overnights

The Bachelor Recap: Pure Camp

The Bachelor

Week 2
Season 23 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating *****

The Bachelor

Week 2
Season 23 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Rick Rowell/ABC

The Bachelor except it’s Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman looking for a third. That’s it. That’s the recap.

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All right, fine. I’ll “do” “more.”

It’s week two of The Bachelor and we need to TALK ABOUT SOMETHING. Billy Eichner straight up asked Colton if he was gay. Billy Eichner also said that Colton should come out in the middle of the season and be the first gay Bachelor. Colton and host Chris both had a silent stroke as if all of us at home wouldn’t LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that.

CAN YOU IMAGINE? Every season is supposed to be the most dramatic yet, and all that means is some white dude decides to pick some white lady and another white lady cries about it. If you went to high school in the suburbs, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. But if the Bachelor CAME OUT in the middle of the season? That would really be the most dramatic season.

Because, honestly — if you’re a 26-year-old virgin and you haven’t questioned your sexuality at least once, what are you doing with your life? Not that everyone goes through a gay phase, but everyone should take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror, kiss a whole bunch of people at a spin-the-bottle party in the feminist co-op dorm on campus, and ask the hard questions. Was that just me?

And the best part about it? No one would be mad! We would all be really happy for him. It’s come up in my group chats already. At the very least, it would explain the incredible number of quotes in this episode that could definitively be in someone’s coming out story. Y’know, everything Colton said about the pressure of expectations and being who someone else wants you to be and the pressure to be perfect?

I’m just saying — it would be a great twist. Thank you, Billy Eichner, for opening up the conversation that was only a conspiracy theory in my world. Let’s get into it.

This week there are two group dates and one one-on-one date. We wake up with Colton and his Colton-Cam. It feels like there’s a PA just off-screen holding up cue cards, because Colton struggles to get through his lines here. Someone needs to get him into an intro on-camera class. He’s not good at the … um … speaking part of this job.

Host Chris drops off the first group date card while Colton is, I assume, showering overlooking a bluff. Demi, Bri, Tracey, Elyse, Hannah G., Nicole, Onyeka, and Catherine are heading out on this group date. For this date, It’s Tracey vs. Demi. Their “feud” is ridiculous because there’s literally no competitive element to this group date.

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman are hosting a storytelling night and Megan Mullally debuts a new character, Lauren H., who is 23 and works in retail. Tracey is scandalized that their stories have a sexual undertone. Have you met them? All they do is talk about how their house smells like titty sweat and expensive lube. There are no undertones here. Only clear, beautiful tones.

Tracey looks like Whitney Cummings if she worked at Aeropostale. Tracey is also 31, which makes her a “cougar.” But let’s be real, if this show had ANY BALLS, they would have found a real cougar. I’m talking Ramona Singer–level cougar. A 31-year-old dating a 26-year-old does not a cougar make.

The ladies get on stage and tell stories of their memorable firsts. Colton tells the story about the first time he told his teammates he was a virgin. He claims that their response was, “Wow, man. That’s really cool.” A couple of the ladytestants tell stories that happened last night. Don’t tell Colton the story of your first rose. He was there. Demi takes the only acceptable tactic in this situation and uses her story time to plant a kiss on Colton. Tracey is more upset at Demi than fat ladies at her gym. Oooh! Did we all see Tracey’s old tweets, because that joke is TOPICAL!

Back at the house, the first one-on-one date card arrives. It’s for Hannah B. and it’s her birthday tomorrow. She’s turning 24. These bitches are soaking up the last bits of my youth through the TV screen like they’re Fashion Nova dementors.

It’s the evening portion of the date and Tracey is still silently losing her mind over the fact that Demi is playing. The. Game. Tracey, you’re on a game show and the prize is Colton. If you wanted a fair, mature experience, stick to eHarmony, ma’am. Demi steals Colton away first and when she comes back, she picks up the group date rose and waves it around. That is Colton’s rose to give out, and to touch it before he does sullies the whole thing. How far are we taking this virginity thing this season? Tracey sits down and tries to reason with someone who is doing Jessica Simpson circa 1999 cosplay. Elyse, who is also an old, gets the group date rose.

Up next is Hannah B.’s one-on-one date. Oh, Hannah B. Maybe someone who struggles with feeling like enough and worrying if they’re good enough shouldn’t be on a reality dating show and maybe going into the pageant world wasn’t the right career move?

They head out to the desert to ride horses and chill in a hot tub. Colton asks her if she’s ever seen rock formations like this and she asks if it’s “Arizona-ish.” How the fuck is anyone supposed to answer that question? Once they sit down, Colton asks her to make a toast, which is entry-level ladytestant bullshit and she completely freezes. She just can’t do it. She smiles so hard you can see her molars while simultaneously biting her own tongue until her mouth fills with blood because she can’t come up with anything to top “to being open and honest.” She is not long for this world.

On the evening portion of the date, Colton tells her he can see she’s trying to be perfect and she lights up. Oh no, girl. This is not a compliment. Also, the reason she was freaking out so much in the hot tub was that she wanted to ask him why he’s a virgin. GIRL. We’ve been OVER THIS. He was taught to wait until marriage. He was focused on being a Division 1 athlete. He forgot to fill out the proper sex forms and his sex license was lost in the mail. That’s a completely normal amount of excuses, right?

Hannah B. tells him she wanted to save herself for marriage but she didn’t and she carried a lot of guilt about it and it almost “killed her.” She’s so full of anxiety and pain that she can’t give her virginity to the person she marries.

Let me tell y’all what I’m NOT going to do. I’m not going to sit here and act like it’s healthy or normal for anyone to put this kind of pressure on a completely meaningless status. Like, sure, it’s great that some people wait until marriage, and good for them. But what’s obviously NOT OKAY is women — it’s always women — freaking the fuck out and feeling unworthy and dirty because they did a natural human thing. It “killed” Hannah B. that she can’t give the person she marries an abstract, conceptual gift. She doesn’t feel perfect because she got horny at some point in her teens and had sex. THAT’S what is so damaging about this whole virginity narrative. It ain’t cute.

She gets the rose.

Speaking of this weird purity bullshit, Heather decides its time for her to rile up her storyline, which is that she’s never kissed anyone. COME. ON. I could get if you’ve made it to your twenties and you haven’t had sex yet. But never kissed anyone? I hate to be judge-y, but all the hand-wringing about it makes it seem like a calculation.

For the second group date, the ladies are heading to camp for a relay race because it’s the second episode of The Bachelor. Billy Eichner is the camp counselor, which just means he’s there to challenge Colton’s assumptions about sex and sexuality. My favorite line is when Colton says he wants to wait until he’s fallen in love to have sex, and Billy goes, “Oh, FINE! You win an award!” Thank God someone is skewering this goddamn show. He also says he just wanted a cameo on The Goldbergs.

The date ends with half of the ladies getting to spend the night at the camp. Heather tells Colton that she’s a kiss-virgin as well as a sex-virgin. Colton tells her that she knows her value and she has self-worth and she’s not gonna settle.

SLUTS CAN HAVE VALUE AND SELF-WORTH AND REFUSE TO SETTLE, TOO.

I won’t be able to do this all season with Colton or this show if they continue to subtly (or not so subtly) insinuate that virgins of whatever stripe are more moral or have value in contrast to people who have kissed other people.

Heather gets the group date rose. Murder me.

It’s time for the cocktail party and Demi is wearing something from a dELiA*s catalog. Her big move this episode is to slip on her bathrobe over her dress, take Colton up to her fantasy closet, and give him a massage. The reality show GENIUS of this move is that no one else knows what she’s doing up in the closet. Everyone starts spinning out. The other move of genius was that she stole Colton away from that old-ass bitch Tracey. Demi is perfection. Don’t @ me. Tracey is unable to handle the pressure and retreats up to the cougar den to cry.

Tracey is not long for this world.

Everyone else is freaking out that Demi’s behavior isn’t appropriate. This is what happens when you get this many pageant girls in the room concerned about winning Miss Congeniality.

The other memorable moment from this rose ceremony is when Onyeka interrupts Sydney and Colton with an air horn. Sydney goes inside and gets a baking pan and a wooden spoon and meekly tries to make noise. Then Onyeka refuses to let Colton be stolen. By the last rose ceremony, Onyeka is going to be lining up 12 bullhorns, Simpsons style.

It’s finally time for the rose ceremony. Taysha, Cassie, Caelynn, Courtney, Demi, Nicole, Kirpa, Hannah G., Catherine, Bri, Sydney, Onyeka, Katie, Kayla, Nina, and Tracy all get roses. The episode ends with Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman warning Colton that he’ll be a basket case by the end of season, and asking if he has a celebratory dance for when he loses his virginity.

The Bachelor Recap: Pure Camp