The Bachelor Winter Games Finale Recap: The Strengthening

Photo: Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC
The Bachelor Winter Games

The Bachelor Winter Games

Episode 4 Season 1 Episode 4
Editor's Rating 3 stars

The Bachelor Winter Games is a success? Everyone found love? Not exactly. There is one big failure of The Bachelor universe and quite frankly, our society. And that’s that Tonya Harding is on the hottest red carpets and Nancy Kerrigan is moonlighting as an ice-skating coach on The Bachelor. This is not restorative justice and this needs to be corrected. But let’s get into the final episode of Winter Games.

Does anyone know what or how they win? Everyone is excited to win, but what does that mean? There’s one more challenge and it’s couples’ ice dancing. Chris Harrison delivers the final challenge and Ashley stands up and demands a fantasy suite. But why even have fantasy suites? You’re in a house alone all day. The whole place is a fantasy suite. Each couple heads to rehearsal for their ice-dancing routine. Courtney and Lily ask if they can include a kangaroo hop on the ice. I think we’ve all been sleeping on Courtney and Lily. They are playful, they don’t take themselves too seriously, and they both have cute-as-hell accents. If this competition were up to me, this competition wouldn’t exist. But if it had to exist, Courtney and Lily would be the ones to beat.

After the rehearsals, Jordan and Bibiana stumble into an incredibly difficult conversation. Jordan wants to ask Bibiana what their future together is going to look like. Bibiana immediately bursts into tears and tells him that she can’t give him an answer. She feels really bad, but no one is talking about the fact that he lives in New Zealand. I break out in hives when I have to even think about moving across town. Every time Bibiana and Jordan come together, he tells her that he doesn’t need an answer and doesn’t want to pressure her … but he would love some kind of answer. Bibiana starts packing her suitcase out of anxiety and stands alone in a room with snowshoes on the wall. Jordan comes to hug her one more time and Bibiana says she realizes they aren’t on the same page and she has to go home. Jordan feels that he screwed up and maybe if he waited a day or two, the conversation could have gone a little bit better.

Half of the house was asleep when Bibiana and Jordan went home and news of their departure spreads as they get ready to head to the ice rink. They practice on the ice with Nancy Kerrigan, Tai Babilonia, and Randy Gardner. We all could be watching actual figure skating, but I guess this is fine. Even Nancy Kerrigan is over the arbitrary criteria of the challenge: At one point, she rolls her eyes and says “chemistry” with air quotes when she’s talking to the contestants.

Chris Harrison surprises them all with a fantasy suite card! They get a final one-on-one date and they can decide to spend the night together in a charming bed and breakfast. Winter Games has really phoned in the whole date segment of the show. These fantasy suites don’t really feel consequential when everyone has been sharing one big house.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY PROPOSAL: For the next Bachelor spinoff, and you know there’s going to be even more of these, eliminate the whole competition and elimination and just make Bachelor House. I’d watch a season-long series of various Bachelor contestants living in a house. Still push them to fall in love and whatnot, but it doesn’t seem like anyone really gives a shit about the dates and none of them were that inspiring anyway, so just cut them out all together and let everybody loose in a bang house. I’ll take my check now, ABC.

Luke and Stassi are the only couple who don’t choose to go to the fantasy suite together because of Stassi’s views. Luke seems supportive of her now, but just you wait. Dean and Lesley and Courtney and Lily spend the night in their fantasy suites. Kevin and Ashley have another long conversation about what her virginity means and for someone who doesn’t want to be defined by her virginity, Ashley loves talking about it. Honestly, I don’t want her to lose her virginity in a Bachelor fantasy suite because that means we’ve failed women. That’s just the darkest timeline for a woman’s sexual awakening. Besides, they can just go down on each other a bunch.

It’s time for the competition. Everyone has been given My Size Barbie’s ice-skating outfits to put on to prepare for their big performance. Lesley puts a smoky eye on Dean and they’re ready to rock. They bring that li’l girl and her high-ass voice to sing that damn song again. I know she’s a child and I know a high-school music teacher wrote that song, but it’s a bad song and the way she sings it makes me uncomfortable.

Then it’s time for the skating. Do you care? Of all the challenges, this one is the most fun because it gives everyone the chance to not take themselves so seriously and just laugh. That’s something this whole franchise desperately needs. Stassi is very bendy and the kangaroo hop is adorable. Ashley and Kevin pull off an impressive lift even though Kevin’s knee got fucked up. They are given the final gold rose and declared the winners of Winter Games! I guess since the thirstiest bitch in all of Bachelor history has found love and won something, it’s time to shut this whole thing down.

But before we can do that, it’s time for “The World Tells All” where leaders from across the globe gather for a summit on how to deal with the rising threat of terror and global warning and what’s going on with Ashley I.’s hymen. Yes, it’s time for a quick check in with all the major players of Winter Games. Up first is Jordan and Bibiana. They both say that they adore each other and they just weren’t on the same page. It’s a pretty amicable break-up for The Bachelor franchise and I just want Bibiana to be happy. After a little good-natured ribbing to Ally having a full-on body heave at the thought of kissing Josiah, Yuki gets a spotlight. She says she didn’t find a boy, but she found a new best friend, Oatmeal! In response, Oatmeal delivers a stirring speech about Yuki in a language that she doesn’t entirely understand. (That’s not a dig — the girl don’t speak fluent English.)

Courtney and Lily are still together and they’ve settled in L.A. after a cross-country road trip. Their segment is so cute it’s probably going to be on the CW this spring starring that girl from Modern Family. Dean and Lesley have their turn on the couch and they fake us out with Dean delivering a passionate speech and getting down on a knee. He presents her with his house key in a Neil Lane box.

Then it’s time for Luke and Stassi and ooooooooooh shit. There were some rumors of Luke’s bad behavior after Jojo’s season in the brief window where he was a Bachelor contender and it seems his bad habits haven’t changed. Stassi gets some time alone in the hot seat and says that everything changed once the season ended. Luke didn’t even have her phone number. When Luke comes out, Stassi shakes his hand and says, “Stassi. Nice to meet you.” WHERE WAS STASSI THE SHADY QUEEN ALL SEASON? Stassi has lots of questions for Luke and he insinuates that they had lots of questions for each other and it just didn’t work. Stassi says, “Was I unconscious for these conversations? Was I alive?” Luke gives her useless platitudes that would fit in in a Country Music Television made-for-TV movie. The most telling moment is when Luke thinks the cameras are off him when they go to commercial, but Stassi keeps pressing him and all he can say is, “Yeah. Yeah. Sure,” while not even making eye contact. Can we just cancel this motherfucker already? ABC knew well enough not to make him the Bachelor. Stop subjecting women to this idiot.

Now it’s time for the winners of Winter Games! Ashley and Kevin. I continue to be just as stunned as all of you. Chris Harrison tells Ashley, “A lot has been made of your virginity.” YEAH. BY HER. She won’t shut the fuck up about it but noooooowwwwww, her sex life is private? Your sex life could have been private this whole time. Ashley and Kevin are happy together and I guess it’s good that these two people with extreme facial features found each other.

Finally, the post–Winter Games romance you’ve all been waiting for. Clare gets in the hot seat and says that there was a man who just kept fighting for her? Who the hell are these men fighting? Are there feudal lords in Sacramento? You expect these real-estate agents and software salesmen to protect you? Benoit comes up to the stage to claim his woman. He texted her after the season was over to make sure she was okay and Chris Harrison says, “You wore her down, huh?” Can we stop with this as a romantic notion? That men should be wearing women down. Clare also says that Benoit “puts up with her crazy.” Is this annoying-white-romance-tropes bingo? Is someone trying to kill the feminist inside me? All that trope does is insinuate that women are unmanageable and women who are “difficult” or “crazy” are less worthy of love and men who love them deserve a prize. That men deserve a pat on the back for dealing with half of the population and that straight men should get a parade for being in relationships WITH THE PEOPLE THEY ARE ATTRACTED TO. Hard pass on all that. Benoit gets down on a knee and pops open that Neil Lane box and proposes. If they filmed this season in November to Decemeber-ish and it’s February now, Benoit and Clare have been dating for MAX four months. To a lasting, healthy marriage!

The Bachelor Winter Games Finale Recap: The Strengthening