This week The Bachelor takes us to Paris, a legitimately romantic city that, unlike Fort Lauderdale, might actually be the “perfect place to fall in love.” But instead of sparks flying, each date feels more uncomfortable than the last.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH LAUREN B.
The first date in the City of Love goes to Lauren B. and no one has ever been less excited about anything, ever. Arie is strangely obsessed with Lauren B., but even he’s not quite sure why.
“I am super attracted to Lauren,” he says. “She is so beautiful. Even though I don’t know much about her, spending time with her makes me really happy. This is going to be an incredible date.”
Well, he was sorely mistaken. The date — at least as it’s shown — appears to be a complete disaster. Lauren B. is literally monosyllabic and barely cracks a smile as they walk around exploring the city. Can we get a pulse check on Lauren B.? Meanwhile, Arie is trying so hard to get something, anything, out of her.
Arie: “I obviously would love more than anything for you to like me, you know? I’d love that, because I’m super interested in you. I have a crush on you, and I want you to like me.”
Lauren B.: *blinks*
By the time they sit down for dinner, the prospect of Lauren B. actually getting a rose seems almost unfathomable. But for some inexplicable reason, Arie just can’t seem to let go. And because Lauren B. is apparently incapable of conversing, Arie overcompensates by doing all the talking and ends up sharing, like, a lot, about himself. Including dropping the bomb that his ex-girlfriend got pregnant and lost the baby.
Finally, Lauren B. manages to string together a few sentences to explain why she’s so “standoffish.” She reveals that her parents have been together for almost 30 years but don’t have a perfect marriage. She also explains that she was engaged to her last boyfriend and it didn’t work out. Neither of these scenarios seem particularly unique or tragic, but hey, they’re good enough for Arie.
Thank God for the group date. After a quick stroll through the city, Arie takes Becca K., Seinne, Bekah M., Tia, Chelsea and Jenna to the Moulin Rouge. He insists that this is “definitely for the women,” but the black boxes censoring their thong-clad behinds while they prance around on stage suggest otherwise.
The women learn that they’re all invited to watch the show that night, but whoever receives the rose at the cocktail party beforehand will actually get to perform on stage with Arie. Arie ends up bestowing the honor upon Bekah M., which honestly makes sense because no one has ever looked more at ease dancing cabaret in a flamboyant sequined get-up in front of a roomful of Parisians.
Let us all take a moment to appreciate this shot of the rest of the women being forced to watch the spectacle unfold. Taking bets on which one of them calls Bekah’s mom first.
TWO-ON-ONE WITH KRYSTAL AND KENDALL
Obviously Krystal gets picked for the two-on-one. Krystal’s behavior has been been getting progressively more outrageous all season, and she’s almost giddy when she finds out she’s going up against quirky, mild-mannered Kendall.
The two women travel in complete silence to a château outside of Paris, where Arie is waiting for them. They cling to him as he gives them an awkward tour of the grounds, and then finally, he takes each of them aside to talk.
Krystal is up first, and you can tell she’s trying hard to get back in Arie’s good graces after the bowling date fiasco last week. She apologizes and says stupid things like, “I don’t want to throw away all the color and texture and depth of our relationship.” It seems to work — but right when Arie is praising her for being so “sincere,” she pulls the textbook two-on-one Bachelor villain move and proceeds to throw shade at Kendall, pointing out that she’s never been in love and doesn’t seem ready for a serious relationship.
Arie brings this issue up with Kendall, who does her best to defend herself. Kendall then confronts Krystal for trash-talking her to Arie, but she’s way too nice about it and gets absolutely nowhere. Arie eventually returns and informs them that he hasn’t made up his mind and needs more time.
He drags the dreaded date into the evening, where Krystal and Kendall once again engage in a cringeworthy back-and-forth until Arie shows up, looking visibly uncomfortable. The three of them silently chug wine at the dinner table until Arie steps out with Kendall. Their conversation isn’t shown on camera, but when they return, he finally bites the bullet and gives her the rose. And in an absolutely savage move, he doesn’t even walk Krystal out. How’s that for a glitter mic drop?
RELATED VIDEO: The Bachelor‘s Krystal Accuses Arie Luyendyk Jr. of Being a Liar — and Packs Her Bags
ONE-ON-ONE WITH JACQUELINE
The final date in Paris goes to Jacqueline, which is a jarring choice considering we’ve only heard her speak on camera like, twice. But props to her, because at least she’s aware that she’s pretty much hanging by a thread this far along in the competition.
“When I got the date card, it felt like I was given a pony for Christmas,” she says. “But it’s also like, ‘If you don’t learn to ride this pony correctly by the end of the day, it’ll be shot.’ ”
Arie shows up to pick Jacqueline up in a vintage convertible. It breaks down before he’s even pulled out of the driveway, and watching this misfortune befall the race-car driver is a real rib-tickler.
Arie takes Jacqueline shopping, and then for a fancy dinner at Maxim’s. He admits that his own insecurities are what set them back for so long: He was “intimidated” by her because he thinks she’s too smart for him.
“Why don’t you think you would gravitate towards somebody intelligent?” she asks, which is some of the best low-key shade anyone has thrown at Arie so far.
Jacqueline is, in fact, very smart. She’s planning on getting her PhD, which isn’t ideal for Arie because he’s looking for someone to move to Scottsdale and get married. They discuss this issue at length, eventually deciding to “cross that bridge” when they get to it — and Jacqueline earns her first one-on-one rose.
Heading into the rose ceremony, Lauren B., Bekah M., Kendall and Jacqueline already have roses secured — and Arie only has three left to hand out. They go to Tia, Seinne and Becca K., which means Chelsea and Jenna are sent home.
Arie informs the remaining women that they’ll be flying to Tuscany next, and everyone rejoices. But the final scene teases ominous drama ahead: Lauren B. is shown complaining to an off-camera producer.
“I’m getting pissed off by the smallest things,” she says. “I should be excited that we’re going to Tuscany, and we’re traveling the world and it’s so cool. But I also am like, terrified that he’s going to pick someone else.”
Can someone remind Lauren B. how this show works?
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.