Buckle up, GRTFLers, next week we are adding The Challenge: Battle of the Exes to the fray. What does that mean? That means that you should write a few of your dumbest friends, make a wager, and hold yourself a draft. What was that? No chance? I guess that’s cool, too. Next Wednesday, in anticipation of the premiere, we will be revealing The Challenge-specific rules, our draft results, and a little extra something-something that methinks will make The Challenge fans happy. Or confuse them. Most likely both. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: There was plenty of weird this week on Jersey Shore and The Bachelor to tide us over until next week when The Challenge’s alchopsychoholics come marching in:
Courtney (The Bachelor, Lisanti), 45 points: When you watch The Bachelor you are constantly evaluating and asking yourself, “Self, imagine you are in some alternate universe in which you decided that the best way to find a wife was to star in a network reality show where 25 hussies competed for your hand in marriage. Got it, self? Now imagine that in this alternate universe you were bestowed with the same exact mob that Ben the Bachelor has received. In said alternate universe, whom would you propose to?”
Don’t lie to me, you do it, too. This scenario — this preposterous alternate universe — seems delightful at first. There you are as The Bachelor, the epicenter of this earthquake of desperation, the studly sun that a galaxy of hot cocktail waitresses, dental assistants, and farmers' daughters orbit around. But as the weeks go on and you get glimpses into the personalities, idiosyncrasies, and homicidal tendencies of the individuals around you, deciding which one to take as your bride in this alternate universe becomes a less and less enticing proposal. Courtney the Model Who Won’t Stop Talking About Being a Model is a perfect example of how your valuation can swing from “Attractive young lady, seems cool enough; I could see myself with her,” to, “If I married her I am positive I would end up faking my own death and escaping to Borneo.” And therein lies the problem with this alternate universe in which you are forced to choose one of these women: The more you know about them the less you like them, especially Courtney the Model Who Won’t Stop Talking About Being a Model.
Courtney is pulling off a split-personality move that should not go unnoticed. When Ben the Bachelor is around, she becomes this graceful, sweet SoCal chick who just happens to model but deep down wants to open a soup kitchen that doubles as a shelter for puppies that were born with three legs. When Ben the Bachelor isn’t around, Courtney turns into an überwench insult-lizard that will lash out at you for looking at someone else the wrong way (that actually happened; I will spare you the details). This Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde-a-bitch routine has led to Ben stating that Courtney is “super down-to-earth and drama free” and the other ladies stating she “has some personality problems and some social issues that I think need to be diagnosed.” I will let you judge for yourselves which one is closer to the truth. Actually, no I won’t: There is no question that the true Courtney is a Mrs. Hyde-a-bitch, one who: says, “Some of these girls are really well educated, but I will say this, book smart can be real boring”; cries all episode (5 points); kisses Ben (5 points); threatens to leave (25 points); and has this exchange with Ben the Bachelor Who I Have Never Seen in the Same Room at the Same Time As Rafa Nadal:
- Courtney: “I didn’t expect to feel like this.”
Ben: “It's crazy isn’t it?”
Courtney: “I think we will make cute babies.” (10 points)
Ben: [Shocked. Making a “did she just say what I think she said?” face.]
Courtney: [Making an “oops, did I say that out loud?” face.] “Someday, I mean. Someday.”
Brittney (The Bachelor, Lisanti), 35 points: This week Ben the Bachelor’s wannabe bride Brittney the Only Reason I Remember You Is Because You Brought Your Grandma, left the show in tears (35 points), claiming, “This has been the hardest decision of my life. Not knowing what I could have had with Ben and walking away from this. It’s hard. That is why I am so upset but, um, this has been extremely difficult. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into.”
Wrong, Brittney. It isn’t that you didn’t know what you were getting yourself into, it is that you were completely delusional about what you were getting yourself into. Allow me to demonstrate:
What Brittney Thought She Was Getting Herself Into: She arrives at Bachelor Mansion. Ben lays eyes on her, faints, and needs to be rushed to the hospital. From his hospital bed, a semiconscious Ben mumbles that all the women need to evacuate his room save for the angel that appeared before him as he passed out. Over a few days, she revives him with a combination of sponge baths, homemade split-pea soup, and volumes of Pablo Neruda poetry. When he comes to, he professes his eternal love to her and states that he will only fulfill his commitment on The Bachelor because it will give them the opportunity to travel a bit before they get engaged. Then he gives her a foot massage. During filming, Ben finishes every rose ceremony by looking into the eyes of the brokenhearted woman who is going home and explaining, “Sorry, you just don’t measure up to my true love, Brittney.” It becomes his catchphrase.
In the final episode, Ben charters a commercial spacecraft, and only when they are thousands of miles above the earth does she realize that Ben has commissioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to form a country-spanning crop circle that reads, “Brittany, you are super skinny, will you marry me?” She says yes. The next few years are a montage of Star magazine covers, multimillion-dollar weddings, signature home furnishing lines, extravagant trips, and frequent exclusive events they attend with their best friends Posh and David Beckham. She carries extremely expensive handbags throughout. One evening during their later years — while they are surrounded by their handsome, well-adjusted, Ivy League-educated children at the Thanksgiving table in their mansion on St. Bart’s — Ben whispers into her ear, “I will always love you. I will wait for you in heaven, my angel. How did you ever manage to stay so skinny over the years?” Then he falls to the floor, pulls up his sleeve, kisses his “I love Brittney” tattoo, and dies. She then remarries to an aging-but-still-dashing George Clooney before checking out herself.
What Brittney Was Really Getting Herself Into: Producers tell her that she can only be on the show if she brings her grandmother with her on the first episode. She agrees. Upon arrival at the first day of shooting the producers meticulously script her grandmother’s entrance and the ensuing interaction with Ben the Bachelor. When she inquires how she should enter, they look her up and down and blurt, “Have you never gotten out of a car before? Do that then.” When she enters the house with the rest of Ben's brides-to-be she immediately is ostracized for bringing her grandmother, realizes she is one of the least-attractive women there, and learns that there is less sexual chemistry between Ben and herself than Ben and her grandmother. She spends the next three weeks sleeping five to a hotel room with insufferable women who will not stop talking about the “connection” and “relationship” they have with Ben. She has not spoken to him since her grandmother left. One morning while she is in the bathroom she overhears Ben talking to a producer:
- Producer: “Ben, we need you to have at least one one-on-one date where you don’t give the girl the rose and send her home on the spot.”
Ben: “Oh, that is tough! There are so many amazing girls here. I don’t think I can do that to one of them.”
Producer: “What about Brittney?”
Ben: “Who is Brittney?”
Producer: “The one who brought her grandmother on the first day.”
Ben: “The blonde one that smells like toenails?”
Ben: “I forgot about her. Yeah, give her a date card so I can make her cry on national TV.”
Then she makes “the hardest decision of her life” and leaves the show.
The Situation (Jersey Shore, Lisanti), 25 points: Sammi, on The Situation’s latest partner-in-coitus (25 points): “I actually like Paula. She may be dirty and grimy and disgusting but she is actually a nice girl.” Paula is a boardwalk dweller who has found her way to the Jersey Shore house several times over the past few summers. Paula is not shy when it comes to evening attire. This young lass arrived at the nightclub, well after sundown, wearing nothing but a pair of Daisy Dukes and a white bikini. The Daisy Dukes didn’t last, and there she was, dancing, bent over, with the Jersey boys taking turns tagging her with a Sharpie like she was an early '80s A train. Now, at first read this must sound like a brutal, chauvinist, criminal act that should not be broadcast on television. Oddly, that was not the case. If there were ever someone who completely owned being the girl in the club wearing nothing but a bikini and being treated like the dry-erase board in a Guido brainstorming session, it was Paula. She smiled, she danced, she goofed, she was in control the whole time. Like Sammi declared, she may be dirty, she may be grimy, and she may be disgusting — but she wears dirty, grimy, and disgusting like a fur coat and totally pulls it off.
Pauly D (Jersey Shore, Kang), 25 points: Fine, I'm just going to say it. I always imagined that über-famous millionaire stars of the most talked-about show on television would bed more attractive women. Pauly D notched a respectable 25 points for coitusing a lady who was a bit south of respectable. In some twisted way it makes you feel a little bit better about your place in the world to watch Pauly D settle for people you wouldn’t have hooked up with in college.
Erika (The Bachelor, Kang), 20 points: Some woman in a bad dress named Erika fainted this week (20 points). The most entertaining part of this wasn’t watching her go down, although that was entertaining, it was how her fellow floozies dealt with this medical crisis:
- Erika: [Passes out.]
Fellow Floozy:“Are you OK?”
Fellow Floozy: “Breathe!”
Fellow Floozy: “Are you OK?”
Fellow Floozy: “Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.”
Fellow Floozy: “Your lips are blue.”
Fellow Floozy: “Fuck!”
Fellow Floozy: “Put your head between your legs.”
Fellow Floozy: “Are you anemic?”
Fellow Floozy: “Can we get some orange juice?”
These are all things that I heard in reaction to Erika passing out on The Bachelor and all things that I’ve heard barked at a Waffle House waitress.
Snooki (Jersey Shore, Simmons), 15 points: Bull sharks are not good snugglers, statues are not good dancers and Snooki is not a good life partner. The second that Snooki’s beau Jionni walked out the door she turned to her meatball-in-crime Deena and did a screaming “now I can drink and be as promiscuous as I want!” touchdown dance. You see, Jionni was the restrictor plate on Snooki’s desire to return to her natural state as an inslopsicated blurcle monster with an insatiable appetite for shots, outdated fashion and camera time.
Deena and Snooki, America’s two favorite spheres of Dionysian decadence, feted Jionni’s departure with what they call Meatball Day. Meatball Day is a special holiday that is rooted in tradition. The ladies don traditional attire (which inspired my wife to blurt, “They are very confident about their bodies ... for not having good ones”), traditional dance (which inspired me to ask, “Did drugs get better since I was 20 years old or did dancing get worse?”) and traditional displays of meatballs (which inspired me to look the other direction and give Snooks 5 points for unintentional nudity).
The one thing that I will never understand about these two women is their drinking stamina. When you have your first shot at 1 p.m. on a hot summer day, you are basically looking your body right in the eyes and saying, “Look, I know this feels weird but here’s the deal: I am going to lean on you to keep it together but only for about six or seven hours, at which point you will be rewarded with 12 hours of sleep. Do we have a deal, body?” That's the internal, unspoken agreement that comes with heavy daytime drinking. For whatever reason, this does not apply to the Meatballs.
Snooki somehow alcoholed her way through an entire Meatball Day’s worth of shots (10 points), nudity, promiscuity, stumbles, near-arrests, and new gay BFFs — and then took a couple hours of regrouping back at the house before proceeding to hit the club and turn Meatball Day into Meatball Night. It can’t be explained. Just when you think that she's fork-ready, she rallies. She rope-a-dopes the audience. She is the Muhammad Ali of alcohol.
Deena (Jersey Shore, Connor), 10 points: You know what? I feel terrible for Deena. There she is, a little ball of energy, libido, and casual alcoholism who never seems to find the right fella for the Smush Room. Night after night she watches as roommates pair off to share desire and disease, while she's left platonically chatting up the twin brother of some dude she made out with a year ago. Meatball problems. More than anyone else on the show, I want Deena to be romantically happy. Because she was a late addition to the cast and she never has someone to share the Smush Room with, I know deep down she feels inadequate, unattractive, and outclassed. Sure, she's an emotional wreck (5 crying points), dresses horribly (5 unintentional nudity points), and this week the different sections of her weave made a concerted effort to detach themselves from her scalp, but I always imagined there was a match for everybody. Please don’t prove me wrong, Deena, I’m rooting for ya, girl.
Lindzi (The Bachelor, Simmons), 10 points: Lindzi scored 10 points for the all-too-common kiss-and-cry combination. She was also one of Ben’s three one-on-one dates this episode. At one point on the date, Lindzi and Ben entered San Francisco City Hall after dark, where they were serenaded by some jerky fella and his band. I can imagine nothing more socially awkward that being on a first date, being filmed for national television, being the only two audience members for a band you have never heard of, and being forced to feign interest in dancing to bad music. Were I Ben the Bachelor, I would have approached ol’ jerky shoulders before he started and said, “Whatever they are paying you to play, I will double it if you don’t.” I would also get a sensible haircut, but that’s just me.
Also, why do they insist on keeping up the charade that Ben is planning all of the extravagant dates? I love to imagine Ben in his hotel room surrounded by open laptops, whirring fax machines and legal documents, screaming into his phone, “Look, I don’t care what it says on your rider, we can’t get fresh hearts of palm this time of year in San Fransisco. Also, our soundboard only has XLR inputs so you're going to have to tell your guy to bring something compatible to sound-check. What? Yes, I sent the proof of insurance yesterday and no, we will not be paying you a cent until after the gig. Sorry, I have to go now, I have to get Emily’s shoe size for our jaunt up the Bay Bridge with half the guys on the CalTrans payroll.”
Emily, Rachel, Kacie B, Jennifer (The Bachelor, Various GRTFL Teams), 5 kissing points: You know that one friend you have who is juggling two or three women who all think they're his girlfriend? I never understood how that dude does it. Remembering your own lies is intimidating enough, let alone the logistical nightmares that multiple girlfriends pose. Ben is just now learning the difficulties of managing his flock of fragile loonballs as well. It seems like every 10 minutes someone in a bad bridesmaid dress is grabbing him by the arm, demanding some alone time, declaring the “connection” they have, and leaning in for a reassuring kiss. The result is Ben indulging them in dozens of sympathy smooches. I can’t tell what is more likely this season, Ben making it through without a lip herp or Andrew Bynum making it through without a debilitating knee injury. You’re right, Lakers fans, that was thoughtless and irresponsible. Like 33 percent of Kobe’s field goal attempts.
Nicki, Monica, Jaclyn (The Bachelor, Various GRTFL Teams) 5 crying points: Stop crying already, girls. Jeez. This is starting to bum me out. They lost their collective shit because Shawntel, the sorta-hot death-dealing mortician from Season Brad, came to the house to make a run at being added to Ben the Bachelor’s stable of unstable women. This week’s GRTFL top-five list is the top five cattiest things that the ladies said about Shawntel, listed from “That’s not so bad” to “Shawntel’s therapist just took a mortgage out on a beach house”:
- 1. “She is uglier in person, which makes me feel better.”
2. “Listen, girl, you have gotten your chance and you freaking lost.”
3. “We don’t, like, reuse, like, Brad’s dumpster trash.”
4. “She has got thicker thighs than I do, which makes me feel better.”
5. “You lost your chance because you are a creeper and you drain people’s blood for a living.”
Am I the only one who finds it kind of sexy that she drains people’s blood? Yes? Oh, forget I ever said that, then.