A few things before we get started this week!
In case you missed it, my blog post about the cruise Andy and I went on last month is now live. This is the vacation I mentioned being on earlier this Bachelorette season. You can read it HERE.
A gentle reminder: If you wish to be notified when a new recap is up, either subscribe (at the very bottom of any page) or follow ATPP’s Facebook page. If the recap isn’t here it simply means I haven’t completed it yet. I have a life and twice a year these recaps already take up far more of it than they should. It was a holiday weekend. Please resist the urge to send me emails and DMs telling me to hurry up. I do these for fun, not because I owe them to anyone.
Anyone visiting since the very beginning will know All The Pretty Pandas has been trucking (and I dare say, steadily growing) for a whopping 5 years! (I started these with Andi’s season, the first season after my own time on The Bachelor, in 2014.) I’ve been flirting with the idea of throwing an 5 year anniversary party + Men Tell All viewing party to celebrate and thank you all for your dedicated readership. I think it’d be very cool to put faces to names and for us all to meet the like-minded people who make up our little community here. I’ve also mentioned before, though, that I’m no party planner (I never throw myself birthday parties!), and of course I realize the majority of you may not live in New York. Therefore, I don’t plan on taking this on if people can’t actually make it. So, if this interests you and you’re available, please take a few seconds for a hypothetical RSVP. Follow this link to let me know whether or not you could attend a party here in NYC the evening of Monday, July 22nd, from approximately 7-11pm.
Please submit your RSVP by Wednesday, July 10th.
There is no need to RSVP if you cannot attend. If you CAN attend, be sure to select the date after you fill out your name. Otherwise the form tells me you cannot attend.
I ask that if you do select “yes” that you put a hold on that date so the head count doesn’t change.
I’ll base my decision on the results that form yields; if it’s a go, I’ll be sending out formal evites via the mailing list! (Again, if you’re not subscribed please do so at the bottom of the site.) If it’s a no, I’ll let you guys know here in next week’s recap!
“I used to wait, like, years before I thought I was comfortable to say something like that.”
—Garrett, on dropping the L-bomb within a couple of weeks, a testament to the power of the Bachelor bubble.
Episode 8 brings us to Amsterdam, where Hannah meets the remaining 7 men and whisks Jed off for his second 1-on-1. I watched this episode with Andy and we had a good laugh over Jed messing up when asked his nationality…
The above reminds me of when Jed called Episode 2’s Drag Queens "drags”. In some ways he seems very with it and in others he seems almost sheltered. Anyway, I confess that the above reminded me of my own Bachelor experience: When our troupe first exited the country and headed to Seoul, in the “Nationality” field of the customs form, someone actually put “Caucasian”. :)
During their daytime talk, Hannah pulls a Hannah by pulling back the curtain on something so few of us know about: the lead experience…
It’s not every day you get a lead to suggest that it’s a struggle to be “all in” on multiple conversations and to keep track of several men. This is actually how I imagine being a lead to be—I’ve always felt it would be very difficult to seem interested if you’re not and to remember the details of a dozen or so guys pouring their hearts out to you. Hannah’s the first lead (that I can remember anyway) to not pretend it’s remotely effortless or natural.
Back at their Amsterdam hotel, the men are assembled in Man Chat formation for the doorbell to ring. I laughed out loud when Garrett exclaimed, dripping with sarcasm… (also note Tyler laughing along)…
In the evening, Hannah once again gives a peek into the lead experience…
First, it’s rare to admit to feelings for multiple contestants this early on. (You usually get this sort of confession at the final two or three.) Next, I find this thought process (of sort of sitting and holding back) to be the most believable. I’ve always found it weird to imagine a lead so willingly “falling” and becoming invested in multiple guys knowing it’s just a matter of time before a brutal reality check. I know it’s part of their job description to lead on and fall for several guys and the environment is designed for it. But myself, being the sort of person who prefers to underpromise and overdeliver, or to manage expectations (both for myself and others), I have a hard time fathoming getting to the point of feeling feelings of “love” for a few people knowing there’s a rude awakening just around the corner.
Tyler’s 1-on-1 of exploring Amsterdam on horseback seemed nice and breezy until it’s revealed he has a fear of horses. SHOCKING. I got a good kick out of him attempting to be his usual chivalrous self and to take control and lead the way, but to no avail…
I mentioned last week how happy I was to hear Peter be upfront with Hannah about how frustrating it was to be lumped in with all the drama when he himself hasn’t been involved. This week, Tyler took a similar stand, expressing how cancelled Cocktail Parties impact Hannah as much if not more than it does the guys…
I LOVED this. My beef with the Cocktail Party cancellations this season is how they’ve been used as punishment. Guys “misbehaving” means time with Hannah withdrawn. But the above is completely true. HANNAH needs this time with them. It’s not just about contestants using their limited time wisely to make a good impression. They each can only focus on her but she’s the one who’s juggling relationships. She’s the one making decisions. She’s the one for whom everything is supposedly at stake. Time is information. By canceling numerous Cocktail Parties, she’s punishing herself by limiting information with which to make her all-important decisions.
I mentioned last week that I’d be amazed if at this point production wasn’t encouraging Hannah to cancel Cocktail Parties since it elicits guaranteed anger and drama among the men. Hannah’s response to Tyler’s statement in the above .GIF supports that theory in my mind. Observe how she’s the one who wanted him to explain but she doesn’t even acknowledge his subsequent explanation. She doesn’t explain herself or even agree, just sidestepping and changing the subject completely.
In the evening, Hannah touches on something that, as I said in my The Morning After video, shows thoughts on marriage and partnership beyond her years…
Now, I’m not saying that when I was 24 I wasn’t aware of what I loved or didn’t love about how my parents communicate, or that I didn’t recognize or value being on the same page as the guys I dated. But at 24 I was wrapping up a Masters degree, partying with my friends, considering a move to Europe, in an on-and-off long distance relationship, and in the “off” moments, enjoying dating all sorts of guys. My mind just wasn’t really on finding a husband, much less how we would communicate 10 years into our marriage. But let me be clear: I point out the above as a compliment, not a criticism. I have friends in their 30s who still prioritize superficial things when it comes to dating, not valuing things like communication skills and shared values enough. There’s too much emphasis on attraction and not enough on what makes a good partner. So while a part of me thinks 24 year olds should just chill and only get married if the right person conveniently comes along, I do think if you do want to tie the knot this young, then by all means you should absolutely approach it with Hannah’s longterm mindset. I’m impressed.
Oh, and Word Watch. Hannah: “Tyler just completely cracked open and showed me more of his heart and allowed me into things I think are really hard for him to talk about. But he did that with me a that shows me a lot about the trajectory of our relationship.” 👏🏼👏🏼
Back at the hotel, Mike’s date card arrives. A few things stood out to me here. First, I like Mike but felt his reaction to getting this date card was inconsiderate, bordering on obnoxious. You can get a date card and smile quietly to yourself and express being excited (as Peter did perfectly last week), but out of respect for your fellow housemates, save your celebrating for your ITM. Mike’s ear-to-ear grins, many of which were in an obviously disappointed Connor’s direction, felt not only rude, but almost like the two of them have some sort of beef we were never shown. (I don’t actually know, mind you, but this analysis reflects how over-the-top Mike’s smiles felt to me.) And lest you think Mike’s smiles were taken out of context, note where the guys on his left are looking (in Connor’s direction) when he’s grinning, as well as when Connor leaves the room. Second, note Connor’s Direct-Look-Into-Camera™ as Mike’s name is called and he realizes not only is he not getting another 1-on-1, but he now has to talk about it…
Consider how Connor received the season’s first 1-on-1, how he’s been encouraged to fall for Hannah every step of the way, and how his producer has likely been egging on how into him Hannah is and how a date card is surely coming his way. In the above clip, you can really feel palpable irritation on Connor’s part with having to participate in a Man Chat. Connor is disappointed and maybe a bit pissed, but above all, he just wants to be alone and doesn’t want to be made to talk about it. But he’s made to sit there and do just that. I often get asked, “But are contestants really FORCED to do Girl Chats/Man Chats? Can they really be forced to do anything?” Of course not, but watch how Connor getting up and leaving was accompanied by dramatic, angry music. It’s possible he just needed 10 minutes to himself to decompress, but it was painted as being a rather explosive exit. Now imagine if someone did this all the time, or perhaps in addition to getting a villain edit, and if this person was generally a pain in the ass to work with. You can see how things can add up and how it wouldn’t work in his—or his edit’s—favor to behave that way.
Heading into his 1-on-1, in an ITM, Mike repeats Hannah’s aforementioned Word Watch. Mike: “Today we literally could change the trajectory of my entire life.” DOUBLE WORD WATCH. 🌈🌈
Andy laughed so hard at the following line, making me realize how funny it was, and then it of course became .GIF-worthy…
Mike’s entire 1-on-1 felt patronizing to me. It was clear from Hannah’s body language on their first 1-on-1 that this was more of a friendship than some great romance. Mike was this season’s contestant to be taken for a ride only to get sent home on a pre-Hometowns 1-on-1 date. This could very well work in Mike’s favor, however, given Hannah was crowned Bachelorette from the same fate.
Back at the hotel, we get the first brewings of Luke conflict of this episode. I really like how Tyler, who appeared quiet and restrained earlier in the season, is really coming out and shutting Luke down on the regular. Most importantly, every point he makes is absolutely correct…
This is the kind of thing you notice about certain people in real life, those people around whom drama always seems to swirl, with both friendships and romantic relationships. There comes a point where you just want to say, “But maybe you’re the common denominator?” But notice how Luke responds to a completely different point than what Tyler was making. He cannot process introspection, the consideration that maybe it IS him, but rather pounces on an irrelevant technicality.
As Mike’s suitcase is taken away, Luke cannot comprehend why the guys are pissed with his positive response…
It sometimes feels like Luke wasn’t properly socialized as a child, like a puppy who doesn’t get to play with other dogs. Like, DUH, Mike going home ups your odds of getting a rose. The math is too simple to warrant describing. But social grace and aptitude means not openly celebrating when another guy’s suitcase is taken away.
On the Group Date, Luke proves how consistent he is by, in his precious minutes with Hannah, bringing up and talking shit about other guys. In doing this, he’s also breaking Hannah’s own rule of not “warning” her about other guys. Because, of course, this is all only out of concern for her. Note how Luke tacks that at the end of his point like an afterthought, as though there’s any relevance to Garrett’s behavior towards him and how that might translate to her…
Something about the above feels so much like a child, unable to solve his own conflicts, whining to his mommy to make the bad guys go away.
I’ve been hearing whisperings that people don’t like Garrett. I find this a bit surprising as I feel Garrett’s main downfall is taking on and attempting to shut down Luke, an obviously pointless endeavor. Watch how painstakingly and meticulously he traps Luke in his lie, yet how Luke then simply creates a new lie—a new reality—with which to deflect blame…
In the evening, Luke brings out the big guns, and by big guns I mean his shower with God story. Andy and I laughed SO HARD at Hannah’s face flinch in response to Luke claiming to have caught a glimpse of Heaven…
… but what made this .GIF-worthy was what he said afterwards. This is (one of) my issue(s) with Christianity and the claim that having faith automatically makes you a good person, or even a better person than someone who doesn’t. I’m all for the inner peace, the inspiration, the community faith can provide. But when it’s in the context of securing a place in Heaven, aka ultimately being rewarded for good behavior… well, I find that hypocritical. The whole point of being selflessly good is to do so with no benefit, no anticipation of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I’m actually fine with that—I don’t think behaving well with the intention of being rewarded for it is a crime—but at least call a spade a spade.
Later in this same conversation, and as much as I laughed when he said this, I have to admit that it counts as a Word Watch. Fair is fair. Luke: “I hated chasing my fleshly desires.”
I had to make a .GIF of the adorable moment Peter returned to the hotel and Jed and Tyler showed unabashed excitement and affection for him…
Finally, something that caught my attention was Garrett kissing Hannah goodbye and telling her not to hide her “red nose”…
It’s interesting to me when we’re shown references to past conversations but never actually shown those conversations. This reminds me of last week, when Hannah thanked Dylan for all the things he’d shared with her… except we never saw any of that. It would appear Hannah and Garrett spoke about her (adorable) red nose and perhaps he expressed a fondness for it, but we’ll never know. It’s like hearing a punchline but without the joke.
As always, my frontrunners and initial takeaways of this episode can be found over at Flare.
From her recent Ellen “Burning Questions” segment…
I like this look fine. It is perfectly B-roll appropriate and felt practical yet polished for roaming through tulip fields. Hannah’s Vince belted brushed-felt coat (in Pale Dusk) sells (very on sale!) HERE. Her Kendra Scott Regina natural pearl hoop earrings sell HERE. Her Reiss Issa checked trousers sell (super on sale!) HERE.
There may be a hair too much pink outerwear this season (including leather jackets, this is proably the 6th or so pink outwear piece). Also, as a general fashion vibe, this is kind of similar to the tulip B-roll look above. Nonetheless, I do like this look. It’s not so inventive or anything, but I do love pale pink and grey together, and she looks put-together yet practically so given the day’s activities. Hannah’s Reiss Mabel longline coat (in Soft Pink) sells (super on sale!) HERE. Her Reiss Claudia chunky rollneck sweater (in Blue Melange) sells (also very on sale) HERE. You’ve seen her Rag & Bone Razor booties for weeks now; they sell HERE. Her diamond and sapphire earrings are by Dilamani (HERE) but since are very pricey, there are decent looks-for-less selling HERE and HERE.
Ooooh favorite look of the week right here! Red is insanely good on Hannah. I love a suit with nothing underneath—the dichotomy of masculine and obvious sexiness—and the statement necklace took it to the next level. Best of all is the hair; it would have been a tragedy to have worn her hair down with this look. But even a slicked back ponytail might’ve been too severe given the many strong statements here. A tousled, low pony was the perfect, soft, yet swept-back addition here. LOVE. Hannah’s Balak Dickey jacket (in Red Poppy) sells (half price!) HERE while the matching Faxon pant (LESS than half price!) sells HERE. The necklace is again by Shalla Wista but again isn’t on their site, so if you have to have it, I’d try DM-ing them. There is a super similar one by the same brand selling HERE.
I like this look but I think it’s mostly because I like the individual pieces rather than the pieces together. The cardigan is a HIT for me. It is so something I would wear. I like the necklace too. I don’t love the V of that sweater with the necklace (a top with a lower neckline would better suit it), nor the grey of that sweater with the cream of the cardigan. But overall I do like the comfort and accessibility of this look. Hannah’s 360 Cashmere Joyce cardigan (in Lunar) sells (on sale) HERE. Since it’s pricey, there are great looks-for-less HERE and HERE. Her Inhabit Everyday V-neck cashmere sweater is sold out (HERE) but there are similar sweaters (and major looks-for-less) by the same brand selling HERE and HERE. Her necklace is by Shalla Wista and if you must have it, apparently you can DM them for pricing. Finally, her Vince Ridley boots (in Grey Suede) sell HERE and HERE.
Ooooh, I love this. This was the week’s sexpot look. The dress is edgy without trying too hard, and in white, it’s a showstopper. I especially love her hair here; she has the ability to get great volume, so I love the side-part va-va-voom hairdos. Big fan. Hannah’s Zhivago Key mini dress sells HERE. If you can handle baby pink instead of white, there’s a good look-for-less (and a far more wearable one, IMO) HERE. In my search I found the black sequin version of the same dress at an fantastic price so I thought I’d link it out, HERE. Her two tone teardrop earrings are by The Woods and they sell HERE. There’s a good look-for-less for these selling HERE.
Not a huge fan of this one. It feels a bit hodgepodge, like there were spare pieces that needed to be featured so they were just thrown together. I think mixing pink with pink is very finicky and it did not come close to working here. I’m not offended by this look but it’s very “meh” to me. Hannah’s LaMarque leather biker jacket (in Peony Heart) sells (super on sale) HERE. These are the same Rag & Bone Razor boots from above; they sell HERE. As for her jewelry…
I like this. It’s all in the details here: the pop of that purple, the puff of the sleeve, the oversized-ness of that floral print. It feels a bit business-like and almost newscaster-y, but in an elevated, feminine way. I’m a fan. Hannah’s Isabel Marant Conway puff-sleeve cashmere sweater is sold out (HERE). There’s an alternative with the same specs HERE and a look-for-less HERE. Her Dolce & Gabbana floral pencil skirt sells HERE, but since it’s very pricey, there are decent looks-for-less HERE and HERE.
I like this look but I’m not blown away by it. It’s a sexpot look but lacks the interest and nuance that the white dress (above) has. And despite all the pieces being designer, it doesn’t feel elevated or couture; it feels more like girl-at-the-club than runway to me. Hannah’s Dolce & Gabbana satin corset dress sells HERE, but since it’s pricey, there are looks-for-less HERE and HERE. Her Giuseppe Zanotti three-band embellished heels sell (super on sale) HERE and HERE, and there are great wallet-friendlier alternatives HERE and HERE.
Nothing stood out to me this week. No Best Dressed!
This is more for consistency’s sake than anything…
Consider this a soft Worst Dressed; if I’m completely honest, the man somehow pulls this off. But I credit him and his overall eye-candy factor and not the (ridiculous) top itself.
Until next week, fellow pandas!