Ah, the luxury of being one of the women vying for Ben Higgins’ heart. Living it up in a massive mansion, spending your non-date days poolside in the sun, spending your nights luxuriously enveloped in your bunk bed. Wait, what? Oh, yeah. Apparently the women are sleeping in bunk beds. Sweeeeeeet. But we’re not watching for accommodations. We’re watching for drama (or the hilarity of fabricated drama and emotionally unstable women subjected to it), and this episode has barely begun when the crazy starts.
The first date card arrives. In interview footage, Lace (Crazy 1) says she got a little (a lot) too drunk and emotional on the first night and “that’s not [her].” She wants to redeem herself. Assuming she’s sober during this morning date card arrival, her emotions are still working overboard because her face can’t hide how worked up she gets every time a girl’s name is read off the date card. She then announces that she is “not a crazy girl, at all.” You know who feels the need to make those kind of statements? Crazy girls.
Speaking of facial expressions, we’re privy to Olivia’s first Crazy Face.
The first date is at a high school. When the group of women arrive, JoJo runs ahead of the other ladies and hugs Ben. Pro move. Chris Harrison shows up, splits the women into groups of two and a competition begins. The slowest team in each portion of the competition is eliminated. The tasks are all superfluously sexual in nature. Not in, like, discreetly sexy. More like that guy who keeps going “that’s what she said, heh heh heh”. * We learn that geography is no-one’s strong suit (to be fair, it’s not mine either).
The two members of the winning team are pitted against each in a sprint with hurdles. Mandi wins. She is named “homecoming queen,” and receives a tiara, sash, letter jacket and a ride around the track with Ben. But not additional one-on-one time in the evening. It makes you wonder why the other women are even upset about not winning. It’s five minutes and a plastic tiara. And we learned about plastic tiaras from Mean Girls.
Becca and Ben have a good one-on-one session. Ben kisses Jennifer during their time alone. Lace finds out and loses her shit.
Back at the house, another date card arrives. Olivia’s Crazy Face gets a little crazier.
She assumes her name will be on the card. It is not. Caila receives the first One-on-One date and promptly turns into an unintelligible 13 year old.
On the group date, Lace begins referring to herself in the third person and explaining that there are different Laces. She didn’t mean for Ben to see the particular Lace that he saw. When she and Ben have time to speak, she repeatedly cuts him off and talks over him.
When Jubilee and Ben speak she tells him that she was born in Haiti and spent time in an orphanage prior to being adopted. They kiss. Although Lace doesn’t know about the kiss, she’s pissed about the time Jubilee spent with Ben. She tells Jubilee, and the group, that she hasn’t had “any” time with Ben. They’re not amused. Wine glass in hand, off she goes to find him again. She walks into his conversation with LB and says, “I’m not crazy…”
Again. Who says that? Crazy people.
She tells him that she wants to continue their conversation, but then doesn’t allow him to finish any of his sentences. When she returns to the group they ice her out. Ben pulls JoJo away. They stand on a helipad and we see a LOT of side-boob. They kiss.
JoJo gets the date rose. Jubilee is sad. Lace is displeased.
Caila and Ben’s One-on-One date is “organized” by Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, who tag along for the beginning. While they are moderately funny, it never feels like anything other than the forced promotional stunt that it is (Ride Along 2).
Caila and Ben finally get to be alone for dinner. She tells him about the relationship that she recently ended, but not the part he played in her decision to end it. She gets the date rose. They get a private performance from Amos Lee. Although Ben is freaking out over his favorite song “of all time”, you get the feeling Caila doesn’t know who Amos Lee is.
Group date number two starts with some Olivia Crazy Face.
The girls end up at Love Lab Technologies, which is not (as far as I can tell) an actual company. The women all change into white sports bras, tanks and booty shorts. Because science. Duh. “Dr. Love” then performs experiments to determine the level of chemistry and compatibility between Ben and each of the women. It involves smelling them after they’ve been running on treadmills. He describes Samantha’s scent as “sour.” Ouch. Olivia thinks that was embarrassing.
When overall scores are announced, Samantha has the lowest score. Olivia has the highest.
Olivia and Ben’s score is 7.45. Out of 10. That’s like getting a C. Not exactly impressive. (Ben calls it the 75th percentile. We’re pretty sure that’s not how percentiles work.) During the evening/cocktail portion of the group date, Ben pulls Olivia aside first. They kiss.
He spends some time with one of the twins (sorry, not sure which one). When he’s with Samantha he changes his “sour” determination to “passionfruit.” He talks to Shushanna who – surprise! – does actually speak English. Amanda tells him about her kids. She describes them as “little, cuter, cooler versions of [herself].” They kiss. Olivia gets the date rose. Amanda is sad.
At the pre-Rose Ceremony cocktail party, Ben reassures Leah before being snagged away by Olivia. They kiss. When she returns to the group she tells them, “now I’m done, now everyone have at it.” The girls are pissed. Lace asks to speak to Olivia privately. Lace, wearing an unflattering dress that is clearly the wrong size, tells Olivia, “I want to get to know you,” and then talks about herself. Lace is not pleased with her own time with Ben and, once again, begins talking about the different Laces within her.
Amber is freaking out about not having had any time with Ben. Ben gifts Lauren B. with a photo from their first chat during Episode 1. He gives Lauren H. a blue ribbon. He gives Amanda homemade rose barrettes for her daughters. Amanda says this is “the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done” for her. If that’s true, that’s tragic.
Time for the Rose Ceremony!
Sticking around for one more week (in order of roses received):
JoJo (date rose – body language shows she’s already comfortable with Ben)
Caila (date rose – sneaky crazy and a little immature)
Olivia (date rose – manipulative shit-stirrer)
Jubilee (has overcome adversity)
Lauren B. (cute little mouse)
Leah (holding it together with very little Ben time)
Becca (down to Earth)
Lace (The Bitch is Crazy)
Lauren “LB” (declines rose and chooses to go home)
Jennifer (was friends with LB)
Lauren H. (easily excitable)
Shushanna (now speaks English)
Haley (other twin)
Amber (determining self-worth by rejection or acceptance of Ben)
Last week I initially compared Lace to Courtney Robinson (from Ben Flajnik’s season). I was wrong. Olivia is the new Courtney. Manipulative and self-obsessed. “Winning!”
After LB’s departure, Jackie, Mandi and Samantha were sent home.
I was disappointed to see Jackie go. Not only for how it’s throwing off my bracket, but because I thought she was one of the more “real” women on the show. She seemed comfortable with herself and not so concerned about self-censure or presenting a cultivated image to Ben. *sigh*
My current bracket score? 32. How did you do last night?
* Yes, I use “that’s what she said.” I’m not saying it’s not funny, but it’s definitely not sexy.