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‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Krystal Goes on Strike

After Monday night, it’s official: We are witnessing the most infuriating contestant in show history. Plus, Arie goes bowling and Lauren B. takes a page out of 50 Cent’s book.

Arie and ‘The Bachelor’ contestants on a group bowling date ABC

I always try to write about The Bachelor, perhaps the most superficial show on television, without being too superficial. I don’t think it’s right to make fun of people for the way they look or sound instead of the content of their character, even if this show is a three-month-long journey into one dude choosing women based on how they look and sound instead of the content of their character. But I can no longer abide Krystal, who has revealed herself to be one of the most irritating people in the show’s history — both in sound and character.

On Monday night’s episode, Krystal added an unnecessary flair for the dramatic to her previously known traits of entitlement and hypocrisy. In a group date at a bowling alley, Arie split the 10 women present into two teams and told them that whoever won would get to attend an exclusive after-party, while the losing team would have to head home. Krystal, who “grew up at a bowling alley,” was on the winning team. That’s when Arie had a change of heart, deciding that both teams were invited to the after-party.

If there’s one thing better than reality TV shows setting up arbitrary rules and rewards, it’s when those scenarios are slightly altered moments later. Krystal, a woman who last episode egregiously broke standard procedure by begging Arie to have a serious talk with her mid-rose-ceremony, would not stand for the desecration of the Bachelor post-bowling after-party. In protest, she threw an unfilmed fit in the ride from the bowling alley to the hotel where the contestants were staying. (Side note: How does ABC not film the bus/cab/van/limo rides in between shoots? I feel like inter-location transportation is where 72 percent of fights on various seasons of The Real World take place.) She then put on a bathrobe and told all the other contestants she wouldn’t be going to the after-party, that she felt Arie lied to her and disrespected her by allowing the losing team to attend the after-party, and that she had packed her bags to leave.

Perhaps Krystal thought this was a great gambit to get Arie to come speak to her on her terms instead of sharing time with nine other contestants. To be fair, it did kinda work — he ditched the after-party to speak to her — but as it turns out, he doesn’t appreciate being called a liar. While Krystal tried to spin the conversation in her favor, he quickly shut her down. “This was our first fight!” she playfully told him. “It might be our last fight,” Arie quipped, in a rare but stunning display of conversational competence.

Later, Krystal changed her mind and decided to attend the party, where she was roasted by everyone else until she fled once again. Even then, Krystal somehow maintained her narrative. “I wasn’t hiding in my room,” she said of the earlier spell when she hid in her room. “I was investing in myself.” She explained that she was “hurt” by Arie’s decision to hang out with people who did not win a bowling contest, and that all the other girls on the show were “attacking” her.

Krystal is infuriating. Also, she is named after tiny hamburgers.

Slickest Filming Job: The Jesus Scene

As previously noted, there was a group date at a Fort Lauderdale bowling alley. Somebody at the Fort Lauderdale tourism bureau is getting fired over The Bachelor filming an episode in Fort Lauderdale and doing a bunch of scenes at a bowling alley. Your town’s selling point is beaches, and this date could have been filmed in Wisconsin.

Anyway, the date opens with Arie doing his best impression of the Jesus from The Big Lebowski, even taking a big lick of his bowling ball.

This is a spot-on parody. You might say that it’s suboptimal to link Arie with a character who had to go door-to-door in Hollywood to let everybody know that he was a pederast, but that’s, just, like, your opinion, man.

Least Slick Filming Job: The Actual Shots of Arie Bowling

Watch the video above — there is no way Arie bowled a strike; that was edited in post. I would bet $50 that Arie bowled under a 100 in real life.

MVP: Bekah

On Monday night, Bekah tested a Krystal impression and absolutely nailed it.

Bekah also consistently out-argued Krystal, pointing out how her decision to attend a party she had proudly stated she would not attend was basically the same as Arie’s earlier change of plans that prompted her to call Arie a dishonest liar. Bekah also called Krystal “a scared animal backed into a corner, with no friends, and a relationship that’s rockier than she thought.” She’s bringing it nonstop.

Race to Using the Word “Love” Champion: Tia

Congrats to Tia, who became the first woman in Season 22 to tell Arie she’s “falling in love” with him. This is an important step in the Bachelor Relationship Words ladder — first, you “could see yourself falling in love” with the guy, then you’re “falling in love” with the guy, then you’re in love with the guy. Tia’s first. All it took was a one-on-one date in the Everglades, the world’s most romantic swamp.

Best Fake Job: Chelsea Reacting to a Random Singer

The Ringer’s Andrew Gruttadaro wrote a comprehensive post focusing on one of my favorite Bachelor traditions: Having a Bachelor couple stand and awkwardly dance while some random musical-artist nobody performs, followed by the couple swearing they love that random musical-artist nobody and that listening to them was one of the highlights of their life. Arie, as it turns out, is particularly bad at selling this gimmick.

On Monday night’s episode, Arie and Chelsea listened to … some random musical-artist nobody whose name I forget. Arie chronically undersold the gimmick, but Chelsea was enthusiastic. She even went so far as to cite the lyrics of the performer’s song in an interview, mentioning how the words about finding love in a moment of weakness spoke to her after opening herself up to Arie.

Chelsea did a better job selling the musical act than anybody in Bachelor history. Somewhere in America, at least one Bachelor viewer looked up the lyrics or the singer’s name and is now a fan. I didn’t, but somebody did.

Best Questions: Kendall

On the group date, Lauren B. cornered Arie and said, “I thought we could play a game!” The game she wanted to play? 21 Questions. At first, I thought she was asking to play 20 Questions, the game where you think of something and the other person has to guess it within 20 yes-or-no questions. Then, I thought she wanted to listen to the song “21 Questions” by 50 Cent ft. Nate Dogg, which remains a banger 15 years later even though 50 Cent said the phrase “I love you like a fat kid love cake” while trying to be romantic.

But I have now Googled and learned that there is, in fact, a game called 21 Questions. The rules? You ask the person you’re playing with 21 questions. This is not a game. It’s talking to a person. The first Google hit for “21 Questions” is a site called “Conversation Starters World.” This is an ideal game for 14-year-olds who want to find out stuff about their crush but aren’t strong-willed enough to ask questions without pretending it’s part of some game. Lauren is 25.

Quickly, Lauren admitted that she did not have 21 questions lined up, breaking the only “rule” of 21 questions. Her entire strategy was to play this game with Arie to get answers out of him in as short a time as possible, and she didn’t even have a game plan. Her first question was, “What’s your favorite color?” This is an ideal question for 8-year-olds who want to find out stuff about their crush but don’t know what things make a person interesting. Lauren is 25.

At a later cocktail party, Kendall pulled Arie aside and told him that she had a book with 100 questions, asking him to pick a number. He picked 99, the number of his first race car. Question no. 99: If you visited a culture where the custom was to eat human meat, would you do it? Arie says no, unless it was a life-or-death situation; Kendall says she totally would, adding that she would not eat Arie to put him at ease about the fact that she apparently feels constrained by society’s taboos against eating human flesh. (Taboo! That’s a real game Lauren could have played.)

Kendall is so much better at asking questions than Lauren. She is significantly better at planning, and her questions are significantly more interesting. She also doesn’t lose points for calling “asking a person questions” a game when it isn’t one.

Either way, Lauren’s charade worked. (Charades! That’s another real game Lauren could have played.) She received a rose for the group date she was on, with Arie praising their conversation. The lesson here? It does not pay to be interesting on this show when you could simply state that you enjoy colors.