Hello, Bachelor friends! Oh, how I’ve missed you. I was suddenly and unfortunately out of town due to a death in the family, and I thank Lindsay for filling in on the recap for the previous episode.

The destructive nature of cancer reminds us how irrelevant things like The Bachelor are in the grand scheme of life, but also how necessary wonderful bits of garbage like this are to serve as delicious distractions from the drudgery of everyday ups and downs.

And I, for one, welcome the trash!

The Bachelor Family Blogs: The Kissing Bandit >>>

Who Needs a Nickname?

While I was gone, Chris sent home special ed Trina (who needed a new nickname anyway), teddy bear bartender Amber and fourth-grade teacher Tracy. Those hoping crazy Ashley S. would be on the way out were disappointed with a rather un-crazy week from her. In fact, she barely appeared.

Trina’s departure leaves just two ladies who have been so inconsequential that they remain in dire need of better nicknames. Bootie-heeled Becca even earned a date rose last week, but it was because she was the only girl who didn’t kiss Chris. Then there’s Samantha, whose claim to fame thus far is that she was the first woman out of the second batch of limos on opening night.

Hop a Ride on the Fairytale Train, But Leave the Baggage

Before we dive into this new episode, let’s discuss what’s going on with all this excess baggage and the horrible approach these women take to divulge it. I get that they want Chris to know “them,” but c’mon, there’s a time and a place. Like maybe in the downtime after a great date?

First of all, I am very sympathetic to the tragic backstories, and I am in no way attempting to demean what anyone has been through personally. But interrupting a drunken bikini dance party to tearfully discuss your husband’s suicide immediately after the birth of the daughter he didn’t know you had should be grounds for immediate dismissal. Or, more likely, one week later.

Chris is too nice and understanding to ever admit it, but while it’s almost too heavy a weight for any one person to bear, it’s certainly too much for one person to take on in the midst of finding a wife in such an irrational way. Especially in a group where some candidates are actually ready and equipped for marriage. These are things that you get over before you find a second spouse, not things that your second spouse helps you get over. Agree? Disagree?

And on to the show. 

A Date Made for Bimbos

Chris Harrison greets the girls and drops the bombshell that Chris Soules’ sisters will be making a guest appearance to decide who gets the sole one-on-one date this week. Then he drops off the first group date card — Let’s do what feels natural — for blondie Megan, Canadian comedienne Kaitlyn, crazy bug-eyed Ashley S., slutty virgin face sucker Ashley I., widow #2 Juelia, nicknameless Samantha, single 21-year-old Kale-loving alien mom Mackenzie and original widow Kelsey. 

They all assume the date has to do with a lack of makeup, and save Kelsey, that is not any of these ladies’ strongpoints. But who cares when there’s a chance for full-on nudity?

The group heads to the lake, with Chris Soules taking the helm of one car (with a crop-topped Ashley I. riding shotgun) and blondie Megan trying not to crash the other. Ashley I. has her short shorts unbuttoned before they even reach the campsite, which comes complete with rafts, paddle boards and, of course, booze.

As the girls strip down and begin to frolick in the placid surf, Ashley I. laments about her shyness and need to come out of her slutty virgin shell. This leads to her popping off her bikini top, and Kaitlyn follows suit by losing her bottoms. It really is a shame how immature and unstable Ashley I. ended up being because I still think she’s incredibly hot. 

It all completely disgusts Kelsey, who is not a fan of such inappropriate behavior. She dubs it a “date made for bimbos,” and she’s about ready to pack it in, stab herself with a fork and call it a day. Then she gets stung by a bug on the inner thigh immediately before learning they are all camping out there for the night. Double ouch.

Roughing It is Rough

There will be two people to a tent (with Chris going solo), which they must set up on their own. Megan and Kaitlyn get it up faster than they could Chris, while Ashley I. and Mackenzie bumble through the task. I’m not sure if that means Juelia and Kelsey are rooming together, but man, that would be the most depressing tent ever. The widow tent.

They grill and eat, with the whiskey and tequila flowing. But there’s a rose under that kebob, and the mood instantly shifts. 

Kaitlyn gets some alone time and intends to get deep, so she quizzes Chris on which of the five languages of love he speaks. He’s a physical touch kind of guy, while she’s more words of affirmation. But neither of them are gifts, so they share their commonality with kisses.

Beware the Full Moon

As darkness falls and imbibing persists, what started as Kum Ba Yah around the campfire ends with some backstabbing and crazies. Kelsey is still not happy, but she’s doing her best to fake it. And that doesn’t fly with Kaitlyn, who gets on her for pouting when Chris isn’t around and then pulling a cackle-laugh 180 when he makes an appearance.

Then Ashley S. makes her triumphant return, battling the hiccups while revealing that her biggest fear is that there’s no music. So she starts singing what can only be described as gibberish while Mackenzie again shifts the conversation to aliens. Chris runs out with a mask and an ax and screams, and sadly that’s the least weird thing to happen.

Kaitlyn tells a scary campfire story about Ashley S. being the equal parts sweet and absolutely terrifying. Meanwhile, she’s off muttering literal nothings to Chris, asking him about his sign before getting distracted by the moon. Then she smooches him and tells him she loves him and loves everything about him. “I hope that resonates within your mind tonight,” she coos, and I don’t know if she drank too much, mixed meds or forgot her pills entirely.

Hinting at “Innocence”

Ashley I. is really harping on the virgin thing, and so she’s determined to force him to get to know her in a very different way than he thinks he does. And that apparently means more loud, sloppy face sucking, which she thinks will earn her a rose. But it instead goes to Kaitlyn. Again.

Not satisfied, she pines that Chris doesn’t know the real her, that she’s a virgin and has never had a boyfriend. Jeez, usually girls are more excited to lose their virginity than to tell a guy they never have. 

Still, she sneaks into his tent and wakes him up from a deep slumber to talk about her superior level of below-the-belt innocents. But instead, she only alludes to it, assuming he’ll pick up what she’s laying down. But don’t worry. He doesn’t.

Sisterly Love

Back at the house, while buff news producer Jillian and her block crotch box nap by the pool, the doorbell rings. It’s Chris’ three sisters, who come to grill the remaining girls and determine who is worthy of a fantasy one-on-one. Jillian is not happy with her sweaty and drool-stained first impression.

Baby-making and wedding-crashing Whitney is first on the hot seat, and the sisters ask if she’d be willing to leave Chicago to move to Iowa. She says yes, and then she describes the previously-mentioned wedding crashing.

They ask Britt if she sees a frontrunner, and she confirms it is herself. Nicknameless Becca is willing to relocate to Iowa, ex-cheerleader and Peruvian traveler Nikki considers herself a country girl and Jillian is ready to make a move.

The sisters immediately fall for Playmate-turned-adorable girl Jade, taking into account the fact that she hasn’t gotten as much personal time with Chris. They ask her relationship style, and while she doesn’t wear the pants in the family, she’s also no pushover. The sisters are all smiles. 

Lastly, they ask Cruise crooner Carly if she’s had long-term relationships, and she says guys have not been nice to her. Her grandparents were together forever, and she wants that kind of love. She gets hugs.

Despite naming herself as the frontrunner, Britt is confident she’ll get the date. Until a note requests Jade’s presence at a royal ball, and Prince Farming doesn’t know she’s coming. It’s a good choice because Jade seems the most princess-like to me.

Make a Dress for Cindarelly

A stylist who looks like the female Beetlejuice storms into the house with a full team to get Jade ready for the ball, and it’s all just another reason to focus on Ashley I. She’s a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic Disney princess, and this really should be her date.

As Jade gets fitted with a dress, shoes and exotic jewelry (all of which she gets to keep), the other bitches women watch in literal painful jealousy as she is turned into a modern-day Cinderella.

The new Cinderella movie is the inspiration for all this, and we get an iPad sneak peek before the ladies ooh and aah over Jade’s beauty like she’s a Fourth of July firework. Then Ashley I. puts on her own Disney-inspired dress and sits on the couch by herself, eating corn on the cob and pouting, as all scorned princesses do.

A Fairytale Date

Chris awkwardly dances by himself like a cartoon character while he waits for his Cinderella to join him, and he grins from ear to ear when Jade walks down the staircase. They agree his sisters did a good job. 

It’s really cheesed up, with a glass slipper next to a rose, and Jade opens up over dinner about being engaged to her hometown love in her early 20s. This prompts Chris to talk about his once-engaged seven-year relationship. But everything happens for a reason because their past shared experiences brought them both to this point.

Like Chris, she is also from a small town, having made her way to LA via Omaha. But since arriving in Hollywood, she has had a hard time making friends. They relate to each other, and he commends both her outer and inner beauty. He gives her the rose, but thankfully he doesn’t make her try on the slipper.

They end the date with a dance on a ballroom platform above a full orchestra while a romantic scene from the Cinderella movie is projected on the wall. They kiss so hard that he picks her up, but then the bell tolls midnight, and Jade runs off so he won’t see her turn into a pumpkin or something.

The Wedding Olympics

The next date card arrives for Nikki, Jillian, Whitney, Carly, Britt and Becca, along with six big boxes, each containing a wedding dress. Jillian feels out of her element and not so pretty, as she’s not what you’d call a girly girl. But at least this getup is black box free. Though Whitney seems to be wearing boots from the movie 300.

A short plane ride leads them to the MuckFest MS obstacle course race track, on which they’ll be competing for a romantic one-on-one in San Francisco. MuckFest MS is a charity mud run and obstacle course that takes place in 11 cities nationwide to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Event cities and dates, and more information, can be found at MuckFestMS.com. 

Jillian and Becca take the early lead, with Carly dropping out after struggling up the first hill. Though Becca doesn’t win, Chris sticks with her and holds her hand throughout the course. Naturally, Jillian breezes to victory, and Britt is the only one who doesn’t basically walk the whole thing. She celebrates her victory with a double bicep kiss.

I Left My Heart and Black Butt Box in San Francisco

Jillian and her black box free dress enjoy drinks and conversation over dinner, and Chris admits that Jillian is top three in terms of his initial attraction. But that’s where things start to turn sour. He asks where she sees herself in five years, and she doesn’t have a plan because five years is just too far away. She hates the questions, so she just talks really quickly about how her life is constantly changing.

Topics jump from being part of a competition team to sports teams to being a daddy’s girl to her dad having a dirty sense of humor, and it’s all too much to take. Chris laments how confused he is because the words come out faster than he can comprehend them. So his thoughts move on to unicorns and talking fairies. And they’re beautiful. 

The girls back at the house thought the main lesson of the day was that no matter how hard you try, you can’t beat Jillian. But all they had to do was let her beat herself. After she asks Chris if he’d rather have sex with a homeless girl or abstain from sex for five years, it’s clear that they are just not on the same page at all.

They’re in the most romantic of settings, and he doesn’t feel there is any chemistry at all. So he tells her that their goals aren’t aligned and basically that she didn’t shut the f**k up without saying anything of significance. He’s trusting his gut, and it’s just not there, so he’s not giving her a rose. She cries and blames herself for not being nervous and not being able to open up in such a vulnerable environment.

Blondie Being Blonde

Jillian’s departure has increased the tension ahead of the cocktail party, as the women are now abundantly aware that Chris is for real, and if they’re not vibing with him, it’s see ya later. t’s especially tense for blondie Megan, who loses her train of thought mid-sentence. Then she blindfolds Chris and comes back with fruit and chocolate to perform a sensory challenge.

Using only three senses — taste, smell and she doesn’t know the other one — she will feed him chocolate-covered fruit and he will have to guess what he’s eating. He correctly identifies raspberries and bananas, and she is sure he’s going to be dreaming about this experience at night. 

He asks what she calls this wicked game, and she dubs it the “You have to pick which of the five sense it is” game. 

One Virgin Dream Dies While Another Thrives

Ashley I. thought Chris got the whole I’m a virgin thing, but he hasn’t said anything to her, so clearly he didn’t understand. Like, I’m fresh clean meat for you. So she pulls him aside to be a bit more clear. 

He is a bit stunned and didn’t see it coming, and he offers a hearty “Errrr, that’s great.” She tells him not to be freaked out by it, that it’s not that important to her and that a lot of people guess it. And he’s like, “Why are they guessing in the first place? This is stranger than the senses game.” Still, he tells her he respects her for it. So naturally, she freaks out.

It’s tears on an eye-rolling Mackenzie’s shoulders, as Ashley is sure she’s convinced Chris that she’s too innocent for him. Meanwhile, he’s kissing Megan and rubbing Jade’s leg while she warms up under his jacket. 

So Ashley just decides to tell everyone, and Becca is like, “Yeah, me too, what’s the big deal? It never came up with me and Chris.” Yay to new nicknames! Your move, Samantha. But that’s right, Chris is now outnumbered by widows and virgins. Best season ever. 

Britt Tosses a Wrench

Britt is having a tough time, as every first-impression rose recipient does, with the fact that Chris is making other girls feel special. It’s disconcerting for her, especially since Kaitlyn keeps getting roses despite taking her clothes off and talking about sex and stuff. She wants to know why those actions and behaviors have been validated?

He feels like Britt, one of his favorites, is questioning his integrity and motivations and why he’s making the decisions he’s making. He tries to explain it, but eloquent he is not. So he gets flustered and babbles, and it appears his mouth is very dry? Maybe water instead of champagne next time, big guy. He tells her that he’s glad to have the conversation, then just stalks off. 

This leads to the classic group confrontation where he makes sure they all know he’s here for the right reasons, and anyone who questions it is more than welcome to leave. 

They’re all like, whaaaaaat? Is he having an emotional breakdown? No matter, let’s give out some angry Super Mario-like fire flowers!

Who Stays and Who Goes?

Jade and Kaitlyn are safe, and the remaining roses go to:

Baby-making wedding crasher Whitney

Cruise crooner Carly

Blondie Megan

Nicknameless Samantha

Kale- and alien-lover Mackenzie

Original widow Kelsey

Virgin #2 Becca

Original virgin Ashley I.

Sexless hugger and now-worried Britt

That means it’s the end of the line for ex-cheerleader and Peruvian traveler Nikki, widow #2 Juelia and crazy bug-eyed Ashley S.

Chris hugs them all goodbye, but saying adios to Juelia is the hardest. He thinks so highly of her, but once he knew it wasn’t there with her, he had to send her home to Ireland. It’s the best for all parties involved, to let the healing process continue. 

To close things out, we are treated to Ashley S.’s parting words. She feels nothing, and she’s not upset at all. She knows who she is, and she’s not worried about her. She leaves us with a final, “Ooh, ooh ooh. All I have to say to you is … nothing.” Perfection.

Who are your favorites and frontrunners? Britt and Kaitlyn are still at the top of the list, but I find myself rooting for dark horse Jade more and more. And have there ever been two virgins in the house in total before? Let alone in the same season?

Next time, it’s off to Santa Fe for hot air ballooning and white water rafting. We are promised conniving, bedroom doors closing, on-the-floor crying and possibly a 911 call for emotional-driven medical attention. We’re about to see a whole new side of widow and anti-camper Kelsey. Prepare yourself.

Catch The Bachelor Monday nights at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Bill King

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Emmy-winning news producer & former BuddyTV blogger. Lover of Philly sports, Ned, Zoe, Liam and Delaine…not in that order