It's hook up or go home as the bachelors and bachelorettes are separated into teams of two. Plus, Kovacs gets laid.
Bachelor Pad Jesse Kovacs
Credit: Kevin Foley/ABC

Happy penultimate episode, rose-lovers! Can you believe we’ve made it this far without shooting ourselves or someone else? Kudos to you all. This week, we open with Gwen fondling the sequined rose on her t-shirt — ”the only rose I have,” she jokes — and then comes the real shocker: Gwen is STACKED! Wow, how is this the first time I’m noticing her boobage in its full glory? Okay, sorry — here is the real bombshell: It’s time to even up the numbers, and this week three ”ladies” are going home. Kaboom! This causes a collective coronary failure among the women in the house. ”I’m going to have a heart attack!” breathes Tenley, miraculously without crying. ”The back of my heart is pumping so hard right now,” says Nikki. ”I can feel it in my bones.” (I’m no cardiologist, but shouldn’t her whole heart be pumping?)

For Tenley and Elizabeth, the idea of going home isn’t nearly as scary as the idea of having to live without a man. ”I’m terrified, because Kiptyn and I just started our romantic relationship,” says Tenley, ”and if I’m one of those three girls leaving today, that romance could come to an end.” The good news is, this week’s competition is a real game of skill: Spin the Bottle! (I guess they couldn’t fit a camera crew inside the closet for Seven Minutes in Heaven.) Anyhow, it’s not even a true game of Spin the Bottle, because the men are going to be choosing one woman to play with as a partner for the rest of the game, meaning it’s obvious from the get-go that the uncoupled ”ladies” — Gwen, Nikki, and Ashley — are headed for the Reject Limos. The bottle (which appears to be super-glued to a Lazy Susan) orders Kiptyn to go first, and though he pretends to deliberate — pacing in front of the assembled ladies like a tiger sizing up a pack of wounded gazelles — he chooses Tenley over Nikki, despite the fact that the latter saved him in week one. Kovacs goes next, and he also lets his ”gut” decide, offering a kiss to Elizabeth, even though she has a ”screw loose,” in his words. Do I even need to tell you how the rest of this goes? Dave picks Natalie, and Gwen, Nikki, and Ashley get hustled into the limos. Watching the funeral procession drive away, Elizabeth offers this Eulogy for a Trio of Spinsters: ”They not only didn’t find money — they didn’t find love. I could very easily be in Gwen’s shoes one day, in my 40s and still wanting love to find me again… For dust thou art, and into dust thou shall return.”

Dry your tears and pop some Ginko Baloba, blondie, because you and your comically inadequate short-term memory need to prep for the next competition. The contestants all hope it’s a ”how well do you know your partner” game, especially Kovacs, who says, ”I’m [sic] a steel trap for a memory.” For example, he remembers that Elizabeth is a natural brunette, which would be impressive if he were blind and didn’t see her dark roots every single day. Speaking of which, Natalie is hoping this next phase of the game will mark a new beginning in ”Dave and I’s” relationship (honestly how hard is it to say an extra few words: ”my relationship with Dave”??), while Tenley is giddy that she and Kiptyn have been granted a Make Out in Public Free card. The only blonde not thrilled about her situation is poor Peyton, whose partner Jesse B. cannot even master the complexities of peeling a banana. ”I would maybe rather do this on my own,” the always-diplomatic bachelorette laments.

NEXT: Balloon boys (and girls)

She has reason to worry, because Jesse is going to need to use his opposable thumbs for the next competition: a game of catch, with water balloons! Okay, seriously, between this, Twister, the pie eating competition, Spin the Bottle, and the personality quiz, I’m going to guess that Team Bachelor Pad has spent a grand total of $75 on these competitions — maybe $81 if you factor in the Listerine they used between rounds during the kissing contest. ”I cannot believe that me winning a quarter-million dollars relies on whether I do or do not catch a water balloon,” grouses Natalie. Neither can we, darling. Peyton and her Unfrozen Caveman Bachelor get knocked out first, Kip-Ten go next, and after a few more rounds of tense tossing, Dave and Natalie emerge as the winners of the first Couples Challenge. Poor Peyton is despondent, but to Jesse’s credit, he will not let her take the blame for dropping three balloons and putting their heads squarely on the Chopping Block. ”It was a team effort,” he tells her. ”I wouldn’t trade you as a teammate for anyone.”

Jesse has reason to hold tight to a sliver of optimism, because it doesn’t take long for Natalie to realize that Elizabeth and Kovacs are a much bigger threat — especially when it comes to ”relational” challenges — than Peyton and Banana Boy. But can she convince Dave? Only the Accent Table of Doom knows for sure! It arrives bearing the date card, which reads: ”Spend the night together under the stars.” To kill time while Natalie and Dave struggle to decipher that extremely cryptic message, Elizabeth and Kovacs — no doubt prompted by producers — wander out the front door and discover a yellow Lamborghini in the driveway, which they proceed to defile with an uncomfortable-looking dry-humping session. (”Watch out for the stick,” indeed.)

Natalie and Dave head out for their date, and after a joyride and a gas-station-calendar photo shoot on a bluff, they pull up to ”the same mansion [where] Jason and Molly fell in love” during their camping date. (Side note: Does any part of this date actually involve camping?) What happens next defies the imagination: Dave and Natalie have an actual, honest-to-goodness conversation. Natalie says if she wins, she wants to pay off her student loan, but also send her parents on a trip around the world to show her appreciation for all of the love and support they’ve given her and her siblings all their lives. Dave, meanwhile, talks about how ”brutal” his parents’ divorce was to deal with a child, and how it’s affected his relationships as an adult. When Natalie suggests that Dave call his dad when he gets back, he reveals that he and his father stopped speaking after a huge fight awhile back. ”It ended up with him saying, ‘You’re a worthless MF,’ I threw a chair through a wall…,” says Dave, as his eyes well up. ”Yeah, it’s tough. But that’s how it goes, and I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” Okay, seriously, am I really getting misty right now? Damn you, human emotions! Damn you to hell.

NEXT: Railing? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

When talk turns to strategy in the hot tub, Natalie broaches the subject of getting rid of Kovacs and Elizabeth, but Dave isn’t having it: ”Kovacs and I made a kind of pact that if it all came down to it we’d get each other to the end, no matter who else is there.” Meanwhile, back at the Bachelor Pad, Kovacs and Elizabeth have broken into the Fantasy Suite to get some alone time of their own. There, they perform a scene from a little known Dylan Thomas one-act play entitled Rail, Rail, Against the Dying of My Dignity:

Kovacs: Do you want to get naked? If you do, that’s cool. Whatever. Is that awesome? Or is that…

Elizabeth: Well it’s awesome if we’re in love and we’re making love but if it’s just railing then no it’s not cool.

Kovacs: It’s not going to be railing, it’s just… Are we going to waste our time and keep talking?

Elizabeth: I want romance. Where is it?

Apparently it’s underneath that sateen comforter, because a few minutes later, the duo are ”bonin’,” to use Jesse B.’s term. Predictably, this sends Elizabeth into a black hole of self-hatred, and as soon as the deed is done she begins lashing out at Kovacs. ”What the f— am I doing?” she fumes. ”Like, why am I throwing away 250 thousand dollars for a guy who doesn’t love me?’ (Poor Kovacs must feel like he’s starring in his own version of Groundhog Day.) The next day, Dave — who is so enamored of Kovacs that he crawls into bed with him and Elizabeth — basks in the glory of getting so far in the game with his bromantic partner. But Natalie still hasn’t given up on the idea of getting the power couple out, so she advises Peyton to put a bug in Tenley’s ear that Kovacs and Elizabeth are the biggest threat in the house. Still, what are the odds that someone will actually make a smart strategic move in this game? Honestly, folks, why start now?

When elimination night arrives, Kovacs is inexplicably shocked to learn that the couples will be voting individually. (Apparently he slept through his high school history class the day they covered the 19th amendment.) He then proceeds to vote for Peyton and Jesse, as do Elizabeth and Dave. And with Natalie and Tenley forming their own pact to get rid of blondie and the wine guy, based on something they call ”women code” (they even seal it with a super-secret pinky-swear fist bump), once again, it seems that everything will come down to Kiptyn. Unfortunately, he’s torn between loyalty and strategery, aaand…it’s loyalty for the win! Turns out Natalie’s ”women code” is about as real as Elizabeth’s botched boobs, because Jesse B. and Peyton are going home. Jesse B. is pissed, and after gallantly telling Peyton that he’s ”so grateful” he had her as a partner, he politely issues this warning: ”There are a couple of people here who are fairly fake.” Oh look, Tenley is crying. Who’s got bingo?

Okay, rose-lovers, we’re down to the ”super six,” in Dave’s words — are you excited for the predictably synergistic Dancing with the Stars-themed final challenge? (Not for nothing, but I think Natalie and Dave have a good shot at scoring the disco ball trophy — Captain Rage has got some moves! And he earned a spot in the final four the second he donned that sparkly unitard, if you ask me.) Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the reunion? And if you were the Bachelor Pad producers, how would you sterilize the now-defiled fantasy suite to make it fit for use again? When you’re done posting your thoughts, don’t forget to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog over on PopWatch. Take one step backwards, 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
  • TV Show
  • 3