'The Bachelor,' Season 20, Episode 4: Breaking up the band
Watch out, moms of America. When Ben Higgins is done wooing the self-obsessed, attention hungry, relationship rejects of The Bachelor, he's sure to land a gig somewhere in his true calling: Little League coach.
Seriously, this guy spends more time giving pep talks and building self-esteem than an elementary school counselor.
Olivia, Lauren B., Jubilee, JoJo, Haley and Emily all needed reassurance from their TV boyfriend last night and he was there, clutch as ever, doling out compliments and kisses in equal measure.
Not everyone can be awesome and great and wonderful, Ben. There are losers in every game. Next, he'll start sending girls home with participation roses, I swear.
But he did put on his big boy pants for a brief moment this week to end the creepiest love triangle on network TV.
The morning before the rose ceremony, Ben sent Chris "the Harbinger of Doom" Harrison to wake the girls up and call out the package deal, Emily and Haley, for a two-on-one date. It was only natural since the show had traveled to the girls hometown, Las Vegas, that he would have a special date with the twins. And everyone knows that the two-on-one means one person will be eliminated, also fitting for two competitors who were still difficult to tell apart FOUR WEEKS IN.
Ben picked the girls up for an "early hometown date" and there was so much of course in that house it almost felt staged. Their mother dressed like a mid-40s Coachella attendee. They had four Dachshunds scampering around. If there was a dad, he picked that day to go pick up his pack of cigarettes. And Haley's room was littered with framed pictures with an ex-boyfriend who looked like a club bouncer.
The only surprise of the home visit was how outright cutthroat Emily got when she thought she could be going home. She basically spent her portion of the date lying in her bed with Ben imploring him to eliminate her sister because "we have a deeper connection and she has been having a really hard time with that."
After hearing from mom that Emily was the dominant more outgoing twin, Ben pulled the trigger and eliminated Haley on her living room sofa in front of her mom and sister and dogs so she could have support to deal with the heartbreak. #romantic
She cried while holding a dog and watched her sister walk out the door with the man they both supposedly liked. Emily doesn't have a shot a winning, but she best sleep with one eye open after this episode airs.
Joelle "JoJo" got the first date card and all the ensuing cliches that come with a Las Vegas fantasy date. Producers took the wind out of it from the very beginning by setting up a table on a helicopter launch pad and having them drink champagne while waiting for their ride. Not only did the helicopter landing knock over the wine, the glasses, the ice bucket and the table, it nearly blew JoJo away -- forcing the couple to cower behind the fallen table for protection.
Ben managed to save the moment by going in for a kiss, but all anyone will remember is how dumb it was to set up a cocktail table on a launch pad. Nothing they said was of import, but there were many kisses in the helicopter and in front of the fireworks and on the couch of soul baring. Ben and JoJo's common language must be saliva. She got a rose.
The second one-on-one went to Becca, who made a deep run into The Bachelor 19 as the virgin who kind of resembles sober Britney Spears. She got a wedding dress delivered to her and driven to meet Ben at the world famous Little White Chapel in a pink Cadillac.
Seconds into the date, Ben dropped to a knee to propose that they marry other people together because the internet will ordain anyone -- even polyamorous louts dating 20 women for sport.
After a bunch of highly staged weddings, Becca and Ben retired to the soul baring couch so she could answer the most difficult question, "What's different this time around?"
See, Becca didn't really care all that much about Chris Soules and it became so obvious when she was eliminated that she basically cost herself a shot at being The Bachelorette. Ben wanted to make sure she actually had an investment in being with him before they moved forward and her lips said all the right things that her cold dead eyes couldn't. She got a rose too.
The rest of the episode was a comedy of errors starring Olivia "I'm full on taking Lace's place on the crazy train" C. Her epic meltdown was brought about by a competition she was completely unprepared for because she entered one pageant and suddenly ended up in another.
Taking the girls to Las Vegas was a long con to get them on stage for a talent show and separate the Miss Americas from the Miss USAs. Everyone know that Miss America is the less visible of the two pageants but the one with more prestige. You need an actual talent, or enough skill to fake it, to win.
Representing Team Miss America were Emily and Haley who banged out an impressive Irish step dance, Jubilee on cello, Caila with a simple belly dance routine and Amanda bringing up the rear with her hula hoop. To the audience of 1,200 at the Terry Fator Show at the Mirage Hotel and Casino, they seemed like high artisans. The bar is pretty low for people who bought tickets for a ventriloquist comedy act to start with.
On Team Miss USA: Lauren H. singing a "Bingo" remix in a chicken suit; Jennifer hitting tennis balls through a hula hoop; Lauren B. "juggling"; Rachel making balloon flowers; Leah dressed as a clown and catching food in her mouth while bouncing on a pogo stick; and Olivia jumping out of a cake in showgirl bikini to awkwardly shimmy across the stage.
Pretty much everyone winced when Olivia came down into the audience and Ben gave her a gentle hug that said "Stop. Please."
Knowing that she had really fudged that one up, she had a fake panic attack and then regrouped, circling her wagons of crazy into a defensive position.
During the cocktail party after the group date, she apologized profusely twice making Ben more than a little uncomfortable. And then when Lauren B. got the group date rose, she used the final couch rally before the rose ceremony to squash any potential conversations Ben might have had with some other girls to talk about herself some more. She came away from their final tête-à-tête reassured, but still had to wait to get the final rose once again.
"You're sending me a message Ben, right? Best for last," she said.
Some other crazy Olivia gems from the night:
"When we're together, it's like BAM SHABAM."
"He's mine already."
And "I don't care about anyone else's relationship with Ben but mine."
In the end, Ben eliminated Rachel, the sweet unemployed girl from Little Rock, Ark., and Amber, the Chicago bartender who may have arrived at the jaded conclusion that she could be unlovable.
Amber was eliminated in Chris Soules' season on The Bachelor and rejected by multiple cast offs on Bachelor in Paradise 2 before she returned to this season "with a heart full of hope." Part of me thought she was a plant to stir up trouble amongst the girls -- especially when she led the Jubilee witch hunt last week. But the bitter tears she cried about being rejected publicly for the fourth time felt pretty real. There's no faking that level of humiliation. Maybe Coach Ben could give her perseverance award or something.