It's funny. Going into this week's episode of The Bachelor, we thought the fallout from the revelation that Nick Viall had slept with Liz would create a hugely awkward situation. But it turned out to not be that big a deal. I guess because it happened before the show, Liz's appearance was beyond Nick's control and the remaining women were satisfied with how he dealt with the situation. Occasionally The Bachelor is surprising.
The lasting impact of the Liz story will be the way it adds to the perception that Nick is motivated primarily by the pursuit of sexual gratification and that he's using The Bachelor primarily as a way to find women to hook up with. It doesn't look great for Nick to have a Bachelor Nation-facilitated one-night stand popping up while he's with his potential future wife. Jen, his "girlfriend" from Bachelor in Paradise, never gets mentioned, but fans who have been watching closely remember that she was cast aside when Nick became the Bachelor. Some of the girls in the house probably remember, too.
The possibility that Nick might sleep with someone before the the fantasy suite came up during the episode, which surprised me. It's a known thing that the Bachelor (or Bachelorette) will sometimes hook up with contestants before the designated time (shout out to Bob Guiney), but it's rare for the show to acknowledge that. But Nick infamously hooked up with Kaitlyn Bristowe before the fantasy suite, which is one of the things that earned him his reputation. That worry didn't make it into the edit for no reason, and it'll be interesting to see how it comes back up.
That's why the Corinne question looms so large. Obviously Corinne has only lasted so long because she's sexy. And the other girls are unhappy with her continued presence, because it casts doubt on Nick's intentions.
In non-Corinne stuff this episode, there was the rose ceremony that got postponed by last week's cliffhanger; a group date with the Backstreet Boys that Danielle L. won; a track-and-field event hosted by Olympians with a combined 16 gold medals (it must have been embarrassing to look uncoordinated in front of Carl Lewis, one of the greatest athletes of all time) on which Rachel got her second special rose; and a one-on-one with Vanessa, who has emerged as a clear frontrunner.
Ok, let's get awkward.
7. The Backstreet Boys might snatch ya girl
It's dangerous to put the Backstreet Boys around all these women in their 20s and early 30s. Some of these women's first crushes may have been on Nick Carter or A.J. McLean. Nick Viall's hot, but none of these women had a poster of him on their wall when they were 9 years old. Nick Carter and Nick Viall are even the same age (which is kinda crazy, honestly; the Backstreet Boys have been washed up since they were in their 20s). "Thank God all of the Backstreet Boys are happily married," says Nick V. He wouldn't be able to compete otherwise. He may have great abs, but did he sing "I Want It That Way?"
6. Astrid bounces her way to victory... sort of
Astrid under-prepared for the track-and-field date. Not expecting the vigorous workout she'd be getting, she went with cuteness over support with her sports bra choice. Which made her victory in the final race even more miraculous. She won on a technicality after Rachel fumbled at the finish line, but I wouldn't be surprised if Nick set it up himself to get her in the hot tub with him. Rachel still won in the end, though, since she got the group date rose over Astrid.
5. Dominique disappears inside her own head
Dominique, who hadn't gotten much airtime before this episode, took herself out of the game during the track-and-field date. She got fixated on how Nick was slighting her in favor of all the other girls, which he may or may not have been doing. The other girls warned her about not getting too in her head about it, but it was too late. When she finally got some time with him, instead of stepping up her effort to connect, she confronted him about a problem he had no idea existed.
"I just don't understand why you didn't come up to me and be like 'Hey, Dom, is everything okay? Why are you getting in your head? How can I reassure you?'," she said, apparently forgetting that there are more than a dozen other women literally competing for Nick's attention. She came on too confrontationally, and Nick was basically like, Yeah, sorry, I'm not going to be able to give you what you want, bye. Dominique demonstrated the dangers of forgetting that the world doesn't revolve around you. Sometimes it gets you eliminated from The Bachelor.
4. Corinne sleeps through the rose ceremony
Corinne was completely out of control this week, which of course we'll get more into later, but before she tore the house apart later in the episode, she had a bizarre performance toward the beginning. Troublemaker that she is, she put on a trench coat with nothing on underneath and had Nick lick whipped cream off her breasts. Nick is turned on by Corinne, but he's not about to have sex with her right now. The timing would be really bad. So when Jasmine walked by, he called her over as a way to get rid of Corinne. Corinne then went inside and had a completely out-of-proportion meltdown about how her relationship with Nick was ruined and she wanted to go home. Then she passed out and missed the rose ceremony. She already had a group date rose so she was safe from elimination, but she still had to be there. Incredibly rude, selfish behavior. Corinne's drinking is problematic. It's going to be an absolute s---show when she and Chad get together on Bachelor In Paradise this summer.
3. Nick kisses Vanessa right on her barfy mouth
Nick and Vanessa's one-on-one date was going great. They went up in a zero-gravity simulator, they were having fun floating around and making out, Vanessa's hair looked fantastic. Then came the descent, and Vanessa got sick. Nick, too intent on comforting her, was like six inches away from her face as she vomited into a bag. It was weird. It was cute when he was cuddling her to comfort her, but then he kissed her, which he really didn't need to do. Even Vanessa was like "I puked."
"Still taste fine," said Nick. Very sweet. Very gross.
Vanessa is probably going to win, because if Nick will kiss her right after she barfed, he must like her a lot. That's the most intimate thing I've ever seen on this show. Or maybe Nick is just into barf.
2. Corinne is a maniac, part 50
The other girls learned that Corinne has a nanny named Raquel, because Corinne is a child. Raquel does everything for Corinne — cooking, cleaning, waking her up in the morning, brushing her teeth for her, wiping her butt. (Those last two are unconfirmed, but if Corinne drinks like this at home, then maybe!) Viewers knew about that already, but it was the first time the girls in the house heard about it, so that news spread quickly, since it was more fuel for the "we hate Corinne" fire.
Then, during the pool party, the producers got Princess Corinne a bouncy castle. Nick joined her and let her dry-hump him in the toy for a toddler's birthday party in full view of the other girls. She ruined the party for everyone else. Then she passed out again.
1. Nick and the Idea of Corinne vs. Everybody
Nick keeping Corinne around became a problem during the pool party. The other women's suspicions about what Nick is really here for exploded on him.
"I think you are making a huge mistake with one girl," Raven told him. "Corinne is 24 and has a nanny."
"Has a what?"
"Who, like, nannies for her?"
"She did not know how to clean a spoon," said Raven, so disgusted she didn't even say "bless her heart," like a Southern girl is supposed to when saying something negative.
Even worse for Nick, Vanessa was furious, and she articulated her concerns devastatingly well.
"I question what your intentions are," she said right to his face.
Vanessa called him out on him knowing what people are going to say and how closely he's going to be watched, especially with his reputation, and so why is he even entertaining the possibility that he'd keep someone around purely because he wants to have sex with her? "I'm not judging Corinne," she said. "I'm judging your actions." She put it on the line: Is he looking for a wife, or is he looking for someone to f--- around with? It was intense. She really let him have it. He didn't know what to say.
Maybe Nick will find his words next week. Judging from the teaser, the next episode is going to be We Have to Talk About Corinne. It's going to get weird.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.