The guys start to speak honestly to DeAnna, with mixed results: Fred wins Ellen DeGeneres' approval, and Jason's confession gets him a star, but Ron admits his doubts and is cut
Bachelorette Fred
Credit: Craig Sjodin

I hereby call to order the She-Woman Fred Lovers Club (with a tip of the hat to the old Our Gang series). I know you TV Watchers have mixed feelings about da boy from da Windy City, but there’s something so scruffily handsome, boyish, and genuine about him that’s so refreshing in the sea of slick suitors that surrounds our blinky Bachelorette, DeAnna. I’ve liked him since his first Chicago Bear hug, and apparently I’m not alone: Ellen DeGeneres likes him too! She bestowed a rose on him during last night’s episode after he gave the most heartfelt and eloquent response to Ellen’s group-wide question: What do you like about DeAnna? This one acted like he’s given that question some serious thought, as opposed to some of his smooth-talking, philosophizing competitors. Thus next week he’ll move from the outhouse to the penthouse. Will he be able to sweep DeAnna off her feet? Most likely not. She likes confidence, even if it borders on cocky; host Chris Harrison, pulling an insightful, provocative Jeff Probst on DeAnna in the picture room before the rose ceremony, deftly pointed this out to her concerning Jeremy. But that’s okay: I bet if Ellen has anything to do with it, Fred could be our next Bachelor! What do you guys think? We could start a grassroots campaign ourselves! Anyone with me?…Anyone?

All right, then. I’ll be here when you’re ready to join my campaign for change. (”No more smarmy Bachelors! Give us a Bachelor who’s down-to-earth and real and not looking for an entertainment career, Bob Guiney!”) In the meantime, I was underwhelmed with most of last night’s episode. Besides my bursting into applause when DeAnna called out Fred’s name during the rose ceremony (I’m telling you single girls out there: Find yourselves a Fred!), the only other moment that elicited any emotion from me was when geek Richard asked DeAnna if she thought risk was necessary for love. Then he broke into her personal space to tuck her hair behind her ear, seemingly readying himself for the 80-20 move. (He goes in 80 percent of the way and waits for her to come in the other 20 percent for a kiss. He’s a scientist through and through.) Awkward! Wow, you could cut the discomfort with a knife — like the one Chris Harrison seems to carry around so he’ll be able to clink his wine glass to indicate it’s time for DeAnna to deliberate at the end of each episode. It just dawned on me that Chris Harrison always has a wine glass at the rose-ceremony parties. What? Is he hanging around drinking with the dudes? Is he chillin’ off camera with a bottle of pinot noir, waiting to pick up the pieces of broken bachelor hearts?

Back to Richard. DeAnna asked him on the romantic dinner-and-fairy-tale-carriage-ride date in order to test the connection between them, and sadly for Richard, there was no static charge. She tearfully told him this with Brad Womackian flair (”I can’t give [the rose] to you”) before kicking him out of the carriage. Cold! Tossed out on the sidewalk in downtown L.A. At least there was a cab waiting nearby to take the ousted prince where ousted princes go.

Richard’s departure left a mark on all the men, as they realized that DeAnna means business and her goal is to make a serious connection. And so the pouring out of hearts and feelings commenced. As did the competitive squabbling between super-tan and charming real-estate attorney Jeremy (who’s still got DeAnna wrapped around his finger) and the barbershop owner/philosopher Ron. The group date involved line dancing and bull riding (and a pathetic cry for attention/campfire song from Twilley), but the real kick came from DeAnna, who censured Ron for getting upset that Jeremy secured a second week in the house. After telling DeAnna that Jeremy wasn’t a ”man’s man,” he said that his beef with Jeremy wasn’t really her business (which isn’t quite what I think she wanted when she asked the men for honesty). Chef Robert got a chance at honesty when his prayers for alone time were answered, and what did he come up with? ”I can’t feel my fingertips.” And that was enough to get him a rose. Now, if he could stop with the popped collars and sunglasses on his head, maybe I could warm up to him. No, no. After his remark last week about the kitchen and the bedroom being his areas of expertise (or some nonsense like that), I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to warm up to him.

NEXT: The Jeremy juggernaut

Similarly, I’m having trouble jumping on DeAnna’s Jeremy bandwagon. He’s always the first through the door, the first to greet DeAnna — his need to be first is off-putting. Did he say last night during the rose-ceremony party that he doesn’t kiss and tell and then admit to kissing, or was that just some editing trickery on the part of the producers? And even though all the bachelors have come down on him for interrupting other guys’ alone time, he busted in on Ron’s pre-rose-ceremony chat last night with DeAnna. But she didn’t seem to mind, saying, ”Thank you,” as he escorted her away. Granted, what turned out to be her last big conversation with Ron was completely uncomfortable for viewers too. Last week Ron felt he and DeAnna soul-swapped, and tonight he told her he woke up thinking she’s not his type of girl but then her later talk of honesty changed his mind. Now, that’s definitely not what a girl wants when she asks for honesty.

What a girl named DeAnna wants is honesty like Jason’s, as he finally came clean about his 3-year-old son, Tyler, on their helicopter-to-the-observatory date. He spoke openly about his divorce and his love for Tyler, which led DeAnna to speak openly about her mother’s death, adding that none of the men she’s ever dated had any interest in knowing about her mom. Man! That’s rough! DeAnna’s account of her mother’s decline was heart wrenching and seemed to almost bring Jason to tears. Later, she got him all choked up again when she gave him the certificate that showed she had named a star after his son. Why do I have to have a cynical side that wonders if she’s overcompensating, that she only did that to try to prove she’s cool with his having a kid (when deep down she isn’t, but no one will believe it because she bought him a friggin’ star!)? Why? And while I’m asking questions, how can Ellen DeGeneres be so insightful, telling DeAnna that Graham looks like he’s ”scared to death”? DeAnna is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, though — never mind that his longest relationship ever lasted five months. She’s also willing to keep Jesse and his questionable fashion sense around; he finally donned a suit tonight: a wide pin-striped one with a hot mess of an orange tie. Kung fu master Sean got a haircut, but he could also use a tasteful dark suit.

How about you, TV Watchers? What has you buzzing from last night? Can we handle so much truth? Anyone else get a glimpse of high school coach Brian’s ripped thighs? And which of the following Ron-isms were your favorite: Cream rises to the top? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire? Or my personal favorite: ”DeAnna…didn’t reject me; she chose other guys. That’s what happened.” Oh, if we could only bottle Ron’s positive outlook!

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The Bachelorette

One single woman searches for her future husband amid a sea of studs in this romantic reality series. Will you accept this rose?

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