Inside the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa in Las Vegas, an ABC executive lies on a rotating bed below a ceiling of mirrors. Across the room, a man from the Las Vegas tourism board looks up from the bottle of champagne he’s popping and his jaw drops.
“You look — “
“Shhhh … ” The executive stops him. “Tonight isn’t about that. Tonight is about putting together a moderately humiliating talent show for women whose job descriptions include ‘unemployed’ and ‘twin.’ Tonight is about The Bachelor using its newfound budget surplus to distract from Ben’s lack of personality with a flashy trip. Never mind that we sent Chris Soules to South Dakota. We’re going big this season and you can help me with that. Now, Dimitri, come to bed.”
Viva Las Vegas, America! This week, the remaining lady-testants are greeted by Host Chris telling them that Ben has packed his bags and left town. For a moment, I was relieved that the lady-testants were free of Ben’s knock-off Justin Timberlake haircut and could return to their lives. But no, the competition is going to Las Vegas.
The first-date card is waiting in the suite in Las Vegas. Olivia hopes that she’ll have a one-on-one with Ben and he’ll take her to see Celine Dion. Y’know, I would love for my date to take me to see Celine Dion. (Hey bae, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Yes, I know it’s more than our dollar limit but pleeease?) Haley and Emily are so excited that the competition is going to their hometown they’re unable to speak in twin unison. Do they need to recharge their twin powers like the Green Lantern power ring? Is that what that Ryan Reynolds movie is about?
The lady-testants line up in their loose white tops and distressed jeans and open the first date card. Jojo is going on a date with Ben! I guess she has to get ready to … get out (leave) right now. I admire my restraint to make a JoJo joke until now. Ben picks up Jojo and they have a drink on a parking lot rooftop and are physically blown away by a landing helicopter. They make out as all the other lady-testants watch in disgust. Olivia plots her revenge because she’s watching her husband make out with someone else. Relax.
Jojo and Ben have a date and whatever. Insecurity! Trust issues! Her boyfriend was texting other chicks! Blah blah blah. This date is currently happening in Cheesecake Factories around the country. Jojo gets the rose.
The problem with Ben is that he brings no inherent drama or interest to the dates, so the women have to generate all the intrigue themselves. He’s a blank slate in a Macy’s store-brand sweater asking, “So what’s up with you?” after you just told him what’s up with you.
It’s time for the group date: Amanda, Jubilee, Caila, Lauren B., Amber, Haley, Emily, Leah, Lauren H., Jennifer, Rachel, and Olivia all report to the Terry Fator Theater to hang out with a ventriloquist. No, thank you. This is a real missed opportunity to make these girls do a showgirl challenge — put them all in headdresses, see if their nipples and hips line up, and find out who can’t take it when a businessman from Omaha tries to slip a Benjamin in their garter.
Fun Fact: Terry Fator has a section on his Wikipedia page titled “Getting ventriloquism taken seriously.”
Terrifying Fact: Terry Fator’s Wikipedia page refers to one of his puppets as “his best puppet friend.”
So, the lady-testants have to put on a talent show. Haley and Emily choose Irish dance, the least sexual dance form. Lauren H. wears a chicken suit and that’s about it. Jubilee plays the cello because she is amazing and sophisticated. Someone is just on a pogo stick. This kid named Luke did that every year in my middle-school talent show. One year our teacher put a microphone on him so we could all hear his hot breath as he pogoed around the stage.
Olivia’s talent? Making it about herself. She dresses up in a showgirl costume and pops out of a cake and somehow manages to make that unsexy. Somewhere my burlesque teachers are feeling a pain in their souls.
Throughout the show, a cougar puppet heckles the women. Ben hugs the puppet. This must be stopped.
After the “talent” “show,” the lady-testants meet Ben poolside for a cocktail party. Lauren H. kisses the Ben puppet. Dang, white women will do anything to win this show. Ben calls Caila a sex panther without a hint of irony.
Olivia steals Ben away from everyone like four times and I already regret not having her in my Bachelor draft at this point in the season. She feels awful because she tries to be sexy, but always makes it awkward. Ben tells her to stop apologizing for making everything about herself. Olivia starts referring to herself in the third person while dressed as a pastel gray witch because she contains both the light and the dark. Ben gives the group-date rose to Lauren B.
Everyone is wearing bathrobes with perfect blowouts the next day when Becca gets a box with a wedding dress in it. Becca goes with Ben to officiate weddings. Let me just say — this is a creepy weird date. It’s also hella rude for Becca to wear white at other people’s weddings.
Jubilee gets in a couple great lines about Becca slipping on a wedding dress: “That’s the perfect person to wear white. If she hasn’t lost it in 26 years, it’s not gonna happen in six hours.” Jubilee is beautifully unbothered.
After “officiating” other people’s weddings and Ben’s fake proposal, Becca and Ben head to the Neon Museum, which is most famous for appearing in National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation. Ben wants to know the “big things” about Becca: Can she love? Can she feel? Can she commit? Ben thinks Becca is a robot. Ben and I don’t disagree. He sees her virginity as proof that she can make a commitment. Yeah, I guess a woman’s sexual status is proof of something about her personality. Yeah, we’re all okay with that. Ben and Becca make dating vows to each other and they are creepy. This whole thing is creepy. Becca gets a rose.
Then there’s a twist! Ben wants to take out Haley and Emily because this whole twin thing is getting weird. They’re in the twins’ hometown, so why not cheat a hometown visit. He’s going to figure out which genetically identical woman is better. Also, Haley and Emily’s mom is EXACTLY how I imagined the Vegas mother of twins on The Bachelor. Her jeans are SO distressed.
This date forces me to attempt to tell the twins apart. I fail. Haley has pictures of her ex-boyfriend all over her room. Emily uses her time alone with Ben to bash her sister. Ben asks their mother to help tell them apart … personality-wise. In the end, Ben picks Emily and leaves Haley crying with her mom.
It’s time for the cocktail party. Olivia continues to be insecure under the guise of extreme confidence. Jubilee continues to be insecure for no damn reason because she is literally perfection. Ben holds Jubilee’s hand and tells her to get over her lack of confidence — being complicated is a good thing. It’s always nice to see couples have qualities the others lack.
At the rose ceremony, Olivia thinks, “This is going to work for me, I read a lot of romance novels where this comes together.” Amber says that if Ben got down on one knee, it would mean the world to her. GIRL WHAT. In what universe is that even plausible? You don’t even know him. Seriously. Your thirst is reaching dangerous levels.
Amanda, Lauren H., Jubilee (YES!), Emily, Caila, Jennifer, Leah (Who?), and Olivia all get roses.
Caila teaches Ben a game where you put a cookie on your face, and Rachel cries on her way out the door because she was the only one who hadn’t kissed him. That’s tragic because he kissed everybody. He probably even kissed that cougar puppet.