Chris Harrison opens this episode of The Bachelor by warning the girls “it doesn’t get any easier from here. It’s only going to get more emotional.” And boy was he right. This is the episode where the fangs come out. No, really, the fangs come out. As in, Madison takes out—oh, forget it. We’ll get to that later.
Ashley S., Let’s Find Our Love Song
This week Brad has two one-on-one dates, and the first one goes to Ashley S., who we’ll remind you got the First Impression Rose back on night one. “The stakes are high,” says Brad. Although no, they’re not actually any higher than the stakes are on any other one-on-one, if you were wondering. For their date, Brad takes Ashley to the iconic Capital Records Building in Hollywood where they sing “Kiss From A Rose” by Seal in a recording studio over and over again until the guy in the sound booth pretends they “got it” just to get them to stop trying. Before the date, Brad jokes, “I’m sure Ashley S. will feel completely tortured.” Um, HELLO! What about US!? What about, you know, SEAL?! Speaking of Seal, turns out he’s inexplicably right down the hall singing “A Kiss From A Rose” himself, and that makes everything a little better for a bit.
For dinner, Ashley and Brad head up to the building’s rooftop, where Ashley tells Brad how much the song “Kiss From A Rose” means to her, as it was the song she and her father sang before he died of an aneurism. It’s a little heavy, sure, but Brad thinks Ashley’s “the whole package,” so he gives her the rose and then—after a pretty awkward hug—the kiss she’d been waiting for all day.
Next Brad takes Lindsay, Chantal, Alli, Britt, Kimberly, Sarah, Shawntel, Ashley H., Lisa, Stacey, Marissa, and Michelle on a group date to film an action adventure flick.
Michelle, who I’m now certain is trying to out-creep last season’s Craig M., puts it like this: “The card says ‘Love Hurts.’ What really hurts is being on this group date with all these other women.”
And also like this: “I am so sick and tired of spending my days with other women.”
And, for good measure, also like this: “I wish some of these ninjas would just kidnap some of these other girls, throw a bag over their heads, and take them off and just haul them to the desert.”
Alli, who has jammed herself into a damn good sports bra for the occasion, puts the situation back into perspective. “Pitt stains are not hot.”
Still, it’s Shawntel who, in Brad’s opinion, gives their fake acting project the most, and he thanks her by making out with her in front of the other women. Michelle covers her eyes with not one, but two strands of her hair.
Then they are all off to a wrap party for the shoot, where Brad says he is grateful for the chance to have been physically active with all of the women (but not like that!) and the group commences with the three most popular Bachelor pastimes: swimming, drinking, and crying!
First in line for crying is Chantal, who pulls Brad aside to tell him how hard it is to be on a reality show. Oh, and about how she unexpectedly lost her dad.
You know, someone could really do an in-depth study of the women who come onto The Bachelor after losing or losing touch with their fathers. There are just so many of them, the results might actually be revealing. Oh, sorry, no, I meant someone else.
Anyways, after having his first kiss with Michelle (who interrupted a doozey of a conversation that he was having with Alli about sexual chemistry) Brad gives Shawntel the rose. “This is a huge step in our relationship,” she says.
Or, as Michelle sees it, “Soon enough it will be over and they will be gone and it will just be me and Brad in Tahiti, practicing making babies.”
Emily, Love is Intoxicating
For his second on-one-one date Brad flies—yes, flies!—The Classiest Woman Ever to Appear on The Bachelor to wine country. There, in the middle of a vineyard, he tries to figure out who Emily is. “I’m just like everybody,” she tells him between small, hesitant sips of wine. “When I’m tired, I get grumpy. Same things like everybody else.” Thankfully for Brad, for Emily, and for everyone at ABC, the conversation picks up once Brad and Emily move into a candlelit barn for dinner.
There Emily tells Brad how she lost her fiancé in a plane crash that she herself narrowly avoided just days before finding out that she was pregnant when she was just 18. And she does it with dry eyes. For that, Emily gets the rose and a really sweet kiss from Brad. At least, I think that’s what happened. I’m not sure because I lost a few minutes wiping away tears.
It’s time for a cocktail party, but first Brad gets a very
boring expensive helpful visit from his therapist, who tells him that the key to falling in love is staying open.
Back at the mansion, Brad does his best to have quality time with each of the women, Michelle does her best to interrupt him, Brad gets a kick out of saying “I kissed two Shawntels!” and Madison drops a bomb: she’s been doing the one thing no one on a reality TV dating show should ever do: She’s been thinking.
Which leads her to do something else people on reality TV dating shows usually don’t do: She gets real. She takes her fake fangs out and puts them—along with her feelings—on the table. She tells Brad she doesn’t want to compete for his affection when Emily clearly needs and deserves it more than she does. Brad does his best to encourage Madison to think instead only of herself, but to little avail. The tragic irony, of course, is that Emily ALREADY HAS A ROSE. Alas, no one thought of that…
Receives a rose: Michelle, Chantal, Lisa, Jackie, Ashley H., Marissa, Britt, Alli, Lindsay, Meghan, Stacey
Says goodbye: Kimberly, Sarah, and Madison, who takes herself out of the running
See you next week!