For once, the people are happy. For once! Following the expulsion of Talon back to the face-shine boutique, and Lindzi back to her home on Horse Island, there are no hotly charged blow-ups, no calling people tiny penis-less little men, and somehow, for the first time in the history of this show, no crying like it’s the end of Beaches, which I’ve never seen but I’ve heard is very sad from old people. This is all very unfortunate.
Casual Chris Harrison stops by in a shirt with at least 30 pockets, half of which are equipped with zippers, to tell us about the next challenge, and boy does he have some shit lined up. First off, the winner doesn’t win a rose…but they will win tons of power! Power is very important. Combine it with pride, and being a badass mother who won’t take no crap off of nobody but would surely use much worse words if they weren’t in a Disney movie, and you’ve got a Jamaican bobsled team that can kick the crap out of those dickhead Swiss.
Oh, and one couple will be off the show…FOREVER…but said exactly like Squints says in another movie I watched way too much when I was a kid. Although “forever” in this instance means “until next season, at which point you’re definitely allowed back, because it’s amazingly tough to get anyone good on this show” of course.
All the girls roll out to behind the house in bikini tops, which is a cool start to things. Without the cameras showing us what’s out there, Ed says “what is this?” like he’s the first guy to get killed in a Syfy original movie, likely named Ed-aconda vs. SuperJäger. Somehow, the crew has been setting up a remarkably elaborate series of scaffolding, cranes, pulleys, and more over the pool without anyone ever looking out the window, or setting up a “date” behind some bush so Body By Nick can’t creepily gaze from his outcast-couch, or otherwise noticing giant structures of scaffolding and cranes and pulleys.
It’s all called Hanging By a Thread, and of course involves 1) answering Bachelor-related trivia questions, and 2) falling into water as you scream because your partner is dumb. Every team has to pick one person to sit on a swing over the pool, and another to answer questions. Every question that’s answered incorrectly gets one support rope removed from the swing. Once three ropes get removed, the swing falls down and you have to hang from a bar like you were one of the goth kids in high school who got to do the “flexed-arm hang” instead of pullups for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, because they still had on jeans and a black denim jacket that didn’t allow for much mobility. Hit the water last/not at all, and your team wins.
As some contestants suspected because it was incredibly obvious, the winning team gets to choose who’s going home. Tony calls this “a game changer,” likely because it has never happened before, and literally changed the game. Nick decides to continue not using his gigantic pythons, and is the one dude who’ll be the question answerer. Said queries range from total gimmes about bikinis (Which was the first girl into hers? Donna!), to tougher questions about bikinis (Who took hers off at the Bare pool in Vegas on Bachelor Pad Season 1? This chick Natalie Getz, who just earned herself Gratuitous Bikini Shot of the Week), to questions somehow not about bikinis (Which man won the pie eating contest on Season 1? The Weatherman, who is not a girl in/out of a bikini. Boooooo, The Weatherman!). In the end, almost everyone sucks, none of the hangers realize they should pull themselves up on the bar and just sit there because it’s much easier to do that than support your body weight with your arms for an extended period of time, and Chris & Sarah take this one running away. Or more accurately, just sitting there, which is a strong indicator of success in this competition.
Chris & Sarah make a pros and cons list that sadly isn’t a bunch of Bob Cousy-era professional basketball players and the Converse All-Stars they wore, everyone’s given a chance to make a last-gasp speech, Blakeley cries because that’s what she does now, and then cries a whole lot more because Chris & Sarah are sending her and Tony home for good. But never fear, emotional one! You’re still on the can of a Hooters energy drink nobody’s ever heard of, and Tony still thinks you’re the perfect professional vagina-waxer to bring home to his impressionable young son. Given Blakeley’s nonstop emotional histrionics and general inability to use her definitely real boobs to her advantage, I’m amazed she even made it this deep. Have fun out there, kids.
THE NEXT CHALLENGE
…starts right away! No rest for the weary arms of Ed, Chris, and Rachel. Chris informs everyone that the next winner will automatically earn themselves a spot in the finals, after being chosen by a live studio audience. They head to the Hollywood Palladium, for which Chris Harrison runs down a list of notable guests that somehow makes Bruce Springsteen sound more famous than Frank Sinatra, and realize they’re going to have to sing Sister Christian by Night Ranger, in front of Night Ranger, who look like they can’t range anywhere after about 8:30 at night anymore, because they’re incredibly old. Ed claims he’s got the song on his running list, which is presumably played while running through the quad and up to the gymnasium after shotgunning a twelver of Keystone and watching Old School.
[THE QUICK NOTES ON SISTER CHRISTIAN: It's about the drummer Kelly Keagy's actual sister, who he didn't want banging horny dudes in high school. So, he encourages her to just keep driving cars at high speed, presumably away from said horny high school dudes. It's possible that he wants to pay her to not bang said horny high school dudes, hence the "what's your price for flight" lyric. Keagy's sister's name wasn't Christian at all, since that is a boy's name, and was in fact Christy, but apparently the rest of the band couldn't pronounce that. The song is very popular at proms, at which everyone ignores it and then bangs someone. Wikipedia also claims it is "one of the most popular first dance songs at weddings." A citation is still needed for that, since it is a lie.]
Each couple’s going to get their shot at performing live while full rock-costumed in front of the extremely old men from Night Ranger, who will judge them on vocals, stage presence, chemistry (which makes Rachel cry because she and Stagliano had so much of that) and choreography (which makes Rachel cry more because that’s why she loved him in the first place). Everyone gets a day to practice with a vocal coach, all of whom are somehow connected to Glee, which they apparently forgot was on an entirely different rival television network.
Obviously the editing make everyone look predictably terrible during the practice sessions because it’s hilarious, so let’s just cut to the performances. 590 midwestern housewives and 10 actually hot chicks who will steal all the old women’s camera time are in attendance. Body by Nick & Rachel are up first. Luckily Nick drew up a scale map of the stage that looks less like a stage and more like an erect robot penis, so him and Rachel will know precisely where to do the “knee-slide move.” Covered in leather, silver studs, and more eye makeup than Blakeley used all season, Nick looks like a fetish dungeonmaster who has to run to Rocky Horror screening right after the show. Rachel starts off a little crack-y, but picks it up and eventually they put together a remarkably composed performance. Nick does a lot of air guitar while flexing and eventually dry-face-humps the aforementioned a bunch of midwestern moms in the front row. Rachel jumps around, then jumps around some more. Night Ranger digs it! Standing O!! Not bad, guys, seriously. I’m impressed!
Next up: Ed & Jaclyn. At the outset, Jaclyn — whose tights and general histrionics make her look like a slutty candy striper on angel dust — decides to not sing the song, then can’t remember the words, then asks if they can start over, then Ed comes in to save the day by quickly also begging them to start over, but in the way where you kinda sing it in the tune of the song while admitting you messed up, because that’s mad folksy. Nobody starts the song over. Things fall apart pretty quickly from here. They continue to know zero words and Jaclyn rips most of her top off and starts grinding on Ed, before she lays down on the floor so he can grind-missionary her. Again, this is a song about one of the judges not wanting his teenage sister to get banged. Ed probably needs to stop drinking before these things.
Chris and Sarah couldn’t be happier about this. Those two clowns who just went are out, so it’s basically 50-50 at this point. Sarah probably has the coolest look of all the chicks: some Nigel Tufnel silver pants and a bra under a smooth leather jacket. Chris has tons of slits in his black shirt, making him looks like he got mauled by a gay werewolf. He also sucks at singing. So does Sarah. And they both suck at dancing. She’s like that hot chick in college who just can’t dance at all for some reason, and you wonder if she was home-schooled. Her main move is to firmly plant one leg, and propel the rest of her body around it by pushing off with the other like she was skateboarding, but, in very tight circles. It’s horribly unsexy, but at one point she strips down to just the sparkly bra while narrowly avoiding kicking young girls in the front row. The old-ass Night Ranger dudes clearly don’t get laid in green rooms anymore, because they are totally, totally into it. The token hot chick in the crowd they keep cutting to for reaction shots is most definitely not.
Judging time! Ed & Jack Attack are just out. The Night Rangers kinda love Nick & Rach, saying that she’s got a solid voice even though “it’s a little pitchy.” It quickly becomes clear that “pitchy” is a nice way for musicians to say you don’t have a good voice. But they also liked their chemistry and showmanship, and they said most of the words that needed to be said, so basically, good work not having sex while singing about this dude’s sister. Night Ranger thinks Chris & Sarah were the most fun, although she probably did a little too much air-humping herself. So who takes it? Nick & Rachel do, and they earned it. For their hard work and semi-dedication, they get to 1) go home and not bang, because she continues to be in love with a choreographer, and 2) pick who is going to join them in the finals, and in doing so, who’s going to cry in limos after the rose ceremony.
THE DECISION, VOL II
LeBron changed his mind, he’s going to the Knicks! Hoooray!! Just kidding, screw you LeBron. This one’s pretty simple: Nick wants to pick Chris & Sarah because the cast-off Batch Pad contestants will be the ones choosing who gets the casssshhhhhh, so they’ll win because everybody hates Chris. That should really be the name of a CBS television series, somebody write that down. Rachel wants to pick Ed & Jaclyn, because apparently her and Jack Attack are bffs forever. Nick promises Jacklyn won’t hate her because he doesn’t understand women.
Chris & Sarah get ‘em. Rachel immediately starts crying, as does Jaclyn, because they love each other, except now Jaclyn hates her forever. Jack Attack has it out with the camera in the limo: she wants Rachel to go bleep herself, and calls her a piece of bleep. Rachel goes up to her room to cry some more as Ed sneaks back in and steals her champagne glass. Bleeping bleep bleep indeed.