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The Most “Sincere” Bachelor EVER!

By Nora Zelevansky / January 8th, 2013

Hi Folks!

That’s right.  It’s our favorite time of year again: It’s BACHELOR TIME!  Time to greet Chris Harrison!  Scoff at tacky pageant gowns!  Marvel at multiple helicopter rides and picnics!  Watch someone who is afraid of heights bungee jump!  See one girl emerge as “the bitch”!

(Is my excitement a testament to how sad I am?)

If I’m honest, I have to admit that I was worried that this would be the “dullest” Bachelor ever as opposed to the “craziest” or “most romantic.”  Sean is, let’s just say, well-behaved (Is that a good euphemism?), at least judging by his role in Emily’s season.  And a strange “bro-mance” moment between him and Arie at the beginning of this season premiere made me (and the ladies I watched with) nervous about what was to come.

How naive we were!  How silly!  How wrong!  After all, The Bachelor is the greatest.  We must learn to trust in it.  Believe in the power.

Plus, we have made it through some pretty painful “main characters.”  Anyway, Sean is “sincere” as the promos keep reminding us — not the “most exciting” or the “most surprising.”  But at least he’s not annoying.  And it doesn’t seem like he’ll suddenly reveal himself to be psycho or angry like Jake or Ben F.

Well, lots happened on this episode, including the appearance of the requisite wasted girl, dubbed “50 Shades of Drunk.”  All the familiar types are in play.  I’d tell you who I bet on to stay, but I can’t remember their names.  Aren’t they all named AshLeeeee?

That former foster child/professional organizer seems like a decent bet for final three.  We shall see!

I’m too busy digesting to recap in depth, but let’s just say, this season seems promising.  I forgot how good it gets.

xo – N.

The Lint Collector: The Bachelor Chooses His Bachelorette

By Nora Zelevansky / March 12th, 2012

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You guys hardly need a recap of the most predictable Bachelor finale in history (Thanks for NOTHING, US Weekly), ultimately starring the two biggest narcissists on planet Mars.

But no season is complete without a few closing thoughts.  At the very least, we must acknowledge this episode's most brilliant and traumatic moments, not the least of which was Ashley Hebert's reappearance. (I hate to hate on her because it's such low hanging fruit, but ohmylord was she always that annoyingly perky?  How does JP stand her?  And when did she get so skinny?)

ANYWAY … Top Ten highlights in no particular order:

1. It's never fun to get dumped.  But you know what's worse than that?  Getting dumped on national television while inexplicably wearing a green velvet cape.  (I think that may be even worse than getting dumped via text—one last time, people: "Welcome to Dumpsville, population you!")  Poor Lindzi.  She never even gets her moment to pepper Ben with questions, answered with unsatisfactory grunts.  I'm sure she's walking around wondering why men always disappoint her.  If I had her number, I'd call her up and offer this advice, "This might not happen if you stopped dating douche bags."

2. When Courtney emerged from the helicopter wearing leather gloves with her gown, did anyone else wonder for a moment if she planned to strangle Ben, if he chose someone else?

3. When Ben's sister, donning a few super strategically styled snow bunny get-ups, confirmed that Courtney was really "honest" about her experience with the other women in the house.

4. When Ben's mother tried not to stare at the volcanic zit on poor Lindzi's chin, as they talked about "opening up" to Ben.

5. When Courtney was filmed "just waking up" in a cotton teddy that no one has EVER worn to sleep alone.

6. When Lindzi apologized to Ben for taking a while to open up emotionally and Ben told her (in his ever condescending tone) that he knew she'd eventually "get there."  Really?  Instead of being gratious, you're going to suggest that she's just not as developed as you?

Then, when Ben dumps Lindzi at the altar (hypocritically "pulling an Ashley" with a misleading confession of love before breaking the "bad" news) and she says she feels mad at herself because she couldn't be what he needed, he doesn't even have the grace to mutter, "It's not your fault."  Zero class, that guy.

7. When Ben admits to noticing Courtney skipping obnoxously back to the group after receiving roses.  And thinking that's still the woman he loves.

8. Courtney's weirdly inconsistent reactions and blank eyes in response to Chris Harrison's questions, suggesting a disassociation and confirming my theory that she might be a sociopath.  If I were Ben, I'd hide the knives.  Just saying.  (The Bachelor franchise may be overdue for a scandal of that magnitude, considering all the crazies involved.  It's a wonder that it hasn't happened so far.)

9. My favorite element of the entire finale was the audience during "After The Finale Rose."  Never have I seen so many blond women, shaking their heads and rolling their eyes at each other.  Brilliant!  Well done, ladies!  No one is fooling you with crocodile tears.  I concur.

10. When Chris Harrison opens "After The Rose" by asking the studio and home audience to reserve judgement, so that the couple can speak freely.  "What are people going to do," asked my friend S.B.  "Throw rocks?"

Bonus: Ben's weird vest!  What cat dragged that thing in?

In conclusion, I'd like to say that, while Ben's hair looked better during "After The Rose" because it wasn't flat-ironed or limp from a keratin straightening treatment, he still needs to cut it.  Ultimately, I was dead wrong about Ben F. "The Wine Guy," as he was among my favorites on Ashley's season.  He is truly the most insufferable bachelor in history (worse than Jake!) and I wonder if Chris Harrison agrees.  (You know you can't stand him, Chris!)

Courtney and Ben deserve each other, as they're both all about feeling victimized or (in Ben's case) superior, as opposed to examining their own culpability.

I give them three months. The other ladies with whom I watched predicted the couple would last six months, a year and forever respectively.  What do you think?  How long will these jerkos stay together?

xo – N.

The Lint Collector: The Bachelor Is Now “The Courtney Show”

By Nora Zelevansky / February 14th, 2012

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I realize that this post is a day late (and possibly several dollars short), but Time Warner Cable must have a vendetta against me because my TV literally went out 30 seconds into the episode.  Is that some kind of sign that I'm killing brain cells or does Chris Harrison remotely control my DVR and this was the only way to shut me up?

I wish.

DATES

Anyhoo, it's all about The Bachelor's upcoming hometown date, so this time in Belize is just gravy en route there. (Yum.  Gravy.)  I'm a little surprised that they didn't visit the rain forest, but I guess it's harder to go shirtless there, so what's the point?

I'll make this short and sweet since I'm tardy anyway:  The ladies are informed that there won't be roses on the one-on-one dates; only on the group sitch.  First, Ben has a one-on-one with Lindzi, who still insists on spelling her name that way.

She's chill.  He likes her.  Blah, blah, blah.  She reminds me of every girl who likes horses a ton.

Next, he has a one-on-one with Emily, which sends Courtney "the model" into tearful talking heads.  Wow.  This is the first proof that we have that she's possibly human and not some kind of evil model-bot.  If you never watched the show before, you might almost think she was a normal person.  Almost.

Courtney is upset because she hates Emily (who Ben insists on keeping around) and she hasn't gotten a one-on-one date in a while, but I think – as opposed to being sad because she wants to spend time with Ben – she's actually bummed like a bratty child refused a toy.  That or she's on the rag.

Emily and Ben have a date that seems fine, but sort of formal and like there might not be tons of attraction there.  Plus, I don't believe for a hot second that he actually wants to date someone smarter than him.  Although dating dumber definitely shrinks the pool.

Whether or not she's smarter remains to be seen though, since she calls Ben "spontaneous."  Really?  Again with this pretending the producers don't plan the dates and didn't plant that lobster guy?

Next, Courtney does in fact get the third one-on-one date.  She tells Ben how much she hates Emily and the other girls, but for some reason this is not cause to condescend to the model-bot lie he did with Emily.  Instead he fawns over Courtney.  She smartly tells him she isn't sure she feels it for him anymore, so he feels like he's pursuing her.  He practically flat out tells her that he wants to pick her.  He seems desperate.  Model-bots can do that to half-men.

Toward the end of the date, Courtney says she feels "the spark" for him again and Ben tells the camera (America!) that he thinks it's a good sign that she was able to get the spark reignited so quickly.  Yeah, Ben.  Or it's a fucking TERRIBLE sign that she lost interest that quickly in the first place.  Moron.

He says he wants a woman "with edge" and who is "weird," which is just clueless lamo speak for "I'm attracted to crazies" and that's true of every guy who isn't actually ready to have a real relationship.  Boooring.  Could you BE more predictable? [Spoken like Chandler Bing.]

The group date is shark swimming with Rachel, Kacie B. and Nicky.  They're woken up at 4am by Ben unexpectedly.  (Considering how some of those girls probably look without makeup, I'm surprised he didn't send them ALL home.)  They're given time to get dressed, put on makeup and, yes, shave their pits before heading out on a boat.  Ben spends lots of time with Rachel, but we all know she's going home.

Kacie B. confesses her love for him in that awkward way that happens on The Bachelor because he's literally not allowed to say anything in return.  They kiss and then stare at each other in uncomfortable silence until she says, "Surprise!"  That makes me laugh.  Kacie B. gets the group date rose, which means he's going to meet her family, which he says is because she poured her heart out, but is really because she's only one of the three who he actually likes.  Or maybe he's always wanted to see Tennessee.

The girls warn Ben about Courtney, which he is totally not going to hear.  In a talking head, Courtney says she's not threatened by Kacie B.  "She's a little girl in a little boy's body," she quips before complaining that the other girls are catty.

THE ROSE CEREMONY

Then, it's the cocktail party, which doesn't happen because Ben has already decided.  He does pull Courtney aside to ask if she's sincerely interested in him.  She says, yes.  That's surprising.

In the end, he sends home Rachel and Emily and offers them no explanation and doesn't walk them out.  Because he has no class.  And once again I'm sort of missing Brad and his therapist.  At least he was trying to better himself.  Maybe he dismissed Emily because Courtney is holding the reigns or maybe it's because he didn't want to jump her bones (literally – she is so skinny).  Either way, she's bye bye.

Meanwhile, Courtney endures of course because she's the world's best TV, except I'd really love to see him glimpse her insanity and react BIG.  If he chooses her, he's in for a rude awakening.  But maybe that's what Ben needs.  That and a kick in the head.

xo – N.

The Lint Collector: The Bachelor or “Despicable Ben”

By Nora Zelevansky / February 7th, 2012

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Holy shite.  Holy shite.  Holy shite.

This week, on the most unwatchable and cringe-worthy episode in Bachelor history, many interesting things happened.  But I only know about half of them because I literally couldn't bring myself to watch the humiliation.  I had to avert my eyes.

Anyway, here goes:

The crew arrives in Panama City and Ben says they're starting off fresh … again.  It sounds like he's hoping.  I am watching with my friend A.P., who is basically a dating expert, and she calls it right away: Ben is feeling both distracted and guilty about the Courtney skinny dipping.  I totally agree.  On one hand he's obsessed; on the other he feels like he broke the rules or betrayed the other chicks.

One-On-One

Anyway, Ben & Kacie B. go on her second one-on-one date.  Courtney "the model" hopes the sweet and innocent Tennessee girl will get sent home, but that is so not happening yet.  Kacie B. & Ben F. go to some deserted island by … helicopter.  What else?  When he reveals the date plan, I think I even detect a note of irony from him.  Or maybe he's just constipated.

Anyway, they cut open a coconut, she thinks he's hot and everything seems basically fine, except he seems a little grumpy and distant and he barely touches her.  He doesn't crack a smile.  Does he not feel it anymore?  Is he burnt out on the process?  Does her innocence seem lame in the face of Courtney's midnight hand jobs?

There's only one clear answer to that bevvy of questions and extreme over-analysis: He's just not that into her!

Maybe I'm just not that into him.

I dunno, man.  I just think he's an asshole.  He's condescending and arrogant and believes his own hype and he's too cocky about being the object of a model's affection to notice that Courtney is out of her gourd.  I've decided he's almost as bad as weird aggressive Jake Pavelka.  What say you?

Anywaaaaay, Kacie B. reveals – in answer to some very clipped and rapid fire questions from Ben – that she's particularly mature because she used to have an eating disorder.  And in case you were wondering which one, she reveals that her parents "caught" her in the act.  T.M.I. for The Wine Guy?  Ben can't send her home in the face of that information, but he seems like maybe he wants to — which I admit is very surprising to me.  I usually think he likes this girl. Maybe he's just bummed about the state of his hair, but it sort of seems like he wants to send everyone home and take a nap.  No sense of humor this guy.  He has the vibe of a spoiled child, all sour.

Group Date

The group date is a canoe trip and Ben perks up (no pun) at the sight of Courtney's boobs, when they all put on traditional garb and she chooses to go without a cover-up under intermittent beads.  Ben thinks this is great because she gets into the spirit of things and also he gets to see her boobs.  But she clearly hasn't embraced anything cultural because she just walks around shaking her exposed breasts at everyone back-and-forth and then looking down and admiring them.  She even shimmies them at a group of small children.  Ew.

As usual, she monopolizes Ben's time, but it's Lindzi who gets the rose.  He likes that the horse girl is laid back.  And who can blame him?  At least she's not drama.  They both agree that they don't believe in fighting, which is weird because he seems filled with rage.  Also, fighting isn't like Santa Claus.  It's not really a debatable thing.

Meanwhile, Jamie (Who? Yes, I know, you've never seen her before!) decides to try to come out of her shell and kiss Ben, but gets distracted when Courtney intentionally struts around in a white bathing suit behind them.  She is so painfully obvious that I can't believe Ben can't see through her crap, but then maybe he doesn't care because she's so pretty.  I want to believe that better men would find her pathetic despite the hotness, but – let's be honest – maybe not.  This is going to sound weird, but I think Brad would have sent her home by now.

Meanwhile, after being condescended to yet again by Ben, who actually hates the fact that she's smarter than him despite claiming the opposite, Emily the Ph.D. apologizes to Courtney for having bad mouthed her (who knows why?).  Courtney seems at first like she might accept, but then informs her blond nemesis that she's not just going to "bend over."

Class. Act.

Two-On-One

The next day is a two-on-one with Blakely (The "VIP Cocktail Waitress" a.k.a. escort) and Rachel-with-the-bangs.  That means that one person has to be sent home during the date.  Blakely is at least feigning bizarre excitement over the date, even though everyone watching is like – bye bye.  So obvious that she won't last.

The date happens.  They salsa dance, which Ben says is "sweaty and sexual."'  Blakely is better because, well, I think she's a stripper, no?  Plus, she can stomp, remember?  It's awkward.  But it's not THAT awkward until Blakely pulls out a scrapbook all about Ben that looks like a project some pre-teen girl made in middle school detention.  Maybe in special ed.  Sorry.  But it's true.  It's humiliating enough that she's a grown woman spending her time doodling his name, but then she can't stop crying too.

Then they do this:

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Then, what seems like two minutes later and not a trick of editing, he sends her packing.  It's a bad scene.  I mean, why would you stick your tongue down her throat, just to send her home?  He had to know what he was doing by then!  He so has no right to fault Ashley H. for letting him get on one knee.

Anyway, he walks Blakely to the van and she sobs on his shoulder.  Seriously.  She won't let go.  Of course, he uses his signature suave line, which OBVIOUSLY makes the girls feel worse: "I'm just so much farther along with other women."  Do you always have to say "SOOOO," Ben?  I wish one of them would tell him off.  I want to write him a letter.

Scandal

Anyway, next the girls are hanging out, when Chris Harrison comes in and asks to speak to the other Kacie.  Kacie H.?  Kacie S?  Who knows?  Again, you're probably saying, wait who???  This is Courtney's blonde beta, who basically never talks or gets on camera. Chris Harrison says he's heard she's still in love with someone else in Chicago, but I think this is a reach.  It turns out that she has an ex-boyfriend who won't marry her, who she's trying to get over.

Chris brings her to see Ben and tell him and, because Ben F. is SUCH A DOUCHE, he's really mean to her about it.  She ugly cries and we have to watch her sob incoherently about a relationship at home that seriously has no bearing at all on the show.  "Maybe I need to be in therapy," she wails and I think she has a good point.  But she didn't come on under false pretenses.  She just wanted to be free of this former attachment.  But Ben is pissy.  He tells her he thinks she should go home, as if he's commanding it, even though she's obviously already going home.  That's why she's THERE, stupid.  Stop trying to act like it was your decision.

This guy blows.

Cocktail Party

Anyway, just when you thought things couldn't get more pathetic, Jamie decides to make her move at the cocktail party before the rose ceremony.  She gets Ben alone and awkwardly tells him that she thinks about "doing things" with him at night.  Then, in a dress where she really can't move her legs, she proceeds to try to climb on top of him and straddle him.  But she's shy and this is not her thing and it's just awkward.  And every time they start kissing, she starts giggling and, since he is so effing bitchy this week, he reprimands her for laughing.

She climbs off and they try kissing again with her literally instructing him on when to open and close his mouth and then FINALLY it stops because he says he can't take it anymore.  Neither can I!  And the rest you will have to Youtube because I hate scary movies and this was basically a horror show.  My eyes!  My eyes!  My ears!  My ears!  I will never truly recover.  This was not for the Bachelor novice.

Rose Ceremony

Well, it's no mystery who is going home, although Jamie says she doesn't know what Ben is thinking.  Really, Jamie?  You seem like a smart girl relative to the others.  You don't know where this is going?  Well, maybe you just lose perspective when you're being brainwashed for this show.

Anyway, he sends Jamie home and they're off to Belize because … well, it's close by.  And at least Courtney doesn't announce that she was just there two months ago this time.

And, just like that, another Bachelor episode comes to a close.  Although this time I feel I need some time to recover.

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.