"The Bachelor" Rose Rundown: Man versus wild, everyone versus Krystal
It only took four weeks, but we finally got an episode of "The Bachelor" this season worth flinging a rose at. Krystal embracing her villainy! Tia and Caroline slagging her off! The Bekah-ning! It was a Monday night so entertaining that even Arie seemed conscious for most of the two hours (His control of the English language, on the other hand? Um, you know, uh, not amazing.)
Maybe I just like this episode because Chris Harrison sent Arie and the women off to Lake Tahoe. A change in scenery, after all, always does some good – and scenery doesn't get much better than Tahoe. I visited the gorgeous Nevada forest just two years ago, and even as somebody with nature tolerance slightly above Jake Gyllenhaal's character in "Bubble Boy," I was dumbfounded by the overwhelming beauty. Kendall is excited too, though less for the lively setting and more for the dead animals inside waiting to be taxidermied – or already stuffed and mounted on the walls of their swanky cabin. Kendall is in heaven – aka Bambi's hell.
After the girls requisite scampering around the new digs and shouting their new location from a balcony, the first date card arrives for Sienne. This would normally be the part where I crack a dismissive joke like, "Sienne, who you don't know," but after her one-on-one date with Arie, I not only know who she is but am now fully on #TeamSienne. She's so wonderful that she even manages to breathe some life into our leading mannequin.
He picks her up in a full-sized Hot Wheels truck and the two go parasailing on the lake right in front of the rest of the girls. Now, I almost died the last time I went parasailing, so I'd be screaming my cords off the entire time, but Sienne is coming up with thoughtful metaphors instead. After waxing poetic about parasailing, she and Arie have an oddly real and decent conversation on the beach, with her talking about representation and how women like her don't get their fairy tale endings in the media. She also can't wink. But the main thing is the two have really nice, pleasant, level-headed chemistry.
Then the two walk into a surprise concert – WHAA!? ON "THE BACHELOR"!? – where the likebirds (she's not ready to say the L-word quite yet) dance together while a room full of randos Snapchat it ... and then are likely prohibited from posting about it until ABC allows.
But enough of that actual sweet romance stuff; it's time to drop some women in the forest and see if they survive!
Arie's group date takes the ladies deep into the woods alongside former U.S. Special Forces officer and TV personality Mykel Hawke and his fellow badass wife Ruth England where they will learn how to survive the elements. Ruth explains to the women that while being alone with your loved one in the woods may sound romantic, that's not really the case. Sometimes, for instance, you'll have to drink your own piss out of a bottle.
So everyone goes off behind some rocks to pee into a canteen and drink the aftermath. Arie tries first, spits it up and then hands the stage over to the ladies. Jacqueline, bless her poor heart, almost takes a swig of her bottle before Arie dives in to say that he actually just drank apple juice, not urine. But wait, does that mean all the women still went off to pee in those bottles? I have questions.
In case urophilia isn't steamy enough for you, the date moves on to eating worms – an opportunity Jacqueline again jumps on with maybe too much aplomb. Meanwhile Krystal harrumphs about everyone else not getting how terrific she is. Between insecurely condescending to every other member of the show and taking on the role as Arie's unofficial spokesperson when he's not around, she is insufferable this episode – which means she's great TV. She's not quite Corinne-level cartoon villainy; instead, she's more of a get-under-your-skin irritating, "thinks she's so nice but everyone wants to introduce her to a smashed wine bottle" bad guy – and she really grew into the role nicely this episode.
The group then splits into three – with one getting to be with Arie while the others get stuck meandering lost through the woods. The audio guys play some fun jaunty music during this segment, but legitimately this is a horror movie. I've seen this film; it's called "The Descent," and it ends terribly for everyone involved. Meanwhile, as everyone else searches for civilization, Jenna looks at some pebbles. Hey, more charismatic than Arie!
Enough about man versus nature, however. It's time for the main event: Krystal versus, uh, everyone. After Arie's group makes it to their woodsy oasis, they all head to – where else? – the hot tub, where Krystal immediately cuddles up with Arie and his questionable underarm tattoos. But Tia and Caroline are done taking her snobbery and selfishness lying down, so the two start gently mock her from a splash away in the hot tub, enough so Krystal gets uncomfortable and Arie determines it's time to float toward the rest of the group.
And Krystal starts to unhinge.
While Lauren B. talks to Arie about spanking old butts and Kendall brings up her taxidermy army, Tia, Caroline and Krystal get into a war of words, with Krystal putting on an Oscar-worthy performance (nominations are tomorrow!) for Arie about the girls being mean. Meanwhile, Tia and Caroline just side-eye the whole ordeal, and IT'S AN ENCHANTMENT. Krystal tries to take the two aside to settle their differences, but Tia and Caroline (especially Tia) is just not at all interested in her fake forgiveness.
She's an inch away from telling Krystal, "Bless your heart," the ultimate in Southern cruelty. Krystal blames literally everyone else for being cliquey – but if every clique hates you, maybe YOU'RE the problem? Nope, it's "because I come off as flawless," as every wine glass in the nation was flung at the television set.
Thankfully, Arie isn't in love with Krystal's woe-is-me act and throws the group date rose to Tia, while I throw a one-man ticker tape parade out my window in celebration.
All that drama, and we haven't even reached The Bekah-ning! Of course, the show's ceiling-shattering pixie cut gets the final one-on-one date, a Tahoe expedition on horseback – definitely better than getting abandoned in the woods to reenact "The Blair Witch Project." The two also spend time in a hot tub because this is "The Bachelor."
Eventually, the two reach dinner where Arie talks about the importance of transparency and being honest and open and WINK WINK NUDGE NUDGE GOT SOMETHING YOU WANT TO SAY, BEKAH!? Because "The Bachelor" foreshadows with a jackhammer, Arie then talks about how he's changed getting older and that "I feel like I've become a lot more boring." HAHAHAHAHA! You think, Arie? Do you think you might be boring? When did you pick up on that? When during a recent phone call, the person on the other line thought your voice was hold music? I may never stop laughing at that line.
Anyways, eventually Bekah M. picks up on the hint and reveals that she's ... 22. A stunning reveal to Arie (who awkwardly keeps saying with "To Catch a Predator" vibes that he figured she was young but not THAT young) but less so for the audience, as the number's been out there on the internet for a while and even the fellow cast members kept talking about "the 14-year age gap." Some basic math played spoiler alert on this one. Plus, come on Arie, you don't go on "The Bachelor" to date your age.
To Bekah's credit, while I agree with Arie that it's a wide gap of life experience, she owns the argument, confidently declaring that, while 22 is indeed young, there's no way he can judge how ready she is for the next step in her life. And in the end, it's a winning case, as he gives her a rose.
As for the cocktail party, well, there isn't one. Instead, Arie leaps right into the rose ceremony – or he would've, if Krystal didn't "Can I steal him for a sec?" to Chris Harrison and pull Arie aside to have another hushed whisper meeting where ... she says nothing? But the nothing works because, with the final rose, Krystal survives. For now. I'm just saying Jenna's still around – and she occasionally looks like Cersei Lannister, so there's a chance this ends with a giant green explosion and everyone dying in a fireball.
But who needs a flammable wildfire cache when we've got Krystal versus the world finally starting to catch fire?
Last week, I figured Maquel would leave us ... but not like this. Not with her grandfather unexpectedly dying while she's on a dating reality show. That's brutal. Meanwhile, at the rose ceremony, Tia's BFF Caroline got the boot along with Brittany T., who seemed a little too normal for "The Bachelor" anyways. That leaves just one 30-year-old left on the show – so clearly age is a factor for Arie.
I'm sure Tia will be gone around the time of the final four, but she earns this honorary spot for torching the hell out of Krystal this week. And also for seemingly forgetting the name of the bachelor when she told the camera, "What I'm really worried about is ... *Error 404, refresh page* ... Arie."
Sienne and Arie seemed like a legitimate, functional couple on their modestly lovely date. So of course they're probably doomed – but let's think about that another time. For now, Sienne is bien. (My god, I'm so sorry; kill me, stuff me, put me on Kendall's wall.)
When Kendall said she was in her element in Tahoe, she was not kidding. After spending three episodes as a wallflower, she came alive this week in the wild. Even her dead animal talk couldn't dissuade Arie. This taxidermy expert has a pulse!
Even Arie has to be tired of her faux breathy whisper voice every time they talk. I know I am!
2. Bekah M.
This is not a face of confidence.
Contrary to the urban legend, Marikh, Gandhi did not drink his own urine. You might be thinking of Kevin Costner in "Waterworld." But even if Gandhi did drink his own liquid leavings, "drinking pee for sustenance during a hunger strike" carries, I don't know, just a little more heft than "drinking pee to impress grey-haired sentient crash test dummy."
Line of the night
I profoundly enjoyed Tia and Caroline saying Krystal's name in unison like if the twins from "The Shining" got really bored. Like if they were stuck haunting Arie.
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