We began the ”traveling around the world” portion of the proceedings with a stop in New York City, as Ali continued to speak (as all Bachelor/Bachelorette participants do) as if we were watching her embark upon a normal, everyday courtship: ”Traveling with someone,” she said, ”is how you really get to know everything.” True… if you’re going on, say, a road trip to meet your parents in Homer Glen, Illinois. Or maybe on an ill-fated jaunt to Mexico wherein you get stuck on your Dallas layover for seven hours longer than expected, then find yourselves booked in a place that looks much less classy in person than it does on the Internet, then drink some bad water. Not when you are traveling with a bunch of guys who are vying for your affection while corporate sponsors put you up in five-star hotels and teams of producers plan all of your picturesque dates to precise perfection.
Case in point, there Ali was, at the Andaz Hotel, being made over by InStyle for a surprise fashion shoot. (You know, what we all do before a date.) This advanced the plot not a bit, but the time she spent getting her extensions blown out presented a convenient opportunity for her to express the incredibly generic opinions she’s formed of her suitors thus far: She was ”smitten” with Roberto. She was ”looking forward to having a date” with Chris L. Frank? ”Funny.” Kirk? ”So amazing.” Kasey? ”Guard and protect my heart.”
And speaking of the guy who has applied branding concepts to dating like no one I’ve ever seen there was…
Date #1, On Which Hearts Were Guarded and Protected
Upon the revelation that our fair Kasey would receive the first of the New York dates, Jonathan delivered an unconvincing, ”He’s a lucky guy, Kasey. I’m jealous, as usual.” Kasey delivered a similarly unconvincing (for different reasons), ”We have our own unique connection.” Chris L. proved himself the love of my life once again (what are you doing on a dating show, sir?) with this succinct commentary on Kasey’s feelings for Ali: ”I think Kasey closes his eyes and thinks of Ali and thinks of, like, doves flying out behind her, Cupid hitting her with an arrow — you know, like, hearts floating around her head, in a meadow, magically running toward each other with unicorns. I don’t see her as that kind of romanticized love. Not like unicorn love.”
With that, Ali boarded what I believe is her third flight (we’re at two helicopters and a plane, right? Or have there been more?) — so I’m calling her officially not afraid of flying. The Bachelor/ette: Not the best marriage record, but great at curing aerophobia. Oh, hey, speaking of flying and unicorns and meadows, Kasey wanted us to know that Ali has ”expanded out into this beautiful butterfly and she’s ready and open to love.” Also, just in case you hadn’t heard yet, he wants ”someone to protect and guard my heart, just like I want to do for Ali.”
NEXT: Oy, Kasey, chill out.