It’s a strange season of The Bachelor because everyone is kinda normal and vulnerable. Chris Soules seems like a small-town guy who was tricked into being the bachelor. Becca (The Virgin), Whitney (The Baby Maker), and Kaitlyn (The Canadian) all actually seem down-to-earth and cautiously optimistic about the fact they’re falling in love, and yet all realize the awkwardness of this format. In any other setting, Chris wouldn’t have any reason to get rid of any of these girls (individually), and yet, here he is, completely screwed – by the process.

This past Monday, finally, The Bachelor went overseas. Have you noticed that? The entire season was shot in the good ol’ U.S.A. to this point? Was it a budget thing? Hmm. I wonder. But on Monday, they went to Bali, famed for it’s film industry known as “Baliwood.” Please. Now is not the time to quibble over facts and accuracy. And as many of us in the U.S. huddled under blankets stuck inside while the weather outside continues to hover around and under 0-degrees, Bali looked like heaven on earth, I mean, except for the part where Chris was bit by, and urinated on, by monkeys.

Speaking of monkeys, if it were me, and cute, little, biting, pooping monkeys approached me on the street, I’d ask if I could have one. Screw finding a wife, I’d say. That’s a gamble and who knows if Chris will pick the right gal – but a monkey is a sure bet. They can crank a music box and dance amusingly. They can do all sorts of funny things. Man! How cool would it be to have a monkey.

In fairness, while it would be easy to have a fun monkey, Chris had a much more difficult task. Yet, in some ways, Chris is our monkey dancing for our amusement.

Deep thoughts!

Three long-form dates with Fantasy Suite endings were the format of the show and his first date was with Kaitlyn the Canadian. What struck me most about this date was the tease, and then the actual footage of, Kaitlyn saying she was falling in love with Chris and then Chris actually said, “I think I’m falling in love with you.” I thought that was against the rules. Either way, everything about the Chris-Kaitlyn date seemed perfect. Yes, their date was mostly just walking around and talking, but I thought I saw great conversations and good connection between the two.

So? We all know how the show ended. What happened? Was she too eager to move to Iowa? Did Chris have a hard time believing she could be saying she’s “so in love,” but wondering, really? We barely know each other. We’ll get to that in a minute, but only after we look at the Becca and Whitney dates.

Whitney ‘s(Fertility Nurse, aka Baby Maker, aka The Blonde One) date was the second of the night and their date was way better than chasing monkeys around and getting pooped on. One can only assume that the quality of the date directly influence Chris’s eventual results. Chris and Whitney took an amazing ocean cruise on an old-timey boat. And again, if you like two people talking through their emotions and sighing uncomfortably about certain questions and certain situations, then this was the best 20-minutes of television you’ve ever seen.

I’m a sap. Whitney is cool and very smart and very cerebral. She had the best answer when asked about moving to Arlington, Iowa – population 400. Chris begged our Chicagoan to really think about it …it’s in the middle of nowhere. And he’s not leaving – it’s his family farm. Des Moines is 3 hours away. Chicago is 3 1/2 hours away. He’s saying …there …is …nothing to do. But Whitney, when she says she always picture herself as a wife/mother and while she’s proud of her career, she feels something is missing, she sounds convincing. She sounds, legitimately, like she’s not trying to maybe-get-married and win or maybe-be-the-next-Bachelorette. She sounds like she’s in love and dealing the with idea of not-having-Chris and trying to make it work and leaving her career and the big city. It’s not an easy decision, right?

They way Chris and Whitney were talking, it sounded like two people who maybe met randomly and started dating long distance “just to see where it goes” and suddenly everything got serious. Honestly, she’s not hiding behind anything. She knows she’s scared and admits it, but seems to be so in love, I believe her when she says it’s not all about where you are, but who you’re with.

400 Arlingtonians can’t be wrong.

Could you live in Arlington? I know I couldn’t. It would be a deal breaker for many girls (and me).

Final thought on Whitney …she’s not ready to say Chris is her soulmate and they’ll be together forever, but she’s willing to give it a shot. See what I mean. Totally …rationale …and normal.

The third featured date was the Chris-Becca date and the only thing worth noting about the date was (a) she confessed to being a virgin (and I’m not sure “confess” is the right word, but just go with it) and (b) she also wouldn’t jump for joy about the idea of moving to and living in Arlington, Iowa.

Chris, as I thought would be the case, wasn’t turned off by the virginal stuff. But he also wasn’t like, “hey, there are things we can do that would keep your virginity intact and yet, ya know…” and hints about her and him and, well …you get it. Chris just sighed alot and realized the importance of his entire relationship with her. But, let’s be honest …he already had fantasy suite dates with Kaitlyn and Whitney so, my guess is, he was kinda ready to just watch some TV (if you know what I mean). I knew Chris was a cool guy and that it wouldn’t matter, but instead he was worried about her lack of a straight answer about the whole “Iowa” thing.

Their date was fine, but lacked “completion.” No …not completion as in sex, but as in, her giving him an answer about Iowa.

The question was simple – do you love Chris enough that you would entertain the idea of moving to and living in Iowa. It’s obvious Chris is waaaay into her, and that’s why, minutes before he handed out roses, he pulled Becca aside and just laid it on the table. If the answer to “Iowa” was “never, ever”, then it was time they said goodbye. But Becca said “maybe” and that was good enough for Chris.

So poor Kaitlyn didn’t get a rose. She was stunned. It was awkward and painful and I hate when that happens (and love when that happens, hence the reason we all watch this show). I literally covered my eyes with my hand because it was so horrible to watch both their hearts break. Kaitlyn was way cool. But she seemed more like a “sister” to Chris. Or if Chris was gay, Kaitlyn would be his BFF. But from the very beginning, she seemed like a guy-girl (they used to call them “Tom Boys”) and like the life of the party and a ball of energy and honest and nice, but just not down-on-the-farm marriage material.

She’ll get over Chris. And Chris will get over her. And she’ll be happy for him and Whitney …or Becca.

For the first time in a long time, we actually have the two perfect final girls and I don’t envy Chris’s decision. I’d pick Whitney. She just seems awesome.

And now we wait (unless you’ve peaked …and by “you” I mean “my wife”). She always likes to read the spoilers.

Note: She can’t find anywhere who will be the next Bachelorette. Interesting, right?

Next week, we’re going to get 2-hours of the girls telling all and Chris talking with Chris and then Whitney talking with Chris and then Becca talking with Chris. I’m actually looking forward to it. I just gotta know how truly crazy was that crazy girl who spoke in tongues? And how much is everyone going to trash Kelsea (The Widow Who Went Crazy)? Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

As always, thanks for reading. See you next week.

Follow me on Twitter at @donkowalewski

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