It’s all fun and games until a professional pickleball captain gets her heart broken on national television.
The fifth episode of The Golden Bachelor managed to eject three unlucky women in the span of a week, all in the name of cranking up the tension before those all-important hometown dates. While Faith finally won her coveted one-on-one with Gerry, the rest of the women tried to drown their anxieties in water aerobics and Jewish folk singing. With one rose down, a group date at the Santa Monica Pier forced some hopefuls to lay their hearts bare in the hopes of making the cut while Sandra had the time of her life at the ring toss booth.
Here are the winners (and losers) of this week’s episode of The Golden Bachelor.
Winner – Boat Landings
There’s been a suspicious lack of aerial showboating on Gerry’s part this season. We’ve had exactly one hot air balloon ride, but compared to the naked bungee jumping and moonlit windmill picnics, zero gravity flights, and San Francisco bridge-traversing of the past, these one-on-one dates have ranked pretty low on the altimeter. Gerry’s decision to strap Faith into a helicopter, treat her to a terrifying ride over a gorgeous California landscape, and then giggle maniacally as she spiraled during a well-timed landing on a moving yacht felt like peak Bachelor Nation antics. The producers, they’ve still got it.
Loser – Ellen’s Nerves
A fun dare morphed into heartbreak for Ellen this week. The pickleball enthusiast may have started this journey in honor of her friend battling cancer, but Gerry’s moves — on the court and off — won her over. By the time the group date came around, Ellen knew she’d be battling Theresa and Leslie for a rose and even a last-minute love confession couldn’t dissuade Gerry from his preference for brunettes. The writing was on the wall once Faith revealed she’d shared a hot tub with everyone’s favorite aging thirst trap but watching Ellen fake interest in fairground games and bumper car tournaments as she sweated out her anxieties over not nabbing a pre-ceremony rose left us all as nauseous as Sandra gets when she gets a whiff of dairy.
Winner – Rollercoasters
Rollercoasters are thrilling death traps that amusement parks have convinced us we must ride in order to appreciate our own mortality and truly feel alive for all of 15 seconds. They’re also useful metaphors. And in tonight’s episode, they served both purposes. As a group of elderly women had their hairdos mussed and their stomachs rolled in pursuit of love, Theresa dropped a poignant recap of the night — it was a rollercoaster of emotions, in more ways than one.
Winner – Sandra’s Inner Child
Gerry’s stronger connections with Ellen, Leslie, Faith, and Theresa were apparent pretty early on in the season, so when the group date in Santa Monica came, both Sandra and Susan seemed to be having the best time of anyone out there. Free from the worry of one day becoming Mrs. Gerry Turner, the women gobbled cotton candy, swiped oversized stuffed animals, and experienced the kind of g-force that would make even Tom Cruise dizzy. Sandra especially seemed to be living her best life and she eventually walked away from the show having successfully avoided her daughter’s wedding and with a nice tan from a weeks-long vacation in a California mansion. Who really won here?
Loser – Leslie’s Emotional State
Leslie has struggled with feelings of jealousy towards the other women in the house since day one, but this week, she was struck with an acute case of amnesia — forgetting that she was a contestant in a reality competition where the man she was swapping spit with would also have to date other women. This epiphany led to an emotional meltdown on the fairground ride in which she revealed her past had been filled with toxic men who weaponized her vulnerability against her. She can’t be talking about Prince though.
Winner – Faith’s Traumatic One-On-One
Speaking of spilling your guts, once Faith was sure she could keep her pre-date anxiety bagel down during the long flight, she felt ready to reveal more about her own traumatic past. She grew up homeless, with no parents to guide her in her teenage years and, because of that, she’s found it hard to pick the good guys from the bad boys. All seems to be going well until Faith asks the camera the most ridiculous question we’ve heard on this show, “Is this real?” after having brunched on a yacht she helicoptered onto with a man she’s known for a few weeks as cameras film all around them. No, it’s not real Faith, but you got a rose so maybe just enjoy the fantasy a bit longer.
Loser – Hopscotch
Ellen may be gone but she left us with some parting wisdom that millennial parents everywhere need to hear. If you’ve ever wondered why the children’s game of hopscotch fell out of fashion, Roberta’s bestie has the answer: Steve Jobs.