Welcome back, folks! Let’s all take a break from all the “Scandoval” of Vanderpump Rules and spend some time in Budpest with The Bachelor.
This week Zach Shallcross has gone south. Literally, there was a map and everything, to spend some time with the remaining women in Hungary. Which Zach called “the epitome of romance.”
It actually looked quite similar to Tallinn, with the cobblestones and the beautiful architecture. Also, as Zach told us, “It’s the perfect environment to fall in love!” Okay, then.
As he strolled the streets of Budapest, Zach reminded us that this week the rose will be more “impactful,” since the women who get roses this week will be taking him home to meet their families.
On a different street in Budapest, the women came around the corner, admiring the sites. There are only six of them left this week (plus Greer, who got left back in Tallinn in COVID isolation). Yay!
“Budapest is absolutely stunning,” Kaity said. “Jaw on the ground!” Kaity was feeling confident in her relationship with the Bachelor and was (obviously!) hoping for a one-on-one this week. Please, Kaity! Don’t start with the one-on-one again. Remember what happened to Jess last week?
Zach And Jesse Palmer Play Bachelor Jeopardy
While the women were all missing Zach and hoping they’d get to see him soon, Zach was meeting with show host Jesse Palmer in an open courtyard somewhere. They exchanged a big hug, as Jesse asked Zach, “How are you doing, man?” Jesse reminded Zach that Greer, who was quarantining back in Tallinn, was apparently cleared of COVID and “on her way” to Budapest.
Though Zach was excited to see her again, not seeing her for the time she was in isolation had “jeopardized” what the two of them had. Now, wait just a minute, buddy. You were in quarantine when you were actually sick with COVID, and I didn’t hear you talk about how any of the other relationships you had were jeopardized. That doesn’t seem quite fair.
As the ladies arrived at their absolutely gorgeous hotel, they walked into an enclosed courtyard with white stone arches everywhere. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Once they got to their suite, they engaged in all the obligatory activities like bouncing on the beds, getting fingerprints all over the glass shower enclosure, and jumping up and down in an empty jacuzzi. What? No screaming Zach’s name from the balcony this week?
The First One-on-One Date: Funiculars, Typewriters, And (Really) Bad Poetry
The six women (Greer was still en route) sat waiting on the couch when they heard the ominous knock on the door. Jesse predicted that somebody was going on a second one-on-one date this week. It’s a good thing Jess wasn’t around to hear this news because she would have lost her mind (again).
Ariel was the date card retriever this time and read aloud, “Kaity, let’s fall in love in Budapest. – Zach.” Hmmmm, cryptic. I’m thinking bungee jumping since he’s already “fallen” out of an airplane this season.
As the rest of the women pretend to be happy for Kaity, Brooklyn honestly said, “Dammit! I wanted that one-on-one.” Don’t worry, Brooklyn, you can get your revenge on Kaity by pulling Zach out into the hallway for a little smooch when he arrives to pick her up. I’m sure she’ll be okay with that if you just tell her, “I’m dating him, too, and I had to get my time.”
As she met Zach in yet another beautiful outdoor courtyard, Kaity successfully pulled off the traditional Bachelor greeting of the jump-and-wrap move. I worry for Zach’s back every time he has to catch one of these women mid-leap.
The first stop was a ride up the hill on a cute little funicular railway. Kaity didn’t know what a funicular was, but I did. This is not my first Bachelor episode. The view at the top was incredible. The architecture of the city of Budapest is amazing.
Next, they enjoyed a local “favorite” drink the vendor told Zach would “increase your appetite for everything) — wink, wink. Then they ran into some ladies in traditional Hungarian dress who asked how long they’d been dating. Kaity said it was “just a couple of weeks,” but Zach corrected her with “seven weeks.” He knew what episode they were on.
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Zach Fails Lyrical Composition 101
Afterward, they came upon an old-fashioned manual typewriter sitting next to a sign that read (in English, as well as Hungarian):
“This is where lovers come to share their hearts
And to find the keys that unlock love’s fiery sparks.
Read it aloud and seal it with a kiss
And one day you’ll have true love’s bliss.”
Okay, maybe it was better in Hungarian. Cute, but not gonna win any poetry contests. Zach surmised that they were writing a poem and volunteered to go first. Not very gentlemanly, Zach.
Zach approached his poem as if he were writing a letter and started it with, “Dear Kaity.” While he was composing his lyrical love letter, Kaity was thinking how he’s “really the perfect man,” even while she was making fun of how long he was taking to write her a love poem, “Those look like run-on sentences, Zach.” Everyone’s a critic.
The end result really was more of a letter than a poem. There was no alliteration, no rhyme or rhythm, no heightened language (forgive me, I was an English Lit major and had to write poetry one whole semester in college). “Dear Kaity,” Zach read aloud, “ever since the day I met you, I knew there would be something special. And the way you’ve made me feel and the way we lock eyes makes me feel happy for the future.” Zach really didn’t understand the assignment. And of course, she LOVED it.
So Kaity wrote a letter back to him. The camera zoomed in to highlight her terrible typing skills (I guess ER Nurses aren’t required to type much.) Kaity read her creation out loud and it was as bad as Zach’s: “Dear Zachary Shacklecross (Zach’s family’s ancestral name), Ever since I met you, you’ve made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Every moment I spend with you means so much to me, and I can’t wait for all the adventures to come. Love, Kaity.” She basically just repeated everything Zach wrote, but he also loved it. Kaity’s a copycat. My son wrote me better poetry when he was in the third grade.
Back at the hotel, the women were already worried about the next date card. Brooklyn was not only worried about who would be going on the group date vs. who would get the other one-on-one, but she was also anxious about the Hometown dates and where Greer would “fit into the equation.” Knock, knock, knock!
This time Charity went to retrieve the date card and read it aloud: “Ariel, Charity, Gabi, . . . Kat, Love is the only thing on my mind. – Zach.” Brooklyn was thrilled to realize she would have “the last one-on-one before Hometowns.” She admitted that even though she was excited, she was also nervous.
Dinner At Hungary’s Oldest Bathhouse
Zach and Kaity went to dinner at what he says is the “oldest bathhouse in all of Hungary.” It was beautiful, with lots of statues, marble columns, and high ceilings. My friend Google told me it was the Kiraly Bath.
When they sat down, Zach immediately proposed a toast to Kaity for making him feel “so special and safe and flabbergasted.” Flabbergasted?! Then he asked her, “What do you want?”
Kaity took a big breath and said, “One thing I want is a family. That’s huge to me.” Kaity said she wanted “stability,” because she’d never felt that before from a man. She told him she wanted someone who was going to “be there,” and that when she was with him, she felt that safety and security. She also said she thought Zach would be a great father and husband.
Kaity then told Zach that if he came to her hometown to meet her family, he would meet her mom, but not her dad. Her dad left them when Kaity was very young, and she never really met him until she was 16. When his mother passed away, Kaity’s dad tried to come back into her and her brother’s lives, but it was too late at that point. Then her mother had another relationship with a man who became a father figure to Kaity, but again he left when she was in eighth grade. So Kaity has lost two father figures in her life. That’s really sad.
Zach was speechless and struggled to make a reply, but when Kaity became teary, he told her that he cared about her. So Kaity got the first rose, which meant that Zach would be going to Austin, Texas, to meet her family.
After dinner, they got to go into one of the baths in a big echoey, tiled room. A sign on the wall said the water was 36 degrees Celsius, which converts to 96.8 Fahrenheit. Close enough to body temperature to be quite comfortable.
Greer Returns COVID-Free
Greer is back! She was quarantined for six days, but she finally tested negative for COVID and she “feels great.” She was happy to be returning, so she can continue her story with Zach. I hope this wasn’t a giant foreshadowing, because she told us, “I can’t wait to get to Budapest.” You’d better hurry up and get there, Greer, or it may be too late for you.
The Group Date Was (Not So) Magical
The four ladies who were going on the group date strolled around a corner on the way to meet Zach. “What do you think we’re doing?” someone asked. They were all dressed very nicely (some in dresses), so it didn’t look like they were going to a picnic. Ariel was really hoping to get the rose for this date. I’m sure they all were since it would ensure Zach coming to her hometown.
They walked into a theater to find all the lights flashing and Zach waiting for them with another person. Zach explained that Budapest was the “birthplace of magic . . . and you don’t need magic to find love, but I think you need magic to find some answers and clarity.” A magician, who Zach never bothered to introduce (so rude, Zach!) had the women close one hand in front of them, while he drew a small red heart onto Zach’s palm. After “taking” the heart from Zach’s hand and pretending to blow it toward the ladies, the magician said, “If the connection is real, the heart should appear. Check your hands.”
They all looked at their palms, but only Gabi gasped, “I got it!” She opened her hand to show everyone the same small red heart that had been on Zach’s hand. Gabi’s mind was blown. “Holy shitake mushrooms!”
At last, the magician introduced himself. “Hello, ladies. I’m Labib Malik. I’m a magician and mentalist. Now as our minds are open and we have witnessed the power of mentalism, I’m going to read your minds.” I could do that: they all want the date rose. Am I right?
Mr. Malik told them he was going to ask them some questions, but warned them not to lie to him in their answers because he would know. He asked each of them a question requiring a one-word response, and in every case, he wrote their answers on a small chalkboard before they said them out loud. It was pretty amazing. Labib should go on America’s Got Talent.
As they left the theater, everyone seemed unsettled. Gabi was having serious doubts about whether Zach really wanted her, and Kat was in tears. They didn’t seem to enjoy the mentalist as much as I did.
The Group Date After Party: Tears, Tension & Terror
Going into the evening portion of the group date, everyone seemed to be in their heads. So much was on the line with getting a rose. They all wanted to be assured of taking Zach home to meet their families. So much pressure!
When Zach arrived, he told the women that he appreciated that everyone had been vulnerable with the mentalist. “At this point,” he said, “I’m meeting families in a few days, and what that rose means is that I am confident to meet your family.” That’s why they’re all quietly freaking out right now, Zach. And with that, he asked Ariel to join him for a private conversation.
Ariel admitted to Zach that she swears too much. Both of them laughed about their parents having to hear their bad words on TV. Ariel told Zach that her family is Ukrainian-Jewish, “a community that is so loving, so fun, so funny.” Even though she has so much love from her family, Ariel told Zach that she wanted a partner most of all in the world.
Charity told Zach that she was terrified of getting her heart broken, but it was a risk that she was willing to take. In an interview, Zach complimented her “openness and honesty,” and said their time together “went incredibly well.”
Gabi was in her own head about the magician saying she “confuses people.” She has ADHD and obsesses over things. She was worried that her perfectionism would be too much for Zach to handle. Zach told her, “That’s real life. You bring this personality that is really fun to be around.”
Kat was feeling very emotional and that she had closed herself off over the past week. She was also terrified about how Zach would receive her confession of how she’d been feeling. During their time together, Zach admitted to being confused, especially since Kat had said she wanted to leave. Her uncertainty was making him nervous. Kat finally assured Zach that she “decided to go through the storm” because she wanted to be with him. Zach told her he felt better after talking to her, and so did Kat.
When he returned to the women, Zach told them “This rose means I’m sure, I’m excited, and more than confident to meet your family.” That said, he offered the rose to Gabi, and she happily accepted it.
Greer Returns After Quarantine — But It’s Too Late
Zach was just sitting in his room, mentally preparing for his one-on-one date with Brooklyn, when Greer knocked on his door. She was back and excited to pick things up where they left off, hoping she hadn’t fallen too far behind the other women. (Does anybody else have trouble telling Greer apart from Gabi? I’m constantly confusing the two!)
Greer hadn’t seen Zach in person since they were in the Bahamas (three weeks prior), so she was happy to see him again. She gave him a big hug as soon as he opened the door. When they sat down together, she told him she did see “something” between them, and she was wondering where he was at.
While Zach admitted that there had been chemistry that first night, when he’d given Greer the First Impression Rose, “There’s been a lot that’s gone on over the past weeks.” He described the time that had been stolen from them as “the most painful part of this” (uh-oh, doesn’t sound good for Greer). “A lot of connections got really strong” while she was gone, Zach said. Sadly, Zach admitted that he didn’t feel 100% confident that he saw a future with Greer, so he didn’t feel comfortable giving her a rose that would guarantee a Hometown date. Too much time had been lost. Poor Greer.
Though he “thinks the world of” Greer, they just lost too much time together and the other relationships grew stronger. And with that, Zach walked her to the door and wished her a safe trip home. Don’t be sad, Greer. There’s always Bachelor in Paradise.
The Second One-on-One Date: Zach And Brooklyn Took Their Love To New Heights — And Also Took a “Group Bath”
Despite his “difficult morning” with Greer, Zach was looking forward to seeing Brooklyn. The last date he had with her was in the Bahamas, so he was excited to have time with her again.
When she saw Zach, Brooklyn performed an awkward jump-and-wrap on Zach. She didn’t quite get her legs all the way around him, and it was just not pretty. After saying how grateful he was for the cooler weather after “sweating my ass off” in the Bahamas, he told Brooklyn they were going to spend the day “doing what the locals do.”
The first activity was bicycling, which was tough for both of them. Brooklyn confessed that even though she rides and ropes horses for a living, “I think the last time I was on a bike, I was probably, like, 12.”
Finally, they parked the bikes, and Zach said, “Here’s our ride around Budapest,” as he gestured toward a huge red and white striped hot air balloon. Cool! They were both a little nervous to be so high in the air. Toughen up, cupcakes! I’ve been hot-air ballooning in Napa Valley (twice), and we didn’t even have that net holding us in the basket. It wasn’t that scary. And they were on a tether, so it’s not like they had to depend on the wind to take them anywhere. What a view, though!
Brooklyn mentioned, “The date is taking our love to new heights.” I think they edited out Brooklyn’s date card, cause that sounds like something that would have been written on a date card.
Back on the ground, Zach and Brooklyn were at “the most traditional Hungarian thing you can do: the ultimate spa house.” It was a giant outdoor heated swimming pool! More hot water. But is it 36 degrees? It looked chilly outside, but there was steam coming off the water, so it looked cozy and inviting on a cold day.
At dinner that evening, Brooklyn said how excited she was for Zach to meet her family. She told him that while he wouldn’t be meeting her biological dad, he would meet “the man who raised me,” her grandpa. About her grandpa, Brooklyn said, “He stepped in when my dad stepped out, and I’m eternally grateful for that. He’s my hero.” After assuring Zach that she did see a future with him and wanted to introduce him to her family, he claimed to need a moment away to just process and think about things.
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When he returned to the table, Zach told Brooklyn that, after hearing her talk about her family and how much they want her to have love in her life, he was not feeling fully confident about meeting them. He didn’t feel it was fair to mislead them when he wasn’t seeing a future with her. “You do deserve the love I can’t give you,” Zach finally told her. Brooklyn thanked him for his honesty, and he walked her to the waiting car.
The Rose Ceremony: Two Will Stay And One Will Go
Only five women were left at the Rose Ceremony. Two already had roses, and the other three were hoping to get the rose which would mean taking Zach home to meet their families. Jesse shook Zach’s hand as he said, “You’ve got a big one tonight.” Meaning the Rose Ceremony, of course! (What were you thinking?) Zach admitted to being nervous since he had “connections with every single one of those women in there.”
Thankfully, we were spared the awkwardness of a Cocktail Party, and Zach jumped right into the business of handing out roses. Only two roses lay on the table. The first rose went to Ariel, and the second to Charity. So sorry, Kat. After telling her how sorry he was, Jesse added, “Please take a moment and say your goodbyes.”
Zach walked a tearful Kat out, and they sat for a moment on a stone bench to talk. He told her that they had had a very strong connection when they were in the Bahamas, but “over the past couple of weeks, it changed.” He just didn’t see a “confident future” with Kat. After basically telling her, “It’s not you, it’s me,” he walked her to the car and hugged her goodbye.
Next week on The Bachelor: “It’s a Bachelor double-header, Monday and Tuesday!” O.M.G. The Hometown Dates are on Monday, and the Women Tell All is Tuesday. That means I get to stay up two late nights in a row recapping this s**t. Yippee!
Then in two weeks, it’s Fantasy Suites. But as Zach told Jesse, there will be “no sex.” Wow! Good for him! Oh, but then we were shown a “Do Not Disturb” sign being placed on a door, and somebody whispering, “Zach and I are gonna have a really sexy time,” followed by the Bachelor admitting, “I really [bleeped] it up.” Ooooooh, drama!
TELL US – WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT GREER FLEW ALL THE WAY TO BUDAPEST, ONLY TO HAVE ZACH SEND HER HOME? DID YOU SEE KAT’S ELIMINATION COMING? AND WHO KNEW THAT SPAS AND BATHHOUSES WERE SUCH A BIG DEAL IN BUDAPEST?
[Photo Credit: ABC/Nino Munoz]