Bachelor Arie Recap: Skin It To Win It
Bachelor Arie Recap: Season 22, Hometown Dates
Can you believe we are here? It’s hometown dates on The Bachelor! That means the producers over at ABC have taken a few hours to sit in a room so they can figure out how to properly dramatize the families of the four remaining women. Because I’m totally plugged into the organization, I was able to acquire a transcript of the meeting notes. I will not reveal my source, but I can tell you that the song “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel was inspired by this person’s baby blues.
Producer 1: Okay, who do we have left again?
Producer 2: The weird chick, the redneck, the mid-westerner, and Emily 2.0.
ABC Intern: That would be Kendall, Tia, Becca, and Lauren.
Producer 3: Nice! I like that Tinkerbell girl!
ABC Intern: Other Becca, sir.
Producer 3: There’s another Becca?
ABC Intern: Yes. Becca K.
Producer 3: Whatever. We need ideas. GO!
Lackey 1: We could have Arie make jewelry with Kendall’s mom. I hear she has enough beads to outfit an entire Coachella festival.
Producer 1: No, no, no. Kendall is the dead animal girl, right? Make Arie stuff something.
ABC Intern: Mammal, fish, bird, reptile, or amphibian, sir?
Producer 1: Does Arie have an animal phobia?
ABC Intern: Not that I’m aware of, no.
Producer 1: Then pick something gross. NEXT!
Lackey 2: We are unsure about Tia. The swamp date would have been perfect for her hometown.
Producer 1: Her brother is bald with earrings and tattoos, right?
ABC Intern: Yes.
Producer 1: Edit the crap out of him and make it seem like he just got out of jail.
ABC Intern: But he wasn’t in jail. He’s an upstanding guy.
Producer 1: Don’t care. NEXT!
Lackey 1: I think we really need to exploit Becca’s deceased father.
Producer 3: What about the mom? She’s the one who reported her daughter missing…
ABC Intern: Wrong Becca, m’am.
Producer 3: What? Who’s this Becca?
Lackey 1: The one who doesn’t have a dad.
Producer 3: Is there a protective relative?
ABC Intern: Yes. Uncle Gary loves her very much. He’s a pastor.
Producer 3: Give him a weapon and tell him Jesus was just a carpenter right before they walk through the door. NEXT!
Lackey 2: We have a lot of things going for us on this date. The family doesn’t speak. The dad is a military guy. The mom rarely cracks a smile. Take your pick.
Producer 2: All three. Let’s end the show with a bang!
ABC Intern: Is there anything I need to tell the ladies before we begin filming?
Producer 1: All must jump and straddle Arie or they will not be considered for the next round.
Producer 2: Rose ceremony garments must be made from strips of material placed in strategic areas that hover the line of inappropriate for prime time television.
Producer 3: Have tons of handkerchiefs in your pocket. If we learned anything from Arie’s date with Lauren it’s that he’s a sweat machine. We can’t have pit stains in all of his chambray shirts, blue shirts, bluish-grey shirts, and other blue shirts.
ABC Intern: On it.
The following information you are about to read is of personal opinion. However, if you or someone you follow on InstaStories happens to personally know, sort of know, is friends with the Orange Theory workout chick who is obsessed with Princess Margaret on The Crown and looks exactly like one of the contestants on the show…none of this is personal and I’m sure they are all lovely people.
Hometown Date 1
Los Angeles, California
To no one’s surprise, Kendall takes Arie to her taxidermy warehouse. I already have lots of questions. Does a 26-year-old really have an entire warehouse full of stuffed and mounted animals? Where did they come from? I don’t see Kendall being the type to just happen upon a mountain lion during her day job while she creatively directs things. Is this really her collection? Does she frequent estate sales? Perhaps it’s a hobby? Some people race cars, others bead, and Kendall stuffs on her days off.
I appreciate Arie’s willingness to go with the flow by interjecting such phrases as, “these look real” and “I’m freaked out!” But when Kendall takes a bobcat and forces it in Arie’s arms so he can hug it like a toy one might win playing the ring toss at the local carnival that set up shop in the Wal-Mart parking lot over night, that’s where I draw the line.
Arie does not. He giggles (out of fear) and politely hands the creature back to its owner, probably thinking, “Oh good, I made it. Look at me! Not once did I peace out of this terrifying joint! I wonder if she wants to make out by the zebras…”
Unfortunately for me and Arie, Kendall saunters up to a table with a big smile on her face. Something tells me bad things are about to go down. I wait, willing to lunge behind a couch if I need to.
Dear reader. I was not ready for the shot that flashed before my eyes. Nothing could have prepared me for the display that was set before my retinas. If I had a solid heads-up for what was coming, I don’t think I could have steeled my stomach for the contents on that table.
Rat skins. Also known as, the skin of two rats.
It’s exactly what you are envisioning. Imagine Templeton zipping off his rat skin, like it is a bodysuit or a onesie. Then imagine Kendall picking up the skin sack like it is a thin slices of deli meat she’s about to plop on a piece of bread.
If you can get beyond the handling of rat hide, I’m sure you will have no problem with this next sentence: “You begin by stuffing its face.”
I’d like to point out that neither Kendall nor Arie were wearing gloves.
Arie is a champ and dives in head first. Much ado about stuffing, am I right? He fills that skin carcass with enough cotton to, well, stuff a decent-sized white rat. Then he obliges Kendall when she suggests they dress their rats up as a bride and groom with a diorama of a Parisian skyline as the background.
Arie makes an excellent point: “She can stuff dead things and I can work on cars. It’s fine.”
Kendall manages to pull herself away from the frivolity of her expired pets and preps Arie for what’s to come when he meets her family. She warns him about her twin, she admits that it’s hard for her to be vulnerable, and she suggests he make a drinking game out of how many buddha statues he spies in her parents’ home. When Arie tells Kendall he’s falling for her, she pulls an Emily and says, “Thank you.” To lighten the mood, Kendal makes out with him a little bit, chugs down some lemonade, and escorts him to the house wearing a teeny tiny romper.
Arie walks up to the house with Kendall on his arm, holding a huge bouquet of flowers and a gift basket. I have to wonder if rat bride and rat groom were tucked in beside a bottle of wine and a wheel of cheese. I hope so.
Everyone hugs and Twin immediately whisks Kendall away to mom’s Cost Plus World Market crafting room. Kendall gushes about Arie and Twin is not feeling it. There’s too much space. Or too much light. I was confused, but the general consensus is that Twin doesn’t think there has been enough time to explore things properly.
This is further proof that Kendall and her family have never watched this show.
Twin’s mood ring turns a filthy brown when she meets with Arie. When he uses the word “proposal,” all of the sirens go off in Twin’s head. She adjusts her midriff top, silk pink bathrobe, and tells Kendall that she can’t let him drop to one knee if she’s not ready to take his last name. PS: It sounds like this is a condition. Is she ready for that? Where will Ping sleep? Have they even talked about the taxidermy warehouses in Scottsdale? WHAT HAS SHE BEEN DOING THIS WHOLE TIME?
Meanwhile, Arie asks Kendall’s dad what he thinks about marriage and dad is quick to inform Arie that Kendall is not ready. She’s not in that space. However, if she chooses to say yes due to the fact that she’s been swept up in this hot mess of a reality show, he will support his daughter’s decision. He won’t like it, but he will support it.
When it’s time to leave, Kendall feels pressure to somehow convey to Arie how much he means to her, without using “falling for you” language. She’s too analytical for that nonsense. She wimps out and instead tells him that it’s hard for her to talk about emotions. I thought this would be the perfect moment for her to whip out the dead rats so they could use them as therapy puppets. She did not. Instead she stuck her tongue down his throat and bid him adieu.
HOMETOWN DATE 2
Tia is so excited to see Arie that she arranges for them to race in the mud, even though she promised to never get into another car after the demolition date. Arie is pumped and sprays dirt and dust all into Tia’s open window as he rooster tails around her. He’s clearly having a ball. She is not. But she is attracted to him more when he’s in his element. AMEN!
They meet the fam and right away I love these people. They pick up pigs-in-a-blanket (Weiner shout-out!) and toast to their sweet baby girl and the stranger who may marry her in a few weeks. This is all totally normal. I especially love with dad called our bachelor Air-y.
Tia’s brother is first up and has a few questions. He’s basically a big teddy bear who just happens to look like a biker version of Mr. Clean. He is protective and has no problem calling Air-y out for all the stuff he read about the playboy on the Google. Arie explains that he is no longer “that guy” anymore and he’s ready to settle down with a strong, southern girl who puts him in his place. Brother approves.
Daddy takes a peek at the notes his son gave him before the camera crew arrived and asks Tia that he heard he was a ladies’ man. Is this true? Tia thinks Air-y is the greatest. He makes her feel special. Daddy wonders just how “special” he’s making the others feel? Tia claims that compartmentalizing is the only way she hasn’t driven herself crazy. She can’t think about the weirdo, little blond one, or her new BFF.
When Arie talks to Tia’s dad, he brings up the rumors he read on the Internet. Air-y assures him that everything he’s read is false and begs the ABC Intern with his eyes for him to burn every copy in Arkansas of Courtney Robertson’s book. Air-y promises that he is going to take care of his little girl, should she be selected as the chosen one, and he wants dad’s permission to marry her. Dad halfway gives it and then threatens to end Air-y should he hurt his little girl.
Tia walks Arie to the SUV, holding his hand, and kisses him passionately before telling him once again that she loves him. She’s not falling. She’s already there.
HOMETOWN DATE 3
Becs and Arie pick apples and look darling doing it. It’s so down home, I almost can’t stand it, especially when he carves A+B in a tree trunk.
Arie is nervous about Becca’s family because everyone is super protective since her father passed away. The biggest hurdle for Arie will be Uncle Gary — the pastor. Pay no attention to the fact that he carries a cane. He probably won’t smack you with it.
Things don’t start well when Arie says during dinner that “he has to open himself up to more than one relationship.” Pick another way to phrase that, dear boy, or take a note from Lauren and just keep your mouth shut. Uncle Gary wastes no time and before the first helping of soup is ladled out, he asks for a private audience with Arie in the carved duck room.
Uncle Gary reminds Arie that this family has suffered. He wants to know if Becs is the real deal? Arie answers in the affirmative. Then Uncle Gary asks about church. What if Becs wants to go? What then? Arie answers, “I’d go with her. We’ve talked about this.” Uncle G approves.
In the other room, Becs lays it on thick, telling her mom that she sees in Arie what her mom saw in her dad. Ouch. How are you supposed to defend that? Mom can’t say anything other than, “I trust you.”
Next up, mom talks to Arie and asks him what makes a relationship work? He says that his parents have been married forever and they choose each other every day. That’s how it works. And he would choose Becca every day if given the opportunity. He likes that she has a solid family and good values. Also, he loves that she loves her dad. He feels like he knows him. Mom approves.
Is it just me or is Arie fine tuning his parent speeches to each group? Am I being cynical?
Moving on. Becca walks him to the car, tells him she loves him, snogs a little, and calls him a stud muffin. I like this girl.
HOMETOWN DATE 4
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Lauren shimmies into her best crushed velvet bodysuit with complimentary flannel shirt and takes Arie horseback riding on the beach. Then they make out for a solid minute on top of a tall structure overlooking the water. And when I say they make out, I mean they make out.
They head out to the pier and Lauren warns Arie that her entire family is going to be skeptical of this entire process. She did not warn him that they are silent observers as well.
Upon entering the living room, Lauren’s aunt quizzes Arie by demanding he SAY SOMETHING IN DUTCH. He did. They do not respond. And everyone sits in silence.
This bothered me. It’s Lauren’s duty, or her mom’s, as the hostess to carry that conversation along. Party foul. Dinner was just as aco especially when her dad asks if Arie is either a military man or if he plays golf. That’s a negative, Ghost Rider. Mom and dad stare at Arie, piercing his mental game. Arie excuses himself from the table. Lauren looks at her parents, finds her voice, and says, “Don’t worry. He always does this. It’s cool.”
Homeboy hurries around the corner, begging the ABC Intern for a Kleenex or paper towel or something to wipe away all of the fear that is dripping down his forehead in the form of perspiration. The ABC Intern hands him a handkerchief and the camera man shoves him back toward the table.
Dad talks to the camera, irritated that these yahoos are asking him to dissect a guy he’s only known for an hour. But if he had to pick an adjective, he’d choose self-centered.
Dad: He needs to be willing to protect my daughter with his life. Lauren seems to like him a lot. If he proves me wrong, I’ll BLEEPING kill him.
Arie spends some time with dad out back, sweating like a machine. He wisely asks Lauren’s father what kind of airplane he flew in the military. Dad answers and Arie nonchalantly says he flew a C-130 once on a Goodwill tour in Iraq.
Come again, Arie?
Arie goes on to say that it was the best time. He hung out with soldiers on their base and just offered support and encouragement. The moment seemed so genuine, that I’m pretty sure he didn’t make it up. WAY TO BURY THE LEAD, ARIE!
Lauren’s dad all but proposes marriage to Arie in that moment. He promises his daughter’s hand and calls his tailor to begin making the suit he will walk his baby girl down the aisle in the near future.
Mom isn’t swayed by tales of military greatness. She wants to know about the other women and how his need to compartmentalize makes her extremely nervous. Arie explains that you have to do that in order to make a clear decision. Mom claims that if you condition yourself to do this, how can you be loyal to just one person?
Arie: You have to trust me. I’m falling in love with Lauren. I’m excited to see where this goes.
Mom: I don’t want to see her get hurt.
Lincee: Have you ever seen one minute of this show? Just curious.
Lauren and her mom snuggle up on the bed to stare at each other before visiting a little bit about Arie. Mom says that he confessed that he’s falling for Lauren.
Lauren: He said that?
Mom: Yes. Do you think he said that to others?
Lauren: No. He would never tell me he’s falling for me and say the same to the others.
Lincee: And he would never stuff the skin of a rat with cotton either, but here we are.
Lauren walks Arie out to the car. Let the record show that he kisses her very differently than the other women. VERY differently.
Harrison greets the ladies and gives Arie a pep talk, willing him not to puke on the Turkish rugs in the rose ceremony room. Arie slowly makes his way to the pedestal and addresses the ladies. Then he feels the chunks coming and he walks right back out.
Tia, Becca, and Kendall look terrified. Lauren is cool as a cucumber. Same song, second verse.
When Arie returns, he asks Kendall to join him out in the hallway. He wants to know if she can “get there” and if she sees herself engaged at the end of this. Kendall basically says “no,” but she isn’t ready for their journey to end. He presses her for her buy-in on an engagement. She does not cave.
This is the point when the cameras show Tia chattering on about how the three of them (Kendall, Tia, Lauren) make sense in her mind as matches for Arie. Clearly Arie is letting Kendall down easy. A twinge of “uh oh” quivered through my body when she said this over and over and over again while Becca took deep breaths and Lauren stood mute.
Back outside, Kendall continues her monologue about how Arie makes her feel safe and that the thought of him not feeling safe with her makes her sad and physically hurt. He keeps asking for clarity. She keeps on saying that she’s freaked.
Suddenly, she walks back into the room and I know. I know that Kendall is staying because there is NO WAY he would make her walk back into the line of fire, only to bereave her of a bud. Becca, Lauren, and Kendall are heading to the fantasy suites.
And Tia will most definitely be a contender as the next bachelorette.
Tia experiences all the stages of depression right before our eyes. She stands dazed, in shock and denial, before Becca crashes into her with a fierce hug. Then she shoots daggers out of her eyes as Arie walks her to the rejection limo. Bargaining kicks in right around the rejection bench where she demands he tell her why she was not chosen. And then depression sinks in with deep and moaning sobs into Arie’s weird square tie. Finally, she reaches acceptance. Tia takes Arie’s face and wishes him well in all his endeavors.
Then she calls her dad who goes immediately to the Google to find the guy who broke his baby’s heart.