Oh, my chickens, you have been so patient. So, so, patient! In fact, it's sort of sweet how patient you've been when one thinks about the absolute rubbish you're waiting to hear about. But thank you for being so patient! And to the people who emailed me things like "WHERE IS THE BACHELOR POST? WRITE IT NOW!", well, thank you as well. It's sort of bizarrely flattering to be chased in such a way. I almost want to give each and every one of you a rose.
So here we all are, together again for week five of The Bachelor and for a very special Secret Bachelor Tuesday, special in that it's actually Secret Bachelor....Saturday. Or maybe Secret Bachelor Late Friday Evening, depending on what time zone you live in. Regardless, happy weekend anyway! Drink some tequila! Dance on some bars! Do whatever people do on weekends. Personally, I don't know what people do on weekends, because my mother is coming to stay for ten days tomorrow and so I will be spending my Friday night cleaning the grout in my bathroom with a toothbrush.
We open this episode of The Bachelor---down to the final six!---with a gratuitously shirtless Andy doing some sort of stretching. Moments later, we're back on "Andy's" yacht---are we really supposed to believe it's Andy's yacht?---for the first group date of the episode. This group date is supposed to be "relaxing" and "pressure-free" because there won't be any Special Quality Time. Instead, the producers seem to have divided the girls up into The Brunettes and The Blondes and is having Andy hang out with them this way, perhaps to confuse him into thinking that he's only really got two girls left, a blonde and a brunette, and he's just had so much to drink that he's seeing triple. This is actually a pretty mean trick, because I have trouble enough keeping track of who's who without them confusing me further by separating into groups based on hair color.
Anyway, Tessa (chocolate brown), Tina (deep espresso), and Amber (nutmeg) sit on the deck chattering away, and someone asks Andy what his pet peeve is. He says smoking. And then Tessa---in perhaps the most random moment in Bachelor history---says, completely unprovoked, that her pet peeve is when "someone walks with thin socks on a rug." This is, like, the millionth reason I love Tessa, and I hope dearly to run into her one day in San Francisco. Preferably while I am wearing very thick socks and not going near any rugs.
Amber, in case you care, hates when people clap at the end of a movie. Personally, I hate when Amber speaks. Tina displays a very strange sense of familiarity when she leans over and PICKS SOMETHING OUT OF ANDY'S TEETH, and then Tessa tells a blonde joke, which is kind of funny, given the fact that none of them are blonde....except, wait, Andy is blonde. Do blonde men get offended at blonde jokes?
After Andy has schmoozed a little with The Blonde Team, which includes Bevin (flaxen), Stephanie (honeywheat), and Danielle (streaks of Sun-In), Bevin asks Andy if he wants to go kayaking. Danielle rolls her eyes and says "oh great, another date with Andy and Bevin." As expected, Bevin and Andy make out. Although I guess you have to hand it to Bevin for making her own Special Quality Time.
Next, Andy and Stephanie go on a one-on-one date to do some sort of….wine-blending, which proves to be just another opportunity for Andy to make cringe-worthy puns and clumsy metaphors---"a little bit of Andy, a little bit of Stephanie"---as well as talk about himself, of course, in the third person. When the wine has been sufficiently blended, Andy takes a sip and says “It tastes beautiful, like you.” Gag. They make some sort of cheesy label for the bottle with finger paints, and it’s just as bad as you would expect, with the sort of handprints you do in first grade. Andy also puts his paint-covered hands all over Stephanie's pristine white tank top. Well, I don't know about you, but I'd be pissed.
Back at the house, the next date box comes and it transpires that Bevin, Tina, Amber and Danielle will be going on the next group date, meaning Tessa is going on the solo date. By the way, I never remember Danielle's name. She's so blah to me that I just end up putting "tktktk," which is an editor's mark meaning "uh, shit, I don't know, I'll come up with something for here later" and so now whenever I see Danielle I think of her as Tktktk. Which is kind of hard to pronounce. ("Oh, nice to meet you, Tktktk! Are you of Russian stock?")
Interlude of drama! Interlude of drama! Bevin says to the camera that she "hasn't had a chance to talk to Andy about [her] past." A past, eh? Well, I never! I wonder if this is a Past, with a capital P, or just a past. Oh my god, hang on, it's definitely a Past. Are you ready for this? Are you ready? BEVIN IS DIVORCED!
Back on his date with Stephanie, Andy is trying to get a little more out of her---like she's a zit he really needs to squeeze---by asking some “deep” questions like “tell me about your dreams” and “When you get out of bed in the morning, what drives you?” Now granted, these are some pretty stupid and cheesy questions, but Stephanie is incredibly lame in her answers. Can't she just pretend to be interesting and funny and creative? Apparently, she cannot. Her answers are a) “My dreams? I have a lot of dreams," and b) “Uh, career-wise, there are a lot of things that drive me.” I mean, honestly, Stephanie! Why didn't you ask me for help? I would have said "Well, one for one, I often dream that you have a top lip."
Back at the house, Bevin is upset (again) and starts whining to Amber about how weird she thinks it is that Andy would be interested in a 23 year old. Amber, in case you forgot, is 23. (Whereas Bevin is soooo much older at 28.) Amber defends her age by saying that she's the oldest 23 year old she knows because she "cooked dinner for her brothers and sisters." Uh, wait, what? Bevin has a(nother) meltdown, and then actually speaks some sense for once, wailing "why am I here, why am I not just at home dating a guy who's going to date one woman?" Damn, sister, that's the most truthful thing I've heard anyone say in weeks.
The next group date involves doing charity work to make a garden for kindergartners, and is, as Andy tells us "designed to see how the women feel about community and family and children." So what have the other dates been designed for? To see how they feel about hot tubs and yachts? There's lots of painting and cleaning and faux talk about loving kids, and then Andy proves, hilariously, that there is just no replacement for the word "hopscotch" in the English language, no synonym you can use in its place, when he says to Amber “Think about how all the kids who do hopscotch are going to do hopscotch on your hopscotch…on your hopscotch...thing.”
Bland Danielle and her bland aphorisms (“You always want to have fun! Life’s too short not to have fun!") paint a tacky rose and Andy pretends to be impressed. Then all the kids come out to use their new playground and it's supposed to be some big surprise, wherein we're supposed to gush about how paternal Andy is until our ovaries ache so much that we're forced to write into NBC and request his address so we can have his babies (via test tube, thank you). The women step into the mommy role, pushing swings and riding tricycles, and you know they're all secretly pretending that these kids are their kids, the ones they've had with Andy. (Wow! Big Love meets The Bachelor! That could be kind of awesome!) Andy says that out of all the women, Amber appears most in her element to be with the kids. Yeah, that's because she's only 23. THESE ARE HER PEERS.
The women all tell Andy that it was the best date ever and no other date could ever top this, and wonderfully, wonderfully, the next thing that happens is that Andy shows up at the house the next day and gives Tessa a $2 million necklace and bracelet. You just know all the other girls are like "She got diamonds? For real? And I had to paint a children's playground? Are you freakin' kidding me?" but most of them keep their feelings under control with tight little smiles. Although I SWEAR TO GOD someone says "shit!" when Tessa opens the jewelry box. Did anyone else hear that? Oh, please say yes.
The Creepy Perving (great band name!) continues as Andy takes Tessa to a dress shop and she tries lots of dresses on, doing a weird pose every time (which, incidentally, doesn't make me love her any less.) Eventually, she chooses an okay red dress (cue cheesy “there she is, my lady in red” joke), which wasn't, in my opinion, as great as the strapless black one, and Andy takes her in his stupid silver car to dinner. He's done something weird with his hair, by the way. It’s like he’s given himself Dumb and Dumber bangs. Voluntarily.
At the restaurant, they have a heart to heart about how much they like each other, and Tessa is actually quite sweet and sincere, though I really can’t see what she sees in Andy. Especially when he leans close and says “my heart is full when I’m with you. It’s like, where did you come from? I mean, like, WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?” My god, Andy, where do you think she came from? You signed up to meet her on a reality dating show! She came from Central Casting!
Back at the house, the girls are packing in preparation for the rose ceremony, during which two of them will be sent home. Do they have to pack every week, do you think? And wouldn't it be easier, if you knew you'd have to pack every week, to keep things just sort of semi-packed? You know like you do on vacation, when you're torn between not wanting to live out of a suitcase and not wanting to have to put all those damn dresses and tank tops back into the suitcase again in seven days time? I mean, for god's sake, you'd at least keep things in piles, wouldn't you? These girls do not. They reinvent the wheel every week.
And it's rose ceremony time! Amber and Bevin sneak into Andy's private quarters---wow, that came out totally wrong---and look at pictures of themselves. Andy and Stephanie drink their gross wine they blended. And then it's decision time! The roses go to Bevin (who says “you’re going to Seattle, baby!”) Amber, Tessa, and---ladies, Andy, this is the final rose tonight!---Bland Danielle. Which means Stephanie and Tina are going back home, to Kansas and....uh....wherever Tina is from. (I wonder if Andy chose the women based on how cool their hometowns were. It does seem rather suspicious, considering he now gets to go to Seattle, San Francisco, and.....oh, Sugar Land, Texas. That's that theory crushed then.)
Oh, there are tears. There are recriminations. Tina says she shut down, and this is the biggest regret of her entire life. (Oh honey, it’s not. Trust me.) Stephanie says she let her ideal husband slip through her fingers, because she was closed-off and had her guard way, way up. And also she was dumb and, although she had good hair, she gave bad answers to cheesy questions. No, wait, hang on, she doesn't say that. But she should.
Mentions of the word "connection": 6 (Amber even says it three times in one sentence, breaking all records held by any Bachelor contenders anywhere. Go Amber.)
Mentions of the phrase "take it to the next level": a respectable 2.
Mention of the word "journey": only one again, sadly, but there'll be more to come, I'm sure.
Next week: parents! Awkward dinners! Bevin’s divorce announcement! Some sort of drama with Amber’s family that involves them not being there for the family date! Also for next week, I promise you: a timely Secret Bachelor Wednesday post. In the meantime, though, check out this thing I found in Us Weekly. I swear to god, I do not remember that paparazzo taking a picture of me scowling at Andy's stupid roses! I mean, I would at least have worn some lipgloss if I'd known.