Episode 7

"I don't want to feel this way with someone I'm trying to fall in love with." —Becca

 

WARSAW

We start off in Ben's hometown of Warsaw, Indiana, where our Bachelor is describing his remaining 6 "girlfriends" to his parents. Right off the bat, he drops a doozy about Jojo...

As he takes the ladies to their Warsaw digs, only a boat ride across the pond from the house in which he grew up, Emily, who is 23-years old, presumably has professional aspirations, and has not yet been on one real date with Ben, says:

 Um, #goals?

Um, #goals?

 

LAUREN B'S ONE-ON-ONE

The way Ben looks at Lauren B is on another level. It is! I always feel like he's consciously soaking it in when he's with her...

This was a very special one-on-one. (I don't say that lightly!) It combined a peek into Ben's past with getting involved in the community and the whole thing just warmed my heart. It sounds cheesy but it's true.

 I MEAN.

I MEAN.

Plus, just when I thought this date couldn't get any cuter, I realized they were twinsies all day...

In the evening, the major (and only shown) topic is about whether or not Lauren B is, in fact, the same person with Ben that she is around the women. There's basically no discussion to be had here. It's clear Ben is insanely into Lauren B and their "issues" are patched up faster than you can say, "Leah, who?"

At the end of the night Lauren B finally utters the L-word, but it's how she delivers the information that reminds me why I find her so gosh darn relatable...

So many contestants look either too sincere or too delusional when they say they're in love on The Bachelor. But with Lauren B, you can tell she KNOWS how clichéd what she's saying sounds and can't quite believe she's saying it. And it's for those reasons that I believe her.

 

JOJO'S ONE-ON-ONE

Jojo spends her Wrigley Stadium one-on-one in a "Mrs. Higgins" baseball jersey, which kind of sucks. Having a custom jersey is a damn cool memento from The Bachelor experience, but the only way she can later appreciate it without an inkling of disdain is if she "wins", manages to make it down the aisle, and (it always bugs me how this is assumed) changes her name. Wouldn't a "Fletcher" jersey have been a better choice?

I appreciated how Jojo wasn't an expert baseball player...

... because watching all these sports dates and never having a clue who the "celeb" guest athletes are always makes me feel very not-with-the-program. Jojo makes me feel marginally better about myself.

Back in Warsaw, the girls are made to have a very undramatic Girl Chat. (Without Lace, Olivia, or Leah, it's only reasonable conversations and sympathetic nods from here on out.) Becca reveals having developed feelings somewhere along the way...

... which it's safe to say serves as foreshadowing for her eventual elimination. In the evening part of Jojo's date, yet another Girl Chat with Becca is shown, in case you needed further proof that Becca's IN THIS...

Watching this back, I'm disappointed in myself for not seeing Becca's departure coming. These conversations were clearly building up her feelings to make her impending "heartbreak" seem more devastating.

Side note about the above: Timing is everything. It's strange to imagine going on this show and it being the "wrong" guy. For example, my dear friend Christy applied to be on the show before Sean's season (but was ultimately cast for Juan Pablo's), while the lovely Ashley I. (from Chris' season) applied while they were casting Juan Pablo's. There are any number of reasons why a girl might be cast for one season over another, but it's weird to imagine how different your experience might be based on who your Bachelor is. One Bachelor's Night One girl (the term given to the ladies sent home on Night One) could be another's final pick. I know that's obvious, but having gone on the show and having had the experience I had, I find it trippy to think about and imagine how differently things might have turned out. Furthermore, a returning contestant like Becca or Nick Viall—while certainly having experienced two different seasons to the fullest—can't really say they their second journeys were unbiased. After all, by being returning contestants alone, there is a familiarity the lead has with them (from seeing them on television), so we'll never know if they would have made it as far or had the connection they shared if that were their first or only season. 

Jojo, like Lauren B, won me over with her self-awareness at how clichéd what she's saying sounds, while Ben proves for the millionth time that he fully gets it...

I have to say, it seems like most Bachelors are consistently drawn most strongly to the women who are the most self-aware and least out-to-lunch.

 

GROUP DATE

This date was hilarious. First, I had to laugh when the date opened with the girls, in a limousine and with champagne in hand, were on their way to their "date" looking SO unbelievably over it...

Second, the most ominous, suspenseful music played during...

Third, the decorative theme of hay was stolen from Chris' season and taken to the next level... 

 hayhay.jpg

hayhay.jpg

And last but not least, Ben's obligatory (yet incredibly useless) speech about how tough it is JUST CHOOSE ONE. What woman doesn't like to be told by a man that he feels really good about you... and two of your roommates? Also, Becca's face:

Also, you know that by Becca telling Ben...

... it only motivated the producers to do whatever it took to make sure she did indeed get blindsided, because FORESHADOWING.

In the evening, Ben takes Amanda to McDonald's because going to McDonald's is what one "does" in Warsaw. (Translation: McDonald's paid the production company A LOT of money.) Considering it was definitely evening when they went, I was deeply confused by the fact that they both were able to order Egg McMuffins. This sent me down a spiral of googling McDonald's breakfast hours and learning that McDonald's has ALL DAY BREAKFASTS NOW. Which I was embarrassingly happy about. Which means the plug worked and now I'm ashamed. It's like those irritating bench ads that read, "YOU JUST PROVED BENCH ADVERTISING WORKS." Ugh!

For more information on this McDonald's product placement, read Rob Costa's excellent thoughts below in the comment section. He knows way more about this than I do.

Oh, and we learn that Ben is terrified of fair rides...

Which is TOTALLY VALID. Holy crap. I have thought this exact same thing hundreds of times but have never developed a proper fear based on it. It's official. I'm now afraid of fair rides, too. 👍

 

EMILY'S ONE-ON-ONE

For their first real date, Ben takes Emily to his childhood home and introduces her to his parents. As one does. The date's a bit of a train wreck in that it mostly consists of Emily nervously rambling about how ready she is to get married despite being only 23, how this process has taught her things she didn't even know she needed "growing on", and how she feels average but knows she'd be an above-average wife and mom. Despite the fact that Emily didn't quite choose her topics properly—it's safe to say Ben's mother might have preferred to simply get to know Emily on a simpler level, not be told what a great potential wife and mother she'd wind up being—I really like Emily. How do I put this? There's a carefulness to her that endears her to me...

Emily wants to do and say the right thing, and whether or not she actually does, the fact that she means so well makes up for it. The same goes for her drama with Olivia. It drove her crazy that what she perceived as Olivia being a bully was going unnoticed and unpunished. She went too far in her hatred—the bad breath stuff's a no-no—but it came from a place of wanting to right wrongs. Emily has that righteousness to her that, now that I'm a bit older, I recognize as a trait of youth. I know because I, too, was much more righteous when I was 23. I guess one of the gifts of getting older is mellowing out and accepting you can't right the wrongs which aren't in your control.

When Ben sends Emily home, it's an trademark Bachelor moment. The words, the discomfort, the how-do-I-put-this pauses...

I swear you can see him gulp. This might sound awful, but watching this, I realize that I consider moments like this—his discomfort and the excrutiating awkwardness—to be what makes this show good television, less so her tears after the fact.

 

ROSE CEREMONY

You know it had to be freezing for the girls to have been allowed to wear coats for a Rose Ceremony...

One of the above ladies told me it was "miserably cold" that night and many of those coats were bought for them because of it. I've pointed out shivers in Rose Ceremonies before—suffice to say, it's looks over comfort, and they are not afraid to let you freeze your ass off. 

For some reason I was shocked Becca went home. I know I said I didn't see much chemistry between her and Ben, but I guess I trusted in some sort of understanding between them, something we weren't seeing through our screens. I also felt after she specifically asked not to be blindsided, there was no way he'd do that to her. So much for that.

I had to laugh at the dichotomy of sheepish Ben, clearly avoiding eye contact with Becca, with doesn't-give-a-rat's-ass Harrison...

Then, as Becca is rightfully pissed about being blindsided the day after specifically asking to not get blindsided...

... the other ladies are made to just stand and wait outside on this balmy evening for what was likely a very long time...

One of the questions I'm asked most often is how close the cameras are to you during filming. It varies depending on the situation, but this week's credits provide an excellent (and funny!) example of how close they are during Girl Chats.

And lest you think that's no big deal, you try having a girly chat about your romantic feelings for the same guy while a burly man clad in black films from 10 feet away.

 

BEST DRESSED

There weren't many dressy options to ogle this week since it was clearly chilly in Warsaw and a lot of time was spent outdoors. However, the ladies brought it in the casual department. I don't have a Best Dressed this week, but there are a lot of finalists...

In the B-roll of the ladies strolling around Warsaw, Lauren B's cozy cardigan stood out in a sea of leather jackets...

I'm a bit biased because this is exactly the sort of thing I would opt for on a Fall day. I love a cuddly cardigan, especially in a nude-meets-tan shade, and I happen to own 3 variations. (It's not excessive if you wear them all!) Lauren B could have worn a leather jacket here, yes, but with the cardigan she looks cozy and feminine. Her exact cardigan is a cashmere-blend from Aritzia and sells HERE. There's a 100% cashmere (and thus pricier) alternative HERE, and a very similar and wallet-friendlier one HERE.

A different (and unlikely) cardigan also caught my eye...

Have I ever mentioned that I have a love for men in cardigans? I don't know what it is. When done right, it looks manly yet put-together. Ben nailed it with his basic jeans and grey T-shirt. The cardigan automatically transforms him from a dude in a T-shirt to a gentleman. (Andy still struggles with my affinity for men's cardigans, but suffice to say, I'm winning.) Ben's John Varvatos waffle cardigan sells HERE, comes in an oatmeal color HERE, and there's a cheaper alternative HERE.

Lauren B's Rose Ceremony coat, too, stood out in a sea of black coats and shawls...

I'm guilty of always reverting back to black when it comes to outerwear, so I respect this choice. I like that while it is bold, it's also wearable. As long as you never spill coffee on yourself. Lauren B's wool coat is by Jessica Simpson and sells HERE.

Jojo's "dinner" outfit was lovely...

This is exactly the sort of thing you'd catch me wearing any day from Fall through Spring. It's the perfect combination of style and comfort. Jojo's slouchy sweater is from Topshop but is sadly sold out. However, there are similar versions selling HEREHERE, HERE, and HERE. Her fringe booties are by Steve Madden and are on sale HERE.

Amanda's group date ensemble was a win for me...

I have a weakness for jackets and coats. (For some women it's shoes or handbags. For me, outerwear. How Canadian of me.) I love how this blazer instantly adds spice to her otherwise standard outfit. I confess after asking Amanda about this blazer I spent way too long researching it—it's from 2 years ago—and managed to nab one for myself on Poshmark. Amanda's Velvet Thorn (by Pac Sun) Aztec blazer actually belongs to Emily and, being 2 years old, is obviously sold out. However, it's still available (for SUPER cheap!) on sites like Poshmark and eBay, in size S (HEREHERE), size M (HERE), and size L (HERE). Her Kendra Scott Mother of Pearl tassel necklace sells HERE.

Lauren B was all easy and casual on her one-on-one...

I love how effortless—but not lazy!—she looked on this date. Within hours of this episode airing someone asked me about Lauren B's perfect white tee. I understand her curiosity; my white tees always seem to be either too stretchy and fitted or too loose and sloppy, resulting in me never wearing white tees. Lauren B's exact tee is by James Perse but the exact combination of cut and slub pocket is sold out (HERE). There's a near-identical (and much more wallet-friendly) alternative HERE, but if you insist on it being James Perse (for which I will judge you—it's a white T-shirt for Pete's sake!), there's a similar cut sans pocket HERE, a crewneck with pocket HERE. Lauren B's easy waterfall cardigan is by Majestic but is sold out (HERE), but there's a near-identical one on Tradesy in an XS HERE. There are also similar alternatives HERE, HERE, and HERE

Side note: Since last week, I found a near-identical version of Lauren B's lace romper (from last week's Group Date) in white. It sells HERE.

 

WORST DRESSED

I watched this episode with sartorially savvy Michael G who deserves credit for this observation...

We agreed a collar this spread should never be paired with a tie this skinny. That is all.

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!

Sharleen Joynt70 Comments