We pick up where we left off: in Cleveland watching the rose ceremony. It looks like we are scheduled for a three-hour episode tonight and another episode on Wednesday. My week is going to be about as fun as the week of the person who developed the Iowa Caucus App for the Democratic Party.
The women are very upset that Peter brought Alayah back, though Natasha finally makes a pun on her name, saying “she made her bed and she has to Ah-lay-uh in it.” Pretty good! Peter takes Alayah away from the cocktail party to rescue her and tell her that he likes her. Alayah has probably made enough of a splash right now, so sticking around for this might just be enduring unnecessary suffering. It might be smart for her to give the rose back and leave with her head held high, having exposed Victoria P as the real pageant liar. But Peter isn’t going to let Alayah make that decision because he has decided to walk her out. This is a remarkably bad decision on the heels of other bad decisions. I think Peter might be extremely bad at this. Even Colton is like “dude, seriously?”
Let’s recap quickly: Peter dumped Alayah because Victoria P told him she was dishonest. Then Alayah came back to clear her name, and Peter brought her back because he had a connection and didn’t want to send her home in the first place. When she was back, Alayah essentially explained to Peter that it was Victoria P who was being dishonest all along. But the other women were upset at Alayah because she used the internet after she’d been kicked off the show, so Peter sent her home AGAIN after telling her that he really likes her and they have a connection. She had a rose and everything.
Peter paces around in the driveway of this Cleveland mansion for a while and then comes back to deliver some roses. First he tells the women that he is “only human” and “makes mistakes” and is “wishy washy” and then pretends that he knew Alayah was not the woman for him. Because it is Hannah B! Just kidding, or not. Peter reassures the women, re-earning their love with his attention and status as the only man on the show and their ticket to a free trip and more instagram followers. It is almost as if we are waiting for something… Oh, right, Chris Harrison’s UberX finally drops him off at the mansion, so it is rose time.
Already with a rose are Victoria F, Kelsey, and no one else because Alayah is gone. The date group-date rose meant nothing! The remaining roses go to:
Madison – the basketball player he wants to marry
Sydney – the Alabaman with a white parent and a Black and Dominican parent
Natasha – the one who has threatened to leave on her own
Lexi – the redhead
Hannah Ann – the almost Miss Tennessee
Shiann – my favorite
Mykenna – the Canadian with the eyebrows
Victoria P – inexplicably succeeding
liar speaker of her truth
Kelley – the lawyer he knew from before
And the last rose goes to…
Tammy – the wrestler
Goodbye to Deandra, Kiarra, and Savannah. Deandra was surprised during the first episode to get a rose and seemed surprised not to get one this episode. She tells Peter “I am so confused.” Kiarra climbed out of a suitcase in the first episode but hasn’t made much of a splash, at least in what was televised. Savannah is also leaving, after telling the other women that Victoria P was a liar. Savannah is a Cassandra, it would seem. This could not have gone better for Victoria P, who got caught lying and somehow saw her biggest critics sent home.
Peter tells the women that they should grab their passports because they are heading to Costa Rica. “But we want to stay in Cleveland!” none of them responded.
Sydney One-on-one Date
We see that Costa Rica is very pretty, though when the women see Peter he is… less pretty than he was before? Peter walks up to the women with a big bandage on his face. He starts to tell a story about being attacked by a puma. But it was a joke! He managed to bust his head open getting onto a golf cart. They had a video. You should watch it. Seriously, he hit his head, somehow causing him to headbutt a pint glass and get 22 stitches.
The highlight of the season so far sorry someone had to say it ok #thebachelor
— Madison Monk (@maddiemonk94) February 4, 2020
Peter isn’t just there to lie about pumas, he has to pick up Sydney for a date that starts on a helicopter. Overreacting to this is Kelsey, the champagne queen of Des Moines, who seems to cry a lot because she hasn’t had a date since Cleveland in the last episode. Based on the previews this is foreshadowing for Kelsey’s imminent descent into madness.
The helicopter takes Peter and Sydney above the jungle and they look at mountains and volcanoes and forests and waterfalls. Costa Rica is pretty, y’all. For some damn reason Peter carries Sydney on his back from the helicopter to some random cushions on a hilltop in Costa Rica. They have champagne and Peter manages to not disfigure himself with his champagne flute. Peter asks Sydney about her parents again, even though she told him a few weeks ago about her background (I know this because it is how I described Sydney in the discussion of the last rose ceremony). Peter then tells Sydney “do you know you’re the best kisser?” That seems meaningful considering he is kissing like ten women on the reg right now. Though he might be telling them all that. Oh well, they kiss more, and presumably get on the helicopter at some point because they end up at dinner by a swimming pool.
This was a very pretty date, featuring beautiful Costa Rica, beautiful Sydney, beautiful Peter, and a picturesque dinner by the pool. Sydney tells Peter again that she was raised by a single mother. Sydney has seen her father five times in her life. These dinners tend to be focused on trauma in the contestant’s background, which is an uncomfortable pattern. Kelley notes this when she finds out that she will have a one-on-one date, saying essentially that she doesn’t have a “sob story” to tell Peter.
Sydney’s trauma starts with “I was a mixed-race kid in Alabama” and you can probably guess the rest (or you heard it the last time she told it to Peter). Peter says he wants to be Sydney’s rock and he gives her the date rose. Then they go to the pool to swim in the dark and do a whole lot of kissing. I guess the bandage over Peter’s stitches is waterproof.
Cattle Call Group Date
Shiann, Kelsey, Victoria F, Madison, Natasha, Victoria P, Lexi, Hannah Ann, Tammy, and Mykenna are summoned to a date, leaving Kelley with the final one-on-one. Before the date starts Tammy tries to talk some sense into Kelsey, who is very jealous of Sydney getting a date with Peter. Kelsey is concerned that Peter is dating other people. She also says of Sydney “she is a dramatic bitch” which is a bold ending to a sentence that began “I like her, but…”
Tammy tells Kelsey that this is what the show is. I feel for Tammy here. It is very clear from the outset that this show involves dating a guy who is dating other women. If that is a dealbreaker, don’t go on the show. But I also understand that Kelsey can know something in her brain and feel something else in her heart while pounding goblets of wine. And I suppose Kelsey would like to think that in her moment of weakness she would be able to confide in someone who isn’t turning around and badmouthing her in front of a national television audience.
Then Tammy tells the camera that Kelsey is “a hot mess” and puts it into perspective with “she cried for four days over a champagne bottle, I didn’t cry that much when my grandpa died.”
This group date is a photo shoot, and the photos are going to be in/by a waterfall. It is a picturesque place to kiss your boyfriend and watch nine of your roommates kiss your boyfriend. Jessica Pels, EIC of Cosmo is there. The competition I guess is to be on the cover of Cosmo. After a bunch of pictures are taken of people in swimsuits, Jessica Pels claims one person stood out from the rest of the group to be on the cover with Peter. And, coincidentally, it is the incredibly photogenic model Victoria F. What are the odds? Should be fun to go to the grocery store with Chase Rice in March. Also, bold choice for Cosmo to put the face of the White Lives Matter ad campaign on their cover.
Peter has pleasant interactions with many of the women in the cocktail portion of the date and then he talks to Kelsey. Kelsey tells Peter she likes him a whole lot and she is “falling in love with” Peter. Peter kisses her and says “I have thought about you so much.”
Tammy has been thinking about Kelsey too, and also talking a little shit about her to the other women. According to Tammy, Kelsey has been drowning her sorrows in wine and having mental breakdowns. And according to Natasha, Kelsey thinks all of the other women are fake. Tammy is probably correct that Kelsey is nuts, and nuts to think that she needs to tell Peter this. But Tammy tells Peter that “Kelsey was having a mental breakdown” and “sitting by herself crying her eyes out” and “drinking excessively.” Tammy probably hasn’t paid attention to Peter’s investigatory style, which is telling the person what was said about her, and who said it. Right on cue, Peter steals Kelsey and is like “someone says you’re a crazy drunk who is having mental breakdowns, any thoughts?”
Kelsey returns to the group and is like “who said I was emotionally unstable?” Kelsey says she is “proud” that she “cries in front of people.” Oddly Lexi and Natasha sort of jump in on team “emotionally unstable” by pointing out that not everyone has had a one-on-one date and also reminding Kelsey what she said about Sydney. Victoria F, says “it takes a strong woman to get through this, and what you need to remember is to be that.” Shockingly sick burn from Victoria F!
Peter returns to grab the group date rose and give it to Hannah Ann. Kelsey now knows that “I’m falling in love with you” didn’t get her a rose and also that one of her roommates is discussing her mental state behind her back.
Kelley One-on-one Date
Kelley and Peter met in a hotel lobby before the show but since then the Chicago attorney hasn’t had a ton of time with Peter. This one-on-one date should change that. Peter seems to have read a lot into a chance meeting with Kelley, but he wants proof that Kelley is interested in him. They will be going on a “spiritual” date hosted by Pia and Ricardo. Ricardo has dreadlocks and Pia has a nose septum piercing, so this is meant to be weird. I get the sense there is an ayahuasca option that Peter and Kelley opted out of. Instead there are candles and smoke and they write some things on folders. Pia tells us that “the male candle is melting toward the female candle and the female candle is pushing back.” That is suspiciously on point, Pia! Peter wants Kelley to like him, and he actually says “I feel like I’m giving more than she is.” Umm… you’re getting paid and dating eleven other people, neither of those things are true of Kelley.
Once they ditch Pia and Ricardo, Peter cuts to the chase with Kelley about wanting to know her heart is “in this.” Peter is worried that Kelley is complacent about this process, and Kelley’s assertion that she could be “having more fun” is not what Peter was hoping for, since this seems not fun for him. Kelley says she is on the same page as Peter, and manages to sneak a dig at Hannah Ann in. This will be awkward for Hannah Ann when she watches the show with her fiancee Kelley. Kelley manages to turn it around on Peter, suggesting he is “rewarding the drama” like a guy who isn’t ready to marry Kelley. She does say he should “cut it in the butt.” That is not the saying! And not something to say to a guy who slashed his own face with a golf cart and a pint glass.
Peter asks Kelley what she wants out of the show, and Kelley says “we could for sure be like engaged.” But Kelley is not comfortable with that now. Kelley wants to be challenged and “have another half to a power couple.” Kelley almost sounds disappointed that she might have convinced Peter to keep her on the show. Alas, he gives her the rose, so she’s stuck with him for another week. Peter’s reason is he “knows this process can work.” “Because I’m still in love with Hannah B” he does not add.
This is a bad decision by Peter, but not the worst one of the episode by a long shot. Kelley and Peter get to make out under a waterfall, which I believe makes it a clean sweep of 12 women Peter has kissed in a water feature this episode. We seem to have 45 minutes left, and the only drama left is Kelsey-centric unless you count the mysteriously absent Iowa Caucus Results.
Cocktail Party and Rose Ceremony, Etc.
Tammy has developed a good niche on the show, in that she is good on camera and a solid narrator. But Tammy and Peter have no connection and Tammy hates Kelsey. Tammy loses her caucus viability by saying “if Peter sees the real Kelsey, he will send back to wherever the fuck Iowa is.” Ouch! Maybe Tammy could appreciate the similarity to her situation if she knew more about Iowa?
you are either following the bachelor or the caucus but either way you are watching a pete get attention he does not deserve
— Eva Victor (@evaandheriud) February 4, 2020
Kelsey sits down with Tammy to address whether Tammy thinks Kelsey is crazy. This conversation is uncomfortable and also a good distillation of why Tammy and Kelsey are good contestants for the show and maybe not people Peter should marry. We will see them again when the Women Tell All and I don’t want to belabor the point, but what starts as a cordial conversation degrades into some pretty unhelpful and aggressive accusations, Kelsey crying, and Tammy ending things with the line “you can continue to wither yourself away in bottles of wine, have fun, I’m done.”
Kelsey escapes the lady area of the resort and tracks down Peter to tell him some lies such as “I am on good terms with a lot of the girls now and have apologized.” Peter assures Kelsey that they have a good connection, and seems untroubled by terms like “mental breakdown” and “drinking problem” that Tammy used. I mean even Coach Monica on Cheer thinks Peter is ignoring some warning signs here. As soon as Peter reassures her of the strength of his feelings, Kelsey calls Tammy out for the things she thinks Tammy has accused her of, including a new accusation of “popping pills.” Peter suggests that Tammy is jealous, though his admission to Kelsey that he “wants someone to want [him] as much as he wants them” may explain why he gravitates toward people like her.
Peter assures Kelsey he “really sees something” with her he doesn’t need a rose ceremony, so he gives Kelsey a rose. This is pretty much curtains for Tammy in any rational world, but Peter has not displayed much rationality thus far. He has basically only displayed a willingness to ignore red flags if they are waving over a blond beauty queen. Peter tells Kelsey to “sport that rose proudly.”
When Kelsey returns she is carrying a rose and she sees all of the women sitting together. Kelsey goes up to them and says “we had a talk.” Kelsey basically says, “I went to see Peter, he gave me a rose, cool? Cool.” We get narratively-appropriate footage of a storm rolling in and a lot of women at the house talking shit about Kelsey and doing their hair for the cocktail party. Joke is on them, because Chris Harrison tells the women there is no cocktail party, so it is rose-ceremony time.
Tammy asks Kelsey if she mentioned Tammy, and Kelsey acknowledges that she did. That and Kelsey returning with a rose are very concerning to Tammy. Kelsey says she is “genuinely sorry” about sneaking off to see Peter, and Lexi, Natasha, and Mykenna think it is Kelsey that cost them the cocktail party. I think Kelsey is genuinely sorry that it blew back on her the way it did, and that is Peter’s fault. Everyone’s beef is probably with Peter in reality, but they take it out on Kelsey for talking to Peter and then a bit on Tammy for I guess being such a source of house drama and pushing Kelsey over the edge. Lexi helpfully shoots down Tammy’s denial that she ever mentioned Kelsey “popping pills.” Tammy notes that “popping pills” came from Victoria P, which is not surprising. But somehow it all turns into a fight between Sydney and Tammy, because Sydney is sick of Tammy’s shit and has had to listen to her a lot. Tammy getting in a fight with two women who have roses is not a great idea, and Mykenna kind of has a solo meltdown about not getting a cocktail party. Notably Hannah Ann and Madison are off together, far enough away that they can barely hear Sydney and Tammy yelling at each other. As frontrunners they seem to have access to a VIP cabana or something.
There are six roses to be given out, and Sydney, Hannah Ann, Kelley, and Kelsey have roses already. That means two people will go home. But first, Tammy says she needs to talk to Peter. Peter is like “ugh, fine.” But the other women all hate Tammy and recall that Peter is very easily convinced to do things by the last person he talked to. While Tammy is trying to tell Peter that she wasn’t malicious, Mykenna interrupts Tammy. Lexi is like “well, I guess I’ll go next.” When Mykenna returns Lexi is kind of pissed at her, though she doesn’t follow through on her joking threat to force Peter to have a cocktail party after all.
In order the roses go to:
Victoria F – Cosmo March cover girl, white lives matter pitchwoman
Madison – frontrunner, player of boring basketball
Natasha – has threatened to quit, somehow Peter won’t let her leave
Victoria P – Miss Louisiana, liar
Mykenna – eyebrows, very upset about not having a cocktail party
And the last rose goes to…
Tammy – overrated high school wrestler (her 7-1 record included 7 victories by forfeit and a loss by pin in 26 seconds if this random website is to be believed)
Tough beat for my girl Shiann and for Lexi, who deserved better. Though if they deserved better than Peter, this is a win? Lexi cries when saying goodbye to the women and suggests that Tammy and Mykenna stealing time at the end might have cost her another week and another chance to connect with Peter. Shiann, my favorite, drops the “some of the girls who are here are not showing you who they really are.” Always a good idea on the way out to plant a seed of doubt about your former roommates. Maybe she will have better luck with Pilot Hunk?
We are back at this in 48 hours. Or 45, I guess. Maybe by then they will finish counting the votes in Iowa?