Coming into this episode of The Bachelor, we were expecting a whole bunch of awkward moments from Corinne, but then Taylor and her master's degree in psychology stole the show in terms of pure cringeworthy cluelessness. Corinne is still the the bad guy, of course, but Taylor is most purely awkward person on the show by a mile. Corinne knows that her behavior is out-of-line, and she's playing up the "sexy child" angle on purpose. Taylor, however, is too smart to see how dumb she looks.
All of this is to say that Taylor absolutely dominates the awkward moments rankings in a week that was pretty much smooth sailing otherwise, though I think it was inspired by the movie Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island.
Nick Viall & co. traveled to New Orleans this week. Rachel got the only one-on-one date, and she came off amazingly well. Their date was awesome, eating beignets and dancing in the streets and having dinner in a Mardi Gras float warehouse. I have nothing bad to say about Rachel -- she's smart, fun, classy and a good dancer.
I have plenty bad to say about the group date to the Houmas House Plantation, but we'll get to that later.
The final third of the episode was Corinne and Taylor's two-on-one with Nick deep in the bayou, which took an unexpected magical turn and ended on a cliff-hanger.
Let's count 'em down.
5. Taylor's stank face
During Corinne and Taylor's cocktail party confrontation left over from last week, Corinne said "You have a stank face on your face. You're just not nice. It's weird and uncomfortable." Later in the episode, when Rachel found out she got the one-on-one and everyone else was happy for her because everyone loves Rachel, the camera panned to Taylor, who was sitting there with a stank face on her face. She's just not nice. It was weird and uncomfortable.
To be fair, she probably realized that it was going to be her and Corinne on that two-on-one and she was bummed out about that. I'm sorry I called you not nice, Taylor. I'll stand by weird and uncomfortable, though.
4. Taylor's meditation practice
Before their date there was a scene juxtaposing how Taylor and Corinne spend their time alone. Corinne's was pretty much what you'd expect -- drinking champagne in a bubble bath and ordering a huge pile of room service food -- but Taylor's was not, because Taylor is a self-serious weirdo. She sat on the floor in front of a mirror with candles arranged around her and sniffed aromatherapy bottles. Listen, whatever works. Taylor was in a stressful situation, and if this helps her get through it, that's great. I see the appeal of meditating with candles and aromatherapy. I still would have closed the bathroom door.
3. Taylor and Corinne stop being polite and start being real
Do you think the producers booked this voodoo priestess date in advance knowing it would be for the two-on-one? Like they didn't know who was going to be on it, but they knew six weeks before filming that this was the week two women would be fighting? The pre-planning varies -- last week's trip to Wisconsin was assembled at the last minute after a planned trip to South Carolina got canceled due to weather, for example -- and I wonder how far in advance this swamp jaunt was scheduled and how much foresight the producers have in knowing when and how personalities are going to clash.
Anyway, Taylor and Corinne were not nice to each other while they were waiting for Nick to rejoin them after the individual portions of the group date, which they had spent badmouthing each other to Nick.
"I can't even believe that you're a mental health counselor. It really blows my mind that people take advice from you," Corinne said.
"If you're going to question me being a mental health counselor, then I think I have the right to question that you run a multi-million dollar company," Taylor shot back. "If you really want to go there, whatever."
I question both of them!
2. Taylor becomes a vengeful swamp spirit
Corinne's funniest lines this week were when she called Taylor "a big mean swamp monster" who's "one with the swamp." Similarly to how Corinne was right about Taylor's stank face, she was also right about Taylor's spiritual connection to the swamp -- though not how she ever would have thought.
After Nick gave Corinne the rose, they zoomed away in a boat, leaving Taylor behind in the woods making the McKayla Maroney face. She wandered through the woods as the sun went down until she found the voodoo priestess from before, who anointed her in a spooky fireside ceremony accompanied by drummers. Taylor then transformed from a mental health counselor into a voodoo-animated ghost out for revenge.
"I'm the water sign," she said. "I'm the one that's emotionally intuitive and aware. I'm not going to go home without speaking my piece."
Taylor should not have come on this show if she wants to work in the mental health field in the next few years.
Then she interrupted Nick and Corinne's dinner. Cliff-hanger! Will Corinne finally show her true mean-girl personality to Nick? Will Nick care? (Probably not!)
1. The visit to the plantation
"Awkward" isn't the right word for this, but I can't let the inappropriateness of the show's visit to the Houmas House Plantation slide.
The group date was spending the night in a haunted mansion. It was a weird date to begin with, since all the stuff with the little girl ghost haunting the party veered bafflingly into complete fiction, but this wasn't just any haunted mansion. This was an antebellum plantation in Louisiana. From Wikipedia: "With approx 750 slaves on it and [owner John] Burnside's many surrounding plantations, it was the center of the largest slave holding in Louisiana prior to the American Civil War."
Having a lighthearted funtime group date in a place where an atrocity was committed is morally wrong.
Being disrespectful to America's history of slavery is not a problem unique to The Bachelor; it's a problem everywhere in America. But The Bachelor's complete failure to recognize that this visit was in poor taste and shouldn't have happened like this is disappointing. Even the plantation itself acknowledges its dark history, even if it sounds like it does it in a tone-deaf sort of way. This was a display of ignorance and insensitivity on the production's part, and I hope it considers its venues more carefully in the future.
I know this isn't what you came to this recap for. This isn't what I want to be writing about when I write about The Bachelor, either. Next week I'll go back to making fun of pretty girls making fools of themselves like I'm supposed to, I promise.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.