This week on The Bachelor, Shanae makes waves by getting frisky on a Baywatch-themed group date and eating all the shrimp at the mansion.
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4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)

Baywatch, soul-baring confessions, a battle over shrimp in garlic butter — this week's episode of The Bachelor had it all, rose lovers.

Let's recap!

It's been two weeks, so to catch up: When we last left Clayton, he had just been informed that Cassidy has a "friends with benefits" waiting for her back home. This prompted our Bachelor to ask host Jesse Palmer if it's possible to take a rose back — which prompted Palmer to look like someone just demanded that he recite all 62.8 trillion digits of pi.

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Uhhh....
| Credit: ABC

Relax, bro. No one expects you to "know" anything on this job. Anyhow, as Clayton fills Palmer in on the whole Cassidy situation, Cassidy — who has a rose from the group date, as you may recall — is prancing around the mansion with cocksure confidence. "I'm not worried about what Sierra has to say about me," she announces to the room. "I have a f---ing rose. He clearly likes me. What's he gonna do?"

Well, Cassidy, what he's going to do is pull you aside and ask you point-blank if you're here for the Right Reasons™: "Were you seeing someone up until the point that you came here?" At first, Cassidy plays dumb ("Absolutely not! That is not where I thought you were going with this!"), and then she starts flat-out lying. "I haven't had any relationship of any kind since the summer of 2019," she says.

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Clayton and Cassidy
| Credit: ABC

Nevertheless, the Bachelor persists. He asks Cassidy again if she's had any recent conversations with "any guy" she has an interest in, and once again, Cassidy denies it. I'm guessing she's justifying this to herself because the guy she WAS recently talking to was just a f---buddy … but that's splitting hairs. Reminder: She told Sierra that she FaceTimed a guy she's been "hooking up with on and off for a while" right before production started.

So, if Cassidy were wearing pants, they'd be on fire … and Clayton knows it. He pushes her one last time — "I was given information that you FaceTimed him days before you ended up stepping out of the limo" — and Cassidy knows she's trapped. She's all, Ohhhh, you mean the guy I was FaceTiming with a week ago who doesn't want a relationship? I didn't know you meant THAT guy! Nice try, toots, but Clayton isn't buying it. He gets up and walks away, leaving Cassidy in tears.

The rest of the women — who have been craning their necks from the living room trying to decipher the pair's body language — watch with anticipation. "I'm gonna be honest, I hope she goes home," says Lyndsey. (And I'm going to be honest: I had to look Lyndsey's name up here.) Adds Hunter (who I had to look up, too), "She had asked me last night what my exit interview was going to be like." Scandal!

After a period of reflection, Clayton goes to find Cassidy upstairs, where she's been weeping in the bathroom. She tries once again to reframe her lie — yes, I slept with this dude a few times, but now he's dead to me and you're the One — but it's too little, too late. "I'm struggling with our trust already being shaken," he begins. "At this point, I just feel like there's too many concerns." Realizing that she's about to get the boot, Cassidy starts panic-crying and trying to strong-arm Clayton into keeping her. She literally tells him that no one else there is as excited about him as she is (rude!) and warns him not to take the word of some chicks "who will probably be gone in a few weeks" over hers. "I haven't even packed my stuff!" she sobs. No worries, honey — that's what the Bachelor Interns are for.

Cut to:

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Buh-bye, Cassidy!
| Credit: ABC

Byeeeeeeee Cassidy! We'll no doubt see your duplicitous ass in Paradise.

Oh man, I forgot that The Bachelor still has to make his week two cuts. Rose ceremony roll-call! Eliza, Rachel, Serene, Sierra, Teddi, Lyndsey, Jill, Gabby, Kira, Mara, Marlena, Genevieve, Hunter, Melina, Elizabeth, and Shanae join Sarah and Susie in the Circle of Safety™. So sorry, but that means the "journey" is over for Ency, Kate, and Tessa. And with Cassidy gone, it means we're down to 18 women — and Shanae is the new villain. "I have to figure out what's my next move, what's the next plan," she muses in voiceover. "We're in a competition. I'm here to win."

Oh girl, you've already lost. But that's not important right now. Up next:

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TW, y'all.
| Credit: ABC

Dang, looks like the first group date of the week is going to get serious. Serene, Susie, Eliza, Mara, Marlena, Hunter, Genevieve, and Jill, hope you're ready to Open Up™, because Team Bachelor is bringing back the group therapy date from Katie's season. And Kaitlyn's in charge!

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Jesse Palmer can't take away ALL her jobs.
| Credit: ABC

The purpose of this date, she explains, is to help Clayton learn "as much as he can" about each of his potential wives. The Bachelor hopes they can all be "vulnerable" with each other and "grow" as a result. The discussion begins with Kaitlyn reading a series of statements. "If they resonate with you," she tells the group, "please stand up." The first statement is about "parts of yourself you're not proud of" – and everyone stands up, including Clayton. He says he "put a lot of walls up" in his last relationship, while Genevieve admits to "self-sabotaging" past relationships. Dang, she's already crying!

Now Hunter is talking about how her last boyfriend urged her to go to the gym to "get this body that was nearly impossible to achieve" — and she even dyed her hair and wore color contacts to please him. But the bastard still cheated on her! And now Hunter's crying and Serene is crying along with her because she, too, has dealt with the shame of feeling like something was "wrong" with her or her body. Growing up, people used to tease Serene and call her anorexic because she's so petite. Of course, this gave her a lot of anxiety, and she used to worry about whether she was eating "enough" in front of people. "It took me a long time to be comfortable with myself," says Serene.

With that, the vulnerability floodgates fly open. Mara says she was bullied at school and by her stepsisters at home, while Marlene shares the hard truth that as a woman of color, she has to be "ten times better just to be seen and just to be heard." Marlene adds that she wasn't even planning on bringing up race during her time on The Bachelor, but Clayton urges her not to censor any part of herself. "I don't want you to feel like you have to hold something back, especially talking about race," he says. "A conversation like that, it helps me see things from another perspective."

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In this recap we stan Marlena.
| Credit: ABC

More screen time for Marlena, please!

Before the "session" ends, Clayton shares some of his deepest, darkest insecurities. Growing up, he "hated" who he was — to the point that he developed an eating disorder around 7th grade. "I lost I think like 15 pounds. I was supposed to be growing but I was not eating as much because I hated the way my stomach looked," he admits. Though he spent years berating himself for being "fat," Clayton says he finally got to a point where he loves and accepts himself. "Now that I love myself for who I am, I can pour out that to everyone else around me," he says. "But it was a long time coming." So many tears all around, you guys! Group hug time.

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A post-therapy hug.
| Credit: ABC

The good vibes continue through the post-date cocktail party. Serene and Clayton bond over growing up in families where people didn't talk openly about their emotions. Then they smooch. Susie and Clayton bond over experiencing insecurity about their bodies. Then they smooch. Eliza, who honestly looks more Disney princess beautiful every time I see her, brings Clayton to a random mirror that just happens to be in the event space and tells him what she sees: "A warm, genuine guy. You're a sweetheart, and I could tell that from the first second that I met you." And it doesn't hurt that they would make a good-looking couple.

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You're good enough, you're smart enough, and gosh darn it, Eliza likes you.
| Credit: ABC

Though all the cocktail party conversations go well, Eliza gets the date rose. Congrats, you ridiculously pretty queen.  

Congratulations are also in order for Sarah, who earned this week's sole one-on-one date. Unfortunately, it's another cheap one. Becca Kufrin, why don't you explain today's date activity:

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Becca is back, again.
| Credit: ABC

In other words, Clayton and Sarah must strip down to their undies and perform an "extreme scavenger hunt" in downtown Los Angeles. Sheesh, what happened to the budget for this episode? Anyhow, you two, time to strip down. Chop chop!

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Love their conveniently coordinated undies.
| Credit: ABC

Ok, that is absolutely NOT the bra Sarah was wearing under her sundress, but why quibble? She and Clayton begin their hunt by jogging through the park, past bemused Los Angelenos, some of whom film them with their cell phones. Their activities include smashing piñatas (this show loves a truth-or-dare piñata!) and "singing" their "feelings" for each other into two conspicuously placed microphones. (Sarah does a fairly decent rap: "You already know I'm not about the drama/I just wanna take you home to meet my mama.")

After that, producers allow them to get dressed and share a romantic snack break on a helipad.

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Helipads are so romantic.
| Credit: ABC

This show makes no sense. No sense at all.

Back at Casa Bachelor, the women are just hanging at the pool, working out, and otherwise chillin'. Elizabeth decides to be a "good Samaritan" and makes a small bowl of garlic shrimp for everyone to share. Why am I sharing this banal information with you, rose lovers? Because of what happens next.

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Shanae loves shrimp.
| Credit: ABC

Yep, that's Shanae helping herself to at least half of that tiny bowl of shrimp — 7 pieces, as the handy "shrimp counter" graphic in the corner makes clear. "There's maybe like 15 shrimp in there," she says in a confessional later. "I took like 8 shrimp, because I was f---ing hungry!"

You know how people who come across as "villains" on reality TV shows often complain that they just got a bad edit? Perhaps some of them are edited unfairly. But most of them, rose lovers, just act like total jackasses while the cameras roll. I'm not saying that hogging a bunch of shrimp is some kind of mortal sin — but if you don't want to be portrayed on national TV as a selfish boob with the social skills of George Costanza, then don't act like a selfish boob with the social skills of George Costanza if you're on national TV.

When the other women come looking for a shellfish snack, they find the bowl and the pan empty. "Shanae ate all the shrimp," sighs Elizabeth. "I don't know what the shrimp portions are like in Ohio, but this isn't a roadside buffet." Burn!

Perhaps realizing her faux pas, Shanae sautés up some more shrimp in the leftover garlic butter. When the women aren't sufficiently appreciative of her minor effort, Shanae is unreasonably annoyed. "No one even looked or talked to me," she huffs. "No one even looked at or acknowledged me. Elizabeth clearly saw me walk up … Hate her." The feeling is no doubt mutual, toots.

Man, with all this shrimp drama, I forgot that Clayton's one-on-one with Sarah is still going on. They've moved on to dinner at the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit, where Sarah is Opening Up™ about being biracial (she's part Vietnamese) and being adopted into a white family. Growing up, Sarah says being adopted made her feel "really ashamed," like she was "second choice" — but with time she came to accept her own worth and the authenticity of her family's love. And today, Sarah's feeling great about her day of saying "yes" to challenges with Clayton. "One of the best things I've said yes to is coming here," she tells him, tearing up. "I feel like you see me for me … I'll be honest and straightforward with you at all times about everything."

Awwww, just give her the date rose, buddy!

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Van Gogh and get that date rose, girl!
| Credit: ABC

She got the group date rose last week, and now a one-on-one rose — looks like Sarah is emerging as a frontrunner, rose lovers.

On to group date number two! Gabby, Rachel, Kira, Melina, Lyndsey, Sierra, Teddi, Elizabeth, and Shanae meet Clayton at the beach. "We're gonna get sandy and be randy," predicts Melina with a smile. Well, sort of. Please welcome …

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Hi, Nicole Eggert!
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"It's Nicole Eggert from Baywatch!" announces Gabby, who absolutely recognized the actress without any help from producers at all. (Don't try to fact-check that.) Ms. Eggert is here because she played a lifeguard on TV, and for today's date, all the women will be put through a vigorous lifeguard challenge. "Being a lifeguard is a lot like being in a relationship," says Nicole. "You have to be assertive, you have to be passionate, you have to be a good communicator."

(Side note: If you're wondering why this ABC show is randomly building an entire date around Baywatch, an NBC syndicated drama that went off the air 21 years ago, you're probably not alone. Here's the short answer: This date is likely supposed to serve as a subliminal ad for Pam & Tommy, the upcoming biographical miniseries about former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, which premieres Feb. 2 on Hulu. Hulu, of course, is owned by Disney, as is ABC. End of side note.)

After lathering each other up with sunscreen, the women practice their CPR.

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How to save a life.
| Credit: ABC

Yeah, that guy's dead. The slo-mo run challenge is a bit more competitive, with each woman trying to one-up the next. There are cartwheels, hair flips, jump-and-hug maneuvers, and the like. But Shanae is "in" it to "win" it, rose lovers, so she takes things a step further.

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Shanae kisses Clayton
| Credit: ABC

The other women are shocked — shocked! — by Shanae's behavior. How dare she try to smooch the guy they're all trying to smooch! What a total bitch. (That was sarcasm, folks.) Still, it's Gabby who wins the challenge and gets some extra make-out time with him in a nearby lifeguard tower. "I'm pissed," fumes Shanae. "I was amazing today. I literally busted my ass." Literally? Girl, are you ok? Do you need a doctor? A busted ass sounds very painful.

It was around this point in the episode that I realized we are not getting a rose ceremony tonight. Two in one week is just too much to ask for, I suppose.

The group heads to a place called Clifton's Cabinet of Curiosities for the cocktails portion of the date. Everyone's hoping the after-party is "extremely drama-free," as Sierra puts it — but everyone also knows that Shanae is in the house, so immature behavior is almost certainly on the menu. More on that in a minute.

Rachel sits down with Clayton first, and she's got a bone to pick with him. How come all the other women are getting "validated" (her word) and she isn't? Where's Rachel's validation, dammit? The Bachelor assures her that they have a "phenomenal connection," and he doesn't want her to worry about anything that happens with the other women. Rachel LOVES it. "Clayton makes me feel like I'm the only girl here," she gushes. "I feel really good."

That's great, Rachel. If you want to hang on to that good feeling, you should probably close your eyes so you don't see this:

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Clayton and Gabby
| Credit: ABC

Wasn't it nice of production to give Gabby a giant bottle of aloe vera gel so she could rub it all over Clayton's sunburn? Those guys really are thoughtful. The Bachelor, meanwhile, loves Gabby's "goofy" side — and you know what, rose lovers? I like Gabby, too. She seems fun.

Aw man, do we really have to talk about Shanae now? I guess so. She sits down with Clayton and almost immediately starts bitching to him about Elizabeth — who, as far as we've seen, has literally not interacted with her at all during the group date. "Today I still had Elizabeth on my back," complains Shanae, who goes on to claim that other women in the house won't even talk to her if Elizabeth is in the room. She even throws out a vague "I may have to leave because this is so hard" threat, and she tops it all off with some crocodile tears.

Clayton seems to buy her sob story — and no one seems more surprised about it than Shanae. "Oh my God. He believed me!" she declares. "I have him. Trust me. I was good. I was good. Holy crap, I was good! I didn't need to cry, but I cried." Way to say the quiet part out loud, hon. Shanae is so excited, she even does a little "F--- Elizabeth" victory dance.

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Shanae does an eff u dance.
| Credit: ABC

Naturally, Clayton pulls Elizabeth next. He fills her in on all of Shanae's claims — that she's being "bullied" in the house, that it's a "toxic" environment, that women ignore her when Elizabeth is around — and you can tell Elizabeth is ready to do a murder. She is so tired of this petty sorority BS. "You can speak with anyone in the house, and you will hear that that is not something that I'm doing," she says calmly. But the more Elizabeth talks, the more frustrated and angry she gets. "I'm a really genuine and really kind person," she says, choking up. "I've been nothing but kind to her, and it's f---ed up." All she wants, rose lovers, is to have one conversation with Clayton that does not involve Shano-no — and I can't blame her.

The Bachelor sees that Elizabeth is "very sincere" with her emotions, but he's still confused about what's going on. He asks Elizabeth to try to "hash things out" with Shanae so everyone can move on and stop feeling so tense. Here's another idea, buddy: Send Shanae home!

As it turns out, Elizabeth wasn't the only woman Shanae slandered. Poor Lyndsey "barely any screen time" W. comes back from her one-on-one chat with Clayton in tears. "Does anyone think I've bullied Shanae here?" she asks, her voice wavering. "Because that's what our conversation was about." Sierra and Gabby cannot believe what they're hearing.

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Aw HELL no.
| Credit: ABC

When Shanae returns to the group, the poop hits the proverbial fan. Shanae is asked to explain herself, and she makes the same claims — "certain people" are only nice to her when Elizabeth is not around, and Elizabeth herself won't talk to her. "Why would I come up to you and talk to you after I've proven yourself to be very distrustful?" replies Elizabeth. It's a fair question, rose lovers. Shanae quickly pivots to name-calling ("You're fake, you're two-faced!") but Elizabeth keeps cool. "Why are you concerned with me? Be concerned with yourself." That's good advice, especially for anyone on a reality TV show.

Here's some good news, though: Gabby gets the group date rose!

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Gabby gets a taste of victory.
| Credit: ABC

Before he leaves for the night, Clayton informs the women that he's going to address the "frustrating" situation in the house tomorrow, prior to the rose ceremony. So, I guess we're getting one of those mini two-on-ones before the cocktail party like Matt had with Jessenia and MJ during his season? Fun. Welp, week three of Clayton's "journey" is in the books. Before you go, rose lovers, a few questions: Are you a fan of the group therapy dates? Were you surprised we didn't see much Teddi this week? And is anyone else now craving shrimp? Finally, RIP Clint Arlis, who gave us one of the best reality TV quotes ever: "Villains gotta vil."

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