Those of you who had always wanted to see Michael Stagliano in a skintight leotard were in luck: That image and so many more (Erica Rose somersaulting in a sundress, anyone?) were burned into our retinas during the second week of "Bachelor Pad." Tempers were flaring, sparks were flying, and people were finally getting naked -- which means that this season is already starting to live up to its reputation.
Erica Rose kicked off the episode by swearing to make Dave's life a living hell for daring to conspire against her during the last rose ceremony. The twins, whose matching outfits had made them seem so blissfully in sync, contributed to the building tension by fighting with each other constantly. "It's like watching 'Jerry Springer,'" Blakeley observed, which was pretty telling coming from Blakeley.
People watched this instead of the actual Olympics
This week's challenge honored the Summer Olympics -- although it's debatable whether "honor" had anything to do with it. "Rhythmic gymnastics" was the phrase of the day, and the contestants knew immediately that they were in for trouble. They were split into two teams -- guys vs. girls -- and had only two hours to learn a choreographed routine from a trio of tiny professional gymnasts. At stake? Two roses -- and, thus, immunity. One for a woman, one for a man. Also, the two worst contestants from each group would get an automatic vote against them, essentially putting a target on their back. The practice session threw everyone into a tailspin of despair because they were all terrible, but the humiliation was topped off with some tight spandex leotards that left almost nothing to the imagination.
Tasha Schwikert, an Olympic gymnast who apparently got lost on her way to London, led the judging, along with Ashley and J.P., "Bachelorette" royalty from two seasons ago. Tasha selected Erica Rose and Ed as the two worst gymnasts of the group, which was no surprise -- both of them had been flopping around halfheartedly like bored starfish. The roses were awarded to Michael and Blakeley, which was again no surprise, because Michael's some kind of choreographer in real life and Blakeley has, let's be real here, definitely had "dancer" in her job description before.
Michael and Blakeley each got to pick three people of the opposite sex to take on a date with them, and one of the three would be awarded a rose that would also grant them immunity. Chris was bummed because it meant that he'd have to keep sucking up to Blakeley instead of trading her in for a newer model of partner. Michael was excited because he's been assuring us that he's here to find love, and what better opportunity to find it than to take three different girls for a test drive at the same time?
Erica Rose went to Michael for protection, since failing the second challenge in a row made her vulnerable to elimination. But Michael wasn't about to sacrifice a spot on his date for someone as unlovable as Erica Rose, tiny crystal gavel and all. Instead, he picked Rachel, Lindzi, and the doe-eyed super fan Donna, who has been outrageously vocal about the "secret" crush she's had on Michael for years and years. Of course, this enraged Erica Rose, who views the super fans as some sort of subhuman species.
Michael -- the one-man "Make a wish"
The quartet pitched up at the concert of a generic soft-rock band complete with carefully chosen, attractive extras, and Michael immediately got down to business. He danced with Donna for a bit, only to turn his full attention to Rachel, who started making out with him vigorously. Lindzi was entirely ignored.
After the concert, Michael drew Rachel and Donna aside separately to "talk," which in Rachel's case involved more tongue action. Donna used her turn to present Michael with an incredibly creepy charcoal drawing of him that she'd done, thus extinguishing any chance she'd ever had to actually win his heart. But Michael's a standup kind of guy, and he proved it by selflessly making her "fantasy come true" -- that is, making out with her against a wall as a reward. Ugh. Really? It's the grossest he's ever been, and we needn't remind you that he won last season of "Bachelor Pad."
Rachel got the rose anyway, leaving Donna distraught despite her consolation prize.
Chris is gross
Back at the pad, Jamie was celebrating her, oh, 13th birthday with her new pals. Her partner Ryan (you remember him -- the 32-year-old virgin who doesn't drink) revealed that he has a bit of a crush on Jamie and presented her with a strange cake, flowers, sushi, and maybe some other stuff that was all way too much. Jamie felt suffocated by Ryan and just wanted to find a way to ditch him and snag Chris for herself.
Meanwhile, Chris was still trying to string both Blakeley and Jamie along. His strategy was to make all the girls like him so that they don't vote him off -- and apparently he's decided that lying to them, cheating on them, and insulting them is the best way to go about it. He assured Blakeley that he'd be her partner forever, only to turn to the cameras and divulge his plan for getting rid of her ASAP. "It's not a big deal that I have to sell myself a little bit," he said. "That's just part of the game." That was the logic that justified his next move: making out with Blakeley in the bunk bed she shares with Jamie. Of course, Jamie walked in on them -- but instead of walking back out, like any normal person would do, she crawled into the bunk above them to go to sleep. It was the most awkward nonthreesome the show has ever seen. Did we mention it was her birthday?
"I’m in a pickle"
Blakeley intentionally went against Chris's wishes by inviting Dave, the reviled super fan, on the date, just to show him who's boss. Ed was invited along, too, and the four of them were tasked with designing, then racing, Soap Box Derby cars (actually kind of a cool date). Dave knew he didn't have a chance in hell of winning the rose, but by gosh he was going to try anyway. Chris, of course, was very unhappy to have Dave around, and stated ominously that "somebody might die" if Dave got a rose. Um ... we hope the producers have a straitjacket handy.
Ed won the derby in a car he'd painted to look like a giant pickle (by far the highlight of the episode) and chugged Champagne out of his trophy like a champ.
After the derby, Blakeley pulled Chris and Dave aside for individual conferences. Dave brought out the big guns, trying to appeal to Blakeley's emotional side by saying how he understood how ganged-up-on and ostracized she had felt during Brad's season, and how he's in the same position now on "Bachelor Pad." "I'll do whatever you say," he added in as a bonus, believing that she was his only hope.
Chris spent his time with Blakeley lying to her face, saying that he's "1 million percent into her." Blakeley was obviously a little doubtful of his intentions, but once again common sense evaded her, and she gave Chris the rose instead of Dave.
Double the trouble
When the group returned to the Pad, things got "frisky" fast. The hot tub, combined with freely flowing liquor, dissolved any inhibitions the contestants had left. Everyone was making out with everyone, except for Sarah, who became so insecure about this fact that she tore off her top and fell into bed with Ed, who was "hot mess wasted." They definitely rolled around under the covers yipping and howling like coyotes in heat, but it's unclear as to what else happened. It's starting to become painfully clear that man-child Ed is responsible for most of the truly entertaining moments on this show.
The twins, meanwhile, had gradually been melting down further and further as the day wore on. The party wound down, but they continued to yell at each other hysterically throughout the night, keeping everyone up. The conflict? It was hard to tell -- Brittany (the virgin twin) wanted to leave the house, but Erica (the promiscuous twin) has a crush on Dave and wanted to stay and see it through. Since the show counts them as one person, Brittany's decision was final for both of them -- to the relief of the people who they'd kept up all night (including Lindzi and Kalon cuddled up together -- interesting). The twins left the house at the crack of dawn, still shrieking at each other. In a truly sad moment, Erica tried to wake up Dave to say goodbye, but he was too drunk to notice, and only found out later in the morning that his last allies had departed.
Let the games begin
The standard pre-rose ceremony backstabbing was especially convoluted this time around, so let's make it really simple.
- Because the twins had chosen to ax themselves, no girls had to go home this week. But they still had to vote on one guy to boot off.
- It seemed like Dave was destined to go home, but Kalon had other plans. Kalon thought he could manipulate Dave, but he had no use for Ryan, who he didn't trust. All he had to do was plant this seed with his bed partner, Lindzi, and she did all the work, getting half the other women to vote for Ryan instead.
- But Reid, who has had a beef with Ed since the beginning, tried to mobilize the girls to vote off Ed (who, remember, already had a vote against him for being a lazy klutz at the gymnastic challenge). Reid all too easily managed to convince Sarah, who'd hooked up with Ed coyote-style the night before, to turn against him and vote him off because he was a "threat."
- Sara voted Ed off, then promptly announced to him that she'd done so and was met, naturally, with a crestfallen reaction. She then freaked out, deciding that it had been a terrible decision to vote off the one person in the house that she likes and enjoys. Ya think?
- The girls were then evenly split between voting for Ryan and Ed, which left Jamie as the wild card. Would she vote off Ryan, her partner?
The virgin sacrifice
The boys were the only ones called up to receive roses, since it was a given that all the girls would be staying on to swap spit for another week. David was third to last, and left Ryan and Ed to wait out their fate and wonder where it all went so wrong.
And Ed got a rose! That means poor Ryan was voted out -- by Jamie, his partner and crush. Even after spelling her name out on a birthday cake in licorice. Ouch! Hurt, Ryan ignored her while saying his goodbyes.
Of course, Jamie was just being strategic. She single-mindedly wants Chris as her partner and will eliminate all obstacles in her path toward that goal. If we were Blakeley, we'd run and hide.
Ryan piled into the SUV and morosely announced, "As a 32-year-old virgin, I'm always looking for love." Maybe don't lead with that next time, buddy.