I wasn’t home to watch last week’s episode (although Forest Park’s city council meeting was definitely Bachelorette-esque), and was chagrined to discover that Bentley dismissed himself from the competition. But whyyyyyy would he do that?
Wait, I know why: Bentley thinks Ashley is DISGUSTING and doesn’t care if everyone knows it. Seriously, his bio says he’s a businessman, and if making Ashley look like an asshole is his business, then BUSINESS IS GOOD. MAN, this guy’s a dick, but in a way that’s so sociopathic and unapologetic the only thing I can do is admire his candor. I used to work with a guy named Brett who once told me that in a bathing suit, my ass looked like a plastic grocery bag filled with pudding. Brett wasn’t trying to hurt my feelings; he just really thought my butt was gross. That’s not his fault, just like it’s not Bentley’s fault that he would literally rather swim in pee than plan a wedding with Ashley (a thing he literally said during Episode 2).
And here’s Bentley on kissing Ashley (also from Ep. 2): “Wow that was … it started out good, but it sucked toward the end.”
Annnnnnd Bentley right before he tells Ashley he’s going home: “I’m gonna make Ashley cry. I hope my hair looks OK.”
He did make Ashley cry. And his hair looked spectacular.
Emotionally DESTROYED by the rejection, Ashley is reminded by the producers that there are still several other men — 12ish, I think — vying for her affections, and the whole gang heads to Phuket, Thailand, a place that’s most fun to say if you mispronounce it and use it in a Limerick.
Oh, and there’s good news: Constantine, the swarthy Greek restaurateur from Atlanta (or Cumming), is still on, AND he gets the first one-on-one date in Thailand!
The date card says, "Let's 'sea' Phuket together," which is a-hole for, "We're gonna go on a boat." Ashley greets him with an elongated, "Hey, Constanteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen," and tells him they're boating to a private beach, which sounds sandy and sensual, but then some little Thai Gai (guy) comes and shits all over their fun, sexy time. The guy says lots of things that neither Ashley nor Constantine can understand — so many things that it's, like, "Maybe he thinks they speak Thai??" — the gist of which is that the weather's bad, and they can't take the boat out. But that's OK! Constantine "goes with the flow," and suggests they just go into town and shop for the ugliest Hawaiian shirts they can find because that's a thing Thailand is renowned for.
Their date's a real snooze, but Ashley says they have "definite chemistry," probably because Constantine is good looking. And masculine. I would like to see him without his clothes on. I'm sorry I just said that.
Whilst walking around Phuket, Ashley and Constantine drag an English-speaking passerby off her charted course so she can translate a pointless conversation they decide to have with a random old man sitting outside a retail booth. "The best thing that man said to us," Ashley later muses, "is that love is not about winning." Oh, yeah? THEN WHY ARE YOU LOOKING FOR LOVE ON A GAME SHOW WHERE THERE ARE, ULTIMATELY, WINNERS AND LOSERS? Also, I'm pretty sure he was saying spouses shouldn't dwell on who wins an argument.
At this point in the episode, I've already lost track of how many times Ashely's brought up how heartbroken she is over Bentley — but it's been a lot of times. Maybe someone should tell her the thing he said about pee?
It's time for the group date — a philanthropic mission at a Thai orphanage — and it gives us an opportunity to become better acquainted with the least-likable person on the show (sez me and all of the guys who've been forced to spend time with him): smiley, solar-panel-faced Ryan P. I'm not sure how else to describe Ryan except to say that he's churchy. Like, youth minister-churchy. Enthusiastic Amway salesman-churchy. Ocassionally shouts "peace and productivity!"- churchy (that actually happened).
In life, Ryan runs a company that makes/sells/installs/somethings solar panels, so he probably has lots of good supervisory experience, and he obviously can't wait to put it to good use by telling everyone how they should paint, which colors they should use, how quickly they should be doing it. Anyway, he smiles the entire time, and it's terrifying. As my friend Ally put, "I bet he'd beat the shit out of you with a smile on his face."
Ben F., who looks remarkably like a Cro-Magnon man, paints a mural that looks remarkably similar to a primitive cave drawing, which is funny. Then, when all the painting was done, the orphans storm their refurbished home and, presumably, all die of asphyxiation from the fumes. The end! But not.
There's one last date — a one-on-one — with Ames, whose eyes appear to be frantically trying to get away from one another. As "Splice"-like as he looks, Ames is awfully sweet. And well traveled (70 countries he sez)! While everyone else is freaking out about how awesome Thailand is, Ames is all like, "I've been here not once, but several times." Also, he's not funny at all and he kinda knows it, which is nice (he said of Ashley after their date, "She brings out a side of me that’s funny, which is remarkable. I never knew it existed." — also, he says "remarkable" a lot). The weather's improved, so Ashley and Ames can finally go boating. Standing on the small yacht's stern, Ashley says, "I feel like we're on the Titanic or something," and Ames is more polite than I would be and doesn't demand that she explain what the fuck she means beyond, "This is a boat and that was a boat."
There are sob-stories aplenty on every season of this godforesaken show, but West — a direction AND a name — has the sobbiest and weirdest story this season. Apparently, after seven years of marriage, West's wife drowned in their bathtub whilst under the influence of alcohol and pot. Here's what People magazine says about it:
According to a lengthy police investigation, West had nothing to do with his wife's death, but the story is more complicated. There were allegations of drug use by both West and his wife and signs his wife had mental health problems.
Also, police say that while West was cleared, his wife's mother, Dianna Sapp, struggled to believe it.
Yeesh. Of course, Ashley's main concern is that West's dead wife's shoes would be too big for her little feet to fill, because it's the grossest, most self-obsessed way to feel about this man's tragedy (although, it's also probably easier than saying, "I'm afraid you maybe killed your wife").
Ashley asks Chris Harrison — who's suddenly looking real handsome compared to this collection of duds (not you, Constantine!) — if she can have 11 roses rather than 10, so she only has to send one person home. Chris agrees because "there are no rules" — sure there are, Chris.
Annnnnnnnnnd, guess who's going home? Well, of course West is. Big dead wife shoes. In the limo, West says, "You cant replace someone you really loved — that’s not what I’m trying to do. Life is love and it's so much more satisfying and deeper if you have someone to share it with." Sad.
But, how am I supposed to adequately dwell in West's misery when — unless the promo editors are reeeeally messing with us — BENTLEY'S COMING BACK?!
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