By Alison M. Rosen
Updated January 22, 2004 11:59 AM

The latest “Bachelorette,” Meredith Phillips, narrowed her pool of prospective Mr. Rights from 15 to 10 on Wednesday night — but one candidate didn’t help his chances when he described himself as a “metrosexual.”

The comment seemed to irk Meredith during her one-on-one date with Rick, the 29-year-old business owner from San Diego. “I’ve never actually heard a man refer to himself as a metrosexual,” Phillips said.

She also seemed none too pleased by his finicky eating habits (she dubbed him “high maintenance”) when he picked at and ultimately removed the basil from a salad caprese.

Despite all this, he still received a rose at the end of the second episode. In addition to the one-on-one date with Rick — in which the couple went bowling and had dinner at the Beverly Hills mansion that’s now being rented by Michael Jackson (the episode was taped before the pop star moved in) — Wednesday’s episode also included two seven-on-one group dates. On one, the group rode all-terrain vehicles. On the next they went horseback riding, which was difficult for Meredith, who dislikes horses. (“I’m having a panic attack,” she said at one point.) Horse breeder Lanny tried to soothe her nerves.

Meanwhile, in other reality news, Donald Trump finally gave the boot to Sam Solovey, the much-criticized 27-year-old from Chevy Chase, Md., after the men’s team lost another challenge to the women on NBC’s new hit, “The Apprentice.” As the appointed project manager, Solovey guided the guys to their third consecutive loss in a challenge that tested their negotiating skills.