Beach Babies

Girls make waves — and fall down the stairs — on The Bachelor bikini fest

Girls make waves — and fall down the stairs — on The Bachelor bikini fest

The Bachelor, Sean Lowe, beach
Sean and the girls head to the beach for a group date. Photo courtesy of ABC
The Bachelor, Sean Lowe, shirtless
Finally, the Bach gets shirtless. Photo courtesy of ABC
The Bachelor, Sean Lowe
Frolicking in the water is fun! Photo courtesy of ABC
The Bachelor, Sean Lowe
Sean and Lesley set the Guinness world record for longest on-screen kiss. Photo courtesy of ABC
The Bachelor, Sean Lowe, beach
The Bachelor, Sean Lowe, shirtless
The Bachelor, Sean Lowe
The Bachelor, Sean Lowe

Episode three starts with the obligatory working-out scene, so we can get an eyeful of a shirtless Sean. But just wait, ladies. There is more shirtlessness to be had, at the beach, the site of the group date. But first, we must endure the one-on-one date with Lesley M.

We’ve already seen that Lesley isn’t afraid to lay one on her man while the cameras are rolling, so Sean takes her on a date in which they attempt to set the Guinness world record for longest on-screen kiss.

Piece of cake, Sean. Give her a real challenge next time, will ya? Naturally, that record-setting lip-locking earns her a rose.

Next, Sean takes 12 girls to the beach, where they frolic in the ocean, throw the football and have a gay old bikini-clad time. But then host Chris Harrison shows up. The ladies know this can’t be good.

Competition time. They split up into two teams, and they must duke it out on the sand volleyball court to get quality time with their main squeeze. The girls are neck-in-neck for a while, but, eventually, one team emerges victorious.

The losers are devastated; model Kristy, who was so confident during the Harlequin photo shoot, suddenly loses it. “I played terrible," she says. “I let everyone down.”

The hot model isn’t so hot at volleyball, it seems. She cries.

Among the winners is Lindsay, whom you might remember as the drunkard in the wedding gown from the first episode. Shockingly, Sean thinks she is adorable.

“Oh my gosh. I’m so amazed by you,” she says. “You’re everything I’m looking for.”

This earns her a kiss. Clearly Sean has forgotten about the wedding gown. (Clearly we have not.)

Even more amazing is what transpires with Kacie, who thinks she will look like a hero if she tells Sean about the increasing tension between Desiree and Amanda. The bizarro conversation goes something like this:

I feel like I’ve been punched in the face. I don’t feel like it’s my place, but … I’ve been caught between a rock and a hard spot in the house. ... It’s between Desiree and Amanda.

Desiree has felt that there is something negative in Amanda that she needs to stay away from. But Desiree and I are friends. So it’s put me in the middle. Desiree has confided in me. There is just different dynamics between the two, and I can’t be myself.

Of course, Sean asks the obvious question: “Why are you saying something to me? They both seem fine. Neither one of them has said anything to me about it.”

“And I don’t want to be the person who does,” Kacie replies. “But at the same time, I’m stuck in the middle. So I have to tell you what’s going on.”

Um, no you don’t.

“Why are you involving yourself?” Sean asks. “Why focus any of your attention on it, you know?” Good question, dude.

“My plan just doesn’t seem to be panning out the way I thought it would,” Kacie says later. “This is not what I expected at all. This has been a night I’d prefer to rewind and start again or completely forget about.”

Poor Kacie. She ought to take some pointers from Tierra, whose drama is somehow endearing, rather than crazy — at least to the one person who counts. Just minutes before Sean’s one-on-one date with AshLee, the personal organizer from Houston, the bachelorettes hear a loud thud. Tumbling Tierra has fallen down the stairs.

For a brief moment, the girls are worried. But then they just get agitated that her antics caught the attention of The Man. Tierra even refuses treatment by the paramedics; all she needed was to curl up with Sean on the couch. Suddenly, she feels so much better!

AshLee is not buying it. “I think Tierra is the boy who cried wolf,” she says. “I think that’s her way to grab attention. I’m a smart woman. I can see through it.”

But AshLee has nothing to complain about, really. She gets her quality time with Sean, at Six Flags Magic Mountain, which they get all to themselves — well, save for two very special girls.

With help from the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Sean arranges for Emily and Brianna, who both suffer from mitochondrial disease, to join AshLee and him at Six Flags. The girls are best friends, brought together through the foundation’s private social network, but they haven’t had the means to meet in person. Until now.

I’m just going to stop right here and say that I, too, am smitten by the bachelor and The Bachelor. Contrived or not, the show made it possible for these girls to forget about their disease, at least for a day. And they got to hang with a hot guy and listen to a private concert by the Eli Young Band to boot.

The moment is not lost on AshLee. “It says a lot about him,” she says. “It shows a great character. And great integrity.”

She’s a goner for sure. Can’t say I blame her. He’s got game.

And that’s probably why, back at the house during the rose ceremony, the girls do everything they can to embarrass themselves, by fighting each other for his attention.

“Girls are being ruthless,” he says. “It makes me nervous. I know the night is running out. I’ve got my hands full.”

Kacie — sporting some terrible tennis player-meets-hooker get-up — makes a last-ditch attempt to save herself. But the damage is done. In another moment of integrity, Sean walks her out to the limo, to save her from having to sit through the rose ceremony.

Meanwhile, accident-prone Tierra gets her rose. You got more drama, girl? Bring it.