Ding-dong, the bitch is dead!
Credit: ABC
4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)

Greetings from snowy New York City, rose lovers! I’ll admit, watching Sean and the “ladies” soar over sunny St. Croix at the opening of tonight’s episode, I almost wished I were on that little sea plane with them. But then Sean said that he’s “more optimistic than ever that my wife is here,” and I changed my mind. (Polygamy is illegal in New York, after all.)

Wow, look at the view from the “ladies” room at the Buccaneer Hotel! It’s almost pretty enough to keep the women from being nervous about this being the last week before hometown dates. (Man, how is it possible that this season can simultaneously fly by and yet feel like it’s been going on for an eternity?) While AshLee, Desiree, Lindsay, Lesley, and Catherine explore the room and mock-fight over who’s going to get what four-poster bed, Tierra makes herself at home in the sitting room… by setting up a cot. “I’m not about to share a room with some girls I don’t care for,” she explains. “I’m not friends with girls who like my boyfriends.” She’s also not pleased that she hasn’t gotten a one-on-one date yet. “He’s done a lot of talking with me and telling me that he’s ‘crazy’ about me, but if you’re ‘crazy’ about me, don’t you want to spend time with me?” Team Bachelor clearly doesn’t have the heart to tell her he says that about everyone.

So, Mr. Date Card, what say you? “AshLee, let’s get carried away.” If looks could kill, Tiny T would have given everyone in that room stage four pancreatic cancer. But instead, she waits for AshLee to leave the room and then makes a crack about how her 32-year-old rival is a “cougar.” (As a 40-year-old woman, I should be depressed by this comment, but I’m not, because as we all know beauty fades, but dumb — and forehead dents — are forever.)

Sean arrives and leads AshLee on a swim out to a catamaran just offshore. During their post-swim hang on the beach, Sean is hungry for answers. “So,” he asks AshLee, “has the drama subsided — or have people just stopped telling me?” And God bless her, AshLee just lays it all out there, without any waffling. “She really is not polite. She isolates herself. It’s awkward, it’s weird. And who you get is a completely different girl than the house gets… That’s the truth.” I suppose the fourth time’s the charm, because finally — finally — the Bachelor seems to listen. “I can tell she’s as honest as they come, so when she tells me something about Tierra, I believe it.” With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, the duo rolls around in the sand making out for a while.

Knock knock knock! It’s an Accent Table of Doom at the door! Unfortunately, the ATOD has traveled a long way to deliver some crap news: Tierra is finally getting her one-on-one date: “Let’s explore a love on the streets of St. Croix. Love, Sean.” And yet, she does NOT love it. “Being attacked by bugs and the sweatiness and my makeup dripping off — that’s not fun, nor cool.” (Here’s an idea, sweetie: Try cutting your makeup layers down from 7 to 1.) The “ladies” are disgusted by Tierra’s complaints, but not surprised. “She is the most unhappy person I’ve ever come in contact with,” groans Lesley, adding with a world-weary sigh, “I hate that bitch.” You and America both, honey.

NEXT: “I’m hot, I’m gross, I’m thirsty”

Meanwhile, back at the beach, AshLee and the Bachelor are having a candlelit dinner. So, asks Sean, “Is there anything that we haven’t covered that we should cover?” Oh, buddy, I hope you’re comfortable, because AshLee’s going to take the next several minutes telling you that she really has something to tell you and she hopes you understand why she hasn’t told you before but she’s going to tell you now because she as she’s told you before she’s always going to be honest with you and once she tells you she really hopes you can just move on and have fun for the rest of the night. Sean’s face is all, Good GOD, can’t there be one normal chick here? After all that, though, AshLee’s secret really isn’t all that shocking: She got married junior year in high school, and divorced a year later. “I thought you were going to tell me something terrible!” replies the relieved Bachelor. “I think you’re perfect the way you are.” Awwww… You know, I find AshLee pretty guarded and reserved to the point of boring, but I do think they’re kind of cute together. Still, declaring her love for him before we even get to hometown dates? Girl, you gotta rein it in.

Speaking of over the top behavior, it’s time for Sean’s first one-on-one date with Tierra. “Yesterday AshLee sat me down and really explained to me why the other women don’t like Tierra,” says the Bachelor. “And that’s why today I’ve gotta figure out is Tierra the sweet girl I thought she was, or is she not so nice like everyone else say she is?” Oh, this should be fun. Tierra and Sean stroll the streets of St. Croix, and while inside Tierra no doubt hates mingling with the Unwashed Masses (“I’m hot, I’m gross, I’m thirsty,” she whines to the camera), outside she’s all “This is the best day ever!” And he cautiously LOVES it. “I love this side of Tierra, but this is the side that I see most of the time,” says Sean. “I don’t get to see the dramatic side that the other women get to see, so it still leaves me with questions.”

And when he asks those questions, Tiny T begins to dig herself a hole that may not be able to climb out of. “I try to talk to them, I try to get involved, but they go and do their own thing all the time and don’t say a word to me,” she pouts. Unfortunately for Tierra, though, Sean heard the exact opposite from AshLee, and he clearly thinks the latter “lady” is more trustworthy. When he continues to press Tierra — “If you could do it over again, would you act differently in front of the other girls?” he asks her, avoiding eye contact — the Tierrarist knows she’s in trouble. “I feel like he’s distant from me, and I don’t like it,” she says. “If I find out that another girl has thrown me under the bus, I’ll definitely be pissed off.”

NEXT: Sean photographically assaults the “ladies”

Over dinner, she tries to get things back on track by making the Bachelor feel guilty for acting “distant” and then fishing for compliments. “I feel like I am behind in the game,” she sighs. “I’m like, I have so many feelings for this guy, and I feel like he doesn’t so much.” Caught off guard, Sean tells her the truth: “I think it probably has more to do with the drama and the women in the house — that may have put us a little bit behind.” Oh, snap. Tierra is gonna cut a bitch. But first she’s gonna play the L card. Wrapping her arms around the Bachelor’s neck, she whispers, “I’m falling in love with you.” And Sean rationalizes to himself that he LOVES it. “She’s probably not nice to the other women,” he tells Team Bachelor, “but she’s being genuine when she says she’s here for me.”

The next morning, Sean creeps in under the cover of darkness and scares the crap out of the “ladies” by awakening them with a flashlight and a digital camera. “Des, get up! It’s time to start our date!” barks the Bachelor, shoving the lens in her face and snapping a picture. “I know girls hate being seen without makeup on,” Sean explains via voiceover, as we watch him photographically assault Lindsay, Catherine, and Desiree. “I really wanted to see what they look like without makeup, so I brought a camera this morning. I hope none of them hit me.” While Desiree and Lindsay are frantic about trying to make themselves presentable in five minutes, Catherine isn’t breaking a sweat: “I just need a pee and I’m good to go!”

Good Lord, Sean, what’s the rush? It seems the Bachelor has planned a day-long date that requires starting at the eastern-most point in the United States (“We are going to be the first four people to see the sunrise in the United States,” he tells the women) and ending with the sunset on the other side of the island. Sean drives the jeep from roadside attraction to roadside attraction as Team Bachelor keeps flashing a clock on the screen to track the group’s progress. All we need now is the 24 beep-BEEP-beep-BEEP” noise.

By the time they make it to the opposite side of the island, Lindsay and Catherine decide it’s time to step out of Desiree’s shadow and make a play for the date rose. After telling Sean, “I have confidence in us,” Lindsay does what she does best: makes out with him. Catherine takes a more serious approach, revealing to Sean that should he take her on a hometown date, he won’t meet her dad, who lives in China. “When I was 14, my dad had a suicide attempt in front of my sisters and I,” she tells the Bachelor. “He’s still part of my life… but he won’t be there, and it’s kind of hard for me to deal with, because he’s my dad.” Despite having to manage a lot of confessions this season — Des lived in a tent, AshLee grew up in foster care, Tierra claims to have a dead addict boyfriend — Sean manages to keep his empathy levels impressively high. “I think Catherine sees my relationship with my dad… and I think she was a little scared that I might not like the fact that her dad is not an active part of her life — and that’s not the case.”

NEXT: “Don’t end up with the girl that no one likes”

Things continue on an emotional path during Desiree’s solo time with Sean. All the Bachelor has to do is ask her if she’s excited by the idea that he could meet her family, and Desiree bursts into tears. “My family’s, like, everything to me,” she says, wiping her eyes. “I just want to see their joy.” In the end, though, Sean gives the rose to Lindsay… and she’s just as surprised as you are. “I am on cloud nine,” she says. “The crazy girl that walked in in the wedding dress now has the hometown rose. Nobody saw that coming.” True that, girlfriend!

For the final one-on-one date of this week’s leg of his “journey,” Sean takes Lesley to historic Estate Mount Washington Plantation for some quiet, sit-and-talk time. “Our relationship is not where it needs to be at this point,” says the Bachelor. “Today I need to figure out, can we get there?” Maybe you should ask Lesley, pal, because she thinks you’re already there. “I’ve watched this show for years and I see these girls say so easily ‘I love you’ so easily and I always thought they were such fools,” she tells Team Bachelor. “I’m now one of those girls.” But when Sean gives her an opening to confess her love, she chokes, mumbling something about their great “chemistry,” before losing her nerve completely. “So… [six-second pause] Let’s pick some more fruit!”

Eventually, Lesley shows Sean some of the affection he’s looking for, but it’s unclear if she’s done enough to earn a rose. Maybe Sean’s sister Shay — who signed him up for The Bachelorette way back when — can help him decide. Over fruity drinks on the beach, she grills her brother about the key issues — Q: Who could he see himself marrying? A: All of them; Q: Who’s dropped the L-bomb? A: “Two this week” — and then offers him a blunt yet wise assessment of his situation. “I just don’t want to be watching this unfold and going, ‘No, not THAT one!’ the whole time — and then you end up with THAT one. And a couple of times, the Bachelor has ended up with THAT one.”

And with that perfect segue, we come to the sh– hitting the fan portion of the evening. Tierra, who’s been stewing for a few days after overhearing AshLee and Lesley bonding over their mutual hatred of her, finally works up the courage to confront the “cougar.” She does her best to start the conversation cordially — “The distance I felt from him was from, kind of like, from your date” — but AshLee is scrapping for a fight. When Tiny T claims the girls have “sabotaged” her, AshLee snarls, “Who? Name them!” Tierra’s all, Um, you?, and you can practically hear the boxing bell ring. “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” purrs AshLee. “It’s your character. It’s how you come across as very rude.” Snaps Tierra, “I hope when I’m 32 years old, I’m married with a family, and I don’t have to sit around with 20-year-olds, gossiping.”

Ohhhhhhh snap! That was way harsh, Tai. Meanwhile, Team Bachelor keeps masterfully cutting between Tierra’s hissy fit and Sean’s come-to-Jesus chat with his sister. “I don’t want to be an idiot who keeps choosing the girl who is bad for me, but I enjoy being with her,” Sean tells Shay, who responds by reminding him of the one piece of advice she gave him before he left: “Don’t end up with the girl that no one likes.”


Back at the hotel, AshLee is finally losing her temper after the Tierrarist insists she that she didn’t just say what she just said, which was all the women have “talked sh–” about AshLee behind her back. “Oh my God, what can we do to reroll tape right now?” AshLee shouts, before turning her laser-hate glare on Tiny T. “I never said one time said anything to Sean until he flat out said your name, and asked me about you. Period,” she fumes. “I would ask you questions, Tierra, and you would just look at me and walk off, as if I wasn’t saying anything!”

And on and on it goes, with AshLee throwing Tierra’s words back in her face (“You said your parents… were worried about you coming here because you can’t get along with girls”) and Tiny T shrilly trying to rewrite history (“They never said that! They said, Tierra, you have a sparkle. Do not let those girls take your sparkle away.”) And there this was this Tierra monologue, which is too beautiful not to be recounted in full. Lights please:

“People have judged me because I haven’t said, ‘Good morning.’ Because of the look on my face and my eyebrow. I CAN’T CONTROL MY EYEBROW! I cannot control my eyebrow. I can’t control what’s on my face 24-7. If I could walk around with a smile on 24-7, I would — but my face would get frickin’ tired.”

(To be fair, Tierra probably can’t control her eyebrow, given all that Botox she definitely has not had.)

Is it any wonder that in the midst of this screamy showdown — “Go back to your cot!” orders AshLee — Sean all of a sudden decides to show up at the hotel to fetch Tierra so she can meet Shay? Well played, Team Bachelor. Naturally, he finds Tierra weeping dramatically on the aforementioned cot. “I’m so sensitive and I have such a big heart,” she whimpers. “My date with you have been heavy on my heart… Today, I confronted somebody because I felt like that person sabotaged our connection.” (Hey, has anyone seen AshLee? Perhaps we should check under the bus that just rolled through the master suite.) “She’s just been out to get me I feel like,” continues Tiny T. “I hate getting emotional, but I get emotional because I care.”

Yeah, so Operation Meet the Sister looks like it’s a bust. With a curt “Okay,” Sean excuses himself and goes outside for some air. “My sister told me if a girl cannot get along with another girl, that’s trouble,” he intones via voiceover. “This is turning into a nightmare.” Fortunately, it’s time for all of us to wake the eff up. Walking back inside, Sean looks like a man on his way to the execution chamber, but that’s probably because he knows Tierra is likely to stab him in the jugular with some tweezers when she hears what he has to say. “I’m crazy about you and I have been from the very first night,” he says quietly. “Because I care so much about you, I think it might be best if, you know, you go home now.” Okay, so that was an extremely wussy way to dump her —I’m doing this for your own good, not because you’re psycho with a fanged vagina, really! — but whatever, the deed is done.

NEXT: No cocktail party? No problem!

Shockingly, Tierra does not want to say goodbye to the other “ladies,” and so Sean walks her through the hotel parking lot to a waiting Reject Minivan. There, Tierra has Emmy-worthy meltdown Team Bachelor has been teasing all season. “I can’t believe they did this to me!” she sobs dramatically. “I hope the girls got what they wanted.” Oh sweetie, you can rest assured that YES THEY DID. The reign of Tierra is over!!

Of course, the “ladies” don’t know it yet. No one on Team Bachelor has bothered to inform them that Sean gave Tierra a one-way ticket back to Crazytown, so they’re all anxious as they wait for the Bachelor to arrive at the cocktail party. When Sean shows up solo, the women suck in their breath and hold it so tight they’re practically levitating. And they clearly don’t hear anything he says after the words “Tierra went home tonight,” because they’re all trying so damn hard not to high-five each other. But it wouldn’t be an episode of The Bachelor without a needle-scratch moment, and Sean’s got one of those ready too: “I know what I need to do tonight, so there’s not going to be a cocktail party.”

Upon hearing this, AshLee goes from happiness to repressed hysteria, as she’s certain that Sean holds her accountable for the day’s tattle-tale “drama” and plans to send her home accordingly. Poor girl, don’t worry your pretty, center-parted little head over it. After all, the one way to lose a rose is to not declare that you’re “falling for”/”have fallen for”/’falling in love with”/”in love with” the Bachelor? And thus, we say goodbye to Lesley, she of the relatively minimalist declarations of affection. Oddly enough, it’s Catherine who takes the news the hardest; she breaks down in tears once the rose ceremony is over and still hasn’t gotten it together when it’s time to film her post-ceremony confessional. “If he doesn’t want Lesley, I don’t know why I’m here,” she gasps between sobs. “She has more in common with him than I do… My beliefs are shattered about what he wants.”

Well, that was interesting, eh rose lovers? We don’t normally see a bachelorette having a crisis of conscience right after making it to the hometowns round. I mean, Lesley barely even got any Reject SUV screen time! Obviously, Team Bachelor wants us to turn our attentions to Catherine for next week. Are you ready to follow their lead? As for hometowns, I’m already all about Lindsay’s withholding Four-Star General dad and whoever that angry guy is at Desiree’s house who calls Sean a “playboy” and the whole process “stupid.” Go that guy! What did you think of tonight’s leg of Sean’s “journey,” rose lovers? Was Tierra’s demise everything you wanted it to be, and more? Do you think she’ll show her face at The Women Tell All? And did I seriously just write a six-page recap of The Bachelor? My sincere apologies! Post your comments now, and then check out what Chris Harrison has to say in his PopWatch blog about Ms. Denthead’s departure.

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