The Bachelor: Listen To Your Heart: Season 1, episode 5 performance grades

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ABC/John Fleenor

Ah, the classic tragedy of the Fall of Icarus. The theme of this week’s episode of The Bachelor: Listen To Your Heart was partly an AP Lit refresher in Greek mythology, but more importantly, the reveal of the dark horse winner storyline that’s been there all along.

Anyone miss Brandon and Julia? Crickets? Bueller? Right. This week’s episode of Listen To Your Heart was brought to you in tandem by the pitiful allocated series budget and the marketing team of We’re the Millers 2. The remaining four couples piled in their respective RV Tour Bus Love Shacks and embarked on a road trip to Las Vegas – hard to say who had the more excited reaction, these A Star is Born wannabes or Peter’s girls when they unveiled their coveted travel destination of Cleveland, OH.

This episode leaned much more heavily into its Bachelor-esque aspects than the singing component requested by absolutely no one. Mercifully, it appears they’ll have to leave the catty drama behind in The Mansion’s Fertility Vase Of The Ndebele Tribe – does that mean anything to them?? Nevertheless, the ~love inside their hearts~ persists, as shall the corresponding melodramatics. But most importantly, this episode revealed the clear winners of Listen To Your Heart – as it turns out, they’ve been right in front of our faces the entire time. Let’s get to it.

ABC/John Fleenor

Bri Stauss & Chris Watson, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley

Vocal Performance: B+

Eh. This performance was decidedly a step down from last week’s knockout, though to be fair, it’s typically hard to top your peak. Chris started out surprisingly shaky (I say that in relation to Chris’ usual singing prowess and his corresponding standard of what “shakiness” constitutes) and was singing in a key much too low for his range. Bri, comparatively, brought the energy up a notch, which is quite commendable considering the softness of her voice. Per usual, their melodies are smooth, and their voices are really just angelic to listen to.

With that said, while I genuinely love their coupling, both in song and relationship, Bri and Chris are frankly just boring. The song choices are just too slow and unenergetic, and they don’t particularly have the strongest stage presence. Despite having excellent vocal skills, they ultimately have not taken any risks or really done anything to separate themselves from the pack. Objectively, they’re getting the Listen To Your Heart second-place edit, and have been firmly delegated to this role the entirety of the series.

Interpretive Routine: C-

I am officially a broken record that refuses to hit replay on what would be thrice. Bri and Chris simply cannot sing Les Misérables paced ballads and do absolutely NOTHING ON STAGE. Again, cutesy and romantic, but their performances at this point are akin to a couple who won’t stop singing Acapella renditions on the pool lounge chairs on Bachelor in Paradise.

~Romance~ Level: B+

Weird wedding chapel flex for their date of choice, but okay. Again, objectively, they are the strongest couple romantically speaking, and it seems ridiculous to award anything but an A-grade when they’ve exchanged “I Love Yous” on STAGE, but it ultimately boils down to them simply being a snoozefest. They haven’t really had any lows or drama to spice things up (I’m aware of the irony of knocking a couple on a romantic reality series for being normal and stable in their feelings), which in turn hasn’t really given them a chance to show any growth or literal work that relationships inevitably take. The passion is also just…not really there? Yes, I see them staring into each other’s eyes singing “I can’t help falling in love with you” and the continuous hand-holding, but there’s just something missing. That said, these are reality television standards that are the exact opposite aspirations of cultivating a strong and healthy relationship. But here we are, and here’s to Bri and Chris being a commendable, solid runner-up.

Overall Grade: 80/100

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