“The Bachelor” Recap: The Claws Start To Come Out & Racial Diversity Is Actually Discussed

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Giddy-up!

Dare I say it? I’m actually starting to seriously like and actually crush on Bachelor Bronze and it’s not just because if I close my eyes he sounds like Channing Tatum! I honestly think Sean may be, as Chris Harrison would say, the most sincere “Bachelor” in the history of the show, but also, gulp, the most openminded. I’m serious! He may be the most Aryan-looking “Bachelor” of all time, but it certainly seems like he’s not necessarily looking for the same in his eventual bride. This is by far the most diverse cast of bachelorettes ever — the women still on the show in episode two include three Black women, an Asian woman and a Persian woman — and while producers may have been more inclined to cast that way after receiving so much flack for the whiteness of previous casts, these women seem to reflect the variety of women Sean is genuinely attracted to. But more on that in a bit. Let’s get to recapping…

It’s time for another one-on-one date, and the lucky lady who will spend the day with Sean is none other than Sarah, who you’ll remember for her long blonde hair, sweet demeanor and one arm. I really like Sarah, but she talks about her arm a lot. I’m sure the producers are pushing her too, but it definitely seems like she’s got a lot of insecurities wrapped up in her disability, even though she tries to see it as a positive difference between her and the other women. This sounds awful, but every time she mentions her arm, all I can think about is Amber, Amy Poehler’s “Saturday Night Live” character who had one leg. “I’ve got one arm, a mad case of bed bugs, and a hot date jumping off the side of a building with ‘The Bachelor.’ Jealous?!”

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Anyway, yeah, that’s what Sean and Sarah do on their date, the classic “make her face her fear of heights if she wants a shot at love” test put to at least one woman every season. Of course they survive and are, duh, brought oh-so-much closer because of it. Yawn. Afterwards they spend some more time together, share their feeeeeeelings, and Sarah is quickly convinced that Sean is the one for her because he doesn’t care about her arm. I’m sure there’s more than one guy out there, girl, who will see you for more than your limb-ness. Don’t just rush to settle for the first one who does. She scores a rose and secures another week.

This week’s group date is ripped straight out of Tyra Banks’ playbook and features the women doing “romance novel cover” photoshoots with Sean. They get all gussied up in a variety of outfits — Sexy! Cowgirl! Vampire! Old-Timey! — and get ready to have their bodices ripped by our hunk. But some of the ladies are already starting to snark on each other. Tierra is snotty about Kristy, the model, have extensions, because she is au naturale. I’m pretty sure her eyebrows are tattooed on, though, so she probably shouldn’t throw stones. Robyn, meanwhile, sees right through Tierra and is not impressed with her fake perkiness.

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A couple of the photoshoots go especially well. Lesley M, the political consultant, does a great sexy cowgirl. But no one is a match for Kristy, who, as a model, believes this is her challenge to lose. She gives such a good performance in her shoot that even the other women were crowing about how hot her photos with Sean were. She wins the challenge — and a three-cover contract with Harlequin! — but doesn’t immediately get a rose. Hmm, maybe Sean wasn’t as impressed?

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Lesley gets some alone time with Sean and the two clearly have chemistry, but never quite get to the point of any physical intimacy. I’ve been a little worried that Lesley is too smart for Sean as it is, and her body language isn’t exactly screaming “Plant one on me, stud!” But Lesley finally decides to take the bull by the horns and corners Sean for a sweet kiss. She’s one of my favorites.

Other notable one-on-ones convos: Kacie B. confirms with Sean that he is actually interested in her as more than a friend (they met before the show) and is glad to potentially be in the “girlfriend zone” (he eventually gives her a rose before the end of the night); Catherine tells Sean that she’s vegan but “loves the beef”; Tierra is all mopey but she assures Sean it’s just because she’s so into him; and Katie, a diverse addition to the cast if only because she has VERY curly hair, decides to tell Sean she wants to go home. She isn’t feeling comfortable with the whole process or something, but I gotta tell ya, I think the real reason she wants to leave is because her hair is not reacting well to the humidity.

Desiree — Dez — gets the second one-on-one date and instead of being thrown off a building, she’s just thrown under the bus! Sean decides the ideal first date involves pranking your date to see if she has a good sense of humor. They go to a terrible art show and Des is blamed for breaking a priceless work of art while Sean and Chris giggle off camera.

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In the end, she handles the pranking like a champ. Part two of their date involves lots of kissing in a hot tub and Sean professing that Dez has seen a whole other side to him. Dez obviously gets a rose and is safe for another week. (Two clips above!)

It’s cocktail party time! The rose-less ladies start scrambling to score one-on-one time with Sean before he makes his final decision about who to cut. Lindsay sits him down and manages to convince him that there’s more to her than showing up on day one in a wedding dress. She’s positively moon-eyed over him. “I’m all about family,” Sean says. “You arrrrrre?!?!” Lindsay gushes, like he just told her something really rare and special about himself. “That’s awwwwwwwesome!!!”

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Meanwhile, Amber — who has the best style out of the women, by the way — is being all surly and pouty on the couch and the other women declare that she’s “weird.” I will admit that it’s totally odd that she straight up doesn’t respond when spoken to sometimes. But she sure as shit lights up with Sean’s around. She’s got a bit of Courtney in her, this one. (Two clips above!)

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But the absolute best moment in the entire episode comes when Robyn, one of the Black bachelorettes, decides that it’s time to actually bring up the obvious with Sean: the women he’s dating are a lot more diverse than is typical for the show … but is he actually attracted to women of other races? It’s a bold question and one I’m glad she asked because it led to Sean pulling the curtain back a little on the whole casting process. I really got the sense that Sean was totally sincere about not having dating preferences when it comes to race. I’m not sure that he and Robyn have the heat that necessary for their relationship to go all the way, but I, for one, am so glad to have her on the show. And I’m really impressed with Sean both for being happy to answer Robyn’s question, but giving such a good answer as well. Hooray!

So, rose ceremony time: Sarah, Kacie B and Dez already have roses. The rose ceremony roses go to: AshLee and Lindsay first (who both didn’t get dates this week), and then Robyn, Jackie, Lesley, Selma, Catherine, Kristy, Leslie H., Tierra, Taryn, Daniella, and Amanda. Brooke and Diana are sent home. For the record, all of my final four predictions remain (though I’m starting to doubt some of my picks).

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