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The Bachelor of Oberlin

By PJ McCormick | pmccormi@oberlin.edu | February 23, 2018 @ 6:07 pm

Arie Luyendyk Jr., The Bachelor.

Photo courtesy of The Bachelor.

The Bachelor of Oberlin is a new bi-weekly column re-capping the most recent episode of the Bachelor (and/or all Bachelor-adjacent properties ie: The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, The Bachelor Winter Games, etc.). Reactions to the episode of the week are captured in an informal round-table during a Bachelor screening.

“The Bachelor is an expression of the human experience,” remarked Ben Richman (‘20), in the moments following the screening of Monday’s installment: season 22, episode 7. Mr. Richman is, of course, not wrong. Like the human experience, every individual grapples with The Bachelor in their own unique way, taking from it a personalized set of challenges, victories, qualms and insights.

It’s certainly not unusual to have issues with Season 22’s chosen Bachelor, race-car driver and real-estate agent, Arie Luyendyk, Jr. Simultaneously white-bread and milquetoast, Arie is the almost-handsome son of racetrack royalty set on redeeming himself after having his heart broken by Emily Maynard in the Season 8 Finale of The Bachelorette.

Although his work on developing a signature catchphrase this season has been fruitful – see “that’s so cool,” and “I love that” – Arie is perhaps best well known as the “kissing bandit,” a name he earned both from the style he kisses in (sloppy, loud, wet) and the frequency with which he does so (incredibly often).

As one sophomore (who prefers to go unnamed) noted, “The Bachelor is based on a suspension of morals.” Maybe so! But this recapper would posit that if the Bachelor is structured on the suspension of any one thing, it would be disbelief. With that in mind, episode 7 of season 22 opens with Arie and the final 6 contestants on a trip in Tuscany, the ideal location for a shot of Arie making out with Becca K while the sun reflects off of her downed wine glass.

As several contestants explicitly acknowledge in the first few minutes of the show, stakes are running high. A word to the wise: watching The Bachelor with closed captions on is a good idea for viewing in a room full of rowdy friends, but does very little to combat detractors who might argue that the show is a little mindless or repetitive.

Early on in the episode, Jacqueline, a New York city based Research Coordinator, hints at trouble in paradise. She’s not sure if she’s ready to love Arie. She’s on the precipice of “making the decision to be in love with him,” but remains concerned that “maybe [she’s] more just in love with being in love” at this point.

And haven’t we all been there? Sometimes it can be hard to know whether to commit to loving your partner when your partner is simultaneously dating five other partners!

Actual Bachelor Spoilers ahead

Luckily, the Jacqueline situation resolves itself when she tearfully announces to Arie that she’s not ready to commit, eliminating herself from the competition (…or did she? We’re getting deep into Bachelor fan theory here, but as she’s walking out the door, Arie weepily tells Jacqueline that if she ever has regrets, she can just come right back, and he’d “be here.” Could The Bachelor be setting up Jacqueline as a surprise return contender once the pack has whittled down to the final 2???).

Elsewhere, Lauren B. and Sienne both have informative one-on-one dates with Arie, which mostly serve to move Lauren B. to the front of the pack (as this year’s most boring contestant, it would only follow that she’d be a favorite of one particularly boring Bachelor). Sienne isn’t getting much airtime regardless of her standing with Arie, and honestly I’m surprised she’s made it this far in the competition. She and Arie don’t have very much chemistry at all, and at week seven, I don’t see that changing.

The episode’s real climax kicks in on the three-on-one date between Arie, Tia, Bekah M., and Kendall. While Kendall is left to continue to be branded by the producers as the show’s “quirky” option – she plays ukulele and collects taxidermy – Bekah and Tia feud over the latter’s perceived notion that Bekah isn’t ready to marry. Which makes sense, as Bekah M., at 22, is the same age as most Oberlin seniors.

Eventually, in a “twist” that’d been forecasted for about a month, Bekah M. was sent home for her unwillingness to commit to marriage with Arie Luyendyk Jr, the 36 year old former race-car driver, who lives in Scottsdale, California.

As my good friend Adriana Teitelbaum (‘20) said when I asked for her thoughts on this week’s episode, “I’m in way too cynical a mood to answer that rn, sorry PJ.”

Contact contributing writer PJ McCormick at pmccormi@oberlin.edu.