This week’s episode of “The Bachelor” opens with the remaining 13 ladies gathered in the living room of their mansion waiting to hear what the show has in store for them. The women let out a collective sigh when the show’s host, Chris Harrison, tells them Sean believes his future wife is in this group. “He’s serious about this process,” Chris explains as the camera cuts to a somber-looking (and shirtless) Sean.
The episode’s first solo date goes to Selma, an Iraqi-born real estate developer. Their date starts off on a high note as the pair climb aboard a private jet. “Are all our dates going to be like this?” asks Selma. (No, sweetie. They aren’t.)
Sean admits to the camera that he’s got a bit of a surprise in store for Selma. In an attempt to take the “glamor girl” out of her element, their plane ride ends with a landing in the middle of Joshua Tree National Park. Selma is none too happy about this and cops to being “so disappointed.” Nevertheless, she begrudgingly puts on a pair of rock climbing shoes (after telling Sean she’s more of a six-inch heel kinda girl) and the couple begin to scale their way to the top of a large boulder.
Their post-climbing activity turns out to be (slightly) more romantic. Sean and Selma canoodle by a campfire on a set decorated with kitschy RVs and trailers. Amidst a lot of baby talk and whispered sweet nothings, Selma tells Sean about her ultra-conservative upbringing. Not only is her mother extremely upset about her going on the show, but she also explains - with her pouty lips right next to his - that there will be no kissy-kissy in front of the cameras either. Tease much, Selma? Although frustrated and disappointed, Sean tells her he respects her situation. He hands her a rose as he says he’s “crazy” about her.
The week’s group date is set at a roller derby rink where the ladies practice their skating skills and are told they will be participating in a race later in the day. Only Tierra seems excited about this prospect. She says she’s looking forward to “knocking some biotches down,” thereby solidifying her role as the villain everyone loves to hate. Amanda, the runner-up for the title, takes a more subtle approach with her nefarious ways. She plays a mind game on the other women with a lie that she’s a roller derby expert. Of course, she’s not and only told the girls that tidbit in an effort to intimidate them.
Sarah is especially daunted by the thought of racing in a roller derby and, for the first time in the show, feels that her handicap is holding her back. AshLee rushes to her side with a pep talk, as does our bachelor. His encouragement is just what Sarah needs and she gets on the rink.
Karma proves to be a near-instant bitch when Amanda face plants during the practice time. After a cursory examination, she’s taken to the hospital for a more thorough check-up. Due to both her fall and Sarah’s fears, Sean decides the race is too dangerous and calls it off. Instead, the group goes old-school by simply roller skating around the rink - to cheesy 80s music, natch.
The ladies eventually trade out their helmets and elbow pads for party dresses and stilettos and the group makes their way to a roof top for a toast. Amanda joins them shortly afterward and, due to her dramatic crash, gets some coveted alone time with Sean. She tells the camera she “plays dirty” and will attempt to milk her injury for all it’s worth.
Meanwhile, Tierra decides to become a master manipulator in order to get more attention from Sean, as well. While Sean is busy with another woman, she loses it front of the ladies and explains she’s reached her breaking point and wants to leave. I can’t be “tortured” like this anymore, she cries. She tells a crew member that she wants off the show and then goes on a mission to find Sean and explain this to him. She finds him - and another contestant - in their bathing suits and about to climb into a hot tub. Tierra pays no attention to this and pulls him aside to tell him she’s had enough.
“I know one thing,” Sean tells her. “You like me and you want to spend more time with me.” In order to keep her in the game and to show her that her feelings are reciprocated, he gives her the date’s rose (which sends the other ladies into a tizzy, by the way). He says he wants to see where things go with her because he’s “crazy” about her. Apparently, “I’m crazy about you” is Bachelor Sean’s go-to line...
The second one-on-one date goes to Leslie H. Lucky Leslie also receives a beautiful pair of diamond earrings with her invitation. “It’s like ‘Pretty Woman!’” she exclaims, which is exactly the theme of their date.
Sean picks Leslie up in a convertible Aston Martin and drives directly to Rodeo Drive for a shopping spree. At Badgley Mischka, she is treated to a new dress, shoes, and handbag. But it doesn’t stop there. The couple make their way to Neil Lane, the world-famous jewelry store, where she’s allowed to borrow a 120 karat diamond necklace for the evening. Eat your heart out, Julia Roberts.
During their private dinner at the historic Bradbury Building, Sean asks Leslie about her past relationships and what she’s looking for in a future partnership. With all the warmth of a clinician, Leslie talks to Sean as if he’s more friend than boyfriend. Unlike the rest of the girls, there’s no flirting, no goo-goo eyes and Sean seems bored by her lack of fawning. Not surprisingly, Sean eventually tells her that although she’s great on paper, he doesn’t feel a strong connection with her. Apparently, not even a romantic date could inspire Sean to feel romantically about poor Leslie.
As Sean sends a rose-less Leslie home, she leaves him with a word of warning. She tells him to watch out for a few of the girls in the house. According to her, some of them aren’t there for the “right reasons.” We close on a pensive Sean dropping a rose over one of the buildings balconies, as a rendition of Sade’s “By Your Side” plays mournfully in the background. That’s drama at its finest, my friends.
Despite some smooching, the episode’s cocktail party proved to be a bit of a snore-fest. The one highlight came thanks to Robyn who decided she needed to do something memorable to get Sean’s attention. Robyn, who is a beautiful African-American woman, hands Sean a piece of candy and asks him if he wants to “taste the chocolate.” (Oh no, she didn’t!) Congrats, Robyn. Not only did your tacky and sleazy line earn you a make-out session with Sean, but it also garnered you the “Hot Mess of the Week” award.
At the rose ceremony, Sean sends Amanda home. Apparently “playing dirty” didn’t get her very far. Only time will tell how well it will work for Tierra.