Episode 8

This was a rougher than usual recap. I'm in Germany right now in the midst of performances (The Magic Flute in concert!), and it's tough to focus on these when I'd rather be out eating and exploring in foreign lands. To make matters worse, this week's fashion section was a beast (there were roadblocks at every turn). I usually aim to to get these out by Friday at the latest and I know I failed with that this week, so thank you guys for your patience with this one!

 


 

“What's getting me through tonight is I still have three other guys who I do also see futures with.”

—Becca, on the bright side

 

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GARRETT'S HOMETOWN

Hometown week (or rather, the aired episode, since we know by now these Hometown dates are rarely aired in filming order) kicks off in Manteca, CA, where Becca greets Garrett with a uniquely passionate embrace meant for him and him alone (more on this later)...

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The two plant tomatoes to the tune of a free plug for Garrett's family business...

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In the evening, there's a rare meta moment where Becca references the Limo exits as a thing (the way we might with our friends in real life but while ON THE SHOW) with air quotes and everything...

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Two things stood out to me on this date. First is that Garrett never said the on-schedule, official ILY and still seems to be the favorite in spite of that, proving that whether or not you say those words does not affect your standing. Second is what he tells his mother when she asks if he'd be OK if Becca doesn't pick him...

"If [my feelings] aren't reciprocated I'll be fine... If it's meant to be, it'll happen."

THIS. This is something I feel like I harped on about for the first two years or so of my recapping career. (Ha!) It's flabbergasting to me how anyone—people on the show and viewers alike—discuss the competition on this show as somehow being anyone's game. As though the final 4 all have an equally dispersed 25% chance of winning. Not only is there a 99% chance Becca already knows who she's picking going into Hometowns, if you weren't who she picked, why would you be destroyed by that? I understand a degree of initial shock and disappointment, but being back in reality (literally) and realizing you were both undesired and duped (typically in real life it'd only be the former) should help ease the pain.

 

JASON'S HOMETOWN

In Buffalo, NY, a city I'm sure is thrilled to be summed up with chicken wings and a zamboni makeout, Becca meets Jason with a familiar-looking greeting...

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I'm skipping over the chicken wings part because, as I said on The Morning After, chicken wings totally gross me out. (Seriously, look past the deep frying and the sauce and think about it.) 

A couple of things cracked me up in the evening. First is Jason's mother (probably unintentionally but it doesn't matter) giving Becca some SERIOUS #shade with a judgmental-looking once-over while she asks...

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Again, I know she probably didn't mean it like that, but it's funnier to imagine she did.

Next, while listening to his mother talk about the what-ifs of not "winning", Jason does a funny thing where he absentmindedly appears to physically give himself a trout pout...

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Oh, and at the end of the date he tells Becca he loves her. Because Hometown Week. And because who cares if you've only had one real date leading up to this parental unit meet-and-greet? Another one bites the dust. And here we all are, still watching this show.

 

BLAKE'S HOMETOWN

It's not quite as amusing since we don't get that side view, but just so you know it happened...

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During the day we learn that Blake is a school shooting survivor and the show passed on a silver platter-ed opportunity to take a stance on something meaningful and important, not to mention obviously right, versus wrong: Common sense gun laws. (For anyone taking issue with me mentioning this here: This is my blog. 🤷🏻‍♀️ #sorrynotsorry)

My disappointment but lack of surprise at this can be summed up with Blake's own slow blink from later in the evening...

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I know there was also a tour of the school and a concert by Betty Who (who??), but honestly I found this Hometown date by far the most boring of the three. And I LIKE Blake. And his parents! It was just... *yawn*.

Here's my issue: I feel like if you're going to be that person who drops the L-word as early as Episode 5, there has to be at least a bit of self awareness in that. Like, a tone of, "I can't believe I'm saying this, but..." Even if you're so far up the Bachelor Bubble's ass that you can't tell left from right, you have to see the humor and irony in confessing to falling in love on this particular (16 YEAR OLD) reality dating show franchise. Blake is SO all-in, sans that twinkle in his eye, that in a weird way I actually find myself removed from him and his relationship. It makes him unrelatable to me. It makes him closer to being a Robby Hayes (the humorless ILYs, not to mention a lack of specificity, which I'm sorry to say I'm realizing Blake might also share) versus, say, a Nick Viall (the critical thinker who was fully aware of every trope quote of his being a trope quote). 

Finally, note what an ITM and likely soon-after Pick-up looks like for this date...

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... versus a later Pick-up, in which she's not only in a foreign room that we haven't seen yet, but in a different shirt altogether...

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COLTON'S HOMETOWN

Becca greets Colton in his hometown of Parker, CO, with what I think we can officially say is her go-to move...

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They bring gifts to two kids at what appears to be an otherwise unoccupied children's hospital. In all seriousness, though, this portion of the Hometown was insanely adorable and heartwarming. Did anyone NOT fall in love with Kaley??

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Colton's appeal, which I've objectively understood but I confess I've struggled to personally get on board with for most of the season, really shone through here. I genuinely believe the guy has a great heart and, despite the fact that I feel like he's frequently clocking the cameras and is a bit too perfect, that he does mean well and successfully defies the unsavory pro athlete stereotype. 

In the evening, his virginity is addressed for the 600th time, this time in the droll context of it being a very private, personal matter...

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I feel like there was a turning point somewhere in Colton's "journey" where he officially began drinking the producer Kool-aid. The "This is why you MUST tell Becca—before Fantasy Suites and ON-CAMERA—that you're a virgin" Kool-aid. Because the jump from only a handful of people in his life knowing this intel to the sudden national television reveal... well, it's just awful big jump, and one I highly doubt Colton had in mind while innocently filming B-rolls for his intro package. 

To be clear, I'm not casting judgment here; I think it's absolutely one's prerogative to wait and I think it's a nice alternative to rushing into things and then wishing you hadn't. That said, I do think sex is one of life's great joys, both experience and experiences are priceless, and you only live once. As Becca said during the day portion of this Hometown, her past relationships have shaped what she's looking for in a partner. (This is SO TRUE and I could not agree more.) The same goes for sex and sexual preferences/compatibility. 

I do think the longer you wait to have sex, the more pressure you put on it, not to mention more pressure on there being some greater, meaningful purpose for all that effort. (For example, not "wasting" the first time, or being ultra careful about who you give that "gift" to.) Again, zero judgment on Colton for this personal choice, I just can't relate because I have way too much FOMO and YOLO.

 

LOS ANGELES

Back in LA, Becca is revisited by her former fellow contestants for what she thinks is a simple, light Girl Chat about her last few guys. FAT CHANCE. When this many ladies are rounded up at this point in the season and are not participating in an actual date activity, you can bet there's an ulterior motive.

Of course, it's all an elaborate scenario to set up Tia's big reveal: it turns out she was joking when she signed off on Becca dating Colton and she likes him a bit more than she thought. I was pretty amazed by the online vitriol people have had for Tia throughout all this. IMO, it's not like Tia was "stealing" Colton from Becca. For Becca to have sent him home this week, we know that she was never going to pick him. If he truly were her future fiancé and they had this epic, once-in-a-lifetime, soulmate connection, her torment would've looked a hell of a lot worse than this...

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And look at the quote of the week (above)! Becca still has THREE GUYS she sees futures with. (Something about the word "future" in plural cracks me up). :)

Look, I'm not saying what Tia did was so kosher and cool, per se, but I do think...

  1. she underestimated how much she liked the guy
  2. she miscalculated how far he'd make it (and the effect that might have on her)
  3. she was likely given a very convincing argument by producers as to why she should speak up now instead of sitting back and waiting for Paradise
  4. BECCA WAS NEVER GOING TO PICK COLTON AND THIS WHOLE CONVERSATION IS MOOT

A funny moment in all this is when the rest of the girls are discussing what's going on. Kendall begins to make some well-intentioned but empty point about following one's heart and Caroline just steamrolls her with...

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Hahaha, Caroline kills me. She's so funny and dry. WE MISSED YOU, CAROLINE.

And just in case you missed the 4th wall-breaking view showing how close cameras and producers were during Becca's conversation with Tia...

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ROSE CEREMONY

Finally, in what was easily the most entertaining 45 seconds of the entire episode, despite surely already having spoken to his producer(s) about what happens in the Fantasy Suite, Colton is somehow convinced to run it by Chris Harrison for good measure. We get an AWESOME series of reactions from the host here. First is his initial response, which screams, "Why are you telling me this?"...

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You guys, I'm the first to admit I could be concocting this for my own entertainment, but I'm convinced this was done as a prank on CH. His reaction to me doesn't look like he saw it coming though it's the kind of thing he'd be in on. His ULTRA RARE Direct-Look-Into-Camera™ supports this theory...

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Seriously, when does Chris Harrison ever look into the camera?? He is VERY used to those cameras and knows when and where they are pointed at him... Also note (above) how he looks like he could crack into a grin at any moment.

And the crown jewel of the episode, when Colton thanks Chris Harrison for his hostly advice and CH licks his lips and covers his mouth to attempt to stop himself from smiling, and he still doesn't really succeed. Below is a smirk if I've ever seen one. AND he gives another Direct-Look-Into-Camera™!!! It's just all too good...

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I've mentioned here and there that, in the very limited interaction I ever had with him, I quickly established that Chris Harrison is next-level hilarious. His role on this show doesn't let us see that nearly enough.

 

THE FASHION

Requests

Sarah asked about Kendall's look from the LA Girl Chat...

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Kendall's two-piece set is by Vestique but sadly doesn't appear to be on the site anymore. The closest alternatives I could find sell HERE, with a longer pants set HERE/HERE, and a slightly different but very cute version I had to include, HERE. Her necklace is by Beautiful Soul, her mother's jewelry line, and they can be contacted about it at bsoul8@yahoo.com.

Sydney asked about Tia's skirt...

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Tia's Beach Riot "Rachel" skirt (in "Palm") is sadly sold out (HERE) but the same skirt is still available with a different print HERE. If you love that palm print, the same brand has it available on a wrap dress (HERE), shorts (HERE), leggings (HERE) and one-piece swimsuits (HERE and HERE). 

Laura asked about the white jumpsuit Becca wore in a recent Instagram photo of Ben Higgins'...

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Her Nightcap "Diamond Lace Positano" jumpsuit (in White; it also comes in Black) sells HERE.

I'm not bothering to cover Becca's whole look from Jason's date (it was pretty forgettable) but since some of you asked about her green jacket and ring...

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Becca's Sorel "Joan of Arctic" jacket (in Nori) sells HERE. Her Robyn Rhodes "Clarice" ring sells HERE.

Best Dressed

Unsurprisingly, my Best Dressed is Seinne with her Girl Chat look...

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I can admit that it's possibly at the point where, if Seinne's on my TV screen, she's probably my Best Dressed. She just always looks so elegant and put together, even when she's showing skin (which she often is). This dress isn't pushing any envelopes fashion-wise, but I do appreciate how simply pretty this look is. She looks ultra feminine, especially in a color that is surprisingly hard to pull off (this color would make me look like a corpse). Seinne's Lulus "Wild Hearts" dress (in Mauve) sells HERE. Her necklaces are the Gorjana "Charm" choker (HERE) and the Gorjana "Taner" bar necklace (HERE).

Worst Dressed

No Worst Dressed this week! Yay!

Becca's Looks

For Garrett's Hometown...

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I really liked this look. Basically, I think Becca is #leggoals and I'm all about anything that highlights them. I also like how, because this romper is obviously on the short side, it's balanced by the long sleeves and the loose, flowy shape (as opposed to being remotely fitted). I also dig how it was paired with booties rather than a more predictable wedge sandal or something. She looks lovely. Becca's Joie "Cherita" romper sells (on sale) HERE. Her Old Navy booties are as affordable as they are cute; they sell (on sale!) HERE. Her Brooklyn Designs "Soho Rose" chalcedony necklace sells HERE.

For Blake's Hometown...

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I wasn't wowed by this ensemble but I did like it. The clean white button-down, but in an oversized fit, over distressed skinny jeans felt simple and effortless. The best part for me was that jacket, which with that color and quilting looks SO much more expensive than it is. (It could seriously pass for Burberry!) Becca's London Fog "Gracyn" heritage jacket sells HERE. Her Madewell drapey oversized "Boyshirt" sells HERE. Her Paige "Margot" crop distressed jeans (in "Cliff's Edge") sell (on sale!) HERE. Her booties are below...

For Colton's Hometown...

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Again, another look that I wholeheartedy like. Nothing mind-blowing going on here but the pieces here (separately and together as an outfit) feel realistic, wearable, but feels polished and put-together. You may remember Becca's Sofia Cashmere military coat from two episode ago—it's sadly sold out (HERE) but there's a great look-for-less options HERE (I'm super into the camel version of this one) and HERE. Her Frame off-the-shoulder sweater sells HERE, and there are look-for-less options HERE, HERE, and HERE. A few of you asked about her booties; I couldn't find her exact pair but Rag & Bone's Ashby booties are near-identical (HERE).

For the Girl Chat in LA...

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This was my favorite look of the week. Becca rocks a floral pretty frequently, but I really like the sort of "realistic" floral print on this blouse. Paired with a skinny jean that felt both polished (the super dark wash) and casual (that frayed crop hem) plus unique velvet sandals (adding some texture), this look felt feminine chic and just worked from top to bottom. I sadly couldn't identify Becca's top to save my life but there's a great lookalike HERE. Her Hudson "Cat" raw hem jeans sell HERE. Her Stuart Weitzman "Nudistsong" sandals (in Candy Velvet) are sadly sold out (I couldn't even find a product page anymore) but there are other colors of the same shoe selling HERE, and there are great alternatives (and looks-for-less) HERE and HERE. Finally, her Brooklyn Designs "Leona" hoops sell HERE.

Finally, for the Rose Ceremony...

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I am fine with this dress but didn't feel the "WOW" factor I think I was supposed to feel considering the dramatic music playing during B-rolls of this dress blowing in the wind. It's yet another glitzy gown that leans a bit prom-y for me, but its saving grace is that it's in black and therefore a bit more understated than it might have otherwise been. Becca's Cassandra Stone by Mac Duggal 62974A dress sells HERE. Her Stuart Weitzman "Nudistsong" sandals (in patent Rose Gold) sell (on sale!) HERE. (I found two looks-for-less, HERE and HERE.) You may remember her The Woods diamond rectangle earrings from Episode 1; they sell HERE. The most similar look-for-less option I could find sells HERE.

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!

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