The Bachelor Season 23, Episode 2 Recap: Is Demi This Season's Villain?

Have I underestimated Colton Underwood? Because his latest tweets have shown more self-awareness than I originally thought was there. Take what he wrote after last week's premiere, "I know the virginity thing is overplayed…. hang in there! You will find out other things about me, I promise." A Bachelor…who actually…gets it? Can you believe?

And then there's this tweet from earlier today: "Tune in tonight to see me shower…probably."

And he's right—literally the first thing we see after Chris Harrison says, "Tonight on The Bachelor…" is a shot of Colton in the shower while someone shouts, "He's so hot!"

The point is, I like a self-aware Bachelor, and this gives me hope that the season might exceed expectations after all. The contestants, however, should probably channel some of that energy from Colton because things are getting banana nut crunch in the mansion. So let's get right to it, shall we? Read our recap for episode two, below, and be aware: Spoilers ahead.

We open with Colton talking about the day ahead via a selfie video. It's new format for The Bachelor, and I have a feeling it's just an excuse to sneak in one more shirtless scene. Meanwhile, Chris Harrison arrives at the mansion to drop off the first date card and a little advice: Take advantage of any time you get with Colton. This wisdom is especially important for Demi, Bri, Tracy, Elyse, Hannah G., Nicole, Onyeka, and Catherine, who all have the first group date of the season.

Today's a damn good day to fall in love. —Chris Harrison

They all arrive at a theater to a big reveal: comedians and married couple Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally are leading today's date. They ask the women share a story about a "first time" in their life. Oh god, this is a nod to Colton's virginity isn't it? We can't make it 30 minutes without someone bringing up this man's sexual history. My hunch is confirmed as soon as Megan talks about the first time she had sex—or, as she puts it, "fucked someone." Nick then describes the first time he "plucked the blossom" of a woman which is really just a story was about gardening….I hope.

"I wasn't sure I was there for the right reasons." —Megan Mullally

After a brief writing break, everyone presents their stories to an audience of ~200 people. Colton kicks it off by talking about his virginity. (Of course.) Elyse's tale is about how she's always dated old men—until Colton, her "first" younger guy. Demi thinks it's "so brave" for Elyse to admit this because "there's no advantage to being an older woman here." Demi, what. The. Actual. Hell. I was rooting for you. We were all rooting for you!

Nicole describes the first time she dated a white guy, and it's tragically cut short for Hannah G.'s snoozefest about getting her first impression rose. All we know about Bri's story is that it's about the first time she "felt comfortable" in her own skin.

Onyeka just describes saving Colton from "some bitches" on the first night, which prompts Catherine to hit back with her version of that argument. (Not sure what either story has to do with a first time, unless it was their first time being extra-extra.)

When it's Tracy's turn, she shares a wild tale about her college days, when she chased after a frat president who was a virgin and a sorority sister punched her in the face over it. It ends with this closing line, "When I got a hold of him he wasn't a virgin anymore, but it was the best sex he's ever had."

Demi starts off by saying there was once someone she wanted to kiss but was too nervous. (Lies. Demi is never nervous.) But, she says, she learned she has to go after what she wants. (That's the Demi we know.) Then she dramatically throws her notebook down and jumps off stage to kiss Colton in front of everyone.


PHOTO: Rick Rowell

Damn. Shots! Are! Fired!

This 100% goes over well with the other women. LOL. But Demi digs in further at the cocktail party, stealing Colton right after his toast for one-on-one time. She says without a touch of irony, "I'm a total woman supporter." When she returns to the main room, she picks up the group date rose and jokes that it's hers. This move makes Tracy so "sick to her stomach" that she spends the rest of the night complaining about it to whoever will listen. She eventually confronts Demi, who is like, "Oh, OK. Sorry." Tracy pets her hair, which I'm not sure is a sign of forgiveness or a power move?

Either way, nothing's going to keep Demi down. Not Elyse, even though Colton seems into the whole "cougar" thing. Not Nicole, who opens up to Colton about her twin brother having autism. Not even Hannah G., who makes out with Colton while Demi watches from the other room. Nope, Demi thinks Colton needs an aggressive, dominant girl and she is that.

"I am worth the world. I am amazing." —Demi

Too bad Colton doesn't seem to be on the same page: He gives the group date rose to Elyse.

The next day, Hannah B. gets a one-on-one date which is appropriate given it's her birthday. She and Colton ride horses before chilling in a hot tub in the desert. It looks as awful as it sounds. Not helping things is the awkward conversation between Colton and Hannah B., full of long pauses and surface-level topics. At one point, he asks her to give a toast and she says "um" a hundred times before ending with, "Roll tide!"

This must be hard for Hannah B., who admits to the camera (but not Colton) that she puts a lot of pressure on herself. Sometimes she doesn't feel good enough, and she's self-aware about it. "When I start doubting myself," she says, "then it spirals." This is later confirmed by Caelynn back at the mansion; she tells one of the women that they were roommates during the Miss USA pageant. When Caelynn placed, Hannah B. got upset and "flipped a switch." Have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of this dynamic in the coming weeks.

Anyway, the dates is so bad that Colton calls Hannah B. out on it later that night, and she admits she was too nervous to open up. Her way of fixing this? To blurt out, "Like, why…are you a virgin?" This works enough to get her the rose.

Things get better the next day, which is a group date for Alex, Erika, Katie, Caelynn, Sydney, Tayshia, Nina, Kirpa, Caitlin, Courtney, Cassie, and Heather. Their destination: Camp Bachelor, where they play Duck Duck Goose, badminton, and touch football. It's all very boring until my fave Billy Eichner shows up to be the camp counselor.

Immediately, we get this exchange:

"All the weiners got burnt." — Colton

"Oh, that sounds like my camp experience." — Billy

I could watch this banter all night, but apparently the point of the day is to have a competition between two teams. The losers go back to the mansion, while the winners get to stay overnight at the camp with Colton. I'll spare you from recapping the canoe race and rope pulling—just know the red team wins.

They maximize this extra time with Colton, snuggling up to him by the fire and bonding over childhood stories. Heather gets the group date rose, though, for telling Colton she's never been kissed. Spoiler: They don't kiss.

At the cocktail ceremony the next night, several of the women are nervous that they haven't had much time with Colton this week. Demi's not nervous—because Demi is Demi—but she thinks the "older" women are going to be "aggressive" with the younger ones. What? The oldest women there, Tracy and Elyse, are both 31, which is STILL MUCH YOUNGER than last year's Bachelor, Arie, who is 37. There is so much wrong with this. Ageism! Sexism! The patriarchy! Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

Plus, Demi, if you want to see women being "aggressive" (even though I hate that word) just look at Sydney and Onyeka's spat. It starts when Onyeka interrupts Sydney's time with Colton by blasting an air horn in their faces. "I'm feeling just a little bit horny!" she jokes, which Colton probably did not hear because he must be deaf now. This pisses Sydney off, so she she finds her own noisemakers from the kitchen and bangs them in Onyeka's face. Onyeka responds by calmly telling Sydney she's not leaving. We never see how this is resolved.

"Is this to give us anxiety? Because we already have it." —Caelynn

Later, when Tracy is talking to Colton, Demi shows up in a white robe whisks him away to her "fantasy closet." That ends up just being a rushed over-the-shirt back rub, but everyone still complains this is a rude move. (Side note: Yes, Demi commands a lot of Colton's time, but what are you all here for? This is The Bachelor, not I Love Being Single.)

I'm still mad at Demi over her "older women" comments, but I do respect her chutzpah. This is a woman who has no qualms yelling, "Hey, ladies! I totally just had an amazinggggg time with him" as soon as she returns to the group. When Tracy tells Demi what she did was "mean," Demi takes a slow sip of her sangria and says, "You just keep on doing you." I don't need all of Demi's confidence—that might be borderline delusion—but I would like just a teeny, tiny amount of it.

Tracy didn't need to worry so much anyway—she gets a rose by the end of the night. The others go to Tayshia, Cassie, Caelynn, Courtney, Demi, Nicole, Kirpa, Hannah G., Catherine, Bri, Sydney, Onyeka, Katie, Erika, and Nina. (And, don't forget, Hannah B., Elyse, and Heather got roses earlier in the episode.)

That means goodbye for Alex, Angelique, Annie, and Caitlin. We hardly knew ya!

See you all next week for: "Look at this flexibility!" "Colton's not a stretching virgin anymore." "I am annoyed by this conversation." "There's a beautiful monster inside of me."

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Published at Tue, 15 Jan 2019 04:30:00 +0000