The Bachelor Season 28, Episode 2: Have we gone too far with the whole 'bold strategy' thing?

The Bachelor Season 28 is underway and we couldn’t have asked for a juicier story arc!
Times Square New Year's Eve 2024 Celebration
Times Square New Year's Eve 2024 Celebration / Roy Rochlin/GettyImages

After his psychotic uncle sabotaged his chance at love just 4 months ago, Joey Graziadei has been given a shot at redemption as this season’s leading man on The Bachelor

If you tuned into last week's season opener, all signs indicate that Joey’s search for love will ultimately end in heartbreaking anguish. Fitting to the mood, Billie Eilish’s “When the Party’s Over” played over an emotional cold open that saw Joey wiping tears off his face while he watched a white Sudan drive off in the distance. 

Truthfully, it was one of the most epic intros to a reality show I have ever seen. And not long after, I began to wonder, what in the world could have gone wrong for the Bachelor who seems to have everything to offer? As we watch the train fall off the tracks right before our eyes this season, it will be an interesting story to follow.

Just 2 episodes in, we’re seeing desperation arise from the suitors who look to make a name for themselves amongst the dozens of other women competing for one man’s heart. 

Lea’s decision to throw out the mystery envelope that nobody cared about…

After hitting the lottery and finding her way on the show while attending the After the Final Rose ceremony, Lea was also gifted with the chance to turn the world of reality television upside down. She was given a letter that told her she had the power to intercept a one-on-one date at any point in the season that would prevent somebody from going on their one-on-one date with Joey. In turn, Lea would be able to take over the date. 

Between The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, we have consumed 47 complete seasons, and not once have we ever seen a Survivor-like hidden immunity idol show up. And that shouldn’t come as a surprise as it would completely derail from the show's premise. After all, a gimmick doesn’t affect somebody’s decision to fall in love. 

So, in the end Lea decided it was best to throw the envelope in the fire and prove to the rest of the women that she believes in Joey’s natural process of finding love. Most of all, it proved that she was a girl’s girl. 

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She was dealt a hand and played it brilliantly. Maybe this isn’t Survivor, but anybody who has ever watched this show knows you must have some strategy to advance. While everyone else had to introduce themselves and prove they were there for the right reasons, Lea already had an in. And ridding the one thing that gave her leverage over the rest of the women showed that she was solely here for one thing. 

The crocodile tears not only manipulated Joey into giving her the first impression rose but it tightened her bond with the 31 other women. Lea was simply following a blueprint and she executed it to a tee. But the “what ifs” will keep me up at night. Could you imagine Queen Victoria or Shanae pulling out a reverse Uno card and taking over somebody's date? Like the decision or not, we were robbed of a possible Bachelor moment for the ages.

Lauren’s failed last-ditch effort

In the season opener, Lauren found a way to complete the ultra rare feat of leaving a solid impression and making herself memorable on night one. Her introduction consisted of shotgunning a beer with Joey and later on revealing that she is sisters with one of the girls in the house. And during the rose ceremony, she even made a joke about her sister getting the first rose yet she had to sweat it out until the very end. 

In the second episode, however, Lauren’s mood takes a turn during the group date when she is reminded of her late father, who had recently passed away. While she plans to tell Joey about the emotions she’s going through, she learns just how complicated this show is, as even just speaking to the Bachelor turns out to be impossible. After the group date, Lauren admits that she was in her head and creates a narrative that she was bringing the mood down. So, her next goal is to find Joey and apologize for that. Not only does she get her time with him, but Joey also validates her feelings.

Had she just left things the way they were, she could have ran to the rose ceremony and walked into next week. While most of the suitors are here for the right reasons, you can’t deny that there are business opportunities as well. Statistics will show that the further you go, the more followers you will generate on social media and the more work you will find outside of the show. Statistics will also show that once you reveal you’re grieving over the death of your late father, your chances of making it to the next episode are 99.9%.

Unfortunately, this girl is just blind to the opportunity that is staring her directly in the face. At the cocktail party, she is once again in need of her one on one time with Joey. So much so that she makes a bold last-ditch effort that rarely works this early in the game. She manages to get the word out that she’s leaving the show. When he finds her, however, he wishes her off and uses some P.R. magic to gracefully dump her. The awkward moment being when he doesn't even ask her to reconsider.

Maria getting a tad too "comfortable"

Maybe I just don’t understand what “comfortable” refers to. At the group dinner, Maria looked as though she was one button away from a censorship blur. Nonetheless, she decided it was a good time to bring Joey into a private room and ask him to wait while she got even more “comfortable” as she slipped into something that was somehow more revealing than the last outfit. 

To her credit, her seduction worked as planned and was confirmed with a passionate makeout. The bold decision, however, left some of the girls with a bad taste in their mouths as she continued to outright lie by saying she “couldn’t breathe” in what she was wearing before.

The drama followed Maria into the night when she gets into an age-ism debate with one of the other suitors. After Madina confessed that she was self-conscious about being the oldest of the bunch, Maria unknowingly opened up a can of worms when she decided to delve further into the conversation about age, unaware that her conversation was being listened to. With 21 other women still in the house and producers sniffing for just about anything that could stir up more drama, it’s essential in these moments to take your wins and walk away. 

Although Maria wound up with a rose, so did the others that she had drama with. And if the previews to next week are any indication, the feud is far from over.

What are your thoughts on the drama so far? Let us know in the comments below!

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