Tonight’s episode of The Bachelor gave us something we’ve never seen before: Chris Harrison showing up at the mansion and telling the women, “Come on in! We’re making biscuits.” It’s totally unclear if anyone was actually making biscuits, but this might have been Chris practicing getting the contestants’ hopes up. After saying that they’re starting their journey “around the world,” Chris says Peter and the Bachelor ladies are headed to “a city full of art, culture, and rock and roll… Cleveland.”
Yeah, that doesn’t go over particularly well, but once the women arrive in the Ohio city, they’re ready and willing to do some promotion for the tourism board. “We walked downtown, and it was just stunning,” Mykenna explains. The girl can sell. This is why she’s an Instagram influencer.
The first date goes to Victoria F. Peter flies her to an amusement park in a very small plane. (Like, it looks like the size of a car inside.) She grabs his arm a couple times while he’s flying, and while he seems fine with it, I — in the safety of my own home and not in a very small plane — am extremely uncomfortable. Please do not touch the pilot at work, my god.
After enjoying some rides and talking about how they want an even number of kids so no one's left out on rollercoasters, Peter tells Victoria they're headed to a concert. “With who?” she asks excitedly. Then her tone changes. “With... who? Wait. Wait. Who is it?” Victoria then sees that the musician is her ex-boyfriend, Chase Rice. And instead of telling Peter immediately, they dance and kiss to his music. The Bachelor producers made Victoria do a number of adrenaline pumping activities and then threw her into a giant crowd to watch her ex perform music in front of the guy she hopes to marry. Truly a first for the franchise.
Afterward, we see Peter talking to Chase Rice (we’re on a two-name basis), who doesn't reveal the news, either. Meanwhile, Victoria’s telling a producer that Chase Rice was giving her looks while he was singing, because he didn’t want her to go on the show.
Victoria and Chase Rice then go talk alone. Chase Rice says that he didn’t know that this was being set up, either, which doesn’t totally make sense. Even if he wasn’t told he was performing on Victoria’s date, he knew that she was on the show. He should have gathered that he’d end up seeing her, and if not, decided that it's just weird to go on the show she's on. Either way, this was a good opportunity for his career, and he went for it.
When Victoria does tell Peter about Chase Rice, later that night, he’s understandably shocked. “Chase and I used to date,” Victoria says. “Like, the singer Chase?” Peter asks. “The guy that was in the concert?” Yes, that guy. “When do you just dance and make out to someone’s ex singing to you?” On The Bachelor, Peter. Get with it.
While the situation makes Victoria break down crying, Peter appreciates that she was honest, says they should just laugh it off, and gives her a rose. And, okay, yes, Victoria was honest, but obviously she should have been honest. Not lying about her ex serenading them isn’t something that needs to be appreciated. That should be the bare minimum.
After the Victoria hour (seriously, almost an entire hour), it’s time for the group date, which involves the women playing football at the Browns' stadium. Noted Seahawks fan Peter is so excited on this potentially dangerous date. You can tell this is a big moment for him, personally. The women are divided into two teams, the Killer Bees and the Eliminators, with the idea being that the winning team will head to the nighttime portion of the date. Unfortunately, the game ends in a tie, and since the producers deemed that more dramatic than them going into overtime, everyone sticks around.
The only thing that matters at night is that Alayah is back. She walks in and goes straight past all the other women, simply blowing them a kiss. (As you’ll recall, Peter sent Alayah home last week after SO MANY red flags).
Alayah tells Peter, “I’m here to freaking set the record straight with what was said about me.” Well, okay! Turns out, she is particularly upset with Victoria P., who, basically, told Peter that Alayah had been acting super suspish, and that they barely knew each other from competing in the Miss USA competition. Alayah now says she and Victoria P. were close enough that they planned a trip to Vegas together and that she was blindsided by her former friend throwing her under the bus. Peter decides to talk it out with both of them together, and it ends up being pretty damn clear that they knew each other for longer than three hours, which is what Victoria P. initially claimed, and they did go on a group trip to Vegas. At one point Victoria wipes Alayah’s running eyeliner, which doesn’t help her case that she hardly knows her.
Peter is beyond confused about what the hell is going on, and somehow this leads him to... ask Alayah to rejoin the show and give her the group date rose. “I’ve had no reason to question or doubt you,” he says. What?! He’s had so many reasons to question or doubt her outside of Victoria P. Sydney was the first one who brought up Alayah as an issue and multiple other women backed her up. Peter tells Alayah to promise he’s not being a fool and she says, “I swear to you, Peter Weber, this is not you being a fool.” It’s haunting.
After Peter leaves, Alayah asks two of the women to fill her in on what’s happened, but it turns out she knows everything, because she went on the internet while she was gone. “I know [Victoria F.] was dating Chase Rice before the date … Y’all didn’t know that. Oh, the internet knows everything. I will tell you all.” HAUNTING.
The second one-on-one date goes to Kelsey, Champagne Gate now a distant, comforting memory in light of the Alayah of it all. Their date is a traditional walk-around-the-city. At night, Kelsey opens up about her parents’ divorce, and Peter tearfully tells her about his mom and grandmother’s immigration from Cuba. This very emotional conversation is nice to see, because so much of this season has involved people being potentially disingenuous. No one can say that Kelsey with her Des Moines Champagne and her dramatic parent story isn’t earnest. (Well, not yet. Who the hell knows where this is going.) She gets a rose.
Back at the hotel, Victoria F. confronts Alayah for telling the other women that she dated Chase “The Guy That Was In The Concert” Rice. The rest of the women are infuriated that Alayah went on the internet. It’s madness.
Ahead of the rose ceremony the next day, multiple women speak up about how Peter ignored them at the group date because of Alayah being back. Deandra says, “I’m sorry, Peter, but I’ve never felt so under-recognized by somebody.” Preach! Peter then pulls Victoria P. aside, and she doesn’t want to hear anything from him. She says he doesn’t trust her, and now Alayah is back in the house — err, Cleveland hotel ruining everything.
Peter is having an incredibly rough time. He says he understands if some of the women no longer want to be there. Um, yeah. I feel like at least half of them should walk off. The episode ends with a “to be continued…” and everyone still yelling about how they don’t trust Victoria P. or Alayah. At this point, it’s near impossible to watch the show thinking that Peter might find true love. Instead, it’s watching a guy who is so unable to trust anything he hears that he can’t make any decisions or say anything without doubting himself.
And on that heartwarming note, see ya next week when both viewers and Peter probably won’t get much more clarity.
Winner of the Episode: Kelsey. A real comeback for Kelsey this episode. Champagne in the face, who?
Loser of the Episode: Pretty much everyone, all in different ways. Alayah and Victoria P. for seeming wrong reasons-y. All the other women for being ignored. Peter for heading into a crisis over whether he can trust his own mind and intuition.
What Chris Harrison Tells Peter During The Very Teased Finale: I mean, it has to be something to do with Alayah or Victoria P., right?