Much excitement in the Bachelor mansion as Chris arrives to tell the girls that they are all off to meet Ben in Las Vegas.
This is the marriage capital of the world and it sends Olivia into a tailspin, and she starts speaking in some sort of garbled tongue: “I wanna wanna wanna wanna seeleen!” But somehow behind those wild-eyes, you know that the poor deluded girl thinks that Ben is going to drop everything and whip her off to a wedding chapel, forgoing the whole of the rest of the series.
Aside from its weddings tag, Las Vegas must also be at the centre of some bizarre time continuum vortex, because despite Chris greeting the girls with a hearty good morning AND telling them that their plane leaves in one hour AND them flying in a Lear Jet which should take about forty minutes, it is still well and truly dark by the time the girls gather in the middle of the strip to read Ben’s illuminated greeting, assuming of course that our Ben is the only man on the strip sending neon messages to a posse of girls.
Still no sign of the man himself, so the girls head off to the suite. The lavish surroundings have had the desired effect with Leah, the event planner, declaring that she “feels like a baller”. MAYBE this is some sort of reference to being a successful gambler, but I’m pretty sure them’s fightin’ words if any of the other girls heard.
JoJo gets the first date and Olivia’s fine with it.
JoJo’s date starts romantically enough, sipping champagne with Ben in a rooftop carpark. But of course it’s all just tricks from Ben, who wouldn’t be on a date if it didn’t involve some sort of flying craft. In comes the helicopter, sending the champagne flying, showering JoJo in cuvee brut and broken glass and embedding her hair extensions in her lip gloss. Really, Ben? AGAIN no hair tie?
Ever the gentleman, Ben checks to make sure JoJo’s lips are OK and Olivia sees this from the discomfort of the hotel room. Miss “I’m fine with it” is becoming less fine with it by the minute. Excellent. And by the time the next date card arrives and she misses out on another one-on-one date, she is decidedly NOT fine with it.
Back at the date and Ben takes JoJo to another hotel room to not eat dinner and not drink wine, before taking her up to the rooftop to admire the view…and wouldn’t you know it, fireworks explode in the sky. I guess there’s only so much metaphorical mileage you can get out of the Bellagio fountains shooting their load.
From her vantage point, Olivia is not fine with this either. And she hasn’t even seen the rose in JoJo’s hand yet. My hands are rubbing in glee.
Next morning, Caila is so excited about the group date and seeing Las Vegas. Too bad the group date is one of those humiliating affairs where the girls have to dress up and jump through hoops and belittle themselves. I know that that sounds like EVERY Bachelor date, but this one has a “Vegas Show” theme, and Celine Dion is not making a guest appearance. Ben attempts to justify this misogyny by saying that he’s looking for a girl who doesn’t take herself too seriously and he wants to help bring some of them out of their shells. The only way to check this out, apparently, is to dress them up in a chicken suits and make them juggle balls in front of 1200 people.
A ventriloquist named Terry Fator asks the girls to identify their talents. Leah smartly keeps her mouth shut about being a baller, but there are some other talents amongst the group. The twins do Irish dancing. Jubilee plays the cello. A couple of the girls can walk and talk at the same time. Olivia momentarily forgets about her elephantine cankles and decides she will do a Vegas showgirl act. “Luckily I shaved this morning,” she says. True. Bearded ladies belong in the circus, not Vegas.
So it all starts off OK. The twins dress like a couple of beer wenches and do a little Riverdance. Jubilees clamps the cello between her legs to show Ben what life might be like once they are wed. There’s juggling, hula hooping (that’s a talent?) a bit of belly dancing, and a little seen brunette forms balloons into what looks like a bunch of penises.
Finally, it’s Olivia’s turn. I didn’t see it on the prop rack, so I can only assume that Olivia is pretty crafty with cardboard and a few bits of chewy and has fashioned herself a cake which she can jump out of. Well, step out of. Then giggle. Then “dance”. It’s a train wreck. And carriage after carriage after carriage just keep flying off the rails.
After the show, Olivia has a panic attack as she realises any last shred of credibility she had as a news anchor has floated away like a stray feather from a boa. The rest of the pack waste no time sinking the knife in – while she’s out of the room, of course.
Olivia, for her part, manages to regain enough composure to attend the post show cocktail party. But Caila gets the first one-on-one time with Ben, where she immediately turns into a “sex panther”. Then Lauren H gets to talk to a puppet. Olivia is not fine with this.
Olivia drags Ben away, and having lamented earlier about receiving a pity hug from Ben, she now whines about how bad her performance was (and let’s face it, whining is her real talent) to try to extract a pity rose. Her plan is thwarted when one of the twins barges in and Olivia is not fine with that, either.
Olivia is very worried. You can tell, because she shoves a canape in her mouth. And then another. And then the producers rush in and tell her to stop eating the props. With no food to distract her, and not content to sit on the couch playing with Little Ben like the other girls, Olivia is soon back to her usual form of barging in on everyone else’s alone time. Right when Emily was telling Ben a riveting story about how her dogs wouldn’t leave home with her, they are interrupted. Emily retreats and Ben apologises. Just once I would love to see one of these Bachelors tell one of these psycho cows to pull their heads in. It could only help ratings, surely?
But he doesn’t. Olivia tells him that she wants to start over because the last conversation was so not her. “I just want to start over,” she whines, while clicking her fingers in his face. “And ski dance. I just want to ski dance.”
If she gets saved tonight, I think I am out.
Ben gives her a peck on the lips, and Olivia is satisfied that the wedding plans are back on.
Then Lauren B gets the group date rose. Olivia is not fine with this. And thinking about it hurts her brain. Watching her hurts mine.
There’s been so much action I almost forgot that there is another single date to get out of the way on this Vegas adventure. Ben sends over a wedding dress for Becca, the virgin, to wear on their date. Of course this is designed to send the rest of them into a frenzied cat fight, but amazingly it is Jubilee who makes the most astute observation: “If she hasn’t lost it in twenty-six years. I can’t see it happening in the next six hours.” Having said that, that’s about twice as long as one of Britney Spears’ entire Vegas marriages lasted, so maybe there is cause for concern.
As it turns out, Ben has done some on-line qualification which means he can officiate at other people’s weddings. It’s like some cheesy plot from a Brady Bunch reunion where Jan’s priest has a heart attack, so Peter goes on line and saves the day by conducting the service.
Travis and Leah are first the guinea pigs in this social experiment, and I guess if you are tacky enough to get married in a Vegas chapel, then it’s not too much of a stretch to let The Bachelor do the honours. And even if Becca is trying her best to look like Priscilla Presley, at least Ben’s not dressed as Elvis. But then Becca starts reading some of the service stuff out of Ben’s book. Surely she hasn’t just become ordained too? Does this mean that at the end of it Travis is married, but Leah isn’t? Maybe I should stop over-thinking it.
After a hard day of marrying, Ben and Becca drive away in a convertible (slowly to avoid the hair in lip gloss issue) to a neon graveyard so that they can shed some light on the issue of Becca’s virginity and Ben’s man-whoredom. Anyway, she really likes him and he really likes her and this isn’t the stage of the process where bones are jumped anyway, so, having listened to cheesy vows all day, they exchange a few of their own and finally he gives her a rose. Great. Now we can get back to Olivia.
But no! Ben decides to take the twins out for the day to see if he can actually tell them apart. The day starts with a visit to the family home where they are greeted by the twins’ mother and a pack of sausage dogs. Surely that’s a deal –breaker right there. Then one of the girls show Ben her room.
Twin: It’s so dirty!
Ben: What do you mean?
Twin: It’s not clean.
Yep. That exchange really happened. I think what she really meant was that the room was littered with photos of her and her ex-boyfriend. How embarrassment!
The other one, meantime does a lovely job of throwing her sister under the bus. We all knew it was going to happen; we just didn’t know when. It works. Ben decides to leave Hayley behind with her mother and dachshunds and take Emily back to the cocktail party. I think.
Cocktail time. AT LAST. So Olivia decides that she has to spend as much time with Ben as possible to maximise her chances of staying. Poor deluded girl! The less time he has with her the more chance he’s likely to forget how nutty she is. No matter, because before she can click her robust heels together, Jen has snapped him up. Jen? Jen? Who the heck is that? Was she just crossing the hotel foyer and got caught up in the exodus to the pool area? Or have I been so busy keeping all the blondes straight that I haven’t even noticed this girl?
Doesn’t matter, because Olivia is about to continue her bizarre dating ritual. This time it is to barge in on the one-on-one time with whatshername, produce a piece of cheesecake from behind the couch, and then show Ben how well she can eat it. Watching the cluelessness of this girl is starting to become excruciating. And yes…I know it is a construct, but there still have to be the building blocks with which to construct.
In the end she is referring to herself in the third person and Ben is squirming in his seat like his friends have died in the plane crash all over again. Olivia is feeling fine…and confident about that rose.
After what seems like an eternity, it’s rose ceremony time. The usual suspects get their roses, as well as Julie…I mean Judy…JEN…I mean Jen. It’s down to one rose and three girls: Olivia, Amber and Rachel.
And then it happens. He calls Olivia’s name. And she’s mighty fine with it.
And I’m left with a head spiralling that I don’t even think another wine would fix. Even though Amber ended up in the foetal position, bawling, in a banana lounge, she was more bitch than psycho. At the moment I can’t see how I can sit through another episode of Olivia, and yet, deep down I know I’ll be back. Why? Because I live in hope that Lauren the kindy teacher, or Amanda the squeaky voiced mum, or Caila the good girl sex panther will get there in the end.
But even so, Ben. WTF?