ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) — Monday's episode marked the halfway point of Matt James' quest to find true love on The Bachelor, and time was running out for the women to strengthen their connection with him. Little did they know, more competition was on the way.
More on that later, but first, Matt had some unfinished business from last week to handle. Following Jessenia's allegations of bullying at the hands of MJ, Matt settled the argument with a two-on-one date. At the end, Matt showed MJ the door while Jessenia joined the others, rose in hand.
Afterwards, the remaining women were once again disappointed to learn that Matt had decided to cancel the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party and head straight to the ceremony. This time, the finger of blame was pointed squarely at Katie, whom they blamed for bringing the "mean girl" culture into the house.
Following an emotional rose ceremony, which saw Magi, Brittany and Ryan getting sent home, Serena C. pulled Katie aside for "a talk," during which Serena expressed her frustration over losing time with Matt as a result of Katie's "antics." The conversation turned into a shouting match, with Serena accusing Katie of "not being truly here for Matt."
Meanwhile, Pieper and Matt take a break from the drama with a romantic carnival date, followed by a performance by country music trio Temecula Road — which ended with a rose for Pieper.
Bri, Kit, Rachael, Michelle, Jessenia, Serena P., Abigail, Chelsea and Serena C. met up with Matt for a bowling group date that turned competitive. Michelle won herself the coveted rose at the end.
Following a visit from best friend and Bachelor Nation favorite Tyler Cameron, Katie and Matt put their chemistry to the test on a fun one-on-one date that saw them teaming up to turn Cameron's relaxing massage appointment into a nightmare.
The date, as it turned out, had an unexpected twist for Katie when Matt confessed his relationship with some of the other women "had progressed further along" than theirs . After succeeding in eliminating several women from the competition, Katie herself was sent packing.
That left nine girls left to vying for Matt's heart — or so they thought — because Heather Martin, from season 23 of The Bachelor, managed to force her way into the competition — egged on by mutual friend Hannah Brown. Hannah and Heather were both in the hunt for Bachelor Colton Underwood's affections, before Heather eliminated herself ahead of the hometown dates.
We have yet to find out if Matt will let Heather join the competition so late in the game, but, needless to say, the other ladies won't be happy if he does.
"If you're gonna let a new girl come in or you're gonna give a new girl a rose over some of us who have been here this long, than you better marry that girl, because the rest of us, we're gonna be p*****," fumed Chelsea.
The Bachelor returns Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
By George Costantino
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