The Bachelor – Season 23 Week 5 Recap and Live Blog

I can’t believe Newsweek covers The Bachelor. Is Reality Steve their Deep Throat?

Anyhoo, they’re now in Thailand. Colton has winnowed down his choices to 13 women or possibly that desk clerk at the hotel who touched his hand while giving him the room key. This week, there will be two one-on-one dates and one group date, as well as lots of crying.

Furthermore, according Life & Style Magazine (because both Life and Style were already taken as magazine names), Cassie and Heather knew each other at college. There were no heated Hannah-Caelynn-type clashes, however, and as a source with a limited vocabulary reports, “They were friendly with one another to the point that they considered each other friends.” Keep up the impressive scoops, Life & Style Magazine. You’ll land a Pulitzer in no time.

Distinguished as the girl who’s never been kissed, Heather gets the first one-on-one date. She will open up about a past relationship gone wrong, probably because she refused to even kiss the guy. No one ever opens up about a past life as a dominatrix or undercover CIA agent.

Cassie gets the other one-on-one, and possibly opens up her legs. Rumors of unknown origin say she wins this season. No one could predict Colton would fall for a 23-year-old blond from California with long hair, perfect teeth, and a traditional woman’s job.

Here’s the question of the week, besides “why the hell did Trump give Russia free reign to develop nuclear weapons?” While an avid kisser of as many women as he can get his lips on, Colton has voiced a preference for waiting for marriage to have sex. Will he skip the Fantasy Suite nights? Or are we to presume he locks himself in the bathroom and stands under a cold shower all night?

As the show begins, it’s nice to know they objectify Colton as much as the women, with a slo-mo shot of his rock-hard abs as he showers on the beach. The date card for Heather arrives at the resort suite. She squeals like a faulty train whistle. Heather is eager to get to know Colton on a deeper level, like learning what his favorite video games are and which limited flavor of Oreo he prefers. Colton explains that they’re getting on “one of these Thai boats here” to tour the scenery.

Back at the resort, Elyse is worried for her chances now that other women are getting more time alone with Colton. While her one-on-one date with him was like a romance movie that runs for eight minutes, afterwards, it’s been nothing but credits in tiny letters.

Heather feels a connection to Colton as they shop the open-air markets and gape at Thai monkeys. “I, like, hate talking about things that are going on,” explains Heather, who does not have a future in live broadcasting. The being-unkissed thing is eating at her like the guy who voiced Fred Flintstone regrets never playing King Lear.

At the resort, the group date card arrives. Elyse is upset she is included. No second one-on-one for her, and as Demi points out, she only has so many years left before dementia inevitably strikes.

That night, Colton tells Heather what a great day they had being chased around by cameras and production assistants. He asks to hear about Heather’s past relationships, because that’s what all these clowns feel is important to know instead of religious beliefs or a desire for children. Heather describes meeting someone who in theory should have been Mr. Right, but it did not pan out. They dated eight months without him making a move. Maybe it had something to do with his roommate who majored in theater.

She assures Colton the same thing won’t happen between them. She’ll even put out on their next date. She gets the rose, but no kiss., which she continues to worry about. Honey, relax. You’re not about to land at Normandy. As they stroll the moonlit beach with fireworks exploding overhead, he finally kisses her. She is satisfied. It was almost as good as the first time she had a Meat Lovers Pizza.

As the gals excitedly discuss Heather’s date, first kiss included, back at the resort, a troubled Elyse storms outside. The others are taken aback. Maybe she just has PMS, although Demi probably thinks she’s past menopause.

In truth, Elyse is frustrated seeing Colton growing in his relationships with all the other girls, to the point that he even knows some of their last names. She needs to talk with him, so she stalks across the Thai landscape to knock on his door. After he greets her, she wastes no time explaining how troubled she is by the show’s concept and that it’s managed to stay popular all these years. She wants the time and attention that a relationship requires when it’s not being taped and edited. Colton assures her the connection is there. He himself needs no more than four minutes with someone to get to know them.

“It’s not about jealousy, it’s not about insecurity,” Elyse says tearfully. She just needs to know there’s a chance of a future with this troglodyte. Colton is dismayed. He hasn’t seen that page of the script yet. Elyse says she can’t accept a proposal after weeks of watching him feel up the legs of other women. Many of us, other than the producers, feel that way.

Elyse is bereft, but she must leave. Take another week in Thailand, hon, you’ll feel better. She dabs her eyes, careful not to rub off her false eyelashes. He tears up, too, but it seems more about the fact that her dress is sheer and he’s gotten a glimpse of what could be. Watching this show makes me understand the side effect of “pain at the application site.”

Colton must accept Elyse’s decision. She walks away and doesn’t even change into something more comfortable for travel. Maybe she’ll meet a nice, mature businessman at the airport bar. Left behind, Colton sucks back wine and grieves that Elyse would just “give up” on him. He worries that whoever he ultimately picks will do the same, as is usually the case with couples on this show. But that never stopped Elizabeth Taylor.

The next morning, Colton reflects that it is the day after both his fabulous one-on-one with Heather, and his painful break-up with Elyse. Please, it’s not a break-up if you weren’t together long enough to learn what she usually orders at the Cheesecake Factory. He seems to feel Elyse rejected him, when it was actually the show’s emotionally destabilizing gimmickry she culdn’t take any longer.

But on to the group date. The 10 women and Colton will explore the local jungle. He even has a machete to cut through the undergrowth. Be careful Hannah B. doesn’t get ahold of it.

The women locate and seize eels and scorpions to prove their courage for Colton. Somehow I don’t see him as being that dangerous to handle. An observing monkey looks unimpressed as they split into three teams to compete in collecting water and food. Demi doesn’t think dining on grubs and river water is the best course, so her team departs the jungle and grabs a ride to get cheeseburgers. She should be on Survivor.

Meanwhile, Tayshia grabs Colton for a smoochfest among the dense foliage as their teammates watch with resentment. Penalty! Team Number One wins, having found protein in the form of live worms. Maybe coat them in some panko.

Back at the resort, the one-on-one card arrives for Cassie. Giggles ensue.

Time for the cocktail party. Tayshia moves in swiftly for the first sit-down with Colton. He praises her for showing him she’s here for him. They make out, and he thanks her for making him feel special today. Man, is he self-centered. Hannah B. seeks him out next. She has to show Colton what love looks like with her, as opposed to love with Hannah G. She tells him she is falling in love with him. In fact, she’s two-thirds of the way there,  maybe a skoch more.

Onyeka goes off with Demi so Demi can complain about something Nicole said, but Onyeka is going to take on the dirty work of telling Colton about it. They could text all this crap and save a lot of time.

Onyeka tells Colton that Nicole told Elyse that she was only here to find opportunities outside the show. That’s quite a game of telephone. Colton is concerned that a sentient human should be thinking of anything but him. He collects Nicole to question her. She declines the right to counsel despite all the charges being hearsay.

Nicole tells him that Onyeka’s accusation is not true. Meanwhile, Onyeka tells everyone else that she told Colton about Nicole, only to have Tayshia insist it’s not what Elyse said. Nicole returns in anger to confront Onyeka. I’ve read Bazooka Joe comics with more compelling plots.

Colton comes back to give Hannah B. the rose. What the hell. Katie is getting seriously dissed here.

Next day is Cassie’s one-on-one, also starting on a boat. Colton feels their chemistry is natural, as most chemistry is unless he’s wearing a Ryan Reynolds suit. They make out as a camera person hovers above. Their destination is an island that’s nothing but sand, and so tiny you could couldn’t get a good game of touch football going. There’s more making out instead of substantive discussion. They cast off their clothes to make out in the water.

Colton says he is insanely attracted to Cassie “right now.” If she develops a cold sore in a week, maybe not so much anymore. That night, Colton describes their day as absolutely amazing, and claims he is even more insanely attracted to her. She mentions that it’s as hard to reveal that she’s had sex as it was for him to admit he’s a virgin. Even her family doesn’t know she’s boffed at least one person. Who are her parents, Ward and June Cleaver?

Now the couple is in bed, but fully clothed. They agree they feel like they’ve known each other forever, or at least as long as The Big Bang Theory has been on. “I just want you to know I’m crazy about you,” Colton murmurs, ensuring he’s no threat to Cary Grant’s status.

Time for the Rose Ceremony pre-party. Poor Kirpa has gotten about four minutes of airtime this entire season. They don’t even explain why she’s had a Band-Aid on her chin the whole episode. Tension fills the air because of Nicole and Onyeka’s current drama.

In tribute to their relationship, Tayshia and Colton send a paper lantern with a candle in it up over the ocean so it can choke a dolphin when it comes down. Demi blathers at him and then flosses his teeth. Hannah G. also gets liplocking time. Then Nicole sits with him. She underscores that she is there for the right reasons. She is looking for love in her life, not just an UsWeekly sidebar. He appreciates that.

But there’s something else. Nicole claims Onyeka has been bullying and belittling her, telling Nicole she’s not worthy of Colton’s love. I’d consider that a compliment, but to each her own. But she’s stayed because he’s worth fighting for, as is the hefty paycheck.

Distressed by this revelation, Colton decides to confront Onyeka. He starts out by telling her how she always brings a smile to his face. However, he adds, Nicole snitched on her. Onyeka is shocked. It’s all a lie, she would never bully anyone, even off-script. Why doesn’t he just google to see if anyone shot their encounter and uploaded it to YouTube? But alas, we are at an impasse with this dolt who lives Rashomon on a daily basis.

Now Onyeka confronts Nicole. It gets heated. The other gals are alternately uncomfortable and disgusted. Meanwhile, Colton hangs out with Katie as if a catfight isn’t happening 25 feet way. Finally, he becomes irate and storms over to the two women to audit the conversation. He quickly grows upset and leaves with a frustrated sigh. Everyone is upset, but only Onyeka follows him to apologize. He needs some time alone, he says. The other girls fear for their rose-getting potential.

Walking on the dark beach in a suit and shoes like that famous photo of Nixon, Colton mumbles something angrily, perhaps about Kissinger. The show ends abruptly. I hate a deferred Rose Ceremony.

About E.M. Rosenberg 240 Articles
Favorite 40-volume series issued by Time-Life Music: Sounds of the Seventies. Favorite backsplash material: Subway tile. Favorite screen legend I pretend wasn’t gay: Cary Grant. Favorite issue you should not even get me started about: Venal, bloodsucking insurance industry. Favorite character from the comic strip “Nancy”: Sluggo, or maybe Rollo. Favorite Little Debbie snack: Nutty Bars. Favorite Monkee: Mike.