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Hello, and welcome back to your regularly scheduled Bachelor recap! I’m told that tonight we’ll be subjected to the fiery car crash otherwise known as “The Women Tell All.” But before the women can skewer Pachi over the flames of their ever-burning hatred, we must first finish the Fantasy Suites rose ceremony. I think we can all agree that last week was a rough one—and I’m not just talking Victoria F in the bedroom. In fact, I feel like last week’s episode can be summed up with this entire exchange:
MADISON: I’m a virgin and if you slept with other women then we’re done.
Things were not looking great for the two of them when Madison was noticeably absent from the rose ceremony. Which brings us to tonight! We’re moments away from finding out if Madison’s prayer circle will forgive Peter for experimenting in sexual asphyxiation with Victoria F. Oh Pachi, what a tangled web you weave.
The Rose Ceremony
As Victoria is getting ready for the rose ceremony, she tells us that Peter’s love is the “purest” she’s ever seen. I’m not sure if “pure” is the right word here, but he’s definitely the most single person she’s ever been with. Also, what world is she living in? Their entire relationship has consisted of her screaming “I can’t!” and Peter looking at the camera like he’d like to hang himself. The fact that Victoria thinks she could have a forever with him makes me want to call her doctor immediately and have him adjust her meds.
Is that *squints* Chris Harrison at a rose ceremony? Well, well, how nice of you to join us Christopher! I’m pretty sure the last time he spoke directly to Peter was back in Cleveland when the women hijacked his rose ceremony—and that’s only because he’s contractually obligated to interfere when the contestants form a mutiny and try to bury the lead alive for his stupidity.
He asks Peter how everything is going and Peter immediately breaks down into tears. I love that Chris is looking at him with absolute disgust. I guess after the Fence Jump of 2019, he made sure to adjust his contract so that he’s no longer obligated to deal with emotional breakdowns.
Hannah Ann is the first to arrive at tonight’s rose ceremony and you can tell she doesn’t really want to win this thing. I mean, it’s the only excuse I can think of for why she would decide to show up to one of the most important rose ceremonies of the season dressed like a witch’s curse turned her into a table lamp just in time to perform “Be Our Guest.” Then there’s the fact that she looks absolutely panicked that Madison is absent from the rose ceremony and she might automatically be going to the finals.
Madi shows up at the very last second wearing a red dress of sin. What’s even more alarming? You can see her collarbone. Wooooooow. Her youth pastor will definitely be using clips from this episode as a cautionary tale at his next Sunday school sermon, that’s for sure.
Peter starts off the rose ceremony and he is visibly upset. I would also be upset if my only options for marriage included a model for Kohl’s coupons, the black widow of Virginia Beach, and a girl wearing a chastity belt made of titanium. Tbh I can hardly focus on him when the camera keeps panning to Madison’s makeup. Can Madison figure out how to use mascara? MY GOD. You’re a virgin Madi, but you’re certainly not blind!!
HOLY SH*T. He picks Madison over little miss temptress Victoria F?? I’m shocked. Victoria F was truly at the fantasy suites for one thing and one thing only
light choking. Chase Rice, if you’re reading this, I fully expect someone to be slipping into your DMs very soon.
Peter’s like “Madison, will you accept this rose?” and in response she gives the world’s longest sigh. Why do I have a feeling Peter will be dissecting that pause AT LENGTH while on the phone with his mother later? Madison is like “I guess I’ll take this rose, fornicator.” HAHA. That was such an angry “yeah.” I love it.
Okay, that’s not the exit performance I thought Victoria F would give. She seems very calm and collected. I expected hellfire, or at the very least a verbal emasculation of Peter. Boooooo.
The Women Tell All
Moving on. This is usually the time during each season when the women are on their very best behavior as they all compete for a spot on Paradise or The Bachelorette. And by “very best behavior” I mean verbally tearing each other limb-by-limb for production’s sick satisfaction. See? Fun! Tonight will be especially entertaining to watch, as this was filmed before the next Bachelorette had been announced, and they found out that their IG spon-con opportunities were going to a woman who is old enough to have actually birthed MyKenna. You love to see it.
Things start off strong when Chris Harrison mocks the women for not having a strong grasp of the English language. I don’t think he’s really being fair to them though. You know they can only speak in hashtags and emojis, Chris!
First up on the chopping block is Alayah. The women would still like to roast her hair extensions over an open flame for daring to bond with them through gossip and Twitter rumors. I’m sorry, but I still don’t understand what she’s done wrong. Gossiping is, like, the underlying foundation of female friendships. In fact, the only thing that brings women together more than a juicy rumor is an overly-long bathroom line. If you can’t make friends this way anymore then this world is truly broken.
Chris Harrison goes “let’s talk about #ChampagneGate and the pop heard ‘round the world” and it’s cute that he stole a line directly from one of my recaps.
CHRIS HARRISON: You know what they say: all’s well that ends well… up your nose!!
ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS UP YOUR NOSE. I’m sure Mike Fliess wouldn’t appreciate you bringing up cocaine habits on live television. You know that you have to wait for the company Christmas party for that kind of talk.
Somehow, Tammy is allotted speaking time, and I truly forgot how unhinged she is. You can tell she desperately wants to be seen as the only sane person in the room and it’s not going well for her. She keeps denying things she said about the other contestants despite the fact that production has the receipts and just played them for a live studio audience.
Once again, she starts coming for Kelsey’s emotional stability, and it’s like, of course Kelsey is emotionally unstable! She’s competing with 20+ other women on national television for the attention of a man who definitely makes jokes about his cockpit in the bedroom. You’re ALL emotionally unstable!
TAMMY: So, you’re saying you weren’t drunk during that altercation?
KELSEY: I never said I was sober!
^ Things I’ve said to my mom when she questions that one time my phone was stolen in the SoHo Forever21 at 11 in the morning. These things just happen, mother!!
Even though Sydney just watched footage of herself calling Tammy a psycho, she would like to know why Kelsey is name-calling her. And this is the crux of why I hate Sydney so much. You can’t be a bully AND a victim.
SYDNEY: Didn’t you call me a stupid f*cking bitch?
KELSEY: First of all, it was crazy f*cking bitch. I would never insult your intelligence like that!!
That’s just, like, the rules of feminism I suppose.
You can tell the producers had a hard time scripting this fight between Tammy and MyKenna, because at one point the words “you dance like a buffoon” come out of Tammy’s mouth and MyKenna’s only comeback is “you can meet me on the streets of Canada.” Ah, yes. The mean streets of Canada, where you can find healthcare on every corner and people hustling for $14/hr minimum wage. Truly terrifying.
— Grace Elizabeth (@G_Brinkerhoff) March 3, 2020
Kelsey’s Bachelorette Audition
Kelsey gets called into the hot seat, and she’s the first girl of the night to get any one-on-one time with Chris Harrison. You can tell she was treating this like her Bachelorette audition, because this Kelsey feels very put together and not like the hot mess I know and love. Poor girl just wanted ABC to find her a warm body to come home to and now she’s got nothing to go back to except her bottle of Korbel.
CHRIS: What got you crying there? Are you drunk again?
Chris! You can’t just ask her that! Chris keeps bringing up #ChampagneGate and how Kelsey feels about taking things up her nose and it’s like, Chris, she already said the only pill she pops is Adderall! Lay off!!
Oh look, and there’s Ashley I milking her five more minutes of fame for all it’s worth. Ashley I is like that troll who lives under a bridge, except instead of paying her money for passage into Bachelor Nation, you need to pay her in what’s left of your dignity.
She tells Kelsey that she’s really happy someone else finally looks more pathetic and miserable on national television than she did. For her service to her country, she gifts her with a bottle of champagne the size of Li’l Sebastian. Dear god.
Victoria F Denies Everything
Chris calls Victoria into the hot seat, and I can’t wait for him to grill the sh*t out of her. She starts off by giving a very passionate speech about how she wishes she let Peter love her the way he wanted, and I’m starting to think that she also regrets sticking that finger up his butt. That probably works well with the married men, but then again they’re also probably blackmailed into compliance. Know your audience, Vickie!
Omg Chris Harrison is finally gonna earn his paycheck this week with his “to be clear, have you ever broken up a marriage before” line of questioning. Victoria does an amazing job of deflecting every single question Chris throws at her. She denies hooking up with married men, but it’s very vague. What’s most disappointing is that Chris isn’t even TRYING to poke holes in her story. He literally asked more questions about #ChampagneGate then he has about Victoria’s affairs.
God, why is he praising her?? He’s like “you’re so mature, Victoria” and it’s like did YOU sleep with her too, Christopher?? Are we just going to forget how truly awful this girl was? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!
ABC Actually Gets Deep?
In an unexpected turn of events, ABC takes a moment to talk about online hate and the trolling of contestants. Former Bachelorette Rachel is welcomed to the stage, where she addresses the issue by actually reading some of the horrifying messages people of color have received after being featured on the show. While this feels like a really important conversation to have, and one I’m glad ABC is addressing, to me, there was something off about this display, and it left a sour taste in my mouth. For one, I didn’t like how coy they were about the issue. Not once was the word “racism” uttered on that stage. They kept saying “online hate” and “trolls” as the camera panned to the women of color. I would have loved to have seen ABC really take a stand against racism, for them to say “racism won’t be tolerated in Bachelor Nation and those tweets, comments, DMs, are racist, disgusting, and deplorable.” Instead, they straddled the line, and it was disappointing to watch.
It almost felt like ABC was using this moment to reaffirm that that the franchise isn’t as white-washed as it absolutely is. This is a great start, sure, but let’s not forget there has only ever been one person of color as a Bachelor/Bachelorette lead. And then when that person was the lead, they put a white supremacist on her season for better ratings. They put a sexual predator on Becca’s season for that very same reason. You can’t say you’re disgusted with all of the hate and the bigotry and then, on the very same stage, have a contestant who has modeled a shirt that says “white lives matter.” They want to be inclusive and diverse when it fits their narrative. This is a fantastic start to addressing the negative side of Bachelor Nation, but ABC can—and should—do more.
And on that note, that’s all I’ve got, kids! Next week is the two-day finale of Peter’s season and the internet STILL has no idea how it ends. I have this theory that the reason for this is because ABC has been keeping Peter and his future bride chained in the bowels of ABC studios so Reality Steve can’t spoil all their fun this season. Guess we’ll have to wait and see next week!
Images: ABC; Giphy (4); @g_brinkerhoff /Twitter (1)