The Bachelor recap: Beauty and the beef
It’s week three, rose lovers, and you know what that means: “Ladies” stop being (fake) nice and start getting real (bitchy). Let’s dive in!
Harrison arrives at the mansion and tells all the women to put on their glasses.
Just joshin’ — he’s there to drop off the date card, of course. Katie, Heather, Hannah B., Courtney, Kirpa, Tracy, Demi, and Caelynn, put your faces on and get in the van! In case you’ve forgotten, Hannah B. and Caelynn are pageant-pals-turned-bitter-rivals, so naturally, neither of them is looking forward to spending the whole day competing with each other for Colton’s attention.
Question, rose lovers: If someone asked you out on a date and wanted to take you to Pirate’s Dinner Adventure — which I’m guessing is essentially Medieval Times but with boats — would your mood be a) excited, b) confused, or c) “thank u, next”? To be fair, though, Colton isn’t expecting the women to watch a cheesy show while eating mass-produced rotisserie chicken and mashed potatoes — he wants the women to be in that cheesy show. But beware, “ladies” — only two of you will earn the honor of performing in front of a bunch of tourists. Let the pirate training begin! The pirate training, by the way, looks a lot like American Gladiators.
Though she didn’t give much of an effort during the giant Q-tip battle, Caelynn does spend plenty of time flirt-sparring with Colton, much to Hannah B.’s dismay. And when Tracy and Caelynn are chosen to perform in the show with Colton, Hannah B. is shocked, hilariously so.
“Honestly, this sucks,” she pouts. “It brings out all of my insecurities and I start to spiral.” (Am I the only one who started chanting, “Spi-ral! Spi-ral! Spi-ral!” when she said this?) Hannah B. is determined to fill Colton in on “the truth about Caelynn” that night at the cocktail party. Speaking of which, what happened to poor Katie’s leg?
I hope Pirate’s Dinner offers workers compensation. More to the point, Katie and Colton do seem to have genuine chemistry together. But why should we see more of their cute chat when Demi’s over in the holding area triggering Tracy by reminding her that she’s ancient? “If I was an older girl surrounded by younger women, I can’t imagine how uncomfortable I would feel,” says Demi, as Heather and Kirpa look on in a mixture of disbelief and amusement.
So yeah, the whole Bathrobe-gate situation from last week clearly isn’t settled. “You’re taking personally me giving you a different point of view on something,” says Tracy, trying to stay calm. Demi shoots back, “And it’s been made very clear that you’re making attacks on me right now.” Huh? Did we miss something, Team Bachelor? If there’s more footage of Demi vs. Tracy and you’re holding out on us – well, that’s just not very nice.
Also, not very nice? The nasally whine of Demi’s voice. And her laugh, which I truly wish I could capture in some sort of audio-GIF, but that technology does not yet exist (or, at least, it’s beyond my capabilities) so this will have to do.
“Every time I smell you, I’m like, ‘Mmmmmm!’ You know what I mean?” she purrs. “And I can tell that I always make you nervous.” Then for some reason, she gets all S&M on him and spanks him with what looks like a wooden cutting board.
As much as Demi talks about how she “challenges” and “excites” Colton, pretty much anyone with eyes can see that he’s not, like, into it. (And him kissing her doesn’t mean he’s into it — the dude kisses everyone.) Courtney, meanwhile, is rankled because Demi interrupted her chat with Colton, so she asks if she can talk to Demi privately for a moment. “Okay,” sighs a clearly irritated Demi, after a pause. “Sure.” Girl, if you don’t want to keep getting pulled aside for “please don’t be a bitch” pep talks, then please don’t be a bitch! (Next: The pageant drama begins!)
“I’m going to be who I am,” she sneers when Courtney asks her to “be more aware.” After all, she continues, the women are all “intimidated” by her “confidence” and how “untouchable” she is. Maybe, but Caelynn certainly doesn’t look intimidated.
“I’m so excited for Caelynn and I’s relationship,” Colton tells us. (If you had “butchery of the English language” on your Bachelor Bingo card, score one for you!) Hannah B. is not excited that Colton is excited about his relationship with her pageant rival, so she puts a bullet in the chamber and prepares to commit vague character assassination. She tells the Bachelor that there were a “few things that happened” between her and Caelynn that led to a “fallout,” and when he presses her for more details, she starts whispering — because, of course, the microphones strapped to their bodies can’t hear it if you whisper.
“I was just in a high-stress situation with her, and it was, like, the most hostile environment I’ve ever been in.” When Colton once again asks for some details — “Are you saying, like, is she mean? Is she manipulative? Is she fake?” — Hannah B. does not use her words to answer. Instead, she gives him a look.
Oh girl, if only you had stopped there. Don’t you know that winners never tattle, and tattlers never win? But Hannah goes on to say that if Colton likes Caelynn, he can’t possibly like her, too. The Bachelor does NOT love it. “Let’s talk about this later,” he mumbles glumly. Colton tries to end the conversation with a hug, but a chastened Hannah appeals for “at least a peck” — so he responds with a very reluctant smooch.
The Bachelor immediately pulls Caelynn aside to get her version of events, and she is understandably flummoxed as Colton fills her in, saying Hannah B. used “words like ‘hostile’” to describe her. “Quite frankly I didn’t get a lot of clarity on the situation,” he says. He doesn’t get much from Miss North Carolina either: Caelynn says she and Hannah “handle competition very differently,” and then she segues into talking about “traumatic experiences” in her life that she isn’t ready to tell Colton about yet… oh, yep, and now she’s crying. Great job, Other Hannah — tears are like Kryptonite to a Bachelor! Thanks to your meddling, your archnemesis just got the date rose.
“I probably just ruined my chances and I don’t know how to fix it,” whimpers Hannah B. Here’s an idea: Shaddap you face!
The one-on-one date goes to Elyse, and do I need to tell you that it involves a helicopter? Colton informs her that they’re headed to San Diego, and immediately I had to look up how long it takes to fly from L.A. to San Diego in a whirlybird. Answer: One hour! I don’t know about you, but that seems like an awfully long time to be in a helicopter — especially when they can be death traps in the wrong hands.
Miraculously, Colton and Elyse make it safely to San Diego and wide up at an amusement park, where there is a group of squealing kids waiting to join their romantic date. “I watched Bachelorette with my mom all the time,” one little-pigtailed girl tells Colton. “My mom won’t let me!” whines another.
That’s good advice, Colton. Take heed.
Elyse and the Bachelor brave all the vomit-inducing rides with the kids, from the Tilt-a-Whirl to the merry-go-round to a weird spinning submarine thing that looks like it was specifically designed to f— with your inner ear. (Can you tell I’m a total wuss about rides?) Of course, Colton also wins Elyse a giant teddy bear, because gender roles. The outing is in keeping with the type of work Colton does with his foundation — and honestly, whatever you think of him as Bachelor, you can’t be mad at a guy who helps sick kids have a little fun. Of course, Elyse loves it too. Doesn’t she look happy?
At dinner, Elyse shares a very sad story about her sister, who was diagnosed with cancer while she was pregnant with her second baby. Though the baby lived, Elyse’s sister died — and the experience of course altered Elyse’s perspective on what really matters in life. She overcame a personal tragedy, she likes kids, and her family runs a charity in her sister’s name? Of course Elyse gets the date rose. Unfortunately, she also gets to dance awkwardly on a platform in the middle of a crowd of strangers while a young woman named Tenille Arts croons a lite-country tune. (Next: Caitlin feels the burn)
Sun’s out, guns out — it’s group date time!
Tayshia, Nina, Catherine (‘memba her?), Sydney, Onyeka, Cassie, Nicole, and Caitlin roll up on Colton as he’s beating the holy hell out of the concrete with some ropes. “He’s shirtless!” squeals one of the “ladies.” Of course he is – haven’t you been watching, honey? In case you haven’t guessed, it’s a workout-themed date, and it’s hosted by the second #relationshipgoals couple of the season:
“Ladies, marriage is hard. Life is hard,” says Rebecca. “We are here to help Colton find his strong woman.” If we’re judging these women solely on their upper-body strength, Nicole probably isn’t going to make the cut; Catherine basically has to use all of her upper body strength to help Nicole do one pull-up. “It was kind of embarrassing,” admits Nicole.
Good LORD, what is going on over here?
“Sydney — she’s making stretching look like Dirty Dancing,” scoffs a jealous Cassie. “Colton’s not a stretching virgin anymore, that’s for sure.”
Hey, a girl’s gotta be limber to win the “Bachelor’s Strongest Woman” contest! And guess who’s back doing color commentary with Chris Harrison? The legendary Fred Willard! (Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear much from him – though any Fred Williard is better than none, I suppose.)
The events are suitably (or rather, sexist-ly) marriage-themed: Pushing a 100-pound wedding cake about 50 feet; the “ring toss,” which consists of flipping a 50-pound tire down the track; and the “limo pull” – which miraculously does not result in anyone going to the hospital.
My God, Caitlin is a beast! Either that or the Bachelor interns are behind the limo pushing until their neck veins pop out. When it comes down to the three “Strongest Woman” finalists to compete in the “Heavy Heart” race, it’s Onyeka who takes home the trophy. (Appropriately enough, someone blows an obnoxious air horn when she wins.)
Cut to the cocktail party. Nicole cries when talking about one of the strong women in her life, her grandma who fled Cuba. Colton comforts Nicole by assuring her that she’s a “mentally strong” woman too. (Emphasis mine. Physically, the girl is crazy weak.) Later he shares some cake with Onyeka (though I don’t buy it for a second when he talks about their “natural connection”), and shares smooches with Cassie. (She doesn’t even mind it when he uses the term “self-admit.”)
Then we get to Caitlin, who may have impressed Colton with her brute strength, but she’s not sparking much in the way of a romantic connection with him. But when the Bachelor gives her an opportunity to tell him something about herself, Caitlin appears to draw a blank. “I haven’t had anything, like, happen in my life that, like, is standing out for me right now that, like, I want to share with you,” she replies. Oh honey, get in the game! An “important, life-defining” moment — like the loss of a family member or a cheating ex – is right there on the Bachelor packing list, between “sequined dresses” and “bathing suits that can be worn under anything.”
It gets worse: Caitlin then offers to “open up” to Colton about wanting to meet someone who will be willing to hang out with her friends. “Yeah,” says the Bachelor, after a silence soaked in disappointment. “The conversation wasn’t the best,” he tells us, as though we are deaf, dumb and blind. Long story short:
“Breaking up with Caitlin, I’m struggling with it,” says the Bachelor. Technically, wouldn’t you have to date someone in order to break up with them? Well, why quibble. There are a bunch of “ladies” sitting on the roof waiting for someone to get the date rose. Survey says… Nicole! Congrats, mami. (Next: She said, she said)
The sun rises on the day of the rose ceremony, and suddenly Harrison is back in the mansion to inform the women that there will be no cocktail party tonight – because you’re gonna have a pool party instead! (That would have been a total surprise had Team Bachelor shown us clips of the pool party about 47 times in the promos.) Everyone stop what you’re doing and listen — Colton has an urgent news bulletin.
Cannonball! Everyone looks like they’re having a good time, except Hannah B., who is stressed out about her crappy conversation with Colton on the last group date. And Never Been Kissed Heather is just fueling the flames of Hannah’s insecurities: “My fear is that [Caelynn] is gonna go talk crap about you, and then he’s gonna believe that,” she warns Hannah, after watching Colton and Caelynn stroll by hand-in-hand. The pep talk has its intended effect. Hannah says her “tank of rage” is topped off and she’s ready to release the “beautiful monster” that lives inside of her.
You better hurry, girl, because Caelynn is, in fact, filling Colton in on your salty history. To paraphrase: When Caelynn started to “get more attention” during the Miss USA process, Hannah B. began to “get into her head” and “talk s—,” and so on. Now, Caelynn continues, Hannah “kind of spirals when I have the slightest bit of success” with Colton.
Once again, the Bachelor is not pleased — and now he has to go find Hannah B. and figure out which woman is telling the truth. Miss Alabama is pissed to learn that Caelynn called her “manipulative,” “deceitful,” and “toxic” — and she responds by telling Colton that Caelynn is the “manipulative and fake” one. In other words, the “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you” defense. Man, Colton is not loving this.
“I’m freaking telling you the truth,” Hannah continues. “Just trust me.” Girl, if you have to say it, you probably haven’t earned it. The Bachelor needs a moment alone, so he walks off with a producer for a clandestine debrief. “I don’t know what to believe,” he huffs. Thank the Lord, Harrison is here.
Sorry all of the other “ladies,” many of whom haven’t spent any time with Colton at the pool party — but that’s all the time we have for you today. We have reached the moment of truth. Who will be struck by shrapnel from the Battle of the Beauty Queens? Rose ceremony roll call:
Hannah G., Tayshia, Katie, Cassie, Kirpa, Sydney, Demi, Tracy, Courtney, Heather, Onyeka, and… Hannah B. (of course) join Nicole, Caelynn, Elyse in this week’s winners’ circle. Which means it’s goodbye to Nina (who?), Bri, and Catherine, who may go down in Bachelor history as having the shortest tenure as a villain ever. Now go get Lucy from the kennel, and we’ll see you in Paradise.
For now, both pageant “ladies” remain in it to win it — and we may just get that sash-vs.-sash showdown next week. Until then, rose lovers, let me know what you think about what went down this week: Are you #TeamHannah or #TeamCaelynn? Would it be possible for Terry Crews to appear on every show? And is it time for Demi to go home yet? Post your thoughts now!
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Chris Harrison hosts the romance reality competition series in which a gaggle of women vie for the Bachelor’s heart — and a wedding proposal. Will you accept this rose?