By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jan 31, 2017 at 12:16 PM

An episode of this show in which the supernatural invades a group date, Corinne and Taylor land in a gator-infested swamp and the latter gets possessed by a vengeful bayou spirit should not end with me going, "Kind of a dull episode." But alas, here we are.

Last night's episode of "The Bachelor" seemed to have all the ingredients for a spicy jambalaya of soap opera theater, but despite the occasional moment of meaty, heated drama, I found myself very easily distracted – with the ghost-themed group date as the interest-killing culprit. It was the musical from the "Gilmore Girls" reboot for "The Bachelor," and like the little ghost May, it just refused to die – to the point that I was praying for Corinne to show up again just to say some more outdated Charlie Sheen references and so I could make cheese pasta and bouncy house jokes. And then, of course, she returned, and I hated my life again. Essentially, it was a circle of pain, and there is no god.

I'm getting ahead of myself (I usually don't start losing my mind until the Mom-mentary section). Last night picked up where we left off last time: with Corinne and Taylor having some catty pre-rose ceremony words. And despite having most of sentient life on her side, Taylor didn't score that many hits. As we saw last week, she kind of came off condescending – fun fact: Taylor is younger than Corinne – and if you took a drink every time she said "emotional intelligence," you'd have more booze than blood coursing through your veins. Also, you'd be dead. Of course, beacon of mature adulthood Corinne responded to the verbal smackdown by going to daddy – aka Nick – and tattling.

Cut to the rose ceremony, set in what looked like a walk-in freezer dressed up like a cozy farm judging by the girls' frosty breath and cold appearances. Seriously, "The Bachelor," get these poor women a space heater or two.

While everyone most certainly got a cold last night, not everyone could get a rose – and Astrid and Sarah got the axe, with Taylor getting the last carnation much to Corinne's chagrin. And with the news that there would be a two-on-one date this week to go with the solo date and group date, WHO could POSSIBLY imagine who MIGHT get selected for that two-on-one? The mind BOGGLES at all the possibilities!

But first things first: the solo date, this time handed off to Rachel, our own Marquette alum who captured the first impression rose back in week one but settled back into the pack for the past few episodes. This week, however, was a revelation of sorts, as the two went on a fun-looking date – a weird rarity for this season, between Museums of Terrible Relationships and drizzly walks through intramural soccer games – galavanting through the new locale of New Orleans (the girls never seemed happier). They puttered around some shopping areas, ate some delicious beignets, danced around what was SUUUURELY an impromptu parade rolling through town and, you know what, generally behaving like a cute couple. Rachel's a good fit for Nick; the two play together well, and Rachel seems smitten. She even said he had swag, which ... sure? 

That cuteness, however, had to come to an end for the sake of the group date, which picked everyone – but Taylor and Corinne. That's right; Taylor and Corinne got selected for the two-on-one. WHAAA?! OUT OF LEFT FIELD! Did M. Night Shyamalan write this week's episode, because my gob is smacked! I thought it would be Alexis and Josephine in a quirk-off in the middle of the bayou!

Before that clash of the petite titans, however, it was group date time, sending Nick and the ladies off to a haunted mansion – and my god, I'd rather have to sit in a haunted mansion myself than have to sit through all of that again. I'd rather sit through Eddie Murphy's "The Haunted Mansion" movie in a "Clockwork Orange"-style head harness than sit through that 20 hours of unending fake nonsense again. 

It started off fine, getting a tour from creepy Boo the guide and hearing the folklore about a little girl, May, who died of yellow fever but really liked her doll so she stuck around or something like that. As far as ghost stories go, that's not exactly "The Amityville Horror," but the ladies were getting spooked – Danielle M. especially, which *shakes head, judgement face* – especially when a Ouija board (just conveniently hiding under a nearby couch; nice work, that producer) joined the party, lights started cutting out and chandeliers went all "Phantom of the Opera." Oh, and the doll disappeared. May, I've seen "The Conjuring," and you are no Annabelle. 

Another transparently fake date situation would've been survivable ... but it just refused to end – and for nothing. For about an hour, we walked around the house with groups of the ladies, nervously chatting about ghosts before something not scary to us but VERY scary to them clattered to the floor. It felt more like a particularly poor episode of "Ghost Adventures" than "The Bachelor" – and even when the segment got around to its one-on-one chats, there were few sparks, bland patter and little gained in terms of guessing who had some momentum. In general, it was a shriek-filled waste of time – and once you realized that it was probably padding so that the show could stretch Taylor v Corinne: Dawn of Jacuzzis for another episode, it became even more of a bore. 

Come back, crazy-ass Corinne; all is forgiven. Make some bad MAGA jokes and juggle your boobs in a show of maturity for my entertainment, please. 

She did indeed return, with Taylor in tow, for the much ballyhooed two-on-one in the middle of a swamp. There amongst the muddy – and, judging by Corinne's constant flailing, buggy – scenery, the testy trio came across a voodoo ceremony and a tarot card reader. Of course, the reader could only do one person at a time, so while she gave conveniently perfect readings to each lady – somebody's been reading Reality Steve, Tarot Card Lady – the other contestant took Nick aside to snipe their rival. And Corinne must've done a better job because she scored the rose – as well as a voodoo doll – bringing Taylor's time on the show to a sad, swampy end.


Because while Corinne and Nick cleaned up for the dinner portion of the evening, Taylor was busy getting possessed by some voodoo ceremony and then storming – eh, aggressively walking, maybe – down the streets of NOLA on a quest to "Hey, mind if I steal him for a sec?" one more time. And maybe shiv Corinne to death with a fleur de lis. My vote is for the latter. 


Astrid (CALLED IT!) and Sarah – most memorable for looking like the dumb, popular daughter from "Modern Family" – said sayonara at the rose ceremony, while Taylor was left in the Louisiana swamp to die and resurrect into a vengeful voodoo wraith that ruins pleasant dinner dates. 


1. Rachel

As not a prolific watcher of "The Bachelor" – aka hasn't seen an episode until this very season – is this the furthest a person of color has made it in "The Bachelor"/"Bachelorette"? And as an actual contender and not just as a token? If so, it's nice to see "The Bachelor," 21 seasons in, finally showcase some diversity – and it's even nicer that it's Rachel, who's one of the more down to earth, charming, funny, actually appropriate and all-around personable contestants currently left on the show. And I'm not just saying that because I'm also a Marquette alum. 

2. Raven

After last week becoming the first contestant to meet Nick's family, this week Raven became the first contestant to bust out the L-word to Nick. Nick seemed ... receptive? Maybe? 

3. Danielle M. 

Danielle M. is still very much a contender for the final four ... but she awkwardly had a bad night for somebody who got the group date rose. Her brief time with Nick was ... odd. Their conversation was stilted and stiff, Nick seemed to weirdly pull away from her kiss and she said, "Mmm, I like that," like she was on the "SNL" parody of "The Bachelor." I should've felt more confident about this fan favorite at the end of the night, but instead, I was concerned. Still, she did better than Danielle L. this week who ... was she a ghost too?


1. Jaimi 

Still there, still a non-factor. But hey; at least she knows how to milk a cow!

2. Josephine

I realized this week that I've been calling Josephine "Jacqueline" in several of these posts. I can't imagine that's good sign. 

3. Whitney 

But seriously, who the hell is Whitney?

Oh hi, Wisconsin!

After last week's Sconnie-palooza, this week got out of there as fast as possible. After the frosty farmhouse rose ceremony – apparently out in Saukville – Milwaukee only got a quick, passing namedrop during one of the dates. Out of state, out of mind, I guess. 

This week on "Alexis is a delightful insane person"

We've probably only got dear, sweet, batsh*t insane Alexis (Shark Dolphin Woman) on "The Bachelor" for a few more weeks, so I figured I'd give the best contestant on the show her own category for her end credits snooker-looper bonkers-ness. This week, she was chatting with Nick about ghosts and about her real fear – Nicolas Cage – when Nick pulled out a Nic Cage mask and spooked poor Alexis into making out with him. What'd you think of that, Nic?

OK, settle down, Nic; you're scaring me now.

Fantasy update

Once again, I forgot to submit my answers this week. Feeling pretty confident that I'm in last place. In fact, I'm pretty confident people who haven't even signed up for the fantasy league have a higher ranking than me. I have brought shame to the Mueller family name. 

Line of the night

For a long time, the winner was Kristina's deft analysis of the Corinne v Taylor monster mash: "My opinion is ... have them both go home!" Kristina, you saint.

However, Taylor snuck away the title of line of the night with her exasperated concern for Nick and Corinne: "Their relationship will be built on whipped cream and lies." Don't forget the bouncy castles, Taylor. A relationship built on whipped cream, bouncy castles and lies. And Raquel's cheese pasta.


First, some analysis from Madre Mueller:

MOM: I think that blonde is going home.

ME: Josephine?

MOM: Psht, I don't know her name.

Another bad sign for Josajacquelinephine.

And another bad sign for me: After groaning through the "middle school" antics of the first 15 minutes, Mom noted, "I just want you to know that I love you very much, and that's the only reason I'm still in this room, watching this show." I feel like this ends with both of us on a therapist's couch and my mother in tears. Stay tuned!

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.