Houston native Robyn said it best — and most bluntly — at the beginning of this week’s drama-filled episode of The Bachelor when she joked that she couldn’t wait for “the note that reads ‘Robyn, let’s ditch these b-tches and fall in love for real.'”
Because judging by the increasingly aggressive behavior of the remaining 16 ladies on this season, she’s not the only one who feels that way.
It’s only three weeks into this drama-filled, tear-ridden “journey,” and poor Shirtless Sean is already feeling the pressures of “diggin’ a lot of women” at once. The earnest entrepreneur — who kicks off the episode with a few sweaty bicep curls and some gratuitous treadmill jogging for the cameras — will tackle three dates this week: two one-on-one dates and a group date.
First up is political consultant Lesley M., whose sexy cowboy getup and subtle smooching from last week clearly left Sean wanting more. So much more, in fact, that the 29-year-old bachelor manages to finagle some more lip-locking time with her — 3 minutes and 16 seconds of it, to be exact.
But before the pair can get do the (kissing) deed, Sean first takes Lesley to the dismal-looking Guinness World Records museum on Hollywood Boulevard, where she pretends to ooh and ahh at displays like the “world’s smallest woman” and “dude eating a bike wheel.”
Not exactly the most romantic of locales, but Lesley seems game enough, and actually genuinely impressed when Sean points out a photo of his dad setting the world record for shortest amount of time spent driving continuously through 48 states (97 hours and 47 minutes, for those keeping track at home).
But tour time comes to a close when Chris Harrison gleefully emerges and announces the real point of the date: the two lovers will lock lips for 3 minutes and 16 seconds to break the world record for world’s longest on-screen kiss.
And with the timer ticking away painfully slowly on the screen and a crowd of gawkers crowding around on Hollywood Boulevard, they kiss … and kiss … and giggle … and kiss some more until they finally best the record and confetti explodes around them. Romance, indeed!
That night, the pair sit down to chat about their lives and families — an easier feat now that their faces aren’t glued to one another anymore.
“You just make me nervous,” she tells the red-faced bachelor, filling in awkward pauses with random banter. Finally, though, girl finally takes the hint, goes silent and leans in for the kiss. And, naturally, gets the rose.
Meanwhile, back at the Bachelor mansion, the remaining 15 girls are anxiously awaiting their date cards. Ding dong! AshLee dashes to grab the card and read off the names for the group date: Kacie, Robyn, Leslie H., Kristy, Catherine, Desiree, Taryn, Amanda, Lindsay, Daniella, Jackie and Tierra are summoned.
The next day, the 12 gals pile into cars to head to the beach, where they strip down to their bikinis and toss a football around self-consciously until Chris Harrison once again makes his big bad appearance (sans champagne flute) and lays out the day’s challenge. The girls will be split into two teams, he says, and will play a round of beach volleyball to vie for Sean’s time — and ultimately, his heart.
“I’m so bad at volleyball!” Daniella whines as the teams are created. She, Taryn, Leslie, Catherine, Kristy and Tierra form the red team, while Lindsay, Jackie, Robyn, Amanda, Kacie and Desiree comprise the blue team.
What follows is a whole lot of girls and abs and sand and surf and bikinis — and Shirtless Sean standing by helplessly feeling nervous for the losing team but secretly enjoying the role reversal of the ladies vying for his attention.
After what looks to be several hours of emotional, angry volleyball-playing, the blue team wins, and the red team is forced to hang their collective heads and tromp home to the mansion. There may have even be a few tears and a fair amount of pouting. The ladies on the winning team, however, are ecstatic to spend more time with Sean and each snatches him away to say her piece with the bachelor later that evening.
But it’s returning contestant Kacie B. who makes the strongest impression on Sean that night — and not necessarily in a good way. After the tension between Desiree and Amanda starts to heat up, Kacie decides to use their friction to her advantage — by tattling to Sean. The only problem is, however, that Sean seems to be more turned off by her chatter than he is sympathetic.
“Why are you involving yourself in that?” he asks incredulously as Kacie tries to tell him how the girls’ conflict is making her “not herself.” “I want you to act like Kacie, not like this crazy person I’m seeing.”
No rose for Kacie, then. Substitute teacher Lindsay instead gets the flower for the night.
Unfortunately for Sean, however, the drama is far from over. The following day, Shirtless Sean arrives (covered, in a pink shirt this time) at the mansion to pick up AshLee for their one-on-one date and instead finds Tierra sprawled on the stairs. Having had “several concussions” himself before, he does what any self-respecting gentleman would do and calls the ambulance — only problem being that Tierra, hungry for attention but dubiously hurt, refuses to be taken to the hospital.
In the end, the “accident” draws nothing but angry murmurs among the girls and a delayed first date for poor AshLee, who waits patiently inside the house as Tierra snags some more alone time with Sean. Eventually, though AshLee and Sean get on their way, driving out to Six Flags Magic Mountain, where the entire theme park has been shut down for the two of them — and two very special young guests.
Sean introduces AshLee to Emily and Brianna, two best friends who suffer from mitochondrial diseases, and who are meeting for the first time through the Starlight Children’s Foundation. The foursome spend the day together riding roller coasters and dressing up for a western-inspired photo shoot (Sean clearly had a hand in the plans for this date), and AshLee is won over by Sean’s “caring heart.”
The pair dance to Sean’s favorite band, the Eli Young Band, and seal the night on a more serious note, talking about AshLee’s difficult childhood. Even big bad Sean gets teary-eyed at her heartfelt story.
“It felt good to tell somebody I’m falling in love with all my insecurities,” the personal organizer says during her confessional. “I never thought I’d believe in this.” Sean’s making believers out of non-believers! He’s just that good.
At the cocktail party the next night, the mood is a little different, a bit tenser. Aside from Sarah, who gets a surprise chance to catch up with her French bulldog Leo, the other women take to lurking around Sean and stealing him away for conversations throughout the evening like a maddening game of reverse hot potato.
Kacie in particular tries to get a little bit of time with the bachelor to apologize for her gossipy behavior and to right their relationship once more, but even she and her spray-tanned legs can’t keep Sean away from the other women, resulting in one of the more awkward/human moments in Bachelor history, depending upon how you look at it.
At the rose ceremony, Sean looks a bit preoccupied before he asks to speak to Kacie alone. Ultimately, he tells her, he respects her too much to put her through an entire rose ceremony. And so, with a hug and a gentle push, he sends her home before returning to the rose ceremony.
Tierra, Leslie H., Catherine, Daniella, Robyn, Selma, Sarah, Jackie, Amanda and Desiree get roses, while model Kristy and fitness coordinator Taryn get the boot. Both Leslie M. and AshLee are safe through next week as well. The more of the story? Don’t tattle on the other women.
“I really wanted this to work,” Kacie tells the cameras as her car peels away from the mansion. “Last time I left here with no regrets. This time, there are regrets that I have and that’s something I’ll have to live with.”
“I have a great life,” she continues tearfully. “And hopefully I can find somebody who can join me in that. It’s just not Sean right now.”
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