On ''The Bachelor,'' after Byron moves into the bachelorette pad, he has a few budget one-on-ones, Leina says a voluntary aloha, and Krysta and Andrea tiptoe toward the edge

By Liane Bonin
Updated September 29, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Bachelor: Bob D'Amico

”The Bachelor”: Shacking up, stepping out

Killer tropical polar bears? What is this, Land of the Lost? Seriously, someone bring on the Sleestaks, bad corduroy pants, and some choice recreational drugs, and we’re tripping back to the ’70s, people.

I know, I know — wrong show, but it seems most of you are watching The Bachelor‘s lead-in, Lost, anyway, and I couldn’t resist. Besides, the bizarro developments on the island that recovery crews forgot were considerably more intriguing than this week’s episode of Lord Byron the Blond and His Harem of Neurotics.

Aside from some predictable carping from superbitch Krysta and Andrea’s sobbing fit (I’m starting to think the woman’s tear ducts are set on a timer, like my lawn sprinklers), this was quite a disappointment. Where was the suicide-inducing pool orgy we were promised in last week’s teaser? Instead, the women were reduced to leaving flower-bedecked love notes and making almond-butter sandwiches, as if they were all auditioning for a Merchant-Ivory movie or a really bad family sitcom.

Make that most of the women. Budding sociopath Krysta (I am so voting her Most Likely to Beat Her Housemates to Death with a Blunt Object) is about as wholesome and nurturing as a rabid moray eel. Still, you’ve got to appreciate a woman who considers cooking dinner drunk wearing nothing but an apron and a thong to be sexy instead of a mildly icky hygiene issue. The only thing that worries me is her threat to ”put her A game on.” Jeez, what has she been playing up to this point? I can only guess her A game involves tattooing Lord Blondie’s name in capital letters across her forehead and eating Kristie’s still-beating heart to show her devotion. Actually, I think she’d do that last part just for the fun of it.

I’m really starting to think Krysta wants to be the last bachelorette standing simply so she can snatch the engagement ring from Byron’s sweaty palm, find Kristie, and grind the diamond setting into the girl’s face while laughing maniacally. She left her bushel of flowers on Blondie’s doorstep simply to make Kristie’s trio of roses look paltry in comparison. (Kristie may be overly impressed with her own ingenuity. Leaving a love note is a nice thought but not exactly worthy of a patent. If next week she drops off a formula for peace in the Middle East or a portable Pilates machine, I’ll be impressed.)

I was surprised more wasn’t made of Leina’s decision to leave the house (the fisherman just wasn’t floating her boat), although I was amused to see that the Hawaiian hottie had to take a stinkin’ taxi home. (No limos for quitters!) I’m only guessing that the producers cut out the scene where the rest of the women lovingly shoved her out the door while screaming for the cabbie to hit the gas.

The women who were axed this week seemed to take their rejection in stride, but that could be because they had heard about the lousy dates Byron had subjected Cheresse and Jayne to. Since when did a rehearsal in a desolate nightclub get upgraded to a ”private performance”? If anything, Brandy looked irritated during her meet-and-greet with Byron and Cheresse, as if she wanted to go change into something sparkly and make nice with some paying customers instead of an overly tan Fabio who clearly didn’t know who the hell she was.

At least Cheresse didn’t have to play ”kiss the fish” with Byron, which sounds nasty until you realize that he actually wanted Jayne to, like, kiss a fish. He later told the camera that most women don’t like to smooch whatever they’ve just caught on his cheapo fishing dates. You’d think that might be his tip-off to stop rubbing his own filthy mouth all over a fish he’s going to throw back into the water, where it’s going to be ostracized for smelling like tanning lotion and Old Spice deodorant stick, but oh well.

Even after Jayne passed this yucky fish-licking litmus test, Lord Blondie yammered on about how her shyness might stand in the way of their developing a lasting love. Oh, please. Watching these two together, you just know she’s going to win. Not because they have such great chemistry, but because they both seem to be equally tan and equally vapid. I like Jayne, but Byron’s belief that still waters run deep seems to be wishful thinking on his part. Still, I think both of them have a profound belief in the beauty of Byron’s hair, and that should be enough to keep them together.

Even if this week’s episode was surprisingly tame, we saw evidence that someday soon Andrea is going to flick the crazy switch, big time. As she puttered around fluffing Byron’s pillows and making him sandwiches like a loon building its nest, she managed to come across as simply eager instead of the raving nutjob we all know her to be. But her predictable pre-rose-ceremony tears are a sure indication that she’s about to snap. And with the way this show is going, that can’t happen a moment too soon.

What do you think? Will Byron and Jayne hook up? Can Andrea and Krysta keep it together long enough to reach the final two?