For years now, Chris Harrison has been boasting that this, that, and the other would be the most "dramatic rose ceremony yet," but last night's show may have actually lived up to the hype. If you were looking for part reality show, part soap opera, and part good old-fashioned cat fight, last night should have pleased you to no end. There were burning roses, premature departures, and puns on a whole different level. The girls were thrown in RV's and driven up the California coast, so the aviation puns took a break while the road trip puns were in high gear. As the trek began, Ella declared that she hopes her relationship with Jake is "rolling down the highway of love." That's gotta be in a Country song for sure.
The antagonism between Vienna and Ali was in full beeyatch mode, and Gia even declared that if they were to get the dreaded two-on-one date, it would be like a Tyson and Holyfield event. Ali showed a new and rather arrogant side to herself, declaring that if she did get that date, she'd gladly take one for the team and come home with the rose. Awww, what a sweet girl. Now take it down a notch, will ya, sweetie? You started out cool but quickly took a wrong turn on Diva Drive (Oh yeah, I did).
Once the girls met up with Jake, who was, of course, riding on his motorcycle with his ridiculously oversized helmet, Vienna went right for the goods and grabbed him, joking about whether the tent set up was theirs for later. She knows just what to do to make the other girls want to grind her into Vienna sausage, that's for sure. Gia got the one-on-one date, and Vienna was very vocal about the fact that she's a city girl and would never be able to win Jake's simple heart...come on, you know that's what she was implying. True to form, Gia showed up in stilettos, a necessity for a night of camping. While she's rather low on my annoying radar, her suggestion to play hide-n-seek in the vineyard was downright painful. The whole date was actually uncomfortable, and I found myself looking at my shoes a lot, which is hard to do with my big pregnancy belly. There were just so many awkward moments, including the game of spin-the-bottle that progressed from a kiss on the cheek to full-on tonsil hockey. Jake was hard on her, though, putting her to the hot dog and s'mores test afterward. As he put it, he wanted to see "how she handles it." I've gotta give it to you, Jake, you've got balls. The painful crescendo came when I realized that ABC had piped in an instrumental version of "On The Wings Of Love" in the background. You sly dog, you, ABC. Jake summed up the evening by calling Gia a "complex city girl" - not exactly what I took away from that whole interaction but, then again, this is Jake we're talking about.
The group date was next, and Vienna declared how unhappy she was because, as she put it, "Jake's my boyfriend." She is no longer on the lunatic fringe, but jumping in with both giant feet. Again, Jake said that he was putting the girls to the test, seeing who likes to get dirty in the sand with a day of dune buggies and sand surfing. The guy has standards, my friends. There were a lot of bizarre moments in which Jake was rolling down the hill with various girls, and they were reminiscent of the snowball fight in Dumb and Dumber (but not nearly as funny). Not one to hide his emotions, he came clean that he is drawn to Tenley, she of "the bod." Girl obviously spends some serious time in the gym.
After the nitty gritty group date, they were treated to a night at the "Madonna Inn," and checking out the rooms there was probably the most interesting part of the show. Jake headed into the "Romance" suite with a scantily clad Ashleigh (Gratuitous shot from the butt cam, anyone?), but there was anything but romance going on. She draped herself all over him like a cheap suit, and he looked as though he'd rather be watching cartoons (which I think might be true). Despite declaring her "smokin' hot," he did admit that there was very little chemistry there. Jake then tried to grab Vienna for some alone time, and she demanded to be the last one to do so, which was another one of those moments in which I'm pretty sure the girls wanted to throw her and her manly parts into a fiery pit. After his other one-on-ones, he did go back for Vienna, and actually did something which genuinely made me have some respect for him. He told her that he thinks she brings on all the hatred from the other girls, and that she should just keep her giant trap shut (I'm paraphrasing).
The next stop on the RV adventure was beautiful Big Sur, CA, where the downright cruel two-on-one date went on with Jake, Kathryn (a bizarro Carrie Underwood but not nearly as good looking), and Ella. Making sure to keep things as awkward as possible, Kathryn kept trying to interrupt Ella as she had a case of verbal diarrhea, spewing things off about family values and passion. Jake took Ella aside, and gave us the first glimpse that she was being kicked to the curb, as he told her he didn't want to keep her from her son. As my husband asked, why is there always a sacrificial mom lamb? After giving her the "It's not you, it's me" speech, he took everyone by a bit of a surprise by letting Kathryn go, too. Not one to bow out gracefully, she repeatedly told him he was making a mistake. Way to go out with your pride, Carrie Underrated. Once again, the girls feigned complete shock and heartbreak as they saw both suitcases being carted away, all the while they were mentally calculating just how many roses that meant would be left for the ceremony. Capping off the oozy, woozy, cheesy nature of the scene, Jake burned the rose while looking at the fire pensively. Bravo!
The most dramatic rose ceremony came next, as Jessie (who I'm pretty sure just showed up on the show) pulled the ol' "I'm just telling you this for your own good" spiel and told Jake that Vienna is not good for him. Vienna then got into her "close talker loud whisper" mode with Jake, while she basically begged and pleaded for him to keep her around. Jake only gave out two roses (to Ali and Corrie) before visibly agonizing over his decision, and then went and grabbed Chris Harrison for advice. Priceless! Harrison and his barely-contained laughter told Jake that he'd be glad to take two roses away if Jake was convinced two women would never become his wife, and he seemed positively giddy over being able to do so. With Ashleigh, Jessie, and Vienna left, the biggest shocker came when the final rose went to Vienna, who ABC apparently really thinks makes for great TV. Looks like she'll have to hide her manhood for at least another week. The girls were furious, and Ali literally started crying. As if we hadn't hit maximum drama by this point, Ashleigh babble-cried all the way to the curb about how he chose Vienna over her. AND SCENE.