This person will, at some point, identify herself with this signature line, usually delivered to explain her frustration with everybody else: "I don't do drama." In fact, you will never hear those words from someone who doesn't have trouble getting along with other women. Stitch that on the flip side of the pillow. "I don't do drama" = "There's consistently a storm of drama going on around me that is not my fault." Whether others are resisting or failing to meet the "love me!" demands, or normal interactions have sparked an overreaction ("They were talking about me!"), the source is the same. You will ALWAYS find at least one of these people in every Bachelor house. Don't kid yourself: Producers know exactly how to screen for these reality TV black diamonds. And after they've been found, the best display setting for them is among a crowd of women living together while pursuing the same man. And drinking. Machiavellian setup, really. Evil genius.
And these women always stay around way past their expiration date because not only are their interactions with others hidden from the potential life-mate (why complicate things?), this personality brings with it almost occult powers of intense, instant attraction, ideally suited to the high-stakes Bachelor dates. "You're the only one for me. We know each other, right? It's amazing." (Vienna, anyone? You saw her in classic form being the victim at the breakup special, then--admit it--having her heart guarded and protected in Bachelor Pad. Poor dumb Casey.) Remember that girl in third grade who told you she wouldn't be your friend anymore if you were friends with somebody else? Doggone it, you cared! Shouldna. Butcha did. And there's been a drama contrail following that girl everywhere she's gone since then, hasn't there?
Which brings us to...Tierra. Or Tierra the Tierra-ble! as ABC gleefully promotes her on their website. (Anybody still want to argue these people end up on the show by accident?) To prove how predictable they are, I promise I wrote everything up to this point before I saw the show. I have a witness. Tierra will identify herself as a classic Black Diamond all on her own.
But Tierra's time will come (and if the previews are to be believed, in spades). First, Selma's date. Let's sum it up like this: Sean takes a tiny, tiny princess rock-climbing in the desert, saying "I'm going to take this glamour girl out of her element," because that proves...? (Trust me, she's never going to use these skills again.) Now let's let Selma express herself in her own words:
- "I don't do well in heat."
- "I don't do well in heat." (Yes, she said it again, to make herself very clear.)
- "I feel puffy."
- "I'm not very athletic."
- "I hate heights."
- "I'm gonna fall and die."
- "When I look down I get nauseous."
- "I panic."
- "I'm so nervous."
- "I'm sweating bullets."
- And after all that, "That was easy as pie, I tell you."
Something else Sean doesn't know: Roller derby is a terrible idea for a group activity. After Amanda the Equally Tierra-ble broke her fall with her chin (karma!) and Sean called off the competition, I got a good laugh from the girls' reactions: "He's so sweet to let us not do this!" "He's in tune to a woman!" Wha?!? If he were in tune with women, this date never would've happened, and he sure wouldn't have asked the one-armed girl to do it. Wait--asked? Demanded! He thought she "needed" to do it. Ah, men who know what's best for the women around them. Run, girl. Run.
But back to Amanda. Anybody else notice this?
And then, at last, Tierra, and the drama that was not her fault. I'm not quite sure what whipped up her frenzy during the evening portion of the group date in the first place, other than a sense of entitlement to more attention than she was getting. To quote: "I deserve better than this!" (To answer: Tierra, YOU SIGNED UP FOR EXACTLY THIS. The contracts, in triplicate, are in network offices to prove it. But reality is...immaterial, right?) Again, in her own words, "I'm holding all this inside! It's not fair! I'm so sensitive! I'm so emotional! It's so difficult!"
And for reasons no one can explain but are apparently common, Sean comforted her and told her he was really attracted to her because...she clearly had feelings for him. (Occult powers, defined.) His justification for tolerating the hysterical scene in the hallway? "I think Tierra has a lot of self-doubt." This is a quality you admire? RED FLAG!
Oh, and (yawn), as an afterthought, there was a date with Leslie H. Jewels and shopping, or as she put it, "Like Pretty Woman! It's my favorite movie!" You know what that movie's about, right? Anyway, she's been laughing too much at her own conversation for too long, and this date went nowhere, despite the uncontested assumption from all parties that expensive = romantic. At least, this is what rich, middle-aged, pot-bellied TV executives have found to be true. Leslie, if it's any comfort, that blinged-up dress looked much better without the She-Ra necklace you had to give back on your way home.
And finally, the cocktail party. Did anyone else catch how many times Tierra referred to "winning" as her goal? And I was delighted with the Black Diamond (or "attention-sucking black hole") apology for the earlier scene, in which the drama was--ta-da!--not her fault: "I want to apologize: You attacked me. You're bad for assuming [I didn't quite catch what] about me." Nifty apology. She did, however, manage to get Invisible Jackie to say one thing on camera: "I appreciate your apology." Rejection fodder, that one, but not just yet.
And the crowning moment, the instant when the detective leans back from the interrogation table with a triumphant smile because the accused just said the exact thing that would incriminate her? Tierra, to Sean: "I don't want you thinking I cause a lot of drama. I hate drama." AND THERE IT IS! Sean, however, is no detective. He doesn't know the Black Diamond gang signs. His response? "I can read Tierra. I know she's here for the right reasons. It doesn't matter what other girls say to me." YOU IDIOT. Perhaps this is why he's still single. A bit of advice: Seeing your intended with other people is everything, and in the interest of setting you up for a delicious publicity-rich public fall, Bachelor producers deliberately hide that crucial piece of information from you. Someone who knows it's important can find a way around the Bachelor constraints--watch group interactions closely, for example, or pay careful attention to other women's reactions. But Sean? Allow me to repeat: "It doesn't matter what other girls say to me." Now accepting date predictions for his breakup with whoever he ends up with. Whoever. With a set of judgment skills like that, it makes no difference.
Final note: I have a theory that ABC thought Amanda would be Black Diamond #2. They got greedy, which you can understand given how much they have riding on Black Diamonds sticking around. Can't risk losing one too early. But they should know by now they have nothing to worry about--Black Diamonds will find their ways to stay. A closed ecology can handle only one at a time, and nature self-corrected. So long, Amanda!