‘The Bachelor’ Recap: Joey Gets Surprised By Early Self-Elimination After A Fake Wedding Reception & Paint Fight Kick Off Group Dates

SPOILER ALERT! This post contains details from Monday’s episode of The Bachelor.

Joey Graziadei is down 10 women after night one at The Bachelor mansion, and it’s time to get down to business.

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But first, a tennis break. After what was surely a long and tiring night of filming, the tennis pro takes host Jesse Palmer to the court for some lessons while the women move into the mansion. “This is why you’re The Bachelor. You’re such a good communicator!” Jesse tells him.

Joey says that after night one he’s “more hopeful than ever” that his wife could be among the remaining women. If he can survive week one.

There’s already a little bit of drama brewing in the mansion between Taylor and Jess, which is bound to spill over into the dates. The first group date goes to Rachel, Taylor, Lexi, Kelsey T., Evalin, Erika, Maria, Lauren and Jess.

The date card reads, “Here come the brides,” inviting the ladies to go into the next room and choose a wedding dress before meeting with Joey. It’s a stampede as they rush into the other room to find racks of dresses for them to try on. After throwing some elbows for the perfect dress, the women take a limo ride to meet Joey at their wedding reception. Yes, they are told to pretend that all nine women just got married to Joey, and now they’ll be spending a few hours just doing wedding reception things like eating cake, mingling with guests, and dancing. At the end of the day, Joey will choose someone to have a special first dance with.

It’s certainly an interesting choice for a group date, since there isn’t much to actually do. It’s also not clear who any of the other people attending this reception are, which makes things even more awkward, since they have to mingle with total strangers.

First, they play bridal musical chairs to decide who will sit next to Joey at the bride and groom table. Lauren and Maria end up snagging those coveted seats, but hats off to Evalin, who launches herself across the very well-decorated table to try to secure one of them. Jaws dropped. Including my own.

Rachel ultimately gets the first dance, and the pair enjoy an intimate moment on the dance floor as Michael Bolton croons “When A Man Loves A Woman.”

At the after party, the women are doing everything they can to steal some of Joey’s attention. Maria changes from a white corset dress to a two-piece bra and skirt set mid-conversation in hopes of seducing him. Meanwhile, Jess needs to talk to Joey about the fact that she’s feeling insecure after Taylor made some snarky comments during the wedding reception about her. Smartly, she doesn’t actually mention Taylor. It never ends well for the woman that calls out another by name to the lead.

Lauren also pulls Joey aside to let him know that her mood had been off, because the wedding-themed date brought up some grief, as her dad passed away not long ago. Pretending to get married reminded her of how much she wishes her dad would be there for the real thing.

To Joey’s credit, he takes every tough conversation in stride. He gives the group date rose to Jess.

Daisy gets the one-on-one this week, which is not at all surprising because their connection seemed pretty instant on night one. She meets him at a helipad, and they take a trip to Beach Life Ranch in Redondo Beach for a music festival. It’s a fairly casual date, but Daisy is worried that she’ll have to tell Joey about her cochlear implant before she’s ready, because it’s so noisy that she may not be able to hear him. Lucky for her, Joey is incredibly attentive. He doesn’t pry when she’s a bit vague about her job (she runs a non-profit related to her hearing loss) and is reassuring when she seems anxious.

At dinner, she finally opens up to him. Not only did she lose her hearing when she was a teenager, she spent several years feeling very sick before she was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Joey seems taken aback by all of the information, but as always, he takes it in stride and just wants to make sure she’s feeling healthy now. Daisy gets a rose.

Group date number two is also a bit of a head scratcher. Kelsey A., Allison, Madina, Katelyn, Edwina, Chrissa, Marlena, Autumn, Starr and Jenn are split into teams and participate in a “paint fight” to protect Joey’s heart. Literally, a plush heart. Each team has one and the other is trying to steal it before their own is compromised. Joey gets a little help from Bachelor Nation alums Demi Burnett and Jubilee Sharpe.

All the women play along, but Edwina really goes out of her way to become the MVP. It’s not shocking when Demi and Jubilee reveal Joey will only be picking one person from the winning team to have dinner with, and he chooses Edwina.

At said dinner, they have a really heartfelt conversation about Edwina’s upbringing as the oldest daughter in an African household and the pressure she feels to succeed in everything she does because of it. She gets a rose.

In case you lost track, Lea and Sydney are the only two women who did not get to go on a date this week.

The cocktail party is, of course, dominated by drama. Earlier in the day, Madina, who is 31, expresses that she feels insecure being the oldest woman in the house. Maria, who is 29, is confused at her insecurity, and tells some of the other women that she doesn’t think it’s an issue that there are women there older than Joey, and she thinks Madina should embrace it.

Sydney tells Madina that she overheard Maria make a “condescending” comment about her age, which boils over into a tense conversation between all three of them that really doesn’t go anywhere. Maria explains that she was not trying to be rude, she only wanted to empower Madina to embrace her age and not feel like it’s to her detriment.

Maria also calls it the “dumbest fight in Bachelor Nation history” and…it’s certainly up there. Madina wants to speak with Joey about her insecurities and she presumably does, though her conversation with him is not shown on air. We only see her say it “went well” when asked by the other women how things went when she spoke with Joey.

None of them are heated enough to bring it up to Joey though, which is really for the better, because it surely would not have ended well.

Before the rose ceremony, Lauren feels insecure about not having spoken to Joey in order to make up for her bad mood during the group date. She decides to leave on her own. That surprises Joey and really upsets Allison, who didn’t expect to lose Lauren so early in the process.

At the rose ceremony, Joey sent home Taylor, Erika, and Marlena.

The women who receive roses are Rachel, Lexi, Kelsey A., Kelsey T., Jenn, Evalin, Autumn, Madina, Lea, Katelyn, Chrissa, Starr, Allison, Sydney and Maria. They will stay another week along with Edwina, Jess and Daisy.

The Bachelor airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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