The Bachelor Season 19 Episodes 7 & 8: Meltdowns and Hometowns


the-bachelor-hometown-visitDo you ever watch something and feel your mind slowly turning to nothing but mush? My brain feels like the polenta I ate at brunch over the weekend. Five hours of The Bachelor this holiday weekend meant that armed with nothing but a bottle of merlot, I was basically defenseless to the loss of IQ points I suffered as a result. Do I love it? Yes. It’s a tragic and beautiful dance we do, this show and I. Let’s recap — all three(ish) episodes. 

We began Sunday evening with a “Chris Tells All” event aka Yawnfest 2015, complete with interviews with Kelsey, the most recent loser, and Andi Dorfman discussing her recent breakup because apparently people still think she’s relevant. I’ll be honest with you in that I paid basically no attention to the first hour of the show because Chris confuses me half the time and Kelsey shows off her vocabulary to the point that her incessant droning means nothing and therefore puts me to sleep (see, Kelsey? I’m eloquent and can use big words too!). The only good part about the first hour of our three-hour long Bachelor smackdown was that we got to revisit Ashley S., our beloved candle in the wind. When asked about her, Chris very clearly states that he was terrified of her and that she probably shouldn’t have been allowed around a firearm. Truer words have never been spoken, you guys. Additionally, we learned that she was convinced that a group of the show’s accountants — who were just at their 9-to-5, trying to make a living — were betting on her and the rest of the girls. She confused actual books with “the books.” Ashley S. has probably seen one too many mafia movies and I love her so much more for that. Nothing else is important because Ashley S. is all that matters, so let’s move on to the actual episode!

We open with Megan talking to Chris about how she feels that there isn’t a connection, and that she probably shouldn’t stay in the house any longer, with which he agrees. Fantastic — I could tell Megan was an awesome girl but just wasn’t vibing with Chris the way the other girls were and I’m glad she was mature enough to drop it and go home with some dignity, which is more than I can say for a certain Kardashley. She heads home, the rose ceremony is dropped, and the remaining girls (for those of you keeping score at home: Whitney, Becca, Britt, Carly and Jade) head to Iowa.

Jade gets the first one-on-one and the first invite back to Iowa where Chris takes her on a tour of his farm and offers to name a cow after her, which she handled with pure aplomb. If a dude offered to name a cow after me I’d be more than a little taken aback but she rolls with it. I guess it’s a country thing. He takes her to his high school that night to watch a football game which apparently is all they do in his town of 500 since there are no bars and only two to three businesses operating daily. The next one-on-one date goes to Whitney in Des Moines, and they go to a museum, take a few pictures and have a very typical rom-com event. It reminded me of “When Harry Met Sally,” except without the humor and personalities that go with it. She meets Chris’s best hometown friends at a bar, they chat about life in Arlington and there’s a big reveal that Chris had one of their pictures from the day set up as an art exhibit. Whitney overreacts (although it was pretty cute) and they kiss. End scene. Boring.

Meanwhile, the other girls get bored in Des Moines (where they’re all staying) and decide to head to Arlington to see for themselves what Farmer Chris’s town is really like … and the reaction is exactly what we all expected. Confusion and lack of enthusiasm. It’s a good thing none of these girls are aspiring actresses because they did not really mask their sentiments well (except maybe Britt, but we’ll get to that later). Carly’s starting to drink the Ashley S. Kool-Aid in a bad way and makes a hand puppet of Britt while voicing it to sound childish and dumb, which ironically is exactly what you seem like when you make a hand puppet to imitate someone you dislike. But that could just be me.

Carly is seriously starting to get on my nerves between the Britt puppet (although Britt’s definitely got an agenda of her own) and being super judgmental to Jade about her past modeling days at Playboy. Homegirl does not know how to play nice with anyone and I haven’t seen her say a nice word about anyone in the house since she started getting screen time and I’m starting to hope she leaves very soon. The girls go on a group ice skating date and when Carly gets some alone time with Chris, she tattles on Britt about lying re: Arlington. If there’s one thing I hate more than a brown-noser, it’s a tattletale, and she is both of those things to the max. I don’t know what it is with these girls and acting like this is all taking place in high school homeroom but Britt ends up having an absolute meltdown once Chris gives Kaitlyn the group-date rose. She’s not used to not being Chris’s total center of attention and now that he’s noticing other girls, she’s starting to realize that she might not have the competition in the bag. Here’s my opinion vis-a-vis Britt: she’s obviously crazy about Chris and will do anything to make the relationship work. Is lying okay? No, never. Is trying to make the person you love happy? Yes. But you have to strike a balance and Britt is striking out as far as I’m concerned.

Episode three begins with Britt having another meltdown about what to do, and tells the other girls that she’s going to leave the house before the rose ceremony and the other girls don’t believe her for a minute. Ever omniscient Chris Harrison appears right on cue to tell the girls that there will be no cocktail hour and to begin getting ready for the rose ceremony. It’s apparent to everyone and their mother that Britt is setting up this idea to leave so Chris will beg her to stay, but when she pulls him aside at the beginning of the rose ceremony, you can tell that’s not going to happen. She talks at him rather than to him, and he confronts her with lying. All in all, she ends up leaving. Shame, really — I had my money on her to win (not seriously, I can’t afford to gamble), and I thought she would have been wonderful, but a sore loser and California girl will not fit in well in Arlington, Iowa, population 500.

Carly’s reaction? “It’s fun to watch her squirm.” Laugh for the next five minutes, Carly, because you’re about to be sent home. The rose ceremony is still held, and Carly gets sent packing crying in the limo about how her parents are going to see her sad yet again. Whatever, can’t feel sorry for you since you were just making fun of Britt for hysterically crying two seconds ago. We then move on to hometowns! I love hometowns because you get to see the crazy families these girls grew up in and it’s always super interesting to see.

Stop one is Shreveport, La., Becca’s home. While sitting at dinner with Becca’s family, Becca’s sister has no problem mentioning that she has no game with guys. She very easily tells Chris that Becca has never brought a boy home that she’s never shown any interest in boys, and basically that she’s shocked Becca was even able to attract one. Way harsh, Tai. I can kind of see why Becca wouldn’t bring guys around considering her sister is so willing to throw her under the bus in every aspect of a relationship, but it didn’t faze Chris at all and he took her on a mini date to the state fair where they ended the date kissing on the ferris wheel. Very Nicholas Sparks, and I ate it up completely … Becca is my new favorite to win.

Second, we head to Chicago for Whitney’s hometown date and she takes Chris to her job as a fertility nurse. The commercial teasers and ultimate lead-in to this date consisted of Whitney talking about making babies with Chris and handing him a collection cup, so I 100 percent thought Whitney was going to save the goods somewhere in case she needed them for a future devious plot, if you get what I’m saying. Luckily enough that isn’t the case, and she just walked him through a daily IVF procedure she does for her patients. (She does hand him a collection cup, but it’s a joke — damn you ABC for getting my hopes up for more crazy!). She takes him home to meet her sister, and her sister does not like Chris or the entire Bachelor scenario from the get-go, so it’s a sincerely awkward moment when Chris asks her for her blessing to propose to Whitney and she straight-up pauses. Whitney cries, Chris reassures her, end scene. Their whole relationship just feels forced and weird.

Third up, we’ve got Kaitlyn in Vancouver. Loud Kaitlyn’s got a loud family to boot, but a truly loving and happy one from what you can tell. Their date involves writing a rap track and laying it down. I had so many questions about this, but my main one is why does this show insist on making Farmer Chris rap or sing more than once? Why must you consistently force his tone-deaf voice upon us? It was endearing the first time, awkward the second time, and now it’s just an assault on my eardrums. Please stop, thanks, LYLAS.

Jade’s date was the final one in Nebraska and also I feel the most important. He meets her family, and she expresses some fear that her family is going to let it slip that she had posed nude for Playboy before she can tell him herself. This is pretty cool — she is really open with her family and they obviously have a supportive relationship, so I was like, way to go, Jade! Her brothers tell Chris that Jade is a wild mustang and Chris is very intrigued by what that could possibly mean. He gives her a letterman’s jacket from his high school since she went to a football game, which was the absolute cutest thing I could ever think of … and then she takes him for a walk so they can discuss some things. After the bomb drops, she shows him a few of her pictures, and he handles it way better than I thought a farmer from such a small town would be able to: he tells her he only judges based on personality, not career. While it’s a funny way to express your sentiment — why judge at all? — I think it was the right choice of words, and things seemed neatly wrapped up and dealt with at the end of the date.

The rose ceremony rolls around, and Chris calls out three names: Kaitlyn, Becca and Whitney. He eliminated Jade after she opened up to himmand part of me really thinks it had to do with the Playboy modeling — he’s clearly not as comfortable with it as he said he was. Which is fine — I just didn’t think he’d eliminate her so quickly. I’m truly bummed about the ending of this episode because I honestly thought Jade was going to at least make it to the final two, but c’est la vie, right? Now that all the crazies are gone I’m kind of getting bored, but I’m hoping some overnight dates will really shake up the tension between everyone. We’ll see.

Thoughts and Questions

  • I have to acknowledge that this show gets increasingly more misogynistic as I watch it but I just can’t quit, you know? It’s my problematic favorite.
  • Quote of the night: “It was so cool to watch Whitney do what she does all day, making babies. I make … corn. So that was really special.”
  • I wanted Kaitlyn to be the new Bachelorette, but I’m rooting for Jade even though I don’t think she’s family-friendly enough. Thoughts? Feelings? Opinions?
  • Kaitlyn tells her mom that she thinks, “I heart him” whenever she sees Chris. I’m thinking she watches way too much Orange is the New Black.

Photo credit: ABC.com

Past Weeks:
Episode 6: I’m Glinda and She’s the Wicked Witch of the West
Episode 5: New Mexico Is, in Fact, a Part of the USA
Episode 4: I Have No Feelings
Episode 3: Kardashley, Jimmy Kimmel and the Amazing Jar
Episode 2: Feral Cats, Zombies and Tractors, Oh My!

meghan-kennedy-bio-picMeghan is a recent graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Personal and Professional Communication. You can find her at the nearest Chipotle tweeting about Drake, her sorority little and Project Runway.