The Bachelorette Recap: Fit to Be Thai'd

Common decency, romantic chivalry, and even (brace yourselves) intelligence made all-too-rare appearances on Monday night’s installment of The Bachelorette. Oh, not to worry, Ashley The Dentist’s self-esteem is still lodged tragically in the septic tank of the Los Angeles mansion where her love affair with Bentley emitted its final death rattle, but as our heroine’s “journey” took her (and her remaining suitors) to Phuket, Thailand, a few decent guys actually got some screen time.

Things started out not so promisingly, with Ashley saying she was still holding onto the “relationship” she had with Bentley — which would be the equivalent of me clutching a losing MegaMillions ticket and calling it my lost pension plan. But the contractually binding show must go on, and so Ashley hit up the concierge at her resort to inquire about the best way to entertain 12 men at a time. (Insert your own off-color joke here.)

The smarminess ended there, however, as both of the week’s one-on-one dates turned out to be chaste, sweet, and not entirely soul-crushing. At the start of Date No. 1, a Thai-speaking skipper used the international symbol for “boat sinking in giant waves” to put the kibosh on Ashley’s plan to take Constantine out on the high seas. Thus, the duo retreated to a quiet row of shops and acted like normal tourists, trying on hats, sipping beers, and grilling elderly, non-English-speaking shopkeeps about the secrets to a successful marriage. (Okay, two out of three’s not bad.) Constantine, in his safety-orange shorts and wretched gym-shower sandals, came off like an earnest, floppy-haired Jason Segel (with maybe a hint of Vampire Diaries‘ Steven R. McQueen), which is to say he’s a different kind of cute than the hermetically buffed, waxed, and polished Ken Dolls that typically populate the show. I liked that Constantine understands that there’s a difference between getting excited about an exotic, foreign date and getting excited about the person you’re on the date with. And I liked that Ashley used the phrase “sweat like a beast” to describe her own experience in the humid conditions. Things ended with Constantine giving Ashley a piggyback ride through the surf, and our heroine declaring that “hopeless Ashley” might be tuning into “hopeful Ashley.”

Ashley’s second one-on-one was even more remarkable, seeing how her suitor exhibited interests beyond taking “journeys” and waxing poetic about her myriad “qualities.” Indeed, Ames shared with The Dentist that he’d been to 70 countries, and was a two-time veteran of Thailand, having visited once to partake in some mountain climbing, and another time to attend cooking school. I appreciated that Ames and Ashley managed to keep their traps shut as they took a kayak ride though the Phucket’s magnificent islands — Ames declared himself dumbfounded by the awesomeness of it all — and that their lunchtime conversation included a sidebar about having “nerd areas” in their respective apartments. What’s more, Ames proved he’s got a solid vocabulary and a decent sense of self-awareness (throwing out a relationship checklist is “a major evolutionary step,” he reasoned), not to mention an actual sense of humor. Consider the following exchange:

Ashley (perched on the bow of a catamaran): I feel like we’re on the Titanic!
Ames (laughing): Let’s hope not.

I worry Ames has too specific a personality to survive the fill-in-the-blank template of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, but this time around he got a rose, and finished things off with “something a lot more intimate than a kiss.” Hey now, get those minds out of the gutter. Dude was talking about the serious conversations he and Ashley shared regarding what they’d change about their childhoods, what they’re looking for in a prospective spouse, and what kind of an environment they think is ideal for raising kids.

Even this week’s group date (mostly) kept up the non-skeevy vibes, as Ashley and her harem cleaned and painted rooms at the Baan San Fan Orphanage, then played soccer with a group of adorable kids. Ben F endeared himself to Ashley by sullying a wall with a hideous mural that compared poorly to the cave paintings of early man (see image below). Ryan P annoyed the other guys with his “rah rah! I’m in charge!” attitude. And JP rebuked our attention-seeking heroine with a “not now, we’re working” brushoff. (JP made up for it later, at a post-orphanage swimsuit party, by giving Ashley a full teeth-cleaning with his tongue underneath a massive umbrella, mere minutes after she’d shared her first kiss with Ben F.)

By episode’s end, Ashley had not only uttered Bentley’s name 247 times, but she’d also decided she wanted to make sure she was giving all of her suitors a real chance. Well, all of them except one. When Ashley asked Chris Harrison if she could add an extra flower to the rose ceremony — thereby cutting only one guy, not two — I was sure she was setting up William for a vicious takedown after he’d called her flat-chested and used during last week’s roast. But alas, Ashley decided she’d had enough of widower West and the idea of trying to fill his late wife’s shoes. Way to kick a guy while he’s down, Bachelorette!

What did you think of this week’s episode? Should we start a drinking game next week where we take a shot every time Ashley utters Bentley’s name, or would that be too dangerous? And did you find yourself impressed with Constantine and Ames? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Afa says:

    Still waiting on your American Idol Recaps… I’m growing impatient. Put them up already!

    • stevenjaba says:

      What? He’s done all the recaps – the only thing left is an interview with Haley and maybe one with Casey.

      • thelstrikeman says:

        Yhea I’m still waiting for Haley’s interview! Slezac has made us wait for two weeks now !!!! The finalists ones were post very quickly but why the delay for Haley ? Is it in order to increase the trafic of TVLINE by making people check over and over again for an update ?!?

        • HaleyRhinehartFan says:

          yes, I think you are correct in your reasoning. I too was thinking today that TV LIne is holding up the Haley interview so that we look at the TV Line sight over and over

          Come on TV Line Brass. You are getting as manipulative as the Idol Powers that Be

          By the way Haley sounds fab on her studio verson I tunes

    • Elizabeth the Obvious says:

      Check the archives, chief

  2. amy says:

    Constantine is cute and sweet but why didn’t he go in for a kiss?? Ames is a nerd. .Bentley will be back next week causing more drama.

  3. julie says:

    Why did they cast all these super tall guys for tiny Ashley? The only possible explanation for why she fell for Bently is that he was comparatively short. (I mean, really, what else did she know about him?) Ames is way too interesting for her. She’s an absolute bore.

  4. Amy says:

    Already did the ‘Bentley’ drinking game, last night. All I have to say is, make sure you have several drinks lined up!

  5. sondra says:

    I’ve seen every season of this show and The Bachelor. Ashley is beyond a doubt the most boring of them all. I just flip in and out of the show this season. Can’t bear to watch continually. But I do thank Ashley for breaking my B&B habit.

  6. Yo says:

    I’m embarrassed to acknowedge I turned this on. (Does it help if you read a bad high spy thriller while you watch?) I liked the Ames character; he is one of those rare (television?) men who are more interesting when they speak. Ninety-nine percent of Bachelor men are interchangable and should never speak, especially the word “connection” (which is so much less intimate than “relationship”). As everyone on the show has good teeth, it is appropriate that this summer’s star is a dentist.

  7. Lizzy says:

    I was on the William bandwagon for a while, but now I question his “real” intentions. But I was ANNOYED that last night they showed NO interaction between Ashely and William, and yet he was given a rose…

    I’m a HUGE Ames fan, so much so that I REALLY don’t want Ashley to choose him, because he’s MUCH too good for her, and I DON’T want him to be the next bachelor, because he’s much too good for that.

    • Amber says:

      I agree about Ames completely. Ashley is is way too insecure for him, but he’s my favorite.

    • GC says:

      On hulu, they have an outtake with Ashley and William… watch it here:

      I didn’t like Ames much in the first episode… he seemed like a real overachiever with so many degrees… but he was so charming and witty and I just love intelligent men!! He is actually really cute and sexy… I’d love to meet him.

      I see the chemistry building between Ashley and JP, her saying he is so sexy and and the best kisser puts him near the top, I think. I think he is a bit immature, though. He seems to get impatient and angry easily. He completely blew her off when she stopped by to check on their paintings… I mean he was taking his volunteer work serious, but maybe too serious to have said, “not now” to her… I mean, if he is just dating her, trying to woo her, when people are often on their better behavior, I can just see him tossing her aside when he gets annoyed at her later… I don’t find him attractive, and if she picks him, I don’t know that it will last, but I like Ashley and I do wish the best for her.

  8. Mikos says:

    Did they really go to a place called Phuket?

  9. julie says:

    Who are these people who go on this show? Can anyone explain why they do it?

  10. Amber says:

    yeah, that drinking game would probably kill someone

  11. Cindy says:

    I am sick of hearing Bentley’s name. Next weeks promo looks like he may be back. That should really make the low self esteem Ashley sink like a rock. I really liked Ames in this episode, despite his large and in charge forehead. Hopefully we will get to see some of the other guys showcased next week. What a rainy week in Thailand. I hope the next week’s weather is better.

  12. robbie says:

    maybe it’s just me but i think ames & jp are going to hook up.

  13. Maggie says:

    Kind of embarassed to admit I’m watching this show. But, I am. Agree…Ashley is boring as hell. But, I’m kind of enjoying the guys – especially last night. JP is kind of a cutey. I thought Ames was interesting. Different. Kinda like Ben, the winemaker. I wanted William to go home. Felt bad for West, but I too wonder if he’s ready. Such a strange show. I can’t figure out why I watch it!? :)

  14. cb says:

    I didn’t even realize Slezak had jumped ship and is no on this site! yikes! I really liked Ames in this episode! He reminds me of Harry Connick Jr.

    I wonder if any of the guys are thinking – if I get kicked off in Thailand, I’m totally getting a “thai massage” since I’m already here! HAHA.

  15. jenny says:

    Ames from the get go wanted Ashley there (when they visted manhattan, in his interview he said “I am probably going to jinx mself but I hope its Ashley H.”), so I was all on the Ames boat. But in episode 2 and episode 3 you kind of forget he is there, which is unfortunate because it is so refreshing to listen to Ames and Ashley’s conversations. I definately think that Ben F., Ames, and JP are the front runners at the moment.
    Ali did some commentary and she makes a lot of good points:

  16. fela says:

    I was very annoyed that they put those guys in a boxing ring. That was ridiculous . A mild concussion is no joke and Ames should sue the show. He still did not look so well after going to the hospital. As for Ashley she is very annoying with her whining for Bentley. If he was really into you he would not of left idiot. BTW Ben & Constantine look like twins. It was so funny to see them sitting together.

  17. Rae says:

    I think Constantine is boring. I get that he’s probably just “layed back” but it comes across as uninterested. Ames is fun to watch because he actually has something interesting to talk about…he’s actually lived a successful life without trying to get on TV. I’ve read the spoilers from Reality Steve but I won’t ruin it for those who don’t want to know–but I just really hope Ashley is happy in the end b/c she’s not doing herself any favors up to this point.