'The Bachelor' recap: Girls get wild in Anguilla
I was hoping it would come eventually: the long-awaited moment when Brad finally sent Michelle packing. But I was never completely positive that he'd be able to see through her attractive exterior and recognize her penchant for crazy. After all, plenty of men in past seasons of "The Bachelor" have opted for sexual chemistry over emotional connection. Jake and Vienna, anyone? And we all remember how well that worked out.
But for whatever glorious reason, this was finally the week that Brad decided he was fed up with Michelle, even though while in Anguilla she seemed to actually taper down her psychotic antics. During the three-on-one date, which she shared with Ashley and Chantal, she was certainly still her aggressive self -- posing for her Sports Illustrated shot scantily clad on top of Brad, while the other girls rolled around in the sand solo and topless.
Immediately after he agreed to be in Michelle's photo with her, Brad clearly felt remorseful, seeing how upset the other two girls looked as they watched from the sidelines.
"I mean, I thought I knew Michelle," he told the camera after the photo shoot. "She's always been aggressive and intense, but today, I should not have allowed the kissing scene to happen."
Thanks, Captain Obvious. You still let your physical attraction to Michelle get in the way of any modicum of respect you claimed to have for the other women.
Brad vaguely redeemed his poor behavior when he was up front with Michelle, almost giving her a heads-up that he wasn't going to be giving her a flower in the final rose ceremony that evening. He told her they were "too much alike" because they were "so stubborn," and that he viewed her as an "almost volatile" woman. Hours later, she was voted off the island. And how creepy was her exit, with her curling up in the fetal position and silently laying in the back seat of the limo as it drove away from the Anguilla resort?
In any case, I think we all breathed a collective sigh of relief when she peaced out. Now it's time for the best part of the season, when things really kick into high gear with only four women left in the game.
Looking at the ladies who are left, I think it's safe to say that Emily is the favorite. Or at least that's what I thought before seeing the preview for next week's episode, when Emily's daughter seems to take a strong disliking to Brad on their hometown date. I feel like that's the type of thing that could be smoothed over with time, but Emily is so closed-off that her daughter's immediate reaction might make her have doubts about jumping into a relationship with Brad post-show.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. In Anguilla, anyway, Emily was the clear winner. She looked more beautiful than she has at any point this season, and it was apparent her stunning looks intimidated Brad. On their one-on-one date on a private island, Brad stuttered, saying how nervous she made him. And then at dinner that night, he broke out the stunner, admitting he was going to give Emily a rose days before the ceremony had arrived. I'm not sure there could be more of a strong indicator that Brad favors Emily over the other women.
I worry that Shawntel, meanwhile, is heading toward the same end as Britt: the dreaded friend zone. I loved how comfortable in her own skin Shawntel was on her date with Brad as they danced and played dominoes at a local farmers market. But especially because her date immediately followed Emily's, you could see how different Brad's feelings were for the two. Side note, though: I thought it was interesting that Shawntel commented on how nice it was to be on a date where she got to see Brad interacting with other people. How bizarre it must be to court someone when you have no clue about how they behave with people in the outside world.
Meanwhile, my favorite girl, Chantal, didn't have the best week. Usually, it bothers me when girls get ultra-emotional about not getting attention or not get singled out on group dates. But in Chantal's case, I really felt for her. After Ashley received the coveted rose on the three-on-one date, Chantal tried to hold back her jealousy but quickly burst into tears. When Brad pulled her aside, I found it bothersome that he tried to play off his giving Ashley the rose as insignificant.
Chantal, logically, said that if she wasn't one of three girls to be singled out on a smaller date, she didn't feel good about her chances overall.
"You're judging who I'm giving roses to based on what you would do," Brad replied.
Um, no. She's judging who you're giving roses to based on the supposed premise of what giving roses is all about: that you give them to the girl in the group you're feeling most strongly about at the time. His attempt to sugarcoat the situation was just fake.
And by the way, how annoying is it when a girl gets upset, Brad pulls her aside, and then literally pleads her to "talk to him"? Like, what do you want these women to say? They're always upset for the most blatant of reasons, and then Brad wants them to state the obvious all over again so they get even more distraught? Such a lunkhead, this guy is.
He showed how out of touch he was earlier in the episode too, when the three girls strolled up for their Sports Illustrated cover shoot. "You're getting to do something every woman would kill to do," Brad said, mustering up as much enthusiasm as possible. Every woman would kill to take her top off, hold faux seashells over her breasts and pose for a men's magazine? Yeah, I think not.
I guess these were those kind of women, though, because they were willing to take their bikini tops off pretty damn quickly. The magazine editor only had to prod the girls once to remove their swimsuits before they took the direction. Brad couldn't even watch. It was so uncomfortable seeing how far these desperate chicks would go to appear desirable in his eyes.
Hometown dates next week: yes! Uncomfortable interactions with children! An inevitably awkward parent-on-"Bachelor" grilling session! Can't. Wait.
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: Brad Womack is "The Bachelor." Credit: ABC