Welcome to my weekly blog series: Tuesday Walk of Shame. Here I hang my head low as I admit to having watched the previous night’s episode of The Bachelor / Bachelorette / Bachelor In Paradise (or whatever the newest spin-off happens to be) and provide my own personal commentary. I’ll tell you what I loved. I’ll tell you what I hated. And most importantly, I’ll tell you what I would have done differently.
Vote Kris for The Bachelorette… because socially anxious, kinda bitchy, hopelessly unromantic nerds deserve love too.
Another week, another episode, another vanilla Ben. I keep calling him that: “Vanilla”. Do you think it’s harsh? Because I think it’s perfect. Vanilla is a flavor… but not a very exciting one. It’s predictable, but comforting. It makes you feel good and at home… while providing no spice or excitement. It’s Ben! But before I get into why having a Vanilla Bachelor is unexpectedly problematic, let’s look at this episode’s Top 5 highs & lows:
1. ?ﾟﾏﾼ?ﾟﾏﾼ?ﾟﾏﾼ Remember that time when Ben woke all of the ladies up at 4am in Mexico City? Lauren H had her mouth-guard in. Lauren B had zit cream on. Yet Amanda, Little Miss 1-on-1 herself, looked like a Disney Princess roused from slumber by cheerful woodland creatures for her day with Prince Charming. Either Amanda was tipped about Ben’s early arrival or she sleeps in lip gloss (it’s possible… we all know Britt did it).
2. ?ﾟﾏﾼ?ﾟﾏﾻ? “I feel like it’s an episode of Teen Mom.” -Olivia … I can’t decide if my favourite part of that was Olivia trying to back pedal and fix it (“You know… like the show…”) or that she may have seriously thought that this was a way to contribute & connect with the other women.
3. ?ﾟﾏﾼ?￢ﾙﾨ️ Ben takes Olivia to try the mint. Who just samples mint at random? Perhaps the girls aren’t just being catty and Olivia does actually have bad breath. Does anyone else desperately want to meet her purely so they can smell it???
4. ?￢ﾘﾺ️? Model Ben brought the smolder! Seriously. I would not have expected anything so fierce and fabulous from our vanilla Ben. I mean I knew he was good looking… and intense (about love at least)… but he can also be hunk-tastic in a brooding runway star way too.
5. ?ﾟﾘﾂ? “I’m no longer the Bachelor… I’m the Spatular” -Bachelor Ben
Here’s where we sit at the end of Week 5 with Bachelor Ben:
I’m pretty open about my feelings regarding Ben. I have been right from the start… the very start in fact. When Pre-Judging Kaitlyn’s men for her season of the Bachelorette I said (and I quote):
“Hello Ben H. Wow, what a hottie…”
Throughout the season I continued to rave about him; he seemed so perfect! And he is.
Seeing him now as the Bachelor, I can’t help but think he was genetically engineered by the Bachelor Producers to be their ultimate Prince Charming. He was made in a lab, given to the perfect loving parents (possibly actors?), and placed into rural USA. From there his whole life has been manipulated to give him the perfect backstory: quarterback of his high-school football team, a few (scripted) heartbreaks to make him seem ‘damaged’ (but not so much so that you can’t save him!), and then placed on the Bachelor right when the franchise needed him most. Juan Pablo soiled the Bachelor name worse than ever before. Farmer Chris, seeming a nice guy in the start, turned out to be a douche-in-disguise. Kaitlyn… man she was great, but not in the least bit ‘on-brand.’ And their real brand hopeful (aka Britt) fell flat with both the television audience and the men they brought in for last season’s Bachelorette. Luckily The Producers had an ace up their sleeves. Ben. The man they had been waiting his whole life for. He would bring back the magic and restore the good name of The Bachelor. He would make us all believe in “the right reasons” and that people really could fall in love on tv.
It’s all very “Vanilla”. Ben is sweet and soft. Like the simple fragrance. He adds a bit of flavor to your dish, but not so much as to be overpowering or unexpected or exotic. He’s comforting, like a vanilla candle. He’s that extra bit pleasant, like a vanilla latte. He takes you back to a simpler time, like a vanilla milkshake. And he takes you back home, like your mother’s chocolate chip cookies. Vanilla is good, but it doesn’t make for good tv … Or does it????
Those ‘perfect’ traits that The Producers have carefully created in Ben (through tampering with both nature & nurture) could actually be his downfall. They wanted a Bachelor who was cute, lovable, and loving. But is Vanilla Ben too much so?
“He just gets me and I’m not sure anyone ever has”
– Lauren H
Lauren H is not the only girl to have expressed this sentiment. We heard it from Jubilee after their 1-on-1. Lauren B has told us this same thing. And just this episode, Amanda uttered this phrase in her own meek way. And then there’s Olivia:
“There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m in love with Ben.”
“Our love language is something all our own.”
“I’m in a relationship with Ben and it’s great.”
Sure she’s crazy but perhaps her totally psychotic claims about her connection with Ben aren’t all her fault. Vanilla Ben is too sweet. Too comforting. Too lovable. Too familiar. And too loving. Every girl feels like she is soooooooo special. At this point there are 10 girls dating the same man, which never ends well. But it’s worse than normal. Throw in a Bachelor who makes each of them feel loved in their own unique way (the way they desperately need to feel love, I might add) and you have a recipe for disaster. Vanilla Ben is too Vanilla, both in the way that I am not getting any excitement out of him and that he is causing too much affection in the women. I guess I shouldn’t complain; it’s going to be a dramatic conclusion!
What do you think? Are you Team Vanilla Ben? Or just Team Ben? Let me know in the comments!
Until next episode…
Love & Luck,
My Fangirl Life’s Official Bachelor Contestant Ranking:
Notes: (1) I realize that Amanda’s 1-on-1 date was supposed to make me like her more but I find her very boring. Vanilla Ben cannot marry Vanilla Amanda. Vanilla is a great flavor but there is something to be said about too much of a good thing being bad. (2) I just like Emily more & more each week. She’s not the brightest but she’s well-meaning… and not vanilla. (3) Ben & Lauren B making out all over Mexico City while the other girls sit around waiting for them to come back: priceless. These two have great chemistry and I’m feeling like I hitched my cart to the right wagon.