It’s a good thing that Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi announced their break-up this week, or things on The Bachelor/Bachelorette would have been ridiculously uneventful.  I wonder if they planned the timing of it to coincide with one of the quieter episode of The Bachelorette this week.

Not sure why this week’s episode was kind of boring. Certainly it had nothing to do with Iceland. That place looks like a magical kingdom of adventure and romance – the ultimate place to explore with your 8 boyfriends. Maybe it was because The Husband chose to go to a summer barbecue with his guy friends over watching The Bachelorette with me (how could he??). Maybe it was because I was coming off a very long Sunday chasing my four nephews around for Father’s Day. Or maybe it’s just that not much can compare with having the entire Museum of Natural History to yourself, performing on the Broadway stage of The Lion King or watching Kasey explain what the significance of his 11 stars on his tattoo mean.

Regardless, I kept waiting for something fun to happen – something shocking, dramatic or nuts. Other than Chris L imitating Kasey’s mumbled poem to Ali, there wasn’t much by way of theatrics. No random outbursts of serenading by toned deaf men.  No sneaking off to go find Ali.  No Weatherman.  For that reason, there’s not much to say this week, except for a few things.

First, Iceland. I have never been there before, but it looks incredible. I would have frozen my tush off, however, based on how they were all dressed. If the guys were willing to wear those furry bomber hats – (is that what they’re called?) – they must have been absolutely frozen to the bone. Both Chris Harrison and Ali commented in their blogs this week that it was FREEZING in Iceland.  Go figure.  Ali looked like the Swiss Miss hot chocolate girl at several points throughout the show. The dates this week were pure fun – although during the last one with Justin and Kasey – I wonder if they would have been so thrilled if they knew the havoc that little volcano they were all standing around would cause.

The whole “make up a love poem for Ali” was a been there, done that scheme for this show. They all seemed to have the same joke of butchering the Icelandic language – not really funny. And let’s face it – Kirk had this date in the bag. Ali was clearly interested in getting to know him better after he put her to bed last week. I really thought he was going to tell her that he was divorced, had a kid, had an alien ex step girlfriend – you just never know what these boys are holding back. What a relief, that it was just asbestos poisoning! Is that bad to say?  And why that caused him to never be able to hold down a girlfriend for more than a year, I’m not sure, but Ali seems to have bought it. I like Kirk a lot. I like his big smile and the way his face turns red after a smooching session with Ali. I loved their matching sweaters and how he made Ali giggle in the sweater store at every ridiculous outfit he tried on. He also had some funny comments throughout the show. He’s a genuine guy and really seems to be into Ali. I didn’t think he was actually a contender until last night’s show. Now he’s definitely top 3, unless Frank can step up his game and stop staring at Ali with those googly eyes every time they have alone time.

The group date looked like a ton of fun. I wonder if Ali was terrified, holding on to 7 horses in the middle of a glacier while awaiting her men – particularly if she had never ridden a horse before. Ty saved the day playing cowboy, but I still don’t see him moving in too aggressively for the kiss with Ali. In fact, all I saw between them was some cheek pecks and hugs. He better get in there quick, or Ali might label him “friend.” YIKES.

The descent into that cave thing looked absolutely terrifying. It was pretty amazing that they were able to film anything. Definitely the highlight of Iceland appeared to be the Blue Lagoon. That looked straight out of a movie. “Cue in the romance…” and you see the steam just glistening off the water. When Ali popped out of her space suit (or whatever that cold weather get-up was), you could see each of the guys’ jaws drop when she revealed her spray tanned, toned body and bikini. It was almost as if she whipped out cupcakes and beer from nowhere. The guys couldn’t contain themselves. It was somewhat amusing. Ali admits that she wasn’t wearing the bikini under her outerwear the whole day – it was way too cold.  As Ali pulled Ty and Chris L into private steam corners of the lake, I thought Frank was going to have a fit. Especially when he could hear Ali giggling while Chris L was seducing her. Seriously – if you have Chris L and Roberto in a steamy lake, why on earth would you want to talk to Frank? Ty was so darn tootin’ proud of himself when he got that group date rose.

The whole Justin vs. Kasey smack talk back at the Hilton (is this the 5 star hotel in Reykjavik?) was really lame. The little smirk on Justin’s face as he was plotting Kasey’s burn and crash before their two on one date, was pure evil. The fact that Frank kept asking Kasey about when he would reveal his tattoo to Ali seemed like a strategic move. Of course Frank wants him to reveal it – it’s the kiss of death for Kasey, and Frank knows it. I still don’t trust Justin. Everything about him screams “competition” as opposed to having any actual interest in Ali. The way he plots his date and is so concerned about taking Kasey down, as opposed to focusing on being with Ali, is very suspect. If the goal is to travel the world for free (Malibu, New York, Iceland, Istanbul…) regardless of Ali, of course Justin is willing to do what it takes.  You can tell that Chris Harrison and Ali do NOT like Justin based on their blogs this week.

Once they finally get on the date, their helicopter ride seemed very awkward. It’s funny that Ali mentions once again (I think it was to Frank) that she acknowledges that all of the guys hate Justin, because aside from the first two episodes, we didn’t really see much of the Justin bashing going on (I guess we were too tied up in Weatherman vs. Craig M and Kasey’s insanity). Last season, it was constant Vienna bashing, all season long. Of course now we know that the girls were right: she wasn’t the right fit for Jake.  Now the real question will be whether The Bachelor Pad will allow Jake in to woo Tenley.  My friend Nicole asked me tonight why Tenley would agree to be on the Bachelor Pad.  Easy.  She needs an additional venue in which to display her expressive dance skills.  Bachelor Pad will enable her to do a swan dance in interpretative dance format.

But back to the date. The whole ice cave hangout looked pretty neat, although once again – I would have been too cold to enjoy myself. Where do you sit on an ice cave? Is the blanket which was over the ice providing any protection from the cold? Chris Harrison mentions that the producers/staffers from the show actually dug out that cave and created all of the items in it (including the couch).  He also mentioned that people who go to visit there could probably still see it since it’s so cold, it definitely would not melt away.  Let’s hope they didn’t cause a future avalanche.  One of the more awkward scenes was when Ali was having her private time with Justin in the ice cave and Kasey is just sitting outside, drinking something, coughing and acting like he’s plotting to blow up the cave. The whole date, I am waiting for the critical moment: will Kasey reveal his tattoo or not? When at last Ali gives him a somewhat natural transition into this topic, he takes it. Ali handled the revelation of Kasey’s tattoo a lot better than most normal human beings. In fact, her eyes didn’t even pop out. Of course, maybe this was a self preservation technique (don’t freak out, reassure him that you appreciate his heart and shield tattoo, make a joke). Her response is, “Your mother’s going to kill you!” Maybe it was a delayed reaction, but when Ali has both guys following her on the volcano/glacier region – I’m not sure whether her abrupt stop and declaration that she had to send Kasey home was planned or spontaneous. If it was spontaneous – that was awesome. Like you can almost hear her thoughts on their trek (Ali’s brain: What the hell am I doing? I’ve got to get this guy out of here. Who gets a tattoo on this show? Am I in danger?). She tries to soften the guilt of leaving Kasey on an active volcano which will be shooting ash and fire for days and days to come – by convincing herself that it was the best decision for Kasey. What are the chances that this guy is going on The Bachelor Pad? Can’t you see him and Michelle together? They could have perfectly insane babies together and of course, guard and protect each other’s hearts.  On the other hand, Kasey doesn’t seem like a mean person.  I believe his sincerity and have no doubt that he’d make a great cardiologist.

So I’m not sure why the rose ceremony appeared to be the least bit dramatic because everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) knew that Chris N was a goner. Poor guy. He gets two minutes of camera time and all it reveals is that he’s slightly effeminate and finds his love of Mexican food to be “fun and crazy.” Maybe he was camera shy. The guys seemed to like him (despite his inability to create a contender love poem for Ali) and his “friend” body language with Ali during their alone time together. He had zero TV presence and was known in the house as “The Phantom.”

So next week, we’re off to Istanbul and it looks like the drama will finally pick up again. We’ll find out who has a girlfriend back home. Who is it?? If it’s Chris L or Roberto, I will be devastated. BTW, Ali hinted that she’s somewhat curious as to whether Chris L may only be “friend” materials. Oh man. That’s nonsense. Maybe she was told to say that to hide her attraction to him.

Oh – and the producers actually commented on the whole Justin foot-gate thing. In case you missed it, Justin injured his left foot and has been shown on crutches with a cast on his left foot the whole season. A couple of episodes back, there was one camera angle, where Justin’s right foot was in a cast and he was using his left foot to support himself with crutches. The producers admitted that they used a mirror like reverse image to better show the environment that Justin was in. In other words – they edit the crap out of this show. Justin did not fake his injury as far as we know at this point.

I really hope next week’s episode is better, because I want to justify giving up my summer Monday nights to watch this show. At least we don’t have to hear the “guard and protect her heart” speech anymore. To that end, Craig R’s fake tattoo was pretty funny. I’d like to see her go out with Roberto and Chris L again, but not sure if that’s happening next week. I will briefly acknowledge, and then never speak of again, the very staged conversation between Chris Harrison and Ali regarding Ali’s fear of falling in love. Wow, they really had nothing else to put into tonight’s episode.

I will leave you with some of my favorite quotes this week:

Kasey: “I’ll be able to see her heart, she’ll be able to see mine”

Craig R: “I thought my poem was outstanding…I’m a winner, without a doubt.”

Chris L: “I think (Kasey’s) lips got frozen. We need subtitles to understand him. Mmmmmmm. Ggggg. Mmmmm. (Chris impersonating Kasey)”

Kirk: “I want this ever forming relationship where it’s constant growth and admiration for each other.” A+ to Kirk for the sweet talking. He’s got the gift of gab.

Kasey: “Physical pain is nothing to me. I like to feel pain. That’s nothing to me. But if I get sent home, that will destroy me.” I think he was crying during this speech.  Poor crazy guy!

Justin: “I will hold up my championship belt, in this case Ali, over my head.”

Ali: “The only thing Kasey has to do today is just be normal.”

Craig R: “I gave a speech in front of 2000-3000 people at my law school graduation. I am more nervous now than at that.”  How did this guy go from law school graduate champion to contestant on Bachelorette?

Kirk (on observing the 2-3 foot gap between Ali and Chris N during their alone time), “They’re just friends. Brunch once a year. Just to catch up.”

Chris L: “I would collect garbage in San Francisco if it was to be with the right woman.”

Roberto: “I don’t think that I’m that hot.”
Ali: You are.
Roberto: No
Ali: You’re blushing.

Well, Bachelorette fans, enjoy the week. ‘Til Turkey!

-Stacey B