BTCHES Gotta Warn: ABC really didn’t plan out this season of The Bachelor very well. First, they chose Arie. . .enough said. Second, instead of just airing The Bachelor Winter Games during the Olympics, they decided to continue with The Bachelor and air there own Olympic version. So, I’ve spent my last two weeks (read: two episodes of The Bachelor) watching our country’s best ski downhill, fly through the air, spin on skates, suck the air out of the entire country of Canada in the hockey rink. . .I even watched Curling. My point, Arie and the ladies took a backseat. Since I don’t have hours upon hours to sit through and re-cap, I’m gonna give you the Cliffs Notes version, hopefully just in time for the Fantasy Suites.
EPISODE SEVEN RE-CAP | 01.12: Seven women remain and this episode finds the women in Italy, because if you haven’t yet fallen in love with the Kissing Bandit (and yes, I threw up a bit in my mouth while typing that), then what better place than the home country of pizza. No rose ceremony takes place, instead he will gift three women one-on-one dates and four will be stuck together on a group date.
Becca is up first and the date goes really well. My only hiccup was him saying that he has felt the passion fizzle between the two of them since their last one-on-one. Well someone should’ve probably reminded him that the last one-on-one he had with Becca was the first one of the season, so if he forgets to add wood to an already nice burning fire, it will eventually die out. No worries, this date brought it all back and it’s now all good. One thing worthy enough to note (for me anyway), she tells Arie that her ex only met her family in passing, she never brought him home. Hmmm. . .she’s 27, Arie is 36. . .she has never introduced a boyfriend to her family before? A family that she speaks very highly of. Becca is my final pick for him and I still think she will be picked in the end, but this nugget of information is strange to me.
Jacqueline on the other hand is having a very difficult time. She just can’t picture herself bringing Arie home to meet her parents and eventually she’s telling Arie he just isn’t good enough for her and her giant brain. Just joking, it did lead to her + Arie + his hotel room + copious amounts of wine + lots of kissing + her heading back to the states. He seemed pretty hurt over her decision, but if you ask me (which no one ever does) I think the hurt was more due to the fact that she was the one to say goodbye, not him. He hugs it out telling her “If you have any regret, you come back to me.” Which considering that he still has six women to choose from and chances are if she did see any sort of error in her decision, he would’ve already gotten down on one knee for someone else. Can we say. . .sidepiece? Because the interesting thing about the “break-up”, this all goes down the same night of his one-on-one with Becca, in fact, him and Becca are in the same clothes that they wore on their date, so shortly after going on a date where kisses were snuck in throughout and talk about meeting her family was had, followed by some more serious making out, he’s alone in a hotel room with another girl, not wanting her to leave and asking her to come back to him if she changes her mind. Boy, Becca’s family is probably already planning the nuptials.
Arie must be smitten as a kitten or crazy as Krystal, because he has chosen Lauren for his second one-on-one. Now, he just had a one-on-one with her during the last episode and I think as a collective fan base, we can all agree that Lauren may be nice to look at, but she’s about fun as a pap smear. . .with a rectal exam. But, I do think that his interest is piqued only because of her looks and he is in Italy, why not walk around with some arm candy. He really gives her lady boner a work out when he takes a page from 1987 and does some gnarly tricks on the bike (cycle, that is) and by gnarly, I mean lame and by tricks, I mean he stands on the seat while still holding onto the handlebars. Way to be adventurous there tiger.
During lunch, where Lauren nibbled on pizza like she was a delicate bird. . .c’mon, you’re in Italy for fucks sake, inhale that shit like the good American you’re supposed to be. Anyhow, she talks about walls needing to fall down and how vulnerable she is. . .blah, blah, blah. Where I think attention needs to be paid, is when she says that it’s just been a year since she was with her ex. . .her ex-fiance that is. . .and let’s us not forget that he is partly to blame for her “trust” issues. So, I wanna make sure I understand. Trust issues are somewhat ingrained into her psyche because of her parents, but add that to a failed engagement, where it was all hearts and flowers up until he dropped to his knee and then he became an asshole, which is why he’s no longer in the picture. And not one person in her life cared enough about her to tell her that going from one fucked engagement to a trying to land another, was a bad idea? Not one person? Surely, the 36 year old adult in the room can put his dick to the side for just a moment and if he really cared about her, could tell her that maybe, just maybe she needs to do a bit of soul searching of her own before she can embed herself into someone else’s. But instead, kids are playing soccer, so why not?
Can somebody, anybody, please explain to me how someone with Trump size walls built around her and an inability to trust wholehearted can already be falling in love? This is why this show pisses people off because it seems like these women (and men) feel obligated to say those three fucking words, in order to move further in this process. There is a difference with the idea of falling in love and falling in love. And you wanna know how well Arie knows women? When Lauren admits to him that she is falling in love with him, he excuses himself from the table and leaves her to wonder. He clearly doesn’t know his audience, because he tells her how nervous he is and then goes on to tell her that he is falling deeply in love with her. Holy shit. He is not the brightest crayon. Even if he truly feels this way and maybe he does, why would you tell someone who is as jumpy as a jack rabbit when it comes to love and trust, that you are falling deeply in love with her. The next guy in her life should fuck you up a bit, because you just made his road to her heart full of obstacles. ABC, it’s time to consider hiring a new team to vet these contestants, because the job is not getting done. Oh and she gets the rose.
Seinne is our next one-on-one, leaving Tia, Bekah, and Kendall vying for his heart on a group date. I’m just not getting the Seinne + Arie will equal forever connection and not from the her with him POV, I’m not understanding what she sees in a future with him, but she is there and they are gonna go root around for truffles, then have lunch with an Italian family, I guess ABC wanted to ensure the full experience took place. She admits to falling for him and like the juvenile he is, he says that he can tell that she “really, really likes him” and he likes to hang out with her. He’s coming from a date where he confesses to not only falling in love with Lauren, but falling deeply in love with her to going on a date with a woman that he likes to hang out with. You’re not in a basement catching the Cardinals on Sunday, you’re in Italy trying to find your wife and the best you have to say about the potential Mrs. Luyendyk, Jr. is you “like to hang out with her”? I bet there is some intern somewhere assigned to figure out why ratings this year are so low, well stop your research, I got your answer. But, let me bash from the other side for a second. Here is another woman who earlier in the season talked about not having the representation among the Disney Princesses because that’s where we still reference for love as adults? And love wasn’t discussed in the home where she grew up, but she knows she is falling for Arie? How? I know I’m being a bit of a cynic, but I genuinely want this show to work, but it’s hard to take it serious when they sound so ridiculous. Anyway, back to the date.
Dinner comes and even though there are a lot of words said, I have not the first clue what they were talking about. The vibe from him is finality, the vibe from her is forever. Unfortunately, his vibe wins out and his time with Seinne is over and I can say with absoluteness that better things lie ahead for her and she most likely dodged a bullet.
The group date has Arie wooing Bekah, Tia, and Kendall at the Village Royale. This isn’t a date, it’s an interview and only two are moving on to the next phase. The gist of the questions revolve around the hometown dates and who it is Arie will be meeting. Tia plants a bug in Arie’s ear about whether or not Bekah is truly ready for the next step and Bekah cries on Arie’s shoulder because someone talked about her. This date goes from three to two after he gives Kendall the first rose and sees her off. Now it’s a two-on-one and has become a Tia vs. Bekah showdown. They each get another round with Arie and his lips and when it’s all said and done, a 14 year age difference may have been just too much to overcome, because Arie sends Bekah back to her job as a nanny. Surely, we’ll see Bekah on this season of Paradise.
EPISODE EIGHT RE-CAP | 01.19: We have made it to the hometowns and I am gonna try to breeze through this.
Up first is Kendall. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but Kendall has a twin sister who ironically enough is named Kylie. Not that that fact means a whole lot, just thought I would share it. Prior to Kendall actually making the intros, her and Arie visit a taxidermy shop (?) and have some fun with rats. . .fun might not be the right word. But this is the time where Arie tells Kendall that he is falling for her, which Kendall picked it up and ran with it. For round one, Kendall gets her mom and Arie gets Kylie. Mom doesn’t really nit pick, she seems to be just as happy for Kendall as Kendall is for herself. Kylie does play a bit of hardball, making sure that Arie is in it for the right reasons and she does tell him that she can’t say if Kendall is ready for marriage, she does know that she is ready for the kind of love that a relationship like that will bring. For round two, Kendall gets Kylie and Arie gets dad. Kylie does Kendall that she likes Arie, she just doesn’t think Arie is her person and when Kylie asks Kendall what she is wanting from this, she admits that she isn’t ready to be engaged, but she is certainly falling for him and is afraid of losing him. Arie tells dad that he is falling for Kendall and can see potential with her. Dad tells Arie that he doesn’t really think he can give a blessing for marriage, because he doesn’t think Kendall is ready to say yes if Arie were to drop to one knee. He does go on to say that if marrying Arie was something she wanted, she would have her family’s support. Once the visit is over, Kendall decides that it’s best for her to tell Arie about her feelings, which don’t involve love, but she is falling for him, to which I would say “good luck”, because those other BXTCHES have already dropped the love bomb.
It’s time for some Tia from Weiner, Arkansas. Our girl is starting things off well by taking Arie racing, I’m not even sure Tia made it around the track once, but it’s the thought that counts. Let me just put it out there that this is my kind of family. It’s beers and pigs in the blanket, nothing pretentious, nothing that screams “take your shoes off before entering”, they toast with cocktail weinies for crying out loud. Arie gets the brother first and Tia already issued Arie a warning, so I do believe he’s a bit nervous. Jason (the brother) starts in right away with the playboy rumors and the fact that Arie has been given the nickname “The Kissing Bandit” and he’s kinda wanting proof that the rumors aren’t what makes the man. He did blame his playboy status on the fact that it was in his younger years, when he was more of a world traveler, Jason is just trying to make sure that Arie is an upstanding guy and his intentions are in the right place. In the end, whatever it is Arie said, worked. When Tia sits down with her dad (who I absolutely love) who wants to know how Arie compares with her dating past and when she says that he is “leaps and bounds ahead of them”, the only think I could wonder is what kind of assholes has she dated that Arie comes out looking like Prince Charming? I think dad was just trying to feel Tia out to make sure that the feelings that she has towards Arie are genuine and wanted to be ensured that he makes her feel special. He ends the convo by telling her “I’ll see if I can get anything out of him”. The topic of playboy comes up again and this time he doesn’t talk about his world travels, he just out right denies the claims. Dad quickly reminds him that Tia not just his baby girl, but his only girl. Arie does ask for his blessing and since Tia is on board, so is he. . .but not before issuing the “if you hurt her” warning. Arie ends the date telling the camera that his visit with Tia was pretty much the “perfect day”.
It’s time for Arie to take a trip to Minnesota and visit with Becca and her family. They kick the day off visiting an apple orchard and making caramel apples. They do chit chat a bit about who Arie will be meeting, which includes mom and an a pastor uncle, so good luck to Arie and his sinning playboy ways. And while I’m not sure who the whole clan waiting to meet Arie is, it appears that he may be walking in to a firing squad, so while my earlier “good luck” was a bit of a joke, now he really does need it. Uncle Gary steals Arie and the conversation quickly turns to Becca’s dad, who has passed away and how important he was to the family. Being the pastor that Uncle Gary is, he asks Arie about church and what happens when Becca wants to attend. Which I thought was a strange way to ask someone about their faith, but whatevs, I would like to take this time to flashback to the Fort Lauderdale episode and Arie’s one-on-one date with Tia. Tia was talking about how important her faith was and he asked her (in a roundabout way) could she see herself married to someone who wasn’t of the faith, which, to me, implied that he wasn’t. Now, when Pastor Gary asks about going to church with Becca, he said he would go and he would be open to it. In the meantime, Becca is with her mom and while her mom isn’t ready to give a blessing to a proposal, she really just wants her daughter to be happy. Now it’s time to make sure that Arie is the one that can make her daughter happy. Her mom really had an opportunity to come hard with the questions, but instead took more of a softball approach and when the time came for Arie to inquire whether or not he would have her blessing, if that time came, all she could really “bless” was Becca’s choice. In the end, they weren’t as hardcore as they could’ve been and Arie felt that it all went well.
Lauren is last and if I’m being truthful, this is the one I really want to see. Through this process, Lauren has continued to claim a certain vulnerability towards love and trust and part of the blame for this has been aimed at her parents, who are still married, so I’m interested to see that dynamic. This hometown has moved to Virginia Beach and just a quick FYI, Lauren is the only remaining girl that Arie has actually told that he was falling in love, so she is already ahead in that game. Straight from the gate we see more out of Lauren than we have possibly seen the entire season and all she has done is the obligatory jump into Arie’s arms while wrapping the legs around the waist, I think we shall call this the Bachelor Leap. After riding horses on the beach and kissing atop a lighthouse, Lauren does let Arie know that her family is very protective and skeptical of the whole Bachelor process. Arie has entered a very conservative home and a even more so, an awkward and silent situation, which then clued me in on where Lauren got it from. If we were looking for a family that was completely the opposite of Tia’s, they have been found. Once they have all gathered around the very pretentious dinner table, the questions come firing off like there being shot from a gun. Has he known any military families? No. Does he play golf? No. What is different about Lauren? He’s always been drawn to her. When is he going to be ready to settle down? Is he there? Yes, he is past there. After that initial interrogation, Arie steps away from the table, mainly because he’s sweating worse than a whore in church and needs to cool himself down. If he was sweating before, he should probably get ready, because his talk with dad is about to commence and they decide to have a literal fireside chat. All her dad needs to know is that Arie is willing to protect Lauren with his life and once Arie tells her dad about how he went over to Iraq on a goodwill tour, any thoughts over his daughter’s safety is gone, dad is now about as smitten as Lauren and I’m surprised he didn’t declare his lover for Arie. I start to become puzzled when her dad tells Arie that he never really has to worry about Lauren picking the wrong guy and that she isn’t going to commit to something that she can’t stick with long term. He does know she was previously engaged right? And that the engagement ended just a year prior. What he didn’t do was give Arie any sort of degree, much less the third one. Now it’s the mom’s turn and I kinda get the feeling that mama mixes her wine with her prescriptions, but that’s probably a conversation for another day. Her only concern seems to be the actual process of the show and his relationships with other women and the fact that she does not want to see Lauren get hurt. He tells her that he loves Lauren and hopes to have her blessing, which he didn’t ask the dad for. . .the military dad. She gives the standard answer for the night. . .she’ll have to trust her daughter. So score again for the “race car driver”.
There back at the mansion and as the girls make their way inside, each of them (through their confessionals) declare their love for Arie, well except Kendall. She is still just falling. Now, when Arie arrives he claims to have no idea what his plan is and starts by telling the ladies that it is the hardest decision he has ever had to make and then decides he needs to step away. When he comes back he needs to speak to Kendall before his final decision is made and the others are left to ponder. His question for Kendall is whether or not she is ready to really be engaged when this ends. While she sees a lot of qualities in Arie that she thinks would make a good husband, she can’t give him an answer on if she’s ready. . .yet. In the end. . .Becca, Lauren, and Kendall will be making their way to the fantasy suites. On a side note: Just once can the girl be a true bitch and tell the motherfucker that just broke her heart that NO, he cannot walk her out and NO, she doesn’t want to hear his bullshit excuses. Because in the real world, how often does anyone give the time of day to someone who just broke their heart? And I’m kinda low key wishing that Jason gets in just one good hit.
As I sit and watch hometown dates, I always have the same question. . .Do these families know what this show is about? Because it’s always the same criticism. . . “it’s so fast”. . .“but there are still other girls”. . .“how can you already know”. . .“you’re not ready for a proposal”. This isn’t season one, it’s the twenty first season, the time for amateurs is long gone. All concerns probably should’ve been made when they first signed up, but if not then, maybe when they got the gig to be on the show. Look, I feel the same way, but telling your daughter when she brings him home that she isn’t ready for marriage is a bit too late. That convo should’ve been had when she told you she was going on a show to find herself a husband. You probably should’ve used that time to figure out where you went wrong as well, because your daughter is going on TV to find herself a husband.
We gotta talk about Lauren. This is someone who has claimed several times that the lack of trust and skepticism of love comes from two places. One, her former engagement. She claims that all was good up until the ring went on the finger and that’s when he turned into an asshole. That’s a story I can stand by. However, I would then question why she is moving from one engagement to potentially another. Someone skittish about love isn’t that eager to possibly having their heart broke again. If it were me offering Lauren some advice, I would tell her to go live a little. To put some variety in the flavor of her dick selections. Make the kind of choices that have you running to the CVS the next day to buy the morning after pill. Because once you live through that, then you’re able to really savor the idea of forever. When you commit, you make that decision knowing that there is not another soul in the world that you want to take that step with. The second place is her parents. She never really went into detail, just that her parents put her in the middle. In the middle of what, we have no idea. But, her parents are still married and I was interested to see their dynamic when her hometown came up, I wanted to know who the assholes were that had Lauren not believing in the fairytale. I get that this is a show and things can somewhat be altered, but after watching Lauren return home, there was nothing that I could see that screamed Lauren wasn’t anything but loved. There was also nothing that indicated Lauren’s parents didn’t like each other, it was quite the opposite. The ex-fiance story was enough to garner understanding and some sympathy, but why lie about your parents? Just once ABC, I need to see someone who can be vulnerable and not talk about how hard it is. . .I need to see someone who hasn’t put up walls around their heart. . .I need to see someone believe in the romance and the fairytale that should come along with finding their forever. . .I need to see someone who has had their heart shattered into a million pieces but still believe in the idea of a happily ever after. Just once.