Welcome to week three! We’re still in “who’s that?” territory, with so very many contestants. Last night the women wrestled each other, perhaps the most literal group date in “Bachelor” history, during which Bekah wins the rose. After a one-on-one date to Napa wine country, Lauren S. gets sent home. And the season will need a new villain now that Bibiana has been sent home.
Best moment: Bekah telling Arie she doesn’t need him
Bekah exudes confidence, and it’s working. She doesn’t trash-talk other contestants (buh-bye, Bibiana!); she climbs rocks and throws down in the wrestling ring. At the heart of that confidence is her lack of desperation. In a private moment, Arie tells Bekah he’s really into her — and rather than him explaining why, she does: “I think you know that I don’t need you,” Bekah says. “You say you’ve been attracted consistently to people who need you more than you need them. It’s scary to be with someone who doesn’t need you to complete them.”
She’s obviously right, because Arie responds by saying: “Who are you and where do you come from?”
She comes from the future, Arie. Where women don’t need men to complete them, but will take the right one if he comes along.
Last month when I sat down with Andi Dorfman, a former “Bachelor” contestant and “Bachelorette,” she recognized this important difference between needing a man and wanting one. “If you need a man, you’re screwed. They can sniff that out real fast,” Dorfman said. “I also think that when you just want somebody, there’s an aura of confidence that kind of is intriguing to men.”
It sure seems to be.
Worst moment: The disastrous one-on-one date with Lauren S.
A private plane to Napa Valley, a tour of a beautiful winery, a romantic dinner for two — quite the “Bachelor” one-on-one date, right? Well, in theory. But it all fell apart for poor Lauren S., who blamed herself for being “all over the place.”
In truth, she and Arie just had zero chemistry. Unlike some contestants who delude themselves into thinking everything is going well, at least Lauren S. (a 31-year-old social media manager from Dallas) admitted that it was a disaster. “This date is a freaking wreck,” she said during an on-camera interview, adding that she was really anxious.
“I can’t pinpoint why, cause he, as a human, doesn’t make me nervous,” Lauren S. said. “But for some reason, I’m not being me in this situation.”
Hmm … maybe because you’re surrounded by cameras? During the “getting to know each other” dinner conversation, Lauren went on about her ex-boyfriend; that one time when her mom got an eye infection; and how music is a “really big” part of her life. It was very awkward. Arie didn’t help matters, as he just looked extremely bored and didn’t contribute much to the conversation.
At the end of the date, Arie tantalizingly held up a rose. “I really, really wanted this for us. But I’m sorry,” he said. “I can’t give you this.”
Arie explained that he didn’t want to waste her time, and that “the spark just isn’t there.” Lauren S., to her credit, didn’t look especially surprised — or disappointed.
Twitter had other ideas about why it didn’t work out for Lauren S.:
Is Lauren suddenly getting a bad date edit so that we don’t question why Arie dumped the only girl who’s semi age appropriate? #theBachelor
Arie knows nothing about Lauren S., but she’s over 30 and employed, so naturally she's gonna go home this week #TheBachelor
Lauren S is beautiful, smart, accomplished, and age-appropriate.
And Arie is 0% interested.#TheBachelor
The weirdest moment: A group date in a wrestling ring?!
There’s nothing weirder than when a show gets wildly self-referential. Having the women compete in a faux-televised cat fight, based on a show about faux-televised cat fights, on a show about faux-televised cat fights is perhaps the most introspective moment on television since Maeve tried to escape from the park on Westworld.
Host Chris Harrison dubs this group date to a wrestling “GLOB,” which stands for the Gorgeous Ladies of the Bachelor. It isn’t the sexiest acronym, but it doesn’t stop “Bachelor” producers from reaching as far back into the closets at Party City to pull out costumes for a sexy kitten, a sexy lunch lady and a sexy bridezilla.
Arie took the group date as an opportunity to let everyone know that he isn’t so “uptight,” while literally wearing a button-up shirt and tie to a wrestling match. At least the producers took this moment to pander to, well, me (Garrett and all the other gay men watching), by kicking off the wrestling match with Arie getting slammed by a shirtless “professional” wrestler (former “Bachelorette” contestant Kenny King). At first it looked like Arie was down for the count, but defying the laws of reality (this is “The Bachelor,” after all!) he eventually bested King.
Bizarre, campy and void of any actual romantic potential, GLOB was a true testament to the fact that “The Bachelor” is indeed on its 22nd season and perhaps could use yet another spinoff. Here’s an idea:
Give me #TheBachelor real-life-trauma spin-off we deserve.
Second weirdest moment(s): More childhood trauma from Annaliese
Last week we learned about the reality of adults living with childhood bumper car trauma; this week we learned, through another creepy flashback, that Annaliese also experienced canine trauma. Personally, I get it. I was attacked by a family friend’s Rottweiler in my youth, but I don’t get any staged reenactments to explain why I can’t make it through a date with a dog-lover. After Arie “the kissing bandit” Luyendyk tells Annaliese he doesn’t think they’re ready to kiss, and he doesn’t see a future together, it’s time for her exit. Another trauma for the list! I can’t wait for “After the Final Rose,” where I’m sure we’ll get a reenactment of Annaliese walking away from the mansion.