Episode 1 Recap: On Monday, The Bachelor: London Calling began (and poor Joe Strummer spun in his grave). The new Bachelor Matt Grant, 27, is an international banker. He’s 6’5 and funny! He plays rugby! And, in an intimate fireside chat with host Chris Harrison, Matt revealed that he needs to settle down quick before his parents die! (I exaggerate a tad, but he did say that his 71-year-old father’s stroke last year made him realize that he’d better get a move on if he wanted his kids to know their grandparents.)
For me, the most tedious part of the first show is always the limo arrivals. The only fun is getting to see the women’s totally random jobs (Hot dog vendor. Makeup artist. Former Bush aide. Wait…former Bush aide? Yes, more on that in a bit.) One thing that stood out: London may be a melting pot, but this Bachelorette pool is most definitely not. There’s one black woman, a fashion designer from Brooklyn. Otherwise, a total white-out and, predictably, the ladies displayed a penchant for spray tans and rhinestones.
Then the “wildest party in Bachelor history” finally got going. The women pulled out all the stops to impress their prince including: challenging him to an arm wrestling match, playing him a ditty on the clarinet, and singing him a truly terrible song. Denise, the aforementioned “former Bush aide,” proudly declared herself a huge W fan as Matt grimaced and twisted uncomfortably in his seat. Denise also extolled the virtues of her former boss Karl Rove (“Some people say he’s Bush’s brain!” she cheerfully explained). At this point, a desperate Carri, a “church marketing representative” from Oklahoma, was forced to bite into her beer can to stop the madness. (Totally understandable. Talk of Rove will lead to teeth-gnashing.) But seriously, Carri took a huge chunk out of the beer can with her teeth and handed a piece to Matt. “To remember me by,” she said gallantly. She is sort of my hero.
So there’s always at least one Crazy Lady and the annoying/entertaining thing is that the Bachelors typically keep them around for at least a few episodes. But Matt cares not about American television and its silly ratings system! And so he quickly, mercifully, dispensed with Crazy Stacey, the graduate student from Chicago who had earlier handed him her (kind of giant) white lace panties and urged him to feel her “vibrations.” Also getting the boot: Denise (the Rove toady) and eight other weepy ladies.
I predict that Amanda R. (who got the first impression rose) and “actress” Shayne (Lorenzo Lamas’s 22-year-old daughter) will be contenders. And, of course, expect the requisite chatter about whether Shayne, who also appeared on the very short-lived MTV reality show Twentyfourseven, is here for Matt or her career. Which ladies do you think will go the distance?