Say it with us, folks: Cleveland, Ohio, the perfect place to fall in love.
The women of Peter Weber's season of The Bachelor did not seem impressed by their first non-LA destination of the season, but the man himself was psyched. Cleveland is the birthplace of Superman! Clark Kent! Wow!
Unfortunately Superman was not the topic of any of the Cleveland dates, which is really a shame because they needed something to make up for that atrocious lingerie (lingery) pillow fight from last week, and to distract us from the absolute nonsense going on on this show right now. Instead, we got football, polka dancing, soapbox racing, and a bunch of roller coasters that truly terrified Victoria F.
However, Victoria didn't know what was coming: a private concert from...Chase Rice! A guy she dated once!
After a day of riding roller coasters and sharing a diner meal where they talked about how many kids they want (two or four for Peter, so no one ever has to sit by themselves on the roller coaster), he led Victoria over to a concert where she spotted Chase on stage, and Chase spotted her with the Bachelor, and awkwardly asked if they're having a good time.
"Oh, you know this song?" Peter said as she sang along while they sort of danced together, up on one of those awkward platforms.
Peter was just having the time of his life. Maybe Chase Rice could play at their future wedding, he actually said. He and Chase even had a chat about the date, and Peter was just so psyched about that "private" concert they had, surrounded by other people.
Victoria had a chat with Chase as well (while Peter was elsewhere), and he encouraged her to tell the truth about their history (the extent of which is unclear), and so that's what Victoria did at dinner. Peter was freaked out at first, but in the end it actually didn't matter because OK, she dated this guy once. She claims to not be dating him any longer, and it's not like Peter already put down a deposit on having Chase play at the wedding (that was a plotline on Brooklyn Nine-Nine in season five, though). In the end, it was irrelevant. And that's super boring, but the other Victoria had some drama left over to keep things going this episode.
Up next was a football game group date, which pitted two teams of women against each other. One team would get to hang out more with Peter, while the other was SOL. We were already thinking back to that time Arie invited both of the bowling teams to the cocktail party instead of just the one that won, enraging Krystal Neilsen and delighting us all, when the game ended in a tie, meaning both teams got to go!
The pink team, who had been winning before the tie, was pissed, but the yellow team was thrilled, and it was kinda understandable when they showed the shot of 13 women sitting there on two couches waiting for time with Peter. There was already drama with Victoria P. stealing him first when Shiann was supposed to steal him first, but then Alayah arrived, returned from the dead of last week, and went to steal Peter for herself.
Peter was shocked, especially as Alayah then claimed that she and Victoria were good friends all through their pageant days, and had even planned a trip to Vegas together. Victoria P. had claimed last week that she and Alayah had only spent three hours together, and then Alayah said they should pretend not to know each other.
When Peter confronted Victoria, she then said yes, they went to Vegas together and hung out, but how could he think she's a liar when she had been so honest with him, and all she's saying is the truth, even though her truth makes absolutely zero sense. They've only spent three hours together but they went to Vegas together? That's a short trip to Vegas!
Victoria refused to expand on this trip to Vegas other than to say she was telling the truth, but truly, how was she telling the truth if she's claiming both truths are true? This makes no sense, and Victoria's refusal to actually answer Peter's questions feels pretty telling.
Here's exactly what she said last week:
"Obviously I shared with you that I was Miss Louisiana so I did know Alayah a little bit before going into this. I probably had spent, maybe, like collectively three hours with her, like together even at Miss USA. And it's difficult for me to be in this position but I do know that she asked that not tell producers that we knew one another, and I didn't really understand why, because I was like, I don't want to lie, I can't lie. I didn't think of it much then, but looking back now I'm like, well she did ask me to lie. That's not who I am."
And here's the exchange that happened when Peter asked Victoria P. about her trip to Vegas with Alayah this week:
Victoria: "We went to Vegas together...yeah, we went to Vegas together, and like, hung out. I've honestly..."
Peter: "Why did you tell me that you weren't friends with her then?"
Victoria: "Peter, look at me. Look at me. Look at me. Everything...I'm baffled."
Peter: "I'm baffled, 'cause you literally, like, you told me something that I had no reason not to trust, and then she comes here and she tells me all this other stuff."
Victoria: "You can believe that or you can believe me, but I'm telling you that my truth is the truth, and I have been so honest with you, and so vulnerable with you, and the most difficult parts of me, Peter. This is hard. And I'm shaking. Like I gave you my whole heart, every bit of it, and...I'm frustrated."
Peter: "I'm not talking about that. I'm just, I'm so confused right now, because she comes here and tells me a complete different story from what you said."
Victoria: "I don't know what story you're hearing. All I know is that there's so much I want to share with you."
Uh, ok, but were you friends with Alayah or not?!
The other girls, who had already been annoyed that this cocktail party had so many people at it, sat and talked about the situation, and one of them (whose name we could not tell you) revealed that Victoria had been acting off towards Alayah the whole time, calling her a "terrible person" behind her back and then holding her hand during the rose ceremony.
Peter then got the two women together to sit and figure things out, and Victoria continued to not explain herself, and Alayah just kept claiming how clear it was that they were friends based on pictures and just real life in general.
(We did a little digging. Victoria is not in the pic that Alayah posted from the trip to Las Vegas last January, but she is tagged in a couple of pics with one of the other girls who was on the trip. It was clearly a pageant girl trip, and at the very least they have mutual friends.)
It's unclear who's telling the truth, but really hard to believe Victoria based on her response to Peter's really valid questions, and Peter's clearly thinking the same thing because he gave Alayah the date rose (for the date she wasn't on) and welcomed her back to the show, offering a nice slap in the face to all of the other women who had just destroyed themselves playing a game of football to win time with him. They were already forced to share the time since the game ended in a tie, and now this s--t.
They very correctly pointed this out, and Peter's response was also valid. He only didn't give Alayah a rose in the last ceremony because he was convinced not to by the other women, and he wanted to give her that rose, so now he just gave her the next available rose.
The only good thing about any of this (from our perspective) was that Alayah got to go home for a bit and go on the internet, meaning she already knew about Victoria and Chase Rice and was happy to share the news with the other girls when she realized they didn't know, and now we need a full video of her sharing everything she had learned.
This was highly entertaining to watch but Victoria F. saw it as a betrayal, and just another piece of evidence that Alayah is manipulative and terrible, and the way she handled it was so aggressive (after her whole date was spent desperately trying to be cute as a button) that we find ourselves fully torn. None of these people are appealing to watch. None of them seem fun to hang out with.
The ones who seem cool are the ones who haven't gotten any screentime, and are just sitting there wondering how this man could be treating them this way by not seeing them whatsoever.
To be fair to Peter, this is a lot of women to pay attention to at once. It's hard enough to build a relationship with one person, let alone 16, especially when at least one of them is definitely lying to you. It's also the dumbest thing to be lying about, whoever is lying. Alayah didn't even seem upset about the main thing that Victoria P. had told Peter, which was that Alayah had said to pretend they didn't know each other. Now Alayah actually seems mad that Victoria is saying they didn't know each other as well as she's saying they did. It's a goddamn mess.
Everyone in this situation and on this show has a right to be mad right now, and we have a right to be super annoyed right now. This is not the type of drama we're here for. Stolen champagne? Absolutely. Dates involving "private" concerts from an ex-boyfriend/hookup? 100%. More details from Kelsey on her dad moving to Mexico and abandoning her and her family during basketball practice? Yes please. Former Bachelorettes returning to confess their love and confusion? We love to see it. Pageant girls lying about how well they know each other? Pass.
Truly, get out of here with this. Ban pageant girls from being contestants on this show. Get rid of both Alayah and Victoria. We are tired and we just need to get to the point where we can remember everyone's names and we actually care about the drama.
Hopefully that's all coming, but at the very least, it appears we're getting close to seeing Peter's freak golf cart accident!
That's what we're living for at this point.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.