'Bachelor' Joey decides between Maria and Sydney on 2-on-1 date; new villain emerges

ByJennifer Matarese and Gina Sirico OTRC logo
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Joey goes on an uncomfortable two on one date
"Bachelor" Joey took Sydney and Maria on a very uncomfortable two-on-one date.

"The Bachelor" this week featured the date we knew HAD to happen: a two-on-one with Sydney and Maria. The tension in the house is growing heavier by the moment. Maria feels like she's beating her head against a wall and she's over trying to prove that she's not a bully and just wants to move forward.

Jesse arrived at Bachelor Mansion and he told the women that Joey said he could see his wife among the remaining women. He then dropped the bomb that they would be going international! They boarded a plane to Malta to go meet Joey.

In a hilarious little bit, Joey said, "Before I go to the alta, I gotta go to Malta." Then he booed himself and there was a footnote on the screen that said "Producers promise to do better next time."

Gina: I love it when they break the fourth wall like that. The joke actually felt very "Joey" and would be something he'd say (sorry, man, it's true!). Also, I won't lie, I wish we got invited on the international dates because this is one place I would love to check out! One of the things Joey mentioned was that the connections he's felt so far have been very organic, which I found to be interesting. We don't hear the word "organic" much on this show, so for him to bring it up, and for them to keep it in the episode, made it feel like something important.

Lexi's 1-on-1 Date

There was a date card waiting for the women as they arrived at their amazing hotel suite. It read, "Lexi, Let's explore Malta together." Lexi met up with Joey in Valletta. They got some street food, walked around, took part in a bocce tournament, took in the beautiful waterfront sights, dreamed about their future, and did some kissing!

Quick Drama Update

Back at the hotel, Allison and Maria grew their friendship. Jess, meantime, took some time to see how Sydney was doing. She thinks that Maria just has to go. She's got a one-track mind to get rid of her and she says it's making her lethargic and making her break out.

Back to the 1-on-1

Back on the one-on-one date, Lexi and Joey explored a historic church and she said it reminded her of her grandfather whom she went to church with and was a painter. She got emotional in the church and she said she had a lot to talk to Joey about later. A priest came by and welcomed them to the church. He told them they looked good together and said that one of the most important parts of a marriage is having a family and she wants that, but she might not be able to have her own children one day.

Group Date Card Arrives

Another date card arrived at the hotel. "It read, Jenn, Daisy, Edwina, Katelyn, Allison, Rachel, Autumn, Kelsey T., Jess, Medina, Lea, Kelsey A., True love is worth fighting for." They realized that Sydney and Maria were the only people not included... get ready for that two-on-one. The other women told Maria to let herself shine through. Sydney continued to spew phrases like calling Maria verbally abusive. She cried and said she was emotionally drained.

1-on-1 with Lexi, Evening Portion

At dinner, Lexi told Joey that she had stage five endometriosis. So the tissue that is supposed to grow in your uterus grows all over your other organs. They removed it, but there's a chance she might not be able to have her own children. She said that she wanted a family of her own very badly and it led to the demise of her previous relationship. Joey wiped her tears and thanked her for sharing those personal details with him. It was a heavy conversation and Joey recognized that. He said that he can see that she has a motherly instinct. "It doesn't scare me in any sense," Joey said. He told her how special she was and that there was so much more to her than just that. "I feel a happiness in my heart that I've never felt," Lexi said. She is so sweet! Joey offered her the date rose and she accepted it!

Gina: And this is why Joey is a great Bachelor. Lexi sharing her health situation was tough. I mean, imagine sharing such personal information with someone you have only known for a very short time. But it seemed important for her to tell him because it is his journey and her situation could play a part in his decision making. He could not have been more understanding and just so kind. Love to see it.

Group Date

Some of the "Game of Thrones" show was filmed at Fort Manoel, and that's where the women met Joey. As they walked inside, there were knights fighting with swords and you knew that these women were going to have to give it their all! They changed into some body armor, got their swords and shields, and they were ready for training. Joey was waiting for the women in his body armor, shirtless. Then one by one they went up to Joey and gazed into each others' eyes. Kelsey went in for the kiss and then so did every woman after that. That's a lot of spit-swapping.

Gina: Can someone check on Joey's sister Carly, who said back in episode one that she didn't want to see him making out? Carly, how are you holding up?

The next battle involved catching sausages in their mouths. Joey said it smelled awful. "I couldn't make the woman do something I wouldn't do myself," he said. Honestly, this guy seems too good to be true. He's just adorable. Then sausages went around and around and smacked the women in the face. Daisy gave it her all and did not cheat. Autumn won the challenge! She got extra time with Joey. They walked over the edge of the fort and looked at the water to have some private time together. Joey went in for the kiss.

Group Date Cocktail Party

That evening, street cats were in full effect. "The Bachelor" loves to show animals in their natural element. Here's it's cats, in "Paradise" it's the crabs. Joey told Daisy that one day he'd love to have a son or twin daughters. "I was picturing it with Daisy," he said. He liked her hippie vibe and said they would name their twin daughters Coco and Ocean.

Joey told Kelsey that he couldn't stop noticing her and that he appreciated her focus on him. Joey seemed to be making deeper connections with each of the women. He and Rachel brought out their glasses to show each other. It was cute. Kelsey T. was worried about their connection until she told Joey she needed action and then she got some kissing!

Maria and Sydney's Date Card Arrives

Back at the hotel, poor Lexi was left with Maria and Sydney. The date card arrived. "Sydney and Maria, Meet me on the water." Maria did her best to look on the bright side. "I guess I'll get to see Malta," she said. "I'm getting tortured," Sydney said.

Group Date Rose

On the group date, Jess renewed her connection with Joey. After that he returned back to the group of women and recapped his time with them and said well, there's only one rose... he decided to give it to Kelsey T. He said that he appreciated that she was being herself and she ended up on the forefront of his mind on group dates.

2-on-1 Date

At the halfway point in the show, we are getting into the two-on-one date. They are going to dedicate a good amount of time to this! Maria and Sydney boarded a yacht that drove out into the sea. They sat on a blanket in silence. Where's Joey? He's on a little dingy getting shuttled out to the yacht. He boarded the boat and sat in between them and said while it was a little weird, they would be going to explore The Blue Grotto. So at least they'll actually get to see something amazing during this awful date.

Gina: If there's one thing "The Bachelor" is good at, it's building up drama! I was nowhere near this boat and felt super awkward!!

Maria chatted up Joey while Sydney just sat there. She started talking about how she's claustrophobic. Maria was trying to take in the scenery but Sydney kept gravitating towards the negative. Maria said, "She's a vampire."

When they got off the boat, there was one rose waiting on a pedestal. Joey took Sydney to talk first. She used her time to talk about Maria, pretty much exclusively. She talked about how hard it was for her, how scared she was, she said that Maria attacked her in front of the group after the pool party and told Lea to "shut the *expletive* up." She did her best to tell Joey that Maria would make a terrible wife for him.

Gina: Attacks? Being scared? Wow. I have a feeling we are going to hear more about this conversation and all the accusations made by Sydney in the "Women Tell All" episode. At least, I hope we do, because I'm going to want to hear from the other women!

Immediately during his time with Maria, you could see the connection between them. Joey said that he felt like the situation was derailing them. Maria said that she wants to focus on her and Joey and not this situation. Maria said that she never told Lea to "Shut the *expletive* up." Maria was seething. She was doing her best to stay calm during her conversation with Joey, but what can she say? Maria asked him if he could get past this and he told her he didn't know. Maria is over it all, that's for certain.

When Maria sat down with Sydney she confronted her about lying. Sydney said that she was doing these things to everyone in the house. Maria was adamant in her response saying that no one else was saying these things about her. Joey was torn on what to do. Oh boy, this is stretching into dinner!

2-on-1 Evening Portion

The ladies changed into some evening wear and Maria would not yield. She put on a stunning dress and marched her way in there. Sydney also showed up, of course, and she said that she was happy with how her conversation went with Joey because "I did what I needed to do." Joey said he's never going to know the truth (sure you will, just watch the show back Joe), so he's going to pick whoever he has the best connection with. Then he asked each of them basically to plead their case on if they have a connection with him...in front of each other! It was kind of gross! Joey picked up the rose and gave it to Maria! First, he walked Sydney out. "I just hope you are conscious of your decision," she said to him as she left. Joey walked back into Maria and she asked him if he could really see himself with her and he said he wanted to rebuild their relationship. He gave her the rose! An opera singer performed "Ave Maria" as they kissed. "I heard my name being sang from the heavens," she said.

Gina: That "Ave Maria" moment was producer perfection. Chef's kiss. No notes! On them having to plead their cases, it was definitely strange, but in the end, I'm glad he made the decision he did.

Lea cried as she saw Sydney's suitcase wheeled away by producers. "I just really wasn't expecting that," she said. Really, Lea? Because we all at home did! I wonder how the women will feel watching it back. Edwina said on social media that she thought things were depicted accurately, so that's one opinion.

Cocktail Party

The next day, the women got ready for a cocktail party and rose ceremony. They all looked beautiful and Maria was floating on cloud nine. Her strategy is to "stay in my own lane" and stay quiet when it comes to the other ladies. Joey told them that he just didn't have as strong of a connection with Sydney and that it wasn't easy but she had to go.

Jenn and Joey sat by the pool and put their feet in the pool. She took the opportunity to tell him that he makes her feel safe and valued. It was smart on her part, because it looked like the conversation snapped him back into those moments where he felt a strong connection.

Gina: This moment between them, and them joking about his bunions just felt so "normal." Like, it would be something a long-time couple would joke about. It felt cute and familiar and this coupling is definitely one to watch.

Edwina told Joey that she likes him and he has a lot of the values that she looks for in a husband. Her time was interrupted by Katelyn. Then he spoke with Madina who gave him a little knight figure. She told him that she's felt vulnerable with the women and not with him. So Madina told Joey about the downfall of her parents' marriage and how that's shaped her need to close off at times. Joey told her he appreciated it. She stood up and they practiced some trust falls...and kisses.

Allison, Maria, and Kelsey had some fun catching grapes and joking around by the bar, but Lea was offended that no one was sad about Sydney leaving. Madina asked Maria how her date went and that also rubbed Lea the wrong way. She asked Madina to go talk.

Kelsey A. made Joey a postcard since there was nowhere for her to buy one and that's what she likes to do when she goes on vacation. He thought it was sweet and kissed her.

Lea Stirs up Drama

Back with Lea and Madina, she told her that she was frustrated with how she "navigated" this. She accused her of switching allegiances. "I don't have to be mean to Maria because Sydney was my friend," Madina said. She basically told her to step off and just let her do the best she could. "I just hope that me having this conversation with you can give some perspective," Lea said. Ugh, it's sad seeing Lea go down this road. "I guess we'll agree to disagree," Madina said.

Maria told Madina that she was hurt that people were upset that she was nice to her. "It sucks," Maria said. "I can't win with these women." She started to get emotional and Lexi took her to gather herself outside. Lea was happy to see Maria go cry. Yikes, I'm starting to really not like her very much in this situation. Lea went and blabbed to Joey about the situation saying that all of the women were surprised that Maria was still there and we at home know that's not really true. Maria then started to declare that she wanted to leave the show and go home.

Gina: Just when Maria thought she could catch her breath, along comes angry Lea. Remember when we all thought she was mature for throwing out the immunity card in the first episode? Yeah, I think that's gone. This feels like immature behavior to me. It'll be interesting to see how everything plays out.

Tuesday Night

Emotions are running high and the drama is getting kicked into high gear. There are a lot of tears headed our way. But, it looks like Joey is really starting to fall for some of these women!

Don't miss new episodes of Joey's season of "The Bachelor" on Monday nights (and in this case a special episode on Tuesday) on ABC and streaming the next day on Hulu.