The Bachelor recap: Olivia and Let Die
In the beginning, I think we all figured that The Bachelor traveled to new locations simply for the backdrop, the ridiculously romantic settings, and the warmer climates that forced people to strip down. But now we can see that what the producers were really aiming for was the mix of sleep deprivation, excitement, and uneasiness that comes from travel. It’s like becoming a vampire: All of a sudden, everything is heightened. The dates are more romantic. The drama is more dramatic. You get the point. And yes, I stand by my vampire comparison. Judge away.
By the way, this all points back to my theory that this was a big science experiment to begin with, complete with a bunch of old guys in lab coats figuring out what ingredients will make people lose their minds. And this week, that experiment took place in Mexico City.
Now at the halfway point in his journey, Ben feels that he’s progressing with multiple women. And if Emily’s not already on his list of frontrunners, she’s ready to be. Apparently, now that her twin’s gone, nothing is holding her back. (No offense, Haley, but you were kind of the reason that she and Ben aren’t already married.)
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As the women explore their new hotel, Olivia discovers that she has a bidet. Much like her secret “love language” with Ben, she’s not sure if the other women know it exists, but she does. (So my money’s on the fact that she doesn’t actually have a bidet.)
With 11 women left, Olivia’s gut says she’ll get the first one-on-one date. But the date card says it goes to Amanda! Side note: Did anyone stop to think twice before sending a message about putting “all our eggs in one basket” to the only mother of the group? For a full second there, I thought they were going to a fertility clinic on their first date.
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And yet, the date ends up being a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call, for which Lauren H. wins at life. I’m sorry, but in this moment, we are all Lauren H. with her retainer and her crazy hair. As Ben shines a flashlight in the women’s faces, I’m surprised that none of them screams or reacts with a sense of fear. I’m surprised but also worried about their reflexes. It’s a good thing Olivia has her “dragon breath” to scare any intruders away.
Of course, Amanda wakes up looking perfect, much like Britt during Chris’ season. (Although, Britt put on makeup before bed, and I’m scared to say I just think Amanda looks that way.) As Amanda and Ben head off on their date, Olivia is hung up on the whole “she has kids thing.” Apparently, if Olivia were Ben, she’d run the other way, to which I say: There would be no need — Amanda would run from you.
Taking Amanda outside the city, Ben is literally handing her the Britt date from Chris’ season, complete with a “romantic” ride in a hot air balloon. (I’m convinced nothing can be romantic when so many people are shoved into a tiny basket and then launched into the air with nothing really holding them in.) Also, has something happened to Ben’s hair? It looked a lot better than this before, right?
Making their way back to the ground, we learn that “amazing” is to Amanda what “incredible” is to Ben. Also, has she mentioned just how nervous she was before this date? Because she was. Really, really nervous.
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NEXT: Amanda has one more secret
Back at the hotel, the next date card arrives, and it takes three names being read off before Lauren H. realizes it’s the group date of the week. But it doesn’t really matter for her because she’s not on it! The group date attendees are: Jubilee, Becca, JoJo, Caila, Emily, Lauren B., Jennifer, Leah, and Olivia, which means Lauren H. gets the other one-on-one.
And no, Olivia’s not threatened, even though she’s moved from “wanting” Ben to “needing” him. And you know what they say about co-dependent relationships… Don’t have them.
Back on the date, Ben and Amanda are enjoying a lovely evening together, discussing life and exploring life and doing all things life. Amanda reveals that she was married to the father of her children but it didn’t work out. Basically, he didn’t want to be married and proved it by texting ex-girlfriends, going on dating sites, and the like. Amanda’s only concern is that Ben knows how special marriage is to her, even though she’s already done it.
But Ben just can’t get over how some idiot let Amanda walk out of his life. He also can’t get over why she’s interested in him. He tells her to never hold back, that he wants to know everything about her, and then he hands her the date rose. Ben’s “not running.” Get it? Earlier, Olivia said she’d run from Amanda if she were Ben. Well played, producers. (But why are they making them look as if they’re standing on water? Are they equating this love with Jesus?)
The next day, it’s group date time, and Jubilee — whom we’re calling “Jubes” despite the fact that it sounds like something else — is already over it. The girls take a quick class to learn some Spanish, but the only phrases they learn are: “I want to kiss you,” “I’m falling in love with you,” and “I love you.”
Whatever happened to like, “Where’s the bathroom?” or “May I have a glass of water?” Those would be much more useful, if you ask me.
The women then practice saying the phrases to Ben in the front of the classroom while others watch. And not surprisingly, it’s Olivia who feels the “electricitay.” As she says, it was like, “You’re speaking to me right now.” You mean, when Ben was literally speaking to you? Cool.
But Jubilee is having none of it. Ben can’t tell her he loves her when he just said it to four other women. Is this the part where someone tells her it’s not real? That he wasn’t actually saying “I love you” to those women? Also, should we tell her that it was definitely more than four women?
Leaving Spanish class behind, the ladies move to part two of the date: a cooking competition with no real prize. The women meet Chef Nico and Chef Lula, the brother-sister duo that will be judging the competition. The women will break into teams of two, each team will be given a recipe, and then they will try their best to not ruin some authentic Mexican cuisine. Emily is immediately nervous because she’s not good at cooking or speaking Spanish. (If only she had a twin to help, amirite?)
The real fun, though, is when the women start to pair off and Jubilee is clearly about to go for Ben when Olivia grabs him. And just as I’m hoping that Jubilee uses her muscles to threaten Olivia, Olivia screams, “I claimed you, didn’t I?” Because that shouldn’t make Ben feel like cattle at all. So off he goes with Olivia as Jubilee pairs off with Lauren B.
NEXT: Romance means eating crickets
Shopping for ingredients, the women spend half their time thinking of ways to kill Olivia and the other half butchering the Spanish language. Just as Olivia and Ben eat crickets — why does this feel like it’s not her first time? — and drink mezcal, Emily gives us this gem: “She literally makes me want to throw up, and her breath is horrible.”
But you have to wonder if Emily’s onto something when she says Olivia’s bad breath is the reason Ben makes them “cheers” when they eat fresh mint. I mean, I love mint everything, but I can’t say I’ve ever just downed some mint.
Brief break: Back at the hotel, Lauren H.’s date card reads, “Let’s design a life together,” but the real mystery is what dark liquid she’s drinking out of that champagne flute.
And back to the action! As the women get cooking, Ben is pumped. Apparently, cooking is his “thing.” Then he says, “I’m no longer the Bachelor. I’m the spatulor.” (Pronounced spatchelor.) If only more women had heard that one, he might have fewer people to have to break up with.
While most of the women seem to be having fun with the cooking challenge, Jubilee and Lauren B. are all business. And when it comes time for the chefs to taste the dishes, it pays off. Emily and Jennifer do okay, Caila and Leah hold their own, JoJo and Becca, well, JoJo says this: “Ben already tasted my taco, and he loved it. I know my taco’s delicious.”
As for Olivia and Ben, it seems Olivia decided to add some crickets to the recipe because what dish isn’t made better by putting an insect in it? As the chefs point out, “It looks like dog food,” and I’m pretty sure they don’t even try it.
And last but not least, Jubilee and Lauren B. impress the chefs so much that they claim they’re going to add the recipe to their menu. It seems Jubilee and Lauren B. have won…absolutely nothing! But hey, good job!
Moving into the evening portion of the date, Olivia once again steals Ben away first to get her “Ben giddy smile” back. She thanks him for the “best day ever” before the other women start to steal him. But wait, can we go back to the part where Jennifer just told him, “Once I commit to someone, they’ll have my heart and soul forever.” And SOUL. I’m now convinced she’s a witch and need to know more.
But instead, we cut away to Ben’s time with Lauren B. He takes her outside and spends a solid half hour making out with her and STILL talking about how great their first date was. Seriously, at this point, can they go on another date just so they have a new topic to discuss?
Once Ben finally returns, he tries to take Jubilee’s hand, but she doesn’t feel like participating in any form of PDA in front of the other women. Scared that she’s being overshadowed by the “Lauren Bs, the Beccas, and the JoJos” — she gets that there’s only one of each of those, yeah? — she once again tells Ben how difficult group dates are for her.
But when Ben calls her out on not wanting to hold his hand, all she can really do is ask him not to give up on her. Spoiler: He already has. Based on their moments together and the other relationships that are forming, he tells her, “It’s unfair to tell you I thought something could exist.” Yeah, he hasn’t quite gotten the hang of dumping someone yet.
After Jubilee has to ask for clarification, he comes out and states that he doesn’t see anything between them. Ben asks if he can walk her out, something he later regrets when the walk lasts so long that Ben gives up right at the end and leaves the last 150 feet for Jubilee to walk on her own. And that gives her enough time to come to the conclusion that “I’m like the most unlovable person in the world right now.” People really have got to get over the “unlovable” thing. I blame Ben.
When Ben returns to the other women, he sort of tells them about Jubilee before JoJo pulls him away. She could tell he was upset and wanted to reassure him that he’s handling himself with grace. In an adorable — and optimistic — moment, he says, “I’m done breaking up with people after this.” JoJo’s response? “10 more to go!” You couldn’t have just laughed, JoJo? He really didn’t need a reminder that he has to go through this at least 10 more times.
Rejoining the women, Ben gives the rose to a woman he feels he reconnected with tonight: Olivia. And as she tells the women, they really don’t have to congratulate her. Ummm, no s—.
The next day is all about Lauren H. and Ben. Well, them and fashion because apparently they think they’ve traveled to Paris and are in the fashion capital of the world. Instead, they’ll have to make do with Mexican Fashion Week, which Lauren H. feels is every girl’s dream — specifically Mexican Fashion Week or? — and also the “best date ever.” Sure, because every woman wants her first date to involve being surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful women.
Arriving at Fashion Week, it isn’t until the woman running the show gets a good look at them – a.k.a. judges them harshly — that she offers to let them walk in the show. (But what if she’d seen them and decided they weren’t hot enough?)
And after a quick pep talk, Ben and Lauren H. take the runway. Surprisingly, they do well, with Ben even managing to wink as he passes Lauren on the runway. I never thought I’d say this about anyone, but Ben’s time on the runway made him sexier to me.
Afterward, Lauren H. and Ben enjoy a candlelit dinner, where he once again welcomes her to Mexico City — the place she’s been for at least two days now — before proposing a toast about how she made him smile AND laugh today. Whatever, Lauren H. loves it so much she wants to know his trick to giving great toasts. “You really say what’s ON your heart,” Ben says, before Lauren follows it up with amazement that his “heart sounds so good.” “How does your heart know to say that,” she asks. (Maybe her heart should shut up.)
NEXT: Emily takes on Olivia
Letting her goofy side go, Lauren is ready to open up to Ben. She tells him all about her last serious relationship. Her boyfriend cheated on her, and it took her a year before she woke up one morning and just decided to be happy and move on. Now, she’s ready to let someone in. After hearing her story, Ben thinks she’s all the (good) “c” words: comfortable, confident, and cute. So she not only gets a kiss, but she also gets a rose. (Did she just say she’d been waiting “so long” to hear someone say they had an amazing day with her?)
Regardless, she gets to makeout while a random harpist plays on the sidewalk, so life is good.
Finally, it’s cocktail party time! Feeling the opposite of insecure, Olivia is ready to sniff her rose and demonstrate precisely why she’s no longer a news anchor: When she does her “reporting live” segment, the only update she gives is “I am falling for Ben.” A good reporter never talks about themselves. Can you imagine if, during a blizzard, a reporter only said, “I just fell down, but now I’m fine.”
Anyway, while Olivia keeps being Olivia, JoJo informs Ben that things are getting real for her, and all she asks is to not be blindsided at any point in this process. He promises she won’t be. Lauren B. then steals him away to talk about how she sees “like a life life” with him while Ben makes a rookie Bachelor mistake. He says the words: “There’s nothing to worry about.”
Just like that, Amanda’s talking about her children when Olivia says, “I feel like it’s an episode of Teen Mom.” And this is where I have good news: If you were hoping that an angry Amanda would look like an adorable, angry squirrel, you were right! As she explains, she was 22 and 24 when she had her children. She has her “s— together.”
Olivia sort of kind of maybe tries to apologize, but really all she does is say “I’m trying” over and over. Another bit of good news: It seems when one twin leaves the house, the other twin absorbs her capacity for anger because Emily has the wrath of multiple women right now, and she is so done with Olivia.
She thinks what Olivia said was the “most offensive thing in the world,” which tells you a lot about Emily’s life, but we’ll roll with it because Emily is ready to tell Ben about Olivia.
By tell Ben about Olivia, she really only says Olivia has been “disrespectful” and “fake,” but it’s enough to alert Ben to an issue. And after Olivia tells him everything’s great in the house — and gives him a pinky ring, which might be the most emasculating and strange present ever — Ben starts asking the other women about Olivia.
Amanda admits she’s felt targeted by Olivia, and Jennifer confirms that Olivia doesn’t “click” with the others. And even without seeing Olivia creepily sniff that rose, Ben notices the red flags. As he says, “My mind’s in circles right now.” (That sounds like something that needs to get checked out.)
Just as Harrison shows up to pull Ben away, Ben asks to speaks to the rose-sniffer one more time. Could Ben be the first Bachelor to ever just listen to the women that easily? Or is he just going to ask for the pinky ring in a bigger size?
We will find out…next week! Until then, I’ll be eating Mexican food, googling the significance of pinky rings, and trying to figure out everything about Jennifer’s witchy family. (Between witches and vampires, it appears I’m hung up on the supernatural this week, but what can you do?)
This romantic reality competition series follows a gaggle of women vying for the Bachelor’s heart — and a wedding proposal. Will you accept this rose?