With memories of the first rose ceremony still lingering in their minds, the ladies of The Bachelor can think of nothing but “Nick, Nick, Nick.” They kick off their first week of dates with a friendly toast, as each woman drinks to finding love… with the same man.
Chris Harrison soon interrupts this love-fest with some troubling news for the girls in the mansion: With 21 of them still left, not everyone will be asked on a date this week.
He then presents them with the season’s very first date card, which reads: “Always a bridesmaid… love, Nick.” And with that, Corinne, Vanessa, Sarah, Alexis, Hailey, Lacey, Brittany, Jasmine, Raven, Danielle L., Taylor, and Elizabeth W. pile into three identical convertibles waiting in the driveway and head off to reunite with their bachelor.
Lights, Camera, Passion
Nick — who awaits their arrival — is looking forward to learning more about the ladies he chose. He hopes that today could be the start of a lifelong relationship, and what better way to woo your future wife than to invite her on a date with 11 other women?
Once the girls arrive, he greets them with the warning that group dates are “kind of weird.” And, as promised, their plans for the day are bizarre– though unoriginal. They will all be taking part in a wedding photo shoot! Ahem, did Ashley, JP, and two other irrelevant contestants not do the same a mere five years ago on The Bachelorette? (Answer: They did).
It’s announced that whoever has the “best chemistry” with Nick will get a big post-photo shoot surprise. The girls assume this means extra alone-time with the bachelor, so tensions are high as they each prepare to turn on the heat and collect their winnings.
But first, everyone must collect their designated costumes. Brittany is initially disappointed to see that she is given just a tiny, leafy bikini bottom — clearly half of an Adam and Eve themed set.
Corinne, on the other hand, is thrilled to be given a bikini — which she feels will set her apart from the other girls, who will be more covered up. But when Brittany emerges in her topless number, Corinne’s confidence quickly turns to jealousy.
Finally, the photo shoot begins! A few unfortunate women are assigned the role of bridesmaid, but Jasmine, for one, is not going to let it hold her back. She steals the show, side steps the “bride” in her photo, and plants a kiss on Nick.
This trend continues as the other girls follow her lead. Things get uncomfortable fast, however — particularly when Lacey, after kissing Nick, announces that he “tastes like Danielle.”
In the midst of all the craziness, Taylor and Nick have a rare romantic moment… and share an equally romantic kiss. Corrine, who watches from the sidelines, is not pleased.
When it’s time for her to take the stage, Corrine takes her beach-themed shoot into the pool, where she proceeds to take her top off and place Nick’s hands directly on to her breasts. Because this is their first date, and a table full of Nick’s other suitors are seated just feet away, so why not?? (It is also worth mentioning that no tokens are visibly exchanged during this encounter, which begs the question: Are they completely worthless?)
Of course, Corinne is ultimately announced as the “best chemistry” award winner. She is presented with a full length wedding gown to change into, and she and Nick climb aboard a convertible — now decked with “just married” decorations — and ride off together while the others watch in disappointment.
The couple soon returns and the cocktail portion of the date begins, where there is still a group date rose on the table. While the other girls continue to throw themselves at Nick, Raven grows concerned that everything bad she’s heard about the him could be true. She’s looking for a “good guy” and doesn’t want to play the games the other girls seem to be playing.
Later, Taylor gets her turn with the bachelor, but just when she and Nick begin to have the first intellectual conversation of the night, Corinne comes over to steal him away — for the third time tonight! To Taylor’s dismay, Nick obliges. He isn’t the least bit turned off by Corrine’s forwardness, and goes so far as to tell her she was a “big part” of what made the group date great.
A frustrated Taylor decides to turn the tables and returns to interrupt Corrine and steal Nick back. Her plan pays off, and though she doesn’t end up kissing Nick, she claims to have felt their strong connection “in her eyeballs”.
Unfortunately, Taylor’s eyeballs were somewhat amiss, and Corinne is awarded the group date rose. Once Nick says goodnight and exits the room, she proceeds to lecture the others by telling them she was “just Corinne,” implying that they, too, can impress Nick by simply being themselves!
Meanwhile, back at the mansion, the ladies left behind gossip about who kissed their bachelor on Night 1, while Liz silently gloats because, of course, she already kissed him 5 months ago.
Love Takes Flight
Danielle M. takes to the sky with Nick on the first one-on-one date of the season, for which a helicopter flies them to a private yacht on the ocean. She can’t believe she’s on a date with someone who could be her future husband!! (Though isn’t that the case for most dates, really?)
While the rest of the women spend the day lounging poolside, Liz’s secret is weighing on her, and she decides to confide in Christen, of all people. (Let’s not forget that Christen was the starstruck contestant who greeted Nick with a fan dance last week.) Before Liz begins, Christen assures her that she will never tell anyone this secret — thereby confirming that she will soon spill the beans to everyone.
Back on Danielle’s one-on-one, she and Nick change into clothes for dinner, which they will inevitably not eat. She starts things off by bringing up his stint on Bachelor in Paradise, so Nick decides it’s best to get it all out there and share his side of his bachelor-franchise story.
He tells her he was truly in love with both Andi and Kaitlyn, and that their rejections really hurt him. Danielle responds by telling Nick she can relate to the feeling of love lost. She was once engaged to a man she didn’t realize was an addict, and he tragically died of an overdose.
It means a lot to Nick that she would share this devastating part of her past with him, and Danielle assures him that she’s never had a better or more comforting conversation about it with anyone else.
Of course, Danielle M. gets the rose, and the happy couple ends the night by riding a Ferris wheel together. So though the activities planned for this date had absolutely nothing in common, the connection between Danielle and Nick is undeniable.
Are you breaking up with me?
The second group date card arrives at Bachelor Mansion, and it reads “we need to talk…”
Christen, Josephine, Astrid, Jaimi, Kristina, and Liz are the lucky ladies whose names appear on the invite, and they gleefully pile into a limo together. It whisks them away to Hollywood, where they meet Nick and are ushered into a building with a sign outside that reads “Broken Relationships”.
The building turns out to be the Museum of Broken Relationships, full of countless display cases cluttered with remnants of breakups past.
Coincidentally, the center display contains a single rose and the very engagement ring Nick chose when proposing to Kaitlyn! While Nick revisits this painful memory, he is interrupted by a loud shriek. The group then turns a corner to find an angry couple engaged in a public screaming match.
Surprise! Turns out this argument was completely staged! And as a fun date activity, the ladies will, one by one, be improvising their own “break up” with Nick in front of the other museum-goers. They’ll have to really sell their performances in order to impress Nick.
Things start out light and fun, as Nick and the ladies’ improvisational acting chops are put on full display. But just when it looks like Josephine’s slap in the face is the biggest surprise Nick will face, Liz hit’s him with a written out, brutally honest speech about their past together and how she wishes he had tried to fight for her.
Completely caught off guard, Nick stands silent after Liz has said her piece. They step away from this awkward interaction without acknowledging the truth to her words, as the other women are, understandably, confused. They all seem to accept Liz’s bizarre breakup as a strange, made-up story. All, that is, except Christen, who knows the truth.
During his one-on-one time with the women later in the evening, Nick begins to think he is in the clear, as none of the ladies bring up Liz’s story. Things take a turn for the worse, however, when Christen finally gets her time with him. She tells him that he looked uncomfortable during Liz’s breakup speech, which leads to an interrogation from Nick. Unsurprisingly, she quickly admits to knowing what he did the night of Jade and Tanner’s wedding.
Nick is distraught, worried the other women may also know he’s been keeping a secret. He decides to take Liz aside and finally get some clarity. Unfortunately, their conversation is anything but helpful, and Liz’s answers only dig her into a deeper hole.
When he’s finally heard enough, Nick comes to a decision. Though he may never know for sure if Liz came on the show for the right reasons, he knows they don’t have a future together and thinks it’s best to send her home. Liz is disappointed, but goes without a fight. Guess she should have given him her number when she had the chance!
When Nick enters back into the group date alone, he knows it’s time to finally fess up. He begins to tell the truth about sleeping with Liz in the past… But how will the women react? Only time — and next week’s episode — will tell.
What did you think of the dates this week? Did your favorite contestant get a rose? Let us know in the comments, and catch The Bachelor when it returns next Monday at 8/7c on ABC.