Hello again, rose lovers! And no, that nerve-shattering screeching noise you hear is not the sound of an 18-wheeler being peeled open like a sardine can by a low-clearance overpass. It is, in fact, the lusty war cry of the audience here in the Tealight Candle Thunderdome, in response to Chris Harrison’s opening question: “How many of you think this is the best Bachelor season ever?”
To prove it, Team Bachelor opens this season’s WTA with a taped segment showing Sean and Harrison crashing Bachelor viewing parties, to the shrieky delight of women in the greater Los Angeles area. “It’s an incredible feeling to think that people are so invested into my story and the love that I’m searching for,” marvels Sean. “It’s a very humbling feeling.” At a surprise visit to a UCLA sorority house, the frenzied mob of Delta Gammas were able to bully Sean into disrobing by chanting “Take your shirt off!”, but I was a little disappointed that they didn’t complete the hazing ritual by forcing him to stand on a block of ice while drinking gallon jugs of Poland Spring until he passed out from hyponatremia.
Time to welcome the “ladies”! Say hello to Ashley P., Diana, Brooke, Daniella, Jackie, Kacie, Leslie H., Kristy, Taryn, Katie, Amanda, Selma, Robyn, Sarah, Desiree, Lesley M., and AshLee. (Applause-o-meter winner: Desiree.) After a highlight reel that hits all the rewind-worthy moments of the season (e.g. 50 Shades of Drunk falling down the stairs) and recaps Tierra’s many calamities — while also, notably, taking a quick detour to paint AshLee as a “control freak” who the “ladies” never liked (“She saw Sean on TV, and now she’s in love,” sneers Des) — Harrison turns it over to the women to discuss the epicenter of the season’s many crazyquakes: Tierra. Naturally, most of the “ladies” have zingers at the ready: Selma quips that they kept telling Tierrarist, “Ya gotta hide your crazy”; while Lesley jumps in with “Your sparkle didn’t sparkle that big!” A quick vote of the audience determines that all of America believes Tierra’s fall down the stairs and her “hypothermia” were faked, while Robyn — who new angled bob looks fantastic — admits that she paid less attention to Sean because she was so wrapped up in the Tierrarist drama. “I’m sitting here at Women Tell All, mad all over again!”
After the commercial break, a stagehand draws Tierra a map to the hot seat, and she tentatively makes her way to the center of the Thunderdome to tepid applause. (Thanks, Team Bachelor, for not making us wait until hour two for this main event.) Tierra proceeds to tell Harrison that normally she brings “this joy” and “this smile” wherever she goes, but as soon as she walked into Casa Bachelor with the first rose, she was surrounded by judgey bitches who just wanted to take her down. But other women got roses on dates, Harrison replies, and no one hated them. “I didn’t want to be friends with them,” explains Tierra. “Sean put in my mindset… ‘Tierra, focus on the prize.'” Fair enough, muses the host, but can’t you focus on the “prize” and still respond when someone says good morning? “I felt ganged up on,” squeaks Tiny T. “Every girl on the house talked about one another… You never heard me on the show ever say somebody’s name directly, like, ‘Oh she was a b-i-t… She was this, she was that. Never!'” (Did she peter out back there because she doesn’t know how to spell bitch? Inquiring minds want to know!)
NEXT: Desiree ditches her bangs