By Emily Joy Allison-Hearn
The Bachelor is absolutely my greatest and most serious guilty pleasure. I started watching it years ago as pure entertainment—Homeschooled-Bible-College me was fascinated by the lives of people who did nothing but drink cocktails out of coconuts on the beach and make out with multiple partners for several weeks. Later, Newly-Awakened-Feminist me was a little outraged at the sexism inherent in the structure of the show but still intrigued by the “social experiment” aspect of it all. These people were self-destructing on national television and expressing emotions to the whole world that most of us would barely dream to write down in our diaries. And now, I don’t even know. Kitsch has transcended kitsch and I’m not sure whether I watch it out of pity or obsession or boredom or because I actually believe that anything about it is real—including the premise that two people can fall in love in a matter of a few weeks and live happily ever after and it isn’t all crafted by a team of cruel but intelligent producers bent on exploiting the frailty of human emotion for our entertainment.
The point is, each and every week of this season of The Bachelor I will be bringing you a very Flawless recap complete with my own predictions, a healthy dose of satire, and as many gifs as I can find. AND YOU WILL LIKE IT.
So let’s get started.
First of all. Has anybody made this comparison yet?
I will never not want to call Ben “Eric.”
Was anyone else confused by the first 15 minutes of seeing where Ben went to middle school and high school? And absolutely no contrived shirtless scenes? Maybe this season will be unlike anything that’s ever happened on The Bachelor before.
Then we got to meet the girls.
THERE ARE SO MANY LAURENS. LIKE FOUR LAURENS. And a Leah, and a Laura. There’s also a dentist who arrives with a rose the size of an exercise ball atop her head, a real-life cowgirl who brings Lil Sebastian along for the party, a girl named Tiara who is more in love with her pet chickens than she ever will be with a human person, and twins that shall henceforth be referred to as Taylor Swift 1 & 2. That’ll be totally fine and result in no drunken fistfights or crying on the bathroom floor at all.
Now let’s get to the ones that stood out to me.
JUBILEEEEEEEEEE. This girl is praise-hands-emoji incarnate.
She’s a war veteran of 4 1/2 years of active duty, she likes The Lord of the Rings and uses the phrase ménage a trois correctly in her bio, and CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT OLIVIA POPE WHITE JUMPSUIT, good lord. The Bachelor is famously racist in its casting and no person of color ever makes it through the first three or four episodes, but I really, REALLY hope it’s different this time for Jubilee. I mean, I hardly think the show has suddenly made any great strides in its racial awareness… But if she doesn’t get a rose I’m gonna cry.
Here’s the thing. Her intro was dumb, her dress was fabulous, but she didn’t really stand out to me for either of those reasons. The thing is I’m getting pretty good at noticing who the producers are trying to highlight without highlighting to keep us familiar with names and faces as the season goes on. I think they’re singling her out early, and at this point she is definitely in my Top 4. She seems…nice. Her story is that she met her last boyfriend briefly on an airplane and then saw him two weeks later in the city. She was convinced it was fate and they fell desperately in love. Then she dumped him to come on The Bachelor. Which she also considers to be fate. Okay.
Not gonna lie, I’m pretty thrilled that Becca is back, and not just because I’ve been thinking about this shoulder cutout sweater since her hometown date last season with Chris Soules. I really like Becca. She’s chill and funny and gorgeous and handled getting rejected by Chris like a champ. I’ll be real sad for Becca if she gets turned down again, but I feel like Ben is a better match for her than Chris the Farmer.
Oh god, what to say about Lace. Well first of all, my dear husband pointed out this uncanny resemblance:
Lace is channeling Cecily Strong HARD, in both appearances and mannerisms, and I’m a huge fan of Cecily’s. Her White House Press Dinner speech really won my loyalty. Cecily Strong today, Cecily Strong tomorrow, Cecily Strong forever. Sadly, Lace is far less winsome and wayyyy more devious. At first, I thought Lace was going to be the token wasted-on-the-first-night person that falls into the pool, grabs somebody’s butt non-consensually and gets sent home before Chris can say “This is the final rose.” But no. Lace is shaping up to a combo Michelle-Money-meets-Tierra-LiCausi villain the likes of which The Bachelor has never seen. Lace is also currently in my Top 4 because a) I’m sure the producers want her there as long as possible and b) Ben’s whole thing is he doesn’t believe he’s lovable and Lace is CLEARLY into him and super up-front about it, and that’s gotta be like crack to him. Even though at the end she flips out a little because he didn’t look at her enough during the rose ceremony… I think between his need for affirmation and the coaxing of the producers he’ll get over it.
In the end, Tiara the Chicken Enthusiast and the girl who brought Lil Sebastian were both eliminated, along with five other girls. There are still 21 girls left, and I’m looking forward to getting to know identifying details about them that will help me differentiate them from the crowd of spray tans and luxurious shampoo-commercial hair. After all, in the words of the immortal Ashley S.:
Until next week!
Emily Joy Allison-Hearn is a spoken word poet, freelance writer, blogger, and co-founder of The Flawless Project. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband #TwitterlessBilly and only two cats, which she feels is not nearly enough. More of her writing and poetry can be found on her website, and she can be booked for your school/church/conference/festival/open mic/coffee shop/poetry slam/special event here.