By Nora Zelevansky / July 19th, 2011


I thought I'd give us a break and use a picture of Chris Harrison instead of Ashley.  Sometimes you just need a break — know what I mean?

Anyway, the episode begins and Ashley tells us about why she likes each guy: Ben F. is "a man" and they'd have an "exciting life together" (a.k.a. he has big shoulders and vineyards); Constantine is so hot (a.k.a. he's fugly, but he doesn't like her that much and that gets her all hot and bothered); J.P. has "everything," but, even though he's basically vomitted his feelings all over her, she needs to know that he feels the same way; Ames is "unique" and she loves being around him (a.k.a. she's surprised that he's kind of amusing, but she still doesn't like him cause he's wall-eyed).

Not that it matters what I think, but Ames has grown on me a bit.  At least he's something different.

Anyway, Constantine's hometown date is first.  He talks about everything he's gained and learned during the show because, as usual, he only talks about himself.  Then he takes her to the family restaurant to make pizza.  Then they go for dinner at his parent's house.  His big fat Greek family seems nice enough and his sister is pretty, but they're cautious.  I don't know why anybody would be unsure.  Don't they know that The Bachelor franchise has like a 2 and 15 record?   If that's not proof of success, then I don't know what is.

Ashley tells Constantine's mother that she would relocate for him.  But why is that the expectation automatically?  It's weird, I think.  I thought she wanted an educated dude?  Constantine is apparently not able to make a decision without his family's consent.  And suddenly it really is a big fat Greek celebration — like a million family members come in.  And Ashley gets to dance!  Yippee!

His mother says that Constantine bringing Ashley home to meet his family "means something."  Yes.  It means that the producers told him he had to do it.

I already feel like Ames is going home, but we'll see.  Mostly because no one has ever referred to another person as "unique" this many times and still had sex with them.

But anyway Ames is from Pennsylvania.  It looks really pretty like a horse farm.  I totally thought we were headed for NYC.  I wonder if he's anywhere near where my parents live now?  Excuse me, while I start stalking Bachelorette contestants.

Anyway, we meet Ames' family and, not surprisingly, they're very articulate.  They all talk about how much he loves Thailand, which still makes me think of his solo visits and wonder if he has some weirdo fetish.  His sister is worried that Ashley doesn't feel the same spark as him and I agree.  SHOW HER THE PORSCHE, AMES!  We saw you get out of it in the beginning of the series.  She would like that!

Poor Ames' father died when he was ten-years-old.  And then his step father died after that of cancer.  Notice that he didn't milk that.  I feel badly that she isn't going to choose him.  She keeps telling his family that the relationship has moved slower with him, which I think is just laying the ground work for the later dumpage.

Ashley and Ames think they're so alike.  He confesses to having been a nerd (quelle surprise!).  I feel awful for him actually.  She says they have a real connection, but I still don't think she feels it.

Next up is Ben, who does not have a vineyard, but a winery.  Different.  But that's coool.  They drink wine, which is just smart because it's ALCOHOL.  And that helps!  It rains.  They seem awkward.  But then she starts asking questions about his father passing away and now I feel bad for him too.  Jeez.  He has only ever brought one girl home before and he seems nervous.  I think he's still not comfortable in front of the cameras maybe.

Ashley is nervous for this date because, well, Ben inadvertently put a TON of pressure on her by saying that he needs them all (his mother and sister and Ashley) to like each other.  Ben's sister seems normal, but then she also kind of has 'tude.  I can see why this wouldn't be as fun as Constantine's house, although it seems less oppressive weirdly to me.  Maybe I'd just rather live in Sonoma.  Plus, I don't want to help out at some middle-of-the-road pizza joint.  Eek.

Ben apologizes to his mom for bailing emotionally after his dad died and she seems to accept his apology, but maybe that's why he was nervous to see them.  I feel like they should have invited more people over cause this is INTENSE.  Then we find out that tomorrow is Ben's father's birthday and he talks about missing his dad and he cries a little and he seems like a little boy and I feel awful for him and so does everyone who isn't made of stone with a coal heart.

Even my husband Andre feels terrible.  He says, "Jesus, Ben F.  I'll marry you."

Fortunately, Ashley says she truly can imagine spending the rest of her life with Ben, so maybe Andrew won't need to leave me for The Wine Guy after all.

On to JP, who Andrew says will cheer us up.  And, yes, they're going rollerskating and, in no time, they're laughing and kissing.  Ashley says that all she can think about is how lucky she is to be there with him.  Um.  It seems pretty obvious once again that she likes him best.

The family is cute and sweet and funny and you have to love them because they roll out the Bar Mitzvah signing board with a picture of him that looks like Kirk Cameron.  I mean.  SHUT UP.  But they're so obsessed with how hurt he got by his ex that I'm starting to think he had a nervous breakdown or something.  The brother has a Robert Deniro mole and he's all worried about JP too.  The mom is the greatest and she's such a Jewish mother in the bestest way, worrying about whether JP is sunburned etc.  Cute stuff.

Ashley says she's smitten and everyone is happy.  For now. (Can you hear the dangerous organ music?)   Dangerous organ.  Ha.  That's funny.  Anyway …

I wish Ashley would send stupid Constantine home, but instead she sends "unique" Ames packing, which was super obvious.  Boo hiss!  Send home the lamo guy who doesn't like you, Dude!  Why do I dislike that Constantine guy, I wonder?  Maybe I see myself in him.  Cause I'm also a self-involved machismo guy with bad hair.  No.  I think he's just kind of a tool.

Of course Ames is composed and gracious even in the end.  Maybe even more so than any other dude or chick I've ever seen leave this late in the game.  Bye bye, Ames.  Sorry I made fun of you.  You're a nice guy.  And you deserve better.

Ames says a lifetime of being entertained by himself is "less enticing" than a lifetime with Ashley.  What can you do?

Sigh.  Yet another week until we get to watch again (can you say "fantasy suite"?).  As a wise woman once say, "Blurgh."

xo – N.

PS What about the coming attractions, featuring Ashley's tatted up sister, who she calls a bitch?  WHOA. Bring it on!  And are those Brad's flip-flops showing up?