The question going into tonight’s pen-ultimate episode of Bachelor Pad was whether or not the show had any interest in doing something beyond playing along with the lazy old rules of late summer reality programming by creating a scenario where the women labeled “outsiders” – simply because they hadn’t bothered to repeatedly insert their tongues into the mouth of a male – had any chance of actually avoiding banishment, positioning themselves to vanquish the “cool kids” and winning the game.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Within the first twenty minutes, outsiders Grandma Gwen and the two nameless brunettes were kicked to the curb faster than an abandoned apartment sofa. And we the viewers were left with a painfully predictable rest of an episode and the countdown to a finale where someone nasty and odious will definitely win a quarter of a million dollars.
Of course, there’s nothing at all wrong with a nasty and odious person taking the top prize on any reality show. Since the dawn of Richard Hatch, the villains have snagged the reality show purse at least as often as the heroes. But Richard Hatch and his most worthy TV spawn were always at least fun to watch in their nefarious activities. They all but winked at the camera and dared you to find anyone else in the cast even remotely close to as clever or strategic as they were. If it wasn’t going to be a hero, it was going to be at least someone worth our time.
Nothing like that is happening on Bachelor Pad. The only clever thing that can be said about it is that it’s ending next week, and not a moment too soon now that we know the victor will be either a waxed, piggish lip-diddler or a bikini-baring cry-baby willing to find newer and better ways to degrade herself from one week to the next.
Not a hero in the bunch, to be sure.
Once the three outsider babes were sent packing, and our remaining four men and four women paired themselves together as single voting entities, the writing was on the wall for Peyton and Jesse, the only pair that wasn’t implied to be knocking flippers in the community hot tub on a regular basis. A shame too, because they were the only fun ones to watch. The look on Peyton’s face as she watched her new partner clumsily fish an ingrown hair out of his shin with a screw he found on the ground was almost as funny as the off-key hillbilly love theme the producers used to underscore the moment. The only laughs of the night.
But, we’ve got two hours to fill, so let’s pretend there’s still a chance Peyton and Jesse will NOT be the ones leaving tonight. Hope still remains, if only they can win this week’s challenge… the high risk, dangerously complicated, nearly impossible to follow in its inherent Hitchcockian twists… water balloon toss!
Sadly, The Bickerson Hillbillies were the first ones eliminated. Sad not just because that meant it was nearly certain they were going home, but because they, like the rest of us, had to watch the last six Free Clinic test subjects toss balloons back and forth for the next ten minutes, while host Chris Harrison provided commentary like, “Right through her legs! I thought she had it!” without so much as an upturning lip.
“Missing Baldwin Brother” Dave and “Tramp Jan Brady” Natalie, who, now that they are officially a couple can finally be called what we’ve wanted to call them all season – “Baldwinady Datalie” (yes, you heard it here first), won the challenge. Dave spent the fantasy date sharing his most tender wounds about family alienation, going on to express his eager hope that he can someday win back the love and affection of a viewing audience who now loathes him.
Later, he sucked face with Natalie in the hot tub.
Meanwhile, back at the Crab Shack, Elizabeth and Kovacs snuck into the Fantasy Suite – and by the way, is it just me or does anyone else hear the words “Fantasy Suite” and immediately think of Hervé Villechaize (“Buss! Eeeelizabet end Kohvaz huv buzted into dee Funtusee Sweet!”)?
Once under the covers and presumably naked, Elizabeth demanded Kovacs declare her more important than winning $250,000. Needless to say, this night did not end with a 2 am shower and the romantic splitting of a late night meatloaf sandwich.
At the last moment before voting, Chris reveals that in fact the couples will vote individually, which of course, can you guess? … “changes the game!”
Apparently, no one told Peyton and Jesse that this changes the game because they were, in the end, voted off… just like they, the rest of the house, you, me, and my cats (both the living and the dead one) knew an hour and a half earlier.
Finally… here’s a question about something I’m finding really annoying: In evaluating their competition for the final challenge, whatever it may be, all the men left on the show are trying to eliminate who they think is the most athletic (“So what if he played baseball? I played everything else!”)
Where is the logic in this way of thinking? When has being athletic played into this show once yet?
Am I wrong, or have the weekly challenges so far been… blindfolded kissing, secretly writing down names of the opposite sex on pieces of paper, Twister, pie-eating, Spin the Bottle, and water balloon tossing? Who cares who can bench press more? All you need to win Bachelor Pad is is to have attended a tween girl’s slumber party at least once in your life.
Oh well… it’s Monday night summer programming on ABC. Logic, happily or not, shouldn’t be applied. And these little horny, fame-greedy TV ciphers are doing and saying exactly what they’re told.
If you’re still praying for a hero, forget it. Just pray for a mercifully short Dancing with the Stars tie-in next week.