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 1. Pt. 2: Twennyfai Shades of Crazy

Best Limo Ride Ever!

The twenty five ladies who will compete for Ben’s heart have finally descended upon Southern California on this balmy night. Hope you enjoyed that limo ride, Ladies! It is probably the last time you will ride one on this show without crying uncontrollably 🙂

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Lauren B.

Okay, here we go. First, there is Lauren B. the flight attendant with an exciting life who is “so s
ingle, it’s so sad!” Lauren is gorgeous though so her version of so-single-so-sad is probably slightly more upbeat than mine. In any event, Lauren gives Ben little pilot wings, which is a cute and normal appetizer for the evening.

Next up is Caila, a software sales rep whose aura reads like a small ball of sunshine wrapped in larger ball of sunshine. Something tells me this woman is the right kind of romantic for this endeavor — hopeless — while also having a fun personality. Although she’s been wrong on love before (as in, shcaila-225x150_ce thought her last boyfriend was her Fate until she saw Ben come out of the limo on TV, and then promptly dumped said boyfriend), Caila is still stoked to see what Fate part 2 had in store for her. And with that she leaps right into Ben’s arms like the tiny jubilant butterfly person she is, in a way that is not available to us girls over the 5 ft 5″ threshold.

Now, before I introduce you Jubilee, our first MagicalBlackGirl, we need to talk about race just a little bit. Traditionally, the Bachelor franchise include 2-4 Black contestants to appease the masses and give the Bachelor or Bachelorette the opportunity to at least look like they would consider marrying a person of color. The three to five weeks in, we turn around and realize the Rose Rapture snatched up all the Black people when we weren’t paying attention. The show’s been going on long enough that we should know the drill. Any Black contestant who thinks they have a shot at being or winning the heart of the Bachelor(ette) or better yet make it past episode five, probably also still hasn’t accepted that Tupac is in fact DEAD and definitely not living in Mexico.

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You see, Ian from Season 19 had three things standing in the way of his Bachelor candidacy: (1) he was an insufferable asshole; (2) he was an insufferable  asshole; and (3) he was Black.

rs_634x1024-151207095412-634-jubilee-bachelor-ch-120715But Jubilee may just have the determination to turn this statistical boat around, folks. This army veteran may be young but she seems very determined to get her Ben, and all I think support war and flags is a thing that aligns with small town values.Plus, I need something improbably to believe in so I am willing to set my personal values aside and root for this girl until limo do us apart. Jubilee, your pick up line may be too long/not worth it for me to retype here, but know that I am on your hashtag team.

Next up is Mandi, the dentist from Portland, who is to be keeping the Bachelor Mansion weird. Besides being reallyyyy into guys who floss, Mandi also had the ovaries to waltz out of that limo with a ginormous red rose perched on her head. I can’t be catty here because this girl Owned Her Shit. Lovely white dress too. Too bad I have been conditioned to associate white outfits and giant red  flow things with menstruation commercials?

I have a feeling Chris Harrison, who I insist is creepier than he lets on, had a heavy hand in the selection of our next contestants: 22 year-old, blonde, identical twins from Las Vegas (whose occupation is literally listed as Twins).

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one is emily, one is haley, idk idc tbh

Ben heartily welcomes the women girls with a Midwestern-sized group hug, and we hear him mumble  as they giggle-and-skip away, “That’s uh- that’s good.” Methinks even the wolf salivated less than this at the sight of Little Red Riding Hood! Funny how cute twins make even the nicest men seem creepy, heh? hem walk away like the wolf watched the little red riding hood.  Pretty cool how attractive twins can make a man of any age seem creepy!

“Can you outdo twins,” ask the twins into the camera as they erupt in synchronized laughter.

“Oh ye of little faith,” says Maegan from North Texas, as she walks in with the most cuddlable contestant/literal one trick pony of the night: a real mini-horse named Huey! OMGLOOGAT’IM. Twins: 0; Huey: 1.

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Now it wouldn’t be a party without a gluten-free nutritional therapist, and who better to fill that gap than Breanne! Ah yes, Breanne. The gluten-free who — inexplicably — shows up with a basket of bread so she may “break bread” with Ben, and yet who — inexplicably — snaps at him when he asks if the bread has gluten in it. WHICH, IT DOES! “Shut up and eat the bread,” says Breanne in so many words. Are gluten-free people always this cranky?

Amanda shows up too who sounds decades younger than her age of 25, but is a real adult, in the world, with that voice. She is a divorced aesthetician who is also a mom of two super cute little girls, which I’m pretty sure is uncharted territory here as The Bachelor single parents traditionally have one kid tops — look at us bending all the rules here! Just kidding. Amanda appears to be raising her daughters in a super gender normative fashion, if her comment that she is looking for a Prince Charming to be a good role model for her daughters is any indication. Oh man, my face literally melted while I typed that sentence. Amandaaaa!!!! Oh, while we’re here. Poll: On what episode do we think Amanda drops the motherhood bomb? Four? Five? Also how soon before Ben lets her go to not keep her away from her children? Someone with compewterskillz please help me incorporate actual polls into my blogs?

Definitely not last and not least is our token named-after-an-object girl, Tiara, whose job description is “chicken enthusiast” and whose chickens are her “human babies.” I henhanced-8588-1452010016-1ave mixed feels about Tiara because on the one hand, this is probably my storyline in 15 years after I squander my childbearing years on unproductive projects like this goddamn blog. On the other hand, I’m scared and angry that this is what happens when we let the bourgeoisie accumulate and pass down too much capital to their children. Tiara, 27, chicken enthusiast is what happens.

Just when you thought we’d get a season without a fucking lawyer, Samantha goes and passes the bar two minutes before popping out of the limo. Let us hope Ben is ready for some Forever After student debt to accompany that Forever After love. Honestly, those loans are probably a longer commitment than Amanda’s two children. Run, Ben, run! Also Sam’s dad died of ALS, which sucks and is super sad 😦 but not as super sad the one liner she fed Ben out the limo: “boxers or legal briefs?”:-(

 

Jennifer is small business owner from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, whose most exciting trait is that in the right lighting, she looks a little like Maya Rudolph pretending to be on The Bachelor.

Jami, our second MagicalBlackGirl, hails from Canada and says that season 20 Bachelorette and fellow Canook told her that Ben has a really really really big [. . . .] heart. I supposed a really really big [. . . .] heart makes a lot of sense for a man who stands at a towering 6 ft 4″ but thanks for looking into it girl!

Our next contestant is Lace, whose biggest fear is being forgotten by Ben H. It may have taken a couple of limos, but our Resident Villain has arrived. After making a totally chill entrance Lace plants a kiss on his cheek, making her the first to kiss Ben. It’s a nice first impression and the planner in me kind of want to see where this goes because Lace also lives in Denver, CO, so Forever After would actually be a very practical outcome in this instance. But for Lace to make it that far, we’re going to need her to  consider drinking less of all the champagne because revealing your true, very cutting/very driven/very aggressive true colors — e.g. telling girls their boobies are too small and also some of them are dumb — isn’t gonna get us too far. Lace? Laaaace? Are you listening, bee-bee- girl?

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Okay, we’ll give Lace a few minutes to Get It Together. Meanwhile, a girl with big lips comes out of the limo and just starts rattling to Ben than she knows everything about him from intensely following him on Instagram, but walks away without giving him her name. It seems strategic, in a Cinderella type of way although as Big Lips walks away, I wonder if Ben will remember to ask it.

Out of that same limo emerges Shoshanna, who does her entire intro in Russian. Although this might be okay for the first episode, cute even, I wonder how small town values might interact with foreigners from the former Soviet Union.

Next up, it is time for our token athlete girl. “HUT HUT HIKE!” Leah exclaims as she gracefully bends over to throw Ben a football and a pickup line that still does not entirely make sense to me. At this point, all signs point to Leah doing very well in whatever competitive athletic challenge will pit her against another woman for one-on-one time date. Let’s just hope she makes it past tonight’s cocktail party. And if not, we’ll always have this.

Just when I think the have reached our rock-bottom, Joelle makes an introduction heavy on the unicorn and light on the  context, while Rachel shows up on a goddamn overboard that unfortunately does not self-combust before she reaches Ben.

Lauren H’s gimmick is to throw to Ben a bridal bouquet she allegedly, supposedly, coincidentally caught just this past weekend. Sure, Lauren. We believe you.

Izzy comes to the party in her pajamas — and out of her mind? — to see if Ben is the “onesie” for her, which Lace slyly tells us is “really fucking special. NEXT.”Someone please check on Jubilee; I’m concerned about just how far back her eyes rolled when Izzy sat down. It’s ballsy but not as much as the “Save the Date” card that Jackie, the gerontologist, hands Ben upon meeting him outside the limo. Ouph. These girls are buh-rave.

Laura, the account executive and authentic redhead representative of this season, tells Ben to call her Red Velvet if he forgets her name. There’s another (not genuine it would appear) redhead, Lauren Can’t-Keep-Track-of-the-Initials-Anymore, is also here.

And finally, Olivia the news anchor from Texas “who might cry she’s so emotional” stares into Ben’s eyes long enough to make us feel like I’m intruding by gawking at them like that. She loves traveling and “giving back” and gave up a good job to find something great.

After most of the Ladies have arrived, Ben calls his parents on the phone to tell them the girls are stunning and that the introduction could not have gone better. Awww — so sweet. These are the kinds of just-because dating check-ins my mama can only dream of. After the call, Ben rejoins the Ladies in the living room for the fun to begin. But before Ben has even finished his welcome speech, Mandi pulls Ben aside and insists on giving him an oral exam. Welcome to the Bizarro world of Bachelor cocktail parties.

Ben is handling everything like a champ, even though giving enough attention to twenty-five ladies at once seems hard. Just when we think we have seen it all, a surprise limo pulls up to the house. Ben has no idea what’s coming, who’s in it, and whether they too will be here for the Right Reasons.

If you will believe it, Fucking Becca — whose most interesting character trait is apparently her virginity — comes out along with Amber who has been on more season than may be healthy at this point. No one is more distraught by the appearance of Fucking Becca than Lace, who tortures herself by peeking behind closed doors as Ben greets the newcomer/relic from Bachelor seasons past.

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As soon as she can, Lace “borrows” Ben from Jubilee and immediately demands a better kiss. Like a cat calmly rejecting a bowl of dry food, Ben politely tells her that he sort of wants to get to know everyone before getting swept up in the physical moment. He is, again, interrupted mid-sentence when Rose-on-her-Head Mandi steals Ben away, leaving Lace to simmer in her drunken heightened emotions. As Lace retells it to other girls, she and Ben were “LITERALLY about to kiss” before the interruption, which sure seems like a generous take on that conversation.

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Sensing blood in the water, the girls vulture around Lace just in time to hear her say she sees right through Mandi. “She is not here for Ben, she is here for drama,” Lace declares authoritatively. A few minutes later, Ben comes to the kitchen to find Lace and finish their conversation. Ben wants to let her know that she is gorgeous but that he wants to get to know her, first, and wanted to clarify things because he wanted to make sure she did not feel rejected. If you must ask, it was actually the fucking sweetest.

And before we know it – DUM DUM DUMDUM! Chris Harrison ominously deposes the First Impression Rose on the table. All of a sudden, the energy changes. Like when you’re ready to go for a jog and you open your email rull quick to find an email from Sallie Mae Student Loans. Y’now the feeling 😦

“How’s everybody doing?” Ben H asks before picking up the rose from the table and getting the fuck out of that Tension Chamber. I would wager the answer is something along the lines of “oh, like shit,” Ben.

But Ben’s head is elsewhere in that moment, as he plucks anchorwoman Olivia out of a group of girls in a separate room and gives her the First Impression Rose. It would seem Ben admires the fact that Olivia left her job for this. If you listen closely to Olivia’s side interview, you can hear say — before she says the rose humbles her — that she is  pretty deserving of the rose because of her sacrifices. Which is, like, what?? Girl, all these beeshes left their jobs for this epic journey of love too. Emma go ahead and file this one to our Red Flag cabinet.

“gimme dat rose” – Joe

Now for the tough part. Who will make it past Night One?! Who will go home thinking that they will never be worthy of love? While I won’t go through the exercise of listing all the Ladies, let’s make a mental note that the first girl Ben calls for a rose was Lauren the flight attendant, which may mean something or maybe not at all, but hey, probably.

Statistically speaking, most of the above Ladies make it. Unfortunately, we have to suffer to several episodes of discussing Becca’s Virgin Identity, and Shoshanna refusing to speak English. Mandi the weirdest, but also maybe rudest,  dentist that ever lived survives the first night too. Lace fumes and titters  the entire ceremony and has almost convinced herself that Ben has forgotten about her, when he calls her name last. Not that I would know, but this probably feels as good as getting picked last on the basketball team in middle school.

Cinderella-no-name’s plan backfires as Ben likely forgets to call her name for a rose. Gluten-free Breanne has to go home too, with her little basket of poison bread. To our dismay, Laura the gorgeous gingerhead is sent home, which is so tragic considering that even Huey the mini horse made it through the first round. “He may not be into redheads,” Laura says incredulously. And although part of us is pretty sure Ben H picked Lauren the fake redhead to go through, we nod sadly and say a secret prayer to the unexpected twist of Fate/Hand of Chris Harrison so that Laura can come back later in the season.

And with this, bee-bees, the night is a wrap unless–

Oh wait, what is that?! Lace demands to talk to Ben with only 2 minutes of the episodes left?! Yes, true story. The ever indulging gentleman (see how quickly he’s growing on me?) allows her to take him aside. And let me tell. you. Lace is p-i-s-s-e-d.

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“I feel like you didn’t look at me once during the whole thing,” says Lace. She really thought she was going home and importantly, again, he didn’t even look at her while he handed roses. Boo hoo. Ben seems tired and confused that this is A Thing and unconvincingly tries to make her believe he wants to keep her on the show.

Sure, Lace is probably right. Ironically, acting like a fucking time bomb the entire night likely earned her a ticket for one more week in paradise because Liability Girls keep us coming back for more. But hello! Ben’s never going to actually admit that he’s only keeping her because the producers are making him. So whyyyy do you insist on making us all uncomfortable right meow, Lace? URGH. And it is on this awkward note that we close up the evening’s festivities, and cut to the season’s highlights, which include:

– a hint that Jubilee-Jane (can we call her that?) and her itty-bitty chest tattoo will stay on long enough to make out in a hot tub with Ben. There will be tongue twisting under the stars, under rainbows, under fireworks, on boats, on planes, on hot air balloons, in theaters, in Paris (?!) and maybe even the Caribbean. Or just Florida if the season cheaps out like they did during season 18. Other things to look forward to: a black eye, the dreaded two-on-one date with possibly the twins (ouch), accusations and lies surrounding First Impression Olivia, “panic attacks,” and Ben bawling on some stone steps.

So saddle up cowpeoples! It’s gonna be a long ride.

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