The first episode of Matt’s season seems like it was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Between an alarming armed insurrection against our nation’s legislative branch, a new 30-track Morgan Wallen behemoth dropping last Friday, and trying to figure out how to transfer cable and internet services to a new NYC address, I was unable to dedicate the kind of time I normally would to cross-examining minute details of the previous Mondays’ show. Unfortunate, it was. Star Wars jokes aside, The Bachelor is a consistent and wonderful safe haven, and Victoria’s heinous activity aside, last night was a welcome return to just the droids I was looking for. Yes, the first episode wasn’t one for the history books, but Matt was right back to reminding us why The Bachelor, no matter how Lukewarm, will always say “I am your father” on Monday nights!
This season is taking place at the Nemacolin Resort in Farmington, PA. Despite sounding like a cream to treat rheumatoid arthritis, the hotel and surrounding environs actually look pretty stunning. One thing of note is I am starting to sense a little bit of a geographic disconnect between the enormous white façade that we were treated to for the introductions, and the so-called “Matteau” which is where the ladies hang around while Matt is out cavorting with his lovers. Have they just ditched that initial building in favor of a less luxurious, cheaper option? It’s a little bit like having your first date at Nobu and then following it up with nothing but trips to Arby’s for unlimited crispy fish platters; it’s still good, but not really the same from an expectation and outcome perspective…
The first 1-on-1 date of the season was with Bri, a communications manager from San Francisco. I know that they’re all cooped up in the same resort, but since when has the entire cast of the show come out to watch the other contestants leave to go on dates? No wonder Matt was shaking when he was trying to buckle up Bri’s helmet before their ATV riding date! The date looked kind of fun, but I was a little concerned with Matt’s inability to steer the ATV in a straight line on what were incredibly straight trails. This was a first date, riding a powerful and dangerous vehicle, with a presumably inexperienced accomplice, not Fast and Furious, Farmington Drift; maybe exercise some caution? Matt proceeded to flip over one of the ATVs, no doubt a ploy to flex his impressive deadlifting capabilities in flipping it back over, and then the two dirt-spattered, adrenaline-addled lovers indulged in a wood-fired hot tub experience. Obviously, there was some wood that needed chopping and Paul Bunyan’s lesser known African American brother braved the fall weather, wasting no time whipping off his shirt and revealing a set of abdominal muscles that would have sent Leonidas and co. traipsing back to Sparta with their tails between their legs. They kissed, had dinner, and are perfectly cute and boring together.
While Matt and Bri were canoodling in the hot tub and pretending to eat food by the swimming pool, Victoria was responding to not a single soul, complaining incessantly about everything and anything.
“I don’t feel comfortable in the group right now, I wanna spend more time with Matt and don’t want to be a part of this sorority”
“Even though I don’t like the other girls and I don’t want to spend time with them, at least I get to see Matt tomorrow”
“I’m so authentic and real” – leave that kind of rhetoric to Madi Prewett and the burner accounts sweetheart!
Victoria has taken on the burden of being the most hated women in America and seemingly taken to her new-found role like a fish to water. She lashes out with unfounded attacks, she sows unnecessary discord amongst the group at every opportunity, and she does stuff that has my scalp rubbed red-raw due to excessive and bemused head-scratching. Evicting yourself from your own room and sleeping on a communal couch to prove a point in an argument that you entirely started and unnecessarily perpetuated was the chef’s kiss. Victoria could cut off her nose to spite her face in the middle of 5th Avenue and still find a way to blame it on poor Marylynn. The couch she ended up sleeping on did look nice if that’s any consolation to her likely shell-shocked family members who are watching.
The producers were not going to let a little rain impact the first group date of the season, a wedding dress photo shoot with the gay, coked out Arnold Schwarzenegger-Rafael Nadal lookalike Bachelor photographer, Franco (below)
The women made aggressive moves on the dresses, and even more aggressive moves on Matt as they stood for their pictures underneath the wedding boughs. Victoria was characteristically toxic, charging to the front of the line when it wasn’t her turn and leaving Matt looking like he had just won the raffle prize for an all-inclusive, 10-day cruise with the Gorgon Medusa.
The next portion of the date involved a game of pseudo capture the flag called “capture the heart.” I was very happy to see that none of the ladies mysteriously resurfaced high school athletics injuries and tried to dip the game like their male counterparts… I guess the path to additional followers is paved with good intentions and even better joint health! There was some excellent footage of the ladies spilling and tripping all over the place, and while they all seemingly embraced the hand they had been dealt, they were probably hoping to get painted like one of Matt’s French girls, not by their fellow contestants with paint-smeared handbags and bouquets as brushes! The phrase “win as a team, lose as a team” clearly hadn’t made it into these girls’ repertories yet, as they unanimously claimed to have tried harder than any of their other teammates.
Early contender for quote of the season: “There’s frosting on my boobs”
A quick aside,
Matt is growing into this season nicely, but he needs to stop licking his lips and rubbing his hands together like he’s about to take down a box of chocolate eclairs every time the ladies are around. He’s even doing it in his stock internet images. This is The Bachelor; you’re not preparing to lead a game-winning drive at Lambeau field in a frigid January playoff game!
The second 1-on-1 date involved Alexis Rose-doppelgänger Sarah. Their date was a nice airplane ride to take in the Fall colors over the resort. Sarah’s comment that it looked like the “first ever plane” wasn’t completely unfounded, and given her clear infatuation with her plane partner, you’d have thought that she was up there with Mr. Wright!
Most first dinner dates involve questions like: “do you have any siblings?” and “which civilization do you like to start on in Age of Empires II?” (If they don’t say the Byzantines (elephants are SO elite) then its bathroom, stealth exit, then home.) On The Bachelor however, first date conversation pre-requisites include: exploring deeply personal traumas, things you haven’t spoken to anyone about before, and intimate family matters.
Sarah threw an ice bucket on any first date pleasantries dousing Matt not with the superficial and contrived small talk that usually characterizes the early episodes of this show, but with a frosty shower of the cold, hard truth. She talked extensively about her father’s battle with ALS and moving home to be his primary care-giver. If nothing else, Sarah’s presence on the show has already acted as amazing ALS patient advocacy (Donate here to the ALS Association if ya like), but I think she is an early, and very genuine contender.
I hate to keep turning this blog back around to Victoria and her suffocating energy (or the fact that she looks like she’s been sleeping on the couch for 2 decades rather than 2 nights), but the show to this point has been disproportionately geared in her direction and Matt needs to do something about it. This is Matt’s first major test and currently, if Victoria is a proverbial Tucker Carlson, then Matt is the guy who lives in the Villages in Florida, drives his fat ass around in his golf cart all day and tells you to “do your own research” when you explain concepts such as vaccination to him, because he got his ass gas lit big time with Victoria’s insane Marylynn conspiracy theories. The exchanges were part hilarious, part sad, as you saw Marylynn melt under the weight of Victoria’s completely evidence-less claims of bullying and manipulation.
Ending the episode with a medical emergency? In this economy? Sarah nearly fainted on stage in a conveniently placed plot device to push the Marylynn Victoria decision to next week… as if I wasn’t gonna watch anyways… you’re gonna have to try better than that to put me off!
Talk to you next week people!