Chris Harrison loves his superlatives, so how come he didn’t tout this week’s episode of The Bachelor as showcasing “the most boring hometown visits ever”? After all, ABC’s reality-dating stalwart has, in previous seasons, played host to crusty old grandmas, disapproving daddies, spacey moms, and “ethnic” families dancing — all with a lot more drama and humor. And that gave this season’s final-four episode a lethargically familiar vibe.
Not to say the hour was completely worthless — not with that opening shot of chiseled Brad taking a shower. Plus, constantly grinning Jenni showed some hidden depth, telling The Bachelor she wants a man who’s willing to compromise and allow room for her career before she settles down. Granted, based on the “dance” moves Jenni showed off at her local Wichita theater, said career largely revolves around shaking her hind end for thousands of pro basketball fans. And while it’s entirely possible Jenni’s stance has less to do with self-respect than it does with her quest to become the most famous Phoenix Suns dancer ever, it was still nice to see a woman on this show not act like a shelter puppy, slobbering all over herself and her potential master in a “Pick me! Pick me!” display of desperation. Props must also be handed out to Jenni’s grandmother, for her saucy response to Brad’s comment about wanting a big family: “This little lady ain’t a walking baby factory.”
Still, as rough around the edges as Grandma Betty appeared, she had ten times the charm of Bettina’s stuffy dad. I can certainly understand the guy’s skepticism about his daughter (pictured) trying to find love on a tacky TV show, but if you’re going to invite her suitor (and a camera crew) into your home, then you’ve pretty much forfeited the moral high ground. And as Brad himself noted, “I might not have education, but I’m intelligent enough not to judge anybody.” Given Bettina’s not terribly enthusiastic defense of her suitor — “I don’t look that great on paper either.” — I’m surprised he kept her and sent Sheena packing, but I’m guessing his decision had something to do with the fact that the show’s producers anticipate an explosive Bettina meltdown in Cabo San Lucas, especially if she’s thinking, “He must really like me if he met my dad and still didn’t dump me!”
Oh, and back to Sheena for a second, it seems her total lack of chemistry with Brad plus her mom’s loopy behavior outweighed the fact that the Big Dipper is located directly above her family hottub. And while I don’t think Beverly was in any way making a play for Brad, if you closed her eyes and took her comments (“I couldn’t take my eyes off your eyes.”) out of context, you might’ve thought she was trying to recreate a very special moment from The Graduate. I loved Brad’s frozen reaction to her comment, “My daughter and I, we are ready to commit. Don’t you think?” before he blurted out, “About her? Yes.”
I’m guessing the final two will come down to Jenni and DeAnna; the latter scored an all-important pre-fantasy-suite kiss this week, and while I think there are some genuine feelings between the two, I wonder if DeAnna is too guarded (read: sane) to go all ga-ga if and when Brad drops to one knee in front of a salivating camera crew.
Anyway, did you (like me) feel nothing when Sheena cried? Are you ready to douse yourself in Purell after next week’s “exciting overnight dates”? And who do you think will make Brad’s final two?