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A. #25 Matt James


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16.02.2021, 02:32   #226
 
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__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
16.02.2021, 02:33   #227
 
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: 42,281
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__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
17.02.2021, 20:40   #228
 
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: 42,281
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__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
17.02.2021, 20:41   #229
 
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Chelsea
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17.02.2021, 20:42   #230
 
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MJ
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17.02.2021, 20:43   #231
 
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Rachael
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17.02.2021, 20:44   #232
 
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Bri
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17.02.2021, 20:45   #233
 
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Queen Victoria persona
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17.02.2021, 20:46   #234
 
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Pieper
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18.02.2021, 00:59   #235
 
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Pieper, 23
Graduate Student, Happy Valley, Oregon

Don't discount Pieper as just a pretty face because there is way more to this stunner than meets the eye. She's truly the total package! Pieper has a dynamite personality, a creative mind, a master's degree in marketing and a wonderful family who has supported all her endeavors. The only thing missing for Pieper? A man to enjoy life by her side! Pieper is caring, giving, and loves to learn what brings her partner joy so she can foster that happiness. She loves to spend quality time with her significant other, but also very much values independence and having parts of her life that remain her own. Pieper needs someone with confidence and someone who knows what they want in life because forethought is so important to her. It's easy to see what makes Pieper a total catch and we think Matt will have no problem seeing it too.

- Pieper is very into European cars and dreams of owning a Rolls Royce one day.
- Pieper loves her grandma the most in this world and calls her Gram-cracker.
- Pieper is not into picnics because the idea of sitting on the ground and eating is not appealing to her.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
18.02.2021, 01:03   #236
 
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Pieper James
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barish   
18.02.2021, 01:44   #237
 
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Episode 3

Im so sick of feeling frustrated.
Serena C, effectively summing up much of the contestant experience

LAST WEEK, CONTD

Episode 3 picks up with the conclusion of Sarahs near-fainting spell, with Matt whisking her outside. (I personally think the unsung hero in this scene was Bri, though, in not only physically supporting Sarah, but by encouraging her to sit on the floor instead of trying to make it to the sofa!)

Of course, Matt rushing to Sarahs aid couldnt simply be a kind gesture on his part. Despite the sprawling resort grounds, it somehow had to be done in plain sight of the other ladies

I didnt love the assumption made by some of the ladies that perhaps Sarah was faking this, especially in the context of her already having a rose (as though if she didnt have a rose it would somehow be more acceptable?) Ill circle back to my thoughts on Sarah later
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
18.02.2021, 01:47   #238
 
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GROUP DATE #1

The weeks first Group Date involves writing and reading erotic love stories. This was amusing but my favorite moment was Ashley Is hilarious reaction to Victorias story veering into X territory
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
18.02.2021, 01:54   #239
 
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All early Group Dates try to incorporate sex or near-nudity in some way, so all in all, while I would have HATED to have been on this date, I suppose it was more tasteful than most.

Im not surprised The Powers That Be chose to air Katie saying the following, since it justifies the date activity and makes them look good

and while I do see where Katies coming from, this is awfully generous. Theres a difference between being comfortable talking about what your desires are (for example, IN PRIVATE TO YOUR PARTNER) and reading them aloud for other women (women dating the same guy!) to hear. Like I said, I think this date activity a bit more tasteful than usual, but to portray it as some empowering activityas though what a someone would write in this story exactly how they feel about their personal desiresis a bit of a stretch. (I basically feel about it the exact way Serena Cs expression suggests!)
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
18.02.2021, 06:43   #240
 
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The most notable thing about this entire date is, of course, how it affects Sarah. She seems surprisingly perturbed hearing the other womens love stories, and in a way that cant be dismissed by fishy Pick-ups or voiceovers. (There was some frankenebiting but nothing stood out to me as out of the ordinary.)

Sarah decides to crash the Group Date Cocktail Party to voice her concerns with Matt, a MAJOR no-no. I always wince when contestants fall into this trapand it is a trap, because zero chance a producer didnt encourage or enable her to do thisas it assures their position as enemy number one moving forward, a very difficult position to recover from. (Remember Noah?)

After interrupting Katie, Sarah reveals a clue as to why she might be having as hard a time as she is

This really stands out to me because, remember, she would have felt pressure to open up like that in the first place. (Remember how not being open and vulnerable suggest youre not emotionally invested?) So, shes first pressured to share more than she otherwise would on a first date. This naturally causes her to feel closer with Matt and become more emotionally invested, only to feel like the rug is being pulled out from under her when he pursues that same connection with those around her. This is classic early 1-on-1 date recipient behaviorweve seen countless contestants with early 1-on-1s struggle with this, to the point where I personally suspect some early 1-on-1 recipients are chosen BECAUSE they might struggle with it.
I know, I know. This is The Bachelor and everyone knows what they signed up for. (More on that in a bit.) But I maintain Sarah was very likely cherry picked and then chipped away at specifically to reach this point. Im not defending her entirely as she should have known to hold off until her own Group Date to talk to Matt (as I always say, contestants are ultimately responsible for their own actionsno producer can make you do anything), but I think theres a lot more to her thought process here than simply her being selfish and disregarding the others 1-on-1 time.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
18.02.2021, 06:53   #241
 
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Unsurprisingly, Katie reports back to the other Group Date ladies that Sarah has invaded, and they send her back to reclaim her time. I think Katie was 100% in the right here and was well within her right to take back time that was hers to begin with. I have to admit, however, that I laughed SO HARD watching Matt during the following exchange, while Katie and Sarah spoke about him like he was some inanimate object or not in the room at all

I swear, you can almost (almost!) see him surpress a grin, which makes sense as he was never a contestant having to interrupt, steal, and defend 1-on-1 time of his own.
Matts conspicuous uninvolvement hereespecially given hes a newbie to this showserves as hint #8703 that the lead is instructed to be passive and to let the contestants fight this stuff out amongst themselves.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
18.02.2021, 07:08   #242
 
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We all knew this would REALLY spiral out of control once we saw the following

This show is becoming far too predictable. We saw this last season and the season before that. A contestant crashes or steals time that isnt theirs, which would be a non-issue if the Cocktail Party resumed as normal. But of course, The Powers That Be instead cut that Cocktail Party short, robbing several contestants of the 1-on-1 time they had so patiently waited for.
So, remember, first they assign a 1-on-1 to Sarah, a contestant they can envision unraveling. (This is just me speculating, but I dont think Im far off.) Next, they encourage/pressure her to open up more than she would, causing her to feel more invested, and subsequently, more jealous. Next, shes encouraged to dispel/ease her jealousy by speaking with Matt right away, on a Group Date that isnt hers (and that she presumably was intentionally not on). Finally, despite Sarahs conversation with Matt likely lasting a whopping 10 or so minutes, which would otherwise be a blip in the evening, The Powers That Be call off the rest of the evening so that blame falls squarely on her.
I know drama is an integral part of this show, but can we PLEASE get some new material??
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
19.02.2021, 03:43   #243
 
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SERENA PS 1-ON-1

Every once in awhile you get a contestant you simply love to watch, and youd even want to be friends with, and for me, Serena P is that contestant. Her talking about her fathers life being linear (which, to be fair, is probably most lives) SERIOUSLY resonated with me

and as someone who probably hasnt had that linear life in more ways than one (nor has Andy, who I describe as a cat with 9 lives), and as someone regularly fields questions about kids and white picket fences and what that next linear step in my life should look like, I really appreciate Serena Ps way of thinking. Talk about wisdom at a young age.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
19.02.2021, 03:47   #244
 
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"": 10,479
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Similarly, I seriously related to Matts response

If I didnt also feel this way at his age, I certainly never would have gone on The Bachelor in the first place! I suppose In many ways, you could consider this show a turning point for most of the people who go on it.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
19.02.2021, 03:49   #245
 
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"": 10,479
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In the evening, Serena P solidifies her spot in my favorites column by showing the exact right amount of critical thinking when she says she could see herself falling in love

It IS weird! I always love when contestants show awareness of the strangeness of the situation theyre in and can, whether directly or indirectly, admit they went in not necessarily expecting to find love. This doesnt make them insincere, it just makes them realistic.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
19.02.2021, 07:23   #246
 
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: 42,281
"": 10,479
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SARAH

Speaking of contestants not necessarily expecting things to happen to them, Sarah emerges from her room after a few days (Im still confused by the rooming situation!!!) to hear the Group Date card being read, and things quickly become heated. First, Ive seen people say they thought Sarah was emerging only because the Date Card was relevant to her, was of interest to her. (I didnt see it this way at all; after all, she would know simply by process of elimination that shed be on that second Group Date.) This becomes a scene of her apologizing and the women continuing to give her a hard time. Now, you guys know Im a big word and specificity person, so Im sure its not surprising I found Sarahs apologies a bit lackluster. (Theres a difference between Im sorry I did that to you and Im sorry but I didnt know what else to do.) Also, theres no question she didnt do herself any favors by holing up in her room and being antisocial. Had she simply apologized sincerely, and early, and continued to act normally, I dont think this would have been blown so out of proportion. What she allowed to happen was let everyone else become closer with each other (AND their producersafter all, who do you think was prompting the conversations about her?) instead of building those relationships herself. Sarah was certainly screwed to some extent by crashing a Group Date she wasnt on (theres only so much you can recover after a faux-pas of this degree), but there was some damage mitigation she could have done afterwards, which she didnt.
Nevertheless, its hard not to have a heart for Sarah. This scene was brutal to watch, and it really felt enabled further byshockerVictoria. I got the distinct feeling the other women (particularly Kit, Anna, and Serena C) might not have been SO harsh had they not had such a willing, outspoken, and enthusiastic ringleader.
It became clear that the other women didnt know about Sarahs family situation, and its a sobering reminder that we dont know each others struggles and how they might impact ones mental state, and the best way to be is to ALWAYS give others the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, this is an environment in which contestants feed off having a common enemy.

Two things about the following stood out to me
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The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
19.02.2021, 18:28   #247
 
  barish
 
: 42,281
"": 10,479
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First, note how Bri is nodding in agreement. It made me wonder if Sarah DID have a friend or two in the house, but that support wasnt shown. (It wouldnt be the first time this happenedon Ben Flajniks season, villain extraordinaire Courtney Robertson did have a friend in the house, Casey Schteamer, but her edit showed her having no one.) Second, what Sarah says here is incredibly accurate: the dichotomy of objectively understanding what you were coming into, versus it being very unlike your expectations. It always irks me when viewers and contestants alike use you knew what you signed up for as a one-size-fits-all counterargument for contestants struggles and poor decision-making. I was actually talking to Nick Viall about this fairly recently, about how people THINK contestants know what they sign up for, but they really dont. You cannot predict the contestant (or lead) experience, nor how it will emotionally affect you, unless the only thing you predict is unpredictability. I would actually say MOST contestants dont actually think theyre going to fall for the guy (à la Serena P!).
Another thing stood out to me here

Again, I dont think Sarah should have focused on what made things difficult for her. No matter how justified she felt in her actions, when you have a room full of angry contestants who havent had 1-on-1 dates, its just a wiser and more productive choice to fall on your sword, apologize, and keep your reasons WHY to yourself. But whats interesting about Sarahs case is it shows the different perspective of an early 1-on-1 recipient. Indeed, its easy to look at her and think that, because she got a 1-on-1 in the first week, she has had it easy. But its for that very reason that it is hard, just in different way. Remember, the origins of this blogs name are from a similar feeling; I said on my own season: Its tough to go from feeling quite singled-out and special and understood to feeling like just another face in the crowd. Id even say that, in this situation, theres an argument to be made that it could be harder to go from feeling understood to feeling invisible, more so than it is to never quite feel understood in the first place. Theyre difficult in different ways.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
19.02.2021, 19:27   #248
 
  barish
 
: 42,281
"": 10,479
.

The next day, Katie goes to speak with Sarah. (Katie is really turning out to be the seasons MVPI agree with everything she says and does.) I dont think there was a dry eye during their touching conversation about their fathers. But notice how, in a frankenbitten voiceover, the show wastes no time in steering Sarahs reasoning back to a place of drama.
Sarah
My dad is everything to me. I think he wants me to be happy and find love / so its not / just / because of my dads condition. / Its also / the tension in the house.

Sarah does eventually leave. Now, Ive seen some opinions online that argue, given her fathers condition, Sarah was selfish to pursue this experience in the first place. I find this to be a very narrow-minded and judgmental way of thinking. First, I sincerely doubt Sarah was not allowed to talk to her family with some regularity during filming, perhaps with a producer present. (Just as contestants with children are allowed to periodically Skype their kids, I am certain Sarah was given the same privilege with her father.) Also, the woman LEFT HER CAREER to become her fathers caregiver, for Petes sake. Is she meant to wait for her father to pass away before having experiences for herself, and could potentially share with him? (Also, with ALS, her father is mentally sound. Perhaps he WANTED her to have this experience, and wanted to witness it while he still could. Perhaps it was every bit as exciting for him as it was for her to have this experience.) Ive seen people say, well my dad was sick/had ALS/has passed so I get it, and would never do what she did. But those peoples families are not Sarahs, or vice versa. Don't judge others or make assumptions about others families, nor for how they should show their support or love for one another. As Katie aptly put it

Exactly.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
19.02.2021, 20:38   #249
 
  barish
 
: 42,281
"": 10,479
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PREDICTIONS

My frontrunners are

1. Bri, 24:

Bri continues to get consistent airtime. Shes blissfully drama free which means she will likely continue to sail towards the finish line without swirling rumors that could cause a premature demise. As is usual for early 1-on-1 date recipients, shes under the radar after her date, but we all know Bri is a frontrunner.
__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   
19.02.2021, 20:47   #250
 
  barish
 
: 42,281
"": 10,479
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__________________
The only thing that was ever wrong with me was my belief that something was wrong with me. (c)
barish   

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