‘The Bachelor’: Taking the cake

The Bachelor
January 10, 2022

We begin the first real date episode with the women taking up residence in the McMansion, becoming the first people to live there since 2019 thanks to … you know … everything. Once settled in, Jesse Palmer pays them a visit, introducing himself as the new host of The Bachelor, and reminding them that he was once the Bachelor himself. He then adds, “as such, I know how this works and I know it can work.” One of the women asks Jesse if he’s married now, and he confirms that yes, he is.

HOWMEVER. What he fails to mention is that while he is now a married man, not only did he not marry the winner of his season of The Bachelor, one Jessica Bowlin, not only did they break up less than a month after the finale aired, THEY NEVER WERE ENGAGED. Jesse “I kNoW fRoM fIrSt-HaNd ExPeRiEnCe ThAt ThIs CaN wOrK” Palmer here did not propose to Bowlin in the finale, but instead offered her a plane ticket to come visit him in New York. Which, you know, isn’t a ring.

But sure. Let’s make Tooth Model, Sr. the host of this dumb show. After all, the entire series is a superficial mess with a spotty success record, just like Jesse Palmer’s own career.

Jesse Palmer leaves the date card for the women: “Teddy Bear; Cosplay; Bouncy Shoes; Bachelor Groupie; Dr. Kira; Marinara; Back to the Future; Someone Named Genevieve; That Snitch Serene; Toy Car: This is what dreams are made of. Love, Clayton.”

The women are driven into Beverly Hills where they meet Clayton at a “megamansion.” Toy Car starts talking about how this is her “vibe” and is looking forward to spending the afternoon relaxing with a few glasses of wine with “the rich and famous.” But instead, Clayton reveals a backyard filled with rambunctious fifth-graders, a bouncy house, and one Hillary Duff, star of Lizzie McGuire and the upcoming How I Met Your Father, which just happens to be produced by The Bachelor’s parent company, Disney, and which just happens to be debuting next this week. Coincidence, I’m certain.

The women, who are all younger Millenials/older Gen Zers and therefore right in the Lizzie McGuire wheelhouse, are VERY EXCITE to be this close to Hillary Duff, none more so than Toy Car who can’t shut up about it. However, when Hillary Duff explains what their date assignment is: to throw a dream birthday party for 10-year-old Maya, Toy Car could not be less interested. She’d much rather hang with Lizzie McGuire and Clayton than hang streamers, thanks.

But the other women are charmed by the task, and immediately take their stations, decorating cakes, putting up decorations, setting up entertainment. Toy Car and Bachelor Groupie are supposed to be setting up a playhouse for the birthday girl, but Toy Car has other ideas. Specifically, she is determined to drag Clayton away and make out with him poolside while the other women run around in clown costumes, and Clayton seems agreeable to be dragged away.

Hey, y’all know that recurring bit Saturday Night Live sometimes does, spoofing The Bachelor, where one of the repeated jokes is that The Bachelor responds to all the women with “I love that”?

Yeah, well, when Toy Car drags him away to tell him that she “really feels chemistry” with him and that she’s “not going anywhere,” Doofus’ response here is that she has no shortage of confidence, and he “loves that” and I began to wonder if this idiot’s preparation for being the Bachelor consisted of watching this J.J. Watt sketch over and over again and my brain began to legit hurt because it’s not out of the realm of the impossible.

Meanwhile, the party is ready, and after Clayton and Toy Car return, the children are sent in. There is a lot of shrieking, water balloons are thrown, games are played, and Clayton is pleased: all of the women are “engaging” with the children and are having a “good time” with the kids.

Cut to: Toy Car telling some of the kids that she “spends as little time around small people as possible.”

The children are, somehow, not impressed by this.

Toy Car — who is clearly and rapidly becoming the villain of the season — explains that she’s not here to throw a birthday party for some kid, she’d rather be talking to Hillary Duff.

Which she does.

Hillary Duff is also not impressed.

But we’re not done with Toy Car’s villainy, not by a long shot. Because Toy Car then decides (I’m sure entirely on her own and not with the encouragement of the producers) to bring out the cake that Someone Named Genevieve spent the better part of an hour decorating by herself and present it to the Birthday Girl as if she made it.

And if that’s not horrible enough, this monster then very deliberately drops the cake, ruining it.

AND THEN, she drags Clayton back to the pool to “wash the cake off” but also to hump his leg a bit more and to try to trigger my misophonia with their hideous makeout mouth noises. 

That night the group has their “cocktail party” at Big Daddy’s Antiques, a favorite of The Bachelor producers. After thanking the women for putting in such a great effort (~ahem~), Clayton first visits with That Snitch Serene (who actually seems quite lovely, but I have to call her something). She’s a teacher and talks about how much her students have changed her as a person. He makes out with her.

He also chats with Teddy Bear — who has lost her shoes somewhere along the way and is JUST ASKING FOR A TETANUS SHOT — and tells her that he has high expectations for her. He makes out with her.

He also claims to be making connections with Bachelor Groupie, Back to the Future and Someone Named Genevieve, who I am now calling Cake Girl, because of the whole cake thing.

Out in the lobby area, Dr. Kira addresses the asshole in the room, telling Toy Car Villain that they all noticed that she didn’t pull her weight at the birthday party. She’s all, “So what? I am not here to throw a birthday party, I’m here to date Clayton, so that’s what I did.” This argument, by the way, goes on for a while, Toy Car Villain insisting that she did nothing wrong by not hanging streamers and destroying the cake; the other women staring at her incredulously.

Toy Car Villain then has her time with Clayton where she tells him, again, that she likes him and that she had a great time on the group date ruining a little girl’s birthday party. He makes out with her.

And then he offers Toy Car Villain the group date rose because of course he offers Toy Car Villain the group date rose, it’s like you people have never watched this series before.

After he leaves, Marinara devolves into tears, and Toy Car Villain takes her place among the great villains, declaring in an interview that the rose “smells like victory.”

Back at the McMansion, the next date card arrives: “Hannah Brown, Jr.: Let’s take our love to new heights. Love, Clayton.” Hannah Brown, Jr. says that she’s “nervous” but “grateful,” while the other women stare hate into her as hard as possible.

The next day, Toy Car Villain and Monster Truck talk strategy. Toy Car Villain is thrilled that she has nothing to worry about in the next rose ceremony and “until further notice.” Toy Car Villain then offers to be Monster Truck’s “sensei” on how to handle the group date, because that’s what we need running around in the McMansion: two sociopaths.

Monster Truck then tells Toy Car Villain that when Hannah Brown, Jr. received the one-on-one date card, she said she was “nervous and excited,” but she should have been “jumping up and down.” Toy Car Villain assures Monster Truck that “people like that don’t last.”

By the by, have we discussed how much these two women look alike? Because …

As for the one-on-one date, Clayton and Hannah Brown, Jr. enjoy a helicopter ride around Southern California, making sure to make a low pass over the McMansion, and eventually land on a yacht where they drink champagne in a hot tub.

That night at fake dinner, Hannah Brown, Jr. tells Clayton that her parents are her best friends, before explaining that the past year has been pretty hard. Her father became very sick and experienced organ failure, and it looked like he might not make it. Her mother slept in the hospital chair beside his bed every night, and he eventually got better, made it home, and held his first grandchild for the first time. Clayton is very moved by this whole story and offers her the rose, and the first “private concert” by some pseudo-Country singer I’ve never heard of.

At the McMansion, the week’s final date card arrives: “Penalty Flag Olympian; Family Heirloom; Tiny Bottles of Booze; Tony the Tiger; H-Town; Pilot Rachel; Asset; and Monster Truck: I don’t want anything to stand in the way of our love. Love, Clayton.”

Death Threat, who did not get invited on a date this week, has a full meltdown in an interview, wondering WHAT SHE IS EVEN DOING HERE? SHE LEFT HER FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND HER CAT FOR THIS?

Group date time: the women meet Clayton out in a field somewhere and Monster Truck, head full of terrible advice from Toy Car Villain, sprints at him, doing that irritating “jump into his arms” move which is all a bit much considering they just met 48 hours ago.

Clayton explains that he has a fun date planned for them, and has enlisted help to determine who is there for the “right reasons.” To that end, he leads them into a barn? inside of which are a bunch of school desks? and at the big desk is comedian and late-night talk-show host, Ziwe? It’s a date created entirely via MadLibs.

Right, so, the women take their seats, and Family Heirloom is clever enough to plop herself down next to Clayton, a move that leaves Monster Truck absolutely furious. Ziwe explains that they are going to be talking about “relationship red flags” like lurking in your exes’ feeds, or sending flirty texts to someone you’re not dating. Ziwe then leads the group in a round of Never Have I Ever, asking them about faking orgasms, cheating on exes, sending nude photos, etc.

At one point, Family Heirloom admits to having cheated on a high school boyfriend, and Monster Truck is disgusted and profoundly irritated that Family Heirloom is flirting with Clayton RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER. When Ziwe asks if any of them have ever felt judged by another woman in the house, Monster Truck raises her hand first. Monster Truck explains that when she arrived at the house (two days ago) she was just “Shanae,” all “timid and shit.” But now her true personality “Shanae-nae” is coming out, and the other women should watch their backs.

With that, she begins doing the “Nae-Nae” while everyone looks on in horror.

The second half of the date is an obstacle course because The Bachelor producers just love them an obstacle course. The theme is this whole “relationship red flags” idea, which involves chugging milk for some reason? and sliding around in a pit of jelly? and flinging sledgehammers? I don’t know, but the relevant things are 1. Tony the Tiger wins to Monster Truck’s absolute irritation and 2. Monster Truck shoves Family Heirloom in the jelly pit, revealing that she is prepared to go Full Villain.

Oh, and boy does she go FULL VILLAIN.

That night at the cocktail party, Family Heirloom leaps up to take Clayton aside first, again angering Monster Truck Villain. HOW DARE FAMILY HEIRLOOM TRY TO DATE CLAYTON, TOO.

In their conversation, Family Heirloom teases that she used to freestyle rap, which, I am definitely going to need to see that, please. They make out.

Back in the holding area, Monster Truck Villain becomes ENRAGED hearing Family Heirloom giggling during her time with Clayton, accusing her of “fake laughing” and stealing her time with Clayton.

As Monster Truck Villain so colorfully describes, she’s “shitting her pants” because she HAS TO HAVE TIME WITH THIS GUY.

The Olympian notices that Monster Truck Villain is spinning completely out of control and checks on her, and Monster Truck Villain explains that she NEEDS to talk to Clayton and tell him how terrible and two-faced Family Heirloom is, and if she doesn’t TALK TO HIM RIGHT NOW SHE IS GOING TO CRY.

Meanwhile, Clayton visits with Tony the Tiger who won the obstacle course, and he points out that she could have hit him with the sledgehammer that she flung blindly. She doesn’t care. They make out.

Clayton also visits with the Olympian who challenges him to a foot race. He wisely declines. He also chats with Pilot Rachel who he tells he felt a connection with her on the first night.

As for Monster Truck Villain, she decides to use her time to warn him about some “red flags in the house,” specifically Family Heirloom, whom she accuses of being two-faced. As Monster Truck Villain tells it, she really connected with Family Heirloom on night one. But then the next day, Family Heirloom wouldn’t talk to her — she wouldn’t even look at her. As such, Monster Truck Villain is just concerned that Family Heirloom isn’t here for the “right reasons” and not, you know, trying to take someone out who she perceives as a threat.

And then this toothy dummy, HE LISTENS TO HER. He actually seems to think one woman accusing another woman of Mean Girling her is a legitimate worry that needs to be immediately addressed, and not, you know, laughed off as being immature and a waste of his time.

To that end, Clayton takes Family Heirloom aside and tells her that it’s been brought to his attention that there is tension between herself and Monster Truck Villain, namely that Monster Truck Villain has called her “two-faced.” He wanted to get her side of the story because what he’s hearing is that she was nice to Monster Truck Villain one night and cold to her the next.

Family Heirloom insists that none of this is true, and frankly, if we’re going to talk about people being assholes, Monster Truck Villain shoved her during the obstacle course. Family Heirloom wasn’t going to mention it because it seemed petty and small, but now that bitches are going to go around making accusations of two-facery …

When Family Heirloom rejoins the women, she asks to speak to Monster Truck Villain privately. Alone, Family Heirloom confronts Monster Truck Villain about this “two-faced” accusation and Monster Truck Villain explains that on the first night, Family Heirloom was really nice to her. But then on the next day, Family Heirloom and Cosplay were having a conversation, and when Monster Truck Villain tried to join them, Family Heirloom wouldn’t even look at her.

Family Heirloom is like, “Ah, I see what happened. The thing is, I have ADHD and I have a difficult time processing information from multiple sources. So when I’m in a conversation with someone, I have to focus on that and can’t really engage with someone else, I literally can’t hear someone else talking.”

Monster Truck Villain protests that Family Heirloom WASN’T EVEN LOOKING AT HER, and Family Heirloom is like, “Yeah, I literally just explained that to you …”

Monster Truck Villain attempts to muster up some fake tears about how two-faced Family Heirloom is, Family Heirloom points out that maybe if they were such good friends, Monster Truck Villain shouldn’t have shoved her in the obstacle course. With that, Family Heirloom tells Monster Truck Villain that she is sorry her feelings were hurt and she hopes they can move on from here. They hug and return to the rest of the group, where Clayton gives the date rose to Tony the Tiger, thank God.

After Clayton leaves, some of the other women express their disappointment that the Monster Truck Villain drama took time away from them, and Family Heirloom agrees, noting that she’s sorry that Monster Truck Villain had any time with him at all. Monster Truck Villain points out that this is what she is talking about when she says Family Heirloom is two-faced. Out here, she’s attacking her, but when they were alone, Family Heirloom hugged her and told her that she loved her! Family Heirloom insists that while they did hug, she never told her that she loved her … and Monster Truck Villain is like “Right, you said you have ADHD.” The other women are shocked that Monster Truck Villain just blurted that out and Family Heirloom is like, “Wow, want to talk some more about my mental health issues in front of everyone?” Monster Truck Villain declares that she’s “DONE!” and storms out while muttering, “FAKE FAKE FAKE. ADHD, my ass.”


We will return to this in one minute, trust.

The next night is the Rose Ceremony, and before the event begins, Toy Car Villain advises Monster Truck Villain to squash any beef she might have with Family Heirloom because it will not benefit her in the long run. And I was not expecting Toy Car Villain to be the rational person in the room, but she’s not wrong.

Clayton arrives and German Sausage takes him aside first. Alone she invites Clayton to make a scrapbook with her. She notes that even though she didn’t go on a date that week, she’s just happy to have some time with him that night, and Clayton is impressed with her positive attitude. They make out.

Bachelor Groupie somehow has a BIGGER pillow of his head, and Clayton is rightfully horrified at the sight of it:


Meanwhile, Monster Truck Villain asks to speak to Family Heirloom privately, while bitching in an interview that even though they supposedly “cleared the air” the night before, they seem to be back at square one. Family Heirloom won’t look at her or talk to her even though she supposedly “loves” her (which Family Heirloom has already repeatedly denied), adding that Family Heirloom must have forgotten because of her “ADHD.”

“And now,” this asshole continues, “everyone is looking at Family Heirloom like ‘Oh, poor Family Heirloom.’ What about poor Monster Truck Villain?”

So outside with Family Heirloom, Monster Truck Villain again claims that she thought they were on the same page yesterday, and apparently they’re not. So is it that Family Heirloom has ADHD or is it that she has a problem with Monster Truck Villain?

Family Heirloom calmly tells Monster Truck Villain that she’s being inappropriate, but Monster Truck Villain, she doubles down: everyone has ADHD! she has ADHD! little kids have ADHD! and Monster Truck Villain thinks Family Heirloom is just using it as an excuse.

Monster Truck Villain, to her credit, remains calm and tells Monster Truck Villain that she does not appreciate how she’s coming at her, and if Monster Truck Villain wants to apologize to her, she’s willing to hear her out. But for now, she’s exiting this conversation.

Family Heirloom returns inside and informs the other women that Monster Truck Villain is being a complete asshole to her. Monster Truck Villain then joins them and tries to tell them her side of the “story.” She told Clayton that Family Heirloom was giving her some major red flags by how two-faced she was, and then she overheard Family Heirloom say that she has ADHD.

That of course is not what happened, and Family Heirloom points out that Monster Truck Villain blurted out to everyone on the group date that she has ADHD, which the other women agree was not Monster Truck Villain’s business to disclose. The group demands that she just apologize — her behavior is so out of line that even Monster Truck Villain’s “sensei,” Toy Car Villain, is like, “damn, just say you’re sorry and cut your losses already.”

But Monster Truck Villain is gonna villain, and she refuses to offer a real apology.

So before we move on, a mini-rant: as the mother of a young adult with ADD, fuck this jackass. Just … fuck her right off the goddamned planet. Let’s go over what just happened: Family Heirloom realized that her condition made Monster Truck Villain feel like she was being excluded and ignored, and did an excellent job in explaining what happened. And anyone who had been genuinely hurt or confused by Family Heirloom’s behavior would hear her explanation about not being able to process multiple sensory inputs and realize that they read the situation wrong. It’s no one’s fault; they simply because they didn’t have all of the information. But of course Monster Truck Villain wasn’t genuinely hurt or confused, she was looking for some reason to call Family Heirloom an asshole and eliminate a competitor. And when she realized she was in the wrong, that there was a valid explanation for Family Heirloom’s behavior, she decided to double down and question Family Heirloom’s diagnosis altogether.

As someone who raised a kid with ADD, I can tell you from personal experience that living with ADD is exhausting, anxiety-inducing, and heart-breaking. All a parent wants for their kid is to be happy, healthy both physically and mentally, and functional, and ADD and ADHD make all of those things even more difficult in an already difficult world. But what makes it worse, what makes this particular condition so hard on both the people who have it and the people who love them is that so many other people don’t even believe the condition is real. My kid and my family have been undermined and questioned by plenty of people, including some closest to us, who love us, but who have just simply refused to believe that he needed treatment. To be disbelieved that way, to have a condition that requires therapy and medication and superhuman levels of patience and trust treated as if it’s just a lapse of character or a convenient excuse for bad behavior, it’s incredibly painful and infuriating.

And so, again, fuck this jackass. How fucking dare she.


Alright, so outside, Clayton is chatting with Toy Car Villain who tells him that she knew he was going to like her, and then demands that he tell her that he likes her again because she’s also a goddamned handful.

After making out with him, Toy Car Villain tells the other women that she thinks Clayton appreciates how intimidating she is and unrelenting in her pursuit of him — it seems to be working.

However, one of the women she says this in front of is our friend Back to the Future who is like, “HUH.” She informs us in an interview that earlier that day, Toy Car Villain confessed to her — IN FRONT OF THE CAMERAS — that she has a fuck buddy back home and that she was Facetiming with him the night before she started filming. Apparently, they even made plans to watch the season together when she goes back home. Back to the Future decides that this is information Clayton needs to know and proceeds to take him aside to tell him about it.

Clayton stumbles away in shock to consider what to do about this — especially since he’s already given Toy Car Villain a rose. Meanwhile, Back to the Future goes inside and takes Toy Car Villain aside to be like, “Bitch, I told him.”

But Toy Car Villain doesn’t seem worried, telling the other women, “He likes me … what’s he gonna do?”

Funny you should ask, Sensei, because the episode ends with him asking Jesse Palmer if anyone has ever taken a rose back before. So, I’d go pack my bags if I were you.

Here are the ladies who have been eliminated along with their very not good nicknames:

Here are the women along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” Clayton:

The Bachelor airs Mondays on ABC at 7/8 p.m.

Leave a Reply