On a whim, I decided to live-blog the first episode of The Bachelor: London Calling. I loyally watched last season and felt the collective breaking of hearts across America when Brad Womack killed love and destroyed all that is holy and sacred in reality television plots. To re-instill my faith in love (and reality TV), I've returned to ABC to make things right. Let's begin. Hullo, Matt Grant!
8:35 Promises of girl-on-girl drama don't look, well, promising. Lots of the same shots of the same girls screaming and crying. As long as someone can compare to Hilary, then things will be good.
8:37 British bachelor Matt arrives in the rain, looking squinty and uncomfortable. We're off to a great start.
Commercial! Here's something awesome to watch in the meantime:
8:42 Obligatory UK vs. US talk. Mainly Chris Harrison smiles at the Bachelor's cute accent. This will remain a topic of conversation throughout the show. 'Spesh since the girls don't know he's British. (Sneaky twist, ABC!) Squealing to come later.
8:44 "To-MAY-toe, to-MAH-toe!" Chris Harrison giggles.
Matt is into American women! ABC already mentioned this: he loves American accents!
Commercial! This new Miss Guided show looks good. It'll be great to think of that what's-her-face actress as more than just Kitty from Arrested Development.
8:50 The 25 girls arrive!! "There's a break in the rain," says Chris. So take off your clothing, Matt!
The girls are already squealing and they haven't even heard Matt say "to-MAH-toe" yet.
Girl 1 Amanda R. is totally cute. Oooh, she lived in England! Zing!! Something is promising about her.
Girl 2 Amy looks like Ariel from The Little Mermaid, focuses her first impression on twirling.
Girl 3 Devon is from Texas, which is why she's blonde. More specifically, the blonde version of Amy Winehouse.
Girl 4 Kristine from North Carolina. Another southern girl cause that's what ABC does. They put southern blondes on television, which is why I am not on ABC.
Girl 5 Chelsea has a special arm wrestling skill! Matt makes a sound that's a cross between moaning and saying okay.
Girl 6 Erin H. is wearing a place-holder engagement ring. Classy!
Girl 7 Kelly. Um. That's it, really. Nothing of signifcance happened here.
Girl 8 Rebecca is an attorney! She has cute hair! Cute dress! 3 years Matt's senior--will he go for that? She may be too intimidating.
Girl 9 Denise is a former Bush aide. She might as well get back in the limo now.
Girl 10 Erin S. is, um, a hot dog vendor. For serious? Her lips are gi-nor-mous.
Girl 11 Robin is from Holland, Michigan. I have a friend from Holland, MI! Shoutout to Karl Sluis, who most likely is not watching The Bachelor right now.
Gril 12 Ashlee looks like she is twelve, and I'm totally disturbed by this fact.
Girl 13 Alyssa looks like the girl who may make it through several rounds, and I will continue to scratch my head every time it happens.
Girl 14 Michelle the red-head suggests that she and Matt saw each other at the same moment while she sat in the limo. Right. Through those black limo windows, hun.
Girl 15 Shayne whines a lot. "I'm Shaaaaayne." (Matt asks her: Where am I from?) "englaaaanddd?? yyaaaaaay!!!" Here's Shayne's picture on ABC's website. She even looks confused here!
Girl 16 Marshana is a fashion designer, which she made obvious by her dress, which is a sari really.
Girl 17 Amanda looks like she's going to prom in 1987. She gave him dice.
Girl 18 Tamara is "really nervous!" That's it? That's your impression? That's what you say? Clearly, she is not making it.
Girl 19 Holly is from Suffield, Ohio! She says she's not nervous, she's excited. She's also a children's book author, which is cool with me and has got me liking her.
Girl 20 Tiffany is 33, which is on the older side for this show, but her age brings confidence. Again, intimidating confidence. This show is not for brunette older women, Tiffany! It's for 18 year old blonde Texans!
Girl 21 Carri is a church marketer from Oklahoma. This is just the kind of girl who sounds like she's going to leave her hometown and move to London, right?
Girl 22 Stacey--the sparkly blueberry--is a graduate student in Chicago. Fantastic. The girl that has been pimped in the promos as being the underwear-giving ho is from my city.
Girl 23 Lesley is 23 and a youth minister. Another church-going lady! This town is only big enough for one, I'm sure.
Girl 24 Michele R. has zebra hair and a glazed look that suggests Zoloft.
Girl 25 Noelle has the most beautiful dress so far. She outright says she's a sucker for accents, which isn't exactly original, but her cute looks seem to cover for her.
Commercial! Take this moment to recover from all that awkwardness.
9:09 House shot. Squeeeeal!!! "He's dashingly handsome!" We're already practicing our British lingo.
Matt enters the party. SQUEEEEEAAAAL!! Cheers! Bottoms up!
Matt is 6'5", dark and handsome. OK, even I'm impressed. He also said "Picadilly Station," and it was easily the best thing I've heard all day.
Amanda R. brought up intelligence as a reason she likes Matt! Woah. I DO like this Amanda character.
9:12 Up the ante! First impression rose already!!! We're not ready for this yet! It's on the table to make everybody nervous.
Chelsea and Matt are arm-wrestling. Let's discuss the risks of a lady acting so masculine here. Or maybe later.
Oh god. Bushie is talking about politics. Shut up, Bushie. Oh god! Karl Rove was her first boss! Call this girl a cab to take her home.
Carri interrupts by biting into a can. Clearly a production assistant paid her a fiver to do this. Or perhaps this is how she markets churches.
Rebecca, the 30 year old lawyer, dances like Elaine!
Shayne is so confused by this competition thing!
Zebra-hair girl is a rock paper scissors champion! However, she loses to Matt and drools while her eyes start to cross.
Marshana is a beauty queen!
Ashlee giggles a lot and sings!!!
Amanda R is hiccuping a lot. She says this is because she's nervous, but I'm guessing she maaaay have been drinking. Otherwise, she'll be hiccuping through this entire show.
Michelle P., the bombshell red-head, brought her clarinet. "It has to be wet for it to vibrate!" OK, she's really good at clarinet, but this is like a scene from American Pie.
Shayne is STILL BAFFLED by this competition thing!
COMMERCIAL! Nim's Island looks like the worst movie ever made.
9:23 Stacey makes her impression on America, thanks to the casting producers who paid her to lose control on TV.
Um, Erin H. with the Greek hairdo is taking Stacey a little too seriously.
Stacey wants to find a pharmaceutical that will cure something that nobody has thought of. Genius!
What would your ideal date be, Matt? asks Erin H. "If you and I were in London..." cue Bachelor music. Classic!
Matt asks Stacey just how much she actually knows about London. Nasty and saucy!
When Matt gets torn away by Erin S., Stacey puts underwear in Matt's pants. Even more classy!
Really, where do the casting people get these girls? Chicago, apparently.
This whole Stacey segment ends with her passed out on some bed.
Commercial! Take bets with friends on whether Stacey wakes up for the rose ceremony.
9:34 Bachelor returns with minimal electro-music. This is very forward-thinking of ABC.
Matt reveals that he is attracted to Shayne, despite her whiney-whine. She can't see out of her right eye either with all that hair. "You knooooow, I'm an aaaactresssssss." Shayne says that her acting career and her acting family don't really matter. She says this like twelve times.
Noelle takes Matt aside and can't stop smiling.
Wow. Matt and Noelle are talking about more than just his accent. They're both the youngest and they both feel like they act older because of that. This is deep stuff.
Robin, who lived in London, gets pulled aside by Matt. They talk travel and then in French. Clearly having traveled in Europe is a huge advantage here.
9:38 Rose time!!! Matt walks by a bunch of ladies and to... Amanda R.!! ding ding ding!
Matt admits he hasn't actually spoken to her that much, but he feels something special with Amanda. The extra special thing about Amanda R. is how much she looks like Amanda Peet.
9:41 Chris "Grim Reaper" Harrison comes to gather his male soul for the Rose Ceremony. Which lovely buds will be cut before their prime!?
Commercial! Just a thought: Matt must be like the most wonderful bachelor ever if he's following up Brad "Love-Killer" Womack. Really. ABC needs a pinch hitter like whoa, and this Brit seems like just the guy.
9:45 First Rose Ceremony of Love-Killing! Amanda is safe, Chris reminds us, and introduces Matt again. The girls look like they're already hungover from all that vino. Matt's selections:
Chelsea, whose boobs I can no longer ignore.
Shaaaaayne, who isn't really important nor is her family, she wants you to know.
Michele P., clarinet girl surprises the popular kids.
Marshana, whose 'tudey outfit apparently got her in here.
Ashlee, whose all smiles now that her music got her somewhere in life.
Noelle, whose dress I still love the most.
Erin S., who has the biggest damn lips in the United States.
Amy, who still kind of looks like the Little Mermaid in that dress.
Carri, whose haircut is so edgy and modern for a girl from Oklahoma.
Kristine has a sultry voice that I don't remember hearing until now.
Robin looks like she was ready to fall apart.
Kelly is all laughs.
Holly who couldn't get a word in edgewise around the other ladies earlier tonight.
Final rose... dramatic music.... heavy breathing... eyes welling with tears... Erin H!
9:52 Matt is the luckiest guy, says Matt. No other bachelor before him has said this--nor did they say in a couple episodes that this is the hardest thing they've ever had to do.
Devon is sad, but her hair still looks like Amy Winehouse.
Rebecca seems really sad and makes me wonder why she put herself in this situation.
Stacey has definitely been outside bars on Wrigleyville, and I've definitely hated on her before. I'll be looking for you outside Barleycorn's, Stacey. Watch your tanning booth ass.
9:53 Cheers--extra-British this time, guys!
Well friends, things look good this season. There's no denying that Matt From Across the Pond is a hot toddy, and it does seem like there may be more traveling this season. That, or ABC showed all the vacation dates one-right-after-the-other. At any rate, the real clencher is that I already CARE about our new bachelor! I genuinely like him! He dances! No more jerk bachelors for ABC, and that's a good thing.