For Bachelor stalwarts—meaning none of you—here’s a space-filling depiction of the shooting’s timeline and how it affects the contestants emotionally, financially, and intellectually. Read some Proust if you want substantive writing.
Want to learn about the outfits everyone wears? If you’re not strapped for food or housing because of the shutdown, then these revelations won’t depress you much more than seeing all the Macy’s sales rack ensembles march across your screen every week. Everyone keep on eye out for dangling price tags.
Interestingly, Bekah Martinez, who got rejected by I forget who on The Bachelor’s Season 22, said she borrowed clothes to appear on the show, revealing that the contestants don’t get paid during filming. WTF, ABC? Does Chris’s salary for four minutes of footage every week eat up the budget? According to Bekah, “Knowing that there’s a potential to go on the show for two months and not make any money during that time” meant she couldn’t spend a few grand on clothes that are more sequin-conveyors than protection from the elements.
By week three, this is the best I could come up with for an opener. So sue me; it’ll increase my Twitter followers.
The gals open the show discussing the usual mindless drivel until Chris arrives to utter fewer words than in the average meme detailing Trump’s violations of the Constitution. This week there are three dates: two group and one one-on-one (and she sells seashells at the seashore). The first is with Katie, Heather, Hannah B., Courtney, Kirpa, Tracy, Demi, and Caelynn. Everyone thinks the battling pageant girls sharing this date will cause more explosive reactions that any Miss Universe contest held in Moscow.
The gals find Colton standing on a pirate boat dressed in rejected wardrobe from Cutthroat Island. He acts out a really lame fight scene with some extras. The ladies will learn how to be pirates, with the winner competing for Colton’s non-Errol Flynn-like charms. The first contest is that deal where you try to knock the other person off a plank with a thingie like a barbell with foam-rubber ends. Real pirates never saw such a travesty of the high seas.
Colton tells the gals that he enjoyed seeing everyone’s personality, as well as cleavage, come out during this date. At the cocktail party, he and Katie agree they have a lot in common, including perfect teeth and low standards. Meanwhile, Demi suggests Tracy must feel very uncomfortable as an older woman surrounded by nubile girls in the bloom of youth, like she’s Norma Desmond bitterly watching her silent movies in a darkened room.
With Colton, Demi underscores this lack of insight by blindfolding him and fondling him with a store mannequin’s dismembered hand. Maybe she read that sex tip on Juicebox. When she returns to the group around the coffee table, Courtney takes her aside to chide her for her arrogance. Demi can’t imagine what she’s talking about, mostly because her vocabulary is limited to that in Goodnight, Moon.
Caelynn sits with Colton next. Colton and Caelynn. What would we call them? Collyn? Caeton? When he’s with her, he reports, his guard “comes completely down,” while something else goes up. Well, Hannah B. will set him straight posthaste. She tells Colton that there was a fallout between her and Caelynn during their pageant period, and they haven’t spoken since. He wants to know exactly what’s wrong with Caelynn’s behavior. Instead of clarifying with explanatory terminology, Hannah B. says, “If that’s what you want, then you don’t want me,” winning this week’s prize for Most Passive-Aggressive Numbskull on Network TV. Yet he must take some time to agonize over the crumbs of analysis she has provided.
Of course, he must confront Caelynn about Hannah’s accusations, apparently expecting her to agree that she is indeed hostile, cold-blooded, and mean, at least during pageants. It’s like watching a Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation. Ultimately, Colton reassures Caelynn that their connection is important to him, as is an ensured erection. He gives her the rose. Hannah twirls her mustache and sneers, “Rats! Foiled again!”
Nevertheless, Caelynn remains emotional over this ugly portion of the script. She fears what Hannah B. will do next to undermine her and her Q score. With Demi and Catherine, that’s now three villains we have this season, unless you count Chris.
The one-on-one date is with Elyse. The two travel on a helicopter as she clutches his meaty hand to her lacking bosom. She notes with concern that she’s six years older than him—the same span of time it takes to complete one and a half undergraduate educations at an accredited institution—which could ultimately prove the Dumbass Demi Theory correct.
When they arrive at an amusement park, Colton tells Elyse (Coltyse, I like it) they won’t be alone on their date. Elyse is disappointed until a gaggle of small children run screaming to meet them, because Colton’s charity is for kids with disabilities to have fun. Colton’s a nice virgin.
They ride the carousel and a little train, and play carnival games to win prizes, laughing gaily and likely avoiding gluten-laden cotton candy. Elyse finds it all so sexy, despite the many laws against that. She concludes that Colton would be a good dad if he and their kids could spend all day throwing bean bags at buckets in exchange for stuffed animals.
That night, the couple smooches over their uneaten dinner. “Life is all about experiences,” says Colton, echoing Sartre’s most sagacious convictions. Elyse then tells the story of her sister, who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant, and died after the baby was born. I hate when this show gets serious and I can’t mercilessly mock every scene. Colton is moved by her strength and ability to open up about this painful episode in her life.
Back at the mansion, the second group date card arrives, bringing us awkwardly back to the witlessness we expect from this show. The names include a bunch of people I forgot were there. Those left out fret through their mascara.
Colton gives Elyse the rose, because how could he not without a lot of angry tweeting, and they smooch again. He has yet another surprise for her now, which is a performance by Chenille or Tenille Arts or some damn thing that ends in “enille.” Just try Googling that. My nearly new TV has suddenly started cutting off the left side of the screen, which also makes for some entertaining news chyrons.
The couple dances as the audience kvells at the $50 a head they’ll receive for standing there for a few hours. Colton is thrilled with his date with Elyse the spinster. He wants to hold onto this moment forever. All he has to do is watch the episode on Hulu. Meanwhile, my dog is twitching in his sleep. He’s probably dreaming of running away from the sound of Colton’s voice.
Now Colton is shirtless and clad in Spandex pants for the next group date and the ratings. The gals must participate in some kind of athletic contest. They are joined by Terry and Rebecca Crews. They ride stationary bikes, bash a punching bag, and do various strength-building activities that are boring to watch but involve Colton pawing the girls through their leggings. They will now compete to become The Bachelor’s Strongest Woman. You’d think the competition would be for The Bachelor’s Most Open Woman.
Chris and Fred Willard are the announcers. At least Fred still gets work these days. First, the gals push a 100-pound wedding cake down the field on a cart. It was probably baked by one of the Worst Chefs in America. Next is the Engagement Ring Flip, which requires one to overturn a monster truck tire. Finally, it’s the Limo Pull. If Colton can do all these grueling feats, I’d worry about roid rage.
The final three must each run with large, heavy balls—which I hope isn’t prophetic—and be the first to place theirs on a high pedestal. Onyeka wins. Virtually no one on ESPN cares.
At the cocktail party, Tayshia is concerned that Colton is unaware of all she has to offer besides the chance to be called Colshia. He tells her he needs a strong woman who can sometimes push him around. She says she needs a strong man. We’re either at an impasse or they will always have a clean garage.
Nicole reminds him that she comes from Cuba. He likes that she is real, authentic, and genuine, all at the same time. You don’t often find that combination outside a thesaurus. Everyone else spends their minute amount of time with Colton discussing their progress in the relationship instead of, oh, I don’t know, travel, religion, or personal values.
Caitlin is not sure how to open up to Colton. Yellow threat level alert! “My life has been, you know, good,” she explains. She just eliminated her chances to appear on any reality show, including Chopped. Indeed, Colton sends her packing. The other girls observe as he walks her out, noting the body language that says “Melania slapping her husband’s hand away as they get off Air Force One.” Caitlin feels Colton made a terrible mistake, because she was here for the right reasons. Meanwhile, he gives the rose to Nicole, who is here for the free liquor.
The next morning, the other gals discuss Caitlin’s abrupt departure. They now fear that anyone can be dispatched without warning, as they have been on literally every other season and, for that matter, many other reality shows. Chris tries to soothe them, then reveals that Colton has made already his choice, and there will be no Rose Ceremony. The florists union must be on strike. However, there will be a pool party, so the virgin can observe the local fauna in their natural habitat.
In one breath, Hannah claims to Courtney that she’s done fussing about Caelynn. Just then, the very same strolls by with Colton, a mic pack in her bikini top and lust in her eyes. Hannah resolves anew to destroy her utterly, much like a less deftly-written Betty and Veronica comic book.
Caelynn wants to tell Colton about her sordid past with Hannah, who rivals Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. He side-eyes her like she’s describing the intensity of her cramps. He is incredulous as he’s never seen that side of Hannah, mostly because he’s always looking at her chest.
He sits with Hannah to address this critical issue, even as climate change devastates the planet and the nation’s literacy rate plummets. He didn’t like hearing that, according to Caelynn, she is manipulative, toxic, and deceitful. Hannah objects, claiming Caelynn said that because she herself is manipulative, toxic, and deceitful. Come up with your own lurid accusations, Hannah.
Colton is confused by Hannah and Caelynn savaging each other with the sub-heads of a Cosmo magazine article. He leaves the pool party to consider how he will find clarity. Like a Dr. Phil drone, Chris heaves into view to alight on a nearby chair and consult with yet another broken Bachelor.
Now there will be a Rose Ceremony after all. How this helps Colton make up his mind is beyond the reasoning of any sentient being, including the newborn tapir I saw on ZooBorns today. Many girls are worried that they did not benefit from time with Colton at the pool party, precious lost moments that could determine their fate almost as much as whether their bikini top was small enough.
The first roses go to Hannah G., Tayshia, and Katie. Next come Cassie, Kirpa, and Sydney. They’re followed by Demi, the crone Tracy, and Courtney. More roses go to Heather and Onyeka. All this time, we hear kvetching from Caelynn and Hannah B., who are destined to keep reliving their days of high heels worn with bathing suits and bad choreography.
And now, the last rose. It goes to Hannah B. Nevertheless, she feels she has been marginalized and treated poorly by everyone. That’s why the next march on Washington will be in support of her.