paradise?

Ben rolls into their room early and shines flashlights on them – because he will do anything the producers ask. Ben, also, can you pick me up and wait with me at the DMV today? Thanks dude, you’re a good friend.

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Bird Lady has her retainer in and that’s cool and all, except I’m still not over her racist soccer mom comment from earlier this year. While she is probably not a racist, oh fuck it. Whatever.

I do enjoy seeing all these hot girls sleeping like teenage dudes do. Sprawled out, hiding from light like vampires. Except Orange Mommy, who is sleeping in full make up and a blow out – either because the producers tipped her off or this is just what is expected of single mothers in Orange County.

They go on a hot air balloon ride. They look at the city of the gods. It’s cool. I guess.

I keep looking for the specific way Ben is a sociopath, because he has to be, right? And this episode, it kind of hit me.

He’s has a savior complex. He likes you better when you reveal how you are broken. I mean, opening up is good in any relationship, but I realize Ben digs this because his parents raised him to be a hometown hero. When Jubilee talks about her past, he sees a chance to be stable in her life. When Orange Mommy tells him about her dickhead ex-husband and her kids, he sees a chance to be the best step dad ever.

The savior complex is dangerous shit because it’s not about you. It’s about saving you. You will never be his equal, even if he’s a nice guy and all. He’s like the star of a weird Human Renovation show on HGTV. Ben, as your friend, as the dude you save from having to drive to In-N-Out or pick up his own laundry, let me help you out. Your junk isn’t going to solve their problems.

He’s the most dangerous kind of boy for girls. The one who gets your problem and due to the availability heuristic, he’s the solution. When he breaks up with you, even when it’s super respectfully, it’s not as simple as moving on, it’s validation that your problems are too big to solve, even for a so-called savior.

Not to GET HEAVY™ or anything.

What I’m saying is the end of this season, as the breakup stakes are raised, Benilla, he of little interest, is going to be DESTROYING SOULS™.

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Date goes great. Orange Mommy gets the rose. And another week of false hope in a world where I can name ten dudes who’d gladly raise her kid to be with someone that nice and attractive.

The group date includes Olivia and Jubilee – so we all knew where it was going. Leah is also on this date and I keep wondering when we’re going to find out something about her other than that she wore the dress Orange Mommy wore to the night date at the last rose ceremony. What are they hiding from us?

The group date starts with an ESL class, which in Mexico, is Espanol as a Second Language. That worked out nice from a branding experience. You go, Glen Coco.

It’s amazing to me in a country becoming increasingly Hispanic that none of these girls had even a year or two of high school Spanish. The last time so much Spanish was butchered was For Whom The Bell Tolls. Too soon? Come on. Pan’s Labyrinth? Come on, it’s not easy to tell a Spanish Civil War joke. Probably for good reason.

Sigh.

Jubilee is getting pissed and it reaches a boil when they go to a cooking class – see what I did there? I wanted to spend all day with these chefs, he with a Portland moustache. There’s a Mexican Standoff – see what I did there – between Olivia and Jubilee for who gets to be cooking partner with Ben. Olivia wins as part of an episode long motif of her being first to grab him for anything. I mean anything. Ben seems annoyed. Until he gives her the rose.

Wow.

And also JoJo said something about Ben tasting her taco. Write your own damn joke, America.

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Jubilee turns up the heat and refuses to hold Ben’s hand, finally done with him dating 9 girls and in the end, who knows if Ben really liked her or if he realized it will actually be hard to “save” a complex individual – hell, maybe the Indiana Pacers game was on and he just couldn’t even right then.

Jubilee is booted.

There’s a fashion show related date with Soccer Mom and like, whatever. There’s a fashion show. She got cheated on. I don’t much care. I can’t imagine she is a long term candidate. There’s not much to save. She’s a concierge human. She’s polite, she’ll raise the kids, she’ll be nice and whisper to other soccer moms things you wish she wouldn’t whisper.

Back at the ponderosa, Olivia goes after Orange Mommy and calls this an episode of Teen Mom. I don’t think she even means it. I think she is better at talking than thinking. Everyone turns on her.

We end on a cliffhanger as Ben is taking her aside for a lecture. She’ll come back in. This isn’t the end. We’re not even close to finished BREATH BASHING™ Olivia.

But heed my words. This is going to get messy. Ben’s not a headfucker. He’s a heartfucker.

Follow my feeds and stay in touch so when I’m late to post you know why.

XOXO Gossip Zack.

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BachCap #4: Viva Las Shameless

**this post was written across many bottles of bourbon in many different locations, including Salt Lake City**

Live from NYC in the aftermath of WINTER BLIZZARD JONAS™, I’m hanging out in SoHo, working too much and just talking Bachelor with you fine people. There’s even bourbon. What a country.

If you’re here for the right reasons, let’s jump in. HEART FIRST™.

Chris Harrison hadn’t been to an illegal underground snake versus mongoose fight in months and so he demanded they film in Vegas. Did you wonder why he let the girls know that Ben was not in Los Angeles?

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It’s because he held Benilla against his will in a drug-induced fugue state at an undisclosed location until the producers agreed to offer a week of dates in Vegas in exchange for Chris Harrison releasing Ben and admitting he knows the real truth about what happened in Manatowoc County. I’m Serial.

After all that was sorted, he let the girls know they were going to Vegas. This was exciting for the twins because they are those real people that are actually from Las Vegas.

Their gleeful reaction!

It’s the same thrill a child gets when they recognize a word they learned at school on a street sign. It’s just basic recognition of something that exists that you are aware of. Like there’s an apple. I’ve eaten one of those. :: cue shit-eating-grin::

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Then the producers tried to make them talk at the same time because apparently that’s what twins do and they failed. The producers put it in anyway because they do not consider contestants REAL PEOPLE™.

This show is the weirdest. It’s pretty clear you are going to be invited places. The minute they come in and tell you anything, everyone opens their mouth so big a large part of me wants to throw a bean bag in there like I’m at some fucked up clown carnival.

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You know what turns folks on? THIS™:

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GOOD LUCK SLEEPING™.

Olivia is WAY TOO EXCITED™ and she shows us by showing us her tonsils, molars and all the other teeth I can’t remember the names of. Bicuspids. That’s one.

Ben is excited to take them to Vegas because it’s a place “people actually get married” which is cool because it has that in common with every other town on earth. Ben, demand more of yourself. And also, I want some In-N-Out. Bring it to NYC. I’m already in my sweatpants (they are fresh Nike camo ones, don’t think I’m frumping out, girls).

But seriously, Ben, we’d be friends and part of that friendship is me consistently talking you into BRINGING ME THINGS™ that I truly am TOO LAZY TO GET MYSELF™ and then rewarding you by telling you about MY LIFE™.

So.

JoJo gets the first date and that’s good. It’s been years since there was a bonafied potential STRESS EATER™ on the show. I’m not that shallow in real life, but I take incredible joy with this struggle. It’s kind of what I imagine NASCAR fans like. For most of us it’s boring, but if you’re all in on NASCAR, you are like noticing the tires are wearing unevenly. I notice her worrying about her arm girth. It’s palpable. WATCH THIS SPACE.

Also…

HELICOPTER. GOLD PLATED COOL FIN BLADED HELICOPTER. HELICOPTER TAKING OUT A TABLE OF CHAMPAGNE WITH IT’S RAW LOVEMAKING POWER.

I literally looked at the menu for room service and they don’t make carbonated tear elixir, so I’m out. THANKS SOHO GRAND.

JoJo was just like dude I wore something blousy – this is so dick that now I’m in a very revealing wind situation. My wife just closed the browser.

But you feel me.

This helicopter was so bad ass that all the girls were sure JoJo was in ROMANCE TOWN™ and they are right. Sorry. That’s a winning helicopter. She was fish in a barrel. It was gold plated.

This date sucks though. It’s one of those talks where they literally SAY NOTHING™ and it WORKS PERFECTLY™. My guard goes down. I get scared. There are things about you that are attractive. I never give myself completely.

But hey, kudos for trying to explain you were homewrecking by saying “you weren’t a part of their lives.” That’s legit the way the dude from Silence of the Lambs explains why that girl has to “put the lotion on its hands”.

Look. I feel bad for you dating a married man because in all likelihood you both are great, but the thing about married men is that they tend to have a hard time breaking up with the person they are in a LEGAL CONTRACT™ with. Like, even if you are winning by 10 points in the basketball game of love, you bet on the wife because she’s the CEO.

I watched the move The Intern on the plane and even though it was racist to people who use the internet, it got one part right. BET ON THE SPOUSE™. Even if he’s out of his depth doing dramatic work and should stick to Workaholics where he is superb.

You don’t want to be the SIDE PIECE™. No one goes to a restaurant and says I’ll have fries and a burger. You don’t go, “I’ll have the shaved brussels sprouts – oh, and let me have a porterhouse steak on the side.” They are steak frites, not frites steak. I’d know. I just ate some Raoul’s tonight and I told them to HOLD THE FRITES – carbs are for the weak, girls.

In short…

BE THE STEAK™, ladies. And men. America. Be USDA Prime, k? If you aren’t good enough to eat cooked medium rare, you shouldn’t be allowed in the oven. That’s a metaphor. My wife agreed, paused, then closed the browser.

Ben loved this talk though because JoJo told the truth, isn’t mean and rode in a helicopter with her. Oh, and then had the most enormous fireworks display ever. So yeah. Of course he left saying she has charisma and intelligence and humor. But there’s no evidence. MAKING A MURDERER™.

Group date is made to seem like a showgirl date. Lauren H. says something about nipple tassles being NOT GOOD™ but she said it in a way that had me curious. Like not good in the way we all think—like—wearing clothes is a good idea on TV? Or is there something devious going on? What’s the deal? Why did you go straight to NIPPLE FEAR™?

Also, still not over her being an UNKNOWING RASCIST™ the week before with the soccer moms comment about Queen Jubilee.

The girls are doing a talent show with Terry Fator, who I assumed was pretty good at entertaining because every time I am TOTALLY SOBER™ in Vegas and riding around in cabs, I see ads for him. He’s that dude that you see on some Forbes list as making 50 million bucks a year and you think he must be aces.

Then you see he’s a fucking ventriloquist who does the same voice with all his puppets, is overweight and ISN’T THAT INCREDIBLE AT NOT MOVING HIS MOUTH WHEN HE HAS HIS HAND UP A PUPPET.

Sorry. Like, he’s a millionaire. It’s working out. But he moves his mouth. Sorry. OVER THE LINE!

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The twins do an Irish tap dance. Jubilee is the best and plays the cello in addition to defending our freedom and being an orphan. The racist soccer mom lady dressed up as a chicken which felt super honest. I mean, all in all it was fine.

And then Harry Potter Mermaid dresses up in some red sequined dress and pops out of cake and then just tools around for a while. She then has a fake panic attack. Makes ZERO FRIENDS™ and wastes the next hour of my life telling Benilla she was “not herself.”

Dude, she was the definition of HERSELF™.

That’s her. I just hope when Ben cuts her it is super fun for us in America. Her greatest contribution will be on Bachelor in Paradise this summer when she dates “whoever still hasn’t found a that Hollywood gig that isn’t coming ever” guy. Looking at you Bukowski. And Nick. And Sean Lowe.

I don’t even remember who got the rose.

The final one on one is with BLANK SPACE™, the girl from Chris’ season who is still a virgin and despite being a pretty nice person, I have no idea what is going on between her veneer’d smile and generally down-with-whatever attitude. If a light beer ad procreated with a Martha Stewart recipe – it’d be Blank Space.

You talk to her, it’s like:

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Ben gets ordained – 20 bucks, five minutes, trust me I’ve married four of my friends – and decides to marry people that were willing to sacrifice what is traditionally an important day for the cost of getting married in a Vegas drive thru chapel. Next time you pick on a girl on Instagram who DIDN’T PAY FOR ANY OF THAT™, remember at least she went to Dubai and got to drink champagne. These folks got to have Benilla marry them for a free prime rib and a savings of 75 dollars. DREAM BIG!

Time out. Real quick. 70 percent of these girls are voting for Trump, right? Gut feeling.

There’s a random TWIN OFF date where Ben goes to their house, meets their mom who is nice enough and then cuts Haley like fifth period French.

I don’t care. This whole thing was weird and I’m against people who have wooden sayings hung on their walls. You aren’t a butterfly.

Ben cuts two people I don’t remember after Olivia makes ZERO FRIENDS™. JoJo looked smokin’ in her greenish dress. WATCH THIS SPACE™.

Oh yeah, he punted Amber who is a mean girl anyway and then she drunk talked to herself by some random pool. Whatever. 

Tomorrow, we go to Mexico. I cannot wait. Sorry this was late, but we’re caught up. CAN’T WAIT.

XOXO, Gossip Zack.

Click the links below – I’ve enjoyed getting to know you all on Insta and friends.

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BachCap #2 and #3: Late but Lovely

QUICK UPDATE – This is two weeks in a row so we’re caught up. Enjoy.

Warning. I’m coming off a FULL BLOWN HUSTLE™ at work and then went to see Book of Mormon. The net result was the bourbon gave me two blissful hours of sleep, but then I woke up, watched a personal marathon of Rick Steves Europe (wait, you guys don’t do that?) and never went back to sleep. I guess what I’m saying is prepared for TERRIFIC SPELLING™.

I always enjoy that first shot in the mansion when you see the room and there’s like ten extra NINJA BABES™ who somehow snuck through all the cameras week one and are being primed to exist in a larger capacity going forward. I mean, to manage to get through all those cameras without being seen, even with editing, is just totally like when an art thief has to capoeira dance through a laser field.

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Who was the choreographer who came up with that? We all blindly accept laser dancing as the way to steal something valuable. Why is it never just a wall of lasers? Catherine Zeta Jones’ butt gif (see above) is probably the answer to my query but I’m too civilized for that. I’m not going to stop questioning the world just because Gordon Gekko’s wife uses her butt to rob things.

What were we talking about?

So, the world’s least controversial Bachelor who I’m calling Benilla™. Benilla Wafer is too far because those are interesting. They are great. They are the cookie you forget about (unless you are a freakshow banana pudding enthusiast) and then end up going wire to wire on the first whole box you see.

He’s just straight up Vanilla in the form of a man. And not the old world Vanilla is valuable way. Vanilla like the sad bastard cupcakes in the Sprinkles box that even your co-worker MOST LIKELY TO EAT THEIR FEELINGS™ leaves on the table.

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By the way. We’re definitely referring to his junk as Benana when the fantasy suites happen. Although I’m sure he’ll just respect them to death and be thinking “boobs are cool.” Whatever. I’ll be drunk.

The group date is at a high school. The first episode was all about how high school was where Benilla’s best memories come from. I was homecoming prince twice. I was president of the high school. I played sports. High school was great, but if I ever refer to those days as in my top ten, please mercy kill me. I ate a piece of bacon with hot sauce on it during an Arsenal match last weekend that probably was better than all of high school blended with a scoop of protein and some almond milk and some overnight oats. I’m married, btw.

So, yeah. Man boy had a group date in high school and the wicked ride Harrison took us on was nothing short of the beginning of every jock/cheerleader porn premise.

They had to make Benilla’s volcano explode in what was the least subtle visual metaphor ever. They bobbed for apples and debated girls with lacking MOUTH SKILLS™ (their words, not mine).

There later is a mandatory race between Amber and the Portland Dentist. She, being of Oregon, home of the best runners on earth, wins. Benilla is pretty excited because because this Dentist has a super power. In some lights, she is attractive. In some lights, her faces appears to be melting. It’s right out of Seinfeld.

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Girl You Wish You Weren’t Talking to at A Party, Lace has some A-grade meltdowns here. She’s in this weird, drunk state where she’s stealing Ben to chew him out about how he needs to get to know her and then delusional in thinking they are about to kiss. She’s good TV. Still, the look on Ben’s face whenever some girl “steals” him away is the same face you make when a meeting you’ve been dreaded is suddenly canceled. And then you go to happy hour. And score a phone number and find a fifty dollar bill on the ground.

The 1:1 is Caila, the girl who got messages from her television about dumped her boyfriend and going for Ben. The Television Whisperer™ who always makes the same faces The Little Mermaid makes when she learns something new about people who live on dry land.

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She is going on a date around LA in what is arguably the most depressing cross-promotion we’ve seen so far on this show. Often, we get some kind of loose thematic tie in – like, this Pixar movie is about being Brave and so we’re doing Scottish stuff and being brave. Fine. Kilts are and always will be good television.

But RIDE ALONG 2 is the film and so the date is we’re just going to go on a ride and then make a random stop or two? And worse, we got Kevin Hart and Ice Cube to do this. I love Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, for different reasons. But the last thing I want to see is Kevin Hart trying hard to make this not suck while Ice Cube cringes hoping this shit ends soon.

Want to know how I know Tupac is really dead? Because Ice Cube was on The Bachelor. If he was still alive, he’d have Tweeted a threat. Minimum. MINIMUM. Is minimum a palindrome? No. Damnit. This day just keeps getting worse.

I got a solid laugh when Ben and Ice Cube go into the liquor store because Ice Cube said some pretty funny stuff, but then I just got sad because they didn’t pay any of this off. They just went to a hot tub and waited for Tupac’s hologram to come in and fight all the producers. Straight Outta Whackton.

The next date was with a Love Doctor and suddenly I thought we were on some Bravo show you didn’t know exists and then your relatives from Missouri can’t stop talking about it and you are like WHAT FUCKING PLANET DO I LIVE ON? You drink a lot of wine and don’t care about being judged because they are there raving about Chipotle and Love Doctor on Bravo. You’re safe. Open another Pinot Gris. No one’s counting.

My wife just closed the browser.

They dressed all the girls in futuristic white outfits and started doing a bunch of tests that proved some pretty scientific stuff like “do my eyes go right to Ben’s junk or Sean Lowe’s” – a pointless question. My eyes go to the circuit breaker and the exit route. Eff this date.

Olivia was unbearable here. Despite being I think what’d we’d all agree is traditionally attractive, she has two minor affectations. The first is she is constantly in ACTOR POLISHED MODE™ – for those of you with actors in your extended circle, you know what I mean. It’s like, I asked you how your salad is, why do you sound like you are selling me a George Forman grill in an infomercial. Just talk. This salad is honestly surprisingly impressive. I am not used to salads this good this far east of La Brea. I have been sleeping on this! Oh! How is yours? I’m not normally a fan of kale caesars, but let’s be honest, society can’t be wrong, am I right? Let me pretend to have a bite. 

The second affectation is her terrifying, insane eyes wide mouth expressions. She’s the world’s first person to have a dentist told her “open less wide”.

Mouth closed, mouth smiling, she’s definitely attractive, so not picking on her there. It’s just when she does this:

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…She starts to look like the evil mermaids from Harry Potter…

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So, yeah. Try sleeping after that.

She wins the date and spares us from Ben smelling a bunch of girls butt’s like the golden retriever he is. I felt bad for the lawyer, who seems like a good person, because he said she smelled sour. On national TV. And then later said she smelled like passion fruit. I guess the new produce came in.

She got sent home anyway along with the Dentist who is standing behind me with a needle of novocaine in my neck demanding I tell you how great she is. She’s the best. XOXO, PDX.

INTERMISSION.

I’m back, and so is the show.

Date one is with the flight attendant who is an Oregon Denier – which is shameful, though she is likeable and uh, in quite good shape.

Ben takes her on an airplane ride, which is great because she lives on airplanes. Like giving a florist flowers, dude. She’s got this. Benilla has a hope bracelet and wears a leather helmet for the ride. He says something about the view of her and the ocean both being great. I mean look, if Ben had the game to be gross, this would be. He just was trying hard so again, this falls into the category of HEY BEN I NEED A RIDE TO THE AIRPORT, GRAB ME AND I’LL BUY THE IN-N-OUT.

Ben says yes in that story, btw. The way Batman reacts to the Bat-Signal. He just goes.

They fly somewhere random that for no reason has a hot tub there.

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I mean, I guess when you run out of ideas, put a hot tub on it.

The chemistry here seems genuine, because why on earth wouldn’t it be. I think when two people that look like every happy couple stock photo sit in warm water and make out, an angel gets its wings. This is the bachelor at it’s most bachelor. Sometimes this girl wins, sometimes she doesn’t. She definitely might.

Their night date is a lot of pretty open dialogue and while I love girls that love their dad, she really loves her dad. So why did she run from Oregon? What is buried in his apparently-immaculate front yard. Why is this total fox, kind flight attendant who literally has to feed alcohol to hundreds of eligible businessmen a day single? WHAT HAPPENED IN THE FOREST LAUREN?

Also, every time someone said Lauren B. all I heard was Warren G and I started whistling Regulators in my head – just like you are doing right now – THAT’S PRIMING. I CONTROL YOUR MIND. By Mennen™. BELIEVE IT. I’M PLAYING YOU LIKE A PIANO.

Then we go out to a barn where Ben has trouble opening the door to reveal SISTER AMBROISA! Or someone. I have no idea who these people are beyond the fact the lead singer going for the 50 going on 22 look and her backing band was doing that thing I hate where country musicians dress like 90s hair metal rock stars on vacation in Arizona. Just wear a shirt dude. You’re playing the accordion in some country band. You don’t need a leather vest and leather cowboy hat. You just need to play accordion and even that is up for debate.

Caila, the TV Whisperer is at the mansion ALREADY CRYING™ because she can’t believe Ben is going on dates and she’s in love. I guess when you can fall in love via television, you feel things more than the rest of us. I’d really have hated watching the part in Up where they grow old together with her. Like being in the world’s worst Shamu Splash Zone and I’m factoring in whale torture in this assessment. I would rather be covered in abusive whale water than her tears.

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There’s a group date at my alma mater of USC to play soccer with two of my favorites, Alex Morgan and Kelley O’Hara, who just won the World Cup and set a great example to women everywhere. They competed for women, they competed for their nation and today, they are helping girls who have never played soccer compete to sit on a couch surrounded by trees aglow with mood lighting.

Dream big.

Kelley O’Hara went to Stanford. She kicks so much ass on the field and then acts cute about it. Violent, Stanford grad with adorable way of dominating foreign nations.

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In otherwise, she’s not a contestant on this show. That said, get a new agent because you both are better than this (you heard me Alex).

The game is pretty fun though, especially for Ben who like a moth to a flame or a cat to a lazer pointed, has to run around anytime any sport breaks out going “OHHHHH!” anytime literally anything happens.

Highlights were Alex Morgan laughing at these girls and of course Emily, Twin 1, being a really aggressive goalie. YOU ARE THE GOOD TWIN, EMILY.

Stripes win.

At the night date, it’s a full assault on aggressive Toothy Mermaid. She’s being predictably annoying and self-absorbed, but the rest of the girls 100% go full Lord of the Flies on her. This is the kind of woman-on-woman crime that makes that glass ceiling bulletproof people. Love thy fellow idiot competing for love against you on television. Nevermind. Just fight.

The girls start saying she’s got gross toes and I’m pretty sure something came out about her augmentations. The real part of interest was when she got downstairs and it talking about it, she just asks – is it my cankles?

Fantastic. This was some real awareness for cankles and now the producers will wait at least two weeks before we get a shot of the cankles and the feet. Now I just want to know. I don’t care and I want to know.

Up next, one of the most interesting dates in Bachelor history. Jubilee, one of the most interesting women ever allowed to be on this show. A rough history, military service, zero fucks about being authentic and pretty awkward socially, Jubilee is very real. How will this go? It’s almost painful watching her get excited for the date.

She is nervous day of and gives Ben hell for being late and then since she doesn’t like helicopters, teases if anyone else wants to swap they can.

Oh yeah.

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FINALLY.

This date is totally interesting. She is spitting out caviar. She is telling him her favorite food is hot dogs. She makes it sexual. And also not. She calls him white boy.

She actually made Ben seem way, way more authentic than he seemed. I mean, I know he’s nice and all, but he kind of was a better, more interesting version of himself with her. And she, a more understandable complex woman. Isn’t that what makes relationships great? Not to be all TOTALLY FUCKING RIGHT™ about relationships, but the good ones are ones that help you understand how you interact with the world. It’s a close friend who loves you when you aren’t at your best and is good at helping you not be your worst.

For a moment, I felt like I was watching a better show. HOW DARE YOU™.

She gets the rose and this whole thing is weird because WHO KNEW?!

Cocktail party starts with Ben admitting he just found out some friends from home died in a plane crash. He’s hoping for a good night. It’s a good opportunity to see how comforting these girls are. And for Toothy Mermaid to talk about her cankles. I feel like she was crying and practicing news lead-ins about cankle awareness in her room listening to Debbie Gibson records on full blast. She scares me.

Jubilee, who the house hates because she is different (read into that as cynically as you want) just sets up a massage table to rub Ben down. Not in a gross way though for the first time in Bach history. She actually is talking about his feelings. I felt like they get each other. The main point is that Ben really needed this it seemed like. I kept waiting for this to get awkward, it just didn’t. She didn’t make it about her at all.

And then the BRAINDEAD HITMAN Amber comes in to kill the game. Ben’s not happy, but he’s not a rager so he just gets up and deals with it.

Twenty minutes later, Jubilee is dropping truth bombs like “this ain’t cute” and she tries to not get sucked in. Amber won’t let it go. Ben, who likes her, decides he’s gonna comfort her. Amber attacks again. WTF. Bad look. When former contestants don’t get that this is like driving your car into an brick wall, it drives me insane. It’s like playing baseball and not understanding you run to first after you hit the ball. It’s worse. It’s batting without a bat.

Out of nowhere, Lace sends herself home. I know people love her, I’m bored. Sad she’s not happy with herself. Hope she fixes it. She already fixed the show by leaving though. There’s real drama this year. Whatever happens with Jubilee will blow my mind. She’s the most interesting person to be on this show in years. I’m rooting for a good outcome for her whatever that may be.

ALL IN.

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