No, you’re not imaging things – there is no Episode 7 recap! There was just too much hard-earned, well-deserved Thanksgiving to celebrate and thus the choice of laziness over posting was made. And you know what? I don’t regret it. There’s been enough stress this year. I think we all deserve to kick back with a turkey leg and take a load off. (Or, in my case, a slice of Tofurkey loaf.) Aren’t the holidays all about forgiveness? I’ve started early and let myself off the hook. But enough about me – let’s get to Tayshia!
It’s that time of the season when the lead needs advice, and who better to give it than former contestant and Bachelorette, JoJo Fletcher? (It’s a shame JoJo and Ben Higgins didn’t work out – both are clearly being groomed to host and they could’ve been a franchise super couple. Alas!)
Tayshia is nervous. She’s having the feels for several men – somehow a phenomenon she wasn’t expecting, despite being on a show about dating several men. Weird, I know! You know who has the answers? That platter of pastries neither one of them is going to touch. The secrets die with the bread.
Meanwhile, Bennett is waxing rhapsodic about the group “getting smaller and smaller.” Yes, that’s what happens when contestants are eliminated, but now we know for sure. Thank you, Harvard! Money well-spent. He must be on to something, because Chris Harrison walks in not long after and says, “It’s getting smaller in here. Did you notice?” Yes! They’re in quarantine at an exclusive resort. It’s pretty obvious when someone leaves for good. It’s like they’re a part of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, but no one realizes they’re playing.
You know who’s been working hard during this pandemic? If you answered, “Healthcare workers,” you are wrong! The correct answer is Chris Harrison, obviously. He’s been working so hard, in fact, that it’s time for him to take break. He’s going to unseal himself from this bubble in order to take his son to college. Well, that is adorable. And also unnecessarily reckless. But sure, go ahead.
That leaves the hosting duties to JoJo. She has the Date Card. It’s for Zac C. and it reads, “I’m looking for a man I can picture a future with.” I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I don’t get Tayshia’s attraction to Zac. I’m just not seeing it.
Their date includes getting gussied up in some fabulous clothes for the requisite photoshoot, including a wedding dress, of course! Because there’s nothing this franchise loves more than moving things at an insanely rapid pace. The super fabulous Frank Lacosta is our photographer and I need him in everything. He does his best to get Zac to emote. Tayshia looks freaking stunning! Zac comes off weird and they seem dull together. They pop champagne and jump on a trampoline. I yawn and surf my emails. I have over 2,000 in my inbox. I suspect I’ll have to address this soon.
Now they’re onto the evening portion of the Dancing with the Stars audition they tried to pawn off on us as a date. It’s time for the love interest to reveal things about himself in order to ensnare the lead, and reveal Zac does! He's: had a brain tumor. Then a freak out (pretty natural, given the circumstances). Then he got addicted to pain pills. Oh, and while he was high and reeling from the shock of confronting his mortality, he also had a short-lived marriage! In addition, he found time to get arrested for a DUI. Did I mention his wife left him and he tried to kite a check he stole from his Dad?!
Instead of running away screaming into the night from this Red Flag Parade, Tayshia thanks him for sharing and makes out with him. I am beginning to question Tayshia’s picker…
They are then forced to board a terrifying Ferris Wheel that sprung up out of nowhere in the La Quinta parking lot. It’s here, where she’s pretending not to piss herself from fear, that she awards Zac the Date Rose. Romantico!
Meanwhile, back at the Living Room of Man Scents, we find that Bennett has been bullying Noah this entire episode. It’s framed as Bennett vs. Noah, but, really, it’s Noah trying to ignore Bennett’s onslaught of insults. Fun.
Hey; it’s time for the Group Date Card! It’s for: Spencer, Ed, Blake, Brendan, Riley, Demar, Bennett, Ben, and Noah. The card reads, “Express yourself.” This means Eazy gets the next 1:1. Woot!
The men enter the La Quinta Ballroom and are faced with a nude couple entwined in an embrace. As one does! The men are freaked out they’ll have to get naked yet again – but they’re given a reprieve and are allowed to keep their clothes on. (Also, what couple agrees to appear unclothed on a television show, much less during a pandemic? Why are so many guests allowed to crash this “bubble”? How many COVID cases are linked to this season?! I have a lot of questions. Almost as many questions as I have emails.)
It’s time to draw the couple, with the help of an art teacher. (Seriously, how many people are coming here?!) Noah prepares to take his seat next to Tayshia but is shooed away by Bennett. The art commences, and the drawings are PRICELESS. Almost enough to make this ridiculous activity worth it. In fact, I would buy one of these drawings. Where is the Bachelor franchise merch when you need it? A lost revenue stream!
Of course, this is followed up by getting blindfolded and making things out of clay that “represent your time with Tayshia.” Blake, bafflingly, makes a penis. Um, I’m pretty sure Blake and Tayshia have barely kissed, much less spent mutual time with his member. But the dude is obviously horny, so there you go!
Wait, there’s more! Now the men are requested to create self-portraits, with the prize being 1:1 time with Tayshia. The guys unload an epic therapy session's worth of life pain until Ben lightens the mood by stripping. (Someone had to do it!) Sometimes I want men to get in touch with their feelings, other times I just want abs. And it’s ab time, baby.
Tayshia runs off crying after Ben gets starky, which had to have rocked his confidence a little? It turns out she’s feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the sharing. Winner of the 1:1? Everyone!
The evening portion of the Group Date finds even more emotional intimacy, with the top reveal being Ben again. This time he shares that he suffered from bulimia and his sister helped save his life. This is brave – and helpful – of Ben to tell Tayshia, and I applaud it. More light needs to be shed on eating disorders, especially involving men. Needless to say, Ben receives the Date Rose.
The one-sided feud between Bennett and Noah continues to simmer. But it’s Eazy who’s up with the next 1:1 date. The interns have transformed part of the resort into a Haunted House escape room, featuring some strung together history from the area. Tayshia gets a kick out of repeatedly scaring Eazy and I’m fearing he’s doomed.
This is confirmed at the dinner portion of the date when Tayshia let’s Eazy down with a “I’m just not feeling it, dude” heave-ho. He’s in shock and asks, “Is this real?” Indeed, it is; and there’s a car idling in the driveway to prove it. Well, here’s hoping there’s a Paradise where we can see Eazy again. He’s been lovely. [UPDATE: Well, hell - I spoke too soon. It turns out there have been allegations of sexual assault made against Eazy, which, needless to say, is fucking awful. If this is the case, I'm glad Tayshia got rid of him and I hope his victim finds both justice and peace. Damn.]
JoJo arrives to do Chris Harrison’s arduous job. Her news? There will be a cocktail party. But not until Bennett and Noah work their shizz out. Yes, it’s time for the infamous 2:1, where one will stay, and one will go!
Despite spending an enormous amount of time insulting Noah, Bennett now claims he had no idea there was anything wrong – even though he's the root of the problem. Now, let me say – I’ve enjoyed Bennett. He’s played this season’s role of “entertaining quote machine” exceedingly well. But now he’s turned to gaslighting, and I AM NOT HERE FOR IT. America is fucking exhausted. No. More. Gaslighting.
Bennett attempts to woo Noah with a faux peace offering he calls a “Gentlemen’s Gift.” The “gift” includes a red bandana, in hopes that there’s “no bad blood” between them, some old mustache-print socks he swears were laundered, and a book on Emotional Intelligence. Noah remains calm in the face of Bennett’s goading. They’re at a stalemate. Tayshia sweeps in, and we’re left with a cliffhanger. Who will be going home, and who will get to continue with the “suite” life? At this point, I’m definitely rooting for Noah, at least until he’s stayed long enough to grow that lip hair back.
Next Week: Tayshia says an unexpected goodbye. JoJo is still around. There’s a failed lie detector test in the mix. Zac reveals he’s cheated in the past. You mean a former drug addict and thief has also been unfaithful?! Brendan reveals this warp-speed engagement timeline might be a bit too much for him. And more! See ya soon, Rose Peeps!
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