The Bachelor Recap: His Name is Mud

Previously on The Bachelor: Richie helped Alex fulfil her lifelong dream of diarrhoea cosplay.

Tonight on The Bachelor: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

It’s a fine morning at the mansion, where Alex asks Steph how she feels being the only intruder left. “Scared!” Steph chortles, but what she actually means is, “Alex, stop talking to me.”

TAFKAAG shows up to demonstrate just how superfluous he is. Kiki notes that the arrival of TAFKAAG “usually means there’s something we need to know”, as if there are some occasions on which he comes around just to chat. As we know, TAFKAAG’s only marketable skill is giving people envelopes and then walking away, and he illustrates this perfectly.

It’s a single date, and it’s for Nikki, the winner of The Bachelor 2016. “Nikki is definitely a frontrunner, and it’s unnerving,” says Kiki, and indeed it must be extremely unnerving to know that you have literally no chance of winning. Kiki is worried she might be “losing her grip on Richie’s heart”, but she will never lose her grip on Richie’s heart, for the same reason she will never lose her pet unicorn.

Richie arrives to pick up Nikki in a flatbed truck from the 1920s, an attempt to show her the bootlegging side of his personality. Richie says he chose the vehicle because Nikki “is not about the bells and whistles, so I thought, I’ll pick her up in an antique car”. He can say this with a straight face because his master program does not allow him to recognise gross stupidity.

Richie and Nikki get cosy.

Richie has taken Nikki to one of the oldest pubs in rural New South Wales — it’s actually the pub where William Bligh ate his first parma. He’s done this because Nikki is “from the country”, and Richie, so finely attuned to the human condition, is well aware that people from the country enjoy being in old buildings. This particular old building also appears to be completely uninhabited, which really adds to that romantic “post-apocalyptic” vibe that he’s going for.

Nikki tells Richie that she likes being around him and that she never imagined that she’d meet someone like him — which is a very odd thing to say considering that everyone knew that this series of The Bachelor was going to star someone who was so much like Richie that he is, in fact, Richie. Richie and Nikki exchange bland non-specific platitudes about what they are pleased to call their “feelings” and the date is going absolutely beautifully assuming you are as colourless and empty inside as both Richie and Nikki are.

Back at the mansion there is a group date card to read. Rachael is looking forward to the group date because she wants to hang out with him Richie: classic Stockholm Syndrome. The card says, “Let love take its course.” Rachael is terrified that this might mean she has to eat food.

Back on the date, the ancient haunted pub has been decorated with ugly lights so Nikki feels at home. The happy couple sits on some hay and pretends this is enjoyable, and Richie reveals his next surprise: a loud and irritating bluegrass band. He also reveals that what he likes best about Nikki is that she is “down to earth”, the phrase that his Random Compliment Generator threw up.

Richie and Nikki dance like they’re suffering full-body muscle spasms as a result of spider venom, as the band continues its raucous, obnoxious music. Then they sit down for a quiet, romantic moment in which Nikki tells Richie that if he chooses her, “you will have all of me”. This is a big promise, because most of the Bachelorettes have told Richie that they plan to place certain body parts in a trust, should they get together.

“This is a feeling I can’t explain,” Nikki says of the colossal dry heaves that Richie’s presence is inducing in her. Richie brings her a rose and tells her it comes from his heart, a nice change from all previous roses that have come from his testes.

Nikki is over the moon that she is in love with a handsome man who will in a short space of time be kissing a different woman and telling her how wonderful she makes him feel. It’s very touching.

Time for the group date, and look, of course it’s dumb because every group date is dumb. The Bachelorettes have to go through a Tough Mudder obstacle course, which is important because before Richie decides on a life partner he has to know that his chosen lady is good at teamwork and crawling under barbed wire.

Sneak peek: Richie’s next date idea.

There’s just so little you can say anymore about these group dates. They are, I can safely say, literally the stupidest things ever created in the world. There is no conceivable reason why Richie would want the Bachelorettes to go through an obstacle course, but the producers have confused a dating show for a youth group camp, so off we go, I guess.

The most interesting thing about the obstacle course is how Rachael continues her exponential bitchiness increase from episode to episode. She snarks here about how un-athletic Steph is. You get the feeling that Rachael really feels that her superior ability to climb over a wooden fence will give her a huge edge when it comes to getting into Richie’s pants.

All the women have to crawl through a mud pit under barbed wire because The Bachelor is nothing if not chiefly concerned with getting everyone filthy. After they’ve all gone through, Olena challenges Richie to a race through the mud pit, which Olena wins, having honed her skills when she defected I guess.

Richie describes Olena as moving through the mud “like a lizard running across the Gippsland desert”, which is an interesting choice of phrase inasmuch as there is no desert in Gippsland and it demonstrates that one of his brain-wires has come loose.

There is then a thing where everyone has to ride on each other’s backs for some reason. Rachael jumps on Richie’s back, and then Alex, who breaks out in hives if she sees anyone else touching Richie’s precious precious skin, jumps on Richie’s back as well, and he has to carry both of them at once and frankly this is getting unseemly. Kiki observes that Rachael and Alex are extremely competitive in pursuing Richie’s affections — Kiki may be struggling to comprehend the premise of the show. Her decision to be non-competitive in this competition could cost her dearly. Assuming you think that not ending up with Richie counts as “costing dearly”.

Then they do a stupid thing with a slippery ramp and the women are all really stupid and Rachael makes a nasty comment about all the others being blondes and then laughs hysterically as she spirals into madness. I dunno, Kiki’s sort of brunette, isn’t she? A bit.

Richie decides that Olena, with her KGB-honed lizard skills, is the winner of the pointless dumb challenge, and takes her off to drink wine and demand answers. Will Olena open up to Richie? Will she reveal what her feelings, if any, are? Can Richie and Olena ever achieve the level of intimacy he has with other women, where he feels comfortable saying heartfelt, unguarded things like, “Love has no boundaries” and “I like honesty”?

Olena babbles on about protecting herself and being cautious and Richie babbles about not rushing emotions and there is absolutely no content in this conversation at all. What she’s protecting herself from, how she’s actually doing this protecting, what some of the emotions are that she’s holding back, what the act of “opening up” might entail…none of these things are even touched on. The discussion goes like this:

Olena: I haven’t been opening up.

Richie: I would like you to open up.

Olena: OK I will open up.

Richie: Hooray! Have a rose!

(they kiss)

The longer this show goes, and the more he makes lengthy speeches to Nikki about how infatuated he is with her, the creepier it gets when he pashes someone else.

God it’s creepy.

Pictured: Richie’s soul.

Anyway he thinks he and Olena have had a big breakthrough because her vague meaningless statements used slightly different wording this time and he got to touch boob.

Cocktail party time, and Richie takes Rachael away to talk about god knows what while Steph frets to the other Bachelorettes about not having had much time to get to know Richie which is cute because she still imagines she has any hope.

We do not see any part of Richie and Rachael’s conversation, but we do see Rachael thanking him for talking to her, so as long as she enjoyed it, that’s the main thing.

Richie then takes Steph away for a chat and Faith gets all sad because she thinks she’s better than Steph. “There are so many amazing girls here,” Faith lies. “They’re all so special and unique,” she continues to lie.

Meanwhile Richie demands to know whether Steph can see a future for them. Steph finds this faintly ridiculous, since she’s on The Fucking Bachelor, why do you think she’s here, dickhead? But Richie, who is stuck in a loop and needs resetting, insists on reiterating his demand. He needs to know whether Steph can see a future for them, his report into the habits and customs of the Earthling race cannot be completed until he finds out.

And so we come to the rose ceremony. Nikki and Olena already have roses — one from the heart, one not — so just five women are on the chopping block. Four roses available. Someone is about to be released from the living hell that is The Bachelor and such is the power of Richie’s intoxicating beige charisma, they’ll actually think this is a bad thing.

Kiki does not want to go home because she can see herself spending the rest of her life with Richie. This is a common reaction to Richie — in fact many people, after talking to Richie for five minutes, feel like they’ve already spent their entire life with him. Something in Richie makes Kiki become competitive and want to fight for him, so I guess they edited out all the bits where that happened.

The first rose goes to Rachael, because the producers still need someone to play the bitch.

The second rose goes to Steph, because Richie still holds out hope of banging her at some point prior to his wedding to Nikki. This causes Alex to be at a complete loss, because she had assumed that Steph would be going home because it’s the Steph doll that she stuck the pins in last night.

The third rose goes to Alex, because Richie still doesn’t want to get stabbed.

And the fourth rose, presented as Rachael stares intently at the last two women with the cold eyes of a contract killer, goes to Faith, because she’s the best at water polo.

“Kiki, you didn’t receive a rose,” says TAFKAAG, just to make sure that Kiki is caught up on current events.

“I know you’re going to make some guy incredibly happy someday,” Richie tells Kiki, who shows astonishing restraint to not even tell him to get his hand off it. Kiki can’t believe she went home before Steph, but it just goes to show that the longer you hang around with Kiki the more you want her to go home.

Tune in tomorrow, when Hamish Blake defies the odds by somehow making this show worse.

Turn off the TV! Read a goddamn BOOK! Like this one, for example.

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