Alright, folks – this week’s episode did not disappoint. The squad traded one STD-riddled location for another as they departed the Bachelor Mansion and continued their quest for
fame love in Las Vegas, all while Olivia teetered closer and closer to the edge of her sanity. The benevolent producers at ABC blessed us with not only two one-on-one dates and a group date, but kindly granted my wish to see Ben take the twins on a two-on-one date. Let’s break it down:
One-on-One Date with Jojo
The first date card of the episode reads “You set my heart on fire” and goes to Jojo. Ben shows up to the contestants’ suite to pick her up, and once they depart, their first stop is a table in a parking lot adorned with a bottle of champagne. Just when you thought ABC outdid itself on the romance factor for this date, it gets even better.
The helicopter sent to whisk Ben and Jojo away on a “romantic” aerial tour of Las Vegas swoops in, and in the process of landing blows the table over, shattering the champagne bottle and forcing Ben and Jojo to take cover in the wreckage. Apparently crouching behind an overturned high top amidst shards of glass is arousing for these two as the destruction segued into a make out sesh, much to the chagrin of the other women, who up to this point have been watching the date from the window of their suite. Big O tells the camera when she sees them kissing, she feels like her husband is cheating on her. Do the producers have some sort of lockdown procedure in place for when she inevitably comes unhinged or do the girls have to fend for themselves when she unleashes the final form of her crazy?
Once Ben and Jojo board the helicopter, Jojo confesses that she’s “never done anything like this before.” I wonder if that’s the last time she’ll say that on this date. Apparently the helicopter ride and subsequent date activities are so boring ABC couldn’t be bothered to air them and we skip straight to their dinner. The conversation turns to past relationships and Jojo confides that she is cautious to let her guard down and give herself to someone completely; in her experience others can’t always reciprocate that commitment. Is she quoting Ben’s monologue to Kaitlyn from last season? Maybe the unaired portion of this date was a brief stint on Couples Therapy to address their shared fear of being unlovable.
Ben gives Jojo the date rose and tells the camera “Jojo is a beautiful person. I’m liking her more and more.” He even goes so far as to say he’s falling for her as he leads her up to a rooftop for a surprise finale to their date. ABC proves yet again that its true talent is taunting the women on this show, as they have set up fireworks to be launched from the roof of their hotel. The sound of detonations overhead snaps the women out of the chardonnay-addled haze long enough to realize the fireworks are meant for Ben and Jojo, which sends them into a spiral of jealousy and self-loathing that can only be quenched with more chardonnay.
Talent Show Group Date
The next date card reads “Show me what you got” and is addressed to Amanda, Jubilee, Caila, Lauren B., Amber, Haley, Emily, Leah, Lauren H., Jennifer, Rachel, and O Face. Ben tells the camera he wants to find a woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously, which is Bachelor code for “I’m about to embarrass the shit out of all of you and if you piss and moan about it, I’ll personally ensure you don’t get a rose or a spot on Paradise.” They arrive at The Mirage and are greeted by Terry Fator, who is apparently a famous impressionist and ventriloquist – Caila grew up watching him on TV. I did not.
Terry asks the ladies to raise their hand if they have a special talent; although no one raises their hand, Big O grins and calmly swallows one of the theater’s seat cushions to assert her dominance and commitment to
ripping out winning Ben’s heart. No one notices. Lauren B. tells the camera “I have no talent” and Jennifer takes it a step further and says, “I don’t think many of us here have talents.” This is unfortunate for the ladies, because Terry takes this opportunity to inform them their task is to put on a talent show, which will be the opening act for his own performance that evening; not only will they be performing for Ben, there will be 1200 other guests in the audience as well.
As the rest of the women scramble to find both a costume and some talent, O Face lets it slip that she has a secret talent. The possibilities are endless. Does she store her young inside her mouth like certain species of fish? Can she sew her own clothing from the hides of past lovers? Are her cankles able to predict the weather? For the first time this season, I let my wine glass go dry because I’m not willing to miss a single moment of the ensuing shitshow.
As the show beings, Terry Fator introduces Ben to the audience. They go apeshit. (I mean, who wouldn’t?) One by one the women emerge to perform, and for the most part they have some acceptable talent. The twins do an Irish river dance, followed by Jubilee playing the cello. Do Vegas theaters just have cellos lying around or does Jubs keep a spare in her purse for emergencies? The Lauren B./Leah/Amanda trifecta juggles, hula hoops, and dresses up like a clown while jumping on a pogo stick – I’ve given up on trying to tell them apart on group dates. Statistically at least one of them should be leaving in the near future, so check back then. Caila dresses up like Jasmine, Rachel makes balloon animals, Lauren H. sings an original song to Ben while wearing a chicken suit, and Jennifer knocks shit off people’s head with a tennis ball like she’s the love child of William Tell and Anna Kournikova. We don’t see Amber’s talent, so it’s either being invisible or it’s convincing the producers let her join the cast of yet another season of The Bachelor.
The talent that takes the cake, literally and figuratively, was Olivia’s. Big O told the cameras she wanted to stand out, and she did just that. She managed to find a showgirl outfit, complete with feather boa headdress, a bikini top, which she referred to as a “boob thing,” and a thong with garters attached. She gets wheeled out on stage, pops out of a cake so large even she couldn’t consume it in a single bite, and proceeds to perform some sort of cabaret number. She danced like a nun trying to do a striptease for a priest. Watching her shimmy and do high kicks on that stage was the most painful thing I’ve ever seen and I’ve delivered two babies whose mothers declined any sort of anesthesia. At least that pain was temporary, because the shame of Olivia’s dance will burn eternal.
As Big O finishes and leaves the stage, Terry Fator’s ventriloquist dummy reads the minds of everyone watching, saying “What part of talent competition did you not understand?” The rest of girls and the audience did their best O Face impression – holding their mouths agape in a silent scream. Ben went over and gave Olivia a hug, which throws her into a tailspin, as she realizes that she crashed and burned. In tears, she retreats to the Boyz II Men green room to sob, hyperventilate, and look for some weed.
The remainder of the group date was spent at a cocktail party. Ben makes out with everyone, although things get particularly steamy with Caila, who he refers to as both a “tigress” and a “sex panther.” I guess this was the sixty percent of the time it worked one hundred percent of the time. Ben must enjoy the scent of gasoline. However, when it came time to give out the group date rose, Ben said this rose was validating a relationship he felt confident in and gave it to Lauren B.
One-on-One Date with Becca
The second one-on-one date card reads “Get dressed, it’s a big day” and goes to Becca. The morning of their date, a giant box arrives – inside is a wedding dress. While most people would think that wearing a wedding dress on your first date is uncomfortable, Becca has been on The Bachelor before and is regularly forced to discuss her virginity on national television, so this probably isn’t even the strangest thing she’s been asked to do today.
A pink Cadillac chauffeurs her to the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. As she walks through the door, Ben is waiting for her in a tuxedo. He gets down on one knee and asks “Becca will you marry….other people with me?.” During this prolonged pause, the look on Becca’s face was priceless. I couldn’t decide if she was in the process of shitting her dress or deciding on an exit strategy if Ben was indeed proposing to her. As it turns out, Ben became ordained by the state of Nevada, so their date consists of performing marriage ceremonies for people making ill-advised choices in Sin City.
The first couple up to
bat the altar is Travis and Lea. I’ll be honest, Travis looks like a real dweeb. I wonder if he met Lea via mail-order catalog. Lea looks less than enthused that she has to stand next to Becca on her wedding day; who can blame her? Homegirl is a model and her last two boyfriends have both been The Bachelor. I bet when Becca is in a wedding the bride makes her wear the fugliest dress and stand awkwardly far away during the pictures for fear of getting upstaged on her own big day.
For the evening portion of the date, Ben takes Becca to the Neon Museum, which is essentially a junkyard for old signs. They sit on a couch in the middle of this seizure inducing brightness, and in the background of the screen you can see that someone spelled out “SEX” with some loose lights behind them. I’m not making this up – the E is flipped sideways; since ABC is own by Disney, I guess subliminal messages aren’t limited to animated films for children anymore.
Ben asks Becca if she feels differently about being on the show than she did a year ago. She tells him she cares much more this time around; during her first run on The Bachelor she was afraid if she was vulnerable she could get hurt, but doesn’t have the same reservations anymore. She tells him she “really really likes him” and that these feelings are much stronger than they were at the same time in her previous season. I wonder how Chris Soules reacted to this revelation as he watched the episode from his couch on his farm in Iowa, alone.
Ben, like everyone else, also asked about her virginity. She tells him she wears a chastity belt for religious purposes and Ben replies, “That’s cool. I’m down with Jesus too but I’m still trying to fuck.” He gives her a rose and settles for a PG-13 make out with some heavy petting above the belt and over the clothes.
Two-on-One Date with the Twins
Chris Harrison wakes the women up on the morning of the rose ceremony with a surprise date – Ben wants to take twins Emily and Haley on a date in their hometown of Las Vegas. Sidenote: these two look like naked mole rats in the morning. Watching them put on makeup is like watching someone teach baby Lord Voldemort how to contour.
As they leave the hotel, the twins are mystified at the limo’s route; if they were driving to their house, they’d go the same way. Emily and Haley share a car, a job, and occasionally a treadmill – do they share a single brain as well? Only when the limo arrives at their actual house do the twins see the writing on the wall, although in their defense, going on a date to your own house is a huge let down.
The twins first introduce Ben to their dogs, and then their mom. She seems like she’s a cool mom, just like Amy Poehler in Mean Girls. Haley is the first to get time alone with Ben. She takes him to her bedroom, where pictures of her with her ex-boyfriend greet him on her desk and nightstand. She tries to hide them unsuccessfully; Ben seems less than amused. He then spends time with Emily, stroking her broken thumb and listening to her tell him that he’s the greatest man alive.
After spending time with both of them, Ben tells the twins and their cool mom he knows his relationship with one of them is progressing faster than with the other, and chooses to say goodbye to Haley. It was thoughtful of Ben to dump Haley at her own house, sparing her the awkward fifteen-minute limo ride home. She tells the camera she knows “There’s something special out there waiting for me.” Spoiler alert: it’s Paradise . Or an offer from Pornhub.
tl;dr – Ben makes out with basically everyone, O Face steals him away every chance she gets and tells him she’s falling for him, Jubilee doesn’t feel confident.
Jojo, Lauren B., and Becca already have roses. The remaining 8 go to:
1. Amanda – fake job, 2 kids. Next week we get to see the fallout from O Face calling her “teen mom.” Buckle up.
2. Lauren H. – *swoon
3. Jubilee – Is she becoming this season’s “constant reassurance” girl?
4. Emily – Remember when Ben dumped your (hotter) twin sister in front of you three hours ago?
5. Caila – Aggressive kisser.
6. Jennifer – She keeps slipping through the cracks. Possibly a hooker. Definitely not making it past next week.
7. Leah – Not Lauren B.
8. Big O – One step closer to her final meltdown.
This means that in addition to Haley, we say goodbye to Amber and Rachel. Amber sobs as if she didn’t realize this was coming, and Rachel speaks her first sentence on camera during her exit interview. It looks like the women are heading to Mexico next week, so between the tequila and Montezuma’s revenge, we should have another week of excellent television. See you then. .
Image via John Naffziger