Week 8: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner!

Greetings, bee-bees!

Welcome to the homestretch, with four girls left and at most two episodes left. Hopefully, you survived Week 7 without a recap. All you need to know is that Emily, occupation:”Twin,” was politely sent home after meeting Momma and Papa Higgins who were none too impressed by her youthful attitude. It was the end of the road too for boring ass Becca was sent, whose maiden vagina remained the most interesting thing about her even seven episodes in. This brings us to Week Eight  and my second-to-favorite leg of this never-ending magical journey after Fantasy Suite week: The Hometowns. This time around, Ben H. will be meeting the families of Amanda, Lauren, Caila, and JoJo.


We start near the ocean in Laguna Beach, which is the only possible someone who looks like Amanda can legally come from, I think. Someone drops off Amanda’s two little girls who are so freaking adorable my uterus could die. Ben is super patient and seems to genuinely enjoy playing with them, as Amanda’s eyes light up with admiration and hope. Thankfully, playtime wears them out and it’s back to birth control time as we witness the flip side of parenting: weepy children crying in the backseat all the way home. Amanda is in her element though and puts her toddler right to sleep much faster than tthe previous episode’s preview montage suggests (we see you, Chris Harrison, you shady shady bat!)

lemme tell you, i LIVE for those silver sandals! #werk

Amanda’s family is super welcoming and asks all the question one might expect of a gentleman entering the life of a young mother, and express so worry that he may not be ready for all this baby jelly. Ben doesn’t give too much away but says he’s open to the whole thing. The rest of the day goes smoothly and Amanda bids him farewell, feeling pretty top-notch about her chances of falling in love and snagging a baby stepdaddy.

Next in line to welcome Ben home is Lauren B., the flight attendant from Portland, Oregon. So far, Ben’s done pretty well with choosing Ladies from hometowns that aren’t a drag to visit (and I says this having grown up in Reno, Nevada so–). Lauren takes him to downtown and shows him one of the city’s “Keep Portland Weird” signs, which for some reason Ben finds hilarious. Oh my gash, someone please blow Ben’s mind and tell him that there’s like an entire show about it! Just kidding. We all know Ben has not befriended enough hipsters to get the jokes. Lauren takes Ben to some food trucks and later to a whiskey library that looks like a perfect place to make out.

spoiler alert: it is.

Lauren’s family is just as you would expect: wholesome, welcoming, worried, white. Mom encourages Lauren to go ahead and fall in love while Dad and Sister are a little more skeptical about the speed at which Lauren is catching feelings. But! By the end of the night, all seem taken in our Bachelor’s light and Ben saunters away, his mission of earning the family approval once more accomplished.

Though one can always pray for a life never requiring one to fly into Ohio, sometimes life hands you lemons, and when it does you may have to meet some Lady in Hudson, Ohio. Such was the case for Ben H. this week as he readied himself to meet Caila’s family. The date began with Caila and Ben designing their dream dollhouse and then going into her daddy’s toy factory (EVERYTHING ABOUT CAILA MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW) to actually build one. Ben is super stoked by the original date and says something expected about seeing himself build a house to inhabit with the woman he once described as a sex panther.

Then, it’s off to meet the family: Caila’s dad who looks like he could be running a  Presbyterian church on the side, Caila’s mom, and her little brother. Caila’s mom makes a delicious-looking Pinoy feast while her dad makes an interesting comment about how different it is to be married into a Filipino family. It sounds like he enjoys it but it’s hard to tell without further elaboration. Honestly, Ben looks like he could use a little diversity in his life so it’s probably  great thing that Caila has a mixed background. Although her dad warns her about going too fast — a theme this week but also, honestly, with every single hometown date ever —  the parents are pretty into Ben. Caila tries to muster the courage to tell Ben she’s falling in love with him but in the end, flounders. Let she who has not chickened out of being vulnerable and saying I Luh You first, cast the first stone!

Last but not least, Ben meets up with Jojo in Dallas, that bastion of cultural … just kidding. Dallas is the worst, but here we are anyhow. Jojo returns to her condo to find a bouquet of red roses awaiting her at the door, along with the thick envelope. She sits on her sofa and opens up the letter, giddy with excitement and awe at the sweet gesture. A few paragraphs in, however, Jojo comes to the awkward realization that the letter is actually from her cheating ex. The cameras continue rolling mercilessly as Jojo tries to sort out her feelings before Ben arrives. She calls the ex on loudspeaker and (we think, because the cameras sort of cut off here) tells him that there’s no chance in Texan Hell she’ll get back together with him.  Ben knocks on the door and finds her a bit  more frazzled and less happy-go-lucky the would have ben his preference. Jojo tells him about what just happened and reassures him that they are still good. Hard to tell how much of it Ben buys but he’s here now, so the date should probz go on.

They arrive at Jojo’s home where they are greeted by her parents, her two brothers — one of which is really sucking hot, lez be real here — and her sister, whom you will not see mentioned after this sentence because we never see her again. Jojo’s dad looks really sweet, kind of like a train conductor in a children’s book, although he is actually a poop doctor. Her mom encourages her to go for it and not hold back.  On the other hand, Jojo’s super-protective brothers  aren’t so sold on Ben’s sweet-chile act. Ben the Hottest One and Matt the Second Hottest One feel like Ben doesn’t seem as invested in Jojo as she is in him. And after pressing Ben to elaborate on his feelings and the fact that he could love her after only two one-on-one dates, the brothers conclude that Ben is giving them canned answers.

prognosis on getting a bro-se from these guys: not great.

This may, for realsies, be the most uncomfortable hometown on The Bachelor to date. As for Ben, the more openly suspicious the brothers appear, the more closed off and tongue-tied he becomes, which only exacerbates the lack of chemistry between them. Jojo picks up on her brothers’ coolness to Ben and just prays at this point that they haven’t ruined her chances at Fantasy Suite week. Ben leaves on this note, tail between his legs on so many levels, to mull over the upcoming rose ceremony.

Ben meets the court Ladies back at Bachelor Mansion with three roses on the table next to him. Everyone is appropriately overdressed for the occasion, except for Caila who looks like she picked up the first dress she found on the sales rack at Urban Outfitters. For this reason alone, we should lobby Ben to send her home. Alas, Caila survives yet another day in the Mansion along with Lauren B. and, by some miracle, Jojo. Indeed, the glimpse into Amanda’s life may have proved a tad too real for Ben H. Amanda exits gracefully but does make the point to ask why the fuck Ben would bring her back to LA to dump when he could have just told her in Laguna Beach instead of taking her away from her kids one last fucking time (okayyy the latter part, she omits, but the subtext is clear as day).

ugh boyz are dum

High five, gurl. But also low five, because you’re sad and alone and wondering if you’ll ever be able to find a man who can complete your family 😦

And just so, we end up right back where we started, in LA, though not for long as The Bachelor promises Jamaica for Fantasy Suites week. ‘Til then, stay warm!

Week 5: !Bienvenido a Mexico!

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This week, we send our most dysfunctional polyamorous sample across the border to Mexico City. I’ll just be happy if we can get through this whole episode without a culturally insensitive slip of the tongue, but according to last week’s previews there is plenty else to look forward to. Let’s see if Chris Harrison can deliver on the promise of Drama.TM


 

Up Up Up

Even though Olivia’s “gut” tells her that the one-on-one date belongs in her cold little clammy hands, it is with Amanda that Ben would like to “put all his eggs in one basket,” as says the card. The shock this news brings to Olivia is a delight to every viewer on this scorched planet. In Olivia’s view, if Ben is the insurance company then Amanda’s adorable children are the pre-existing conditions: non-starters. And,unfortunately for everyone involved, this setback means Olivia will work harder to Git That Rose this week.

200_sWe soon learn one of Ben’s traits must be gullibility because someone has convinced him that it would be “fun” and “clever” to barge into the Ladies’ common suite at 4:30 in the AM, to see them in their most vulnerable splendor: sans weave, makeup free, con retainer. Or as some like to call it, Fucking Fifth Base DUDE. Thankfully, sunrise Amanda looks like a radiant baby angel as she rolls out of bed effortlessly, leaving some of the other Ladies awake for more hours to spend more hours than usual ruminating the odds that their friend will survive her date (with a rose, not literal death).

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reason #25312749 to never go on reality tv

Ben and Amanda take a hot air balloon ride over Teotihuacan before being dropped into a romantic little meadow where all the birdies and colorful butterflies can surround Amanda like she’s always deserved. This is also her chance to tell Ben her back story, which here involves marrying a very selfish person who partied his way through their short marriage and cheated on her throughout, before she decided to leave  with her two children. Amanda’s baggage is mostly the shame she feels re: divorcing, which is a pretty small baggage in the grand scheme of baggagey things. Ben can get behind that. Plus, it’s refreshing that Amanda has lived through hard times, heartbreak, and marriage: a combo that will do wonders for a person’s maturity and toughness. Okay he doesn’t say that exactly but, like, it’s in his eyes. If anything is clear, it is that Amanda could be a darn good fit for someone with a great sense of loyalty and some Savior Syndrome tendencies like, maybe, I dunno, definitely Ben. One rose for the Lady!

The Way to a Man’s Corazon

Our streak of luck continues as Olivia’s gut proves less accurate than an MSNBC straw poll. The next one-on-one is reserved for Lauren H. Until then, consolation group date! Ben invites Jojo, Jubilee, Leah, Jennifer, Lauren B., Emily, Caila, Becca, and (HAHA) Olivia, to come take an Español as a Second Language class. Jubilee struggles to get her jelly feel under control in the midst of nine other Ladies, while Olivia revels in the opportunities the group date presents to publicly perform Forced Emotional Intimacy at Ben in front of her competition.

Hypercool brother-sister-chef duo Nico and Lula (like, seriously, how are their names even cooler than everything?!) welcome the Ladies at a lively open air market. There, Nico and Lula explain that the Ladies will have to put their dual language skills into practice by shopping for several ingredients in Spanish in order to put together the delicious recipes the chefs will hand them.

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olivia, ben, becca’s hair-why(?), jojo, emily, jubilee, lauren b., jennifer

But there’s a twist! They must work in pairs. As it becomes clear that Ben is walking either toward Lauren B. or Jubilee, Olivia brands him as her partner like he is cattle from her home state of Texas. Our conciliatory boyfriend and associate girlfriends reluctantly give in to avoid prolonging the ensuing awkwardness. Props to Olivia, it’s an incredibly shrewd way to turn this already fun activity into a mini one-on-one date, while fucking with the other Ladies’ heads. All it takes is for Olivia to feed Ben some crickets or to throw her head back in delighted laughter at the right moment, within sight of the other Ladies, for the damage to be done.

If the other ladies seem more adept than Jubilee at hiding just how shitty watching Olivia makes them feel (extra credit to Jojo), it’s because they are. As we long ago unilaterally decided, Jube is way too real for this shit reality. Unfortunately, her inability to summon smiles and giggles fast enough does not go unnoticed by Ben. But more on that later – dundundundun. At the lunch table, chefs Nico and Lula judge each team’s each dish. By then, everyone has loosened up and enjoys the present moment. Mindfulness:1 ; TheBachelor franchise: 0.

The bragging rights for best execution goes to Lauren B. and Jubilee, which cheers the latter right up! Good, we says to ourselves, just in time for the evening portion of the date. Not surprisingly though, it opens with Olivia doing That Thing she does where Ben has barely finished his welcoming speech before she drags him away for her hourly dose of validation.

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Although ordinarily we doubt this would shake much in the dynamics of the evening, this was the night Jubilee intended to grab Ben first. After her missed opportunity, Jube’s mood faces a death spiral. Unaware Ben, meanwhile, comes and goes from the cocktail party, grabbing a different Lady from Jubilee several times over and not thinking much of it. He’s out with Lauren the longest, as he takes her into the street for a short romantic stroll where the two kiss passionately several times. By this time, Jube has gone from stewing and hurting to bad-decisions-Pissed-Off. When Ben comes to grab her from some alone time at last, Jubilee refuses to hold his hand, in front of the whole school of Ladies.
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All … downhill … from here. Jubilee opens with her feels, which are insecure and dark tonight (like, maybe, other nights also). For normal human beings, it is okay to have many “off” nights with one’s boyfriend. In the Bachelor, we think that high count may be at two. Three if your name is Olivia. The questions Ben asks Jube at this point sound more like an exit interview prequel than Caring, but this detail sees to escape Jubilee as she continues to unload. When she asks him if he still sees a future for them, he says he’s just not that confident. Ben even looks a twee angry when he asks her how he’s supposed to feel when she refuses his hand in front of a group. Oh. Noowwww Jubilee realizes that she done effed it up. With the balance of power having this quickly shifted, Jubilee begs him to not give up on her, to give them another chance, to pretend she’s pulling back.

Jubilee tells him that she wants him to still see something in them to which our boyfriend answers: “As hard as it is … and as incredible as it’s been …” And just so, the writing’s on the wall. It’s goodbye to Jubilee, right here in the garden, on the goddamn group date. Like many before her, our last remaining melanin-blessed Lady must sail into the night, along with our dashed hopes of a Black Bachelorette next season. But not before leaving us with the most haunting words as she cries into her newly single hands, “I’m like the most unlovable person in the world right now.”

the-bachelor_video_2735400_362x204_1454373290597This is pretty sober and it sure feels like the episode should end right here, with us processing the fact that this cut-throat path to finding Love is just not right for the Laces and Jubilees of this world (you go take care of your souls, bee-bees! find yourselves some nice partners who can devote the many hours your needs and neuroses deserve).

But this is The Bachelor and the show must go on, starting with Jojo strangely congratulating (?) Ben for breaking up with people “so well.” This touches easily-touched Ben, who then gratefully grants her the last kiss of the group date. When Ben sits back down, it’s time for business. After scooping the group rose off the table, Ben tells us, “I’m going this rose to somebody that I reconnected with; somebody that, I think, had struggled for a while.”

Is it going to Emily whom he is separated from his twin, in front of their mom, the week before? Is it going to Lauren B., with whom he clearly felt a real sense a intimacy just an hour earlier? Is it Jojo, who just worked so hard there is still a trace of brown up her nose? NOPE. NOPENOPENOPE. It’s fucking Olivia, because guess what: there is no God, there is no justice, only “mission accomplished” banners waived by Texas’ worst. And so, the group date ends. Should have named this episode recap: The Blindside.

Lauren à La Mode

Lauren H. (that’s the goofy one) (also the one who thought Jubilee wouldn’t jive with the “soccer mom crowd”) is going on her first one-on-one date with Ben! After rehearsing for a few minutes surrounded by pro models, Ben and Lauren are put into make up, gorgeous clothes, and sent to stalk down the Mexico City fashion week runway with Very Serious faces and gorgeous Pineda Covelin clothes. Seriously, Lauren H.’s boring freakout is worth getting through just to get a peek of the stunning designs!

LAUREN H., BEN HIGGINS

While Lauren’s friends back at the  Mexico City Four Seasons seem skeptical that she’ll will be getting a rose, Lauren is holding it down at dinner and actually opening up. Ben was uncertain there was substance to her because girlfriend is so relentlessly happy and giddy. lauren-himle-1His perspective changes when she reveals that her boyfriend of four years dumped her out of the blue, after cheating on her with three different women including one of her friends. To the sound of piano piano, Lauren says that happiness was a choice for her, a way to do hold on to herself, blah blah blah. It’s actually really touching and a great advice for anyone who’s ever been destroyed by love. Makes total sense when Ben hands her that rose, inviting her to continue on his Epic Journey to Find Love.

Rose Cere—

For the first time in the history of this season, Ben is allowed to complete his welcome speech without the interruption of a Desperada trying to secure her place in Ben’s rose-studded heart. While Ben is talking to one Lady or another at this cocktail party, the camera rolls over to a conversation in which Amanda is discussing a weird dream she had that might have been engendered by some anxiety over her ex picking up her children from her mom’s this week. To which Olivia (for a split moment having forgotten said cameras were said rolling) responds with no light behind her eyes: “I feel like it’s an Episode of Teen Mom. Well you know that show … like—”

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Not that Amanda should have to explain this to an adult woman, but it is an incredibly offensive thing to say. At once, Olivia remembers that her mic is hot, and that this episode will air. She apologizes, leans in and, through Highly-Suspicious tear microdroplets: “I want you guys to know, like, I’m gonna try harder from here on out.” I don’t speak much Spanish but it sounds a lot like Please Don’t Tell Ben What I Just Said.

This is Emily’s breaking point. Carrying her torch of Keeping It Real, Emily goes to find Ben. When it is time to stand in her truths, however, Emily becomes emotional and teary-eyed and annoying (to me). One wouldn’t think it was this hard to tell the man he has sacrificed enough of his group date roses to the Spawn of Satan once and for all. Yet here we are. In fact, Emily takes so damn long in getting the words out that it is impossible to tell just how much she gets out before Olivia strategically interjects with a fucking ring “gag gift.” Hmm. Savage. Also, we’re just mad we didn’t think of it first.

Ok. I’m gonna skip over the part where Emily calls her twin over the phone while UGLY-CRYING  because: NO. Despite Olivia’s best efforts though, Ben’s curiosity is peaked and the man uses his one-on-one time with the other women to do a little due diligence. Soon, Chris Harrison comes back to call the cocktail night to a end. EXCEPT. Ben throws us in for a loop and asks to talk to Olivia alone before the rose ceremony commences, leaving us with all these questions and so little time to figure it out!

Holy Bat-meme!

EMILY YOU ARE GROWN BE GROWN

Does Ben’s gut function better than Olivia’s? Will a rose given on a group date be revoked before the rose ceremony? Specifically Olivia’s rose? Or will he give her One More Chance?
Whatever the answers, promise the collective Ladies’ tears, prepare to be disappointed to your ore.

And on that bright note, farewell til next week. Same time same place!

 

 

Week 3: Queen Bees

For those of us who watch this show semi-ironically, part of the franchise’s charm lies in its predictability and unthwartable phoniness. Its contestants are seldom complicated and its dates almost never surprising unless something goes awry.


The token Interesting girls, like Ashley S. last season (left) and PortlandMandi this season (right), are usually so “out there” that the adjective just becomes a pejorative qualifier. For whatever reason, their kookiness is played up so hard for the cameras that it is a short slip from cute-but-entirely-unrelatable to straight-up-insufferable. The Bachelor tends to feel the same, and it is rare for Interesting to make it past the third or fourth week on the show.

The second category of Interesting women are the Alphas, which you’ll recall as the women who strut the house with the confidence of whatever popular senior girl intimidated and probably hated you the most in high school. There can only be one or two per season because any higher number would inevitably  lead to an internal collapse of relations in the Bachelor Mansion and we need these women to make it a few weeks. A common trait of the Alphas is their unhealthy sense of possession and jealousy, which usually has escalated to full blown villainism by the time the Bachelor sends her home.

With Interesting choices like these, the show sets us up to root for the vanilla candidates. All of sudden, the colorless crowd looks more and more attractive. We concede to cheer for them, despite the fact that their two Excitement Meter settings are 0 and 100. We ignore the crying, which mostly revolves around The Bachelor or some middle-to-low-grade hardship being recounted in a show of vulnerability that will pass as depth. We make peace with the fact that the Bachelor Bot who will get the final rose will likely have a high-pitched voice, a dainty laugh, All-American teeth, and no professional aspirations to speak of as those departed with whatever limo dropped her off here. And that it is okay because for the most part, the Bachelors themselves are vanillamen who would struggle with more complicated women anyway. It just is what it is and the best we can hope for is that the producers will engender enough  romance though these comically grandiose dates, and drama among the women, to last fourteen more years.

Of course, their job becomes easier as the season goes on. The contestants eventually let their guards down and begin to experience romantic feelings that make it harder to suppress their vulnerabilities and less savory personality traits before the Bachelor, each other, and naturally the cameras rolling around them. Accordingly, the best drama builds upon weeks of pent-up resentment and anxiety. Cliques form and a villain — whose contempt usually well earns the status — is coronated, after which time it becomes acceptable to exercise social control, or in our case spit outright vitriol, in order to put her back in her place to protect The Bachelor’s heart. 203d7eef3e63961365b3ddca6755af86

Tonight, though, we skip ALL the steps and allow things to get real real and real dirty. If I have learned anything from having found myself bawling for five minutes straight while watching this week’s episode, it is that I was Not Ready and that watching this show this late in my menstrual cycle is never a good idea.  Let us now trace back how we got there.

Stuff White People Like: Little Propeller Planes

The day starts with all the women restlessly waiting for Ben to summon them to him. Each appears to be whining about how difficult this process is until Chris Harrison rescues us from this dullness to drop off the one-on-one date card. Lauren B, the flight attendant, is the chosen one. Ben picks her up in a gorgeous convertible, which appears to be his thing this season. Good for you, Ben. You go ahead and milk ABC for all its worth. They drive up to a patch of dirt where a yellow, single-propeller plane takes them up to the clouds and over the Pacific Ocean, which sounds a nice way to die to me. But Lauren B and Ben have a blast, and also the audacity to fly over the  Bachelor Mansion and wave at the women who Very Much know who is in that plane. plane-crashAfter this rather cruel stunt, the love birds cuddle up in a hot tub erected somewhere in the middle of the desert. Then Lauren B and Ben go to dinner where Lauren says she’d love to have kids so she can give them a life that was as easy as hers. Leaving his date’s privilege unchecked (I kid I kid) Ben gives her a rose and takes her to a personal concert where some lady who might be famous sings The Country. This feels like deja vu because it is! Ben planned this exact date with Caila except instead of an intimate plane ride, Caila had to settle for aging B-lister actors Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, whose time to be fair probably cost as much as renting that little plane.

Sock Her

Speaking of Caila, the stir-crazy is setting in. Little Miss Sunshine has a breakdown as the rules of the game “just hit” her and bring her to tears. It is hard to stop our eyes from collectively rolling to the back of our heads because this show has been on air since Caila was in the Sixth Grade, so How Is Any of It A Gahtdamb Surprise.

The card arrives for the group date. Amanda, EmilyHailey, Jennifer, Shoshanna, Leah, Amber, Lauren H, Olivia, Jami, Rachel, and Lace, are called to join Ben. Oh, and World Cup soccer champions Alex Morgan and Kelly O’Hara. The pros run the girls through some drills and divide them in two teams, for the first time splitting the twins into individual women. The MVP of the game actually turns out to be itty bitty Emily twin, who stops hella balls as the goalie for the Stars team. The girls are playing super aggressively and Ben comes alive at the sight of such passion. Literally, the man is clapping and jumping and maniacally laughing on the sidelines. This is super refreshing to see and also very attractive because it turns out the stick up his arse is in fact removable. Ultimately the Stripes team takes the win, which unfortunately means EvilOlivia gets to go on the rest of the group date. Rachel goes home injured and the best shot of the night is tiny little mathematician Shoshanna carrying her like into the house like a boss.

AMBER, LEAH, HALEY, LACE, OLIVIA, JAMI, BEN HIGGINS

On some hotel rooftop, Ben congratulates the winning Stripes team over drinks. Before he is done with his welcome speech, EvilOlivia steals him and takes him to one of the hotel rooms from where she waves at the girls because she is The Worst. The girls retaliate by making fun of her fat toes behind her back, a gossip that Jami faithfully runs back to EvilOlivia as soon as she returns downstairs. The latter takes the dig comically personally (“What were they making fun of? My ankles? My cankles?”). No, not the cankles. Just the toes. So helpful, Jami. Ultimately, Ben decides to give the group rose to Amber and EvilOlivia reads way too much into the fact that he taps her thigh as he gets up from the sofa at the end of the night. While this is a perfectly normal interaction to dissect in the safe space of Girlfriends Who Care About You, we note that it is definitely NOT okay to discuss into the camera that will replay your obsessive commentary before thousands of judgy betches like me.

Back at the house, Jubilee is stressing out because this means the one-on-one date will go to FuckingBecca, JoJo, or her. Because the other two girls are really nice and the I’m always happy type, our girl is convinced — rightfully so — that Ben will gravitate towards them and never be attracted to her.  “He has a type, but it’s not me at all,” Jubilee says in tears, to Jojo who quietly acquiesces like that card will definitely have her name on it. This is part one of us all pretending that Jubilee is also not referring to her expectation that Ben will inevitably end up with a not-Interesting white girl. By the time the next one-on-one card arrives, Jubilee’s pretty much given up. That is, until her name is called! SURPRISE!

Queen JuBeelee

Ben arrives in the Bachelor Mansion living room and casually asks, “What time is it right now?”

“You know, just twenty minutes late,” Jubilee answers. It’s a joke, although Ben probably is late. The girls, who are still here at this point, laugh tensely in the background.

Cue Jami — one of the other two light skinned girls on the show — who in her side interview, mimics Jubilee with an emphasis on a neck roll that was not actually a thing. Jami makes sure to adopt a sort of African-American accent in doing her imitation, which is also not really Jubilee’s accent. What am I saying? Did one Black girl stereotype another in an effort to ridicule her just because her sarcasm rubbed her the wrong way? Yes. Shady as fuck. But it gets better.

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jami is the worst

Over the sound of helicopter blades, Ben invites Jubilee to come outside as their ride touches down in front of the Bachelor Mansion. Jubilee is deathly afraid of heights, and turns around to say to no one in particular, “Does anyone want my date?!”

It’s clearly another joke, followed by some light laughter, although the level of earnestness on Jojo’s face as her arm shoots up is a bit disconcerting. After Ben and Jubilee fly away, Caila decides that Jubilee is not appreciative enough of her date and that it won’t go well. Jami declares it “was offensive to listen to,” while Amber decides it was just disrespectful.

“I would be shocked if Jubilee came home tonight. I just feel really bad for ben that he has to sit in that little box in the sky until it’s over,” says Caila with a saccharine smile. Didn’t take very long for this one’s claws to come out.

Jubilee and Ben touch down into a gorgeous health spa nestled in the hills. They start eating and Jubilee spits out her caviar with so little grace that it cracks up Ben. He relaxes too and when it comes up, Ben is surprised that she would be surprised to get the one-on-one date.  There is a lot of unspoken communication here, but I’m pretty sure Ben’s face says, “Nah I like Black girls too, furreal-furreal.”

Their date looks really fun and natural. Ben is not scared off by her sense of humor [while they’re playing, she says, “I’m not playing, white boy,” and also later definitely makes a joke about his big dick? At which he laughs both times. Adorbz]. She calls him out on the fake-ass laughs he serves throughout the season but is excited to see him laugh genuinely on their date. How much life is Jubilee giving me right now? ALL of the life. ALL of it. Then they supremely make out and it’s perfect. Shout out to all my awkward Black girls; this one’s for us.

Over dinner, things get more serious and Jubilee tells Ben that she is the only surviving member of her family and that she has not gone back to Haiti, but that she hopes to with someone special because it’s too much to go back alone. Jubilee and I are crying because this is really fucking real and sad and someone thing I would not wish even on Ted Cruz. Because the game’s the game, Ben must interrupt the moment to give her a rose but for after that they resume kissing and hugging and it’s good that Ben can do that for her because I just want to reach through my screen and hug her and be her surrogate mom even though Jubilee was successfully adopted a while back.

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so many FEELS

The next morning, everyone is Shocked to see that Jubilee has come home. All of them are clutching their pearls. Lauren H “knows that Ben wants a wife who will be friends with all the other soccer mooooms,” which I will try to not read much into but cannot help but feel like there’s a wee bit of bias sprinkled in that statement. Everyone is flabbergasted that Ben can see a future with Jubilee and thus decide to punish her through a round of isolation. “There’s so much tension in the room,” says Amber to the cameras, before she returns to talk shit about Jubilee (who they’ve inexplicably christened Queen Bee) with other women.

Rose & Toes

The rose ceremony opens as grimly as the previous day ended. Ben announces that a couple of family friends died in a plane crash the previous night, and so he finds himself in a rather somber mood. This will be an interesting test, methinks.

“Can I graaaaab you?” EvilOlivia asks, which will be our first chance to see what this woman is made of. Will she ask how Ben is holding up? Will she try to cheer him up or let him vent? No. In true villain art form, EvilOlivia decides that this moment is the right one for her to open with a conversation about her legs, which she allegedly hates all the way down. “People have written blogs, that I have cankles …”  she says, fighting back the tears, “I try to be strong all the time. It’s the scariest thing ever.” Ben tried to give some fucks but in his interview reveals that in that moment, fucks-to-have have departed his body (he says this much more nicely, obvi.). In short, EvilOlivia’s inability to Comfort and makes things not about herself rubs him the wrong way.

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“toes, toes, toes, me me me” – EvilOlivia

Inside the house, the women seem unable to talk themselves down from the irrational haterade they have built against Jubilee while they were punishing her all day. We catch one maddening shot of the gang-up dynamics when Jubilee joins JoJo and Caila in the kitchen, while Ben is busy with other women outside. Instantly, Jojo leaves to “get some lipgloss or something” in a classic Mean Girl move.

But Jubilee, not giving no shits, moves right along and joins Ben outside where the producers have she has set up a massage table to help him relax. The other girls flip their shit, upset that Jubilee would dare take up Ben’s time since she already has a rose. The idea that she might be doing something nice for him does not even cross their little bird brains, so eager are they to swoop in and interrupt. Jami does just that with so much attitude that I literally palmed her face through my phone. AmberAlert decides that it was so rude and so disrespectful for Jubilee to come up with this brilliant idea first. She stalks to the next room to get secluded Jubilee off the couch for a Girl Talk, which I’m pretty sure is code for a one sided dressdown.

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mean girls: emilyhailey, jamie, lace, amber

Shockingly, Jubilee says thanks but no thanks, and so AmberAlert decides she will instead bring the girls to Jubilee who she deems to be acting like a Queen Bee for refusing to be confronted like that. This gang-up is happening if it’s the last fucking thing AmberAlert is doing on this show! Jubilee, who continues to channel my inner self, literally runs away to the bathroom and hides. AmberAlert mimics Jubilee shrug-off to the other girls with, again, an unnecessary  neck roll. Second light skinned girl to do this shady shit where she tries to make an angry Black woman out of a Black woman who is not actually being confrontational.

The whole thing backfires, thankfully, because Ben ends up giving Jubilee more attention as a direct result of AmberAlert’s shenanigans. He huddles up with her in the bathroom to console her and soon enough AmberAlert joins too, but only to tell off a crying Jubilee in front of Ben. She accuses Jubilee of being insensitive when she left for her date the day before and also for not being “grateful.” AmberAlert basically tells Jubilee to toughen up as the girl continues to cry because let’s be real, when you start, that shit is hard to pull back in. Ben tells AmberAlert that he likes that Jubilee doesn’t walk on eggshells and that he likes her little jokes and then they hug sweetly in front of steaming AmberAlert. Pretty sure he regrets giving the latter a rose.

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Lace pulls Ben aside and does the most adult thing she’s done all season by sending herself home to work on her feelings and thoughts, which she has a lot of. Good luck with all that, bee-bee! It ‘s really touching, even as she quotes her own tattoo through her tears “you can’t love others until you love yourself” — Lace) and Ben returns to start the rose ceremony. Nothing to write home about, except for the fact that EvilOlivia gets the last rose. The eternal hopeful and over-confident gal appears to take it as a good sign though, a last-but-first kinda thing, rather than punishment for discussing her fucking toes while the man was grieving. Lesson learned: none. Shoshanna and Jami, who you’ll recall is a terrible human being, are sent home. I hope Jami remains single for longer than she wishes and honestly, send no good vibes to her.


I am excited to see how far Jubilee will go though! And to see EvilOlivia have a meltdown next week, per the previews. On this note, good night and good luck to us all. See you in week 4 of this ginormous waste of our collective times.

 

Welcome to Season XX of Never Giving Up on Love!

Hello bee-bee birds, and WELCOME to the 20th season of The Bachelor!

What a time to be alive. To think that it was first in the spring of my eighth grade that our impeccably coiffed, gesture-enthusiastic, suspiciously supportive, and suspiciously ageless host Chris Harrison first successfully coaxed us into embarking with his chosen ones on a quest to find the One True LoveTM with whom to Accomplish Marriage.TM


 

Frankly, it would not surprise me if the only things to survive the apocalypse were cockroaches, my aunt M’s FarmVille requests, and the goddamn Bachelor franchise.

Indeed, for half of my lifetime, Chris Harrison has been sending dozens of bright eyed, mostly white, mostly beautiful, and entirely youthful people — so, clearly the most deserving of romantic love in this world — on epic adventures around the globe with the goal of conjuring intimacy and very real ratings. And lemme tell you: I. FUCKING. LOVE. IT. In a time of winter hiatuses, The Bachelor’s return is, as I have called it elsewhere, the most wonderful time of the year. It is the Aslan comeback to Narnia; it is Jon Snow’s face on Game of Thrones’s season 6 poster; hell, it is Jon Snow’s face on like literally anything.

Over the course of those fourteen years of inspirational television, the most photogenic and least gainfully employed of our love hopefuls have found eternal fame (insofar as the Internet never forgets) on ABC’s B-lister fueled Dancing with the Stars, while many more have graced the pages of the Bachelor’s paper of record, People Magazine.

Season 18’s Bachelor, Chris Soules, jiving with a different blonde Whitney from the blonde Whitney to whom he proposed and with whom he later broke up. Source: Perez Hilton/ABC.

More importantly though, a stunning 16 percent of our couples have made it to that sweet spot between Forever After and The Rest of Our Lives. Oh yeah, go ahead and chuckle. But that’s a pretty darn good track record for a bunch of folks who knew each other for like twelve weeks tops before getting engaged, much of which time they spent secluded from their actual lives, friends, families,  therapists, and anyone else who might remind them that seriously, we are living long enough now so there’s really little reason to rush into a matrimonial endeavor. Okay, except maybe for insurance, which I guess might be a real concern here considering how many of these contestants quit their jobs to find love. But I digress. My point is that  our little statistic is plenty cause to celebrate and never give up on our dreams!

And to usher us into just that, slash to also pretend there is now a purpose to the numerous hours I will devote to this season, I am taking my first foray into the recapping world. Many of you — okay, two — have asked me whether this means you will not have to watch The Bachelor. The answer is yes! I will do my best to keep you abreast of the juiciest parts of the show, while making you feel superior for not wasting your time on such frivolities, while secretly hoping I do a good enough job to have you come back week after week until you feel so invested in the finale you find yourself shamefully emailing your friends to see if anyone would up for “watching this stupid thing together or whatever.” Which, of course, means this entire blog will be crawling with spoilers. Therefore,  those of you who are fellow watchers should enter at your own risk and peril.

Got it?

Great!

Oh, and one more thing. Although I anticipate this blog will get little traction and therefore few comments (manageable expectations y’alls), I still gotta set just-in-case comment rules.

Accordingly, note that this is 100% a space to be cynical, and judgy, and catty, and petty, and shady AF. Basically, you be you. Only, the version of you that does not make sexist or transphobic comments. Like, for you reals. Don’t do it, beebee-birds!

tumblr_m2pkuslh811qcmcji

Alright, alright, alright. Enough talking about talking. Without further ado, let the Recap Games begin!

 

 

Hello bee-bee birds, and WELCOME to the 20th season of The Bachelor!

What a time to be alive. To think that it was first in the spring of my eighth grade that our impeccably-coiffed, gesture-enthusiastic, suspiciously-supportive, ageless host Chris Harrison first successfully coaxed us into embarking with his chosen ones on a quest to find the One True LoveTM with whom to Accomplish Marriage.TM


Frankly, it would not surprise me if the only things to survive the apocalypse were cockroaches, my aunt M’s FarmVille requests, and the goddamn Bachelor franchise.

Indeed, for half of my lifetime, Chris Harrison has been sending dozens of bright eyed, mostly white, mostly beautiful, and entirely youthful people — so, clearly the most deserving of romantic love in this world — on epic adventures around the globe with the goal of conjuring intimacy and very real ratings. And lemme tell you: I. FUCKING. LOVE. IT. In a time of winter hiatuses, The Bachelor’s return is, as I have called it elsewhere, the most wonderful time of the year. It is the Aslan comeback to Narnia; it is Jon Snow’s face on Game of Thrones’s season 6 poster; it is Jon Snow’s face on like literally anything.

Over the course of those fourteen years of inspirational television, the most photogenic and least gainfully employed of our love hopefuls have found eternal fame (insofar as the Internet never forgets) on ABC’s B-lister fueled Dancing with the Stars, while many more have graced the pages of the Bachelor’s paper of record, People Magazine.

Season 18’s Bachelor, Chris Soules, jiving with a different blonde Whitney from the blonde Whitney to whom he proposed and with whom he later broke up. Source: Perez Hilton/ABC.

More importantly though, a stunning 16 percent of our couples have made it to that sweet spot between Forever After and The Rest of Our Lives. Oh yeah, go ahead and chuckle. But that’s a pretty darn good track record for a bunch of folks who knew each other for like twelve weeks tops before getting engaged, much of which time they spent secluded from their actual lives, friends, families,  therapists, and anyone else who might remind them that seriously, we are living long enough now so there’s really little reason to rush into a matrimonial endeavor. Okay, except maybe for insurance, which I guess might be a real concern here considering how many of these contestants quit their jobs to find love. But I digress. My point is that  our little statistic is plenty cause to celebrate and never give up on our dreams!

And to usher us into just that, slash to also pretend there is now a purpose to the numerous hours I will devote to this season, I am taking my first foray into the recapping world. Many of you — okay, two — have asked me whether this means you will not have to watch The Bachelor. The answer is yes! I will do my best to keep you abreast of the juiciest parts of the show, while making you feel superior for not wasting your time on such frivolities, while secretly hoping I do a good enough job to have come back week after week until you feel so invested in the finale you find yourself shamefully emailing your friends to see if anyone would up for “watching this stupid thing together or whatever.” Which, of course, means this entire blog will be crawling with spoilers. Therefore,  those of you who are fellow watchers should enter at your own risk and peril.

Got it?

Great!

Oh, and one more thing. Although I anticipate this blog will get little traction and therefore few comments (manageable expectations y’alls), I still gotta set just-in-case comment rules.

Accordingly, note that this is 100% a space to be cynical, and judgy, and catty, and petty, and shady AF. Basically, you be you. Only, the version of you that does not make sexist or transphobic comments. Like, for you reals. Don’t do it, beebee-birds!

tumblr_m2pkuslh811qcmcji

Alright, alright, alright. Enough talking about talking. Without further ado, let the Recap Games begin!