This week's episode of ABC's The Bachelor began with Michelle and her mysterious black eye. "Who wakes up with a black eye?" she asked. An attention-hoarder, that's who. And because of this, Michelle's automatically entitled to a one-on-one date with Brad Womack, right?
Yes, apparently. But we'll get to her later.
"How deep is your love?" read the first solo date card, which went to none other than Chantal O., Michelle's in-house rival. Brad, who likes Chantal's confident vibe, picked her up in a helicopter and flew her to Catalina Island. With its European-esque backdrop, the setting was the perfect place for a romantic dip - or a stroll along the sea floor - in the Pacific Ocean. Chantal overcame her deep (pun intended) fear of being underwater, showing Brad how much she trusted him.
Later, the two shared a candlelit dinner on the beach. While I initially questioned their chemistry, as I couldn't see an immediate spark between them, like with Emily or Ashley S., Brad explained their connection: "It feels like I've been with someone I've known for years." With his comfort levels high and her playfulness putting him at ease, Brad offered her the first rose of the week.
The next day, nine bachelorettes spent some time with radio hosts Mike and Dr. Drew on their love and dating talk show, "The Loveline." They started off with easy questions ("Are you guys all physically attracted to Brad?") and eventually moved onto the tough ones, like, "Who's cheated?" Of course, this was right after Brad revealed that he's never cheated on anyone, and all 12 sets of eyes darted around the room to see who would be the first to admit infidelity. Stacey raised her hand (she was a college cheater) and Brad later told her that he appreciated her honesty (better to get it out of the way, right?). Brad hoped this group date would get these women to open to up to him, as his mantra, "give me a chance," was echoed repeatedly during their session. Well - he got what he asked for.
Later that night, everyone clawed at each other, hoping to get a piece of Brad. And one by one, each woman interrupted each other. Ashley H.'s crazy began to show as she cursed and and cried herself into hysteria in the hot tub over everyone's connection with Brad. So what does she do? She crept over to Britt and Brad during their make-out session - Michelle-style - and stole him for herself. Ashley H. then pulls a Madison (miss you, girl!), explaining her doubts and said she was pulling away. "Don't second guess this," Brad told her, as we all know he just wants everyone to give him a chance. And just as Brad's about to give out the second rose, presumably to Ashley, she freaked out in front of everyone, causing him to change his mind right on the spot. And the rose went to Britt.
The Ashley H. drama even carried on into the next morning, as Brad pulled her away from the group right before his date with Michelle - not that I was complaining. Needless to say, Michelle was pissed. Her pissy mood finally lifted when she saw that Brad took her to his home, where there was (another) helicopter waiting for them. They flew to downtown L.A. and landed on a very tall (and extremely scary-looking) skyscraper, and Michelle learned the details of the most daunting Bachelor date yet - rappelling off the side of that building. But Michelle wasn't the only nervous one. Brad wanted to face both his and her fear together. "This is definitely, definitely, a leap of faith for love," said Michelle. And while I didn't think Michelle would be able to pull though, she did - it must be her ballsy attitude!
While I'd like to think that Michelle's days are numbered, her alone time with Brad shows that he's clearly under her spell. He asked about her divorce, and even goes as far as to ask if he could meet her daughter Brielle, a huge step in any man's book. At that point, it's clear she's getting the third rose of the night, which according to Brad, was "an easy one." Well, anything compared to scaling down the side of a huge building is easy.
But last night's true scene-stealer was Emily. In fact, since she was dateless that week, Brad pulled her away during the cocktail party with a basket of pillows, blankets and wine, hoping to recreate their vineyard night. Um, swoon much? His move solidified the other bachelorette's beliefs that Emily is the top contender, and most of the women, including Chantal, whose own spot was already secured, got upset.
And so we said goodbye to three more - Lindsay, Stacey (the cheater) and Meghan, who I was really pulling for after last night. I'm not entirely sure why Lisa and Marissa are still in the running as we haven't seen enough of them yet, and I hope they get one-on-one dates next week. And it looks like Emily will have to face the worst thing ever, as next week's preview showed Brad and the remaining bachelorettes at a NASCAR race track. ABC might be pushing it too far with this one, but I'm probably just be biased.
Until next week, let's keep speculating on who gave Michelle that black eye. My guess? She did it to herself. Let me know what you think in your comments below! And for more Bachelor recaps, check out a few of my faves:
Chris Harrison blogs 'The Bachelor' episode 4
'The Bachelor' recap, episode 4: The case of the Bachelor black eye
'The Bachelor' recap: Weeping Beauties