And Then There Were Four

I did it again. I dropped the ball. My lovely readers, I do apologize for not posting before now. Here's the skinny... our HD network channels were inexplicably out yesterday. Not only could we not watch our local channels, we couldn't watch anything we'd recorded on them either. Fiddlesticks. No Bachelorette! As the afternoon progressed, and none of my troubleshooting tricks had paid off, I decided it was not an option to be without good TV. As bad as I LOATHE calling DirecTV, there was no choice. After an unfruitful 15 minute phone call to them where none of their suggestions were helpful, they scheduled a service call for later. Needless to say, that was unacceptable. After the phone call, I ranted for a bit before I thought HEY, why don't I just unplug the receivers for a few minutes and see what happens. Magic. Five minutes of being completely unplugged from the wall did the trick. Should I have tried this before I spent the afternoon livid, and before I finally called? Probably. However, I'm wondering why that little trick isn't in "Customer Service's" arsenal. Go to this menu, go to that menu, push this button, push that button, read me the message you get when you do this, try going to this channel, that channel......Grrrr you get the point. I have a better idea - UNPLUG THE FLIPPIN' RECEIVER. Anyhoo, nobody cares about my TV troubles. I suppose I'm sharing as more of a vent than an explanation of my lack of posting yesterday. So thanks for listening. By the time that problem was resolved, I'd already sat down on the back deck with my iPad and a stemmed glass and started reading my very first iBook. I couldn't put it down, so Ems and her men fell to the back burner. I'm not even really a reader, so it was mind-boggling that I read something that would trump my whole reason for getting out of bed on Mondays. What book, you say?? Well, I don't know if it's appropriate to disclose that piece of information...but let's just say that my putting off blogging until the morning was about 50 shades of procrastination.

This week the gang heads to Prague. I can certainly appreciate the magnificent cities that have been featured on the last few seasons, and Prague is no different. I am not oblivious to its charm, and I can certainly appreciate its history. However, I'm kindof over these types of places. I'd like to travel the world, or at least much of it, but 80% of my journey would be places like Fiji, the South of France, Bermuda, Greece and Brazil. But oh well. I'm sure this is a travel & tourism marketing ploy. And I'm sure it has worked on many viewers. Not this viewer. Give me the islands of the South Pacific, man! It's at the top of my bucket list, incidentally. So if any of you win the lottery and decide to buy me a trip...Fiji, baby! It has been my dream destination of choice as long as I can remember. But I'd also take Tahiti, Bora Bora, Tonga, Samoa, whatever. I'm not picky. I'll take any island in the South Pacific.

Moving on before I get lost in 50 shades of fantasy vacation.

The gang gathers with Harrison. It's hoodie day on the streets of Prague. At least Chris threw some color in the mix. This week...4 dates. Three one-on-ones, no rose. One group date, one rose that comes with a hometown guarantee. Gentlemen, enjoy Prague. And while you're at it, dig through your closets for some non-hoodie attire.

Sean reads the first date card. Arie, let's Czech out Prague together. She comes to pick him up and every dude there gives her an awkward hug AND sneaks a peek at her cleavage. Or maybe it was at those riding boots that do NOT go with that outfit. Or her coat belt hanging past her knees. Nope, I'm sure it was the cleavage.

The happy couple takes off to sightsee. They need a bite to eat, so they stop at a local food stand for...well I'm not sure. English? English? English anyone? One would think Arie and Ems would've brushed up on the local language, but in all fairness they'd have to be multi-lingual to cover it all in that part of Europe. Czech, German, Russian, a hodgepodge of culture fills Prague.

But all of that food vendor stuff is overshadowed by the elephant in the room. The big secret that some jealous, bitter, fame-hungry producer feels necessary to tell Ems.

Harrison gives us the run-down. Some chick named Cassie Lambert. She apparently thought it necessary to bring to light that she had a brief relationship with Arie ten years ago. TEN YEARS. Oh good grief. This is already stupid. I secretly, or not so secretly, hope that Cassie has been reprimanded -- or at least demoted -- since then. Ugh. Who does this stuff. So not only does this girl get Emily all wound up, she then tries to defend Arie. Whaaaa?? If it was no big deal, why bring it up. This is her 15 minutes of fame. REEEdiculous! This girl knows Ems enough to know that she is a no-nonsense kind of girl, so our good friend Cassie -- and by good friend, I mean resident trouble-maker -- strategically places doubt in Emily's mind concerning Arie. I'm going to move on before I break out some unsavory language about this "producer."

Here she is...

In case you can't tell, she's seductively feeding boring Benny-boo some grapes. A picture is worth a thousand words, my friends.

That whole uncomfortable conversation really did a number on Emily's jerky eye thing, though. You know what I'm talking about. That twitch I've mentioned before. It's the number one indicator that something is on her mind. Thanks, Cassie. Thank you very much.

After this takes place, Emily sends a barrage of loaded questions and statements containing a hidden agenda. I felt this very inappropriate and unfair to Arie. Even as it was happening, I was becoming very irritated with Emily for falling into Cassie's trap. Cassie got what she wanted...Ems is mad at Arie, which will give her a better chance of acquiring time with Arie after Ems gives him the boot. Luckily, after Emily plays her little wicked game (like my Chris Isaak reference?) an off-camera conversation takes place between the two of them and the trouble-maker. TEN.YEARS.AGO. Ten! Thank goodness the air was cleared and we can happily move into the evening portion of the date.

It is apparent that this hasn't affected her libido. Arie is explaining it to her at dinner and she just sits there doe-eyed not paying a bit of attention to the words coming out of his beautiful mouth. She gives him a come hither wink and leans in for the kiss. I did not look away. I just can't. Their chemistry is 50 shades of undeniable.

The guys sit and speculate about what might be going on. Chris is so completely distressed. He wants a date so badly. He hasn't had a one-on-one since Charlotte. The knock on the door. The date card. The tension mounts. Drum roll, please. Annnnnnnnddddd the date goes to..... Jon, in Prague, all you need is love. Wollllffffff. Howwwwllllll.

Ems is all but promising Arie a hometown on the spot. She's already giddy at the thought of it.

What should I wear.
How much cleavage should I show.
Will your parents care if I throw you down on their dining room table.
Is your Mom a fan of E.L. James.

She's ready. Let's do this.

Arie busted out with those three little words normally reserved for the overnights. He wastes no time, though, in telling her he loves her. They kiss, and suddenly fireworks go off. Fitting, don't you think. They kiss again. Fifty shades of romance.

Time for Jon's date. Better step it up, Wolf. After all, you're playing for second, man. They begin their date with a scenic tour, from a boat. Hey honneeeyyyyy, how ya doin'. Would you like to go for a little boat ride, with a macho man. 

Jon: The architecture here is insane. This stuff is old. I'd love to go in that building.
Ems: Yeah, its really pretty. I went there with Arie yesterday. We rubbed a brass statue.
Jon: Will you rub my brass statue? Wait. Never mind. Ryan told me to say that. I didn't mean it.
Ems: Well I was gonna say that you have your guard up, but I'm not so sure.
Jon: Yeah, I have a very hard - STOP IT RYAN - shell. I was gonna say shell!
Ems: Yeah I bet you were. Arie has a hard shell, too.
Jon: Let's Czech out the John Lennon wall.
Ems: Ok, let me give you a history lesson. You look like you need something to bore you.
Jon: Yeah. Let's paint a bigggg...
Ems: There's a reason I sent Ryan home last week, ya know.
Jon: Yeah yeah yeah, I was gonna say boat. I really was. A big boat.
Ems: Let's go try to find a romantic connection with my next history lesson. Eternal love.
Jon: You're getting pretty deep today.
Ems: Deep?
Jon: You know what I mean!
Ems: Let's hang this lock of eternal love on these rails.
Jon: Ok. Ready? Let's push it in together. Push - it- in.
Michelle: Ohhh Wolfff, have you been reading the same book I am reading?
Ems: Uh-oh. It won't go in. This isn't a good sign.
Jon: YA THINK?!?!

The guys sit and ponder things. Chris is still brimming with dissension over the fact that she hasn't given him a one-on-one since Charlotte. It is driving him crazy. He is tired of hearing about connections the other guys have with Ems.

Night falls and Jon is still talking about the architecture. She isn't fervent about this because she's explored these things already with Arie. She takes him to a dungeon. Ok ok, I'll let that one go. He tells her today was awesome. Her response? "You think so?" Whoa. Not very promising. I hate to break it to ya, Wolf, but she's put off my your massive forehead and your perfect skin tone. I mean c'mon. She didn't even fix her hair. She pulled it back in a tiny clip the way we do when we need our hair out of our face to brush our teeth or to take off makeup. Another bad sign. Plus she's dressed in all black. I don't feel optimistic.

Group date card arrives. Sean, Doug, Chris. Let's find our happily ever after. Needless to say, Chris isn't thrilled. Jon's date is over. He heads back to the suite to fill in the guys on everything, which is basically nothing. They are less than receptive, but Cassie forces them to spill. That way, maybe Arie will get jealous and give her the time of day. Right? Jon's recount of the date adds insult to Chris' injury. In a disturbing twist, Sean takes to the streets of Prague shouting Emily's name. What's happening? I'm confused. But he does track her down. Obviously, she just left Wolf. She's still in the same dull duds with the same face-washing hairdo. She's happy to see him. They end up in a make-out session paling in comparison to Arie's sexy kisses. But a make-out session nonetheless...on the streets. Who else found it creepy that he didn't turn his face to make their mouths fit together. Weirdest kiss ever. It seems at this moment he is the front runner...... for second place, that is. Poor Sean has no clue he has no chance of edging out her amazing race car driver. She's not into creepy flesh-colored eyebrows, but then again, who is.

Date time. Chris is being negative nelly. That will probably bite him in the rear. I pause for wardrobe assessment. That coat. That awesome hot pink pea coat. Here's to you, Ems. Your fashion sense is back. Doug takes her away to visit a remote cubbyhole in the castle. He wants her to come to his hometown to meet Austin and meet his BFF. His legs touch hers and he becomes flustered. Is he turned off physically. Is he celibate. Is he in the closet. Is he scared of ... well, it all. What the heck. Why won't he drop the extreme chivalry and push her up against the wall...and kiss her...goodnight. Yes, that song is still in my head. Thank you Gloriana for one of my favorite iTunes downloads ever. Anyway, Doug doesn't realize that real women want to be treated like a lady, but not at the expense of a physical relationship. Doug's van ride. Ohhh the van ride. I don't make it a habit of laughing at the expense of someone in pain. But there was just something comical about his sobbing. I do not know why, though. I apologize.

The other two gather for a nice evening and, in the words of Sean, a weird dynamic. I pause again for wardrobe assessment. Does she have a piece of tulle draped over her shoulder. Bizarre. There are two random keys on the table. One of them opens the spot for the first one on one chat. Are we to think it is a mystery? Even though the keys are totally different sizes. That's so Ems can give the big key to whoever she's in the mood to kiss first. Shockingly [to nobody] Chris and his big key get first dibs on the dungeon couch. What's with the dungeons this season anyway?

Jef's date card arrives. This is your chance to pull at my heartstrings. Jef's stoked. These guys think if Chris gets the rose, he'll either come home a sad sap or a braggart. Either way, they think they'll want to pull their hair out.

Chris gets his alone time at last. He's ready to express his distaste for the fact that he didn't get an alone date.

Loads gun.

He tells her he doesn't like seeing other guys come home from dates. It makes him mad.

Pulls back hammer.

This two-on-one sucks. It's really weird.

Aims gun at foot.

But wait. He leans in for a kiss. Gerard shows Ems the physical attraction Doug so blatantly neglected. What does this mean? But it wasn't enough. Sean gets the rose.


Time for Jef's date. Emily looks pretty good until you get down to those crazy tasseled booties. Wardrobe fail. They make their way to a puppet shop, and later use their new wooden friends to perform a show in a really grandeur library. At first, as they relived history through the dolls, it was humorous and sweet. Then flash forward to weirdness. Ok guys, put up the puppets.

The date turned to serious conversation. He wants her to meet his family. His parents have an obligation in South Carolina so she won't meet them. What obligation? He didn't disclose it. Red flag? However she'll get to meet the siblings. I think it'll be nice. He seems so grounded and real. I'm thinking that is a reflection of the people he grew up around. He's so sweet and perfect. That darn Jef! I didn't wanna be crazy about anyone except Arie, but I like this guy so much. But have no fear, I feel he's playing for second, too. Team Arie!

At this point it's down to Chris or Jon. Cubs vs. Cardinals. Although I'm a bigger fan of Chris, I'm kinda rooting for Wolf to get it simply because I love his hometown. St. Louis is near and dear to my heart, so I'd love to see Ems there frolicking under the Arch. Or down on Laclede's. Or out at Grant's Farm. Or catching a Cards game. Or touring Anheuser Busch. Or....well you get the picture. I also want to see him at the office. Finally put the mystery to rest. What the heck is a data deconstruction specialist.

I am so back and forth with our girl's wardrobe lately. I used to love everything she wore. But now. I don't know, something has changed. This dress. Reminiscent of a blue shimmery negligee. It's killing me.

No cocktail party. She has her mind made up. Chris breaks down. I didn't like how he acted, but darn if I don't feel sorry for him. 

Hometown rose time. Sean is already in like Flynn.

Numero Uno goes to Jef. I'm ready for this!

Next is Arie. Duh!

Last. Chicago and St. Louis. Here we go.

Chris asks her if they can go talk. It was a nice talk. He gets the rose. Was it because of the talk? Was she already going to pick him? We may never know. Either way, she's going to Chi-town instead of St. Louayyyy. I'm ok with that. I like Chris.

That room where she took Wolf to talk. Wow. Weird wallpaper. Lots of antlers on the wall. Medieval weaponry. I'm ready for next week. No more castles. No more dungeons.

But first I want to make a change in my predictions. I got the top 4 correct, but I now see Sean in the top 3...actually I think he will be top 2. Who goes home next? I have no clue. Depends on who lives in crazytown and who has a cool family. We shall soon find out.

Next week...well, who knows?!?! We get no previews of families. We get no previews of dates. We get nothing. Except Ems in a beautiful blue dress with a rhinestone waist. She's crying and upset about sending someone home. Could it be that she keeps all four guys for overnights? Could it be? Huh? Could it? That would be a history-maker I could live with! Fifty shades of mystery.

Until next week, lovelies. I will soon be blogging about my read. Be ready.

Since we will not get to visit the Gateway to the West next week, I leave you with this.


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