"Two women. One rose. One stays, one goes."
It's the most wonderful time of the season, Bachelor Nation. No, we're not talking about the not the romantic proposal at the end, we're talking about the "dreaded" two-on-one date, with season 21's villains Corinne and Taylor set to face off in the bayou for their survival in the fight for Nick Viall's heart in tonight's episode of The Bachelor.
Each season, the Gladiator-esque face-off is one of the most highly anticipated episodes, usually leading to verbal sparring, brutal break-ups and one contestant being left to fend for themselves in a remote location. But after 21 seasons, the two-on-one date has evolved over time, going from a date-from-hell to the match-that-lights-the-villain's-fire, especially in the most recent seasons.
While the two-on-one date has been an integral part of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for years, arguably the most memorable two-on-one date in the franchise's history happened during Chris Soules' season, with the women more than making up for their star's sleepy nature. The two women sent on the date were Ashley Iaconetti, now a fan-favorite member of Bachelor Nation who was obsessed with the Kardashians, Disney princesses and crying, and Kelsey Poe, a school teacher who "loved" her tragic backstory about her husband's death, and may have faked a panic attack to receive a rose. (She totally did.) Their face-off was particularly fierce, as dirty looks and verbal jabs were exchanged, with Kelsey accusing, "You know what you did," all with a slightly alarming smile on her face.
But in a surprisingly bold move, Prince Farming eliminated both women, leaving a sobbing Ashley and a smirking Kelsey on their own private patch of desert in the Badlands, with the remaining women popping champagne over Kelsey's exit/honoring Ashley I.'s sacrifice. The date was so iconic that Kelsey was interviewed by Chris Harrison in a special prior to the Women Tell All, and Ashley I. was interviewed via Skype on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Kelsey and Ashley I.'s bad trip to the Badlands in 2014 really set the tone for two-on-one dates moving forward, with the seasons' "villain" always going on the dreaded outing…and usually not coming back. (You'll note during seasons without a clear villain or rivalry—like Andi Dorfman or Juan Pablo Galavis' respective outings—a two-on-one date didn't even happen, as the stakes were seemingly too low/boring.)
The following season of The Bachelor, Olivia Caridi, who quickly became Mansion Enemy. No. 1 after receiving the first impression rose and hogging precious time with Ben Higgins, was sent home on the two-on-one, and was last seen fighting to remain standing against storm winds on a beach in the Bahamas.
"It's uncomfortable, both for the contestants and for the lead," Olivia, who eventually found her way home, wrote in a blog on Bustle.com of the experience. "It's the most dramatic date every season because there are so many stares, awkward silences, and third wheel moments to choose from, and, when a villain is involved, there's always a guarantee for trash talking."
Kaitlyn Bristowe's season of The Bachelorette also featured one of the season's most polarizing contestants (turned eventual fan-favorite, thanks to Bachelor in Paradise), JJ Lane (aka "a terd," per Amy Schumer) meeting his demise on the date…just after revealing to Kaitlyn that his marriage ended because of his infidelity. (Note to aspiring contestants: a personal reveal on a two-on-one date is basically the kiss of death. Save it for a one-on-one.)
If Nick does decide to eliminate both Corinne and Taylor, leaving them to fend off the alligators lurking in the swamps of NoLa, it wouldn't be much of a surprise, given Soules' decision to do the same—and he wasn't the first to do so. In season 14, Jake Pavelka eliminated both Ella and Kathyrn, which was the first time that had ever happened on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, while Ashley Hebert sent Ben C. and William home during The Bachelorette's seventh season.
And Corinne and Taylor's face-off may not be the last dating duel for Nick's affection, as JoJo Fletcher's season was the first to feature two two-on-one dates, with the first featuring one of the franchise's most iconic villains, Chad Johnson. Sent into the Pennsylvania wilderness to battle the raw sweet potato-eating-protein-obsessed-violent contestant was Alex, the veteran whose dislike for Chad was as tall as he is short. Alas, JoJo had enough of Chad's violent tendencies and cut him loose. (To celebrate Chad's exit, the other men hoisted Alex in the air like they were extras in a Rudy remake. Unfortunately for them, Chad was able to find his way back to the house for a final confrontation.)
Surprisingly, the producers decided to milk the drama the two-on-one cow provides, sending Derek, a ringer for The Office's Jim in both looks and affability, on a dance-off against Chase, one of the members of the house's "cool clique." In this instance, the nice guy finished last...and it wasn't the only time.
In season six of The Bachelorette, Justin R. and Kasey flew to Eyjafjallajökull volcano for their date with Ali Fedotowsky, with Justin getting the rose after Kasey revealed he got a tattoo in her honor...and was promptly left on the volcano (which, fun fact, erupted just days later!).
Getting a tattoo? Crazy, for sure. But just one episode after the two-on-one, it was revealed that Justin has a girlfriend back home and he left the show.
With a history as rich as The Bachelor's two-on-one, Corinne and Taylor need to bring it in the bayou.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.