A 'Bachelor' recap: When Someone Shows You Who They Are – Make Out With Them

The following is a recap of weeks 4 - 7 of The Bachelor. Next up: Hometowns and Fantasy Suites! Well, for us — presumably next up for Peter is utter despair and aerial-therapy which is kind of like equine-therapy, but with planes. Catch up on past Peter recaps here, and sign up for the TATBT newsletter!

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It is my belief that there are no bad Bachelor seasons — only bad bachelors. And my goodness, folks, have we got ourselves a stinker.

I don’t think anyone has been this unexpectedly bad at something since I tried to play J.V. volleyball my freshman year of high school, sprained my elbow in the first practice, and spent the rest of the season running the scoreboard and fake-wearing a sling long after my arm had healed because I was too scared to have a ball flying at me again.

Much like any nonathletic 14-year-old, Peter has allowed his insecurity to overwhelm him. And his reaction to that fear seems to basically be… weaponizing his own ignorance?! It is wild how much power this man has been given with so little understanding of how to wield it.

I know, in my head (not my heart, which is where your feelings live, and also your intuition and unspoken desire to fuck a medical sales rep who keeps physically running away from you), that Peter must be a smart person: there are a lot of switches in an airplane cockpit and I bet that little nerd knows what each and every one of them does…

Nonetheless, this probably-intelligent man is a dummy of dangerous proportions. When you mainline nine hours of The Bachelor in one week like it's a heartwarming sports docu-series about superhuman cheerleaders and their fiercely level-headed coach, you notice a few consistencies. For example, the less a woman smiles, the more seriously Peter thinks she is taking this, and the more he will desire to keep her around…

If that woman cries like she has recently sprained her elbow in front of all the cool sophomores, it is undeniable proof that she cares about Peter as much as he cares about her…

And if that woman is rendered incapable of speaking, expressing thought and/or remaining in her chair because she's so distraught over the mere thought of Peter, then it’s game over for any other broad that simply likes the guy and thinks exploring a potential relationship with him sounds fun and not at all nauseating…

I don’t mean to be all "you'd be prettier if you smiled, girl" — these women couldn’t be prettier if they were FaceTuned by Kim Kardashian herself — but it is shocking how overall unhappy this cast is.

Although maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise… the fish rots at the stitched-up head, after all.

Quite obviously, Peter equates anguish with effort. That mistake is not unique to him, but the circumstance of dating 30 women at once is, and this fundamental misunderstanding of human connection means that, given the opportunity to make the right decision on which relationships could possibly lead to longevity, Peter will always do the opposite.

And when breaking up with the women who might actually be able to commit to a life of family and travel (his only two requirements) with him, he will try so hard to deny the reality that it is impossible to please people 100 percent of the time that he will wind up being as hurtful as he possibly can…

In elementary school, when impressionable young children are learning the things that really stick — home row keys, multiplication tables, and how to sing the states in alphabetical order — why not throw in the valuable life lesson that, one day, when they find themselves in the position to break up with someone, to never, no matter how badly they want to, no matter how convinced they are that it will be reassuring or kind, say the words: "You're going to make someone so happy someday."

Peter. Pedro — may I call you Pedro? You are the person currently making Mykenna unhappy; why on earth would she trust you to asses her ability to make someone else happy when the one and only thing you’re telling her in this moment is that she can’t make you happy? Personally, I wouldn’t trust Peter’s ability to assess the difference between a human woman and a waffle. But he attempts to reassure these women over and over that he’s looked into their futures, and they’re going to be great, riiiiiight before he shoves them into a Suburban and heads back to his harem of very upset 24-year-olds.

God bless Victoria P for simply responding, “I know,” when Peter rolls out his signature “you’re going to make someone so happy one day line” shortly after informing her that he doesn’t see her as a wife in the middle of a random party…

The thing you might notice over and over again if you pay that guy from Bird Box to physically hold your eyes open so you can make it through nine hours of The Bachelor is that this man—this poor, doomed man—does not learn from his mistakes. Or rather, he doesn’t try to learn from his mistakes. Bad things happen; he makes a face so sad and pitiful that all the babies and puppies in the world come together to file a class action lawsuit against him for intellectual property theft; then someone offers him the slightest amount of validation, and he forgets the bad thing ever happened in the first place.

Take for example, the first Cocktail Party after Peter has invited Alayah back on the show, when he arrives feeling 100 percent confident that he made the right decision…

And then he's informed that all 13 of his girlfriends feel disrespected and undervalued by his decision to take up yet another week full of dates with the exact same drama that's been distracting him all season…

So he kicks Alayah off for a second time using the exact same reason as the first time: that the drama surrounding her is too much for him to deal with…

And resolves to be more confident in his decisions moving forward, even though he was entirely confident in his original decision to bring Alayah back, a declaration he made mere hours ago in real-time, and mere inches above in recap-time, but has already forgotten about…

Because over and over again, Peter cannot seem to learn that confidence in decisions comes not from bold declarations or fortitude; it comes from knowing that you initially gave those decisions enough thought and care that you can stand behind them and trust that you're not just, I dunno, substituting the fleeting feeling of chased-down validation for actual growth and self-reflection.

Between Hannah Brown and the way his own season is going so far, I think Peter’s Bachelor franchise experience might be the major trauma of his life thus far — and our guy has no idea. Throughout weeks 4 – 7, he repeats the phrase, "I have preached that this process works," so many times to his dwindling sister-girlfriends that it becomes increasingly clear that this dude is not trying to convince them that they could fall in love with him during this fool-proof process…

He’s trying to convince himself.

Over and over he urges the women who he feels are less interested in him to lean in and trust the process, even though Peter’s personal experience thus far has been falling in love with a woman who fell in love with a man who was not in love with her. And Peter knows this. While declaring that this process works, he leans further and further into the fear that he will once again fall in love with someone who either doesn’t love him in the same way, or is actively misleading him. And with each dwindling rose he hands over to a crying 24-year-old, I can’t help but feel he’s moving further and further toward making that fear a reality.

But what do I know! I'm just hobnobbing with pseudo-psychology here, when I should really be dealing in the facts, which are:

Since I last left you after week 3, Peter and his beleaguered co-girlfriends have visited four news destinations: Costa Rica, Chile, Peru, and of course, Cleveland. They have accused each other of being alcoholics, and only being there for the hashtags, and being manipulative, and being manipulative, and being manipulative. For his part, over the course of weeks 4 – 7, Peter has gotten 22 stitches put in, papier-mâchéd, and taken out. And he’s whittled his once bountiful selection of 30 possible wives, down to a truly baffling final four as he heads into Hometowns.

There's Hannah Ann, a haunted doll that just, like, rocks a chair every once in while or writes “play with me” on the wall in red Crayon, she doesn’t lure kids into the woods or anything; there's Kelsey, a woman with a storyline so dynamic and a demeanor so simultaneously strong and fragile that I fear this might all end in a Dark Phoenix scenario; there's Madison, Peter's one true love who is, inconveniently, in love with her own fathers (heavenly and biological, as it were).

And then—oh, then—there's Victoria P, a sexy, sexy baby with colic so bad you might try to take her back to the hospital, but they won't take her because she is, in fact, technically an adult woman which you can tell by how quick her gate is when she runs away from Peter on every single one of their dates.

So let's go over just how well Peter is following this process that he trust so much as he cancels cocktail parties, gives group date roses to women who don’t even go here, and tells women not to worry as he actively puts them into harm's way (and I don’t just mean inside his itty bitty plane).

THE LAST STAND OF ALAYAH

It cannot be understated how much Peter boinked his entire season in the moment he invited Alayah back into the house and gave her the group date rose. And the boinking comes not in the actual invitation for Alayah to rejoin the house, but in having no idea how the other women would respond to that (badly), and how he would respond to their poor response (crippling insecurity that will plague him for the rest of the season, and perhaps the rest of his romantic life until he deals with it).

Last we saw Alayah, she was being dismissed by Peter, who didn't feel confident about his decision, but decided that the choice had already been made, so he needed to live with it.

Then he took his 13 remaining girlfriends on a giant group date where they were already worried about being able to get any of his time, forced them to play full-contact football for "fun" where only the winning team would get to advance to the nighttime portion of the date, eventually decided they could all advance when the two teams tied…then a 14th woman, Alayah showed up on the date.

And an already bad date went to true, true hell.

Peter dismisses poor Shiann who scored like 100 touchdowns at the football game and then got just enough time with Peter to tell him how sad she is about how little time they get together. Peter sits down with Alayah and she tells him that she's there to set the record straight about what was said about her, which for some reason means proving that she and Victoria P knew each other better than Victoria P let on, but not addressing Victoria P's main claim, which wasn't how well they knew each other, but that Alayah asked her to lie to producers about their previous relationship.

Naturally, Peter brings Victoria P directly to Alayah so that they can all three sit on a tiny couch and figure out the truth of this matter that really has very little to do with Peter's relationship with either woman. Because the depth of Alayah and Victoria P's existing relationship and whether they once went to Las Vegas together is not the reason Peter sent Alayah home. He sent her home because, when asked, multiple women told him it seemed like she was just there for the cameras. I maintain that being interested in the cameras and the Bachelor are not mutually exclusive agendas, but Peter has forgotten all about that conundrum. To him, there is a moral imperative to figure out if Alayah and Victoria P have spent more or less than three hours together so he can figure out which one is lying rather than, I dunno, recognizing that anyone who manually wipes away the tear of their opponent mid-battle might be capable of murder.

Do I think Victoria is lying about how well she knew Alayah? I don't know, do you think someone who says, "I felt like he deserved what I felt like was my truth in that moment," has a firm grasp of unmitigated honesty?

Of course not. But I also think it shouldn’t matter that Victoria P underplayed how well she knew Alayah when she was asked her opinion about her — it actually seems like it would be worse if she acted like she knew her better than she really did, and then trashed her???

The question at hand is if Peter wants to date someone who is such a lightning rod of drama among the rest of his girlfriends. But when it comes to hot women, Peter really prefers to look past the questions-at-hand and just move forward with blind-hope-at-the-beautiful-face.

So he invites Alayah to come back on the show, returns hand-in-hand with her to a room full of women he's been ignoring all night after they physically harmed themselves all day for his attention, and gives the group date rose to Alayah, a woman he previously sent home after asking for all of their opinions on her and saying he trusted them…

It might be the dumbest thing anyone has done on this show since Juan Pablo did…everything Juan Pablo did on this show. "I'm doing what I feel like I need to do to feel confident moving forward with all of this," Peter tells his now 14 girlfriends. "I hope you can understand that."

Reader, believe me when I tell you, they do not understand that.

And then Peter just departs, leaving chaos and fury in his wake, mostly directed at Alayah, which isn't totally fair, but also she's so frustrating it's difficult to extend her too much sympathy. Tension builds in the house — or rather, the Cincinnati hotel — as Alayah giddily shares all the juicy information she's gotten from the internet during her time away from captivity (more on said juiciness later), and by the time Peter walks into the Cleveland Cocktail Party, he might as well be walking into a den of hungry, contoured lions who have poured themselves into bandage dresses for a man who frequently doesn’t give their happiness a second thought.

This bozo walks enters a room full of women who have repeatedly expressed to him that he's given far too much time to the Alayah drama, and immediately asks to speak to Victoria P about the Alayah drama. In the split second it takes all of them to pop their eyes back into their sockets, Deandra cuts in—

She’s so beautiful! So thoughtful and well-spoken! Peter will cut her within the hour!

"I'm sorry, Peter, but I've never felt so under recognized by somebody in my life," Deandra says as all the women except Alayah nod dramatically and Peter's li'l face falls. As you'll recall, he walked into this Cocktail Party feeling "one hundred percent confident I know what I'm doing," and proudly announced to his girlfriends that he felt a lot of progress just moments before they all informed him that he's dumb and they can't stand him.

Deandra continues, telling him that they busted their asses at the football date they're all literally beaten and bruised from, "Then you come to the cocktail party and ignore us and walk in hand-in-hand with Alayah… it was like the biggest slap in the face, I couldn’t even look at you."

Peter audibly gulps a number of times, and apologizes to Deandra and Natasha, who were the two women to speak up, but not to Mykenna who's nodding so hard it looks like her head might fly off into the Cleveland abyss.

Peter, buddy—no one is expecting you to be perfect. That ship has sailed! We are merely expecting you to think about your decisions and how they affect your several dozen girlfriends.

Unfortunately… that ship seems to have also sailed. Peter says he gave Alayah the rose he should have given her at the last Rose Ceremony, but he felt like he was "influenced" and made a decision that wasn't honest to himself. Hmmm, I wonder who he felt dishonestly influenced by that he just threw under the bus in front of all her friends, and is now asking to speak to privately…

Victoria P has an epic run where she hisses, "I don’t really want to talk to you right now, Peter," and then starts incessantly talking at him…and then when he asks her to sit down, she hisses, "No, I've been sitting all week," and then immediately sits down. It's amazing.

Listen, I know Victoria P is shady as hell in the way she always seems to be evading blame for drama that she started, but…I just love her and how mad she gets at Peter who deserves to be on the receiving end of some anger. She's like Clare Crawley, except she remembers to pretend to be chill sometimes. This is not one of those times…

Victoria P says she's tired of Peter saying he trusts her, but then questioning the intel that he asked her for. She says that Alayah is trying to manipulate both of them, and if he wants to know what she's capable of, he should talk to Victoria F about what happened with Alayah yesterday. "What happened yesterday?" Peter asks, all the blood draining from his face, and all the confidence draining from between the walnuts rattling around up where his brain should be.

"Not my story to tell," Victoria P quips back.

Back inside, Victoria F tells Peter how Alayah was spreading stories about her from the outside world [ed. note: it's not even the worst story, but we'll get there soon], and Sydney tells him that he knows nothing about her because he been so tied up in this drama. So Peter pulls Alayah aside, and asks her why the other women don't like her, which is, historically, a very productive question for these two.

She doesn’t know, and Peter doesn't know either because he hasn't been listening, so he walks around whatever haunted Cleveland aquarium they’re in, staring into shark tanks and saying he's worried that all of the women are just going to leave because they're so disappointed in him.

"I don’t care what anyone in there says, I know you have an amazing heart and are a good person," Peter tells Alayah when he sits back down with her. "I think that…just with everything that's happened, this is a little too much." I'd say that Alayah leaves fairly graciously considering that this is now the second time Peter has told her that he's kicking her out because he definitely likes her, but nobody else does, and he can’t handle that.

But Peter has now made his decision — the same one he made a week ago, but this time, in a much worse position — and he walks back into the room full of furious women like he's walking to his execution. He apologizes and says he knows it may not look like he knows what he wants, but he promises he does, and he now knows Alayah wasn't it. He now knows that…after asking everyone's opinion on her, sending her home, receiving her back, asking Victoria P's opinion of her again, ignoring that opinion, inviting Alayah back on the show, hearing more opinions, and then sending her home again.

And now, you guys—now Peter is back to being 100 percent confident that this is going to work for him.

The delusion is actually heartbreaking.

I don't doubt that Peter believes he wants certain things, but I very much doubt he'll be able to match those things with the reality of his present situation in a matter of seven weeks. Case-in-point…

SIX FLAGS OVER EXES

I have very obviously been avoiding Victoria F’s whole… deal, because I simply do not know what to say. Possessing no feminine wiles of my own, and finding it a generally sexist notion, I've never actually seen them at play. But there's an exception to every rule, and Victoria F is just that; she could be using her ability control men with a mere whisper and batting of her teary eyelashes to do something useful like, I dunno, steal money from billionaires to give to Planned Parenthood, but instead she's using it to expose herself for filth on ABC and allegedly have affairs with her friends' husbands [ed. note: yes, that was a PLURAL possessive apostrophe!] in Virgina Beach.

We'll get to those rumors during Hometowns, because for now, we don’t need to deal in rumors when we’ve got hot, juicy facts.

In certainly the most deranged thing the producers have ever done, they arranged for country singer Chase Rise to perform on Peter and Victoria F's date…knowing full well that Victoria F used to "date" country singer Chase Rice.

After having fun on their theme park date where Victoria F whispers into her hand that she's nervous 100 times, and then confidently makes this wow-wow-wee-wah-red-flag toast — “here's to our sons having hot moms and successful dads” [ed. note: SONS! multiple hot moms! many successful dads! wow wow wee wah!] — it's time for the two lovebirds to dance on a platform in front of a crowd as lovebirds are wont to do…

The moment Victoria F hears the music, she knows it's Chase Rice and begins, to put it lightly: freak the fuck out.

Most notable about this truly insane moment where Victoria F has to dance in front of a man she formerly dated with a man she's currently dating on national television, is not how Victoria first reacts, which is visibly shaken, or how Chase Rice reacts, which seems mildly chagrinned, but how Peter reacts…

Nothing. Not a thing! Peter doesn't realize for one single second that Victoria F is crawling out of her skin when just moments before she was totally relaxed and having a good time, and toasting to how hot she's going to be when she has all of Peter's successful sons (and quietly throws their daughters into rivers so they won’t steal her beauty or whatever).

Sure, there’s no way Peter could have guessed that Victoria once dated the man serenading them, but perhaps he could have notice that all the life drained from her eyes…

But no! Peter is having the time of his life, and wow, is the level of emotional intelligence on display embarrassing!

Victoria F absolutely makes this situation as bad as it could be by building up the mere presence of a former lover into a much bigger deal than it is. Especially considering that while this specific Bachelor-world circumstance has obviously been coordinated within an inch of its life by producers, it’s actually very common in real life. You run into an ex while with a new boyfriend, what do you do? Tell your current boyfriend, and then either avoid or acknowledge the ex. What do you not do? Decide that your current boyfriend is without a doubt going to dump you the moment he finds out you’ve dated another person before him, and work yourself into a frenzied lather, delaying telling him for hours, and allowing him to say things like, “Hey, maybe Chase Rice could play at our wedding!”   

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Something is fishy about how worked up Victoria gets about telling Peter that she has a history with Chase. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, it's that she's concerned Peter is going to see her as a fame-chaser like (barf) Jed. Not giving her that benefit, there's something more that she's hiding behind referring to Chase as her "ex-boyfriend," while Chase refers to Victoria as "one night in Charlotte" who "seems like a cool girl.”

Either way, once again this season, the Bachelor producers work hard, but there's simply no way they could have expected just how hard the rest of this cast would also work to make Peter's life miserable — and Victoria F is out for ultimate destruction. After awkwardly dancing her way through the Chase Rice song, Victoria evacuates the premises, watches Peter chat with Chase and give him his phone number from afar, and finally, Victoria speaks to Chase herself who kindly but without making eye contact advises her to just do what's best for her.

Without fail, Victoria F consistently feels what’s best for her is to freak the fuck out in response to nothing-scenarios she has created in her own head.

I assure you, bb — Peter wouldn’t even know your names if Chris Harrison didn’t whisper them into his ear at Rose Ceremonies, he certainly is not going to intuit that you slept with the guitar player.

At the dinner portion of the date, Victoria has worked up the nerve to tell Peter the truth which she does by telling him she's scared over and over, and after he's nice and scared too, simply saying: "I used to date Chase."

Oh, it is delicious.

It is in these moments that I love Peter.

When his constant state of befuddlement is topped only by the state of the woman across from him…

Because there is space for no one else to be overwhelmed when Victoria F is in the room — she has the proprietary patent on being overwhelmed.

After telling Peter that she dated Chase, and answering yes, the singer Chase, and yes, the guy from the concert who Peter talked to, Victoria declares that she’s entirely too overwhelmed by this situation that Peter is reacting totally calmly to, and rushes offset sobbing…

Does Peter read Victoria acting like this simple conversation is an unmanageable disaster as suspicious, or perhaps an overreaction to distract from something else that she’s actually not telling him? No he does not! Does he think it's odd that Victoria keeps choking out "I don’t know how to explain this," when the explanation should be as simple as, I used to date that guy, Chase.

Yes, I dated him.

Yes, isn't that crazy? Things ended totally amicably and now I really like you—let's you and I have SONS and be respectively successful and hot together forever!

But no…I believe that Victoria F understands that if she acts upset enough about the idea that she could lose Peter over this, then he will be desperate to keep her. And she plays his ass like a California fiddle. Peter rushes after her, insisting that it's not her fault (it is, for the record, not her fault, but the fact that Peter continues to trust the producers after this just tells you everything you need to know about his malleability). Victoria sobs into his shoulder, "I just feel like me being honest with you is going to drive you away."

I don't feel great about this, but Victoria is a witch. Because these self-martyring lines— I feel like me being honest with you is going to drive you away, and I get it if you, like, don’t want to try with me — is dark, dark magic in that they draw sweet, insecure Peter literally right to her.

Whether consciously or not, Victoria has picked up that Peter is desperate for honesty, and he'll do whatever it takes to show Victoria F that he rewards it, never questioning whether honesty is what he’s actually what he's gotten or not.

Revealing itself more subtly over the course of the season—and then all at once on Hannah Ann’s later one-on-one date—is that Peter exclusively equates inner feeling with outer emotion. The more traumatized you seem by your own love for him, the more he will believe you, and the more he will love you in return.

Victoria is traumatized by the pressure of breathing when she's in front of Peter, and he has endless comfort and reassurances to offer her in response to her desperation for him to believe how hard she's trying to be open and honest with him.

The thing is…

Before her one-on-one, Victoria F had already displayed a pattern of appropriating a reticence in front of Peter that is never evident anywhere else. And after she goes on this disastrous date with him, the proof that her constant need to be chased and doted upon by Peter is at least partially an act becomes…stark.

Especially not with other women.

When Alayah returns on the group date just following Victoria F's one-on-one, it's with the Reality-Steve-sourced information that Victoria's famous ex was on her date, information Victoria F hasn't shared with anyone. And when Victoria F finds out that Alayah tattled, she marches into her hotel room with no hesitation, no trembling hands, no quaking voice, and tears her to shreds…

Victoria informs Alayah, "You are not going to come in here after being sent home for good fucking reason" and stir the pot. She's got "some choice words for Peter, and he's going to know what kind of person [Alayah really is]." It is delivered with the confidence and effectiveness of a woman who does not find fighting with other women a foreign concept. Something tells me she doesn't find getting men to chase her through a path of her own tears exactly a second language either. 

THESE ARE THE TAMMY THINGS

Obviously, I do not trust Victoria F, but I will at least give her credit that she has me stumped. She seems like such a stereotype of a duplicitous woman, that I didn’t know people like her were real. She's like a character written by the bitterest, horniest of male authors: her breasts, they heave; her eyes, like ink-lined saucers! But beneath those sable lashes and raven mane—a snake in girl's clothing!

Ugh, I'm annoying myself. All that to say, the transparency of women like Tammy and Mykenna is almost a reprieve from trying to make sense of Victoria F's whole deal and how Peter could be into her.

I don't enjoy watching Tammy tear other women down, or Mykenna attempt to get a Refinery29 article written about how you-won't-believe-this-Bachelor-contestant's-powerful-message-about-self-love… but at least I don’t have to wonder if they're going to unhinge their jaws and swallow Peter whole if he ever tries to break up with them. That’s mostly because Mykenna really has more of a weasel thing than a snake thing going for her though…

It all starts when Peter goes on a one-on-one with Sydney, where he talks about how much he cares for and respects her, humps her under a waterfall, and then inexplicably sends her home a week later. While the humping is still happening though, we see Kelsey back at the Costa Rican mansion, weeping. You see, she's also just gone on a one-on-one with Peter where he said he respected her, and humped her on a lamppost. Kelsey and Peter have a notably emotional connection, which has made it hard for her to think about him creating equal or better connections with other women.

This happens every season, and every season some other woman tries to tell the crying woman that this is what they signed up for rather than just allowing them to flame out on their own, but no one—I mean, no one—is quite as disgusted by emotions as Tammy, a former-sassy-favorite turned way-to-mean-to-enjoy villain.

And listen, I'm also dead inside and sometimes have trouble understanding why people can't manipulate their emotions into being what they want them to be. It's not healthy, but it is a way of life for me and my (former) girl Tammy, and — I'm sure — a number of serial killers.

Physiologically, however, I am a big ol' crier, and I will always support others who cannot physically control their overactive ducts. So I both have empathy for Kelsey when she can't keep herself from crying… literally anytime she talks to or about Peter. But I also have an understanding of why that would be frustrating to someone like Tammy who cannot get past the presupposition that watching him date other people is what they've signed up for, and there's no need to get worked up about it.

Oh, but Tammy doesn’t stop at annoyance. Our girl is juuuuudgmental! We see some at-home footage of the night of Sydney's date that will soon come to live in infamy among Tammy's accusations, wherein Tammy sees Kelsey crying by herself, and goes over to see if she's okay. When Kelsey explains that she's not okay, and she's feeling very emotional about Peter being out with another woman, Tammy pushes back, and pushes back until she realizes nothing she says is going to get Kelsey out of this mood.

And to me, that seems fine! Not that Kelsey called Sydney a bitch, but that she’s not going to stop being sad just because Tammy tells her that this is what they’ve signed up for.

Some people are just need time, not logic, to deal with with their emotions. That can annoy Tammy if she wants it to, but hey, maybe if you don't sit down with those people when they're contently crying by themselves, and pretend to care about how they're doing when you really just want to revel in how crazy you think they are…then you'll be less annoyed about how crazy you think they are.

Kelsey is still having kind of a hard time at the group the date the next day, but she's just quietly suffering rather than lashing out while Peter makes out with some of his girlfriends in front of some of his other girlfriends as they all compete to win the photo competition and get to be on a digital cover of Cosmo.

[Ed. note: Victoria F wins this date, but once Cosmo found out that she previously posed as a model for a marketing campaign that employed the hugely racist phrasing "white lives matter" and "blue lives matter"—and confederate flag!!—to promote white and blue marlin conservation, her ass got pulled for Lucy Hale, and Cosmo's Editor-in-Chief, Jessica Pels, released an impressively unambiguous statement explaining why Cosmo wants nothing to do with endorsing racist ideology, no matter the fun little racist marketing ploy. TATBT also stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and would like to tell even the slightest coy whisper of "white lives matter" through any number of quivering hands to goooooo fuck itself. Victoria has recently apologized for her involvement with the campaign via Instagram…story.]

At the nighttime portion of the group date, Kelsey tells Peter that she's been having a hard time watching him go on dates with other women because she is taking this so seriously, and she didn't expect to feel so strongly but, well, she's falling in love with him. And Peter loves it. He loves how emotional Kelsey is because that means she's taking it seriously, and he loves that the she loves him because that means there's no chance he'll be the one who winds up getting hurt.

But Tammy has created this narrative where she's certain that if Peter just sees the hyper-emotional side of Kelsey, he won't want anything to do with her.

The thing is, Tammy: Kelsey is one of the only people in this cast that Peter actually does see correctly because she's just as earnest and emotional as him. There's no pretense for him to see past which is good, because he literally wouldn’t be able to. If Tammy was this worked up about Victoria F, she might be right, but Kelsey actually is this emotional, is taking it all this seriously, and who Peter does really like for exactly those reasons.

So when Tammy tells Peter that Kelsey had “a huge mental breakdown, sitting by herself, crying her eyes out,” and it doesn’t get the reaction she's looking for—honestly, he probably got a tear-triggered erection—she goes ahead and adds that Kelsey's "been drinking excessively."

Now, obviously Kelsey was at least tipsy the night that she said she really likes Sydney, but on the other hand, she's a fake fucking bitch. But there's no indication from her behavior at the dates or parties that she can't control how much she drinks, or that anyone else thinks she has a problem. Tammy, on the other hand, has a super problem wherein she casually throws around harmful language like “breakdown” “crazy,” and “drinking problem” to anyone who will listen.

After Peter asks Kelsey about the “emotionally unstable” accusation, more to make sure that she's doing okay and feels like she can handle this process, than to "squash it" like he's so often trying to do, Kelsey becomes even more upset, and asks the group who told Peter that she was unstable. Multiple people inform her that her constant crying is annoying, but Tammy doesn't own up to shit…

Until the next day, when she lies through her teeth and continues to mock Kelsey for being emotional. "I did talk to Peter about you, but it wasn't about you, it was about me," Tammy tells Kelsey. "It's about how I'm distracted, like, caring for others."

Oh yes, Tammy, you are some kind of caregiver to these other women you love to get just enough dirt on to start publicly trashing!

I get that Kelsey's sensitivity would be annoying to live with on a day-to-day basis, but hey, if you're so unemotional Tammy, then just ignore it!

But I think Tammy cares a lot more about being right than anything else, and offers Kelsey a nice dose of shaming telling her: "I wasn’t the one that was drinking, so I know exactly the words that were said." Kelsey asks why it bothers her so much that she drank a little too much that one night, and Tammy says, "I'm not bothered, it doesn’t bother me, I'm just concerned for your well-being," which Kelsey gloriously calls bullshit on.

Kelsey tells Tammy that she wasn’t crying that night because of Sydney, she was just crying because she was sad. "Okay, do you think crying was a healthy way of coping with that?" Tammy asks without a touch of irony. Was crying a healthy way of coping with emotions, TAMMY???

As it gets more and more tense, Kelsey gets frustrated and starts tearing up, which draws more of Tammy's ire, so they head their separate ways with Tammy snarking, "Yeah, you continue to cry, and wither away in bottles of wine." So Kelsey does the much smarter thing…

She puts on her makeup, does her hair, and marches over to Peter's apartment to get ahead of the narrative.

While Tammy continues to tell everyone that Kelsey is having a mental breakdown, Kelsey is telling Peter that she may have been overly emotional while he was out with Sydney, but she's apologized to most of the other women about it, and she just wants him to know that she was only upset because she's falling in love with him…

Also — one small thing —Tammy is telling everyone that she has a drinking a problem and is popping pills, and she doesn’t understand where it's coming from, but it's hurtful. And even though I think it came from a sincere need to talk to Peter, getting out in front of this narrative rather than letting anyone else get in his ear about her having substance abuse issues is so intuitive of Kelsey, it makes me think she should be the next Bachelorette, and all the dudes can just be fitted with windshield wipers for the crying…

Of course, the smartness starts and ends with Kelsey when it comes to this duo.

Because after reassuring her that they're on the same page, Peter gives Kelsey a rose during this secret rendezvous that he expects her to take back to a house full of her sister-girlfriends that already think her dramatics are a distraction. She says thank you, but also immediately expresses that she's nervous about the other women seeing the rose. "Don't worry about the other girls," Peter — an idiot — tells her: "All I care about is how you feel accepting this rose right now."

PETER, SHE JUST TOLD YOU SHE FEELS NERVOUS ABOUT ACCEPTING THIS ROSE RIGHT NOW!!! STOP SPEAKING LIKE AN OFF-BRAND HALLMARK CARD AND LISTEN!!!

"Sport that rose proudly," he tells her, sending her off with a literal bomb.

And then, after Kelsey awkwardly tells the other women about the rose and they all head to the Cocktail Party…

Peter…in all of his wisdom…after giving Kelsey a rose when she snuck over to his apartment to talk to him privately, which no one else was able to do…has Chris Harrison walk into a room full of women desperate to get their own time with Peter…and tells them…that Peter is canceling the Cocktail Party.

Because "earlier today, he got the clarity he needed, and feels like there's no reason to delay the inevitable of what he wants to do here tonight."

Nothing shows me more that Peter has no idea what he's doing in this role as Bachelor, than his lack of understanding for how this move would affect Kelsey. He can't tell her not to worry about the other women, and then completely throw her under the bus by giving her a rose during a private conversation, and then canceling the Cocktail Party. He is…a true, true dummy.

Everyone's eyes slide over to Kelsey and her rose, and they correctly surmise that if she hadn't gone to Peter's apartment, he wouldn't have canceled the Rose Ceremony, but what they don't seem to note is that Peter is the one who canceled it, and if he feels that confident, it would literally take a full week, and a trip to Texas and back — we call that The Alayah — to change his mind.

Not a 10-minute conversation at a Cocktail Party. But Tammy, suddenly quite emotional herself wants to know if she's going to go home because of something Kelsey may have said to Peter. Kelsey says she only told him that Tammy had been telling people she's drinking excessively and popping pills. And suddenly the tables turn…

Because when Tammy tries to deny saying that Kelsey pops pills, everyone jumps up to say that, no, they did hear that from Tammy. Tammy insists she didn't start that rumor, just repeated it, which everyone informs her is just as bad, maybe worse. And then Kelsey says the most iconic line of the season.

Peter still gives Tammy a rose, and thank goodness, the another goes to Mykenna whose lips are chapped beyond repair at this point. But there is nothing good coming their way…

THE FINAL STRETCH

Hello, hi—my name is Jodi, and I have not quite finished recapping everything that happens before Hometowns. But I have officially reached 7,000 words, the length of what I'm sure are many senior theses to come covering Victoria F and her character representation in gothic literature.

So I'm going to throw in Mykenna misquoting Lin Manuel Miranda with the one-on-ones of the Final 6 and Hometowns — which I hear are pretty boring other than a but of gaslighting — and also the Fantasy Suites where the woman that Peter is totally in love with reveals she’s saving sex for marriage, and the woman he’s been entrapped by is definitely not, and the only woman left after that was in high school three years ago, and…

See you back here soon for a final catch-up — if I don’t just switch us all over to Love Is Blind entirely!!!

A Belated Bachelor recap: The Importance of Being Peter

It's Bachelor catch-up week on These Are The Belated Things! The following recap is for weeks 2 & 3 of ‘The Bachelor,’ with weeks 4 & 5 forthcoming. If Peter makes it to week 6 without clawing his eyes out to symbolically rid himself of his own ignorance like a Sophocles character… you'll be the first to know :)

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I was wrong. Please don't repeat that to anyone, and I'll deny it if you do, on account of my pristine track record for being right about everything for 31 years straight, but…I was wrong about Peter Weber.

In the recap for this Bachelor season's premiere, when I said that Peter's main qualities were "nice" and "airplanes-go-up-up-big-fast," I was wrong. First of all, it’s hard to be all that nice when all of their actions are this…unpremeditated. Plus, in episodes 2 and 3, Peter makes it through an entire four hours of television barely even mentioning that he's a pilot. And when Hannah Brown suggests that they hop on a flight—literally his favorite thing to do—and blow this popsicle stand he's all, "Aight, I think Imma head out now…"

It's an offer to which it's seeming more and more likely our Bachelor should have said yes. Because over the course of the first three episodes of this season, and with rumors of what's to come, I've learned that Peter's personality is not dominated by his niceness (an insult) as first presumed, or his ability to fly a plane (a non-entity) as advertised, but in fact, by his earnestness (a threat to my personal well-being and this franchise at large).

There seems to not be a dishonest bone in this man's tall body, and unfortunately, as far as one-sided-polyamorous dating goes, the ability to be a touch discerning with the transparency you offer your early-twenty-something girlfriends is, in fact, a valuable skill.

Peter conducts himself like the single-male-owner-of-a-precocious-pet who thinks that if he just believes the goodness of his cartoon cat enough, Garfield can be left alone in the house with a lasagna. But Garfield can't be left alone in the house with a lasagna, and these women can’t be penalized for coming on this show for the Wrong Reasons if those Wrong Reasons are being interested in the opportunities that come along with coming on this show.

Leave a lasagna on the counter; a lasagna-loving cat is going to eat it. Date on a show that guarantees Instagram followers to its contestants; contestants interested in Instagram followers are going to come on the show to date you. It doesn’t mean the cat is bad; it means you have to work around the cat’s proven behavior, and if Peter can't figure that out, he is well on his way to Jon Arbuckling this thing aaaaall the way into his own personal hell.

Peter is just a man clueless enough in his own skin to say things like "I see your heart" over and over and over, and not really care that his words mean nothing if he says the same thing to 20 people in a row, some of whom were actively bathing in virgin-blood and, like, applying their lipstick with an oozing sea creature like Ursula in The Little Mermaid seconds before he entered the room.

All it takes for Peter to see someone's heart and trust that they're a good person with good intentions is to just…see them. And all it takes for Peter to think that maybe they're not a good person with good intentions is to just…hear that idea spoken aloud. And then all it takes for them to convince him once more that, no, they are a good person with a clearly visible heart who only occasionally steals the voices of teenage mermaids is to…say that to him.

It's becoming clearer and clearer that Peter has perhaps…never made a decision before? That he was just born one day, found out his dad was a pilot and his mom was a nice, fun-loving gal, filmed a Sylvan Learning Center commercial, and then thought: I will become a pilot and I will find a nice, fun-loving gal to be my next-mom-I-mean-wife. But maybe everyone in Peter's life has always been so nice to him that he's never actually had to assess what it means for someone to be nice and fun, versus just being a (hot) woman who exists.

His ability to discern the difference between what he personally witnesses and what other people tell him is reality is…concerning.

And listen, Peter is adorable. He has a lot going for him—or actually, he has one thing going for him, and that thing is that he is adorable. Look no further than the Sylvan Learning ad above to see that this is a person so sweet, the mere existence of his squishy little bitmoji cheeks makes me want to cry. Also a mitigating factor in making me want to cry: knowing that the tween shown above who worked so hard to learn how to read or whatever is about to get absolutely walloped by the tiny, sexy n' sentient Hot Wheel cars of chaos ABC has assembled to date him this season.

Never has there been a hotter group of women assembled on this show; never has there been a meaner group of women assembled on this show; never, ever has there been a Bachelor less equipped to counterbalance his predisposition to assume the best in people with the undeniable fact that:

  • a handful of these women are Bad Place demons wearing Emily Ratajkowski skin suits…

  • the majority of these women have modeled their life after that Keeping Up with the Karadashians scene where Kim hits Khloe with her purse while Khloe eats Chipotle and mocks her…

  • and maybe two of these women have made it through their whole lives without cyberbullying someone to tears.

Peter has seen their hearts, and reader… he loves them! Every single one of them! Equally! If this man knows the type of person he would pair best with for the rest of his life, he is keeping it close to the Delta vest.

He likes peppy girls like Alayah and Mykenna who would die before they'd stop grinning in front of him. He likes feisty girls like Sydney and Kelsey who are so ready to pop off at all times that they set hourly alarms at night just to wake up and make sure they don't miss anything that could possibly annoy them. He likes smart girls like Kelley, and bold girls like Natasha, and quiet girls like Victoria F who choke at even the slightest hint of pressure…

Hey Peter! If you can't put your finger on what it is you like about them: you like that they're hot. And if you keep liking some girls because they're nervous and some girls because they're confident and some girls because they unhinge their whole jaw to smile every time they talk to you, some recappers—less generous recappers—might start to suspect that you're just trying to Dr. Frankenstein a Hannah Brown together out of spare parts and molars…

SEE YA, WOULDN’T WANNA HANNAH B YA

And speaking of Hannah Brown…were we ever so young? I know it's been weeks since Hannah B finally left our Bachelor screens in a cloud of glitter and chaos, but the thing about Peter's season is…I can't just not cover something once I’ve missed it, because drama simply does not togo away with Pilot Pete at the reins. It just festers and festers until someone is screaming, "I DIDN'T BULLY YOU, I CALLED YOU A FAKE BITCH, THERE’S A DIFFERENCE!!!”

And we'll get to all that, but first, the easy stuff: Hannah.

After a prolonged, confusing run-in where Peter and Hannah both seemed to realize that their feelings for one another didn't disappear, and perhaps had even increased with the addition of a patented DWTS tan and what I'm starting to suspect are highlights in Peter's hair, it turns out that vague interest does not a commitment to rekindling make.

Hannah…likes attention. That's not a bad thing, it's just a a proclivity that one benefits from being self-aware about — like knowing that you tend to overextend yourself, or that you need to take alone time after a big social gathering.

Enjoying attention is why Hannah was so good at being the Bachelorette (even if Hannah was, y'know, bad at being the Bachelorette). It's also why, once Hannah sensed that Peter still had feelings for her, there was never any chance she wasn't going to lean into that to find out just how much pull she still had over him. It's nice to be wanted; it's not exactly nice to drag that want out of someone when you have no intention of getting back together with them and they actively have 12 women waiting to date them while scribbling down embarrassing sex stories at your instruction.

I don't think Hannah was intentionally trying to distract Peter or lead him on, but I do think she was getting a painful thrill from the realization that they both still liked each other…

Riiiiight up until Peter ever-so-softly lobbed the idea of her coming back on the show to date him and she realized how embarrassing that would be and that while she would still very much like to make out with this guy, she was not down to embarrass herself for him. And Peter finally, finally gets to an understanding of just who’s been willing to do what in this relationship. He points out to Hannah that that it's a little suspect that she would say she didn't reach out to him after her breaking up with Jed and asking Tyler out on national television because she "thought he wanted to be the Bachelor."

In what I assume will be his singular good call of the season, Peter tells Hannah in the very softest voice: "You're the one that said no to me; I've never said no to you." Somewhere, Nicholas Sparks has just cast a hunky Riverdale star to say that line in the film adaptation of the book adaptation of this scene. And finally, Peter tells Hannah that he can't do this…

Y'know, riiiiight after 30 minutes of lap-sitting, and sexy-hugging, and hair-tucking while all of his co-girlfriends loiter around a haunted improv theater wondering where their boyfriend is. Because the thing about Peter is: he can do a lot of damage on his way to eventually making the right decision.

This dummy comes back out to a group of women who have quit their jobs and started sleeping in bunkbeds in order to date him covered tit-to-toe in glitter from Hannah's dress, gathers them ‘round and tells them he's simply no longer up for hearing about the time they got their tonsils stuck on a Prince Albert piercing and had to sing Aerosmith in order to relax their throats enough to not suffocate.

This is one of those moments where Peter's earnest belief that all things should be shared openly, honestly, and in the moment is…infuriatingly dumb. “This is just tough,” he tells his assembled girlfriends: “I know you guys know what I had for [Hannah] was very real.”

Oh, Peter, no. There is never a reason in the world that you should be telling your new girlfriends how tough it is to not be over your old girlfriend who you just happily welcomed onto a date with them. "This was my heart just being really invested her," Peter tells them for some reason. "And that's not just gone away."

Y’know, I like to think there is no reality that exists where I could end up getting out of a limo and asking a strange man to taxi my runway or whatever. But even as I exclaim, "NO NO NO PETER, WHAT IS YOU DOING" to my laptop screen…I am simultaneously watching myself onscreen as Mykenna stretches an orange-slice-smile across her face during Peter’s little pity party in order to make him feel like he hasn't done anything wrong in making them all feel awkward at best, and demeaned and disrespected them at worst.

Because I know—I just know—that's exactly the kind of shit my people-pleasing ass would be pulling in this absurd situation. So I have to thank Chris B Harrison on High for people like Natasha who do not spend every waking moment thinking about how they can make other people comfortable, and allow a few seconds in the day to think about how others have made them uncomfortable.

After Peter tells them how hard Hannah being there has been for him because his "heart being really invested" in her hasn't gone away, everyone titters uncomfortably. Everyone except Natasha who casually pipes up: "I mean, she hasn't gone away."

You can audibly hear Peter gulp. Was everyone not on the same page as him??? Does everyone not think exactly what he thinks at all times??? Was saying, "because I know you guys all know what I had for Hannah was very real" a misstep???

"She's been here since the first day," Natasha continues. "Every day I've seen you, I've seen her, pretty much—which also sucks for us."

This is…one of my favorite things that's ever happened on this series??? A real-time request for accountability??? Your gritty HBO thriller could never shock like this. Natasha has been on this earth 31 years; that is long enough for her to know that perception is reality, and Peter can't run around the ABC promos saying how ready he is for love, and then come to them looking like he's seen a sexy ghost, telling them how hard it is for him to be in the situation that he has willfully put himself in.

It's not Peter's fault if production brings Hannah in twice — but only he can account for how he handles to it. And, like…maybe 10 minutes of sexy hugging would have been enough?

To give Peter the smallest amount of credit, he's at least far too earnest to be defensive, so he immediately agrees that Natasha is correct and this hasn't been fair to them. Will he learn any lessons about maybe giving his decisions a little more thought before he blasts them out into the 20-girlfriend ecosystem in the future? Reader…

He will not. And it's almost like this complete clusterfuck of a group date sets the tone for the rest of the season which is turning out to be…well, a months-long, international-waters clusterfuck.

CHAMPAGNEGATE

This is one of those dramas I might otherwise try to sweep under the rug of my own tardiness, but I can't. Because, against all odds, it is proving to be a driving force of Peter's season.

You see, it all started at the second cocktail party where Kelsey had brought a bottle of champagne all the way from Iowa to share with Peter. Everyone is…really excited about this champagne. "I'm really happy for you, I know how much you wanted to do this," Tammy tells Kelsey as they sit in a large group talking non-stop about this bottle of champagne. "I'm really excited for you and to hear how it goes," Alayah tells her giddily.

But, you guys? It's just champagne she's had for a year—I've had specific intentions for leftover Chick-Fil-A sauces for longer than that. And she didn't even buy it, she got it for her birthday from someone not important enough to her to mention by name. Now, the bottle of champagne is very clearly Dom Pérignon, which is a nice champagne, but they're obviously not allowed to say the brand on the show, and Kelsey still manages to spiral plenty over the edge without needing to mention how expensive this specific champagne is.

No, this bottle of champagne is all about what it represents, and what it represents is…childbirth I think??

As Kelsey sets up a cozy little corner for her romantic moment with Peter, she tells the camera, "I mean, I'm a hopeless romantic, I love love—and to me, the bottle really shows my heart and what I want, and like, I want a husband, I want to have a family." [Ed. note: Hey, if anyone knows which inanimate object sends the opposite of that champagne bottle message, please let me know and Imma put it on my Bumble profile, k thanks.]

Unfortunately, after Kelsey gets her fireside bottle set up, Mykenna asks Peter for some time even though she allegedly got a lot of time with him on the group date.

On a different season, Kelsey unleashing on Mykenna — saying that she's disrespectful and her reasons for wanting to speak to Peter further are "bullshit” — might be the drama of the evening. But Peter's season snorted pixie stixx before it started and it's ready to ride this high all the way to the Final Rose. Please enjoy some photos of Tammy listening to this preliminary fight go down, not even knowing what’s still left to come:

It’s worth noting that Kelsey is the one who in her Bachelor bio said that she's had some rough times in the past, but “thanks to frequent Pilates classes,” she’s now in peak physical and spiritual form…

Unfortunately, it seems that there is no Reformer studio in the Bachelor mansion. Because after Alayah has reapplied Kelsey's makeup following her outburst at Mykenna, and after everyone has amped her up again, and just after she's said, "Anyone can bring a champagne bottle and toast, but this is something I've been saving for over a year—like, it's a big deal," Kelsey hears a distant pop.

And then distant shouting…

And completely kamikazes the entire cocktail party. The woman really does wield incredible power.

When they hear the champagne pop, the other women just immediately start hissing, "Don't ruin your makeup," because they seem to innately understand that Kelsey has been without Pilates for six days and she's about to swallow this whole show up into a black hole.

As it turns out, Hannah Ann also had a champagne toast planned for Peter, so when she somehow scooped him before Kelsey, and they spotted a champagne station, she popped Kelsey's dusty ass bottle of champagne. Now, I don’t believe for a second Hannah Ann did this on purpose; I believe the producers proposed the idea of a champagne toast to Hannah Ann on the same night that Kelsey was planning to share champagne that represented wanting to have Peter’s children, then set Hannah Ann's champagne up in a dark, dank corner, and just crossed their fingers that something like this might happen…

What those producers never could have accounted for, was just what terrors these women would turn into once their evil plot played out.

Kelsey and Hannah Ann have two very different approaches to weathering this conflict, but they share one important trait: neither would ever consider that they've done anything wrong in their entire life.

Incredibly, after confirming that Peter and Hannah Ann did indeed pop her champagne, Kelsey chokes out, EXCUSE ME, storms to the bathroom with an entourage trailing behind her like a 7th grader who just got broken up with on the dance floor in the middle of "Country Grammar," refuses Peter when he comes knocking to see if she's okay [ed. note: NO SHE IS NOT OKAY, PETER, SHE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO HEAR "SHIMMY SHIMMY COCOA WHAT" THE SAME AGAIN!], screams, "NO I'M NOT OKAY," at all of her friends asking her if she's okay, then storms back over to where Peter has now rejoined Hannah Ann, still clueless as to what happened, and—finger in the air—hisses, "You know what…"

No winning argument has ever started with, "You know what!" Kelsey could have calmed down, gone back over and laughed, "You guys opened my birthday champagne without me," and totally defused the situation. But she also could not have accounted for just how coldly Hannah Ann was going to respond to her chosen approach of raining down fire right in front of Peter. (Also, none of it matters at all because Peter thinks everything that everyone does has the exact same amount of merit, and I literally have no idea how he is choosing who goes home.)

It seems that while in the bathroom, Kelsey decided that Hannah Ann knew exactly what she was doing when she opened her champagne, and begins yelling "don’t play dumb" at her, and responding to Hannah Ann's protests with "Bullshit, you knew." But before you go taking up for Hannah Ann, let me make it clear that Hannah Ann seems extremely unbothered by the fact that did something that upset someone this much, and just keeps reiterating that she had no idea it was Kelsey's champagne.

Obviously this was just an accident, Hannah Ann. But six months ago, I accidentally got in front of two teens waiting in line at Target, realized it, apologized profusely, but on the way out heard them complaining about it to their other friend, and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. What if they thought I overlooked them completely because I am a self-obsessed white woman? What if, deep down, that is the reason I didn’t realize they were in line???

I assume that everyone lives their life like this, but even if there is some super human mutation that makes some people able to banish their mistakes into a mythical abyss, it is pretty common practice to apologize to someone in the moment if you do something to upset them, even if it was an accident.

After being utterly useless for awhile, Peter guides Kelsey to another location to calm her down — and wouldn’t you know, it just so happens to be the location of the second champagne set up. Which, to add insult to injury, is very clearly a $9 bottle of prosecco…

And to add insult to injury to indigestion, Kelsey accidentally knocks the glasses over, so Peter suggest they just take pulls from the bottle…

To which Kelsey coyly responds, "I'm not a classy bitch all the time," and takes a swig…

Oh, it is delicious.

I mean, this champagne goes everywhere; it is more graphic than Hannah humping Tyler C on that massage table. I assume every producer just climaxed right then and there at the hell they hath wrought.

Especially because the impromptu champagne shower did not make Kelsey laugh, showing Peter how easygoing she is; it enraged her to a somehow brand new degree. When Hannah Ann comes over to speak to her once she's alone, Kelsey snaps, "Don't talk to me." Then she whips back around and start telling Hannah that what she did "is fucked up, and I'm not about that." To which Hannah Ann responds:

And Hannah Ann doesn't stop saying that exact statement in response to everything Kelsey says until blood is leaking out of her eyeballs.

It’s a bold move! Kelsey is certainly the one oozing irrationality here, but Hannah Ann is the one being called calculating, and then responding with the same non-apology over and over like a Bratz doll with less personality and slightly more breathing.

"I'm over this pretty princess, perfect bullshit, I'm over it," Kelsey spits. "Okay, I have acknowledged your feelings, and I have apologized," Hannah Ann responds, engaging every component in her circuit board to change those tenses.

READ THIS POST ON SUBSTACK.COM

Peter keeps them both because Peter lives for drama, but then at the next group date, Hannah Ann has had time to think about it, and tells Peter that she felt bullied by Kelsey after the champagne incident. I respect Hannah Ann not feeling great about being called a fake bitch over and over, but she explains her reason for telling Peter she felt bullied by saying, "It upsets me that Peter doesn't know about that side of Kelsey”…

Which is what actually convinces me that Hannah Ann might be full of shit, because Peter was sitting right there when Kelsey came tearing around the corner like Princess Peach from the depths of hell screaming:

Peter knows what Kelsey is like, and he kept her anyway. It's fine if Hannah Ann wants to further point out that she called her a bunch of rude names, but don't disguise it as protectiveness, sis. Because if Peter can’t protect himself, you’re certainly not going to be able to.

Peter of course responds to Hannah Ann’s accusation by saying it’s not okay that she’s hurt: "I know you're such a beautiful person, I can already see that.” And then turns around to get Kelsey's side of the story, who is more or less like, I called her a bitch because she is a bitch but it’s only because I was mad…

And I guess Peter was expecting Kelsey to be like, Yes I bullied her, because now he is UTTERLY confused by hearing these two conflicting stories even though he is a first-person source for the majority of what happened between them.

But Peter really needn't worry about the "finasco" of Hannah Ann and Kelsey, because the next morning, they basically agree to disagree about who the real victim of their situation was, and besides — Peter is about to have a much bigger fish to fry…

A FISH NAMED ALAYAH

How do we solve a problem like Alayah?

See, the problem is that Alayah is annoying as hell. But there's very little to suggest in these first three episodes that Alayah is malicious. After all, Alayah is the one who reapplies Kelsey's makeup twice when she cries it all off over the champagne that represented her familial bliss. Fake-nice people aren't a lot of fun, but they can be important when balancing out people like Kelsey who are a little too real. But suddenly, in episode 3, Sydney can no longer tolerate Alayah in the Bachelor community.

The editors perfectly set up that Alayah is annoying by showing her sloshing around red wine and talking about being a "pilot wife" [ed. note: barf] in a testimonial, and then deftly switching to what appears to be security camera footage of all the women hanging around the kitchen. Sitting on the counter, clearly a little drunk, Alayah is animatedly saying that everybody thinks that she's "this sweet little elegant proper thing" because she's competed in pageants her whole life, and then someone off-camera cuts in asking if she has a wild side.

Alayah yelps back, "Fuck yeah, dude—bro, I get nasty" with all the false bravado of someone who's afraid they’ve never known real intimacy with another person.

As Alayah is saying this, Sydney is captured eating a half of an avocado with a spoon, shooting daggers in the direction of the kitchen island.

Sydney's knives are out, and I get it—if I had heard Alayah say, "Bro, I get nasty" while wearing a pilot's hat perfectly askew, I may have vomited my spoonfuls of raw avocado right up. But ya know what I wouldn't have done…

Told Peter that Alayah is a fake, because what good can ever come of that?! Even if you're right, even if you really are trying to protect Peter… if Peter wants to keep Alayah, he will keep Alayah. Peter watched Kelsey spew venom at Hannah Ann over a small mistake, then believed Hannah Ann when she told him Kelsey was a bully, and he still kept Kelsey.

If the scene in the kitchen is meant to convey that Alayah is a fraud, it is unsuccessful; if it's meant to convey that she's not someone you would want to hang out with, it should win an Oscar for Best Screenplay. Especially when it's followed up with the reading of the group date card (which of course includes Sydney and Alayah) and Alayah trilling out to Jasmine, "I really wanna know baby girl, how do you feel not getting a date?" I want to be clear to anyone and everyone, aaaaall across the gender spectrum: unless you have seen my bare boobs, we are not on the level where you can call me baby girl and get away with it — and even then, it’s a risk.

Clearly, the reason Sydney doesn’t think Alayah is right for Peter is that she doesn’t like Alayah, and the editors have made a good case for the reason why. But the narrative Sydney ultimately chooses to go with is that Peter needs to be aware that Alayah is there for—dun, dun, dun—The Wrong Reasons.

Coming off of Hannah B's season, Peter is particularly paranoid about The Wrong Reasons. But what he really needs to be vigilant about are his own reasons. I think even Hannah would tell him that the wool wasn't pulled over her eyes by dummies like Luke P and Jed; she just saw what she wanted to see and made bad decisions. Interestingly, Peter seems to be taking the slightly altered approach of pretending he sees nothing, and making bad decisions.

Moments after he's told a number of women on the group date that he has a really good feeling about them, including Alayah, Sydney comes in and tells him that she's having a hard time because "the imagery of all this makes girls not be themselves or put on a façade you might really like in the beginning and then, like, when you're in real life, realize it's not real."

Peter is floored. Some of these women are putting on a façade of perfection in the first seven days of dating him??? "Like, that's such a fear of mine, that I could fall for someone and they're like…fake," he tells Sydney.

Then Peter, bud, maybe this is not the show for you! Façade is the name of the game here, is it not? Does he think these women would be getting in full lashes and sequins, and telling him about their traumatic high school years on the first date if they weren't on TV?? There are going to be women who are interested in being on camera and interested in getting Instagram followers after this because you have chosen to date through basically the one medium in the world that guarantees cameras and Instagram followers.

These things are not mutually exclusive: women who put on a show for the cameras can still like you and want to date you, bb!

It seems like Peter is putting so much pressure on himself to not make the same mistakes that Hannah did, that he's trying to eliminate the possibility for any mistakes, which if course means… he's pretty much exclusively making mistakes. Like coming back out to a group of women who feel like they just had good conversations with him and saying, "I saw firsthand what happened last season, and my biggest fear in this is possibly getting blindsided, and I hate feeling like I might be getting fooled right now."

What exactly does Peter think he'll accomplish by scolding these women? That he'll change the reason they're there with one little speech? That the ones who came there for exposure will suddenly stand up and admit it? Does he not recall that Hannah had like a hundred of these dressing-downs last season, and Jed still never told her that he had a girlfriend? I understand the fear, but I do not understand the response to it.

Fakes are fakes and you can't change that; the only thing you can do is trust your own intuition…

Unfortunately, that is not Peter's specialty. When everyone blinks their big eyes at him after his little speech, Peter turns to Sydney, and I kid you not, says: "Sydney, sorry to kind of put you on the spot, but you had mentioned there were people who maybe are different on camera or when I'm not here, and I trust you, and I want to squash this right now."

I don’t care how sweet, simple, and Sylvan-educated he is, my very least favorite kind of Bachelor is the kind who refuses to acknowledge the incredibly complicated social dynamic they have happily signed up for.

YOU WANT TO SQUASH THIS RIGHT NOW, PETER?! Squash what?! An entire ecosystem of fame and entertainment based on heightened human behavior that ever so occasionally turns out a successful marriage?? You want to squash that right here at this 12-person date in an abandoned antique warehouse???

Just fly your little planes, kiss some women under some waterfalls, and take your chances, my friend!!!

In attempting to quickly squash something that should have only ever been an internal consideration, Peter takes Sydney’s warning public, creating absolute mayhem. With little hesitation, Sydney admits that she was referring to Alayah when she said some women were putting on a front for the cameras. So Alayah asks the other women if they feel that way, and naturally they keep their mouths shut because some people in this season have a little sense.

No, they wait patiently until the next day when Chris Harrison announces, "Good news, Peter's going to come over and join you for an afternoon pool party," which is kind of like saying, "Good news, you have a colonoscopy today" in the Bachelor world.

Nothing good ever comes of replacing a cocktail party with a pool party, especially when Peter seems to be using every single one-on-one conversation to ask each woman what they think of Alayah. The only people this overcast pool party proves fun for are the Bachelor editors who get to waffle back and forth between clips of Alayah proudly telling the camera that Sydney is the only one who feels this way, and clips of every other woman you could identify by name saying that, yes, Alayah seems a little fake.

But I still just don't think this is much of an indictment! Some people are fake, that's their personality. Some people are consummate caretakers; some people are really committed to being free-spirited; and some people just kind of pretend to be happy all the time. That's Alayah's deal. Alayah told Sydney that was her deal at the group date when Sydney sort of lured her into admitting that she's been trained to put on a certain front as a professional pageant-doer.

This was shortly after Sydney accused her of not having a job, and shortly before Sydney asked her if she has any emotions. If Alayah can keep a smile on her face as someone she barely knows suggests that she’s a sociopath without a job, then yeah—high-pitched niceties might just be her personality.

Most importantly, Peter likes that high-pitched personality. Because when they sit down, Alayah provides exactly no introspection as to why the other women might feel that she's fake, simply telling Peter that she "chooses to be happy." She offers the completely convincing argument: "Like, if I didn't feel chemistry with whoever the guy is, or if I wasn't interested, I can't fake it."

And folks, Peter loves it. Whoever the guy is!

Sydney told him Alayah was fake, and so it was reality. But then Alayah tells him she's not fake, so then that is reality. Peter and Alayah walk away from their conversation pleased with the current reality, right up until…

Peter makes the mistake of speaking to another person: Victoria P, who has recently fallen in love with Peter after one date, and who told Peter the saddest story he's ever personally heard about her childhood…

…and therefore whose heart Peter has seen the very most of, and who he now trusts implicitly for character references.

Victoria P tells him that she's feeling a little uncomfortable because she actually knows Alayah from the pageant world, but before they came on the show, Alayah asked her not to tell producers that they knew each other. "I don't wanna lie, I can't lie," Victoria says after agreeing to lie, and actively doing it for a few weeks. She tells Peter she didn't give it much thought when Alayah first proposed it, but now that she thinks about it, "[Alayah] was really open to all the opportunities that will come after this, even if you weren't her husband."

Hi, quick aside from me, your friendly local recapper, popping up to say that if you're not open to the opportunities that come with potentially embarrassing yourself on national TV after your 1-in-300 chances of marrying the Bachelor don’t work out, then you're actually…very, very dumb. Not sticking up for Alayah personally because, again…

She does not seem like my kind of hang, but this idea that you need to be against getting enough Instagram followers to make a couple thousand dollars every time you post about cooking shrimp linguine with just the right amount of ingredients and no pesky clean-up is tiiiiired.

After talking to Victoria P, Peter sits back down with Alayah, and says, "I kind of just hoped we had squashed it…but I just still don't feel 100 percent." Crazy that Peter is unable to squash this feeling that Alayah is fake by continuing to ask her 20 closest competitors what they think of her . But, as terrible at this as Peter is, I must admit the face that Alayah makes when she hears Victoria P ratted her out is as delicious as no-hassle shrimp linguine.

Alayah tells Peter that she was afraid they would get disqualified if the producers found out she and Victoria P knew each other — which is obviously a lie, because the these producers are so thirsty for pageant drama, they're basically Candice Burgen and everybody knows it. But Alayah swears she's not lying, and Peter simply cannot wrap his head around two people telling two ever-so-slightly different stories.

But the idea of making his own decision based on his own emotions and personal observations of his own life experience does not seem to occur to our Bachelor. Chris Harrison informs the women that Peter has fled the pool party, and they won't see him again until the Rose Ceremony…

Where Chris Harrison unceremoniously enters when there are just two roses left and takes one away. Mykenna does this…

And it works! Mykenna’s successfully uses The Force to will Peter into choosing her which means Alayah is going home…

OR IS SHE??? After Alayah offers Peter a surprisingly generous goodbye, he rushes off to his producers and is all, "I don’t know if I want her to leave right now," mere seconds after asking her to get off his lawn forever. Even the producers are like…

Excellent Q, guys — I can’t wait to hear Peter explain why he does the things he does!

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See you back here in a few days for another belated Bachelor recap — and if you find yourself wishing these important explorations of human behavior were a little more timely, let me just say…

(JUST KIDDING, I’M REALLY SORRY, I’M WRITING AS FAST AS I CAN, AND I’M STILL SORRY TO THOSE TARGET TEENS!!!)

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From the TATBT Archive: Jake Gyllenhaal is Tired

The best movie of 2019 premiered at Sundance one year ago -- it's 15 seconds long

It has come to my attention that today is the one-year anniversary of a very important TATBT post

That's right, the cinematic legacy of 2019 will culminate next Sunday at the Oscars, and there are some excellent films nominated: Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ adaptation led girls who read at the dinner table until they were 13 to rejoice anew, (and this particular book-girl cry in a way that can only be described as "disruptive and alarming to other moviegoers"); ‘Knives Out’ was extremely fun and made orgasming-due-to-well-worn-knitwear a thing; and ‘Parasite’ was just flat-out thrilling… ALMOST as thrilling as its director, Bong Joon-Ho, casually calling the Oscars "local."

So I really am so sorry to announce to these movies that after thorough consideration, it has been determined that the best film of 2019 remains the seconds-long clip of Jake Gyllenhaal—16th best star of ‘John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch’ (a compliment! there simply is no out-performing the talent of a New York City theater kid)—briefly losing his attachment to humanity after hearing Dan Gilroy mispronounce the word "melancholy” for the last time at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

I promise more ‘Bachelor’ recaps are en route, but in the meantime, I feel it’s my pop-cultural duty to pull this short film review back up from the TATBT archives so readers old and new can be sure to watch it a few hundred more times before next Sunday’s Academy Awards where it is the only nominee for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, and Best Sweater (Knives Out actually snuck into that one too).


The Oscars are coming up soon, and I'm sure there are some great films, beautiful films involved. But all of those films should consider themselves lucky that they came out in 2018 — because Sundance just dropped the best film of 2019.

No other premiere this year could hope to be more gripping and all at once shattering in its depiction of precarious patience; no more nuanced tale of familial frustration has ever been set to film, nor likely shall it ever be again.

I am, of course, speaking of a clip from this Hollywood Reporter interview with Velvet Buzzsaw director Dan Gilroy, and the starring cast, most especially: Jake Gyllenhaal and Jake Gyllenhaal's chunky-knit sweater. It is 15-seconds-long. I have it watched upward of 300 times…

The clip was first brought to my attention by Vulture writer Hunter Harris who, in general, keeps a close tabs on hot, sassy men, for which I am very grateful.

The hot, sassy man of the hour — nay, millennium — is Jake Gyllenhaal, who has had it. It's worth noting that Jake Gyllenhaal and Dan Gilroy are frequent collaborators, and so Jake must surely enjoy working with Dan. But it seems that after a full day of hearing the same stories over and over, and apparently, the same word mispronounced over and over, JG’s shade fuse is short.

I will attempt to explain the perfect content of this clip, but first: I must implore you to watch it with your own eyes. I don't know if I should show my cards like this, but I can see what you click on here, friends. I rarely look at that data because the idea that I've ever done anything embarrassing in my entire life—linking to something that a single person wouldn't find interesting counts as embarrassing! the mind is a wonderful thing!—makes me want to eat my own hair.

So, I know that you can’t watch every YouTube-of-a-Vine made by a teenager in 2013 that I link to in a 6,000 word article, and I totally get that, but…

I must urge you to plug your little earbuds in (or pluck your AirPods from the cup holder of your Peloton bike if you're someone who lives in a mansion and eats rubies with your breakfast oats, or whatever) and watch the link in the tweet above. The YouTube video will do in a pinch, but it does have an extra 10 seconds at the front and back that is not solely devoted to a highly successful man mispronouncing a word within an inch of its life, and being subsequently reprimanded by his own snarky muse.

Mr. Jake Gyllenhaal thought that wearing a cozy, lilac-hued sweater could help him get through this day of hearing and telling the same anecdotes over and over at various press interviews, but he was wrong. The only thing that would get him through promoting his second feature film with director Dan Gilroy — who is also, apparently, his dad — was finally putting his foot down. Let me set the stage:

Dan Gilroy is explaining that in his film Velvet Buzzsaw, he wanted to show a different side of actor Rene Russo, for example, that she’s "soulful, spiritual—she has a touch of mil-ONK-a-lee once in a while." Jake Gyllenhaal, the most tired man who has ever walked this planet, cannot let this parody-esque pronunciation pass:

“It's melancholy, Dan.”

Dan Gilroy tries to laugh it off : "Oh, it’s melancholy! I always get that word wrong." But Jake is not having it — always getting that word wrong is precisely the problem, Dan!

“That is NOT the first time today.”

Not the first time today?! Jake Gyllenhaal has remained hot throughout, like, six significantly different phases of his movie star career, but I think exasperated-grown-son-in-an-androgynous-sweater-who-can't-take-anymore-of-his-dorky-dad's-bullshit might just be the one I’m horniest for.

What's most incredible about this pronunciation is just how hard Dan goes for it, KNOWING that “melancholy” is a word he struggles with. Every time I say "niche," I flinch, and that's just one syllable — I can mumble and get away with it! [Ed. note: She has not, nor will she ever, get away with it.]

Everyone has a person in their life that they love dearly, but who still puts their eyes on a constant rotation the moment they start trying to tell a story. That person is almost 100 percent of the time, an older man. Jake Gyllenhaal is a frequent collaborator with Dan Gilroy, so he surely respects him — but this is the face of a person who is just waiting for his dad to annoy him.

And while the thrust of the focus is on Jake Gyllenhaal’s looming shade, when you watch the video for the second-through-four-hundredth time, you realize that everyone knows what's coming. But they're not just waiting for Dan Gilroy to say milonkali…they're waiting for Jake Gyllenhaal to hear Dan Gilroy to say melownkalay. Therein lies the gift…

Look at Billy Manussen just ready for big brother Jake to blow up. He knows what's coming…

Rene Russo has heard this anecdote about herself so many times, she's mouthing along with Dan Gilroy who, by the way, is her husband. THAT is the face of the woman who knows her husband does not possess the ability to say "melancholy," but who still can't believe it every time he mispronounces it all over again…

And who finds how much it annoys her children hilaaaarious. "You're too good," she chuckles, slapping Jake Gyllenhaal on the leg as he seethes. Zawe Ashton is the one who finally lets out an audible cackle at the absurdity of malanckaly, and I think I appreciate her carefree middle sister vibe the most…

I would want to be the inscrutable Jake Gyllenhaal who corrects Gilroy in a millisecond flat, but no doubt I would just be snickering in the background. Even demure Natalia Dyer who has maybe been sleeping with her eyes open to get through this, finally breaks at Jake's deadpan correction.

But my favorite part—my absolute favorite part—of this perfect piece of cinema, is Dan Gilroy just trying to move right on with the confidence of a rich white man who can get away with mispronouncing “melancholy” if he wants to. But Jake G said: Not today, old man! We are putting an end to this right here, right now.

That! Is! Not! The! First! Time! Today!

Jake Gyllenhaal: our sassy queen, our petty prince, our patron saint of tired. I don't know why this video tickles me so, but I do know that I can no longer say “melancholy” correctly on the first try. Dan Gilroy has invaded my mind just as he has invaded Jake Gyllenhaal's, and I can only hope that on a week like this one, where it's only Wednesday and I'm already feeling mighty weary, I can turn it around as purposefully as Jake Gyllenhaal sighing…

Indeed — it is melancholy, Dan.

A Bachelor premiere recap: It wasn't over... it still isn't over!

HE WAITED FOR HANNAH B FOR SEVEN [WEEKS]!

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This Bachelor premiere recap is very personal to me; I wrote it, inexplicably, with my dad. And now I'm giving it to you, my co-boyfriend, on today, our first co-date. And SPEAKING of my dad, I wanted to tell you that my parents have been married for 45 years because I believe that foreplay is important...

If feel in my bones that if I DM'd Peter Weber the fact that my parents celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary two weeks ago [ed. note: dessert—split; cocktails—one each and they were fully tipsy; leftovers—brought to me, their adult daughter, still at home for the holidays, eating all their chips], we could be engaged, or at least making out on a tiny airplane within the week. This man loves to hear that monogamy runs in your family like some positive version of addiction. But monogamy is not hereditary, Peter! It's nice to have examples of healthy, loving relationships so close to you, but you know what else works? Rom-coms and therapy.

None of this is new territory though; janky homemade gifts, idealizing the nuclear family construct, and intimating that you want to fuck your dad is pretty much par for the course in a Bachelor premiere. Also included are sexually suggestive limo intros, that one woman who keeps interrupting the other women, the contestants who get too drunk and fall in love with each other instead of the lead, and Chris Harrison carrying in the First Impression Rose in on a giant Anthropologie coaster, looking all 30 of the women in the eye, and saying: We OWN you now—everything you feel, everything you want, everything you hope for and desire, it's OURS.

Peter's premiere had all of that, of course, but it also took the series into surprising new territory. And I don't just mean that it had a run-time longer than an entire season of Fleabag and included a couple of group dates…

Bringing a former lead back to advise the new lead is not unusual for The Bachelor — in fact, it's one of the most boring things the series regularly does, but I'm always glad to see Sean Lowe keeping busy, or Ben Higgins powering up his skin suit. Bringing the lead's ex back is a little less common, sure, but when things have ended somewhat amicably, there's precedence.

What there's no precedence for, however, is bringing the lead's ex-girlfriend back when she is highly single, serving a fresh Dancing With the Stars spray tan, and acting like a bonafide emotional wreck after making a series of terrible decisions in front of millions of people while also having to, like, carry the weight of feminism on her back.

The producers forced Hannah to come on Peter’s season with bad intentions, I’m sure. But in setting her up for the full emotional meltdown of their wildest dreams, The Bachelor inadvertently fessed up to something else entirely, something that its audience has known for years: this is not a fairytale. Not even close.

Because the thing about fairy tales — kind of the main thing, other than magical young princesses and evil old crones — is that they have endings. Happily ever afters…

Does this look happy to you?

The Bachelor has created a universe that cranks out endless content, but over much of which they have very little control. In recent seasons, they've maxed out their AirBNB budget just looking for L.A. houses that haven’t recently been used for porn where their engaged couples can secretly implode due to extenuating real-world circumstances.

Once the cameras stop rolling, the Bachelor world keeps spinning, and thanks to Instagram, Reality Steve, and security camera footage at Stagecoach Music Festival, we still get to be a part of it, completely devoid of ABC's otherwise careful curation. Jed's ex-girlfriend drags him for filth; Hannah breaks up with him; Hannah asks Tyler out; we see photos of him leaving her apartment the next morning; things quickly fizzle because Tyler starts dating one of the most famous supermodels in the world, and grandfathers out of Bachelor-fame and straight into regular fame.

And we see all of it…

And so does Peter.

In fairy tales, the stable boy doesn't see photos of the princess' bedhead moments after she's sent the baker boy from her bedchambers because the Knox-villain prince recently revealed himself to be a lying cheater who now edits his eyes on Instagram to look like a Twilight character…

No, this is not a fairy tale — it’s much more interesting than that when they allow it to be.

I know the Bachelor producers probably just wanted to make Peter's new co-girlfriends mad when they brought in Hannah Brown looking like a whole charcuterie board of hotness to talk about all the sex she had with Peter on her season. But they also managed to speed up the clock on the most interesting thing that happens during any season of The Bachelor(ette): the heartbreak. Watching Hannah and Peter reenact Marriage Story in the dressing room of some L.A. improv theater while the women who have quit their jobs at a chance to date this sentient Puffs-Plus-Lotion facial tissue sit outside trying to think of how to tell a funny sex story that doesn't make them sound like a slut but also suggests they give good blow jobs is…wild, y'all.

And it feels great! Do I care about the integrity of this show's purported construct? I do not. Do I care if these new women get a fair shake at dating a man who isn't hung up on his ex because she's contractually obligated to keep coming around, and seems personally obligated to keep fucking with his emotions on national television? I absolutely do not.

I care about bugging my eyes out like one of those Kitty-Cat wall clocks while I trying to de-code Hannah's mascara tear-tracks for editing mistakes because I am the John Nash of reality TV.

Plus, this premiere not only ends with the cliffhanger as to whether Hannah and Peter are going to give this thing one more go — it also starts with a cliffhanger that basically assures us there’s no way they will. (Because, I mean, duh—Hannah makes a lot of poorly informed decisions, but at the time of filming, she was a fan-favorite on Dancing With the Stars with five million Instagram followers, and I don’t think anyone's ego or digestive system could allow them to go from A-list lead back down to lowly contestant subsisting on cheese cubes and the agricultural run-off of crushing self-doubt.)

I have long wished The Bachelor franchise would take a few notes from The Real Housewives franchise (older contestants, more former child stars, etc.), and with Peter's season, they've finally done it. Opening with a flash-forward to the end of the season is classic Bravo fare, and even though it’s often false signaling for what will wind up being a boring season with just one dramatic moment, it gets me every time.

So you better believe I'm a sucker for Chris Harrison informing Peter and his fresh forehead scar that before he does what he's about to do there's something he should know. And Peter just collapsing on a bed full of producers saying, "That's just like the last thing I needed to hear”??? That’s money in the bank.

But much more important than any of that: WHAT IS PETER'S MOM TALMBOUT IN THIS SEASON PREVIEW?!

SO. We've got a flash-forward that has us thirsting for the end of this season…a cliffhanger that has us dwelling on the end of last season…and two hours and 40 minutes' worth of content in the middle during which one woman brought a whole ass cow with her to the mansion, never to be seen again; multiple women told Peter they wanted to marry their dad, bringing him to near-orgasm; and Peter the Pilot himself culled every single flight attendant presented to him in an adorable act of passive aggressive occupational-slaughter. So, let's just get into it, shall we?

IS THIS YOUR BACHELOR?

Perhaps the most important thing you need to know about Peter is that during all of this — the mysterious shocking news he receives just before proposing, the reappearance of the woman who broke his heart, reading letters from contestants' grandmothers, talking to a cow, giving toasts — our titular Bachelor is waffling between exactly a 5 and a 6 on the energy scale. Peter might be the most mild-mannered lead we've ever had, and I think that's because what's going on upstairs is basically a Thomas the Tank Engine cartoon where all the dialog has been replaced with a white noise machine, interspersed with occasional Sleepy Time Tea commercials.

Peter is exactly the kind of Handsome Tall who fails upward no matter what he does. That’s not to undercut his successes—oh wait, yes it is a little bit. It's just that he's entirely too corny and simple-hearted for me be mad at him about it. Look no further than the moment when Hannah Ann coyly tells Peter that she wants to "end the night with a kiss" and he exclaims, "oh, gifts!" and she says, "no, a kiss," and he says, "oh, a kiss," and then dutifully and kisses her. It is a moment devoid of chemistry, spontaneity, or charm, and it still ends with Peter getting a kiss, and probably falling in love.

Our Bachelor's personality traits so far are: airplanes, cob-level corniness, and having parents. Boy, does this guy have parents! Including his mom's Jean Valjean outburst to "bring her home to us" in the season preview, Peter Sr. and Barbara show up four times throughout this episode. That's three more times than the cattle-rancher/model who got out of a limo (shockingly, not with a cow), never to be seen or head from again.

Of course, the gag is: Peter lives with his parents. So if they're going to show him milling about his everyday life, it's going to be at his parents' home, surrounded by wholesome family values and script wall hangings where each new words is written in a different cursive font, but the greatest of these is LOVE.

And the worst of these is this apostrophe:

THE SISTER-GIRLFRIENDS

We're introduced to a handful of women in detail before the limo introductions, half of whom will likely comprise Peter’s final four, and half of whom The Bachelor simply cannot resist telling their interesting stories, even though they never stood a chance of dating Peter because they were far too interesting in the first place. For example, Alexa, who is an esthetician and describes herself thusly: "I love caring for people, it fulfills me …

“I also wax vaginas for a living.” I feel you Alexa! It can't all be watching the reality TV for a living, most of the time, you’re just in the trenches, cropping photos in Microsoft Paint and/or waxing vaginas for eight hours! (Alexa also manages to get the full name of her business and description of services into her intro package, so yes we do stan an entrepreneurial legend.)

Then there's Hannah Ann, who says that modeling has given her the opportunity to travel and meet different people, "But ultimately I'm just a normal girl." You know how to tell that someone doesn't think of themselves as just a normal girl? When they clarify to you that they're just a normal girl because they've assumed that their life as a fit model for Sonic are Downy has you shaking in your boots.

It's not that those aren't totally valid brands to model for; it's just like, yeah bish, you SEEM like a normal girl who’s good at her normal job.

Clearly, I had a very violent reaction to Hannah Ann's introduction, and I do not anticipate it getting better, mostly due to her habit of always looking for the camera.

If you are related to Hannah Ann, I would not recommend reading these recaps (and also know that she will use your mere existence to endear herself to Peter who loves nothing more than to hear that people have whole ass parents and siblings out there on this planet we call earth).

Thankfully, Hannah Ann’s introduction is followed by Tammy, the former high school wrestler and current house flipper, who I invite to kindly step on my neck as many times as possible.

We also meet Kelley, the lawyer from Chicago serving big Andi Dorfman energy who previously ran into Peter in a hotel lobby and allegedly did not bone him at that time. But when she steps out of the limo, he is thrilled to see her. And it makes sense that after seeing 29 new faces, it would feel totally comforting to just see someone that you recognize, and feel confident that you have something to talk with them about.

So then imagine how it would feel if after 29 strangers and one person that you briefly met once while you were six whiskey-gingers to the wind, you saw a woman that you were actively in love with not one month ago…

THE LIMTRODUCTIONS

Let's just get through a few notable limo entrances before we get to the grand finale. There's Sydney who tells Peter that she's from Birmingham, but "not every girl from 'Bama makes bad decisions." Peter loves that intro because Sydney is gorgeous, but as she walks away, he inexplicably mutters, "Alabama city. Alright."

City??? This sweet toothbrush of a man.

Lauren wears a lace jumpsuit that is both skintight and conservative which is a total Cocktail Party power move. Because, y'know, it's hard to set yourself apart when you're, at the very most, getting 10 minutes with the Bachelor. That's why Eunice is so glad she's a flight attendant and will really stand out to Peter…

Jade is also excited to make her unique impression on Peter…

And Megan is thrilled to be informed that two other flight attendants have already arrived before her ass can even hit the couch…

And I kid you not, even though Peter seems to base his entire life around emulating his parents (a former pilot and flight attendant), he cuts all these flight attendants in the first round. It gives me some hope that maybe Pilot Pete has just the tiniest streak of rebellion in him buried somewhere under all that earnestness.

But if he does, it's not revealed when Katrina tells him he's going to love her "hairless…  ,…    pussy… …..      …. …………     …… ….. … cat." Just like he responds to everything else, it's a big smile, a little laugh, and Alabama City yourself right outta there.

Sometimes I'm not sure how much Peter is really computing in the moment. Like when Victoria F tells him that she has a dry sense of humor, but that's the only dry thing about her.

Just…such a weird flex that even Victoria F knew was in poor taste because she can barely get through the joke the first time; then for some reason, she brings it up again when she finally gets time to talk to Peter, and spends the rest of the night fretting that the one and only thing she's talked to Peter about all night is her sopping wet vagina. But she needn't worry, because to Peter, all words are basically the same. He doesn’t seem offended or intrigued or turned on or turned off when Victoria F says she’s wet the first time, and when she brings it up again, he can't even really remember what she said, and once she reminds him, he's like, Haha LOL…

You simply cannot rile this man up. Unless of course… you start talking about the marital history of your ancestors.

Listen, I don't think it's healthy to assume that just because your parents have a lasting marriage, you are preternaturally positioned to have the same, but I do love seeing the reflexive joy it brings to this sentient Pringle can's face. He loves it.

And taking a brief break to tell Peter how long all of the people in their family have been married is basically the only time many of these women stop talking about their own vaginas, Peter’s windmill-based libido, or Hannah, his ex-girlfriend that they’re happy to use as a talking point, but not exactly happy to see step out of the final limo…

Our fearless former Bachelorette arrives like the radiant chaotic neutral she is…

And even though you could cut the sexual tension with a knife, and even though Peter and Hannah both can't stop saying how weird it is to see each other, she is only there to give Peter back the wings he gave her during his own limo introduction all those months ago.

It is later revealed that for a moment Peter genuinely thought Hannah was there to join the house and he didn't hate that idea. It's also later revealed that Hannah isn't totally opposed to making that bad idea a reality. So let's just go ahead and get to that just as soon as…

PETER DATES WOMEN THAT AREN’T HANNAH

Once Hannah Ann has made all of the other women dislike her by stealing Peter three times during the Cocktail Party and earned the First Impression Rose…and once all three flight attendants, Maurissa, Jenna, Kylie, and Katrina have been released into the 8 a.m. sunlight…we just move right along to a group date.

It's a flight school simulation led by the first ever female Blue Angel in the Navy, and a decorated female Marine pilot. Peter, a pilot for Delta Airlines is also there, spraying down one of his li'l planes with a garden hose.

Part of this simulation includes getting spun around in a sort of hamster wheel device that I've seen in movies about becoming an astronaut, but not in any of the classic cinema about becoming a Delta pilot.

For Victoria P, however, it is all too familiar. See, Victoria had a bad experience with a teacups-ride when she was younger, and the producers give it the full Annaliese-childhood-trauma-flashback treatment…

…but I'm not even going to let them trick me into disliking Victoria P who I, in fact, absolutely adore. We already know that she raised her younger sister after her father died and her mother fell into addiction, and that eventually both her mother and her sister overcame addiction, and now they all have a great relationship. We know that she gets emotional just thinking about the opportunity to fall in love.

We know that Victoria P straps her ass into that spinning machine because she doesn't want to let Peter down, spins around, dismounts, and promptly sprints to the bathroom to vomit. And we know that later, during the nighttime portion of the date, Victoria P is wearing glasses and looking fantastic. I can’t remember any previous contestant wearing glasses on a date. I love her.

And I hesitate to use such a trite word, because on this season of The Bachelor, it's basically the equivalent of blinking, but Victoria P seems so—gasp—genuine. All signs are pointing to her getting the group date rose…

If it weren't for Kelley, that highly suspect pre-season rendezvous, and some light cheating.

Peter is just clearly really into Kelley who he totally didn’t hook up with a few weeks ago, so when she (perhaps accidentally) cheats on the final obstacle course to win a sunset plane ride with Peter, he just accepts it as obstacle course rules.

Which the women of course blame on Kelley rather than Peter, leading Kelley to take her own life into her hands when she later has a stare-down with Tammy, who would love nothing more than to sprinkle Kelley's bones into her raw egg smoothie the next morning. But Kelley stands her ground, not apologizing for getting the extra time, and also conveniently not mentioning that their group date location is actually the exact hotel she first met Peter however many weeks ago…

So, naturally, after Peter assures Kelley that even though she probably has a target on her back, she should just keep on trucking, and he'll do everything he can to protect her…

He completely throws her under the bus by revealing to all the other women who already don’t like her that they’re in the hotel where their "first spark" happened while giving her the Group Date Rose.

These women might actually murder Kelley.

And yet, we somehow never find out the group’s reaction to the fact that Madison's one-on-one date with Peter was to meet his entire family and attend his parents' vow renewal at their home.

I want to be annoyed with how much Peter idolizes his parents' relationship, but so help me, when these two look at each other and talk about how much they love each other, I just…

Grow a mustache and weep. And if you are going to bring a stranger into this extremely intimate setting, Madison was a wise choice. She's bubbly enough to not be awkward, but sincere enough to not be over the top. Her parents have also been married for a long time, so she's clearly very attracted to this aspect of Peter's family life.

And then, on the nighttime portion of their date, she says those 12 words that every man wants to hear:

Once Peter has cleaned himself up, he tells Madison that hearing her talk about how much she respects her parents' relationship is so refreshing, "And it just speaks volumes about the kind of person you are and your character."

Dammit, Peter! No it does not! It perhaps speaks volumes about her parents character, and perhaps they have passed some of that onto Madison or whatever, but this moralizing of your familial construct having anything to do with the caliber of person you are has to stop. My parents have been married forever, and I'm a stone cold nightmare! [Ed. note: Don't tell Peter. He’s still very tall, and I'm still planning to slide into those DMs.]

And it will stop. Because something a lot more interesting than two strangers named Sharon and Roger getting married in 1992 is about to happen…

THE BEAST IS BACK

Now, it's not entirely worth getting into the full Hannah B drama in this premiere recap because even though the editors included in the premiere to show us that no matter what we think, they still own our sorry asses, this drama is going to continue to run the narrative in episode 2, and they will replay every mascara-covered, Notebook-worthy moment of it until you’re not even sure who’s show this is anymore.

It's just all so…cinematic. If The Joker can be nominated for an Oscar, so can this.

The tension begins to build when Peter tells the second set of women that their group date will be conducted by someone he's "very close to," but he has no idea what the date will entail. That person winds up being Hannah B, who tells a kind of Moth StorySLAM version of her Fantasy Suite date with Peter that created the Windmill Lore of 2019.

The women nervously laugh along from the audience, but their smiles somehow look like knives. Even not knowing what the date was going to be—Hannah tells the women they’ll have to tell a story about sex in front of a live audience—Peter should have said no to this! It's pretty unkind to make his new girlfriends interact with his old girlfriend so recently after they’ve broken up and when she’s looking like a sexy ass disco ball.

But Peter has the backbone of a napkin…and the opinions of a napkin…and the syntactic range of a napkin…and yet, not a napkin in sight when Hannah's face starts leaking like a cheap CVS cooler.

Peter walks backstage to find that Hannah is crying from what seems to be a genuine reaction to being forced to reckon with the fact that she rejected Peter for a far worse romantic option, and now she's alone, and he's potentially on his way to moving on.

Hannah sort of apologizes for how upset Peter was when she broke up with him in Crete, and he tells her that its’s okay, he knows she followed her heart.

"Yeah, well, my heart was very confused,” she replies.

Do ya hear that, Peter? No matter what clarity you feel certain is coming your way, it's not. Because falling in love with three people at once is not an efficient way to fall in love! Hannah starts saying that she doesn't know what she was thinking over and over, and that she questions the decisions she made after breaking things off with Jed.

And even though Peter remains so calm that he could basically be sleeping, this makes him start to reveal some questions of his own. Like, if Hannah still had feelings for him when she saw him at After the Final Rose, then why did she ask Tyler out on the live show the next night? "Seeing that happen, for me," Peter tells Hannah, still trying so hard to protect her feelings, "it was like, that's it—I don't want to be someone's third option."

And that's really all Peter needs to know right now. He can't be someone's third choice. Hannah asked Tyler out because she's impulsive and because she was still actively not choosing Peter, which is just as bad as being outright rejected. It's the difference between getting ghosted and getting The Big Long text. Neither is good; one just feels like getting a door slammed in your face, and the other feels like a door that’s been mercilessly left open even though it leads to nowhere.

The only way Peter and Hannah end up together—and I genuinely hope they might because even though we'd never hear the fucking end of it from Chris Harrison, it would be so romantic—is for him to try out all his other options, and find them wanting. If they're each other's third option, this could work!

But right now, they're just going to keep asking each other "what do you want" until both of their faces have puffed up into perfect little pastries, and they pass out from exhaustion. Because they simply don't know what they want—they're not at the end of the story yet.

Or at least that's my guess. We'll have to wait until the next episode to see WHY PETER IS GETTING SO CLOSE TO HER FACE!!! Poor little buddy.


See you back here next week to find out if these women will get the chance to talk about their vaginas yet again, or if Hannah is whisking Peter off to his Happily Ever After, and I finally get the Mike season I wanted all along…

Hey, a girl can dream, right? Tammy sure knows how:

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A Bachelor Bio Breakdown: The Pied Peter

Because these women are children and ABC has lured them here, DO YOU GET IT???

The number of women competing to be Peter the Pilot's future co-girlfriends this season? 30. Their median age? 23. Countdown to the three hour premiere? Negative-10 minutes. The number of contestants from Chicago? Four. Number of women over 30? Just one sole survivor of The Great War, Natasha…

Hearing Chris Harrison call one of these women "the Forrest Gump of The Bachelor" in his torturous Facebook bio-release video? Absolutely priceless, my dudes.

Perhaps using a marketing rhetoric made popular by MasterCard commercials from 23 years ago is not the timeliest way to open 2020's Annual TATBT Bachelor Bio Breakdown. But who cares? The majority of these contestants were born in the exact same year as those MasterCard commercials: 1997! If any of them are reading this, they might think I invented that "priceless" phrasing style, and given that one-tenth of them are "marketing coordinators," I'm sure they'll be very impressed! [Ed. note: Hit me up ladies, I WILL write your charcoal toothpaste Instagram captions for you.]

But you know who’s probably less impressed with this season’s Bachelor bio roll out?

Every single former Bachelor contestant who are hopefully coming together at this very moment to file a class action lawsuit against ABC for how attractive Peter's women have been allowed to look in their cast photos.

Excuse me, exactly where have the Olan Mills jewel-tone backgrounds gone? Where the shiny foreheads and weird angles and washed-out skin? These women look flawless! I can only assume they're all monsters, and we've been presented with these photos of women-laughing-alone-with-salad (salad out of frame) simply to lure us into a false sense of security.

And li'l monsters, they very well should be. Your early twenties are precisely the time in one's life when you should be going full Jennifer's Body, chewing up men's spines and spitting them out. What should they not be doing? Competing for marriage on TV, probably. Truly, the only thing seven 23-year-olds should be gathered together for is a job fair…

Although, now that I think about it, a job fair kind of is what The Bachelor has become. A competition to see who will get the chance to earn those sweet, sweet FitFabFun dollars. When these women arrived at whatever Holiday Inn Express in whatever godforsaken American metropolis city was holding a Bachelor casting call, they were making an investment in their future.

One young woman, Savannah, just goes ahead and shouts out Revolve in her bio, and you have to appreciate the hustle. Embarrassingly, I recently purchased a pair of sequin pants from Revolve, and if I could have gotten those sequin pants plus an island-vacation for free, and all I had to do was make out with a pilot and/or embarrass myself on national TV, I would do it. These pants are very shiny.

And the economic prospects don’t just stop at hawking sequin pants! Jade Roper of "Jade and Tanner's wedding" fame just won $1 million on Draft Kings, and last night I saw Jesse Palmer in a Rooms To Go commercial, teeth gleaming like a row of Chiclets.

Aaaanyway, if you've noticed that I'm mostly harping on the youthful age of this season’s contestants, and have gone so far as to mention football in order to avoid talking about Peter, I would deem you as astute as Chris B. Harrison noticing that he called someone a “fan favorite” before the show has even aired.

It’s just that I have very little to say about Peter…

I know that he is your boyfriend. I recognize that he has a certain Sexy Hummel Doll appeal. I am aware that a woman who dated Luke P for a lengthy period of time and accepted a proposal of marriage from a dog food jingle writer named Jed said that Peter is good in bed. (And I know we love Hannah, but like, are we sure we should take Hannah's judgement as fact?) I think he seems like a very lovely vanilla-on-vanilla sheet cake that the nice woman at Harris Teeter wrote "this is a tall, brunette man" on in totally legible script. I just…

Feel nothing for him.And that's not fair! I liked Ben Higgins, who was as fat-free a vanilla bean yogurt as they make.

I disliked Colton because he didn't have a job — and Peter super has a job. That's his whole thing! He flies people around in planes and the bro fucking loves it. And while I kind of wish I could conjure more than a vague mental image of cheeks when I think of the man ABC has deemed this year's most eligible Bachelor, it's also a bit of a relief to be in the position of having exactly no expectations for Peter and his performance as the lead.

He cannot cry more than I expect him to; he cannot cry less than I expect him to. He cannot be dumber than I expect him to be; he cannot be smarter than I expect him to be. He cannot be hotter, or more charming, or well-spoken, or ill-equipped to handle this power than I know him to be, because of Peter the Pilot, I know nothing. I'm sorry to this man. I know I sound ridiculous. Soon, I will see Peter walking down a street and recognize him because he will be the man in a pilot's uniform making pilot-related puns, and I will know him to be the Bachelor/future-boyfriend of a number of women who own at least six pairs of Bella-Hadid-style biker shorts…

But mostly, to me, Peter is a handsome void, soon to be filled by 30 far more interesting women (and girls).

To hear Chris Harrison—your least favorite track on Michael Bublé’s Greatest Hits album—tell it, this dynamic group includes four bad-asses, and at least five hearts-of-gold…

It also includes a number of women of color, which the Bachelor bio writers simply cannot help but spin into a dynamic tapestry of microagressions. Women aren't from Nigeria, they're "from a diverse background"; Latina women are "fiery"; a black woman, whose physical form we can only see from the shoulders up, "may look like a city girl," but you guys, she grew up on a farm. Can you believe it??? A farm!

And according to Chris, one woman, Mykenna, "wears he heart on her sleeve, and that sleeve is on her face." Okay, that one's not a microagression, unless you count what my face did when Chris said it, which was rather threatening.

All in all, even though this year’s bios are back to being longer than a few sentences, they give us perhaps less than ever to work with. It's mostly just "Sarah R is a hopeless romantic who idolizes her grandparent's love" filler, instead of the stuff that really helps you get to know a woman like which kitchen appliance she would be if she could be any kitchen appliance, and what her worst date fear is. (It's diarrhea 100 percent of the time, but it's just nice to hear the Instagram models have to say it.)

Nevertheless, I'm sure these women will prove themselves immersion blenders and Nespresso machines in no time, so without further ado, it's time to…

MAKE WILD ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THEIR CHARACTER BASED SOLELY ON THEIR LOOKS AND A HANDFUL OF SENTENCES ABOUT THEIR LOVE OF BOOK CLUB AND TINY TATTOOS, PLUS WHATEVER WEIRD SHIT CHRIS HARRISON DECIDES TO SAY, SELECTED AT RANDOM AND IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

PAYTON, 23: Business Development Rep from Wellesley, MA

Most of these bios are about as interesting as a catalog for chunky orthopedic shoes, but Payton's just dives right into a Lifetime movie:

"Payton grew up in Ohio with her four siblings, and thanks to some serious Facebooking, she recently discovered that she has a fifth! After a stranger messaged her, she found out she has a long-lost sister."

And then whoever writes these things has the nerve to just move right along to talking about Payton's last serious relationship, as if anyone could be interested in hearing about one single other thing than her secret sister, and maybe her bulldog, Louise.

Payton's not very athletic, but loves the outdoors? Oh cool, but which one of her parents did she recently find out is a liar, and is this really the kind of thing to use an exclamation point about?

Payton's never met a stranger? I believe it, but also, was this a 23-and-Me situation, or did her secret sister always know about her other family, but Payton never did?

Oh, Payton enjoys a nice glass of wine? Totally, ME TOO, but also: does "long-lost" imply that this fifth child was somehow adopted, or abducted in a grocery store, or a sperm bank situation or…so help me, if one of these three hours isn't devoted to Payton's familial drama, I will…STILL WATCH THE REST OF THE SEASON, but I will BE FUMING THE WHOLE TIME. (Chris Harrison, a variety of fake mustaches in the Target clearance aisle, deems this "a very cool life story.")

EUNICE, 23: Flight Attendant from Chicago, IL

Hello, my name is Jodi and I'm obsessed with Eunice. First of all, she's hot with the name of a mean ghost—that's a power move! Second of all, "her signature dance move is the ponytail helicopter." Another power move, and one that requires a deep commitment to conditioning and regularly scheduled trims.

But mostly, Chris Harrison is teeing up some a Caelynn/Hannah-style run-in between Eunice and another flight attendant who runs in the same airline circles as her that I am very interested in. You know what's better than beauty pageant drama? FLIGHT ATTENDANT DRAMA. It's like beauty pageant drama that can fly.

Plus, Eunice also describes herself as a reformed sorority party girl, which at 23, means it's all still right there at surface, just waiting to erupt like geyser made of Everclear and Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes.

HANNAH ANN, 23: Model from Knoxville, TN

In the photos I’ve seen of her, Hannah Ann has those same kind of innately-panicked eyes that got the Peloton actress in so much hot water. It makes me worried that she's being forced to go on The Bachelor against her will by some sort of Knoxville Instagram model pimp.

As it turns out, that pimp is Hannah G, who also has panic-eyebrows now that I think about it. Chris Harrison tells us that Hannah Ann was sent to them by Hannah G from Colton’s season, who I guess she knows Hannah Ann from the Instagram model streets and carries a lot of weight now that she fell in luv on Bachelor In Paradise?

Hannah Ann’s bio truly could not be more boring (which basically guarantees a Final 4 finish) with all the tell-tale mentions of her parents being her role models and a non-professional interest in interior decorating. But Chris insists that "every bit of drama you could run into, that was Hannah Ann." I assume he means she was forced to ride a stationary bike every day for a year and vlog about it under threat of not receiving her daily allotment of BelVita breakfast biscuits. Or she’s an adorable nightmare — only time will tell!

JENNA, 22: Nursing Student from New Lenox, IL

At 22-years-old, I'm not sure Jenna can legally consent to being on this show. If you have to be a certain age to vote and a certain age to drink alcohol, I think you should have to be a certain age to choose to document your life on reality television. [Ed. note: And that age should be 45. Horny middle-aged people are SO much more interesting than horny young people, just watch The Real Housewives of New York City cast turn into sequin-clad sharks the moment a recently divorced entertainment lawyer with skin the consistency of beef jerky enters their feeding area.]

Jenna's bio states that after "a life-changing trip to Africa for a medical mission, Jenna realized that she needed to start doing activities to make herself happy and not be such a pushover." And I'm all for self-worth, but a medical mission to Africa is an extremely wild time to realize you need to give more to…yourself. Chris tells us that Jenna arrives on night one "with another lady and then leaves that lady with Peter," which he says is a show first, and I simply cannot stand for this DJ Aggro/Lucy the Dog erasure!

KIARRA, 23: Nanny from Kennesaw, GA

Kiarra seems very cute and like she's going to be sticking around awhile, but she has to know that in terms of red-flag-phrases, "can literally talk to a brick wall" is right up there with "gets along better with men than women" or "HATES drama" or "don't really know why I'm on this thing" in a Bumble bio. It's gonna be a left swipe from me, dawg.

And yet! Chris insists that Kiarra is a house favorite who immediately earns the nickname "Kiki." He also insists that her limo entrance is the rare one that impressed him because "she really put her life in danger…I'm not sure this is even legal, but she did it."

Did this woman…do an Amsterdam ping pong show in front of Peter? Chris, how man edibles did you take before this Facebook Live???

MADISON, 23: Foster Parent Recruiter from Auburn, AL

Madison is a four-time state basketball champion who would rather "rock a cool pair of Jordans than any heel," her dad is a coach at Auburn, if she could bring one book to a desert island it would be the Bible, she has already sold me four tubes of Colgate White, and at 23, has an actual job which is recruiting foster parents—if Madison doesn't have a Neil Lane diamond on her finger, a signed Bachelorette contract, or maybe her own Hallmark movie by the end of this, I will be shocked. SHOCKED!

KELLEY, 27: Attorney from Chicago, IL

But Kelley is also exuding some Big Bachelorette Energy. She's pretty, she has a real job as a lawyer, and “her most recent relationship was an international long-distance affair where she was traveling to Jordan once or twice a month”…so something is up. She's also really pushing being an independent woman "who doesn't need a man to take care of her" in her bio, and then ever so casually drops that she works at her dad's law firm. Which is fine! It does not discredit her hard work! It's just so perfectly Bachelorette.

I do feel a little better knowing that Kelley, a 27-year-old lawyer, will be in the house so that when someone inevitably starts a curling-wand-related grease fire, there's at least one person who stands the chance of knowing that you cannot put it out with micellar water. Chris Harrison tells us that Kelly "definitely knows how to work the game, and uses all the rules, and actually makes up rules, and finds loophole to her advantage." CHRIS. What rules?! Bro, r u ok???

NATASHA, 31: Event Planner from New York, NY

You guys, so sad, Natasha actually died peacefully in her sleep at her assisted living home after the first Rose Ceremony. At her age, it was to be expected after so much activity.

[Ed. note: I LOVE YOU, NATASHA! WE’RE THE SAME AGE, NATASHA! I KNOW YOU WOULD HAVE GOTTEN MY PRICELESS RIFF, NATASHA! I AM ROOTING FOR YOU, NATASHA!]

TAMMY, 24: House Flipper from Syracuse, NY

Okay, for Tammy alone, I will allow Chris Harrison—your second favorite pair of Warby Parker frames that you almost just went ahead and purchased, but then decided, no, not worth it, you should only buy the ones you really like—that "badass" moniker he so loves.

Tammy is a house flipper who has been working since she graduated high school. That is, high school, where Tammy was rejected from the all-boys wrestling team, so she showed up to every practice and pushed forward a Title IX complaint until she was allowed on the team, where she carried out a 7-1 varsity record. Also, Tammy simply didn't tell her mom she was coming on this show, which has a real "Baby Bekah is missing, oh wait, she was just working on a weed farm” energy that I’m into.

And just as one last reminder, Tammy is a professional house flipper. If this mermaid-haired woman doesn't have a show on Joanna Gaines' new TV network within the calendar year, then honestly, what has any of this been for?

KELSEY, 28: Professional Clothier from Des Moines, IA

Kelsey's bio is an utter emotional roller coaster for me. First, there's the sentence, "Kelsey has had her share of relationship issues in the past, but thanks to frequent Pilates classes, she's in peak physical and spiritual form." I am very pleased that exercise has had a positive impact on Kelsey's life…

But it is really asking a lot of me not to mock what is basically the equivalent of a T-shirt that says "Orange Theory is my therapy.” But then my girl Kelsey goes and talks about how much she likes crying, which, me too. And then Chris says he's pretty sure "Ashley I actually owns that intellectual property," which is hands down the funniest thing Chris has ever said…

But then Kelsey says if you want to give her a gift, "Don't get her flowers—get her chocolate!" so I'm back to rolling my eyes. But then Kelsey says she's like an onion, she has layers, and you know I stan a beautiful woman who loves Shrek!!! We might just have to call an audible on whether Kelsey is a dream or a nightmare dressed like a professional clothier (???) during Monday’s premiere.

LEXI, 26: Marketing Coordinator from New York, NY

Finally, some redhead visibility on The Bachelor…

And then Lexi has to come out here and says that "dating as a redhead is hard." Dammit, Lexi! If we don't stop calling each other sluts and [undesirable redheads], it just make it okay for other people to call us sluts and [undesirable redheads]!

VICTORIA F, 25: Medical Sales Rep from Virginia Beach, VA

And finally, we have Victoria F, the Forrest Gump of The Bachelor. I actually did understand what Chris Harrison, a batch of Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi you left in the microwave just a hair too long, was trying to say when he gave Victoria F this title. Chris says that Victoria F "goes through everything you could go through on this show, and in a weird way, everything that happened was actually a Bachelor first." Like how Forrest Gump invented that smiley face shirt, and started Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and taught Elvis how to dance.

What seafood companies Victoria F will start, or rock n' roll legacies she will create during her tenure on The Bachelor remains to be seen, but I know this: no woman has been teed up this hard in a long time. This tiny person who just wants a man that will love her dog Buxton unconditionally better wreak some havoc. I'm talking, run through the Reflecting Pool at a protest rally, make Peter’s mom cry, become an international ping pong champion, shave another woman’s head in her sleep kind of drama…

Image result for forrest gump reflecting pool gif

And with that, we must turn our eyes to the actual three-hour Bachelor premiere, where these women will speak actual words, 50 percent of which will be aviation puns. The other 50 percent will be windmill puns. If Peter has a speaking voice, I am unaware of the fact, but I promise to be open minded, and never compare him to mayonnaise even if he picks a 23-year-old marketing coordinator over my best friend, Tammy. See you back here later this week! Tell all your Bachelor-loving frands to sign up for TATBT!

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