The Bachelorreturned for the first of two episodes this week with an extended three-hour extravaganja that found Peter Weber hitting his head and continuing to make bad decisions. The producers must believe they have enough good content to support flooding the market this week, because that's a lot of Bach. Like five whole minutes of Chris Harrison. Did Part 1 justify its excess? I think so!
The show began the resumption of last week's cocktail party of hate, with everyone laying into Alayah, who returned last week after being eliminated. The girls accused Alayah of just being there for the rose and to be on TV, which is the pot calling the kettle black for all of them. It's a TV show. Peter pulled Alayah aside and told her he cared about her and they had a connection, but her presence on the show was too much. It was bad for her and bad for him, too. So he sent her home. She agreed that it was too much. "I'm sorry I made this so damn hard for you," she cried. Dry your eyes, Alayah, you're going to Paradise.
The girls were happy to see Alayah go, but they were worried about Peter's mental and emotional state. He apologized for seeming wishy-washy, but assured them he knows what he wants, and it's all of them. He immediately pulled Natasha, who had given him to most static about Alayah, and he apologized to her for putting her through all that. And then he apologized to everyone else, too, and reassured them individually. Peter was chastened and took responsibility for making a mistake, but he was ready to move forward. And the girls tentatively started to have a good time again. But then it was time for the rose ceremony. Madison, Sydney, Natasha, Lexi, Hannah Ann, Shiann, Mykenna, Victoria P., Kelley, and Tammy got roses. Kiarra, Deandra, and I think Kylie? Maybe Courtney? got sent home. Deandra was mad, because she expected that telling Peter about how angry she was with him all week would set her apart in a good way. Then it was off to Costa Rica. We're going international!
In Costa Rica, Kelley continued to prove she's the most normal, reasonable person in the house, saying that she wanted to spend time with Peter but knew that he was dating about a dozen other women, so she was just going to try to have fun on her trip.
Peter arrived with stitches on his head, and the women of course wanted to know what happened. Peter told them a fake story about a fight with a puma, because that was better than the real story, which was that when he hit his head on the roof of a golf cart, it ricocheted into a glass he was holding, which shattered into his forehead. The show did a reenactment, and then showed the actual security camera footage from the hotel where it happened of Peter doing the bonk-smash. What a treat!
Sydney got a one-on-one, and they took a helicopter ride over the jungle. Peter has done something aviation-related on every one-on-one so far this season, hasn't he? He must have told the producers "I'm a pilot. I literally only want to fly." It's like if I were the Bachelor and every date was me watching The Bachelor. Ladies, I'm single.
Peter told Sydney she was mysterious, and she said "I get that all the time." Which just means that she doesn't talk about herself. She speaks a little Spanish, so Peter spoke Spanish to her. He told her she's the best kisser of the girls, which honestly is going to keep her in the game for awhile. She accidentally clunked her head against his stitches, which hurt him and made him shake, which she noted because women on The Bachelor are only capable of processing emotions through literally shaking. "I hate that for you," she said, which was an interesting choice of words. "I love/hate that for you/me/us" is a meme phrase that has really taken root in the vocabulary of American millennials in the past few months. I don't know where it came from, and I won't miss it when it recedes from meme-dom.
The show then did some great editing. Kelley found out she was going on a one-on-one, and she felt weird because she didn't have a sob story to open up to Peter about to make her understand her. Cut to Sydney telling Peter that she's only seen her father five times since her parents divorced when she was little, and she was raised poor by her single mother, and she was bullied for being mixed-race. She put the whole personal trauma story out there, and then was rewarded for it with the rose. Sydney lacks the sophistication to make the one-on-one date transaction of personal trauma for a rose seem natural, which the editing called attention to.
Back at the hotel, Kelsey couldn't stop crying over other girls going on dates with Peter, and Tammy was over it. Tammy is tough, and she doesn't like weakness. And Kelsey's emotional instability makes her look weak to Tammy, and Tammy says what's on her mind, so she told the other girls what she thinks about Kelsey.
The group date was a fashion shoot for Cosmopolitan at the base of a waterfall. The winner would receive a really fantastic prize: the cover of Cosmo's March issue. Surely a dream come true for every single one of them. While posing for a photo with Peter and two other girls, Victoria F. started making out with him, and Peter kissed her back, which is a pretty classless move, tbh. Hannah Ann kissed him during the shoot, too.
Victoria F. was chosen as the winner. Don't look for her on newsstands later this month, though.
The other girls had to watch them kiss, knowing that kiss would soon be on the cover of Cosmo (or not). Psychological torture that Kelsey in particular was having a hard time with. She said she hates competing with other women and recedes into the background in group situations.
At the cocktail party, Natasha said that the group date didn't have any real conflict, but who knows what will happen tonight. Foreboding! Victoria F. has a bad personality and glossed over talking about how much fun she had winning a date that will put her on the cover of Cosmo to complain about celebrating a birthday two days prior. "I'm 26, it's depressing," she whined. Peter told her he liked her, and she basically rolled her eyes at him.
Kelsey told Peter she was falling in love with him. Tammy felt the need to warn Peter about Kelsey's instability, and told him that she was crying all the time and drinking excessively. Peter, a dumbass, pulled Kelsey aside and said "So I heard you had a mental breakdown." Kelsey said she didn't have a breakdown, she was just crying a lot because she was sad, but she was livid when she when back to other girls. "So, do we want to talk about who said I was emotionally unstable today?"
The other girls ganged up on Kelsey, telling her that she needs to chill out and stop crying all the time and being annoying. Kelsey's attitude was like, "Sorry I process my emotions differently than you dead-inside snoozes. The fact that I'm crying all the time actually means I'm strong."
"You cried over a champagne bottle for four days," Tammy said.
Hannah Ann got the group date rose despite barely registering on TV during the date. That's how you do it!
It was time for Kelley's date. She seemed kind of subdued. In an ITM, Peter said that his relationship with Kelley started strong but had kind of plateaued, so he needed to see a lot more from her today. It was the least blandly positive thing Peter had said so far this season. They met up with some hippie shamans, who lit some phallic candles and had them write out their intentions. Peter just was not getting the energy he needed from Kelley, because Kelley was so reserved. Kelley couldn't commit to the process, and Peter was very frustrated. After weeks of indecision, Peter knows what he wants now. Kelley needs to s--- or get off the pot.
Back at the hotel, Kelsey and Tammy got into it about Tammy talking to Peter about Kelsey. Tammy concern-trolled Kelsey about her drinking, and Kelsey got upset. "I'm trying to have a conversation with you, and you're getting emotional," Tammy said. Tammy has a lot of masculine traits. Kelsey started to cry, proving Tammy's point, and Tammy walked away from the conversation.
Back on the date, Peter told Kelley he needed to know her heart was in it. She said she was trying to have fun, and Peter said he wasn't trying to have fun, he was trying to find a wife. And Kelley was like "Are you, though?" Because she thought he was doing stuff he wouldn't be doing if he was serious, like rewarding people who cause drama. She said that if this were the end of the journey, she wouldn't feel comfortable getting engaged. Peter's face was tense. But she said she was going to try. She wasn't out of the game yet. He picked up the rose, and told her he needed her to give herself to the process. She accepted the rose. But Kelley is too normal and well-adjusted to fully give herself over to Bachelor World. The relative gravity of the conversation really underscored how frivolous this season has been so far.
The next morning, Tammy was still complaining about Kelsey's emotional instability and drinking. Tammy, I like you and want you to succeed, which is why I want you to stop talking about Kelsey. It's only making you look bad and ruining your game. We know what happens to people who focus their energy on conflicts with other contestants instead of their relationship with the lead. Kelsey went and talked to Peter and talked about how mean the other girls were being to her, and Peter said some bland platitudes about how she needs to be herself. Then she specifically said it was Tammy who was talking about her drinking spreading a rumor that she was popping pills. Peter said. "Maybe she's jealous." Peter is somehow showing less depth as the season goes on. He gave her a rose there in his hotel room, though, to reassure her that he cares about her. But it just made Kelsey anxious about how the other women will react.
And her worst fears were confirmed. She went back to the hotel, rose in hand, and the other girls were so unhappy to see her. She explained that she went to talk to Peter, and he gave her the rose, and she just wanted things to go smoothly without drama. The girls just stared daggers at her and said nothing. It was brutal.
The girls gathered for the cocktail party, and then Chris Harrison showed up and said the party was canceled and they were going straight to the rose ceremony, because Peter had the clarity he needed. The girls blamed Kelsey. Tammy wanted to know what Kelsey said about her. When Kelsey told her, Tammy denied saying that she said Kelsey popped pills. She did say that, though. And Kelsey does take pills. "Adderall and birth control." Which, you know, is mixing uppers and downers. And then, somehow, it turned into a fight between Sydney and Tammy, as Sydney inserted herself into the drama. It was like Tammy got caught slipping and Sydney pounced. Tammy looked slightly duplicitous for a minute, and Sydney jumped on it. Sydney may not be book-smart, but she knows intuitively when to attack. You know, like a bully. Sydney called Tammy crazy at the end of a full-on screaming match.
Finally, it was time for the rose ceremony. Before they began, Tammy blurted out that she wanted to talk to Peter. She asked him if he canceled the cocktail party because of something she said. And then Mykenna, who was melting down over not getting any time with Peter, went to talk to him. She asked if she could steal him for a sec. They ended up having a little cocktail party after all! The other girls were so mad at Mykenna. Everyone was just so keyed up, like they'd been drinking champagne and railing Adderall.
Victoria F. got the first rose, followed by Madison, Natasha, Victoria P., Mykenna, and Tammy. So it was farewell to Shiann and Lexi. Shiann warned him that not every girl is who she says she is.
Whew. What a marathon. And we're not finished yet! See you Wednesday.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. Episodes are available to stream on Hulu the following day.