Recap of The Bachelor Season 15, Episode 5: Vegas Drives Us All to Heartbreak Hotel
TWO-ON-ONE DATE WITH THE ASHLEYS Date card: "Come swing with the King"
Ashley S. and Ashley H. are close friends and heartbroken that at least one of them has to go home. Tears!
Brad says that although he's had great one-on-one dates with both Ashleys, he has concerns about the name buddies. To get to know them better, he escorts them backstage to see "Viva Elvis" and also participate in the show. It's The Lion King date from Bachelorette Season 6 all over again. Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez performed in that show, 'memba? High-wire acts and all.
Ashley S. says she'll be fighting a lot of inner demons. She feels like she's always convincing someone to be with her. (Why? She's great.) She wants Brad to fall in love with her and hopes she doesn't mess it up for herself. Poor gal.
Their three-way dinner is awkward and sad. Brad gets nervous about everything anyway, so that just makes it worse. He follows his heart and gives the rose to Ashley H., telling Ashley S. she'll make an extraordinary wife, but not for him. Ouch.
Scratchy-voiced Ashley S. feels like someone punched her in the stomach and the heart. She got the first impression rose and now this. She thinks something is wrong with her, 'cause in the past she's been in relationships with guys and in the end they don't want to be with her. Honestly, that's kinda hard to believe.
As if watching Southern Ashley break down isn't painful enough, we segue awkwardly into Ashley H.'s performance with Brad. They talk about how they're on top of the world, and Ashley H. calls it one of the best nights of her life. Real nice.
Over it all, ABC lays it on thick with Elvis's "Are You Lonesome Tonight."
Please don't give us a black eye for saying this but… um… [shuffles feet] … we're kind of starting to like Michelle Money. She's fun!
On a Bachelor season that takes itself more seriously than the State of the Union address, it's nice to have someone the camera can cut to for murderous reaction shots and cut-the-tension statements like "I'm ready for some girls to go home, primarily because I need more space for my luggage." She's like a real-life cartoon character.
Ashley H. had a nice comeback episode on Week 5, but Ashley S. never had anything to overcome. Perhaps that was her downfall.
It was certainly a boon for Emily Maynard, whose tragic past took over the NASCAR date, gave her closure, and earned her the group date rose.
Never mind what was fair for the producers to do to her; what about the other girls? The NASCAR date became "The Emily Date," despite the fact that seven other women just happened to be there. What can you do? Complaining abut Emily is the third rail of Season 15. It immediately marks the women as catty, even if they make fair points.
Read on for more from Episode 5, including embalming over dinner; Emily taking over the world; gratuitous Elvis moaning; and Chantal O'Brien dropping the "L" bomb:
The losers club: Ashley Spivey from the 2-on-1, plus Marissa May and Lisa Morrisey, who barely got any screen time. She's like Chris Nordhorn from Ali’s season. Remember "The Phantom"?
Poor Lisa cries pretty hard and seems to almost run out. We hear more from her now than in the past four weeks combined. Marissa says nothing as Brad whispers, "Please try to understand, OK?" She's crying, too. It hurts to leave feeling rejected, she says.
COMING UP ON "THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL SEASON OF THE BACHELOR EVER" Costa Rica, bitches! Eight women are left going into next week, and Brad isn't sure which of these women could be his wife. The Chantal vs. Michelle battle rears its ugly head all over again: Michelle says if Brad ends up with Chantal it will be a mistake. Rrrrarrrr. There's a suggestion that Emily doesn't want to take Brad home to Charlotte, but that's probably not how it really comes out. We see her crying. We see safaris. We see women in doubt. We see Chantal make another "send me home" ultimatum. She needs to stop that.
DATE WITH SHAWNTEL The 11 women left in Los Angeles have one hour to pack up and leave for Las Vegas. Brad loves Vegas and talks about it nonstop. Aria gets a huge plug as "the most beautiful hotel ever."
The women stay in a gorgeous suite, so even though only Shawntel Newton enjoys the one-on-one date, the other ladies have a cool place to hang out.
Date card: "Let's end tonight with a bang." Hello!
Shawntel has never been to Vegas so she's, like, stoked. Vegas is nothing like the mall back in Chico, California. Her date is a shopping spree. She can buy whatever she wants. She goes straight for fashion. (Go to the food court and chow down!) Brad says it's every woman's dream to go from store to store and pick out whatever she wants. It's probably every guy's dream, too, especially if there are gadgets and food involved.
Brad calls Shawntel an "incredibly sexy woman" who's sexy without even trying (unlike, say, Madison and Michelle?). He was surprised by how fashionable she was. She can look good in everything.
Brad says he could see spending his life with her, but he has literally said that about every single woman on every one-on-one date.
Back at the ranch, Michelle was speculating that it could be the worst date that Brad's ever been on. (Always the optimist, our Michelle.) In comes Shawntel, with a thousand packages in hand. Cue outrageous jealousy from the ladies! Ashley Spivey calls it the perfect Pretty Woman moment every girl dreams about. (Who doesn't want to be a happy-go-lucky prostitute?) Side note: What does Jackie Gordon think? She had her own Pretty Woman date a couple of weeks ago.
Shawntel and Brad continue their date with a rooftop dinner. She's worried about telling Brad about her profession as a funeral director and embalmer. Why would he care? It’s not great dinner talk, but Brad asks for details, then cracks up about them. It’s actually kind of nice to see Brad giggle like a schoolgirl. Is he drunk or what? The champagne bottle pops itself, so that should be a sign of something.
Brad calls Shawntel "the hottest funeral director I've ever met." She gets the rose. Then they bang! Well, the fireworks bang. The ladies see the impressive display through their suite's windows.
NASCAR GROUP DATE (AKA "THE EMILY DATE") Date card: "Let's go speed dating" The ladies attending: Jackie, Emily, Lisa, Marissa, Alli, Chantal, Britt, and Michelle
The group date ladies head to the Las Vegas Speedway. Brad looks hot in his uniform. Chantal decides it's the best he’s ever looked, and she's probably right.
Brad tells them they will have the chance to race NASCAR racecars. He says it's every single guy's dream. (Hey, now! Some women would rather do this than go shopping. Just keep it in mind, man.) Michelle is into it. She thinks she's hot and looks great in a racecar. Britt isn't really into it, but she's going to try to go for it anyway. Chantal won't take her foot off the gas. Atta girl!
Jackie knew this would be emotional for Emily, since driving is what her fiance, Ricky Hendrick, did for a living. He was flying to a racetrack when his plane crashed. Brad realizes that Emily is not having the best time, so he talks to her. At this point he's not aware that Ricky was a racecar driver. Why? Why didn't they talk about this at the vineyard?
Vegas track is what ended Ricky's driving career; he crashed at the track and that moved him into more of an ownership role. Emily feels bad because she's usually more fun. Brad said he's the one who picks the dates, not her. (Actually, the producers picked the date and picked Emily to go on it.)
Brad is impressed with Emily's tenacity in putting on her helmet and driving. The only other time she was in a racecar was when Ricky was driving and she was the passenger. He always wanted her to drive but she was too scared. She's crying in the car, just thinking of Ricky.
This part of the date becomes all about Emily's journey to move on and find love again. The first few laps were for Ricky and the last lap was for her. It's a very sweet moment, soured a tiny bit by her calling this "the process" — Bachelor producers' jargon. Be wary of anyone calling this "the process."
At the after-party, Brad pulls Emily aside again. The whole mood of the room changes, because Brad has been giving her extra attention all day. Alli complains about it. Sweet Lisa says something about how there’s a good reason why Brad is singling Emily out.
Alli: "Just because someone comes in with the worst story means they get the most attention?" Fair question.
Brad and Emily talk about how they've been in love before. He's been in love more than once; she hasn't. Emily's ex is sort of the elephant in the room. Brad says it's a hard space to fill. Emily feels like he's going to run for the hills. She's seen this before: "Guys kind of pull away once they learn a little more about my life and my past." Not really, Em. they pull away when they realize you're still in love with Ricky.
On the group date, Alli finally gets time with Brad and immediately starts crying. She never gets more than two seconds with him and she always seems to waste that time.
Chantal is much smarter with her time. She tells Brad that pulling Emily aside makes her love him even more. "Not love you, that's the wrong word. It makes me like you even more because the thing is, it shows that you are a caring person." Brad: "Back to the love comment..." So cuuuuuuute! Chantal says if he doesn't feel for her, she wants him to send her home. She tears up. "Don't cry, babe," Brad says. He calls her "babe." Tellin' ya.
During an awkward moment with the girls, Michelle comes to Brad's rescue. That's how she sees it, anyway. So she starts her own awkward conversation about the "immature girls" in the house. Brad doesn't want to hear it. He wants to make out.
Oh, and Emily gets the rose. Of course. Brad says he doesn't care about her past; he cares about what he's known about her from the day they met. (That she looks like a Barbie doll?) And he vows to be himself with her from now on. He says he's falling for her, but it's obvious he's too intimidated by her to really be falling for her. He's just in awe.
COCKTAIL PARTY Brad calls his therapist, Jamie, which means it's a good time for a bathroom break. Even Brad seems bored by this conversation.
At the hotel, Brad talks about all the tears. When a woman is crying he will stop everything for her. Bad thing to admit, man! On that note, Chantal sits down with him and talks about Emily. Brad finally realizes everyone on the NASCAR date felt like she was on "The Emily Date."
Brad decides to (finally!) do something nice for Alli, who always seems to get left out. He also sits down with Marissa, who gives Brad some little notes. She's all about the little things. Except when it comes to her makeup, which is much too much.
Brad chats with Britt about their chemistry. Michelle notices and launches into her spiel to the camera about how no one else is his type except for her. In full-on dominatrix mode, she pulls Brad aside, sits on his lap, strokes his face, and grabs his tie. She tells him not to talk and kisses him. It's kinda scary, but Brad isn't resisting. In fact, he seems into it. Dude, really?