Episode 9

I know, I know... it's Monday. 🙈 I could regale you with excuses, but without going into too much detail, since last week's recap from Germany, I've been in Paris for a few days, back home for a few days (to choose materials for our upcoming kitchen/bath reno, YAY!), and am now with family in Ottawa. It's been an exhausting week and I'm afraid my priority hasn't really been getting this out as on time as I usually aim to. It's been me making .GIFs on planes and fashion-sleuthing while half-watching the nightly news with Andy. 😳

THANK YOU guys for always being so patient, especially around these middle-of-Summer weeks when I always get in the weeds. Men Tell All is my week off and let me tell you, it couldn't be better timed! Whew.



“It felt so good to speak with a clear heart and not a calculated head.”

Jason, ripe for the booting





The famed Fantasy Suite week kicks off in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where Becca greets her date (in this case, Blake) in the only way she seems to know how...


The two hike up a Monk's Trail to get relationship advice, and the editing department used a clip of Becca scratching her upper lip twice...


... LITERALLY within in a matter of seconds...


As I often stress, things like the above don't make a huge difference in this particular situation. Obviously they had a clear shot of Becca turning to the translator monk and they (rather sloppily) threw it in there. But what it highlights is 1) how dangerously easily any clip can be tossed into any slot as needed, and 2) there was somehow a NEED to use this same clip. I imagine other shots involved cameras behind Becca...?

In the evening, in the midst of what (to me, anyway) feels like an oppressive episode about feelings and doubt, we get a glimpse of Becca's sense of humor, and it struck me as so rare and precious that I made a .GIF of it...


... Also so I could say: THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID. 

I should probably touch on this relationship but I honestly can hardly bear to. What is there to say that I haven't word-vomited over at Flare? In a nutshell: It's like there are #allthefeels, #allthetime between these two but we get nothing to really quantify what they share beyond what must be general mutual understanding and chemistry. We're certainly not getting much from EITHER Blake or Becca to describe the relationship, whereas with her relationship with Garrett, Becca is actually far more specific and clear about what she sees in and with him. 

I touched on this at Flare, but he more I think about it, the more I really don't see much of a difference between Becca and Blake's relationship and Jojo and Robby's relationship. Remember, Robby's selling point was his effusiveness (he said the L-word on his first 1-on-1, putting even Blake to shame), his dedication to Jojo, his general "safe"-choice vibes. With Blake, his biggest selling point seems to be the fact he's "the type of person who looks for a reason to stay and not a reason to go", which sounds hella familiar.

Of course, I don't think that's ALL these two share and I realize there's so much we don't see and that we can't understand unless we were there. It's just that we aren't being given anything more.



Mini skirt or no, we should've known Jason was doomed when he was greeted with this lackluster feet-on-the-ground embrace...


There was a funny little Direct-Look-Into-Camera™ as Jason was delighted with his own joke...


I think we all knew it was unlikely Jason would end up the final guy standing here, so what was easily most compelling thing about this date was not the fact that Becca sent him home (early or otherwise), but rather the 4th wall-breaking deliberations that took place leading up to it.

What I found interesting about the following moment is something I missed on first watch: her producer suggests they sit in the shade. On first watch, I thought Becca frustratedly just began to walk away. This subtly changes to the situation as more tactical on the producer's part in my mind, as Becca was clearly clamming up with a camera in her face yet had less of an issue in what felt more like a natural conversation....


I don't mean to remotely make it sound like her producer is some schemer. Becca wasn't opening up, so her producer suggested they sit in the shade and, through the course of a more natural conversation, got her to open up (at least marginally more). For the most part, especially with the leads, it's a misconception to assume producers and production are evil manipulators. (It says something that, since her season, Becca and Caitlin have gone to Disneyland together.) 

It's also worth noting that the whole scene ended up being pretty flattering for Becca—it showed her looking very tormented, saying things like, "I don't know if I can picture [our future]" and "I'm having the best time with him", all things suggesting that she hadn't known all along that Jason wouldn't end up the last guy standing.

In the evening, my favorite moment is after Becca's done the deed and she's escorted him to his car. You can see Jason replaying his entire "journey" in about 5 realtime seconds, and (rightfully) assessing it as "brutal"...


And in his car ride, he makes another trout pout (not with his hand this time, though)...


... making me wish he'd been more prominent earlier in the season so that we could've had a season-long #TroutPoutWatch. Missed opportunities. :(

Finally, note what an actual ITM of this evening looks like versus a Pick-up, in a room we first saw last week...

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Solidifying his position in the Final Two...


In all seriousness, this was a cute date, made cuter by the fact that it was a national holiday and the river on which they rafted was teeming with locals. I liked how it really seemed to involve and include the actual PEOPLE of Thailand and in general was a million times more interactive than the usual helicopter ride/catamaran/private island fare...


The above is easily my dream date activity of the season so far.

Again, I don't have a ton to add here that I didn't already express at Flare. It's clear Garrett's not as effusive as Blake, but in general their relationships feel similar, save for the fact that Becca is so clear in what she sees in and with Garrett. Remember, she struggled even obtusely referencing a future home with Jason, but with Garrett, she says she can see him as a great future husband and father. She calls him her "heart's equal" and that she could "rely on him no matter what." (Btw, one of my own must-haves when looking for my own life partner was Reliability [with a capital R], so I really appreciate this one.) We haven't really heard her say things like this about Blake.

Finally, note the Pick-up in that familiar ITM room...

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I have a strong suspicion, given the two Pick-ups this week but the fact that we don't have a TON of footage of the above room, that it's from her hotel in the Maldives. We'll see if I'm right about that!



I vented about this at Flare already. This is not a personal issue with Jason as I actually REALLY like him. My issue is with the segment itself: the previews leading up to it, the music, the editing, the build-up, the boring non-climax. We've seen it before, it felt redundant, unnecessary, and done. Nothing more to say.



Can you guys imagine how fabulously shocking it would be if at this point, especially in one of these for-show Rose Ceremonies (where the contestant knows they're getting a rose), he or she actually turned it down?? HOW EPIC WOULD THAT BE? Especially if it left the other person the last one standing by default. 

The best thing about this Rose Ceremony was when Becca had just given Blake his rose and embraced him, and then upon his return to his "place", everyone just awkwardly walked back towards each other to re-embrace and, um, celebrate? Becca's own near-laughter at this (notice her smirk) was example #1,804,352 of how gloriously relatable she is...


There was a hint of tension in this otherwise smooth-sailing moment when Garrett made a toast, suggesting Becca gave him "extra alone time"...


Despite the fact that it's more interesting to perceive Garrett's toast as a pointed dig toward Blake, I'm sorry to say it's unlikely. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but there are multiple takes of the toasts, with multiple people making them. It's more likely that everyone had to give a toast, possibly more than one, and then the above tiny snippet—the one that could be perceived as jealousy-inciting—is the one that made the cut.

Few closing credits clips are .GIF-worthy but this week's certainly was...


So many 4th wall breakings!

1. Blake reference having been there for WAY longer than was shown.
2. We see that the two guys are obviously buds.

And more... 


3. The chat with the producer who gives Blake permission to pee. Note how Blake goes from serious and facing forward to looking in the producer's direction with a funny "Oooh, can I?" face. Night and day.
4. The shots of Blake being stressed and serious about his full bladder, taken out of context, are identical to the stressed and serious Rose Ceremony faces we see week after week. In other words, stress and seriousness and general frustration over ANYTHING can (and will) be used in the context of fear over not getting a rose.

Finally, we have finally solved the mystery of the gold-plate-on-a-stand-and-red-flowers-in-white-vases ITM room, which (as with the white-bamboo-in-enormous-white-vase room) you may remember all the way back from Night One...

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Safe to say that ITM room was here in Thailand...

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My predictions for the finale can be found over at Flare!




Sam asked about Becca's tee from her Monk's Trail date with Blake...


Becca's Splendid twist-front slub tee sells HERE. There are good looks-for-less HERE and HERE, and in my search I found a cute camo version that I'm eyeing, HERE.

A few of your asked about Becca's Men Tell All look from next week...


Becca's Manning Cartell "Secret Gardens" midi dress sells HERE (they hemmed it to knee-length). Her Stuart Weitzman "Nudistsong" sandals sell HERE.

Best Dressed

Nothing stood out to me this week, I assume due to those Thailand temperatures. (Function over form.)
No Best Dressed this week!

Worst Dressed

No Worst Dressed this week, though I'll admit given my schedule I wasn't looking with as fine-toothed a comb as I usually do. Let me know if I missed anything egregious.

Becca's Looks

I'm going to be honest, as I always am: the fashion was disappointing this week. I'll start with Becca's B-rolls-in-Thailand look... 


This look I don't mind in that it felt on theme with the locale and had a vacation-y feel. That said, as individual pieces, I don't particularly love the dress or the cover-up. The dress feels busy, verging on cheap-looking (it looks like something you'd pass over on a Nordstrom sale rack) and the cover-up is a bit 'whatever' for me. The necklace I was indifferent to until I saw it styled with black on the product page, and I've decided I like it. If you disagree with me on the clothes, Becca's Ramy Brook "Ella" dress sells HERE and also comes in Blue (on sale!) HERE. Her Montana West embroidered kimono cover up sells HERE. Her Robyn Rhodes "Larkyn" necklace sells HERE.

In the evening of her date with Blake...


I was surprised by how many of you requested this dress as I confess I was not a fan. I mean, I get the appeal: it's a white jersey maxi dress with cutouts. It's easy to wear, practical for a Summer night, and looks put together while being comfortable. But... but... it's just so BORING. I'd like a bit more style and risk for a show with an audience of millions (and on a Fantasy Suite date) than something I think I could pick up at my local mall. Anyway, since many of you did want this, though I couldn't find Becca's exact dress, there are super similar options selling HERE and HERE.

For her date with Jason...


This was easily my favorite look of the week. I've really been feeling two-piece sets lately, especially when the pieces could realistically be worn separately (as these could be), and this feels fresh and youthful. I like the jewelry, too (especially that necklace!) and in general would wear this whole outfit in a heartbeat. I do think a casual ponytail would've suited better, but for the most part this is a total win. Becca's set is by LoveShackFancy and the "Nora" top sells (on sale!) HERE and HERE, with the "Taylor" skirt selling HERE (skirt). Her Child of Wild "Celestial Stars and Moons" necklace sells HERE. Although it's well-priced, if you an a super affordable option, there's a similar one HERE. (In my search I also found a cute anklet option, HERE.) Her Robyn Rhodes "Eliza" ring sells HERE.

In the evening...


Arghhh... I'm torn. Many of you wanted this dress, and I can objectively understand why. But again, my beef with this dress is the same as with the above white maxi dress. I feel like I could go to my local mall and find this. It's unremarkable. That's not to say it's UGLY or terrible or anything, I just would expect and hope for more STYLE on a show of this scale. Like, there is no styling here; it's just a floral maxi dress with jewelry. Think back to some of the more fashion-forward seasons (the ones that immediately come to mind are Emily Maynard's and Jojo's seasons)... there would be something interesting happening at the very least, some asymmetry, some unusual pairing, some draping. Okay, rant over. If you disagree, Becca's Privacy Please "Crenshaw" maxi dress is sadly sold out (HERE) but there's a super similar option HERE, and a look-for-less HERE. Her Peggy Li druzy spike earrings sell HERE, and her Robyn Rhodes "Lara" ring sells HERE (be sure to click even if only to have a laugh at the product photo!). 

For river-rafting with Garrett...


This look worked because of the activity. It would be impractical to wear anything but a cute cover-up dress and flat sandals for what they did that day. While I'm not running out to buy this particular cover-up dress, I have no issue with it. Becca's cover-up dress is by Elan but I could only find it plus-size, HERE. (I'm not sure there's really a difference given the loose fit, but in case you want regular sizing, it's available in Blue, HERE, and there are very cute maxi versions HERE.) Her Sam Edelman "Gigi" sandals sell HERE. As for Becca's turquoise studs, I'm 95% sure they're by Hawkes & Co (HERE) but since they're pricey and several of you asked about these, I scoped some alternatives. Basically what you're looking for if you want that really vibrant glow is Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, and Becca's are around 8mm in size. So with those specs in mind, there's a great look-for-less HERE. For a more drastic price cut, I think the options HERE and HERE would do nicely.

***UPDATE 08.05.18*** Hawkes & Co has since reached out with an amazing promo code for my readers! Use code "PRETTYPANDAS50" for 50% OFF. (Yes, you read that right!)

In the evening...


This was my second favorite look of the week. It's NOT basic, it's making an effort, it feels modern and fashion-forward and... well, like something's HAPPENING. Honestly, it feels so different from the other two evening date looks that you'd think it were a different show. Bonus points for the cool ear crawlers and PONYTAIL. 👏🏼👏🏼 Becca's lace dress is from the Randi Rahm 2017 Winter Bridal Collection (HERE), but there's a similar option (and look-for-less) HERE and HERE. She's worn her patent Stuart Weitzman Nudistsong sandals a few times now—they sell HERE (and there's a super similar pair by the same brand selling half price HERE). Her Robyn Rhodes "Kami" ear crawlers sell HERE. There are good alternatives (and great looks-for-less) HERE and HERE, and in my search I also found a very cool hammered bar pair(HERE) that I took a break from doing this recap to order for myself. :)

For the Rose Ceremony...


Sigh. There's nothing WRONG with this dress, per se. But once again, I feel like I could find this dress (or some variation of it) at my local mall. I think the theme of this week's fashion section is, if I can find it at my local mall, it's not up to snuff for Week 9 of The Bachelorette. Otherwise, Becca looks lovely, but as usual, I credit her for that and not the unimaginative wardrobe. If you disagree: Becca's Nightcap "Bachelorette" dress sells HERE (it also comes in Black—on sale—HERE). There's a good look-for-less HERE, and in my search I found a cute (and frankly more interesting) alternative, HERE. She's worn these Gianvito Rossi sandals several times this season—they sell HERE and there's a good look-for-less HERE.


Until next week, fellow pandas!