Photo: John Fleenor/ABC
HAHAHAHAHAHA OH MY GOD PETER IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BAD. AT. THIS.
He’s just TERRIBLE at this. Sweet Shakira’s hips. He’s POSITIVELY AWFUL at whatever it means to be the Bachelor. You know how every office has a person that you’re like, “How do they still have this job? I saw them photocopy a sandwich”? That person is Peter. It’s as if he looked at the job description, but instead of reading words in an earthly language, he saw Martian script, handed it back to Chris Harrison, and still said, “Yup, got it.” It’s almost admirable how every single opportunity for him to make a decision, he does the exact opposite of what he should do. Peter is so bad at being the Bachelor that I’m missing the halcyon days of Nick Viall. Y’all. This is bad.
As I was watching Peter make an absolute fool of himself on national television, I realized what his problem is: He’s a coward. If you give him the easy way out, he’s going to take it. Why do you think he canceled the second cocktail party of THIS THREE-HOUR EPISODE? Was it because he got “clarity” after talking to Kelsey in his hotel suite? No, it’s because he didn’t want to get screamed at by all the ladytestants again. After bringing Alayah back and feeling the wrath of an entire Forever 21 weekend staff, he eliminated Alayah because it was “too much.” People having opinions about his actions was “too much.’ He can’t stand the idea of anyone not liking him, so instead of owning his decisions, he’ll walk them back if the reaction isn’t what he expected.
But that’s not the only problem. He straight up told Sydney, when there are still 11 other people left, that she’s the best kisser in the house and she can’t tell anyone. Is he fucking stupid? (1) it’s bad Bachelor practice to be too effusive too fast. Deandra was blindsided and upset when he eliminated her because he was gushing at her during the first cocktail party. (2) Peter’s type seems to be “villain in a Freeform hour-long drama about aspiring social-media consultants.” Every single ladytestant looks like a woman who made you feel bad at SoulCycle. I’m pretty sure I’ve described at least two of these women to my college therapist to explain why I cried in the bathroom at Fall Remix.
The drama isn’t going away because the drama is coming from inside the house.
Let’s get to it.
At the beginning of these three hours, we’re still in Cleveland. Everyone is still freaking the fuck out. Peter is just standing as close as possible to the wall without touching it. Someone says that Alayah is just there for the rose and to be on TV. Yeah. So are all of you. That’s the conceit of this game show. Natasha says Alayah made her bed, and now she needs to Alayah in it. Sydney says that maybe Peter isn’t ready for a Sydney, and he just needs an Alayah. They’re all real proud.
So what does Peter do? He sends Alayah home because it’s just too hard. What should he do? He should tell everyone that if they really have a problem with him bringing Alayah back into the house, they should pack up their bronzer and leave. He should have done that and watched none of them leave. Because they’re all there for a rose and a Flat Tummy Tea sponsorship.
After the most cursory attempt at a cocktail party, time for the Rose Ceremony. Madison, Sydney, Natasha, Lexi, Hannah Ann, Shiann, Mykenna, Victoria P., Kelley, and Tammy all get roses. Deandra’s mouth is wide open because Peter told her he was feeling their relationship, but he can’t have someone not like him in every waking moment. He can’t really draw boundaries or express interest without going all in. Peter is one of those guys who makes plans to go away for the weekend, even though you’re just texting on Bumble. He texts you, “My friends really want to meet you!,” with 14 emojis and then never calls you again.
But we’ve got an international destination to head to: Costa Rica! Bye, Cleveland!
OKAY. Let’s just talk about the single greatest comedic moment of this episode: Peter smashing his head wide open because he walked into a golf cart. It wasn’t bad enough to just show Peter with a strip of bandage that made him look like a sexy Frankenstein, so they showed the actual security footage. This is “Michael Scott falls into a koi pond”–level embarrassing. Hitting your head on a golf cart is one thing, but he smashed his tequila soda right into his damn head and sliced it open. OOOH MAN. Are we sure we should be letting this man fly planes?
It’s time for the first date of the week. Peter takes Sydney up in a helicopter, the one sky vehicle he cannot fly. They zoom around a volcano and Sydney says they’re flying away from all the negativity. At one point, Peter and Sydney are talking about how happy they are with each other and about travel, and he says, “Pick up and go. Leave permanently.” Is he planning to flee the country?
Peter thinks Sydney is mysterious and sexy, and she uses the night portion of the date to open up to him. She tells him about growing up as a biracial kid with a single mom, saying that people would vandalize their home and she was completely ostracized from her peers. Peter takes what Sydney tells him as an opportunity to say he’s sad that racism still exists and that her strength facing racism would make her a good spouse. YIKES. I wish Peter was able to reveal something about himself and his family’s story that would allow him to better relate to Sydney. I wish the show had literally anyone who could relate to what Sydney was talking about in an honest way. She gets the rose.
It’s time for the group date, but first, Kelsey is floating alone in a pool of her own tears and white wine. Tammy “tries” to help her get some perspective, but Kelsey is unwilling to consider that once she’s not on a reality-competition show, her life might be easier.
Shiann, Kelsey, Victoria F., Madison, Natasha, Victoria P., Lexi, Hannah Ann, Tammy, and Mykenna head out for a group date. Okay, The Bachelor is just complicit in the Instagram-to-Bachelor pipeline now. The group date is a Cosmopolitan bikini fashion shoot and the “winner” gets a cover shot with Peter. Because this is the best way to show that you’re a Fun, Fearless Female and a Future Hot Mom. Victoria F. ends up “winning” the group date and poses with Peter for the cover shot. Unfortunately, advertising “White Lives Matter” T-shirts does not make you a Cosmo Girl, and that cover will not see the light of day.
It’s time for the cocktail party after the group date, and this is where this thing really gets going. Kelsey sits down with Peter and tells him how difficult it’s been and how she hopes he doesn’t forget their one-on-one date, which is literally a few days ago. Peter, in a terrible move, says that he thinks about Kelsey all the time and he cares a lot about her. They make out.
Tammy is busy telling everyone that Kelsey was having a mental breakdown and was drowning her sorrows in a bottle of wine. Tammy sits down with Peter and tells him that she would LOVE to focus on her relationship with Peter, but Kelsey is an unstable monster who is drinking herself into a stupor. But that’s like … about Tammy, and not about Kelsey. Peter takes Kelsey aside because Peter is worried, because he missed the red flags (that he ultimately decided didn’t matter) with Alayah and he might be missing something else here. He’s just like, “Bitch, are you nuts?” Kelsey’s response is, “Did I cry yesterday? Yes. But did I also drink a bottle of wine? YES.”
She heads back to the women and asks, “So are we going to talk about who said I was emotionally unstable today?”
Natasha says this is somehow about the people who haven’t had one-on-one dates with him, and Kelsey should be more considerate of those people. Natasha also says that she just journals and chills with herself. Natasha is not going to win, nor do I think she’d be great for Paradise, but she’s just a chill lady and I like that. Tammy starts to chime in and says, “You were upset over a bottle of Champagne for four days.” Okay, so Tammy said it.
Hannah Ann gets the group-date rose. The next date is Kelley’s, and she’s not interested in Peter or being there or these two spiritual guides. I mean, listen: There is a male and female candle that’s supposed to represent their energies, and the female candle is over it, so this means that Kelley isn’t interested in Peter. Sure. Whatever. Peter is still holding on to the fact that he (probably) banged Kelley when they met in a hotel, and that means their relationship is fated. Oh, Peter. Dear, sweet Peter. Fate isn’t telling you you’re supposed to marry anyone you bang at a wedding. On the night portion of the date, she tells him that she’s not going to embarrass herself trying to get his attention, even though she’s on The Bachelor. But now she’s not going to think like that anymore, and that’s good enough for Peter. She gets the rose.
The next day, Kelsey decides to take things into her own hands and marches over to Peter’s hotel room. YES. YES. YES. This is the drama that I want. This is a hot-bitch move! Kelsey went full-out and she’s going to be on mat in ’Tona! Of course, Tammy is sitting on the couch gossiping about her when Kelsey just walks out of the hotel suite. Everyone is like, “Where is Kelsey going?” Where do you dummies think Kelsey is going? She’s going to grab her fucking destiny.
Kelsey tells Peter that some of the girls just don’t understand that she’s falling in love with him, and she had to apologize. She also says that Tammy is telling everyone that she’s popping pills and an alcoholic, and Peter comforts her by telling her that maybe Tammy is just jealous of her.
HE’S SO BAD AT THIS. Or he just doesn’t give a fuck, and I can’t tell which one is funnier. Then he makes the single worst decision he could ever make: He gives Kelsey the rose. MY GOD. Whatever producer let him do this deserves a goddamn raise. He tells her to sport the rose proudly when she returns to the house. Everyone keeps talking about how Tammy is the chaos agent, but it’s fucking Peter.
As the women head into the Rose Ceremony, tensions are at an all-time high and morale does not improve when Chris Harrison comes in and announces that there will be no cocktail party. Again, this is a decision made to avoid Peter having to face any of the women giving him deserved shit for giving Kelsey a rose. Some of the women even ask Chris Harrison why there isn’t a cocktail party. You don’t question Chris Harrison. You don’t stare into the sun and ask why it burns. It just does.
Then the producers just let them all … sit there. It doesn’t take anyone long to turn on each other. Tammy asks Kelsey if she said anything about her to Peter, and Lexi and Mykenna flip out on Kelsey for ruining their chances at a cocktail party. Mykenna was going to SHOW PETER HER HEART, and she’d already rehearsed her sob story for him. This is UNREASONABLE. Multiple people say, “Peter not knowing my heart is my worst fear,” and I had no idea this was such a common fear.
Kelsey finally tells Tammy that Tammy was spreading rumors that Kelsey was popping pills and drinking. Multiple people chime in that they heard Tammy say she spread that rumor. Tammy says, “No, but also — yes, I did do that.” She heard it from Victoria P., and Victoria P. will not be brought into this. She already defeated Alayah, and she’s not climbing down from the mountain to face any new challengers. Kelsey says the only pills she’s popping are for her ADHD and her birth-control pills.
Tammy claims she did all this because she was concerned that Peter didn’t know Kelsey was … let me check my notes here … sad sometimes and drank wine. Got it. The other ladytestants smell the blood in the water and start circling Tammy. Lexi says that Tammy is blaming them for her relationship not moving forward. Tammy tries to deflect onto Sydney with Alayah-gate, and Sydney just tells her to shut the fuck up.
This is where the episode fully becomes an episode of The Real Housewives of Instagram, and I am HERE FOR IT. New reality-show idea: A house full of Bachelor contestants, and tell them the Bachelor will arrive … once the mole has been discovered. Tammy jumps up and tells Sydney to shut the fuck up. Sydney goes into classic mean-girl tactics and starts repeating, “Oh my God, you’re crazy. You’re nuts. Tammy is a psycho.” I got seventh-grade flashbacks. Mykenna is full-on scream-crying, and Sydney unhinges her jaw so she can laugh harder at Tammy.
Time for the Rose Ceremo — okay, hold on, Tammy decides she needs to sit down with Peter, and when that doesn’t end in a reasonable amount of time, Mykenna decides to get some time in and steal Peter away. Up is down, in is out, the Rose Ceremony is the cocktail party. This is unbelievably messy and I can’t stand it. I’m buzzing with excitement. I want Peter to bring 13 new women in and reveal that he’s been a Catfish this whole time.
Eventually, Victoria F., Madison, Natasha, Victoria P., and Mykenna all get roses because Peter likes them, and Tammy gets a rose because production says so. Shiann and Lexi are going home, and Shiann warns Peter that what he’s seeing isn’t who these girls really are. He can’t tell the difference nor does he care.
See you Wednesday for this week’s second episode! Maybe we’ll have an Iowa caucus winner by then, and if we don’t, Kelsey will declare herself the winner!