Chris Harrison is back in his hosting duties this week and all I can think is how similar this feels to having your regular teacher back in class after that awesome sub leaves: depressing. What homework does Mr. Harrison have for us today? A note that reads "Lets do what feels natural." I assumed that Les Stroud would appear and teach the bachelorettes how to live off the land, but instead we got some time at a lake and bullshit camping.
For some reason, as soon as they get to the lake, Ashley I and Kaitlyn take off their respective bikini top and bottom and jump in. Personally, I thought this was just people being goofy, but Kelsey took real offense to this calling the entire affair a "date for bimbos." I don't see how this date is specifically for bimbos, though it also is not specifically for "not bimbos" so point taken. Next time they can go on an intellectually classy date to a library or Red Lobster or wherever it is that smart people go.
Seriously. Endless shrimp for $15.99 is a pretty intelligent decision.
Kelsey must be put off by something, because she cannot stop complaining. After the bimbo comment, she continues by talking shit about the lake saying "if you want to see lakes go to Michigan." Are we trash talking to lakes now? Can this be a thing please? "Your lake is so dirty it looks like BP had another oil spill." "Your lake is so dirty it has both kinds of crabs." "Your lake is so dirty the EPA has flagged it for future concern." That last one wasn't great, but you get the idea.
Also, Kelsey got stung by a bee. That made me smile.
After their lake time, Chris drops the "surprise;" the entire group will be camping out tonight. Of course, The Bachelor spared no expense, purchasing the finest tents money could buy. Or at least the finest Coleman tents their interns could find at Walmart for under $40. Weak shit producers. Weak shit.
The finest tent some change in your couch cushion can buy.
During their break out time, Kaitlyn continues to be one of my favorites. Ashley S, on the other hand, continues to make me very uncomfortable. Between the faux-American Indian singing, whispering non-sequitors, and general looks of confusion, she did not stop being strange all night. I really hope she's just drunk or the world's greatest undiscovered actress. Anything else would legitimately make me sad.
Not wanting to be the least crazy Ashley in the room, Ashley I pulls Chris aside to tell him that she's inexperienced and has never really had a boyfriend before. Apparently this was supposed to be enough information for Chris to infer that she is a virgin. Chris does not connect her dots and doesn't understand what she is hinting at. Partly I assume this is because she woke him up out of a deep sleep to start babbling this insane shit, but also because Chris has zero context for what she is talking about. "Inexperienced" can apply to literally any verb and most nouns, so for him to guess that Ashley I was talking about sex seems like low odds. She could have easily been talking about her inexperience with emotional relationships, camping, or not talking about herself for more than ten seconds, as I have yet to see her prove me wrong. Regardless, virginity is a big deal to Ashley for some reason. Why she wants him to know about her virginity is beyond me, but we'll get into that later.
Is this baby inexperienced at computers or sex? We have no way of knowing.
Back at the house, Chris' three sisters stop by to pick who will be going on the one on one date that evening. After some very pleasant conversation, the sisters pick Jade to accompany Chris on a Cinderella themed date. True to the story, some hipster fairy godmothers show up at the mansion and help prepare her for the ball. Ashley I, of course, is flipping shit again, wanting it to be her on the princess themed date. Ashley is so upset to not be going on the date that she stages a mini protest by wearing the dress she would have worn on the date and eating corn on the cob. I'm not sure why she was eating corn on the cob, as it has to be one of the least princess-y foods available, but she did.
The bulk of Chris and Jade's date was dinner in their respective formal attire. Their chemistry is good and I actually like them together. The pair seems more like a real couple than anyone else I've seen on the show. They both open up about their lives, including previous failed engagements. It's nice to see two people open up like that, though what I really want to see Chris talk about is his DUI. That would be interesting TV.
The rest of the date consisted of the couple dancing and reenacting scenes from the upcoming Cinderella movie. First off, the entire date was a front so Disney could plug their movie which I do not appreciate. No thanks Mickey, you fucking rat, I will not see this movie. Second, I feel so bad for the orchestra that was accompanying their dancing. These are masters of their craft, forced to play for a slowly swaying couple in order to peddle an animated movie. Welcome to your life, music majors!
Finally. A movie where a blonde girl falls in love with a handsome guy.
The second group date sees the remaining six women put on wedding dresses and run through a muddy obstacle course. There didn't seem to be a point to the women wearing the dresses except to slow them down, but it probably wouldn't have mattered. Jillian the Ninja Warrior smokes the competition by minutes, earning herself a one on one date with Chris. I do feel bad for the remaining five women though, who had to fly to San Francisco to run a 10 minute race, only to be put back on the plane and sent home. Doesn't seem like a great use of anyone's time.
Chris and Jillian's date saw Jillian talking an absurd amount, leaving Chris to nod and pretend like he was listening. At one point, Chris asks Jillian what her five-year plan is, which she scoffs at saying she thought five year plans were useless to her. Scoffing at the idea of planning anything probably isn't the best decision for someone in a competition that ultimately sees the winner get married. Also, don't laugh at five-year plans in front of a farmer. Even a tertiary knowledge of Soviet history would let you know that their five year plans were basically a farmer's genocide.
"Fuck it, I'll marry a farmer or some shit." - J. Stalin
Jillian's incompatibility with Chris sees her denied the rose and eliminated from the competition. Unfortunately, her crying after being eliminated was the only time I felt like we were seeing a real version of her instead of the most intense person ever. Goodnight Jillian. Your black barred butt cheeks will be missed.
Finally, we get to the cocktail party, which is probably the weirdest I've seen all season. Megan blindfolds Chris and feeds him chocolate covered fruits which doesn't seem like the best way to get to know someone. Britt also confronts Chris about giving roses to other people, as she has apparently forgotten the structure of the show. Chris did a good job of reassuring her by immediately breaking eye contact and mumbling some disjointed thoughts about Kaitlyn and awkwardness. Well done Chris.
It's not... Kaitlyn... You're great... This is weird... Goodbye?
Not to be outdone, Ashley I jumps back on the virginity train to be sure that Chris knows she's a virgin, this time telling Chris outright. Of course he is unfazed by this because it really doesn't matter. Also, it seems a little early on in a relationship to be spouting shit like that. Ashley cannot accept this interaction for what it was and proceeds to cry about it for no less than five edited down minutes. At one point she says "It's weird for him not to make a move on me." Oh fuck you Ashley. Get over yourself. I know Kelsey was the primary villain of this episode, but right now I hate Ashley I more than anyone.
In the end we see Ashley S, Juelia, and Nikki leave. In the words of Ashley S, "I have no feelings on this."
Seriously. Check out Faces of Rejected Bachelorettes on Tumblr. It's the best
Can anyone explain to me why Ashley was so concerned with Chris knowing that she was a virgin? Initially I thought it was something she was embarrassed about, as maintaining virginity that late in life is a little unusual. But Ashley's constant discussion of the topic with Chris, the other bachelorettes, and even the audience, seems to betray any real concerns she may have about how her virginity will be perceived by others. Ashley is the person at the party who asks every guest in attendance if she is too overdressed, searching for a compliment at every turn. In this case, I have a hard time believing she is looking for anything other than attention, which is disappointing given the nature of the topic. I would have much preferred any real discussion on the topic as opposed to what we got, which was a grown woman screaming "I'm a virgin! Isn't that interesting?" into the void.