Welcome to this week’s recap of The Bachelor. I was disappointed with the show this week. Maybe that was inevitable, since we’d been given so much hype about the two former bachelorettes returning to the show. But, frankly, the producers seemed to go out of their way this week to make what could have been interesting scenes very dull. All we got were the usual, scripted voiceovers, and saw very little of what actually happened. And, I guess they’ve been doing it all along, but tonight it seemed more obvious than usual that the producers feel the need to tell us everything twice. You’ll see that I comment on this the first few times it happens, then just give up.

Still (not surprisingly), I found plenty of things to comment on. However, I’ve faithfully recapped most of the dialogue of the show, so that if you missed it on TV, you can catch up. And, the recap is intended to provide enough description without commentary that you can draw your own conclusions, and decide for yourself whether my thoughts and theories make sense or are off-base.

Before we start, I have one overall reaction to the new format of The Bachelor this season. Before the season started, I was pleased with the idea that the bachelor was moving into the house with the women, because, in previous Bachelors, the participants weren’t given enough time together to have any kind of solid basis to make a decision about their feelings for each other. And, the “group date” concept seemed contrived.

But, even though Byron has moved into a bungalow near the mansion’s pool, he doesn’t seem to be spending much, if any, casual time with the women. For example, Cheresse says several times during the show that she hasn’t talked to Byron alone since their one-on-one date on last week’s show. And, the group dates, even if they were artificial, at least gave us brief views of the bachelor interacting with each of the women. This episode, there were a couple of women to whom Byron gave roses that we barely heard from the whole evening. Let’s get into the show itself, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. First, we saw the usual reminder of what happened on last week’s show.

Previously on The Bachelor

“Byron Velvick, one of America’s most eligible bachelors, began his search for true love....”... “He narrowed the field to 15 women...”... “Then, for the first time ever, the bachelor moved into the ladies’ mansion...”... “The competition heated up, as the women fell hard for Byron....”... “But, Cheresse and Jayne were the first to catch Byron’s eye...”... “And, in an emotional rose ceremony, four women were sent home..”

Tonight on The Bachelor

“Tonight, Byron is getting serious with several women...”... “But, a shocking mystery date is about to change everything...”... “Byron is in for the surprise of his life...“And all hell breaks loose, when the mystery guests move into the mansion...”... “And, some of the women will do anything to win Byron's attention back....”... Krysta: “I want to have sex with him right now....”... “Then, it's the most dramatic rose ceremony ever...”... “Who will Byron choose? Who will he reject? Find out tonight on The Bachelor.”

At least in the previews, this episode looked like it had potential.

The First Date

In the first real scene of the episode, Byron is lying on his bed in a sleeveless T-shirt, apparently writing in his diary...Byron repeats the mantra we’ve heard so many times before, that he is absolutely convinced that the person he’ll spend the rest of his life with is in this group of bachelorettes....However, no matter how many times Byron says this, I’m not convinced. Personally, I have a sneaking suspicion that, even if Byron is smitten with one or more of the women at this point, about the only thing he absolutely knows for sure is that he will not actually be going home alone, that Sabrina, his dog, will be there for him no matter what...Then poor Byron is forced to repeat some more lame prose. Frankly, if Byron does find love (or even sex) on this show, he will have earned it, after being forced to recite this stuff over and over, while keeping a straight face....Byron: I have a date tonight. The individual dates are, without a doubt, the most important aspect of this experience, because it helps eliminate or grow closer to each of the ladies that I feel something for.

Let’s pause here for a moment to give Byron a chance to recover his self-esteem after being shown on national TV saying lines like those above.....In case you haven’t figured it out from my previous reviews, I like Byron. And, because I don’t think he has done anything on the show yet that would qualify him as a jerk, I’m continuing to give Byron the benefit of the doubt. You’ll know immediately if my opinion changes....I also find Byron physically attractive. Other commenters have problems with Byron’s hair, calling it “greasy-looking” and hating the way he is always pushing it back behind his ears. Personally, I kinda like Byron’s hair, but I will also admit (as I think I’ve done in earlier recaps) that I have a weakness for long hair on guys....However, I don’t want to marry Byron. I suspect that my future husband (if there is one) is more likely to be someone less smooth, who spent his day lecturing on “The Old Man and the Sea” rather than out on a boat fishing. Still, I’m rooting for Byron.

Back at the mansion, the women are impatiently waiting to see which one gets the invitation to a one-on-one date with Byron tonight, and gather round the podium by the pool to find out the identity of the lucky gal....It’s Andrea, who is, not surprisingly, thrilled (and probably hoping that the individual date involves eight yards of silk and bridesmaids)....Andrea reads her invitation....Unfortunately, I have a feeling that Andrea doesn’t find the text tacky... "Let's fly away from here and share a sunset together on the coast -- a memory we will hold dear forever."...Why do I get the feeling that the interns’ office on The Bachelor includes a wall of well-thumbed bad romance novels?...Andrea: Byron invited me on a date, and it's exactly what I wanted. I've had these very strong emotions toward him, and hopefully tonight will confirm my feelings....You have to wonder whether Andrea was really Byron’s first choice for this date, or whether the producers told him to invite her because her continuing strong feelings for Byron were just getting too creepy, since she’d had almost no interaction with Byron so far.

Jayne isn’t as excited about the invitation as Andrea is....Jayne: I'm bothered that Byron's going on a date with Andrea tonight, because we're extremely different, and it's hard to understand what he's looking for....So, Jayne just “drops by” Byron’s bungalow to chat, asking Byron, “Is this a bad time?”....Byron is still wearing his (very hot) sleeveless T-shirt, and looks like he hasn’t shaved yet... Jayne and Byron settle down to a chat on the bed.

Wait a minute. We have constantly been told that Jayne has a problem with “shyness.”....Now, we know that Byron’s bungalow has a couch, so if Jayne is really as “shy” as the producers are painting her to be, why aren’t Byron and Jayne chatting on the coach instead of the bed....Personally, I think Jayne’s “shyness” is being exaggerated by the producers to advance the story line, as evidenced by the scene that follows.

Jayne tells Byron right out that she’s not sure what he’s looking for....Byron asks Jayne if she is frustrated....Jayne replies, hesitantly, “Yes. I don't want to compete. Maybe that's the problem. I'm not into competing.”....Byron nods that he understands and Jayne goes on... “It's just really frustrating, because you hear stuff.”...Byron looks confused, “What?”...Jayne to Byron: You're all “handsy” with certain people. and it's hard to hear. I don’t know why...Jayne says to the camera: It's hard for me, knowing that there's going to be physical contact with the other girls and not get jealous. I'm needing to find a balance of appreciating what's going on with Byron and I, but yet understanding it might be happening also with the other girls...Jayne to Byron: It's just hard....Byron to Jayne: I know it's hard. It's hard for me, too....(Note to Byron. Uh, it’s not the same thing at all for you, but I like the fact that you’re actually listening to Jayne, and not acting like a jerk when she brings up issues with you, even if the only reason you’re being cool is because you have a camera on you.)...Byron to Jane: Don't give up on this, because this --right now, it's like I -- I can't imagine you not being here. I think about you. I talk about you. I ask about you. I loved our date. In my world, I know that I'm way into Jayne. I just know that I'm attracted to you. I feel something towards you. Take that to heart......(Wow, Byron. The intern didn’t write that speech for you. You are either really into Jayne or are very very smooth. I’ll continue to give Byron the benefit of the doubt for now.)

Jayne asks Byron: I don't need to worry about that really too much, then?...Byron: I'd rather you wouldn't. Does that make sense?...Byron hugs Jayne and whispers: Don't get upset. I'm glad you're here. I'm glad you came over....Now, in case we completely missed what Byron just said, the producers give us voiceover of Byron saying, “We (Jayne and I) have a special bond, and I know it’s there, and I’m pretty excited about it, because she’s exactly what I was hoping to find in this experience.”

A word about body language, because the previous scene said far more visually than it did verbally....During the conversation, Byron and Jayne were lying on the bed face to face, inches apart...At intervals, Byron kissed Jayne on the forehead, and we also saw him kiss her hands or arms (it was hard to tell from some of the camera angles)...By the end of the conversation, Byron’s leg was draped over Jayne’s legs...It was a very intimate, sensual, yet sweet, somewhat chaste scene...There were no clinches, or mad passionate kisses, yet the chemistry was clearly there (at least to me).

Since the producers of The Bachelor are masters at misleading the audience to maintain the suspense of the show, this scene could mean any number of things....One possibility is that it could be a smokescreen, and that the scene was actually as chaste and innocent as what we saw on camera. In previous seasons, the producers have used this kind of scene frequently, particularly near the end of the show, to mislead viewers about who the bachelor/bachelorette really cares about....However, I’m going to go out on a limb in favor of the theory I started last week, that is, that the scene between Jayne and Byron was actually far more intimate than what was shown, but the producers cut a lot of it to try to mask that Byron is falling heavily for Jayne...I’m going on body language here, and I could easily be wrong. However, these are not 15-year olds. When you’re in your late 30’s/early 40’s, you don’t lie on a bed next to someone with the guy’s leg draped over the woman’s legs without some serious kissing going on....I’m not suggesting that Jayne and Byron did more than kiss, just that the real scene was probably not quite as chaste as what was shown on TV.

Why would the producers do this? One reason is almost certainly the one I’ve already mentioned—they want to keep up the suspense, because it’s still early in the show. The other reason is that producers of The Bachelor seem to be promoting this season as one more about love and commitment, than about sex (despite the emphasis on bikini-clad women)....In previous seasons, the bachelors have been criticized being more interested in making out with as many women as possible, than in making a commitment, the supposed purpose of the show. So, my guess is that this season, at least so far, the producers are playing down the “making out.” For example, Byron has been quoted in interviews as saying that he didn’t kiss “that many” women. I’m not sure what that means, but it’s an indication of the producers’ intentions.

After the scene with Jayne, we go to commercials, with the usual Chris Harrison voiceover build up.... “Sparks fly on Andrea’s date with Byron”... “Then, a mystery date throws him and all the women into a tailspin.”.... “And some women will do anything to hang on to a rose.”...One of the women is heard saying, “She'll just strip her clothes down,” and we briefly see Krysta (apparently naked) in the pool.... “Find out when The Bachelor continues”

When we return, Byron is getting dressed for his date with Andrea....He says he wants to “...find out who she is, what makes her tick, what her passions are.”.....You mean, like Andrea’s passion for silk wedding dresses? Buddy, you have no idea.....Byron continues: We're going out to the Camarillo airport for a sunset plane ride, and I can't wait to go...Sorry, I’m going to briefly digress again, because Byron has just given us a possible clue to the whereabouts of the new bachelor mansion...We know the mansion is somewhere in Southern California near Los Angeles, but that covers a lot of territory...We’ve also seen from long shots of the mansion that it is pretty isolated—it’s not in the heart of LA...Camarillo is north of Malibu....Granted, we don’t know that Camarillo is the closest airport to the mansion. It may just be the airport where the hired plane for the night is based. Still, it’s probably an indication that the bachelor mansion is probably pretty far north of LA, maybe even as much as an hour’s drive north (outside rush hour)....If you’re not a bachelor addict, you could probably care less where the mansion is located, so I appreciate your indulging me....Onto the date.

Byron meets Andrea, and they drive off in a limo....Andrea hasn’t said or done anything particularly creepy yet tonight, so the producers have to remind us that Andrea is a woman who REALLY wants to get married....Andrea to the camera: Byron and I have a connection, I can tell, and I'm hoping tonight is going to confirm what I've been feeling -- that he could be my husband. This is going to mean a lot for me...Andrea to Byron: I think I'm going to find my soulmate this year, either with you or with somebody else....Byron: Could you see it happening with me?...Andrea: Uh-huh....Byron: Really?...Andrea: I think so....One thing I find interesting is that Byron doesn’t seem to be picking up any of the “stalker” vibe we’ve been seeing. He doesn’t appear to be flinching or trying to put distance between himself and Andrea. In fact, Byron kisses Andrea on the cheek after this remark...Maybe Byron actually likes Andrea...And, to give Andrea the benefit of the doubt, we have to remind ourselves, as always, that Andrea may not be giving off a creepy vibe at all in real life, and that the “incredibly desperate to get married” theme is a fabrication, or, at least, an exaggeration, by the producers.

And, then again, maybe it isn’t an exaggeration....Andrea to the camera: When he (Byron) kissed me on the cheek, I was ruined. I want more. I really do...Andrea describes the scene....Andrea: We pull up, and in front us is this beautiful, restored B-25 Mitchell bomber....Byron and Andrea are handed flight suits, and the pilot says, “This is your ride for the evening...”...Andrea tells the camera how excited she is...Apparently (unlike some previous bachelorettes, Andrea isn’t prone to motion sickness....We see Andrea and Byron sitting close together in the nose of the small plane, with scenes of the sun setting beyond LA in the background....Byron to Andrea: If we are soulmates, we're going down together....Because I still like Byron, I really hope that someone else wrote that last line for him. But, it was clearly the perfect thing to say to Andrea....Andrea: When Byron and I were in the plane together, soaring in the air --I don't know, I just felt giddy like a little child...Byron: To actually be in a plane, high above the coast, looking over the channel islands as the sun set, with a beautiful woman next to me, it was a perfect moment...Andrea: It was a great ride and just really romantic...Now we leave our airborne pair for a moment, and are jolted back to the reality of the mansion.

The women “just happen” to be having a soul searching session in one of the bedrooms of the mansion...Krysta says to the other women, “Ask me a good question that’s going to wake us all up.”...For one of the only times on the show, we are allowed to hear Susie’s voice as she asks the other women, “Who here feels really on the fence and concerned about possibly not getting a rose?”...Then Susie repeats her remarks for the camera...Susie: Tonight, all of us girls decided to talk openly about our feelings for Byron, and whether or not we thought we would get a rose at the next ceremony....Back to the conversation....Cynthia (Cindy) replies, “I honestly do not know. I'll tell you why. I would say “yes” if I went on the interactions that he and I had. I can say “no” because I don't know about y'all's interactions.”...Jayne tells the others, “Yes, because I felt a connection.”

Jayne’s remark doesn’t sit well with our competitive buddy Krysta....Krysta to the camera: Jayne's very confident right now that she's going to be around after the next rose ceremony. She had some time with him (Byron) before he went out on his date with Andrea, and I'm already really irritated by that....Cheresse goes on to comment to the other women: I think that we had a connection the first time. But what s*cks is that I know you guys are like, ‘Oh, you got the first date,’ but I had the first date and I haven't had a chance to talk to him (Byron) since. And the people that I see him talking with, like Andrea -- like, I am so different than Andrea. I am not going to nurture or clean up. That's just not me, and I see that they do have a connection, so I'm like, maybe then we don't...Cheresse says to the camera: Andrea is letting people know that this is her house and Byron is, like, her man. She's cleaning, she's cooking. Is that really how she is? If that's what he wants, I shouldn't be here...Cheresse goes on to comment to the other women: I also think that she (Andrea) would answer questions about other people in the house....which I wouldn’t do.

A note about Cheresse....In a couple of scenes in tonight’s show, we see that Cheresse has a feisty side, and may in fact, be as competitive, or almost as competitive, as the season’s “designated b*tch” Krysta. So why are the producers highlighting Krysta’s b*tchy side more than Cheresse? As usual, I have a couple of theories...One theory is simply that it keeps the storyline clearer (since it’s obvious the producers think we are morons) if there is only one “bad girl.”...And, as we’ll see more later, Krysta can be pretty witty sometimes in her b*tchiness, more so than Cheresse...Also, I have a suspicion from preview video caps and general hunches that Cheresse is ultimately going to go farther on the show than Krysta. So, if Cheresse turns out to be the winner, the producers don’t want to paint her as a b*tch. If Cheresse ultimately loses, the producers have her as another “bad girl” in the wing’s after Krysta eventually goes home roseless...Reminder: These are just hunches at this point...And, after the show is over, you can say “Neener neener” to me when at least some of my hunches prove to be far off the mark.

On the show, Byron and Andrea have landed, and are shown walking into a hangar....Byron: After we landed from flying, we had dinner waiting for us in the hangar. And I was excited to sit down and really get to talk....Since Byron is a fisherman used to small boats, it appears that the ride in a small plane didn’t hurt his appetite....Byron: Andrea's been very honest. She's been letting me know that she is definitely interested in me and intrigued with me, and I feel the same....Byron to Andrea: Do you have an idea of when you want to be married?...Andrea: Three years ago. This has been a kind of a lonely year for me....Byron: It s*cks when you're by yourself, and you're thinking, ‘Really be great to share this with somebody.’ Like on the plane today –I look over at you (Andrea) and go, ‘Are you digging this as much as I am?’...Byron goes on: I was in Venice alone, and the place was radiating romance, and people were getting married. I'm like, ‘Oh, my god, I cannot believe I'm here completely by myself.’....Hmmm, maybe these two really do share something.

Andrea describes what happens next: We had this wonderful dinner, and we snuck back to the library and shared champagne and dessert......It’s funny, on these reality shows, the library is never for reading books, it’s for champagne and dessert. By the way, for those of you who missed the show, the books are nicely covered so that they are not in any danger of food spilling on them (or being read, for that matter)....Andrea: I definitely feel like I'm falling in love with Byron, and it feels natural....Then Andrea feeds Byron some cheesecake....I guess Andrea likes to feed guys (remembering the infamous “strawberry scene” on the opening show). On the other hand, Byron seems to like it, so maybe I’ve been missing something by assuming a grown man knows how to use a fork. In fact, right after Andrea feeds Byron, Byron leans over and gives Andrea a serious kiss. There is definitely chemistry here....Byron: Andrea's amazing. She's definitely somebody who has proved to me that love is possible. I am truly drawn to her right now in a very big way.

These scenes with Andrea are a prime example of one thing I don’t like about The Bachelor. I’m a fan of Jayne and I don’t like Andrea, and I want to slap Byron right now for “cheating” on my Jayne.....<ChiPrincess slaps self, with a reminder that “it’s just a TV show.”>....Andrea: I think we're both excited about the chance that this might be it -- finally finding someone that works and that you can spend the rest of your life with...At this point, we cut to a commercial, with Chris reminding us again of the upcoming “mystery date” and the havoc it will wreak.

When we return, Krysta, Cynthia, and Cheresse are speculating about the upcoming date...Cynthia: Does somebody have a date tonight? I'd be really happy if I got it....Cheresse: You guys wouldn't have been happy if it was me again...Cynthia: No, if you did go out tonight, I would -- I'd put crumbs or something in your bed....Cynthia reminds the camera of how important it is for her to get time alone with Byron before the rose ceremony....Cheresse: Isn't it weird how you can already have feelings for somebody you really don't even know????....Krysta: I'm totally surprised by it. He's just a special guy....Cheresse: He's very special. My ex was his age, and he could not commit. And so it's like, to look at him (Byron) and go, ‘You have been married? Thank god.’...Again, the producers apparently think we were crunching our chips so loud that we missed the previous conversation, so give us a scene of Cheresse telling the camera how much more comfortable she feels that Byron really wants a relationship because he’s been married before....Note: Think how much more ground we could cover in an hour show if the producers didn’t feel the need to tell us everything twice....Krysta: We've yet to find out who is going on the date tonight, and I am so on the edge of my seat waiting. I really, really want to go on a date with Byron, because now there's only one before the next rose ceremony. I don't give a sh*t anymore. I'm going to talk to him. I'm going to hug him. And, you know, ‘Challenge me, I'll kick your *ss.’

It’s funny, I thought I would hate Krysta more than I do. It’s true that I think that Krysta has wandered into the wrong reality show. Krysta is simply a competitor by nature. You know that Krysta is smart enough to realize that she doesn’t have that much in common with Byron. But, Krysta wants to win, whatever the contest, and would be reacting the same way if the prize was a fancy BMW, rather than a guy...Lots of people on the Internet hate Krysta, and that’s obviously what the producers intend. But, I find myself liking Krysta much more than previous “designated b*tches,” such as Trish on Bachelor 5. For one thing, Krysta’s smart, and although her remarks are catty, they inject an honest note in this very fake show. Frankly, Krysta is much more creative than whoever is in charge of the dialogue on this show....Some Krysta-haters have even accused her of having sagging boobs. Now, I will grant that Krysta probably hasn’t chosen the most flattering style of swimsuit. But saggy? I don’t think so. It’s just that, unlike some other women on The Bachelor, I strongly suspect that Krysta’s boobs are real, and, personally, I’m not going to criticize a woman for not having a boob job.

The “Mystery Date” and the Bachelorettes’ Reactions

From Krysta’s boobs to The Bachelor’s official boob, Chris Harrison, who is calling Byron and the women into the living room of the mansion...As I’ve said before, I think someone is working very hard to make sure that Chris never comes across as any kind of competition for the bachelor...Chris looks especially geeky today in a short-sleeved blue shirt. In truth, Chris isn’t bad-looking. In fact, some women might prefer him to Byron. So, the producers are working especially hard on Chris’ “geek” wardrobe this season....Chris greets everyone, and asks how they are doing....Chris to Byron: I know you're doing good, Byron. You're surrounded by 10 beautiful women....Chris reminds Byron, in case he might somehow have forgotten why he is in a mansion in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by cameras: Of course (Byron), you have a big date again tonight. Unfortunately, ladies, none of you will be going on this date.....This news from Chris is greeted with the appropriate looks of horror by the women. Byron shoots Chris a look that seems to say, “Hey geek, I have no plans of spending tonight by myself.”...Chris, unflustered, as usual, continues: Tonight, your date is a mystery date. You won't know where you're going, what you're doing, or who you'll be seeing until you get there. I do have something to help you get started...Chris hands Byron an envelope....Chris: That will give you a clue about tonight's mystery date. Now, ladies, here at the house, you will receive a tape, giving you information about tonight's mystery date. Have a great day. I'll see you at the next rose ceremony. (If Chris has any personality at all, he is whispering, “Suckers!” complacently to himself.)

Byron opens the envelope....It reads :. “Drive to 1275 East Barnard(?) Street.”...Byron tells the camera how surprised he was, and that he’s not sure what he’s walking into.....Byron assures the women that he knows as little about what’s going to happen as they do....The women are buzzing about what the mystery date could be....In one of our few glimpses of Elizabeth this show, she tells the camera: I've been thinking about Byron's mystery date, and it could be someone that just left the house. But, boy, if it's someone in his past, that might be a threat to all of us....Cheresse to the other women: I totally think it's another chick. I think we're going to watch what he's doing with maybe another chick....Cheresse then says to the camera: I don't want to see that, and I definitely don't want to see any other women coming back to the house.

Next we see Byron, later that day, getting into a black GTO...Byron tells us in a voiceover as he drives: The girls are probably feeling a lot of the same emotions I'm feeling right now. I'm kind of disappointed I'm not going to spend time with any of them, but I can only hope tonight's date is something that leads towards my ultimate goal of finding my wife...Thanks Byron, we would have forgotten the theme of the show if you hadn’t reminded us....Byron drives up to a building with a red door with a large question mark painted on it, and “1275” in big numbers above the door....Byron walks into a building fixed up to look like an abandoned warehouse...Byron: Walking through this building was strange and mysterious. It was something out of a very weird horror film. I wasn't sure who I was about to meet....Appropriately suspenseful music is playing in the background, but it’s not that scary because there are cute little pointing fingers at appropriate places so Byron (and his camera crew) don’t get lost...Byron walks by a wall with height marks like a jailhouse lineup, and into a room with a wooden elevator at one end, and a couch, and a table with three glasses at the other end....There is also a very harmless looking bartender in period costume, in case Byron feels too alone with just himself and the camera guys....We hear the humming of the wooden elevator, and then find ourselves back at the mansion.

The tape of the mystery date has arrived and Krysta runs to get it. She calls the other women into the living room....First, on the tape, we see a very attractive, dark-haired woman speaking to the camera... “I'm Heather from Texas from the second season of The Bachelor.”....The tape shows scenes of Heather meeting Aaron (Buerge) on Bachelor 2...Heather says, “I think the first time that I saw Aaron, I fell in love.”.... “When Aaron and I were on our dates, I think you could feel the chemistry. It was electrifying.”...We see Heather and Aaron embracing and flirting in the hot tub (reminding us, if we hadn’t realized it yet, that there was a lot more kissing on earlier seasons of The Bachelor)...Then the tape shows Aaron choosing not to give Heather a rose... Heather is crying....“It's just like a dagger through the heart. What's so wrong with me that someone cannot love me for who I am?”....As the bachelorettes watch the tape, Krysta remarks (about Heather) “That b*tch is going down.”.....On the tape, Heather is now in the present, “I fell hard in love, but I'm stronger and I'm wiser now, and I'm back, ready for a second chance at love.”....The bachelorettes wonder if that’s it, when a second, very attractive brunette is shown on the tape.

“My name is Mary from the fourth season of The Bachelor.....The first time that I saw Bob (Guiney), it was real refreshing. He made me laugh. We had an instant connection.”....Mary tells Bob that she doesn’t want to wait four or five years to have children....Then we are shown scenes of when Mary being sent home by Bob...Mary is crying, but tells Bob, "Don't be sorry. You're just following your heart, and that's okay.”...Then, still crying, Mary tells the camera, “I just laid it all out there for him (Bob) and opened myself up for the possibility of getting hurt.”....Then Mary moves to the present, “Even though I was heartbroken, I'm not going to let anything stand in my way. I just want to find that true love and have that fairy-tale ending that I'm looking for.”

I didn’t watch either Bachelor 2 or Bachelor 4, so I have no firsthand recollections of either Heather or Mary...From what I can see from the tape, both Heather and Mary are very attractive brunettes, in the right age group....Definitely contenders.

As the tape ends, the women are relieved that there are only two women, and wonder if they are going to move into the house tonight...Krysta gives her impressions of the two women...Krysta: Heather from Texas --cheerleader, pageant girl. Too much--too frickin' much....Then Krysta gives her impression of Mary: ‘Hi, my ovaries, they're drying up. I got to have a baby tomorrow.’ Give me a break. Game on! I didn't like them when their show was on, and I don't like them now....Sorry, I know we’re not supposed to like Krysta, but I had to crack up here at Krysta’s comments...We move on to a comment from Andrea, who sees the two women as an obstacle because she is so close to something she’s been wanting for a long time...Andrea: I've been a fool before, but I truly believe this is the man I'm going to marry...We cut to a commercial, with Chris reminding us that Byron’s “mystery date” is still to come...Chris also asks, “How far will Krysta go to make sure they don't take her rose?” and a voiceover from Krysta saying, “I'm going to have sex with him.”

I try to ignore the commercials, but there are a couple of unforgettably inappropriate ones this episode....The first commercial shows kids in a playground with a large (bass-size) fish, sitting on a swing. The announcer says, “Uncomfortable around fish?” then moves into a commercial for Van De Camp’s fish sticks. It is directly followed by a very similar commercial showing a group of people gasping at the sight of a large fish playing tennis, and the announcer asking again, “Are you uncomfortable around fish?”...I don’t know whether these commercials are a huge coincidental mistake or the sign that the advertiser is watching the bachelor and has a snarky sense of humor...I was too stunned by this very strange commercial to figure it out...Also, I would have thought that fish sticks were the cause, not the cure, for fish haters, and would have recommended fresh fish prepared by a top chef as the cure for fish-phobia, but what do I know?

In case (or because) we’ve just been hit over the head with a large fish during the commercials, we get a repeat of the scene of the wooden elevator in the warehouse slowly ascending...Byron: I heard an elevator shaft moving, and I noticed that directly in front of me, the elevator was coming up, and I was about to meet my mystery guests. Once the freight elevator stopped, two beautiful women began walking at me. I had no idea who they were...The women introduce themselves as Heather and Mary, with no additional information....We get a short voiceover from Heather, saying that she has returned to The Bachelor because she’s been offered “a second chance at love.”....As Byron sits down with Heather and Mary, we also get a voiceover from Mary.....Mary: Coming back on The Bachelor was very scary for me. But having met Byron, I'm very pleased. He was very handsome and just seemed like a really nice guy...Byron asks Heather and Mary to “spill the beans” about who they are....Mary: We have experience in this. I was on Bachelor 4....Heather tells Byron she was on Bachelor 2...Byron: I don't watch the show, so this is probably why I had no idea....Byron goes on to tell the camera: When the ladies told me that they were already part of a former Bachelor show, I was stunned. I did not see that coming one bit.

Heather and Mary ask Byron if he was completely fooled by the mystery date...Byron: I thought it was going to be allies and friends and family...Heather and Mary ask Byron if he was happy with the surprise...Byron: I'm pleasantly surprised, yes. You're both better-looking than my family and friends....However, Byron reflects to the camera that when the two women were sitting on the couch, he was also thinking, “There are going to be some upset women back home, because these women are hot.”... Mary and Heather tell Byron that they will be moving in to the mansion and ask him if the other women will like them...Byron: I don’t know....A voiceover from Heather: I think I might have a slight advantage over the ladies in the house right now, just because I have been through this. But they have advantage over me because they've already started forming a relationship with him (Byron). So it was real important for me to pull him to the side and have some alone time with him....Heather and Byron go off alone and Byron asks Heather what she is looking for...Heather to Byron: I'm looking for a guy that loves me for me, and we can start a family, grow old together. When it happens, and you meet the one, you know it's the one....Byron: Heather is looking to find love, like I am, and I think it's important that this is not about her coming in late, but actually just giving everybody a fair chance.

Back at the mansion, the women are upset....Cheresse is talking to the other women about Heather and Mary: Those girls are game players, to me. They're not even like the girls that I've met here....Krysta: This is worse than I could have imagined...Krysta tells the camera: The fact that there's a couple of girls that were out on a date with Byron tonight instead of any of us, especially me, it was like a hit in the stomach. I mean, it s*cked. I know my *ss is staying up until he (Byron) comes home tonight. 5:00 A.M.? I'll camp out in front of his door. I want to know what happened tonight...Andrea looks very upset.

Meanwhile, Byron has taken Mary alone to the roof of the warehouse...Byron: Have you been up here (on the roof) already?...Mary: Yes, I did. I'm in real estate, so I've got to see the property beforehand....Byron: Good luck selling this one....Byron says to the camera: Mary and I had this instantaneous connection. It was calming. It was refreshing. I feel an attraction, and I'm interested to get to know her better....Byron asks Mary one of his favorite questions: So, why are you single?....Mary: Because I won't settle. I'm just real happy with how things are in my life. The only thing that I'm missing is the family that I long for. Is that important to you?....Byron: Yeah. I go to these tournaments, and I pull up to the dock at the end of the day, and I see these kids run down the dock with a family. And, the guy pulls up next to me in his boat, and the little kid goes, "Daddy, daddy, what did you catch?" And I look over at that, and I'm like, "Lucky guy."....Mary to the camera: I absolutely am very attracted to Byron. I feel like he's here for the right reasons. He knows what he wants. There's definite potential there. He has me intrigued....In the limo driving back to the mansion, Byron asks Heather and Mary if they are nervous...Heather and Mary admit that they are.

Several of the women are still up when Byron, Heather, and Mary drive up....Cheresse: When Mary and Heather did come into the house, a couple of the women stayed up to kind of badger them a little bit....Krysta and Andrea introduce themselves to Heather and Mary....Krysta: I don't think anyone was happy about adding two new girls to the mix. I'm not going to let on to the fact that I don't like them, obviously, because I believe in the saying, "Keep your friends close, your enemies even closer."...Krysta to Heather and Mary: We were in the hot tub, waiting up for our boyfriend.... Mary: Heather and I felt very uncomfortable, and there were a couple of girls that were kind of put off that we were there, so I just wanted to go upstairs and get away from that....Mary and Heather are sharing a room...Heather calls Mary to the window to look at the beautiful view of the pool from their room.....Heather: I think Mary and I both were very nervous, walking into the house --I think, as we should have been. And I would hope that they're (the women), are mature enough that they're not imitating us or anything like that...Hmmm, funny that Heather should mention that.

Downstairs, Krysta is entertaining the other women in the living room, with a dead-on, hilarious imitation of Heather, including her Texas accent...Krysta: Hi, I'm Heather from Texas. And, on my other Bachelor show, I did this a lot....Krysta jumps on Amanda’s lap and pretends to kiss her...Krysta: And it didn't work out for me...All of the women are cracking up...In the meantime, Heather and Mary are in the kitchen, and Heather says to Mary????: What’s that noise (in the living room)?....Krysta is still doing her Heather imitation, with her hands under her breasts to push them up in imitation of a boob job...Krysta: Can I be your friend?

Now we cut to the next day. Heather and Mary are walking outside, while several of the women are lounging by the pool...Mary to the camera: Being in the house is uncomfortable. I don't feel very welcomed by the girls. But I hope they're mature enough to accept us and learn who we are before they judge us....Heather to the camera: Mary and I knew it was going to be a difficult transition, walking into the house, but this has been harder for me to do than I ever anticipated.

Meanwhile, the women by the pool are discussing Heather and Mary...Andrea: I think that was the most upsetting thing last night -- watching them on that video. And they still haven't found love?....One of the women asks: Well, are you surprised?...Andrea: I don't know. Okay, yes, my impression from the video was not good of Heather. She acted like a slut....The other women agree...Andrea: This is my take on Mary -- that she's more traditional, family, so she'll make a good wife. I don't know what else she has to offer.....Byron walks down to the pool and tells us in a voiceover that the reaction from the other women is very important to his decision-making....The women gather nearby to talk to him....He asks the women about their reaction to the video....Krysta: We all gathered around. We watch the video, and literally all of us were like, ‘Wait, you had your chance.’ So I think we all kind of feel a little bit possessive of you....Andrea says: In my opinion, they’re not your type....Amanda tells the camera: I think that a lot of the girls are unhappy that Mary and Heather are here, and they're hoping that both of them do not receive a rose tonight.....As we move to commercials, Chris provides his lead-in.... “Byron faces his most difficult elimination yet”... “And jealousy consumes the women.”

Pre-Rose Ceremony Last-Chance Talks

Byron is in his bungalow, dressed in a suit for the upcoming rose ceremony....Byron tells the camera: I know that some of the women weren't comfortable with Heather and Mary arriving at the house, but I won't make any assumptions about the ladies based on other women's perceptions. I need to be true to myself, true to my experiences with each of the ladies, and not worry about who's saying what....Chris appears and greets Byron: Another big night. Another rose ceremony. Once again, we’re going to give you the opportunity to have a last-chance talk with three of (the women). Who's it going to be? ....Byron quickly names Susie, Heather, and Cheresse...Back at the mansion, the women are waiting in the living room, all dolled up for the rose ceremony....One of the women asks Heather and Mary how they will feel if they are one of the ones invited for a last-chance talk...Heather: I think it would be a good thing to go over there. To me, that would show interest on his part. That's just my take on it....Then Kristie tells the camera: If Byron decided to give a rose to one or both of the new girls, I'd be really upset, because if they hadn't been here, that rose could have been given to me.

Chris comes into the living room and greets the women...Chris: Ladies, good evening. Everybody doing all right tonight? Now that Mary and Heather have joined us, there are now 12 of you. Only 8 roses. Once again, I offered Byron the opportunity to have a last-chance talk with three of you. Tonight, Byron would like to speak to Susie...Heather...Cheresse. Susie, you’re first....Susie to the camera: Jumping into this situation, my struggle has been knowing whether to trust my heart. I'm starting to develop feelings for him (Byron), and it's scaring me.....Byron meets Susie on a small loveseat outside on the patio, in view of the living room...Byron holds Susie’s hands, and asks her how she’s feeling....Susie: I feel uncertain. Not about you, but about your feelings for me....Byron: We haven't had much time.....Susie: I know, but I hadn't felt a whole lot coming from you, so I don't want you to read my reservations as lack of interest, because I am interested....Byron to the camera: Tonight's conversation with Susie is exactly what I needed to have. It was validating my feelings, and I am comfortable with the decision I'll make.

Back at the mansion, Heather and Mary are playing pool, and Mary asks Heather how she feels about being picked for a last-chance talk....Heather: I think it's good. I mean -- I believe it's a really good -- I think it's a positive thing...Heather tells the camera: When Byron wanted to speak with me, I was nervous, because I feel like I'm just arriving. But the ball is in his court. I think he's going to pick who he feels is right for him....Byron and Heather sit down on the loveseat on the patio....Byron: You're probably used to all this....Heather: No, it does not get any easier. Byron: Rose ceremonies, god....Heather: You gotta love 'em....Byron: Yeah, you've been through a few...Heather: But, they don't get any easier.... Byron tells the camera: Heather is intriguing to me. She's a beautiful woman, who I don't know that well, but it seems like she's actually in this for all the right reasons....Meanwhile, Krysta and Andrea are watching Byron and Heather on the couch...Krysta to Andrea: I think body language is a big deal. They're sitting pretty far away on the couch. And I just don't think she's genuine in her motive to be here....Andrea: It's hard for me to see her with him. I can't see her with him....Krysta to Andrea: There's no kissing.

Meanwhile, Cheresse is talking to Jayne and Amanda, and asks them: Do you want to give me some advice?....Jayne: Well, what do you want to say? You haven't talked to him since your date. Isn't that weird?...Cheresse: Yeah. Because I think our date went well. But you can only hold on to that moment for so long, and then, you know, you don't know if there's a spark anymore....Cheresse to the camera: I am really nervous about our last-chance talk, because I haven't had a lot of time with him since our first date that we had -- first and last date that we had....Byron greets Cheresse at the couch...Cheresse: Long time, no see....Byron: You're still here....Cheresse: I know. Can you believe it?...Byron tells the camera: With Cheresse, I felt a strong connection early on, which has kind of dissipated through the course of time, because she just kind of vanished...Byron to Cheresse: Where have you been?...Cheresse: You know, I don't know. I guess that's a good question. I think we had a great time on our date. But it seems like other people have an easier time finding you or scoping you out, I guess...Byron: Are you looking for me? I'm wondering if you're even looking, because I haven't seen you....Cheresse: I want to see you, and I want to find you, but I guess, in my heart, I felt we had such a good time that you were going to ask me out again....Cheresse asks Byron if he felt a “spark”....Byron: The first date, I felt something. The first date was great, and then I don't know what happened....Cheresse to the camera: Going into this evening, I was confident that I was going to be getting a rose, but after our conversation, I would say that I'm not so sure about it.....After Cheresse returns, Elizabeth asks Krysta: What's going on?.....Krysta to the camera: Everybody is wondering what the h*ll is going on (with Cheresse). After her one-on-one with Byron, Cheresse walked in, walked straight to the bathroom, and I haven't seen her since... Byron is shown looking at the pictures of the remaining women....Byron: Before these last-chance talks, I had a clear, concise idea of which direction I was going, but now I'm confused by the emotions I'm feeling. No rose ceremony is easy, but this one will be, by far, the hardest I've had....As we got to commercials, Chris promises us the “most dramatic rose ceremony ever.”

I know that you’re all on the edge of your seats after that lead-in, but there was another commercial during this break that had me wondering, “What were they thinking?” In the commercial, a penitent-looking young man is standing at the doorway of an apartment, holding a bunch of white flowers, while “You Were Always on my Mind” plays in the background. His girlfriend appears to forgive whatever he’s done, and lets him into the apartment. She leaves the room to put the flowers in a vase, and while she has her back turned, the guy reaches down into a nearby tree, retrieves his Levi’s jeans that have fallen into the tree for some reason, puts them on, and zips them up. When the girl returns, the guy is gone. We next see the guy walking up the street with a smug smile on his face, and all his other possessions on the sidewalk. Evidently, we are supposed to take away the message that this guy’s Levi’s 501 jeans are his most important possession. However, what I took away from the commercial is that Levi’s new motto apparently is, “Jeans for jerks.”...Note to self: If a blind date shows up at my door wearing Levi’s jeans, tell him that I’ve come down with cholera, and I’m in quarantine...Note to Levi’s: The people who watch the Bachelor tend to have some sense of romance still in them, and have a lot of experience with jerky guys, namely, most of the previous bachelor. Save that commercial for a different demographic or get a new advertising agency.

The Rose Ceremony

When we come back, we find ourselves at a familiar scene. The women are standing on the steps of the mansion, as Byron and Chris walk up for the rose ceremony....Chris: Ladies, good evening. There are 12 of you, but still only 8 roses to hand out tonight. Four of you will be going home. Byron, when you're ready.....Byron: Hi, ladies. We're all looking for the same thing -- true love, a life partner. And if I offer the rose tonight to you, and you don't feel what I'm feeling towards you, please, don't accept it....Byron calls out names to give out roses:

Tanya. (Geez, I’d forgotten that Tanya was even still here)
Cynthia (Cindy) Like last week, she gives Byron a really strange look when he offers her a rose, and says to him, “You didn't forget about me?”

Now, in case the mansion has been hit by a sudden sandstorm that has blinded all the participants but Chris, he steps up, “Ladies, Byron, it's the final rose today. When you're ready.


Chris: Ladies, I'm sorry. If you did not receive a rose tonight, take a moment, say your good-byes....The women hug each other...A reminder of the four going home: Heather, Kristie, Amanda, Susie....Heather to the camera: Coming back was so hard. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. And, you know, it didn't work out. I did come here with the intentions of falling in love, keeping an open mind....Amanda to the camera: I was interested in getting to know Byron, but I wasn't aggressive in showing him. The hardest part for me was not letting myself care enough about him....Kristie is the only one of the women shown who is crying: I'm disappointed tonight about not getting a rose. I could have seen myself with Byron because of the fact that we had a lot of similar interests and goals in life. But, obviously, I'm not what Byron is looking for. I laid everything to him on the line, how I felt, and I wasn't going to hold anything back, and he made his decision...We don’t hear parting remarks from Susie. I guess the two minutes of screen time during the last-chance interview was considered sufficient.

Byron comes back to the women who are left, and looks kind of shaken...One of the women asks him if he is okay, and he replies, under his breath, “This is so not good.”....Then Byron pulls himself together, and assures everyone that he is fine... Byron to the camera: I have some time with these eight women to get to know them better, because this is a key time now to start looking at who fits with me and who I fit with....Byron toasts with the remaining women, “Here's to true love.”

Next Week on The Bachelor

We are shown scenes of Byron and the women chasing each other with silly string, as well as Andrea wearing a teddy and a white boa, sitting on Byron’s lap, imitating a lap dance.... “Byron's in for the craziest night of his life
when a fun and sexy slumber party explodes into complete drama”...Several of the women look upset, and are saying to each other, ‘Why did Byron leave? What’s going on?’... “And, Byron is feeling the heat.”....Byron is shown sitting in the hot tub with Jayne (Elizabeth and Cynthia appear to be there, as well)...Jayne says angrily to Byron: You don't realize that everyone just is like adoring you, and you're a god?... “Living with the bachelor is making everything more intense. And, the women are pulling out all the stops.”...There is a scene of Byron kissing a blonde woman (Cynthia or Andrea)....Then, we see Krysta sneaking across the lawn to Byron’s bungalow wearing black and pink baby doll-style lingerie. But, Krysta finds Jayne going into Byron’s bungalow ahead of her, wearing a black top and very short white shorts....Krysta: At the point that Jayne darted in the door, I realized I'd been [Bleep] blocked by “the mute.”.....ROFL.... “Hearts are on the line”... “And the women are done making friends.”.... “Eight women, six roses. Who will Byron send home brokenhearted? Find out next week on The Bachelor.”

Now, at this point I was disappointed. Several times tonight, Chris had teased us with a preview of Krysta swimming naked in the pool, but it wasn’t shown on the show. Thankfully, I didn’t turn off the TV before the credits...Over the credits, we are shown a scene of the women daring Krysta to swim naked in the pool....Which she promptly does, while the other women laugh and cheer....Byron must have gone to bed already, because there is a scene of him coming out of his bungalow, and bursting out laughing, “You guys are f*ckin’ crazy.”...The last scene is Krysta rushing back to the house, with a woman on either side of her, holding pillows to cover strategic places.

Well, that’s it for this week. Next week’s episode appears to have some possibilities. See you then.