Blake’s Bachelor Pad Blog: Episode 4

This week, staying true to form, we begin at the end of last week’s episode. What was not true to form, however, was keeping Jake’s exit speech on ice to be played this week. Like so many meals we’ve all enjoyed and then put in the refrigerator, a week later the same fare could not be more unsatisfying. I could understand if Jake had some monumental meltdown or incredible pearls of wisdom to impart, but I heard nothing of the kind. You’ve got to give it to ABC though, seeing as how they certainly created a lot more buzz with their bait and switch tactics. Somebody over there knows what they’re doing.

You know who doesn’t know what their doing? All of the “expendable” people in the house. I have no idea how Kasey manages to “mind plow” people into doing what he wants at the last second of every rose ceremony. It conjures up images of the python Kaa from The Jungle Book, using his eyes to hypnotize Mowgli. (What? So I love Disney movies.)

I’ve tried for three consecutive weeks now to get rid of that man, and not because I dislike him, but because it’s not wise to live in a house of cards when one person owns them all. He was an obvious power player from night one, and by all sensible accounts should have gone home long ago. Much to my chagrin, call it charisma or charm or empty promises, call it whatever you like… Kasey never once rolled over and died. To quote the more adult movie of Rounders (in my best Russian accent), he kept, “hanging around, hanging around. Kid’s got alligator blood. Can’t get rid of him.”

The rising sun ushers in a new day, and along with it Chris Harrison to announce the return of the kissing contest. In deference to those who were actually dating someone (ie: Kasey and Vienna), all of the guys came up with the idea to keep things very PG rated and just go with a little smooch on the lips. A plan which everyone stuck to, despite the inference of the repeated kissing angles combined with Michael’s commentary. The girls, on the other hand, were apparently making up for their poor showing during the synchronized swimming contest. Those beautiful ladies came ready to kiss, and kiss they did! The amount of fluid exchanged in those five minutes was the second most uncomfortable thing to happen during the competition. The first was the nonsense coming out of my mouth! I must’ve been drunk with excitement after winning, but the ridiculous remarks emanating from my oral cavity made me cringe, and I’ll be the first to admit it. I do have confidence in my kissing abilities, but never is it so vocally showcased. Oh… and I suppose a third uncomfortable moment would have to be Kasey’s alleged halitosis. If only he had brushed for 40 more seconds.

Ella was the other triumphant kisser in the house, and having sampled the goods I can assure you she deserved it. She selected Kirk to go on their romantic date, which promptly turned into an episode of Oprah. They spent a fair amount of time swapping horror stories about their past and why they needed the 250 thousand dollars. I have to say, I find myself completely agreeing with them, they both deserve the money! Luckily the mood lifts, as do the two partners, while they share a romantic kiss aboard a hot air balloon. Apparently Kirk didn’t get enough of Ella’s skills during the contest. By the way, did anyone else notice the ropes tethering the balloon to the ground? If that much romance could happen at 25 feet, imagine what they could do floating freely through the night sky.

These dates being of the romantic one-on-one variety made selecting just one person to take a much more personal endeavor. Prior to the previous night’s rose ceremony, I told Melissa I wanted only to be platonic partners, thereby removing any nebulous feelings of romance between the two of us. Her reaction to that statement led me to believe she disagreed. It was very difficult to choose who to take on the date, but I felt sticking with the plan of not putting myself in a situation where my actions could be misconstrued as leading Melissa on again was ultimately the best course to take. Erica also showcased her intellect and willingness to go to great lengths to win, so taking her had to be considered. In the intervening hours prior to the date card arriving, however, several strategic conversations took place that forced me to reconsider. Did you notice Michael’s face during the announcement? Not a hint of surprise. A strategy was put forth that I couldn’t refuse, nor would I want to. Holly is gorgeous, after all.

If romance and chemistry are indeed dependent on elevation, I couldn’t be more thankful my date with Holly took place at 11,000 feet. We didn’t get to drive a Ferrari, but we DID get to ride in the Ferrari of the skies. As our private jet soared through the clouds it was difficult to ignore the giant “9” emblazoned on the sides of them. After spending even a few minutes alone with Holly, I could tell this date was going to be incredible. Add to that the fact that we flew to Mammoth Mountain and got to go skiing on our own private slope and you have an insider’s view at my own personal slice of heaven. It should be noted that I grew up in a ski town and raced competitively for over a decade, so the snow is a comfortable place for me. The same, I’m afraid, cannot be said for my companion. It was Holly’s first time on skis EVER, and she did take a spill or two. To her credit, though, she approached the date with the best possible attitude and managed to make even the challenging fun. Having the ability to laugh at one’s self is such an endearing character trait, and it’s one Holly exudes freely. AND, let me be the first to say that all her falls took place on the first run. After that, she didn’t go down once. Talk about a quick learner!

After hitting the slopes, we segued to a fireside dinner at the base of the mountain. The setting was absolutely gorgeous. The starlit sky was ablaze with a million tiny diamonds and the moonlight washed over the snow in a cascade of luminescence. And yet, the most breathtaking sight of the evening was the woman sitting to my left. We shared some great conversation, enjoyed more laughter, and I was able to get an answer on where she stood in her mind with her ex-finance. To quote a very wise man I know, the truly romantic are interested in love or nothing at all. Her response combined with the immeasurable amount of fun we shared that day led me to want another kiss from Holly more than anything in the world. And in my experience, if you want something in life, you can’t just sit around and wait for it. You have to go after it! Even if you have to use a line so cheesy it would have made the people at Kraft Macaroni n’ Cheese beam with pride.

Unfortunately though, good things must come to an end. If they didn’t, another man of wisdom once said, they would still BE good things. Returning to the house was quite the buzz kill, especially after having such a fabulous time the previous day. Here Holly is confronted by Michael and his emotions. I don’t feel it’s my place to comment on this much, but I will say that I’ve been in a similar situation where I under appreciated someone, broke it off, and then regretted my decision. It seems to be human nature that we are often drawn inexorably to what we can’t have, and if we do have someone special in our lives, we don’t know how great they are until they’re gone. (That’s right, two clichés. One sentence. BOOM!) Until, that is, we learn from our mistakes! Watching this show, I’m seeing so many conversations I was not privy to while living in the house, and I feel heartache for Michael and Holly both. He sees the woman he now knows he loves slipping away, and she can’t bear to hurt the man she once loved so dearly. You can’t choose who you fall in love with, and the sad truth is that sometimes who you do love simply doesn’t feel the same way. It’s this very mercurial nature of love that makes it so elusive, and yet so highly sought after.

As for the moments leading up to the rose ceremony, William and Melissa certainly went about things differently. While Bill resigned himself to a fate doled out by the more active participants in the game, Melissa went into overdrive, swooping in to confront everyone who hadn’t yet voted. Jake would have been proud at the evasive maneuvers taking place in the interest of self-preservation. It’s difficult to push the image of a flaming pinball in an arcade game from my imagination. In the end, her efforts (or methods) were just as ineffective as William’s, and two more of our dwindling little group of “expendables” are lain to rest. Until next week…