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The Lint Collector: The Bachelor Goes To Utah

By Nora Zelevansky / January 24th, 2012

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Here we are in Utah, a state that's quite familiar with multiple women dating one single man!  Woo hoo.  Well, it's Sundance right now in real time in Park City, so I have to imagine they timed it that way for some reason?  Or maybe it's a weird coincidence?

Anyhoo, the Bachelor episode opens and sister wife Kacie B. is freaking out.  She says she needs another date with Ben this week or she's going to lose it.  Um.  Kacie B.  It's gonna be a while before you have a second one-on-one.  There are still like 700 other girls.

Still, her panic reminds me of JP on Ashley's season and starts to make me think that maybe she actually really clicked with Ben and that they might end up together.

Anyway, it's Rachel's one-on-one date.  And she's gone mute.  She's crazy shy maybe?  She keeps talking about all the pressure of first dates.  They're on a row boat and it's so dull that the massive amount of mosquitoes are pulling focus.

Back at the house, the girls hate Courtney – newsflash!  She says she blossoms around Ben and shuts down around the girls.  If that's how you want to describe it, el psycho!  Anyway, she's all prepped for her first group date and PhD Emily says hopefully Ben will see the truth about her.

Back on the date, Rachel gets a rose, probably because she has a cool voice, she's pretty and she admitted that she has trouble "opening up."  By that I guess she means talking?  They swap marshmallows.  That's not a euphemism for anything.  He describes their potential relationship as a "slow burn."

Ben shows up on the group date on a horse. That's soooo Lindzi.  It is beautiful there, I have to say.  One of the girls says, "How attractive does he look right now?"  A few comment on how nature doesn't get more beautiful AND it's only better because they're with Ben … and a bunch of other hoochie chicks.

Courtney says the date isn't about catching trout.  It's about catching Ben.  She says the other girls aren't on their game, but Ben is paying attention to Kacie B.  Courtney says she's going to turn the date into a one-on-one.  But Lindzi isn't having it.  Don't matter though because Courtney catches a fish and apparently that's exciting.

At drinks, Ben chats with Kacie S., who I thought was Samantha.  Whatever.  They're both blond.  Blakely is wearing a terrible hat.  Nicki connects with him over losing loved ones and we find out that a friend of Ben's died right before he started the show.  Just then, Samantha shows up and acts like an idiot.  Such bad timing!  She's clearly dumb as dirt and tries to challenge him, asking why she hasn't gotten a one-on-one.  He gets pissed and pushes back.  Don't test him, mofo.  He has a temper.  We saw it when Ashley dumped him.  I kinda like it.  He don't take crap.

He tells her that he's observed that she's overly emotional on group dates.  He sends her straight home, saying that she doesn't take the whole thing seriously enough.  She was absurd, but — wow — that was harsh.  He thought she was being a bitch, but she was actually just being a moron.  Sorry, Samantha.  Bye bye.

Courtney, always eloquent and kind, says, "It's nice to see Ben sending girls home.  Another one bites the dust."

Ben gives Kacie B. one-on-one time during the date.  He likes her, for reals.  He always gives her extra time.  He likes her a lot and he says that he's "in trouble."   They still have to go through this whole process!  He says, "I might end up with her.  She's wonderful."

Then he's with Courtney and he is so whipped by her model ass.  She manipulates him into giving her the rose by saying that her feelings are wavering.  But she's so hot that he panics.  (BTW — his hair is wet and away from his face and he looks SO much better.)

The other women are all upset.  But what else is new?

The next one-on-one is with "good kisser" Jennifer, who I think he might keep around for making out purposes, but not for real.  I don't even know why I feel that way.  They're going to climb down/rappel into a crater.  Meanwhile, all I can think is that I want to re-color her way too red hair.

They lower into the water.  It's a metaphor for a relationship, unknown waters blah blah blah.  It rains etc. blah blah blah.

Back at the house, Blakely is doing Emily's highlights.  Obviously, she's not so hated anymore.  They all hate Courtney and — wait! — that girl Jamie who took care of her siblings when her parents died is still around.  I didn't even realize!  We haven't even seen them talk.

Back on the date, there's a country music concert and OMG thank goodness — it's not an awkward personal show.  Phew.  But just when I think we're safe, they go right up to the stage and sway.  Eek.

Anyway, on to the cocktail party, where Emily tries to warn Ben about Courtney and instead ends up looking bad.  Courtney is evil, saying Emily is on her "shit list."   She's such a psychopath and I can only imagine that Ben is blind to it because she's so hot (as evidenced by "scenes from next week," when she strips down completely and goes skinny dipping with him).

Monica — who appeared to possibly be into Blakely on the first episode — is sent home and is upset, but it's confusing because her goodbye with Ben makes it seem like they've barely talked.

I'm worried about next episode, when Emily seems to try to warn Ben AGAIN for some stupid reason and Courtney just gets naked to get her way.  I guess we'll have to wait and see.  Ben can't rightly go skinny dipping with her and make out naked in the water and then send her home, so I'm guessing she'll be sticking around.

Still, my favorite moment in the entire episode?  When Ben announces that they're going to "Vieques, Puerto Rico!" at the end and — amidst the other girls' shrieks of happiness — Courtney pouts, "I was just there two months ago."

Really, Ben?  Really?  I'm not even going to talk about the accent he used when he said "Puerto Rico."

xo – N.

The Lint Collector: The Bachelor a.k.a Bitches Be Crazy

By Nora Zelevansky / January 18th, 2012

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So many awkward moments, so little time … on this episode of The Bachelor, featuring Ben's hair flat-ironed YET AGAIN.  For the love of all things holy!  PLEASE stop styling his situation. It's at least a little better left shaggy!

Anyway, here are my top 10 favorite moments from the night:

1. When Emily and Ben climb The Golden Gate Bridge because she's obviously admitted to the producers that she's afraid of heights despite being a PhD candidate who should know better.  (If it was me, I'd tell them I was afraid of sushi and massages … although I am kind of scared of those together on a reality show date actually.)

2. When Emily freaks out like she might fall off the bridge and Ben says, "Talk to me, Goose!" to try to comfort her.  Um.  Ben.  Goose dies.

3. When Emily, who seems mildly intelligent, says that Ben's kiss gives her the strength to get up the rest of the bridge.  P.S. Why are people not worried about drivers seeing them, getting distracted and crashing?

4. When Ben says that Emily is smarter than him and she doesn't disagree.  (Okay, I realize that this is a lot of Emily action, but she got the first one-on-one date and also she's my new favorite cause she cursed a bunch during the episode and sort of seems the most normal.)  I also liked during their private fireworks display, when the girls back at the hotel could see and you heard one of them screech, "I'm so ssssad right now."

5. During the group date, when Ben informs the girls that they're going, "snow skiing."  I think that's just called, "skiing," Ben.  Then when they strip down to bikinis to ski like it's a porno and there's a weird SF guy with a long beard and scraggly hair watching.

6. When the grandma girl Brittany decides to go home for some reason (Is she too insecure?  Does she really feel that she doens't deserve a chance with him?  Is she freaked out by the circumstances?  Turned off by his hair?).  Either way, grandma will be bummed.

7. When he then takes Lindzi on the date instead (why the pancake makeup, girl?) and they are forced to dance during a private concert.  So awkwaaaaard.  When they kiss only because it's better than having to dance.  And when they go to a speakeasy and she tells that bizarre story again about getting dumped via a text that read, "Welcome to Dumpsville, Babe.  Population you," but it gets even weirder because she says that was the only time she's ever been in love.  I feel like that reflects really badly on her because either the guy was the biggest douchbag on the planet, she never really knew him in a year and a half of dating and/or we're not getting the full story.  Or maybe she was dating Bentley.

8. When Ben tells the redhead that she's the best kisser in the house, which she takes as a huge compliment despite the fact that he's admitting to having made out with almost everyone else in the house.

9. Of course, when Shawntel the furneral director from Brad's season shows up and they try to make her a villain, but she's kind of not.  (Of course it's her BTW because she also has parents who can't spell a name normally and that's the theme of this season.)  Is she being set up as the next Bachelorette or was this just an attempt to liven up the season?

10. The whole last 10 minutes:

A. When the personal trainer (who I call "Patty" because she looks like Millionaire Matchmaker) just sits there watching, when Ben obviously wants her to leave so he can talk to Shawntel.

B. When the girls all start crying, even the crazy pants model and blonde Rachel with the bangs, who has a rose.

C. When PhD Emily says it looks like they had chemistry.

D. When I of course see a few girls I don't recognize at all because it's the third episode and that's when girls who you swear have never been on before show up.

E. When the girls are too DUMB to realize that Shawntel and Ben have met on The Bachelor circuit, probably doing appearances, and Patty the personal trainer shouts/shrieks at Shawntel (in the WORST Jersey accent), "You don't know Ben!  You were with Brad's season!"  She was WITH Brad's season?  Okay.

F. When that blonde girl with the not so pretty face (sorry) Jaclyn, says, "What IS this?" in response to Shawntel showing up.  I want to scream at the screen, "A REALITY SHOW! Isn't it grand?"

G. When I notice that Chris Harrison's hair is getting longer.

H. When someone says on V.O., "On a scale of 1 to 10, I feel like I'm going to throw up."

I. When Ben calls Samantha's name during the rose ceremony and I'm like, "Who?"

J. When the girl with the black curly hair who made fun of Shawntel's thighs has an anxiety attack (or maybe faints from not eating) and then gets sent home anyway.  Oops.  And Ben says, "Well, I wasn't expecting that."

K. When crazy pants model Courtney shows her true colors by chiding Ben for his antics at the rose ceremony and swearing she'll go home if he keeps Shawntel.  As if.

L. Well, I can't say when Shawntel goes home cause I kinda wanted her to stay.  She's pretty and I like her!  But it was classic when Courtney yelled, "Sianara!" as Ben walked Shawntel out.

M. When Shawntel says that Ben was silly to send her home out of fairness, when this is about his future wife.  (I kinda agree).

N. In scenes from next week, when everyone looks INSANE again!

For the record, my frontrunners are: Kasie B. from Tennessee, Rachel with the blonde bangs, Emily the PhD girl and, well, only cause I want him to like her, that nurse girl who took care of her whole family.  I actually don't think that redhead is going to be the thing and, when he does pick someone, that other girl is going to be PRETTY pissed that he called her the best kisser.  Maybe Nicki is up there too.  Wait?  Is Nicki the nurse?  Is that the same person?  Eh, who knows?  It doesn't matter!  This is reality TV!

Until next week!

xo – N.

 

 

 

 

The Lint Collector: The Bachelor, Take 2!

By Nora Zelevansky / January 11th, 2012

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Phew.  Thank goodness I get to finally watch. It's been pure torture to wait!  Weirdly, it's also sort of like torture to watch.  But such is the complexity that is The Bachelor.

And we're off to Sonoma, a place that I love and I'm afraid they might taint.  I'm surprised that they let these chicks into wine country.  I'm surprised they let his HAIR into wine country too.  NOTE TO PRODUCERS: Paleeeeese stop styling his hair.  It's AWFUL.

Kacie B. has the first one-on-one date (yes, there are several Kacies).  She's cute and from Tennessee and yet another girl whose parents just made up the spelling of her name.

Courtney — the evil model — is hoping Kacie B. won't get the rose, which is not surprising.  I'm just a little shocked that she didn't start her sentence with "cause I'm a model."  Seriously, that should be a drinking game: Take a shot every time Courtney reminds us that she's a model, at least based on last week.  Why?  Cause she's a modeeel.

They get in a convertible Bronco, which I think is sort of the world's coolest car.  They're in Downtown Sonoma, which is just a quaint square.  I love it there.  Kacie B. says Ben brings out things in her that she "hasn't been in touch with in a while."  And I am starting to wonder if she's already about to say, "I'm falling for him."

Kacie B. says she has a secret to reveal: As a child, she … twirled a baton!  That's a secret?  She grabs a baton from the candy store.  Ben feels a little emasculated by twirling a baton, walking down the street.  And he should.  She's kinda boring and lame.  But whatever.  At least she's not crying in a bathroom.  They eat at The Girl & The Fig and I want to yell, "Order the burger!"

They talk about his dad.  She says their chemistry is natural.  I think it's non-existent, but Andrew (the hubby) says Ben F. just brings out the boring in people.  Time will tell!  She gets the rose.  They kiss.  Snoooooozeville.  They go to a theater — Is this going to be one of those humiliating private concerts?  Nope.  Home videos of her and her dad.  Why?  I have no idea.  These people barely know each other!  Why would it mean anything to them?

But obviously this is just to push Ben's buttons about his Dad.  Home videos etc.  He's literally about to start crying.  Then she is crying in a talking head.  I mean, this isn't as bad as the roast for insecure Ashley, but … buzz kill for a date.  She says, "She has found what could be a lifetime of love with Ben."  It's been 3 hours, people!

Back at the house, the group date card shows up.  I have no idea who is going because there are eleven of them and they're barely even familiar from last episode.  Ben says, "That's a lot of pairs of legs."  That's not at all superficial.

He's back in the town square again and they're doing a play.  Eek.  They "playwrights" are kids.  Couldn't be more PG, I guess.  They make the girls act like pigs, weasels and princesses.  They request that the ladies do "sexy dances" and "jog in slow motion." Tricky with no bra, Blakely.  She did not win praise from the kids.

Back at the house, Courtney also hates Lindzi, the horse girl who got the first impression rose last week.  Is there anyone she doesn't hate?

Back on the date, crazy Jenna — who lost her mind last week — has to wear a beard for her part.  Prettttty funny.  Turns out that there is an audience, including some of Ben's closest friends.  Do they not have something better to do?  (Who am I kidding.  I would be there in a hot second.)  Interesting though that some of his peeps will get an early impression of some of the women.

On a side note, is it weird to involve middle schoolers in The Bachelor?  Like are these kids going home and watching later episodes of Ben in a hot tub?  Well, never mind that — Ben basically strips on stage and it is just WEIRD.  The dental hygienist from Texas Nicki dressed as a donkey and she's super into him.  Jennifer with auburn hair from Oklahoma City wins the Oscar for best performance (as a weasel?).  The two blonds ask for kisses together because they got skipped during the play.  Really though?  At the same time?

The girls are not feeling Blakely (the VIP cocktail waitress — really, that's her job).  Apparently, she's aggressive.  She looks a little like she's in drag and she's got a LOT of teeth.  I'll give them that.  Ben starts talking to her and says she seems "grounded."  Um. Really?  Can you not see her CRAZY eyes?  She's 34, so they call her a "cougar."  No comment.

Someone named Samantha is hiding in the bathroom because she hates Blakely.

Back at the house, Courtney gets the one-on-one date.  Kacie B. reads the date card, which says something about spinning a bottle.  "How does that taste coming out of your mouth?" says Courtney.  Um.  The other girls don't even know what to say.  Cause I'm a model …

And the first hot tub kiss goes to Jennifer "The Weasel."  He's getting kind of down and dirty with her, so I think he'd be sort of wrong not to give her the rose.

Blakely announces that she's a Scorpio.  I am too.  Now, I sort of wish she hadn't said that.  Second hot tub kiss goes to the old lady!  And so does the rose.  The girls are maaaaaaad.  Jennifer cries and say she wants to fall in love, which I feel like is always a bad sign.  You should want the actual person, not to be in love with some amorphous idea.

The one-on-one date starts and Ben brings his dog Scotch.  If that dog has any instincts, it will whimper and hide from Courtney.  Every girl in this house is wearing knee-high boots and shorts on her date.

And it's the season's first picnic!  Courtney says she hasn't been asked out in a while.  I think that's because, when you're doing coke at a club with whatever dude has bottle service, it's not officially a date.

She is pretty though.  Her hand is on his knee.  He says he has his career and is just looking for someone to share his life with and that she probably feels the same way.  Yes.  Courtney would like to model for the rest of her life.  Or at least until she's a 34-year-old cougar like Blakely.  Then she can just kill herself cause she's so damn old.

Ben loves Courtney and she is doing a good performance of normal, but mostly I think he's blinded by the fact that she's hotter than him.  Ben asks, "Is this too good to be true?"  Yes, Ben.  It is.  He parties hard and now he is growing up blah, blah, blah.  I think she's bored out of her mind, but pretending to be interested.  All I can think about is how, even if he picked her, one day he will watch this show and see her say to Kacie B., "How does that taste coming out of your mouth?"

At the end, she poses with her rose in front of camera and cackle — no joke.  She's so doing this for her "career."

Time for the cocktail party and OMG his hair looks SO deeply bad!  Lindzi tries to sell him on her being a farm girl.  Blakely — who is safe this week — breaks up Samantha's one-on-one time and she's pissed.  Apparently, they call Blakley, JUGS.

OMG — This has gotten looooong.  Let me sum it up: Jenna is crying again.  They blame Blakely.  It has nothing to do with JUGS, but what can you do?  She's the scapegoat and then she's crying.  Ben finds her and tells her to "collect herself."  Was that supposed to make her feel BETTER?  OMG — everyone is crying.  Jenna is under the covers on a bed!!!

Rose ceremony time: Crazy Jenna and the girl with the skunk hair go home.  I think it's a good thing.  Jenna needs to get home and find a psychiatrist STAT.  See you next week (cause I'm a model …) when someone either passes our or dies during the rose ceremony.

xo – N.

Good News & Bad News & Shameless Self-Promotion

By Nora Zelevansky / January 10th, 2012

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Okay, so the bad news is that I'm a day late with The Bachelor recap.  Sadly, I was out last night and never got to watch the show.  Booo hisss.  But I'll watch later tonight and then write about it.  Promise.  Crossies don't count.

The GOOD news is that I have a bunch of stories to share, including my first Newsweek/Daily Beast story about "Janupause" or the abstinence from drinking for the month of January.

What else?  I spent much of the last week of December writing stories for elle.com about Kate Somerville's new Dermal Quench Liquid Lift, Dionne Phillips' at home eyelash extension kit, touchscreen gloves (for using your iPod in the cold weather), a new line from Burt's Bees, NYE romance tips from author Harlan Cohen and, mostly recently, a DIY (at home!) gel manicure kit.

I also interviewed a YA novelist and all around cool guy Paul Griffin about his new book, Stay With Me.  He's a dog trainer too, so there's a pit bull integrated into the story line.

That's sorta all for now.  I promise to watch The Bachelor and report back, although the inside scoop from another loyal watcher is that this episode was snoozeville.  Only time will tell!  Anyway, boring Bachelor is still better than most things.  Sad, sad statement.

Oh!  And, based on the advice of the social media person at St. Martin's, I created my own Facebook Author page for my book SEMI-CHARMED LIFE that's coming out in July.  If you "LIKE" it, you can get updates on readings and stuff like that.  Also, if you LIKE it, I will LIKE you.  And what could be better than that?

xo – N.

THE LINT COLLECTOR: The Bachelor Premiere (Christmas Comes Late For Bach Lovers!)

By Nora Zelevansky / January 3rd, 2012

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It's January 2nd and already I'm prepared to trash my resolutions, forget about avoiding junk food, cooking more and boning up on high-culture and serious news.  Because the temptation is simply too great — THE BACHELOR IS BACK!  And that is cause for major debauchery and celebration in my book.

So, for better or worse, I am stuffing my face with takeout, as I rebuff my half read New Yorker magazine, Antiques Road Show on PBS and even 2 Broke Girls (well, somethings aren't hard) for the greatest show on earth at 8pm sharp!  Yes, like an avid sports fan who refuses to DVR, I will even watch commercials.

(I need to make up for missing by mere hours a personal appearance Ben F. made at a wine shop in Sonoma, when I was up north.  Crushing.)

Before the show even starts, of course, we all have some inkling of what is to come (toned butter faces doing headstands on the beach before slipping into synthetic prom gowns … and even a grandma, according to carefully leaked rumors!).

But certain issues are up in the air: I wonder, will they still call him "Ben F." The Wine Guy a la Kindergarten, when there's only one Ben?  Will they drag out this grandma thing as long as the stupid masked man from last season's Bachelorette?  As my sister speculated, will Ben F. be a horn dog like Jason Mesnick, a dummy like Brad or a creepy wife-beater-in-training type like Jake?  Will the ladies be as doggy as they look?

Well, first, I learned two very important things when googling for the above image:

1. Ben F. is extreeeemely asymmetrical in the nasal area.

2. When you google "Ben F." images, mostly pictures of Benjamin Franklin show up with a few of Ben F.  Two great men.

And so it begins!  David Gray plays in the background because Ben is so indieeee.

We're reminded that Ben was mad at the end of last season.  And we get to see him tell off Ashley H. again, after she dumps him.  But, since we last saw him, Ben has grown as a person.  He's learned to see that tough experience as valuable and also he's gotten a spray tan.  No really.  He's orange.

Of course the next montage begins with a woman on a horse — what else?  And the first thing that's obvious is that her parents were super confused about how to spell her name.  It's Lindsey, people.  Or Lindsay.  Not Lindzi!  Jeez.  I mean, give your daughter a fighting chance.  (I'm already having visions of Shawntel from last season.)

What else?  One girl likes to shoot cute animals and eat "beef balls" (which are what they sound like) in a tube top; another named Jenna (and we will meet her again) is a neurotic New Yorker with her own blog, who she does a disservice from the very beginning to freelance writers everywhere.

Of course, there is the requisite "model" who announces that she is a model about 50 times and also says: "Girls are intimidated by me."  We all know that translates to "I'm a terrible person and can't play nice."  She also incidentally tells Ben that she fell for him during his season when he said something that really touched her.  He said, "I'm available."  Seriously.  That's all.

A nurse without a father, who raised her younger siblings, seems like a nice, relatively (operative word) normal girl, but is only a viable option if Ben takes the time to get to know her.  Basically, we're on track for a great season!

And now for the ever humiliating "cute" quips the girls make in an attempt to be memorable when they meet Ben for the first time, exiting the limo.  Let me tell you, folks.  There were some doozies this time.  Here are my top 5 cringe-worthy intros (nevermind the heinous dresses):

1. From the law student: "You're guilty … of being sexy."

2. From Amber Bacon: "My friends call me the baconator. Want to taste?  This is Canadian bacon."

3. The girl who just walked past him without saying anything.

4. The chick from Kentucky in the absurdly huge hat that made everything awkward from the hug to whatever else.  Abandon the prop!  Prop fail.

5. From train wreck Jenna, trying to quote him back to him, but failing miserably and instead saying, "I loved when you said, 'Good things always end badly.'"  (That was not in fact what he said, but I think maybe for her they do.)

Turns out the grandma gimmick is just the intro to one of the girls and that turns out to be cute actually.  "Too cute," according to Ben.  I would like to add the rap by the PhD candidate though to my list of horrible moments.  That was really pretty damn awful too.  Why do skinny white people from the suburbs feel like they need to rap?

Can I take a time out and ask why oh why the producers insist on "styling" Ben's hair a.k.a. straightening it in the most horrible way?  I mean, it's sort of acceptable curly, but really?  He looks like a wet dog.

Moving on … the girls get catty as usual.  One chick in a purple dress seems to be hitting on another woman and oddly she is NOT the girl who plays soccer.  Neurotic New Yorker Jenna has an insane meltdown because she feels picked on by the purple dress woman, who seems mean, but also like she has no clue whatsoever what Jenna is talking about.  And, despite attempts to console her by a blonde in a red dress named Rachel who seems nice, Jenna ends up crying alone in the bathroom.  (I also sort of think she's barfing from too much champagne.)

And suddenly I feel like I'm watching Intervention instead of The Bachelor and I'm wondering if anyone in the history of the show has ever tried to escape via the toilet.  This girl needs some lithium STAT.

Though Ben picks the horse woman for the first impression rose, that's really overshadowed by the disaster sobbing in the bathroom.  But instead of sending Jenna home mid-party per usual for the first episode drunk, she stumbles out for the rose ceremony.

And, though I seriously think they may have endangered Ben, Jenna and all the girls in the house, the producers actually make him keep her around!  She is just too good TV.  She is his last pick at the rose ceremony.  And, yes, she will accept this rose.  (And so will Miss Blondie in the purple dress, who will no doubt torture her.)

Ben sends a funny, but not so pretty British chick home, a few crazies (including the baconator) and one really pretty non-profit worker chick, who didn't manage to make a good impression.  (She was the token ethnic girl.)  Already the frontrunners seem to be the horse chick, a sweet brunette from Tennessee and the blonde Rachel girl.  But only time will tell!

And perhaps the best part of the whole episode is the scenes from the upcoming season, which I watched ALMOST all the way through, though I was afraid of knowing too much.  It looks plenty scandalous and I personally cannot wait. I will be here weekly for all the right reasons.

xo – N.

PS 10 points for anyone who can locate Jenna's blog!