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.