It’s not often that I’m all chipper over an episode of The Bachelor, but I really am today! I thought last night’s was a rare near-perfect ep. It had all the components of an entertaining yet moving reality TV viewing experience: some friendly competition, several comedic moments, a lead whose actions you can understand, a contestant whose struggle you can understand, a villain whose discomfort fills you with a bit of schadenfreude glee, and an epic date which reaffirms your faith in this show’s ability to produce a real love story.
Speaking of that villain, I came around a bit with Corinne this week. It’s not that I’m suddenly a fan; I imagine living with her would have been absolute hell. But after marinating on the subject, I’ve decided I would rather someone consciously play the character everyone loves to hate, rather than have their lack of self awareness and unpopularity exploited and edited as someone everyone loves to hate. Corinne is more than willing to be that person in her not caring about friendships with the women, her insistence on leading with only her sexuality, her unabashedly behaving like a child. To me, the nanny stuff is so absurd it’s funny. Assuming it’s true that she doesn’t know how to do her own laundry, she’s clearly proud of that helplessness and will tell anyone who will listen. Honestly, though, I don’t believe Corinne doesn’t know how to clean her own clothes (or spoons); the nanny stuff strikes me as an obvious and rather nouveau riche display of wealth. We’ve heard her mention her family’s “multi-million dollar company” numerous times now and that seems to be her fallback excuse if anyone tries to critique her immature or low class behaviour. How can she be X,Y, and Z if she “runs” a MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR BUSINESS, hmm??
To address the contestant whose struggle you can understand, I felt for Dominique during the second Group Date. Nick obviously just wasn’t that into her and that stings, plain and simple. The unfortunate reality of this show is that most contestants will feel (and especially when the season airs, become) invisible. I may not sound as sympathetic as I should, but that’s the name of this game, and as such, hate the game and not its players. It’s the risk you take when you sign the dotted line, and frankly, it’s a pretty benign outcome in exchange for what can be a pretty cool experience. Wouldn’t you rather be one of the “invisible” contestants who gets to travel, make lifelong friends and partake in once-in-a-lifetime experiences, sans some scarring edit or eleventh hour heartbreak? Obviously the best case scenario is all of those things PLUS a happy engagement and a million-plus Instagram followers, but that just isn’t going to be the case for 29 of the 30 women. In my humble opinion, women in Dominique’s position should focus more on the unique experience than their relationship with the lead. I’m not saying Dominique should have become all “wrong reasons” about it, but rather that she shouldn’t have wasted her energy obsessing and comparing. After all, you shouldn’t want a man who needs you to lay down the law the way she did in order to make you feel special. As Andy commented while we were watching, “Nobody can be argued with into wanting to be with you.” It’s not Nick’s fault he just wasn’t as focused on her as he was some of the other women; in fact, I would wager he put in more of an effort with the peripheral ladies than most Bachelors tend to. I found Nick’s sending Dominique home in this moment to be kind, gentle and the perfect response; he knew he couldn’t give her what she wanted but recognized how it was putting a dent in her self esteem, so he ended her struggle right there and then.
My Top 4 this week are…
1. Vanessa, 29: It’s going to take a LOT for me to bump Vanessa from this spot. Her 1-on-1 was the most touching and real date I think I’ve ever seen on this show, and I’ve been watching this stuff for a looooong time. From the zero-gravity kisses to the way Nick gazed at her while she vomited (!) to the authentic and vulnerability-inducing conversation they shared over “dinner,” I just can’t picture Nick with anyone else at this point. You could see him soaking in these moments, imprinting them in his memory. Oh and have I mentioned I love Vanessa? She’s naturally gorgeous (I love how little makeup she wears) and sweet, but also nobody’s fool; she doesn’t take any shit, as evidenced by her confronting Nick about Corinne at the end of the episode. My favorite part of this was when she rightfully said, “I’m not judging Corinne, I’m judging your actions.” VANESSA STAYS.
2. Danielle M, 31: In traditional first 1-on-1 recipient form, Danielle M didn’t get much airtime, but she’s still not going anywhere anytime soon. While I didn’t see close to Vanessa-calibre sparks between Danielle M and Nick last week, you can tell he has a soft spot for Danielle M and cares about her.
3. Rachel, 31: I love the palpable respect these two have for each other when they interact, and there’s solid chemistry there. Rachel hasn’t been on the forefront airtime-wise which is a testament to her social grace, as having the First Impression Rose and a Group Date rose (from the only date she’s been on so far) under her belt only three episodes in can be a surefire way to have a target on your back. She’s smart, elegant, and above all, likable. I’m really looking forward to their 1-on-1, which we know has to be coming soon.
4. Raven, 25: I was torn between putting Danielle L and Raven in this spot, but I was swayed by Raven’s conversations with Nick versus Danielle L’s. Sure, Danielle L’s interactions are plenty romantic and there’s a strong attraction there, but Nick seems to put stock in Raven’s opinion which, if I know Nick, is probably the highest form of praise he offers. Raven’s been a quiet constant in these two episodes and I’d be surprised if she doesn’t have a 1-on-1 coming her way.
Tune into The Bachelor Mondays on Omni at 8:00 EST/PST—and catch up on past episodes at www.omnitv.ca/the-bachelor.