Sorry for the delay, dear readers! It was a busy week combined with technical difficulties (damn you, Quicktime!) and Winter Storm Jonas. Forgive me!
In Lauren B's getting ready for her one-on-one, I couldn't help but make a very random observation. Either she or one of her roommates was very smart in bringing that little mirror:
This is a very random (if not "fun") fact: There is a noticeable lack of mirrors in the Bachelor mansion. I know that sounds weird, particularly because there's so much emphasis on our looks, but it's totally true. In my room (the pink room!) which I shared with Nikki, Andi, and Alli, the only mirror was in the bathroom and it had a bizarre weathered effect to it, making it useless for your reflection. After we complained for days (and survived with the mirrors in our compacts), a handler finally delivered one of those flimsy—but functional—small-ish full length mirrors. It wasn't uncommon to see us clustered around it in a sort of totem pole formation so we could all see our reflections simultaneously. Just trust me when I say, when all the women are getting ready for something at the same time, mirror space is prime real estate.
LAUREN B'S ONE-ON-ONE
We all knew a one-on-one was coming Lauren B's way sooner or later, but DAMN she got one of the coolest ones I think I've ever seen...
Lauren B says, "I'm not super into situations that I've never been in. I like to know what's going on. I'm a planner." I love it when people can just admit to not liking something that most people claim to like. It might sound unremarkable but it's rarer than you'd think. At a recent dinner, a girlfriend of mine told me she doesn't like to travel. She admitted that's weird because "everyone likes to travel", but I actually loved her confidence in being able to say that, knowing people would scratch their heads at her. Anyway, with how glorified it is to say "I love adventure" or "I love surprises", I appreciate Lauren B's honesty.
After their plane lands, there's a very funny and very Bachelor-appropriate product placement:
Back at the mansion, house mom Jojo is the voice of reason:
Back on the date, Ben is super into Lauren B. We know already that he's is a bit more eloquent than some past Bachelors. This is simple, but I can't imagine Farmer Chris saying the following: "I spent the day with you, and not only did I get the gift of looking at you and laughing with you, but just being with you. It almost seems silly, but Lauren, will you accept my rose?" Not to rip on Chris (I did happen to find him a pretty funny Bachelor), but his would sound more like, "I spent the day with you and it was... amazing. You're just... amazing."
And DAYUM the way Ben looks at Lauren B:
Back at the mansion, the girls are in the requisite U-formation to receive the loud knock at the door, something I for one never got used to. Jojo once again says it like it is:
I don't have much to say about the soccer group date. It's pretty much a replica of every other competitive sport date we've ever seen on this show. Drama is guaranteed if you pit two teams together and force the losing team to go home instead of spending the evening portion of the so-called date with the lead. (Never mind how counterintuitive that is to the supposed premise of the show.)
At the mansion, Jubilee says something that really stuck with me...
I have a theory as to the reason why so many of the contestants on this show fall so hard for the lead. Yes, of course, there's the living-in-a-bubble thing, the blinders-on mentality, the sense of competition making the "prize" seem even more prize-like... But it's no coincidence that the farther people go, generally the more and more "in love" they seem to fall (and thus more brokenhearted when they're cut). I don't know about you, but in my experience the more and more I've gotten to know someone of the opposite sex romantically, the less likely it was that I'd fall in love with them. It's not that I'm hyper critical or picky, it's just that not everyone is meant to be with each other, and as we get to know each other better, the cracks in compatibility tend to show.
But in this alternate reality, contestants start off in a position of feeling invisible, or at least not particularly special. To be singled out, especially early, as someone who "sticks out" to the lead, is flattering to say the least. That feeling of specialness is not to be underestimated in a realm where your self esteem and sense of self are being challenged daily. Therefore, my theory is that contestants fall "in love" more with that feeling and confuse it with actual love for the lead. This is something I've been pondering both from my own experience and from having been a viewer for several years. Thoughts??
Back on the group date, Amber shows her keen eye for the important stuff...
I've always envied those folks who can be 100% themselves around new people or when they're socially out of their element. I've never been able to be that way and therefore I feel for Jubilee. Watching her entire one-on-one date, it's clear she's usually the class clown but she doesn't know how to let that side of her out without coming off like she doesn't care. It was frustrating to watch all the girls moan about how she didn't seem "grateful" when Jubilee was obviously using sarcasm to offset her discomfort. (Oh, and for the record, she literally jumped off the sofa and screamed upon hearing her name on the date card. Not the reaction of someone who doesn't care.)
In her own words: "With me, there's always this level of discomfort when I'm with somebody. Like, I can't really be myself, I can't joke around, say my jokes, you know, or just be who I am naturally."
Just watch her self-edit her own joy as Ben reaches for the rose to offer it to her:
It was in the above moment that I finally fell in love with Ben as the Bachelor. In addition to being eloquent, he's sensitive and perceptive. Jubilee doesn't fool him for a second. He just gets it.
The Rose Ceremony has a somber tone to it as Ben announces the sudden death of longtime family friends of his. What ensued with Olivia did not sit well with me (I said in my Flare recap that the topic of her cankles should not have been even in the mix, regardless of context.) As many of you know, I get to know some contestants as the seasons progress, but I do my best to avoid any bias when recapping. (Contrary to popular belief, for example, Nick Viall and I did not become friends until Andi's season was almost finished, long after I'd spent much time defending him.)
*** UPDATE 01.27.16: When I originally posted this entry I included a few things Olivia told me personally because I felt they gave her side of the story and thus a fairer view of what happened that night. However, I've since been asked by a producer to remove it due to confidentiality. I've taken it down as of today. To The Powers That Be: I apologize. I assure you I only meant well.
I discuss Jubilee and massage-gate, as well as my top 4 frontrunners in my Flare recap.
Not a ton of outfits stood out to me this week, neither in a good or bad way, even having re-watched the episode. Here are the few that did...
It's not often a sports group date is a chance to show off anything remarkable, but I loved Lauren H's tank:
I confess I've had my eye on this tank for awhile, so when Lauren H trotted out in it I took it as a sign that it was time to bite the bullet. I bought it in the darker shade of grey than Lauren's and have fallen in love. The back is surprisingly sexy but there's lots of airy coverage in the front. Lauren H's Lululemon Wild Tank sells HERE.
I really dug the color of Lauren B's Night One dress, and she did it again with her one-on-one date top:
Once again, this color is EVERYTHING. The paisley print is effortless and sweet, and I've always loved a cold shoulder situation. Isn't it neat how despite this being more covered-up, it's sexier than if it were a regular tank? Lauren B's Francesca's Cottonwood top ($16!) sells HERE. There's a Francesca's a couple of blocks from me that I almost never step inside. Note to self: Check it out.
My Best Dressed this week was Emily in her Rose Ceremony ensemble:
I've been having a bit of a love affair with burgundy lately. Burgundy's a bit of a risky color because it can look really old really easily. However, the marriage of a mature color and a sexy silhouette really work, as proved by Emily. Yes, the dress is tight, short, has sequins and an open back. But in burgundy it looks super sophisticated. Emily styled the dress really well, too, with nude-themed neutrals that accent the dress. Emily's dress is from Dillards and is sadly sold out, but her Steve Madden "Sandalia" lace-up pumps sell HERE. Her earrings are Express and also no longer available, but I found some very tempting options with the same theme HERE and HERE. (I'm thisclose to getting the asymmetrical ear crawler set.)
As I said, not much stood out to me this week, and that included the bad stuff. I never like to force this section anyway. No Worst Dressed this week!
Until next week, fellow pandas