SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “The Bachelor” episode from Monday, Jan. 15.
Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s third week as the Bachelor was packed with misbehaving dogs, awkward dates and fighting women — this time not just verbally, but physically as well.
Luyendyk, who was heartbroken by then-Bachelorette Emily Maynard in 2012, still has 18 girls competing for his heart — and the final rose — and tension is quickly starting to build as a few women have become frontrunners.
Monday’s episode started with host Chris Harrison announcing that “behind every good man is a really strong woman,” before giving the women a date card for the week’s first group outing. In a date inspired by 1980s show “GLOW” (and the Netflix reboot), the women participated in “GLOB,” the “Gorgeous Ladies of the ‘Bachelor'” wrestling. Two former female professional wrestlers tried to train the women, but some of the contestants quickly became emotional when the pros mocked them.
After practicing in the ring, the contestants were sent to create wrestling alter egos, including “Sex Kitten,” “The Lunch Lady” and “Bridezilla,” and Luyendyk (dubbed “The Kissing Bandit”) started off the wrestling competition by taking on Kenny King, a pro wrestler contestant on Rachel Lindsay’s “Bachelorette” season. He got thrown to the ground an embarrassing number of times, but the women still claimed to be smitten and charmed by his defeat.
In a series of uncomfortable and sexually-tinged matches, the women wrestled in front of a live audience. It was one of the stranger and more pointless dates seen from “The Bachelor” franchise, but worked in plenty of puns about “fighting for Arie’s heart.” After embarrassing themselves in the ring for a few hours, the group date turned into a cocktail party and another fight between Krystal and the other women.
Bibiana, the 30-year-old executive assistant from Miami, again sparred with Krystal and complained to Luyendyk about her behavior, which backfired, as Krystal is clearly one of the Bachelor’s favorites at this point. Tia and Bekah M., who landed the group date rose, also continued to establish themselves as frontrunners, as Krystal, peeved she didn’t get the rose, said she needed to “step up her game.”
To solidify her role as this season’s villain, Krystal told one of the girls, “I get hated on by girls, they just get jealous. Girls are really insecure around me.” With an attitude like that, it’s a real mystery why she’s not beloved by all?
The one-on-one for this week went to Lauren S., who joined Luyendyk on a trip to Napa Valley. Before the date, the Bachelor said he didn’t know much about her, and yet said she’s everything he’s looking for in a wife. Interesting.
The two walked through vineyards, wine tasting and talking about such lively topics as who goes to bed earlier. Luyendyk has a tendency to be bland, but this girl isn’t doing him any favors. The date turned into a romantic dinner — minus any of the romance. Lauren S. babbled on and on about random facts from her past as Luyendyk seemed to look around for a way to escape.
After a day lacking any chemistry, the Bachelor sent Lauren S. home, telling her, “I can see that the connection really isn’t there.”
The episode’s second group date followed the women training dogs and then showing them off in a live dog show at The Grove in Los Angeles, Calif. Harrison, along with guest judge Fred Willard, did commentary for the event. It was hard to really call it a “show,” though, as the women couldn’t get the dogs to even do one trick.
Following Annaliese’s demolition derby breakdown last week (with her bumper car trauma), she seemed to have a fear of dogs as well, and went through a dramatic tale about almost being bitten as a child, along with a full taped reenactment. She also got the job of pooper scooper at the show, so she’s really have a rough go of it on “The Bachelor” so far.
The show was followed by another cocktail party, where single-mom Chelsea, who got the first impression rose, went on the attack for the Bachelor’s attention and scored the group date rose. Annaliese freaked out after an awkward sit-down with Luyendyk and worried that she’s one of the only women who hasn’t kissed him yet. Also one woman described his kissing style as “pillow lips,” which is not doing him any favors.
At the cocktail party, Bekah M. and Tia continued to get attention, with Luyendyk setting up a mini date for Arkansas physical therapist Tia with hay barrels and moonshine. On the opposite side, Annaliese asked the Bachelor for a kiss and he said they aren’t there yet, despite the fact that he had kissed 17 other women. When she asked for clarification, he sent her home before the rose ceremony, saying, “If I feel like there isn’t a future, I have to say goodbye.”
After already have eliminated Lauren S. and Annaliese, Bibiana was the only one sent home at the rose ceremony. In her exit interview she declared she was “broken” and said she didn’t “deserve this,” which, even for this show, seems a little extreme for week three.
Now down to 15 women, we’re slowly wading through the pool of ‘Bachelor’ contestants, and next week marks the first of the travel dates, with a visit to Lake Tahoe. Hopefully, we finally get some time with the criminally underrated taxidermist, and stop seeing quite so many close-ups of Luyendyk’s (graphic, very intense) make-out sessions.
“The Bachelor” airs Monday nights at 8pm on ABC.