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THE LINT COLLECTOR: ASHLEY & HER ABS, SITTING IN A TREE

By Nora Zelevansky / May 31st, 2011

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Ashley poses like the spazz she is …

As usual, the show begins with Chris Harrison and a date card.  All the men want the one-on-one, including the masked man (who shall here-on-in be dubbed "The Lone Loser").  He says, "I'd love a date with Ashley.  I think she's beautiful."  Whoa there, Tonto.  Aren't looks not supposed to matter to you?  Isn't your whole "thing" that people are too superficial?  Isn't that why you're the douche bag in a MASK?

Anyway … she chooses William, who is a less hot Josh Lucas and they're off to Vegas via (surprise!) private plane.  They have the weirdest, most twisted date ever, where they like simulate a wedding.  She makes him say "I do" and then she laughs at him basically.  Whatever.  They kiss.  She says she likes him.  Turns out that they both have alcoholic fathers and William's died.  What a strange coincidence.  It's almost like someone planned it that way.

All is confessed in the middle of The Bellagio's fountain, not to, like, attract attention or anything.  He gets the rose.  Blah, blah, blah.

Group date time: Everyone is off to Vegas.  We've all seen the scenes, so we know that they'll be traveling the whole time.  Instead of gambling or something actually fun though, they have to watch her dance and then dance with her.

Really, Ashley?  That's how you're going to pick your husband?  I'm not sure you want to marry a guy whose at home in a sparkly costume on a Vegas stage.  Just saying.

Most importantly, Ashley gets to show off her abs, which are admittedly impressive.  She should just marry her own abs.  The guys separate into troops to dance to some sort of hip hop-type sitch.  They look like fools.  There's really nothing else to say.  It's all very very white.  Seriously.  I'm a little embarrassed to be caucasian.

Anyway, Ashley wants to treat the "after party" like a one-on-one with each dude.  West wants to tell her that his wife died.  (P.S. There are some shady whisperings about a shared drug problem and a potential overdose or something that caused her death?  Chime in, if you know more.)  She seems sorta interested, but weirdly not as emotional as about William's father.

Bentley gets bleeped talking to camera about how Ashley has "an amazing butt and rockin' legs and having her tickle my *butt hole* would be amazing."  Charming.  Chaaaaarming.  (And, yes, I rewound three times, until I could read his lips.)  He says she's not his type, but he's competitive.  And she gives him the rose.  Because his butt hole is convincing, I guess.

The chef Mickey wins the next one-on-one on a coin toss.  (I have never seen him before.)  They flip a coin for EVERYTHING going forward on the date.  ANNOYING.  It's weird cause this guy is good looking, but he also sort of resembles Marcel from Top Chef.

Lo and behold, his mother died too.  Do these producers have NO shame at all???  And it's awkward two person concert time.  Oh jeez.  I'll spare you the details.

Then, it's cocktail party and rose ceremony time.  Ashley makes out with JP (the bald guy).  The Lone Loser explains that he had a brain hemorrhage at 29-years-old, which affected his short term memory.  Is that also why he has no sense of humor?

And Bentley has GOT to be pretending to be a bigger asshole than he would normally be.  I mean, give me a break.  He so obviously planned this whole thing with his moronic, date rapist frat brothers.  I don't even feel like he's pulling it off.  He seems awkward about it (which he should BTW cause he has a KID).  His daughter is going to be sooooooo proud of him one day.

Anyway, I shouldn't even waste breath on him, but he says kissing Ashley is boring.  He's worse than Wes with Jillian, however many seasons ago.  She says she's falling for him and squeezes his face like she's his 80-year-old aunt.  It's sort of painful.  He's not even cute.  And what is he proving?  That he can prey on some helpless pathetic girl by pretending to be nice?  It's really putting a damper on my hating on her.  I actually feel bad for the girl.

Some guys get sent home, but no one I really recognize.  One guy who gets voted off calls his mom and asks her to make him French toast.  Yum.  French toast.  And, with that, we chill 'til the next episode …

xo – N.

THE LINT COLLECTOR: THE BACHELORETTE STARTS AGAIN!

By Nora Zelevansky / May 26th, 2011

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I'm not going to lie.

It took some serious coaxing for me to even turn on the DVRed premier of The Bachelorette.  Normally, I'm beyond excited, but with Barf Bag McGee as the protaganist, I'm having a little trouble believing I'll be able to tolerate this mess.

Still, I'll try!  I'll persevere!  Because someone has to do it!  (Also, with summer approaching, there's nothing else to watch.)

Within about 15 seconds, I'm flummoxed.  Why are we watching Ashley H. (Can we just call her "Ashley" now?) dance on some stage in front of an empty auditorium?  I thought she was a dental hygenist?  Well, one thing has been established: She can wear a cropped top.

As for the dudes: The Bachelorette has gone green!  There's a solar energy guy.  SOOO contemporary.

Then, there's a guy named Ames, who informs us that he went to college at Yale (which, he explains, is in Connecticut for those of us who didn't go to an Ivy League school and are therefore really really dumb).  He also has 12 other degrees, has traveled to 70 countries and has run 39 marathons; none of which really makes up for his lopsided fish eyes.  NEXT!

Some guy from New Orleans is so "romantic" that I think he's actually plagiarized lyrics from "The Greatest Love Of All."  Serial killer, much?  There's always one.

If he doesn't win or turn out to be weirdo, do we think the vintner with the deceased dad is the next Bachelor?  Just saying.  He likes girls who are "cultured."  Like dentists.

Oh no!  ANOTHER deceased significant other – this one is actually a wife.  That's terrible!!!  He can do better than Ashley H.!

OMG – another one with a father who passed away???  WHAT IS THE DEAL???  Is anyone ALIVE?  Is this The Bachelorette: Highway To Heaven?

Anyway, Ashley looks better than usual when she steps out of the limo in a sparkly gown.  But she's just not that cute.  And that Minnie Mouse voice?  OMG.  Well, it can only be uphill from here.  She can't get more annoying.

Ashley tells Chris Harrison that she's not afraid of rejection, just that the guys might be disappointed when they get out of the limo and see that it's her.  Um.  BIG DIFFERENCE.  She calls "here for the right reasons" a clichéd expression.  You're on The Bachelorette, woman.  Cliché kind of comes with the territory.

Apparently, some guy named Bentley's ex-wife had a friend call in advance to tell Ashley that he's trouble and only wants to promote his business.  And Ashley seems to believe it, even before meeting the guy.  I would feel bad for him.  If his name wasn't BENTLEY.

To the limo!  One guy actually physically picks her up, when they meet.  So she thanks him for "the little ride."  That's what she said.

Botched kisses, awkward silences, delayed speech, creepy "Eyes Wide Shut" masks, weird winks, pink dental dams (Oh – I mean dental floss) and broken compasses later, they get to the cocktail party.   Why are men so weird?  You really think a woman whose all dressed up wants to be picked up and thrown around by a stranger?  You think she'll impressed by a white boy "rap"?

Apparently, at the cocktail party, it's going to take "nuts and guts" to talk to her.  Charmed, I'm sure.  Talk about a cultured bunch.

The wine guy still rocks, as far as I can tell.

One guy makes her call his mother, Gail.  Why are overbearing mothers always named, Gail?  She's my favorite person on the show right now though cause she tells them – at the fantasy suite later in the cycle – to "remember that your family is watching and use protection."  LOVE YOU, GAIL!  Mean it!

The guy in the mask is apparently making a socio-political statement about how superficial people can be.  Great platform, dude.  "You cover up half your face and suddenly your weird," he says.  That is correct.  Also, you're a pain-in-the-ass with no sense of humor.  But that's besides the point.

It's really pissing off the liquor distributor, Tim (a.k.a. Ed Burns).  And there's a possible fight brewing.  Suddenly, I miss The Bachelor, where all that happens in that one woman gets Courtney Love wasted and humiliates herself with mascara running down her face.  I'm so glad I'm a girl.

Oh, wait.  Apparently, Ed Burns is that girl tonight.  He can't even speak, he's so drunk.  As one of the guys eloquently puts it, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the oven."  Well said, dummy.  One question, though: Why would anyone be in the oven?

Anyway, Tim passes out in a chair and snores … loudly.  Ashley is actually sympathetic because of his nerves, but she sends him home pre-rose ceremony anyway.

Off to talk to Bentley, who comes off fine, but she seems suspicious.  Who knows?  He seems like a good guy.  She kinda likes him.

She gives the first impression rose to a guy named Ryan.  I already can't remember who he is???

Uh oh.  Maybe Bentley is evil.  He says to the camera that he's not "overly attracted to her, but" is "very competitive."  He's EVILLLLL!  Good act, guy.  Bravo!  And not even with a guitar.

To the rose ceremony: She picks the masked guy first, OF COURSE.  Wow, Ashley.  You're sooooo open-minded.  And by that I mean, a sucker.  (Side note, someone outside my window has been singing "Everybody's Free" at the top of her lungs for like 10 full minutes.  It's really weird.  Would it be wrong to scream, "Some of us are trying to watch The Bachelorette?")

Anyway, Ashley picks a bunch of guys with dark indie dude hair first.  Must be her thing.  Ugh.  I hate seeing the discomfort in the guys' eyes, while they await their fate.  She picks a guy named Blake, which I feel like may be one of the guys who seems to appear out of nowhere in episode 3 and, even having written this, I will say: "Who is that guy?  I've never seen him before."

She picks the wine guy, Will (who looks like less cute Josh Lucas), Ames with his degrees and, yes, evil Bentley.  (Thank you, producers!)

The "small time butcher from Jersey" gives a very affected goodbye to camera, which also kind of reminds me of Ed Burns.  That's a theme.  Then the other guys are like little girls, talking about how they thought that Ashley was "the one."  You don't even know her, people!!!  Get a grip!  They need to put these people in therapy.

And with that, I'm hooked on yet another season.  I'm concerned about the train wreck factor, since she really isn't that cute.  And Ashley H. is annoying, but I'm on board anyway.

Are you?  Will you accept this rose?  (That is SO cliché).

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION [Biggest Loser/Natural Haircare]

By Nora Zelevansky / May 19th, 2011

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Most of you know me as a die hard Bachelor/Bachelorette fan (starting next week BTW).  What you may not realize is that I'm also obsessed with The Biggest Loser.  Yup.

Well, this week for my SELF blog "Fit Like Us", I test drove special ergonomically designed kettlebells by "BL" trainer Bob Harper.

First of all, I still can't walk and may never master stairs again.  Second of all, don't you just love the above picture, where sweet Bob looks all tough guy?  Third, I now have new found sympathy for the contestants on "The Ranch."

Also, check out this elle.com story about new haircare line Free Your Mane.  It's all natural, but it's actually result-oriented and designed to hydrate.  Magnifique!

Bye, chickadees!

xo – N.

LA (AND BEYOND): SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION [Supermodels/Angels]

By Nora Zelevansky / May 13th, 2011

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Rumor has it that "talking to an angel is like trying to catch a falling star.”  Still, I didn’t find the task quite so challenging at the exclusive Victoria’s Secret “Bombshell Summer” kick-off event on Wednesday afternoon.

Standing next to a supermodel?  Now, that’s daunting.  In fact, a picture exists of Miranda Kerr above and me, but I'm hoping it will never see the light of day (for the love of all things good!).

Anyway, I took the self-esteem lumps for Style.com, chatting up the fresh-faced, Balenciaga-clad VS “Angel” (a.k.a. Mrs. Orlando Bloom) between manicures, hand massages and makeovers at LA’s notorious SkyBar.

Read all about it and Victoria's Secret events – that you can attend – all over the country in the next few weeks!

xo – N.

 

LA (AND BEYOND): SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION [Fitness & More]

By Nora Zelevansky / May 12th, 2011

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Hi Peeples.  So, in case you're interested, I just started writing a new blog called "Fit Like Us" for SELF Magazine, as a "reluctant" exerciser.  (A.k.a. someone move me from this couch cause I ain't moving myself).

I'll be blogging every other weekday, with gung ho fitness expert Bari Lieberman taking the other days.  Get it?  There's CONTRAST.

Do please check it regularly and feel free to comment, retweet and all that jazz!  I promise to be (mostly) honest about my fitness attempts.  I say "mostly" because I don't want to actually scare anyone.

Giftedcandle

Also, check out my Vital Juice story from last week about this natural solid perfume company, oWp.  Solid perfumes are totally a new trend.  But then so are desserts in jars.  So not everything is worth it's salt.  But this is kinda cute.

xo – N.