Slaying the dragons.
So here we go again getting into another season of The Bachelorette! ABC has, of course, chosen to extend the show into an excruciating two hours yet once again, but have no fear! If you can not stomach it, just tune in to read about how I couldn’t stomach it either. Let’s go!This week when Jillian wakes up in her Mansion of Desperation, she has to pinch herself to make sure that this fairy-tale-come-to-life is actually happening to her. Yes you are living in the Disney mansion. Yes there are 20 attention-starved guys staying nearby under the guise of courting you. Yes your humiliation will be splattered all over America’s television sets. Aren’t you excited, Jillian? And why aren’t you working out? This is LA!
The guys are introduced to their living quarters, which is the barracks from DeAnna’s season resurrected with rows upon rows of twin beds with brown quilts on them and of course, the outdoor shower. Michael the break dancer is chagrined, and Juan tells him he should just leave. Chris Harrison arrives to call the boys to order and tell them how it’s going to go down this week. There will be three dates: two group dates and one one-on-one date. There will be one rose up for grabs on each group date, and the questionably lucky one-on-one dater will either receive a rose or be sent packing, based on Jillian’s whims. Also, as in seasons past, if you receive a rose you get to move out of the barracks and into the mansion with Jillian… until the next Rose Ceremony. Not everyone will go on a date this week and apparently this show has done away completely with the glorious Date Boxes of yore and Chris pulls out a dinky Date Card and leaves it on the pool table for them.
“Stay right where you are, fellas. Never touch the Chris.”
Misspelled Mathue grabs the Date Card and reads it as if he’s reading his own execution order. Cheer up, Mathue! This is true love! Here’s what the card says: “Michael, Brian, Brad, Sasha, Tanner P., Wes, Ed, Mathue… the fun starts at my place, boys.” Apparently it’s a pool party because they all get in their swim trunks and trot up the road to where Jillian is lying out in a bikini and sweater (?!).
“Hey guys! It’s chilly oat.”
When she stands up Brian goes, “What’s up you little hottie?” Ew. He really needs to stop with those sudden outbursts. Anyway, we’ve seen this all before – at this very pool, in fact. There is the applying of sun block, there is water volleyball, there is cannon balling. It’s all very exciting. Michael the break dancer takes Jillian away for some alone time. He tells her that she smelled and looked incredible last night and then Jillian tells him she has to go, gets up and walks away, telling him to stay there. She parades past the other guys and scoops up the rose and her sandals, but then instead of taking the rose to Michael, she puts on her fedora, hops into a waiting car and takes off. The guys are all baffled – especially Michael who thought he was sitting pretty.
Chris Harrison arrives and announces that the pool party is over! But the (amazing) race for Jillian’s heart is just beginning. They will be split up into teams of two and sent on a mad dash all over LA to locate the bachelorette. When they complete their mission, Jillian will pick one member of the winning team to have dinner with. In the front yard are their team assignments and their first clue. Go! Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Amazing Race. Sure enough, there are four cars parked with the teams labeled on the windshields. In front of each car is a bucket FULL of keys and the guys have to go through the keys until they find the one that opens a lock box sitting next to the bucket. Inside the lock box is the key that starts the car. One team gets impatient and smashes their lock box on the concrete. Will they incur a 30 minute penalty at the Pit Stop? When all the teams get underway my favorite team becomes obvious: Break Dancing Michael and Foot Fetish Tanner P. These two guys are in love with each other. They’re driving around shirtless in their tiny car and enjoying it way too much. They bounce around screaming then covering their mouths and giggling. The homoerotic tension is palpable.
“I got the hottest partner in the race!”
“OMG, you’re so bad!”
So Jillian shows up at a jewelry store to pick oat four diamond necklaces – one for each team – that they will choose from when their clues lead them here. Then she makes a call to each of the four cars, startling the guys as they realize there is a phone in their car – to tell the guys to keep going because she’s waiting for them. Michael and Tanner squeal and bounce. Then Michael tells us he peed his pants a little. Oh for pete’s sake. Honestly this isn’t as clearly edited as The Amazing Race and it’s difficult to tell where the guys are going and why. I need Phil Keoghan strolling out of nowhere to explain the challenge to me.
Oh thank goodness. Phil.
Basically all we get here are flags with roses on them indicating that the guys are on the right track. They get to a restaurant where they have to go in the back and change into tuxedos, then roam around the restaurant having no idea what to do. Finally one of the guys (Brad, I think?) finds a note in his tuxedo pocket that says, “If you want to win Jillian’s heart you’re going to have to lay it all on the line.” Well, that explains everything. Does this mean a line in the sidewalk? A line at the door? What? What? It turns out that it means the cooking line in the kitchen and all that is there is another blasted clue card that says “My ‘best friends’ are waiting for you down the street. Head through the front doors and turn left. If you can’t find the flag ask Neil for directions.” Okay, so front door, turn left. Wes and Brad get back into their car and drive around the strange city, getting more and more lost. Brian sees some tequila shots on the “line” and helps himself. Great idea, Brian, especially while you’re driving. Do you really think Jillian’s best friends are shots of tequila? Well, maybe. Anyway Brian and Ed get to the jewelry store first (I think it’s called Neil Lane?) and they choose a necklace and get another clue. Meanwhile Wes and Brad are circling the Beverly Center in their car, totally confused. Mathue and Sasha are next to locate Neil and pick another necklace. Brad and Wes finally get it together and find the necklaces, but by now they are at each other’s throats. They each want a different necklace and boo hoo hoo. The next clue is something cryptic with the word “spring” and a stopwatch, but Wes deciphers that it’s an address and he and Brad run into the Crocker Club where Jillian is waiting in an evening gown. Hmm, they’ve picked the ugliest of the four necklaces so Jillian has no choice but to put it on. She says she has to choose only one of them to eat with her and surprise, surprise she chooses Wes, who “wrote a song” for her. I knew it! Girls are suckers for that crap.
So Jillian and Wes head into an old bank vault to dine and Brad is pretty miffed, but he slumps over to the bar to drink and wait for the other guys to finish the race and join him. Wes isn’t here for the right reasons! Wes has a singing career to launch, Brad, so just back off. As we watch Wes and Jillian eat, Jillian tells us that Wes is very attractive because he is this honkey tonk Texas boy who makes her laugh. The laughing part is good, but honkey tonk? Really? Am I missing something here? Outside Brian and Ed come racing down the stairs only to discover Brad and the bad news that Wes has already won the challenge.
Back home at the barracks, Date Card #2 arrives. A guy I don’t recognize reads it and it says, “Jake, I’m looking for someone who can cut loose.” Jake jumps around screaming and the other guys make attempts at being good sports.
In the vault Jillian wants to know if Wes is a relationship guy. Oh great, here comes the age old conversation about how it works when a free spirited artist is in a relationship but has to travel the world promoting his gift. And of course Wes says that the girl has to be very secure and know who she is, blah, blah, blah. Jillian swallows this like it is a new revelation. Chalk one up for The Rooster. They kiss and it turns out that all of the guys who lost the race are watching all of this on a miniscule TV monitor out in some other room. And they are less than pleased. Then Jillian busts out the rose and Wes is moving into the mansion!
Chihuahua, Mexico bursts out cheering.
The next morning Jake packs his bags in preparation for his grand one-on-one. Jillian hobbles down to the barracks in black flapper dress and huge red cowboy boots. That driveway is a killer. DeAnna always had trouble walking down it in her high heels, too. Just for Jake she has worn her pilot wings on her flapper dress.
Oh come on, Jake. Give us a smile.
She drives him off in her purple convertible. Wes stands in front of the mansion watching them and looking very forlorn. First stop is some western wear shop where Jake is to purchase a new outfit. He tries on a couple of shirts and then gets totally carried away and jumps out of the dressing room in a fur trimmed vest making gun signs with both hands. Why, Jake, why?
“Stop right there! Give me all your… love!”
He unbuttons his shirt and he’s crossing over from dork territory into porn star territory. Button it up, Jake. He ends up with a super-dork shirt that is black with white roses embroidered onto it. And dressed in this fine apparel, they head over to the House of Blues. Oh yes, that’s definitely a spot for redneck wear. They missed the Saddle Ranch by about half a block. Anyway, per Bachelor tradition, the venue is totally empty and thus there is no atmosphere, no energy – just an empty building, yippee. Seizing the moment, Jillian hops up on the bar and does a one woman show for her one man audience. The music goes all stripper-cowgirl. Time to unbutton that top again, Jake. This is quite embarrassing – even for me, sitting fully clothed in my pajamas on the couch.
They do a little two-stepping and sit down at a table to eat. Jake is really laying it on thick, talking about all of the globetrotting dates they might go on should they end up together. The quote that takes the cake, however, is Jake saying, “I really think that there is a spark that could quite possibly turn into a flame that could quite possibly turn into love, and quite possibly turn into marriage.” Quite possibly.
At home the third and final Date Card has arrived. Mike reads it out. “Jesse, Mark, David, Mike, Simon, Krypton and Juan. If you want to be with me, you have to play ball.”
Jillian and Jake are still yapping – this time about how utterly spontaneous they both are – and just when you think this date is never going to end, the bar opens up into a stage and there is Martina McBride to give them a solo performance! I just love going to concerts where there is no audience. These two twirl around giggling and then Jillian gives Jake the rose. He talks like she just had his baby. This is seriously one of the most hyperbolic guys I’ve ever seen. Anyway, Wes is getting a roommate at the mansion.
And the next morning Jillian tells us that today she planned a “guy’s date.” They caravan down to Venice Beach and walk onto a basketball court. She divides them into teams and makes one team take their shirts off (naturally). David very humbly claims to be the most athletic guy in the house. Yeah, lucky for you that Billbro-the-fitness-model went home last week, David. Also, isn’t Mathue a personal trainer? Simon (the soccer coach) is awful – hello, he’s from England – and he says he’s “roobish” at basketball. That’s adorable, and I’d like to thank ABC for not subtitling it for me. I’d like to point out here that despite having moved to America at the age of two, Juan is wearing short shorts and can’t play basketball for crap. I guess he should stick to those volleyball pushups on the beach. He picks Jillian up to help her make a basket and then drops her. Very smooth.
“I follow the Argentinian fashion trends, ok?”
Jillian announces a new game in which the guys will play against her and some of her friends… who happen to be the Harlem Globetrotters. Even David, the master athlete, doesn’t possibly stand a chance. Sure enough, the guys are slaughtered. And some of them kind of take it personally. One of the Globetrotters lifts Jillian up for a basket – then doesn’t drop her – but leaves her hanging on the rim. The guys all just stand there staring until finally Juan runs up and helps her down. The rest of the guys kick themselves for being such retards. To finish things off, the Globetrotters pick who they think is best for Jillian and they pick David. Why? No one knows.
Simon’s like, “The Harlem what?”
Later they all walk down to sit on the beach and watch the sunset. Jillian sees a guy in a Speedo and says that if one of the bachelors would go get that guy’s bathing suit and run into the ocean, she would call it good right now. Well guess what. Mike does it. First of all – gross. Some gross guy’s gross Speedo. Secondly – a Speedo, sick. Inexplicably, Jillian says this melted her heart. I guess he’s spontaneous. Much like Jake, the spontaneous pilot.
Next stop – the free clinic.
As if this date hasn’t gone on long enough, everyone changes into their nice clothes and heads to the Viceroy hotel lounge. Simon brings everyone shots and then Jillian takes Juan away for some alone time. David is appalled because he claims that Juan dumped out his shot instead of drinking it, but then made a big deal about acting like he drank it. I rewound this several times and I honestly can’t tell, but seriously, who cares? David does. He says it’s disrespectful and that Juan should be beaten. Okay, relax. He didn’t drink the shot, big deal. Worry about yourself, David. Krypton gets alone time next and Jillian starts asking him about his dating past and it turns out that Krypton has never had his heart broken. Is he human? No, he is Krypton. That’s just weird. Anyone who has never had their heart broken has never opened up their heart. Or is from Krypton. Well, he gets a kiss. In fact, Jillian says that she forgets everything when she’s with Krypton and just wants to make out with him. Kryptonite (you knew that was coming). Jillian rejoins the group and gives Mike the rose for being Spontaneous in a Speedo. Then Mike and Jillian spontaneously jump in the pool together.
Feeling fat, Jillian opts for a one-piece tonight.
It’s Pre Rose Ceremony Cocktail Party Time! I shall give you the highlights.
Mike, Jake and Wes are smug because they already have roses and have been staying in the mansion.
Tanner P. claims that his goal for the evening is to get up close and personal with Jillian’s feet… again. Jillian starts to catch on that this is not normal. Or attractive.
Jesse tells Jillian that he had an opportunity to go and live in Italy in a small town outside of Venice to study wine, but when he heard that Jillian was the Bachelorette, he turned down Italy to come here. You will be sorry, Jesse, when you are taking your Ride of Shame. You gave up Italy for this? Well, maybe it will pay off as a marketing venture for your wine business. Carry on.
Robby, a bartender, makes Jillian his signature drink, the Rosmo (oh boy) and then tries for one-on-one time, but is filibustered by Wes, who wants more alone time despite already having a rose and living at the mansion for three days. This makes him almost everyone’s enemy.
Chris taps the glass and says that there will be an election. The guys will be writing down the name of the guy they would most like to see leave, for whatever reason. I call BS. They did this on the first episode last season and the girl who got the most votes got sent away – with a rose. This is crap. Anyway, the guys with roses can not be voted for.
Tanner P. and Michael snuggle up to comfort each other over the Grand Vote Off. At least they’ve found one another.
Another Bachelor success story.
Reid tells Jillian that they are astrologically compatible. Astrological compatibility has actually proven to be true in my dating experience. Coincidence? You decide.
David is hell bent on beating up Juan at some point in time. Impressive, no?
Brian decides it’s time to stand out for more than just yelling out inappropriate things whenever he sees Jillian. He strips down to NOTHING and jumps into the pool in front of everyone screaming, “Jillian, will you accept this butt?” That is the exact opposite of sexy. It’s very awkward for all involved.
Chris comes back to announce the votes. With the third most votes is Julien. Second most – David. And the man with the most votes, meaning everyone hates him, is Juan. He’s voted off. HOWEVER, Jillian has veto power. Jillian? Will you save Juan by giving him a rose? Yes she will. Juan stays. So that was useless. Except to cause tension between the guys. David’s head almost pops off.
Time for the roses! Here’s how it goes: Jesse, David, Ed, Sasha, Mark, Michael, Tanner P. (Michael’s boyfriend), Krypton, Reid, Robby, Tanner F., gentlemen, Jillian, this is the final rose tonight. When you’re ready… Brad! That’s it! So hitting the road are Julien, Brian (thank goodness – he blames his shrinkage from when he jumped into the pool), Simon (awww) and Mathue.
Soory guys. I guess you’ll never find love.
And that’s it! Next week the dreaded helicopter rides begin and the pioneer outfits are unveiled. Also, The Rooster serenades The Bachelorette outside her window, and David starts stepping to people.
Any favorites so far? How are you liking Jillian? Tell me your thoughts!
Thanks for reading!