More like London stalling!
Yes, Zach Shallcross’ search for love was briefly put on pause this week as The Bachelor star contracted Covid while filming in the UK.
But while Zach was stuck in his hotel room for a few days, producers cooked up some clever ways for him to continue getting to know the contestants.
First there was a Zach-less group date that made us realize a dating competition show with no dating and no competition, in which a group of strangers just develop close friendships while traveling the world together might be more interesting than it sounds.
But shortly thereafter, Charity got screwed out of a one-on-one date which was sad.
(But if you’ve been following out Bachelor spoilers, then you know that Charity is not to be counted out.)
And then there was a remote cocktail party which was even sadder.
And then there was Greer, who started melting down over tea and then continued freaking out when her virtual date with Zach went poorly, all of which was every bit as cringe as it sounds.
All told, this was easily one of the saddest, most awkward episodes of The Bachelor in the show’s history.
And that’s really saying something.
The ladies did their best to enjoy their time in London, but the double-decker bus tour and pub pints just didn’t seem to spark much joy.
The cast probably assumed that the scheduled rose ceremony would be postponed, but that turned out not to be the case.
Instead, Zach’s face loomed over the proceedings from a giant monitor like some Orwellian nightmare from a future in which all dating takes place through screens.
Going into the ceremony, things were not looking good for Greer.
During the painfully awkward “virtual cocktail party” she had compared Zach’s plight to a situation in which her own bout with Covid affected her quarterly sales figures.
For some reason, Zach was not having it, and he shut down the comparison in brutal fashion.
Still all messed up from her earlier tea trauma, Greer was reduced to tears once again.
And when she predicted that she wouldn’t be joining the rest of the cast in the next round — well, everyone seemed to silently agree with that prognostication.
In the end, however, she lived to cry another day.
In Greer’s place, it was Mercedes and Kylee who were sent home by Virtual Zach.
The latter has been quiet all season and probably wouldn’t have stood much of a chance even if Zach had remained healthy and the London trip had played out as planned.
But Mercedes — well, she and Zach might not have had the strongest connection, but her dismissal is still one of the most frustrating in the show’s history because it just didn’t seem fair.
By all rights, this week’s rose ceremony should have been postponed, but with all the international travel involved, the show operates on a very tight shooting schedule.
Fans didn’t seem to mind when the pandemic restricted The Bachelor to a single shooting location for each season, and those circumstances probably allowed for greater flexibility.
Perhaps all of that globetrotting attracts potential contestants and acts as a sort of consolation prize to those who are eliminated.
Whatever the case, the show must go on, and Zach will be breaking more hearts in some other foreign country next week.
Let’s hope everyone stays healthy.