Bachelor 20, Episode 4 Funkadelic For Sure

Gathered at Bachelor Compound, Blond Juliette Lewis/casual racist Lauren H. observes that there are fewer women this week than last week, but comes just shy of trying to count them. Chris Harrison swaggers in and tells everyone they’re relocating to Las Vegas. To establish the episode’s main themes, any footage of Olivia sounding insecure or really into Ben is spliced together to suggest she’s lost it, and we see the twins walk on a treadmill together to reinforce how important it is that one of them leave.

The women arrive in Las Vegas and squeal with delight at a welcome sign:

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Identified by JoJo as “the most romantic gesture,” this sign represents just how low the bar has been set. Once in their hotel, Caila reads the date card and JoJo gets the first One On One Date.

The date kicks off with a rooftop champagne toast/assassination attempt.

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I’m getting the sense The Bachelor calculated cost per wear and finally just bought a helicopter. Ben and JoJo crouch behind their cocktail table and make out while the other women look on. Once aboard Bachelor copter #Flight Reasons, JoJo proves to be a microphone makeout pro. After an aerial tour of Las Vegas, they change into formalwear and take an immersion class in Bachelor Speak.

Ben: I’ve had so many, like, moments with you. Moments that I’m just like, when I’m in that moment nothing else matters. But there’s so much outside of those moments I want to learn.

JoJo: My guard had just come down and I had this moment of like just feeling scared.

Ben: Scared of what?

JoJo: Stuff in my past.

Ben: I’m sorry that had to be a part of the past.

There are other words in between those, but it honestly doesn’t help. The date ends pretty standardly. Rooftop. Formal lace jumpsuit. Fireworks.

The Group Date is a cruel surprise attack on Amanda, Jubilee, Caila, Lauren B., Amber, Haley, Emily, Leah, Lauren H., Jennifer, Rachel and Olivia. Renowned ventriloquist specializing in singer-impressions, Terry Fator, challenges them to come up with bits for a talent show. They will then perform as his opening act before a live audience of 1,200 people. What a dick. The twins ask to be taken as individuals, but then they do things like this:

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Jubilee plays cello; Caila is an irrepressible tigress; single mom Amanda hula hoops while wearing a boa; and this fever dream comes to life:

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This facepaint is exactly what Peeta would have done if he were a contestant.

The real take away is that Olivia, whose aggressive approach and success with Ben have earned her no friends, is really uncomfortable with her talent routine. She clambers out of a cake in a flashy showgirl costume- Scarlet O’Hara Butler at Ashley’s birthday party, a public shaming in red feathers. She holds back tears and narrates her improvised choreography while the other contestants experience mass Schadenfreude. Amanda, of the hula-hoop-in-a-boa fame, questions if popping out of a cake is a talent.

After the talent show, Olivia is herded back on camera for a panic attack. It would take too long to unpack everything she says, so I’ll give you the basics. Her embarrassment=Ben’s disapproval=not marriage material=ruined everything. Then she apologizes to the crew for crying. The crew whose entire job is to make her cry.

During the cocktail portion of the date, Caila, Software Sales Rep/Sex Panther slings her legs across Ben and tells him she’s shy. Ben threeways with ventriloquist dummies Little Ben and Lauren H., and Olivia pulls him aside to abase herself. A twin cuts in on them, leaving Olivia alone to renounce the rest of her pride. During her time with Ben, Lauren B. plays it just right, fishing for reassurance while simultaneously playing hard to get. Ben tells her theirs was the best first date, and gives her the coveted date rose.

For the second One On One Date, Ben sends Becca and her mint-condition vagina a wedding dress to see if that counts and she’ll have sex. An Elvis impersonator picks up Becca in a pink Cadillac and drives her to a roadside chapel where Ben gets down on one knee and fake proposes. Hilarious! Just kidding, getting married on the first date is way too serious, so they just officiate the weddings of people who owe ABC money. One of the cameras captured a rare image of a couple being warned off the show by their future selves.

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Later Ben surprises Becca with an evening at The Neon Museum, a collection of flashing, refurbished Las Vegas signs. I bet JoJo is furious she didn’t get the sign date. Ben asks if it’s hard for Becca to be a virgin, and does she mind that he’s not? This whole date is just to establish that Ben’s had sex before. They make obscure references to faith, and Ben asks if Becca can experience emotions. Any emotions. She passes the Turing Test and they tenderly vow to make eye contact, smile, and tell each other they’re great. Yep, this is the Virgin Date.

At the hotel, Chris Harrison gathers the women to announce Ben has planned a special side-by-side comparison date for the twins. He takes them to their mom’s house, where Haley shows Ben pictures of her ex-boyfriend and Emily tells him to dump Haley. Ben takes her advice and cuts Haley in front of her mother and sister, whom he is still dating. He comforts Emily the whole limo ride back to the hotel. This is some cold ass shit.

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At the Rose Ceremony Cocktail Party, brown-haired filler contestant Jen boldly pulls Ben away first, but is immediately interrupted by Olivia, the collapsing star. Jubilee reminds Ben that she’s complicated, and Ben manages one more make out session with wildcat in heat, Caila. After all this, Ben unsurprisingly gives Olivia the cautionary last rose and sends Unemployed Rachel and Threepeat Amber home.

Bachelor 20, Episode 3 Awko Taco

We open on contestants being mean on-camera about Olivia, whom they decry as mean deep down, off-camera. They suspect she’s really an angler fish, and her glittering $40,000 wardrobe is the dazzling light that’s distracting Ben from this:

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Chris Harrison checks in, instinctively attuned to the aggressive sexual energy of the house, and reveals that this week, there will be two private dates with Ben and one group date. He leaves the women with the invitation to the first One On One Date and disappears in a cloud of smoke. If Jubilee gets the date, she tells us it will be the best moment of her life. This may sound hyperbolic, but only if you don’t know Jubilee’s backstory. Adopted out of Haiti with no surviving blood relatives, war veteran and Bachelor contestant Jubilee’s current best life moment is “Short line at the Army Recruiting Office.”

The date goes to Lauren B. They take off in a Mustang convertible, then fly in the cartoon plane from Talespin directly over Bachelor Compound. The cast of Left Behind 2 stares up at the happy couple as Ben stutteringly kisses Lauren B.’s microphone. Lauren B. tells us she was scared to go up in the plane at first, but being with Ben made her calm. It doesn’t feel like a real season of The Bachelor until some contestant plays the scared-of-heights-until-you angle, but Lauren B. gets side eye because she is a flight attendant.

They get dropped off in the middle of nowhere, a location that will be reused when Ben needs to strand a freshly-dumped contestant. Hopefully by helicopter. Ben and Lauren B. soak in each other’s heated fluids, and Lauren B. speaks for the whole franchise when she says,

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In fact, this show makes way more sense if you assume the cast has been infiltrated by Cylons.

Over dinner she tells Ben she loves simple things, like her dad. Ben loves his dad, too, so Lauren gets a rose. They peep in the nearest barn and a band you’ve definitely heard of and would recognize is playing so they can slow dance. In related news, Season 21 of The Bachelor will be filmed entirely in a hot tub in a helicopter in a barn with a band playing.

Meanwhile, back at Club Estrogen, poor Caila is trying to find a way to say, “It sucks that my boyfriend is dating my 20 roommates” that stays within the social code of the show. I know this isn’t a competition. They’re amazing. I think they’re all great people. I don’t want to be guarded. It’s gonna be hard. But it’s worth it. It’s gonna be worth it! But it’s gonna be hard. I mean, I’m definitely happy I’m here. He’s amazing. I love how real this is to her, but at the same time she knows this is a game and she isn’t going to lose on some careless slip.

Amanda, Haley, Jennifer, Shushanna, Leah, Amber, Lauren H., Olivia, Jami, are you still reading?, Rachel, Lace, and Emily get The Group Date, a soccer match at the LA Coliseum. They split into teams Stars and Stripes, coached by US National Team members Alex Morgan and Kelly O’Hara, and the stakes are high. Winners continue their date with Ben, losers go home. The women promise and deliver blood on the grass and balls to the chest, but ultimately Stripes win the game when Stars player Rachel gets injured and decides to tough it out/be a terrible, deadweight player. Stars go home, and holy shit, Shushanna is a mathematician?

On part two of the Group Date, Bartender/Sorting Hat Amber identifies Olivia’s house designation:

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and Olivia steals Ben away to speak parseltongue. Down below, feminist book group Amber, Lace, and Haley talk shit about Olivia’s toes, breasts, and breath while Jami slips away to tattle. When franchise regular Amber gets alone time with Ben, he asks her why she’s trying a third time. She tells Ben at this point she’s pot committed and he gives her a pity rose.

At Bachelor Mansion, the girls wait for the last One On One Date Card. Jubilee pegged Ben’s type pretty much exactly as I did- bubbly, breezy, bwhite. She knows her chances are slim, but surprise! Jubilee beats out JoJo and Becca’s hymen for the date. She squeals with pleasure (too excited), then gives Ben a hard time when he’s late for their date (too ungrateful), then jokingly offers her date up when she sees it’s the fucking helicopter date (too unexcited and ungrateful). The other women want her dead.

On the date, Jubilee replays the scared-of-heights-until-you card, charmingly spits out caviar, and credits Ben for laughing when she calls him a white boy. Ben replies:

Ain't white.png Ben. Ben Higgins from Warsaw, Indiana. Who just finished playing shuffleboard.

Okay. Jubilee makes a racially charged dick joke back. I am having a great time on this date. Then things get serious. Jubilee opens up about deep personal tragedies and the resultant feelings of pain, isolation, guilt, and grief. Of course, this is followed by a room full of catty women who are shocked that Ben allowed Jubilee to even return from their date. Then we get the thinly veiled racist suggestion that Ben wants a less controversial wife

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Will all the other soccer moms also be dating Ben?

At the Rose Ceremony Cocktail Party, Ben tells everyone that two family friends just died in a plane crash, and then states very clearly that he hopes that his future wife would want to comfort him in this situation. Olivia pulls an Olivia and grabs Ben away first. Hey Ben, whose family friends just died tragically, ask me what’s troubling me. It’s my damn cankles! Ben passes the distraught Olivia one of the tissues he was going to use on his own tears of bereavement, and she gathers herself.

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I think I heard a “Preach!” from your ankle straps.

Single mom Amanda checks in on Ben. Jubilee comforts him with a massage and the other women freak out. Jami breaks it up, and Amber summons Jubilee for a girl chat ambush. Jubilee employs evasive maneuvers and takes cover in the bathroom until Ben shows up and intervenes. Enter Amber, who should know better. Apparently she really believes everything she is saying. Amber accuses Jubilee of really hurting other contestants by jokingly offering up her date. Ben dismisses this as the bs it is and stands by Jubilee, until he gets pulled into another dramatic vignette with Lace. She’s a mess. Lace tells him she has to be true to the butterfly tattoo on her wrist and enter chrysalis. Ben breaks it to the other women that she withdrew from the show, and they selflessly comfort him.

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At the Rose Ceremony, Olivia is put on notice, receiving the last rose. Ben maintains the team average by eliminating bilingual mathematician Shushanna and snarky bartender Jami, and we are promised an Olivia meltdown in Vegas next week. Can’t wait!

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Bachelor 20, Episode 2 The Planet of History

Do you play the game by the rules, or do you play to win? Professional Twin, Emily, is a more traditional contestant:

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Ok, we all know what she meant, but it also could be a thing Hubbard made up.

Meanwhile, District 2 Champion and Games mentor Olivia suggests what to do if you don’t make it to the cornucopia in time:

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Cut to Eagle Scout Ben in his bathroom as he slowly pulls his pants on, releasing a series of little peer pressure orgasms throughout Bachelor viewing parties.

Off to the 1st Group Date. The date is a cozy 11 person affair at Ben’s high school, local home of adult sexual behavior. Jackie, LB, Lauren H., Becca, Amber, Mandi, JoJo, Jubilee, Jennifer, and Lace are met by sexy buttoned up high school principal Chris Harrison. He explains the rules of the elimination game they’ll play, but all I hear is my heart pounding out of my chest. Yes, I have a picture of Principal Harrison in this getup, but it’s for me.

First the women compete in pairs to make volcanoes erupt. They have to correctly mix beakers labeled “Communication,” “Appreciation,” and “Blindness to Repeated Infidelity” to successfully explode Ben’s metaphor. The slowest team is eliminated, and we move on to the next challenge. The women bob for apples while Ben talks ed reform and suggests teachers should use more sex appeal.  Two more women out, then the remaining teams are asked to place Indiana on a map. Guys, it’s bad. Another team down. The last two pairs of women throw free throws until half the sound equipment has been trashed and Mandi and Amber are declared the winning team. There can be only one, however, so they run hurdles. Mandi destroys Amber, winning the Grand Prize: a ten minute ride around the track in Ben’s Warsaw High letterman jacket. I think this is the point in the Americana Date when LB took a step back and thought in her best Van Der Beek, “I don’t want your life.”

In the evening they all meet up for cocktails and Becca steals Ben to shoot hoops and explain why she is back on The Bachelor. She says it’s because she’s not emotionally closed off anymore. Fun talk over basketball! More 1-on-1 time follows, and Ben makes out with Jennifer, Jubilee, and JoJo. In between kissing alliteratively, Lace pulls Ben aside to tell him she’s not crazy and Denver is amazing.

Back at Bachelor compound, Caila is invited on a 1 on 1 Date designed by CH himself. Ice Cube and Kevin Hart show up to…Ride Along… on their date. Hey, just like the name of their movie! They take Caila on a date themed around being cheap to test how she reacts to poor treatment. First they load up on supplies. Ice Cube recommends Hennessy, condoms and a joke about robbing the cashier. Ben plays it a little more conservatively and goes with Courvoisier and a “What’s your favorite color?” line.

After stewing good naturedly in a display hot tub with Kevin Hart, the couple finally gets the privacy of a dinner on a completely open set. Caila wants to know if Ben still feels unlovable. Short answer, yes! She confides she almost ended up engaged to her last boyfriend because she confused their unique “how we met” story for fate. So now she wants to meet a man on TV, bless her heart. She gets a rose, then they sway to a private concert with Amos Lee, whom Caila gamely pretends to know. She plays with her hair a lot and is upbeat and says “you know where” instead of hell.

Twins Emily and Haley, Shushanna, Sam, Olivia, and Amber get Group Date #2. A robot named Doctor Love leads the women to a Love Lab where absolutely reliable experts run tests to scientifically identify Ben’s best match. The women all change into tight white tanks and short shorts, because science. They are put through a series of three tests. The first measures whether the women focus more on pictures of babies and Ben, or diamonds and Sean Lowe. Then Doctor Love makes the women sweat and has Ben smell their wombs for compatibility. Lastly, Ben and each woman sit on a bed and, under Doctor Love’s instruction, reenact a scene from Primal Fear. Old Sour Womb Sam gets the low score, but man oh man is Olivia a great match with 7.45  out of 10. Ben brings everyone back to his place and takes Olivia aside to make out. He returns to the party still wiping Olivia off his face, and the other women fume. Amanda takes Ben aside to tell him she has daughters and their names are Right and Reasons. He reacts perfectly, but the rose still goes to Olivia and science is safe another day.

At the Cocktail Party, Olivia and Lace aggressively compete for Ben’s time. Ben is down to fool around with Olivia, and listens politely while Lace desperately tries to make herself relatable. I was a dork! Can I describe an embarrassing photo of myself? My family denies me! A few other lucky women get private time with him, and Ben tries his best to reassure them that he totally can keep them straight. He impresses COOL GIRL WITH A FOOTBALL by presenting her with a still from some of their footage together. Blond Juliette Lewis gets a blue ribbon for biggest volcanic explosion. Ben and Amanda make barrettes for her daughters that they will only see if she wins.

Then CH pulls Ben away in preparation for the Rose Ceremony. Lace wants to leave now and beat the parking lot lines. JoJo, Olivia, and Caila already have roses. Amanda is called first, then Jubilee, COOL GIRL WITH A FOOTBALL Leah, Lauren B., Becca, Rachel, even Lace, for chrissakes. Jennifer, Emily, Jamie, Lauren H./Blond Juliette Lewis, Shushanna and Amber get roses. The bombshell is when Ben calls LB, a self-described quiet girl from Oklahoma, but she just wants to go home. Goodbye to one of the only women who at least put Indiana in the Midwest.

Bachelor 20, Episode 1 Unloveable

Tall drink of water is a pretty good description of Bachelor Ben’s…personality. He takes us on a tour of his hometown, Warsaw, Indiana, which is a great use of our time. We meet his dad and mom, the first woman to consider him unlovable, and drive past the movie theater where an old girlfriend also didn’t love him. We spend some time in the high school parking lot taking selfies with local moms chasing that Twilight rush, and then cut to a preview of the 20-some identical sets of curled hair that are about to step out of the limos and meet Ben. But first, he gets a consultation with Bachelor veterans Chris Soules, Someone Else, and Old Guy. Ben could jump right into the good questions, best places to screw off camera, Neil Lane rings with highest resale values, but instead he asks what the trick is to giving every woman a fair chance. Soules says pick the one with the most childlike voice. Everyone agrees he should cut the minorities. Not now, but soon.

Introducing the contestant videos, host Chris Harrison reminds us that Ben is still essentially unlovable, but flight attendant Lauren B. is willing to fake it. Like a totally sane person, she dumped her boyfriend after watching Ben get out of the limo on Kaitlyn’s season. Unfortunately, Ben does not dump all of his girlfriends after meeting Lauren B., but that’s because Chris Soules told him to kiss everyone first.

Jubilee is ex-military. Mandi likes wacky hats and oral surgery. Twins Haley and Emily cite “Twin” as their occupation and are totally comfortable sharing a boyfriend.

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That’s irresponsible. They above everyone should be getting more genetic variation in their mates. Amanda comes in as a Soules favorite, a petite blond mom with a fairy tale mouse’s voice. Tara is a chicken enthusiast. They are like her babies! You know, like your babies whose eggs you gather and eat. Contestant Sam starts strong and celebrates passing the bar exam, then expertly tempers her achievement with a reflection on the loss of her father to ALS, and then sticks the landing by staring pensively off into the ocean.

Now we are at Bachelor Compound, ready for the limos to arrive. Flight Attendant Lauren B. brings Ben plastic wings. Caila jumps into his arms and then runs away. Jennifer suggests that Ben and Jen is a couple name combo that can’t go wrong. More carefully earnest women nervously hug Ben before running inside for the open bar. Amanda the high-voiced esthetician sweeps Ben off his feet. Lace kisses him right away and runs inside, the show’s equivalent of writing “first” on his wall. Some creeper has stalked him on social media. She tells Ben a lot about himself, but wisely, not her own name. Shushanna talks to him only in Russian. COOL GIRL WITH A FOOTBALL is low low low low maintenance and winks at him a lot. Just like one of the guys. There’s a woman in a unicorn mask, Blond Juliette Lewis and new Feria color 98: Red Velvet. Mandi offers to let Ben pollinate her Carrie Bradshaw rose headpiece.

Soon these women are joined by the Las Vegas twins. Maybe they’re here to REVOLUTIONIZE the next season of Dancing With The Stars. Maybe it’s just a wacky scheme to get their separated parents back together. It doesn’t matter, now there’s someone with a miniature pony. I understand the temptation to laugh at this bizarre assortment of women. It’s like the funeral at the end of Big Fish. But should we maybe take a pause and worry about the casting director? I mean, he seems like a… collector.

Brianne brings rolls of bread to literally break, because everyone she asked said this was a really good idea. Guys, we’ll be breaking bread! “First dibs on your mouth” Lace drinks and judges the woman who risks it all on a onesie pun. Rachel rolls in on a hoverboard. Jackie brings their save the date card so Ben can practice screaming her name for mercy. Olivia is a tall Barbie doll with a ready dimple, who is here to nail this job interview.

Ben enters the room, and immediately Mandi whisks him away to prove that there is no such thing as a sexy dental exam. Job candidate Olivia, who got her hair professionally cut in the limo, walked away from her career as a news anchor to be with him. Interests: I love the outdoors and charity! Traits: I’m spontaneous! Almost dangerously so.Spontaneous

 

Not to be outdone, Caila can talk back office processing software. The twins continue to suggest that he could bone them both. This may end up more Lohan Parent Trap than Mills. Ben plays more embarrassing catch with low maintenance COOL GIRL WITH A FOOTBALL. Then, another limo pulls up and…Amber and Becca climb out. We’re getting Nick Vialled! We know Amber is ruthless and Becca passed her virgin exam before the show, so CH gives them a pass.

Worthy

Becca’s pristine hymen is trying to distract Ben from Lace, so she stands by the door contemplating how to grow hers back. Lace, who is named Lace, steals Ben from Jubilee and asks for a rekiss. He says no and leaves with another girl, but returns to check on her. Lace is wasted and reassured and rubs it in Red Velvet’s face that she can do literally anything and still get a pass. Chris Harrison brings in the first impression rose to make sure all the targets get firmly affixed to the appropriate women.

Olivia, who crushed her second interview, gets the first impression rose.

Humble, butYes, yes? I love where this is going.

Really Big Deal

Excellent.

At the Rose Ceremony, 27 of the 28 women are panicking. Lauren B. gets a rose and is positioned as a leading contender. Then there’s LB, played by Kirsten Dunst, and Caila. Amber and Jami are in, and Jubilee is taking this as a very serious measure of self worth. Someone named JOJO gets a rose. JO JO. Red Velvet is starting to freckle under the harsh lights, but doesn’t get called. The twins make it. Shushanna, who spoke no English. Blond Juliette Lewis and Becca and Carrie Bradshaw, DDS get in. Ominous music thrums. Will the redhead get to stay? Crazy Lacey? The anti-gluten militant? Ben picks Lace and then openly gags. She cannot believe he still hasn’t dumped her yet, and pulls Ben aside to be sure that he gets that she is the dangerously crazy one. Not Rose Headpiece. Her. Oh poor Lace, the crazy one is obviously Olivia.