After all my jokes about Nick Peterson being such a nonentity during this Bachelor Pad season – and I don’t think it’s just editing, since the others in the house have even talked about it – we’re one week away from the end of the season, and he’s very close to winning the $250,000 prize. Chalk up another success story for the reality TV “under the radar” strategy.
Chris Harrison interrupted the final eight the morning after the last Rose Ceremony with some unwelcome news: a challenge was slated for right then, and someone would be leaving at its conclusion. The winners of the competition would not get a rose, but instead would jointly decide which team would be sent to the limos. This twist put extra pressure on Chris and Sarah, still the closest thing the other three teams had to a common enemy.
Fortunately, the pariahs got lucky with the competition. The game called for one half of the team to be suspended above the swimming pool, on a platform held up by three ropes. The other half of the couple would answer Bachelor Pad trivia. For each wrong answer, a platform rope would be cut away, and after three wrong answers, the platform would fall, and the player above the pool would have to try to hang onto a horizontal bar to keep from getting wet – and keep their team in the game.
The contest turned out to be the dream event for Sarah and Chris – “Sarah’s TV watching is paying off,” said her not totally admiring partner. By the time she finally missed the ninth question, two couples had already been eliminated, and Ed dropped from the bar as the last threat to their win was eliminated. They made a show of considering all the possibilities on who to send packing, but there was only one smart decision to make: as long as Blakeley was dead set on carrying out a vendetta, and as long as she and Tony were making the most noise about needing the money, they had to go.
And so, after all the tears and after Tony climbed in her limo for the joint rideaway, it was curtains for the most entertaining woman in this season’s cast. I still doubt those two have a future together, but after Blakeley began the summer hanging all over Chris, it would certainly be ironic.
For the night’s big challenge, the final six were taken to a theatre where some middle-aged men were performing a vaguely familiar power ballad … ah yes! The guys were Night Ranger, and the song was “Sister Christian” – a touchstone tune for anyone who remembers the ‘80s, not that any of these contestants really qualify. Methinks the producers of Bachelor Pad mistook how iconic “Sister Christian” is for people who were babies or not even born when it was originally a hit. Anyway, the competition called for the final three couples to perform the song before an audience, with the band members choosing the winners. Stage presence, choreography, and partner chemistry would also be taken into account, since it was probably asking too much that these people actually be able to sing.
As it happened, rehearsals proved that they were even worse than originally feared. Chris was sort of OK – he could at least sort of yell in tune – but everyone else struggled badly, none worse than Sarah, whose hiccupy croak wasn’t even in the same ballpark as music. Despite the best efforts of the various vocal coaches, who included the bearded piano guy from Glee, none of the three teams were in any way tuneful. They at least looked the part of what they assumed the ‘80s was like.
The karaoke was something of a blowout. Rachel and Nick led off; the combination of her deep voice and his ability to headbang impressed the band and the audience. Ed and Jaclyn were next, and were predictably terrible. They forgot nearly all the words, started goofing around, and then Jaclyn started grinding on Ed, a curious idea given that the lyrics reflect an older brother’s concern for his sister. Chris and Sarah knew the words and had plenty of energy, but were just too terrible vocally to forgive. Night Ranger named Nick and Rachel the winners, putting them in the final four and making Nick safe prior to a rose ceremony for the first time in his history with the franchise.
This set up a classic reality show dilemma. Should Nick/Rachel go with friendship and choose Ed and Jaclyn, given that the two women have been close since they suffered together in Ben’s Bachelor season? Or go with Chris and Sarah, who aren’t popular with the other cast members who have to vote on the winners? Unlike the other couples in the game, Nick and Rachel hadn’t been working together long, or even talking to each other very much till recently. Nick was more focused on strategy and taking Chris and Sarah, explaining that Ed and Jaclyn were too popular to risk losing to them in the end. Rachel didn’t put up any arguments against this idea, because what could she offer other than emotion? As she listened sadly, Nick explained that her friendship with Jaclyn could survive this decision, and that they would benefit in the end by winning the money.
Rachel might think that she can eventually paint her partner as the bad guy responsible for the decision, but from the reaction of Jaclyn and Ed when Nick dropped the bomb on them at the rose ceremony, it might be a hard sell. “What a (bleep)! Go (bleep) yourself! I want nothing to do with her ever again … I’m mad at myself for believing she was a friend,” Jaclyn said, alone in the limo (Ed has the girlfriend back home, you know).
Next week: Jamie wears a ridiculous headband at the reunion.