Ben Higgins likes emotionally unavailable women. During his one-on-one date with Caila, he tells her about how he feels unlovable, because the women he's loved before did not return in kind. He has a pattern of giving more love than he receives. And the frontrunners on The Bachelor all seem pretty unavailable. Caila, for instance, lives in a fantasy world. Her last relationship was with a man she met on a plane, but they didn't exchange info, then she ran into him on the street in Boston two weeks later. She thought they were fated to be together, but it didn't work out.
"I was waiting for my heart to catch up with the story of us meeting on the plane," she says. This is a person who is not ready to be in a serious relationship, because reality will never live up to her idealized version of how things should be, which is probably what drew her to The Bachelor in the first place. There's also dainty blonde Lauren B, who got almost no face time this week, but Ben still sought her out to let her know he was thinking about her. He's obviously attracted to her in a way that he doesn't seem to be for most of the other girls, who would push their mother down the stairs for him to pay attention to them. Lauren's response? A noncommittal "Mhm." She says she'd be fine if she got sent home, because she learned about herself and made some new friends. She doesn't say "I'd be devastated," which the other girls probably would, and this surely is part of what is attracting Ben. He's more into her than she's into him.
Anyway, a lot happened in this episode. Ice Cube and Kevin Hart stopped by to promote Ride Along 2, and there were ridiculous group dates and plenty of shade-throwing. Jojo, Caila, and Olivia were singled out for roses, Samantha, Mandi, and Jackie were eliminated, and Lauren "LB" left of her own accord.
Behold, your most awkward moments:
7. Jackie can't bob for apples.
Poor Jackie. The only thing we really know about her so far is that she sucks at bobbing for apples. During the high school group date challenge, her team was the first eliminated because she couldn't catch one of those slippery apples. "Jackie is not good with her mouth, unfortunately," Lauren H. snarks, implying that if Jackie can't bob for apples, what other oral skills is she lacking? That must be why she got the boot.
6. Hot-tubbing with Kevin Hart.
Honestly, the most awkward part of this is how unsanitary I presume that hot tub to be. All hot tubs are notorious bacteria incubators, and one out in the middle of the showroom floor for anyone to steep their teabag in seems extra germy. Unless being right under the watchful eye of technicians means it's cleaner? Probably, though, this one was just set up for filming and there isn't normally a display hot tub in the store. I've never shopped for a hot tub, so maybe it's common practice and I'm just uncultured, but it just seems like something the people who work there would rather not deal with. In any case, trying to have a first date in a hot tub while Kevin Hart is in the hot tub with you and interrupting your conversation with fart jokes seems less than ideal. Add in Ice Cube scowling at you, and it just seems super uncomfortable. It's supposed to be uncomfortable, of course, but in this case the producers of The Bachelor seemed to have made it even more uncomfortable than they meant to. Even perpetually bubbly Caila's smile went from weird pod-person to trying to hide her frustration when she talked about wanting Hart to leave them alone.
5. LB leaves the show.
This was supposed to be the jaw-dropper of the show, but it mostly just felt like it was a relief for Other Lauren B., a.k.a. LB. She seemed introverted and overwhelmed, and the pressure of the show got to be too much for the self-described quiet girl. Ben calls her name to give her a rose, and she pulls him aside and tells him she can't do it. The other girls are like "whaaaaat?" but more power to her, I say. It takes courage to quit, and it takes maturity to admit that something isn't right for you. And now there's only one Lauren B., as is the natural order of things. I bet Ben is still texting LB every day, though. Rejection probably makes him want her more.
When the girls get to the Love Lab, they're greeted by a robot version of the possibly unethical doctor who runs the place. It's a basically a livestream of his face on an iPad hooked up to a selfie stick on top of a Roomba. It's totally unnecessary, as he was only like 15 feet away, and he was super corny about it, saying "Give me some help with this door, I don't have any arms right now."
3. Pheromone testing.
Once they were fully inside the Love Lab, things really got weird. They were going to be tested for chemical compatibility with Ben, which meant they had to run on treadmills until they got sweaty enough to give off an odor. Then Ben, blindfolded, would sniff all over their bodies to see if they smelled good, including the "glands right by your reproductive organs," as Dr. Robot helpfully explained. This has to be a nightmare situation for these women, who surely put a lot of effort into making sure they smell good at all times. Shushanna, who does in fact speak English, is worried that she'll smell like cabbage, because she's still very Russian. They mostly didn't have to worry, though, because Ben likes how they smell. One of the twins is "flowery." The other is like "a giant raspberry" (get out of here, Dr. Robot. You're creepy). Amanda is "beachy." Shushanna is "very flowery." (Is cabbage a flower?) Olivia is "very sweet." Samantha, however, smells sour. Sour! For the next part of the Love Lab Experiment, they go into a little room in their underwear and see how much body heat they generate while getting really close to each other without kissing. Pretty awkward because everyone can see. Samantha is cold in the heat test, too, while Olivia is the warmest. They have chemistry! How do you compete with that? It's science. Olivia got another rose, while cold, smelly Samantha got sent home.
2. Lace is the worst.
Lace, who we learned is exceptionally tall, continued to be the worst person in the house. At the beginning of the episode, she was contrite for her behavior the night before, saying, "I got a little too drunk, a little too emotional. That wasn't me, let's start over." She then proceeds to get drunk and cry and make everyone hate her. She's rude, she's hostile, she's all up in everybody's business, and worst of all, she keeps interrupting. She's interrupted other contestants' one-on-one time with Ben four times now! Ben is clearly getting fed up with her insincere apologies for acting crazy. If she sticks around past next week, it will only be from producer manipulation. The worst, after all the arrogant bluster, is her tearful meltdown about how she ruined her chances with Ben by letting her true insecure self show. Unfortunately, she's probably right. But not by showing vulnerability, which would be humanizing, but by showing her desperation. I will feel sorry for Lace once I don't have to watch her, because she seems like a very unhappy person. Anyway, Jubilee has the best Lace disses, because Jubilee dislikes Lace so much she can't be bothered to learn her name. She keeps calling her "Lacey."
1. Becca and Jojo don't know American geography.
"I think this will be easy," Ben says before the geography portion the school group date challenge, but how very wrong he is. No one does a great job of correctly placing Ben's home state of Indiana on a map of the United States, but no one does a worse job than Becca and Jojo, who think Idaho might be Oregon. They would have done a good job if they were trying to place Pennsylvania on the map, but they are not. It's not easy to embarrass a Bachelor contestant, who are by definition shameless, but Becca and Jojo are genuinely humiliated. "I think my kindergarteners would have a better chance than Becca and Jojo," says Lauren H., who has established herself as the burn queen.
If you have other awkward moments, let us know in the comments!