Episode 5

I know I said that I would lump Episodes 5 and 6 together but as this one started to wrap up I decided I'd get it out there now rather than wait on the next one to be complete.

Also, in case you missed it: The He Said, She Said podcast, my relationship podcast with Reality Steve, has officially launched. I'm quite happy with how it's turned out! I was worried I'd have a hard time navigating people's feelings but I've been able to be completely honest, which is a relief. Stitcher Premium is a paid podcast service but, even as a proud sale hound who loves a good deal I can honestly say it's cheap; it's basically the price of a latte per month, and even less if you sign up for a year. If you're curious but not quite committal, you can use promo code STEVE for a free month. And if you have a relationship question you want some unbarred, unbiased opinions on, you can message me.

Lastly, I want to thank you guys for your comments last week. I'm always so impressed by the thought and care (and excellent grammar!) that goes into them. I haven't had time to get involved because I've been in the weeds with back-to-back episodes, but know that I'm always reading along.

 

 

“This is, like, extra even more validation that is there.” —Will

 

JACK'S 1-ON-1

Because pretty much nothing happened at the end of the Group Date cliffhanger, I'm going to skip ahead to Jack's 1-on-1. There was an ITM at the start of this date, but note how her outfit is from her 1-on-1 with Peter, meaning "last night" in that context was actually referring to Night One...

This is just one of countless examples of how one's words can be plucked out and placed elsewhere. Obviously here it doesn't change the tone, but you get my drift.

This date mostly involves Rachel dodging Jack's advances. If you think about it, it's a great ruse for the lead to be sick for 1-on-1s with the contestants they're not into. Not saying Rachel wasn't sick, but how smart would that be??

I feel for Jack as I know from experience that it's not easy having the internet call you awkward. That said, I don't feel bad for him in the heartbreak department as his affections towards Rachel felt forced and like he was just saying and doing what was expected of him, albeit with the most.... dramatic... pauses...of... any... contestant... in... Bachelor... history ...

 

 

ROSE CEREMONY

Leading into the Rose Ceremony, Iggy feels frustrated...

I get the frustration of not having had a 1-on-1, but he DID have pockets of time with Rachel and chose to spend 2 of those precious pockets talking shit about each Eric and Josiah. So that's all on him. But just as I'm about to throw up my hands re: Iggy, he says something in his departure that has me nodding in agreement (for once)...

I'm not going to pretend that I learned more about myself in the 6 weeks I was in the Bachelor bubble than I had in my 29 years leading up to that point, but I wholeheartedly agree that few experiences teach you more about yourself, and as quickly. I personally feel many folks don't reflect or analyze themselves and their behavior in that environment (or rather, they don't as much as they should), so the fact that Iggy said this redeemed him in my eyes. Think back to all the departure ITMS you've seen: most involve saying they wonder if they'll find love, they don't know what's wrong with them, or they feel like they didn't get a real chance or were overlooked. Iggy's takeaway shows a self awareness and a recognition of both his flaws and interpersonal skills, which—in relation to the social dynamics, well beyond the incredibly specific and unrealistic "looking for love" scenario—I really relate to and value. 

 

BRYAN'S 1-ON-1

Rachel takes Bryan out and about in Oslo, followed by a casual rappel off the Holmenkollbakken ski jump. It's no secret I think these two are super cute. I enjoy their easy banter (I really don't get the Bryan-haters) and I loved this funny exchange...

Going into the evening portion, there's a long voiceover of Rachel going on about how disconcertingly perfect Bryan is. When we finally see her speaking, it turns out we've found one of the long lost ITMs from last week's Group Date!

I touched on this over at Flare, but there's something in Bryan's effusiveness that reminds me of Andy when I first met him. A lot of you have told me you think he speaks in clichés and just tells her what she wants to hear, but based on my experience with a somewhat "older" man... well, I believe him. Trust me, if he were a decade younger I might not feel the same way. But his candor about having dragged his feet in past relationships was reminiscent of what Andy told me when we first met. It wasn't necessarily what I wanted to hear—many could take it as a red flag, actually—but that honesty, no matter how unflattering, makes his conviction all more the convincing. I particularly liked how he emphasized never wanting her to be unsure of where he stands. He's not trying to protect himself or have the upper hand or play games—this, too, reminds me of when I started dating Andy—and just feels mature. Also notice her adorable "okay" ...

 Double negative!

Double negative!

 

GROUP DATE

While Bryan's on his date the Group Date card arrives. Dean reads it, and note the formation of the guys while they listen...

He reads every name except Lee's and Kenny's, and note the shot they use to show Kenny hanging his head. It's clearly from a different moment, as Dean is now amongst the men...

Despite the fact that I am no fan of Lee's, I always give credit where credit is due for 4th wall breakage. His reaction to being on a 2-on-1 with Kenny did just that and I have to admit I laughed...

On the handball date, I also laughed (out loud!) when Josiah described the following with complete seriousness...

I've gone on before about how the contestant experience consists of a LOT of waiting (particularly the hurry-up-and-wait variety) is very much a test of patience. This was well-captured when Peter returned from his hot tub jaunt with Rachel. You can tell Peter's well-liked by the fact that none of the guys are blaming him personally for being made to sit around for 3.5 hours, but you can see how, if this insult was added to the injury of already not liking a guy, this could be a recipe for drama...

Also, think of how a mere "bored having waited 3.5 hours" face could easily be edited to look like jealousy.

 

LEE AND KENNY'S 2-ON-1

I can't bear to talk about this 2-on-1 (at least the parts that fell within Episode 5) so I'm going to pass. 

 

BEST DRESSED

I'm told Peter is a part-time model so maybe he can't get full credit for his outfit assemblage, but fair or not, the guy knows how to put a casually dapper look together...

I love a simple tee layered with both a cardigan and a jacket; this is reminiscent of something frequent Best Dressed winner Nick Viall might've worn. This is simple and wearable and would look good on just about any man.

 

WORST DRESSED

As much of a Dean fan as I am, I did not like this sweater...

I have a hard enough time getting on board with over-the-top faux holes and rips on women's clothes, so an intentionally ratty blush pink men's sweater with senseless (meaning the locations of the holes don't even make sense) holes just isn't my bag. I saw this as a rare miss from Dean (who normally frequents the Best Dressed section), but perhaps you guys will disagree? Let me know if you do.

 

RACHEL'S LOOKS

The requests have been coming in so I'll start with the ones I was able to get to. First, Jess asked about Rachel's rings on her 1-on-1 with Jack...

Every piece Rachel is wearing, including her earrings, is by Robyn Rhodes. The good news is this stuff is actually affordable (as opposed to her many The Woods, Nan Fusco, and Suzanne Kalan pieces). The rings (in order from top to bottom) are HERE, HERE, and HERE. The sloopy one (yes, that's a word now - this one's not pictured) sells HERE. The earrings are HERE and HERE. Get 20% off with code PANDA20!

Mikaela asked about Rachel's cardigan from the evening portion of the same date...

I'm sorry to say I wasn't able to get a good enough look of this cardigan to be absolutely sure, but I did find what I think is a super similar one (HERE), and there's a pocketless look-for-less HERE.

As for Rachel's looks, I'm skimming over the ones that didn't stand out to me as there's just too much stuff to cover this week. For her 1-on-1 with Bryan...

I loooooved this chunky sweater and how effortless she looked in it. I feel like you'd have to be crazy to not like this look. Rachel's sweater is by BB Dakota but since I wasn't able to find it anywhere, I found similar ones selling HERE and HERE, and in my search I found a very cool sleeveless dress version, HERE. Her Fidelity jeans sell HERE. Rachel's booties are by Frye and sell (on sale!) HERE.

Her jewelry was also on point...

I love the daintiness of this necklace but also how different it is. It's surprisingly eye-catching considering its subtlety. And that statement ring, while perhaps not the most practical piece to wear to go rappelling, was a showstopper. These pieces are also by Robyn Rhodes. The agate ring sells HERE and the necklace sells HERE. (Again, get 20% off with code PANDAS20)

In the evening...

I wholeheartedly respect the confidence (and ABS) it takes to wear something like this. She looked very badass, in a sexy way, and almost like a super hero. My one wish is this slick look had been paired with a slick ponytail, but I'm being picky. Rachel's two-piece jumpsuit is by Jovani and sells HERE, but since it's on the pricey side I found a look-for-less HERE. Her Saks cape sells HERE, but again, since it's pricey, I found a fabulous one for $78 (HERE), as well as a cool athleisure-y one (HERE). Like most of her jewelry, her badass pavé dog tag necklace is by fine jewelry line The Woods. It'd set you back $870 (HERE), so I found looks-for-less HERE and HERE.

On the Group Date...

This was easily my favorite look of the week. You know by now I love it when peeks of skin are balanced with covered-up-ness and oversized silhouettes. I also love how she stayed monochromatic but mixed textures: the chunky knit, leather, and suede. Perfection. Rachel's lace-back ALC sweater sells (super on sale, in both cream and Rachel's navy) HERE. Her Mackage leather skirt sells HERE and HERE. Her Sam Edelman boots sell HERE.

With the above look Rachel wore a killer pair of earrings...

I dug how these were half-hidden in her straight hair and just made a subtle, shimmery appearance now and again. Rachel's exact earrings are by Nan Fusco but they're not available online. I found a look-for-less that is similar-ish (and right up my alley; they're studs in the front but the long strands fall as ear jackets), HERE.

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!