I hope I’ve made it absolutely clear that Bentley was a villain, a cad and one of the sweetest ratings boosts The Bachelorette has enjoyed in these last ten seasons. When he left last week, Ashley was devastated, but not nearly as devastated as I was. Watching him go was like opening a suitcase of money into a high wind. Ashley was not the only one who spent that dark night scream-sobbing into a satin duvet.
And so I knew going into this week's episode that our goal would be to find a Replacement Bentley, a fill-in villain who would congratulate himself for manipulating and hurting Ashley. And in my own experience, nothing will bring a man down to his most unforgiving nature faster than the heavy heat of Thailand.
Ashley’s choice for her first overseas date was a moist-looking lad by the name of Constantine. He suggested they tour the local village, and I had high hopes that he intended to steal her jewelry to buy a lady-boy or cast lots in a game of chance just like Bentley would, but he stayed by her side, listening patiently to her shrill female patter. He dared my contempt further by bragging about the open attitude he’s adopted since his last relationship, which has allowed him to love his family deeper than he’s loved them before, and allowed me to nap deeper than I’ve ever napped in the bushes off-camera while listening to the feed of pure BORING that was streaming through their microphone packs.
Ashley put her gigolos to work renovating an orphanage on the group date, despite my behind-the-scenes protests. Warm-hearted quality time with orphans is going to put butts in seats, not matter how badly ABC needs to show it is a force for good.
Luckily, there’s this guy:
His tone of unctuous insincerity was sweet, sweet like tender slices of honeydew being rubbed against my ear. Could he be my future Bentley? Thick William had been my frontrunner, but he seems to be hiding from Ashley at the moment, probably in shame.
A Bentley knows not shame. And then of course, Ashley has been pressing lips to this:
His pink cheeks in confessional and earnest affection are useless to me.
This works only if he admidts that he wanted to drag her by her hair.
At least Ashley’s date with Ames was quite intriguing.
Why would a man who can afford to go to Thailand twice apply for this show? He’s been to 70 countries, is probably wealthy, speaks with charm and correct grammar. What has brought him to my Circus of the Damned? Is he spy? An adventurer? Could he be a usurper? Does he mean to unseat me and rule in my place?!
In our weekly deliberation, I drove the long acupuncture needles of memory straight into Ashley’s heart, repeatedly bringing up Bentley. At the mere mention of his name I could feel the ratings surge. Ashley assured me she was moving forward.
Just when I was ready to confer “New Bentley” status on Ryan, he dropped his tightly-clutched mask of sanity at the cocktail party. After a contestant called his non-stop manic cheerfulness “disingenuous,” he started to unravel.
I’ve seen this kind of breakdown happen to my comrades in the foxholes of my annual Paintball Royale, usually after three or four days of continuous vigilance and action. Such a mental fugue is called “Sh*tting Your Pants With Your Mouth,” and the only remedy involves stuffing the victim’s mouth with ice and then slapping him square across the face. Bentley may have been a sociopath, but he took a keen pleasure in hiding it.
So, as I explained to the producers in our Thai war room meeting session, we now have four obvious frontrunners, but no clear Replacement Bentley, according to the readings of my proprietary Bentley Meter:
Our objective is clear: We must invoke or involve Bentley in each episode, while grooming one of these four men into a lying piece of human garbage to take his place. And, of course, find true love for whastherface.
... Who do you think is the most Bentley-esque?
... Who is on the show for "the right reasons"?
... Are there right reasons to be on this show?
…. Who will make it to the final four?