The House Always Wins
This episode was a return to form. It had everything we needed- clunky Vegas metaphors, kissing on public transportation, Becca’s continuing costume parade of ‘looks’, and a very quick descent into madness from a contestant I’ve never much cared for.
We begin Episode 5 with this tasty, not forced soundbite, “of course Las Vegas is the perfect place to roll the dice on love”, Becca tells us. Only on this phantasmagorical carnival show would Las Vegas - aka “Sin City”- aka “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” aka the place where monogamous relationships go to be destroyed by strippers- be considered a great spot to fall in love. But sure, I’m in.
The guys are put up at the ARIA hotel and casino and the fact that NO ONE made a joke about staying at the ARIE- UHHH casino really broke my heart. Anyway, thanks to whomever coordinated that. Well done.
First date this week is a one-on-one with Colton and they head straight to “Virgin River”. Again, big props to the location scout for this episode. I see you and I appreciate you. They ride camels and go in a hot tub, because why not. Becca somehow looks sexy in overall shorts and a bandana, and has convinced every woman in America (including me) to keep my overall shorts buried in my drawer for one more season.
What fresh hell is this?
Colton tells Becca that he’s only been in love once and that he takes the word and the surrounding metaphors (ie falling in love etc) very seriously. Just so we’re all up on the gossip, that last relationship he was talking about - the one where he got his heartbroken- that relationship was with none other than Olympic Gold Medalist Aly Raisman. Props to them for not saying her name specifically. This date was cute and reminded me of the “Kiss the Girl” scene from The Little Mermaid. Except when Sebastian sings, “kiss the girl” I was singing, “tell her you’re a virgin!!!”.
Colton doesn't reveal his virginity yet, which is wise. Though I think on some level, Becca may already know. I’m not a professional body language reader, but in my opinion, which I respect*, this dude kisses like a virgin.
The night is a success, Becca is smitten and in a fit of wild Minnesotan passion she asks Colton, “golly, what are you doing to me?”. Colton’s a virgin and Becca talks like a character from Happy Days. It’s a match!
Next up we have a truly extraordinary group date. The men are whisked away to Wayne Newton’s Las Vegas estate. Wayne Newton’s house is like one of those Bill Hader Stefan sketches, but for a private home.
It’s got everything: peacocks, horses, weird rock configurations, blurred out art-work, a deeply uncomfortable wife, and of course, the home’s 7,000 year old proprietor- Wayne Newton, himself. Now kids, it’s time for a multiple choice question. How old is Wayne Newton?
It’s a trick question. Wayne Newton can no longer be measured by mere human’s understanding of time. He has the hair of a stallion, the taught, finely stitched skin of an Hermès bag, and the mouth a very expensive fish. He's Wayne Newton, damn it, and he sings “Danke Schhoen” and back in 1968 he looked like a very sweet woman with a nice fluffy hairdo. (If you’ve got time, and a need to self-sooth, watch this. He’s got moves.
Anyway, the men are tasked with writing a song about Becca. I’ve seen this movie before. But ok, we’re doing song stuff again. Lincoln doesn’t know that “danke schoen" means “thank you” in German. Let this be a lesson that just because someone speaks English with an English accent does not make them smart. Wearing glasses though- still a true indicator of intelligence.
Chris is as confident during this challenge as Wills looks. Can we talk about Wills' outfit for a second? Thank you Week 5 Wills for werqing it.
Wayne contemplates the men’s songwriting skills and says, “in my opinion, which I respect… there is nothing I would rush out and sing tonight.” Mentioning that you respect your own opinion is my new favorite thing to do. (And I've already done it in paragraph 6, line 3.) Speaking of weirdly confident, Chris feels that after his songwriting date with Becca a few weeks ago, that he will crush the competition. He says he is “100% sure he will win”. This is a neat little piece of foreshadowing and a helpful insight into the funhouse mirror that is Chris’s mind.
The men get suited up (again, I’ve seen this movie before) and perform for Becca. Turns out none of them have any musical ability. Oh well. If they had even the remotest potential they could be on Broadway. Because life is fair.
(That's former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe on the right. On Broadway. Hosting a holiday-themed show starring reality show contestants and YouTube stars.)
Chris impresses Becca with his rowdy performance. Emboldened by the destructive power of male bravado, he proceeds to self-destruct. But we’ll get to that in a minute...
After the “performance”, all of the men except Chris talk to Becca. High on his perceived “win”, Chris forgets the rules of Bachelor Nation and waits for Becca to seek him out. Not how this works, hon. Remember the rules? This show is like a- wait for it- Casino, where the house, (ie the Bachelorette), always wins. Becca is the boss and you’re not. Any deviation from established norms will be perceived as a slight and if need be, a removable offense.
While Chris is stewing, Blake has some sweet time with Becca where he tells her that he is falling in love with her. Becca seems quite smitten and even says (in an interview) that she’s felt the same way from the beginning. If Garrett is the front-runner it’s only fair to say that Blake is the dark horse, right? We know Blake would love that moniker seeing as it has “horse” in the title.
Becca subsequently gives Blake the rose and Chris begins to spiral saying that perhaps he will go home that night. He declares that Becca could be missing “an opportunity for f*&%-ing love” with him. What an alluring proposition!
Next up we have Frick and Frack’s two-on-one date with Becca where she chaperones them with the passion of a beleaguered nanny toting around two whiny children. She drives them through the “Valley of Fire”, an area named after Becca’s brain after this date.
David says that Jordan said that ending up with Becca would be “settling”. Becca is traumatized by that word. David doesn’t stop talking. Jordan yells at David and has some great soundbites we’ve all heard a thousand times by now. Jordan tries to salvage his chances with Becca by denying the “settling” comment. Who knows if he said it, and honestly who cares.
Jordan tells a last ditch Sad Story about his mom’s “multiple mental illnesses” and Becca is told by the producers that she has to wait at least a few more hours to say goodbye to him because they ordered fireworks.
Becca breaks up with David who is left alone in the Valley of Fire to monologue with a day bed. If I make a “I Went On The Bachelorette and All I Got Was This Facial Fracture” T-shirt, will someone help me get it to David?
Okay, Jordan gets his brief and strange alone time with Becca where they find a lot of common ground. Jordan asks Becca what her weekends look like and she says “depends—” before being cut off by Jordan who says in enthusiastic agreement, “me too”. There are too many good quotes during this date, so I’d like to leave this by saying that like Jordan, I too wish we could get his portfolio out. But alas, we’ll never see it because Becca has the good sense to finally send him on his way.
Finally we have reached the cocktail party. The men must have gotten a Vegas-inspired wardrobe refresh this week because my goodness the evening looks were by turns gorgeous and egregious. Wills is once again in the former category looking bold and GQ ready in his patterned suit. Colton, on the other hand, looks like he asked his stylist for a black silk version of his “spa day” shirt. Meanwhile Chris, star of the new ABC spin-off “Express Train To Crazy Town”, looks very colorful in a bright blue suit with a pink shirt and clashing pocket square.
In a rare exhibition of emotional transparency, the men discuss how they’ve watched Chris’ quick descent from confident to cockamamie. Garrett remarks that Chris is going down in flames. Resident pyrologist, flat-earther, and sex offender Lincoln corrects him by saying, “no, he’s going down in flames slowly”. Okay.
Chris tries to course correct with Becca with the always successful opening line, “you owe me 50,000 kisses”.
The conversation is a mess. Then later while Becca is talking to Wills, Chris attempts the infamous, “can I steal you for a sec?” strategy. This turns into a Country Western standoff where Becca could and should have taken charge immediately. You’re an empowered woman, get in there. Say what you want. You’re the boss!
Anyway, I’m bored of writing about this part but it was fun to watch. I really like Wills.
The rose ceremony finally happens and to everyone’s dismay Lumberjack For A Day John is sent home. Chris lives to see another week. That’s good because he is our new villain and I am here for it. After all, Skinny Perez Hilton would be proud.