By Honey Gangsta
Welcome back to The Bachelor! According to formula, we begin with an unnecessarily long recap of last week’s episode, including Mayo’s introduction, First-Impression-Stephanie getting a rose, and Angry Lindsay causing trouble. Then we have a precap of tonight’s episode, including the girls moving into their new digs, nighttime swimming, and some sort of athletic competition. Plus, everyone hates First-Impression-Stephanie because she gets a one-on-one date. This episode is an hour and a half long – mostly due to all of the recaps and precaps.
“Fancy a rose?”
â€¨So! Chris calls all of the girls into the living room to tell them how it’s going to go down. There will be two group dates and one individual date this week. Unlike previous seasons, no roses will be given out on the group dates, but to mix things up, Mayo will get to choose one lucky girl to stay behind and have Special Quality Time with him while the other girls go home. Chris then announces that the individual date goes to First-Impression-Stephanie. When he says this, First-Impression-Stephanie claps and cheers for herself, changing her name to Smug Stephanie. She is this season’s Smug Lisa. Smug Lisa got the first-impression rose last season, so I’m seeing this really irritating trend of the girl who gets the first-impression rose being unreasonably haughty and snotty toward the rest of the girls throughout the entire process. Like Smug Lisa, Smug Stephanie seems to disregard the fact that all of these girls got a rose last week, not just her, so they’re pretty much on equal ground. The only difference is the individual date, where Smug Stephanie will either receive a rose or be sent packing. Now Chris leaves the girls to open their first date box, which is a large round hat box with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star on top. I bet it says “Mayo.”
Inside the hat box is a note to Nicole, Tiffany, Alexis, Stephanie Kansas, Bevin, Amanda and Tessa. It says, “Let’s find love on the Sunset Strip… -Mayo.” The girls all “oooh” and “ahh.” We don’t waste any time getting right down to business. Mayo hops into the DeLorean to come and meet the girls for their first outing. When he arrives, the girls spill out of the front door squealing and shrieking in amazement, and I can’t really figure out why, except that this is always how the girls act on this show. There must be a production assistant standing there holding up a huge sign that says, “SQUEALS! SHRIEKS!” Mayo tells the camera, “Operation Soul Mate is about to begin!” Oh dear, dear no. Please tell me he didn’t really just say that.
â€¨â€¨Group Date #1 – Bull Crap
Well I’ve always been of the opinion that there is no more romantic way to go on a first date than in a gigantic tour bus. Mayo pops open some champagne because we can’t do anything on this show without being a little tipsy. The bus passes Mel’s Drive In and one of the girls says, “Mel’s Drive In, you guys, this place is famous!” Um, yes – do you have any idea why? Next Mayo reads off “House – Of – Blues!” Nicole confessionals that Mayo is the total package and the guy that you dream about. It must be his ability to read large signs that is impressing her at the moment. The bus pulls up to the Saddle Ranch Chop House, which is usually quite the crowded venue of a weekend evening, but is totally deserted in the middle of the afternoon. The main attraction here, of course, is the mechanical bull. So each girl gets to take a turn being shaken, tossed around, and ultimately hurled to the ground while Mayo takes mental notes of definitely seeing himself finding his future wife.
Ah, now we get to hear Mayo Wife Qualification #1 for the evening: Mayo tells the camera that he likes a girl who can go out, get down and dirty, and break a nail. Okay, so no princesses. Check. We aren’t in Pet Beautician Land anymore!
He confessionals that when the bull stopped spinning and just shook each girl, he was getting really turned on. Um, gross. When Tessa is thrown off, she fakes an injury so that Mayo will rush to her aid. That’s actually pretty smart – good thinking, Tessa! Stephanie Kansas ends up being able to stay on the bull the entire time, so our Bachelor is totally impressed. She’s the one who did a back handspring in her ball gown. Mayo confessionals that at the end of the date he gets to choose one of the Stephanies to spend Special Quality Time with. Apparently the word “girl” is synonymous with “Stephanie.” Or maybe he thinks all girls are named Stephanie.
Now the happy daters pull up to the Bel Age hotel, where a suite full of ball gowns is waiting for the girls. Tiffany (or should I say Stephanie) says she’s never had a date take her to a room full of dresses, so it was really great to be treated like a princess. Oops. First of all Tiffany, Mayo didn’t do this – ABC did. Secondly, Mayo doesn’t want a princess, so don’t get any ideas – that was last season’s Bachelor. The girls effectively choose their dresses without any drama and join Mayo on the roof. Hey! This is where MY 30th birthday party took place! I’m getting suspicious. First the worm, and now the roof of the Bel Age? I think there must have been an ABC mole at my birthday party taking very careful notes.
Anyway, we now get to hear Mayo Wife Qualification #2: “I really dig a woman who can be a tomboy and be sporty and outdoorsy and not scared to get dirty, but then can get cleaned up and come out just looking ravishing.” Okay, so a woman who can take a shower and change her clothes. Check.
“Stephanie, you changed your clothes!”
â€¨Mayo is blown away beyond his wildest expectations because each and every one of the Stephanies successfully changes her clothes! How will he ever choose? One Stephanie feels like a movie star. Another Stephanie says this is so Hollywood. A final Stephanie says this is the kind of place where something magical could happen and she can definitely see herself falling in love. It’s time for the Stephanies to vie for alone time with Mayo, and I’ll go back to using their real names because I noticed that they aren’t all named Stephanie, even if Mayo didn’t.
Mayo and Nicole do a little poolside dancing and the rest of the girls get jealous. Mayo and Alexis sit down for a little chat and the rest of the girls get jealous. Each time a girl talks to Mayo alone, the rest of the girls get jealous, particularly Bevin, who seems to be left out of everything. The girls decide to really blow Mayo’s mind and change their clothes again! Mayo is in heaven when they come out in their bikinis and everyone dips into the hot tub. He pulls Bevin out of the hot tub and the two of them jump into the pool together for some alone time while the rest of the girls get jealous.
Back at the girls’ house, the next date box arrives and it is a duffle bag. Kate, Susan, Erin, Tina, Amber, Danielle and Peyton are the lucky recipients. They all giggle like it’s a surprise. “It’s time to show your athletic side poolside… -Mayo.” Included in the duffle bag are items like short shorts, tube socks and whistles. Kate is excited because the second daters will be fresher in Mayo’s mind. Erin is excited because they may get to see Mayo with his shirt off.
Meanwhile at the Bel Age, Mayo announces that he is choosing a Stephanie to receive Special Quality Time, and that lucky Stephanie is… Tiffany. She is floored. Bevin continues her sour mood and is disappointed. Mayo and Tiffany change back into their formal wear and hop into a limo. Mayo confessionals that he chose Tiffany because she is shy and he wanted to give her a chance to shine. Well she doesn’t. Every time Mayo leans toward her she leans away. She looks very stiff and nervous, and she gives one-word answers to questions like “Have you ever dated a doctor before?” Okay, granted, that is a yes or no question, but it can also open up an entire conversation about Tiffany’s past, her expectations, her concerns, or any number of things. Or it could lead the conversation back to Mayo and his career and how it has affected his non-existent dating life. No luck. Tiffany just clams up. Mayo says it was really awkward and he had to work too hard. I actually agree – it was completely uncomfortable and it was mostly Tiffany’s fault. The only thing I can say is that the phrase “Special Quality Time” was repeated more times than I can count.
“This quality time sure is, uh… special.”
Group Date #2 – Nearly Naked Aerobics
The second date begins with Mayo screeching up to the Santa Monica Loews Hotel in his DeLorean. The production assistants have set up an entire mini-triathlon by the pool for the girls to compete in.
Now comes Mayo Wife Qualification #3: “Now I am a six time Ironman finisher. Athletics is a huge part of my life, so when I’m looking for my life partner, that’s something I want – someone who is sporty.” Athlete – check.
I hate to beat a dead horse here, but Mayo met a great athlete last week – Linda – and promptly sent her home. It can’t be that important, but I guess it does make for a good themed date, so on we go. Of course, the best thing to do before participating in a triathlon is to eat a big breakfast that includes an alcoholic beverage, so that is exactly what the girls and Mayo do. Tina admits that she’s only a mediocre athlete, so she decides to pull Mayo aside and make an impression that doesn’t involve sports. When they step four feet away to a different table, Kate announces that Tina is a hussy – for sure! That’s very sweet, Kate, especially after all the crap you just yapped about getting the Special Quality Time all to yourself. Tina is a medical student, so she and Mayo talk about orthopedics, but Mayo never mentions any wife qualifications involving a brain. Susan and Erin decide that they are going to interrupt doctor-talk together, but neither of them have the first clue about how to do that. They are so used to having guys come to them that it is impossible for them to say “hi” to Mayo and they have to plan and re-plan who will say it first.
“You go first. No I’ll go first. No…”
When they finally manage to greet Mayo, he just tells them he’ll be over in a minute. That will probably be the last time either of them approaches a guy.
Oh great, it’s Mayo Wife Qualification #4: “I want to see if they’re willing to let their hair down and get their hair wet and have their makeup messed up. That’s the type of woman I want.” It’s the no-princess thing again. Check already.
At the house, Smug Stephanie is getting her very own date box, so she has to do a smug recital for the camera. “I got the first impression rose, I got the first date; everything is working out perfectly!” She rushes the date box into the kitchen to rub it in all the girls’ faces. Here is her note: “Come dine with me on my yacht under the stars… -Mayo.” Poetry, I tell you. The date box is a giant oyster shell with a stargazing kit inside. Jealousy Spokeswoman Bevin tells the camera that they are all jealous of Smug Stephanie. I bet that’s exactly what Smug Stephanie wants!
“Nanny nanny nah nah!”
â€¨And it’s triathlon time! Erin takes the words out of my mouth when she says, “I don’t feel like I need to win a race to get a rose.” Right on, sister! Just because Mayo likes triathlons doesn’t mean the person he dates has to. In fact, variety is what makes life interesting. (If he wanted a triathlon winner he should have kept Linda.) This would be like me insisting that a group of guys participate in a scrap booking competition to see who would make the best boyfriend – it’s totally irrelevant. Now comes my worst nightmare, which is strenuous exercise in a bikini. First the girls have to swim some laps and Susan and Erin are cracking me up because they don’t want to get their hair wet. That is hilarious! Instead of swimming they just hold hands and walk back and forth across the pool. Mayo keeps screaming, “No walking! No holding hands!” and I just keep laughing. Kate wins the swimming portion and now the girls are onto that most flattering activity of riding an exercise bike dripping wet and nearly naked. Again, I am loving Susan and Erin because they stop to put their entire outfits back on before getting on the bikes. I am with them – why humiliate yourself for a guy you just met? Danielle wins the bike portion and takes off running around the pool – and I must say her bikini top does not serve well as a sports bra. But little does she know that Amber is training for a marathon and quickly overtakes her to win the whole caboodle – meaning Special Quality Time with Mayo. Naturally Susan and Erin take their time strolling their five laps around the pool.
Mayo and Amber begin their Special Quality Time by doing chin-ups on the beach. Wow, this guy is a barrel of laughs. Amber tells us, “Mayo is like a little kid living inside this big, muscular 30-year-old body.” That’s great because who doesn’t want to marry a child? She goes on to say, “I definitely see a connection with Mayo and I, and I can definitely see it moving further with us.” You don’t say. The rest of the girls spy on the Special Quality Time and gasp when they think they spot a kiss. As they cuddle on the beach, Amber discloses that she is an amazing cook and can’t wait to make Mayo a meal. Mayo confessionals that he can see himself and Amber spending a lot of time together in the future. I wonder if they’ll take the DeLorean to get there.
“Now this is QUALITY special time.”
Back at the house, Smug Stephanie is still trying to annoy the other girls by bringing in two dresses for them to look at to help her choose what to wear on her date. The first one is a loincloth and if the girls had any sense of competition they would encourage her to wear it and look ridiculous on television. They decide to be nice, however, and persuade her to wear a dress that actually covers her unmentionables. Smug Stephanie tells the girls she is 95% sure she will be getting a rose tonight. She tells the camera that the other girls should have tried harder because Mayo is just going to be focused on her.
Individual Date – Sinking Ship
It’s time for Smug Stephanie’s date, but she can’t leave without telling us one more time how jealous the other girls are and how much she doesn’t care. Mayo welcomes Smug Stephanie to his yacht, so I finally figure out that he is living there on the boat. That’s a new thing this season. Mayo takes her directly to the bow where they can… what else? Have a drink! They get so tipsy that they actually reenact the “I’m flying” scene from Titanic – and think they look cute and romantic doing it. You’ve got to be kidding me. Okay, so maybe I’ve done that too.
“I’m flying! Just like a Naval Aviator!”
â€¨Mayo tells Smug Stephanie that he hopes her getting the first rose and first date hasn’t created animosity from the other girls. You know, Mayo, it’s not the rose and the date that the other girls don’t like, it’s just Smug Stephanie because she sucks. Whatever, this is very romantic. You jump, I jump.
At home the girls speculate over what is happening on the date. Jealousy Spokeswoman Bevin says she hopes Smug Stephanie gets seasick. Amber guesses that whether or not Smug Stephanie gets a rose, she’ll definitely kiss Mayo.
On the yacht, Smug Stephanie brings up a typical first date question. “So Mayo, tell me what your ideal wedding is like.” Yeah, that’s what a guy wants to talk about. I’m sure he’s been dreaming of his perfect dress ever since he was six years old, just like you, Smug Stephanie. What a stupid question. Mayo says it would be fun to have a Hawaiian wedding. I wonder how deep he had to dig to come up with that one, seeing as he lives in Hawaii. Next Smug Stephanie pretends to drive the yacht while Mayo picks up some binoculars and holds them six inches from her face saying, “I see a beautiful woman!” Let’s just move on. They climb into the hot tub to snuggle together and Mayo whips out the rose. Smug Stephanie accepts it, giggles, and leans in for the smooch. I haven’t seen such an unwilling, tight-lipped kiss since the Pet Beautician. Look at his face.
â€¨Later Mayo helps Smug Stephanie into her limo, saying he’ll see her soon. In return she demurely whispers, “See you soon,” but as soon as Mayo closes the door she screams, “He’s awesome! I can’t wait to see him again! OMG he’s incredible!” Ew, how obnoxious. She comes into the house waving her rose, and the nearby girls scatter. Smug Stephanie recaps the date to the ones willing to listen, but when asked if there was any kissing, she tells them it was just a peck on the cheek. There is grand speculation among the girls as to whether or not Smug Stephanie is telling the truth.
At last it’s the pre-Rose-Ceremony party, also known as the last ditch effort to get a rose. Tina uses her now-familiar self-deprecation, telling Mayo she doesn’t think she’ll get a rose tonight, saying a lot of men think she’s too ambitious. Mayo confessionals that Tina’s intelligence is really sexy to him. Okay, well prove it. Let’s see some math problems or brain teasers on the next group date instead of just booty-revealing nonsense. Peyton tells Mayo what a vital service she does for humanity as a sorority recruiter. Um, negative. But I like her hair.
Here comes Mayo Wife Qualification #5, and this one is a list: “Someone who wants to have a family, someone with integrity, someone who likes to inspire others…” I’m sure he’ll have no problem finding which girl has those qualities next week at boot camp. Check!
Some of the girls are in a gaggle speculating about whether there is a virgin among them. Smug Stephanie is certain that Alexis is a virgin and that it will give her a leg up. Can we please not go there again? Last season I got so tired of hearing about the scandal that was Sadie’s virginity that I almost chainsawed my television. Luckily Alexis won’t fess up either way. She tells Mayo that she was engaged before and he doesn’t seem too thrilled to hear it. He really just wonders if she minds messing up her makeup or breaking a nail.
Susan and Erin are back, holding hands and wearing matching red dresses. Did I mention that I find these two hilarious? Mayo sits in between them to have a chat. Erin tells him she thinks she and Susan are soul mates – no soul sisters, yeah that’s it. That’s awesome. They don’t need to win The Bachelor because they came on and found each other! See? Everything happens for a reason.
Love lifts up Susan and Erin.
â€¨Amber takes Mayo on a tour of the house and he admits that he was most excited about getting to see Amber tonight. Mayo confessionals that everything would be perfect if he didn’t have to send three of the women home – ah, the familiar lamentation of The Bachelor. You see, he’s a healer – yes he really says that. Hurting people doesn’t go along with his heart and mind. Tessa sits down with Mayo and tells him that she too is training for a triathlon. Boy did she go on the wrong date. She would have had the Special Quality Time for sure in the makeshift Olympics. I’m really liking Tessa. When Mayo says he will be at the very triathlon Tessa is training for, she says, “Really? Well if this doesn’t work out I’ll see you there.” And she says it in a very unassuming, endearing way. I also really like her yellow dress. Tessa offers to give Mayo a foot massage (yuck) and they end up giving each other foot massages when they are interrupted by some of the other girls who are sensing a scandal.
Danielle tells Mayo that her ear has been hurting her. Lucky! I love having my ears looked in – it’s so relaxing for some reason. Mayo acts like he’s going to do something helpful when he moves her hair away, but all he does is kiss her ear to make it better. Thanks for nothing, Dr. Lame. Danielle reveals that she is a graphic designer, which is totally convenient because all she needs is her computer and she can work anywhere – hint, hint, porta-wife.
Jealousy Spokeswoman Bevin marches over to steal Mayo away, still bitter about not getting any alone time on the group date. She tells Mayo that she is here to take a risk and find someone to settle down with. Great plan, Bevin. Mayo takes Nicole outside to relive the ballroom dancing moment they shared on their date. While they’re swaying back and forth, Nicole thinks that a perfect kiss moment comes up, but Mayo doesn’t take the opportunity. Too bad she missed out on those pursed lips. Dare to dream, Nicole.
In the midst of all of the pre-rose excitement, Tessa suddenly gets really fed up with everything and runs away to the bathroom. Here is what she says: “My head might be about to explode right now. I’m so sick of like, thinking and talking about the kid, and not hanging out with him.” BINGO!!! That is exactly what The Bachelor is! You’re not dating a guy; you’re sitting around with a bunch of girls talking about a guy you hardly know. Of course with all of this isolated pining the girls build him into something he isn’t. Then he chooses based on mechanical bull-riding and mini-triathlons. It’s such a delusional situation – no wonder these couples never last. Peyton comes to make sure Tessa is okay, which she is. She’s just not sure if this is the right situation for her and she thinks it would be a relief to get sent home tonight. I agree – send them all home!
FINALLY it’s the Rose Ceremony. Way more girls stay than leave, so here are the three who are losing their man in uniform forever – because Mayo is the last guy on earth in the military. Or the police force. Or the fire department. Or the service industry…
Tiffany, Alexis, Susan (poor Erin).
â€¨D.O.R.! (Dropped on Request)
Agitated Tessa gets the first rose and she accepts it – boo! I was so hoping for her to tell Mayo that this isn’t the right situation for her and P.S. he can stick the rose where the sun don’t shine. Well, there’s always next week…
Tiffany is confused about being sent home because she and Mayo had such beautiful Special Quality Time together. No honey, you were very awkward and off-putting. Review the tape. Alexis says she’s always disappointed when something doesn’t work out the way she wants it to, but that’s okay because this should work out the way God wants it to. Oh dear. I’m not sure that heaven is too interested in the goings-on of reality television, but thanks for playing, Alexis. Susan is pretty sad, but I think it’s mostly because she’s leaving Erin.
Mayo feels like the luckiest guy in the world – again.
Next week is mud swimming, boot camp, and the Grand Dehydration Affair. Also, Tessa and Peyton go on a two-on-one date where there is one rose at stake.
During the credits Stephanie Kansas, Susan, Nicole and Alexis struggle severely over the math to determine how many girls are going home. Mayo has 12 roses, but Smug Stephanie already got one. There are 15 girls total, so how many have to go home? No, no girls, don’t just subtract 12 from 15, make it much more complicated than that. They land on four. Then they land on five. Finally Stephanie Kansas says three are going home, but there is still debate. I guess they won’t know until the ceremony.
What do you think about Mayo’s choices? Was it pure cruelty that prompted him to separate Susan and Erin?