Monday, February 8, 2016

"I Woke Up Like This", The Bachelor S20 E5 Recap

 Week 5 of The Bachelor takes us to an exotic destination- Mexico. It's not exactly a far journey from Las Vegas but the ladies are out of the country (some for the first time) and are encouraged by how their relationships are progressing with their boyfriend.

 Bachelor Ben is strolling the streets of Mexico City. As he explains how excited he is to be there, a homeless man is seen in the background of the shot, taking an afternoon siesta on a park bench.

 Elsewhere, the ladies arrive at the beautiful Four Seasons hotel. It's another fancy suite for the group. They say they've never been anywhere like it before- so much for leaving a lasting impression, Aria Las Vegas. Olivia has developed an intimate relationship with the bidet.

 The date card arrives. "I know it's me," Olivia confidently assumes. She actually is long overdue for a 1-on-1 date. I wonder if editing is playing a strong role in the Ben-Olivia relationship. Lauren B. seemed to be the immediate front-runner. Perhaps, O-Face serves to only distract us from what's actually happening.

 The card reads, "Amanda, Let's put all our eggs in one basket!" Amanda is happy and says this will be her first real date in a long time. I guess the ventriloquist outing counts for nothing. Sorry, Terry Fator.

 Olivia is not pleased. She tells a producer that Amanda has children and she's the not the right girl for Ben. Amanda admits that she's been away from her little girls for awhile now and this date will let her know if it's worth it to stay.

 Cut to 4:20 am. Not 4:30 but 4:20. The producers must be high because they agree to surprise the women as they sleep. Ben will be taking Amanda on their early morning date. Ben says that he wants to see the women without their makeup in their element. Sorry, people, but no one is in their element in the midst of deep REM sleep. If I were these women, I would have been terrified that a gang of Mexican drug lords were kidnapping me for ransom.

 Ben creepily greets the ladies, "Gooood mooorning!" as he throws a flashlight in their faces.

 Lauren H. has her retainer in and lisps as she speaks to the camera crew, "I look so bad! This is how the guy I'm competing with 11 other women for his heart saw me this morning." It's not her best look but at least she's keeping it real.

 Ben assures Lauren H. that he, too, wears a retainer but questions which woman has her weave on the night stand.

 Olivia is also concerned about her oral hygiene. "I don't want him to smell my dragon breath but this is me, have at it!" Could Emily's insults about O-Face's breath be true after all?

 Amanda must have watched last season because she seems to have remembered Britt's tactic of never going to sleep without a full face of makeup. When Ben goes to catch Momma Amanda "in her element", he is surprised to see that she is completely done up with even her hair styled. I once was told by a guy in college that he was relieved that I looked exactly the same the next morning without makeup. Amanda isn't going to give America Ben that close of a glimpse just yet.

 Ben, ever the gentleman, says that the women have never looked better. As a makeup artist,
I can assure you that statement is true for about .00001% of the population. After the age of about 25, that stat declines to approximately .00000001%.

 Ben and Amanda head out towards the Mexican countryside for their early morning adventure. Amanda looks like she is wearing Becca's burgundy blouse from last season's hometown date. Maybe that top belongs to the stylist? Is she on set south of the border? 

 Back at the hotel, Lauren H. is chatting with Olivia about Ben and Amanda's chances. The women gossip that they don't think Ben is ready to be a Dad just yet. Olivia thinks that because Amanda has kids back home, she's not coming back to the Four Seasons.

 Ben and Amanda have made their way to the date location. It's another aviation theme but this is one that I truly envy- a hot air balloon ride over ancient Mexican cities! Balloon mechanics make no sense to me and that basket gives me major nerves but I desperately want to go up, up, up and away! 

  After the balloon excursion, Ben and Amanda enjoy a champagne picnic and chat about life. Okay, now I'm not typically a jealous person at all but this date is pretty spectacular. The Mexico location producers must be different than the ones back in Los Angeles. The Mexicans know romance. Ben tells Amanda that he enjoys her company and wants get to know her better.

 Back at the hotel, the women have noticed that Amanda's date has lasted longer than anyone else's. The date card arrives. The names of the women who will be joining the bachelor for a group date: Jubilee, Becca, JoJo, Caila, Emily, Lauren B., Jennifer, Leah and Olivia.

 This means that Lauren H. will have her chance with some alone time with Ben. Olivia says that at this point, it's not that she wants Ben but she needs him. She continues to mention her "save the best for last" theory. Tell it to Vanessa Williams, O-Face.

 Amanda and Ben are having dinner in Mexico City. Amanda opens up about her first marriage and subsequent offspring. She reveals that her ex-husband cheated on her. Is it just me or have all of these women been burned by two-timing men? If these beautiful bachelorettes have been wronged, what chance is there for the rest of us? The date rose is awarded to Amanda after she does a good job summarizing her situation. "We're going to see if this is a good thing for us," says Ben. Yeah, no. That doesn't sound good enough for me. I'm still not buying this relationship. I have a feeling Amanda will only be around for another week or two. He will use the excuse that it's only fair that she goes back to her kids because that's always the line the bachelor uses for single parents.

  The day of the group date has arrived. The women will be taking a Spanish course with Ben. I immediately have flashbacks to diez anos de Espanol en mi escuela. Year after year, I never mastered the language. I barely graduated from college because they required two more years of that torture. I wish I could speak every language on the planet but it's just not in my wheel house.

 Ben feeds each of the women a romantic line and one by one, they all swoon. Jubilee, ever the optimist, isn't having any of it. "I don't feel like it means anything because you said the same thing to all of us." 

 After the Spanish class, the group heads to a restaurant to partake in a cooking contest with a set of Mexican chef siblings. The group is paired into twos. Jubilee wants Ben as her partner but Olivia claimed him first. It's awkward. O-Face is due the time as Jubes did have a one-on-one date but remember "all's fair in love and war." 

 Emily is jealous that not only did Olivia excel with her Spanish language skills in the classroom, she now has Ben as her partner in the kitchen. "I want to punch her in the face." 

 JoJo and Becca are cooking partners because of course they are. The two are disgusted that Olivia is getting a mini one-on-one with Ben. The hostility needs to come down to a simmer. O still hasn't had a real solo date. Those clowns have. Be nice. Jeez. Emily is still harping that O's dragon breath has not improved. "I saw Ben make a dash for some fresh mint to share with her." The camera crew captures this moment. Maybe it really is true. Unfortunate but still... be nice. 

 At the hotel suite, Lauren H. receives her date card. "Let's design a life together." This reminds me of the name of my tumblr blog, "Construct a Life" (taken from a line in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five). But that's neither here nor there.

 At the Mexican restaurant, the chef is informing the ladies that a woman is ready to get married when she knows how to cook. Maybe that's why I'm still single. I enjoy making things but I'd be lying if I said I were a master at cooking. Baking is much more my thing. 

 Olivia is still providing all of the best lines. "I want to be Ben's partner in life. I want to be his partner in cooking." Jubilee, who partnered with Lauren B. is over all of this. "Group dates aren't fun anymore." 

 The judges sample the dishes. JoJo is boasting that her taco is delicious and she wants Ben to taste it. Awko-taco, indeed. Olivia and Ben's plate is harshly judged as looking like dog food. Delusional as always, O-Face thinks she came in second place. Lauren B. and Jubilee win the competition. I'm not interested in any of it. This is The Bachelor not Top Chef. 

 At the evening cocktail party, Olivia is back to feeling like her old, confident self. She predictably takes Ben away first for alone time. Emily doesn't waste much time interrupting the two (as is her custom). As Ben spends time with each woman, he continues to place his sport jacket over their shoulders. I'm sure the stylist does not appreciate her work being draped like the statues at the Vatican during an Iranian visit. 

 When it comes time for Ben to spend time with his favorite, Lauren B., he takes her for a stroll through the streets of Mexico City. It's so obvious to me that these two are it. "I NEVER wanted our date to end," he tells her. Hint, hint. The couple make-out in front of a church. 

 Jubilee is tired of waiting for her turn with the bachelor. "I'm not used to being overshadowed. I'm disappointed and pissed off." 

 When Ben returns from his midnight escape with Lauren B., Jubilee is not willing to hold his hand. The two discuss their potential for a future together. Ben admits that he doesn't believe that there is anything to build upon anymore. He takes this opportunity and runs with it. Jubilee is walked out and their relationship is OVER. Ben actually had me fooled. I thought he might truly like her but this entire scenario was pretty clear what was happening... contractual obligations...

Jubilee is in tears. "I'm the most unlovable person in the world right now." Aw, Jubes. The fear of being unlovable is not something you want to project upon yourself. I blame it on the fact that she wore pale pink. Up until this point, she almost always wore her best color, white. "I would have loved him unconditionally." Really? Because you were sent home in a Mexican taxi. They couldn't even get a Lincoln town car to swing by?

 Ben reports back to the remaining women that J was cast off. "Jubilee is someone from the moment that I met her was incredibly intriguing. Tonight, I had to say goodbye." JoJo is overcome with excitement and interrupts the bachelor. She wants to spend some alone time with Ben to assure him that he's making all of the right decisions, tough as they might be. She's still around, so in her mind, he is doing everything right.  Ben tells JoJo that he's done with breaking up with people after this. "Well, you have 10 more to go!" she tells him. Including you, girl. Trust. 

 The date rose is awarded to Olivia. I mean, why not? She took it upon herself to partner with him and make a valiant effort to appear normal during the cook-off. Who else would have gotten it other than his favorite, Lauren B.? She can't get it two weeks in a row. That would tip off the audience. JoJo says that there was a moment of silence after the announcement. "I was blindsided."

 It's time for Lauren H.'s date with Ben. She's bouncy and excited to be spending the day with the bachelor. Ben keeps using the word "engross." I'm going to engross myself in the Mexican culture! "It is wonderful to engross yourself in the language!" The couple end up at a design studio and are told that they will be walking in a show during Fashion Week in Mexico City. Cool date. Not particularly romantic but fun. Again, the Mexican scouts must have planned this one. 

 Lauren H. is looking like an '80s prom queen vision in her fashion week ensemble. She fits right in with the other models. If the Kindergarten teacher thing starts to become boring, she might have a career at the Detroit branch of Elite Models. Is there a Detroit location? Probably not. But she looks good. After the two walk in the show, they celebrate with a tequila shot. Fashion and alcohol are always a good idea.

 At dinner, Ben admits that their relationship has been a slow burner but he wants to find out more about Lauren H. She's able to open up about her past. Surprise! She was also cheated on by a previous ex. Ben seems relieved that their is some depth to the bubbly blonde. He appreciates how open she is and awards her with a date rose. The two makeout in front of a church that may or may not be the same spot where he kissed the other blonde Lauren. 

 And it's time for the rose ceremony cocktail party. The Mexican set designers outdid themselves at the Four Seasons. Sunflowers, tapestries and lanterns make for a beautiful courtyard locale. JoJo is impressed with the scenery. "I have chills right now!" Someone get Ben's sport jacket.

 Lauren B. and Ben have a chance to chat some more. She really seems hammered enamored this week. "People can like, tell that I really like, like you. Ben, I could see like a LIFE with you. Like, not just like getting married, like initially, like I could see a LIFE with you, which is like terrifying. Like a LIFE. Like a LIFE, LIFE!" 

 The ladies are gathered and chatting about life. Amanda says that she has been anxious this week and dreamed of her kids. JoJo politely asks if their Dad is involved in taking care of the children while she is away on reality television. Olivia, sensing the dysfunction, interjects. "I feel like it's an episode of Teen Mom." Silence. Eye rolls. Awko-taco. She attempts to recover. "Well, you know, like that show."

 Amanda says that she was in her early 20s when she had her kids and married after the first one. She doesn't appreciate the rude remark. I'm still not seeing why Amanda, who lives in one of the most populated cities in the country, is beautiful, young and healthy, felt the need to leave her kids to date someone on television but it's not for us to judge. That's Ben's job and as already mentioned, he's probably going to give it another week or two. 

 Emily is so jealous of can't stand Olivia. She is shocked by O's remarks towards Amanda. "God, that is the most offensive thing in the world!" Really? Because calling out someone for having plastic surgery and bad breath is supposedly kind? Emily says her jaw dropped to the floor when she heard Olivia's diss. Now, that's it. There can only be one O-Face.

 Amanda tells Olivia that it's "common sense" not to say such offensive things. Olivia tries to hold back her laughter as crocodile tears come streaming, "I'm learning a lot about myself. I'm sorry." 

 Emily has had enough. She has come to the end of her dynamite stick and wants to be the girl who takes one for the team. She is going to inform Ben that one of his top choices for a wife is loathed by the others. This almost never works out. It always blows up in the person's face as they are seen as jealous and insecure (which they usually are). With tears fueled by too much Mexican grain alcohol, Emily pours her heart out to Ben. She questions if she is right for him if he is interested in someone like O-Face. She says that O is disrespectful towards the other women. They aren't exactly nice to Olivia either but she just happens to be in the lead. 

 Olivia senses the negative energy being omitted across the room. "I've always had the vibe that people are talking about me all of the time and that makes me fucking pissed." 

 Ben says that he doesn't want people to feel disrespected and pries for further information. Emily says that O is fake. She's hysterical but still has a pretty cry face. I wish I was able to still look this good when I cry (which happens way more than I care to admit). Olivia isn't going to stand by and let Emily ruin her pristine reputation. She interrupts. Immediately, Emily snaps out of her tears and is suddenly calm. Um... who is crazier? Emily or Olivia? Emily is motivated by jealousy. Olivia is motivated by the drive to win and find true love fame. Jealousy is worse.

 Ben is warm to Olivia. He compliments her dress. He doesn't seem to get to the bottom of anything. She presents him with a ring. As the two chat, Emily tells the other women that she tattled on O. She later talks to a producer and calls her twin sister back home in Vegas. It's a ridiculous, drunken conversation. "Olivia is a bully!" "Ben gave her the rose!" Yada, yada, yada. Olivia might not be the best person in the world but at least she has kept this train wreck entertaining. 

 When Ben chats with Momma Amanda, she confirrms that Olivia has "targeted" her from the start. Jennifer agrees that Olivia doesn't clique click with the rest of the group. It's called the first impression rose. 

 Ben is questioning his feelings for Olivia. Typical. Listen to other people and let them influence your opinion? I thought you were stronger and smarter than that, B? 

 The ladies think Olivia is going to be sent home. "She's done for it! No more Olivia!" Um, that would be boring and make the task of writing these recaps all the more arduous.

 The rose ceremony... there is no time thanks to the Iowa caucuses. 

 A literal cliff hanger. Ben is seen on the edge in a preview of next week's episode. The water below appears to be a hurricane. Ben has fallen in love with two women (but there's like 10 of them left). Everyone is in tears. Did Ben pull a Cupcake and nearly jump? Who will Ben keep around? Come back soon to find out! And in the meantime, relive this sweet Cupcake moment in Bachelor/Bachelorette history. #TheBachelorAt20

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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!