Do you guys think that when humans look back on our civilization hundreds of years from now they’ll find dozens of recaps about a show that purported be all about true love but was really about exploitation and the lengths people will go to for fame and ultimately feel really ashamed of our indulgence? No? Me either. SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE BACHELORETTE!
The world traveling kicks off this week with everyone heading to Atlantic City. Let me tell you, their feigned excitement over visiting such an exotic locale is through the roof! They try really hard to make Atlantic City not look like the dated, bizarre hell-hole that it is, but a roller coaster on a rainy boardwalk can only entice one’s desire to travel to Atlantic City so much.
“MAN THIS PLACE IS AWESOME. IT’S BASICALLY LIKE LAS VEGAS ON THE OCEAN,” Kasey yells.
The first one-on-one date is going to Brad, the one with the kid and an addict ex-wife. This will be interesting because we haven’t seen much of him other than when he told her that sordid bit of his past.
As James and Mikey voice over how they think Brad is a nice guy but maybe too quiet for Des, the couple have a blast going on all the rides on the boardwalk. Brad does seem a little quiet, but maybe that’s what Desiree needs. I don’t know; I’m not her.
She and Brad get to tour a candy factory without hairnets or any other sanitary gear. After visiting the taffy room, Des whispers that she smells chocolate. “Where’s the chocolate?” she urgently whispers again. Well, they find it! It’s like a sterile and un-beautiful Willy Wonka! They just dive right in and grab chocolate covered pretzels off the conveyor belt. I’m concerned about the health standards at this factory.
High from their glassed-in prison, Bryden and Zak W. (and Ben but I hate him) spy on what they think are Desiree and Brad on the boardwalk.
“This is a disaster,” Zak sighs, exasperated, “Especially on a carousel! Things always happen on a carousel.” Do they, Zak W.? What kinds of things always happen on carousels? On the Bachelorette Emily and Arie made out once, and one time there was a haunted carousel in the feature length made-for-tv “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” movie, but those are the only two things I can think of that have happened on carousels.
Regardless, Zak W. is upset and becoming a little obsessively psycho about Brad on this date.
Wow. Check out the sick ass sandcastle of love they get to lounge in. It’s pretty impressive and probably super cold. They have a pleasant but vague exchange.
God I feel like the dates this season have six bajillion parts. They have their dinner at yet another location, this time a lighthouse. Desiree is unsure if at this point Brad’s good qualities are translating into a connection. I’m unsure at this point if Brad likes girls.
Between many awkward pauses filled by drinking wine, the conversation is strained. It’s uncomfortable to watch them be so uncomfortable. Even after climbing to the top of an historic lighthouse that should be a romantic lookout point, the two have nothing to say to each other. Ok, Des, please, cut the cord.
She does. Des cuts the cord. AT THE TOP OF THE LIGHTHOUSE. They are trapped up there together. Brad is getting dumped in a room from which his only escape is a tiny, tiny door in the floor. Poor guy. He is a sweet accountant who will make another woman very happy.
Group date time, y’all! Brooks, Bryden, Zak K., Kasey, Drew, Juan Pablo, Zak W, Mikey, Ben, Michael, and Chris will be trying become Desiree’s “Mr. Right.” Brooks describes Des as a unicorn. Drew is still super duper cute.
Everyone gathers in the gymnasium of Boardwalk Hall to meet with Chrarrison and the current Miss America, who hails from New Jersey. Boardwalk Hall is where the first Miss America pageant took place 90 years ago, so for the date these boys will be competing in their very own all male revue in a Mr. America pageant! I love this. I love when they are forced into frivolity and peacocking.
Guys. Guys. Guess what Michael G. says. You’re never going to guess. It’s better than anything I could make up that he says in reaction to this date. He says, “As a young kid, I often dreamed of becoming Mr. America, and now I have the opportunity to make those dreams a reality. And that’s all you could ask for out of life.” WOW! HE DEFINITELY LIKES GIRLS NOT BOYS!
World famous pageant coach (I’m not sure those words can technically be used together truthfully) Christopher Dean sashays onto the scene to also help the guys prepare for the pageant. This show is such a gift to me and my life.
The first task to take care of is choosing a talent for everyone, AND JUAN PABLO GOES STRAIGHT FOR THE BATON AND STARTS TWIRLING AND TOSSING IT. LIKE, JP IS REALLY GOOD AT BATON TWIRLING. ¡DIOS MIO!
More and more antics ensue. Drew accurately describes the proceedings as a “hodge-podge of tomfoolery.” Bless, Drew. Bless. Additional blessings unto Drew for deciding that he will recite Romeo’s famous monologue from “Romeo and Juliet.”
As a final twist, Mr. Dean reveals that there will also be a swimsuit competition. The guys have preassigned swimsuits; some are trunks, some are speedos. When asked how Juan Pablo feels about his speedo he replies, “I FEEL GREAT!” I can’t handle my amor for this total goon.
The audience is assembled, the stage is set, Chrarrison is in his best hosting suit, and it’s time to get this dog and pony show on the road. Miss America Valerie Hagan, Mayor Lorenzo Langford, and Desiree shall be the judges presiding over this most presitigous affair.
Kasey is first up in the interview portion. His question is “In a relationship, are you a giver or a taker?” Boring! So is his response! Most of the questions are weird like “would you be water or fire?” or “what animal would you be and why?” These are the kinds of questions my friends and I ask each other on road trips, fun, but not the kind of thing I care to know about Zak W.
Chris is starting to shine very brightly here. He stumbles through his response but is charming and adorable the whole time. He also would not part with his strappy pink high heels earlier while practicing.
Um, Juan Pablo reveals that he has a daughter? So. Yeah. Way to be upfront with me about that JP. Like, I’m going to forgive you but I need you to not disclose such important details to me during a mock beauty pageant.
Mikey tries to say that women just see men as bodies and can’t see that they are real people. Yeah, Mikey, I’d say WOMEN are definitely the worst perpetrators of the objectification of the opposite gender. You MEN really have to struggle with being seen as a piece of meat.
TALENT SHOW TIIIIIIIIIIME! Kasey comes out in red pants to tell a terrible story and do some equally terrible tap dancing.
Mikey, who recently berated women for objectifying him, does a strip tease. He takes off his clothes for his talent. His abs are his talent. ABS AREN’T A TALENT, MIKEY.
Brooks hurts my ears with a made up song on a ukulele that he cannot play.
Ben ribbon dances without a shirt; Drew reads that monologue from a script and I silently deduct points for not memorizing; darling Chris does some hula hoop tricks in the aforementioned pink high heels; Bryden regales us with another strip tease.
And then, a funny thing happens. Zak W. sings pretty well and plays guitar to a nice, simple song he wrote. Is he Bob Dylan? No. Was it sweet? Yes. Does he still have crazy eyes? YES.
Then we watch a handful of the guys prance around in swimsuits. Mikey does that creepy peck flex thing that male strippers do. I do not get to see Juan Pablo in a speedo. I am greatly upset by this. But Drew is surprisingly cut.
After much (minimal) deliberation, the results are in! Brooks is our second-runner up, followed by Zak W. And the winner of the whole crown is…Kasey? I guess. Seems pretty arbitrary. He gets a giant dopey crown, flowers, and a sash.
After the pomp of the pageant, Desiree plans a pool party for her posse! So much chill fun. Chris snags her away first to show her his more serious, not high heel wearing side.
Oh my gosh. He writes poetry. Don’t make fun of him guys. He went through some tough times with baseball, so he goes to coffee shops to write poetry. If he wasn’t so cute I would murder him for this confession, but he is precious. Des is super into it too, for she does the same thing!
HE READS ONE. HE READS ONE ABOUT THE DATE ON TOP OF THE HOTEL. IT ALL RHYMES. OH. MY. GOD. HIS POEMS ALL RHYME!!!!
Back at the other pool, Bryden hates Ben a whole awful lot. His hatred is so fierce that it makes me like Bryden more. Ben decides to have his one-on-one time with Desiree right in front of all the guys which sends them up the walls.
Des is completely taken by him though. She totally digs the fact that he wears a necklace with his son’s thumbprint. I mean, look, wear a necklace with your son’s thumbprint but don’t try and play it like you “tried to show it to her during your talent” when your talent was RIBBON DANCING.
Zak W. uses his time to play the rest of his song based on his experience on the Bachelorette. I want to hate it, but it’s actually not terrible. He just really wants a rose. He gets the rose!
Chris is bummed that he didn’t get it, but he’ll be fine. He’s too cute to send home yet. Bryden didn’t get any one-on-one time with Des, which is weird for him and me. That’s unusual.
Has anyone heard more than two words from Zak K? Who is that guy? He’s a beefy book publisher. That’s all I got.
James is excited for his date. His bags are packed, but his hair is gelled in hopes that he’ll earn a rose. They are going on a helicopter ride, but this isn’t your typical Bachlorette helicopter ride. They are going to tour some of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy along the Jersey Shore. That should be a fun and sexy time for them, yes?
The destruction is intense. It’s real people’s lives that have been affected here, so I can’t make light of that.
What I can make light of is that as they’re touring Seaside Heights from the ground, they walk past the actual “Jersey Shore” house. I would know that shack of doom anywhere, and that is the real deal.
The Red Cross guide takes James and Des to meet a real couple in the process of rebuilding. They’re in their sixties and true New Jerseyians. The woman is so excited to meet Desiree from the tv! They are just lovely, and their story really affects Des and James.
We find out that Manny and Jan had to spend their wedding anniversary in a Red Cross shelter right after the worst of the storm. With that in mind, Des and James “decide” (are coerced by producers) to give their fancy date to this sweet couple so they can properly celebrate their marriage.
Instead of dinner in a gaudy Atlantic City ballroom, Des and James grab some food at a dive bar. That food is probably terrific, and I would prefer that as a date anyways.
James tells Desiree that he cheated on a girlfriend he dated for five years during his freshmen year of college. I appreciate that he’s being honest; I would want to know that. But at the same time, that was almost ten years ago for this guy, and what person didn’t make beyond stupid, awful, dumb-dumb decisions their freshmen year of college? I’m not forgiving what he did, but I’m saying it probably doesn’t mean he’ll be a bad person now. Turns out Desiree agrees with me.
Back in Atlantic City, Manny and Jan are presented with their wedding photo album that was ruined in the flooding. They have a letter from a volunteer saying they helped to restore the photos in that album. They’re crying looking at it. I’m crying looking at them. It’s a very nice gesture! True love is real!
Here’s a link to the American Red Cross website. I give $20 a month, and I really don’t make much. But every time something like Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombings, and any other disaster happens, I’m glad to know I can help people like Manny and Jan. Also it’s tax deductible if that’s a thing that means something to you.
And then there’s a private concert for James, Des, Manny, and Jan from Darius Rucker. If it was Hootie and the Blowfish I might get excited but it’s not so I’m not. Oh yeah and James gets the rose.
Going into the cocktail party and rose ceremony, Bryden is feeling uncertain. He’s not sure his feelings for Desiree are where they should be, nor hers for him. He even tells the guys he’s not sure if he would accept a rose if he was offered one.
In order to stake his claim for a rose, Michael has designed a grand gesture. He writes out D-E-S-I-R-E-E and with each letter tells her a reason why he likes her. It’s an acrostic poem of love. Kill me. They share a lukewarm kiss.
Bryden has his talk with Desiree. She tries to reassure him and give him the confidence that she does want him there. Bryden is still doubtful and hasn’t made a decision. I respect him for being honest, though, that he isn’t necessarily head over heels for a girl he’s been on one real date with.
Tonight, there is only one guy who won’t be receiving a rose. But who knows what Bryden will do. What’s to become of this?! Here goes nothing. She calls out Chris, Brooks, Juan Pablito, Drew, Michael, Ben, Kasey, and then she calls out Bryden and he accepts. And the final rose goes to Mikey. Zak K. our stoic but beefy book publisher is going home.
He’s actually really eloquent and seems perfectly nice. What the hell, producers? Why didn’t you even show him more? Whatever, she’s got enough guys to deal with as they travel onward to Munich. It looks like some of the building tension will boil over in Deutschland, and I cannot wait. Auf wiedersehen, my friends!