The new Bachelorette started on Monday, May 23, 2011, with Ashley Hebert from Brad Womack’s season. Among her twenty-five suitors are a drunk named Tim, a masked man, Jeff from St. Louis, and a liar, Bentley.
Brad has since been left in the dust by his true love Emily; they just couldn’t work out the long-distance relationship'”and, I think, Emily’s first commitment to her daughter Ricki.
Ashley H. is similar to Brad in being a retread. She was a finalist on Brad’s season who felt that she messed up her chances with Brad by being too emotionally insecure. Now she’s back'”more beautiful, with a new hair color and sexier outfits, and more importantly, more together emotionally.
At least she says she is. But a potential problem rears its ugly head right at the beginning of the first episode, before Ashley even meets her twenty-five bachelors, when she confides in Chris Harrison. A friend has warned her that one of the bachelors is not coming on the show for “the right reasons.”
His name is Bentley, and evidently he sees the show as a way to promote his business. Ashley is nervous about confronting him. She tells Chris that she just hopes this Bentley will not be drop-dead handsome. She hopes he will be easy to resist, and dismiss.
As luck would have it (or the show’s producers, I’m never sure), Bentley is the very last bachelor to introduce himself to Ashley. And he is very good-looking.
Oh dear. Poor Ashley’s emotional foundation gets a little shaky. She makes an attempt to confront Bentley by asking him to be honest with her'”and he says he will.
But Bentley is a liar! In voice-overs, we learn that he is absolutely not attracted to Ashley. He has a list of requirements for the woman he wants, and he states clearly (in his head) that Ashley doesn’t come close to fulfilling these requirements.
Also, we hear him say that he wishes the Bachelorette were Emily'”Brad Womack’s Emily.
This might be because he is a single parent, as Emily is'”or because she seems so sweet and shy, or maybe just because she is blonde.
The reason doesn’t really matter. Emily isn’t the Bachelorette; Ashley is. And Bentley is a fake.
The weird thing, to me, is that in previews of subsequent shows, we see what’s going to happen. We see and hear Ashley falling head over heels for Bentley, and having her heart broken. We see her sobbing into her pillow, devastated.
Why doesn’t she see through Bentley’s lies, especially since she’s been warned? And why are they telling us all this? Where’s the suspense? If we are going to have to sit through a whole season of Ashley falling for Bentley, and believing his lies when we know what’s going to happen, that’s just boring.
Interestingly, before she was blinded by Bentley’s looks, Ashley met at least two men, maybe three'”Ryan P., JP, and the phone salesman'”who all seemed like good guys, and good matches for her, and all of whom she instantly liked. But Mr. Full of Baloney changed all that, it seems. And old story, no?
They say nice guys finish last, and I guess the reality part of this reality show is that women'”even smart women with everything going for them'”often choose bad guys over good. Books have been written about this phenomenon.
I really hope that the Bentley drama plays itself out fast, and Ashley comes to her senses and chooses someone suitable for her.
She got rid of Tim the Drunk in timely fashion. That was a first on The Bachelorette, a disgustingly drunk bachelor who first wanted to pick a fight with one of the other bachelors, then turned out to be so drunk that his words were incomprehensible.
He was escorted to a car, discreetly.
The bachelor he wanted to fight was actually on other guys’ nerves too. Jeff, an entrepreneur from St. Louis, appeared in a Lone Ranger-type black mask, which he insisted on wearing throughout the entire first Bachelorette episode.
His reason? Aside from wanting to be noticed, he claimed he wanted Ashley to get to know his real self before she saw his outer appearance.
That could have been a wise move'”since from what can be seen of Jeff’s face, he doesn’t look all that great. And, based on Bentley, Ashley does seem to have a weakness for handsome men.
Ashely kept Jeff in the group of bachelors at the first Rose Ceremony, and Bentley too, of course. And she gave the First Impression Rose, fittingly, to Ryan P., the nice guy. Let’s hope Bentley goes away soon, and Bachelorette Ashley comes to her senses.
ABC’s Bachelorette website
“The Drama Begins”
“What Was Ashley Hebert Thinking on Episode One?”
“Will Brad and Emily from ‘The Bachelor’ Stay Together?”
“Bachelorette Ashley Can’t See the Real Bentley, Even Though He’s Not the One Wearing the Mask”