If you thought there were too many new people to keep track of last week on The Bachelor Presents Listen to Your Heart, prepare yourself, because there’s even more new arrivals. One has pink hair. One only gets to say only two sentences. One is a Bachelor producer’s dream and has a colorful television history. Let’s go!
The first date card goes to Jamie, who immediately picks Trevor, her love triangle with him and Ryan Neal now completely over. Trevor and Jamie go hang out at Venice Beach and practice a duet of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush." A song about a woman obsessing over the lady who is now with the man she loves is an odd choice, to say the least.
Back at the house, a new contestant, Natascha Bessez, comes in hot with a bunch of soundbites: “I’m an East Coast New Yorker through and through,” “I want a grown ass man,” “I’m not a diva, but I’m a diva.” After hearing that a guy named Trevor is on a date, she says, “This isn’t the Trevor from American Idol, is it?” It is, indeed! This all sounds very rehearsed. Apparently, the Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll star is friends with Trevor’s ex and “there were indiscretions” from him in their relationship. Miss New York Teen USA 2005 wouldn’t like a “sweet” and “naive” girl like Jamie to be taken advantage of. (Keep in mind, Natascha and Jamie have never met.) This is all interspersed with clips of Jamie and Trevor making out in a hot tub.
Natascha is ready to stir things up and makes it her entire mission to protect young, impressionable Jamie. As soon as Jamie and Trevor get back, the Gossip Girl extra forcefully pulls Trevor aside and tells him she knows he cheated on her friend. Trevor pretty easily admits what happened. “I never physically cheated on her,” he says. “I was unhappy. I should have left sooner. I ended up emotionally cheating.” Natascha, given that she’s there to start drama, tries to draw things out further, but Trevor won’t give in. Meanwhile, the other women fill Jamie in. The best line comes from Rudi (Just Rudi), who perfectly encapsulates how time ceases to make sense on these shows. “We’ve known Trevor for what feels like a month,” she says. “We’ve known [Natascha] for what feels like an hour.” To be clear, none of those lengths is accurate.
Suddenly, another date card arrives. This one’s for Bri, who picks Chris. While driving to their destination, they point out Los Angeles landmarks, but then go to… Guitar Center. (To be fair, this is a special Guitar Center.) After singing a made up song about the rose ceremony together (still better than any song ever performed by a Bachelor/ette contestant) Bri tells Chris about her broken engagement. When she texted her fiancé to let him know she found her wedding dress, he called her and said, “Don’t buy it.” Damn. Bri then tells Chris she might be falling in love with him. “I know that’s a lot to drop on you," she says. “Thank you,” he replies. Part of me wants him to stop there, but he adds, “I think I’m falling for you, too.” They move over to the piano to sing “Fools Rush In." This show is not subtle.
At the mansion, Trevor tells Jamie about the emotional cheating. She says that cheating is a dealbreaker for her, but she really likes him. He says that he’s not interested in anyone else there besides her. While what Trevor did was definitely terrible, the fact that he’s handling it in such a straightforward way is a good sign. Jamie seems to agree.
The third date card goes to Sheridan Reed, who picks Julia Rae. They head to iHeart Radio where they do an interview about the show and then have to perform “The Bones” by Maren Morris. Sheridan is very clearly reading the lyrics, but they pull it off and seal things with a kiss.
The fourth date card (this show really keeps things moving) goes to Savannah McKinley, who picks Brandon Mills. Brandon is a “hot commodity," according to contestant Mel Taevin, who is also interested in him. As are the two new women who arrive, Mariana Jasel and Ruby Jane Smith. Julia is interested in Brandon, too, even though she still likes Sheridan.
But Savannah has the date, and she and Brandon head to a jazz club, where, obviously, they have to sing. Their duet of “Fever” comes off as performatively flirty, but singing at a jazz club while being filmed for national television sounds incredibly awkward, so I’ll give ‘em a pass.
The next day, Julia tells Sheridan that while she likes him, she wants to keep her options open because of her interest in Brandon. Sheridan is sad. Clips of him looking bummed are spliced together with Amy Winehouse’s “Love Is a Losing Game” as sung by Rudi and Ruby — Hey! That sounds good together. They should ditch this thing and start their own duo.
At the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, Mel makes a move and kisses Brandon. Julia also makes a move and kisses Brandon. Hot. Commodity.
Meanwhile, Natascha is interested in Ryan. Since when? Where? How? Why? “I feel like I’m so not the person you would typically go for,” he says. “SAME,” says all of Bachelor Nation. But after calling himself "nerdy" and her saying that nerdy is “sexy,” he decides not to argue — you can almost see the wheels turning — and just goes ahead and kisses her while the offer stands.
Rudi then goes to chat with Ryan and decides they need to kiss to get it over with. Since when? Why? Where did this come from? The kiss is one of the sloppiest and most awkward I’ve seen in all my years of Bachelor watching. Rudi immediately regrets it. She’s still into Matt, but doesn’t know where things stand after last week’s drama where she got upset at him for asking Mel on a date instead of her. Still, she’s not giving up, so she tells Matt the tale of her kiss with Ryan that happened only a few minutes earlier. “It was the most awkward thing I ever felt in my life,” she says. "SAME," says all of Bachelor Nation. Then they have a flirty moment in which she lightly slaps him in the face and they start making out. Rudi is my favorite character.
At long last, it’s time for the rose ceremony. The men give out the roses as follows: Chris to Bri, Trevor to Jamie, Matt to Rudi, Ryan to Natascha, Danny to Bekah, Brandon to Savannah, Gabe Baker to Ruby, and Sheridan to Julia. Mel, Mariana, and Cheyenne Arnell are sent home.
For some reason, we don’t see Ryan give his rose to Natascha; we just see them walk around the corner into the waiting room with her already holding it. My theory is that there was some producer intervention to get Ryan to pick Natascha and somehow the moment that was needed wasn’t shot. (This is based on nothing except what I saw in the episode: Natascha being a pot-stirrer, Ryan seeming shocked she was into him, and Mel, Mariana, and Cheyenne not being as exciting from a production standpoint. Who knows what really went down.)
Next week, the show becomes a music competition. The couples will start performing duets and receive judgment on both their singing abilities and romantic connection. It is still unclear whether they get to switch partners after this portion of the show starts. Are Ryan and Natascha just stuck together now? I don’t not want to see how that turns out.
Most likely to have an actual relationship: Bri and Chris. And by the looks of it, no one is going to take that title from them.
Most likely to appear on something — anything — else you watch in the future: Natascha
Best hair: Mel and Ruby Jean. We don’t get purple and pink hair on The Bachelor! These women are pioneers.