Happiness is a Warm TV

Raleigh’s Jenna Cooper makes the most of her limited ‘Bachelor’ screen time this week

Jenna Cooper during a group date at a demolition derby on ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
Jenna Cooper during a group date at a demolition derby on ABC’s “The Bachelor.” ABC

Raleigh’s Jenna Cooper didn’t get much screen time on Monday night’s second installment of “The Bachelor,” but she apparently made her time with Arie (on camera or off) count.

In short: Jenna got a rose so she’ll be back next week. But here’s a little more detail about the episode.

The group date

Jenna was invited on what I consider a very dangerous group date: a violent round of demolition derby. You could not pay me. One woman who participated in the derby “wasn’t feeling well” and could not attend the cocktail party that followed ABC’s Whiplash Extravaganza.

One woman – Annaliese – was crying before the action even started, saying she was afraid. I felt for her. Jenna tried to comfort her and someone asked her what was wrong. I braced to hear the story of a serious car accident that left her or a family member injured, or worse.

Through tears, Annaliese could barely tell her story of a traumatizing . . . bumper car experience. You could sense the collective, “Girl, please” from the other bachelorettes. Even Arie seemed to be suppressing a smile as he heard the words “bumper car.”

But his pep talk worked because Annaliese participated in the derby – and did very well, so trauma conquered! (And yes, we know we shouldn’t make fun of other people’s traumas, but what is “The Bachelor” if not a forum for making fun.)

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Arie Luyendyk, Jr. comforts Annaliese with a pep talk before the demolition derby on ABC’s “The Bachelor.” Paul Hebert ABC

Speaking of making fun . . .

Proving that she can laugh at herself, even Jenna tweeted out something about her somewhat bizarre arm and hand movements, which seem to happen a lot when she’s on camera. Is it panic? Nerves? Pure energy?

Whatever it is, it’s funny – and Jenna thinks so, too. She tweeted a clip of one of her moments on camera last night with the comment: “When you try to win him over with your awkward movements and eyebrows.”

The clip is from a scene on the show where the women decorated their cars with spray paint cans (Jenna went with polka dots).

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Jenna Cooper spray paints a car during a group date at a demolition derby on ABC’s “The Bachelor.” Paul Hebert ABC

I think we have a new villain

It seems I called the Season Villain a bit too early last week. I went with Chelsea, an aggressive single mom who Will Do Whatever It Takes to win Arie.

Well, meet Krystal. Krystal got a one-on-one date with Arie that included meeting his parents (although I think he only took her there so he could pick up his dog) and a tearful admission from her that she comes from a broken family. She got a rose on the date, which meant she could sit back and relax through the next rose ceremony.

Wrong.

At the cocktail party before the rose ceremony, when women who hadn’t had 15 seconds with Arie all week were desperately hoping for face time, Krystal interrupted said women not once but TWICE. Why? WHY? Once, I get. You just want a minute to say “hey” after your date. OK, you’re good, sit down. But she did it again – in a weird, needy-red-flag way and to the wrong person – and she got called out.

Krystal interrupted Bibiana, who was already very much on edge about her lack of time with Arie, and Bibiana pushed back. She refused to let Krystal interrupt her time (GOOD FOR HER) and then told Krystal off when they were back in the cocktail party together.

Bibiana basically told her that all of the women are sick of her and that her manner of speech is fake and sickening (she has a very soft, sex kitten-style of speaking).

Both Krystal and Bibiana got roses.

It’s going to be fun.

A little about Arie

Fans of “The Bachelor” franchise will remember Arie Luyendyk Jr. as the Indy race car driver who fell for Emily Maynard of Charlotte during her 2012 season as “The Bachelorette.” Arie was Emily’s runner-up that season and was heartbroken that he did not get chosen. Arie seemed to really be in love with Emily and said in this season’s premiere that he had not felt that kind of connection with any woman since Emily. Awww. Emily is now married, but not to the guy she picked on “The Bachelorette.”

Arie is currently a real estate agent in Scottsdale, Ariz., but continues to be involved in racing.

We learned in the second episode of the season that he has a dog – a rescue mutt – that he has living with him during filming of the show. We also learned that before falling for Emily, who was a single mother, that he lived with a girlfriend who had two small children.

Brooke Cain: 919-829-4579, @brookecain

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