'Bachelor Pad' eliminates two pairs and determines final two couples
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/04/2012
Bachelor Pad eliminated two pairs of contestants and determined its third-season's final two couples during Monday night's seventh episode of The Bachelor reality franchise spinoff in which 15 former bachelor and bachelorettes and five "Super Fans" compete for a $250,000 cash prize.
Blakeley Shea and Tony Pieper were eliminated from Bachelor Pad after Chris Bukowski and Sarah Newlon won the week's first competition and could therefore send home any fellow couple of their choosing. For strategic purposes, Chris and Sarah believed getting rid of the likeable and deserving Blakeley and Tony matchup would better their chances to win the game.
"I feel like I let you down, [Tony]," Blakeley, a 34-year-old aesthetician from Charlotte, NC, who previously competed on The Bachelor's sixteenth season, said following her ouster.
"You didn't, you did great. I couldn't have asked for a better partner, okay?" Tony replied.
"I don't know why anybody else needed the money more than we did," Blakeley told him in tears.
"I don't know. I just felt like we deserved to be there more than anybody else. I wanted to win. I felt like this was my chance. This was my chance to make it better for us. I feel like I kind of let down [my son] Taylor... Even though I'm not leaving with $250,000, I just gotta love him and that's what I do better than anything else. That's what I'm going to do. It would've been great, but money isn't everything," said Tony Pieper, a 30-year-old lumber trader from Portland, OR, who previously competed on The Bachelorette's eighth season.
In addition, Jaclyn Swartz and Ed Swiderski were ousted from Bachelor Pad at the end of the episode due to a similar twist that had resulted in Blakeley and Tony's eliminations. After Rachel Truehart and her partner Nick Peterson won the week's second competition -- the final competition of Bachelor Pad's third season -- they got to select whether they'd like to take Jaclyn and Ed or Chris and Sarah with them to the finals, ultimately costing one couple their chance to continue on and potentially win the $250,000 prize.
Although Rachel and Jaclyn were best friends, Rachel and Nick determined they'd have no shot at winning against the popular couple, while Chris had stirred up a lot of drama and conflict throughout the season.
"What a f-cking b-tch. Go f-ck yourself. I want nothing to do with her like ever again. She's is just a f-cking piece of sh-t. Like honestly, a piece of sh-t. I honestly just can't believe that Rachel did this. It's really hurtful. I just feel completely betrayed. I had enough faith in my and Rachel's friendship that she would not choose Chris and Sarah. I had trust in our friendship and it's sad that she did it," Jaclyn, a 27-year-old account manager from Newton, MA, who previously competed on The Bachelor's sixteenth season, said upon her departure.
"I don't know what's going through her head, but she should be ashamed of herself. She really should. I have not done one thing to betray her this whole time. I just feel like my best friend threw me under the bus. I'm just mad at myself I thought she was my friend, and I just can't get past this. I think our friendship is over. It sucks when you put your loyalty in somebody and then they play the nastiest game ever. I'll vote for Chris and Sarah. She's dead to me."
"Rachel owed that to Jaclyn by standing by her the entire time and saving her and keeping her here. It just blows my mind that she would do that to her best friend," added Ed, a 33-year-old technology consultant from Chicago, IL, who previously competed on The Bachelorette's fifth season.
Bachelor Pad's penultimate broadcast began with the remaining four couples -- eight former bachelor and bachelorettes -- returning from the sixth episode's Rose Ceremony in which Lindzi Cox and Kalon McMahon were eliminated.
No alliances really existed anymore, as it was understood in the house each couple was fighting for themselves. However, Blakeley still didn't trust Chris -- a 25-year-old corporate sales director from Chicago, IL, who previously competed on The Bachelorette's most recent eighth edition -- and Jaclyn and Rachel had promised each other since the very beginning of the show they'd have each others' backs regardless.
The following day, Bachelor Pad host Chris Harrison told the contestants they'd be participating in a challenge that would give the winning couple a lot of power. Without going into much detail, Chris Harrison told everyone that one couple was going to be eliminated immediately after the competition, so they all had to pack their bags just in case.
Dubbed "Hanging By a Thread," each couple was required to choose one person to sit in a seat suspended above a pool and have the other person answerBachelor Pad trivia questions on the ground. If a teammate was to answer a question correctly, his or her partner would not be touched. However, if a girl or guy was to answer a question incorrectly, a rope would be cut off of his or her partner's seat.
Because each seat was held in the air by three ropes, if a teammate came up with three wrong answers, his or her partner's seat would fall and that person would be left hanging onto a bar by just their hands in the air. The last person sitting in his or her seat or hanging onto the bar would win the challenge. Chris Harrison told the pairs that the couple to win the competition would get to decide which couple must leave Bachelor Pad.
Chris, Tony, Ed, and Rachel sat in the seats suspended above the pool, while Sarah, a 28-year-old bar manager from St. Louis, MO, who previously competed on The Bachelor's eleventh season, Blakeley, Nick, and Jaclyn answered questions from below them.
Tony and Blakeley were out of the competition first, and they were then followed by Rachel and Nick, Ed and Jaclyn and finally Chris and Sarah. Chris and Sarah were declared safe from elimination at that time and were instructed to quickly decide whom they wanted to send home.
Chris and Sarah discussed the pros and cons of keeping and eliminating each of their three fellow couples. Ed and Jaclyn were well-liked and Ed had managed to become friends with mostly everyone in the cast. They thought Rachel was a tough competitor and was beginning to take the game very seriously, while it was clear to them Tony -- who was good friends with Chris -- was a stand-up deserving guy whom everyone knew was vying to win the money to better the life of his young son.
The three couples got to plead their case one at a time in the hopes of being saved.
"Chris, you are one of my best friends in the house and we were honest with each other. Times got tough and I was there for you. I also want you guys to know why I'm here -- I know I said it before -- but I want to provide for my son. That's the number one reason why I'm here, and with the money, I can definitely make him proud of me. I want to do this for him," Tony said aloud.
"I know things were rough between us in the beginning. I just really hope that this vote was not just towards me," Blakeley said, hoping Chris wouldn't base his decision on bad emotions against her.
Chris and Sarah then sadly announced they wanted to send Blakeley and Tony home.
"There's only two people here out of the group of us that thought me and Sarah would be standing here right now, and that's me and her. We've done this on our own, we really have. And at no point -- I don't think anyone's really trusted me. I don't know why. I've been playing this game just like ya'll have been playing the game and that's what made this tough for me. It really did," Chris explained.
"[Blakeley], you said it. We've had an emotional roller coaster. Tony, I don't think I have to say this to you man, you're like my boy. We've been completely honest with each other and I understand why you're here, why you need it, why you want it. I know you're a great father, and I understand why you're still here. I do... But at the same time, I'm here and I feel like I deserve to be here. Tony and Blakeley, it's going to be you guys."
Blakeley broke down into tears and Tony attempted to console her before they left the house together in the same limo.
"I can't say that I didn't want [the money] more than anybody else on this entire show, because I did, but even though we didn't win the money, I met you [Blakeley]. And I couldn't be happier that I met you," Tony told her.
"I didn't expect this at all and I just really want you to know how much you mean to me and what I saw in you -- how beautiful you are on the inside and outside. I think you're a really, really special girl, and I think anybody would be so lucky to have a girl like you in their life. I want to see where things go because I feel like I have a special connection with you."
"Sometimes, there are things you get out of these shows that are far beyond the reasons why you came on it, and you're definitely one of them," Blakeley replied.
Later that day, Chris Harrison met with the three remaining teams in the house and explained their final competition was going to start right away. He told everyone the winning couple would automatically secure themselves a spot in the final two.
For the challenge, each couple was required to sing "Sister Christian" onstage in front of a large audience at The Hollywood Palladium. Each pair received a professional vocal coach to help them learn the notes and harmonies, and they had to utilize some choreography in their performances. They were going to be judged by Night Ranger bandmates Brad Gillis, Kelly Keagy and Jack Blades based on the criteria of how well they sang the song, choreography, chemistry and stage presence.
All the pairs had 24 hours to rehearse and plan their performances. No one could really keep a tune and the couples thought working with their vocal coaches was just a waste of time. It proved to be a tough task for the contestants to memorize the lyrics and gain the confidence they needed to rock out in front of a huge crowd.
The next night, the couples had to put on their individual shows. Everyone was extremely nervous, especially Sarah, who was convinced she couldn't sing at all and was going to fail. Ed and Jaclyn thought it was their competition to lose because they thought their choreography and energy was going to top all, but Rachel and Nick also had their words and movements down pat.
"Nick owned his outfit. Rachel nailed the lyrics perfectly, but other than that, I don't know how creative the whole thing was. Their choreography really wasn't that great. So, I don't know how I'd rate them," Ed said.
Once it was time for Ed and Jaclyn to show what they could do, they forgot most of the lyrics and asked at separate times during the song to start over.
"Jaclyn absolutely bombed. If I was Jaclyn, I'd be devastated. She's putting on a brave face, but she knows that she blew it for her and Ed," Chris said.
"The judges looked embarrassed for Ed and Jaclyn, but they also looked a little angry and offended that they didn't take their song more seriously. I started thinking, 'One down. It's just me and Chris versus Nick and Rachel,'" Sarah noted.
Finally, Chris and Sarah took the stage. Chris remained pretty composed for the most part but Sarah found it to be a great opportunity to go wild and dance all over the stage without a care in the world. Ed said Sarah looked like an "electrocuted monkey" while she was dancing, which seemed to sum up her performance best.
Once the competition concluded, the judges revealed Rachel and Nick sang well and had a great chemistry and stage presence together, while Jaclyn and Ed were definitely the worst and were just "all over the place." The judges also announced Chris and Sarah were the most fun, but Sarah's singing was very pitchy.
In the end, the Night Ranger bandmates selected Rachel and Nick as the winners, allowing them to move onto the finals and determine which couple would join them. Rachel felt amazing and Nick was thrilled to have won his first competition and first immunity rose in either Bachelor Pad or The Bachelorette.
Jaclyn and Ed and Sarah and Chris were very disappointed in themselves and worried about their safety in the game. Jaclyn admitted she was frustrated and felt terribly about the loss. She hated letting Ed down.
"I'm just thinking now how Rachel and Nick have the power to choose who is going with them to the final and the possibility that she may choose somebody over me. It just sucks because Rachel and I were best friends before we came into this house, and if she ends up choosing the other couple because her partner wants to, I think that would be completely devastating and I don't know if I could recover from that," Jaclyn explained.
"If she was with [Michael Stagliano], there would be no question. They would take Ed and I to the final, but just because it's Nick, it's like all changed up now. I just really don't want to lose a friendship that means so much to me and I'm just very nervous about Rachel's decision. I just really hope it goes in the right direction."
Later on, Rachel and Nick were given time to deliberate on the tough decision they were forced to make. The couple wasn't on the same page about what they wanted to do at all. Nick was gunning to take Chris and Sarah with them to the finale because Chris had burned many bridges and was responsible for creating so much drama in the house.
Rachel was trying to convince Nick to keep Jaclyn and Ed because Jaclyn was her very best friend and they had made a pact to keep each other around if possible until the very end. Rachel argued that despite Chris' reputation, he and Sarah had been the gamers in the house and truly fought their way to the finish strategically and competitively.
The pair concluded that Ed was the most popular person in the house and would get the votes over Nick, but Rachel would probably be able to rack in more votes than Jaclyn.
However, Nick quickly decided it was a no-brainer and Jaclyn and Ed had to go. He told Rachel that if they brought Jaclyn and Ed to the finals, they might as well just hand the pair the money. Rachel admitted her friendship with Jaclyn was more important to her than any dollar amount, but Nick insisted their friendship would remain intact and she didn't go on the show just to make friends.
Rachel seemed to agree with Nick's perspective on the other two couples, but she was terrified to upset Jaclyn and potentially ruin their bond. After shedding some guilty tears, Rachel joined Nick at the Rose Ceremony and was ready to reveal their game-changing decision.
Rachel and Nick announced it was an extremely difficult and miserable decision to make, but they had to let Jaclyn and Ed go. Jaclyn started crying relentlessly, and then she and Ed said their goodbyes.
"Jaclyn, I'm so sorry," Rachel told Jaclyn while trying to hug her.
"It's fine," a disingenuous Jaclyn said as she pulled away from Rachel's embrace.
Jaclyn's standoffish reaction caused Rachel to completely lose her cool, telling the remaining contestants she felt like "the worst person in the entire world."
"I feel like a disloyal friend right now. It's the worst feeling ever. I promised Ed and Jaclyn so many times that I would do absolutely everything to keep them, and I didn't. I don't feel good about that decision. I really don't feel good about that. That was Nick's decision, not mine, but I should've fought harder," Rachel explained once Jaclyn left.
"I just feel like I really got backed into that one like really badly. I could care less about the fact that I'm closer to that money. It doesn't mean anything to me right now. Money is ugly. It's just not worth losing friendships over. It's not worth feeling like this. I feel like I made the wrong decision. I don't think that was the right decision."