''The Bachelor''

Whatta Weak

How'd this ''Bachelor'' go from best to boring? Well, Jesse's not opening up to us, the dates are lame, and Trish isn't the villain she's supposed to be, says Mandi Bierly

Jesse Palmer, The Bachelor: Jesse | NOT THE MOST DRAMATIC EVER Jesse disappointed us this week
Image credit: Jessie Palmer: Craig Sjodin
NOT THE MOST DRAMATIC EVER Jesse disappointed us this week

How'd this ''Bachelor'' go from best to boring?

I know Jesse Palmer faced a lot of tough questions tonight (you go, Tara!), but maybe he can answer one for me: How does ''The Bachelor'' go from being the best to the most boring show on TV in one week? Here's a play-by-play.

The Bachelor's one-track mind And no, I'm not talking about his fascination with Trish (yet). I'm talking about our boy having to tell every woman he meets in a hot tub how he needs someone who understands that there's a lot more to him than football. Feel free to start showing that at any time, Jesse.

I realize we're at the mercy of editors here, but all we really learned about you this week is (1) you want kids and (2) you used to play the field but have grown tired of one-night stands. Let us in on what's really wrong with you, Jesse (he admitted there's ''a lot''). We need a compatibility test, now.

Those lame group dates Sure, we got to see Jessica B. throw herself on Jesse while they were tubing -- or ''tubbing,'' as Jesse says -- but that's about as much excitement as we got in Lake Tahoe. (Note: I refuse to believe scary beauty queen Karen wasn't worth more than one sound bite.) And if we're supposed to see Jesse as more than a football player, why make the second group take the field for a quick matchup? The only thing that montage revealed was that Suzie's got game.

The ''fairytale'' date At least we didn't have to see Trish try on 5,000 gowns for Jesse. I can appreciate someone who calls herself a ''gold-diggin', money-grubbin' whore'' being sent on a ''Pretty Woman'' date, but I imagine Trish and Jesse's private night at the opera was just uncomfortable -- for both them and the performers. How about an ''ideal'' date that puts two people in a fun, comfortable setting and gives them time to get to know each other? Or at least time to learn something more than that one of them is as confident in her French kissing as she is in wearing a thong bikini.

Sadly, Trish isn't pure evil She's supposed to be ''the most hated woman in 'Bachelor' history,'' but as of now, I only dislike her. Yes, she's coming off as arrogant and self-absorbed (''I'm sorry, I'm pretty f---in' fabulous''), but regardless of what Jenny S. said, I don't see her keeping that a total secret from Jesse. (She told him she's toying with never having children, which wasn't a crime the last time I checked.) I think Trish is just a model, not an actress. Jesse sees what he wants to see.

The spy's unclimactic debriefing All we kept hearing about was how Jenny S. (now known to us, but not to the contestants) couldn't wait to get to Jesse so she could fill him in on the ladies (read: Trish). But all we got was: ''I really feel like she's extremely high maintenance. And she has made quote after quote after quote about money, and being comfortable, and 'I know what I want, and I won't marry anything other than what I want .'''

Why not give him some of the more colorful commentary we were treated to, Jenny? Like, ''Trish definitely likes to flaunt things, and sometimes it makes me nauseous.'' And why didn't we get to hear Jenny S.'s take on women other than Tara (her favorite). I'm dying to know if Kristy (who told Jesse pre-Rose Ceremony that he wasn't the man for her) was as cool as she seemed.

What could turn the show around?

One word: stalker According to our message boards, cheerleader Julie (''Go, Jesse, Go!''), who has soooo much in common with Jesse, is the leading contender. I'm with you, guys. Jesse said he ''appreciates'' her confidence, but personally, I wasn't ready to hear how he should meet her parents and brother. Or how she wants four children. Including a little football player and little cheerleader.

Trish cultivates the hate Next week, we learn Trish has slept with a married man, leading Jenny S. to give Jesse an ultimatum: a wife like Trish or a friend like her. Who will Jesse choose? And without Trish, what would Tara, Jessica B., Mandy Jaye (clearly one of Jesse's faves), Karen, Suzie, Jess, Julie, and wildcard Katie (somehow still in the running) possibly have to talk about?

Originally posted Apr 15, 2004