The Bachelor, Episode 9 recap

We’re back in the Caribbean– the ONLY place suitable for basics to find love. “Jamaica just has a freedom to it” Ben declares, letting his feet breathe in flip-flops. I don’t think mandals were a priority for Jamaicans negotiating independence in 1962 but OK. In any case that is irresponsible footwear for climbing up ruins, where he ponders his final three Young Ladies. 

ben-steps-bachelor-w352

Caila

Pro: she’s smiley (nice!)

Con: she’s smiley (actually extremely creepy)

Lauren

Pro: she’s blonde (ideal white woman)

Con: she’s blonde (too good for him)

JoJo

Pro #1: Not always smiley (has the depth of character that Caila lacks)

Pro #2 : Brunette (beautiful but not untouchable like Lauren. See? Here is she is being ambushed by a pack o’ pigs. There’s her trusty unicorn mask. Ben can be HIMSELF around that. Ben is CONFIDENT around that. TEAM JOJO)

Con: her family cray

CAILA

Ben repeats his favorite made-up Caila soundbite: that he has the “deepest” relationship with her. Right, and God is relevant.

An Uber rafter rows them down the Martha Brae River. His presence stifles their conversation like if the waiter came over to refill your breadbasket BUT DIDN’T LEAVE.

caila-ben-awkward-silence1
“We have our breadsticks– NOW GO”
martha-1
Jamaican farmers once used bamboo rafts to transport goods via the network of inland rivers. Today, they transport tourists who remark how the country “feels very Jurassic Park.” Do gondola guides in Venice put up with this ish?? Reserve your tour here, including Jerk chicken lunch!

Things that could make this date better:

  • The awkward silence needs to go. Can’t Ben sync up his Spotify playlist to the Uber rafter’s sound system?
  • A change in elevation. If this were their 4th helicopter ride they would be having the time of their effing lives right now.
  • Turn this snooze cruise into a booze cruise.  Where the rum at?

“Don’t stress out- just enjoy it” he orders Caila before force-kissing her face. Spoiler alert: the same thing happens in the Fantasy Suite.

Over dinner, Caila tells Ben that she’s in love. “I do have something for you” Ben announces, revealing his dick in a box the Fantasy Suite key from Chris Harrison. There are FIREWORKS as Ben & Caila make their way to the Fantasy Suite. They briefly pause to acknowledge the display and continue on to the bedroom, where Ben finally gets to give his sex panther a spin. The fireworks are an indicator of what’s to come only heighten the inevitable mediocrity of their sex.

Lauren

Lauren is sporting her worst look of the season to date. A knit crop tank-top that pronounces her tummy paired with a denim diaper.

31b8177400000578-3470611-image-a-9_1456814307836

A British boomer by the name of Mel welcomes Ben & Lauren to Gibraltar Beach, where they’ll be interfering with God’s plan releasing a baby sea turtle nest. The marine biology student called and would like her internship back.

“This is a baby hawksbill” Mel says, but in his harry potter ass accent it sounds like he’s saying horcruxMel instructs them to rinse the sand off the baby hawksbills in the ocean, and Ben performs his first sea turtle baptisms.

sea-turtles-powerpoint-19-728

Before tipping o’er the bucket o’ freshly baptized turtle babies, they bow their heads as Ben leads a prayer to the Lord: “Thank you for allowing Lauren & I for being here today. For doing this together. Amen”

Later at dinner, they discuss Lauren’s hometown visit over a bowl of the  local delicacy– turtle soup.

“Your family was incredible” he gushes about the whitest family he met, adding “and so are these sea turtles. Delicious!”

Lauren tells Ben she loves him, and he he tells her “I’ve known I’m in love with you for a while as well.”  Lauren is just tickled by this- what a pleasant surprise! It’s all gonna work out. Can’t believe she ever doubted it would, for like, 5 minutes that one time.

JoJo

JoJo has never been the first one to say “I love you.” It’s just a principle she has. But as she and Ben leap into a waterfall together, she decides to go for it, and expresses her true feelings. “JoJo- I love you too” Ben replies. Praise god– finally an appropriate reaction. Like are you even ALLOWED to BE SAYING THIS TO ME RIGHT NOW?!?!

rs_480x270-160229202812-bachelor_gif_jojo_what
When The Bachelor says he loves you before the Final Rose, THIS is how you should react.

As for Ben, he never imagined being in love with TWO women and wishes “there was some kind of guide or something to help me in this situation.”  Maybe the Uber rafter?

Also, I’m no mathematician but it’s down to 3 women and Ben has told 2 of them he’s in love. Sooo, least dramatic rose ceremony ever?

CAILIMINATION

Caila arrives at Ben’s complex to remind him she’s still here and that a life with her would be “fun & full of surprises & ALWAYS end on a high note.”  She goes inside uninvited and wanders around the empty rooms in search of The Bachelor. This is what it looks like when Caila breaks into your home surprises you.

Despite wearing shoes on concrete she noiselessly prances up from behind to force kiss his face while covering his eyes. PAYBACK BITCH.

Caila’s interruption of Ben’s alone time and the non-consensual kiss throw him off. He’s like- um can you just give me a second? I’m not used to interacting with other humans unannounced and need to ask the producers what my lines are for this scene.

After pow-wowing with the on-set writers, Ben tells Caila that he’s in love with 2 women here and unfortunately she isn’t one of them. “It’s really hard to imagine saying goodbye to you” he recites. “That sounds like a line” she snaps dismissively. She would know– literally everything Caila has ever said is a regurgitation of 23 years worth of  romance films and romantic comedies. And her choice of words during the dramatic breakup scene that unfolds is no exception, including her parting words before getting into the black SUV: “I really did love you.

But Caila has second thoughts about leaving, practically jumping out of the vehicle as it’s pulling away. “WAIT– so did you know this week?” she asks, her mind replaying their overnight shenanigans. “Not until after” Ben lies. Getting to Fantasy Suite three women is his consolation prize for putting up with 25 women from the start. “I will miss you– so many things about you. Please don’t make me list them.”

Rose Ceremony

JoJo brings the va va voom. Lauren wears a mumu.

Unaware Caila got the boot, they both size each other up and try to feign the appropriate amount of anxiety for a woman unsure if Ben likes her back.

The vibe is HAPPY right now– like, Final Rose happy. They’re engaged happy. All three. To each other.  Group hug?

bachelorbenep9-1024x568

 

Advertisements

The Bachelor, Episode 8 recap

Hometown Dates

In honor of hometowns, today I found 4 people I barely know and met their families. I had heart-to-hearts with the women in the master bedroom and talked man-to-man on the leather sofa in the living room. Then, as only basic middle americans can do, I tempered my emotions with constraint, crying just the teensiest amount– my eyes welling ever so slightly with tears that never rolled down my cheeks.

Amanda

Amanda’s hometown date in Laguna Beach is like a convergence of Reality TV:  The Bachelor meets Laguna Beach meets Teen Mom. Ben meets Amanda on the beach wearing an awfully tight pair of pants that he barely manages to roll up mid-calf. The constant stream of alcohol required for this process is definitely taking a toll on his thighs. But no matter- today is the day that Ben will meet Amanda’s two girls. It’s a big deal, considering that introducing them to their own father turned out to be a huge mistake.

Ben asks Amanda what the kids are into these days to see if they have any shared interests. Amanda says they LOVE to be chased, so there’s definitely common ground– don’t we all just want to be wanted?

the-bachelor-2016-spoilers-week-8-sneak-peek-hometown-dates-ben-and-amanda-7-500x333

The meeting starts off on an awkward foot. First, Ben is confused–didn’t he eliminate the twins already? “You both look beautiful”  he defaults to the tots. Then, the little one doesn’t acknowledge Ben’s high-five, and neither daughter seems like much of a conversationalist. But he eventually turns things around by hitting his confidence stride while mansplaining octopus sand sculptures–which the girls respond well to. The ice is officially melted and it’s time to chase. “You’re not gonna catch me!” Ben taunts. It’s true–the girls are wearing ridiculous knee-length gladiator sandals, so the running is subpar.

The youngest is a little fussy during the drive home, but LA area traffic is notoriously heinous so I think we all need to give her a pass.  After they put her down for a nap, Amanda’s mom has a sit down with Ben. She flat out tells him: Look, Amanda needs to have help. Will you help, or will you be the dad in this videoThe conversation  really gave him pause. Like, to be an instant dad or not to be an instant dad? That is the question.

At the end of the night, Ben tells everyone a bedtime story: Once upon a time in the city of Los Angeles, a boy named Ben met mommy. But she already had kids and he wasn’t ready to be an instant dad. THE END.

Lauren

Ben flies to Portland for Lauren’s Hometown date. She asks if he’s hungry and he says “I am” assertively rather than “ermm I guess I could eat if you’re hungry?” –so that’s a breath of fresh air compared to my own situation. They check out the city’s food truck scene and giddily devour Khachapuri, a Georgian bread customarily eaten with a stick of butter. They’re on cloud 9, but who can say if it’s their love or the butter bread?

Next, Lauren treats Ben with a surprise visit to a Whiskey Library. He’s a little bummed not to have brought his velvet smoking jacket, but there’s no denying it feels great for the focus to be back on him after spending a long day devoted to someone else’s children.

Lauren says she could sit in a room with Ben and not speak a word and still feel more content and fulfilled then she ever has in her entire life. So I guess neither of them had much to say in the Whiskey Library.

It’s time to meet Lauren’s family, who look like one of those collectable button-nosed figurine sets sprung to life. Ben extends a hand to Lauren’s father: “Thanks for having me, sir. I’ve heard a lot about your lawn.”

Lauren’s dad likes Ben well enough and affords him the same respect he would any middle class white male. But he’s hesitant to give his blessing. “I don’t want my baby LoLo hurt” he worries.  That’s nice but I believe JoJo called dibs on that nickname format?

Caila

After all the confusion she caused on her last one-on-one, Caila is hoping for a fresh start in her hometown of Hudson, OH.  First stop: her high school’s make-out bench. “I always watched couples come to this bench, and I always dreamed of taking someone special here one day” she tells Ben.   Later, she makes him pose for the high school prom portrait she never had.

Caila’s dad is the CEO of a toy company (nice work if you can get it) so they head over to the factory to design and build one of those playhouses used to indoctrinate children in suburban values. And here I was thinking toy-making had long been outsourced to China! It’s hard not to feel patriotic watching all these hard-hatted American workers mill about the factory.

“Let’s paint the roof blue because that’s your favorite color!” Caila suggests. How thoughtful! But Ben doesn’t return the gesture by proposing they paint the exterior yellow because that’s Cailia’s favorite color. Rude.

The final result? I know Tiny Houses are trending right now, but goddamn it’s small.  Caila is over the moon and talking like they’re actually gonna move in.

caila-factory-bachelor-w352
“We can just make out in our kitchen or on our front lawn…in our toy house or in our real house! Who knows?!”

Finally, in a move no one saw coming, Caila’s folks win Best Hometown Date Parents. Caila’s dad calls her “darling” and asks Ben what microwave fame is like. And Caila’s mom? I mean, a) those braces b) that exchange with Ben explaining what a Filipino is, because he literally doesn’t know. It just goes to show you should never judge a parent by their freak of a daughter.

Speaking of.

Bachelor Nation, isn’t it high time we asked ourselves: #WhichCailaThe Caila claiming not to have “deep roots” or the Caila who apparently has an entire Filipino community behind her?  The Caila who doesn’t think she’s capable of love, or the Caila with brazen, Olivia-level confidence that Ben’s the one and they’re gonna get married and live happily ever after?  WHO IS CAILA??

JoJo

In Dallas, JoJo is pleasantly surprised by roses and a letter left on her doorstep, which she assumes are from Ben. She opens the handwritten letter and reads it out loud for a solid 3 minutes before flipping to the second page and seeing it’s signed not by Ben– but by Chad, her ex.

chad-0

Look, I know they misled her into thinking it was from Ben by using incorrect grammar and words like “journey.” And the bouquet of roses could easily be misconstrued as on-Bachelor brand (though, if you really think about it, it’s never a bunch of roses- the power is in the singularity of One Rose). BUT.  If you’re introducing someone to your parents, you should have a strong handle on their handwriting. Which begs the question- does JoJo think it’s Ben who writes the date card notes in bubble letter penmanship?

Onto the family. Her brothers make a JoJo sandwich and smother her in kisses. 

giphy (4)
“We’re really, really, really, REALLY attached to Joelle”

They want Ben to convince them that he’s a better match for their sister than they are.

Ben, completely monotone: “I really do care a lot about your sister .”

JoJo’s brother: “My God-given intuition is that you’ve been coached on that answer.”

Nope, but GREAT suggestion!

JoJo’s mom has had so much work done, it hurts just to look at her face. You’d never know they were related if not for that moment when momma drank straight from the wine bottle. That apple did not fall far from the tree.

 

Rose Ceremony

Amanda does not get a rose. She’s like YOU BASTARD I ATE MCDONALD’S FOR YOU!!!!” “If you were having any doubts after my hometown date, it would have been nice if you’d have let me known then, rather then, you know send me back to LA just to send me home at a rose ceremony.” At first, this point made a lot of sense to me, ’cause she’s a mom and you’re pulling her away from her kids.  But then I was like, wait, isn’t Laguna Beach only like 90 minutes away from the Bachelor Mansion? BUT THEN I forgot about the additional hour of LA traffic.

Ben’s like, to be fair, I did foreshadow this would happen in my Bedtime Story ending.

He feels very sad to send Amanda home. But deep down, he just knew that moms never spend the night in the fantasy suite it was the right thing to do.

 

The Bachelor, Episode 7 recap

Welcome back to Ben’s hometown of Warsaw, Indiana.  Ben explains “Denver’s the place I am now, but Warsaw is the place that made me who I am”  Ben doesn’t live in the heart of the Rust Belt anymore, but ‘twould be improper to send the Young Ladies to the heart of the Pot Belt.

After canceling their standing Saturday lunch reservation at the club, Ben meets his parents at a greasy spoon (where Mrs. Higgins wipes down the table with a napkin before sitting). He describes each of his 6 remaining Young Ladies:

  • “There’s a really good side of Becca that I can’t get enough of, but last week I saw a side of her on the group date that was very standoffish.” Speaking of sides, way to tell a one-sided story, Ben. Nothing about how your overt favoritism of a certain blonde stewardess may have caused Becca’s behavior?
  • Ben reveals that he’s more himself around JoJo than anyone else. Oh! Well in that case, it’s over right? Everyone can go home now?  
  • He tells his folks that Emily came here with her identical twin sister, and Papa Higgins lets out a pervy laugh.
  • Last week “wasn’t a great week” with Lauren B because Ben entertained a false rumor spread by Leah.
  • Ben makes sure to mention Caila is like “really scared that she won’t be able to fall in love.” Way to put ’em at ease! 
  • Last, Ben tells them about divorcee Amanda and her two daughters.

Mama Higgins: “Is that something that you’ve ever even…”

Ben: “I haven’t thought about it really.”

Glad to know Ben’s taking this seriously!

To review his parents’ take-away, that’s:

  • 3 shrews
  • 1 nickname Mrs. Higgins doesn’t care for
  • 1 Playboy Bunny
  • 1 Teen Mom

He heads over to escort the Young Ladies to their lakeside airbnb. The women ooh & ahh over how “family oriented” Warsaw is even though they’ve been here all of 45 minutes. With street names like “Country Club Road”, “Country Club Drive” and “Whites Only Lane”, one can only assume.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 10.12.21 AM
Small slice of Warsaw

 

Master Date #1

Ben tells Lauren B she has 30 minutes to get ready. Only 30 minutes? she whines. That’s right, better pencil a smile onto your lip line real quick lest Ben detect you’re in a sour mood! This is the first time that Ben has asked a woman on a date to her face, and the others note how “intimate” that is with jealousy (hear that Harrison? You and the intern with bubble-letter penmanship better step up your date card game).

Ben gives Lauren B the grand tour of the town. Highlights include the high school where he played QB on the football team,  the megachurch that fostered his belief in manifest destiny, and a hotel that used to be a movie theater. That theatre was actually where he had his first hookup, until the town shuttered the  cinema, deeming it a cesspool of delinquent activity  kiss. Bonus points to Ben for obtaining consent with the floozy whom he knew had -GASP- already kissed someone before him.

The last stop is Baker Youth Center, where Ben spent time as a kid and worked as a college graduate struggling to find employment in a recession economy. Today, he and Lauren will volunteer with the kids whose parents signed the release.

Ben gets to kiss Lauren because Ronnie makes the half-court shot. But shouldn’t Ronnie get to kiss Lauren if Ronnie makes the half-court shot?

If the small child wearing an “ARMY” t-shirt while sobbing for no discernible reason in this middle american youth center isn’t some heavy handed Kubrickian symbolism, then IDK WHAT IS.

Master Date #2

JoJo’s date card says “Let’s find love in the Windy City.”  A debate ensues about the meaning behind Chicago’s tagline, since “I mean, it’s windy here.” But Warsaw’s slogan is “The Orthopedic Capital of the World” so GET IT STRAIGHT.

JoJo & Ben take separate cars from Warsaw to Wrigley Field to avoid 2 hours of awkward silence.  They meet up outside the stadium and are greeted by an electronic billboard with a whole lotta personality, cracking jokes like “HEY JOJO, SHOULDN’T YOU BE AT THE GRAMMYS RIGHT NOW? ”

bachelor_cubs
Sassy Electronic Billboard: available for all your roasting needs.

The Chicago Cubs are Ben and his dad’s fave team, so this is a big deal for him. Like, when they saw each other the other day, all Papa Higgins wanted to do was talk Cubs. Let the record show that Ben’s father was more eager to discuss a team that hasn’t won the World Series since 1908 than his own son’s chance at love on The Bachelor.

They change into Mr. & Mrs. Higgins jerseys, which is a great idea for the Cubs themed wedding of Ben’s dreams, but a bit premature for date #2. A “couple plays baseball together” activity ensues, which always seem like an expectation vs reality meme waiting to happen. Flash forward and they’re lying on the grass suggestively while Sassy Electronic Billboard announces “HOME RUN!!!”

Group Date

Caila, Amanda, and Becca compete for the first Hometown date rose.  The foursome rowboats and flies kites–and I’m pretty sure they edited out Caila pulling an Olivia and forcing Ben to be her partner for both activities. 

Eventually they hunker down in an exact replica of the barn where Chris Soules dumped Becca last season– spruced up with different Home Goods knickknacks, of course. Becca is overcome with the strangest sense of déjà vu and heads into her one-on-one frustrated about her first time smoking being New Leah: “I feel like everyone’s getting something I’m not and I’m like what is it gonna take for me to feel that?”

Caila feels insecure about not having “deep roots” because she moved around a lot growing up. “Are you steady enough to stay in one place for a while?” Ben wants to know. “I’ve been molded to be adaptable. I could move a lot, or I couldn’t”–luckily, Caila’s programmers considered technical specifications to support a range of environments.

Amanda’s 1-on-1  The McDonald’s Commercial

McDonald’s has had its eye on a partnership with The Bachelor for some time now. But for a franchise that’s infamous for its innumerable locations and low quality control, it’s all about cherry picking. Cue Ben Higgins and his frozen-in-the-50s hometown, where employees like Patricia somehow smile and make small-talk rather than look dead inside because they have to go on welfare despite working two jobs.

And cue Amanda, the woman McDonald’s cherrypicks for the advertorial date to say YES when Ben asks if she brings her kids here. SEE AMERICA?? MOMS FEED THEIR CHILDREN THIS GARBAGE. In reality, this is a foreign experience for the Cali-based esthetician raising her kids gluten free or whatever pocket lint diet du jour.

After throwing up their meals, they head over to a mobbed carnival where we see some familiar faces like the crying child from Baker Youth Center. Except now, he’s grinning from ear to ear cuz he gets to rock a fringe jacket rather than a t-shirt promoting the military industrial complex.

Master Date #3

Emily’s date card says “home is where the heart is” because she’s meeting Ben’s parents so it looks like they came up with the idea that she’s awful, then boarding a flight home to Vegas.

They boat across the pond to the Higgins’ lakeside property, where Emily makes nervous chitchat. She loves the ducks (Judge Not Lest Ye live in the Mojave Desert, where you just don’t see anatids everyday), her dream is to be an NFL Cheerleader (Denver Broncos would be a great team to cheer for!), she’s mediocre at literally everything (what all future in-laws want to hear), and she loves movies (netflix & chill).

Mama Higgins starts to sob in despair that her son would ever consider Emily for a spouse, while Ben puts Emily back on the boat.  “Where are we going? You’re not taking me home right?” 

Rose Ceremony

Even though Becca implored Ben not to, he eliminates her in an Official Rose Ceremony (or, “blindsides” her as the women call it). Becca insists she feels sad that Ben didn’t want to meet her family, though it’s hard to tell since she can’t use 90% of her facial muscles.

 

The Bachelor, Episode 6 recap

Cocktail Party continued

Emily sobbed incoherently into Ben’s suit jacket, so the women are convinced that he’s pulled Olivia aside to rescind her group date rose and send her packing.  Right, the most polite Bachelor in show-history will break the Cardinal Rule of Etiquette 101 and take back something he gifted one of his Young Ladies.  When pigs are treated in such a way that PETA is obsolete** fly!

“Like when you ask me how things are going in the house, they’re fine–because I can handle everything” Olivia insists. As if being hated by 9 women were akin to being a high school student with a full AP course load, extracurriculars, and making sure nanna takes her medication. Does Olivia LOOK like Matt Saracen to you?

**see Group Date

Rose Ceremony

Jen doesn’t get a rose. She always hated how Olivia pretended to be friends with the women around Ben. It’s like being passed up for promotion by someone who surfs the web whenever the boss isn’t looking me and you and everyone we know.

Despite the dramatic evening, Ben remains optimistic. “As low as some of these points can get, it’s going to lead to a really great life”— is that what we’re calling people reading slanderous rumors about you in the checkout aisle followed by a brief stint on Dancing With The Stars?

Bahamas

The NY Times named Mexico City the #1 place to go in 2016, but the women can’t wait to get the hell out of there and be on their merry way to the Bahamas, a proper romantic destination, and the Times #1 place to go in 1992. Plus, half of last season was filmed in Ireland, so they’re feeling #blessed just to be at the beach instead of an old man pub.

Leah— the most underutilized contestant of the season– has finally been repurposed as the cast gofer. It all started a couple weeks back when Jubilee ordered Leah to interrupt Ben’s alone time with frontrunner Lauren B. Jubilee may be gone, but the women still enjoy the fruits of her people management skills as Leah pops champagne behind the bar counter to serve their 10am breakfast mimosas.

But she’s growing restless, as the help inevitably do. She’s the only woman left not to have had proper alone time with Ben. So when Chris Harrison brings the only 1-on-1 date card of the week and Leah’s name ain’t on it, she loses her shit.

Master Date

When Ben arrives to get Caila for their second 1-on-1 date, Leah still has tears in her eyes as Ben saddles up next to her on the couch sits on her by accident, didn’t see her there!

Ben wants to find out if there’s anything behind Caila’s perma-smile. “I’m guessing you smile just through really tough times. I think in a relationship like, I’m looking for somebody who will like come back and cry with me, cause I’ll probably cry with them.”

tumblr_lqyws5vl311qii6tmo1_400
Ben’s ideal
389952301d52695b49034e7809d36dba
What Ben wants Caila to say

But Caila isn’t ready to show Ben her programmatic modes beyond factory-setting “cheerful.”  Still, she manages to share “I feel like I love you” and “it feels like I’m gonna hurt you” in the same breath. This confuses him, but Caila knows she’s in love because she feels understood, especially when Ben calls her a sex panther.

Back at the house, Lauren H comforts Leah the same way she would a child in her Kindergarten class– she strokes Leah’s hair, wipes her tears, and delivers a bald-faced lie: “Maybe he’s just not sure about her and and he needs more time, but he is sure about you.”

Group Date

JoJo predicts the day will involve some sort of physical activity in the water, so they prepare by wearing sturdy water shoes dressing for Coachella.

They hang out with beach-dwelling pigs and feed them hot dogs, but Ben fails to specify chicken hot dogs. Cuz that would be STANDARD FACTORY FARMING PRACTICE YOU IGNORAMUS disgusting.

220px-tromapigs
Even JoJo’s taco

“When you’re done feeding them go like this [[crosses arms]], they’ll go away from you.”  Ben tries this later with Olivia, but no luck.

After they all go hog-wild, Lauren B and Ben hog the rest of the date, putting the others in a foul mood. Ben can sense the tension: “all of a sudden in the Bahamas, in the most rela– ONE of the most relaxed places in the world [[he corrects himself, remembering Boulder]] everything’s misfiring.”

Fresh off her Mexico City 1-on-1, Lauren H complains to Leah–woman Ben has yet to meet: “I quit my job to come here to have someone not even speak to me because they think other girls are hotter.”

“Dude you are just as hot as them” Leah insists, repaying Lauren H’s white lie from yesterday.

Ben approaches JoJo to kvetch about everyone being a debbie downer over his favoritism of Lauren B, insisting, “ It’s hard for me too, and that’s why I feel so self conscious of it. I really do, like especially today, like I don’t know what the %#$& to do right now.”

Benjamin Higgins. Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

It’s almost sundown and Ben still hasn’t acknowledged Leah’s presence. “Do you want to make your way over there? And say ‘Hey, can I talk to you for a second?’ JoJo offers. MY GOD the handholding Leah requires. Leah begrudgingly obliges.

Ben: “Do you like pigs?”

Leah: “I like pigs. I like to eat pigs.”   SSHHH NOT IN FRONT OF THE PIGS!! Have you any soul??

After Party

Leah advises Ben to beware the woman he has the strongest connection with. Ben does not screen this suggestion for Leah’s biases/own interests– instead runs straight to Lauren B to ask what’s wrong with her.

Ben gives the Group Date rose to Amanda, the woman with the most positive attitude throughout the day lowest bar for how she should be treated by a man.

Hotel Lobby

Leah sneaks out to Ben’s suite to tell the manchild he can’t play with his favorite toy, because that’ll end well.

Meanwhile, the women figure out Leah threw Lauren B under the bus despite denying involvement. Amanda notes “She said ‘I didn’t say your name’– which means what? Like, she said ‘Oh, a blonde girl’? You know like, she might as well have said your name.” Way to read the fine-print, Amanda! Looks like someone was a corporate attorney in her past life.

After telling Leah to GTFO of his sight, Ben bows his head over a glass of red. “I’m praying for some light in this because right now this just feels like a lot of darkness.” Pray all you want Ben– we all heard you use foul language earlier.

2-on-1: Olivia vs Emily

The Rose is tied down to a rock to keep it from blowing away, but tell me a greek tragedy where the protagonist didn’t wind up tied to a rock somewhere. You can’t- there aren’t any. The Bachelor is deep. 

Olivia thinks she’s a shoo-in, but Emily actually has the advantage: two decades of experience avoiding third wheel as the more dominant twin.

Olivia complains she’s going to feel like Emily’s mom on the date. It’s true, Em’s Vegas Mama would so cougar up a 26 y.o dude.

Olivia professes her love to Ben in the same uninterrupted tangent in which she uttered these gems:

I’m very like in tune with my body

Deep intellectual things are just my jam

During Ben’s alone time with Emily, Emily gives a passionate pitch for why he should give their relationship a shot:

I want this to be the turning point of everything for us

I want to be here more than you know, more than I’ve expressed, more than I’ve been able to express

Ultimately, Ben did feel a connection with Emily’s mom, and he’d like to have the option to explore that at hometowns.

Rose Ceremony

Ben cancels the cocktail party and eliminates Lauren H. Farewell my dear. You, your lovely midwestern dialect, and your spray tan will be missed. 

The Bachelor, Episode 5 recap

Ben has a hankering for missionary work, so The Bachelor is about to get international. First stop: Mexico City, “the political and cultural capital of the country” Ben reads off the Wikipedia page. No one even needs to ask which country, so we’re off to a good start. 

Master Date

The date card says “Amanda, let’s put all our eggs in one basket.” Ben has a full day planned at a fertility clinic to see if her reproductive situation is stale. Yeesh Ben, Amanda may already have 2 kids but she’s still only 25. There’s plenty of time before she needs to start freezing ova.

It’s 4:30am and Ben is outside the girls’ hotel suite looking suspiciously lively for that hour. Inspired by the abduction crisis in the country, he breaks into the women’s room before dawn and wakes Amanda up via flashlight to the eyes. She “gets ready” –i.e. was clearly tipped off and applied false eyelashes before bed– while Ben plays Guess Who with the other women, mostly unrecognizable sans makeup and hair extensions.

In the limo, Ben tells Amanda he’s taking her to do something that he’s never done before, and she’s like well then I’ve probably never done it either. WRONG Amanda, you’ve seen an obgyn many a time!

Oh, that’s not what the date is? Ok then.

Ben takes Amanda on a hot air balloon ride over the ruins of Teotihuacan.  Nope, sorry, I prefer my version.

Later, Amanda opens up about her divorce. She found her husband’s burner phone containing texts with ex-girlfriends and tinder hookups. Amanda gave him many chances to change, but he has an addictive personality and couldn’t give up the thrill of swiping right. It’s embarrassing for Amanda to talk about, but Ben responds nicely in his typical  life-coach/motivational speaker way we’ve come to know and love DEAR GOD PLEASE STOP.

Group Date

The date card says “Como se dice ‘this way to a man’s heart‘?” I’m 100% certain the expression is *the* way to a man’s heart, but that’s neither here nor there.

The most frumpty dumpty man in all of Mexico is tasked with teaching the women Spanish so Ben can assess their foreign language competency for missionary work. The women take turns letting Ben tell them “I’m falling in love with you” in Spanish. It’s great prep for when he does his missionary work and inevitably abuses the power imbalance falls in love. None of the women are able to distinguish the language exercise from reality. For most, this means swooning giddily as Ben practices saying romantic things in a romance language. But for Jubilee, this means getting jealous. She’s like, “You said that to the last 4 girls, soo..” Señor Frumpty shouts “EN ESPAÑOL POR FAVOR JUBILEE!” She rolls her eyes: “Ya dijiste la misma cosa a cuatra niñas.”  

Hope the young ladies took good notes, because now they have to read a recipe in Spanish and shop for ingredients at a local market (apparently in Mexico it’s customary to tell the butcher “I want to kiss you” when selecting a pork chop). They’re screwed, but not much more so than if they had to read the recipe in English.

Brother-sister chef team Lula and Nico will judge the cook-off. They instruct the group to pair up because when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together, or something. Ben picks Olivia to be his partner over Jubilee, then wonders why Jubilee is in a less than chipper mood the rest of the day.

Jubilee gets paired with Lauren B, and their dish wins the whole shebang. “This recipe has to be in the restaurant” the chefs declare.  Wait, didn’t you give them the recipe? Never mind.

“If you can cook you’re ready to get married. I’m ready to get married” says Jubilee. QUICK SOMEBODY CANCEL MASTERCHEF JR.

Olivia & Ben don’t fair so well. “We made a duck sandwich and I decided to put some crickets on it” explains Olivia.  Just TRY to tell me she’s not an alien.

After-party

Ben doesn’t think Jubilee enjoyed herself today, even though she JUST said “Today was one of the better group dates. It was awesome winning the cooking competition.” Why the disconnect? Jubilee has a classic case of Resting Bitch Face, but Ben learned in Sunday School that women were put on this Earth to smile at him. They’re doomed.

Ben reaches for Jubilee’s hand, but she’s not comfortable with PDA in front of the others. Plus, a couple hours ago he took a hard pass on being her partner, so maybe he should work harder to earn her affection right now? Jubilee explains “on group dates I always feel overshadowed by like the Lauren Bs and the Beccas and the JoJos” — because incase you hadn’t noticed, Jen, Emily & Leah are just here on borrowed time.

So, what say you Ben?

“I just want to hold your hand Jubilee and you pull away from me. How is that supposed to make ME feel?”

America, I give you rape culture.

Ben sends Jubilee home, then gives Olivia the Group Date rose because they reconnected even though she had been struggling for a while went onstage in lingerie & managed to bonerkill the room.

Master Date #2

Lauren H, human equivalent of a grown-up cabbage patch doll, gets the second 1-on-1 this week. The date card says “Let’s design a life together.” Ben returns to the fertility clinic with Lauren H, but he’s confident her eggs are still fresh. Instead they’ll do some genetic testing and design a boutique Aryan baby using the best of their DNA.

Fine.

Ben takes Lauren H to Pineda Covalin, which looks like every museum gift shop I’ve ever been to (lots of silk scarves) but is actually a fashion haus hacienda. They’re invited to attend the brand’s Fashion Week show. After Mexican Kelly Cutrone sees the American Reality TV contestants are tall, thin, and conventionally attractive, and Lauren H proves she can walk the runway without robot arms (“SOFT ELBOWS MI AMOR”), they are cleared to model for the show.

Backstage, Ben can’t resist the opportunity to life-coach/motivate Lauren H, telling her “There’s nobody here that looks as beautiful as you. There’s nobody here that should be as confident as you.”

giphy (1)
Her?

Not even one of those glamazons with years of modeling experience? 

Cocktail Party

Olivia says Amanda’s life reminds her of watching Teen Mom, but Olivia reminds us of True Life: I was Homeschooled.

Also, Amanda had her kids at ages 22 & 24. So the logical conclusion of Olivia’s Amanda-Teen Mom comparison is that Olivia, age 23, identifies as a teenager.

The Bachelor, Episode 4 recap

The women are forced to wake before 10am despite having been up til the witching hour. Man, being evil is exhausting! Chris Harrison has an announcement: “Ben is no longer in LA.” He allows for a couple beats of silence, the same question racing through everyone’s mind: Did Ben resign his post as The Bachelor after not only NOT seeing his wife in the room last night, but seeing the actual devil?

“He’s moved on to the marriage capital of the world: Vegas”

Flash forward to the women standing on the strip losing their sh*t over an electronic billboard with a “Welcome to Vegas, young ladies” message from Ben. In that moment, Oprah could have given them each a brand new car filled with a year’s supply of bread and they’d be like, kthx Oprah BUT DAT BILLBOARD DOH.

Ben tries to justify taking the women to Adult Disney World: “It’s a place that people *do* get married. It’s a place that people *do* find lo-” Ben, I’m going to have to stop you right there. Rihanna may think you can find love in a hopeless place, but this is pure foolishness.

The women are staying at the luxurious Aria Sky Suites. According to Wikipedia, the Aria Hotel was erected on a former parking lot. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot THEY PAVED THE PARKING LOT AND PUT UP PARADISE.

“I would never, ever stay here if it wasn’t for Ben” says one woman who has only ever stayed at Circus Circus.

“I feel like a baller” says Leah with 100% sincerity, before vanishing for the rest of the episode.

“We can sit here. And do our makeup. And talk about Ben” says Lauren H. aka CAPTAIN OBVIOUS.

Olivia has her eye on the 1-on-1  VIP Passes to see Celine Dion. A line has been drawn: Celine on one side, and Britney on the other. Where do you stand?

Master Date

The date card says “JoJo– you give me reflux set my heart on fire.” Ben’s got a surprise in store: he rented out a parking garage for the day, and they have the entire place to themselves. A Bob-Sagety Ben escorts JoJo to the top floor, where they share champagne at a lone cocktail table on the empty tarmac. A helicopter landing wipes out the entire setup and almost blows JoJo’s blouse off, but she’s more concerned about her hair than a nip-slip.

Later, they talk about JoJo’s past relationship. JoJo has trust issues because she wasn’t the only person involved in “their” life. Interesting choice of pronouns. Could JoJo’s ex be a non-cisgendered person?

Since the empty parking garage didn’t quite produce the reaction he wanted, Ben takes JoJo out to yet another rooftop for his final surprise: a firework display that the rest of the women can also see from their suite. A twin says “I’ve never been able to do that. That’s so extravagant!” I thought all Republicans observed the 4th of July?

Group Date:

Welcome to the Terry Fator theatre. I don’t know who that is, and I don’t have even the slightest bit of FOMO to bother googling it. Terry Fator, you and this segment have stolen 7 minutes of my life that I will never get back.  

The date card said “Show me what you got” so Lauren H. suspects the date could involve Vegas showgirls. She’s praying they don’t have to wear nipple tassels. Lauren H: you were BORN for nipple tassels.

But nope, they are putting on a talent show as the opening act for Terry Fator, which will draw an audience of 1,200 obese americans who need to get a life immediately. Terry cautions: “Vegas audiences are the toughest in the world.” LIES Terry. The fact that you have a career here is proof that the Entertainment Bar is low AF.

Lauren H. steers clear of the racy costumes. She dons a full-body chicken suit while singing “Young Ben Higgins has a mansion, r o s e  ROSE” to the tune of Old MacDonald Had a Farm. GENIUS.

The Twins SLAY with an Irish step dance routine.

Jubilee plays a CELLO solo. Unclear if the Terry Fator stage keeps one on hand, or if she travels with her instrument at all times. Probably the latter given her military training. Preparedness and what not.

Rachel the unemployed one can make balloon animals. Go out there and WERK girl!

Lauren B. who’d worried that she was talentless can JUGGLE. I mean, when you look up talent in the dictionary there is literally a picture of someone juggling. 

Caila hula-dances while Amanda hula-hoops. ALL the hulas are represented here.

Leah can work a pogo stick and Jennifer does something with a racket. EXCELLENT.

And then there’s Olivia. Olivia’s eye is drawn to the twinkling showgirl ensemble on the rack. She has zero plan but to rely on being a thin young white lady popping out of a cake while wearing glitter panties.

What she wanted to look like:

giphy

What she actually looked like:

cape

 

Let this be a lesson to us women: Never go on stage in lingerie without a routine choreographed by a stripper. And Olivia, for god’s sake next time just stick to what you’re good at: reporting on local incidences of petty crime. Don’t quit your day job! Oops, too late…

After party

Between referring to Caila as a “sex panther” and tricking Lauren H. into experimenting with puppet stuff, it’s clear that Ben is feeling frisky tonight. The last thing he wants to deal with is another contrived sob story from Olivia. This time, she seeks affirmation for her godawful talent show performance. “You shouldn’t be embarrassed…it wasn’t bad at all” Ben monotones with a blank expression.  Right at that moment Haley interrupts with the best timed steal of the season. Her twin may have been MVP of the soccer game, but Haley is MVP of this episode.

During Ben’s alone time with Emily, she’s in the midst of telling a real dud of a story when they sense Olivia lurking in the shadows. Ben’s like– NO EMILY PLEASE CONTINUE I REALLY WANT TO HEAR THIS. Soon enough, Ben realizes he’ll have to kiss Olivia’s face to shut her up, so he does himself, and us, a solid.

Lauren B. is falling for Ben but questions if the feeling is reciprocal. “Why would he like me out of all of these girls?” the most conventionally attractive woman in the house ponders aloud. Lauren B. sounds dumb as rocks, so maybe she has a point? NOPE GETS GROUP DATE ROSE.

Master Date #2

Ben is officially ordained to marry in the state of Nevada, and a host of destitute couples have agreed to let The Bachelor do the honors in exchange for a free tux rental, David’s Bridal gown, and $60 marriage licence. His lifelong dream of becoming a mega-church pastor just got more real. Becca gets to watch.

I would like to take this time to remind everyone that it is currently week 4 and Becca would marry Ben TODAY. This is the same girl who made it to the Final 2 with Chris Soules– a man she wouldn’t have said yes to if he asked her to dinner.

Twin-on-1 Date

It’s been 4 weeks and the twins have largely failed to distinguish themselves as unique individuals. Emily’s thumb cast is bound to be removed any day now too, so we’ll really be shit out of luck. The time has come for one of them to go. Ben settles it with a quick eeny meeny and cuts Haley loose in her childhood bedroom, leaving her with mom to pick up the pieces. What a guy!

Rose Ceremony

Ben eliminates Rachel, the unemployed one and Amber, the one who– after doing three straight seasons of The Bachelor franchise in a row–is probably unemployed now too.

 

 

The Bachelor, Episode 3 recap

The episode opens with JoJo and stewardess Lauren B. gossiping about the person whose name is on everyone’s lips: Donald Trump Olivia. Lauren B. has connected with every woman in the house except her. Hear that Olivia? A hostess of the sky says you have no soul. Consider yourself diagnosed. 

Master Date #1

Ben takes Lauren B. to fly in a biplane. Biplanes are known for their stunts, he says, and she’s like yea a lot of people think i’m bi.

They fly directly above bachelor mansion while the women below shake their fists angrily at the heavens. Eventually, the pair lands in a remote location suitable for nuclear experiments. The only infrastructure is a jacuzzi, and Ben tells Lauren “there’s a tree if you want to change.” And it’s like dude you just set up a heated pool in the middle of this H-bomb test site, but you couldn’t arrange for a changing shack? OK fine, she probably wore the swimsuit underneath her daisy-dukes-peasant-top ensemble anyway.

In the hot tub Lauren  reveals “I kind of want to get my pilot’s license”– the natural next step for any flight attendant looking to move up in the industry. Ben immediately leans in to kiss her so she stops talking about her aspirations.

Over dinner, Lauren paints us a picture of her life as a simpleton content just to sit in a yard. But when asked why she’s still single, she replies: “I’m really picky.” At that point it becomes clear that her understanding of “simple” is heavily informed by The Simple Life.

Next, Ben reveals that his dad has heart problems, recalling his recent triple bi-pass surgery. Dad’s OK now but I was taken aback like, wait, isn’t the contestant supposed to supply the sad story?

Group Date

The women arrive at the LA Memorial Coliseum decked out in athleisure. The Group Date isn’t a Lululemon photo-shoot like they’d hoped, but a legitimate sport in Europe & Latin America: soccer. Two players from the US national team offer their much-needed expertise, as none of the women have played before and Lace has never heard of it. One of the Pros notes “I’m surprised how few have foot skills” and Ben’s like, “I’m more interested in the skill sets further up”, while eyeing a woman tittie-bumping a soccer ball.

After some drills, Chris Harrison announces the women are going to be divided into 2 teams that will compete for the opportunity to sit with Ben  each other on a hotel rooftop. Rachel the unemployed one says something really intense about her desire to win: “I REFUSE to go back to the mansion tonight. I’m gonna be there and I refuse to accept anything less.”  In normal sports narratives, a statement like that would foreshadow her impending victory. But on The Bachelor it actually means she’ll be escorted off the premises (in this case, due to a “leg injury”–but still). Leah says blood will be shed on this field, because they’re already cycle sisters after an unprecedented 2 weeks of living together.

Team Stripes designates Lace as their goalie, who doesn’t even know she’s allowed to touch the ball with her hands to make blocks. When will people learn that goalie is NOT a throwaway position? Scratch that– MVP on Team Stars was twin Emily–the goalie– and they lost anyway.

After-party

Olivia interrupts Ben’s post-game pep talk to take him upstairs and feed on his blood. Ben tells Olivia he wouldn’t have given her the first impression rose if he didn’t think she could handle it, like when your 8th grade English teacher assigned To Kill A Mockingbird. Meanwhile, the women use Olivia’s absence as an opportunity to gossip about her body parts. Twin Haley is like, guys, stop picking apart the poor girl’s toes—IT’S HER FAKE BOOBS THAT DESERVE OUR SCRUTINY.

Amber gets her first one-on-one time with Ben, a kiss, and the group date rose in one fell swoop. BUT OLIVIA WON ANYWAY BC WHEN BEN STOOD UP HE LIKE PUSHED OFF ON HER LEG.

Master Date #2

Jubilee has the most–dare I say– jubilant reaction to a one-on-one date card ever. She says it’s the best moment of her life, and it’s like wow this is a woman who was once told she could come home from Afghanistan. But despite her display of excitement, the women don’t think Jubilee is appreciative of this…handout? Here’s why:

Exhibit A: She is Black She has major nerves before the date

Jubilee doubts herself and worries she’ll be socially awkward. Universal human stuff, right? Apparently not! Does Not Compute in a house full of perky. Jami says Jubilee is being “awko taco.” Jami: I’m done with you. Pack your shit and go back to the Degrassi extras break room you came from.

Exhibit B: She is Black She has the audacity to point out her date is 20 minutes late

And the women look at her as if she has two heads. When Ben shows up she jokes about it again, and it’s too much–one woman runs out of the room screaming.

Exhibit C: She is Black She is sarcastic

First, Jubilee deadpans that she’s not excited to go on the date. Then, when she finds out the date involves aircraft, she calls out “does anyone else want to go on my date?”  This is the final straw because–not sure how this is possible but–the rest of the women can’t grasp sarcasm and must all be on the autism spectrum? (That Jenny McCarthy might be onto something after all)

“Why would you even say that?”

“It was like offensive to listen to”

“I would be shocked if Jubilee came back tonight. I just feel really bad for Ben”

IDK guys, Jubilee is “deathly afraid of heights” (her words) so maybe we should cut this WAR VETERAN some slack/show her some goddamn respect?

Then they have their date and it’s lovely. Watching their heart-to-heart over dinner, I cried legitimate tears…TWICE. Just in case the first time was a fluke! OK, so there’s a 95% chance it’s because of the ripped-off Titanic theme song music they had going in the background.

Cocktail party

Ben opens the party with a Real Talk because he lost two people in a plane crash last night. But Olivia didn’t pay attention during his speech. She was in full-on Anchor Woman mode, mentally reviewing her lines to break the story about her cankles–it’s tough without cue cards! She steals Ben first so that she can control the message before he finds out about her cankles from a blog, tearfully spinning her cankles as the hardship that she has to overcome everyday. Ben looks at her blankly, thinking about how Jubilee’s entire family is dead.

No stranger to dealing with death, Jubilee takes Ben aside to comfort him with a massage. Word spreads throughout the house and women gather to gawk/burn crosses. They decide to  intervention Jubilee for—what, exactly? She flees the pitchfork wielding mass and winds up hiding out in the bathroom, shell-shocked. Ben tries to get down to the bottom of the drama because he’s responsible for the emotions & feelings racism in the house. Then Amber goes in and succeeds in making both me and Jubilee sob.

Rose Ceremony

Lace takes herself out of the competition because her tattoo says you have to love yourself before you can truly love someone else. I wish I were embellishing.

Ben takes a strong isolationist stance on international relations and does not offer roses to Russian Shushanna or Canadian Jami. After all, America has to love itself before it can truly love anyone else. 

The Bachelor, Episode 2 recap

Group Date #1

They pull up to “Bachelor High”–a broke LA public school with a cheap location fee. Ben would like the young ladies to compete for the title of his homecoming queen, since SHOCKER all his best memories are from high school. Ben says “If my teachers in high school had looked as good as the women look today, I’d have–” WHOA WHOA WHOA this is a family show!! And, as someone who developed crushes on every 20something teaching assistant she ever had (what up Mr. Bella, Mr. Richter, & Mr. Singh), I assure you: it always ends in tears.

In “science class” vials of mystery chemicals are labeled with Love, Trust, Friendship, and Communication. They have to combine these ingredients to “make Ben’s volcano explo–” OHMYGOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?? And here I was thinking you just need baking soda and vinegar! Jubilee gets stuck with Lace as her lab partner (almost as bad as the time you were paired with the fart kid for the entirety of 10th grade). They lose that round, obviously.

In lunch class (?) they bob for apples out of an unsterilized fish tank. Jackie and Lauren H. finish last because of Jackie’s sensitive gag reflex activated by pond scum water.  Jackie has the energy of a woman with unshaved legs and armpits–in a good way.

In geography, they have to pin the Indiana on the America– but not while blindfolded or disoriented. Easy, right?  Joelle “JoJo,” and Becca flip Indiana horizontally and place it in Pennsylvania’s spot. Buh-bye!

In Gym, enough women have been eliminated by now it actually resembles real PE class, when girls just sat on the bleachers hating their lives rather than participate. The remaining two teams have a free-throw basketball competition. Ben says “this is definitely not like a scene from Hoosiers” and no one understands what the hell he’s even talking about.

Finally, Mandi and Amber duke it out on the track in a hurdling race. Mandi runs barefoot, wins, and gets to wear a Higgins letterman jacket, sash, and tiara all at once. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for a bucket of pig’s blood to be dumped on her face.

Rooftop after-party

Ben and Becca have alone time shooting hoops, because we haven’t watched enough of that today. Jennifer gets a kiss and tells the other women immediately. Lace apologizes to Ben says Ben needs to redeem himself for withholding eye contact from her last night. Jubilee opens up about being a Haitian girl who was adopted at age 6, and all of the sudden I hear the slightest twang of the caribbean in her voice. Following her kiss with Ben, service woman Jubilee keeps her mouth shut and her country proud. Ben takes JoJo to a different part of the roof and that changes her mood from about-to-murder-Lace to over-the-moon. Ben offers JoJo the rose after honorably-mentioning Jubilee for being born in Haiti.

The Master Date

Ben picks Caila for the first 1-on-1, but the date planning is courtesy of Kevin Hart & Ice Cube unpaid interns who grew up in the suburbs. To promote their new movie, Kevin & Ice have arranged the ultimate inexpensive ride along, the definition of which needs immediate clarification since the date was nothing like Training Day. Whether haggling the price of flowers from street peddlers or refusing to go in the liquor store, Caila has a terrified grin plastered to her face throughout the day.  Ben tries to get to know Caila by asking things like her favorite color while Kevin & Ice eavesdrop in the backseat ( it’s yellow, because she’s owning her pan-asianness a cheerful gal). They end up at a discount jacuzzi store for a dip, sipping Andre out of plastic champagne flutes. Kevin  joins them in the buff while a body-conscious Ice Cube doesn’t want to put on a swimsuit. Good times are had by all Caila would like them to leave now.

Group Date #2

At Love Lab Technologies, Dr. Love and his team of quacks will conduct a series of experiments to determine Ben’s physical compatibility with the women. A retinal tracking test determines what pictures draw their eye.  Whose dick pic photo do they look at first between Ben and Sean Lowe? Babies vs Diamonds? Etc. A heat detection test finds out whose eskimo kiss gives Ben the tinglies.

Next, Ben smells each woman while blindfolded and remarks on their odor to humiliate them because pheromones. He’s told to smell “near the reproductive organs” which involves him crouching down to smell their hips from behind.  “Flowery” he says of Twin #1. “Beachy” he remarks about OC mom Amanda. Twin #2 and space alien Olivia get “Fruity” and “Sweet.” So basically, he’s just sampled the entire 2016 lineup of Victoria’s Secret fragrances? These women’s natural odors are so deeply entrenched behind layers upon layers of hygienic product, there’s no way he could detect anything generated by a human. Only one scent could possibly be female: “this one’s more sour” he says, taking a whiff of Samantha, the lawyer with smoker’s voice, while she dies inside.  As for Shushanna the Russian, Ben picked up notes of cabbage– a staple of any Eastern European diet, and the second key ingredient in borscht.

The highest and lowest overall scores are revealed: in last place with a 2.42/10 is Sourpuss. Olivia comes out on top with a 7.45/10, which she rounds up to 7-and-a-half talking about it the rest of the day

Rooftop after-party

Olivia launches into a social darwinism tirade about weeding out the unfit, and the low self-esteem on the roof is palpable. Samantha is like, if Ben gives me the rose we can round up all the science texts in a massive book burn!  Olivia fires back: “if Ben isn’t a believer in science, I’d be concerned.” True, Olivia, but his views on climate change would be a better indicator of backwards thinking than the Love Lab results.

Ben learns more about a few bachelorettes. Shushanna recently immigrated to US with only 2 pairs of shoes, 1 pair of jeans. 2 bottles of vodka, $400, and now she’s a billionaire. Amanda nervously tells Ben she’s a mom, wordvomiting about how the other girls brought pics of their dogs but she didn’t bring any of her children.  

Cocktail Party

Leah is so excited to be here with Ben,  has literally nothing else to contribute. Olivia talks to Ben despite having a rose, announces “I’m done, now everybody have at it” like a ruler of the peasant class. Lace “confronts” Olivia but she’s lost all her edge from Week 1. Our “villain” is now about as intimidating as Ashley S.

Meanwhile, Ben’s trying rull hard to be the nice-guy Bachelor. He darts around the house passing out curated tchotckes to the women to let them know they are special to him. He gifts Lauren B. the stewardess with a print-out photograph of the two of them and explains life before instagram. Vintage! Brandishing a hot glue gun, he tracks down Amanda to make rose barrettes for her daughters because “they’re involved too now.” Ermm ok? Sidenote: Knew Ben was a crafter the moment he got that dead bouquet and liked it, probably used it to make pressed flower art.

Rose Ceremony

Ben is shocked when Lauren “LB,” unexpectedly turns down a rose to go home. He’d never noticed her presence to begin with, so it was like a hi-bye. Amber gets LB’s sloppy-seconds rose.

Jackie, homecoming queen Mandi (*this* is her Carrie moment), and sourpuss Samantha are ELIMINATED. Ben parts ways with Jackie & Mandi with little fanfare. But Samantha gets walked out because of the smelling and everything, which women usually wait to do til date 4 or 5.

Olivia Backlash

When America can sense a woman who dares to have a modicum of an ego, we naturally pounce on the chance to burn that ish to the ground. How’s your confidence now, hot shot? 

 

The Bachelor – Episode 1 recap

We’re back! And The Bachelor is….Ben Z Ben Higgins, the 26 year old Denver-based software salesman. Ben grew up in Warsaw, Poland Indiana.  HE’S FROM THE HEARTLAND AND WANTS A WIFE WITH SMALLTOWN VALUEZ, IN CASE YOU’VE NEVER WATCHED THIS SHOW BEFORE.

Ben insists he’s just your everyday average guy. See look, there he is shooting basketballs at a hoop affixed to a rustic red barn in a pasture. That’s a totally normal thing to do.

Ben drives around his frozen-in-the-’50s town, pointing out the shuttered cinema where something boring happened with a girl, and the one-room school where he still goes back to visit teachers (yea, he’s one of those). Over there is the playground where he used to chase girls–not much has changed! Hey, remember that time they canceled hometown dates on Kaitlyn’s season because she had sex before the fantasy suite? Boy did she miss out!

Ben’s high school bestows him with the honor of Homecoming Grand Marshall , and he’s all, wow never thought I’d be the homecoming king… AGAIN. A lot of people are wearing neon.

Here he is talking to the first contestant– oh wait that’s his mom. Mama Higgins tears up thinking about how she’s been with Papa Higgins for 32 years. All that that time with the same man… sounds awful. Why would she want that for Ben? “She’s gonna be great no matter where you find her” mom chooses her words carefully.  Cuz last time we all checked, this show had a 3% success rate. Her son is more optimistic– “I’ll come back with a smile on my face and a young lady on my arm” he says. Ben’s world is one with only two types of women: young ladies and broads.

Ben arrives at the Bachelor Mansion and shows off his Bachelor makeover, which consists of a Chambray button up and a Fade haircut. Show runners have arranged for him to powwow with Bachelors past: Jason Mesnick– Married with Baby, Sean Lowe– Married, and Chris Soules– Man-Fetus. Ben needs help processing how to kiss different women on the same day. Kissing in front of other women is a No No, Sean warns. Kiss ‘em all, Chris-still-single-Soules enthuses. Jason just wants Ben to show the girls all a good time, even if that means falsely handing out your final rose to the wrong woman–as long as she’s enjoying herself! Sean’s like, don’t rule anyone out too early, I didn’t even meet Catherine till week 6. Jason looks like Chris Kattan.

Getting ready for Night 1, Ben looks like a lil baby puttin’ on his big boy suit. He has a look about him like he already regrets doing this. Chris Harrison says the women have come from all over the world to meet him, and that’s a lieFinally, Chris reminds us of Ben’s insecurity from last season– that he’s unlovable. Let’s meet the women!

By order of limo arrival:

Lauren B., 25, flight attendant, Marina Del Rey, CA

The Stewardess

Lauren’s roots are technically in PDX, but she’s an LAX girl through and through. She offers Ben a pair of wings, like she does with all the 10 year old boys on her flights.

 

Caila, 23, software sales representative, Hudson, OH

The girl who’s watched WAY too many romcoms

This Boston-based cutie met her last bf on a plane, and when they ran into each other two weeks later, she had watched the film Serendipity and developed unreasonable expectations about romance thought it was fate. Then, she dumped him after Ben’s combined 25 minutes of airtime last season gave her butterflies. Now she’s “ready for Fate Part 2!” and kickstarts her destiny by leaping into Ben’s arms, which will NOT look effortless when she watches it back. Can’t wait for all their thrilling shop-talk! 

 

Jennifer, 25, small business owner, Fort Lauderdale, FL

The one who can’t wait to appear in Us Weekly

She makes Ben promise to remember her name, noting “Ben & Jen is too cute to forget” (quite the euphemism for Ben Affleck’s multiple failed relationships, but I digress). He does remember it and must like being bossed. Later, Jen stresses that their morals & values gotta mesh while Ben tries not to stare at her ample decolletage.

 

Jami, 23, bartender, St. Albert, Alberta, Canada

The Bachelorette hopeful

I spy this season’s spitfire Canadian! She no doubt wants to continue the legacy of Jillian and Kaitlyn and be the next Great Northern Bachelorette. Now all she needs is a trademark moment, like Jillian’s hotdog condiment bit or Kaitlyn’s tight seal joke. 

 

Samantha, 26, attorney, New Smyrna Beach, FL

The one with smoker’s voice

Boxers or legal briefs? the recent law school grad asks Ben. She just passed the bar, so I guess it’s not that hard of a test.  Her dad died of ALS when she was in middle school, making her the season’s first contestant with a sad story to tell Ben during a pool party at the right moment.

 

Jubilee, 24, war veteran, Fort Lauderdale, FL

The channel-check heard ’round the world

When Jubilee stepped out of the limo, middle americans thought, Who put on Empire?  Wasn’t Rhonda just talking about ALS? Get used to it ‘murica, looks like Jubilee gets quite a bit of face time this season.  Also, serious question:  is the above use of “war” redundant and implied by “veteran”? Or, since she served in Afghanistan that’s diff from, say, the Carter administration?

 

Amanda, 25, esthetician, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

The mom

She’s only 25, but this divorced mother of 2 has aged herself a decade with preemptive botox treatments. Amanda’s cartoonish/helium voice is a wildcard–as Diablo Cody noted, Whitney Bischoff rode that ish all the way to the barn. Thinking about it now, listening to Bischoff probably just made Soules feel like he was watching Adult Swim.

 

Lace, 25, real estate agent, Denver, CO

The mean girl

Hear that background music get a little more sinister? See that dark haired woman in the witchy black dress? Guard your loins, we have a villain. I repeat, we have a villain. Not to be out-drama’d by no one, after the rose ceremony Lace pulls Ben aside to complain that he didn’t make enough eye contact with her. I can’t comment on the accuracy of the allegation, but I think we can all agree that withholding eye contact is a serious offense.

 

Lauren R., 26, math teacher, Houston, TX

Not anonymous

She led with her social media stalking and was ELIMINATED. Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, you amateur. She had something special to show him inside, and now we may never know what it was probably just have to check her twitter.

 

Shushanna, 27, mathematician, Salt Lake City, UT

The Red Scare

Only spoke russian the entire night. She wore a red dress and Ben thought she looked “like a rose” since he hadn’t met Mandi yet.  But she’s actually just reppin’ her communist motherland. Keep your eye on this one and her leftist agenda.

 

Leah, 25, event planner, Denver, CO

The one who lifted her dress to hike a football

As a football loving event planner,  Leah literally and figuratively runs in heels. She’s only 25 and already getting tattoos laser removed, according to her q&a. Man, this group may be young, but they’re old at heart.

 

Joelle “JoJo,” 24, real estate developer, Dallas, TX

The one with the comeback music career 

She wore a unicorn head because finding love on The Bachelor is as improbable as the existence of unicorns! Or maybe just incase Ben is a brony?

 

Lauren H., 25, kindergarten teacher, Ann Arbor, MI

Never a bride

Lauren H. kept a dead flower bouquet that she caught at a wedding “lee-ast weekend” (gotta love that midwestern flat A) and presented it to Ben as he backed away slowly seemed to actually like it? We have a match!

 

Laura, 24, account executive, Louisville, KY

The ginger

Laura tells Ben to call her “Red Velvet” and is ELIMINATED. She probably dug her own grave by playing sidekick to Lace the entire night. But guys, redhead life is no joke. Once, while waiting in line to vote–as in, fulfill my duty as a citizen VOTE, like cast my ballot in an election– I was approached by a polling STAFF PERSON and asked if it’s true that redhead drapes match the curtains. Moving right along.

 

Mandi, 28, dentist, Portland, OR

The “weird” one

Mandi wore a giant red rose headpiece, which, paired with a Calvin Klein-y white dress, looked kind of avant garde and great? Mandi invites Ben to “pollinate” the flower and the inuendo is completely lost on him. The other women decide they hate her for being “weird.” She is a dentist and looks in Ben’s mouth with her tools to check for gingivitis. That was weird, but the women are more perturbed by the rose gimmick. If anyone is weird because of a headpiece I’m gonna have to go with unicorn head. 

 

Emily and Haley, 22, twins, Las Vegas, NV

The Twins

Turns out your 10 year old self was right: twinhood is a perpetual state of mic-drop. This pair doesn’t need a career–Twins is a lifestyle. They prance around, ride a tandem bike, and roller blade holding hands while wearing matching, sparkly outfits. It’s all very ‘90s MK & Ashley. Ben tries to assess the situation: “See you inside…Do we get to talk together or separately?” i.e.,  is this a 2-for-1 deal? “Both” they chirp in unison. Later, they repurpose their pitch for first timers at the bunny ranch (“it’s not weird for us and we don’t want it to be weird for you”) and assure Ben they like, NEVER date the same guy. But then insist “you can’t not like it.”

 

Maegan, 30, cowgirl, Weatherford, TX

The one with the mini horse

Cowgirl is like, Twins? I raise you a Mini Horse. Maegan keeps Hughy in the backyard as her barbeque companion, soo guessing that means they hang out A LOT.   Inside, Hughy beelines to Samantha and starts trotting all over her dress because lawyers are awful. Maegan is ELIMINATED because Ben can’t compete with Hughy. Plus, her face is kinda leathery- downside of that cowgirl life.

 

Breanne, 30, nutritional therapist, Seattle, WA

The gluten nazi

Breanne bounces up happily with a picnic basket brimming with baguettes a la Belle from Beauty & the Beast. But wait, she *doesnt* eat gluten because it’s SATAN.  Then she starts giving the breadsticks curb jobs. Ben still has a minor case of ptsd from the violence against carbs, so it comes as no surprise that she was ELIMINATED. Please–banning bread from the midwestern table? How could he ever have that conversation with mom?

 

Isabel “Izzy,” 24, graphic designer, Branford, CT

The one wearing jammies

She wore an outer-space themed onesie to ask if Ben is “the onesie” for her…and never changed out of it? ELIMINATED. Also, Josephine “Joey” Potter called and would like her face back. Dawson called too and would like his Peter Pan-syndrome back.

 

Rachel, 23, unemployed, Little Rock, AR

The young lady of leisure

Rachel arrives riding a hoverboard, which seems like the modern day equivalent of having your own chauffeur.

 

Jessica, 23, accountant, Boca Raton, FL

The Jewess

Her profession and locale strongly suggest she could belong to a certain ethno-religious group. But according to her bio she has a tattoo and likes country music? Need www.jewornotjew.com to address this immediately. At one point Ben takes a stab at her name: “Jessic..?” Because emphasizing the first syllable and trailing off for the rest apparently passes for remembering a woman’s name. ELIMINATED.

 

Tiara, 26, chicken enthusiast, Redmond, WA

The next “I married a horse”

Tiara is an enthusiast of live chickens and keeps several as pets/friends/life partners? Tiara has framed photos of her chickens and a framed photo of Ben, and stares at them like she’s actually deciding between poultry and a human man. She’s never been apart from her chickadees for longer than 10 days and anticipates serious separation anxiety–for absolutely no reason because she was obviously ELIMINATED.

 

Lauren “LB,” 23, fashion buyer, Stillwater, OK

The Lauren Conrad wannabe

She eschews a gown and opts for a short cocktail dress, just like LC did for her prom in 2004.

 

Jackie, 23, gerontologist, San Francisco, CA

The one with a Vistaprint account

She made Ben a Save the Date for the final episode with his and her name scratched off with a prettier girl’s name she met in the limo on it. Ben thought it was smooth, because one man’s desperate is another man’s smooth.

 

Olivia, 23, news anchor, Austin, TX

Heidi Klum crossed with an alien

Ben gives his first impression rose to the last girl off the limo, which suggests a short attention span. Olivia walked away from a full-time ameezing job cuz Ben is wErTh eT. The best part of her job was going to high schools because she got to relive her heyday by subtly making teenage girls feel bad about themselves give back.

 

Amber, 30, bartender, Chicago, IL

Third time’s a charm

Yay! Amber baby is back again, marking her third stint in The Bachelor franchise. And even if this recycling of a black girl from season to season means white folks need gradual exposure to warm up to minorities, like the way you would introduce a new kitten to an adult cat…I’LL TAKE IT. Girl looks good.

 

Becca, 26, chiropractic assistant, San Diego, CA

Human Ambien

Boo! Becca is back. Because she provided such thrilling entertainment her first go around? I won’t fault the girl for not being able to fake it with Chris Soules–only a true master manipulator like Whitney Bischoff could pull that off. But I will fault her for making my eyelids feel heavy every time I saw her face.

 

The Cocktail Party

So, Ben’s just met dozens of eligible women who are all waiting for him inside. He does what any responsible adult man would do– calls dad from the driveway of the houseparty to let him know the address and landline number of where he is and what time he’ll be home. RIP, Kaitlyn’s season.

The Bachelorette – Finale

Meet Kaitlyn’s Family
First up: Nick. He’s cool as a cucumber until he learns that Kaitlyn’s already briefed her parents, step-parents, and sister about that time they had pre-fantasy suite sex. Perpetual grudge holder Andi Dorfman tweets:

But Leslie, Mike, Kathy, Rob, and Hailey don’t so much as bat an eye when Kaitlyn divulges her “off camera time” with Nick. The big reaction, rather, comes when Kaitlyn informs everyone that her final 2 guys hate each other with the fire of a thousand suns.

Hate is a 4 letter word in Canada

Bottom line: They don’t give a crap about their 30 year old adult daughter’s sex life. That’s just the common-sense Canadian approach to sex. These are people who equip high schools with daycare so that teen parents can graduate ( I know this from years of Degrassi). Plus, Kaitlyn’s mom is like Paula Abdul crossed with Babbette from Gilmore Girls–she’d never question her daughter’s right to enjoy a steamy night with a hunk. And did anyone actually notice the father figures in Kaitlyn’s life? Not exactly men who serve as the gatekeeper to Kaitlyn’s sexuality.

Approximation of Kaitlyn’s step dad Rob and father Mike.
There’s no denying that Cameron Tucker is Rob’ style icon.

Nick has to convince Kaitlyn’s family that he’s not the arrogant prick they remember from Andi’s season. Shawn has to convince Kaitlyn’s family that he’s not the jealous prick Kaitlyn described him to be.

“Look, she went through 25 other guys–and don’t get me wrong–she realllly went through ’em. Bang bang bang one after the other. But I’m still here. We’re stronger because of it.”

Kaitlyn sets the bar so low for Shawn that her parents are ultimately blown away by him. No way would Leslie gush about how articulate he is unless she’d been prepped for a bumbling idiot.

Last Dates

After spending the day on a boat, Nick presents Kaitlyn with a photo of the two of them and a poem. I wonder how much bad poetry this show has inspired?

Kaitlyn takes Shawn to a vineyard and it’s awkward because no one likes being second to Kaitlyn’s wine.  It’s so bad that he’s rethinking his relationship with Kaitlyn for the millionth time, questioning whether to propose tomorrow despite telling her parents he’d never been more sure of anything in his life. Don’t know about you but that’s the exact thought process I want to have the night before I get engaged.

Kaitlyn is concerned about Shawn’s jealousy emerging when he watches the show. Shawn responds with the most bald-faced lie ever told: that he’ll call Kaitlyn up to LoL about her making out with Joe. Ha! Joe is probably dead now. Shawn murdered Joe.

Shawn presents Kaitlyn with a memory jar that he threw together after wasting a full day going down a pinterest rabbit hole.

Kaitlyn is in love with Nick but loves the way that Shawn makes her feel–like a girl who ended up with a guy like Shawn.

The Final Rose 

We are back at the mansion because this season was a wash and Kaitlyn requests 25 new guys, please and thank you.

Let’s review: NYC in the dead of winter, San Antonio, Ireland, no hometown dates, and now Kaitlyn has to get engaged at the booze & tear soaked structure we call the Bachelor Mansion?

“I’ve had such a fancy season. Charli XCX sings about being in the fast lane from LA to San Antonio, right?”

Someone decided the swimming pool would provide just the right ambiance. You can light that sucker up with all the blue mood lighting you want, but it’s still the same pool where Ryan M almost drowned in a drunken stupor on the very first night. Memories.

First out of the limo is…drum-roll please…oh right, that snapchat kind of completely ruined this, didn’t it?

Nick approaches Kaitlyn and girl is frigid. She couldn’t have kept her hands to herself any more if a nun was on the prowl at a Catholic school dance.

plenty of room for the holy spirit

Which leads me to my next concern. Does Nick just not pick up on social cues?

this face is not a face that wants you to propose

Or, forget social cues–signs from the universe/god? Adding to the sense of doom is a rabbid dog barking in the near distance and a creaky floorboard rigged exactly on Nick’s mark (animal control and a handyman seem to have taken care of everything in time for the real proposal).

Despite Kaitlyn’s cold body language & facial expression of dread, the very real potential of rabies, and standing on a the equivalent of a wooden whoopee cushion, Nick goes through his entire proposal speech. Kaitlyn only cuts him off when he’s clearly about to get down on one knee. She’s not stringing anyone along though, she just needed to take it that far to decide. Like, his hand had to reach for the ring for her to really know he wasn’t the one.

Nick was blindsided because last season Andi had the decency to end it before he even picked out a ring. So when Neil Lane shows up that morning he assumes Kaitlyn has chosen him over Shawn.  Mr. Lane, however, is well aware Nick ain’t the one since he brought the mock display case of cubic zirconia rings. Would your business model include lending out thousands worth in diamonds to a dead man walking?

ring toss
Didn’t think so.

After The Final Rose: Kaitlyn & Nick

The phrase “pre-existing relationship” is used repeatedly to refer to the fact that Kaitlyn and Nick sexted before ever meeting in person when he joined midway through the season. But what grounds substantiate such a relationship? Well, as per the Affordable Care Act it is illegal for an insurance company to deny membership due to a pre-existing condition. Similarly, any person with a pre-existing relationship with the bachelor or bachelorette may not be denied cast membership. I know, Obamacare just got very real.

Nick & Shawn still playing the mirror game

These guys:

Now
Then

Kaitlyn & Shawn

The happy couple make their first non-accidental & fully clothed public appearance.

What’s next for these two? Now that it’s out there, they just want to go to Starbucks Dunkin’ Donuts like any regular New England couple (welcome to the CT way of life, Kaitlyn).

This union was destiny–Shawn recalls watching Chris Soules break up with Kaitlyn last season and sending the following text to his pals:

That Shawn thought to draw a heart on Kaitlyn’s face rather than a dick, that right there my friends, is love.