Highs and Lows of The Bachelor, Week 5

The Bachelor and the 11 remaining women head to Santa Fe, where they say nice things about New Mexico. Plus, two contestants realize this is a game show.

“Santa Fe really seems like the perfect place to fall in love.”

This is how Week 5 of The Bachelor began. Farmer Chris — who was the one who predicted such great things for Santa Fe — and the contestants spoke of Santa Fe as if they were being paid by a New Mexico tourism board. Let’s get on with this recap.

LOW. Megan thought New Mexico was a different country — perhaps its own country, perhaps part of Mexico. “I think that New Mexico’s definitely going to be a culture shock from what I’m used to,” she says. “The hats — sombreros — that everyone wears in Mexico, I don’t know if they wear that in New Mexico.”

What do people think when they hear the team name New England Patriots? I bet some people think they play in England, or Canada, or maybe their own country.

HIGH. In Santa Fe, Farmer Chris takes Carly on one of two one-on-one dates he’ll do in the city. “Carly is a great person to bring on today’s date,” he says. “She has a great personality.” The date that requires a great personality? It’s a long day of counseling with a Sante Fe love guru.

LOW. Post love guru talk, Carly the Cruise Ship Singer lets loose: “I don’t feel like I’m the prettiest person in the world, especially coming into a room of 30 girls the first day. Like, there’s some of the, seriously, most physically beautiful people I’ve ever seen. Physically, I’ve never felt like that was my strong suit. So I want a man to make me feel like I am physically exactly what he’s always dreamed of. Because I think that if I knew that a man felt that way about me, I would stop having that insecurity.”

This gets her a rose. This gets her a free pass to avoid elimination. That Love Guru needs to up her fee.

HIGH. Fortunately, things pick up when Jordan — a contestant we knew previously for her drunken escapades, but not the more interesting (Tara) of the drunk contestants — tracks down Farmer Chris and tells him she wants back on the show. Keep in mind Jordan was eliminated (along with four others) in Week 2! Much like I did when Farmer Chris brought back Kimberly, I wonder if this is a violation of federal game show laws enacted after the quiz show scandals of the 1950s.

LOW. Farmer Chris actually relents! “Generally of all people, I am not one to judge, because I enjoy drinking,” he says. Soon, we will see Farmer Chris testifying in front of Congress, Charles Van Doren-style. If that happens, it will definitely be a high.

HIGH. Ashley, the Freelance Writer/Virgin, kicks the episode into high gear. She doesn’t like Jordan because she doesn’t act “like a lady” and is very against the idea of Jordan coming back after a few weeks away. That’s fair; she did get to skip several rose ceremonies where she could have been eliminated. Ashley I. argues with Whitney over whether they should even be nice to Jordan. It appears Ashley I. has finally realized that this is a game show, and she needs to play it Survivor-style if she wants to win. This is a high moment for the show, especially when everyone goes along with it.

Farmer Chris realizes he’s “spending more time talking to the girls about Jordan than I am about moving our relationships forward.” He decides he can’t let Jordan back in the game. “The decision as a man is to not let this go any further,” he tells her, leaving out the part about how it’d completely break the game if The Bachelor just allowed any eliminated contestant to return at any time.

“I’ll always admire you,” Kelsey says to Jordan. Whitney, the one who wanted to be nice to Jordan, gets a rose, which upsets Ashley I. Despite the elimination of Jordan, Ashley I. is on her game: “Whitney, who I honestly looked at on the boat and thought, ‘I don’t have to worry about that’… I just think that she’s fake as shit.”

LOW. The producers of The Bachelor are mean. Britt, the waitress from Hollywood, is afraid of heights. Naturally, she and Farmer Chris go on a hot-air balloon date. (New Mexico is known for its hot air balloons.) But doesn’t this break the conceit of the show? Every contestant on this show, as well as Farmer Chris, is constantly talking about how this is the one chance to find a mate. What good boyfriend or husband would take his partner on a hot-air balloon trip when she’s afraid of heights?

By the way, Britt’s favorite authors are David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers. What, no Dave Barry?

HIGH. Kelsey, apparently inspired by both Jordan’s bold return and Ashley I.’s wagon-circling that eliminated Jordan, makes her move. And what a move it is! She sneaks into Farmer Chris’ room, and reveals that her previous marriage didn’t end in divorce. No. It ended with her husband dying of a heart attack. Sanderson Poe, her husband, died suddenly in May of 2013. That means, a little over a year later, she was signing up for The Bachelor.

And, though her story is true and tragic, she tells it as if she’s making it up. She comments on how “amazing” her story is, and adds: “I know this is a show about Chris, but this is my love story, too.” At this point, I got excited that The Bachelor might turn into a Too Many Cooks-style takeover, where Kelsey slowly kills all the other characters and takes over the show.

Others have complaints, after hearing Kelsey’s story causes Chris to cancel the night’s cocktail party and head straight to the rose ceremony:

  • “It’s really, really annoying that I didn’t get to talk to him alone, and she did.”
  • “She has a story that’s much more traumatizing than me. My story is just nothing compared to her’s.”

“Hell yes, I’m getting a rose tonight,” Kelsey says. “Stay tuned. Monday nights at 8.” She really is taking over!

LOW. Unfortunately, Kelsey pushed the game a little too far. After she walks away for some air, we hear her screaming in terror. A few workers on The Bachelor react by standing there like doofuses:

We eventually see Kelsey laying on the ground, having a panic attack, and the show fades to a “TO BE CONTINUED…” No one is eliminated tonight, but one has to assume the attack will disqualify Kelsey and she’ll be sent home. She’s not being ready to move on yet. She broke the game so well she got herself kicked off.

HIGH. We then return to Megan over the credits, wearing a sombrero and talking about New Mexico as if it’s a different country again. Ugh. But then comes the amazing revelation:

Yes! The contestants on The Bachelor, as well as Farmer Chris, were actually paid to say nice things about Santa Fe, New Mexico. And what drama New Mexico and Santa Fe got for their money: A session with a love guru, a white-water rafting trip with less-than-enthusiastic participants, a hot-air balloon ride with a woman who is terrified of heights — plus an episode-ending panic attack!

There were some pretty shots of Santa Fe, but the show didn’t make it seem like a good place to fall in love. I think New Mexico and Santa Fe could have spent their money more wisely.