Episode 6


"I felt like I was given a pony for Christmas but it’s also like, ‘If you don’t learn to ride this pony correctly by the end of the day it’ll be shot.'"

Jacqueline on the very real 1-on-1 date pressure





I've been keen to see Lauren's 1-on-1 for quite some time. I mentioned this last week, but one of my favorite things about Lauren (in addition to how not performer-y she is) is this feeling that she's not necessarily as into Arie as he is into her. I'm not saying that cruelly, because obviously I'd like him to end up with someone where the interest is entirely mutual, but rather that that subtle inequality creates opportunity for confessions like this...


Also note the humility it takes for Arie to admit the above. In his position of power and where all the women are assumed to be gung-ho about him, his ego hasn't gotten the best of him. The above feels like something a normal guy might think on an actual first date with a girl he's into.

I'm not sure who said this but it made me smile...


Lauren was noticeably quiet on her 1-on-1 (we were sure to be shown many clips of Arie pointing out famous sites and her responding with, "Wow") and it hurt my heart a bit to watch. This is because I do feel like Lauren is indeed VERY into Arie, but she's endearingly uncomfortable on camera in addition to the trust issues that she admitted to having. I felt like this translated into Lauren continuously leaving the ball in Arie's court to keep the conversation flowing. It's easy to watch a date like theirs and just jump to the conclusion of, "Oh they have nothing to talk about", but I don't think that's the case at all. It's more that there's SO MUCH to talk about that it's positively overwhelming and you almost don't know where to begin. Add to that the pressure to have this magical date that catapults your relationship forward.

My metaphor here (because you know by now I love silly metaphors) is that "Roll-A-Ball" horse racing game (which by the way is my favorite carnival game). Only when you get your ball in the hard-to-reach, high number hole does your horse really take a big stride forward, but all the other horses are constantly inching forward as well. With these 1-on-1 dates, there's such a heavy pressure to not only get that rose, but to take that huge stride forward. I can see the stress causing shyer personalities like Lauren's to clam up even more than she already might.

I loved Arie's sweet response to Lauren's fear that she wouldn't be able to open up fast enough to keep her in the race...


A few of you expressed surprise that Arie gave Lauren the rose but I didn't find it out of the ordinary at all given that Arie is clearly very attracted to and intrigued by her, despite the faster burn of other relationships. 

Finally, this date wraps up with a kiss...


... which doesn't line up with the kiss track (listen for the "smooch" sound even though there's no smooch in their kiss)...



This was a cool Group Date but was made extra funny by the girls' commentaries, particularly Becca K's bone dry:


There was also plenty of commentary taken from at least two different Pick-ups of Tia's...


As I mentioned on The Morning After: I was torn on this date between thinking it was a cool experience for the women and finding it a bit exploitative. It's so not as bad as having a bikini tractor race since the costumes were theme-appropriate, but let's be honest: The women learned a dance which they didn't appear to use for any actual purpose save highlighting Tia's discomfort with choreography (the dance wasn't used to perform for a live audience or anything), and they ultimately just took turns catwalking for Arie in outfits exposed enough to warrant black bars...


In the evening, Bekah M's incredulity that other girls' relationships with Arie could be moving as fast as hers...


... once again reminds me of that Roll-A-Ball game. Because while some (probably most) of the relationships certainly aren't progressing as fast as hers seems to be, others definitely are. NO PRESSURE.

Meanwhile, back at the mansion, it turns out Kendall is the unfortunate soul chosen to be pitted against Krystal in this season's dreaded 2-on-1 date. Here we see the truest evidence that Krystal has become far closer with her producer than the other women in the house...


This moment reminds me of some of Courtney's more scathing ITMs from Ben Flajnik's season (which to this day is one of my favorite seasons and if you never saw it it's really worth getting your hands on). Note the casualness with which she says this while reaching for her wine. You can tell she's completely forgotten about the camera. This is a gab session with a friend, and one that is NOT the first. She probably looked forward to these chats to vent about her housemates. Now just imagine what the producer opens and responds with (and has been probably been for awhile) to get Krystal to this point of comfort.



At the beginning of this date there was an easy-to-miss but cute example of Arie's humor...


The two girlfriends with whom I watched this episode (Jasmine, Canada's own Bachelorette, and Lucia, my fellow soprano here in La Bohème) and I all laughed at the above so it was deemed .GIF-worthy.

While Krystal and Kendall are pointlessly made to hunt Arie down in an actual maze, we hear a Girl Chat between Tia and Lauren where we get an idea of what Krystal's been feeding the other women with regards to her relationship with Arie...


The above concept that Arie could see their conflict as something that brings them closer sounds precisely how Krystal (not Arie) would sum things up.

In her 1-on-1 time with Arie, Krystal delivers a line so obviously prepared (and non-sense-making) it was positively groan-inducing...


I love how Arie's face goes from completely expressionless to a forced smile while he listens to her. This canned line says a lot about her (she obviously thinks this could come across as spontaneous and even poetic) and you can see him clock it. To me, this is one of the moments where we see that it's already over. 

Kendall deserves major props for how she handled Krystal throwing her under the bus to Arie. We got the distinct feeling that she wanted to try to understand Krystal and why she would say what she'd said. What is so frustrating about this exchange is how Krystal can't seem to actually verbalize much of anything when confronted....


My feeling is, if you're going to be that person who talks shit about others and accuses them of not being "ready" (at this point Krystal clearly has taken on that role with gusto), FOR GOD'S SAKE have a reason (even a shitty reason is better than no reason!) filed away for when you're inevitably confronted about it. In general she seems either speechless, as though she didn't have some platitude prepared and can't wing one on the spot, OR she speaks too much, making less and less sense the longer the sentences run on. The following toast she made in the evening portion of this date is a great example of the latter. There are so many WORDS yet ultimately nothing is really said at all:

"[Kendall and I] were just talking about how this journey has been, and talking about the highs and the lows, and... through the thick and through the thin, that really, it's, um... indescribable. Really indescribable, but yet, magical and worth it. Worth all of it. Mm-hmm."

There's so much build-up, with the vague "highs and lows" and "thick and thin", to ultimately being summed up nothing more than "indescribable". Like, seriously, why bother saying anything at all? What was actually said here??

Another moment that showed Kendall's class was her very polite (almost too polite), "... Yeah" in response to what I think Krystal meant as a moment of intimidation...


Again, what makes Krystal such a fantastic villain is the fact that she clearly thinks she's outsmarting everyone around her. There's a deliciousness, almost an addictiveness to watching her. I think some people found this breakup surprisingly dismissive given her early connection with Arie, but I personally think Arie was done with her from the moment they discussed Bowling-gate in her Fort Lauderdale hotel room last week. I think he saw it for the major red flag that it was, didn't want to give her a rose last week (at the Rose Ceremony he practically called out her name through gritted teeth), and brought her along so that producers could put her on this very 2-on-1.

One thing I did feel was missing here was the final conversation had between Kendall and Arie before he sent Krystal home. This felt like a valuable piece of the puzzle, the nail in Krystal's "journey"'s coffin. We were robbed of that.

Farewell, Krystal. I for one LOVED her on this season. Truly one of the best villains in Bachelor history!



Oh, Jacqueline! This girl is so funny that my biggest takeaway from this 1-on-1 date was just anger we haven't gotten to see more of her...


Sadly, based on airtime alone, it's pretty hard to fathom Jacqueline winning at this point. However, I do appreciate that the fact that Jacqueline, a highly intelligent woman pursuing a PhD, was addressed as both something majorly badass and a real-life obstacle, because it is both

Look, people ask me all the time if I still sing (this has become a bonafide FAQ) and are generally happy to hear that I still do, that I'm career-driven, that I'm pursuing what I got two degrees studying for, that I didn't change the course of my professional life due to the potential catalyst that is post-Bachelor "fame". But the reality is that my career is tough on a marriage (I'm on a 5 week gig as I type this) and it would be a lot easier to have a "normal" job where I live and work in the city where I'm based with my husband. Andy FULLY supports my singing career and would have it no other way, but I'm away from home for several months out of the year. When we do plan on starting a family, something's going to have to give, at least for awhile. This is the reality of my career.

It's not exactly the same but Jacqueline's situation is similar in that something's got to give. She simply isn't going to up and move her life to Scottsdale for a man, at least not at this point, but he isn't expecting or even wanting her to. And for someone in his position (who has this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the Bachelor), while her current plans are surely not a deterrent, in having so many relationships to compare and consider, he'd be insane to not at least consider this. This doesn't make him some higher education dream-crushing man who wants a 50s wife to be at his beck and call. It just means he's being realistic. And look, if he felt the most strongly about Jacqueline and they were a perfect match, I'm sure they'd make it work. Again, this is moot as I don't see Jacqueline going to the end of all this. But I still appreciate that this was discussed and shown.

My feeling on this is well expressed in the comments of one of Jacqueline's own Instagram photos. She was asked, "Wondering what you think of [Arie's] comment that your ambition is just another obstacle to get through", as though Arie saw her academic dreams as a bad thing. Jacqueline responded: "Practically speaking it is an obstacle. He would almost certainly have to relocate and start his real estate career over in a new city, and move away from his family. I was surprised by the criticism he received from that comment, because he did indicate he would support me in that."



This Rose Ceremony wasn't massively surprising to me. I did raise an eyebrow at Chelsea being sent home since she received that 1-on-1 date rose just last week, but her airtime had left me with the feeling she wouldn't be making it to the end. (In fact, even after her solid 1-on-1, I didn't have her in my Top 4.)

One thing that did stand out here was, when Jenna was sent packing, she made it clear her tears were more about the women than Arie...


Again, this isn't huge (we know by now contestants have higher odds of finding lasting friendships on this show than romantic love) but it was worth capturing as a .GIF since I doubt this would've been shown even a few years ago.

Finally, as Lauren confides in a producer about how strongly she feels for Arie (which really makes me buy their connection, by the way), there's a rare shot of an ITM (in this case, Tia's) in the background...



As always, my top 4 frontrunners can be found over at Flare!




Mia asked about Becca K's skirt from the Paris B-rolls at the beginning of this episode...


Becca K's skirt is by Pretty Little Thing and sells (for only $35!) HERE.

Erika asked about the top Tia wore during the date portion of the Group Date...


Tia's Gentle Fawn bodysuit sells (on sale!) HERE, and in grey (also on sale) HERE.

Several of you asked about Jacqueline's daytime 1-on-1 dress, while Shannon asked about her hoop earrings...


Jacqueline's dress was borrowed from Chelsea (some of you may have caught Chelsea wearing it a few episodes ago) but it's sadly an older Forever 21 piece. (Translation: good luck finding it.) I couldn't find anything super similar but the exact dress in a size Small is selling used on Poshmark (HERE). Jacqueline purchased for earrings (for $3!) at a market in Taiwan (translation: you have an even fatter chance of finding these than the dress). The mot similar pair I could find sell HERE.


Best Dressed

As usual I have a few honorable mentions. First up is Lauren with her cute floral romper from the day portion of her 1-on-1...


We've all seen plenty of floral bell-sleeve rompers at this point, but for me the magic here is the baby blue shade. It really pops on her and just looked sweet and feminine. Lauren's Minkpink "New Romantic" floral romper sells (on sale!) HERE.

Next up is Tia with her mesh and velvet Group Date romper...


This is what I would call a "fun" piece. It's a little twist on something that's become a bit basic (a long sleeve, black, dressy romper) and manages to be playful and sexy at the same time. Tia's Wyldr "Rock The Night" Playsuit is sadly sold out in her exact model, but there's a grey-ish navy one still available HERE

Next is Kendall with her 2-on-1 daytime dress...


I thought this was the perfect, soft piece to contrast Krystal's (rather confusing, IMO) ensemble. She looked as graceful in this dress as she behaved on this date. Kendall's dress is from Forever 21 which I was super impressed by; I really thought it was by Reformation or some equally trendy/pricier brand. Unfortunately, it's totally sold out. :( There's a similar one (super on sale) HERE, one in black HERE, and a dressier version HERE, and a one that's basically the same dress, also by Forever 21 but in Mustard, HERE. In my search I also found a really pretty embroidered dress that I'm eyeing for myself, HERE.

Finally, I loved Seinne's lace Group Date dress...


Not many people could wear this without looking scantily-clad but she really manages it while somehow looking elegant and sophisticated. This is a ballsy choice given the exposed skin and the distinct nightgown vibe I'm beginning to feel like Seinne can pull off almost anything. Her Bebe "Evie" dress is sadly older, but there's a Small still available on eBay, HERE.

My second runner-up for Best Dressed is Seinne with her Paris B-roll outfit...


I immediately fell in love with this quirky little number. It's got just the right amount of cool 70s vibes and is just so CUTE. I would wear this without hesitation and am eyeing it for myself. Seinne's Free People "Old School Love" Jumper sells (in EIGHT colors!) HERE.

First runner-up is Chelsea with her Rose Ceremony dress...


This is such an amped-up LBD and I love it. The full flounce of that skirt makes it surprisingly unique (I haven't seen many silhouettes like this lately) and it really fit her like a glove. I also noted and appreciated the side-swept hair. Chelsea's Ieena by MacDuggal "Double V-Neck Fit & Flare Party Dress" sells HERE (I'm seriously considering the red for myself).

Finally, my Best Dressed is Lauren with her Rose Ceremony gown...


It's the combo of that perfect dark berry color and the drapey, almost old-timey off-the-shoulder detail that won me over. Her hair, too, is a knock out of the park. The look is very feminine and so romantic, and on the whole very Valentine's Day-appropriate. Lauren's dress is by J.O.A. and sells (for a pretty amazing $92!) HERE.


Worst Dressed

Krystal generally knows how to dress (it doesn't hurt that she looks good in almost anything) but this look was just strange...


These struck me as two pieces that could work in separate outfits but they really don't go together at all. I think it's because there's too much going on with each piece? The top should be paired with something simpler (I love white-on-white and would've loved to see this with her white high-waisted 2-on-1 date trousers). Similarly, those funky suspender overalls could maybe work with a simple black bandeau top. I generally appreciate and reward risks, but this one just missed the mark for me.


Until next week, fellow pandas!