The Bachelor, Ep 3: Faker Than Wrestling
I just got back from an adult dinner, so it’s a little redundant to mention that I’m already a few glasses of red wine deep as I settle in to watch tonight. This episode, I’ll discover, virtually requires heavy drinking.
Welcome to The Bachelor!
We tune in to our regularly scheduled programming of women stressing about turning into old spinsters, Chris Harrison doing the bare minimum of hosting, and date cards being revealed.
It occurs to me that I talk quite a lot of shit about Chris Harrison, but truthfully, I kind of like him. He’s got that sort of bland inoffensive charm in which this show really excels. I just wanted to set the record straight in case he took what I said to heart.
The first date is “all about the ring,” and its participants will be:
Maquel / Jacqueline / Lauren B / Tia / Marikh / Bekah M / Bibiana / Krystal
Because they saw the previews for this week's episode, the girls guess that this ring will be a fighting situation, and soon discover that they are playing GLOB (Gorgeous Ladies of the Bachelor). This show loves making everything as unsexy as possible.
Arie tries to go in disguise, but it doesn’t exactly work out.
Chris Harrison brings in some of his “friends,” two of the original ladies from GLOW! I know he’s just saying whatever words are on his cue cards, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of imagining what Chris Harrison’s friendship with these women would be like. Getting brunch, going shopping, criticizing his wrestling - the whole spectrum.
The girls practice their moves, with varying levels of enthusiasm. Krystal looks like she was born for this, Lauren B is giggly, and Jacqueline looks terrified.
The GLOW ladies throw some serious shade at a few of the girls, with general threats of bodily harm added in. Bibiana and Tia are the most affected by the criticism, and both women are reduced to tears. This, of course, turns out to be a good strategy, because it’s been scientifically proven that no Bachelor can resist a woman who is beautifully crying.
Bekah’s game tactic is to be SUPER into it. Since it’s clear she came onto this show to become famous, I’m happy it seems to be working out for her!
The women learn they will be wrestling in front of a live audience, each with their own stereotype to portray. I would be extermely pissed if I was Maquel.
We learn that someone is here to fight Arie, and if that wasn’t treat enough, we find out that it’s Kenny, the single father and charmer from Rachel’s season! This could not have turned out any better!
He shows more charisma in a few minutes than Arie will this entire season.
Arie is losing the match badly because - duh. But then he turns it around and somehow pins Kenny with his weird ineffectual moves, and this just honestly tests the bounds of all believability. This is further confirmed as we all observe how extremely winded Arie is after his sham fight.
Next come the woman's bouts!
The first round is Maquel vs. Bekah. There are whips and latex involved. The second is Jacqueline vs. Krystal. Krystal basically beats Jacquelien to a pulp.
“I slammed her down a few times, and I had so much fun.” Krystal enthuses. LOL Ok Krystal!
Marikh and Lauren B. are next, and they basically make out in the ring. Do your thing, ladies! Get what you can while you’re here.
Finally, Tia fights Bibiana. There’s weird inspirational music playing in the background, and Bibiana says “I’m really proud of us" when they emerge from the experience with their lives. Good job for pushing through and, I dunno, surviving that similuated fight, ladies.
All this episode did was make me wish I were watching Drag Race.
Later, they take this date to an Airstream park. Having learned nothing from last week (or, more accurately, having learned EVERYTHING from last week), Krystal steals Arie first. Right on cue, Bibiana freaks out and says she needs to “stand her ground” in regards to her right to hang out with Arie. It’s a weird stance to take, re: casual dating.
To be fair, when the shoe is on the other foot and Lauren B interrupts Krystal and Arie, Krystal takes it very well and calmly! Again, this calm and serene villain is a STRANGE edit.
Krystal rejoins the girls, and it’s awkward as hell.
The girls sort of ostracize her, and I’m not really sure why, apart from general female conditioning in pursuit of a man’s attention.
Arie spends this whole evening touching the girls faces, and them just sitting there and bravely living through it. Later, he and Tia discuss her shocking performance at GLOW. Arie ACTUALLY says this:
Tia: I felt weak. I don’t like to feel weak.
Arie: Yeah but you know, if you are feeling that way, then I can help you feel better. That makes me feel like a man, you know?
Tia is really good at playing this game, for the record. They say that lightning never strikes twice, but apparently for whichever Bachelor casting agent is responsible for recruiting in Arkansas - it did.
Back at the mansion, another date card arrives! It goes to Lauren S!
“You had me at Merlot,” the card reads, to which Lauren S responds: “That’s so sweet!” Also, the girls seem awfully proud of themselves for deducing that it probably means a trip to a vineyard. Absolutely nothing gets past them.
Back at the present date, Arie asks Bekah about her longest relationship. She says 2 to 3 years, but she doesn’t specify how old she was when it happened. I’m not sure her junior high romance is going to mean much to a man pushing 40.
Also, there’s this weird cadence to these dates where they have scheduled time to talk about their personal lives, and then at some point it’s make out time. And Bekah and Arie REALLY get into that portion of the evening.
Elsewhere, Krystal keeps going on and on about how she’s confident that she’ll get the date rose, etc. So naturally, by the inevitable laws of tv editing, the rose goes to Bekah. What she had to do to get that rose, it wasn’t worth it.
Krystal is confused and surmises that she just needs to be more aggressive. Somewhere, Bibiana is sharpening her knives.
The next day!
Arie has totally reasonable expectations for today’s date: “Lauren S is what I’m looking for in a potential wife.” LOL, it's always romantic when you have to specify WHICH of the Laurens you are dating would make a great wife.
Arie takes her to wine country, as the extremely cryptic clue predicted. Spoiler alert: the date is dull. Arie talks about how he goes to bed so early now, and also loves wearing cardigans. He then asks Lauren S if she’s an early riser. It’s utterly fascinating television and truly proves why The Bachelor franchise is an enduring hit and one of the most popular shows on television!
The locale is very beautiful, however.
I’m bored and google “who was a better skater tonya harding or nancy kerrigan” because I just saw I, Tonya, but I don’t find any conclusive evidence. I then google “best olympic skaters of all time,” and fall deep into a rabbit hole.
It’s fine, because nothing of importance is happening on (this season of) The Bachelor. There’s more wine drinking, more breathless talking about how handsome Arie is, and yet more wine drinking (those things seem to be extremely related).
We are now into the story portion of the evening. Lauren S is “a relationship girl,” she reveals, and she then says a bunch of words about San Francisco and Dallas and work conference and growing apart and “power in problems” and “blessed” and…..it’s not exactly a coherent narrative.
Lauren S does have a shocking secret, however: “My mom and dad, are amazing. My friends are amazing.” LOL. She says this with the gravitas of someone about to reveal an actual key piece of information. She babbles on and on, and I’m just relieved that I don’t have to watch Arie talk/make out.
Back at the mansion, a date card arrives! “Love is ruff,” it reads. Joining on this date will be:
Ashley / Bekah K / Brittany / Jenna / Caroline / Chelsea / Annaliese
Annaliese, who just got over reliving her traumatic bumper car experience, turns out to ALSO have a traumatic history with dogs. GIRL! Why did your parents ever let you outside of the house? You are an absolute magnet for trauma!
Back at the date, Lauren S admits that she’s not being herself, and she’s not quite sure why she can’t stop talking. My guess is that it’s a defense mechanism from her higher consciousness as a way of protecting her from Arie’s pillowy lips, but that's only a guess.
Once she stops long enough to take a breath and drink some wine, Arie reveals that he just can’t give her the rose. In response, she breaks the fourth wall.
She loves her family too much, and Arie just can’t take her away from them! LOL. What an absolutely incredible pile of shit. Lauren S was an awkward date, but I get it! Some people just aren’t meant to date on screen! And the people who excel in it are called....actors. Or sociopaths.
Arie then gives the rose to......himself?
Back at the house, a PA shows up to grab Lauren’s (literal, not metaphorical) baggage. The girls are super shocked.
Caroline, who was apparently good enough friends with Lauren S to have a reaction to her leaving, starts weeping. Krystal then goes into a soliloquy about love and opening yourself up to a journey and building a future and deepening relationships and yet still more love that’s basically a Mad Libs of Bachelor speak. The rest of the girls collectively roll their eyes.
The next day!!!!
We learn that there’s another guest on today’s date - Arie’s dog! And speaking of dogs, Annaliese is fretting about what sort of monstrous beasts they’ll encounter today. She always sort of seems like she’s on the verge of crying. It must be an exhausting way to live.
Arie summons forth an army of cute pups, and the girls, for once, don’t have to fake their enthusiasm.
In response, Annaliese details her troubled history with dogs, and we get ANOTHER flashback. But honestly, this one is sort of terrifying, and seems like a pretty bad attack. She almost lost her eye! That is pretty upsetting!
Fred Willard shows up to do his classic announcing work, a la Best in Show. I hope he’s getting paid a ton. I hope Chris Harrison donated his salary, too.
Are these trained dogs? They growl and make kids in the audience cry and generally don’t listen to anyone on stage. The entire dog show somehow manages to be quick and boring and dangerous, all at once.
At the evening portion of the date, Arie disrupts the natural order of things by stealing Chelsea!
Chelsea, always on message, talks about how hard it was to be in a playground setting because it reminded her of her child. I’m actually impressed that she's able to bring it back around to her thing so skillfully. When she’s drinking a cocktail does she say it’s hard to look at a bottle of vodka because it reminds her of bottle feeding her baby and oh yeah she’s a mom, did you know that?
The rest of the girls either talk to Arie, or fret about not talking to Arie. Annaliese finally gets in front of him, and it is awkward and painful to watch. She really turns into a bundle of nerves, and this actually lends credence to my theory that Arie is STUNNING in real life. Because otherwise none of these reactions make sense, and we’re living in a David Lynch-type universe where what people say and what people mean are diametrically opposed.
Also, here’s my weekly advice to lay off the self tanner, Arie.
The rest of the date is kissing and close talking. I google “how long do inner lips tattoos last,” and then “do lip tattoos hurt.” Again, no decisive consensus.
Arie interrupts my research by returning to hand Chelsea the rose. While leaving, Annaliese tells Arie that this date was “super fun,” after spending nearly the entire date in a state of pre-panic attack.
The next day! It’s the cocktail party! Again, nerves are running quite high.
I’m suddenly hit with a revelation that knocks me cold. I cannot believe I’m about to reveal this intensely personal secret, but I have just realized that I miss Nick Viall! I would rather spend time, and a FULL SEASON with him, than with this bowl of human oatmeal. I’d even rather have another Nick season than this trash! Who am I!? What am I saying!?
Don't even get me started on Corinne.
In order to stand out, Bibibana sets up a little romantic scene - a big outdoor bed, some blankets, and a telescope. She can’t wait to use it with Arie and have absolutely no one else use it except for just the two of them!
You know what’s coming next.
Right on cue, Lauren B and Arie stumble upon the romantic scene and, sort of fairly, assume it was left by the producers. Things get worse when Bibiana notices what’s happening, tries to interrupt the date, and then Arie asks for 5 more minutes.
I look at the clock. This episode has been on for an hour and a half, yet SO LITTLE has happened.
Later, Bekah tells Arie that she’s dangerous, because he knows that she doesn’t need him, and he typically goes after girls that really need him. Arie is all “whoa, you blew my mind.” I concur on the WHOA. This is like some straight up female pickup artiststry. It’s not my preferred tactic in romance, but I’m curious if anyone on this show (that’s not a dude) has ever tried it before.
“Maybe that’s why you like moms too.” She digs in. Wow. Bekah might be the most accomplished flirter I’ve ever seen on this show!
Elsewhere on the date, the other girls quiz Lauren B on her kiss, and are like “awwww, so cute” when she tells them how Arie kissed her in between times he was kissing other women. WHAT A WEIRD SHOW.
Annaliese realizes she needs to kiss Arie and fast, and she’s not fucking around. Also the producers CLEARLY told her to go put on lipstick. Look how she remembers to move to camera halfway through:
We are then treated to an incredibly painful scene where Annaliese asks Arie to kiss her, and he declines (after kissing just about every other woman in this cast).
Apparently it’s Annaliese and not the concept of kissing that Arie doesn’t like, because soon enough he’s kissing the taxidermy girl (whose name I promise to learn if she makes it to next week).
Later, one of the blondes joins Arie outside. The following exchange occurs:
Blonde: “I hope it’s warm enough out here.”
Arie: “I’ll bring the heat.”
America: “You chose THIS over Peter!?!?”
There’s also some further shocking straddling.
Because she’s a glutton for punishment, Annaliese returns to ask Arie if he even likes her. He does not, of course, and she's unceremoniously shown the door. Annaliese is scared she'll be alone forever. As a beautiful young woman, I think she's right to worry.
The rest of the girls find out about Annaliese, and it really ramps up the tension. "I don't know whats in his head." Bibiana says.
We return to the rose ceremony. After dumping Lauren and Annaliese, Arie has to send just one woman home! The roses are doled out thus:
Caroline / Kendall / Ashley / Lauren B / Brittany / Bekkah K / Seinne / Krystal / Tia / Maquel / Jenna / Jaqueline
One rose remains! It's between Marikh and Bibiana. It goes to.........Marikh.
Bibiana looks beautiful, but she has totally and irrevocably lost her chance at love.
Don't worry, Bibiana. You will do great in Paradise. I forsee it. You and Alexis will either be best friends....or each other's murderer.
The outro of this ep is Annaliese detailing her extensive and various traumas. It sounds like she has lived the life of a young Jason Bourne, only her obstacles are humdrum everyday occurences, like trips to a fair and living next to a neighbor's dog.
See you next week!