Welcome back to Bachelor Pad, a squelching cesspool of amorality, intellectual rot, and abject horror where wannabe celebrities come to play for the chance to take home a cash prize that’s more than double what they hand out to the winner of Project Runway.
But before the scheming, crying, flesh baring, and inappropriate touching begin, we get a status report on what some of our franchise graduates got up to after they retreated from the Bachelor/Bachelorette habitat and temporarily returned to their camera-free caves. Jackie is still seeking “love.” Gia needs a flow-chart to explain the ugly web of “reality” relationships she’s endured. She also displays a winning sense of irony by huffing that “all [Vienna] cares about is fame and being on TV!” Vienna, for her part, finally admits the prize for her season of The Bachelor was kinda disgusting. Kasey bares his filthy, filthy feet. Michael and Holly reveal they were engaged, then they weren’t, then they were, and now they’re not. Graham (who?) wants you to press pause on the ridiculata and ask “What about the children?” Michelle’s dad has Stage 4 cancer. And Ella’s mother was shot to death by her stepfather with a sawed-off shotgun when she was a child — right before her very eyes. She’d also like a house for her child.
Wait a second, don’t Michelle and Ella know that you’re supposed to be so inebriated during your Bachelor Pad run that you forget your real-life pain and hardships? Sheesh.
Fortunately, a particularly bedraggled cave-dweller is lurching toward the camera, tiara askew, hair damp with stalactite drippings, her voice the low rumble of the chain-smoking grannie who moonlights as a third-shift cocktail waitress of a seedy Las Vegas race book. “There’s not a lot of things I wouldn’t do outside of compromising my morals. But my morals aren’t that strict, so it’s okay,” she declares, eyes blazing with excitement at the sight of her No. 1 lust object: A TV camera. The tiara-wearer then informs us with a gasp that Vienna “doesn’t even have her own apartment,” and instead indulges in a gold-digger lifestyle of going from couch to couch among members of the Bachelor Alumni Dating And Schmoozing Society (BADASS). To be fair to Vienna, that sounds more post-collegiate squatter than conniving gold-digger, but I digress…
Best line of the pre-party intro package, though, comes from Kasey, who actually makes me chuckle with a crude dis at his girlfriend’s ex-fiancé: “I’m gonna go take a Jake and wipe my Pavelka.” Don’t judge me: Everything’s funnier after three glasses of wine. Also: Three glasses of wine is a bare minimum for recapping a three-hour episode of Bachelor Pad.
And now it’s time for our cocktail party. Vienna has clearly inked a deal with a clothing company specializes in trashy frocks with gold studs around the bustline, but Gia one-ups her by arriving in a black, ankle-length negligee with sheer panels. (Why bother with daywear when bikinis and underwear make for a much lighter suitcase and leave so much more room to pack regrets, shame, and self-loathing at the end of your Bachelor Pad stay?)
Gia hates Vienna because Vienna hooked up with Wes who had hooked up with Gia back when she had a boyfriend. (It’s the cirrrrrrcle of skank…) Gia gives Vienna a greeting colder than The Dentist (already forgot her name) letting winermaker Ben get down on one knee before giving him the old heave-ho on last week’s Bachelorette finale. Vienna counters with her funniest confessional ever: “I don’t want all the drama.” Oh girl, that’s just like me trying to convince you I don’t want to have a vodka chaser during every Bachelor Pad commercial break.
Suddenly, we cut to Holly, who finds herself turned on after Blake uses the million-dollar term “dysfunctional household.” In her defense, “household” has two syllables, and that’s a lot to process for a girl who’s running on just a brain stem and seven cocktails.
Surprise! Jakes finally shows up, and he’s removed all of his body hair so he won’t leave any trace evidence after he smothers Vienna in her sleep. I kid! I kid! (I kid?) Actually, all the robot pilot wants is, “an opportunity to get some closure with Vienna so she can move on and I can move on.” I wonder where he wants Vienna to move on to? A shallow grave? The fiery pit of Hell, perhaps?
Casey introduces himself to Jake, and Jake responds like he’s channeling an SNL “Celebrity Jeopardy” parody of Tom Cruise: “Yeah, I know who you are. Terrific!” Then he approaches his former future wife. “You look nice. And I met Kasey,” he says, before moving the conversation to something innocuous, like the weather. Holly, however, is deeply disgusted by this. “Who actually talks about the weather?” she huffs. I know, right? Gross.
Jake takes Kasey aside and tells him he’s happy that Vienna is now his problem in an official and soul-crushing way. “Man, I am all for it!” he grins. Kasey intimates that Vienna has spent every waking moment of the last six months telling him all the horrible things Jake did to her during their relationship. “True or not, they’ve been said to me,” Kasey says, inadvertently revealing his belief that his girlfriend is a pathological liar.
The “ladies” and “guys” are then told that they’ll need to “pair up” for a morning competition, and it’s pretty much guaranteed said sport will involve something so mortifying that their parents and siblings will be forced to change their names and leave their hometowns under cover of darkness. Hope everyone took their penicillin!
Cut to: The morning. Ames and Jackie are so slick they decide not to pair up for the Bachelor Pad challenge so people don’t perceive them as a power couple, then proceed to get warmed up intertwining their legs, arms, and tongues. (Tell me I’m not the only one convinced Ames is still walking around with that concussion from the Muay Thai boxing match with Solar-Powered Ryan.)
Chris Harrison lets go what’s left of his dignity and introduces the week’s game: “Hookup” involves each of our nine guys hanging in harnesses 10 feet above a bed, while a ladyfriend grips his appendages for dear life. Vienna declares she’s got an edge on the competition: She used to be “a gymnast.” (Ohhhh…so that’s what they’re calling it these days.) Disgusting William asks what’ll happen if someone gets an erection — chances are he’s been walking around with one since pairing up with Gia — but it could actually be much worse. After 20 minutes, most of the guys’ legs are turning three shades of purple. Destination: Amputation! William is the first to drop his woman. “But I’m so tiny!” whines Gia, who is basically begging God to give her a muffin top before she turns 30. Holly turns out to be the only sensible person in the sea of foolios. “I would rather be drinking,” she hiccups, and lets herself fall toward another tequila-soaked afternoon by the pool.
Michelle goes into some kind of yoga-stripper pose to give Ames’ limbs some relief, and I won’t lie, it’s kind of impressive. Jake starts imagining a way he can vomit without his sick splattering Jackie. Vienna, in typical fashion, keeps yammering away, and it’s more than Kasey can bear. “Baby, don’t talk. That ruins my strength,” he says, and I wonder if he’s ever considered putting those words on a t-shirt.
We cut back to Jake, who confessionalizes that he’s now imagining that he’s clutching Jackie as they dangle over a 3,000 foot cliff, and that if he lets go, she’ll drop to her disfiguring death. Wait! He can hear the rescue ‘copters coming! This means Jake is either hallucinating from lack of blood to the brain, or maybe that he’s a sociopath with narcissistic tendencies.
It’s down to Jake-Jackie and Vienna-Kasey, because Jake is willing to sacrifice a leg if it buys him an extra week on television, and Vienna is willing to sacrifice Kasey’s leg if it buys her an extra week on television. Kasey isn’t quite as willing to lose a limb, and Vienna falls into the 3,000-foot canyon. “Jake the Bachelor is back!” shouts Creepy McCreeperson, speaking in the third person.
Vienna immediately hunts down Kasey and pecks at what’s left of his self-esteem. “I kinda was expecting a little bit more from you,” she pouts, accusing him of not protecting her from her scary ex, but she’s really just miffed that she might lose out on a chance for additional fame and money. Kasey can’t believe she’s rubbing it in his face. Vienna can’t believe Kasey is breaking his promise never to fight with her in front of a camera, even though from all the evidence, she’s the one who’s looking for a tussle.
The mind-numbing conversation continues into the morning, at which point my mother-in-law, who’s never seen an episode of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, or Bachelor Pad, turns to me and says in all seriousness, “Nobody would say these things in reality. Impossible!” Could there be an amateur screenwriter at work, she wonders? “Hannah, these people are the amateur screenwriters of their own lives,” I explain. And with that, my mother-in-law wisely decides it’s time to go to bed.
Heaven help me, I can’t do the same. We’re only, like, half-way through the episode. Gia finds a note from the producers and reads it to her fellow contestants. (Wait, Gia knows how to read?) The “winning” “couple,” Jake and Jackie, get to go on a date, and they’re getting three immunity roses to keep themselves and a very special friend in the game.
The rats scatter, looking for cheese. Kasey misuses the word “schematic” to describe Justin. Alli is freaked out that Justin said Graham wanted to work her over (not a euphemism). And Jake and Jackie head into town where a child — a child! — is reduced to tears because the bad man scares her. Oh, actually, it’s a child actor, and she’s overcome with “emotion” by the sight of a celebrity such as Jake. Jackie says she finds all this very impressive. Jake calls the encounter one of those moments “that absolutely make my heart melt.” And the child — the child! – says something that is more horrific than Samara climbing out of the TV in The Ring: “That’s my dream, to become on TV.” Jake grins with robotic menace, and replies: “Really? Your dream may have just come true.”
Typing those words hurts my heart. I’m not kidding.
Jake and Jackie climb out a window and onto the marquis of the El Capitan theater for dinner — allowing Jake to imagine his date dangling precariously while a rescue chopper tries to make it to them in time. What follows is an overly long segment where Jake tries to convince Jackie (and America) that what they saw during his and Vienna’s “breakup special” (those two words alone are damning enough, no?) was him acting foolishly because he was so incredibly hurt. He’s not trying to throw Vienna under the bus — that would be far too quick and painless — and but she sold their story to the tabloids. Jake rubs his face, fake-cries, and cuddles with Jackie. Jackie falls into Jake’s trap of suggesting they give the spare immunity rose to Vienna.
Back at the mansion, chaos begins. Michelle wants Gia to go home (so she can be the alpha brunette hottie). Jake tells Gia about his Vienna Rescue Project. “Are you that dumb?” says Gia, and coming from her, it’s a brutal statement. Somehow, Jake and Gia swim out to dangerous intellectual waters without life jackets, and talk turns to the Trojan War and chess. “The Trojans showed up in an elephant,” says Gia. Oh, sweetie, we’re not going to be able to give you any points for that answer, but thanks for playing. “You never win without the queen. You don’t,” she adds. But Jake is determined to “do something nice for someone who did something terrible to me.” Or maybe the producers gave him some bonus money for guaranteeing one more week of ridiculous drama.
Jake makes his announcement to the stunned crowd, then calls Vienna and Kasey away for a private chat. “I’m sorry that I raised my voice to you on TV,” he says to his ex, pointing out that he knew he was losing her during their “breakup special” and wasn’t ready to accept it. Jake then confessionalizes that it “feels so good to finally have closure with Vienna,” wiping phony tears from his eyes.
Now I may be in the minority here, but for all her thousands of flaws, I remain staunchly on Team Vienna. She may be a toxic, money-hungry, self-absorbed fameosexual, but at least she doesn’t pretend to be anything else. As for Jake, I just can’t shake the feeling that he’s got a master plan to be an actor or a TV host or something somehow someone famous, and his whole “I’m sorry” shtick is just a way to salvage his Q rating and get his celebrity train back on track.But enough about my feelings toward Jake.
Vienna, take it away…
“Jake Pavelka: I think he’s a phony robot, he has no real feelings, he’s a complete monster, he’s playing everyone like a fool, and I think the real reason he’s here is just to make my life miserable,” hisses Vienna, throwing up her hands. “There you go.”
And then it’s time to firm up her security detail for the week. “I’m gonna marry you,” Vienna whispers to Kasey. “I’m gonna have your babies.” OH PLEASE YOU STUPID SKANK, DON’T BRING INNOCENT CHILDREN INTO THIS!
Suddenly we’re confronted with grainy, night-cam footage of a black-box covered Vienna gettin’ nekkid, climbing into bed with her beaux, and getting busy (adjusting some throw pillows). Jake, for his part, declares the beginning of a new friendship with Kasey and Vienna.
Our final half-hour is a mad scramble of Gia making a pact with Kasey promising not to vote each other out — “You want to take a roll?” she asks (not a euphemism) — which in turn, puts the week’s other at-risk contestants, Justin “The Wrestler” (nice use of quotes, ABC!) and Alli (who is this woman again?) in boiling water (still not hot enough to kill off the Bachelor Pad germs, though). Blake tries to mastermind a deal to get Kasey eliminated, but while Jackie, Ella, Alli, and Melissa allegedly agree to the plan, Jake fails to convince Gia to turn on her unexpected ally. Our dim bikini model actually gets in a good dig after Jake whines that Gia shouldn’t be mad at him since she’s not going home: “I’m not going ’cause of Casey, not you!”
In the end, Jackie and Jake get “the honor” of handing out roses to the “safe” contestants — so much cheaper than Melissa Rycroft, no? — and it’s Justin and Alli who get the boot. Jake tries to shake Rated R’s hand, but he’s not goin’ out like that! Justin huffs at arch-rival Kasey that the latter dude needed “the little pilot” to save his woman. Alli dissolves into tears. Ames looks around as if to ask, “Where am I? What is my name again?” And one of the guys barks “Keep it classy!” as a dis at Justin, as if “class” would be caught dead in the Bachelor Pad premises.
Next week: Bikinis! Tears! The feeling that you might wind up in hell just for watching a TV show! Until then, however, hit the comments with your own thoughts, feelings, and confessions about Bachelor Pad. And for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!