I want to start by dedicating this week’s Bachelor Recap to Bachelor #19, Chris Soules, who is kicked in the shins every two minutes this season. Becca, the woman Chris almost proposed to, admitted to having zero investment in that relationship, saying to Ben that “this outcome would be way better.” As in, Becca never had any intention of spending her life in BumEffingNowhere, Iowa. Fair, but harsh, Bec Bec. Also, anyone notice that Ben’s bachelorettes always travel via limos and private jets, while Chris’ girls were ushered around in a YMCA van? Farmer lives matter, too, ABC. No wonder Chris didn’t find love!! How can someone possibly fall in love without castles, penthouses, and leather seating at all times? Chris, our hearts go out to you.
Ben’s well-pampered bachelorettes begin this episode by complaining in unison about how exhausted they are. Honestly, my arms get tired when I’m blowdrying my hair, so I mean– I get it. These girls have to get all dolled up every day just to sit around a mansion and drink champagne. That’s basically what I did on my honeymoon, and let me tell you, standing never felt so tiring.
Right before Chris Harrison enters the mansion to tell the girls they’re going to “the marriage capital of the world,” Caila gives viewers what we want, which is for someone to finally admit that no one can tell the difference between the twins. Thanks for keeping it real, Caila.
The girls all put on their favorite pair of distressed jeans and head to Las Vegas, where they walk down The Strip and annoy people with loud squealing for a while before heading up to their tricked out penthouse. The first date card arrives, and Caila dramatically pulls it out of the envelope without breaking eye contact with the gaggle of women cuddled on the couch in front of her. The girl knows how to work a room.
“JoJo, You set my heart on fire. — Ben”
JoJo makes the bold choice to wear a black choker in her confessional interview where she talks about her excitement for the one-on-one date, and I wonder if she’s too young to be scarred by the plastic tattoo chokers from my childhood. I can never take a choker seriously again.
JoJo meets Ben on a rooftop, where they sip champagne around a cocktail table until a helicopter starts to land, and Ben says his favorite line: “I think our ride is here.” JoJo is super surprised that they’re going to ride in a helicopter, even though she was standing on a helicopter pad this whole time.
As the helicopter descends, it completely blows over the cocktail table and nearly strips JoJo of her lightweight peasant blouse. Champagne glasses go flying, and instead of evacuating the area where broken glass is swirling about in the wind, Ben and JoJo choose to crouch behind the toppled table and make out. Unbeknownst to Ben, all of the other girls can see all of this happening from their penthouse window. They laugh when the table falls over, but immediately run away from the window when they see Ben and JoJo kissing, because they don’t want to feed their crazy. Except Olivia the News Anchor. Olivia stays and watches the whole thing, because her crazy is real hungry.
JoJo shows her aggressive side and blatant disregard for fragile equipment by confidently bending the helicopter mic headseats so that she and Ben can comfortably make out. Lauren B could’ve used a little of that gusto on her Snoopy plane ride last week.
Other than that, we don’t get to see any of the day portion of Ben’s date with JoJo because editors wanted to make sure we get plenty of ammunition to hate Olivia. They show her freaking out about seeing Ben kiss JoJo for a solid 10 minutes, saying things like “I love this man,” which was Crazy Ashley’s (from Sean’s season) go-to line. Once someone starts referring to the Bachelor as “this man,” you know it’s going to get bad.
I am disappointed that we don’t get to find out what Ben meant by “You set my heart on fire.” Did they get to burn down an old warehouse together? Did they learn how to use fire batons? Did they go hiking and make out around a daytime bonfire? That date card held so much potential. And I’m sure some junior producer felt extremely jipped that all her hard work in arranging a death-defying date was completely edited out of the episode.
While Ben and JoJo are training fire-breathing dragons, the group date card arrives at the penthouse. It goes to:
Amanda the Mom
Haley, Twin #2
Emily, Twin #1
Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher
Either I missed what the date card said, or they didn’t even bother to tell us because it was even more lame and boring than the rest of them.
Becca is the only name not on the card, which means she automatically gets the second one-on-one date. I also take note that this means Becca and JoJo will be the ones left behind while the rest of the girls go on the group date. They were partners in that weird high school date way back when, and were the only two girls to get no date at all last week. I’m 99% certain they’re BFFs by this point, so I bet they had a phenomenal girls day while the rest of the clan was off making fools of themselves (more on that to come). Ovaries before brovaries!
We finally return to Ben and JoJo, who have already cleaned the ashes out of their hair and are all dressed up for the night portion of their date. I’m in love with JoJo’s black jumpsuit. She chose not to wear her matching black choker, and I kind of already miss it. Their chemistry is pretty rock solid. Ben asks her some questions, but I’m too distracted by him sensually playing with her gold bracelet to listen to her answers. I don’t think he was listening, either.
Ben gives JoJo the rose, and they head to the roof to watch fireworks. I refuse to believe that fireworks are the only interaction they had with fire that day, and if it was, someone really dropped the ball. Ben kisses JoJo’s ear at the same time the girls back at the penthouse are watching the fireworks through the window and saying things like “Ben and JoJo are probably making out right now as they watch these.” How did you know??
Next up is the group date, and I immediately keel over because Caila is wearing her Mother of the Bride glitter shawl again. Maybe it’s like her security blanket? There has to be a good reason for this. The only thing that can distract me from that wardrobe catastrophe is Rachel’s white romper that I *think* had drawings of bugs all over it. This is the first time I’ve ever noticed Rachel, though, so maybe she’s tired of blending in…to which I say, nice work.
The girls are told they’ll be performing “talents” in front of 1,200 people as an opening act for a Las Vegas ventriloquist. Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher immediately starts talking about wearing nipple tassles, and after her comments about “handling balls” last week, I’m beginning to wonder if she she chose the wrong profession.
Lauren H does not end up wearing nipple tassles, but instead dons a full-body chicken suit and recites Old McDonald Had a Farm. Leah, the blonde we never see, is briefly shown jumping around on a pogo stick. The twins have taken Irish step-dancing classes their whole lives, and perform a delightful routine in German dirndls. Jubilee plays the cello, which is the instrumental equivalent to her personality. Lauren B juggles balls while Lauren H observes in admiration. Caila does a hula dance, and I decide to never eat again. Rachel makes balloon animals, still wearing her bug jumpsuit.
Then there’s Olivia. The producers brilliantly cut out any background music so that everyone can hear all the screeching from an unoiled cake being rolled onto the stage. Olivia pops out of the cake in red lingerie and a feather boa. Perhaps “pops out” is the wrong phrase. “Clambers out” is more accurate. She then puts her hands on her hips and flails her legs in what I think were attempts at “kicks” but make me wonder if she failed the V-sit in fifth grade. Even my flexibility isn’t that bad…and I was once called a “corpse” by a physical therapist.
Everyone in the audience, including the T.V. audience, shrinks down in their seats to hide from the awkwardness. Ben can’t hide his secondhand embarrassment as he watches in horror. She finishes her routine by sauntering down to Ben in the audience and giving him a hug, which he reciprocates in the same manor my pastor hugs me. Butt out, plenty of room for Jesus.
Olivia can tell that Ben doesn’t want to be associated with her, and proceeds to perpetuate the frustrating stereotypes about mental disorders by throwing a tantrum, but calling it a “panic attack.” No, Olivia, you’re not having a panic attack. You’re just crying because you know how silly you just made yourself look. News flash: This breakdown isn’t helping.
Olivia decides to redeem herself during the night portion of the date by wearing a pale gray romper that clashes so much with her skin tone that I’m concerned she is legitimately ill.
Night portion in summary: Ben calls Caila a sex panther, Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher tells the camera that “little Ben” (the ventriloquist puppet) is “bigger than she expected,” and Lauren B remains the front runner based on her natural chemistry with Ben. Ben’s time with Olivia is forced and uncomfortable because Ben has lost interest. Olivia can tell, and finds Ben for a second round of one-on-one time. She tries to interrupt Ben and Emily by hovering nearby, but Ben just ignores her and tells Emily to keep talking. BURN. Olivia then actively inserts herself into the situation, and Ben gives her a painful pity kiss to get her to go away. It works, and Olivia is convinced she’s still the top dog. She’s not.
Group rose goes to Lauren B.
Next is the one-on-one date with Becca. Someone delivers a giant box, which holds a cheap wedding gown that Becca is required to put on before going downstairs into a lobby full of judging onlookers who watch her climb into a pink convertible. Becca hates everything about this because she’s a low key, fashionable person, but she plants on a smile because she knows she signed up for this.
Jubilee for the win by mumbling, “She’s the perfect person to wear white…” because Becca is a virgin.
Becca is transported to a classic Vegas “chapel,” where Ben is waiting in a tux and immediately gets down on one knee. He says “Will you marry…other people with me today?” Before your mind goes to Sister Wives, let me clarify. Ben got ordained so that he can officiate weddings.
They let Becca change out of the wedding dress and put on a cute hippie white dress she brought from home. She stands next to Ben as he marries 40,000 couples, one by one. There were so many. Naturally, I cried because I can’t watch a wedding without bawling. Emotional stability is not my strong suit.
After that, Becca changes into the littlest of all little black dresses, and they drive in Convertible #5 to a junkyard. This junkyard is full of old Vegas electronic signs with missing bulbs that are being “refurbished.” Idk where they go once they’re refurbished, but whatever.
Becca and Ben sit on an uncomfortable-looking bench in the sign graveyard and talk about how much Becca didn’t like Chris when she was on his season. Chin up, Chris!! Then Ben asks her the very mature question, “How do you feel about the fact that I am a Christian who didn’t choose to save himself for marriage, but you did?” She talks about sex being a personal choice, and they discuss God in a comfortable, open way that makes me super proud. He gives her the rose, and I pray she makes it to the Top 4 so she can be the next Bachelorette. Sorry, JoJo.
In a last minute twist, Chris Harrison shows up on the morning of the rose ceremony to tell the girls that Ben wants to spend the day with the twins. The twins are from Las Vegas, so Ben takes them to their mom’s house (where they still live because they’re infants) for an impromptu hometown date. To make a short storyline short, Ben sends Haley home, which is convenient because she’s already there. He and Emily hop in the limo and return to the penthouse. The girls have no idea which twin just walked back through the door.
At the rose ceremony, every single girl wears a tiny sequined dress except Rachel, who wears a floor length red gown. For a second time this episode, I notice her because of something she’s wearing. This time, it’s in a good way.
Olivia morphs into Lace and spends the whole rose ceremony telling Ben that she’s sorry she acted so insecure on the group date because she’s “not insecure,” but her desperate apology only exacerbates the whole “insecurity” thing. She brings him cheesecake as a peace offering, which normally I’d say is a strong move, but it falls flat like her hair. At this point, Olivia starts talking in third person. “Olivia is here to stay.” “Olivia is here for you.” RUN, Ben. RUN.
Other notable happenings are Caila’s return to sex panther status by attacking Ben’s face, Jubilee’s heartfelt side hug from Ben that firmly places her in the friend zone, and viewers getting to hear Jen’s voice for the first time.
Rose ceremony, which happens on top of a precarious glass pool cover:
JoJo, Lauren B, and Becca (my Top 3) already have roses. The rest go to:
Amanda the Mom
Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher
Emily, Twinless Twin
We say goodbye to:
Rachel and her long red dress exit gracefully. Amber takes off her heels and storms away crying, then curls up on a pool chair to vent to the producers she’s known for years since this is her THIRD rodeo. Have you no pride, Amber?
Teasers for next week show Olivia saying Amanda’s life is like “an episode of Teen Mom,” and everyone immediately running to tell Ben that she’s a monster. The end is near for Olivia the News Anchor, guys. Hide yo’ kids. Hide yo’ wife.