After everyone ended Monday’s episode of The Bachelor down in the dumps, the mood brightened noticeably on the special Tuesday edition, subtitled “Holy moly, are the Canadian Rockies and Lake Louise gorgeous or what.” Seriously, how do they get a fresh mountain lake that sort of teal color? OK, I’m way off topic. Sorry.
We have officially entered the home stretch of the season, with the dead weight now completely trimmed, and Sean Lowe now considering six true contenders – well, five contenders plus Tierra, who I’m assuming is now being kept around for drama. She is, after all, the only one of the six left who never has had a one-on-one date with Sean, and we’re definitely not seeing the affectionate body language towards her that is now coming naturally from him in the presence of all the other women. This next episode marks his last chance to dump Tierra before hometown visits, and that’s where the lightning rods either go home (Michelle Money) or prove they’re in it to the end (Vienna, Courtney). We shall see.
The first of the solo dates in Alberta went to Catherine, one of just two remaining (Daniella being the other) who hadn’t had a solo date or at least a two-on-one like Tierra. You wonder what in the world they’ve been waiting for, because she and Sean have obviously managed to develop a serious connection in the little time they’ve had together. She is so smitten right now, she didn’t complain a bit about standing on a mountainside in a blizzard waiting for the Bachelor to show up. Watching them playing in the snow like kids was exactly like spying on a young couple in love, and also proved that yes, it’s possible for Sean to look even whiter.
In the evening, they took a carriage ride to an ice castle, and got cozy (it looked seriously cold) while Catherine told a horrifying story about seeing a friend of hers killed by a falling tree at the age of 12. We’ve had a real arms race of horrible tales this season – and no, that’s not a bad Sarah-related pun – what with foster homes, overdoses, and Tierra’s weekly crisis. Catherine was hidden in the background for a full month, only coming out on occasion to sing in the Tierra-hater’s chorus, but getting the rose here puts her in the last six, and she’s looking strong. Plus the pierced nose is kinda cute, though between that and her vegan tendencies, she might be just a wee bit too edgy for our Sean.
Seven women were picked for the group date – all except Desiree, recipient of the coveted First Woman To Get A Second One-On-One award. The gang headed down to the lake, where they hopped in canoes for a jaunt to the opposite shore. Lesley cleverly volunteered to ride in Sean’s canoe, though there wasn’t much opportunity to bond. Upon reaching their destination, Sean revealed that they were going to join the local “polar bear’s club” by jumping in the icy lake and submerging their entire bodies. The air temperature was just below freezing, and the water was scarcely warmer than that.
No one seemed excited about the prospect, with AshLee and Selma being the most reluctant. In fact Selma, most recently seen complaining about the heat at Joshua Tree National Park, flat out refused to take the plunge on account of the excessive cold. On some level, you have to respect someone who dared to withstand Bachelor peer pressure to “face your fears,” since all this nonsense is completely irrelevant to the mission of meeting a life partner. But still … bad move, Selma.
The ladies hopped in and almost all found it exhilarating … all except Tierra, who emerged from the lake stumbling about and acting as if she couldn’t catch her breath. EMTs were on hand through the entire process, and she was quickly warmed up in the tent set up for that purpose, but for several minutes, she was at least looking worse and worse. Catherine and Desiree, who watched all this unfold from their suite overlooking the lake, came down to check and didn’t seem to doubt that Tierra was in a genuine crisis. But she did recover quickly, one might even say suspiciously quickly, winning another coveted visit from Sean in the process as she recuperated. “You keep managing to find ways to get one-on-one time with me,” he told her, sounding not the least bit suspicious.
Sean told Tierra it might be a good idea for her to sit out the cocktail party, and as the others at the party gossiped about how it was obvious she was crying wolf yet again … what do you know, Tierra wandered in, looking like she spent the afternoon in a spa instead of shivering on a stretcher. I hate to sit back and judge her from my comfortable warm setting, but the folks who were there seem pretty sure she was faking it, and who am I to second-guess them?
The group date rose ended up going to Lesley, although as time goes on, I’m starting to wonder if Sean might be finding her a little too intimidating. But the biggest impression was left by Sarah, who picked this time to tell Sean a little more about her family, complete with photos. Sarah was game during the canoe ride and polar bear plunge, but bless her heart, she’s simply not very interesting; and it’s been clear for weeks that Sean has no connection with her, but has been reluctant to cut her for fear of how it will look to the public. With hometown visits getting very near, he decided he can’t put off the inevitable much longer, and after the end of the date, he pulled Sarah away from the other women to break the news, so as not to keep her hanging on till the rose ceremony.
Sarah took the news very badly, weeping uncontrollably on the limo ride, having obviously written Sean off as the latest man to try to let her down easy in an insincere way. She didn’t say “it’s because of my arm, isn’t it,” but considering the tenor of these last six episodes, she didn’t have to. Given that she’s still very young (plenty of time left to find a man) and that 25 other women will also walk away disappointed from The Bachelor, this was all WAY overdramatic on her part. Part of her problem is summed up by what she said when Sean came to fetch her: “I’m in trouble!” She expects the worst, and one assumes men sense that. Sean hasn’t helped by condescending to her all season, all the way up to treating her as if she was too fragile to be cut like everyone else.
Well, best of luck to Sarah. As for Desiree, she needed to rehabilitate herself a bit after Sean sensed her questioning some of his decisions in the last episode, and she accomplished that mission. The pair had to rappel down Tunnel Mountain in Banff National Park to get to the site of their picnic, and despite some nervousness, the well-harnessed pair got ‘er done. Now, we’ve had a break lately from people in this franchise saying stuff like “going down this here tall object is exactly like being in a relationship,” but Desiree said it here, which almost made me hate her. At least she spared us the “leap of faith” metaphor. Later, while relaxing in the tepee that served as their nightcap site, she opened up about growing up poor, saying that while there were tough times, she never doubted her parents’ love. Sean found it thoughtful and charming, and Desiree got another rose. She’s sitting pretty, as in the tree she and Sean climbed at the base of the mountain.
Thanks to the Tierra Medical Mystery of the Week, there wasn’t much time for the cocktail party. The major drama came over the issue of whether, with only three roses to give out, Selma could overcome the dual drawbacks of not being able to kiss Sean on television, and having blown off the polar bear plunge. It was too late to do anything about one of those, but she still had an opportunity to throw off centuries of cultural baggage and smooch the Bachelor (though she asked him to close his eyes first, perhaps in an attempt to lessen the implied intimacy; besides which it was a fairly chaste kiss). This set up maybe the best visual pun in Bachelor history, as Selma said, “Momma, please forgive me. It was necessary. I had to bring out the big guns tonight!” This is how she looked:
Some big guns, indeed.
AshLee had some alone time with Sean also, and while I hate to say it because she made a strong first impression on me, she’s starting to come across as a little strange, and someone who is using this show as a form of therapy (usually it’s the other way around – people going to therapy because of The Bachelor). She talked about the lake plunge as a metaphor for letting go, and then asked Sean to blindfold her and walk her about as a symbol of how much she trusts him despite her abandonment issues. When AshLee gets cut, possibly as early as next week, I do hope a flotilla of counselors is standing by.
By the time of the rose ceremony, the only drama remaining was whether Selma had saved herself, or whether Tierra was finally going to walk the plank. Daniella’s goner status was obvious, and it appeared she knew it too, as she spent the entire ceremony making faces like this:
It was Selma joining Daniella in their respective Limos of Rejection, and while we didn’t get a scene where this was openly discussed, one has to assume her cultural differences with Sean were going to become an issue eventually. Let’s hope she stays chipper about the prospect of finding the right guy. There are plenty of, um, gun lovers out there.
Next week: the Virgin Islands. But maybe not for much longer! *rimshot*
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