The Bachelor Recap: The Reign of Queen Victoria Has Ended

This week brought some major exits, adorable dates, and an oh-so-fun shopping spree. Let’s begin, shall we?

Matt’s journey to find love continues with the same exact drama we were dealing with last week: the new additions to the group are struggling because the “OG’s” are still being mean to them. Katie, Bachelor hero, is the one who told Matt about the bullying at the end of last week’s episode, and now Matt is ready to bring it up to all the ladies at once. 

Matt first addresses the toxic environment among the contestants at the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party. (Side note: is it just me or is this season totally turned around?! We're starting the episode with a rose ceremony!).

It's clear that Matt is not happy with the bullying that's been going down. “If you have to belittle someone else so you can shine, those aren’t the qualities I’m looking for in a wife,” Matt said. At this point, the mean girls are *definitely* getting a little nervous. And they should be, TBH. 

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

After that strong opener, Matt pulls Brittany to chat with her right away. He tries to get the truth behind rumor number one of the evening (and perhaps the most damaging one of all): that Brittany is an escort.

As soon as Brittany and Matt disappear, Anna knows this whole issue is her fault. She clearly feels bad, but Anna, WTF did you think was going to happen when you said "I heard rumors she is an escort?"! The damage had clearly been done, and Matt sent Anna home (to the shock of the rest of the ladies). One mean girl down, a few left to go. 

The next issue for Matt to solve: Victoria called Ryan a ho. Matt talks to Ryan about the experience, and at this point he has clearly had it. I mean, I can’t say I blame him. There is always drama on the Bachelor–it’s literally half the fun of watching–but this season’s drama has been insane. And it's not even about Matt at all! They could all be arguing over his perfect abs or chiseled jawline or his impeccably styled wardrobe, but no. They’re fighting over baseless rumors instead. 

After speaking with Ryan, Matt goes right to the source: Victoria. He straight up asked her why she said Ryan was a ho. “That was completely taken out of context,” Victoria said. “I'm just curious, what context would calling someone a ho be acceptable to be taken in?” Matt said back. I mean, YES! Can we embroider that on a pillow or something? Victoria has no response. Finally. 

The cocktail party ends early, and Matt just wants to hand out the roses. Catalina, Mari, Lauren, and finally Victoria are sent home. Queen Victoria’s reign of terror has ended! She does not hide her anger as she exits the house, and Matt literally doesn’t even flinch.

Before we say farewell to Victoria for good (or until the "Women Tell All" reunion), let's touch on a debate that has been circulating in Bachelor universe: is Victoria an actress brought in by producers to stir the pot? She was a villain unlike any other, and I think the producers wanted to guarantee drama despite the fact that the cast was unable to travel this season. I mean, date after date at the Nemacolin resort in Pennsylvania may get stale.

Sydney, my fellow Bachelor obsessive here on Team SN, echoes this thought. “It always felt really forced and extreme, so I could see production having some sort of involvement,” she said. “Some of the drama felt SO staged and ridiculous that I feel like no normal human being could come up with some of the things she would say...”

What do you think? Either way, the focus will hopefully turn to Matt and his relationships without Victoria's antics snagging the attention.

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

Now we can put that long, strange trip behind us. Chris Harrison reminds us that we’re at the halfway point, which I literally don’t believe because it feels like there are 1,000 girls still. Rachael gets a one-on-one date. They’re going shopping, complete with a celebrity stylist. Talk about a dream date!

Rachael tries on a ton of looks and ends up in a gorgeous red dress. She and Matt drink champagne and chat, and Matt gives Rachael a pair of shoes. They didn’t say who the designer was, but based on the red soles I’m guessing they're Christian Louboutin. Go 👏 Rachael 👏 !

Rachael heads home to show the rest of the ladies her MULTIPLE shopping bags. She is seriously glowing, but nobody else is thrilled (obviously).

Rachael changes into a legit ball gown for the dinner portion of her date, where Matt hopes to “dig a little deeper.” Rachael tells Matt she is falling in love with him, Matt says he feels the same way. It’s a really sweet moment, and these two have serious chemistry. It definitely seems early in the season to be talking about love, but I also feel like there are no rules anymore so go for it, Matt and Rach! Rachael gets the rose in the end. Sidenote: I couldn’t stop staring at Rachael’s earrings. They were beautiful and distractingly sparkly!

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

After Rachael’s romantic evening, it’s time for a much less glamorous group date. They’re heading to a farm. Like literally a farm, because Matt grew up working on farms. They’re tasked with various chores, like milking a goat and collecting eggs from a chicken coop. 

MJ (and her fabulous hair) is over group dates–this is her fourth one, and she’s just not into it. In the middle of the date, Matt randomly finds Pieper and starts furiously making out with her. It comes out of nowhere to be honest, but it makes all the ladies feel awkward. 

During the evening portion of the date, Abigail really opens up to Matt about her cochlear implants and experience as a deaf person, adding that there’s a strong possibility her children will be deaf and that her birth father left when she was young. Abigail was so ready to be vulnerable with Matt, and he was fully prepared to listen. It was a really nice conversation. In the end, Matt gives Abigail the group date rose. There are also bad vibes brewing between MJ and Jessenia, but we’ll get to that later. 

Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin

Kit earned the next one-on-one date, which brought her to tears because she was so excited. She and Matt cooked at his “house” and it was honestly such a normal evening. It wasn’t the most exciting date in Bachelor history, and Kit didn’t get a new pair of Louboutins like Rachael did, but it was so normal and ordinary that it almost felt special. Know what I mean?

Kit opened up about living life in the spotlight and the challenges of having such a successful parent (her mom is Cynthia Rowley, ICYMI). Matt gave Kit the rose, and Kit cried because she was so happy. The whole date went by in like 5 seconds, but overall I’m into Kit and Matt as a couple.

Back at the house, a date card arrives that asks MJ and Jessenia to arrive at the cocktail party early because Matt “needs to know the truth.” The background on this: Jessenia said MJ was an antagonist in the house because she bullied the new contestants. MJ is PISSED her character was called into question, and this whole thing blows up.

Once they arrive at the cocktail party, they spent the whole time talking over each other and TBH it gave me a migraine. Hopefully, we’ll wrap up this situation quickly next week. 

Next up: we got a teaser clip of Bachelor alum Heather Martin arriving at the gates and asking for Chris Harrison. She was part of Colton’s season in 2019, and could she really be back for more Bachelor?! We’ll be tuning in next week to find out.

Main Image by ABC Press/Craig Sjodin; Bracket design by Sydney Mastrandrea