This week on The Bachelor, Arie and his army of tiny blondes head to scenic Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where they all have to pretend to be really fucking amped about being stuck in Fort Lauderdale. Chelsea is held at gunpoint and forced to describe Arie as a “dreamboat.” Tia teaches Arie how to pickle crocodile toes. Bekah loses the bowling competition even though she just went to a bowling birthday party.
How long do we have to pretend that Krystal is anything other than two very fit four-year-olds stacked on top of each other? Is Seinne even on this show anymore? For that matter, is Chris Harrison even on this show anymore? Where can I get one of those fluffy “I’m Not Going to the Party” bathrobes? Is Lauren suffering from a mild depressive disorder?
Lick your bowling balls and let’s dive in.
14. Krystal (Last Week: 5)
So, something you may or may not know about me is that I am absolutely bonkers about The Bachelor. Like, what you read in these recaps is only a hint of the dark, dark depths of my knowledge about everything pertaining to this show. I’ve seen most every season dating back to the days of Ashley Hebert (Bachelorette #7) and there have been some standout villains over the years. There's nothing quite like watching someone with a minor personality disorder unravel on national television. In recent seasons, however, the role of “villain” has often been played by someone who knows what role they’re playing (see: Corinne from Nick’s season) which completely ruins the fun. The best thing about reality television is seeing people with absolutely zero self-awareness getting caught up in socially manipulative hijinks. Self-awareness has NO PLACE on a show like The Bachelor. Krystal is a welcome return to the Bachelor days of yore, a rare combination of extraordinarily self-absorbed but completely un self-cognizant. I’m going to go ahead and steal a quote from Sharleen Joynt’s Flare recap that says it better than I ever could:
“It’s as though she possesses a perfect cocktail of traits formerly seen in the best villains of seasons past. She’s got the frontrunner status and corresponding arrogance that Courtney Robertson—the queen bee of villains—had on Ben Flajnik’s season. She has that pinch of superiority and condescension that Kelsey (from Chris Soules’s season) had. She shares Tierra’s (from Sean Lowe’s season) inability to reflect and take responsibility for rubbing others wrong, incorrectly chalking the friction up to jealousy. In a way similar to Olivia from Ben Higgins’s season, she (within that environment) lacks a certain awareness to pick up on social cues. Like all of these women, she undoubtedly bonded with her producer more than she did the women in the house, which is always dangerous. Further, Krystal has a slightly affected, overly “on” way about her that is reminiscent of Britt (also from Chris’s season, and not really a full-blown villain, but she was somewhat controversial), yet, unlike legendary villains Corinne and Chad, I don’t get the sense that this is a performance piece.”
This is the kind of in-depth Bachelor journalism that I just love. Anyway, Krystal is Very Mad at Arie because he decided that sending half of the girls home because they weren’t good at BOWLING is an insane thing to do. Arie says that both teams, winning and losing, are welcome to come up to the roof and take turns sitting on his lap. Krystal, for one, is not a happy camper. She throws a tantrum about how Arie LIED and WENT BACK ON HIS WORD and how she needs a PARTNERSHIP and she needs TRUST and she DRAMATICALLY PUTS ON A BATHROBE because she is NOT. GOING. TO. THE. PARTY. She makes a big show of being “in for the night” but leaves her hair and makeup done because she is obviously hoping that Arie will not be able to survive the evening without her and will come running to check on her. This is Middle Child 101 and I am here for it. She eventually gets a particularly patronizing scolding from Arie and decides to rebrand and come to the party after all. Once there, she proceeds to yell at all the other girls about how she “is allowed to be upset because she’s hurt™” and she “isn’t even going to say anything because she knows she’ll just be attacked for it.” Krystal’s ability to position herself as the victim in any situation is honestly inspiring. At one point she gives a tear-filled speech about how the bowling date was really hard for her because her mom worked in a bowling alley? Or something? I think Krystal is likely deeply broken inside and that she should absolutely have been sent to cognitive behavioral therapy instead of a reality dating show but by God, am I glad she’s here.
13. Maquel (Last Week: 15)
Maquel is back! She says she was hoping to catch up on sleep while she was home for her grandfather’s funeral, but that she wasn’t actually able to get that much sleep. Huh? She sticks around for the rest of the episode and then, much like a racially insensitive Instagram post, she is quietly removed. Bye?
12. Lauren (Last Week: 7)
What is the deal with Lauren? She got a ton of screentime this episode but in almost every shot she was pouting or complaining. She seems genuinely unhappy to be on this show. Lauren! You can go home! It’s fine! You have already proven yourself to be the most enduring of the Laurens! Call a Lyft!
11. Marikh (Last Week: 3)
Aww, bye Marikh. I’ll miss you but I acknowledge that I might be the only one.
10. Ashley (Last Week: 11)
Oh, Ashley. Ashley FINALLY says something this week and not only that, she says the funniest thing anyone says the entire episode. And we don’t even get to see her say it because, obviously, there are no cameras watching her! I’ve illustrated her starring moment in the GIF above. Kendall and Krystal are verbally sparring and it gets super weird and quiet for a couple of seconds and Ashley just quietly goes “Well, I think we should go.” I know it doesn’t sound that funny but it was and if you didn’t watch the episode you should. Ashley gets sent home at the end of the episode which is unsurprising but still sad considering her newly-discovered knack for deadpan comedy.
9. Seinne (Last Week: 2)
Seinne: not great at bowling!
8. Bekah (Last Week: 4)
Bekah is honestly almost as bad as Krystal to me and I’ll talk a little bit about why. Thanks for asking. Bekaaahhh, much like Krystal, is insanely overconfident and feels completely secure about her ranking at the top of Arie’s pack. And in some ways I can understand this - I think Arie does really like Bekah and that she’s not in imminent danger of being eliminated. But I don’t think she’s his number one, especially ever since she revealed that she was studying for her SATs the last time he was on this show. Bekah has shown herself to be a little bit of a shit-stirrer and mean girl, in recent weeks especially. She spends a lot of time making fun of Krystal, doing impressions and making cracks about her voice. She even tells Arie “There’s a hurricane coming - Hurricane Krystal!” Good one? It’s just so unnecessary and catty. Like, I love some tasteful cattiness, but it just makes Bekah seem even younger and less mature than she already is. At one point, she confronts Krystal and just keeps going “Why are you still here? Seriously, why are you here?” as though she’s the resident expert on what’s best for Arie and who is and is not here for The Right Reasons. I’m just over her. See the GIF above for my complete feelings.
7. Arie (Last Week: 16)
I had kind of mixed feelings about Arie this week but I think they were actually mostly positive. I was impressed with the way he handled Krystal’s tantrum. Rather than catering to her protests and talking to her about how she was feeling (see: Sean and Tierra), he shut her down by basically saying “I think what you’re doing is wrong, I think you should stay down here by yourself, I’ll see you in a few days.” I get how some people thought that he was being mean or abusing his “power” but she was truly behaving like a child. If anything, I wish he had just ignored her altogether. Even negative attention is still attention (see: any toddler) but I think he handled it pretty well. However, he gives Jenna another rose this week so I’ve still got my eye on him.
6. Jacqueline (Last Week: 14)
Is… is Jacqueline going to win, maybe? Arie talks enthusiastically about how he’s never met anyone like her and how they have such insane chemistry. The heck? Where did this come from? Why haven’t we heard anything else about her until now? Is Jacqueline the Catherine Giudici of this season?? If you don’t know what that means then we have nothing further to discuss with one another.
5. Jenna (Last Week: 10)
There’s nothing to be said about Jenna that hasn’t already been said, and yet, here I am. Jenna makes it ANOTHER week! JENNA IS IN THE TOP 10 OF THIS SEASON! Can you believe it? I can’t. If you didn’t watch the episode (why?) it is absolutely mandatory that you find it and watch Jenna’s “sexy bowling cheer.” It is completely incoherent. She’s like an alien who tried to learn how to impersonate humans by watching Girls Gone Wild. I also don’t understand how she can keep her eyes open with lash extensions that thick! Jenna gets a spot near the top this week for her staying power alone. I'm in awe.
4. Becca (Last Week: 9)
I’m not really sure how Arie feels about Becca (or, as we call her at my viewing parties, “Old Becca”) (she’s 27) but I, for one, like her a lot. I’m just confused because she and Arie seem to have such a natural vibe and act like they’re a regular couple when they’re together but he’s never given her a group date rose or any extra validation so what gives? I'm just going to keep putting her at the top of my list until Arie notices her. He's a frequent reader.
3. Tia (Last Week: 1)
Yee-haw! Tia gets taken on a one-on-one date, the theme of which is “I heard you were from the south so here’s a swamp and some fried bugs to make you feel at home.” I think Arie thinks the south is really different than it is, and that’s coming from someone who is still convinced that my friend from New Orleans used to ride to school on the back of a gator. Arie and Tia (#Tiarie) ride around some swamps in the Everglades on a very unsafe-looking raft and then meet this strange old man who lives in a swamp house? It’s incredibly strange but they seem to be having fun. The old man, who I can only assume has been alive for 300 years and is involved in some sort of ancient curse or wager, gives them fried frog’s legs and deep-fried corn, which he says is his own invention. I cannot believe that someone in Minnesota or wherever hasn’t already invented deep-fried corn as maybe like a state fair snack, but whatever. We can all pretend. Tia is like “haha, this is so crazy! This isn’t like Wiener, Arkansas at all!” but then is immediately like “wait, actually, I have been frog-spearing several times.” I like Tia a lot and I look forward to her inevitably cracking and getting Krystal with a frog spear.
2. Kendall (Last Week: 8)
I really loved Kendall in this episode. When Krystal made a big show of “Anyone who has a problem with me can tell me to my FACE,” Kendall did the kindest thing possible and took Krystal aside to explain exactly what people were upset about. Krystal didn’t digest anything she said, obviously, but I think Kendall handled the situation with a lot of grace, especially when compared to, say, Bekah. Kendall also tells Arie that she’d love to try human meat one day and Arie just laughs and kisses her. If I said that to someone I’d be swiftly placed in an inpatient psychiatric facility. Just one of the many ways my life would be dramatically different if I were a charismatic blonde.
1. Chelsea (Last Week: 6)
Do I love Chelsea?? I think she’s great?? When did this happen?? Chelsea goes on a yachting date with Arie (if you’re here to tell me that “yacht” isn’t just a generic word for “kind of fancy boat” and that they weren’t actually on a yacht I’ll let you know right now that I’m not interested) and they seem to have a really fun time together. After a day of being forced to talk about “all the amenities” on the yacht boat, Chelsea and Arie have a romantic non-dinner, where she talks a little bit about her child’s father. It’s a sad story. From what I understand, Chelsea was very young and pretty poor when she met him, and that he was older and wealthy and “swept her off her feet.” According to Chelsea, he tried for years to mold her into being the person he wanted, and then left her for someone else when their son was six months old. Ouch! It’s hard to listen to her talk about, actually. Arie does his best “empathetic” face and gives her a rose because he’s not a sociopath. After dinner and roses, Arie takes Chelsea to an old garage (?) where there is some young woman SINGING HER ASS OFF to no avail. Nobody is going to Google you, girl. I think her name was Timmory Art? Or something? It doesn’t matter. They never matter.
See you next Monday!