Bachelor Pad: Kiss and smell (spoiler alert)
Is it just me or was watching Monday's Bachelor Pad a bit like watching someone pull the wings off flies?
The show has always had something of a high school vibe, with the cool power couples and their allies shutting out the less popular contestants.
But there seemed to be genuine anguish on display on Monday from Michael, Melissa and, to a lesser extent, Holly.
I don't blame Blake for not wanting to take Melissa on the date he won in the kissing contest. Can you imagine that woman having anything like fun? But his rejection seemed to push her further over the brink and tortured Michael, who'd finally begun to acknowledge that he wanted Holly back in his life.
But before we get to that, there's the unfinished business of Jake vs. Kasey and Vienna.
ABC dragged that animosity out as long as it could, but last week's sudden ending was just a lot of smoke and mirrors. Jake did indeed go home, we learned at the beginning of Monday's show, and the anticipated blow-out with Kasey was nothing more than Jake making a little speech, warning the other contestants to break up the power couples before it was too late.
"Guys, although we had a chance to do something really big tonight, really special, it just didn't happen," he started out, as if they'd been on the verge of a cure for cancer or world peace instead of just sending an arrogant guy packing.
"I think you're sending the wrong guy home. I want to encourage everybody, if you want a shot to win, you're gonna have to step up and do the right thing and start taking out the power couples and you know which ones you need to start with."
Then ever the diplomat, or phony baloney depending on your point of view, he told Kasey it had been "amazing meeting you" adding, "Vienna, my apologies, my heart forgiven," whatever that means.
Evil not-such-a-genius Kasey was crowing about the devil being gone and how he had a "euphoric sensation ... all over my body" (ewwwwww).
If Jake was ticked at being beaten, he wasn't showing it in the limo. He'd achieved his main goal, he said, to get some forgiveness in his heart for Vienna and move on with his life. "I wish I would have won a quarter of a million dollars, but some of the things that I've seen that you potentially have to do to win that, it's not enough money. I'm not sad because I'm not heartbroken. The last time I left in a limousine I was heartbroken (I'm guessing he means the infamous breakup interview with Vienna at the mansion). This time I'm kind of glad to be out of that f--kin' crazy house," he laughed.
Luckily we didn't have to endure a whole episode of Kasey and Vienna feeling pleased with themselves and making out. It was time for the second annual Bachelor Pad Kissing Contest. "I know it's early. I hope you've all brushed," said host Chris Harrison.
Apparently Kasey didn't get that memo since the women complained about how bad his breath was when they had to kiss him.
In case you've forgotten how this works, contestants are blindfolded and then, one at a time, they get kissed by the opposite sex housemates and cast a ballot for the best kisser. The girl and guy with the most votes wins the contest.
Michelle bowed out because she didn't want to set a bad example for her 6-year-old daughter (really? so all that face-sucking she did with Brad Womack on the recent Bachelor season was a good example?).
Everybody else was game, two guys more so than the others. Michael was looking forward to kissing ex-fiancee Holly again. Blake, the dentist, was also looking forward to kissing Holly, declaring, "I'm gonna do a tonsillectomy ... the doctor is in" (once again, ewwwww).
Blake was true to his word. While the other guys gave Holly pecks so as not to piss off Michael, Blake kissed her so hard and so long it was making even me uncomfortable. To be fair, though, he gave big kisses to everybody except Vienna ("I could feel Kasey's eyes on the back of my head") and that included Melissa, who interpreted the smooch as Blake having feelings for her instead of just being a guy trying to win a contest.
Blake's female counterpart was Ella, who had no scruples about setting a bad example for her son if it meant getting closer to the $250,000 prize. She kissed all the guys with gusto except for the aforementioned Kasey and his bad breath.
Melissa got a taste of what was to come when she had to watch Holly enjoying her kiss with Blake as much or more than her kiss with Michael.
So Blake and Ella won roses and immunity from the vote, and the chance to take one other person on a romantic date.
Ella chose to take her game partner, Kirk, on a date that involved a fireside dinner and a nighttime ride in a hot air balloon. They exchanged deep life stories (Ella's mother's murder, Kirk's serious illness) and spit.
The more interesting date was Blake's. Melissa, his partner in the game, assumed she'd be the lucky girl, but Erica -- who lost the kissing contest after practically swallowing the men's faces whole with her filler-injected lips -- also made a play. She gave Blake a massage and promised him suggestively that she'd "do whatever you wanted, 100 per cent" if he took her.
Door No. 3 was Holly, a very risky choice not just because it would turn Melissa into "Mount St. Helens," in Blake's words, but would make an enemy out of Michael. But strangely (after a whisper in the ear from the producers, perhaps?) that's who Blake decided to pick.
Holly accepted, despite her ambivalent feelings about Michael and the fact she had a frantic Melissa in her face, demanding to know why she'd said yes.
Holly used her "I flirt with everybody" excuse and when Melissa pointed out that Holly didn't flirt with Kasey, Holly shot back that Kasey was in a serious relationship. "Are you in a serious relationship?" she demanded of Melissa.
Melissa also tracked down Blake, stalking him all over the house in a hoodie and fuzzy slippers and then waiting with arms crossed while he got in another 40 seconds of tooth brushing (he is a dentist).
And she bad-mouthed Blake and Holly to anybody who would listen (and even those who wouldn't) all over the house. Michelle commented wearily, "Some people wear their emotions on their sleeves, but Melissa wears her emotions on every article of clothing she's wearing every single day, including her hair tie and her panties."
It's no wonder that Blake and Holly were so happy to get out of the house.
Holly's smile faltered when she found out they were going skiing and snowboarding, both of which scared her, but before you know it she was rolling around in the snow, laughing with Blake, declaring it the best date ever and saying, "Michael who?"
Over a cosy outdoor dinner by a blazing fire, Holly was non-committal when Blake asked her what was up with Michael. But her mixed feelings for her ex didn't stop her from kissing Blake and agreeing to spend the night away from the mansion with him.
Michael was left to stare wistfully into sunsets and fireplaces and talk longingly about how much he missed Holly.
We can't be certain what happened between Holly and Blake at the chalet, but according to Holly it didn't involve sleeping since she was too confused over her feelings for Michael and Blake to get any shut-eye.
Back at the mansion, she confessed to Michael that she'd kissed Blake after Michael confessed that he'd fallen back in love with her. Then Holly sought solace from Vienna, telling her, "I love Michael. I think there's gonna be a part of me that always will love Michael, but there's a huge part of me that Michael broke and I don't know if that can be fixed."
(If what I've been reading online is true, it can't. Holly and Blake were supposedly a couple after Bachelor Pad filming ended.)
Next thing you know it was vote time. No tricks from the producers this week: one man and one woman were going home.
Once again, Kasey became a target for the women in the house, but he was doing his best to convince them to vote out William.
On the women's side, Melissa was on the chopping block. Once she found out, thanks to William's honesty, she got squirrelly, chasing men around the house to make sure they weren't voting for her. Most of them lied and said they were voting to oust Erica. "I felt I had to lie to Melissa 'cause I thought she was gonna cut my nuts off," explained Kasey.
When the axe finally fell, Melissa was inconsolable, crying so hard in the back of the limo she was unable to speak.
William took it a little better (yes, the ladies missed yet another chance to get rid of Kasey. Sigh). Wiping tears from his eyes, he said, "It's not a game that I could play. I think they could see that and they knew that I was the easy guy out. It was still tough. I love those guys even if I did get voted off."
If nothing else, William likely repaired the damage to his reputation done by his comedy club attack on former Bachelorette Ashley Hebert.
Look for the Michael, Holly and Blake triangle to continue next episode when Michael catches Holly and Blake kissing. But maybe it's more of a quadrangle, with Erica trying to lure Blake away from Holly with sexy lingerie.
All will be revealed Monday at 8 p.m. on Citytv and I'll have the recap here.