We all must confront the truth. Arie is the most boring human being to wander this big beautiful marble.
You’re probably saying to yourself, “Ali! Ali! We all know Arie is boring! You called him the human equivalent of a driving moccasin!” I know I did and I’d call him that to his damn face. I’m not scared of him. He’s got all the excitement of boil-in-a-bag rice. He’s like a pair of Transitions lenses come to life.
(Here’s a discussion question for the group: Does Arie think he’s boring? Does he think he’s cool? Does he look in the mirror and go, “I’m a cool and interesting dude”?)
What’s even worse is that he’s not just impossibly boring. He’s insincere. I can’t point to a single genuine moment he’s had with any of the ladytestants. Well, that’s not true — the most genuine moment we’ve seen from him is his reaction to Bekah revealing that she is 22. We saw real fear, real terror, real emotion. If the most compelling emotional moment of the season is watching a 36-year-old man do quick mental math to figure out if he’s broken any statutory laws, we’ve all failed. By the end of the episode, we’re down to the final six, but none of them even know what Arie wants. This episode features THREE scenes of Arie watching the ladytestants come down stairs in revealing outfits.
He can barely muster anything that resembles human affection. The ladytestants are all quivering and whimpering about their inability to open up and Arie is telling a truly devastating story of a breakup like he’s recounting an episode of JAG. He’s more interested in someone saying they’re ready to marry him than he is understanding who they are.
Let’s get into this beige nightmare.
Arie describes Paris in the same way as Fort Lauderdale: cool and sexy. If you wanted to end up on your ass, take a drink every time Arie described something or someone as, “It’s cool, it’s sexy.” This was definitely Paris for the girl who formed her entire idea of Paris from the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! and the series finale of Sex and the City. All of these ladytestants are that girl. Mainly because they’re all 26 years old.
It’s going to be an action-packed week with four dates. Two one-on-one dates, a group date, and finally a two-on-one date. Everyone knows that at least one of the two-on-one date slots is going to be filled by Krystal. Weirdly, she knows it. She’s eager to go on the two-on-one in order to consume her rival, fuse their DNA together, and increase the length of her telomeres to live longer. But we can’t get there yet. First, it’s time for Lauren’s one-on-one date.
This season feels all wonky. A one-on-one date this late in the game would normally suggest that you’re just cannon fodder, and it would end in a tense conversation about how the relationship hasn’t progressed enough or someone would eliminate themselves out of frustration. But I think Lauren B. might be a front-runner.
Lauren looks like Stefan Urquelle version of Lauren Bushnell, Oatmeal’s ex-fiancée. Lauren B. walks silently with Arie through the streets of Paris, only opening her mouth to whisper, “Wow.”
She’s decided that her main struggle is that she hasn’t opened up enough to Arie. Arie really wants his relationship with Lauren B. to work. Why? We’ve literally seen these people talk ONCE. Who cares if this non-relationship doesn’t work out?
Arie opens up first about his worst heartbreak. He was living with his girlfriend who had two children from a previous relationship and she was pregnant with Arie’s child, but she lost the child while he was away racing and told him to move out.
If anyone was looking for a compelling Arie narrative, this is it. Who cares about his previous stint on The Bachelorette, this motherfucker has lived the plot of a Lifetime movie and we’re somehow not constantly talking about it.
Lauren feels that it’s her turn to open up. She talks about how even though her parents have been married for over 30 years, they’ve been through some rough patches and put her in the middle. It’s pretty callous, but everyone has that moment when they realize their parents’ marriage isn’t perfect and they went through some rough patches. Maybe her parents had some particularly difficult periods, but it mostly just sounds like a 25-year-old striving to sound like they’ve lived a hard life. She even manages to bury the lede because she reveals she was engaged and that relationship failed.
How have so many of these women in their mid-20s been engaged or married and still ended up single to be on this show? Was that one of the screening questions?
Lauren gets the rose.
Back at the U by Uniworld Millennial River Cruise, the group-date card arrives. Bekah M., Becca K., Tia, Sienne, Chelsea, and Jenna head out for their date and realize they’re going to be learning the seductive dances of Le Moulin Rouge! Everyone also realizes that Kendall and Krystal will be going on the two-on-one. Krystal pushes her ribs through her skin to use as weapons against Kendall in an alarming display of self-defense.
Ugh, this Moulin Rouge date. It’s another excuse for Arie to see the ladytestants in skimpy outfits. The rose at the end of the date will allow one ladytestant to perform with Arie on stage at Moulin Rouge that night. Everyone puts on a thong and a headdress and just prances in front of Arie. I read a story that another burlesque show in Paris casts women whose hips and nipples line up when standing next to each other in heels and I’m surprised Arie didn’t make them line up in a similar way. There’s a quick cocktail party and Bekah M. gets the group-date rose based on their “connection” (and definitely not how good she looked in a thong).
She gets to “perform” onstage with Arie, which is just them walking back and forth while Arie lip-syncs a French song dressed as Tuxedo Mask.
I think my boyfriend summed up any and all feelings about Bekah getting the group-date rose: “She’s still 22, bro.”
When the two-on-one date card arrives, Krystal comes down to the lobby of this Millennial river cruise wearing a BAFFLING set of overalls and gloats about she’s prepared. Prepared? Did she make a PowerPoint presentation?
It’s time for the two-on-one date. Krystal and Kendall head to the French countryside to meet Arie at a chateau. Arie says that this is Krystal’s second chance and he has a lot of questions about Kendall being ready for marriage.
Arie also sees a lute in a painting in the chateau and calls it a ukulele. It’s unclear if he’s joking.
Arie takes Krystal in her sailor pants and crushed-velvet cami aside. He tells her that he would always want her to come to him first if she has any problems. This is his most reasonable and relatable moment. Krystal says that she would never throw away all the color and texture of their relationship. Arie says he thinks Krystal is sincere in her apology and then Krystal screws it up for herself by bringing up the fact that Kendall isn’t ready to get married.
If Krystal were truly clever and playing the game as well as she thinks she is, the second Arie melted and made out with her, she should have stopped. She thinks she’s Mitch McConnell when she’s really Paul Ryan.
Of course, Arie tells Kendall what Krystal said and when Krystal and Kendall are left alone, Kendall confronts Krystal. She knows that Krystal says hurtful things when she feels like her back is against the wall. Then Kendall slides closer to Krystal, takes her hand, and quietly tells her that she knows that Krystal has been through some painful experiences and she just wants to win. She says that Krystal reminds of her someone she dated once and she learned that saying the most hurtful thing doesn’t mean that you win.
Kendall peered deep into Krystal’s soul and told her about herself. That was a spiritual read. I don’t know what kind of white ancestors moved through Kendall that day, but she was gifted that knowledge from somewhere deep. Krystal just says, “I don’t really have words.” Krystal has no idea how to handle emotional intelligence and maturity. Unfortunately, it’s never going to move her to change or be less hurtful.
If Kendall really wanted to be that bitch, she should have just smiled at Krystal and said, “I feel really confident.” It’s honest and would have caused Krystal to enter into a spiral of insecurity that she may have never recovered from.
Kendall gets the two-on-one date rose and Arie just walks out with her and goes, “Bye” to Krystal.
Jacqueline has the final date of the week and again, is she a contender? Who is this girl? Arie watches her try on a dress and they go to dinner. Her hair is huge and amazing. Her main issue is she’s planning on getting a Ph.D. and Arie is worried she’s too smart for him. As he tries to tell her that he’s willing to go for it with her, he says, “I don’t really see her ambition as a hindrance. It’s just another obstacle to get through together.” How sweet. She gets the first-date rose.
It’s finally time for the rose ceremony.
Bekah M., Sienne, and Becca K. all get roses. They’re heading to Tuscany next week, but not before Lauren B. stands in the corner complaining to a producer about how pissed off she is and how she’s worried he’s going to pick someone else. Where was all this personality earlier?
Au revoir, Paris!