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Date No. 1 with Becca: Host Chris Harrison made it known there would be no rose ceremony this week, just three one-on-ones and a group date.
Becca, who hadn’t had Arie all to herself since he put her in Louboutins and Rachel Zoe dresses in L.A., was ecstatic about getting the first date in Tuscany.
The plot was as follows: since their first one-on-one had been so long ago, Arie wasn’t sure if he still had a romantic connection with Becca so he might send her home.
This of course was utter codswallop seeing how we watched Arie a couple of weeks ago in Fort Lauderdale bestowing molti baci on Becca in his hotel room, where he took her for some special alone time just to show he hadn’t forgotten their distant date.
In any event, he got his memory back (again) pretty quickly in Barga, Italy, where a picnic lunch of bread, salami, cheese and wine was followed up by serious face-sucking while they leaned against the wall of some medieval building.
Arie was still making “Can I meet her family?” noises in his confessional (give the guy credit for following his script), but Becca put all faux doubts to rest at dinner by telling Arie she was falling for him and could see a future with him.
“I’m falling for you and I can’t wait to meet your family,” Arie told her as he handed over the date rose.
They found another wall to do some more smooching against.
Jacqueline goes home: While the other women were obsessing over whether they’d get roses, Jacqueline was having not just doubts but “swirling doubts.”
You’ll recall she had her first one-on-one with Arie just last episode where she told him of her plans to spend the next six years getting her PhD. Arie was undaunted by that, but Jacqueline told Lauren, “I don’t think that introducing somebody to my family and promising him that I’m ready (for marriage) after a date where I have doubts is the right way to go about my relationship.”
First off, yeah duh. Second, what “relationship”?
Jacqueline went to Arie’s room, where she told him that even though a part of her was falling for him she was not confident enough in her feelings. She was worried she’d end up married to Arie in Scottsdale and “wonder how did I get here? Like we didn’t have a base or foundation.”
I repeat: duh. And yet Arie wasn’t willing to just let her walk away. They wouldn’t have to get married right away, he told her. “I really like you. I don’t want this to be over.”
Jacqueline wasn’t helping matters by repeatedly kissing him and fondling his leg, but she eventually detached her lips and walked out, albeit crying and wondering if she was making a mistake.
“If you have any regret come back to me,” Arie said.
Date No. 2 with Lauren: Yes, it did seem soon for Lauren to get another one-on-one since her first one-on-one was just last episode, but the shtick here was that since Lauren had trouble opening up emotionally she would have to have a “breakthrough” before Arie could give her a rose.
After a day spent biking and eating in Lucca (I must say, the food on all of the dates looked fantastic), they headed to some marvellous hulking ruin for dinner and Lauren had her breakthrough: “Every time I’m with you it’s very obvious to me that I feel like I am starting to fall in love with you,” she told Arie.
That should have been the cue for some heavy duty smooching, but instead Arie looked down, swallowed and then left the table.
What the hell? Did he forget to empty his bladder before dinner? We saw him pacing around in what I guess was supposed to look like deep thought while Lauren tearfully worried that she’d said too much.
When Arie returned, Lauren told him he seemed “off.”
But Arie insisted he was just nervous “because I feel vulnerable with you and to hear you say that you’re falling for me makes me really, really happy. I really do, really do see something between us. I’m falling so deeply in love with you it’s crazy.”
Really? That’s a hell of a way to show it. Undoubtedly it had more to do with production tricks to manufacture drama than nerves.
Lauren was thrilled to get the rose and she and Arie smooched with abandon.
Date No. 3 with Seinne: Our first sign that things wouldn’t end well was when Arie claimed to still be thinking about Becca and Lauren before his date with Seinne and noted he was still waiting to “really feel those emotions” with her.
Then there was Seinne saying that when she wasn’t with Arie she kind of forgot about their connection.
They exchanged kisses at what looked like an amazing lunch with truffle hunter Giulio and his family, but the temperature had dipped by the time Arie and Seinne got to dinner – and not just outdoors.
Seinne told Arie that previously she “sort of viewed love as, like, weakness and today I saw it like strength” – not exactly the attitude you’d expect on a series that is ostensibly all about love.
Also, she hadn’t been in a relationship where she thought about the future. And as for what a future with Arie would look like, she wasn’t keen to leave Long Beach for Scottsdale but said unconvincingly she was “open to that conversation.”
To no one’s surprise, except Seinne’s, Arie didn’t give her the rose, telling her, “I just haven’t felt things that I feel like I should be feeling at this moment.”
Date No. 4 with Tia, Bekah and Kendall: If there was such a thing as a sure bet this season I would have said it was Tia and Bekah both getting roses on this date and Kendall going home.
After all, Arie had seemed enthralled with Bekah since Week 1, despite his later misgivings about their age difference, and he had formed a clear bond with Tia on their one-on-one.
Sure, he chose Kendall over Krystal on last episode’s two-on-one but given that Krystal had reached her villain expiry date Arie probably would have chosen Kendall’s stuffed seal over Krystal.
And yes, he kissed Kendall a bunch when he got her alone on this date at the Villa Royale, but Arie doles out kisses as if he was getting paid by the pucker, and he also smooched Tia and Bekah.
Frankly, Tia got up my nose this date. Yes, Bekah is young and relatively inexperienced, and I think she would have tired of Arie’s cardigans and early bedtimes sooner rather than later had she ended up with him, but it was for her to decide if she was ready for that kind of commitment, not Tia.
But Tia, while pretending that she was just looking out for Arie, threw Bekah under the bus, telling Arie that Bekah wasn’t taking the process as seriously as everyone else. “Your heart is on the line here and this is serious for you,” said Ms. Buzzkill.
Arie wasn’t overly concerned, and hugged and kissed away Bekah’s tears when she came to him crying over Tia’s accusations. But Bekah’s position became tenuous after Arie gave Kendall a rose.
The fact she was on the chopping block didn’t stop Arie from smooching Bekah like crazy when the group date turned into a two-on-one later, but he also didn’t react strongly when she told him she was falling for him, whereas he told Tia he could picture himself with her family.
And so, Bekah went home. She held it together, telling Arie things would turn out well for him, until dissolving into gasping sobs in the SUV of Shame. Arie cried too a little.
Chin up Bekah. There are other fish in the sea and you’re still young enough to do some diving.
Next week, on hometowns, it looks like Arie gets a rough ride on all of the visits, although that could just be editing.
You can watch Monday at 7 p.m. on City or 8 p.m. on ABC.
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