The Jan. 20 episode of The Bachelor picks up in the midst of tension between Kelsey and Hannah Ann. Kelsey is pissed that Hannah Ann ‘stole’ a bottle of champagne that she specifically brought to drink with Peter Weber, while Hannah Ann accuses Kelsey of ‘bullying’ her. The next morning, the ladies decide to talk it out. Hannah Ann defends her accusations about Kelsey, and while Kelsey apologizes for the things she said, she refuses to be called a bully. By the end of the conversation, things are far from resolved.
Meanwhile, Peter goes on a one-on-one date with Victoria P. Since he’s from the area, he gives her a tour of his hometown, and they go to his favorite spot to partake in some line dancing. Things are super natural between Peter and Victoria, and they both admit that they’re smitten. Later on, Victoria gets emotional as she discusses her dad’s death and her mom’s battle with addiction, and how difficult that all made her childhood. It’s a super heavy conversation, but Peter loves that Victoria opened up, and he gives her the rose.
Next up is a group date for Kiarra, Sarah, Tammy, Kelley, Shiann, Savannah, Sydney, and Alayah. The date is led by former Bachelor contestant, Demi Burnett, who organizes a pillow fight for the girls. Things get particularly intense between Alayah and Sydney, who Demi chooses as the final two. Alayah is eventually declared the winner, but she’s made an enemy out of Sydney.
Sydney is convinced that Alayah is manipulative and fake. She confronts Alayah about being a former pageant queen, claims that this has helped her learn how to put on a facade in front of Peter and the cameras. Eventually, Sydney brings up some of her concerns to Peter. She doesn’t use Alayah’s name specifically, but she mentions that some of the girls might not be genuine or there for the right reasons.
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Peter addresses the girls on the date with his fears that one or more of them could potentially blindside him because they’re not being real. He puts Sydney on the spot, and she reveals to the group that she thinks Alayah is putting on a front when the cameras are on. Peter urges the group to be completely genuine with him, and when he steps away, Sydney and Alayah exchange words. Alayah pulls Peter aside to defend herself. She starts crying and insists that she’s there for the right reasons. Peter is left more confused than ever, as he believes both girls. At the end of the night, Peter gives the group date rose to Sydney, and praises her for being so honest with him.
The next day, Chris Harrison reveals that there will be a pool party instead of a traditional cocktail party. There’s still obvious tension between Alayah and Sydney. Other girls, including Kelsey, Lexi and Natasha, bring up similar concerns about Alayah to Peter at the party. Alayah is pissed, and she pulls Sydney aside to chat about the situation. She calls Sydney out for putting her relationship with Peter in jeopardy based strictly on her opinion, and they are far from being on the same page.
Alayah finally gets some one-on-one time with Peter. She admits that she truly has no idea why some of the other girls don’t think that she’s authentic, and she insists that what she’s feeling for Peter is real. He assures her that he believes her, and Alayah is left totally relieved after the conversation.
However, Peter doesn’t seem to be fully convinced. He trusts Victoria P.’s opinion, so he asks her what she thinks about Alayah, especially since they sort of knew each other from competing against one another at Miss USA. Victoria P. reveals that Alayah asked her not to tell The Bachelor producers that they knew each other before the show. She also explains that Alayah is “very into the opportunities that could come out of [the show].”
Peter is left even more frustrated and confused than before, and he confronts Alayah with the new information that he’s learned. He explains that multiple girls have brought up concerns about her, and flat-out asks whether or not Alayah asked Victoria to lie about their previous relationship. Alayah insists that she wasn’t trying to be manipulative, and reveals that she feared she and Victoria would be disqualified for knowing each other, which is why she wanted to lie. Things don’t end on a positive note between them, and Peter admittedly has a lot to think about.
At the rose ceremony, Victoria P. has a rose from her one-on-one, and Sydney and Victoria F. have roses from their group dates. Peter gives the remaining roses to: Kelsey, Hannah Ann, Natasha, Lexi, Madison, Shiann, Kelley, Kiarra, Tammy, Savannah, Deandra, and Mykenna. There was a 16th rose, but Peter opts not to hand it out to anyone, which means Alayah, Jasmine, Alexa and Savannah are eliminated. After the rose ceremony, though, Peter is admittedly unsure if he made the right decision by sending Alayah home.