Welp, that was all very awkward.
Which is just how ABC executives wanted it, of course.
But did The Bachelor finally go too far this week in pushing scripted drama over actual romance? Let's discuss, analyze and break it all down, shall we?
Monday’s episode of this beloved franchise opened on the morning after the rose ceremony where Peter Weber chose to send Alayah home over concerns that she was on the show for all the wrong reasons.
The rest of the contestants were anxious to put the controversey behind them as they headed off the famously fun locale of Cleveland, Ohio, for the first trip of the season.
To kick things off in the Midwest, Peter took Victoria F. flying.
They flew to Cedar Point and spent a few hours enjoying the rides at the amusement park ... until Peter teased that he had “one more surprise” for the woman who “loves country music” -- a private concert.
The performer? Chase Rice.
This came as a rather huge shock to Victoria, who used to date Rice, and also to Rice, who allegedly had no idea he'd be singing in front of his ex-girlfriend and her potentiial husband.
Weber, of course, also had no clue about this romantic connection when the duo arrived for the concert.
“We turn the corner, and I see Chase, my ex-boyfriend. Nothing could be worse. I’m freaking out right now,” Victoria said on air, adding:
“I want to die. Chase and I dated before I came on the show. It’s just awkward. This situation is so uncomfortable.”
Not wanting go ruin the moment, Victoria didn't tell Peter about her history with Rice, choosing instead to simply dance with him and even kiss the pilot.
After Rice and Weber chatted, Victoria confided in a producer.
“I’m so overwhelmed. I was literally shaking the entire time,” she said. “He was singing to me and he was making these faces at me because he told me he didn’t want me to come on the show.”
At last, later that night at dinner, Victoria revealed all to The Bachelor.
“This is so freaking weird,” Weber replied, almost to himself. “When do you dance and make out to someone else’s ex singing to you?”
Victoria broke down at this point and walked away, only for Peter to catch up with her and continue as follows:
“What did I ask from all of you guys the first night? Honesty and trust. If I have that, I can’t ask for anything else,” he told her.
“I respect the hell out of you for having the guts to tell me this today and I realize that that’s a weird, awkward conversation. I’m not mad at you. You didn’t do anything.”
Victoria even earned a rose from the date, and it came with Peter telling her this:
“This is mind-blowingly weird, but just know that I do really want you here. Even after that most awkward, uncomfortable story. So have confidence. I want you to have confidence in us.”
What do you think, fans?
Did ABC cross a line by blindsiding everyone in this sort of manner? Or is that simply par for the Bachelor course? Or was this all a bunch of scripted BS and everyone involved was in on it all along?
The following morning, 13 contestants were split into two teams for a football game.
According the rules, the winners would get to go on the evening portion of the date with Weber... while the losers would be sent back to the hotel. Talk about huge stakes!
They ended up tying at the last minute, which meant all 13 of them would be fighting for time with him that night.
Cue the next surprise of the episode...
But before even half of the ladies had gotten to talk to Peter, in walked Alayah to “freaking set the record straight about what was said about me.”
She yanked Peter aside and insisted he had been “manipulated” by the other women into sending her home, in particular by Victoria P., a fellow pageant girl who had claimed she only knew Alayah in passing but nonetheless didn’t trust her.
Alayah swore this wasn’t true, and she and Victoria P. were in fact friends -- and even took a trip to Vegas together.
Confused and upset, Peter confronted Victoria P. with this new information.
“Why did you tell me that you weren’t friends with her then?” he asked. “This is insane right now. You told me something that I had no reason not to trust, then she comes here and she tells me all this other stuff.”
Meanwhile, another contestant, Kylie, fanned the scandalous flames.
“I know the things that she said in the closet when cameras and mics were off, and I know the way she acted towards Alayah in the rose ceremony and it was completely [off],” she alleged about Victoria P.
“It was, ‘She’s a terrible person,’ and then holding her hand during the rose ceremony.”
Finally, Peter sat down with both Alayah -- who insisted she and Victoria P. were pals -- and Victoria P., who didn't really offer a straight answer.
“I’m just freaked out that Victoria is not exactly who I think she is,” Peterr confessed.
“That terrifies me. I would never in a million years have thought that going into tonight I would doubt Victoria. But I’m not deaf. I’m hearing what Alayah is saying in front of me to Victoria, and she is making points that make me question Victoria.”
And, with that, Peter invited Alayah back on the show, giving her the group date rose. What a stunner!
Alayah was also back to causing mischief, telling the other women about the Chase Rice-Victoria F. thing because she had read some The Bachelor spoilers and news on social media during her time away.
Victoria was pissed in response.
“That’s something that’s very personal to me, and the fact that you think it’s okay to go around to other girls and not come to me first is absurd,” she told Alayah, adding:
“You may think that you’re safe because you came back and you got a group date rose, but I have some very choice words to say to Peter and he’s going to f-cking know who you are as a person. So good luck, honey.”
Tension was at a high heading into the fourth rose ceremony, from unexpected sources even.
“I’m sorry, Peter, but I have never felt so under-recognized by somebody,” Deandra told The Bachelor, explaining:
“For us who went on the group date, who busted our ass out there on the football field and literally have the physical bruises to show for it, and then for you to come to the cocktail party to ignore the half of us that didn’t get time and then walk in hand-in-hand with Alayah, it was like the biggest slap in the face.
I couldn’t even look at you.”
Peter apologized, but his night was far from over.
Weber's conversation with Victoria P. was equally disastrous... and then Victoria F. informed him that Alayah had been blabbing about Chase. As the night fell apart around him, Peter was at loss for words.
“I feel like I’m messing up right now so bad. This is just backfiring like no other,” he said.
“I’m worried that all these girls are just going to walk out and give up on this because I feel like they’re so disappointed in me, and I get it. I don’t blame them. I legitimately do not know what I’m going to do.”