Not that it should come as a surprise to anyone, but I was a little saltier than normal while watching this week's episode of The Bachelor. I’m sure it was in large part due to increasing responsibilities outside of This Is Brutal, but it was at least partially due to the current presidential race. The fact that a reality TV star has gotten this far in the Republican nomination and it isn’t Chris Harrison is a travesty. Think about it. Chris is used to being on TV, has perfect hair, and, most importantly, is a white male. That screams Republican nominee if I’ve ever heard it.
This week, The Bachelor gang packs up their bikinis and V-neck shirts and travels to Jamaica. Upon their arrival, Ben says, "This place is a paradise!" This is true so long as you don't go more than 500 yards inland, where gang warfare, sex trafficking, and extreme poverty are the norm. Other than that, it is a very pretty country. Ben also said that Jamaica seems like, "a great place to fall in love." I know this is basically a catch phrase of the show but it makes no sense. If you're only just now falling in love, what have you been doing for the past eight weeks?
Ben then recaps each of the women in case you are just watching this show for the first time or are a goldfish.
Like I said, saltier than normal.
Basically me, only with accomplishments.
During the commercial break, Manwich ran an absolutely incomprehensible ad using Bachelor contestants’ quotes to sell canned “meat”. Dumb as it may be, the ad makes sense. Both brands treat their products like pieces of meat, while simultaneously not selling meat at all
Ben's first date was with Caila, a woman who grows tinier and more adorable with each passing week. I am genuinely concerned that if this trend continues, Caila will have turned into a Pixar character within the year.
But I digress. Ben and Caila's date consisted mostly of sitting in silence on a Cast Away style raft floating down a Jamaican river. I wish I could say more happened on the date, but that would be a lie. It was just a man and a woman slowly and quietly floating down a river together. The whole date seemed like how the rafting trip in Deliverance was supposed to go.
Fun with friends!
The date’s silence was a pleasant break for my sanity, but apparently it was a bit awkward for both Caila and Ben. Caila is nervous about the two other women Ben is simultaneously dating, while Ben is nervous that Caila is stressed because, “If Caila is too in her own head tonight it will affect our relationship.” You know what will also affect your relationship, Ben? Not asking your girlfriend what is wrong when she seems uncomfortable. Seriously, no one expects perfection from you, just a base level of human decency.
As was the apparent theme of their date, nothing else of note happened between Ben and Caila. They ate dinner, swam in the ocean, and enjoyed a night in the fantasy suite.
The next date was Lauren's. On the prospect of her first date in several days, Lauren said, "I'm excited to see Ben and maybe spend the night with him! I'm like a little kid!" Wording, Lauren. Unless children are clamoring to sleep with Ben Higgins, you should really rethink your wording.
That baby looks appropriately terrified.
On their date, Ben and Lauren helped Mel (a local marine biologist) release baby sea turtles into the ocean. “Lauren B and I are helping turtles survive,” Ben triumphantly announced with the confidence and understanding of a 6 year-old. How old is the “I like turtles” video? Is there a chance that the kid in that video is just a young Ben Higgins? I really hope so.
After the couple finished tossing baby turtles into the ocean, Ben tells Lauren about his conversation with her sister. Ben recounts how he cried because Lauren is too good for him. Lauren is then moved to tears because Ben is too good for her. If you’ve ever been a third wheel with a new couple, you know exactly what watching this date was like.
Eventually, Lauren is able to muster up the courage to tell Ben that she loves him. In a surprise move, Ben tells Lauren that he loves her too. For anyone not in the know, the Bachelor is not supposed to say, “I love you” to a contestant because it ruins the outcome of the show and is pretty shitty to the other contestants. Not one to avoid shittiness, Ben says it multiple times throughout the date. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Ben tells Lauren he loves her again in the morning, so he wasn’t just drunk.
The final date of the evening went to JoJo. She and Ben went swimming underneath an absolutely gorgeous set of waterfalls. While swimming, I noticed for the first time that Ben has a tattoo. There was no real way to make out what it said, but it’s safe to assume it was a bible quote. Given the nature of the show he could have gone with Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do the Lord.” He also could have gone with Proverbs 31:10 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” However, given Ben’s apparent stupidity and probable illiteracy, he probably went with Stone Cold 3:16 “I just whooped your ass.”
The Bachelor 2017
In a near mirror image of a previous date, JoJo finally tells Ben that she loves him and Ben responds with, “I love you too.” JoJo responds somewhat hilariously with a shocked, “What?!” as she either knew Ben wasn’t supposed to say that or was really hoping he wouldn’t reciprocate. At this point, The Bachelor is basically a glorified marketing platform, so I really have no idea which one it was.
JoJo would later go on to accept the fantasy suite date. In what was the most perfectly redundant Bachelor thing I have ever seen, they traveled to their suite in a helicopter and then soaked in a hot tub. The hot tub I understand; dating multiple women is stressful and sometimes you need to relax. But why so much air travel? Is Ben just trying to earn frequent flyer miles?
Gee, I wonder who is going home this week?
The morning after their fantasy suite date, JoJo says about Ben leaving, “I wish he wasn’t leaving. That is brutal!” So close, JoJo. So Close.
Once Ben is on his own, he reveals that he doesn’t feel the same way about Caila that he does about Lauren and JoJo. “At the rose ceremony I’ll be breaking a woman’s heart.” You know, Ben, you could just save her the embarrassment and do it now. That would be the normal thing to do for a person with feelings and a sense of decency. No? Your plan is to wait until the rose ceremony? Ok, I understand. That’s pretty in line with every other shitty thing you’ve done this season.
As if the producers heard my angry yells, Caila is prompted to make a surprise visit to Ben’s suite. She sneaks up and surprises him in what had to be the most uncomfortable but deserved surprise since To Catch A Predator went off the air. Ben is visibly uncomfortable and sits Caila down for another awkward conversation.
Chris Hansen, the 90's Chris Harrison
Ben tries to break up with Caila quickly, but she is having none of it. After he tells her, “It’s hard to say goodbye,” Caila fires back with, “That sounds like a line.” She also questions how long he has felt this way, which Ben most certainly has been lying about, but denies. He tries to justify his actions towards Caila, but his Bachelor sense kicks in and he ends up just recapping the show. Well done, Bachelor producers. You have taught Ben well.
Caila hugs Ben goodbye saying, “I really did love you,” as she cries adorable tears out of her adorable face. For the first time all season I feel a twinge of emotion and my heart grew three sizes.
Caila, while leaving,
The show ends with a rose ceremony, because even the producers knew that there wasn’t enough material to fill two hours without it. Both Lauren and JoJo get a rose, each unaware that Ben has said, “I love you” to the other. How I wish someone on the production staff has slipped them a note with that information so they could have left Ben alone in his Jamaican “paradise.”
Next week is the “Women Tell All” episode and I couldn’t be more excited. Mostly I just want to see Lace sober (ish) for the first time in months. If she’s not the next Bachelorette I will complain online.