By Amanda Mitchell published
I'm not one of those people who watches The Bachelor for the fashion. There are a slew of Bachelor recaps that detail the fashion choices of our ladytestants (my personal favorite belongs to former contestant/national treasure Sharleen Joynt) but this is not that. Yet here's the the twist for this week: I'm here to talk about glasses. I feel like this season, we're getting more "dressed-down" moments than ever: Getting to see the girls in their element, living in the Bachelor mansion, doing their thing, un-glammed up. And I am living for it, except that there has yet to be a shot of any of the black girls in their bonnets, and I am 100 percent all about representation. Anyway, the best part of this season has been the glasses.
If you know anything about me, I am far from perfect. I know, I was shocked to find out, too. But my lack of perfection stems from my pineapple allergy and how blind I am. I am so blind, insert obligatory Stevie Wonder joke here. I am so blind that this scene from My Girl is deeply triggering for me. Glasses are very, very important to me, and oh, the glasses these girls are wearing have me wanting to throw away my contact lenses and buy 1,300 pairs of glasses.
By my count, Caelynn, Sydney, Demi, Tayshia and Kirpa all had Great Moments In Glasses History in this week's episode, and I stan. I've picked out some of my favorite pairs of glasses to show you how I saw this week's episode.
These cat eyes helped me see the first date so well!
Unlike last week, which I take full credit for casting in my brain, this week's dates were a slew of personal nightmares for me. We got three dates this week: Two group dates, and a one-on-one. This week's first date involved Katie, Heather, Hannah B, Courtney, Kirpa, Tracy, Demi, and Caelynn going to a Medieval Times-like restaurant space called Pirate's Home Adventure, where they have to change into pirate garb and beat each other with sticks. This feels like a missed opportunity for a Pirates of the Caribbean crossover reference, but who am I to tell the Bachelor producers to do their job? (Please hire me to produce this show.)
The two best competitors—in this case, Caelynn and Tracy—have to fight to the death to save Colton while the losing ladytestants watch from the poop deck, again by beating each other with sticks. As much as I'm giving the illusion this was an episode of Celebrity Deathmatch, it was far more innocent, and Caelynn knocks Tracy out like it ain't no thang.
This sets the stage for the episode's main drama: Hannah Alabama and Caelynn have Mad Beef and neither of them wants Colton to be with the other. Hannah Alabama is supes mad that Caelynn is everywhere-michellebranch.mp3, and Caelynn is playing thegameoflove-santana-featuring-michellebranch.mp3.
At the after-after-after-party, Colton gets sidelined in favor of focusing on the girls. There's some weird drama with Tracy and Demi where Tracy tries to explain that for some people, it's good to date outside of their type, and Demi's upset that Tracy had the gall to be an older woman in her presence.
Honestly, it's hard to follow, and they're reaching to make Demi this villain when she's just an overconfident girl with no self-awareness. Talking to her about her tone or about her behavior isn't going to change her, because she doesn't see there's anything wrong with it. She's a master in gaslighting, though: If you end a conversation with "I feel so bad for you," you're begging to start something. "I feel so bad for you" rarely has a good intent behind it. Demi also shows that she's got a gray area when it comes to consent when she blindfolds and spanks a clearly reluctant Colton and smarmily giggles about how nervous she makes him. You don't make him nervous, Demi—you're making him uncomfortable. (I wish her glasses could help her see that, though.)
Back at the house, Queen Elyse gets the one-on-one date card. A live view of me when this happened:
Meanwhile, Katie and Colton have real chemistry despite only being able to talk about their favorite thing being sushi, and Caelynn and Colton are making out. Hannah Alabama and Heather are snooping on Caelynn and Colton, and Hannah Alabama is not okay. Heather, who is either a maniacal genius or really that unaware, pushes Hannah Alabama to tell Colton that Caelyn is the Creature from the Blue Lagoon.
Hannah Alabama has no other word to describe her shock that Colton seems super into Caelynn than "befumbled," and I hope someone broke the news to her that...that is not a word. When she goes to talk to Colton, she can't provide true proof or evidence that Caelynn is as awful as she says, just that "a lot of things happened" at Miss USA, and they haven't talked since.
Colton should consider a career in law, because he's very good at questioning. He follows up Hannah Alabama's accusations by asking “Is she mean, is she fake, is she manipulative?" In an attempt to get to the bottom of why there's this beef between Hannah Alabama and Caelynn, because all he's getting is "she's mean!", Hannah implies that if Colton has feelings for Caelynn, than he can't like Hannah, and when Colton throws that back in her face, Hannah has no response. Because that's a manipulation, and extremely middle school of her.
Colton doesn't try to hide how turned off he is by this entire situation, and won't even kiss her at the end of their time alone. When he goes to talk to Caelynn about Hannah's accusations, Caelynn turns on the waterworks about her life and what she's gone through, and never really answers the question.
I am firmly on Team No One in this case. I am on Team Never 👏 Talk 👏 About 👏 The 👏 Other 👏 Contestants. 👏
Caelynn gets the group date rose, but this drama is far from over. This is obvious when we see her crying in her glasses with the girls. I feel like "Caelynn in glasses" is a rare occurrence, and we have been blessed.
I wish these glasses could help me un-see the one-on-one date.
There must have been a producer thinking, "Man, how can we really lay it on thick that Elyse is the Old Lady of the competition? Should we call her a cougar? Should we make sure Colton calls her 'independent'? Oh, I know. We'll make sure she can't even hear him past the sound of her biological clock by surrounding her with children!"
My Beautiful Queen Elyse got everything I hate in a Bachelor date: a date with a thin premise, a helicopter, and a random country artist she has to pretend that she knows. What did Iconic Legend Elyse do to deserve this? Colton and Gorgeous Saint Elyse get in a helicopter that takes them to San Diego, and surprise! It's not just a one-on-one. It's a group date.
In the illustrious words of one Randy Jackson, "That's gonna be a no from me, dawg."
If a man took me on a date with a bunch of children that weren't his, I would leave. I would nope the hell out. I would call an Uber and Venmo him for the cost. I would Lemon Law him.
It's mostly a vehicle for Colton to talk about his charity, and I'm fine with it. I bet this was contractually obligated, and there are worse things to write in your contract. My future Bachelor contract will say "Amanda is guaranteed to be The Bachelorette," I mean—what? Never mind. You didn't see that.
To top it all off, Colton takes the time when the rollercoaster stops to tell Elyse he had a great date and to kiss her, and I most definitely would have a vomit-mouth in that scenario. This date has my anxiety all over the place. He also tells Elyse during their private dinner, "I want to know why you are the way you are." What a weird question, Colton.
Elyse tells a heartbreaking story of her sister carrying her baby to term while battling cancer, and how the baby survived but her sister didn't. It's actually tragic and I have nothing to add other than true sadness for Elyse and her family. No snark, just emotions. She gets the rose, and this season's obligatory Dance And Make Out In Front Of A Live Audience While Some Musician Plays.
These glasses turned heart-shaped for the group date.
Okay, I touched on this last week, but it's really notable now: Is every episode going to give us a shot of shirtless Colton? Like, it's verging on fetishism at this point. We get it, he's a virgin who y'all want to sexualize. And since they apparently had a full day of shirtless showering b-roll, I'm already over it. Put on a shirt, Colton.
Anyway, we're setting the scene for a group date with Tayshia, Nina (who?), Catherine, Sydney, Onyeka, Cassie, Nicole, and Caitlin/Inherent Vice star Sasha Pieterse by having Colton flip a giant tire and play with some ropes. I know Colton is doing some actual workout moves, but my idea of working out is my skincare routine, so don't expect me to know the actual terminology, or to do the due diligence of looking it up.
But what comes next actually had me screaming. The girls follow Colton into a gym area, where Rebecca and TERRY CREWS are waiting for them. Fun fact: Terry Crews is everything I want in a man. Make Terry Crews The Bachelor, but don't because he's been married to Rebecca (an actual saint) for 29 years and honestly, that's amazing. He loves her so much. I want Terry Crews to adopt me and/or play my dad in a movie. (My dad wishes, pfft.) Terry Crews and I went to the same alma mater and are the two best things to emerge from there. Did you know he plays the flute? This is now a Terry Crews fan article.
As is expected, some of the girls are super athletic like Sydney (an NBA dancer) and Catherine (who is slowly disappearing from this show, and I'm sad about it, but excited because you know she's going on Paradise) and some of the girls aren't, like Nicole. The girls leave the gym, only to be lead to an obstacle course with an audience for the Bachelor Strongest Woman Competition. Only three of the girls will make the finals and get to compete for... absolutely nothing, not even a cash prize or some Rice-A-Roni. Fred Willard is back for a third time as the sports commentator, and I just want to shake him and yell, "You are a comedy legend! What are you doing here?" The girls have to push a cart with a heavy cake on it, flip tires, and pull a limo. I'm not saying there's rigga morris happening here, but showing the girls struggling to pull the limo and then Caitlin succeeding seemed a little trickestery. Especially when you can see a driver in the front seat of the limo while Caitlin's pulling it.
At the after-after-after-after party, Tayshia is getting a sleeper hit edit, and Nicole talks about how the "strong woman" theme of the day really resonated her because her grandmother fled Cuba and is a strong woman in her life. Cassie is clearly the front-runner simply because of their body language and how Colton is with her, and then...there's Caitlin/Sasha Pieterse.
The editing here is inspired: Caitlin is feeling pressure and is so excited to get time to talk with Colton because she's afraid she's slipping behind, and Catherine basically salts that wound a bit by telling her you can't force a connection. During her time with Colton, Caitlin/Sasha doesn’t have anything more to say than “Today was great, I don’t have anything to share." Colton's asking good, deep questions, trying to break through, and Caitlin's like, "I just want to date someone that will take care of me and my friends when I'm drunk." Okay, not a verbatim quote, but that's basically it.
ABC cuts this in with segments of the girls talking about how Colton wants to meet someone he connects with and someone who knows what they want out of a relationship. Colton's trying, y'all, and he deserves a lot of credit for doing so. He wants anything out of her that isn't a smile and a platitude, and can't. He tells her he doesn't feel chemistry or a spark with her, and she gets the Limo Ride Of Death. She's actually shocked, and my body loosens from the cringe.
Nicole gets the rose, and I hope Caitlin/Sasha has a good time on Dancing with the Stars.
These glasses may be rose-colored, but they see everything.
The next day, Chris Harrison comes to the house and breaks the news: There's no cocktail party...because there's a POOL PARTY!!!!! You're Invited To Mary-Colton and Ashley's Pool Party, and I hope they're going to sing "Gimme Pizza."
The Hannah Alabama and Caelynn drama lives on, with Hannah Alabama declaring she's over the drama and over talking about Caelynn... and then proceeding to talk about Caelynn to Heather. They're Pinky and the Brain-level plotting when Caelynn and Colton pass them and they make it obvious they were talking about them. Caelynn tells Colton that Hannah Alabama is manipulative and toxic, and Colton is frustrated because he likes them both and doesn't know who to believe.
The other girls are pissed because this has taken up the entire time he had at the pool party, and Colton's annoyed because he didn’t want to spend the entire day talking about this drama and now he's getting two different stories. I actually understand his frustration. Also, I want to know so badly what catty pageant drama went down between the two of them, because you know it's good.
We head to the rose ceremony, where Hannah G, Tayshia, Katie, Cassie, Kirpa (entering Who? territory), Sydney, Demi, Tracy, Courtney, Heather, Onyeka and Hannah Alabama get roses. This means we're saying goodbye to Catherine and her dog, Bri, and Nina, this season's original "Who?" We'll miss you.
Next week: We goin to Singapore! People are jumping from things, Demi's definitely trying to bang, Caelynn went shopping. Hannah Alabama's really leaning into this "I Hate Caelynn" narrative that surely won't extend to her time on Paradise, and we're getting two showdowns: Hannah Alabama vs. Caelynn and Demi vs. Courtney.
See you then!
Other things my glasses helped me see this week:
- We're definitely getting a two-on-one with Hannah Alabama and Caelynn, right? It's either that or Demi vs. Tracy or Courtney.
- Why did the girls change into workout clothes for the pirate date? #SponCon?
- Hannah's sequin eyepatch had me alive.
- Caelynn crying and Demi asked her what was wrong... and when Caelynn said she didn't want talk about it, Demi backed off? What kind of villain is she?
- Terry Crews is the only man who can do that pec-juggling thing and make me swoon. I'll stop. I promise.
- Demi, uh. May want to lay off the tanning oil if you're concerned about looking or being old, but maybe that's just me.
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Amanda Mitchell is a writer and podcaster with bylines at Marie Claire, OprahMag, Allure, Byrdie, Stylecaster, Bon Appetit, and more. Her work exists at the apex of beauty, pop culture, and absurdity. A human Funfetti cake, she watches too much television, and her favorite season is awards season. You can read more of her work at amandaelizabethmitchell.com or follow her on Instagram and Twitter @lochnessmanda.
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