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‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Drama, Demolition Derby for Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s First Week of Dates

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “The Bachelor” episode from Monday, Jan. 8.

The Bachelor” returned on Monday for the new season’s second episode and the first dates of Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s journey for love. With 21 girls remaining, the drama started early and the dates went big-budget — with private jets, ball gowns and a demolition derby.

The episode opened with Luyendyk Jr. — who is seeking a wife five years after he was rejected in the 2012 finale by then-Bachelorette Emily Maynard — riding his motorcycle while discussing his excitement after meeting the women in the premiere.

Becca K., a 27-year-old publicist from Minnesota, landed the first one-on-one date of the season, starting with a ride through Malibu’s canyons on the back of Luyendyk’s motorcycle and leading to an afternoon picking out gowns with Rachel Zoe. The Bachelor played the supportive boyfriend, telling Becca that “today is all about you” while she declared, “The world could end today and I would die a happy girl.”

After spending the day getting ready, Becca and Luyendyk went out to dinner in Los Angeles, and the Bachelor told her she made his “heart smile” and reminded him the most of himself during his stint on the show. Becca also revealed that her priorities were in order when she made sure the racecar driver could fix the brakes on her car.

On a more serious note, Becca talked about her dad, who died from brain cancer, and about how she is now looking for love after an on-and-off seven year relationship. After connecting with Luyendyk over family, she received the first one-on-one rose of the season on what he called a “perfect first date.”

She returned to the Bachelor mansion loaded up with Louboutins and red carpet-ready attire, so while she may not find a husband, at least she found a new wardrobe?

In a unconventional “Bachelor” twist, the first week of dates included two one-on-one dates, with 29-year-old fitness coach Krystal receiving the second date card. The two took a short flight to Luyendyk’s hometown of Scottsdale, Ariz., where they toured his high school, saw the spot of his first kiss, walked around his house, and even met his parents.

Huh, this season went so fast, are we at hometowns already?

“Family is extremely important to me. I need their approval,” Luyendyk said of the unexpectedly early introduction of Krystal to his home life. Krystal, though, said in her solo interview that she is not close to her family and was afraid of what the Bachelor would think of that, since he is so close to his.

During their dinner date, Krystal revealed that her dad hadn’t been a part of her life and discovered her brother was living on the streets after he was attacked and ended up in the hospital last year. While she broke down in tears, Luyendyk comforted her by saying he brought her home because he was immediately drawn to her and knew his mother would like her. She accepted the rose, and the two danced while pretending to be big fans of singer Connor Duermit.

In an attempt to quell the jealousy (which definitely backfired), Krystal wouldn’t tell the other contestants details of her date, and was quickly labeled “shady.”

The first group date of the season, stacked with 15 girls, was a demolition derby. The girls spray painted their cars, with one writing “Thx Emily” on the bumper and Annaliese having a meltdown over a traumatic experience she had riding bumper cars as a kid.

“Everyone kept hitting me, I remember being so alone,” she said through tears.

When the breakdown resulted in spending more time with Luyendyk, the women were less sympathetic, with one saying, “I didn’t know that bumper car trauma was a thing. This was supposed to be fun and now we’re just waiting for her to stop crying.”

With the women decked out in racing gear, they competed in the “Bashelor” competition commentated by show host Chris Harrison and racer Robby Gordon. Seinne, a 27-year-old real estate manager, was the victor, while Brittany T. had to leave the date after getting whiplash.

The contestants cleaned up and finished the day with a cocktail party, where Chelsea, who scored the first impression rose in the premiere, revealed to Luyendyk that she has a child. Among fighting for time with the Bachelor, he gave the date rose to derby winner Seinne, after proclaiming, “She went to Yale! I barely graduated high school and worked at Pizza Hut.” The self-awareness is refreshing.

After the three dates, the week ended in a cocktail party and plenty of drama over time spent with Luyendyk. The main battle was between Krystal, who already had a rose, and Bibiana, who was still angry over not getting alone time with the Bachelor on her group date.

“I think that when you learn to speak to me like a normal human being and not with a fake tone then I can actually respect you and listen to what you have to say,” Bibiana said after Krystal interrupted her time with Luyendyk despite not being in danger over going home.

“I meant it as no disrespect and when I came in to check on you I asked – ,” Krystal replied, before she was interrupted by Bibiana, “To check on me? Baby girl, it’s not about checking. If I’m with my man, you better back the f— up, that’s all I gotta say. I really think at this point, no one’s going to respect your time. You just dug a big a– hole for yourself.”

The rose ceremony cut the contestant pool down to 18, with Luyendyk sending home Valerie, Lauren G. and Jenny. From the original four, we’re now down to two Laurens!

After the second episode, early front-runners seem like 22-year-old Bekah M., along with Krystal and Becca K., coming off of one-on-one dates. Luyendyk continues to appear like the most authentic Bachelor in a few seasons, livening up this week after coming off a little bland in the season premiere.

Next week, dates include a wrestling group date, more Krystal drama, and hopefully more airtime for the taxidermist.

“The Bachelor” airs Monday nights at 8pm on ABC.

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