You guys have given me way too much agency and I promise my recaps won’t be this long in the future, but I had a lot to say about tonight’s episode. I also wanted to give a summary of the evening for those who weren’t there, because I was finally there at our watch party.
I don’t know what it is, but I am so much more emotionally invested in this season than any other season that I have watched. Arie is clearly a better Bachelor than Nick was, but even so, the number of women on Arie’s season that deserve better than him may be higher than the number of women on Nick’s season that deserved better than him. Did that make sense? No? Okay, the ladies are great this year. Full marks.
Let’s begin with Lauren B.’s date, shall we? Wow, did we have faith in the Laurens. Let’s throw some stats at the Laurens while we’re at it. Every contestant has a roughly 14% chance of making it to the Final Four (hometowns). But this season, we had a 45% chance of seeing a person named Lauren make it to the hometowns. But in the FIRST WEEK TWO LAURENS were kicked off. That immediately dropped the chance of a Hometown Lauren down to 36%. This is when we made our brackets. On 50% of those brackets, a Lauren made it to the Final Four. Then THE NEXT WEEK Lauren S. choked on her date and that left just Lauren B. with a 22% chance of making the Final Four. She has coasted through a few rose ceremonies on just being a very attractive person, which led her to the Top 10, giving her a 40% chance at a hometown appearance.
And then she went on her date. Wow. Wow, wow, wow. The most exciting part of their pre-meal date was Kristina jumping up and down because Arie and Lauren sat on the exact same bench that Kristina had sat on in Paris. That is remarkably exciting, I’ll admit, but there was far more passion in Kristina watching that bit of TV than there was between Arie and Lauren on their date. Lauren was following in her name-sister’s footsteps and totally blowing a remarkably romantic date until Arie tossed her a hanging curveball at the end of dinner. (Should I not have used a sports analogy here?) Arie opened up to her more than he has opened up to anyone this season with an incredibly personal story. Lauren responded by saying that she has trust issues. She opened up just enough. Lauren got the rose. Laurens now have a 57% chance of reaching hometowns.
Moulin Rouge for the group date?! How fun was that! Group dates like that are really telling. If you’re not willing to be game for these random challenges, then what are you even doing on the show? Bekah M. showed again that she was game and she was rewarded for it. Tia showed again that she was reluctant and I think that is going to dock her some serious points going forward, not only with Arie, but with the Bachelor franchise and the possibility of being the Bachelorette.
Speaking of The Bachelorette. This week’s case for next Bachelorette is for Seinne. She’s 27, she went to Princeton (or Yale?), she has a good, generic job in real estate, she’s smart, she’s down-to-earth, and of course she’s v v v good looking. This week we found out that she used to be a dancer? Honestly what can’t this woman do? The biggest argument against her being the Bachelorette (other than her being too good for any of the guys) is that ABC will probably be a big loser like usual and not want two Black women in a row be the Bachelorette. #AmericaIsDumb.
Now let’s get to the 2-on-1. I don’t want to spend too much time talking about Krystal, so I’m just going to continue what I was doing last week and talk about how perfect Kendall is. Kendall is perfect. The world does not deserve her. She took the high road, a road so high I couldn’t even see it. She embraced Krystal with all of the compassion in the universe. It was like watching the sun envelope the darkness and rise above the horizon in the morning. My eyes even welled up for a moment. I’m so happy that she received the rose, but this brings me to my next segment:
The Case Against Kendall Being The Bachelorette. I believe that there must be a certain level of boringness for a person to be the Bachelor(ette). They must be a largely blank canvass that the audience, as well as the contestants, can paint a picture of a life onto. They need to be generic so that each contestant can see their self with that person. The Bachelor(ette) of course needs to be fun and charismatic, but they shouldn’t be unique. Kendall is unique. There are people that would immediately dislike her and that’s just not something you can have in a leading character. But, of course, even if she were the Bachelorette, she would be better than any conceivable guy in the line-up.
One of the last things Krystal said was, “I guess he didn’t want a strong, confident woman.” That is, in fact, exactly was he wanted and exactly what he got.
Finally, we’ve reached Jacqueline’s date. I’ve been teasing this in the recaps for a while, but it’s time that I’ve finally out with it. I think Jacqueline might be perfect for me. She was the only contestant that I gave a perfect score to in my initial rankings and the only reason I didn’t put her to win, was because I realized at the last minute that I would fall in love with her, but Arie probably wouldn’t. In her bio when she was asked, “Lunch with three people, alive or dead, and what would you order?” she responded, “David Foster Wallace, Julius Caesar (with translator), and Thomas Jefferson. Antipasta and cocktails.” WHO ELSE WOULD SAY THAT? WHAT A GREAT ANSWER. When asked, “What does being married mean to you?” she answered, “Creating our own world. Creating our own values and goals. Becoming better people together. Respect, admiration, protection [emphasis added].” ME TOO, I AGREE WITH THOSE THINGS. I know that seems simple, but no one else wrote that deep shit in their bios. Oh and on her Instagram I’m pretty sure she lives in Harlem and that she may also have a connection to the New York theater community as I do. But ALAS if she and Arie are right for each other, I won’t get in the way.
Back to the episode. I was worried after the preview at the end of last week’s show that she was going to be sent home this week, because it showed a rocky date and some crying, but I felt like I couldn’t bet against her in my bracket after talking her up for so long. I am bittersweet in reporting that she was offered and accepted the rose. I knew you were all sleeping on Jacqueline, including the editors of this show. Only two of the six brackets had Jacqueline in the Top 6. It was a tentative rose, so I don’t know if she’ll be snagging one of those hometowns, but at least you all have now seen why she is so great.
For the first time all season, I was totally okay with how the Rose Ceremony played out. Not only did I have a perfect bracket, but no one who I had any emotional connection to went home. Chelsea had a surprisingly quiet exit. She was supposed to be the villain from the first week, but she was WAY outdone by Krystal. Danica had the only bracket with Jenna moving on, but Danica’s bracket doesn’t really count for anything. All of this bracket talk brings us to the SCORES!
Actually, one last side bar before scoring: this week, Arie knocked out Krystal, Chelsea, and Jenna. Those were the three oldest women remaining at 29, 29, and 28, respectively. The rest of the women are between 22 and 27 years old. The average age is 25.6 years old. The only woman’s age he seems to be worried about is Bekah’s, which makes me think he is sticking super hard to the 1/2 Plus 7 Rule. 36/2=18, 18+7=23. Maquel is 23 and he didn’t say anything. Bekah is 22 and he almost lost his mind.
Jenny is still in the lead with 185, followed by Doug (it’s easier to speak about myself in the third person in the scoring section, so please bear with me) with 182, then Justice at 168, Alicia at 166, Kristina at 154, and Danica at 134. Seven women got roses this week, which means we all got a free-bee, because we thought there would only be six.
Jenny and I had perfect brackets, leaving us still only 3 points apart. We have had identical scoring patterns every week accept for Week 3. Unfortunately for Jenny, she still has Lauren S. in her Top 4, 3, 2, and 1 positions, leaving her potential points remaining at 80 out of a possible 155. Doug started hedging his bets a little earlier on and he only has Lauren S. in his Top 3 and 2, so he has 120 PPR.
Justice is a full 14 points behind Doug. This was, without a doubt, Justice’s roughest week. She only had one loss due to Chelsea, but Justice had Chelsea going all the way to the Top 2! It is pretty remarkable how Justice’s frontrunners all stayed in this long, but the jig seems to finally be up. Chelsea has been knocked out and Bekah M. (Justice’s winner) is walking on thin ice with hometowns around the corner. It is also worth noting that next week each pick is worth 10 points, so since Jenny is 17 points in front of Justice and Doug is 14 in front, Justice will need to overcome a two-pick gap. Justice’s PPR is 110.
Alicia is right on Justice’s tail with 166 points. The loss of Chelsea was also a tough break for Alicia as she now has half of her Final Four compromised! Fortunately, Alicia still has her Top 2 and her winner in the mix, so her PPR is 120.
Kristina is in an astoundingly precarious position. On the one hand she has 154, a full 31 points under Jenny, but on the other hand she has 145 out of 155 potential points remaining. She should not have bet on the villains, Chelsea and Krystal, to make it to the Top 6, but Kristina is totally clear in the Top 3 on out. She has the highest PPR, but with the one-switch-a-week rule, she may have already run out of luck.
And that’s it for the reca-
Wait. Do we have another player? Oh, that’s right, Danica’s still here! Danica missed half of her picks this week and she has only two remaining contestants in the Top 4 and one in the Top 3 and one in the Top 2. Danica has a PPR of 85 points. When I look at Danica’s bracket I feel like the spreadsheet walked off the computer, into a minefield, and was just blown to pieces. It’s grotesque.
So we’re in this very weird place where your total score tells part of a story, your potential score tells part of a story, and the number of potential changes you can make each week tells part of a story. So I’m going to make a formula to try to calculate in swaps and get a better picture here. It is Total Score + Potential Remaining Score + 1/2[1/3 for Week 7 only]*one eliminated contestant for each remaining week. It’s kind of complicated to explain the last part, but it makes sense in my head and it’ll deliver more accurate probabilities of who will likely win.
As is turns out, hedging my bets over the past few weeks has paid off. The Advanced Potential Standings are as follows:
Honestly, I’m now already second-guessing this formula, but I’m not going to give you a new formula tonight. That one works well enough for now.