The Bachelor, Episode 6 (or, I Have Thoughts)

Hey new friends. I hope you are all ready to find out how invested I am in reality TV (spoiler alert: a lot). I have been struggling with the whole blogging-logistics thing, so you’re getting a recap on Episode 6 of Nick’s season of the Bachelor mere hours before episode 7 airs… but as I love to tell other people and hate to hear for myself, you get what you get/and you don’t get upset.

So here’s the thing about the Bachelor*.  It’s a really, really terrible show. The formula is boring, the people are mostly boring, and the sincerity with which the contestants** pursue Twue Wuv is both startling and tiresome.
 
*and Bachelorette. This critique does not apply to Bachelor in Paradise, which is a sparkling gem shining atop the trash heap of modern culture.
 
**in particular the women competing for the affection of the Bachelor.
However, i continue to watch the Bachelor, but not because I care about any of the faked-up drama generated by the producers. The Bachelor is like a Magic Eye. Stare at it too directly and it makes absolutely no sense. But let your eyes go blurry and a picture emerges. A startling picture, because somehow this completely horrendous show manages to convey the truth of human experience and emotion… despite having Nick Viall*** as its protagonist.
 
***and sometimes people worse than Nick.
So what did all of these tragic and horrible people do this week, and why did we care? Let’s get to it!
Taylor confronted Nick. Ugh, boring. Get over it Taylor, stay on your bayou cursing Corinne or whatever. However, two good moments. 1) Taylor’s “I want you to open your eyeballs.” I dunno, something about that really gets me. I’m going to start saying that. 2) Oh boy, you never want to talk to a guy and have him respond, “I very much appreciate you taking the time.” I care for Taylor not even a little bit, and that made me wince. She lost my sympathy in the limo though with her maximum-sore-loserface.
Corinne Update. Fan-fucking-tastic as usual. For sure Corinne is into Nick, as in she is totally DTF. But she also loves winning. I love a woman who lives to win. I also take great pleasure from the thrill she takes from gloating. As I have said to many people tired of hearing me talk about the Bachelor, I love Corinne in part because her dominance comes from a place of strength. Other “villains” on the show have been wildly insecure or desperate for male validation, but Corinne just does her thing because she loves crushing it, and IT IS FANTASTIC. I am hoping she writes a book because for sure it will be full of inspirational statements that will guide me towards my Best Life.
BTW, did anyone else notice how perfectly Corinne plays this game? Here is an excerpt of her conversation with Nick after Taylor comes to poop on the party.
Nick: [comforting garbage]
Corinne: “I understand, don’t worry.”
Nick: “You good?”
Corinne: “I’m great.”
[MAKING OUT]
Corinne understands EXACTLY WHAT MEN WANT TO HEAR. Nothing makes a man happier than hearing that you don’t have a problem. God Corinne, you are good. (BTW, because I am intellectually honest, I will admit that I am pretty disturbed by her reliance on low-wage workers– and that she seems to confuse the women who nanny her for friends who enjoy what they do. It’s gross. But let’s put all of our discomfort in a box so we can focus on #WINNING).
No Cocktail Party For You. I ask this every season about every group of human beings on this show, but seriously, why do adult human women seem to sincerely care about douchey Nick Viall (or any other bachelor)? Some of them genuinely seem to believe that they have feelings for a guy that they have spoken with for maybe a total of 45 minutes. Still don’t get it, over a decade in.
Other thoughts:
-Whitney’s dress looks like what you’d wear to get shotgun married in Vegas. Also, Whitney looks like the creepy Russian model who is Cece’s roommate on New Girl.
-Jaimi might not realize it but she’s lucky. Her purple lipstick was on point and she deserves way better than Nick for that alone.
-I will miss the dolphin (shark) trainer.
-Anyone else find it disturbing how at the end of the rose ceremony the women who stay make a witchy circle around Nick? Anyone else ok with the idea of them sacrificing him and feeding off his vitality?
St. Thomas.  I was hoping that he was going to finish his “we’re going to the beautiful white sandy beaches of….” with “FLORIDA!” It’d be in keeping with dragging everyone to Waukesha.
Kristina. Holy shit. See, here is why I still watch the Bachelor. She is clearly full of sadness and complexity. If this were fiction (or at least, fully fiction), she’d win Best Actress for sure based on pathos alone. The woman ate lipstick and was sent away by her mother when she was six for eating during the day. Kristina’s carefully low-key retelling of her story slew me. Her mother’s “long, beautiful hair.” (okay in context that seemed more touching than it is typed out). She came to America because a teacher told her that if she stayed in Russia, “her life would be black and white. But in America her life would be in color.”
This woman is a survivor. And it’s so depressing that she feels that dating Nick is something she has to do. I mean, he said, “I’m going to work really hard to knock down these walls,” ugh. Their kiss is so incredibly awkward, and she really seems to be pasting a pleasant look onto her face every time she’s in a room with him. Kristina, you’re way better than this. Please, please find a life path that doesn’t involve having to wrap your legs around Nick in the ocean.
Side note: when they danced, is it just me or was it super weird imagery for them to be surrounded by a ring of dancing black women clad all in white?
The Group Date. Boring boring boring. I’ll just note that Nick is much more comfortable on a boat surrounded by girls in bikinis yelling about ice cream flavors than he is listening to KRISTINA THE BRAVE.
And that I am really grossed out by his dinosaur impression because it was way too close to the truth.
And that all those women for sure got their periods at the same time on that volleyball date, amirite? What else would have gotten them to realize FOR THE FIRST TIME that they went on a show where THEY ALL DATE THE SAME MAN SIMULTANEOUSLY AND THAT IT IS A STUPID AND ANNOYING CONSTRUCT?
Jasmine.  I can’t even…. First of all she got a trip to a gorgeous island and was actually upset because she didn’t get to spend time alone with Nick? That’s called living the dream!
Pulled the opposite strategy from Corinne. Telegraphed a future of Making Demands on Nick Emotionally, and it backfired, hard. Plus the choking thing…. got real weird. I’m actually impressed with Nick for being willing to break up with her right after she went on a tangent about erotic asphyxiation and drunkenly demonstrated on him multiple times. Also, that whole, “after a one on one the girls come home a different person…. I want that.” Oh my god. Don’t even get me started on how far these gals are from self actualization. Blarg.
Rachel.  Probably (hopefully) will win but is WAY TOO GOOD for Nick. Still, she seems to elevate him a little bit into being more of a human being, into putting human words together. But that’s only when she’s in front of his face. When he’s around the other women he’s still a sex monster who can’t stand the idea of losing out on nailing a bunch of hot chicks. But she’s good– she stays in the power position by hinting that she might leave. Brava, Rachel, but next time use your powers for a better cause.
Danielle L.  Mostly bored at this point. I got distracted surfing the internet (and distracted by how douchey Nick’s short shorts are). But I will say that I felt bad when she left. She seems like a nice enough person, and I heard that she’s legit a successful entrepreneur with a chain of nail salons. But she’s the contestant this season who is soooo desperate for Nick’s validation.  He’s about as desirable as dirty dishwater, but she still feels inadequate because he doesn’t choose her. “I deserve that rose. I deserve to stay here.” Please Danielle L, find a good therapist. Trying to get the validation you crave from Nick Viall is really just a tragic exercise.
Lagniappe****.  The way Nick touches people is creepy. Seriously. Pay attention next episode– there is something Pick Up Artist-y about it that is Not OK.
WHAT IS UP with the producers stranding the girls that get cut after a 2-on-1 date on islands/bayous/random locations while Nick and his preferred ladies jet off? I have no particular love for Taylor or Whitney but I would prefer them not to get eaten by gators or sacrified in voodoo ceremonies or whatever.
“MY HEART IS GOLD BUT MY VAGINE IS PLATINUM.” Corinne for Empress of the Universe!
**** noun. def: “a little something extra.” Me: “great word!” You: “Stop trying to make ‘lagniappe’ happen!”

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