I realized something last night. Each season of The Bachelor/Bachelorette we plod along for the first 5 episodes, rolling our eyes and yawning at the same tired group dates and wondering why we watch this shit, and then BAM - episode 6 rolls in and changes everything.
It happened again last night. Episode 6 brought with it the 2-on-1 date, a hurricane, one girl talking trash about another, 4 girls hitting the bricks and lots and lots of crying. Oh and swimming pigs. We can't forget the swimming pigs. I'm hooked!
But wait, we still have to finish up the Rose Ceremony from episode 5. When we last left the mansion, Jennifer, Amanda and Emily had each given Ben the skinny on the antics of Olivia, house villain. It didn't look good for Miss O as Ben asked to speak with her - rose and all - right before the ceremony.
Ben gives her the lame "I'm confused by the things being said" and Olivia explains it all away in only the way Olivia can, playing the victim and extolling her love of books. And even though some of the girls were certain this spelled the end for the evil Olivia, she is quickly escorted by Ben back to her place in the line-up. Good try ladies.
So we say goodbye to the sweet Jennifer. We didn't even get to know you, girl.
Moving on, Ben tells the girls they are headed to the most romantic place ever: the Bahamas! Hmm...not sure the Bahamas is known for it's romance but hey, what do I know?
Charrison shows up to give the girls the 411: this leg includes a 1-on-1 date, a group date and - wait for it - the dreaded 2-on-1 date, the most humiliating event in all of Bachelor competition.
The first date card arrives and it's for ......... Caila. What?! Caila already got a 1-on-1! Yup, and she's getting another one. She's that pretty. No, it's not just that. It's apparently because Ben didn't feel like they got the QT they needed with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart tagging along last time. Makes sense. Plus Ben thinks Caila smiles too much. Seriously. Men are the Goldilocks of smiling. Either you don't smile enough or you smile too much. We can't win. Amirite ladies? Jeesh.
Ben picks Caila up and unbeknownst to him there's drama swirling around Leah, the blonde from Colorado. She is pretty upset with Ben. Not only do she and Ben live in the same city (that means they belong together) but she's also the only woman who hasn't had any quality alone time with him. And yes, this is true, but not once did we see (or the producers let us see) her attempt to ask for his time on a group date. It's a two way street my dear. And jeez, she would have had great conversation starters! For instance: "Hey do you get wings from Whatta Wing on 18th Street?" "Yes, I love that place!" And so on and so on. That's gold!
Or she could have taken a page from Olivia's playbook: grab him like he's a clearance wedding dress at Filene's and don't let go no matter what. O hasn't had a 1-on-1 either and she's happy as a pig soaking up the Bahama sun.
What I'm saying is: Leah took a back seat, a passive strategy, if you will, and it clearly backfired. But we'll get back to her later.
Anyway Ben picks up Caila in her shorty-short denim panties and they are off for some fun on a giant yacht. Ben starts in on his "you're always smiling" critique that carries over into their dinner.
He starts off with: "So, you smile a lot, I've noticed that about you."
Then after talking about wanting her to cry on his shoulder he says:
"I know it's hard to open up and it's hard to be vulnerable, but I want to know how exactly you would react if somebody else was struggling, or if you were struggling, like do you feel like you would still smile through it or would you actually feel it?"
And I see white for a minute. Is this guy for real? Will she "feel it?" Because she smiles a lot? Does he just want a broken bird of a woman who will cry on his shoulder so he can fix her?
And I am stewing about this so much I almost miss her reply:
"I don't know if I'm 100% ready right now to cry on your shoulder. I have to be honest that I feel a little put on the spot right now." "I feel like all these moments leading up to now, you've been saying, 'be vulnerable,' I know I'm supposed to be."
And this makes me irrationally happy. Finally! Someone said it. You can't be vulnerable on cue! Take that ABC!
But then I get irrationally confused. She says she's not ready, and that she's going to hurt him and break his heart, but then says she's falling in love with him and she wants him in her life and he understands her and I've officially gone cross-eyed. Hhwhat? Ben looks as discombobulated as all of us feel.
But whatever she says is Ben's "jam" because he gives her the rose and interviews that in a "weird" way that was the "best date" he'd ever been on. Hmm. So Caila fights to see another day by standing her ground and confusing the hell out of the Bachelor. Go girl!
And much to her dismay, Leah
The group gets on a boat and heads to a small deserted island to...swim with pigs. No, I didn't say dolphins. I said pigs. Is this a thing in the Bahamas? I don't care enough to google it but if someone knows, please loop me in.
Anyway, Ben tells them they are going to jump in the water with a fist full of hot dogs (chicken hot dogs of course) and feed the piggies as they swim up to them. He tells them to cross their arms in front of themselves to tell the pigs "No means NO!" to get them to back off. OK no sweat, right?
Um, no. These pigs are aggressive! And no crossed arms are going to stop them. Who the fuck came up with this date? I mean, it's funny, then it's scary, then it's just fuckin' weird. The girls are all screaming and running and the pigs are snorting and squealing. It's a shit show. Some of the quotes of the night come from this disaster though:
Becca: "I didn't know I was scared of pigs until today."
Jojo: "This is like a bar in Dallas: pigs everywhere."
And the clueless Ben:
"The girls are just having a blast with it. Some girls are holding babies, some girls are feeding them, some girls are talking to them, some girls are making them chase them around. This is just so fun."
Um, the humidity has officially melted Ben's brain.
All this piggie fun is followed by Ben giving some cozy quality time to Lauren B right in front of all the other girls. So not only did they go on this horrific date, they have to watch him canoodle with the known front runner. And to top it all off, Ben is shocked that they aren't all having a great time.
Ben. I thought I liked you. I really, really did. But now I'm not so sure. What are those producers feeding you? Have you been hypnotized? I am lost. You've turned into a real obtuse egomaniac.
Sidebar: What is the deal with Ben and Jojo? She seems to be his confidant. Do they have some kind of deal? Is he keeping her around so she can be the Bachelorette or is she the chosen one and she's just playing it cool? I want to know!
We get to the cocktail party and ding ding ding - drama ensues. Leah decides that her last ditch effort to stay on this pig-ridden island is to throw someone else under the bus. Who does she choose? She goes right for the queen bee: Miss Lauren B, front runner-extraordinaire. Leah claims Lauren is one way with him and a different way in the house (this season's "here for the wrong reasons").
Ben is of course shocked that anyone would say anything bad about his sweet LB and immediately tells Lauren that "someone" at the party says she's not genuine. More drama ensues, as Lauren cries to the girls about what happened. The now sinister Leah sits down and looks her right in the face and says "I didn't say anything." I'm not sure flat out lying on camera is the smartest move but go big or go home right?
Ben gives Amanda (??) the group date rose and they head back to the hotel. This is when Leah really shoots herself in the foot. She sneaks over to Ben's room (while all the girls are outing her for being the big mouth) for what we think is some QT so Ben can get to know her better. But the girl just can't help herself and lays into Lauren B again. Ben is clearly annoyed by this strategy, stops her and sends her butt a-packin'.
Good work Ben, we need to move on. A storm is brewing!
2-on-1 Date: Olivia and Emily
Ben picks up the girls and tells them he's taking them on a boat. That's all well and good but there's a M-F-ing hurricane going on out there. What the hell is everyone thinking? I mean, seriously? Don't they have back up plans for these kind of things? Isn't there a cave they could spelunk while he does the dirty work? Take shelter people!
Nope. They are committed. There must be some sort of elaborate 2-on-1 date set-up at this island they're headed to. No mere four poster bed in the middle of the sand like last season, this must be the set from Lost or something awesome like that. Right?
Um, no. It's literally a blanket on the sand and a rose tied down to a piece of driftwood. Did the other stuff fly away in the typhoon? No? This is it? How sad.
Ben takes O right away so she can talk his ear off about 1) how she's a victim, 2) books and intellectual "stuff" being her "jam" and 3) that she loves him. Flat out, no bones about it: love. They kiss and we move on to Emily. The most interesting thing about this conversation is that her hair is flying in her face so much you can't even see her. Sweetie, always carry a hair tie. Don't do this to yourself. Anyway, she talks and talks and talks and then it's done. I don't even think they kissed.
And that's it folks! Date of a lifetime right there. Now it's decision time. Ben picks up the humidity soaked rose and asks Olivia to go for a walk. She's stoked; Emily is pissed. But wait! Ben rips off the band-aid right away and sends O packing. No explanation, no hemming and hawing, just done. I have to be honest, I wanted a little more. After all he put us through keeping her around you'd think it could have been a little more dramatic than that. He just gave her a rose in Mexico for cat's sake!
Anyway, he heads back to the towel with the rose and makes Emily's year. They head back to the boat in hurricane force winds while poor Olivia is still glued to the same spot, sinking ever so slowly into the sand. ABC actually had a helicopter or hot air balloon up in the air to catch the scene of O standing there by herself. Ick. I didn't like her but this whole thing is so humiliating. #getridofthetwoononeabc
In the most underwhelming Rose Ceremony to date, we say goodbye to Lauren H. Sorry to see you go LH. You made me laugh.
Front runners are still Lauren B, Jojo, Caila and Becca. The scenes for the rest of the season look crazy. Does he take all six on hometowns? I thought I saw Emily's family in there. Looks like the best is yet to come.