The Bachelor
4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)

There was so much goodness (read: awesome badness) in this episode, that I don’t know where to begin. So before we get into ousted Amanda calling Matt a “douchebag” (you go, girl!), I’m gonna pretend I’m a Bachelor cameraman and go where the skin is.

Can you believe Chelsea let them film her slipping into something more comfortable at the end of her overnight date with Matt in Barbados? You didn’t see anything, other than her slipping off her panties with a bedazzled “pretty” on them, but still. Ewww. That said, that long black (mesh? crochet? lace?) dress worked its charm on Matt, who needed to see that Chelsea could, indeed, stomach romance after she kept her distance from him on their afternoon dive with sea turtles. “The turtle was closer to me physically than Chelsea,” Matt said. “I had better eye contact with the turtle underwater, with goggles and a mask thing on, than I did with Chelsea. I was gutted.” At dinner, Chelsea explained to Matt that she was distancing herself from him because the other women, and the fear of not knowing how she’d handle rejection, were overwhelming her. And I totally get that. But I think he’s totally gonna choose her. As he noted, he’s almost said too much to her in regards to his feelings: we know his parents will love her, that he considers her one of his best friends, that he loves her sense of humor and believes they’d make a great couple who have a lot of fun together. And he really did look upset in his confessional, when he was dissecting what started out as the most awkward overnight date in Bachelor history. (“Matt: I think about you a lot.” Chelsea: “Good.”) If she does get along with Matt’s parents, the ring is hers.

After the jump, Shayne enjoys being blond (since she was 12 or 13) and Amanda needs Matt to say he’s just not that into her.

Shayne was Matt’s first date in Barbados, and since he’s no longer worried that she’s on the show just to become Paris Hilton, he was able to focus his attention on what really matters: Shayne doing split jumps on a trampoline. Canoodling in the ocean, in the sand, and in the swimming pool. Figuring out if Shayne’s dumb blond act is, as he suspects, just an act. Does she just ask stupid questions — e.g. “Do they have palm trees in London?” and “I’m intellectual — is that how you say that word?” — because she thinks it’s cute, and not because she doesn’t know the answer. I can’t decide what annoyed me more: That Shayne thinks playing dumb is a good way to keep a relationship “spicy,” or that apparently, it works. (Matt said he “loves it.” And that he could easily seem himself with Shayne, his “little monkey.”) I do believe Shayne is smart, and knows when she’s being entertaining (schooling Matt on the art of the tongue-less actor kiss) and giving a good sound bite: “To be honest with you, I love being blond. I love it. I’ve been blond since I was 12, maybe 13.” I’d like to say that her fate will depend on whether she knows when to cut the act (meaning, when meeting Matt’s parents), but I don’t think Matt really considers her a potential life partner. Telling the camera that he was “seriously touched” by Shayne expressing that she’s falling in love with him, to me, seemed like a nice way of saying, “I’m flattered. I didn’t think my little monkey had it in her.” I could be totally wrong. Am I?

Last and, well, least, we get to Amanda. I feel like something had to have happened on one of their earlier dates, that we didn’t get to see, to explain why Amanda was sooo worried that Matt wouldn’t have offered her the fantasy suite. What was that about? (I hope Chris Harrison gets to the bottom of it in next week’s bachelorettes tell-all special.) They seemed to have a nice enough time conquering their fear of heights together on their ziplining date (meep!), but looking back, Amanda never seemed to let loose. She always seemed a little guarded. She definitely opened up to Matt at dinner, in the sense that she told him he was someone she thought she could be with forever, and that she’d had a hard time sharing her feelings with him because she’d never actually felt them before and didn’t know how to process them for herself. But she didn’t show her personality as much as she could’ve. That, I think, is what made Matt “hurt like hell inside” when sending her home: he thought that they could really get along without the cameras rolling, but he didn’t have proof. So he had to go with what he knew for sure, and that’s that he’s seen the real Chelsea and Shayne and enjoys them.

As for the rose ceremony, I thought this one was, actually, somewhat dramatic. Shayne looked hellanervous, which was kinda strange but kinda sweet. Clearly, I wanted Chelsea and Amanda to get roses, because in my notes, I wrote Don’t say Shayne. Don’t say Shayne. Don’t say Shayne. Of course, he called her name first (and she could barely speak to accept the rose). After picking Chelsea, Matt sat down with a stunned Amanda and insisted that he meant everything that he’d ever told her. Then, he made the classic male mistake of thinking that if I tell her that she has every quality I’m looking for in a woman, it’ll be letting her down easily. No, that statement crushes women even more. Because then we have no idea why you dumped us, and know that we’ll spend hours talking to friends trying to figure it out. That’s why Amanda said Matt was a “douchebag.” When he finally admitted that he just wasn’t as into her as he was the other two women, she was cool. Well, still confused, but ready to move on. That statement is just harsh enough to halt a woman’s feelings for you, gentlemen, and that’s what needs to happen if you want her to be happy. (If you need a primer in what not to say to a woman, I refer you back to my translation of Bachelor Brad’s psychobabble.)

So, who will we see proposed to in two weeks: Chelsea or Shayne?

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