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‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Man vs. Wild, Complex Sentences

Plus, Arie reveals his armpit tattoo, Krystal out-Krystals herself, and a group asks the age-old question: “Would you drink your own pee for love?”

ABC

Of course the first destination spot on this season of The Bachelor is Tahoe. This show is about finding love, and Tahoe, of course, is Where Donny Met Stormy. Tahoe will soon be the most popular romantic getaway in America, as everybody tries to recreate the passionate moments during which our current president met a porn star who would allegedly go on to spank him with a Forbes magazine. On The Bachelor, Arie even brought his contestants on a group date to Edgewood Tahoe, the hotel connected to the golf course where future president Donald Trump first saw Stormy Daniels while getting outplayed by Ray Romano.

But enough about sordid, potentially untrue sexual allegations from Donald Trump’s past. Let’s instead talk about pee.

On this week’s group date, the women were sent hiking and were taught some tips of the trade by a pair of survival experts. If you’ve ever watched Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls, you know that there’s really only one survival tactic that matters: Drinking your own pee. (Stuck without water in the Sahara desert? Drink your own pee. Fending off a dangerous jaguar in the Amazon jungle? Intimidate it by drinking your own pee. Dying from whatever side effects come from pee consumption? Piss of the dog that bit you.)

Even though the women were not dehydrated and would not be in the woods long enough to become dehydrated, they were given bottles and ordered to collect their urine for consumption. Understandably, many of the women were taken aback by this. Marikh, however, briefly considered it, noting that Gandhi drank his own pee and praised its nutritional value:

Only Mahatma Gandhi did not drink his own pee. He did go on a variety of hunger strikes, but hunger strikes are not Drink Your Own Pee strikes. In truth, Morarji Desai, the fourth prime minister of India and a staunch follower of Gandhi, is the one who drank his own pee, and strongly advocated that others drink their own pee, including in a 1978 interview with Dan Rather on 60 Minutes. (He lived to the age of 99. Maybe Bear and Morarji are on to something.) Apparently unaware that there has been more than one prominent Indian political figure, Americans may have attributed this anecdote to Gandhi, leading to an urban legend that was even published in Newsweek, leading to a letter from Gandhi’s grandson correcting the record. This is a bit of a tangent, but I just want to make sure nobody comes away from this episode of The Bachelor with the false belief that Mahatma Gandhi drank his own pee.

Anyway, back in Tahoe, Jenna uttered the line of the season: “I’ll drink my own pee for Arie.”

The girls all talked a big game, but when the piss hit the fan, only one was willing to put her urine where her mouth is. After Arie baited the women into potential urophagia by drinking from a bottle that we later found out only contained apple juice, the camera shifted to the women. There was Jacqueline, believing she might need to ride the yellow wave for Arie’s love, and sure enough, she lifted her pee bottle to her mouth for a hearty quaff before everyone was basically like, “OH MY GOD, PLEASE DON’T.” Later, Jacqueline volunteered to eat bugs for Arie, even though nobody particularly asked her to. Jacqueline has officially won Fear Factor Bachelor. I just hope Arie realizes she’s here for the right peesons.

Worst Story Line: Bekah’s Age

We knew Bekah’s age would be a dramatic plot point this season from the moment the show slyly hid her age while revealing everybody else’s. To the shock of no one who’s done a minimal Google search, Bekah is 22, the youngest contestant in the show’s history. After some classic Bachelor table setting and overhyping, she told 36-year-old Arie this on their one-on-one date.

He was floored. Even though he’s seemed to have a more enjoyable relationship with Bekah than any other contestant on the show, he immediately began fearing that their relationship was doomed. He reminisced about the wildness of his youth, and how much he’s changed. Even as Bekah pleaded her case, he stated his fears that choosing an immature 22-year-old would ruin his plan to find a wife on this show. After much hand-wringing, Arie reluctantly gave her a rose, citing their strong connection, but even then he continued to voice his reservations.

I’m skeeved out by relationships between older dudes and younger women, too, but Arie, cut the B.S. Surely, Arie has had plenty of opportunities to embark on relationships with women his own age or older. Instead, he chose to appear on The Bachelor, a show that routinely casts men in their mid-30s with a host of younger women. Last season, 36-year-old Nick was paired with 27 women in their 20s, one 30-year-old, and two 31-year-olds. In 2015, 33-year-old Chris was faced with zero women older than him, one fellow 33-year-old, and 29 younger women, including 26 who were in their 20s. The second time he was on the show, 38-year old Brad Womack didn’t have any contestants within six years of him, as he dated 25 women in their 20s, four 30-year-olds, and one 32-year-old. This does not go in reverse: No lead on The Bachelorette has ever been older than 32, and the oldest Bachelorette, Rachel, had six contestants her age or older. The show systematically pairs older men with younger women, and Arie presumably knew that when he signed up.

And since the show’s start, Arie has methodically dumped the older contestants. Seven of Arie’s 29 contestants were 30 or older, a reasonably high number in comparison to past seasons. But he’s not interested in dating women in their 30s: The contestant closest to his age, 33-year-old Lauren J., was eliminated on the very first night, and with the elimination of Brittany in Monday night’s episode, Arie has already axed six of the seven contestants in their 30s through just four episodes.

If Arie were choosing between a 36-year-old and a 22-year-old, I’d give his line of reasoning some credence. But he’s not. He’s eliminated everybody close to his age range and is now choosing between a bunch of women who are nine to 13 years younger than him (apparently totally fine!) and a woman who is 14 years younger than him (a potentially life-ruining mistake, I guess). Arie’s choices reveal he’s totally fine dating a significantly younger woman, but acknowledging that would interfere with the story he likes to tell himself about how much he’s grown since he was 22.

In the end, though, Arie was right: It would be a real shame if a smart, unique, interesting 22-year-old with a wide-open future like Bekah got locked into a serious relationship with an immature 36-year-old like Arie.

Biggest Surprise: Arie’s Armpit Tattoos

The presence of a hot tub in Tahoe meant everybody had to take their shirts off. (Apparently, every woman went hiking with bikinis on under their jackets.) It is here that we learn that Arie has been hiding something under his arms:

I’d walk off the set.

The Absolute Worst: Krystal

In the first three episodes of this season, Krystal revealed herself to be the show’s most distressing character. Her tendency to push other contestants out of the way to seize time with Arie triggered others; her breathy voice triggered viewers; her striking physical similarity to Arie’s mom should have triggered Arie. But in Monday night’s episode, she took her boldest step yet towards Bachelor infamy.

Krystal tells herself and the world that she and Arie have something perfect going on. “A lot of girls here don’t operate at my level,” she says. “I feel like it’s hard for me to really, like, shine while trying not to be intimidating to the girls I spend the majority of time with, because I come across as flawless.”

She tells herself that her romance with Arie is befallen by the weaknesses of her castmates. “I’ve been so compassionate,” she says. “I’m floored by their insecurities.”

As it so happens, Krystal is the most insecure person on the show. At one point in this episode, Krystal was in a hot tub with Arie and two other contestants, Tia and Caroline, and Tia and Caroline made a lighthearted joke about how Arie was hugging Krystal but not them. Krystal interpreted this as a personal attack and later confronted Tia and Caroline. This is how Tia felt about that:

Later, Arie canceled the pre-rose-ceremony cocktail party, explaining that he had already made his decision. Fourteen of the remaining women accepted this; Krystal, though, felt the need to pull Arie aside at the last second to plead her case and avoid potential elimination. (At least I think that’s what she was doing—she was whispering very throatily, presumably to prevent Arie from hearing her voice.)

Krystal is selfish, conceited, and constantly accuses others of the negative traits she herself carries. There are contestants like this every year—somehow, they always seem to think monopolizing the Bachelor’s time is the best strategy—but Krystal irks me more than any of them. There have always been Bachelor contestants that we watch to hate; Krystal might be the first I hate to watch.

Arie Quote of the Week

Arie almost completely lacks conversation skills. So far as I can tell, you can say essentially anything to him and he’ll respond with “that’s awesome,” “that’s amazing,” “you’re really pretty,” or “I love that.” To honor Arie’s only tenuous ability to verbally express himself, we’re introducing the Arie Quote of the Week, highlighting the vapidest, nonstarter response to something somebody else says.

This week, sitting by the shores of Lake Tahoe, Seinne and Arie shared a beautiful moment.

Seinne: “I love the sound of waves crashing.”

Arie: “That’s awesome.”