A competitive (and truly disgusting) exchange of bodily fluids leads to a surprise crush, while the ''outsiders'' rush to fix their crumbling alliance
Bachelor Pad | Natalie excavates Wes' mouth with her tongue
Credit: ABC

Greetings, fair rose lovers! This week, I found myself wondering if a rose by any other name would smell as sweet in the Bachelor Pad, or if it would smell like a toxic mixture of champagne, tears, and betrayal. Oh, if only there were a modern-day Shakespeare in the house to clear this mystery up! Alas, asses are made to bear, and so are we, if we choose to watch this show.

The episode opens amidst the tension and anger of last week’s rose ceremony. As they stroll dejectedly back into the Pad, Gia asks Nikki if she was the one who foiled the ”outsiders”’ plan to oust Kiptyn by voting for McAngry. Thinking on her feet, Nikki comes up with a clever lie to save herself… oh wait, sorry, no — she decides to be honest instead, because that is totally how you win a reality TV show. Gia, who has apparently been taking confessional lessons from this season’s Big Brother cast, laments that there’s a ”huge target on my back,” and decides to fight for her survival… by telling everyone the truth, because that is totally how you win a reality TV show…? ”We all decided that we were going to vote you off,” she reveals to Kiptyn. ”But Nikki decided to go against that, and that’s why you’re still here.” Elizabeth and the rest of the ”insiders” look on smugly as Gia and Nikki commence fighting about whose idea it was to boot Kipper. Eventually, a glum looking Natalie floats away on her pink tutu, and Gia makes a last-ditch plea for her safety: ”Maybe now you can respect that we don’t want this to be a couples thing,” she says to Kiptyn. It’s amazing to me that the Bachelor Pad did not crumble to its foundations when the word ”respect” was spoken inside its walls. Anyhow, the evening comes to a somber close when Gia poses this question to the house: ”Anybody else want to put anything out on the open and be honest with each other from now on?” Cue the crickets.

The next morning, Harrison — looking resplendent in a bright pink shirt — greets the contestants with an ominous query: ”Did everybody brush and rinse this morning?” Awww, yeah, it’s time for a kissing contest!! The ”ladies” will be blindfolded and then forcibly smooched by each of the ”men,” and vice versa — once the kissing is done, the bachelor and bachelorette with the most votes get the roses. This news sends a nervous murmur through the Bachelor Pad, as the Weatherman tells Gia she shouldn’t feel ”pressured” to kiss the boys. Actually, she should. Natalie, take it away! ”Don’t come on the show when you know there’s going to be romantic challenges if you have a boyfriend, and then cry about something that you think is unfair. It’s completely fair… Just get over it and make out.” Preach it, girlfriend. Elizabeth is the first smoochee, and though she flinches nearly every time one of the guys approaches her, she makes an approving ”mmmm!” sound after nearly every kiss as well — except, of course, when the Weatherman lays one on her. (She clearly knows it’s him, given that he’s a good 12 inches shorter than every other guy in the house.) ”I just realized how gross this is,” she chirps.

NEXT: More bodily fluids exchanged!

And it only gets grosser. Peyton and Gwen go next, but they’re quickly montaged out and we move on to Ashley, who is having a crisis of conscience. ”I’m a high school teacher,” she explains. ”I don’t want to lose the respect of my students.” Honey, that horse is not only already out of the barn, it has galloped onto the freeway, been captured by animal control and then slaughtered for dog food. Meanwhile, Captain Rage is getting lots of votes for best kisser, and if that isn’t disturbing enough, we get a clear shot of Kiptyn sticking his tongue in Tenley’s open mouth, something NO ONE NEEDS TO SEE. Each of the bachelorettes feels that she has to win the rose — especially Tenley, who proceeds to swallow Jesse B.’s face whole. But none of these ”ladies” has anything on Natalie, who is so refreshingly self-aware — ”I would make out with everyone in the house for, like, 20 bucks” — I am now rooting for her to win.

After watching Peyton, Natalie, Tenley, Elizabeth and the other girls maul the men on the lips, a tearful Gia drops out of the competition, whimpering, ”I don’t care about getting a rose… I didn’t think that everyone would turn into porn stars here.” She then goes and sobs on the sad bunkbeds. Her misery is countered by the Weatherman’s joy at getting to kiss all of the hot bachelorettes (and Gwen). ”I am freaking stoked,” he gushes. He should be, because despite their obvious disgust, Elizabeth and Natalie essentially mouth-rape him in an effort to win the game. He then ear-rapes viewers by oversharing: ”I just made out with seven hot chicks. I need about 10 minutes in the bathroom by myself.” What makes me even more nauseated is the fact that I actually sympathized with Wes, an admitted germaphobe, who is extremely dismayed to be the last man the ladies kiss. ”For me to kiss a girl who I know has already kissed a bunch of other guys, it just makes me start to get sick right now, to be honest with you.” (Just FYI: A source close to this disgusting exchange of bodily fluids tells EW.com that Team Bachelor Pad had the contestants rinse with mouthwash between rounds in an effort to stay the spread of germs, so if the city of Los Angeles somehow avoids a catastrophic cooties outbreak, we have the good people at Listerine to thank.)

And thank GOD, the kissing contest finally ends. The ”ladies” vote Captain Rage as the best kisser, while the men say Peyton has the best pucker in the Pad. I guess much like slow and steady, ”gentle” (her words) and ”dry” (Wes’ words) win the race, huh? The Accent Table of Doom appears with Dave’s date card, and it seems that Team Bachelor Pad is finally spending a little money on these dates: They’re going to Vegas, baby! Dave chooses Nikki, because he says she’s handled the game with ”class” (again, how did the Bachelor Pad not collapse in on itself when he uttered that word?), Krisily, with whom he’s had his ”ups and downs,” and Natalie, because she’s always ready for a ”good time.” In short, he wants to lure the first two over to the cool kids’ team, and he’s hoping the third one will put out.

NEXT: Natalie’s still in the running to become America’s next topless model

They arrive at the Mirage and head straight for the topless pool, where Krisily, who’s gone totally googly-eyed and gaga for Captain Rage after getting his anonymous kiss, lamely tries to communicate her crush to him during their one on one time. Sadly, Dave’s too distracted by Natalie — who proceeds to bound over the poolside couches in her bikini — to notice. ”Is she drunk already?” he wonders aloud. ”Maybe a little bit,” sighs a disappointed Krisily. Cue Natalie whipping her top off in the hot tub, aaaand scene! She gets the rose, meaning what happens in Vegas… happens without Nikki and Krisily, who are sent packing immediately. ”Maybe we should have gone topless,” says Nikki. Thank you, Princess Obvious! Natalie literally cannot get to the Fantasy Suite bedroom fast enough — and soon, Dave is closing the door on the camera crew.

The crew aren’t the only folks getting shut out: Tenley, who’s nervous about Kiptyn’s upcoming date with Peyton, tries to force a spontaneous meet-cute by sneaking into Kipper’s bed so they can snuggle. Her perky presence is not welcome, however; Kiptyn mumbles something that amounts to ”you can lay here if you don’t talk or move or do anything that will make anyone think we’re a couple.” Miraculously, she takes the hint and goes to pout by the pool with Natalie. But you know who really has reason to be upset? Peyton, whose date with Kiptyn, Jesse B. and Kovacs — a romantic evening of drag racing and take-out tacos — was clearly planned by someone in the midst of a testosterone overdose. But bless her heart, she seems to be having a good time as she watches the boys try to prove their manhood through excessive acceleration. Over dinner, Kiptyn tries to fool Peyton into thinking he’s not dating Tenley, Kovacs tries to fool Peyton into thinking that he’s not whipped by Elizabeth, and Jesse B. — who is starting to reveal a surprisingly cruel streak — tries to fool Peyton into thinking that Natalie is not the ”type of girl” he’s looking for. He’s the only one who gets a kiss, and, not surprisingly, the rose. Though Jesse B. is ”super-stoked” to hit the Fantasy Suite with Peyton, he may want to curb that enthusiasm, given that said Suite is essentially a spare bedroom at the Bachelor Pad.

Back downstairs, the bulls–t train keeps rolling, as Wes pummels Gia with come-on after come-on, like, ”Even though we’re not together, it’s nice to wake up and see you.” And she LOVES it. She would totally hit that — if she didn’t have a boyfriend, of course. ”I would love to get serenaded by Wes,” she tells the camera. Well, ask and ye shall receive, toots! He pulls his guitar out of nowhere and begins singing his signature tune. While love don’t come eeeeee-zay, the same cannot necessarily be said of Gia, who appears either extremely intoxicated or under the influence of horse tranquilizers as she gushes to the camera about Wes: ”I’ve never met a person in my life like that boy… He’s like a modern-day Shakespeare — but better, cuter!” I am going to choose to believe that she is confusing Shakespeare with Garth Brooks’ alter-ego Chris Gaines. That is the only way I can keep from killing myself, people.

NEXT: Is that a threat, Wes, or is it a promise?

Elimination day arrives and Wes is frantic to keep his ladylove safe, so he’s running from bachelorette to bachelorette whispering that it’s time to break up the couples. Gia’s doing her own scrambling, tearfully pleading her case with Kiptyn — ”I was just the messenger,” she insists of last week’s plan to get him out. Natalie, Nikki, and Tenley vote to send Jonathan home, while Gia, Gwen and Ashley put Kovacs’ picture in the box. Meanwhile, Wes is getting drunker and drunker, and more and more belligerent in his campaigning against Elizabeth, telling anyone who will listen that if she doesn’t go home, Kovacs will get the boot next week. The wine guy is not amused. ”I don’t know what the f–k is going on with Wes,” he grumbles. ”He had a magical night with Gia and all of a sudden he wants to threaten me into voting for Elizabeth.” Will it work? Will the cool kids be able to keep Kovacs safe? Did somebody alert PETA to the fact that Melissa appears to have skinned a sheepdog to make her dress? So many questions!

Here’s hoping the Weatherman got those 10 minutes alone in the bathroom, because his Bachelor Pad ”journey” ends tonight. The vote on the ”ladies,” however, is tied between Elizabeth and Gia, and predictably, rose-holder Captain Rage sends Gia home. She cries and cries and cries in the Reject Limo. ”I’m an emotional wreck! I’m worse than on The Bachelor!” Don’t fret, darling — I have a feeling Wes will be following close behind next week. Ok, rose lovers, I want to hear from you. Will you miss the Weatherman? How much would you have paid to be sitting next to Gia’s boyfriend while he watched this episode? Can anything stop Elizabeth, besides unsightly root growth? Post your comments now! And as always, don’t forget to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive Bachelor Pad blog over on PopWatch. So go rinse your mouth out with some Cool Mint Listerine, and let’s talk Bachelor Pad!

Episode Recaps

Bachelor Pad
Chris Harrison reassembles former rose-contenders for a second chance at reality fame, love, and televised skankiness
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