Lowbrow Highlights: Rise of the Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer


There are crazy girls, drunk girls, and crazy drunk girls on The Bachelor, The Challenge is heating up, Real World is fucking peaking, and Vanderpump Rules continues to be the show that gets me the most excited when I grab my remote and click “list.” I fucks with the Vandy. However, there will be no Vandy in this column because there was too much too much on all the other shows.

Before we dive deep into the shallow waters of these programs, though, it feels only appropriate to note the passing of Ryan Knight and Diem Brown of The Challenge. It’s difficult watching them, knowing what we do about Diem’s fate. It makes the health problems she was experiencing on the show — as well as CT’s declaration, “I’ll chop someone’s head off if I find out somebody is being sugar sweet with D” — so much more loaded and layered.

But let’s get to the fun stuff — some full on crazy-face shit happened on The Bach, and it needs to be recognized. Everyone, meet Ashley S.

Ashley S., the Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer


This is a picture of Ashley S. Does this look like a sane person?

Everyone thinks she’s nuts; here’s what Grantland favorite and future star of Bachelor in Paradise Kaitlyn said about her on the show: “People watch the show and see crazy people here and think, Is that staged? Is she an actress? What is going on — is she really that crazy? And I am here to tell everybody that Ashley is full-blown the crazy girl on The Bachelor.”

Sure, Ashley S.’s behavior wasn’t normcore, wasn’t traditional, wasn’t expected. But was it crazy? There were four theories floating around the Grantland office:

1. Ashley S. is crazy.
2. Ashley S. was drunk.
3. Ashley S. had a psychological breakdown.
4. Ashley S. was tripping on some Ambien.1

These are all in play. However, allow me to offer my opinion:

5. Ashley S. is a Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer.

Sounds weird, right? How would a Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer end up on The Bach? I don’t get it either. However, as you read on, I want you to consider all five theories and come to your own conclusion. Keep an open mind.

Why did everyone think Ashley S. was crazy/drunk/tripping/whatever? Because she was having some, um, interesting conversations. Conversations that could totally be interpreted as conversations that only a crazy/drunk/tripping/whatever person would have. I get that. However, I think that Ashley S. is a Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer. So when I present each actual quote from her, I will also present the Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer translation. When it’s all over, the only way you WOULDN’T think she was a Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer is if you were a Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer yourself. Let’s get to it:

Actual Quote That Made You Think Ashley Was Crazy No. 1

The Girls: “Ashley, who do you think is getting the rose tonight?”

Ashley the Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer: “Oh, who do you think is getting the rose tonight? Maybe an angel, I don’t know.”

Translation: “Who cares about these roses? What is a rose? Why do they matter? If I got a rose and an angel got a rose, what would be the difference? Who wants to live in Iowa anyway?”

Actual Quote That Made You Think Ashley Was Crazy No. 2

The Girls: “Where did you go?”

Ashley the Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer: “Heard the truth.”

The Girls: “About?”

Ashley the Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer: “That’s all I mean, that’s how I feel, it’s like, BOOM.”

The Girls: “What’s ‘boom’?”

Ashley the Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer: “Boom, like, the truth. Boom.”

The Girls: “What’s ‘boom’?”

Ashley the Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer: “Oh God. Go, like, go. Go find your own way to the truth.”

Translation: “If you have never heard the truth, then how do you even feel the boom? I can teach you how to ride a bike, I can teach you how to tie a knot; I can’t teach you how to feel the boom. If you don’t feel the boom, then, like, what is truth, you know? Boom.”

Actual Quote That Made You Think Ashley Was Crazy No. 3

Ashley the Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer to Chris: “You don’t want to lose the whole world. But actually, you don’t want to GAIN the whole world. You don’t want to lose your soul.”

Translation: “Be careful, Bachelor Man, you don’t want to be like Juan Pablo and have everyone hate you. But you also don’t want to be like Tom Cruise and have everyone love you and then morph into a cyborg. Keep yourself grounded, fella. It’s gonna be weird for a bit, but it will work out.”

So now, ask yourself, is Ashley S. crazy? Is she drunk? Did she have a psychological breakdown? Was she tripping on Ambien? Or is she a Shaman Philosopher Witch-Doctor Angel Healer? Exactly. I rest my case.

Oh yeah, one more thing: Over and over, she kept assuming she was in “Meeeeeeeeesaaa Veeeeerde.”2 So yeah, she might just be crazy.

Real World: Skeletons Is Brilliant

When Sylvia’s “skeleton” arrived in the house, refused to engage with her, and was generally boring, I was concerned about the concept of “skeletons.” Flip side, though: When Tony — who had just slept with his super-hot, super-dumb, ex-heroin-addict roommate Madison — saw his ex-girlfriend walk up to the door, he went straight “wait wait wait wait wait” aneurysm on ’em:

I think he wants them to wait. Not sure, though.

The best part is that Madison had been scheming to sleep with this dude for a month now and was so proud when she did that she told the whole house the second she woke up. I can’t wait to see how this plays out. Actually, I can wait. What I can’t wait for is to see Violetta’s “skeleton” walk into the house and then watch Violetta immediately gut her with a kitchen knife and eat her corpse like a starved hyena. I love Violetta.

Quick Date Comparison

This is what a fancy date looks like on The Challenge:


And this is what a fancy date looks like on The Bach:


Bunim/Murray, I love you, you know that, and what you have done with Real World is phenomenal. However: Sparkling wine is not champagne, a frozen pizza is not acceptable, and, you know, the backyard of the house is not the Grand Fucking Canyon. Step your power-couple game up.

Nany and Theresa’s Fight Made Me Consider a #TeamNany Tattoo

Here is what Theresa had to say to Nany: “Sometimes you are a little too out there, and you don’t respect yourself. And if you are going to be chitchatting it up with (Johnny) Reilly, as a female, have the common courtesy to at least maybe go behind a tree or go somewhere else.”

Here is what Nany responded with: “What does me having no respect for myself have to do with you?”

Is there any answer to that? Anything? Anyone? I didn’t think so. Carry on. #TEAMNANY.

Ashley I. the Virgin

There was an exchange on The Bachelor that raised a question for me.

Ashley I.: “I have never had [a boyfriend] before.”

Mackenzie: “Wait, have you had sex before?”

Ashley I.: “No. I am not even kidding.”

Mackenzie: “That’s so cool.”

Ashley I.: “I don’t know if he [Chris] is going to like it or not.”

Mackenzie: “No, he WILL like it. Every guy likes it.”

Ashley I.: “You think so?”

Mackenzie: “’Cause guys like taking your virginity.”

Ashley I.: “I know, most guys do, except for if they are really bad.”

Mackenzie: “Well, Chris is definitely the kind. Seriously. I’m jealous. No, seriously, I am jealous that you are a virgin right now. It is going to make you stay here so much longer.”

Wait, is it true that “guys like taking your virginity,” and if they don’t, “they are really bad”? Wait, what? Um, really? Dudes who don’t want to have sex with women who have never had sex before and don’t know how to be good at having sex are “really bad”? I’m just going to flat-out say that isn’t true. Anyone (like me) who watched the “This Season On …” 25 times knows that we are going to get A LOT of the virgin Ashley I. in the weeks to come. Anyone (like me) who was mesmerized by and memorized the “red carpet” “show” during the premiere (like I did) knows that Ashley I. makes it to the Fantasy Suite. Methinks her longevity has less to do with her virginity and more to do with her whatever-the-opposite-of-virginity-is. Here is what she said in her interview before her one-on-one time with Farmer Chris:

He already knows my family is important. Um, he knows a little about me — but let’s just make sure he knows that I am going to be a good time for the rest of his life.

Then she forced him to rub her exposed belly and shoved her tongue into his small intestines. That’s how a contestant on The Bach stays around. Even if her eyelashes CONSTANTLY REMIND ME OF AEON FLUX:


Drunk Jordan Blames ABC?

Really, Jordan? REALLY? You were “manipulated” into getting kaslammered? Please. Look at yourself:


Chris kicked you off the show before kicking off the chick who heard the boom-truth from angels before she gained and lost the whole world. I look forward to seeing you being “manipulated” onto Bachelor in Paradise.

Don’t Mind Us, Just Walking Around Downtown in Bikinis


The Challenge Challenge Was Fun!

Not only did the brilliant folks at Bunim/Murray breathe new life into the Real World franchise, they also stepped up their The Challenge challenge game this week. Instead of the usual “hang people over water and watch them fall” route, they went with the “over-the-top, super-stupid sexual innuendo” challenge, and it totally worked. The fake kissing, fake fondling, and fake … you know … was perfect. “The stupider, the better” is how I like my Challenge. I doubt there is anyone who disagrees.

The only part I didn’t like about this week’s challenge was when Thomas and Hailey lost and Thomas consoled Hailey by saying, “Get up, let’s go. It’s just a game.” IT’S NOT JUST A GAME, THOMAS — IT’S THE CHALLENGE!


Life isn’t a game. Neither is The Challenge. This weekend isn’t a game, either, so party the fuck out of it, listen to The Right Reasons, and, you know, party some more. Lowbrow Highlights will be back next Friday with more dumb shit about dumb shit.

Filed Under: Reality TV, TV, The Bachelor, Real World: Skeletons, The Challenge, Lowbrow Highlights, Grantland Reality TV Fantasy League

David Jacoby is an ESPN producer who somehow became a writer and editor for Grantland.

Archive @ djacoby

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