By Michael Slezak
November 13, 2007 at 12:00 PM EST
  • TV Show

Anyone who wonders why I loathe “Women Tell All” night of The Bachelor need look no further than the opening 10 minutes of yesterday’s episode: There we had host Chris Harrison waxing poetic about what an “amazing journey” and “real-life love story” we’ve seen during season 11, then cutting directly to clips of Hillary saying McCarten “smells like a fish taco” and comparing divorcee Bettina to a used car. It didn’t help matters that imbecilic Hillary waved off weeks of shrewish behavior by completely misinterpreting the meaning of the word “witty.” (“I just say witty things. Like, I don’t mean it to be harmful,” she giggled, eyes burning with nothingness.)

I realize it’s hypocritical of me to rail against the cattiness, competitiveness and self-loathing that are the keys to the “Women Tell All” show, because, really, that’s the same currency that fuels every other episode of The Bachelor. And yet, somehow, it’s worse. Perhaps it’s the live studio audience that applauds after every highlight reel ends with a woman sobbing in the back of a limo. Or, more likely, it’s because the episode doesn’t limit screen time for smarmy Harrison, instead setting him loose for a full hour to try to cajole tears and insults from the season’s most notorious rejects. That said, last night did contain a few bright spots and comic highlights:

* I loved Bettina’s unsubtle dig at Brad — saying the perfect Bachelorshould be “hot and well-educated” — not because I agreed with herfamily’s assessment that Brad’s lack of a college degree was a fatalflaw, but because her bitterness was a refreshing change from the”Thank you for dumping me!” attitude favored by most women on thisshow. Just as funny was the way the studio audience gasped (GASPED!)when Bettina said she was “a little turned off by Brad” during herhometown visit. Did she not get Chris’s memo that Brad is “our sexiestbachelor ever”? I mean, what did Brad ever do to her, aside fromspending a night with her in a hotel suite, then breaking up with heron national television two days later? Where’s her gratitude? Doesn’tshe know the meaning of propriety?

* I don’t know how many women Harrison has met in his life, but I’mguessing it’s fewer than 10, based on his assessment that Sheena’sone-on-one date with Brad “has to be every woman’s dream.” Ladies,raise your hands if you’ve fantasized about going on a date with a manwho is simultaneously dating at least five other women. Okay, no? Well,what if we threw in some diamond earrings in a moment of sweet,romantic product-placement? Did I mention the dude gets to dress youlike a human Barbie, even though it’s your first date and he barelyknows anything about you?

* Finally, I know that in an earlier episode,the producers had already juxtaposed Solisa’s Penthouse video audition(or something of that nature) with her comments about having “verystrong morals and beliefs,” but playing that additional comment abouther being “a little bit shy” while she dropped her booty right down toher spike heels was a moment of great, beautiful irony.

Chris Harrison hosts the veteran reality romance series. Will you accept this rose?
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