The Bachelor (S20E11): “The Women Tell All”


The Women Tell All special is always a funny episode, not just because its dramatic, but because it reminds us of all the girls Ben has left behind, some of which hardly earned any screen time. Immediately, the girls attack each other with snide comments and cruelty. Not to mention, one contestant has Sheila the chicken on her lap the entire time (well, minus the brief minute she flew onto Lace and then landed on the stage). Chris Harrison doesn’t waste any time, calling just a handful of women to the hot seat.

Jubilee is the first contestant brought into the hot seat. This stirs up an ironic conversation about racism on The Bachelor. The Bachelor has constantly been criticized for its lack of diversity. Jubilee, Amber, and Jami seemed to have discussed this during their journey. Amber and Jami were both personally affected by Jubilee’s comments about being “the real black girl” this season. While I don’t personally recall those comments, it is very likely they were cut out due to the already well known controversy.  
Throughout the show there were some weird transitions, especially during Jubilee’s segment. One moment she is sitting on the couch with Chris then she is back among the other girls. This distracts from the show and while I understand this is a reality competition, its production is just as important as any other show. This mess up by the editors may seem minor but it does affect the viewers ease. 
Chris Harrison has a talent. He uses silence to his advantage, luring girls to talk through tears. Why? Does he love watching women suffer heart break? No. He loves high TV ratings, and so does ABC. After 20 seasons as host of this franchise, his abilities have grown immensely. 
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Lace, you remember her don’t you? How could you not since her presence on this show stayed alive though social media. She sent herself home early on because she didn’t feel like herself anymore. She now claims she is more aware of her expressions and listens to people. A man interrupt the conversation with a tattoo of Lace on his stomach. I don’t know what to think about this…let me know what you think. A planned stunt or reality? After explaining she didn’t like the women she was becoming during her short time on the Bachelor, she agrees to be on Bachelor in Paradise. Strange decision? I think so.
And now, we get to the most insane contestant of all. Yes, I’m talking about Olivia. For much of this season, she elevated her relationship with Ben to heights that didn’t exist. While it’s true they had chemistry, Ben and Olivia were not on the same level. Meanwhile, Olivia had a knack for making enemies. During her conversation with Chris Harrison, she expresses fond emotions towards the experience, “it was a really good time.” Amanda can’t contain her laughter as Olivia says she owns up to her mistakes. Amanda later stands up for her motherhood and Olivia’s harsh comments (as if she were watching an episode of Teen Mom). Later on, Haley, the first twin to be eliminated, accuses Olivia of being a bully which gets everyone riled up. 
Most of the girls don’t appreciate her bully backstory. The tides seem to calm for Olivia by the end, in an emotional moment she says, these past few months while The Bachelor has aired have been hard. She gave up her social media accounts because of this difficulty. She says, “We all judge, but no one really knows. Just people saying terrible things. There’s no way of knowing how to do this. I didn’t do it right, but I learned.”
This brings up a really important topic. We all like to share our opinions, and now with social media we have an abundance of outlets to do so. We are a very judgmental society. With that can come great things, but also great destruction. We have to remember that these people are not fictional. They are real and while the series may be overproduced and not entirely “reality,” that doesn’t give us permission to be bullies. There is a fine line between humor and cruelty. While I love reading live tweets, it’s important to recognize that words can deeply affect others. Choose wisely. 
Now a short note on the twins, who didn’t get as much screen time as I would have expected last night. I love the twins, can’t tell them apart, but still love them. Watching them stand up to each other brings a different feel to the intense gathering. Despite dating the same man, they defend and support one another, and those are qualities we rarely see on The Bachelor.

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Caila watches the breakup footage for the first time while in the hot seat. “I want someone to look at me” like Ben does at Lauren B and JoJo. This comment screams next Bachelorette. Fans seem to like Caila, and she did have a very successful run on The Bachelor this season, so now its just up to time to reveal this news. In a sad tone at the end of her conversation with Chris she says quietly, “I just miss talking to him.” The ex’s later share a sweet “thank you” final conversation. 
In the last half hour of the show, Ben finally appears and  explains how he feels it was important to compartmentalize each relationship, which is one reason he professed love to two women. Ben seems very well prepared, confident, and natural. I’m sure he practiced his responses for some questions. He’s conducts himself like a handsome politician discussing love. 
Next weeks finale looks more dramatic than anything else this season, but it does end with a man so in love he would “marry her tomorrow if [he] could.”