Apparently, Olivia has other features that are even more challenging. More on that later.
Chris Harrison arrives at the house to drop a bomb on the girls. This week, there will be two one on one dates and one group date. Hot damn, the rules of this show are complicated. Thank God we have Harrison to hold our hands through it. Never stop paying him hundreds of thousands of dollars, ABC.
Lauren B snags the first one on one date. She's the pretty blonde flight attendant with a striking resemblance to Cindy Lou from The Grinch. Exhibit A:
During the flight, we're subjected to several awkward make out sessions between Ben and Lauren. As one viewer pointed out to me, Ben seems to enjoy kissing a woman's upper lip area. I'm not exactly sure why he enjoys placing his lips right under a woman's nostrils. Maybe he's like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and has a strict "no kissing on the mouth" rule? Maybe he savors the taste of snot? Either way, the kisses are strange and uncomfortable and the microphones on their headsets keep getting in the way.
The plane conveniently lands near a hot tub in the middle of a vast field. Ben points out a tree and tells Lauren she can stand behind it to change into her bathing suit. Some might call this a romantic date. I call it foreplay for a serial killer. There are several things I notice about Ben Gay that I find disturbing in this sequence. #1 He's got a side torso tattoo*. #2 His teeth are freakishly white. #3 He's not really good with words. He literally turns to Lauren and says "It was nice to just kind of sit by you. It's fun to share stuff like that." He's a modern-day Hemingway. Needless to say, Lauren could really see herself falling in love with him.
During the dinner portion of their date, Ben and Lauren's conversation takes a riveting turn when she starts to talk about her family. We learn that Lauren's dad-- wait for it-- likes to cut grass. Ben tops her story about trimming lawns with his dad's triple bypass surgery. He claims the experience made him realize that life is precious and short and... other stuff. Nobody panic, because Ben's dad is doing great now. One friend texted me: "I hope Ben's dad lives and Ben dies" after his scene.
This might seem a little harsh but then I do some digging on Google and find out that Ben's tattoo says "Commit to the Lord, whatever you do and he will establish your plans."
UGH. A bible verse tattoo? NOOOOOOO. Why is every Bachelor a holy roller? This changes everything. Okay, I'm being judgmental. Everyone can have their own belief system-- BUT all of that aside, is that really the best verse from the bible he could come up with?? If I had a bible verse tattoo, it would read "John 3:16. Thou shalt not covet bacon wrapped hot dogs" on my lower back. The date ends with Ben taking Lauren to a barn where some female country singer no one has ever heard of serenades them and white America rejoices.
Back at the house, drama ensues. Caila-- who I'm 99% sure is actually an animatronic doll-- starts having a meltdown, because she just realized that there are other women here that Ben could love and that she could get her heartbroken. Say what? Caila, you're a Bachelor super fan. How are you just figuring this out now? I vote Caila most likely to get manipulated into having sex with Chris Harrison at the end of the season. Also, she totally reminds me of Brook Soso from Orange is the New Black:
The group date takes place at Memorial Coliseum-- which according to Ben is some iconic Los Angeles landmark. I have no idea what he's talking about, because I've lived here for ten years and I've never heard of the place (Note: it's the USC stadium. Who knew?!) Two professional female athletes arrive, the girls are divided up into two teams (stars and stripes) and Chris Harrison makes an appearance to tell them that whoever wins gets to attend the cocktail party with Ben. WHAAAAAT? I did not see that twist coming. The producers really know how to shake things up this season.
During this newly invented game, the girls have to take turns running around and kicking this black and white ball into this big giant netted thing. It's all very confusing. This is me at home, watching:
One of the contestants takes pity on Toe-Livia (or takes a bribe from producers) and tells Olivia that the ladies have been saying some negative things about her appearance. No joke, this is her response.
Olivia: Is it my calves? My cankles? My giant mouth? The tiny testicles hanging out of my cervix? My ass cellulite? My hairy ears? The nipple on my ass cheek?
Girl: No, it's your toes.
Olivia: Oh yeah. My toes are really ugly. We all have flaws! Perfection is overrated.
Am I terrible person for thinking the producers planned this accordingly with MLK Day? It's possible, you guys. That's how transparent this shit has become. But if that's how we get more diversity on this shit show, I'll take it.
As Jubilee starts to get ready for her one on one date with Ben Herb, tensions are high in the house. I'm not sure if anyone else caught it, but at one point Shushanna (the Russian mail order bride) makes some joke about Jubilee and Jubilee calls her a whore.
Poor Shushanna. English is her second language. Hopefully she won't get the Russian mafia to sneak into the Bachelor mansion and kidnap Jubilee in her sleep. But maybe if that happens Jubes will move to Russia, become the newest member of Pussy Riot, secretly become Putin's mistress, then poison him with anthrax hidden under her fingernails. It could happen, guys.
Jubes deadpans about Ben being twenty minutes late (Ugh, another fuck up by production) and the other girls look at her like she just unzipped her skin and revealed she's actually Hitler. These bitches are very uptight. One of the ladies calls Jubilee an "awko taco" and I immediately collapse on the floor in a heap, because that is my new favorite thing to say ever.
A helicopter arrives to pick up Ben and Jubilee and she asks if anyone else wants to go on her date, because she hates helicopters. As far as Bachelor crimes go-- this one is punishable by side-eye and death. How could Jubilee not be crawling on the floor, kissing Ben's feet, praising the high septon of Chris Harrison for this holy honor? Our animatronic doll Caila actually refers to the helicopter as "a little box in the sky" and I devise a plot to kidnap her and return her to her home: the It's a Small World ride at Disneyland.
But Caila and the rest of the ladies should be jealous, because Ben and Jubilee's date might be my favorite so far this season. They spend most of the day hanging out by a pool, playing mini golf, and eating fancy appetizers. Sure, it's all very rom-com with her revulsion to caviar and her "I'm not playing, white boy" comment, but it feels the least forced and scripted. And Ben Herb seems to come out of his shell with Jubilee. I loved when she told Ben that he doesn't laugh that often-- or that he makes it a point to laugh, but when she called him a "white boy" he actually laughed. It also feels like she's trying to figure out if she's interested in Ben instead of the other way around. I think it's official:
I'M IN LOVE WITH JUBILEE.
The following day, the girls are stunned that Jubilee is still in the house and didn't get the boot from Ben. And I'm pretty sure she might be the first African-American woman to get a one on one date rose. Everyone is still very pissed off about it when the cocktail party rolls around and Ben arrives to talk to the girls. He informs them that two people close to his family (and pillars of his community) were just killed in a plane crash. Say what? Ben is a real Debbie Downer this episode. BUT he doesn't cancel the cocktail party. Instead, it all becomes a test of who can comfort him in his time of grief.
Answer: Not Olivia. She takes him aside immediately after he's broken the news of his dead community pillars and proceeds to tell him that she's got some physical abnormalities from the waist down. It kind of went down like this:
Ben: Two people that are really close to me died.
Olivia (crying): I HAVE CANKLES!
Things go from bad to worse when the ladies give Jubilee the cold shoulder (after she gives Ben a massage. Hot.) and she seeks refuge in a bathroom so she doesn't have to face the drama. The Lord commands Ben to go to the bathroom to comfort her and in walks Amber to confront Jubilee in FRONT OF BEN. This is a rookie mistake and yet, this is the seventh time Amber's appeared on one of these shows. She should A) Know better or B) possibly received kickbacks from production. Jubilee says she feels like she needs to walk on egg shells around the other girls. Amber tells Ben they were all devastated and hurt when Jubilee asked if anyone else wanted to go on her date (reminder: TWO of Ben's close friends died in a plane crash). Ben does a stellar job of defending Jubes. He says he loves that she's honest and straightforward and he doesn't want her walking on egg shells.
And just like that, I'm in love with Ben and I've become a christian.
Jami (the other minority) and Shushanna (the ESL Russian) both get the boot at the end of the rose ceremony. Jami will never trust another human being again. Shushanna will return to Russia and marry Edward Snowden, so they can do math together. Olivia gets the last rose and informs us that Ben's tight waist squeeze was his secret way of telling her she's the one. She says that Ben is her man and that she feels really confident in what they have.
Here are a few other thoughts on what the waist squeeze could actually mean:
#1 Remember when you talked about cankles after I told you pillars of my community died? I will squeeze the fucking life out of you.
#2 You have back fat and cankles? OH HELL NO.
#3 The lord is commanding me to squeeze your back, but he's commanding you not to read into it.
Final thought: Where was JoJo all episode?!