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, René.

 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: 

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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!