*** WARNING: Contains spoilers. Do not read on unless you've seen "The Bachelor Canada" Season 2, Episode 1. Unless you like spoilers, then go right ahead! ***
I was all set to tweet out some sort of joke today about supporting the Canadian entertainment industry by watching "The Bachelor Canada" rather than encouraging Rob Ford, but then this whole tumour thing happened, and -- what can I say? Total buzzkill.
Tonight's season started off right on point, in traditional "Bachelor" fashion. Boy introduces himself. Audience decides in an unfair instant (to themselves if you're a blogger like me who must watch the show in complete solitude). Boy recounts impressive bio of accomplishments that most 28-year-olds could only dream of lying about on a resume. Boy walks down busy downtown street sporting power suit. Boy appears in meeting with hipster colleagues nodding in mutual agreement. Boy dons hard hat and looks rugged. Boy exits plane, puts on aviators, looks mysterious and keeps walking at deliberately slow pace commanded by film crew. Boy tousles own hair. Boy massages own face. Boy showers. Boy allows camera to get uncomfortably close, showcasing sparkle in boy's eyes. Boy alludes to down home up-bringing and simple values. Boy shares anecdote involving moment he realized life wasn't worth living unless he has someone to live it with. Anecdote is sufficiently endearing to increase boy's cute factor slightly. Girls watching together at home heave collective "Awww!" and vow to immediately start writing notes to themselves about what made them happy as a child to guide them towards future decisions. Girls quickly forget vow and take selfies. Boy's single tear trickles down face. Yup. They got it all.
There is something to be said for a man confident enough to start off the season in not one, not two, but three pairs of capri pants. So I guess we have to throw him a bone for that, right? From the moment I watched the promo reel months ago, my opinion of Tim Warmels has flip-flopped back and forth. One moment he's cute. One moment, too toothy. One moment sincere, one moment playah-esque. At certain angles he looks hot and at others, he looks like the socially awkward guy in the office who insists on having a secret handshake when you're grabbing your mediocre morning coffee from the communal kitchen.
Recap Continues After Slideshow!
But then again -- it's only night #1. And night #1 is all about the ladies.
Once we finished with Tim's intro and had enough time to firmly establish the "Is he or isn't he" question in reference to his sexuality that will likely linger all season long, we're greeted by good ol' Tyler Harcott, who quite possibly has the friendliest face on TV. When I think of Tyler, ensconced in that tacky purple up-lighting that I can only assume is an homage to the American "Bachelor" mansion (also known as California's biggest eyesore), I think of Christmas sweaters and uncles playing piano in the living room. Is that weird?
But Tyler welcomes us with open arms, waiting to introduce us to our nation's most eligible Bachelorettes, beaming like a proud papa as he ushers Tim into the house. Let me just say, generally speaking, I'm sorry -- but most of these girls are just not hot. Yes, there are a few strikingly beautiful ones in the group (fine, maybe two), and a few further still who are sort of pretty if you squint, but really? I work from home and on a good day I see at least 25 women that are better-looking than this bunch. And most of us have had at least two kids!
It was pretty easy to spot right off the bat where most of the girls stood in the ranks of how far they'll progress. If you don't want the season ruined for you by spoilers, I suggest changing the channel every time music starts playing. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that April Brockman (pretty-ish girl, raised by her grand-parents, red sequin dress) is the last one standing because every time the girl went anywhere near a camera, I felt like I was warming myself by a campfire and getting ready to harmonize an Indigo Girls tune.
As the girls revealed themselves one by one, I started to get a bit uneasy. Some of them are so familiar-looking I feel like they're going to reveal that they were my campers at sleepover camp at any second and then I'm going to feel like a total asshole. But until that moment ... here goes nothing, right? (Between the brief intros, a whole lotta boob tape and the ladies' official, verrrry sparkly entrances into Tim's life, some left memorable impressions, and sadly, some won't make it past my PVR.
So Natalie. She's the naughty French teacher, who is hands-down the hottest one there. Thank god she only teaches Grade 1 or she'd have to have a basket of tube socks available for her students right next to the hall passes. The thing about Natalie is that I assumed looking like that she'd be the mean girl of the house or at the very least, after that whole "Whip your hair down and shake it out you bad teacher you" moment, that she'd at least have an edge. Instead, we get a girl who actually speaks full-time in her teacher voice -- even to the Bachelor. Really?
Then we head over to Cougartown, where Sonia the lingerie model is pretending that the turquoise necklace she's wearing with the black-and-cream lace bra and panty set (hanging my head in shame for using the word "panty") actually go together.Yes, I realize that 42 isn't old in real life -- 40 is the new 30, right (says the 36-year-old writer)? But in "Bachelor" years? Cougartown. He's 28, honey. Really?
Then we meet Rileigh, the LCBO spokesperson who might as well be wearing a (wet) T-shirt that says "I'm not here for the right reasons." Despite this, I sorta like her. Because who doesn't like a party girl?
Then there's Rene-Anne, the ER doctor from Quebec. Despite her personality leaving nary a mark, I'm gonna go ahead and recommend she prescribe herself a stylist immediately. Her dress looked like she went a bit too crazy with a Bedazzler and a whole mess of plastic six-pack rings. But looking on the bright side, think how many birds she saved in the wearing of that dress! Pamela Anderson would be proud.
April Brockman (or should we just call you Tim's fiancée?) ... not sure if I actually like her, or if I've been seduced into liking her by her musical accompaniment. I mean, I guess she's OK, but like Tim, I haven't figured her out yet. I have figured out who stole Dorothy's shoes, though.
Other April. Wow. I don't know what to make of you either. The fact that you're a Vagician and a burlesque dancer are actually the least alarming things about you. I'm more concerned with the way you float through life surrounded by pixie dust, and use words like "lovely" and talk like a Disney princess. Did you actually expect Tim to have a proper response to "How amazing is gold confetti?!" I'm ... just ... what? Total bonus points for quoting "Bring It On," though. Seriously.
Jennifer Selinger. You came, you conquered and you were gone. If you want to talk about making every moment count, this is your girl. Within the span of two hours, she went from grating on my nerves to me wondering if it would be weird for her to ask her to babysit (me, not my kids) and braid my hair. I know Canadian girls are polite and all, and in general I felt that this group were a little too supportive of each other (wishing each other luck in the limo, having high fives and group hugs all around) but never has a bachelorette spent so much time consoling others, motivating and in many cases talking these crazy crays off the ledge. Hard to believe I'm saying this, but I'll miss you.
And speaking of cray crays -- let's not forget the unstable brunette that we all get to watch unravel over the next few weeks. Kaylynn entered our world sporting a Day-5-and-desperately-needs-a-wash ponytail and a whole lot of, well, feelings. The slit in her dress that practically revealed her labia momentarily distracted us, but despite her successful intro to Tim, she fell apart as soon as she entered the house. Why, Kaylynn? Why you gotta be like that? I literally thought she was going to pass out or die during the rose ceremony until he called her name.
While we're on the subject of chills, did anyone else find Dominique's entrance positively chilling? It's like she studied Whitney's first entrance from last season for weeks to figure out how to epically fail "alluring" and "sexy" with a side order of deep rage. Maybe it's the missing teeth that made both those girls so angry. I'd be pissed too. Not a fan.
I was also confused by Jenny. I actually really like her personality ... but ... can someone just clarify for me? Is that not a British accent? I consider myself to be pretty well-travelled and I'm almost positive that's not Hong Kong. Was she trying to confuse him? Is that her "thing"?
If it is, I have to say, I still like it better than watching a girl dribble a basketball in heels, or attempt to dance, or use your pie to get a man, or not one but two girls speaking Spanish and then literally not being able to recognize their own language when it's spoken back to them, or handing out a store-bought seashell (only minor demerit points because I liked Sachelle), or wearing a pageant sash that seriously looked like it was hiding a baby bump (is Miss Universe Canada even a thing? How does that even make sense?), and I most certainly like it better than wrapping oneself in a velvet curtain and awkwardly serenading the Bachelor with an original song. AN ORIGINAL SONG. Sigh. When will they learn?
So, two unequivocal facts from the episode. One: Lisa's a bitch, guys. She's got "the night is dark and full of terrors" all over her (and if you don't get that reference, you'll need to start watching "Game of Thrones" STAT. Like now. Go.) Clearly she's "not here to make friends," but I'm excited to see the level of evil she'll rise to this season.
Two: Tim is like, super terrible at making speeches. He's really gonna have to work on that. If you're going to gather all the girls into the room just to hand out the First Impression Rose, instead of doing it on the DL like all Bachelors past, you should probably come up with something a little better than "So, there's a rose, and uh ... I'm going to give it out."
Roses this week went to Christine, Natalie, Sechelle, Kaylynn, Jenny, Dominique (insert long alluring glance), Martha, Rileigh, Burlesque April, Lisa, Rene-Anne, Campfire April, Alison, Sonya and Trisha (who almost had a full aneurysm waiting for him to call her name).
We also bid adieu to Andrea, Jacqueline, Jennifer, Jewel, Kelsey, Martha, Raelee (Canada's Pick? Really? Why, Canada, why?), Rebecca, Riti, Sarah, and Sharan. Um, bye.
There's a small part of me hoping next week, there will be a knock on the door and 10 actual good-looking women will walk in and be like, "We're here! You didn't think we'd let this group represent our country, did you?" But sadly, I don't think that's happening.
So for now, I'll have to hope that they, like Tim, will improve over time and by the end, I'll be sobbing like a Mother of the Bride.
"The Bachelor Canada" Season 2 airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on City.