This season sure is bringing the drama. Where do they find these girls?? Fine, I know where. But seriously: Jordan, driving five hours for the chance to be embarrassed on one more episode? Britt and her alleged habit of not bathing? (If it’s true I’ll buy whatever dry shampoo she’s using.) Ashley, now that the topic of her virginity has been exhausted, crying again for God knows what reason? The show is rapidly becoming a parody of its already parody-esque self.
The major pot-stirrer this week was clearly Kelsey. On Night One, I called Kelsey “particularly normal” which now makes me seriously question my reality-show-contestant character judgment. I literally had goosebumps when, of her husband dying suddenly of congestive heart failure in 2013, she said, “Isn’t my story amazing? It’s tragic. But amazing. I love my story.” I’ve since spent a solid while trying to analyze this commentary, theorizing the flow of conversation between her and her producer during that ITM. As I’ve stressed before, The Bachelor producers can’t make a contestant say anything. They can manipulate you, coax you, earn your trust so you let your guard down, or loosen you up with alcohol. But they cannot make you say something you don’t want to say.
The fact that those exact words came out of Kelsey’s mouth is very disturbing to me. Was she gamely playing villain to ensure she got screen time? It seems so. She wouldn’t be the first. But I’ve never understood the desire for D-list fame being so strong that you’d lose who you are at the core. I can’t help but wonder what life is like after you’ve said on national television that your becoming a widow makes an “amazing” story. What do you say to your family? Your coworkers? I’m sure she would have an explanation of sorts, something behind the scenes, some additional context to make it make sense. After last night’s episode, Kelsey tweeted: “Sander’s death was absolutely devastating, but finding a way to live through it and my strength to survive is amazing.” Make of that what you will.
My frontrunners this week…
1. Whitney, 29: Who wasn’t rooting for Whitney in her spat with Ashley this week? Ashley thought it best to make returning contestant Jordan feel as unwelcome as possible while Whitney displayed grace and kindness. I love that Whitney has been completely conflict-free all season, yet this worthy battle with Ashley was the one she chose. The cherry on top was Whitney being given the group date rose, because Chris was “excited about their potential.” I guess Ashley does have to worry about “that” after all.
2. Kaitlyn, 29: Normally gregarious Kaitlyn was more the silent observer this week, which means she’s as smart as I thought. Other girls were able to develop their relationships with Chris while Kaitlyn sat back, secure in what she and Chris share. Like Whitney, Kaitlyn is mature and realistic. She stays.
3. Britt, 27: I think everyone (herself included) was surprised it took until Week 5 for Britt to get a one-on-one. It went swimmingly enough, but I’m past the point of no return with Britt. The girl is articulate yet fails to describe any real connection with Chris other than that “he makes her feel safe.” That’s fine—it’s only been a few weeks, after all—but she’s so over-the-top into him and affectionate when she’s with him, it just doesn’t add up. I’m not buying it. I think Britt is and has been gunning for The Bachelorette, something I realize is unavoidable but still not respectable. The actual Bachelorette should be someone who is undeniably magnetic and real, not someone who said and did everything she thought would get her far. Sadly, Chris is firmly under her spell, so I guess her act is working.
4. Carly, 29: Carly was this episode’s saving grace. She’s sharp, witty, and relatable. Her ITM commentaries hit home without ever seeming mean. I do like Carly and Chris together—their extreme (and understandable) discomfort during their one-on-one was endearing—but I am still more convinced by his chemistry with some of the other ladies. Regardless, Carly is BEYOND worthy of love!
Catch up on previous recaps:
Sharleen Joynt on The Bachelor: Episode 1