Last week on The Bachelor: Goodbye Kristina, Hello Crying-Nick-Face. The girls are all very nervous, and no one knows where Nick’s heart is at. I know where it’s at. It’s buried deep in a pool of emotion, straining against a containment wall of bourbon and denial, and the whole shaky contraption is ready to burst like the levees during Katrina.
I don’t understand how I got here. If Andi just hadn’t dumped me, everything would’ve turned out fine…
Thankfully, the girls’ fears were for naught; The Producers have airtime to fill, and Nick is contractually required to visit 4 different towns. Sensing some emotion rising within himself that needs to be quickly suppressed by alcohol, Nick decides to forego the Rose Ceremony, and has a Couch Ceremony instead. Everybody in? Great, let’s go!
Raven – Hoxie, AR
Welcome to Hoxie, population 2,719, where, as Raven described in Week 1, there’s only 3 things to do: go mudding, shoot guns, and read the bible. You’re the guest, Nick; the choice is yours. What’s it gonna be?
I’ll just sit on the back and let you drive…
Manly. First stop, is the Sacred Grain Bin, where everyone in town goes to bare their deepest secrets, dreams, and fears to Corn Gods. But Nick and Raven’s trip to the top is interrupted by a local police officer, who turns out to be Raven’s brother! Oh, you wacky kids, you almost had me…
Why is his uniform ripped? Must have blown the department budget on that sweet mustang decal for the cruiser…
Then, more 4-wheelin’, followed by a romantic roll in the mud.
Umm…this is REAL sexy and all, but can you please let me up now? The leeches are getting near my hoohoo…
After a shower and a full-body Bactine spray, it’s off to meet the family. Raven’s dad just beat cancer and things get deep fast. Dad’s biggest fear was that he’d never walk her down the aisle at her wedding. Raven says she couldn’t imagine another man doing it, and if he died, she would walk down the aisle alone, and holy shit it’s getting misty in here. I’ll just say that things change when you have kids, and if my daughter ever said that to me, I’d buy her anything she wanted. Anything. A team of unicorns pulling a princess carriage made of solid gold, filled with puppies and diamonds? Done. ANYTHING. Raven’s the best, and I hope she doesn’t end up with Nick.
Anything else? Umm, Nick asks for a blessing (well, not really a blessing, per se; more like “are you cool with this?”), Raven doesn’t say the L-word, and Nick looks really nervous the whole time. I think it’s because he wasn’t drinking, and those pesky ‘feelings’ were starting to come up again.
Rachel – Dallas TX
Are you ready for a fun, lighthearted tour of my hometown, Nick?
Nick: Oh my god…
Rachel: We’re in church, Nick! Don’t use the lord’s name in vain!
Nick: Oh, yeah, sorry. [starts to sweat] You think I could get a drink?
Diving right into the spiritual deep end on this date, huh? Nick dances awkwardly, tries to remember some hymns, gets called out by the pastor, and looks generally uncomfortable. He’s sweating bullets, and he still has to meet Mr. Lindsay, the federal judge his own daughter described as “not a nice man.”
Rachel: Oh, I’m sorry! Unfortunately, my dad can’t make it for dinner because of work.
Nick: [relieved] OHTHANKGOD!
Nick: Sorry, I meant ‘awww, that’s too bad…’
It’s time to meet the family, and hey! Who’s the Zach Galifianakis look-alike?!
Hey Nick! Want to be part of my wolf pack?
You know, for all the build up around bringing a white guy home, you’d think Rachel might have mentioned that her older sister is married to the guy from The Hangover. It might have eased Nick’s mind, just a little bit. Another point: forget about the race difference. If I was Nick, I’d be nervous about being in a room full of women. A mom, two sisters, and a cousin? With his history on this show? You’re getting grilled today, son.
A lot of talk about interracial relationships, the gist being that although Rachel and Nick are cool with it, some parts of society still aren’t, and they need to be strong enough to handle that. It’s all very good talk, and I applaud The Bachelor for addressing something like this. What it’s not, however, is an exciting Hometown Date, and I’m losing interest in this episode fast. What’s that? Corinne is up next? And Raquel will be there? (fast forward, fast forward, fast forward…)
Corinne – Miami FL
So, what’s a day in the life of Corinne look like?
LET’S GO SHOPPING!!
So, we went from church and discussing race relations to tacky handbags and diamond-encrusted sneakers. And for what it’s worth, Nick looks happy to be in the kiddie pool again. For all his talk about being “adventurous and raw”, I think deep waters make Nick nervous.
Omigod, you and Rachel did WHAT?! LOL! That sounds, like, sooooo boring. Who wants to talk about serious stuff anyway? Let’s just buy shit and have fun! HEY YOU! MORE CHAMPAGNE!
So, Corinne drinks champagne while Nick parades around in different outfits for her viewing pleasure, kind of like a reverse Pretty Woman.
Nick: Umm, do you like this?
Corinne; I LOVE it! Go try another one on!
Nick: I’m getting kinda hungry, and this whole thing makes me uncomfortable…
Corinne: Hey! Don’t argue with me; I’m paying for this! Now get in there and put on another outfit, slut! The one with the sweater!
Nick: Yes, ma’am….
Nick finally finds an outfit that meets Corinne’s approval and she buys it for him – to the tune of $3,423. Holy crap, Corinne’s a sugar mama. She’s like the Shopping Terminator, a relentless debt-producing machine that will not and cannot stop until your bank account is dead, and her dad can’t WAIT until she’s someone else’s problem. Off to lunch, Corinne uses the L-word, and she’s on cloud nine. She also picks up the tab.
Time for dinner with mom, dad, sis, and the infamous Raquel! Dad and Corinne gossip in the bedroom, mostly about whether or not Nick has a job. He seems very concerned about Nick’s ability to pay for things. It might have something to do with the last bill on his Visa Black card, but what do I know. Nick sits down with Raquel.
Raquel: What are your intentions, Nick? Because if you hurt Corinne, I find you in the night and stab you in eye with ice pick.
Nick: Whoa, I don’t want any trouble..
Raquel: What trouble? Who said trouble? There is no trouble. I just want Corinne to be happy, Nick. She is like daughter to me, and If she is happy, I am happy. And you want me to be happy, yes Nick?
Nick sits down with pops, and more questions about jobs and money and employment and money. Call me crazy, but I sense Papa Corinne has some reservations about a professional reality TV “star” who’s 4 short years away from 40, and 3 years past his last full time job, strolling in and sweeping away his 24 year old daughter. Just saying, Pops has a nest egg to protect. Nevertheless, Nick gets the green light, and our two lovebirds maul each other by the van while the family looks on from above. So awkward.
Hey honey, look! He’s grabbing her ass! That’s so sweet…
Vanessa – Montreal, Quebec
Bonjour, Montreal, and hello to Vanessa, who is looking fine, fine, fine today. A day in the life of Vanessa kicks off with a visit to some of the most important people in her life – the students in her adult special needs class. They walk in and the students LOVE Vanessa. LOVE her. Nick?
Ehhh, not so much…..
Everyone helps make a scrapbook of Nick and Vanessa’s journey so far, and much fun is had by all. Time to meet the parents, who are divorced and are “civil but not friends.” Forget about Nick and Vanessa, because it sounds like somebody cheated on somebody with somebody’s co-worker, and I want to hear that story. First up is mom, plus 15 other people, including two of Vanessa’s friends. That’s not right. Thirteen family members is enough, you don’t get to invite the girls from your book club, too. A marathon of 1-on-1s begins, and I get this weird feeling that everyone isn’t entirely on board with this process.
Sister to Nick: “Have you talked about real life after the show? Because I would hate you if you broke her heart.”
Sister to Vanessa: “What’s he going to do after this? Show up at reunion shows? Are you even thinking this through?”
Brother to Vanessa: “I’m SO worried about you. I’m SO worried about all of this.” [breaks down in tears]
Mom to Nick: “My daughter rocks. She deserves someone who’s her equal, and if you break her heart, I’m gonna cut your mumbly little nuts off.”
Vanessa invests herself completely, she gets heartbroken, and then I have to pick up the pieces. I can’t go through that again.
That sound like anyone else’s mom? Maybe from Andi’s season? Or was it Kaitlyn’s? I forget. Anyways, this is turning into a very long night for Nick, and he hasn’t even met dad yet. Speaking of the old man, let’s pop on over to his house and see what he thinks of Nick.
Nick: Would you be alright if your daughter and I got engaged?
Dad: Did you ask the other 3 fathers the same question?
Nick: Well, ummm, in a manner of speaking….
Dad: Stop mumbling. It’s a yes or no question.
Dad: You asked permission to marry three other women and you want my blessing, too? Are you fucking high right now?
Nick: Look, sir, this is real life…
Dad: No it’s not! It’s a television show, you moron! Look – there’s cameras everywhere!
Nick: But I’ve been on this show for a little over 3 years now, so technically, it is real life for me.
Why is this asshole in my house?
Dad gives Nick a reluctant “whatever”, and then tries to stop his daughter from boarding this train wreck by pointing out the glaringly obvious truth that Nick just asked for four women’s hands in marriage. Not wanting to be part of a harem, Vanessa is visibly upset and her entire family hates Nick. I can’t imagine any scenario where this works out for them.
Rose Ceremony in….New York?
Why New York? That’s random. Hey, didn’t Andi Dorfman move to the West Village in 2015 after she quit her attorney job and broke up with Josh Murray? Huh – that’s a weird coincidence. Anywho, the girls are in their respective rooms, prepping for the most dramatic rose ceremony in Bachelor History. Raven is nervous. Rachel is like “whatevs, I’m Bachelorette next season.” Corinne feels good about things.
We laughed, we kissed, I bought him a really nice outfit…
The three pillars of any strong relationship fully covered, then. How’s Vanessa feeling?
She has some doubts. Nick is relaxing on the balcony, wondering if he can put the mini-bar charges on Corinne’s dad’s platinum card, when there’s a knock on the door. Ah, must be Chris Harrison, here to escort me to the roof top bar for the Rose Ceremony. “Hi, Chri – WTF?”
What are you doing in New York, Nick? I thought we settled this with the restraining order: I stay on my side of the Mississippi, you stay on yours!
Oh, god…it’s happening again…
He’s breaking. It’s happening right in front of our eyes. See you next week, my friends.
And now, Vanessa tries to teach Italian to a guy that can barely mumble coherent English.