Good morning Bachelor Bracket!

We did it – it seemed unlikely, it seemed dare I say impossible, but we did it. We got to a rose ceremony. Granted we were owed one from last week so teccccchnically we should have gotten two, but beggars can’t be choosers. And more importantly, this means we have some actual scores on the board!

I’d also like to front this recap by saying that as mean as some of these women were (which is obviously unacceptable), they do make for some funny memes:

We start the night off with Victoria talking trash about Sarah, saying that “the trash took itself out.” Katie, the only one of the girls who listened in her high school’s anti-bullying assemblies, tells her to stop being mean, especially if Sarah isn’t here to defend herself. Victoria then takes Katie aside and asks for an apology (THE AUDACITY) to which Katie tells her to shove it. Victoria clearly has no idea how to deal with someone not cowering to her so she just repeats that she has the right to express herself through name-calling and walks off. I officially am starting my #KatieForBachelorette campaign since she’s obviously too sane to end up with Matt.

We then get the evening part of the group date we missed last week (did they not do a day date? did dumping Sarah (who might have had a boyfriend the entire time) take the entire day? no answers were even attempted) and it’s very unremarkable except Chelsea. Chelsea (the beautiful bald model) talks about her relationship with her hair as a black woman and it’s a nice reminder of how ABC has the opportunity to highlight the interesting and important conversations these people have about politics and identity. It’s what made Tayshia’s season so great so naturally they are cutting it out of Matt’s. (Pro tip: if you had no idea black hair was so politicized, try reading this articlethis article, or this article.)

We then move into the cocktail party/rose ceremony where things go absolutely off the rails. Like scary off the rails. Like I almost wanted to turn it off because it’s 2021 and I’m not down for a bunch of women calling each other sluts and whores because we are better than that. But apparently even the fact that these women KNOW THEY ARE GOING TO BE AIRED ON TV that’s not a deal-breaker for them being nasty SO HERE WE GO.

All the girls get together and talk about how now that Sarah is gone they are going to be ~sO sUpPoRtIvE~ of each other and that lasts maybe four seconds because Chris Harrison interrupts their night to steal Matt for a second. All of the women panic, thinking Sarah is back but IT’S EVEN WORSE. The producers saw how much mayhem they caused when they introduced new men on Tayshia’s season and why fix what isn’t broken? Matt, looking panicked at how quickly he’s going to get skewered when he goes back to the cocktail party, meets five new women.

The women in the house react like any rational humans, realizing their anger shouldn’t be directed at the new women but rather the producers by icing them out, being rude, and demeaning them. While later on the worst thing will be Anna (the one with RBF) making up a rumor about Brittany being a sex worker, in the moment when Miss Puerto Rico Universe walks in and Victoria STEALS THE CROWN OFF HER HEAD is concrete proof that The Bachelor is just the Stanford Prison experiment repeated weekly for our viewing pleasure.

Somehow we make it to the rose ceremony and only girls with names starting with K are eliminated (which I tried not to take personally) including poor Kym who quarantined for two weeks, was kept back an extra week, talked to Matt for likely 10 minutes, and then was eliminated. And you just know whatever state she’s from is going to force her to quarantine for another two weeks upon her return.

We then move on to the first official group date of the week where we finally have a date with under a dozen people on it.

Ben Higgins shows up to assist Matt because as we know, the best person to get advice from is the former Bachelor who told both of his final choices he loved them, ended up breaking up with the woman he selected, and whose now fiancé he met by sliding into her DMs. Truly the expert at dating boys and girls.

The date involves a relay race that got my two roommates, both of who were involved in their collegiate crew teams, way too excited. Basically, the women got into giant hollowed-out pumpkins and rowed their way across a lake, where they then dressed up as squirrels, needed to find an acorn in a pile in leaves, and carry their nut as though they were a squirrel. Keep in mind the winner (Mari) didn’t seem to get anything other than a gold trophy of an acorn so I’m not reaalllllly sure what the point was?

I will say watching poor Magi row herself in a circle while everyone else got to shore was hilarious, although it definitely brought back flashbacks of the two times I have done a tandem kayak, each of which was a horrible experience. All I’m saying is that kayaking sounds like a cute first date idea and next thing you know you’re stuck in a kayak with a dude in the Charles River you definitely never want to see again and quickly realize maybe just getting coffee and going on a walk, as unoriginal as it sounds, is actually a MUCH better first date.

We move onto the evening portion which should have been uneventful except the fact Anna has decided to tell everyone Brittany “entertains men for money” and that they are both are from Chicago and she heard some nasty stuff about her before the show. And let me just take a minute to unpack this. First things first, how in the world were people telling Anna this stuff? Part of the fun of The Bachelor is the psychological torture enacted when they take phones away from people dependent on them. Did one of her friend send a message in a bottle? A carrier pigeon? A smoke signal? Please Anna, tell me how you heard nasty things about this girl but ALSO DIDN’T KNOW MORE GIRLS WERE COMING?? Does that make sense to you Anna?? Because it doesn’t make sense to me.

SECOND OF ALL ANNA, what is with this ‘oh we both are from Chicago’ nonsense? Chicago has a population of roughly 2.7M people. Even if we were like ‘oh all super-hot people know each other’ that’s like what, 40K people? Digitas Boston has maybe 600 people and I couldn’t name everyone. And you know that when we all go back into the office and all the names on everyone’s video screens Teams provides are gone I’m screwed. There is absolutely no way you just casually know of Brittany.

AND FINALLY ANNA HOW DARE YOU SMEAR THE NAME ANNA?? We have the lovely and much-missed Anna on this chain and making me write angry things is upsetting because I love Anna and don’t want to take her name in vain.

We get to take a break from women hating women (not the 2021 goals I was manifesting) to have newcomer Michelle go on a date with Matt. Truth be told this is the most likable Matt has been all season for me. He seems to be relaxed, he’s relatively charming, and seems more engaged. They are giving me Zac and Tayshia vibes. They do all the generic cute stuff like go on a hot air balloon and eat dinner in a hanger dedicated to cool expensive old cars and have an actual conversation. Michelle is a teacher in Minnesota and talks about being there for her students as they cope with COVID and the realities of George Floyd and police brutality. She is wonderful and beautiful and perfect and I love her. Editing also allows Matt to have a single moment of intelligence when Michelle quotes Maya Angelou and is way too shocked he recognized the quote to be considered polite. She gets a rose because obviously.

We then get another group date where they go boxing because that seems like a great date idea for a bunch of people who are tired of emotionally abusing each other and want to move into other abuse categories.

Wells shows up to remind everyone that while he was just a contestant on JoJo’s season he is the only true winner of this entire franchise because he’s engaged to Sarah Hyland and she’s an actual celebrity. The girls then proceed to absolutely wail on each other. It’s painful to watch because they are out for blood and Matt is uncomfortable, the girls are uncomfortable, and I’m uncomfortable. Production doesn’t even pretend this is fun and my subtitles read [ominous music] or something equally inspiring. Matt puts a stop to it after Serena gets walloped and almost breaks her nose.

We then go to the end of the group date which is just vicious in a different way than the date was. A bunch of women are sitting around talking smack and it’s just plain nasty. You know how fun it was to watch 2000s romcoms in the 2000s and you’re like this movie is great! And then you go back and realize that The Ugly Truth with Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler is actually just trying to normalize sexual harassment in the workplace? Take that gross feeling you get watching it now but take away the slight relief you have that movies would be hard-pressed to get away with that nonsense now.

Katie tries to stick up for people again but everyone just dismisses her because why be nice when you can be mean, so she goes and tells Matt that everything and everyone is toxic and he should address the house and reaffirm that bullying is bad and he is upset and seems surprised people would be mean and I have to ask – do we think Matt watched a season of The Bachelor before he was the lead? Because it’s a coin toss for me at this moment.

I’m also going to address snitches on this show. Usually they are obnoxious and I hate them. It’s the surefire way to get eliminated and usually they go about it SO WRONG. They usually tell the lead that the person they are most threatened by is ~not here for the right reasons~ and doesn’t seem to understand that it’s apparent that everyone is not here for the right reasons. Matt James isn’t even here for the right reasons. But Katie did a BEAUTIFUL job snitching. She didn’t call out any particular person (although maybe because they are all mean?) and laid out the facts in a clear-cut manner while giving Matt an action plan. She wasn’t trying to give herself an edge, she wasn’t trying to hate on one specific person, she just wanted to not feel like girls were going to go full Lord of the Flies on each other. Unfortunately, she’s FOR SURE getting eliminated at some point for this so Katie I’m counting down our days together.

We then get another to be continued so I will end this with a janky YouTube video of Matt dancing to no music at the end of the episode.


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