When night falls the duo meet up for red wine on the hotel rooftop, where Sarah kicks off the evening with a story about the time she wasn’t allowed to go zip-lining in Las Vegas because, as a stern employee informed her, “state law prohibited people with disabilities from going zip-lining.” Naturally, Sarah was mortified — “You watch people zip-lining all the time and they’re barely holding on with two arms, let alone one,” she tells Sean, as the camera zooms in on her residual limb — so her father, who told Sarah she needed to find a man who is “strong” and “comforting” to help her deal with life’s myriad challenges. (Dad, I know you meant well, but are you sure that’s the message your daughter wanted to hear at that moment?) Anyhoo, Sarah tells the Bachelor that in light of that experience, it means all the more to her that he chose her for such a physically adventurous date. And Sean LOVES it. “I’m so glad I could be there for you,” he says. “I do consider myself a man, and I feel like a man should protect you.” As manly as Sean is, however, it is Sarah who goes in for the first kiss after he gives her the rose.
Ding-dong, it’s the Accent Table of Doom at the door! Of all the “ladies” chosen for the group date — Kristy, Amanda, Brooke, Lesley M., Daniella, Catherine, Robyn, Katie, Selma, Diana, Taryn, Kacie, and Tierra — Daniella looks the most confused (does she even know where she is?) and Tierra looks the most pissed. “It sucks, because I’m not here to meet friends,” she gripes. “I’m here to meet Sean.” You already did that, sweetie — don’t you remember?
Never mind, let’s just pile into the limo and steep in our own insecurities. “Going on a date is not an ideal situation,” says Katie, who takes a cleansing breath as Catherine looks on solemnly. “I hope that I’m not overshadowed by bigger personalities.” The limo drives the “ladies” to a palatial estate for a photo shoot. Let’s let Sean explain: “We’re going to be models for Harlequin novels, the most trusted name in romance.” (If you listen closely, you can actually hear Sean’s testicles shriveling to the size of raisins as he’s forced to say that sentence.) The woman who demonstrates the most chemistry with the Bachelor will appear on three Harlequin romance novels nationwide. Kristy is so excited she practically soils herself. As Katie puts it, “Homegirl’s a little excited to do a photo shoot.”
Team Harlequin goes to work tarting the women up in “things you can perhaps untie,” as the wardrobe woman puts is, as well as teasing their hair to astronomic heights, piling on the makeup and otherwise getting them ready to represent the four genres of supermarket romance novels: Cowgirl, Vampire, Sexy, and Historical. Sean, meanwhile, just has to take off his shirt and rub some baby oil on his abs. Thirteen women is a lot to primp, so naturally there’s plenty of time for the contestants to sit on the sidelines and silently judge each other — or, in Tierra’s case, not so silently. “Oh, Kristy has extensions?” she marvels, making a face like someone just offered her a glass of horse urine. Her sneery ways do not go unnoticed, especially by Robyn, who proceeds to badmouth her competition to the woman doing her makeup. “Tacky hos are a dime a dozen,” scoffs the makeup artist, as the camera zooms in to catch Tierra, who’s just a few feet away, give Robyn the stink-eye.
NEXT: “That’s, like, not okay with me”