Before we begin tonight’s what-we’ll-loosely-call-festivities, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: the internet has spoiled tonight’s episode, and perhaps the series, by revealing that Rachel will be the first black Bachelorette!


On one hand, I’m delighted–she is clearly the best of this batch of contestants, and way too good for Nick. But on the other hand, I hate that the Bachelor is willing to spoil itself! I don’t understand why they do this…when they announced Nick, at least it was only wrecking BiP, and everyone was too focused on Josh and Ashley’s craziness to care. Does this mean that the ratings are so low for Nick’s season of the Bachelor that they need to cut bait already?

Anyway, congratulations to Rachel–I hope your suitors have a little more substance than your current competitors.

OK, on to tonight’s lame-duck episode…

We pick up where we left off last week–with Nick crying. The next day, the women talk amongst themselves (wanly) about hoping Nick is OK, but in confessional, Vanessa is crying over whether Nick might just call the whole thing off. Nick is on the (finally sunny!) beach, seeking counsel from his spiritual advisor, Chris Harrison.

Buoyed by his time with Chris, Nick returns to the ladies’ suite to explain himself. I am amazed at how many of the women are either doing a very skillful no-makeup look, or genuinely don’t care if Nick sees them without their faces done. Anyway, he recommits himself to the process (throwing poor rejected Danielle L. under the bus along the way), and the women sigh with relief. I think we all need to aim a little higher, people.

Let’s shake off boring, depressing St. Thomas (their tourism council did not get their money’s worth) and head to sunny Bimini! (Did you know where Bimini was? I did not. Turns out it’s just off the coast of Florida, and is known as the gateway to the Bahamas.)

Vanessa gets the first one-on-one date, which infuriates Corinne, who hasn’t had a one-on-one of her own yet. She and Nick spend the day on a yacht, snorkeling and picking apart the course of their relationship thus far. Back at the ranch, Corinne bitches to Rachel that Vanessa doesn’t have any hidden depths for Nick to plumb. (Obviously, she doesn’t want him plumbing any depths but her own.)

The shipwreck where they snorkel is pretty cool, though! This is the Sapona:



Corinne is still telling the confessional how vital it is that she get a one-on-one date before hometowns next week. She’s super-excited to introduce Nick to her home, her dogs, and of course her “best friend,” her nanny/maid, Raquel. (This is the first time I’ve heard her refer to Raquel as maid rather than nanny. Guess that shtick is starting to pale?)

The next date card arrives and Raven, about whom it must be said that she has a sense of occasion, reads off, “Corinne….” with a pause befitting Celine Dion on Sunday’s Grammy Awards, before continuing, “Kristina, Raven…let’s jump in with both feet first.” So…more diving? Anyway, Corinne is biting her nails as she strategizes how to get that group date rose, while Danielle M. and Rachel wonder what it means that they’re the only two not assigned a date yet.

At dinner, Vanessa tells Nick that she’s falling in love with him. Nick responds with a wordy speech all about love, and finding a new and different and greater love than he’s ever felt before (in this exact situation). Then he tells her “I rilly rilly like you.” Eyeroll. (OK, I know, he’s not allowed to say it back to her, but still.) Vanessa takes this as rejection, but I can’t tell if he means “I don’t feel that strongly about you” or “I love you too but I can’t say those words right now.”

The next day brings the group date. And pelicans! Lots and lots of pelicans. Raven explains to the camera that there’s only one rose this week, and it gets given out on the group date. I’m confused–does that mean that Vanessa isn’t safe? I don’t know if the show glossed over that or I missed it.

Corinne, the self-anointed Queen of Group Dates, narrates the event for us. “I’m in my element. We walk up to this huge yacht, Nick’s standing there all sexy…” and the camera cuts to Nick in a teal polo and too-short shorts in a floral print that looks like it belongs on  bathroom wallpaper. Oof. In a bid for attention, Corinne immediately whips off her cover-up, and then the group all engage in mild sunscreen application. (In a bold move, Kristina’s bikini top and bottom do not match! It makes her seem real-er to me.)

They’re going snorkeling again and swimming with sharks! Raven cheerfully announces that Corinne and Kristina are both in danger of being eaten “because sharks can smell fear.” She vows to punch a shark in the nose if she has to. But she would do it with a smile, I’m sure. The producers cut in some “Jaws” music and B-roll of some reef sharks circling a bait box. Kristina hell-naws it right out of there and heads back to the boat; Nick comforts her while Corinne enacts her one-woman version of Open Water. Then the girls are all back on the boat (did they all bail? Did we just cut the shark encounter entirely? Were there no actual sharks?) looking cold and unhappy. Another great date, courtesy of Nick Viall.

The nighttime portion of the date is a bit less frantic now that there are only 3 girls, and it involves more tears…from Nick. Geez, buddy, you’ve done this how many times now? Pull it together. He talks to Kristina first, and I love her directness when she says, “You can’t keep us all, you’re gonna have to make a decision at some point.” Back at the ranch, Corinne eats cheese pensively and makes small talk with Raven. Raven, a smarter cookie than I first imagined, knows better than to get involved and leaves Corinne to eat her feelings.

Because it’s time for Raven’s sob story! She gave up on pursuing law school because her father was diagnosed with cancer, so she moved home to take care of him. So basically, meeting Nick would be like, his dying wish. (J/K he’s not dying you guys, I’m not a monster. Well, I am, but not that kind specifically.)

Chez Bimini Bachelorettes, it’s another date card, this one for Danielle (she doesn’t have to use the M. anymore!). “Let’s ride off into the sunset together.” I predict bicycles. Maybe horses? But probably bicycles.

Corinne confesses her insecurities to Nick, who seems to find it charming (although he laughs at her for referring to herself in the 3rd person). She’s back to her cocky self after that, and is counting her rose petals before they hatch. But wait! Nick gives the rose to Raven, and Corinne schools her features into calm acceptance even as laser beams shoot from her eyes!

Without more adieu, Nick escorts Raven from the house for an extend-o-date. Oh, goody, it’s another classic “random concert” in which a group of strangers huddle on the beach while a generic t-shirted dude-with-guitar sings. The lead singer’s jeans are cuffed at flood length, which I cannot approve. Back at the group date couch, Corinne and Kristina wear matching expressions of disappointment.

Next one-on-one date–aha, it is bicycles! Also, did Danielle lose her luggage or something? I feel like she’s been wearing the same plain white tee and short-shorts for days. Also, are knotted t-shirts a thing we’re doing again? They bike around the island, shopping at tourist markets, eating cake, playing with the local children…it’s the standard “Bachelor Island Date” package. They seem to enjoy it, but when left to their own devices, Nick admits that they don’t really seem to have much to talk about. Dinner is a series of long pauses and bland platitudes, interspersed with reminiscences about Danielle’s dead fiance. Nick receives her assertion of love open-heartedness with a blank stare, and in a confessional reveals that he’s just not feeling it. He tells Danielle the same thing, and her expression doesn’t change–she and her Mona Lisa smile will wander on back to Wisconsin.

During the commercial break, I ate a Hostess cupcake really fast and now I regret it. I just thought I should open up to you about that.

Rachel’s turn for a one-on-one card! “Let’s get a taste of the local flavor.” She’s excited about having the last word, as it were, before hometowns. Corinne seethes. Basically, whenever another woman gets some attention from Nick, you can add “Corinne seethes” to the end of the sentence. Like adding “in bed” to a fortune cookie!

sandyBut before we see that date, it’s time for the scene we’ve been promised all season–Corinne is determined to cement her hometown date by using her “platinum vajeen.” Oof. She puts on her finest Sandy-in-Grease outfit (post-transformation, of course) and heads to Nick’s room, where presumably she will mate with him before biting off his head.

She takes him to the bedroom and closes the door, but the mikes stay on, so we can hear every choreographed word…including Nick saying, “Slow down…I don’t think this is a good idea.” D’oh! He recalls his experience with Kaitlyn and pumps the brakes, sending Corinne back to her room–and perhaps saving his own life!

Nick comes to pick up Rachel the next day and they go to a bar that the locals supposedly like. It still looks like a mocked-up resort beach bar, and there’s no one else there, but whatever works. They talk about meeting her dad, and what Nick might expect–Rachel tells him that she’s never brought home a white guy before, and her family will be a bit skeptical about Nick as a match for her.

The not-at-all-staged bartender chimes in to ask how the two of them met, and they spin a bit of a cover story so that the barkeep can tell Rachel, “Make sure this guy needs you and not just wants you, OK?” Ah, the wisdom of aged strangers! What would we do without it?

The funny thing is that Rachel and Nick really seem to have the best chemistry of any couple left (except maybe Raven), even though she comes back from her date kind of early. She’s feeling confident…but when does she bail? Does he really not give her a rose? And she seemed actually into him…is she just that good an actress?

Spiritual counselor Chris returns to advise Nick as he prepares for the rose ceremony, and after some desultory talk about how important the hometown roses are, Nick says “I know who I need to send home today.” He doesn’t want to dump the girl in a ceremony, but to do it privately in order to spare her feelings…aaaaaand he’s crying again. Ugh, Nick, sack up already!

Corinne says she’s having a nervous breakdown while all the women ignore her gibbering. They think they have hours to get ready for a rose ceremony, but Nick is coming towards them as they speak! He’s like a time bomb of luuuuuuurve! He walks into the house and asks, “Where’s Kristina?”

Awwwww. I liked her, although I didn’t actually like her for Nick. She needs someone with more depth to handle her history. He takes Kristina out to the back deck to talk, and Corinne and Rachel sprint into the bedroom to spy, but they can’t hear! Is he proclaiming love or saying goodbye? And why are the producers not even trying to keep us in suspense about it?

Kristina sits for about a sentence and a half before she figures out what this is and starts looking like a tiger trapped in a cage. My cable is glitching as though it doesn’t want to listen to Nick’s bullshit either. They both cry, and Nick mopes off down the beach to his suite. The remaining four women are also crying–well, three of them are. Who’s not? The one who’s still obsessing over whether she’s getting a hometown visit.

I don’t really see why they’re freaking out–four women, four hometowns, right? But I suppose anything could happen. Also, ew, they went with a winter proposal venue, which is dumb. Why make everyone freeze in their fancy clothes?

But, someone is coming to confront Nick before he makes his decision! I’ll give you a hint: she wears crazy-high shoes, and her bestselling book starts with IT’S and ends with NOT OKAY.

Tune in next week!

P.S. The after-the-credits clip this week is a delight. Corinne is passed out on the group date couch and Raven and Kristina tiptoe back to stack cheese cubes on her head. Oh, Bachelor producers, you have won back my heart.

Corinne cheese