Three women get one-on-ones with Alex, and things get steamy on his sushi date with 23-year-old Amanda.

By Kristen Baldwin
March 30, 2020 at 09:01 AM EDT
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The Bachelor

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Man, the first season of The Bachelor really moved fast. We’re only in week three, rose lovers, and Alex has already narrowed his harem down from eight ladies to four, in what Harrison calls “the most shocking Invitation Night yet.” (Nope, still don’t like it. Say “rose ceremony,” dude!)

Let’s recap!

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As the sun rises on the “Ladies’ Villa” (nope), Chris Harrison is already out front to greet Alex’s friends Sam and Stephanie. “They will be living in the guest house for the next few days!” the host tells the women. I’m sorry is Harrison wearing… a T-shirt?

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My bad — it’s a T-shirt over another T-shirt. I was so distracted by Harrison’s unconventional wardrobe choice that I almost missed his big message: There will be three “intimate one-on-one dates” this week. Alex, Sam, and Stephanie will choose which three women get on the single dates based on their answers to “a series of compatibility questions.” Trista, you’re up first!

I have to say, some of these “compatibility questions” are quite thoughtful: Have you ever been to a movie alone? Which do you think is more important: Mercy or Justice? Do you vote? And some are quite basic: How do you important do you think sex is in a healthy relationship? Leave it to Rhonda to give the most reality-TV friendly answer:

Get it, gurl.

The “date box” arrives (nope, don’t like it), and guess who gets the very first one-on-one date?

Of course it’s Ms. Sex Swing! And hold up, she’s divorced? She’s 23! And her ex-husband was 17 years her senior?? AND he wouldn’t let her wear her Wonder Woman costume around the house??? (She also has a “cowgirl outfit,” btw.) To you and me, all of these facts may sound like red flags. To the Bachelor, all he hears is: SEXY ROLE-PLAY COSTUMES! “She’s incredibly sexy, fun, laughs a lot,” notes Alex. “And [she] revealed some adventurous things about herself which I found very appealing.”

Amanda and Alex share a hot-n-heavy smooch in the limo before arriving at A Thousand Cranes for a sushi dinner. The Bachelor can’t stop raving about his date’s “creative sexuality” which he calls “a gift.” Gross, dude. Just eat your California roll. Soon enough, he and Amanda are making out again, much to the discomfort of this poor server who just wants to deliver the next course.

I really hope producers gave her a huge tip.

After dinner, Alex and Amanda get naked… so he can give her a massage. And that’s not the only thing he wants to give her. “We’ve already proven to each other that kissing has taken things to a new and better level,” says Alex. “And that makes the temptation to sleep with her even greater.” Slow your roll, buddy! Fantasy Suites aren’t until episode 5! Fortunately, though, Alex knows it’s “too soon” to get intimate with any of the “ladies.” Still, he and Amanda stay out until 4 a.m.

Date box (nope) No. 2 arrives the next morning, and the “winner” of the second one-on-one is…

Our future Bachelor Nation queen, Trista! Her date may not be as fancy as Amanda’s but it’s arguably more “intimate”: Alex invites her over to his (TV) house so they can cook dinner together. The Bachelor is extremely nervous around Trista, as he should be. “This date is the most important date of the year,” he tells us. “Tonight is my night to win her over or not, so I’m feeling a little bit of pressure.”

Though they’re both “novice” cooks, they manage to put together an edible meal — and we actually see them eat it! There are no bungee cords in sight, but Alex decides to take a leap of faith by telling Trista how much he likes her and that she gives him “butterflies.” Her response is… less than encouraging.

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“This is awesome,” she says, gesturing toward her plate of food. To be fair, Trista goes on to tell Alex that she tends to “put up this wall” when it comes to relationships, because she’s worried about getting hurt. Either way, the Bachelor is very disappointed. “I don’t think she feels a ton of chemistry yet, if at all,” he says. “I thought maybe this is the perfect woman, and I’m not convinced of that now — and it’s kind of a bummer.”

Meanwhile, back at the “ladies’ villa” (nope), date box No. 3 arrives bearing news of a group date for Rhonda, LaNease, Kim, Cathy, and Christina. That means Shannon gets the final one-on-one date for the week. She’s excited, but also aware that the other women are not happy about it. “I know Rhonda shot a little look at me,” sighs Shannon, “and there were a few people that were really upset.” And Alex realizes that they’re still upset the next day when they join him for horseback riding at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu.

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“They’re all mad at me,” says the Bachelor. “I was glad these women didn’t have guns.” As far as you know, buddy.

In an effort to assuage the ladies, Alex starts pulling them for one-on-one chats. Rhonda goes first, perhaps because the Bachelor thinks she’s “a genius” and “more mature” than the other women. The personalized attention, however, does not work. “None of them are any happier with me,” he says. “They’re just like, ‘Give me the rose or kick me out!’” (That would have been an excellent title for The Bachelor.)

At last, it’s Shannon’s time to shine. And her one-on-one is historic, rose lovers: It’s The Bachelor’s first-ever Pretty Woman date! Cathy, the 22-year-old grad student, says this is fitting, because she finds Shannon “princessy” and thinks she lives a “materialistic” lifestyle. It’s hard to take Cathy’s critiques seriously, though, because she delivers them while wearing a bathmat around her shoulders.

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Alex and Shannon’s date begins with a trip to Escada, where she tries on a variety of sparkly evening gowns. From there, they head to the Four Seasons, where a romantic dinner awaits them in the Presidential Suite. But first, the Bachelor has one more surprise for his hooker with a heart of gold date.

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When choosing a wife, nothing is more important than seeing how she looks draped in diamonds — am I right, rose lovers? But Shannon is happy, not only because the jewelry is nice, but because Alex “respected” her decision not to kiss on the first date. Even without a smooch, the Bachelor LOVES his date with Shannon: “I literally had visions of her as, like, the mother of my children.”

Ok, so Shannon’s a lock for a rose—but what about the rest of the ladies? When “Invitation Night” (nope) arrives, Alex is nervous. “Tonight is going to be like breaking up with four girlfriends at once,” he frets. While the night starts out with light chit-chat — Cathy uses her time with the Bachelor to ask him about his workout regime — things get more serious when Alex sits down with LaNease.

“You don’t feel weird at all, I mean, about like, dating someone who’s not in your, like…I’m not in your same race,” she says. “How do you feel about that?” LaNease is obviously nervous about asking the question, which is understandable (remember, this is 2002) — and she deserves major props for bringing it up. Alex says he feels “fine” about it, and he hints that he’s planning to give LaNease a rose.

That said, he must know that she was dating someone right before she went on the show, so next Alex heads over to Amanda and asks her what she knows about “LaNease’s ex-slash-kind-of current” boyfriend. Of course, Amanda can’t wait to tell the Bachelor that LaNease was crying about her ex as recently as last night. “She’s not over it,” says Amanda.

Perhaps realizing she was a bit frosty on her one-on-one date, Trista makes a point of finding Alex and telling him that she does feel a “connection” with him. Oh good Lord — can somebody get the hose? Cathy’s doing her cheerleading routine.

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Kim the nanny thinks Alex is too “nervous” around her, but he counters that by sticking his tongue down her throat.

Tink tink tink! Chris Harrison and his Butter Knife of Bad News arrives to tell Alex that it’s decision time. So who will make Alex’s final four? Of course, he can’t choose until he watches their “private video messages.”

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She’s talking about the horseback riding date — get your head out of the gutter!

Rose ceremony roll call: Amanda, Shannon, Kim, and Trista have “won” a hometown date, meaning Rhonda, Christina, LaNease, and Cathy are headed home in a Reject Van. Rhonda seems hit the hardest. “I think he made the wrong choice,” she says tearfully. Shannon, she says, is “here for the wrong reason — she wanted a ring on her finger before she even met the man.” As for Trista, Rhonda thinks she’s just hanging around and hoping that Alex will “grow on her.” She’s getting so upset that she starts having a panic attack and can’t catch her breath. Producers call an ambulance — our first-ever Bachelor ambulance, rose lovers! Nearly brings a tear to my eye.

How do you feel about the final four, rose lovers? I, for one, am surprised Kim made the cut – but I guess Alex just finds her hot. Post your thoughts below, and I’ll see you back here next week for the first-ever Hometown Dates episode.

The Bachelor season 1 is streaming on Tubi TV.

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The Bachelor

Chris Harrison hosts the romance reality competition series in which a gaggle of women vie for the Bachelor’s heart — and a wedding proposal. Will you accept this rose?

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