I've often wondered if "reality" shows are scripted. After the third installment of "The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman," I'm starting to think this one isn't - or if it is, it needs better writers.
Andy Baldwin's dialogue consists mostly of the word "amazing" - he said it four times in one minute.
This week's show begins with the remaining 12 "amazing" women participating in "Bachelor Boot Camp." A screaming drill sergeant wakes them from a hangover-induced sleep and soon has them scrubbing floors with a toothbrush before jogging in place and running through an obstacle course. The woman who performs best in the eyes of the instructor will get a rose and be safe from elimination.
Early on, medical sales technician Bevin demonstrates a strong desire to win, giving her all to the camp, only to be felled when her ankle gives out while she's trying to maneuver through tires.
Luckily, there is a doctor in the house. Andy quickly tends to Bevin before she's whisked away by ambulance.
She can't finish the course but still earns an A for effort - or in this case, a rose from Andy, who calls her his "fallen soldier."
While Bevin hangs out in the mansion, recovering from her sprained ankle, half the women go on the first group date, to "Club
Mud," where they experience the healing properties of red clay. Apparently you're healed when it's smeared all over your bikini-clad body.
"We're going into the mud to get to know each other better," Andy says, before getting "down and dirty," another of his favorite phrases.
If you can't get to know someone in a group shower - which they all share after the mud bath - then, really, when can you?
Stephanie from Kansas (not to be confused with Stephanie from South Carolina, who earned the first two episodes' immunity roses) gets "special quality time" with Andy after the mud bath. They enjoy his-and-her massages, before she gives him one of her own.
"His body is so hard," she says, breathlessly. "He has muscles in places I didn't even know existed." Strangely, she says this while rubbing his head.
For the second group date, five of the remaining women go to the racetrack to impress Andy with their driving skills. Two others - Peyton and Tessa - are left to spend a "two-on-one" date with Andy another night.
At the racetrack, Andy declares, "I like a woman who can take risks," before each of the ladies drives a course as quickly as possible, with The Bachelor riding shotgun.
Despite not being able to drive a stick shift, Erin proves to be a quick learner, and for that, plus her love of shooting guns, Andy picks her for this date's "special quality time."
They spend their quality time driving around in Andy's car, causing one of the not-chosen ladies to declare, "It was like watching Barbie and Ken get in their little sports car and drive off."
Tessa and Peyton have their two-on-one date in San Diego, on the flight deck of the USS Midway.
Seeing Andy "in his element," makes him a "real person," Tessa says, while Peyton all but professes undying love for him.
In the end, Andy has only one rose to give, and he presents it to Tessa, noting, "Our chemistry was very substantial, and I see very much in her 'wife material.' "
Peyton is left crying alone on the flight deck before being shuttled away and taken out of the game.
Before the rose ceremony, when Andy must eliminate two more women, he holds another cocktail party.
Boutique owner Kate gets testy when Andy tells her he wants to see her serious side, asking the camera, "What do you want me to do? Rescue an orphan from a fire?"
Andy enjoys what he calls a "Stephanie sandwich" with the two women, then has a nice little make-out session with his "favorite patient," Bevin.
Then it's time to get to work. "This is a serious mission," Andy declares, before presenting the roses.
Amanda and Erin, the now Ken-less Barbie, do not make the cut, while those who are still in the game share a champagne toast.
Next week's episode includes a trip by private jet to Lake Tahoe, where, in Andy's words, "intense drama" ensues.
I bet it will be "amazing."
-- "The Bachelor" airs at 9:30 p.m. Mondays on ABC.
The Doctor Is In
Join us Tuesdays as we follow the journey of Dr. Andy Baldwin, a Lancaster native and U.S. Navy lieutenant who is searching for true love on "The Bachelor," an ABC reality show.
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