Nick Viall's first and only "Tell All" episode is on the books, and it was a doozy. We laughed, we cried, we rolled our eyes, we ate cheese pasta. We learned that Liz is more than just the woman who slept with Nick at Jade & Tanner's wedding (hopefully this is the last time we'll ever hear that phrase); she's really someone who digs wells at orphanages. We got confirmation that for the most part, all the girls are friends, and everyone loves Rachel, Kristina, Liz and apparently Sarah Vendal. And the Taylor/Corinne beef wasn't exactly squashed, but it was settled. In Corinne's favor.
There are a lot of awkward moments to sort through, so let's get going.
8. Chris Harrison still mispronounces Nick's name
Chris Harrison has known Nick for like three years now, and he still doesn't know how to pronounce his last name. It's "Vie-all, " but he says "Vile." At this point, he's probably been corrected numerous times and it just never sunk in. He's gonna say it how he says it.
7. Crashing viewing parties
Watching Chris Harrison and the lead drive around the Los Angeles area and crash Bachelor viewing parties is the worst "Tell All" tradition. "This is something I look forward to every season," Chris Harrison said, and he is the only one. It just doesn't add up — if Nick showing up is supposed to be a surprise, why did people have balloons that spelled out "NICK?" It's too much. Obviously someone in the house knows they're coming. This whole bit just never works for me. This one was made even sillier by the presence of the Backstreet Boys, making their second appearance of the season. That a cappella riff on "emotional intelligence" was funny, though. I hope they really do call their next album that. Also, it was pretty awkward to send Nick to a sorority house. Fox in the hen house. And the girls calling him a good dancer was a subtle plug for Nick's first post-Bachelor gig on Dancing With the Stars.
6. Anonymous girls trying to get on Bachelor in Paradise
None of the women who were eliminated on the first night were there (nor Raven and Vanessa, obviously), but everyone else was, and as happens every year, some of the other early eliminated or overshadowed girls aggressively made plays to get some attention. This called "getting your camera time." A bunch of girls tried to do it at this "Women Tell All," but the most flagrant swings came from Elizabeth and Lacey, who were eliminated in Week 2. Elizabeth, the marketing manager from Dallas, called Corinne a "slob kebab" and told Taylor that she, too, went to college for psychology and implied that Taylor isn't a good psychologist. Lacey, the marketing manager from New York, called Nick out for talking about another girl during their one-on-one time during a cocktail party and gave him some unsolicited advice to not talk about one of his kinda girlfriends with another of his kinda girlfriends.
"Unless you're not feeling anything," Nick shot back, and everyone was like "oooh, burn!" Lacey asked him if he had "friendzoned" her (Lacey is apparently a sexually frustrated teenage boy), but he obviously didn't, because they're not friends. Lacey and Elizabeth will not be on Bachelor in Paradise.
You know who might be? Josephine, Hailey, Jasmine and/or Whitney. The first three have strong personalities, while Whitney seems well-liked by the other women and is very beautiful despite having eight lines all season, including this episode.
5. Taylor not redeeming herself
Taylor was this season's Evan. Like The Bachelorette's unlikable erectile dysfunction specialist, Taylor was a humorless contestant with an inexplicably bad attitude who was just an ineffectual foil to the season's villain. You kind of feel sorry for them, because they don't understand that they're not coming off well. I genuinely do feel bad for Taylor, because I think this show has been very hard on her. She seems very sensitive.
But unfortunately, she also just doesn't seem very nice. It's hard to sympathize with her for Corinne being so nasty to her because she brought a lot of it on herself. Just because she's quieter than Corinne doesn't mean she's not an instigator. I believe that Taylor walked around with her nose in the air. Plus it seems like most of the other women actually like Corinne and are kind of cold on Taylor — and the studio audience DEFINITELY preferred Corinne. When Corinne walked out to get a glass of champagne, she came back to huge cheers. Taylor got no such cheers. Neither of them are people you'd want to be friends with in real life, but at least Corinne is fun. America is #TeamCorn. America gets the Bachelor villain it deserves.
4. Chris Harrison needs this apology, please
The host was determined to come out of this from an apology from either Taylor or Corinne for their part in the feud. Taylor asked Corinne for an apology, Corinne was never going to apologize, because she's not someone who apologizes. So it was on Taylor.
Taylor actually had way less to apologize for than Corinne, since Corinne was the one who took the conflict way too far by calling Taylor a bitch like 900 times. But Chris Harrison wasn't going to end the segment without somebody apologizing for something, so Taylor apologized for saying that she wouldn't be friends with Corinne outside of the show. Corinne said "thank you" like the princess she is.
And then Jasmine said "Woo, enough of that," speaking for all of us, and we moved on.
3. Corinne is still not a good person, though
Whitney was very right when she said Taylor and Corinne are both condescending in their own way. Corinne refused to take any responsibility for her part in the fight, because she's a child. Taylor is clearly very hurt by the things Corinne said to and especially about her and the damage that Corinne has done to her reputation. But Corinne has no empathy. It's just me, me, me. "What about you, Taylor?" she says every time Taylor tries to get her to own some part of her behavior.
And the thing about having a panic attack was bull. We all saw that s0-called panic attack. It was after she had Nick lick whipped cream off her chest. She was drunk and exhausted. That's the thing about Corinne's "naps" — even if you're legitimately tired, it's not really a nap if you pass out drunk.
It was nice that she gave everyone cheese pasta, though.
2. America rules! Russia sucks!
Things got very topical during Kristina's moment in the hot seat. Russophobia is the highest it's been since the Cold War thanks to Russia's meddling in American politics, and Kristina, who left a terrible childhood in Russia to come to America for the opportunity to meet Nick Viall, became a symbol of that.
After reliving the time she told her legitimately heartbreaking story — which made me tear up again, just like it did the first time she told it — she reiterated that if she'd stayed in Russia, her life would be in black & white, but in America she's living in color.
"You truly embody the American Dream," Chris Harrison told her. "You are the American Dream."
It was a lot! It felt like an American flag was about to descend from the rafters and kick a Russian flag in the face!
I'm not saying life in Russia is better than life in America. Kristina's life is clearly vastly better. It just was a weird time and place to get so patriotic. And I'm not sure that the American Dream is being a contestant on The Bachelor.
Still, if I were the Bachelor, I would have chosen Kristina. She's the best. She made Liz bawl her eyes out and say "people here don't understand how we're born into such privilege. And the fact that we're up here arguing...women especially in these times should be building each other up, not tearing each other down." That's charisma. The other women clearly adore her. I hope she doesn't get engaged on Bachelor in Paradise. Kristina, if you're reading this, email me. I have a 2014 Nick Viall body with a 2017 Nick Viall beard.
1. Nick's jilted exes calling him out
Nick was nervous to get in the hot seat, and rightfully so, because the women took him to task.
First there was the aforementioned Lacey, which was awkward in its way. Then there was Kristina, who still felt confused, since nothing was wrong with their relationship when he sent her home. He told her it wasn't even about her, it was about his other relationships. Then there was Danielle L., who rightfully felt she deserved better than to be sent home on a two-on-one. Nick was basically like "what was I supposed to do?" Dominique made the excellent point that since he's gone through the same process twice before, she expected he'd be more empathetic.
"I tried my best," he told her.
There was a whole segment with Rachel at the end, but she was so good that I noted nothing awkward about it. She's going to make my job hard next season.
Next week is the finale! Woooo! It goes down Monday, Mar. 13 at 8/7c on ABC.