Finally, Chris Harrison has something else to do besides introduce a Rose Ceremony or nod understandingly with empty eyes. Tonight, he will instruct half of the six remaining couples to swap partners, like Bob & Carol & Justin & Kayley. It will be a test of the strength of their relationships, which are apparently growing stale after two weeks.
And it must follow, as the night the day and Dr. Fauci the president, if we want the actual facts, that Julia will be assigned to Brandon. Savannah and Sheridan will inevitably be discarded like those nylon peds they give you when you try on shoes at DSW.
Brandon and Julia get on like a mansion afire, according to press reports and your little sister’s Twitter group. As a result, Savannah ends up feeling as betrayed as people who had tickets to this year’s Hootie & the Blowfish’s Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament and benefit concert.
Adding insult to coronavirus, Season 1’s winning couple’s prize must be delayed. It’s an opportunity for them to work with a noted producer to develop original songs, then tour together. This can only happen once the world returns to normal and everyone has forgotten these people. At least that gives the singers time to polish their act, and to break up before concert tickets go on sale, although by then, no one will have any money left to buy them.
But there’s more distressing news, especially for people who already feel Chris Harrison appears more frequently in their line of sight than bird droppings on a windshield. Someone should file a harassment suit against ABC, as the franchise is now offering yet another new series. Starting June 8th, The Bachelor: The Most Unforgettable—Ever! will pay tribute to recycling sweepings from the cutting room floor.
Host Chris will look back at the show’s greatest love stories—all two of them—and memorable moments, such as when that skinny blond yelled at the busty blond for lying, and that time the guy with the veneers made out with the gal with extensions. We’ll also be treated to a Where Are They Now And Who Are They Shtupping? segment, which will revisit familiar faces that may have different noses.
Sheridan and Julia, Bri and Chris, Matt and Rudi, Jamie and Trevor, and Brandon and Savannah remain as couples to be torn asunder by a cruel and unimaginative production team. At the start of the show, the couples review their current situations. All of them are confident in their relationships, both musical and amorous.
That’s why Chris Harrison arrives to complain that everyone appears too content for a new reality show. He also points out that chemistry is lacking for many of the couples, an untenable circumstance when they have to make out with conviction.
He will challenge the pairs by matching each individual with other people for a single date. It’s like General Hospital, which had the same dozen cast members for years, so they regularly rotated relationships with each other like Musical Chairs.
Three of the couples will try this cheap gimmick now. Jamie will be going out with Ryan, while Julia will date Brandon and Chris (the contestant) will spend time with Rudi. Sheridan is apprehensive, as he should be, but Julia thinks the experience will add clarity, or at least a session of kissing free of beard burn. The others experience various forms of anxiety that they cannot articulate without the word “vulnerability.” They should try chewing on their feet like my dog does.
Chris (the contestant) tells Rudi he’s falling for Bri, which Rudi respects, so they have a pleasant afternoon together, during which Chris can reknot his scarf in creative ways. Ryan tells Jamie that she’s wearing way too much make-up—no, I said that. He’s enjoying being with Natascha, and she’s good with Trevor, so this segment is very dull.
Now it’s Julia and Brandon’s time together. They are co-writing a song, which Julia finds daunting, either because she has feelings for Brandon or because she’s barely coherent expressing herself extemporaneously. Meanwhile, Sheridan’s writing a song for her, although at this point, she wouldn’t doodle on a Post-It note for him. She does feel singing with Brandon will bring the clarity she can’t achieve otherwise, since she’s incapable of having a conversation any more substantive than one she could have while Speed Dating.
As Sheridan is playing his new song, Rudi and Chris return from their date, followed by Ryan and Jamie. Her lipstick came in its own limo. None of the two couples seem perturbed by the swap-outs, so we can concentrate on the angst surrounding Julia and Sheridan.
Julia and Brandon sing a song about gaining clarity. Somebody donate a thesaurus to these needy people. Afterwards, since they have connected personally and musically, she decides he’s the one. Also, she found out his dad is an investment banker.
She returns to the house to tell Sheridan. If a heartbreak song doesn’t come out of that conversation, some choice profanity surely will. “I’m sorry,” Julia tells the shmendrik displaying more rustic jewelry than a gift store on the Berkeley campus. He takes it politely and stoically, which she views as being “mean” and makes her cry. Wishing her the best with Brandon, Sheridan prepares to leave. This makes her even more upset, and she demands to continue talking about it. You dodged a bullet, Sheridan. Kick the gun out of her hand.
As the limo bears him away, Sheridan tearfully presumes there’s something wrong with him. Really it’s that he ever considered Julia a good choice for a girlfriend. Next time, get cast on The Voice and sign up for match.com.
Tension hangs in the air like virus droplets as the Brandon/Julia news moves through the house. Brandon goes to tell Savannah that he has feelings for her rival, and it’s kind of her fault. “You’re 95 percent in this with me,” he says about the depth of Savannah’s feelings, although he fails to present any charts to support this thesis. An angry Savannah, who wants closure, will not be anyone’s second choice. Brandon is about as soothing about it as 50-grit sandpaper. They are so over.
As Savannah boards the Limo to Oblivion, Brandon assures Julia they’re good to go. She seems like the type to relish prevailing in such a distasteful stand-off. We all went to high school with someone like her.
Next day, five couples remain. Julia feels relieved to be with Brandon, while everyone else feels the two are doomed. Chris Harrison arrives to gloat over the contrived loyalty test that was clearly designed to drive Julia into Brandon’s arms while keeping everyone else paired off like Twinkies in their original packaging.
This week, they will all be performing at a large concert venue with new, equally vapid judges. Jamie and Trevor will sing a song about love. Bri and Chris will also sing a song about love. No one ever gets assigned The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Brandon reveals he’s unfamiliar with Pat Freakin Benatar. Savannah got away from him just in time, like in an action movie where the hero flees the scene 20 feet ahead of a massive explosion.
Jamie is again overly anxious about performing with Trevor. Doesn’t she know they have meds for that? Julia is glad to have switched to Brandon, much like I was glad to switch to decaf, but Natascha can’t resist throwing a monkey wrench into the proceedings. She tells Julia that Brandon would’ve stayed with Savannah if she had given him the choice instead of the finger.
Julia confronts Brandon about this assertion, which she fails to acknowledge having had a hand in creating. He doesn’t have a good response, but to be fair, the writers were working with terrible material. Rather than holding Brandon responsible for being a malleable dullard, Julia just resents Natascha meddling, and vows to punish her. This scenario beats the lyrics of any 70’s story song.
The judges arrive: Andy Grammer, Toni Braxton, Rachel Lindsay, and Brian Whatshisname, whom she chose during her season and apparently is still with, so mazel tov. The singing couples must live up to the standards set by the judges for both musical performance and relationship quality. Personally, mine are The Captain and Tennille and The Captain and Tennille.
Matt and Rudi perform first. They seem to do well on all counts, including proper hair-flipping, hip-swiveling, and eye-gazing. All the judges are pleased, although Toni wishes Matt had strummed his guitar like it was wearing nothing but body paint that said “Good Girls Do Bad Things.”
Next up are Trevor and a hyperventilating Jamie, whose dress shows more flesh than a butcher’s display case. Observers feel they are not connecting, either due to nerves or that Jamie has troweled on the L’Oreal so it looks like an apprentice mason repaired her jawline. While Andy feels they rallied and finished strong, Toni says Trevor wasn’t as present as Jamie. To be fair, her neuroses suck a lot of air out of the room.
Chris and Bri follow, with her wearing a red frock apparently made from the largest part of the bolt of fabric Jamie’s dress was cut from. As they perform, we have to watch Jamie having a meltdown backstage while Trevor tries in vain to reassure her. She’s more work to get moving than my ’83 Isuzu Impulse.
Chris and Bri get raves all around. She admits she told Chris “I love you” right after they sang, but he didn’t hear her over the applause. He says he loves her, too, then tells us he wishes his late dad were there to witness their love. Since it’s only week 4, something terrible is going to happen to their relationship.
Now Julia and Brandon perform. Simmering rage fills the room like the buzzing of murder hornets’ wings, but Julia is not angry at Brandon’s pathetic indecisiveness, only at the messenger who informed her of it. Rachel murmurs to Brian that these two have less chemistry than a pair of Fisher Price Little People. After the disappointing reviews come in, Brandon tries to address the damage, but it’s like mopping up an overflowing bathtub with a handkerchief.
When they leave the stage, Brandon continues to attempt to make things right between them. Julia recalls how much better her performance with Sheridan was received. That sound you hear is Sheridan’s agent laughing.
Ryan and Natascha take the stage next. After much nose-touching and enraptured grinning, the judges leap to their feet to praise the performance. Backstage, Julia is brooding and calling Natascha “a bad person.” She can’t be worse than whoever trimmed Julia’s ends.
Back in the house, a still-seething Julia accuses Natascha of being a backstabber with a needless “c” in her name. Nat insists she meant no harm, although it’s about as believable as the stylist who thought sequinned pants was a flattering look for Rudi.
Time for the Rose Ceremony, after which one couple home will go home, or possibly to the bar. First called up are Bri and Chris, who accept each other’s roses tenderly. Next are Matt and Rudi, hardly a surprise. Then come Natascha and Ryan. Julia has already Googled a reasonably priced hit man.
Now the final two couples await their fate. After Jamie and Trevor get the roses., they return to the others with her bawling and hugging everyone like they just got rescued from a burning building.
Julia and Brandon must say goodbye. She is bereft at how poorly she was treated by Brandon, Natascha, and apparently the entire Western hemisphere. She wishes she could turn back time and choose to stay with Sheridan. It’s like when I order what the guy at the next table has, when what I really wanted was the fettuccine.