Pour yourselves a glass of something strong cause the season is about to EXPLODE, Chris Harrison tells us. Having just barely emerged on the other end without barfing up my dinner, I can confirm that it did indeed explode. With about 800,000 joules worth of awkward and painful.
This week’s destination is Santa Fe. “I’ve never been out of the country!” remarks Megan the makeup artist.
Act 1: Carly’s Date
Carly, the cruise ship singer who is somehow still here, is going with Chris to visit Tziporah Kingsbury, a love and intimacy mentor. Excuse me I’m sorry I have to put that in mocking quotes. I HAVE to or I won’t be able to sleep tonight. “Love and intimacy mentor”. Ahh that’s better thank you. Let me first skip ahead and say if you haven’t watched the episode yet, you’ll want to just go ahead and fast forward this ENTIRE part. Trust.
There’s lots of breathing, vocalizing, and generalized kookiness. Things really start to get uncomfortable when Carly is instructed by Teriyaki to blindfold Chris. Then Carly’s told to, I don’t know, “explore their sensuality” or something by feeding him random fruit and nuts like some kind of poor pet parrot.
Do you remember when contestant Megan tried a much more hastily prepared and presented version of this earlier in the season? It’s at least less painful to watch than that was.
The fact that there’s enough blindfolded fruit eating sessions that we can compare them speaks to the degradation of this program.
Next Tzatziki puts them into this arrangement:
Want to fast forward want to fast forward want to fast forward want to fast forward want to fast forward
Next she has them ceremoniously strip layers of clothing to symbolize removing the masks that keep us from intimacy.
HEY CARLY, SO ARE WE. –AMERICA
Finally– FINALLY– this segment ends. The torment is lifted and we rejoice with sweet relief. Carly n’ Chris go off and have dinner together. She’s not horrible but she’s not my favorite. On her offstage interviews she is crying with joy and saying how after all these years she’s finally in a “reciprocated relationship” and I feel like crying for her, but probably more like in the sad kind of way.
Act 2: Group Date and Related Nonsense
A bunch of chicks are going white water rafting on the Rio Grande. Megan, makeup artist but maybe less of a geography scholar, is concerned about what could be in the water: “alligators, dead bodies… who knows!”. The girls get into the boats and blah blah they go on like a 30 second ride. Jade is thrown from the boat and then once back ashore, confides that she has a medical condition making her extremities ultra-sensitive to cold and prone to immediate hypothermia. No really this is a thing I stumbled on this Wikipedia page once. Two separate girls allege she is faking it to get Chris attention. Is there one person in this entire group who doesn’t have a heart made of bituminous coal, hard liquor, and eyelash glue? I think the answer is no.
After rafting they settle in for a group cocktail hour together. Another Obligatory Bachelor Plot Twist is unveiled– we find out Jordan, the drunk twerking “student” eliminated on week 2, is back to beg for a second chance. She bumbles her way through some degrading speech but Air Supply can summarize it just as well: Here I am/the one that you love/askin’ for another day. Because Chris has a spine made of straw or hay or chicken feathers or some other soft thing you’d find on a farm, he says yes and invites her to join them for cocktails. The girls have a collective conniption and one by one complain to Chris about how unfair it is, but add that they love him and are here for him and support him no matter what and love him, and nothing is changed about each of their desires to marry him at this exact second. Ultimately Chris sees the error in his ways and decides to send Jordan on the road home. She sobs and tells the camera it’s going to be a long drive back to Colorado tomorrow. Girl, I’m sure there’s a Hardee’s on the way. Put on some Taytay and let the pain wash through you with each french fry.
Act 3: Britt’s Date
Britt has been awarded the next one on one date, with an invitation that reads, Britt: The sky’s the limit! Love, Chris [heart dotting the i]. I think it was Ben Franklin or maybe Tony Danza who said the only certain things in life are death, taxes, Bachelor dates involving heights, and Bachelor contestants crying about how afraid of heights they are. Take your cue, Britty…
She is freaking out and crying and saying that no, this isn’t just your normal heights aversion, it’s LITERALLY A PHOBIA.
The next day Chris comes into her room at 4:30 a.m. to surprise her and whisk her away for the date. Britt is sleeping with full makeup on including bright magenta lipstick. I have no words. I guess she is mortified by the idea of the cameras catching her without makeup, but I think it’s about 1 kerjillion times more embarrassing to show the world how pathologically insecure you are that you’re fast asleep with a full face of makeup. Contestant Carly confirms that Britt puts makeup on before she goes to bed “just in case.” This chick is ill. Chris remarks– his actual words– that she looks “just as beautiful first thing in the morning as she does all dolled up for a rose ceremony. It’s incredible.” No, it’s not incredible you idiot, it’s the work of several chemical compounds.
Off they go and Britt finds out they are going on a hot air balloon ride. She says she was all scared going into this– LITERALLY A PHOBIA– but with Chris holding her hand, she feels all happy and warm and fuzzy and suddenly she’s not even bothered. This is an abrupt recovery from her literally a phobia. It’s a shame that scientists have squandered all these years developing treatments for phobias when a miraculous, phobia-curing farmer walked among us this whole time.
After they make out on the balloon for a while they go back to Chris’ room, make out some more, and Chris closes the door on the cameras. Later Britt shares her account with the girls and reports they just ordered room service and “took a nap for like two hours.” Ewwwwwwww.
Act 4: The Rose Ceremony That Never Was
Do we all remember Kelsey? She hasn’t gotten a ton of screen time beyond the first episode. She was previously married but her husband passed away in May 2013. She is worked up she hasn’t gotten the chance to tell Chris this intimate detail, and she barges into his hotel suite unexpectedly to do so. Everything seems to go well, they make out, she says how the moment leading up to the kiss has been “building for weeks” and that they “just collide.” Actually the two of them could not have less chemistry. It’s painful.
Now, here’s where a scary transformation begins to unfold. I’ve always really liked Kelsey, but now a side-eye is starting to slowly appear on my face. The girl is going from zero to NUTBUCKET at a remarkable pace. She’s talking to the cameras offstage with this crazed, glassy look and saying “Isn’t my story amazing? Tragic, yes, but amazing. I love my story.” She says how privileged we all are that we get to watch her magnificent story.
OK, now– NOT TO JUDGE A PERSON’S GRIEF– but in discussions with my text advisory panel, there was agreement that this was an extremely creepy choice of words and demeanor. Yes, there are gifts and growth that come from tragedy, but who uses the word “amazing” to describe losing their husband? Who says they “love” it? I sent out the same emoji like 20 times between right now and the end of the episode– the blue guy with the dropped jaw and the scared bead of sweat– so you’ll just imagine like 100 of those lined up and that’s the extent of my commentary.
Back at the house, Chris greets the girls for what would be the beginning of the cocktail hour. Before he can get many words out, he starts crying and has to leave. No joke. This guy has been spending too many time with these insane floozies. It’s like his moon cycle is beginning to sync itself with theirs. Life Counselor Chris Harrison comes to talk him down.
Before he left in tears, Chris had indirectly revealed that Kelsey paid an illegal visit to him that day. Ashley I, who I’ve noticed flies into rages pretty easily, is summarily enraged by this. “She had private time when I’ve not had any private time yet!” Umm, Ashley, what about the time when you barged into Chris’ tent in the middle of the night like a Grizzly in heat? I’m really starting to despise her. I would almost rather have Ashley S. back than have to tolerate another week of Ashley I. She’s insufferable.
Next, Chris Harrison goes back to the girls and reveals that there will be no cocktails, Chris’ mind is made up and they’ll go right to the ceremony. This always sends the girls into a tizzy, as it means they’re deprived of one last Hail Mary opportunity to prove their love by physically thrusting themselves upon his person.
Next, we’re up to the moment they’ve been pimping all night in the previews, where we find that the news has sent Kelsey into such a downward spiral that she’s passed out on the floor making strange blubbering sounds and EMTs have come to attend to her. Between blubbers she says she’s just having a panic attack. As the EMTs assess her, I’m thinking an efficient system for the future would be like some kind of Bachelor emergency alarm, or maybe like a Batman-esque light that’s projected into the sky (in the likeness of a rose of course). And Chris Harrison would be all quick, to the emergency bunker! and conveniently furnish a dart gun full of Haloperidol. Jeff is next to me pointing out that if they were to simply wave a rose in front of her face, she’d probably pop up immediately.
At any rate, we quickly cut to a To Be Continued and I guess we have to wait seven (7) more days to find out which floozies are going home. This is not fair. I sat through nasty chocolate strawberry feedings with the understanding I would be rewarded at the end with 1-2 individuals I’d never have to see again. I DO NOT ACCEPT THIS ROSE.