‘Bachelor’ 2020 power rankings: Is Madison really gone after ‘fantasy suites’?02/25/2020
This Monday was the “fantasy suites” episode of “The Bachelor,” colloquially known as the “Night of a Thousand Sex Euphemisms.”
During his overnight dates in Australia, Peter Weber “explores” his remaining relationships and “gets to spend more time” with them in order to “take things to new heights.”
Of course, with Madison, there is neither fantasy nor suites. The episode begins with her warning Peter that she didn’t think she could continue on the show if he were to be “intimate” with other women, which was never going to be in the cards for the notorious lover of windmill sex. Peter isn’t very good at being the bachelor, but we know from Hannah B. that he is very good at sex. We also now know that he does what he does best with both Hannah Ann and Victoria.
It doesn’t help that — in an absolutely sinister plot twist courtesy of the producers — the three women stay in the same room together throughout the entire week. Not only does Madison have the last date, she is forced to watch from the living room as the other two contestants return from theirs in the morning. It all culminates with her appearing to walk off the show at the end of the episode.
There are only two episodes left, with one being the “Women Tell All,” so we’re getting very close to the end here. Therefore, we have a pretty good idea of where Peter’s head is at and how the competition for his heart is shaping up. Here’s where the rankings stand as we approach the home stretch. Be sure to brush up on last week’s rankings.
I know, I know: She leaves. But there are plenty of reasons to believe she is still the favorite, despite what appeared to happen last night. Hear me out on this one.
First, the date. Peter and Madison begin the day with a treacherous climb up a tall building, which would already be the world’s most obvious metaphor for their relationship even if she doesn’t narrate the whole thing step for step.
“Sometimes the wind is against you, the world is against you, but you keep going, keep taking those steps,” she says. “Because once you get to the top and you see that view, it’s all worth it.”
Then, the dinner. As a quick refresher, Madison is religious and is saving herself for marriage, a fact she has alluded to several times but has never outright said to Peter. Here, she finally reveals the truth, then follows up on her concern from earlier and asks him whether or not he was “intimate” with the other women. (Side note: For the amount of weight the fantasy suite episodes are given, it’s kind of strange how rarely anyone says the word “sex.” This show has an uncanny ability to be both hyper-sexualized and weirdly repressed at the same time.)
We have given Peter a lot of grief over his decision-making throughout the season, and it’d be tempting to pile on here. She asked him not to sleep with anyone else, and he slept with everyone else. But this is a rare moment where Peter was actually in the right, and things went horribly wrong for him anyway.
For one, Madison definitely should have told him she was a virgin earlier than an hour before they were supposed to spend the night together. At the very least, it would have helped Peter better understand her thought process behind the “ultimatum” she gives at the episode’s outset.
Perhaps more importantly, this is a classic situation where real-world relationship dynamics just don’t apply. Most would agree that wanting a man to refrain from sex with two other women a week before he proposes to you is a fair request. But this is “The Bachelor.” The fantasy suites happen twice every year. It’s stunning how every season, someone is shocked by the idea that the person they are dating is, in fact, dating other people, and could, in fact, have sex with them on the night where everyone is supposed to have sex. Plus, Peter’s one defining characteristic, other than being a pilot, is that he loves to bone. This isn’t some Luke P.-style crusade for control — it’s hard not to feel for Madison — but it can definitely be argued that she should have known what she was getting into.
All things considered, she’s perhaps still the front-runner. In previews for the season finale, Peter’s mother tearfully says, “don’t let her go” and “bring her home.” And there are countless reasons to believe she is referring to Madison. For one, Madison met his mom already, which might explain this emotional connection. And by saying “don’t let her go,” the woman in question probably must be at risk of leaving in some capacity. Hannah Ann and Victoria both appear to be in it for the long haul, and the “religious virgin tries to work it out with the promiscuous pilot” storyline would be so “Bachelor” it should come with a side of “can I steal you?” We all know some huge twist is waiting for us, and my guess is that this is it.
2. Hannah Ann
Hannah Ann gets the first date of the episode, and much like every other date she has had with Peter, there simply isn’t much to digest. The two walk through town, making bad Australia jokes in bad Australian accents. Hannah Ann acts shocked to find out Peter has rented them jet skis, then undresses to reveal she’s already wearing a bathing suit. They eat dinner. Inside the fantasy suite, things quickly ramp up from a PG-rated kissing session to a steamy re-enactment of that scene from “Titanic” where they bang in the back seat of a car.
If you are to believe that Madison really is gone, Hannah Ann would be your front-runner. Peter has already told her he loves her, and the 23-year-old model from Tennessee fits every traditional metric of a “Bachelor” heavyweight. But there just isn’t a ton of visible chemistry between them, and we don’t know much, if anything, about her. In every way, she is this season’s Hannah G., and it’s much easier to see her as a “Bachelor in Paradise” star than a woman one week away from receiving a proposal.
Peter’s date with Victoria was infuriating, but it wasn’t that infuriating, which is a major win at this point. There are plenty of stupid platitudes from Peter, including one moment where he says he has to work harder with Victoria than the other women and “doesn’t know why that’s the case.” Bro, how could you be the only one in America who doesn’t know?
The two somehow don’t get into a major argument throughout the entire day, which even surprises Victoria: “We haven’t fought! Yet.” Then they go to the fantasy suites, and we see a genuine smile from her in the morning. When she returns home, she tells Madison and Hannah Ann that her night was “productive,” which is easily the best sex euphemism the episode has to offer.
If you’re afraid that Victoria is going to somehow weasel her way to a proposal, don’t fret. She is the only person to whom he hasn’t directly said “I love you.” And Peter’s endgame was clearly keeping her around long enough for them to get “productive.” Now that they’ve done that, her time is likely up.
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