The Bachelor Winter Games Recap: The Wrong Reasons

Photo: ABC
The Bachelor Winter Games

The Bachelor Winter Games

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

All rise for the singing of the Bachelor Winter Games National Anthem:

O! Bachelor Winter Games something to replace Paradise  
Oh Bachelor, sweet Bachelor, vote off the people you don’t think are nice
In the time that we share, let’s go make out in a hot tub
Oh Bachelor, sweet Bachelor, these are the only people we could wrestle up
The reason’s right, Instagram sponsorship deals are bright to win your heart so true
Oh Bachelor, sweet Bachelor, there has to be something better to do.

The people of The Bachelor have finally cracked it. The Bachelor Winter Games is the RuPaul’s Drag Race season two of dating shows. They’ve turned this whole enterprise into an episode of Black Mirror. They’ve finally figured out how to weaponize “here for the right reasons.” Have you ever wondered what The Bachelor would be if the ladytestants could vote each other off for the vague crime of “being here for the wrong reasons”? That’s a very specific dream, but now you’ve got it. We’re going to see this international gang of ladytestants and contesticles eat through each other to find love. And if you were thinking that this was going to be a fun romp through the snow, you’re fucking wrong, Brenda.

We get a few intro packages from American favorites. Up first is Oatmeal. He’s been spending his time wearing shawl-collar sweaters, drinking from rustic ceramic mugs, and staring out the window while sitting in a leather chair. He’s the model of rugged American masculinity if you turned the lights out behind its eyes. Up next is Bibiana, she’s been spending her time rollerblading in Florida wearing a loose sweater and a bodysuit. Dean realizes he looked like an asshole and he’s been spending his time learning how to make difficult decisions like, “Should I eat pasta tonight?” Clare is back again for yet another chance at love. And girl? No one cares that Winter Games didn’t exist when you said you retired. This is a fake show and your retirement means nothing. We all know you need that Sugar Bear Hair gummy money. Josiah is worried about looking arrogant, Leslie is recovering from a double mastectomy and shouldn’t have to deal with any of this, and Ashley I. has been getting ready by skiing on sand and she’s still a virgin.

Before we can get to all the fun and games, it’s time for a parade! Who doesn’t love a parade with a production value of about $87.50?

This small town in Vermont is all aflutter with fitness entrepreneurs trying for their third or fourth time at love. After the American squad comes in, Japan hits the parade route with … one person and a guy in a samurai costume. The Japanese delegation is Yuki! Remember her? Yuki came in fifth on The Bachelor Japan and she does not speak any English. The only things words she knows in English are, “Thank you okay hello good-bye I love you will you marry me.” She’s my favorite to win. I love her and her marabou-covered shoes.

Canada sent two men in their delegation: Kevin and Benoit. Benoit speaks French and is so, so French. Zoe is the representative from The Bachelor China and she’s got an effortless oversize wardrobe. She’s dressed like someone who would be featured on a street-style post about Beijing Fashion Week.

Host Chris makes sure to tell us that on The Bachelor China, the farthest that they go is kissing and most of the contestants don’t even do that. Way to exoticize the contestants from around the globe!

The U.K. sent Laura, who is known for flipping off the Bachelor. Australia sent two competitors. Tiffany and Courtney. Tiffany is famous for developing a relationship with one of the other ladytestants on her season. She says she’s willing to date men or women on Winter Games. This is all cute except none of the other women are. You have to cast more than one out bisexual for some same-sex hookups. Meanwhile, Courtney has my favorite “Previously on The Bachelorette” package: He tells the Bachelorette, “Do I know if I’ll be in love with you by the end of this? I don’t know. Do I love you now? No,” and the Bachelorette just says, “I think it’s time for you to go.”

There’s a random Vermont high-schooler dressed as a Viking and Santa to introduce the teams from Finland and Sweden.

Let me tell y’all right now. It’s hard enough for me to tell all these five-foot-eight white women apart when they’re American. Now you expect me to tell a bunch of people from countries with absolutely no diversity in the gene pool apart? They couldn’t wrangle up a scrappy Swedish girl detective-type with an undercut for this?

When it’s time to introduce New Zealand, they managed to find eight white guys who were willing to put on some face paint and costume-store grass skirts and perform some version of the haka. You know, the traditional Māori dance and war chant? One of the “warriors” had a hand grenade tattoo on his chest.

Our final international delegation comes from Germany and Switzerland. Christian was on two different countries’ version of The Bachelor, so in my mind, he’s Europe’s Nick Viall.

After all the countries have marched in, we’re treated to the performance of the Winter Games national anthem. This song was written by a local high-school music teacher and performed by a high-school student and contains the lyrics, “We want to see this through.” Even a high-school teacher knows this franchise has a tenuous grasp on their place in the reality TV landscape. Trista and Ryan jog in carrying a lantern from Pier One to light the eternal flame of global love. The Games have begun!

Every week, there will be a different winter sport and the winner from the men and women will get a date card, but tonight, it’s time for a little intercontinental mingling. Kevin and Bibiana find a couch to get to know each other while Ashley I. hides in a potted plant. Josiah pulls that classic “hitting on a white girl” move and compliments her butt. He actually uses the word “badonkadonk” in the Year of Our Beyoncé 2018. He’s hitting it off with Ally and they end up making out on the couch. She says they had a real cheeky little snog. There are already a few couples forming: Dean and Leslie, Bibiana and Kevin, Josiah and Ally.

The first event of the season is the biathlon. They’ll have to cross-country ski and then shoot a giant rose-shaped target. The actual “sports” of the thing aren’t particularly interesting. Kevin gives Bibiana some tips, but the cutest moment is Eric Bigger finishing last and telling Chris Harrison that the race isn’t finished until he’s done. It’s Miracle Season!

Kevin wins the date card and so does Rebecca, then Ashley I. manages to have a full-scale meltdown over a man she’s spoken all of 15 words to. She’s convinced that Kevin has to give her the date card because she looked at him. Is everyone else as emotionally exhausted by Ashley I. as I am? She’s screaming and crying and laughing. It feels like she’s playing Harley Quinn in a high-school production of Suicide Squad.

Kevin takes Bibiana on the date and Rebecca asks Luke. We get about one minute of footage about the date, so who cares? And once it’s obvious that the dates essentially don’t matter, this all becomes a nihilist exercise.

It’s time for the rose ceremony. Host Chris lays down the twist and everyone flips the fuck out. And starts targeting Josiah.

Wait … WHAT?

I don’t even need to say it.

Everyone gets to vote and Host Chris tallies the votes. Three women and two men will be eliminated. Clare plays Christian and Benoit and Oatmeal and Josiah campaign to remain on the show.

It’s time for the rose ceremony.

Rebecca and Kevin get the first two roses, so they are enlisted to hand out the roses to the rest of the group. Jenny, Leslie, Stasi, Lily, Yuki, Clare, Bibiana, Ally, Tiffany, and Ashley I. all get roses. Luke, Dean, Oatmeal, Courtney, Christian, Benoit, Michael, and Josiah all get roses.

Zoe leaves and she floats out in a cloud of oversize casual pinstripe. Laura runs out to the car to whisk her to the airport without her coat AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN GIVE THE BLACK GIRL A PACKAGE. DID ANYONE SAY HER NAME? DID SHE PASS THE BECHDEL TEST?

Eric goes home because we don’t deserve him. And so does Jamey? From Rachel’s season? Bitch, who?

I’ll see everyone … ON THURSDAY?! THIS IS TWICE A WEEK? O! Bachelor, Sweet Bachelor!

The Bachelor Winter Games Premiere Recap: The Wrong Reasons