The Bachelor: Mitchell Haaseth
Liane Bonin
May 08, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Tina says goodbye to Mr. One-Night Stand

Wednesday night we came to that episode of ”The Bachelor” in which three women are cordially invited to put out on national television. It’s a scenario that should be pervy and unsettling, but because there’s a ”fantasy suite” and several hundred scented candles from Pier 1 involved, it’s actually downright romantic. The best part is how the producers ease Andy into his one night stands by giving him an envelope and a friendly little card to hand to each woman, as if there’s a section in Miss Manners that addresses the etiquette of getting jiggy with several desperate, competitive women in a row. You know it’s only a matter of time before Hallmark picks this one up.

It was a little bit of a shock watching Tina Fabulous warm up to Andy like an overheated cocker spaniel after last week?s kissing-is-icky behavior, but we should have seen it coming when she got frisky with a dolphin during their Hawaiian sleepover. After you’ve planted a wet one on a date who has flippers, I’m sure Andy’s ability to walk upright and choose a breezy chardonnay is much more impressive. Still, to see our favorite Wisconsin helmet-head casually hand a portion of her heart over to Andy like one of Cristina’s leftover codfish cakes was unsettling, and I began to wonder if the fumes from her hair gel use combined with those horrible candles had induced a Stepford wife delirium (Pier 1, we know what you?re up to). When she got behind closed doors with Andy and began panting and wheezing, I wasn’t sure whether I was relieved that she had finally gotten over her crippling fear of boy cooties, or horrified to know that ABC was one step away from producing porn.

But Tina ultimately proved her fabulousness once and for all while losing out during the rose ceremony. While so many others have melted into sobbing puddles of spinster panic, clutching at Andy like a Keanu Reeves-wrapped lottery ticket, Tina just stared at him blandly until he put a cork in his post-break-up prattle out of sheer embarrassment. Sure, it may have been false bravado when Tina rolled her eyes at the idea of being ”barefoot and pregnant in a vineyard” with Andy. But her unwillingness to spill her guts for his amusement made Andy pout like a Twinkie-deprived Anna Nicole Smith, and I have to say it was high time someone knocked our bachelor’s ego down a few notches.

Of course, Andy’s approach isn’t a turn-off for Kirsten, whose desperation to win makes me think she believes she’s getting something really great at the end of the show, like a Mini Cooper or a spa vacation, and not a socially awkward wine merchant. When she offered to start a fight just to make Andy happy, I was sure he would snap out of his testosterone haze and realize Kirsten is just one genetic snafu away from being actual plant life, but no such luck. Still, it’s fun to watch how her intense hatred of the other women vying for Andy’s attention has hardened her model pretty face into a mask of homicidal rage. Add that to the stripy highlight job she’s got going on, and I swear she’s just one puppy coat away from becoming a younger, tanner Cruella De Vil.

I can only hope that poor Jen can rise above her endlessly crappy date allotment and take home the final rose. While other girls are getting carriage rides and Hawaiian vacations, Jen’s stuck bowling and slapping wet clay off her thighs in Arizona, which looked just about as miserable as it sounds. I can only guess that the show producers will make her meet Andy’s parents at Hot Dog on a Stick or the cold syrup aisle of Wal-Mart to continue the down market theme. But combined with Jen’s rose ceremony wardrobe (she gets stuck in glorified nighties that lack necessary bust support while her competition swans in like VH1 divas), this girl is clearly a Cinderella waiting to happen. I’m still not sure about the Andy-as-prince part, but with reality TV you’ve got to take what you can get.

Who do you think will get the final rose?

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