Grantland logo

‘The Bachelor’ Week 6: Lessons From a Weirdly Sexual Trip to the Shire

Holy crap! It’s Week 6 already? That’s so many weeks of ‘The Bachelor’ I could be learning from!

Have you ever looked around your lonely studio apartment in Brooklyn, or Des Moines, or — Sweet Ben Flajnik in Heaven forbid — Studio City and thought to yourself, This is not my life? Then, I deserve a better life? And finally, Everything in my life would be better if a TV network helped me find true love?

Of course you have. We all have. It’s impossible not to have those thoughts in a society where we’re constantly offered the opportunity to watch other, more self-actualizing go-getters try to find ForeverLove on prime-time television.

But now you must ask yourself: Why not me? Why not now?

Holy crap! It’s Week 6 already? That’s so many weeks of The Bachelor I could be learning from!

Has Chris Harrison lost weight? He’s looked amazing lately.

Bachelor School is here to help with answers to all these very important questions. And more.

We’re here to help you win your love. And your life.

Let’s learn. In New Zealand.

1. Feel the Pressure

While it’s not generally a strategy we’d recommend, being the final one-on-one date is not a death sentence, as much as it may feel like one, as you sit by, week after week after week, and watch your sister-contestants get private-jetted/helicoptered/James Bond–jeep-boated off to thrilling adventures in exotic locales as you settle, again and again and again, for being a mere cog in the group-date machinery. “I will get my turn,” you tell yourself in an attempt to drown out the insidious “Why isn’t he picking me?” whispers that may actually be a Bachelor producer implanting story-line-forwarding ideation directly into your psyche as you attempt a fitful sleep in a cramped, shared bedroom.

And so when your number is finally called (finally!), you must be ready to make the most of the Solo DatePortunity. He may pick you up in a speedboat — no, it’s not the most luxurious mode of transport, as you will spend much of your trip picking dragonfly parts out of your teeth, but it will get you where you need to go quickly — and ferry you to a mysterious cavern. And then lead you through a mossy crevasse so narrow you fear you may get 127 Houred between its encroaching walls and need your Bachelor to sever your arm with a rusty penknife so that you may continue your date. You must swallow down that fear and press on, because at the end of this strangely vaginal journey lies a majestic waterfall, underneath which you may share a crucial Bonding Moment.

Go ahead. Make out underneath that curiously warm waterfall. Straddle him if it feels right. This glorious shower (we see you, producers!) won’t last forever.

But DO NOT have sex underneath that waterfall. A waterfall is not the ocean; in fact, it’s far more dangerous, sex-in-the-water-wise. There is not much protection from the camera’s all-seeing eye beneath its shimmering, translucent curtain. And Your Bachelor would probably be a giant dick about it the next day.

Your reward for your restraint will be an intimate dinner ruined by circle of erupting geysers, an obvious and unsavory ejaculatory metaphor that your impish producers cannot resist. Ignore their childish giggles and their distracting shouts of “THAR SHE BLOWS!” as each salty spout explodes toward the night sky. Your rose is on its way. You waited patiently for this moment, and you will live another week to chase ForeverLove.

2. Squeeze Inside a Giant, Water-Filled Womb and Sloosh Down a Lush Hill, at the Bottom of Which You Will Be Violently Ejected From Its Rubberized Birth Canal Like Overincubated Fraternal Twins

Your Bachelor School instructors must admit that things tend to get a little weird for everybody around Week 6. Any hamster-ball section of this date might be of dubious learning value. We must also entertain the possibility that the producers are getting in our heads and doing their best to frustrate our attempts at cracking their code. Is this cavern/geyser/bounce-womb date sequence a knowing, Freudian dramatization of the penetration/ejaculation/birth cycle? We may never know.

3. Be a Hobbit?

Deep breaths. OK. We can do this. We’re still in control. If your Bachelor follows up the rodent-ball/rolly-womb group date with a paradigm-resetting trip to Hobbiton, don’t panic. We’re not panicking, so you’re not panicking. We’re learning. Together. Enjoy a quiet, romantic night in the Shire. Catch your breath. Avoid the pipe-weed, as you have no idea what the producers have cut it with, and you don’t want to wind up tearing out your hair in the garden, screaming for Sauron to deliver you to Mordor before your Bachelor asks you to manscape his offputtingly furry hobbitses feetses. There is no Precious that will allow you to disappear and slip away before you’re handed the razor and a can of Barbasol. Shift the conversation back to your kids. He loves those tiny little dwarflings. He has one back home he can’t shut up about.

4. Stop Talking About Your Birthday

Oh! Here is a very practical and concrete lesson that will once again ground us in the reality of your journey. Your Bachelor does not care that it’s your birthday. A rose is not a birthday gift, and this group date is not your birthday party. It’s his party, and it’s celebrating his sixth week of being the world’s most temporarily famous sexual conquistador. Don’t make this all about you. You’ll have another birthday next year. The child you’ve abandoned to chase this crazy dream will make you a card with glitter and ribbons on it and everything.

5. Be a Mom, But Not a Really Young Mom

Your Bachelor may tell you he loves children and reveres mothers. But if he senses the chemistry waning and realizes from the “HAPPY 22nd BIRTHDAY” balloons you’ve had delivered to the set that you, despite sharing parenthood in common, are too far apart in your life-journeys to forge a meaningful connection, he may decide to reunite you with your child immediately. He will explain this as an act of kindness. You will experience this as a limousine ride taking you far away from the magic of the Shire. You really should have kept quiet about the birthday thing.

6. Become His Inexplicable Favorite

He’ll invite you into his living room, ask you to throw on a pair of old sweats, and hyper-advance your relationship into the sitting-around-on-the-couch-and-doing-nothing phase. Hand him the remote, the Sounders are playing the Galaxy.

You really shouldn’t have had sex in the ocean. The thrill of the hunt is gone.

7. Entertain the Theory That Chris Harrison Might Be Gandalf

It makes perfect sense, right? He disappears in moments of crisis to tend to some mysterious business of his own, returning only when you’ve mostly figured out things for yourself.

Or maybe he’s still just the boring old devil. Sauron heard your cries in the garden and decided to show up in kindly wizard drag. He’s gotta mix it up once in a while.

We tried to warn you that Week 6 gets weird.