Hello and welcome back to Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season of “The Bachelor.” This week, the crew is in Tahoe; where Arie had a one-on-one with Seinne (parasailing) and Bekah (horse ride). And everyone else had a group hiking date, where Arie played camp counselor and drank his own urine (j/k it was apple juice!).
The best moment: Arie’s face when Bekah reveals her age
“The Bachelor” has been teasing this reveal for weeks now . . . the moment when doe-eyed, rock-climbing Bekah tells 36-year-old Arie that she is 22, a.k.a. nearly half his age. When they sit down for dinner on their one-on-one, they’d just had a romantic day, riding horses through the trails of Tahoe. Arie talks about how his life has slowed down since his roaring 20s; now he likes to get up with the sun, he says, sounding like a man who just joined AARP.
But he’s got some burning questions for Bekah, namely: Do our lives match up? Are we in the same place? As Arie broaches the topic of whether Bekah is ready for marriage and kids, she stops him and says: Wait, do you know how old I am.
When the answer is revealed, Arie’s face says it all: Shock, doubt . . . and rationalization.
“I know it’s possible to love deeply at that age,” Arie says. “My biggest fear is that I go through all this and emotionally invest in you and at the end, I’m heartbroken,” adding that he’s looking for a wife, not a 22-year-old girlfriend. And to be fair, he could be heartbroken at the end for any number of reasons.
Still, he’s willing to take a chance on baby Bekah. “You are incredible and surprising and so much of what I’m looking for,” Arie tells Bekah as he gives her a rose. “I feel like this could be the beginning of something amazing.”
The two of them do seem to have more chemistry than any other match. Bekah’s sense of adventure brings out the same in Arie, who’s shown himself to be incredibly boring and stiff with nearly everyone else.
Worst moment: Krystal’s complete lack of self-awareness
The writing has been on the wall since last week, when Krystal uttered the following words: “I get hated on by girls. They just get jealous … girls are really insecure around me.” So this week it isn’t too surprising when Krystal, the 29-year-old fitness coach who’s mocked for her baby-talk voice that frequently dips into a difficult-to-decipher whisper, informs the cameras that the other girls on the group hiking date are acting “desperate.”
“I’m just seeing a lot of other girls here aggressively, like, seeking his attention,” she sighs. “Just to see so many big, bold personalities just so aggressive, fighting for his attention, it was just . . . honestly, it was — ugh. It was exhausting to watch. And I just hope that Arie sees through all the bull—-.”
Much of the episode features Krystal’s on-camera interviews trashing the other women who have the nerve to want to spend time with Arie. Krystal appears to think this is a ridiculous concept; she has such a strong connection with him already, he may as well hand her the Neil Lane diamond right now.
Thinking she has this competition in the bag, Krystal becomes extremely condescending toward the other contestants, who clearly dislike her. After Caroline and Tia make fun of her in the hot tub, Krystal pulls them aside to say that her feelings are hurt.
“By us? Really, dude?” Tia asks incredulously. The three bicker for a while, then making the mistake of telling Arie their respective sides of the story. This is a risky move, because there’s nothing that interests the bachelor less than drama in the house.
Krystal continues to criticize the other women for being insecure, while her own insecurity drives her to pull Arie aside during the rose ceremony to anxiously test out how he’s feeling and ensure him that she’s here for the right reasons. This move did not endear her to her exasperated housemates, who make it clear that they want her to go home already.
But Arie, still dazzled by Krystal, gives her a rose, along with Tia. Caroline is sent packing, in tears. And a preview of next week’s episode showed that one contestant will say “Krystal is becoming a bit unhinged,” so we have that to look forward to.
The weirdest moment: Eating worms on the trail
If you’ve been hiking for days and haven’t had anything to eat, then I can see rummaging through the dirt for a wriggly snack or two. But the wilderness guide encourages the women to eat worms — and drink their own urine — before they’ve even stepped onto the trail and broken a sweat. Tia and Kendall are very enthusiastic about the live snacking opportunity, which may have been a pure play for attention. But it also says a lot about their competitive instincts.