Unless your name is Lace and the producers are slipping Ben $20s to keep you around.
Let the incessant day drinking begin! Episode 2 of this season opens with the ladies looking much fresher than at the first night’s rose ceremony, clinking mimosas and toasting to an upcoming two months of backstabbing deceit, high-volume drama, and general distasteful and unsavory behavior. Cheers. Or as Shushanna would say, “Ypa”.
Okay I’m sorry but Ben looks absolutely terrified to actually start the dating process: “It’s not scary, it’s exciting.” Liar. The ridiculous furrow between your eyes and the death grip of your hand on that teeny weeny coffee cup say otherwise, Benjamin. If someone needs a mimosa to loosen up I think it’s this bro.
GROUP DATE #1: Back to School, Back to School, to Prove to Ben that I’m Not a Fool
Jackie, LB, Lauren H, Becca, Amber, Mandi, JoJo, Jubilee, Jennifer, and the inimitable Lace are chosen for the first group date. Lace is on an image rehab mission from her blackout drunken antics the previous evening, so wearing a 90’s denim sleeveless vest is definitely the correct first move here.
Lace: “If I could make out with Ben today consensually that would be awesome.” Nothing like shooting high, Lace, who insists no, she’s not crazy at all as she maniacally steams a royal blue dress. Also if she’s not drunk why is she still slurring her words?
Jubilee: “To be picked for the first group date
a.k.a nondescript middle of the pack is a really good feeling.”
Ben feels like being ‘goofy and fun’ to help relieve the stress of having been around 21 psychos for the past 48 hours, so he’s taking the girls to high school. Ben, you insane jokester, you! #SoftwareSalesmanHumor? High school in Warsaw, IN was where Ben got his first handy behind the football bleachers and also his first case of maybe-syphilis, so it’s only good memories here.
**Note: No actual high school teachers were harmed in the making of Chris Harrison’s embarrassingly frequent costume changes**
Principal Harrison announces that the ladies will be competing in a series of subjects I’m almost 100% sure none of them actually passed in high school, so: science, geography, and gym class. The winning team of two who can display an average intelligence above eighth grade level will have the chance to compete for homecoming queen. Jackie almost pees herself with excitement: “I wasn’t homecoming queen in high school so it would be so redeeming to win a fake homecoming contest on reality TV ten years later.” Guess we know who the AV Club President was back in the day.
First up is ‘science class’, where the ladies need to ‘make Ben’s volcano erupt’ (LOL) by combining water, vinegar, dish detergent, food coloring—oooh no, I’m sorry, we actually need one part sparkles, two parts rainbows, three parts commitment and love. This is like watching Bill Nye the Science Guy on amphetamines.
Is wearing protection an ingredient in Ben’s love volcano?
Jubilee and Lace lose the eruption test because Lace
is a virgin who can’t read. Jubilee is soo pissed she left her MK-47 at Bachelor Manse today so she can’t take Lace out and leave her in a locker.
In between “classes” we have an apple bobbing contest that is soo relevant to anything having to do with high school, IDK about you guys but in high school we were constantly dunking our faces in water in search of whole fruits between class periods. Omg why is Jackie’s entire head soaked from the apple bobbing, literally no one else got wet. Lauren H: “Jackie’s not great with her mouth, unfortunately.” #Aboutlastnight
Now it’s time for a quick geoggers lesson where the ladies have to locate Indiana on the map. Ben proves how worldly he is by insisting this should be an easy one, “It’s not like I’m asking them to find Indonyyyesia or somethin’. Indiana is a metropolis, we just opened up a new Stop & Shop and Main Street even has a traffic light now.”
Shockingly, none of the contestants exactly hit the mark, but by far the worst are Becca and JoJo—I feel like they think Ben is gonna be like “aww” when he sees how off they were, but he actually randomly gets really pissed and sends them to detention. I don’t know about you guys but I’m having SUCH a fun time, Ben was right this is so goofy.
Mandi and Amber, a.k.a the two women Ben is unquestionably the least interested in, have the highest combined score and can participate in ‘gym class’ because the rest of the girls’ plastic surgeons banned them from any activity where balls fly at their noses. Luckily it’s just a quick madcap dash to the finish line and the fake homecoming queen title. Mandi’s worried she’s not prepared for a big run—what do you mean, Mands, you’re wearing harem pants and no shoes! You got this, girl!
She actually crushes it because Amber can’t run for sh*t and you can just see Ben’s face fall when he realizes he just won himself more alone time with this weirdo. It’s going to be another painful 20 minutes of checking for cavities and gum disease. “Say ‘ahh’, Ben.”
I think the high school thing is continuing into the date’s evening portion with what looks like a slutty school dance. Ben kicks off his one-on-one time with the ladies with Becca, and despite his illustrious past career with the Warsaw, IN high school basketball team, it becomes immediately apparent he can’t play for beans—he blames it on his tight shirt that is actually the roomiest thing I’ve ever seen, like is that a shirt or a parachute.
Becca: “I was bored AF the last time around with Chris, but now I’m in this.”
Ben: “Nice. Really glad to hear that.” **lame grandfatherly forehead kiss**. Maybe he’s just being a sore loser but I am so not feeling the chemistry between those two.
At least not compared to the little soft-core porn scene up next between him and Jennifer. Holy smokes. Ben to Jen: “I walked away from my conversation with you feeling like you have two very special somethings.” Clearly Jennifer’s deceptively high neckline tonight is not deterring Ben, he’s a man on a mission and also knows she’s totally DTF. Best makeout sesh so far and also I think the first voluntary one on Ben’s part, so that’s something
Break to Bachelor Manse: Caila gets the first one-on-one date but the real scene-stealer here is Olivia, who OMG LOOKS COMPLETELY AWFUL WTF. That adorable gape-mouthed trick she does is not helping matters. Apparently a little eyeliner and lip gloss go a long way.
It’s like re-watching The Ring.
Okay, back to the group date: Lace is sipping something that she’s trying to convince us is seltzer but there has to be at least a fifth in there. She’s still on a mission to show Ben she isn’t ‘crazy’: “Ben got a different Lace that I didn’t want him to see until I’d roped him into proposing to me.”
Lace gets Ben alone and is frantically trying to explain something that only the little birdies in her head must comprehend. “Ben is so forgiving and thankful for my apology”—No Lace I think he just couldn’t understand what the eff you were talking about.
Lace: “We’re gripping each other’s hands and eye f**king” –cut to close up of Lace literally crushing Ben’s limp, purple hand. So romantic.
Jubilee interrupts this adorbs lovefest and we find out that she’s suddenly acquired a Haitian accent that was nowhere to be found in Episode 1, and a dramatic backstory—you can practically see the wheels turning as Ben frantically tries to figure out where Haiti is on the map of the United States and also do they have McDonald’s there.
Lace continues to prove how ‘not crazy’ she is by suffering short term memory loss and insisting she hasn’t had any time with Ben, and then blowing LB’s shit up so she can weasel her way in again and babble about how much she loves Denver. This is like watching a less cute Drew Barrymore in 50 First 10-minute Cocktail Party Dates. Note that Ben still does not kiss her even though she’s now been alone with him twice.
Ben brings JoJo up to the rooftop that has somehow become his “special little location” despite never having been to this bar before.
JoJo: “I’ve never been this high in my entire life except for all four years of college.”
Ben: “I love your energy and bubbliness, it made me attracted to you even though you have man shoulders. I want to get to know you but you didn’t know where Indiana was on the map so byez” **pushes her off building**
JK, he doesn’t do that. Actually he gives JoJo the group date rose, so a PSA for all the ladies out there from The Bachelor: You, too, can flunk out of school and be dumb as rocks and still land your man!
DATE WITH CAILA + ICE CUBE + KEVIN HART
This date was as boring as watching Ice Cube freeze over in “you know where”, saved only by the appearance of the Cube himself and Kevin Hart, even once it became clear they were shamelessly using The Bachelor to promote their new movie Ride-a-Long 2 by seeing how many times they and various cast members could use “ride-a-long” casually in a sentence.
Chris Harrison: “I’d like to introduce my good friends Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.” Chris you were literally just wearing a sweater vest with a checked shirt underneath there’s no way you chill with these bros.
Of course they cut to Jubilee for the first reaction when the black guys come out. Granted she seems like a big fan.
Ben: “I’m a huge fan of Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.” –Things people who have no clue who Ice Cube or Kevin Hart are say.
Emily/Haley: “So many extravagant dates! First Ben took the girls to an empty school and now he’s letting Caila ride around with him in a car running errands!” They would think going to high school qualifies as an ‘extravagant date’, probably because they’ve never been.
Caila: “We’re just doing out of the box, crazy surprise things like buying cheap roadside flowers and hard liquor before 10a.m. This is soo fun!”
The ride-a-long culminates in the group actually getting into a hot tub at a hot tub store—Kevin strips down to his birthday suit and you can see Caila panicking and flashing back to that Glee episode where Quinn gets pregnant from being in a hot tub. Also why is Ben so sunburned, literally all he’s done so far is be indoors.
Unfortunately Ice Cube and Kevin don’t accompany Ben & Caila on the evening portion of the date, so we have to suffer through some extremely boring and awkward conversation over dinner. One software sales rep + one software sales rep = me wanting to put my head through a wall.
Caila: “On July 6th, 2015, on Season 11 Episode 9 of The Bachelorette, you declared you felt unlovable. In case you couldn’t tell I’m a fan of the show and also dumped my real-life long-term boyfriend for a shot with you.”
Ben doesn’t like ‘emotional rollercoasters’ which is why he’s keeping Lace around. I almost feel like he’s guilty of a #humblebrag at this point, Ben NO ONE is walking away from you you’re hot and rich and super nice, YOU ARE LOVABLE.
We know Caila’s super stable because she met her last boyfriend on a plane and then stalked him until she could feign a “run-in” 2 weeks later and also thinks she might be in love with Ben after literally the most lackluster date of all time.
Caila gets the rose but I am so not feeling it with these two.They’re treated to a private Amos Lee concert after dinner and Ben looks like he’s having an orgasm/aneurysm so I think it’s fair to say he’s way more into Amos than Caila.
GROUP DATE #2: The Love Lab
Emily, Shushanna, Sam, Olivia, Haley, and Amanda are up next because they’re all foreign or blonde so probably signed the waiver for this date without realizing they were basically agreeing to be lab rats.
This is the whitest date in Bachelor history it’s literally a bunch of white blonde people in white clothes in a white room it’s like I’m watching an episode of The Man in the High Palace.
I wonder if Ben is still ‘feeling goofy’ while he’s putting the girls through multiple ‘science experiments’—in all 20 seasons of The Bachelor I’ve never witnessed so many references to ‘science’ and I don’t like what’s happening here.
First we have the “retinal tracking test” where Insecure/Unlovable Ben can see how many of the women prefer Sean to him, this guy really is like a glutton for punishment. Then there’s a really advanced “smell test” where the girls run on the treadmill and Ben sniffs them like he’s seen his hunting dogs do. All the girls are smelling just dandy until he gets to Samantha and literally says “This one smells a bit more sour.” OMG, so embarrassing for her. This actually rivals the moment on Juan Pablo’s season when all of the fishies in the Thai pool went to eat Renee’s feet because they were clearly the grossest. I’m surprised Shushanna doesn’t smell funkier considering she probably uses Borscht as an antiperspirant.
Finally we have the “thermal reaction test” so basically an excuse to get Ben in his underwear and have him simulate sex with the women. Unsurprisingly Sour Sam gets the lowest composite score with a meek 2.42/10, so she needs to GTFO and also get some deodorant.
Olivia can’t BELIEVE she got the highest score on this very scientific test and also that the ‘doctor’ is probably a paid actor who the producers fed the name of the winner to, she actually thinks this is a real thing and I would think as a newsanchor she would do more journalistic digging and ask some questions. The ‘Doctor’: “Something really special happened between you two.” Oh so that’s why everything in the thermal reaction room was white eyyoooo.
After blowing the seasonal budget on Caila’s date, ABC couldn’t pay to rent out a bar so they put Ben and the girls in his hotel suite for the evening portion of the date.
Shushanna: “All I had when I left Russia was pair jeans, two bottles vodka, and one pot stroganoff.”
Ben: “You said that like a Romanoff.”
Mom of the Year Amanda decides to tell Ben about her two daughters: “My kids mean everything to me. They’re my world.”
Ben: “Cool. Got any pics?”
Group date rose goes to Olivia because SCIENCE. “I don’t know what rose ceremonies are, really” –spoken like a true betch.
Lauren H. and Lauren B. are really not helping themselves by both wearing yellow.
Amber is killing me in this episode, hello this isn’t your first rodeo if you want time with him, you know what to do!
Olivia apparently thinks she’s Ben’s wifey and also his handler: “I’m done, everyone else line up and have at it” –True love means pimping out your new boyfriend to the highest bidder.
Lace is on another mission to prove she’s, say it with me, NOT CRAZY, so first she pulls Olivia to the side under the guise of “wanting to get to know her” and then basically tells her she thinks she’s a piece of crap. To be fair Olivia totally falls for it. I’m really starting to doubt her journalistic instincts.
Lace: “I haven’t had any time with him where I’ve been on my meds, so I feel like he doesn’t know the real me.”
Lace corners Ben yet again, this time smartly on a balcony so he’d literally have to jump to his death to get away from her, which it looks like he’s considering doing. But this time we have a dramatic sob story about Lace’s traumatic childhood: yes, believe it or not, when she was little, she had… BANGS. Apparently this was enough to make her brothers refuse to acknowledge her on the school bus and also to completely ruin her childhood. Jubilee, you may think you had it rough in your little Haitian orphanage or whatever, but just try getting through your kid years with a blunt cut, okay. NOT easy.
To his credit, Ben seems thoroughly unimpressed/uninterested by Lace’s “big reveal”, and this interaction ends pretty much the same way every single other one has so far: Lace gets interrupted before she can plant one on Ben and flips the f**k out.
Apparently Ben is bored of the one-on-one conversations so, like a true salesman, he resorts to props and starts weirdly doling out little personal presents like a hot Santa Claus. Lauren B. gets a stock image of the only other time they’ve ever interacted (memories!!), Lauren H. gets a ribbon for largest explosion (LOLZ), and Amanda gets barrettes that make her cry and falsely believe these two have any sort of genuine connection. Also Ben is way too excited about putting the barrettes in his own hair. Lace hilariously gets nothing so #NoneforGretchenWieners.
Amanda decides since they’ve spoken for ten minutes and he gave her a present from the dollar store it’s probably a smart idea to introduce her daughters to their new Daddy over national TV.
We haven’t heard from LB the entire episode and now suddenly we have cutaways to her every 5 seconds, so we know she’s about to pull something wild. Turns out she sends herself home because she apparently didn’t realize she was signing up for The Bachelor and not The Friendship Circle.
Ben: “I honestly just gave LB a rose because I couldn’t remember who she was, but now there’s an extra rose so I can give one to each of Jennifer’s boobs #winning.”
Jubilee, Lauren B., Leah, Becca, Rachel, Jennifer, Emily, Jami, Lauren H., Shushanna, and Haley also nab roses. Amber inexplicably gets a rose, and so does Lace—Ben’s face literally looks like a thunder cloud when he gives Lace the rose so I think we know which contestant is being forced on him by the show.
So that means goodbye to Geriatric Jackie, Spooky Mandi, and Sour Samantha—love that he makes a big show specifically of walking Samantha out just to be like “Ok. Bye.” Honestly, we pretty much knew it was over from her when he told her she smelled like sh*t so I’m not surprised, but a little sad for her nonetheless. And for her voice, which seems to have disappeared entirely the second she didn’t get a rose. Mandi will live to pull out her next lover’s teeth another day, and Jackie likes old peeps so it never would have worked between her and Ben anyways.
Next week, Olivia makes a play for best #villainsgottavil—but will she be one-upped by a strutting, angry-looking Jubilee? Tune in to find out!