I hate to keep you waiting, my lovers of love! But my viewing of the Bachelor was delayed last night by my real job, for which they pay me. (Much as I might wish otherwise, Bachelor-recapping remains more of an avocation.) But if Farmer Chris and all the other recycled Bachelor/ette contestants have taught us anything, it’s that love is better when it comes late, and preferably in front of cameras.
Because this show can tell that they picked the world’s most boring bachelor (but nice! He’s nice! SO nice), even they could not contain their excitement last week–they’ve already revealed tonight’s special guest, Jimmy Kimmel. While I’m not a particular fan, I do love that Kimmel is a total fanboy for shows he loves, so I have hopes that he will enliven the proceedings. And since they tease us with this as an opener:
I get the feeling there are antics aplenty ahead. So pour your champagne, count your roses, and
As the sun rises over Famewhore Manor (and Bachelor Outbuilding), a “mysterious figure” approaches. Entering the Bachelor cabin (Chris, you really have to learn to lock your door), Jimmy Kimmel gently wakes a befuddled Farmer Chris. They do seem to have surprised him, judging by the look of groggy recognition on his face. At least Jimmy brought coffee.
(Also, has Jimmy lost weight? He looks almost gaunt.)
While Farmer Chris gets ready for his daily ho-down, Harrison introduces the women to “the new man in [their] life.” Jimmy arrives to squeals and cheers that seem a little outsized for the occasion. The women are amused, and Jimmy has a little patter. I do support his first order of business, though: he brings out a big glass jar and announces that anyone who says the word “amazing” has to put a dollar in the jar. Well played, sir! Can we also have jars for “journey,” “soul mate” and “here for the right reasons”? (Though now I find myself wondering: are the women allowed cash while they’re here? I kind of imagine they have to surrender their phones, passports and wallets when they enter Famewhore Manor. But I may be confusing The Bachelor with human trafficking.)
Time for the first date card! The lucky girl is…Caitlyn! “You and Chris are about to join an exclusive club. Sweeping views, vaulted ceilings, and unlimited hors d’oeuvres await.” Kimmel must have gotten his own people to write this one, because it’s not an awkward and ill-metered poem. The women remark on how this is a less cryptic clue than normal as well.
Caitlyn and FC head out in a limo for their one-on-one date, all planned by Jimmy–Chris doesn’t know where they’re going either. A glamorous club? A penthouse suite? No, of course not! It’s Costco. (But still, it’s like, the Malibu Costco, so probably pretty nice, right?) They chuckle at having pulled over in the Costco parking lot until the limo door opens. Caitlyn looks stricken. “We’re actually getting out here?” she asks, in a tone that suggests she meant, “Am I going to have to see any Poors?” (Or maybe it’s just “Goddammit, Kimmel, if you cheat me out of a fantasy date for a stupid joke, I’m going to send a rose on a particularly painful journey through your anatomy.”)
Jimmy’s left them a note, telling them that this is what real couples do together. He gives them a weird shopping list (including “enough ketchup to fill a hot tub”) and tells them they also have to get food because he’s coming for dinner. He’s a gracious host, though–he leaves them his real Costco card to use!
Before we go further, I have to comment on Caitlyn’s attempt at Farmer Chic: white sleeveless crop-top, grey sweatshirt maxi skirt, and a red plaid flannel as a jacket. It’s like the 90s came back just to remind me of my wasted youth.
The two seem to be enjoying themselves, especially when they find a mini Zorb and roll through the aisles (with the help of some random kids). Farmer Fast Lips steals the opportunity for a smooch. Done with the shopping, they load up the limo (which doesn’t have much trunk space) and head back to the Bachelor Cabin. Oddly, they said specifically in the store that they had nothing, so had to buy tables and chairs and whatnot, but back in the Bachekitchen, there’s a big gorgeous farmhouse table and no sign of the crappy plastic card tables they bought. Whatevs.
Plinky-plinky love music plays as they sip bourbon on the outdoor couch and wait for Jimmy (Farmer Chris hopes he doesn’t show, because he’s having such a good time with Caitlyn). I will say they seem very natural together, although Chris still seems super conscious of the cameras (especially when Caitlyn gets her lipstick all over his face). Caitlyn definitely feels like a front-runner.
It’s Kimmel time! Comedy comedy, awkward awkward, giggles ensue. Farmer Chris has a very high-pitched laugh! We do find out that Caitlyn is a serial farmer-dater! The last one raised cows. Now it’s dinner time, and Jimmy is ready to ask the hard questions about the Fantasy Suite. Oh, I am liking this more and more! He asks Caitlyn if she’d be pissed if she wins and, months later when they’re watching the show air, she sees Chris taking two other ladies to the Fantasy Suite for the presumed sexytimes. Caitlyn, fairly, says that “she can’t be” because it’s “part of the process.” (Hmm, I think we might need another swear jar for that one.) Jimmy turns to FC and says, “It’s not going to get any better than this.” That feels a little ew, somehow. They’re all laughing hysterically now, but it feels like a mix of desperation and bourbon. What’s going on at Famewhore Manor?
Well, it’s time for the group date card! Britt, Jillian, Becka, Traci (I just assume she spells it with an i), Mackenzie, Kelsey, Amber, Ashley S. (the crazy one), Juelia, Samantha, Nikki and Carly (who?) are all invited. “Are you ready to meet some real party animals?” Jillian tells us in a talking head that she thinks tomorrow is going to be “amazing!” And then she grimaces and pulls out a dollar. That jar is already filling up.
The night is coming to a close at the Costco Casanova’s, and Jimmy points out that there is a rose waiting for a lovely lady to accept it. Farmer Chris starts off with a little speech about how the Costco date was surprising, but she made it fun, yada yada, and Jimmy interrupts to say “That’s terrible. Start over.” Heh. To his credit, Farmer Chris loosens up enough to begin his new speech with: “Caitlyn…Jimmy’s a dick.” Well played, sir! To no one’s surprise, Caitlyn gets the rose. (And FC has to put $2 in the Amazing Jar.)
I’ve finally seen a chyron that shows me I’ve been spelling Kaitlyn’s name wrong, but I can’t be bothered to go back and fix them all now. She has to earn her K!
Jimmy heads out (stealing a couple of throw pillows on the way) and we get some bog-standard sweeping music as FC and Kaitlyn make out awkwardly. Now it’s hot tub time! It is, to my relief, not filled with ketchup. They smooch in the hot tub and drink more bourbon, which is not safe! Pan over to see…Kimmel eating chicken wings. Now all I can think about is greasy buffalo sauce floating on the hot tub surface.
Night at Famewhore Manor, and Jillian is working out on the patio (to a grinding guitar score). But it gives the editors a “reason” to shoot a close-up of her rock-hard ass in pink booty shorts (complete with censor bar). And then Kelsey throws some delightful shade: “How do you compete with that ass? If that’s my competition, I’ve gotta do some pushups, throw on some child-size shorts…” Oh, Kelsey, come sit by me!
Next day, and I think Farmer Chris is wearing Kaitlyn’s plaid from yesterday. Jimmy gleefully leads the horde to a field that’s laid out with various tables and fences and whatnot and announces the “Hoedown Throwdown.” Here they will ostensibly test their farming skills to determine who’s a good match for Chris. And as in The Amazing Race, on The Bachelor, working with animals usually means comedy gold, so I’m looking forward to this date!
Quick pan over grinning women, and I am struck by the rather oversized choppers on a lot of these ladies. Some sort of sale on veneers at the strip mall next to Famewhore Manor?
The first task in the Hoedown is corn shucking: they have to shuck 15 ears of corn, then run to a chicken pen to find an egg. (There are only 8 eggs in the pen, so this is an elimination station.) Then they have to crack their egg into a frying pan, without cracking the yolk. Broken yolk=elimination. Survive that round, and they run to one of six goats. (One of whom is apparently male.) The goated ladies need to milk their goats, fill up a mason jar to a designated line, and drink the milk. Someone asks, “What if you’re allergic?” and when Jimmy asks if anyone is, Carly says, “Aaaaaagh! I’m drinkin’ it anyway!” That is not an answer, Carly.
Then the drink-survivors have to shovel cow manure into a wheelbarrow. The women are shocked, and I roll my eyes, since as a horse-mad teen I used t0 muck out 20 stalls every weekend before 9 am. These women are weak. (But probably smelled better than I did as a teen.) After the manure comes greased-pig wrestling–and there are only 4 pigs, so we’re losing a couple of other women at this point. The first one to catch the pig and place him “gently” in his pen is the winner.
The whistle blows and everyone runs to their corn-shucking stations. Ashley S. looks particularly fierce, like she’s wishing for a paintball gun to shoot the corn in the head. Jillian’s first on the way to the chickens, followed by several more. Mackenzie finds an egg quickly as well, but she breaks her yolk and is out. Jillian’s still in the mix, and we get another gratuitous black-barred butt shot. The other women are all perturbed by Jillian’s shorts length.
The milking proceeds with varying levels of success, and Carly’s the first one to chug her milk, lactose intolerance or no. (What if she wins and then is just gassing all over her one-on-one time?) Kelsey’s gagging and can’t bear to drink the stuff, Ashley S. is still standing there with an empty jar, seeming bewildered. Amber, who’s already out of it after the corn section, says that she’s glad she didn’t have to drink the goat’s milk. “The way Kelsey described it? Salty and warm? That’s not something I’d like to have in my mouth.” Shame on you, Bachelor editors!
At the manure station, it’s Carly, Jillian, Kelsey, and another girl I can’t identify. Carly’s first out with the wheelbarrow, but when she runs to the pig pen she can’t get it untied. Jillian’s right behind her and basically vaults over the 4-foot-high fence, lunging at a pig and once again exposing her cheeks to the world. But despite Jillian’s jockeriffic performance, Carly has the sense to stop scaring the pigs witless and thus catches one first. (They do not, contrary to Jimmy’s intro, appear to be greased.) She wins!
She gets a big blue ribbon (the first one she’s ever won!) and then she and Chris re-enact American Gothic:
From country mouse to city house, all the women reconvene in fancy clothes on a rooftop somewhere for the cocktail portion of the evening. No sooner have they sat down then Carly jumps up and drags Chris off one on one (to the outrage of the other women, since she already won the farm thing). She gives a bumbling intro and then says, “You are a man…and I am a woman…so I just wanted to take advantage.”
Smooching. But apparently it didn’t last long, because then he’s dancing with Amber to no music. And smooching. Farmer Chris acknowledges to the camera, “There’s a fair amount of kissing going on.”
Back on the Couch of Second Choice, Mackenzie is just now figuring out the premise of the show. “Like, I was the first one to get kissed, and it made me feel special, but now that he’s just kissing girls day after day after day, it’s not so special anymore?” (There should be a special font for uptalk. Probably Comic Sans.) I think we’re beginning to see why Mackenzie’s such a young mom.
and then she says, “OK, so I’m going to be blunt? Remember when we kissed? So, like, why are you kissing everyone else?”
Farmer Chris fumbles and has no answer, but eventually comes up with “put myself out there.” Mackenzie tries to save face (creepy stretchy face!) and says, “Yeah. I was just curious.” Oof. At least she then goes back to the other girls and realizes she totally blew it. I guess the advantage of going on this show when you’re only 21 is the security of knowing there’s no freaking WAY you’re going to get married at the end of it, so you might as well have fun!
Becka’s getting some face time at last, and she maintains that there’s an attraction between them…but he just pulls her in for a hug. She tells him that she wants to kiss him, but doesn’t want to “rush things.” Which I think is polite Bachelorette-speak for “I know exactly where your lips have been.”
Famewhore Manor! Whitney is sweating it because she hasn’t had a date in two weeks. Will this be the charm? Kaitlyn reads it out for the remaining ladies: “Dear…Whitney. Today is going to be fun. No whining! xo Jimmy.” If some of these girls were smart, they’d make a play for Kimmel instead of Farmer Chris.
It’s rose-delivering time back at the rooftop bar, and the group date ladies are getting that frantic brittle look as they stare at the rose. FC gives a little speech about giving it to someone “he was impressed with, and would like to know better…Becka.” Carly’s bummed in her sequined top: “Roseless feels…SO bad.”
The next day, it’s time for Whitney’s date. Off they go to a winery (Jimmy’s date-card-writing was not really up to par on this one), and now that Whit’s getting some camera time, I’m reminded of her terrible baby voice. It’s so bad, you guys!
They talk about what Chris is looking for in a mate. He wants her to be smart and beautiful and yada yada yada, but he also wants someone who can…roll the cow up? I can’t quite make out the word that I think is “cow,” so I’m stumped. He asks Whitney if she knows what that means, and she guesses “going with the flow”? He says, kind of, and “not giving a *bleep*.” Nice, Farmer Chris. You kiss your mama with that mouth? I still don’t understand what that has to do with cows.
There’s a lull in the conversation, and they notice that behind them, down the hill of this beautiful vineyard, a wedding is happening. Whit says with a giggle, “Should we crash it?” Then they get a producer-placed gleam in their eyes and…Whit “convinces” FC to do it with her. However, she says “YOLO,” and I almost decide to delete her date on principle. Bad Whitney, bad!
They work out their cover story and then go change into their evening clothes so they’ll fit in. “There’s something about weddings that’s just very romantic,” says Whitney. Gee, ya think, Whit? What is it about weddings that’s so romantic? Maybe…THE WEDDING? Half-wit.
So this “spontaneous” wedding crash looks faker by the minute. For starters, the guests were gathering at what was probably 4:30 or so, on the winery lawn. The sun was still bright, and the tables were set up there, suggesting that they’re not traveling to another locale for a reception. But now we’re back from commercial and the two of them are done up to the nines, driving in their limo in full night. I assume this was to give the producers time to a) get signed releases from the entire wedding party or b) stage a fake wedding for the couple to “crash.” I am getting too irritated to recap this date any more. Where is the integrity, Chris Harrison?????
They’re trying to work out what they’ll do when people recognize Chris, which they’re pretty sure will happen. I…am less confident. Of course the two Sherlocks manage to pick a table with the bride’s sisters, and Farmer Chris is fumbling through his lies. Whitney fakes it smoothly, and honestly if I were Chris I might be worried about how easily she lies.
Do you think this whole thing was just so the producers could save money on the usual “middling adult alternative act plays private concert for Bachelor?” evening? Anyway, FC declares that Whit can really “roll the cab” (Cab, maybe? Cow? Who knows) and that she could be the real deal. I am more impressed with the wedded couple’s lighting design, which includes strings of lights hanging from the trees. Very beautiful.
The night is over, and Chris delivers the date rose to Whitney with a heartfelt speech. Whitney, you sly fox, you made some serious advancement tonight! Also, best wishes to Nick and Shannon.
Next morning, Chris does some crunches, oils his abs (which are frankly not all that well defined if you ask me), and then showers in his outdoor shower with the help of Jimmy Kimmel:
Jimmy goes up to Famewhore Manor to tell the women that there will be no cocktail party tonight. Oh noes! The women are distressed:
(Sorry, couldn’t find the new Chris Pine version, but Eddie Redmayne’s not bad, eh?)
Psych! Jimmy tells them they’re swapping the cocktail party for a pool party! And he walks off with the Amazing Jar.
Some women (Megan) are thrilled about the notion, but others (Ashley I., Virgin) are bummed. Ashley was going to bust out her Kardashian look that evening, she tells us…but apparently she has no Water Kardashian ensemble.
Juelia’s also not psyched, because she’s still trying to figure out how to download her sob story and it doesn’t seem to be a good fit with fun in the sun. (Also not a good fit? Her terrible forehead-band! Is that still a thing? And don’t get too comfortable, Farmer Chris–I am not signing off on that leather thong necklace you clearly put on for the pool party.)
Juelia pulls Chris away to a canopied gazebo, and the shade is enough that she can tell the whole sad story. I won’t go into details (we know enough), but the awkwardness is underscored by the sound of merriment carrying from the pool. I’ll say only that she discovered two weeks beforehand that her husband had a gun, and we should all probably stop watching this crap and figure out how to work toward better gun control laws and mental health support in this country.
After a cleansing commercial break, Chris has moved on to the next woman, and it’s Britt’s turn to talk. By which I mean kiss, in loud and squelchy fashion.
Then some girl I can’t identify in a terrible rose-printed shmatte says that she has to seize the moment for some time with him, since she hasn’t had any. She asks him for a tour of his place, and he quickly agrees. (Who the heck is this girl? Maybe Jade or Nikki–I still can’t place those two.)
Keen-eyed, exposed-butted Jillian notices that Jade (yes, it was Jade) and Chris slipped away, and she lumbers after them, waiting in the hot tub in a bad crocheted top. She’s practicing her seductive hair-flipping and submerging her walnut-crushing thighs. But Jade and Chris are jumping on the bed in his cabin, and don’t show much inclination to come out to the tub. They’re making out and he’s got her hand on her bikini-barely-covered hip. At one point there’s a strange angle to the shot and I think that he’s actually got three hands, like the famous romance novel cover:
The editors have fun cutting between the smooching Jade & Chris, and bored, lonely Jillian in the tub. But finally, it’s Jade’s time to go, and they leave by the back door so that Chris can “stumble upon” Jillian. She invites him to join her, and Jade says farewell.
Back at Famewhore Lagoon, the other girls are noticing that pool partying is a bit pointless when the object of your affections is nowhere to be found. Some of them form a search party, but Ashley I. is sneering (in a talking head) at girls whose personalities encourage them to “cling onto him.” Ashley’s a shy and retiring virgin, y’all!
But it’s Mackenzie and Ashley I. who head out to find Chris, and hop in the hot tub to join him and Jillian. However, Jillian insists that she’s only had a minute alone with him, and (to my surprise) the girls hop back out again and leave her to it! Some sort of bachelorette code of honor appears to have formed over these long and lonely nights.
Mackenzie, Virgin Ashley and Megan are sitting on a low wall strategizing about their next hot tub pass. Ashley is clearly the ringleader (and the brains) of this operation. In a low whisper, she’s telling Mackenzie (who listens intently) that they’re going to give Jillian “her five to ten minute” with Chris and then go back, explaining to him that they each just want their own time with him. Hon, I don’t think you need to explain to him how this game works, but whatever. Meanwhile, Megan, on her other side, is prodding her drink with a straw and peering into the glass like she doesn’t know how limes work.
As Jillian and Farmer Chris make out, Mackenzie can’t take it anymore and makes a break for the hot tub, starting a bachelorette stampede. All three girls jump into the tub, and they clearly expect Jillian to cede her place, but Jillian is Not. Moving. The camera picks up all sorts of pointed stares at Jillian’s arm casually dangling over Chris’s knee, etc.. Mackenzie is basically like
Virgashley is baffled that Jillian isn’t playing the way she would. She’s weeping in a talking head, angry that she didn’t get a date this week and Jillian is hogging precious time even though she already had a date and IT’S NOT FAIRRRRRRRRRRR. She pulls the classic “cut off your nose to spite your face” move and runs away, dropping her (plastic) wine glass behind her like a boozy Cinderella.
Mackenzie has also given up, apparently, and comes back to the house to tell the other girls they went to Chris’s but it was “not good.” She narcs on Jillian, whom I think may be getting the villain edit because the other girls are sick of her workouts and her butt cheeks anyway. But Chris has let them stew long enough and comes up to the house looking for Virgashley.
Ashley wastes no time in grabbing him by the hand and whisking him off. Easy, girl! Let him hunt you a little! She rushes upstairs with him, dragging him along even when he trips going up the steps. Of course, she opens by complaining about Jillian, which is rookie mistake #1. Never talk about the other girls during your one-on-one time, dummy! (I think rookie mistake #2 is wearing this dumb headdress: but I’m an Old who doesn’t understand fashion.) Anyway, Virgashley wastes no time in going for the awkward, grabby kissing, and practically pulls him off the balcony to their deaths. (That would definitely be the Most! Shocking! Bachelor! Ever!)
Finally, mercifully, Harrison shows up to extract Chris from the Kissing Fields and prepare him for the rose ceremony. The sun is setting, and Chris takes his responsibilities seriously, as he knows that he “has a lot of these girls’ hearts in his hands.”
Jimmy has rejoined the two Chrises to give him some final advice: “Whatever you do, don’t be yourself. Be someone who gives better speeches.” Oh, Jimmy, will you accept this rose?
Time for the floral fun to begin! Chris opens by accidentally referring to Jimmy as Jade, so he’s off like gangbusters. Talking head Virgashley says that she’s at “like, a 9 in confidence today. I feel like I already have a rose, and it’s just a matter of when I’m called. I told him that I would very much appreciate if he would call my name toward the beginning.” Hmm, them sounds like weepin’ words to me! The first rose of the evening goes to…Jade. Guess all that bouncing on the bed was good strategy!
That invitation is followed by roses for Samantha (who???), Juelia, Mackenzie, Kelsey, Britt, Megan, Carly, Ashley S. (accompanied by a hee-yooge eyeroll from Virgashley), Nikki, Jillian…and there’s only one rose left! Jimmy must have roofied Harrison’s drink, because he comes out to do the “Ladies…Chris…” rose count. Still waiting for love are Virgashley (who’s not going to convince him if she keeps pulling the major bitchface and muttering under her breath), a blond with a very old face whom I thought was Trina (except that Trina left last week, no?), a sweet-faced brunette who hasn’t had Botox (turns out to be Traci), and Amber. The winner is…
Ashley I.! Oh sweet relief! She presses a hand to her heart like she’s been saved from a firing squad, and scuttles off to join the rose-holders.
Farewell, Trina! Farewell, Traci! Farewell, Amber! Poor Amber is sad and says it sucks to be rejected again. We don’t see anything from the other two.
Next week there’s travel in convertibles, skinny dipping, the reveal of not one but TWO virgins, and “a date made for bimbos.” Also the ladies earn their first “you’re free to leave” scolding from
Father Farmer Chris.
After the credits, Jimmy is dismissed by Harrison, and gives a weepy limo exit speech worthy of any contestant! He can be my Bachelor anytime.
Until next week, fellow fans!