I've finally reached a point in my life where I can admit to watching The Bachelor without guiltily muttering it under my breath, but I'm still not quite at a place where I'm in it for the love stories. Instead, I'm here, popcorn in hand, observing The Bachelor and its spinoffs as a kind of social experiment. And with that in mind, this was a pretty big year for me, because there were some seriously insane disasters on Ben Higgins' season of The Bachelor . (And before you judge me for watching "for the wrong reasons," let's just bear in mind that Chris Soules isn't totally convinced that love can blossom on this show, and he was on it.)
But anyway. This season has been stacked with romantic dates and beautiful moments, of course, but it's also had its share of awkward scenes that were like watching a car accident in slow motion: cringeworthy, but impossible to look away from. And probably the most cringeworthy aspect of all is that all these disasters were completely avoidable. Given, it's an insane situation to be in — either competing with 27 other women for the heart of one man, or being the one man they're competing for — but with just a couple tweaks, we could have swerved out of the way of these nine issues with absolutely no problem.
1. Caila Coming To Surprise Ben Right Before Getting Sent Home
I blame the producers for this one, because there's no way Caila would've been able to get all the way to Ben's complex to surprise him without their help. There's no way any producers were ignorant of the disparity between how Caila was feeling about Ben and how Ben was feeling about Caila because producers know ALL, so no matter whose decision the surprise itself was, the folks who helped Caila orchestrate her surprise had to know what she was getting herself into. Of course, this scene will also help Caila's arc if she ends up being the next Bachelorette. So maybe it's only half disaster.
2. Jubilee's Bullying On "The Women Tell All"
If you had checked the temperature of my blood during this broadcast, I'm pretty sure it would've been boiling at the sight of Jubilee's treatment. And yeah, I'm looking at you, Chris Harrison. Not only did you leave Jubilee (and Olivia, for that matter), to fend for herself when the other women were ganging up on her, but you brandished the word "complicated" at her like it was a bad thing. Luckily, our girl knows her own worth, but it really rankled me how much time Harrison spent trying to get her to apologize for being her awesome self. Boooooo.
3. Pig Island
I'm truly shocked that no one was eaten by those seemingly ravenous ocean-loving pigs. Supposedly were they trained to stop following you when you crossed your arms across your body, but that seems more like a beautiful pipe dream than a reality. It could have been editing and the fact that the women were screaming and riling up the pigs, but I think we could have avoided this whole situation by visiting a regular island without the pigs.
4. BEN TELLING TWO WOMEN HE LOVED THEM
5. Olivia's Burlesque Dance Thing
This is one of those moments when it really would've served Olivia to have a friend in the house who could point out that surely there's something she's more talented at than jumping out of a cake. I was outside of my body for that entire performance, just waiting for it to be over so I could breathe again.
6. Lace Going Home
Lace for President, honestly. She should've stayed until the end just to bravely talk about how awkward it is to never know where you stand in the field of 28 women. If I was on the show, all I'd be saying every five minutes is, "Do you remember that I'm here? Can you give me some validation, please? This is the worst and weirdest." This is maybe why I'd be a terrible fit for the show, but I wish Lace could've stayed forever.
7. Ben Choosing Lauren B. As His Favorite On Day One
When you're so smitten with one woman that even the others can tell, you may have slightly messed up the process. And this one ties into #4 as well, honestly, because I've got a totally unconfirmed theory that the producers encouraged Ben to tell JoJo he loves her to throw us off the scent of Lauren being his obvious choice all damn season.
8. Ben Meeting Amanda's Kids
Ugh, this one sucked. And not just in the narrow little world of The Bachelor, but overall. Ideally, Ben wouldn't have met Amanda's kids at all, but like she said when he sent her home, the least he could've done is pull her aside at some other point instead of making her fly all the way back out to LA for the Rose Ceremony. This mess was super avoidable, dude, and very uncool.
9. The Fact That We Didn't Get More Leah Time
I feel like we just barely glimpsed her personality on the show, seeing only that glaring sliver when she went home for a totally bizarre lie — which, once again, was about Lauren B., because it all comes back to that — and I want more of it. Fingers crossed she makes it to Bachelor In Paradise at the very least.
It's tough, because in their own ways, each of these disasters made for more compelling television, so I understand why they were left in. But at the same time, they also made me want to jump out of my own skin from awkwardness, a sensation I hope never to repeat in future seasons. (Actually, nevermind. Bring on the disasters, ABC.)
Images: ABC (9); Giphy