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‘The Bachelor’ Recap: The Blond-Out Begins

We’re getting into the serious part of the season—which means it’s time for the Bachelor to get real and cut anyone who would dare have dark hair


About halfway through each season of The Bachelor, there comes a moment when the fun goes away and things get serious. At the beginning, there are almost 30 women, and the Bachelor must feign interest in all of them while going on goofy dates and trying to stir up drama. By the end, there are only a handful of women, and the Bachelor strives to give each meaningful time as he decides on a potential wife. Sure, they’ll break up four to six months after the show ends, but still—he must take his time making sure he’s picking the right person to date for four to six months.

I can always tell when that moment arrives. I call it the Blond-Out. Because at the beginning, the Bachelor must pretend he’s seeking love with women of all races, creeds, and hair colors. By the end, all pretensions have faded away; the (always white) Bachelor has looked deep within his soul and has realized that, really, he just wants to pick the girls he’s most attracted to.

Four of the last five Bachelors have chosen blonds. (The one outlier is Nick, who probably made Bachelor history by bringing three brunettes to the final three.) You know things are getting serious in a given season when the blond-to-non-blond ratio hits 50 percent. Five of Arie’s final nine women were blond, including the winner and two of the final three. Six of Ben Higgins’s final nine women, including the winner, were blond. Four of Chris Soules’s final six women were blond, including the winner and two of the final three. (Kaitlyn is blond now, but she wasn’t on Chris’s season. I’ll call this a retroactive three-of-three.)

Colton is blonding out harder than anybody before. Entering Monday night’s episode, he’d already triggered a Blond-Out, with seven of 12 remaining women having blond hair. Then on Monday night, he eliminated four of the five remaining non-blonds to give him an 86 percent blond final seven.

We could rule this a Total Blond-Out, considering Tayshia has blond highlights and is full-on blond in her Instagram avi, but I’m ruling her a non-blond. (I’ve decided for the purpose of this experiment to count women with brunette hair who have gone ombre as blond. For example, Kirpa has natural black hair but has dyed it primarily blond.)

What, you expected serious personality analysis from Colton? The entire plot of this show is “a virgin picks whom he wants to have sex with for the first time.” In a deeply unshocking move, he is going to pick the woman who closest resembles whoever was on the cover of Maxim when he turned 12-and-a-half. (Checks Colton’s Wikipedia pagechecks this Wikipedia page … Jessica Simpson. Checks out.)

The Bachelor distracts us with exceptional drama and lots of talk about love. They mix in a few decent jokes, vacation porn, and occasionally cogent discussion of social issues. But at the end of the day, this is a show about one thing: Guys being into girls with yellowish hair. Or at least into the ones who were smart enough to dye their hair the apparently only acceptable color before coming on the show.

Tragedy of the Week/Month/Year/Century: Demi’s Exit

Only one blond woman was eliminated this week, and it was the one we couldn’t bear to see go. Our sweet hero Demi is gone, felled by either her own hubris or Colton’s inability to see greatness.

Demi didn’t get into any hijinks this week—she didn’t pick any fights or rig any challenges in her favor. She just let Colton talk to her mom on the phone and then later told Colton she was “falling in love” with him. For some reason, Colton reacted to this like someone just proposed to him on a first date and not like a guy who’s the lead character on a dating show. He told Demi that hearing her say she was falling in love indicated to him that they’re in different places, and so he immediately sent her home. (Couldn’t she have at least stayed until the weekend? It’s like a 30-hour flight home from Vietnam and I bet they already paid for the hotel room.)

To this point, roughly 80 percent of my reason for watching this season has been to see Demi go to work. (I’m 4 percent interested in virginity-related intrigue and 16 percent watching because it’s my job.) I don’t care if Colton didn’t like this woman, she needed to remain on the show! The producers needed to barge into his breakup and remind him of who’s paying the bills on this multicontinental sex voyage.

Biggest Twist: Dumping Colton

Colton’s getting the formula of this Bachelor thing wrong. He’s supposed to eliminate women as he gets closer to finding the person he wants to propose to. But in back-to-back weeks, he is the one who has gotten dumped. Last week, Elyse left Colton because she felt she wasn’t getting enough one-on-one time after a strong start; this week, Sydney quit because, among other things, she felt Colton was making “easy choices” instead of picking women who were actually interested in getting married to him. (This episode was probably filmed in late October/early November—maybe Sydney got back to the States in time to rejoin the Knicks City Dancers.)

This is pretty rough territory. According to Wikipedia’s Bachelor season summaries, 11 women voluntarily left the show over the course of the last 10 seasons. We can already tell Colton’s not doing well—usually one woman leaves per season, and he’s already lost two. But going even deeper, the timing is worrisome. Like Colton, Ben Higgins lost two women on his season, but they both left by Week 3. Six of the 11 self-inflicted departures came in the first three weeks. That’s understandable—a woman tries out for the show, gets cast, gives it a shot, and then realizes they hate cameras, would rather be with their family/friends/dog, and goes home. Colton has lost women in Weeks 5 and 6—well over a month into his relationships with them, over halfway through the season. Only one Bachelor has lost a contestant after Week 6, as Colton did—Juan Pablo, who was ditched by Sharleen and Andi within the final four episodes. As we all know, Juan Pablo was The Worst Bachelor.

I’d guess that Colton’s in the clear now—he seems to have a decent relationship with all seven women remaining. That’s kind of a bummer though. I think I’d really enjoy a show where 30 people each took turns breaking up with one person.

Best Bit: The Anonymous Unready Woman

It’s not enough that women are actively dumping Colton—even the ones he’s dumping are messing with his head.

When Sydney quit, she told Colton that he might be in trouble because some of the remaining women were “not ready” for marriage. Colton explained to the camera that he thought she meant Demi, so then he went and dumped Demi. But then Demi told Colton the same thing as she was leaving—that some women aren’t “ready.” And then after eliminating Katie in the rose ceremony, she said the same thing. Colton is now officially flustered, sputtering “Am I fucking missing something?” to the camera as he tries to figure out who the unready one is.

Maybe it’s some coincidence that all three departing women used identical terminology to describe problematic women on the show. I prefer to imagine that every remaining contestant sat down and decided that, if dumped, they would say the same thing to Colton, just to get in his head. He’s gonna spend the last few episodes trying to find the mole based on the words of the disgruntled women he just dumped, when he could be actually trying to figure out who he’s compatible with. Classic bit.

Biggest Letdown: The Now-Solved Kirpa Face Mystery

Last week we wrote about how Kirpa suddenly showed up with an unexplained bandage on her face. I didn’t want to make fun of her too badly, because one thing I’ve learned being a writer on the internet is that if you ever decide to make fun of somebody online without knowing all the facts, you will accidentally make fun of something you really shouldn’t make fun of. I was worried that, like, Kirpa had actually saved the life of a local orphan who had some rare disease that keeps him from generating his own chin skin.

But there was no heroic story behind this. It turns out Kirpa had just fallen while trying to take a selfie:

This is the second time this season that an episode has left an obvious mystery unsolved—the first being whether or not Bri ever told Colton about her fake Australian accent. Unsolved mysteries are fine—fun, actually!—but both times, The Bachelor has had the footage explaining the truth of the mysteries and in both cases they just opted not to use it.

Why is The Bachelor creating deleted scenes? Both would’ve been great post-credits gags or even fine to include in the show! This is a two-hour weekly show about a guy dumping non-blond women—there’s space for gags! Maybe ABC just wants to draw attention to its social media by keeping the best scenes out of the show. I’d rather they just be up-front about all things relating to facial scars, as well as other various mysteries.

Winner of the Week: Hannah B.’s Monster Faces

Hannah B. started out this show by forgetting how to speak, turning a simple toast into a minute-long self-destruction. Since then, she has learned that she’s quite capable of communicating nonverbally. She has beaten up several opponents (all during sanctioned fights, don’t worry). And now, it’s become clear that her favorite form of communication is unhinging her jaw and emitting a whispery shriek, like a wild animal. Here she is a few episodes ago:

And here she is on last night’s episode, letting one loose after participating in a martial arts event and dubbing herself “Hannah Beast”:

(Without taking too much time, I’d like to summarize the martial arts date: The women were taught a form of martial arts involving a stick, and then, when their training was done, were given boxing gear and asked to punch each other. No martial arts were used in the fights.)

One more time: Here Hannah B. is again, in the episode-ending tease of what’s to come in the rest of the season:

This is just how Hannah talks. We mocked her for her inability to say any words during a toast, but really, we should’ve been the ones learning to communicate with her. Her roars might sound the same to humans, but to other Hannahs, they’re an entire language.