It’s week two, and the guys are relaxing in the mansion in LA in their regular clothes. Our esteemed host Chris Harrison arrives to explain how things will go. There will be one group date and two individual dates. If a guy gets chosen for an individual date he must pack his bags beforehand because Ashley will either decide to give him a rose or send him home.
It’s not long before the first date card arrives, and it’s a one-on-one with William that says, “Let’s make a splash in Vegas.” I’m excited because William is one of my favorites.
Ashley is staying in her own exotic house down the road. As she sits outside with the wind blowing through her hair with a contemplative look on her face we are treated to a voiceover in which she says she’s excited to go on a date with William because he’s fun. She picks him up in a nice convertible and they hop in a private jet to Vegas.
Back at the mansion Jeff says he will remove his mask on his first one-on-one date with Ashley. He also wishes he had a white mask since it’s so hot outside. I feel you, Jeff. This heat is brutal.
William and Ashley are in a limo now, sitting far away from each other yet still awkwardly holding hands. Ashley decides to put William to the test because she’s not sure if he’s ready to get married. First they go to a cake shop and start tasting wedding cakes. The chef is asking them about wedding plans and William is sweating. Next they go to a ring store and Ashley looks at William expectantly. He is a sport and goes along with it while they try on rings. They end up at a wedding chapel and now William is really scared, but he is determined not to back down and even says “I do”. Ashley didn’t expect William to make it this far, so she finally caves in before it becomes legally binding. (Side note: I don’t see how it could be legally binding if they don’t have a marriage license or sign any documents. But whatever.) They still have their kiss though, and Ashley says she’s falling for him after half of the date.
For the rest of the date they have dinner in the middle of the Bellagio fountain. Apparently Ashley has a fan club because girls keep yelling “We love you Ashley!” from the road. Whether these are real fans or just girls the producers found on the street and bribed is up for consideration. But seriously now, Ashley asks William about his life after high school and he tells her about his family and how his dad died of alcohol abuse. William’s watch stopped at the time his dad died, and he’s kept it like that ever since to remind him not to take life for granted. That’s actually a really cool story. Ashley’s dad is also an alcoholic so she relates to him. She gives him the rose and says she sees everything she’s looking for in him. He accepts it, they kiss, and the fountains go off behind them right on cue. Classic. Ashley says the bar is now set very high and doesn’t know if any guy can be as good as him. I’m sure she’ll find a few.
Back at the mansion the next date card arrives. It’s a group date for everyone except JP, Mickey, Ben C., Ryan, and Jeff. The card says, “In Vegas, boys will be b-boys.” The next day all the group date guys fly to Vegas and they are taken to see Jabbawockeez, a dance crew. Ashley joins the crew on stage and tells the guys they will be rehearsing with them. The guys are split into two groups and they have 30 minutes to come up with a routine. The winners get to stay and hang out with Ashley the rest of the night while the losers go back to the mansion.
The first group is calling themselves The Best Men and their dance is a choreographed wedding. It’s a clever idea but they don’t do much real dancing. (I feel qualified to judge them based on the one episode of So You Think You Can Dance that I’ve watched.) The second group is named No Rhythm Nation and they do a rose ceremony dance that includes Ashley. Jabbawockeez choose No Rhythm Nation as the winners which includes Ben F., Nick, West, Bentley, Blake, and someone else. Sorry, but it’s hard to keep track of these guys. They end up performing with Jabbawockeez, but thankfully they are only on stage for a couple minutes.
The guys that got sent home are pretty deflated. They spent more time in the airport than in Vegas.
After the show Ashley takes them for drinks on the roof of a hotel. During some one-on-one time, West tells her about his wife of 7 years that died. It’s a heavy conversation but she takes it well. Bentley tells the camera, “I just want Ashley to know that I’m better than every other guy.” He also says that he loves her rockin’ body and something else so crass that it gets bleeped, but then he says that she’s not his type. I hate him, which is too bad because my brother’s dog Bentley is really cute. When alone with Ashley he is already paving the way for his exit from the show and she is pathetically begging him to stay. She actually gives him the rose for the group date. I am pissed, yet feeling smug in my foreknowledge. Probably this whole thing is just for ratings, but I allow myself to get sucked in anyway.
The next day the final date card arrives. It’s for Mickey and JP, but the catch is that they have to flip a coin to see who goes on the individual date. Mickey wins the flip and JP is bummed but is a good sport. Mickey meets Ashley in Vegas and they decide they’re going to flip a coin to decide everything they do. Get it? Because he won the date on a coin flip? They are flipping for ridiculous things, like who should pick out the bottle of wine. They end up at the shark reef aquarium and play a game where whoever loses the coin flip has to answer a question. I’m ready for some juicy revelations, but their conversation is extremely boring.
Flash back to the mansion, where Jeff’s mask is starting to creep me out a little bit. JP is still talking about how bummed he is that he lost the date on a coin flip. He’s being very gracious to Mickey though, so I’m starting to like him.
Back to the date, and Ashley definitely has the hots for Mickey. They go to a super nice suite with an awesome view of the strip to eat and talk. Mickey reveals that his mom died 6 years ago. Is it just me, or does it seem like every guy has had someone close to them die? Ashley plays coy and decides to flip a coin to see if he gets the rose. He’s incredulous, but he wins the flip and she says she was going to give the rose to him anyway, as if there was ever any doubt. You’re so clever, Ashley. They go out walking in the bay and get a private concert from Colbie Caillet. There is at least one private concert in every season, and they always disturb me.
Time for the next cocktail party and the guys are a lot more tense this time around. JP pulls Ashley away immediately so he gets some time with her. He pulls out a coin and says heads he gets a kiss, tails he doesn’t. The coin barely lands before Ashley is leaning in. Obviously she really wanted to kiss him. She gives him a speech that basically assures him that he’ll get a rose.
Poor William is doing impressions and no one is laughing. He already has a rose and the guys aren’t happy with him. Nick has hair like Matthew McConaughey’s but worse, and he is teaching Ashley a line dance when William comes to take her away and Nick is pretty upset. The Mask sees William and Ashley kiss and decides it’s time to reveal himself. He pulls her aside in a stairwell and tells her that he was married for ten years before, had a brain hemorrhage with a long recovery, got divorced, and his life was kind of reset after that. That’s a lot of history right there. Jeff is in the process of pulling his mask off when Matt interrupts them. Dangit! Foiled again.
Elsewhere in the mansion, William is bragging about his date with Ashley and Bentley tells the camera that it sounds awful and he’d rather be “swimming in pee” than be on that date because she’s not the girl of his dreams. So what does he do? Pulls her aside and immediately starts kissing her. He obviously sees her as a conquest. He says the kiss “started out good but sucked toward the end.” I think Bentley has some sort of inferiority complex. Ashley says she has a good radar for insincere people and her gut tells her to trust him.
Rose ceremony! Ashley keeps: West, Constantine, Solar Ryan P., Ben C. the French speaker, (dramatic pause), Nick with the hair, Harvard Ames, Lucas from Texas, The Mask, JP, Chris (who is he?), Ben F. the winemaker, and…Blake the dentist. Going home are mama’s boy Matt who calls his mom to leave her a message. In this voicemail he says it’s 4 a.m. in LA, and I am exhausted just thinking about that. Stephen the hairstylist and Ryan M. are also gone.
The previews for next week promise more Bentley drama, and I’ve gotta give credit to the producers who put together the montage of The Mask swimming and vacuuming in his mask. That’s just awesome.
Images courtesy of ABC.com