Stargazing

‘The Bachelor’ channels ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ and not very well

Bachelor Chris Soules and bachelorette Britt enjoyed a hot air balloon ride on Monday night’s episode.
Bachelor Chris Soules and bachelorette Britt enjoyed a hot air balloon ride on Monday night’s episode. ABC

At one point Monday night, “The Bachelor” tried to channel “Fifty Shades of Grey,” with one of the bachelorettes sitting on Chris Soules’ lap as they breathed hot and heavily into each other’s face.

The soft-porn moment came after the love/sex guru guiding them through their first date made Carly bend over in front of Chris so he could massage the inside of her thighs.

Meh, ABC, we’ll wait for the “Fifty Shades” movie next week.

Later, when Chris took one of his wanna-be-wives on a balloon ride, it suddenly hit us: “The Bachelor” really is full of hot air.

On Monday, the “psycho” widow-bachelorette collapsed from anxiety before the rose ceremony.

Fake.

An eliminated bachelorette made a “surprise” comeback.

Fake.

The only thing seemingly not orchestrated by producers was the stunning backdrop of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

With the group of bachelorettes now down to 11, it gets easier each week to scratch names off of our fantasy “Bachelor” Final Four bracket.

First woman we would have chopped this week: Make-up artist Megan, who was excited to visit Santa Fe because “I have never been out of the country.”

Carly was the first to score a one-on-one date with Chris, who was eager to see whether they have any romantic chemistry.

Enter the aforementioned sex guru, a whispering dark-haired woman named Tziporah, or something like that, which clearly is Greek for “woman who enjoys watching other people get it on.”

Tziplock began her session with Chris and Carly by waving bunches of lit sage around them, enveloping them in a smoky haze and instructing them to “feel into” their bodies.

Chris was clearly weirded out, a feeling that didn’t go away when Tzipline made them “om-mmmmmmmm” their way into a relaxed state. “Your breath right now is a rototiller,” the love guru told them.

Nice reference to the farmer bachelor.

Carly, who revealed that she is both terrified of and not good at physical intimacy, awkwardly met the challenge of touching and feeling her way around Chris’ still-clothed body without speaking.

Cue the close-up of her slowly dragging a messy chocolate-dipped strawberry across his lips.

Told you. “Fifty Shades.”

And when Tzsephora instructed him to massage Carly’s thighs, it clicked for farmer boy. This woman isn’t a love guru! She’s a sex guru!

Duh.

Kudos to both Carly and Chris, both admittedly uncomfortable, for refusing to take off anything more than the robes they wore over their lounge wear, which we’re sure really ticked off the producers.

Later Carly revealed that she hasn’t been intimate with a man for a year-and-a-half and that her former boyfriend of two years refused to touch her.

“As a woman you want to be physically desired and it really, like, messed up my head,” she told Chris, who gallantly tried to make up for it by giving her the first rose of this episode.

(Note to Carly: If you don’t, like, stop using the word “like” every other word, like, we’re going to, like, kick you off of our, like, “Bachelor” Final Four bracket. Like, OK?)

Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Kelsey is sharing with Ashley I the sad story of her husband’s sudden death nearly a year-and-a-half ago when he collapsed on a beautiful day walking to work in Austin, Texas.

Ashley I is struck by the “nonchalant” way Kelsey tells her sorrowful tale. It sounds rehearsed to us, too.

Can you see the crazy train coming down the tracks?

Kelsey clearly came ready to play the widow card and is peeved when Britt the waitress scores the next one-on-one date with Chris.

Before that, Chris and the women go whitewater rafting down the Rio Grande River.

Megan wonders “what’s in the water? This river could be full of alligators, dead bodies, who knows?”

Please, lawd, do not let that woman win a rose.

The trip down the river is uneventful until Jade falls into the swiftly moving water and later, safe on the banks, enjoys a foot rubdown from Chris because she has some kind of medical condition that makes her lose feeling in her limbs when she is cold.

“That’s a good strategy,” jokes jealous Mackenzie. “I need Chris to warm my hands and feet and butt.”

Later that evening as Chris is walking to the hotel lobby to join the women for cocktails, Jordan, who he sent packing in an earlier episode, appears out of nowhere.

And if that wasn’t a moment planned by the producers I’ll eat my MacBook.

Chris, though, looks honestly shocked and listens politely as Jordan explains that she drove from neighboring Colorado to, well, ask for a second chance.

“The reason I let her go was because she wasn’t taking things as seriously as the other girls,” says Chris. “She was consuming too many drinks.”

He tells her to her face that her drinking was “definitely an issue” with him.

Drinking is “still something that gets the best of me,” admits Jordan, who clearly needs a lesson in oversharing.

Of course, the other women are shocked when Chris and Jordan walk into the lobby together.

Ashley I is blunt: “She was probably my least-favorite person in the house.”

She was not “a lady,” declares Ashley, who this night is wearing a micro-mini white toga-like dress that showcases her bachelorette bum quite nicely.

Jordan’s possible comeback becomes a bone of contention between Ashley and baby-voiced Whitney, who at one point refers to Ashley as a mean girl for being so strident in her objection to this new twist.

Thankfully, Jordan was only there to mix things up and Chris sends her home – again.

“I just can’t do this to (the other women),” he tells her before she leaves. “I think the right decision as a man is to not let this go any further.”

Back with the women Chris presents the second rose to baby-voiced Whitney, much to Ashley’s chagrin.

“You could cut the tension with a knife after I gave that rose to Whitney,” Chris remarks. “Things are starting to get real.”

Ashley doesn’t like Whitney.

Whitney doesn’t know why Ashley hates her.

And we’re really hoping they both stick around for at least a few more episodes.

The next morning at the ungodly hour of 4:30 a.m. Chris surprises Britt in her hotel room for their one-on-one date.

Here is where we find out Britt’s dirty little secret: She’s been going to bed wearing full makeup.

When Chris and the cameras wake her up in the darkened room, she looks shockingly like Sleeping Beauty with rosy cheeks and bright pink lipstick.

Within seconds she and Chris are exchanging sloppy, noisy kisses in the dark and Carly, who just shared a romantic one-on-one date with the dude, can hear them from her bed nearby.

Awkward!

Here is also where we find out that the show’s producers do a great deal of homework on the women, for they whisk the two lovebirds away for a romantic sunrise ride in a hot air balloon.

Oh, did we mention? Britt is deathly afraid of heights.

Nice job, ABC.

She’s a trouper, though, taking in the gorgeous view below of the River Grande Gorge feeling very safe in the strong arms of her Bachelor.

“The moment I met Britt I knew there was something there,” says Chris. “I gave her the first impression rose because of that.”

The other women acknowledge a physical attraction between Britt and Chris but can’t figure out why because Britt apparently doesn’t believe in showering daily, shaving her legs or washing her hair.

“Maybe he likes a little dirty. He lives on a farm,” jokes Carly.

They talk a lot of smack about beautiful Britt, who has wondered allowed to some of the women about why people want to get married and have kids.

Cut to the scene of Britt and Chris cuddling and telling each other they both want lots of kids.

Nice juxtaposition, ABC.

Britt gets a rose and we can’t figure out if that’s before or after the two “take a nap” in Chris’ hotel bed.

“This date started in bed and then ended in bed,” says Chris, who whispers “I love kissing you” to Britt as they lay in bed.

Naturally Britt has to share her good fortune with the rest of the women, which apparently sets off the widow Kelsey.

The entire episode she’s been depicted as a borderline “Fatal Attraction” weirdo who keeps talking about her (imagined) relationship with Chris.

She hasn’t had a chance to tell Chris the story of her husband’s death, so there she goes, marching off to his hotel room to tell him about it before the next elimination ceremony.

“This is big because it’s kind of a game-changer for Chris and I,” she says.

So she sits next to Chris on a sofa in his hotel room and tells of the “beautiful day in Austin” when her husband died.

When Chris wraps his arms around her to console her, she goes in for the kill, planting a smooch on his lips.

Later, she literally gushes about how great her personal story is.

“I’m just, isn’t my story amazing?” she says. “It’s tragic. It’s amazing. I LOVE my story.

“I know this is a show about Chris, but this is my story, too.”

She’s so confident about her chances with Chris, now that they’ve shared their “storybook” first kiss that she declares: “I’m getting a rose tonight.”

But dramatically, no one got a rose Monday night. Because Chris, clearly shaken by his conversation with Kelsey, is rattled.

“Today was tough,” he tells the women. “Kelsey and I had an emotional conversation, a tough conversation that kind of hit home with this whole process.”

As the women try to process the news of the Kelsey visit, Chris dramatically excuses himself and walks off set.

Host Chris Harrison follows him outside to find out what’s going on. Meanwhile, back inside, Kelsey is telling the women that she went to Chris earlier to tell him her sad little story.

Then she starts talking like she knows she’s going to get a rose and how sad she will be to say good-bye to people tonight.

The women freak out.

“So she feels confident,” says Kaitlyn, the dance instructor. “The situation is just so frustrating that someone else had serious quality time with him that no one else got.”

Chris Harrison returns to tell the shocked women that there will be no happy-happy cocktail party tonight. They are going straight into the rose ceremony.

Kelsey starts wigging out and leaves the set. Moments later she can be heard mournfully crying out.

Cut to the dramatic scene of Kelsey lying on a hotel floor with a paramedic and “Bachelor” TV cameras hovering over her.

“Are you in pain, honey? Did you hit your head?”

“I think I’m having a panic attack.”

“Kelsey, I want you to keep talking to me. My name is Diane.”

Someone suggests calling 911 and the show ends.

Glenn Close, line one.

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