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Alright folks. After this week’s episode, the Hot Mess Express is officially at its halfway point. We’ve already gotten rid of a fair amount of dead weight, but we’ve got three short weeks to shed two-thirds of the remaining contestants before we cruise past Hometown Dates and slide into the
conjugal visits Fantasy Suites leading up to this season’s finale. Maybe it’s time for ABC to bring George R.R. Martin in as a producer, since that asshole really knows how to pare down the cast of a show. This week brings us the conclusion of last week’s cocktail party and Rose Ceremony, a one-on-one date, a group date, and the greatest gift of the Bachelor franchise: the classic two-on-one date. Let’s break it down.
This week’s episode began on the other side of ABC’s “To Be Continued” – we’d previously seen mental health counselor / behavior policewoman Taylor try to cash Corinne, the entitled and over-nannied psychopath we all love to hate outside for some bullshit, passive-aggressive confrontation. Taylor drones on about maturity and emotional intelligence, questioning Corinne’s every move since she arrived at the Bachelor mansion. Corinne tries to listen; however, like the rest of us, she quickly loses the will to live as Taylor’s annoying whine continues, like a mosquito buzzing in our collective ear. “Are you calling me stupid? I’m not stupid!” she yells at Taylor. “Stop calling me stupid! I run a …” Corinne starts to retaliate, but Taylor is one step ahead of her. “…A multi-million dollar company. I remember,” she spits at Corinne, rolling her eyes so hard I’m surprised she didn’t bust a capillary or two.
Taylor continues with her sickly sweet lecture. “Not everyone here is going to be friends, and that’s okay, sweetheart. You don’t have to pretend to like someone that you don’t. It’s okay to not be friends with everybody. When you make your little speeches, it comes across and being disingenuous. Oh – sorry, disingenuous means fake, or not real. You know, like pretend or make believe? I can draw a picture if that would help.” Corinne pauses for a moment, as if pondering an appropriate response. “You have a stank face,” she tells Taylor bluntly. It doesn’t really address any of the issues Taylor brought up, but at the same time, it isn’t wrong. The catfight dissolves without a physical altercation, and I’m disappointed.
Without further adieu, Chris Harrison corrals the ladies back into one of the nicer barns Wisconsin has to offer so Nick can decide which of the
cows ladies will continue their journey landing him as their reality television husband. Danielle L., Kristina, and Raven already have roses. The remaining ten go to:
– Whitney – I still have nothing to say about her except that she is neither Vanessa nor Assturd.
– Danielle M. – I’d rather her accept my rose, if you know what I’m saying.
– Jasmine – Not a lot to say about her either.
– Rachel – Attorney, First Impression Rose, has been a bit of a sleeper since then.
– Jaimi – Nose balls.
– Josephine – Is she giving some off-camera OTPHJ’s? Why is he keeping her around?
– Vanessa – Wants a husband, too good for Nick.
– Alexis – Dolphinshark. Her cameos during the credits are the highlight of every episode. More of her on screen, please.
– Corinne – Naturally. Raquel isn’t ready for her to come home yet, anyway.
– Taylor – The only thing bigger than Taylor’s self-righteous, shit eating grin is the stick up her ass.
This means that we’re saying goodbye to Sarah, assistant to the regional behavior police, and Assturd. As the rejects file out, Chris Harrison asks the ladies if they’re excited to find out where they’re heading next. “Well, anything would be better than this shit heap,” Sarah yells over her shoulder before stepping into her Uber to the airport. “Seriously, there’s a giant heap of cow shit just outside the door whenever y’all leave.”
“I thought I told you to take a moment and say your goodbyes, bitch!” Chris Harrison says as he stares daggers at a producer off screen. “Anywho… You’re going to New Orleans!” Everyone cheers, except Alexis, who mutters, “I better not get chlamydia again…”
Bachelorette One-on-One Date with Rachel
We’re treated to a travel montage of the ladies leaving Wisconsin, getting on a plane, and arriving in New Orleans as if they are an underprivileged sports team heading to the big game in an inspirational movie I would never actually watch. The producers must be short on material this week. They walk around Bourbon Street, pretending to be interested in the shit they sell in tourist traps, killing time until they can check into their penthouse suite. If I were them, instead of looking at Mardi Gras masks, I would be double fisting hand grenades while I searched for a Hurricane large enough that I could dunk entire head in it, because Dr. Crick thinks straws are for pussies.
As the ladies settle into their suite, they are greeted again by Chris Harrison; it’s like he’s trying to do his job or something. “Alright ladies, big week,” he starts. “We’ve got a one-on-one date. We’ve got a group date. And…” his voice trails off as a grin slowly consumes his entire face. “There will be a two-on-one date as well.” He licks his lips, the bloodlust almost too much to bear.
Chris Harrison leaves the first date card, which reads, “Where have you beignet all my life?” and is addressed to Rachel. I wonder whose basic bitch Insta caption they stole for that line. Since receiving the First Impression Rose, we really haven’t seen that much of Rachel, so my expectations for this date are high.
I’m immediately disappointed as it becomes obvious that the theme of shitty dates continues on its downward spiral this week. Rachel meets Nick in what appears to be some flea market and they start their date by making out, creating an awkward obstacle as innocent shoppers try to squeeze past their public foreplay. “These are my favorite dates!” Nick tells Rachel. “The kind where you get action without putting any effort into the date?” she asks. “No, the ‘walking around town’ Bachelor dates. So chill. I’m going to spoil you and buy you things!” Nick says as he picks up an alligator head. “Like this! I think you need this!” Rachel pretends to be amused. “You’re sweet. But, you do realize I make more money than you, right? I can afford Restoration Hardware, so there’s no way that shit is going in my house.”
Their date continues as they try on more Mardi Gras masks, eat oysters, feed each other samples of hot sauces and hit up Café du Monde for beignets. It’s like a wet dream of every stereotypical New Orleans Instagram post rolled into a five-minute segment. Nick tells the camera, “My chemistry with Rachel is definitely my most explosive.” Pubes, I’m not sure if that’s your chemistry with Rachel or the ungodly combination of oysters, hot sauce, beignets, and coffee you just consumed that’s trying to explode out of you right now.
As Nick and Rachel step back outside, a band comes marching down the street. Rachel explains to Nick that it’s called a “second line” and it’s a New Orleans tradition; before he can protest she pulls him into the street and the two of them dance their hearts out under twirling parasols, locking tongues and grinding all up on each other as the parade progresses.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, one of the producers subtly suggests that the ladies look out the window at the parade below. “O-M-G!” Josephine squeals. “What if like, Rachel and Nick are watching the same parade?” Danielle L. looks out the window and then rolls her eyes. “They’re in the parade, you stupid slut,” she tells Josephine. “I’d recognize that head-bush anywhere.” The girls watch for a few moments before wandering back to the mini fridge to eat more of their feelings. “Please,” Jasmine scoffs to the camera. “Everyone can see that Nick doesn’t have a connection with Rachel.” Meanwhile, on the street below Nick has rounded second base with Rachel, and all signs point to him making a valiant attempt to steal third before the night is over.
As the parade disperses, Nick and Rachel duck into a club where apparently a semi-well known performer is singing. They dance and make out for a while before sitting down at a small table to continue enjoying the show. Rachel looks mesmerized; Nick stares at her like some sort of predator before he tickles her shoulders. It makes me wildly uncomfortably, but Rachel seems to enjoy it, telling the camera “Nick is exceeding my expectations to the fullest. This is the best date of my life, for sure.”
The rest of their date is spent at Mardi Gras World, which appears to be some sort of retirement facility for used Mardi Gras shit. They climb atop old floats and look at other memorabilia, all while pretending that every square bit of the used garbage in there isn’t covered in floppy tit sweat, herpes, and a small amount of human feces. As much as we all love to get weird on Bourbon Street, it’s a disgusting place and you should shower immediately after you leave, maybe more than once, because it takes some scrubbing to get rid of the shame.
Nick and Rachel sit down to pretend to eat dinner. The first thing I notice is that while Nick appears to be drinking white wine, Rachel has beer in her wine glass. I already liked Rachel, but this move makes me respect her even more. I’m a big fan of girls who like beer. As the night progresses, their conversation takes a serious turn. “I was actually in New Orleans recently and did one of those second lines then, that’s how I knew about the tradition and dragged you into the street like a crazy person,” Rachel tells Nick. His eyes light up. “How fun!” he chimes in. “It was for a funeral,” she tells him. “Oh…” he replied. “So, like, less fun.”
She tells him how the funeral made her revaluate her life, and the gravity of their discussion makes me reevaluate the fullness of my wine glass. I’m an optimist, but there was no way to spin that level as anywhere close to half-full, so I take a moment to refill. By the time my glass is 95% full, they’ve moved on from talking about funerals to talking about their family. Much better. Turns out that Rachel’s dad is a federal judge and sounds like the type of dude who is not to be fucked with. Nick seems nervous; I can’t blame him. “So, should I call him sir?” he asks Rachel. “That would be a good start.” Rachel answers.
Nick also takes a moment to be vulnerable. “I do have an insecurity that I want to tell you about…” he starts. Rachel cuts him off, “Listen, I can get past the hair. It really does look better than it used to. Trust me, I have some product that will really help with the humidity.” As she digs through her purse, Nick stops here. “Actually, its that I’ve already asked two sets of parents for permission to propose to their daughters and both times it hasn’t worked out, so now I’m afraid that when I ask four more sets of parents the same question, any proposal I make from here on out is going to be tainted.” Rachel takes a moment to think. “Yeah,” she starts. “That’s pretty fucked up.”
They spend a few moments staring at each other. “I’m surprised, but I actually, like, have feelings for you.” Rachel tells him. Nick responds similarly. “I may be breaking rules here, but I’m really into you,” he says, grabbing her face in his hands and making out with her. It’s kind of cute but mostly weird. Amidst their MO sesh, Nick blindly feels around for the date rose, sliding it into Rachel’s hand as he tries to cop another feel.
Haunted Mansion Group Date
Still butthurt over having to see Nick and Rachel out of their date, the rest of the ladies spend the afternoon sulking in their penthouse suite. The monotony is broken up with a knock at the door of the suite. A date card sits on a table outside, and reads “Till death do us part.” Raven nods, “Sounds about right.”
The card is addressed to Josephine, Kristina, Alexis, Raven, Jaimi, Vanessa, Danielle M., Whitney (Whatney? Whoney?), Jasmine, and Danielle L., leaving Taylor and Corinne as the recipients of the two-on-one date card. Everyone pretends to be surprised.
Eager to be out of Corinne and Taylor’s crossfire, the ladies load into a party bus and head out of New Orleans to Houmas House. Upon their arrival, Nick informs them this swampy-looking plantation is supposedly one of the most haunted places in Louisiana. Danielle L. tells the camera that she’s uncomfortable, because she actually does believe in ghosts, and it make me hate her just a little bit. Okay, more than a little bit.
Some weird dude who definitely lives in his mother’s basement and pays for his pornography leads a tour of the house, telling Nick and the ladies about the 8-year-old girl named May who died of yellow fever in the house and now supposedly haunts it, looking for her precious doll. The finale of the tour is May’s bedroom, which I will admit is a nightmare factory. A demonic doll with dead eyes stares at them though a locked glass case. “That’s May’s doll,” the tour guide informs them. “I’ve never, you know, borrowed her for the night or anything.”
From there, Nick and the girls head into a room with a bunch of candles, where they all proceed to get drunk. That is the only scenario in which the rest of this date makes any sort of sense. Like, I hope these bitches were three sheets to the wind, New Orleans Spring Break freshman year of college, pissing in a gutter drunk…not that I ever did that. As the liquor and boredom from this stupid date sets in, Kristina pipes up that she happened to find the Ouija board that the producers hid underneath a couch and then told her would be there. Everyone is like, “Oh, that’s a great idea. Let’s scare ourselves shitless and maybe summon the Devil while we’re at it!”
Their first question is “Who will get the group date rose?” and as the ladies each struggle to push the reader towards the first letter of their own name, the camera shows the eyes of a painting of May move, just before all the lights in the mansion go dark. The bitches fill their britches as they collectively shit themselves in terror. Running into May’s room, they see that her precious doll has gone missing, prompting them to assume that this second-rate version of Moaning Myrtle is going to come after them.
The rest of this date is painfully stupid. The girls go on little expeditions throughout the house, trying to uncover the mystery of what happened to May’s doll, as if they’re in the middle of some modern reboot of Scooby-Doo where every character is Daphne, but hotter. Between them debating what flickering candles mean and deciding whether or not touching various objects will curse their families, I lose interest quickly. Nick apparently shares my sentiments, skipping out on the ghost hunting to talk to girls outside individually. Highlights included Danielle L. telling him that over the past week, she realized she was starting to fall in love with him. Nick winks at her, saying, “Absence makes the heart grow stronger!” Swing and a miss there, Pubes.
Raven decides to one-up Danielle during her time with Nick, telling him when they made out at the skating rink, “That’s when I knew I was in love with you!” It’s totally normal to break into your boyfriend’s house and break down his door. It’s totally normal to tell someone you love him after the first date. These things aren’t red flags at all.
Nick also talks to Danielle M. (<3) I want to say that it’s a normal conversation, but that would be a lie. Nick tells the camera that their relationship is slow growing, and then he tickles her and they make out. She gets the group date rose, and none of us get the time we spent watching this shit back.
Two-on-One Date: Corinne vs. Taylor
After the haunted house group date bullshit is over, we finally arrive at the only event worth watching during this episode: Corinne and Taylor’s two-on-one date. While the rest of the ladies were away at Houmas House, the actual date card finally arrived, and as per tradition, reads “Two girls, one rose. One stays, one goes.” That line gives me goose bumps every time.
We get to see a snapshot of Corinne’s pre two-on-one date routine, which involves ordering a shit ton of room service (not as good as what Raquel would make, but it’ll do) and giving herself a facial while she pops champagne in a bubble bath. Forget watching these other dates, I’d watch a television show that just documents how Corinne navigates her daily life without her nanny (Cough, cough, Freeform).
Is Corinne terrible? Yes. Is she entertaining to watch? Hell yes. Does everyone hate Corinne as much as the producers want us to think they do? I’m not sold. If you pay attention to the clips where the contestants are hanging out together, it seems like Corinne is usually included – this is different than the way Olivia was treated last season. On the other hand, you don’t really see anyone (other than Sarah, RIP) interacting with Taylor, so my guess is that she may be more of the villain than anyone is letting on – Corinne is just an easy target with her mouth running and titties out. I may be wrong, but these are just observations from someone who avidly takes notes on this dumpster fire of a television series. Regardless, I’d rather watch Corinne’s ridiculous antics than look at Taylor’s stank face more than necessary. Can’t wait for their inevitable Paradise reunion.
The date starts with Taylor and Corinne sitting in the back seat of a limo, facing away from each other and not speaking. “We’re going to the bayouuuu,” Corinne tells the camera, with a look of disdain. “I guess it works though, since Taylor is a big, mean swamp monster.” See Taylor, Corinne isn’t dumb – that was pretty clever. They climb into a boat with Nick and motor off to their destination, which is apparently the middle of nowhere where they are greeted by a ring of Satan worshippers clad in white, burning incense and chanting nonsense.
Welcoming Nick, Corinne, and Taylor, the cult leader explains that they aren’t actually worshipping the Devil, they’re only practicing voodoo, which is quite misunderstood. I’m skeptical – it’s like I get that pit bulls are misunderstood, but that doesn’t mean I want to fuck around with one I don’t know just to prove that.
Nick and crew feel differently than me, so they sit down for a tarot reading. The card reader hesitates, before telling them “There seems to be a lot of negative energy here!” They decided to break apart for the readings, so Nick and Corinne go talk while Taylor gets her cards read. The reader tells Taylor that based on her cards, she is someone who is emotionally intuitive, but she is in a situation that is toxic and she should not engage with those negative forces. “See?” Taylor smugly tells the camera. “Even the Devil thinks I’m emotionally intelligent.”
Meanwhile, Corinne uses her time with Nick to her advantage. “I need to tell you about an event that occurred,” she tells him, poised and rehearsed. “Taylor attacked me emotionally and called me stupid. I felt bullied.” And that, dear readers, is how Regina George died. Corinne flags down the driver of the bus that she just threw Taylor under. “Nick, I just don’t think she’s here for the right reasons!” she says, as she signals for the driver to go ahead and back over Taylor one more time, just to make sure she’s really dead.
As Corinne and Taylor switch places, Nick carries an air of confusion. Corinne takes her turn having her tarot cards read, and the reader tells her that her cards indicate that her words are cut, dry, and succinct, and while this may be an advantage, to others her words may be seen as cutting. “Well no shit,” Corinne replies. The reader asks her if she has any questions, and Corinne takes a moment to think, before breaking into a grin. “How exactly do you make a voodoo doll specific to a person?”
Meanwhile, Nick asks Taylor about her interaction with Corinne. Taylor defends herself, saying, “What I said was that she has low levels of emotional intelligence and maturity. I never actually said the word ‘stupid.’” As she returned to Corinne, Taylor’s temper flared. “You lied to him! Your relationship with him is built on nothing but whipped cream and you sit on a throne of lies!” Corinne is unfazed, telling Taylor, “Don’t forget the blow jobs. It’s definitely built at least a little bit on the blowjobs.”
Taylor continues on the offensive, “Well, I hope you feel that talking about me was a wise use of your time with Nick. I, for one, chose to use my time to talk about our relationships instead of peddling falsehoods.” Corinne breaks, just a little bit more than usual, stepping ever closer to her inevitable, glorious meltdown. “I cannot believe that you are a mental health counselor. The fact that you give people advice blows my mind.” Same, actually. Taylor wags her finger, informing Corinne “Um, that actually is not what I do,” however, like Corinne, at this point, I do not give a flying fuck what Taylor actually does, as long as she shuts the hell up about it.
Nick returns, hemming and hawing about what a difficult decision this has been. “You’re both amazing women, but what it comes down to is I don’t want to be murdered in my sleep tonight, and a blow job on the boat ride back sounds pretty great, so I’m gonna go with Corinne.”
As Nick and Corinne head off on the rest of their date, Taylor sits in stunned silence. Hundreds of miles away, secluded on her abandoned island, Olivia detects a slight shift in the breeze. “Another one,” she whispers. “I can sense it.” She opens her mouth, widening her maw like it is the portal to hell itself, her tongue extended as if she was trying to catch a snowflake. “I can taste her sadness!” She turns to the other occupants of her island, which in reality are just coconuts, arranged in a circle. “Shall we invite her to join us on our island?” The coconuts don’t react, since they are inanimate objects. “Find then,” O Face snarls. “No new friends.”
Utterly abandoned, Taylor wanders through the woods, lost and alone. A voiceover interview plays, and we hear Taylor saying, “I just don’t understand. I’m feeling so confused. How could he be so blinded by her lies? There’s no way I’m going home without speaking my truth to Nick. He has to know. Corinne must be stopped! She cannot have him. I’ll do whatever is necessary to ensure that, even if it is the last thing I do!” At the crescendo of this rant, Taylor arrives back at the voodoo cult. They seem perplexed at her arrival, and the priestess slowly approaches Taylor, whose eyes are wild with rage. “I’m sorry, but who are you again?” the voodoo priestess asks. Taylor slowly meets her gaze. “A girl has no name,” she replies flatly.
The cult takes her in, bathing Taylor in the smoke and incense of their insanity. I’m fairly certain we are seeing the beginning of her super villain origin story. Once fully initiated into the dark cult, Taylor sets off again. The episode ends as she slips into Nick and Corinne’s date. “Surprise, motherfuckers,” she whispers, before ABC hits us with yet another “To Be Continued,” leaving us in agony until next Monday. See you then. .