Welcome to the World of “Listen To Your Heart,”–the love child of The Bachelor and The Voice. Inspired by the popularity of A Star is Born, contestants come to the Bachelor Mansion to find love and sing duets with their fellow singer-songwriter soulmates. With this series, the Bachelor Franchise contributes to the current cable TV quarantine time warp–ESPN is showing a wide variety of sports history highlights from the early 2000’s, TBS is going hard with the Friends reruns, and now The Bachelor is giving us a musical spin-off that is essentially High School Musical for Adults.
At the beginning of the episode, we meet some of the contestants and get a feel for their backstories. We see plenty of millenial musician archetypes—– The Guy From Nashville, The Guy Who Is Single Because He Lives in a Van, The Musical Theater Girl, The Emotionally Available Yoga Instructor, and The Guy Who Will Never Love You More Than He Loves His Dog.
As the contestants arrive at the mansion, couples start forming quite quickly and it takes about 20 minutes for the hot tub to become the designated makeout spot. A lot of the men start showing off their musical skills, reminding me very much of Bo Burnham playing the piano just well enough to get laid. One of the women comments that the men are “wildly talented,” because “wickedly talented” has been trademarked exclusively for the use of discussing Adele Dazeem.
In one of my personal favorite moments, our host Chris Harrison plays the role of “Cool Dad” by telling Rudi that she is allowed to say the F-Word on national television, and leads her into the Bachelor Mansion, where he presumably tells her “If you’re going to drink, I’d rather you do it in the house,” seeing as she holds a cocktail in every shot for the rest of the evening.
Jamie makes a comment about how she doesn’t want to be involved in any drama, letting us know that she is absolutely going to be involved in drama. She then makes a comment about how she hopes there won’t be any jerks on the show. Right on cue, Micheal enters the scene with a spiky hairdo and some “douchebag bass” underscoring. After making some creepy comments to multiple uninterested women, his moment in the spotlight concludes and we meet the rest of the contestants, who are categorized by their musical genre of choice.
The couples who are slightly involved in love triangles are selected for the first one-on-one dates (or duet dates?) of the series. We get some more early 2000s nostalgia while one couple sings “Gravity” by John Mayer, and the Plain White Tees gives a performance in coordinating light wash jean jackets.
The episode concludes with some shocking twists and turns leading up to the rose ceremony, featuring some last-ditch-effort acoustic guitar serenading from the men who know they are at risk of elimination. Without giving an overt spoiler, all I can say is that apparently the best way to win a girl over is by singing a break-up song.
While we were watching this episode, my younger brother, a Netflix veteran and avid binge-watcher, asked me, “Wait, so you actually have to wait a whole week for the next episode?” Yes, we do, and something tells me that whatever is in store for us will be very much worth the wait.
The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart Episode 6 Recap: Another Awkward Finale
It seems that awkward, anticlimactic season finales have become a tradition in Bachelor Nation.
The season finale of The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart starts the same way as every episode, with a paternal pep talk from our host Chris Harrison. He announces that this week, at the end of their dates each couple will have the opportunity to spend the night together in their own Fantasy Suite–a Bachelor Franchise classic that is known to stir up plenty of drama. After giving all the contestants immediate anxiety over the mention of fantasy suites, he nods his head like an unconcerned parking garage attendant, says to the contestants, “And remember: Listen To Your Heart.” And walks away, clearly knowing that he has done his only job.
Immediately after Chris Harrison’s exit, Chris and Bri seem extremely disconnected from one another (with Bri almost avoiding Chris), and Jamie and Trevor are kind of spacing out in their own little worlds, but Matt and Rudi simultaneously fall into panic attacks about their lack of clarity in their relationship—ironically suggesting that they might be the only couple that is energetically on the same page.
Matt and Rudi end up having an honest discussion that even though they care for each other deeply, and have had the experience of their lives performing together, neither of them feel that they are at the same level of love as the other two couples on the show and decide to leave the show. During their breakup, Rudi comforts herself with her emotional support leather jacket, which has made several appearances on the show, and reminds me of Mel’s emotional support hoodie from earlier this season. Matt and Rudi leave with an extremely tearful goodbye. Their romantic breakup is just as heartbreaking to watch as their musical breakup, as they were undoubtedly two of the strongest performers on the show. Matt even broke down in his limo ride home because he realized that leaving the show meant that Rudi wouldn’t get the chance to perform for more people on the finale. While Rudi didn’t get that last performance, she thankfully has accumulated more instagram followers than anyone else on the series, which we all know is the only thing that matters anymore if you’re on The Bachelor. So in my eyes, Rudi is the true winner of Listen To Your Heart, and she rightfully deserves it.
I would also like to note that during this portion of the episode, the ABC News banner at the bottom of the television screen spelled the word “Forecast” as “FOERCAST”, in all caps, and it was honestly thrilling.
Jamie and Trevor have a romantic date and end up going to the fantasy suite together, but Bri and Chris, who have seemed to be the strongest couple throughout the season, are still a little off energetically during their date and don’t go to the fantasy suite. The next day, we see contrasting shots of Jamie and Trevor enjoying a morning together in matching robes like young lovers (or giddy sorority sisters), and Bri and Chris clashing a bit during their musical rehearsal. Bri and Chris were the first couple to fall in love, they also become the first to act like they’re married, as they sit in the car ride home together avoiding eye contact in complete silence.
And finally, we make it to the big finale performances, which I could not fully pay attention to because I was still upset that I didn’t get another chance to hear Rudi sing. Jamie and Trevor charmed the audience with their sweetness and chemistry, but Bri and Chris–even with their current unsteady nature–stole the hearts of the judges, and were crowned the winners of “Listen To Your Heart.” When it comes down to it, we all knew they were going to win the competition, but it was pretty uncomfortable and anticlimactic to watch it happen during the most disconnected moment of their relationship. But all seems to be well by the time we reach the ending credits, where we see Bri and Chris several weeks later laughing together in a recording studio and reassuring us with a cute polaroid picture that they are very much still in love.
Follow Rudi on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/itsjustrudi/
The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart Episode 5 Recap: Shallow in Vegas, Baby!
This episode of The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart starts off with an exciting twist as the couples hop on their private tour buses to Las Vegas. They are set to spend the week going on extravagant dates together and preparing for a singing competition in front of a live audience and several celebrity judges.
Three of the couples head straight to Vegas, but Matt and Rudi decide to take a detour somewhere on the edge of rural California, where they spend some quality alone time by the fire and a moderately-sized camera crew. Matt shares with us the root of some of his commitment issues, and Rudi begins to wonder if their musical connection and romantic chemistry could lead to something more.
Back in Vegas, Bri and Chris go on the first one-on-one date at a runaway wedding chapel. Sadly, they don’t get hitched, and there is no special guest appearance by second rate Elvis impersonator, but they do sing a duet for a couple celebrating their own private wedding and end the date with a touching heart to heart.
Jamie and Trevor go on the next one-on-one date at an ice skating rink. Jamie takes her shot at a double axel, and Trevor takes his shot at a double layer of Axe Deodorant. They then sit on a random couch that was placed in the middle of the ice skating rink, looking like two actors in rehearsal for the “Big Comfy Couch” segment of PBS Kids On Ice. Trevor is honest with Jamie and tells her that he has only spoken about “The L Word” with two other people in his life. Since it sometimes seems like Trevor’s main concern on this program is exposure for his music career, I’m not sure if “The L Word” is ‘love’ or ‘licensing deal’.
Matt and Rudi finally make it to Vegas after their quaint getaway at the Hotel California. Their one-on-one date starts out strong at a concert where Shaggy sings the college house party classic, “It Wasn’t Me,” but takes a sharp left turn to cringe city when Rudi expresses that she’s falling for Matt, and he chokes up and gives a completely unreciprocated answer. Both parties get emotional, especially considering that Matt spent so much time earlier in the episode expressing to the other men that he felt like he was falling for Rudi but didn’t know if he was ready to open himself up and risk getting hurt again.
Natascha and Ryan’s one on one date is by far the most adventurous, spending their day at what is essentially a regulated junkyard where they’re allowed to play with a bunch of bulldozers and cranes. After expressing their budding feelings for one another, they continue to manifest that adventurous energy by arranging an upbeat orchestration of the slow ballad they were assigned for this week’s performance. We expect that it will bring the house down since they’ve been one of the strongest couples vocally throughout the series.
We then cut to this week’s singing competition. Bri and Chris sing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” and the judges applaud them for having good vibes. Jamie and Trevor deliver a crowd-pleasing performance and share a sweet moment together backstage. Natasha and Ryan throw us back to the world of High School Musical in full Sharpay and Ryan mode with their sparkly outfits–ready to sing a sassy remix of a song that was written as a ballad (a la What I’ve Been Looking For or You Are The Music In Me)–but sadly there is a blimp onstage when Natascha accidentally sings the wrong verse, and the performance falls flat. Natascha is genuinely heartbroken, but Ryan is there to support her and reassures her that everything is going to be okay.
With Matt and Rudi’s relationship on the rocks, we wonder if they’re going to pull through their rendition of “Shallow” (the unofficial national anthem of 2019). But they give what is quite possibly the best performance of the entire season, singing their hearts out and falling for each other more and more with each note. Lady Gaga would be extremely proud of their performance, especially considering that by looking at the size of the audience, there were approximately 100 people in the room.
At the end of the evening, Natasha and Ryan are sent home. They spend a romantic moment together with a sweet, loving goodbye, and express their excitement for what their future relationship will hold. The extent of the sweetness of Natascha and Ryan’s relationship hasn’t been featured much on this show, but as they depart we see their soft sides and get the chance to truly fall for them as a couple. Following last week’s theory, Natasha truly is the Sharpay of “Listen To Your Heart,” because not only is she a blonde, fashionable showstopper, she ends up being one of the understated heroes of her franchise.
Who will end up on top in next week’s season finale? And which couple truly has a chance at “The L Word” (Licensing deal)?
The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart Episode 4 Recap: Not-So-Fabulous
This episode of The Bachelor Presents: Listen To Your Heart begins with a quick summary of how the couples are doing. Jamie and Trevor are smitten, Natascha and Ryan are as flirtatious as ever, Bri and Chris are a match made in heaven, Matt and Rudi are as strong as ever, and Savannah tells us that Brandon is her rock (although frankly he seems to be more of a pet rock–a googly eyed, indifferent, and non-receptive companion). Ryan also comments on Savannah and Brandon’s relationship, concluding that even though they have had some rough patches in a cringe-worthy love triangle with Julia, it doesn’t seem like anything is going to break them apart; which means that two minutes later, something happens that breaks them apart.
Our host Chris Harrison announces that he is going to split up each of the couples and set them up on dates with other contestants–primarily those who had a history together earlier in the show, just so everyone can be sure that they made the right decision. This means trouble for Sheridan and Julia, the one couple who has had a rocky foundation due to Julia’s lingering feelings for Brandon. When Chris Harrison announces that Julia and Brandon will be going on a date together, you can practically hear a pin drop (but not a bass drop–this is strictly a country music and singer/songwriter space, no EDM here).
While Julia and Brandon are getting cozy on their date, we see a distraught Sheridan writing in his journal, drinking iced tea, not wearing shoes, and flaunting his nature-inspired tattoos and healing crystal jewelry like a junior in college knee deep in his stoner phase reflecting on his recent study abroad experience. Meanwhile, Natascha lounges by the pool in a pink bikini and hoop earrings, looking a lot like Sharpay singing “Fabulous” in High School Musical 2.
When Julia and Brandon come home several hours later than all the other couples on their arranged dates, it stirs up some trouble in the house. Julia breaks things off with Sheridan almost instantly, and he is sent home. Brandon attempts to redeem himself with Savannah when she calls him out for playing mind games and making her feel like a second choice, but he is ultimately unsuccessful as Savannah sends herself home with her head held high.
The next day, while the couples are rehearsing for their upcoming performances, Brandon discloses to Natascha that if the choice was his, he would have picked Savannah over Julia. Natascha shares this information with Julia just minutes before she is about to go onstage with Brandon– a very dramatic Sharpay move. The Sharpay/Natascha resemblance continues as she struts onstage and steals the spotlight in a duet with her singing partner, a fashionable tenor named Ryan.
With Julia caught off-guard by her confrontation with Natascha, she and Brandon give a disconnected performance that sends them home at the end of the night. Although the Brandon-centered love pentagon is through, we get a sneak peek of tons of drama in store for us next week–including a possible runaway wedding in Las Vegas. Who will be the last couple standing?
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