Heyooo, Bachelorette-lovin’ babies! Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend. And what better way to cap off the holiday celebrating America’s servicemen and women than two hours of a reality TV soap opera? This is freedom in action, my friends. The freedom to make bad choices when it comes to finding love AND finding something to watch.
Speaking of bad choices, we kick off with Chris Harrison talking to the guys, some of whom are making some terrible fashion choices. Michael is wearing his hair slicked half up like a Chinese gymnast, and Charlie is wearing an XXXXXL Osh Kosh B’Gosh t-shirt. It’s all bright and stripy. Sorry, guys. But the way to convince a woman that you’re right to raise her child is not to dress like a child.
Date #1: Climbing with Chris
Chris’s date starts really anticlimactically. He gets the date card, and then all of a sudden he and Emily are walking down the street on their date, pretending not to feel awkward about making small talk in front of a backwards-walking camera man. So they’re walking down the street, and all of a sudden she announces that they’re climbing one of Charlotte’s tallest buildings, for absolutely no other reason than that it is scary. FEAR DATE!
After lusting after Emily in her harness (S&M fan?) Chris makes the requisite weak-ass analogy about how the thing they’re doing is exactly like love. “Climbing a building is definitely like love … because it’s terrifying and exhausting and you put in all this work just to get somewhere you don’t actually want to be, and most of the time you just want to quit, but you can’t, because your genitals are locked in.”
So they climb the building, and there’s lightning 50 miles away, which is kinda scary! Emily tries not to pee her leggings that she’s pretending are pants. Chris’s “calming presence” keeps her pee where it’s supposed to be, which Emily interprets as another indication that he could be THE ONE. I keep hoping that Chris brought the bobbleheads, and that the bobbleheads would each get little bobble-helmets and bobble-harnesses and climb the building along with their human counterparts, but I guess the producers were too busy styling Music Mike’s hair to make that happen. They reach the top of the building. Bonded forever through the fear date, they … high-five? That’s not how the script usually goes...
There’s a dinner set up on top of the boring urban building they just climbed, which isn’t weird or uncomfortable at all. (Yes it is.) Emily is really flirty with Chris until she learns that he’s only 25, which is a “red flag” because she thinks he’s probably not ready to settle down. That doesn’t seem fair, since she’s only 26 and probably doesn’t like when people judge her for being a young mom. Chris is like, “I know I’m young, BUT I’M A MAN.” He says it like that, too, all gruff and loud. She’s into it.
Emily realizes she’s had a thing for old guys in the past (like 38-year-old Brad Womack, who was much less of a man than Chris) but maybe a young buck wouldn’t be too bad. She gives Chris the rose, and then all of a sudden they’re off the building and walking down the street. This date is too busy for segue ways! Then all of a sudden they’re dancing at a Luke Bryan concert, who is a country artist I guess. Luke’s specialty is singing romantic songs about kissing, which is such a strange coincidence because Chris is nervous to kiss Emily! But she gives him the go-ahead, so he kisses her, which makes Chris the first to GITTT SOMMMME this season.
Way to go, Chris! Tonight, you’re both A man and THE man.
Date #2: Group Interrogation Session in the Park
The guys meet up with Emily at the park, and Ryan is feeling cocky after his chemistry-less one-on-one date last week. Relax, dude. You are but one juicy steak in this jampacked butcher shop.
After a few awkward minutes holding a football she’s too scared to throw, Emily is like, “BYE!” and walks away from the big group of guys. They’re like, “But… uh… date?” And so begins the anti-date group date. Emily walks to the other side of the park, where her lady-friends are waiting. They’re going to meet and interview her “boys” to find out which ones would make a good dad. The ladies have all watched a lot of Murder, She Wrote, which basically makes them detectives, so they immediately take their job very seriously and vow to find out which of these eyebrow-waxing gym monkeys who signed up for a TV dating show are here “for the right reasons.” (Very few of them!) This is gonna be great.
And after this you’re all gonna go get physicals, and then go to the bank and make sure you’re financially stable enough to be a dad. FUUUUUUUUUN!!!
Emily keeps saying that the girls are here to see which men are “worthy” of being her “husband,” which, in the real world, would cause any normal man to run screaming in the other direction. But this isn’t the real world, which is why this “date” can be a series of interviews with people who aren’t Emily, and still be considered a date with Emily.
Travis has brought the ostrich egg to the park, of course. He brings it to his interview too, of course. And, if you didn’t catch that, he has named the egg “Shelly.” OF COURSE. Are we sure that Travis isn’t the one with a brain injury? Everything he does makes my lady-parts want to hide behind the couch.
During his interview, Stevie pulls out several dance routines — both his greatest strength and greatest weakness. Sean, whom we’ve barely seen speak yet, KILLS his interview thanks to Emily’s flirty (embarrassing) friend Wendy, who forces him to take off his shirt and do pushups while she sits on his back.
WATCH THE THRONE
“This is like a dream come true!” she says as she rides on his sweaty, mortified back. Wendy, I don’t disagree. But girl. Dial it back a little bit.
The trials aren’t over after the interviews. Across town, the Bachelor producers have been keeping a bunch of kids in a cage, hopping them up on candy and cocaine and poking them with sticks to get them extra riled up. When they finally open the cage, the kids come running to the playground like a pack of rabid zombies with a thirst for human FUN. This is test two. Emily and her friends stand around and survey the men as they attempt to play the role of Cool Dad with these kids they don’t know. (That sends a great message.) “What’s your name? YES, I’ll push you on the swings! Do you like Spongebob? I’ll give you five dollars if you tell your mom I’m awesome!”
Ryan walks over to Emily and her friends to try to get some points and, in the two minutes he’s standing there, somehow manages to say that after they get married (presumptuous), Emily better not get fat, because he’d “still love her,” but he just wouldn’t “love on her” as much. RUDE! What an idiot. Emily’s friends are like, “Ummmm… he’s cute, at least?”
What I mean is that when we get married, which is definitely going to happen, and you finally feel comfortable enough to stop dieting and maybe have another kid or two, pursue other interests and passions, succumb to the natural affects of aging … I’ll probably still love you, but I’ll think you’re gross and tell you so. I mean, I’ll still let you cook and clean… which burns calories! Right? All I’m saying is that if you ever gain weight I’ll stop loving you in a romantic way. I mean, not in a romantic way, but in a way where I’d want to have sex with you. Which to me is the same, because I could never love someone who doesn’t fit my strict physical standards. I’m not sure I’ve ever really loved anyone, actually. Why am I still talking? Why am I still HERE?
Emily’s friends told her that they liked Doug and Sean the best, so she singles each of them out at the Post-Park Cocktail Party. Since each of them would be/is a great dad, Emily asks them about their dads. Sean says that his dad is still lovey-dovey with his mom, and he’s been “takin’ notes.” Doug’s story is super-sad, about how his dad had epilepsy and died young and he and his sister went through foster homes. Emily tears up and really appreciates how Doug is a positive person after going through so much.
Meanwhile, back at the bro-chelor pad, Arie gets the final one-on-one date of the week, which is great, but then he says the worst possible thing in response: “I’m a race car driver, and I’m used to things moving fast.” First of all, a producer better have fed him that line, because human beings don’t actually talk that way, do they? Also, if you’re looking for things to move fast … wrong Bachelorette, dude.
Back on the date: Tony is freaking out. He misses his son and can’t focus on anything else. A day of playing with other people’s kids just put him over the edge. It might be cute … if it weren’t so incessant and annoying.
“I’m a dad.”
“Dad. Dad dad dad. Dad stuff. Dad thoughts.”
“SAD DAD IS SAD. And a DAD.”
Then he makes the mistake of talking about this to Emily. He starts crying and sweating, and the vein in his forehead starts popping out, and Emily is like, “Awwwww. Please stop.” She keeps looking at him like an old dog who needs to be put out of his misery. Then Doug talks to Tony. Dad to dad.
“Don’t get mad. Get DAD.”
Doug reminds him that five-year-olds “have an attention span like a hummingbird,” so it’s definitely not going to scar either of their kids that they went on national TV and used their kids as bait to try to win a wife in nine weeks. I mean, he’ll definitely get dumped by Emily at some point very soon, but he’ll have been on TV, so it will all be worth it. Tony borrows a cellphone from a producer and calls his son and cries some more. He says, “You’re Batman and I’m Joker,” which is funny because “why so serioussssss, Tony?”
“Remember me? I’m your dad.”
It’s all extremely overly dramatic and detached from reality, and it angers me that these parents keep justifying their behavior by how they want to “find love.” As if this show is the only available avenue to do that. I mean, doing The Bachelorette doesn’t necessarily make you a bad dad. But pretending that you’re doing a reality TV show for the good of your family or some other b.s., and not admitting that you’re doing it because you want to have an adventure or a vacation or attention or whatever it is, THAT makes you a liar.
Anyway, Emily decides that all of Tony’s weeping is killing the mood, so she gives him a speech about how much she respects him, and then immediately sends him home. It’s for his own good. Then she gives the other guys a speech about how much she respects them and Tony, and they each take turns saying that they respect Emily for being a mom and Tony being a dad and Emily’s decision to get rid of Tony because he’s a dad even though she’s a mom who went through the exact same thing last season. And over in his rejection limo, Tony still respects Emily. Everyone respects everyone, basically. Except for me, who respects all of them a bit less. Then Emily gives Sean the date rose, because he impressed her and her friends and he’s super hot.
To end the night, Travis gives a toast to “the greatest girl who could bring us all together,” and pretends it’s for Emily, but we all know he’s talking about Shelly.
Date #3: Dollywood with Arie
Arie is a big frontrunner and he clearly knows it — but in a cool, not cocky, way. First, they take a private plane to Tennessee. Normal date stuff. Then they go to Dollywood, which is Dolly Parton’s personal theme park. It’s one of Emily’s favorite places, because she LOVES Dolly Parton. This is something that Emily and I can agree on. And I’ve always wanted to go to Dollywood … until I saw this date and realized that it’s basically just a county fair that never closes.
After playing some carnival games and dancin’ to the Dollywood jug band, they go to Dolly’s “Community Theater,” where they find a piece of paper that says “Write a love song.” Noooo!
Thankfully, it’s just a fake distraction, and we don’t have to hear their terrible made-up love song. They only get a couple cheesy lines written before Dolly FREAKIN’ Parton herself shows up to sing a song that she wrote just for Emily and Arie. From far away, I thought it might be a Dolly impersonator or wax statue, but NOPE. It’s the real Dolly deal.
“I could die. I could DIEEEEE. Seriously, kill me right now. I want to die. Die. Die.” – How Emily expresses her happiness
The song is awesome. I can’t remember any of it, but it was. Emily keeps saying, “I could dieeeee” and talking over Dolly’s lyrics, but it’s cute how freaked out she is to be in the presence of her idol. She’s seriously star-struck. “It’s crazy to me that Dolly Parton even knows that I exist on this planet, let alone took the time to write me a song.” I think they might have actually surprised her, for real!
After the song, Dolly tells Arie to GIT, so she and Emily can have some girl talk. Dolly’s been with her husband almost 46 years, so she’s got lots of experience in keepin’ a man. Emily’s already got the being blonde and having big boobs thing going, so that’s a good start.Then Dolly sings a love song while Arie and Emily dance. As they dance, Arie stares at Emily, and Emily stares at Dolly.
At dinner, Emily is still raving about Dolly Parton. I think she should maybe just skip the whole guy process and marry Dolly instead. Arie attempts to get her attention back by talking about his ex-girlfriend, and maybe telling a little too much. He talks about how much he loved her and her two kids, and they lived together, until she dumped him because he reminded her TOO MUCH OF HER EX-HUSBAND. Who was also a race car driver. We all see the connection, right? Right.
Emily doesn’t seem fazed by Arie’s intense past or his profession. She “welcomes” that he has a busy schedule, because she likes having her own space. She picks up the rose, Arie looks confident. She says she had a great time today, “but…” (and now he looks terrified) “… I’m totally messing with you!” She just wanted to lighten the mood by pretending he wasn’t going to get the rose. Ha, ha! What a great joke. Not at all insensitive to all the guys who won’t get the rose later. And now every time she tries to let a guy down easy, he’s going to think she’s just kidding.
So Arie gets the rose, and then they go make out on Dolly’s carousel.
Thanks for the song, Dolly! Sorry for soiling your park.
Kalon didn’t get a date this week (probably because he would have ruined all the children at the park), and he’s furious. So he swoops in at the beginning of the cocktail party and ruins the first private time that he’s had with Emily all week by A) saying he’s offended that he didn’t get a date this week, B) not wearing socks, C) wearing dumb glasses and D) interrupting Emily during conversation and saying, “I love it when you talk but I wish you’d let me finish.” It’s seriously patronizing and rude, and Emily is not impressed. “I like tall, skinny and funny [but Kalon’s not funny], but I don’t love tall, skinny and condescending.” PLEASE tell me that means Kalon will be taking his private helicopter back to Hell tonight.
After three embarrassing weeks of treating that ostrich egg like a child he bore from his own ostrich-womb, Travis finally realizes that Shelly isn’t doing him any favors. If Travis was a sane man, he would have just put the egg in the closet and changed the subject when people brought it up. But Travis decides the best course of action is to ask Emily to dramatically smash his metaphorical child. The “child” he sang to sleep every night and cuddled in his man-garoo pouch all day every day, and said he would care for the same way that he’d care for Emily and Ricki. Whatever message that sends, it’s now even worse than it was before. If you’re gonna have a stupid gimmick, at least commit to it and give it a happy ending. (A GIANT OMELET!)
Shelly, about to meet the same fate as Emily and Travis’s relationship.
Alessandro the perpetually-flushed Brazilian finally gets a chance to speak, and quickly shows why that should have never happened. He keeps talking about how, if he married Emily and became the “chief” (CHIEF!!!) of her family, it would be a “compromise” to him. Emily is like, “Compromise? You mean … honor?” and he’s like, “no, I mean compromise.” Even though they’re both speaking English, there seems to be a bit of a language barrier. Oh, wait. Alessandro literally says, “There is no language barrier. I am 100% confident that I’m expressing myself correctly.” WELL, THEN. Congratulations on speaking your thoughts in perfect English, Alessandro. But your thoughts are terrible, so you’re going home now.
According to Sean, in his interview, Alessandro also admitted that he had cheated on a girlfriend before and had one night stands. Alessandro has mastered English, but has not mastered the art of lying in English. In his rejection limo, Alessandro says that he’s been living like a “gypsy king” (what is that, STRIKE … FIVE?) but that he was open to changing that for Emily. He doesn’t sound like he was really open to it, though. He sounds like he really enjoyed running his mouth as a gypsy king.
After sending Alessandro home, Emily is upset and pissed off, but Arie comforts her with a hug and kiss like they’re already a couple. It’s cuuuuute! Ryan sees and gets jealous, which is so typical Ryan.
Not to be outdone, Sean gets Emily next and reaffirms her belief that there are some real quality dad-figures here. He says that he would love Ricki as his own daughter, and Emily thanks him for making her feel better and having a “kind heart.” Then THEY make out. I guess Week 3 is the week when Emily’s mom-walls officially came down. All Bachelorette systems are GO. Bring on the hot tubs, Week 4!
Tony and Alessandro got themselves ousted before the rose ceremony, and Sean, Arie and Chris already have roses. Emily has 10 roses to hand out. The roses go to:
Jef the Withholding Hipster
Charlie the Invincible
Doug the Dad
Majestic Haired Michael
Travis the Murderous Egg Man
Alejandro the Sexy Silent Colombian
Ryan the Meathead
John the Silent Wolf
Kalon the Insufferable
And the final rose goes to …
Nate the Tall Silent Blond One
Ohhhh, noooo! That means Stevie the Dancing Party DJ is going home. I guess we all knew it couldn’t last forever. Still, I hoped he’d get some more screen time before he got sent home. But fingers crossed for Bachelor Pad 3!
Stevie takes the news hard, but he’ll get over it once he gets home and can dance it out.
After the rose ceremony, Ryan is still pissed that he saw Arie and Emily kissing, because Arie is a “dainty man.” Uhh, what? I guess anyone who isn’t built like 20 Christmas hams stacked on top of each other is “dainty” compared to Ryan. Ryan vows that the fight for Emily is now on. I can’t wait to watch his ego crash and burn.
Next week: The traveling begins, with Bermuda up first. Arie and Emily will kiss some more (suck on THAT, Ryan!) and Emily will also have some close-up time with Jef and Doug. The group date will be an intense sailing race. Chris will confront Doug for some reason, and Ryan will get himself in trouble for being “narcissistic.” What if Kalon has just been a very obnoxious red herring all along? Maybe RYAN is the one who’s “not here for the right reasons”! OoooOOoooooh!
(Images courtesy of ABC)