Week after week, The Bachelor shows us romance through the lens of the world's most gorgeous places. From the Bahamas to Bali, from Venice to Vegas, the show spares no expense to whisk its contestants to the most romantic places this earth has to offer. It's even brought us to like, South Dakota, and the fashion capital of the world, Mexico City. The show puts beautiful people in beautiful places with the hope that it will lead to beautiful things, and it whisks us along with them.
That's why this week, The Bachelor brought us to a McDonald's in Warsaw, Ind.
Woah -- Egg McMuffins? But this date took place at NIGHT, and McDonald's famously has a policy of discontinuing breakfast items after breakfast hours. WAIT -- have they changed that policy? That's fantastic! This is almost as good as an actual advertisement for that same concept starring a person from The Bachelor! Wait -- you mean there is an actual advertisement like that that's appeared periodically throughout this season? What a coincidence!
Ben and Amanda had a great time at Warsaw's apparent finest dining establishment. In a completely unscripted moment, they ask if they can fulfill Ben's lifelong dream of working a fast-food restaurant's drive-thru.
No matter the fast food spot, I do not want the drive-thru employees handing me food to be this pretty and happy. I'm trying to order a combo meal to eat in my car by myself. Don't infect my garbage life with your radiant joy and beauty, weirdos.
The overwhelming romance of the McDonald's even gets them to Lady and the Tramp a fry:
It's a McFlurry of romance! Ben and Amanda are quite the McPick 2! Will he McDouble down on their relationship? Or is he too McChicken?
On the one hand, this was so fake, even for a show full of fake things. On the other hand, this was the realest thing in The Bachelor history.
Real love ain't about flying to a new tropical destination every four days. If you fall in love with somebody when all your shared experiences involve sipping free booze in paradise, you might fall out of love with them on a random Thursday morning when you're late for work and you look at the sink and remember THEY haven't done the dishes since Monday. (Reminder: Almost every couple on this show has broken up.)
Real love is about finding the person you can smile with while eating fast food. I know my girlfriend's McDonald's order, which I think means our relationship is healthier than we are. If Ben and Amanda actually enjoyed themselves in that McDonald's, hey, congrats: They might actually work in real life!
So anyway, yeah. On Monday night's episode, the girls went to Ben's hometown of Warsaw, Ind., to see if they can adapt to Ben's folksy, middle American small-town lifestyle. By the way, Ben actually lives in Denver, so this is all kinda pointless.
Remember the first episode of this show, when they tried to play Ben off as an Indiana farm boy who loves shooting hoops against his barn? Ha, nah -- Ben's family actually lives in a pretty lakehouse in a town that bills itself as "The Orthopedic Capital of the World."
First up, Ben takes Lauren B. (the only remaining Lauren, how much longer do we have to use the "B.?") on a tour of his hometown, showing her his high school and his enormous church. They visit the youth center where Ben used to work, and hey, the Indiana Pacers are there!
Normally, everybody on The Bachelor is supposed to fawn over Ben. But these kids know Ben pretty well because he worked here, so he's just a regular guy to them, and none of them have ever met the Indiana Pacers, so everybody immediately forgets about Ben.
The undoubted star of the episode is this kid, Ronnie. He gets put on the spot, as he gets asked to make a half-court shot to get Ben and Lauren to kiss. AND HE DRILLS IT.
A few seconds later, the cameras show Ronnie drilling ANOTHER half-court shot.
Ronnie is the dang MVP. He can apparently drain 40-footers on command. Steph Curry excepted, not even NBA players can do that, and this kid can. Ditch the zero, Lauren. Ronnie's gonna be the most unstoppable player in basketball history while Ben will still be just your average handsome software salesman. This is an easy choice.
They also go to Ben's favorite local townie bar.
We only see like 30 seconds of Ben at the townie bar. This is ridiculous. We'd learn more from five minutes of watching drunk Ben with his high school friends who haven't left Indiana than we have in an entire season of this freakin' show.
Next, Ben takes JoJo to Wrigley Field. By all accounts, Ben is a huge Cubs fan. His Twitter avi is him in the Wrigley bleachers. What happens next is Ben pretending he's paying attention to JoJo while clearly geeking out about living out his childhood dreams of playing baseball at Wrigley Field.
Look, I could be with the most beautiful woman in the world, but if you give me a jersey and the opportunity to run around the stadium of a team I grew up watching, I'm gonna act like I'm 7 years old. I'm not even a Cubs fan, and the time I got to cover a press conference on the field at Wrigley, and even though I was surrounded by professional folks in professional clothing, I made a friend take pictures of me pretending to play baseball. Sports fans are idiots, and this is what we will do.
But eventually Ben gets over himself and they make out with a giant jumbotron showing them making out in the background.
They share a romantic dinner in the Wrigley outfield.
I would've liked this part better if the Wrigley bleachers 30 feet from Ben and JoJo were filled with drunk folks as they were intended to be.
Small baseball aside: (Deal with it, you're reading a sports website.) I noticed MLB's postseason logos blacked out on the field. You can see the letters "NLCS" if you look closely.
That reminded me that while we're seeing it now, these episodes were filmed in October, right in the middle of the Cubs' once-in-a-blue-moon playoff run. I guess The Bachelor's producers were booking this season's events and figured they could book Wrigley Field in October with no problems ... and then almost got screwed by the Cubs being good for the first time in forever. It was actually a close call. The Chicago Tribune reports this date took place on Oct. 24, just three days after the Cubs' season ended at Wrigley.
Ben might be smiling, but if he's actually a diehard Cubs fan, this was PAINFUL. He just watched his favorite team's best season in forever end in painful fashion, and now he has to walk around the stadium where they lost pretending to be happy.
Before we leave Wrigley, we get a slow zoom out of them embracing on the field ... a zoom that happens to capture the logo of a fast food chain that happens to be located right across Clark St. from Wrigley.
McDonald's: I T ' S A L W A Y S W A T C H I N G.
Next, Ben takes Becca, Caila and Amanda. Remember? This is small-town America.
Becca confronts Ben about how their relationship might not be in the right place. Pro tip to Bachelor contestants: Never do this! Do you think this person is going to seriously put in effort to fix the problems in your relationship, or just eliminate you in favor of the other attractive people who have yet to complain about their situation?
Sure enough, Amanda gets the rose and they go to McDonald's, followed by a COMPLETELY NORMAL, NOT PLANNED EXPLICITLY FOR THE BACHELOR town fair.
"THIS IS SIMPLY WHAT WE DO IN MIDDLE AMERICA," the people said. "PLEASE HAVE A SEAT ON THE BALES OF HAY THAT WE ALWAYS HAVE HERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET THAT ARE NOT SIMPLY TO MAKE US LOOK FOLKSY."
Ben takes Emily to his parents' house. Oh, before I forget: When they got to their house in Warsaw, Ben warns all the women not to look through his parents' windows because "they're still very much in love." This is not a normal thing to say. We're left to assume Ben's parents are a living, breathing Cialis ad, and that Ben moved a thousand miles from Indiana because he couldn't take living in the same house with his alarmingly sexually active parents.
Apparently, Ben's parents had a few minutes in between sessions, so they talk to Emily. Ben's mom warns him that 23-year-old Emily might be too young for him. Clearly, he'll be better off with 24-year-old Caila, 24-year-old JoJo, 25-year-old Lauren, and 25-year-old Amanda. Ben apparently agrees, so they boat home.
Emily asks "Where are we going?" as she is boated to her doom. Ben whispers back "I know it was you, Fredo," and shoots her in the back of the head before dumping her corpse in Lake Tahoe. Dark stuff, but bold.
THE BACHELOR POWER RANKINGS
(Remember, these aren't power rankings of who will win, but rather power rankings of who will actually win by getting invited onto further Bachelor-related TV shows and therefore continue living in a semi-vacation with free booze and appear on TV often enough to get enough Instagram followers that you can make side money hawking beauty products.)
Even weeks after her twin sister was kicked off the show, Emily's chyron reads "TWIN."
Emily is a twin, and she always will be. I promise you, the twins will be back for some other rendition of The Bachelor. It's too easy of a gimmick. Hell, make them co-Bachlorettes.
Amanda will be back if she loses. They're gonna need products placed in future, and this girl is a pro.
Strong opposite-field power.
You can do it! You can get onto a third Bachelor TV show! You're up to 563,000 Instagram followers -- one more season and I think you can break a mill!
5. Lauren B.
so, we're all in agreement this one is winning, right
and we have been for like three weeks, right