As a reminder: the remaining guys on my “fantasy Bachelor” team are Juan Pablo, Zak W., and Mikey T.
Last night’s episode officially kicked off this season’s drama! Although something bad is bound to happen every season, I can’t help thinking that it would be nice for once to see a crop of guys/girls who are all truly there for [don’t kill me for this] “the right reasons.”
Let’s get down to it.
The Group Date.
The episode began with a group dodgeball date. According to Michael G., “There are nine great guys going on this date — and Ben’s coming along too.” And thus continues the inexplicable hatred of Ben amongst the men of the house. I mean, I get it: the guy has kind of a skeazy vibe and I wouldn’t want to date him, but ABC must be doing some pretty Jedi editing, because we haven’t yet actually seen him doing anything that’s so awful.
The guys got the crap knocked out of them through a good pummeling session by the National Dodgeball League. Seriously, Des? What lady wants to watch this as a date activity? (Side note: Most of the “professionals” looked kind of like the grown-up versions of the non-athletic kids who would have sucked at this game when they were in school. I guess vengeance is a good motivator.) Anyway, Chris Harrison showed up to let the guys know that they’d be finishing their display of athleticism by playing against each other in a cage-match in a public venue. In tank tops, booty shorts, knee socks, and sweatbands. Naturally.
I really find it hard to actively pay attention to most sporting events, so this was kind of a blur to me. It was best 2 out of 3, and the winning team would get extra time with Des later. The highlight: Brooks wound up with a broken finger, which sent him to the hospital, where he passed out when they did his blood work. (I commented last week that he seemed a little girly. This incident confirmed it.) In the end, it didn’t matter which team won, because Des decided to invite them all to the afterparty. I interpret this to mean that she thought the guys on the losing team were hotter, and she didn’t want to send them home for the night.
At the hotel-rooftop afterparty, Brad (previously unseen by the cameramen and America’s viewers) revealed a surprise: he too has a son! I’ve always felt that if I were the Bachelorette, this is something I would want to know on night 1. It’s not fair to spring something like that on a girl after she’s already sent 3 weeks’ worth of other men home. Anyway, he also told her a story about how a few years back, his girlfriend drunkenly stole his car, so he tried to restrain her, and the cops showed up and arrested him for domestic violence. They slapped a restraining order on him, which he later got dropped. If that wasn’t the sketchiest and most vague story of the night, I don’t know what was. I didn’t trust him at all, and really wanted to know why ABC doesn’t do better background checks on some of their contestants. (That theme continues later.)
Chris also got some one-on-one time with Des at the party, so we finally got to learn his name. He seemed nice enough, and they really seemed to like each other, but I didn’t feel that we really knew anything about them, as we didn’t see them spend any time together before this. Then Brooks showed up — fresh from the emergency room, still in his ridiculous red uniform — and earned a sympathy makeout session with Des. He seemed to be pretty high on painkillers, which was funny to watch. I’m thinking he’ll be one of the final two this season, pending any colossal screw-ups. Chris felt that he might have gotten the rose until Brooks showed up, and America agreed. But Desiree surprised us all by not going with the sympathy vote and awarded the night’s rose to Chris! Yay for the underdog. The two of them left the rooftop party for a private concert by yet another artist I’ve never heard of. The concert was directly next to the hotel, so all the remaining guys got balcony seats to watch Des and Chris’ dancefloor makeout session. Smooth, producers. Way to toy with their poor hearts.
The next morning, Desiree is sitting in her house, wearing the tightest skin-colored pants I’ve ever seen, while writing in her journal. (Seriously, we all thought she wasn’t wearing anything from the waist down. Des: don’t ever wear those pants again.) Her phone rings, and who could it be but Chris Harrison? Apparently there’s some drama a-brewin’. She heads up to the man mansion, where she calls Brian out to the backyard to talk. In what was probably the most poorly-executed intervention we’ve ever seen on this franchise, Brian’s girlfriend arrives and scream/shrieks at him about “how could you do this to me?!”/”I can’t believe you!”/”I tried to break up with you, and you told me you just needed some time!” Wait, what?! Yep, that’s right: she tried to break up with him, and yet here she is, yelling at him for heading off to California to appear on national television. I was thoroughly confused by this whole fabricated scene. I guess the two of them got their 15 minutes of fame. Now we can all move on.
I think my friend’s DVR must have malfunctioned at this point, because we didn’t actually see Brian leave or any of the fallout. We returned to our recording to see Des and Kasey in the middle of the night’s only one-on-one date (what was that about? there are always two one-on-one dates per episode!). They went bandalooping, which apparently is a thing that exists. They were attached to bungee cords, and danced horizontally on the side of a skyscraper. It was refreshing to see a slight divergence from the every-season-staple-date of rappelling-down-the-side-of-a-tall-building-in-L.A. Desiree seemed to be tired and a little bored during their whole date, which made me sort of tune out. They wound up on yet another rooftop, where they were attacked by a windstorm. To avoid the freezing cold brought on by the high winds, they decided to get in the pool, where they made out with towels on their heads. It was horribly awkward, to say the least. She seemed to clearly be uninterested in Kasey (she barely even made eye contact with him over drinks), yet somehow he got a rose. I predict that he’ll go home soon.
Group Date #2
Apparently something changed in The Bachelorette rulebook, because this is the first time I can ever remember two group dates in one night. The remaining 4 men went on a Lone Ranger-themed date, where they dressed in clothing representative of the Old West, and learned movie fighting stunts, quick-drawing pistol skills, and how to wield a lasso. They each had to improv a “rescue scene” where they rode up on a horse, fought off two bad guys, shot down an enemy, and then whisked Desiree away. Both of my guys (Juan Pablo and Zak) were impressive, but Juan Pablo did his whole scene in Spanish, which we all know by now makes Des a little giddy. So he got some extra one-on-one time with her, during which they screened the upcoming Lone Ranger movie. It must not have been very good, since they spent nearly the entire time making out and eating popcorn.
Right around this point is when my friend’s cable box completely malfunctioned, so we had to re-start it. I don’t know what we missed during those lost ten minutes, but it must have been surprising, because somehow James (aka ‘meathead’ or ‘the one with the neck’) came out of the date with a rose! I’ll have to re-watch online to see how he pulled that off, because I thought for sure that Juan Pablo had it in the bag.
The Pool Party
Chris Harrison showed up at the mansion again, this time to let the guys know that Desiree wanted to call off the night’s cocktail party. Normally, this means that the bachelorette is fed up with all the drama and doesn’t want to waste her time on small talk with a bunch of douchebags all night, but in this case, it was because she wanted to have a pool party instead! Phew. The guys got off easy with that one.
As Desiree pulled up to the house for the party, Ben (in the worst man tank top ever) waylaid her and they went for a short drive. Even though I don’t like him, I have to admit that he’s good at taking things into his own hands when it comes to making time to spend with her. Throughout history, this has proven to make you a target for hatred from the other contestants, but really: it’s a good strategy. It’s what a real boyfriend/girlfriend would do. Two of the guys saw them return from their drive, kiss in her car, and then enter the house separately, so of course, they tried to get him to admit to it, and he didn’t. Then they finally called him out on it. How dramatic! Again, all the guys keep calling him a liar and accusing him of lying to Desiree, but we haven’t actually seen any video evidence of this.
Meanwhile, Brandon (aka Kasey Kahl Junior/possible psychopath) is declaring his love to Des. Yep, that’s right folks: it’s week three, he hasn’t even had a one-on-one date, and yet he tells her he’s “falling in love” with her. That just might have been a new Bachelor/Bachelorette record. Totally creepy. He also cries over the Brian-has-a-girlfriend incident, because apparently he relates all too well to the girlfriend’s son, who he sees as being the real victim in this situation. (In hindsight, maybe a little more sympathy for the Bachelorette and a little less empathy for some random kid would have been a better approach.)
The Rose Ceremony
We skip ahead to the rose ceremony, where the guys have changed from bathing suits to actual suits. I have to say, I preferred the bathing suits. (And Brandon wore the same pinstriped suit from at least one of the previous episodes.) Des wears the second ugly gown in a row, and starts handing out roses.
Since Brian left earlier in the night, that left only Dan and Brandon with broken hearts. I’m not really sure who Dan was, although he was definitely cuter than some of the other guys she kept. And Brandon, predictably, cried on his way out the door. He asked her why she didn’t keep him, and she answered with something like “You have to have chemistry… it’s just something I can’t explain. I just know, and I’m so sorry.” I admire that she didn’t try to soothe his ego or second-guess herself. He was an idiot, and he seriously needs some counseling for his abandonment issues. If you couldn’t guess, I wasn’t sad to see him go. I saw some comments on the Bachelorette Facebook page this morning where people were saying “aw, Brandon should be the next Bachelor! He’s so sweet!” and I swear, if that happens, I’ll give up watching this show. That’s serious, people.
All three of my “Fantasy Bachelor” guys survived to date another week. Phew. All the girls in my tournament are down to 3 guys or less, and none of us have very strong teams. So that’s a relief, since I’m pretty sure at this point that I won’t be winning the pool.
Next week kicks off the traveling leg of the season, and the group will head to Atlantic City! I still haven’t been there, so maybe this will give me a little more insight. The men will compete in their very own Mr. America pageant, which should make for some quality television. I didn’t detect any more drama in the near future, so maybe we’ll get to see some genuine love connections being made! (I’m only cautiously optimistic.)