Greetings, rose lovers — and thanks for following me (back) to EW.com. As you know, neither rain nor snow nor a new job as a TV critic will stay me from the swift completion of my appointed Bachelor recap duties. Now, on to week 5!
Perhaps taking a cue from The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, this week Team Bachelor moves the action to the beaches of Florida — Fort Lauderdale to be exact. It is “a beautiful place to fall in love,” notes Arie, who clearly has never seen an episode of MTV Spring Break.
Once the women are properly settled in their penthouse suite, the Bachelor shows up in an ocean-blue ensemble to steal Chelsea away for the first one-on-one of the week. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s on a yacht.
At the hotel, Last Remaining Lauren admits she expected to get today’s one-on-one date, but instead Arie gave it to Chelsea, “and I felt like he didn’t look at me even one time.” Her insecurities aren’t helped when even more competition walks in the door.
Awww, welcome back, Maquel! Good to see you…but you probably shouldn’t get too comfortable, honey. The other women fill Maquel in on Arie’s whereabouts, and it isn’t long before producers lead them to a telescope on the balcony…just in time to see the Bachelor and Chelsea “Titanic-ing” on the bow of the yacht.
With all the Krystal drama the last few weeks, Chelsea and her single mom status have faded into the background — until tonight. “I have to really see if there could be a connection to move things forward,” says Arie. “I don’t want to waste her time.”
So over dinner, the Bachelor presses Chelsea for details on her past relationship, and it’s certainly not a boring backstory: She met an “older,” “more successful” man when she was 20 years old, and that man proceeded to “mold” her into the person he wanted her to be. Seven years later — and just six months after Chelsea gave birth to Sammy — Older Man left her for another woman. “I was left with, literally, my belongings in trash bags,” recalls Chelsea, tearing up. Today, she says, “I probably have the least that I’ve ever had, but I feel like I have everything.”
Ugh, remember three weeks ago when we didn’t like Chelsea?
Anyhow, she gets the date rose…and a private concert by a Tia lookalike named Tenille Arts.
Enjoy that Bachelor Bump, Tenille!
On to the group date! Maquel, Krystal, Bekah M., Becca K., Jenna, Seinne, Kendall, Ashley, Marikh, Jacquline, and Lauren B. (why the B.? she’s the last Lauren!) meet Arie at the Holiday Bowling Lanes…because there’s no time to spare. Get it? Also, kudos to whichever producer talked Arie into licking a filthy bowling ball — in service to a Big Lebowski homage, of course.
When the time comes to divide into teams for a bowling showdown — winners get to go to the after-party, and losers go back to the hotel — Krystal is so desperate to get more time with Arie she actually says a prayer to her dogs that her team will win. I laughed, but perhaps I should not have scoffed at the power of canine divinity: After Krystal’s prayer, The Spare Roses (Jenna, Krystal, Becca, Maquel, and Jacqueline) do, in fact, trounce the Pin Ups (Seinne, Marikh, Lauren, Bekah, Ashley, and Kendall).
High on bowling-alley beer and adrenaline, Krystal is ready, yet again, to speechify. “I want to make a toast about not focusing on breaking others down, but building each other up,” she tells her team. “Cheers to the best day everrrrr.”
(Next: Arie changes his mind)