On this week’s episode of The Bachelor, Chris Soules shows his true colors as a masochist. But more on that later. In the Jan. 12 episode of the 19th season of The Bachelor, Chris and the 22 remaining bachelorettes embark on the first set of group and one-on-one dates. And we, in turn, embarked on a journey to try to understand Chris’ taste.
The episode begins with the persistent Kimberly, the yoga instructor who wasn’t quite ready to leave after not receiving a rose during the first ceremony of the season. Kimberly asks Chris for a second chance, telling him she “just can’t walk away from this, like, that easily.” Spoiler alert: He lets her hang around a little longer, much to the disappointment of the other bachelorettes waiting inside.
First Group Date: Gon’ Country
Chris is excited to embark on what “could be the first date with [his] wife,” and chooses Jade, Tandra, Ashley I., Mackenzie, the resurrected Kimberly, and now-sober Tara as the contenders. The girls are told to show their “country” side for Prince Farming, but Ashley I. is concerned she’s “more Kardashian.”
Clad in Bachelor-requisite bikinis, the girls and Chris enjoy a pool party, complete with chicken fights.
The date doesn’t end in the deep end, however, as the girls and Chris march through L.A. in their swimsuits to an impending tractor race. Outdoorsy-gal Tara is confident she’ll smoke the competition, but they’re surprised to find the tractors move at a glacial pace.
“They take off like snails,” remarks Chris. “It’s kinda like watching old people go down the street with walkers.”
Ashley I. walks away with the win, but it’s Mackenzie who Chris asks to spend some alone time with. During the solo date, Mackenzie certainly doesn’t shy away from the tough questions, like “do you believe in aliens,” or unveiling Chris’ former ear piercing and her thoughts on his “big nose.”
“The fact that she’s talking about aliens on the first date, does raise a few red flags for me,” Chris says. Us too, Chris, us too.
Mackenzie then drops the bombshell that she’s a package deal – telling him her lack of recent dates is due to Kale, her 1-year-old son. “I knew if you saw him you wouldn’t resist him,” she laughs while proudly showing Chris pictures.
Chris isn’t scared off, though. “I see something in you that’s really genuine and true and I feel like we have a lot of common,” he tells Mackenzie as he awards her the first rose of the episode. Although we don’t see it, Mackenzie later tells the girls that she and Chris kissed “like five times.”
Back at the House: Tearful Confessions
Juelia makes a heartbreaking confession to the other women. Juelia, who has a young daughter named Ireland, reveals that her husband committed suicide shortly after Ireland’s birth. The 30-year-old esthetician is naturally nervous to share this information with Chris.
“It’s not just telling him that I have a daughter, it’s telling him that I’ve been through such drama, and I can’t tell him that in five minutes,” She says.
One-on-One Date: High-Flyin’ Romance
Megan is awarded season 19’s first one-on-one date. Chris takes the 24-year-old makeup artist on a helicopter ride over the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon, before spreading out a picnic blanket for a romantic champagne toast in the national monument.
Megan quickly opens up to Chris, divulging that shortly after she auditioned for The Bachelor, her father passed away of a massive heart attack during a run.
Following her mother’s encouragement to “take that leap of faith,” Megan decided to still join the cast. “I’m lucky you’re here,” Chris tells her, kissing her before offering the episode’s second rose.
Second Group Date: Dawn of the Dead
American Horror Story: Bachelor Edition. The second group date includes Kelsey, Trina, Alissa, Tracy, Jillian, Becca, Amber, Ashley S., Juelia, Kaitlyn, and Britt. As the girls pull up to a pitch-black field, their limos are attacked by zombies! Prince Farming isn’t there to rescue them, though — he’s brought them to play a wicked game of zombie paintball.
The real creature of the night, however, is Ashley S. First, the onion-lover seems more keen to shoot at the other bachelorettes than the zombies. Later, she seems to be in some sort of daze as she walks through the costumed targets, unamused.
At one point, she approaches the other women, seemingly from the abyss, and says “I heard the truth… like BOOM.” When they question her statement, she cryptically responds, without blinking, “Go find your own way to the truth.”
“People watch the show and see crazy people and think ‘Is that staged? Is she an actress? What’s going on? Is she really that crazy?’ And I am here to tell everybody that Ashley is full-blown a crazy girl on The Bachelor,” Kaitlyn sums it up.
Chris seems to pick up on how bizzaro the hairstylist is. “She has moments of saying like really intelligent things and then kinda drifts off into something I don’t understand,” he says.
Otherwise, several of the ladies score some alone time with the Iowa boy. Juelia gets to tell Chis about her daughter, but avoids revealing the rest of her tragic romantic history. Kaitlyn continues to show off her penchant for humor and steals a kiss from the handsome farmer.
Chris seems most excited to reunite with clear-frontrunner Britt, telling her, “You knocked me off my feet.” He waxes on about their “immediate chemistry,” but it’s Kaitlyn that walks away from the date with a rose.
The Rose Ceremony: Drink, Drank, Drunk
Jordan takes the reigns from Tara as sloppiest drunk, and continues what seems to be a streak of heavy boozing during the cocktail party.
“Cheers to Jordan, she’s drunk tonight, she was drunk yesterday, she was drunk the day before, she’s gonna be drunk tomorrow,” Mackenzie deadpans. Chris witnesses her stupor firsthand, as she drones on about lipstick and kissing.
Meanwhile, we learn that Ashley I. is a virgin, and has a magical bellybutton ring? Despite the odd gimmick involving her body piercing, the pair have quite the make out. Even confident Britt is shaken by the embrace — “I feel like he’s my boyfriend but I’m kinda swallowing this tough pill that he’s kissing other people.”
Chris gives roses to Britt, Ashley I., Trina, Kelsey, Samantha, Juelia, Amber, Tracy, Nikki, Jillian, Jade, Becca, Carly, Whitney, and, in a total and complete upset, Ashley S. Yes, you read that right, crazy, spacey, Ashley S.
Kimberly is sent home for a second time, along with Tara, Tandra, Jordan, and Alissa. But Ashley S. is still around. We can’t wait to see how that relationship develops.
Tell Us: Were you surprised that Chris chose to keep Ashley S. around?
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