Warning: This recap contains spoilers for Week 2 of The Bachelor.
Welcome back, rose lovers! The night-1 wheat has been separated from the chaff, and our Bachelor is ready to start his “journey” to find “love” in earnest. So “ladies,” please assemble in the living room for your first message from Cruise Director Harrison.
Answer: Yes. Anyhow, after the requisite “make the most of your time with Nick” speech, the host drops off the date card and skedaddles. And the first group date goes to: Platinum Vagine, Vanessa, Sarah, Alexis the Dolphin Shark, Hailey, Lacey, Brittany, Jasmine, Raven, Danielle L., Taylor, and Elizabeth W. Hop in those promotional-consideration-provided-by Buicks, “ladies,” and get going!
In case the “always a bridesmaid” date cart hint didn’t clue you in, today’s date is all about taking very premature wedding photos. “Nothing is more appropriate,” notes Nick, with the slightest hint of irony. Speaking of no irony, THIS GUY is going to be taking the pictures.
This spectacular individual — whose name is Franco, by the way — starts handing out bridal gowns to the women. Well, gowns and one “Adam and Eve” bikini bottom for poor Brittany.
Of course, she’s not the only one with a goofy outfit. Vanessa finds herself in a super poufy ’80s monstrosity; Alexis the “shotgun bride” is wearing a dress featuring a fake baby belly; and Jasmine is decked out in a bridesmaid’s gown the color of hospital linoleum. As for Platinum Vagine, she’s loving her bikini-top-and-sarong ensemble. “I’m totally going to kiss Nick again,” she crows, as Taylor serves up some solid side-eye.
“I think it was very specific to say in front of me,” snipes Taylor. “Because I think I’ve been pretty confident in my connection with [Nick] thus far. And that was very much an attempt to, like, psych me out — and that’s something I don’t appreciate.”
But it might actually be Corinne who gets psyched out — especially when she sees Brittany in her full Adam-and-Eve glory.
“I feel like she looks so cute in the topless outfit,” moans Corinne. “She better not steal my thunder.”
The photo shoots begin, and all of the “ladies” do their darndest to have the “best connection” with Nick, because the “winner” will get some precious alone time with the Bachelor. “It puts the pressure on,” says Sarah, who gamely allows Nick to “spank” her (at Franco’s urging) during their Vegas wedding-themed shoot.
Alexis the Dolphin Shark really gets into her “shotgun wedding,” cussing up a storm at Nick as she delivers their imaginary baby.
And even though she’s playing a bridesmaid, Jasmine plants one on Nick during their shoot, much to his surprise.
Once that lip-lock happens, the French-kiss floodgates are opened, and soon everyone is trying to mash their face up on the Bachelor’s. “It tastes like Danielle,” notes Elizabeth, who patiently waited her turn to swap spit with Nick. (“So weird,” mumbles our uncomfortable Bachelor.) Even Taylor, who sort of wants to keep things classy, ends up smooching Nick during their “Princess Wedding” shoot.
We interrupt this recap for a GIF of the Bachelor walking through French doors in a leaf bikini bottom.
“I think he needed a bigger leaf,” giggles Alexis. You can say that again, toots.
I was pleasantly surprised at how the “ladies” reacted to Brittany’s skintastic “Adam and Eve” photo shoot. From encouraging shouts of “Get in there, girl — have fun!” to Jasmine’s assessment that Brittany deserves “props” for braving this awkward first-date encounter, the women don’t (openly) resent Brittany for being half-naked with the Bachelor.
Oh, except for Corinne, of course.”F**k them,” she grumbles. Her response, naturally, is to take the physical aggression to the next level. “We had such a spark night one,” she says. “I’m not going to let any girl take my spark away.” (Somewhere, Tierra and her eyebrow are cheering at the TV: “That’s right, girl! Don’t let anyone take away your spark(le)!”)
So during her “Beach Wedding” photo shoot with Nick, Ms. Platinum Vagine pounces on Nick’s face, and when she does come up for air it’s to do this:
And it doesn’t stop there. Corinne all but orders Nick to “Janet Jackson” her — which is apparently a bridge too far for the ABC/Disney censors, as the camera remains demurely behind the action.
“I’m definitely going to win that extra time today,” purrs Platinum Vagine. And wouldn’t you know it? She does! Wow, it’s almost as though Team Bachelor told Franco to make the most controversial choice. And though I’m sure Corinne and Nick had a fascinating conversation during their bonus alone time, producers cut right to the post-date cocktail party, where PV is still riding high from her win.
And apparently, Nick LOVES it. “I’ve been really impressed by you so far,” he tells Corinne. “You’re very sexy, and I love how you take the initiative.” That may be the most words either of them have said to the other, but the talking doesn’t last long, and soon they’re making out again.
Meanwhile the other “ladies” are wondering if they need to be “more aggressive” to get Nick’s attention (and the date rose, of course). “Is Nick looking for someone that will pop their t**s out at any moment?” wonders Raven. “Is everything bad that I heard true about him?” No, no, no — probably just about 72 percent of it.
Raven is understandably skeptical, given that her last relationship ended when she walked in on her boyfriend with another woman. “I was cheated on once,” says Nick sympathetically. “Like you, it kind of helped me focus on the things that were most important in my life.” Raven tells him she’s attracted to a**holes — no offense, of course — and the Bachelor walks away from the encounter feeling like Raven has “an attractive personality.” Huh.
Anyhow, just as Nick is starting to learn more about Alexis the Dolphin Shark’s personality, up walks Corinne for a second helping of one-on-one time. This does NOT go over well with the other women.
But Corrine does not melt under the heat of everyone’s hate glares. “Guys, if you can’t handle being interrupted, then why did you come here?” she barks, her voice thick with liquid courage. “Get used to it!” Indeed, she barges in again — this time on Taylor — and Nick spinelessly agrees to Corinne again. But only for a few minutes… because pretty soon Taylor is marching back over to get the rest of her time with Nick.
“She re-interrupted me!” huffs Corinne. “Which I think is very rude.” Though the pot threatens to confront the kettle (“If you take a direct hit at Corrine, I’m going to say something!”), instead she just makes things very awkward by asking Taylor over and over if she’s “okay” with the “situation” that just went down.
When that doesn’t get a rise out of Taylor, Corinne begins ranting to the entire group about how everyone just has to deal with the weirdness, okay? “No matter how it makes other people feel, you have to be there for yourself,” she announces. “Just remember that.” Now please allow Vanessa’s face to describe everyone’s reaction to this condescending little speech.
Still, it is Platinum Vagine who has the last laugh, because Little Nick tells Big Nick to give Corinne the date rose. (Did you groan audibly when he said her name? I did.) “I feel really good about getting the rose,” Corinne chirps, as the other women sit in gloomy silence. “This is very awkward.”
The next morning over mimosas (minus the orange juice), Corinne can’t stop gushing to anyone who will listen (in this case, Lacey) about how great her connection with Nick is. “When I was talking to him, he was, like, listening,” she marvels. “Guys don’t listen to me!” I can’t imagine why not.
Moving on to the season’s first one-on-one: It involves Other Danielle, Nick, and a helicopter ride over the California coastline. And boy, is Danielle excited.
After the pilot lands them safely on a yacht helipad, Nick and Danielle crack open some champagne and toast to getting to know each other in full view of about 6.5 million Americans.
Meanwhile, back at Casa Bachelor, Liz is feeling weighed down by her Big Secret, and so she decides to confide in Christen. But first, let’s please give some props to this girl (is that Elizabeth?) for sleeping so peacefully in the middle of the kitchen.
Liz and Christen lie on matching pink pillows by the pool, and slowly Liz begins to unburden herself. “I met Nick at [Jade’s] wedding,” she confesses. “And, like, some stuff did happen at the wedding.” Of course Christen knows what this means, and wanting to hear more, she simply nods and smiles a lot so Liz will keep talking. Which Liz does — about how “super awkward” the night was, how it was filled with “intermittent sex and talk,” and how she turned Nick down when he asked for her number. This last part leaves Christen especially puzzled.
“If Nick asked for my number a month ago I would not have said no,” notes Christen, who nonetheless keeps a poker face as Liz’s story unfolds. She also promises that she’ll “never say a word about it” — but I think we can all guess how that’s gonna go.
Meanwhile, Nick and Danielle’s date is still plugging along; they smooch in the yacht hot tub and then head into town for an isolated dinner. Apparently Danielle is the only person on the show this season who doesn’t know Nick’s backstory, so he helpfully fills her in on his tale of heartbreak.
But that foolishness pales in comparison to Danielle’s tale of woe: Five-and-a-half years ago, she discovered her fiance’s dead body after he had overdosed on drugs. “I didn’t know that he was an addict,” she says. “It was such a complete shock.” Naturally, Danielle has struggled to get past this horrible experience — and it hasn’t helped that subsequent boyfriends have ended things with Danielle “shortly after” she shared her story. But not Nick, of course — that would be image-rehab suicide. Danielle gets the date rose, and a bonus ferris wheel ride!
And with that, it’s time for the final date of the week. Christen, Josephine, Astrid, Jaimi, Kristina and Liz pile into a limo headed for a place called the Museum of Broken Relationships, which is exactly what it sounds like. Among the relics are Dear John letters, something that looks like breast implants, a dog brush, and this:
Yes, that’s the ring Nick tried and failed to give to Kaitlyn on The Bachelorette. I guess the museum is pretty liberal when it comes to their definition of “relationship.”
Suddenly loud voices begin echoing off the pristine white walls, as a couple has a blow-out fight, complete with a tossed wedding ring and a crisp slap. Needless to say, it’s all an act — part of the museum’s “live symposium” on “the art of the breakup.” Do I really need to tell you, rose lovers, that each of the “ladies” on the date are now tasked with dumping Nick in front of an audience?
First, though, they’re told to peruse the rest of museum’s exhibits for inspiration — during which time Liz tries several times to engage her former lovah in conversation. She is unsuccessful. “I feel like he’s avoiding me almost,” Liz frets tearfully, while Christen — who’s been spying on the duo — agrees: “He felt a little nervous around her, in my opinion.”
When it’s time for the staged breakups, most of the “ladies” place the blame on Nick — he doesn’t floss (Kristina); he’s a slob (Jaimi); he called her fat (Christen) — while Josephine takes it a step further and places the flat side of her hand against Nick’s cheek, hard.
And we haven’t even gotten to the really painful part. Liz, who’s been stewing in her own emotions and fear of rejection all day, decides that this group setting is the best place to reveal her history with Nick. In detail. And he does NOT love it.
Liz does not do herself any favors by building her fake breakup around Nick’s failure to “fight” for her — when he was the one who actively tried to see her again. When her speech is over, Nick has no idea what to say beyond “Okay…”, and the performance, such as it is, limps to a close. “I was not expecting Liz to basically tell our dating story in front of the other five women,” sighs Nick. “I’m living my nightmare.” Oh, honey, what did you think being the Bachelor would entail? Your nightmares are now your new normal.
Nick remains distracted through most of the post-date cocktail party, all the time wondering and worrying that Liz has told the other “ladies” about their past hookup. “I don’t want them to think that I’m lying to them or that I’m keeping something from them,” he says. “I think this is something they have a right to know.” Kudos to Jaimi, then, for snapping Nick out of his funk (momentarily, at least) with this choice bit of information:
Good for you, girlfriend. Eventually, though, Nick’s mind wanders back to The Liz Problem, until Christen confirms that Liz has, in fact, been telling tales out of school. Hearing that, the Bachelor is determined to “resolve the Liz situation” once and for all. (Is it me, or does that sound kind of ominous?)
So Nick pulls Liz aside to ask her, again, why he never heard from her after their one night in hotel heaven. Her excuses come fast and furious, and not one of them makes any sense: She didn’t know him well enough to exchange numbers (huh?); she figured he was too busy in Paradise to hang out (“I was in Paradise for, like, a month,” counters Nick); and she doesn’t like talking on the phone (oh gurl, now you’re just being sad). “The more I talk to Liz, the less she makes sense,” says Nick. Let’s all say it with him, rose lovers:
And that’s the only goodbye we’re gonna get tonight, because there are about 3 minutes left with no rose ceremony in sight. Instead, Nick skulks back to the couch where the “ladies” have been waiting patiently and informs them that Liz has taken a one-way ticket to Dumpsville. But wait, there’s more!
Cue the dramatic music and the shocked (shocked!) expressions. But even more shocking than Nick’s confession is the fact that Team Bachelor is already going to the “To Be Continued” well in week two. Dislike, guys.
Welp, rose lovers, let me know your thoughts. Are you surprised Nick sent Liz home? Do we really think any of the women are going to leave now that they know the truth? And is it me, or do Alexis’s one-year-old boobs look uncomfortably solid? Post your thoughts below! And be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog right here. Now please enjoy this video of Nick explaining why he let producers talk him into stripping naked on camera. Good night!
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.