“Sorry I’m not from Pleasantville. I’m from fricken 2014. You and I both have our masters, and I have it from a good place… if you don’t think I’m intelligent enough to see through you, you’re friggen hilarious.” – Ashley I.
It was the catfight heard around the world. This season’s dreaded two-on-one date (two women enter, one woman survives) pinned house drama queens Virgin KardAshleyian and Tragic Widow Kelsey against each other in the scenic Badlands. There were insults. Both women cried. Chris was exasperated. Finally, in a surprising move of intelligence and badassery, the milquetoast Bachelor sent both women home. Or, more accurately, he got into the helicopter alone and left Ashley and Kelsey to find their own way back to civilization (one can only hope).
It was spectacular television. Watching the two least likable women in the house take turns throwing each other under the bus was schadenfreude in the truest sense. Should I be ashamed about enjoying self-involved women tearing each other down on national television? Probably. Am I ashamed? Nah. You can watch the action here.
Other than the epic showdown that was Ashley and Kelsey’s blowout, this was a pretty uneventful episode. Chris took Becca (the other virgin) on a one-on-one that seemed to include shooting tin cans and horseback riding, and it was super dull other than her making fun of his truly absurd man-giggle. On the group date, Chris and six lucky ladies wrote country songs about love and took turns mortifying themselves. Carly, the cruise ship singer, was super adorable, and Kaitlyn made me spit out my Diet Coke by rapping an original track that included the phrase “makes me touch my pussy.” But, predictably, front runner Britt got the rose and oodles of alone time with Chris at a Big & Rich concert while the other five women twiddled their thumbs. It was awkward, and a lot of them cried for legitimate reasons.
The thing I appreciate about The Bachelor is that it poses two central questions. The first occupies the primary half of the season: Who of these women is the most perfect? The second, which is beginning to percolate, is: Who of these women is the most perfect for Chris?
Britt, with her Bratz doll-inspired hair and makeup, is beautiful. She is smart, bubbly, and not overwhelmingly obnoxious. Chris wants to bone the shit out of her and it’s obvious to all of the other women he is dating. It was painful to watch everyone else on the group date feel so small in comparison to her. “It’s hard to write a love song about somebody when he is clearly really into somebody else,” wallflower Jade says as they make out behind her, roughly six yards away. Side note: Chris’s lack of tact with the whole dating multiple women thing is a huge strike against him in my book.
Already insecure Carly totally crumbles, the rejection seeming to bring up some unpleasant memories. A lot of what she said got lost in her tears, but ouch: “Obviously Britt got the rose, and it kind of felt like [unintelligible mumbling] invisible again. Cause last time I had to. It’s hard to feel you’re worth him when you lay it all out there and like, nothing. There’s nothing.”
Diplomatic Whitney confides, tear-struck, “I do feel threatened by Britt. I think we all feel like this is the Britt and Chris show… It is hard because you compare yourself to someone who is so beautiful, she’s gorgeous, it makes you feel really insecure about yourself.”
Even unfazeable Kaitlyn cracks. “I feel so stupid,” she sobs behind closed doors. “It’s humiliating to put yourself out there… His connection with her is so obvious to me, it’s in everybody’s faces, so to have a conversation where you feel like you actually got somewhere and then feel like you’re taken back a step is humiliating.”
Britt is in many ways the perfect package, the ideal woman. But with her Hollywood lifestyle and uber-polished façade, plus her rumored disinterest in actually settling down let alone in Bumfuck, Iowa, it’s pretty obvious to everyone but Chris at this point that she’s not the right fit. She doesn’t even like country music, as Whitney points out in her adorable Southern twang. Judging from next week’s preview, Britt’s incompatibility is about to become a problem.
Meanwhile, Ashley and Kelsey’s showdown in the Badlands revolved around who was more fake, who was there for the right reasons, and—of course—who was a better match for Chris. “I may be a virgin,” Ashley gloats, “But I’m sexy and she’s not.” Not to be outdone, Kelsey calls Ashley a “Kardashian who didn’t get to go on her princess date.” They both think they’re the better woman—no, the perfect woman—and are refreshingly sure of this fact. And this is a program where such confidence is punished. If you like yourself too much, you’re crazy. Obviously.
I find myself missing Juan Pablo’s season of The Bachelor. JP may have been a massive jerk, but he had a spectacular group of women there to get to know him. Both Andi and Sharleen walked off the show after realizing they deserved better than his narcissistic behavior. They were secure in who they were and their own worth, and many of the women from that season remain close friends. I like Chris and I root for happiness despite his dim-witted obliviousness, but let’s be real: he’s boring as hell. It’s the women who make this show interesting. And in my opinion they’re all perfect, powerful snowflakes.