Episodes 5+6: GAGGING. ON. THE ELEGANZA.
We have 4 hours of television to recap here, so let’s cut right to it…This week’s pairing suggestion: VRAC in a 3L box, which comes out to one bottle per hour! You’re welcome.
FIA: Josh, I wish I was as smart as you and had thought to split my analysis between the eps, but instead I waited til the last minute and now am trying to remember four hours of this mess chronologically. Apologies in advance for inconsistencies, but a note to ABC – airing two full episodes on back-to-back nights because the NBA finals got you off schedule does not a “two-night special” make. Although, I was happy to see that in the second of this week’s offerings we are (finally) back to ending episodes with the rose ceremony.
JOSH: It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I started this week’s episode with a knot in my stomach. Like I seriously was shaking as I pressed play on my DVR. I know that the Bachelor franchise is not the place to go for responsibly produced television, but I expected, I don’t know… some modicum of decency from the people behind this show. I do not buy that no one knew about Lee’s buck-wild social media insanity before they cast him. It’s part of due diligence in the casting process.
And while the “bad edit” is appreciated – showing footage of an actual snake in the grass meant to represent Lee DOES NOT MAKE UP FOR CASTING HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Meanwhile, while all this drama is happening on land, Rachel nearly pulled up the anchor and just floated out to sea with Bryan. And I’m not entirely sure I could blame her. I share her concern that he’s just a little too suave for comfort, but why the hell not? Go on the ride. Take your man and your fun jewelry and set a course for love. Of course he gets the group date rose. Who wouldn’t give Bryan a rose for making them forget about all the drama?
Very true. You could see her exhale in this moment. It’s like dealing with the other men is her job and Bryan is the boyfriend she gets to come home to at the end of the night who makes her forget about the office.
But back to the drama. Kenny does his best to maintain a measured tone while he’s talking to Lee but I’m wondering why he bothered at all. I feel like Lee was quite skilled at finding and targeting the guy who would be most susceptible to his bullshit, and our pro wrestler fits that to a T. Not to slut shame, but at a certain point, though, Kenny started making a conscious choice to feed off the drama. There will always be garbage people, and if Rachel were truly all that mattered to him, and if Lee were truly a “dead issue,” Kenny would act like it.
Hold up, I just realized when I saw that goblet – are we still on…THE SPELLING BEE DATE? Oh my god. That feels like a million years ago. These “to be continued…” episodes have GOT. TO. STOP.
Anyway, Rachel has her first one-on-one of the week with Jack Stone, whose name apparently has to be said all at once. Every time I see his name in full at the bottom of the screen, I can’t help but think he’s either a private eye or a porn star. Jack is going on and on about the chemistry and the connection he has with Rachel, but I just don’t see it at all.
Rachel was in physical pain as she searched for the things to say they have in common: “We’re both attorneys? We’re around the same age? We both live in Dallas?” Only in the world of this show would you count those as reasons you might connect with someone. When I was single and I met a fellow Brooklyn playwright who was around my age, I ran in the opposite direction.
Also it must really really REALLY suck to go on a date with a contagious sick person. (There’s not even any booze at dinner… sadness.) And can we talk about why Jack holds his head down when he speaks, as though he’s looking over the rim of an invisible pair of glasses? Dear Jack Stone: whoever told you that was cute was definitely punking you. You look like you want to imprison Rachel in a basement well and force her to put lotion in baskets indefinitely. If this is what it looks like when you feel “comfortable” around her, I’d hate to see discomfort. Like why why why is he bringing up her dad out of nowhere? And he literally described his dream date with her as taking her to an empty room and locking the door and “just hanging out.” It is abundantly clear that Rachel was leaning toward getting rid of him and just needed this one-on-one to seal the deal. (More on that with Will.)
Rachel has a very polite way of rejecting someone she does not want to kiss while still managing to let them think they kissed her. That peck was…hard to watch. (Whenever someone says they think it would be fun to be the Bachelorette we should make them watch this clip on repeat to drive home that they’re not all gonna be Peter). Do you think she was really sick or said to producers – I really don’t want to make out with Jack, can we pull a contagion thing here?
Oh, God bless Will for trying to “educate” Lee on the racial politics involved here, but Will, you’re getting played. Lee one thousand percent understands the “race card,” as he puts it. No one with that Twitter feed is oblivious to the issues at work here.
Aside from Adam’s weird snack-kitchen metaphor, nothing in this rose ceremony is of note, especially since we know the two-on-one showdown is coming. I really do think I’m gonna miss Tickle Monster, though. I hope he knows there are probably several websites out there where he can indulge that fetish. (Probably. I have no definitive way of knowing because I’m not putting that in my Google history.) Too bad for him and Iggy, though – I always feel bad for the ones who get cut right before they leave the country.
And just to be creepy, he tickles her one last time before he goes. And if that wasn’t enough of a reason to lock your doors at night – he then refers to himself at the tickle monster in third person. Is it possible this is a self-imposed nickname? Oh god. That makes it so much worse.
The hard won award for least self aware contestant in bachelor history goes to Iggy for this gem — Iggy: “The people who have been causing drama in the house are not going to be sticking around, I hope I’m not included in the bunch.”
Random responses to things said at the rose ceremony –
This is the first (but certainly not the last) time this is written in my notes this week: Who the eff is Matt?
Oh god. No, Lee. I really do not want to know what you say down south.
Anthony: “I humbly accept.” Ok, Josh starting to see where that dar was coming from.
Wait. WAIT. HOLD THE PHONE. Did the guys fly private to Oslo? Maybe they flew commercial to some place like London and then took a puddle jumper the rest of the way? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.
I lit’rally LOL’ed when Dean was like “I think there’s a chance Bryan doesn’t come back from this one-on-one.” I’m also obsessed with everyone who was on Oslo pub tran with the two of them. I wanna be a cool, over-it Norwegian. Of course, it’s not a season of the Bachelor/ette until you’re facing your fear of heights as a metaphor for facing your fear of falling in love. Although the sex noises they made and all the making out they did on the way down made me wanna rappel off of something tall. I don’t see any way Bryan doesn’t make it at least to Fantasy Suites. All that said, I do not think Rachel is wrong to question the perfection of it. It’s quite possible that Bryan is one of those “in love with love” people who is exceedingly good at this beginning part and honestly believes he’s in love… until he’s not. Time will tell.
Every season, time and again – you know they like the ones they take on the FOREIGN LET’S JUST WALK AROUND CITY DATES. Bryan (and later Eric) are no exceptions here.
PS I was also GAGGING on Rachel’s gold eyeshadow. GAGGING. ON. THE ELEGANZA.
I gotta say, this handball date was a good idea. I wasn’t mad at these singlets. I was also obsessed with the really intense and annoyed Norwegian coach. I was really glad to see Will step up. He’s totally a sleeper this season. Smart, articulate, normal, and personable, but this week he demonstrated he’s also something else that’s important to show — he’s hot AF.
I can’t remember – is Will the one who came dressed as Urkel and then changed into Stephen Urkelle? Is that what he’s doing this season too?
Kenny’s FaceTime sesh with his daughter juxtaposed with Lee “working out” in jeans and cowboy boots was almost too much to deal with. Like, could this show be any clearer on who we’re supposed to root for? Anyone who still wants Lee around after all that needs his or her head examined. This all makes me very sad because Kenny seemed like the real deal, but it looks like he got caught up in the TV of it all. His rivalry with Lee suddenly meant more to him than trying to get to know Rachel, and that was no doubt aided and abetted by producers. This antagonistic relationship between the two of them took on a life of its own at some point and became this thing that had jack squat to do with Rachel.
And then, because Rachel is a true patriot who loves freedom, she forgot she was on a group date and went to third base with Peter in a hot tub. Like, was she wearing that swimsuit under her clothes planning to do this the whole time? I really hope so. Rachel almost banging Peter on a group date is all of us right now. Rachel is America. God bless the U.S.A. And after all that, she didn’t even give Peter the group date rose. Rachel is a PIMP. Also, Peter, don’t stress, boo. Everyone knows the group date rose is a “most improved” rose. You ain’t goin’ nowhere.
This reminded me of something I read that talks about how boring group dates are because they last forever and for the most part you are just sitting around waiting. Think of the time that has elapsed while Peter changing his clothes, drinks champagne, gets to third base, towels off, gets re-dressed in a three piece suit. Man. I was glad the men mentioned how long he’d been gone just so I could feel bad for them. And you are totally right, Josh: after you find out the producers have packed your bathing suit without your knowledge so you could get kinky in the hot tub – a rose seems like overkill. The underwater straddle should be all the validation needed.
By the time this two-on-one came around, I was almost completely over it. And it proceeded in fairly predictable fashion: Lee either exaggerated or completely fabricated encounters between him and Kenny; Kenny responded with expletive-laden tirades; and I hoped Rach would pull a Chris Soules and fly off in the helicopter alone, leaving them both to fight bears Revenant-style in the Norwegian wilderness. I am so over both of them. Clearly Lee is trash, and clearly Kenny didn’t get the Michelle Obama low-high memo. (lol) Like, I am really trying to give Kenny the benefit of the doubt, but that whole weird goodbye God-loves-you sequence with Lee was confusing and, frankly, just thirsty. I wanted Rachel’s helicopter to just take off and leave them there.
Ding-dong the bitch is dead and ABC, I hope you are listening – I NEVER want to see Lee in any bachelor related show EVER again. Okay? Okay.
I’m now going to take a moment to talk about Rachel’s lashes and my obsession with them. Like, how are those things not getting caught in doorways? How is she not caught by updrafts and blown into the North Sea? Rachel is a straight-up KWEEN of the highest order and the fact that she’s pairing this level of glam with a chunky oatmeal-colored Nancy Meyers sweater is my everything.
Remember how bad we wanted JoJo as Bachelorette and then I didn’t even finish watching her season? Bring that up because it is HARD to carry a show. And yet – Rachel is becoming more of a baller with every episode. When she told Lee, “I don’t trust you.” When she actually PLAYED in the handball game instead of watching from the side. When she does ANYTHING, really. I’m gonna start this one now: #rachellindsay2020 (I mean, she ALREADY has the law degree…)
After an unsurprising rose ceremony in which Eric pointed out that “two more black guys” got eliminated, we’re off to Copenhagen, a beautiful city in which I once spent an extended layover, and he gets a coveted one-on-one with Rachel. I was very happy to finally see what she sees in him. They make an adorable couple, and his lightness and energy couldn’t have come at a better time to make Rach forget all about her awful time in the forest with Lee and Kenny. Also, good job, producers, finding a hot tub for them, because we all know (ahem: Peter) that Rachel loves a hot tub.
I’ve been rooting for Eric for awhile not least of which because I wanna see that Baltimore hometown!!!!! (#hometowngirl) Also, should be noted here that twitter went crazy that they didn’t eat those burgers. To be fair, they never eat on dates on this show but usually no one cares because it’s a piece of cold, white fish. But when it’s a delicious burger in Denmark you can taste through the screen – yea, people had a problem.
Then, on the group date, we’re introduced to Tom and Morton, two hilarious Vikings (or Wikings, as Tom pronounces it). As soon as they started this physical challenge, I somehow knew Kenny would end up in the finals. And he did. Turns out the wounds they showed in promos from week one weren’t Lee-induced, THANK GOD. Also I am very glad I live in a post-Viking world, where I can play Scrabble.
Have to admit, I didn’t watch much of this Viking date because I was otherwise occupied seamlessing a burger due to craving described in the above paragraph (unfortunately, this is a true story).
At this point, Rach says, she feels like she has “connections” with everyone, AKA we’re now just down to the guys she has no issue making out with. (except for WTF Matt and Adam who we have never seen her speak to let alone get jiggy with) I have to say, Rachel’s goodbye to Kenny was classy, insightful, honest, adult, and everything you would ever want from someone who is breaking up with you on national television. “If Mackenzie grew up to be like Rachel, then I knew that I did my job.” Heart. In. Pieces.
Compare the above quotation ie everything a class act says when you break up with them to Josiah’s “there’s something wrong with her head” proving once again Rachel’s instincts are on point. She smelled something off in Josiah weeks ago and honestly way before I did. #rachelforpresident
And then we’re in Sweden with Will. I wanna go meet old Swedish people! I’m really pulling for Will, but her having to tell him to give her a kiss was painful. Their dinner conversation about their racial dating history was fascinating. It almost sounded like Rachel was judging Will for mostly dating white women, which is curious given the makeup of her cast this season and who’s still around. I feel like the touchstone for this season is Andi. Like Rachel, Andi came onto the show as a prosecutor, and so when she wasn’t in lovey-dovey mode, she was in prosecutor mode. And it was very easy to tell the difference. And that’s the mode I feel like she was in with Will. She’s just got too many other dudes who flood her basement, and she’s using these later one-on-ones smartly, to weed out the ones she’s iffy about.
And yet again – Adam and Will get roses. Can we talk about this for a second? Adam is memorable because of the creepy doll he brought on night one (plus he has my husband’s name) so I will give him a slight pass. But Matt? Fucking Matt? WHO THE FUCK IS MATT? Even now that there are only six guys I still always consult my notes every time his face shows up on the screen.
Theory One: Rachel has connections with these men but for some reason we are not being shown them.
Theory Two: It’s hard to date 25 men at once. Most leads say you only have real relationships with about three. And so Rachel is keeping two low maintenance dudes around she doesn’t have to pretend with. They don’t bring drama (how could they, we don’t even know their names!). But she also doesn’t have to worry about leading them on by keeping them (as might be the case with someone she sort of vibes with, but not in a *Bryan* type way).
At this point, her eye is on the prize and that prize is, obviously, a night in the fantasy suite with Peter.
NEXT WEEK’S DRINKING GAME WORD: no word for next week — instead just swig every time you see Rachel in a skullcap