Episode 5

 

“I don’t want us to fall behind.” —Jojo, to Derek, referring to her relationship with him in the race against her relationship with each of 10 other men.

We pick up with the end of the 2-on-1, where Chad returns to the Nemacolin resort and absolutely nothing surprising happens, despite previews making it appear there would be huge drama. At the next Rose Ceremony, however, "big" things happen...

... meaning, with Chad finally gone, it quickly appears it's every man for himself...

I was a little sad to see James F go, but not being a frontrunner or a shit-disturber sealed his fate. His words upon exiting stuck out to me...

It's not the first time someone eliminated said these words, but this is truly the most consistent complaint I've heard from people eliminated in the first half of the season. They're not heartbroken over not ending up engaged, but rather frustrated that they feel the lead never even knew who they were. I can understand that frustration. Like, in a sense, if you really came looking for love (not Instagram followers), what's the point? 

I was sad to see Daniel go. He is one of the funniest contestants we've seen in a long time... 

Daniel reminds me of a more eccentric Patrick from Andi's season in that I'm not quite sure how self-aware he is, but if he's indeed in on it, it's funnier to imagine he's not. And for all his ridiculousness, he'll say something really true once in awhile. Like, I totally get the what-are-the-odds argument. Minus the (amazing) quasi-analogy...

 

JORDAN'S 1-ON-1

This date reminded me a lot of Caila's second 1-on-1 from last season in that it played out like a montage while those back home aired their grievances. Jordan and Jojo went on a fabulous yacht ride to Isla de Lobos, Uruguay and proceeded to swim with seals. Sounds pretty fantastic, right? Yet an overriding dark, ominous music played while we saw intermittent clips of other men accusing Jordan of being there for the "wrong reasons". Much like with last season with Olivia, so much airtime has been dedicated to the Chad Bear that I feel robbed of the footage to have seen this coming. Further research must be done...

In the evening, it's completely skimmed over WHEN, HOW, or WHY Jojo would happen to have met and chatted with Jordan's ex. (It's been revealed that she knew he'd be on the show before filming.) However, I'm glad she did because it made for one of those excellent, face-twitchy, real reality TV moments where someone who's been generally "on" is caught completely off-guard...

Jordan deftly sidesteps her pointed questions and the two make up by making out in the midst of street performers who just happened to be there. AS ONE DOES.

 

GOSSIP MAG DRAMA

For her B-roll of returning from her 1-on-1 with Jordan... 

... it was clearly done after the whole In Touch saga transpired, as her hair gave away:

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Really, what can be said about this segment? I'm often asked how we can still like and trust producers after knowing what they're capable of. I don't know how to answer that better than to say, well, the producers are great. They're smart and relatable and are very good at what they do. That said, even I had to wonder that same question during this segment. To hear Jojo's producer, who she likely trusts, confides in, and legitimately likes, bring up this magazine to her (as though they as a team weren't responsible for planting the magazine in Vinny's barbershop in the first place) made me cringe. 

As I said in my Flare recap, I do give points for creativity. I don't know if we've ever had a current magazine article used for drama during filming. I also can see how ultimately it gave Jojo the opportunity (albeit a totally unplanned and raw opportunity) to defend herself against and dispel rumors. Anyhow, the segment closes with a shot of Jojo genuinely bawling, the mag neatly stacked in view, of course:

 

GROUP DATE

I thought this was a very fun-looking Group Date activity...

This date was fairly uneventful except for when Derek received the Group Date rose for the sake of reassurance. The backlash from this shocked me. As I said over on Flare, I reckon a huge percentage of Group Date roses are reassurance roses. It makes sense, doesn't it? As a contestant who's already had a 1-on-1 and felt so special, you're struggling with feeling suddenly invisible. You share those feelings during your Group Date 1-on-1 time. The lead feels for you (having been there his/herself) and gives you a rose. Hell, I'm near positive the rose I was given on our New Zealand Group Date was a reassurance rose. I give Alex credit for his honesty and for trying to "right" the "wrong" that was Chad, some battles are just not necessary to be fought. This is one of those moments, especially in the wake of Chad's departure when the dust is just settling. Alex's bizarre wrath over Derek...

... is rapidly making Alex look like the "little bitch". This "quasi-villain advocate" concept was best described this week in the comment section of my Flare Recap, where Christie wrote:

"I’m fascinated by this archetype that has been developing into quite a consistent pattern over recent seasons – the quasi-villain advocate. The person who gets so swept up into defending the integrity of the lead or speaking for the rest of the house against someone universally hated, that they end up being rather self-righteously bitchy and somewhat villain-like themselves. This absorbs their energy while they lose any momentum they might have (or more likely shifting gears to solidify a purpose since there IS no momentum) with the lead. Alex is this season’s example, with some other recent ones being the twins vs. Olivia, Leah vs. Lauren B., Carly vs. Britt, and Ashley I. vs. Kelsey. An off-shoot of the old “don’t spend your one-on-one time talking about the other contestants”, it seems to have morphed into an entirely different beast depending on the perceived villainy of the target."

🙌🏼

 

ROBBY'S 1-ON-1

Robby's 1-on-1 consisted of two major things. First was the now-standard moderately scary/risky activity, followed by the usual tenuous reference to said activity somehow developing their relationship...

Second was Robby's big ILY. Oh, Robby. I like Robby, I really do! Or maybe it's that I want to like Robby. But when we're this far into the franchise and everyone knows how this show works—as well as the benefits of doing and saying the right things, thus sticking around longer—it's hard to not give Robby the teensiest bit of flak for claiming to be in love with Jojo ON THEIR FIRST DATE. Not even a prudent, "I'm falling in love you" (à la Jordan) or "I can see myself with you". Nope. A full-blown "I've fallen in love with you". Oy. IT'S THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION, ROBBY. 

 

ROSE CEREMONY

The man drama at the start of this Rose Ceremony was odd. I felt for Derek but I don't think pulling those guys aside in that setting was necessary. That said, special props go to Wells for speaking up in Derek's defense in one of those tense moments where you REALLY don't want to get involved...

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Like clockwork, Chris Harrison appears to inform the men that, as seems to be Episode 5 tradition, there will be three men going home. Evan, another one of my favorites, sadly goes home, but not before reminding me why I adore him...

And just because I had to make a .gif of it...

Seriously, they need to include more light stuff like this. This made me go from liking Luke to LOVING HIM. #mannip

 

BEST DRESSED

Robby never disappoints in the fashion department. It is not easy to pull off either a 3-piece suit or a shiny pale yellow tie, and he manages both while looking oh-so-dapper...

Interestingly it was the non-tie looks that stood out to me this week. I happen to think a tie isn't always necessary (Andy rarely wears ties) but my issue is when it looks sort of unfinished and rumply. Exhibit A...

Now Exhibit B, where the top two buttons are undone, and the shirt itself has pep and polish to it...

Grant ties for this week's Best Dressed in his ultra-simple, ultra-refined ensemble. You can't improve on this. 

Grant is tied with Luke, who somehow wears a vaguely Western shirt with a formal suit jacket and looks like a million bucks...

WORST DRESSED

Let me first say, I adore Vinny. I wish we'd seen more of him. I loved his little barbershop and how it's obvious everyone likes him. Unfortunately, this look is not great...

The only thing worse than a pale yellow shirt is a pale yellow shirt in the wrong shade, which this is. It's kind of banana yellow (bad), not statement pastel yellow (good). And to top it all off with a fat, loud paisley tie? AND a tie clip? Noooooo.... Note to the gentlemen out there: Tie clips are great, but only on solid colors or simple patterns. 

 

JOJO'S LOOKS

I know I tend to roll my eyes at all the sequins every season, but Jojo planted my foot in my mouth with her sick Jay Godfrey gown...

What works about this is the uniqueness of it. There is something wonderfully fish scale-like about this dress while being ultra glam. My ONLY wish... That hair!!! A dramatic french twist would have made this look sheer perfection. Jojo's Jay Godfrey white sequin gown is sadly sold out (HERE) and the most similar dress I could find sells HERE. Jojo's dress is available in navy HERE (and on Rent the Runway HERE). If you're into the navy and a size 4, it's on eBay HERE. If what you loved was the unusual white sequins on her dress, there are two Jay Godfrey dresses in different silhouettes but with the same material above.

For the evening of her 1-on-1 with Jordan...

I love how well this girl wears white. This dress was subtle and elegant, yet with the cutouts and cleavage, unabashedly sexy. She slayed this look. And for her visit to the guys' suite to discuss the magazine, she topped it with a delicious long grey cardigan. I love the wearable robe look, and this cardigan has my name on it. Jojo's white cutout dress is by Alice & Olivia and is selling at half price HERE. Her suede Stuart Weitzman sandals sell HERE. Her grey cardigan is by BB Dakota and sells HERE.

For the Group Date...

It's harder to be stylish and make a statement when you're casual, and Jojo KILLED IT with this look. She looks like some modern day video game character who kicks serious ass. It's all about that shirt and those accessories. The arm cuff instantly elevates the whole look; I'm thisclose to picking one up in gold. And do I spy a topknot? 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Jojo's faux leather leggings are by Spanx and sell HERE. Her tank is Old Navy and her Tolani buffalo plaid button down sells HERE. Her Lulu Dharma wrap bracelet sells HERE, and get 50% off with code "PrettyPandas" (until August 31)! Jojo's Nashelle upper arm cuff (which also comes in gold) sells HERE, and get 20% off with code "PRETTYPANDA" (until July 31st)! The Robyn Rhodes necklace she wore on the date (she also wore it on last week's 2-on-1) sells HERE, and get 20% off with code "PANDA20"!

For her 1-on-1 with Robby...

Simple, modern, and stylish. I love the look of a sweater with shorts, and any sort of knit with stripes always makes its way into my closet. Jojo's striped sweater is by Maison Mere but I don't think they sell online. (They have a showroom in LA if you're super determined.) Her white cut-offs are by Show Me Your Mumu and sell HERE.

For the evening of her 1-on-1 with Robby...

This was my favorite look of the week. It's no secret I love a good jumpsuit, especially one that balances a plunging neckline with wide, billowy legs. Once again, though, it's ALL about the accessories. This is masterful jewelry layering. At first I thought her necklace situation involved THIS body chain, but it turns out she's paired THIS two-layer necklace with THIS lariat (both are by Jules Vance—get 20% off with code "JOJO"), plus THIS two-layer necklace. Her ring is HERE. (Both of these are by Robyn Rhodes—again, get 20% off with code "PANDA20"!) Jojo's Blue Life jumpsuit sells HERE. (How I would mimic the look without buying a whole new piece is to wear THIS bodysuit with wide leg trousers, both of which I already own.) Also, in my hunt, I found a jumpsuit that marries this jumpsuit with her black dress from last week HERE!

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Until next week, fellow pandas!