The eliminations have begun in earnest, and in a surprising twist on social norms, the men have all the power. Down a Chad, 7 women (8 if you count the twins as individuals, which you don’t) vie for 6 roses.
Enter the 8th/9th set of hair extensions, Leah (rhymes with “see ya”). Leah was a non-contender from Benlovable’s season, guilty of impugning his now-fiancée’s intentions in a bid to finally stand out. Changing tack, she shows up in gladiator sandals, an off-the-shoulders black eyelet crop top, and a neon patterned skort. She looks like she coated her naked self in some adhesive and walked through the sale section of Forever 21, an eco-conscious alternative to plastic bags. Speaking of plastic bags, Twins cannot wait to tear her down. They point out that she looks different – specifically her lips. They look different than lips. Leah came here for Chad, but figures villain and Viall are close enough. She takes Nick on a margarita-themed 1 on 1 Date, which she enjoys and he tolerates. Honestly, this is the biggest favor she can do him, as it triggers (m)Amanda’s competitive side. After a lukewarm date, they return home to yet another date card – this time for Nick.
He disappoints Leah and chooses (m)Amanda, who perfectly sums up his Bachelorette history with, “I feel like he, like, just knows how to, like, get a girl, kind of.” Kind of. They get drinks and their constant use of the word “like” serves as both verbal and emotional filler. The date wraps up with a kiss beside Leah’s funeral pyre.
Meanwhile, Lace is staring down the business end of a vodka bottle and lamenting her lack of options. Vinny steers her towards Grant, the dude she ditched so she could Chad. Does anyone else think she’s missing a serious opportunity with Jorge the Bartender, who is a good listener and serves alcohol? In any case, Vinny is a saint and talks to Grant on her behalf, and Grant is saintier and saves Lace the groveling. He approaches her, tells her there’s nothing to forgive, and they find their way to the closest bed.
The smell of desperation is in the air. Sarah likes Vinny, who is already coupled up with Izzy. Carly is looking for a macho man, so naturally wonders what it would be like to kiss Evan. EVAN. Ask and ye shall receive, Carly. After a lot of actionless build up, she finally kisses him, and it is, as they say in his erectile dysfunction clinic, a downer. He goes to bed to write their names in hearts all over his notebooks, while she tells literally every camera she sees how terrible it was.
Just before the Rose Ceremony, Sarah swoops Vinny to tell him how she feels. He kisses her, but Izzy is not about to get brunetted out in the first round, again. She reswoops him, and Vinny drinks as much alcohol as he can in the amount of time it takes her to say, “I want some validation.” Oh dear God, he kisses her, too.
Leah makes a last-ditch play for Nick, but he tells her he is picking (m)Amanda. Hopes formally dashed, she decides to do anything she can to stay in the game and make another play for him next week. “Anything she can” is Daniel, Chad’s former sidekick. She tells him she is like an onion, but it’s too hot for layers so they settle on an orange. Peel back that bitter rind and you’ll find she’s neatly compartmentalized. Daniel is the only guy with a rose to spare, however, so there are a few more insecure women queued up. He suggests setting a timer for the groveling, and thankfully Jubilee steps out of the line. Next up is Twin,
followed by Sarah, who knows better than to trust Vinny.
At the Rose Ceremony, we are reminded that the twins are twofers. If you can’t identify the one you want, you have to take both. Grant picks Lace, Nick picks Amanda, and Evan picks Carly, who openly laughs at him. Everyone’s High School Boyfriend Jared, who can’t resist a deal, picks Twin. Vinny picks Izzy, leaving us with Jubilee, Leah, and Sarah vying for Daniel’s rose. Daniel looks very smug for a man choosing someone to reject him next week, and opts for Sarah. The Rose Ceremony is over, and at least half the women spend the night strategizing how to avoid their guys.
The next morning, Josh Murray arrives, famous for out-engaging Nick Viall the first time around. He chats up some of the girls before settling on (m)Amanda, because obviously. She tells him she likes to spend time with her (human) children, and he tells her about his no-fail girlfriend bait (canine) child, who lost a leg in its battle with cancer. Nothing works on women like three-legged dogs in remission, and (m)Amanda agrees to go on a date with him.
They take a boat ride and talk about how emotionally abusive he isn’t, and return a fully-realized couple. For the rest of the episode Josh shows off his patented kiss formula- 1 part lips to 9 parts tongue. Josh suggests every moany lip lock is a part of God’s plan, and then makes this face at Nick:
As for the other kissfunctional couple, Evan and Carly are about to make history. If Evan can find her. When he finally pries her out of her hidey hole, Evan asks her on a 1 on 1 Date to a Guinness Book of World Records habenero kiss challenge. Carly would rather fly Kirk back out to dump her again. Instead, they pound peppers, he grazes her ass, and then, dripping snot and regret, this happens:
I bet you didn’t know how well-cast Cruel Intentions was until this moment. The night ends with Carly throwing up over the kiss, and the viewers throwing up over Everyone’s High School Boyfriend Jared and Twin hooking up.