Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on episode 5 of The Bachelor with Ben Higgins (original air date: Monday, February 1, 2016).
Welcome back rose lovers, you adorable Monday night binge drinkers. Let’s jump right into last night’s episode, which ended in a cliffhanger!
Ben and his harem are in beautiful Mexico City, all butchering Spanish. Ben strolls through the city in a blue polo and gazes at a fountain. Cue the Latin music. Emily is down a twin but excited to explore her relationship with Ben. Olivia is comforted by the presence of a bidet in their suite (she has one at home) and oh yeah she loves Ben and their “love language” and is pretty sure she’s getting the one-on-one date this week. But it’s cute mom Amanda who is on “cloud nine” as the recipient of the date card. “I just need that time with him to see if it’s worth it for me to be here,” says the adorable Amanda. Olivia is all “Her? But she has kids.” Ick.
It’s 4:20 am and Ben sneaks into Amanda’s room to “see these girls in their element.” Element meaning no makeup and morning breath and retainers. I can’t decide if I love or hate that the women have to share beds. Who gets stuck sleeping with Olivia and her alleged dragon breath? “Whose weave is this?” Ben laughs pointing to someone’s fake hair on the bedside table. Amanda looks perfect (she’s probs used to no sleep given being a single mom to two small kids) and is ready to head out on their date in like 15 minutes.
They hop in a limo and make their way to a hot air balloon. Ben and Amanda float over ancient cities and say things like “this is so crazy/amazing” a lot and make out attractively. They cuddle up on a blanket in a field and Ben says he just likes being around her. “I still get nervous to really open up,” Amanda says and they toast with champagne to talking more about their lives. “I don’t want to scare him away,” Amanda worries.
Back at the hotel suite of nerves and jealousy, the women are moaning about how Amanda is on the longest date so far when a group date card arrives. It’s revealed that Lauren H. will be on the next solo date with the Bachelor.
Back on their date, Ben likes that Amanda always has a smile on her face. She’s all lip bitey and confessional and opens up about her first marriage which was full of “red flags.. After her second daughter was born she discovered texts on her husband’s phone and he was texting exes and meeting girls online and despite not wanting to break up her family she knew it was time to end things. “I never wanted to be a single mom,” Amanda admits and adds that she sometimes felt embarrassed that her marriage failed. She speaks extremely thoughtfully and eloquently. Ben is adamant that he doesn’t feel weird that she was married before. “I admire you,” he tells Amanda. “You’re incredible.” These two really bonded and she accepts his date rose. Ben’s voice-over says he can totally see a future with Amanda. I see a hometown date but not necessarily a forever with these two, as his connections with Lauren B. and JoJo (and, to a lesser degree, Caila) seem so much stronger after their one-on-one dates.
It’s group date day and Ben waves hard at his incoming harem. “I hate group dates!” Jubilee declares. Olivia can’t shut her mouth as usual and is “going to do anything” to get the date rose. The women and Ben enter a classroom and it’s time for a Spanish class. What’s Spanish for “what is that hair Becca?” She’s doing a weird mini bun thing. I’ll try and get a screengrab of it. Emily may no longer be “in it to twin it” since her sister was cut last week, but she shines sans Haley and is adorable with Ben.
Next they head to a restaurant for a cooking lesson. I love Mexican food so much that if I were on this date I would probably have forgotten Ben existed for like 18 minutes. Just long enough to eat like 47 tostadas. There’s an awkward moment when they have to pair off for a cooking challenge and Jubilee and Olivia are in a showdown for who gets to partner with Ben. Neither one is budging (Olivia does have those sturdy cankles on her side) and Olivia is all “I claimed you!” and since Olivia gets what Olivia wants that’s how that shakes out.
First the women must grocery shop in Spanish. I would mostly wander around murmuring “cervezas?” because I’m an asshole. “Ben and I are on a high right now!” gushes the delusional Olivia while she shops with Ben. “She literally makes me want to throw up and her breath is horrible” moans Emily while Ben suggests to Olivia that they find some mint (ha).
The date card arrives back at the hotel for Lauren H. “Let’s design a life together” it reads. Already bored.
Back on the group date everyone is chopping and mincing and other cooking words. “I’m no longer the Bachelor, I’m the Spatular,” Ben deadpans, handsomely. “I want to be his partner in life and his partner in cooking,” Olivia states. Ben observes that Lauren B. and Jubilee are a little quiet and less enthusiastic than the other women, particularly Jubilee. Apparently a woman knows she’s ready to get married when her cooking game is up to par. JoJo is really excited for the chef to taste her taco, etc. She goes on about that for too long. The chefs comment that Olivia and Ben’s dish looks like dog food while Jubilee and Lauren’s dish gets top marks for being restaurant quality.
On the evening portion of their date, Olivia is once again the first to grab Ben for alone time and she is excited to “reconnect.” Jubilee starts to unravel watching him walk away to spend time with the other women. Jennifer emphasizes she’s a commitment girl and Lauren B. gushes that their date from two weeks ago was beyond great and Ben says he never wanted it to end. These two!
Jubilee is in the crossed arms/angry eyebrows phase of jealousy at this point in the evening and while Ben and Lauren B. make out on the street she tries to send someone named Leah who I keep forgetting exists out to interrupt them. When Jubilee finally gets her time she refuses to hold Ben’s hand and then complains about being on group dates and is worried he doesn’t remember her because he has been on “like 1000 dates” since theirs. Ben tells Jubilee he has felt her pulling away from him and that he’s not as confident in their connection anymore. He confronts her about the not hand holding thing and she says a part of that is having the other women around. “I just want it to be me and you…I don’t want you to give up on me.”
It has not gone unnoticed by the other women that Jubilee wouldn’t take Ben’s hand and Jubilee, meanwhile, claims she doesn’t mean to pull back. “Do you still feel at this point in time that there could be something between us?” Ben asks. Jubilee counters that she needs him to tell her the same and Ben tells her he doesn’t feel a strong enough connection. “I think it’s best that tonight we say goodbye,” Ben says. He walks Jubilee out, and they hug goodbye. “I would have loved him unconditionally” she cries in her private interview. Ben takes a moment to gather himself while invisible Leah worries about heading into a rose ceremony without having had time to chat with him and everyone is probably thinking ‘who are you again?’. Ben struggles to explain sending Jubilee home and JoJo is the one to comfort him after and tell him how he handles himself with “class and grace.” “I’m done with breaking up with people after this,” Ben jokes and then because it’s the Bachelor they make out. “It’s all worth it!” he claims.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Ben gives Olivia the group date rose, saying they “reconnected” after she had “struggled” a little and for once everyone’s mouth but Olivia’s is wiiiiiide open.
The next day Ben and Lauren H. head out on their “game changer” (as per Lauren) date. The theme is fashion and the two try on an array of outfits and Ben likes the kindergarten teacher’s “goofiness.” They learn they will be attending a show at Mexico City Fashion Week.
Meanwhile, in Olivia Land: “I’m not threatened by anyone who goes on a date with Ben…I’m back!” she declares, causing a flurry of hate tweets. Emily is sick of Olivia’s negative energy and is gearing up for a throwdown.
Lauren H. and Ben learn they will be walking the runway, and are given some catwalk training. Lauren bonds with the real models pre-show and Ben calms her nerves. She kills it on the runway, and Ben looks crazy handsome. They embrace backstage and Lauren insists this is the best day of her entire life. Clearly she’s never eaten two funnel cakes in one day.
“It’s been a slow burn with Lauren H.,” Ben says, heading into dinner. He wants to see if their connection can be more than just friends, and Lauren H. is worried about being put in the “friend zone.” She opens up to Ben about her last relationship which ended suddenly after four years and she learned later that he had been cheating on her. She has bounced back and is ready to “open up and let someone in” (way to insinuate “bone zone” over “friend zone” girl) and Ben is all over her speech. He calls her confident and cute and says “today was a really exciting day for me.” Meh, watching it was kind of boring for me but hey she’s sweet and nice and very well-spoken and for that, “slow burn” Lauren H. gets the date rose. Also, her go-to swear is “holy shoot” so she’ll be a fan fav soon enough.
At the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, Ben promises JoJo he will never blindside her and they do a dorky high five and I can see her and Lauren B. as final two for sure. Speaking of Lauren B., she tells Ben she can see a life with him. “Like, a life life,” she insists.
Nearby, Amanda is talking about custody arrangements with her ex and how he apparently picks up their daughters on Friday and ships them back on Saturday, prompting Olivia to comment that the conversation reminds her of an episode of Teen Mom. Everyone is offended, especially Emily for some reason. Olivia, sensing the onslaught of shit about to come her way, gets emotional and claims she is going to “try harder” with the women. Emily goes to Ben and cries and tells him Olivia is fake and disrespectful and Ben is really starting to think he’s not seeing the real Olivia. Well, I’m sure given her cavernous mouth you could easily see inside the real Olivia. Close enough?
While Olivia works on buttering Ben up, Emily calls Haley and cries about mean bad Olivia. Ben tries to suss things out from Olivia who claims that everything is good in the house. “I’m just going to have to go with my gut,” he says, which apparently means pumping Amanda for more dirt on Olivia. He’s on the hunt for “red flags.” Both Amanda and Jennifer confirm the Olivia issues and there’s still no screen time for Leah. Before jumping into the rose ceremony, Ben asks to speak privately with Olivia and people are hoping Olivia will be the first woman to have her rose taken away. Which probs means that won’t happen. But we won’t find out tonight because this episode is — cue dramatic music — to be continued!
It looks like next week everyone cries and Ben stands on the edge of a cliff in a suit, maybe after sending Olivia and her cankles home and maybe not. In the outtakes from the episode, Lauren B. teaches Emily how to do a tequila shot. I notice that Emily and I own the same t-shirt. Twinning!
I’ll be back next week. Thanks for reading!