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.

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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!