'The Bachelor Winter Games' Season 1, Episode 2 Recap: Michael, Who Are You?


I’m here for the right reasons—to give you a Bachelor Winter Games recap full of sass and wit, of course—so let’s get right to it.

We open with Clare enjoying breakfast with her two love interests: Benoit and Christian. This would stress a lesser woman (read: me) out, but not Clare. She pulls it off with a light giggle and a flick of her hair. Neither of these bozos seem to realize she’s flirting with the other! How does she do it? But Clare’s not the only one keeping her options open: Luke enjoyed his date with Rebecca, but now he’s interested in Stassi because they bonded over their “bad hearts.” (His words, not mine.)

Hopefully he can win a date card to figure out if there’s more there, because it’s time for today’s competition: speed skating. Chris Harrison generously gives them some time to practice before the race begins, but it’s tough stuff. Everyone’s falling. Everyone’s flirting awkwardly. Of course, Canadian Ben Higgins is the best skater of the group because, well, Canada. Meanwhile, Real Ben Higgins is nervous that Ashley’s crush on Canadian Ben Higgins won’t end well. Good instincts, RBH.

Moving on…to gratuitous shots of the men, shirtless, zipping into their tight spandex onesies.

“Let’s see those packages!” – Some randy woman

Once the men reveal their skating outfits, several jokes about shrinkage are made. “Yeah, it’s embarrassing,” Courtney says. I’m not sure if he’s referring to the shrinkage or this whole show in general, but probably both. Shrinkage or not, it’s time for the races to begin. I’ll skip the details because they aren’t that interesting, so all you need to know is that Rebecca and Lily won the women’s qualifiers and Kevin and Christian won the men’s.

“There’s no speed in Higgins, either.” – Hannah Storm with the BURN

Did you catch that quick blink-or-you’ll-miss-it scene of Michael falling? MICHAEL, WHO ARE YOU?! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

MICHAEL GAROFOLA

PHOTO: Lorenzo Bevilaqua

This is Michael.

There’s a twist this time with the games: The worst skaters from each race will be advancing—not the winners—so that means Dean, Ben, Luke, and Michael are competing for a date card while Ashley, Stassi, Ally, and Bibiana must race each other for one.

Rebecca doesn’t take well to this development, and suggests everyone should fall or “break their legs or something.” Damn. It’s brutal, but I guess she really did come here to win. Others, however, seem more interested in flirting with each other than the actual competition. Clare and Christian make a jacuzzi date for that evening, while Luke and Dean go for an unzipped ski look that screams, “I need attention.”

When the men race, Dean wins “by a chest hair”—literally.

During the women’s competition, Josiah randomly just comes out onto the rink to skate with Ally, which, smooth move. They give up on the race and just skate off hand in hand.

“He’s the real winner,” – My husband, Bill, is rooting for Josiah

Stassi wins, which means she and Dean each have a date card. After the competition, everyone arrives at the villa to a surprise: Jordan from New Zealand sitting in the living room. Kevin’s offended that he didn’t get up and meet them at the door, but I don’t see why. If I offended somebody every time I chose a couch over standing, I would have zero friends left.

“Buddy, you’re the new guy, get up.” – Kevin. KEVIN, YOU ARE ALSO THE NEW GUY.

Jordan starts off on a bad note with everyone, though. Apparently on his season of The Bachelor he flipped a coin to pick who would win, and this is considered Very Very Offensive. (I would argue that worse crimes have been committed on this show, like giving Brad Womack two seasons, but OK.) Everyone stands in the kitchen and gossips about this coin flip, until Ben Higgins finally suggests they ask Jordan about it directly. Jordan admits that, yes, he did the coin flip, but he’s hoping he can redeem himself. They all cheer to “owning up to their mistakes.”

Stassi’s intrigued by this new guy, but she ends up picking Luke for her date. He describes her as “exotic” which…no, wrong choice of words.

Meanwhile, it turns out Ashley wasn’t misled by Kevin at all: He’s over Bibiana and into her now. In true Ashley form, she’s basically already writing Mrs. Canadian Ben Higgins into her journal. We don’t see Kevin’s breakup with Bibiana go down, though, and that might be the ultimate Bachelor crime. Where were the producers? The cameras? There is a house filled with people who are getting paid to kiss and fight, and you don’t have eyes on this “breakup?” Rude.

“I’m in seventh Kevin.” – Ashley. No, really, she actually says this.

Instead, we get to watch what feels like an hour-long scene between Lesley and Dean. She calls him out for being standoffish, and he admits that he pulled back because he got in trouble on Bachelor in Paradise for moving too fast. Lesley is a 30-year-old woman who says she knows what she wants, which is why I suggest she stops putting so much time and energy into Fuckboi Dean. She suggests he “man up” and kiss her, and he just looks at her like a lost puppy. At one point, he brags, “I was the fastest skater today!” She agrees to a date.

Then we spend a lot of time watching Christian be sad that Clare’s stood him up on their hot tub date.

“In Germany when we say we go in the jacuzzi, it’s a date.” – Christian. How often does this hyper-specific situation happen in Germany?

The next day, over breakfast, Jordan and Bibi start forming a connection as the others head out on their dates. Luke and Stassi ride in a horse-drawn carriage that takes them to a hot tub in the snow. Lesley and Dean go tubing.

Both dates seem to go well. Luke tells us exactly 1,000 times that he has a “deeper connection” with Stassi, so I have no choice but to believe him. Meanwhile, in an abandoned cabin from a horror movie set, Lesley and Dean talk about how immature Dean is. At least they’re on the same page about it? “He looks like Thumper come to life,” my husband says, so you’re welcome for that image.

Back at the house, Bibi and Jordan are already an item: They decide they’re just going to “wing it” because she “ticks all the boxes” for him, even though he only lists two actual boxes: She’s emotionally available and has an accent he likes.

While their relationship is starting, another is blowing up: Benoit and Clare. He saw her flirting with Christian, and he’s worried that he’s more invested in their maybe-romance than she is. Aw, my little poutine is so cute when he’s upset! He pulls her aside and tells her he’s confused about where she stands. Clare basically admits she’s just keeping her options open, and that doesn’t work for Benoit. He thought their kiss meant something, while she sees them more as friends. It because increasingly clear they’re not on the same page, which makes Benoit cry. My love! He decides it’s best if he leaves. I’m actually bummed, and it’s made all the more difficult by my husband cackling in the background at Benoit and Clare’s tears.

Benoit packs his bags and tells the group he’s leaving. Bibi says some shady, pointed things about Clare needing to think about her life and choices in a testimonial, but it’s obvious Clare has friend-zoned Benoit and isn’t changing her mind. She doesn’t regret it because it’s her truth. Which, fine, but my truth is that Benoit should not be leaving. Who else will I root for?

BENOIT BEAUSEJOUR-SAVARD, CLARE CRAWLEY

PHOTO: Lorenzo Bevilaqua

Goodbye, my love!

After he departs, Josiah fills Clare in on Christian’s sad, lonely hot tub, so she confronts him about it. It does not go well.

“I don’t go in the living room for a woman.” – Christian. I hope something is lost in translation here, but if not WOW.

They talk in circles, but it gets down to this: Christian is annoyed that Clare didn’t stick to the plan, but she doesn’t understand why he couldn’t just come find her. Both are right and both are very wrong. “I owe you nothing,” she tells him.

This doesn’t bode well going in to the rose ceremony because this week the women outnumber the men, which means the guys will be giving out the roses to whoever they want to stay.

“He has a little too much forehead to wear his hair like that.” – My husband, savagely, about Kevin.

The biggest reveal of the night is that apparently Tiffany has been into Kevin this whole time too?! What is it about this guy? Do they all know he’s seen Nickelback 27 times? She tells him how she feels, but it’s too late—he’s into Ashley now.

Before the rose ceremony can begin, we have to sit through one more confrontation between Clare and Christian. She’s taken aback that he’d give up so easily on their non-relationship—even though she “owes him nothing”—and says that’s not the kind of partner she wants. That’s fair, but weren’t you willing to call it quits with Benoit just as quickly? Is it really so different? Don’t get me wrong: Christian is not a catch—and Clare’s right in that she owes him nothing—but, I don’t know, maybe do some self-reflection on why you’d choose Christian over Benoit. I don’t know, it’s all exhausting.

Luckily this is almost over because the rose ceremony begins. Courtney gives his to Lily. Apparently they’re super serious, even though we haven’t gotten to enjoy any of their relationship. More of that, please! They seem delightful. Luke gives his rose to Stassi. Jordan and Bibiana are a thing. Ally accepts Josiah’s rose. Dean calls for Lesley, and they kiss. Kevin asks Ashley if she’ll accept his rose. Ben gives his to Yuki. Michael (who are you???) gives his rose to Tiffany because it’s, in his words, the right thing to do. Why can’t they just be together? Finally, Christian has the final rose. He gives it to Clare, and she says she “absolutely” accepts. Absolutely??? You were questioning this whole thing seconds ago. God, I hate this. So, Rebecca and Jenny are leaving.

Next week: Rachel Lindsay! How I’ve missed you!



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