Episode 6

 

My apologies for the lateness! I'm in BC rehearsing The Magic Flute and my "real" job always takes precedence over these, but I know it can be annoying when these come out nearly a week later. Rehearsals have been intense lately (our premiere is Thursday) so hopefully after we open these delays won't be as bad! Thank you for your patience.

 My  castmate  snuck this photo of me in my rehearsal dress making .GIFs

My castmate snuck this photo of me in my rehearsal dress making .GIFs

 

“It's easy to let a relationship evolve when you spend more time with the other person.” —Wise Whitney

 

 

TAYLOR'S RETURN

We pick up from last week's cliffhanger where Taylor, having had plenty of post-elimination time with producers, chose to return to give Nick a piece of her mind. Thankfully, she seemed to have zero interest in returning to be in the running for Nick's "heart". But, as I mentioned this briefly in my The Morning After video, I do wish Taylor hadn't succumbed to what was likely a producer nudge to come back. First, on a purely basic level (since you all know I was rooting for her), she went from being a sympathetic character, the victim, and clearly the bigger person to becoming one driven by righteousness and revenge. I can without a doubt understand the temptation to defend herself and set the record straight, but sadly I just don't think it was necessary, because a) the whole debacle was caught on camera (airing would reveal the truth), and b) since the premise is that they are vying for Nick's affections, if he couldn't see through Corinne's antics clearly enough to keep Taylor, he shouldn't be someone Taylor should want to be with and any further discussion with him on the topic of Corinne is a waste of her breath. Of course, I realize my views on these matters (trying to change a person's mind about someone else) are super black and white, but I still feel Taylor's return was a lose-lose. :(

In returning to his "dinner" with Corinne, Nick let out a face and a sigh which made me laugh...

  The Bachelor 's a tough job but someone's gotta do it.

The Bachelor's a tough job but someone's gotta do it.

 

ROSE CEREMONY

There was another funny moment when Chris Harrison bore the now-traditional news that "Nick decided" to not have the pre-Week 5 Rose Ceremony Cocktail Party and Alexis just let it out...

 We'll miss you, Alexis!

We'll miss you, Alexis!

Post-Rose Ceremony there was a strange cut from Nick announcing St. Thomas as the next destination to Jasmine's voiceover about wanting a 1-on-1 there. Watch Vanessa's abrupt transition from laughing to listening...

Also note how this voiceover serves as foreshadowing for Jasmine's eventual meltdown this week.

 

ST. THOMAS

As the women "explore" St. Thomas, Raven gives her own wry twist on the usual prompted line about [INSERT LOCATION HERE] being the perfect place to fall in love...

 

KRISTINA'S 1-ON-1

When sitting down to dinner, I laughed at Nick's own surprise and commentary over that evening's "dinner" of choice...

Kristina is a such a breath of fresh air on a show which tends speak to our judgmental, catty, and more superficial sides. Sure, on that superficial level, Kristina is insanely beautiful, but she's also got SUCH a well-screwed on head. Nick was right to say that, due to her backstory, Kristina could choose a path involving making excuses. But instead of dwelling in a state of feeling sorry for herself, she chose a positive outlook full of grace and gratitude.

Kristina also provided one of the most memorable lines I can recall ever being said on this show...  

What I like best about this is how applicable this is our own lives. I rarely use this word because I feel it's really overused (and usually with a hashtag preceding it), but I personally found this segment with Kristina humbling. It truly made me—and I'm sure many others—take a step back from my own petty day-to-day gripes and feel a hell of a lot more appreciative for the hand I've been dealt. That appreciation alone serves as a good reminder to strive for my own version of color. Regarding Kristina, Nick said it best with: "Kristina's appreciation for life is so infectious. When you have someone in your life like that, I think life's just a little sweeter."

Back at their St. Thomas digs, the Group Date card reveals that—PLOT TWIST—not only is there a second 2-on-1 (!), but Whitney and Danielle L would be the 2-on-1-ers (!!). I was appropriately shocked by this and am glad Danielle L came out and called a spade a spade... 

 Don't miss that slight Direct Look Into Camera™!

Don't miss that slight Direct Look Into Camera™!

TRUTH. Pretending a 2-on-1 is some sort of "date" is such bullshit. The fact is, if someone's on a 2-on-1, even if she survives, the fact that the Bachelor put her on that 2-on-1 in the first place doesn't bode well. 

 

GROUP DATE

The Most Confusing Group Date Ever begins with actual fun and games, including several amusing moments where we get to see Vanessa's goofy personality...

There was also some more Jasmine foreshadowing, this time involving her possible penchant for physical aggression with men...

I whined about The Most Confusing Group Date Ever over on Flare so I won't repeat myself here!

In the evening, I had a hard time watching Jasmine, who's been such a spark plug all season, unravel before our very eyes. Thus, I felt nothing but relief when Nick sent her home early, because clearly what she needed was to get out of there. She herself seemed to recognize that, as evidenced by how calm and almost relieved she appeared to be when taking in Nick's words...

I have a hunch that if I don't nip this in the bud there may be comments coming my way along the lines of: "I can't believe you didn't comment on Jasmine talking about choking Nick!" First, it's a bit of a pet peeve of mine when I put countless hours into these only to have someone say something like that. I can't stress enough the thought I put into these, but I'm only human and there are only so many things I can comment on. And, most importantly, what stands out to some may not stand out to me! Second, I don't think the choking thing is worth harping on. Jasmine was clearly intoxicated, riled up to the point of feeling painfully insecure ("turned up", as Raven put it), and I wouldn't be surprised if she was kept around especially for this inevitable meltdown. No one should judge her for how she chose to express herself, her desires, and her frustrations in this moment of feeling the utmost invisible.

 

DANIELLE L AND WHITNEY'S 2-ON-1

On the second 2-on-1 (which was every bit as dreaded but way higher budget than the first), Danielle L once again calls this "date" out for what it really is: a showdown...

This might seem obvious, but in the past everyone has insisted on pretending like the two chosen for a 2-on-1 are somehow the lead's choice, like he or she really still needs "answers" about those two. But Danielle L essentially tapped that 4th wall again, pointing out how 2-on-1 contestants are chosen because of their conflict with each other, not their compatibility (or lack thereof) with the lead.

Unfortunately this wasn't as well captured with a .GIF as I might've hoped, but there was some epic darting glances, clearly taking stock of the cameras in this new territory, by both Nick and Danielle L as they left "dinner"...

 Another Direct-Look-Into-Camera™ from Danielle L!

Another Direct-Look-Into-Camera™ from Danielle L!

At the hotel, just before the bellboy appears to take away Danielle L's suitcase, the ladies are stuck in a textbook Girl Chat. Note the open formation and the fact that they were just discussing the assumption that, after Whitney's suitcase was taken, Danielle L should be returning (after all, if that is indeed the assumption, why would they be discussing it?)...

Question: If a suitcase is taken from the suite and no girls are there to witness it and have their reactions filmed, did that woman ever leave??

I actually laughed out loud at Corinne's hilariously dry (and possibly sarcastic?) reaction when Nick appeared (um, without knocking... and you wonder why contestants are on edge) and she mouthed (yet didn't actually say) "Oh my god"...

I'm going to be brutally honest here... while it's touching that Nick seems legitimately concerned about the possibility of this all working out, I found it pretty forced and actually kind of inappropriate that he would go and share these feelings with his remaining women. Like, when he was telling them this...

He's tearfully telling the women, among whom ostensibly sits his future fiancée, that one of their now former housemates was "part of the equation" of this whole thing "working out". I've vented about the premise of this show before, how a big mistake is to regard the process like some game of musical chairs where the contestants are interchangeable and where, like on a show like Survivor, it's "anyone's game". We KNOW that every lead knows who their top 2 or 3 are (and sometimes even their "winner") fairly early on, and that's because humans just aren't equally compatible with and attracted to the full selection of members of the opposite sex they're presented with. And frankly, as much as I like Danielle L, the bigger a deal about her relationship "falling flat" with Nick is made, the weirder it is. Almost all the relationships will NEED to fall flat—in fact, the clarity of a flat-falling is a GIFT—and, with Danielle L, considering there was no big reveal or catalyst (which we saw) to suddenly alert Nick that she wasn't right for him, I personally have a hard time believing that Nick didn't see it coming. 

All I could think during this Nick-crying-to-the-women segment was a) WOW is this a weird show, and b) why the hell do these ladies need to know this? I get that the show seems to want to shove Nick's abundant sincerity down everyone's (both the remaining women's and our) throats, but this gut-spilling felt like ITM material and not in any way OK for the other women to be hearing. Nick saying his relationship with Danielle L "fell flat" was followed by, "My biggest fear is, 'Is the same thing gonna happen?' You know, with you guys." Again, it HAS to happen in some capacity with 5 OUT OF 6 OF THEM. And second, how the hell does it make them feel to know that while they're twiddling their thumbs in captivity, he's—assuming this fear is true—severely doubting the potential success of the whole shebang? Are they expected to be sympathetic about how hard this is for him? If you're the woman who ends up with him, wouldn't you want it to have been easy?

I get that we're being set up to somehow believe that Nick might be calling it quits, but NO ONE is dumb enough to believe that. We're also being fed a storyline that Nick is this wounded animal who is terrified of not knowing how to find what he's looking for, and for having his heart broken on national TV again. While those fears are valid, they're negated by the fact that HE AGREED TO BECOME THE BACHELOR AND IS NOW ON NATIONAL TELEVISION AGAIN TO PURSUE LOVE. You know I'm a big Nick fan but in my opinion, his charm is in his refusal to say what's expected of him and his repeated tearing down of the 4th wall. This wounded animal storyline isn't a sympathetic one because it's simply not convincing; he obviously doesn't have a hard time with women, he hasn't been forced to do this again, nor is this television show the only avenue to "finding love". And based on the show's emphasis on the Danielle L thing, you'd think SHE had broken up with HIM. 

As always, my finger is pointed at the show and not at the messenger (in this case, Nick), and I understand that the show needs tears and drama to remain interesting. But to me, Nick's tears would have been far more effective and powerful in an ITM or off on his own, in a moment of extreme vulnerability and genuine fear, rather than what felt like a display of those emotions for his group of remaining women. 

 

As always, my top 4 frontrunners are over on my Flare recap!

 

BEST DRESSED

This was an overwhelmingly good fashion week, to the point where, in an effort to save time, I couldn't even include everything I liked. I'll start with the casual pieces...

First up is Rachel in her Group Date swim look...

I love how she paired white with white (which many don't think to do) and the result is both chic and expensive-looking. Rachel's Ecote kimono is unfortunately sold out (HERE) but there's an XS selling on Poshmark HERE and a very similar one (in one size) selling HERE.

I LOVED Vanessa's strappy black bikini from the same date...I 

I often find strappy bikinis a bit too lingerie-looking or terrible-tan-line-inducing, but this is just the right balance. It still has a the basic form of a typical bikini, but with smartly placed straps for interest. Vanessa's Missguided bikini is unfortunately sold out but there's a newer model by the same brand which is super similar (pictured, with thicker straps, which I'm thisclose to buying) selling HERE.

Whitney's 2-on-1 look was adorable...

I love the combo of stripes and ruffles on this romper and think it's both precious and wearable. Her necklace also stood out to me in its subtlety. It's so dainty and looks almost like it's a floating "W". Whitney's Tularosa "Amelia" romper sells in her blue color (on sale!) HERE. It's also available in pink HERE and blue and red (SUPER on sale!) HERE. Her necklace was a gift from a friend but there's a near-identical one selling HERE (gold-filled) and HERE (solid gold).

I have two Best Dressed Honorable Mentions, starting with Rachel's Rose Ceremony two-piecer...

Like last week, Rachel proves she can bring the TV-worthy glam when needed. This color was spectacular on her and I loved the dichotomy of how heavy and armor-like the top is with the exposed midriff. Rachel's dress is by Sherri Hill and sells HERE.

My other honorable mention goes to Danielle M with her floral dress from this week's Group Date...

Danielle M's style always impresses because there's such an effortlessness to it. On some people a Bardot neckline, maxi, floral number would be a lot, but she has a very "oh, this old thing?" vibe in it. Danielle M's dress is by Flynn Skye and though her exact print is no longer available, there's a near identical one (same designer, same dress) selling HERE. It also sells in a very cool red print HERE.

My second runner-up for Best Dressed is Vanessa in her maxi from the same Group Date...

That color! That slit! My only complaint here is that we didn't see more of this dress (I almost missed it entirely). She looks feminine and va-va-voom, yet somehow also beachy. Vanessa's "Sheena" dress is by Boohoo, also comes in black, and is still available at an incredible $25 (!), HERE.

I have a tie for runner-up, starting with Whitney in her sheer maxi Rose Ceremony dress...

I've mentioned before that For Love and Lemons has such a distinct style, but I do find the dresses can be distracting to the point of wearing the girl more than she wears the dress. Whitney wears this dress. I don't know if it's because she looks like a runway model and thus it falls right on her (let me tell you, I could NOT wear this), but she looks feminine and almost ethereal in it. Whitney's "Luau" dress is sadly sold out in white (HERE), but it's still available in pink HERE. This dress also comes as a two-piece set and the skirt (in Whitney's color) sells HERE.

My other runner-up is Kristina in her 1-on-1 skater dress...

There is something so fresh about this look. She looks so sweet with that girlish silhouette, yet there's a bit of sex appeal with the short hemline and the interesting cutouts. Kristina's Lulu's dress is sadly sold out (HERE) but there's a similar-ish one selling HERE.

She may have gone home, but she did so with a bang. Danielle L is this week's Best Dressed with her Rose Ceremony dress...

I am IN LOVE with this dress. The front panels give a plunge neckline and a hit of side boob, but that exposed skin is balanced by the knee length. Then there's the sophisticated pairing of sheer nude, black lace, and stripes at the hemline. This look is ultra romantic and Danielle L wisely put her hair in a low chignon instead of covering it up with her hair. A perfect 10 in my books. Danielle L's Sau dress sells in black HERE and in a lovely pale pink (which I'm seriously considering), HERE.

 

WORST DRESSED

Once again, nothing offended me this week. No Worst Dressed!

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!