Bachelor 21, Episode 7 I’ve Been on a Bigger Boat Than This

The remaining contestants gather to discuss their invitation to be the plus 5 at Nick’s pity party. Dress code: something sexy, but also comfy on an airplane home. Nick is scared he’ll die alone, found suffocated in a defective murphy bed surrounded by stacks of the old US Weekly magazines he calls his “friends.” Nick has reached the same turning point in the show that Benlovable did, when Rose Ceremonies are no longer about the bullets you just dodged so much as the realization that of the women left, none of them are your mom. But The Bachelor has something better than a mom. It has Chris Harrison. Harrison pulls out his feather duster of truth and clears the cobwebs. Do you want to give up a harem in St. Thomas? No? Great. Get your head back in the game. Nick decides to tell the women that he has recovered completely from last night’s breakdown, and since Harrison says he’s not allowed to handle the roses without supervision anymore, the women are safe for the night. They cheer.

The One on One Date goes to Vanessa, the trilingual Italian-Canadian sauce-making special needs teacher. She may sound promising, but let’s remember the deal breaker “Would You Rather” comment Nick made during his Fantasy Suite with Andi. “If I had four times, I’d like to fuck the first three times, and make love the fourth.” Imagine him saying this to Vanessa. She would smack him with Nonna’s wooden spoon so fast. There is one woman still on this show that he can share that kind of aspirational fuck/make love ratio with, and that woman is Corinne. Instead, Nick and Vanessa (25% Make Love/75% Make Sauce) boat out to a snorkel location. She tells Nick she started to doubt him when he cried in front of her. The second time. She was very clear on the first date about wanting to put absolutely no work into their relationship, and this reeks of work. Nick also hates working, but if this season doesn’t go well he might have to start. He hastily patches things up, and they snorkel around the decayed skeleton of a shipwreck. Future sobering metaphor dates will include s’more-making over a dumpster fire and mudbath treatments at Jerry Garcia’s romantic day spa, Goddess Dead. Kissing beside the carnage in the water, Vanessa realizes she’s in love. She tells Nick over dinner, and he says he has been in love on this show twice before, and will only say it again to one person (this season). Oh well, work it is.

Corinne desperately wants the next One on One Date, since she hasn’t had one yet, so of course she finds herself on a Group Date with Kristina and Raven. Their boat ride out to swim with sharks is largely occupied by Nick rubbing sunscreen on Kristina’s inner thighs, Corinne not liking it, and Raven playing by the rules and proudly enduring it. When it comes to actually swimming with the sharks, there are mixed reactions. Raven is gunning to punch one. Corinne thinks twice, but can’t resist a dare and dives in. Kristina, however, has faced death plenty, thank you very much, and gets out of the water. Nick gets out to comfort her, and takes her aside in the evening portion of the date to cry about dumping Danielle Brunette again. Kristina points out that he’s got five more cuts in front of him, so he’d better pull it together. Maybe he should limit the crying to contestants about each other. In her private time with Nick, Raven very efficiently runs down her talking points-

  • I’m old-school (ask my daddy for my hand).
  • My parents aren’t divorced.
  • My dad had cancer but is cured.

Nick appreciates her clarity and willingness to overlook him groping Kristina all night, and rewards Raven with the date rose. They dance on the sand to a band that energetically jumps up and down during slow songs.

The next day’s One on One with Danielle Blonde is brutal. She mostly just echoes Nick’s sentences back to him, but at no point does he say anything interesting enough to hear twice. They bike, play basketball, then mercifully stop talking altogether. If they had themed it as a mime date, this could have been really cute. Impressive, really. Unfortunately, it is a talking date, which Nick proves by giving his dumping soliloquoy over dinner. Danielle Blonde gives all the personality and vulnerability she’s been saving to the camera, and goes back to their shared hometown, where she will most definitely be the ex he runs into next time he’s on the show.

Unwilling to meet the same fate, the last blonde standing readies for battle. Corinne applies her face, paints on her pants, and heads over to Nick’s room for a self-made One on One Mate. The cameraman leaves, but the microphones catch Corinne teaching Nick how to drive her boobs. Nick can’t be fooled thrice, however, and stops things before filling her tank.

The next day he fits in some flirting with Rachel, then decides he has time to break one more heart. Nick dumps Kristina, whose thighs are all groped out. She looks like she wants some off-camera time with Nick and the shark-infested water, but leaves the show without committing murder. That’s what The Women Tell All episode is for. Nick is left now with Raven, Rachel, Corinne and Vanessa for the Hometown Dates, contestants with so little in common that I can only say Nick’s type is “women.” My first thought was that this is like saying all of the Spice Girls are your favorite, but of course that’s wrong. If you combine all the Spice Girls you get Corinne. Get your act together, Nick, and you’ll be just fine.

Bachelor 21, Episode 6 You’ve Never Gotten the Chokie Before?

Recently-dumped Taylor, whose name derives from the Latin word taliare, “to cut”, crashes Corinne’s victory dinner to retaliate (from the Latin word retaliare, “cut her again”). Nick steps outside to re-dump Taylor. How Corinne reacts will completely determine her fate. If she’s pissed he talked to Taylor, both women go home. If she plays it cool, maybe gets a little shut eye while they talk, she’s got at least another week. Outside, Taylor tells Nick that she is not a bully. He says (out loud) I didn’t think you were, and (in his head) I dumped you because you don’t put Reddi Wip on your boobs. Taylor, an emotional savant, realizes that she can’t compete with Corinne, so tries to bring in someone who can. “Vanessa literally told you that she would give you back her rose if this is what you were looking for.” Ah, but she didn’t give it back, did she? Nick says goodbye to Taylor, stays the (dessert) course with Corinne, and pledges to remind the contestants of who cuts whom.

The next day, Chris Harrison informs the women there will be no Cocktail Party before the Rose Ceremony because Nick knows exactly which nine women he wants to date. Who’s the boss? Nick’s the boss!  Corinne, Danielles, Rachel, Kristina, Raven, Vanessa, Jasmine and Whitney (more like Who-tney, amiright?) stay, and dolphin admirer Alexis, raw hot dog Josephine, and noseballs Jaimi go home. We’re running low on nicknamed contestants; things are about to get serious.

Nick flies his top nine to Saint Thomas, “The perfect place to send people home,” according to Raven. He picks Kristina for the 1 on 1 date. A seaplane takes them to the dark corners of her soul, where she confides that she left a dysfunctional home in rural Russia at age 5 or 6, lived in an orphanage for another 7 or 8 years, then chose adoption by a big American family over getting turned onto the streets at 16. She has 8 American siblings, a birth sister in Russia she sort of knows, and mourns losing touch with her orphanage family. They cry together, listen to Ave Maria on steel drums, and everyone shipping Nick and Corinne feels a deep stab of shame.

That must include at least one producer, because they decide to send Lorna to the hotel, an older black woman that offers nanny-like services in order to bait Corinne. Corinne loves bait, but the other contestants just toss her back like a fish that’s too small to fry. Their hearts aren’t in it any more. When the Group Date comes, Rachel, Raven, Vanessa, Corinne, Danielle Blonde, and Jasmine are in bad shape. Vanessa (doppelgänger to Saved By The Bell’s Tori) only communicates in shouts. Jasmine speaks at double speed about being overlooked by Nick. Everyone resents having to play beach volleyball. This lazily assembled date collapses and Nick tries to pick up the pieces over the evening cocktail hour. To his dismay, Rachel tells him she considered leaving the competition. To my dismay, Raven wears a sheer neon yellow jumpsuit/dress that doesn’t bode well for her career as a boutique owner. It’s Jasmine, however, who will no longer be ignored. She, a professional dancer, quietly withstood losing a dance off to Danielle Brunette. She milked cows without complaining. She was terrorized by cheap haunted house gimmicks into believing in ghosts and by the time he finally invites her to spend time with him, she is at peak heroine in a Gothic novel. Speaking at an unnatural speed, Jasmine’s frustration at being ignored tumbles into threats to choke Nick, which she softens into more romantic offers to choke Nick. He politely declines, then shows Jasmine the door. Sometimes they offer to walk you out just to see with their own eyes that you’ve left the property.

The next group demoralizer comes as a 2 on 1 date between relative unknown, Whitney, and Danielle Brunette, who thought two dates worth of agreeing with Nick was enough to keep her safe. Nick tries for  instant chemistry with Whitney, but nothing magical happens when he calls her beautiful and strokes her leg. In his alone time with Danielle, who is pissed to be here but knows better than to express emotion, Nick asks her if she likes him. She, of course, says yes. He charges out to dump Whitney, who pushes back fairly (we haven’t spent time together) then unfairly (Danielle isn’t ready to date you). That last bit of pettiness convinces Nick he made the right choice, and he and Danielle Brunette chopper off to a “Congratulations, I didn’t dump you” dinner. Danielle forces Nick to acknowledge what talking to her is like by only saying words one might have painted on a rock at summer camp. Love. Trust. Friendship. When Danielle says she’s falling in love, he starts anxiously stroking her arms. Nick tells Danielle if he could pick just on looks, it would be her.

After cutting her loose, Nick unnerves the remaining contestants with a surprise visit to their hotel room. He tells his girlfriends he dumped the hot one and it’s really shaken him. What if he’s blowing it and dies alone? Should he have gone with a more traditional ranking system? Is there possibly a last chance kitchen going on? Why did I dump the dolphin girl??? The women worry about his outburst, but Corinne declares this is a problem only her vagina can solve. Help us Corinne’s sunomono, you’re our only hope.

Bachelor 21, Episode 5 Their Relationship Will be Built on Whipped Cream and Lies

The feud between “Right Reasons” Taylor and “Right Methods” Corinne continues. I’m tired. This is like watching a Mike and Ike and a Bit-O-Honey debate who’s tastier. Taylor is threatened by Corinne, and Corinne is a horny alien who learned Earth culture by walking through a bebe store. She hibernates 13 hours a day and can only digest sliced gourds and vodka. Of course, they both survive the Rose Ceremony and we say goodbye to more obscure contestants Astrid, who seemed like a cool person, and Sarah, who seemed like a person. They head home, and everyone else moves on to the Big Easy (too easy).

Settled in at the hotel, Rachel gets the 1 on 1 Date, a tour of New Orleans. She and Nick visit a flea market, eat oysters and beignets, then join a second line in a parade past the other women. They check out old Mardi Gras floats and talk vaguely about death and carpeing diems over dinner. She’s the one. Nick cannot wait to ask her federal judge father for permission to marry everyone.

The Group Date, “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” goes to Josephine, Kristina, Raven, Jaimi, Vanessa, Danielles, Whitney, and Jasmine. They show up at Houmas House, a historic sugar plantation with a tour themed around Boo the caretaker and May, an 8 year old Civil War Era ghost. Seriously, Boo and May are the scariest things they can think of to discuss? On a PLANTATION? Come on. That said, this Group Date should be required every season. You could either eliminate all the contestants who believe ghosts are real, or if you’re someone holding out hope that Patrick Swayze is still here looking out for us (pleeeeeaaaase), just toss the ones that believe this ghost is real.

The night begins and we learn everyone believes in spirits except Jasmine, and she changes her mind twenty minutes in. Danielle Blonde feels the spirits. Jaimi respects them. Vanessa even refuses to risk a game of Ouija, a board game manufactured by the same people who make Monopoly. Monopolies are scary, Vanessa. After a daytime tour, the women settle in for a haunted sleepover. They roam the house, starting shit with the ghost and then begging May’s forgiveness when chandeliers start falling. Too late, you’re all going to die!

Vanessa and Danielle Blonde use their last hours to ask the mirror of Erised if they’re safe from elimination. The child ghost from the 1800s flickers the flames of their candles in what they take to be a yes. Like she knows. Why don’t they ask this tragic American Girl Doll a question she can answer? Got any good hoop rolling tricks?  Mike and Ikes or Bit-O-Honey?

In the individual time with Nick, Danielle Blonde tells him Ghost May has her in the final four, and Raven tells Nick she fell in love with him when he sang “Kiss the Girl,” a ditty about a monarch kissing a mute castaway.  The date rose goes to Danielle Blonde.

Next up is Corinne and Taylor on a 2 on 1 date: Meet Me in the Bayou. The worst part about 2 on 1 dates is that one of them gets to stay. Taylor, who finds aggressive displays of affection disrespectful, greets Nick with the old jump and straddle, or the eager koala if you’re from Australia. Corinne is thinking long game, and gives a more sober hug. They climb into a boat in the marsh and a scary dude jumps out of nowhere into the boat behind them. He rows them out to meet Anne Rice reenactors, a voodoo priestess and a tarot reader who is VERY specific.

Taylor gets her cards read first – she’s dealt the queen of emotional intelligence, fighting a losing battle with a fair-haired pain in the ass. When it’s Corinne’s turn, the reader says she is the queen of swords. Perhaps she can be too cutting. Corinne replies, and I quote, “How do you make a Voodoo doll specific to a person?”

Nick considers his options, and gives the rose to the queen with the sword. Corinne and Nick boat off and leave Taylor to the alligators. In related news, voodoo dolls work. Corinne quietly celebrates, but Taylor makes the Voodoo peeps work overtime prepping her for a follow-up confrontation. Proof again, emotional intelligence is not actual intelligence.

Bachelor 21, Episode 4 The Nickerdoodle

Everyone resents Corinne for her and Nick’s public displays of erection. Vanessa tells Nick that Corinne is merely girlfriend material because wives don’t grind in bouncy houses, they puke in Zero G. She threatens to return her Date Rose. Vanessa is heavily banking on Nick also thinking that men start with horny, carefree girlfriends, but then put them aside when they come of age to take no-nonsense breeders to wife. Nick has dumped everyone who challenged his integrity so far, but this gives him pause. Is it time to put away childish Corinnes?

Meanwhile, Sarah and very grown up for her age Taylor decide to confront Corinne about how annoying it is losing to her. Sarah’s just excited to get camera time, but Taylor is on a crusade. She’s one year younger than Corinne, but she’s the “mature” type of young contestant, the kind that recites her resume and is a stickler for made up rules dictating other women’s sexual behavior. “I graduated early and no sex before Fantasy Suites!” She and Sarah wake up Sn’orinne to tell her she’s privileged and needs to stop humping her way through the show. Corinne sets them straight, “I’m not privileged in any way shape or form.” So that’s settled.

At the Rose Ceremony, Nick sends home Christen and Brittany. Their claims to fame are tattling to Nick about Liz and absolutely nothing. Nick then trolls his girlfriends by inviting Corinne to give a toast. They’re fuming, but if you’re serious about winning this, you want the Corinnes to stay in for as long as possible.

The next day, Chris Harrison delights everyone with a trip to Nick’s hometown of Waukesha, WI. Nick’s parents, Chris and Mary, take him out for a public cry at a café. His mom tells him she hopes he experiences love like he never has before, and his dad tells him enough is enough, this show is for losers.

Nick invites Danielle L. (winner of the Backstreet Boys date) for a walk around town. He tells us he knows she is hot, and maybe she is other things, too. Nick shares anecdotes about growing up in Waukesha and Danielle maintains a steady receptive giggle. They step into a local bakery and frost self-portraits on shortbread, then Nick serves up a small town boy specialty: an accidental run in with an ex. Nick invites Danielle to sit down to coffee with this rando so he can gauge her pain tolerance. Danielle accepts his challenge, and hugs the ex in greeting. This is like in Kung Fu when Caine lifts the boiling cauldron out of his path with his bare forearms. Nick follows a brief recap of their relationship with a tour of every place in town he’s hooked up with someone else. She allows this, too, and Nick worries over cocktails that Danielle may not have any flaws. She assures him that sometimes she wears sweatpants and her parents are divorced, so there’s a lot going on under the surface. Then she plays her trump card – she didn’t research Nick before coming on the show. Danielle is promptly rewarded for her willful ignorance with the Date Rose, a Country/Pop Concert, and a make out session on an elevated platform.

On the Group Date, Nick takes Rachel, Alexis, Vanessa, Jasmine, Jaimi, Sarah, Whitney, Kristina, Astrid, Taylor, Josephine, Danielle M., and Corinne to shovel shit on a dairy farm. He’s from a city, but all Bachelors are honorary country boys. Nick fumbles with a cow teat, Corinne hides from her chores, and a barn full of Mary Anns grumble about Ginger.

That evening, Kristina tells Nick in her delicious Russian accent that she has a dark backstory, but it will cost him a 1 on 1 Date to find out more. He tips his fedora over his eyes and tells the dame he’ll think about it. Next up, Vanessa puts her legs on him under a blanket, but remember, this means nothing because she’s wife material. She pulls out a book of drawings and compliments that she made her students assemble and has Nick read them aloud to her. Between Taylor’s resume and Vanessa’s character references, I’m beginning to appreciate Corinne’s interview style. Show, don’t tell.

Rachel tells Nick she’s bad at opening up but really wants to be there but is uncomfortable but wants to be vulnerable. Essentially she shuffles the deck and deals out four. While the women take their turns seducing Nick, Corinne makes a play for the moral high ground and confronts the pack for talking about her. Then she takes the lead on her spin and tells Nick she addressed things with the women and everything’s fine from here on out. Corinne benefits from all the guys that resented Nick in previous seasons, and he gives her a pass. The Date Rose goes to Kristina, for potentially having a tragic past.

Raven gets the second 1 on 1 Date of the week, themed: Let’s kick it. She jumps/straddles Nick and asks if they’re playing baseball. No, they’ll be kicking a soccer ball around with his sister, Bella, the eleven year old whose approval all Nickophants must win. They run drills with her team, briefly meet Nick’s parents, then take Bella roller skating after her game. Wholesomeness achieved, they ditch Bella for a dinner date at an art museum, and Raven catches Nick up on her best attributes: she’s not a child of divorce, and she’ll beat any man who crosses her with his sidepiece’s stiletto. Nick’s into it. They rollerskate through the museum and she squeaks out our first, “I’m falling in love.”

At the next pre-Rose Ceremony Cocktail Party, Taylor temporarily shifts her target from Corinne to Danielle M., but this just makes her look petty. Girl who ate a raw hot dog defects to Corinne’s side, which is a kind of victory. Taylor accuses Corinne of lacking emotional intelligence, and Corinne loudly declares Taylor disrespectful. That was well played. Corinne tucks this documented injustice in her pocket and prepares for battle.

In extra features,  we find out that dolphin enthusiast Alexis is scared of Nick Cage and aliens. She hasn’t disappointed yet.

Bachelor 21, Episode 3 Someone I’m Very Intrigued On

Nick dons his favorite Vera Bradley tie and meets the women pre-Rose Ceremony to “be totally transparent” about the tryst he’s been hiding. He assures the women that while yes, he did know Liz before going on the show, in no way did he treat her that way. Nick regrets dumping her so abruptly, but he just was more in love with everyone else. Anyway, Nick’s fling is flung and he is focused on using up Corinne’s promotional sex tokens before they expire next episode. The women know they’re supposed to react, but not how. Most of them are taking this as a freebie to demonstrate that they’re cool girlfriends before he does something to really piss them off. These women queue up so Nick can stroke their fingers, tap their collarbones, or in some other way keep them from going idle. Women who do have concerns may as well line up by the door.

Not to be outdone by the woman Nick sent home, Corinne digs out her sexy Inspector Gadget costume and practices tying and untying the belt to her trench coat. Satisfied that it can open, our classically trained seductress grabs a can of whipped cream and makes for her target. Nick wants all of this to happen, but also suspects she may have been sent by Putin. He tries playing  dumb – Is  that a dress or a coat? Why do we need whipped cream? He might as well ask, “What’s a dick for?” Corinne asks Nick to lick dessert topping off her breast, and he tells the camera in an aside that he’s juggling a lot right now. Yes, he does make the international sign for juggling, which is identical to the international sign for boob juggling. Corinne may be determined not to come in second, but Second is determined not to come in her, either. She leaves feeling rejected, has a cry, and decides to sleep it off while the other women get eliminated.

Meanwhile, at the Rose Ceremony, we say goodbye to three blondes, bumping up their species from vulnerable to endangered.

The morning after, Chris Harrison arrives at Bachelor Mansion to fluff the women’s date expectations. And he delivers – for a room full of woman vying over a market tested romance experience with a man on a victory lap, there is nothing better than a Backstreet Boys date. Danielle L., Christen, Kristina, Whitney, Taylor, Jasmine, and Corinne head out for a Group Date to train as backup dancers.

Corinne has lost her mojo and hangs back, while Danielle and professional dancer Jasmine lead the pack. The women contextualize their BSB fandom by putting on 1990s period costumes, including off-the-shoulder crop tops and chokers. Danielle wins a slow dance to I Want It That Way, a song that makes about as much sense as anything on this show. The rest of this segment focuses on Corinne’s jealousy, rather than how Danielle beat a professional dancer in a dance off.

In the evening portion of the Group Date, Corinne is on firmer ground. She goes with her tried and true technique: almost put on clothes, grab Nick first, if all else fails, deploy boobs. She is apologetic about sleeping through the Rose Ceremony, but Nick doesn’t mind as long as he’s not in trouble with the other women. Relieved, Corinne does what anyone that is living her best life would do after dry humping, and naps.

Next up is the Backstreet Boys’ pick, Danielle. Is she original? Meh. Is she the only one? Nooo-o. Is she sexual? Yeah. Nick decides to rock her body incompetently. They tenderly caress fingers, then Nick pulls her in for a kiss, but in an effort to avoid an accidental boob graze he lowers his hand and gropes his own knee, which he corrects by accidentally grabbing her inner thigh, then makes a hasty recovery up to her neck. For all his experience, he did not practice making out on benches. Danielle gets the date rose for sticking it out.

Back at the house, the women lose it when they find out Corinne has a nanny, but be real. We all want one. I slice my own cucumbers and it sucks. The next 1 on 1 Date Card arrives for Vanessa: “You make me feel like I’m floating.”

She gets to experience the preferred weight on the show’s casting call in zero G. At first it’s a joy to watch the new couple twirling weightlessly and doing trick pushups, but this family friendly fun inevitably leads to float fucking and upchucking. Nick strokes Vanessa’s feet and loads up on gum to help power through completely unnecessary kissing. Touched by his tolerance for stomach acid, Vanessa gives this speech over dinner that evening. It needs to be transcribed in full, because it cannot be improved upon.

I remember being in the limo for my grandfather’s funeral and we had just said our goodbyes and we each got a red rose. It felt weird, but, at the same time, I feel like my grand – I knew my grandfather was gonna be with me throughout this journey. You know?

A sign from beyond the grave to go on a dating game show? Oh yes, we know. She compliments his relationship with his mom and he tears up and tells Vanessa she makes him less afraid. They’re both crushing it. I’m not crazy about Vanessa’s post-kiss lip smacking, but his eyes should still be closed every time it happens, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

The second Group Date card reads, “I’m done playing the field.” Rachel, Alexis, Astrid, Jaimi, Sarah, Brittany, and Dominique join Nick and Olympic athletes Carl Lewis, Allyson Felix, and Michelle Carter for a “Nickathalon.” Dominique and Sarah are feeling especially obscure and competitive, but only Astrid, Rachel, and Alexis make it to round 2. The last leg of the race is a 100 meter dash for a novelty engagement ring, followed by a sprint into a hot tub with Nick. Rachel leads, but fumbles the ring in her haste and has to double back. Only on Nick’s season would first place be a disadvantage. Astrid, in third place, tries to swoop up the ring but Rachel arrives just in time to stomp and shatter it like a glass slipper. Astrid isn’t going back to the attic with those singing mice, though, and sprints off to Prince Hot Tub with a salvaged fragment of ring.

Part two of the date is at Big Daddy Antiques. Dominique- Who? Exactly. – is freaking out that she hasn’t had any time with Nick. Rachel attempts a pep talk, but Dominique is too in her head and uses her time with Nick to scold him for not being more attentive. He dumps her very attentively, and rejoins the other women to gift Rachel with the date rose. He has perfected his line – I dumped her and it’s because of my commitment to you. Somewhere in there Jaimi assures Nick she isn’t a “weird lesbian.”

While the women gather over eggs and coffee the next morning, host with the toast Chris Harrison busts in to tell them Nick has decided to swap the stodgy evening cocktail party for a mid-morning pool party. An inflatable flamingo who’s seen it all floats by, while contestants try to bikini their way up the rankings. Meanwhile, Corinne proves she can do perfectly well without childcare and seeks out a bouncy house and willing playmate in Nick. She grinds on him until she’s all tuckered out, then puts herself down for a nap and sends him off to face the wrath of the conscious.

Bachelor 21, Episode 2 I Know You From Before Time

The morning after their first culling, Nick’s harem optimistically sips breakfast and lets it settle in that their boyfriend has an assistant to remember their names. We’re also teased with more Liz and Nick drama.  I’m going to miss the footage of their mating dance at Jade and Tanner’s wedding, but that storyline needs to make like a one-night stand and wrap it up.

Chris Harrison arrives at the wife warehouse and takes a position between conveyor belts. Ladies, there are too many girlfriends to fit on the three dates scheduled this week. Let that sink in. Since time with Nick is hard to come by, I suggest putting your breasts directly into his hands at your first opportunity. Chris lays down the first Group Date card/subtle nudge: “Always a Bridesmaid.”

The bridesmaids are Vanessa, Brittany, Jasmine, Sarah, Lacey, Raven, Elizabeth W., and Danielle L. The flower girls are Alexis, Corinne, Hailey, and Taylor. They pile into three blue convertibles and drive off to a photoshoot with Nick and photographer Franco LaCosta. To imagine LaCosta, picture how Terry Richardson would be portrayed in a biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring John Leguizamo. He is there to capture images of Nick with each woman at a different stage of objectification.

There’s Shotgun Bride, then 80’s Bride with her Naughty Bridesmaids. There’s Traditional Bride and her Sexually Available Maid of Honor (batting 1000, Nick!), and Princess Bride, Taylor, who is only marrying Nick because she thinks Cary Elwes is dead. Next up, Nick and Brittany model leaf underwear, forbidden fruit, and Coachella hair accessories, while the photographer eggs them on as the serpent.

Corinne, Bride in a White Bikini, envies Fall of Man Bride’s dibs on the first sin. She remembers Chris Harrison’s advice, takes off her bikini top, and places her breasts into Nick’s extended hands. Will Corinne be penalized for her behavior? If this were later in the season, yes, but not tonight. She wins the date and extended time with Nick for satisfying his preteen fantasies. Also of interest, when he was a preteen, she was a zygote.

Back at the house, “Always a Maid of Honor” Liz can barely keep her secret.

On the second portion of the group date, all the women try their best to make an impression on Nick, but no one can beat Corinne’s persistent and horny interrupting. Princess Bride Taylor boldly steals Nick back from Corinne to seduce him with her brain. Corinne finds reinterruptsies very rude, but she has nothing to fear. Nick favors seduction via boobs, and Corinne wins the date rose for herself and a bonus for the producer handling her.

The first 1 On 1 Date is between Nick and Danielle M., the sweet neonatal nurse from his hometown. They take a helicopter to a hot tub on a yacht, where Nick recounts his storyline because she only caught Bachelor In Paradise. She’s great, but I think he’s going to get bored. She needs to be a decade younger with no top on. In lieu of that, Danielle M. tells him she was engaged. Her fiancé overdosed on drugs she didn’t know he was addicted to, and she found him. She asks if Nick understands what it feels like to find your lover dead. He says finding a corpse would freak anyone out, and they kiss at the top of a Ferris Wheel. Things are looking up for Danielle, but that’s just how Ferris Wheels start.

Back at the mansion, Liz tells Christen about her fling with Nick. She says the sex was intermittent and chatty, so for all she knows, it’s still happening. Which brings us to…

…Group Date Card 2: “We Need to Talk.”

Christen, Josephine, Astrid, Jaimi, Kristina, and Liz meet Nick at the Museum of Broken Relationships. An entire wing is dedicated to Nick’s disappointing life, culminating in the refused engagement ring and rose from his season with Kaitlyn. Can you imagine going on a date themed around your failures accompanied by at least 5 of your future exes? Because Nick is doing that twice a week. They eavesdrop on professional break up artists before being invited to act out their own inevitable collapses. Nick is curious to see if they make it about his baggage or theirs. He gets dumped for dating the other contestants, neglecting to floss, leaving out dishes, calling his girlfriend fat, and even gets slapped by Josephine for his repeated alcohol abuse. Liz still thinks she’s in a rom com, and this is her big gesture scene. She publicly recounts their hookup and why she never contacted him after. Liz closes by chastising him for not fighting for her, presumably by pursuing her after she asked him not to. Nick tries to play dumb about Liz, but when Christen indicates she knows their hookup story, Nick has to act.

He takes Liz aside, and she tells Nick she’s not the type of person who uses the phone to get to know people. Only TV. Nick dumps her. He extends the “let me walk you out” courtesy that usually comes around 7th place, which Liz should take as a small triumph (7th place, girl!), and then he’s off to Dolphin Girl’s boobday party.

Bachelor 21, Episode 1 You and I are a Disgusting Slut

The opening to Season 1 Billion of the Bachelor rerereintroduces us to our favorite silver medalist, Nick Viall. The essentials:

1. He started working with a trainer and can no longer be bothered with shirts.
2. Despite already having slept with three different women on these shows (four if you count Liz, who shows up this episode), ABC would like us to believe he may be Benlovable.
3. Half the viewers think he’s also Juantrustworthy.

Not me. I love Nick.

In a voiceover to a montage of him and his herd of new girlfriends, Nick tells us he is here to “prove to America that if you don’t give up on love, eventually you’ll find it” (emphasis mine. Also that one.).  Nick has worked his way up from the gutter and back to be here. He is living the goddamn American Dream.

We get some footage of Nick preparing for skeptics by repeating, “I’m the Bachelor” to himself,  then we see a gathering with his “friends,” former Bachelors Sean Oldguy, Chris Gigglesalot, and Benlovable himself. The producers missed an opportunity to make this vestigial pre-show advice session between Nick and his exes, just to see how it plays. Surprise! It’s Andi, Kaitlyn, and Jen with some pointers. Maybe they’re saving that for a group date.

Then we meet some of the new initiates. Bachelor shook things up this year, gambling on only one Lauren and an unwise number of brunettes for a show that purports to be about falling in love. We meet Rachel, a lawyer who dances while she vacuums; Danielle L., who owns three nail salons; trilingual special needs teacher, Vanessa; Josephine, a 13 year old who likes boys and being loud in malls with her friends; and Raven, the mudding/gun shooting/Bible reading boutique owner from Arkansas. Then 24-year-old Corinne drifts by on a floatie and says things like, “Corinne’s world is glamorous.” We’ve been waiting for you, Corinne. She is a 24 year old from Miami who runs her family’s multi-million dollar mystery business and keeps a nanny around to prepare cucumber salads. The way those cukes were served, though – inch thick slices with the skin still on – tells us everything we need to know about what Nanny thinks of Corinne. Next up we meet dolphin enthusiast Alexis; neonatal intensive care nurse Danielle M.; and Taylor, a professional mental health counselor and recreational rollerblader looking to belong. Then we meet Liz, the maid of honor at Jade and Tanner’s wedding who had a fling with Nick but refused him her number. She thinks coming on the show after rejecting him is a quirky meet cute, and is about to feel deeply betrayed by the romantic comedies that raised her.

At Bachelor Mansion, Chris Harrison reminds us that half the viewers don’t even like Nick, and then summons the first limousine of women that still might. Someone blows a pitch-pipe and the limo intones a high C that the women sustain for the rest of the show. Danielle L. is out first, excited and nervous in a cut-to-there gown. Nick likes the way this dress is going. Out comes Elizabeth with a Dallas twang, Rachel the lawyer, and “super weird” Christen who almost blows it when she leads with a fan dance and calls Nick a tall celebrity that she’s watched for three years. A goner for sure, she redeems herself by wishing Nick luck meeting his other girlfriends. Next is rollerblading Taylor, who looks anxious and sweet and tells Nick that all her friends think he’s “a complete piece of shit.” We get the requisite dental hygienist, then a model, followed by Lauren Hussey, who offers Mr. Viall an unbeatable celebrity name. Michelle offers to make lemonade out of his lemons, which sounds dirty but I think she just meant citrically. Dominique tries out “fourth time’s the charm,” which might finally sting less the fourth time someone says it. Olivia from Alaska offers an ethnically insensitive nose rub, which I hereby rename a proboskiss. Sarah mixes schtick with practicality and races to Nick in sneakers. She’s a runner-up, too, get it?! But just in terms of running, not being a three-time loser. Jasmine G. defines power move and shows up with Neil Lane and her ring of choice. Next is Hailey, a cryptologist who cracked the code embedded in every Cosmo magazine, and tells Nick she isn’t wearing underwear. Then Astrid repeats the code to Nick in German. This is significantly hotter than The Imitation Game.

Liz shows up, the woman who had sex with Nick after Jade and Tanner’s wedding. Nick doesn’t know if he’s supposed to recognize her, so never explicitly acknowledges that they’ve met. With their genitals. She thinks he doesn’t remember her, and I say a prayer to Saint Lawrence (who really knew how to stretch an execution) that they play this angle all season. Liz goes into the mansion for a follow-up interview and lies, not to us, but to the part of herself that doesn’t want to admit that Love, Actually is terrible, actually. “So that makes me feel like he doesn’t know who I am. And I kind of like that. I like a little mystery.” Liz, no.

Corinne gives him a hug token, later followed with a whole sack of tokens exchangeable for hugs, kisses, blowies, and cucumber salads. Are these tokens clues to what her family’s company does? Trilingual Vanessa phones it in with a “Bonjour.” Danielle M. offers him a lick of her dad’s maple syrup. Raven gets him to yell, “Pig Sooie!”, and chef Jaimi reveals a nasal ball piercing. Are those nose earrings on testicals, or balls up her nose? Maybe both! Women who will get cut listen to Nick’s heartbeat and rub his beard, while the 13-year-old who shares a raw hot dog with him and the nurse who bends him over will stay. Lacey shows up on a camel and makes her hump joke. Last to arrive is a dolphin lover in shark’s clothing who says “dolphinitely” and so deserves to win. Now the mansion is packed full of women worrying that they won’t stand out. According to their profiles on ABC (yes, those exist and I read them), half of them fantasize about being either dolphins or Olivia Pope (not both, too powerful), 29/30 have identical hair, and all of them are polygynous, but the real concern is how many wore red dresses. I’m pretty sure redress is the entire point of Nick’s season.

His first sit down is with Rachel the lawyer, who is awesome and pretends she loves her whole family equally. Nick flirts more or less successfully with all the rest of them, getting a first kiss from Corinne, who insists he doesn’t have to pay for it. Cetacean in a shark costume clicks and whistles, and Nick answers (in human talk) that she’s going home the minute she takes off her costume. Nick tells Liz that Katherine Heigl is selling her lies, and that when they slept together and she never wanted to hear from him again, that was a bad thing. Rachel gets the first impression rose.

At the Rose ceremony, we still don’t care about any of the contestants, so some of them went home, but not most. If you remember her name, she stayed!