Ashley's confidence takes a beating as the guys perform a "comedy" roast in her honor, and Bentley makes a beeline for the door.

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June 07, 2011 at 05:01 AM EDT

First, rose lovers, a warning: I’ve contracted a hideously offensive virus from the pestilence-ridden disease bomb toddler who shares my home, so if I seem crankier than usual (hard to imagine, I know), that’s why. But if there’s any week to be cranky, it’s this one, right? Let’s get to it!

Chris, making yet another daring sartorial statement with a zip-up black sweater-thing, greets the “men” at Casa Bachelorette to drop off the date card, which is addressed to Ben C. Quick: can anyone tell me ANYTHING about this guy? (And “lawyer” doesn’t count — it says that much on the screen.) All I can tell you is he’s hoping that today, he and the Bachelorette will begin their “journey to love.” Either he’s been coached well, or this guy is custom-made for Ashley.

Ashley arrives, as self-loathing as ever: “I can’t believe all these guys want to date me!” I can’t either, especially when your idea of an amazing first date is throwing the poor guy into the middle of a flash mob. First though, they head to a dance studio to learn some classic moves, including “open the bottle” and “fly, fly, fly.” Ben’s a good sport about it, but he can’t quite keep his game face on for the next portion of the date, which involves lounging on a very public patch of grass. “I want to do our dance,” Ashley chirps. “Really?” says Ben, barely disguising the dread in his voice as he scans the crowd nervously. Of course, he agrees, and after playing through the pain of public humiliation for about a minute, the crowd rushes in behind them and begins to open the bottle and fly, fly, fly to the tunes of Far East Movement… who just happen to be there to play live. At the end of the performance the mob turns angry and demands that Ashley and Ben kiss — which they do, before fleeing for their lives.

Ben is either still running on adrenaline from the flash mob experience or he snorted some cocaine in the men’s room before dinner, because all of a sudden he is talking faster than that guy in the old Fed Ex commercials. “I want to live in a bubble with somebody I want to live in some unrealistic idealistic bubble where we are convinced that we are like more in love than any other couple that ever lived I know that sounds wild…” and on and on. It’s more than Ashley’s pretty little noggin can take. “Whoa!” she protests. “You are blowing my mind right now!” And though — or perhaps because — he sounds desperately needy and unrealistic, Ashley gives him the date rose.

Morning dawns on Casa Bachelorette, and as the birds chirp and the squirrels nibble on leaves, or whatever, the ominous organ music signals something far more serious in the offing: Jeff is planning to remove his painfully literal metaphor mask. The big reveal is… totally anticlimactic, as Jeff’s face is that of an average-looking white guy, perhaps slightly better looking than I would have guessed? Ashley, however, is not very impressed. “He’s a lot older than I thought he was,” she admits. Chris D. (another guy I couldn’t tell you one thing about even if you held a gun to my head) has the best reaction to the whole situation: “Let’s just say taking off the mask in front of Ashley is just compounding other bad moves… like WEARING A MASK.” Well said, sir!

NEXT: Tragedy = comedy + these guys

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