The Bachelor – Season 19 – The Women Tell All! – Live Recap

The Women Tell All tonight, as if they were so reticent about their opinions before now. The world thirsts for knowledge of the true nature of Kelsey, Britt’s continued status as a virgin, and how effectively Kaitlyn will communicate despair over Chris’s rejection when we all know she’s landed the much more satisfying role of the next Bachelorette.

But mostly we want to know why anyone would think that dress isn’t blue and black when the lady wore it as a guest at a wedding. How tacky it would be to show up in gold and white.

Chris H. opens by telling us that the “most talked-about women of the season” are back, or at least the ones whose names we know so that we’re able to talk about them. Just saying “the blond floozy who wears too much make-up” doesn’t help distinguish who you mean. They’ll devote the entire two hours to practicing what they learned in acting class about communicating authentic emotion. Chris continues by claiming that this season was the “craziest, most unpredictable, and shocking” ever. The writers cross those words off the list of the superlatives they can use at this juncture next season.

Before the catfights, confessions, and confrontations, we see Chris and Chris traveling around L.A., visiting living rooms full of apparently hormonal women who watch the show together every week. At one house, the ladies are wearing straw cowboy hats and noshing on corncobs in a room decorated with actual haystacks. If they’d gone to some gay guys’ viewing parties, they could have enjoyed a much more sophisticated ambiance. At another house, the men join in the countdown to the inevitable moment when Chris mashes his mouth on Carly’s. The third group goes berserk at their arrival, shrieking hysterically and flinging themselves at Chris S. like flying squirrels alighting on a tree trunk. Worse, the room has vertical blinds. This last bunch is in AA now because they drink every time he kisses a woman.

Back to the studio. Chris H. bids a welcome to the returning bachelorettes. A few of them I had no recollection of, so I looked on the ABC site and noticed that in the women’s biographies, along with listing “hometown” and “occupation,” there’s “tattoos,” followed by the count thereof. Oh, 21st century, I wish I could quit you.

To launch the festivities, as they did back in the days when they hanged criminals in the public square, we’ll have a look at some of the season’s more dramatic moments. These include Jillian’s ever-present black bar and discussions of the hirsuteness it disguises, evidence of Ashley’s S.’s mental deficiencies, bemoaning of the other Ashley’s virginity, and incidents documenting Kelsey’s exploitation of her dead husband and all-around manipulative behavior, Britt’s conniving, and Carly’s tattling about it. The audience groans its disapproval at either the display of bad behavior on the screen or the terrible taste in cocktail dresses in the studio.

Britt is crying. She pleadingly asks Carly why she pretended to be her friend. Carly tries to evade the question. The other ladies talk over each other, clearly indignant at Britt. Chris calls her to the chair beside him. “Did you fall for Chris?” he probes. Wasn’t he watching the show? Then he asks Jade if Britt was fake. Jade demurely replies that she did question Britt’s authenticity with Chris, while the rest of us questioned the authenticity of her hair color.

Britt is hurt because she thought she had genuine friendships with the other women. They decry this characterization, as Britt demeaned the others routinely. This assertion makes Britt tremble with unshed tears. Jillian becomes acrimonious at her attempt to skew the narrative. Next they’ll all appear on either Dr. Phil or Judge Judy, depending on whether anyone has paid cell phone bills for someone else.

Defending her desire to be a mother, which the other women put in doubt, Britt offers an exhaustive resume of the many ways and places she has been charitable to children. For a waitress, she has admirable resources to coach soccer and tutor kids in other countries. Because of her passion for aiding needy minors, Britt was aghast when she learned that the other women suggested she had said she did not want children with Chris. Maybe she meant she wants someone else’s children with him.

As Chris H.’s eyes gleam at evilly at the battling bachelorettes, Jillian recalls the condemning conversation, likely over a big salad and wine, when Britt said she didn’t want kids “right now.” Britt recovers masterfully by insisting she meant she needed to be comfortable with herself as a single person first. There’s nothing more valuable than having a crisis communications firm at your disposal.

Carly rushes to assure everyone that she loves Britt, but resented that she contradicted herself all the time. Case in point: Arlingtongate, in which Britt expressed horror of the tiny ingrown hair of a town while visiting with the other women, but told Chris she would be happy to live in his charming country village when they married. Now Chris H. asks if she truly would have been willing to move there, introducing a moment when this legendary quote applies: At this point, what difference does it make? Britt explains how people do, in fact, actually live in the countryside. She doesn’t address how many of them are heavily medicated, though. Carly looks on, stony-faced with disgust, unless that shot was edited in from another moment when she really needed to use the ladies room but they were adjusting the lighting.

Chris continues the relentless line of interrogation: Would Britt still be with Chris if the women hadn’t made her look bad to him? Britt believes she would be. Somewhere, Whitney or Becca, as well as Chris’s piece of ass on the side, laugh mockingly. As Carly starts to protest, Britt breaks in to ask if she would please let her talk because Carly “pretty much narrated my entire love story.” To be fair, that was easy because it was only as long as the romantic fiction in Women’s World magazine.

Britt’s voice trembles as she reveals to Chris that she came thisclose to having true love with the other Chris. It’s time to move on to a different drama wearing an off-the-rack outfit, so Chris H. shrugs and sends her back to her seat. Suddenly, she’s not crying anymore. She must be satisfied she has enough for her reel.

But when we return from commercial, Chris and Britt are speaking tete-a-tete as the audience mills around as if on a break. Are we supposed to believe these two don’t know they’re being filmed? Then again, a lot of viewers seem to accept that people who cry without their mascara smearing are actually sad. Britt speaks piteously about being hated by all the other women. That’s nothing compared to how much all the other HGTV hosts resent Chris Harrison. Meanwhile, it’s just plain odd that nobody on this show ever uses a tissue. Perhaps lint issues?

Now it’s Kelsey’s turn to be roasted alive on the burning coals of the bachelorettes’ rage. “What happened with this WIDOW who only came to find LOVE?” Chris asks, as if her having once collected life insurance made her famewhoring more dignified than the average shamelessly tacky cast member. First, though, let’s review all the moments Kelsey had with Chris, both legitimate and those scripted to appear unscripted, as well as the many incidents where she fakety-fake-faked it to get ahead.

She’s crying when we return. “I’m feeling betrayed, and like I’m grieving. . .all over again,” she announces, confirming the charges against her like Colonel Jessup was badgered into admitting he ordered the Code Red. Chris hands her his silk hanky to blow snot into. “Do you know why the women dislike you so much?” he questions, revealing why no one has ever hired him for a Human Resources position. Someone guffaws when she suggests it’s because she uses big words. But after watching the footage, she accepts that her behavior may be have been interpreted as calculating. Far more incriminating is how often she uses the passive voice.

“How do you evaluate humanity?” she intones when asked if she thought she was better than the other women. But she apologizes to Ashley I. for speaking unkind words in anger. Not untrue words, just unkind. Then Chris gleefully opens up the floor for everyone to act out Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.

“I literally never met someone so fake in my life,” begins Juelia, the other widow who is particularly bitter since she had the superior sob story. Megan reports that her mom thought Kelsey was manipulative, apparently since Megan herself couldn’t formulate such a sophisticated concept. None of the women liked how Kelsey claimed her story was “tragic but amazing,” a description typically reserved for sequels to The Godfather. They also blame her for the cocktail party being canceled the night she stole time with Chris to tell him about her husband’s death. Kelsey allows that she regretted that development. The hysterical panic attack does indicate that it wasn’t part of her master plan.

Chris asks if Kelsey has anything more to say to the women, perhaps in words of less than three syllables. She apologizes to them. Ashley I. ripostes truculently with, “Yeah, for you being up there and we’re not?” In other words, Ashley is angry that her Kardashian-virgin backstory did not trump Kelsey’s snooty-widow one.

But Kelsey is angry, too–angry that Ashley dared suggest that Kelsey’s husband may never have existed at all. As if anyone making up a husband would name him Sanderson. Ashley defiantly defends the assertion, insisting that, in fact, many Americans question the existence of the man whose premature death has made this season of Bachelor one of the most memorable yet. Ashley, a journalist, remains in doubt as to whether a recently deceased person existed, rather than Googling his obituary. How man dead Sandersons under the age of 30 can there be in Texas? Britt thinks the accusation is just awful. She believes that if you’re going to lie, you should do it in little ways that you can easily backtrack on.

Kelsey referring to her tragic loss as “amazing” was monumentally tasteless, Chris continues, although not in those exact words. Kelsey admits that perhaps it was not the best choice of words, even though she purports to know so many other ones. Tearing up, she tells us that Sanderson’s death was the worst thing that ever happened in her life, aside from meeting a person named Sanderson. What was amazing was that she could find hope again, then use it to apply to be on a reality show. Appearing on TV to fight off some other women for a new husband was a challenge she made to herself. The audience claps approvingly.

Dismissing the bent and broken Kelsey, Chris moves on to the next cartoon character. It’s time to review Ashley S.’s wacky antics with produce and paintball guns. After she joins Chris on the platform and hands him the gift of an onion, she recalls the night she stumbled upon the show’s accounting department and thought they were betting on the women’s chances. That doesn’t seem very crazy at all. “This is the real me,” Ashley admits. “I pick pomegranates when everyone else is crying.” Watch for that to appear in an inspirational graphic on Facebook tomorrow. Chris invites her to be on Bachelor in Paradise. She thinks it’s weird to be on TV. Ashley is now seeming like one of the saner among the crowd there.

Next comes Jade and her “X-rated secret.” She wears a low-cut, skin-tight red dress to reinforce the theme. The footage shows how she went from Cinderella to centerfold in a very short time. “It was hard to watch,” she confesses tearfully. “Were you falling in love with Chris?” asks Chris. She admits she had a connection with him, especially after he saw the nude photos. You’d kind of have to feel close to a person after that. What went wrong? She doesn’t know, because he said it wasn’t the nude pictures that made him toss her out on her tuches. Maybe it was that he liked Miss February better. Later, she was crushed to read in his blog that he was disturbed that her family described her as very different from the Jade he saw. Well, he saw her naked and they didn’t. She wishes he had been honest about it. She wants closure, especially of her buttons.

Kaitlyn speaks next. She’s the most bitter, although Britt is giving her a run for her money. Chris H. says she was the most fun-loving of the women, but still, the other Chris sent her home in tears. She looks wretched as they show the rejection footage from Bali. “I can pinpoint the moment when my heart just broke,” she sighs, to which Chris immediately barks, “When was it?” Cue up the YouTube to 2:27, man. She wonders every day why Chris didn’t give her even “a tiny sign” that she wasn’t the one. Maybe the two other women he was also considering marrying might have been a sign?

The word “authentic” is uttered for the 458th time in the hour as Kaitlyn describes her feelings. “Do you miss him?” Chris asks forlornly. “Totally,” she replies, echoing the impassioned lines of timeless love sonnets. Chris notes that she was at a loss for words when the other Chris failed to give her the rose. Not that she is exactly Oscar Wilde under normal circumstances.

Finally, it’s time to throw Chris to the lions. The bachelorettes perk up. Chris strides in, the very picture of a Heartland sellout. Britt starts crying as soon as she sees him, so she gets to talk first. Excellent strategy, Britt. She and Chris hug in silence for too long while the audience patiently waits. Whitney or Becca is probably sweating bullets watching from home. She tells him she understands why he did what he did, because he believed Carly. But still, she’s proud of him and respects him. She really would have been a great mom–she knows how to lay on a guilt trip. He thanks her, then explains carefully that his decision to send her home was based on their relationship, and not on what Carly told him. So he’s essentially telling Britt that she’s good for macking on, and not much else.

Now Kaitlyn gets to confront him. He sighs deeply in apprehension. She hammers home how much he hurt her by rejecting her after demanding she let down her guard–yet she still has no idea what happened to make him not give her a rose. “There’s really no true explanation,” he says weakly. Someone is ghostwriting that blog. He was falling in love with three women, which was like “throwing darts at a dart board in the dark.” Let’s hope things went more smoothly in the Fantasy Suite.

Kaitlyn wants to know why he didn’t take her aside to talk like he did with Becca, thus allowing her the option to leave–equally wretched and rejected, but on her own terms!–before the Rose Ceremony. But he wasn’t sure, he insists, which two women he was going to choose even as the ceremony moment approached. Also, the producers only allowed enough time for one private convo with an unexpected conclusion, and when they tossed the coin, Becca won.

How do these women manage to have such deeply private conversations on TV? I can barely have a discussion this intimate with my diary. Now it’s Jade who wants to be recorded being mortified and uncomfortable in public. She has virtually the same questions: Why did he send her home? Why didn’t he tell her beforehand? Because that’s not how the show gets high ratings? She was hurt by him not sharing his concern with her about the difference between the person he knew and the person her family described. But no one wants to date a stranger. Okay, except people on The Bachelor. She accuses him of not being honest, overlooking the fact that she was the one who waited until the last moment possible before revealing she had posed for nude pictures. Nothing is resolved, but at least everyone was forthright in their platitudes.

Finally, we’re relieved from the angst with the blooper reel, including a very unattractive few moments of Chris’s high-pitched giggle, which is effectively replicated by a dolphin. Next Monday night, all this will be blessedly over when we learn that Chris will propose to one of the Balinese monkeys, who will refuse him because it’s too boring to live in Arlington.

Also, Chris H. has published a romance novel. It’s called Fifty Shades of Branding.




About E.M. Rosenberg 240 Articles
Favorite 40-volume series issued by Time-Life Music: Sounds of the Seventies. Favorite backsplash material: Subway tile. Favorite screen legend I pretend wasn’t gay: Cary Grant. Favorite issue you should not even get me started about: Venal, bloodsucking insurance industry. Favorite character from the comic strip “Nancy”: Sluggo, or maybe Rollo. Favorite Little Debbie snack: Nutty Bars. Favorite Monkee: Mike.