So Ben is taking the girls down south of the border, but given the piñata disappointment of a couple of episodes ago, I am not about to get my hopes up. No sir-ree…once bitten, twice shy and all of that. Anyway, even without any papier mache induced frenzy, this episode holds heaps of promise. If Olivia and Jubilee aren’t half crazy already, I can’t even hope to imagine how insane they will become when they get to the lofty altitude and thin air of Mexico City. Hold on to your sombrero, Ben. I think you are in for a bumpy ride, amigo.
The episode opens with Ben waxing lyrical about the culture and food and how excited he is that he seems to be making progress with multiple people. That sounds a little more Salt Lake City than Mexico City, but as long as Ben is happy, all is OK. Soon the multiples of his dreams arrive and check into their plush hotel. Of all the fancy features of the suite, Olivia takes particular fancy to the bidet. Well, if there was one girl we thought that would get off over a jet of water being shot up her butt, that’s where my money would have gone. She has one at home, don’t you know.
It seems like she might need a good clean out because when the first date card arrives she is confident, because her gut is talking to her. And her gut turns out to be a big fat liar, because the card says Amanda. There’s a cryptic clue about eggs. Olivia has a look of horror on her face like she’s imagining Ben fertilising some eggs, but I’m just wishing that the crazy chook lady wasn’t eliminated in the first episode. Now that would be a date…
Olivia’s horror, meanwhile, has turned to bemusement. How can he possibly take Amanda on a date? She has…CHILDREN.
Next morning, Ben decides to surprise the girls at 4:19 am so that he can find Amanda to start their date. The girls are mightily civil to this unexpected interruption to their beauty sleep I must say. My husband, who is currently working away at Uluru, sent me a text message at 1:16 am the other morning to tell me there was a scorpion in his room. A text message at that time of the morning was nearly grounds for divorce. But I digress.
We do learn quite a bit from this early morning ambush. Somebody’s weave sneaks off to the bedside table at night time. Lauren sleeps with a retainer. So does Ben. Olivia sleeps with Jubilee. Can’t help but wonder of that was of their own choosing or a set up, but what a perfect match.
After the eternally perky Amanda heads off on her date with Ben, even Lauren ponders whether Ben is ready to be a Dad to two immature little girls. Hello? Didn’t he start this “journey” with twenty-five of them? If he could handle the petulant temper tantrums of Lace, a two-year-old ought to be a cinch.
Ben has finally managed to solve the dilemma caused the clash of his love for airborne transport with hair extensions, and takes Amanda “way out” of the city to go hot air ballooning over the ancient city (And I have to admit, of all the dates he has taken the girls on, this one does look pretty awesome). Afterwards, Ben takes her for a picnic in some overgrown weeds where they engage in some deep conversation which goes something like this:
Amanda: I like totally like you.
Ben: I like totally want to like be around you.
Amanda: I like feel like I am totally like outside myself.
Ben: I like feel totally like that too.
Hmmm. I am like totally like ambivalent about this.
I counted the word “like” being used 756 times over brunch. Like, I’m not even exaggerating. All right…I am.
All of a sudden it is night time and a there’s a rapid knocking on the hotel room door. Amazingly, the girls are able to distinguish this knock from, say, Mexican police on a drug raid. It’s the group date card and all the girls are on it, except for Lauren. That can only mean one thing. Someone, or if we are lucky two someones, are one jalapeno away from a complete meltdown. Lauren says she is beside herself. That’s pretty true. If Jubilee, Caila and Jennifer are sitting on the other couch, the rest of them are pretty much clones of one another.
It’s night time for Amanda and Ben as well, creating a void of about seven hours. Maybe, Ben abandoned Amanda after brunch and left her wandering around in the long grass of Teotihuacan until she managed to hitchhike back to the hotel. Maybe there was some Rohypnol involved. It’s got an icky Bill Cosby feel to it.
Amanda opens up to Ben about her marriage. “There were red flags everywhere. He had an addictive personality.” Apparently he wanted to do other things with his life instead of family time with Amanda – like spend his weekends at vexillology conventions. Finally, Amanda found his mobile phone, and there were all these semaphore messages on there, and THAT was one flag too many. For the record, Amanda uses the word “like” thirty-five times in two and a half minute monologue (I counted).
A rose is produced. I’m not even watching. I can’t… like…take it anymore.
Next day it’s the group date and Ben is excited to go on a date with seven fun and energetic women, as well as Jubilee and Olivia. The date card was in Spanish, and Olivia is excited about showing off her excellent cooking skills.
It’s all a joke, of course, you hilarious guy, Ben. The cooking comes later. He comes up with some pathetic reason for putting the girls through Spanish lessons, but clearly it’s all about which girl can roll their arse…I mean, roll their Rs. They get to learn lots of useful phrases like “I want to stick my tongue down your throat” and “Let’s ditch these bitches and get jiggy”. Jubes (bummer of a nickname, Jubilee) is not taking this one bit. Yes! Olivia can speak a bit of Spanish and this sends the other girls into a jealous titter.
Espanol apparently mastered, the group is off to a restaurant where Ben says all of this language learning is going to be pretty helpful. Yes…if they feel inclined to propose to Chef Nico or Chef Lula, and frankly, Lula looks like she would eat these girls alive with a spicy salsa and a garnish of cilantro, por favour. And they both speak pretty good English anyway.
Really, Ben should have sent them to Maths lessons, because the there is some problem dividing ten by two, especially on the part of Olivia and Jubilee who both insist that Ben should form a group of three with them for the cooking challenge. Of course, Olivia clings on like a lichen and Jubilee, in a fine humour, gets to partner Leah.
(Now. I have to have a little aside here. I believe that Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the US. For crying out loud, the Bachelor mansion is in Los Angeles. Their last outing was Las Vegas. Their whole bloody continent was named after a Spaniard. That so many of this group is so ignorant of Hispanic culture is astounding. Little wonder that we have such a hard time selling Spanish to our students when even this cross-section of Americans is ignorant to the culture.)
Olivia takes the opportunity with Ben to munch on crickets and skol tequila. In return, Ben, apparently now privy to Olivia’s disgusting breath, joins her in a mint shot.
Into the kitchen and Ben says that he is looking forward to seeing how the women adapt to using different utensils in the kitchen. I’m confused. Why would that be on anyone’s checklist for a prospective wife? Then Ben declares he is no longer “The Bachelor” and shall be henceforth known as “The Spatula”. Oh. I see.
Before long, it’s time for the taste testing. And the award for sexual innuendo of the series goes to….
JoJo: Ben already tasted my taco, and he loved it. I know my taco’s delicious.
Not surprising. We’ve seen her taco protruding from her shorts on at least two dates.
The winner is announced and Jubilee and Leah are triumphant. Olivia is a mole. (Yes…I know it’s pronounced “mol-ay”, as long as that’s the Spanish word for “unstable bitch”, otherwise I’ll stick to the Aussie version).
But Jubilee is far from festive by the time the reach the post-date soiree, and after Olivia (is she really that oblivious) steals Ben away first (AGAIN), Jubes morphs into a festering boil ready to pop. By the time Ben says to Jennifer, “Will you come with me?” Jubilee is done.
So by the time Ben actually does ask Jubilee to join him, she commits what surely must be Bachelor harakiri and refuses to hold his hand in front of the others. Ben tells her like it is, almost. And then, finally, he tells her there’s nothing. Nuddah. Zilch. He tells Jubilee she should leave. It’s a pivotal moment and it restores my faith in reality TV…
Haha! Gotcha! Like I ever had any faith in reality TV to restore! Anyone else notice how Ben already knew where the exit was located?
Having regained his composure, Ben rejoins the girls to tell them about how he has asked Jubilee to leave. The girls stare at him vacantly: “Jubilee who?” And within seconds, JoJo has whisked Ben away for another helping of her tacos.
And then he gives a rose to Olivia. Holy mole. Holey, effing mol-ay.
There has been so much excitement that I totally forgot that Lauren still has a single date with Ben. She goes and does some sort of humiliating modelling task. Blah, blah…I’m falling for Ben…blah, blah…freakin’ out…blah, blah…best date ever….blah, blah…pash, pash. Here’s a rose. Move on.
Cocktail party! Yay!
Pretty much everyone is tense. Amanda has a rose and she’s tense. Olivia’s not tense, but she has a rose and she is oblivious. JoJo and Lauren B manage to sneak in some one-on-one time before all hell breaks loose. Back on the couch, Olivia drops the bomb, saying to Amanda (who sounds like she’s ten years old but is actually two years older than Olivia) that her tribulations sound like an episode of Teen Mom. And then she says it again. And then she attempts to redeem herself by providing an episode by episode synopsis of the first season.
Hell hath no fury like a group of women, one of whom has been scorned by a frickin’ clueless imbecile. Even Emily, who sold out her twin, calls out Olivia as selfish. She girds her loins by going to pee, then grabs Ben and dobs on Olivia. Olivia counters by barging in on Emily, and Emily responds by phoning Hayley (the one she shafted) to bitch about Olivia.
Ben in the meantime is wondering if there’s a side to her he hasn’t seen. Hmmm…recap.
“I’m sorry your friends burned alive in that plane crash, Ben. Have I told you how hard it is to live life with genetically fat ankles?”
“I’m sorry I was a frickin’ psycho. I want to start again. Can we start again? I want to ski dance! I want to ski dance!”
“Oh, lookie here! Someone left this piece of cheesecake behind the couch. I’m just gonna eat it in front of you OK? Oh…Ben…oh…Ben.”
So then Amanda off-loads about Olivia. Ben starts seeing red flags. No, Ben! That’s how her marriage ended remember?
And then Jennifer.
Then in comes Chris for his obligatory appearance to count roses and earn his wage, and Ben breaks with convention and asks Olivia for a chat. I’m quivering right now.
And the girls are quivering…
And even Chris is quivering and has made a hasty phone call to his manager: if I don’t have to let them know when there’s only one rose left, do I get paid?
TO BE CONTINUED.
Not happy, Ben. At least not yet.