The Bachelor: Bob D'Amico
Tom Conroy
November 04, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

”The Bachelor”: Cheresse is chaste off the show

As bachelor Byron pointed out, you really have to respect it when a woman like Cheresse decides not to spend the night with you in your ”fantasy suite.” ”In the real world,” Cheresse told him, ”if this was like our third, fourth, fifth, date, I still wouldn’t be going back with you to some suite or hotel, because that’s not who I am.”

”That’s the key to this whole thing,” Byron replied sagely, ”to be true to yourself.” And true to himself, he dumped her the first chance he got. (No action by the fifth date? Are you joking?) This after assuring viewers that ”not sharing that fantasy suite won’t hurt or change my decisions.” (True enough, if he’d already decided to deny her the rose.)

In this episode, Byron showed himself to be a near-Clinton-level master of saying something completely deceptive but technically true, a handy skill if you’re trying to string along four women and still appear to be a nice guy. When crazy-eyed Cynthia told him, ”I feel that there’s a bigger connection than I’ve ever had in a long time,” and asked him if he felt the same thing, he quickly responded, ”Are you kidding? I’m 100 percent with you right now!” Which meant, truthfully, that his entire body was, at that moment, in the same room.

Byron’s word games were, sadly, the most interesting part of the fantasy-date episode, which is usually the hottest one of the season. As in every episode, the producers tried to pump up the drama in the pre-commercial-break teasers. But Tanya’s dark secret turned out to be that she voted to keep bachelor Jay instead of Byron. (Even bachelor Jay couldn’t care by this point.) And Byron’s tantrum after Cynthia asked him about his divorce fizzled out soon, apparently because Byron realized he’d be missing out on some fantasy-suite action if he didn’t make up with her quickly. (It was, however, kind of fun to see him drop the cool façade and show his temper. Maybe there’s another side to the story of why his marriage failed.)

More important, the entire fantasy-date setup has become overly familiar, even with the meaningless twist of letting the women decide whether to invite the guy to stay over. Poor Byron had to read the corny invitation text aloud three times and feign awe three times at the sight of a different hotel suite filled with . . . ooh . . . candles! By now, viewers know that the cameras will stop taping at a PG point that allows everyone to deny anything happened.

The setup was way too familiar for poor Bachelor recidivist Mary. For the second time, she began to panic at the memory of her treatment at the hands of that wolf in schlub’s clothing, Bob. If Mary is typical, the show is sending 24 women per season back into the dating pool with bitter memories of public deception and rejection. My advice to single guys? Be careful out there.

What did you think? Is there something fishy about Byron? Should Cheresse have spent the night? And who’s going to make it to the final two?

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