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October 9, 2015

'The Bachelor' Season 15, Episode 5 Recap

by Laura Prudom, posted Feb 1st 2011 4:30AM
Brad Womack['The Bachelor' - 'Season 15, Episode 5']

The producers of 'The Bachelor' are truly outdoing themselves this year, continuing their run of the most sadistic dates imaginable. At the start of the show, the dates were just cruel to us (no more singing, Brad, we beg you!) but over the past couple of weeks, we've had Chantal facing her aversion to deep water, Michelle's (possibly fake) fear of heights and, this week, Emily's heartbreaking trauma relating to NASCAR. I thought we were watching a dating show, not 'Fear Factor'.

If all of next year's contestants confessed to a fear of spiders, I'm wondering if the show would concoct a group date wherein they have to crawl through a pit of tarantulas in search of ballgowns and diamond jewelery. I can't deny that it would make for entertaining television, but the date choices have all seemed very convenient this season, especially following Chris Harrison's confirmation to People last week that the producers definitely have a hand in picking the dates.

Regardless of the politics and behind-the-scenes maneuvering, this week produced three mostly uneventful dates -- there were no brawls, no tantrums, just a whole lot of tears and some seriously unappetizing dinner conversation.

Allow me to be totally shallow and just get it out of the way up front: I was very jealous of Shawntel's shopping spree date -- screw Brad, just give me the designer swag. Having stayed at the Aria, I can vouch for the ridiculous extravagance of that mall, and I don't doubt that Shawntel must have walked away with over $10,000 worth of clothes, shoes and yummy bags on ABC's dollar. I'm not at all surprised that the rest of the girls were giving her serious death-glares. Funny how the quest for love goes out of the window when faced with the prospect of another contestant getting new shoes, huh?

I just can't help but wonder how mind-numbingly bored Brad was while she was playing dress-up all day. All of that sitting, and then the poor guy had to have his appetite ruined by the gory details of Shawntel's embalming job over dinner. First date conversation is always tricky, but I think even the most inexperienced dater should know not to lead with "vein drains" and "orifice leakage". Yuck.

Still, it must've been a good sign that Brad couldn't stop laughing throughout the whole graphic ordeal, even when the topic strayed from Shawntel's grisly job to her cross-eyed cat, Peaches. She certainly made a lasting impression, I've got to give her that much.

Someone else who made a lasting impression on Brad was Emily, who not only received special treatment by way of a picnic basket during the cocktail party last week, but also got about four different opportunities for alone time with Brad this week, setting off a powder keg of insecurities in the rest of the girls.

It was understandable though; up until this point, Brad only knew that Emily's last significant other had died in a plane crash (having discovered this after Brad picked her up in a plane -- thanks again, producers!) without hearing about his ties to NASCAR in general, and his ties to the Vegas track in particular. It all made for a very emotional date for Emily, who bravely faced her fears and drove the track her former lover crashed on despite her tears.

A sob story ain't gonna get in the way of an opportunity to bitch, though, and Alli took it very personally that Brad kept pulling Emily aside to check that she was alright, leading to some serious tension later at the pool party. All of that awkwardness just drove Brad straight into crazy Michelle's spindly arms for another make-out sesh -- run, Brad, save yourself!

The two Ashleys, meanwhile, suffered the indignity of a two-on-one date with Brad, made all the more painful by the fact that the pair professed to be total BFFs (should we blame the producers again?). Even though Ashley H. is totally nutty and Ashley S. has that cute southern accent, Brad elected to keep the crazy one (since he obviously has a type) for a wooden Cirque Du Soleil performance that was still slightly less cringeworthy than Ali and Roberto's 'Lion King' act last year.

The best -- or worst? -- part of the whole ordeal? The heavy-handed juxtaposition of Ashley H. and Brad's performance to 'Are You Lonesome Tonight?' with Ashley S. and her tearful (oh so very tearful) exit in the limo. We get it, guys, she's lonesome tonight, you're very clever.

I only wish Michelle was the one feeling lonesome tonight. Was anyone else kind of terrified when she dragged Brad into a room and shut the door, only to demand that he stay silent like she was a particularly stern dominatrix? At least Brad looked just as bewildered as the rest of us, for once. That woman is a serious bunny boiler waiting to happen.

In the end, Marissa and Lisa (who I'd forgotten was even there) were the ones sent home along with Ashley S. -- I figured as much as soon as we started getting inundated with clips of Marissa sharing her feelings with us this week after four previous episodes of radio silence. Farewell, girls, we hardly knew ye.

One fun piece of trivia -- during Shawntel's date, it was rumored that the two Ashleys and the later eliminated Marissa and Lisa, pulled a Kasey from Ali's season and went out to get matching tattoos; I was surprised to see no mention of it in the actual episode.

Next week, our adventurous loveseekers venture to Costa Rica, where Michelle's crazy shows no sign of abating.

'The Bachelor' airs Mondays, 8PM ET on ABC.

Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauinLA.

Check out the full episode here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

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