I’m just SO PISSED about this week. Truly livid. My Bachelor Fantasy League bracket is in shambles. Thanks, Ben. We headed to Mexico this week and shit. got. real. This week, Lauren H. and Amanda both get one-on-ones, Ben wakes up the girls for some reason, and Emily and Lauren H. both might end up being funny. I’m thrilled.
We open on a montage of what I can assume is a feature for Mexico City’s greatest landscapes, and if we’re being honest, I think the editors for Survivor might have taken some pick-up days in the Bachelor edit bay because it is simply the transition shots from any season of Survivor in recent history. Ben loves Mexico City and I feel like The Bachelor is in a potential ‘pay to play’ deal with Mexico’s capital–does anyone love Mexico City enough for an entire week to be set here in Bachelor land? Honestly, maybe, but I’m just slightly not buying it. We’re halfway through this whole process, according to Ben, which is just so jarring. In total, at most, these girls have spent A day with Ben. A single day. And that’s only if they’ve gotten a one-on-one. So we’re halfway to a predicted engagement? Slightly worrisome. The girls run into the Four Seasons hotel and I’m realizing there’s been just such a focus on the hotels of choice for this season. Olivia might be the only one with a bidet in her room, which is super subtle, producers, and the rest of the women are just excited to be sharing beds. (Editor’s note: could the producers not spring for like one extra room? Why are these women forced to share roll-aways and queen sized beds? They probably don’t do this for the men during The Bachelorette. #YesAllWomen) Alright, it’s time for the first date card of the week; “Amanda–Let’s put all our eggs in one basket…Ben”. Honestly, I mean if we’re speaking honestly, these date cards are getting better. I think the producers are listening. BUT, and that’s a huge but, other than the fact that hot air balloons have baskets, there’s no real connection of the date card to the date. Amanda takes the time to point out that she’s really excited for the one-on-one because she can finally figure out if it’s worth it for her to be away from her children for this long. I’m sorry, 5 weeks to determine if leaving your children with their apparently deadbeat dad was a great decision? I don’t know, I’m not against Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants having kids, but I am against them not outright saying that it’s a slightly crazy thing to do to leave them for a few months to maybe, sort of, hopefully fall in love with a former contestant of the show. While Amanda is proving my point, Olivia is clearly a little cautious about Amanda and Ben’s relationship because if Amanda and Ben end up together, that means Ben will be a father. I mean, that’s kind of their thing to figure out, but okay, Olivia, if you want to just cement your place in crazy town, go right on ahead declaring that people with kids don’t deserve love. Okay, so now that our EXPOSITION IS FINALLY THROUGH, it’s time for the date and for some reason it needs to start at 4:30am? I’m sorry, do hot air balloon rides require a pre-sunrise schedule? Just truly what is this enormous boom happening in the hot air balloon industry that trips must be scheduled that early? It’s apparently time to see the girls in their element and wake them all up. As my boss, and luckily co-watcher Rachel Dorfman said, “This is not their element.” Could not have said it better, Rachel. So Ben runs into their hotel rooms with a flashlight and all of the girls are makeup free and exhausted and I’m honestly a little pissed none of them just straight up punched Ben in the face, because if someone was waking me up at 4:30am to take another girl on a date and also was shoving a camera in my face, I’d be more than a little pissed. Obviously, and we can all agree, Lauren H. stole the show with her amazing, amazing retainer. Never has a women been so real on television at 4:30am. Work, girl, work. By the time Ben finds Amanda in her bed, she’s clearly heard the reaction of the other girls and had time to put on a makeup flawlessly and, clearly, throw some sea-salt spray in her hair. It’s just like the Puffs episode of Gilmore Girls with Paris in her zit cream and Rory with fresh lip gloss in the most perfect way. Rory, of course being Amanda, and Paris, of course, being Lauren H. Side note, and honestly completely unrelated, but I went to high school from 2006-2010, so as you can imagine, Lauren was a popular name, as it is on this season alone, but we didn’t only have a lot of Laurens, but we had six different Lauren H.’s all within a class of 152 girls. Sorry, just had to throw that out there. Alllright. Finally time for the actual date. They go on a hot air balloon ride which is cool as hell and I feel bad for the hot air balloon pilot (Worker? Fireman? Navigator?) who has to chill in this tiny-ass basket with Amanda and Ben. They somehow land in a literal field and just chill there. It honestly looks like it’s just the single most unkempt plot of land they could find in Mexico City, but apparently Ben and Amanda are finding it romantic. Amanda struggles to open up to Ben a little bit and ends up not opening up at all? What do they talk about on this date, just like barrettes?
We’re back at the Four Seasons Mexico City and Jubilee is super jealous that Amanda and Ben get to have a romantic date. She’s getting more and more concerned every week and so am I now. Before I can overanalyze Jubilee over analyzing her relationship with Ben, it’s time for another date card! “Como se dice, this is a way to a man’s heart…Jubilee, Becca, JoJo, Caila, Emily, Lauren B., Jennifer, Leah, Olivia.” So, minus the format of this card being all over the place, I have to give this date card a straight up STANDING OVATION. It’s topical, informative, and exactly what’s about to happen on their date. Bravo, producers, bravo. Based on her keen deductive skills, Lauren H. is on the other one-on-one this week and Olivia is just not happy about it. GOOD.
Amanda says that tonight is the night that she’s going to open up to Ben about her past. She finally broaches the subject and basically describes her ex-husband as someone who might be not a great person? I mean, I don’t know the guy, but based on her description of him, he might just be an actual demon? Ben responds like a human, thank god, and says that he can’t imagine that anyone would treat her that way. Amanda goes on to say that having been married before means that she takes marriage even more seriously than someone who doesn’t have that experience. And, yeah, honestly, that does make sense to me and I think it’s cool that Amanda wants and seems to be ready to get married again. Amanda and Ben, by the way, say “like” as much as I say “honestly”–IT’S EXCESSIVE, but it is on-brand. Ben doesn’t get why Amanda is interested in him and he tells her that he doesn’t feel lucky, but rather, appreciative that she’s there. I mean can’t he be both? Anyway, of course she gets a rose, because Ben is just not going to be a Bachelor that is going to make a lot of deep cuts, or so I think.
Time for the another school themed group date! God, so much redundancy of aircrafts, roofs, and school dates this season. Let’s show some creativity, producers. So they head into a Spanish class and they learn just very not helpful phrases like “I’m falling in love with you” and “I want to kiss you” which will prove entirely unrelated for the rest of their date. I’m obsessed with Emily just straight up speaking in English. I’m totally Team Emily this week. Olivia apparently speaks Spanish already so she’s very confident with this, Jubes sabotages herself a little and just gives Ben sass when they’re speaking their meaningless Spanish phrases to each other. I’m all for sass, but at some point, we all need to break down the wall and try to have a normal conversation with someone. Once they’ve concluded learning the Spanish equivalent of a Valentine’s Day card, they’re off to their next destination: a market and restaurant. They meet up with Chef Lula and Chef Nico, a brother and sister who might as well be Pixar characters. They’re all told they need to pair up and will complete a recipe including ordering all of the ingredients from the market in Spanish. But wait, you might say, there’s only 9 women?! Yep, Ben gets to be in a pair with one of them, which like yeah, what else would he do if he weren’t cooking. All the women are good sports except for Olivia and Jubes who will both not release Ben from their clenches. Somehow Olivia wins out and she and Ben are on a team and Lauren B. gets the leftover Jubilee, though, honestly, that seems like the best team to be on. The women and Ben run through the market to gather all of their ingredients including crickets? Were those really on the recipe card, Olivia? This wasn’t like a Fear Factor challenge, there was nothing saying you had to seek out crickets. Was Olivia seeking out crickets to eat? What? Why? Emily, again, steals America’s heart and holds a comically large knife while saying “Adios, Olivia”. The rest of the women constantly bring up that Olivia has horrible breath which seems like something Ben would make a determination on, but hmm, maybe not. Emily thinks Ben brings Olivia to a certain stand at the market to get some mints. Heheheh.
Final date card of the week: “Lauren H.–Let’s design a life together…Ben.” I mean, I get it, but nothing will probably ever beat the last date card.
We’re back at the restaurant and it’s time to cook. Ben apparently loves to cook and names himself the “Spachelor” which is dumb and not a word. He’s also worried about Lauren B. and Jubilee, but honestly I’m not sure why because they’re cooking what seems to be a bomb ass feast and I’m jealous of it. Jubilee says that she doesn’t think that group dates are fun anymore because she’s basically stuck on a date watching other people fall in love around her. Honestly heart breaking, because, if we boil it down, yeah, that’s exactly what The Bachelor is. It’s time to taste the dishes, though, and Pixar Lula and Pixar Nico explain that in Mexican culture, a woman knows she’s ready to get married when she knows how to cook. Welp, let’s see which of these women are ready. Emily apparently made a terrible tortilla and JoJo made a salsa that is “not as good as it should be” which is like kind of a compliment? Olivia put crickets on a duck sandwich, which, again, was definitely not on the recipe card. Jubilee and Lauren B. steal the show, though, and Pixar People tell them that they need to put their dish on the menu. They really hadn’t tried the recipe with which they provided them? MMK. The cocktail party later that night, of course, starts with Olivia interrupting Ben and stealing him to make sure she talks to him first. At this point, I completely understand the power of editing, and she’s probably a normal human, but what does Ben see in Olivia? There is nothing even slightly that seems genuine or uncalculating. Maybe Ben is just someone who likes women that are not themselves? Once they’re done chatting, Lauren B. and Ben just straight up leave the date. They go to roam the streets of Mexico City all while making out and the rest of the women literally can’t find them. Again, they seem like they’ve been dating for an eternity already, JUST CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF, PRODUCERS. Now it’s time for Ben and Jubilee to chat. Ben tries to grab Jubes’ hand and she just rejects it. I know that she might feel uncomfortable showing affection around the other girls, but I’m with Ben on this one–if she can’t even hold his hand, how can he ever expect to fall in love with her in a situation she is clearly not comfortable. It’s so crazy, though, because starting the season she seemed like the single most confident girl that had ever been on this show and I was so onboard. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jubilee to death, but she’s very clearly not cut out for this show. And, unfortunately, doesn’t look like she’s cut out to be The Bachelorette, no matter how much I want that to happen. Ben makes a real grown up decision and tells Jubilee that he would be lying if he said he could see a future with her and he sends her home. I take comfort in knowing that Ben was enough of a man to not string her along and let her leave with dignity. We’ll miss you, Jubes, and we, as a Bachelor Nation, definitely want more of you in our lives. After Jubes leaves, Ben tells the other girls what happens and I’m so glad JoJo is the one to grab him right after. Ben all emotional proclaims “I’m done breaking up with people”; JoJo, in what can be described as the most equally smooth and hilarious line, says “You got a ton more to go.” YAHS, JOJO, YAHS. For some reason, Olivia ends up with the rose on this date? For why? BEN, YOU DON’T HAVE TO GIVE A ROSE TO A GIRL JUST BECAUSE SHE ATE CRICKETS WILLINGLY.
Alright, so I’m already curious about how the date with Lauren H. is going to go–they in no way have a natural or physical chemistry, so I’m wondering if we’ll be saying goodbye to two girls two nights in a row. They end up at a fashion house and are almost immediately asked to walk in a show for Mexico City Fashion Week, which is apparently a thing? Lauren H. can’t keep a straight face while they’re practicing their walks and Ben is conveniently left out of the practices. Nothing exciting happens before or during the show other than the fact that Ben loves modeling A LITTLE TOO MUCH. Based on his love of the runway, it’s clear that Ben straight up planned this date or has been wanting to plan this date for roughly 23 years. They head to dinner and Lauren H. opens up like kind of a lot–she was dating someone for over 4 years and they lived together and he ended up cheating on her and breaking up with her. Who are these guys that these cool girls are getting stuck with? Oh yeah, while I don’t see Ben and Lauren H. together in any way, shape, or form, she’s a cool girl and reminds me of my own kindergarten teacher best friend (HAI KATIE!) and she definitely deserves love. Ben does not open up at all, and feels secure enough in their connection to give her a rose, which I just don’t see, but whatever. Maybe he just wants one day without tragedy.
Alright, time for the cocktail party. JoJo asks Ben to “keep her in the loop” which is a valid thing, but not necessarily on this show, and Ben responds with a promise not ever to blindside her. Well, everyone in the world has said it before me, but unless she wins, SHE GON’ GET BLINDSIDED. Uh oh, now we know that Ben is a man that makes promises he can’t keep. Lauren B. grabs him next and confesses that she can see a life with Ben even past marriage–she’s very keen on letting Ben know that she’s already basically in love with him. Now if we’re being honest, and if I didn’t love Lauren B. as much as I do, I think she’d be a little cuckoo bananas for confessing this 5 weeks in. Oh well. The real drama happens, though, beyond Ben’s earshot. Amanda is talking to the rest of the ladies about her kids and Olivia says it’s “just like an episode of Teen Mom”. I’m sorry, in what universe, Olivia?! SHE’S JUST THE WORST. Ugh, she doesn’t even deserve space on this recap to combat that comment. Emily gets super upset, which makes me love her even more, and decides that Ben needs to know that Olivia is being a bitch. She starts to tell Ben and just bursts into tears which is absolutely what I would do too because my body’s choice reaction for anything even slightly anxiety-inducing or confrontational is just to weep. She gets through it and tells Ben that basically he’s seeing a different side of her than the rest of the girls, and the country for that matter, are. Of course, Olivia of all people, comes up to interrupt them and once he’s finished up with Olivia, Ben takes the opportunity to ask the rest of the women individually if they have the same feelings about Olivia–shocking, but yes, they all hate her. It’s a high-tension night and I look at the clock and it’s 9:57pm. DO WE HAVE TIME TO FINISH EVERYTHING?
Chris Harrison comes to grab Ben for the rose ceremony and Ben makes the decision to ask if he can speak to Olivia. We cut to a confessional shot of Ben saying that this night has been “illuminating” and then all of a sudden, a distinct TO BE CONTINUED runs across America’s screens. WHAT?! YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?! JUST TAKE THE ROSE AWAY NOW, BENJAMIN!
Next week on The Bachelor: just straight up everyone crying. Ben posing very naturally on some rocks by the ocean, and hopefully a conclusion to what might actually warrant a “most dramatic ever” rose ceremony. Until next week, folks–pray for my bracket.