The Bachelor Episode 3 Recap: Long Jump For Your Love, Ladies

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Nick’s secret is out. The contestants finally know the truth: He, a human man who has been documented to have had sex on previous seasons of this very same reality franchise, has had sex. With a human woman. A human woman in their midst, no less. Doula Liz — with whom Nick shared a one-night stand months before — may be gone, but the aftermath is only beginning.

Nick arrives at the mansion in Lizgate damage control mode, and in an aggressive floral tie that says, “Please let this remind you of the roses I might give you rather than where my penis has been.” His Brand Is Crisis. He lays the situation out, plain and simple (“I want to focus on what’s here, and say goodbye to that”), and while the women’s reactions run the gamut from performed chillness to performed anxiety, everyone seems fine, because, come on. Okay? Thank you.

Stray observation: Hands are to the Bachelor franchise what feet are to Quentin Tarantino movies. Once you start looking for them, you’ll discover there are more awkward closeups of rubbing, poking, and interlacing fingers — and especially of unwieldy hand-on-hand massages — than is objectively reasonable.

Implied to be topless under her trench coat, Corinne has decided to go for a Sexy Inspector Gadget look tonight. “I know how to turn on the sex charm,” she says, oblivious to the fact that Sex Charm sounds like an FDA-unregulated supplement that Amanda Chantal Bacon would charge $30 to pulverize and snort.

Corinne has stashed a can of whipped cream in the yard, which she shoots into Nick’s mouth before lick-suck-kissing out some of the questionably refrigerated dairy product for herself. (If you’ve ever seen one of those videos that demonstrate the tongue mechanics by which dogs drink, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.) Then Corinne has him eat some off her breast, but stops short of going full Varsity Blues.

In the blink of a mascara-streaked eye, Corinne is suddenly weeping. Then she is sleeping, passed out alongside the group-date rose she won in the previous episode. In fact, she snoozes right through the rose ceremony, a power move (intentional or otherwise) that I’m pretty sure is unprecedented. When in doubt, it is probably safe to attribute 95% of all aberrant reality TV show behavior to booze, but this is nevertheless the most relatable thing Corinne has yet to do.

It’s always weird to start an episode with a rose ceremony; it makes me feel like I’m emotionally jet-lagged. Leaving on this week’s airplane of feelings are: Hailey, Lacey, and Elizabeth. Out of those three women, I’d only have a shot at picking Hailey out of a police lineup.

Danielle L., Christen, Kristina, Whitney, Taylor, Jasmine, and Corinne are chosen for the first group date, and it’s a solid one—they’ll perform as backup dancers for the Backstreet Boys.

Nick, Brian, A.J., Howie, and Kevin themselves roll up to the mansion to get the women hyped, and to remind us that aging comes for us all.

Corinne is correct in her assessment that she is a horrible dancer. Like any exercise enthusiast who realizes too late that they are punching above their weight (figuratively, unless it’s kickboxing) in a fitness class, she flees to the back row. Again: uncharacteristically relatable.

The Backstreet Boys crown Danielle L. the night’s winner, and as a reward, they serenade her and Nick with an a cappella rendition of “I Want It That Way.” Danielle gushes that the moment is “so romantic,” which are perhaps not the first two words I would use to describe making out with someone while a half dozen other women he’s dating and the members of a '90s boy band look on intensely. I’m disappointed that we don’t get a talking-head interview with professional dancer Jasmine — who appeared to be killing it — about this upset, because when I am (inevitably) on The Bachelor and there is (inevitably) a TV recapping-themed group date, you better believe I will be counting on winning it.

Afterwards, Corinne makes the critical strategic mistake of telling the other women about her nanny Raquel (Corinne, may I remind you, is a fully grown 24-year-old woman), and takes her second nap of the episode. Nick grabs Danielle L.’s butt, as is artistically reflected in a well-placed mirror behind them; Danielle L. grabs the group date rose.

Vanessa wins the privilege of the week’s one-on-one date, which turns out to be the rare Bachelor outing that I’m genuinely envious of. She and Nick don matching flight suits and board a zero-gravity plane. My only complaint is that the producers (and, for that matter, NASA) could not figure out a way to get a hot tub on this flight.

The couple happily float, hop, and goof around, until all that romantic whimsy takes a sudden turn — right along with Vanessa’s stomach. She pukes. And pukes again. And again. To Nick’s credit, he’s very sympathetic, comforting her and even kissing her puke-mouth. (Free advice for future reality dating show stars: Include a clause in your contract that’ll net you a guaranteed bonus per puke-mouth kiss.)

At dinner, presumably after Vanessa has had access to Listerine, she shares that her grandfather passed away three weeks before the show began shooting, and that she couldn’t help but read into the fact that she got a red rose after his funeral. (This is no doubt a sad story, but I am not clear on what the takeaway is meant to be, unless Vanessa is suggesting that the afterlife is hosted by Chris Harrison.) Nick gets teary; she gets a rose.

For the second group date, Rachel, Alexis, Astrid, Jaimi (whose name I am 90% sure I misspelled as “Jamie” in a previous recap — sorry, girl), Sarah, Brittany, and Dominique gather at a track, where they’re joined by Olympians Allyson Felix, Carl Lewis, and Michelle Carter for a “Nickathlon.” The women perform a long jump along a painted particleboard “limo” and throw javelin “arrows” onto a heart-shaped target, leading one to wonder whether the Backstreet Boys portion of the evening accounted for more than its share of the episode’s budget.

Rachel, Alexis, Astrid, and Astrid’s profoundly inadequately supportive sports bra advance to the final round on the strength of both their athleticism and chemistry with Nick. To determine a winner, they must dash for an oversized engagement ring, and then rush to join the Bachelor in a (did you ever have any doubt?) hot tub. Rachel is easily the fastest of the three, but she misses the ring, knocking it over — Astrid grabs for the prize, but not before Rachel accidentally stomps on it, shattering it into pieces. Metaphors?!

Later, an emotional Dominique gets more screen time than she’s had in total this season to describe how “overlooked” she feels, which you have to imagine is an extremely healthy emotional response to being on The Bachelor. But she takes an oddly confrontational tack in her sit-down with Nick, telling him, “I don’t think that you gave me a fair chance.” He sends her home, which probably doesn’t help much with those “overlooked” insecurities.

Astrid may have won the race, but future Bachelorette (how many times do I have to write those words before it will officially be true?) Rachel wins the group-date rose.

The dimension-transcending oracle you known by the mortal name Chris Harrison arrives to announce that there will be no cocktail party that day, but a pool party. Nick is engaged in some friendly smooching and excessive abdominal sunscreen application when a menacing marimba melody I will forever think of as “Corinne’s Theme” lets us know that this fun will not last.

Corinne is soon making the most of a bouncy castle of mysterious provenance, summoning Nick to join her. She straddles him in her swimsuit as the other women watch, aghast, then goes back to bed. That’s nap number three, if you’re playing along at home.

That does it: Raven, Jasmine, and Taylor all complain to Nick about Corinne, and through them he finds out about her nanny. But it’s Vanessa who takes the boldest stance.

“I’m not judging Corinne, I’m judging your actions,” she says to Nick. “It was enough for me to question, like, are you looking for a wife? Or are you looking for someone to fuck around with?

Because at that point I’d rather you just not give me a rose.”

Nick’s facial expression suggests that he liked it better when she was puking.

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