The Bachelor recap: Playing Doctor
It’s week four, Bachelor fans, and you know what that means — time for the dreaded (and totally dirty-sounding) ”two-on-one” date. This is my favorite Bachelor tradition, because it’s just like the Colosseum in ancient Rome — two will enter, but only one will leave. Are we not entertained?
But before we get to the emotional bloodbath, it’s time to honor a new Bachelor tradition: Uncomfortable karaoke! As you’ll remember, last season on The Bachelorette, the men had to write and perform a love song for DeAnna in order to win a one-on-one date — a contest Jesse won, by the way, which worked out really well for him. Anyhoo, now it’s Jason’s turn to endure a talent(less) show. Harrison informs the ”ladies” that they have 30 minutes to whip up a tune, which sends the women scurrying into different corners of Casa Bachelorette to begin their compositions. Tooth Nazi decides to write a rap song like Jason did for DeAnna, while Lauren is typically obnoxious, claiming that she has ”a good ear for music” and that her song will be ”like a professional song that maybe you hear on the radio.” Nikki, in a continuation of her emotional implosion that began last week, slumps against the wall and cries about how she’s a ”control freak” who can’t be silly because it’s not in her nature. ”I’d rather, like, have a tarantula crawl up my arm than do this,” she sobs. Could someone please get this woman her tiara and a can of Lemon Pledge? Perhaps that’ll remind her that just a few weeks ago she was a bubbly pageant queen, not a basket case.
While making Bachelor fans sit through the performances is an exercise in atonal futility — after all, we know from the opening preview that Molly gets a one-on-one date — at least the producers keep the singing montage mercifully short. Molly volunteers to go first with her fast-food themed ditty (”Like nuggets and French fries we could be perfect soul mates”), and Stephanie, dressed in a hot pink getup straight out of the Bratz Doll Mother-in-Law Collection, unleashes an operatic caterwaul that probably had the exact opposite effect on Jason’s libido than what she was going for. Lauren gets up and announces that she wrote a ”full-on song,” and to be fair her tune sounds a little like something Jewel might have written back when she was living in her car. Despite her near-total mental collapse, Nikki manages to warble her song without crying or throwing up on herself. (Small victories, sweetie.) But to absolutely no one’s surprise, Molly earns the one-on-one date.
So what exactly does Molly win? A ride on a blimp? Diamonds and a private jet to Vegas? Not quite. The budget, it seems, is getting a little tight, according to the note on the date card: ”Molly, let’s stay home tonight at my place.” Um, yay? Still, the ”ladies” are super-duper jealous because, as Melissa explains, ”this is what it would be like to be with Jason on a Saturday night, on a date, just the two of us [and the 15 crew people pointing cameras and microphones at us while we make out].” At the Bachelor pad, Molly and Jason sit on the floor and eat burgers and fries, while Jason does his best to find something out about his date — because at this point all we know is that she has very white teeth and an apparent love-hate relationship with fast food. She says all the right things — she wants to have ”kids” and ”a husband” and she’s not scared by the fact that Jason is a divorced single parent, but Jason can barely hear her because he’s mesmerized by her ”stargazing amazing” eyes.
NEXT PAGE: Getting physical on General Hospital
After dinner, Jason and Molly take the party outside to the front yard, where s’mores and a tent are waiting. Jason wastes no time giving her the rose, and then he and Molly retire to their nylon love shack. Over at Casa Bachelorette, Tooth Nazi decides to wait up for her competition to come home, but little does she know that Molly and Jason are going to be in that tent making muffled moaning sounds for the rest of the night. When Molly finally makes the walk of shame back home, she’s greeted by a phalanx of bathrobe-sporting ”ladies” with fake smiles plastered on their faces. Melissa sums up the sentiment of the room: ”I don’t like that she smells like him.”
Enough jealousy, ”ladies”! It’s time to head out with Jason. So what could the date card’s cryptic message about ”playing doctor” possibly mean? Why, a synergistic visit to the set of ABC’s venerable daytime drama General Hospital, of course! The date will be extremely helpful to him, explains Jason, because ”the girls can show me if they’ve got any acting skills” — and as we all know, the ability to convey false feelings is a cornerstone of a happy marriage. The ”ladies” get done up in their costumes (maid, hooker, nurse — your standard female archetypes) and then head to the set to engage in a series of poorly acted vignettes (all of which involve passionate kisses, of course). When they’re not in a scene, the bachelorettes mill around and scowl as Jason puts his lips on one woman after another. Megan channels that anger into her acting: Draped in a slinky black negligee, she all but unhinges her jaw and devours the Bachelor’s face, much like Diana the lizard queen from V.
At the fake wrap party, everyone seems to be coming to the collective realization that sharing a man with eight other women on national television is the equivalent of having Oscar De La Hoya punch your self-esteem in the solar plexus. Naomi separates herself from the pack to mope, and it doesn’t help when Jason offers these words of cold comfort: ”You’re one person that I will always want the best for, whether it’s with me, which it could be, or if it’s not with me.” In a shocking development, Megan has a fleeting moment of self-awareness, though it’s wrapped in layers of egomaniacal delusion: ”I just feel like I, more so than anyone, is so perfect for him, and he just doesn’t see it. It’s like, I just want to scream and be like, ‘It’s me! Like, I’m perfect for you!’ But I can’t, because that would be straight crazy.”
Lauren has no time for such introspection, however. She continues her scorched earth offensive against the other ”ladies,” primarily because she’s convinced that Jason is just a ball-gag away from being her husband. ”You need to give me a rose tonight, or I’m going to be pissed,” she tells him. For the first time all season, Jason shows the slightest hint of being annoyed, brushing Lauren off with a curt, ”I hear you.” Later, Tooth Nazi pulls him aside to issue this tearful threat: ”I’m not letting you let me go.” Then she blows her nose, digs around in each nostril with her index finger, hands Jason the snotty napkin, and leans in for a kiss. Remarkably, Jason doesn’t leap off the roof of the hotel to avoid her mucus-smeared mug, but Tooth Nazi is still angered by his less-than-enthusiastic response: ”He kept telling me that I had napkin on my face.” Faced with a truly depressing choice among a collection of weeping women, Jason decides to give Naomi the rose, even though he all but told her they have no future. Congratulations, Naomi — you’re the less-est of six evils!
NEXT PAGE: A threesome becomes a twosome
The next day, Nikki and Stephanie are pawing through their suitcases trying to find something to wear on their two-on-one date. What could have possibly led them to believe that they’d be allowed to dress themselves? Haven’t they read the rulebook? Bitches, you’d better get your butts outside, because your ”princess” costumes are waiting in the driveway — and it took some poor PA hours to wrap that bellhop cart in pink ribbon. While the date card promised them a ”ball,” Jason takes them to an empty outdoor patio instead, where a nice lady is waiting to give them a ballroom dancing lesson. A lot of stiff box-stepping and tentative cutting in ensues, until, thankfully, it’s finally time for dinner. (Which reminds me, let’s make the drinking game official: Take a shot every time the camera pans to someone’s cleavage when Jason uses the phrase ”amazing qualities.”)
While Jason is still trying to convince us that he’s unsure about what to do — he has a connection with Nikki but feels she’s too closed off, and he thinks Stephanie is great but the spark just isn’t there — we all know how this date is going to end, don’t we? And frankly, Stephanie, you and Sophia deserve better… Wait, WHAT? He’s sending Nikki and her amazing qualities home instead? Explains Jason, ”It was really hard to send Nikki away because Nikki’s one of the sweetest people here. But I had to make a decision tonight, and the more I thought about it, it just made more sense with Stephanie.” (Props to you, Bachelor, for thinking with the big head this time.) Meanwhile, in the reject limo, Nikki is numb after having her worst fear — that she is, in fact, unlovable and useless — confirmed by reality TV: ”It’s like the whole ‘you’re not good enough’ factor, I think. That’s why I try to be so perfect. It’s like, I do everything right and yet I’m always rejected.” Girl, go home, cry into some Häagen-Dazs, and then get over yourself. Life is too short.
At the cocktail party, most of the ”ladies” manage to get through their one-on-one time without bawling, perhaps because their tear ducts decided to go on strike until ABC meets their demand for overtime pay. (The party was also notable for the collection of truly ugly cocktail dresses — from Tooth Nazi’s craft-class red frock to Lauren’s bedazzled magenta mini to Jillian’s strapless, backless number, it was a surprisingly busted sartorial display.) That’s not to say there isn’t tension, especially when Lauren ”jokes” about how she wants to slap Jason for not following her directions and giving her a rose. Jason tries to have a spine — ”You didn’t ask me, you told me” — but instead he gives in to her bossy charms, and the two share a kiss. I guess Lauren was right — some people really do like to be dominated. (Jason, if you need a safe word, I think ”wuss” should work just fine.)
Well, early on we were promised a rose ceremony that ”goes terribly wrong” — and at long last it’s here. Melissa and Jillian receive their roses without incident, and then Harrison comes in with his foreboding ”this is the final rose tonight” warning. Jason picks up the rose, and then all of a sudden he gets that ”I’m feeling emotions and/or smelling something unpleasant” look on his face. ”I’m sorry,” he says gravely. ”I can’t do this.” Thank GOD you’ve finally come to your senses, man! Go, get out now, hop in that limo and drive like the wind back to a normal life of anonymity, where you can find a girlfriend at a bar or on eHarmony or at speed dating like a normal person — anything but this f’ed up show!
NEXT PAGE: Jason does not take my advice
Rather than bolting from the mansion like a bat out of hell, however, Jason stays put and finishes his thought: ”I can’t lead anybody on. I just don’t see a forever, so I can’t give out the final rose tonight.” After a minute of stunned silence, Lauren — who can’t get that ”Are you s—ing me?” look off of her face — is the first to leave, saying it’s ”not fair” and ”really wrong” that Jason did not recognize her obvious superiority to the other ”ladies.” Shannon somehow manages to keep it together, perhaps taking comfort in her upcoming reunion with her electric toothbrush and her puppy’s tongue. Megan’s stone-cold bitch facade finally starts to crack, and she tearfully confesses to being hurt: ”I’m really sad. It’s pathetic how much I don’t want to go home right now.”
Wow, Jason’s ”journey” sure took a crazy detour this week, didn’t it? And by ”crazy,” I mean ”Jason actually made some good decisions.” When you’re finished doing a victory dance over Megan and Lauren’s (long overdue) eliminations, let me know what you thought about tonight’s episode — are you, like me, a little sad to see Tooth Nazi go? I mean, who’s going to bring the crazy next week? (Naomi — you’re up!) Once you’re done posting, be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog on PopWatch, where he spills some behind-the-scenes details about that disastrous rooftop ”wrap party.” And do check out the bonus footage below, featuring Lauren’s pants-less scene with Jason on the General Hospital set — if you dare. Okay, rose-lovers, let’s talk Bachelor!
[Sorry, video no longer available.]