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'The Bachelor' Recap: Hunk and His Punks

By Alicia Lutes, Hollywood.com Staff

OK, I'm going to be honest with you here: I think this show is sort of a fairy tale. I imagine that the producer of the show is Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Can't you just imagine it? Bounding around, slinking through the audition rooms, bellowing about their ""poor, unfortunate souls"" that are in pain, in need. They all want love and there's a hefty price to pay — namely their dignity. Man, Ariel really got off easy on that one, eh?

Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is the only logical explanation for why the women on this show subject themselves to such idiotic tomfoolery and play a part in their own character assassinations. I'm sorry, Sean Lowe is not hot enough to lose all dignity for, ladies. I'm not saying he's not good looking by any means, but, I mean is a man's attractiveness level really worth the potential humiliation and all that? He's just not my cup of tea, really. Talk to me about Sean Lowe's general hotness factor when he starts playing stringed instruments and saying slightly bizarre things during interviews and has a meme made after him. Or if he just changes his name to Ryan Gosling. Talk to me about having a chance to put my mouth on his mouth and maybe I will be able to better understand this mindset.

But it seems that Sean Lowe (he really does have a name that works better said in full, doesn't he?) is just so interesting, complex, and learned a person that all these women can do is...talk about his abs. Did you guys know that Sean Lowe has abdominal muscles? Did you know he has skin that is perfectly tanned, hair the blondest shade of blonde, and a generally rockin' bod? Because apparently, when you have the total package, all people want to do is talk about the wrapping. Who cares about Sean's interests or ideas? Make the man take off his shirt! ABC's really not even trying to make this look like anything less than Magic Mike Presents: The Bachelor. Hence why the show opens with a scene portraying Sean shirtless, and then wet in the shower, and then pumping serious iron in the gym.

I'm starting to think Sean Lowe is allergic to shirts.

But wait! The objectification of Sean's body isn't the only thing this show likes to prattle on about. Oh no. Apparently having a societally-perceived perfect body can't always find you your One True Love or Soulmate. (Weird, since that's the only way it happens in real life!) But lucky for Sean, there is no one else in the whole entire world — nay, universe — who deserves True Love more than him. Just ask all the women who can't stop talking about how in-love with Sean they all are. So what are a bunch of in-love girls to do? Act crazy and turn on each other for the most petty, insecure, and nonsensical reasons, ever. Don't get me wrong! All of these women are pretty much certifiable, and some of the ire seems warranted, but MAN, what's with all the girl-on-girl, no-good-reason hate for?

Meet this season's not-so-surprising villain: Tierra! Surprise! Are you surprised? I'm sort of surprised, but also not really because homegirl came on real strong at the beginning, so she probably is convinced that Sean is her One True Love and f**k all these other b**ches. I'm not here to make friends!. But more on that, later, shall we? For now, simply admire the wonderful way in which editing brings a television baddie to life, and move on.

Chris Harrison, man-about-town and Sean Lowe Fan Club Vice President (under Tierra), thinks Sean is the most fantastic and sincere dude they've ever had on this little dog and pony show, and he thinks that — dun dun dun — THE PROCESS WORKS! Sean will 100% find true, everlasting love on this show or Chris Harrison will drink his own weight in urine. Wait, he didn't say that last part? Oh, OK. Maybe not. Weird.

The first date card is here and it's a one-on-one for Sarah, who everyone on the Internet seems to be calling the one-armed gal. Which feels pretty much like a trivialization of her as a person. So can we all agree to just call her Sarah and not obsess about her missing hand? It's not like her name is Jef and she's missing an F — now that would be really bizarre. All the girls are bitter about Sarah's first date, but they can't be mad because she has one arm and even these psychos don't want to look like total c**ts. Just little ones! Television!

And for this date? Sean is ~personally~ pulling out all the stops. Only by personally we mean it was personally organized by some undoubtedly tireless and under-appreciated PA. Her name is probably Sally and she's probably from Nebraska. Poor Sally has probably stayed up nights, tossing and turning with the sound of squealing grown women. I feel bad for Sally the PA. Oh look! Here comes a helicopter, because duh, this show is nothing if not predictable. Kacie B and the other girls are soooooo jealous, as if 50% of these dates won't involve helicopters. This is The Bachelor people! ABC loves themselves a helicopter scene. Do you think they have stock in a helicopter manufacturing plant? There are so many damn helicopter rides on this show. Enough! They are not surprising, they are just a chance to semi-hear what the couple is barely saying to each other (mostly a variation on ""Wow! Amazing! So beautiful."") while they stare at something the camera can't really see.

Anyway, the moral of this date is: Love isn't decided by how many hands you have, you guys. True love is a fairy tale, so you better start falling before you miss it!

Fairy tales! This theme of Disney-fied, unrealistic expectations is running rampant this season, and hoo boy, are we ready to be done with women thinking that real-life relationships are like the archaic ones you saw as a child. But I digress! Sean thinks that Sarah's honesty and general normalcy make her a great catch, regardless of her hand status. The two take a trip to downtown LA for a champagne toast, only there's a catch! They have to free fall 300' off a building. Dude, this is what liquor stores were made for: tiny bubbles are not worth that much effort, OK? I don't care if you have a bathtub for of Crystal, guarded by a naked Ryan Gosling waiting for me at the bottom. (Well, OK, maybe if Gosling is involved. But only then!)

And what pairs better with a champagne toast than the faux-terror only the editors at The Bachelor franchise can create? Well, nothing! So that's why they decide to make these very well-protected people on a television show look like they may not make it out of this date alive. OMG, what if they die?! Come on, dummies: OBVIOUSLY if someone was hurt or killed on this show, Reality Steve wouldn't be the only one to report on it. But the assured safety of our Prince Kumquat Sean Lowe and his Princess Sarah makes for boring television. So while they call it a ""free fall"" it's actually just a real quick dangle. There are so many ropes and harnesses on the two of them, they look like a pair of overcompensating rock climbers. The date ends with Sarah and Sean sipping on some red, red wine, and a story from Sarah. It's about zip-lining in Las Vegas with her dad, only the zip-line staff told her she couldn't go because she was ""disabled"" and Nevada law prohibited it. She was upset. ""It was crushing"" were her words. Her dad had the invaluable, logical response: See, Sarah, this is why you need a strong man! Oh yes, dad, because only strong men can help you fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Get thee a man STAT, Sarah! Your very LIFE depends on it!

Fun Fact: Sean does, in fact, consider himself a man.

Jokes about Sarah's dad aside, she brings up a hilariously no-duh, but nice to hear anyway point: ""It's not about what our bodies look like, it's about who we are inside."" Only tell that to all the fat people who get rejected from these sort of shows that bodies don't matter. Or all the people who find joy in relentlessly picking apart the unavoidable genetic make-up of others. Har har har! Nope, it doesn't matter, only it matters. Just...usually to people who aren't very nice. Anyway, Sarah gets the rose. Sean's expectations have been blown. There's a kiss! The music swells! Talk turns to fairytales! It is quite literally THE Number 1 Best Date Of All Time, Ever, Swear to God, Full Stop. Why didn't someone tell me beforehand?

Group Date Alert!

About 857 girls — including Tierra, our newly-minted villain — are headed for this week's group date. Tierra ""is not here to make friends"" because she's actually a parody of every reality contestant, ever. They make it too easy, sometimes, don't they? In any event, the show continues on its ""Let's exploit Sean Lowe's body because that's literally the only thing we can do with him"" tip, so the ladies and Sean are dressing up as Harlequin novel cover models for a chance to win a three-book cover model deal. Oh la la or something!

The girls are all afraid of having too small of personalities to compete with the oversized, neon-colored helium balloons that make up the rest of the competition, though. Times are tough and desperation is sticky!

Selma joins the crew of idiots who compare Sean to a Prince Charming type before the gratuitous product placement of a bunch of supermarket romance novels. I can only imagine the publishing house regularly sacrifices virgins (aka interns), goats, and dignity to their newest god, Christian Grey, in hopes that the 50 Shades pandemonium will rub off on them and cause an increase in sales..

No Duh Pro-Tip from The Best in the Midwest (Kristy!): Baby oil makes your skin shiny. Amazing, right? No one ever knew that before tonight.

There were horses and flannel and cowboy hats galore. Vampires and Romeos and Juliets and lust! Lesley M. made a big impression on Sean because she has a smokin' body. And then she kissed Sean on the mouth. Every sad, depressed, anxious, insane banshee began to wail in abject horror.

Robyn and Tierra hate each other apparently. ""Tacky hoes are a dime a dozen,"" says the makeup artist lady, so clearly within earshot of Tierra herself. These two will probably end up pulling hairs and screaming at each other later (fingers crossed)! Tierra is being a petty, judgmental jerk just because Robyn has extensions in her hair. That's right, because all-natural beauty is certainly the American Standard. ""You may have a dark side, you may have a catty side,"" says Sean to Tierra. But he doesn't believe that she does. Ugh, why is it always this way? Is Tierra the new Courtney Robertson?

Tierra is one of those poor, misguided souls that thinks aggressive narcissism packaged in a faux-bubbly exterior will win everyone over every time. Mostly because this style of thinking assumes ""everyone"" is a giant oblivious f**king moron. Generally these types consider themselves to be really smart (and often, smarter than everyone else in the world) and use their perceived intelligence to try and outsmart their (frequently) not-as-dumb-as-assumed competitors. This never works unless you're a beauty pageant contestant. Or if the dude you're trying to marry is named Ben Flajnik. I can see why, in this situation, that people may believe the same deception techniques can work, but, NOPE. Even if it takes awhile, eventually this charade can never last. Sorry, Tierra, nice try! We'll give you a B+ for manipulative effort.

Kristy won a three-book cover deal! Which is so shocking since she's a Ford Model and all. Best in the Midwest!

After the shoot, everyone gets together for cocktails, more commonly known as the Sean Lowe abduction hour. Lesley M. and Sean seem to like each other a lot. They both seem to be a bit nervous around each other, which I find endearing. Lesley keeps changing the subject whenever there's a lull in the conversation — a lull that Sean thinks about using as a chance to kiss Lesley. Lesley thinks this is Sean avoid kissing because Lesley is proving herself to be one of those normal, awkward human types who barely make it far on this show. Sometimes girls get intimidated at the thought of putting her mouth on someone else's mouth that she really likes. It happens! It's cute. There was a big back and forth with the will-they-won't-they that eventually landed on ""won't"" before Lesley pulled on her big girl pants, found Sean, and went in for it. Add he was totally into it. I found myself rooting for Lesley M. tonight — I'm glad she kissed the boy.

Next up, Kacie B continues to talk about how she's so flabbergasted about making a decision to go on this show again. Her gut-instinct that he could be The One is so clearly wrong, but, you know, Sean's going to let her linger for a few more episodes before she gets the boot. Sorry, Kacie, the process doesn't work for you.

Other highlights include Catherine's admission that she's a vegan who makes exceptions for GRADE-A MAN MEAT and a really deep conversation about Atlantis that was more confusing than it should've been.

Oh, and WHO the heck is this Selma girl and when did she get here? I don't even really remember her from last week, but she came on strong in tonight's episode. Case in point: Sean casually mentions something about ""my wife"" and the previously-unnoticable Selma emphatically confesses: ""I don't know what it is about the way you say it, but it's so genuine, it's so romantic, and it's so beautiful coming out of your mouth."" Thank you, Selma De Bonkers. Do you think she came when he said ""my wife,"" because uh, she seemed really overcome...with emotions.

Back to everyone's favorite monster person, Tierra! She's a moper. And mopes aren't good matches for the perceived-awesome of people like Sean. The only thing is that Tierra has a bad case of the b**chface, and Sean feels like she needs her mind put at ease instead of what she really needs (which is to continue making drama for my personal entertainment purposes, but then leave before anyone I actually like for Sean gets kicked off). Tierra reiterates the obvious: she's only here for Sean, she's pursuing him for a reason, and she's not cool with all the other ladies being all up on her mans. I'm sorry, Tierra, have you ever seen this show before?

Every girl puts on their best vocal fry and decides to whine, moan, and complain about how they all have the ~deepest, truest love~ with Sean, and the other basic b**ches have no idea what they're really talking about. Everybody's love is the greatest love and is totally greater than all the other loves! So much love! Guys, this is WEEK TWO! I'm exhausted by the hyperbole already, which is impressive because hyperbole is my first language.

Katie feels too normal to be on this show, so she leaves. Another one bites the dust! Kacie B gets the rose for the evening and Tierra is P-I-S-S-E-D. She doesn't GET IT you guys! The witch doctor back in Boulder said would happen. No! No! No! This isn't working out the way she wants it — and that's not FAIR! UGH.

Date Card! The next one-on-one is between Sean and Desiree, who has a genuine surprise face that would make Taylor Swift green with envy.

Sean decides to punk Desiree on her first date because Sean fancies himself to be a bit of a prankster-type (remember his weird faux-bedroom scene with Emily last year?).The thing is that Sean has maybe one of the worst poker faces out there, and came up with the most boring and un-engaging ""punks"" ever. Seriously. He can't stop smiling and goofily laughing as soon as he and Desiree make it to the fake art gallery the show created. And then then they see a piece of ""art"" worth 1.5 million chocolate coins, and Sean leaves, and art falls over and shatters. Only Desiree's like…500 feet away from the art, with her back turned away from it, so obviously she doesn't think that she did it and clearly the joke's no longer on her but the show for being terrible jokesters. It is the most un-funny punking ever. Sean Lowe, you are a milquetoast Ashton Kutcher. Don't quit your day job and just keep taking off your shirt. That's all ABC and these ladies seem to want you for anyway.

The two follow up those high-octane hijinks with a boring night at home with wine and steak, just like us Normals! Their parents are apparently exactly the same. These two kooky kids really like each other! So far, Desiree is the front-runner, to me, in this competition.

The thing that really causes me pause is how much Sean is into traditional gender roles. He's very explicit about his pride in being a capital-M Man, and therefore being the familial provider, ""rock,"" and general leader. Apparently no one else in the house has brought out ALL the REAL sides of Sean than Desiree. ""She's probably going to be here for a long time."" Ta-da! It's a rose. Proving that she's similar to Sean in an un-funny way, she tries to make a joke, but it falls as flat as the bad piece of art on the floor. Sean thinks he could see himself marrying Desiree, and that she has every quality that he is looking for.

Cocktail Hour/Rose Ceremony:

This is becoming ""more"" real, you guys. Could you tell? It's really real, this time. As opposed to all the fake real we saw last week. Tonight is all about Competition! Fierceness! Jealousy! Roses!

Sean continues to surround himself with very cool and interesting and not-at-all-crazy women. They all think he's so cute, so, you know, it's hard to decide who to like the least! Poor Sean and his tough life. He muddles through some cool wedding dress jokes from Lindsay! Please, remind him on all that crazy he let in the door all those days ago. Works every time, I've heard.

Then comes one of the more nonsensical pile-ons I've seen on this franchise (which is really saying something if you think about it): The Big Amanda Hate Parade. Apparently this chick named Amanda is a mute or something. All the girls dislike that they can't read her. This makes people really really upset. So naturally, all the subsequent interviews and cut-aways talk about how she's apparently either the devil or a zombie otter dressed in a human suit, trying to make Sean fall in love with her so that she can reproduce an entire race of half-human, half-otter zombies.

Seriously, though, everyone is so uncomfortable that the non-effervescent girl Amanda is uninterested in playing the fake-nice game and is only a shiny, happy person around Sean, according to editing. This is the biggest non-drama drama this show has ever manufactured. Do these grown-ass women really f**king care that one girl isn't a Red Bull-charged Stepford Wife-In-Training? Really? Why? Granted, homegirl looks miserable 99% of the time this episode, but still. Why do you care? Are your lives really that dull and unfulfilling? Haven't you heard of natural resting b**chface? It's a thing. Sometimes that's just how a person's face looks! My best friend totally has b**chface but she's actually a really lovely, wonderful human. So stop being so judgmental about b**chface, ladies. In the end it all matter for naught, since Amanda ended up with the final rose at the rose ceremony later that evening.

Robyn wants to get to the heart of the increased diversity on the show this season. Is it because Sean is less-descriminating about race and ethnicity (probably not)? Or is it that the show was getting sued for being a goddamn white bread factory and they needed to do something to change it (yes)? Either way, Robyn wants to know about Sean's opinions on race and ethnicity. She wants to know what Sean is attracted to — mainly if he has a type, and if she's it. Sean's dated a black girl, a hispanic girl, and a persian girl. He's like the United Colors of Benetton of Bachelor candidates! Look at that Sean! Welcome to 2013 1967, you guys.

So who went home rose-less tonight?

Hasta La Bye-Bye:

BrookeDiana

Next week looks to include: world records, more crying women, the selfish ruthless crazy of Tierra, a fallen/hurt bachelorette, and — of course — shirtlessness.

What did you think of this week's episode? Do you think Amanda deserves the judgement? Are we being too harsh on Tierra? Let us know in the comments!

[Photo Credit: ABC]

Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes

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