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, 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
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!