Tonight on The Bachelor we have lots of tears and girl drama. So the usual, then.
The Ladies Arrive At The Bachelor Mansion
As the sun rose over the mountains, the massive gates slowly opened at the Bachelor Mansion. A shrieking hoard of woman came running up the driveway. The group poured in the front door and immediately started checking out the amenities.
As the women screamed out from the upstairs balcony, “Zaaaaaaach,” the camera crew located our new Bachelor Zach Shallcross. He was shirtless in the shower, showing off his hairy pecs. Sean Lowe trained him well.
Zach told us in a shower voiceover, “Waking up this morning, I feel so hopeful. There’s already women I’m having really strong feelings with.”
Enter host Jesse Palmer, who arrived to quiz the women (aka stir up their insecurities) on how they’re all feeling so far. The excitement in the room was almost palpable when Jesse told them, “Zach was actually telling me that he really does believe his wife is in this room right now.” The ladies heartily agreed with him.
When Jesse went on to announce that all of the women would be going on a date this week, the screams started again. Jesse added that in addition to two group dates, there would be “one incredibly intimate one-on-one date.” Sighs and awes ensued, as each woman pictured herself in a hot tub with Zach.
And with that, Jesse slapped the first date card onto the coffee table. Greer grabbed the card and announced, “It’s a group date!” Well, duh. They’re not gonna put the one-on-one first. Everyone cheered as if they were happy to go on a date with nine other women. Sounds like SO much fun!
The First Group Date: “Bad Bitch Energy”
Brianna, Brooklyn, Katherine, Mercedes, Bailey, Davia, Cat, Genevie and Kylee were the lucky winners of the first date. They all smiled and tried to act happy, while inside they were dying because they would all be competing over Zach for the entire day. “I’m looking for big, big love,”
Zach production captioned the date card. Is Zach going to become a polygamist then? (I loved that show!)
When the women all exited the party bus and entered a club of some kind, a pretty woman with long, dark hair strutted down the runway toward them. The ladies all screamed like they knew who she was. I didn’t have a clue. Thank goodness one of the women yelled, “It’s Latto!” I still have no clue. Oh, apparently she makes some kind of music I don’t listen to.
“What’s up, ladies?” Latto asked. “I’m here to take over the date. I’m looking for some bad bitch for Zach.” At which point, Zach himself burst through a side door, looking like a dentist dressed up as a biker for Halloween. Of course, the ladies thought he was the hottest thing ever.
First test was to find out who could dance. As the ladies spun and twirled, trying their best to catch Zach’s eye. A producer asked him, “Are you a good dancer?” He readily replied, “Nope.”
Brooklyn, a rodeo racer said, “Literally, there’s professional dancers here, and I’m like, ‘I got the rhythm from Oklahoma.'”
Latto makes the shocking revelation, “There’s more women coming on today’s date.” The ladies rightly started to lose their — um — let’s say “composure.” There were already 9 women on the date, and they were not happy.
Three “iconic” (per Davia) Bachelor Nation ladies entered the room: Victoria Fuller (Season 24), Tahzjuan Hawkins (Season 23) and Courtney Robertson (Season 16 — isn’t she almost 40 and married with two kids now?). Latto welcomed them as judges for her Bad Bitch competition, in which each woman had to “strut her stuff” on the runway and explain to Zach why she’s a “bad bitch.” It was as embarrassing as it sounds.
RELATED: Zach Shallcross Says He and Rachel Recchia Split Due To A Lack of “Communication”
After party! Now here’s where the potential catfights will occur, as the ladies jostle each other for Zach’s attention. Bring on the alcohol!
Meanwhile at Bachelor Mansion, the second date card was delivered. Christina was saying in a production interview that she really wanted the one-on-one. She needed to spend some time with Zach and break the news that she’s a mom. The envelope was opened and the winner of the big One-on-One was — drumroll, please — Christina! “Christina, let’s let our love soar,” the card read. Um, thanks for the ham-handed foreshadowing, Bachelor production. Didn’t see that one coming. And all the other gals pretended to be happy for Christina.
Back at the group date, the other gals were having a love fest, telling each other what a great group they were and celebrating their lack of drama. Dun dun DUN! Was that some Bad Bitch energy I felt approaching? Something evil this way comes –and it’s Tahzjuan! Watch out, ladies.
A Bachelor Nation Alum Wants A Second Chance
Zach was sitting on the couch with Cat, when Tahzjuan marched right up to him. He looked shocked as she said, “Can I grab you for a quick minute?” Cat kept a frozen smile on her face, but you could tell she wanted to scratch T’s eyes out.
When Tahz sat down with Zach and told him she wanted to join the girls at the mansion, he seemed taken aback. Tahz seems like a very confident and powerful woman. She seems like she could easily eat Zach alive. Zach responded with, “Yeah, wow, that a, uh — that’s something new, interesting. Um . . .” Zach was terrified, y’all, and told her he’d think about it. The ladies will not be pleased.
The girls weren’t afraid of Tahz, cause there are 9 of them and only one of her. They timidly approached her, while she was sitting alone waiting for Zach’s return. When Tahzjuan told them she was here to steal their man, the women were not having it. As Zach returned for her, Tahz told the others, “Thanks for the conversation, ladies. It was nice speaking with you.” Not.
Please, Zach, do not keep Tahzjuan. She is too much for you. Tahz needs a guy who can stand up to her, and I don’t think that’s you. She is only there to cause drama with the women, something you said you didn’t want.
When Zach returned to the ladies alone, I was nervous. I thought he was going to tell them that he didn’t have the courage to tell Tahzjuan no. But he did! I’m so proud of Zach. Bringing Tahz into the mansion would be nothing but trouble as a late arrival, and I just couldn’t see them together. Good for him!
All that was left to wrap up the first date was to hand out the date rose. I thought Zach might give it to Brianna, who won “America’s Rose” on the Bachelorette finale last spring. But he gave the date rose to Katherine. Brianna was a little disappointed, but she managed not to cry in front of Zach.
The First One-On-One: Helicopters and BBQ
The next day some of the woman were sitting around the pool discussing “Big Tongue Energy” (re: kissing with tongue vs. no tongue). Katherine revealed the ratio of air to brain in her head, when she blurted out, “Wait! I didn’t know you could kiss without tongue!” And the other girls were all, “Okay, that’s why she got the rose.”
In the meantime, Christina was upstairs getting glammed for her big date with Zach. She claimed to be so excited that “I can’t feel my body.” She said she was looking forward to telling Zach that she’s a mom. She was hoping he’d take it well, and that the suitcase she packed and placed at the bottom of the staircase would still be there at the end of the date.
When Zach picked her up, they drove to a helicopter that was waiting to take them for a ride. (Of course it was. It’s The Bachelor! There must always be at least one helicopter, though it’s a little early in the season). Christina said she’s never even been close to a helicopter before. Please, her aunt is Barbara Mandrell, and she’s never been in a helicopter?! That’s kind of shocking. And of course, as they took off, the helicopter was required to make a low pass by the Mansion to make the other women jealous. It’s a Bachelor rule.
Zach and Christina flirted and kissed while flying over the Hollywood sign and downtown LA. They pretended to be air traffic broadcasters. They kissed “in the clouds.” But they didn’t wear seatbelts. That seemed kind of dangerous to me. (I know. Buzzkill. I can’t help it. I’m a mom). Zach foreshadowed, “If Christina thought riding in a helicopter is exciting, just wait till my next surprise.”
Next stop was Zach’s childhood home, where he promised Christina would meet his mom Megan, his dad Chap, and about 20 other family members and friends. No pressure. She was up for it though, and quickly said, “No big deal!” Apparently Zach had missed his mom’s birthday earlier in the week, and his family was celebrating with a birthday barbecue.
Even though it was a lot for a first date, Christina said it showed how much Zach’s family meant to him, and she was flattered that he chose her to share it with him. She seemed to fit right in and have a wonderful time.
As they walked to dinner together, Christina worried (in voiceover) about having to tell Zach that she’s a mom. Even though her daughter is the thing she’s proudest of, she would be disappointed if the revelation turned out to be too much for him. She was still hoping to get the date rose.
When she finally told Zach about her daughter Blakely May, Christina explained to him how important family is to her and that she was so glad to see at the barbecue how important family is to him. She wanted someone in her life who would be a partner and help her raise her daughter, someone to share the experiences with and “to do life with.”
Christina really surprised me. She’s such a pretty girl and grew up in a relatively famous (in country music) family, but she seems very down to earth and mature for 26 years old. I’m impressed. I wanted Zach to give her the rose. He started hemming and hawing and told Christina that he wants a family someday, but he’s not sure he’s ready right now. He seemed to be building up to tell her he couldn’t give her the rose.
But as scary as the thought of becoming an instant dad was, Zach was already having feelings for Christina and wanted to see where things went. He admitted to wanting to get to know Blakely, too. In one of the most emotional scenes I’ve ever watched on this show, Zach admitted his ambiguous feelings to Christina as he finally offered her the rose. She was also teary, but it was all emotion, not disappointment. I’m not crying, you’re crying!
The Rest of the Ladies Get Their Chance on Group Date #2
Finally the last group date arrived, and all the women who hadn’t yet had a date with Zach got to spend time with him. Everyone was excited. The Bachelor wanted to “keep it simple,” so he took all the women to what looked to be an outside garden, where couches had been set up. He joked that it was “my backyard.” He was looking forward to having a first conversation with all the women he hadn’t yet had a chance to talk to. One by one he led each woman away to his inside sofa (were they in a furniture store?) for a “conversation,” which almost always ended with a makeout session.
Back at the Mansion, two of the ladies (whose names I don’t yet know) were sitting on a couch in the backyard talking about how relatively supportive all the women have been to each other so far. One of them finally admitted, though, that she was upset hearing about other women kissing “my man.” She said she was going to have to start walking away from conversations to save her own sanity.
The women on the group date were talking about the same thing. While waiting for their turns to talk/make out with Zach, one of the ladies suggested using a “taste” of something as a grounding exercise. Another woman snapped back, “Please, if you can taste Zach’s saliva, don’t say it!” The stress was starting to show.
Everyone seemed to be reaching the point where it was no longer fun to hear about the other women’s relationships–especially since they were all dating the same guy. It was time to start focusing on their own relationship and to stop comparing notes.
Gabi (Maple Syrup Girl!) finally got to have her first private chat with Zach. Gabi may have had too much to drink by the time she got to sit down with the Bachelor, because their conversation quickly drifted into odd territory. After saying that she liked to give people nicknames, Gabi asked if she could call him “Zacharias . . . Zacky . . . Zachy-poo?” He seemed a little puzzled and uncomfortable. Poor Gabi admitted afterwards that in her effort to “get everything out” and make an impression on him, she was essentially “word vomitting.” I don’t even think she got that kiss she wanted so badly.
While holding the date rose in his hand, Zach teased several of the ladies by mentioning their conversations and how much he appreciated their being part of the process. Finally he gave the rose to Jess, and she happily accepted it. Good night, ladies. Thanks so much for playing.
Gabi was despondent that she didn’t get any validation from Zacky-Zach. “I shouldn’t have to feel like a worthless person,” she cried to a production assistant. Oh, honey, didn’t anybody tell you that the whole point of this game is to make you feel like a piece of meat?
Finally the Rose Ceremony arrived. In his welcome speech to the ladies, Zach thanked Christina for taking it in stride when he took her to meet his parents on their first date. The women looked shocked. Christina piped up, “I also didn’t tell them that.” Smart girl. Smooth move, Zach. Now you’ve put a target on Christina’s back and sent several of the women into a tailspin.
Gabi got a second chance with Zach at the RC. She was able to tell him how much she appreciated how he always took the time to speak to everyone, even though she still felt a little behind in their relationship. She also remembered that he had said he liked peanut butter cups. She brought him a jarful of them. Sweet move, Gabi! They shared a Reese’s “Lady and the Tramp” style, and Gabi is back in the game.
Brianna was on a “poor me/everybody hates me” head trip. Admittedly Christina did say something thoughtless and mean the first night. When Brianna confronted her, she apologized profusely and sincerely, even though Christina said she didn’t remember saying it. There was a lot of alcohol flowing that night.
Brianna then had a sitdown with Zach. She played “someone said something kind of mean to me the first night, do you want to know who it is?” Zach, thankfully, didn’t fall for it. Brianna told him she’d already gotten an apology (Christina might have dodged a bullet there). After telling Brianna that he has felt like she has a lot of walls up and their conversations have been kind of serious and “not fun,” Zach ended things with a hug. Hmmmm, something tells me Brianna’s not getting a rose.
Jesse arrived clinking the champagne glass of doom and announced it was time to line up for the
execution Rose Ceremony.
But Brianna DID get a rose, even though she was the last name called. Why, Zach? I thought for sure she was going home. Cat, Kimberly and (I think) Becca were the rose non-recipients. Bye, girls. Have a nice trip home!
Next week, Jesse promised us more drama. Wait. Zach said there would be no drama.
TELL US – DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SO FAR OF THE WOMEN? WERE YOU AS SUPRISED AS I WAS WHEN ZACH GAVE GABI A SECOND CHANCE? HOW ABOUT WHEN HE GAVE BRIANNA A ROSE?
[Photo Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images]