Before next Monday’s “stunning” finale, in which “lost man” Ben Higgins’ love for two women may cause JoJo’s head to roll on the bathroom floor, Chris Harrison gathered his rejected suitors in Los Angeles for a rip-roaring festival of tears. Although Mandi the crazy dentist and Huey the mini horse were notably missing, The Women Tell All delivered on drama, addressing important unanswered questions such as… Where’s the chicken? Sheila the fowl, who really deserved her own chair, kept fluttering between her enthusiast Tiara and whichever of the Laces was seated to her right. At one point Sheila decided she’d had enough bitchery for one night and escaped to the floor, but she later managed to ruffle feathers while Leah claimed she “hadn’t intentionally lied” while throwing Lauren B. under the bus. “She doesn’t like liars,” Tiara helpfully translated. Is Jubilee lovable after all? Eventually, maybe. “After watching this, I refuse to overthink things to the point where I’m self-destructive,” said the newly appointed Sergeant. In fact, to distinguish herself from Ben the unlovable, Jubilee’s decided she’s merely difficult to love. Chris Harrison thanked her for her service, adding, “You might be complicated, and I know you stir the pot sometimes, but I hope you realize you’re a pretty special woman.”
What would Olivia Pope do? We all know the answer to this one, which is “Never go on The Bachelor,” but I suppose that’s not the point. During Jubilee’s interview, Amber and Jami, who are mixed race, claimed in two separate segments that Jubilee offended them with her rampant use of the “N-word” and her comments that they “weren’t black enough.” Jubilee apologized for making them uncomfortable, but insisted she never claimed to be the only legit black woman on the show. “Full black,” yes; “real black,” no. Who is Lace? This one has shorter hair, Sharpie’d-on eyebrows, bright red lipstick, and a heaping helping of self-awareness after watching her multiple third-person identities (all named Lace) fizzle out on camera. She’s since stopped using the word “crazy,” corrects herself when making “those faces,” and listens to people instead of interrupting them all the time. Her mom, for one, is thrilled with her progress. Chris Harrison, however, would like to tear it all down by inviting Lace to tramp up the volume on Bachelor in Paradise. She doesn’t love herself THAT much yet, so it’s a yes! Will Lace find the real Lace and fall hard (thanks to her morning cocktail) this summer? Stay tuned.
Is there anyone nuttier than Lace? Yes! Some dude in the audience had Lace’s face tattooed on the side of his gut! It’s probably just a pen drawing, but the thought alone made a random audience mom nearly barf. “You’re crazy,” said Lace’s stalker. “But crazy beautiful.” Is Amanda still the bigger person? Against all odds (stature, partial loss of her baby voice, a hand-held chicken threatening to steal her thunder at any moment): yes. The single mom called out Olivia (who claimed during the season that “deep, intellectual things are just my jam”) for snarking on her lifestyle. “Like, being a mom is my jam,” she cooed, keeping her cool. “A lot of people would be really, really offended by you saying guys should run the other way from a woman with kids.” Never one to be outdone, Olivia apologized. Could anyone besides Olivia read? Yes again! According to soft-spoken but hard-hitting small business owner Jennifer, literacy ran rampant in the mansion whether the severely bullied introvert knew it or not: “If you got off your high horse and tried to bond with us,” Jenn told Olivia, “you’d know we like to read books and talk ‘smart things,’ too.”
Who gets to say whether Olivia was really severely bullied as a child? Apparently “Izzy,” the graphic designer I swear I’ve never seen on this show. “If you had gone through the whole bullying thing, you would have learned from it and changed your way,” said this total stranger. Rattled by all the women ganging up on her, the 23-year-old newscaster extraordinaire went big picture on everyone’s ass and claimed herself and anyone who’s been put through the reality TV wringer as a victim. “I gave my sister my social media accounts, because I’m just in a rough place,” Olivia sniffled. “If there was a guidebook on how to make 28 women happy, I would have read it.” Which twin is funnier? Sorry to play the “I can’t tell them apart” card here, but it’s a draw: Emily and Haley’s incredulous bitchfaces were double the fun throughout the special. Haley’s reminiscence of the time Olivia slut-shamed her for “wearing this low-cut, short romper — cause oh well, I looked good in it!” was especially poignant. Will Caila ever not be boring? Unlikely, and Bachelor Nation may have to sit through an entire extra season of her hair-twirling ambivalence to find out for sure — the Filipino-American is rumored to be the next Bachelorette. I’m all for diversity on The Bachelor, but Caila just seems so…safe. Jubilee the war vet is a thousand times more intriguing and willing to spark actual discussions about race. Just saying. Can Ben handle the truth? If it’s a matter of accepting that all women love him and want to have 10,000 of his babies, then certainly. As for the ultimate unanswered question of the season — Which of Ben’s two true-ish loves is real-er? — well, that remains to be seen. Next week’s finale will test America’s favorite polyamorist’s approval rating like never before. Considering he can tell Emily and Haley apart, I think it’s safe to say this magic man can do anything.