Monday night’s episode opened with the ladies drinking mimosas and shrieking from atop a patio, most likely punch drunk from the rose ceremony that ended mere hours earlier, no doubt. Lace admitted that on the “first night I got too drunk, too emotional, that wasn’t me, let’s start over” and we proceeded to watch Lace unravel for the next 2 hours (yes, that’s an impeccably crafted fabric joke).
The first group date was a day of challenges at “Bachelor High” because Ben won’t stop beating the dead horse of his high school glory days and the crew was Jackie (forgettable brunette), LB (fashion buyer from the booming design mecca of Oklahoma), Lauren H. (goofy blonde with bad accent), Becca (back in the saddle again), Amber (also back for another round), Mandi (goth dentist), Jojo (whose personality and balayage hair color are growing on me), Jubilee (veteran who don’t take no mess), Jennifer (intense brunette with a pretty flat affect), and the girl who is like a pushy drug dealer but with kisses, Lace.
Professor Chris Harrison rocks glasses and a sweater vest and leads the women from class to class and challenge to challenge just like in a high school day. The first challenge is a science lab, but if this were truly like high school, nobody would wear their safety goggles over their eyes because that looks lame. Jubilee and Lace are disqualified immediately. In “lunch class” (Chris legit called it that), Jackie confuses the game “Bobbing for Apples” with “Licking Wet Apples” and her team gets disqualified. Out of 8 girls, none of them can place Indiana on a map (ouch—just find Chicago and pop it below there, ladies), and the score is settled in the gym (well, I guess that IS like high school) where the yellow team (Amber and Mandi) win the challenge, united by their shared love of belly tops. But there can be only one Homecoming Queen at Bach High, so Amber and Mandi take it to the tack for a 50 yard dash with hurdles which Mandi wins handily. She is crowned Homecoming Queen and, oddly enough, that giant rose headpiece from night 1 looked better on her than the tiara.
During the after party, Becca gets some quality time with Ben and rocks a gorgeous bright white manicure/tooth combo then Jennifer kisses and tells. Lace is PISSED and when Lace is pissed she morphs into her version of The Incredible Hulk that I call LOCKJAW LACE. Lace interrupts Mandi so that she can assure Ben that she’s a “really good girl” and that she’s NOT CRAZY. Then moments later she interrupts Jubilee and Ben (discussing the fact that Jubilee is an orphan adopted from Haiti) so that she can again tell him that she’s “NOT CRAZY” and then launch in on aggressive small talk (“SO HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN DENVER? DO YOU LIKE THE WEATHER? I AM EASY BREEZY AND TOTALLY NOT CRAZY, RIGHT?”)
Man, oh man, nothing says “I’M F-ING CRAZY” quite like a girl who leads with “I’m not crazy.” The other girls are pissed that Lace has disrupted multiple conversations and Jojo and Jubilee have the guts to bring it up. Ben scoops up Jojo so that they can have some 1:1 time on the rooftop helicopter pad (that I’m convinced was used in the Guns N Roses video “Don’t Cry”) and kiss, then he gives her the rose, much to Lace’s dismay.
The next day is a Ride Along-movie themed 1:1 date for Ben and Caila (Boston-based software saleswoman) complete with the stars of Ride Along 2, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. Ben introduces them to the shrieking ladies and hilariously describes Ice Cube as “an actor who is also a rapper.” ALSO A RAPPER? Sure, he was the first member of NWA to really cross over and his acting resume is solid, but to me he’s a rapper who also acts. That intro felt like calling Michael Jordan a restaurant entrepreneur who also played basketball, ya know?
The date is unexpected and cute (a ride in a classic hoop, a trip to a liquor store, a dip at a hot tub store) and over dinner, Caila reveals that she believes far too much in fate. Caila met her ex on a flight to the city where they both lived and then ran into him on the street 2 weeks later and she thought that was a sign, but I think the chances are pretty damn high that a run-in like that would happen! Ben and Caila seem to have a good chemistry and are alike in their corniness. After dinner, they head into a theater where Amos Lee is performing and if you’re not familiar with Amos Lee’s music, you should be. Here’s my favorite song by him:
It’s time for the second group date and the lucky ladies are Emily (one of the twins, who knows and who cares which one), Shushanna (the Russian who is like a caricature of a Russian), Samantha (sweet lawyer who seems a lil bit unstable), Olivia (newscaster who has spent the episode catching flies in her giant mouth), Hayley (the other twin—God I can’t wait for those girls to get bounced), and Amanda (mother of two with valley girl speech patterns). They go to a Love Lab where they spend the day as guinea pigs in a series of love experiments. Because there is no justice in this world, Samantha somehow loses every experiment and Olivia can’t stop winning. We learn an important lesson, too: Even a super hot guy looks like a DWEEB when rocking Google Glass and a bunch of tech accessories.
|Hey Bachelor Nation, did you think I was hot? Well bad news, I'm not!|
After her and Ben’s chemistry is “proven” by science, Olivia becomes insufferable and recites the tag line beloved by Courtney Robertson during Ben F.’s season and an unemployed actor/drug addict who had a very public meltdown: WINNING! Hey Olivia, 2011 called and they want their catchphrase back.
During the after party at the Four Seasons, Ben takes Olivia back to his room for a quick make-out. Ben lives at the Four Seasons? Who does he think he is, Dylan McKay? Olivia returns to the group and asks them where they plan to talk to Ben, then refuses to reveal where she just talked to Ben. Oh girl, you’re a nightmare. Amanda isn’t having it and I’m beginning to like her. Amanda and Ben finally get some 1:1 time and somewhere in between her constant use of the word “like” as a filler, she explains that she has two small children who have ridiculous names. Ben is warm to this news and asks her to “tell them I said hi” which she promises she’ll do. “Hey, Sharley and Lindslee (I know those aren’t their actual names but it’s close and I don’t want to talk about tykes by name), this random hottie software salesman dude named Ben says HELLO!”
Finally, it’s cocktail party/rose ceremony time and two blonde Laurens disprove my theory that blonde women look bad in yellow dresses, Olivia is misuses the phrase “rest on your laurels,” and Lace goes on a TEAR to prove just how non-crazy she is by sharing information about just how dorky she was as a child—huh? Increasingly, she seems like a girl who has never spoken to a handsome guy before in her LIFE and she blossomed into a beautiful girl, but her social skills are still lacking and she’s just floundering.
Ben gives small, personal gifts the aforementioned yellow dress blondes and Amanda while Lace pulls Olivia aside to give her an eye full of lockjaw and whine about her situation. Before Lace can grind all of her teeth into oblivion, Chris Harrison mercifully leads them into the rose ceremony. Jojo, Olivia, and Caila already have flowers and Ben hands out roses to…
-Amanda – mom of 2 in a dress that resembles my disco fantasies
-Jubilee – backless black dress, looking fierce and sharing personal information at a healthy pace
-Lauren B. – super cute, confident blonde gal
-Leah – no dates this week, but she makes her mark with a funky look (black dress, super bold lip, hair down and straight)
-Becca – gunmetal dress and beachy hair on fleek (may I use that phrase as a 35 year old woman?)
-Rachel – dark hair, cool dress, dark horse
-Lace – somebody needs to get her some Xanax STAT
-LB – instead of taking the rose, she pulls Ben aside and opts to leave. Props to you, girl! If you’re not feeling it, no need to stick around! Ben then tells the girls that he’ll now be able to keep a girl who he doesn’t really like but he phrases it in a shockingly graceful way.
-Jennifer – brown hair, super flat speech patterns. No thank you.
-Emily – one of the twins in a cool, metallic dress
-Jamie – nice patterned dress, slow burn
-Lauren H. – bright yellow bandage dress, goofy but fun
-Shushanna – the girl who can hardly communicate with Ben makes it through!?
-Haley – other twin in a super cheesy red dress
-Amber – I can’t look at without hearing that line from the opening credit of Step by Step: the second time around….
So who is jumping ship without a life preserver?
-Jackie the forgettable brunette who would really stand a trim. Trust me, girl, it would get the weight off the ends of your hair and really freshen things up.
-Mandi the goth dentist who was probably gobsmacked to go from Bachelor High Homecoming Queen to Total Reject in a matter of days.
-Samantha the Florida-based lawyer who is gorgeous and seems very sweet, but perhaps doesn’t have the mental fortitude to handle The Bachelor (that’s a compliment to her, really).
Next week promises drama involving Jubilee, Olivia, and Lace. I can't wait!