, the more I'm convinced that the producers phoned in the suitor search. Season 10 might be good for drama, but very few, if any, of these guys strike me as being stand-up individuals. Everyone's got a fatal flaw, and it's spot-on that they'll be taking lie detector tests on the group date --because they're all lying in one form or another.
I believe Nick is genuine, but he's also a master manipulator who read Andi a poem he wrote the second she began to question him. Josh has seemed too good to be true all along, and we're finally getting insight into his arrogant and angry former pro athlete side (seriously, what is he doing NOW?). Marcus is a sappy sapling who falls in love too quick and won't shut up about it, Chris is a bit of a yokel and Dylan is barely at a point where he's willing to share his tragic backstory, let alone get emotionally involved with another person.
And I'm not sure if it's because Brian works in a school, but in relationships, he acts like he's a student instead of a teacher. Everything is like freshman year for this dude, and he's constantly choking and missing opportunities. How many times can you own up to sack lacking as a means to getting another chance? And then there's JJ and Cody, who are throwaways at best (Dylan too, but he's got other issues).
Andi will be hard-pressed to date any of these guys for an extended period of time, and marriage is a whole different pickle. She should've stuck it out with Juan Pablo. At least he was open about his weemonizing and chavenausim. Sigh ... on to the dates. Italian style. Like bread crumbs.
Jump On It, Kimosabe
After all the drama of France, Andi greets her eight remaining suitors in Venice with an "I missed y'all" (fondness). But there's no pleasantries, date cards or pesky checking in, and the first one-on-one date starts right now. Can't-believe-he's-still-here Cody is sure she's picking him, because he's the only one who hasn't gotten a solo date yet. He assumes that she's saving the most amazing date package for him, not even considering that the only reason he's there is because there's always been at least one person who sucks more than him to eliminate first.
Nick V. admits he was lacking on the mime group date, and he needs to improve after what he calls his toughest week during which most of the other guys turned on him. Everyone assumes this is Cody's day, but Andi shocks them all by picking Nick. She says she has a lot of questions she needs answered, and she'd rather be heartbroken now at sending her first-impression rose recipient home that have him stick around and end up being a jerk.
Cody frets that if he doesn't get the next one-on-one, he's done being the pet dog of the group and definitely won't be heading to the next location. Meanwhile, Nick and Andi ride off on a gondola, and the date is underway.
The Art of Deflection
Andi knows that her decision to pick Nick isn't a popular one, but she wants the guys to trust that she's doing this as much for them as she is herself or Nick. She just hopes that she feels as good as she did before about the curly-haired frontrunner. They hold hands, admire sculptures and art in the city and stop for pizza before feeding some disgusting pigeons. The even let the rats with wings crawl all over their arms and head, and I can only assume they cut the Purell dunk tank scene that has to follow to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
They share a smooch, and Andi notes that it's hard not to fall in love in such a romantic city. They take some photos in funny hats and masquerade masks, which is indicative of Andi's questions. She finds it unattractive that someone can develop enemies that easily, and she wants to figure out what's under the mask, if Nick is cocky or just misunderstood. So it's time for another gondola ride and some answers.
Nick jumps right into the conversation, owning up to his comments and how he understands why the guys view him in a negative light. She appreciates his openness, and he is rewarded with a make-out session as they approach the bridge of eternal love. Even though Andi is starting to feel better, everything is not yet resolved, so the barrage continues over dinner, which is sink or swim for Nick. He comes through with flying colors, despite the fact that his forehead is covered in sweat like the guy offering Arnold pills in Total Recall.
He doesn't like the word "frontrunner," but he admits that it's difficult to imagine Andi having the same connection they share with any of the other guys. And trying to be their friend when they don't like him isn't working out so well for him either. He keeps talking, and he seems like he's opening up by saying the things every woman wants to hear.
Her facial expression has switched into lockdown mode, colder than the ice bar they shared drinks at, until he opens up the manipulation briefcase and tells her he's falling in love. That breaks her wide open, and we see a smile filled with teeth. Now she thinks he's honest and respectable, and her worries are gone as she gives him a rose and her lips. The night ends with dancing at a masquerade "ball" even though it's just the two of them, and she calls it an amazing end to a great date.
Would You Lie to Me, Honey?
The group date card arrives, and it will be attended by Josh, Brian, Dylan, Marcus, JJ and Chris, meaning Cody gets the coveted one-on-one. He responds with his fist pumping Jersey Shore happy dance. Meanwhile, Andi gets her third, yes THIRD, note from her secret admirer. It describes how the author spends every waking moment dying to see her again, and with every rose he is blessed to receive and blah, blah, blah soulmate and lifetime partner. At this point, it has to be Marcus, right? He's the only one creepy enough to put this kind of romantic hyperbole on paper.
Andi wonders who it could be as she meets her men and leads them to what looks like a 16th century torture chamber. She muses that these six are already trustworthy, so she is willing to have a little fun with them. But when they find out they will be taking a lie detector test, they're pretty freaked out. Chris flat out doesn't want to take it because he's been hiding something (oohhhhhhh, that makes sense, too), and this isn't how he wants it to come out.
Everyone is freaking out, particularly Josh, who seems angry and complains of feeling betrayed. Brian is the only one to take it in stride, and he's at least acting like he has nothing to worry about. Questions include if the guys are ready for marriage, want kids, are here for the right reasons, have slept with more than 20 women and, hilariously, if they've ever fought in public. But with the interrogator's accent, all the guys think he's asking if they've ever farted in public. So they all answer yes. And ewwww, Dylan doesn't wash hands after going to the bathroom.
Based on the test, he thinks he's going home, so he pulls Andi aside and tells her he feels sick and is heading back to the hotel. The results are in, and three men told no lies, while one told two and two told three. Andy told two lies, saying Italy is her favorite country and that she believes all the guys are there for the right reasons. Andi debates whether or not to look at the results, and she instead tears up the papers, meaning all we'll ever really know from the test is that Dylan has pee pee hands.
Kisses, Love and Confrontation
As they gather for drinks at night, Brian steps up and takes initiative, pulling Andi aside for his own personal lie detector test. She asks if he's ever lied to a girlfriend, and he says no. Then she asks if he's ever told a girl she looked pretty when she didn't, and he says yes. So she catches him in the lie, and they share a laugh. Then it's his turn to ask, and there's a loooong bit of silence before he asks her if she wants to make out. My 16-year-old self applauds you, Brian. You will totally get kisses between study hall and lunch today. It's kind of endearing, though.
Back on the couches, Josh, JJ and Chris discuss the secret admirer, who they all agree is totally lame. Even poor Chris is on board. Then Marcus admits to Andi that he had a hard time opening up and even considered leaving at one point. But then he jumps right back into an "I love you," and she rewards his creepy obsession with kisses.
JJ admits he lied about his sex life on the test, and they all have a hearty laugh before Josh gets pulled aside and sh, er, stuff gets serious. He's pissed about the lie detector, which he takes as her not trusting him. She's confused as to why he's so upset and can't just have fun with it, assuming that he must be hiding something. Now, she wishes she saw the results. She asks what he thinks of their relationship, and he says, "I like it." She asks for a different word than "like," because she didn't check the proper box before handing the crush note back to him, and he gets pretty fired up. This leaves her doubting him for the first time.
Chris gets his alone time and admits he's the secret admirer, which she claims to have known all along. She's glad it was him because she can see his romantic side, and the sentimental mush factor earns him the date rose.
Some of the other guys congratulate him, which for some reason gets a rise out of JJ. He flips his lid, yelling that they shouldn't be happy for other people's successes when it comes at the expense of their own. Chris wants to know what the alternative is, and Brian handles it well, saying he's going to do everything he can to get the final rose, but if it's not him, he still wants to be happy for whoever gets it.
Cody Shows Another Side ... and Man Cleave
Buckle up, kids, it's time for Cody's date in Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet. Andi is emotionally drained, and it just so happens Cody is the perfect foil for that. Because if he's good for anything, it's probably fun (which is why he's perfect for Bachelor in Paradise). It's been a long six weeks of waiting for him, and he's sure that if she just spends time with him, he'll make her fall in love. She admits their relationship is the furthest behind, and she needs to see if they're capable of developing romance. Short answer? Nope. Shorter answer? No.
He shouts her name up to a balcony before they head to Club Giulietta to read and respond to letters written to Juliet by real people around the world. Cody is inspired by a letter from a young man named Jason who is pining over his dreamgirl Sarah, and he actually puts together a pretty coherant and romantic response. Then he tells Andi she makes him nervous, and it's a good thing.
Cody arrives at dinner in every woman's dream attire -- a low-cut black v-neck T with a sport coat, and he's actually showing more cleavage than her. He penned his own letter to Juliet about about a girl he saw get out of a limousine on The Bachelor and how he wanted to get to know her. Then he was given that chance, and she is a beautiful, down-to-earth girl who possesses all the qualities he is looking for in a wife.
He starts to drone on and on about how he hopes for many more dates and that she will help him write his greatest love story, and if she gives him the rose, she's in trouble, because that means she's coming around. He just keeps piling on the good, kind words, on and on about how no other girl has ever made him feel this way and how he just wants to grab her, hug her, kiss her, roll around with her, and she finally shuts down like a frozen computer. Like, you can actually see the moment her facial expression changes.
There are no smiles, only tears as she tells him she just doesn't see anything more than friendship, and she has too much respect for him to take him to the next location. He says it's a tough pill to swallow, and he leaves with the sting of rejection. Wow. Who would've thought we'd end up feeling bad for Cody?
Roses and Heartache
Fancy cars take the remaining seven guys to the oldest winery in Verona (which looks like the mansion from Whodunnit?) to learn their fates in the next rose ceremony. Dylan is still sticking to the "I'm sick" thing, which is almost laughable. You know what the CDC recommends to avoid getting sick? Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly.
Before she even has a chance to hug the other guys, Nick whisks her away, which the other guys dub a jackass move. They barely make it around the corner before he's got his tongue down her throat, which to her is an example of being a real man. Josh says Nick has no integrity, and the men bully Dylan into interrupting. They're spending more time talking about Nick than Andi, which is a classic Bachelor 101 blunder. When Nick gets back, Chris calls him out as pulling a jackass move. Josh says he wants to be more aggressive like Nick, but he's too much of a gentleman.
Marcus is once again over the top about their future and reminds Andi that he's in love with her, then JJ steals an awkward kiss. Brian hates the way his knees weaken when she's around, and ugghhhhh my 16-year-old self does NOT applaud. Josh is worried and wants to clearr things up about their last conversation, but he fails, as they continue talking about the same exact thing. He promises her no heartbreak with him. How, she asks? Because it's just not going to happen. What can I say, he's a man of few words. Or small words, I should say.
Nick and Chris are safe, and the remaining roses go to:
That means it's the end of the line for JJ, so we're two throwaways down, one to go. I guess he was right to not congratulate other people's successes at the expense of his own. She just doesn't feel a future with him, and she has too much respect for him (anyone see a rejection theme?) to put him through the ringer when she knows it's not there. It's tough for him, but he appreciates getting off the ride early, before he's on the big loop. He's never been in love before, and his biggest fear -- getting hurt -- was realized. Bye bye, JJ Nye, the Pantsaholic Guy.
For Andi and her remaining six, it's off to Brussels for more dates, drama, jealousy and, most importantly, trashing Nick for apparently being a douchebag. And now, it appears all the guys are getting in on the fun. We're just two weeks away from hometown dates now, so Belgium, here we come! I hope there's waffles.