Did He Find The One?

After three desultory episodes, maybe this slow-moving season is finally hitting its stride. Once again, Cray Cray Shanaenae dominated the screen-time[1] , but this episode moved very quickly, and it’s possible we saw The One. I’ve broken this installment into four parts.

Part 1. The Shrimp and Hot Tub Mystery

Did Cray Cray Shanaenae offer Elizabeth shrimp? (yes, she did) Was Elizabeth absent from the hot tub that day? (no, she was in the hot tub) Was Clayton all of us watching this conversation just make matters worse?

More infighting ensued between Cray Cray and The Girls in the House, who consider unionizing against her. At one point, Cray Cray is strategically positioned during a “nap” such that she can hear all the awful truths The Girls are speaking about her. Rather than feel chastened, she decides to lean even more heavily into her place in Bachelor Villain history.

For the time being, this chapter could only end one way: a canceled cocktail party; and with dramatic music playing in the background, Clayton (when he was ready) chose Cray Cray over Elizabeth for the evening’s final rose.

It’s gonna make the girls CRAZY when he picks Shanaenae!

Part 2. The One

Susie who? Flight instructor Rachel got a 1-on-1, and wow, the attraction she and Clayton have for each other is straight fire[2]. She definitely could be The One[3]. While Clayton and Susie look good together, the way that he and Rachel are together is at a different level.

As to their date, sure, riding horses and randomly showing up to strangers having a family cookout where there’s enough food for Rachel and Clayton, and sure join us so we strangers can ask you all about your relationship and future together. I guess it happens all the time for Rachel, who said this reminded her of home in the Midwest. Uh, what?

Maybe I’m just a cynical East Coast guy where people run over you to squeeze into that last spot on the subway before the door closes, much less break barbeque with strangers.

Anyway, the date ends with music by the Jonas Brothers[4] Restless Road. Here’s the reality show scoop on them. In Season 3 of X Factor, they were three contestants formed into a group by Simon Cowell. A personnel change brought in a replacement, a contestant on Season 13 of American Idol who made it to Hollywood Week[5]. They have opened for Kane Brown, their self-described “father” in the music business – and by the business, I mean the industry – who met them while he was also competing on X Factor. I love the singing show connections.

Part 3. Football

In a familiar Bachelor franchise trope – hilariously exemplified by the NFL Films-style history of the franchise’s football games – the girls ran (mostly Olympic sprinter Marlena), blocked, and tackled to win their way into the after-party with Clayton. Two things stood out here.

First was the presence of ESPN’s Hannah Storm, who is practically family to my family given my daughters growing up as much on Sportscenter as Barney, Sesame Street, and Saved By the Bell. Hannah also appeared on Bachelor: Winter Games in 2018, and she really leans into the Bachelor’s ridiculiciousness while announcing these sports competitions.

Second – and the previews had already tipped us off – was Cray Cray Shanaenae crashing the party despite her team “The Shrimp Stampede” having lost the game.

Let’s send the crazy b* to the winners’ party!

Clayton is surprised by her appearance, and at this point, I can’t decide what’s going on with him. He already knows there was an intense negative buzz about her through the conflict with her and Elizabeth. But he likes making out with Cray Cray. [cue Stevie Wonder All Day Sucker] Then, she crashes the party lying to his face by saying she was on the winning team. But when challenged, she changes her story to, “I deserve to be here.” He buys that so he can make out with her in her hot dress on the bar. [hit replay on All Day Sucker]

Is he really into her? He seems to be smitten by how hot he thinks she is. Or is this a producer thing? Is it both?

Meanwhile, the girls continue to discuss unionizing their efforts against her, and when Cray Cray is finished making out with Clayton, she takes a victory lap in front of the girls.

Part 4. Hanging on the Cliff

And there is the cliff we are left hanging on. A Group Date rose hangs in the balance. We also get LOTS of previews for next week, most of which involve Clayton kissing everybody. But a 2-on-1 date is coming with Cray Cray and her current antagonist Genevieve. Gotta stay tuned now.

See you next week.

P.S. This week’s viewing wine was a nice Northern Italian red blend with a long name – Amore Asoluto Antiche Terre Venete – and a couple of medals from international competitions. It was less than $9 at my Costco. I must go back for more.

[1] Per @Bachelordata IG, she has been 1st, 1st, and 2nd in screen time the last three episodes.

[2] They were whispering to each other. It gave their conversation an air of intimacy.

[3] I think we may have had some foreshadowing here. Susie got a chopper ride for her 1-on-1 and Rachel was shown being upset that she didn’t get the flying date. That’s an editing choice by the Evil Genius Producers.

[4] Certainly looked like them at first glance, amirite?

[5] Caleb Johnson won that season.

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