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The Bachelor’s hair raising adventures

'The Bachelor's' hometown dates provide a whole lot of Meh with a bit of WTF? thrown in for good measure. When Hair is more interesting than Meet the Parents, you know it's going to underwhelm.

- Season 20, Episode 8

How can I control my life when I can’t control my hair. ~ Anonymous

It’s a common phenomenon for reality television shows to have a “breakout star”  — someone (or something) that gets people chattering. Think Simon Cowell from original recipe American Idol or NeNe Leakes from those Atlanta Housewives. And this installment of The Bachelor is no exception. No, I’m not talking about Courtney the Model, although we sure are going on and on and on about her (how can we not?).

I’m talking about Ben’s Hair.

You’ve noticed it, haven’t you. Seriously, how can you not? It’s flippy. It’s floppy. It’s messy. It’s unkempt.

It’s distracting. It has its own personality (and its own Twitter account).

It makes him look like a grown-up Mowgli from The Jungle Book.

And sometimes, it’s the most interesting thing about an episode.

Like this one.

Hometown dates are the reality show within the reality show of this franchise. We viewers are treated to a glimpse of the family life of the final four females and get to meet them right along with the Bachelor. Sometimes this proves to be voyeuristic gold — a frisky grandma, a cougar mom, a jealous sister — and sometimes, as was the case with this crew, it proves to be as interesting as watching paint dry. For the most part, these families were pretty standard and, dare I say it, normal. Or at least as expected. Sweet, bland Kacie didn’t come from a family of city slickers — her folks were as small town Southern as it gets. Lindzi’s parents were down to earth and very hospitable — just like her. Nicki’s mom and dad were the most well-adjusted divorced couple ever. And despite initial thoughts that Courtney’s clan might be in fact a pit of vipers, her family was fairly standard-issue, albeit a little plastic. No surprise there.

Given that, let’s take a look at the dates and how Ben’s Hair responded to them. Since his follicles’ reaction was much more interesting than his own. By far.

Hanging with Lindzi and her parents, Margy and John, who for some reason is really called Harry, Ben’s Hair spent a lot of time outdoors. Sidebar: That nickname means Lindzi’s pop’s full name is Harry Cox. Yeah, that’s still funny. Anyhoo. Lindzi’s folks live in central Florida horse country (Ocala, to be precise) and there were horses a-go-go all over this visit. Horseback riding and horse farms and a horse track and horses and carriages and horse jewelry. These people are really into the equine. Ben’s Hair got a little more tousled than usual, thanks to a windy day and cavorting around quite a bit in that horse and carriage. Lindzi’s lustrous locks got tossed around a lot as well, but they nicely fell back into place. That’s the sign of a good hair style. Ben. Ahem.  Margy and Harry Cox seem like quite the sports, even though they both look like they are not unfamiliar with hair dye. Their easy-going personalities make for a nice, amenable and low-key evening, where conversation is natural over dinner, s’mores, and wine in redneck wine glasses.  Harry Cox announces would be happy to have Ben as a son-in-law and this makes Ben and his hair comfortable in a relaxed sort of way. Ben talking heads that he had a great day and that he thinks he could be falling in love with Lindzi. Mmmmhmmm. We shall see. Ben’s Hair Date Rating: three combs.

The weather is wet and damp in Clarksville, Tennessee, hometown of Kacie. Needless to say, that doesn’t set well with Ben’s Hair. Kacie is also having a not-so-great hair day, but she tries to distract Ben (and us) from that by doing her twirling baton thing again on a football field with a high school marching band in tow.  I’m willing to cut her some slack in the hair department, since I also have thick curly hair and to try and make sense of it when the humidity is 137 percent is a futile chore. Apparently this whole tableau means a lot to Kacie, as the football field is named for her beloved late grandfather and she tells Ben the story of her grandparents’ love for one another and yada yada yada his eyes glaze over and he responds with some less-than-enthusiastic platitudes. I think his Hair was more animated than he was. Kacie also preps him for meeting her parents — in particular her father, a straight-laced probation officer with a crew cut who is a teetotaler and very skeptical about this whole “meeting your spouse on a reality show” thing. Ben mentions his appreciation for “traditional values.” Who knew that skinny dipping on national television qualified as “traditional values.” The evening ends on a somber note, as Kacie’s dad refuses to give his blessing  and Kacie’s surprisingly chic mom expresses her opposition to cohabitation before marriage. Methinks the Bible Belt was just a couple of notches too tight for our California boy Ben.

Everything is bigger in Texas, so they say. Oh boy. Visiting Nicki and her kinfolk in Ft. Worth does seem to perk Ben up a bit, as he tells us viewers that even though their relationship is moving a little slower than the others, he does love him some Texas. Not sure the same thing can be said for Ben’s Hair, as evidenced in how it reacts to being topped by a George Strait-sized black cowboy hat. Ay yi yi. Nicki’s parents are perhaps the most well-adjusted divorced couple I’ve ever seen. The evening is very pleasant and Ben actually seems very at home with these folks. Nicki’s daddy has an especially sweet moment with his girl, telling her that he let her down by too readily giving her hand in marriage to her ex-husband. Awwwww. Ben and his Hair leave Texas seemingly smitten by Nicki and her family… but is being smitten enough for this bloody show?

The last stop on the Hometown Date Express is Arizona, home of Courtney the Model and her family, the southwestern version of the Kardashians. There’s a little “segment” before Ben arrives where Courtney expresses some remorse about how she treated the other girls during their time together. Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmmm. Does that sound skeptical enough? Ben’s Hair reacts as one would expect it would in a humidity-free climate — hanging low and with no flow. Dinner with the family is rather static –there’s not the easy warmth as there was with Nicki or Lindzi. Courtney’s dad looks just like Joe Biden and it’s evident as her mom talks where she gets her quirks and mannerisms. Especially that weird thing she does with her mouth. Courtney wants to tell Ben that she loves him in a very unique way. A “fake” marriage ceremony. Complete with rings made out of vines. Ben in a bow tie. Courtney in a white dress. Courtney constantly futzing with her hair. A “minister.” And hastily written vows. Well, Ben’s are hastily written. Courtney’s are pretty much a total lift from a great Carrie Bradshaw moment in the last TV episode of Sex and the City. That basically sums up this whole charade. Even Ben’s Hair seems to be wise to this nonsense — look at how deflated and uncooperative it is. Ben himself, on the other hand, seems nonplussed and even willing to go along with the insane idea. Perhaps he’s hoping that a fake wedding doesn’t mean a fake honeymoon. Regardless, it’s evident that Courtney the Model, complete with quirks and manipulations, is the front runner in this race for Ben’s heart. Sigh.

The Rose Ceremony is a non-event, with Kacie being the odd woman out. Her Limo Ride of Sadness is a little heartbreaking, as she sobs deeply, swears and wonders what’s wrong with her to make Ben let her go.  Oh honey, it’s not you. It’s your parents. Trust me. Common sense and parameters don’t go a long way on this show.

Next week: We’re off to Switzerland! I can’t wait to see what Ben’s Hair has in store for us in the land of the Alps and Swiss cheese.  Oh yeah — it’s also fantasy suite time. Bom chicka bow bow. Can you wear bikinis in the snow? I think we just might find out.



Photo Credit: ABC Television Group ©2012 Disney

One Response to “The Bachelor’s hair raising adventures”

February 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I don’t watch this whole show..I peek in at it while watching other things. But the one thing that I thought each time I watched was..”My god..his hair looks awful!! Can’t the stylists do anything???”

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