Well, they finally did it to us, Bachelor Nation. After four whole weeks of getting to see the rose ceremony at the end of the episode where it rightfully belongs, our frenemies on the production team left a “...To Be Continued” cliffhanger at the end of last week’s episode. The show has developed a nasty habit the past few seasons of ending on “cliffhangers,” only to start the next week with an uneventful rose ceremony off the bat. Was this an attempt to boost ratings by forcing everyone to tune in next week? Was it some kind of backroom deal with the Digital Spoiler Industrial Complex to garner more clicks? Did anyone at all think it was a good choice? No one knows and no one knows why it’s back again this week, but here we are.
Ready to get back into the drama that we’ve all forgotten about already from last week? Let’s go for the rose!
Colton, doing his impression of me at the end of last week’s episode | Image © ABC
Let’s not forget that last week’s episode ended with Colton storming off set after listening to Onyeka and Nicole bicker at each other. This week, we open with Colton in a full suit, pacing on the beach in Thailand. The women agree that he doesn’t look like he wants to be followed, so Chris Harrison comes out to the beach (also in a full suit, of course!) to have some guy time. Chris wrangles Colton back somehow and at the rose ceremony, Onyeka and Nicole both get sent home. I totally understand why but I have to admit I’m a little upset, because I was a huge fan of Onyeka’s very specific brand of Bachelor-style obnoxiousness.
“If I’m gonna get rejected, I’m happy I got rejected to not Nicole” - Onyeka, cackling with glee but also crying.
Next, the whole team is, “starting over again” in Vietnam. Colton is yet again shirtless and vlogging. “This week is going to be about providing clarity about a lot of different situations and a lot of different relationships,” he says, squinting into the camera. Most of the group hasn’t had a one-on-one, and Sydney reminds them there’s only two weeks left until hometowns. Hannah G worries that she needs more time in order to move forward with Colton, and that she won’t get any… until the first date card arrives and she gets the one-on-one. Hannah and Colton go to the spa and have a couple’s massage date that includes getting wrapped in banana leaves and making out in a mud/oil-bath-thing. Lots of close-ups of limbs and making out. Cut to Caeylnn, former Miss USA runner up and professional Pageant Girl, saying Hannah G’s “relied on beauty for so much of her life.” Even Cassie (huh?) can barely contain herself from rolling her eyes. Hannah and Colton have a heart to heart about opening up and living through their parents’ divorces, and he gives her the date rose.
What kind of sushi is Colton normally eating? | Image © ABC via Entertainment Weekly
The group date card arrives for Demi, Sydney, Katie, Tayshia, Cassie, Hannah B, and Caelynn. Demi and Sydney both take it really hard — Sydney wants to know what she did wrong and Demi just gets angry that it’s all unfair. Katie (in my opinion) has the best attitude towards the whole thing, saying she just has to take what comes to her. This ends up being incredibly lucky, because what comes to Katie and the rest of the group date is a class in the Vietnamese martial art of Vovinam. After the standard training montage, the girls are paired off to spar against each other. “It wouldn’t be a group date without someone bleeding or fighting each other,” Demi correctly points out.
First to go are Sydney and Heather. The “sparring” is mostly just Heather making high-pitched sounds while Sydney just… goes for her. Her moves look nothing like the drills they were doing earlier but it’s not not fighting. The host of Bachelor Vietnam, co-commenting with Chris Harrison, is aggressively nonplussed, saying, “I didn’t think it could get worse than the first round” when Hannah B and Cassie (who?) face off. Demi kind of loses it and it dawns on Colton that maybe having women in competition fight to punch each other as much as possible isn’t the best idea! He cancels the rest of the sparring and they head off to dinner.
As the evening begins, Colton has a great conversation with Tayshia about opening up and taking things seriously but not competitively. Katie is next, she seems really stressed b/c she has a hard time showing emotions and she’s worried Colton will misread the situation and send her home. Demi then invites Colton to call her mom (who was recently released from prison) with her and for once Demi seems less like a monster.
Trouble is never far off in Paradise (or Vietnam, in this instance). Sydney confides in Tayshia that she’s frustrated that other girls are getting more time than her. When Sydney does get time, she confronts Colton about if there’s something she’s doing wrong and wants to know if he can “get there” with her. Colton says he’s trying and seems to take it truly to heart. But Sydney is still restless and goes back to him later saying, “my fear is that, with the choices you’ve been making, you’re taking a lot of easier choices with the people you’re pursuing… but I want something real and something magical… [and] if it was right, it would be a lot easier than it has been.” Sydney then informs him that she’s going home tonight and on her way out warns Colton to “not get distracted by shiny things.” Colton comes back to give the group date rose to Tayshia and then sort of sadly walks out at the end alone.
Kirpa heads out on her one-on-one with Colton, and right off the bat things look rough, as Colton starts in with “I know you’re friends with Sydney…” Kirpa tries to steer him back on track by saying something about being sad Sydney’s gone but glad she did what was right for her. The date then swings wildly back as they get on a ratty looking fishing boat and go SPEAR FISHING FOR SEA URCHINS. Colton does a voice over about his worries around his and Kirpa’s relationship, but I’m totally distracted by the SPEAR FISHING. Am I the only one who wants to hear so much more about the activity and so much less about where Kirpa and Colton’s relationship stands? Just me? Really? Bummer.
Over dinner, Kirpa talks about her last fiancee, and how they broke up because she felt like they were standing still. Colton says he’s excited to get engaged and gives her the date rose. Right before the commercial break, Demi starts to plot yet again (so much plotting for someone so young!) and winds up at Colton’s hotel room, where he invites her in. DUN DUN DUN! Colton lets her in and Demi says how much she wants to spend time with Colton. After a brief pause, she tells him she’s falling in love with him. Colton responds with a bunch of words which essentially add up to “thank you but… meh?” He says he’s not sure he can get there with her and, “after hearing you say this tonight, I’m not sure I can put you through a rose ceremony”. Demi cries a bit and says, “There’s certain girls that seem like a safe choice… but you’re not gonna be happy in the long run,” which is both ominous and ironic coming from Demi. Colton responds to this sentiment by walking her out. You guys have to see it for yourself.
I do feel bad for Demi, I swear, but hearing her opine about how “no one’s ever loved me back” and that getting hurt was “the reason she didn’t want to be in a relationship for a while now” makes me just want to shake her. Girl, you have SO MUCH TIME LEFT IN YOUR LIFE. You are TWENTY-THREE, and as we all know, nobody loves you at that age. You are not old and dried up and doomed to be alone. Get it together, Younger Me!! Uh… I mean, Demi. Yeah. This is still definitely about Demi.
As we go into the rose ceremony, I have to give a shoutout to Heather’s chyron, which has been changed to “Has Been Kissed.” Chris Harrison comes in and announces that there won’t be a cocktail party, just a rose ceremony. DUN DUN DUN! Tayshia, Kirpa, and Hannah G have roses going into the ceremony. Hannah B, Caelynn, Cassie (her?), and Heather get roses. This sends Katie home which is just… bonkers. When he walks her out, Katie tells Colton she had “so much to give” if she’d only had more time to show him. He tells her she’s incredible and she nods in agreement. You’re not wrong, Katie! She leaves Colton with the warning, “You have a great group of girls. You know who’s ready in there and there’s some who aren’t. Just be smart about those girls.”
This is the third warning he’s gotten in the last two days to say he’s doing a bad job picking, and finally it seems to sink in that maybe Colton’s been doing something wrong the whole time. “I thought when Sydney was saying it, she was talking about Demi, but I don’t know who Demi was talking about… am I missing something?”
Tayshia says to camera that she knows who everyone’s talking about, and that “Colton wants someone to spill the tea.” The camera then cuts to her whispering to Kirpa that it’s going to be just the two of them at the end of all this. Are they trying to set up Tayshia as the bad guy for next week? You can’t do this to me, ABC! You already took away Onyeka AND Sydney from me in one episode, let me have just this one thing!!
If you need me for next week, I’ll be crying in a corner holding a photo of Sydney and throwing rose petals at my TV.