The Bachelor Recap: Ben Higgins Goes on His First Dates (and Gets More Than One First Kiss!) as Tension Rises Among the Women
The second episode of Bachelor season 20 opened with one of the twins calling Ben Higgins “the greatest Bachelor on the planet of history,” so we knew we were in for two great hours of television. (As for which twin, we have absolutely no idea. Can anyone tell them apart? Can Ben? Probably not.)
With two group dates, a one-on-one, a hot tub, celebrity cameos, a private concert, an emotionally charged cocktail party and lots of crazy eyes, we had all the essential components of a classic Bachelor episode. Let’s begin.
First Group Date: Welcome to “Bachelor High”, Where There Is Such a Thing as Lunch Class
The first date card went to Jackie, Lauren “LB,” Lauren H., Becca, Amber, Mandy, JoJo, Jubilee, Jennifer and Lace. The women were dropped off at a Los Angeles high school, or “Bachelor High,” as it was most cleverly renamed.
“I just want this date to be goofy and fun so I’m taking the girls back to school today,” Ben explained. Because, of course, the way to achieve a goofy, laid-back atmosphere is definitely to bring 10 women vying for the romantic attention of one man on national television back to high school and have them compete against each other to become his Homecoming Queen. Naturally.
“Bachelor High” had all sorts of stimulating classes where the women were tasked with doing things like, “Shoot a basketball hoop” and “Make Ben’s volcano explode.” They were also tested on their ability to place Ben’s home state of Indiana on a map (spoiler alert: they had some trouble), and last but not least, “lunch class,” where the women had to transport a red apple floating in a fish tank to a lunch tray without using their hands.
Yes, this actually happened. Grown women repeatedly dunked their entire heads underwater trying to bite onto an apple, only to pass said apple to their partner’s mouth, all under Ben’s watchful eye. (Jackie’s mouth was too small to bite onto the apple, which prompted a whole bunch of mature jokes. Poor Jackie.)
Mandi and Amber, the final two women, then battled it out for first place, racing each other down the track field. Mandi won (the girl absolutely shredded those hurdles), winning herself the crown and some alone time with Ben. Amber felt defeated, left-out and alone, which unfortunately reminded us of much of her time on Bachelor in Paradise this summer.
Later, the group met up again for the evening portion of the date, where Ben kissed not one, not two, but three lucky ladies during his one-on-one time with them. This caused Lace, this season’s “50 shades of crazy” girl, extreme anxiety.
Eventually, Lace got her time with Ben, which sent her over the moon: “He’s just making eye contact with me galore, at this point we’re practically eye-f—ing,” she gushed. Keep in mind Lace is the girl who freaked out at Ben last week – AFTER getting a rose from him – because he “didn’t look her in the eye” during the rose ceremony. Can someone talk to Lace about this obsession she has with eye contact? It’s becoming an issue.
The group date rose ended up going to JoJo after she and Ben made out on the roof of the building, which was adorable, mainly because JoJo is adorable. Calling it now: JoJo for next Bachelorette if she doesn’t win.
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Caila Gets the First One-on-One Date with Ben – and Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, Of Course
The first one-on-one of the season went to Caila, who is kind of like a female version of Ben: a sweet, software sales rep with a nice smile and a hint of boring.
The bizarre foursome bought flowers off the side of a road, hit up a liquor store and tested out a hot tub at a hot tub store. Hart jumping out of the tub naked was probably the most exciting thing to happen on the date, unfortunately.
Later in the evening, Ben and Caila had dinner (read: their plates of food remained untouched for entirety of the meal), and then Ben offered her a rose. She accepted it, and that was that. It was very sweet. At one point, Caila didn’t want to say the word “hell” so she said “you know where,” so that should give you an idea of what we’re working with here.
After dinner, Ben and Caila danced and kissed during a private Amos Lee concert. If we’re being honest, this date was boring and we kept hoping Ice Cube would show up again.
Second Group Date: Things Get Awkward at the Love Lab
The next group of women lucky enough to be put through hell on a group date were Emily, Shushanna, Sam, Olivia, Haley and Amanda.
The group got dropped off at a place called the Love Lab for one of the most bizarre dates we’ve seen on this show yet. At the Love Lab, the women were put through a series of “scientific” experiments to determine their numerical score of compatibility with Ben.
This involved having the women do things like look at pictures of Ben and then look at pictures of diamonds. They also had them run on a treadmill for a few minutes so that a blindfolded Ben could smell their sweat and decide if he was attracted to them or not.
As if that wasn’t brutal enough, the final experiment had each woman, one by one, sit down on a bed with Ben, hooked up to some thermal detector. The two were then instructed to get closer and closer while the other women watched what was happening on a screen in the waiting room in horror.
The women were then given their final scores, with Sam scoring the lowest and Olivia scoring the highest. This was mortifying for Sam, who had already been told she smelled “sour” by Ben.
For the evening portion of the date, Ben brought the women back to his hotel to hang out – but Olivia was the only one Ben brought to his room to make out, and at this point it became clear that Olivia is going to be the villain this season.
Ben (who, by the way, looked really hot in that cashmere gray sweatshirt) also kissed Amanda, an adorable blonde who has two daughters, but ultimately decided to give the group date rose to Olivia (who won the first impression rose last week).
“I don’t know what rose ceremonies are, really,” Olivia said with a smirk. “Olivia Higgins. It’s mine. Come on, let’s just end the show now.”
Kaitlyn Bristowe Predicted Ben Higgins Would Be the Next Bacehlor on PEOPLE Now!
A Cocktail Party, a Rose Ceremony and a Crazy Girl Named Lace
As if Olivia hadn’t already created enough of a divide between her and the rest of the girls, she decided to be the second girl to grab Ben at the cocktail party, which, if you know anything about Bachelor etiquette, is just unacceptable.
Up next, we got to witness what might have been the most cringe-worthy moment of the entire episode when Lace tried desperately to convince Ben she wasn’t crazy and instead rambled about how her brothers used to be mean to her when she was growing up.
Also, can we talk about how Ben went around giving some of the girls random little gifts, like when he made barrettes with Amanda for her daughters? Cue hearts melting across the country.
In the end, Ben had to say goodbye to some of the ladies. But there was a twist!
LB was offered a rose, but turned it down.
“You see people with different personalities that he’s really connecting with, and it makes you question your own personality,” she told the camera. “You over think things. Comparing and over thinking is what you do.”
She asked to speak with Ben when he called her name, telling him, “I don’t want to cause a scene right now, but it’s really hard to be here.”
That put an extra rose in play, with Amber (who spent the episode bemoaning that she hadn’t been able to speak to Ben) getting a rose. Sadly Jackie, Mandi and Sam ended up going home.
“I let some good people home tonight. That makes this week hard,” Ben said. “They gave up a lot to be here. They came to meet me. That’s incredible.”
That’s all for now, but there’s plenty to come. See you next week!
The Bachelor airs Monday (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.