The Bachelor 2016 – Ben H: The Women Tell All Recap

So as much as I think the phrase ‘all the feels’ is overdone these days, I have to say, this season’s The Women Tell All episode really did deliver all the feels. In fact, I dare say it delivered the most feels of any Women Tell All episode in Bachelor history, right?!?

I was so busy feeling the feels that I didn’t even bother taking that many notes (fine, I was also looking at bar stools on etsy).

Take Jubilee for instance – I don’t think any of us expected her to have so much of the spotlight. I mean, with Lace and Olivia in plain sight, that’s like hitting up the buffet and choosing a lukewarm vegetarian spring roll over an adorable ahi slider or crab cake. Why would you do that? Why?

Truly, I mean no disrespect by this to Jubilee. I’m not saying she is a vegetarian spring roll. I’m just saying compared to the crazy to be discussed regarding the other two, she lacks, well, flavour (not to be confused with flavah – I certainly don’t want to be thrown onto the racism bandwagon like everyone else on the show.)

I know, I know, I’m ahead of myself. There’s way more on the table to dissect before getting to the interviews-turned-therapy-sessions that were every moment in the hot-seat.

First, there’s the slightly off-cue audience participation, which, if rolling my eyes could be considered a feel, well, I was definitely feeling the feels. The burst of applause, the resounding boos, the excited cheers – really? Nobody springs into that type of identical emotional reaction in unison. Well, unless you’re a panel of discarded bachelorettes finally confronting the season’s villain on TV. Then, I can believe everyone is on the same page.

So yeah, there was that. And the Bachelor viewing party crashing, which when first shown many seasons ago was cute, and now, it just makes me feel all weird inside. This is why you do the show, Chris? Funny, I thought it was for love. Do these people really not know they are being visited? How does Chris even know these parties are going on if they don’t? Do I need to step up my game? Actually allow people into my lair to watch with me? I’m sure you all think it would be a rip-roaring good time sitting next to me on the couch while I consume our favourite TV show, but really, it’s pretty much me finally finishing making lunches for the next day while my PVR records enough to be able to fast forward commercials, then pouring myself a glass of wine (or three), sitting on my couch with a pillow between my lap and computer to pretend that’s enough to protect me from cancer and off I go, type, type, typing away. Sure, I actually experience a true jaw dropping moment on occasion, and sure I sometimes (always) cry, but I certainly don’t have white boards with crossed out cast members and an assortment of crudités within my reach.

Oh and you know what else I don’t have? A gay husband.

Cuz if your man is the ‘very intense fan’ who’s more into The Bachelor than you are, and willing to have 30 cackling women over to watch the show with you, well, I hate to drop this bomb on you sister, but you have more to worry about than replenishing the punch bowl and coming up with cute hashtags for your bachelor baby’s onesie. Sorry, was I not clear? Your husband is gay.

Alright back to the panel. I have to commend the ladies first and foremost, on keeping their skin more natural than panels past, where you’ve actually been able to see remnants of the equator brushing off onto their cocktail dresses.

Massive, giant demerit points for chicken girl, who clearly did not think things through. It was bad enough being labelled a ‘chicken enthusiast’ as an actual byline on the show for the six minutes you lasted, but is this the conversation you had with yourself when debating whether or not Sheila should attend The Women Tell All? “Hey still-single-self! Maybe some guy tuning in will notice me on the show in that back row as he’s flipping channels and be all like – I must meet this mysterious blond vixen – and wait! What’s this? Is that a chicken on her lap? Why, that makes her all the more alluring and not at all crazier than your average cat lady. Now I really have to meet her!” I mean seriously, what were you (are you) thinking? How did she even get the name ‘Sheila’? How did she even get transported? Are chickens allowed in hotel rooms? You can file this all under ‘Questions I never thought I’d need to ask.’

So before we got right down to the drama, everyone sharpened their claws on Leah the Liar, who got a resounding instructions-on-a-poster-board-induced boo from the audience. Dude, what did you expect? You lied about things Lauren said, then full-on lied to the faces of the girls trying to investigate said lie, and now you have to face the music – there’s no hiding on that panel. To back-pedal and say you didn’t ‘intentionally lie’ is literally meaningless, because a lie by definition is an intentional telling of an untruth. Furthermore, trying to transfer the blame to Ben for making you face the lie head-on because he was trying to seek the truth about a girl who has at least 49% of his love is just pathetic. We’re not buying what you’re selling, nosiree.

But enough about Leah the Liar. Let’s go back to Jubilee for a minute. If ever there was a fragile girl not equipped to handle this panel, it’s poor Jubilee.

Surprisingly, most of the heat came from Jami, who mattered so little on the show, yet had the most to say. Clearly the whole is she full black, half black, somewhat black, standing in a shadow, overdid it on the bronzer debate is up in the air, and will likely not be resolved anytime soon, much like, you know, racism in general. If Amber and Jami were offended by Jubilee’s comments, then I truly do feel for them, but I think Jubilee was acknowledging something that has been called out not just on that panel, but in various blogs and articles, over the past many years in relation to this franchise, and spade being a spade, she is the black woman who has had the longest relationship with any Bachelor. Whether it matters or not, or should matter or not (for the record, I don’t think it does), it remains a fact. But enough of that.

So after Jubilee takes the heat for being an unintentional racist (and Leah the Liar digs herself a deeper grave by snipping at Amber and Jami to ‘get over it’), it’s time for – wait for it – Jubilee – to get into the hot seat – again. Sweet.

I have to say, I breathed a sigh of relief for Jubilee once she had Chris in her corner (to a degree – he did try to squeeze out every opportunity for her to break down). She expressed herself eloquently, tried very hard to paint a picture of who she is and was the first in a string of many to claim that she had done a lot of growing and learning about herself through her experience on this show. In fact, this season seems to have been so self-actualizing for so many of the women, that I almost think that anyone having an identity crisis should immediately sign up to be a contestant on The Bachelor.

And speaking of identity crises…ah, Lace.

Well, your brain and your hair certainly got a makeover, didn’t they?

I’m glad Lace did a lot of growing through her experiences watching herself on the show. I can only imagine how mortifying it would be to watch myself slurring, glaring and crying my way through a month of TV, not to mention incessantly talking about myself in the third person. Did she actually feel bad for how she treated some of the girls? Maybe. Was she embarrassed enough to realize something’s gotta give? Definitely.

Also on the topic of things I can’t imagine – coming off of the show and heading back into the dating world, or even the public in general. According to Lace, she somehow found some guys who want to have a crack at her – proof there really is someone for everyone. And the proof was in the oddly planted tattoo guy just waiting to jump out of the third row and awkwardly rescue her. Here’s a thought, Dude. If you truly are interested in Lace, enough to get a tattoo of her face on your body without ever having met her and only seeing her at her worst (I hope), how about instead of using possibly your only opportunity to meet her to take an awkward selfie, why don’t you approach her and, oh I don’t know, introduce yourself? Ask her out? Kiss her hand? Something? Honestly, texting a dick pic may have even been less awkward than that photo op.

The thing that bothers me here (and don’t get me wrong, I get that it’s Chris Harrison’s job to drag the pain out of people and make them be as specific as possible in their interviews to offer us the maximum entertainment value), but when human beings become actual tools for exploitation, I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem right to me (said the hypocrite blogger who only writes about human spectacles on The Bachelor).

Chris barely lets Lace finish her sentence about not being ready to date, and loving herself before she can love someone else before he extends her an invitation to Bachelor in Paradise which would go directly against both of those principles.

It wouldn’t have been as obvious if he had just revealed her as an upcoming cast member at a later date, but the fact that she’s in the hot seat because she delivered the most amount of crazy which basically qualifies her for the show just like it did when he asked Ashley S to go on Paradise last season, it’s just so painfully obvious. Yes, I’ll admit watching Jade and Tanner fall in love from Minute 1 was as boring as watching Marcus and Lacey the season before, so I get the value of the crazies, but can’t we just get some good old fashion sluts and man-whores on the show? Do they all have to be nuts? If I have to watch Ashley I hyperventilate and wipe her boogers away one more time, I will seriously lose my shit.

And then there’s Olivia. Oy, Olivia.

What’s to say?

I mean let’s all admit it – we all felt for Olivia. I had a full on lump in my throat when she spoke about how hard it’s been since the show, and truly, I can’t imagine what it’s like to leave your Bachelor bubble not only broken-hearted by the man of your dreams but to head back in the world and be ferociously hated by a bunch of bitchy strangers across the country both in real life and on social media. The trickle-down effect is astounding. Does she still even have her job? Can she even go for a pedi? The implications are just too much to even think about.

And yet – was she sincere? The bottom line is, maybe she was misunderstood, and maybe she was in some way a victim of the mob mentality and maybe the twins are total mean girls disguised as girls who really care so very, very much about others. The girls did all get closer together with their hatred for her BUT – let’s not forget what a total snobby, condescending, passive-aggressive-and-in-your-face-aggressive-at-the-same-time bitch that she truly was on the show. Maybe she learned from that and maybe she didn’t. Listening to her jump right back into her speech about how she’s a confident, blah, blah, blah of a woman in her own defense ignited a class action eye-roll amongst the panel right there and likely all of us at home. So I’m torn. The girlfriend in me wants to be all ‘Oh no you di-int!’ but the mother in me wants to get down to her eye level and talk to her about making better choices next time and that words are not for hurting (before I punch myself in the face for repeating the same friggin’ life lessons day in and day out.)

Finally, Caila. Actually, meh, who cares (please don’t make her the Bachelorette).

FINALLY, Ben. Could this guy be any more loved? On one side you’ve got Chris Harrison telling him they broke the Bachelor mold when they cast him and on the other side, where usually there’s a sea of angry, disgruntled girls with major bones to pick, you’ve got them all basically toasting how wonderful and awesome he is, thanking him for existing because he’s reaffirmed their faith in men and assuring him he’ll be the best husband and father ever. We didn’t even touch on Ben telling both remaining two he loved them last week? Really girls? None of you had anything to say about that?

So there you have it. The women told all was the rawest and most poignant I’ve ever seen it, and now I’m sufficiently pumped for what the hell will go down next week. I haven’t been this excited since Season One of Bachelor Pad (may it rest in peace).

Till next week!
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