'The Bachelor' Season 25, Episode 3: Yes, I Was There and Yes, It Was WILD

Because she’s been there and done that, literally, former Bachelor contestant/tear fountain Ashley Iaconetti is recapping this season of The Bachelor for Cosmopolitan. With insider insight as well as a clear eye for what’s going down both in front of and behind the cameras, she’s got a whole lot to say…and you’re gonna wanna hear it. Especially this week, bc she was LITERALLY THERE. Buckle up, friends.

This post contains spoilers for last night’s (1/18/2021) episode of The Bachelor.

I am so sorry you had to listen to my failed attempt at making my non-sexy-voice sound sexy during last night’s dramatic reading of Chris Harrison’s The Perfect Letter. I can’t believe six years after my debut on this franchise, it’s still teaching me how to be “vulnerable” and “get out of my comfort zone.” I loved being at this date. I was truly impressed by all the women because they were able to write tongue-in-cheek erotica in just an hour AND none of their performances fell flat. It’s one thing to recite a script; it’s another to have to express sensual desires for a guy you’ve known for a week in front of him and an audience of your competition. I give these women mad props! I can’t imagine how hard their hearts must have been pounding in their chests waiting for Chris Harrison to call their names up to the stage. It makes the old write-a-song-and-sing-it group dates seem like nothing. I feel like the nature of this date really did help showcase the women’s personalities and aid Matt in getting to know their senses of humor and the type of romantics they are.

Here are some notable moments that didn’t make final edit…

Once I left the women, they went to the afterparty and the week’s real drama began. Sarah, who had a one-on-one date with Matt last week, intruded on the group date uninvited. The women were already turned off by her fainting at the rose ceremony, which she’d gone into holding a rose. I was shocked to see the cast transfer its annoyances from Victoria to Sarah. Some of them actually thought she was faking fainting for attention. I’ve seen fake fainting on this show before, and this wasn’t it. This was Sarah being totally stressed out about her life while standing in heels on an apple box for an hour.

Look, it’s never going to go over well with the group when you inject yourself into a date you weren’t supposed to be a part of. I do think Sarah took it a little far when she kept trying to extend her time with Matt while Katie waited in the wings. And she wasn’t helping herself by staying in her room when Matt came to pick up Serena for their one-on-one. Sarah really should have had confidence she would be sticking around for a while. It was obvious based on her interactions with Matt thus far.

However, none of this justified the reaction the other women had towards Sarah for “time stealing.” Some were ruthless and mean, telling her to expect a miserable living experience in the house going forward. There was a total pile-on of hate when she tried to explain herself. The other women just refused to listen or give any grace. I imagine she felt like she was painfully alone and socially drowning.

We, the audience, had more of a sense of empathy for her because we know about her father’s ALS. I understand Sarah’s need for more frequent reassurance with Matt because she wants to make sure she’s not wasting the last days of her father’s life being far away from him and dating a guy she has no future with. I don’t think any of Sarah’s actions in this episode were conniving or intentionally manipulative. I think her moves were due to her not being in the proper emotional place for this emotionally rigorous process. It was a good decision to leave. She will never regret spending this time with her father. BUT, that being said, I wouldn’t be shocked to see her return. Throughout the entire episode, I sensed that she was going to stay every time she said she was going to leave. It was like how I had this inkling Ben’s storyline would be longer than it seemed when he was eliminated during Tayshia’s season.

If Sarah does come back, I hope Katie’s conversation with the women about not knowing people’s stories resonates with them. Katie’s a good one. I’m grateful Sarah left finding understanding and compassion from one of the girls in the house.

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