Sunday, January 31, 2016

"One Hour to Get Ready", The Bachelor S20 E4 Recap

 Week 4 of The Bachelor starts off with the ladies lounging at the mansion. The energy in the house has shifted. Lauren H. makes the astute observation that there's less women than before. Olivia has her poker face on and claims to remain confident despite last week's mishaps.

 Chris Harrison enters from stage right and informs the women that Ben is no longer in Los Angeles. Dun, Dun, Dun! Every season, the writers always seem to use this line. Where would the women honestly think that Ben went? Back home to Indiana to find love with one of his former school teachers that he said in episode 1 he consistently makes a point to visit? He hasn't run away just yet. It's simply the time in the season when the remaining cast members have earned their plane ticket to a domestically located fantasy date. They aren't committed enough to send the women overseas just yet, but there is enough money in the budget for the reality show equivalent of a weekend getaway.

 Harrison tells the group they have one hour to pack their bags (take a drink for how many times the ladies are told they have an hour for anything, trust me). The locale? "The marriage capital of the world, Las Vegas!" 

 The twins, Haley and Emily, are excited to be heading back to their hometown. They claim they were born and raised in Vegas but I'm still detecting a southern accent. The sisters say they would love to have a date with Ben to show him around their favorite stomping grounds. The other ladies are hopeful as well. "I would just die!" says JoJo. Well, that wouldn't be much fun, would it? Olivia says that she wants Ben to give her this specific 1-on-1 date more than anything. "I want to see Celine!" O-Face being a Celine Dion fan explains so much. Rest in Peace, RenĂ©.

 Cut to the Vegas strip. Ben is cruising the scene in you guessed it, the black Mustang. I wonder which lucky production assistant had the responsibility of transporting the bachelor's favorite set of wheels to the desert. I really do need to get a job on this show. Ben is talking about how Vegas will be a fun time and provide a good opportunity to get to know the women better. "It's a place where people really do fall in love." I once met a handsome guy from Dublin in the lobby of the MGM Grand but that's about as far as my history with Sin City romance goes. 

 When the ladies arrive to Las Vegas, they are greeted with a digital welcome from Ben via the Aria Hotel. JoJo thinks it's the sweetest gesture anyone has ever done. "When I saw that sign, it was so romantic! Every single one of us kinda fell in love in that moment!" When in Las Vegas, do as the Sister Wives do...

 At the swanky hotel suite, the 1-on-1 date card arrives. Caila reads the message to the women, "JoJo, you set my heart on fire!" Olivia is disappointed but still remains overly confident. "He's my piece. I'm zen with Ben." 

 Cut to a commercial break and O-Face is starting to lose her composure. As Ben enters the suite to pick JoJo up for their date, he welcomes the women to Las Vegas. Olivia gives him a death stare. A previous interview with a producer plays, "I want to spend every waking moment with Ben! I don't see how anyone else can have what we have." 

 As Ben and JoJo depart for their date, the other women watch their every move from the hotel window. As BJ await their transportation, they enjoy a few sips of bubbly. Their impromptu cocktail party is a bit spoiled when the HELICOPTER (not so special now, are we, Jubilee?) they're awaiting knocks over their table. JoJo fears that her hair is messed up but Ben assures he that she's still looking good as they go in for a kiss. The other women are discouraged as they step away from their peeping Tom spots at the window.

 O-Face is distraught. Her confidence from earlier seems to have been poorly edited evaporated. She's worried that JoJo is stiff competition and that Ben will fall for her while she is stuck at the hotel with the other women.

 JoJo is enjoying her helicopter ride over Vegas with the bachelor. She feels that their relationship is ideal. "We have undeniable chemistry!" 

 Back at the hotel, Lauren H. reads off in her best Kindergarten teacher voice, the names of those who will be going on the  field trip group date. Amanda, Jubilee, Caila, Lauren B., Amber, Haley, Emily, Leah, Lauren H., Jennifer, Rachel and Olivia.

 This means that Becca will be going on the next 1-on-1 with Ben. Dumbfounded, Becca hugs Lauren H. and questions whether or not her name really was left out of the card.

 Back on the other solo date of the week, JoJo and Ben are sharing a private dinner. JoJo reveals that she's trying to be open-hearted with everything but it's difficult because of past relationship failures. She admits that a former ex-boyfriend had cheated on her. The relationship ended only 5 months ago but she has no hesitation and is ready to find love once again. Predictably, Ben awards JoJo with the date rose but not before we find out what the pun was from the date card. Fire... something about fire. Ah, yes. Fireworks. BJ continue their trend of rooftop parties as they overlook Las Vegas and take in the pyrotechnics.

 One of the twins, Emily, says that she's never done this in her hometown and manages to use her favorite word. "It would be so EXTRAVAGANT to watch fireworks from a rooftop!" If Las Vegas is the wedding capital of the world, then my hometown, Pittsburgh, is the fireworks capital of the world. We blow those things off for everything. I wonder why Las Vegas doesn't have more or maybe Emily just doesn't get out enough?

 Olivia is starting to crack. "I want Ben to be my husband. I feel like I'm being cheated on." 

 The group date is about to begin. "Show me what you got." Modest Midwestern Lauren H., fears that they will be performing a showgirls type act. "Nipple tassels would not be good." Actually, this would have made for a fantastic albeit predictable date. I guess Ben and the producers decided to keep things PG.

Side Note: My best friend and I started doing this gesture a year or two before The Hangover was released. Pretty sure they stole it from us! 
 The group enters an auditorium and are greeted by none other than Terry Fator! I've never heard of him either. He's a ventriloquist. The producers promise Caila more alone time with Ben if she tells the camera she grew up watching Fator on television. On second thought, it wouldn't surprise me if that were actually true. Caila's level of bubbliness had to seep in at an early age from somewhere obscure. You don't grow up in the Cleveland area and remain that happy as an adult.

 The ventriloquist tells the ladies that they must decide on a talent to perform as they will be his opening act for a crowd of 1,200 people. They have one hour to get ready (take a drink). 

 Olivia says that she knew this moment was coming. "I did shave this morning." Is that a rare occurrence for O? You're not single anymore, girl. Well, sorta. Get it together. Olivia must have had it set in her mind that this was going to be a showgirls-themed group date. She decides to stick with her original game plan. Her talent will be inspired by Nomi Malone. 

 Olivia's body is looking hot in her costume. I'm getting a young Michelle Pfeiffer vibe. She's feeling confident about her talent and great about her chances with Ben as well. "When I'm with him... BAM SHA-BAM!" Yes, she really said something along those lines. As she awaits her time to go on stage, she blows kisses to her adoring Bachelor Nation.

 The twins perform a synchronized Irish jig, Jubilee plays the cello, Lauren B. juggles, Amanda hula hoops, Caila hula dances, Rachel blows up some balloon animals, Leah does a clown act, and Lauren H. dresses up as a chicken and recites her own Bachelor-esque rendition of "Old MacDonald" (she really needs to get back to that Kindergarten classroom).

 Olivia jumps out of a birthday cake and awkwardly dances around the stage. A shoe is lost. A shimmy is had. It's pretty tame. As mentioned in previous recaps, this group seems to take themselves a bit too seriously especially when there is competition in the room. Leah says that she would not have been attracted to O's special dance if she were a man. Ben, who actually is the man in the group, didn't seem too impressed either. I don't care how bad O's moves were. She looked hot and it was all done in good fun. Nothing extremely provocative was performed. But Ben is a card carrying Christian and the "overt sexuality" appeared to be just too much for him. What if his pastor watches? The other ladies say it was cringeworthy. You're in Las Vegas! Live a little. What's with these people? 

 After the performances conclude, the women are backstage and congratulating themselves for being so bold and courageous with their talents. The only one to actually step outside of her comfort zone is in the Boyz II Men dressing room having a panic attack. It's Olivia. She's in tears and embarrassed. She's worried that she didn't come off as marriage material during her onstage strip tease without the stripping routine. It might be easy to make light of someone in this situation but if you've ever experienced a panic attack or a talent competition gone wrong, it's not fun. I've been in both situations so I feel for O-Face. Rachel coaches Olivia to breath through her nerves. 

 The women change into cocktail attire and meet the bachelor at a random hotel because that's all these group dates ever seem to consist of. Caila and Ben share some alone time. "I'm just going to go in for it," says Caila as she pounces on Ben. Lady in the street but a freak in the bed? Ben is into it and likes her "quiet confidence." There's something about Caila that I'm beginning not to trust. I'm not sure I'm buying her sweet girl routine. There just seems to be something not authentic about her. Maybe it's the fact that she left her boyfriend for someone she saw on television... Nah, it's probably the Cleveland thing. 

 Ben and Lauren H. spend some time alone with the ventriloquist's dummy, Maynard. It's a weird interaction as Lauren H. actually kisses the puppet and then goes in for an awkward make-out with Ben. If Lauren H. and some of the other women were a muppet/puppet/dummy, they might behave something like this. 

 When Ben returns from his three-way tryst with Lauren H. and Maynard the puppet dummy, Olivia goes in for sloppy seconds fourths. She tells Ben that she needs to start drinking heavily (now does that sound like wife material, Olivia?). What happened to sipping on water? She apologizes for her behavior at the talent show but Ben says that it "wasn't bad at all." Hmm... The energy between the two has noticeably shifted. I think it has more to do with the cankles thing from last week. Before a real conversation can get going, one of the twins interrupts and steals Ben away. Olivia is petrified that tonight might be her last night on reality television with Ben.

  When Lauren B. has her time alone with Ben, the producers subliminally attempt to get us to root for them. Romantic music is played and the editing reveals a meaningful exchange. Lauren tells Ben that she missed him. She mentions the idea of their first date being her last first date ever. She's excited but "terrified." Ben, once again, tries to find a way to reassure Lauren what he's feeling for her is the strongest real. For those not privy to Bachelor rules, Ben is technically not allowed to directly reveal his feelings to any of the women. He does the best job he can at straddling the line of what's allowed. 

 Olivia is not satisfied with her time with the bachelor. "That's the first time we've talked and not kissed." She says that she "400 percent" needs to speak with him again. She breaks up Ben and Jennifer's brief time spent alone. Ben doesn't seem thrilled. O-Face snaps and awkwardly prances around him. "I want to start over. Can we start over?" Ben is adamant that he doesn't want to hear any apologies. He's almost firm with her. He seems less and less interested as the conversation continues but still gives Olivia a reassuring kiss. I'm confused. Is Ben really that much of a gentleman or what exactly is going on in his head? 

  Lauren B. is the recipient of the date rose. It should be quite clear who the front-runner is. Let's see if my pick from week 1 will hold her lead.

 The following day, a large package arrives to the hotel suite where the ladies are staying. It's  accompanied with a note addressed to Becca. Something about a "big day." The producers have really hit their zenith with this one. They have set up the virgin with a date in a white wedding dress. There's just so much wrong with everything about this. First of all, it's incredibly bad luck! But most of the other women say how jealous they are. Jubilee, the only voice of reason, says what those of us with a working brain are thinking. "She's the perfect person to wear white. If she hasn't lost it in 26 years, I doubt it's going to happen in 6 hours. Just saying." 

 An Elvis impersonator arrives in a pink classic convertible (take a drink) to pick Becca up for her date with Ben. They arrive at a little white wedding chapel. Becca's face is lit up with awe and wonder. Could today be the day? The lights are on but there is truly no one home. Ben gets down on one knee and asks Becca if she will... help him marry other people. This is so majorly fucked up. Even in jest, I'm way too superstitious for something like this. If Ben and Becca don't end up together, she just might be a virgin forever. 

 As Ben and Becca help to officiate the weddings of complete strangers that the producers pulled from a nearby casino couples in love, they contemplate their own futures together. I have an inkling that Ben is not the type to spend his post-Bachelor career making club appearances. He's too proper for those shenanigans. Ben is going to travel the country marrying couples. The Bachelor Officiant- yours for just $5,000! Someone is plugging his future career as a televangelist. Ben and Becca's Bachelor megachurch. Donations welcome. I can see it now. 

 As night falls, Ben takes Becca to an outdoor neon sign museum. Finally, something original. I actually commend whomever pitched this date idea. The two discuss how Becca is feeling as opposed to the last time she was on the show during farmer Chris's season. Becca says that she's much more open because the outcome is worth it. Let's remember that last season's winner would have had the grand prize of living in the middle of nowhere in Iowa. Ben says that's he happy Becca is allowing her emotions to develop. "It's good to feel. I want you to feel. Just please feel. I just need you to know if you're ready to feel." Is Ben asking Becca to open up... or is he asking the virgin for a hand job? 

 The next topic of conversation proves that Ben's mind has definitely drifted to consummating that faux marriage. The topic of Becca's virginity is brought to the table. "It's a personal choice,"  based on her faith. It doesn't bother her that Ben no longer holds his v-card. "It's a non-issue." At 26, she doesn't have much of a choice. Ben pries for further information. Isn't it difficult when you're in a relationship and all you want to do is "jump their bones?" Becca admits that it isn't easy but she's made a promise to her Lord and Savior and she's sticking to it. Ben admires Becca's commitment to making a commitment. Becca is nearly moved to tears. "I really like you," she tells Ben as they share a kiss under the glow of a former motel sign. 

 Before the date concludes, Ben surprises Becca with a set of vows he has written for her. He promises Becca a few generic things. He vows to make sure that she gets the coolest dates possible. After that terrible officiating gig, strike 1. Becca reciprocates and vows to always express her feelings when she's feeling it. 

 The next morning, Becca is gushing about her perfect date with Prince Charming. Chris Harrison interrupts the conversation with breaking news. Ben has asked for one more date while the group is in Las Vegas. He wants to take the twins on a 2-on-1 in their hometown. The twins claim to have just awoken from a nap. Who takes a nap in the morning? Nonetheless, they of course, have 1 hour to get ready.

 Ben tells the producers that dating twins has been "difficult." Beautiful sisters might be a fantasy for some men but I think it's a bit creepy. You can't even tell the two apart. Their looks and personality are identical. How will Ben choose who he will keep around for another week or two? With the help of their mother, that's how!

 As the twins head out with Ben in a limo (no convertible available for the last minute date?), they're surprised that they are heading in the direction of their house. It's a lot cheaper for the show to simply leave one of the twins at home rather than having to fly her home next week. Smooth move. Ben and the girls are greeted by a menagerie of dachshunds. Haley takes Ben into her bedroom that is filled with Victoria' Secret Pink gear and pictures of ex-boyfriends. The other twin, Emily, tells her Mom that her relationship with Ben is stuck and not progressing. I still can't tell the two apart and I doubt Ben can either. In the end, Ben decides to let Haley stay at home with her Mom and dogs. "Support" is all around her, Ben says. Um...

 Haley (I think) says that she knew this day would come but didn't expect it to be today. Really? It seemed pretty clear to me. In fact, the entire Vegas vacation was probably budgeted solely for your departure.

 Emily leaves with Ben in the limo. She snuggles close and gives him a kiss. So much for your relationship being less advanced than your sister's. It seems forced on Ben's end of the equation. I'm not feeling this at all.

 As the cocktail party gets underway, Ben makes a toast to a great night and week spent in Vegas. Let's see, they didn't go to any casinos, major shows, pools, upscale restaurants or night clubs- not even a pawn shop. Were they even in Las Vegas?

 Jennifer beats Olivia to the punch and is the first to steal Ben away for some alone time. The other ladies are proud of her efforts. O-Face doesn't have the patience for any of this. After what the women describe as "literally 3 minutes", O goes in for the kill.

 Emily (now without her twin sister) says that Olivia's behavior is "rude and disrespectful" and that she can't stand her.

 If I were Jennifer, I would tell Olivia to take a hike along the Vegas strip and come back in no fewer than 15 minutes. Everyone is aggressive with interrupting but no one seems to have the sense to tell the intruder to get the hell away.

 Olivia says that she's not concerned with anyone else's relationship with Ben and that her's needs to progress. O takes Ben to a private hotel room per their tradition. This is smart. Go somewhere that no one else can interrupt you. She tells Ben that she wasn't very good at jumping out of a cake but says that her talent is actually eating cock cake. She surprises him with a piece of ass dessert.  Nice recovery.

 Olivia says that she wasn't herself this week and continues to apologize for everything. Ben reiterates that there is no need to say sorry and that he finds her awkwardness endearing. Olivia opens up, "I'm completely falling for you. It's the coolest feeling in the entire world. I have no fear to say that I'm falling for you. Olivia is here for you. I'm not going anywhere." 

 I have an aunt who is a narcissist. She refers to herself in third person, as well. 

 Olivia says that she knows Ben can't express his true feelings for her but she heard his nonverbal message loud and clear. 

 When Olivia joins the other ladies, JoJo pulls one of her standard manipulative moves and asks O to join her on the couch for some girl talk. She asks about their alone time. "What do you mean you're falling for him? I can't believe you told him that!" O says that it's the truth. JoJo describes her own relationship with the bachelor. "My relationship has been passionate right off the bat. We haven't had a lot of time to talk." Girl, you had a 1-on-1 date. Olivia still hasn't. JoJo continues her manipulation, "I would never say I love you unless I felt it was reciprocated." O is beating JoJo at her own game. "I mean, it was was reciprocated," she says with an evil grin. Soap opera-esque close-up reaction shots are shown. JoJo purses her lips and is visibly stirred. 

 During the remainder of the cocktail party, Ben shares time with Caila; the two continue to be all over each other. Amanda and Ben seem to struggle with their conversation; not much seems to be there. Jubilee continues to harp on her complexity. Nothing major is happening between anyone and Chris Harrison steps in. It's time for Ben to deliberate who will be getting roses this week.

 The rose ceremony is taking place on a plexiglass pool cover. Ben delivers his speech- something about feelings and how his wife could be standing among him. All I can think about is that plexiglass giving way. The producers should have taken a note from the movie Whatever It Takes.

 Roses are granted to the following women who don't already have one: Amanda, Lauren H., Jubilee, Emily, Caila, Jennifer, Leah and lastly, Olivia.

 For the second week in a row, Olivia is the last woman to be called. Olivia says that she reads a lot of romance novels (of course she does) and that she knows how these things work. "It all comes together in the end. It's all about saving the best for last." 

 The women who are sent home: Amber! Called that last week... and Rachel. This season's mirage says goodbye at the Mirage Hotel. Very poetic. 

 As Amber exits the ceremony, in dramatic fashion (as is her way), she copies a move from a previous season's reject and removes her high heels. She's emotionally spent and referring to herself and the situation as "so stupid." Take it from here, Ice Cube.

 Next week, the remaining bachelorettes escape to Mexico but all is not simpatico. Olivia continues to be the gift that keeps on giving with a Teen Mom remark towards Amanda in this sneak peek: 

Monday, January 25, 2016

"That's So Fetch!", The Bachelor S20 E3 Recap

 Ironically enough, week 3 of The Bachelor begins with two of the women privately discussing something that I mentioned in last week's recap, the cost of styling yourself for a season on the show. Amanda and Lauren B. are captured by a hidden camera talking about Olivia's alleged $40-thousand dollar-wardrobe that she spent for her reality television debut. Olivia comes to The Bachelor from the world of broadcast journalism. I once worked in local news. I can assure you that a small market news anchor, right out of college, is barely earning enough money to stay above the poverty line. Olivia being able to afford 40-grand worth of bedazzled cocktail dresses and neon-colored athletic wear is out of the scope of likelihood. Either Olivia comes from money, is in major credit card debt or has a side gig on the street corner. This conversation only serves to perpetuate my curiosity toward whether or not there really is a full-time stylist on The Bachelor set. There just has to be. And if there is, Olivia must feel pretty stupid for spending her sugar Daddy's own money on clothes.

 Lauren B.- can we now refer to her as simply Lauren since the other Lauren B., "LB", bowed out last week? Yes, we shall. Lauren admits to Amanda that Olivia is the only girl in the house that she hasn't been able to connect with on any level. Amanda says that she sees straight through her and that there is a mean girl within Olivia. 

 This week's solo date card arrives. Flight attendant Lauren is the recipient of the card that reads, "The sky's the limit!" Take a drink for our first pun of the episode. Ben says that Lauren is beautiful but still a mystery to him. 

 The black Mustang is back. Apparently, it wasn't just a one-day rental. Poor Caila, who felt special riding in a convertible with Ben last week, must now watch another girl do the exact same thing- except this time around, the other girl doesn't have the black guys crashing her date. Ben asks Lauren to guess what she thinks their date will entail. "Don't make me bungee jump!" she says. Someone has watched this show before and I like the way she thinks. But alas, Ben takes the flight attendant to a place that she has never been before- the airport. The two will be flying the friendly skies in a biplane. Ben enthusiastically invites Lauren on board, "Join me on my magical carpet ride!" Let's hope it turns out better than this one: 

 The biplane ride turns out to be a fantastic adventure for the couple. Lauren tells Ben that he makes her feel like a little kid again as they admire the Pacific Ocean and do a flyover the mansion. Olivia is poolside and struggling with the idea of her future husband falling in love with someone else literally above her head. It's a good thing that Olivia knows that Ben is on board the plane because if she thought it was just Lauren on one of her Southwest flights, the outcome may have been entirely different. Hide your laser pointers!

 The small plane lands in a secluded field in the middle of nowhere. The two will be spending the day hiking the beautiful rolling hills in a hot tub. I'm not sure if The Bachelor is sponsored by Jacuzzi this season but they sure are hitting their quotas for hot tub scenes. Ben tells Lauren that there is a tree way down yonder and to suit up. Inside the hot tub, Lauren shares with Ben that their plane ride has inspired her to get her pilot's license. 

 Back at the mansion, JoJo and Caila are having a heart-to-heart. Caila is in tears and fears that she is going to fall in love with Ben but only to watch him fall for someone else. Kind of like the way her ex-boyfriend watched her fall in love with Ben when she saw him on television. Karma? "It's hard to have an open heart when you could see it being broken." Tell that to Jane Seymour. Maybe Jane could hook Caila up with one of those butt-shaped necklaces she hawks for Kay Jewelers. 

 During the dinner portion of Ben and Lauren's date, things go very well. Ben is very taken by Lauren. He can't understand how a catch like her is still single. 26? STILL single? I need a drink. Lauren tells Ben that the only reason she's single is because she's very picky. She doesn't have any sort of sob story. Her childhood was perfect and her Dad set a wonderful example. She has high standards and refuses to settle. I can relate. It's what I like to refer to as the reverse stripper tale. When you have a proper upbringing, sometimes it can screw you over just as badly as being raised in a negative environment. 

 At the mansion, the ladies receive their group date card. "Love is the goal!"  The names of the women who will be going: Amanda, Haley, Jennifer, Shushana, Leah, Amber, Lauren H., Olivia, Jami, Rachel, Lace and Emily. 

 Back on the solo date, Ben is opening up to Lauren. He shares with her about his father's heart condition. This is yet another strong indicator that our bachelor is seeing something special in Lauren. Ben also mentions a pastor. I'm pretty sure Ben is more religious than the producers of the show are letting on. It's Sean Lowe 2.0. Lauren has a bit of a Freudian slip and reveals that she wants to meet Ben's family. She immediately realizes what came out of her mouth and how premature it sounded. It's a cute moment. I remember I once said something similar when I was starting to have feelings for a guy. Sometimes when we really like someone, our hearts are ahead of our minds. Words reach our our mouths without a filter. Ben doesn't seem bothered. These two genuinely seem to like each other.

 Ben has one more surprise for Lauren- a private concert with country act Lucy Angel. It's a good thing Caila isn't around to see that yet another part of her special date has been recreated for another woman. I wonder if the show needs a new batch of producers to help plan out the dates. I am available. These one-on-one dates are all too similar. Lauren must not be up-to-speed on Ben and Caila's date because she sees nothing wrong with him pulling the same thing for her. "100 percent. I think I could fall in love with Ben." Ben is feeling hopeful as well. "Tonight feels like how I'd want the first date to be with my wife." 

 The day of the group date arrives. The women will be playing soccer. Again, the producers really need to come up with some fresh ideas. This has been done before.

 Olivia admits that soccer is the one sport that she knows nothing about. Most of America agrees. Soccer is the only thing I have ever quit in my life. I was in Kindergarten and bored out of my mind. I imagine this date will be a similar torture to sit through. 

 Back at the mansion, JoJo and Jubilee are talking about their solo date prospects as neither name has been called this week. Jubliee fears that Ben has a type, "The everything's always good" girl or "the I'm always happy" girl. Jubilee says this isn't her. She's right. The show continuously casts a specific type of girl- appearance, personality... rarely do they break the mold. It's refreshing to see Jubilee stand out as her own individual. Either editing is playing a big part or JoJo offers no supportive insight. JoJo simply nods her head.

 Back on the group date, the women are divided into two teams- the Stars (with the much cuter uniforms) and the Stripes (think Where's Waldo?). Chris Harrison tells the ladies that the winning team will get to spend the evening with Ben but the losers will have to go back to the mansion.

 The twins are placed on separate teams. I still can't tell the two apart. Rachel, who has been this season's mirage, is actually getting some camera time during this portion of the episode. Her teammate, Emily, is giving it her all on the soccer field. As the Stars' team goalie, she dives and makes a big save that prevents the other side from taking a more commanding lead. "Balls flying in your face is never fun." This remark takes me back to my favorite movie, Clueless. I was young and impressionable when I first saw the film back in 1995. It was several years later that I finally realized a blow job isn't when a guy slaps his junk in your face.

 The soccer match goes into sudden death (another phenomenal cinematic masterpiece) overtime. Rachel gets even more screen time when she suffers a possible season-ending injury. The Stripes take the W. This means that Olivia will be spending the night with Ben alone along with her teammates. The losers head back to the mansion where the other ladies are surprised to see them back so soon. They need a refresher course in how this whole group date thing works. 

 During the second portion of the group date, everyone is at a hotel. Not the Four Seasons but something seemingly nice. Olivia is the first to steal Ben away for one-on-one time. Lace says that she's aggressive. True. But you have to hand it to O-Face for going after what she wants. If I liked a guy as much as O is into our bachelor, I'd probably do the same thing. Olivia says that she's not going to sit on the couch all night and sip her water. Um... someone get this girl a drink. That might explain everything. As Chelsea Handler once said, "There are two kinds of people I don't trust: people who don't drink and people who collect stickers." 

 Olivia and Ben sneak away to an upper part of the hotel that overlooks where the other women are chatting. To get the ladies' attention, Olivia actually omits a wolf-like howling sound. I suppose when O-Face is under the glow of a full moon, that mouth hangs open and magic happens. 

 Ben isn't impressed by Olivia marking her territory. He takes her into a hotel room for some privacy. Olivia tells Ben that the other women are intimidated by her and that she understands if he can't show her his full attention outright, every week. Olivia is convinced that there is no one else in the running. She needs to scale it back a few notches. Through kisses, she tells Ben that she misses him all of the time. 

 As Olivia and Ben make-out, the other women are doing what women, unfortunately, do best- tear each other down. The women are picking Olivia's physical features apart. Amber and Lace discuss the state of Olivia's feet. One of the twins has her own thoughts on this debate. "People were making fun of her toes. Toes shouldn't be a big deal." I knew I liked the twins. Oh, no. Wait. I spoke too soon. She continues on, "But, um. I think her boobs are fake. But it's okay. Like, you can tell that they're fake. And her breath is horrible. I wonder if they kissed because I'm sure he smells what I smell." 

 In a scene that should be observed in all future womens' studies courses across the country, Jami, who usually acts as an extra on the show, is given a speaking role. Jami reports back to Olivia that the other women were bashing her. Olivia wants to know what was said. The conversation:

 Jami: They were picking apart some of your appearances. Stupid, little...
 Olivia: Let me guess, my calves?
 Jami: No
 Olivia: Cankles?
 Jami: No, tiny, stupid...
 Olivia: Tell me
 Jami: Your toes
 Olivia: My toes?
 Jami: Your toes are like not cute...
 Olivia: They talked about my toes? 

 With a smile of relief flashing across her face, even Olivia realizes how ridiculous this entire situation is becoming. She tells a producer her perspective. "Am I aggressive? Yeah. Do I have bad toes? Yeah. I know I do. I hate my toes." 

 Olivia affirms to Jami that perfection is "so lame!"  Does Olivia believe herself? Doubtful.

 Elsewhere, back at the mansion, JoJo, Becca, Jubilee and Caila await the solo date card. JoJo confidently points out to Jubilee how nervous she looks. Everyone is in for a surprise as Lauren reads the card, "Jubilee, love is in the air." Okay. The producers really need to go. Flight attendant Lauren already had an aviation-themed date just the other day. Can't they come up with something else to make these women feel special? Lauren must have been thinking, "I was just in the air and that love was supposed to be mine!" 

 Jubilee is elated much to the other ladies' bitterness. Becca says that she's happy for Jubes but no one is picking up what she's putting down.

 Back on the group date, Amber is moaning and groaning that she hasn't had any time with Ben. This chick should be lucky that she was even allowed back on the show for another season. I'm not seeing what the producers see in this girl. But then again, I rarely agree with those people and their duplicate dates. If you want alone time, then go in there and get it. Don't sit around and wait for him to come to you (I wish I could take my own advice)! When Amber finally gets private time with the bachelor, Ben tells her how happy he is that she gave the show a second chance. It's a forced conversation and totally a bore.

 The date rose is ultimately awarded to Amber because of contractual obligations.... Olivia says that she can't have everything, every week and that she gets it. O continues on to share that she is reading the nonverbal cues that Ben has sent her way. "He pushed off on my leg when he got off the couch." Call me cut from the same crazy cloth as O-Face but I actually noticed the exact same thing. I minored in communication studies. They say that over 90% of communication is non-verbal. I fully agree. 

 The day of Jubilee's one-on-one date arrives. She's nervous and afraid that she might come off as socially awkward. When Ben arrives, she jokes that he's 20 minutes late. None of the other women in the house seem to possess a sense of humor as the quip is lost on this audience. The sound of a a chopper is heard overhead. Ben doesn't seem like the type to actually be late. It seems as though he was waiting to make his entrance in tandem with the helicopter. Blame it on the pilot. The group files out of the mansion to send Jubes and Ben off but not before J makes one more joke. Because of her intense fear of heights, she asks the other ladies if anyone else wants her date. This does not sit well with the other women. As noted before, none speak the language of sarcasm. 

 Jami, who I want to call Beige because she is as bland as her personality, is having a hissy fit. Naturally beautiful but severely washed out and in need of a lipstick or the swipe of eyeshadow (something), she describes Jubilee's behavior as "awko-taco." I wonder if this term is at all related to an "awful waffle?" 

 As Jubilee and Ben get into the chopper, it's important to note how jealous all of the other women are. Some have even vocalized it in their own words. This is the basis for the rest of the DRAMA that enfolds later during the cocktail party/rose ceremony. Caila thinks that Jubilee doesn't appreciate the gift that is a solo date. She actually feels bad for Ben that he has to spend a romantic day with Jubilee (um, he chose her, sweetheart). Caila continues that she would be shocked if Jubilee gets a rose and returns back to the mansion. I guess all is not rainbows and butterflies in her world, after all. Jami says that Jubilee's attitude toward everything is "like offensive." I can't even with these chicks.

 The helicopter lands at a fancy health spa. A spread of gourmet food and delicacies is laid out for the couple. Jubilee says that she's never had caviar before. As she tries it, she spits it out. She hates it. Ben asks what types of food she does like. Jubes tells Ben that she's really into hot dogs and coyly sticks her tongue out. Either Ben is slow on the uptake or has no sense of humor like the other women. The joke flies right over his head like that biplane did to Olivia. "I like hot dogs, too." Face. Palm.

 The two spend the day in the pool. This sounds familiar huh? Small plane & hot tub vs helicopter & pool. These producers suck. As Ben and Jubilee get to know each other, Jubilee admits that she has a hard time with other women liking her (that makes two of us, girl). Ben is genuinely interested in getting to know her more as they joke, swim and share a kiss or two.

 The pool day turns into a predictable evening dinner but the conversation gets deep as Jubilee shares her turbulent past. She talks about how all of her family in Haiti were killed before she was adopted. She mentions survivor's guilt. At this point, Ben offers Jubilee the date rose. It might seem like a pity flower but I see things a bit differently. Ben appreciates Jubilee's complexity and I think he truly likes her. 

 The next morning, Beige Jami takes it upon herself to alert the presses that Jubilee has returned to the mansion. Are these women so delusional in their own jealousy that they can't see that their bachelor is into Jubilee? More than he is into most of them, in fact. The women appear to be in a state of shock. 

 Lauren H. is on the lanai being stroked for comfort by some of the other haters women. "It's insane to me... literally insane!" Midwestern Lauren whines in that grating accent. "Your spouse should be able to get along with other people." How about a spouse that acts like an adult and doesn't sit around gossiping about other women. How about a spouse that is inclusive and doesn't make it impossible for said other person to be friends with them. "Jubilee is pulling back from the group." Really? From what I've observed, it's your clique of I won't type that word Mean Girls that are doing the pushing. "I know that Ben wants to have a wife that will be friends with all the other soccer Moms- to set up play dates with their kids. I just don't see it long term." 

 I think what Lauren H. is trying to say here is quite evident. "Ben wants a wife that is blonde and white, with no depth or sense of humor like all of the other soccer Moms." Lauren H. is representative of everything that is wrong with women society.

 The cocktail party has come and I, for one, am in need of an adult beverage. Ben shares with the women that two of his family friends back home were tragically killed in a plane crash. Ever one to take charge, Olivia, in her nasally news anchor voice asks to grab him. One of the twins hopes that Olivia will offer her condolences but isn't holding her breath as O-Face is a real "piece of work."

 What happens next is a gift from above. Just when you think that maybe Olivia has some redeeming qualities and is secretly a sweetheart, this is what she chooses to talk about with the grieving Ben: 

  "So, you know, everyone has things on their bodies they wish they could change. And my like waist down, I hate my legs. I hate them. Like, people have written blogs that I have cankles. And (takes a deep breath, holds back tears), I'm trying to be strong all the time, but um, it's the scariest thing ever." 

 Ben, pondering death, is met with deeper thoughts. Who knew? All along, in this thing we call life, cankles are the scariest things ever. I can only hope that Olivia didn't actually lead with this topic of conversation and that she is simply the victim of editing. But I don't know with this one.

 Fortunately, Amanda offers some words of comfort that only a mother person with a warm, beating heart can provide.

 Beige Jami says that she feels stupid for worrying about petty things like toes. People have died. It really makes you think. This reminds me of "The Misery Chick" episode of Daria. "People aren't upset that Tommy Sherman died. People are upset that they're going to die." 

 Jubilee, one of the few human beings in the group, is thinking of a nice way to make Ben feel better. As she enters the mansion kitchen and greets the other women (JoJo included). Becca makes it a point to be a bitch and walk away in search of "some lip gloss or something." Isn't Becca supposed to be a good, sweet, virginal Christian girl? 

 Let's keep in mind that it was precisely JoJo and Becca whom Ben passed over in order to take Jubilee out for the solo date. Jealousy, ladies and gentleman. It's an ugly thing. 

 Jubilee not only has a sense of humor but proves that she knows how to take care of her man. She offers Ben a private massage to alleviate some of his stress. Get it, girl! Ben is highly appreciative of the gesture as massages are his favorite thing. 

 JoJo and Becca are told by producers to scope out the scene. The two are not pleased. "I'm going to lose my mind!" says JoJo. "She's like rubbing his body! Why am I seeing this?" If I'm not mistaken, the girl works as an assistant to a chiropractor. This isn't exactly uncharted territory for Becca.

 As Lace and the other plastics hear about the rub down, tempers begin to flare. "She doesn't need more time! She already has a rose," says Lace. These women just don't get the name of the game. 

 Beige Jami decides to break up the massage just before it has time to reach a happy ending. The awko-taco award is now bestowed back to you, lady. This is probably the worst-timed move I've ever seen on the show. Not exactly something you want to do to a guy in order to win him over. A red rose in exchange for blue balls? Not in this universe. 

 Leah tries to get Jubilee to give her some info on the massage. Jubilee simply says that Ben likes massages, so she had the forethought to provide her services. Leah feigns acceptance, "That's cool. Was it like a quick 1-2-3?" No, Leah. It was not a quickie. It was long and slow. 

 Amber, feeling overly confident from the random rose she got on the group date, decides to get more attention and subsequent screen time. Amber attempts to create drama out of her jealousy over the Jubilee situation. Amber's attempt to engage Jubilee in a gang-up intervention is embarrassingly pathetic. Jubilee is a grown ass woman and wants no parts of her immaturity. "I don't know what you guys are doing but it ain't cute!"

  JoJo follows Jubilee upstairs. Poor Jubilee can't get away from the plastics. "It's me. It's okay." Pretty sure you're one of the last people that is on the o-k cleared list, JoJo. What a bold move to attempt to manipulate someone who is clearly far more intelligent. Jubilee is having none of this. "Leave me the fuck alone!" Exactly.

 The other women who are downstairs are complaining that Ben went to break the situation up which means Jubilee will get more time with him. One of the twins points out that he shouldn't have to be dealing with this drama. Well, then perhaps the women in the house shouldn't have orchestrated it. Amber is mad at the "stupid situation" because she already has a rose and should be happy. Maybe she shouldn't have self-destructed and caused her own misery out of jealousy. It tends to blow up in your face, doesn't it? These women have no idea how idiotic they are coming across to America.

 Amber decides to interrupt Ben's consolation of Jubilee. She thinks that this will make her look like a peacekeeper in front of Ben but our bachelor is wiser than he lets on. It's obvious that the woman in tears (Jubilee) is the victim in the situation. The manipulation ain't happening with Ben. He knows what's up. I wish that he would retract Amber's rose and give it to anyone else. Ben puts Amber in her place by telling her that he likes Jubilee's sense of humor and it's too bad that the other women in the house don't understand her jokes. It's written all over Amber's face that this week will likely be her last. Please let this week be her last.

 Just when Ben thinks the drama is over, Lace pulls him aside. Much to his relief (and Bachelor Nation's dismay), Lace has decided to go home because she didn't want to be dumped on national television. Through tears, she tells Ben that she has a lot of work to do on herself and "like her tattoo says" she has to learn to love herself before she can love anyone else. Yes, she really admitted to having that tattooed on her body. Someone must have read one too many misattributed Marilyn Monroe quotes on Pinterest. 

  In the end, Ben delivers roses to the following women: Lauren H. (Midwestern teacher), Amanda (the Mom), Becca (virginal bitch), Haley (twin), Emily (twin), Rachel (injured reserve), Caila (sweet and salty), JoJo (manipulative bitch), Jennifer (the sexy one who kisses Ben and stays out of the drama), Leah (part of the plastics but yet to be defined) and lastly, Olivia. 

 It was jarring for O-Face to go from getting roses before the ceremonies even begin to being the last woman called. A sane person might question their moves- Was I wrong to mention my cankles immediately after he told me his friends died? But not our Olivia. "I know when I'm with him, I'm with my future husband. He just saved the best for last!" 

 If Olivia doesn't marry Ben, whomever does is going to have a blast replaying that snippet many years down the road. "Ben, honey, remember that crazy chick who was convinced you were going to marry her after dating for 2 hours?" 

 If Olivia does marry Ben (doubtful at this point but who the hell knows), then maybe she's a mad genius. And those are actually my favorite types of people.

 And this week's rejects: Shushanna (the illegal alien) & Jami (the beige blue-baller).

 Next week, the group leaves the mansion for Las Vegas! Stay tuned for bachelorette show girls having anxiety attacks (spoiler alert: it's O-Face!), virgins taking on Sin City and so much more! 

Monday, January 18, 2016

"Toasted", The Bachelor S20 E2 Recap

 Week 2 of The Bachelor begins with the ladies making a toast. "Cheers to Ben and the adventure of a lifetime," Leah, the football snapping event planner, declares with her mimosa in hand. Making a toast is something that this particular group of women have no problem with. They salute to seemingly everything. Take a drink for every toast that happens in this episode. You won't remain sober for long.

 Olivia, still basking in the glow of the first impression rose, wastes no time in expressing her premature adoration for the bachelor. "I want Ben Higgins to be my husband." In remarkably sane contrast, another contestant, JoJo, is feeling far more levelheaded about her one-day relationship, "I'm excited to get to know him better." 

 Over at The Four Seasons Hotel (no separate house for our bachelor in the budget this year?), Ben is in his underwear. As the camera crew gratuitously captures him putting on his jeans for the day, Ben shares that he's not nervous but actually eager to get started with everything. "I'm so excited!" It's an all too familiar phrase and a word that Ben loves to use.

 At the mansion, the very first date card arrives. Lace admits that she had too much to drink the previous night and is hopeful to get it together this time around. The names of the women who will be going on the first group outing: Jackie, LB, Lauren H., Becca, Amber, Mandi, JoJo, Jubilee, Jennifer and Lace. 

 The ladies have a toast inside the limo (take a drink!) as they make their way to the first date location. At this point, I decide I need to play along with this week's drinking game. For once, I'm not in the mood for wine and settle on a beer. Nothing says a wintery January night in Pittsburgh like a Corona. As the 6" of snow lay outside my window, I am finding my beach. By the way, why can't Sharon Van Etten release the full length version of "Ray of Light"? Nothing drives me crazier than a made-for-TV commercial song that is too good to only be thirty seconds long.

 The limo arrives at "Bachelor High." Ben is now 2/2 with bringing high school into each episode of the show. I'm all for taking a stroll down memory lane but either Ben peaked in his teen years or he has some sort of jail bait thing going on in his psyche.

 JoJo says that she's "never been this turned on at a high school before." I feel sorry for her. She clearly didn't attend my Catholic high school. And that's all I'm going to say about that. 

 Ben says that some of his fondest memories are from his high school glory days including his first kiss. Late bloomer, huh? I recall my first kiss was in pre-school but that didn't get me very far as I'm closing in on 30 and still as single as one woman can possibly be. 

 Chris Harrison is doing his best Richard Belding over the school PA system. He announces that Bachelor High will be hosting a series of contests. The winner will be crowned Ben's hoe homecumming homecoming queen. When you think about this entire date, cutesy as it may be, it's really weird. But then again, most Bachelor group dates are strange. I take a sip of my Corona and try not to gag.

 Part one of the homecoming contest is a science fair experiment. Professor Harrison tells the ladies that they are challenged with the task of "making Ben's volcano explode." Take a drink! Lace and Jubilee are struggling with reading the scientific directions- measuring and pouring is hard work for these two. They are the first pair of women to be eliminated.

 The second portion of the homecoming queen contest takes place during "lunch class." Their words. Not mine. The women must bob for apples. "You can't use your teeth hands," warns Professor Harrison. Ben is taking mental notes on which ladies are good with their mouths. Call me a cynic but shouldn't this sort of action have come before the volcano ejaculation eruption? One of the producers dropped the ball on this one. LB's facial expression tells the tale for the rest of us watching at home. This entire date scenario is ridiculous.

 The third part of the contest takes place in geography class. The women are asked to locate Ben's home state of Indiana on an unmarked United States map. One of the Laurens says that her kindergartners are smarter than Becca and JoJo. She's right. Becca and JoJo turned the shape of Indiana on its side and placed it where I'm writing this recap, Pennsylvania. 

 The last leg of the homecoming queen race is happening in the gymnasium. The women must shoot free throws to prove they can be Indiana Hoosiers. Amber and her partner Mandi win on the basketball court but are told they must race each other on the track field to determine who the Bachelor High homecoming queen will be. In an unexpected turn of events, Mandi, the wacky dentist, is a hurdling champ. Mandi proves that white women can jump as she decidedly beats Amber. Mandi continues her streak of rocking headgear as last night's massive rose is replaced by a crown from Claire's Accessories. Ben, noticeably disinterested, regrettably lets Mandi wear his actual high school letterman jacket. The two take a victory lap around the track in none other than a classic muscle car. I guess the black Mustang was a one-day rental because this set of wheels is red.

 Evening falls on the first group date and the ladies have reemerged in cocktail attire. There has to be a wardrobe stylist on set. I didn't see anyone with an overnight bag. There's no way these women can pack enough formal wear for a possible season long run on the show. It gives me anxiety thinking about how much money it would cost to dress yourself for every scene on The Bachelor

 During a private conversation, Becca is seen shooting hoops with Ben. Clearly, her lack of geography skills matter little to our bachelor as he seems to be enjoying her company. Becca, not the brains of the group, shares her feelings. "I'm really excited. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't excited to be here."  I feel like I'm watching a couple of naive teenagers who sneaked out of their parents' house after midnight. 

 Ben and Jennifer seem to have good sexual chemistry as they share a kiss during their alone time. This news surprises Lace as being the only girl to have kissed Ben so far was her calling card. 

 Elsewhere at the mansion, the other ladies await the arrival of the first solo date card. Olivia's mouth is hanging wide open. She would have done an outstanding job during the apple bobbing portion of the homecoming queen contest had she been along for the ride. This is a terrible look for Olivia but she's too confident that her name will be on the card to care.

  Olivia is severely disappointed to find out that Caila, the peppy Boston girl, is the recipient of the first one-on-one date. Caila is bubblier than ever as she giggles and snaps at the news. It's an alarming amount of cheer and I remember a time in my life when I was this obnoxiously happy. 

 Back on the group date, Lace interrupts the homecoming queen, Mandi, as she chats with Ben. Lace wants to take this time to apologize for last night's antics. Ben is appreciative of her words and expresses how beautiful he finds her. Ben reiterates that he wants to get to know Lace better. I don't recall Ben saying anything like this to the other ladies. This is code for "I want to find out if your hot-crazy scale is measuring appropriately..."

 Lace is transfixed by her conversation with Ben. She feels empowered by Ben's words of encouragement. "We're just almost eye fucking."

 Jubilee steals Ben away from Lace. Jubilee and Ben have a deep conversation about Jubilee's rocky childhood. Ben says that he wants to explore things with the war veteran.

 The ladies are bickering over who has spent the most amount of time with the bachelor. Lace, ever one to keep things elegant says, "Fuck these bitches!" Lace heads to break up Ben's conversation with one of the Laurens. The bachelor isn't as amused this time but keeps things polite as the two discuss their real lives back in Denver.

 As the women continue whining about their lack of time with the bachelor, Ben takes JoJo to a secret spot. The two wind up on top of an LA skyscraper. They aren't repelling as they fall in love but JoJo still manages to fill the pun quota, "I've never been this high in my entire life!" A first date on the edge of a 1,000 foot structure. It's the sort of romantic scenario that is only probable on The Bachelor. In the real world, if a guy surprised you on your first date with a walk up a narrow flight of stairs onto a rooftop, you might fear that he was going to push you off the edge.

 The following day, Ben shows up to the mansion to pick Caila up for their date. Chris Harrison reveals that Ice Cube and Kevin Hart will be coming along due to contractual obligations to provide more diversity within The Bachelor without having to cast a minority as the star of the show. I severely doubt that most of the ladies know who either of these men are but the producers would never admit this to the audience. The producers are asking Ice Cube and Kevin Hart what is the most romantic thing they've ever done for a woman. Ice Cube's answer? "Um, I married one." When you really think about it, he's right. Not much else is more romantic.

 One of the twins is poolside at the mansion and discussing how "extravagant" Caila's date is going to be. Cut to a liquor store on the wrong side of LA. Ice Cube is telling the bachelor to buy condoms and Hennessy. Ben laughs nervously, "I think Ice Cube and I might have different styles when it comes to a first date." I'm pretty sure the entire Bachelor franchise has a different style. Why try to push the envelope? Amy Schumer with Kaitlyn Bristowe- yes. Kevin Hart with Ben Higgins- not so much. How much did that movie Kevin and Cube are starring in pay you to advertise to the wrong demographic?

 As the ride along continues in yet another classic convertible, Ben and Caila's discussion gets deep. We learn that Ben's favorite color is blue and Caila's is yellow. The unlikely group wind up at a hot tub store because The Bachelor not only has to fill a pun quota but a hot tub scene quota as well. 

 As Kevin Hart and Ice Cube depart from the date, Ben and Caila share a private dinner. Caila comes across as more than just a giddy girl with a pretty face. Her hair is also flawless. She's naturally beautiful and well-spoken. The two seem to really enjoy each other's company. As dinner concludes, Ben has one more surprise for Caila, condoms and Hennessy back at The Four Seasons. The producers have arranged for one of Ben's favorite musical artists, Amos Lee, to provide a private concert for the pair. I listened to a lot of Amos Lee back at the turn of the century so this is the sort of romantic thing that I actually enjoy from The Bachelor. Swoon!

 A new day has dawned and the second set of women are headed out in the limo for a group date. A toast happens. "To being Ben's perfect match!" (Drink!) Olivia's mouth is still hanging open. 

 The women arrive at "Love Lab Technologies" and are greeted by a robotic "doctor." I wonder if Doctor Love moonlights as Pat Sajack's understudy. This is LA after all and everyone has dreams of super stardom. I also wonder whether Love Lab Technologies has a single Yelp review. The Love Lab Technologies banner was definitely printed by a production assistant no less than an hour before the ladies' arrival. 

 Doctor Love informs the women that they will be going through a series of tests with Bachelor Ben to determine how strong their chemistry really is. The twins admit that they aren't very scientific to the surprise and awe of no one. 

 The first series of tests are of a visual nature and are meant to determine what the eye fixates on. Ben vs. Sean Lowe is one photo slide that is shown. No contest. Sean was never my type. I'm definitely more of a Ben girl, myself. 

 The second portion of the Love Lab is a smell test. At this point, Shushanna, our international woman of mystery, proves that she actually does speak a bit of English. Ben is blindfolded as he goes from woman to woman, smelling her nether regions. I feel sorry for anyone whose monthly visitor is in town- not sure if the pheromones would help or hinder in this situation but the outfit the girls are required to wear is skintight and white. Ben describes Sam as having a "sour" scent.

 The third part of the Love Lab involves a thermal imaging scan. During Olivia's time with Ben, she practically begs him to kiss her. Ben says no but only because people are watching (people meaning Doctor Love and the other women). He must have already forgotten about the reality show filming his every move. People are always watching, Ben. 

 Doctor Love has the results of the Love Lab tests. Sour Sam comes in last place. Olivia wins with "spectacular" results. Arrogant to the core, O-Face as I now like to call her, is full of life. "Winning!" she boasts. I wonder if Olivia was sequestered during filming The Bachelor when Charlie Sheen made his big HIV positive reveal. 

 As night falls, the group heads back to The Four Seasons Hotel. Ben is seen in my favorite male outfit of all time- a hoody under a fitted blazer. The stylist is definitely on set. Ben asks Olivia for alone time first because he likes her the most of her stellar Love Lab scores. The women are not pleased. "It feels like the Ben and Olivia show." 

 Ben takes Olivia back to his hotel room. There must not be temperature control in the rooms at the fancy Four Seasons because Ben feels the need to drape Olivia with his blazer. And just as quickly as the adorable outfit look came in, it's gone. 

 As the two flirt and share their first kiss with each other, Ben asks Olivia how it feels to be in the 75th percentile for couples' attraction. 75% is straddling the C/D grade line in my book but these two seem impressed with their mediocrity. I'm usually in the 75th percentile on the QuizUp app but no one is here to brag. As O-Face comes down from her climax, Ben joins the other women. One of the twins makes a bold move and asks for alone time. 

 O-Face asks the others with a mouth full of food where they plan to take Ben during their alone time. Amanda politely answers Olivia's question with a question and asks where they went. Olivia rudely says she doesn't want to talk about it. If you don't want to answer your own question then don't ask someone else. 

 Ben later chats with Shushanna. We learn that she came to the United States with $400 in her pocket, 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes and most importantly, 2 bottles of vodka. Is Shushanna even a legal citizen?  

 As the date rose sits on the table, Sour Sam says that if the rose goes to her then science doesn't mean too much. O-Face quickly chimes in, "If Ben is a big believer in science, then I'd be a little concerned." 

 Amanda, the squeaky-voiced single Mom from the O.C., is negatively affected by Olivia's aggressiveness. She decides that she needs to tell Ben about her two little girls. Ben asks if she has any pictures which she admits that she doesn't but the other girls have pictures of their dogs. I'd have a majorly difficult time leaving my shih-tzu, Ireland, for that length of time. I don't see how a Mom could walk away from her very young kids for this sort of "opportunity" but I'm not one to judge (yes I am). Much to Amanda's relief, Ben goes out of his way to assure America Amanda that he isn't prejudice against children from a previous relationship.

 Despite Amanda's best efforts, Ben awards the date rose to Olivia. This achievement marks the second rose ceremony in a row in which O-Face will go in without any need to worry. "I don't know what rose ceremonies are, really. Olivia Higgins. It's mine. C'mon. Let's just end the show now." 

 Amanda is in tears and struggling to find her words. "Like, I don't like know if like it's like even worth it for me to be here." 

 When the rose ceremony begins, an anonymous bachelorette voices herself. "You look nice!"  Every season of the show has a contestant who fades into the background and never manages to score any memorable screen time. Rachel is this season's mirage. Ben responds with the most accurate quote of the season thus far, "It's good to see some of you I haven't seen before in awhile." 

 Ben begins his night with Leah and pulls his go-to chivalrous move of draping his lady with his sport jacket. As the two discuss typical things, Olivia decides that now is not the time to rest on her laurels. Despite already having a rose, she takes Ben away for some more alone time. Leah reports back to the other women that O-Face is continuing to do the devil's work.

 Olivia is giving me fatal attraction vibes as she departs from her time with Ben and heads back to the other ladies. "Now that I'm done, everyone else can have at it." Amber is not pleased with Olivia's sense of entitlement. I don't fault O-Face for taking the extra time with Ben. If you have a connection with someone, by all means, spend as much time together as possible. But Olivia's faults lay in her delivery. Lace is not pleased with the stirring of the pot. That's her responsibility on the show and she won't stand for anyone else taking her job away.

 Lace asks for some alone time with Olivia. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, perhaps? If you can't beat them, join them? Both Lace and Olivia are their own particular brand of crazy and their conversation is bizarre. Lace calls O-Face out for stirring the drama but departs their powwow as she creates a scene for herself.

 Lace drunkenly pours her deepest secrets out to Ben. There is an acknowledgment of her current state of neurosis and tales of awkward childhood years. Ben is losing more and more interest in Lace as every detail emerges. Lace reveals that her Dad calls her Roseanne. Is this her real name?! Please, let Roseanne be Lace's legal name!

  Flight attendant Lauren interrupts Lace's heart-to-heart with Ben. Lauren was not one of the women who was included in any of the previous dates- the hoe queen race, chem lab experiment or the one-on-one ride along with the black guys. This should reveal to the audience that Ben has strong feelings for this particular Lauren. During their chat, he presents Lauren with a photograph that one of the producers captured from their first meeting. It's a particularly nostalgic feeling to look back on your relationship after two days of being together. 

 A bit later, another Lauren, also a blond dressed in a tight yellow cocktail dress, has some alone time with the bachelor. This is Midwestern Lauren, the Kindergarten teacher. Ben doesn't have a photograph to make this Lauren feel special but he did bring her a blue ribbon for achieving the largest volcano eruption during the science fair. Leave it to the school teacher to follow the directions better than the girls who are unemployed.

 Ben shares how positive he's feeling about this group of women. At this point, he's more concerned with who he is going to try and get famous with make things work with rather than if there is a woman in the bunch who he might be compatible with. I find it remarkable that Ben can find love with multiple women out of a group of 28 but I can't seem to find any strong contenders out of a field of about 2,800 on Tinder.

 Ben has another chance to chat with Momma Amanda. He takes this opportunity to make hair barrettes for her little girls. He's really making a valiant effort to prove how comfortable he is with the idea of being a Step-Dad. It's always been my opinion that the more you try to prove yourself as okay with a hot button issue, the more likely you are to be uneasy about it. Less is more, Ben. But Amanda is moved to tears of joy.

 Chris Harrison breaks up the cocktail party and informs Ben that it's time to deliberate which ladies will be staying on for week 3. Lace is a nervous wreck because her true character was revealed the person she didn't want to be came out. 

 The following ladies receive a rose: Amanda (the Mom), Jubilee (the war veteran), Lauren B. (the flight attendant), Leah (the football snapper), Becca (the virgin from farmer Chris's season), Rachel (the one that doesn't get any screen time), Lace (there are no words necessary), Jennifer (the Florida business owner that Ben kissed), Emily (one of the twins), Jami (another girl who doesn't get much screen time), Lauren H. (the Midwestern Kindergarten teacher), Shushanna (the alleged border bouncer), Haley (the other twin) and Amber (the other girl from farmer Chris's season who lost the hurdling contest). 

 In an unforeseen plot twist, it should be noted that one of the Laurens, "LB", declined Ben's rose. I'm not sure if it was the pressure of competing with other women that shook the Oklahoma native or if it was the wave of a check from a producer (gotta create some drama when there really isn't any). I am going to have faith in LB and guess that she just didn't want to be there any more. The Bachelor High homecoming queen race would be enough to send many a sane woman packing her bags. 

 The rejects: A girl whose name and background I can't recall (UPDATE: I think it was Jackie, possibly pictured above, bobbing for apples), Sour Sam (the newly minted attorney), and the wacky dentist, Mandi (THE BACHELOR HOMECOMING QUEEN- oh, the humanity!). 

 Next week's episode appears to actually contain some extravagant dates! Stay tuned for private plane rides, more hot tubs and maybe a few private parts! 

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm living life in beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I hold a journalism degree from West Virginia University. I have worked in television news, fashion marketing, PR, and cosmetic sales. My love for writing and sharing with the world my various passions is strong. One of my many ambitions is to be published and continue creating in the fields of digital and print media, literature and film. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going to concerts, reading, following Pittsburgh sports and traveling as often as possible. Some of my favorite things include beauty, style, architecture, books, tarot and astrology, thrifting and my shih-tzu, Ireland. I’m engaged to the love of my lifetimes and we look forward to starting our next chapter together. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!