Maybe I'm just overtired. Maybe having to cancel a date of my own has made me a wee bit jaded when it comes to potential romantical pursuits. Maybe it's just because after having watched that episode, I realized I will have to recap The Bachelor not once, but twice next week that has me a little mentally exhausted already. Whatever the case, this week's episode of The Bachelor was one big facepalm. Get it together, Sean Lowe.
Nevertheless, here we are: voyeuristically tuning into the courtship quest of our Ken Doll, personified, and his coterie of contessas. And once again, Tierra the Tierrable has taken over as the show's central hurricane of crazy. As a viewer and a recapper, I like to think that maybe there's a redeemable quality or two within the villains of reality television, but Tierra is turning out to be just as unsympathetic as The Bachelor's former hate-target, Courtney Robertson. Tonight it became clear that homegirl is certifiably narcissistic and nutters, and there's no turning back now. You give girls a bad name, yo.
But first! Let's get to the dates. Selma gets the first date! She's completely misguided, because homegirl thinks she's going to be treated like a princess in a castle but WAIT! She's not going to be the princess in the castle. She's going to be the princess of Joshua Tree — a beautiful desert park in California. But Selma wasn't happy: "And then he took the Iraqi to the desert. I don't do well in heat. At all." Poor Selma, she was all ready to put on a fancy dress, wear a crow, scream "off with their heads!" and eat cake while people starved, but instead she has to endure the worst date, ever. I'm sorry, do you like sweating and exercising on a first date where the word "exercise" isn't a euphemism for sex? Of course not! Because you're a normal human. I'm all for going on hikes and being outdoorsy (although every future boyfriend should know that I am not a happy camper. No camping, not ever. You're welcome, all my future boyfriends who are totally reading this recap, obviously), but do not make me flail about on a rock while being held from a deathfall by a rope. No one is trying to have chapped inner thighs going into date numero uno.
The date was not a total loss, because we learned just how clueless Sean actually is: "Selma loves everything about this date." Oh, yea? Does she, Sean? Now I see why he thinks Tierra is here for the "right reasons" (which is my new least-favorite reality television phrase, ever). Sean is the world's most clueless human. There are f**king wolves howling at the moon, Selma's anxiously barking, "Oh my god, where are you taking me?" And yet somehow, Sean thinks that Selma is ba-da-ba-ba-ba, she's lovin' it. She's not.
But the duo move to a more romantic spot (fire!), and open up about their personal lives. Sean about his last serious relationship, and Selma about her family's conservative personal values. The two seem desperate to kiss, but Selma (who is from Baghdad) has a perfect image to uphold and a mother to appease. So instead of kissing (which he totally respects), Sean decides to thrust a rose in her face, caressing the sides of her...forehead? And maybe eyeballs? Yes, Sean creepily swats Selma's face with a rose to show his affections. You guys, romance is still real, and alive and well! Selma gets the rose, and the two passionately hold hands for the rest of the evening. Under a blanket (which means she's totally probably giving him a quick handie. Just kidding!)
Next up is the group date! And, of course, the beginning of The Tierra Show. It's time for Sean to "step up" because she "don't need no chaperone," y'all. She's a big girl! She doesn't want a group date! She wants the golden goose, daddy! And she wants it NOW! Sorry Tierrable, you're going on the group date. Suck on my roller skate, Tierrable, because you're going to the roller derby! Poor Amanda was devastated that they weren't actually getting into giant hamster balls and rolling down hills, which was her first and most logical thought.
As would be expected, this date is a total colossal disaster. Why? Because, um, hello? Have you ever tried roller skating? Roller skating is hard! Rollerblading is one thing, but skates are an entirely different beast — and way harder to control. Couple that with having to learn to derby (one of the most aggressive and terrifying sports, ever)? Yeah. No wonder poor Amanda ate it. Everyone learning how to roller skate looks like a drunk octopus on wheels. It's not cute.
Tierrable is losing her s**t, but because she's a totally rational adult female, she's not going to let the other girls stop her because she's a survivor! Even if that plague is of the I-can't-believe-she-survived-it "bad energy" kind. Naturally, survive she does not, because she's gone 15 minutes without Sean putting all of his attention on her, so she threatens to leave, declaring "I can't be tortured like this!" Tierrable is in the reality television version of Guantanamo, you guys. GOSH SHE IS SUCH AN INSPIRATION, HOW DOES SHE DO IT?
...Probably by being a general garbage monster. Tierrable was apparently quite good at roller derby and the girls took the moment to actually pay her a compliment (probably attempting to make things less tense between everyone) by saying "oh, you should get into it!" But Tierrable knows that this is all a trick. She knows that these women are just saying this to her because they're trying to torture her with their "compliments" and "words." So she bluntly pouts, "no," nearly cutting the girls off before they finish the damn statement. Apparently she's mad because Tierrable doesn't want a sympathy rose, she only wants to spend every waking (and sleeping) second sucking all of the life with Sean.
But first, Tierrable needs to wade the waters of injustice. Because, like ugh Robyn totally acted like she wasn't there [at the roller derby date], and Tierrable is SO mad. She is convinced that Robyn didn't say her name when asking about Amanda's injury because Robyn was trying to get a rise out of her. Because the entire universe revolves around Tierrable. (Can someone put me on the universe's mailing list because I've been missing out on memos like this for years now and it's just so hard to keep track!) "Really, are you in high school?" the hilariously oblivious and hypocritical Tierrable says. She's not bitter though, she's better! She also might be psychopathic with her levels of narcissism, but I'm no doctor so please make sure to ask Dr. Drew or something for a highly qualified and professional diagnosis. But see, Tierrable may be questionably certifiable, but she's not going to let anyone stop her from getting what she wants. And what she wants is Sean. All Sean, all the time. Only by Sean, I think she means "to win." Unfortunately, the other women's inability to understand how ~magical~ her relationship with Sean is, is BREAKING HER DOWN INSIDE and it's NOT FAIR. She can't be tortured like this you guys!!!! Why can't Tierrable just be free to be a total stand-offish jerk to the rest of the women and not have anyone question her about it?
So, in order to get what she wants, she hides all Gollum-style in a dark corner before nabbing Her Precious away from his hot tub time with Amanda. Sean, in all of his doofus-like glory, feels like Tierrable is just misunderstood and needs extra attention because she's such an ~emotional free spirit~ who feels a lot. So he goes up to grab the date rose and the girls are P-I-S-S-E-D O-F-F, y'all. Sean thinks that Tierrable has a lot of self-doubt but he somehow really likes her. He's crazy about her, apparently! Sean needs Tierrable to stay because he'll forever wonder what could have been.
Contrary to Tierrable, Amanda openly admits to milking the sympathy card for a rose. "This didn't happen for nothin'," she states. She overblows her pain with Sean, hoping to probably get a rose rather than the kiss on the cheek she got. Oh Amanda, a kiss on the cheek? Might as well be the kiss of death. Someone is totally going home.
For the final one-on-one date, Leslie H gets the Pretty Woman treatment. "Hot car, hot earrings, hot guy!" she squeals. The two get their Rodeo Drive on Pretty Woman. Driving around LA, heading to Badgley Mischka and Neil Lane for a quick bit of integrated marketing so that ABC can get some ad sales dollars. Apparently it's "every girl's dream to shop on Rodeo Drive," because every girl that Sean Lowe knows is a horrible stereotype and only have three likes: chocolate, shopping, and boyz. So glad that they're proving money can't buy you love and that women are more than just materialistic money pits. "And I am a tan Julia Roberts!"
Neil Lane lets her borrow (OBVIOUSLY BORROW this chick isn't actually Julia Roberts) a necklace with 120 carats of diamonds on it in an art deco pattern. "Sean's made me feel more like a woman than anybody else." Ever ever ever ever ever etc ever ever. Because being a woman = expensive things!
Only Sean isn't feeling it. The two go on a date that felt more like an interview. But maybe that's just because their date is taking place in the same location as the final scene of 500 Days of Summer. They talk about past relationships and how Leslie is always the lady her exes date before they get married to their next girlfriend. So of course this is the perfect time for Sean to do the same! He's not feelin' Leslie H, so she's sent packing. Before she goes, though, Leslie tells Sean to be wary of some of the girls that "already have roses" before she scoots off in the car. Gee, wonder who she's talking about! Don't worry, Leslie, you'll find love if you want it, don't worry. A lonely Ben Taylor serenades an empty room while simultaneously sounding exactly like his father (you know, James Taylor? Yeah, that guy). Sean wanders around the empty space, ocassionally stopping to lean pensively or sulk while a voiceover explains his woe.
So now it's time for the pre-cocktail dramafest. AshLee remains confident and cool in her relationship with Sean. Robyn does a terrible chocolate joke and is overwhelmed by their make out sesh right before being pulled aside by Tierrable. Alongside Jackie, Tierrable explains that she's never done anything intentionally to hurt these two gals — which I don't think people thought she did? They just think you're an awful human, Tierrable. Because you're sort of presenting yourself that way! — she just wants them to stop reading into what she's doing or how she's acting. Which, to be fair, is really, really, really sound advice for these nutter butters. And the, shockingly, Tierrable apologizes! Only it's "definitely fake, definitely forced." "But if I have to be this way," Tierrable explains, "I will." Oh! Right! And no one is smart enough to tell that's exactly what you're doing, Tierrable. Not at all! You're just so much smarter than them and no one can ever tell when you're thumbing your nose as them! Tierrable is the worst.
Lucky for her, though, Sean is a total moron, and promised Tierrable that the other girls' opinions on her won't affect him. He doesn't think her necessity for validation is a weird or bad thing. But that's because Sean is like every other dude who doesn't read the signals and then is shocked when they realize that the crazy women they fall for, are crazy. To be fair, women do this, too (we're all so crazy and blinded by crazy when we want to put our genitals together! Ugh). But jeez, the dudes on this show have an especially egregious track record with this stuff.
But let's talk about someone we actually like! Hello, Catherine! Where have you been this whole season? I mean, I know she's been around, but there was something sort of sweet and special about her interactions with Sean tonight. She brought him a kiss on a card which is totally cheesy, but the chemistry between these two is immediately heightened. They're so comfortable together and don't waste time, so they sneak away to have a kiss. She calls it "perfect." There's something about Catherine that actually feels…normal? We approve, Sean. We like this one. Put her on our faves list ans save her from elimination, please. Which, speaking of: it's time!
So, Who's Going Home?
AmandaLeslie H. (already sent home)
Next week it's a two-day Bachelor clusterf**k event that apparently can't be missed! Two episodes in two nights?! Double the romance, triple the pain! Will your brain be able to handle it?! Do you think Tierra is as bad as she seems? Tune in next week to find out, and sound off about the show in the comments!
[Photo Credit: ABC]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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Yesterday was Cyber Monday, so I watched last night’s episode of The Voice on my ten 10%-off (10 times 10 equals 100% off; I am a financial genius) plasma TVs I bought earlier that morning with Amazon Prime One-Hour Shipping. Here’s what you missed.
No one has cared so much about a Top 8 since back when MySpace had more than four active users (and, let’s be real, one of those is Tom). Cee Lo Green is the only coach to have retained three artists in the competition, while Dez Duron stands alone as the sole remaining member of Team Christina—Obi Dez Duroni, you’re her only hope. (Considering her recent hairstyles on The Voice, it’s only a matter of time till Xtina shows up for a taping in Princess Leia buns.)
The show starts with 50 Cent and Adam Levine dueting on their new single “My Life.” A fog machine on full blast and an abundance of neon “50” signs can’t distract from how meh this is. I’d rather see Adam perform with some kind of freaky asylum patient from American Horror Story.
The first to take the stage for Team Adam is Amanda Brown, former Adele background singer—going full All About Eve with a cover of the English superstar’s “Someone Like You.” But this ain’t no ballad. Amanda brings a gritty, rock-and-roll edge to her performance, completely transforming the song’s tone. Get it, girl.
Cee Lo envisions Cody Belew as a latter-day Freddie Mercury, so what better song for him to cover than Queen’s “Somebody to Love?” This classic track requires personality as well as power, and boyfriend delivers—recovering from last week’s Beyoncé misstep with a performance grounded in strong vocals.
But that’s not to say Cody’s lost his oddball “bam bam” charm. When he climbs atop a grand piano—as a full choir in floor-length robes looks on—it’s clear that he’s more in his element than ever.
Cassadee Pope, Dez Duron, Melanie Martinez and Terry McDermott band together for a version of the All-American Rejects’ “Move Along.” For reasons that escape me, they are accompanied by Max Headroom lookalikes in sleeveless suits, banging on light-up garbage cans with glowsticks. Yup.
Terry is up next, performing coach Blake Shelton’s own (!) “Over.” Blake modestly explains the song is “better suited for Terry” than it ever was for his own voice (ugh, humility dreamboat), and that he wants America to see McDermott perform something other than classic rock.
Terry’s rendition is completely solid, but not terribly exciting—save for a weird, avant garde close-up of a lightbulb, because somebody behind the camera just wrapped up their first prereq for their Film Studies minor.
Though she’s complimentary overall, Christina points out that Terry’s voice falters slightly in its lower range. It’s interesting at this stage to see the backhanded compliments and subtly passive-aggressive digs emerge from competing judges (the exception to this is Blake, who is a perfect, guileless, broad-shouldered angel). They may no longer have a direct hand in who’s eliminated, but damn if they won’t try to sway how America votes.
Team Adam’s baby sister Melanie Martinez covers “Too Close” by Alex Clare—she mentions that she’s chosen this song because she’s “going through a break-up,” and I wonder if we’ll soon have another Taylor Swift on our hands.
This is, in many ways, a standard Melanie performance, but arguably her best so far—this time the raspiness doesn’t feel forced, and her power crescendoes perfectly at the chorus. Melanie looks increasingly mortified each time Adam offers to beat up the boy who apparently wronged her, and I suddenly realize—oh no, she broke his heart. Awk. Somewhere on Long Island tonight, a 17-year-old is crying into his AP Chem textbook. We feel for you, bro.
“A lot of people peg me as this Yale quarterback jock guy,” Dez Duron says with a smirk. No, Dez. No, they don’t. In fact, we peg you as the type of guy who’d cover Justin Bieber, which is exactly what you’re about to do.
It’s actually irrelevant how well Dez sings “U Smile,” because he’ll automatically win the vote of every prepubescent female in the country no matter what he does. I find Dez hopelessly boring, and am embarrassed to admit I sort of stopped paying attention mid-song. As an apology, please accept this actual fan comment left on a recent photo uploaded to Dez’s Facebook fan page: “He.Is.The.Sexiest.Thing.On.This.Universe.”
After last week’s ill-conceived detour into dance music, I’m so relieved that Trevin Hunte has chosen “The Greatest Love of All,” the gold standard of ballads. Increasingly confident—and looking the part of a supah-star in a supah-sparkly blazer—Trevin does some of his best belting yet. “I really hope that this is heaven,” Adam sighs.
Christina Milian is babbling about something to Terry McDermott when, all of a sudden, his wife and son appear in the Skybox alongside them. They giddily make out (Terry and his wife, that is—not his wife and his son, nor his wife and Christina) and it’s possibly the sweetest thing ever.
For the evening’s second group number, Cody, Trevin, Cassadee Pope and Nicholas David perform “Any Way You Want It” (is Journey secretly NBC’s majority shareholder?). In general, these group performances by their nature struggle to surpass the awkward choreography of a middle-school class concert, but this is a strong showing from a strong ensemble.
Baby-daddy-to-be Nicholas David’s rehearsal with Cee Lo is joined by soul legend Bill Withers, there to help David hone his rendition of “What’s Goin’ On.” Nicholas can’t help but stare at Withers—whose “Lean on Me” he covered last week—literally open-mouthed at the sight of his hero. D’aww.
As you’ve probably come to expect from Nicholas, the performance is so, so good. In terms of musicianship, he’s such a refreshing change from his competitors—who frequently sing with virtually untouched prop guitars—as he makes the keyboard his b-word week after week.
Closing out the night is Blake’s Cassadee Pope, still riding high from topping the iTunes charts last week. She takes on Michelle Branch’s “Are You Happy Now,” tapping into the “spiteful” side of the song—inspired by her painful history with her out-of-the-picture father. (Maybe this also served, obliquely, as emotional fodder for “Over You?” Maybe I spend too much time thinking about Cassadee Pope’s childhood? Maybe you don’t know me? Maybe you should back off because you’ll never understand Cassadee’s and my deeply personal connection?)
Back in her pop-punk wheelhouse, Cassadee turns in a strong performance, if not a particularly unique one. For me, it was a letdown after last week’s country revelation. Nevertheless, Adam proclaims her to be the show’s new “front-runner.”
The Voice returns tomorrow night at 8 p.m., when the bottom two artists will be eliminated. Follow Molly on Twitter @mollyfitz.
[Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC]
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Top Chef: D.C. Recap: 'Chicken Run'
S7:E2: This episode we know more going in. We know who to hate and who to like. The morning-after interviews and pre-challenge passive-aggressive small talk around the house gets old fast. TWO interesting things to mention here. Firstly, they showed the contestants smoking cigarettes for the first time I can remember! Secondly, the scene wherein Andrea makes breakfast using absolutely massive amounts of butter and elicits disgusted, open-mouth stares from the others was hi-larious. She was all “Dude I like butter.” It was weird and great to see the more human side of these guys (I guess butter and cigarettes are relatable?).
Losing absolutely no time, Bravo drags out White House Assistant Chef Sam Kass before the contestants, parading their trophy bought with fame and mass circulation. This man’s hands feed your Obama. When the big man hankers for chicken nuggets, this is the guy who plops them in the fryer! We were all very impressed. Padma (inexplicably dressed in South Beach pink satin) indignantly explained that elegant, complex puns are an integral part of the reality show mythos and if one cannot keep oneself from pulling faces at every witty turn of phrase we are going to have a problem thank you very much. And with reserved indignation and narrowed eyes she announced the Quick fire Challenge: The Bipartisandwich. Silence.
The challenge was to make a delicious sandwich whilst inserted into an apron connected to another chef. Only one hand was to be used from each body to cook, meaning slicing and cutting was to involve one man holding and the other wielding the knife. This setup caused some measure of anxiety from Alex the Tan Russian as he was expected to hold sandwich meats in place while Timmy Dean stabbed wildly at the space containing the meat slab screaming “I WON’T CUT YOU. HOLD STILL. DO NOT PANIC. I HAVE THIS UNDER CONTROL”.
Jacqueline interviews that she is making chicken. A dark cloud passes overhead and somewhere a dog barks.
Kenny the Kool Kid is making a seared tuna sandwich with fruit bits. It’s clear at this point that he considers himself a black, bald, and more beautiful Jason Bourne.
Angelo is paired with Plump Tracey who confesses an ardent admiration for his graceful bone structure and lean sinewy body – in a sexual way, that is. She gurgles through the challenge, relying on Angelo’s experience as owner of a sandwich shop in New York. Angelo ends up winning the challenge for them with an Asian fish sandwich doused in what he called “liquid sex”. Tracey faints. Kenny flexes. Jacqueline whips up some chicken. Top Chef DC is just getting warmed up.
The Elimination Challenge was the school lunch challenge from most other seasons, though we were reminded of the D.C. location once again by a tangential connection to Michelle Obama’s Move It! Program for tiny fat kids. The contestants were admonished to make their meals healthy and were given a budget of 160 dollars per meal (about $2.60 per child). Arnold Mynt very insensitively comments that he spends more than 160 dollars on his own meals. Goddamn hipsters (just kidding he’s from Tennessee).
Angelo and Tracey were given immunity as reward for their fish sandwich, meaning they were a liability to the couple they paired up with. Angelo ended up picking Kenny to be in his group. This made Kenny furious.
Other groups were Arnold, Kelly (who?), and others, who decided to make carnitas tacos. This worked well in principle, however Kelly kept reminding the others that the pork carnitas was her dish and that she was responsible for it and that Arnold could keep his sneaky fingers off her pork. Arnold considered this extremely unfair, probably because he had only made a salsa (he was confused by poor people food). At the last minute he changed the name of his dish to a salad and called it a day.
Jacqueline’s team made chicken. I shit you not. Chicken is her life-water, her raison d'être. Chicken completes her. I suspect she is a plant from the League of Associated Chicken Distributors. But actually Amanda made the physical chicken, broiling it with sherry wine and then removing the skin to reveal a shiny, slimy, piece of gray meat. Jacqueline beams! Meanwhile she hurriedly dumps two pounds of sugar into her banana pudding and runs back to stare lovingly at the chicken.
Angelo and Kenny’s team decide to make chicken burgers, bread puddings and yam puree. In a transparent play to throw the challenge a bit and get Kenny kicked off, Angelo concocts a severe, imposing sculpture using celery and peanut butter mousse which kids will be confused by and is actually unhealthy as pointed out by Amanda in a fit of fiery anger.
K-Sbrags and Timmy Dean plus Tan Russian Alex make BBQ chicken with melon on a stick. Best of all, K-Sbrags gets kids to eat yogurt by pumping air into it and making it fluffy like whipped cream. FOOLS.
So what happened?! Kelly won for her pork carnitas. Anthony Mynt pouted. Kelly has the extremely obnoxious air of a girl who is really a tough bitch but sees herself as a sweet Pollyanna-Audrey Hepburn.
But what happened to the losers?? There were clearly two losing dishes: Jacqueline’s propagandist chicken project which was soaked in alcohol and served to children, and Angelo’s team’s failure to include proper vegetables in their meal. Under the pressure of the bright lights, a random white guy on Jacqueline’s team cracked and started screaming hysterically about Kenny’s lack of initiative in putting vegetables on the plate, pointing fingers and waving madly about. As he fell, foaming at the mouth and rolling on the floor, Kenny calmly stepped over his body and coolly explained that he had put tomato on the burger. To which Sam Kass was all “Oh Bitch PLEASE, tomatoes are a fruit”. To which Kenny SHOULD have replied, “Actually Smug-Ass-Kass, the Supreme Court has declared tomatoes a vegetable for taxing and tariff purposes and if its good enough for the judicial branch of this great government it should be good enough for you. SOCIALIST.”
However, in the end, it was the chicken that lost out. Tom, ever the sophisticate, deemed it a turd. Jacqueline was sent home for her chicken. WAIT, actually it was for the 900-calorie banana pudding, but from the proud glint in her eye as she slowly marched down the hall and out the door, it was clear that she would have gone home for her chicken ten times over.