Category Archives: Entertainment

Bachelor Recap: Episode 5, Season 20

Breaking news about the Iowa Caucus interrupted the first five minutes of The Bachelor, and I wasn’t thrilled. If I’d wanted my blood pressure to rise, I would’ve been watching CNN, not a reality dating show. Give me what I want, ABC! And that’s Emily the Twinless Twin trying a tequila shot for the first time, Ben eating a cockroach, and Olivia the News Anchor continuously getting paler as her spray tan fades. Olivia, your true color is showing.

After the talking head finally disappeared, we were shown Olivia tNA saying “Viva Mexico!!” which made me want to pull my hair out. Or hers. Oddly enough, Ben said “Viva Mexico!!” not 30 seconds later, and I thought it was endearing. Well done, editors. You have successfully made everyone hate Olivia for everything she does.

olivia mexico gif

The girls enter Mexico City by way of SUVs instead of limos, and I can tell they aren’t happy about it. There’s no complimentary champagne for the ride, so none of them know what to do with their hands. They shuffle into their penthouse (finally, a little dignity), where Olivia tNA immediately praises the inclusion of a bidet in the bathroom. Thanks for that visual.

All the blondes hop into one another’s laps on the couch to await the first date card, except Olivia tNA, who sits in the lone Lazy Boy chair in the corner. She tells the camera that “there’s no doubt I’m in love with Ben, because he doesn’t validate anyone else the way he validates me.” I don’t think she’d be saying that if she saw the way he “validated” all over JoJo in the helicopter last week, or the way he “validated” Lauren B. in the hot tub. He’s been doing a lot of, uh… “validation.” Nonetheless, Olivia tNA’s gut tells her that she is going to get the first one-on-one this week.

Olivia’s gut is wrong. It is also going to start growing if she doesn’t lay off the snacks we watch her scarf down in every episode.

The one-on-one date goes to Amanda the Mom.

Date card: “Let’s put all our eggs in one basket. — Ben”

Anyone else immediately think he’s alluding to her very fertile eggs? No?

Olivia tNA puts on a terrifying fake-excited face for Amanda before immediately requesting a private confessional to tell the camera that Amanda has kids and is therefore completely undesirable. You just keep digging that grave of yours, chica.

Fast forward a few hours and it’s now 4:19 a.m. in Mexico City. Ben is dressed for the day, and the girls are sound asleep, snoring very loudly. Or maybe that’s just a producer making snoring noises into a microphone. Ben tells the camera that he’s going to wake up all the girls so he can “see them in their element.” At least Ben gets it. These women are definitely “in their element” when they’re doing one of two things: A) Drinking wine, or B) Sleeping. Remember how “exhausted” they were last week?? Sweet sleepy little things.

Ben enters the room with a flashlight and shines it directly in the eyes of each of the girls, who are sleeping two by two in super fluffy beds. Becca pushes the camera out of her face like a pro. She’s done this before when Farmer Chris showed up in the middle of the night, and wants no part of round 2. JoJo grabs her boobs, which is usually my natural reaction, too, when something surprises me. Twinless Twin barely rolls over, and continues cuddling with her teddy bear. You heard me correctly. Her teddy bear. Fetus. Lauren H is hands DOWN the funniest, as she rips out her retainer and is 100% still drunk from the night before.

lauren h

Ben loudly asks “Whose weave is this?” as he pries through the items on their bedside tables. No one claims it.

Ben finally makes his way to Amanda the Mom’s bed, who now has 15 minutes to get ready for their date. She doesn’t need it, because she’s already in full makeup. Her lip gloss is even newly applied, which is my worst nightmare in bed. Whenever I fall asleep in lip gloss, which is not very often (for the record), I wake up feeling like someone just squeegeed all the air out of my mouth. Just me?

Amanda is used to her two children waking her up at 4 in the morning, so she is remarkably bubbly on the car ride to Grassy Knoll #3. As she and Ben walk toward a sea of hot air balloons, I’m afraid Amanda’s off-the-shoulder peasant blouse– a trend which seems to be replacing crop tops– will blow away like JoJo’s almost did last week. Luckily, no gusts of wind cause any trouble, and the only worrisome factor is the fire erupting from the bottom of the balloons. Tie down those sleeves, girlfriend!

Amanda and Ben enjoy a romantic hot air balloon ride with the “pilot” (what does one call a hot air balloon conductor?) and two cameramen, all in one 5×5 box. Intimacy at its finest. Ben has clearly been studying the flash cards producers gave him with random facts about Mexico City, and flawlessly spews out all of his historical knowledge to impress Amanda. “This pyramid is as big as the Great Pyramids in Egypt!” Amanda the Mom is not impressed because her child had a quiz on that same information just last week. Once Ben runs out of facts, he kisses Amanda to pass the time. It seems to go well.

After they land, they tow a picnic basket to the middle of the grassy knoll to have a bite to eat. I can look at nothing except Amanda’s American Eagle jeans, the likes of which I have not seen since freshman year of college. Instead of eating, they vaguely talk about how much they’re excited to get to know each other, but never once ask the other person a question about themselves. Interesting strategy.

Amanda tells the camera that she’s afraid to tell Ben about her divorce, because “it wasn’t a good marriage.” I don’t think that will surprise him, dear. No one who is divorced ever looks back and says “Wow, that was a great marriage.”

Back at the penthouse, Jubilee is losing her marbles about the fact that she isn’t getting as much attention as JoJo, Becca, or Lauren B.  Jubilee, you’re welcome to guest blog for me anytime, because those are my Top 3, too!

Group date card: “Como se dice the way to a man’s heart? –Ben”

Jubilee

Becca

JoJo

Caila

Emily, Twinless Twin

Lauren B

Jennifer (?)

Leah (?)

Olivia tNA

Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher is the only name not on the card, which means she automatically gets the second one-on-one date. Her reaction is to giddily burrow her head into Leah’s bosom.

Back at the night portion of Ben and Amanda’s date, I’m just starting to get past Amanda’s chipmunk voice. She is given the most consecutive sentences by one person ever to air in Bachelor franchise history, but I’ll admit that the whole spiel was very captivating. She word vomits all about her divorce, her husband cheating, and the embarrassment that accompanies a failed marriage. It was very raw and real, and I respected her honesty. She talked a lot about ignoring red flags, which made me wish she would’ve read the post I wrote about that very subject a few weeks back. I’m here to help, people!

Ben gives Amanda’s shoulders a face-to-face frontal massage as he tells her how much she deserves a great husband and father figure for her kids, then gives her the rose. They kiss a lot. I think she’ll be around for quite some time.

We return from the commercial break to an “artistic” camera shot of a cockroach on a leaf, and I wonder if the cameramen have been breaking into the stash of champagne.

The group date girls clearly consulted each other as they got dressed, and all decided that the uniform of the week would be flowy silk blouses and kimonos. Also worth mentioning is Becca’s half up top knot hairstyle, which was on point.

Emily the Twinless Twin tells the camera that she feels like a new person now that Haley’s gone, and I wonder if it’s because for the first time ever, she has to form complete sentences without help from her other half.

Ben takes the girls into an unsanitary room to take a Spanish class from a man who has clearly never seen The Bachelor, but is going to milk this teaching moment for all it’s worth. The girls learn how to say things like “I love you” and “I’m falling in love with you.” Ben tells the camera that these phrases will help them shop for groceries in Spanish, which is the second half of the date. (??) Olivia tNA says there was “electricitayyyyy” between her and Ben when they were practicing Spanish together in front of the class. I throw some popcorn at the screen.

After class, Ben walks the girls down the street and into a random supermarket. Surprise! The girls will be competing in a cook-off! They’re told to break into teams of 2 to shop for groceries before heading upstairs to a tiny restaurant above the market, where they will cook a dish from a recipe they’re given. Twist: The recipe will be completely in Spanish. Olivia tNA immediately claims Ben as her partner. JoJo and Becca obviously pair up because, duh, they’re BFFs. Lauren B is left standing alone while her default partner, Jubilee, tries to convince Ben to be her partner instead of Olivia’s. He looks at the floor until Olivia claws his arm and forces him to agree that she is his rightful partner. Jubilee sulks away, and I feel like someone should warn Olivia that Jubilee has killed people before.

While the rest of the teams are shopping for their groceries, Olivia and Ben do a tequila shot, then feed each other fried crickets. Olivia looks to be having a mouthgasm as she eats her cricket, which makes sense because she’s obviously such a fan of food in general. Ben looks like he wants to die while he’s eating his cricket, which makes sense because eating bugs is gross.

As the girls like to remind us, Olivia tNA has really bad breath, and they all start giggling when they see Ben dragging Olivia over to the fresh mint section of the grocery store and telling her to eat a leaf. The editing in that scene was impeccable.

While all of this is going on, Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher and Amanda the Mom are back at the penthouse, drinking red wine from champagne flutes. Thrifty. Lauren H’s date card arrives and says:

Let’s design a life together. –Ben”

The group date is still going strong, with the girls bumping into one another as they burn things in the kitchen. Ben says, “I’m excited to see how the women use different utensils.” I bet you are, Ben.

Most of the girls pretend to enjoy cooking, but Jubilee takes a different approach to proving she has an attractive personality by simply taking her wine glass into a corner to sulk while Lauren B finishes up their concoction. Not a good look, Jubes. Ben is watching.

Becca and JoJo completely embrace the sexual innuendos that come with the recipe they’re given: Tacos. JoJo tells the camera, “My taco tastes really good. Ben even tried my taco.” I want to throw up, but I’m also laughing because she clearly finds this producer-fed comment as absurd as the rest of us do. JoJo chooses to appease the producers, but says the line with all the sarcasm she can muster. She’s definitely ready to be the next Bachelorette.

Jubilee and Lauren B win the cook-off, and their prize is absolutely nothing.

During the night portion of the group date, Ben kisses everyone, Olivia pisses everyone off, and Lauren B remains the one to beat. Ben takes her (Lauren B) out onto the street to make out in front of various doorways and statues. The other girls wonder why they’ve been gone so long, because Ben only took the rest of them to talk on a nearby couch. Frolicking around town was some serious special treatment.

When Ben returns from his Lauren B make out sesh, his high is immediately squashed by Jubilee’s strong need for constant affirmation, which is not a great quality for someone on a dating show. Ben lets her talk for about five minutes before telling her that he doesn’t see a future with her and sends her home. She’ll probably regret wearing red lipstick with a bubblegum pink dress when she watches this episode.

Jubilee’s transition back into reality is swift, as she is forced to climb into a plain old taxi cab that will transport her to the airport.

Ben is pretty torn up about his “break up” with Jubilee, so JoJo pulls him aside to comfort him with her tongue. It works.

Ben is all smiles as he returns to the group with JoJo. I expect him to give her the rose, but instead, he gives it to Olivia. What the literal funk. Everyone freaks out, myself included.

Next up is the one-on-one with Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher. She wears a peasant blouse/crop top hybrid, which is a creative way to incorporate all aspects of Bachelor date fashion. Speaking of fashion, Ben tries to convince us that Mexico City is known for its fashion, and we all laugh because he’s wearing a “designer outfit” that involves khaki pants.

THE BACHELOR - "Episode 2005" - The first international stop of the season finds Ben and the 11 remaining bachelorettes traveling to Mexico City, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. Amanda has a thrillingly romantic one-on-one date with Ben, soaring over ancient ruins in a hot-air balloon. The women will attempt to learn Spanish with Ben but they immediately need to use their new-found knowledge to go shopping for a cooking competition. Lauren H. has a spring in her step as she and Ben walk the runway with top models during for Mexico City's Fashion Week. One heart-wrenching confrontation between Ben and one unhappy bachelorette changes the course of Ben's journey to find love. The women decide to take matters into their own hands and corner Ben about Olivia's bad behavior. Will the Bachelor decide it is time for her to pack her bags? "The Bachelor" airs MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eniac Martinez) LAUREN H., BEN HIGGINS

Turns out Ben chose Lauren H for this date because she’s the tallest girl in the house, and whoever he took was going to have to model in a fashion show. She is pretty freaked out about modeling, meanwhile Ben takes the runway like he’s been doing it for years. Software Sales Rep or Male Model? We may never know the truth.

The night portion of the date is boring. Ben wants to find out if Lauren H can survive outside the friend zone. She tells him a sad story about breaking up with her boyfriend of four years because he was cheating on her with three other girls, and Ben goes soft (emotionally). The way to this man’s heart is a sob story, no doubt about it. He gives her the rose.

Lauren H: “I’m definitely falling in love with Ben.”

Ben: “I just realized for the first time that Lauren H has boobs.”

Ben and Lauren H finish up the night by making out in the streets of Mexico, and I’m 90% sure Ben is pretending she’s Lauren B.

The rose ceremony cocktail party starts off with Ben nowhere to be seen, and Amanda telling the girls about her kids’ schedules while she’s away. When Amanda explains that her mom and the baby daddy share responsibility, Olivia tNA says “Wow, sounds like an episode of Teen Mom.”

Death stares from all.

Amanda: “I’m sorry, what?”

Olivia repeats herself. I choke on my wine.

Amanda goes full on Mama Chipmunk and tells Olivia that her remarks are offensive, and also by the way I was 22 when I had my first kid.

Emily the Twinless Twin starts crying because Olivia’s insensitive remark reminds her that her twin is back home in day care, as well. She decides to tell Ben about Olivia’s role as Top Villain. Olivia realizes that Emily is blowing her cover, so immediately runs to interrupt her. As she’s climbing the stairs, I can’t help but take note that Olivia may have the flattest butt I have ever seen. Like, ever.

Ben asks Olivia about the vibe among the girls, trying to see if she’ll admit that what Emily was saying has merit, but Olivia just flashes him her 600 teeth and says everything is great.

Amanda, Jen, and Leah all decide to back up Emily by using their one-on-one time to tell Ben about Olivia’s behavior. Usually, the Bachelor possy lets one girl take one for the team when it comes to tattling about the Top Villain, but these girls are an unbreakable squad. Taylor Swift would be proud.

The episode ends with Ben walking up to all of the women sitting on patio furniture, and saying, “Olivia, can I talk to you?”

TO BE CONTINUED… flashes on the screen.

The other girls think he’s going to take away Olivia’s rose. Based on the teasers for next week, I’m going to bet that he doesn’t. Ben clearly has not learned anything from past seasons, and decides to ignore warnings about the Top Villain. Cue waterworks from every single girl, including Lauren B and JoJo– the calmest ones left. Well, besides Becca, who has never shed a tear in her life. The teasers also lead me to believe that somebody Ben really likes decides to leave the show because he won’t “break up” with Olivia. Who will it be?? JoJo? Lauren B? That girl Jen we barely see?

Do you think someone will leave? And will the winner of this season always refer to Ben as “our boyfriend” instead of “my boyfriend”? I have so many questions! Let me know your thoughts.

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Bachelor Recap: Episode 4, Season 20

I want to start by dedicating this week’s Bachelor Recap to Bachelor #19, Chris Soules, who is kicked in the shins every two minutes this season. Becca, the woman Chris almost proposed to, admitted to having zero investment in that relationship, saying to Ben that “this outcome would be way better.” As in, Becca never had any intention of spending her life in BumEffingNowhere, Iowa. Fair, but harsh, Bec Bec. Also, anyone notice that Ben’s bachelorettes always travel via limos and private jets, while Chris’ girls were ushered around in a YMCA van? Farmer lives matter, too, ABC. No wonder Chris didn’t find love!! How can someone possibly fall in love without castles, penthouses, and leather seating at all times? Chris, our hearts go out to you.

Ben’s well-pampered bachelorettes begin this episode by complaining in unison about how exhausted they are. Honestly, my arms get tired when I’m blowdrying my hair, so I mean– I get it. These girls have to get all dolled up every day just to sit around a mansion and drink champagne. That’s basically what I did on my honeymoon, and let me tell you, standing never felt so tiring.

Right before Chris Harrison enters the mansion to tell the girls they’re going to “the marriage capital of the world,” Caila gives viewers what we want, which is for someone to finally admit that no one can tell the difference between the twins. Thanks for keeping it real, Caila.

The girls all put on their favorite pair of distressed jeans and head to Las Vegas, where they walk down The Strip and annoy people with loud squealing for a while before heading up to their tricked out penthouse. The first date card arrives, and Caila dramatically pulls it out of the envelope without breaking eye contact with the gaggle of women cuddled on the couch in front of her. The girl knows how to work a room.

“JoJo, You set my heart on fire. — Ben”

JoJo makes the bold choice to wear a black choker in her confessional interview where she talks about her excitement for the one-on-one date, and I wonder if she’s too young to be scarred by the plastic tattoo chokers from my childhood. I can never take a choker seriously again.

JoJo meets Ben on a rooftop, where they sip champagne around a cocktail table until a helicopter starts to land, and Ben says his favorite line: “I think our ride is here.” JoJo is super surprised that they’re going to ride in a helicopter, even though she was standing on a helicopter pad this whole time.

As the helicopter descends, it completely blows over the cocktail table and nearly strips JoJo of her lightweight peasant blouse. Champagne glasses go flying, and instead of evacuating the area where broken glass is swirling about in the wind, Ben and JoJo choose to crouch behind the toppled table and make out. Unbeknownst to Ben, all of the other girls can see all of this happening from their penthouse window. They laugh when the table falls over, but immediately run away from the window when they see Ben and JoJo kissing, because they don’t want to feed their crazy. Except Olivia the News Anchor. Olivia stays and watches the whole thing, because her crazy is real hungry.

girls watching

JoJo shows her aggressive side and blatant disregard for fragile equipment by confidently bending the helicopter mic headseats so that she and Ben can comfortably make out. Lauren B could’ve used a little of that gusto on her Snoopy plane ride last week.

Other than that, we don’t get to see any of the day portion of Ben’s date with JoJo because editors wanted to make sure we get plenty of ammunition to hate Olivia. They show her freaking out about seeing Ben kiss JoJo for a solid 10 minutes, saying things like “I love this man,” which was Crazy Ashley’s (from Sean’s season) go-to line. Once someone starts referring to the Bachelor as “this man,” you know it’s going to get bad.

I am disappointed that we don’t get to find out what Ben meant by “You set my heart on fire.” Did they get to burn down an old warehouse together? Did they learn how to use fire batons? Did they go hiking and make out around a daytime bonfire? That date card held so much potential. And I’m sure some junior producer felt extremely jipped that all her hard work in arranging a death-defying date was completely edited out of the episode.

While Ben and JoJo are training fire-breathing dragons, the group date card arrives at the penthouse. It goes to:

Jubileee

Lauren B

Amber

Amanda the Mom

Haley, Twin #2

Emily, Twin #1

Leah (?)

Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher

Jennifer (boobs)

Rachel (?)

Olivia tNA

Either I missed what the date card said, or they didn’t even bother to tell us because it was even more lame and boring than the rest of them.

Becca is the only name not on the card, which means she automatically gets the second one-on-one date. I also take note that this means Becca and JoJo will be the ones left behind while the rest of the girls go on the group date. They were partners in that weird high school date way back when, and were the only two girls to get no date at all last week. I’m 99% certain they’re BFFs by this point, so I bet they had a phenomenal girls day while the rest of the clan was off making fools of themselves (more on that to come). Ovaries before brovaries!

We finally return to Ben and JoJo, who have already cleaned the ashes out of their hair and are all dressed up for the night portion of their date. I’m in love with JoJo’s black jumpsuit. She chose not to wear her matching black choker, and I kind of already miss it. Their chemistry is pretty rock solid. Ben asks her some questions, but I’m too distracted by him sensually playing with her gold bracelet to listen to her answers. I don’t think he was listening, either.

Ben gives JoJo the rose, and they head to the roof to watch fireworks. I refuse to believe that fireworks are the only interaction they had with fire that day, and if it was, someone really dropped the ball. Ben kisses JoJo’s ear at the same time the girls back at the penthouse are watching the fireworks through the window and saying things like “Ben and JoJo are probably making out right now as they watch these.” How did you know??

Next up is the group date, and I immediately keel over because Caila is wearing her Mother of the Bride glitter shawl again. Maybe it’s like her security blanket? There has to be a good reason for this. The only thing that can distract me from that wardrobe catastrophe is Rachel’s white romper that I *think* had drawings of bugs all over it. This is the first time I’ve ever noticed Rachel, though, so maybe she’s tired of blending in…to which I say, nice work.

The girls are told they’ll be performing “talents” in front of 1,200 people as an opening act for a Las Vegas ventriloquist. Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher immediately starts talking about wearing nipple tassles, and after her comments about “handling balls” last week, I’m beginning to wonder if she she chose the wrong profession.

Lauren H does not end up wearing nipple tassles, but instead dons a full-body chicken suit and recites Old McDonald Had a Farm. Leah, the blonde we never see, is briefly shown jumping around on a pogo stick. The twins have taken Irish step-dancing classes their whole lives, and perform a delightful routine in German dirndls. Jubilee plays the cello, which is the instrumental equivalent to her personality. Lauren B juggles balls while Lauren H observes in admiration. Caila does a hula dance, and I decide to never eat again. Rachel makes balloon animals, still wearing her bug jumpsuit.

Then there’s Olivia. The producers brilliantly cut out any background music so that everyone can hear all the screeching from an unoiled cake being rolled onto the stage. Olivia pops out of the cake in red lingerie and a feather boa. Perhaps “pops out” is the wrong phrase. “Clambers out” is more accurate. She then puts her hands on her hips and flails her legs in what I think were attempts at “kicks” but make me wonder if she failed the V-sit in fifth grade. Even my flexibility isn’t that bad…and I was once called a “corpse” by a physical therapist.

olivia red feathers

Everyone in the audience, including the T.V. audience, shrinks down in their seats to hide from the awkwardness. Ben can’t hide his secondhand embarrassment as he watches in horror. She finishes her routine by sauntering down to Ben in the audience and giving him a hug, which he reciprocates in the same manor my pastor hugs me. Butt out, plenty of room for Jesus.

Olivia can tell that Ben doesn’t want to be associated with her, and proceeds to perpetuate the frustrating stereotypes about mental disorders by throwing a tantrum, but calling it a “panic attack.” No, Olivia, you’re not having a panic attack. You’re just crying because you know how silly you just made yourself look. News flash: This breakdown isn’t helping.

Olivia decides to redeem herself during the night portion of the date by wearing a pale gray romper that clashes so much with her skin tone that I’m concerned she is legitimately ill.

Night portion in summary: Ben calls Caila a sex panther, Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher tells the camera that “little Ben” (the ventriloquist puppet) is “bigger than she expected,” and Lauren B remains the front runner based on her natural chemistry with Ben. Ben’s time with Olivia is forced and uncomfortable because Ben has lost interest. Olivia can tell, and finds Ben for a second round of one-on-one time. She tries to interrupt Ben and Emily by hovering nearby, but Ben just ignores her and tells Emily to keep talking. BURN. Olivia then actively inserts herself into the situation, and Ben gives her a painful pity kiss to get her to go away. It works, and Olivia is convinced she’s still the top dog. She’s not.

Group rose goes to Lauren B.

Next is the one-on-one date with Becca. Someone delivers a giant box, which holds a cheap wedding gown that Becca is required to put on before going downstairs into a lobby full of judging onlookers who watch her climb into a pink convertible. Becca hates everything about this because she’s a low key, fashionable person, but she plants on a smile because she knows she signed up for this.

Jubilee for the win by mumbling, “She’s the perfect person to wear white…” because Becca is a virgin.

Becca is transported to a classic Vegas “chapel,” where Ben is waiting in a tux and immediately gets down on one knee. He says “Will you marry…other people with me today?” Before your mind goes to Sister Wives, let me clarify. Ben got ordained so that he can officiate weddings.

They let Becca change out of the wedding dress and put on a cute hippie white dress she brought from home. She stands next to Ben as he marries 40,000 couples, one by one. There were so many. Naturally, I cried because I can’t watch a wedding without bawling. Emotional stability is not my strong suit.

After that, Becca changes into the littlest of all little black dresses, and they drive in Convertible #5 to a junkyard. This junkyard is full of old Vegas electronic signs with missing bulbs that are being “refurbished.” Idk where they go once they’re refurbished, but whatever.

Becca and Ben sit on an uncomfortable-looking bench in the sign graveyard and talk about how much Becca didn’t like Chris when she was on his season. Chin up, Chris!! Then Ben asks her the very mature question, “How do you feel about the fact that I am a Christian who didn’t choose to save himself for marriage, but you did?” She talks about sex being a personal choice, and they discuss God in a comfortable, open way that makes me super proud. He gives her the rose, and I pray she makes it to the Top 4 so she can be the next Bachelorette. Sorry, JoJo.

In a last minute twist, Chris Harrison shows up on the morning of the rose ceremony to tell the girls that Ben wants to spend the day with the twins. The twins are from Las Vegas, so Ben takes them to their mom’s house (where they still live because they’re infants) for an impromptu hometown date. To make a short storyline short, Ben sends Haley home, which is convenient because she’s already there. He and Emily hop in the limo and return to the penthouse. The girls have no idea which twin just walked back through the door.

At the rose ceremony, every single girl wears a tiny sequined dress except Rachel, who wears a floor length red gown. For a second time this episode, I notice her because of something she’s wearing. This time, it’s in a good way.

Olivia morphs into Lace and spends the whole rose ceremony telling Ben that she’s sorry she acted so insecure on the group date because she’s “not insecure,” but her desperate apology only exacerbates the whole “insecurity” thing. She brings him cheesecake as a peace offering, which normally I’d say is a strong move, but it falls flat like her hair. At this point, Olivia starts talking in third person. “Olivia is here to stay.” “Olivia is here for you.” RUN, Ben. RUN.

Other notable happenings are Caila’s return to sex panther status by attacking Ben’s face, Jubilee’s heartfelt side hug from Ben that firmly places her in the friend zone, and viewers getting to hear Jen’s voice for the first time.

Rose ceremony, which happens on top of a precarious glass pool cover:

JoJo, Lauren B, and Becca (my Top 3) already have roses. The rest go to:

Amanda the Mom

Lauren H the Kindergarten Teacher

Jubilee

Emily, Twinless Twin

Caila

Jen

Leah (?)

Olivia tNA

We say goodbye to:

Amber

Rachel

Rachel and her long red dress exit gracefully. Amber takes off her heels and storms away crying, then curls up on a pool chair to vent to the producers she’s known for years since this is her THIRD rodeo. Have you no pride, Amber?

Teasers for next week show Olivia saying Amanda’s life is like “an episode of Teen Mom,” and everyone immediately running to tell Ben that she’s a monster. The end is near for Olivia the News Anchor, guys. Hide yo’ kids. Hide yo’ wife.

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The Bachelor Recap: Episode 3, Season 20

Another Monday, another night of spandex, aircrafts, and floundering reputations. Let’s start with what we learned this week:

  1. Olivia the News Anchor spent over $40,000 on her Bachelor wardrobe
  2. Ben’s dad had triple bypass surgery right before The Bachelor, and Nazi producers still haven’t let Ben talk to him in “awhile”
  3. Lauren B.’s jean shorts are sewn in steel
  4. Lauren H. has “zero ball-handling skills”
  5. “Awko taco” is apparently a term…one which I will be using regularly from here on out

We begin the evening watching the house divide itself between the Mean Girls and everyone else:

The cast:

Regina George……………………….Olivia tNA

Gretchen Wieners…………………Jami aka Mini Amber

Karen Smith…………………………..Hailey…Emily…?? We’ll go with Twin #2.

Regina and her minons are lounging on a poolside bed while Regina tells them how they should be feeling and they agree. The nice girls, i.e. Amanda the Mom and Lauren B. the Flight Attendant, are a few beds down, discussing why Regina is bad news. I believe the direct quote was, “I just can’t with her.”

Next thing we know, all the girls have changed into neon workout clothes and gathered in the living room so Gretchen Wieners can read the date card.

“Lauren B., The sky’s the limit. — Ben”

These clues get less and less creative with each season. Did they get a new intern? Bad hire.

Lauren B. immediately changes into her cool girl white converses and favorite pair of distressed daisy dukes— and in a shocking twist, does not wear a crop top. The rest of the girls immediately take off their workout tanks so that they’re ready to impress Ben with their colorful sports bras and temporary abs. I say “temporary” because I’d stop eating, too, if I knew I’d be forced to wear skimpy group date outfits on national television. The only girl semi-dressed for Ben’s arrival is Becca, because she’s already done this before and is 12 notches less desperate than her cohorts.

Ben sweeps Lauren B. away in a black Mustang convertible, and somehow her hair still looks perfect upon arrival at the airport. She’s not very impressed with being at an airport because she’s a flight attendant. I like her zero flips attitude. Ben walks her up to Snoopy’s plane, which has been painted yellow with the words “Sky Thrills,” and tells her they’re going to do tricks in the sky. She notes that the airplane only has one propeller, and internally wonders where they stash the snack cart.

Lauren B. and Ben take off and Lauren describes the experience as “calming.” I don’t think that’s what the founder of “Sky Thrills” was going for.

Their Snoopy plane is followed the entire time by a little white plane, which I can only assume is carrying Chris Harrison. Ben can barely hear what Lauren is saying, so instead he tries to kiss her. His lips bounce off of hers at least three times before they make serious contact, which makes me laugh really hard.

bachelor airplane

Their plane flies over the Bachelor Mansion, and producers quickly tell the girls on the ground that Ben and Lauren B. are in the tiny yellow dot flying above them. The girls pretend they figured it out themselves, and start imagining all of the dirty things that Ben and Lauren are probably doing a few thousand feet above the ground. I feel the worst for Caila, whose one on one date involved a trashy liquor store and a hot tub inside of a hot tub store.

Ben and Lauren B. have not totally mastered how to successfully kiss in the sky, but they keep trying until they land in the middle of absolutely nowhere. A lone hot tub sits in a grassy valley, and Lauren B. tries not to laugh as she says, “At this point, I don’t even care how this hot tub got here.” I wonder if it’s the same one Caila and Ben tested out in the hot tub store.

Ben tells Lauren B. to jump on his back for a piggy back ride down to the hot tub, and I tense up in preparation for her jean shorts to split right down the middle. They don’t. Producers magically produce a bikini for Lauren to change into, and she and Ben settle into making out in the hot tub while the cameramen capture expansive shots of golden mountains and raging hormones.

Back at the mansion, Caila tells JoJo that she’s “just now realizing that there are other girls here.” Where in the world did you think you were this whole time, Caila?

Ben and Lauren B. spend the night portion of their date in a random Victorian house, where they have some real conversation about family and values. It’s nice and doesn’t feel forced for once. He gives her the rose. They then go to a “private concert” by another E-list artist. Ben is really into kissing Lauren B., and I am even more convinced that she’s the one to beat. (I called it on the first night.)

Next is the group date with:

Amanda the Mom

Hailey aka Karen Smith, Twin #2

Jennifer

Shushanna 

Leah

Amber

Lauren H

Olivia tNA aka Regina George

Jami aka Gretchen Weiners

Rachel

Lace

Emily, Twin #1

Date card: “Love is the goal.

Seriously?? I can think of a million better soccer puns. How about “Can you handle my balls? Love, Ben”

In the first five minutes of the date, Lauren H. the Kindergarten Teacher takes care of the ball jokes for us by admitting she has “zero ball-handling skills.” Don’t worry, we didn’t think you did. I’m also immediately reminded of last year’s Miss America Pageant when the winner said she “needs to feel Tom Brady’s balls.” I was in the audience, and let me tell you– reliving that moment never gets old.

The girls on the group date reluctantly change out of their beloved Lulu Lemon attire and put on oversized soccer jerseys with volleyball shorts, i.e. spandex underwear. Amanda the Mom tucks in her jersey to make sure her children know that she has on pants.

After practicing their chest bumps (yep, everything you’re imagining), the girls are split into two teams, each captained by a member of the U.S. women’s soccer team/World Cup champion. The winning team gets to go on the night portion of the date, and the losing team has to go back to the mansion. Regina, Gretchen, and Karen are all on the same team, so obviously we know who we’re rooting for from an entertainment perspective.

bachelor soccer 2

Emily, Karen’s twin, puts up a solid fight as goalie against the Mean Girls…especially in comparison to Lace, whose goalie skills are about the same as her dating skills. But in the end, the Mean Girls win. The nice girls mope in their spandex underwear all the way back to the mansion. I wouldn’t be moping if I had that much thigh gap, but these girls are pretty selfish.

Shushanna the Russian immediately retreats to the floor of the bathroom, where we all know she hides her vodka beneath the counter. You do you, girl.

During Part Deux of the group date, Olivia tNA aka Regina immediately begins her mind tricks by stealing Ben away to a hotel room with a balcony overlooking the other girls, and yodels down to them so that they see her before she leads Ben back into the bedroom. Their reactions are what you might expect.

The other girls choose to handle their panic by making fun of Regina’s ugly toes. Twin #2 aka Karen Smith tells the camera that the other girls shouldn’t say such mean things about Regina, and that there’s a 100% chance it’s raining crazy. Upon Regina’s return from the hotel room, Jami aka Gretchen Weiners pulls her aside to tattle. This is their conversation, verbatim:

Gretchen: “The other girls were making fun of your physical appearance when you were gone.”

Regina: “Was it about my calves?”

Gretchen: “Uh..no.”

Regina: “Oh, so my cankles then?”

Gretchen: “No…”

Regina: “What then?”

Gretchen: “Your toes.”

Regina: “My toes…?”

Gretchen: *blank stare*

Welp, now we know that Olivia tNA has some major insecurities. I’d normally feel sad that women are so concerned with tiny “imperfections,” but Olivia is such a pain that instead, my mouth hangs open in amusement that she’s so quickly rattling off all of the things she doesn’t like about herself. Let this be a lesson: Mean girls tend to be the most insecure of all.

Ben gives the group date rose to Amber, because he has zero attraction to anyone on the group date except Regina, but he knows a riot will break out if he gives her yet another group date rose. Amber is the most desperate, so he decides to humor her. She is very humored.

The second one-on-one date goes to Jubilee, which means JoJo and Becca don’t get a date at all this week. I’m pretty sure Ben is punishing them for not knowing where Indiana is on a map.

Jubilee chooses a two piece, high-waisted, all white track suit with heels for her date. When Ben arrives to pick her up, she calls him out for being late, then darts her eyes around the room to make everyone as uncomfortable as possible. This is when Baby Jami aka Gretchen Weiners, says Jubilee is being “Awko taco.” Oh, yes.

We hear a helicopter in the background, and Ben tells Jubilee that their ride has arrived. The helicopter lands in the driveway, and Jubilee says she hates heights, then asks the other girls if anyone else wants to take her date. Every single girl raises her hand. Jubilee doesn’t say anything else before getting on the helicopter in the biggest display of “PSYCH!” in history. The girls freak out, duh.

Ben and Jubilee land at a health spa, where they are greeted with champagne and caviar. Jubilee has never had caviar, and proceeds to spit it out after Ben feeds it to her. Ben laughs hysterically. Everyone at home feels so awko taco that they avert their eyes while she wipes off the crumbs that are stuck to her lip gloss.

This whole date consists of Jubilee crying to Ben about her difficult past, and Ben staring at her like she’s a sick puppy. At dinner, she says she’s the only survivor in her entire family, and that she feels a lot of guilt. Ben nervously asks her why she’s guilty, because he’s just as scared as we are that she killed off her entire bloodline. She does not give him a straight answer, and instead stares at her fingernails, which are filed into pointy weapons. He decides that she’s an onion like Shrek and gives her the rose so that he can slowly peel her layers, both figuratively and literally.

bachelor onion gif

Miss you, Ashley S.

The only other important thing to know about this one-one-one date is that I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out what Jubilee’s chest tattoo says, and all I’ve got is “The Pastry Parade.”

The next morning, Lauren H. the Kindergarten Teacher who can’t handle balls says that she’s shocked Jubilee got a rose on her date because “Ben wants someone who can get along with all the other soccer moms and set up play dates.” Dear God.

We then jump forward ten hours to the feeding frenzy cocktail party. In Ben’s opening speech, he tells the girls that two of his close family friends died in a plane crash the night before. He’s visibly upset, and everyone except Regina wants to comfort him. Instead, she employs her go-to move of immediately stealing him away from the group and proceeds to LITERALLY CRY about how much she hates her cankles. Ben clearly becomes infinitely less attracted to her in that moment, because he’s dealing with death, and she doesn’t once ask him how he’s doing. She instead talks about her oversized calves. How the mighty will fall.

Amanda the Mom saves the day and asks Ben if he’s alright, because she’s a normal person with feelings. Amanda ftw.

Jubilee has already made herself the black sheep of the house, no pun intended– I promise, and further digs her grave by stealing Ben for one-on-one time even though she already has a rose. Not only that, but her one-on-one time consists of her giving Ben a full body massage. The girls absolutely lose it. “First, she was ungrateful for her date and offensively offered it up to the other girls. Then she doesn’t talk to us and is socially awkward. Now, she’s stealing Ben when she already has a rose.” The horror.

Amber decides to confront Jubilee because she wants more air time, and Jubilee is like, “Nah I’m good. Don’t want to talk.” Amber then decides it’s a good idea to get all of the girls who don’t like Jubilee to confront her at the same time. Jubilee’s fight or flight kicks in, and she runs away. She may be an army vet who fought in Afghanistan, but even that can’t prepare her for the Bachelor Mansion. Caila, the nicest person in the house, says what we’re all thinking: “No matter how much you don’t like someone, five on one isn’t a confrontation– it’s an attack.”

Ben looks spent as he climbs the stairs to comfort Jubilee in the bathroom. He tells the camera that he is “responsible for the emotions of the girls in the house.”

Ben, you are but one man. Don’t do that to yourself.

Amber joins Ben and Jubilee in the bathroom to tell Jubilee why all the girls don’t like her. Ben defends Jubilee like an uncle protecting his favorite niece. None of the vibes are good.

Jubilee is certainly unlikable, and definitely has a chip on her shoulder, but she has not surpassed Regina as Top Villain. Let that be on the record.

The night is winding down, and Ben plops down on the couch in between two nice girls. His eyes are glossy from dealing with his legitimate personal struggles, and I feel like he needs a good night’s rest. Not five seconds after Ben sits down, Lace asks him if they can talk. She’s already crying. Ben proves he is the most wonderful man in the world by forcing the words “of course” out of his mouth.

Lace tells him that she needs to work on herself and is going to leave the show. Ben practically pushes her out the door.

Rose ceremony:

Lauren B., Amber, and Jubliee already have roses. The rest go to:

Lauren H.  the Kindergarten Teacher

Amanda the Mom

Becca

Hailey, Twin #2 aka Karen Smith

Emily, Twin #1

Rachel (?)

Caila

JoJo

Jennifer

Leah (?)

Olivia tNA aka Regina George

Going home are:

Jami aka Gretchen Weiners

Shushanna the Russian

Jami goes full on nutcase in her exit interview, but no one is surprised because WWGD (What Would Gretchen Do?).

In the teasers for next week, Ben says he’s taking the girls to Vegas, where “people go to find love.” LOL, Benny. We also get to see Olivia tNA losing her mind at some point, which should be good. I have a feeling that this season is only going to get better each week. See you next Monday!

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The Bachelor Recap: Episode 2, Season 20

The universe did not want me to watch The Bachelor last night, but I fought back and won. Barely.

My battle included a dinner party, a major house fire, and learning to work my parents’ DVR.

I didn’t get to start watching last night’s episode until 10 p.m., but in the first five minutes, I saw Ben in nothing but royal blue boxer briefs, casually putting on jeans in a marble bathroom. I took this as a sign that this episode would be worth staying up past my bedtime.

Let’s jump right in.

The first group date card says “Let’s learn how to love. From, Ben.” The girls don’t know it yet, but they’ll be traveling to a high school to compete in games that [supposedly] remind Ben of his youth. The girls invited are:

LB, Most Likely to be Confused with Shushanna

Jackie, Most Likely to Be Forgotten

Lauren H, Most Likely to Freeze Her Eggs

Becca, Most Likely to Succeed [with Ben]

Amber, Most Likely to be on Bachelor in Paradise 3

Mandi, Most Likely to be Fired from Her Job When She Gets Home

JoJo, Most Likely to be the Next Bachelorette

Jubilee, Most Likely to Punch Another Contestant

Jennifer, Most Likely to Pop a Breast Implant

Lace, Most Likely to Be Kept Around by Producers

As Ben walks into the room to pick up his 10 dates in a room full of 20 women, some wearing Lulu Lemon to show they’re “chill” and some in their favorite Anthropology body suits (100% of them in full makeup), Olivia the News Anchor clings to JoJo like she’s never experienced this emotion called “excitement” ever before in her entire life. First of all, leave JoJo alone, Olivia. She’s supposed to be the next Bachelorette and doesn’t need to be associated with your deranged faces. Second, you’re not even going on the date.

Just so you know, the following photograph is how Olivia’s face looked the entire episode, except for when she was trying to mount Ben. [Warning: May not be suitable for young children.]

olivia bachelor mouth

Olivia was making this face before we even got a taste of her Villain behavior. By the end of the episode, she easily earns her rightful place as Top Villain and resident Dementor.

While Olivia and her prey remain at the mansion, the group date girls all put on their matching white converses and hop in a limo. When they arrive at the high school, Ben waits at the bottom of some steps as a stampede of crop tops and ombre hair comes racing towards him. I can see fear in his eyes.

They go inside, where Chris Harrison appears in nerdy glasses and a moth-eaten brown sweater vest to tell the girls that they will compete in a series of events to become Ben’s Homecoming Queen. Most of them graduated high school last year, so this all feels a little too real.

The girls are paired in teams, don white lab coats, and head to “Science class.” Here, they have to combine “chemicals” labeled as “love,” “communication,” “trust,” and “appreciation” to…wait for it…”make Ben’s volcano explode.” Gulp. Lace and Jubilee are eliminated. Jubilee threatens Lace’s life and I believe her.

The remaining teams head to another class. The subject was unclear to me. All I know is they had to bob for apples, then transfer the apple into their partner’s mouth with their mouth. If you ask me, this round is far more likely to make Ben’s volcano explode than Game #1…

Jackie and whoever her partner was were eliminated. All the girls tell the camera that Jackie isn’t good with her mouth, with mischievous grins on their faces. We all send up a little prayer for their fathers who are watching.

Geography class is next, where the girls have to place a cut-out of the state of Indiana on a blank map of the United States. Three teams sort of succeed. One team puts the state sideways where Pennsylvania should be. Educators around America wince and pour themselves more wine. What makes it worse is that this team is Becca and JoJo, two of my favorites. I don’t want to talk about it.

The final test is Gym class, where the girls have to make a certain number of basketball free throws the fastest. Ben’s least favorite team– Mandi and Amber– wins. These two then have to race down a track over hurdles to determine the final Homecoming Queen. Ben looks defeated before the race even starts. Mandi wins. Ben dies a little inside because he is now forced to spend 10 full minutes “alone” in a convertible with the chicken lookalike while other, hotter girls silently watch them converse from a distance.

The second half of the group date is far less interesting. It’s mostly Lace the Producer Pick telling everyone she is not crazy, while doing something crazy every two minutes. Ben kisses Jen. Then Jubilee. Then JoJo. They all kiss and tell. Lace does not take the news lightly.

The group date rose goes to JoJo.

The next day, Ben shows up at the house to take Caila on the first one-on-one date of the season. Olivia the News Anchor (Top Villain, Dementor) is not wearing makeup, and I wish she was. The girls all stand in the driveway to watch Ben and Caila drive off in a convertible. Oh, and Kevin Hart (comedian) and Ice Cube (vaguely familiar actor/rapper) tag along in the backseat of the car. My guess is that they’re somehow affiliated with ABC and are on the show to promote something that I don’t know about.

The whole first half of the date is a gimmick to try and make Kevin Hart seem funny, but I’m not entertained. It concludes with Caila and Ben in a hot tub…inside a hot tub store…drinking champagne while Kevin Hart skinny dips right next to them. I feel bad for all parties involved.

The second half of their date is much less cringeworthy, other than Caila’s Mother of the Bride glitter shawl and 1920s character shoes. Caila and Ben share easy conversation and dazzling smiles. He gives her the rose, then they go to a private concert by someone only Ben has heard of. Caila pretends to be impressed by the “famous person,” but really, she’s just excited about slow dancing with Ben. They kiss and she’s way more into it than Ben, but that’s probably just because she already decided that he’s going to be her husband and he still has 20 other hot girls to choose from.

Group Date #2 goes to:

Emily, Twin

Shushanna, Russian

Sam, Lawyer

Olivia the News Anchor

Hailey, Twin

Amanda, Mom

Ben takes the girls to a “love lab” where they are tested to see which girl is most compatible with Ben. They are strapped with wires (after changing into white booty shorts and tank tops), then look at a picture of former Bachelor Sean Lowe next to a picture of Ben. The test determines who the girls stare at the most. Next, they have to run on a treadmill to break a sweat, which takes some less time than others. Ben then comes over and smells their pheromones, i.e. body odor. Typical first date stuff. Last, each girl sits on a bed with Ben in various sexual positions to see who arouses him most. Oh, by the way, the girls get to watch each other have their turn with Ben on the bed.

Olivia the News Anchor (tNA) quietly tells Ben she wants to kiss him while they’re on the bed, but he refuses because other girls are watching. Good job, Ben.

Sam gets the lowest overall compatibility score: 2.4 out of 10.

Olivia tNA gets the highest overall compatibility score: 7.4 out of 10. [Honestly, that still doesn’t sound like that impressive of a number, but she seems pretty pleased with it. Let us also remember that these “compatibility” tests never once broached a subject that wasn’t physical. (Sight, smell, touch) FOOL PROOF.]

During the evening portion of Group Date #2, Ben kicks things off by pulling Olivia tNA aside in her hot pink bib dress, much to the dismay of all the other girls. She already got the First Impression Rose and won the compatibility test. Why am I even here?? Ben takes Olivia to the apartment he “lives” in. She takes this as a sign that he wants to marry her. They have no conversation at all and proceed to make out for ten minutes. This pleases Ben. I am concerned that the Dementor just sucked out his soul.

dementor gif

When Ben walks Olivia back to the group, he wipes off his mouth in plain sight of his other dates. Olivia sits down among the other women and is greeted with icy silence. She then begins her mind trick games that I believe will be a staple of this season. The first one was to ask the other girls where they want to talk to Ben during their one-on-one time, which is not something most girls have thought about. This then makes them wonder where Ben and Olivia went. As a natural course of conversation would lead, they ask Olivia where she went. Olivia says she doesn’t want to talk about it, and slinks away to the bar. Now the girls are really freaking out. WHERE DID HE TAKE HER??? Olivia: 1. Other girls: 0.

Amanda and Ben have their one-on-one time under a thin blanket on an uncomfortable-looking couchbed. She tells him she has two daughters. He looks genuinely elated. They have real conversation and actually start getting to know each other. America falls in love with her. Ben seems like he does, too.

Two minutes later, Ben gives the group date rose to Olivia tNA. Bachelor Nation screams at the T.V. Olivia opens her mouth so wide that I can literally see Ben’s mom on the other side of the country sitting in horror. Use your other head, Ben!

We return from commercial break to find ourselves already halfway through the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, where three unlucky ladies will be soon be rejected by their soulmate. Lace, yet again, tells Ben that she’s not crazy, then proceeds to act as insecure and crazy as possible. Olivia continues to get in the heads of the other girls by spending a lot of one-on-one time with Ben, even though she already has a rose.

Ben does something no Bachelor has done before, and presents some girls with gifts during the cocktail party. He brings hair clips and little roses to hot glue together with Amanda so that she can give them to her daughters. We all cry a little and thank Mike Fleiss for choosing him as the Bachelor. He also gives Lauren B. a picture of them together from the first night, and Lauren H. (teacher) a blue ribbon for making his volcano explode the biggest on the group date. I hope her kindergarteners aren’t watching.

Rose ceremony:

Caila, JoJo, and Olivia tNA already have roses. The rest go to:

Amanda

Jubilee

Lauren B.

Leah 

Becca

Rachel 

Lace 

LB— Plot twist: LB says she can’t handle the crazies and kindly rejects the rose. Ben seems unfazed. I thought she was Shushanna the Russian this entire time, which goes to show how invested any of us were in that relationship.

Jennifer

Emily (twin)

Jami

Lauren H.

Shushanna (LB’s doppelganger)

Hailey (twin)

Amber (pity rose since LB’s was up for grabs)

We said goodbye to:

Jackie

Sam

Mandi the chicken lookalike

 

I never thought I’d be saying this, but…did anyone else feel like the twins were the most normal girls on this episode? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! And don’t forget to share this post if you, too, think Olivia is actually a Dementor.

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The Bachelor Recap: Episode 1, Season 20

Trying to recap an episode of The Bachelor is like trying to figure out where to start with cleaning my post-wedding apartment. I am overwhelmed at the thought of creating some kind of order, but I know that the first five minutes will be the hardest. Once the ball is rolling, each little piece of the trainwreck will find its place.

Tonight, we got to meet the world’s most underprepared Bachelor– second only to Juan Pablo, who had literally no idea what he signed up for. I think at one point JP even said the words, “I didn’t agree to world knowing all the details of my relationship and how I feel.” LOL, Juan, fire your translator.

Anyway, Ben Higgins is about as innocent as they come, at least on this show. First of all, as gathered from his powwow with Mom and Dad, he was raised in a house where they drink water out of giant, colored plastic cups– something to which I can relate– which only means that he is not nearly aggressive enough to handle the chaos that Hollywood producers are about to throw his way. Glassware is generally a pretty solid indicator of maintenance levels, and Ben’s enormous colorful cup screamed, “I sometimes wear socks to 7-11.” Unfortunately, most of his female suitors seem like Aquafina-out-of-a-glass kind of girls. (Translated: Full eye makeup to 7-11.) The exception is the token farmgirl, whose answer to “How do you beat [the excitement of] twins??” was “With a [bleeping] mini-horse. That’s how.” Obsessed.

mini horse bachelor

Because the advice of parents who have been happily married for 32 years was not sufficient, Ben turned to his Bachelor bros: Jason Mesnick, Sean Lowe, and Chris Soules. “Three of America’s favorite Bachelors.” Nottttt the most solid introduction by our script writers. If I remember correctly, America kind of hated Jason after he proposed to one girl at the end of the show, then dumped her on live television two months later during “After the Final Rose” in order to get together with the girl he originally gave 2nd place. In all fairness, Jason and #2 are now married with a baby, but…one of America’s favorite Bachelors? I think not.

Despite the questionable merits bestowed upon them, these three ex-Bachelors gave Ben the best advice they could muster. From Jason: “Follow your heart.” (Perhaps before you propose to the wrong person…) From Chris: “Kiss all of them!!” Direct quote. He’s the only one of the three who wasn’t successful on the show, which is..shocking. From Sean: “Don’t kiss girls in front of other girls.” Always has been, always will be, the Golden Child.

the bachelor sean lowe

By the time Ben dresses in his well-tailored suit, does some introspective thinking on his balcony, and greets Chris Harrison at the gates of hell The Bachelor Mansion, I already feel sorry for him. While about half of the girls who were lucky enough to be featured in their own “get to know me” segments seemed relatively sane, the other half cancelled them out them out completely. This is a non-exhaustive list of things we saw and heard during these introductions:

  • A woman confidently standing in a parking lot, staring into the camera with her best Beyonce glare, as a man on a unicycle rode in circles around her, all the while playing a fire-emitting bagpipe.
  • A girl dressed in Army clothes doing a “workout” with someone she calls “Sargent,” whom she proceeds to flip over her shoulder in a terrifying ninja move, which makes me think that “Sargent” was code for “friend who wants to be on T.V.”
  • Twins wearing matching outfits, riding a tandem bicycle and holding hands while roller blading
  • A young lady who raises chickens like they’re fluffy teacup toy poodles. She nuzzles them and cuddles them and has a “special” chicken named Sheila, who sleeps in her bed.

The first limo pulls up to the mansion, and we see the standard montage of champagne and giggling and girls randomly yelling “Ben!” in unison because…they can’t find him? Unclear. Chris Harrison and his pinstripe suit leaves a nervous-looking Ben alone in the driveway to meet each of his eager wife-to-bes.

Here is a quick lowdown of entrances:

Lauren B— Flight attendant who I predicted to be a wallflower, but was actually quite assertive. She gives him a pair of pilot wings to “take off on this journey together,” which is not the first metaphor/pun of the season, nor will it be the last.

Caila— I predicted her to be a favorite, and I hold to it. She jumps into Ben’s arms like a baby because unlike me, she is not bottom heavy, and has no fear of being carried. She is also featured in every “coming up next” teaser, saying the girls are “Fifty shades of crazy” in her best thug voice, when in reality, she has about as much street cred as Hilary Duff. I love her.

Jennifer— She rhymes Ben with Jen so that he can remember her name. Obviously too young to remember Bennifer.

Jami— She is friends with ex-Bachelorette Kaitlin and makes a sexual joke because I guess that’s what all Canadians do. Ben knows he has to keep her around so that Kaitlin doesn’t send him a mean Tweet or something.

Sam— A lawyer who already has no voice, which we can assume is a result of the free booze in her hotel room, and her need to talk constantly, as we discover throughout the episode.

Jubilee— Arrives in a floor length white jersey dress and booty-short spank lines for us all to see. Undergarments matter, Jubliee.

Amanda— The mom. Classy black dress. Simple introduction. Too normal to be here, other than the fact that her voice sounds exactly like Alvin the Chipmunk.

Lace— We found out that her name is, indeed, pronounced like the material. And remember, this is the girl who talked about her poop in her bio. She makes Ben close his eyes, then plants a kiss right on his lips so that she could claim the “first kiss.” He looks a little pissed.

Lauren R— Like I predicted, no social skills. Refuses to tell Ben her name, but thinks telling him every fact she learned about him while stalking him online is a solid opening. She was wrong.

Shushanna— Speaks in Russian the whole time. Ben just says “yes” a lot, which– from what we saw in the subtitles– was luckily the correct answer to most of what she was saying. I don’t think Ben particularly cared if she spoke English because she was so pretty.

Leah— The girl who twerked in her audition video decided to hike up her dress, bend over in front of Ben, and hike him a football. Nobody is surprised except for Ben, who scans the driveway for an adult.

JoJo— Wears a unicorn head when she gets out of the limo, but obviously hates this idea and is annoyed with the producer who made her do it. Ben feels bad for her. They have a cute chemistry. I called her as the next Bachelorette, and as of now, I’m sticking to it.

Lauren H— This is the kindergarten teacher who we can assume will freeze her eggs if she’s not married by age 25. She gives Ben a bouquet of wilted flowers and says she caught the bouquet last week at a wedding. Raise your hand if you believe her.

Laura— The red head. I had high hopes for her, especially when she stepped out of the limo in a flattering navy blue dress. Then I saw her crazy eyes, and so did Ben, and things were over before they started.

Mandi— You’ll remember her as the girl who looks like a chicken, and says a free range chicken is her “spirit animal.” Not to be confused with the girl whose career is “Chicken Enthusiast.” Mandi wears a two foot rose on her head and tells Ben he can pollinate it later. He doesn’t know what that means, but he doesn’t like the sound of it.

Twins— I’m bored with the twin thing before it even starts. They talk in unison and giggle, then Ben asks if he should treat them as a package deal or if he should get to know them separately. I feel like maybe they should’ve been offended, but they most definitely were not.

Maegan— Cowgirl who brings a mini-horse with her. The place is looking more and more like a freakshow every second.

Breanne— Brings a basket full of bread and says, “Gluten is Satan, so lets break bread,” then proceeds to bang loaves of very stale bread on the side of a nearby stone wall. God help us all.

(Meanwhile inside: The red head starts sweating profusely when the twins walk in. Lace is getting smashed, and saying things like “I’m just sitting here judging people.” Same.)

Izzy— Wears a onesie, and asks Ben if “he’s the ONEsie.” At least she looked comfortable.

(Lace upon Izzy’s entrance in the onesie: “Well, that’s really [bleeping] special.” Harsh, Lace, but also hilarious. Young, inexperienced Jami’s reaction to Lace: “I can’t tell if she’s drunk or if that’s just her personality.” I learned in college that it’s always the latter, Baby Jami.)

Jessica— Gets out of the limo and tries the Britt (Chris’ season) tactic of giving Ben a really really long hug. Her delivery does not have the desired effect. This may have to do with her lack of plush fuschia lips or doe eyes.

Tiara— She chooses not to bring up the “Chicken Enthusiast” thing right out of the gate. Smart girl.

LB— Amazing cheekbones. Southern accent. She’ll be here for a while.

Jackie— Presents Ben with a Save the Date for their engagement. He looks overwhelmed.

Olivia— The news anchor steps out of the limo and Ben’s face emotes exactly how I feel when someone is walking towards me with a bowl of Velveeta Shells & Cheese. Instead of Olivia doing the talking, Ben asks her 80 questions about how he can help her feel less nervous…even though she is obviously comfortable with attention and does not look at all nervous. My notes say: “Has one dimple. Will get First Impression Rose.”

I’m going to plow through the rest of the night because, to be honest, the first night is pretty predictable. Lace and the chicken lookalike get drunk. Olivia the News Anchor gets the First Impression Rose. Becca and Amber from Chris’ season show up, and the girls feel threatened. Becca is still a virgin, Amber is still forgettable (but her styling is on point tonight). Chris Harrison befriends the miniature horse.

Ben hands out the roses to:

  • Lauren B
  • LB
  • Caila (fav)
  • Amber
  • Jami
  • Jennifer
  • Jubilee
  • Amanda
  • JoJo
  • Leah
  • Rachel
  • Samantha
  • Jackie
  • Haley (Twin)
  • Emily (Twin)
  • Shushanna (Still haven’t heard her speak English. She even accepts Ben’s rose in Russian.)
  • Lauren H
  • Becca (Medieval war march music plays when she walks down to collect her rose to remind us that a second appearance on this show means war.)
  • Mandi the chicken doppelgänger (Ben looks pained and amused when he says her name. Don’t worry, Benny. We know that was a producers choice.)
  • Lace (Last rose. Also producers pick. Ben looks annoyed.)

This means we said goodbye to:

  • Laura the red head. She blames her red hair instead of her crazy eyes.
  • Breanne, my original pick for Top Villain.
  • Izzy in her onesie.
  • Jessica the long-hugger.
  • Lauren R., whose bio revealed her lack of social skills.
  • Maegan and her miniature horse.
  • Tiara the Chicken Enthusiast.

The night wraps up with Lace pulling Ben aside to complain that he didn’t make eye contact with her during who whole rose ceremony. Ben looks utterly confused and exhausted as she’s talking, which makes sense because it is now morning-time. My theory is that, besides the fact that this girl is nuts, she can probably tell that Ben only kept her because the producers told him to do so. A woman’s intuition is strong. Ben needs to work on his acting if he wants to avoid more insecure freak outs this season.

In the final teaser of the night that highlighted what the next two months hold in store, we see hot air balloons, private planes, helicopters, hot tubs, yachts, and expansive cliff shots. Looks like The Bachelor economy is thriving. We also see three different girls tell Ben that they’re in love with him, seemingly on week 4. I fell in love with my husband after just a few weeks, too, but he wasn’t dating 27 other women at the same time. Details.

Episode 1 is always the hardest to follow, but I hope this helped make sense of what you just witnessed. See you next week, when things really start getting interesting!

chris harrison

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The Bachelor Recap Pre-cap: Meet the Contestants, Season 20

Hi, hello, yes, I’m alive.

Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your smoke flares. I decided to hide from the world for the last 2.5 weeks, and– to be honest– I don’t regret it. I will sum things up for you in a short paragraph:

Wedding errands, Chipotle, spray tan, brunch, tailor forgot about my rehearsal dinner jumpsuit, Starbucks, tailor redeemed herself, rehearsal dinner, macaroni and cheese, happy crying, wedding day, elation, parfait, fake eyelashes, swords, pick up truck, pictures, boats, sunset, almost fainted, Toms, water, singing, dancing, friends, Bride & Groom Break Room, Uber, O’Leary’s, bed, brunch, nap, nap, nap, nap, nap, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, honeymoon, Mexico, joy, food, cuddling, dancing, beach, pool, tequila, sleep, sleep, sleep, Hispanic Morgan Freeman, Willie from Colorado, bubble baths, sleep, sleep, crocodiles, double dinner, airport guac, home, special birthday surprise for Aaron, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, eat, eat, eat, eat, Oliver show tunes night, Christmas, passive aggressive Instagram posts, #dogscantreadgifttags, Breitenberg piano night, wedding gifts, wedding gifts, wedding gifts, nothing, nothing, nothing, Star Wars, Aaron’s actual birthday, Guardians of the Galaxy, say goodbye to Aaron for 2 months, cry, cry, and….now we find ourselves here.

I’m a confusing mix of well-rested and exhausted. Exhausted only because I haven’t had to stand for longer than 15 minutes in about 14 days, and then today I was thrust back into reality by my boss sending me to 7-11 to redeem 47 winning lottery tickets that he squirreled away for the last year, which he then put in his children’s Christmas stockings (10 points for creativity). Not only did I have to stand for longer than 15 minutes for the cashier to scan all of the tickets, but I also had to sprint to my car to avoid the angry mob of people in line behind me/the unsettling men eyeing all the cash I just stuffed into my purse. Toto, we’re not in Excellence Riviera Cancun anymore.

While I can promise you that I will *eventually* write a post about the wedding, and *eventually* write a post about the honeymoon, *eventually* is not today. A) Because I’m tired from adulting today and can’t write anything thought-provoking, and B) Because writing about how much fun both events were, and how crazy-in-love Aaron and I are, does not seem like an emotionally healthy activity after parting ways with him mere hours ago. For the record, two months is not a long deployment by military standards, but that does not make it easy. The only thing that makes it somewhat easy is knowing how much he has been looking forward to this new job. And that The Bachelor starts back up on Monday.

Ah, yes, The Bachelor. Excellent transition into the subject of this post. Like I said: Not thought-provoking. Now, some of you may not watch it, to which I say: Do you not like being entertained? But seriously, congratulations on using your time more wisely than the rest of us. Also, you may want to avoid my blog on Tuesdays until April.

I have decided to take my first stab at TV episode recaps, starting with The Bachelor Season 20. These recaps should prove to be VERY interesting, given that I do not have DVR (“a DVR”? or just “DVR”? Technology is hard), so I can’t rewind or review anything. I want you to imagine me sitting in yoga pants and Aaron’s Coast Guard shirt on the couch, surrounded by Chinese food and unpacked wedding boxes, frantically scribbling notes into a Kate Spade notebook that my stepmom bought me for the purpose, presumably, to do anything but this, as I attempt not to miss a single awkward moment, questionable outfit choice, or new catchphrase. Then, I will piece together the episode based on my notes. Of three things we can be sure:

  1. It will be 80% accurate
  2. I will be very tired on Tuesday mornings
  3. You and I will both laugh a lot

I have a weird connection to The Bachelor, not just because I’m addicted to it like everyone else, but because I’ve known 3 people on the show, and met one of the “winning” couples. A girl I competed with at Miss VA was a contestant on Ben Flajnik’s season, and then last summer, I went to Nashville for a bachelorette party, which resulted in being twirled around on the dance floor by a young man who goes by the name of Shawn Booth. Some of you may remember Shawn as the guy who “won” last season of The Bachelorette with Kaitlyn Bristowe. Anyway, he started twirling me around long before he was famous, and then fell in love with my other friend (also named Shannon…it was a confusing night) on the trip. Once he saw her, he A) used me to get to her, and B) passed me off to his friend Ron. Ron and I talked for about 30 minutes and were pretty cozy before his friends came up and told me that he was on Andi’s season of The Bachelorette. OH! I RECOGNIZE YOU! Yep.

Ron and I talked on the phone once or twice after that fateful night, and Shawn Booth actually ended up showing up at the airport (with Ron) to try and woo Shannon (the other one) before she flew back to Texas. I have some amazing private Instagram convos saved, as well as a hysterical Flipagram set to “When a Man Loves a Woman” that they made for Shannon. It includes a .gif from The Notebook, since Shawn looks just like Ryan Gosling. Obviously they made it into my blog post 10 Reasons Why Nashville is the Ultimate Bachelorette Destination (click link to read).

Well, less than a year later, Ron must have passed Shawn’s info to his producer friends from his days on The Bachelorette, and voila! Shawn also became a contestant. Proud to say that he has a bagillion Instagram followers, and I am still one of the 200 people he follows. #goals

In case you were wondering, Shawn ended up meeting up with Shannon in Texas, but they did not fall in love.

So, let’s kick things off with quick predictions about the young ladies vying for the heart of Ben Higgins, our trusty Bachelor who “lost” last season to my pal (stretching things a bit) Shawn Booth. He will be sure to wow us with his ability to form complete sentences (something at which both Juan Pablo and Chris Soules failed miserably) and– dare I say– his genuine respect for women that we haven’t seen on the show since the likes of Sean Lowe.

Speaking of Sean Lowe, when my brother put together an audition video for me to be on The Bachelor in 2012, Sean would have been my Bachelor. Mr. Lowe ended up with a 5’2″* Asian who likes to run marathons, however, so it’s safe to assume we wouldn’t have worked out. I also read his book For the Right Reasons last summer (try to shame me, I dare you), which only further proved that I’m not his type, given that half the book was about his girlfriend pre-Bachelor. She was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. It makes complete sense that the producers did not choose me as a contestant, though the audition video is now GOLD material for my brother to pull out at family get-togethers, or to send to my husband the day after we wed. Thanks, bro.

* I don’t actually know how tall Catherine is, but I met her and Sean once when I was Miss New York, and she was a small person.

bachelor2

Cuddling with Sean and Catherine at a bowling alley in NYC.

Two more things before we start. 1.) Most of the girls are fetuses because Ben is only 27.  2.) My brother is a talent agent in NYC, and he heard industry rumors that Ben had a “thing” with Tenley from Jake’s season/Bachelor in Paradise, but Ben ended it so that he could be The Bachelor. So, is he in it for true love or for fame? I don’t know, but we should probably remember that he is pretty young. As much as I adore him.

OH! NO SPOILERS in the comments or I WILL KILL YOU. All recaps I write have my own predictions, opinions, and assumptions. Don’t ruin this for all of us. Also, if you know one of the girls personally and she is misrepresented on the show, write a letter to the producers, not to me. I’m sure they’re all lovely people, but I will react to what I see on T.V., and that is it.

Okay, here we go:

AMANDA. 25, 5’3″, Esthetician, has 2 daughters, likes Nutella & Peanut Butter.

c1

This girl will go far. She’s pretty basic, but in the relatable way. She hikes, likes the movie Bridesmaids, always uses SPF in her makeup, and her answer to “If you won the lottery, what would you do with the winnings?” was “I would buy a big house by the beach and adopt babies and dogs.” Between her two kids and affinity for puppies, Ben will be sure to use “wife material” every time he describes her.

THE CATCH: She’s 25 and gets botox. I know plenty of girls who do this (and I still love them), but COME ON. You can barely rent a car. You don’t need botox.

 

AMBER. 30, 5’3″, Bartender, loves The Lion King, can’t live without her teddy bear.

c2

Oh, Amber. Amber, Amber, Amber. This is her 3rd round on a Bachelor franchise show. First, we saw her on Chris Soules’ season, then we saw her on Bachelor in Paradise 2. No guys were interested in her on either show, but I will say that I am very glad she went with some caramel highlights this time around. Nice girl, will be eliminated on week 2. Will vie for a spot on Bachelor in Paradise 3. P.S.- Why did the producers bring her back? She’s never stirred up drama, doesn’t have fake boobs, and– according to the deadness in the eyes of every man who has gone on a T.V. date with her– has very little sex appeal. (I personally think she’s pretty.) Is the casting director her uncle? Someone clear this up for me.

THE CATCH: She is a little too desperate. There’s a hunger in her eyes that will scare Ben.

 

BECCA. 26, 5’5″, Chiropractic Assistant, loves food, has 2 tattoos.

c3

Welcome back, Bec Bec! Producers have clearly decided that this is the season of second chances, because Becca– like Amber– was a contestant on Chris Soules’ season. I love her. Not only does she look like Carrie Underwood, but she is pretty awkward in a lovable way, and was the only contestant on Chris’ season to feel the exact same way about Chris that all of America did: Chris, you’re a nice guy, but you’re a bit too bumbly and I feel nothing for you other than a cousin-like affection. Chris didn’t understand why she didn’t love him. (She came in “2nd” and was clearly the one Chris wanted, but he knew she’d dump him if he chose her.) Some people said she must be a lesbian since she openly admitted that she’s never been in love. I just think she’s a doll with some brains who doesn’t get caught up in how she is “supposed” to behave for reality television. She will be in the top 4, at least.

THE CATCH: She does not open up quickly, and will have a target on her back since the other girls will be jealous that this is her second rodeo.

 

BREANNE. 30, 5’7″, Nutritional Therapist, does not struggle in the confidence department, uses hashtags.

c4

I’m honestly pretty scared of Breanne after reading her mini-bio. She is a no-nonsense, Miss Independent, in-it-to-win-it kind of girl. The other contestants will hate her. So will we. She considers he best trip ever a solo birthday trip she took to NYC to network with strangers, practices her smize, says she likes to show off her body, and her favorite movie is Anchorman. Ben will like her until the other girls warn him that she’s The Villain. She will probably stay until mid-season, unless she comes on too strong the first night and gets sent home right off the bat…but I don’t see that happening.

THE CATCH: She wavers between confident and narcissistic.

 

CAILA. 24, 5’4″, Software Sales Rep., dislikes heavy breathers, half hippie half soccer mom.

c5

This cutie is a top contender. She and Ben have the same career, plus she seems surprisingly normal. She loves Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Game of Thrones, picks up guys on airplanes and at Starbucks, and studied abroad in Germany. She seems like an all around sweetheart, and unless she turns out to be one of those overly energetic girls, I think she’ll really catch Ben’s eye.

THE CATCH: Might get bored with Ben.

 

EMILY. 22, 5’4″, Twin (??), likes country music, pees when she laughs too hard.

c6

First of all, her occupation is “Twin.” Second, she’s 22. Third, she “lives” in Las Vegas. Fourth, she wants to go to NYC to “see all the people.” Fifth, her answer to “What does it mean to be married?” was “You’re ready to set a good example for your children.” I feel like she is a test Ben has to pass in order for America to believe in his ability to be a mature, reasonable Bachelor. Don’t fall for the trap, Ben. DON’T DO IT.

THE CATCH: All of it.

 

HALEY. 22. 5’4″, Twin (here we go…), can’t live without spray tans, loves candy.

c7

I’ll admit it. I was pleasantly surprised when reading Haley’s bio. She seems to have gotten all the brains and maturity in this twin-off. Her answer to the meaning of marriage was about protecting each other’s hearts, says she doesn’t party, and likes dogs. That being said, her occupation is still “Twin” (sigh), and she’s still 22.

THE CATCH: Ben will feel like he needs to keep both, or send both home. She will be sent home, along with her wackadoo sister.

 

ISABEL “IZZY”. 24, 5’6″, Graphic Designer, values family, Taylor Swift fan.

c8

Izzy is a nice girl. She is very in touch with herself, and likes adventures. I like her. She has the potential to blend in with the crowd, but if Ben keeps her past the first night, I think she’ll slowly become a favorite. Maybe too slowly.

THE CATCH: She doesn’t like to read, and she’s a bit tough to get to know.

 

JACKIE. 23, 5’9″, Gerontologist, listens to rap music, can’t live without her Bible.

c9

She’ll stick around for a while because she’s so great on paper. She’s cute, loves God, went paragliding in the Alps, and one of her favorite movies is the documentary March of the Penguins (so good)She and Ben won’t have much chemistry, but she’ll be okay because she’s only 23.

THE CATCH: Too young.

 

JAMI. 23, 5’5″, Bartender, looks up to Lil’ Wayne, is an “inexperienced” lover.

c10

Jami is Amber when Amber was 23, and I’m not saying that just because they have the same job, skin tone, hair cut, and caramel highlights. Jami clearly has a bit of living left to do, given that her answer to the lottery question was “go on a cruise, then buy a mansion and live with my friends like in the TV show Entourage.” She also thinks the meaning of marriage is to “go on adventures with your best friend” (sweet, but innocent), basically admitted to being a virgin (fine, but she’ll be eaten alive on this show), and doesn’t think wrinkles are scary…mostly because she’s not old enough to have any.

THE CATCH: Immature.

 

JENNIFER. 25, 5’7″, Small Business Owner, likes Dolphins because they have sex for pleasure, her “type” is Ben Higgins.

c11

Remember how I just said that Jami would be eaten alive? Yeah, this girl is the one who will be doing the eating. She is a small business owner (could be Etsy, but she looks too intense to bother having a third party run her small business), wants to tan nude on the beach, wishes she had been married 5 years ago (when she was 20…), and is basically a replica of Courtney, winner and Top Villain of Ben Flajnik’s season.

THE CATCH: She and Breanne will battle it out for Top Villain.

 

JESSICA. 23, 5’4″, Accountant, very smart, likes the movie Dodgeball.

c12

Cute, young, laid back. Gone on the first night.

THE CATCH: Too forgettable.

 

JOELLE “JOJO”. 24, 5’4″, Real Estate Developer, uses “lol”, makes amazing quesadillas. 

c13

She’s pretty, is proud of her mother’s Persian roots, and capitalizes PIZZA because she likes it so much. I think she will start a girl squad on the show, and Ben will like her because she’s popular. Next Bachelorette?

THE CATCH: She might care too much about making friends instead of focusing on Ben.

 

JUBILEE. 24, 5’4″, War Veteran, thinks people will judge her for liking Country music, deep thinker.

c14

I was a bit concerned when she was defending her love for country music and that her occupation is something she did in her past (though admirable), but I gotta tell you– the rest of her bio impressed me. She lived in Montana for 5 years, so is a mix of city/country girl, loves the movie Newsies (my fav), and isn’t a party girl. I think Ben will keep her around for a bit, but she’ll be gone in Episode 3 or 4.

THE CATCH: Not enough in common with Ben.

 

LACE. 25, 5’10”, Real Estate Agent, wants to be richer, hates being cold.

c15

You guys. She talked about her poop in her bio. I just can’t get past that. Bye, Lace. (Like the material, or with a hard E? Guess we’ll find out.)

THE CATCH: Her personality.

 

LAURA. 24, 5’4″, Account Executive, allergic to rice, listens to R&B.

c16

All-American nice girl who wants to rob a casino so that she can have something to talk about with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Same. If Ben likes red heads, she’ll be a shoo-in the first night. She has the potential to be forgettable though, so it honestly depends on the color of her dress.

THE CATCH: May be too normal.

 

LAUREN “LB”. 23, 5’5″, Fashion Buyer, has a jealous nature, ex-boyfriend was from Germany.

c17

You are not Lauren Conrad “LC” from Laguna Beach, Lauren. Stop trying to make “LB” happen. It’s not going to happen. But I guess it’s not totally your fault since there are 12 other Laurens on this show. Anyway, LB decided to talk about her bowel movements in her bio, as well. WHAT IS HAPPENING. She seems a bit spoiled and…23. Yes, she seems 23. She might go home on night one, but has a big personality, so Ben might not realize she’s not ready for marriage until hometown dates. Could go either way.

THE CATCH: She has no filter.

 

LAUREN B. 25, 5’7″, Flight Attendant, sugary sweet personality, likes dance music (?).

c18

Gone the first night because she’s a bit of a wallflower.

THE CATCH: Easily overshadowed.

 

LAUREN H. 25, 5’5″, Kindergarten Teacher, Bachelor franchise fanatic, really really really really wants to get married.

c19

She’s the “settle down” girl. The Whitney to our Chris. The Lindsay to our Sean. The Lindzi (I can’t with that spelling) to our Ben F. She will have babies and make cookies and wear heels to church and Ben will have zero sexual attraction to her. She’s too “wifey” to be sent home the first night, and she’ll probably get the boot right before hometowns.

THE CATCH: Not interesting enough.

 

LAUREN R. 26, 5’5″, Math Teacher, loves Harry Potter, has cats.

c20

Too theatrical. Gone night one.

THE CATCH: Lacks social skills.

 

LEAH. 25, 5’5 3/4″, Event Planner, is getting her tattoos laser removed, twerked for her Bachelor audition video.

c21

The girls will hate her, but so will Ben, so she won’t even have time to become The Villain.

THE CATCH: Not likable.

 

MAEGAN (not a spelling error). 30, 5’4 3/4″, Cowgirl, likes BBQ & drinking beers, chops heads off of snakes (literally)

c22

I want to have a beer with this girl because she is like a cartoon character. The real life Ado Annie. Ben won’t be able to handle it and will send her back home to her ranch in Texas.

THE CATCH: Too country.

 

MANDI. 28, 5’8″, Dentist, drinks too much, her spirit-animal is a free range chicken.

c23

She will get drunk the first night. Ben might keep her around because she has her doctorate. But he probably won’t.

THE CATCH: Takes her behavior to extremes. And..come on…don’t make me be the one to say it. FINE. I’ll say it. She kind of looks like a chicken. Maybe that’s why it’s her spirit animal…?

 

OLIVIA. 23, 5’8″, News Anchor, loves french fries and flannel, respects Katniss Everdeen.

c24

I saw her picture and immediately decided to start this out with “she looks like a news anchor.” Turns out, I have strong instincts, because she is a news anchor. My days in pageants taught me nothing if not what a young news anchor should look like. Ben will love her because she is articulate, basic, and dresses well.

THE CATCH: Thinks she understands everything about life, but she’s only 23.

 

RACHEL. 23, 5’5″, Unemployed, spirit animal is Cookie Monster, never had a serious relationship.

c25

At least she owns her unemployment and didn’t come up with a fake career like “Dog Lover.” (I’m looking at you, Kelly from Juan Pablo’s season.) Anyway, I actually like Rachel. There’s not much to say about her other than she seems pretty normal. This could mean that she’s overlooked on night one, or that she wins the whole thing. I think she’s too pretty to be overlooked on night one, so she’ll probably be eliminated somewhere between Episode 2 and the Final Rose Ceremony.

THE CATCH: No real direction in life.

 

SAMANTHA. 26, 5’4″, Attorney, doesn’t need to impress a man, family approval is important.

c26

She’s respectable. Not much more to say other than that. Could stay, could leave. Idk.

THE CATCH: Could be too intense.

 

SHUSHANNA. 27, 5’2″, Mathematician, broke up with her ex because of his mom, cynical about love.

c27

Hey, girl. I get it. Once you start getting to your upper twenties, cynicism starts creeping in. You’re pretty and smart though, so sit tight! Ben will probably like her because she’s petite and intriguing. A fun personality with a wall up= a challenge. She’ll probably be around for a bit, and girls like Olivia the News Anchor won’t know how they feel about her.

THE CATCH: Could be too pretentious and closed off.

 

TIARA. 26, 5’8″, Chicken Enthusiast, favorite weather is “medium”, likes being center of attention.

c28

Any good Bachelor fan knows to be apprehensive when a contestant is named “Tiara.” It’s too similar to “Tierra.” *shudder* And Chicken Enthusiast? What am I supposed to do with that? Sorry, but she seems pretty annoying. I think the producers Ben will keep her around for a few episodes, and then he’ll give the girls what they want and send her packing.

THE CATCH: Chicken Enthusiast.

 

Alright, we’re all prepared for next Monday! And if you like the recaps, I won’t be mad if you share them on social media. 😉 Until next time, Bachelor Nation.

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9 Things That Only Happen in Movies

“Relaxing” is not exactly a top priority for Aaron and me at the moment. We are getting married in 3 weeks and 2 days. 23 days. Whoa, that’ll be fun for people with dyslexia to read.**

This past Sunday, however, we made no plans. I was smart enough to realize I’d need a whole day of recovery from my bachelorette party, which took place last Saturday. My girlfriends handmade me a crown, took me to wineries on a bus, and planned lots of games—none of which have names appropriate to share here except for the “Panty Piñata.” Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds. Here’s a pic we took with a selfie stick, because why even have a bachelorette party if there’s no selfie stick?

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On our glorious day of relaxation (or recovery, in my case), Aaron and I watched the two most recent Hunger Games movies. Naturally, this left us very excited for the final movie coming to theatres this weekend, so we immediately bought tickets to see it at a fancy cinema café on Friday. (Tonight!!) One particular aspect of the movie really got my wheels turning, though. Why does everyone have such good teeth? Are there dentists in District 12?

Cue eye roll and “It’s just a movie, Shannon.” True. And I’m totally cool with getting swept away by plot lines or grooming standards that are completely unrealistic. But I will always, always be distracted by these 9 unrealistic happenings on the big screen:

  1. Bed sheet explorations

There seems to be a recurring trend among the PG-13+ movies I’ve watched, which is the “girl wraps herself in a sheet to go do something after sex” scene. When has anyone done that? Pretty sure people either put on a t-shirt or just go commando to the kitchen to fetch some water. No one wants to remake the bed.

fifty shades of greymassage chair

 

  1. Abrupt phone calls

People do not say goodbye when they get off the phone in movies. What is that? If someone doesn’t say goodbye to me on the phone, I immediately text them to tell them they’re a jerk.

phone

 

  1. Showing up unannounced

I’ve never heard of anyone except psychopaths showing up unannounced at someone’s home or office without at least sending a text. Why do people in movies literally fly across the country to talk to someone? What if they’re not home? What if they’re on vacation? Then what? Or if they’re just waiting there for the person to get home…how long have you been there? Did anyone ask you why you were just standing there? Did the neighbors notify authorities? I have a lot of questions about how this works.

showing up

 

  1. Not saying what needs to be said

I scream at the screen on a regular basis, because 3 out of 4 scenes go like this: “I really need to tell you something.” *Other person says a bunch of stuff that would be solved if they’d just let their counterpart talk.* *Counterpart lets them walk away without saying the crucial information.* If you know who killed my brother or didn’t actually do something I’m mad at you for, TELL ME, you freaking idiot.

face palm

 

  1. Venturing into dark basements

We’ve all discussed this one a million times, but here’s a friendly reminder: Don’t walk into a dark basement alone after hearing creepy noises. Call the police or hide under your covers until morning. If you decide to venture downstairs, I can’t even feel that bad for you.

bed gif

 

  1. Thunderstorms in dramatic moments

Sometimes, in real life, the sky makes loud noises on normal days. Or good days. Sometimes it’s not dramatic at all. Actually, it almost never rains on days I’m depressed or days when I’m kissing my significant other after a fight. And if it does rain when I want to make up with someone, we go inside.

rain gif

 

  1. “Effortless” Hair

Normal people do not do intricate twist messy up-dos on their way to class in college (I’m look at you, Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect) or wake up with natural blow outs. Sorry, boys.

pitch perfect hair gif

 

  1. Ridiculous ages

Seriously, though, if anyone in my high school looked like a 28-year-old Armani model, I’d be questioning how many times he failed, not whether or not he’d ever notice me.

cinderella story

 

  1. Running into people

We all secretly want to bump into our ex who lives in another state, just so we can see if they look happy and also prove that we’re doing fine. But that doesn’t happen. They’ll never be seated next to us on an airplane or be shopping at the same farmer’s market while they’re visiting town. They just won’t. At least you have Facebook.

carrie bradshaw gif

 

I’ll let you know how the last Hunger Games movie is after I see it tonight, and if Katniss still has great teeth after being locked in an underground bomb shelter for a few months!

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**This was written yesterday, so now it’s 3 weeks and 1 day. Holy moly.

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12 Shocking, Random, and Difficult Interview Questions

There is a website that feeds the sometimes scary, occasionally impressive, often underrated minds of pageant competitors and fans. It’s name is fitting: The Pageant Planet, because pageant people– and I can speak freely as a former citizen– live on a far off, eccentric planet full of uncomfortably tan residents who wear crowns to buffet restaurants and lip liner to bed.

The Pageant Planet is a safe place for this entertaining sect of humankind to come together to anonymously vote on which gowns are currently in style, learn which brand of butt glue works best, and read the opinions of bloggers who may or may not have worthy credentials. But really– what are worthy credentials in the pageant world? Good hair? A swimsuit trophy? Tony Bowls’ personal cell phone number? For me, I guess my worthy credentials include a sash that accidentally says “Miss New York 2013” even though I was Miss New York 2012, pictures that are proof I am friends with some former Miss Americas– mostly the ones that the official Miss America Board of Directors hate, and the good fortune to have been roommates for a week with the smart, funny, successful editor of The Pageant Planet. Because of these things, I am worthy to share my opinions and list compilations with hundreds of thousands of readers. Don’t you know it!

Read my first, and hopefully not last, article for The Pageant Planet HERE. The title is “12 of the Most Shocking, Random, and Difficult Interview Questions Ever Asked” because pageant people are nothing if not dramatic. I like to cater to my audience. Enjoy!

miss-congeniality-o

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The Bachelorette: Who Should Andi Choose?

If you don’t know who Andi Dorfman is, you may return to your Facebook news feed at this time.

The Bachelor/Bachelorette is an entertaining show. I’m clearly preaching to the choir since I just told all non-fans to go away. It’s just us now. Bachelor Nation. We’re in a safe place, surrounded by our fellow viewers who cringe when they hear the words “it’s okay” (Juan Pablo), “winning” (Courtney from Ben’s season), or “sparkle” (Tierra from Sean’s season). I actually used to follow Tierra’s Eyebrow on Twitter. Yep, it has its own Twitter feed. How uncomfortable am I admitting that on a scale of 1 to the Jamie Otis kiss? Only about a 4. I know I’m with friends here.

tierra1

That eyebrow is definitely unnerving.

Some seasons are cast with so many wackos that we start losing faith in the reality of this T.V. show (coughBenFlajnikSeasoncough). Then a Sean Lowe rolls around, making us all believe the magic, once again. And by magic, I mean the possibility that someone can actually end up in a functional relationship with someone who was making out with other people up until the night before he/she got engaged.

This season on The Bachelorette [insert Chris Harrison voice], Andi Dorfman is a 27-year-old lawyer who is down to her final two suitors- Nick (boo, hiss) and Josh (woohoo!). Her journey to find love started out a little slow for my taste, mostly due to the fact that it looks like producers have finally run out of a stash of hot, eligible guys. Where is the Arie Luyendyk hottie? Where is the puppy-eyed J.P. Rosenbaum? Am I watching the right show? Because I’m pretty sure I could find any of these guys posted up at my local bar on any given Saturday night [**7/30/14 EDIT: I officially DID run into one of the contestants at a bar last Saturday night (what are the odds)- I must say, I revoke my statement that they aren’t hot and eligible- because he was definitely both of those things].

Obviously, that did not stop me from watching, but my unimpressed face was glued on tight for the first five episodes. Things only started getting really interesting this season once Brian got angsty because Andi forced him to help her cook dinner. If that’s not reality, I don’t know what is. I also liked the part when the guys took the lie detector test and all thought one of the questions was “Have you ever farted in public?” NO, the facilitator just had an Italian accent when he said “Have you ever fought in public?” Classic. It’s worth watching (below).

 

But let’s get down to the important matter at hand. Who should Andi choose??

First of all, let me say that Andi’s loss is our gain if her most recent rejection, Farmer Chris, becomes the next Bachelor. Anyone else fall in love with him on his hometown date? I want to spend my days riding around on his big green tractor and my nights playing Ghost in the Graveyard with his family. Not to mention, I’d be totally fine living in his gorgeous house, napping on his plough-pulling biceps (I know he doesn’t actually pull the plough, but he could), and drinking wine with his awesome mom. Good job, Farmer Chris- you have officially put Iowa on the map.

After I finish putting together my audition tape in hopes that I’ll get to date Farmer Chris next season, I look forward to seeing if Andi chooses Normal Job Nick or [former] Pro Baseballer Josh. For short, we’ll call them NJN and PBJ (not to be confused with Peanut Butter & Jelly, though both Josh and the latter make me salivate in a good way). Or we’ll just stick with Nick and Josh.

Nick probably doesn’t deserve to be hated as much as he is, but I love hating him anyway. I don’t hate him for the reason the other contestants did, though. I just don’t like the fact that he clearly thinks he’s hotter than he is, plus acts all bashful around Andi in the least masculine way possible. Also, have you noticed the Neville Longbottom resemblance? No?

Josh is cool, I guess. He kind of talks like he grew up in the Bronx even though he’s from an uber wealthy Floridian family, but we can look past that since he has great teeth and owns a really cute dog named Sabel.

If I’m being honest, I’m not convinced either of the final two contenders will end up at the alter with Andi. I’m sure one (or both, if she doesn’t get to the point fast enough during the final rose) will propose on the season finale, but will we see another Trista and Ryan success story? My instincts say no. Andi is a firecracker. To be honest, she scares me a little. I want to be her best friend, but I also get the sense that the girl could cut you with words if you make her angry.

Josh seems like a stubborn guy, so I think he and Andi would end up fighting all of the time. Nick is just too different from Andi, so I think she’d eventually get bored and annoyed by him. He will probably end up dating someone from a different Bachelor season that he meets at an industry party, while Josh will probably fall in love with a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader (his little brother just got drafted by the Chiefs). You can quote me on this in two years.

As another season of The Bachelor/Bachelorette comes to a close, let us raise a toast this little jingle I just made up:

To all the contestants throughout the season

Who proved they were here for the right reason

May your families be proud when they watch the show

And your 15 minutes of fame help your businesses grow!

[This toast was inspired by Chris Bukowski from Emily’s season, who used his momentum from The Bachelorette to open Bracket Room, the bar at which I found myself last Saturday night.]

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Meet My Famous Friends

Doppelganger– an apparition or double of a living person. Thanks, Google!

I’ve always been jealous of people who look identical to celebrities. For just one day, I’d like to be upgraded to first class on a plane and be given free clothes at my favorite store (I’ll have to think of a place other than Target) because people mistake me for Adriana Lima. But as luck has it, I look nothing like Adriana Lima. As a matter of fact, I don’t have a steady doppelganger. Every once in a while, someone will vaguely say that I look like someone, but I think they’re just reaching for conversation.

As a whole, life as a non-celeb is great. We all should be happy being who we are, especially since no amount of plastic surgery can turn you into someone else (just ask this fan who had $100k of surgery to look like Justin Bieber…and still looks nothing like him- got lucky, if you ask me). Not to mention, I would have a heart attack if the paparazzi followed me to the beach all the time. I don’t need a camera zoomed in on my backside, thanks. I also really like knowing that I can give my phone number to someone and I won’t have 3 million people calling me the next day. I mean, let’s be honest, sometimes the one person I give it to doesn’t even call me. Anyways, even with the perks of being a commoner, I still like hearing the random comparisons to hotties on TV. These are the three I’ve been told:

shannonoliver

Allison Williams. You know, from that show “Girls.” You don’t know? Don’t worry, I didn’t either until a random client yesterday morning swore to the moon and back that we’re identical twins separated at birth. I can see it MAYBE. Or maybe we both just have long brown hair and blue eyes.

shannonoliver2

Kate Middleton. HECK YEAH! The picture on the left (that’s me, in case you couldn’t tell the difference between us) was taken at my brother’s rehearsal dinner. That night, three different people told me I was a dead ringer for the Duchess of Cambridge. I know it’s not true and I know that my hair just happened to fall in a princess-y way that evening. Oh well.

shannonoliver3

Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter. I think we can all agree that this is the most accurate of the three.

 

After the random Allison Williams comparison yesterday morning, I became curious to find out who my friends are told they look like. So I texted them and asked. Turns out, I have some super famous friends! Let me introduce you:

JENNIFER MORRISON aka Mallory Hytes Hagan

malloryhagan

Jennifer Morrison, from ABC’s “Once Upon A Time,” and I are known for drinking wine in hotel rooms together. Fine, fine that’s actually Mallory Hagan and me. I wasn’t sure which one to make the celebrity here, considering that Mallory was Miss America 2013 and a celeb in her own right. Anyways, total twinsies, right?

DENISE RICHARDS aka Rosemary Willis

rosemarywillis

Denise Richards is a model and actress…I really shouldn’t have to explain who she is. She and I love to pray together and eat lots of food in one sitting. Wait, no, sorry, that’s what Rosemary Willis and I do together. Hard to tell the difference.

TIFFANI AMBER THIESSEN aka Lindsay Oliver

lindsayoliver

Tiffani Thiessen in grown up form, not in Kelly Kapowski form (“Saved by the Bell,” in case you were never a teenager), and I drink gin martinis and always happy cry together. Usually at the same time. Since you obviously don’t believe me, I’ll come clean and admit that I actually do those things with my sister-in-law, Lindsay Oliver.

KEVIN BACON aka Jim Oliver

jimoliver

One time, Kevin Bacon (the actor from Footloose) threw a full, cold Code Red can at my back and it left an imprint of the logo on my skin. He’s also married to Tiffani Amber Theissen. Jk jk that’s my brother, Jim Oliver. He doesn’t throw things at me anymore, don’t worry. Also, I think I threw a shoe at him first, so I deserved it.

KIM KARDASHIAN aka Katie Uze

katieuze

Kim Kardashian is famous for nothing, so I’m not really sure how to start this introduction. Also, let’s cut to the chase, Katie is about 100x prettier than Kim K. I don’t even want to pretend that Kim K. and I hang out on the reg because I feel like that would actually harm my reputation. Hanging out with Katie, however, makes me really really awesome.

KANDICE PELLETIER aka Kira Kazanstev

kirakazanstev

Kandice Pelletier was on “The Amazing Race,” designs swimsuits for Miss USA, and was a rockette (her own wax figure at Madame Tussauds included). She and I like to give each other big warm hugs, and she also measured my butt to see how big my swimsuit bottoms should be (not a size small, we’ll leave it at that). I’M TELLING THE TRUTH. This one is fun because I actually know Kandice AND Kira! And they know each other! Kira is the current Miss New York and she and I enjoy brunching when I visit. Kandice was Miss New York 2005, so they roll in that whole pageant sisterhood.

LAUREN CONRAD aka Stephanie Van Petten

stephvp

When Lauren Conrad was taping “The Hills,” she and I used to get together at the beach all the time and discuss our guy troubles. Or maybe that’s what Stephanie Van Petten and I do every summer. Too hard to tell.

GABRIELLE UNION aka Nicole Gilmore

nicolegilmore

Gabrielle Union’s best work was in “Bring it On,” which is precisely what I say to her when she offers me twerking lessons. Well, fine, my soon-to-be roommate Nicole Gilmore is actually the twerk master.

ZOOEY DESCHANEL aka Emily Mantovani

emilyhoward

Zooey Deschanel cracks me up in her show “New Girl” because I actually know what she’s like to live with, given that we were roommates in college. Except- shocker- it was a different (but oddly similar) blue-eyed goddess who lived with me senior year and introduced me to my favorite food (Veleeta Shells & Cheese)- my Phi Mu big sister, Emily Howard (Mantovani).

AUBREY PLAZA aka Tess Sawyer

tessanne

Aubrey Plaza (comedian and actress from “Parks and Recreation”) and I have been best friends for 18 years. She always kills it at karaoke and I still love her even though I made my mom pick me up from her house during a sleepover when we were 10 because I decided we weren’t friends anymore. We’re past it. I’m also actually talking about Tess Sawyer, not Aubey Plaza, though they both have really cool unidentifiable exotic looks and great angled hair cuts.

LORDE aka Maggie Lawson

Lorde

Lorde is a super cool singer whose song “Royals” is welcome to never be played again. No offense to her, because she’s a super genuine person who eats tons of candy but then always has a perfect body. Double take! That would be Maggie Lawson, my 2011 Miss Virginia roommate. Same as the Kim Kardashian thing…she’s the way prettier version of Lorde. Said it.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON aka Claire Buffie aka Acacia Courtney

clairebuffie

ScarJo is basically the hottest actress on the planet, plus she lets me stay in her posh NYC apartment when I visit and is probably the most organized/popular person I know. WHAT that’s Claire Buffie?? They are the same. Person.

acaciacourtney

Oddly enough, ScarJo and I used to hang out before she cut her hair, too! She takes suuuuuper awkward pictures even though she’s normally perfect-looking, and she also is going to win Miss Connecticut this weekend (did I say that outloud)? Obviously, I am actually talking about my 2012 Miss New York roommate, Acacia Courtney.

CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY aka Tom Standish

tomstandish

Chad Michael Murray (all around heart throb from the show “One Tree Hill”) is actually really, really nice in real life. He and my brother are bros (Sig Ep) and we all got rowdy in Richmond a few St. Patrick’s Days ago. Or that might have been Tom Standish, who is CMM’s IDENTICAL TWIN. Sorry ladies, Mr. Standish just put a ring on it. Lucky girl. Maybe you still have a chance with CMM himself?

Well, there you have it, people! I’m the name dropper of the century.

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