‘The Bachelorette’ recap: Bentley’s dark shadow extends all the way to Thailand

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Bentley may have made his dramatic exit on the last episode of ‘The Bachelorette,’ but this week it became clear the dark shadow he’s cast on the show isn’t going to disappear quite as quickly.

Even though Ashley and her slew of remaining suitors flew halfway around the world to drop-dead-gorgeous Thailand during Monday night’s episode, it seemed all our little lady could think about was the loser who broke her heart back in Los Angeles.

‘I keep thinking about how it would be if Bentley was here with me,’ she sighed in an interview, only minutes into the episode. Hm, terrible? He’d treat you somewhat kindly to your face and then talk about how repulsed he was about kissing you behind your back?

‘It’s a women’s intuition,’ she continued, musing to host Chris Harrison later on. ‘I feel like there’s something more there. The ‘dot dot dot.’ The door is still open. There isn’t that closure.’

Yeah, please don’t blame your poor judgment on some universal quality inherent to the female gender. I resent that.

Even on her first one-on-one date with Constantine -- a.k.a. Josh Groban lookalike No. 1 -- it was evident Ashley had lost some of her effervescence due to Bentley-gate. Maybe it was the jet lag, but she looked pretty worn out from days of crying, and could barely seem to muster any interest in poor Grobes. When their boat date got rained out, Ashley seemed a little too upset, while Constantine had a good attitude about exploring Phuket. We hadn’t seen much of this guy earlier in the season, but I have to say, he impressed me. Despite being on a date with Debbie Downer, he came across as genuine and easygoing, in my book fully putting himself in the running with Josh Groban No. 2, Ben C.

Next up, the majority of remaining guys went on a group date to an orphanage filled with kids affected by the 2004 tsunami in the country.

‘I’m not sure if you guys know about the 2004 tsunami,’ Ashley began, introducing the day’s event. Um, I really hope any potential husband of yours would be knowledgeable about one of the biggest natural disasters in the last decade.

‘It says a lot about Ashley that she would set something up like this,’ William told the camera later on. I hate when the contestants say things like this, as if the producers have no hand in coordinating the elaborate dates everyone goes on. Yes, William, Ashley scouted out an orphanage on her own and decided to set up a date there. And then she found a resort with a hot tub -- which she heated to the right temperature -- and even decorated the perimeter of the water with 100 candles that she lit herself. Just for you.

Ashley’s constant need for reassurance really got under my skin this week. Sure, I understand that she’s just been burned badly by Bentley, and certainly has legitimate reasons to question the remaining contestants’ intentions. But her rampant insecurity is really unattractive. On her date with Constantine, she outright asked, ‘Do I look cute?’ Sweetie, you should not have to ask this early on in the dating process. And then at the orphanage, even though she asked the guys to help out with charity work, she proceeded to get annoyed that they weren’t taking time out to flirt with her? Literally, slow your roll. I’m sure some of these fools would be more complimentary if you stopped acting so needy.

And whoa: Can we talk about next week’s preview? Again, I have underestimated the scumminess of humanity, as Bentley is returning to further trample all over Ashley’s naive heart. If Harrison or the producers try to explain this move by saying they can’t interfere with Ashley’s wishes, I will bug out. Since last week’s episode, I’ve read a number of interviews with Harrison in which he said the producers didn’t want to tell Ashley about Bentley’s attitude in interviews because they don’t reveal what other guys say about her when she isn’t there. OK, I guess that’s a vaguely fair point. But paying for Bentley to take a flight to Thailand and putting this fool up in a hotel? Don’t even pretend like you have Ashley’s best interests at heart. I await the drama. And can only hope that his reappearance doesn’t put a further damper on the remainder of the season.

--Amy Kaufman


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