Episode 3

 

"This is not dating. This is just, like, waiting." —a very accurate Dominique

LAST WEEK'S ROSE CEREMONY

First of all, did anyone else find the segue from last week's cliffhanger really weird? Last week closed with Nick telling the girls on the Group Date that he and Liz had sex, then it was "To Be Continued". Now suddenly we're back at the mansion, Christen having gotten the Group Date rose is completely glossed over (I actually missed this on first watch), and the house is in a general frenzy. Or so we're told. Notice Alexis packing her bag (everyone's least favorite thing about Rose Ceremonies, I swear), and then notice what she's wearing in the ITM...

Now listen to how "The fact that Nick and Liz hooked up before this" is frankenbitten in...

... and note how Alexis was wearing the red lace dress at this Rose Ceremony, meaning the nude dress ITM could be from anywhere...

 MARRY ME, ALEXIS.

MARRY ME, ALEXIS.

In fact, I thought I recognized it, and indeed it was from last week's Group Date...

... meaning Alexis was talking about the girls going "crazy" in the house before ever knowing about Liz. Obviously this isn't a big deal, but goes to show how we're made to believe the girls were losing their shit over Lizgate, when in reality, it might not have really troubled any of them—especially since they found out after Nick had booted her, effectively making whatever "advantage" she might have had moot.

At that evening's Cocktail Party, right before a commercial break, Corinne is shown admiring her bra with a trench coat on, prepping for her whipped cream-fueled seduction...

... while AFTER the commercial break but evidently from the exact same moment (if you don't believe me look at her hair; it's identical), there's a black bar to suggest she's naked under the trench...

... and I'm calling bluff on that black bar. Look at her back when she hugs Nick. She is clearly wearing both a bra and a mic pack affixed to said bra...

Funny how the black bar was added for effect when really it wasn't necessary.

Another fun fact that you may have picked up on by now: All branded things around the house have to be covered up. So from turning "I"s into "L"s to straight-up taping over brand names, every single food item packaging in that kitchen, from the hummus to the marshmallows, is altered in some way...

AND YET, did anyone else notice the Reddi Whip commercial that took place after this Rose Ceremony? I've seen a lot of seasons of this show and don't recall ever seeing a whipped cream commercial, let alone one for a brand that was just seen on the show itself. Just sayin'...

 

FIRST GROUP DATE

Chris Harrison appears to deliver a date card, and finally, instead of claiming as usual that the lead is responsible for the date activities, I appreciate how he says "we" in this context...

On the Backstreet Boys Group Date, I laughed out loud at Nick's non-hug (and near-push away?) after Corinne catapulted herself onto him...

In addition to being super cool (yes, I fall into the vast age bracket where I, too, would fangirl over dancing with the Backstreet Boys) this date was entertaining thanks to Corinne and—in contrast to her behavior last week—her discomfort...

 Something about the dance moves at this moment crack me up.

Something about the dance moves at this moment crack me up.

I'm not super sympathetic because I've been there, have participated in activities that were way outside my comfort zone, and you know what? You be a good sport and just freaking do it. 

And what Group Date would be complete with another seriously awkward "prize"?

I have to admit Corinne sleeping during this Cocktail Party made me laugh. There were SO many times I wanted to go pass out during those "parties"—because as Dominique said, it's a lot more waiting than dating—but it's just not done. While part of me wonders if Corinne was raised by wolves, the other part of me admires her audacity.

Kudos to Danielle L for a generally great showing on this date. She was the star here but never once seemed arrogant. Of course, Corinne, despite saying she "knew" she wasn't going to get this Group Date rose, couldn't resist a cheap jab at its recipient... 

 Pretty rich considering what Corinne insists on leading with.

Pretty rich considering what Corinne insists on leading with.

 

VANESSA'S 1-ON-1

If you read my Flare recap you know I'm a huge Vanessa fan so I'm going to warn you right now that if you don't like her and Nick together, you should probably skip to the next date. I went a bit .GIF-happy with these two, starting with the sweet Direct-Look-Into-Camera Nick gave when the Zero G plane was revving to take off...

Vanessa is probably the most adorable "I think I'm going to be sick" person the world has ever seen...

... and I don't think I've ever been so happy to watch someone vomit on TV before. Just LOOK at the way Nick looks at her while she pukes! And don't miss her hilarious face right after...

I think (hope?) I've been alright at not being too biased, but this moment was, as Nick's friend, extremely touching to me...

Love or hate Nick, you can't deny that he's willing to be vulnerable, and watching real people be (or become) vulnerable is one of the key reasons I think we all watch this show.

 

SECOND GROUP DATE

Jacuzzi must've deemed their money well spent last season (also Episode 3!) as they decided to set up shop again, as subtly as ever...

I thought this date was VERY funny, especially the slo-mo race between Rachel, Alexis, and Astrid. I laughed out loud at Nick's toast to Astrid...

Most of this date revolved around Dominique's increasing insecurity. Heading into the Cocktail Party she said in an ITM that she needed to steal him first, but before she could speak up, he asked Astrid to chat. Or did he? Note their initial formation, with Astrid to the far left...

... and now pay attention to where Astrid stands up from...

It's very possible Nick didn't even ask Astrid to chat first ("Astrid" did sound out of place in the sentence but it wasn't black and white enough to include here), but I suppose it doesn't matter. Her being shown as picked to chat first after winning the earlier 1-on-1 time served its purpose of fanning Dominique's frustration flames. As for Dominique, I think it's great she got out when she did. This setting can really chip away at a person's self esteem and staying wouldn't have done her any favors. I won't rehash my thoughts on her departure as I discussed that over at Flare.

Oh, and this was literally the ONLY THING we saw Jaimi say this episode, in case you'd forgotten that Jaimi's ex had a vagina...

Don't you just love being shown the contestants' personalities and many dimensions?

 

YE OLDE COCKTAIL PARTY TURNED POOL PARTY

Chris Harrison materializes to inform the women that (unlike any Episode 3 before) "Nick has decided" to throw a pool party in lieu of the Cocktail Party. And in keeping with this show's pool party tradition, the day consists of the ladies waiting around the same house they spend every day waiting around in, while Corinne invents new ways to straddle Nick in a bouncy castle you know she and she alone magically procured...

  Taylor  is this season's voice of reason.

Taylor is this season's voice of reason.

Oh, also note that the bouncy castle is in the front of the house while the Bachelor mansion's balconies are only the on the back side (facing the pool). If there is a balcony facing the front, it's in one of the off-limits-to-contestants areas. In short, that shot of the girls watching from above wasn't from this moment.

Vanessa interrogates Nick about his (very) questionable behavior with Corinne and does it in a way that feels like only she has the power to do, but sadly we're (annoyingly) left with another cliffhanger. Ugh!

As always, my Top 4 frontrunners based on this episode can be found over at Flare!

 

BEST DRESSED

I have a few honorable mentions in the Best Dressed section this week. First up is Danielle L with her Group Date bodycon...

I love the interesting lines of this dress and especially that quasi-racerback panel in the back. The color is very on-trend and really works on her. Danielle's dress is actually Taylor's and is from Forever 21. Sadly I could not find the exact one to save my life, and the closest thing I could find is a sleek but simple racerback dress in the same color, HERE.

There were a few pieces from around the house that caught my eye. At the pool party, Taylor expertly dressed up her simple black bikini...

I don't know if I would have picked that kimono cover up out on the rack, but I love it on her. And you know by now I love a gold body chain, especially when there's an interesting touch like the multiple strands. (It almost looks like Taylor's wearing two.) Taylor's kimono cover up is from Amazon (!) and sells for only $13 (!!) HERE. Her bodychain is from Forever 21 and sells for $6.90 (!!!) HERE.

Danielle M's striped sweater also caught my eye...

This sweater is nothing any of us haven't seen before yet she looks so natural yet chic. I couldn't find Danielle's exact sweater, but there are similar (and wallet-friendly) alternatives on the carousel below, the last of which I've already picked up for myself...

One more honorable mention: Taylor's backless Group Date dress...

Yes, I know I'm predictable, but no, that's not going to stop me from loving a good backless dress. Taylor is proving to a) be one of this season's best dressed ladies, and b) have a talent for picking out budget pieces and making them look expensive. Her dress is from Forever 21 (I'm going to start calling her the Forever 21 Whisperer), also comes in a camel color, and sells HERE.

My runner-up for Best Dressed is once again Taylor in her Rose Ceremony dress at the beginning of the episode...

Another thing I appreciate about Taylor's style is that she's not afraid to wear her hair up. (My longtime readers are familiar with this gripe of mine!) On the Backstreet Boys Group Date she was the only one to wear her hair up (when frankly it made sense to wear her hair up TO DANCE) and hair up worked so much better with their choker necklaces. At the pool party she wore her hair in a half-pony. And here, she didn't hide that cool neckline with her hair. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼  The result is super sleek and elegant. Taylor's Charlotte Russe dress is unfortunately sold out (HERE), but there's a similar one in knee-length selling HERE and the same gist but with a jumpsuit selling HERE.

My Best Dressed pick this week is Sarah in her gorgeous 2-piece dress...

This dress is a showstopper and is reminiscent of something we might've seen last season's fashion juggernauts Amanda or Lauren B wearing. This set is edgy yet undeniably feminine, and above all, somehow effortless. I could not find Sarah's For Love and Lemons dress in white but it's still available in black (the top is HERE, the skirt HERE). If you really love the concept in white, there are solid alternatives by the same brand HERE and HERE. There's also a great option with the same idea but as an off-the-shoulder set, selling HERE. Sarah's Kendra Scott two finger druzy ring (it comes in several colors; hers is the gold/iridescent) sells HERE.

 

WORST DRESSED

I hate to put Astrid here because I happen to find her hilarious and wish we got to see more of her. Sadly, though, this jumpsuit is not good...

I guess what upsets me is how this jumpsuit manages to make her ridiculous body look so shapeless. It is beyond unflattering on a person who would look good in a burlap sack. If you disagree with me, you can find her Kendall & Kylie jumpsuit selling HERE.

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!