On the second episode of The Bachelorette, Ashley has three dates in Las Vegas–two one-on-ones and one group. Before the Rose Ceremony, she gives roses to William (cell phone salesman), Mickey (chef), and Bentley (villain).
For her first one-on-one date, Ashley chooses William. She picks him up at the house in a fancy sports car and says they are driving to Las Vegas, then stops at an airport where they get on a private plane.
“I thought we were driving all the way,” says a confused William. He and Ashley have both just said they like driving, no problem. But the whole date seems calculated to throw William off, and see how he reacts. Ashley takes him to sample wedding cakes, then look at rings, and finally to a wedding chapel. Are they getting married today?
William, a little flustered, is a good sport, to the point of saying “I do” to the minister during the staged wedding ceremony. That’s when Ashley laughs and says she can’t believe he did that. What was he supposed to do? He wasn’t sure if his intentions were being tested or what. Luckily the marriage doesn’t happen, because Ashley says, “I will’–eventually,” then tells William how sweet he is for being willing to marry her. Crazy.
The rest of their evening is sheer, over-the-top movie magic. Ashley and William eat dinner at a table on the water, to which they boat; all around them are the lights of nighttime Las Vegas. Ashley saya she wants to see William’s serious side, not just his humor. He tells her about his father, who died an alcoholic death. She is moved. Her father is an alcoholic too.
They kiss, and when she gives him a rose, all the fountains shoot up in perfect choreography. Onlookers from the nearby bridge cheer. It is a scene from a Meg Ryan romantic comedy.
The group date takes twelve of the bachelors to Las Vegas, where they are divided into two teams and have to come up with a dance routine. Some are nervous–West from South Carolina, Blake the dentist, who said he doesn’t dance, and Ben F.–but he’s resourceful. He does not want to leave.
They each come up with routines that don’t require all to dance–a simulated Rose Ceremony, and a wedding by the team calling itself The Best Men.
Running in the background to all this are two constant conflicts: Jeff’s mask, and how annoying it is to all the men in the house; and Bentley’s arrogant, blatant dishonesty.
As we watch Ashley flirt with Bentley and melt in his presence, we hear the thoughts she isn’t privy to: “She has a nice butt and legs, but she’s not my type at all.” And after she gives him a rose, “Got the rose. Let’s bag this and play some blackjack.”
Bentley is on the team that wins and gets to dance on stage in Vegas in front of 2,000 people with Ashley–who is a very good dancer–and a professional group called The Jabberwockys.
Ashley is right about one thing. She has the best-looking crop of bachelors I’ve seen.
Meanwhile, the other six bachelors who don’t win go back to their bachelor home, dejected. There, a date card arrives with the message, “Love is a gamble.” These words are going to come back and bite Ashley, who seems ready to bet the house on Bentley.
It’s a coin toss to see who gets the date, J.P. or Mickey. Mickey wins. J.P. is pissed, though trying to stay positive.
Jeff (the Mask) is deflated too. No date yet, and he’s saying he’s ready to take off the mask!
Ashley waits at the airport, not knowing which of the two guys will show for the date. It’s kind of fun. She and Mickey flip coins throughout their time together to choose which wine to drink, who goes to get it, etc.
Their date is another lavish and romantic one, but Mickey is stunned when Ashley says she really likes him (it’s obvious) but can’t decide whether or not to give him a rose. She wants to flip for it, and he clearly can’t believe this is happening to him.
It’s heads. He gets the rose! Then Ashley tells him she would have given it to him anyway.
Meanwhile, at the pad, the bachelors are bummed–especially J.P., who lost his date with Ashley on a coin toss. He nabs her as soon as she returns from Las Vegas, saying, “We gotta talk,” then sets up a coin toss of his own, kiss or no kiss.
Kiss! He beat her at her own game. Ashley tells him to be patient, that good times are ahead.
With Ashley in a gorgeous black strapless gown for the Rose Ceremony, and all her bachelors looking handsome in suits, they vie for time with her.
William sneaks in, making everybody mad, since he’s already had a one-on-one with Ashley, and others have barely had a moment with her.
Nick pulls Ashley aside to teach her a line dance. (They’ve all caught on now that dancing is Ashley’s passion.)
Jeff sits down with her on the staircase, ready to take off the mask, finally. He’s thirty-five, he tells her. He had a brain hemorrhage at twenty-nine. His wife of ten years found him on the bathroom floor. Later they divorced because of “untruthfulness” on her part.
Now he’s ready to show his face.
“I would love it,” says Ashley, speaking for us all. Take off the mask!
Matt interrupts just then. Jeff goes away, still wearing that hot, sweaty, ugly black mask.
Ben C. hasn’t had a date with Ashley. He comes to talk with her and tell her that he loves to dance.
Bentley walks in. Wanting to get some points by kissing Ashley, he picks her up and carries her over to a fireplace. He says, “Let’s not talk.”
She says she loves romance, croons his name over and over, “Bentley, Bentley, Bentley.” Ugh, ugh, ugh. In his head, he says he’s not in this till the end.
Ashley asks him, “Could you be Prince Charming?”
Could she be Princess Clueless? He looks at her like she’s nuts.
She thinks Bentley is sincere, and she thinks her radar is good. Ashley, Ashley, Ashley.
At the Rose Ceremony, Ashley sends three bachelors home: Matt, Steven the hairdresser, and Ryan M., who says, “Life is definitely not fair.”
Don’t worry, Ryan. Ashley’s going to be singing the same tune next week, when she falls hard and finds out Bentley’s true motives. I really hope Bentley is gone by the end of next week’s show, and Jeff the Mask as well. Then Ashley can get on with the business of choosing a suitable mate, one of the nice guys like Ryan P., or Ben F., or West.
One thing I really like about Ashley is her playfulness. I hope we see more of that, and less drama.
ABC’s The Bachelorette
“Ashley’s Bachelorette Season Starts with a Drunk, a Masked Man, and a Liar”