When Kelsey goes to war with Hannah Ann over a bottle of champagne, Peter doesn't know whose side to take.
4. Season 5 (Jesse Palmer)

Another week, another midpoint rose ceremony, another episode that ends with a blonde woman sobbing — greetings, and welcome to another recap of The Bachelor, rose lovers. And you know where we have to start: the Hannah Brown cliffhanger.

the Bachelor screen grab
the Bachelor screen grabABC
| Credit: ABC

The episode opens where things left off last week, with Peter and Hannah backstage at the Avalon in Hollywood. The Bachelor has just kind of, sort of suggested that Hannah “come back to the house,” an idea she didn’t immediately shut down. Still, says Peter, “It kind of sucks hearing that you, like, thought I just wanted to be the Bachelor. You’re the one who said no to me. I never said no to you.” Hannah’s all, Whoops? She knows she didn’t make the right choice at the end of last season, but that doesn’t mean she wants to choose Peter in a do-over. “He asked me to stay,” sighs Hannah, tearing up again. “I don’t, like, know what to do now.”


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Yep, the other ladies are still just waiting around for Peter to come back and join them on the group date. They’re gonna have to keep waiting.

Hannah and Peter are still talking backstage. “Let’s go catch a flight,” says Hannah, half-joking. But they both know that what’s happening here is more an exercise in “what ifs” than it is a true reunion. They spend a few more minutes hugging and cuddling and not-quite-kissing, but finally Peter has had enough. “I can’t do this,” he says. He wipes the sparkles from Hannah’s dress off his jeans and heads back to the women, who have been patiently composing their sex stories for his future amusement. I hope they didn’t work too hard, though, because Peter promptly gathers all the ladies together and informs him that he’s canceling the date — the daytime portion, at least. “I’m just not in the right headspace right now to have fun with you guys and enjoy this,” he says. “This is not fair to you all, at all.” But drinks later, okay?

The women are — what’s the word I’m looking for? — annoyed.

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“She hasn’t gone away,” snipes Natasha. “Every time I’ve seen you, I’ve seen her.” Peter apologizes again and promises to “regather” himself before the post-date cocktail party. (Here’s the silver lining, rose lovers: This means we don’t have to sit through anyone’s awkward sex stories.)

Heading into drinks with his harem that night, Peter hopes that “we can move past this, together.” Natasha is not on board with this idea.

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“I want to get to know a free Peter,” she fumes. “I don’t want to get to know a chained Peter.” When she sits down with the Bachelor, Natasha lets him know she’s “really upset” about everything that’s happened, and she doesn’t think it’s fair that Peter is working out his issues “at the expense” of the other women. The pilot assures Natasha that he understands her disappointment and frustration, and he promises that there will be no more Hannah Brown detours moving forward. “Hannah B. is in the past,” he says.

For now, at least. In our first non-Hannah B. conversation of the evening, we learn that Sydney is half-white, half-African-American/Dominican, and that she had to deal with a lot of “racial profiling” while growing up in Birmingham, Alabama. She and Peter make out for a bit, and then it’s time for Mykenna and Peter to have some one-on-one time… most of which involves making out as well. And the date rose goes to…

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Congrats, Sydney.

Suddenly, we’re back in the mansion and it’s time for the final cocktail party before the rose ceremony. Not having the rose ceremonies at the end of the episodes is leaving me all sorts of mixed up — I feel like I have the TV viewing equivalent of jet lag. My brain thinks it’s almost 10 p.m., but somehow, it’s barely 8:30. I need a nap.

Much like everyone watching right now, Peter seems to be having a hard time remembering who some of these women are. “What happened the first night? You just have to refresh my memory,” he asks Lexi, who patiently reminds him about driving up in a red convertible. “I did remember that,” he replies, and then gives her a red matchbox car to prove it. (Or did producers prep him in advance, like, “Okay, see this red car? Go give it to the woman with red hair. You can do this!”)

For her one-on-one time with Peter, Kelsey the “professional clothier” plans to open a bottle of champagne she’s been saving for a “special moment.” She had hoped to pop the cork with Peter on the first night, but it “didn’t happen,” so she’s trying again this week. After putting the bottle on ice and setting it by the outdoor fireplace, Kelsey heads off to grab Peter… but Mykenna gets to him first. This irks Kelsey to no end, of course, because she didn’t have a date this week and Mykenna already spent time with Pilot Pete.

Once Mykenna walks back in — carrying whipped cream and a bottle of pancake syrup, for some reason — the “clothier” wastes no time in confronting her.

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“You disrespected me,” fumes Kelsey. “I know you don’t really care. Clearly you don’t.” The whole thing leaves her emotional and weepy, but fortunately for Kelsey, another one of the ladies (is that Alayah?) helps her fix her face before she sits down with Peter. But before she gets a chance to share some bubbly with the pilot…

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Yep, that’s Peter cuddling up to Hannah Ann by the outdoor fireplace, and they’re about to open Kelsey’s very sentimental champagne. In fact, Kelsey is sitting outside when it happens, and she hears the tell-tale pop of the cork. She heads around the corner to investigate and discovers the awful truth: The special champagne is gone, and once again her plan to have A Moment™ with Peter has been foiled. It’s too much for Kelsey to bear, and she runs off to the bathroom to cry. And then a few minutes later, she storms back outside to tear Hannah Ann a new one.

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“It’s not okay what you did!” Kelsey huffs. “I brought this bottle all the way from Des Moines. Don’t try to play dumb!” Of course Hannah Ann swears she had no idea that the champagne was spoken for (and she probably didn’t, honestly), but Kelsey is inconsolable. She storms off again, with Peter in tow. The Bachelor pulls her aside to talk on an outdoor couch, where another bottle of champagne has been set up… which Kelsey accidentally knocks over.

“Apparently there was a mix-up of the champagnes,” explains Hannah Ann, pointing toward the bottle now on the ground at Peter and Kelsey’s feet. So in other words, producers let Kelsey set up her bubbly “surprise” — and then they set up a second bottle of champagne outdoors and (probably) told Hannah Ann to go find it… WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT IT WOULD END IN CONFUSION AND TEARS?

Now that she’s finally sitting with Peter, though, Kelsey is able to calm down and share a romantic toast with the Bachelor.

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Ooof. To be fair, though, Kelsey was trying to be a good sport by drinking from the bottle after the champagne flutes broke. Man, this poor girl can’t catch a break. In her defeat and humiliation, Kelsey lashes out at Hannah Ann again. “You are fake, and I know what you did. It’s f—ed up!” she tells her. “I’m real and you’re calculated — and I’m over it.” Hannah Ann calmly tells Kelsey (again) that she didn’t know the fireplace champagne was hers and it was an honest mistake. “I’ve acknowledged your feelings, I respect your opinion, and we’re moving forward,” she says primly and turns to walk away. “I’m not,” Kelsey calls after her. “Just because I’m not a fake bitch.”

Tink tink tink! Here’s Chris Harrison with the Butter Knife of Bad News, just in the nick of time. Let’s get this rose ceremony going!

Joining Sydney in the Circle of Safety this week: Mykenna, Victoria P., Natasha, Jasmine, Sarah, Lexi, Hannah Ann, Alexa, Tammy, Alayah, Deandra, Victoria F., Shiann, Kiarra, Savannah, and Kelsey. This means it’s time to say goodbye to Lauren, Courtney, and Payton. As for Kelsey and Hannah Ann, things are tense, naturally. “This is like a full-on, intense, ‘I’m here to kill you’ kind of game,” says Tammy. “I didn’t know it was going to get this catty so quick.” Gurl, are you new?

The next day, it’s on to the first real group date of the week, starring Alexa, Mykenna, Natasha, Deandra, Lexi, Victoria F., Kelsey, and of course, Hannah Ann. They meet Peter in front of Revolve, which is a fancyish clothing store on Melrose Avenue. And look who’s there to meet them:

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Original Queer Eye superstar Carson Kressley, original supermodel Janice Dickinson, and Revolve’s chief brand officer, Raissa Gerona. Yes, the ladies are gonna get some free clothes on this date, but they’re also going to have to compete in a fashion show modeling said clothes. The winner gets literally “over 40 shopping bags” filled with Revolve clothing and accessories. That’s actually a pretty good prize, rose lovers. Beats “10 extra minutes with Peter” or whatever.

The women race around the store trying to choose two outfits for the runway. “This is like Pretty Woman, but not the bad part!” raves Natasha. (By “the bad part,” of course, she means the whole “having to be a prostitute” thing.) All the ladies are super excited except for Victoria F., who’s not feeling confident about, you know, her body, her looks, her existence on this planet. Take your pick — we’ve all been there. Soon she’s crying to a producer about how overwhelming the whole thing is, but Kelsey shows up to give her a pep talk. “I think as long as you’re yourself,” she says, “that’s all you can do.” It’s true, y’all! Time to get it together and walk that runway, Victoria.

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Yeah, that might not be the best idea, honey.

After Peter walks out (wearing a camo jacket that he absolutely would never choose to put on in real life), it’s time for the show to begin. One by one, the women strut the runway, and one by one, Janice Dickinson hates them.

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Some of the outfits, if you want to call them that, are questionable: lots of jean shorts with bra tops, a faux wedding dress from Hannah Ann, silky pajamas, and in Victoria F.’s case…

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Oh lord. To complete her look of “confidence,” Victoria F. plucks Peter from his seat and plants a kiss on him in front of everyone. And the crowd. Goes. Wild. The judges love it too, and they announce Hannah Ann and Victoria F. as the two finalists. For the final “walk-off,” both women don the same sequined evening dress and do one last strut. Hannah Ann, who makes a point of swatting Victoria F. with the train of her dress, takes the win, and poor Victoria starts spiraling. “I’m done! I don’t want to be here!” she sobs backstage. “I’m literally so defeated… I’m never good enough.”

Even though Peter pulls Victoria F. first during the post-date cocktail party, she’s glum during their chat. “I don’t know if I’m made out for this,” she tells the Bachelor. “Like, I like you, I do. But I just don’t know if it’s worth… my mental health?” I can answer that right now: IT’S NOT. But Peter encourages her to hang in there and promises that when they’re together, he’s only thinking about her — not the other women. It doesn’t help. Soon she’s sobbing into his lap, and feeling embarrassed for sobbing into his lap. “I just feel like there’s so many other girls here,” she says sadly. THAT’S BECAUSE THERE ARE.

Peter tries to be a gentleman and takes Victoria to a back corner for some “privacy,” but naturally the cameras find them. “I know that you are not like any of the girls here,” he murmurs. “And it is very endearing to me that this is not easy for you, but you’re trying your best, and I see that.” Okay? Okay. With that, Peter is free to move on to his next potential wife.

As he sits down with Kelsey to share another bottle of champagne, Hannah Ann is back on the couch seething about her fight with Kelsey. “She just threw out filthy comments about me,” she says. “Yelling at me, saying that I stole her bottle of champagne and calling me a beep beep beep.” At first, Hannah Ann claims she’s not going to let the events of yesterday “ruin today.” But then she’s all, I barely made it here today because I was SO devastated by Kelsey’s harsh words, etc. “It took a lot to be here today,” she says. “I felt like I was being bullied.”

Oy, with that overused buzzword. But Hannah Ann knows what to do when you’re being bullied: Tell a trusted adult. The first thing she does when she sits down with Peter is tattle on Kelsey. “I was up all last night crying,” she says. “I approached Kelsey last night and she told me to f— off.” Hannah Ann goes on to say that the professional clothier called her a “bitch” and a “princess,” and “my spirit was crushed, and I felt bullied.” Peter is sympathetic — “That’s no okay with me at all” — and he thanks her for bringing the matter to his attention.

After giving Victoria F. the date rose, Peter pulls Kelsey aside to get to the bottom of #champagnegate.

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Chagrined by the accusation, Kelsey insists to Peter that Hannah Ann “knew what she did” with regard to the champagne. “Yeah, but she’s telling me that she didn’t,” counters Peter. “Like, this is insane.” Yes. Yes, it is. “I don’t like her, she knows that,” says Kelsey. “She can turn it on. She’s trying to play the victim card. She acts a certain way to you, and a different way in the house.”

Oh lord, rose lovers. We know where this is going — and anyone who’s ever seen The Bachelor knows where this is going. Women who bad-mouth other women on this show, even if the other women totally deserve it, generally do not make it to the end. (Though based on the previews, it looks like Kelsey makes it far enough to drop the L-bomb.) “I don’t know what to do,” sighs Peter. “I don’t know who to believe right now.”

The episode ends with Kelsey running off to the bathroom and crying tears of frustration (again). “There’s a difference between me saying not-nice words to her face,” sobs Kelsey, “and constantly bullying somebody.” THAT IS CORRECT.

Expect more crying next week, along with a “sexy” pillow fight competition and the return of Demi Burnett. (If she wears her glasses and stands next to Victoria P., how will we tell them apart?) Before you go, tell me what you thought of this week’s leg of Peter’s “journey”: Are you bummed Hannah B. is gone (probably)? Are you #TeamKelsey or #TeamHannahAnn? And which advice from Janice Dickinson is worse: telling the women they should “poison” their rivals or insisting that they never fart in front of a man? Post your thoughts below!

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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