Christ Harrison [Editor's Note: That's probably a typo, but it's staying. -- Mindy] bellows at all the women to come join him, and they carry their booze (disguised as coffee) into the living room as he talks about what an emotional night last night was, even though most of us have scrubbed it from our memories, and he tells them things are going to be getting stupider. Although he doesn't use the word "stupider," he does explain the "rules" of this show again, which is great, because I'd hate to forget what they are and then be able to use that space in my brain for something useful.
He drops off the date card. It's for Ashley S: "Let's find our love song!" Jesus, what song could that possibly be? She's thrilled because she's been waiting for this since she received the first impression rose.
And he shows up while everyone lounges around the pool party. And Michelle glares, and she's really pissed that Ashley S. got the one-on-one date. Michelle says she hates all the other women. She actually says that -- I'm not paraphrasing this time.
So Brad and Ashley drive to what Brad refers to as "the most famous recording studio in the entire world," but they're not at Abbey Road, they're at Studio A of Capitol Records, Brad tells her, like this is supposed to mean anything to her. "Countless platinum artists have recorded here," he says, declining to name any -- was one of them Train? Because that would rule -- adding that they themselves are going to record here, and all I can theorize is that maybe this place is tired of being supposedly the most famous recording studio in the entire world.
In an interview, Ashley seems really nervous. "I hate the sound of my voice when I sing," she says. And they get to the microphone, and they have a lyric sheet for -- surprise -- "Kiss From a Rose" which turns out to of course have magical significance for Ashley because something something something her dad.
And then they start singing, and if Ashley's dad is dead (I wasn't really paying attention) then he is surely rolling over in his grave. They are seriously awful, like, not "this is hilarious and endearing" awful but "I literally wish I were deaf" awful. And it goes on forever, and now they are hugging for some reason. "I picked the perfect girl to do this date with," says Brad. Funny how that works out on every date for every bachelor on every season, huh? And then Brad is apologizing into the microphone to "Mr. Seal," and then Brad and Ashley go into another studio, where the real Mr. Seal is, and he is singing that song, instead of "Crazy," and then they hug and cry and Ashley is talking about her dad again, and she says it's like he orchestrated it, and speaking as a father of a girl I can pretty much guarantee no dad would orchestrate anything that has to do with his daughter appearing on The Bachelor -- well, maybe Joe Simpson would -- and now Seal is singing a song that goes "You belong to Me," and I get the sinking feeling that we're not going to get to see Heidi Klum.
After a commercial break, Brad tells us that he set up a dinner on the rooftop of the recording studio. Yeah, "you" set that up.
And now these two ninnies are talking about the date, and Ashley tells us that she was obsessed with the song when she was 10, which makes me feel really old. And now it turns out that Ashley's dad DID die, of a brain aneurysm, and now she's talking about how it felt like her dad was here tonight, so she felt closer to her dad, and Brad is kind of awkward about this stuff, but Ashley appears to feel special, as much as you can when you're one of 17.
The group-date card arrives, and Michelle tells us that if her name is not on it, she will be pissed because it means she doesn't get a one-on-one date with him. That would "piss [her] off," she tells us. What? Is it her birthday again already? And here I was thinking she might actually crack a smile for once, but again she's going to opt for "humourless knotface." And her name IS on the date card, and it's the last one read of what I swear was twenty names. The theme of the date is "Love hurts," but a sourfaced Michelle tells us what really hurts is that other people breathe her oxygen.
Back on the recording studio rooftop, not only has neither of these two accidentally fallen off, but Brad is giving Ashley S. the rose, and they dance and we are forced to listen to "Kiss From a Rose" again, and we go to commercial as the camera takes in the city skyline, with many rooftop signs fuzzed out because companies wisely don't want to have anything to do with this show.
The next day, twelve of the women come running out of the house, with most of them seemingly dressed in yellow and or purple, and Michelle as usual looks like she just drank sour milk.
So the women arrive on this backlot and Brad welcomes them and then suddenly there is an explosion and my prayers are answered when a bunch of thugs attacks Brad, but he fights off a couple of them and then he swings a shovel and the FORCE OF THE AIR knocks them all down. And Brad jokes that this is just "another day at the office," and the "action director" who is named Steven Ho, I swear to god, tells them that they're all going to be filming their own action movie scenes.
To that end, they take what I assume is a five-minute karate class -- Alli doesn't want to sweat in front of Brad -- and then jump right into the filming, which features a bunch of non-white thugs (happy, diversity harpies?). There are way too many women for me to keep track of who all is here, but there's one who says her grunts sound like squeaks, and Mean Michelle makes fun of her in an interview for that, while she herself is at least channeling her hatred for everyone who isn't her into kicking the ass of the thugs in her scene.
Back at the house, another date card comes out, and Ashley and her tan lines and bikini run out to get it. Madison wants it (don't they all?) but it's for Emily, which kicks off perhaps the least interesting subplot that this show features every season: the contestant who's a mother who worries that when she tells the bachelor she has a kid, he'll run screaming for the hills. Presumably because the kid represents incontrovertible proof that the woman has had sex before, and is therefore less worthy. Naturally, she's worried about it, even though A) she probably shouldn't waste time lamenting a guy for whom this would be a problem, and B) every single time the Bachelor talks about how cool he is with her having a child.
Anyway, then we watch some of these action movie scenes, and Kimberly dully explains about jumping and explosions in case any of us are not familiar with action movies. And Brad tells us that Shawntel is kicking some ass, and you are not going to believe this but Michelle has some criticism for Shawntel, which is that she's trying to go from an extra to the lead actress, which is "offensive" for some reason, and then Shawntel gets the big climax, in Brad's arms, kissing, and Michelle bitchily explains that when she kisses Brad, it won't be a fake scripted thing but will be real, with fireworks going off behind them, which is a scenario she has outlined before, and then of course a big fireball explosion goes off behind Brad and Shawntel, and Michelle literally covers her eyes with her hair because she is twelve years old.
So then we get the "wrap party," and I love how the idiots on this show always call it that, and of course it's a rooftop bar with a pool and Brad jumps in, and all the women follow suit with their clothes on, lest he doesn't think they're fun-loving or whatever.
And now Brad is cuddling up under a towel with -- who is this? A brunette, anyway, and she starts crying, because that's healthy, about how she has to share Brad with all these other women. Yeah, in a shocking rule change implemented JUST THIS SEASON, the Bachelor dates a bunch of women! Anyway, she's crying because she's "done stuff," and then she tells us that her dad is actually her stepdad, and her real dad