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'The Bachelor' recap: Tensions mount as five new ladies join the fight for Matt's heart

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ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) — On Monday’s episode of The Bachelor, emotions ran high as five new women joined the remaining 18 ladies hoping to win Matt’s heart.

Following Sarah’s sudden departure, a new rivalry started brewing between Victoria and Katie, who was growing tired of the so-called queen’s constant trash-talking.

Elsewhere, Chelsea opened up to Matt during a group date about the insecurities she experienced as a Black woman growing up around mostly white women, particularly regarding her hair, which she started chemically straightening when she was two.  Her journey to find self-love ended with the 28-year-old runway model cutting it off completely.  The touching story earned her the date rose.

That brought us to the rose ceremony, but not before host Chris Harrison dropped a bombshell on the remaining women — five new bachelorettes would be joining the competition:

Brittany — made up for “lost time” and made out with Matt.
Michelle, 27, a teacher from Edina, Minn.
Ryan, 26, a dancer/choreographer from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Kim, 28, an ICU nurse from Los Angeles, Calif.
Catalina, 29, a former Miss Puerto Rico from Caguas, Puerto Rico

To the original suitors’ frustration, only one of the new girls was eliminated after the rose ceremony. Kim was sent home, as well as Kaili and Khaylah.

The following day, Matt was happy to welcome the newcomers but also felt the curveball sent him “back to square one.”  He was able to seek some emotional support from former Bachelor Ben Higgins, who advised Matt to continue being as real as possible and give the ladies as much of himself as he possibly could.

Ben also joined Matt in welcoming Mari, Bri, Abigail, Brittany, Ryan, Catalina, Magi, Anna and Victoria to take part in an obstacle course called the “Fall in Love Fest.”

Adding to the frustration of the original group — or “OG’s,” as Anna referred to them — was Brittany’s relentlessly pursuit of Matt by first “making out” with him during her introduction, then stealing him away from Anna during the after party.

Anna attempted to get back at Britany by floating a rumor that the model and fellow Chicago-native moonlighted as an escort, which Brittany flatly denied.  The tactic backfired on Anna, who was promptly dubbed a “mean girl.”

Anna and Brittany both managed to make a good impression on Matt, but it was Bri who walked off with the date rose.

Meanwhile, tensions between the OG’s and the new girls intensified when newbie Michelle got a one-on-one date — an extreme scavenger hunt that involved zip lining and hot air ballooning– with Matt.  Afterwards, the Minnesota school teacher shared the rough year she had educating her students amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. The ease of their conversation and her dedication to helping kids earned her a rose.

Next, Katie, Pieper, Serena P., Rachael, Kit, Chelsea, Jessania, Lauren, Selena C. and MJ were challenged to “fight for love,” with the help of former five-time World Boxing Champion Mia St. John, who helped train them for a boxing match in front of the other women, hosted by Harrison and Wells Adams.

What was intended as a friendly competition got way out of hand when Serena P. took a hard punch to the nose, ending the match and the competition.

Hoping the after-party would put the date back on track, Matt instead found himself dealing with another crisis, as Katie, fed up with the “toxic” environment in the house, decided to bring it to his attention.

Matt vowed to get to the bottom of the situation, but to find out how, we’ll have tune in next Monday, when The Bachelor returns at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

By George Costantino
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