Ben Higgins Bachelor Recap Episode 2: Celebrity Edition
FRONTRUNNERS: Too soon to tell. NO CHANCE: Amanda-because-she’s-a-mom, The-Twins-because-they’re-twins, Lace-because-she-can’t-stop-drinking, and Mandi-because-she’s-too-weird-to-win
In the Tonight On: snogging, random exercise, and Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. Possibly people are upset with Olivia, and I can’t wait to find out why, because I promised myself and my friends I would do this. I have no confidence it will be for a good reason.
Gratuitous shot of Ben putting on his pants over fairly tight briefs. Gotta sell the hardware.
Lace is admitting to getting too drunk and too emotional on the first night. She promises it won’t happen again, but that will only last until the next perceived setback.
The first group date is a trip back to school, where the girls will be partnered up and then compete in different classes to not get eliminated. Whoever makes it to the end is named the “Homecoming Queen”. This might be the best idea I’ve seen on this show, and should end with at least one team yelling at each other. Poor Jubilee gets partnered with Lace, who looks like she has no interest in learning things that don’t involve snogging and/or Ben.
Our first challenge: in science class, the teams will compete to be the first to make Ben’s volcano explode. Sigh…
Love, Trust, and Friendship (baking soda, vinegar, and who cares) are combined for the desired effect. On the volcano. Lace reads the instructions wrong, and also says she hated school. I am so surprised. She and Jubilee are eliminated because they couldn’t make Ben’s volcano explode in a timely manner.
Challenge number 2: bobbing for apples in a relay race. Many mouth jokes are made about Jackie, which I enjoy despite myself but are hardly original enough to repeat here.
Challenge number 3: finding the Indiana-shaped piece and placing it on a map of the United States. It goes…poorly. Indiana was placed almost perfectly as Pennsylvania in one example, oddly.
Challenge number 4: the girls have to make a free throw. Generous cutting of footage helps move things along.
Challenge number 5: To find the final winner, they have to run some hurdles. The self-proclaimed weird girl from Portland (Mandi) wins by roughly half the track, which makes me think she was lying about not being prepared. In any case, she is the “Homecoming Queen” and recipient of some of Lace’s ocular daggers. Multiple girls make references to not being named Homecoming Queen before, as if it’s a title most people expect to win at some point in their lives. Maybe I went to a weird school, but there was only one girl in each class who could win if I remember correctly.
At the cocktail party, Lace is determined to redeem herself, but is either drunk or afraid to open her mouth wide enough to make intelligible words.
Becca shoots surprisingly well on the randomly placed basketball court. Knucks, Becca. . Ben misses horribly and blames his shirt, just like LeBron James. No, seriously: LEBRON SHIRT RIP VIDEO.
Ben, when you wear a blazer you should button your shirt up farther. Just friendly advice in case this doesn’t work out and you end up playing the field again. Jennifer does not mind, and gets some solid snogging in before rejoining her competition. She is asked and confirms that she kissed Ben, and the hatred seeping through Lace’s eyes at this point is not appropriate for most television audiences.
Lace once again “steals” Ben, wanting to give a different impression, and does seem more sober. After apologizing, she interrupts Ben’s response and suggests the word crazy for her behavior. Yup!
Awkward silence is not followed by snogging, but Lace claims chemistry based on their hand holding. Jubilee “steals” Ben next, and Lace retreats, snogless. Crocodiles everywhere shed tears on her behalf.
Jubilee drops the first backstory bomb of all the contestants. She is an X-Men. Actually, she was an orphan and Ben handles this news like a pro. That’s good, because if this is like prior seasons every contestant will have backstory bomb. Jubilee is rewarded with minor snogging, and returns to sit on the couch next to Lace. Lace looks very angry. Run away, Jubilee! Fast.
Lace hunts down Ben once again because she has had “no time”, meaning “as much time as anyone” in the Bachverse. With Ben’s undivided attention, she cannot stop talking over him. In case you were curious, this is not flattering behavior. She is not snogged.
Ben comes to the group and requests JoJo’s time. This reversal of the stealing dynamic should represent a win for her and will probably paint a large target on her back for the other girls, especially Lace. Do not go into a room alone with Lace, JoJo. She’ll probably attack you wearing your unicorn mask from First Impression night and try to frame you for your own murder. Ben gives JoJo the group date rose, crushing the remaining contestants as usual.
Back at the house, the one-on-one date card arrives! Caila is the lucky winner and is promised a day of surprises. The first of the surprises is the arrival of Ice Cube and Kevin Hart. Everyone reacts very positively, even though I’m not sure they all know who Ice Cube is. Kevin Hart has been ubiquitous lately, so I think they all recognize him.
Other than shameless plugging for Ridealong 2, I think this could be pretty entertaining. They stop to buy flowers on the side of the road, and then drop in the liquor store. Ice Cube recommends Hennessey and condoms. Ben seems skeptical, but I’m going to side with Ice Cube on this one!
The main part of the date is spent testing some hot tubs. Kevin Hart remains in the hot tub longer than would be comfortable, and exits without pants on. I think this was intended to be hilarious, but something isn’t coming through my dimensional rift to the Bachverse.
Eventually our prospective lovers part ways with the stars of Ridealong 2, and go to one of the awkward only-people-in-the-restaurant dates. Ben dives into what qualities Caila wants in a man, and she gives a surprisingly candid answer. I say surprisingly because I think most of the contestants would have answered: “I look for someone over six feet tall with dark hair named Ben from Warsaw Indiana”. After a cutaway, the rose has teleported to Ben’s hand! He gives it to Caila, so she is now as secure as one person dating someone with 15 other girlfriends can be.
Ugh, private concert. Boooooooo.
The commercials on the ABC website are making me really think this was a bad idea. I think it’s bumping the run time from an hour and twenty minutes to an hour and 45 minutes, maybe even two hours.
We come back from commercial to find Amanda talking to her kids. Given how low your odds are on this show, I’m having a hard time mustering any sympathy.
Another group date card arrives, and SHOCKER: ONE TWIN IS SELECTED AND THEN THE OTHER ONE IS.
The second group date begins with all of the ladies jumping in the limo with glasses of champagne. I am crazy jealous. They arrive at a place called “The Love Lab” which is only made creepier by the Segway/tablet setup greeting them. One of the twins says that Ben looks like a nurse in his white hoodie and white shorts, and I wonder where she has seen nurses before. Definitely not a hospital.
First we have a retinal tracking that is mildly disconcerting, but this is followed by a smell test where the ladies are asked to work out and Ben has to sniff them. Just no.
One by one the ladies are asked to assume various positions near Ben to detect thermal imaging, and in a terrifying wrinkle all of the other girls are watching the thermal imaging on TV. The formerly Segway-doctor explains that one contestant got the lowest score, and it’s Samantha. No doctor-patient confidentiality at The Love Lab, I guess. Olivia gets the highest score, which immediately makes everyone else very unhappy with her. An anticlimactic end to an excessively awkward date, but the fuel of house drama is there. Add an accelerant like alcohol to the mix, and we could have some fireworks!
Ben arrives to the cocktail party wearing A HOODIE AND A BLAZER. BEN WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?! Blazers are in style again, yes, but that doesn’t mean you wear them with EVERYthing. God damn crime against fashion and common sense.
Ben leads Olivia away from the cocktail party to explain that he believes in science (referring to the Love Lab). Snogging ensues, which will certainly not improve the ladies’ feelings towards Olivia. One of the twins is taken off on her own, and nothing interesting happens at all. The Russian has a chance to speak English, so she might be making some headway!
Meanwhile, the ladies in the cocktail room are discussing the appearance of the rose on the table rather than eating the perfectly formed cheese cubes right next to it. This upsets me greatly, and I would be concerned about my prospects if I was Ben.
Amanda finally has a chance to tell Ben that she has two kids, but I can’t stop staring at Ben’s blazer/hoodie combo. It is awful. Another awful thing: listening to people talk exclusively about their kids while they’re on a reality television show.
Olivia wins a premature rose for the second week in a row, and her ego begins to swell to Brobdingnagian size. Amanda is crushed, because she talked about her kids and didn’t win immediately.
Ben returns to the cocktail party where Lace is conspicuously not featured. I’m worried she may have reformed to look less insane on television, which is good for her health but a travesty for me.
Olivia quietly stalks her prey with rose in hand. I support this strategy in general; just because you’re safe this week doesn’t mean you should lay off. Everyone is upset by her behavior, though, and the mind boggles as to why no one else simply does the same. There is one positive side effect, though. Lace takes a big gulp of wine and asks to talk to Olivia in private! She claims to want to get to know Olivia, and proceeds to speak through a mouth open wide enough for a strip of gum but not words. Olivia shows her all zero fucks she has to give and politely asks her to get lost, at which point Lace goes right to Ben. She starts the conversation with “I know I’m coming off a little crazy to you…” which is kind of like saying “don’t get mad…”. After interrupting Ben for a few more minutes, Ben responds with the classic “guess I’ll drink this beverage if I can’t get a word in* counter, and Lace cries when another girl asks to talk to Ben. Terrifying, but damn good entertainment from my perspective. We will miss Lace when she is gone.
Amber has chosen a poorly sequined dress for the evening, but more troubling is her disappointment in not having any time with Ben. There are clearly no rules or etiquette around “stealing” his time from another girl. Go interrupt someone else, Amber, carpe that diem!
GAME CHANGER. Ben gives Lauren B a photo of them on the first night. A thoughtful, personal gift for a contestant in week 2. Unprecedented in my Bachverse experience, and very encouraging for Lauren B.
Nevermind. Ben now has presents for every girl he talks to, so my theory is out the window. Maybe he’s a really nice guy with way too much time on his hands (I know the latter feeling), but this smacks of producer involvement.
Chris Harrison arrives to end the cocktail party and herald the doom of prospective fiancees with no chudzpah.
Odd note: Fuller House/Netflix gets an advertisement, and the video quality is comparable to a Sega Nomad. Maybe coincidence, but all of the other commercials are coming through in HD.
Victorious this week: Samantha, Jubilee, Lauren, B, Leah, Becca, Rachel, and Lace! Despite abundant footage of her crying and claiming she won’t blame him (highly unlikely), she’s moving on! Thank the gods, particularly Bacchus.
LB gets a rose, but wants to talk to Ben in private. The lack of rules surrounding these things drives me up the wall, but she’s having trouble managing the situation that she auditioned for and probably watched on television regularly. She decides to leave, so knucks to you, LB.
The rose parade continues: one twin is selected, then Jami, Lauren H, Shushanna, and the other twin. Amber is losing her mind. After all, if you don’t win this your only chance at love is the same chance every person not on these shows has ever had! Or she could wait for Ben’s forced engagement to end and meet him on Bachelor in Paradise. Her fears are misplaced, however, and she gets the final rose.
I still don’t remember all the names, but many sad faces are cut to. Mandi and Samantha are among the contestants going home, and Ben takes the time to walk Samantha out. Nothing interesting is said, but obviously this is because her Love Science score was weak. Get out of here, Bachelor fundamentalists.