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‘The Bachelor’ recap: The pain in Spain


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Back so soon, rose lovers? Congratulations on making it through The Bachelor’s two-night extravaganza. In part two of Joey’s “journey” this week, everyone headed to Spain — and poor Maria made a new enemy.

Let’s recap!

A reminder where we left off last night: At the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party in Malta, Lea got mad at Madina for being nice to Maria, and when Maria found this out, she left the party in tears.

“I just want to go home,” she weepily tells a producer. Meanwhile, Lea is still sitting with Joey, filling his head with lies about how Maria is so mean. “I’m definitely trying to navigate this with grace,” she says. “I’m, like, hoping and praying that this next week, despite Maria still being here, that it can still be a fresh start.” Man, has any Bachelor contestant ever gone from zero to Villain No. 1 so quickly? Lea may have just set a record.

Tink! Tink! Tink! In walks Jesse Palmer with his Butter Knife of Bad News. The cocktail party is over, ladies. Get it together and assemble for the ritual disbursement of flowers. Rose ceremony roll call!

Kelsey A., Katelyn, Daisy, Rachel, Jenn, Autumn, Jess, Madina, and Lea (ugh) join Maria, Kelsey T., and Lexi in the Circle of Safety™. Even Lea seems a little shocked that she’s still there.

Lea wobbles but she won’t fall down.


Alas, that means we must say goodbye to Edwina and Allison. I’m sure we’ll see one or both in Paradise — perhaps with Allison’s sister, Lauren. Also, side note: Did Jesse seriously just alter the script by saying “take as much time as you need and say your goodbyes”?  My world is ROCKED.

With that, Joey and his 12 potential wives are off to Andalusia, Spain. ¡Vamos!

After everyone is checked in at the (promotional consideration provided by} Sol Marbella Estepona hotel, the ladies head downstairs for some sangria. Maria makes a toast to “all you beautiful women,” but somehow, Lea is still feeling salty. “It literally pains me that not only has Syd gone home, yet Maria stays another week,” she whines. “It sucks.” Well, something about this situation sucks, toots, but not the part you think.

Suddenly, the Bachelor zips up on a Vespa to join the women for a cocktail. But this is not a group date. Kelsey A., grab your helmet — you and Joey are off to explore the city!  

The women watch Joey whisk Kelsey A. away for a date.


“It’s definitely a little dagger to the heart,” says Jess with a sigh. All the women are disappointed, and Maria asks if any of them would have taken Lea’s “steal a one-on-one date” card if she hadn’t burned it. “Um, yeah,” says Kelsey T. “I definitely would have kept the card. I don’t know if I would have used it.” We stan an honest queen.

The women continue to sip their sangria, but all of them are feeling pretty glum. Rachel tears up in her confessional, and Kelsey T. excuses herself to cry in an alleyway. Hang in there, ma’am!

As for Kelsey A. and Joey, they’re having a grand old time zipping around Andalusia on the vespa. They make a few pit stops to procure supplies — cured ham, tomatoes, wine — for a picnic, and then join a pick-up game of fútbol in a local park. That’s where Joey and Kelsey A. meet the Wise Old Married Couple™ who just happen to be there to bless their relationship.  

Later, they spread out a picnic blanket and talk about the future.

Kelsey and Joey smooch on ‘The Bachelor’.


Kelsey says that while she’s not yet “falling” in love, “I’m starting to trip.” Yes to that, Kelsey! Too many contestants feel like they’ve got to declare they’re “falling in love” within, like, three weeks or they’ll be left behind. And Joey is very happy with how she describes her feelings. “I knew from the beginning, as soon as we started to go on those group dates, that you were going to be someone I could just ease into,” he says.

Dinner that night takes place at a 13th century bathhouse, which is the perfect place for Kelsey A. to Open Up™ about things that make her cry. She begins by talking about her mom, who was in the military and earned the distinction of Soldier of the Year multiple times. “Her energy was just so positive,” raves Kelsey. Unfortunately, 10 years ago, Kelsey’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away. Hearing this, Joey reaches over and takes his date’s hand to comfort her. Great, now I’m crying, too. This man!

“I know that at the end it is an engagement,” says Kelsey. “It’s just hard for me sometimes to think about my mom not being there at my wedding.” She goes on to explain that she believes in signs, and that whenever she sees a butterfly, she feels like it’s her mom visiting her. “Right before I came on here, I got off work and I was walking home, and I saw butterflies in the middle of the city of New Orleans,” she says through her tears.

Our Bachelor, champion listener that he is, assures Kelsey that her mom would be proud of her today. “You describe her as someone that was always thinking of others and giving, and that’s the only thing I see when I talk to you,” says Joey. Oh, my Lord, THIS MAN! I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but Kelsey A. gets the date rose.

Joey bestows the rose on Kelsey A.


By the end of the night, Kelsey A. has gone from “starting to trip” to “falling” for Joey. Pheromones are a hell of a drug.

Group date time! Lexi, Daisy, Jenn, Autumn, Maria, Katelyn, Madina, Lea, Jess, and Kelsey T. head to a villa in Marbella, where the Bachelor is waiting for them with an artist named Paula. She informs the women that they need to write one sentence that encapsulates their “true feelings” for Joey — and then paint a picture inspired by that sentence. And yes, this is a competition. Says Paula, “Whoever conveys their quote most clearly to Joey is going to earn special time with him.” (This whole thing is giving me flashbacks to that painful three-on-one group date during Katie’s season of The Bachelorette.)

Okay, ladies — get painting. You too, Joey!

Joey and his masterpiece.


You know, I don’t hate it? It’s kind of giving Magritte’s “The Son of Man.” Jenn’s painting does, as she admits, look like corn on the cob, but it’s actually the yellow surfboard from their one-on-one date. Katelyn paints Joey fishing from a box of hearts (or something); Maria creates a crude representation of her two-on-one date with Sydney and Joey; and Kelsey T. paints this:

Kelsey T. did not paint an elephant.


No, Joey, that’s not an elephant. It’s half a heart! Kelsey T. is trying to tell you that she’s looking for her other half! Come on, man.

Jess goes literal and paints a wedding band and engagement ring to go along with her sentence, “Our future is as bright as the diamond I hope to receive, because our loves is something I truly believe.” Lea’s painting, depicting a beam of light, some hibiscus flowers, and rosebuds, needs a bit more interpretation — but artistically, it is the best work of art.

Still, Paula and Joey choose Jess as the winner, much to Lea’s irritation. “She will never end up with him,” she sneers. “But one can be delusional.” Girl, take it down a notch. Producers already know you want to be on Paradise; no need to keep trying to prove yourself as “good TV.”

Jess’ prize for winning the art contest is some hands-on experience with Joey.

Jess beautifies Joey’s booty on ‘The Bachelor’.


It’s the old “body painting date,” a Bachelor franchise special. Hope that stuff is water soluble.

The after-party gets off to a pleasant start. Joey praises Jenn for her surfboard painting and then he smooches her. Next, he reassures Kelsey T. that he feels a “level of ease” with her, and then he smooches her. Things get more serious when it’s Maria’s turn to sit down with him. Feeling like she needs to Open Up™ sooner rather than later, Maria reveals some moving things about her childhood. Growing up, her mother wasn’t around much — but the reasons are surprising.

When Maria was just a year old, she and her mother got into a terrible car accident. (“A cement truck basically fell on top of my mom’s car,” she explains.) Baby Maria was initially declared dead, and her mother broke almost every bone in her body. The tragedy sent her mother into a “big depression,” and she “wasn’t capable of being the mother that she really wanted to” be. But Maria says her dad stood by her mom, and today she and her mother are working on their relationship.  The experience also reminds Maria to “cherish every moment,” because she knows how fragile and fleeting life can be.

The Bachelor LOVES it — so much so, he gives Maria the date rose. In case you can’t tell from her face, Jess is bummed.

Maria, Joey, and a grumpy-looking Jess.


Lea is also quite annoyed. “My heart is in my ass,” she says. “For him to, like, validate her and love on her — I thought she was the last person this rose could’ve gone to.” You thought wrong, bitch.

Our second one-on-one date of the episode goes to Rachel. She meets Joey in downtown Marbella, and they head straight to an outdoor courtyard where flamenco dancers are performing. One fabulous Spanish lady offers to teach Joey and Rachel the art of flamenco, but first they need the proper footwear.

Joey and Rachel learn the flamenco on ‘The Bachelor’.


“The shorts and boots combo today is really something I should have thought through,” laments the Bachelor. “No one can tell me I look good right now… but that’s okay.”

Ever the good sport, Joey commits himself to having a good time as he and Rachel learn the basics of flamenco. After a quick costume change, Joey and Rachel join the Spanish dancers for a live performance in front of a crowd. While they don’t manage to do all the right moves, they look cute together, and the crowd applauds when they end the performance with a smooch.

Rachel and Joey smooch on ‘The Bachelor’.


That night at dinner, Rachel knows she’s required to get vulnerable, so she talks about her career as an ICU nurse, which she loves — but she also admits that it takes a toll on her. “You take on those emotions that families have and that patients have,” she says. “I’ve been with people who say dating a nurse is hard because we work long hours. It’s a lot emotionally to take on when you have a partner who’s in the medical field.” In other words, Rachel wants Joey to know that if he chooses her, he’s choosing to support her career as well — and that won’t always be easy.

The Bachelor gets it, because he is a gem. “You deserve someone to take care of you,” he says. “I’m just so honored that you feel that with me.” Yes, Rachel gets the date rose. (I really like Rachel. Not sure she and Joey are an endgame match, but she’s fabulous… and could make for an excellent Bachelorette down the road. Do you agree, rose lovers?)

Holy cow, are we actually going to get two rose ceremonies in this episode? It sure looks like it. The evening of the cocktail party arrives, and nerves are high — even for the Bachelor. Daisy sits down with him first, and she has the wherewithal to ask Joey how he’s doing with this emotional “journey.” (Hooray for empathy!) The Bachelor admits that he struggles at times but says he’s doing his best. Daisy says there’s no place she’d rather be, and they smooch. “Daisy is 100 percent someone I could fall in love with,” says Joey.

Back in the holding pen, Jess is anxious to talk to Joey. Even though she got extra time with the Bachelor during the group date, she feels the need to have a “one-on-one, serious conversation” — the kind you can’t have while rolling around in a puddle of paint. Jess does her best to wait patiently, but she is shocked — shocked! — when Maria, who already has a rose, talks to Joey before she can.

Jess is displeased.


Kelsey A. gently suggests that it’s not completely outrageous for Maria to want her own conversation with Joey, even if she already has a rose. Katelyn even comes to her defense, saying Maria was “very, very sweet” when she interrupted. But Jess remains riled up, claiming that she’s “been disrespected” by Maria “so many times” before. Uh, what? Did every single person watching this show miss something? Jess, just take a deep breath. Only you can stop yourself from spiraling.

When Maria returns from her chat with Joey, Jess can’t hold in her resentment. “Pretty early convo for someone with a rose,” she says in an annoyed, sing-songy voice. Maria, who has 1-800-HAD-IT with these women, instantly takes the bait and asks Jess why she’s upset. Jess tells Maria her behavior is “disrespectful,” but when Maria asks her to elaborate, she just scoffs. “That’s what I thought,” Maria snaps.

Oh boy, now Jess is fuming. “You’re just so f—ing rude, Maria!” They start arguing about some past conflict, and what Jess calls Maria’s “fake-ass apology,” but honestly, I’m not really sure which fight they’re talking about. It doesn’t really matter, because Jess gets up to leave. Maria tells her to “grow up,” and all hell breaks loose. “You need to grow the f—k up, bitch!” Jess barks, before storming off in tears. Lea follows her, because she just LIVES for drama.

Tink! Tink! Tink! Sorry ladies, but Jesse and his Butter Knife of Bad News are here. Please make your way to the rose ceremony.

Rose ceremony number 5.


Who will join Kelsey A., Maria, and Rachel in the Circle of Safety™? Let’s find out. Rose ceremony roll call! Congratulations Jenn, Kelsey T., Daisy, Lea (ugh), Lexi, Katelyn, and Jess — you’ve made the final 10! So sorry, Autumn and Madina, but your “journey” ends here.

As for everyone else, you’re off to Montreal! (Not sure why production didn’t have them stop there first rather than flying all the way from California to Europe and then back to North America, but maybe they needed the frequent flier miles.)

Welp, rose lovers, we survived the two-episode gauntlet. How are you holding up? Now that we’re more than halfway through Joey’s “journey,” who are you rooting for most? Who (besides Lea) do you want to get the boot ASAP? And do you see any potential Bachelorettes in the bunch? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @KristenGBaldwin.

The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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