Alright folks. After last week’s bloodbath of an episode, Week 7 of the The Bachelor had big shoes to fill. Did it live up to the hype? Of course it didn’t. Since last week saw the contestant pool abruptly halved, this week’s episode slowed to a glacial pace to stretch the footage of the six remaining women over four more episodes. I worked all weekend, so between Nick’s constant crying and a whole shitload of nothing actually happening during this two-hour snoozefest of an episode, I think I actually caught up on some sleep. This week brings us three one-on-one dates and a three-on-one date. Let’s break it down.
Nick’s Sobfest, Continued
Last week’s episode ended after Nick told the remaining six women that he was afraid he wouldn’t find love while sobbing as if he had just finished watching a Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercial while actually watching his own dog die. After leaving five of the women in stunned silence worrying that they may have gone on this all-expenses-paid vacation for nothing (Corinne was already sleeping peacefully on the couch) Nick leaves to go be filmed sitting on an overturned boat with his feet in the sand, looking pensively across the sea.
Chris Harrison joins Nick for his contractually mandated appearance on this episode. “Suck it up, buttercup,” Chris tells Nick. “I’m sorry you have to choose between six beautiful women. Sometimes life just isn’t fair. It’s definitely not fair that you boned two previous Bachelorettes or got to go on Bachelor in Paradise. And it’s just a tough break that you’re the Bachelor now.” Nick sniffles for a bit before putting on his big boy pants and heading back to the ladies’ suite.
“Sorry about earlier,” he tells them. “I was feeling chubby and you know, that just really messes with my self-esteem. We all had a good cry about sending Danielle L. home, but I really am excited that I still have you all here.” He also tells them that he decided to cancel the Cocktail Party and Rose Ceremony, since you know, all their friends are dead. I mean, sent home. Instead, they head to their next tropical destination – Bimini.
One-on-One Date with Vanessa
After arriving in Bimini, the first date card of the week arrives at the
brothel girls’ villa. It reads, “Let’s go deeper…” and is addressed to Vanessa. Nick arrives and takes her to a marina, where he shows her the yacht that will be ferrying them around for their date. Vanessa smiles excitedly, telling the camera, “I’ve never been on a boat before!” Do they not have boats in Canada? Also didn’t the have to take a boat to their disastrous volleyball date last week? I’m confused.
Nick helps Vanessa aboard, and as she looks around at the amenities and loaded bar, she whispers, “Fucking Thad Castle is finally starting to pay off!” Nick leans in. “What was that?” he asks. “Nothing!” she replies. “I just said I was here for the right reasons.”
The yacht sets sail and Nick and Vanessa lay on the deck and talk about their feelings and other shit I don’t care about while Nick sweats his balls off. Is it a prerequisite to being the Bachelor that any time the temperature is above 75 degrees you have to sweat like a whore in church? I thought after Chris and Ben’s seasons we’d be done with the hyperhidrosis. Apparently not.
The yacht takes Nick and Vanessa to a shipwreck, where they jump off the boat and snorkel around the skeleton of the SS Sapona. Judging by the footage, they spend most of their time making out underwater while wearing masks. Looking at them go at it makes me feel claustrophobic. As they suck face like mating fish, Vanessa tells the camera that this is the moment she realizes that she is in love with Nick. Joy abounds.
As they head to dinner, Vanessa knows that she is obligated to tell Nick how she feels, because that’s what is supposed to happen, as is written in The Gospel of The Bachelor. Nick starts the conversation off eloquently, announcing to Vanessa, “So…uh, well…hometowns are next week.” He stares at her expectantly. Off screen, a producer coughs. “Vanessa! Your line!”
“It’s so easy to be with you, Nick. Relationships aren’t easy, but with you, it is,” Vanessa begins. Happy music starts playing in the background. “The feeling that I feel for you is a feeling that I haven’t felt in many years. And I know that in this process you’ve reassured me so many times in so may different ways that I’m confident telling you that I am falling in love with you.” Someone get this girl an Oscar. Maybe a Daytime Emmy. Actually, she’d probably just settle for a Dundie.
Nick smiles. “I really, really like you,” he tells her, which is the verbal equivalent of a side hug after she spilled her soul to him. She is visibly displeased. “Listen,” Nick comforts her. “I’ve already told like 3 different women that I love them on TV, so I’m trying to limit using the ‘L’ to one time per season from now on.”
Three-on-One Date with Corinne, Kristina, and Raven
The next date card reads, “Let’s jump in with both feet” and is addressed to Corinne, Kristina, and Raven. This is the only date with a rose during this week, so although these ladies have to share their time with Nick, at least one of them will walk away with a guaranteed Hometown date.
They also hop on a yacht and set sail towards their date. It may actually be the same boat Nick and Vanessa used – although, to be honest, I wasn’t watching that closely. The group attempts to assuage the awkwardness by slugging champagne. Been there. As the boat sails past a small island, Kristina remarks “I hope no one gets left behind on an island during this date- that would be terrible!” On the other side of Nick, Corinne stiffens. “That’s not even funny, bitch!” On her own island, not so far away, Olivia stirs. “Yes Chris Harrison!” she screams to the sky. “Send more souls to my purgatory!”
As the yacht stops, Nick informs the girls that they’re going snorkeling. Everyone is excited, until he delivers the next bit of news. “By the way, there will be sharks,” he informs them. “Alright bitches, last one in the water doesn’t get a rose!”
Kristina is visibly terrified at the prospect of swimming with sharks, and coming from a girl that survived a Russian orphanage, that says a lot. Raven, however, is unfazed. “Sharks can smell fear, so they’ll definitely be going after these other two bitches. Unless…unless they can smell the menstruation. If that’s the case, I may be putting the whole station in jeopardy. Whatever. I’ll punch that shark in its stupid face!” I bet Raven’s senior superlative was “Most Likely to Induce a Fear Boner.”
The group jumps in, and within about 30 seconds of seeing a shark, Kristina nopes the fuck out of the water and heads back to the boat, swimming like one of the extras that doesn’t get eaten by Jaws. Meanwhile, Corinne and Raven appear to be having some sort of standoff, seeing who can stay in shark-infested water the longest. Nick and Kristina are already back on the boat sucking face when the other two realize Nick isn’t even in the water anymore, and they’re risking life and limb without even increasing their chance of catching some dick in the next two weeks.
The Shark Bait Ooh Ha Ha Date continues with yet another cocktail party. Nick speaks to the girls one-on-one, and we’re treated to brief snippets of each conversation. Nick asks Raven about her family, and she reveals that the past two years have been hard – her father has lung cancer; when he was diagnosed, she dropped out of law school and moved back home. Her story is starting to make more sense, I wondered how a fashion boutique owner in Hoxie, Arkansas would have a doctor boyfriend down in Little Rock, but the pieces are starting to fall into place, just like the pieces of his door fell to the ground after she kicked it down like a spider monkey.
Nick speaks to Kristina and asks how she felt after their one-on-one date. She cries or Nick cried – all I have written down in my notes are “Cries” and at this point in the season it’s a toss up of who’s bringing the waterworks. She mumbled a bunch of stuff I couldn’t understand and they made out amidst the tears. It was a tender moment. His last conversation is with Corinne. Is it just me or is she starting to become the voice of reason during this season? The producers’ manipulation of her image is nothing short of masterful.
Corinne brings up that she hasn’t yet gotten a one-on-one date, and it makes her nervous that she may be introducing him to her family, and more importantly, Raquel, without that time. He assures her that she makes the most of the time they have spent together, saying “Well…you’re still around. You must be doing something right.” It’s the blow jobs. Definitely the blow jobs.
After speaking with each of them, Nick tells the three women that this rose is probably the most significant of the week, since it guarantees one of them a hometown date. He talks about feeling and the future and I want to throw my wine at the television. No one gives a shit about that, Pubes. Who’s getting a hometown? Although it appeared Nick spent most of the time on the date with Kristina, he instead gave the date rose to Raven, and tells her that he’s thrilled to have the opportunity to visit her family in Buttfuck, Arkansas. As the two of them leave, they stop just outside the door and share a PG-13 level kiss. There are windows on either side of the door, through which Corinne and Kristina are visible. As soon as the door shuts, the two of them visible crumple in despair, all while Raven is dishing out OTPHJ’s just out of eyesight. It’s some of the best cinematography I’ve seen to date.
One-on-One Date with Danielle M.
The next one-on-one goes to Danielle M., and the date card reads “Let’s ride off into the sunset together…” She and Nick hop on some bikes and ride around the island. It’s boring. It’s so boring. They stop at a boring bench and talk about their boring feelings. I’m not trying to be mean, I think Danielle is a sweetheart, but sweet eight-pound, six-ounce little baby Jesus watching the two of them sit in awkward silence is brutal. I’ve had better chemistry on Bumble dates that resulted in me calling an Uber for myself from a bar bathroom than Nick and Danielle have on this date.
Danielle makes an attempt to lighten the mood and get the date back on track at dinner. She smiles, looks deep into Nick’s eyes and says, “The last time I was in love with someone, they died.” Good Lord, Danielle. Nick probably couldn’t get an erection even if he freebased Viagra after that announcement. She continued, “I want you to know that my heart is very open, and it’s very open to you. I feel like I want to take on anything with you. Good, bad – anything in between. And I don’t know if that’s something I’ve ever felt before…” she trails off. Way to burn your dead fiancé too. Damn, Big D. Whenever you think this date can’t get worse, it surprises you. It’s like the Little Engine That Could, but instead of climbing up a mountain it just keeps turning into a bigger and bigger train wreck.
Nick’s eyes scream for help. When none arrives, he clears his throat and speaks softly, as if moving too much air out of his mouth would cause Danielle to be blown away. “I want that kind of love with you…” he starts. “But I don’t think my heart can get there. I’m sorry. You’re so great.”
Danielle takes a moment to collect herself. “Not great enough,” she replies flatly. “I’m going to go get my things.” Nick holds her hand as she goes back to the villa and sobs as she packs. It’s kind of what I look like when I’m getting ready for work in the morning. Super attractive, I know.
Sexual Healing with Corinne
After her lackluster group date and seeing Danielle get sent home unexpectedly, Corinne is concerned that she too may have lost ground with Nick, and decides to spice things up. She tells the camera, “I’m going to turn this spark into a fire.” She gets dolled up and hobbles over to Nick’s suite in Louboutins like a drunk, horny giraffe. Thankfully she left her trench coat back at the mansion and she couldn’t put any aerosol in her carry-on bag, so she was out of whipped cream too. It’s a shame Raquel didn’t have any overnighted to Bimini, or things could have really gotten crazy.
She knocks on Nick’s door, and he seems pleasantly surprised to see her. He invites her in for a drink. She’s throwing down all kinds of signals that she’s trying to get railed – either Nick is that oblivious or he was trying to be polite. Eventually, Corinne caves. “Want to show me the fish tank in your room?” she asks Nick. He seems confused. “I don’t think there’s a fish tank in there…” he responds. “Well, why don’t you take me in there anyway?” Corinne says, taking him by the hand and leading him into his own impromptu Fantasy Suite.
She wastes no time closing the door. Since they’re still wearing microphones, we get to hear them making out for a while, until Corinne breaks the silence. “Two hands on. Never jiggle. Lightly massage,” she tells Nick. Shortly thereafter, you hear the sound of a zipper going down before Nick speaks up. “Listen, you’re very attractive, but we should slow this down. I don’t think it’s a good idea.” They quickly emerge from his room, and Corinne is clearly mortified. You hate to see a cockblock like that. She quickly leaves and hobbles back to her villa with her tail between her legs instead of her underwear in her pocket like she’d anticipated.
One-on-One Date with Rachel
The last date card of the week goes to Rachel and reads “Let’s get a taste of the local flavor.” She’s thrilled. “I love these dates!” she tells everyone. Good for Rachel. I’d want to be on the fucking yacht.
Nick greets her with a kiss. “I’m going to take you to a place where only locals go!” he informs her excitedly. On the way to this mysterious local hang out, Nick decides to get his ass kicked playing basketball against some local kids in his short shorts. I was legitimately concerned that he would cut too quickly and tear his scrotum. After getting dunked on and subsequently teabagged by a fourteen-year-old islander, Nick and Rachel continue on to their destination.
Turns out this local hangout is just a shitty bar. I frequent a lot of shitty bars and consider myself to be a bit of an expert on them, and I can assure you this place is on the shittier side of the shitty bar scale. If it was featured on Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer would burn it to the ground and piss on its ashes. I also think it was the same place where Nick and Danielle sat on a boring bench on their boring date; either that or every bar in Bimini serves beer wrapped in woven straw koozies.
Nick brings up Hometown Dates, and Rachel tells him that he’ll be the first white guy she’s ever brought home. “I mean, I’ve dated white guys before, so I’m used to your limitations. I can live with that. But my family? Yeah, they don’t know I date white guys.” Well, I hope they get used to it real quick, since Rachel has been confirmed as our next Bachelorette. It’s a historic move – this is the first time that the series lead will be black, and also the first time that the announcement has been made during the season, especially prior to that contestant being eliminated. With that in mind, the rest of the date doesn’t really matter since we know that we’ll shortly see Rachel handing out a final rose. I think it’s a great move – of the girls left, I think she’s the only one who could carry a season on her own. If anyone wants to nominate me, I’d accept her rose any day.
Meanwhile, Back at the Villa…
After his date with Rachel, Nick talks to Chris about the upcoming rose ceremony. He tells Chris he already knows who he needs to send home, and asks if he can do it before the Rose Ceremony. “What is this? First grade and Little Nick needs to potty?” Chris taunts him. “Do whatever the fuck you want. If we don’t have a Rose Ceremony, I can start drinking now. I mean, let’s be honest, I started drinking a while ago, but I can really let my freak flag fly. Want some shots before you drop the bitch?” Nick declines, and heads back to the villa.
As soon as he walks inside, it’s as if the girls see the Grim Reaper. They know. He knows they know. They know he knows they know. Corinne hides behind a potted plant. “If he can’t see me, he can’t send me home,” she whimpers.
Nick glances around the room, failing to see the next causality of his love games. “Is Kristina around?” he asks.
Wait. Kristina? Seriously – what is happening this season?
Nick and Kristina go sit on the front porch. Nick speaks first. “You someone, that from the moment I met you…” he trails off. “When I think about going into hometowns, I know that I have such a love for you, but I’m not in love with you. And I feel like I have stronger relationships here. I don’t have it in me to take you through that. You deserve someone great, someone who won’t sit in front of you telling you that he has stronger relationships with other people.”
Kristina cries. Nick cries. I contemplate crying but then move on with my life. Through her tears, Kristina says, “You didn’t give me a fair chance, but I’m happy you are finding what you want. I just don’t want to say goodbye to you.” She continues to cry in her exit interview in the van on her way to the airport, telling the camera “I really wanted it to work for me…” Across the globe, former castoff dudes from The Bachelorette start sliding into her DMs with the promise of Paradise in the future.
If you would have told me at the beginning of the season that our final three would be Vanessa, Raven, and Corinne, I would have punched you in the face, but here we are. Next week is Hometown Dates, which is arguably the best episode of the season; there’s nothing quite like seeing the origin of the crazy. If you’ve read Dude’s Breakdown before, you know we like to play Bingo during Hometown Dates and Fantasy Suite Dates to keep things more interesting and to keep track all of the ridiculous shit that happens when parents meet their potential future son-in-law– so let’s keep that going. The Bingo board will be out later in the week, so keep an eye out. See you then. .