During his "exotic" overnight dates with Amanda, Shannon, and Trista, Alex asks the tough questions — and vomits multiple times (really).

By Kristen Baldwin
April 13, 2020 at 08:44 AM EDT
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Let’s go back to a simpler time, rose lovers. A time when you could go to the grocery store without wearing a mask and gloves. A time when something called “two-factor authentication” did not exist. A time when Chris Harrison first introduced viewers to Fantasy Suite dates by announcing, “Alex has been given three mysterious envelopes. Find out what’s inside… on The Bachelor!”

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Yep, it’s time for the “exotic” overnight dates. “I have three incredible women, and I can’t really predict which two will continue at this point,” says Alex. “This is the place where I could make a mistake.” You mean another mistake, right Alex? Right?

Overnight date no. 1: Amanda

Location: New York City

Of course, Ms. Sex Swing/Role Play Costumes is “excited” to spend some alone time with Alex. “It’s a perfect opportunity to see how physical it could get,” she says.

But first, it’s time to play tourist! (Oh, wait — Amanda is a tourist. She’s never been to NYC.) As she and Alex take a double-decker bus tour around Manhattan, the Bachelor uses the time to get to know, really get to know, the woman who may become his wife.

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Dude, seriously??? They’re called implants. Amanda says she idolized Dolly Parton growing up, and she also felt insecure about her breasts being different sizes, so she chose a surgical remedy. “I went from a C to a D,” she tells Alex. The Bachelor says he asked because normally he’s “against” plastic surgery, but he is very pleased with Amanda’s honest answer. (He’s also full of s---. The dude says he doesn’t like plastic surgery, but then in the next scene we see him telling Amanda he’d like to see her in a “Playboy bunny outfit.” Eff off, buddy.) ((Of course, right after that, Alex referenced They Might Be Giants, so I’ll give him a few points back for that.))

Once their afternoon of tourist activities is over, Alex and Amanda head to Tavern on the Green for a tourist dinner. (Mmmmm… overpriced pork chops…) Amanda says she is “falling in love” with Alex — but the poor woman’s dad died unexpectedly when she was 11, so we can’t expect her to have good judgment about men. Speaking of which, Amanda wants Alex to know her failed first marriage was actually annulled, so she is not a divorcée. “As far as I’m concerned,” says the Bachelor, “she’s never been married.”

Okay, time for the Mystery Envelope! And guess what, rose love? The Fantasy Suite card language has been almost exactly the same since day one: “If you decide to forgo your individual rooms, you can use this key to stay as a couple in our Fantasy Suite.”

Do I need to tell you that Amanda is all for it? “Let’s go!” she says with a giggle. “We practically ran out of that restaurant toward the hotel,” admits Alex. They make out all the way to the hotel, and once there, they drink some champagne and make out some more. The Bachelor then ups the romance factor by ordering the “Sex in the Sheets” dessert — a plastic sheet, chocolate syrup, caramel and ice cream — from room service. While that sounds like the exact opposite of “sexy” to me, these two seemed to enjoy it — if this grainy, black-and-white “after” photo of Amanda is to be believed:

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After their wild and sticky night, Amanda says she’s “not too nervous” about Alex’s next two dates. “Thank the Lord I was first,” she adds.

Overnight date No. 2: Shannon

Location: Lake Tahoe

“I have a bunch of things I want to accomplish on my date with Shannon today,” says Alex. Those things are: 1) Ski, and 2) “Break her out of the mode of thinking that this is just a casual date.” Fine, Alex, but friendly reminder: Two is not a “bunch” — it’s “a couple.”

Shannon, meanwhile, thinks that what she and Alex have is “real,” but she knows that Amanda and Trista have something “real” with the Bachelor, too. Will she be able to put her insecurities aside and Open Up™ in time? Um, no.

“Some of the questions that you ask, I’m not going to answer,” says Shannon, when Alex suggests that they need to “push the limits” of their relationship. “And some of the things you may want to do, it’s just not going to happen.” With that, Alex is the first Bachelor to find himself in this franchise’s signature Catch-22: “She can’t give herself to me emotionally until she knows that she’s the one, and I can’t decide that she’s the one until she gives herself to me emotionally.”

Eventually, though, Shannon allows herself to imagine that Alex is her boyfriend… until it’s time for them to get into the hot tub.

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“Shannon kind of had a mental freeze-up about getting into [the hot tub] and revealing herself in a bathing suit,” says Alex. Perhaps the Bachelor talked the crew into stepping back a few dozen feet, because we do finally see a shot of Shannon submerging herself in the water… from far away. If she’s that shy about the hot tub, I’m guessing the Fantasy Suite card is really going to rattle her.

The Bachelor pulls out the card right after Shannon tells him she doesn’t like to kiss in public. Impeccable timing, sir! “What are your thoughts?” he asks Shannon, after she reads the invite to the show’s “deluxe chalet.” Her thoughts are, Ewwww, do you do this with all of your potential wives? “I’m not dumb,” huffs Shannon in her confessional. “It’s obvious that all three of us are going to get that same envelope with the same proposition inside. It ruined dinner. It ruined almost the [whole] day!”

At this point I wanted to scream, “WOMAN, YOU ARE ON THE BACHELOR — WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?” But I had to remind myself that Shannon had no idea, because she, rose lovers, was a season 1 guinea pig. Anyway, Shannon crosses her arms and walks stiffly to the “deluxe chalet” with Alex. “I’m not too happy,” she tells him. The Bachelor kicks the cameras out so he and his date can talk in semi-private. Later, Alex tells producers that he and Shannon “sort of got through it,” but now he has “some big concerns” about her. Um, yeah.

Overnight date No. 3: Trista

Location: Hawaii

“At this point, I know Trista less well than the other two women,” says Alex, as he greets his final date with a lei. They start their outing with a helicopter tour (of course) of the island. It’s so beautiful, Alex starts vomiting.

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“Puking in a bag is the least impressive thing I can think of,” frets Alex, but Trista takes the vom situation in stride. “Drink some Sprite!” she tells him, as they part ways to get changed for the beach. That afternoon, when Trista asks Alex how he’s going to make his decision, he says he’s looking at it as, “who do I want to date right now… and I want to date you right now.” Wait, what? Did Alex just tell Trista she’s the “winner”?

It may be what he wants, but Trista is quote-unquote not there yet. “I’m in like,” she says. “I’m not in love.” It’s a reasonable response, but it doesn’t sit well with Alex — or maybe it’s last night’s dinner that’s not sitting well with him. He excuses himself, telling Trista he has to check something on their schedule, but really, he’s making a beeline for his hotel room. “I throw up five times, I get in bed, I have chills and fever, I’m crawling around in pain,” says Alex.

The Bachelor is worried about getting Trista sick, but she still comes to check on him as he languishes in bed. “You feel sickie?” she asks in her baby voice. That said, I have to admire how willing Trista is to get into bed with a guy who was recently puking his guts out.

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It may not be the romantic date they were hoping for, but Alex and Trista use their time to talk about “relationship” things. For example: “It’s no big deal, but I’ve never had an orgasm during real intercourse,” Trista tells Alex, who is more than happy to try to “solve” that “problem.” (Probably not tonight, but still, I’m sure she appreciated the offer.)

The next day, Alex feels well enough to join Trista for an outdoor couples’ massage on the beach. When it’s time to leave, the Bachelor is deeply “in like” too: “Trista definitely scored points with me in Hawaii,” he says.

Invitation Night (Nope):

Back in Malibu, Alex says he feels “total confusion” and “panic” about narrowing his top three women down to two. “I can imagine all of them being my wife, and that is crazy and terrifying,” he tells Chris Harrison. “[It] probably wouldn’t make them too happy to hear, either.”

So who’s it going to be? Rose ceremony roll call: To no one’s surprise (even if you haven’t already watched this season), the final two are Trista and Amanda. Shannon, please take a few moments and say your goodbyes. OMG, rose lovers, it’s the first appearance of the Bye-Bye Bench! “We have to stop at this bench,” Alex whispers, as he walks Shannon to the Reject Limo, but she isn’t about to sit down.

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“Have fun!” she says curtly. Shannon then extends her hand and offers Alex a formal goodbye handshake. She stomps off in a huff toward the limo, only to turn on her heel and march back to the Bachelor. “I’m just curious — why?” she asks him. What can Alex say? She’s “amazing,” but they’re “two different people” and they would “struggle” too much in a relationship.

“Okay,” says Shannon. “Have fun. Bye!” This time, she makes it all the way to the limo.

Congrats to the final two! But actual congrats to Trista, who will ride this train of relationship dysfunction straight into her own happily ever after. Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Next week, rose lovers, I’ll recap the very first Women Tell All special. And tonight, God help me, I’ll recap the series premiere of The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart — whatever the hell that is. Join me… if you dare.

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