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'The Bachelor' recap: A creepy job is the kiss of death for Shawntel

1295631434_bachelor-shawntel-lh I mean, let's be honest: after Monday night's episode, there's no way Emily isn't going home with Brad at the end of this season of "The Bachelor."

And if I'm wrong, then I must be a horrible fan of this show, because the look in Brad's eye when he's around Emily is unmistakable. She's the only one he gets nervous around. She's the only one whose crap -- read: emotional issues -- he's willing to put up with. And she's managed to play hard to get while still keeping his interest -- something difficult to do in a competition that's all about declaring your undying love after mere weeks.

That's not to say the producers of this show haven't been able to fool me before. Case in point: I was totally convinced that Emily's daughter, Ricki, was going to hate Brad, and that the awkward interaction might kill the pair's fledgling relationship. Oh, and it certainly was unbearably uncomfortable at the beginning. Like any young girl forced to be on reality television, Ricki was painfully shy at first, hiding behind Emily and refusing to make eye contact or speak with Brad. It was only when she opened Brad's present, a butterfly-shaped kite, and watched it take off into the air that she finally loosened up.

Back at Emily's house -- which, by the way, is amazingly nice for a 24-year-old widow -- she and Brad continued to play with Ricki, who was weirdly instructed by her mother to call her "new friend" Mr. Brad. During the last few episodes, Emily has often seemed incredibly distant -- the only woman who isn't head-over-heels for Brad. But at home in North Carolina after Ricki was able to interact with her new boyfriend, Emily finally seemed for the first time to express genuine emotion for Brad. She looked truly disappointed when Brad held back from kissing her out of "respect" for being in the house where Ricki was sleeping. By the way, I didn't buy that so-called gentlemanly gesture for a second. Just kiss the girl. You're not getting hot and heavy. If by some chance Ricki bounded out of bed and came running down the stairs to eavesdrop, I think you'd hear her.

Even though the date ended on a somewhat odd note, it was about a zillion times more successful than Brad's visit to Chico, where he met up with Shawntel. I knew they were doomed the second he lay down on that embalming table.

Really, Shawntel? You're going to make the guy lay on a table where dead bodies rest and then show him where they're burned into ashes? Sure, I guess whoever is dating this girl needs to understand what she's into. And Brad certainly took Embalming 101. But it was beyond obvious he hated every second of it, even copping to his fear of death.

"I never thought I'd be laying on an embalming table looking up at Shawntel with a face mask on," he said. Come on, Brad, you're saying that wouldn't be the fantasy of every male in America? So. Creepy.

Still, he kept saying how "impressed" he was with Shawntel's "passion" for her job. Ugh. I dare this guy to go on at least one date and not spew out some cheesy, canned line.

Back at Shawntel's house, she told her family about Brad's tour of the mausoleum. Her dad, sensing Brad's willies, joked that his daughter wouldn't be getting a rose after the creepy walk-through. His prediction, sadly for Shawntel, ended up being right. While it was evident Brad was not looking forward to being in a relationship in which the dinner conversation centered on dead bodies, I think it was Shawntel's family obligations that really caused him to pause. When Shawntel revealed she'd consider moving to Austin, her dad immediately became distressed. "Well, that would affect our plans for succession in business," he said in a strangely formal tone. Fortunately for Shawntel's dad, his daughter will now have no conflicts of interest when it comes to taking over the family business.

I'm glad she was sent home instead of Chantal -- not only because there should only be one girl with that name on "The Bachelor," but because I'm worried my favorite woman is in serious danger of being sent home. The connection she had with Brad early on just doesn't seem to compare now with what he has with Emily, or even Ashley.

In Chantal's hometown of Seattle, Brad did bond with her dad. After arriving at her family's huge mansion, Brad learned that Chantal's dad worked his way up from nothing (both of their ancestors were masons) and that he also did not have a strong relationship with his dad. Of course, this was enough for Brad to feel like he and Chantal's dad were soul mates. But their bromance may have been stronger than anything I saw between him and Chantal. While she constantly expresses her feelings for Brad, I sometimes worry she's coming on too strong. She also chose a really unfortunate scarf to wear on her date.

That fashion choice was only slightly worse than the fingerless gloves Brad opted for on his jaunt to Ashley's hometown in Maine. Other than his hipster-inspired look, I was surprised at how well the date went. Ashley's perkiness can really irk me. "Here's the restaurant I worked at in high school," she said, beginning to tour Brad around her town. "Isn't that cute?" Uh, please refrain from calling yourself cute.

She was also crazily hyper when she arrived at her house. I get it, you're excited to see your family. You don't need to scream and then jump into Brad's lap like a child in front of your dad.

Despite her nonstop upbeat attitude -- and I can't believe I'm saying this -- I actually think Brad and Ashley could be good for each other? She's at ease in her skin, and the connection the two share never seems forced.

After this week, I'm thinking she will likely edge out Chantal to make it into the final two, though I'm still betting on Emily taking it all. Are you not dying for the scenic South Africa episode next weekend? Ah-maz-ing.

-- Amy Kaufman



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Photo: Shawntel and Brad early on in "The Bachelor" season. Credit: ABC.

Comments () | Archives (15)

Calling him "Mr. Brad" may have seemed weird if you are not from the South, but it is pretty standard to call people Miss or Mr. (FirstName). It is considered respectful, but more informal than calling them by their lastname and is usually used for close family friends. All of my friend's kids refer to my husband and I this way and my son will do the same when he can talk!

I so want him to pick emily cause not is she only beautiful she is sincere and she is the only one in the house who seems sincere it will break my heart if he dont end up with her! Go Emily

I could not disagree with you more strongly with Emily. Brad's body language throughout most of that night was more like a guy trying to run away. There were points in time, when he would not face her; and would talk directly towards a corner. It was obviously that she was trying to create a more intimate environment where she was more comfortable. She bridged the gap between them with her hand touching him on the knee, ect, but his reaction, "I need to get on out of here." Brad is not ready for Emily, which is too bad, because I like her, the most out of the three girls remaining. I predict he will take her to the final two, but will not be able to come to terms with Rickey. As much as he sees himself as a "Dad", I think that is later in his thought process. Sadly his ego will not accept another man's child.

Ashley has the biggest upside. Her mother was fairly nice looking, and seemed to age the best. Her career is on solid footing. She should finish school and then becomes easily mobile to Austin. And for all of Brad's "greatness" there is an underlying insecurity. Ashley can fill that for him.

Chantal is the odd women out this week. While she is pretty and very likable, I am not buying her as the choice. The bond he is forming with Emily and Ashley are much deeper. Chantal is a girl friend that would make a good friend in real life. Now he will dump her for the final show.

I agree that the funeral home visit was poorly played. But I think that Brad or any man would sense real problems when Shawntell is anointed to the be successor to the family business, and she rejects that role to become the bride of the bachelor. That would cause long term problems, because it is unfair to force a choice of me versus them (the family). This is too bad, because being a successful funeral director takes a strong character, as does running a business. She is smart and caring, and this girl was also the most interesting looking girl on the show. I was rooting for her from the beginning.

The "Mr. Brad" is a southern thing I think....we have friends from the south who use this commonly...familiar with an adult, but still respectful

To the writer...Do some research and you will find out that Emili was engaged to a guy from the Hendrick family where 4 (I think) people died in a plane crash. In case you don't know who the Hendrick family is...Again, do some research...Does the name Hendrick Motorsports (NASCAR) ring a bell? Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Jeff Gordon all drive cars for Hendrick Motorsports. I am not even a fan of Nascar and I know who those guys are. That being said I am pretty sure that she was taken care of by the family and that is how she has the nice house at 24.

I'm guessing Emily's house is the result of a large insurance settlement from the death of her fiancee and father of her daughter Ricki. Isn't it interesting that we did not get to meet anyone else in her family? I don't really like Brad--I think he is a glad-handing phony and doesn't know when to shut his mouth and listen. He constantly interrupts with platitudes. Emily deserves better--she is a very mature woman for 24, light years ahead of Brad. Ashley's over-the-top behavior is nauseating.

Emily will not be the choice

Emily has money because Ricky Hendricks family (her deceased finance) is absolutely beyond loaded. They own a number of nascar race teams and they, of course, take care of their late sons daughter and fiancée. They take care of all her finances thats is why she is so wealthy.

I don't think the "Mr. Brad" is creepy--it's a totally southern thing. Growing up in the south, almost every adult you meet as a child is Mr. John or Miss Susie, as a title of respect, without using last names.

I do agree with your other assessments of the dates. Ashley gets under my skin, but I was impressed with the connection... although I'm not sure Brad's comment when he sat down with Chris and said that he "felt most comfortable with Ashley's family" was the way the editing portrayed the experience.

@Dr Dave- you hit the nail on the head: Brad is the platitude master. That's pretty much why woman can't bear to watch this season.

I would lay on that metal thing for Shawntel. Am I the only one who found her so freaking hot. I love her. You think she would marry me? I not bad looking at all and single.

Brad becoming a stepfather is a huge responsibility because u haven't dated a woman with a child before do u really think choosing a child that isn't a infant is a wise choose

I also hope he chooses Emily...she's sincere n true..n. chantal just seems fake..n too needy...go emily

Amy - I admit I did not read your entire article; I was stopped short by "...she and Brad continued to play with Ricki, who was weirdly instructed by her mother to call her "new friend" Mr. Brad." In the South, calling adults by "Mr." or "Miss" is a gesture of respect. I was "Miss Judy" to all of the neighborhood children for the 8 years we lived in Slidell, Louisiana. Nothing "wierd" about it at all!

I am glad Brad picked Emily, but now that I heard her say she is not ready
to move to Austin, then I think she should not have accepted Brads proposal. The reason I feel that way is Brad is ready, but she is not.


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