That’s from one of James Joyce’s letters to his wife, Nora Barnacle. No, really. It just goes to show you, even the horniest dogs (ahem, Nick) can also be loving, tortured genius artists. It’s also a run-on sentence, but that’s neither here nor there. Let’s do this!
The women are reeling from the revelation that Liz—who, I don’t know if you heard, banged Nick at Jade and Tanner’s wedding—has gone home. Nick tells his side of the story and lets the women know if they have questions, they can ask him. Here’s a question: What’s to ask? Apparently, a lot. When Danielle—not the nurse Danielle, the other Danielle—and Nick have a heart-to-heart, he cannot stop himself from staring at her boobs. Not to be outdone, Corinne wraps herself in a silk trench coat and…nothing else. Well, a lacy bra and heels and a diamond choker. But nothing else! Oh, Corinne. I want to root for you. Or hate you. Or feel some kind of way about you. But I just…sigh…I just want to find you a hobby that doesn’t involve alcohol.
Math time: According to the “half your age plus seven” rule, Nick (36) should really only be dating women who are 25 or older. Not that this is a real rule, but it’s not not real.
Corinne (24), the reason the word décolletage exists, has talked a producer into procuring a bottle of whipped cream, which she eats out of Nick’s mouth before plunging into his crotch. Then, she sprays some on her chest. And in her mouth. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE ABOUT THIS. I want Corinne to be empowered to be as sexual as she wants to be and move as fast as she wants to. But I also know that the world is cruel, society is harsh, and people are unforgiving. In my experience, if we’re being realistic, you do right by yourself when you can demonstrate that you have things to offer in addition to your sexuality. But Nick clearly has a boner, so I guess it worked. Corinne cries, and Lacey comforts her.
Rose ceremony time, finally. Corinne, and her rose, are sleeping through it.
Vanessa has the poise and glamour of a Golden Age of Hollywood star. Hailey very much needs to explain her prominent “bobby pin” tattoo and very much needs to stop saying she “deserves” a rose because honey, that is not how self-esteem works. My fave, Josephine, gets a rose! Hailey leaves and manages to a) cry and b) insult Corinne and c) insult Nick for liking Corinne. OK.
The motherf-cking BACKSTREET BOYS show up and everyone has the appropriate reaction, which is to completely flip out. At this point it’s like, why are you trying to get close to Nick when you have the opportunity to hang out with a Backstreet Boy?
Everyone busts out their best athleisure to learn these dance moves, but obviously Jasmine is going to win the challenge because, hello, she is a professional dancer. The women hug Nick when they see him. Again, why? The Backstreet Boys are right there.
The world may have changed since 1998, but thankfully the “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” choreography has not. It’s still that little hand-flip Frankenstein move from the video. Anyway, Corinne cries in the bathroom because she’s a bad dancer. Girl, same.
Danielle L. (“Daniellelle”) (NOT JASMINE??) gets called forward to slow dance with Nick while Brian and AJ (yes, I can name the BSB members on sight) lead the group in an a cappella rendition of “I Want It That Way.” It’s deeply awkward, but they kiss anyway.
Side note: These girls’ hot pants are definitely from American Apparel, RIP.
Corinne apologizes to Nick for sleeping through the rose ceremony, but she doesn’t want to apologize to the other girls who are, natch, talking shit about her while she kisses Nick’s mouth.
Nick feels up Daniellelle’s butt, confirming once and for all that he is an ass man and that every girl who packed a push-up bra was wasting suitcase space.
Corinne divulges to the group that she has a nanny and all the things the nanny does for her. They are things like cooking and laundry, which are not difficult for an adult woman to do. I mean, for fuck’s sake, her family has an employee, who cares? But also, Corinne is too entitled, and I’m not here for it. Neither is Jasmine. Daniellelle gets the group date rose.
Vanessa gets the one-on-one date, and it’s in frickin’ SPACE. OK, so technically it’s not space space, but it’s two attractive people making out in zero gravity, which is basically the plot of Passengers. It looks fun!
But Vanessa can’t even enjoy it because she is puking (beautifully). Nick rubs her back. I don’t care how fake it is, this is cute!
AND THEN THERE IS A REDDI WHIP COMMERCIAL WHEREIN A FATHER AND YOUNG DAUGHTER SHARE A WHIP CREAM-TOPPED TREAT EVEN THOUGH THAT IS IN FACT THE BRAND THAT CORINNE SPRAYED ON HER CHEST FOR NICK TO LICK. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.
Nick takes Vanessa to dinner on a patio on the top floor of a skyscraper from which they can see the lights of LA at night. V. romantic, v. La La Land observatory scene. Vanessa chokes up talking about her grandfather’s recent death and how close she is to her family. Nick opens up about his previous experiences on The Bachelorette. Then, Nick cries like a pussy. Kidding. They kiss tenderly and embrace. It’s some Sleepless in Seattle shit.
When the other girls learn who is going on the second group date, they cheer for one another. Feminism! The group date is track and field themed, a huge let down after BSB and space. But at least we get more pink, black, and purple athleisure. Oh, but wait a minute, Olympians Carl Lewis, Allyson Felix, and Michelle Carter are there! This challenge is still my nightmare; still, high ratings for the celeb factor.
Astrid’s breasts are jiggling a lot, and she has a sense of humor about it. Do we need to say more about these women’s bodies? No. They’re all beautiful. All women are beautiful. All.
They do a lot of jump-based activities, jumping into sand and over poles. They are literally jumping for Nick’s love. Rachel, Alexis, and Astrid (yes, yes, and yes) move on to the second round of the challenge, which is some kind of relay I don’t totally understand, but I know it involves a hot tub.
And then, in glorious slow motion, Rachel knocks the ring off its pedestal, Astrid reaches for it, and Rachel accidentally steps on and crushes it, which means…Astrid wins! The fantastic prize of drinking champagne and kissing Nick in a hot tub…while wearing her leggings and sports bra. Not worth it TBH.
At a candle-lit antique store (???) after the challenge, Dominique cries and complains that she is being overlooked. Girl, same. Rachel gives her excellent advice because Rachel is the best.
Alexis further endears herself to America by making out with Nick while laying down on a giant picture of him.
Dominique knows that she needs to use her one shot with Nick to really impress him, so she decides to attack him about having ignored her. However Dominique thought this conversation would go, it certainly doesn’t go that way and Nick sends her TF home.
Rachel gets the rose!
Chris says that instead of a cocktail party, there will be a POOL PARTY.
Corinne, who is getting, in her words, “a lot desperate,” has arranged for a Barbie pink bouncy castle for her and Nick to jump around in. It looks, admittedly, super fun because bouncy castles are, and I am quoting science here, super fun. They make out a bunch, but I’m not gonna shit on Corinne for this. She’s not forcing Nick to do anything. If the other girls don’t like this behavior, they can take it up with Nick. After, Corinne literally goes back to sleep.
Raven tells Nick what’s what re: Corinne has a nanny. Jasmine also tells Nick that Corinne isn’t wife material. Taylor also voices concerns. Vanessa, because she is a grown ass woman, articulately asks Nick why he’s behaving like a frat boy if he really wants a wife. (I’m paraphrasing.) Then she basically threatens to goddamn leave. I quite like Vanessa.
Over the credits, Josephine sings Nick an original song. Truly, a theater kid if I have ever seen one. She was Miss Adelaide in tenth grade, I bet my life on it. The editors cut it with reaction shots from animals. It’s nirvana.
Parting Thoughts: I guess when women are competing with each other for the affections and attention of a man there must come a point when a woman’s sexuality is used against her but also as a weapon against other women. And that point is right now!
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