Not only does this episode finally reveal the mechanics of the musical component of this program, but it’s also revealed that there are prizes: a writing and recording session with a noted musical producer and a tour together. First of all, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that anyone is there for the right reasons now, and second of all, who is going to see a tour of any of these people? Especially now. Where are they touring? Not this United States, that’s for sure.
And then there’s the whole judging criteria — CHEMISTRY?!?! They’re going to force literal pop icon Kesha and Mr. A-Z himself, Jason Mraz, to sit up there and say things like “There’s love in your eyes. Your eyes … not so much.”
You might get tired of me saying “as a performer” in these recaps, but … AS A PERFORMER, the things that make a good performance are sometimes in complete opposition to what “demonstrates” chemistry. Bri got criticized for facing the audience? Are you fucking kidding me? In what universe is “you played to your audience” a bad critique for a performer? Okay, so that’s ONE.
TWO: Considering the filming schedule for these types of shows, the songtestants (I’m gonna go with it) have known each other for probably five days. That’s the generous estimate. So we’re judging the sexual and romantic chemistry of people who have known each other about as long as the other couple who shares the table with you on a cruise. These are strangers, and we’re supposed to decipher if their banging would be good. I don’t think I had ever heard Danny speak before, but I’m supposed to know his love language.
And THREE: You can fake chemistry. It’s called acting, and most musicians learn how to project emotion during performance. Just look at Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. We all lost our minds watching them, and according to both of their publicists, they were just acting. C’mon. This is something that any savvy person could figure out. Plus, all the examples of “chemistry” were just eye contact! Everyone should take the note and just make prolonged eye contact until Kesha praises them.
This isn’t about the whole weird chemistry thing, but I 100 percent need Kesha to be more involved in this show. She should be handing out the final roses or something. She’s got a great vibe for this show and can’t keep it off her face when she’s utterly disgusted by a performance.
We can really speed through most of the beginning of the episode because it’s mostly nonsensical. Chris Harrison shows up to inform everyone that it’s about the music, but love comes first. And everything will change. There will be no more new arrivals, but there will be a series of new rules and challenges. First challenge, everyone has to decide if they’re here for the right reasons and really committed to love. Wait … what? This is usually the last thing that happens in the Bachelor Cinematic Universe. You can’t just rearrange the tropes and expect everything to be coherent.
The only real drama in the house at this point is the love polygon between Brandon, Savannah, and Julia. Julia is really holding on to the fact that Brandon said they could work things out between them if they both stayed in the house. This is the single thing that will completely and utterly destroy Julia and her sanity. First, she informs Savannah that Brandon is interested in her too, and Savannah should just be prepared for Brandon to dump her. Gabe takes this opportunity to appear for the first time on-camera and tell Savannah his feelings. This ends poorly, and both Gabe and Ruby go home.
The footage of a woman wailing on a balcony while production follows her is just from Savannah experiencing a mildly uncomfortable social situation. She’s bereft, and we’re eight minutes into the episode. Brandon comes up to calm Savannah down, and he is just way too fucking casual about this whole thing. “So things are not so good right now?” Brandon asks for her forgiveness and if she wants to give their relationship a try, or if she wants to go home and cry. If you’re a woman in America, those are your romantic options.
Julia is PISSED, and this creates the narrative for her that Brandon and Savannah aren’t there for the right reasons because they were able to work through nonexistent drama in their relationship and come out the other side making out.
Everyone is assigned their song and decides to turn the song, regardless of genre or style, into a weepy folk-pop ballad. Brandon and Savannah decide to turn “I Want You to Want Me,” famous power-pop song about having a crush on someone, into a maudlin Shawn Mendes–esque ballad.
Then there’s also … a date card? OKAY. SURE. Danny and Bekah get it, and they only go on it to set up their inevitable departure from the episode. They go on a date during which they select one top for Bekah to wear at the final performance and make out in a pool with celebrity stylist Rebecca Mink. Also, at some point, Natascha and Ryan head out on a date to watch alleged country star and former-Bachelor-fiancée husband Chris Lane perform at the House of Blues. He comments that Ryan looks like Shawn Mendes. The specter of Shawn Mendes hangs over every moment of this damn television program. Natascha and Ryan sing background vocals while a video of Lauren Bushnell appears onstage behind her husband.
Meanwhile, Julia is back at the house positively seething and decides to sit down with Savannah to tell her that Savannah is a bitch who is totally fake and expects this all to go well. Savannah says that Julia has no business sticking her nose in her relationship, and Savannah is 100 percent right. If Julia had led with “Maybe Brandon is manipulating you because of how fast he went from me to you,” maybe she would have gotten somewhere, but NOPE.
All right, time for the final performances, and all I have to say is THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THAT ENCLOSED SPACE. There are a few narratives going into this final performance. Rudi is nervous. Jamie is having a panic attack in the grass. Bri and Chris are very confident in their relationship. Julia wants to show exactly how into Sheridan she is by genuinely performing chemistry. No one knows who Bekah and Danny are.
Everything plays out exactly how you’d imagine and, really, JoJo and Jordan gave pretty good critiques for two house-flippers. The only bizarre twist is Natascha and Ryan turning “Stay,” by Rihanna, into a white-guy reggae song. The judges get to deliberate, and we get none of that footage. I want nothing more than to see Kesha and Jason Mraz debate the merits of Bekah and Danny’s, or Brandon and Savannah’s, relationship.
Time for the rose ceremony. Everyone gets a rose except Bekah and Danny, and they are sent home in twin SUVs. Julia is secure in what she has with Sheridan, but she’s completely ready to destroy it if Brandon looks at her in any way.