Categories
Bachelor

Turbulence on the Friendly Skies

Guys, this season is a straight up mess.  They have given us FIVE HOURS of Bachelor content this week, not including the two hours from last week that I still haven’t blogged about, so it’s time to just dive in.  Remember how I said I liked Peter as the lead?  That is no longer the case.  Peter continues to make bad decision after bad decision, in ways that are disrespectful and hurtful to the individuals who have given up tangible things in their lives to participate in this process.  It’s clear Peter is easily manipulated by producers, who are earning their paychecks big time this season.  Let’s break it down.

The Producers

I have never seen such heavy-handed producing on a season.  First we had champagne-gate, which was a product of producers creating two similar looking champagne set-ups and likely leading Hannah Ann to the wrong one, knowing Kelsey would blow a gasket.  Then we had the Chase Rice concert.  This franchise is no stranger to the moderately successful country music singer performance, but we’ve never had a situation where one of the contestants dated* the performer.

That was very obvious producer intervention, along with the choice to show behind-the-scenes footage of both Peter and Victoria F. talking with Chase.

*I use the term date very loosely.  Chase has given several interviews since the show aired and it’s clear that he and Victoria spent exactly one night together in Charlotte, NC.  And because I take this job very seriously, I can share with you that it was August 30, 2019 – a few weeks before the season started filming.

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Producers also very clearly intervened in convincing Peter, somehow, to give Alayah a group date rose for a date she wasn’t even on, which he then quickly took away once the broader group of women pounced on him.  I have to imagine it was producer intervention that prompted Peter to give Kelsey a rose when she visited his room (I don’t recall this EVER happening before), and I’m sure they had their hand in canceling the subsequent cocktail party.  They are all over this season and it’s a little disruptive for the viewer.  I enjoy some lighthearted drama but this is incessant.

Peter

Which brings me to Peter.  We see all this producer-driven drama because Peter LETS THEM DO IT.  Obviously the lead can’t upend the process completely, but I’ve never seen a lead so complacent and easily manipulated.  Is he just not that smart?  I’m starting to feel like he’s missing something.  He seems incapable of independent thought, and maybe this process is just truly messing with him, but he is woefully inconsistent in his treatment of the women.

The Alayah issue is the clearest example.  After hearing one woman express distrust of Alayah, a woman he admittedly really likes, he embarks on a full-on inquisition to get to the bottom of it.  He decides to send her home after much struggle, and then when the producers bring her back he goes through the whole process over again.  And then invites her to stay, and then GIVES HER THE GROUP DATE ROSE!  This is baffling behavior.  The women were already very displeased with the fact they were made to literally tackle each other for time with Peter, only to have to share the after-party between 13 women.  Giving Alayah the group date rose made zero sense.

 

As if that weren’t enough, the next night the drama continues and Peter fully indulges it.  He continues to pull woman after woman aside to discuss, yet again, the Alayah issue.  He does so in the face of obvious distress from the women.  Deandra straight up calls Peter out, saying she had never felt so “under-recognized” by someone and that his actions were a “slap in the face.”  And what does Peter do?  He pulls Victoria P. aside for MORE ALAYAH DISCUSSION.  Does he not even care that he is disrespecting the women who have traveled to freaking Cleveland for him?  He then decides to send Alayah home after all that mess.

I know Peter knows he made a mistake with Alayah, but he continues to make mistakes after that point.  Peter should have known that giving Kelsey a rose while knowing she was the center of drama at the house would cause a stir.  Really bad call if he actually cares about Kelsey’s wellbeing.

I’m starting to think Peter might not just get it?  All leads speak in platitudes but he seems to actually believe it, and he wants the women to buy into it as much as he does.  It’s a bit baffling, because Peter was so recently a contestant on the other side, and should know how frustrating it is when a lead is disrespectful with a contestant’s time.

The Women

God these women are vicious to each other.  We really have seen so little of the female friendship that is usually so strong.  I have whiplash trying to keep it all straight.

Victoria P. and Alayah used to be friends but can’t seem to agree on that point. Kelsey seems ok with Sydney until she’s not.  Tammy is on team Kelsey until she decides Kelsey’s just too much (sidenote, Tammy’s demise has been so sad to watch, I really liked her).  The women liked Tammy until they realized her actions “made Peter” cancel the cocktail party.  Then it’s Tammy vs. Sydney (who, by the way, didn’t look great here either).  Mykenna and Lexi are friends until Mykenna creates a mini-cocktail party before the rose ceremony and Lexi feels slighted.  It’s certainly dramatic, but devoid of the normal undercurrent of female friendship we see.

I think it’s pretty telling seeing who is part of the fray and who is staying out of it (or at least, who producers show as part of the drama).  Madison, Hannah Ann, and Kelley were refreshingly absent from all of it, and it makes me think they go far.

Top 4

  1. Madison.  Still at the top.  We haven’t seen a lot of her, but I think that’s actually a good thing, considering.  Excited for their next one-on-one.madison
  2. Hannah Ann.  She stayed out of the drama.  She had a good one-on-one date.  It looks like she’s friends with Madison.  I’m getting hometown vibes.
  3. Kelley.  My girl Kelley!  I realize that I am predisposed to be on Team Kelley, as we are both female lawyers who live in Chicago, but I really loved her this episode.  She called Peter on his bullshit and she was refreshingly honest about the absurdity of having to prove you’re ready to marry someone who, at the same time, is dating 12 other women.  Not sure if she’ll get to Fantasy Suites but fingers crossed.

Also, am loving Natasha, another personal favorite of mine.

This also sums up how I feel about Peter.  And I’m exhausted from this week.  Hoping things settle down a bit next week.

PS: I am planning a separate post that is a deep dive into Victoria F. TBD.

Categories
Personal

In Defense of the Menlo Park Mom

Last week a job posting for a household manager/cook/nanny went viral.  The poster is a single mom of twin boys and CEO of a San Francisco-area company.  You can see the post for yourself here.  The job description was incredibly detailed.  The right applicant should be able to, among other things, do the following:

  • Plan vacations based on interests and ages of the family, including recommending appropriate vacation destinations, booking vacations (while understanding how to use credit card points vs. cash), and tracking expenses;
  • Track purchases, administer allowance, and make returns on time;
  • Manage the Google calendar;
  • Meal plan for the family, taking into account various dietary restrictions;
  • Cook meals for the family according to certain criteria/said dietary restrictions;
  • Physically active and able to play with the two boys (10);
  • Arrange play dates and manage social calendar for boys;
  • Travel with the family.

The backlash was swift.  My mom’s groups blew up on Facebook and Reddit, and a common refrain was that we women already do this work and we aren’t paid for it!

But isn’t that the point?

Slate found the mom, who agreed to an anonymous interview. You should read it. In it, she says, facetiously, that she’s looking for a wife. But that’s not totally right. She’s looking for another her. The tasks she outlined? I can do those. I currently do those. And no, I’m not paid for it. And yes, the job description is incredibly detailed because this is an attempt at outlining all the parameters this woman can think of to replicate the things she’s already doing.

I don’t blame her! I too would pay good money to no longer have to meal plan, prep, and grocery shop. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to be able to focus on my work all day and come home and have dinner already on the table, with the next day’s snacks and meals already planned. (Side note: is this how husbands have it because if so I will scream. No, right??)

Anyway, I applaud the effort in trying to craft a list of tasks that could show, rather than tell, what it is this woman wants. She wants someone to care about her kids as much as she does, to proactively look for ways to make their lives better, just as she does. She wants someone willing to spend the mental energy to meal prep, set up play dates, find the “right” flag football team, and manage the damn Google calendar.

She wants another her. The problem is, it’s impossible to replicate yourself. The things parents do for their families, the mental load of running a household while staying present when you’re with your kid(s), while crushing it at work? What we do is unique. And it will be hard to find a person who fits this criteria and is willing to work for the amount this woman is willing to pay, which is $35-40 an hour.

There was a time in my life when I would have accepted a job like this, with all the benefits, and saved for college or law school. In fact, that time in my life came to pass when I was 18 and nannied for a summer, complete with a vehicle I could use all day long. The problem is, my 18-year old self would have been total shit at this job. The amount of emotional intelligence she’s looking for is almost certainly reserved for those of us who have been through it before and understand the importance of caring about these things and getting it right.

Now, as a lawyer who is also a mom, I’m perfectly qualified for the position, but would never take it. If anything, this posting attempts to quantify the unpaid labor that moms do every single day for years on end. And what I’ve learned is that while you may be able to pay to outsource some things, the value moms add is priceless (or, at the very least, worth more than $35-40 an hour).

Apologies for any typos. I wrote this on my commute home, as I had to leave early from work to prepare our family dinner of organic salmon and root vegetables before my toddler gets hangry at 5:45.

Categories
Bachelor

Episode 3: Too Much Pageantry?

It feels like we’re getting into the swing of things now, so let the games begin.

Champagne-gate

We start with a flashback of champagne-gate, and then a cut to the morning after.  Everyone is tired of talking about champagne.  Kelsey doesn’t even LIKE champagne.  Both women take the L.  Moving on.

Victoria P. and the Role of Trauma

Victoria P. has her first one-on-one date and we quickly see that she is too good for this show.  In the first episode we got a little back story, which previewed her challenging upbringing.  Her dad passed away when she was young and her mom struggled with addiction.  In that promo package, we saw Victoria P. with her mom and her sister, so it seems like her mom has recovered (at least enough to participate), but we got a lot more details last night.

Victoria P.’s story is chilling.  She was tasked with taking care of her sister as they shuffled through shelters, dealing with extreme food insecurity.  Victoria P. detailed how she would cut up a raw potato, season it with salt and pepper, and give it to her sister just to ensure her sister would have food that day.

The trauma Victoria P. experienced is not fodder for a reality show.  It’s not something that should appear on a first date, complete with a close-up and touching music at the end of a segment.  Victoria P. should never feel like she needs to expose herself to the world to “get a rose.”

This is known on the show as the “trauma pitch” (although I liken it to trauma porn).  A contestant is encouraged to share their deepest trauma with a relative stranger (on national television, no less) as soon as possible.  The producers couch the advice to share in terms of “vulnerability,” being “open” to the process, and using your time with the lead in a world where time is the most valuable currency you have.

An article in Psychology Today says it better than I can:

“Due to limited and unpredictable access to the bachelor or bachelorette, there is intense pressure to ‘make a pitch’—that is, to form a sound bite about how one’s deepest trauma has taught them some valuable life lesson, usually some variant of one of these three or four themes.
The experience of [insert horrible trauma that the bachelor/bachelorette and audience have no right to know] has taught me to….’never take life for granted/make the most out of every day/tell the people I care about that I love them more often/make the most out of the chances I’m given.'”

Victoria P.’s “lesson” is that she has never felt deserving of someone like Peter, and it has impacted her past relationships.  Victoria P. shares that she is grateful to Peter (a stranger!!) for showing her what she deserves, and she wants Peter to know who she is.

This franchise and this universe is not the place for someone like Victoria P. to unpack this trauma and its impact on her interpersonal relationships.  The producers extricate these deep-seated emotions but are not there to help the contestant work through any of it after it’s shared.  The producers are there to make a story, and any alleged benefit a contestant has in unburdening herself is tangential to the overall goal of making a profitable show.  The costs far outweigh the benefits, yet we continue to see it season after season.

I worry this will not work out well for Victoria P.  She says repeatedly that she’s falling in love with Peter, and that she’ll do what she has to do to protect her relationship.  She seems to be conflating her worth with the idea of a “man like Peter” (who seems like a nice enough guy but fairly normal).  And Peter seems to be more into the idea of her than her.  He loves that she’s a caregiver, that she leads with her heart, and is drawn in by her background, but I don’t see a lot of chemistry between the two.  I am very nervous to see where this goes, for her sake.

Dethroning of Alayah

Is the era of beauty queens officially over on this franchise???  In the past few seasons the pageant queens have done fairly well (Hannah B., Caelynn) but now it seems like the tides are turning, and the fact that you are a pageant queen means you have the burden of showing you are actually authentic (let’s just ignore how that same description could apply to models, influencers, and half the contestants).

I have to admit I did not see this coming.In the past two episodes Alayah has been portrayed as a sweet friend.  She talked Kelsey up after Kelsey had a meltdown at Mykenna, even fixing her makeup.  So I was a little confused when we saw footage of the women at the house, with Alayah on a coffee table saying she’s “not like all those other beauty queens.”

This seems to be the impetus of Sydney’s takedown, but we later see that many of the women share Sydney’s thoughts on this.

I see two issues at play.  The first is Alayah’s profession(s) and her comments about how she’s “very good at putting on a face” when she needs to.  The second is Alayah’s actions, both before filming and in the house.  I think the women conflate the two, and use Alayah’s comments that seem to be made in jest against her, but they likely do so because Alayah’s actions in front of the camera don’t match who she is around the house.

I don’t really see an issue with Alayah’s comments.  Sydney, who has already decided that Alayah is fake, conducts a vicious cross-examination of Alayah in the night portion of the group date (seriously Sydney, consider litigation because that was masterful).

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She starts off with a question that Alayah should have known was pointed, but Alayah just responds normally, “oh yeah girl I have like three jobs.”  And it just goes downhill from there.  Sydney traps Alayah into saying that it’s easy for her to say the right things as to not offend people.

Sydney then shares this with Peter, and he takes it super seriously.  This is either a testament to Peter’s feelings for Sydney, or his fear of a Jed-repeat (probably a bit of both).  Peter is so scared that someone on the show is going to pull the wool over his eyes, he ends up doing a full house inquisition into Alayah’s actions.

And here’s where I really do see why Sydney raised this with Peter.  Because in every conversation (at least those we’re shown), the women Peter talks to say that Alayah is fake for the cameras.  That she acts one way and then as soon as the cameras are present she “turns it on.”  That her voice goes up an octave as soon as Peter shows up.

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And most damning of all, apparently Alayah told Victoria P. (a fellow pageant queen) to not share with producers that they knew each other before the show.  Alayah explained that she made that decision because she was scared that both women would be “disqualified” if producers knew they had a prior friendship (see, however, Caelynn and Hannah B. from last season, producers LOVE this stuff).  But it was the final nail in the coffin for Alayah.

I guess she comes back next episode, but I can’t imagine it’s for a long time.  Peter was really thrown by Sydney’s accusations, and it makes me wonder what the men on Hannah’s season knew about Jed (or Luke P.) and how they acted around Hannah versus in the house.  Peter said multiple times that he can’t let what happened last season happen again.

A few other thoughts:

Women and lingerie and pillow fighting?  Can we not, ABC?  Sometimes it feels like this show is too problematic to ever recover, but I guess that’s a conversation for another day.

Word slip-ups.  We had a few.  Case in point:

These made me giggle.

Top 4:

  1. Madison.  Can anyone beat Madison at this point?  Peter was so happy to see her, and their chemistry is palpable.  It’s hers to lose, but there’s still a lot of time so we shall see.
  2. Kelley.  I was glad to see Kelley back on our screens this week.  She had a nice one-on-one time with Peter, and I really liked how she characterized herself.  Instead of saying something like how she’s not like all the other women, she kept the focus on herself, sharing that she was really far outside of her comfort zone, but was sticking around for him.  These two seem like a normal couple, which is refreshing.  I also loved that Kelley bit her tongue during the drama.
  3. Sydney.  Somehow during all this mess, Sydney managed to position herself as Peter’s confidante.  It shows that Peter trusts her and is willing to take her side, even at this early stage.

Honorable Mention:

Tammy!  I am loving Tammy.  She’s hilarious and seems so normal.  Maybe getting a Bachelorette edit??  She and Peter finally shared a kiss.  I don’t see her getting to hometowns but I hope she sticks around awhile because she’s a breath of fresh air.

Until next week!

Categories
Bachelor

Episode 2: Champagne and Tears

Episode 2 in the books and I am still loving this season.  The producers seem to be pulling back the veil a bit (except for some suspect editing during the Hannah B. and Peter convo, discussed below), the ladies are bringing the drama, and Peter is appropriately bought into the process.  It’s just been a fun time, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

Let’s get to it!

Hannah B. and Peter

We pick up where we left off last week, which is exactly where I wanted to be.  Hannah B. and Peter are discussing their lingering feelings.  Hannah B. has admitted she wonders whether she made a mistake sending Peter home, and explains why she hasn’t reached out until now.  Here’s where the editing starts to get funky.  Peter asks Hannah to join the house, and her immediate response is, “I mean…” and then a soundbite of her saying “maybe” that we don’t see coming from her mouth (prime example of frankenbiting).  We then start getting some strange footage where it seems like the camera people are out of the room and zooming in:

Hannah says, “selfishly, let’s just get on a plane!” And then the conversation seems highly edited from that point out.  Up until then, the two of them had been super candid and honest with each other.  It’s the type of conversation you know has happened behind closed doors, but we’ve never seen it before on our screens, and it was incredibly compelling.  Hannah expressed doubt, Peter questioned whether she felt this way because she was focusing on the “what ifs” and not her true emotions, and both of them were stuck.  Hannah was in the middle of filming DWTS, and Peter had just started his journey as the Bachelor.  He asked if Hannah would come back to the house, but we all know Hannah would never do that.  All she could offer Peter was for him to break his contract, walk away from a house full of women vying for his attention, and take a chance on a maybe.

I have a feeling that after Hannah made the suggestion that they hightail it out of there, the two of them continued to have a very candid discussion about what that would look like.  We’ll see if either of them speak to the media about what we weren’t shown, but otherwise it’s impossible to know.  All we know is that after that conversation (and likely, some producer intervention telling Peter he absolutely could not walk away from his whole season), Peter told Hannah he couldn’t do it and the two of them said their goodbyes.

Takeaway on Hannah: I think the producers put her up to appearing on the show.  I think she has to own her actions once she got to the show, and I wish for both their sake she had kept what she was feeling to herself, because she wasn’t offering Peter a real choice.  She was never going to join his season, and she had to know he couldn’t leave his.  It wasn’t fair to ask him to do that, so it felt like an eruption of emotion without a well-thought out plan.  I feel for the woman but this helped no one.  I hope they both take some space from this.  If they have true feelings for each other they will find their way back together, but I think this is most likely an exercise in regret rather than true love.

Notably, we were missing any ITMs (“in the moment” interviews that are one-on-one) from either Hannah or Peter.  This is weird.  Last episode we had a ton of Hannah B. one-on-ones where she was crying to her producer and talking about her feelings.  And I don’t really understand the decision to not interview Peter about that interaction (or, more likely, to not SHOW any interviews with Peter) unless he was saying things that don’t fit with the narrative of the story arc this season.  Based on what we’ve been shown, I do not think Hannah B. and Peter get back together.  But we shall see!  This season is a big question mark, which makes it so fun to watch!

Champagnegate

This was some good old-fashioned producer-driven fun, wasn’t it?  Kelsey, who seemed to have been drinking some champagne already, set aside a bottle of champagne she’d been saving for a year.  Hannah Ann led Peter straight to it, seemingly not knowing it was Kelsey’s, and opened it right up.  Cue Kelsey’s total meltdown.

For context, Kelsey seemed to be keyed up in general during this cocktail party.  She accused Mykenna of “stealing” Peter when Mykenna spent some one-on-one time with him (at least from what we saw, Mykenna did not appear to take Peter from anyone).  So Kelsey was primed for an altercation.

I asked my Instagram whether they thought Hannah Ann knew the champagne was Kelsey’s, and the response was mixed:

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I think Hannah Ann was set up.  As she explained after the incident, there were two champagne areas and I think producers likely led her to the wrong one.  Hannah Ann’s reactions (and subsequent decision to tattle to Peter and accuse Kelsey of bullying) are her own, but I do believe her on this point.

I do not, however, think Kelsey was bullying Hannah Ann, and it turns out, neither do you:

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Honestly, both women take the loss here.  Kelsey overreacted about the champagne, and continued to hold a grudge into the next day and night, which seems unnecessary.  At first I thought Hannah Ann handled the altercation well.  She could have emoted a bit more, and focused on apologizing right away, but she stayed calm and moved away from the situation.  I didn’t think she needed to continue the drama by bringing it up with Peter, especially after she “won” that group date.

And let’s talk about that group date, shall we?

Victoria F. vs. Hannah Ann

This was a doozy.  Victoria F. was all over the place and it was really hard for me to follow.  If you recall, she botched a sexual joke right out of the limo, and seemed to get real awkward, real fast.

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Since then, she has made it a point to tell the camera (and us) how out of her element she is, how this is uncomfortable for her, and how she’s not like the other girls.  This episode, she’s tapped to participate in one of the better dates this franchise has to offer – a chance to win a whole wardrobe sponsored by Revolve.  And all you have to do is put together an outfit of your choosing and strut down the runway.  (Remember when contestants had to get almost naked in years past?  This is way better.)   Also, Victoria F. is a model:

So I find it a little hard to believe that this date got her spinning out so badly, but that’s what she says.

She ping pongs between scared, crying, giddiness, etc. on this date.  It was hard to follow.

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I’m not totally sure what to make of her yet, and it looks like you guys are just as stymied:

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I do believe that one person can authentically feel all these emotions in a short span of time, especially in a stressful situation like dating on national television.  So I’m not saying that she’s putting on an act, but she does seem hard to follow.  She has another breakdown to Peter in the evening portion of the date, and pulls a card that many a contestant has used in the past by threatening to leave.  She’s threatened to leave a few times already, and the previews show her doing it again, so we’ll see whether Peter tires of it in the future, but for now he gives her the assurances she needs to hear, and all seems well.  I think she’ll be around for a bit.

Here’s who I think Peter is most interested in at this point.

  1. Madison:  We didn’t see a ton of her this episode but when we did see her it was meaningful.  Peter gave her a framed picture of their date and made a point to tell her how much he liked her.  I think he’s really feeling it with her.
  2. Sydney: We finally got to see some of Sydney!  She got the group date rose, and Peter really seemed to connect with her.  We also saw some good footage in the preview of the two of them.  I think he really appreciated that she was a straight-shooter and down to earth.
  3. Hannah Ann: Like her or not, it’s pretty clear Peter does.  We’ll see how she weathers the Kelsey storm, but I have a feeling Hannah Ann is going to come out the winner there.  The girls is confident, I’ll give her that!
  4. Victoria F. (possibly): Jury is still out here, I’m not ready to put her at the very top, but that runway walk alone won her some points in Peter’s eyes.  Hopefully she gets out of her own head!  But I think we’re going to get some more gems from her in the mean time.

Peter’s favorites are not always my favorites, so here’s my list of the women I’m enjoying watching the most.

  1. Tammy.  Tammy is a breath of fresh air!  She’s funny, she’s involved but not too involved, and she seems super normal.  Sidenote: there was a voiceover of Tammy seemingly badmouthing Kelsey right after she consoled Kelsey, and I have to think that was editing.  I think Tammy said those words, but likely not about Kelsey (or not about that particular incident).  Always be on alert when you hear a voiceover but don’t see the words coming out of the contestant’s mouth! 
  2. Lexi:  I think she’s a dark horse!  I loved how Peter remembered her (but joked that he didn’t), and I loved her confidence on the group date.  She rocked the runway.  I also loved her response to Kelsey.image1
  3. Natasha:  Natasha was great this episode.  She was up front with Peter about how she felt when he spent all his time with Hannah B., and the outtake of her talking with Janice Dickinson was gold.  She’s also the only contestant over 30, so you know I’m rooting for her!
  4. Kelley:  Where was my girl Kelley this episode??  After such a strong start last week, we barely saw her.  I think she’ll reappear on our screens next week though, and when she does I’m sure she’ll regain her place in Peter’s top 4.image0

 

And I’ll leave you with the best part of the episode:

Categories
Bachelor

We’re BACK!

Hello friends, it’s been a minute.  I am sorry I have abandoned you for TWO YEARS (life happens), but am happy to be here for the beginning of a brand new Bachelor season, with a new bachelor Peter.

So let’s get to it, shall we?  First, let’s talk about Peter and what we know about his season so far, because it looks like things are going down a little differently.  As a reminder, this is a SPOILER-FREE zone.  I haven’t read spoilers for this season and don’t plan to.  That being said, there’s a lot of noise about this season and as a regular consumer of Bachelor content (Reddit, podcasts, interviews), it’s clear something is up.  Peter has explicitly called out spoilers and said that no one will be able to spoil this season.  Chris Harrison has made similar comments.  As far as I know, that has held true and no spoilers have been released, at least about the ending.  The general consensus in the blogosphere is that this season is unspoiled because it hasn’t ended yet.  What I mean by that is that people think Peter either chose no one, chose someone who was not a contestant (cough, cough, Hannah B.), or chose someone but after the season stopped filming.  Maybe this is all a gimmick to lend credence to Hannah B.’s appearance on Peter’s premiere, but for whatever reasons, this season is likely to be an interesting one!

Peter as the Bachelor

As an initial matter, I thought Peter gave an above-average performance on his first night at “The Bachelor.”  He was pretty vanilla on Hannah B.’s season, windmill night aside, but handled the women very well.  He was gracious, attentive, humble, and confident all at the same time.  And his convo with Hannah B. was just HEARTBREAKING.

Hannah B.

This really was the whole episode for me, and the most real this show can get.  I know people are tired of seeing Hannah B. crying on their screens (myself included, but more for her sake – hasn’t she been through enough???) but let’s walk through this.  Hannah was competing on Dancing With The Stars in the LA-area by the time Peter’s season started filming.  It is common knowledge that Mike Fleiss (problematic creator of the franchise) does not like his leading ladies to go on DWTS, even though he routinely lets the male leads do it.  There’s a lot on this.  Hannah B. was the first Bachelorette who has been allowed to have the gig since the first Bachelorette ever, Trista, whereas four former bachelors have done it, not including Grocery Store Joe.

Given Mike Fleiss’s very protectionist approach to having his female leads participate in DWTS, I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to think that in exchange, Hannah agreed to show up on Peter’s season (and in fact, her contract may have required her to do so regardless).  Does that mean she was contractually obligated to share her lingering feelings with the new lead?  Of course not.  But I do feel for her, because it didn’t look like she really wanted to be on that date and I don’t think she had a choice in the matter.

So let’s break it down.  Hannah had a rocky season, to say the least.  She got engaged to Jed which ended in a great ball of flames sometime over the summer.  They were officially over by the time her season concluded, on July 30, 2019.  Hannah then goes out for one date with Tyler C., on August 1, 2019.  That, as we all know, goes nowhere, as Tyler C. starts dating Gigi shortly after.  On August 17, 2019, Hannah is announced as a DWTS contestant, and starts training shortly thereafter (first episode is aired on September 16).  Peter is announced as Bachelor in September, although it was widely known that he was a finalist for the gig by the time Hannah’s season had concluded.  His season started filming on September 20, 2019.  And the date we saw on Monday was filmed on September September 24, 2019 (happy birthday Hannah B.!).

hannah and peter

Whew.  A whirlwind to say the least.  Could Hannah B. have reached out to Peter before his season started if she actually had feelings?  Absolutely.  But I find it pretty defensible that she didn’t.  Trying out one of her runner-ups is one thing, but going down the line is something else.  She also likely wanted to give Peter a shot at the gig, and if she had gotten involved it may have messed it up for him (notably, on Ashley I.’s podcast, Peter said he would not have been the bachelor if Hannah had reached out to him beforehand, which blows my mind).  I do think, however, that she should have tried harder to lock it up while she was on the date.  Peter did not need that extra confusion, and Hannah was not about to join his season.  She was in the middle of filming DWTS!

Given the fact that the season ending still remains open, I am leaving some space in my heart for Hannah B. and Peter to reunite.  I think it’s possible the two will end up together, which is nuts, I know, but it’s also bonkers that Peter is out there saying he wouldn’t have done his season if he had known Hannah was into him!  Can you imagine being Peter’s final 1 and hearing him say that?  So I’m holding out a candle, but we all know she does not actually join Peter’s season because she goes on to win DWTS, which filmed basically the entire time the Bachelor filmed.

Let’s move on to the women who are actually competing for Peter’s heart, shall we?

I’m not going to go through every one, but I am going to include my top contenders thus far.

  1. Kelley Flanagan

kelley

Gotta love a lady lawyer from Chicago!  She was a large part of the episode, cheating scandal aside (and I thought she handled the accusation with grace and humor).  I like her!  She seems to have a good self-awareness about all of it, and she and Peter have an undeniable connection so far.  I hope that “target” on her back goes away as more women get into the fray.  I would hate to see her embroiled in unnecessary drama, but so far so good for Kelley.

2. Hannah Ann

Hannah Ann is like a doll!  She’s young, at 23, but has a lot of poise and grace about her.  She’s clearly very confident, and she has definitely captured Peter’s attention with that first impression rose.  I think she plays it up for the cameras a little too much, but I’m hoping she relaxes into all of this a bit and we get to know her more.  I think she’s going to be around for awhile.

3. Madison

madison

This date was so sweet!  Madison seems like an all-around nice person.  She held it together for that fairly intense first date (first date while being filmed, first alone time with Peter, and also meeting his family all in one is a lot).  The two seemed well-matched.  I didn’t see SPARKS fly between them but they have a solid foundation so far.

Honestly, those are my top three and the rest I’m still trying to figure out.  I thought Tammy was a real hoot:

Victoria F. had a few meltdowns and great facial expressions:

Victoria P. seems too pure for this world (as in The Bachelor world), and I VERY much appreciated the flashback to spinning teacups.

Lauren is just stunning, and crushed the jumpsuit look, so I’m excited to see more from her:

Screen-Shot-2020-01-07-at-3.49.48-PM

So I’m pumped for this season!  And I hope you are too!  Until next time…

Categories
Bachelorette

Let’s Do the Damn Thing!

Just kidding.  Can’t stand that motto.  Even Becca has changed her Instagram profile to remove it, so that is the LAST time you will see it on this blog!

Becca is on her journey to find love (for real this time) and so far, so good!  Honestly guys, I’m just so glad I don’t have to watch Arie on my screen anymore.  That season was so brutal, and not just because of the ending.  I feel like I barely know Becca because they barely showed any real conversation with any of the frontrunners.  But from what I can see, I think Becca will make a great Bachelorette .

I didn’t get a chance to do a full rundown of the guys, but honestly that’s a blessing in disguise.  We are going to be saying goodbye to so many of them in the next few weeks, so I’ll just focus on what we’ve been able to see this far.

We start off on a good note (after we finally get past breakup footage).  Former Bachelorettes come to give Becca advice!  I’ve missed Rachel, Jojo, and Kaitlyn on my screen!  This may have been my favorite part of the episode:

God I’ve missed Big Rach.

I feel like they breezed by most of the limo entrances and I still don’t know everyone’s name, but I do have some thoughts about some of the men.

I’m super impressed by Christon (Chris Staples), former Harlem Globetrotter.  This was a very cool move.

I’m surprised that I’m so into Leo as a contestant.  At first, I couldn’t get past the hair, but his commentary is on point and I hope he sticks around for awhile.

leo 2

I found Jordan absolutely insufferable.  My husband got tired of me yelling at the screen.  This dude is a total joke.  I can’t decide if he’s a Krystal (truly delusional) or a Corinne (playing for the cameras).  Either way I am going to have to get on board with him as entertainment because he looks like he’s around for awhile.

jordan

Colton seems a bit eh to me.  Like I get that he’s handsome and he seems to be into his charity, but he also seems a little too good to be true.  He had a whole media campaign to date Aly Raisman (who is a BOSS).

Here is Colton wooing Aly.  I thought it was pretty cute.  They dated for awhile and broke up awhile ago.  But him going on a reality show after going “viral” to date Aly just seems a little off.  Maybe I’m being too hard on him, but he also is shown wearing tshirts with suit jackets in the previews for this season, so I STAND BY IT.

I’m also NOT into Becca’s First Impression Rose recipient, Garrett.  Not going to lie, I was predisposed to disliking Garrett because I had already seen murmurs of his social media activity (in a nutshell, he liked some pretty vile Instagram memes making fun of Parkland survivors, violence against immigrant children, etc. – this is fodder for a separate post once we get to “know” Garrett more on the season).  However, despite my previous knowledge about him, I ended up disliking him for totally different reasons!  Dude is too cheesy, I just can’t get on board.

garrett

It was just too much.  The Chris Farley impression, the minivan, the fly fishing in the pool at the mansion.. it makes me want to push that cheesy face out of the screen!  It makes his social media presence pretty surprising, but we’ll just have to see it play out.

My frontrunners:

  1. Blake.  I love Blake!  I didn’t love that he rode in on an ox (I feel like those are not supposed to be ridden), but the rest of the night was A+ for Blake, and I feel the connection between him and Becca!

blake

2. Wills.  Not only is he cute, but he has a Harry Potter tattoo.

3.  Colton.  I feel like he sticks around awhile, at least to tell Becca about his (potentially questioned??) virginity!

4. Garrett.  Even if he’s not my favorite, he got the First Impression Rose.  That usually means top 4, and if past Bachelorettes are anything to go by, it could mean he goes all the way.  Kaitlyn, Jojo, and Rachel all ended up getting engaged to the men they gave the first rose to.

Until next week!

Categories
Bachelor

Arie-Time!

Hello rose lovers!  I’m sorry for my absence – I’ve been so busy and the start of the Bachelor season is just so overwhelming!

Before we get too deep into the weeds, let’s talk about Arie.  I happened to adore Arie when he was a contestant on Emily’s season.  I was honestly shocked (SHOCKED!) when Emily picked Jef with one “f” over race-car driver Arie.  I think as a contestant, Arie shined.  He was likable, gallant, handsome, and very into Emily.  I think he’s struggling to find his footing a bit as the lead this time around, and I don’t think 5 years out of the spotlight helped.  On the one hand, at least he’s not uber-aware of every move he makes, like Nick was.  Nick was hyper-focused on image, and it made for a bad season.  Arie is not.  He’s a little bit nerdy and awkward, which are all fine.  It’s more that he doesn’t seem quite comfortable yet, which I hope passes as the process continues.

applause use

Also, his choices in women give me pause.  Arie is one of the more mature bachelors we’ve had.  He’s 36.  He’s not the oldest bachelor we’ve ever had, but he’s certainly not the youngest.  And it seems that he’s systematically booted all the women over 30, all in the first three episodes.

Goodbye Annaliese, 32.

annaliese

Goodbye Lauren J., 33 (who, by the way, had a very interesting, and in my opinion, stunning first night dress)

lauren j

Goodbye, Lauren S., 31 (to Arie’s credit, that was a BAD date)

lauren s

Goodbye Nysha, 30

nysha

Which means that we are only three episodes in, and Arie is, at a MINIMUM, 7 years older than the oldest woman left.  And he’s 14 years older than the youngest (Bekah M).  It’s not necessarily problematic on its own, but given Arie’s dating history, that seems to be his type.  He’s been eliminating women who are challenging (aka, Annaliese making him decide whether or not the two of them had a future), and keeping women like Jenna, who has looked decidedly tipsy at every single turn.

However, it is too soon to call the season.  We still have a few great ladies, so here are my picks for women who will go far.

  1. Becca K., 27.

becca dress

I’m a big fan of Becca.  She got the first 1-on-1, which usually means the lead is into the contestant.  And that date went really well.  She got the “Cinderella” date, which I have mixed feelings about generally.  The show usually picks someone who is a little out of their element with that date, and it always feels really paternalistic.  But Becca knew her way around some Louboutins, so it felt a little less icky this time around.  Becca is also doing a good job of staying out of drama and appears to be really normal.  I like her, and I think Arie does too.

2. Seinne, 27

I have a major girl crush on Seinne.  She’s beautiful, smart, and kind of a badass (she won that bumper car challenge like a champ).  Also, her style is impeccable.  She always is wearing something classic, like monotone, but with a hint of sexy, like a cut-out or sheer.  I would pick Seinne.  I don’t know if Arie will, but she’s a catch, so I hope he keeps her around for awhile.

SEINNE

3. Tia, 26.

At first I thought Tia was just Raven 2.0 (which honestly isn’t that bad because I’ve come around hard on Raven), but Tia is her own person and she’s fabulous!  She’s funny, quick, and comfortable with Arie.  She’s got a lot of spunk and she’s a pleasure to watch, so I hope she sticks around as well.  Tia also seems well-liked in the house, and although she’s in the center of some storylines, she’s not the one causing drama, which is a good sign.

tia

Honestly, those are the only ones I like/think will go far.  I also like Caroline, and she had a promising start as first out of the limo, but I haven’t seen anything from her.  I loved Annaleise and all of her crazy traumatic backstories, but she wasn’t what Arie was looking for.  There are a few other women that we have to talk about.  These are women that I think Arie likes, but I don’t like them for him.

First up, Krystal.  It’s hard to ignore Krystal because she has inserted herself in every episode, sometimes multiple times.  What can I say?  I’m not a fan of Krystal.  She says she had a cold during the first few weeks of filming, but her affect is really noticeable in her ITMs, and less so when she’s having a conversation “off camera.”

The way she is with Arie is super seductive yet sweet, which Arie seems to find very attractive.

krystal 1

But I have a feeling Krystal thought she wasn’t being filmed for this odd exchange, and her affect (and voice) are totally different.

krystal 2

I don’t buy that it was just a cold.  Also, there’s Chelsea the single mom, who came in super hot with the other girls, but seems to have laid off a bit.  I don’t really see the chemistry between Arie and Chelsea, but he seems to like her “mystery.”

chelsea

Last up, Bekah.  I actually find Bekah super compelling to watch, so this analysis is nothing against her.  I just don’t think she’s right for Arie.  Mostly because I don’t think she’s that INTO Arie.  I think she’s really good at being (or acting) super-confident, and she knows that’s a different approach from a lot of other women, so it’s working on Arie.  But I don’t think it will last, and if it does, I don’t think she’d be happy with Arie.  Bekah is 22 – she’s got her whole life ahead of her (hopefully on Paradise!!!).

bekah

Looks like it’s going to be a good season.  Hopefully I’ll be blogging a little more frequently.  Cheers to another episode tonight!

cheers

Categories
Bachelorette

Team Peter? Team Bryan? TEAM RACHEL!

SO MUCH to talk about from last night’s finale.  Based on what I’ve been reading on Twitter and hearing from friends, I have a very different take on what went down last night.  I don’t think Peter was just being uber realistic – I think he didn’t want to be with Rachel.  I don’t think Rachel was just looking for a ring, I think she was asking Peter to take a leap of faith with her and he wouldn’t.

Two points to keep in mind as I go forward:

  • I have been #TeamPeter all season long.  This is not a vendetta I have against Peter.  This is just my analysis of what went down during Peter and Rachel’s last two dates.
  • I am analyzing this within the confines of this show.  This is not just two people who met in public – they met on a reality dating show that ends in an engagement.  Rachel, as the lead, has to cooperate (obviously she can buck the rules, we’ll get to that later) but we can’t forget the context of these interactions.

Context of the Show

The Bachelor and Bachelorette end in engagement.  Full stop.  In the past ten years, only ONE lead has left the show without getting engaged – our favorite bachelor, Juan Pablo.  No Bachelorette has ever left the show without getting engaged.  It’s not a rule, because you can’t force anyone to do it, but it’s damn near close.

If you listen to the leads discuss their relationships post-show, without fail each of them will say that the engagement was the start of their real relationship.  I have not heard a single one say that they knew they wanted to get married right away.  No couple goes on After the Final Rose and says they’re already planning their wedding.  ALL of them say they are excited to start seeing each other in the normal world.  From there, who knows?  We know the stats.  Most of them do not end in marriage.


See the above from former Bachelorette Ali on her blog today. 

Within this universe, an engagement doesn’t mean what it means after you’ve been dating for a normal amount of time in the real world.  It’s an “engagement” – a promise to keep seeing each other.  That’s not to say that engagement isn’t important.  Peter has a valid point.  You only get to say those words “will you marry me” for the first time once.  But it is well known that an engagement on this show is only the beginning of a relationship.

Peter’s Place on the Show

Peter’s insistence that engagement is the same as being married has no place on this show.  HEAR ME OUT.  If Peter knew he felt this way about engagement, he should never have gone on this show.  But we know people go on the show for lots of reasons, not just love.

So let’s say he realized that he was having feelings for Rachel but KNEW he couldn’t propose?  He should have left before final 2.  Lots of people have done it.  Graham left DeAnna’s season after hometowns.  Ali left Jake’s season after hometowns.  Frank left Ali’s season right before fantasy suites, throwing her into a tailspin.  And how can we forget Brooks leaving Desiree right before fantasy suites?  We all thought Brooks was the one for Des and she ended up marrying her “consolation prize” Chris.  They have a baby now.

desiree sad

These people meet on a show and they have to follow the show’s rules to get to the end.  Remember Kaitlyn and Shawn?  They literally fell in love with each other at first sight.  Kaitlyn told him he was “the one” off camera in like week 4.  They still had to go through the whole show, and she even told him that the only way this works is if he sticks around.  The lead cannot leave the show because the person she likes best leaves.  She is contractually obligated to see it through.  If you care about the lead, you have to go through all of it.  It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get engaged at the end, but you’ve seen the numbers.  Everyone does it.

Rachel and Peter’s Fantasy Suite Date

Rachel and Peter have always been cute.  I loved them together from the start.  But Peter was always reserved compared to the others.  I thought that was just his personality, but starting with the Fantasy Suite date I started to think he might just not be that into her.

Peter and Rachel’s Last Chance Date

I’ll take this moment to say that I really do think Peter had feelings for Rachel.  They’re super cute together.  I think he was surprised at how much he cared about her and he never expected himself to be in that situation.

Peter is stuck.  He refuses to compromise on the engagement point but doesn’t want to leave her yet.

Peter marriage

Rachel is frustrated that he won’t play the game and meet her there:

Rachel: If I’m here putting myself out there, so will whoever is at the end.

And then this exchange:

Rachel: You run from too easy.

Peter: Maybe run is not the right word.  I’m definitely not running, I’m here, and moving forward I can completely see football games, and baseball games, and the farmer’s market and wine night with painting.

Rachel: What are your fears about marriage?

Peter: I have no fears about marriage.  It’s something that I really look forward to in life.  Marriage doesn’t scare me.  The idea of having multiple marriages scares me, and multiple proposals is to me one and the same.

Peter: I didn’t expect to find someone who I truly, deeply cared about.  But the hard part is, for me deciding if this person I care about is someone who I love and see as the one and only for the rest of my life.

Rachel expresses that she feels like she’s forcing something to happen and Peter just doesn’t want her in that way.  BINGO.  This is it.

rachel marriage

But Peter can’t just let her go and keeps talking about the future.

Rachel:  I’m so confused about how you can see forever with me but you can’t do the step that you have to to get to forever.  I don’t get it.

That step is only one thing, ENGAGEMENT.  We’re almost breaking the fourth wall here.  In the real world, neither one of them would be having this conversation at this point, but we’re not in the real world.  Engagement doesn’t mean wedding planning.  In this context, engagement means putting yourself out there, taking a leap of faith, compromising and understanding the difference, and starting a new relationship.  Peter won’t do it.

The Break-Up

I don’t think Peter is a “villain” and I don’t think he intended to get himself into this situation, but I do think he was a little manipulative at the end.  Peter has created an impossible situation for Rachel.

He straight up tells her: “I am in love with you, that became very clear to me today, but these feelings are so recent.  They’ve been growing to this point all throughout but I don’t feel that I’m ready to ask you to marry me tomorrow.  But I don’t want to stop being with you.”

So we’re done here.  In the normal world, this would be totally fine.  This would be reasonable, rational behavior.  But we’re on this show called The Bachelorette and everything ends in an “engagement” and Peter refusing to understand that or give in to it is a DEALBREAKER.  Rachel doesn’t care about the Neil Lane ring.  She wants a partner who is all in.  Peter isn’t all in.  DONE.

Here’s where I think it gets a little manipulative.  I think Peter just isn’t there with Rachel.  Which is fine!  He shouldn’t propose if he doesn’t love her.  But he then pivots and says he will propose (basically under duress) after saying that proposing is the one thing he holds “so special and dear to his heart” and he doesn’t want to give it away.  He says he only has one opportunity to propose.  Rachel says: “You don’t have one opportunity, you’re choosing to have one opportunity.”  Peter responds: “I choose to have one opportunity and that is my choice.”

Rachel: You don’t want to take the risk to move forward to what I want.  I don’t want to take the risk to move forward to what you want.

Peter asks if thinking on it overnight will help.

Rachel: What’s going to change overnight?  Even if it did I wouldn’t even feel confident.  If it changes in the morning you would do it completely out of fear.  You’d be doing it because you don’t want to lose me.

Peter:  I would do it for you.  To prove to you that I want to pursue this relationship.

Rachel: I don’t want you to be doing under peer pressure.

Peter: I will make a sacrifice if I have to.  Now you’re saying you don’t want me to.

Rachel: I want you to do it because you want to do it.

Peter: I want to do that when I feel like it is the correct time.

Rachel: And you feel tomorrow is the correct time?

Peter: No.

Rachel: Exactly.  Then don’t do it.

Too little too late Peter!  You think other contestants literally felt ready to marry the lead the night before proposal?  No way.  They all play along and do it because that’s how the show works and they take a leap of faith that the relationship will go somewhere after the show.  He shouldn’t have put that back on her.  He shouldn’t have made Rachel choose to have Peter disavow his morals (especially when he said he couldn’t promise he wouldn’t be resentful).  Rachel is too smart for this.  She knows how this will play out and he knows that she knows that.  He makes her do the dirty work of leaving him, when he should have left her and told her his feelings just weren’t there.

I do think Peter cared for Rachel.  I do think he was confused.  I don’t think he cared for her enough and I don’t think he should have proposed because it just wasn’t there for him.  He should have owned up to that instead of making this all about how he can never propose more than once.  Hundreds of thousands of people propose more than once and they’re doing just fine.

After the Final Rose

Rachel is getting a lot of heat for how she treated Peter on the after show.  I think she was a freaking master, but we’ll get to that.  Rachel was clearly pissed.  She had just watched back the show for the first time and heard Peter say: “Great.  Then go find someone to have a mediocre life with.”  You think she doesn’t understand all the things I’ve explained in this post?  She’s pissed that Peter couldn’t get on board.  SHE was the Bachelorette – she shouldn’t be getting constructively dumped the day before the proposal.  I would be pissed too.

There have been some rumbles about Peter as the next Bachelor.  People are definitely #TeamPeter.  There have also been some rumbles about how that’s what Peter wanted all along.  I’m not that cynical (he would have left at top 3 if he wanted the gig because that’s the clearest way to it), but I do think that was impacting his behavior on the after show.  And Rachel is right.  He can’t have it both ways.  If he is sticking to his story that proposal = marriage then he has no place on this show.

Peter tried to say that he was too in his head this time around (leaving open the possibility that he’d be better next time).

Peter: If I could take back one thing from the entire experience it was to get out of my head, to relax and open myself up more to you and to the process and I don’t know if I regret that but I definitely wish I could have done that differently.

Rachel SHUT IT DOWN: I don’t know, I don’t think that’s what it was.  When I look back and think about it and process the whole thing, what I think was so great was that you were true to yourself, and you took your time and you were at your own pace and I think that’s what was so great.  But I just don’t think this world, this process, this journey, this show, I just don’t think it’s for you.  You need more time.  You need to see things through.  You’re searching for something else.  I don’t think it takes away from the person that you are and I think that you’re sincere and you’re genuine and it’s beautiful and I think you just need more time when it comes to these things, and I hope that moving forward you find whatever it is that you’re searching for and you move forward in that way.

She then quipped that she’s “living her best life,” which seems to really offend the Internet.  It was in a direct response to Peter’s comment about how she’ll live a life of mediocrity.  I saw that as some sass, not an attack.  And her comment about it not being right for him?  NOT AN ATTACK.  If it’s an attack at all, it’s an attack to show that Peter shouldn’t be Bachelor.

I like Peter.  I think Peter is super cute.  I like that he’s rational, and I would much prefer to see him as the Bachelor than someone like Bryan.  But Peter does not get to have it both ways.  He doesn’t get to tell the lead that the process doesn’t work for him and then turn around and try it again with 25 women.  If Peter TRULY believes that a proposal = marriage, he has no place on this show and certainly no place as the Bachelor.  (I don’t think he actually believes that.  I think he just wasn’t there with Rachel, which is fair.  I think he should have owned up to his feelings and then he could go on his merry way as the Bachelor).

Rachel schooled him.  She even got him to admit that maybe the process isn’t right for him.  Lawyered.  I’ve rewatched the after show more than once.  I don’t think she attacked him.  I think people are reacting because they love Peter.  That’s fine, Peter is a cutie.  But I’m Team Rachel.  It’s not an attack on him to say that maybe this process is not for him.  If he really means it that he only ever wants to propose once, he should really not be the Bachelor.

Rachel and Bryan

I’ll keep this brief.  The finale was all about Rachel and Peter.  I think the proposal was overshadowed by this.  Bryan just doesn’t do it for me, but let’s not forget that Rachel has been all about Bryan since night one.  They have chemistry, they are excited around each other, and Bryan has been there for her the entire time.  He’s not my cup of tea, but I’m not the one who is engaged to him.

I do not think Rachel took a consolation prize just for a ring.  I trust her way too much for that.  I do think Rachel had real feelings for Peter and it was hard to say goodbye to him.  But almost all the leads have true feelings for more than one person and they still get engaged at the end of it.  Desiree was absolutely gutted when Brooks left.  I don’t think I’ve seen a sadder proposal on this show.  But Desiree and the runner up are a success story with a baby.  This whole show is messed up – it’s crazy to expect the lead to say goodbye to someone they love and then turn around and get engaged to someone else an hour later.  That’s how it works, and it’s not fair to hold Rachel to a different standard than other leads just because we all thought Peter was hotter/smarter/more rational.

I’m bummed that Rachel was forced on the defensive for her and Bryan.  I don’t think it was the most lovey dovey After the Final Rose.  I hope she’s super happy with Bryan and wish her nothing but the best.  We’ll see what happens with Peter.  I think the after show poked some holes in the narrative of Peter for Bachelor.  For what it’s worth, I WILL WATCH ERIC ANY DAY.

#TeamRachel

 

 

 

Categories
Bachelorette Personal

A Tribute

This week’s Bachelorette was bittersweet for me.  As some of you may know, a dear friend of mine passed away a little over a week ago.  She was a main part of my Bachelorette experience when I lived in Seattle, and it was hard to watch knowing she wasn’t following along.

I’ve known my friend, Jenni, since middle school.  She went by Jen when we got older, but I’ll always think if her as Jenni with an “I”, and sometimes with a heart instead of a dot.  Jenni was such a good person.  She sparkled, she drew people to her, and she had a joy for life that was infectious.  When we were in high school we lived a few minutes away from each other and were together almost every weekend.

After high school, we solidified our Bachelor/Bachelorette watching habits.  We’d come home to Seattle for the summer just in time for the Bachelorette season to start.  Every Monday, I’d bring over the wine (always Chardonnay, Jenni’s favorite), we’d paint our nails, and discuss the episode.  I had watched the show before then, but I looked forward to these Mondays and will always remember them as a starting point for my true appreciation for the franchise.

Jenni actually auditioned for the show one summer.  A friend and I accompanied her to an outdoor mall about 40 minutes away from home for an open casting call (you know, the ones they advertise during the commercial breaks of the show).  We sat forever, coached her on her answers, and waited while she went in there and interviewed.  I didn’t know if she was going to get on the show.  She was pretty young at the time (only 23), we had been out on her boat the day before so she had a vicious sunburn, and had just chopped her hair off into the cutest bob (see my post on what makes a winner – mermaid hair is a constant theme).  She ended up not getting called back, but I’m pretty sure we saw Chantal O’Brien auditioning (she got second place on Brad Womack’s second season).

It’s hard for me to separate the experience of watching the show from my memories of Jenni.  My friends in Seattle continued that tradition and would spend every Monday watching the show together, Jenni included.  It’s also hard for me to describe the deep sorrow I feel now that Jenni’s gone.  So, for this week, a tribute.

jmo13When we went wine tasting for a joint birthday celebration and planned on riding bikes to the wineries.  Jenni didn’t have a bike so we bought her one at WalMart.  We popped all our tires.  Jenni’s WalMart bike was the only bike to survive.

jmo16

Triple birthday celebration (we were all born within weeks of each other).  Jenni let me borrow her dress for dinner.  We owned Yakima that night.

jmo11

Surprise engagement party for Jenni.  She was the first of our friends to get engaged.  I made cupcakes from scratch.  She asked me to be her bridesmaid that night.

jmo8

Wine tasting in Napa for Jenni’s bachelorette.  White wine only, of course.

jmo rehearsal

Bridesmaid picture with Jenni the night before her wedding.

jmo3

The night before my wedding.

jmo liz

My last picture of just the two of us.  Bend, Oregon, May 2017, at a friend’s bachelorette party.

I recently stumbled across our class senior picture from high school.  It’s at trip.

class pic

Jenni’s right in the front, with a big shining star on her shirt.  I’m right behind her.  Jenni was always a star and I am honored to have been close to her until the end.  Love you always, JMo.

***

No recap this week, but I’ll leave you with my top guys.  This week’s episode was gloriously drama free, and I think it’s a testament to the caliber of men Rachel kept for her top 6.  They were all mature and thoughtful.  Usually at this point I’m thinking, HOW has the lead not figured out that X contestant is there for the wrong reasons?!  Not so with Rachel.

  1. Bryan/Peter.  It’s between these two for me.  I think she has strong feelings for both, but Bryan has given her a ton of affirmation and Peter seems to still be a question mark.  I find Peter’s honesty very refreshing, but I can see how it would be scary at this point.  I don’t know who she’ll pick but I think it’s down to these two.
  2. Eric.  He has totally stepped it up since he went on his one-on-one.  He’s still the same analytical guy, but some of that anxiety is gone and he’s been able to be joyful and positive.
  3. Dean.  I love Dean.  He’s a really great guy.  His interactions with the men in the house have been very mature and he just seems like a good person.  I thought his one-on-one with Rachel this week was a little disjointed, and I think that speaks to his age.  Dean’s references to his eccentric family also point to the very classic hometown date disaster awaiting us next week.  I think Rachel and Dean are very sweet together, but I don’t see the long term potential for them in the same way I see it with the other guys.

Next week back to regular programming.  Until then, xoxo.

 

 

Categories
Bachelorette

BIP and Lee

If you’re interested in this blog and the Bachelorette, you have probably heard that Bachelor in Paradise was shut down two weeks ago, and then restarted this week.  There’s a lot of information floating around about what happened, and much of it comes from anonymous sources, but I want to lay out what we know and my thoughts on what went down.

Bachelor in Paradise is the trashy little sister to the Bachelor/Bachelorette mainstream love story.  The producers, Chris Harrison, and ABC still pretend that the Bachelor/Bachelorette can lead to true love.  They’ve given up that completely when it comes to Bachelor in Paradise.  The premise of the show is getting a bunch of rejected suitors from the mainstream shows, put them in a resort in Mexico, isolate them from the world, ply them with alcohol, and roll the cameras.

bip pic

It is no surprise that people get drunk in that situation.  It is also no surprise that people hook up, sometimes with lots of different people, all on camera.  But the issue of consent has never come up, and the show has never, NEVER, stopped production before.

There are still a lot of competing stories out there, but I’ll do my best to break it down.

Bachelor in Paradise started filming on June 4 in Mexico.  On the first day of filming, Corinne and DeMario hooked up after allegedly being told by the show that their “story line” would be that the two of them hang out.  The two had both been drinking heavily, and the hookup happened in the pool.

Stories diverge a bit about what the actual hookup entailed.  According to sources close to DeMario (anonymous, so grain of salt), the two were both heavily intoxicated, they were naked, but did not engage in intercourse.  According to sources from ABC (anonymous again), at one point Corinne “seemed to go limp and was sliding under the water.”  The two appeared to have intercourse briefly.  Corinne issued a statement today.  In her words: “I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened on June 4.  Although I have little memory of that night, something bad obviously took place, which I understand is why production on the show has now been suspended and a producer on the show has filed a complaint against the production.”

After June 4, a producer filed a complaint with the show.  It has been reported that the producer was Corinne’s handler who had not seen the interaction the night before.  It has also been reported that another producer filed a similar complaint.  The show quarantined contestants, shut down production, and started investigating.  Towards the end of the week, the show shut down production indefinitely, sent the cast and crew home.  No lawsuit has been filed by any party, although both Corinne and DeMario have stated that they have hired lawyers.

This past week, Warner Brothers announced that it had concluded its investigation and found no wrongdoing by any party.  The investigation was over in 10 days.  They flew everyone back to Mexico and have since resumed filming.

I have a lot of questions.  If the tape proved no wrongdoing, why did they send everyone home?  Wouldn’t that have been dispositive and readily available information?  I find it odd that they shut down production only to conclude that nothing wrong happened.

Viewed in the best possible light, ABC took allegations very seriously, assumed the worst, and proceeded with extreme caution.  I hope that’s what happened, but I’m pretty skeptical.  This show is, at its core, a moneymaker for ABC.  Sending everyone home and shutting down production “indefinitely” is a huge blow to the network.  If they didn’t resume filming, it would have been six weeks of two times a week primetime that wouldn’t have been filled with anything.

What I think is the more likely scenario (based entirely on speculation and lots of reading about how this networks acts) is that a producer, who had not been present the night of the incident, made a report about bad behavior.  The network took it seriously and investigated.  They realized this would be great publicity.  They issued statements, sent everyone home, and flew them all back, even when they must have seen the tape on Day 1.   People will be riveted now.  They’ll tune in to see what went down with Corinne and DeMario.  ABC says it won’t be airing the incident – wanna bet they air everything but?

The incident brings up some interesting questions about consent and what that means when you’ve signed your life over to a show.  Consent can be so simple but so complex.  People sometimes think it’s easy – get affirmative consent and you’re good to go.  But what if two adults are equally intoxicated and equally participating in a hookup?  What if both are too drunk to consent?  Add another layer.  Someone has told you that your storyline is hooking up with this individual.  You know your producer.  You trust your producer.  You’re coming from an environment where everything is managed for you.  You’re hungry?  Someone will get you food.  You want a drink?  Coming right up.  You’re confused about your feelings?  Someone will talk you through it (on camera, of course).

What I find most interesting about this whole thing is the conversation about what responsibility, if any, the producers have to put a stop to behavior they find potentially harmful or criminal.  BIP has been skirting pretty close the line for awhile now.  Last season, Chad and Lace got WASTED, hooked up in a hot tub (which of course was aired), and he then proceeded to verbally assault her.  Then he pooped his pants.  Is that behavior ok?  Should someone have stepped in and told them they were too drunk to consent?  That Chad shouldn’t drink any more?  That he was clearly processing something deep (death of a parent) and he wasn’t equipped to be on television at that time?

I think yes.  I think the producers have a heightened obligation to protect the contestants from incidents like this.  I don’t know if that fits with the model, and I don’t know if that makes for good TV,  but the power dynamic is skewed.  Producers decide how contestants look to the world.  They tell contestants what to do and there’s a level of trust that exists between a producer and his or her contestant.  From what I’ve heard, participating in the Bachelor, Bachelorette, or BIP is a very isolating experience and you are only exposed to and can “trust” people who are paid to make a television show out of your behavior.  Power balance off, heightened responsibility for the people with the power.

That being said, it looks like we’re full steam ahead with this season’s BIP.  I have my own totally unsubstantiated theories about why ABC chose to handle the incident this way, and we’ll probably never know what really went down and why ABC did what they did. But do I think they approached it in a way to increase ratings?  Absolutely.  SO.  That’s that, we’ll have BIP this summer, and we’ll have to see how it all goes down (no pun intended).

Meanwhile, ABC is taking us on a Rachel rollercoaster with NO rose ceremonies at the end of the episode.  ANNOYING.  We’re still at the part of the season where we have to deal with a bunch of assholes who clearly aren’t going to win but take up all our screen time.  Asshole of the week is named Lee.  Lee is the worst.  He’s the contestant who is “playing the game” and the lead can’t see it but everyone else is like, whyyyy is he still here.  He started out by befriending Kenny, Eric, and other men in the house, only to deliberately antagonize them, prod them, and try to get them to react.  The way Lee describes his interactions with Eric and Kenny is classic coding for “angry black man.”  Eric wasn’t just expressing himself, he was “screaming.”  Kenny wasn’t just standing up for himself, he was “aggressive.”

Even if we HADN’T seen Lee’s Twitter feed, which confirms that this turd is not woke, his behavior is pretty obvious and is a classic manifestation of racism.  Yes, racism.  Calling a black man aggressive and out of control because he engaged in a conversation with you is an overreaction based on stereotypes and fear.  Saying a black man was “screaming” when he was speaking slightly louder than a conversational tone is playing into stereotypes and fear.  You know who WAS screaming?  Mr. Whaboom.  That was a legitimate yell.  Where was Lee for that?

Anyway.  I’m bummed that Lee and Kenny have to go on a 2-1 this week.  They never end well, even if you get picked.  Kenny is one of my favorite contestants this season and he’s getting sucked into the trap of dealing with house dynamics over his own relationship with Rachel.  I do want to note, however, that Lee has been a thorn in Eric’s side as well, and Eric has moved past it with Rachel.  I think that’s more of a testament to how Rachel feels about Eric, rather than Eric’s behavior.  I don’t think she’s that into Kenny, which breaks my heart.  I hope Kenny finds love soon!  Can’t wait to see how it all plays out tomorrow.

As always, my rankings.

  1. Dean.  Dean was on fire this episode.  He’s super charming and I was so there for him taking Lee down and naming exactly what was going on in the house.  I’m concerned he’s too young for Rachel but I don’t even care.
  2. Peter.  Peter made it his mission to stay out of the drama and stay focused on his relationship with Rachel.  He seems to be a calming force for Rachel, and I think she keeps getting more and more interested in him.  Kind of a slower burn, but it’s there.
  3. Bryan.  Bryan hasn’t had a 1-on-1 yet, but he did get the first impression rose.  I think he’s going to be a big player this season, once we weed through the rest of the contestants.  Rachel is totally attracted to him.  I don’t love their kissing style, but who am I to judge?  I hope Rachel’s concern that he’s too good to be true is misplaced.

Honorable mention: Josiah.  I find him funny!  I get that it might be a little obnoxious to showboat like that when you have the mic, but I think it shows confidence and ease.  I thought him making out with the trophy was hilarious.  I assume he’s joking.  Otherwise none of this is funny.  But I like Josiah.

Also, this week we had to say goodbye to Diggy.  I literally yelled out loud when I realized he had been sent home.  Diggy, I love you and I love your bow-ties.  I hope we haven’t seen the last of you.

diggy gif