The Bachelor 23.2: The Institutions are Falling

Well, well, well. You thought you got rid of me, didn’t you. I thought I got rid of me too. But alas, here we are.

I was not excited about Colton being the bachelor. He is passionately boring. His muscles are very, very big and he looks very, very hot with them on his body, especially when he is wearing a tight shirt, but there is shockingly little substance to this man otherwise. So much so that I nearly didn’t watch this season at all. Yet here I am.

I’ve received two texts from two friends that perfectly sum up his Bachelorhood.

The first just read, “He’s a dumb bitch.” And frankly, we don’t need any more precision than that.

But, in case you were looking for more precision, my other friend declared, “Someone needs to tell Colton that being a virgin isn’t a personality.” And that I think hits the nail on the head. I don’t know how much of it is Colton just always talking about it or ABC forcing it onto us, but either way it’s too, too much. My New Years Resolution for this blog is to bring up Colton’s virginity as little as possible.

And that begins right after this next paragraph.

Look, we hemmed and hawed about Colton’s virginity for WEEKS last season, so I’m just going to make this one point. I think that there was reason to doubt Colton’s claim last season. He has a history—even before The Bachelor—of dating famous women (see: Aly Raisman (who also happens to be one of the women I am most in love with) and Tia Booth (before he was on The Bachelorette and after she was on The Bachelor (we know all this, all of you know this, I just wanted to recap (have I gone too deep into the parentheses? (Yes))))) because he is addicted to the spotlight or something, who knows. But I think I can firmly say that ABC wouldn’t commission a whole Bachelor season based on the sole premise of him being a virgin if they weren’t positive that he was a virgin.

The first episode is great in its own right, but it’s not great for this particular blog. It’s all candy and great little look-at-this-fucking-loser moments, which I don’t really like to harp on. This blog is much more oriented to the meat of the second half of the season.

And also I was busy last week.

So that’s why I didn’t do a recap for the first week.

There are only two things I want to bring up about the first week. The first is Adrianne, aka Jane. Jane was one of just two women (out of thirty) to whom I gave a perfect pre-episode score. I will not tell you the other woman I gave a perfect score to because my Fantasy Bachelor opponents are also reading this recap and I don’t want to share my strategy. But JANE! Jane’s perfect! She’s a social worker with an “infectious energy” who loves tacos and “would choose her checkered sneakers over stilettos any day!” And not to mention, she’s v, v gorgeous. Anyway, I gave her a perfect score, but also, all SEVEN bachelor brackets in our league this year had her moving on. There’s only an 8% chance of any given player moving on in all seven brackets. In short, Colton fucking goofed it. She’s better off without him anyway.

The second thing I want to bring up from Week 1 is also just another complaint about who Colton sent home. Colton. Sent. Home. THE SLOTH!!! How fucking dare he send home THE SLOTH. Was he not impressed by her job title, “Sloth,” because he has such a great job title of Failed Football Player? Was he not struck by her beauty like the rest of us/me? But, worst of all, does Colton Underwood think that he is too high and mighty to respect the Law of the Costume?!

The Law of the Costume is an essential Law to the physics of the first week of every Bachelor(ette) season. If someone decides to make a fool out of themselves by wearing a costume, they automatically get a rose. Of course they look like a fucking idiot, but how else are you going to feed the masses of Middle America? They live for that dumb bullshit. So, to encourage people to throw on a stupid costume every season, you HAVE to give a rose to those who take the risk. It’s an institution!

So now Colton’s just out here breaking the Law of the Costume and we’re supposed to be on his side for nine more weeks?!

Let’s just move on to this week’s episode. Until later in the season, I’m going to try to keep these short (editor’s note: I failed at keeping this short) and only point out moments I think are worth unpacking.

The first of these moments is Nick Offerman giving his “firsts” story and ABC playing music in the background in order to portray it as weird and dumb and also the women not giving it the credit it deserved. We only got bits and pieces of his story, but it was clearly fucking genius. Tracy’s recap was that Nick Offerman’s story was “very cryptic and unusual.” But I will not let his performance to be panned by the critics. Just because the live audience wasn’t appreciative of the art that was happening before their very eyes, doesn’t mean that the American viewer has to have the same take on it. So Tracy sucks.

Skip forward to the post-stand-up-special-group-date cocktail party when Demi returns and picks up the rose and waves it around. Tracy—already back again—gets pretty pissed about this. She makes a strong argument about how the rose shouldn’t be touched by anyone except for the principal until they give it away to the winner of the group date rose. And she’s right. It’s an institution that has long stood. It is a sacred (as sacred as The Bachelor can be) act in this universe.

And maybe in 2015 or earlier I would have had a similar outrage. I love institutions. Traditions, rituals, anthems, all of it, I love that shit so much. They humble us and they guide us. They bear the wisdom of generations. But our society’s institutions are crumbling around us. We are living through a time of immense uncertainty and we are all being forced to examine the institutions that we hold dear. We now must choose which are the most important to us and do everything we can to protect those institutions while letting those slightly less important institutions fall. That is the mindset I carry with me in the Year of our Lord 2019.

So when Demi went over to the table and picked up the rose and waved it around, I didn’t really feel the jolt I may have felt four years prior. Yes, it’s an institution, and yes, I think it is important in the world of The Bachelor to maintain the sanctity of the group date rose, but its difficult to work up the outrage when four of the justices on the Supreme Court were nominated by presidents who did not win the popular vote and two were confirmed despite having credible sexual harassment/assault allegations leveled against them.

I don’t have much to say about Hannah B, because Hannah B doesn’t have much to say about Hannah B. Did she deserve a rose? Well, I put her in the Top 6 in my bracket, so I guess I’m glad she did. But also, congratulations to the next person who gets a one-on-one because it is going to be a cake walk. Roll Tide!

Dear God, I love Billy Eichner. He totally made the camp trip.

I was shocked that Colton actually sent the losing team home. Usually the principal will just go “Well OKAY, I guess you can hang out with us too.” But no, Colton wanted the losers to get the fuck out.

I’m very excited for this Miss USA controversy to play out, but since the meat of it has yet to come, I’ll wait to dive into it in an upcoming week. The one thing I will point out is that Donald Trump used to own Miss USA and Jesus Christ come on why does he have to be in literally every aspect of our world.

Scoring

Bonnie the Oracle has returned to dominate for yet another season. She only got 4 wrong in Week 1 and got none wrong in Week 2. She now sits in first with 54 points. Behind her, both Caitlyn and Doug got six wrong in Week 1 and one wrong in Week 2 for a total of 49. Kelsey and Kristina are tied for fourth after both getting five wrong in Week 1 and two wrong in Week 2. Jenny is in sixth with six wrong then two wrong and Justice is currently placed last after getting six wrong then all three wrong in Week 2.

Unfortunately for Jenny and Justice, not only are they in last in actual points, but the future of their brackets are already in jeopardy. Jenny has both Alex B and Annie in her Top 12. Justice is in an even worse position as she has Alex B, Annie, and Angelique all in her Top 9! So a full third of her Top 9 has been eliminated after the first week of a full and solidified bracket. It is honestly difficult to pull off a feat that drastic that quickly. Fortunately for Justice, the only one of the three to make it to the Top 6 is Alex B and none make the Top 4.

And now is the time in the recap when our predications get a little bit sad. We have severe crowding again this season. I used to argue that public brackets were good and helped us all keep an eye on trends or hot takes, but now I am coming out firmly against it. Last season the bracket challenge was far less exciting because everyone’s Top 6 was nearly identical. This season, it has gotten even worse. Just four contestants appear in the Top 6 of at least six of the seven brackets. Three more appear in at least three Top 6s and four appear in just one Top 6.

Sure, only 27% of the 22 contestants remaining after Week 1 will reach the actual Top 6, but there’s only an 11% chance of not appearing in the Top 6 of any of the seven brackets. Yet half of the contestants make no appearance in any Top 6 of our brackets.

But that’s not even the worst of it. Cassie and Hannah G make all seven Top 6s, all seven Top 4s, and all seven Top 3s. Hannah G makes all seven Top 2s, while Cassie makes a measly four Top 2s (Caelyn, Heather, and Tayshia get one apiece). And the Final Rose? You want to know who gets the final rose in our seven brackets? Four final roses go to Hannah G and three go to Cassie. What a nightmare.

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