Episode 2 of The Bachelor approaches as I read the sentence “ABC has teased the arrival of an ex-boyfriend near the end of Luyendyk Jr.’s journey,” and momentarily presume that it’s an ex-boyfriend of Arie’s. Seriously, Hollywood Reporter? The show will never be that interesting.
Arie also chatted with the mindless rag about the “significant” age differences between him and the now-total-of-22 gals, although the largest gap is half as big as between the president and First Lady, or Richard Gere and Wynona Ryder in Autumn in New York, or Clint Eastwood and Rene Russo in. . .well, you get the picture.
He also commented on the many moments when “’Man, I should have said this’ or ‘I should have done that.’” To be fair, however, 22 seasons make it apparent that there’s not much room for improvisation in these scripts.
Furthermore, ABC News (News! Ha ha ha ha) reports breathlessly about the amazing chemistry between Arie and Bekah M., the petite, tow-headed Twinkie whose filling also isn’t nutritious. Actually, the fact that she resembles the youngest Jonas Brother in 2005 makes my initial reaction to the ex-boyfriend news reasonable.
Anyhoo, Rachel Zoe (who, by the way, went to the same high school as me, so I have 16 degrees of separation from Chris Harrison) is this season’s D-list celebrity guest. Tonight, for a date that sounds kind of insulting, Arie brings Other Becca to have Rachel perform a “Cinderella-style” makeover, only likely with shoes made of something more durable. If it goes well, Bravo will develop it into a series called What Not to Wear to a One-on-One.
As the show opens, I fear I will never sort out the remaining Laurens or recognize which Brittany is actually Brittane. Arie is first seen on a motorcycle heading to the mansion. The gals toast to their good fortune getting a contract for the show right before their match-com renewal fee is due. Chris arrives to blather mindlessly at the group about the first date. He leaves the card, then departs to lie by a pool somewhere counting his dividends.
Becca K. gets the first one-on-one. She is ready to get going on the back of his hog, after he zips up her jacket like my grandma would. Handlebar Cam documents their joy of getting windburn as the girls at the house discuss their jealousy and bitterness. Krystal voices concerns of being killed in a bloody bike accident. There’s always one of those.
The couple arrives at another mansion, purportedly belonging to Rachel Zoe, who feels it is acceptable to wear giant gold sequins in the daytime. This has got to be a scouted location, as no one who went to my high school would live in a house vulnerable to basement flooding.
Becca models Rachel-chosen gowns for Arie. She feels honored to be gazed at lustfully by a virtual stranger who has expertise only in choosing car seat covers. He then presents her with silver Louboutins and a pair of glamorous diamond earrings. For her birthday, likely it’ll be a Whitman’s Sampler. They kiss. Becca then returns to the house with her booty, as the girls shriek in amazement and envy. They’re probably jerks at wedding showers, too.
Becca is nervous to see Arie tonight in her silver lame gown and sparkly shoes. Arie says she’s smart, funny, and stunning, so he gives her another bejeweled necklace, just like when his car runs well, he gives it a waxing. They discuss his life, and how he went through heartbreak the last time he was on the show. He could have avoided that by appearing on Survivor or The Voice.
At the house, Krystal gets the next one-on-one date. She doesn’t want to gloat, though. Come on, hon, enjoy!
Becca tells Arie that she wants to find the right person, which led her to this show instead of eharmony.com or a church social. Her dad has died, but her mom, sister, and she are close. “Family is important,” Arie observes sagely, as if defining quantum theory. He applies his branded pillowy lips to Becca’s, then tells her to pull a nearby rope, which is not metaphoric at all. Gold confetti rains down. I understand that’s how Donald and Melania’s first date went.
For her date, Krystal is whisked back to Arie’s hometown of Scottsdale by small private plane, which apparently she is not afraid will crash. They go to his house, which also looks staged. She claims she loves how open it is. Now we’re watching a Bachelor special called House Hunters: Before the Second Rose Ceremony. She gets to see his baby pictures and hear him talk about close he is to his mom. This is really more third-month-of-dating material, but Krystal is impressed with it all.
Next they go to his parents’ house, which I guess means she doesn’t make final two. Krystal is freaked out by this unexpected turn of events. Certainly her choice of pre-torn jeans and a Forever 21 tops is not appropriate for the occasion. They meet his folks and little brother. Arie describes Krystal’s dress when they met, since that’s pretty much all of his experience with her. His parents discuss their 36-year relationship and how to ensure a long marriage. While Arie is right that family is important, no coffee and cake was served, so this one fails my test.
The next date card arrives at the house, where the gals are bathing in booze. It’s a group date with a lot of people, including a Lauren. Concern arises over having enough time with Arie. I bet none of these chicks ever worries about climate change or the GOP tax bill.
Krystal hopes she will be able to open up to Arie today, since she is so pleased that he shared his home videos with her, always a generous act of emotional intimacy. She might think differently if she saw the ones in a box in back of his closet. She admits her own life was less traditional, with divorced parents (note to Krystal: that hasn’t been unusual since the 40’s) and her mom was emotionally unavailable, as well as not well off, although someone paid for those veneers. As a result, young Krystal felt rejected by both parents. Tinkly piano music plays as she struggles through crippling vocal fry to admit that later, her brother was beaten up because he was homeless.
Arie is sympathetic and reassuring. He loves her story–it really would make a great after-school special–and presents her with the rose. She receives the patented pillowy-lip treatment. He appreciates that she was able to reveal her vulnerability, and channel all the positive things in her life, such as L’Oreal Paris Feria Permanent Haircolor Light Golden Blonde 93 and fidget spinnersL’Oreal Paris Feria Permanent Haircolor Light Golden Blonde 93 for UPC07124923021 an. For that, her reward is to be serenaded by someone named Connor Duermit in an otherwise empty theater. It’s a living, Connor thinks, as does the local chandelier vendor.
Back at the house, Krystal tells the other girls that their date was remarkably chill, but refuses to give any details about pillowyness or anything else. The others resent her holding back. Nevertheless, the group date begins with everyone clad in Spandex and Luluroe. Arie arrives at the dirt-strewn stadium location driving a demolition derby car because he’s a former race car driver and the producers are sick of all this idiocy.
First the gals will all spray-paint their own junkers to drive. Arie should look askance at the ones who did not bother to decorate theirs, as it’s a harbinger of a sterile home atmosphere. Annaliese is in tears from her anxiety over a negative bumper-car experience she had as a child. So being named Annaliese isn’t the worst thing to have happened to her so far. She’s even more upset that there are no support groups for that trauma. Arie reassures her with a pillowy arm around the shoulders and the audio-book of Stephen King’s Christine.
The demolition derby commences. They must race until the car is no longer running, kind of like Nick Viall’s love life. Chris Harrison and some other guy comment on the action from the sidelines with glee, adding an additional $150,000 to Chris’s Christmas club account.
The cars are falling apart piece by piece. It looks like product placement for Ford. The winner is Sienne. Arie enjoyed seeing her shine in the area of violent competition, and will reward her with his pillowy presence tonight.
At the after-party, Brittany is absent due to not feeling well, maybe from PMS or footage from the first episode. The remaining daters toast to their day. Arie first goes off with Chelsea, the serial Arie-abductor. She wants to explain further who she is, besides a bottle-blond, man-stealing, extreme eyebrow-shaper. She tells him she has a three-year-old son. He’s dated a single mom before, though, so he’s down with it. He applies tongue with the enthusiasm of my dog licking peanut butter off a spoon.
Next he speaks to Seinne, who went to Yale and also studied abroad. She’s super smart, Arie declares, while he worked at Pizza Hut. Why is she on this show, for God’s sake? At least go on Jeopardy! More girls parade past Arie’s mouth until Bibiana, who has not yet experienced the pillowyness, has a meltdown and stalks off, waving the camera away in a rage.
Then, after a brief convo about nothing, Bekah and Arie make out as jazzy, porn-influenced music plays. He practically gives her a tonsillectomy. She enjoyed it since she won’t have to exercise her jaws for a week.
Time to present the rose. Seinne gets it. Apparently she impressed him more with her Ivy League education than did Bekah’s Olympics-level tongue gymnastics. Tension mounts among the remaining rose-not-havers and those who did not get a date this week.
Arie is feeling ready to get the cocktail party started, but first he wants to check that Brittany (oops, Brittane?) is okay. He has an award for her: “Most Hardcore,” based on her performance at the demolition derby. I guess he likes it rough. Then he sneaks away with Bekah, who describes their last encounter as a “crazy makeout sesh.” They engage in another one, this time possibly an “awesome smooch-fest.”
“She has such a good energy about her,” Arie says, after wiping away the drool and crossing his legs carefully. Lauren B. sits with him next, only to be interrupted by Krystal, which is annoying because she was the only Lauren who didn’t get a date this week. He and Krystal to to titter together outside. She is smitten, but refuses to share any information about the relationship. She’s the Sarah Huckabee Sanders of the season.
Bibiana continues to rant at all these grabby women denying her a chance at the pillowy lips. She’s the Alexandra Cabot of the season. Finally, her moment arrives. They’re discussing Arie’s dog when Krystal tries to bust in again, making Bibiana acrimonious. When Krystal returns to the group, aglow with having logged for the record her and Arie’s unique connection, Bibiana tells her she has a lot of balls. She feels Krystal has upset everyone with her disrespect for the three minutes that should be allotted to each woman equally. The others monitor the heated convo with concern, barely blinking, but that might be all the eyelash glue.
Chris appears to be debriefed on the women’s current status. Arie is pleased with some, but regrets others who have “fallen back.” He’s got it all documented on a spreadsheet. At the ceremony, he remarks that he’s hopeful there’s love in the room, but it’s been tough to figure out who’s the easiest. The first rose goes to Maquel, followed by Jacqueline and Bekah. Jenna comes up next, then Chelsea and Lauren S. Then it’s Tia, Annaliese, and Lauren B. Kendall gets the next rose, followed by Brittane (Brittany?) and Ashley, who should wear some color on her lips. Murik (bah to the spelling) and Caroline are next to last girls.
The final rose goes to Bibiana, of course. Krystal looks disgusted. Another woman of color is gone, as well as a redhead and Jenny, who does not pause to hug Arie before she leaves. He follows her out to apologize. She admits the show is not for her. Did she not watch the first 21 seasons? I know I only had to watch one episode of Wheel of Fortune to know I wouldn’t last a week looking at Pat Sajak’s smirk. She finally hugs him halfheartedly after he asks her to. As she weeps outside, she says she just wants to go home and forget it, much as I do after just a few seasons of recapping.
Next week, there’s wrestling, dog-walking, crying, and insecurities. Also, more taxidermy. Looking forward!