The Bachelor recap: A tussle in Thailand
See ya, Singapore – and thanks for the leech therapy! This week, Colton takes his “ladies” to Khao Lak, Thailand, land of beautiful gold Budda statues and plentiful outdoor showers.
Anyhow, the first one-on-one date goes to… Never Been Kissed Heather! And if you’re wondering if these two have chemistry, just check out this white-hot exchange:
Heather: It’s so good to see you! I’m so excited!
Colton: Good to see ya! Are you excited?
Their date kicks off with an “authentic” boat tour of “everything Thailand has to offer.” And for sure, Thailand looks completely gorgeous — if only I weren’t irrationally afraid to travel there after seeing Brokedown Palace one too many times. But enough about me — this is the perfect place to fall in love, and/or the perfect place to have your first kiss! “If there’s ever to be a time I was going to kiss someone,” Heather gushes, “like, this is the setting.”
Meanwhile, back at the hotel… something is wrong with Kirpa’s chin.
Oh, and Elyse is starting to spiral because she didn’t get the one-on-one date… but really, what happened to Kirpa’s chin? Answers will have to wait because Colton and Heather are now exploring a colorful floating market, filled with tacky t-shirts and delicious food. Just look how much Colton is enjoying those prawns:
Yes, Team Bachelor knows that the only thing that really matters about this date is if Heather will finally lose her kissing virginity — so they’re trolling us (and her) by giving us lot of unappetizing close-ups of Colton’s lips and emphasizing all the awkward silences.
Is all hope lost? At dinner, Heather details her past dating woes — basically, she dated a really nice guy for 8 months, but she just wasn’t that into him — and that emboldens Colton to admit he’s a little nervous about being her first kiss, because, like, that’s a lot of pressure. Heather assures him that she will not view his smooch as a binding marriage contract, so he leans over and… picks up the date rose! (It was quite the fake-out, gotta say.)
During the post-rose walk on the beach, Heather and Colton make more small talk, as they stand on their mark and wait for the fireworks display to begin. When it finally does, Colton makes his (in no way suggested by the producers) move:
“I have kissed a boy!” Heather declares triumphantly after the smooch. “Literally, there was fireworks!” As for the Bachelor, he insists that the kiss was “magic” and that he’s “on a high, and I don’t think there’s anything that can ruin it.” (Next: Something ruins it)
Dammit, Colton! Why did you have to say that? Now something will definitely ruin it — or someone, actually. Back at the hotel, Elyse is still freaking out, so after getting all dressed up in a long, flowy white “statement dress,” she stands up and walks out of the room just as Heather is regaling all of the “ladies” with tales of her spectacular one-on-one. Um, rude. “I’m very weirded out as to what’s going on,” says Demi. “That’s very unlike Elyse.”
So what is going on? Apparently, Elyse has just realized she’s on a televised dating show with many, many other women — and she needs to share this revelation with Colton. To that end, she shows up at the Bachelor’s hotel room and informs him that she needs more “time and attention,” and unfortunately she can’t “call Chris Harrison and say I want every one-on-one for the next year.” There really isn’t much Colton can do but empathize, which he does — “When I was in your position it was tough to go on a one-on-one and then watch the other guys come back with a bigger smile on their face than I had”— but Elyse needs more. Elyse needs it all. “I literally can’t accept a proposal after a few months of sharing your time and attention with other people,” she says sadly. “I can’t do it.”
All together now, rose lovers: THEN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING ON THIS SHOW, WOMAN?
“This isn’t working for me,” Elyse continues. “I have to leave.” And leave she does, after a long, sad hug with Colton and many, many tears.
Naturally, Elyse regrets her decision almost immediately (“How f—ing stupid am I?” she wonders aloud), while Colton is feeling all triggered that he’ll never be “enough” to win a woman’s love.
Honestly, why do they make the poor guy film these self-confessionals the minute he rolls out of bed? Have some coffee and perk up, buddy, because it’s time to head into the jungle with your group date harem: Demi, Caelynn, Hannah B., Sydney, Tayshia, Kirpa, Onyeka, Nicole, and Hannah G. The Bachelor has drafted a nice young man named Joe to show them all how to survive in the jungle by, say, using dry elephant poo to start a fire and eating bugs for protein.
Once again, Hannah B. eats something disgusting, but the joke’s on her — Colton just pretended to eat that grub. At least he appreciates how the “ladies” are willing to go full Fear Factor for him. “These women are intense!” marvels Colton. “Hannah B. swallowed a bug whole. Nicole stuck her hand into a hole with an eel in it, and Tayshia let a scorpion crawl all over her.” As for the Bachelor, he faced his fear of snakes… and then turned tail and ran.
To be fair, the snake was urinating on him. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Joe then divides everyone into teams and sends them off into the wild to collect food and water. While Demi and the two Hannahs head back to the hotel for a margarita (“Jungle Joe wasn’t very specific with the rules,” reasons Demi), Tayshia feeds Colton some chewed-up grub, mama-bird style.
Just kidding — she stole “her” man for a little smooch, much to the consternation of her teammates, Katie and Nicole. “That’s annoying,” mumbles Nicole. Colton doesn’t seem to mind, though — nor does he care that Demi and the two Hannahs completely ignored the rules of the challenge and brought back champagne and cheeseburgers from the hotel. (Next: Onyeka vs. Nicole, round 1)
At the cocktail party, Colton — who really doesn’t seem that broken up about Elyse leaving, does he? — thanks Tayshia for making him feel “special,” and compliments Hannah B. on her survival skills: “You looked like you were straight out of, like a jungle magazine.” (That reminds me, I need to renew my subscription to Dense and Impenetrable Vegetation Weekly.) Miss Alabama responds by jumping off a cliff — emotionally speaking, of course. “I think what I’ve been struggling with so much is that, like [long pause] I am falling in love with you,” she tells Colton. And he LOVES it. Wow, seems like Colton’s finally going to have a drama-free group date party, which will be… Oh, crap. Here comes Onyeka.
It seems before she left, Elyse told Onyeka that Nicole told her that the only reason she came on The Bachelor was to “find opportunity to leave Miami.” This is very upsetting to Colton, because if you can’t trust the motives of a woman who signs up for a televised dating show, whose motives can you trust? By now we all know the Bachelor’s M.O. when confronted with gossip about one of the women: He goes right to the accused “lady” and immediately reveals everything that was said about her, and by whom. And by now we all know Nicole’s M.O. when talking about anything: She cries. “Colton, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” she says, welling up. “I’m here because I haven’t been able to find love.”
And you know what? Nicole may actually have good reason to weep — because Tayshia claims she was there during Nicole and Elyse’s conversation and that Nicole never said anything untoward. “All she said is that you have to take opportunities, and they can change your life,” a very annoyed Tayshia tells Onyeka. “She never said that she needs to get out Miami.” When Nicole returns from her chat with Colton, she cries and scolds Onyeka for “spreading rumors” — but honestly, the most entertaining part of this whole scene is watching Demi, who is absolutely LIVING for this drama.
She’s like a human Michael-Jackson-eating-popcorn GIF right now. Ultimately, Hannah B. gets the date rose, and the group date ends without further incident.
The final one-on-one of the week goes to Cassie, and it involves being stranded on a large pile of sand that producers are choosing to call a “private island.”
As you can see, there isn’t much for Colton and Cassie to do on this “island,” so they just spend the day swimming and making out, making out and swimming, rinse, repeat. Once they’re back on land, Cassie reveals to Colton that there are people in her “extended family” and in her “community” who will likely find out from this TV show that she’s — gasp! — not a virgin, and she’ll have to have some “tough conversations back home.” I’ve got to be honest, I found this a little confusing. Has Cassie been pretending to be a virgin around her extended family and select members of her community? If not, why would those people think she was a virgin? Also, does Cassie live in Gilead? Because I’m pretty sure most people in America would not be scandalized to learn that a 23-year-old woman has had sex before.
Having shared her fears, Cassie climbs into bed with Colton and they make out some more, fully clothed, under the covers. No surprise here: Cassie gets the date rose.
“I don’t want to come back to reality,” sighs Cassie dreamily. Don’t worry, girl — you’re still on The Bachelor. (Next: Onyeka vs. Nicole, round 2)
The final cocktail party of the week has some romantic moments (Tayshia and Colton light a floating lantern; Demi and Colton exchange “trust rings”) and one particularly weird moment.
Yes, that is dental hygienist Kirpa flossing the Bachelor’s teeth. (“Oh, you’ve got a little bread or something in there.” Gag.) And no, we STILL don’t know what happened to her chin! (UPDATE: Now we know! Watch here.)
What we do know, rose lovers, is that the real purpose of this cocktail party is to bring the Nicole vs. Onyeka feud to a head. It starts when Nicole tells Colton that Onyeka has been “bullying” her since day one, and even spread a rumor that she is “emotionally unstable.” The Bachelor hears Nicole out, heaves a heavy sigh, and then goes to find Onyeka. “You’re someone who always knows how to put a smile on my face,” he says. “But… I did talk to Nicole. She, uh, brought up some things of you bullying her and belittling her.” Onyeka handles this with all of the maturity and grace we’ve come to expect from her.
“It’s all lies!” Onyeka insists. “She’s not a good person… And I know you can do so much better.”
“Ladies,” “ladies,” stop! Why must you tear each other down on this show designed to pit you against each other? Onyeka leaves her chat with Colton and makes a beeline for Nicole. “You are a liar, Nicole! You are a liar!” she huffs. “What do you have against me?” Nicole shoots back. They bicker — loudly — back and forth, not caring that everyone, including Colton, can hear them chewing each other out.
Sorry Katie, but it looks like Colton has to go break up a fight between two petty bishes. “I just came over here because I heard you guys yelling,” he says, but rather than trying to calm the women down, he just sits there while they continue yelling at each other. When Colton finally does attempt to interject, the “ladies” (Nicole mostly) talk right over him — until, at long last, he cannot take it anymore.
Both Nicole and Onyeka try to intercept Colton as he’s looking for an escape route, but he brushes them off and says he needs some time alone. “Oh, that’s an angry walk,” says Demi, watching the Bachelor storm off.
Aaaaand our time is up! That’s right, this is the first “To Be Continued” episode of the season. We’ll have to wait until next week to see the rose ceremony — but honestly, if Colton doesn’t send both Onyeka and Nicole packing, he’s a fool. Until then, rose lovers, let me know what you thought of this week’s episode. Are you surprised Elyse eliminated herself? Is Cassie the one to beat? And if you make a sexual innuendo during a toast but then have to explain the whole thing to your virgin boyfriend, was it really worth the televised humiliation? Post your thoughts now!
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.