It's that time again, when the season of The Bachelorette is just starting to get good and I'm starting to get jealous and fall for a ridiculous band of reality TV stars and their manufactured romance. So, in keeping with a tradition 3 years running, I present to you this year's Bachelor Scale. Now, the key difference between this year and years past is that at this stage in the game I don't dislike anybody. In fact, other than drunk Tim and evil Bentley (seriously, all villainous interviews aside, I still don't understand the appeal of the overly-coiffed, slow talker), I didn't really dislike any of the guys this season. That's new. Thus, this year's scale only goes from Love to Apathy, not all the way down to Hate. Last year, my scale (which tracks my love for them, not how right they are for the Bachelorette) correctly predicted the final 4 guys and the order in which they'd go (as well as the no-contest winner Roberto), mostly because Ali proved to be awesome and had very good taste in men. Jillian's season I made the scale too early and got a lot of the guys wrong (my beloved Reid wasn't even on my radar yet and fell depressingly low), though the awesomeness that was Michael did rank excellently high very early on. This year, I've waited long enough that I think I have a good idea of who these guys are. Whether they're right for Ashley is a whole different story. So far, though endearing in her own little way, Ashley's proved little more than that she has terrible taste in men (Bentley and Brad Womack? Really?!). But despite some bad decision-making skills, she has a fantastic crop of guys this year. So fantastic that it was a real pain trying to decide who fell where on the top end of the scale (and a thorn in my side that I didn't get to include last night's eliminee- West, one of my early favourites).
So without further ado, HERE's the breakdown of this year's remaining bachelors from Love to Apathy (complete with beautiful full-colour scale):
JP: Okay, I lied, there was something easy about deciding who fell where on this year's scale. I knew JP was my top choice from his introductory segment in the first episode. A lot of the guys this year are squashed together on the scale (the next 4, in fact, are sort of arbitrarily ranked because I love them all- but I love them all in second place) but JP is alone at the very top. Not only is he the best looking bachelor in years (without being someone who clearly pours everything into looking good), he's smart and sweet and the perfect mature balance of funny and serious. He's got a smile to end all smiles, thinks she's beautiful when she's at her worst and is just plain wonderful. I hope he doesn't win, so he can be the new Bachelor.
Ames: I, like Ashley, didn't know anything about Ames until this week. I remembered that he'd had the absolute best move coming out of the limo (he bought her ballet tickets) and thought he had a sort of funny face. But my best friend's been telling me for weeks that he's dreamy. After this week I'm finally seeing it. When given some actual screen time, Ames proves to be sort of a dream man. He grows more handsome every minute (and the Thailand climate does him some good), he's adorably soft spoken, considerate and kind and lives a life that seems to cater to every genre of fantasy (he's adventurous and independent, a spontaneous but thoughtful romantic, but also lives a prosperous life in New York City). He cooks, he travels, in his bio he talks about his love of tying a good bow tie, and my favourite thing is that he's remarkably funny but he seemed surprised by that fact, as though Ashley brought out the best in him. How cute is that? He's also a self-proclaimed nerd and I have a sneaking suspicion that he might be the allusive soulmate of the aforementioned best friend.
Constantine: The biggest winner of the week, I didn't like Constantine much at all going into his 1-on-1 date. I thought he was a bit of an oaf. But as his date went all wrong this unbelievably lovable guy made the best of the rain and a grumpy Ashley and made the whole thing look like a blast. He wasn't at all what I was expecting, in the absolute best way. He was fun and easygoing and very very real. The surprise of the season and my current crush of the week, Constantine is not even remotely right for Ashley (or really for this show), but I'd be happy to take him off her hands.
Ben C: He's been a bit elusive up to this point. On his date he was really sweet and he otherwise hasn't been at all unlikable but that's all I really know about him. He's lovely and has a great smile- but that's all I've got.
Mickey: Mickey is one of the most prominent guys this season who I still can't really get a good read on. But I like him anyway. He's a chef, one of the coolest professions there is, he's both good looking and interesting looking at the same time (a rare combo- not unlike dark hair and blue eyes, which he also has), he's quiet but charming and seems to have a good head on his shoulders.
William: Here's a tricky one. I like William, I really do. He's very very funny, that sort of goofy sweet that's mostly nerdy but always endearing, and he looks not unlike Prince William, if Prince William were cuter. But that standup comedy routine last week shed light on something that's been bothering me since week one (and no, I do not care that he hurt her feelings- it's a roast, buck the hell up!). William, a cellphone salesman, seems to always be looking for a break, for his next move. Not much has been made of it, but he might just be this season's real fame-seeker. Which is not to say he's not there to fall in love, which I absolutely believe he is, I just think William might be working on a side project while on national TV. That's not necessarily a bad thing- you've gotta have a dream, right? But when he gets a little all-consumed with it, that's where we get into some trouble. But I really do like him (did I say that already?). Here's hoping he's not secretly Jake Pavelka, because sometimes I worry that he might be and then I get sad, because I really do like William (okay, I'll stop saying that).
Ben F: He's certainly charming and has had some great moments but I sometimes feel like I can see through Ben F. He was really sweet at the charity group date this week, but he was also one of the few guys who seemed to be strategizing to impress her rather than just doing what they otherwise would (here's to you JP and your "we can flirt later" logic!). I like him, I'm just not so sure sometimes.
Blake: Here's where the big break is between those I actively like (sometimes) and those I'm not so fond of. (You can see on the scale that there are 3 basic sections: JP, Ames-William, Blake-Lucas). He's another one that I don't have much screentime to go on but I generally do not like the people who spend most of their time talking about how much they don't like the others. But then again, that's the reason I didn't like Ali in Jake's season and she went on to be my favourite Bachelorette ever. So maybe Blake just needs some away time. Either way, he hasn't done enough yet.
Ryan: The boys picking on him this week didn't sway me either way but the guy IS kind of annoying. He's just too much. But here's the thing about that: too much might be just the right amount for a soap bubble like Ashley. While he's not at all my style, smiley go-getter Ryan might be exactly what Ashley needs to pull her out of her ridiculous Bentley dumps and back to her frothy little self.
Nick: I don't know anything about this guy, except that he's a personal trainer and not quite good-looking enough to make up for how boring that is. But then I read his bio and realized that he was drafted by the Yankees in 2006 and now I think he's significantly more interesting. Not interesting enough, per se, but at least more interesting. Now if only he'd cut his hair.
Lucas: Lucas is as close as I get to really disliking someone this season. But the difference is that I don't think he's even close to being a bad guy (in the Bentley vein, or even the Wes vein- though he redeemed himself on Bachelor Pad). I just don't really like him. He's a Texas republican who works in oil and is generally a bit of a good ole boy. Pass. Sales clerk, do you have something a little more liberal? Maybe in glasses, a screenwriter perhaps?