FIRST OF ALL, I would like to sincerely apologize for bringing this update to you so late in the week. Unfortunately, real life responsibilities got in the way and made it difficult for me to work on this recap until the early morning hours to have this gossip ready for our Wednesday rendez-vous. I hope this won’t happen much more often in the few weeks we have left together. So let’s get to it, shall we?
We start right where we left off, in the middle of a tense rose ceremony after Ben pulls Olivia aside for a talk. This, as you’ll recall, is immediately after an intense evening in which the Ladies spend a significant amount of time warning Ben that Olivia is not here for the Right Reasons. Ben’s decision to pull Olivia aside makes us wonder if this will be the first time that the Bachelor sends a Lady home after having already given her a rose. Emily is especially nervous because she led the Olivia Call-Out bandwagon, and fears her courage may now backfire. As Ben returns to the ceremony with Olivia’s smug face in arm, this feels like an eminent possibility. But! Emily survives yet another round and ultimately, it is Jennifer who gets the axe. “He doesn’t know who I am, and that’s what sucks the most,” says Jennifer, in what turns out to be the most words the producers let her have this entire season.
After dumping Jennifer back in LA, our skeleton crew — Jojo, FuckingBecca, Emily “Twin,” EvilOlivia, Amanda, Caila, Lauren B., Lauren “Yawn” H., and Leah — ships off to the Bahamas for a much needed vacation from this vacation. Once the Ladies are settled in on paradise island our Saint Bearer of Perpetually Bad News, Chris Harrison, makes an appearance to announce that this week will consist of one single date, one group date, and the dreaded two-on-one date.
Most of the Ladies have had a one-on-one date with Ben,which is really the only way to enjoy Ben uninterrupted. Missing from this list, however, is Emily, Leah, and Olivia. It is thus a surprise for everyone to hear that the name on the first Bahamas date card is Caila’s, who was already the first to ever go on a one-on-one date with Ben … albeit along with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube.
Leah in particular is CRUSHED by the news. “What am I doing here? There’s no reason I should be here,” she wonders aloud as though reading our thoughts. And to add insult to injury, Leah must bear Ben’s presence next to her on the sofa when he gleefully shows up to the Ladies’ suite to pick up Caila.
While Leah is crying at home, Ben is having a grand ol’ time fishing with Caila and being super handsy and grabby on their little boat. The chemistry is strong in these ones. After swimming and playing all day, Ben wants to get to “know all the layers that make up who she is,” and spends most of dinner coaxing Caila to open up and “be vulnerable.” Caila semi chides him for expecting her to be able to do that on the drop of a dime, like a Barbie robot of sorts (paraphrasing mine) when she’s not in fact ready to cry on his shoulder. But then, things get weird as Caila keeps talking. She feels like she loves him but that she can’t open up and that maybe she won’t be able to fall in love completely and that her greatest fear is breaking Ben’s heart and that maybe she’s not ready and that it feels like she’s going to hurt him but that she is ready to find someone and to find love. It’s a lot of words. And if they mostly made little sense to you, rest assured that you are not alone. The moment feels like Caila is reading for a role on Grey’s Anatomy ,and we do not mean that as a compliment.
But Ben, who is contractually obligated to follow his heart at all times, shoves all of the Red Flags out of the way. Carla’s confusion, he decides, passes his authenticity test. And more than that, it is attractive in a challenging/possibly-setting-yourself-up-for-failure type of way. When he hands her a rose, Caila is just as surprised as we are. But Ben feels happy that there is some complexity below Caila’s exhaustingly sunny persona, and marks this date as the beginning of a real relationship. In conclusion: men are strange.
Hog Date, Run to the Ground
The card for the group date makes clear that the two-on-one date is reserved for Emily versus Olivia. Sounds like an unfair match in light of Olivia’s rose supremacy … but more on that the later. The rest of the Ladies, excluding Caila, join Ben on a boat and sail to an undisclosed location. They come upon a small desert island as the Ladies wonder what awaits them. “There’s a pig in the water!” screams one of them, pointing at the buoyant animals circling the boat. That’s right: little, and large, and medium, pink and black, adorable hairy pigs paddling through the clear Caribbean waters.
The air brims with excitement as some Ladies squeal in fear of the pigs aggressively pursuing the hot dog snacks brought along for the feeding, while others cradle the smaller beasts like the babies with which they wish Ben would impregnate them. It’s all fun and games until the Ladies witness an impromptu moment of intimacy between Ben and Lauren B. as they hold hands and kiss. Instantly, the mood of the date turns somber and the Ladies icier. Oddly, Ben seeks validation from Jojo who basically tells him know that it’s really fucking hard out here for a G. dating the same man as a bunch of other Gs.
Making things even more awkward, Leah decides to confront Ben for not giving her the time of day and essentially making her feel like a “group date groupie.” Ben asks her to Please just make the most out of the day, without even making an effort to affirm that he’s still interested in her. Overall, the answer is as satisfying as being patted on the knee after telling a man “I love you” for the first time. Not great, Ben. #TeamLeah.
In the evening, Ben is still feeling self-conscious from his herd turning on him earlier. Thankfully, there is not a shortage of Ladies willing to make him feel better about himself for making them uncomfortable earlier. But one of these Ladies is not like the other. Leah, being the only one on the group date to not have spent a whole day alone with Ben, has officially launched mission Stay Or Die Tryin’. When Leah pulls Ben aside, we find ourselves rooting for her, hoping she’ll be assertive about demanding time with him but also that she will feel the spark she believes led them both to leave Denver only to meet in this ridiculous context.Much to our chagrin, however, Leah opts instead for the poison pill. The woman with whom Ben has the strongest connection (“Lauren B.,” Leah says explicitly) is not who she claims to be. Specifically, Leah implies that Lauren B. is different in the house than in front of Ben.
As the former finishes planting her seeds of doubt, Lauren B. interrupts to have a chat with Ben, having no idea what just happened. Poor thing is completely blindsided when Ben mentions what was brought to his attention, and remains shaken for the rest of the night as she realizes that this coup may very well jeopardize her relationship. Meanwhile, Leah straight up Lies that she hasn’t said anything to Ben. Literally, Leah sits down all casual and asks, “What happened?” when she sees the Ladies consoling Lauren B. Later, Leah even adds, “I would never be the type of person to single somebody out like yo, Lauren B. or whatever.”
After all this drama, Ben gives the group rose to Amanda and goes hoe to rest, in preparation of a stressful two-on-one date the next day. Back at the house, Lauren B., Amanda, and Emily cross examine Leah’s vague-ass responses on the group date from the comfort of a shared bed. Together, they come to the conclusion that Leah was indeed a lying liar who threw Lauren B. under the bus out of her jealousy and insecurity. Little do they know that at that very moment, Leah is transitioning to phase two of her grand master plan: ex parte communications with Ben.
Leah sneaks out of the house and knocks on Ben’s door. Now seems like a good time to use that time to seduce Ben and make sure to build enough of a romantic connection to survive one more week. As Leah unveils the dets of her master plan, to “make sure that he believes and believes that she’s not right for him,” it becomes apparent that our Coloradan is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Why would Ben be excited to have one ore negative, potentially upsetting, conversation after an already confrontational group date, you ask? “Don’t know, don’t care!” responds Leah’s misguided little inside voice.
Ben opens his door, offers Leah some wine, and seems eager to hear whatever she has to say. Too bad that mostly consists of doubling down on talking shit about Lauren B. in the hopes of convincing Ben to send her home.
Fortunately, this tragically backfires as Ben concludes that someone who would go out of their way to see him alone only to talk about someone else probz isn’t a good fit for him. And just like that, Ben sends her on her merry way, back to Denver, middle of the night. Somehow, this outcome is shocking to our Leah who in the end still feels like Ben missed out on getting to know her. It’s almost as though she feels no remorse for taking an arguably unethical approach to winning Ben’s heart, and also has forgotten that her entire scheme was captured on a camera roll somewhere. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, bee-bee. #NotTeamLeah.
2 Become 1
“Two women, one rose. One stays, one goes.” Finallyyyyyy, it’s time for the two on one! Battle of the Titanettes: Venus v. Serena; Tanya Harding v. Nancy Kerrigan; Olivia v. Emily. After getting the first impression rose and too many group roses to count after that, Olivia is rightfully going in very confident. How do we know? Well, she tells us matter-of-factly, “Ben and I’s love is that all consuming, ever-present, constantly growing kind of love, and I don’t need to prove anything to Ben.”
Emily on the other hand started the season being more reserved while Twin was still on board. An, in addition to having received significantly less validation than Olivia, Emily feels the pressure of being the one to rid the house of the only other person worse than Leah.
As Ben pulls Olivia aside first, Emily predicts that Olivia is being her typical self: braggy, self-absorbed, inauthentic. It seems like she’s onto something as Olivia spends twenty minutes talking about herself before sort of abruptly telling Ben that she’s in love with him. Ben smiles and tells her that he’s thankful that she still told him all this in spite of the tensions of the previous weeks, but leaves it at that. Olivia leaves the conversation on cloud 9, convinced that Ben wants someone serious and that she is coming home with the rose that night.
A few minutes later, Ben pulls Emily aside. Her focus is on letting him know that she’s still in it and that she wants Ben in her life to experience new things with her, blah blah blah. There’s a cutesy moment where Ben fixes her hair and tells her that he’s very excited to get to know her too, and see the side her mom described to him back on Dump HaleyTwin Day. After that conversation, Ben then grabs the rose and asks Olivia to accompany him on a walk. Emily stays behind to ponder her bleak fate and wrestle the worst of the Love Feels alone on the beach: disappointment, heartbreak, anger, confusion, All The Things.
But, twist! Ben tells Olivia he can’t reciprocate the feelings of love she admitted to and that he cannot give her this rose. It’s a magical moment as Ben walks away from Olivia, and Emily realizes that he is coming back with the rose and that it is Fucking Hers.
The camera zooms out to let us appreciate the view: Olivia watching her claimed future husband board a boat with Emily from the other side of the beach, while she stands on the little island alone and crying as Texan God intended.
A Tale of Two Laurens
After a harrowing week, Ben cancels the cocktail party, probz because having to reassure a zillion women at once all the time is incredibly stressful and exhausting, especially if you already know which one needs to go home. Ben is pretty pretty prettyyy sure his mind is made up and that the person to send home is a Lauren.
After a dramatic pause, holing the last rose with two Laurens left, Ben hands the good to the B. Lauren and walks the H. Lauren out to the dreaded limo. After a pretty solid date in Mexico the previous week, Lauren H. is understandably taken aback by the send home and feels unclear on what Ben is looking for, she tells us through the tears. In his defense though, Ben probably doesn’t know what Ben is looking for! Anyhow, Lauren H. is super bummed to not be able to make a relationship work ever and we just want to give her a cookie and tell her that in the grand scheme of things, she’s only 25 and should propz just chill and enjoy the beautiful ride of life.
And thus ends week 6! The rest of the season looks EXCITING as it becomes clear that Ben H. is going to fuck up in a major way by proposing to someone and then taking it back, before calling another woman on the phone. I’m upset to admit that it sounds to me like FuckingBecca and her Virgin Mystique is going to be the one BUT on the other hand, The Bachelor is notorious for its misleading preview montages. So, who knows what the future holds beside Chris Harrison?! NO ONE is whom. All we can do is keep our commitment to watching this thing through its bitter end. Til next week, bee-bees.