By all accounts it’s been a pretty wild few days in the news. Notorious ISIS leader “Jabba the Jihadi” (“he puts the fat in fatwa”) was captured in Iraq; President Trump’s senate trial is set to kick off today; and it was found that marijuana sales in Oregon along the Idaho border are 420% higher than the statewide average (can’t make this stuff up!) Despite these blockbuster stories clogging up the news cycle, there was no event that even came close to rivalling the complexity, the intrigue and the suspense of the latest instalment of The Bachelor on Monday night…
Let’s jump in:
Champagne-gate shows absolutely no signs of letting up and while it’s insane to think that such a trivial misunderstanding could be stretched out over several weeks, I don’t hear anyone complaining. Perhaps the best line from this whole charade came from a moist-eyed Hannah Ann who indignantly exclaimed “you’re telling everyone that I’m a liar; that I’m a champagne stealer.” Maybe my limited years on this earth have not yet exposed me to the wild and nefarious world of champagne stealing, however in the grand scheme of criminal-activities-turned-descriptors, I’m not sure if anyone has ever used these words with such certainty. Yes, you have murderers and burglars, assaulters and cheaters, the list goes on, but champagne stealers? I didn’t know Hannah Ann’s bag of tricks included the coining of neologisms, however I’m sure this etymological streak is why Peter seems to be so besotted with her and not her Aphroditean beauty. Battle rappers everywhere take note, the latest opponent-reeler, to-the-ground-kneeler, seal-the-dealer is undoubtedly “champagne-stealer.”
One of the most sausage-is-made moments in my limited Bachelor exposure was the sneak peek into the girls’ living quarters. It is now abundantly clear why all of the girls end up hating each other – sardines have more space to breathe in their briny digs than the Bachelor girls do! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bunk bed, but they definitely lose a measure of their luster as one advances in years… Forcing the girls, all of whom are vying for the same future hubby, to live on top of one another literally and figuratively is a recipe for disaster and this episode had a number of those 1-on-1 conversations between aggrieved actors that make The Bachelor necessary viewing. Sydney and Alayah are the latest two to get into it over Alayah’s purported genuineness. “Do you work?” and “an elephant sitting on a rat, how am I supposed to get up?” were two of the stingers that Sydney sent in her direction. This will be one to watch especially as Sydney’s triumph is short-lived with Alayah’s inevitable return.
What is the deal with Peter parading these poor girls around his hometown in the first couple of weeks of the season? There’s a time for doing exactly that and fortunately, to avoid any confusion, it’s conveniently named HOMETOWNS! There were a couple of big takeaways from Victoria P’s date, first and foremost that she is absolutely soaring up the power rankings. This being said, if I was Victoria, I wouldn’t have been too stoked about some of the locations that were selected for their date. First, a country music hall the stickiness of whose floors I could feel from the comfortable confines of my couch and next an airplane hangar for dinner?? I’m sure Victoria was expecting a sprawling panoramic view of the Malibu coastline and an expensive sushi dinner; instead she got some airplane food washed down with the lingering smell of jet fuel. While she did look a little Miranda-Lambert-esq in her cowgirl get up, I’m sure she could have gone without the kerosene! Their conversation was painfully put-together but did yield one absolute belter of a line as Peter responded to Victoria’s life story by saying: “I’ve never been inspired by someone so much in my entire life.” This was quite a line on MLK day no less. They always say don’t meet your heroes and I can’t help but think that Peter is going to regret his inspiration-classification of Victoria!
Pillow fights are awesome, plain and simple. Some of the girls clearly needed a little refresher on what constitutes a pillow fight however. Tammy seemed to be doing her best Khabib impression, abandoning her pillow and instead opting for a combination attack anchored by the crossface chicken wing with a seamless transition to the tiger feint crucifix armbar. Even Alayah, the eventual winner, opted for some below-the-belt tactics, unapologetically crushing Sydney and grabbing her hair in true why-were-you-speaking-to-my-ex-boyfriend-outside-the-bar-you-bitch fashion. As with the airplane race in episode 1 and the fashion show in last week’s episode, the lack of clear, codified rules of engagement made determining a winner very difficult. It was therefore unsurprising that Sydney and Alayah found themselves duking it out in the finals based on Demi’s estimation that they had displayed the “most effort…” Their relationship is budding as one of the most contentious of the season and just as Ali and Frazier will forever be remembered for the “Thrilla in Manila,” these two will be immortalized for their participation in “The Fightie in Nighties.”
The rose ceremony was great. Either Peter is very easily confused, or he doesn’t understand the fundamental value proposition of The Bachelor for 95% of contestants. It’s quite cute that he thinks he will find true love while simultaneously dating 32 women, however he needs to realize that the main reason these women are on the show is to bolster their status as middling Instagram influencers and that they’re laying it all on the line for a few thousand extra followers. Maybe I’m cynical, but for Sydney to call out Alayah in front of the whole group for her genuineness would be like Jose Altuve lobbying Congress to outlaw dog shock collars. Pot calling the kettle black much?
Peter did have some difficult decisions to make and he followed the classic playbook of avoidance and advice-seeking to try and sidestep his duty to Bachelor nation to stir up as much drama as possible. Whenever I’m making a tough decision, running away from that decision is always my first instinct. My second instinct is to seek advice from Chris Harrison. He doesn’t ever respond but I guess that guy gets a lot of DMs from people with issues more pressing than whether to put zesty ranch or blue buffalo on my salad at lunch! Peter executed this one-two punch expertly and his decision to can Alayah was initially shocking before it was revealed that she makes a comeback next episode. Every goddamn time I tell myself that this could be the last episode I watch, and every goddamn time, like a fish takes to water, I am drawn back in.