Oh man. How is this still a thing, you guys? I will NEVER understand why women with roses feel the need to take extra time at Rose Ceremony cocktail parties. Tensions are already high, and there’s no surer way to stretch them even higher and make yourself universally despised. And no person is so “smitten” that they’re incapable of sitting back through an evening for the sake of harmony and their reputation. Note how under-the-radar Becca K was. She was in Krystal’s exact position, except it’d been even longer since her 1-on-1.
I strongly suspect this “need” for extra time stems from an unconscious desire to feel special again (especially if a few days have passed and you can begin to feel forgotten—you’ve heard me talk about the first week 1-on-1 date curse before), but that ties back to ego… which, by the way, isn’t a “right reason.” And I speak from experience when I say the time you’ve just alienated yourself for isn’t meaningful or even all that enjoyable. It doesn’t compare to 1-on-1 date time because having so many other women looming in the background and knowing your time is so limited is not remotely relaxing or conducive to discussing anything of significance. (Case in point, in Krystal’s two cocktail party “conversations,” we saw her and Arie revisit the incredibly un-unique spot where they met a whole five days ago—where and when he also met 28 other women—and heard her say things like, “I’m here to spend time with you and build our connection.” You couldn’t write blander, less worthwhile 1-on-1 time.) This isn’t about “I’m not here to make friends” or “I’m here for him.” It’s just consideration for others (more on that below) and LOGIC.
That said, I am impressed with the other women this season. There is a strong sense of camaraderie among them. A couple of subtle examples were when Jenny apologetically approached Maquel’s Group Date 1-on-1 time and Maquel said, with dramatic sarcasm, “Oh my god.” Another spot was when, upon being sent home, Jenny’s biggest source of distress: “I’m sad about leaving my friends.” Most of all, though, I loved the moments where women eschewed laying low to speak up on behalf of the group. Exhibit A was during the Group Date cocktail party, when Chelsea justified her extra-aggressive behavior with Arie by insinuating she had sacrificed more to be there (by leaving her three-year-old son) than the other women had. Marikh (who, from what we’ve seen, is usually on the quieter side) perked up and rightfully laid down the law, saying they’d all made sacrifices to be there. Being a single parent on this show is not a Get Out Of Jail Free card to treat your time more valuably than others’, or like you are some VIP to whom the rules don’t apply.
Of course, Exhibit B is from the Rose Ceremony cocktail party. Okay, so Bibiana is a bit of a hothead (her outburst at the other women at the Group Date cocktail party, and her mocking of Krystal’s voice and way of being both went too far), but she skyrocketed in my book when she, no holds barred, called Krystal out on stealing time from other women. Because make no mistake, that’s what Krystal did. There is a finite amount of time. If other women have not had time and you have a rose already and still take time, you are directly taking time, whether a snippet’s worth or an entire conversation’s worth, from others. Look, I am fully aware that there is a zero percent chance a producer didn’t encourage Krystal to do this, particularly during Bibiana’s time (that’s just too much of a coincidence given what a sure thing Bibiana’s rage would be), but no producer can make you do anything and her actions are her own. It was painful to watch Krystal ostracize herself so early (and willingly!). All the women were visibly furious with her, and Bibiana spoke up not only for herself but for them, becoming their “voice,” as she put it. Having a temper might help, but it takes courage to do this.
My Top 4 frontrunners have shifted around this week…
1. Becca K, 27: Getting the first 1-on-1 is no joke (recipients of these always go very far), especially when it’s one of those Cinderella (a.k.a. free stuff) dates like this was. You don’t give swag of that calibre to just anybody. (Think Jade’s actual Cinderella-themed date on Chris’ season, and Bryan’s Breitling watch date on Rachel’s season.) Arie’s really drawn to Becca in a way that feels very real-world to me. Meaning, it feels natural and as though the cameras are an afterthought (to me their conversations felt so much like ones you’d have a real first date, not a Bachelor first date). Becca is obviously beautiful, but it’s the fact that Arie repeatedly called her “down to earth” that has her topping my list. I’ve never met a man who didn’t (rightfully) prioritize down-to-earth-ness in the search for his mate.
2. Bekah, 22: The fact that Bekah is such an strong frontrunner without having had the First Impression Rose, a Group Date Rose or a 1-on-1 says something. The chemistry here is remarkable. Whether you’re perturbed by the age difference or not, there was no denying the electricity in their kisses. (That first kiss might be one of the best ever.) There is a 1-on-1 with Bekah’s name on it coming any day now and it’s going to be GOOD. I also imagine the age thing will surface and come to some sort of a head.
3. Krystal, 29: This was a MAJOR 1-on-1 to receive. Krystal got to meet Arie’s family, which is usually saved for Final 2, or at least a much later 1-on-1. I really do like Krystal which is why it’s all the more frustrating to watch her make herself the new Enemy Number One (bumping Chelsea). She’s beautiful and has got a softness about her while evidently possessing serious strength as well (given her upbringing) and she just seems to have a fantastic outlook on life. I do believe she is genuinely into Arie and I love her specificity in describing it: “I felt understood and listened to… he makes me feel safer and braver.” The reason Krystal’s at the third spot is because of the time-stealing. I think doing this repeatedly will work against her. There’s simply no way, with her second interruption during last night’s Rose Ceremony cocktail party, that Arie could’ve found that charming. There comes a point where, no matter how into Krystal he is, he still has SO many women to see, he’s likely exhausted, and it’s eating into that precious time to assure to her that, yes, he did miss her. Seeming normal is very important this early on and the almost needy-seeming aggression doesn’t exactly lend to that.
4. Seinne, 27: I had to bump Annaliese this week. The fact that her 1-on-1 time at the Group Date was not at all shown (it wasn’t even glossed over into a montage like some of the others’) and that her only major screen time was spent crying about the demolition derby… not a great sign that she’s going as far as I predicted. Seinne, meanwhile, had her Group Date 1-on-1 time shown and it was not only accompanied by nice music and capped with a kiss, but was chock-full of impressive intel. Seinne is well-traveled, highly educated, modest and normal-seeming, and she just oozes class. Oh, and she’s also one of the most beautiful people I think I’ve ever seen. She seems to have it all, and this is definitely not lost on Arie.