It’s Monday, y’all. Hey, come back here! Don’t make me go in there alone!

Chickens! Sure, sure, leave me to endure The Tierra Hour with nothing more than some crushed ice and a few remaining Ghirardelli chocolate squares!

Yes, folks, it’s another Bachelor Monday Recap and let’s just say, it isn’t for the faint of heart. Or those without a 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate crutch. Just sayin….

So, we’ve made it through Solo Date #1 with AshLee and we’re entering The Tierra Hour… and if you missed the lead up, then pop right on over to my USA Today Bachelor Blog Part 1 and suffer through–I mean, catch up to the rest of us! (It’s only fair, after all.)

Especially take some time to read that first part where I talk about girls who don’t get along. Then lather, rinse, and repeat, several times, and you’ll know where we are five minutes in to Solo Date #2.

To his credit, Sean Has Finally Listened. Apparently he really did hear what AshLee had to say about Tierra and he’s taken it to heart. He feels that AshLee finally gave him the kind of information that he really needed to understand exactly what it is that’s causing so much friction. (So, clearly a lot more was said than we saw.) Now, should he have already been questioning this when he had a skillet-to-the-head’s worth of the same exact thing being echoed by so many others? Sure. But also go back and read: White Knight Syndrome. It’s a tough affliction, y’all. Let’s hope he gets himself cured. As much for his sake as for our future sakes in watching the rest of this season.

So, there is no “I’m crazy about this girl” as the date begins. Just “I have a lot of questions.” (And right there Sean, you should have called the limo. Just sayin. At this point? All you have is questions? Come on.) But never underestimate the power of Happy Pants Syndrome, either. He’s not quite ready to give up the, um…rise of excitement he feels every time he looks at her. So let’s have a day of smooching and body rubbing first!!

And it’s kind of awkward right from the start. They wander through the town, shopping at the various vendors. She’s unhappy at being hot and sticky, but with him, she’s all “this is SO much fun!” She does perk up when he buys her stuff. (Especially the eternity bracelet. Oh, Sean. That’s never first date correct.) But there isn’t any real chemistry there. Are you seeing it? I don’t. He’s got his guard up. I doubt even Sean realizes the extent to which he’s already pulled himself back, if not physically (happy time!) then definitely mentally. Tierra is still self-focused enough at this point not to see this. Clearly if she has him all to herself, it goes without saying that he wants her without her even having to try. Oh, Tierra. Read the room.

A parade breaks out and Tierra dances, Tierra bops, Tierra becomes One With The People! “I’m the happiest girl ever!” Okay, maybe !!!! is more like it. Sean Private Camera’s at how amazingly energetic she is and how she’s just diving in and giving it her all. Sean, the word you’re looking for is manic. And? Overkill.

Back at the ranch: AshLee confirms that she did indeed have a very long, very descriptive discussion with Sean regarding Tierra. So I guess he got all the “proof” he was looking for last week and didn’t feel he got. In other words, he needs it spelled out for him. Yeah, this bodes well for him as a potential future mate. Think about that ladies… This doesn’t just reflect poorly on Tierra…

Back on the date: Sean says he’s having a great time and she’s exactly the girl he became instantly attracted to on the first night and he’s having a lot of fun…and yet….AshLee’s words are echoing and loudly from the look of things. He still has questions. And notice, he’s not using any of the gushy, crazy about you, life together, could be my wife stuff he’s said about the others. So, it’s finally time for a little sit down. At first I thought it was unfortunate that he didn’t put Tierra through one of his now standard torture dates, because we know she’d crack like cheap glass and it would be all over. But now I see why he wanted the wandering, no obstacles to overcome talking date. It’ll take longer this way, but it might be fun to watch her hang herself. I have more chocolate…and hope.

She starts off trying to portray herself as the poor little misunderstood girl who was put in a hard place after he gave her that first rose and they’re the mean, jealous girls who won’t let her participate in any of their reindeer games. Of course, she’s thinking Sean is just asking this question because the last few times she’s had alone time with him, she’s broken down about how hard it is in the house. So she thinks he’s just being super sweet solicitous guy. Not guy who AshLee threw her under the bus to on their one on one date. (And oh boy, we already know that changes here at some point.)

He asks her “If you had to do it all over again, would you do it differently? Would you handle things differently with the girls?” And, boy, big misjudge, at least from where I’m sitting, on her choice of response, because she lets the claws peek out. Her answer? “No. Because these girls–” Dismissive hand gesture. “–they aren’t going to be around much longer.” Oh, snap! And, rowr! So, Sean…. Now can we call the limo? NOW? No? Not yet? Oookay.

Tierra does finally start to see the writing on the wall. Naturally instead of thinking she might want to find a way to fix it directly with Sean, her first reaction is “if someone has thrown me under the bus, head are gonna roll, bitches!” Or something to that effect. (Because that’s how you fix things with your partner. Slash and burn the competition.) They progress to the romantic dinner portion of the date and Tierra still feels the vibe is off between them and she tells him so. (So, clearly AshLee’s Wounded Bird Knight trumps Tierra’s Damsel in Distress Knight. Making notes….) As I suspected, Sean is stunned by her perception of their date. He thought he was pulling off being Fun & Interested Guy just fine, but Oh Sean. Come on, you might not be able to be intuitive about the other girls and buy a clue when they collectively tell you Things Are Bad with this chick…but if you can’t be intuitive with your own self, then who can? If Tierra is reading you better than you’re reading you…dude! Wake. Up.

He doesn’t come right out and say that AshLee sold her out at his request, but he does pinpoint the drama in the house for the reason he’s pulled back a little. She’s no rocket scientist, but she doesn’t have to be to make the necessary flow chart. Oh Sean. Epic White Knight Fail. You don’t ask someone to reveal all to you, then betray her confidence, clumsily though you may have tried to cover for her. There’s only been one date before this one since arriving on the island and it happened the day before this one did. With one girl. You know Tierra has been ugly to them. You even saw her dressing down one of them at the Drunken Cocktail Party a few weeks ago. Did you really want to cut that loose on AshLee? Cuz you just did.

Date Card #3 Arrives! And it’s a group date. (Dear God, put your helmets on now ladies! And your snake proof shoes!)

Des, Lindsay and Catherine get the call. Leaving Lesley for the final one-on-one. Which is interesting. I sort of thought Lindsay might get it. I figured he was sorted out with Des, Catherine and Lesley. In fact, of the remaining six, heading into tonight, I picked Tierra and AshLee or Lindsay to go home. So…hmmm……

Back on the Date Fail:

Tierra claims to be shocked–shocked, y’all!–that someone would have the nerve to throw her under the bus. Now who hasn’t been watching the show? It’s been in the Being The Show Villain 101 Handbook since, like, season 1. You can willingly, even gleefully play the villain…but that comes with a giant huge target on your back. You can’t be that naive when they shoot at it. But she’s very clear that ain’t nobody kicking her to the curb. So as they sit on the dock to chat some more (this is the talkingest date ever! Very little to no mack daddy time. Figures it’s with her…) She decides it’s time to pull out the “I’m falling for you” card. Which is patently (and awkwardly) not true. Not when she just got done saying that she felt behind the curve given they’ve had no one on one extended alone time. Sean also feels the insincerity. (There IS hope!) And since she can see that as clearly as we do, she tries her most winningest cute girl smile, then plants one him and plays her final ace, whispering “I’m falling in love with you” in his ear. (Thank you closed captioning.) Then she gives him her patented “aren’t you so happy with this gift I just gave you, you lucky, lucky man, you?” I’m so winning this!!! smile.

Aaaaaand I lose every last bit of respect for Sean (okay, all things considered, that’s not saying much) when Mr. Happy Pants trumps every White Knight in the book. He caves to the spark, a slave to the sudden uncomfortable fit to his shorts. Oh, for the love of….He even goes so far as to erase every last misgiving he ever had, parroting her “hey, she might not be nice to those girls, but she’s here for me, not them. She won’t have to live with them after this week and I think she’s a very sweet girl.” SEAN????? Unless you lock her in a tower, she has to “live” with other people all the time. You included. For the rest of her life. And yours. Your miserable lives. We who have more than two brain cells and they aren’t both in our trousers collectively groan. I want to throw something, hard, at my television screen. Instead I put the DVR on pause to go find something with a chocolate content far higher than 72%. Do they make that? Because I need it. And I need it now. “Oh Sean…I think I love you.” And just like that? Best. Date. Ever. Again. Really?

I–she—he…no words. Lots of disgust though. Loads.

At the island villa….

The girls all feel pretty certain that Sean failed in his efforts to protect AshLee (and again I say, girls? That’s on HIM. RUN!) So they’re waiting for the massive quantity of drama that’s about to go down when she gets home.

Group Date:

Okay. First, let me say, it’s only because we–meaning me and you–have forged such a deep connection as we’ve endured this journey together, that you’re even reading a recap this morning. Because what happens next? Yeah. Show? We’re SO over. No rose for you. I want a limo and I want it now.

Silly me, I thought the next group torture date would involve snakes. Well it does…only the snake is big, tall, dumb, and blonde and his name is Sean. We all know by now that pre-adolescent boys have a more mature idea of what constitutes actual “fun” than this guy. I didn’t think he could sink any lower. Silly, silly (oh so very very silly and naive) me.

It takes me considerable time and something way more calming than pure dark chocolate before I can even type this without sounding like someone who could make even a trucker blush. But here goes:

Sean’s idea of a fun group date tonight? Begins with him sneaking inside the girls rooms in the early morning hours, while they’re asleep, scare them half to death when they realize there’s a strange man in their pitch dark room, who then proceeds to blind them with a camera as he takes flash pictures of them while they try to figure out what the hell is going on. He giggles and thinks it’s hilarious because we all know that girls hate to be seen with no make up on.

Gee Sean, I’m pretty sure that’s not why they’re pissed off. It sure as hell isn’t why I’m pissed off. But hey, he says he wants to see them makeup free, so this is the best way to do that, right? And what King Sean wants, King Sean gets. He even goes so far to tug off their covers (even though they might, for all he knows, sleep naked) and inform them that their date starts in five minutes, so hurry up and snap to.

Who would marry this asshole??? WHO???

He says he hopes the girls take it in stride. (Key words: take it. If you’re in a relationship where you always have to be a ‘good sport’ and “take it?” Yeah, they make shelters for women who are done being “good sports” and “taking it.”) He hopes none of the girls hit him. Me? I’d have clocked him right in the cojones. Then grabbed his camera and taken flash photos while he writhed around in the floor in pain. Because we all know how guys hate it when girls see them clutching their privates. And hey, Sean? That’s what I wanted to see. On national television. In slo-mo replay. Cool?

Even more sickening? You know the girls will get past their initial shock and be all “Oh, Sean, you scamp!” to his face so he still likes them, really really likes them. I can only hope and pray that privately, in their minds? They are starting to listen to alllll those niggling little fears that are beginning to coalesce together into one BIG HUGE FREAKING RED FLAG!!!

Just sayin’.

And hey, it was all worth it, because wow, they actually look pretty damn good first thing in the morning, Sean informs us, still grinning like a happy little (sick and twisted) school boy. So, mission accomplished! I’m a genius! Men everywhere should do this to the girls they’ve been on one date with!!! I’m sure none of them will end up in jail for breaking and entering and stalking a chick they just met, or get themselves shot dead with the .45 she keeps in the nightstand. Seriously, if you get to see her with no makeup on (giggle, snort, snicker) it’s worth the risk, am I right fellas??!!! Oh, and way secondarily? Who cares what the women think of the stunt, he got what he needed and, after all, this is about who and what he wants, not who or what they want.

The very least I expected was Tierra to finally come through for me and go all ninja bad ass kicking his sh*t into the next room crazy when he pulls that stunt on her. But then I remember. She’s not on the group date. Or in the rooms with any of the other girls. Damn, damn, and double damn. I’d have bought ringside tickets to that show.

Sigh. So…..we’re on the Group Date. Yay. (You may notice a distinct lack of enthusiasm from this point forward. I’ll say it was just a sugar crash, but we all know what just crashed. We’re all climbing out of the same wreckage…)

So their goal? He gets them to the farthest point east that you can possible go and still technically be in the United States (the islands are US property) so they can be the first four people in the US to see the sunrise on that particular day. And the girls? They all melt and say “wow, this was totally worth being completely humiliated before dawn on national television and being ordered into a Jeep by the man I want to love but am increasingly thinking might not be all together right in the head” or, you know, something to that effect. Because we all know that this is the only sunrise ever, and that sitting with Your Man, and his Other Two Women watching the sunrise? Most romantic thing ever.

Gah.

Catherine, I had such hopes for you. But when you say “I got to wake up to Sean this morning then see this beautiful sunrise with him.” Factually true…and yet so far, far away from the reality of how all that went down. How hard do you have to work to make this all okay? Romantic, even. It seems like the clear answer is: too hard.

Des? You, at the very least acknowledge that hey, this would be fun if we were, you know…ALONE together. So someone still has a tiny voice of reason and sanity left. Wee tiny. But still there.

And hey, they loved the sunrise, so doing that to them this morning? Totally worth it!! (You do get there was another way to get that same result, aka sunrise together, without the whole breaking into their room part, right? No?)

Part 2 of the date is driving all the way to the other end of the island to see the sunset, but Sean assures them, ever so elegantly, that they have “a lot of crap to do on the way.” Oh, my heart, stop swooning!

Now, in case you’ve forgotten, we have some other crap to do. Namely you remember that two girls were left behind. And those two girls were named Bus, and The One Thrown Under It. Aka: AshLee and Tierra. So…can we fast forward through all the pointless oohing and aahing over the scenery (beautiful as it is) and get on with that bit of action? Because Sean isn’t spending time alone with anyone as yet, so nothing is really happening to further things along with any one of them…(again, great time management there, buddy.) The girls of course are going on and on about how crucial the day is with hometown dates the next week and, please please please pick me, choose me!

What goes through my mind watching this is…at some point, riding along in that Jeep, staring out over the water, with a guy you barely know and two other women he’s also dating in the vehicle with you….was there any teeny tiny little moment where you wondered, even for a flicker, “What the hell am I doing considering taking this near stranger home to meet my parents??” (The “on national television” part doesn’t need to be said, except it totally does.)

Do they? Wouldn’t you??

Sean claims it’s his most fun road trip ever. (Well, he is with three women. Guy fantasy dream road trip. Except for the part where they won’t be having a foursome in that treehouse in the rainforest.) But most romantic road trip? He thinks that? Do the girls? Does he ever stop to think how they view all this? Do I ever stop asking stupid questions we all know the answers to already, and we don’t like any of them?

Des continues to show that she has more perspective than the rest. Doesn’t say much, but I need something to cling to.

Final Date Card! Oh, yeah….Lesley is still there! (It’s bad that I forgot all about her, right? Bad for her, I mean.) It says something about their love standing the test of time. That he used the word “test” right on the date card would make me afraid. Very afraid.

Back on Group Date: they make it to the other end of the island. Both Catherine and Lindsay are a little caught off guard by how good Des has been in putting herself in the forefront (and the shotgun seat) during their road trip. Catherine says it was more like Sean and Des were on a date with her and Lindsay. And then Lindsay says (oh Lindsay…) that it was just the most romantic day ever. REALLY??? What part of sitting in the back seat of the Jeep, directly behind your ‘date’ where he can’t see you, even in the rear view mirror, and watching him shamelessly flirt with another woman all damn day long was romantic? For Des maybe, but you?? You need to look up that word. It does not mean what you think it means. (And again….lots of fanny shots of the girls stripping down to bikinis. Of Sean’s very fine body? Not so much.)

Sean and Lindsay have some time. I have said she’s too young for him. Too immature overall. But now that we know he’s forever twelve, maybe she’s perfect for him. Catherine gets time alone with him, and he likes the depth they share, but is concerned that she’s got something on her mind. (Like, gee, I don’t know…WHAT THE HELL AM I HERE FOR?) She tells him about her dad living in China, about him battling depression, and a suicide attempt he made in front of her and her sisters when they were 14. It’s a very straightforward, just the bare facts telling, with no drama. But she keeps her gaze on the water, and tucked under his arm as she is, their hands twined, he feels that she’s shaking. Unlike the revelatory moments he’s shared with the other girls, this has a deep, more powerful resonance to it, and I think he understand its’ because where the other girls might have worn their “damage” on their sleeves, she’s never given a hint of it. Mainly because, unlike AshLee, and even Sarah to a large degree, she has in fact come to terms with it, and she is healthy and strong and whole. I’m glad he sees that. I really felt they had the bigger “full package” last week, even than he does with Des. Mainly because while Catherine is smart, I think she’s more giving with her heart and willing to take a risk, because she is okay with herself first. I think Des is smart enough to know better and this isn’t necessarily the right, best way for someone like her to start a relationship with someone. Time will tell.

Also telling, AshLee and Lesley ponder on who will get the date rose and they think it’s Catherine. So they see something there, too. And despite the Des-heavy date thus far, I think that very real-world moment on the beach between Catherine and Sean might trump everything else that day. It’s somewhat heartening that somewhere deep down inside his seriously developmentally challenged brain, he does recognize that she has greater depth to offer him, than say, Lindsay. Fun is fun….but you’re talking about building a life with someone.

And then he goes and gives the date rose to Lindsay and I throw my hands up in continued despair.

Back at the Drama Hacienda….the confrontation is about to throw down. Of course, it doesn’t help matters any that Ash if feeling all full of herself and trash talking Tierra where she knows Tierra can hear her. (You know the producers were salivating when they got that bit of film footage.) I just want to get on with the bitch fest and move on. Dear god we still have another date to get through.

Solo Date #3:

As it turns out, we start the Lesley date before we get the showdown. (Which means it happens with a full house. Oh. Yay.) Sean has decided he just wants a date with Lesley where they can sit down and talk. Uh oh. That can’t be good, right? Because he only likes the girls who make him want to yank their proverbial pigtails. I didn’t see Lesley as the dark horse tonight, but…hmm…. And immediately, Sean confirms this by saying that he’s farther along with the other girls. And so Lesley is apparently that girl you connect with, but never really moves past the friend zone. Which I think I called on Night One with the football thing, but then I thought maybe…. And yet. Here we are. He has to send two home, so if he’s this undecided, the writing is on the wall to my mind no matter how great the date.

Lesley should have gotten her first big warning when she asks Sean what they’re doing and he says “we’re having a really chill day.” First, Sean…you’re so street. Except…no. And two…Lesley? Sean doesn’t do “chill.” At least not until after he’s exhausted, demanded, and generally pushed his date to her absolute mental and physical limit first. (And not in that universal fun way.) If I were here, I’d be looking for a limo parked around every stone ruin today.

And oh poor Lesley. Before the show? She thought girls who pledged to love the bachelor after a few dates were morons. Now? She’s that girl. And it’s doubly hard to watch because we already know he’s not reciprocating and she’s really (really) going to wish she hadn’t said anything. Of course, if she’d kept it to herself, then she’d always wonder “what if?” — well, at least until the show aired and she saw his Private Camera Confession there. But at least that would all happen privately, away from the camera. Yeah, Lesley? Don’t do it! Finally someone reads the room and she holds back. It’s not the right time and it didn’t flow naturally. Sean is noticing that, too. So she waits. And it’s quite clear that while these two might have developed a relationship in the real world…this set up that demands things move at hyper speed isn’t made for her.

Back at Homewrecker Hacienda: Sean flies his sister Shay, who is married with kids, down to help him sort through his feelings about who to send home and whose folks he should meet. She asks him who goes and he claims he doesn’t know….but he does. We know it. He knows it. And can I just say? I love Shay. She’s like “our biggest fear is that we watch the show and watch you date the women and we go noooo, not that one. And you end up with that one, you know?” Oh boy, do we know. Help your bro out, big sis. She should have been in the house all along, as hall monitor. Tierra would have been gone week 2. Love. her.

Inside the house, the storm finally breaks. Tierra confronts AshLee, who is having none of it. She tries, multiple times, to get a full sentence out, but Tierra is having none of that. She stalks off, so Ash goes to hang out with the other girls, who are asking what happened. Tierra comes in and battle royale part two ensues. Ash has a pretty clear view of things, whereas Tierra is just running around the ring screaming whatever pops in her head. All the while, Sean is on the beach, talking to sis, explaining about Tierra and we keep getting those knowing nods from Shay, and the “oh honey, please, you didn’t” eye rolls. She finally says “What’s the one thing I told you?” He smiles sheepishly and says “Not to fall for the girl no one gets along with.” She nods emphatically….and yet he’s still all “but she gives me happy pants!!!” or words to that effect. Shay says bring her on down, let me chat with her. So, we see Sean approach the house while apparently the battle still rages inside.

Naturally it concludes just as he walks in. Tierra has stormed off, and once she hears Sean’s voice, suddenly there’s boo-hooing coming from some distant room. Sean is so focused on his sister he doesn’t take even two seconds to read the screaming tension in the room and how incredibly “oh shit” everyone is. He just asks for Tierra and they all point “thataway.” He finds her “sobbing” — I put that in quotes because her face is remarkable totally 100% dry when she finally looks at him. And the other girls are all rolling their eyes because once again, she’s played neatly right into the damsel in distress role. Now, does he really keep that armor on? Again? But he’s not even focused on that, nor does he seem to have any patience or really want to deal with her drama. he’s all smiling “I want you to meet someone, come on!” Like DUDE, she’s “sobbing” and you’re just dismissively “hey, I don’t know what that’s all about but come on let’s go – I have an agenda and you’re not matching up with my needs right now. We can do drama later.” Or you know….close enough. Gah. They deserve each other. Every day and twice on Monday.

And instead of reading that he needs her to leap over it and deal, Tierra does fall apart and cries for reals. She thinks this is a good idea, because hey, tears and despair has always worked on him before, but you can see his utter impatience. Not because he’s really all that upset that she’s crying again – which is annoying in and of itself – but because you know all he’s thinking is “my sister is out there waiting on the beach, and you’re supposed to go knock her out with your sparkle so I can keep having Happy Happy Joy Joy Whoopee Pants at least for another week. Come ooooooooon!”

Yeah. Three times on Monday.

She does toss AshLee right back under the bus (remember what you said about that biting her on the ass? Careful.) She tries to get Sean to reassure her that she can basically just be completely psychotic and he’s going to stick by her. Sean then tells her to hold on and leaves the room. The other girls are speculating about what’s happening and Lesley thinks maybe she’ll take herself off the show. Ash just gives her a “really? Never happen” look, which? Totally true. I only wonder if Sean is going back out so he’s not keeping his sister hanging, or is he really going to willingly walk into the room with the other girls and invite real drama to rain down upon his head. He does neither. He paces outside alone. His sister’s words echo in his mind. “If a girl doesn’t get along with other women, that’s trouble.” How about you look at it this way, Sean: If a girl doesn’t get along with people, gender notwithstanding, it’s trouble. WHY WHY is that such a hard concept to grasp? In other seasons, That Girl was often drop dead sexier than the other girls, cut from the bombshell mode, so you could at least get the initial dazzle of “oh. my. god. I can score with that???” razzle dazzle that goes through their mind. This season, the girls are all a lot more level in that realm. Very pretty, killer figures, can string whole sentences together, in some cases, really really well. So…why the insistence on keeping the drama chick around?

It appears Sean heads back inside after consulting only himself. He hates to see Tierra in tears, hates all the major drama, but end of the day, he knows what HE needs, and so justice must be done. Now, the obvious question: Sean has made it abundantly clear that he hates drama of any kind. He was ready to walk away from the whole “process” when the drama in the house even hinted at overflowing onto him directly. And yet he’s stubbornly kept the cause of all of it on the show, because he’s still enjoying his plaything. And as long as she doesn’t bring it to his door, then what does it matter? Except for that part of…when the other girls are gone, the only door she’ll have to bring it do is yours! So…why shun and abhor drama, and yet very specifically, very intently keep it around. (And no, this isn’t producer manipulation. It would explain so much if it were. Whereas there is some pressure put on the bachelor in terms of what order to hand out roses, esp in the early stages, for drama, etc, and for early cannon fodder, entertaining girls might be kept on a show or two longer than they might have been if they otherwise don’t figure in to the main plot…but not who stays and who goes from his actual Want List. I can’t reveal my “source” but suffice to say that these people manage to make themselves this miserable all on their own. Sad, right? And no…I don’t know who “wins” this season. I promised spoiler free recaps.)

So, inside he goes and he tells Tierra his intention that day wasn’t to upset her, but to bring her out to meet his sister. She crumples, because she realizes now how deeply she’s blown it and she knows she’s screwed. (I think it’s safe to say you can start dancing now, everyone! Ding, dong….and all that.) The truly sad thing? She really and truly doesn’t get why she’s in this spot. Her self delusion is that complete. He stupidly asks her if she wants to say goodbye to the other girls. Really, Sean? As much as they (and, okay, we) might like that, from her perspective you’re humiliating her. Exit stage right can’t come fast enough, or directly enough. (So much so that we have camera people darting about in the background. Unscripted. Just sayin.) Then he asks if she’ll be okay. (You’re asking a drama queen if she’ll be okay? Really?) She flatly says no. Learn, Sean, learn. No one sends Tierra home. Men love me! I do the rejecting, not them! You can hear this raging inside her head, can’t you? The “direct line” to the parting vehicle, which is even more humiliatingly…a mini van, is like a mile walk from where they started. I’m sure the producers kept the van at the bottom of the hill hoping for fireworks on the way down, but she remains stubbornly silent (mostly because she’s barely holding it together from pure mortification and anger.) He apologizes, she’s not having it. As soon as she’s in the van, the waterworks and sobbing begin. And you see production guys standing on the sidelines. Not looking all that broken up. Heh.

Sean is actually making himself be okay with this by rationalizing that she’s so vulnerable and emotional that he’s doing her a favor by letting her go, thereby setting her free from her daily torment. He makes it clear that its in no way because he otherwise didn’t really want her to stay. And I guess I still can’t compute how he doesn’t see that someone so emotionally unstable, that they can’t find a way to cope in what is not exactly a hellhole environment, spells danger, danger in a relationship. He makes zero connection between the two, because she was sweet to him. Does he not think they will experience problems? And she’ll have a very trying time dealing with them because she’s emotionally fragile? I’m…I don’t get the male pattern blindness there. I really don’t. Neither does Shay. We like Shay. A shame she’s married and can’t be a Bachelorette. She’d kick ass and take names. Then send them packing. Shay would rock on this show. Sean? Eh, notsomuch.

Tierra is already so over it before the van even clears the compound. Wow. But then how can you break a heart where there is none?

So, it’s rose ceremony time and the girls clearly haven’t been told that Tierra is gone. All they know is that she and Sean have both been gone for hours. This, btw, is where the blatant producer manipulation does run rampant. They keep everyone in the dark about everything because it increases the chances for tears, misunderstandings, and drama. (Aka: what they think this show is about.) Their rationale, say, for not showing their bachelor/bachelorette damning video about folks in the house who are playing them for fools is that in real life, they wouldn’t see what those folks were saying behind their backs. (My reaction? In the real world they’re not talking trash behind their backs on national television and making a mocking fool of them to millions either. Also? Nothing about the show is real life. But they are real people. So grow a pair and do the right damn thing. We want to watch something right happen, not a long, never-ending string of something wrongs. Idiots.)

So, Sean shows up to the party, alone. Much to the girls relief. He then informs them that he sent Tierra home, essentially all but saying to protect poor widdle her from…well, them. So, that pisses me off. And they’re none too happy with the implication either. He does say that “in a moment of clarity” he knew she wasn’t going to be his wife, so he did the right thing and saved the fair maiden future torment. At, you know, their hands. Then he informs them that, “just to be clear” he’s not looking for drama in a partner. (And yet, doofus for brains, you’ve kept the source of it around for weeks! Which they know! So…what the hell does that mean?) AshLee is pretty sure he’s looking straight at her when he makes that little announcement, and honey…they always shoot the messenger. He says given that, he’s already figured out who has to take a hike, so no cocktail party for you, see ya at the rose ceremony. Exit stage left, stone faced.

The girls just sit there kind of pole-axed. Did they just get lectured to? What’s going on? Me, I’d be up and walking right after him. Excuse me, God’s Gift, but come right back here and give us the courtesy of a full conversation. You know what that is right? Where you get to say something, then we actually get to say something? And that something might not be part of the script you’ve got pre-planned in your head? Because we get to have free thought and free will in this, too? You’re not buying us, after all. We’re not here to serve you. Let’s say we all do something really wacky and treat each other as equal human beings for five seconds where you actually have as much to lose as we do, because you’re being a big enough ass hat at the moment that you might not have to worry about who you’re going to pick, because we’re all outta here.

(Wouldn’t that be freaking awesome??)

Host Chris makes his first appearance of the night and he tells them he knows they respect what Sean did with Tierra. Really, Chris? I’m pretty sure the girls are getting realllllly tired of being told what they think and feel. Are they happy she’s gone? Sure. Do they respect him? Yeah, that’s up for debate.

Rose Ceremony:

Sean comes out and it’s like a freaking firing squad. Yow. He’s stone cold, the girls look like they wish someone had given them hoods to wear first so they didn’t have to look their assassin in the face. It’s awful. (Yay, romance! Yay, love! Yay, happily ever after! And then there’s this show….) Lindsay has a rose, Des gets the next one. Catherine gets the next. There’s one left. So, it’s tricky, what happens next, because we know it should be Lesley going home, as he knows she’s not the one, and meeting her family would just be cruel. And yet, despite the fact that Ash never said a word about Tierra until he asked her to, we all know he wants to whitewash this whole thing away like it never happened and it had nothing to do with him, and that means everyone ever tainted by the drama, even if you dragged them into it and they were honest with you, to the point that it was only then that you finally at least had some sense of what to do. So, the question is…how do you reward that loyalty? And he finally does one right thing, and gives the rose to AshLee. She won’t win now, we know that. But this week, it wasn’t her turn. The only better thing would have been to send them both home. She didn’t deserve it, but if his feelings for her made an abrupt shift, even if unfairly,– it is what it is–then it was the kinder cut. (And it goes without saying she’d be better off without him.)

Then AshLee has her scary Private Camera Time with the piano keys of crazy tinkling in the background (me, I’m still hearing shower scene….just sayin) and I’m thinking maybe the kindness Sean would have done by cutting her tonight would have been to himself. We forget how wackadoo she truly is. Sean decides that apparently Lesley is worthy of a walk out. She handles The Big Exit well and fairly honestly. Props for that. Inside Catherine falls to tears for the first time, as Lesley was her gal pal in the house and she’s really surprised, stunned even, to see her go and someone like silly Lindsay and scary AshLee stay. Comparatively speaking. She didn’t see it coming. Because, if she’s being frank, and that’s why I love her, she saw more of a connection, more in common, between Sean and Lesley, than between herself and Sean. So if Lesley is out? Why the hell is he keeping her around. Aww. Group hug for Catherine. She’s not easily shaken, so it’s not fun to watch. But I get that moment of deep self doubt, of trying hard to have the kind of perspective that’s almost impossible when you’re that deep inside the forest. And so much is being kept in the dark.

There is no “after party.” Thank God.

Instead we get sneak peeks from the hometown dates and Catherine’s sisters? Yow. But you know who my new best friend might be next week? Des’ bro. Finally someone who tells Sean that hey, in case you forgot, they don’t automatically have to take you. Maybe you’re the one who isn’t worthy of being their husband. Ever think of that? Dude?

Yeah. Next week? Good times. Home town dates always deliver.

You know who else always delivers?? ME!! To see who won last week’s Special Valentine Giveaway, check out the first part of this blog over in my USA Today column! Then if it’s not your name up in bright lights this week, come on back thisa way and enter the new Super Awesome Giveaway. Why is it super awesome? Because you could be the envy of all your friends and neighbors by being the first one on your block to get your hands on a copy of my as yet unreleased next book, HONEY PIE, which they have to wait alll the way to April 30 to score their copy!! I know!! A fun book AND bragging rights. Double win!

Entry details: Send me an email to donna@donnakauffman.com with “I want bragging rights!” in the subject line, and a mailing address in the body of the email. I will pick TWO winners (I know!!) from the entry stack and announce them in next week’s Bachelor Hometown Hoedown. (Ho-down? I’m so confused….)

Good luck!! And now? DISH!! Who wins “Best Family Date”?? Who wins “Worst Home Date!” (And by worst, yes, we mean best ever.) Who will be in the final three? Predictions for the final one? I….really don’t know at this point. Guessing not Linsday, not AshLee. But between Des and Catherine? Tough call! What’s yours??

4 Responses to “It’s Monday, y’all. Hey, come back here! Don’t make me go in there alone!”

  1. I love hometown dates! I can’ wait to their families and see what happens.

  2. I adore your synopses each week. The entire Tierra Buzzierra worn on my last nerve AND all my Dove chocs. My hope is that Des’s brother opens a can of whoop ass on Sean the Chit, to take his arrogance done a bit. Look forword to next Tuesday and your ‘take’ on the hometown visits.

  3. Donna, I love your take on this whole ordeal. Your honesty & insight is so refreshing. Also, it is so on the mark! Keep up the delish dish, even though Sean is notsomuch so, eh?

  4. I adore your recaps. So much more entertaining than the show these days. I barely watched it this week and only really stopped from blogging to rejoice at Tierra’s exit. :)