"The Bachelor" Rose Rundown: Demi evolves into the villain America needs
I've been #TeamDemi since day one of this season of "The Bachelor." No, I'm not rooting for her to win – for who truly wins on one of these shows? – but the little barbed wire cotton candy human has been essential to the show's entertainment, stirring up trouble with her fellow Hannahs and delivering the kind of reaction shots and audio clips that make the show. Everybody's been so gosh darn polite this season – and then there's Demi, tossing little hand grenades of rationality and passive aggression before giggling and scampering off to play with her dress strings.
But on Monday night's episode, Demi finally found somebody willing to play ball, so she traded out the grenades for nuclear warheads and napalm. And I just paid my monthly dues to the Team Demi Fan Club for the whole year. I'm not saying I consider her a deity on this show, but I'm very close to starting an organized religion based around her grinning villainy.
Consider just her first moments on Monday's episode, as the girls await Harrison in the mansion. When one contestant notes that there's only 15 women left in the house, Demi notes, "It's crazy to think about" – a seemingly innocuous statement, said in a tone that screams, "I may have to murder some of you people." It's all in the details, dear reader – and the details are delicious. Speaking of delicious, Harrison mixes up the pageant girls and calls Miss Bama by her rival's name. Oh you coy fox, Harrison, you know EXACTLY who each of these women are and you know EXACTLY who they're fighting with, and YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST DID, YOU SNEAKY RAPSCALLION YOU. I've never loved you more, Harrison.
After pouring some boiling broth into this beef stew, Harrison comes to announce that they're not staying in the mansion. They're going somewhere they've never gone before. (Space?) A place that's as far around the globe as possible. (SPACE?!?!) It's Singapore, and even though I personally was rooting for the Earth's atmosphere, the women are ecstatic. It's like Oprah just told them they're all getting a new car. They are SCREAMING – even Hannah G., and she doesn't even know where Singapore is.
Well, dear Hannah G., Singapore is an island nation located in Malaysia, with its own vibrant culture and traditions. Or, as Colton notes, it has lights and buildings. That it does, my man. And Colton's plan for his first solo date in Singapore is to jump right off the side of one of those buildings.
Indeed, for his solo date with Tayshia, the two head to the beach (relaxing!) to do some bungie jumping. (LESS RELAXING!) Colton immediately fills with regret. Tayshia fills with fear. I fill with rage that the place says "bungy" on the side instead of "bungee." (Spell it like America, dammit! USA! USA!) But Colton's jump goes well, screaming all the way down, and so does Tayshia's – even though she falls basically standing up and gets her head basically yanked down toward the ground, so that looked painful and bad. Remind me to do the opposite of that the next time I bungee jump! (So, you know, in approximately NEVER YEARS.)
As for the rest of the solo date, Tayshia and Colton seem pretty great together. She opens up at dinner about how she's actually a divorcee, and the two have a pretty natural and solid conversation about how you can't judge other people's happiness. (Colton's parents were also divorced.) Then again, she also uses the word "epic," so SEND HER HOME IMMEDIATELY. "Epic" is the most overused word in the English language. But instead they hop on the big Ferris wheel, pop some champagne and finish off the romantic evening. The only thing missing is the rest of the girls somehow seeing them and seething from a distance. Other than the "epic" fail, this is a good "Bachelor" date.
Speaking of good dates, now we're off to the group shindig – which includes just about every Hannah left on the show. So obviously with more than a dozen people on a single date, Demi does her best to stand out – which means she runs out about a mile ahead of the rest of the women to greet Colton and then rides him like a pack mule for their journey through a Singapore marketplace. Meanwhile Courtney is all bummed out because Little Baby Person Demi is stealing all the one-on-one time while Colton and the rest of the nation still doesn't know her name.
You know what would make you feel better? LEECHES! Indeed, in the midst of their romance mega-date, Colton and company pop into a leech-atorium to pop on a little bloodsucker. And while Courtney asks questions about whether these are FDA approved blood worms, Demi plucks one right on and jokes to the camera that "I have the sweetest blood." LISTEN, SHE JUST DISPENSES GOLD. And also, yes, Demi, you do have the sweetest blood, probably because your 23 and Me revealed that you're 77 percent cupcake.
As for the rest of the date, Colton gets talked out of buying a fedora by A SAINT while Cassie and the bachelor get their fortunes told and she's revealed to be his sister from a past life. Oh, poor Cassie. Well, look on the good side; lunch is bullfrogs, eel and eyeballs!
Cassie gets her chance to reignite her flame with Colton when the cocktail party chunk of the evening strikes. The two makeout and say cute things and OH BOY SUDDENLY THIS FEELS REAL JON SNOW/KHALEESI "GAME OF THRONES" NOW. I know they've never been brother and sister in the past, but she should probably be sent home now just to be safe. No need to risk any reincarnation incest shenanigans.
As for the rest of the women on the date, Miss Alabama quickly steals him away at the beginning of the night, and the two have a nice, normal time together – which makes Colton happy since last week was all Miss Bama having panic attacks and self-sabotaging herself. THE RESTORATIVE POWER OF EATING EYEBALLS! Meanwhile, a very sweaty Demi opens up to Colton about her mom getting released from prison – but the show couldn't move on from that fast enough. We've got spicy DEMI DRAMA to cook up, as Courtney gets all sulky and whiny about how she hasn't gotten any time with Colton. Demi recommends that she should get out of her own head and make time with him – as always, she's not wrong! – but Courtney decides sitting on the bench is the way to go. So while she harrumphs, Demi takes this time to get a second one-on-one chat with Colton – AND COURTNEY JUST WOULDN'T BELIEVE!
Once again, the show is desperate to turn Demi into a bad guy ... but isn't she just playing this game right and actually being proactive in a dating situation rather than everyone else who grumps at her about procedure and unwritten rules and blah blah blah? Ladies, it's a game show; literally get with the program. Plus, everybody knows the best villains make good points. Unsurprisingly, Demi gets the rose, which means Courtney's gonna stew some more about Demi having watched "The Bachelor" before and knowing how this works. In fairness to her and everyone else, Demi is extremely extra. But, on the positive side, DEMI IS EXTREMELY EXTRA. And it is always entertaining.
Speaking of extra, Colton decides to take Cailynn shopping for their one-on-one date, so they hop into a friggin' ridiculously sweet car and then act out the trying on clothes montage from every '80s and '90s teen comedy. She then returns home to the ladies hauling in EVERY BAG from EVERY STORE, so obviously the rest of the house is jealous as hell. Cassie in particular is bummed because she hates seeing Colton do nice things for his other girlfriends ... and also because she might be his alternate universe sister.
This is where we come to the serious portion of the recap. Cailynn and Colton go for dinner, and Cailynn brings up that, during her school days, she and some friends were drugged and raped. It is an absolutely horrific, tragic and terrible story that no woman should have to live through, much less relive with a camera rolling, and Cailynn is remarkably brave for sharing it on such a massive stage. To his credit, Colton doesn't just speak in bland "Bachelor" platitudes in response, and the two have a respectable conversation about her awful experience – even discussing Colton's past relationship with a sexually abused woman, who many on the internet have speculated is Aly Raisman, two-time Olympian and key witness in bringing down the corrupt abuses inside U.S. Gymnastics. In general, it's a good thing that we, as a culture, are listening to these stories, taking them out of the darkness in the hopes that they never happen again.
But ... is "The Bachelor" really the best place for this conversation? To the show's credit, it plugs RAINN both at the end of the segment and on Twitter in the hopes of being there for those triggered and wanting to reach out. But just an episode ago – hell, 30 minutes ago – the show was using this woman for catty pageant drama. And now we're here, talking about traumatic, horrific pain? We spent the first two episodes giggling about a guy being a virgin ... and now we want to have a profoundly serious conversation about sexual assault? I appreciate the effort, "The Bachelor" ... but you're also "The Bachelor," one of the more regressive television shows on air. I mean, five minutes from now, Colton will make out with a completely different woman as if they're interchangeable – AND THAT'S THE POINT OF THE SHOW. That's some aggressive tonal whiplash.
Plus, the voice in the back of your head can't help but note the icky feeling that the producers almost certainly wanted this on camera – regardless of how uncomfortable revealing such a painful, triggering memory on a TV show, an intimate conversation broadcast to millions, could play to the audience and, most important, feel to Cailynn. Maybe this a chat best saved for just her and her significant other at first – and also when her significant other isn't dating 14 other people?
In the end, it should be Cailynn's choice how and where she wants to tell her story – and I hope that was the case Monday night. She's a brave, courageous woman, and if her opening up helped another survivor out there find strength, then perhaps this was worth it. But at the same time, we're now about to try to talk about a goofy reality show and people calling each other "the cancer of the house" after just hearing about one of the worst things a human being can do to another human being. Not quite keeping the tone steady.
Anyways, Cailynn and Hannah take each other aside during the cocktail party and put their beef in the freezer for good. YAY! The bent tone would've broken reverting back to petty pageant feuding after the recent revelations, plus their beef was undercooked and under-seasoned anyways. (I expect details at the Ladies Tell All episode.) But who knew contestants could act like good, rational people on this show? WHAT A WORLD!
Well, enough of that, because we now witness the firepower of this FULLY ARMED AND OPERATIONAL REALITY SHOW VILLAIN. Having enough of Courtney's sulky demeanor and passive aggressive shade, Demi just plows straight to Colton to talk about Courtney being awful. And I mean PLOWS into this conversation. She doesn't talk around her feelings. She doesn't sugarcoat things. She doesn't try to seem nice about it. Demi's like flat-out "SHE NEEDS TO GO!" with a splash of calling Courtney "the cancer of the house." Then, when confronted by a shaken Courtney, Demi just owns the damn thing – just like, "Yep, I definitely did call you that to Colton's face, and I called you the cancer of the house because I do believe you to be the cancer of the house; any questions?" It's brutal and blunt and shameless and GLORIOUS. You either love Demi or you hate her, but finally, this season of "The Bachelor" has somebody worth having opinions about.
In the end, it all works for Demi too, as during the rose ceremony, not only does Courtney get the axe but so does her former rival and lukewarm beef sous chef Tracy. It's a field day for Demi – but I predict things are gonna get a lot worse for her after this, not better. Without a rival in the group, the villain typically gets ushered away by producers, a job well done – a shame when she's just finally grown to full petty power.
Well, it was fun while it lasted. #TeamDemi for life.
Post a comment / write a review.
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.