Wooot, wooot, wooot! Sound the scamp alarm, Andi fans (Fandis?), because it appears that someone isn’t here for the right reasons. One of our 16 remaining suitors apparently has a girlfriend and doesn’t want to man up, and we need an intensive two-night extravaganza investigation to get to the bottom of all this madness.
So strap in for a rare Sunday night edition of The Bachelorette, because nothing says love like slogging through four hours of dates, dudes and drama in a 26-hour span. And that’s not all, as another man’s quest for love will end prematurely with the arrival of devastating news from the homefront. It’s like when Betty Spaghetti got the telegram from the military but the carrier didn’t know who it was for, only Chris Harrison will be playing the role of Jimmy Dugan. Avoid the clap. It’s good advice.
Is it just me, or does this season seemed plagued by a combination of bad luck and manufactured cirumstances? Possibly to make up for an otherwise boring season? It started with Chris Bukowski’s anticlimactic arrival on the first night, which was sadly the most exciting moment of the premiere. Then Craig got wasted, which was pretty predictable after he declared that he had a bit of the Captain in him shortly after entering the house. Plus, he was more interested in Josh than Andi anyway.
Now, we’ve got a guy getting devastating news, while another is betrothed? Background check, anyone? And that doesn’t even take into consideration explorer Eric’s tragic death, which is looming on the horizon as he grows closer with Andi. Ouch.
You can tell our Bachelorette is getting emotional when she starts throwing out the “y’alls,” which she uses to express anger, excitement, happiness, frustration and, well, anything, really. And judging from its overuse in the promo, she (and us) is in for a bumpy ride. Y’all better prepare yourselves.
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Santa Barbara is Coming to Town
Andi is taking the long trek from LA to Santa Barbara for the next set of dates, which kicks off with first impression rose recipient Nick V. “riding off into the sunset.” He’s excited but feeling apprehensive about the process, mentioning the unlikelihood of this all working out.
They go on a bike ride through town, not taking any chances with some super cool helmets, and get to know each other. Andi rides a bike the same way she dances, awkwardly and wobbly. They wade into the surf at the beach and hike up a mountain, and Nick talks about how he’s not desperate for love but does want it.
He expresses his concerns to Andi about vulnerability and not knowing where he stands, and she’s like, uh, yeah, that’s how this works. Have you not been watching for the past 26 seasons? But they’re crushing on each other, and she appreciates his honesty and senses the barriers dropping. So they take in the view at sunset and just snug.
A Delightful End to a Simple Day
Andi and Nick head to a fancy dinner to cap off what Andi calls a normal day, which she immediately makes a bit uncomfortable by asking why he’s single when all his friends are married. He opens up about his seven and a half year relationship that started in high school and the quick rebound chick that followed. He was engaged for a hot minute at 27, learning a lot from failure, and that’s why he’s so cautious now.
He feels fortunate about his past and always tries to find the lessons, and she again makes note of his candors. He has some sweet things to say about romance and love and relationships, and he comes across as the most “real” of all the guys so far. He’s aware of his surroundings and what he likes, and they’re compatible on a philosophical level. I like this guy, and so does Andi. So she gives him a rose and a kiss.
They retire to the top of the clock tower for cuddling, hand holding and neck and lip kisses, generating 1.21 gigawatts of electricity all on their own, without Doc Brown, a Delorian or a lightning strike.
Boyz II, Er, Still Boyz
Back at the mansion, Patrick’s boy toy Andrew and super hot Marcus (who is the youngest guy left at a probably-too-young-for-this 25) discuss Nick’s skepticism and how it’d probably be better for everyone involved if he ended up going home. Swing and a miss.
The group date card arrives — Let’s Start Things Off on the Right Note — and it’s addressed to coach Brian, cookie boy Marquel, middle-class man’s Sean Lowe Cody, Greek wedding planner Tasos, lamp aficionado Brett, Ron (who?), operatic Bradley, ex-baseball player Josh, explorer Eric, bromancers Andrew and Patrick and hot Marcus.
They are sure they’ll be singing, and Bradley is excited because he thinks she needs to hear him do opera again. They enter a music hall to find the three remaining members of Boyz II Men singing “I’ll Make Love to You,” and it’s a grade school flashback wet dream. Bradley starts the singing right away, replacing his normal talking with unpleasing sounds. And Andi will be singing with y’all (expressing excitement). This must be a drinking game.
Yeah, these guys cannot sing. Brian, Patrick and Marcus are especially awful (compared to a chicken being strangled), but Cody, Ron and the rest don’t do themselves any favors. Only Tasos appears to have any musical inclination. Marquel is hilarious, though, confidently declaring he’s gong to serenade the f*** out of Andi.
For her part, Andi is equally terrible. Then she drops the bombshell that they will be performing “I’ll Make Love to You” at the Boyz II Men concert in front of the live crowd. This is going to be all about who can have fun and who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Hey, if Ryan Seacrest can sing with Richard Marx during the American Idol finale, these guys can sing in front of Boyz II Men’s remaining 29 fans and the people ABC pays to fill the seats.
The guys are divided into two teams, one dressed in matching sport coats and ties and the other rocking some “Motown Philly” school boy outfits. They get to enjoy the outdoor concert, and then it’s showtime.
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Cover Your Ears for Love
After Boyz II Men’s spectacular performance, the guys are quite the stark contrast. Bradley starts off with the first solo by trying really hard and sounding surprisingly horrible for a professional singer. Eric gives a solid wacky performance (since he is good at everything), Cody’s timing is way off and Josh and Marcus forget the words.
Marquel and Tasos steal the show, and Boyz II Men laughs off the tragic death of their hit single while everyone in the crowd records the performance on their phones as proof it actually happened. Based on talent, Boyz II Men recommends that Andi stay single.
The Tone Deaf Aftermath
Andi welcomes the guys back to her resort, where she toasts them for making her smile with their off-key attempts at music. Cody gets the first one-on-one time, and Andi thinks he’s fun and funny. She decides to mess with him by asking about y’alls (deviousness) house and then telling him that the guys in the house say he has a girlfriend. Then she comes clean and they laugh, and I’m wondering if that was the ruse we’ve been building towards? If so, weeeaaakkkkkk.
Eric worries that their connection has faded and asks if things are weird now, but they both had a great time on their first date and it’s all reassuring. Brian offers her his full open heart, while Marcus parlays his quiet jealousy into their first kiss. He and the chest hair popping out of his open collar feel that she may be “the one.”
Josh constantly flashes his perfect big-toothed smile, and they make out in a semi-disturbing forceful way while he coos that he loves everything about her. She rewards him with a rose after telling the group that she enjoys so many parts of y’all (lust). Marcus is upset, but he speculates that whatever she has with Josh could never compare to what they have. Dude is getting a little creepy.
The final date card goes to pantsaholic Bill Nye impersonator JJ, meaning high school haircut Dylan and farmer Chris have struck out this time. JJ has been sitting around for two weeks waiting for this, so he’s marking the occasion with particularly hideous pants and ugly flip flops. Bad flops are an immediately deal breaker for me. Just say no to Tevas.
Andi and JJ are growing old together, aging 50 years in a matter of minutes at the hands of Hollywood makeup artists. It’s an all-out transformation too, age spots, skin discolorations and all. She looks like a cute old lady, while he resembles a scary old guy that you’d keep your kids away from. Like, he looks like he should be old right now. He doesn’t even need to change his pants.
They walk around the beach and boardwalk, attempting to fool people into believing it’s their 50th wedding anniversary by employing every old person stereotype in the book, including Andi’s uncontrollably shaking hands and JJ’s hunchback. Then they ride around on motorized carts, toss a football and do cartwheels, but no one cares, because old people can do whatever they want.
Andi thinks JJ is the most fun person she’s ever dated, and they peck-smooch on a tire swing before sharing some Werther’s Originals and a ride on the merry-go-round. They de-old and have dinner back at the resort, and they’re very comfortable with each other. He’s been hesitant in the past to be his full quirky self because he was a bullied nerd growing up, and this experience is helping him learn to risk his feelings for the chance to be accepted by a girl like Andi. A rose and kisses follow.
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S*** Gets Serious
While all the other guys are hanging out at the mansion, Ron is outside on the phone, pacing back and forth while waving off the cameras. He tells the person he’ll call back, hangs up and curses. He cites a family emergency and starts packing his bags.
A close personal friend of his passed away, so his time in the house has to be over. He says his goodbyes and peaces out in a limo. It’s a shame for a guy we basically know nothing about. Condolences to his family and friends.
Then high-school haircut Dylan confides in farmer Chris that which he needs to tell Andi in private. At first, I was thinking, man, this guy really wants to talk about himself. But then I heard the story, and it’s truly sad and horrible stuff. Four years ago, his sister died of a drug overdose. His brother couldn’t deal with it, slipped deeper into his own darkness and was eventually involved in some sort of accident that left him brain dead. It’s tragic, but that’s a lot to lay on someone after one group date.
The only downside of Craig’s departure is that there’s no one left to act out inappropriately while under the influence. Thankfully, sober drama exists as well. But first, Andi acknowledges Ron’s absence and assures the guys that she really cares about y’all (sadness). It also put things into perspective in terms of the time they all have together.
Eric cryptically speaks of this before a delivery guy walks in with a vase of posies from Nick, which throws big E off his game. He hilariously quips that he got c***blocked by a bouquet of flowers. She swoons at the gesture and rewards Nick with romantic tongue interactions. He raised the bar, and the other guys are pissed they didn’t think of it first.
JJ is on cloud nine, but he needs to get something off his chest before the rose ceremony. After the first group date, at dinner, Andrew apparently snagged the hostess’ number and bragged about it to the guys in the van. He expresses his concerns to Josh, and they grab Andrew for a confrontation.
And while he refuses to engage, Josh and JJ aren’t going to let it die. They chase him up to his room, yelling that his actions are proving their point. It was a douche move for sure, but what’s the guy supposed to do now? Recuse himself? What a dumbass thing to do, though. So they tell all the other guys.
The Death of a Same-Named Dream?
Andrew thinks he’s being attacked because he’s a threat, but he decides to give JJ, Josh and whoever else the benefit of the doubt, no matter how nerdy or dorky or a**hole they may be. He admits getting the number, but denies bragging about it. It’s game-on now, though, because this means it’s a full-on competition now, and he’s ready to throw down. But haymakers be damned, these “lowlifes” just aren’t worth it to him.
No one is sharing the information with Andi, though, so it’s unlikely the indiscretion will cost him a rose this time. But it will certainly come into play later should Andrew stick around. For good measure, he wishes all the guys good luck and hopes that those who get roses are really here for Andi.
Before the ceremony, hot Marcus professes his belief in love at first sight and that he feels it with Andi, and he passes her a note that he wants her to read later. They kiss, and he thinks their feelings are more intense than anyone else’s. He’s really starting to give me a bit of an unstable vibe, like he’s obsessive and possessive and not so good in relationships. Time will tell.
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Josh, Nick and JJ are safe, and with Ron already gone, only two guys won’t be getting roses. Andi distributes flowers to:
Cookie boy Marquel
Greek wedding planner Tasos
Middle-class man’s Sean Lowe Cody
Andrew boy-toy Patrick
High school haircut and walking tragedy Dylan
Patrick boy-toy and number grabber Andrew
That means it’s the end of the line for operatic Bradley, who stuck around way too long as it was, and lamp aficionado and now-bearded Brett, who didn’t stand out at all. In fact, every time I saw him, I was only able to identify him as Brett by the process of elimination. He was always the only guy left.
Brett wishes her luck on his way out, blaming his shyness and inability to open up for his departure. Bradley wishes her love and a good night, and he thinks his vulnerability and attempts to put himself out there just weren’t good enough. He’s reduced to tears as he pines about how much he wants love and to be loved.
So these are the 13 guys that Andi’s gut told her to go with, and she wants them all to continue experiencing great moments, starting with next week, which is actually Monday. And boy oh boy, is the stuff about to hit the fan in Connecticut.
There’s a violent pickup basketball game and a tear-filled rage-induced outburst from Andi that lands one guy in the back of a taxi. Will it be the news of Andrew’s digits? Or something else?
How are your favorites holding up, and are you getting the same immature Fatal Attraction vibe from Marcus that I am? Nick and Brian are still at the top of my list, whereas Josh’s inclusion just seems too good to be true. The other shoe is going to drop.
Is this season dark or what? We’ve got two deaths, a rejected former contestant, a drunken outburst, a wrong-reasons guy, Dylan’s tragic past and Marcus’ looming insanity, plus whatever fisticuffs break-out in the coming weeks and whatever happens in part two of the extravaganza. This is more like The Deadliest Catch. And we’re doing it all again tomorrow. See you then.
You can watch The Bachelorette every Monday at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Emmy-winning news producer & former BuddyTV blogger. Lover of Philly sports, Ned, Zoe, Liam and Delaine…not in that order