In commercials for Monday night's episode of The Bachelor, producers promised us an intense, shocking conversation between Caelynn and Colton and, based on what Caelynn said last week ("real life shit") I KNEW that this would be a conversation in which she told Colton about having been sexually assaulted/raped, and, heartbreakingly enough, I was correct. Ooof. I was impressed by how everyone handled those revelations—the franchise, the editors and producers, Colton, and most of all Caelyn. More on that soon, but I just want to share that I KNEW this is what it would be about, because it is a conversation that I have been forced to have with dates/boyfriends and it never gets any easier, but you want to speak your truth. Because what happened to you echoes throughout your life—especially in the context of romance and intimacy. And there's a feeling of, am I sharing this information too early? Or too late? So many men don't realize how horribly common sexual assault is and for that reason I think it is SO important for women to share their stories. As they say, shame blossoms in secret. Share your story. This isn't your shame to carry.
More on that later, for now, back to the snark.
We're down to 15 ladies and Chris Harrison arrives for a morning chat with the gals. He mixes up Alabama Hannah and her nemesis Caelynn (I thought all white women looked alike only at Starbucks—at least that's where it happens to me the most often), then informs them that they are ditching the STD Shack and hitting the road for SINGAPORE!! Hannah G (aka First Impression Rose) asks the question that they are all, no doubt, wondering through their joyful shrieks,
"WHERE IS SINGAPORE?"
Next we watch Colton wandering around Singapore alone marveling at "the lights... the buildings... it's definitely amazing" and his lack of specificity makes me wonder if ANY of the producers bothered to tell him ANYTHING about Singapore.
The 15 Lady Posse posts up in a hotel suite and Tayshia scores the first date of the trip, a 1:1 of beach exploration, conquering fears (OF COURSE), and dinner. While she is out, the other 14 gals had better work on their poker faces because they are NOT good at masking disappointment.
They meet on the beach with Colton in a long shorts and a light top and Tayshia rocking white short shorts, a maroon blouse, and white sneakers that she promptly ruins because she and Colton don't understand how tides work. They hold hands and then decide to ignore their fears and bungy jump. Ooof. Bungy jumping looks like hell or at least, paying a lot of money to get whiplash. No thank you. They do it, both look like absolute shit while doing it (the way Colton jumped? YIKES, BRO), and bond over having conquered their fears, blah blah blah. Then they strip down (Colton in swim trunks, Tayshia in a smoking hot red one piece with cut-outs), swim, make out, and canoodle.
That night over liquid dinner (Tayshia in a basic bish black cocktail dress, Colton in a white button down) Tayshia reveals that she got a divorce within the past year and that experience made her fearless or something. I'm sure it did, but MAN OH MAN I get tired of seeing the producers fingerprints all over these dates. You can practically hear them coaching the girls, "OK think of a hard time you went through and tell that story BUT BE SURE to end on an uplifting note about how X experience made you fearless and stronger etc."
Tayshia scoresa rose.
The next day is a group date and the gang is Hannah G. (first date rose, not so good at geography), Elyse (redheaded "cougar"), Kirpa (cute, funny, slow burn), Sydney (also seems cool but not a major player), Heather (reincarnated Jerry Hall—wait, Jerry Hall isn't dead. Whatever. You know what I mean), Onyeka (involved in less drama than before and I'm glad), Tracy (whose forehead rarely moves, which weirds me out), Nicole (Miami mama who seems cool as hell), Demi (Like a Tomi Lahren Bratz Doll), Courtney (Georgia peach), Katie (cool chick who Colton DIGS), Cassie (cool chick who Colton DIGS), Hannah B (Alabama Hannah who is getting a bad edit, I am convinced!).
That means that Caelynn is getting the final 1:1 in Singapore and, because she has ZERO grace, Demi immediately proclaims, "I don't know about you all, but it's frustrating to see this drama between you and Hannah get more of his time." Hannah and Caelynn both just wisely sit there, and Demi needs to learn when to keep her mouth shut. Good LORD is she a true 23-year-old.
The group date looks annoying—Demi is pushy and tiresome and the group gets leeches put on their bodies and eats odd animal parts. No thank you. Also, Demi truly looks like a child and I think it creeps out Colton.
That night at the afterparty, Hannah grabs Colton immediately (eat it, Demi) and talks to him about how she is trying to stay positive but she feels that she has been misrepresented and he needs to trust that she is a woman of character. She ends with "I need to know you who who I am. I want to make sure we're OK."
Friends, I LITERALLY APPLAUDED HER!! Hannah was sorta floundering last week and I worried that she simply couldn't express her feelings, but this was PERFECT!! And WOOOOW I want to hold onto those lines and feelings for future use. I love how she put it: I need you to know who I am, I want to make sure we're OK. Simple as that! No need to talk Caelynn or drag out old drama—just simply, I don't want to be misunderstood. Hell yeah, Hannah. Also, as she says this, she's wearing a killer fuscia, silk romper and I LOVE that look! Colton totally gets it, says that he had been feeling frustrated because he likes her so much, and we're back in action! Hell yeah!
Colton has sexy flirty make-out time with Cassie (so cute) and Katie, Hannah B, and Sydney, while Courtney seems to sit on the couch and wait her turn. I get that and I admire that she's mindful of not stepping on toes, but lady, you gotta TRY to get the guy.
While Courtney spirals on the couches with the other women, Demi robotically shares the revelation that her mother is in federal prison and that's sad. I'm sorry but I think this girl is a sociopath and I aint got time.
Later, after much friendly prodding from the other ladies, Courtney goes in search of Colton and ends up talking to Tomi Lahren Bratz Doll, Demi, and the passive aggression is THICK! Woooow. Demi is hella tacky and graceless, but Courtney is acting a lil lazy about pursuing Colton and is getting too focused on the drama. Focus on the dude!
At the end of the date, Colton reward Demi's vulnerability (barf) by giving her a rose, which she receives like it's a goddamn Emmy and she's a veteran actress who is FINALLY getting her due.
|Is Thandie Newton or Demi getting a group date rose?|
The next day, Caelynn and Colton have a Pretty Woman-inspired date (BARF! That is a "beloved" movie AND NOW ALSO A BROADWAY MUSICAL that is about a woman selling her body and how that's somehow ROMANTIC because she's actually SMART—can you believe it?—and gorgeous underneath her streetwalker getup) during which they take a Rolls Royce to the Rodeo Drive of Singapore and Caelynn tries on dress after dress, with the HILARIOUS shop attendant giving AMAZING color commentary ("Jennifer Lopez, eat your heart out!").
She returns to the hotel to make the other women cry as she shows off her purchases, then she meets Colton for dinner and conversation. That is where she shares the story of how, 4 years ago, she and 2 of her friends went to a party, were given drinks that had been dosed with roofies, they were all raped, and the entire thing was all photographed/Snapchatted.
Holy shit, I know.
I was expecting this, but her story was worse than I had imagined. Colton simply listens (THAT IS THE RIGHT MOVE, MY MAN). Caelynn shares further that the tried to have a rape kit done and was turned away at the hospital (that is illegal) and that she tried to get justice, but the men got away with it and the only one who got in trouble was simply expelled from their college.
She talks about her feelings of shame, guilt, how it has messed up romance and intimacy for her in many ways, how she didn't tell her mother for an entire year. All of this is so familiar to me, as I reacted very much the same way to my experience back when I was 16 (and my experience was NOT at all as awful as hers). I only shared the story with my parents a few years ago, and I'm 38. It really does a number on you.
Oh man. I love The Bachelor so much, for all its faults and silliness, and THIS conversation is so much of why. Once in a while, they'll let someone share an experience that is so upsetting but also, so common. And they just let that person speak. Caelynn was given permission to share her story and all of its horrifying details. She shared her story with such poise and grace and one thing that struck me is that she wanted justice, she sought justice, and she never got it. She had to find closure/resolution for herself and figure out a way through. I give her SO much credit for saying it out loud and refusing to be ashamed or embarrassed by what happened. And I also give credit to victims/survivors who don't want to share—that is OK, too. You do what works for you and what works for you can change, too.
Colton says 2 things that literally made me get a little weepy up in how damn perfect they were:
1. He asks her what helped her get through it, which was such a thoughtful question. He wasn't like, "please bleed for me more, please perform your trauma for me more," but rather he was like, I hear you, I care, and I'm curious how you got through that.
2. He immediately tells her, "I want you to know that with me, you're safe."
Oh man. That's the right thing to say, Colton. Thank you. So much of how experiences of sexual trauma echo in your life is in feelings of being unsafe, feelings of not knowing who wants to do you harm, who you can depend on to not be scared of your story. In my life, I think that it has manifested in the "type" of guy I date (scary looking/extremely large and intimidating) because I need to feel safe and protected after what happened to me. And maybe it's a cop out, but it's what I need. And I'm allowed to ask for what I need and seek what I need to feel OK. And can you tell that I've done a lot of therapy? Hahaha. Life!
OK enough about me—let's get back to the light stuff.
Caelynn gets a rose and honestly, I think she'll end up in the top 3 at least.
It's cocktail party time and Demi is chock full of unsolicited advice for the other ladies because of course she is. Colton shows up in a grey suit, light purple shirt, maroon tie and THERE IS TOO MUCH GOING ON HERE, MY MAN!!
Colton and Hannah G. have alone time for a sexy, on-bed make-out (with shoes ON—cringe). Hannah's cool and cute, but that dress was straight outta Express circa 2001, am I right?
Caelynn grabs Hannah and in ANOTHER scene that made me erupt in applause, the two girls talk through their tension, share apologies, and move past their drama. HELL YES, BACHELOR! You are giving Bachelor Nation what they NEED: women being kind to women so as to counter balance the bad vibes from Demi's insistence that any woman over the age of 32 be walked off a plank.
Tomi Lahren Bratz Doll gets annoyed at Courtney's negative attitude (which I sort of get—Courtney was a DOWNER, but also, maybe just avoid her and drink more? Ya ever think about THAT solution, Pile of Hair Who Resembles a Tween Cheerleader?). She confronts Colton and claims that Courtney "attacked" her (huh?) then calls Courtney the "cancer of the house" (oh man I thought that was Bernie Sanders nickname!). Courtney then has alone time with Colton and insists that Demi isn't here for the right reasons. Oh man—Courtney and Demi are the new Caelynn and Hannah and that shit is TIRED.
Courtney confronts Demi and the group in hilarious fashion, saying, "POLL: Raise your hand if you think that I am the cancer of the house" and Demi shoots her hand up, as if she's answering a trivia question about whether Bratz Dolls are better than Barbie Dolls. Courtney and Demi get INTO IT which is hilarious to the assembled crew and Katie and Kirpa give great face.
[I WILL INSERT 2 PHOTOS HERE WHENEVER THEY ARRIVE VIA EMAIL BECAUSE PHOTOS TAKE ME LITERALLY 4-5 HOURS TO RECEIVE FROM MY PHONE TO MY LAPTOP. AINT TECHNOLOGY GREAT?]
Finally, it's rose ceremony time and there are a LOT of ladies in red. Tayshia, Demi, and Caelynn already have roses and that feels like a whole lotta vowels in 3 names, don't you think?
Who else scores roses and who flew about 18 hours only to get dumped?
Roses go to:
-Hannah G. (despite the Express style dress, she looks good)
-Heather (Never Been Kissed is embracing the Jerry Hall look with a low cut, Studio 54 style sparkly dress or romper, I couldn't tell which)
-Kirpa (red dress, cool necklace, slow burn, personality??)
-Hannah B. (blue gown with great beading and I'm happy that she's back in action!)
-Katie (LOVING this look—high neckline, very covered up white blousy-y dress with hair in a sorta 70s side part)
-Elyse (red hair back, sparkly eyes, SERIOUS fake lashes, and beaded sequin dress—clutch)
-Sydney (white, strapless dress that looked a lil bonkers bridal—surprising pick, from a girl whose style I normally dig)
-Cassie (blonde girl with sorta badly curled hair whose fashion sense is always too casual and I think that I just need to accept that fact)
-Nicole (red dress, cross neckline, boobs propped up in a flattering bra)
-Onyeka (dark lip, black dress, fierce look)
So who is flying another 18 hours home to be depressed but be unable to confide in their hometown friends because they signed an Non-Disclosure Agreement?
-Tracy (dark-haired "cougar" who Demi hated)
-Courtney (dark-haired Georgia native who is 23 but has poise and grace, unlike Demi, so Demi hated)
So it was a good night for Demi, back night for the human race. What can ya do?
Next week they head to THAILAND and I hope someone tells Hannah G. where that is!