Work hard, play hard, gossip hard. That was the running theme during The Bachelor, which aired Monday.
As Ben Higgins made graceful strides toward finding a wife in week three, some of the women seemed to go off the rails. As host Chris Harrison said in the live after-show, there were plenty of sharp stares and "fat toe accusations" being thrown around. One of the targets: Our homegrown Texas girl Olivia Caridi.
Caridi was one of several women who attended a group date, which included a soccer lesson from Olympic gold medalists Alex Morgan and Kelley O'Hara followed by a match. Only the winning team, either the Stars or Stripes, would suit up for cocktail hour later that evening -- game on.
The match was neck-and-neck and advanced to sudden death, where Caridi's team, the Stripes, secured the victory. The team's bond was short-lived, however. At the cocktail party, Caridi was first to snag time with Higgins. The two sneaked up to a room with a balcony overlooking the rest of the women, where the Austin-based news anchor flaunted her status with the bachelor. This was the first -- but not the last -- time her arrogance appeared to turn Higgins off.
The other contestants, however, had enough and began distastefully body shaming Caridi, bashing her cankles, toes, bad breath and anything else they could think of to make themselves feel better.
Caridi's insecurity about this (she found out about the gossip from another contestant) came back to bite her. Higgins walked into the mansion for the final cocktail party after finding out two people close to him died in a plane crash. Most of the women were empathetic, but when it was Caridi's turn, she neglected to focus on anything but her cankles and toes.
She's ashamed of them, she said -- "people have written blogs about it."
This did not go over well with the bachelor. Higgins left Caridi, who coasted through the beginning of the season, dangling during her first true rose ceremony until the very last flower. But Caridi lived to see another episode.
Dallas home flipper JoJo Fletcher, too, made it through, but she didn't get much love Monday night. Fletcher ended up house-bound and dateless after veteran Jubilee Sharpe and flight attendant Lauren Bushnell landed solo excursions, which similarly included a flight in a plane or helicopter followed by a hot tub soak. Fletcher was not invited to play soccer on the group date.
The women who earned one-on-ones emerged as favorites of the season, according to Twitter chatter during the show. Bushnell is an overall cutie, while Sharpe revealed details of her troubled past. She also became a target of drama in the house for her reclusive attitude, but Higgins defended her after a few women tried to drag her through the mud during the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party. (I warned you it was an eventful episode.)
Ultimately three women left the show, including drama queen Lace Morris, who in a strange turn of events left on her own accord.
"Just like my tattoo says, 'You can't love someone else until you love yourself,'" Morris said.
Apparently all that "I'm not crazy" talk got to her head. Shushanna Mkrtychyan and Jami Letain also left Monday night.