'The Bachelor': Vienna is lonely on Cloud Jake
When she was chosen for a solo date, the other women seemed horrified. They were very vocal about hoping she wouldn't come back. Though Gia had some sympathy for Vienna, it seemed to be a unanimous conclusion that she was fake, evil, and a terrible match for Jake. Ali, who snagged last week's solo date, felt betrayed that Jake was taking anyone else out at all (has she ever watched TV?) but was particularly perturbed that it was Vienna.
The solo date itself had potential for disaster from the start. Vienna and Jake took a helicopter ride to a bungee-jumping site, and Jake looked queasy before the chopper even took off! By the time they were in their harness and about to take the jump, Jake was having a full-on panic attack. I understand that the producers choose the date locations, but he's the bachelor on a show called "The Bachelor." Couldn't he have said "Uh, how about bowling instead?"
Vienna and Jake shared their first kiss while upside down, bouncing around in the crevasse. I thought it was pretty sweet; it seemed like the only spontaneous thing Jake's done on the show... possibly the only spontaneous thing he's done in his life.
Afterward, he happily gave her a rose, saying, "I know she's here for the right reasons." After everything that happened with Rozlyn last week, Jake seems a little dejected. It's as if his only criterion for finding love is to choose a woman who isn't carrying on an "inappropriate relationship" with his producer.
Back at the house, the other women were out for blood. Every single person seems to hate Vienna with a surprising amount of vitriol... but I can't really figure out what she's done that's so horrible. (Unless they're all really offended by the rug she's wearing as a sweater...) She may have been a little bit blunt, but she's not the only one, and her behavior certainly hasn't warranted their reaction.
Time for the group date! Finally crazycakes Michelle got her chance to spend some time with Jake. He brought them to Universal Citywalk, and when she saw Jake, Michelle shrieked, sprinted ahead of the other women and practically tackled him into a hug. She's completely off her rocker.
The date was painfully awkward. I spent most of the time cringing and wishing I could just turn it off and put myself out of my misery. Jake took the women to Jon Lovitz's comedy club where they had some time to write their own jokes. Everyone seemed completely shocked to learn that they'd have to perform their acts in front of a packed house. Um... have any of these women ever seen a reality show before? Meet the "twist," ladies. You'd better get yourselves acquainted.
The comedy acts were brutal. Tenley decided to skip the jokes and twist her body into a pretzel. Michelle made some uncomfortable references to her "coconuts" that nobody understood. Ashleigh had a total meltdown, but ultimately rattled off some predictable blonde jokes that Jake wrote for her.
How does a blonde brain cell die? Alone. Ba-dum-bum.
Corrie's entire act, however, was spent tearing apart the absent bachelorettes ... with a special focus on Vienna. Jake seemed distraught. His usual Ken-doll smile looked strained.
It didn't stop there. At the "after party," both Ashleigh and Ali chose to use their valuable one-on-one time with Jake to talk trash about Vienna. Meanwhile, I still don't understand where their hate is coming from, unless it's just good old-fashioned jealousy.
Jake was in an awful mood after that. I think it's very telling of his strong feelings for Vienna that he's so completely wrecked when he hears the other women speaking negatively of her.
It was a bad time for Michelle to pull her usual cuckoo bananas routine. Sitting with the other women, she kept saying: "I'm here to find love. I want a husband. I'm here to find love. I want a husband. I'm here to find love...." She's like a broken record. Her desperation is so off-putting! She was acting like this from the first moment of the first episode: She was convinced that she was already crazy, "Swimfan" in love with Jake before she even laid eyes on him. She's not interested in marrying Jake, she's interested in marrying anybody.
Still teary-eyed from her emotional meltdown with the girls, she sat down for her one-on-one time with Jake and quickly asked him to kiss her to see if she "felt anything." There's nothing more romantic than a science experiment kiss, kids! He very, very reluctantly pecks her on the mouth, still looking miserable about the Vienna gossip.
"You've got to give me something more than that," she says. You see, earlier on in the episode, she proclaimed, "When I finally kiss Jake it will definitely be long and passionate -- soft, crazy, tongue-in-your-mouth going crazy with it. Pulling hair, whatever. Ripping the clothes off!''
Not so much, Michelle. After the pathetic kiss, she tells him that she can't stay on the show if she can't kiss him like she wants to. She was obviously expecting him to lean in for another one, but instead, he called her bluff. "Michelle, I think it would be better if you did leave." He didn't even afford her the dignity of the rose ceremony -- he just put her in a cab right there, calling the decision "easy." Finally, Jake shows a spark of personality!
It's a good thing she's gone too. One more night in that house with the other bachelorettes and I'm sure she would have had a jealousy-induced psychotic break and slit someone's throat in the night.
Jake isn't upset about sending Michelle packing, but he is still upset. All of the Vienna-bashing has left him so disheartened that he cuts the date short. "I'm ready for this night to be over," he says wearily. "I just want to go home." In another off-the-grid move, he declines to hand out a rose. Frankly, I don't blame him. Those women just spent hours gleefully tearing Vienna to shreds. There's no reason to hand out any positive reinforcement.
For the second solo date, Jake chooses Ella, who is a little too polished to be interesting, in my opinion. She looks like she just stepped off the Southern belle pageant queen conveyor belt. Jake took her (on yet another helicopter ride) to Sea World, where he surprised her by inviting her son along as a birthday present. Was I the only one who found this a bit presumptuous of him? A lot of single moms wouldn't want their kids to meet the man they're dating on the first date.
I almost think that he brought Ethan as a buffer, because he and Ella have no chemistry together whatsoever. Despite her dreams of being the next Trista to his Ryan, their interactions are stiff.
Before the rose ceremony, Elizabeth (the nanny with the no-kissing rule) pulls Jake aside and coyly asks him if he's good at back rubs. Her strategy here is so transparent. She makes blatant attempts to get him all hot and bothered every time they've got a moment together, and then she pulls away at the last minute. Luckily, Jake's got her number.
She's so shaken when he puts her on the spot that she spends the rest of the night crying. She tells the other girls that he said unless she kisses him, she's not getting a rose. Except... he didn't say that at all. It's clear that she's just upset because she thought she was being subtle when she was beyond obvious.
I have to say, though, I was surprised when he actually denied her a rose! I thought she was the prettiest of all the girls, so I figured he'd keep her around for eye candy alone. He also said goodbye to the unremarkable and unmemorable Valisha.
I'm still kind of lost as to why Vienna has turned into the villainous scapegoat in the house. Though her straw-blonde hair extensions are looking a little rough, I like her comfortable interactions with Jake and the fact that she tried to make amends with the other contestants.
I'm looking forward to next week's episode, where Jake apparently burns a rose or two instead of giving them out. He's done a complete 180 since the first episode, and I like it!
Give me your thoughts in the comments below. Who do you like? Who do you hate? Is bungee-jumping your idea of a fun first date?
Don't forget to come back next week to discuss that burning rose!
--Carina MacKenzie (catch up with me on Twitter @cadlymack)
Photos: From top, Corrie does her best impression of Vienna; Michelle sprints ahead of the other girls to get to Jake. Credit ABC