Part One: Ernesto Arguello
First off, let me say I didn’t expect to fall for Ernesto Arguello, a Texan of Cuban and Nicaraguan descent who lives in Miama, as hard as I did while watching episode two. I kept thinking what an awesome Bachelor he would have made (Sorry NBC!). The man is philanthropic (He and his brother build houses for people in third world countries), handsome (even with a farmer’s tan), and charismatic. His sister and mother talk about him like he’s a god and describe him as loyal, AND he’s never said I love you to a woman. That last part could be a red flag, but watching him with his family and the ladies on their date, it seems like it’s more about his need to find someone real and sincere, as well as beautiful.
The matchmakers (Amber, Matthew, and Tracy) did well picking women that he would mesh with and the only girl I was sad to see go in the initial round was Elizabeth Cappella. The overall favorite seemed to be Alba Reyes (former Ms. Puerto Rica 2004) who broke out her Spanish and won him over. One girl he sent home actually brought a frog. They really speeded through the first round this time. I almost think they don’t need it.
The group date was building a house which was actually a lot more interesting than last episode’s concert and singing challenge with Tim Lopez. The girls were assigned various tasks and it was pretty easy to pick out a few he had chemistry with. He has some cute moments with some of the girls like when he was painting on Kristen Sikorski but the clip that stood out the most for me was the one with Shandi Finnessy and Alba. I think they both may go far!
The next step involved the matchmakers choosing one of their women for Ernesto to get one on one time with. Amber chooses Shandi (former Ms. USA 2004), Matt picks Mandy Wagner(whose twin Allie also makes it out of the first round with bachelor Ben), and Tracy picks Victoria Mora, a fiery, competitive chica who didn’t come off as well as she might have on the group date.
Of course, there is a hot tub waiting for Ernie (as his sister called him) and the three women – it’s a dating show. However, Victoria throws a curve ball when she refuses to disrobe saying she’s not comfortable with that. Ernesto says he respects that and she stays in her big white robe and throws attitude. After a while, he asks Shandi to jacuzzi where they discuss their mutual love of kids, the sacredness of wedding vows, and their faith. Looks like another notch in Shandi’s belt.
Matt’s advice to Mandi is to physically create a moment to remember. She does this by getting in the cold pool and then asking Ernesto for body heat. After this ploy they switch to hot tub where he tells her likes her attitude and feels they’re on the same page.
His time with Victoria doesn’t go well, although I don’t think she noticed. He told her he likes her confidence and attitude but that he feels she’s uncomfortable. She discusses boobs and butts hanging out (amazing the matchmakers don’t point this out considering the flack they gave Hailey for saying fart!). He again says “I respect that” as she continues to complain about the other girls.
As the one on one time ends he says he has concerns for the matchmakers!
In the group review the Matchmakers like that Shandi didn’t bring house drama to date and that Mandy took Matt’s advice, but Tracy gives Victoria heck for not holding back on her competitiveness and being self-centered. The matchmakers have a little conflict regarding Victoria’s refusal to disrobe and airing her feelings of awkwardness. Matthew says her behavior labeled her as “drama queen for life” in Ernesto’s mind.
They also bring up the conflict between Shandi and Olivia Matti, which we’re sure to see more of in the future. Shandi has the maturity edge and Tracy says a woman that can’t get along with other women will make a rotten partner.
Tracy picks Victoria for all the reasons listed above.
Amber picks Erica for not bringing out her voice as she asked.
Matt picks Kristen because he sees a brother/sister vibe and he wants to see her get sexier.
Ernesto is diplomatic and loves everyone but likes the fun side and optimism of Kristen so she’s safe.
Erica and Victoria go to the pods to go the garden with Ernesto. We are dramatically reminded that only one will come back up while Ernesto does the sign of the cross on the way down! Ernesto is grateful they came and he admits to not knowing much about Erica. He tells Victoria that he admired her beliefs. She aks for his understanding because she was adjusting to the process and the women.
Theirs an awful moment when Erica says Victoria’s not there for the right reason and I seriously wish that he would send them both home at this point! He keeps Erica – not a shocker. Victoria looks like she could kill Erica! Like, she’s seriously scary. But she says it’s just not her, meaning the show.
Part Two: Bachelor Ben – coming soon!