Episode 6

LAST WEEK'S ROSE CEREMONY

We pick up from last week's cliffhanger, where Emily has told Ben that Olivia's a bully and Ben wants to hear Olivia's side of the story. I find it interesting that Ben seems incapable of filing this information away for later research but has to know exactly what's up RIGHT THIS SECOND. (We later find he does the same with Lauren B.)

The following wasn't revealed last week, but it seems Ben asked almost every woman specifically about Olivia... 

In my mind this changes things slightly. If three women—in this case, Emily, Amanda, and Jennifer were shown—separately come to him with the same opinion, that's pretty powerful. But if the women are prompted and thus feel "safe" to speak their mind, it doesn't carry the same weight in my mind.

It obviously matters a lot to him that the women get along and a rumor, whether true or not, seems to affect him more than most Bachelors of seasons past. 

How Olivia handled this conversation was crucial in my mind. She could have taken the high road, which would be to take at least partial responsibility and say she knows she rubs others the wrong way but is working on that. Instead, she plays the victim and says a string of things that maybe show just WHY she rubs women the wrong way...

Olivia is clearly a smart lady (I still can't get over her age) so I feel like she should know how this comes off. I'm sure watching it back was an eye-opener for her. Here's the thing: I know exactly how she feels. During filming, there were days where I felt like a real conversation couldn't be found if my life depended on it. But other days, I bonded big time with girls, we learned about each other, and talked about plenty of "smart" stuff. And while I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, I can paint my nails and style my hair 'til the cows come home. My point is, the two aren't mutually exclusive, and this "reason" Olivia gives for not meshing with others is a cop-out. 

One last thing about this Rose Ceremony. You can tell Jennifer was well-liked by the girls’ reactions to her departure...

Jennifer was one of those girls who simply didn't get much airtime because a) she wasn't a major frontrunner with Ben, and b) she didn't cause any drama. But the fact that the ladies were all teary-eyed to see her go makes me wish we'd seen more of her. 

 

THE BAHAMAS

The first date card arrives and shockingly, since Olivia, Emily, and Leah haven’t yet received a one-on-one date, the chosen lady is Caila (who received the first one-on-one of the season). There’s a very subtle editing fail here, as the conversation that follows makes no sense.

One might think Olivia would be the most upset about this, but after the last Rose Ceremony she seems to be laying particularly low. But you know who is pissed?

 FORESHADOWING.

FORESHADOWING.

 

CAILA'S ONE-ON-ONE

Right off the bat, Ben shows his insatiable desire to know about house drama...

... and then for the entire daytime part of the date, Caila and Ben do incredibly fun-looking things like deep-sea fishing and jumping into the water...

... while dramatic, orchestrated, minor-key trauma music plays:

 I'd be curious to know just who "everybody" is.

I'd be curious to know just who "everybody" is.

I feel like the evening portion of Caila's date was heavily edited because I found it very hard to follow. First, Ben points out that Caila smiles a lot and and he guesses she smiles through tough times. She says yes. Ben then asks, in a relationship, how exactly she would react if she or her partner were struggling. He asks if she'd still smile through it or if she'd "actually, you know, feel it." Frankly, I found the question kind of insulting, like he took exactly what he has always said he likes about her—the fact that she's always smiling and bubbly—and used it against her for the sake of having a "deeper" conversation.

Caila rightfully gets a bit defensive, and says she knows she's supposed to be "vulnerable". (To which Ben shouts, "No!") Then Ben says, "What I need from you is, are you ready or not? Do you really think I could be someone for you or not?" This and the original question are not even remotely the same. Caila clarifies by speaking in a language full of GFs (Greatest Fears, a term used so much it has earned its own abbreviation)...

Honestly, at first watch, what she said came off a bit arrogant to me. I couldn't help but think, there are 10 women remaining and she's claiming to be afraid of breaking his heart? After marinating with it for awhile, though, I've decided I really like the notion. Not really because of either GF (I do have my doubts about either of those being their actual GFs) but more from the perspective that Caila isn't required to play the role of the one who gets her heart broken at the end of all this. There's something refreshing about that, like she may not know where she stands but she's confident in what she has to offer. Caring about him doesn't solely involve "falling in love" with him, but can also include worrying about hurting him. So while this conversation felt like a maze, the pot of gold at the end was worth it.

 

GROUP DATE

As the weeks wear on, the Group Date activities tend to get cooler and cooler. (On my season, it was this week where we got to go "zorbing" down hills in New Zealand.) Feeding the pigs on Paradise Island is right up there in my books. What a unique experience! Leah asks a very valid question...

... and in general this date is hysterically funny:

Back at the house, Emily is permitted to call her sister Haley with a producer's phone. (Which is SUCH a luxury, by the way. I know Haley was already on the show so the call was likely considered "relevant", but I'm still jealous.) The call turns into a voiceover while we see Olivia meandering down the beach...

... which is textbook B-roll. (Trust me: No contestant is allowed to go off down the beach on her own.)

Ben spends a presumably long time with Lauren B, causing annoyance among the other women, particularly since it appears to be within plain view. But when you're ROCKING A SLEEPING PIGLET IN YOUR ARMS things can't be all bad... 

 oxymoron.

oxymoron.

When explaining why the situation's as weird as it is, Voice-Of-Reason Jojo comes to the rescue...

THIS. This is precisely what makes The Bachelor so compelling. The contestants are cast as much for their looks as their personality. (I've mentioned before that a huge chunk of applicants are eliminated from the get-go based on looks alone.) And just by virtue of being attractive women, they are not accustomed to vying for attention from men. This is not something that should be held against them in any way, it's just how society values young, attractive women. (In other words, hate the game, not the players.) So to me, this is one of the major factors that make this show a social experiment—in addition to the actual feelings felt and the bubble in which they all live—and is up near the top on the "fascinating television" scale. I think this might also be a factor as to why I, as a viewer, prefer The Bachelor to The Bachelorette. It's not that I don't enjoy watching a woman at the helm; it's that a house full of confident men (who are used to doing the pursuing) are as a whole less intriguing to watch than a house full of confident women (who are used to being pursued).

Leah confronts Ben about not having received a one-on-one, and Ben's response bugs me ever so slightly...

Don't get me wrong; in this episode, the rabbit hole down which Leah so willingly falls is inexcusable. But here she is, basically asking him where she stands, and he turns it around on her with an argument that really isn't true. As someone who has been on both, I assure you the time you have on a Group Date does NOT compare to a one-on-one, and it's a lot to ask of a contestant that they be forthcoming and make time. (Plus, if you do, you risk irritating others, à la Olivia.) The thing is, obviously Ben just isn't that into Leah. So, he should have just been honest and said he felt more strongly about others. I'm not saying he should have sent her home right here and now, but Leah's not to blame. YET.

In the evening, there seems to be one lone room in which to have one-on-one time (usually there are at least two). Because of this, it amused me greatly how, in his one-on-one time with them, Ben went to such lengths to make each woman feel special, when every conversation and kiss shared was on the exact same sofa...

Many of you tweeted and commented to me that Leah did not, in fact, say Lauren B's name when she confronted Ben, and that it was spliced in. I'm inclined to agree, particularly since she would have just said "she" thereafter, not "this person":

Then, when Lauren B tearfully tells Leah what happened...

This is very telling. You can see that the only woman any of them suspect of having said anything is Leah. This is confirmed later with...

I'm irked that this came so out of left field. WHY is Lauren B not surprised it was Leah? How come all the ladies clearly only suspected her out of the 6 of them? So much airtime has been dedicated to Olivia-isms that there has been no way to see this coming. IRKED, I SAY.

So, do I think Leah actually said Lauren B's name to Ben at this particular cocktail party? No. But it doesn't matter. Based on what she did say and the fact that she does say it later on, she may as well have.

Oh, and:

 pot, meet kettle.

pot, meet kettle.

Farewell, Leah. I look forward to your WTA defense!

 

TWO-ON-ONE DATE

THAT WEATHER. Talk about adding insult to the injury of having to go on a two-on-one in the first place...

This date felt rushed and like Ben didn't want to be there at all (I can't blame him). We've known it's been over between him and Olivia for some time now, and his reluctant pecks are further proof:

When Ben later sent her home for not being able to reciprocate her feelings, I had to wonder why he couldn't have done it in this moment. 

Emily appears to have an aversion to hair ties...

I had to laugh when Ben said he'd been told Emily was a committed person who had a lot of love to give... by HER MOM. He said, "She recognized that about you." Good grief, I should HOPE so.

We all noticed how Ben felt the need to bring the rose to break up with Olivia...

This seems like an obvious producer decision, since it naturally shoots Olivia's confidence through the roof only to pull the rug out from under her. However, Ben specified on his blog (which I don't normally read but a commenter on my Flare recap referred me to—thank you, Sara J!) that bringing the rose was of his own doing and he feels bad about it:

"One thing I feel really badly about was that I picked up the rose when I went to go talk to Olivia. In all honesty, I'm not really sure why I did that. There were so many other things on my mind that it must've just been instinct as I knew I was making my decision and I usually pick up the rose when I do that on other dates."

That's Exhibit A. Now, Exhibit B:

I call bullshit. There's plenty of time where Ben seems to consider what he's doing, and he seems almost reluctant to grab that rose. I originally suspected he was instructed by his producer to do this and I maintain that even after reading his blog.

Oh, and of course, Ben gives Emily the rose in plain view of Olivia, making me wonder for the millionth time why I watch this show:

I felt awful for Olivia. I know I've been an Olivia defender all season, but whether you loved or hated her, you had to feel for her as she was made to stand alone, stranded on an island while getting pummeled with rain. 2-on-1 dates are always my least favorite part of every season and this one was no exception. 

 

ROSE CEREMONY

No surprises here. I don't think anyone thought Ben would send Lauren B home, but it was still sad to see Lauren H go. Lauren H, we'll miss you and your retainer! 

 

BEST DRESSED

This season's ladies sure can dress. First up, Lauren B's Group Date daytime outfit...

She wore a very simple outfit—just a black bikini top and cut-offs—but the outfit was elevated and made instantly stylish by her kimono duster. My favorite thing about these cover-ups is that, in addition to being easy and feminine, they're usually really affordable and don't take up a lot of space in the suitcase (in my case I'd need to board a plane to end up in a climate where I could wear them). Lauren B's kimono actually belongs to Amanda (friends don't let friends not look cute on group dates) and the brand is Band of Gypsies. It's sadly sold out (HERE), but there are some solid alternatives HERE, HERE, and HERE.

We sadly didn't see a lot of Emily's romper as she was sitting during her phone call to Haley, but it caught my eye nonetheless...

This romper speaks to the very girly side of me. It combines structured lace with flowy floral, plus there's that nice open back. (God, I'm so predictable.) Emily's Hello Molly romper sells HERE.

I like that Amanda takes risks...

She's so tiny and it would be easy for her to just wear jewel-tone bodycon dresses all the time and look fabulous, but she keeps things interesting with choices like this. I've always loved anything off-the-shoulder (and am secretly happy they've been making a comeback) and though the silhouette is billowy, that's offset by the short length. Amanda's exact For Love and Lemons dress is unfortunately sold out (HERE), but is still available in white HERE.

Jojo, too, kept things interesting with her Group Date evening ensemble...

Jojo continues to impress me with her off-the-beaten-path choices. Once again, I've never seen anything like this two-piece dress, yet not only do I like it, I want to know more about the brand behind it. Jojo's proven herself to be a master at covering up in some areas while baring skin in others. Case in point, if this skirt were even knee-length, it wouldn't have the same tasteful ladylike quality to it. Tragically, after I've gone on and on about this Sabo Skirt set, I have to inform you it's totally sold out (HERE).

Lauren B may have spent much of the evening in tears, but she looked great doing it...

I've had my eye on this romper ever since Lauren B was shown wearing it while putting on her makeup a few weeks ago. (Either the makeup clip was taken from this week or she changed her mind on what to wear that evening.) I love how this romper marries bold sex appeal—in the form of a plunging neckline—with the femininity of delicate lace throughout. And then it's back to bold with platform wedges. Lauren B's exact romper is by Lucy Paris but is sold out (HERE). There are similar versions HERE and HERE. There is also a similar version in white HERE. (Also, in my search, I found the romper version of Jojo's Nightcap jumpsuit—which won her Best Dressed two weeks ago—HERE. I just picked one up for myself. 😁) Lauren B's wedges are by Steve Madden and sell HERE.

Best Dressed this week is Jojo with her gorgeous Rose Ceremony dress...

This pick will probably surpise nobody. I hate it when people speak in the third person but I do declare this a "Sharleen" dress. :)  The color, the silhouette, the fact that the bareness up top is balanced with a full length... It's a win. Jojo's dress is by Aussie brand Sabo Skirt (same brand as her two-piece ensemble above) and is unfortunately sold out (HERE). The closest alternatives I was able to find are a similar-colored dress with crochet detailed at the hip instead of down the back (pictured, HERE), as well as similar dresses, also by Sabo Skirt, in white (HERE) and turquoise (HERE). 

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!

Sharleen Joynt35 Comments