Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bachelor Ben H. Ep 6: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Monday night’s episode was another GEMSTONE and I didn’t think that ABC could top last week’s brilliance. We had all the ingredients necessary for a clutch Bach episode: desperation, sabotage, and the dreaded 2-on-1 date.

Last week’s episode ended with a cliffhanger: would Ben wise up send Olivia and her ankle girdles packing or would be believe her constant refrain that being in the lead put a target on her back? In their whispered 1:1 conversation, Olivia turned elitist (that’s a fun, new trick!) and said that she can’t relate to the other women since they are all “into” painting their nails and doing each other’s hair but she’s interested in reading books and “thinking” (yes, she literally said that) and “I want to talk smart things.” Olivia, you’re a news anchor (supposedly) and a D list catalogue model—you’re not a rocket scientist, so cut it with the claims that you’re simply too smart for this crew. Also, you sound a lot like Ian from Kaitlyn’s season and we all know how that ended (not well). 

Ben hears her out and wisely asks her about her part in it, but ultimately he’s sympathetic toward her so they walk back in together. We then see shots of Olivia saying “come at me, bro” and “I’m not going anywhere—every else can suck it” which I’m sure makes both her family and her employer feel REALLY proud of her tenure on this show.

The Cankles Stay In the Picture

So it’s time for the rose ceremony and already clutching roses are Olivia, Amanda (“Teen Mom” as Olivia would call her), and Lauren H. 

Who’s safe?
-Caila (who seems pretty damn smart, OLIVIA)
-Lauren B. (nice style, love the black dress and hippie style)
-Jojo (filmy white town and fuscia lips “on fleek” as someone cooler than me would probably say)
-Beccca (loving the mixed texture hair—braid, curls—it’s very Britney in her heyday)
-Leah (nice mint green gown, side braid)
-Emily (blonde with funny personality)
So the person going home is no surprise to Bachelor Nation: Snooze-A-Thon, Brunette, Monotone Jennifer. Oh Jennifer, we hardly knew ye, but perhaps we DID “know ye” and there just aint much there there.  Jennifer exits gracefully.

The next stop is introduced by Ben as “a lot of sun, a lot of beach, a lot of ocean” (yeah, those 3 things often go together), THE BAHAMAS! There is sunshine but the weather is generally hurricane-like and the only thing rougher than the wind and tides is how Olivia looks without make up. 

Chris Harrison brings the girls up to speed: this week will have a 1:1, a group date, and an infamous 2:1 from which at least 1 girl is sent home (and historically, often both girls are sent home). 

Software saleswoman Caila gets the 1:1 and Leah is upset because she has only had group dates so far. I hear that, but Caila and Ben’s first “1:1” was more of a “3:1” with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube and everyone feeling VERY obligated to promote the movie Ride Along 2.  Ben picks up Caila at the hotel and Leah is awkwardly wedged between them on the couch (that seating situation was BRUTAL to watch) before they head out. While Caila and Ben spend a sunny day deep sea fishing, Leah begins to unravel back at the hotel saying that she feels like a fool. Outside of the show, Leah lives only 10 minutes away from Ben, which she takes as a sign of their inevitable compatibility (girl, plenty of people live near me and that doesn’t mean I’ll have anything in common with them other than a subway stop and a local coffee shop). Leah, I’m sorry, but the universe didn’t bring you and Ben together—casting directors did. 

Caila's favorite book
Over a candlelit non-dinner, Caila and Ben have one of the most confusing conversations in Bachelor history, with Caila pulling back the curtain and saying that she knows she’s “supposed” to be vulnerable but she feels put on the spot, that she’s afraid she’s going to break his heart (yikes), and that her mind and her heart want different things (but like, what does your crotch want, also?). She chooses her phrases so deliberately and carefully (“I feel that...”) that it felt like watching a non-native speaker learn English phrases (“I would like to visit the library”). 

Somehow she emerges from that conversation triumphant, with Ben saying that he LIKES that Caila is confusing and that makes her “authentic.” Whatever you say, bro. Enter at your own risk.

The next day is the group date and Lauren B., Becca, Amanda, Jojo, Lauren H., and Leah resemble a sea of bikinis, tan skin, and bayalage hair. The ladies and Ben hop on a boat, drink a bit, and then come upon some wild pigs by a deserted island.  Ben has turkey hot dogs for them to feed the pigs (thank GOD they weren’t regular hot dogs, as I thought they were for a moment) and after that, everyone mostly stands around and feels insecure and weird.  This “acticity” is an audio mixer’s nightmare with loud waves and squealing pigs and no ability to mic each girl since they were in the water. There must have been multiple boom operators running around like crazy people—brutal. 

Leah confronts Ben about how she feels sad that she hasn’t had a 1:1 yet and he says “can you make the most of this with me please?” then hugs her, which was like watching an abusive husband ask his wife to please smile and nod through another dinner party.

That night at the afterparty, Becca’s rocking a fantastic leather & lace outfit when Ben pulls her aside to ask why she was standoff-ish to him today. Becca shoots him straight, saying that the date felt awkward because he has such obvious chemistry with Lauren B. (I smell foreshadowing) but that she’s still really into him, he hasn’t done anything wrong.  He proceeds to then assure almost every girl that he really likes her and I wish that we could have seen it as a montage, but alas. 

Leah finally gets some alone time with Ben and producers give us an ominous voice over of Leah saying that she “needs to do something extreme.”  Turns out, it’s not just Leah’s eyebrows that are intense and crazy—it’s also her personality.  Leah goes full Single White Female while claiming that she doesn’t want to sabotage anyone and then tells bold-faced lies to sabotage someone. Bachelor Nation was STUNNED to watch her throw Lauren B. under the bus, claiming that she’s two-faced and not genuine.  HUH? Say what you will about Lauren B. (perhaps she’s a bit simple and shy?), she is NOT an Olivia type who is some Jekyl & Hyde.  I swear I heard her say Lauren B.’s name in that conversation, but my podcast co-host Dava didn’t hear it—did you hear it, dear reader? It was all so confusing.

After dropping her bomb, Leah exits, like a blonde haired Iago and Ben immediately confronts Lauren B. about what he was told (without naming names). Lauren B. starts crying and feels weird even responding to this, since it’s so far from the truth. Moments later, Lauren B. is visibly upset and tells the other women what happened and Leah COMPLETELY LIES AGAIN about her involvement, saying that she’d never single somebody out and that she didn’t do it. I cannot wait for “The Women Tell All” episode later in the season because Leah is going to have to pay the piper for that whole charade.

Then, as if she hasn’t done enough damage both to herself and to Ben and Lauren B.’s relationship, Leah shows up on Ben’s hotel doorstep that night for more conversation. If she truly wanted to say around and honestly liked Ben, she’d use that alone time to build a bridge, flirt, maybe even make out. But Leah seems dead set on going out with a bang, so she squanders her limited time by again, doing the exact thing that she INSISTS she does NOT want to do (“sit here and talk bad things about Lauren”).  Ben sees through her and makes subtle digs, saying that the first night felt so great between them but it never moved beyond that (got to be hard to hear, even if you’re an Iago type) and that they’re missing something between them.  Finally, Ben says that he doesn’t want to put her through anything more and it’s best for us to say goodbye. Yesssss. Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out, Psychopath! See ya at The Women Tell All—bring ya boxing gloves!

The next day is the 2:1 between Emily and Olivia and going into it, I thought that Emily was a dead man walking.  Ben and Emily get along well, but don’t seem to have a romantic chemistry and at this point in the game, that’s worrisome.   Olivia makes a joke that she and Emily are the same age but that she feels like her mother and YEAH YA DO with your dumpy clothes and bad taste. The match up truly looks like the fight of the century: 

The trio hops on a boat and braves some rough waves (buns all around, ladies! Do you know how much conditioner you’ll need to undo these tangles later?) as they make their way to an empty island for a date that consists of sitting around and drinking (well, most dates do, but it just feels weird to schelp so far into a hurricane for that activitiy, ya know?).

Olivia and Ben have some alone time during which she rambles about herself and claims to both be an introvert (doesn’t seem like it) but also extremely intimidating and confident yet grounded. I was ready to hear her end with “and I’m extremely humble” but instead, she ended her bizarre monologue by telling Ben that she’s in love with him, which is the Hail Mary Pass of Bachelor conversation moves.  Again, Ben Higgins can smell a rat and he seems completely uninspired by her confession of love.

Ben and Emily have some alone time during which she delivers an extremely enthusiastic diatribe from behind a curtain of hair and soon it’s time for Ben to give the rose to one lucky lady. He plucks the rose from its spot and asks Olivia to walk down the beach with him, with all signs pointing to Olivia being given this rose and Emily being sent home.


Olivia’s open-mouthed grin disappears as Ben clutches the rose and says that he simply CANNOT give it to her because he can’t reciprocate her feelings. Who could have predicted that Olivia—the girl who has been referring to Ben as her “husband” all season--would leave with a whimper and not a bang? Ben walks back to Emily and gives her the rose as she squeals loud enough for Olivia to hear. Sometimes, The Bachelor is pure poetry. Ben and Emily hop a boat out of there while Olivia stands alone on the shoreline and a helicopter shot captures her heartbreak. 

Back at the hotel room, the ladies are stunned and relieved. It wasn’t a celebration quite like we saw when snug know-it-all Kelsey was sent home from Farmer Chris’s season (Badlands), but it was still notable.

Finally, it’s cocktail party time and everyone is wound up, even moreso when Ben cancels the cocktail party because he’s emotionally exhausted.  We’re going straight into the rose ceremony and Caila, Emily, and Amanda already have roses. Then Ben gives roses to…
-Becca (whose white dress is gorgeous against her tan skin and perpetually sleepy eyes)
-Jojo (whose style is top notch, including this army print, backless filmy number)


A match-up unparalleled since the legendary Vegas Vs. Talbots bout earlier in the episode.
Who gets the rose? 
-Lauren B. (looking great in a flowy dress, beachy waves)

So Lauren H. is going home, which didn’t surprise me at all. She and Ben had fun, but also didn’t seem to have much romantic chemistry there. And with Lauren H.’s tear-stained departure, Lauren B. becomes LAUREN. Congratulations, girl! The last Lauren standing. But not the last woman standing.

If you want to hear me and my pal Dava run our mouths about The Bachelor, check out our podcast The Fantasy Suite here

Next week, ABC is giving us 2 nights of Bachelor: A Bachelor 20th anniversary celebration on Sunday then a new episode on Monday. If you overdose on Bach, does your tongue taste metallic like with a Pine Nut overdose? We’ll soon find out!  

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