If I were to describe this season of The Bachelor so far using only Matt James’s favorite Bible verses, then we are undoubtedly the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:3 who have been cruising around the wilderness for 40 years looking for food and meaning in our toils. If the Bachelor God’s were just working up our appetite for the first five episodes, tantalizing our taste buds with contrived Victoria-shaped mirages, then Monday night’s episode was the mother of all Manna-from-heaven dumps. We had screaming, we had crying, we had roses being distributed and withheld, we saw bowling, we were treated to a topless Tyler C and a has-been-kissed Heather Martin coming from the clouds when literally no one asked for her. If you’re asking if the aforementioned conditions mean that you’ve died and gone to heaven then you may very well be right; Matt’s season was a grisly purgatory to this point, however after Monday night, the entire Nemacolin resort reeks of teen spirit, not because Kit has been sending suggestive messages from her, but because we are now in Bachelor Drama Nirvana.
The episode started with the finale of the Jessenia, MJ debacle. MJ is the last remaining pillar of the MJ, Victoria, Anna trifecta that made the Mean Girls seem like lovely upstanding members of the North Shore High School community. Perhaps their least endearing collective quality (Anna’s teeth take the cake in the individual sweepstakes by a country mile) is their consistent, mind-numbing ability to play the victim in every contentious situation that they create. Ultimately, it was Jessenia who came out on top in the battle of she-said, she-said, channeling her best Virgin Mary impression in a blue dress that was eerily reminiscent of The Madonna by the manger. Once again, MJ painted herself as a full-blown psychopath. The line “I had a weak bitch moment but now I’m back” was particularly memorable. This is the Bachelor, not the pregame where you tried to fight Jose Cuervo and had to go relieve your stomach of its inner demons before going out to the bar! In any case, given Matt’s proclivity for exceedingly open and vulnerable women, this weak bitch moment might actually have helped, rather than hindered her chances!
Matt has been driving some pretty sweet cars this season and so it was probably a good idea that he walked MJ out after sending her home; MJ strikes me as Carrie Underwood on steroids when it comes to digging the keys into the sides of pretty little souped-up four-wheel drives! Now she’s out the door, Matt doesn’t have to think before he cheats! He was clearly sufficiently worried about potentially psychotic behavior that he maintained a vice grip on her waist for the duration of their walkout scene, a slightly strange action given that he had just sent her home in favor of her arch-nemesis, but hey, he’s a weirdo.
I’m starting to think that Matt is like the vast majority of the world and hates having to make awkward small-talk with strangers at cocktail parties. This is like the third instance this season where he has just unceremoniously cancelled the cocktail party and gone straight to the rose ceremony. There was a lot of very nervous energy that manifested itself in tears for a lot of the ladies. Ryan in particular was absolutely losing her mind despite only having spent 30 seconds total with Matt. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this scared or anxious in my entire life…” What?? Has she never been on a train in an unfamiliar location with headphones on, missed the announcement for the next station, and then entered a state of sheer panic when the next stop could be yours but you don’t get up because you don’t want to face the walk of shame back to your seat if it isn’t, so you gear up for a mad dash if it is? Now that’s anxiety-inducing! Every cutaway of her she’s bawling her eyes out like someone has just taken that one nacho that has the perfect ratio of every topping on it. Matt, a high-profile African American conservative, might have been turned off by Ryan’s Hillary Clinton esq. pant suit; or maybe he was channeling his inner Tucker Carlson and refused to give credence to a girl with a name generally reserved for boys? Whatever the case, Ryan did not make the cut, Magi can go back to saving the world with her non-profit work and Brittany can return to escorting full time. That was a joke.
Somehow Serena C received a rose. She is one of my least favorite characters in the two years that I’ve spent shamelessly addicted to this mystical, magical franchise. An American Airlines flight attendant by trade, her relentless toxic energy and Biblical resting bitch face are the reason that they provide sick bags in the pouch in front of your seat! I momentarily thought about boycotting American in protest, but then I remembered that I have a coupon for a COVID-cancelled flight, as well as being a significant shareholder in the company (4.1243 shares not a big deal) so thought better of it. The reasoning behind her rose was immediately apparent when she yanked poor Katie aside and the two started airing out their grievances. There are a lot of mixed feelings about Katie on the internet and amongst my friends, and I’m not going to name names, but Sarah Spaulding you are entirely incorrect in your assessment that Katie is annoying and unlikable. She sticks up for the little guy, she stands up to bullies, she confronts the savagery of groupthink, and she calls out injustice and tyranny when she sees it; was Spartacus rising up against the tyrannical Roman Republic “annoying?” Was it annoying when Cinderella broke free from the cruel bondage of her evil sisters, or when Shrek confronted bestiality norms and showed that an ogre could indeed marry a human princess? These people, like Katie, were trailblazers, standing up for equal justice and fair treatment; Serena on the other hand is a vindictive, back-stabbing poser who will do anything to elevate her incredibly menial status on the show. The shouting match was excellent television, and it was even better when Katie walked in on Serena mischaracterizing their entire conversation to the other ladies in the living room post-fight. This is one that is likely to rumble on…
I will talk a little more about Heather later on, but the long and the short of it is that she clearly got kicked out of her parent’s house when they found out she had had her first kiss, she stole her Mom’s minivan and thought that Nemacolin would be a good place to lay low for a few days. Chris’s feigned surprise was some of the worst acting I’ve seen in a long time and he sent her right into quarantine so she could get into the action before long. “I couldn’t let Matt get engaged without even trying” – good one.
Pieper got a one-on-one date this time around and was treated to a surprise walk in the woods late at night. “I used to really love surprises… and then I came here” was Pieper’s response, and you can’t fault her, I wouldn’t have been shocked if their date was introducing Matt to 17 new gorgeous girls! The date was a trip to the fairground, and not just any old fairground, but an absolutely enormous multi-ride fairground with more lights than soccer-mom suburbs around Christmas! If we compare this to the fairground that Brendan put together for his hometown date, it’s pretty darn obvious that Title IX does not apply to the Bachelor franchises! The two then enjoyed a romantic dinner and then were treated to a concert, and another affirmation that if you don’t like being serenaded by C-list country artists in strange, intimate concert settings then the Bachelor is not for you. This time it was Temecula Road who were behind the mic… At a time when the biggest names in music are probably begging for bookings, you go with these guys? They sang a song, and Matt and Pieper kissed. Par for the course.
They should do more actual date activities on the group dates rather than performing strange scavenger hunts, or playing around in the mud as they’ve been doing a lot of this year. The group date was bowling, and the ladies were clothed with some lovely Big Lebowskian bowling shirts. The teams were set and shockingly it came down to Abigail with the final ball, needing six pins to win. She guttered it and the Pink Petals defeated the Blue Bombshells. What happened next was a prime example of the participation trophy-fication of the United States. The losing team was invited on the date. Abigail couldn’t get six pins on her final bowl, she doesn’t deserve to be on the date. Simple as that. I do think that the winner of this season will be in that losing group though. It sure as hell isn’t Kit or Serena C, so I’m calling it now that it’s between Rachael, Abigail and Bri. Boom.
Katie was the final recipient of a one-on-one date this episode. Before Matt went on the date however he had a nice chat with Tyler C over a game of pool. Unsurprisingly the date was centered on him, with Katie and Matt acting out this kind of dystopian voodoo doll scene where they were directing the masseuse to perform strange tasks on his angelic body. I’ve made a lot of how shitty the dates have been this season, but putting myself in Katie’s shoes (remember she couldn’t arrive on the set without her vibrator), I would imagine that watching Tyler C get his naked torso massaged was probably the best date ever. Matt made the whole thing decidedly uncomfortable by lubing up and going in for the massage at the end but the date went into dinner in good spirits. What happened next was a surprise. Katie was sent home. I had a sneaking suspicion that it was going to happen when they started talking about honesty and respect for one another (never a good sign,) but still a surprise given Katie’s relationship with Matt to that point.
Death, taxes, and Matt wearing turtlenecks and thigh-grabbing every girl within a 5-mile radius are some of the only certainties in this world. Another, is previous contestants of the show randomly pitching up to add unnecessary drama into the season in question. Heather gets kissed on damn time and now thinks she can insert herself into the season because Hannah B told her to? Now that is privilege if I’ve ever seen it. It’s kind of crazy the aesthetic similarities between Heather and Patrick Mahomes’s wife Brittany… I guess if your man can’t win back-to-back Super Bowls then creepy real estate agents with hand rubbing fetishes all of a sudden seem pretty appealing?
Until next week folks