BIP: Episode 2

We were spoiled last week, with an Abigail-centric episode. This one is all about the drama, of which Abigail thankfully continues to steer clear.

The Love Boat-style intro is cheesy yet perfect. The lyrics are from “Footloose.”

https://twitter.com/BachParadise/status/1429956934728392707

The drama starts with Demi’s arrival. She looks like Pot Stirrer Barbie. She uses her date card on Brendan. While they’re off jet skiing and making out, the rest of the group is aghast to discover that Brendan and Pieper (who isn’t on the show…yet) had a relationship prior to BIP.

Ironically, Abigail’s the one who points out that it’s like a game of telephone; everyone has a different version of the story. She could very well be talking about what it’s like to follow a conversation when deaf. Or even what it’s like lipreading something out of context.

Demi and Brendan return from their date separately, because she essentially asked him to be exclusive and he wants to keep his options open. While they discuss their situation, everyone else can’t help but watch from a distance. Two quick glimpses of Abigail doing so made me wonder if she was trying to lipread them. I certainly would! Missed opportunity there, ABC!

Victoria P., who looks like Plastic Surgery Barbie, also instigates drama. Known for being manipulative, she pretends she’s into James for the rose. But according to Tammy and Kelsey, she has an aspiring country singer boyfriend back home, and her ultimate goal is to get him airtime.

At the first Rose Ceremony, host David Spade calls out Noah (Abigail’s current boo) for his Miami Vice look. Just like on Bachelor, there’s a cocktail party before the Rose Ceremony, only this time the non-coupled up girls are rose chasing.

There’s a brief scene with Abigail and Noah, in which Noah tells Abigail to make eye contact when they clink drinks. “You just want to look in my eyes? How romantic!” she tells him. He tells the camera that he’s in a good place with her.

During the Rose Ceremony, Abigail is in the back (second) row again, like she was on the Bachelor. Why‽ She should be front and center, or whatever the prime lipreading/listening position is – not in the back on the far left!

https://twitter.com/BachParadise/status/1429984919342747648

Noah is second to give out a rose. He looks right at Abigail when he says her name. She tells the camera that she’s really surprised at how quickly they’re forming a relationship, and that she’s excited to keep it going.

Since Victoria P. left on her own prior to the Rose Ceremony because Tammy and Kelsey told James on her, only three women are eliminated. James is the wild card, and he picks *gasp!* Demi instead of Kelsey.

Tonight’s episode has Lance Bass as the host, and the arrival of villain Thomas from Katie’s season. Just like Connor’s unbuttoned shirts, we don’t need either.

Abigail Finally Gets Her 1:1 in Paradise

Well, Abigail wasn’t picked to be Bachelorette. She was, however, cast on the summer spinoff “Bachelor in Paradise.” While she’s too sweet for the trashy show, it will increase awareness about listening and spoken language. And maybe she’ll even find love!

True to form, the first episode opens with some eye candy. The montage includes Connor B. from Katie’s season of “The Bachelorette,” which just ended. He plays his ukulele and sings, “I hear Abigail’s a sweetheart…”

Because Chris Harrison is no longer part of the franchise, BIP will have a series of celebrity guest hosts. The first one is David Spade, who I’ve always thought of as smarmy. But I have to say he nails the gig. He has the right casual, humorous, devil-may-care attitude that fits with the show.

“Welcome to the show where the guys are good looking, the girls are good looking, and I’m the host…” he says.

The First Contestant!

The first “contestant” to enter is Abigail! More screen time for her! She’s shocked to see David Spade. With her hands over her face, she exclaims, “OMG! I’m so starstruck right now!” She asks if she can give him a hug. “You feeling ok?” he asks. “I’m nervous,” she says. “You’re making it worse.”

Spade asks what happened on Matt’s season. Abigail explains, “It didn’t work out between us, obviously, that’s why I’m here.”

“You looking forward to seeing anybody here?”

“I’m trying to keep an open mind for the most part. Just see who’s on the beach, who I vibe with, we’ll see how it goes.”

“Do you think there’s a chance to find some love here?”

“I think so, I think so.”

“You hope so, right?”

“I hope so!”

He then tells her she’s the first one to arrive. She puts her hands over her face again and utters, “Why?” He asks why that’s bad. She says she always walks out and starts talking to people right away because she’s nervous. As she walks out into the lion’s den, Spade says he can see why everyone likes her; she’s a sweetheart.

Abigail sings the praises of this crappy Mexican resort. “Omg, it’s so nice…omg, this place is incredible. I’m here!” she shouts, with her hands in the air. “Paradise, I’ve arrived!”

And her journey is summed up when she tells the camera, “Going into Paradise, I’m really excited to show the guys I’m not just this fragile thing that can only talk about her hearing loss. I’m an adult trying to find my partner. You know, people have met here, married here, and it makes me really excited ’cause I know it works. There’s like no one to talk to yet. I feel like I could fall in love if the right guy comes, so I’m just hoping, hoping that that guy will be here.”

Other Arrivals

The second person to arrive is someone nicknamed Grocery Store Joe, ‘cuz he owned a grocery store. Only he doesn’t anymore. He says Abigail is super sweet. He was on the fifth season of BIP and tells her he didn’t think he’d be there again, and that shouldn’t be her goal either. Abigail didn’t expect him to come down and describes him as “really good looking.” She wants to get to know him as he seems like a great guy, but smartly, she also wants to keep her options open and see who else is coming down to the beach.

Ivan is next. So now it’s Abigail with two guys. She thinks Ivan is super hot, taller than expected, and predicts he’ll be a hot commodity. Both guys say they’re hoping to see Serena, so Abigail calls it the first little love triangle.

Of course, Serena is next. She and Abigail are excited to see one another. Serena even calls her Abby.

After several people have arrived, they’re all standing by the ocean, chatting. I can’t help but wonder how Abigail is faring in this situation. It’s got to be harder to hear with the noise of the waves and everyone talking.

When Brendan arrives, Abigail says she can’t look at his eyes for too long because she feels like she’s going into a trance. “He is definitely a major upgrade to Paradise,” she adds.

Cue Noah Erb, the Love Interest

Noah Erb, 26, from Tayshia’s season arrives. When asked who he wants to see from other seasons, he tells Spade, “Abigail. Because I’m a nurse, I used to do clinical with kids that were deaf. I think it’s powerful. She’s been through adversity. It’s not really a disability to her and I think that speaks a lot about a person.” Ok, this guy gets it!

Spade jokes that Abigail might like a goat roper like him from Oklahoma. Noah tells the camera, “I do want to get to know Abigail. I think she’s somebody that I can like vibe with and like pursue an actual relationship with.” Yup, they both say “like” a lot, so it’s already a match made in heaven!

When he comes down, Abigail is talking with someone else and turns around to see him. She recognizes him and tells the camera he’s cute and funny. She doesn’t know that much about him, so she wants some 1:1 time with him, not in a group.

Once Noah has a drink in hand, he approaches Abigail, who’s drinking in a group, and asks if they can go chat. He tells the camera, “I’m excited to talk to Abigail. I want to make sure we’re both on the same page that we’re both here to find somebody.” They talk on one of the large gazebo beds. She asks what he’s expecting to get out of Paradise. He tells her he wants to focus solely on finding somebody that he gets along with. If they’re vibing, he can go further with that person and pursue it. Otherwise, he’ll explore other options. She agrees and tells him she was hoping he’d get there early so she could get to know him better. “Awww,” he responds, as he touches his hand to her face. Looks like they’re definitely on the same page!

Everyone else notices their immediate connection and ships them. “I love them together!” “I love them together too! They’re really cute!”

Noah demonstrates that he’s the funny guy Abigail’s looking for when he tells her to look straight ahead. “Ok.” “It’s pretty.” “It is pretty.” “Ok, now look to her right,” he tells her. “Lower,” he directs her, which means she’s now looking right at him. “Noah!” she laughs.

Kendall tells the group, “They’re in love, you guys!” They’re deemed the first Bachelor couple.

More people arrive, including some douchebags (not my word, but Aaron’s, from Katie’s season). A character from Matt’s season who called herself Queen Victoria is now the Blonde Goddess, complete with a golden tiara. One girl went on a date with contestant Tre’s uncle. One guy shows up completely naked, with a black box over his privates. Supposedly he was really wearing a Speedo, but they certainly all act like he’s naked.

How This Show Works

Spade calls a family meeting once everyone has arrived. The bartender, Wells (also a former Bachelorette contestant) explains the rules. You’re probably wondering what they actually DO on this show, besides each other. “The rules are simple,” Wells says. “You find love or you go home. That’s it. New people will be coming all the time. There will be dates pretty much every day. At the end of the week, there’s a rose ceremony. If you’re not in a relationship, you’re gonna go home. If you don’t get a rose, kick rocks, you’re out of here. Some weeks men have roses. Some weeks, the women have roses. If you count everyone, there are 10 guys and 13 girls. The gentlemen have 10 roses to give, so three women are going home this week.”

[soft dramatic music]

At dinner, Abigail and Noah are sitting closely to each other and talking. Noah says there’s 50 people there, and Abigail says it’s definitely overwhelming.

She tells the camera, “I feel like in the beginning of the day, I was in my element and then as more and more people started coming, I like get really overwhelmed like in group settings. I’m so much better one on one.”

Abigail’s First 1:1

Then the first date card arrives. Guess whose name is on it and who is FINALLY getting her due? The 1:1 date she was denied on Matt’s season? Abigggaaaaaillll!

The date card says: “It’s finally your time to fall in love.” Abigail claps and says, “It’s finally my time!” Everyone cheers and applauds. She’s excited about her first date card and doesn’t have to ponder long who she wants to take. She asks Noah if he’ll go on a date with her. He hugs her and says, “Let’s do it!”

Again, everyone approves. “I think they’re really going to hit it off.” “Abigail and Noah, so cute. They looked really great walking away together.”

Walking into their date, Noah asks Abigail if she thought her name would be on the date card. She says no, and was thinking she’d sneak away to go to bed. Noah already had his eye on her, so he was definitely excited when she asked him to go on the date, he says, adding that there’s no better way to kick off Paradise.

They walk into a dark room with lit up pinatas. It feels like they’re in a haunted house. Noah says Abigail is the girl that’s like wife material, someone he feels he could get engaged to. When he pulls out a chair for her, she tells him, “Oh stop!” He says she should be used to this. He later calls her out on this, saying she notices every time he does something like that, and is so grateful. But he feels she should have this anyway.

She confesses that she doesn’t really go on many dates. When he asks why, she says she’s asked that a lot. She doesn’t know, but has gotten comfortable being single and moves very slow.

“Like physically?” Noah asks.

Abigail says she talked with her ex for eight months before she wanted to make things official. Noah says it’ll be hard for him to move slow. “Nonstop, we’re gonna be together all the time,” he tells her. She admits there’s going to be pressure but she has to be sure about someone before calling them a boyfriend. It’s hard for her to get guys out of the friend zone.

Noah says he’s going to help her relax. She asks if she seems uptight. He says he can’t tell yet, so she makes the WHOA! face, but he reassures her that he’s just kidding. To the camera, he says he wanted her to have fun and for it to be a special first date, but he can tell she’s withholding and has some walls built up. He wants to know what makes her Abigail.

“There’s obviously more to you than just the quiet, nice girl,” he says. She clearly doesn’t like being called that. She says she’s just not an outwardly emotional person. She doesn’t cry a lot, nor does she express how she’s feeling. She buries it all inside.

“Well, I feel like you have a heart of gold, and the fact that everybody was clapping for you as we went on this date speaks to you,” Noah says. “I don’t think that you hear that enough, and I think you deserve it.”

After the serious talk and a toast, they smash some pinatas. Determined to get out of the friend zone, Noah kisses her. He calls it a great kiss and the first one in Paradise. Turns out there’s lots of kissing, and everyone thinks they’re the first.

Noah picks up Abigail and carries her out as confetti streams all around them. He tells the camera she’s the only one he’s interested in. They kiss.

The Season

The irony is that this place really doesn’t seem like Paradise. One veteran says sand will get everywhere. It’s muggy, buggy, wet, hot, with cramped conditions and bunk beds. Oh, and crabs. Crabs that are everywhere.

In the season preview, Abigail is shown telling Noah that he makes her really happy. But there’s lots of “crazy shit,” drama, a love triangle, and relationships that will be tested. Here’s hoping Abigail and Noah make it! Looks like we’ll have two nights a week to be voyeurs…

The Bachelor – Women Tell All

Abigail was more active on social media leading up to last night’s Women Tell All (WTA). She posted an Instagram story thanking everyone for their support, saying she’s been blown away. She encouraged people to get the Threads app that she was using because it auto captions, which helps people like her. THANK YOU, Abigail, for using your platform for good!

In her story, she said, “um” so often that she typed afterwards, “Take a shot for every time I say “um.”

It’s a good thing I’m not allowed alcohol (doctor’s orders)!

People Magazine published an article with a sneak peek at Abigail’s WTA appearance. The Bachelor tweeted a clip that was retweeted by Abigail and mentioned by Us Weekly.

https://twitter.com/AbigailHeringer/status/1366210984893947907

In an Instagram post, Abigail urged viewers to tune in. Based on the media blitz, I knew she’d be in the Hot Seat, which means more airtime!

Chris’ Hyperbole

Ok, I hear you telling me to get to the WTA already and I don’t even have my cochlear implant on yet!

Recorded on February 4 without a studio audience, the WTA is a “very special, very intimate episode.” Chris refers to the wild, unprecedented season of shocking surprises and explosive drama. “Everybody’s looking good,” he says, and gives our girl Abigail a shout out. A clip also airs of her saying about Matt, “He was just super easy to talk to, so he just blew my expectations out of the water right away.”

A review of the season thus far is shown. Thank goodness I have this on TiVo and started late. Fast forwarding is my superpower right now!

It appears the women are seated in two rows formed in a semi circle. Abigail is in the back row as usual. The front row would be easier as she could just turn around to lipread. The distance between her and Chris/the stage seems too far for lipreading.

First, Chris addresses the Jessenia and MJ feud. Next up are Ryan and Victoria, who is wearing a crown. But of course. Victoria makes up a word: “upset-ness.” I’ll use it in a sentence. Victoria’s upset-ness may have been overshadowed by her outfit, which was an open jacket with matching bra, as if she was proudly and ironically flaunting her bra-zen fashion sense (or lack thereof).

Many of the women are experiencing backlash for how they handled things, which Katie says is karma. Victoria actually apologizes. Then in a true demonstration of irony, they all gang up on Katie.

The Hot Seat

To Brittany in the Hot Seat, Chris says, “One of the craziest rumors I’ve heard in 20 years of doing this show enveloped you. I wanna hear all about it, but first, let’s take a look back and see what happened.” FF to the rescue again!

Being falsely accused of being a high end escort has clearly taken its toll. Brittany didn’t want to be around her family when she got back, and even texting her friends was difficult. She’s forever going to be associated with this. Anna — who started the rumor — apologized earlier but hasn’t reached out. Anna delivers a good apology. Brittany takes the high road and says she doesn’t want people to destroy Anna’s life also. Words can really affect you, she says. People make mistakes. She also addresses people in the sex working industry, saying no one’s life is worth more or less based on an occupation.

Dates We Didn’t See

To lighten things up, we get a peek at some of the “most outrageous moments we didn’t get to see,” including one date that didn’t make it to air, which is rare. It’s called “What’s in the Box?” Abigail knows right away what this means. She reads a card in the clip: “Ring shopping can be intimidating and a bit scary…and today will be BOTH! I DARE YOU to pick a ring out of one of these ring boxes.”

The first box has killer Amazon cockroaches. Abigail’s box has fire crickets. She reaches her arm in sight unseen to feel around for the ring. “How did you find yours so quick?” she asks. Abigail is shown watching this in the studio with her hands over her face. In the clip, she finally grabs the ring, and jumps up and down out of disgust and relief.

Another box has flesh eating worms. Seeing all these creepy, crawly critters is so gross. What were they thinking?? Obviously they realized it wasn’t worth airing, yet it aired anyway. Perfect Bachelor logic.

As part of the group date on the farm, they have to eat a whole plate of dense pancakes, and then drink a pint of beer. Abigail belches. She’s in the next clip too, of a group date playing Hide and Seek in the woods. Good lord, has it really come to this? Might as well throw in a game of Cat’s Cradle while they’re at it.

On the boxing date, the girls each drink a raw egg. I’m going to puke just watching. Kit is smart – she pretends to drink it but really throws it over her shoulder.

The Hot Seat

Chris calls Katie the gift that kept on giving. She was confident in her relationship with Matt, but didn’t pay attention to the other relationships in the house. Matt is the first person she was able to be 110% herself with. She says she just has to remain hopeful that her person’s still out there.

Now it’s Abigail’s turn in the Hot Seat! First, they show a clip of her with Matt. She asks him how old he was when he had his first kiss. He was in 7th grade and bit the girl’s lip so hard, it was gushing blood. “Now I’m scared to kiss you again,” Abigail laughs.

“This next woman captured the First Impression Rose and America’s heart,” Chris says. “But, well, in the end, things did not work out for her and Matt. So what happened? Let’s find out. Abigail, come down and join me.”

The women snap fingers as she makes her way to the stage. “Wow, at least you got snaps, the new applause in 2021,” Chris says. Can Abigail even hear the snaps? Odd choice, but whatever.

“We have so much to talk about,” says Chris. “Let’s take a look.”

“That’s not fun to watch,” Abigail says afterwards, tears in her eyes.

“How surprised were you that night?” Chris asks. “He just always kind of wanted to be near you. It seemed like you had that chemistry.”

“Yeah, no, I definitely felt it, and he just gave me so much assurance every time I was with him, and we started off so strong. I kind of came in saying, you know, I don’t believe in love at first sight. Just having the first night go the way it did, I think that’s the closest I’ve ever come to that kind of feeling.”

“Were you ready to fall in love with this guy?”

“Um, I was on my way to falling in love. He had all the qualities I was looking for, and all the conversations we had, he responded really well to all of them. I told him, I said, you know, hopefully we would get more time, but I feel really confident bringing you around my family. You’re everything they would hope I would bring home. I just kind of have a big what-if. If we had that much attraction with how little time we had, you know, what if we had had a whole day together? Could I have been up there with kind of the frontrunners? Um…you know, it’s just, yeah, it’s just a lot of questions, for sure.”

“You had a very honest, vulnerable conversation with Matt about having children.”

“Mmm hmm. Yeah, um, so by that point, hometowns were coming around the corner. I wanted to be as [my notes say “farrow,” which makes no sense and is clearly an autocorrect that I can’t figure out, so just pick a word to go here] with him ’cause I think it wouldn’t be fair to him if I went through this entire journey and kind of held on to my insecurities, not giving him that whole transparency.”

“Well, I know there were a lot of challenges, but I love that you are here and were brave enough to do this. It’s had a massive impact on the deaf community.”

“It’s been incredible. I was really scared, kind of, when I decided to come on, just because I think people kind of view the hearing community and then the Deaf community, with a capital D, as kind of black and white. And I’m kind of that gray space in the middle that hasn’t had a lot of light shone on, because I don’t use sign language. I’m able to communicate vocally. I was born profoundly deaf so it means I have no hearing, so if I take my cochlear implant off, I can’t hear anything. So I had no idea how people were going to receive me. But no, the response has been incredible. I’ve had so many people reach out and say, you know, thank you for sharing your story. I have a very similar one. Yeah, I just–I’ve been blown away.”

[Note: it’s interesting – the clip ABC tweeted has parts that weren’t on WTA, so I kind of combined them in Abigail’s quotes on this post.]

“I wanna pull up some of these comments. I don’t know if you’ve seen all of these or not.”

Abigail laughs. Chris says there’s one more. It’s from @bdub1209: “Abigail, my daughter is 7 and bilaterally implanted. Seeing the representation and you not being afraid to be who you are makes my heart SO happy.”

“Oh my god,” Abigail says. “I just have gotten so many messages like this, of people saying, thank you so much for showing this in a romantic light, just because disability isn’t always romanticized. Um… yeah, it’s been incredible.”

“I know you were actually here looking for love and that’s what it’s all about. To that end, where are you now?”

[Sighs} “Yeah, so I know things didn’t work out with Matt and I, but that’s not to say that I didn’t leave, you know, with nothing. I think, you know, I met an incredible group of women. I learned a lot about myself. Yeah, I think it’s what Katie said, like I think I’m just a better version of myself that I’m really excited to be able to share with whoever wants to share that with me.”

More Hot Seat

Pieper’s next in the Hot Seat. She, too, was shocked by her exit because she wasn’t paying attention to the other women.

Back from commercial, Chris says, “All your favorite women are with me tonight.” The camera immediately goes to Abigail. Hmm… Is it me, or am I getting Bachelorette vibes?

In the Hot Seat, Serena has to visibly compose herself. Chris thought she was the one at one point in time, but instead she’s the one who had the guts to leave.

Matt comes out to “twangy rock music” in a big, bushy, UGLY beard. Chris calls it a bold choice. The women profess to like it, but as Twitter describes it, “Show you’re single without saying you’re single.”

Matt addresses a couple of the women and reflects on his journey. Then Chris tells him there was a recurring issue America had with him – “you always had your eye on those ladies” – cue to a kissing-with-eyes-open montage. Matt didn’t know it was a no-no and admits after watching it back that it’s kind of weird. Chris asks if anyone is brave enough to talk about it. Pieper says she brought it up to Matt and expresses surprise that it went this long without anyone saying anything. The consensus: Eyes closed, please.

“Some of these ladies want to talk to you,” Chris tells Matt. The camera lands on Abigail. “Abigail, did you have anything you wanted to say to Matt?”

“No, I just want to say thank you for the entire experience. Um, I think we had a really good time together. But it just wasn’t in the cards for us. I just have nothing but good things to say about our experience, and hopefully you feel the same way about it.”

“Thank you, I appreciate that,” Matt responds, sticking to his standard line.

A couple other women speak. Then the best part: the bloopers. And a preview of the March 15 finale. “You have no idea what’s coming,” Chris says, a statement that has aged well.

An EW recap says, “Gah, after watching this highlight reel, I’m mad all over again that Matt sent Abigail home. Big mistake, buddy. Big. Huge. Abigail is an angel on earth…Damnit, producers, do NOT put this woman on Paradise. She is too pure.”

Abigail remains a fan favorite. A tweet calls her one of the least toxic women this season. Another says, “These women can learn so much from her.”

And ABC tweeted this. Hmmmmm.

https://twitter.com/BachelorABC/status/1366572202880098308

As Reality Steve says of the Bachelorette possibilities, “You might think Serena is still too young, or maybe you don’t want to see Abigail get screwed by production, but you won’t be mad and angry seeing [the prospects] in that role if they got it.”

The Bachelor – Week 7

This week’s episode begins with [ominous music] as we see a replay of Heather walking in, because seeing it in the previews and last week’s episode just wasn’t enough. This time, however, we’re treated to the incredibly articulate conversation she has with Matt. Just kidding. True to her blonde roots, she breaks a record for the number of times she says “like.” And get this – she even booked a red eye, all on her own!

While Matt takes some time to think (good lord, we’ll be here all night), Heather approaches the other girls. As she tells the camera after, they came at her hard. That they did, but they had some good lines. When Heather says she’s not there to ruin everyone’s day, one girl says, “My day’s pretty ruined.”

“Matt’s been gone for a while and we’re super nervous ’cause we don’t know what’s going through his mind and whether he’s gonna keep her or send her home,” Abigail tells the camera.

A couple of the girls say if Matt keeps Heather, then he hasn’t valued the time he’s spent with them. Luckily for them, Matt gives Heather the boot because he’s already deep into the process and falling for the women already. I still don’t understand why Hannah didn’t tell him about Heather earlier. The timing is suspicious.

The girls watch as Matt walks Heather out and says goodbye. Abigail points out that they’re hugging. Matt apologizes when he joins the group. To his credit, he also apologizes to Pieper and invites her to finish their conversation. Chelsea says, “That was so hot,” and the women laugh. We see Abigail joining in.

“I’m really scared, to be honest,” Abigail says. “I think I have no idea where his head’s at and what decision he’s gonna make, and I think of just all the sacrifices and time that we’ve all put into it….Umm… I don’t know what that means for me yet.”

To the camera, Abigail adds, “This is probably the most nervous I’ve been going into the Rose Ceremony because I don’t know where I stand…umm… so I’m just hoping for the best. [groans] I’m not ready to go home.”

Rose Ceremony

Matt sighs outside and reflects on the roller coaster of emotions tonight. “I’m taking this process serious,” he says. SERIOUSLY, Matt. It’s SERIOUSLY. I’m fucking serious.

Abigail’s in the front this time. “I think Matt and I do have a really great connection and–and I think, you know, we are really attracted to one another,” she tells the camera. “If I get a rose tonight, it just means that he really could see a future with me, so this rose definitely means everything.”

She looks nervous. “I think my biggest fear if I was to go home tonight would be that,” she tells the camera. “I can see Matt being my future husband.”

It comes down to the final rose, and it’s between Abigail and Chelsea. Matt says Abigail’s name, and she looks so relieved. Now there’s eight women left.

Up in the Air

Jessenia and Abigail talk about how Matt said his wife is in the group. Abigail says, “Waking up this morning, I feel recharged. Now I do feel confident in my relationship with Matt. I really do like this guy and so I just hope I finally get my 1:1 time with Matt.”

Chris calls last night a big turning point. Dates are huge this week, with two one-on-ones, and one group date. Abigail and Jessenia are the only girls who haven’t had 1:1 time.

The first date goes to Serena P., who says, “Everyone assumed it would be Jessenia or Abi today.” Yep, from here forth, Abigail is referred to as Abi by the girls, showing how much closer they’ve gotten.

“It feels like a slap in the face to give Serena a 1:1 and I’m like, well, I haven’t even had one,” Abigail tells the camera as she blows out air and sighs. “I’m just trying to figure out where his head’s at.” She twists her lips in disappointment.

Apparently Matt picked Serena because they’ve been in the friend zone and haven’t had that breakthrough moment. To jump start that, they have a tantric yoga date. Matt’s in leggings, and that’s just not my thing on guys. Try some joggers next time, perhaps?

The yogi puts Matt and Serena into sex-based yoga positions. AWKWARD! Serena hates it and tells Matt she was in her head the whole time and couldn’t wait for it to be over.

Back at the house, Jessenia says she and Abi are the only ladies left without 1:1 dates before Hometowns. The next date card arrives. It’s a group date. Abigail’s name is the last one mentioned, which means Jessenia gets the 1:1. She does a double take, as she’s first sad for Abigail and then realizes what it means for her.

Matt is caught off guard by Serena being uncomfortable during their date. He loves her honesty and is drawn to her authenticity and realness. Does that mean everyone else is fake/er?

“I just have no idea kind of where his headspace is right now,” Abigail tells Kit. Kit tells her to go with her gut and instincts on what she thinks is the best decision for her and her relationship. “Like you got the First Impression Rose, so you know there’s potential there, but not having a 1:1 must be discouraging at this point,” Kit says. “Yeah,” Abigail replies.

[somber music]

“I feel like I’ve gotten forms of validation like the First Impression Rose, a group date rose, and then just not the chance to explore that potential,” Abigail tells the camera. “It’s just like I don’t know what else I need to be doing. It’s frustrating when I have so much desire to hang out with him and I just feel really defeated right now.”

She tells Kit, “It’s just weird bringing someone home when you haven’t even had a normal date with them.”

Serena tells Matt she’s falling for him and wants him to meet her family. She gets the rose, so now she’s one of the final four. They go ice skating after the “meal” we never see them eat. Matt can 100% see himself falling in love with her. Too bad he doesn’t literally fall. That would have been good TV.

Group Date

In what I’m sure isn’t product placement, we see Matt on his Peloton. Meanwhile, the girls get ready for their date. We see Abigail put lipstick on. She’s wearing another simple, classy dress, this one in burnt orange.

Matt tells the girls he wants them to leave everything on the table. He probably means their clothes but takes the high road and says if there’s something bothering them, it should be addressed. (Not undressed.)

Bri says she’s given up a lot, and now it’s time to share that with Matt. The lead up makes me think it’s going to be something big, like she’s a single mom. Her revelation is that she had to resign from her dream job to be on the show. It’s “extremely worth it” to be here with Matt. Really? It’s a hell of a lot easier to find a man than to snag a dream job – especially when the outcome with Matt isn’t guaranteed. But you do you, girlfriend.

“Thank you for sharing,” Matt says. “I had no idea.” Matt, of course you didn’t, you fool. You’re not a mind reader.

Abigail says, “What I’m struggling with is the fact that I’m the only girl going into Hometowns that hasn’t had a 1:1. We are hitting that point where certain relationships are moving faster and are at the next level, and I feel like I’m struggling to keep our relationship moving forward. And it’s just frustrating.” [lip twist]

Pieper tells Matt she’s falling in love with him.

Abigail is shown sadly looking down. “The first night, I ended up getting the First Impression rose, which was the most amazing feeling,” Abigail says. “But we just haven’t been able to see a lot of each other since then, so I need to know that we’re not stalled, that we’re still moving forward.”

To the camera, Abigail says, “I would love to introduce Matt to my family. He’s an amazing guy, and there is something here. It wasn’t just like an initial spark, so I guess I’m just getting in my head and overthinking things, because I think Matt and I would be really good together.”

To Matt, Abigail says, “This week has been really hard.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Um… I think, from the beginning, all I’ve wanted is…just more time with you. We’ve only kind of gotten little bits here and there, but I think we’ve had really good conversations, and I mean, I’ve opened up to you…”

“Yeah.”

“About, you know, some of my biggest insecurities, and you know, you’ve kind of shared your insecurities as well, and it just made me feel really good. I think we want a lot of the same things. We kind of share a really similar perspective…”

“Yeah.”

“On life, and…like, I’m just really excited about you. Just – I was kind of thinking about it the other day, of, you know when you kind of have a picture in your head of, ok, this is what I want, you’re like, ok, I want to be married, I want to have a family, and I’ve just kind of started picturing you in that, and it’s scary because I can see the possibility of a future with you. I just wanna know, like, can you see that possibility with me? Or…like, I guess I’d rather know now instead of…and I know you can’t like, obviously say too much, like…”

“Yeah,” Matt says. “You know, from night one, our first conversation, I was instantly drawn to you. You were vulnerable with me. You’re beautiful, compassionate, and understanding…everything that I’m looking for, and it was a no brainer that I’d give you the First Impression rose. I was so comfortable in our relationship that…I explored other relationships and…[tense music] in exploring those relationships with other women and going on those one on ones, I did grow strong feelings for them…and being honest with you and following my heart, my heart’s pulling me in another direction. I apologize. [solemn music] The last thing I wanna do is lead you on and lie to you. You deserve someone who’s gonna put you first.”

Abigail looks down the whole time and takes it in. “I-I mean, I really do appreciate you being honest,” she tells him, as his hand is on her thigh.

“Again, I apologize,” Matt says. “You want me to walk you out?”

They hold hands as they walk out, and she holds his arm. They hug and he says, “I’m sorry, I wish I had more time.”

Once in the getaway vehicle, Abigail puts her hands over her face and sniffles. “For me to like lay it all out and then for him to come back and say he doesn’t see it, umm…it’s just kind of eating me alive right now.” [lip twist] “I just feel like I’m constantly like the person that makes men realize what they want next, but they never want that with me, so it’s just…a hard pill that I’m gonna have to swallow.” [purses lips]

Matt returns to the girls and says, “Um, I just walked Abigail out. I wasn’t expecting our conversation to go that way tonight, but that’s where the conversation led us, and at this point in the process I’m not gonna lead anybody on.”

Rachael says, “Oh my god, Abigail felt a connection with Matt and he sent her home. Shows that none of us really know where his mind’s at.”

Matt tells the camera, “It was not easy saying good bye to Abigail. I hated doing that, but I had to be honest with her. So now I’m gonna continue to follow my heart and explore these relationships, because I’ve got some tough decisions I’ve gotta make going forward.”

The Rest of the Episode

We don’t care about the rest of the episode now, do we? But Abigail’s exit has caused some shockwaves. “After seeing how Abi went home, I’m really nervous,” Kit says. “Are we on the same page?”

Rachael, by the way, tells Matt she’s in love with him. Given her racist statements on social media, is this the definition of irony?

Kit tells Matt she has some set things on her life trajectory that she’s not willing to compromise on that he needs to know. She calls herself a long-term investment. Good for her!

Rachael gets the rose and bonus 1:1 time with Matt. They invent a new dance called The Make Out Dance, which they do while someone I’ve never heard of called Aloe Blacc sings. Is this a stage name? Whether it is or his birth name, I have questions.

I think I’ve pinpointed why Matt’s tongue bothers me. It floats. Kind of like a puppy dog, only it’s inside his mouth. On par with his bland hangdog personality.

Anyway. Kit pays Matt a visit and basically tells him she’s leaving because he deserves someone who is 100% sure of a proposal tomorrow. Matt wants her there, but thankfully even though she’s only 21, she does the right thing for both of them. As a friend points out, he’s nicer to her than to Abigail.

“I really do respect Abigail and Kit to, like, take, really take, a step back, and realize what’s on the line here,” Pieper says.

Jessenia is nervous that Abigail and Kit went home, so she’s even more nervous for her date. They meet in a parking lot, where Matt shows up in a red sports car and a professional drifter who’s also a host on Motor Trend. Had you ever heard of drifting in this context? I hadn’t. According to Wikipedia, it’s a “driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner.” Wow. My idea of a fun date… not.

After Jessenia takes the wheel, she describes the experience and says, “I did once, on accident.” It’s BY accident, Jessenia! My 16-year-old son says “on accident” all the time, and my 19-year-old and I am always correcting him. Don’t validate his poor grammar usage!

She gets Matt to lay her out on the hood of the car, and they kiss. They have the prettiest evening date yet. Matt appreciates her patience with the process and with him. Guess he saw more potential with her than with Abigail?

Back at the house, Rachael says she’s sitting and thinking about Abigail and Kit. Why do the girls keep bringing up the two of them? Do they not realize Kit left of her own volition?

Jessenia tells Matt she’s falling in love with him. “Thanks for sharing that with me,” he says, his stock answer to everything. He grabs the rose and then praises her before he says they’re missing that compatibility, that love he needs to feel going into the Hometown week that he has with the other women. “I don’t think I’m there yet.” She’s blindsided, and I don’t blame her. Holding the rose wasn’t necessary.

Prior to the next Rose Ceremony, Matt tells Chris that he’s conflicted. But then he says he knows what he has to do. Either Matt figured it out quickly or the editing didn’t show it all.

Pieper is sent home, so the final four is Bri, Michelle, Rachael, and Serena P. Pieper doesn’t even talk to Matt when he walks her out.

The clip at the end shows Michelle’s sense of humor and personality. Why they never air more of this stuff is beyond me. As it is, the impression we get of Matt is that he’s bland. A friend who’s a long-time Bachelor fan calls him a terrible Bachelor. His conversations suck and we know nothing about him, she told me, and he looks bored all the time.

Last Thoughts

A deaf friend pointed out that Matt never took the time to get to know Abigail. All their interactions were about her deafness, not about having fun together. His line about being so comfortable in their relationship is a load of BS, this friend says, and I agree.

After last week’s episode, my friend Eileen told me, “I hate to say this, but I really feel like she’s being kept around because she’s deaf, but I’ll have to see how they play it to make my final decision. The problem is, it’s like in society… keep the ‘scary deaf girl’ at arm’s length. Be intrigued, but don’t get too close. You don’t wanna go too far because, let’s face it, it’s probably not gonna work. But whatever you do, don’t make yourself out to look like the bad guy by cutting her off right away because they’re gonna say it’s because she’s deaf, and we all know it’s because she’s deaf, but we don’t want it to actually BE that she’s deaf. Oh, and try to avoid a lawsuit. Thanks.”

Historically, the First Impression Rose does get a 1:1 date, but an article in Men’s Health says it’s not really indicative of how well a contestant will do during the season.

A Yahoo article about Abigail’s exit has a poll asking if Abigail or Katie should be Bachelorette. Last I checked, 80% was in Abigail’s favor. Even Nick Viall — who’s been on three seasons of The Bachelor and I don’t know how many of Bachelor in Paradise — tweeted, “Abigail for Bachelorette.”

Even though I’m leery of the show due to producer involvement and manipulation, and poor background checks, Abigail being the Bachelorette would increase awareness of cochlear implants along with listening and spoken language. And just think of the accommodations they’d have to make for her!

Abigail’s Instagram post affirms that she didn’t walk away empty handed.

The Bachelor – Week 6

[tense music]

Because there’s not much going on in the world right now, we’ve been anxious for the MJ and Jessenia showdown. It’s as expected: more drama and more lies, with another two-faced antagonist eliminated. Matt even fakes MJ out by holding up the rose and saying, “MJ…I can’t give you this rose.” Guess he learned something from being an athlete.

We first see Abigail at the start of the cocktail party, when the girls are talking as they wait for Matt. Chris shows up instead, informing them that Matt wants to skip the cocktail party as he knows what he wants to do. The girls freak out.

At the Rose Ceremony, Abigail is in the back row again. She already has a rose from last week, so we can relax.

During a commercial break, ABC airs an ad: “Now casting seniors looking for love. Go to abc.com/casting.” So many questions…

First 1:1

Now there’s 11 girls left. Five have had a one-on-one, six have not. Pieper gets the first 1:1. But first, more drama. Serena C. is fed up with Katie, so she seeks her out. This devolves into an argument. The other girls are in sleeping bags by the fireplace when they hear the arguing. The first sign of this is when Abigail looks up quizzically. Sure, it’s got to be loud because the deaf girl can hear it.

There’s an interlude when a girl drives up to the property in a white van. She introduces herself as Heather Martin and says she’s there for Chris. She was on Colton’s season and is good friends with Hannah Brown, who spent time with Matt in quarantine and says he’s the perfect match for her. She wants to meet him. Chris acts surprised, laying it on thick: “This is just bizarre. Just when you think you’ve seen it all.”

Pieper and Matt walk through a forest in the dark, holding lanterns. She flips a switch and sees their very own carnival, all lit up. Somehow they fit that in plus a dressed up dinner. Sadly, her family doesn’t communicate love. She tries to overcome this by telling Matt she’s falling in love with him.

I’ve lost track of how many women have now said this to him. It’s ridiculous, especially when you consider how little time they actually get with him. Ashley I. said on Instagram that the amount of solo time they typically get with the lead during group dates and cocktail parties is about 10 minutes. And each episode usually comprises four days!

Obviously, they’re in a constrained environment without other distractions. Naturally this will make Matt the focus of all their thoughts. But he’s looking like less and less of a prize. He was partying with Tyler C. (his best friend from Hannah’s season) in Tampa all weekend – maskless. He’s being called Covid Matt. Supposedly his mother is a big Trump supporter and he’s a Republican. [If you are too, you can find another blog to follow.]

Group Date

Abigail is again part of the group date. When the girls show up, Matt is wearing a bowling shirt and skinny jeans that look like leggings. Not a fan. Abigail tells the camera, “I can’t control whether I get a 1:1 date, but I can control, you know, what we spend our time talking about.” She adds, “Matt and I had a spark the first night and we had potential, but we need time.”

If you can’t figure out the date from Matt’s attire, find another blog to follow. The date is bowling, with pizza, nachos, and wings. Abigail looks around and smiles. This is a much better group date than outdoor obstacle courses. But this does involve a competition, as Chris shows up to tell them the winning team will get a romantic evening with Matt. The losing team will walk home in the rain.

Abigail is on the blue team, aka the Blue Bombshells. The opposing team in pink shirts is the Pink Petals. “I have been on the losing team,” Abigail says. “I’ve had to walk home, so we are not losing this. We’re gonna win. There’s no way I’m gonna lose twice.” She goes first on her team, and shows spunk as she walks to the lane. Unfortunately, she only knocks down one pin.

The Blue Bombshells are down by a lot, but they battle back and it literally comes down to the last few frames. Abigail is the last to bowl for her team. Serena P. — on the other team — says, “Abigail, I love you, but gutter.” Did Abigail hear this? Was this taking advantage of her hearing loss?

Abigail gets a gutter ball. “My team is going home, and with the pressure of hometowns being in a few weeks, it’s frustrating when you have that potential and then you can’t explore it, like, you just have to wait and wait,” Abigail says. “I-I-I don’t know, I’m just, I’m not getting any time. It’s not even a little time. I’m just not getting any time.” She gives Matt a good hug good bye.

Back at the house, she says, “I’m not even upset yet, like, I’m just angry.” She tells the other girls, “It sucks getting that First Impression rose, seeing that potential, and then week after week, you know, just…waiting. It’s just like… how am I supposed to take this seriously when I can’t even get time?”

But then Chris delivers a personal date card. Matt feels terrible and needs time with them, and invites them to join the party. The girls erupt in shrieks and cheers. Abigail bounces up and down on the couch.

During Matt’s speed make-out sessions, Serena P. says she’s falling for him. The girls say so many of the same things; it must be hard for him to differentiate. Then again, this is a guy with a thigh fetish. Michelle gets the date rose.

Katie’s 1:1

Before Matt’s date with Katie, he gets some bro time with Tyler C. as they play pool. Katie does the patented run and jump when she sees Matt. They meet at a spa, but they won’t be partaking of any services. Instead, they’ll be pranking Tyler, whose masseuse is actually an actress who will be following their commands. Tyler checks himself out in the mirror before he gets on the massage table, confirming my impression of him.

At their dinner date, Matt holds the rose while he tells Katie he’s letting her go. What a tease. Now she’s the favorite to be the next Bachelorette. Either way, she’s better off.

Cocktail Party

In a fancy dress, Heather drives up to the chateau because she’s quarantined and has been allowed to join the show. At the chateau, Abigail is the first one Matt grabs. “Can I steal you, Abigail?” he asks. She laughs and apologizes, I’m guessing because she didn’t realize at first that he was talking to her.

“Look at you!” Matt says. She’s in a gorgeous green dress with a plunging neck.

“I just really enjoy time with you and I just want to reiterate that to you every time that we’re together that I look forward to seeing you every night,” he tells her. They kiss and hold hands in the precious <10 minutes they have.

https://twitter.com/stephdizzle11/status/1358972730188713985

Heather struts into the chateau, smiles at the girls, and takes a hard left to find Matt. Poor Pieper, whose conversation with Matt is rudely interrupted when Hannah walks in. Matt busts out in laughter because he can’t believe his good fortune. The women, they just keep coming!

The previews show Heather crying and complaining about how mean everyone is. In the end clip, I see what looks like a bald spot on the back of perfect widdle Matt’s head.

Abigail is now officially in the top 10. I’m rooting for her to get more screen time while also hoping she doesn’t “win” this pathetic contest.