Finally, we've escaped the U.S. and find ourselves in Mexico City. What do I know about Mexico City? They have great food. That's about it.
The girls check into their accommodations and bounce around like they’ve never been in a hotel before. They find the first date card and as much as Olivia channels her black magic to make it for her, it's for Amanda, the baby-voiced blonde with the two little girls. We of course move immediately to several more interviews of Olivia (the chosen villain of the season) doggin' on Amanda and declaring that she knows Ben and she's pretty sure he doesn't want two insta-kids.
What she also knows for sure is that she is in love with Ben and that makes her more than qualified to decide what's best for him. Makes sense.
1-on-1 date #1: Amanda
Ben picks up Amanda...at 4:30 a.m. He shines a flashlight in all the girls’ faces to get a better look at what he's in for and decides that all the girls look "great" without all the hair and makeup. Um, maybe not all the girls. Poor Lauren H gets caught on camera with her retainer in. But because Lauren H is a goofball and can make fun of herself, she works it - and even gives the producers a quick interview - retainer and all. He also finds a pile of hair on a nightstand which I'm quite sure was more than he bargained for.
This whole bit is a little silly, especially since this isn’t the first season that The Bachelor has done this. And each time they do it, the girl going on the date always pops up and - surprise! She's perfectly made-up and ready to go.
Amanda and Ben take a cozy limo ride to a hot air balloon farm. I’m glad ABC realized that taking a helicopter in Mexico was probably not a good idea. Balloons are the much safer choice.
They canoodle and kiss throughout the date then Amanda gives Ben the overview of her ex-husband (surprise fella! You’re being outed on national TV!) and her little girls. She’s very matter of fact about her story and her feelings and I appreciate she doesn’t use it as an opportunity to cry and blubber to get the sympathy card.
They move on to dinner and as with all the other girls, Ben gushes over her and how much he likes her and presents her with the rose. Ben, Ben, Ben – you gotta reign this in a little my friend!
All in all – besides her squeaky voice and her penchant for using the word “like,” I think Amanda is sweet and seems pretty down to earth. Not sure if there was any chemistry between the two of them but we don’t have time to think about that because it’s time for the group date.
This one’s for Jubilee, Jennifer, Leah, Becca, Jojo, Emily, Lauren B, Caila and - much to her dismay - Olivia. That's right: still no 1-on-1 date for our girl O.
They head off to...school! I feel like we've seen this group date before too. This time they are learning Spanish. And for some reason they have Ben say “I love you,” “I want to marry you” and “I want to kiss you” to each and every girl in Spanish. (Yes it's weird.)
And guess who’s not having it? Our sad, mopey Jubilee. She’s snarky to Ben and physically pushing him away. And maybe it was just me but he looked pissed. The other girls are quietly cringe-y at how poorly Jubilee is behaving and I have to say, she’s being a brat.
Next up: the group is shopping for food to make dinner – all in Spanish. Is anyone surprised when Olivia pairs up with Ben? C’mon ladies, step up your games! You gotta push that bitch aside and grab your man if you want him! The only one who even makes an attempt is Jubes and she stands down to Olivia. What a wimp. I was hoping she’d pull some of her Army ninja skills on O's skinny ass. But no, she just sulks Jubilee-style instead.
Anyway they all pair up to make a recipe and then get judged by the owners of the restaurant they cooked in. Jubilee and Lauren B work together (silently, according to Ben) to make the winning dish. But the winner here is always Olivia because she’s the only one – again – who gets time with Ben.
When we move on to the cocktail hour, we again see O pulling Ben away first. I gotta say - she's good. She isn't afraid of what any of the girls think. And all Ben knows is that it makes him feel special. Poor Ben.
Ben makes time for all the girls -- and even a little extra time for his fave Lauren B -- then moves to Jubilee. Right out of the gate he reaches for her hand and she refuses, claiming she doesn't want to offend the other girls (yeah right). They get to their designated chat area and Ben doesn't waste any time trying to find out what's wrong with her now. He calls her out for not holding his hand and not being open and proceeds to tell her he doesn't see anything between them. That means - bye bye Jubilee. Too bad broody, insecure Jubilee won out over feisty, sarcastic, humorous Jubilee and sabotaged her chances. I can't say I'm sorry to see her go.
Ben gets a little sympathy from Jojo and then boom -- drops the rose not on her or his fave Lauren B -- but on Olivia. Didn't see that coming. I don't think any of the girls did either. I think I saw some jaws literally drop. Ben, Ben, Ben....again, I don't know about you.
1-on-1 date #2: Lauren H
The last date of the ep goes to Lauren H - the retainer wearing, puppet kissing blonde who seems to have a silly sense of humor. Up to this point I'm not sure she is even on Ben's radar -- and maybe that's why she got the date.
Anyway they are going to Mexico City's Fashion Week! And they are going to walk in the show! Good thing Lauren has the longest, skinniest legs I've ever seen - she'll be perfect.
Fast forward to Ben and Lauren's turn to walk. Lauren goes first and does a respectable job. She's poised and doesn't fall down or anything! She turns to walk back as Ben takes his turn and right when they cross paths he gives her a sneaky little wink, not even breaking his pose in the least.
Oh. My. Gawd. He's so cute.
They have dinner and actually finally get to talk. Lauren tells her sad story of a past break up (and it was, I admit, a doozy) and Ben seems to finally connect with her so - ding ding ding! She gets the rose!
You get a rose! You get a rose! Everyone gets a rose!
I'm not going waste too much time on the rose ceremony because they did the ole "To Be Continued" shit to us again. The highlight of the party thus far is the girls finally turning on Olivia to Ben, which I have to say is usually a mistake. But perhaps the girls who brought this up to him feel they aren't front runners anyway and don't have anything to lose? I'm not sure. But the main culprits are Emily -- who takes the crying road - and Jennifer - who is more matter of fact.
Perhaps the most important though is Amanda, who actually had Olivia compare her to MTV's "Teen Mom" in regard to sharing her children with her ex -- to her FACE. She tells Ben how Olivia offended her and the last thing we see is Ben interrupting Charrison to ask Olivia to talk. Dun dun DUN!
To be continued mo-fo's!