Somehow, every season, the magicians who produce this wondrous show manage to find three intelligent women whose fantasy involves taking turns at overnight dates in an exotic locale with the same dude. (And no, you’re not watching Sister Wives. I double checked.) In our case, Chris took Boring Becca, Steal-Your-Sperm-While-You-Sleep Whitney and Dirty Joker Kaitlyn to Bali. Bali, people! Finally a date location they couldn’t reach by speed-walking Forrest Gump style across the country. The main goal of these dates is to give Chris the chance to connect one-on-one with each of the remaining women without interruption before he introduces two of them to his family and makes his final choice of
temporary girlfriend life partner. (Also, it gives the show the chance to air lots of bikini and shirtless footage.)
As I watched each of these boring dates I found myself fantasizing that I was in bed eating Sour Patch Kids while watching Pretty Little Liars (ladies of Rosewood, one piece of advice: CALL THE POLICE). Those little guys are mystery. Are they sweet? Are they sour? I don’t know but, get in my belly. Clearly my pregnancy craving for Sour Patch Kids is a perfect transition into recapping The Bachelor (#thatsnormal) because, I was reminded of a game I’ve played where you ask yourself what your sweet of the day was and what was your sour. Basically, what made your day awesome and what made you want to throw your stapler at your cubicle neighbor. Or in the case of this episode of The Bachelor, what made me cringe/laugh from secondhand embarrassment (my sweets, naturally) and what rankled my feminist ideals to the point of pausing the TV while I fumed at my husband (my sours). His response, “You know you’re watching The Bachelor, right?”
In no particular order (because I was super distracted fantasizing about candy and didn’t keep very good notes), here are my top “sweets” and “sours” from the Fantasy Suite episode:
Sweet: The Humidity in Bali
I have never been to Indonesia, but I can only imagine that the weather there is similar to the seventh circle of hell based on the hairstyles the women were working this week. Believe me, my hair is the worst in humid conditions. Put me in the South and I immediately become a missing member of Twisted Sister, so I can commiserate. It’s no wonder all three women accepted the keys to their fantasy suites; they wanted to get into the air conditioned hotel rooms before their roots lifted any higher. I can only imagine how embarrassing being on national television with Monica Gellar vacation hair on full display is AND I LOVED IT. Lest you think I’m being unfair, never fear, Chris’s hair may have been shellacked into submission, but his pit stains spoke for themselves and they were not polite. (Although I imagine he smelled like distilled corn which is basically moonshine and I’m fine with that.) Definitely one of my sweets of the episode.
Sour: Whitney’s Blessing Obsession
Last week during hometown dates Whitney was disappointed that her sister wouldn’t give her blessing to Chris to propose. If you remember, her sister had some strange hang up about him dating other women at the same time. How dare she. This week Whitney still couldn’t let it go because she was afraid this lack of blessing constituted some sort of disadvantage in the race to win
Neil Lane’s ring Chris’ heart. LET IT GO. You’re a 29-year-old, accomplished, professional woman. You don’t need anyone’s permission to do anything. If you want to quit your job and move to Iowa to have babies, YOU CAN. If you want to talk incessantly in a baby voice, YOU CAN. If you want to sign up for a TV show pitting yourself against other women for the affection of one giggling, faux-hawked man, YOU CAN. (But I will make fun of you. Every choice has consequences.) Stop apologizing for doing what you want and please, stop waiting for someone else to give Chris permission to ask you if you want to spend the rest of your life with him. Yes, I can appreciate the symbolism and the sign of respect to her loved ones that a blessing represents, but the obsessing has to stop. One word, sour.
Sweet: Orange Self-Tanner Knees
Usually by this point in the season, the remaining women have been given ample opportunities to work on their base tan on the beach while waiting for their dates. I don’t know, maybe they had a pool to lounge next to in Des Moines but from what I can tell, they weren’t given a whole lot of time to prep for bikini weather in Bali. As any woman who has experienced the the first frigid foray into spring bathing suit shopping at Target can tell you, self-tanner is a must. Also a must? Exfoliating and moisturizing those knees so you don’t look like you’ve been using an oompa-loompa as a prayer bench. I hate to pick on Whitney again (no I don’t) but she was the worst offender this week by far. Yes, it’s shallow of me, but this is The Bachelor after all and you’re on a TV show that averages of 9 million viewers weekly. That’s 9 million people watching the camera pan up your admittedly impressive legs; the least you could do is exfoliate. Those off-color circles on her knees are one of my sweets, just like a Florida orange.
Sour: Discussing Becca’s Virginity
The only topic that has been discussed more than Chris’ profession this season (hey guys, I know it’s shocking, but he’s a farmer) has been virginity. Earlier in the season Ashley I. proclaimed her virginity loud and proud and seemed to think it would be a selling point in her bid for
bachelorette Chris. Then, it later came out that Becca, one of our remaining top three women, is also a virgin. Host Chris Harrison was the Oprah of post-marital sex this season. You get a virgin! You get a virgin! Yawn. Quite frankly, I’m over it.
This episode as Becca was preparing to tell Chris her big secret, she said it would be “devastating if (her) virginity is a deal breaker for him”. Oh honey, if all he can see of value in you is whether or not you’ll be having sex with him before you’re ready then that should be YOUR deal breaker. Yes, I see the irony in taking issue with sexual exploitation while watching a show like The Bachelor, but I feel like it could be done in such a smarter way. Becca, you’re a kind, beautiful, fun and thoughtful woman. If you choose to wait to have sex, that’s nothing to apologize for. Don’t make decisions in life based on what someone else is going to think of you; own it. All of this embarrassment associated with a decision you consciously made long before you met the bachelor is a big sour.
Sweet: Ethnic Outfits at the Rose Ceremony
One of my favorite cringe inducing parts of any season of The Bachelor is when they try to engage the local traditions of the places they visit. Usually this includes some sort of religious dress and dance or teaching young natives how to play sports their country invented. Typically these scenes end up being accidentally racist or exploitative but no one on the show seems to realize it which, in my twisted sense of humor, is hilarious. The opportunities for these gaffes has been seriously hindered this season by their lack of international travel but never fear, they pulled out a doozy this episode.
In a strange twist, the women and Chris dressed in traditional Balinese clothing for the rose ceremony which was held in a sacred temple. Host Chris Harrison made sure to give a stern lecture prior to the ceremony that included the phrase “please be sure to respect this holy place.” Hold up. Please respect this holy place? You do realize that you’re about to have a man break up with a woman in front of the other two women he’s dating in this place right? Okay, please proceed.
While I’m sure their outfits would have been beautiful in a different setting, dressing them in all coordinating neon colors was straight up weird. Then the matching geisha poses? I can’t. There are dozens of world class beaches in Bali and they stuck them in an ancient temple wearing sarongs. I love this sweet show.
Sour: It’s Chris’ World
At the rose ceremony Chris took Becca aside to further discuss just how sure she is that she’s ready to move to Iowa after 8 weeks of dating since the other women have basically already packed their u-hauls and made a mixed tape for the drive. This little side discussion made Whitney and Kaitlyn very confident that they were about to be given roses and make the final two. In an interview during this time, Kaitlyn made the statement that “at the end of the day this is Chris’ world and it’s whatever makes Chris happy and I believe in what we have to make him happy.” Shake. My. Head. I have been happily married for 9 years. I fully believe that the key to a happy relationship is going out of your way to think of your significant other first, but that doesn’t make it their world.
I don’t know what it is about this show that makes confident and independent women like Kaitlyn want to completely give up everything they are to be the last woman standing. It happens every season so it’s not like Chris is magical. Is it the thrill of the hunt? The sense of competition? The desire to be chosen? Kaitlyn, anyone would be lucky to have a relationship with you, you do not have to erase your identity to fit into their world. I never thought I’d miss your dirty joke cracking, bare-butt mooning ways but at least then you were original. What’s that? Oh, just the sour taste in my mouth.
In the end, Chris sent Kaitlyn home which means Whitney and Becca are our final two contestants. I do not read spoilers, but these two have been my picks for final two for weeks and no one finds as much satisfaction in being right as I do; so, yeah! Also, I hope you stuck with me through my feminist diatribes this week, I must have really been inspired by Patricia Arquette and Meryl Streep at the Oscars.
In two weeks Chris will introduce his potential wives to his family and ultimately decide if he wants to propose to one of them. But first, next week we have the Women Tell All special. This is probably my favorite episode of the season because it is all snark all the time. I expect these women to throw so much shade that they’ll need to turn up the studio lights. I can’t wait. See you then!
Do you think Chris made the right choice this week? Will Kaitlyn be the next Bachelorette? Who are you most looking forward to seeing again at the Women Tell All?