Ben Higgins Bachelor Recap Episode 5: Mexico City
The ladies and Ben are headed to Mexico City! Lauren H says they’ve never seen anything like this suite, even though they just left one in Vegas. Olivia starts with some confessional time and sounds as crazy as she has the last few episodes. Amanda wins the first one-on-one date, and I honestly forgot her voice is so high. Olivia throws some shade regarding Amanda’s motherhood, and we go to the first break.
This seems like as good a time as any to point out that the version we get of the people on this show is very much tailored for a good show. No one sounds great when they’re interviewed multiple times per day about a person they’ve decided to romantically pursue alongside 10+ other people. That being said, Jubilee is alarmingly aloof around the other ladies and Olivia seems crazier than your average contestant.
Ben wakes everyone up at 4:30 AM for their next date, and we get a glimpse into the life of contestants – sleeping two to a bed, shared rooms, wonderful views. Amanda wakes up looking very made up, which makes me think she either heard something and sneak-prepped or did all that work the night before. I don’t know if that’s possible, but if it is, she did it. And well done! Knucks
Sidenote – Ben mentions that they all look fabulous, and he really is being honest. I know you’ll never believe us, but we really do think you look good when you wake up.
Ugh, Ben is wearing a sleeveless vest on their hot air balloon date. WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE, BEN?! IS IT COLD ENOUGH FOR A THIRD LAYER OR TOO HOT FOR SLEEVES?
Ben and Amanda cruise over some old ruins, whose historical significance is not discussed. They land and lie on their sides in a field for a picnic complete with champagne. Picnics are cool, and I get the appeal, but bring some chairs if you’ll be out there and on camera for a while. Ben has to squint the entire date because the sun is in his eyes, and the whole scenario seems poorly staged. Once again no food is seen, just champagne flutes and a picnic basket. Amanda seems to have taken fashion advice from JoJo and is wearing a red shurtain (shirt-curtain). This is my best approximation: OF SMALL FRILLY CURTAIN
Amanda calls it the most romantic first date she’s ever had, and I feel really bad for guys who date the vanquished next.
Amanda tells Ben that her ex-husband had different priorities, including where he put his dick. Ben does his job, listens patiently, and compliments her to directly ease her fears. He follows that with some self-deprecation and hands her the rose. Amanda gets to continue for another week, and her children get to continue enjoying the spoils of extended family oversight. Snogging ensues, and the date moves to a weird standing snog next to a fountain. In a fountain? Next to a fountain. I think.
Back at the Bach Suite, Jubilee is our latest contestant to start falling apart. Jubilee, Becca, JoJo, Caila, Emily, Lauren B, Jennifer, Leah, and Olivia are selected for the group date. Once again everyone celebrates except for Olivia, who looks like she swallowed a spoonful of lemon zest. Her eyes get crazier by the week, and in the confessional she upgrades her desire from “want” to “need”.
Ben is rocking a Henley and actually pulls it off pretty well. On the other side of the spectrum, Becca has planted an odd poof on top of her head, and it looks terrifying. They arrive in a classroom, and are asked to say weird romantic things to Ben in Spanish. They do quite well, with one exception: Jubilee approaches with serious sass, and Ben looks less than enthusiastic. Olivia has her shot and feels some degree of chemistry that no one else notices, but by now it’s clear she is operating in her own world.
The next stop is a pretty amazing looking market. This is my kind of date! There’s going to be a cook-off, and I hope Ben won’t be the judge because that’s a bad situation to be stuck in. Contestants pair up, and Jubilee and Olivia fight over Ben. Olivia wins the standoff, and the challenge begins. The quirk of this date is that the ingredients are in Spanish, which at first glance seems intimidating. They’re shopping in a market, though; all you have to do is attempt to pronounce it to shopkeepers and they’ll help you out. If it was a pantry they had to sort through, it would receive a little more credit for degree of difficulty. Before I continue, it’s time for a Manhattan, or, en espanol, “Un Manhattan”. Maybe “Una Manhattan”. Not sure about Manhattan’s gender.
Caila seems comfortable with Spanish, and Emily fantasizes about punching Olivia in the face, which would be pretty sweet. Olivia might be crazy, but the other girls barely moved while Olivia claimed Ben as her partner. Jubilee made an attempt, but the others need to stop whining and step up their game.
Olivia sneaks some mescal into their shopping trip and appears to know some Spanish. She is rolling, but the next time he talks to someone else she might explode spectacularly.
The shopping is done, and now everyone is scrambling around the kitchen to get their cooking done. Ben drops a pretty terrible pun, and despite my best efforts I enjoy it immensely. Jubilee and Lauren B are having some chemistry issues, and Ben correctly identifies Jubilee as the source. GOOD EYE, BEN! The man may be more observant than prior Bachelors.
At the dinner table, the chefs explain that in Mexico a person is ready to get married when they can cook. With neutral pronouns, that seems fair. Kat, how’s my cooking grading out these days?
Judging follows, and I feel sympathy for everyone. Jubilee and Lauren B are told their recipe needs to be on the menu, which I believe for zero seconds. Knucks to them for executing, though.
Winners of the group date: Olivia (mescal is a good move), Caila (subtle but composed), Emily the Twin and Jessica/Jennifer. Losers: Jubilee. If Ben sees Someone struggling with Lauren B, he’s definitely pegging Someone as the culprit.
Kitchen chemistry is a real thing. I still get more anxious and snippy when I’m prepping in the kitchen than any other time, as poor Kat can attest to.
Group cocktail hour begins, and obviously Olivia starts out by interrupting him to take some solo time. Snogging ensues until they are interrupted by Emily the twin.
A montage of solo times continues until Ben asks Lauren B to step away to what seems to be the middle of the road, but is in fact a street corner. This plus their snogging leads me to believe that she’ll be getting the group date rose.
Back at the cocktail table, Jubilee’s face has reached unimpressed-middle-school-teacher levels of don’t fuck with me. Her martinis might be hastening her progression down that path, we’ve all been there. Ben asks her to come with him next, and inquires about her attitude. Jubilee explains that she feels overlooked, and Ben points out that she is in the same situation as every other contestant, but acting distant doesn’t help him feel more confident. Jubilee says she gets it with enough force to make it clear she does not give a shit. She wants to jump ahead to being the only woman involved, but this is the Bachverse. After awkward questions, answers, and silences between the two, Ben tells her he isn’t feeling it and they should say goodbye.
In hindsight, Jubilee is the leading candidate for the “Did Not Know What She Was Getting Into” award.
Back at the couches, Olivia scores an awesome victory when Ben looks for a seat and sees room next to her. Should have locked those spots down, other contestants!
Before Ben can finish his heartfelt explanation of what happened with Jubilee, JoJo takes him aside and flatters him effectively. While clearly sad, Ben regains his form by snogging one of his other ten girlfriends on a nearby sofa, and returns to the couches with a clearer mind. Olivia wins the group date rose, validating her delusions and ensuring her presence for at least one more week. The rest of the contestants are visibly displeased, and Ben exits pursued by a bear. Immediately upon his departure, Olivia reaches for the first food I’ve seen eaten on camera. Knucks for you, crazy Olivia!
Back at the suite, Lauren H gets her date card and learns that she’ll be “designing a life together”. I really hope that doesn’t mean interior decorating, because the television market for that is supersaturated.
Lauren H decides to wear an odd romper (I think) that resembles a cloak due to its length in the back. It isn’t good, but they enter a fashion house so maybe they’ll change clothes. Ben says it’s “really nice to be around” her, which sounds like the equivalent of “he’s such a nice guy!”. This does not bode well.
The owner of the fashion house invites Ben and Lauren H to a fashion show, and they are unsurprisingly asked to take part in the show. After a quick montage of them being dressed and made up and coached by models that seem utterly uninterested, Ben gives a nice little pep talk and we hit the runway. Lauren H walks the runway down and back without losing her composure. Ben follows and even manages to deliver a nice aimless gaze across the crowd at the end. Are we sure he hasn’t done this before? What’s his job again? Yeah I forgot too.
For dinner, Lauren H has chosen an appropriate evening gown and some very appetizing food is placed in front of them. No one makes a move for it. Seriously, I’d be glancing at that the entire time the other person was talking. Eat the food! Someone put in the time to make that!
Lauren H expresses concern over ending up in the friend zone, but she’s already there. She opens up about her last relationship, which ended suddenly and with infidelity. Sounds kind of familiar. Ben again reacts appropriately (knucks) and gets a little snog in before presenting Lauren H with her rose. We move to the street for some more snogging near a strangely-placed harpist.
At the brothel, Emily the Twin tells Jennifer she plans to confront Ben about Olivia’s behavior. Tattletails have not fared well on this show in the past, but as one of the twins she is doomed anyway. Lauren B drops the first “right reasons” of the season. She and Amanda have tied bows in their hair, perhaps as a show of solidarity?
At the Rose Ceremony Cocktail Hour, JoJo wears the most adventurous outfit. It looks sheer, but actually has a weird colored liner under white embellishments on the outside. Good or bad, it grabs attention, which is important when you’re sitting next to eight other suitors. Suiteres? Suitresses?
Ben delivers a nice toast before heading off into a dark corner with JoJo. She once again arranges her words carefully to avoid “I love him”, stating that she “likes him very much” and “loves spending time with him”. Well done. In a confessional, she claims to have a hard time both “protecting herself” and “putting herself out there”. Is that possible? It seems like it is not.
Lauren B has a little time with Ben and the camera goes back to the cocktail table. Amanda is asked about her kids and Olivia drops a gauntlet, mentioning “Teen Mom”. Olivia is not subtle enough to make this comment without insulting Amanda, but they talk it out across Emily’s face. Why is poor Emily stuck sitting between both of them? Don’t ever sit between two people passively aggressively arguing! Go get a drink! Fake a heart attack, Pierce Hawthorne-style! Anything!
Emily is next up for Ben solo time and explains that Olivia is mean and all of the other girls agree. She actually does this effectively, not sounding petty or vindictive, and Ben asks for deets. Olivia makes her move to try to interrupt, but luckily for Emily, Olivia is in high heels and moves slowly. We don’t hear the end of the pitch before Olivia interrupts, but Ben is clearly on high alert. Emily returns to the cocktail table with universal support, and someone has generously given her a drink.
Ben is interrupted by Olivia a few more times, but given a window to speak he cleverly asks how things are going in the house. Without a satisfactory answer, he decides to interview some more witnesses. Amanda and Jennifer consecutively throw Olivia under the bus, and Ben requests a conversation with Olivia before the rose ceremony. This ends the episode on a cliffhanger, but of course he won’t take Olivia’s rose away. Ben is smart enough to take the concerns of multiple contestants seriously, but he isn’t going to jump the gun and send away a former frontrunner so quickly.
I accidentally let the episode continue playing, and saw Lauren B taking tequila shots before the rose ceremony to calm her nerves. She is now my favorite contestant. Emily, the 23 year old from Las Vegas, is unfamiliar with biting a lime after a tequila shot. I don’t understand. At all. The fuck?