We are more than ½ way through this season, and I’m forever on my soapbox recapping America’s favorite soap opera.
Date Card: Tomber amoureux a Paris.
Featuring: Lauren B
Lauren B has been presented as reserved and boring this season; nonetheless, Arie has kept her around. When I see Lauren anxious giggle as she steps away with Arie for their Parisian 1:1, it suddenly becomes so real: A 1:1 date is the ultimate job interview from hell. At the end of your interview you are told whether or not you got the job. It’s your one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, but you gotta play it cool because you’re being filmed. And you MUST be open and vulnerable but you don’t even know the person you’re with well enough to know if you even want to be open and vulnerable with them, but regardless you have to show you’re super interested because this is a game and you must win. And validation is important, and what are you wearing? PASS.
Arie reveals to Lauren B on their Seine river cruise that he was “saving this date for her.” Please. Are you even involved in the planning? If Lauren’s a pawn, then you’re a pawn. Arie “the planner” tells the producers that he is super attracted to Lauren B, and that even though he doesn’t really know anything about her, he likes her. It’s a feeling, guys.
What pissed me off the most was Lauren’s “silent” edit as she and Arie strolled through the most touristy city in Europe attempting to casually dodge mobs of people and feign interest local artisans’ booths of wares. Lauren B received the polar opposite edit of the non-stop, no filter filibuster edit my girl, Lauren S, got on her winery date in Episode 3. I do kind of hate myself for not being able to discern any sort of pizzazz from Lauren B. I want to be able to see through these calculated edits and her self-doubt to reveal something even somewhat fiery, but I can’t.
During “dinner” Lauren straight up tells Arie that she feels like there’s a ton of pressure on her. Yes, honey, thank you for bringing this up. She also shares that her go-to move in relationships is friend-zoning her partner for 6 months minimum. You’re doing amazing, sweetie. She attributes her closed off behavior to watching her parents navigate a rocky marriage for 30 years. Arie then drops the ultimate vulnerability bomb and shares that during his last serious relationship his gf was both bitter as fuck about his frequent travel schedule for work and PREGNANT WITH HIS CHILD. While Arie was away on race car business his ex lost the baby and she called to let Arie to let him know:
- She had a miscarriage
- She won’t be home when he returns.
How. Do. You. Even. Bounce. Back. From. Something. Like. This?!? Lauren follows up with her own truth: she was engaged to her ex. Post proposal their relationship went to shit and alas, Arie and Lauren now find themselves sitting at a table of untouched food, surrounded by candles, and flailing through pain, anxiety, and desperation to figure out their entire future based on one single filmed romantic interaction.
Arie grants Lauren the rose because that je ne sais quoi will getcha every time. If anything, I hope that this experience is Lauren’s glow up transformation to being a bad bitch with swagger for days.
Date Card: Let’s get all dressed up.
Featuring: Becca K, Seinne, Bekah M, Tia, Chelsea, Jenna
Bienvenue au Moulin Rouge, bitches. The ladies hop on stage and learn some choreography from the professionals. Seinne brings her dance background and delivers impeccable form. Bekah M is eager to nail it. Jenna is struttin silly. Becca K is a quick learner who doesn’t take herself too seriously. Tia identifies as “not very sexy” and has zero dance game.
After the dance lesson, it’s time for the mesdames to squeeze into their glittery, feathery, cheeky bikinis and strut down the stage for Arie while we get the sensored version complete with black boxes over the ladies’ asses.
Chelsea is stressed and caught up in comparing her relationship with Arie to Bekah M’s relationship with Arie. How can a 29-year-old single mom compete with a carefree 22-year-old Californian? She can’t.
Bekah M opens up to Arie about her newfound jealousy as begins to realize that she’s not the only woman in Arie’s life. It comes off as very self-aware and honest, not caddy.
Seinne and Arie still have no chemistry and their conversations seem sterile, but Seinne is nothing if not stunning, professional, and suited for more sophisticated adventures than The Bachelor.
When Arie calls Bekah M’s name out as the group rose recipient, Bekah fights back tears of joy. She and Arie get to perform in an actual Moulin Rogue show! The rest of the gang is forced to sit in the theater and bear witness to Arie poorly lip-syncing a French song while Bekah M dons a blonde wig and plays a flirty Betty Boop-like character which of course fulfills Arie’s latent fantasy of Bekah being blonde like his mom.
Date Card: We’ll always have Paris.
Featuring: Kendall and Krystal
This cringe-worthy “three-way”, as Krystal calls it, involves Arie walking Kendall and Krystal around a chateaux in the French countryside, one woman holding his hand the other wrapped in his opposite arm. It gets worse. Arie sets Krystal and Kendall loose in an actual hedge labyrinth pretty much identical to the one outside The Overlook hotel in The Shining. Unfortunately Krystal finds her way to Arie first and maniacally squeals “victory” into Arie’s ear before they exchange a quick kiss in the bushes while Kendall struggles to master the maze.
After toasting champagne coupes, Arie pulls Krystal aside to stroke her hair and explain how her dramatic behavior last week was deeply problematic. Krystal sees the glass half full and counter argues that last week was a learning opportunity. Krystal gets on her bullshit one last time and closes out her time with Arie by shit-talking Kendall and claiming she’s not emotionally ready for marriage.
Arie then switches Krystal out for Kendall, and was clearly forced to bring up Krystal’s comments about Kendall to Kendall in front of the cameras. Kendall patiently listens and then delivers a killer elevator pitch on her preparedness for marriage. Kendall is not done. She point blank calls Krystal out for making snap judgments about her with no factual basis. She takes it a step further and tells Krystal that she recognizes her defense mechanism is bringing others down when she’s feeling like she’s falling behind. Kendall still expresses empathy for all the pain Krystal has gone through in her life and encourages her to not suppress the pain and just own it. Krystal has no comment.
Rather than cut someone loose at the Chateaux, Arie invites both women to “dinner” to buy him some more time to make his big decision. When dinnertime rolls around Krystal has no idea she’s about to be done. She is in so much shock when Arie gives the rose to Kendall that she just thoughtfully nods while Arie praises Kendall and expresses hope for the future. Kendall is rewarded with a ride up to the top of the Eiffel Tower where she and Arie suck face above the city of lights. Au revoir, Krystal!
Moments after Arie swings by to fetch Jacqueline from the boat hotel the coven is camping on this week, his little red convertible breaks down. This hiccup becomes a moment for them to experience what life would be like in the real world as they navigate the unexpected! After making some shopping they find their way to an empty restaurant where Arie admits that at first he was intimidated by Jacqueline’s intelligence. His own insecurities left him struggling to imagine their shared future and how could he possibly hold the interest of someone so smart.
Jacqueline is in a six year psychology PhD program, and ultimately this is not ideal for our Bachelor. Arie tells Jacqueline he’s aware that a serious relationship might mean he moves out of Scottsdale, but he also expresses concern that if he and Jacqueline did end up together at the end of this their lives might not be compatible.
Translation: he’s not leaving Scottsdale.
He doesn’t want to hold someone back, but it sounds like he doesn’t want to be held back either. Cars literally move through space, so it sounds like the office is pretty mobile, Arie. This is all super peculiar after hearing the story he shared with Lauren B about his ex feeling frustrated with Arie being on the road so much with work. It sounds like it’s Arie’s way or the highway. This is a red flag.
Even though Arie is totally unwilling to relocate to wherever Jacqlueine is getting her PhD, and even though she’s not giving up on her education dreams and moving to Scottsdale, he still gives her a rose because he feels so deeply for her. I hope this is experience is actually Jacqueline’s undercover dissertation research…
The Rose Ceremony finally rolls around and momma Chelsea and goofy Jenna get the boot. After the tearful goodbyes there’s some juicy footage of Lauren B speaking to a producer but being filmed at profile from a distance. Lauren reveals that she is slowly starting to unravel, and how it nearly broke her to see Jacqueline all lit up from her 1:1 knowing that she also had a meaningful date with the same man. Was this deceptive filming? It felt exactly like an episode of Unreal when a contestant is being filmed and recorded without realizing it. This is not going to end well.
See you in Tuscany,