By Alicia Lutes, Hollywood.com Staff
Is there a better way to honor the historical moments of this day the second inauguration of Barack Obama, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day than by watching a pack of female wildebeests trample each other for the chance to sire a son from the alpha-ish male? Of course there is, but when you're a connoisseur of mediocrity, duty calls above all.
So here we are and here we go: shirtless Sean is at it again! The man must have a cotton allergy. It's really the only reasonable explanation. Does ABC really think this dude has nothing else to offer? Or is it just that...this is all he has to offer? Do the bored housewives who especially drool over the all-American milquetoast appeal of Sean Lowe really care, so long as the abdominals are front and center? Apparently not!
First off, let's all agree that this was a terribly boring episode. Right? Even with all the promise of drama and stupidity in the teaser last week, I still found myself unengaged: these ladies aren't actual humans you want to know anything about they awful, offensive caricatures that are frankly, pretty terrible for women in general. Sometimes this makes for really great television because what is reality for if not judgment and laughter?
But maybe you loved this episode! Maybe you're like, a huge Lesley M fan and you were real tickled homegirl got this week's first one-on-one date! The duo head off to Hollywood because hanging out at the Guinness Book of World Records, uh, museum (?) is what all the normal LA types do on their dates.Thank goodness her dress is adorable. Plus one for Lesley! So why the date at a place no one in their right mind would ever be OK with actually going to on a date? Oh right, because Sean has an inferiority complex when it comes to his father. Or maybe he just doesn't like it when his dad has something he doesn't. (Like a family and children and a shirt.) Turns out, Sean's dad set a World Record! What a completely random and great thing for him! Back in the day, Daddy Lowe drove through the continental United States in 97 hours and seven minutes with two of his bros. Man, even Sean's dad is more interesting than Sean. So with bitter daddy issues in hand, Sean decides he needs to break a world record, too! DUH. Daddio's had enough attention, damn it!
And how can Sean one-up his dad in a way that's convenient to a reality show's film schedule, but also relevant? Time for these two to make out (...for the longest on-screen kiss, not just for funsies)! The two stand around, putting their faces on each other for over 3 minutes while a bunch of people watch. Even the crowd of people standing there admit how awkward it all is, so, cool! Somehow this awkward display of affection turns out to be the best day of Lesley M's life. Because of course it does, ugh. Lucky for this lady, Sean feels like he's known her forever but he makes her nervous. He does something to her! Nervous Nelly goes in for the kiss after a dare from Sean and this kiss certainly looks more magical (and less awkward) than their last. Ooh la la! Lesley M might be a contenda! No surprise she got the rose.
Group Date alert! AshLee and her highly confused consonants are real glad she didn't get a group date because doing activities is for losers. The 12 gals going on the group date are Kacie B, Robyn, Leslie, Kristy, Catherine, Taryn, Desiree, Amanda, Lindsay, Daniella, Jackie, and Tierra. As for the itinerary? Why, a jaunt on the beach, of course! Also known as another excuse for Sean Lowe to take off his shirt. I almost named this recap ""Sean Lowe and the Hunt for the World's Most Elusive Shirt,"" but that really seems more like a series theme than a singular episode. Six abs to rule them all!
But now it's time for a TWIST! The ladies have to play beach volleyball and the winning team gets one-on-one time with Sean. The losers? A public stoning! Just kidding, they have to go home and pout without any time to tell Sean how cayuuute he is in private. Cold. It turns out, weirdly enough, that all these bikini-ready beach bodies are not all genetically predisposed to be awesome at beach volleyball. I thought that was part of the contract you sign when you made your deal with the devil to have well-defined and super-tanned bodies? Someone should remedy that. Anyway, balls are rolling, sometimes even getting up into the air and over the net. But not really with any sort of regularity. Maybe they're like Amber, and their doctors don't want them to participate in any sort of activity that involves balls flying at their noses. Well there goes your social life!
Exhibit A: (Reference starts at 0:51)
""This volleyball game is probably the most important in my life"" says Taryn, queen of rational and non-hyperbolic thought. Is that with or without the flying balls? Obviously it's important for her it's her last chance at relevancy because the inclusion of her opinion now after being nonexistent so far this season. Which, as we all know, means she's totally going home. In the end, the blue team wins without Sean's help, so the red team heads home to probably eat chocolate and pet cats like the lonely monsters ABC believes they are (and may actually be in real life, sorry gals). But oh, what a dramatic exit theirs is: Tierra is on the red/losing team, so she obviously has to pout and whine. Kristy f**king loses her s**t. Literally bawling her eyes out. OMG, TRUE LOVE IS SLIPPING AWAY! HOPE IS TOTALLY LOST FOR EVERYONE. How can the world keep turning when events like this are taking place on its soil?
Meanwhile, everyone's favorite sourpuss Amanda has flipped her switch in order to perk up and lay down the groundwork for what she wants out of a relationship with Sean. She wants a husband, a best friend, a provider, lover, mindreader, horse whisperer, kumquat inspector, and pool boy. Oh and true love and probably world peace just for good measure.
According to every girl on the show, their ~deep connection~ with Sean is mad f**king real, you guys. (Like, Courtney Stodden real: rill.) More so than any other human element could connect with another human element, is how deep these ladies' Grand Canyon connections are, everyone. These girls are all chemistry scholars, too, so it seems like pretty legit logic. Amanda has brought her powerpoint presentation of all the reasons why she's great and special and swell to prove the connection. It's like this very weird, forced thing. Desiree and Kacie B seem to hate her because she's ""dark and creepy"" which apparently means you're not allowed to have or find love. Because there are totally no creepy people that are married or birthing children in the world.
But oh that Kacie B. Kacie, what in the actual f**k is going on in that pretty lil skull o' yours, gal? Do you have no short-term memory? Or long-term memory? Or any memory at all? What about common sense did you lose it somewhere? This girl, who came so close to both winning the heart of a former Bachelor while also nearly getting kicked off for her s**t-stirring, doesn't somehow think that a repeat performance of drama-rousing is her thing. She's not into drama! Only, shut the f**k up, because YES Kacie, you ARE a s**t-stirrer. This is who you are, and categorizing it as ""selfish"" (Which...what? Does not compute) doesn't make it any less of a stirred s**t. As if s**t-talking Courtney Robertson to Ben Flajnik wasn't enough of a ""hey maybe don't do this!"" thing, she decides to do it again with Amanda to Sean. How is this different, Kacie? What, has this s**t been shaken rather than stirred? This girl is straight-up pathological with this s**t. Apparently she can't be herself when people don't like each other, so that is a reason for...something?
Sean calls her out on her drama (THANK YOU, I thought he'd be one of those too nicers who doesn't point out the obvious out of fear of hurting the other person's feelings), and demands answers. ""Why are you telling me this?"" Sean's throat-clearing when she said she's ""not a drama person"" pretty much tells it all. Sean's throat-clear was the equivalent of Michelle Obama's shade-throwing at the inauguration Monday afternoon. ""I want you to act like Kacie, not like this crazy person,"" Sean mumbles. Oh noes! Kacie's plan isn't not working! Quelle surprise! She didn't expect this! HOW DID SHE NOT EXPECT THIS? Kacie, Kacie, Kacie. GIRL. Honey, child. Grown-ass women don't meddle in other people's business! Because in the end, that meddling says way more about the meddler than those with the business. Also: ""I'm not supposed to cry this early"" for real, Kacie? Now you just sound like you're playing a part.
So let's talk about Tierra's fall and her general existence of selfish psycho-manipulation. It happened moments before AshLee's date, and Sean gets worried that Tierra's been concussed! She only starts actually responding to pretty much anyone once they put her on a board for an X-Ray. So she starts crying and telling them to leave her alone. The girls, of course, suspect that she faked it. Which when you see how positively bratty and insane homegirl gets later in the episode if she didn't fake it, she sure as hell milked that cow for some serious Sean time, cutting in on his time with AshLee.
Sean decides to close down all of Six Flags and then do some ""volunteer work"" by turning his date with AshLee into a meeting between two girls from the Starlight Children's Foundation who have never met the other in-person, but are best friends. It's like Catfish minus all the deception and general human terribleness. Only TWIST! the girls have no idea they're going to meet. Surprise! Emily and Brianna are IRL (""In Real Life"" for all you luddites out there) friends now! This is, admittedly, really precious. The Eli Young Band, Sean's fave because how convenient, is there to sing for everyone! Afterwards, AshLee shares her life story with Sean, and the two both admit they want to adopt children in the future a cause close to AshLee as she was adopted at age six.
OK so full-disclosure, I totally feel bad about giving AshLee a hard time for her unfortunate capitalization issues. She has a totally positive outlook which is lovely to see in a sea full of crazy. Obviously homegirl gets a rose. AshLee joins Desiree in the ""frontrunners"" pile, for me.
Prior to the rose ceremony, Sean decided to do something sweet, and brought Sarah's dog Leo out to see her as a token of appreciation. OK, fine, this is pretty adorable, but also so obviously a ploy to get the ""aww! puppy!"" vote from America. That said, I love puppies. A lot. So I get the tactic.
Tierra is pissed because she deserves ""way more"" and she ""wants to punch some f**king walls"" because it's not fair how everyone interrupts her time with Sean. And she gets what she wants, y'all! OK, I'm officially on the ""Tierra is a horrible garbage monster"" team. I cannot deal with selfish insane people, it's a weird quirk I have.
Rose Ceremony Time! Now featuring the world's longest rose stems. But WAIT! Before it can start, Sean needs to halt the ceremony and talk to Kacie B. He says he respects her too much to put her through another rose ceremony when they're probably better off as friends. So sayonara, Kacie B! Now stop being suck a mother**king s**t-stirrer/shaker/drama-insterter. Jesus.
Oh well. The full list of ladies sent to the infinite abyss where single women pick up their cats, drop off their self-esteem and are sent to learn the rules of spinsterdom are:
What do you think of this week's episode? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: ABC]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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