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Welcome back to The Bachelor, one of the last good pieces of theater in a world full of shitty performance art.
This episode starts with Taylor launching one last grenade against Corinne’s integrity. She undergoes a voodoo witchcraft ceremony in the hopes of upping her p0wn factor but it doesn’t work–for some people, there just isn’t any hope. Nick sends her to the left yet one more time when she shows up at their dinner, despite her attempt to convince him that Corinne is a narsty, fake betch.
A few questions to get us started this week: If Donald Trump dies, leaving the presidency to Steve Bannon in his will, do you think Congress will know how to use the Constitution to override that? Would the Senate confirm a real life raccoon to one of Trump’s Cabinet positions, or would they be deterred by the number of phone calls from constituents urging them not to confirm a rabid animal known for its scavenging habits? Why is Taylor trying SO HARD to ruin Corinne’s life?
The first two questions I expect will be answered eventually, but we’ll never find a satisfactory answer to the third, and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Mental Health Counselor Taylor, who did nothing but wage war on Corinne’s mental health for the duration of her stay, is finally axed for good.
Nick also cuts Jaime the Bachelor Bisexual and Alexis, the Fun One Who Personified her Fake Titties in Episode Three. Jaime was cute, and I hope she gets to hook up with a pretty lady on Bachelor in Paradise next season, but it was Alexis for whom America shed a tear. There was also a third girl cut, but nobody remembers her name. Bye, third girl. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
Somehow, the mastermind behind the hacking of the American election gets to stay, but it won’t be long before I’ll feel guilty calling her that. Kristina gets the first one-on-one date in St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Island to which Nick next squirrels the ladies away, and it’s a heavy day for everyone involved. Nick says he “gets the sense [being Russian] is a huge part of who Kristina is,” and really, no one can argue with that. But we learn more when she tells him about her life in a Russian orphanage from the age of five to 12. There was also a sad story about eating lipstick but I missed it because I was too busy taking an online quiz to find out which member of the Spice Girls I am.
If I remember correctly from way back in Episode Three, this isn’t the first time Kristina has tried to tell Nick about her childhood. She asked him once if he “wanted to hear about my sad childhood” and he deftly sidestepped the question by saying “maybe if there’s time after we make out,” and there wasn’t. So he had to know he was in for some kind of heavy shit, but no one is prepared for a bomb like this, especially coming from a woman who, and I stand by this, might still be guilty of hacking the American election. A sad past won’t hold up as proof of innocence in court. Unfortunately, by the time solid evidence materializes, Trump’s White House will have shut down everything from The New York Times to the Sun Sentinel and beyond, leaving only Breitbart and, due to inexplicable oversight, “The Official Bachelor Blog of Trump’s America.” And there I’ll be, bringing you the news and mourning the death of my free press brothers and sisters as I immerse myself in a bathtub full of Budweiser advertising dollars. Born the hard way, indeed.
The next day is a group date where Nick takes six of the women to an island and makes them play competitive volleyball while he watches, silently rating each of their bikini bodies on a 1-10 scale in his head. It’s not long before most of the women are breaking down completely, frustrated because they’re all too beautiful to demean themselves like this for the affections of a 36-year-old man who isn’t even rich. It’s actually an inspiring display of rebellion by the standards of this franchise, and the producers would have done well to play “Fight Song” over the temper tantrums of these grown women. Corinne is the only woman who holds it together because she understands, in a way these women don’t or can’t, that you only live once. And also that this show deals largely in packaging contrived emotion for consumption by strangers who want nothing more than to see her fail.
Unfortunately for them, Corinne never fails. And when the volleyball game spirals out of control, culminating with Jasmine pushing Corinne ‘pon the beach floor, Corinne pulls herself up and walks on.
That night, Nick takes the women to a rooftop bar where they stare sullenly into thin air, probably wishing they had fled this show the moment a producer confiscated their cell phone at the very beginning. There’s a melancholy vibe, and it only gets sadder when, after Jasmine threatens to choke Nick to death in the bedroom, he decides their relationship is not where it needs to be and sends her home.
The next day, Nick goes on a two-on-one with Whitney the pilates instructor and Danielle L., the woman who said her parents’ divorce was her greatest flaw. He flies them to an island in a helicopter, and they hang out on a king-size bed they find on a beach. As is standard Bachelor protocol, he abandons Whitney on the island after deciding Danielle L. is hotter but later, in a wild twist, sends Danielle L. home as well. She’s the seventh woman booted in less than a week, and Nick is admittedly concerned that maybe love will elude him yet again. Maybe, he wonders–just maybe–he’s incapable of love.
This is a conclusion Intellectual America reached years ago, when Nick first showed up on Kaitlyn’s doorstep, begging for another chance to become internet famous again. I’m glad Nick is coming around on his own. He’s a classic predator and is utterly turned off by the intensity with which these women are pursuing him. Any relationship outside the confines of a television screen will fall apart within a matter of weeks. Who is Nick if not the troubled heartbroken teen of 2010s reality television? A software salesman? He left that identity behind years ago. Without ABC, he’s just a regular guy trying to stay out of the spotlight as the Waukesha police department searches for a tall, featureless man who can explode tentacles out of his back.
Anyway, Nick deals with the crushing blow of reality by barging uninvited into the women’s hotel room, defeating any misconceptions they had that safe spaces exist on this show. He confesses his fears, and their hearts all ache for his plight but, based on previews for next week, no one is so concerned as Corinne whose vagina may one day bring peace to the planet.
Join us next week to find out if Corinne’s “shh-stop-you’re-totally-worthy-of-love” blowjob is good enough to make Nick believe it.
Becky Scott is a writer based in New York who loves The Bachelor and is great at giving humorous advice.