Looks like I spoke too soon in judging Madison, The Bachelor's resident fang girl. It turns out that yes, one of Brad Womack's 17 remaining bachelorettes left the mansion for good, and I must admit that after last night's episode, I wish that Madison had given herself a chance and stayed. But more on that later.
The first date card, which said, "Let's find our love song," went to Ashley S.. This date was crucial as Ashley S. received the first impression rose during the season premiere. Brad took her to Studio A of Capital Records, where they sang a terrible rendition of Seal's "Kiss From A Rose." And when I say terrible, I mean God-awful. However, the couple looked like they were having a blast and were completely relaxed in each other's company, despite the ear-splitting noise that was coming out of their mouths. "I picked the perfect girl to do this date with," said Brad.
But we all know that Brad (and the producers of ABC) always have a little trick up their sleeves, so phase two of Ashley's date was a serenade from Seal himself. Lucky! The couple canoodled in the corner while Seal reminded us why we're jealous of Heidi Klum. The date ended with a romantic dinner on the rooftop of Capital Records, where (surprise, surprise) Ashley S. opened up to Brad about her father, who died of a brain aneurysm. Ashley told Brad that she "felt like he was here tonight." With Brad being a new man and all, he loved that Ashley opened up to him and gave her the first rose of the night. In fact, he said afterward, "Ashley has far exceeded my expectations…she's the whole package." Is this a possible wife alert?
Ehhh, not so fast. The second solo date recipient was Emily, my personal top-runner, who hadn't yet told Brad about her situation (first love died in a plane crash, found out she was pregnant and has a 5-year-old daughter). Brad took her by private plane (really?) to Santa Marie, Calif. - wine country. Brad hoped this date would open Emily up, but Emily deflected Brad's questions back onto him, which made him upset (and made me feel awkward just watching them). But during dinner - which took place in a candlelit barn - Emily finally told Brad everything. She said that her reason for withholding the past was because she wanted Brad to like her as a person and not as someone with "all this stuff." Without the "elephant in the room," as Emily put it, sparks flew, and Brad and Emily shared their first kiss. "The way I feel right now is the way people feel when they begin a future with somebody," said Brad. "I can see Emily being the woman I want to spend my life with," (!!!). One point for Team Emily.
And it seemed that Madison was rooting for Emily, too. Emily told her story to the girls who didn't go on the group date, which deeply touched Madison, who said she came into the Bachelor experience hoping to meet someone and fall in love, but she believed that some girls on the show needed to fall in love. At the cocktail party, Madison brought up Emily's story to Brad and said that she was having second thoughts - and then walked off during the rose ceremony. "I would have a really hard time taking a rose from one of these girls, she told Brad. "I'd rather go home tonight." Brad was upset by her decision, but let her go.
"I really like this Madison so much more," he said. "I think I'm missing out on a hell of a girl." I wonder if Madison regrets her decision. I'm almost hoping she'll make an appearance later in the season, since I dismissed her so early in the game. Also, I think that I am relieved that her fangs are fake.
But the one person I do wish would walk off the show (though she won't) is Michelle. Again, I judged too quickly and thought that she'd be good for Brad as an 'older' bachelorette. This couldn't be further from the truth. She's manipulative, catty and loathes the other women. She steals Brad away every chance she gets, lurking in the shadows, vying for his attention while the other women are trying to talk to him. The girl also has a huge problem with either Chantal or Shawntel (or maybe both). Again - while you have to admire someone who knows exactly what she wants, her psycho-eyes are starting to show through and I'm not-so-patiently waiting for Brad to wake up to all of this. Too bad Brad's a nice guy, because he's easily won over by affection or breakdowns, and "likes that she's direct." Sorry Brad, 'direct' and 'obnoxious' are two different things, and Michelle is one step away from the crazy train.
Sorry I didn't talk more about the group date, but you can read more about it on The Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog. Also, so you can keep track at home, Brad said goodbye to Kimberly and Sarah P. And next week, it looks like Michelle will dig her claws even further in Brad, while Ashley H., who needed some reassurance from Brad this week, starts to lose it. Can't wait until week four! Remember to visit us next week for more Bachelor coverage.