In Movies & TV Commentary

Christen reacts to Liz's "breakup" on last night's episode of "The Bachelor." (PHOTO: The Bachelor Twitter)

"The Bachelor" Rose Rundown: A hero and a villain emerges

You know, for the being the namesake and the whole point of the show, Nick didn't have much to say last night – and, yes, that's standard operating procedure for "The Bachelor," but it's also a problem when he's making decisions that make us want to slap the soul out of his body (an actual slap, not some weird breakup LARP-ing).

For instance, anything involving Corinne.

Episode two of "The Bachelor" brought on the group dates, with the first hour of the show spent at a wedding photoshoot, with most of the love-drunk contestants dressing up as themed brides like '80s, Beach, Adam & Eve, Shotgun – complete with a fake baby bump. At least that last one went to Shark/Dolphin Girl Alexis ... but whose stupid idea was this?

But the wedding shoot took a backseat to what screechingly became The Corinne Aggressively Sexy Fun Time Hour. Desperate to out-sexy Brittany's topless Adam & Eve shoot, uber-clingy Corinne – whose mental health is growingly becoming a concern if she goes home single – decided to go topless during her beach-themed photo shoot with Nick and gigglingly have Nick play bikini with her boobs. In case you forgot that her bare boobs got Janet Jackson-ed, Corinne brought it up every other sentence throughout the night – with the other sentence being variations on "Hey, can I interrupt?"

Yes, for the second half of the date, Corinne eagerly Kool-Aid Man-ed into the other ladies' conversation time with Nick. So the ladies were irritated with Corinne. And then Corinne got irritated with Taylor for re-interrupting – or, since she had previously been interrupted, un-interrupting – her chat with Nick. And then all the girls got irritated with Corinne again because she gave some "Glengarry Glen Ross" speech about how she's Not Here To Make Friends, and everyone should always be closing. And Nick ... didn't have anything to say except to give Corinne the rose at the end, which irritated me to a profound level that Josephine's eventual slap felt like a triumph of the human spirit (even if it was a lie).

Here's the deal: Everybody sucked during the first hour – save for Taylor, the only contestant to decide to stand up to Corinne rather than bicker about it to the rest of the women like they hadn't seen the show before and had NO idea that it was, like, a contest. But after a while, I found my anger landing nicely on Nick. He was allowing Corinne to be rude to the other women while showing little care for them (she's asking if she can interrupt; you can say, "No, a little later," dude). He promoted that behavior – and then only did it more so by choosing her for the rose.

So what does Nick see in Corinne besides shallow sexual thrills and a new nanny in tow? Damned if anyone knows, because Nick was mostly mute during the first hour. We didn't get much of the actual conversation between them, so there's no sense of a connection besides with their faces, and there weren't any confessional moments or voiceover bits where he says what he's liking. By the end, I concluded he likes Corinne because she's the only one we spent any time with or focused on, thanks to the power of editing. And for a series that has to convince us to like this guy after two not-spectacular seasons on "The Bachelorette," this very shallow hour undid a lot of the goodwill he earned in the premiere.

So after The Corinne Aggressively Sexy Fun Time Hour, we got the solo date – which went to Danielle M. And after 50-some minutes with shrill, desperate villainy, the Germantown native turned Nashville local really felt like a breath of fresh air. Their date went very well, with the two connecting over their tragic romantic pasts (hers infinitely more tragic, with her fiancé dying of an overdose). She's certainly setting herself up to be the fan favorite going forward – and I imagine there will be a Corinne V Danielle: Dawn of Jacuzzis showdown near the final few episodes.

"The Bachelor" then traipsed off on its final group date to a The Museum of Broken Relationships, a real place that is also real terrible – especially on an already awkward group date with a bunch of technically strangers. Well, minus Liz – who eagerly looked forward to the date after spilling the beans about her past one-night-stand with Nick to Christen. After admiring totems from Nick's past romantic failures (isn't it generally poor form to talk about old relationships on a date? Even if everyone on earth knows about them?) the group witnessed a very real and natural-sounding fight that – surprise! – was arranged to preview their breaking-up therapy sessions (?!).

Much like the wedding shoot, this date was a bad idea that at least had some moments of strong schadenfreude with the girls getting some solid burns in on Nick and then Nick getting a solid wallop to the face from Josephine (whose goofball act might have a longer life expectancy than expected). Then Liz took the stage, read a small Harry Potter book she wrote on her phone about their hook-up to the confusion of everyone in the crowd (except for Christen) and made everything all serious and awkward.

The two finally chatted out their weird tension during the dinner portion of the evening – after Nick had his distracted conversations with the rest of the ladies, according to the editing, which Nick's voiceover actively spoke about not wanting to do. But at least it came to a good ending: Nick and Liz decided to part ways, realizing that if their night together was meant to be something real, here on television in front of all of our wine-sucking faces was not the place to find out.

But while she's gone, the drama hasn't left the building, as Nick still has to tell everyone that he hooked up with a contestant ... which seems like less of an actual drama now that she's a former contestant. This could've been prevented if you just told her to leave Day One, Nick. You may not be very smart, ol' Nick buddy. You know what, you and Corinne might actually be perfect for each other.


Liz. It was not all that much fun while it lasted!


1. Danielle M.

After that solo date, she's easily the front runner right now. Nick seems to like her – their conversation was honest, or at least as honest as a "Bachelor" conversation tends to get – and the audience likes her. You could feel living rooms nationwide getting soothed by her calm, quiet presence after an hour of Corinne losing her top and her goddamn mind.

2. Corinne

Sigh. Once again, since we only have the roses to go by – Nick himself's been pretty mum on Corinne – it seems that her crazy aggressive, on-the-border-of-rude-oh-wait-no-just-crossed-it approach is working on him. Plus, we haven't heard the "My heart is gold, but my vagine is platinum" line yet, so Corinne looks to have plenty of time to win us over. Or most likely not.

3. Brittany

Brittany blended into the background in last week's premiere, but she was granted a bit of a gift last night when, during the photo shoot, she was assigned the topless Adam & Eve costume. Judging by his welcoming reaction to Corinne, sex sells for Nick – but she managed to find that fine line between sexy fun and sleaze that Corinne toppled over. Nick surely likes that she was naked; we like that she was as normal about it as possible.


1. Lacey

Remember Lacey? No, you don't – and stuck being one of the bridesmaids, I doubt Nick does either.

2. Taylor

Yes, she was the only one to stand up to Corinne's parade of interruptions, but her actual conversation with Nick wasn't all that stimulating. And both of her talking points – "Hey, we're both smart people" and "Hey, you're an awesome human being" – are debatable.

3. Alexis

Last time, I was concerned for our beloved Shark/Dolphin Woman that, since you can't wear a costume every week on "The Bachelor" (though I certainly hope she tried), Alexis would have to come back down to earth. For the most part, even with a brief jaunt in that shotgun wedding costume, that's exactly what happened – and then, during the end credits, it was revealed that she and Nick threw a brief birthday party for her new boobs complete with cake and candles. Shine on, you quirky diamond, you.

Oh hi, Wisconsin!

Not much actual Wisconsin this week, though fellow Sconnies Nick and Danielle did open up their date with a plate of cheese on a boat. Because Wisconsin.

Fantasy update

Last week's performance was good enough to make me tied for 25,364th place. So I've got some making up to do. Unfortunately, I didn't do great this week, picking Danielle M. correctly for the solo date but getting most of everything else wrong. I've now dropped into a tie for 32,667th place. To the waiver wire! (Is there a waiver wire?)

Who didn't come here to make friends?

Like I even have to say. You know who might have come there to make friends, though? Christen, who after learning Liz's secret, kept fairly quiet by reality show standards and instead let that be Nick's announcement to the girls.

People more interesting than the photographer

None. I demand a spin-off about him.

Line of the night

In the midst of the Liz debacle, Nick noted, "I'm living my nightmare." Me too, Nick. Me too.

Mom comments

Bad news, Nick; you're losing the mom audience. Or at least my mom, who did not enjoy this episode one bit, let me tell you. Most of the Corinne drama just bored her – until Nick chose Corinne for the date rose, which just irritated her. "He's gone down in my estimation," she concluded, before also quipping during Nick and Liz's discussion that Nick "would know about going on TV for attention, wouldn't you?" She also joked that Corinne probably doesn't have many friends in real life – which is probably correct and probably on purpose. I assume Corinne walks into a Walmart telling the greeter at the door, "I'm not here to make friends."


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