'The Bachelorette' Recap: Much Ado About James
'The Bachelorette' Recap: Much Ado About James
Bill King
Bill King
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
One villain down, one to go.

That's the new goal on The Bachelorette, as the guys desperately look to refocus their death ray of wrong-reasoned, hair-gelled Jager Bomb energy now that Ben is gone.

After Desiree Hartsock eliminated the southern Christian gentleman and bar-expanding doting father, who promptly vowed to publicly sleep with as many sluts as possible for the duration of his remaining two seconds of fame, you'd have thought we were bad-guy free. But no no, ABC double-cast that role this season, and James has man-tears to prove it. Man tears. And not the Rudy kind.

While it was Mikey T. and Michael behind the anti-Ben campaign, it is Kasey and my decreasingly beloved Drew taking the reins this time around. And much to Kasey's delight, the network has even organized some hashtags it hopes to have trending as we move along. 

Oddly, the only options are #LoveHim or #LeaveHim, which is like asking "Velociraptor: #HorribleCarnageWreakingTerror or #CuddlyNighttimeSnuggleBunny." Where's #MisunderstoodGentleGiant? I guess #LetHimStickAroundABitLonger doesn't have the same ring to it. 

And that, kids, is why they preach upper-lower case mixing. It's the difference between NowThatchersDead and NowThatChersDead (Yes, that is an actual Twitter mix-up that sent shocked Cher fans into a tizzy. Don't worry, it was just the Iron Lady). 

So will Desiree see the light and send James packing? Or will she enrage the guys further, sending Kasey into a social-media rage and prompting 1950s throwback Drew to smash his homemade meatloaf against the wall and beg his wife not to have to tell her a third time? 

And is it really fair to let Juan Pablo onto a soccer field? Like Puss in Boots doesn't already exude raging sexuality and nothing else. Yeah, we already know the guy is good at scoring. That's how he ended up with a daughter. Anyway, let's find out the answer to all these burning questions and more as Desiree and her guys head to Barcelona!

The Bachelorette Interview: Mikey Defends Himself, James and Bryden (But Not Ben) >>>

Get On Your Knees

Whereas Sean Lowe would've been showering at this point, Desiree is introduced while touring the Sagrada Familia, the insanely huge and gorgeous Roman Catholic church that has been under construction since 1882 and still has 13 years before it is expected to be completed (60 Minutes: God's Architect: Antoni Gaudí's glorious vision). Meanwhile, the guys share a beer at a romantic roadside bar.

There's a group date and two individual dates, but no cocktail party before the rose ceremony. Drew is finally getting a solo date -- Let's Build a Foundation for Love -- so maybe that will help distract him from James. He hopes for the same thing I do, and plans to address the James situation later. 

The Kissing Disease

Desiree likes that the foundation for their relationship is based in friendship, but that's not going to fly with Drew, who gets the first kiss out of the way immediately. And because she likes to kiss everyone, she's a fan of that strategy. 

They have some hot chocolates, and Drew uses the foam on her lips as an excuse to kiss her again. Then they drink from a fountain, and Drew celebrates it with a kiss. I'm sensing we're about to go into overkill mode.

Who is "Drew"?

It's our first glimpse into Drew's past, and it turns out his father is a recovering alcoholic, Drew's hero and a huge presence in the AA community. It's the first time Drew has told anyone about this, and after tears and hugs, he reveals that his dad also has cancer. Then it's more kisses, and Des says she enjoyed the story about his dad, trusts him and is excited to see where things go.

There are even more kisses and "guitaristas" (fancy accent, Drew!) before a romantic dinner, and then Drew steals her away for a steamy back alley makeout session. Even the camera crew is surprised and has to run after them to capture the moment. Would anyone else have been shocked if they had found James soliciting prostitutes in the alley? That deer-in-headlights look would've been priceless. 

A Back Alley Rose

As Des fans her exasperated self, she tells Drew he has all the sexy qualities she is looking for and gives him the rose. He is starting to give off a Catherine vibe from last season -- late to move into the picture but quickly emerging as a favorite. C'mon, instincts, pay off!

But first, Drew has one more important topic to discuss. It's up to her what she makes of it, but he and Kasey overheard James talking with Mikey about his chances of becoming the next Bachelor. He's worried he ruined the night, but she assures him they had a great date and she appreciates how he handled things. 

That may be the first time that playing the "wrong reasons" card didn't end badly for the guy who spilled the beans. Michael looked like a douche when he exposed Ben, but Drew just came off looking like a nice guy. Well played, sir.

A Kick to the Balls

Brooks, Kasey, Michael, James, Chris and Juan Pablo will be looking for Loooooove!, with soccer balls for O's. That means Zak W. gets the second one-on-one date. Juan Pablo laments that he still hasn't gotten a solo date, but if my girlfriend is right, she's just keeping him 'til the fantasy suite dates anyway. 

It's off to the futbol stadium, where Desiree plans to not jump the gun and go on the attack with James, but wait and see how things play out.

The guys will be facing off against Des and a team of professional female soccer players, and good for Juan Pablo, who is totally in his element and, yes, somehow gets sexier. The guys jump out to a 2-0 lead before the girls realize James is in the net and apparently has no idea how to move. He is literally the worst keeper ever, actually dodging some shots, and the ladies win 10-2. 

Poems, F-Bombs and Man Tears, Oh My!

Desiree pulls Chris aside, and their conversations are starting to make me feel uncomfortable. It's all small talk and cheesy poetry, and this time, Desiree wrote a poem on a postcard. Here goes nothing...

From the first night, one knee on the ground
Charming and handsome, instant attraction was found
At the dodgeball game
It was apparent, no shame

On top of that roof, overlooking that view
That was the moment, I knew sparks grew (Why she didn't go with "flew" I have no idea, and did anyone else pick up on the fact that "sparks grew" sounds a lot like "sparks screw" when you say it fast?)
Dancing in the street, the moments of bliss
Solidified my feelings in every single kiss

(Get ready for the random structure shift!)

As the clock ticks, timing never late
For the connections to form from each and every date
And the rose to one day grant us our fate

I look forward to the unknown
Appreciate the emotion you've shown 
And hopeful to see if in your heart I've found a home

He sort of loves it, calling it "really nice," while I vomit in my mouth (metaphorically). It's good he doesn't because the kiss right afterwards would've been awkward

Jersey Shore James

Michael and Kasey somehow decide this is the perfect time to confront James, while Desiree is getting cozy with Brooks. Chris is there too, but Juan Pablo is nowhere to be found. Kasey calmly tells James what he and Drew heard, and James explodes, denies everything, disparages the other guys and curses them out in a full-on roid rage. 

Michael starts yelling and gets James even more riled up, and poor Chris just tries to calm everyone down. James starts lobbing excuses like Jersey Shore grenades, blaming Mikey, calling it "guy talk," saying Kasey is putting words in his mouth and claiming he was kidding around, all with just enough silent pauses to prove he is caught off guard and desperately trying to think on the fly. 

He ends it with a classic Half Baked line, a triple F-You (minus the "You're cool") before he's out. Kasey correctly identifies that James is now in a deny-and-spin cycle, which is like doing laundry, only you end up dirtier after.

The Bachelorette Family Blogs: Chris on the Leader Board, James on the Watch >>>

Picking Up the Pieces (and Smashing Them Further)

Now it's time for Kasey to take the fight to Desiree, and he gives her the full version of the bus ride conversation. She's understandably pissed, decides to hang onto the rose and sends all the guys but James back to the hotel. Then she says the sh*t is about to hit the fan. 

She's more pissed about the lifestyle James would like to lead than she is about his Bachelor comments, but then it's man-tears to the rescue. He pins the entire thing on Mikey (who is probably laughing on his couch right now) and then swears on his sick father that he would never say anything like that. I'm sure you're all cringing just like I am.

He promises he's there for the right reasons and claims this is all because the other guys see him as a threat, are scared of his connection with Des and are jealous. He cries, says he feels like an outcast and turns it around on her, saying if she believes all this, then she should just send him home now. 

So she decides to delay the inevitable and let him stick around a bit longer. Not surprisingly, #LetHimStickAroundABitLonger is not mentioned in any of the Tweets they show on screen. Bit #LoveHim isn't either...

Reintegration

While tears stream down James' cheeks in the limo, the other guys talk about how there's no chance he's coming back. James should learn from Juan Pablo, who only cries when he's overcome with emotion about the love he is about to make to a beautiful woman. Then James walks in and goes to bed with a simple "Gentlemen, goodnight."

Nuts

Because at this point, no one cares about Zak's one-on-one date. So here are the highlights: 

They go to an art house and sketch a male model then, in the awful version of Titanic, each other. Let's just say they're not getting it on in a foggy car afterwards. After sketching a skinny naked dude and then Zak in tighty whities, it's off to a romantic dinner, lovey-dovey conversation about their families, kisses and a rose. 

Back at the House...

James approaches Drew and calmly asks for his perspective on the situation, and Drew responds that the bus conversation was totally inappropriate. James explodes again, screams at Drew and then tells him to stop yelling. You started the yelling, bro! I hate when people do that. (Sorry, baby, that's directed at you.)

Drew once again handles the situation a million times better than Michael, and he puts together an articulate, concise and intellectual argument explaining why James is being ridiculous.

What Will Desire Do?

The guys sit around in completely awkward silence until Desiree comes in and pulls James aside to resolve the situation. She first tells us she needs to send him home because he's not trustworthy, but then he masterfully spins the responsibility onto her and makes himself look like the victim. 

He doesn't defend his actions or deny what he said, only that he learned from the experience and wants to be there, but he respects whatever she decides. She believes his sincerity and empathizes with him, and after he apologizes, kisses her head, tells her he's proud of her and sees qualities he wants in his wife, she cries and decides to wait until the rose ceremony to decide. 

She walks him and his massive man-boob sweat stains (or are those her tears?) back to the hotel, and he hair-dries his shirt before shocking the guys with his non-eliminated reappearance. 

He then reiterates an entirely different conversation from what actually happened, prompting a rare emotional explosion from Chris and more arguing. He lies and says that Desiree is cool with everything he said, but none of the guys' good points matter because James and Des didn't actually talk about any of what he said. Still, the guys vow mutiny if she keeps him around.

A Rosier Future

No cocktail party, so it's right to the roses. Drew and Zak are safe, and THREE other guys are going home. Damn, nearly cutting a third of them. I know two of the guys who I want to go home (Michael and James), but let's see what happens.

The roses go to:

Chris (no surprise there)
Brooks (ditto)

and...

Michael

That means it's the end of the line for James, Kasey and poor Juan Pablo. Dear, sweet Juan Pablo. Dude never had a chance. He thought they had a connection, but he and his dreamy tear-filled Venezuelan eyes are headed home to his daughter and a continued quest for love and a family.

James, who now has no chance of being the next Bachelor, is stunned and continues his argument that everything he said was fine. The guy you know picked on kids in grade school and then laughed hysterically about it claims he was bullied. It's okay, though, because I still stand by the fact that she would've sent him home based solely on his hideous rose tattoo had she gotten a good look at it. 

Kasey gets no departure love.


This is About to Get Serious

I know they say every season is the most emotional in show history, but after seeing that promo for what lies ahead, I think this one might take the cake. There are only five guys left, and we get to see each and every one of them cry. That and Des saying she's done and just wants to go home. 

It all starts next week when the gang heads to Madeira, an island off the coast of Portugal. It looks like my buddy Drew breaks her heart and tells her it just won't work, but something tells me there was some fancy editing there to throw us for a loop. 

Still, I hope Michael goes home next. His intentions may be good, but if Ben and James were the cancers, Michael is the cigarette. He's always stirring the pot and raising the tension to another level, and that's just not the type of guy you want to marry. 

What do you think is in Desiree's future? Do you still think she comes out of this experience with a man by her side? Or do we all have to end up heartbroken with her? Tune in next week to see what happens!

You can watch The Bachelorette every Monday at 8pm on ABC.

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(Image courtesy of ABC)

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