The Bachelor: Carin Baer
Liane Bonin
May 15, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The ladies dish dirt — about each other

This week’s episode of ”The Bachelor” was such a rich and flaky soufflé of fake smiles, stink eyes, and thinly veiled insults, I thought I’d died and gone to Alexis Carrington heaven. The only thing that could have made the ”women-tell-all” episode better was if Tina Fabulous had taken off those stiletto heels of hers and politely ground one into Cristina’s overly tanned forehead.

Oh, the blissful ignorance! I’ll sleep easier knowing that Amber will go to her grave defending the deliciousness of Olive Gardens everywhere (hello, what’s a girl got to do to get an endorsement deal?) and claiming that puking up your guts is just a bothersome side effect of social drinking. After all, a girl’s got to stand by her principles, even if she’s not quite sure what they are.

Liz’s return was even more of a treat, although after her montage of emotional distress, I’d imagine a Thorazine prescription is called for. Don’t get me wrong. I love how Liz wears her heart on her sleeve along with her home phone number and a list of helpful suggestions on how to really hurt her feelings. But anyone who says a reality TV show is a ”safe environment” in which to fall in love is only one freak-out away from declaring herself Brad Pitt’s new wife and breaking into his house to clean the bathroom with her tongue.

Still, I felt a little sorry for Liz after the lamb noshing incident was rehashed in all its gristly detail. After semi-successfully convincing us that tossing 12 years of vegetarianism out the window was simply good manners (and not, as we all suspect, a desperate attempt to lick Andy’s greasy fingers), she had to blow it all by informing us that the lamb did a number on her intestinal tract. One word for you, hon: boundaries. Find some. Soon.

But my two favorite bachelorettes to take the hot seat were polar opposites Cristina and Tina Fab, who should consider taking over that ”60 Minutes” segment if Dole and Clinton ever get canned. While Tina deemed dishing on the other girls ”unladylike,” a move that was brilliantly media savvy and will probably make the show’s producers hate her forever (or, more likely, nab her the next ”Bachelorette” spot), Cristina couldn’t resist taking potty-mouthed potshots at the competition, as if she had the bitchy version of Tourette’s.

But turnaround is fair play. When Cristina teared up (after the other women called her immature, among other things) and yelped, ”It’s not who I am,” I wanted desperately to put the last seven episodes on a video loop and hold her eyes open with toothpicks until the truth sinks in or she reveals her secret codfish pastry recipe. Not that I want to eat the stuff, but sometimes you need a good trick for getting rid of stubborn houseguests.

As much of the simmering hatred was aimed at Cristina, it was clear that the bachelorettes’ real nemesis was our budding Cruella de Vil, Kirsten. When we saw the tape of Kirsten sniping that Tina probably didn’t feel so fabulous after getting the boot, I half expected Anne-Michelle to storm out of the studio, take a taxi back to the house, and strangle Kirsten with her own hair. One thing’s for sure: If Andy dumps the girl like a sack of lumpy potatoes next week, none of these ladies — including me — is going to shed a salty tear over it.

What did you think of the girls-tell-all episode?

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