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'The Bachelorette': Craig M. gets what he deserves

June 1, 2010 | 10:10 am
Many fans of "The Bachelorette" aren't pleased that Ali Fedotowsky was chosen from last season of "The Bachelor" to head up her own search for love. After this week's episode, I have to disagree with that. While I might not agree with her choices, she certainly has the charm to keep us entertained, and despite the fact that I really considered her "The Bachelor's" Regina George, I find myself rooting for her already.

This week, Ali went on two solo dates and one group date … with 12 guys. That's not a date; that's a field trip.

The first solo date went to Frank. I can't help it; I really like this dude! Sure, he came on a little strong last week, but he's got a good sense of humor and he's very good-looking. (Shh, I'm happily ignoring the part where he lives with his parents. He's an artist, OK? He's chasing his dream!)

A parade of shirtless bachelors poured out of the house to see Frank and Ali drive off in a vintage convertible. I wish I were cool enough to know exactly which model the car was, but I'm not. Let's just say that Danny Zuko and Kenickie could've danced all over it quite comfortably. Ali looked awesome in that driver's seat.

The car broke down on the freeway (my worst nightmare!) and they had to pull onto the shoulder as the engine sputtered. My first instinct was that the producers rigged it -- it's all a little too rom-com -- but that probably would be too dangerous a move. Frank kind of sat there grinning dumbly. I wanted him to man up and at least pretend to look under the hood, but we can't have everything. Luckily, Ali's a good sport and was happy to ditch the car and walk up the ramp until they could snag a taxi to Hollywood & Highland.

For an aspiring screenwriter like Frank, L.A.'s tourist magnet may have seemed glamorous, but I wasn't too impressed. Ali giddily signed autographs and posed for photos with fans, which was kind of cute, but when she threw her arms around Frank and cuddled him and laughed, it was all too manufactured. Standing on a sidewalk can't be that much fun.

The cool part of the date was yet to come, though: They drove into the Hollywood Hills, where Ali whipped out a key and they got to climb to the Hollywood sign! (Or, I guess they sort of slid awkwardly to the Hollywood sign, but whatever.) I have to admit, I'm pretty jealous. I know that ABC is magic and can get access to anything, but I've always wanted to hang out by the Hollywood sign.

I want to say really quickly -- I'm so glad that for the first date of the season, Ali's wearing sneakers and jeans. It's refreshing.

Frank gets the first kiss of the season under the Hollywood sign as they look out over Los Angeles, which looks beautiful, by the way. Does ABC control the sky too? How in the world did they manage to time this date on a night when there's no smog obscuring the city?

Back at the house, Craig R. refers to Rated R as "Rated I Don't Believe a Word You Say." Add this to "Rated Bad" and "Rated Dishonest" from last week. I've got a feeling that by the end of the season, we'll have heard zillions of these incredibly witty, clever, original quips.

By the way, I think Rated R is OK. If it weren't for his flavor-saver facial hair, I'd totally approve of him.

Craig M. is a horrible person. He starts in on Jesse, teasing him for being "24 or 25," which is just hilarious because Craig M. is like 100 years old and his eye wrinkles are so deep I could build a house in them. Jesse warns him to lay off, and Craig replies, "Great rebuttal." You'll hear him say this several times throughout the episode. Sorry, Craig, if it's hard to come up with a witty rejoinder when your initial insult was essentially "hardy-har, you're young!"

Unfortunately, Craig M. is invited on the 12-person field trip along with Ty, Hunter, Tyler, Craig R., Chris N., Justin, Jonathan, Chris H., Kasey, Steve and Kirk. They head off to Malibu to meet Ali, who looks all tomboy-cute in a black bikini top and slouchy cargo pants. Again, I find myself wanting to be her best friend.

They're doing a photoshoot for a charity calendar … and many of the boys have to wear Speedos. Uh … who is going to buy this calendar, exactly? Other than the guys' friends back home? Because whatever the calendar costs, it's a small price to pay for years of prime mockery material.

Weatherman Jonathan is incredibly nervous about putting on his Speedo. Poor guy! I have to say, with his clothes on, he looks like he's about 12 and definitely stands out from the other guys a bit. When he finally gets into the suit, though (after a pep talk in which Steve promises he has a great behind) he looks fine. Well, as fine as a man can look in a teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy bikini bottom, anyway. Craig R. is the only one who doesn't really fill out his suit, but I like him anyway, because he reminds me of a mean Toby Flenderson.

Craig M. poses in a normal bathing suit, with a glass of scotch and a cigar and a sweater tied over his shoulders. Sorry, I just threw up in my mouth. I really hate this guy a lot. He reminds me of Vienna, in that all the guys hate him and want to warn Ali about him, except Vienna didn't actually deserve the hate-o-rama, and Craig M. totally does. He's like a high school bully, but not a real one. He's like the kind of high school bully who shows up in teen dramas as a two-dimensional recurring character who ruins a few days and then gets sent to military school in North Carolina.

Ty sings to Ali during their photo session together. I wanted to crawl under my couch to get away from the secondhand embarrassment. Ugh. "What's with 'The Bachelorette' and guitar players?" Craig R. complains. Keep it up, Craig R.! I love your bitterness.
The field trip carries on to H.Wood, where some of the men get one-on-one time with Ali. Weatherman Jonathan is so incredibly awkward. Right off the bat, he jumps into the "I hate Craig M., kick him out" thing. Look, I hate Craig too. I hate him like I hate hungover Monday mornings and the smell of curdled milk and close-talkers with coffee breath. But Jonathan shouldn't use his Ali time to whine, as deserving as it may be! "Craig M. is like literally like a dangerous person," Jonathan says. Oy.

Ty gets the rose despite his painfully awkward singing.

The next solo date goes to Jesse … and what a date it is. He and Ali take a private jet to Vegas, where we rehash her fear of flying that we heard about on "The Bachelor." I don't know; she seems OK to me. Is this like when I was 12 and pretended to be afraid during "Scream 2" to give the cute boy from my Spanish class a good excuse to put his arm around me?

After the private jet, they roll down the red carpet to a red Ferrari. Once again, Ali looks hot behind the wheel of a sweet ride. They cruise down the Strip before they go to Liquid, a pool that hasn't even opened yet. I can't help but roll my eyes a little bit at all this — real people don't live this way! I could fall in love with anyone on a private jet. It's no wonder so few "Bachelor" franchise relationships last; of course life is going to stink once you go home and have to pay your bills and take out your trash and scrape food off your dishes like everyone else.

I like Jesse, though. When she makes him try oysters, he says good-naturedly, "If it didn't have the lemon in it, I think it probably would've tasted like ... !" It's great that he doesn't feel the need to try hard to impress her. He's happy to admit that he never owned a suit before coming on the show.

Later, Ali and Jesse have dinner in a beautiful hotel suite. She expresses some concern that he hasn't opened up much, but after he tells her a little bit more about his hometown and his job, she warms up to him and gives him the rose. Jamie Cullum comes in to serenade them (and meanwhile, I die of jealousy), and he goes in for the kiss. I'm glad Ali isn't afraid to kiss on the first date. It's a reality show; let's not get righteous.

Back at the house, Craig M. is being a disgusting specimen of overgrown fratitude once again. He actually goes into Weatherman Jonathan's room and steals his clothes, getting all dressed up and soaking the armpits before coming out to ridicule Jonathan in front of the group. Come on, dude. Pick on someone your own age. I'm pretty sure my grandpa could take you.

Jonathan, on the other hand, looks completely mortified. This is just awful to watch.

At the pre-rose cocktail party, Ali gets some alone time with Chris L., my favorite. They're both from Massachusetts, and he talks about how much he loves the Cape. Chris L., if Ali doesn't hang out with you soon, I'm available. Just saying.

When she gets a moment with Frank (a stolen moment, because it was totally Kasey's turn), they make out while some other guys look on unhappily. That's got to be rough, but I have to admit, it seems like she's got the most chemistry with Frank so far. Is breaking down on the freeway this season's equivalent of jumping off a bridge?

Jonathan's alone time is pretty hard to watch. Since he used his last one-on-one moment to whine about Craig M., I was hoping he'd focus on Ali a little more this time, but he doesn't. I totally get where he's coming from, but he seems more focused on losing Craig than on getting Ali.

Here's why I'm loving Ali right now: she grabs Craig M. for some alone time next, and when he's his usual obnoxious self, she calls him on it. "You say you're into me, but you haven't asked me one question about myself," she says, and then she lets him know that one of the guys warned her about him and called him dangerous.

Of course, Craig can't be expected to react gracefully. He gathers all the other men and demands that someone 'fess up. I was visiting my mom while I watched this episode, and she popped into the room at this point and said, "Gross. He's awful. I hate him. I should probably watch this show, huh?"

Weatherman Jonathan won't outright admit that he was the narc, but he does firmly say that he doesn't like Craig M.

In the rose ceremony, Frank and Jesse relaxed because they've already got their roses. The men going home are Tyler V., Chris H., and … dun dun dun … Craig M.! Thank God. If I had to look at that guy's smarmy face for one more episode I would have quit. That said, I doubt Jonathan will last much longer. He's coming off as weak-willed and whiny, unfortunately.

What are your thoughts? Frank is beginning to overtake Chris L. for my front-runner position. Who is your favorite? Do you agree that Jonathan isn't doing himself any favors? Put your two cents in the comments below, or tweet me your thoughts! Let's chat.

— Carina MacKenzie

Photo: The field trip bachelors; that's Craig M. all the way on the left and Weatherman Jonathan is wearing the purple shirt. Credit: ABC.

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