The Bachelor entered the post-#ChampagneGate era, with everyone still reeling from Kelsey and Hannah Ann's tension bubbling over last week, Get it? You get it. The girls didn't seem to have a sense of humor about it, which seems like a missed opportunity, because it was hilarious. Victoria P. was surely happy to get out of the house and go one a one-on-one date with Peter Weber.
They went to a Western clothing store that I'm pretty sure the show has gone to before and bought cowboy hats, and then went line dancing. Peter is a country boy from Los Angeles. They made out a lot.
Back at the house, Kelsey and Hannah Ann sat down to try to talk their situation out. Kelsey said that being called a bully is a curse, and apologized for calling Hannah Ann names, but said that's not bullying. Hannah Ann just wanted to move on from the whole "finasco," but Kelsey wouldn't let her. "You told me to stay the f--- away from you," Hannah Ann said. "Oh, we're gonna make this about me now?" Kelsey's grip on reality seems distressingly tenuous.
During the dinner portion of the date, Victoria P. told Peter about her difficult upbringing. Her father died and her mother was an addict, so Victoria had to take care of her sister. She cried while talking about how her childhood made her feel unworthy of love, but she feels like she has a future with Peter, and Peter does too. He prayed that God would watch over whoever his person was, and when he said that, he saw a shooting star. And she could be here right now, he said. He gave Victoria the rose. Victoria's story is moving, and it always kind of bums me out how the show flattens people's real lives into formulaic cliches. Last season, Caelynn opened up to Colton about being sexually assaulted in a scene that felt very similar to this one, and happened at around the same time in the season. Every season it's the same.
Back at the house, Alayah was talking about how she wasn't really a nice pageant girl, she's wild. Sydney felt like there was something off about Alayah, and didn't want to be around her. Seeds being planted. New drama brewing.
The next morning, franchise favorite Demi Burnett and her "henchwomen" showed up and woke the girls up with loud noises and pillows to the face. I guess Demi and Peter are friends? They've never been on TV together, but they probably know each other from hangin' out. Demi had all the girls going on the group date put on lingerie, which Kierra pronounced "linger-y," like "Do you have to let it linger?" The date was a pillow fight. It was very undignified. Kelley thought of her clients, who might see her on TV in lingerie pillow fighting another woman. Sorry, Kelley, you signed the release. Fred Willard made his random once-per-season appearance to do play-by-play with Chris Harrison. The first match was between Tammy and Kelley. Tammy actually wrestled in high school, and she took it too far and got disqualified. Alayah and Sydney fought in the final, and Alayah won.
Alayah does seem a little rehearsed and stilted, and maybe like she's putting on a bit of a sexy baby voice. Peter seems to like Alayah, though, even though she "tried to open up and be vulnerable," which is not something you can just turn on, right? Kinda fake! "She has a positive, fun energy about her," Peter said. Sydney confronted Alayah about seeming rehearsed. "Do you work?" she asked Miss Texas, shadily. Don't do it, Syd. Focusing too much attention on another girl instead of your own game is going to bring you both down.
Sydney told Peter she's had a hard week. She feels like she's the opposite of the girls he seems into. She insinuated that not every girl is being genuine with him. Peter was very disturbed by this, because he doesn't want to fall for someone fake. He saw what happened to Hannah. He told the girls what Sydney said, and said he wanted to "squash this now." And Sydney said that Alayah puts it on. Wow, what a stressful confrontation. It was like a staff meeting at Bridgewater Associates, cameras included. Peter left, Sydney and Alayah fought some more, and then Alayah went to try to see where Peter's head was at. She turned on the waterworks, and Peter went "Oh my God" and put his face in his palm. He was confusion! He gave Sydney the rose. He probably wanted to give it to Kelley, who he actually likes, but he's gotta stir up some drama.
In lieu of a cocktail party, Chris Harrison said that there would be a pool party. Then Peter showed up and said he wasn't in the mood, and pulled Sydney aside, and she reassured him about watching out for snakes in the grass. Then Kelsey inserted herself into the drama, telling Peter that Alayah is fake, and Natasha said so, too. And Lexi said Alayah turns her voice up five octaves when she sees a camera. Alayah knew what was going on, and pulled Sydney aside. And Sydney did not do a good job defending herself when Alayah questioned her motives. She acted like it never even occurred to her that what she was doing was hurting Alayah. She asked Alayah if she had feelings, because Alayah acts like she's happy all the time. C'mon, Sydney. Tone it down.
Alayah talked to Peter, and Peter asked if she knows why the other girls think she's fake. She said it's because she chooses to be happy. Peter said he believes her, but wants her to not be a perfect pageant queen and just be normal. But then Nice Victoria P., who had been staying out of it, revealed that she new Alayah from the pageant circuit, and Alayah had asked her not to say anything about it. Victoria P. seemed to be sharing this from a genuine place, not a place of trying to ruin Alayah. Victoria P. seems like she has some moral fiber, which made her revelation even more devastating. Kind of incredible that two consecutive Bachelor seasons have had drama between pageant girls.
Peter asked Alayah about what Victoria said, and pure fear flashed in Alayah's eyes. She said she didn't want them knowing each other outside of the show to affect their chances on the show. Peter was unmoved by this line of reasoning, and was pretty done with Alayah. I'm pretty done with Alayah, too, to be honest. Pretty amazing to see her rise and fall so dramatically in half an episode.
Peter left the party and didn't come back until it was time for the rose ceremony. He gave out roses, but then it was time to give or not give one to Alayah, and Peter needed a minute. He walked outside, unsure of what to do. He felt like he might regret it if he sent Alayah home. When Peter came back, there were two roses on the stand, and Chris Harrison took one away. Peter gave the final rose to Mykenna. He had changed his mind about Alayah.
Kind of a grim episode, wasn't it? No one was having any fun. And Peter was regretting sending Alayah home after he did it. And the preview for next week's episode shows that Alayah comes back. What if she comes back for good? What a twist that would be!
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. Episodes are available to stream on Hulu the following day.