The Best Bachelor Recap You’ll Ever Read: We’re Finally Free, But Susie Is Not

Hello there, friends! I know it’s been a while, but Clayton and Clayton, I’m sorry, Jesse and Jesse, wait that’s still not right, CLAYTON AND JESSE have broken Ryanne’s brain beyond repair, so I’m stepping in. That, or she has school, I can never remember! Thankfully I’ve faithfully watched this season, paying extra close attention to the nuances of Clayton’s character and wardrobe, and I am ready to dissect this absolutely bonkers ending. Shall we begin?

We pick up where we left off, with a live audience that no one asked for and Clayton determined to go after one of his three true loves, Susie. Jesse heads to Susie’s room to go procure her for Clayton, like he’s a member of Leo DiCaprio’s pussy posse talking a 19-year-old blonde model at Coachella into going to his room. Wait, why is Susie even still in Iceland?! And which poor producer had to hold the gun to her head off camera? This seems like a toxic work environment.

Susie Reappears

Clayton is still at his parents’ Airbnb, explaining that he forced them to go on national TV and meet two women he very much did sleep with, but very much did not intend on marrying, and that he has to pursue Susie.

CLAYTON: Chances are slim to none that Susie will show up
SUSIE: *shows up*
CLAYTON:

I’m sorry, is this a man in love? Or is this a man who is absolutely in over his head, doesn’t want to face the vast emptiness of being alone, and is begging for death to come get him before he has to have a hard conversation?

They go outside and Clayton apologizes for treating Susie like absolute shit, says he didn’t mean the things that he said, that if she walks away from him he will lose everything, and he knows they have a love that will last a lifetime. What an offer! A lifetime with a man who can’t quite figure out what to wear under a sport coat and will verbally abuse you when he doesn’t get his way! Where do I sign up? Naturally, Susie leaves.

The Group Break Up

Clayton heads back to the hotel to break up with the two girls that he just convinced to stay with him, after confessing he had slept with both of them and told them both he loved them. What is WRONG with this man? He says he “owes it to them” to break up with them. No Clayton, you owe them a time machine to travel back to last night’s rose ceremony and let them leave LIKE THEY WANTED TO. And also maybe so they can slap you, just a small tap, on the face. Because I only condone light violence. That’s what you owe them, Clayton!

OH MY GOD, he is going to break up with them at the same time! Friends, have we ever seen a bigger asshole on TV? Don’t answer that.

CLAYTON, TO GABBY AND RACHEL: So is the rule no-takebacks with ‘I love you’? Because I take it back! Best of luck to you both!

Gabby walks out, and Rachel hangs her head in despair.

Let’s talk about Gabby for a second. I thought she was getting a lot of hype for just being a girl with a modicum of personality amongst a sea of personality-less, extension-laden fembots, but now I know I got it wrong. This girl is a hero. Never have I seen someone on this show articulate so well how they are feeling, be so correct about the situation, and really stick it to a jerk. She tells him that he asked her to stay because his pride was hurt by Susie (correct!), and that she wanted to leave and he wouldn’t let leaving be her decision and now it’s his decision so it’s easier (also correct!), and that he won’t admit that he fought for her to stay for a wrong reason (SO MUCH CORRECT HERE!). I am now, and forever will be, team Gabby.

CLAYTON: Can I walk you out?
GABBY:

I screamed. Truthfully.

Clayton’s Apology Tour, Part 1

Gabby is now on stage in front of the live audience, and she looks gorgeous! Gabby, you are rocking that side part! Does this mean side parts are cool again? This millennial woman and her round face are begging of you, please let side parts be cool again. I promise to get on board with all your off the shoulder shrugs if you will just give me this.

Jesse asks Gabby to relive the moment Clayton dumped her, and Gabby tells him that despite what happened, she doesn’t regret anything, that’s not who she is as a person. Oh wow, Gabby, can I have some of that? Because I let regret eat me alive all day, every day until it seeps into every part of my body, I feel physically ill, and can’t sleep. I thought that was normal?

Gabby confronts Clayton and tells him she gave him every opportunity to tell her the truth. Clayton hangs his head in shame. As it is and always shall be.

Clayton and Rachel’s Goodbye

Now we’re back in Iceland so Clayton can face his second firing squad. And he thought he’d be able to get away with just the one conversation! Rachel is more visibly upset than Gabby, thinking that she would be the one at the end and (rightfully) reminding him that she was the only one that chose to stand there with him at the last rose ceremony. Even as Clayton is walking her to the car, Rachel still thinks that they can make it work. Honey! He’s not worth it! His dad will tell you!

With this conversation and her exit, Rachel is just shedding everywhere. She’s losing nails, she’s shedding eyelashes, her snot is all over the place, and I can only imagine the amount of skin cells all over that hotel room. That girl’s DNA is going to be found in Iceland 2000 years from now. The aliens that eventually colonize us will study it. And then they will discard it because they will just sense that it’s too sad.

Clayton’s Apology Tour, Part 2

Rachel is sobbing in front of the live audience, but would like us to know that it’s not because she still has feelings for Clayton. Sure, Jan! She confronts him and tells him that he claimed he wanted to be transparent with them, but he left out the part where he told Susie he loved her the most. In Clayton’s defense, I don’t really believe he knows what the word transparent means. I believe he was placed in a very secret Bachelor boot camp at a CIA black site before this whole thing started, where the producers wouldn’t let him drink protein shakes, and made him read aloud from classic literature until he was finally broken, and then they conditioned him to say words like “transparent,” “vulnerable,” and “connection” every time he saw a woman he wanted to have sex with. Right?

And then OH MY GOD SHE ASKED HIM IF HE ONLY TOLD HER HE LOVED HER BECAUSE HE WANTED TO HAVE SEX WITH HER!!

CLAYTON: Absolutely not, I would never do that, sex is sacred and for people in love.
RACHEL:

Rachel, girl, you went there. And you just restored your dignity.

Clayton’s Sad, Handwritten Proposal

I think it’s time to ask the important question: is Clayton the stupidest Bachelor of all time? He is in literally the worst place with Susie. She basically told him she found his entire demeanor disgusting, and his monkey brain thinks “I should propose!” WHAT? This reminds me of the very first episode when he tried to give a rose to the girl that told him she was leaving before the show even started! A rose (or proposal), does not fix something that would never work. Clayton is clearly the kind of person that would suggest having a baby to save a shitty marriage.

Let’s also discuss another fool: Neil Lane. This cannot be a sound business decision, Neil! At this point, I imagine he is only losing money giving out rings to these people who are clearly going to last about as long as my attention span during my fifth Zoom call of the day. I assume that’s why he’s in the live audience? He’s come to collect?

Shockingly, Susie shows up to this pathetic proposal after reading the note that Clayton bribed the students from last season to write for him. Clayton tells her he loves her and wields the ring box like a threat. I never thought a small velvet box could look like a pair of handcuffs, but that one sure does.

AND THEN. Susie dumps him! She has made the decision to leave Iceland alone!! Does anyone else feel like Clayton just completely did The Bachelor all wrong? He had women leaving night one, he had to convince every single one of his final three to stay with him, and then his number one decides that she doesn’t want to get engaged. That’s supposed to be his line! This is no longer Clayton’s show. At this point, she should have offered to walk him out.  The end.

After The Final Rose… Was Not Given Out

“That was hard to watch,” Jesse tells us and the audience. Excuse me? For who? His parents? Nope, even they think he deserved it. For Gabby and Rachel? Nope, I’m pretty sure I heard them cheering in New Jersey. For the audience? Absolutely not, I have not laughed this hard since before the world started burning down around us. The news is hard to watch, Jesse! This was a delight.

Unfortunately, Jesse also tells us that Clayton’s story did not end there, and that one of the women reached out to him after the show. And that’s when they tease a big reveal and it’s…

Susie! My god, Susie, have some respect for yourself! This is 2022.

ME RN:

This season of The Bachelor was clearly Susie’s Final Destination film, and death, I’m sorry, Clayton, got her in the end. Best of luck to you Susie, but even your hair, which is not nearly as bouncy as it was on the show, is feeling deflated about this decision.

The Bachelorette

And finally! We get our Bachelorette announcement. And it’s Gabby & Rachel! While I love them both, let’s just say Jesse did not inspire confidence when he said “I have no idea how this will work”. Yes, we know Jesse, you just show up and repeat the words they say to you in that little earpiece, all the while not-so-secretly wishing this was Monday Night Football.

At least we can end this horrendous trainwreck of a season on a high note, though. Gabby and Rachel clutching hands on the couch makes me feel like, in the end, we got the final couple that we deserve. On to the next!

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (2); wifflegif; Twitter/hauber_Katlynn

The Best ‘Bachelor’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: No Tears Left To Cry

Welcome back to the best Bachelor recap you’ll ever read! Clayton is slowly but surely whittling his women down to the final four. Four lucky women who will have to explain to their parents, siblings, meemaws, and drunk uncles that the man they have given their hearts—and probably, in dark alcoves of the Bachelor Mansion, their right hands—to is a man whose idea of formalwear is wearing the nicest Dick’s Sporting Goods hoodie he has with a blazer over it. What fun!

Sarah – 1; Olds – 0

But before we jump into the Hometowns countdown and who makes the final four, we still have to get through last week’s rose ceremony and the eight remaining women. If you’ll recall, when last we left off Sarah had just been sabotaged on her one-on-one date by Mara. Mara, at 32, is something like the ancient crone of the house. If this were a Disney movie, her character would be portrayed with a hunchback and at least one facial wart to emphasize her oldness. Since this is not a Disney movie, but rather, a sick social experiment we as audiences have been brainwashed into returning to every Monday night, production has replaced humpbacks and warts with bitter regret and insecurities. ABC, man. They really know how to champion every woman!

THE WORLD PORTRAYING 30: 30 is the new 20
ABC PORTRAYING 30: 

Sarah confronts Mara after the date and it’s a little like watching the bratty preteen you babysit make a cutting remark about your relationship status in order to distract you from enforcing her bedtime. Their hostility continues into the rose ceremony where Mara asks Sarah to “chat real quick.” This is Staten Island code for “you’re about to sleep with the fishes.” I would be scared to follow Mara into a dark corner. You may not come back with all of your body parts intact, Sarah…

Their chat, of course, results in a kind of verbal violence the likes of which I have not seen since that one time I taught middle school English for 10 months and they made me chaperone the lunch room as part of some new teacher hazing. The thing is, their beef is actually not at all about Clayton and it is absolutely about their ages and insecurities around said ages. They both seem to want to validate their age constantly. Sarah wants to prove that she is a serious candidate for marriage and Mara wants to to prove that she is not a serious candidate for Botox, it’s all just an early stage preventative measure, you can ask her dermatologist. I don’t think Mara even likes Clayton all that much. She would probably vibe with a tree stump if it promised to walk down the aisle with her! I don’t think Sarah even likes Clayton all that much either. She just polled her followers and they really want to see more boyfriend content on her feed!

But this isn’t about what Mara wants or what Sarah wants, this is about what Clayton wants (as terrifying as that may be). And, ew, 32 is not what he wants. He loves women at any size and any age—in the theoretical sense, not the literal sense because, again, ew—but come on, he may want to procreate soon! And didn’t he read on Twitter once that women past the age of 26 are, like, geriatric in terms of pregnancy? So, really, he had no choice but to send Mara home at the rose ceremony because it’s just science, you know? He believes science, so what choice did he really have? He did it for the kids, okay!!

Production Is Obsessed With Susie

It’s official (insert Janis Ian’s voice here): ABC has a big lessssbian crush on Susie. It’s the only explanation for how good of an edit she’s received this season. To reward her for being the first woman to publicly admit feelings for Clayton, they give her a second one-on-one date. Honestly, she admitted to loving Clayton. Clayton! Of all people! The woman deserves a goddamn Purple Heart at least. 

Not only is she rewarded with more one-on-one time with Clayton (is that a reward? I can’t tell), but she is bestowed the coveted Pretty Woman themed date. You know, the date where the Bachelor picks her up in a hot car and takes her shopping in designer stores with money that’s most definitely not his? Ah, yes. The Pretty Woman date. Because nothing says “everlasting love” like the aphrodisiac of blatant capitalism. My favorite part of the Pretty Woman date is when the women act like the guy dreamed up this scenario all on his own. Oh, honey. Without ABC’s purse strings, you’d be lucky if he could afford the Gap. 

 

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Now, one thing that was interesting to me was when Susie made the comment about the date feeling “foreign” to her. She said that usually she has walls built up and doesn’t allow men to treat her that way. “That way” meaning nicely and/or with any financial frivolousness. Wow. That is the most relatable thing I’ve heard on this show. I, too, would absolutely not know what to do if a man wanted to treat me to a shopping spree. Treat me? To a thing where he spends his own money… on me?! That can’t be right. I’m better equipped with handling dates where the guy Venmo charges me after the fact to split the $10 apps we ordered.

Sigmund Freud Would Like To Be Excluded From This Narrative

The group date this week is inspired by the works of Sigmund Freud, as Clayton and the girls embark on a couples therapy journey. Why Sigmund Freud? Why therapy? Does ABC ever need a reason to sabotage the emotional well-being of their contestants? I think not. 

The date card reads, “how bold one gets when one is sure of being loved!” which is a Freudian threat if I’ve ever heard one. I will say Clayton knows how to spin this. He’s like, “it’s for your own personal growth” but really he just wants more of them to say they’re falling in love with him. Honestly, genius. 

ABC: We support therapy, we loooove therapy
THE THERAPY: 

Most of the women are happy to reveal every skeleton in their closet. After all, they did sign a legally binding contract at the beginning of the season requiring them to share at least one emotionally damaging secret or forfeit their pinky finger. Genevieve, however, is not having it. She’s barely even had enough alone time with Clayton to share her last name, let alone reveal any deeply personal stories. 

I do feel for Genevieve at this moment. She looks like she’s being held at gunpoint to be there. It’s clear she doesn’t feel comfortable and instead of, say, supporting her and speaking to her from her comfort level, Clayton and the therapist take the mature route of bullying her into submission. 

CLAYTON: ~wHy WoN’t YoU oPeN uP tO mE~
GENEVIEVE: *opens mouth*
CLAYTON: 

Perhaps she would open up if you gave her a fucking inch! Also, I think it’s rich that Clayton’s demanding she break down her walls for him when I could not tell you one intimate detail about his own life. What do we really know about you, buddy? Hmm? I know more information from the back of a yogurt label than I do about this guy’s past. 

He sends Genevieve home and if she didn’t need therapy before, she certainly does now. Don’t worry, Genny. It’s definitely not you, it’s him. 

Before leaving the therapy date, the therapist announces that she’s seen all she can see. Ominous. Also, Clayton, there are some girls who were honest and some who were performative during the therapy sessions. You be the judge!! 

Clayton quickly realizes that Sarah might be the performer. She’s cocky and self-assured in their relationship, which obviously means she’s a psychopath. He finds out that Sarah told the rest of the girls that he cried during their one-on-one date, which is a gross exaggeration of their actual time together. Clayton can take a lot from these women. Lying, manipulation, bullying women about their neurodivergence—all fine. But insinuating that he—a man!!—cries?! That lying bitch has got to go. I love how shocked Clayton is that a 23-year-old can’t be trusted. Of course she can’t be trusted! Her frontal lobe won’t even stop developing for two more years! 

When Clayton confronts Sarah she tries her damndest to channel every acting tidbit from her freshman year drama class, but try as she might, the tears just won’t come. Amateur. In the end, this is her damnation. Perhaps if, like Shanae, she was able to pull out the waterworks he might have believed her tall tales for another day. Instead, he calls her out for fake crying (!!!) and sends her home.

Y’all. When he said “it feels like you’re fake crying to me right now” and she said “that’s only because I have no more tears left to cry”… 

 My god, that’s good television. I may have squealed so loudly my dog passive-aggressively got up and moved to another room. Finally, ABC is giving me what I asked for: undiluted, petty drama. Bless you. 

Roses & Eliminations

And now on to the roses and eliminations! This week we covered a lot of ground. We saw the end of Sarah’s one-on-one date, a formal rose ceremony, Susie’s one-on-one date, Serene’s one-on-one date, a group date, and another formal rose ceremony. Clayton and the ladies even traveled to Vienna, where I may or may not have taken bets as to when Gabby would ask if this is where the sausages are made. The format of this episode felt less like it was the result of a high-quality production value and more like it was the result of a college student on Adderall trying to get through finals week—but whatever gets this show on the road, amiright, ABC?!

Here’s a final body count for roses and eliminations:

Roses:

☆ Susie (rose ceremony 1/one-on-one date)
☆ Serene (rose ceremony 1/one-on-one date)
Gabby (rose ceremony 1/rose ceremony 2)
Genevieve (rose ceremony 1)
Rachel (rose ceremony 2)

Eliminations:

☆ Mara (rose ceremony 1)
☆ Eliza (rose ceremony 1)
Genevieve (group date)
Sarah (group date)
Teddi (rose ceremony 2)

That means that Susie, Gabby, Rachel, and Serene will be dishonoring their family names next week for Hometowns. Until then!

Images: Giphy (5); @thebetchelor /Instagram (1)

The Best ‘Bachelor’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: It’s Shanae’s World, We’re Just Living In It

Welcome back to the Shanae Show best Bachelor recap you’ll ever read! If you, like me, tuned in this week thinking ABC would right course and actually produce a show about, say, a bachelor… think again, bitches! Clayton may want to find a wife, but Shanae wants to find swipe-up code deals, and by god, nothing is going to stand in her way. I can, at the very least, appreciate the hustle. 

Someone Needs To Explain Gabby To Me

But before we jump into Shanae, I thought we’d briefly discuss the rest of the events from last night’s episode. There were two one-on-one dates this week: Serene and Gabby. Technically, Serene’s date spilled over from the previous week when ABC failed to adhere to any semblance of a linear timeline for the fourth week in a row. It appears ABC’s stance on producing episodes is the same as my kindergarten teacher’s stance on crayons when I asked to use a different one during color time: “you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.”

Serene’s date was hot—and by that I mean, Serene is hot. When she showed up to that casual carnival date wearing the world’s smallest corset, my body, on a molecular level, convulsed at the thought of being constrained by that much boning. And she wasn’t even phased by it! She might as well be wearing long johns for all the discomfort she showed! I mean, my god,  anatomically she must have the bone structure of Flubber. I want to know all of her secrets. Serene, if you’re reading this, be a doll and spill the beans about your health and wellness routine, mmkay? Unless it involves diet and exercise, in which case I’ll promptly discard said advice and continue with my current routine: ignorance and self-destruction. 

Clayton is also smitten with Serene. At one point on the date he tells her that she “crushed it,” which is what every woman on a date with her maybe future husband hopes he’ll say to her. What’s next? A fist bump after sex?  And look, I totally get why Clayton is into Serene. She’s hot and chill and seems to have all of her brain cells despite looking for a life partner on national television. Hell, I’m into Serene. 

 

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What I don’t get is why everyone, Clayton included, is so obsessed with Gabby. Gabby got the second one-on-one date of the episode and, after a cursory perusal on the internet, is now the new fan favorite. May I just ask…. Why?

For those of you who don’t remember Gabby, she’s an ICU nurse and self-proclaimed “jokester” (more on this in a minute) who has the voice of a phone sex operator. (As a person with similarly challenged vocal fry, I say that with love). I suppose people like her because she’s not afraid to be silly—and by “silly” I mean pet other people’s dogs in public. Seriously. This seems to be the moment Clayton and the world fell in love with her. When she pet a stranger’s dog…

During the date Clayton kept saying how Gabby took him by surprise, and I second that sentiment. I’m surprised that this is all it takes to establish a personality. Clayton is like, “you’re so hilarious!” But is she?? Or does she just do basic human things and laugh while she’s doing them? He’s acting like Netflix should give her her own comedy special, for god’s sake. Also, this doesn’t mean that I hate Gabby. She seems like a cute girl or whatever. But that’s kind of all my feelings on her—and all the feelings I want to have about her. You know what I mean? #TeamSereneForever

Marlena Is Out For Blood

Speaking of funny girls, let’s talk about the group date. The group date, by design, requires a pound of flesh be delivered to the Bachelor/ette. In fact, I’m sure it’s contractually obligated. Sometimes ABC takes that to mean literal flesh, as is the case when the group date consists of Sparta-like competitions that have less rules and regulations than Fight Club. Sometimes ABC is satisfied with just taking their dignity, as is the case with group dates that rely on the contestants doing some type of performance. Enter: The Bachelor Roast. That’s right, after weeks of in-house drama, Clayton thought the perfect way to foster peace and harmony was to force the women to participate in a verbal open season. *turns up the volume*

I absolutely HATE when ABC does these kinds of dates because, as a person who dabbles in comedy writing, it actually offends my soul to watch these women butcher the English language for the sake of being “funny.” These are the same women who buy Marilyn Monroe art from Homegoods. They are not going to be good at writing jokes on the fly. They just aren’t. But far be it for me to make preemptive judgements. Let’s take a look at the “jokes”:

ELIZA: Clayton he has a dump truck ass, so why can’t he take out the trash?
SARAH: Mara is… OLD!!!
MARA: Sarah is… YOUNG!!!

The talent in that room is… staggering.

No one shines more than Marlena The Olympian. Whereas ABC would have been happy watching them ruin the remnants of their dignity, Marlena was out for actual blood. She was taking no fucking prisoners with her set. Not only does she compare Shanae to herpes but she outs another contestant for having IBS on national fucking television. Marlena! They said be funny, not to verbally slaughter the competition! 

The “Worldwide International Journey” Continues

Watch out, Bachelor Nation, Clayton and the gang are on the move! This week the worldwide international journey continues… to Canada! Christ. Once again, ABC is using the term “travel” liberally. Technically, they are leaving the country. But also technically, my friend’s brother has talked his way in and out of Canada without a passport, so is it really even fair to call it international travel? They’re not even leaving the continent. 

I do think my favorite part about this plot twist is ABC trying to make Canada seem like the most exotic place to travel by using b-roll of several normal looking buildings. Skyscrapers?? In a city?? Groundbreaking. Of course, the worldwide international journey would be nothing without its hype girl. By “hype girl” I’m of course referring to Clayton. At one point Clayton enthusiastically declares “this is a great place to fall in love!” which is a really bold thing to say about the set of Degrassi

CLAYTON, ONE FOOT OVER THE CANADIAN BORDER: 

Welcome Back To The Shanae Show

While ABC did show us footage of two one-on-one dates and a group date, the majority of the episode didn’t focus on these dates—or even on Clayton at all. Instead, ABC continued to pay ransom to Shanae and her hostage situation. During the rose ceremony, Clayton confronted Shanae about what really happened when she crashed the group date. You know, after they dry humped to completion on top of that bar. 

CLAYTON TO SHANAE: I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school… I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy

SHANAE:

Shanae is, perhaps, one of my favorite villains. Instead of cowering behind her actions, she tells Clayton straight-up about what happened. She’s like, “I said what I said, what of it.” You can  tell Clayton is trying to reconcile this version of Shanae with the woman who offered to give him an over-the-pants handie after the cameras stopped rolling.

Shanae can see that Clayton wants to keep her there—he’d love to see how this psycho energy plays out in Fantasy Suites—but he needs her to do something so he can save face with the rest of the women. Copy that. Picking up what he’s putting down, Shanae pokes herself in the eyes to generate some tears and marches out to give the girls a flimsy apology for her bad behavior. I’ll give her snaps for her bravery. She is making direct eye contact with the angry mob. An angry mob of her own making, sure, but an angry mob all the same. Some of the girls accept her apology immediately, if only because they still believe Clayton will send her home. Idiots. The other girls look like they would like to test how flammable her spray tan actually is. 

Cut to Clayton rewarding Shanae’s “good” behavior with his tongue down her throat as production layers audio of Shanae laughing maniacally over the footage. Psych, bitches! She’s not sorry for shit. A sociopath acting like a sociopath? What a reveal. 

THE WOMEN DURING THE ROSE CEREMONY: *tentatively smiles at Shanae*
SHANAE AT THE ROSE CEREMONY: 


It does not surprise me at all that Clayton gives Shanae the last rose at the rose ceremony. The man likes a little light choking and if anyone in that group of women gets off on controlling another person’s oxygen levels, it’s Shanae. The heart wants what it wants, I suppose. 

But wait! The plot thickens! Just when Shanae thinks she’s in the clear, we learn that Shanae and Genevieve are going on the dreaded two-on-one date. Two girls go in, only one girl comes out. ABC likes to imply that one person will be murdered and not just, like, dumped by someone they’ve been dating for maybe two dates. K.

Of course, the footage from that date will not air until next week because once they get rid of Shanae they’ll actually have to focus on Clayton and… who really wants that? 

Roses & Eliminations

Did you think that just because we’re almost halfway through the season, ABC would finally start treating episodes with any sort of logical, linear progression? Lol, that’s cute. This week’s episode contained some dates from the previous week (Serene’s one-on-one and the rose ceremony) and some more recent dates (Gabby’s one-on-one, the group date, the start of the two-on-one). My favorite jewelry create less of a tangled web when I travel than ABC’s typical narrative structure. But I digress. Here’s a breakdown of roses + eliminations:

Roses:

Eliminations:

Images: ABC/John Medland; @thebetchelor /Instagram (1); Giphy (3)

The Best ‘Bachelor’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Hell Hath No Fury Like A Shrimp Scorned

Welcome back to the best Bachelor recap you’ll ever read! (Endorsed solely by me, of course). Once again ABC has done a phenomenal job of depicting raw human vulnerability, of shining a spotlight on the human condition. You know, if the human condition involved two of the blondest women on the planet earth and a pile of shrimp. 

For two weeks in a row now, Shanae and her shrimp agenda have been holding the Bachelor mansion hostage. In fact, shrimp has not had a PR moment this big since Topanga Lawrence’s husband found shrimp in his Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Of course, Shanae’s grievances with the house are not about the shrimp—they were never about the shrimp—it’s about Shanae securing her intro gimmick for Bachelor in Paradise and torturing the oldest person in the house (Elizabeth, at a whopping 32) while she’s at it, because what’s a good laugh if the olds aren’t at the center of it?

And where is Clayton during all of this? Manifesting his disappearance into the nearest bush. During the rose ceremony, Clayton tries to be a mature, calming influence and so he pulls both Elizabeth and Shanae aside so that they can work out their issues in a supervised environment. Rookie mistake. My dad used to have a similar approach when my sister and I would fight over who got to wear the Limited Too Soffe shorts to school that day (you know, the ones that said “SOCCER” in straight glitter over the ass) and all it ever resulted in was enough verbal carnage to leave a grown man traumatized for years to come. 

THE WOMEN: Shrimp shrimp Shanae shrimp shrimp Shanae SHRIMP SHRIMP
CLAYTON:

One thing I will not do during this recap—nay, REFUSE to do during this recap—is refer to any moment from tonight’s events as “ShrimpGate.” The writer in me is horrified at the creative liberties this generation has taken with butchering that term. Imagine orchestrating Watergate, one of the greatest scandals to ever occur in a United States presidency, and then for the rest of your life people add “gate” to any issue that becomes marginally dramatic. This does not, of course, stop the women from using that term to describe the Shanae drama no less than 100 times in one rose ceremony. While Elizabeth holds hands with another group of olds for moral support—a prayer circle of women, fortified by the mutual trauma of turning 30 single—Shanae sits victoriously across from her. 

LINDSEY: It’s frustrating because Clayton is taking Shanae’s word as gospel
THE GOSPEL:  

The Office Dwight shrimp gif

If the other women were hoping Clayton could spot an evildoer in their midst, they are sadly mistaken. Clayton has not only abandoned the women to Shanae’s antics, but he’s actually abandoned The Bachelor process entirely. He cancels the rest of the cocktail hour and moves directly into the rose ceremony where he promptly sends home… Elizabeth?! Despite Shanae dominating the cocktail hour with her dissertation on sea cretins, Clayton decides to keep her around for another week. See, this is why men should be kept in caves and only brought out for breeding purposes or when they finally develop critical thinking skills—whichever happens first!

The women are devastated. How are they supposed to focus on simultaneously dating the same man when this woman won’t stop talking about shrimp? How! At one point, Gabby, puffy-eyed and grief stricken, sobs brokenly into her coffee, “it’s hard when evil wins.” Jesus Christ. Shanae isn’t a Death Eater. She’s just a blonde girl with a bad attitude. Gabby, there are people that are dying! 

The women’s animosity towards Shanae only intensifies during the next group date when Clayton subjects them to a playful game of tackle football. Not flag football or powderpuff football, but actual tackle football. I hope the producers have a body bag on hand, because blood is about to be shed. There might be cleaner fights in a gladiatorial games than what’s about to happen on this football field. 

But first Clayton treats the women to a tailgate, a nice feast before they fight to the death. How civilized. The tailgate also doubles as a car commercial with Clayton pointing to each car like he’s a Price is Right model. ABC’s shameless product placement knows no bounds. 

In terms of the actual game, I’ve seen greater feats of athletic prowess in middle school gym classes. One team is led by Shanae and her unquenchable thirst to gain as much air time as possible. The other team is led by Sierra—who, at any moment, is wearing enough body glitter to be mistaken for a Cullen—and Marlena, an Olympic athlete. Every time I see this Olympian I’m sad for the state of our world. I mean, my god, this woman is one of the top athletes in the world and she’s been reduced to competing against a harem full of women for the attention of a man who is the equivalent of a human protein shake. *sighs so deeply it creates a new fault line* We did not march for this, ladies! 

Of course Marlena absolutely obliterates the competition. Was there even a suggestion that she wouldn’t? Her team is thus allowed to move on to the evening’s cocktail party. Tbh, Sierra and Marlena should be the only ones invited on that group date. They carried the team. That body glitter worked overtime for its night out. 

Shanae turns up anyways because as my boyfriend once said about me on College ACB: you can’t stop crazy. I believe Shanae’s exact words when asked why she showed up were, “I deserve to be here” which is… BOLD. You know Clayton’s got to be like, “hopefully the sex is worth all of this??” Oh, Clayton. He pretends to yell at her for breaking the sacred rules of Bachelor Bowl and coming to the after party even though her team expressly lost… and then promptly abandons all moral arguments in favor of making out with her on top of a bar. OH CLAYTON. 

The episode ends with Shanae grabbing the winning team’s trophy and throwing it dramatically into a nearby bush while screaming, “this isn’t The Bachelor, this is the Shanae Show!!” But the things she can do with that tongue, amiright Clayton?

Worst Branding: The “Worldwide International Journey”

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the location change for this week’s episode. In past seasons, ABC has taken pride in whisking contestants off to whatever armpit of America fits their location budget (and is legally allowed for those who have court mandated conditions for their domestic travel). But with COVID wreaking havoc the last few seasons ABC has had to settle for papier-mâché-ing hotel conference rooms to vaguely resemble whatever Pinterest-inspired imagery represents their old travel locales. So when Jesse Palmer gamely told the women that they were headed on a “worldwide international journey” I mistakenly assumed we would get to see an actual journey and not just a three-hour flight to a Houston airport. Shame on me. That does not quite fit the description, but okay, Jesse Palmer.

 

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Randomest Date: Crashing The Family BBQ??

The only other date that was shown this week was Rachel’s one-on-one, and I was genuinely excited to see more of this seemingly average person. Is she beautiful? Definitely. Is there a Meghan Markle-esque quality to her looks that sent me down a Google Images rabbit hole for over two hours last night? Also yes. But she does have the personality of a Hallmark card: a cute and sweet outer presence that warms your heart to encounter but that you immediately throw away because, you know, boring. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t still want to watch her interact solo with Clayton. But instead of watching two average blonde people have lukewarm conversation while basking in each other’s stock image hotness, production had them… crash a random family’s bbq?!

You read that right: Clayton and Rachel seemingly stumble upon a regular family, grilling regular food in a regular park and just ask to join their meal?? You aren’t Jesus Christ, you can’t just break bread with strangers! The look of horror on this guy’s face as he takes in Clayton’s former professional football build and then eyes the amount of meat he bought to feed is average-sized family is sending me, y’all. I mean, these are the kinds of things that get you on a list in New York! In fact, this date concept is so far outside the scope of acceptable, realistic social interactions that I’m not able to even fully appreciate Clayton and Rachel’s chemistry. ABC, it’s one thing for you to ruin my night every Monday, but to ruin this stranger’s family outing on his day off? 

Roses & Eliminations

Not much happened in terms of actual narrative progress. Who needs things like structure and story arcs when you have the live action equivalent of a Scooby Doo villain reducing a group of college-educated women to raging balls of hellfire in body glitter? But for those of you who are interested in the semantics of last night’s episode, here’s a run-down of roses and eliminations:

Roses:

Eliminations:

Images: ABC/Felicia Graham; Giphy (4); @thebetchelor /Instagram (1); ABC (1)

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’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Hometown Head Injuries

Hometowns are hereeeeee, and boy, has it been a journey. Is it just me, or has watching Matt whittle down his group of ladies to the final four felt a little like surviving a middle school locker room during the height of puberty? Michelle and those arms definitely look like the type who could give me a wedgie, and Rachael has a face that says “I would start a rumor about you using super jumbo tampons.” But, you know, I’m sure Matt’s wife is in there somewhere!

As I’ve mentioned, this week is Hometowns, where we’ll get to meet the families of Matt’s final four women: Michelle, Rachael, Bri, and Serena P. The theme of this year’s Hometowns is “you can never go home again,” mostly because it would take too many COVID rapid tests, and production already wasted their emergency stash on Heather. Shame. If you’ll recall, last season’s quarantine hometowns were… something. For those of you who missed it, just imagine the production value of a high school’s performance of Mamma Mia! but, like, without the pride of a bunch of art geeks hoping to use the set design on their college applications and more just Chris Harrison’s least favorite ABC intern cobbling something together with rubber cement and a sharpie. So, this week should be fun!

Michelle’s Hometown

We’re first whisked off to Michelle’s hometown of “Minnesota.” Minnesota is in air quotes here because I’m assuming we will see nothing of the actual state during this date. If anything, I imagine ABC will project a Pinterest mood board of “cold stuff” on a green screen and hope we just get it.

Okay, this is kind of cute. Michelle introduces Matt to her alter ego: “Miss Young.” Miss Young is her teacher personality whose kink is apparently having her third graders grill Matt about how many kids he wants and if he uses his hands enough during foreplay. Seriously, these questions are so invasive! Especially Ethan’s. That kid has no chill. 

Also, be real, Michelle. Did you make attendance mandatory here? I can only assume permission slips must have signed for this as well? And can I just say, Matt’s pants are VERY tight. I almost need parental controls on my TV to endure seeing those thighs, I can’t imagine the effect of seeing those bad boys live and on Zoom. 

My first impression of Michelle’s family is this: they’re HUGE. Are we sure she’s actually from Minnesota and not from whatever place birthed Hagrid? They’re SO tall, it’s insane. My second impression of the family is that they need to be protected from the franchise at all costs. They are too precious for this Earth. Her dad has a voice that could soothe my anxious dog during a thunderstorm, and her mom is wearing head-to-toe Costco in the most endearing of ways. They both seem deeply concerned that their daughter would accept a marriage proposal from a man in a tweed bomber. They’re not wrong. 

The date culminates in the most wholesome display of family dynamics I’ve seen on my screen since Boy Meets World went off the air: a family game of basketball. Excuse me, but what?? Like, I did not know that a Bachelor date would be my inspo for setting my dating standards in 2021. Brb, just going to update my Ship profile to say “If you want to be my lover, you gotta get with my entire family and play a low-stakes game of pickup basketball.”

MICHELLE: I told Matt I loved him and he gave me a positive smile in return.
ME BOOKING THE NEXT FLIGHT TO PA: 

A positive smile? That’s it?! He just had a hot, confident woman with legs the length of my entire body tell him she loves him even with his turtleneck fetish, and the most feeling he can muster up is a lukewarm smile? Are you kidding me with this, Matthew? Are you into any of the women? Because right now I really couldn’t say! Do you even want a wife? Or just a roommate whose pants you can borrow? Someone make it make sense. 

Rachael’s Hometown

The racist is up next! Oops sorry, I meant Rachael is up next. She wants to show Matt what life in Georgia is like, and it all just hits a little differently now that we know her TimeHop is full of “Old South” throwbacks.

RACHAEL: *blindfolds Matt* I can’t wait to show you Georgia! Do you trust me?
ALSO RACHAEL: We’re here!!

Oh, no it’s cool, guys, she’s just going to shove him out of a plane! Luckily for her, Matt considers near death experiences to be foreplay, so he’s really into it. 

Holy sh*t. Rachael lands like a cracked egg on the pavement. Okay, why was that landing so bad? What kind of janky skydiving place did she book for this? Also, I love that they make her finish out this date even with whiplash. Matt’s like, trying to make out with her while she’s still peeling astroturf out of her hair extensions. She just face-planted, full speed from the sky, into the earth. At least wait for her concussion to subside. 

We finally meet the family and they’re… ambivalent about Matt. Honestly, there’s not much more I can say about this date. Rachael seems really into him even with her parents voicing concerns. She even wanted Matt to ask her dad for his blessing to get married. You can tell when she asked Matt about it he was like “oh right, we’re supposed to get engaged at the end of all of this.” Yes, you are buddy! Better start acting like it. 

Bri’s Hometown

I love that these are not Hometown dates as much as elaborate ways to maim Matt. Michelle was the nicest about it with that bike riding excursion, but Rachael was hoping he’d get the shoddy landing, and Bri is actively trying to crash him into a tree while they’re off-roading in that Jeep. 

BRI: Do you remember that one time you almost killed me?
ALSO BRI:

AHAHAHAHA. I love that Bri has been holding this huge grudge since week three. God, I hope she kills him. 

Also, as hot as murder is ladies, where are the real hometown dates? If I don’t see at least one high school yearbook photo from the 2000s complete with crimped hair and Hollister tees, I swear to god I’m going to lose it. 

Bri’s family consists of her mom, BFF (who’s also named Bri), and baby sister. Okay, wow her “baby sister” is a literal baby. I was expecting to meet some Gen Z-er in mom jeans ready to fire off some scathing critiques of Matt’s TikTok, not this squishy bundle of cute. 

I cannot get over how gorgeous Bri’s mom is, and also how young she is. She could be a contestant! They could have gone on this show together and rivaled The Twins™ for most outrageous professional description. 

Also, I don’t think Bri’s mom likes Matt very much. First off, Matt dodged almost all of her questions about how he sees the future with her daughter. Second of all, she keeps saying “we can mend your heart together” as if she’s already has pints of Ben & Jerry’s on deck in the hotel room should her daughter blink twice for help. 

Bri thinks that the reason she hasn’t said she’s falling for Matt yet is because she has trouble being vulnerable, but I think it has more to do with the fact that she knows nothing about this guy other than the fact that he has a penchant for skinny jeans and turtlenecks. Even so, she blurts out an “I love you” before the end of the date. Matt takes this as an encouraging sign for their relationship, but pointedly ignores that fact that when she said the L word it was accompanied by the facial expression of swallowing glass. Yeah, I think these two will go far. 

Serena’s Hometown

Last but not least, we have Serena’s hometown. Serena appears to be the only one who didn’t get the memo that “hometowns” is actually code for “create an elaborate death trap for Matt,” so she sends him to Canadian bootcamp instead. Also, I love that Serena’s hometown is just the entire country of Canada ,and that apparently the most defining moments of her childhood involve the Canadian national anthem and eating the most disgusting looking poutine I’ve ever seen in my life. 

SERENA ON THIS DATE RN:

Okay, Matt’s pants are out of control. Those jeans are practically painted onto his body! I’m shielding my eyes watching this hockey game for fear a g-string might pop out of those jeans when he leans over to hit the puck. 

Okay, Serena is soooo normal. She’s giving me huge Hannah B vibes, and by that I mean she’s relatable AF. Matt says as much when he meets her parents. He’s like “she was so normal” which sounds like an insult, but I get it. That said, I don’t think Serena is that into him. Her sister even says she doesn’t look “smitten” with him, and I would have to agree. 

SERENA’S SISTER: Do you love him?
SERENA: ….yes?
SERENA’S SISTER:

AHAHAHA. This sister is savage. I love it. 

I do think Serena is talking herself into this relationship. I’m sure she’d be into dating Matt, but marriage? Eh, not so much. The end of the date is pretty bleak. She tells Matt she’s having doubts about their relationship and he reacts with all of the emotion of a toaster. I know I used to give Lauren B a lot of sh*t for maybe being an animatronic fembot crafted in the bowels of ABC studies for the sole purpose of being Arie’s dream girl, but now I’m starting to wonder if they manufactured Matt too. He’s just way too cool under pressure. 

The Rose Ceremony

Before the rose ceremony begins, Matt tells Chris Harrison that he got a bad feeling from his hometown date with Serena. In what I’m sure is truly altruistic in motive and has nothing at all to do with manipulating a grown man into crying for ratings, Chris encourages Matt to talk to her right now. What’s the worst that could happen! 

Matt’s like, “I need answers, she needs to talk to me” and BOY does he get them. Serena says Matt’s just not her person and essentially sends herself home before the rose ceremony. To her credit, she did find a very nice way to say “it’s not you, it’s me.” 

SERENA: *dumps him*
MATT:

I am dead that he just asked her to walk him out and then proceeded to have his own sad limo exit. Like, Matt there’s no need to have this tear-stained confessional. You’re already the bachelorette, buddy. 

Matt is visibly shaken by his encounter with Serena. He hasn’t felt this betrayed since his trainer left him for a different CrossFit. Luckily, we have Chris Harrison here to offer warm words of encouragement in the form of fearmongering. He’s like, “and are you worried no one else likes you, because I would be.” You’re ruthless, Chris. This is not the time!

At the rose ceremony, Matt tells the ladies that although he’s given off tepid expressions of feeling at best and has promised nothing of an engagement at the end of this other than “we’ll just have to see where we’re at,” that they better step tf up and fulfill their contractual obligation to make him look good. Jumping ship so late in the game is a bad look for his brand. He tells them to think long and hard before accepting any of his roses and then immediately calls Michelle’s name before finishing his last sentence. The scared straight tactics work because all of the women accept his roses. 

That’s it for this week, freaks! Start psyching yourselves up for next week’s “Women Tell All”, because Queen V and her under-eye bags are coming back, and I could not be more thrilled. Until then!

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin (3); Giphy (6)

The Best ‘Bachelor’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: Off With Her Head

Gather ‘round, boys and girls, for a tale as old as time: boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy asks girl if she… *checks notes* exchanges sex for money? And people say The Bachelor isn’t a source of good wholesome fun! 

When last we left off, our favorite producer plant/mental health wellness queen, Vibrator Girl, had just let Matt in on a fun little house secret: if you put 20 women in a room together and give them nothing but time and low-calorie wine, they will find cruel and unique ways to ruin each other’s lives. Case in point: Anna. Though she spent the first three episodes of the season doing nothing but giving me nightmares with those veneers, last week she decided that the best way to get a man’s attention is to sacrifice the reputation of her competition over the burning flames of a sex-shaming rumor. 

You’ll recall that she came up with this truly wild rumor that the new girl Brittany is one of Chicago’s most elite escorts. First off, Anna, sex work shouldn’t be something shameful, so even if this rumor were true, what’s your point? Secondly, I’m pretty sure the validity of this rumor can be traced back to a singular Instagram DM from a Russian bot pretending to be a 21-year-old fitness influencer named Carli. I’d like to see the receipts, Anna!

The Rose Ceremony

Which brings us back to the present. It’s a new week but hostility is still running high. Surprisingly, Victoria does not look completely horrible. Her hair is shiny, her makeup is flawless, and I can’t even see one bra strap. There’s nothing that gets you that good glow like sucking the will to live out of a twentysomething named Brittany, amiright V?

At the rose ceremony Matt gives a speech that addresses the “mob mentality” in the house. Sadly, he does not start off his speech with “hell no, I did not leave the South Side for this” and it is a missed opportunity. For shame! 

Matt pulls Anna aside to get to the bottom of this rumor, and I truly can’t wait for her to explain herself. How do you spin “I’m trying to ruin a girl’s life but in, like, a fun way” to a man you’re also hoping to share a life with eventually?

ANNA: I’m very popular in Chicago. It’s why so many people were messaging me about this girl before coming on the show.
ME: 

Hahahahaha. Okay, Anna, you gotta stop leading with the fact that you heard this information on Instagram. You’re not helping your case.

Matt finally learns the nature of the rumor (that Britt is a supposed escort) and I love how aghast he’s pretending to be. I’m not buying that you’ve never hired an escort before, Matt. I’m just not. 

PRODUCERS: *describes the definition of an escort to Matt off camera*
MATT: That’s… illegal?

As Anna pleads her case to Matt, Victoria is in the process of throwing the remnants of Anna’s character completely under the bus. She’s like, “you know Anna was being super harmful with those comments about Brittany being an escort.” Yeah, and I’m sure your comments about Brittany being a “stupid hoe” were just all in good fun!

Matt lays down the hammer and sends Anna home almost immediately. Tbh I’ve never been more turned on in my life. Actions actually having consequences? Matt, you’re speaking my love language, sweetie. 

This rose ceremony has to be the biggest mood killer for Matt. He’s just trying to get some wide-eyed kisses and these ladies are asking him to mediate the drama at their sisterhood retreat. The ladies are still not pleased with the “safe space” Matt tried to create by sending home Anna. He still needs to behead the actual snake: Victoria and her booby tape. 

MATT: And when you said Ryan was hoe for being a professional dancer—
VICTORIA: That was taken completely out of context!

To be fair, I think she said Ryan was a “f*cking hoe”, so get your facts straight, Matt!

Okay, Victoria’s logic is painful to me. She’s got all of the deductive reasoning skills of a drunk girl trying to finagle another tequila shot out of the bartender despite the fact that her nipple is a little bit out and she can’t remember the word for “shot” and keeps calling it a “baby drinks.”  

I love that throughout all of this Katie hasn’t owned up to sh*t. She’s standing there watching the mob of mean girls devour each other whole while remaining completely untouched and I LOVE IT. She started this entire thing, and not only has she been able to keep her name out their mouths, but she managed to get rid of all her competition in the process. Ladies, we are in the presence of a queen. 

KATIE AT THE ROSE CEREMONY RN: 

Ah, I see that Victoria is back to looking like sh*t. All is well in the world again. She shows up to the rose ceremony looking like a waterlogged mess, and I think she knows her time is almost up. 

Here’s the rose ceremony body count:

Not only is the wicked bitch of the west going home, but BOY does she go out with a bang. She tells Matt that she feels sorry for him, and I just audibly gasped so loud my dog startled awake. She’s like, “he didn’t even say anything, he just stared at me!” and it’s like, yeah girl, your entire bra was out. What else was he supposed to do!

 

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Wow wow wow. I can’t believe Queen V is finally gone. On her way out she boldly declares that she will “never date another Matt again” and I think I can safely speak for all Matts when I say they’re fine with that. Good luck though, Vicki!

Rachael’s One-On-One Date

The next day is like the calm after the storm. Some girls are finally feeling safe enough to stop sleeping with a makeshift shiv under their pillows. Others are just glad they made it out of the rose ceremony with their eyelash extensions still intact. Kit tells us that she’s hoping things will be “less dramatic” in the house. I really hope with Victoria gone, Kit can finally grow into the villain I always knew she could be. She just has the face of someone who tortured people at boarding school. Does she not?

Rachael gets the first one-on-one date of the week and Matt treats her to a shopping spree. Every season they do at least one Pretty Woman shopping date and it’s like, what does this date even prove about your partner? That she appreciates a nice romantic swipe of your black card? That he’s very into the color beige? That’s not even Matt’s real money! 

I mean have you ever seen so much beige in your life!!

Side note: Did Matt only pack turtlenecks for this trip? Why is he always wearing these on dates? What is he hiding under that extra fabric? TELL ME!!!

I love how a mere 24 hours before, Matt was vowing to create safe spaces for the women and now he’s making Rachael walk into a room full of girls armed with nothing but her wits and 20 bags of designer clothes. He might as well have given her a paper cut and shoved her into a shark tank.  

Rachael says something about falling for Matt and it’s like honey, baby, sweetie, no. You aren’t falling in love with him. That’s just the serotonin from the shopping trip talking! She gets the date rose and, I’m sure, a special place on MJ’s hit list.

The Group Date

The big group date this week takes place on a farm where the women are instructed to do various farm tasks by a man known only as “Ty.” Sketch. He’s either a very strangely branded farmer or a man whose kink involves watching hot millennials ruin their hair extensions with horse feces. It’s hard to tell. 

Matt takes it upon himself to remind the ladies that he’s from Raleigh, NC and he’s just a country boy at heart. As a person who is also from North Carolina, I can tell you right now the closest Matt has ever come to a farm animal was the time he walked through the Dixie Classic Fair. You know how to longboard, bro, you’re no bumpkin! 

Watching these women ruin their gel manicures as they shovel sh*t is truly putting years back on my life. Ladies, thank you for your service. I needed this. 

JESSENIA: MJ is ~chickening~ out

Jessenia, sweetie, leave the jokes to the professionals. 

Not much else happens on the group date. Apparently mud and manure are turn-ons for Matt, because he uses this date as an opportunity to reenact some farmer porno with any girl willing to ruin her hair extensions with a roll in the hay. For the most part, though, the date focuses on MJ’s reckoning. During the cocktail portion of the evening, Matt confronts her about being one of Victoria’s minions. He wants to know her specific role in mean girl mob. Like, did she take part in the verbal abuse or was it more of a slut sneeze situation?

Here’s the thing about MJ: I find her to be stunning, but her personality is surprisingly off-putting. She looks like she should be in a Free People ad, but then she opens her mouth and I have the immediate urge to hand over my keys and wallet so nobody gets hurt.

MJ: I heard one of you called me an antagonist?
ALSO MJ: 

Ok, she is TERRIFYING. I would not want to cross her in a dark alley. I feel like she must be hiding some booby traps in those ringlets of hers. Good luck dealing with that, ladies!

Kit’s One-On-One Date

Kit gets the second one-on-one date of the week and we learn that Kit is 21. I’ll let that sink in for a moment… twenty.one. That means (if my math after three glasses of red wine is correct) that she was born in the year 2000. 2000!! It should be illegal for her to be on this show. The reason she hasn’t found love yet is because her brain hasn’t even stopped developing! I’m pretty sure her Bumble settings caps a suitor’s age off at 23! This is absurd. 

Also, I totally forgot that Kit is the daughter of Cynthia Rowley (a super famous designer). Yet another reason it should be a crime for her to be on this show. She doesn’t need ABC to find her a boyfriend. Eventually someone will come along who will love her for her money. She’s all set!

KIT: My life is red carpets and gold Bentleys but I just want to be a regular girl
ME, A REGULAR GIRL: I wish gold Bentleys were on my list of complaints instead of  the broken-down Hondas I have to deal with. 

So… let me get this straight. Kit’s sob story is that she has… white privilege? You guys, I cannot take Kit seriously. If Matt ends up with her, I’m rioting. 

MJ vs. Jessenia

In a shocking twist, we end the week with the announcement of a two-on-one date: MJ vs. Jessenia. In one corner, we have MJ, who looks like she would write that you like anal on a bathroom stall. In the other corner, we have Jessenia, who I was not aware was a contestant until she started butchering jokes on my television screen just this evening. How did this blood feud begin? With vicious name calling (and by “vicious” I mean using terminology found in a powder puff football game). Look, I’m not a fan of MJ by any means, but this drama is sooooo petty. Who cares about this varsity/JV thing? Did it end with Olivia Benson needing to be called onto the scene? No? Then I don’t care about it. 

Anyway, catch you betches next week for what I’m sure will be the thrilling conclusion to this feud nobody asked for. 

Images: ABC/Craig Sjodin; Giphy (4); ABC (1); @tvgoldtweets /Instagram (1); @bachelornation.scoop /Instagram (1)

The Best ‘Bachelor’ Recap You’ll Ever Read: The Queen’s Gambit

Welcome back, friends, to your regularly scheduled Bachelor recap! I wish I could say that the most outrageous thing to happen over the last seven days was a sexually liberated millennial brandishing a giant sparkly dildo within 20 feet of Chris Harrison, but, you know, the coup. Despite the chaos our world is falling into, I’m still here, I’m still persisting. By “persisting” I of course mean that I’m half a bottle of Charles Shaw deep and have spent the last seven days Googling pictures of Matt James’ abs to keep up morale. We all do what we can. 

Last week The Bachelor started off with a bang, and I do mean that literally. Matt James spent his first two hours as ABC’s leading man being utterly delightful and setting off a chain reaction of female orgasms across the country after his rose ceremony prayer. Two seconds into this week’s episode and I can already tell that ABC is going to be capitalizing on that energy for this week. Before we can even transition into any dates we’re treated to at least five minutes of b-roll of Matt James reenacting every hot guy dating app profile pic in one morning. He’s on the Peloton, he’s doing sit-ups, he’s caressing his happy trail in the shower, he’s walking through fall foliage, he’s trying out some knits. I can only assume that a shot of him reading a devotional in only a towel will be on the agenda for next week. 

Bri’s One-On-One Date

Matt James and Bri

The first one-on-one date is awarded to Bri, and is it just me or do they already look like a couple? Or at least like two people who would look great together doing an unboxing video. Matt says he hasn’t gone on a date in “forever” and I guess we’re just not counting the month-long bacchanalian orgy that was the Quarantine Crew? Come talk to me when your last interaction with the opposite sex involves thanking your local grocery store cashier as he reaches around the plexiglass to put your change in your double-gloved hand, mmkay?

Oh, good. It seems Victoria is going to continue with this persona of a 13-year-old girl whose mother has the audacity to breathe near her in public. Carry on. 

QUEEN V:  I’m not jealous! I just, like, want that. 

YOU JUST DEFINED THE WORD “JEALOUSY”, YOU IMBECILE!!! I feel as if Victoria is the kind of girl who thinks Instagram captions count as “reading.” I tremble for the youth of America. 

Back to Matt and Bri’s date. Matt decides to take her ATVing through Pennsylvania forestry. I’m not sure what kind of girl he thought Bri was when he was planning this date, but the head-to-toe Revolve outfit she’s wearing should have been a huge indicator. Lol, Bri is equally skeptical. She’s like, “I’m glad I was able to leave an impression on him after the last rose ceremony but how was that impression… mudding??” You’re right, it doesn’t make sense!! 

BRI PRETENDING TO LOVE THIS DATE RN: 

Okay, this date is the stuff of nightmares. Not only will she be soaking that outfit with off-brand Dawn in her hotel room’s sink from now until the final rose ceremony, but he’s got to ruin her hair too?? Did anyone else see him practically give her a nuggie with his muddy fist after they took a tumble on that ATV? MATT, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE FINITE RULES OF HAIR CARE?! DO YOU?? Honestly, I feel for this girl. 

Production must have decided that was enough emotional waterboarding of the influencer for this date, because they reward her with a Matt James hot tub soak. I love when they pretend these dates are about “making connections” rather than the thinly veiled excuse to have Matt disrobe on camera that they are.

 

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Originally, Bri and Matt had bonded over both being raised by single mothers. Tonight, we learn that Bri’s mother was actually 13 when she had her and, despite their close relationship growing up, their relationship is more tenuous now as her mother is pregnant and starting a family with someone new. This is so personal, I don’t even know what to do with this information. I’m pretty sure the most vulnerable I’ve ever been with a guy was when I told him my favorite book was a YA romantic fantasy and didn’t immediately backpedal the statement after he laughed in my face and said “no, seriously, what’s your favorite book?” Damn, this girl is BRAVE. 

Okay, I do actually really like Bri. She seems super chill and like she might actually be able to articulate her thoughts in an argument. I’m impressed with how well she carries herself, especially at her age. I’m pretty sure when I was 24 I was still blacking out at bottomless brunch and letting guys feel me up in random clubs in the Lower East Side. 

The Group Date

This week 18 girls—18!!!—are on deck for the group date. I’m sorry, but that’s a ridiculous amount of people for a group date. I’ve seen fewer girls getting packed in on a tractor for a Nashville bachelorette party. These girls are going to be lucky if Matt even says their name during roll call, let alone if they get any alone time with him! 

The women are asked to don wedding dresses for a wedding themed photo shoot, but before even half them can make it through their shoots, Chris Harrison decides to put a little twist on things. You know, if a casual fight to the death can be considered a “twist.” I guess nothing says “romance” and “happiest day of your life” like gladiatorial games.

QUEEN V: I think my team is a bunch of queens and their team is a bunch of gestures.

Yeah, and that “gesture” is the middle finger, Victoria. 

They begin this demented game of capture the flag, and I’ve seen cleaner prison riots. MJ is over there practically sharpening her shiv, Queen V is snapping wet rags in people’s faces with the full extent of her rage, and Rachael looks like she would rather die on that muddy field than lose out on any alone time with Matt. 

RACHAEL DURING THIS DATE RN:

Honestly, it’s hard to tell what exactly the objective of the game is, because it just looks like full-on mayhem. At some point Chris announces that the red team “wins” and we all just accept this to be true even though I could not tell you how that outcome was determined. Anything to stop Victoria’s blood-curdling battle cries from rupturing my eardrums through this screen. 

The rest of the group date progresses pretty uneventfully. The high points of the evening include a sweet moment between Lauren and Matt. She tells him that she’s looking for a “man of God” when it comes to her future husband. Funny, I didn’t realize men of God are usually so chill with practically flashing their pubic hair every week on national television. Low points of the evening include literally any frame with Queen V in it. At one point she calls Matt a “prize” and then looks at him like he’s a tiger she considered bidding on from the Tiger King park’s eBay page. 

QUEEN V: *opens her mouth once*
MATT: Can I take you back upstairs?

AHAHAHAHAHA. Honestly, never in Bachelor history have I seen the lead escort one of the girls out without being interrupted first. Conversation with her must feel like it’s own ring of Hell. 

 

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I mean, his eyes say it all. 

Sarah’s One-On-One Date

Sarah gets the second one-on-one date of the week, and I’m a little shocked there’s not a second group date. I guess after watching an angry mob of his would-be-wives perform illegal wrestling moves in a mud pit, Matt had seen enough. 

Here’s another date that’s straight out of one of my anxiety-riddled nightmares. Matt decides to test Sarah’s trust in “the process” by seeing if she’d willingly climb into the world’s jankiest airplane. They aren’t even properly shut in! It’s all open air! I’ve seen rural carnival ferris wheels that have more safety precautions than this contraption! 

Sarah’s like, “this is a first date for the books!” and something tells me that the craziest date she’d ever been on prior to this involved half-priced fondue night at The Melting Pot.

Okay, can we stop labeling people a “slow start” just because they don’t want to go public with their deeply personal sh*t? I’m all for people being vulnerable, but you shouldn’t be penalized for not baring your entire f*cking soul to a person you’ve known for all of three hours on national television. I barely want to give a guy my last name after a first date, let alone launch into a detailed account of my intimacy issues. 

MY ROOMMATE: Is he wearing another turtleneck?
ME: He loves a turtleneck.
MY ROOMMATE: I wish he would unzip it a little bit… 

Don’t we all!!

And as it turns out, Sarah does have some deeply personal sh*t that she seems less than forthcoming about sharing on national television. We learn that Sarah’s dad was diagnosed with ALS a few years back and his health has been progressively declining ever since. She even quit her job as a broadcast journalist to be his caretaker. Considering I still throw a fit when my dad suggests I pay for my car insurance, I can’t imagine what she’s going through. Matt takes all of this news in stride and asks what he can do to be a better partner for her. I’d say for starters he could get rid of the 25+ other women he’s dating, but it was sweet of him to ask all the same!

For her honesty, Matt rewards Sarah with the date rose. Honestly… I don’t see any sparks between the two of them, but it’s not like he could send her home after an admission like that. I’m interested to see how long she stays in this game. 

The Rose Ceremony

Going into the rose ceremony tonight, there are still half a dozen girls who didn’t get any date time with Matt this week. Oooh. While I’d love to spend an appropriate amount of time talking about this or even swooning over Abigail and Matt coming up with their own secret code signals, I think we have to talk about the main event of the evening: the showdown between Queen V and Marylynn. 

First, I’d like to say that Marylynn is an easy target. You don’t have to be an “empath” to see that she’s the weak one in the pack. She starts off the cocktail hour by crying to Matt about her insecurities. He does his best to placate her. And by that I mean he picked a random decorative flower off the nearest coffee table and said it was for her. Smooth. 

Victoria sees Marylynn experiencing an ounce of happiness and does a truly amazing job at sabotaging it. She tells Matt that Marylynn was “bullying” her, so much so that she was forced to sleep on the couch. Technically she did sleep on the couch, but it was less because of any sort of altercation and more because she got too drunk and wanted to give her roommate the cold shoulder, much like my dog does after I watch this show every Monday night. 

I think her story would be more believable if she didn’t show up to the rose ceremony looking like she shot herself with a tranquilizer gun first. Girl, you look a MESS. Not only is her eye makeup a straight-up crime, but TSA would flag her for those bags under her eyes.

 

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Okay, Queen V is UNHINGED. Like, what deserted island did ABC find her on? Marylynn attempts to apologize to Victoria, only to be SHUT DOWN by a woman with half her bra falling out of her dress. Can you imagine? I think if I were Marylynn and someone asked me how this feud started I would just gesture wildly to Victoria. I mean, whose account of events seems more trustworthy? Marylynn’s or a girl who looks like she was the result of a SheShed seance gone terribly wrong?

Before we can find out who will be the last girl standing at the rose ceremony (spoiler: it has to be Victoria, sorry but she’s contractually obligated to be in at least five episodes, mark my words), things come to a sudden halt when Sarah stumbles off stage. She dramatically whispers “I’m seeing stars” before a production intern screams to get a medic. Did she have one too many vodka crans during the cocktail hour? Did Queen V discreetly shoot her with that tranquilizer gun? Only time will tell, my friends! Until next time!

Images: ABC / Craig Sjodin; ABC (2); giphy (3); @shesallbach, @bachelornation, @tvgoldtweets /Instagram (3)