The Bachelor recap: Goal Power
The ladies take their love of Ben to the soccer field (and embarrass America as a nation)
Part of me 100 percent believes that The Bachelor started as nothing more than a science experiment. Some old dudes in lab coats decided to see what women would do when forced to live together and fight over one man. Either that, or it was a bunch of old dudes in sports coats who wanted to bet on said women. Either way, there were old dudes involved, it was creepy, and now they’re disgustingly rich (those of them that are still alive, that is).
Regardless, according to my notes, week three is the moment in the experiment where the women really start to pick one another apart. At this point, dates are happening, crushes are forming, and in order to survive, the women spend their days tearing one another down. (Oddly, the Bachelor mansion shares a striking resemblance with Corporate America.)
We kick off the judgment with Lauren B. and Amanda discussing how Olivia claims she spent $40,000 on clothes. Is she talking yesterday? In her entire life? They don’t care. They just want to talk about how awful she is. (And if she’s living on a former news anchor salary, she’s also a liar.)
Waiting for the first date card of the week, the women get a surprise visit from Chris Harrison, otherwise known as the human date card. He explains that this week, there will be two one-on-one dates and a group date. As he drops off the paper date card, Jubilee can’t help but think that getting a one-on-one with Ben would be the happiest moment of her life, which is sad on a number of levels.
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But for now, the one-on-one goes to Lauren B. Taking the flight attendant to the airport, Ben plans to give her a flight unlike anything she’s experienced before. Ben invites Lauren B. on a “magical carpet ride,” which isn’t a magical carpet ride at all. Instead, it’s a quick ride in a biplane, but whatever.
Lauren B. is terrified, but thankfully, the couple has a super helpful pilot leading them. As the pilot informs them once they’re already in the air, “Oh yeah, we’re flying.” THANKS, DUDE. So happy their lives are in your hands right now.
At this point in the date, I’m thinking the producers set this up solely to switch up the altitude at which Ben says “incredible.” Either that, or they wanted to watch Ben and Lauren attempt to kiss around their headsets.
As Ben and Lauren fly over the Bachelor mansion, Olivia is concerned that Ben is “feeling the love bug” with Lauren. Can someone explain what it means to feel the love bug? Should Lauren get Ben a paper bag?
But as any good flight attendant knows, the flight is really about the destination. And with that in mind, Ben takes Lauren to the middle of nowhere, where the Bachelor scientists producers — clearly working hard to meet their hot tub quota this year — have placed a hot tub in the middle of a field. To quote Ben: “There’s a tree, if you want to change.” Good lord, Ben, don’t sweep her off her feet too fast.
And yet, after a few kisses and a few more glasses of champagne, Lauren is “so glad that we’re here,” even though no one knows exactly where “here” is.
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NEXT: I’m so sorry, soccer
Back at the mansion, Caila is having the appropriately timed freakout that follows the first one-on-one date. Apparently, it’s JUST hitting her that there are other girls here — because the limos full of women on night one didn’t do it for her. She’s realizing that she could have her heart broken if Ben discovers how high her voice gets when she cries falls for someone else. It’s not easy to have an open heart (though Jane Seymour recommends it).
For the evening portion of their date, Ben and Lauren talk about her love of the little things. With a dad that Lauren describes as “the most simple of guys” who’s obsessed with his yard, she says she wants a husband to be the sort of dad to her children that her father was for her. Ben’s really just hung up on the idea that no one has scooped her up already, but as she tells him, “I’m very picky.” (Read: If you don’t like yard work, get the hell out.)
At the house, the next date card arrives for Amanda, Haley, Jennifer, Shushanna, Leah, Amber, Lauren H., Olivia, Jami, Rachel, Lace, and Emily. The date card reads “Love is the goal,” which means #sports. So that’s something to look forward to.
Finishing up the date, Ben tells Lauren something he hasn’t told anyone — even Olivia! — so far: His dad had some heart problems before the show and had to undergo triple bypass surgery. Watching his mother handle all of that, Ben realized he wanted the sort of love that can make you miserable. One story later, Lauren’s ready to go all in, telling Ben she wants to meet his family, though she gets points for realizing how creepy that sounded. Spoiler: She gets the date rose.
From there, they get a private concert from not the Dixie Chicks Lucy Angel. All Ben knows is that, in this moment, Lauren is “changing him.” (It’s as if he can feel his love of mowing the grass setting in.)
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The next day, the group date takes the ladies to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to play a little soccer with the help of World Cup champions Alex Morgan and Kelley O’Hara. Alex tries to tell them all that they’ll be pros by the end of the day, but as Lauren H. says, “I have zero ball-handling skills.” And at least she knows it.
This is the point at which Olivia claims this is the ONE sport she knows nothing about. (So you mean to tell me you know nothing about the most popular sport in the world but you know everything there it is to know about, I don’t know, curling?)
With Harrison showing up, Amber knows that his arrival is always either good or bad news — which can be said about pretty much anything. This time, Harrison informs the women that they will be divided up into two teams — Team Stars and Team Stripes because #Merica — to face off, with the winning team earning a night with Ben while the losers go home. “There’s the cup right there,” Harrison says, pointing to Ben. (Hope you didn’t think you were anything more than a prize to be won, Ben!)
NEXT: No one’s a champion
Wearing literal stars and stripes — complete with booty shorts and jewelry because #feminism — the women get into game mode. As Rachel puts it, “We’re totally gonna win because we’re the stars.” All I’ll say is: You’re all losers because this is embarrassing.
With the women chanting that they’re going to “win Ben tonight,” Ben’s feeling nice and objectified, but he no longer cares when he sees Emily shift into Beast Mode as the goalie for Team Stars. As she puts it, “Balls flying at your face is never fun.” (Is he still cheering for her?)
After the game ends on a tie, it’s time for sudden death. And with Rachel limping around the field from what looks like a cramp, Amber takes the opportunity to score the winning goal for Team Stripes. As Lauren H. says, being defeated is “so defeating.”
With that, Team Stars go home, where the real MVP is Shushanna, who carries Rachel into the house like it ain’t no thang.
That leaves Olivia, Amber, Haley, Lace, Leah, and Jami to spend the evening with Ben. Olivia immediately steals Ben away to wave to the other women from a balcony — get it? she’s literally above them all — before taking Ben aside and informing him that “people find me intimidating, I guess.”
Speaking of those women that find Olivia intimidating, they’re currently using their time to pick Olivia apart: Amber hates her fat toes, and Haley thinks her boobs are fake (not to mention that her breath is horrible). But the women forget the cardinal rule of talking crap about someone: Make sure you’re not amongst one of her friends.
It takes Jami no time at all to pull Olivia aside and tell her that the women were talking about her. And no, for the love of God, it wasn’t about your cankles, Olivia, let it go! It was about your toes! Stop mentioning other things that are wrong with you!
Elsewhere, Lace’s time with Ben is cut short by Amber, who really can’t get over how “it’s so funny how, in a year, you can grow.” It’s like she’s experiencing time for the first time. But Ben must find it adorable, because it earns her both a kiss and the date rose.
As for Olivia, she’s bummed, but she got something better than a rose: When Ben stood up to leave, he PUSHED OFF HER LEG. I know!! These two should just hurry up and get a room, right?!
As she puts it, he (unknowingly) does things for her because he knows that she’ll get them.
NEXT: Jubilee is the most jubilant…and the most awkward
Back at the mansion, Jubilee is preemptively crying about not getting a date this week. From what she can tell, Ben has a type, and it’s “happy girls.” And despite her name sounding so upbeat, she is not a happy girl. (Yeah, tell that to her when she finds out that she did get the one-on-one.)
But don’t worry. By the time Ben actually arrives for their date, Jubilee is done jumping around. Instead, she’s firmly back to her true form of “awko taco,” as Jami puts it. First, Jubilee gives Ben a hard time for being 20 minutes late — which is fair if you ask me — and then, she jokingly asks, “Does anyone else wanna go on my date?” when she realizes that her date involves a helicopter ride. (She’s afraid of heights.)
Yes, Jubilee does need to work on her inflection so that a joke, you know, actually sounds like a joke, but regardless, the women acting offended by her comment is the sort of thing that would embarrass even the scientists behind this experiment. And yes, we know EXACTLY how many other women would like this date. We can count.
But when it comes time to take off, it’s Jubilee next to Ben in that “box in the sky” as Caila puts it. And as it turns out, Ben’s hand on her leg is all it takes to calm her fear. Well that, and the fact that Ben’s taking her to a spa for the day.
Within five minutes of being at the spa, Ben and Jubilee discover that they don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to food choices: Ben’s in heaven while Jubilee literally spits her caviar into a napkin. It seems Jubilee has one favorite food: She’s “obsessed” with hot dogs. (I can’t. It’s too easy.)
Jubilee spends the next part of the date explaining that she’s “goofy,” but from what I know, you have to be able to speak to to be goofy — or anything, really. But as the date goes on, things begin to smooth out. At one point, Ben and Jubilee even stand within a foot of each other, so I’d say things are progressing nicely.
Naturally, it’s during a game of shuffleboard that Jubilee realizes Ben’s a serious contender. When she makes an, “I’m not playing, white boy” joke and he laughs, she decides she’s officially in. So much so that, later in the date, she proceeds to bring up that moment and talk about how relieved she was when he laughed.
Remember how Chandler Bing said you should never explain why your joke was funny? Yeah, this falls under that umbrella for me. Thankfully, there’s not much explanation happening here. Quite frankly, I’m not entirely sure they’re having a conversation. There seems to be a mix of facial expressions, laughs, one potential dirty joke, and multipe sentence fragments. But at the end of it, Ben says Jubilee allows him to be himself, so apparently the real Ben doesn’t speak in full sentences.
Heading into the evening portion of the date, Jubilee really wants to stress that there are a lot of layers to her. (Translation: Ashley S. would LOVE her.)
When Ben asks about why she hasn’t been back to Haiti, she reveals her love/hate relationship with her past. For Jubilee, her fear of not being lovable — or being “unlovable,” if you will — comes from the fact that her entire family died. She’s the only survivor, and that makes her feel guilty.
Ben, ever the intellectual, asks what kind of guilt she’s talking about. UMMM SURVIVOR’S GUILT, BEN?! I’d say that’s freakishly obvious.
But the important thing is, at the end of the night, Ben is loving Jubilee’s depth. He wants to get to know all of her layers, so he gives her the rose.
NEXT: Death, cankles, and massages
The next morning, the women of the house are shocked that Jubilee and her many layers received a rose. As Jami, who should clearly be a psychic, puts it, “I think there’s gonna be drama at the rose ceremony tonight.”
At the cocktail party, the women prepare themselves for a tense evening made even heavier by Ben’s announcement that he lost two people close to his family this week. (And you all thought it was awkward before he arrived!)
So Ben might be a little down, but he’s got plenty of women to cheer him up. And jumping right on it is Olivia, who knows exactly what Ben needs to hear: He might think that death and loss is sad, but she knows how he feels because she has CANKLES! People have even written blogs about her cankles (no they haven’t). As she puts it, through tears, “it’s the scariest thing ever.” Yes, it’s way scarier than losing loved ones in a plane crash or, I don’t know, ANYTHING.
So while Olivia tries to be strong, Amanda pulls Ben aside to actually offer him a shoulder or whatever he might need.
And yet, it’s Jubilee who really steals the night for Ben. She might be super awkward with the women of the house, but she knows how to make Ben feel loved, and tonight, it’s by giving him a massage to make him feel better.
Needless to say, Ben’s into it, but the women are not. And when Amber tries to get a group of women to confront Jubilee about her actions and the fact that she has a rose, Jubilee storms off. But you can’t outrun drama, especially not when there’s literally no escape. (“Like mice in a cage,” those old creepy scientists once said.)
Picking up on the drama, Ben finds Jubilee upstairs. Amber joins them to try to explain that she wanted to talk to Jubilee about the tension in the house and how they’re all pissed about Jubilee’s joke about whether anyone else wanted her date. But it’s Ben who steps up to defend Jubilee, explaining that he likes that she sometimes says edgy things. Ben, firmly on Team Jubilee, walks away thinking the drama is over for the night.
And that’s when Lace grabs him. Lace is clearly emotional, and as Caila puts it, she could be reaching the end of her “dynamite stick,” which, fun fact, is way more dangerous than reaching the end of a fuse.
But just as Lace looks like she’s about to recall another traumatic memory where her bangs curled, she tells Ben that she’s leaving. Her time here has showed her that she has a lot of work to do on herself, and as her tattoo says, “You can’t love someone else until you truly love yourself.” And you gotta do what the tattoo says, or why’d you even get it?
So with that, Lace leaves, and the rose ceremony commences. Ben gives roses to Lauren H., Amanda, Becca, Haley, Emily, Rachel, Caila, JoJo, Jennifer, Leah, and Olivia. That means it’s the end of the road for Jami and Shushanna.
While Shushanna’s off to find herself some good vodka, Jami walks away from this experience having learned never to “expect anything from humans,” which really limits her options in the dating field.
Also limiting her options is Olivia, who has basically decided she’ll marry Ben or she’ll marry no one. But it’s okay because Ben feels it, too. See, when Ben hugged her, he squeezed her waist, which means that he basically just proposed. (Thank God he didn’t kiss her on the cheek, or else she might be pregnant.)
And that puts an end to another week of scientific breakthroughs. If you all need me, I’ll be looking in the mirror and making sure that I’m following through on what all of my tattoos tell me to do.