Once upon a time, there were 25 enormously desperate women incapable of finding a man on their own continent, and a man just vain enough to watch them fight for him on national television. Matt Grant, with your outrageously good dentistry, welcome to America. Yes, my darlings, it is time for ‘The Bachelor: London Calling.’ And although I am myself a ‘Bachelor’ virgin – unlike, oh, every single woman on this show – I look forward to guiding you through every last rose ceremony, jacuzzi date, and glass (or Lucite platform) slipper.
Matt Grant, a "proper English gentleman" whose parents are assuredly thrilled that he’s sullying the family name thus, is the "first International Bachelor." (Someone versed in ‘Bachelor’ lore please help me out here – wasn’t there an Italian prince contestant not too long ago?) He’s looking for a mother to his future children, and he wants to start breeding right away. Apparently his parents are a bit older, and he wants his ailing father to "experience his grandchildren." He’s a banker, and it sounds like he’s in wealth management. Chris Harrison thinks the bachelorettes will be shocked – shocked! – that Matt is British. These women actually don’t look like they’d shock easily, Chris. Or like they’re wearing underwear, but that’s beside the point.
The ladies begin to arrive via limo, and we meet Amanda R. – she has chronic hiccups and lived in
England! Amy is wearing a prom dress with cutouts and offers her hand to be kissed! Devon is wearing a gold ballgown and big Texan hair! Kristine is too old to be here but at least doesn’t simper at Matt, and Chelsea the arm-wrestler is too old to be here but lying about her age to an enormous degree. Giggly Erin H. is wearing a faux engagement ring as a "place-holder." Oy. Kelly is lovely and nervous. Rebecca is an exceedingly uptight-looking attorney, and Denise is a former aide to President Bush. Hot-dog vendor (not a euphemism!) Erin S. reminds me of Jillian Barberie, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Robin is so, so cute with her little Posh bob, and she also lived in England for a while. Ashlee is wearing a sequined minidress and is determinedly kooky. Biology student Alyssa is one of the few girls able to comfortably look Matt in the eye. Redheaded Michelle P. is going to be a spitfire. Brooke Hogan is a contestant!! Oh, wait, no, her name is Shayne. And she’s an actress. Spectacular.
Ten more women arrive! Wow. Marshanna is lovely in a homemade sari and bindi with exposed midriff. Amanda P. is wearing a short ruffled pink prom dress and brings Matt a fuzzy dice, as she lives in Vegas. Classy! Tamara is a cocktail waitress and is genuinely simpery, but wearing a pretty Grecian gown. Holly is cuter than a button and writes children’s books. Tiffany calls Matt "love" and sounds like Thelma Ritter. I may love her. Carri is a church marketer from Oklahoma who looks like Ellen Barkin and is already going in for a kiss on the lips. Stacey is a train wreck. A flaming, spectacular train wreck with a white-girl weave and a bedazzled stripper gown. And you know she ain’t going home for a while. Lesley has brain bangs and…that’s about it. Michele R. wrinkles up her nose when she talks and is an OC girl. Noelle is an adorably dimpled Coloradan. And that’s the bunch. But don’t get too attached! Because Matt sees 25 lovely ladies before him, but only 15 will continue on in the hopes of becoming America’s Next Top Model. Oh, you know what I mean.
I suppose when you’re in a group of 25, the best way to make a first impression is to make an impression. Period. Competing for the first impression rose? Oh, well, panties have to come off. And come off they do! Matt and the ladies raise a glass and he begins to circulate around the room, introducing himself. Erin S. mocks Matt’s accent, which seems like a bad idea to me. Chelsea challenges Matt to an arm-wrestling match, and man alive does that girl have some arms, but Matt lets her win. Carri rips a piece out of a beer can with her TEETH. Rebecca does some sort of horrible chicken-train-robot dance. Rock-paper-scissors champion Michele R. seems to connect with Matt, which does not go unnoticed by the other women. Ashlee has written him a song! She sounds kind of like Jewel on a bender. Oh, Ashlee, please go home. Michelle P. pulls out a clarinet and…sucks on it. That’s the most family-friendly way I can put it. And then Stacey. She swears, she runs her stripper shoe up Matt’s thigh, she pulls off her underwear and thrusts them into Matt’s hand. And then, thankfully, she passes out. Matt talks about his immediate attraction to Shayne, who is Lorenzo Lamas’ daughter. Of COURSE she is! Noelle’s dimples talk about her "grandma side." Robin and Matt make googly eyes at each other, and they’re actually kind of adorable together. And Amanda R. gets the first impression rose.
Chris enters to pull Matt away for the first rose ceremony. Chelsea, Shayne, Michelle P, Marshana, Ashlee (no Matt! no!), Noelle, Erin S, Amy, Carri, Kristine (who?), Robin, Kelly, Holly, and Erin H join Amanda R on the safe list. The rejectorettes leave via limo, and the remaining girls toast their tremendous good fortune.
What do you think? Do you find these girls to be, by and large, appalling? Because I find these girls to be, by and large, appalling! But I think Robin could be on track to win this thing. What about you?