… I don’t want to talk about it.
… I have to talk about it because that’s what my job is, but I am bereft and downtrodden because a certain someone was taken from us all too soon.
I can’t do this. This is too much. I’m no longer convinced that Ben is the male equivalent of a bowl of Starbucks oatmeal, but now I know his true nature. He’s cruel and unforgiving. He’s the male equivalent of McDonald’s oatmeal. I don’t care if that’s unkind. McDonald’s oatmeal was unkind. Even my boyfriend, who I’ve tricked into watching The Bachelor by telling him eventually it turns into a Royal Rumble moderated by Stephanie McMahon, wants to stop watching, because our dear, sweet, complicated Jubilee is gone. Let’s try to get through this together, America. We must forge on. At the very least, to honor Jubilee and all our nation’s veterans who go on reality-TV shows to find love.
This week, the bowl of McDonald’s oatmeal and the ladytestants find themselves in Mexico City. The ladytestants fly coach because ABC is too bereft. Bereft of giving a damn about their well-being and status. McDonald’s oatmeal knows that Mexico City is the political and cultural capital of Mexico. Good for you, Oatmeal, you read a book.
We’re halfway through the season, and things are happening fast. One twin has moved on from her sister being gone, Olivia is excited to use the hotel-room bidet, and Leah is still there.
I want everyone to go back through the last four episodes and count how many times we actually see Leah’s face or how many times she interacts with Oatmeal, because I know she’s still part of the show, but I’ll be damned if I know a single thing about her. She works in … lamps?
The date card arrives, and it’s for Amanda, our favorite squeaky-voiced single mom. The other ladytestants narrow their eyes and wonder if Oatmeal really wants to marry Amanda, because if he does, he’ll suddenly be a dad. Olivia prepares a hex to cast over Amanda using the love language that only she and Oatmeal share.
Before Olivia has time to cast a spell on Amanda, Oatmeal sneaks into everyone’s hotel room like la migra, shining a flashlight in their faces and demanding to know whose weave is sitting on the table at 4:20 in the morning “to see the girls in their element.” ABC is still manufacturing things for Oatmeal to do that seem interesting and provide conflict because politely waiting for your date to wake up doesn’t get ratings, damn it!
A fat ABC executive in a pinstripe suit and spats smoking an oversize cigar told me to say that while I slammed my fist on my large hewn oak desk. Then he kicked me out of his office because he had to offer Serena Williams a contract playing tennis forever on Moron Mountain.
Oatmeal gets to Amanda’s room, where she’s lying in bed with lip gloss, a blowout, and her eyebrows completely done. A real natural beauty, that one.
Their date is riding around in hot air balloons over the ancient city of Teotihuacan while Ben recites fun facts off index cards handed to him by some hapless PA. Did you know that the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Pyramid of the Sun share the same size base? Did you know Teotihuacan means “City of the Gods”? Did you know that McDonald’s Oatmeal is loaded with red and green apples, dried cranberries, and two kinds of raisins? The more you know!
Amanda and Oatmeal lie in the grass — where I’m sure countless human sacrifices were held until they met their fate atop the pyramids of Teotihuacan — and talk about their feelings. Amanda doesn’t have to date because she doesn’t have the time or ability to focus on herself. She’s a mother. She also has a dark past, and she’s terrified to reveal it to Oatmeal.
If you asked me, I thought she was going to reveal that that Lifetime TV-movie, Blue-Eyed Butcher, was based on her life story, but no, she was just married to a jerk and got a divorce. That sucks, and is certainly a difficult thing to go through. But she should spare us all the talk about wondering if Oatmeal will accept her and the ghosts of her past. You got divorced; you’re not Lizzie Borden … subject of Lifetime TV-movie Lizzie Borden Took an Ax.
The seeds of unrest are beginning to sprout in Jubilee. She’s getting more and more uneasy. It’s becoming harder for her to see him progress with the ten other ladytestants, and she doesn’t know if she’s going to get any one-on-one time with him this week. And because Mr. Swackhammer, aforementioned ABC executive and Space Jam villain, wants only to see pain and suffering in the world, Jubilee is going on the group date this week.
She’s going with Becca, Jojo, Caila, Emily, Lauren B., Jennifer, Leah (SERIOUSLY WHO IS LEAH), and … oh God … Olivia.
Lauren H. realizes that she’s getting the one-on-one date through process of elimination and spills her breakfast wine, she’s so excited. A blood vessel pops in Olivia’s eye because she’s trying to keep her anger off her face. “Am I threatened? No. He’s mine. I need him,” she snarls out past gritted teeth.
Meanwhile, Oatmeal continues to be a sad-sack and not understand how human emotions work. He asks Amanda how her husband could leave her when she’s so great, and how someone as great as her could like him. That’s just what women want — men to incredulously ask why your last relationship ended. Amanda gets a rose.
It’s time for the group date, which Oatmeal preps for by reading a Spanish-to-English dictionary in his leisure time. He challenges the women to learn about the culture by making funny noises with their mouths and go grocery shopping. He’s going to give the rose to whoever stands out by making the best effort. I figured that at least one of these girls would have a year or two of high-school Spanish under their belt, but everyone is acting like they didn’t even know Spanish was a language. What did they think Selena was singing in all those years? Gibberish and a sequin bra?
My dear, sweet, complicated Jubilee is withering away in front of our eyes. She gets more and more insecure and unwilling to play the game where you’re totally cool with the guy you like dating 10 to 20 women in front of you, week after week, and jokes that he’s saying te amo to everyone else. SHE’S NOT WRONG. She’s also crafting amazing poetic statements of romantic frustration: “I’m spending time being jealous whenever he takes another girl’s hand and it’s not mine. I feel like you’re sitting here dying for a glance.”
Maybe her occupation should read: “War Veteran. Poet.”
The ladytestants and Oatmeal head over to a fancy restaurant in Mexico City to have a cook-off. A brother and sister tell them that once a woman knows how to cook, she’s ready to get married. Thank you, weird, old-timey Mexican wives’ tale. I guess I’ve been ready to get married when I turned 11 and my mom finally let me use the stove to boil water for instant ramen and … oatmeal.
Jubilee and Olivia lock horns over who gets to cook with Ben. I mean literally: Olivia grows Maleficent-style horns in this episode when she thinks her time with Oatmeal is being threatened, but then she says she called dibs on him, and Jubilee reluctantly backs off.
Oatmeal jokes that he’s not the Bachelor; he’s the Spatchelor. Like spatula and bachelor combined. This is why he’s Oatmeal.
Jojo won’t stop talking about Oatmeal tasting her taco. I don’t have a joke for that. That’s just a thing we all need to be okay with.
Olivia feeds Oatmeal crickets and wants to find her giddy smile again with him. Jubilee loves to cook and wants to impress Oatmeal. Later, when the brother-and-sister matchmaking-chef duo judge the dishes, they declare Olivia’s dish “dog food” and make Lauren B. and Jubilee the winners! But does Jubilee reap any prize from this? NO! Nothing is given to her because no one cares about her like I do.
At the cocktail party, Oatmeal kisses everyone and roams the streets of Mexico City with a woman in white. Jubilee grows even more uneasy as she watches Oatmeal parade around with … Leah? Is that when Leah does something? Jubilee won’t hold his hand when they go have some alone time because she doesn’t want to make the other ladytestants jealous.
Oatmeal questions why this is all so hard for Jubilee. Why? WHY? Maybe because Jubilee is a wonderful person and you’re just ignoring your true feelings for her, Oatmeal. Maybe because she’s the only one this entire season to acknowledge just how freaking weird it is to pretend it’s not gross to kiss a dude after he’s kissed nine other women THAT DAY. Maybe because Jubilee is the only one on the show who seems like a real human rather than a robot built in a Lululemon powered by mimosas.
But because Jubilee was always going to be eliminated for our sins, Oatmeal asks her to leave and she ascends to heaven. She says that she’s the most unlovable person in the world right now. That’s not true because literally all of the Republican presidential candidates still exist. Farewell, sweet princess.
Olivia gets the date rose because life isn’t fair.
Oatmeal goes on a one-on-one date with Lauren H., and he wears a hideous shirt in a fashion show. Seriously, nothing major happened. She had a sucky boyfriend once who cheated on her, and Oatmeal and Lauren H. put on fun ponchos for a bit. She gets a date rose. Whatever.
Back at the hotel for the cocktail party, Olivia speaks into her group-date rose like a microphone, shouting that she loves candles and calling Amanda an episode of Teen Mom. Twin decides that enough is enough! She’s saying something to Oatmeal.
Twin takes Oatmeal aside and tells him that Olivia is disrespectful and when Olivia got the group-date rose, it made Twin question everything. Is her job even Twin anymore? She breaks down into tears, telling Oatmeal that Olivia is a bully.
I’m not trying to defend the heffa, but have we actually seen Olivia bully the other ladytestants? She popped out of a cake halfheartedly, but I don’t think she’s a bully. She is just a try-hard who I believe is lying about her age.
Either way, Oatmeal decides it’s time to do something, and asks to speak with Olivia in private.
TO BE CONTINUED.