Two episodes in, and I'm still not exactly sure what "The Bachelor: Oops! All Jeds" is trying to prove.
Ostensibly, this musical spinoff would focus on the music side of these new contestants' lives – but so far, the only difference this and standard edition "Bachelor" is that everybody gets a "fun" and "exciting" concert date, and the surprise act playing is always them. So the music's MUCH worse. Oh, and also the women are allowed to have color in their hair, and the fellas are allowed to have full beards. I take everything back: TRULY A REVELATORY NEW SERIES!
But really, it's just "The Bachelor" again – the same dramas, the same formulas and the same bland romances just with faker people, more karaoke tacked on and thankfully fewer episodes. And hey, look at that: We're one-third the way done already!
Tonight the Jeds get offered a plethora of date cards from Harrison in the hopes that they'll find love or, at the very least, personalities. The first one goes to Jamie and Trevor, though, so OH WELL TO THAT. Jamie's excited to foster more romantic chemistry and musical chemistry – but why? To what end? Are these people looking for a singing partner or a life partner? And why are my ears bleeding?
Anyways, the duo's date takes them to the Venice Beach boardwalk to busk. So her first date took her to Capitol Records to record with star producers and get an incredible view of the city, and now she's standing on a sidewalk singing for lunch money. It would seem the date budget has already been exhausted. (Thanks a lot, Plain White Ts.) Their one-song busking tour goes really well for the two of them – but not for me or anyone else who possesses eardrums. Singing Little Big Town's "Girl Crush," the two are not particularly notable performers; Jamie's voice isn't actively harmful while Trevor ... exists. Crooning a sanded-down and beige version of the emotional song, they stare at one another during the entire song instead of playing to the crowd or even acknowledging the sparse (and probably producer-lured) gathering at any point. Because how else will I know if they're falling in love unless they just stare at each other during the entire song like the lyrics are printed on each other's foreheads?! And also: Who chooses a slow song to busk with? Play something with energy to get people's attention!
By the end, I think Bud Grossman from "Inside Llewyn Davis" said it best:
After they've busked enough money for a few Subway $5 footlongs, the two go off to what appears to be a public hot tub by the beach. DO NOT TRUST. That hot tub could be filled with bubbling Purell, and I still wouldn't go in there unless I was wearing a full hazmat suit. These two pre-pandemic cuties, however, don't care and cuddle in the sketchy hot tub while talking about past relationships. I fear for them. But hey, at least Jamie is happy, telling the camera that she's so extremely happy and that she can't see anything going wrong.
OOPS, YOU'VE SAID THE MAGIC WORDS, JAMIE!
As if on cue, the producers drop a new person off at the mansion: Natascha, a pop singer from California who says that she's "not a diva ... but I'm a diva" – so place your bets now on when she inevitably says she's not there to make friends. More importantly, though, she JUST HAPPENS to be good friends with Trevor's ex, who did not have a good time during their breakup. Apparently, Trevor did his share of lying and cheating. OH NO, AND JAMIE JUST TOLD HIM IN THE CESSPOOL THAT ALL HER PAST BOYFRIENDS CHEATED ON HER! Who could've foreseen such a wild and unpredictable turn of events.
When Jamie and Trevor return to the mansion, Natascha immediately wants to talk with Trevor – now. She was rolled into this building like a grenade by the producers, and she is not wasting any time blowing things up. SHE IS HERE TO CAUSE A RUCKUS. She calls him out and gets him to admit that he did some lying and emotional cheating during the end of his past relationship, while Jamie gets the dirt from the rest of the girls and cries for about the fourteenth time in less than three hours of television. The lesson here? Don't date guys who play music and wear tan jackets with furry collars.
After Natascha does her duty, Jamie and Trevor talk things out, as he tries to explain that he never physically cheated on his ex but he did emotionally cheat via text messages. Welp, that's not significantly better. He also explains that, "I wanted to be honest with you." See, Jamie, that's why he waited until someone arrived at the mansion with his dirty laundry to tell you! Because honesty! Anyways, this all works and the two stay together because these people hurt my brain.
Thankfully, it's time for another date card – this time to Chris and Bri, who've already fallen in love despite this show only existing for about 45 minutes. (OK, apparently they've been in the mansion for about two weeks. Hold on a second, how much footage has this show had to scrap? THIS IS THE GOOD MATERIAL!?) So what romantic date does "The Bachelor: Oops! All Jeds" have planned? An after-hours trip to a Guitar Center. A romantic trip to a chain store; boy, isn't that just about everything wrong with this spinoff in seven quick words. Here's to an intimate dinner at Applebee's and a gig at Planet Hollywood up next. Still, even though the date is far from special, Chris and Bri seem fairly cute (for a couple that's already in love after two episodes), and when they sing together, I don't completely regret having all five senses. MONEY WELL SPENT, GUITAR CENTER!
Speaking of product placement, it's time to head to IHeartMedia for date number three of the night: Sheridan aka Faux Bice and Julia. The two get a guest spot on a local radio show where they get the typical press tour questions – save for one moment when the co-host asks if they've kissed other people on the show, and while Faux Bice hasn't, Julia has. HIGH FIVE, CO-HOST! A-grade awkward airtime. In an attempt to make things less uncomfortable and tense, the radio show asks the two to sing them a duet – which Sheridan and Julia just happen to have ready. Every date on this show is like Kristen Wiig's "Don't Make Me Sing" character from "SNL." The two actually have decent voices with actual texture so their rendition of Maren Morris' "The Bones" is probably the best thing we've heard so far – though it's still not really moving watching these performers clumsily read lyrics off a music stand at each other.
Back at the mansion, two new girls show up: Mariana and pink-haired Ruby – which is great because there's already a person named Rudi and Mel already has uniquely colored hair. IT'S NOT "THE BACHELOR" UNLESS I'M CONFUSING 75% OF THE CAST FOR EACH OTHER! In general, I find it annoying when reality competition shows add people mid-stream; the new cast members never feel like a part of the group, you don't feel the same connection to them and it's basically just the show admitting to the audience that they didn't cast enough interesting people the first time.
Surprise! It's time for the episode's FOURTH date card of the night, this time going to Savannah, who is a person on this show. She asks out former military dude Brandon, and he accepts – breaking Mel's heart because she thought they had something and that she was ready to fall in love with him. Cue my favorite unintentionally hilarious moment of the night: Mel off sobbing and sad before the show asks for audition requests for Clare Crawley's upcoming "Bachelorette" season. That's right, folks: You see that tear-soaked contestant with the broken heart questioning all of her life choices from two seconds ago? THAT COULD BE YOU!
While Mel picks up the pieces of her shattered heart, Brandon and Savannah go to Dresden jazz club where WHAA, IT'S OPEN MIC NIGHT!? DON'T MAKE ME SING! The two bust out a lethally adequate rendition of "Fever," sung with all the simmering heat of an uncooked frozen meal and all the steamy passion of C-SPAN covering said uncooked microwaveable meal. Again, it's karaoke sung straight off a music stand in front of a crowd that probably expected a better show – and gives the two polite but unimpressed applause to prove it.
Speaking of unimpressed, back at the mansion, despite having one of the few musical moments that didn't cause ear trauma, Julia is nonplussed with her connection with Faux Bice – so she tells him that she's gonna go flirt with other people, particularly ones named Brandon. Sheridan's all sad now – and you can tell because some of the other cast members are singing a sad heartbreak song at the piano while he's processing this news. In my version of the show, he runs into the living room and yells, "DO YOU MIND!?" at the people plunking away at their tragic ballad – but unfortunately, we got "The Bachelor: Oops! All Jeds," so he just wallows while Chris Harrison congratulates himself in the very next scene about how well this is all going.
Harrison isn't just there to proudly say "this is working" despite all the evidence to the contrary, though. He's also there to get the cocktail party started, where Brandon is a hot commodity. Mel's trying hard to get with him. Julia's trying hard to get with him. Savannah isn't trying hard to get with him ... because she already got with him on their date. And meanwhile, Faux Bice is off in the corner sad because Julia dumped him for Brandon. This is more like a love pentagon than a love triangle – SO HOW IS IT SO BORING!?
Elsewhere at the shindig, other ladies are trying to guarantee their way into another week of Spotify exposure so Natascha grabs Ryan – aka Dark Universe Shawn Mendes – and heavy-duty flirts with him. He doesn't seem to buy it at all, but the two still end up making out. Good for them ... until about ten seconds later when he's making out with Rudi, who also went to him in the hopes of scoring his rose this week. However, she doesn't feel any connection whatsoever with our Shawn Mendes body double, so she goes off to talk to Matt, her former fling from last week. And when I say "talk," I mean "bombard with loud noises and movements." I was scared for Matt on multiple occasions.
Thankfully, he's saved by the rose ceremony – which this week puts the man Jeds in control. Chris gives his rose to Bri, because duh. Trevor gives his carnation to Jamie so they can bore us more next week. Matt's up next, deciding between Rudi or Cheyenne. Will he pick the woman who had lines this week or the woman who I didn't even know was on the show until literally right this second? HMMM! So yeah, sorry, Cheyenne. Poor girl; I think some cameramen even got more screen time than her.
Back to the rose ceremony, despite Trevor's thoughts and prayers, Natascha is staying for another week thanks to Dark Universe Shawn Mendes' rose – which makes me wonder if she has more secrets to spill. A man named Danny gives his rose to a woman named Bekah – both allegedly contestants on this show. And speaking of mystery people, there's also a guy named Gabe who's supposedly been here this whole time. Feels like a sign of bad storytelling if, after two episodes, I still can't tell somebody is a cast member or a lost gaffer who accidentally wandered on screen. Anyways, he gives his rose to Ruby. And as for our love pentagon, Brandon gives his rose to his date Savannah, leaving Julia's fate in the hands of the man she scorned: Faux Bice. Lucky for her, Sheridan has a heart bigger than his hat collection and gives her a rose and a second chance – leaving Mel, Cheyenne and a new girl whose name no one bothered to learn to make their way to the exit.
And thus ends another pitchy week of "The Bachelor: Oops! All Jeds" – but things could get actually entertaining next week as the couples have to perform in front of a studio audience and a judging panel, putting their professional and personal connections under the microscope. This has all been a bad idea so far – but if it leads to Kesha crushing people's hopes, dreams and relationships on national television, it could suddenly be brilliant.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.