Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on episode 7 (Part 1) of Chris Soules’ season of The Bachelor (original air date: Sunday, February 15, 2015).
It’s a two-night Bachelor event rose lovers! First it’s a one hour ‘Chris Tells All’ special, which is really more of an ‘Andi Cries All’ special. At the start of the hour, host Chris Harrison sits down with ousted Bachelorette Kelsey. Last week, Chris ended both Kelsey and Ashley I’s ‘journeys’ by ditching them in the Badlands and making a hasty exit in a helicopter. Kelsey says she is shocked to hear that she has been such a controversial figure this season, and seems chagrined that the other woman found her condescending and manipulative and thought she faked her panic attack. She claims a “flippant comment was misconstrued as condescending” and insists she had no dark motives in going to Chris’ hotel room to tell him about her dead husband. On top of that, Kelsey swears she didn’t fake the panic attack and was, rather, “flooded” with emotions that night. I have no idea what to make of Kelsey. Either she’s genuinely a good person and has fallen prey to sneaky editing and smarty-pants syndrome, or she’s a true sociopath. When Chris asks if she’s worried about the ‘Women Tell All’ special, she admits she is concerned it will be her “crucifixion.”
Next up, Chris Harrison chats with Bachelor Chris Soules and first on the agenda is to question Chris’ reasons for ratting Ashley out to Kelsey (telling Kelsey that Ashley called her out for being “fake”) during the awkward two-on-one date. “I clearly know less about women than I thought I knew,” Chris laughs. He adds that he didn’t see a future with either of them and claims the double elimination had nothing to do with the specifics of that date. We then get treated to a montage of Ashley S. scenes. Ashley S. was this season’s resident nutbag, and her antics left many scratching their heads. She spoke nonsensically and just never “acted normal,” Chris says. Chris Harrison reveals that Ashley S. had a habit of wandering about the set/property at night, snacking from the craft services table and creeping up on the production staff. I was sincerely hoping for a big Ashley S. reveal. Perhaps she was just acting cray cray and was some sort of performance artist in addition to being a hairstylist. Alas, it was not an act, and Chris Harrison swears her audition tape was normal. They show a few clips from her tape and she does come off as normal. Harrison insists that no one could have predicted her behaviour based on those tapes. When asked about the women who have left thus far, Chris seems most upset about Jillian, and says that from the get-go he had her pegged as ‘top three.’ Too bad their date was such a disaster, and she was sent home.
To wrap up the one hour special, Chris Harrison chats with Andi Dorfman, the most recent Bachelorette. A few days after Chris’ season kicked off, we learned that Andi and fiance/winner Josh had broken up. What made it even more shocking was that they had appeared together at the live red carpet premiere of Chris’ season, as Chris had been on Andi’s season. Harrison goes all Oprah on her ass and asks “what went wrong?” so she immediately starts crying and doesn’t stop. “We had been struggling for awhile” Andi admits. She was 100% sure that Josh was her soul mate and that she had made the right decision in picking him over Nick in her season. Andi confesses that seeing other happy couples at the premiere, and having people ask about their wedding date/plans was eye opening for the couple. Upon their return to Georgia they finally had to admit – mutually – that they didn’t “better each other.” Andi adds that she is super sad and breaks down when Chris asks if she is still in love with Josh. She says she has never loved anyone like that and Josh was her first true love and true heartbreak. Andi refers to the break up as the “biggest failure” of her life so far, and Harrison tries to comfort her saying it’s not a failure. She’s worried she “disappointed people” and feels bad that it didn’t work out when people were rooting for them to make it as a couple. Even I tear up and I’m pretty much a monster most of the time.
Time for the show! We pick up the action with the women and Chris still kicking it in Deadwood, South Dakota. Chris has sent Ashley and Kelsey home (or stranded in the Badlands, but that’s neither here nor there). The remaining women are dressed to the nines and Britt asks why Chris sent both of the ladies home. Carly let’s it be known that they were thrilled about Kelsey’s departure, in particular. Megan and Chris sit together and she admits she hasn’t felt any progression in their connection lately, though they did have that great first date. “You are amazing,” Chris starts, but adds that “there’s some relationships that are moving forward…” but not this one. Boom. Megan is out. Happy trails Megan. Chris sits down in front of an antique shop next to what appears to be a tiny casino (hey, it’s South Dakota) and breathes heavily with the sads.
And then there were six.
Chris returns to his dwindling harem and talks about the “painful” act of saying goodbye. Kaitlyn is relieved because she hopes there will be no rose ceremony given Megan’s departure, but host Chris Harrison arrives to quickly dash that dream. Carly seems like the obvious gal on the chopping block, and she knows it. “He’s an easy person to love,” cries a terrified and apparently nauseous Carly.
Chris returns to announce that he has kiboshed the rose ceremony and Carly launches her body at his body in joy/relief. Instead they will all be going to Iowa. You have never seen people more excited to go to Iowa. It’s like they just found out they are heading to a fancy spa for a week of pampering from men that all look like Bradley Cooper. The producers opt to ease the final six women into Iowa by starting them off in Des Moines instead of dumping them in Chris’ hometown of Arlington.
Jade becomes the first gal to snag a second one-on-one date card. Britt is admittedly jealous, but no one feels bad for her as she’s had a shit ton of solo time with the Bachelor, including last week’s disappearing act. And Kaitlyn is wearing a lipstick so amazing that even I (who only wears makeup when threatened or attending a wedding or hot dog eating contest) feel a physical longing to possess the shade. Chris, meanwhile, is back on the farm (his farm) and realizes he hasn’t brought a woman home since Andi! Hopefully Jade is kinda over watching her boyfriend make out with his other girlfriends in front of her. Chris is really looking for a girl who is DTM (Down to Move), specifically to Arlington. Jade arrives and Chris takes her on a tour of his house, pointing out his lands through the wraparound windows. Jade thinks his house is a little bachelor-looking but would be great with a “tweak”. He points out his cows like they are neighbours: “there’s Bennett!”, etc. I always thought it was an unspoken rule that you don’t name your farm animals. But if we’re doing this, I would like to claim the names Thatcher and Margot. Beat those, Iowa farmers!
Back in Des Moines, Britt is starting to spiral about Jade getting to go on a date in Arlington, and her fears are far from assuaged when the next solo date card arrives for Whitney. I will say, however, that Britt does kind of have a point: Jade getting to see Arlington gives her the upper hand in making a decision about wanting to move forward with Chris to hometown dates with her family. After all, it isn’t just Chris’ decision.
On their date, Chris shows Jade around his (ghost) town, featuring boarded-up businesses and (I presume) a feisty tumbleweed that might be the mayor. No restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or movie theatres here. It’s like playing the world’s shortest game of eye spy. Fuuuck this place is small. Jade looks visibly freaked, but as she senses Chris’ insecurity about it, she attempts encouraging noises and agreeable blinks. Jade misses a chance to joke that there was a bar in Arlington until this season’s drunkies Tara and Jordan drank it dry. At least I now know that something smaller than my apartment exists, and it’s Arlington, Iowa.
Later that evening they hop on Chris’ motorcycle and head to a football game at Chris’ former high school, where he seems to know everyone. There is something to be said for small towns. I couldn’t even pick my neighbour out of a lineup. Time for the mom and dad ambush: Chris brings Jade over to meet his folks who happen to also be at the football game. It may be a weird town law, like that old no eating ice cream in Carmel thing (thanks for coming to the rescue Clint Eastwood!). This town is so small the football players also have to play instruments in the school band during half time! Chris walks Jade through the halls of his former high school and says he was a bit of a rebel back then (I suspect cow tipping, but not Bennett because he looks like he’d fight back). Jade wants to open up to Chris about something but doesn’t go beyond some vague mentions of having rebelled and decisions that made her grow up and blah blah. We’ll find out soon that she posed for Playboy, because that’s the only thing the previews have focused on all night.
Jade is less freaked about the small small small town of Arlington now, and the “crowd” cheers them to kiss on the football field after the game. Nothing says romance like kissing the dude you are sharing with five other women in front of his parents. Jade confesses in her private interview that she’s falling in love.
Chris’ next one-on-one date is with Whitney. The theme of the date is exploring the thriving art community in Des Moines. Chris tells a super exuberant Whitney that they are going on a photo safari. Given the little time we’ve seen them hang out together they seem exceptionally cute and couple-y. Chris and Whitney take a million photos of themselves kissing at various ‘landmarks’ across the city and it’s kind of precious. Chris “likes a lot of things about Whitney” and appreciates that she isn’t shy about her feelings.
Back at the hotel, Jade is recounting her Arlington date with Chris, and Britt starts crying. Again, no one is sympathetic because Britt has been a perceived front-runner so far and her strong and visible connection with Chris has been the source of some tension in the group. Basically, the ladies feel like maybe it’s Britt’s turn to feel like it’s not all about her. Carly reveals a plan to road trip to Arlington to “check it out” and the women (minus Jade) decide to go for it. After a two-hour drive, the enthusiasm in the vehicle drops to barely a peep. The smells (cow poop) and endless views of…corn. The deserted town. Ever wondered what a van full of resting bitch faces looks like? I wonder no more.
The road trippers venture out of the van and quickly find out that everything is closed or abandoned, but Carly finds a ‘sign’: the Jesus painting in the church is the same painting in the same frame as one in her grandparents’ house. The women ask a local where they can get some food around these parts and he tells them “not here”. He turns out to be the pastor. Becca the virgin says she likes it in Arlington but would want to “pop out babies” immediately. Probs to alleviate the boredom. And the virginity.
On their date, Chris cheers Whitney to “one of the best days of his life.” They head to a bar and meet up with three of Chris’ besties. Whitney’s cartoon voice is on full blast, but other than that she totally kills it. The couple seem completely in synch and at ease, and she handles all the questions from Chris’ pals with aplomb. They seem like a natural fit.
Meanwhile, the other women have returned from their Arlington road trip and Britt admits that when she got there her first thought was “I don’t see myself in this town.” But apparently the sunset view on the drive out caused her to do a complete 180, because now she says she could picture living there after all. Carly ain’t buying it and says in her private on-camera interview that Britt is one of the fakest people she’s ever met. The group date card arrives and it’s for Britt, Carly and Kaitlyn, and reads “Icy our future together.”
Chris’ friends have left and it’s time for some real talk. Whitney tells Chris she essentially has no parents because her mom died tragically when she was 20 and she has no relationship with her dad. Whitney emphasizes that she wants a man with a great family and great parents who can be like a mom and dad for her. I hope she likes high school football games!
Chris announces that he has a surprise for her, and they leave the bar and are greeted by Bachelor fans waiting outside to catch a glimpse. There are about 23 people, so it’s like the entire population of Des Moines. He leads Whitney to a wall where one of their photos from earlier in the day has been painted onto a mural like in that A-Ha video. for Take on Me! “Whitney is a person I can see myself spending the rest of my life with,” Chris says. As for Whitney? “I honestly can say I fell in love tonight.” she gushes in her private interview.
The next day, Whitney regales Becca and Jade with details of their date. Jade decides to come clean to soon-to-be-relegated-to-the-friend-zone Carly that she did nude modeling for Playboy a few years back. “This could end my relationship with him,” Jade admits. She also reveals that her dad found out from some co-workers. “Sometimes I regret posing nude” Jade says. Honey, your parents named you Jade. There was like a 50/50 chance you were going to pose nude.
Britt, Carly and Kaitlyn arrive at an arena for their group date, where a rose (and therefore a hometown date) is on the table. They lace-up and everyone is terrible so of course they decide to integrate hockey sticks into it. Thanks god that ends the 4-way hand hold skating around the rink. Vomit. Britt whisks Chris away for some alone time and all I can think is that he is so brave for kissing all these super-lipsticked lady mouths. Britt tells him about the road trip to Arlington and he is delighted that the “gals” did that. She confesses that at first she was freaked about the tiny town but ended up loving it. Carly and Kaitlyn, their lust on ice for the time being (see what I did there?), chat about their suspicions that Britt is off with Chris telling him how much she loved his town and they are praying that he sees through her. I have to wonder if Britt (who Chris says he can also see himself marrying) is really deserving of this hatred from Carly. She didn’t pretend to love Arlington at first sight and the other ladies felt exactly the same way, so why all the Britt hate?
When Carly gets Chris alone she babbles that she is really “protective” of him and that’s why she has to tell him that Britt was totally not into Iowa life on the road trip but sang a different tune once they returned to the hotel. “Be careful, Chris” she cries. Way to really friend-zone yourself Carly. She even adds “I know you really like her.”
Carly’s revelation appears to be weighing heavily on the Bachelor’s mind over cocktails later that night, and he pulls Britt aside early on. She gushes that she wants Chris to want to meet her family and adds that he could do the whole tour of her life in, like, three blocks. “Speaking of that…” Chris begins. He is obviously nervous and keeps clearing his throat and seems terrified. When pressed about whether she for realsies could see herself in Arlington, Britt assures him that “there was never a ‘no way’ but..” admits Arlington was a shock. This seems to comfort Chris for the time being.
Kaitlyn is less comforted, and comments about Britt that “she’s moulding herself to be that person that Chris wants her to be.” You know what? I really dig Kaitlyn. In the first two weeks her crude jokes kind of rubbed me the wrong way (odd, since crude jokes are my bread and butter), but she’s kind of the best and seems to have a good head on her shoulders. Kaitlyn and Chris sit together, and she admits to feeling like she’s always “playing catch-up.” But unlike with Megan Chris assures her that things are progressing. “You stood out to me on day one,” he tells her. Kaitlyn gets the “big deal” date rose, and Chris tells her “I feel like the luckiest man alive when I’m with you.” She gladly accepts the rose and says that he’s making her “soft”. Cute.
Chris and Kaitlyn return to Carly and Britt, and Britt is shooting daggers out of her eyes at the sight of Kaitlyn holding the date rose. Even her (supposedly unwashed for weeks) hair looks pissed off. Her eyebrows look downright unimpressed. She does not containing her disdain during Chris’ “you are all amazing women” speech. Carly tries to smooth things over during a very awkward moment but Britt cuts her off to express her “not mad” but confused feelings about not getting the date rose. Um, you got one last week!!! Things take an even more awkward turn when Britt tells Chris “you’re allowed to do that,” speaking about him giving the rose to someone else. Um, duh. What’s worse is that she dumps this all on Chris in front of Carly and Kaitlyn, including a mention of not wanting to be her future husband’s ‘third, fourth or whatever choice’. This is imploding, quick. Chris barely maintains patience and decorum, and says he doesn’t find the conversation respectful of Carly and Kaitlyn. With an “I’m looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow,” he leaves.
Britt seems to regret her actions immediately, and (oddly) looks to the other women for comfort. “We’ve all been there,” Kaitlyn says, but adds (and rightly so) that Britt’s outburst made her feel crappy about getting the date rose. “It was you last week!” Carly points out, again justifiably.
Carly is just happy that Chris has possibly now seen Britt’s “true colours”. Suddenly, front-runner Britt isn’t seeming like such a front-runner. “She’s screwed” Carly later tells Whitney. “There’s no recovering.”
And that’s the end of night one of this two-night Bachelor event!