Randal's Weekly Rankings 1) Moana:
I owe Moana an apology. I've made fun of her on FORT - I bought into the Fleiss spin...it was all wrong. Two things changed my opinion - first, seeing how immensely happy she was in her home environment, away from the artifical drama of the Bachelorette House; second, seeing the kind of family she came from. Moana is a young woman trying to establish her own identity among a highly judgmental - almost vindictive - circle of stereotypical Orange County Christian conservative relatives, who were far too quick to ascribe nefarious motives to Travis and never seemed to want to give the guy a chance. Where they should have been delighted that Moana had finally brought home someone worthy, they instead staged an attack session on the concept of the show and (bizarrely) on Travis as an individual. Travis didn't help much, giggling foolishly when he should have been unequivocally establishing his personal power and coming from a place of, "Listen, buddy, I'm a successful, respectable professional, I'm interested in your daughter, and if you don't like it you can go pound sand!"
Unfortunately, Travis is attracted to Moana for the same reason he was attracted to ER medicine - he sees her as this little broken creature who needs him to come and heal her. The problem is, the little creature is lying on the grass in the middle of a meadow full of bears - and Travis is going to have to tread very carefully to get to her. I still think they are a poor match and that dinner table conversation will be enough to deny her the Final Rose. But on a "amazing connection" level, she is clearly in first place right now, despite all that has happened. 2) Sarah S:
Sarah continues her strategy of moving up by not screwing up. Travis says all the things about her - "honest", "sincere", "has integrity" - that you say about your little sister when she's applying for her first job at the mall. At least they had a real kiss at the end this time, which looked heartfelt if a little passionless. Sarah had the only parents of the evening who actually helped her cause. They weren't happy about the news that she would have to move to Colorado, but they seemed to accept that better than Sarah herself did. Her father is the quintessential Southerner, standing outside taking with Travis about grilling for twenty minutes because he's too polite to ask any uncomfortable questions. Her mother did bring up the difficulties involved in being a doctor's wife, and from the look on Sarah's face it seemed she hadn't really given the matter any thought. But she quickly considered and dismissed any such roadblocks - the girl is so into Travis that it wouldn't matter to her what he does, as long as she gets to have a little piece of him.
Sarah is the "safe choice", and there's no way she is going home next week. She's Travis's safety valve, in case whichever one of the others he chooses doesn't manage to keep it together until the end. 3) Susan:
What a weird date! Susan started out in clear first place - Travis babbles like an idiot when he's around her and admitted that she already had a rose unless something went terribly wrong. And it very nearly did. Susan's mother gets the prize as the all-time "Most Uncooperative Bachelorette Parent", beating out Moana's father who had seized the trophy himself earlier in the show. It was amazing to watch her throw her daughter under the bus - that was not Fleissian editing, the woman really had an instense interest in sabotaging their relationship. Her father had the same concerns, but at least he kept it between himself and his daughter. On the other hand, Fleiss did mess with us when Susan said "I just hope I don't get cut this week," apparently in answer to her father's question about her Hollywood ambitions. That was edited and spliced - I think she was answering a different question entirely.
I still don't believe Susan is faking her attraction to Travis. Her biggest problem is that when she gets nervous, she falls back into speaking in cliches: "absolutely" is her favorite word, with "ridiculously" a close second. I think this is the first time in her whole life that she has had to do some of the pursuing, and it freaks her out. She looked scared to death at the Rose Ceremony. She told her mom that "the universe has brought somebody into my life", but the "Nick factor" is clearly still an issue for all involved. Her mother succeeded in planting a huge seed of doubt in Travis's mind, and you remember what happened when Jehan did that. The negative edit Susan got suggests she is out next week, which is a shocking reversal after the way she has been portrayed so far.
And this week's loser... Sarah B:
Well, we all knew it was coming, but this was the worst case of self-destruction the Bachelor series has ever seen. I think Sarah B is still
the most compatible with Travis of the four - she's the only one who would willingly move to Colorado and share his outdoor lifestyle - but it was an appalling mistake for her to keep harping on Moana and what happened in the Bachelorette House. This was her time to show him who she is, and she wasted it complaining about others. Her mother was nice and welcoming to Travis, which must have been a pleasant change after the Moana visit, but it was another huge tactical error not to rent a furnished apartment for the week and call it "her place." Living at home with your mother and your teddy bear probably isn't going to make the right impression on any Bachelor.
Their final scene together in Winnipeg looked like a goodbye hug. At least she took her dismissal with good grace - until Fleiss's flying monkeys stopped the limo and made her get out and cry for the cameras. Travis was right - and wise to suggest that he didn't want to be the guy to deny her the experience of growing up. But Sarah B is a good kid, and she's going to be a real keeper for some lucky man in a two or three years.
I don't think we have ever seen series where all four finalists are so seriously interested in the Bachelor, so Travis must be doing something right. Next week's Rose Ceremony is going to be brutal - both for the loser and for him.