The "ladies" fight for time with Sean during a Harlequin-themed group date, while Tierra and Amanda write a new chapter in How to Make Women Hate You 101
Bachelor Recap
4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)


Sean is doing chest flies and leg presses on the weight machine. The camera pans lovingly from his chest to his quads and back again.


Last night was amazing. Each girl that stepped out of the limo really blew me away — so many beautiful women who also seem to be intelligent and funny and witty. If I had to guess…


Water glides down Sean’s chiseled torso as the camera pans slooowly upwards. The Bachelor’s head is tilted towards the heavens as he lets the cleansing waters wash away his sweat, his doubt, the touch of that drunk 50 Shades of Grey floozy from the night before.


I would honestly say that my wife was in that room last night.

Welcome back, rose lovers! If that soft-porn intro didn’t clue you in, we’re now in week two of Sean’s “journey” — in other words, the honeymoon phase. Optimism abounds as Harrison gathers the “ladies” in the living room for a pep talk. “I hope to see all of you at the next rose ceremony,” says the host ominously and he drops off the first date card and beats a hasty retreat. Kristy, the somewhat mannish Ford model, does the honors: “Sarah, are you ready to fall in love today?” Awwww! Even if it wasn’t Sean’s idea to give Sarah the first date, it fills me with the warm fuzzies anyway. Way to class up the joint, Team Bachelor! “I wanna cry!” says Sarah, as all the other “ladies” hate themselves for hating Sarah in that moment.

Dry your tears, missy, because the first helicopter of the season is here to pick you up. (Also, Team Bachelor, please stop making Sarah talk about how she has only one arm — I think having her mention it three times times in the two minutes after the date card is dropped off is more than sufficient. We get it: She is handicapable.) Eventually the whirlybird lands on the top of a skyscraper… and I think you all know where this is going, rose lovers. Love is like a leap of faith, or whatever, so Sean is going to make poor Sarah descend down the side of the building to get to a “champagne toast” waiting for them at the bottom. “Oooh my gosh,” moans Sarah, as Sean explains that they’ll “free fall” to the bottom. “What catches you?”

Not a whole hell of a lot, actually. Sean and Sarah are trussed up in harnesses, helmets and ropes by a man who seems a little too excited to inform them that they’ll be dropped “40 feet a second” to the bottom. “It’s gonna be fun,” Sean assures his date. “Just you and me taking a nice, leisurely fall down the side of a building.” He wraps his arm around her waist and eventually they scooch their butts off the platform and take the plunge. [insert high pitched screaming and assorted deep-voiced “woooohs” here] Break out the bubbly, guys — you did not splatter like overripe melons on the pavement! “It was a great bonding experience,” says Shirted Confessional Sean. “I definitely feel closer to Sarah.”

NEXT: “Tacky hos are a dime a dozen”

When night falls the duo meet up for red wine on the hotel rooftop, where Sarah kicks off the evening with a story about the time she wasn’t allowed to go zip-lining in Las Vegas because, as a stern employee informed her, “state law prohibited people with disabilities from going zip-lining.” Naturally, Sarah was mortified — “You watch people zip-lining all the time and they’re barely holding on with two arms, let alone one,” she tells Sean, as the camera zooms in on her residual limb — so her father, who told Sarah she needed to find a man who is “strong” and “comforting” to help her deal with life’s myriad challenges. (Dad, I know you meant well, but are you sure that’s the message your daughter wanted to hear at that moment?) Anyhoo, Sarah tells the Bachelor that in light of that experience, it means all the more to her that he chose her for such a physically adventurous date. And Sean LOVES it. “I’m so glad I could be there for you,” he says. “I do consider myself a man, and I feel like a man should protect you.” As manly as Sean is, however, it is Sarah who goes in for the first kiss after he gives her the rose.

Ding-dong, it’s the Accent Table of Doom at the door! Of all the “ladies” chosen for the group date — Kristy, Amanda, Brooke, Lesley M., Daniella, Catherine, Robyn, Katie, Selma, Diana, Taryn, Kacie, and Tierra — Daniella looks the most confused (does she even know where she is?) and Tierra looks the most pissed. “It sucks, because I’m not here to meet friends,” she gripes. “I’m here to meet Sean.” You already did that, sweetie — don’t you remember?

Never mind, let’s just pile into the limo and steep in our own insecurities. “Going on a date is not an ideal situation,” says Katie, who takes a cleansing breath as Catherine looks on solemnly. “I hope that I’m not overshadowed by bigger personalities.” The limo drives the “ladies” to a palatial estate for a photo shoot. Let’s let Sean explain: “We’re going to be models for Harlequin novels, the most trusted name in romance.” (If you listen closely, you can actually hear Sean’s testicles shriveling to the size of raisins as he’s forced to say that sentence.) The woman who demonstrates the most chemistry with the Bachelor will appear on three Harlequin romance novels nationwide. Kristy is so excited she practically soils herself. As Katie puts it, “Homegirl’s a little excited to do a photo shoot.”

Team Harlequin goes to work tarting the women up in “things you can perhaps untie,” as the wardrobe woman puts is, as well as teasing their hair to astronomic heights, piling on the makeup and otherwise getting them ready to represent the four genres of supermarket romance novels: Cowgirl, Vampire, Sexy, and Historical. Sean, meanwhile, just has to take off his shirt and rub some baby oil on his abs. Thirteen women is a lot to primp, so naturally there’s plenty of time for the contestants to sit on the sidelines and silently judge each other — or, in Tierra’s case, not so silently. “Oh, Kristy has extensions?” she marvels, making a face like someone just offered her a glass of horse urine. Her sneery ways do not go unnoticed, especially by Robyn, who proceeds to badmouth her competition to the woman doing her makeup. “Tacky hos are a dime a dozen,” scoffs the makeup artist, as the camera zooms in to catch Tierra, who’s just a few feet away, give Robyn the stink-eye.

NEXT: “That’s, like, not okay with me”

The Cowgirls are up first, so Diana, Daniella, and Lesley take turns standing in front of a split-rail fence with Sean, giving their best sexyface to the camera as a bored white horse nibbles at the bales of hay beside them. Lesley — decked out in a red bandana-style crop top and blue jeans — earns Sean’s vote by ripping open his shirt and snuggling into his glistening chest. “Lesley’s made a big impression on me today,” notes the Bachelor. But it’s all fun and games until the photographer tells Lesley to plant one on Sean’s lips. “The claws are coming out,” she says. “I felt twelve sets of eyes glaring at me.” We race through the shoots with the “ladies” from the Historical and Vampire categories (quick summary: Brooke looks nice in purple and Robyn is now the only woman in the group who knows what Sean’s chin tastes like) so we can get on with the main event: Tierra vs. Kristy Harlequin hussy-off!

Tierra’s strategy is to “be aggressive,” which involves wrapping her leg around his waist and sneaking a smooch in between nuzzles. If that’s aggressive, then I guess you’d have to call Kristy’s strategy “aggravated sexual assault”: The model thrusts her hips into Sean’s groinal region, grabs his hands and begins sliding them down her waist and onto her posterior. Says a stupefied Diana, “It was like, ‘Back off, bitches — let me show you how it’s done.'” The Harlequin people have seen enough: Kristy gets the book deal. “Viiiictoreeeee!” squeals the somewhat mannish model, as her first book cover — for the future literary classic Seduced — flashes on the screen.

The cocktail party gets off to an adorably awkward start, as Sean and Lesley completely misread each other’s signals and both decide the other one doesn’t want a kiss. Lesley eventually manages to communicate clearly later that night after tracking Sean down and planting one on him in the garden. (“That’s, like, not okay with me,” gripes Daniella, who’s shooting her confessional about four feet away.) Kacie’s one-on-one is almost as awkward, since Sean spends most of the time hinting that he only sees her as a friend and now he has to “shift” her over to the girlfriend zone. “Is that something you want to do, though?” asks Kacie. Sean pauses for six seconds… and then basically chickens out and tells her, “I want to explore whatever this is.”

Elsewhere in Harlequin HQ, Daniella is trying to have a conversation — “I love a lot of you girls,” she tells Brooke — only to be interrupted by Tierra, who is sitting nearby. “I hope I’m one of them!” snaps Tiny T while shoving unidentified food objects into her pie hole. Daniella is not impressed. “I don’t really know Tierra — is that her name? Tierra? Tiara? ” she asks in her spaced-out, Valley Girl cadence. “Every time I see her she’s moping on a couch or moping in a corner.” Sean’s noticed too, which is why he pulls Tierra aside for a little pep talk. “I could kind of tell that you were a little bothered today,” he begins, and that’s all the opening Tiny T needs. “I’m here because what I saw of you on Emily’s season blew me away,” she tells the Bachelor. “However, it is difficult because I’ve never pursued a guy that 25 other girls are going after… It’s hard!” Oh, don’t worry, sweetie — Sean has no intention of letting you go yet: “I really like you, and I want to spend more time with you.”

NEXT: Smile! You’re on Candid Chris Harrison Camera!

Poor Katie and her tiny, tight leather miniskirt are also having a hard time. First, at the photo shoot she had to get dressed up like a vampire extra from Flashdance — “I look like I’m going to an ’80s rock concert, but I need some dental work,” she lamented – and at the party she still feels like the odd duck out. So, she makes a decision: she’s not going to compete, she’s going to retreat. “I feel like I’m not adjusting very well at all,” she tells Sean. “I just feel like this is not the right setting for me… and I need to go home.” Soon after he walks Katie to the Reject Minivan, Sean gives the rose to… Kacie? What? I call Team Bachelor bulls–t! And so does Tierra! “I wanted to punch her,” growls Tiny T, who sometimes looks like she has a dent in her forehead. “I don’t get it.”

You know what I don’t get? The next date. For some reason, Sean has decided that it might be fun to take Desiree to a fake gallery and make her believe that she caused an accident that destroyed a priceless piece of art. “I want a girl with a great sense of humor,” explains the Bachelor, “so it will be fun to see how she reacts.” Hopefully Desiree doesn’t know anything about art, or galleries for that matter, because the location of this date is very clearly a drafty studio that’s been given a half-assed makeover by production assistants making $6 an hour, and the pieces on display look like something from the Draw Winky School of Matchbook Art. But Desiree is just happy to be there and eagerly agrees when the “gallery” “owner” offers to give Sean and his date a “sneak peek” of the artist’s piece de reisistance, a colorful sculpture worth $1.5 million.

By the time a producer pulls Sean (and all of the visible cameras) out of the room for an “interview,” the Bachelor is starting to feel really guilty about pulling this prank on his date. “I was starting to have second thoughts on whether or not we should do this,” Sean whispers to Harrison, who admits the whole thing is “a little messed up.” Once the giant red orb shatters on the ground, though, Sean just can’t bear to watch Desiree being questioned by the “angry” “artist,” so he rushes in from the other room to do the whole Smile, you’re on Candid Chris Harrison Camera! thing. Knee slaps all around! Now why don’t you two crazy kids go back to Sean’s place for some steak and giant broccoli florets?

At dinner, Sean and Desiree do seem to have an easy chemistry as they chat about their upbringings and their loving, still-married parents. “I’ve been comfortable with you from, like, the first second,” the Bachelor tells her. Desiree is comfortable enough with Sean to put on four petite triangles of pink fabric and join him in the hot tub. “I think she knows she has this in the bag,” says the Bachelor. “So the rose is just a formality.” As is their post-rose make out session in the pool.

NEXT: Is Sean attracted to “black females”?

When the final cocktail party rolls around, all of the “ladies” who didn’t get dates are anxiously awaiting their time with Sean. Lindsay (a.k.a. wedding dress girl) admits to the Bachelor that she feels “a little silly” about her first-night prank and assures him that she wants a husband and family “more than anything.” And he LOVES it. Unfortunately for Sean, he also loves his chats with some other members of the No-Date Brigade, Catherine, AshLee, and Leslie. “At this point, I have no idea who I’m going to send home,” says Sean, “and it’s freaking me out.” Might we suggest Amanda? The sour-faced “fit model” is, if the editing is to be believed, refusing to respond to the other “ladies,” even when they ask her a direct question. While she flips her internal personality switch whenever Sean comes around, the only entity Amanda seems to have really bonded with is an oversize, flowery coffee cup.

Also wearing yellow but not nearly as socially inept is Robyn, who decides to take this opportunity to address the elephant in Casa Bachelor. “I’ve noticed that the show is becoming more culturally diverse,” she explains. (Imagine that!) “But I’m not completely and totally sure if Sean’s attracted to black females.” There’s only one way to find out: ask the man! And that’s just what Robyn does. The Bachelor, god bless him, doesn’t flinch. “People look at me, blonde hair and blue eyes, and they assume, ‘He probably goes for white girls who are blonde,'” Sean tells Robyn. “Honestly, physically, I don’t have a type.” In fact, he continues, his last girlfriend was black. (To quote my friend Henry, he thinks Emily is black??) Still, as I said before, Sean’s answer was way more convincing and coherent than I expected, and it was smart of Team Bachelor to include the scene rather than risk being accused of pretending, yet again, that race does not exist.

Lllllet’s get ready to watch some “ladies” get sent home! At the rose ceremony, Sean mixes it up by giving the first two buds to women who didn’t get dates this week — AshLee and Lindsay — before moving on to Robyn, Jackie, Lesley, Selma, Catherine, Kristy, Leslie H., Tierra, Taryn, Daniella, and (final rose tonight) Amanda. Ooooh, that’s gotta hurt, Diana and Brooke! No one likes to be rejected for a scowling fembot. At least Sean tried to soften the blow for Diana by whispering, “And just so you know, I didn’t feel like it was right to keep you away from your girls if I didn’t, you know, see something long term.”

Am I a sucker, or is this guy actually a gentleman? Don’t answer that — just tell me what you thought of tonight’s episode. Who’s a better villain — Tierra or Amanda? Who’s your pick for frontrunner (and no, this is not an invitation to post spoilers in the comments)? I think Desiree will at least make it to hometown dates. Is there a worse culinary come-on than “I’m vegan, but I love the beef”? And don’t you wish you knew what, exactly, Daniella was actually trying to tell us about Atlantis, or Hades, or the Haitis, or whatever? God, what I wouldn’t give to spend one night as a camera operator at Casa Bachelor. Post your hopes and dreams below, and be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s blog over on PopWatch when you’re done. I think we all know it’s the right thing to do.

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