The Best ‘Bachelorette’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Sleepovers Are For The Boys

Welcome back to the best Bachelorette recap you’ll ever read! We are now on week four of Michelle’s journey toward love and the closest thing I’ve seen to a genuine romantic connection is the one I’m having with Michelle’s styling. (My god that woman is a vision). As we move into the middle of the season, connections should be getting deeper, rose ceremony eliminations more dramatic, and let’s not forget the rampant unrestrained emotions that can only be reproduced on a Bachelor(ette) set and in hostage situations. At least we should be seeing all those things on our television screens. Instead, Michelle’s season has felt… anticlimactic? Dare I even say, boring?

The thing about Michelle that I’m starting to realize is that her highest energy level functions like the starting effects of an Ambien. She’s just too damn calm and collected. And, look, I get it. Her day job is the equivalent of managing a crime scene every day. I mean, do you know what goes on in 5th grade classrooms?? She’s out here navigating fractions and teaching the Our Changing Bodies book to a bunch of kids who still pick their noses and hide the evidence on the bottom of their desks. Fractions and puberty, people! The amount of serotonin her brain must be firing off at all times has to be astounding. And yet, it might be these calm, cool, collected vibes that are unwittingly giving the men permission to count her as a Cool Girl, and thus, treat her feelings with about as much care and concern as the half-eaten bag of chips they discarded in the backseats of their cars.

The other thing I’m realizing is that her eliminating the villains so early on might be to her detriment. If there’s one thing men love, it’s an evil to defeat and a girl to save. Sure, it’s an outdated patriarchal fantasy, but so is the blueprint of this show. As I said, The Bachelor(ette) functions like a hostage situation—without house drama and emotional warfare, how else are they supposed to romantically bond with a stranger in six weeks? They need a bad guy so that they can rally around their girl and prove that their feelings for said girl are more intense, more genuine, than than the bad guy’s feeling for her. What? Did she think they’d just be mature enough to express their emotions without some sort of instigating catalyst? Lol, that’s cute. 

Saturdays Sleepovers Are For The Boys

And with that, I bring our attention to the group date where this cool girl energy and lack of a villain circumstance reach a crescendo. I’m not sure how this group date was ever supposed to rouse amorous feelings, as it was definitely  inspired by the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen sleepover party circa 1995. That’s right: the theme of the group date is slumber party, complete with jammies and teddy bears. What could go wrong? 

I’m sure when Michelle was pitched this idea for a group date she envisioned sexy pillow fights, maybe a truth or dare game that ended in makeouts or a coy removal of clothing. Instead, the guys are going with more of a “pull my finger” kind of a vibe. Case in point, this entire scene:

MICHELLE:

THE MEN: Does anyone want to play duck, duck, goose?

DOES ANYONE WANT TO PLAY DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE. You have a beautiful, smart, scantily-clad human woman in your presence and you want to play duck, duck, goose? The men really make it hard to root for them. Not just on this show, but as a human race generally.

And where is Michelle in all of this? Watching the men play slap and tickle from the corner and probably wishing she had never had that fifth glass of wine at happy hour before applying for this show in the first place. 

Just when Michelle is ready to confront the men, ABC brings out the Bella Twins to host that pillow fight. Not now, Bella Twins! Can’t you read a room? The Bella Twins tell us that the men will be divided into teams and each team member will go head to head with an opposing team member in a pillow fight. The winning team gets alone time with Michelle. Wow, ABC literally always chooses violence, don’t they? Oh, did you think this was a slumber party? Sorry, you’re actually here to beat the shit out of someone with a giant Mr. Wiggles.

It should be noted that this combination of protective instincts and expression of strong feelings through outward bodily harm, is exactly the catalyst needed for the men to start giving a shit about their Bachelorette. I knew they’d figure it out eventually. But Michelle, it seems, is still not impressed. Instead of coming off like they need to win her affections, their actions seem more aligned with just winning in general. Shocking. 

Look, are the men acting like immature idiots? Absolutely. But she did invite them to a sleepover and get them all hopped up on soda and junk food. Of course they regressed to 8th grade. She’s lucky she didn’t accidentally fall asleep in their presence. She might have woken up with her hand in a glass of water and pee all over that Skims set. Count your blessings where you can, Michelle!

More Clown Energy: Martin’s One-On-One

Michelle’s one-on-one with Martin goes just about as smoothly as the group date. The theme of the date is some sort of off-brand Fast & Furious tribute, because apparently ABC’s idea of mature, stable relationships involves hot cars and traffic violations. At first Michelle seems equally into the date. She tells us she wants a partner that will help her “live life on the edge” and she says this as if she doesn’t think a dangerous double life entails purposefully skipping lesson planning to fall asleep drinking Chardonnay in front of the TV. I can read you like a book, honey.

I have to admit, I don’t understand the sexual appeal of Martin. This feeling is only strengthened when he shows up to the date looking less like a romantic prospect and more like an extra from Buckwild

Boy, does he make it hard to root for him. 

I wish I could say the first strike on this date is to Martin’s distressed flannel, but sadly that comes later when the two settle in for a little post-racing hot tub soak. I’m using the term “hot tub” here very loosely because the thing they fold their bodies into is less of a hot tub and more of a large garbage can filled with water. Like, did they displace Oscar the Grouch for this date? How is this romantic??

Then Martin starts running his mouth about what a “hell of a man” Jamie was. Strike two. Apparently, Jamie and Martin were good friends in the house. At least that appears to be his justification for using his limited alone time with Michelle to question her decision to send Jamie home last week. 

What’s worse is that Michelle has no place to go during this attack. He’s got her pinned to the other side of that garbage pail, swigging her champagne for some small outlet of release. Read the room, Martin! No one wants to hear about your bromance with a psychopath. 

Later, when Michelle confronts Martin about their tiff, he blames his aggression and shitty communication skills on his parents. Woooooow. How original. Look, if he’s going to blame his parents for his communication skills, he should throw some other things into that pile as well. His hair. His accessories. His fashion sense in general…

ME TO MARTIN AT ALL TIMES:

Michelle accepts this explanation for his behavior, but it’s not the head-over-heels devotion I’m sure her producer sold her on when she signed The Bachelorette contract. If anything, listening to a man complain about how his parents just really effed him up and honestly the trauma of surviving a traditional nuclear family is really why he can’t ever be fully in control of his emotions (you get that don’t you?), is cementing for her that the caliber of “eligible bachelors” this season really wasn’t any different than the state of her DMs in Minnesota. 

Precious Angels Of The Week: Olu & Rick

Though the men spent the majority of the episode proving my working theory that men aren’t shit (trademark pending), two of the guys managed to actually impress me. Olu was perhaps the only bright spot on the group date. When, during the cocktail portion of the evening, Michelle broke down in tears about these jackasses ignoring her, her speech took Olu out. I mean, his performance on that group date was giving human tear duct Ashely I a run for her money. 

Olu connected Michelle’s feelings to his four sisters back home and, okay, he did say sister far too much during that cocktail hour. He sibling-zoned the shit out of her and it’s grossing me out. 

MICHELLE: It means a lot to me that you would compare me to your sisters like that
ME: 

Look, sibling love isn’t my thing, but Michelle seems into it and Olu does seem heartfelt in his apology. He ends up getting the group date rose and a coveted spot in my Precious Angels of the Week. 

Rick also proved to not be complete trash this week (a tough feat, let me tell you). He scored the second one-on-one date, which immediately followed the abysmal group date. The two of them go hiking and share family trauma because what is a hike without blood, sweat, and tears? 

Michelle said she was extra excited for the date because Rick has always “seen” her. I think it helped that the two of them were literally the last people in that forest, so it was either pay attention to Michelle or make conversation with the redwoods. I like to stack the odds this way as well.

And the odds do pay off for her. By the end of their date, she finally feels like she’s being seen and makes a strong connection with the back of Rick’s throat. Ah, to be young and in love again. 

The Final Drama

As I mentioned earlier, Michelle has done a pretty good job of getting rid of all the villains before they have a chance to sow too much discord in the house. As I’ve also mentioned, this could be to her detriment. But never fear! Chris S is ready and willing to take up that role. God bless him.

Now, every Bachelorette villain has a brand: Luke P was the Jesus freak, Chad was the human embodiment of an FDA warning label for steroid abuse, Jamie was the master manipulator, and it looks like Chris S has decided to lean hard into the brand of the little incel who could. 

His strategy is much like Jamie’s in that he wants to create chaos amongst the men, but his reason for doing so is because he’s butt-hurt that Michelle isn’t giving him enough attention. His off-screen interviews reek of entitlement, as if he deserves her full attention for merely existing in her presence. He hears about the drama that went down at the group date’s private after party and makes the bold proclamation that he needs to get out his “white horse” and save Michelle. Dear god, I hope he’s not talking about his penis. Giddy up. 

I will say that Chris S’ ability to compartmentalize is absolutely astounding. He convinces himself that even though he was a participant during the part of the group date where her feelings were hurt, he wasn’t actually a part of the hurting of her feelings.

CHRIS S DURING THE ROSE CEREMONY: I don’t think these guys actually understand the way she feels and how upset she was.
CHRIS S DURING THE GROUP DATE: 

In an effort to make everyone understand how Michelle feels, he decides to give a toast at Michelle’s rose ceremony to speak about Michelle’s feelings while standing directly in front of Michelle. You cannot make this shit up. 

He’s like, “these guys think they have this in the bag” and then proceeds to single Nayte out specifically. STAND DOWN, LITTLE MAN. I know he’s not talking about my boyfriend Nayte like that and thinking I won’t throw metaphorical fists in this recap over it. 

 

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Here’s how I know Nayte is a good guy: when he confronts Chris about spreading lies the worst thing he calls Chris is a “dweeb.” A DWEEB! These are iCarly level insults and it’s so cute. 

In the end, Michelle doesn’t take much stock in the “they have this in the bag” accusation because she gives Nayte a rose. But she also doesn’t consider how malicious Chris S’ intentions are because she gives him a rose as well. Or maybe she doesn’t care about his intentions. Maybe she realized these men need a little bad guy to rally against if she’s ever going to elicit any feeling out of these idiots. Whatever the case, we’ll have to wait until next week to see how part two of the Nayte/Chris S showdown plays out. Until then!

Images: Craig Sjodin / ABC; Giphy (4); ABC (1); @bitchelorette_ /Instagram (1); @lil_vil /Twitter (1); @feelin_thorny /Twitter (1)

Brendan Morais And Pieper James Are Back Together And Publicly Asking For Privacy

Do you want to know what is the most cursed thing about Bachelor in Paradise? No, it’s not the lack of air conditioning, or even the fact that it’s ultimately just a show that asks us to watch people make out on daybeds for four hours each week. It’s that even when the season ends, we, as viewers, will never know peace. There is absolutely no closure. These cast members will continue to haunt us for the rest of our lives. 

For a little context behind the brief existential journey you just followed me through: Pieper James would like us all to know that she and Brendan Morais are back together again. Although their hellish season is over, we’re still being forced to follow this whiplash-inducing journey. Yes, the season 7 power-villain couple who low-key admitted to dating before going on BiP (which, as a reminder, is still technically a show for single people to find relationships on, not for couples to use for fame) have somehow found a way to make it work. Maybe true love does exist. The duo briefly broke up last month, but on a recent episode of former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin’s Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, Pieper revealed that she and Brendan are giving it the old college try. 

While it would probably be a stretch for me to say that I’m happy for Brendan and Pieper, I have to admit that their reconciliation does make a lot of sense. Two people who are looking for a relationship founded on Instagram analytics are probably made for each other anyway and not going to find a better fit swiping through Hinge. Sure, Raya would likely be a more effective platform for them to each find another fame-hungry partner to suit their needs, but I am unsure that they’d be approved for the app after the severe loss of followers they both suffered after America turned on them in support of Natasha Parker, the innocent woman Brendan briefly pursued to buy time until the producers let Pieper on the show. 

During the podcast episode in which Pieper *checks notes* publicly shared the news of her relationship status, she noted that she and Brendan have some work to do before taking their relationship—which played out on one of the most popular reality television shows in the country—public. Before you go back and reread that sentence to see if it makes any more sense the second or third time around, I’m just going to save you a moment and let you know that no, it does not. Here’s a direct quote from Pieper that does not offer a shred of clarity: 

“The reason that we didn’t choose to go public like everybody else on the show was just because… our experience was a little bit different. We tainted our own experience in that way,” she explained. “So, we’re kind of working on ourselves, and each other and we’re focusing on being a couple before taking that public.” 

On the podcast, Pieper also noted that “it was a rumor that we broke up” and that the backlash they received from Bachelor Nation made them stronger. To which I reply: 

I’m unsure what Brendan and Pieper would consider to be a more public recognition of their relationship than literally saying the words “we’re together” on a podcast that is available to stream on multiple apps, but the mess-seeker in me does, unfortunately, look forward to the day that we all find out. Will they unveil couple’s tattoos? Will they sneak away to a foreign country for a secret wedding, hoping to sell the exclusive to PEOPLE? Perhaps they’ll formally announce the news in partnership with a couple’s therapy app! Whatever these two have up their sleeves, I’m assuming it will be big. (On a midtier influencer level, anyway.) At the time of publication of this article, Brendan hasn’t made a single peep on Instagram since his September 16 “Paradise Apology” video. I do predict he will take the popstar route and archive all of his past posts before they “go public.” We might even get a teaser video, if we’re truly lucky. 

Images: ABC / Craig Sjodin ; Giphy

The Best Bachelor in Paradise Recap You’ll Ever Read: Have Your Cake And Set It On Fire, Too

Perhaps, instead of writing a full recap about what went down on the fourth episode of this season of Bachelor in Paradise, I could save us both a lot of time and show you a few images of burning heaps of garbage. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s actually an option, so I guess I’ll just have to unpack every disturbing detail of the first two of four hours of absolute chaos that ABC has chosen to impose upon us this week. It begins with a naked dude named Kenny shimmying in the opening credits, and to be honest, it’s really all downhill from there. 

Clearly, a year of doing little but scrolling through memes has done a lot for the contestants of BiP, who now cannot complete a full sentence without the phrases “woke up and chose chaos,” or “dumpster fire.” I can’t really blame them, though. The English language has little else to describe how messy this season has become. After the culmination of what has been described as the “perfect date,” Maurissa and Riley wake up in the Boom Boom Room. Obviously, Riley worked some magic up in there, because Maurissa leaves saying, “Connor is such a sweetheart. He’s amazing. But Riley? He is a dream man in my eyes. He’s an amazing kisser. And literally everything a woman needs. It completely blew me away.” I’m sure if this doesn’t work out, Riley will have no trouble finding someone in his DMs.

The morning kicked off as most mornings following a date in Paradise do: with sheer panic. The girls have the roses this week, but those who aren’t sure who to give them to are starting to look around at any other canoodling couple and consider it a personal attack. If this feels dramatic to you, just think back to precedented times and remember how horrified you felt any time you saw a couple kissing on the subway. Perhaps the girls can petition for a mask mandate to clamp down on the rampant PDA in Paradise

DEMI: Everyone is fricking married around here. 

(Which is, coincidentally, the exact same thing I say every time I open up Instagram on a Sunday morning.) 

The Ladies Get Some Fresh Meat

Two new dudes have entered Paradise, and it’s almost as though the producers are trying to get us to mix them up on purpose. They’re two pretty average guys with similar sounding names who you probably wouldn’t remember if the season they previously appeared on wasn’t literally written across the screen every time they spoke. Meet: Chris Conran and Chasen. And no, that’s not the name of the hedge fund responsible for Fyre Fest. 

CHRIS CONRAN: I was on Clare’s season. Just barely. Just a little dab. Just a touch of salt. 

And you know what? He’s right. I do not know this man. In the iconic words of Keke Palmer: “Sorry to this man.” 

What Chris lacks in relevancy, he makes up for in confidence and the “Can I steal you for a sec?” persistence. He has set his sights on Jessenia and has a plan to “scoop” her up. He also has a backup plan, and that includes running off into the sunset with Chasen. 

Chasen and Chris get a double date card (barf), which means they have to dabble in a bit of forced, sweaty flirting before they can decide who they’ll take with them. Chasen makes a beeline for Deandra, which obviously upsets Karl. Their chemistry is undeniable.

CHASEN: So, tell me about yourself. What brought you to Paradise?
DEANDRA: I like Paradise because everybody comes here with a common goal. 

Yeah… to get laid and gain Instagram followers?

Next, Chasen pulls Mari aside for a chat, and Kenny starts to sweat as much as a man who refuses to wear clothing physically can. Mari and Chasen’s conversation is honestly pretty snoozy, and consists primarily of Mari throwing out a lot of words that end in “ing” in an attempt to define her non-relationship with Kenny, such as “vibing,” “talking,” and “conscious not officially, but also not unofficially, coupling.” 

Chasen and Chris head off on their double date, which is Kama Sutra themed. Chris brings Jessenia, and Chasen brings Deandra. Deandra explains that although she normally hates to be touched, getting essentially felt up by Chasen made her “very relaxed” and “more than pleasantly surprised.” Well, okay then! Jessenia also seems to be quite taken by her date… for some inexplicable reason.

CHRIS: Every chance I get tonight, I’m going to steal you away.
JESSENIA

What does this man have to offer that is not coming through on screen? Genuinely would love to know, because personally, I would not respond to a thinly veiled kidnapping threat with the same energy I’d use to reply to a passive-aggressive text from a roommate asking me to do the dishes.

Back at the beach, Demi is laying down the groundwork for a Plan B if Chris and Jessenia’s date goes well. While she swirls a mimosa around in one hand, she tells Ivan that he should start talking to some of the other women as a backup. Honestly… that’s a great game strategy. It’s a shame that Demi naturally has such villainous delivery, because it sounded pretty evil. 

In Which Mari Gets a Lesson in Casual Dating 

Clearly, Mari’s conversation with Chasen sparked a little fire in her, because it immediately prompts another conversation with Kenny in which she basically tells him that she would like to have her cake and eat it too. 

MARI: I want to see other people.
ALSO MARI: I think things with Kenny might be a little awkward. 

Mari’s suggestion to “open” things up definitely upsets Kenny, who reflects, “This is the first time I’m sensing that she’s not feeling as strong as I was. Why not say it’s completely done, then? If you want to be totally open, let’s be totally open.” And you know what? I’m kind of obsessed with Kenny’s logic that an open relationship is synonymous with a breakup. It seems like the kind of miscommunication that’s going to give us episodes worth of drama. 

After telling Kenny she’s trying to play the field, Mari has a discussion with Demi, which is where things really go left. Demi provides some more sound advice that comes across as evil because she’s, well, Demi. She tells Mari, “we should all be dating each other,” and then in a confessional moment seconds later, exclaims, “Sorry, I’m goin’ for your mans!” 

Once Mari catches wind of Demi and Kenny’s shenanigans (read: once Mari looks over at them, because all of the events of this show play out in like, an area the size of a tennis court), she’s furious. She seems to genuinely have believed that telling Kenny that she’s interested in seeing other people would make him think she’s playing hard to get, and is now truly shocked that it backfired, and I don’t know what else to say about that. It’s kind of like watching the milk crate challenge. Like, yes, of course I want it to work. I really want to see someone pull it off successfully. But at the end, everyone ends up with the sharp corner of a milk crate up their butt. And that’s just science. 

Male Rompers Are Back

Connor B., knowing that Maurissa had just been on a date the night before, decides it’s time to step it up if he’s going to get that rose. He throws on a matching set (or perhaps a romper; I cannot confirm the intricacies of Connor B.’s drip) and makes his way over to invite Maurissa on a DIY date. I’d give anything to hear the behind-the-scenes conversation Connor B. had with a producer that was like, “Can I have a date card? No? How about some craft supplies? Cool, cool, cool.” 

Unfortunately, Connor does not know that Maurissa made a little trip to the Boom Boom Room before wasting the best outfit he packed. Ya hate to see it. This leads to a downward spiral in which Connor describes himself as “just the friendly guy who everybody likes,” and yup, I’m crying. 

Next, we get an appearance from guest host Lance Bass, who does a little wellness check on Natasha. Natasha says she’s definitely feeling where things are going with Brendan, but that the intimacy is lacking—as if this is year three of marriage and not episode four of a television show. Lance suggests Natasha make a move on Brendan. (Side note: Does Lance Bass’s southern accent feel… stronger than usual? Is he hanging out with Jax and Brittany again?)

Natasha proceeds to give Brendan a very sweaty massage. I’ll hold off on the commentary here, and just let you know exactly how it went down, because I truly don’t have words for this one.

NATASHA: *Massaging Brendan*
BRENDAN: I’m the sweatiest man in America.
NATASHA: We’re not in America.
BRENDAN AND NATASHA: *Kiss*

And Now For a Slew of Relationships That Must Be Defined

After making the very astute observation that “Everyone on the beach seems to be breaking up,” Serena P. uttered the words that will likely curse her relationship with Grocery Store Joe and said, “But Joe and I are going strong.” On BiP, “going strong” means headed to a romantic date in a dark auditorium with a dinner table set up in the middle of a wrestling ring to discuss why Joe seems so miserable. 

SERENA: I feel like in Paradise… You hate it here.
JOE: You’re warm. 

Joe continues to be the most relatable man on this beach. He explains that he kind of hates Paradise because if he’s “not going to meet someone,” he doesn’t really want to be sleeping in a bunk bed in a room with no air conditioning. Fair! They ultimately decide that they’re “100% all in” on finding that with each other. After defining the relationship, Joe says, “It’s time to have fun.” Um, do you guys know you’re on Bachelor in Paradise? There is an entire team of people whose full time job relies on you guys not “having fun” after defining the relationship. But please, proceed. 

Serena P and Grocery Store Joe

Speaking of defining relationships, Karl decides to throw a Hail Mary pass and pulls Deandra aside for a talk. He gives Deandra a charm bracelet he bought in Miami. He’s trying to position this stunt as spur-of-the-moment, but he clearly bought all of the charms before he even had a “connection” with Deandra. Honestly, I’d tell you more about the bracelet and what each charm represents if it wasn’t obvious he just rolled into a Pandora store in an airport. At best, this thing is an Alex and Ani. 

Over at the beach, the rest of the cast members are enjoying a little bonfire. Which means it’s time for Demi to ruin the mood, of course. She shows up with a cake she made for Kenny because he spent his 40th in quarantine and makes everyone awkwardly sing happy birthday to him. Then, Demi hits us with a perfectly rehearsed line and says, “Let them eat cake!” before dragging Kenny to a secondary location (which, please never forget, is statistically the point at which you are more likely to be murdered). Demi has decorated a little party set up for Kenny, which includes a piñata full of condoms, to which I say: damn, production will really do anything for Demi. From bringing Kristian in for her last season, to setting up this weird belated birthday party, they’ll go to no end to make sure this girl has the tools to stir the pot. 

While Demi and Kenny are off celebrating, Mari grabs the cake and throws it in the fire… which honestly is the least interesting thing she could have done. 3/10. 

Mari pulls Demi aside for a little confrontation, which again leads us to another gem from Demi that would actually be sound logic if she didn’t deliver it like a Disney villain laying out their grand scheme to take over the world. 

MARI: Earlier today, I confided in you, and now you’re going for Kenny.
DEMI: Well, you said you guys were being open, so why can’t I date him?
MARI: He says he wants to fuck me.
DEMI: I… also want to fuck people?
MARI: So, you’re okay being a second option?
DEMI: No, we’re… all just… dating people here. 

Mari short-circuits at this reminder that you don’t have to get engaged to someone the second you decide you’re “vibing” with them, and basically just tells Demi that she threw the cake in the fire and storms off. 

Kenny actually is handling the situation quite maturely, which I guess I shouldn’t be giving him so much credit for because the man is literally 40. He tells Mari that everything with her has become “too toxic” and that he’d like to move on. 

The episode ends with a dreaded “TO BE CONTINUED” screen while all of the Paradise dwellers run around and set small fires. We also get a little tease of Demi and Kenny entering the Boom Boom Room, and a moment in which Demi says she is “fully prepared to just be massacred out here.” And that’s on self-awareness! 

Images: Craig Sjodin / ABC (2); Giphy; Tenor

The Best ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Smells Like Desperation

If you’re reading this, you’ve officially outlived David Spade’s stint as a temporary celebrity host on season 7 of Bachelor in Paradise. (Please don’t pat yourself on the back. This is a loss for all of us.) As all BiP viewing veterans should know, we have now entered the most lawless part of a season: the final push before the first Rose Ceremony where contestants without a confirmed rose start to lose their fucking minds. 

This particularly cursed episode opens with Demi—who arrived in Paradise at the end of last week’s premiere—choosing violence. Those who haven’t been following along with her life on social media since she got engaged to her then-girlfriend Kristian on Season 6 of BiP (and by “those,” I mean Brendan) are provided with a quick update. 

DAVID SPADE: So… you got engaged. What happened with that?
DEMI: Well, we got un-engaged. Hello? 

Proving that they are truly the male and female versions of each other, Demi and David Spade have a quick little moment in which they both thrive off the drama they know she’s about to bring to the beach. He hands her a first date card and says, “Looking forward to the chaos,” and Demi gets on her merry way to make the rest of the contestants sweat more than they already have been in this Mexican heat. She’s definitely getting the villain edit this season (which I guess is hardly an edit when it’s self-orchestrated), which sucks for Goddess Victoria, who clearly thought she was a shoe-in for that role. 

A Healthy Dose of Date Card Drama

Right off the bat, Demi invites Connor B. to “go for a chat,” and he immediately loses his ability to play it cool by essentially foaming at the mouth when he realizes she knows his first name. They bond over cats (because Connor B. famously arrived to Katie Thurston’s season in a full-on cat costume), which would have been a snoozefest of a scene had Demi not sprinkled her own little brand of chaos into the mix. She tells Connor B. that she has seven cats, then immediately admits that she only has three, but that she always tells people she has seven because it sounds more impressive. Truly a landmark moment for dog people everywhere. Shockingly, this conversation doesn’t seem to seal their fate as star-crossed lovers, so Demi ditches him for a chat and hand-holding session with Brendan. She then decides she’d like to go on a date with Brendan, which sends Natasha (who was previously feeling pretty secure in her ability to snatch up Brendan’s rose this week) into a downward spiral. 

NATASHA: I’m feeling like I need a little alone time.
NATASHA: *THROUGH LOTS OF TEARS* I’m FINE. 

Brendan and Demi go through your typical BiP date of making out and jet skiing, so it seems to be going as well as a forced televised interaction could go, which of course means shit’s about to hit the fan. Demi admits to knowing that she wanted to get with Brendan since she saw photos of him, to which he’s like, “I didn’t know you existed until a few hours ago.” He then proceeds to tell her that although he’s having a great time, he’s weighing all other options, particularly the ones that do not include spending the rest of his life with Demi. 

Demi handles the rejection like any reasonable person with an IMDb page full of reality television credits would: absolutely horribly. She commits to becoming Hurricane Demi, but Brendan, being your standard millennial man living through the worst climate crisis in the history of mankind, is pretty unfazed by that, and figuratively carries out his plans to vacation in an area that’s under extreme flood watch. 

Back at the beach, everyone’s gossiping about the fact that Brendan is potentially in a relationship (you know, out in the real world) with Pieper from Matt’s season. We then get a quick pulse check on Natasha, which reveals that she is, in fact, doing considerably worse than she was when we first discovered she was in a downward spiral. 

Serena C., Victoria L., and Kelsey the Champagne Girl proceed to mope around the beach because they know their shot at love (and higher #sponcon rates) is probably going to be over soon, since they have yet to secure roses. Victoria P. decides to go for James, even though she cannot remember his name. She admits that she’ll know she’s with the right person when she “gets the chills,” which unfortunately has yet to happen. To which I say: Ma’am, this is a Wendy’s*. 

*A beach resort in Mexico that is intentionally not air-conditioned to promote chaos between contestants. 

And Now, For A Genuine Moment Between Two People We’re Actually Rooting For

As I mentioned earlier, the second episode of a season of Paradise is the closest thing reality television has to purgatory, but this time, the producers give us a refreshing break. In what is potentially one of the most authentic conversations the Bachelor franchise has ever aired, Jessenia and Ivan use the second date card of the episode as an opportunity to actually get to know one another on a deeper level in a way that does not involve water sports, surface-level discussions, or dry humping in a cabana. During an intimate dinner, the pair have a conversation about their shared experience confronting racism in the Bachelor franchise

Ivan acknowledges that, although his decision to tackle tough conversations on TV certainly wasn’t easy, it must have been especially difficult for Jessenia because “people tend to be harder on women.” Are we experiencing an intersectional moment on Bachelor in Paradise?! I never thought we’d see the day. These two proceed to be excellent communicators together, and prove that they’ve got what it takes to be open and honest with their intentions with one another. Here’s to hoping the producers can (for the first time in history) put aside their obsession with messiness to allow an actually good thing to happen for once. 

Well, Well, Well. How The Turn Tables…

Demi retreats from her disastrous date with Brendan to tell the rest of the girls that although it was an extremely “sexual” experience, she is now out for blood. They decide this feels like a good time to fill Demi in on the Pieper rumors, and she absolutely loses her mind when she discovers that Brendan has “wasted her time” by making out with her on a date SHE invited HIM on… as if she did not just come off a season of this same exact show in which she was hanging out with Derek, only to reveal that she had been hitting it off with Kristian at home. Make it make sense! <sarcasm> I’m sure when the producers inevitably bring Pieper to Paradise, Demi will handle it just as honorably as Derek did when Kristian arrived at the beach and eventually got engaged to Demi. </sarcasm> 

Brendan doesn’t have much to say about the Pieper drama, but he does tell Natasha that he has the “strongest connection” with her. IDK, something about a man who just admitted to wanting to keep his options open in conversation with a woman he was making out with telling me that I’m his favorite of the three ladies he’s been tied to lately feels… not great? It also seems as though the producers are trying to recreate the Blake and Caelynn drama from last season, but unfortunately, “the Brendan and Pieper” drama just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Stagecoach-gate did. 

Elsewhere, Victoria P. is trying to learn more about James by asking him questions like “what is your first name?” and “when you get up in the morning, do you pee outside? Or do you pee inside?” While she’s conducting this class-A interrogation, Tammy is doing what she does best: getting involved in everyone else’s drama instead of creating her own storyline. As if this hasn’t already ended horribly for her personally before, I urge this woman to watch just like, ONE episode of any reality show ever. Serving as a plot device in someone else’s story is never the way to finding love and/or becoming a household name. She decides to stir up some drama by revealing that Victoria P. has a boy back in Nashville and is just trying to secure a rose for fame. (For those who are new to Bachelor Nation, the scientific term for this is, “here for the wrong reasons.”) 

All of us upon learning that someone would go on a reality show for fame:

surprise

Vaguely Notable Moments From The First Cocktail Party

Next, Bartender Wells sets us up for the first cocktail party of the season, which is really just an elaborate way for producers to remind us that although the majority of this two-hour episode has been spent harping on drama between like, four people, there are a bunch of other contestants you may have forgotten about. Some key takeaways here include: Noah has a lot of necklaces on and is in a “good place” with Abigail, Ivan and Jessenia are being adorable, Tahzjuan is still sweating, and Kenny finally put some pants on. 

Serena C. then gives us one of the cringiest moments thus far by freestyling for Aaron while he beatboxes in an attempt to be “more creative” in her pursuit of love. While I would have loved to provide you with the full lyrics of her freestyle, I unfortunately had no choice but to spike my laptop across the room and duck and cover when she opened with the line, “I’m going to do my best to keep this classy, I just want you to know I’m a little bit sassy.” I can, however, report that at one point she rhymed something with the phrase “sit on your face.” 

Tammy takes a quick break from trying to ruin everyone else’s time to get her rose situation back in order. Shortly after Serena C. and Aaron finish their awkward interaction, Tammy literally mounts him, and Aaron tells America that he has a boner. Lovely. When Tammy is finished with that, she returns to her campaign of telling everyone that Victoria P. has a boyfriend at home and is a “rose chaser.” Kelsey the Champagne Girl gets in on the mess, too, probably because the Champagne Girl schtick is starting to get old. Tammy goes straight to James to deliver the news, and honestly, if everyone didn’t look so sweaty, I would jump into the TV and give him a hug.

TAMMY: You don’t mean anything to Victoria.
JAMES: 🥺

James confronts Victoria P. about the rumors, and she maintains that although she dated someone from February until May, they broke up before she came to Paradise, and he “encouraged to get into this with an open heart.” This sounds a lot like when Jed from Hannah Brown’s season had a fame-thirsty girlfriend at home. I am truly just begging the Bachelor franchise to give us new drama. I’ve had enough of aspiring country singers and Nashville influencers trying to scheme ways to become relevant. Even though Victoria P. seems to have an alibi, James takes the opportunity to mention some of the other red flags he’s noticed. 

JAMES: You don’t know my first name.
VICTORIA P: This is a lot.
TAMMY, WHO HAS SPENT THE ENTIRE NIGHT TRYING TO GET SOMEONE WHO IS NOT EVEN GOING AFTER THE SAME MAN AS HER SENT HOME: You can’t fix a manipulative person. 

As we’re nearing the end of the episode and need some kind of filler drama before we can see how the Rose Ceremony shakes out, Tahzjuan decides to confront Victoria L., because simply looking at the goddess stresses her out. She tells Victoria L. that she thinks she’s “going back to her old ways,” and that she doesn’t appear to be genuine. Victoria L. delivers a brilliantly engineered, Real Housewives-inspired response and says, “I really feel bad that you’re trying to create something.” It doesn’t really go much further than that, TBH. 

After realizing fighting an uphill battle is kind of a lot of work, Victoria P. makes the decision to head home. In the limo, she says, “I realized I don’t have to search for what I already have at home,” which I guess confirms that… she does have a boyfriend? Cool, cool, cool. James makes an announcement to the group to let everyone know that Victoria P. has left.

DEMI: I’m going for James. F*ck it. 

Demi admits it was “silly” of her to get so worked up over how she was going to find a rose by the end of the night. Kelsey’s still pretty certain that she’s going to end up with James’ rose, but I’d like to remind her that never in the HISTORY of the Bachelor franchise has playing the “this girl is here for the wrong reasons!” card worked in anyone’s favor. Usually, it ends up proving that the alleged wrong-reasoner is being sketchy, but also that the finger-pointer is obsessed with drama and too irrelevant to have their own legitimate storyline. 

The First Rose Ceremony

As always, the Rose Ceremony kicks off with a pairing-up of all the couples who seem like they could actually make something work. Here’s how it goes down: 

Ivan chooses Jessenia, noting, “We have a great foundation going, and I’d love to continue nurturing that.” I smell Neil Lane Couture!

Noah chooses Abigail. Although she previously hinted that she loves to friend-zone, Abigail admits that she’s “surprised how quickly” she’s developing a relationship with Noah. 

Grocery Store Joe chooses Serena P. I’m thrilled these two have already seemingly mastered the art of sitting their asses on the beach and staying out of drama while everyone else burns their futures to the ground. 

Connor B. chooses Maurissa

Tre chooses Tahzjuan

Karl chooses Deandra

Brendan chooses Natasha while Demi nervously stares into the void

Aaron chooses Tammy

Kenny chooses Mari

With one rose left for James to give out, Kelsey has a borderline medical emergency, and naturally, Demi thinks she’s faking it in a last-ditch effort to get the rose. Personally, I feel like it’s probably a HIPAA violation for me to comment on that one. James gives Demi his rose, which I’m sure was probably a decision a producer bribed him to make by rewarding him with a few minutes of air conditioning access. 

KELSEY (WHILE LEAVING): I’m not going to try super hard to force a connection.
ALSO KELSEY: *Essentially established a shit-talking MLM pyramid scheme to get Victoria P. sent home.*

Perhaps the greatest loss we’ve collectively suffered this episode is the elimination of Victoria L. I think she still had a lot of great one-liners and GIF-worthy moments in her, and I hope we get to see her again, someday. Although, her exit was pretty epic when she literally let the door hit her on the way out.

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (2)

A Bro’s Breakdown Of Katie’s Bachelorette Contestants

Hi, I’m Jared Freid. I’m a 36-year-old comedian who loves The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I love them so much, I yell at every episode on my Instagram stories. As you can imagine, my parents are very proud. V. 

This is my preview for the season. I’ve been doing this preview for both shows since before your favorite TikToker got their first dangly earring. I make massive assumptions about every contestant based on very little information. It’s like sitting with me while wearing sweats and screaming “Yuck” at what people wore on the red carpet. Please enjoy and follow me on Instagram where I’ll be making fun of these crazies every Monday night (Matt James’ season is in my highlights) and then recapping the episodes the next day on The Betchelor podcast. And if that’s not enough, I host a Bachelor Post Game Show called “The Rose Rehash” on my YouTube channel. Let’s have a fun season.

Katie

Katie showed up to last season waving a vibrator, and I kept thinking she was going to make this her whole personality and start selling “Buzz Buzz Bitch” T-shirts on Instagram. And you know what? That didn’t really happen. She carried the vibrator around the first night and made some jokes, but they weren’t cringey or too awful and she kind of rolled with it. It’s funny, with a joke like that there are some people who will never let it go. They’re the least developed people in the universe. Katie could become a congresswoman and they’ll be like, “AREN’T YOU THAT DIDLO WOMAN?!!?” But that’s why I’ve always liked Katie. Unlike those people, she changed her opinion when presented with new information. Last season, the house got addicted to sh*t talking and drama. Katie was a part of that. She then recognized that it was all becoming too much before even a producer could see it, and then she reported the whole thing to Matt and got this show back to being the wholesome Christian programming that we all know and love. There are some that accuse Katie of seeing an opportunity in being this anti-bullying peer mediator, but I would argue that it would take a woke mastermind to see an audience that feeds on the blood of contestants all of a sudden getting tired of drama and making the peacemaker their queen. So, yes, I’m a Katie fan and I think she will be a fun captain for this ship and I’m willing to be pointed in the right direction by her seven-inch vibrator set to that weird, vroom vroom vrooooooooooom setting that so many of you love.

Aaron

Aaron is a 26-year-old insurance agent from San Diego, California who looks like his whole personality is “I learned about cryptocurrency yesterday.” Aaron has one tattoo: his family’s initials on his neck. Like how a prince would wear his family’s crest, except he probably doesn’t own land. How is that his only tattoo?! I feel like a neck tattoo should be number twelve. Like, it starts with the one on the foot and then you get the one under your wrist and then you seek out therapy and you say, “Hey, I’m going to get a neck tattoo” and the therapist is like, “You know this takes you out of the suit-wearing jobs and you’re like “I’m ok with that.” And then nine tattoos later you honor your family with a tattoo that frightens senior citizens. 

Andrew S

Andrew S is a 26-year-old football player from Vienna, Austria who spends half the year playing professional football in Vienna and the other half as a teacher’s assistant in Chicago. Let me translate that for you: Andrew S is a substitute teacher from Chicago who vacations in Vienna to play football with some friends. His bio says he “has a great sense of humor, and one of his favorite party tricks is imitating accents from around the globe.” Andrew is about to be canceled in the most viral video way. It’ll start with, “Here’s how they sound in Vienna” and everyone will laugh. Then he’ll be like, “Ever been to China!?” and a police officer will show up to escort him to a TV studio where Emmanuel Acho will be waiting to interview him.

Andrew M

Andrew M is a 31-year-old deputy district attorney from Newport Beach, California whose bio says he “loves his job.” I’m sorry. I don’t believe anyone who goes on The Bachelorette is all jazzed up about their job. I can’t live in this rom-com dream world where Andrew screams, “Objection!!” And the judge is like, “sustained counselor! Court is adjourned!!” And then Andrew high fives his assistant and they’re like, “Got another one! I don’t know how you do it!” And Andrew’s like, “I’ve got it all, Gretchen. Just need that perfect gal! If only there was a way to compete against 29 aspiring actors for the right one!”

Austin

Austin is a 25-year-old real estate investor from Mission Viejo, California whose bio says he flipped 20 houses in 2020. Now, I guess someone who flips houses could be considered a “real estate investor” but it feels like false advertising to me. Like, let’s say Austin wins. Katie is like, “When are you going to the office?!” And Austin is like, “I’m already there!” and shows her his Zillow search for houses under $200K. I don’t think that memory accompanies Katie and her famous vibrator the next time they’re in the tub.

Brandon

Brandon is a 26-year-old auto parts manager from Queens, New York who looks like he’s still trying to make his college band happen. Brandon’s hair doesn’t match his suit. With that hair he should only be allowed to wear tight, white, ribbed tank tops. It actually looks like his head was Photoshopped onto that neck. If Brandon doesn’t put his hand through his hair while looking at the ground and talking about a dead brother, then nobody has a dead brother.

Brendan

Brendan is a 26-year-old firefighter trainee from Toronto who looks like he makes TikToks about his hair transplant journey. Brendan should tell you everything you need to know about male confidence. He’s not even a full firefighter and he’s going on a competition for a woman. What does he think Katie’s going to say?! “Well, the lawyer seemed nice and I sure do like guys with a mortgage, but that firefighting intern really knows some great quotes from The Office.”

Christian

Christian is a 26-year-old real estate agent from Boston who’s still wearing the shoal sweater his ex bought him for her company’s holiday party. Here’s what I LOVE about Christian: His bio says that he’s sold over $25 million worth of residential real estate. I don’t know how you tell someone how much you make without telling them how much you make, so I can only imagine Christian is a total monster and I can’t wait for that. I’m imagining he’s talking to Katie and someone comes over and is like, “Can I steal her for a second?!” And Christian doesn’t even turn around while calmly saying, “Do you know how much my time is worth?” and the other guy is like, “Ha ha man, come on.” And Christian just explodes with, “I’ve sold over $25 million dollars worth of property and I WILL NOT BE CHALLENGED BY A FITNESS INSTRUCTOR!!”

Cody

Cody is a 27-year-old zipper sales manager from San Diego who looks like a boy who made a wish to be a grown man. His bio says he’s “a proud Eagle Scout.” That’s one of those things that someone says and you immediately make fun of it. Like, I’d blurt out, “Eagle Scout!? Ya, and I’m going to space camp this summer!” And then you realize they’re serious and you have to be like, “Oh that’s awesome!” And then they make you realize you’re garbage. They explain that the scouts get them outdoors and working with kids and how they “learn more from the kids than you could ever imagine.” And then they’re like, “What are your hobbies?!” And you’re like, “I eat and talk sh*t with my friends about the other friends who aren’t there.”

Connor B

Connor B is a 29-year-old math teacher from Nashville. Nobody has ever looked like the fun math teacher more than Connor B. That’s “Mr B.” and I can’t see it any other way. Get a Disney exec on the phone and book this guy to say, “Ok kids. Pop quiz! Mr B ain’t cheugy sheeeeshh.” It’s got to be weird being a teacher in Nashville. It’s just such a small party town. You could literally be teaching the Pythagorean Theorem an hour before a woman in a pink cowboy hat is grinding on you while puking a little bit in her mouth. What a magical place.

Conor C

Conor C is a 28-year-old former baseball player from Costa Mesa, California who looks like he told the barber, “I’ll take the husband who kills his wife and becomes an episode of Dateline!” Conor says finding someone who has the similar religious beliefs is “very important” to him because “raising his future family in the church is a huge priority.” It’s so wild to me that the same group that’s like, “being gay is a sin” is also the one to say, “The Bachelor franchise is a reasonable way to find your spouse.” If Conor wins, I want to be at the church when he shows up with Katie. I’ll be like, “Congratulations!!! God gave you the gift of love!! Now pull out her vibrator and feed me the sacrament off the head!!”

David

David is a 27-year-old technical product specialist from Nashville whose bio says, “Synchronicity in life is of the utmost importance.” I’ve googled the word synchronicity for you:

the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.

I’ve read that definition 15 times and I still can’t understand what’s important to David. I don’t think David knows what he’s saying, but I think that he thinks that he’s fooled us into thinking he’s an intellectual. It’s like a fake verbal orgasm. I’d love to hear David fake an actual orgasm. He’d be like, “UH UH UH I HAVE COME TO FRUITION WITH THE GIFT OF EJACULATE!! THIS IS IN NO WAY SYNCHRONICITY!! THIS EJACULATE HAS AN ACTUAL CONNECTION TO YOUR VAGINA!!!”

Gabriel

Gabriel is a 35-year-old entrepreneur from Charlotte who looks like he’s going to help you pick out some clothes at Bloomingdale’s. Anytime someone comes on the show with the job of “entrepreneur” it means that their parents are rich or they started a food-related Instagram account within the last month. I’m going with rich parents here. Gabriel is using his full name, he’s 35, and his bio says he loves to play tennis and he “prides himself on having a lot of passions and interests.” Only a person who comes from money could be dressed as Franck from Father of The Bride and publicly say they have a lot of pride in their passions while most of the Earth is going through a pandemic. I’m excited to hear Gabriel complain about his rusty backhand because of “the crazy year we had.”

Garrett

Garrett is a 29-year-old software marketing manager from Salinas, California who may be the best looking male redhead to ever walk this planet. If I’m head of marketing for male redheads, then I’m hiring Garrett as our mascot. That’s a group that needs a rebrand. Who is their guy? Carrot Top? Someone from the Weasley family?! Chuckie Finster?! You may be attracted to one of those people, but the male redhead community has never really had sexy representation. I just googled “Hottest Redheaded Men” and Conan O’Brien was on the list! People. They need someone. Garrett needs to get to the finals so that the redheaded community can have its day and so my Google search history stops looking like I have some weird fetish!

Greg

Greg is a 27-year-old marketing sales representative from Edison, New Jersey who looks like the hot lead of a Disney Channel Original Movie who never fully went through puberty. Listen, Greg has a great head of hair and it seems like he took the center part critique from Gen Z a little too seriously. And he’s not alone. Millennials are the most self-conscious generation and within a month of hearing the center part and mom jeans are in, many of my friends look like they’re dressed as Jonathan Taylor Thomas for Halloween. Good luck, Greg. I hope you find your look!

Hunter

Hunter is a 34-year-old software strategist from Houston whose face screams “I have a pet bird.” And you know what?! His face screamed correctly, because Hunter has a pet parakeet named Zazu. Hunter’s bio says “as a child, he was known for writing incredible love letters and always being the guy to surprise his crushes with mix tapes or flowers.” Listen, a love letter and some flowers is a totally nice gesture, but can you imagine being “known” for love letters, mix tapes, and flowers?!! That’s the most bizarre reputation that I’ve ever heard. And he didn’t say it was for his girlfriends, it’s for his crushes. So you could be warned about him. Like, “Ya, that’s Hunter. Don’t make eye contact with him for too long unless you want to walk around school with a bouquet and a new CD where “Hey There Delilah” is all 14 tracks.”

Jeff

Jeff is a 31-year-old surgical skin salesman from Jersey City who looks like the worst possible outcome for when Belle turns the Beast into a man. I like Jeff and I want the best for him. His bio talks about a big Italian family and his mom doing his laundry (you know, normal Italian man in his 30s stuff). But the reason I’m cheering for him is that his job HAS to be tough on a dating app. You’re on an app where you’re constantly trying to forget all of the dangers of meeting a stranger on the internet and he’s like, “My passion is human skin!” And I’m sure he’s helping a lot of people, but it’s just not getting Jeff to some casual drinks, where a woman’s finger isn’t ready to send an emergency text under the table.

John

John is a 27-year-old bartender from Pacific Beach, California who looks like his catchphrase is, “I TOTALLY agree! We should DEFINITELY be friends!” John is described as a “thrill-seeker” who goes to EDM shows. I can’t imagine a less attractive description. If a friend was like, “I have a single friend who wants to take you to a David Guetta concert! Oh and they’re a bartender and they love skydiving!” I’d be like, “How about a friend who has a job with a retirement savings plan and enjoys sitting quietly on the couch in-between talking sh*t about people we see on Instagram?!”

Josh

Josh is a 25-year-old IT Consultant from Miami who looks like he saw a picture of Steve Jobs and thought, “THAT, but with a blazer!” Josh’s bio says that he’s a hopeless romantic. And he’s not alone. At least half of these bios have said the same thing. I think they all say it because they believe that’s what women want to hear. But, to me, “hopeless romantic” means you do dumb stuff for love. So, yes, going on a TV show to compete against 29 other men for one woman is dumb and it makes you a hopeless romantic. I’m more of a “Hopeless Eater” which means I do dumb stuff for food. Like I’ll go to a McDonald’s, wait until they make a new batch of fries, get two larges, eat one in the parking lot, eat one while I drive, throw away the garbage at the local high school, and get home and ask, “What’s for dinner!?” as if nothing happened.

Justin

Justin is a 26-year-old investment sales consultant from Baltimore who will do well on this show. His bio says everything right, but in an authentic way. It talks about looking for a partner and his family and how he’s into fitness but loves to BBQ with some Sauvignon Blanc. I’m sure even my description might make you slip off of your chair. Hell, when it said he was an “extremely talented painter” I screamed, “PAINT ME!!” as I played with my nipple while sitting at this Starbucks. Justin’s one thing is that he hates dancing, which doesn’t matter at all. But it’s definitely something your annoying friend who complains about being single would complain about. Like, “Well, he loves his family and he’s a painter and his body is a 10 and when he goes down on me, I cum so hard that a butterfly flies out of my mouth, but he doesn’t dance! Like what will we do at our wedding? Ugh life is hard!!!”

Karl

Karl is a 34-year-old motivational speaker from Miami who says that his favorite holiday is New Year’s Day because he loves the feeling of a fresh start. That would be enough information for me to send Karl home. In fact that would be my first question. I’d be like, “Hi Everyone! Please grab a pen and paper and write down the answer to the following question: if New Year’s Day lands on a Thursday then what day does the year officially start? Now, if you’re a psychopath who wrote Thursday, then there’s a car waiting for you outside. If you wrote, ‘I drink through the weekend and I avoid any type of renewal until that next Monday,’ then you’re invited to stay for the rest of the cocktail party.”

Kyle

Kyle is a 26-year-old technical recruiter from Fort Lauderdale who looks like he’s been on The Bachelorette the last 10 years in a row but we never remember his name. His bio says that Steve Irwin is his idol, which feels like he picked a celebrity name out of a bucket that was labeled “Personality Help.” He also says that he wants someone who can make him laugh like he’s some sort of king beckoning a jester. How about you bring a little personality, Kyle?! We get it. You said “Steve Irwin is my idol” once and it got a laugh at the office so now you’re peddling that around as your fun fact until you can find a woman who was brave enough to wave a vibrator on TV so that you can stop trying to nail an Australian accent. Kyle is looking for a crutch, not a girlfriend.

Landon

Landon is a 25-year-old basketball coach who looks like the edible just kicked in. Landon’s hair needs to be discussed. What’s the thought process here? Based on this picture, it looks like he takes the brush and starts at his forehead and just goes straight back. Then he apparently lets the sides do their own thing? It’s a strange way to go. Like, you’re either a brush guy or you’re not a brush guy, and he seems to be stuck between two worlds. He cares but he doesn’t care. It’s wild. He’s like a graduate of a Big Ten School, you care enough to get an education but you don’t care when nobody believes your claim that the business school “is actually really good.” Wild.

Marcus

Marcus is a 30-year-old real estate agent from Portland, Oregon who looks like your mom already loves him. Marcus was asked to describe himself as a lover, and he says he is “amazing.” This is actually the best answer to the question. Let’s say you believe that Marcus is an amazing lover, well you’d probably want to have sex with him. Now let’s say you don’t believe Marcus, well you’d probably want to have sex with him just to see what he thinks is amazing. Amazing or not amazing, Marcus is climaxing every damn time. Wow. This really beats my answer of, “Well, it depends on what I ate and the time of day and the type of condom and can I go down on the woman first?! And what really constitutes amazing? Would we cuddle? And can you rate me the second time we have sex because I tend to last longer when I’m more comfortable with the person.”

Marty

Marty is a 25-year-old dancer from Reno who says his self-declared tagline is “Marty brings the party.” His bio also says he loves to express himself through physical touch and says that he “loves to love on and be loved on.” As someone who has dealt with body issues his whole life, these are things that could only be said by an incredibly fit guy like Marty or the most overweight guy in a fraternity. Anyone in between those two bodies would sound ridiculous. Just imagine a 5’8’’ guy who works in finance saying, “I like to love on and be loved on.” You’re calling the cops. Now imagine that same guy saying, “Marty brings the party!” You’re leaving that party. Now imagine THIS Marty screaming, “Marty brings the party” as he high fives Jack Black who then turns to you and whispers, “Come with us to be loved on but you know we need a little love too!” You’re running behind them while giggling and ripping your shirt off to see what these two knuckleheads say next and you’re buying a ticket to whatever movie they star in.

Michael

Michael is a 36-year-old business owner from Akron, Ohio whose tired eyes and sweater should tell you he is a single dad with a 4-year-old son. That has to be the saddest goodbye on the planet. Imagine Michael explaining this trip to his 4-year-old son like, “Daddy is going away. He’s going to a big house with lots of men with big muscles and abs to find a new mommy. And daddy hopes that this new mommy can appreciate daddy’s personality and not ask about your real mommy and how she got the house. Okay I have to go! I’ll probably be home in a week but at the slight chance that this new mommy is turned on by one-bedroom apartments in Akron then it might be longer. Bye!!!”

Mike

Mike is a 31-year-old gym owner from San Diego who looks like he’s about to corner you at a party after he’s done a bunch of coke to tell you about his app idea. Mike’s bio says that he’s “always been a one-woman type of guy, but due to his successful run in the MLB, dating was never really a priority in his life.” I love the subtext of that sentence. Like, “Oh shucks, with all that baseball and money they pay you in the Majors, I could never even look at a woman!!” But let me translate how he says the same sentence to other men who aren’t Bachelorette producers. It goes, “Who would have a serious girlfriend when they’re making millions playing baseball?!?!” and it’s followed by so many high fives that he uses his non-throwing hand.

Quartney

Quartney (yes, with a Q) is a 26-year-old Nutrition Entrepreneur from Dallas who looks like he posts all day on social media about a MultiLevel Marketing company that convinced him to say he’s a “Nutrition Entrepreneur.” Quartney’s bio goes on to say nothing about his use of the letter Q or nutrition. It makes no sense. You’re creating some business about nutrition with no mention as to the type of nutrition you’re passionate about?! Even someone who is into Keto talks about how much they love bell peppers and fried cheese! I can only assume that Nutrition Entrepreneur means naturally skinny people convincing people (like me) that they don’t need diet or exercise to achieve a naturally skinny body. And if that’s the case, I’d like Quartney to take all of my money.

Thomas

Thomas is a 28-year-old real estate broker from Poway, California who looks more like a cool dad who’s going to take you to McDonald’s than a Bachelorette contestant. His bio says that he “often wonders if The Rock really can eat everything he posts on Instagram for his cheat meal days.” Yes, an interview about what Thomas is looking for in a woman is a weird time to bring up The Rock’s eating habits. But I am also someone who thinks about the Rock’s cheat meal posts. And it’s funny how one post can produce so many questions. Thomas is sitting there wondering about how he can possibly consume all that food and I’m wondering why The Rock’s “cheat meal” is the same as my “sensible Sunday night dinner.” It’s honestly insulting and bullying and shaming and I will not stand for it. #NORMALIZE50PIECESUSHIORDERSFORONE #CancelTheRock

Tre

Tre is a 26-year-old software engineer from Covington, Georgia whose favorite activity is to meet his friends for their brunch and book club. Good for Tre, but if I saw a group of people sit down to brunch with the same book to discuss, I’d stare as if it were a UFO landing. If my friends and I turned our brunch into a club, it would be called a “Brunch and smells like alcohol mixed with farts” club.

The Box/Blake Moynes

This season, someone shows up in a box, and it was kind of teased and then revealed during a promo that it’s former contestant Blake Moynes. And I know what you’re thinking: “WHO?!”

Blake Moynes is a 29-year-old wildlife manager from Ontario who looks like the lovechild of Kirk Cameron and Sulley from Monsters Inc. Blake is from Clare/Tayshia’s season. Before their season I wrote:

Blake’s bio is a lot like The Bachelorette in that it’s a fairytale that women want to hear. It says, “Blake spent his Saturday nights hanging with his best friends, but now all of those friends are married and he’s the last single man remaining.” This is written as if it’s a tragedy in Blake’s life. As if his friends were like, “What? No wife? I guess we’ll see you when you’re married… hopefully, our kids aren’t too far apart in age to hang at that point.”

I wasn’t wrong about Blake. He kind of played up the puppy dog “poor me” attitude throughout the show. If we ranked the things to pop out of the box on a scale of “famous single guy” to “pretty good vibrator” then Blake would rank as a vibrator that doesn’t get fully hard and will probably cry in Katie’s arms before buzzing slightly due to a low battery.

Images: ABC/Andrew Eccles; ABC/Craig Sjodin (31)

The Best ‘Bachelor’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Fantasy Suites Or House Of Horrors?

Happy International Women’s Day, people!! What better way to celebrate empowering women than by watching a conventionally attractive man rail three of them in one weekend? That’s right: Fantasy Suites are here! If it feels weird to watch what is essentially a three-day orgy take place during the height of a pandemic—you’re not alone in those feelings! Never mind that Heather probably had to undergo more testing to drive that minivan within five feet of production than any of these people will have had before they swap bodily fluids for 72 hours straight. But you know, cheers to love and all of that.

Two weeks ago, Matt narrowed his group of women down to the final three: Michelle, Bri, and Rachael. But before we get to the sex, Matt tells us he can’t move forward in his Bachelor journey without first solving his daddy issues. Um, Matt, I’m glad you’re working on yourself and all of that, but don’t you think you should have worked on those intimacy issues before coming on a show that ends in a rapid-speed engagement? It took me and my therapist an entire year just to talk through the time the samples boy at Costco did not return my flirting, and you think one ambush is gonna cut it?

Okay, Matt is even gigantic compared to his own father. How is he so tall? He could fit his dad in the pocket of his jeggings!

MATT: You cheated on my mom and that has permanently altered the way I trust people and engage in romantic relationships.
MATT’S DAD: 

This conversation feels very… not staged. I’m shocked. Matt is being open and vulnerable. At one point he cries in the interview room. This is the most emotion I’ve seen out of him all season, and I’m including the time he almost killed Bri with a dune buggy.

I’m not sure what Matt was hoping to get from this conversation, but their talk ends amicably. Matt’s dad says he’s going to try more. Matt says he’ll try more too—he’ll try more to muster up the energy to pretend to want to bang those three women who are in love with him. All is right in the world.

 

 

Michelle’s Fantasy Suite Date

Now that Matt got the Chuck E. Cheese thing out of his system, he’s ready to make sweet, sweet love to the longest-limbed human I’ve ever seen. You can tell Matt is really into Michelle because he came dressed to the date wearing jeans that are actually painted on him. Matthew! Save something for the bedroom, buddy!

For the day portion of the date, Matt takes Michelle to the Pennsylvania Dutch Spa. I think this is supposed to be relaxing and romantic, a way for Matt to literally butter Michelle up before she finds out in the fantasy suite that Matt’s open-eye kissing thing extends to other parts of the bedroom as well…

Okay, I’ve never watched a fantasy suite date before that made me this nervous for a girl’s pH levels. They’re pouring hot butter on each other, rubbing oatmeal into every crevice of their bodies, soaking in baths of what I assume is unpasteurized milk—this entire date is a cautionary tale my gyno told me to scare me about getting UTIs.

MATT JAMES, MICHELLE

The more Matt and Michelle talk, the more I feel like they are pretty perfect for each other, which I’m sure means Matt will run as fast and as far away from her as possible. Michelle talks about how her parents taught her to model healthy, loving relationships. Matt says he didn’t have that growing up, but Michelle still thinks he’s her person anyway. I really want these two to work out. I mean, with wingspans like that, if they ever procreate their children could reform Mt. Olympus! Think of the possibilities!

More evidence that Matt is super into Michelle: He shows up to dinner showing zero skin from the chin down. Seriously, where does this man shop? How does one amass a wardrobe that consists of turtlenecks and skinny jeans and almost nothing else? ABC, I need answers!

MICHELLE: I would truly love the opportunity to get to know you better.
ALSO MICHELLE:

Michelle accepts the overnight invitation, and BOY, to be a fly on the wall when she explains this to her fourth graders in a few weeks. I’m sure little Ethan will ask her the hard questions again, like if she came or if she just moaned a few times until he stopped jabbing the walls of her uterine lining and called it a day.

Okay, why does this morning after look so tame? They’re lounging on the bed and Michelle is wearing an entire outfit underneath that silk robe. The only signs of any intense ardor is a singular rumpled pillow on the ground. Like, did they lose sleep having hot sex or because Michelle taught him the song to remember all the U.S. Presidents? I honestly can’t tell.

 

 

Bri’s Fantasy Suite Date

Bri’s up next, and she’s about as confident about her place in Matt’s heart as I am that I can pull off mom jeans. She was his last pick at the last rose ceremony, and thinks that might be an indicator of where their relationship ranks compared to his with the other girls. I’m not going to say this is all in her head, because the “fantasy” date he has planned for her involves hiking boots and a tent from Costco’s summer sale. Like, she knows you already rubbed hundreds of dollars worth of raw milk all over Michelle’s supple body yesterday, and you think she’s not gonna judge that y’all’s first time involved thermal underwear and a rock wedged in her spine?

BRI: You know how to pitch a tent?

I have a feeling she is not talking about where they’re going to sleep tonight. No one could “pitch a tent” in pants that tight.

Bri, Matt James

Oh okay, phew. Bri is allowed out of Matt’s Blair Witch Project and taken on some semblance of a real date. For the evening portion he takes her to an actual dinner at a place with an actual roof over their heads. A far cry from the boiled water and power bar situation Bri was probably envisioning hours earlier.

Wow, Bri looks absolutely stunning this evening. I wish I could wear a dress like that and not have to be encased in head-to-toe Spanx or undergo some sort of structural engineering with Kim K’s body tape.

Matt and Bri bond over their absentee fathers, and he is really using this same story to get into all of their pants. Like, no script change or anything from when he gave this speech to Michelle. Bold. I guess this is the least his dad could do for him. He didn’t need quality time, he just needed this story to recycle in case he ever felt like getting laid.

Okay, Bri understands what to pack for a night alone with your man. The cameras cut to their morning after and she’s draped in lace and silk. She’s cooking breakfast with pants that have slits up to her vagine. She’s pulling out alllll the stops. I just really wish I could see this for her. I think Matt is attracted to her and understands her, but they’re almost too similar or something. I don’t think he wants to end up with someone who has a similar family situation. But perhaps I’m reading too much into these strangers’ lives.

 

 

Rachael’s Fantasy Suite Date

Rachael is last this week, which I’m convinced was a strategic move on production’s part so the viewers back home could watch her slowly come apart at the seams over the last 90 minutes of this episode. I will say, her crying and pouting routine is really showing her age. What? You’re telling me you’ve never slept with a guy who’s actively sleeping with other people while he’s emotionally invested in you? What are you, 12? Grow up.

Rachael asks Matt how he’s been, and boy, is that a loaded question. Matt can tell that Rachael is being weird and he has questions. Well, get in line, buddy, because so do I. First up: what’s going on with the cut-out of that crop top? Why the belly button? Is it a Gen Z thing? Is the U-shape important? ABC, I need answers!

Okay, Rachael is being reallll pouty on this date. She freaks out halfway through their ceramics activity and pulls Matt aside to talk privately. Nothing is more of a mood killer than insecurity, let me tell you.

Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James

RACHAEL: This week is the lowest I’ve ever felt.
MATT: Well if it makes you feel any better, Bri had to pitch my tent for me!

Matt, she doesn’t want to hear about your handjobs! Keep that stuff to yourself.

I just don’t understand why Rachael is so freaked out. She just graduated college, like, yesterday. Surely casual sex is a culture she can understand!

By the evening portion of the date, Rachael has completely forgotten about the fact that Matt has swapped more bodily fluids in the past 72 hours than a Walgreens COVID test kiosk. Rachael shows up to the dinner in a hot little red number that has Matt actually licking his lips at the sight of her. Vomit.

I think he knows she’s really hot and really into him and it’s giving him the craziest boner. Also, watching him be so into Rachael, who (all controversies aside) is clearly the youngest and most immature out of the ladies he has left, is making me think less of him. If this is the kind of girl he wants to pursue, then he’s not ready for marriage. YOU’RE A SHAM.

 

 

The Rose Ceremony

We don’t even get a morning after from Matt and Rachael’s date, and that’s how you know the sex was good. They couldn’t even tame it down for the cameras. I’m imagining Rachael staggering out of that suite, her neck raw from Matt’s turtleneck chafing. It’s best that footage remains in the vault, I think.

Instead, we jump straight into the rose ceremony. All of the ladies are decked out in black, which I can only assume is because they are mourning the loss of their dignity. Carry on, gals.

HOLY SH*T. Bri is going home? But she’s wearing a high-neck dress! She’s speaking his love language!! This is possibly the worst rose ceremony to be sent home at. Now all of America knows who gives the worst blowjobs. Plus, she left her high-powered job for this. My heart is truly breaking for her.

And that’s all she wrote, kids! See you next week for the epic finale to a season that definitely wasn’t already spoiled for us five weeks ago. Until then!

Images: @bachelorabc /Instagram (2); @ABC (2); Giphy (1)

The Best ‘Bachelor’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: I Hate It Here

Well, well, well what a week it has been for Bachelor Nation. It was already hard enough that we had to say goodbye to Dildo Girl, our favorite camp counselor and sex positive queen, BUT now we gotta deal with Chris Harrison and the rest of the Bachelor franchise acting like racist trash? I’m not going to rehash the entire problematic exchange (you can read all about it here), but I will say it’s almost like the franchise only chooses to support diversity when it’s convenient and/or popular for them to do so, and not because they genuinely have a desire to share Black and Brown stories. But I’m sure ABC and Chris Harrison are taking all of our feedback and are using this time as an opportunity to grow. And by “time” I mean the one to two episodes Chris Harrison will be sidelined from hosting to focus on “accountability.” To be fair, I’m pretty sure that’s how long cancel culture works for middle-aged white dudes in the country anyway. 

Moving on to this week’s episode, and to drama that doesn’t make me want to set fire to everything on this earth: Heather is in the houseeeee! Last week, Heather Martin of Colton’s season (and Hannah Brown’s TikTok videos) decided she was so bored in quarantine that she would literally do anything for human interaction, including willingly walking into this hostage situation in progress. Of course, Matt is the hostage in this scenario. The women have completely descended into a mob rule/Lost Boys type situation here. I would not be surprised if that bloodcurdling scream Pieper let out after Heather interrupted her alone time with Matt was some sort of code for her people on the outside to call in a ransom on one of Matt’s turtlenecks loved ones. 

We definitely think the producers had to feed Matt Heather’s name, right? Heather says that Hannah shared with her some “stories about his heart” and it’s like, I don’t want to hear one more story about Matt praying before he eats a Costco free sample. Give me the dirt. Why don’t these people ever share stories about their friends having one too many at half-priced wine night and throwing up in their purse in the Uber ride home. Paint a realistic picture of their future partner, I beg of you!

I’m still just so shocked that Heather had the audacity to roll up here in her minivan halfway through the process. The logic is just not there. If Matt really wanted Hannah B to pick out a girl for him, he would not have gone on The Bachelor, he would have responded to the group chat.

 

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I love that Heather thinks there’s any chance in hell those girls are going to let her sit on that couch with them. Before she can even get out her name, the girls immediately start coming for her throat and it is BRUTAL. They’re freaking vultures. *turns the volume all the way tf up*

PIEPER: Sounds like you’re Bachelor hopping. 

Okay, Pieper. Like you aren’t going to swap fluids in Mexico with half of Bachelor Nation once this is all over. Please. Also, PIEper is clearly taking out all her lifelong anger over having to spell her name like that into this 20-second interaction with Heather. That’s the only cause for this much hostility. 

Matt also cannot believe that Heather had the audacity to roll up here in her minivan halfway through the process. He must have said the word “minivan” at least three times in the last 30 seconds. Yes, it was a real sacrifice, Matt. Her Instagram brand will definitely suffer. 

Heather keeps saying how serious she is about this process, but Matt doesn’t seem to be buying it. I’m sorry, but did no one show him her quarantine footage?  She Rapunzel-ed her hair out a window for him! She practiced making out on her hand for him! How is that not commitment? 

Matt must sense that if he entertains this Heather thing for any longer, he might find that Pieper’s people have destroyed the necklines to all of his favorite turtlenecks. He’s got to put an end to this ASAP before anyone else gets hurt. He tells Heather goodbye and she seems way too upset about this. It’s okay, sweetie. I’m sure he’ll catch you on Raya in a few months when he’s single again! 

Going into the rose ceremony, Matt makes a speech commending the ladies for how they handled Heather’s presence this evening. I’m sorry, but what exactly is there for him to commend? They made her cry! Middle school girls locker rooms are less toxic than what just took place on my screen. 

Speaking of toxic, at the rose ceremony, we say goodbye to Chelsea and Serena C.

Matt just lost about 10 pounds of negative energy now that Serena and her eyelash extensions are gone. I could not be more thrilled. Justice for Dildo Girl has been served!!

Serena’s One-On-One Date

Even though Abigail and Jessenia are the only girls who haven’t received a one-on-one with Matt, he invites Serena P on the first one-on-one date of the week. Yikes. He says that he chose Serena because it’s the perfect date for them as a couple. First of all, tantric yoga? Seriously? This might have been the perfect date for Dildo Girl, but not for the girl who just visibly cringed at the sight of you in cropped leggings. Second of all, who would ask for this?? Just because you say things like you believe in “chakras” doesn’t mean I’m buying that a girl doing splits on your face has anything to do with your emotional growth as a couple. I’m already wishing I could pour bleach on my eyeballs.

Ooof, Serena is not into this. She says this was way outside of her comfort zone. I love that this girl says she’s not into public affection but signed up for a show where the camera man is contractually obligated to zoom in on a man’s fingers inches from her labia. Matthew, HANDS!!

Matt is visibly upset that Serena isn’t enjoying his date, and I have a feeling Serena could be going home for this. All because she didn’t like having to avoid eye contact with his chubby for the last 90 minutes. Shame.  

Well, it appears true love can conquer all, even a grown-ass man wearing Lululemon. The evening portion of the date goes way better for the two of them. Matt realizes that just because a woman doesn’t want to poorly reenact the kama sutra in front of God and Ashli the tantric yoga instructor, that doesn’t mean they aren’t compatible as a couple. Serena gets the date rose, securing the first spot in the hometowns lineup. 

The Group Date

The group date this week is strange because there appears to be no actual activity tied to it. Instead we’re dropped straight into footage from the cocktail hour, making it less of an actual date and more of just Matt making out with girls in different corners of a hotel lobby. So, basically, what he was doing before he became the Bachelor. It’s sweet that he’s going back to his roots this week. 

The most shocking revelations during the date come from Bri and Kit. Bri confesses that she had to quit her job in order to continue on Matt’s season. I may or may not have let out a strangled gasp at that proclamation. We aren’t told what exactly her job entails, but the internet is speculating that it’s a big f*cking deal. I can’t believe she resigned from her job during a global pandemic, when unemployment is at a historic high, for a man wearing a turtleneck and a ladies leather jacket. Bri, honey, whyyyyyyyyyy?

Kit is also full of confessions this week. She lays down some ground rules for Matt and one of those is that if he wants to get engaged then she needs to… finish school?? Okay, she is too young for this show. She just said that having kids by 25 is a long-term investment for her!! Those are words that came out of her mouth!! MY GOD, the Disney Channel has older talent on their roster! I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! 

 

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Kit ends up self-eliminating after the group date. She says it’s because she still has doubts about their relationship, but I have a feeling her famous mother would disinherit her if she allowed an ABC production crew into their home. Not for COVID safety purposes, but just like, primetime television? In this house? Ew. 

Next up on the chopping block: Abigail. If I’m being honest, Abigail has been struggling for weeks now. She hasn’t had very much alone time with Matt and even admits that they’ve only ever had “a few good conversations.” Yikes. That’s practically Bachelor code for “friend-zoned.” 

She asks Matt straight up how he’s feeling about her and he all but jumps at the excuse to send her home. Trash. TRASHHHHH. 

ABIGAIL: I’m the kind of girl who makes men realize they want someone else.
ME:

ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME WITH THIS, MATTHEW? I WOULD GO TO WAR FOR THIS GIRL. Abigail is truly too pure for this Earth and she’s got me in my feels with this exit interview. He keeps sidelining these down-to-earth, authentic women, in favor of girls whose resumes include things like “has swipe up capabilities on IG” and it’s making me sick. That said, Abigail, I know this hurts, but you just dodged a bullet, girlfriend. His jacket literally squeaked when he hugged you goodbye. 

Rachael ends up getting the group date rose, but the real winner is the camera work being done here. The losers look completely crestfallen, like the producers just asked them to choose between deleting their Instagram accounts and staying on the show for one more week. They keep panning between the losers, sitting dejectedly on the sofas, and Rachael and Matt trying to swallow each other’s faces in the next room. It’s just so…

Jessenia’s One-On-One Date

It’s crazy that Jessenia is an actual contender for hometown dates because all I know about her is that MJ once gave her two for flinching. Like, I just learned the proper spelling of her name this week. This is a problem. 

Okay, I would hate dating Matt. He says “I’m an adrenaline junkie” with far too much chaotic energy for my liking. I’m not even on this date and I’m already about to update my life insurance policy just in case. Jessenia, on the other hand, is thrilled. She’s like, “this is what life with Matt could be like!!” Yeah, a series of near-death experiences and premature aging. 

Also, does this feel like the kind of date they should be on right before hometowns? How does watching a girl wreck the sh*t out of a fancy car tell you anything about if you’re ready to meet her family? It just feels super shallow and superficial to be having before such an important week. Case in point: Jessenia starts talking about her family, and you can tell Matt is super uncomfortable. He’d like to go back to the part where he had her spread over the front of that car. 

God, he loves to dangle those roses in front of their faces right before actively not giving them out. It’s sick. He’s like, all but caressing Jessenia’s face with it and then he’s like PSYCH!! YOU’RE OUTTA HERE!! Look, I’m not saying these are indicators for sociopathic behaviors but I’m not not saying that either…

Honestly, we should have known he was going to send Jessenia home when he showed up to dinner wearing a sweatshirt and not a turtleneck. Really, he couldn’t have been more obvious. 

The Rose Ceremony

Going into the rose ceremony, there are only three girls up on the chopping block: Michelle, Bri, and Pieper. Personally, I would love to meet the woman who thought it would be cool to mutilate the spelling of “Piper” for an entire person’s lifetime, and so, would selfishly would like Matt to choose her if only for my own entertainment. It’s really what he’s here for anyway. 

I guess I’m not meant to have nice things because Pieper is going home, making our final four: Michelle, Bri, Serena, and Rachael. Okay, I LOVE that Pieper says nothing to Matt on her way out, just barrels right into that limo. He’s lucky this girl doesn’t have access to his home address because I have a feeling he would come home to find his belongings ablaze if she did. 

And that’s all she wrote, kids! Hometowns are next week, and I can’t wait to see what the ABC interns are able to craft up as a representation of a hometown since traveling is still out. Here’s hoping we get more “New York-style pizza” from the Sbarro’s down the street and another papier-mâché carnival cobbled together with rubber cement and the crayons they found at the hotel’s lost and found. Until then!

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (4); @bachelornationspoilers /Instagram (1); @thebetchelor /Instagram (1) 

What’s Really Wrong With This Season’s ‘Bachelor’ Villain

The Bachelor is the TV show equivalent of a f*ckboy. Every season I vow to stop dedicating hours of my life to an experience that gives me more aggravation than actual pleasure. But after the final rose, I delude myself into thinking that maybe, just maybe, it’ll be different next time. And as sure as an unwanted appearance by Ashley I., I’m back.  It actually is different this time, but not in the way I was hoping. My issue this season has nothing to do with the fact that Matt is a less-than-compelling lead. After all, this is a show built around mediocre men. The problem is with our villain. Coming off the literal garbage heap of Peter’s season where producers couldn’t even successfully produce a villain, this time they’re overcompensating by force-feeding us Victoria, a contestant so over-the-top, she’s practically a cartoon. Unfortunately, Queen V lacks all of the qualities that make for a truly great Bachelor villain.

She Lacks Complexity

Victoria is so outlandish, it’s hard to believe she’s anything other than a producer plant, sent to stir up drama and provoke the other contestants. This might actually be fine if it all didn’t feel so one-dimensional. Past villains like Corinne Olympios and Demi Burnett were so fun to watch because they had layers. At first glance, both women seemed like they were only there to seduce the lead and piss off the other women in the process. But as we got to know them, each woman gave us a softer side. Corinne had a sweet relationship with her former nanny, Raquel, who was a mother figure to her. Demi opened up about the struggles she faced while her own mother was in prison. Despite their villain-like qualities, each woman was vulnerable, which, despite being a comically overused term on this show, is key to not only winning the lead’s heart, but also being a good villain. Maybe we’ll get to see a different side to Victoria. But for now, waving around a crown and calling every person that you dislike “toxic” for no apparent reason feels more like the kind of shtick that should end in a night one elimination, especially given the targets she chooses. Which brings me to my next point.

She Chooses Unworthy Opponents

Almost immediately, Victoria gets into it with her roommate, Marylynn. She claims Marylynn is “toxic” and “psychologically disturbed”, even going so far as to tell Matt that Marylynn is bullying her. However, we’re given no actual proof of this being the case. On the contrary, Marylynn is sweet, docile, and seems to get along just fine with the other women. She seems genuinely shocked when confronted by Matt about the bullying accusations and tries to respectfully work things out with Victoria. Victoria, on the other hand, refuses to even hear what Marylynn has to say, steamrolling her with the “bully” narrative and finally bringing Marylynn to tears.

Targeting the mild-mannered Marylynn is like trying to kill a fly with an elephant gun. It’s unnecessary and, frankly, difficult to watch. Viewers enjoy a fair fight. Had Victoria been able to successfully spar with someone like Katie, it would’ve been far more impressive and entertaining, but she’s ill-equipped. Instead, she prefers antagonizing contestants who are unable or unwilling to fight back, which is why she then set her sights on Sarah.

Her Toxicity Has Infected The Group 

We enjoy villains not only because they’re entertaining and spice things up, but also because they serve as a foil to the hero and ultimately provide a comforting vehicle for “good” to triumph over “evil”. What’s been remarkable about this season thus far is that it’s unclear who the “good guys” actually are. Aside from the real queen Katie, the rest of the contestants went from looking visibly uncomfortable around Victoria to piling onto her takedown of Sarah. As someone who wrote under the pseudonym Betchina George, I can usually appreciate a catty moment when it’s warranted, but things went way too far there. Sure, Sarah was needy, and it was wrong of her to steal the other girls’ time. But for the women to not only sit silently while Victoria mocked Sarah in the midst of her apology, but then gleefully join in on the bullying by threatening to make the rest of Sarah’s time in the house horrible was totally unacceptable, whether they knew about her sick father or not.

Unfortunately, even with Sarah gone, the cattiness continues. Victoria has a new henchwoman in Anna, with the two delighting in the vicious rumor that new girl Brittany is an escort and cackling like Cinderella’s stepsisters after Victoria calls Catalina, who by all accounts has done nothing to Victoria, “the dumbest hoe I’ve ever met”. Not a good look.

Victoria: I’m an empath.
America:

Her Romantic Connection With Matt is Nonexistent

What’s made many past Bachelor villains believable is their connection to the lead. Krystal Nielson stuck around despite being extremely polarizing because it was clear she and Arie had actual chemistry. We even had a villain win an entire season, because Ben Flajnik was unable to hide his erection affection for Courtney Robertson. The same can’t be said for the connection between Matt and Victoria this season. He looks visibly pained calling her name at the rose ceremony week after week, and when they have had one-on-one time, the conversations we’ve seen have been totally superficial. Matt isn’t exactly shy about making out with the contestants he’s into, usually by attempting to engulf their entire face with his mouth. So far, he’s given Victoria the kind of half-hearted hugs I begrudgingly gave to distant relatives as a child.

Actual Footage of Matt and Victoria Interacting:

The chemistry is palpable.

It’s clear that this season is hitting differently when it comes to the usual villain trope. Maybe as we become savvier as reality TV viewers and the fourth wall breaks, it’s harder to suspend our disbelief and easier to spot the producer prompts and manufactured drama we glossed over in previous seasons. Or maybe we’re living in a political climate where we’re tired of the constant negative rhetoric and glorifying those who seem to be mean for its own sake. Whatever the reason, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to root for Victoria and almost all of the other women this season. I want to believe that she’ll surprise us and redeem herself in the coming weeks, but it’s The Bachelor. I’ve been burned before.

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (2)