The mimosas are already flowing on Day Two in the Bachelor Mansion. We’re treated to a number of nonsensical toasts to Ben, with ladies referring to him as the best Bachelor in “the planet of history” and the type of guy who “checks off every single list.” I really hope they were drunk. We break quickly for a gratuitous glimpse at Ben’s junk before returning to the mansion for the arrival of the first group date card.
The first group date is straight outta Grease. The BachGaggle alights on a random high school in urban Los Angeles. Ben puts the ladies through a series of inane tasks in order to crown one gal Homecoming Queen, so he can promptly boot her off the show 85 minutes later.
There’s a science fair. Apple bobbing. A free throw contest. A footrace on the track. It’s some real 1950s shit. If ABC really wanted to go back to high school, there should’ve been a competition to see who can most stealthily smoke a joint in the bathroom stalls without being detected by the ex-military Dean of Students roaming the halls; that’s the kind of fresh hell I was walking in on as a naive high school freshman and recent D.A.R.E. graduate back in 2002.
Unfortunately, every bubble must burst, and whoosh goes the air outta this squeaky clean Marty McFly-in-Back-to-the-Future montage. Geography has been known to take down many an aspiring queen in the recent past, and tonight is no exception.
Ben asks the ladies to find a cutout of Indiana and place it on a blank map of the United States.
Becca and JoJo place Indiana horizontally, along the East Coast, instead of vertically in the armpit of the Midwest where it belongs. I’m from Illinois, and we call Indiana the road to Michigan, so believe me, I get it. Still it’s not a good look, especially because Ben may have the outline of Indiana tattooed on his (presumably adorable) buttocks. Homeboy loves Indiana.
All is apparently forgiven because JoJo wins the group date. Ben takes her atop a skyscraper in Los Angeles and JoJo says “I’ve never been this high in my entire life.” Guess we’re not counting those weekends at Coachella.
Back at the ranch, another date card is announced and we learn a few unsettling things. Namely, Olivia has a bad case of Snake Jaw. I’m no doctor, but methinks she’s hankering for some TMJ later on in life.
An astute Twitter follower pointed out that Olivia looks like Princess Bala from Antz.
Like, THAT is why we’re on Twitter. Well done.
Caila nabs the first one-on-one date of the season but unfortunately for her, it’s a real clearance rack date. Leonardo diCaprio and the grizz from The Revenant were otherwise occupied, so Kevin Hart and Ice Cube join Caila’s solo date to promote The Ride Along 2 (we get the movies we deserve, America). I guess the producers drew a Venn diagram with “People who watch ‘The Bachelor’” and “people who go to movies” and the intersection was The Ride Along 2. Who’s to say?
It wasn’t Kevin nor Ice’s fault but the date was flatter than the four-year-old Diet Coke I once found in my garage. It ended with Kevin, Ice, Caila, and Ben in a model hot tub INSIDE A HOT TUB STORE. Poor Caila.
The second group date takes place at a Love Lab. The ladies are greeted by a “robot” (because: SCIENCE) that looks like Bill Nye Skyping in from an Android phone hooked up to a vacuum cleaner. Realistically, this creation would have gotten a C- in a middle school science class.
The girls jog on a treadmill for a while and then Ben presses his honker into their sweaty T-shirts to see if he can get a nose full of love pheromones. It’s exactly like the Febreze commercials where the actor smells garbage that’s been spritzed with Febreze and is like, “Okay, wait, wait, I’m detecting notes of raspberry and just…hmm, just the slightest pinch of grass.” He calls Samantha “sour” and I paused my DVR to laugh for two full minutes. Dang, that’s an embarrassing first date story straight out of YM magazine.
Ben and Olivia have off-the-charts chemistry which is readily apparent as they smush their noses together and the other girls watch their heat blobs from the next room. Olivia reacts to this positive attention from Ben with the grace and humility we’ve come to expect from Bach contestants, then unhinges her jaw and swallows a family of rabbits whole.
At the cocktail party, Lace slurs her words and seeks Ben out repeatedly to assure him that she’s not crazy. “Da Nile ain’t just a rivah in Egypt, guvna!” is something I would say to Lace in a cockney British accent if I was ever on the show. Return my phone calls, ABC.
Lace tells him a long-winded story about being teased by her dad and her brothers as a child (an experience universal to every human child with a sibling of any gender of any age) and Ben looks repulsed. Regardless, he gives Lace a rose, a decision likely made at knifepoint by a producer. I could hear the celebratory cheers ripple across America from the teams who drafted her. What a contestant.
Ben gives Lauren B. a photo of them on their “first date,” AKA chatting on the steps during the first cocktail party for five minutes. Which means he paid a producer to snap a pic and then print it out for him at Walgreen’s. This is understood to be a thoughtful gesture by both parties and a sign that Ben is interested in keeping her around for the long haul. Just trying to map out the mating rituals to any first time Bachelor viewers.
Amanda confesses that she’s a mom and Ben is sweet about it. But I’m calling it now: no way this 26-year-old wants to be a stepdad to two young toddlers. Amanda’s countdown to launch has begun. Bizarrely, Amanda looks directly into the camera to talk to her toddlers and tells them she loves them. Does she not realize her children won’t see the message until the episode airs…?
The ladies cycle through the usual stages of Rose Ceremony stress: drinking, telling a peer that you need one-on-one time with Ben, drinking more, lamenting to that same peer that you didn’t get enough time with Ben, spying on other ladies as they talk to Ben, and drinking more. In the end, we say goodbye to Samantha, Jackie, LB (she did NOT accept Ben’s rose), and Mandi. One minute you’re a 28-year old Homecoming Queen, the next you’re packing up your crop tops and dental picks and hopping on the next flight to Oregon. Them’s the breaks.
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