Last week’s episode of The Bachelor was a strong start to the season, and it appears the women selected by ABC have a lethal mix of hotness and insanity, perfect for reality television. This week, we get to see the contestants show more of their true colors in pursuit of Ben, whom twin Haley (or Emily?) declared to be the “greatest Bachelor on the Planet of History.” This week’s episode features a single one-on-one date, two group dates, and a boatload of insecurity. Let’s break it down.
High School Group Date
The first group date is for Jackie, LB, Becca, Lauren H., Amber, Mandi, Jojo, Jubilee, Jennifer and Lace. If you can’t keep track of these women, don’t be alarmed – I struggle with it even though I take notes on this shit. The date card reads, “Let’s learn about love.” Their limo takes them to a high school decorated with a banner saying Bachelor High, which if you think about it, could be an even better spinoff series than Bachelor in Paradise. Ben greets his 10 dates and tells them he hopes today will be “goofy and fun.” If he wanted to be goofy and fun, they should have gone to Disneyland. If you want to force people to relive the highlight reel of their most cringeworthy moments, go back to high school.
Chris Harrison shows up looking like a colorblind professor whose legally blind wife picked out his outfit. He tells the gang that their date will consist of a series of competitions, and the winner will be crowned as The Bachelor Homecoming Queen, which seems like a great way to pit the girls against one another while subtly reminding them that they weren’t crowned Homecoming Queen in high school. Preying on those insecurities from the first date – strong play ABC, strong play.
The girls break into 5 teams, and the first competition was to see which two girls could “make Ben’s volcano explode first.” Initially I thought it was odd that Ben named his piece “the volcano” but quickly realized that instead of doling out blowies, ABC wanted the women to do first grade science experiments. I’m still not sure which is more insulting.
Lace and Jubilee were the first team eliminated, as they were unable to make any volcanoes, paper mache or phallic, explode. Lace remarked that she “hated school because I was never good at it.” I wonder if it was her grade in “playing well with others” that tanked her GPA.
The next competition was bobbing for apples in what Chris Harrison called “lunch class.” I didn’t know whether I should take this opportunity to make more blowjob jokes or comment that I’m somehow not surprised that these people consider lunch to be a class, so instead I decided to let all of you know that not only did I have to tell my roommates I’d be using the good TV to watch this shit during the National Championship, I also just had to Google if blowjob was one or two words. You’re welcome.
The next competition was in geography – the girls were tasked with identifying Ben’s home state of Indiana by its shape as well as putting it in the correct location on a map of the United States. It was a perfect opportunity for these contestants to show their friends, family, and the rest of America just how little they actually know. In the spirit of full disclosure I, like Ben, grew up in Indiana and was a little offended, albeit unsurprised, by how difficult this task appeared. All three teams picked the right shape, and two were able to place it in the correct general vicinity on the map. Becca and Jojo gave it the old college try (wait- did they go to college?) but placed it sideways near the east coast. I’m sure people confuse Indiana with Pennsylvania all the time. Lauren H. nailed it when she said, “My kindergarteners would do a better job of finding Indiana on a map.” Shots fired.
The final two competitions were athletic. Amber and Mandi won the free throw contest, and then the two teammates were forced to race one another in a final challenge. Mandi’s freakishly long legs carried her over the hurdles and to victory, where she was rewarded with more one-on-one time with Ben and a gold medal in the camel toe competition as well.
The second part of the date consisted of the girls trying to spend time with Ben while simultaneously avoiding constant interruptions courtesy of Lace. Becca was the first to talk to Ben. The two of them shot hoops for a bit (For what it’s worth, Becca has a much better shot than Ben). Ben seemed floored that Becca would come back for a second season, and when he asked her why she responded, “You’re way hotter than Chris. Also you don’t live on a goddamn farm in a town that doesn’t even have a fucking Chipotle.” She didn’t actually say that.
Ben makes out with Jennifer, Jubilee and Jojo. The letter of the day on Sesame Street must have been “J” the morning they filmed this date. We also learn that Lace doesn’t know the difference between eye contact and eye fucking, so she is devastated that she didn’t get to play tonsil hockey with Ben. Be patient Lace, I’m sure “L” day is coming soon, although you may have to wait in line behind the Laurens for your turn. Jojo gets the group date rose, which isn’t surprising given the amount of sideboob she had going on in that dress.
One-on-One Date with Caila
The best part of date card arrivals is that you get to see the contestants in the Bachelor Mansion without make up, just hanging out. It is here that we get our first glimpse of what may be the true MVP of this season: Olivia’s mouth. I would say it’s the elephant in the room, but depending on the size of the elephant, it may actually fit inside her giant trap. Apparently she is unable to express emotion without it being wide open, and I wonder if the reason she didn’t get to go on the high school group date was because the producers were afraid if they let her bob for apples, she could fit a whole one in her mouth, which would definitely be a choking hazard. If shit got weird at a Disney party and Bruce from Finding Nemo knocked up the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin, Olivia would be their bastard love child.
When Caila’s date card arrived, Olivia was unable to hide her disbelief. Ben comes in to pick up Caila and as they’re leaving, this season’s guest stars, Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, surprise everyone at the Bachelor Mansion. It seemed like ABC almost tried to disguise that this appearance was a promotion for their new movie, but then just gave up.
Kevin and Ice Cube wanted to show Ben how to date on a budget, so they rode along in the back seat of the car to give him some advice and provide commentary on his conversation with Caila. After Kevin haggled with a street vendor over the price of flowers for Caila, Ice Cube took Ben into a liquor store for some more supplies. Ben remarked, “I think Ice has a different idea of a first date than I do.” Given that Ice was trying to get him to buy some Hennessey and condoms, I think he’s just trying to party and I respect that. Ben settled for some champagne and the group set off to a discount hot tub store, where Kevin insisted that Ben and Caila take a test soak in one of the floor models. While they initially seem hesitant, their minds quickly change once they realize that their chances of catching chlamydia or Caila getting pregnant from leftover bodily fluids is probably significantly less in this dilapidated store than it would be at the Bachelor Mansion.
After Kevin Hart hauls his naked ass out of the hot tub, the two of them have a normal date. I can’t even make fun of it, because they seem great together. They have a romantic dinner followed by a private concert performed by Amos Lee. They dance, they make out, Caila gets a rose, and Ben gets an over-the-pants hand job.
Weird Science Group Date
The second group date is for Emily, Shushanna, Sam, Olivia, Haley, and Amanda. The date card reads, “Are we a perfect match?” The girls are taken to some sort of laboratory where they learn that they will undergo a series of “scientific” tests to determine their compatibility with Ben. I use the term scientific very loosely here because I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the same “laboratory” where Jenny McCarthy discovered the link between vaccines and autism.
The first test the women undergo is retinal tracking, which reveals where their focus falls when presented with two images. Some examples are babies vs. diamonds, beer vs. wine, and Sean Lowe vs. Ben Higgins. The second test gets interesting. First, the women had to run on a treadmill to get sweaty, and Ben was then blindfolded and forced to smell each of them to assess his reaction to their pheromones. Shushanna breaks her moratorium on English usage to tell the camera that “I cannot smell like cabbage. I have not eaten cabbage two weeks.” Some women make huge sacrifices for this show – I’m sure there will be plenty of cabbage for you on the other side Shushanna. Ben says that Olivia smells sweet, but announces in front of everyone that Sam smells sour. Dick move, Ben. At least let her down gently, don’t just throw her out like spoiled milk. Unless of course she really does smell like spoiled milk – in that case make like Elsa and let her go.
The final test involved tracking body heat and the physical reactions of Ben and the contestants when they were in close proximity to one another. It seems like doing a boner check on Ben would be an easier way to accomplish this, but I don’t make the rules. Once the tests are complete, the lead fake doctor announces that with a compatibility score of 2.42 out of 10, Sam had the lowest score. Once again, Olivia emerges as the winner with a compatibility score of 7.45 out of 10.
The second part of the date gave the other five girls a chance to show Ben they aren’t completely incompatible. One of the twins expresses concern that he goes for more outgoing personalities, which may overshadow some of the quieter girls. He reassures her that he hasn’t forgotten about her, or his fantasy to have a threesome with identical twins. He offers to smell Sam again, saying this time she smells like pomegranate, not expired dairy. She swoons. Shushanna tells Ben that she came to America with $400, 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes, and 2 bottles of vodka. I’m not sure if that proves she’s compatible with Ben, but it tells me that homegirl has her priorities straight. Amanda drops the bomb that she has not one, but two children and Ben took it in stride, saying he “wants a family” and that “kids don’t scare me.” Either he is completely insane or that’s a goddamn lie. I’m the same age as Ben, and the thought of having children right now scares me shitless. I considered getting a houseplant once, but decided I wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment just yet. Olivia gets the group date rose and puts it into her mouth for safekeeping.
Although Rachel, Leah, Lauren B, and Jami did not go on dates this week, Olivia says that “Ben is my man at this point” and insists upon being one of the first women to talk to him at the cocktail party. Once she finishes, she returns and tells the group “I’m done now, so the rest of you can have at it.” She must have no fear of being murdered in her sleep. Then again, if she sleeps with her mouth open, any potential assassins would probably get swallowed up before they had a chance to attack her.
Lace continues to come apart at the seams, pulling Olivia off to the side to “get to know her better” and chastise her for taking Ben away from the other girls. After that, she takes Ben away from the other girls to talk to him on the balcony of the mansion, and the threads of her sanity continue to weaken. She starts word vomiting about embarrassing moments in her childhood as Ben stares on in utter confusion. Mercifully, Leah swoops in and scoops Ben out of there, moments before he would have thrown himself off the balcony.
The rest of the cocktail party consisted of Ben giving little gifts to a few of the girls. Since he didn’t get to take Lauren B. on a date, he had a photo of the two of them from the first night made. He gave Lauren H. a first place ribbon for the biggest volcano explosion at the science fair. The last gift was the most thoughtful, though. After Amanda told him about her daughters, he wanted to do something for them, so he helped Amanda hot glue plastic roses to make hair barrettes to send to the little rugrats. And Ben says he isn’t a smooth operator.
Jojo, Caila, and Olivia already have roses. The remaining 14 (holy shit) go to:
1. Amanda – 2 kids, now complete with Bachelor hair barrettes.
2. Jubilee – Not only is she a veteran, but she told Ben she spent the first 6 years of her life in a Haitian orphanage. If The Bachelor doesn’t work out, her story is a Lifetime movie waiting to happen.
3. Lauren B –
Still can’t tell the difference between her and Leah. Did not get a gift from Ben. Received gift from Ben.
4. Leah –
Not Lauren B, got a gift from Ben.
5. Becca – Has formally switched her allegiance from Team Chris to Team Ben. Here for the #rightreasons.
6. Rachel – She got 3.2 seconds of screen time tonight.
7. Lace – So far we’ve seen Drunk Lace, Crying Lace, and Insecure Lace. Can’t wait to see which Laces the future holds.
Ben offers the next rose to LB, but she tells him that it’s hard for her to be here and decides to leave on her own. Judging by her Instagram pictures with Rickie Fowler, she’s probably going to do just fine.
8. Jennifer – Got a make out sesh.
9. Emily – Her eye twitch was much less noticeable this week.
10. Jami – Got even less screen time than Rachel.
11. Lauren H – Hearts for eyes emoji.
12. Shushanna – Connoisseur of cabbage and vodka.
13. Haley – Hotter twin.
14. Amber – Thanks to LB’s hard pass on Ben’s rose, maybe the third time is indeed the charm for Amber.
This means we say goodbye to Sam’s sour scent, along with Mandi the dentist and Jackie the gerontologist. Ben looks genuinely upset to see them go by saying, “It doesn’t make sense that I have to make good people leave.” Well buddy, unless you’re planning on starting a cult and marrying them all, this is the hand you’ve been dealt. Judging by the previews, it looks like the claws really start to come out next week. See you then. .
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