Do you smell that? That’s the distinct, inimitable smell of complete and utter desperation taking over The Bachelor.
On Monday’s episode, Arie Luyendyk Jr. pushed the metaphorical “panic mode” button when he eliminated not one, but two women pre-rose ceremony. Here’s how it all went down.
FIRST GROUP DATE
For the first group date of the week, Maquel, Jacqueline, Lauren B., Tia, Marikh, Bekah M., Bibiana and Krystal transform themselves into GLOB, the Gorgeous Ladies of the Bachelor (Wrestling). Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as GLOW, but alas.
“Today should be fun,” says Arie. “Because it’s one of those dates where it’s going to be uncomfortable for all of us.” Wow, sounds like a blast!
Before they can wrestle in front of a live audience, however, the women must be trained. Enter two stars of the original 1980s series GLOW, Ursula Hayden and Angelina Altishin, who manage to completely terrorize the contestants within minutes.
“This is about finding the right woman for the right man. So who wants it?” they ask, even though everything they say really sounds like a direct threat. “Well, guess what? You’re going to have to fight for it.”
“Is this fun? You keep smiling, like you’re having a good time,” Ursula snarls at Lauren B. at one point, before Angelina attacks Bibiana, calling her “absolutely pathetic” and making fun of her name.
“Did your mom know how to spell when she gave you that name?” she scoffs. “It doesn’t even make sense. Sounds like a bib you would wear.”
The taunting gets to be a little much for some of the women. After getting her hair aggressively yanked by Ursula, Tia sits out for a moment, crying in the corner with Bibiana. But a little comforting from Arie goes a long way, and she picks herself up to watch him wrestle a familiar face, Kenny “Pretty Boy Pit Bull” King from Rachel Lindsay‘s season of The Bachelorette.
After a long day, the ladies change out of their wrestling costumes to meet Arie for the evening portion of the date. He spends time with each of them, but things are clearly moving more quickly with certain women: Notably, Krystal (who thinks she’s got this whole thing in the bag, which means she probably doesn’t), and Bekah, with whom Arie is completely infatuated — and who scores the group date rose.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH LAUREN S.
Arie chooses Lauren S. for this week’s one-on-one. She hasn’t gone on a date yet, so she’s thrilled when the two hop on a private plane to Napa. They spend the day exploring the vineyards and it seems to be going relatively well — until things take a sharp turn that evening.
When they sit down for dinner, Arie asks Lauren to tell him a little bit about herself. She starts rambling, clearly nervous, talking so quickly and at such length that Arie has enough time to eat on camera — a Bachelor rarity. After a somewhat painful date — she refers to it as a “freaking wreck” — she admits to him that she hasn’t been herself all night and isn’t sure why. But it’s too little, too late, and Arie has already decided not to give her the rose, sending her home right then and there.
“I love that you love your family, and you showed me a lot of you today. I really, really wanted this for us, but I’m sorry — I can’t give you this,” he says. “It’s because I just — I don’t even know. I know that your family is important to you. I don’t want to take you away from what could be at home and I don’t want to waste your time. But I just want you to know that you’re amazing. … This is like, my first hard goodbye and I’m very sorry.”
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The elimination sends absolute shockwaves through the Bachelor mansion. Caroline bursts into tears when Lauren’s suitcase is wheeled away by a staffer, and Krystal launches into a condescending tirade about how important it is to “open up” and “be vulnerable” with Arie. Spoiler alert: The other women are having none of it.
SECOND GROUP DATE
If Krystal thought she was special because she was the only woman who got to meet Arie’s dog last week, joke’s on her, because he actually brings Bastian along for this week’s second group date.
At first, the premise of the date sounds great: The women get to spend the morning playing with a bunch of dogs in the park. What’s not to love? But then they find out they’re going to have to perform — in full costume, at the Grove, in front of a live audience that includes Fred Willard — with said dogs.
Between Fred Willard making jokes about Arie courting the girls “doggy style,” random toddlers storming the stage and puppies who refuse to obey even the simplest commands, this date, in no uncertain terms, winds up being extremely uncomfortable.
The silver lining of this very bizarre sequence is Annaliese. If you watched last week’s episode, you’ll remember that Annaliese suffers from very severe bumper car trauma because she once … got bumped … during bumper cars. Well, turns out she also suffered a
perfectly standard traumatic experience with a dog named Sunshine as a child and is completely petrified of the pets. You can’t make this stuff up, and you can’t stop The Bachelor from taking full advantage of this opportunity to recreate, yet again, an Emmy-worthy dramatic reenactment of Annaliese’s trauma.
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That night, Annaliese admits to feeling “behind” some of the other women in terms of her connection with Arie, but then completely loses the ability to converse like a normal human during their one-on-one time. It’s almost painfully awkward, and her uncomfortable giggle when she can’t think of anything to say will surely haunt all of our dreams. Arie looks visibly relieved when Chelsea comes to interrupt them — and awards her the group date rose at the end of the night.
COCKTAIL PARTY & ROSE CEREMONY
By the time the cocktail party rolls around, the thirst levels inside the mansion are at an all-time high.
To ensure her own special time with Arie, Bibiana arranges a day bed with pillows and a telescope for stargazing in the driveway, planning on surprising him later. But in a hilarious turn of events, he stumbles upon the setup with Lauren B. and they make out all over it. But no one makes out with Arie more than Bekah, who has expertly and effortlessly wrapped Arie around her little finger.
“I’m unsafe … I think you know that I don’t need you,” she tells him, matter-of-factly, as he gazes at her adoringly. “Based on what you said, you’ve been attracted to people consistently who need you and who need you more than you need them. And it’s scary to be with someone who doesn’t need you to complete them.”
“You’re blowing my mind right now,” he responds, looking bewildered. “Who are you? Where’d you come from?”
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Meanwhile, the rest of the women are busy comparing detailed notes on who’s kissed Arie thus far, which is not only weird but also sends Annaliese into a frenzy when she realizes she’s one of the only women who hasn’t. She drags him upstairs and essentially flat-out asks him to plant one on her, but he refuses.
“I just don’t think we’re there yet,” he says, delivering the brutal blow of rejection. He moves on to the next conversation, promptly making out with Kendall, then Jenna mere minutes later while Annaliese is left reeling.
But just when we thought the most cringeworthy part of the episode was behind us, Annaliese decides to approach Arie again before the rose ceremony, this time to find out why he wouldn’t kiss her. Put on the spot, Arie sends her home right then and there, sparking utter panic amongst the remaining women in the house. In other words: He’s just not that into you.
“It’s like, this energy of desperation,” observes Bekah, shuddering. “I don’t like it.”
With one elimination already out of the way, Arie moves on to the rose ceremony, where he sends home Bibiana. Poor Bibiana. She didn’t even get a chance to lay down on her own day bed. In her own words, the devil was working overtime this week.
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.