HOW. DARE. WINTER. GAMES.
How dare this show make me feel something for OATMEAL. What is happening? What kind of emotional manipulation are they pulling on me? What kind of Cloverfield Paradox bullshit is this? I can’t see the Earth and I’m recognizing the humanity and complexity of Benjamin Q. Higgins.
The episode opens with Yuki and Oatmeal playing around in the snow and today is the day for Yuki to grab what she wants. She wants that date card and she wants to win! Meanwhile, Ashley and Kevin are spending much of their time trying to crawl deeper and deeper into each other’s mouths. Clare is still whining about how Christian won’t make the first move, but she refuses to actively do anything about it. Well, she’s willing to berate Christian and complain to Lesley. I was dating a dude and he was on a personal celibacy year but kept saying he was willing to kiss me and be romantic. After listening to me complain for a couple weeks, one of my guy friends got him high and told him, “You need to step it up or she’s gonna be gone.” Lesley needs to just be a good girlfriend and tell Christian that he needs to kiss Clare. I can’t promise that that strategy will work because that guy and I kissed exactly one time and he broke up with me, but said he’d still like to hang out with my friends.
It’s time for the event of the week: downhill skiing! I turned off the actual Winter Games to watch these aspiring brand ambassadors downhill ski. I was watching real downhill skiing! Amazing athletes from all over the world and I had to turn it off to watch Ashley ski into a bush. The ski run is 3,000 vertical feet and I’m convinced ABC wants someone to die. Maybe then we’ll be freed from whatever blood pact Chris Harrison made with the devil. There’s no other reason this long-grain-white-rice of a man would be on our television screens this much.
It’s time for the girls to take their run down the hill. I’m gonna tell you right now, nothing has made me laugh harder than Yuki screaming and wailing at the top of her lungs and aimlessly drifting down the course. It’s hard to find moments of true, pure joy in these turbulent times but goddamn, that was truly funny. Lesley wins the women’s heat. Who cares?
Clare complains that she’s mediocre and she wants to know if there’s a prize for being a mediocre person.
1. That’s just the definition of white privilege right there.
2. There already is a prize for being a mediocre person. It’s called being a contestant on The Bachelor franchise.
It’s time for the men’s heat and Luke starts his race by saying this is for his little Russian queen and I’m really uncomfortable. He sets a pretty great time and all of the other guys find it impossible to beat him. Josiah falls into a bush about eight feet from the starting line. Dean grew up skiing, so he demolishes Luke’s score and even shows off by skating backward over the finish line. I don’t understand why anyone is stressing out about getting a date card when all you’re doing all day is just sitting around in an amazing house with your crush. Since Dean and Lesley can’t go on two dates, they give their second date card to Kevin and Ashley.
Ashley is losing her goddamn mind about it. She can’t EVEN believe it. SOMEONE LIKES HER. They head out for their date and Ashley is wearing her best Bad Janet drag and she brings up her virginity. She even says that when she brings up her virginity, most guys’ dicks go soft and that’s a lot of pressure. Maybe the issue is that your virginity shouldn’t even be an issue in your relationship because it’s a completely fictional status that probably should be abolished and anyone who would or wouldn’t consider a relationship with a virgin is buying into a weird, patriarchal view of sexuality. Also, Ashley I., I think your virginity is probably like the sixth reason your relationships haven’t worked out. Kevin says that he completely understands so it’s on the guy to show how decent and kind he is. Ashley says that this is the first time a guy is showing a second of interest in her so it might all work out. “A second of interest.” I want so much better for her.
They go to one of those Ghost sexy pottery moments. WHAT DOES ANY OF THIS MEAN?
Back at the house, Christian and Clare finally get their Jacuzzi time. Clare keeps telling him that she likes to see actions and he tells her he has to wait for his stomach to tell him it’s fine. Hey, Clare, maybe you can throw off your rigid dating rules for like a millisecond because you’re not in a regular dating situation. Just maybe kiss him first. You’re in your mid-30s.
Dean and Lesley talk on their date about Dean being a player and none of it matters. These two human Canada Goose jackets are deciding to do the damn thing and I guess that’s beautiful.
Tiffany decides to leave the house and she gets about 30 seconds of screen time. Then Michael G. decides to leave the house and they don’t even show his face until he’s walking out the door. Poor Michael G.
Then comes Oatmeal’s dramatic exit. I have never seen it. I’ve never seen what attracted people to Oatmeal. People would talk about him being “cute” or “hot” and I did not see it, fam. It took Oatmeal having a complete and total emotional breakdown over not being ready for love for me to be like, “Oh, okay. I see something there.” Maybe I just need to see a white man at his lowest for me to be attracted to him. He sits down with Host Chris and Host Chris tells Oatmeal, “You’re drowning.” Fuck. Go home, man. Oatmeal talks about how it hurt for people to say that he didn’t really care about Lauren or that the relationship was fake. Oatmeal, sweet tragic Oatmeal. He’s feeling all kinds of angst being around couples and being in the reality-TV environment is dragging up all kinds of pain for him. He decides to leave.
Yuki breaks down weeping.
As he’s on his way out, Oatmeal says that he needs to recover outside of this and the potential for love is there, but just not for him. Is this the beginning of Oatmeal’s arc to end up on The Bachelor again? Like when a wrestler goes on a losing streak, claims that he’s going to wander the wilderness until he can reconnect with the warrior within, then he wins the Royal Rumble? Y’know, that thing?
Chris Harrison and his Duolingo app sit down with Yuki to tell her “No boy, go home.” Maybe this would have worked for Yuki if you had someone, anyone who spoke Japanese. Luke asks her to make one more Japanese omelette and she says, “No.” I love Yuki.
It’s time for the rose ceremony. No one knows the format of the rose ceremony and get this, y’all — it’s a kissing competition. Judged by Jojo, Rachel, and Arie. I’m always excited to see Rachel and she looks GREAT. Jojo is, surprisingly, a delight. Arie is fine.
Everyone goes off into the corner to practice and Clare and Christian realize that they’ve never kissed before and they don’t want their first kiss to be in a competition so they both leave. Clare has managed to screw up two relationships. Maybe it is time to retire, girl.
Lesley and Dean choreograph a little routine that ends with Dean lifting Lesley by her legs and kissing her. It’s very awkward, but I can’t fault them for trying to make themselves laugh. If the entire Bachelor franchise leaned into being a full-on comedy and stopped taking itself so seriously, it would be a much better experience. They get low marks for being juvenile.
When Ally gets nervous, she gets an upset stomach and feels the urge to vomit. The other thing that made me genuinely belly laugh was all the reaction shots of Ally trying not to vomit while maintaining a smile. She gave Kaitlin Olson from It’s Always Sunny a run for her money for best use of comedic vomit face. She runs off to the bathroom when it’s her turn to kiss Josiah. And when the camera rushes into the bathroom, she’s bent over the toilet throwing up as her dress rides up in the back. She pulls it together and they kiss. Umm … sweet?
Ashley and Kevin are awarded best kiss. Luke and Stassi get the silver and Lily and Courtney get the bronze. Bibiana and Jordan are safe (I haven’t been giving her much love this recap, but Bibiana’s in the moment interviews are always fire. Arie says she usually has “Latin fire” and that disgusts me.) Dean and Lesley get a rose, so that means Josiah and Ally have to leave. I guess when you throw up on national television at the thought of kissing a guy, you gotta go.