The Bachelor Episode 9: It’s a very large land full of some very exotic wild animals.

Nearing the Dramatic Conclusion now, and we have found ourselves in South Africa. I hope the wedding is there too! Then they can get t-shirts made that say “We Apar-Tied the Knot in South Africa!” Let’s get started with a bunch of filler. Greatest Moments of Chantal Crying. Ashley worrying because she is a normal person and gets upset that her pretend boyfriend is dating other people. Blah blah blah. I also I need to address a major blunder from last week’s recap.

An astute reader pointed out that during the memorable carnival date in episode two, Dental Ashley told Brad that her dad was homeless. Then last week we visited Dental Ashley’s dad’s house. Sure, he smelled like gin-rich urine and hit up Chris Harrison for some loose change, but I do not think you can technically call someone homeless if you have been to his home. Also, I think we have all gotten nervous on dates and told a lie or two, but come on, Dental Ashley: at least tell lies that make you look good. I apologize for allowing all of this escaped my attention. I am disappointed in myself for letting down you and Chris Harrison.

With that out of the way, we are off to South Africa for roses, rhinos, and racism. Brad starts things off by narrating another rundown of each girl’s strengths and weaknesses. As he does this, we see that Brad will be bringing approximately nine pieces of luggage with him to symbolize his two defining characteristics: being indecisive and dragging around a ton of emotional baggage.

In Africa Brad meets up first with Chantal who is dressed in her finest safari jorts. A guide drives them out among the lions and tigers and bears for a high-risk picnic. While it would be entertaining to see Brad meet his demise at the hands of a hippo, I am willing to settle for a Francis Macomber ending too, especially if that means Chris Harrison gets to nail Chantal in the tent tonight.

Dinner and a long talk about how Important and Serious marriage is. Hey, since that last one didn’t work out, Chantal, how about marrying someone you’ve gone on 5 dates with on TV? That should be a mortal lock for Marriage Success. Chris Harrison sends a little note along and wants to know if they want to hook up in the Fantasy Suite. Chantal is on that like lion on a wildebeest. They go check it out and it’s a big open treehouse kind of thing. Like a lazy susan for predators. Anything that can climb a tree can feast on Chantal’s innards. We go to commercial with heavy suggestions that Brad and Chantal slept together. Having been to Africa several years ago, I can tell you that one good thing about having sex while on that continent is that the girl might believe you when you tell her that those sores are symptoms of Dengue fever.

The next morning Brad meets up with Emily for some big-game hunting. They cancel that date though when Brad emerges from the trees riding tandem with a local man atop an elephant. Emily hops on board and they ride off for a date that they realistically could have had at Zoo Atlanta. The date is an instant downer though because Emily wants to grill Brad about whether he is okay with the fact that she has a daughter. Brad pretty much has to say he is okay with it if he hopes to have Emily join him in the tree house.

After a commercial the two eat dinner and still have as little to talk about as they have on all of their previous dates. When Brad invites Emily into the Fantasy Suite, she balks at the invitation. Then she caves in and goes under the guise of “We’ll just talk,” which is the time-tested female equivalent of proposing “Just the tip.”

The following day Brad meets up with Dental Ashley, who is elated to be in a country where her father would make the Fortune 500. The excitement is short-lived though as Dental Ashley admits that she is terrified of flying in helicopters. Given the frequency of helicopter dates on “The Bachelor” over the years, this revelation is equivalent in its absurdity to hearing a contestant confess to Pat Sajak that she is dyslexic. She has some kind of helicopophobia.Also, by this time, Brad could probably FLY the fucking thing, he’s been on so many goddam helicopters.

Dental Ashley stomachs the ride though and then addresses Brad’s career, school, and relocation questions head-on. Brad makes clear once again that he is a wary of Dental Ashley’s career plans. There is an excellent chance that this is Dental Ashley’s final episode, but she has acquitted herself well during the past few weeks. Curiously enough, if Brad were playing by Marquess of Queensbury Rules, he would have sent Chantal and Emily home already due to the divorce and kid respectively and Ashley would have won by now. She joins Brad in the fantasy suite but it does not appear that anything is going to go on in there.

Following what was a long commercial break even on Tivo, Brad sits down for a chat with Chris Harrison and the framed headshots of the three remaining girls. Chris Harrison lets Brad know that he just became Facebook friends with Nelson Mandela, to which Brad replies, “I thought those guys were chicks the first time I saw the “After the Rain” video on MTV.”

At the Rose Ceremony™ Brad pulls Ashley aside for a chat. This is interesting because Brad tends to give roses to any girl he pulls aside to talk which tells me that he has to be thinking about keeping her. But then the tone of their talk is pretty negative and it sounds almost like Brad is asking Dental Ashley to talk him into keeping her. Instead, Brad dismisses her and puts her into the Range Rover of Tears, which is subbing for the Limo of Tears because we’re in Africa. Brad pauses for the Dramatic Head Bow Over the Railing. Since there’s 2 roses and 2 chicks, there’s not a lot of dramatic tension her.

Dental Ashley hits the road alone and Brad goes back in to toast to the finalists. Even though the suspense is gone, Chris Harrison and I ask Brad to do a Rose Ceremony™ anyway because we still need a few more minutes to figure out how to smuggle all of these elephant tusks back into the States.

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