As the number of morally compromised, fame-hungry lunatics diminishes each week on Bachelor Pad, inanimate objects must step up and bring the entertainment. On this week’s episode, for example, an electric toothbrush and a yogurt cup provided stellar supporting work that was at least as interesting as the exhausting “will they or won’t they” romantic drama between Michael and Holly. Let’s recap the action:
Things kick off with a resolution to last week’s “cliffhanger.” (I know some of you optimists wondered if Chris Harrison’s rose-ceremony utterance of “Kasey” would be followed by the word “psych!” and an eruption of laughter from the Bachelor Pad cast and crew, but nope, the spray-tanned celery stalk was indeed spared, while Jake’s career as a professional reality-show barnacle hit another snag.) Jake, grinning like Tom Cruise on a movie-premiere red carpet, laments that the opportunity for his fellow contestants to do something “really special” has passed, but he’s not talking about everyone simultaneously leaving the set and devoting their lives to continuing the work of Mother Teresa. Nope, he just means they should’ve voted off half of the Vienna-Kasey power couple. “Vienna, my apologies. In my heart, forgiven,” Jake mutters as his brain begins to short-circuit as the prospect of a life without any television cameras. Kasey’s two brain cells rub themselves together long enough for him to declare himself the “strongest stra-TEE-gist” in the house. Vienna, firm in her me-centric world view, thanks her minions. “I know a lot of you guys did this for me,” she grins, not realizing that everyone in the house wants to take her to the finale because not even her own father would vote to contribute another $250,000 to her ongoing plastic surgery transformation fund.
And then it’s morning. Chris arrives to announce that Season 1’s abhorrent kissing contest is back. Erica responds by sniffing her own hair. Blake says he’s ready to perform a tonsillectomy on his blindfolded victims. (That should really be a boost for his dental practice back at home, no?) Michelle declares that she won’t participate because she’s trying to be a “good example” for her 6-year-old daughter. (Spoiler alert: Too late, sister!) And Vienna huffs that, “Personally, I think this is a disgusting contest.” Oh, honey, at least no one is getting engaged at the end!
The contest is essentially a blind taste test in which the women are temporarily blinded and kissed by every man in the house, then asked to choose the anonymous smoocher whose technique was most effective. Melissa, naturally, senses that Blake still has feelings for her. Holly senses Blake’s mouth has the ability to make her forget about Michael. Ella senses our resident tooth man might be about to make a baby with her. Then the roles are reversed, and we’re subjected to one too many kissing closeups that are as appealing as watching a congested bulldog go to town on a bowl of warm Alpo. Erica reveals that “everyone thought Kasey had really bad breath,” but formerly engaged couple Holly and Michael feel something other than their gums shriveling from a full-on assault of mouth cooties, and Ella declares the couple’s reunited lip-lock was “beautiful to see.” Awww(ful).
Chris Harrison returns to the fray and, without the slightest hint of irony, tells Michelle that “there’s no chance for you to be a winner.” Nope, it’s Ella and Blake who win “romantic” one-on-ones with the contestants of their choosing.
Ella chooses Kirk, and so you know we’re going to kill 20 minutes of airtime following two vaguely decent people sharing stories of their past hardships and reminding us that there are definitely worse people in the house who could take home that massive cash prize. The date ends with Ella, Kirk, and a camera operator smooshed together in a hot-air balloon, but only two of them end up with their tongues in one another’s mouths.
Then it’s time for Blake to choose his date. “If I take Holly, Melissa would be Mount St. Helen’s,” he says devilishly. But wait! There’s a third option! Erica pulls Blake aside and gives him a full body massage, and the Bachelor Pad camera operators give us a fascinatingly awful shot of our dentist’s head with Erica’s disembodied bazooms looming in the background (see screengrab below). “If you brought me, I would do whatever you wanted,” Erica teases, before reminding Blake that she’s in law school, and therefore probably hasn’t damaged as many brain cells with binge drinking as the other women in the house.
Little Blake gets final say in the decision, though, and instead of a strategic partnership with the legally inclined blonde, he chooses to take Holly on a ski trip. Melissa sets down her copy of Modern Bride and her “dream wedding” notebook, lips trembling and eyes welling up with tears. The reason for her emotional collapse? She and Blake made a pinkie swear!
Michelle, Official Narrator of Bachelor Pad‘s Second Season, sums up the rest of Melissa’s story arc thusly: “Some people wear their emotions on their sleeves. But Melissa wears her emotions on every article of clothing she’s wearing every single day, including her hair tie. And her panties.”
Melissa rages around the house stirring a cup of yogurt as if she was Glenn Close boiling a bunny. “Someone needs to stick up for me for once!” she shrieks, and I can imagine her creeping up behind Holly in a steaming bathroom carrying a butcher’s knife and a lifetime of romantic regrets. Instead, she tries to forge a partnership with Michael, but he’s not having it. Then she confronts Holly about stealing her man. “Are you in a serious relationship?” Holly asks with such earnestness, I’m not entirely sure she’s being sarcastic. Finally, Melissa hunts down Blake in the bathroom, where he’s meticulously buffing his perfect teeth with an electric toothbrush. “I got…another 40 seconds…and I will definitely talk to you,” he says through a mouth full of Colgate suds. And then, there’s nothing left but the sound of his vibrating toothbrush and Melissa’s crumbling self-esteem.
Blake and Holly take their private jet to a ski resort, where they spend most of their time playfully tackling each other in the snow. “How can someone show that many teeth while smiling and be able to talk at the same time?” my husband asks as the camera cuts to Blake and his magnificently pearly whites, but Holly breaks my reverie with this conversational gem: “I have ice in my boobs.”
Holly agrees to an overnight date with Blake, and then agrees to let him “reexamine the evidence” from the previous day’s kissing contest as they cuddle together in front of the fireplace. Meanwhile, a shirtless Michael, a shirtless Kirk, and a clothed Graham convene in front of the Bachelor Pad hearth and discuss Michael’s realization that Holly is “irreplaceable.” In the morning, Michael wonders aloud whether Holly “chose” to stay overnight with Blake. As opposed to what? Being duct-taped to a gurney in the basement?
When Holly returns home, we’re subjected to endless footage of the former lovebirds talking to each other and to the cameras, and it’s all about as interesting as overhearing some loudmouth’s interminable cellphone conversation on a crowded train ride, or watching two pieces of stale bread soak in a lukewarm egg bath. “I have fallen back in love with you,” says Michael and His Tornado Hair. “There’s a huge part of me that Michael broke, and I don’t know if it can be fixed,” says Holly and Her Confused Face.
Finally, it’s time for the Bachelor Pad houseguests to vote off two of their own, and it’ll either be a power couple (Kasey-Vienna) or some “expendables” (William-Melissa/Erica) headed home. Since there hasn’t been nearly enough Kasey-Vienna drama this week, you know they’re going to survive the vote, but Kasey is scrambling nonetheless. “The money is necessary for my grandma to live,” Kasey mumbles to his alliance mates, and thus securing the purchase of a one-way express ticket to Hell.
Melissa, however, begins to realize that, like a horror movie victim who has retreated to a dark corner of the attic, she is doomed. Not that she’s going to go quietly. “Swear on your life that you didn’t vote for me!” she nags Kasey, shortly after cornering Michael, William, and Kirk with similar queries.
Graham, who’s uttered maybe 10 words the entire Bachelor Pad season, sums up Melissa’s arc in brutally concise fashion: “I don’t even speak to her, and I feel like she drains the life out of me.” Kasey, for his part, is far less eloquent: “I thought she was gonna cut my nuts off.” (Nope, that’ll be Vienna’s job, sometime in the next 10-12 months.)
Melissa is sobbing and hugging everyone goodbye before the votes are even tallied, and her fellow contestants look at her with a mix of pity and “Holy crap, I hope I never look that messy on camera.” In the end, it’s Melissa and William who take the limo rides of shame (although if Ella, Erica, and Melissa voted for Kasey as discussed, and Vienna, Holly, and Michelle voted William, how exactly was the tie broken?)
Melissa turns her face into the car seat and sobs, while William allows the cameras to capture his ridiculous tears. “I love those guys, even if they voted me off,” he says. Not to worry, William, there’ll be a Bachelor/Bachelorette reunion party coming to New York or Los Angeles before the year is over, and if you’re lucky, maybe a TV camera or two, too.
What did you think of this week’s Bachelor Pad? Did you feel any pity for Melissa or William, or is it a case of “nobody held guns to their heads”? Did the “root for Kirk and Ella” edit put you in their corner? Or are you hoping someone else takes home the cash prize? And finally, what did you think of Jake’s exit? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!