''Bachelor''

Tire Magnet

See which golddiggers have a chance. Andrew makes his first cut to 15 prospective brides, but Liane Bonin says he'll be sorry for bringing Elizabeth and Rachel along for the ride

The Bachelor | MIDDLE MAN A few of the remaining 15 had better tread carefully if they want to make it another round with Mr. Firestone
Image credit: The Bachelor: Mitchell Haaseth
MIDDLE MAN A few of the remaining 15 had better tread carefully if they want to make it another round with Mr. Firestone

See which golddiggers have a chance

I'd just like to thank Andrew Firestone for a little gem of enlightenment he coughed up during the inaugural heartbreaker episode of ''The Bachelor'' this week. Silly me, I thought the whole point of this show was watching a big, bland hunk of a guy kick his rejects to the curb week after week so we can revel in their hysterical Glenn Close ''I will not be IGNORED'' blubbering. But now I realize it's not about ''dismissing'' bachelorettes, it's about ''inviting'' other bachelorettes to continue the journey. I fully intend to apply this to every aspect of my life from now on. I wasn't ''turned away'' from a table at Ivy, I was ''invited'' to go home and eat Cherry Garcia in my sweats. Seriously, I feel better already.

I have to say, I feel a little sorry for Andy. As much as he has blathered on about how freeing it would be to date a pack of women who had no idea his great-grandfather invented the inflatable tire, there are more golddiggers in this cast than in the Yukon circa 1843. When the rumors started circulating that the animatronic Ken doll at the front of the room was rolling in dough, I half expected cartoon dollar signs to pop up in some of the girls' greedy little eyeballs. Amy, she of the black-and-white hair which makes her head look like one of those giant Chinese cookies, practically swooned at the thought of ripping the clothes off a Coppola, which made me wonder if those nice people who make wine in a box ever get such accommodating groupies.

But I don't want to give Amy Cookie Head too much grief. At least she was one of the few women gutsy enough to imply that, not only did she have sexual thoughts (gasp!), but she might actually want to get her groove on with Andy. Granted, there was a stray Mormon in the bunch, but it seemed like the producers stumbled across a bunch of freeze-dried extras from a Doris Day movie and decided, voilà, we have a show! Poor Tina from Wisconsin, whose face didn't seem capable of movement (I blame the archaic freeze drying techniques of the 1950s), didn't even bother with the usual ''I am an independent woman with a lot of love to give'' Oprah claptrap. ''I would be a good wife,'' little Miss Stepford droned, ''except I might run away with his credit card!'' Did anyone else hear the gears grinding when she blinked or was that just me?

But Tina was a far cry from Elizabeth, who already scared the crap out of us with her weepy ''I just want my dad to walk me down the aisle, any aisle, hell, the aisle of a Wal-Mart is fine, just let me wear a puffy white dress, please God, PLEASE!'' speech last week. I'm thrilled that Elizabeth got a rose, because that means at least one terrifying psychotic break is guaranteed by week 4, but Andy may want to pick up some Mace and maybe a tazer at the earliest opportunity. Lizzy did make a feeble attempt at girl bonding by warning the other women that someone had held Andy's hand (the vixen!), so everyone else now needed to clutch onto him with a vice like grip until he begged for mercy and married the whole lot of them in a big group ceremony so they could all live happily ever after. Okay, she didn't say that exactly, but from the look of naked horror on Tiffany the opera singer's face, she might as well have.

Rachel, who was already picking out bridesmaid dresses (black, with a string of pearls, very classy) and wedding cake (any flavor is fine, she's not picky) seemed to quite enjoy rolling the name ''Mrs. Rachel Firestone'' around on her tongue like an expensive truffle. I really wanted to buy her a PeeChee folder and a box of crayons so she could write it over and over and over again, and then slip him a note that says ''R luvs AF 4ever! TLA!'' on their group date and really unnerve him. At least Andy will have something concrete to show the police when he requests his restraining order.

At the end of the evening, I felt Andy had been blinded by the headlights (did anyone else catch the shows shameless boob-shot montage? What the hell is this, ''Are You Hot?''?), and my heart broke when Ginny, who is far too pretty to worry about such things, took her roseless-ness so personally.

But there were glimmers of hope. Cristina of the Farrah hair, who unfairly felt like the resident geezer at the ripe old age of 30, got the thumbs up, as did future P.E.T.A. spokeswoman Christina, whose anti-hunting rant lacked tact (if anyone sees her eating a chicken sandwich, they should feel free to smack it out of her hands) but at least showed she had the spunk to speak her own mind.

More importantly, Andy sniffed out fake pageant queen Stephanie, who seemed disturbingly obsessed with getting a sparkly ring to match her tiara and grinding her knee into the bellies of her competition at the earliest opportunity. Don't worry, Steph. You've already won the title of ''Most Likely to Have Started a Catfight'' in our hearts, and that's more than enough.

What did you think of ''The Bachelor''?

Originally posted Apr 03, 2003