The Bachelor recap: Rumble in the jungle
Another week, another beef. Tonight’s episode of The Bachelor wrapped up one battle (everyone vs. Alayah) only to introduce another: Kelsey versus Tammy versus Sydney! And we have another episode coming on Wednesday, rose lovers — any guesses as to who will be at war by then? For now, let’s recap.
We rejoin the “ladies” at the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, where they’re all talking s— about Alayah — but at least it’s to her face. “I don’t think she’s here for a relationship with Peter,” notes Lexi, as the evictee-turned-interloper sits across from her. “I think it’s for the rose and to be on TV.” (That may be true about Alayah, but I’d argue that’s true about everyone sitting on those couches.) Sydney, meanwhile, is even blunter: “I wish you’d be honest with everyone here, be honest with Peter, and leave!”
Alayah does leave… but only because Peter pulls her aside and asks her to go. “I think that, just with everything that’s happened, that this is like a little too much,” he says sadly. “It’s probably time to say goodbye.” From getting the date rose to getting shown the door — I hope poor Alayah doesn’t have whiplash from this sudden and drastic change in her circumstances. As the Bachelor walks hand-in-hand with Alayah out the door, the “ladies” grumble angrily (“The disrespect!”) until they realize that he’s taking her to the Reject SUV.
After pacing around for a bit outside, Peter returns to the “ladies” and gives another “sorry, I’m not perfect” speech. “I just want you all to know that I value you all so much,” he says. “I hear you, I trust you, and hopefully you still want to be here.” With that, he finally starts up the requisite one-on-one chats. Natasha goes first and informs Peter that the idea of leaving “has crossed lots of minds.” Ultimately, though, Natasha — and Tammy, and Victoria “my truth is the truth” P., and Deandra, and Kelsey, and Hannah Ann, and Mykenna, and Lexi — accept the Bachelor’s copious apologies.
Rose ceremony roll-call! Madison, Sydney, Natasha, Lexi, Hannah Ann, Shiann, Mykenna, Victoria P., Kelley, and Tammy join Victoria F. and Kelsey in the Circle of Safety. That means Savannah and Kiarra are going home, as is poor Deandra — who was the first one to call Peter out on his BS at this party. “I’m so confused,” she whispers to the Bachelor. “I’m literally in shock.” All he can say is, “It wasn’t easy for me. It was so nice to meet you.” Harrumph — you deserve better, girl.
And we’re off to Costa Rica, rose lovers! I’m not sure if you know this: Costa Rica is, in fact, the “perfect place to fall in love.” Yes, The Springs Resort & Spa looks gorgeous, but I’m more impressed with how Kelley (remember her?) keeps it real in her welcome interview. “Costa Rica seems cool, but I’m pretty tired from traveling,” she says. YES, traveling is exhausting.
Hey, here comes Peter in a helicopter — and he’s brought something unexpected with him:
Relax, “ladies,” it’s just a flesh wound. At first, Peter tells this ridiculous story about how he was injured while facing off with a puma in the Costa Rican jungle — and God bless the women, they actually pretend to believe him. The truth, as we’ve all known for months, involves a golf cart, a glass, and Peter’s noggin. We’re even treated to a dramatic, soft-focus reenactment — which is odd, because then Team Bachelor shows us the actual security-cam footage of Peter’s accident.
“I frickin’ stabbed myself in the head,” says the Bachelor with a sheepish laugh. “I have 22 stitches.” Having shared his golf-cart adventure with the women, Peter plucks Sydney for the first one-on-one date of the week and they soar away in the helicopter. This makes all of the other “ladies” sad, especially Kelsey. “I didn’t expect it to be this hard,” she says through her (omnipresent) tears.
Sydney and Peter, meanwhile, tour the gorgeous Costa Rican jungle from the helicopter and then alight in a field for a picnic. They talk about travel and their family backgrounds for a bit before they inevitably begin smooching. “You are the best kisser,” Peter tells Sydney. She’s all, “STOP!” but you just know she can’t wait to share this news with all the other women. It’s all very romantic until…
Watch the head, woman!
At dinner, Sydney fills Peter in on her upbringing — her parents split when she was a toddler, her single mother struggled financially, she remains estranged from her dad to this day — and the challenge of being a mixed-race teen in Alabama. “Girls would call me, like, Oreo Girl… they would vandalize our home and write, like, awful things on our pavement,” she says, her voice quavering. “I ate my lunch, like, literally in a bathroom stall my whole senior year.” Naturally, Sydney gets the date rose — and then they make out some more in and around the swimming pool.
We interrupt this recap to bring you live to another part of the hotel, where Kelsey is still crying. “I’m very, very sad,” moans Kelsey, who’s clearly a few glasses of wine into her evening. Tammy tries to comfort her. “Sad that he’s seeing other people?” she asks gently. “Yes, it’s not a very easy sight to see, but it is what we signed up for.” Amen x 100, Tammy! But Kelsey refuses to be consoled — she’ll never be okay with watching Peter with other women! Her torture will never end, even though Peter has to choose one woman at the end!
Kelsey is also horrified at the idea that Peter might choose Sydney. “Do you not like her?” asks Tammy. Kelsey’s answer comes in two parts. First: “I like Sydney a lot — I think she’s cool.” Second: “But, she’s a dramatic f—ing bitch.” Correction: There’s actually a part three to Kelsey’s answer, and it involves interpretive dance.
Tammy listens patiently and eventually escapes. “Kelsey is a hot mess!” she marvels. “She’s been crying for weeks! She cried over a champagne bottle for four days. I don’t think when my grandpa died, I cried for that long.”
Group date! Shiann, Kelsey, Victoria F., Madison, Natasha, Victoria P., Lexi, Hannah Ann, Tammy, and Mykenna meet Peter by a picturesque waterfall. But they’re not going to enjoy a relaxing day in the water — far from it, rose lovers. The “ladies” are going to have to earn their cocktails today by… modeling swimsuits for Cosmopolitan magazine! “This is the big fashion feature for our March issue,” explains editor-in-chief Jessica Pels. Plus, the “winner” will be featured with Peter on the cover!
The photoshoot goes about as you’d expect. The “ladies” arch their backs, as instructed by the photographer, and Peter does his best Blue Steel.
Victoria F., who steals a kiss from Peter during the above group shot, is declared the winner. The other women look on glumly as she and Peter pose for their Cosmo cover (which ultimately did not happen, as per the editor’s explanation here).
At the post-date cocktail party, Peter and Victoria F. kick things off with some hardcore making out. Then he and Hannah Ann suck face for a while. After that, Peter swaps spit with Victoria P. Finally Kelsey, who’s been spiraling all night, gets her time on the couch. “This is really hard for me because I’m taking it really seriously,” she tells Peter. “I am falling in love with you. I am.” The Bachelor responds to this revelation the only way he knows how: By planting one on her. “I’m feeling it — I promise,” he says, and they smooch some more.
But if you thought this group date was going to go down without some drama… well, of course you didn’t. You’ve seen this show before. Back in the holding area, Tammy, Lexi, and Victoria F. are talking about Kelsey’s boozy crying jag from the night before, and her overall inability to cope. “She also said last night that she’s the realest bitch here and everyone else was fake,” announces Victoria F. Do we believe her, or is she just stirring the pot? My guess is the latter, and her plan works: Tammy, who is very annoyed by this news, proceeds to inform Peter that Kelsey suffered a “mental breakdown” the night before. “I tried to talk to her. She was just sitting by herself, crying her eyes out,” says Tammy. “And I’ve seen multiple times that she’s been drinking excessively.”
None of this comes as a surprise to the Bachelor, who knows Kelsey has been “struggling.” In an effort to investigate how big a “red flag” Kelsey’s mental state really is, Peter pulls her aside again. And in a classic Peter move, he approaches the issue with absolutely no finesse: “I heard that you had a little bit of, kind of like, a mental breakdown yesterday?” Immediately, Kelsey starts tearing up. “It wasn’t a breakdown,” she says defensively. “It was just me, like, processing my feelings for you.” Peter is sympathetic, but clearly still a little concerned.
Kelsey, of course, is livid. She demands to know who told Peter that she was “emotionally unstable,” but none of the “ladies” speak up. “I’m not ashamed of crying in front of people,” continues Kelsey. “I’m proud of it.” Uh… you sure? Natasha gently reminds Kelsey that the “process” is hard for all of them, especially those women who haven’t had a one-on-one date. “Everyone’s having a rough time,” adds Victoria F. “It takes a strong woman to get through this.” Kelsey doesn’t want to hear it. “Just mind your own f—ing business,” she snaps. “I don’t talk about other relationships when I’m with him.”
Tammy, who doesn’t admit anything but keeps making “bish, please” faces, finally pipes up when Kelsey announces that she’s the only woman there who isn’t hiding her emotions. “Because we don’t cry for four hours a day?” she replies. “I don’t need to drink myself to death and cry about it for a whole day.” Once again, Amen x 100, Tammy! Indeed, all of the women are tired of Kelsey’s “drama,” which she’s been serving since #Champagnegate.
The mood is tense when Peter arrives to hand out the date rose.
Congrats, Hannah Ann. On to hour three!
The second one-on-one date of the episode goes to Kelley. She’s excited, but also not sure what she’s going to Open Up™ about. “I don’t have this sob story,” she says. “I don’t have this story I need to get off my chest in order for him to understand me more.” Plus… she’s maybe just not that into him? Before the date, Kelley heaves a remarkably heavy sigh. “Yeah, we’ll have fun,” she says with exactly zero enthusiasm.
Peter notes that his relationship with Kelley has started to “plateau,” and that he needs to see some sign that she still likes him. Perhaps a visit to Ricardo and Pia, who appear to be Costa Rican shamans of some sort, will help!
Pia and Ricardo ask Kelley and Peter to strip down to their bathing suits, and then they commence with a “cleansing ritual.” When it comes time for Peter to declare what he’s looking for in a life partner, Kelley gets distracted by a lizard. Not a great sign. Then the shamans’ pendulum reveals that Peter and Kelley are not “on the same stage of life,” and Pia says the “female candle” that represents Kelley is “pushing back.” To be honest, though, I’m not sure what’s going on here:
Let’s check in on the “ladies” back at the hotel. Uh-oh, Kelsey and Tammy are sitting down to talk about the “uncomfortability” in the group. “Do you have a problem with me, and if so, like, what is it?” Kelsey asks her. This time, Tammy admits that she did speak to Peter about her, but… well, I’ll just let her explain it. “I did talk to Peter about you, but it wasn’t about you. It was about me… It’s about, like, how I’m distracted about caring for others.” Kelsey calls bulls—, and Tammy calls bulls— on her bulls—. “I wasn’t the one drinking,” she says pointedly. Aaaand Kelsey’s crying again. She’s all, I don’t have a drinking problem! But Tammy is, as she puts it, “done.” She storms out after telling Kelsey to go ahead and “continue to cry and wither your way [sic] in bottles of wine.”
Well, that was awkward. Maybe it’s time to return to the awkward date with Peter and Kelley. At dinner, Peter comes right out and asks Kelley why she’s “disappeared” on him. “I can’t go any further having reservations,” he says. Kelley admits that she has been hanging back a bit, but now she’s ready to “open up” and “have fun.” Then she turns it around on Peter, saying that she’s had doubts that he’s actually ready to settle down. For example, why did he keep “rewarding the drama” with Victoria P. and Alayah? Should a grown-ass man who actually wants to get married really be spending his time ping-ponging between disgruntled beauty queens?
It’s a valid point, but Peter seems a little irritated by it. “I kind of explained, that was me just having to figure out my stuff,” he says. “I did what I had to do.” And right now, Kelley is doing what she has to do, which is inform Peter that she’s open to being engaged at the end of this “journey,” but only if their relationship makes a boatload of progress between now and then. She’s ready to work on it if he is… so what’s it gonna be, Peter?
“I need you to trust in this process,” the Bachelor tells her. “You need to give yourself to it.” Yep, yep. Sure. She’ll get right on that, Peter.
The morning of the rose ceremony arrives, and Kelsey is on a mission. She paints her face, puts on her Daisy Dukes, and marches right out the door. “Where is she going?” wonders one of the women. “Probably crying somewhere,” sneers Tammy, rolling her eyes. Incorrect! Kelsey has gone to Peter’s room, and by some miracle, she almost makes it through their conversation without crying.
Mean girl Tammy is spreading rumors about her, says Kelsey, and “it’s very hurtful.” She also acknowledges that she did have a smidge too much to drink the night before, “but I wasn’t, like, wasted.” Peter, who seems powerless in the face of a beautiful basket case, totally LOVES it. “What you did today is just another testament to how much you care,” he says. “That means so, so much to me.” So, so, so much, in fact, that he gets up and comes back with a rose! Which he then hides behind a couch cushion without her seeing! And then he hands it to her, outside of the confines of the rose ceremony! This is anarchy!
Kelsey is thrilled but also worried that she’s going to get torn limb-from-limb when she gets back to the women’s suite. “It’s terrifying,” she says. “But when there’s something worth fighting for, you stick with it.” The “ladies” are all sitting outside together, dressed in their rose ceremony finery, when Kelsey returns. (There also happens to be a very long-stemmed rose sitting on the outdoor table for some reason.) As Kelsey explains what happened — how she went to talk to Peter, how she told him that there was tension in the house but now it’s “squashed” — the women shoot hate-filled death glares in her direction.
“Hopefully tonight should be… smooth sailing?” says Kelsey, trailing off. “Yeah.”
Awww, that’s adorable. Of course tonight’s going to be a s—show! Harrison confirms it when he arrives and informs the women that “we’re going straight to the rose ceremony… Earlier today, Peter got the clarity he needs.” Mykenna, who has spent most of this episode giving herself pep talks about how “ready” she is to fall in love with Peter, is somehow stunned by this news.
Also, Harrison was lying when he said the women were going to go “straight” to the rose ceremony — because clearly producers are going to make them sit there and stew until a fight breaks out. And it doesn’t take long. “I do have a question, Kelsey,” says Tammy. “Did you say anything about me in your conversation with Peter?” Kelsey answers honestly, but also starts apologizing for the cocktail party being canceled — I guess because she assumes that when Harrison said “earlier today” he was talking about her chat with Peter?
But hey, the “ladies” are definitely ready to place blame. “It just kind of sucks,” says Lexi, “because it’s like maybe if you wouldn’t have gone to talk to him, we could have had a cocktail party.” Again, huh? But at this point, it’s too late for reason or common sense. Now Mykenna is melting down about how she had something “big” to tell Peter tonight and she really “needed” time with him, etc. “I’m so f—ing frustrated!”
Oh Lord, and now Kelsey and Tammy are arguing about the “popping pills” comment — first Tammy says she didn’t say it, then Lexi insists she did say it. “I didn’t start the popping pills thing — I heard that from someone else!” insists Tammy, without saying who. “I don’t know what kind of medication you take.” You don’t? Well, Kelsey is more than happy to tell you.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph — what is happening? Now Tammy is scrambling, saying Victoria P. gave her the “impression” that Kelsey was mixing booze and pills. But she’s caught out with her denials and retractions, and the rest of the women are over it. Sydney starts in on Tammy for talking about the other women to Peter, and then things get really ugly when Tammy reminds Sydney that she was the one who first started talking smack about Alayah. “He brought up Alayah!” yells Sydney. This devolves into dueling “shut the f— ups.” The other ladies are living for it. Just look at Mykenna’s face when Tammy stands up and starts going off.
“She’s psycho!” sniffs Sydney in her confessional. “I hope that Peter sends home anyone that is crazy.” Oh honey, if he did that, there’d be no one left!
Rose ceremony roll call No. 2. And the “winners” are…
“Peter, I’m sorry — before we begin, can I talk to you?” Yep, it’s Tammy interrupting the proceedings. She pulls Peter aside to find out if his “clarity” had anything to do with her. Peter doesn’t seem to have any idea what she’s talking about (shocking, I know), so she pushes ahead. “I would just hope that you would never think that I was coming from a malicious place,” says Tammy. “I’m here to focus on my relationship with you.”
And just when the women think they might get to go to bed before dawn, Mykenna walks out to find Peter — because dammit, if Tammy can break the non-existent rules, so can she! “I guess I’ll go next,” says Lexi sarcastically, “since this is now a cocktail party in the middle of the rose ceremony.” But she stays put, and eventually, Peter returns. Let’s try this again: Rose ceremony roll call No. 2!
Victoria F., Madison, Natasha, Victoria P., Mykenna, and Tammy (!) join Kelsey, Hannah Ann, Kelley, and Sydney in the Safe Space. This means it’s time to take a moment and say our goodbyes to Lexi and Shiann. But the latter is not going to leave quietly.
“Some of the girls that are here — sometimes what you’re seeing is not really who they are,” Shiann says through tears. Yeah, Peter, take her advice. Beware of basically everyone — except maybe Madison? Hard to say.
Welp, rose lovers, that was a lot of crazy stuffed into three hours. And we get to do it all again (for two hours, at least) on Wednesday. Were you sad to see Lexi and Shiann go? Is Kelsey dangerously unstable or just garden-variety unstable? And should we just go ahead and hire Tammy as Bachelor in Paradise narrator now? Post your thoughts below!