WARNING: This post contains spoilers from Monday’s episode of The Bachelor.
Monday’s episode kicked off with a one-on-one date for Victoria P. After taking her on a tour of his hometown — the pilot is from Westlake Village, California, just around the corner from the Bachelor mansion — Peter and the nurse from Louisiana went line dancing at his favorite local bar, where both agreed they were “a little smitten.”
That night, Victoria P. confided in Peter about her difficult childhood: Her dad died when she was young, and then her mom fell into addiction. She and her sister grew up in and out shelters as their mom struggled, with Victoria P. recalling through tears how she “had to be the rock” for her family.
“I dreamed a lot of dreams and one of my dreams was just to get out of that place and to have a healthy and happy life,” she said. “And I think it’s affected my relationships at times, because I didn’t feel deserving of someone. I just feel so grateful, because I feel like you’ve shown me the kind of love that I deserve.”
Peter thanked her for opening up as he offered her a rose. “I have never been inspired by someone so much in my entire life,” he told her. “And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.”
Back at the mansion, tensions were still simmering between Kelsey and Hannah Ann, an early frontrunner, over a now-infamous champagne bottle mix-up. And Alayah, meanwhile, had started to show her more “wild” side.
“Everybody sees me, because of pageants and what I do, as the sweet little elegant proper thing,” said the former Miss Texas USA, sipping red wine in Peter’s pilot hat. “But I’m very good at putting on face when I need to.”
Her behavior clearly irked another fellow contestant, Sydney. “All I go off of is what I see in people, and with Alayah, I can tell something is off about that girl,” Sydney said. “Her actions, since we’ve been here, kind of just make you go sideways a little bit. She is not the type of girl I surround myself with, she’s the type of girl that I’ve always avoided. She is just all fake, and I hope that Peter will be able to weed that out.”
Naturally, with a feud brewing between the two women, they both landed this week’s group date, along with Kiarra, Sarah, Tammy, Kelly, Shiann and Savannah. Bright and early the next morning, they slipped into their assigned lingerie (yes, really) and headed out on the date — an Extreme Pillow Fight Club, orchestrated by none other than fan-favorite franchise alum Demi Burnett. Host Chris Harrison and Bachelor regular Fred Willard served as judges.
“I know that there’s a lot of tension in the mansion,” Demi told the women. “So I wanted to give you ladies the opportunity to let out that aggression.”
After duking it out with Sydney in an aggressive championship round, Alayah was crowned “queen of the bedroom.” Things only got more tense between the two during the evening portion of the group date, resulting in a rather hostile conversation about Alayah’s pageant past.
“You sound so rehearsed, you know what I mean?” Sydney told her. “With cameras, you’re just on. But if you come in here worrying about how you’re perceived, then you’re not going to be your real self to people. And that’s what Peter is here to find. A real person.”
Later, Sydney brought up her concerns with Peter about certain women in the house “putting on a facade,” without naming Alayah.
“When I’m in the house with some girls, and when the cameras show up and the lights are on, it’s a whole different person,” she explained. “It’s just so artificial. And I don’t want you to get blinded by that.”
“That’s such a fear of mine, that I could fall for someone and they’re fake,” Peter said. “I mean, I saw it with Hannah last season, seeing her fall for someone that wasn’t there for the right reasons.”
When he rejoined the group, he addressed the issue and asked Sydney to explain herself — this time in front of everyone.
“Sorry to kind of put you on the spot, but you had mentioned that there were people that maybe are different off-camera or different in the house when I’m not there … and I trust you,” he said. “I want to just squash this now.”
Turning to Alayah, Sydney said she felt that she “maybe [puts] on a little bit for the imagery of things.”
“I mean, does anybody else feel that way?” Alayah bristled. “We’re all living together at this point, so everybody’s gotten to see me day in, day out.”
Of course, no one wanted to speak up and get involved, and Peter walked off. The confrontation between the two women continued without him, with Sydney pointing out that Alayah’s reactions were “a little bit dramatic.” Alayah insisted that was just her personality, but Sydney stood her ground. “When the cameras are on, you do react a little too much,” she said. “And it looks a little bit fabricated.”
Alayah pulled Peter aside to defend herself, saying she was “blindsided” by Sydney’s accusations. Poor Peter, looking absolutely exasperated, had no idea who to believe.
“I just feel really confused,” he said. “I believe Sydney when she brought up those concerns, but Alayah came over and talked with me and I believe what she was telling me, and I like her a lot. I also respect Sydney a lot, she spoke it like she saw it. I’m looking for that honesty and for someone that’s unafraid to put me first. … I just hope that I’m not getting fooled.”
Ultimately, he chose to give the group date rose to Sydney, thanking her for “being honest” and “essentially putting me before everyone else.”
The next day, Chris Harrison arrived at the mansion to announce that Peter would be coming over for a pool party in lieu of a cocktail party that night. During the pool party, Peter made a point to get each woman’s take on the situation — and it wasn’t looking good for Alayah, with several contestants in agreement that she seemed to be putting on a front whenever the cameras were on.
“Maybe it’s just the background that she has with pageants,” said Lexi. “But we’ll be hanging out and then all of a sudden the cameras come on and her voice goes up like, five octaves.”
Peter and Alayah also had a conversation, where she reassured him that she “can’t fake” feelings or emotions, calling herself “the world’s worst liar.” He said he believed her, but it was obvious he wasn’t 100 percent certain. “With Alayah, what I think I’m seeing is the truth,” he said. “But my logical brain says that yes, there are flags.”
He decided to ask Victoria P. for her opinion, given her experience in the pageant world as Miss Louisiana USA 2019. And much to his surprise, Victoria P. revealed that Alayah had asked her to lie about knowing each other before going on the show.
“She asked that I not tell producers that we knew one another,” she said. “I didn’t really understand why, because I don’t really want to lie, I can’t lie. I didn’t think of it much then, but looking back now … coming into this, she was really open to all the opportunities that will come after this, even if you weren’t her husband. So maybe she’s not the one for you.”
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That seemed to seal the deal for Peter, who pulled Alayah aside once again and confronted her about the lie.
“I’m not trying to throw you under the bus, but maybe you’ve been a little manipulative towards some of the women,” he said. “Did you tell Victoria to tell the producers you guys didn’t know each other before you came on the show?”
Alayah, looking shaken, said her “biggest fear was that I would get disqualified and she would get disqualified because we knew the other person was coming.”
“I didn’t want that for her, I didn’t want that for me, and I was scared for both of us that that was going to be an issue,” she said. “That’s all it was. It wasn’t me being manipulative.”
With that, Peter said he had “a lot to think about” and abruptly left, cutting the pool party short. Heading into the rose ceremony that night, everyone was on edge — including Peter himself, who stopped mid-rose handout to mull over his decision with Chris Harrison in the next room.
“I want to give it to her so bad,” he said. “But I just do not want to regret this.”
When he headed back into the ceremony, two roses were still up for grabs on the table — but Chris pointedly removed one. The final rose went to Mykenna, officially sending Alayah home, as well as Jasmine, Sarah and Alexa.
“I’m disappointed,” Alayah said. “It just sucks that I am going out because of other people’s opinions and not what he saw directly from me.”
Peter made a toast to the remaining contestants, then headed out. But he was still torn over his decision, admitting to a producer that he wasn’t sure he wanted to let Alayah leave.
“I don’t feel good right now. I thought I would, but I don’t feel good,” he said. “I think I just gave in to listening to everyone else, to be completely honest. I feel like I’m going to regret this like crazy.”
She won’t be gone for too long, though — a sneak peek at next week’s episode already teased her return.
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.