Welcome back, Bachelor Nation! After the least explosive bombshell in prime time network TV history (That Nick *gasp* hooked up with someone at a wedding) and its associated cliffhanger,we begin with Nick opening up to the women about his short, but lurid history with Liz. Nick is casual, whispering how he “wants to get to know” different women and they are eating it up. ABC essentially executes the “Men in Black” mind erase move and by the first commercial break, it’s clear she’ll never be mentioned again. It’s quite the watershed moment for gender relations, if you ask me.
Just before the rose ceremony, Corinne (who is basically a less famous and more aggressive version of Stassi from “Vanderpump Rules”) channels her inner “Varsity Blues” by trying to lure Nick into a compromising situation (on the driveway!) with a can of whipped cream and an ill-fitting trench coat. Remarkably, things go similarly as they did for Johnny Moxon and Nick shuts it down realizing how inappropriate this behavior is, even for him. I was ready to skewer her for this stunt until I saw a commercial during the following break for ReddiWip. That’s a pretty aggressive product integration, ConAgra! I mean, I get it – you’re trying “increase usage occasions” and this is your demo, but come on. Talk about off-label usage…
We finally had our rose ceremony which saw 3 women (who if you held a gun to my head I couldn’t ID), Lacey, Elizabeth and Hailey, head for the limo, but the real star of the show was the frequent cut-aways of Corrine snoring in her bed with her date rose. Corinne’s three speeds of Drunk, Horny, or Passed-Out is a great theme. I hope they keep riding it. And the producer put her to bed in her trench coat. This was everything.
[Nick] Wants it that Way
Since Savage Garden and Duncan Sheik were apparently busy, we were treated to the Backstreet Boys visiting the mansion and hosting the women for an interactive group-date. As soon as “Everybody” was pumped through the speakers and our favorite mid-forties teen pop stars strutted into the house like the bosses they were in 1997, the women lost their mind. Danielle let us know that the BSB were her favorite band (this was a lie) among plenty of jumping and screaming from the rest of the Bachelorettes. Christen particularly looked excited / possessed when the fellas arrived – I just don’t believe she was that excited about a band that was popular when she was 5.
In a characteristically evil move from the Bachelor producers, they paired up Corinne (who can’t dance and is super-duper insecure) with Jasmine G (who is a professional NBA dancer). Everyone was learning the choreography from the guys and everything started out ok. But once Corinne realized that she was outgunned by Jasmine G as well as Danielle L, she found her way to the chair of shame in the corner to pout. The girls joined the BSB for a performance of “Everybody” in front of a crowd of 500 screaming fans (ABC/Disney employees) and Danielle came away with the best performance. This won her a slow dance to “I want it that way” ( which by the way is sort of a weird song to slow dance to, right?) while Corinne and the others looked on from 10 feet away which even made me uncomfortable. For the next 10 minutes, I have no idea what happened because I was so distracted by the interviews with Corrine where she was becoming completely unhinged before our eyes. She goes on about how she’s doubting herself and that her “confidence has rubbed off on the other women” – because this is a thing. At one point, she volunteered that she has a nanny (Raquel!) who makes her cheese pasta, whatever that is. I’m guessing Kraft didn’t sign off on an “Easy Mac” shout out the same way the rogues at ConAgra exploited ReddiWip in an attempt to boost consumption among reality TV villains.
They Don’t Call it the Vomit Comet for Nothing
When the date card is delivered, Vanessa dreamily lets us know that she hopes it’s a hot air balloon ride. Boy, you couldn’t have been more wrong. ABC set up her first date with Nick on a Zero-G flight. Yikes. This sounds like fun until you are plastered to the padded floor of a jet waiting to go into a nose dive, simulating what space feels like. Vanessa, to her credit, is a total sport about this and is trying to have a good time in spite of, what has to be, crippling fear of death until her stomach gets the best of her and she is forced to call a producer for a barf bag and a bath towel. Nick still kissed her post-vomit because he’s an animal and Vanessa tells us after they touch down that she “literally” wouldn’t have made it without Nick. I’m just glad this didn’t turn into the pie eating contest scene from “Stand By Me”. There was some disaster potential in this 1:1 and Vanessa is proving to be way too good for Nick given how cool she was about this horrific date.
We then move on to their 1:1 dinner on top of a skyscraper which feels kind of messed up given the state of their equilibrium but things are going great. In an attempt to hedge against a pretty rough first date, Vanessa pulls out her TPS (Tragic Personal Story) to ensure a rose and a ticket to week 4. Nick squeezed out some tears because he’s feeling less scared about finding love / he can’t believe these women still are interested in him. He should be feeling super optimistic because he took a first date on a parabolic flight which caused her to throw up all over herself and she didn’t punch you in the face. I feel like Nick is bulletproof at this point.
Hot Tubs Everywhere!
This group date was pretty boring and clearly the result of blowing the budget on setting up a day with the Backstreet Boys (appearing live at Planet Hollywood!) and chartering a zero-g flight earlier in the episode. It took place at a high school track and they found Carl Lewis and 2 other people who are apparently Olympians (but not Michael Phelps so I had no idea who they were – sorry) to run a track and field competition for the ladies. We’re reminded that Nick used to run track – we get it, you work out. After some events like throwing a javelin at a large plush heart, the top 3 contestants compete in a sprint for a chance to spend time in a hot tub with Nick…next to the high school track. This feels super odd but props to the Bachelor producers for making it work. The last leg of the competition required picking up an over sized diamond ring and taking it to Nick who was creepily waiting in the hot tub for his tribute and while Rachel looked like she was going to win the race, she ended up knocking it over and shattering it which is probably some sort of metaphor for this entire show. Astrid “wins” time with Nick in his randomly appearing hot tub, cheers.
Throughout the after party with the women, Dominique gets progressively more annoyed with her lack of time and attention from Nick. This boils over when she eventually gets some 1:1 time with him and takes it to scold him for not getting to know her. Hey Dominique, accusing Nick of not giving you a fair chance isn’t a recipe for a rose. I mean, you were sort of asking to be booted, right? Predictably, Nick hasn’t “progressed with her like he has with the other girls” and we say good-bye to Dominique.
The Bounce House of Love
No-Carb Nick decided there would be a pool party rather than a cocktail party because a hot tub at a high school track wasn’t enough for us. Everyone was having fun in the water until, out of the blue, Corinne shows up jumping in a children’s bounce house in front of the mansion. She claims to have had this “up her sleeve” which may be the most disingenuous statement made on “The Bachelor”, and the bar is incredibly low. She lures him into her Palace of Bad Decisions and proceeds to molest him while the other women look on in disgust. She then retires to her lair for her 3rd on-camera nap of the episode while Nick tries to casually return to the party. He is quickly confronted by Raven and Vanessa about his ongoing shenanigans with Corinne which we were frankly overdue for. When someone broaches the subject of another contestant’s intentions (and you can set your watch to this happening every season), it almost always guarantees a trip home. Since we see Chris Harrison bringing it up in the scenes from next week, it seems like it’ll be the central focus of episode 4 and a turning point in this season. Nick can either move on from Corinne who is basically a cartoon character at this point or go all in on the crazy train. Her act is starting to become stale, so my money is she’ll be back to run her “multi-million dollar company” with Raquel’s help sooner rather than later.