By Chris Harrison
Updated January 29, 2013 at 06:05 AM EST

So, like many blogs before this one, I’m writing this at approximately thirty thousand feet. I give you this disclaimer because as I look back on my blogs I find that something about writing these at cruising altitude makes them decidedly different. Not sure if it’s the lack of oxygen getting to my brain or the fact that I always listen to music as I write that gives these high altitude blogs a little edge. Right now I’m feeling a little sentimental because Gloriana’s “Kiss You” is on, so let’s roll with that.

Selma, who we really haven’t gotten to see that much of yet, got the first date. Emotions are running incredibly high this season, honestly a little higher than usual. Because of this, who gets dates really impacts the dynamic in the house. The date with Selma started out super sexy but then turned incredibly rugged. I credit Selma for delivering the money line of the season so far when she said Sean “took the Iraqi to the desert.” Selma, who’s apparently not the outdoorsy type, started out a little rough, and in her words, puffy, but boy did she rally. Joshua Tree National park was an incredible backdrop for this date, and Sean was truly impressed with how Selma dove right in and got dirty with him. It’s important that these girls can show him how they can step out of their comfort zones and embrace what life has to offer beyond six-inch heels.

There was a lot of sexual chemistry between the Selma and Sean and as a result, she had to explain that due to her beliefs and her background she couldn’t kiss him. This brings up an incredibly interesting social discussion. Selma wanted to kiss Sean and she really doesn’t necessarily seem to believe that dating out loud is wrong, nor is kissing. But she felt compelled, out of respect for her parents and their beliefs, to refrain from kissing Sean. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Is living like this going to be something that Selma ultimately regrets? Only the individual can make that judgment calls for herself, and this is the path Selma’s chosen for right now. Sean, to his credit, very much respected her decision and completely understood. Ironically it probably only made her more attractive, but at some point, will that change? Like his other dates, Selma really seems like she could be the one for Sean, but then again, that’s how almost every date feels with this guy.

The group date was interesting, to say the least. I put the roller derby idea right up there with the Muay Thai boxing date during Ashley’s season in Chiang Mai. Sure, it seems like a good idea, but once you realize everyone’s just getting hurt, it becomes less sexy. One good thing about these dates is you get to really see what people are made of and how they handle stressful situations. You also get to see how tough their jaws are. Everybody took some big spills but Amanda really came crashing down. Fortunately her jaw broke her fall. She was banged up pretty good and had to go make sure she didn’t actually fracture her jaw. Luckily she returned later in the date, but sadly, she’ll never play the harmonica the same again.

One thing that no one expected was how hard skating would be for Sarah. Everyone, especially Sean, was really sensitive to her and wanted to make sure she didn’t feel excluded for any reason, but also felt comfortable with the activity. It was nice to see her get so much support from the other girls and Sarah once again proved herself to be a very, very strong woman.

NEXT PAGE: Tierra the “scary hobo goblin”

Sean quickly took the temperature in the room and realized at this point it was best to cut his losses and restructure this date. He did so by cranking up a little power ballad and turned the whole thing into one big couples skate. Well played, my friend. There’s no problem that can’t be solved by good baby-making music and a couples skate. As the date progressed to the evening cocktail party, things got a little intense. I’m not sure how Sean and Lindsay didn’t freak out when they walked out of that door to find Tierra crouched in the dark corner like a scary hobo goblin ready to pounce on them. I’m not really sure there is such a thing as a hobo goblin but again you gotta give me some leeway here. I’m not getting a lot of oxygen and I’m now listening to some Miike Snow, so this could get weird… or weirder. Now, this move by Tierra could’ve gone one of two ways. Sean could’ve been annoyed and sent her packing, or do what he did and talk her off the cliff. Whether this was the right thing for him to do is debatable. Whether or not he got played is not debatable. Bottom line, Sean likes this girl and we all know that when we like someone we see past a lot and we tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I imagine there will be much talk surrounding Tierra this week by all of you.

Okay, now musically mellowing things out — Citizen Cope “Sideways” just came on (one of my favorite songs), much better.

As much as Selma’s date turned out not to be a Pretty Woman date, Leslie H.’s was all that and then some. If you didn’t catch it they actually pulled up in front of the Regency Beverly Wilshire hotel, or as Kit says in the movie, “Reg Bev Wil,” where Pretty Woman was shot. Leslie delivered the second best line of this episode when she said she felt like she was really just “a tan Julia Roberts.” It was really cute how uncomfortable and nervous Leslie was with all of this. You could tell she truly appreciated it.

Perfect timing for Bob Marley “Is This Love” to come on my headphones, because that was the big question on Sean’s mind this entire date. He probably summed it up best when he said somebody can look perfect on paper but when it’s not there there’s just no way to fix that. They had incredible conversations and got along so well but that spark has to be there and it just wasn’t. As Mr. Marley just sang to me “I wanna love ya, every day and every night.” That just wasn’t happening here.

This season overall is different than any other I’ve ever been a part of, and that’s because of Sean. He has such an amazing way of making each woman feel like she’s the only one in his life and that is making things increasingly difficult. The other interesting thing about Sean is he has very different relationships with each woman. They all seem to bring out different sides in him. This is going to continue in the weeks to come and if you think emotions are running high now, well, just wait until next week.

If you take anything from this blog this week I hope it’s not the fact that when you combine an eclectic music mix and lack of oxygen I get a little loose. I hope it’s that we have a huge, special two-day Bachelor event next week! Next Monday and Tuesday we will air all new back-to-back episodes. We’ve never done this before but we think these two episodes are so good and so explosive a special two-night extravaganza was in order. So stock up on the boxed wine and let’s do this. In the meantime if you need me or want more songs to live and write by you can always find me on twitter and Instagram @chrisbharrison. Everybody have a great week!

More Bachelor from EW:

Plus, read Sean’s blog at