Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Bachelor 20x06 Roundtable Discussion: Dropping Like Flies (Contributors: Rae Nudson, Alisa Williams, Maddie]

This week on The Bachelor, Ben and his girlfriends head to paradise, but their experience is far from perfect. There are pigs to feed, of course, and the storms are emotional as well as weather related. Rae, Alisa, and Maddie check in on the women as Ben sends three of them home.

A lot of women have been eliminated unexpectedly the past two weeks. What did you think of this week’s eliminations?

Rae: Olivia is finally gone! And I think they just left her on that island? Surely she will sink into the sand and eventually fossilize and turn into a monument that locals will call “A Woman Scorned” based on a story they heard long ago but can’t remember.

Olivia’s biggest offense, to me, is that she “I’m not like other girls”-ed herself. Over and over this episode she kept talking about how she’s different than the other women because she likes to think and doesn’t like make-up — and we all know that’s not true. All she did was tell Ben how she had all these complicated, interesting qualities that other women don’t have. Um, Olivia, have you met any other women? Most of them are complicated and very, very interesting! And almost all of them like to think. I’m not into the idea that to be considered worthwhile, you have to separate yourself from being a typical woman — whatever a “typical woman” even means.

I was not too happy with Leah this week either. She definitely should not have tried to sabotage Ben and Lauren B., but if she was going to do it, she could have at least done it better. Tell him something that has a kernel of truth to it, or go after a girl he likes a little less. Duh. (Just kidding, please do not make up things about people and try to sabotage them.)

So all in all, I am quite happy with who Ben has eliminated, and that he can see through this BS makes me like him more. But now he’s left with pretty great women who he seems to have a real connection with, so it will be much more difficult for me to tell who is staying and who is going. (Okay, my bets right now are that Becca and Caila are not going to make it to hometowns. This does not necessarily reflect my personal feelings. I think Jojo and Lauren B. will be the final two and that Lauren B. will take home the ring. I will change my mind 100 times between now and the finale.)

Alisa: I did NOT expect Olivia to be sent home! I’m still annoyed it took Ben so long to do it, but at least she didn’t make it to hometowns. I always appreciate how The Bachelor does these dramatic goodbyes, leaving the cast-offs stranded on mountaintops, in the middle of the desert, on glaciers, or in Olivia’s case, on a deserted island, strategically hiding her cankles in the sand.

Despite Olivia’s horribleness, I did feel just the teensiest bad for her. I mean, she just poured her heart out to Ben, telling him she’s fallen in love with him, then he leads her away WITH THE ROSE in hand, just to tell her he’s just not that into her. Ouch.

As for Leah... well. All I can say is that the girl who I and the rest of America spent the whole season asking, “who dis?” about finally made herself memorable in the worst way possible. Clearly, one night after too much cheap champagne in the hotel suite, Leah looked around the room in search of a role model, her eyes landed on Olivia and she thought, “she’ll do.” Leah may in fact now hold the record for the fastest switch from completely forgettable to completely deplorable.

But unlike Olivia, Leah is less “master manipulator” and more “desperate woman clinging to the discarded rose petals of the other contestants.” Desperation does not look good on anyone, but it looked especially bad on Leah. I’m glad Ben had the sense to send her packing.

Maddie: Olivia, we bid thee farewell, but your mouth’s Twitter account carries your legacy of crazy onward. We will miss your cankles and desire to “talk smart things.” What I don't understand is that after 20 seasons, do women realize that trash-talking the other ladies and taking the villain role virtually never brings you to the end.

All I can say for Leah is that since the creation of Bachelor in Paradise, contestants who know they won't get the final rose or have not made enough of an impression to be the next Bachelorette have another shot for more camera time. Thus, bring on the booze and bring forth the crazy.

This group date was really not great, but was it the worst date of this week? What was?

Rae: This group date was so bad. The pigs seems very large and very aggressive, and none of the women were having fun. It also looked like it was terrible weather, which honestly seemed to match their mood as well as set us up for an Agatha Christie-style And Then There Were None special episode of The Bachelor. Only instead of a murder mystery, the girls had to figure out who was the sabotuer. Because they are women who like to think, and because Leah is bad at lying, they quickly figure out that it’s her.

The two-on-one date with Twin and Olivia is worse, though, I think. Two-on-ones seem like they would always be tense and awkward, and this date didn’t even have an activity. All they did was go to an island and then leave Olivia there. They couldn’t even round up some other barnyard animals for this date, y’all. Plus, when Ben was dumping Olivia, he brought the rose with him to taunt her with it. That’s cold. (Whoever is producing this season should get a raise.)

Alisa: So, I have to totally disagree with Rae and say how much I absolutely loved the group date! If a guy took me to an island full of sea pigs, I would want to marry him right then and there with a tiny sea piglet as the ring bearer. But I’m weird like that, and clearly the women who were actually subjected to this date do NOT feel the same as I do about the island of misplaced pigs.

The thing I didn’t like about this date is that it seems a lot of Ben and Lauren B. bonding must have happened off camera to put the other women in such a foul mood. Or I just fell asleep during the bonding session which has been known to happen. Either way, the mood turned as dreary as the weather and clearly no one was having fun. I, on the other hand, walked away from that date with a new vacation destination and idea for a novel: “When Sea Pigs Attack,” coming to a bookstore near you probably never.

Maddie: I'm with Rae on this one. The reason I loathe the group dates so very much is because of the contrived activities that have no bearing on whether someone is a suitable potential spouse. Not enjoying pigs says absolutely nothing about who a woman is except that she doesn't like pigs. What impact does that have on the possibility of marrying her?

On the other hand, the two-on-one dates are their own special brand of awkward. This was one of the most awkward two-on-ones ever, only being tipped by Chris, Ashley Eyelashes, and Crazy Kelsey on a date in a random desert. This date pretty much had no purpose but to give Olivia the boot, which was both painful and delicious television.

How do you think Ben is handling dating a million women at once?

Rae: Well, I have some notes. Overall I guess he’s doing fine, but I think he is maybe not very smart about reading other people’s emotions or how women interact with each other. If he were smart about those things, surely he would not so blatantly appear to be favoring one girl in front of everyone else — first with Olivia and then with Lauren B. On group date situations, you need to at least give the appearance everyone has a fair shot.

A thing I do like about Ben is that as soon as he is sure a woman is not for him (and once the producers allow him to get rid of her, I guess) he is comfortable with telling a woman goodbye without waiting for a rose ceremony. I can respect not wanting to drag things out and not making people stand in a ceremony and get dumped in front of everyone. Though I guess he has to do plenty of that, too. I don’t know, what do you guys think?

Alisa: Ben is certainly not the worst Bachelor by any means. And I don’t know that there is a good way to date that many women at once, even if you’re a really great guy (though my theory is “really great guys” don’t go on reality dating shows to begin with).

Ben just strikes me as very young and too naive to do well or “find love” in this type of scenario. He’s terrible at picking up on social cues, and also really bad at giving the women equal time (or at least that’s how it seems after all the editing has been done). I think part of the problem is he’s one of those people who wears his heart on his sleeve, and that would be really confidence-shattering to all the women who are not his favorites. How do you continue to open up to a guy who clearly favors someone else? It’s no wonder these women are crashing and burning right and left. And if I were Caila, I’d be really scared right now as the only brunette left standing in a sea of nearly identical blondes.

Maddie: I find Ben perfectly adequate as a Bachelor. He is doing the best he can at it, but I also see him vacillates between being a man who knows what he wants and when as woman is not that, and a sweet oblivious puppy who doesn't know how women work. I feel like since Ben is so steadfast and pleasant, in an effort of balance, the women are much more prone to drama, hysterics, and the like. Lastly, like Alisa, I am a little perturbed by his affinity for blondes. Go Caila!


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