Anna-lyzing the Bachelor: The Queen Has Been Dethroned

Monday night marked the halfway point for this season of the Bachelor and all I can say is: Yikes. Every season of any Bachelor franchise show and spin-off has its fair share of drama, which usually includes the infamous season villain. Unfortunately for bachelor Matt James, his season has included perhaps the worst villain of them all, Victoria Larsen. This self-appointed “queen” has caused chaos and drama that thoroughly exceeded Bachelor Nation’s expectations––but not in a good way. 

The name-calling and rumors spread amongst the women were downright evil and malicious. I enjoy a good episode filled with petty drama and entertaining confrontations, but watching Larsen lay her eyes on a woman for one second and avert to harsh name-calling and vicious actions was difficult to watch and crossed all lines. It is well known amid Bachelor Nation that the producers can be at the  root of drama, as they tend to pit contestants against one another and influence the lead’s decisions. However, Larsen made the producers’ jobs too easy this season through her frequent outbursts and outrageous behavior. 

Finally, after four long weeks of terror, James gave Larsen and her narcissistic behaviors the boot. James deserves a round of applause for his zero-tolerance policy for women feeling unsafe in the house, but it took him way too long, so don’t clap too loudly. 

The episode began with a cocktail party where James pulled aside several women to address the issues that were brought to his attention by Katie Thurston––a fan favorite of this season, and arguably the most mature. James pulled aside Brittany Galvin, who was accused of being an escort by Anna Redman. Redman, now infamous for her teethy, “she’s entertaining men for money” line from last week’s episode, told Larsen that she was receiving messages before the show started accusing Galvin of being an escort. James sent Redman home as well, noting that he could not spend his life with someone that would spread a rumor that could ruin another’s life. 

With Redman and Larsen out of the picture, Bachelor Nation got a hopeful glimpse of an environment without a mean girl–– unfortunately, this hope didn’t last long. While James purged the meanest of mean girls the previous night, he left out MJ Snyder, who was a quiet accomplice to Larsen and Redman’s vicious attacks on other women. 

Although Snyder was not as forthcoming with her attacks on the other women, she created a toxic environment in the house by dividing women arriving day one from women arriving a few weeks later, and referring to them as the ‘varsity’ and ‘junior varsity’ groups. This was wildly unfair and vicious because the women who arrived late likely had no say whatsoever on the time of their arrival, and if anyone was to blame, it’s Chris Harrison and the producers. 

The end of Monday night’s episode was a cliffhanger, where James had Snyder and Jessenia Cruz, the contestant who previously shed light on Snyder’s malice, in a room together for a two-on-one conversation to get to the bottom of the issue. I stand with Cruz and her energy from the episode. There needs to be more women like Cruz and Thurston who call out truly harmful behaviors on the show. 

James clearly has a zero-tolerance policy for women who create an unsafe household, and Snyder should be no exception to that stance. James can only give one woman a rose at the end of a two-on-one, and I sincerely hope he gives it to Cruz over Snyder. If James values a safe environment for the women in the house, he needs to kick Snyder to the curb and get on with his journey.