Are you still recovering from the ridiculous drama of “The Bachelorette” last week? I think Ashley, is, too, although I wish we could get that memory erasing gizmo from “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” to flush Bentley completely out of her system. I’m guessing, if she’s watching these episodes, she’d probably go for it. Heck, she may be smashing away at her skull with an old garden brick as we speak. Not only must she want to wash that man right out of her hair, she probably wants to follow up with full body laser dermabrasion and a flea bath chaser.
tells the guys they’re all going to Phuket, Thailand, otherwise known as that place that got demolished by a tsunami. By the way, it’s pronounced PHOO-ket, so we can stop with the dirty jokes now. Anyway, the guys are all excited and fist bumping and having a collective frat boy moment. Ashley is excited to go, too, as she’s never been to Asia. But she can’t stop thinking about Bentley. She wishes he was going with her. She imagines what Phuket would be like with Bentley. I haven’t wanted to shake some sense into someone this badly since I first heard the name Paris Hilton.
Ashley tells Annie, the concierge at the Renaissance Phuket, that she has twelve men she needs to take out on dates. Annie only looks slightly disgusted by the skanky American girl who apparently travels with a fleet of boy slaves.
Date card! Constantine is the first go get a one-on-one date in Phuket. Nick hopes it rains all over his romantic little date. I think Nick will get his wish. Ashley and Constantine are going to take a boat to a private beach, but the boatman tells them, in Thai, that the waves are too big to go out. Constantine suggests they shop for Hawaiian shirts. Because the Thai are well known for their Hawaiian shirts? Ashley thinks an ornate temple is so cute! These wacky foreigners and their cuddly little religious practices! Ashley declares everything at the local market cute. Then, she and Constantine decide to awkwardly mingle with the natives. They talk to an old man and ask him how long he’s been married. Thirty-six years. He says the key is not trying to win fights with your spouse. They have learned so much from these wise but simple and poorly dressed indigenous peoples! That little meeting wasn’t set up by the producers at all!
Group date! Ben F. (who looks like he could be Constantine’s stunt double or vice versa), J.P., Blake, Mickey, West, Ben C., Nick, Lucas, William and Ryan are clumped together, leaving Ames as the next likely one-on-one date.
But Constantine isn’t done with Ashley yet, no matter how boring their date may be. They have a beer at a sidewalk bar. Constantine tells Ashley he’s not thinking about winning a competition. He’s all about finding true love. Ashley is all about thinking about Bentley. But she feels chemistry with Constantine, which may just be Thai beer, we can’t be sure. But Constantine had fun on this horrible, soggy date, and Ashley hopes he doesn’t notice she was feeling off. She wants to tell Constantine about her feelings for Bentley. Oh ma God, Ashley, shut up!
Back at the bachelor pad, J.P. wants to know who else has kissed Ashley. Ben F. tells him not to drive himself crazy. I think J.P. kind of wants to kick the asses of anyone else who’s touched his woman. After that, maybe he’ll beat his chest, find Ashley and drag her off by her hair.
Constantine feels like he didn’t get deep into relationships in the past out of fear. Ashley loves the realness of him. She gives him a rose. Ashley is feeling hopeful again. She’s determined not to think about Bentley. But she can’t stop!
The next day it’s time for the group date, and Ashley takes the guys to Baan San Fan Orphanage. Lots of kids lost their parents in the tsunami, and this is a chance to make these orphans smile by painting their walls and giving them soccer balls. J.P. loves that Ashley wants to do this and came up with this brilliant idea. I’m not saying Ashley didn’t want to do this, but I’m guessing the show planned this about six months in advance.
Side note: everyone hates Ryan. A lot. Because he’s smiley, I suppose. And he might win. If I were Ryan, I wouldn’t worry about what a bunch of jealous little whiners think. Eye on the prize, Ryan!
Ben F. decides to paint a mural for the kids. Ashley wants to help. It’s hideous, but the little orphans are very excited. J.P. is forever changed by the experience. Lucas is moved. It’s all sorts of charitable goodness. Sort of like “Annie,” but without the dog or that awful little red dress.
After having a saintly day, they go to tie one on at a bar. Ryan thinks Ashley is just freakin’ rad. Okay, Ryan, maybe you are a little annoying.
Having bonded over painting an ugly elephant on the wall of the orphanage, Ashley and Ben F. kiss. Another guy for J.P. to kill.
The guys bitch about Ryan. Again. William thinks the guys are irritated with Ryan because he’s a frontrunner. Exactly!
Ashley pulls J.P. aside. She worries he’s been standoffish. Because he was more into painting walls for orphans than flirting with her? He assures her he’s all in. Ashley thinks kissing him is magical. She digs the bald thing. Have to say, he does have a very nice, smooth skull. Not everyone does, you know.
It’s time for Ashley to give her group date rose. Except Ryan wants to talk to her first. To tell her he wants to talk to her again, later. Ooohkay. Ryan is getting a little annoying in this episode, I’ll confess. But she gives the rose to Ben F. Ashley suggests everyone jump into the pool and frolic with her. This sounds like the intro to a porn movie, but it’s ABC and everyone has family friendly fun.
Time for the one-on-one with Ames, which starts off in a boat. Ames has been to Phuket a few times before. He came to Thailand for cooking school. Marry him, Ashley. He cooks authentic Thai food! They go sea kayaking in caves. Man, Ames got a good date. He declares that navigating the caves is like navigating a relationship. You can’t see ahead, but there might be something beautiful around the corner. Ames, you’re so poetic! But Ames uses words like “intangible” and “empathize,” so I think he may not be a fit for Ashley, whose favorite word is “cute.” And yet Ames knows he and Ashley are very similar. She thinks that’s because they’re both nerdy. She gives him a rose. But they don’t kiss. Ames feels their conversations about family and the future were much more intimate than liplocking. C’mon, Ames.
Cocktail party! Ashley pulls West aside to ask if he’s ready to get married again, given the whole dead wife thing. He says he’s ready to move on. Ashley isn’t sure. Because she’s been widowed before? The guy says he’s ready, he’s ready. Why didn’t she ask these types of hard questions of Bentley? Old Bentley got the fluffy Oprah Winfrey interview and West is standing trial before the Spanish Inquisition, geez.
She asks Lucas if he’s over his ex-wife. Of course! He says he doesn’t give up on anything, ever. Except his ex-wife. But she feels safe with Lucas. Is Ashley even listening to what anyone says, or is she just gazing into their eyes and thinking, ooh, this one’s so cute!
The guys bitch about Ryan. When did the bachelors suddenly become seventh grade mean girls? Blake decides to talk to Ryan about how much everyone hates him. This is a surprise to Ryan. He’s just a happy guy. Blake isn’t buying all this general positivity. I mean, a zest for life is fine every now and then, but Ryan’s just too zesty.
Next, it’s Ashley’s turn to see if she can make Ryan grumpy. She asks Ryan if he’s ever sad. Ryan’s bursting with love! He’s got a lot of love for living! He does not understand why everyone else can’t turn their frowns upside down. Ashley is not annoyed but is quite charmed by Ryan’s positive energy. So suck on that, Blake!
Rose ceremony! Oh, wait, a chat with Chris Harrison. Ashley tells him she’s had so many great dates! But she’s still hung up on Bentley. She had such potential with him! Really? For what? To be accidentally on purpose run over by his truck for insurance money?
Ashley informs Chris she wants to keep one extra guy, so only one guy will get the boot. I would be impressed with Ashley’s new dedication to looking under every rock for Mr. Right if she didn’t need to keep one more person around to balance out Bentley’s untimely exit. But you go, Ash! Do anything for love or at least what the producers ask you to do!
Ames, Ben F. and Constantine have roses.
Lucas gets a rose. He whoops.
Ryan gets a rose. Quiet seething commences.
J.P. gets a rose.
Nick gets a rose.
Mickey gets a rose.
Blake gets a rose.
William gets a rose.
One rose left! The final rose goes to… Ben C. Really, Ashley? You’re kicking West to the curb because he’s loved deeply and lost tragically? William can insult you for twenty minutes, make you cry, then tell you to go hang out with someone else so he can sulk – and he’s ducky? If Bentley hadn’t already convinced me that Ashley’s packing full tilt crazy in that cute little head of her hers, this certainly does.
The troop will visit Chiang Mai next week. And it looks lovely, but the promo concerns me deeply. Is it me or does it look like Bentley’s going to show up at Ashley’s hotel? Say it ain’t so, somebody! My heart can’t take it!
Do you think Bentley’s coming back? Do you think Ames has become a dark horse front runner? And were you surprised to see West go?