Warning: This recap contains spoilers for episode 3 of The Bachelor.
When we last left our Bachelor, he had just cut Liz loose and then confessed to the women that he and Liz knew each other before — in the Biblical sense. Of course, Team Bachelor wanted us to believe that after learning this info, some of the “ladies” — appalled by the idea that Nick had sex with some chick before meeting them — would choose to leave. Instead, they dutifully spend the day prepping for the rose ceremony, and before you know it the sun has set and Nick and his exceptionally loud tie are arriving for the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party.
The Bachelor assures the “ladies” that he was “taken aback” when Liz arrived, and after talking with her about their past hookup, he decided their time had passed. “If you have a question, please ask me,” he concludes. “I’m an open book.” Though the women play lip service to feeling “blindsided” and “shocked” about Nick’s revelation, ultimately it makes no dent in their desire to land him at any cost. Nick and Danielle L. spend their time together finger-flirting and making goo-goo eyes at each other, and then he and Hailey toast marshmallows by the fire. But Corinne — bless her hyper-sexual heart — determines that now is the time to “one-up” Liz and every other woman who may have ever had “intercourse” with Nick.
What does a girl who’s wearing clothes under her trench coat say? Corinne doesn’t know, because all she’s got on under that Olivia Pope duster is some skimpy lingerie. “Because we have one of the stronger connections, I want to get even more romantic with Nick,” she says, “and explore each other sexually.”
And what would a sexual exploration be without Redi-Whip?
Pretty soon Corinne has the flustered Bachelor eating out of her cleavage. “You’re a troublemaker,” he mumbles, his mouth full of aerosol-infused dairy.
Naturally, one of the other “ladies” — in this case, Jasmine — spies the Nick-Corinne-Whipped Topping threesome and hurries back to report to her fellow bachelorettes.
The Bachelor, to his credit, knows that “giving in to this moment” would be a very bad idea, especially “after the Liz situation.” So he gently tells Corinne to slow her roll… and then, mercifully, Jasmine arrives to break up their pillow party. Corinne is crushed, and she hoofs it upstairs to cry in a corner. “I feel so stupid,” she wails. “I just want to go home!” Too bad, toots — Team Bachelor isn’t done with you yet.
We interrupt this recap to ask: Did Hailey skip panties on night one because she actually does not know how to wear underwear properly?
Anyhow, last week’s rose ceremony is about to begin when — what’s this? — Nick realizes that Corinne is missing.
The Bachelor is displeased. “I know she has a rose, but last time I checked you still have to show up for the rose ceremony,” he huffs. Seriously — has she no respect for Official Bachelor Protocol? Nick soldiers on and hands out the roses. Robot roll call: Astrid, Taylor, Whitney, Kristina, Danielle L., Rachel, Vanessa, Raven, Jaimi, Dominique, Sarah, Alexis the hero…
…Brittany, Josephine, and Jasmine join Corinne and Danielle M. in the “winners” circle. This means it’s time to say goodbye to Hailey, Elizabeth, and Lacey. Later, “ladies.”
The next morning, Harrison arrives, and after throwing a little shade toward Platinum Vagine (“Corinne, you look rested!”), he drops off the date card — along with a little warning: “If you are on this group date, I’m tellin’ ya, your minds will be blown!”
Even the “ladies” who aren’t on the group date are about to lose their collective s***, because a musical supergroup just strolled into their living room.
Just kidding, it’s the Backstreet Boys! And they, too, have a message for the women on the group date: “No heels.” You heard him, Danielle L., Christen, Kristina, Whitney, Taylor, Jasmine, and Corinne — so lace up those sneakers and hop in the limo. They head to a Burbank, where they find Nick (in a goofy tri-toned tank top) rehearsing dance moves with BSB. All of the women are going to need to learn the choreography — and the woman with the best moves/chemistry with Nick/most potential to piss the other “ladies” off will join Nick on stage as BSB serenades them.
Jasmine, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, picks up the dance moves with no problem, while Corinne the self-described “horrible dancer” is, in fact, horrible. But she’s grateful to be on the date, especially as Nick is still a little irked at her for skipping the rose ceremony. (“Feeling better, Sleeping Beauty?” he smirks during a break in rehearsal.) That, coupled with the activity that allows other women to flaunt their sex appeal has Corinne in a tailspin. “I don’t feel cute, confident, bubbly, fun,” she laments. “I just feel uncomfortable.”
So much so that she dashes off the ladies room to cry on Whitney’s shoulder. (There is a woman on this show named Whitney, right?) “I’m trying really hard to be myself, but because I’m trying so hard to be myself, it’s making me even more not myself,” Corinne sniffs. “I’m scared.”
So am I, after seeing this:
That’s right, it’s showtime! Nick and his harem hop and wiggle and white-boy dance around the stage as the Backstreet Boys try to perform like professionals. Though Jasmine is clearly the best dancer of the Bachelor bunch, the band chooses Danielle L. for the special prize instead. Oh, did I say “special prize”? I meant “awkward high-school slow dancing aided and abetted by the Backstreet Boys.”
And where there’s awkward slow dancing, awkward smooching is soon to follow. “Oh my God. They’re kissing!” whispers Corinne. “I want to throw up right now.” But rather than hurl, Corinne instead redoubles her efforts to get Nick’s attention — primarily by grabbing him first at the post-date cocktail party to 1) explain that she’s terrible at “planned dancing,” and 2) apologize for skipping the rose ceremony.
Nick forgives her quickly, much to Platinum Vagine’s delight. “I made Corinne great again!” she crows. (Of course she voted for Trump — I mean, she would have, if she had bothered to vote at all.) The “ladies,” meanwhile, are still holding a grudge. “How you got all that energy for whipped cream but not be standing there with your rose?” complains Jasmine, as the other women nod approvingly. Little does Jasmine know, Corinne apparently has an undiagnosed sleep disorder that causes her pass out when confronted with any situation where she might have to talk to other women.
The sound effects are a nice touch, Team Bachelor.
It’s probably for the best that Corinne’s asleep, because otherwise she might see Nick rubbing his hands all over Danielle L.’s booty.
Eventually Corinne does wake up, and after rejoining the women, it only takes her about 30 seconds to alienate the women even further.
Don’t be weirded out, “ladies” — think of Raquel as more of a “food assistant” who provides Corinne with things all 24-year-old women need, like sliced cucumbers and cheese pasta. “You know what? It makes her happy,” says Corinne of her servant. “And I’m not going to stop a woman’s happiness.” (It is possible that at this point I said “Help me, Jesus” out loud to my television.)
The other women are understandably annoyed and disgusted by this information; Jasmine, in fact, is so upset she falls to her knees in despair.
Or she was drunk. One of the two. Jasmine had threatened to slap Nick if he gave another Corinne another date rose, but we are robbed of that moment because he gives it to Danielle L. Ah well, maybe next time.
This week’s one-on-one date goes to Vanessa, and the date card’s message — “You make me feel like I’m floating” — has her on edge. “I don’t want to skydive,” she wails to Nick upon greeting him on the tarmac. Even better, honey: You’re going on the Vomit Comet! All aboard G-Force One, y’all!
“I’m the luckiest girl right now!” gushes Vanessa. Adds Nick, “It couldn’t be going any better.” Oh, dude — rookie mistake. On The Bachelor, “it couldn’t be going any better” is the equivalent of “I’ll be right back” in a horror film: It spells certain doom. Or in this case…
And puke she does, several times, into an air-sickness bag. (Don’t worry about it, Zero G — there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?) But Nick goes with it, rubbing Vanessa’s back and cuddling her as the plane heads back down to earth. Fortunately, the Bachelor Interns provided the duo with post-vomit gum. “I can’t believe you’re still kissing me after I puked!” marvels Vanessa. Neither can we, toots.
And the smooching continues at dinner, where Vanessa thanks Nick again for not running for the hills when she started chundering. Then she asks the $1,000,000 question:
Like any good politician, Nick chooses to avoid that question and answer something completely different. He recaps his “journey” for Vanessa again, and then tries to distract her with some flattery and well-timed emotion. “I’ve been incredibly terrified that this isn’t going to work out,” he says. “But you made me feel very optimistic about this.”
Do we believe those tears, rose lovers? I’m ashamed to admit that I’m leaning toward “yes.” Anyway, Vanessa gets the date rose.
And it’s on to the final group date of the week, starring Rachel, Alexis, Astrid, Jaimi, Sarah, Brittany, and Dominique. Olympic track-and-field medalists athletes Carl Lewis, Allyson Felix, and Michelle Carter arrive to explain the rules of today’s “Nickathalon” (who else died a little inside when Carl Lewis had to say that word?) — and then it’s on to the training montage. Such as it is.
All of the events have a Bachelor twist, like the “Limo Long Jump” and the Cupid-themed javelin throw. Rachel, Alexis, and Astrid make it to round number two — meaning they’re still in the running to become America’s Next Top Model. (Or to get extra time with Nick. I forget which.) And Team Bachelor means “in the running” literally: The three finalists will be racing in the 100-meter dash, toward this giant ring prop…
…and Nick, who’s waiting in the hot tub. On your marks, get set, compete in demeaning visual metaphor! Rachel is by far the fastest runner, but instead of grabbing the fake ring off the table, she knocks it to the ground… where it is brutally murdered.
Clinging to a ring shard, Astrid bounces her way over to the hot tub and announces weakly, “I win!” Congrats, sort of. Enjoy your soak, Astrid.
All of this greatly bums out Dominique, whose experience on the show so far has not been fun. “This is not dating, this is just, like, waiting,” she complained before getting chosen for the group date — but even now she’s not getting much face time with Nick. “It just sucks to watch all day long how effortlessly he gravitates toward pretty much everybody but me,” she sighs. “I’m always overlooked.”
Even her plan to grab Nick first at the post-date cocktail party is foiled, when the Bachelor kicks things off by pulling Astrid away for a chat. The pressure of the evening brings Dominique to tears, but she should focus on the positive: No screen time with Nick means no chance to be filmed in hideously unflattering positions, like this:
And yes, that is Nick and Alexis making out on the giant poster of Nick from the high jump competition.
By the time Dominique spies Nick and Rachel sharing a passionate kiss, she’s so far down her shame spiral it would take a rat-hole rig and a team of firefighters to pull her out. “He hasn’t really given me a shot,” she cries. “It’s just not fair at all.” Oh gurl, who said The Bachelor was fair? That kind of thinking will only get you into trouble — as will making your insecurities all Nick’s fault. “I don’t think you gave me a fair chance,” she tells the Bachelor, who sighs audibly upon realizing he has fresh hell to face. “I just don’t understand why you didn’t… come up to me and be like, ‘Hey Dom, is everything okay? Why are you getting in your head?'”
Because he didn’t know you were “in your head,” woman! Because he has six other “ladies” to attend to. Because it’s statistically improbable that he’s going to be truly interested in more than 3 or 4 of the 18 women left. And because, in all honesty, he’s just not that into you. “I do think you’re great,” he tells Dominique. “And at the same time I don’t want to string anyone along.” You know what that means, rose lovers.
Pretty sure there’s some Paradise in Dominique’s future, so let’s not cry too hard for her just yet. As for the date rose, it goes to Rachel.
The next morning, Harrison arrives at Casa Bachelor with some big news.
That’s right: In lieu of a stuffy evening of cocktails, Nick and Team Bachelor have decided that a raucous pool party is in order. Danielle M. admits to feeling a bit “pent up” after not seeing Nick for a few days, and she’s clearly not the only one. “There’s a lot of horny girls in this house,” says official Season 21 narrator Alexis. “So I don’t know how this is gonna work out.”
It’s gonna work out perfectly — for the producers, at least. Jasmine jumps on Nick and gives him what my six-year-old might call a “kiss attack” in front of the other women, while a blushing Nick stage-whispers for her to stop. Corinne goes even further, enlisting the Bachelor interns to rent and inflate a princess-castle bounce house in the mansion’s driveway. It’s all part of her plan to make Nick feel “special.”
Of course, it’s not easy to hide a bouncey castle, and soon the other “ladies” are peering over the balcony and watching Nick and Corinne make out inside the pink-and-purple contraption. “I saw Corinne just, like, pounced on him like a piece of meat,” says Vanessa with mild disgust. “And I’m like, ‘Hmmm… what is happening here?'” Raven, meanwhile, decides it’s time to drop a truth-bomb on Nick. “I think you’re making a huge mistake with one girl,” she tells him. “Corinne is 24 — and has a nanny.”
“Like, she has a nanny who nannies for her?” marvels the Bachelor. “Like, what does the nanny do?” Raven’s answer is beautiful in its precision: “Everything. She did not know how to clean a spoon.” And thus begins the “let’s all trash Corinne” montage, starring Jasmine, Taylor, and Vanessa. Actually, let me rephrase: Jasmine and Taylor tell Nick that Corinne is bad news, while Vanessa demands that Nick explain his own behavior with Corinne. “I’m not judging Corinne — I’m judging your actions,” she says flatly, as Nick squirms beside her. “It was enough for me to question, like, are you looking for a wife? Are you looking for someone to f*** around with? Because at that point, I’d rather you just not give me a rose.”
ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!
Oops, look at the time! I guess we’ll have to wait until next week — again — to see how Nick gets out of this one. Will Nick cut Corinne loose? Will Taylor punch Corinne in the nose? Will Josephine insist on singing again? Post your thoughts below! And be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog right here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go teach my child how to clean a spoon.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.