”Ladies,” there comes a time in every ”relationship” when poolside groping and slow-motion French kissing are no longer going to cut it. A time when you need to ask yourself, ”Am I ready to forgo my individual room and spend the night ”as a couple” with this man I’ve maybe been alone with a total of forty-five minutes over the past six weeks?” Yes ”ladies,” the time has come to put out — or get out.
Welcome to week seven of The Bachelor, TV Watchers. Can you believe we’ve made it this far, all the way to the overnight dates in the ”fantasy suite”? Like all things Bachelor-related, I have a love-hate relationship with the ”fantasy” date episodes, and here’s why: This episode is all about whether the Bachelor and the remaining ”ladies” click in the sack, but the FCC — God bless ‘em — forbids broadcast networks from showing us whether they do. So as viewers, we’re left with nothing but two hours of talky foreplay punctuated by icky, candlelit make-out sessions.
But, such are the necessities of televised romance. We begin with Jason’s quick recap of the pros and cons for each of the ”ladies” in question. Last week, Jillian proved that she can be vulnerable, but the Bachelor is concerned that their relationship lacks physical passion. If she steps it up in that department, he says, ”I could see myself being married to Jillian.” Molly, meanwhile, has pretty eyes, and Jason says she’s ”somebody that I could spend my life with.” Finally, he tells us that while he had an ”immediate connection” with Melissa, a small voice inside his gut is screaming at him to back away slowly. ”I’m leery of girls like Melissa,” he says. ”Melissa reminds me of girls like DeAnna, and my ex.” (Hmmm, why am I suddenly reminded of that famous saying about the definition of insanity…?) Even worse, the fact that her family wouldn’t meet him is making him suspicious: ”It made me question whether she’s really serious.” (Again, I’m surprised Jason doesn’t think that it’s a good sign that Melissa’s parents had the sound judgment not to appear on The Bachelor, but I guess he can’t see the forest for the reality TV trees right now.)
So many lingering questions! The only thing that can answer them, naturally, is audition sex. ”These overnight dates are really important,” says Jason, ”because I know my wife is in this group of girls.” Cut to Queenstown, New Zealand. Having been there, I’m going to have to agree with Jason on one thing — it really is the most beautiful place on the planet. Jillian gets the first date, and she either bribed the producers to find out what Jason was wearing or these two are truly made for each other, as evidenced by their coordinating flannel shirts. (Or, perhaps, the Brawny man is now moonlighting as a reality TV stylist.)
After a helicopter ride over a lovely New Zealand mountain range, the duo lands on a ledge for some wine and conversation. Jillian clearly wants to know where she stands: ”If you had to call back home and describe me,” she asks the Bachelor, ”what would you say?” (Looks like someone’s fishing for a compliment!) Jason produces a typically pleasant-yet-noncommittal string of adjectives: fun, gorgeous, exciting, adventurous. Jillian, meanwhile, can only describe Jason as he relates to her: ”What you are to me is I have never had somebody that I’ve been attracted to physically and that I’ve had amazing conversation with and that I’ve had a connection with and that you have so much fun with and that gets me right away.”