Last week’s extra-long episode seemed to show that Peter isn’t over Hannah B and was maybe going to take another run at her. While Peter isn’t over Hannah B, he is interested in a process whereby he dates 30 women, gets paid a lot, travels the world, and has a chance to have some sex and maybe get a free engagement ring and wedding if he finds the right girl.
But it is not lost on a veteran show obsessive like myself that Hannah B’s engagement was undone in large part by Jed Wyatt’s having come on the show with a girlfriend back home he had promised to return to. Jed was waving myriad other red flags, so it may not have only been his secret girlfriend that cost him his fiancee. But Hannah B dumped Jed on national television ostensibly because their relationship started when Jed was emotionally committed to someone else. The women on Peter’s season are aware of Hannah B, but maybe not aware of how much Peter seems to still be emotionally committed to her. Any relationship that arises from this show will have to deal with the shadow of Hannah B and of having begun while Peter was not as truly open to a new love as he has claimed.
Oh, sorry, I didn’t resolve the cliffhanger: Peter left with Hannah B. Show’s over! <checks notes> wait, sorry, no. We returned to see Hannah B and Peter asking each other whether they belong together. Meanwhile, some ladies are trying to write some personal sex story to deliver from this stage that has a windmill on it, which I think was the purpose of the group date. Peter tells Hannah that he “wants someone who wants him as much as he wants them.” So… not someone who picked him third. Only… he seems to want this person who picked him third. And while it looks like they want to kiss each other, it also looks like they know it isn’t a good idea.
Two things they may or may not have considered: Hannah looks great. She has been, at this point, professionally-ish dancing on TV and she had a ton of charisma even before she anchored a very popular season of network television. Of course she will seem like an appealing choice. Peter also looks great, and it maybe helps his appeal that there are 30 women fawning over him. I mean, people like a thing that is in demand, and Peter is like Baby Yoda right now. Despite all of the factors pulling them toward each other, Peter breaks away from Hannah’s embrace to tell the cameras he wanted to kiss Hannah but didn’t do it. Good choice, probably. And now he is going to go back to his date with many girlfriends who are patiently writing their essays like chumps in this theater. Peter is going to roll back in from an uncomfortably long time alone with his ex covered in makeup and sequins and body glitter and it’s just going to have to be okay with folks.
Peter tells the women that Hannah was there and “Hannah was emotional.” Umm… Peter was emotional too, and they will watch this episode later and know that. Peter calls the group date early because he’s “not in the right headspace” and won’t be until I guess the cocktail portion of the date. He acknowledges that it is totally unfair, and perhaps he could have told them before they wrote those essays? The look on the women’s faces is a look I have seen before because I have also been an insensitive jerk. Though not to nine women at once on television. YET. And event-planner Natasha tells Peter that it was pretty shitty for them. Kudos to her for telling it like it is, though I guess if your boyfriend has 21 other girlfriends and a beauty queen ex in the mix, perhaps being “the one who calls him on his shit” isn’t the ideal way stand out.
Peter’s one-on-one time is a lot of awkwardly trying to explain himself. First to Alexa who asks “what were you thinking?” Notably Peter is leaning in and Alexa is leaning away, which is rarely the body language in these dates. Natasha continues in her role as the voice of reason, explaining to anyone who will listen that she should not be competing with Hannah B as well. Natasha is not wrong, and this might be a wake-up call for Peter, because he declares that Hannah B is “in the past.” Not how it will look to your fiancee Natasha when she watches the first episode in a couple months, buddy.
Alabama Sydney tells Peter she left “so much” back home. Peter is like “I understand… but like what tho?” and Sydney says “my mother and my family.” Yeah… that’s really one thing, and lots of people leave their mother and family for one to eight weeks, but cool. She does take the opportunity to tell Peter that her mother is white and her father is black and Dominican. And that this led to some bullying in Alabama of the type you’d probably expect. “I just dated a girl from Alabama!” Peter does not say as a followup. They kiss. I have lost track of who has kissed Peter, but it is a good number of women so far.
Mykenna, the Canadian fashion blogger who has blond hair and dark-brown eyebrows, suckers Peter into a dance and Peter turns it into a kiss. Kudos to Mykenna for the hair/eyebrows thing that makes it easier for me to identify her. Telling you, early season is all about distinctive hair. Otherwise it is hard to tell who is who. Peter lifts Mykenna up, sits her on a desk, and goes in hard for some more kissing. “That’s like, his move.” Amy correctly notes. Peter likes putting people onto things before kissing them. Peter gives the date rose to Sydney. And the first dates are in the books!
It is cocktail party night for the second rose ceremony, which follows right on the heels of another cocktail party, at least from our perspective as viewers. This is driven home by yet more footage of Natasha telling women why she did not appreciate the terrible group date Peter spent with Hannah B. Peter arrives and tells the women how he is “over” Hannah B now, which, again, is not strictly true (or at least not the likely takeaway from the footage the show took of them together and aired on network television). Redhead Lexi grabs Peter because she didn’t get a date this week. Peter asks her who she is, and Lexi is like “I arrived in a red convertible… dick.” But Peter was messing with her, and he pulls out a reddish convertible matchbox car. He spent 99 cents to make Lexi feel better! Peter is nice and flirty with Lexi and she kisses his cheek and then Peter is like “dude, throw me on a table or it doesn’t count.” Peter isn’t a cheek kisser, so he and Lexi make out.
The producers are finding the drama of “real concerns about Peter’s commitment to Hannah B” insufficient, and they execute one of the greatest manufactured dramas in the history of this show… or any show… or anything ever, really. You see, Des Moines Kelsey has a bottle of champagne she brought with her. It was from her last birthday, and she was saving it for something special. She really wants to share this champagne with Peter, a guy who has 21 other girlfriends and may or may not know her name.
Before Kelsey can do this dumb thing, Mykenna villains her way into the situation and takes Peter away. Kelsey is upset, but the night is young and the champagne is cold so she seethes but ultimately knows she’ll get her moment. When Mykenna returns, Kelsey delays her champagne campaign slightly so that she can tell Mykenna it wasn’t cool for her to jump the line and talk to Peter after she had talked to him the day before. Kelsey uses some bleeped profanity and says Mykenna “disrespected” her and tells the camera Mykenna is “a snake… and… snake-y.” Kelsey says snakes are her “least favorite animal.” I lived in Iowa for four years and saw zero snakes, though this surprisingly long list makes me think I missed out.
Peter, meanwhile, is sitting with Madison. How pissed must Kelsey be about that? Mykenna had time with Peter on the world’s worst date, but Madison went to his parents’ vow renewal and has a rose. She’s the snakiest of snakes! Peter gives Madison a framed picture of her with Peter’s parents and Peter. That is RIDICULOUS. That was their first date. I hope Peter’s parents have that picture on their mantle when his fiancee Hannah Brown comes to Thanksgiving in November, 2020.
While Kelsey is explaining the champagne bottle’s origin story to the other women, Hannah Ann rolls up to the unattended champagne bucket with Peter and pops the cork on the Chateau Des Moines. Kelsey just breaks into a million pieces as if she was a glass that the cork hit. She walks away and several of the girls follow to either comfort her or keep her away from sharp objects. Kelsey and her wingwomen retreat to the bathroom and somewhere a PA just earned a bounty. Tammy (who wrestled boys in high school) tells Hannah Ann that this was Kelsey’s special champagne from home and it is clear that Hannah Ann didn’t know this, and perhaps didn’t know who Kelsey even is.
Kelsey returns from the bathroom to confront Hannah Ann, and Peter manages to defuse the situation temporarily by steering Kelsey away to a different bottle of sparkling alcohol. “This second bottle was prosecco, ‘champagne’ only refers to sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France” says your richest and most annoying friend. Kelsey, to be fair, is both rightfully annoyed and overreacting. Karma or another PA with a paint mixer strikes Kelsey down when her first swig from the bottle ends up all over her face proving, unequivocally, that it is not Kelsey’s night.
Hands down best scene ever aired on The Bachelor! pic.twitter.com/A7G0WtbZXZ
— Jennifer Coulter (@coult4545) January 14, 2020
Kelsey tracks down Hannah Ann to let her know that she believes Hannah Ann stole her special Des Moines champagne. I mean, maybe? But isn’t it much more likely that in this magic TV house where there is alcohol all over the damn place Hannah Ann thought she could pour herself a drink out of an unattended bottle? Tammy the successful high-school wrestler tries to explain to Kelsey that Hannah Ann didn’t know, but Kelsey won’t take “it was an understandable mistake” for an answer.
Hannah Ann tries to apologize but Kelsey is having none of it. Hannah Ann says “there were two bottles of champagne…” and Kelsey responds “honey, you are fake and I know what you did is fucked up.” Hannah Ann says “I acknowledge your feelings, I apologize” and Kelsey responds “you’re calculated. I’m real, you’re calculated. That’s the difference between us.” “I think you mean calculat-ing” Hannah Ann doesn’t say. She goes with “I’ve acknowledged your feelings, we’re moving forward.” Kelsey gets the last word, with “I’m not, cuz I’m not a fake bitch.”
With that, it is time to give out some roses!
The Rose Ceremony is a charged atmosphere due in large part to the Kelsey drama, and if you put money on Kesley getting the last rose you probably won nothing because, let’s be honest, there was no other way this would go. Already holding roses: Sydney the Alabaman, Kelley the lawyer who knew Peter before the show, and Madison who was there for the vow renewal.
The rest of the roses go (in order) to:
Mykenna – the Canadian with the distinctive eyebrows
Victoria P – one of the Victorias
Natasha – the most vocally upset by Hannah B’s second visit to the show
Jasmine – she speaks Vietnamese fluently, but I don’t think spoke any language on the show this week
Sarah – a Knoxvillian who also didn’t have much to do this week
Lexi – the redhead who got a matchbox car
Hannah Ann – possible champagne thief
Alexa – the professional waxer
Tammy – the house flipping wrestler
Alayah – her grandma rose wrote Peter a letter
Deandra – she wasn’t surprised by this rose, unlike last week
Victoria F – the second Victoria, who is going to play a big part in the rest of the recap
Shiann – Shiann had a quiet episode but she’s low-key my favorite contestant so probably doomed
Kiarra – she hid in a suitcase for the limo entrance and hid in the background for most of this episode
Savannah – my second favorite realtor didn’t seem to get as drunk this time, or as much time on camera
And the last rose goes to…
Kelsey – she is not calculated
Going home: Courtney, who showed a lot of cleavage at this party, Lauren the Laker Girl, and <checking notes> Payton. Not sure if any of these three will merit a ticket to Paradise. But Lauren the Laker Girl was a surprising loss this early. After flight attendant, NBA dancer was the second least successful occupation this season.
After very brief goodbyes to the exiting women, Peter demands that Kelsey make a toast, perhaps to punish the producers for making him keep her around. Kelsey declines, leaving Hannah Ann to make not-the-worst Hannah toast in Bachelor history. “Cheers to finding your Prince Charming and hoping love is in the end.” Cheers?
We have what I guess is the first group date of the third rose ceremony now, and it features Alexa, Mykenna, Natasha, Deandra, Lexi, Victoria F, Kelsey, and Hannah Ann. Sadly, this date is not a champagne tasting. The date card says “time to let your personality shine” and Victoria F is very worried. “She has no personality” is Amy’s theory for why. The date is at “Revolve” and Carson Kressley is there. Along with Janice Dickinson and some Revolve brand officer. The date is modeling Revolve clothing in a fashion show.
Victoria F says she’s not “comfortable in [her] own skin.” It might be worth pointing out that Victoria F is very pretty. To the extent that she may never have had to compete for anything ever before this show. There is a prize from this fashion show, and it is a bunch of bags of clothes from Revolve. Kelsey estimates their value at 20,000 dollars and declares that she will win the prize. The latter prediction causes me to question her judgment on the former estimate, so take that number with a grain of salt.
Victoria F is not the best communicator, and I found myself struggling to understand the reason she spent this whole date crying. She seems to have stage fright? Or anxiety? But she was cast on this show, so she presumably wanted to be on it, though she keeps saying she doesn’t want to be there.
Carson Kressley promises us that boyfriends are temporary, but cashmere is forever. Then Peter walks out in like the worst outfit. It is tight black pants, a t-shirt, an unbuttoned denim shirt, and an unzipped camo hoodie. “What if the cashmere is also in love with its ex girlfriend?” no one thinks to ask.
Things go well because the show is just really attractive people modeling clothes. Janice Dickinson gives some good commentary, including yelling “oh my god her ass is hanging out” when Alexa shows up. In the credits joke scene Janice Dickinson tells Natasha and Victoria F that the most important thing is not to fart in front of Peter. First supermodel for the win!
Hannah Ann comes out in a wedding dress, which I guess Revolve sells. Hannah Ann seems not to want to be hated, but she gets talked into things that make the other contestants hate her. Victoria F comes out to an “oh she’s stunning” from Carson Kressley. The thing is, Victoria F didn’t even do anything. She walked and was very attractive and then had a panic attack. But even on this show filled with America’s Next Top Instagram Influencers Victoria F has won over Carson Kressley, who isn’t even into chicks.
Victoria F’s second look was a trench coat over a bodysuit. She stripped off the trench coat and grabbed Peter and kissed him. So, I guess she figured out that confidence thing. Hannah Ann and Victoria F are chosen as finalists by the judges. Victoria F reacts to this by crying, of course. The final two will walk off against each other. Victoria F and Hannah Ann walk out in identical looks and Hannah Ann brings a little more to the walk off, so she wins and gets a bunch of new clothes for Kelsey to slash as soon as Hannah Ann falls asleep.
Victoria F, predictably, cries. She also says “he can be with Hannah, I’m done.” Which is great footage for a show that teased a different Hannah coming for Peter last week. Also, she finished second! And Peter didn’t pick Hannah Ann, some other people did! Even Kelsey is kind of frustrated with Victoria F. And not even because she unwisely took this modeling gig:
— Megan 👄 (@MegsyM23) January 8, 2020
This seems like a good way to get attention for your “protect white marlins” cause, but maybe not GOOD attention…
The cocktail portion of this date is at a place called Rolling Greens. It appears to be a greenhouse that is full of chandeliers. Cool? Victoria F continues to struggle to express the source of her discontent. She claims that she doesn’t care about clothes, she just wanted “to be seen.” I mean, she was on TV. Victoria F tells Peter she isn’t “made out for this.” She correctly notes that the show may not be worth her mental health. Peter reminds her that it is tough and promises that he likes her. Victoria F asks Peter if he knows what she means. He was on the show before, so he is one of a small number of people who really do. Peter works pretty hard to keep Victoria F around, which bodes well. Because in addition to not farting, it is probably important to not seem like you will be an overly challenging life partner, and despite Victoria F giving off that vibe, Peter is way interested in keeping her on the show that ends with an engagement. He kisses her and I guess I wish I didn’t just write something like “Victoria F is certainly the least likely of the Victorias to win this thing.” Which is what I said last week, before this Victoria F-centric episode.
Hannah Ann has a closet full of free clothes now, but she wants more. And it is to raise the specter of “bullying,” a term that has come up on at least the last two seasons of the Bachelor. Hannah Ann says she cried late into the night because of Kelsey’s bullying. Peter comes back to the group, gives the date rose to Victoria F, and then takes Kelsey away to talk bullying allegations.
Peter stakes out a controversial and brave position that bullying isn’t “okay” with him. Be best, right? Kelsey tells Peter that she is not a bully and that Kelsey knows this because she herself has been bullied. I don’t track the logic exactly, and I don’t think Peter is well equipped to untangle this web. He basically says “this is frustrating for me, let’s go back.” I’m pretty sure there is a better way to address this than to convey allegations back and forth between two roommates using their mutual boyfriend as the conduit. Kelsey says “there’s a difference between me saying some not-nice words to her face and bullying.” Maybe? I feel like Peter could have told her it depends on what those not-nice words were and how she said them, but Kelsey escapes into the women’s room where the cameras can’t follow her. And that’s the show for the week!