This week, San Francisco—Ben’s current city of residence—serves as the backdrop for the emotional rollercoaster that is The Bachelor. To start things off, the first date card arrives and the lucky bachelorette is…Emily! Courtney is surprised Ben’s going for the PhD student, because, “I always say this: book smart can be a little boring,” …so says probably the dumbest girl in the house.
On the date, Ben surprises Emily by saying that for the date they’re going to climb to the top of the Bay Bridge together. Sounds cute, right? Think again. As it turns out, Emily is super scared of heights, so this is literally her worst nightmare (and Ben knows it). You may be thinking Ben is fun and adventurous, but really this is actually a romantic version of Saw, and Ben is Jigsaw-ing his way into forcing the girls into terrifying situations so that he can rescue them and make them fall in love with him. Typical. The two make it about halfway up the bridge before Emily starts to have a serious panic attack. Ben does the only thing he can do in the situation—be a gentleman and escort the lady to safety. Just kidding! He kisses her, and by her reaction you’d think he literally just saved her life. Ben’s
psychological manipulation magical kiss inspires Emily and now she’s sure she can make it to the top (Stockholm syndrome, anyone?) and in fact, she does make it. Then we get to hear each of them say, “If we can do that, there’s nothing we can’t do together,” about 20 different times. Gagggg. They end the day with a moonlit dinner on the water, where they kiss again and LITERAL FIREWORKS go off. Emily gets rose #1.
Next is the date that everyone hates to be on—the group date. This time the date includes Blakeley, Jaclyn, Kacie B., Erika, Samantha, Jamie, Monica, Rachel, Nicki, Casey S., and Elyse. Ben tells them they’re going to ski and the girls, having at least average intelligence, realize skiing is not a usual San Fran pastime and are super confused. Well, wouldn’t you know it, Ben has set up a fake snow slope on one of San Francisco’s famously steep hills. The girls are given skis and they all ski down in their swimsuits, and are surprised when literally every male within a mile radius stops to watch. Some of the girls had obviously never skied before, and are basically just tumbling down the hill—especially Kacie B. Jigsaw Ben is amused by how terrible Kacie B. is at skiing, but he loves the fact that she responds positively to the obstacle he’s put in her way. She’s just so care-free, you guys.
During all of this, Courtney, Lindzi, Jennifer, and Brittney are all lounging around the house when date card #2 shows up. Brittney is the lucky bachelorette, to literally everyone’s surprise (including Brittney). Ben wants to show her the key to San Francisco, and gives her this cheesy key necklace with an SF for San Francisco in the ring of the key. Brittney is basically the least excited person to ever receive a date card, and the other girls are visibly annoyed. Brittney confesses to the other girls that she’s just not fully on board with having to compete with the others for Ben, and she wants to go home. It’s the hardest decision of her life (…really?) but she just can’t stay. Grandma Sheryl’s gonna be so disappointed.
After the group date, Ben and all the group date ladies hang out and have a luau outside. The girls are all going for the kill, trying to secure themselves a rose. Brittney interrupts the party to tell Ben that her heart’s not in it, and she’s leaving. She literally brought her luggage out with her to make her point; in the wise words of Troy Barnes, there is a time and a place for subtlety, and that time was before Scary Movie. With that, Brittney’s gone. Back at the luau, Rachel gets rose #2 because she
kissed Ben the most at the luau opened up to Ben, or whatever.
Since Brittney’s gone, date card #2.2 arrives. This time it’s awarded to Lindzi, who has been whining about only getting the first impression rose/date for 3 episodes now. Now maybe she’ll finally shut up. Ben shows her around San Francisco on a private trolley ride. Lindzi gushes about how giddy she feels around Ben; which, weirdly enough, seems to be the word of choice among all the girls. So, sorry, Lindzi. Giddiness is apparently not that special. Anyway, they end up going into the deserted City Hall building where they have their own private Matt Nathanson concert (!!!). Lindzi is amazed at how Ben pulls out all the stops for the date, and it makes me start to wonder—these girls do know they’re on The Bachelor, right? They know Ben doesn’t actually have all of these connections except for the fact that he’s currently on a TV show, right? We’ll never know. Then they go to this super cool Speakeasy, and Lindzi’s starting to fall in love or something. She gets rose #3.
To end the episode, it’s time for the cocktail party and third rose ceremony. Here is tonight’s Turning Point. Get ready yall, this it’s what’s been advertised as the craziest rose ceremony EVER, and it does not disappoint. All season we’ve been getting promos showing a mysterious girl showing up to the house, calling Chris (the host) to let him know she’s coming to win Ben’s heart. Well, tonight’s the night that we finally find out who mystery girl is—Shawntel, from Brad’s season. It’s literally her subtitle description.
She shows up OUT OF NOWHERE, apparently knows Ben, and thinks they have a real connection. So, she’s going to fight for a chance to date him, and enters herself into the show (who knew you could do that?). She shows up, unannounced, in the middle of the cocktail party to hunt down Ben. All the girls are immediately on the attack, wondering who this rando tramp is that’s showed up to prey on their precious Ben. I have never seen anyone look more shocked than Ben was when Shawntel walked through the door. He honestly looked like he was gonna throw up.
Shawntel pours out her heart, while all the girls glare at her from inside the house. Shawntel tells him she’ll be at the rose ceremony and if he wants to date her, he can give her a rose. She leaves Ben to think, and walks back into the lion’s den of girls sizing her up in the living room. They all basically either yell at her or completely shun her. Who does she think she is, waltzing in at week 3?? The girls are FURIOUS, many are crying, and all of them are going to be super disappointed in Ben if he gives Shawntel a rose. Most of the girls lay down the law—if Ben gives Shawntel a rose, they’re straight up leaving.
The rose ceremony begins, and everyone is on edge. Emily, Rachel, and Lindzi are all safe from their date roses. Courtney gets the first rose. Since she was one of the main ones that said she would leave if Shawntel got a rose, she only tentatively accepts. You can practically feel the room vibrating with tension. Jaclyn says it best: “On a scale of one to ten, I’m going to throw up.” After about the 8th rose, the rest of the girls are tearing up in anticipation of Shawntel getting chosen over them, and Erika is clearly starting to feel sick. It’s down to the last rose; Jaclyn’s about to punch someone, and then Erika hits the FLOOR, yall. She’s still conscious, and Jamie the nurse is there and can help, but they have to call in medical attention. The whole night is completely unraveling, and all the girls blame Shawntel for it. About 15 minutes later, Erika’s able to stand, and the rose ceremony continues. Ultimately Courtney, Kacie B., Elyse, Jamie, Jennifer, Casey S., Blakeley, Monica, Nicki, and Samantha have roses; leaving Shawntel, Jaclyn, and a barely standing Erika. Jaclyn’s crying, Erika looks delirious, and Shawntel is stone-faced. Then, in the last twist of the most outrageous night, Ben “just can’t hand out this final rose tonight.” Thank goodness Shawntel didn’t get a rose; but Jaclyn?? You couldn’t spare a rose for my precious Jaclyn?? Now who’s going to give hilarious, biting commentary? Ugh. And so, one out of my golden trio is cast off, while Blakeley and Courtney are still around.
I HATE THIS SHOW. Erika sinks to the ground and cries, while Jaclyn runs off to the bathroom to cry.
In a bonus scene we see Ben talking to Erika earlier at the cocktail party, and we learn that Erika has a mouth tattoo. A MOUTH TATTOO. She shows Ben that the inside of her lower lip has the word “Amore” tattooed on it, aaaaaaaaaaand now we know why Erika didn’t get a rose. You’re apparently supposed to get mouth tattoos redone every 6 months because your lip peels so quickly, leaving me to wonder how much of my own lip I’ve swallowed in my lifetime. What is this show.
Watch new episodes of The Bachelor on Mondays on ABC at 8/7c. Next week’s episode on Jan. 23 is a new episode.