It just got real on The Bachelor. Mostly though, I think we all got on the same page as to who Ben is ultimately picking at the end (unless of course you read Reality Steve spoilers and you, my friend, are ahead of the game). If he doesn’t pick Lauren B. then either all my senses have been deceiving me or she gets cold feet and pulls the plug. I’m guessing she gets the Neil Lane sparkler in the end but that’s getting ahead of myself.
We’re down to four chicky’s – Amanda, Lauren, Caila and Jojo – and ready to go on a little tour of America to meet the people that raised these gals. First up…
Amanda – Laguna Beach. Ben is anxiously awaiting Amanda in super tight pants – no, super tight shorts! Wait, was I the only one who saw that quick change? One minute he’s gazing out into the surf in maroon leggings and the next he’s in a washed out pair of blue spandex shorts. That’s the magic of television I guess.
Amanda shows up, wearing, literally, the dumbest shirt ever. Why have those long sleeves without any sort of clear attachment to the top. It’s this kind of stuff that bugs me and distracts me from all the actual date happenings. Despite her dumb top, Amanda looks like her usually Barbie-doll pretty self and she is extra amped because Ben is going to meet her girls. Did anyone else think it was weird that Amanda didn’t get to see her girls first and somewhat prepare them for the camera/new daddy onslaught they were about to endure. Granted the younger one probably would be a deer-in-headlights no matter what but she didn’t even get to give them a heads up. You know the one where the parent talks really slow trying to make sense of the situation while the kid stares blindly into space and then asks for a lollipop?
The little ladies show up, dressed EXACTLY like Amanda. Seriously, didn’t Amanda wear that outfit earlier this season (granted the dress was much shorter). Those gladiator sandals were too much. There is no reason why those tiny humans need to be in caged sandals that go up to their knees. Either way they were cute as can be and immediately put Ben to the test.
It’s one thing to impress parents, it’s a whole other game trying to make kids like you. Kids aren’t afraid to be judgey to your face. Luckily Ben is all-pro with the kiddos and it’s a day of running around in the sand (which is literally my worst nightmare – I cannot stand sand).
Amanda is imagining a life of beach days with Ben when it’s time to head home. That’s when things take a turn. I can attest that being with cranky kids, strapped down in the car, after a long day is no fun. And that’s when they’re my own kids. I can’t imagine how Ben was feeling. He took it like a pro and you hear him let out an audible sigh of relief when little Kinsley went down for that nap.
Amanda’s parents are just like her. Nice, welcoming, seem like they’ve got their shit together but kind of boring. Both Mom and Pops get down to business with Ben and ask her whether he thinks he can be an insta-dad. He dodges the question like a PR pro but you can see that the look of surprise and mild horror hasn’t faded away. I’m thinking it might not be looking good for Amanda. She’s a sweet heart though and I feel like if this whole reality dating thing doesn’t work out, some rich investment banker is going to snatch her up quick.
Lauren – Portland. Can we all agree this is the only hometown that really matters? I mean, Lauren and Ben are for sure destined for some kind of name-melding nickname – ‘Len’ or ‘Bauren.’ Okay, so both of those are horrible but you get the point.
Lauren is from Portland (who knew?) and has put together a date I can get behind – food trucks and drinking. You go Lauren. That grilled cheese that Ben fed to her looked so delicious that I temporarily forgot how annoying it is to feed adults like they are toddlers. After getting their grub on in the cutest way possible, these love birds snuggle up in a deserted whiskey bar (that looks straight out of Harry Potter) with cocktails. Side note: did you see how much they left behind? Party foul you guys.
With a whiskey buzz in tow, Ben and Lauren head to the ‘burbs to meet the fam. Lauren’s family meets the All-American expectations (and her dad looked like SUCH a Dave). Mom is a hottie, her sister is the right mix of protective and accepting and her little bros are well, little bros. Props to the youngest one for asking Ben about the Fantasy Suites (great ending clip). I mean what did you expect a 14-year-old boy to ask about?
It was clear that Ben LURVES Lauren during his sit down with Dave. Like any protective pops, Dave wants to know what makes Lauren different from the other three families. Ben gets all mushy and even almost starts to cry. WHAT? Someone call Neil Lane. Let’s fast-forwarded straight to that palm tree altar by the bay.
There is little to no SE in this hometown since Ben is serious about impressing the fam. Fs are given. Plus, Lauren’s family seems pretty awesome although her brother bears a striking resemblance to Danny Masterson on That 70’s Show.
Caila – Hudson, Ohio. I am so out on Caila. I feel a little bad about being so out on her but I can’t stand the girl anymore. Maybe it’s that it seems like she’s trying too hard. Maybe it’s the CONSTANT need to show off her bare-midriff. Maybe it’s that she’s always trying to act so cutesy. Something about her just irks me and if she is the next Bachelorette, I may need to sit a season out.
Not only is Caila annoying but her constant insecure blabbering about her hometown woes is enough to make me want to stuff a sock in her mouth. Caila, we get it. You moved around a lot. You only went to high school here. You’re not the first person to move around. Get over it.
Since she doesn’t even have a favorite ice cream shop in her “hometown” she makes Ben meet her on her favorite “bench” (um, Caila – that was a swing, just to clarify) so they can kiss and we can all marvel at her hair. After they’ve kissed long enough to avoid talking about anything substantial, Caila takes Ben to her dad’s WORK. I mean, c’mon girl. Okay so in her defense, her Dad’s office is a toy factory but still.
So they get their color on and then, SURPRISE, they are going to make their own toy house. Off to the factory they go where Caila proceeds to just show off her stomach as much as possible. Seriously, when he carried her out of the factory I wanted to vom a little bit. I also wish they had some of the factory employees mic’ed up to hear the snide comments you know they were making under their breath.
At Caila’s house we get to meet her super nerdy Dad and her mom, who had what is literally, my number one pet peeve – Adult Braces. I get it, you want to get those teeth straightened out but can’t you get those Invisalign? Your husband is the CEO of a big company (that has got to be rolling in cash ’cause I spotted at least two overpriced plastic items we’ve purchased from that company), just splurge on the invisible braces.
Also, she has a little brother but other than seeing he exists, we don’t hear from him again.
Dad grills Ben but I can’t focus on what he’s saying instead all I can look at is the little curly comb over hairdo he’s rocking. While the dudes are talking, Caila and her mom have a heart-to-heart where Mom tells Caila she needs to tell Ben exactly how she’s feeling. Caila takes this and runs with it, declaring to the producer’s that she is going to tell Ben that she’s in love with him, RIGHT NOW. Instead, she walks him out and stares awkwardly at him while he waits for her to talk. She spazz’s out, gets tongue tied and just tosses her hair around hoping to distract him with those miles of brown hair. Ugh, she’s so annoying.
JoJo – Dallas. We wrap up our tour of America with a stop in Texas to hang with Jojo. We start off at Jojo’s bad ass condo. Wait, she’s only 24 and that’s her place? That place is HUGE and all her furniture matches. Man, this girl has got some serious cash. My place at 24 was just a mish-mash of hand-me-down furniture and stuff I could afford at HomeGoods (okay, my place at 31 may be somewhat similar).
Jojo is greeted with a bouquet of roses that she assumes are from Ben. She’s all giddy and smug as she sits down to read the love note from her TV boyfriend, instead she gets hald-way through before realizing (THE HORROR!) that this is from her skeezy ex-boyfriend. She throws down the note in disgust before inevitably scooping it back up and reading all the sappy, “I need you, I love you” lines of desperation. She pretends to cry because that’s what you do when a camera crew is filming you read a note from your ex-boyfriend as you wait for your shared TV boyfriend to arrive. You play that victim card Jojo.
Jojo decides she’s got to put a stop to this madness so she calls Chad (ugh, of course his name is Chad) up and tells him that she’s done with him. If this Ben thing doesn’t work out, she’s still done with him so she can be on The Bachelorette and/or Bachelor in Paradise. Then, and only then, if all other TV options fail, will she allow your groveling to resume.
Ben walks in and notices that Jojo is all torn up about something. She tells him everything and it’s only then that I realize they aren;t going to do anything else. They’re just going to hang in her plush condo until they head over to her parents McMansion. Either way, Ben is all understanding and nice about the drama but that doesn’t stop him from knocking over the roses as they walk out the door (how great would that have been?).
Things really go down when we get to Jojo’s place (that sounds like the name of an 80’s kids show). First off, that place is ENORMOUS. A little gawdy but massive. What does her dad do? Did someone google that? I need to Google that.
Whatever it is, it looks like he’s got some kind of mob/underworld connection since he looks like what I imagine The Penguin looked like before he started his evil career of trying to kill Batman. And if whatever big business he’s in now doesn’t work out, I’m sure he could make a whole other career out of voice-over work of creepy anime villains.
And her Mom! OMG. Her mom looked like a younger version of Elsa from Real Housewives of Miami. Holy Botox Batman! Then there were her super creepy smash-brothers. I don’t know which one was worse the older one that looked like some kind of evil accountant or the really douchey one in the shawl collar sweater. Where was your undershirt bro? These two were really using this episode as their time to shine.
Oh and did you notice Jojo has a sister? Yeah no one else did either. I’m pretty sure if you ask her brothers, they’ll say they only have one sister t
hat they’re in love with.
Things get SUPER awkward quick with the brothers (both unmarried from their lack of wedding rings) grilling Ben hardcore. He’s all like, woah woah woah but they are on him from the start about his feelings for “their Jojo.” I really wish Ben had told them that if they’re so in love with their sister they should marry her but I realize he’s not a juvenile a-hole like yours truly.
Jojo is obviously embarrassed at the dinner table but she has no idea the embarrassment she’s in for after seeing the sit-down the guys have with Ben. While she’s upstairs with her Mama, getting the go-ahead to follow her heart like the Disney princess her parents have raised her to be, Ben is downstairs getting it from the smash bros.
Things get extra heated when the conversation goes to the kitchen where the brothers continue their beatdown of Ben while Mom and Dad watch (and drink) in horror. Side note: please tell me you all hit that 15 second button when Jojo’s Mom takes a giant slug out of the wine bottle. That was classic. You go Saraya (who went to Vanderbilt – double props). She got some serious points in my book for that one. We couldn’t tell from her frozen expression how she was feeling but the minute she grabbed that bottle, we all knew exactly what was going through her head.
Meanwhile Jojo must be off brushing her hair or talking to her imaginary woodland forest friends while shit is going to hell. As she is deciding whether or not to confess her love for Ben, her brothers are downstairs letting him know what a brainwashing piece of s**t he is.
Even the dad is like, ugh you guys, enough. Which is what I mentally did before fast-forwarding straight to the rose ceremony but not before seeing Saraya creeping on Ben and Jojo as they leave. So good.
We’re back in LA which means CH pops in to deliver three sentences of dialogue before collecting his $40K check and returning to his hot tub of money.
Since there’s only 10 minutes left, we go straight to the roses.
It’s no surprise that Lauren gets the first rose. Next up, Caila (ugh – so this means we have to see her midriff for at least another week). So now it’s a battle of the families. Amanda and the babies or Jojo and the crazy brothers. If it was me, I’d take the little girls over those d-bags any day but Ben decides it’s time to let Amanda go.
If I had been Amanda, I would have gotten all crazy mama bear at this point but she handles the dismissal in a very classy manner. Way to set an example, A. She lets Ben know how disappointed she is with him without coming off like a crazy person. I’m hoping some super rich investment banker or real estate developer snatches her cute little self up quick. Isn’t Amanda a hair dresser? Maybe she can be the next Michelle Money? Wishful thinking, I know.
Next week is FANTASY SUITES! HEY OH! From the previews it looks like, to quote the word of the great FLO-RIDA, “it’s going down for real” (cue that music up in your head). Some of those shots look a little steamy. I’m guessing the Dad we just met won’t be tuning in…. but I will!