At an impromptu cookout, DeAnna lashes out at the guys for not seeming to be that into her or the whole process; plus, she dumps two suitors in one date
Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Okay, okay, okay. You all have made it very clear I’m alone in my feelings for Fred. But if I weren’t happily married, I might just have to head to Chicago and look the rejected bachelor up. You knew he was done for last night when, on the date with DeAnna (and chef Robert), DeAnna said, ”You’re so sweet, Fred,” before giving him a hug. This after he verged on getting choked up, telling her how much she means to him and how he wants their hugs to linger. But we’re knee-deep in it, folks, and if there’s no romance at this stage, that’s the kiss of death. Except when it comes to Twilley. I can’t for the life of me understand why Twilley (who bears quite a resemblance to the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz) is still on the show. I have not witnessed one spark between them. But this DeAnna proves she’s a woman of substance more and more each week. She wasn’t scared off by the news of Jason’s kid last week; she’s at times painfully honest (more about her tearful breakdown at the ”outhouse” later); and she chose to keep Twilley while sending hunky coach Brian away. I know Brian has a lot of fans out there in TV Watch Land. I thought his song in the challenge was the most interesting and deep, though singing about the ”house of pain” you’re in might be a bit intense and overwhelming to prospective dates and Southern belles like DeAnna. Brian got the boot because DeAnna felt he was having too much fun with the guys, which he astutely recognized in his post-booting confessions. But weep not for the hunky coach: I’m sure he doesn’t lack anything in the lady realm.

What our Southern belle wants is honesty, a trait that she told Brian she acquired from her father. Evidently, calling her a redneck, which Kung Fu Sean basically did after he won the stock-car challenge (did he stifle a tear when calling that challenge a dream come true?), isn’t too much honesty for her. He made a somewhat graceful fix by correcting himself and saying she’s more of a ”roughneck” instead of a redneck. Well, on second thought, maybe that’s not all that graceful. And though it’s getting later in the game, I’m still not sure calling her ”baby” is appropriate or going to earn him any points. But for being so honest and willing to open up, DeAnna gave Sean a rose, which was completely sullied at the rose ceremony by that darn two-tone gray suit he wore again. His haircut has done wonders to clean up his image, but last night I wished he’d gotten the black suit that Jesse had been given for his one-on-one date.

NEXT: Graham and Bobbie show their sensitive sides

Yes, Jesse had the best song in the songwriting challenge, according to DeAnna, so he got the coveted one-on-one date. ”You had Tommy Lasorda make fun of me and Ellen noog me” aren’t the most romantic lyrics I’ve ever heard, but he scored points for getting on his knee, holding her hand, and singing straight to her. His realness impressed DeAnna, and she foresaw a life of ”new experiences,” ”love,” and ”excitement” with Jesse, so he got a rose. But I don’t know if I’m really seeing a spark there, TV Watchers. What about you? Jesse said Fred was stuck in the ”friend zone,” and I can tell DeAnna is teetering toward possible romantic feelings for Jesse, but I think at this point she could tumble either way. I don’t recall a lot of smooching on their date, and how could you not mack a little to ”Soulmate,” that haunting, emotion-packed song Natasha Bedingfield shared with them. Those lyrics were amazing; it totally sounded as if the song could have been written just for DeAnna and this time in her life. (Check out ”the song” if you want to hear what I mean.)

Yes, it takes more than willing yourself to like someone to really get involved with that person. And that’s chemistry, something DeAnna definitely has to a smokin’ degree with shy, commitment-phobic Graham. My jaw dropped when he actually refused her invitation to kiss her during their alone time at the stock-car race. ”I don’t want to be one of a bunch,” he said. Wow! Have more girly words ever escaped a man’s mouth? How the male-female tables have turned! And he stuck by that, even when she got noticeably offended. His not opening up was breaking her heart, DeAnna confessed.

And that wasn’t the only thing breaking her heart in this emotion-packed episode. There were three dates over the course of last night: Jesse’s one-on-one; the group race-car driving date; and a two-on-one that came down to Bobbie and the Bear (that’s chef Robert and Chicago Fred). And don’t ever call Robert ”Bobbie” or spell his name like that on a place card at a kid-size table, because that sent him over the edge during the spur-of-the-moment dude cookout. He was nervous about his date with DeAnna, though the invite asked who would have ”the recipe for love,” and Robert prides himself on his cooking and his recipes for love, which are ”smooth, rich, succulent.” (Immediately after saying this, the man purred. Seriously. Straight to the camera. Ewwwwwww. Was anyone else creeped out by that? And did anyone else wonder if host Chris Harrison really signs his name the way it was signed on the date card? Weirdly staggered print?)

Anyway, Robert’s nerves got the best of him at an impromptu picnic at the outhouse. So he disappeared. Brian seemed to enjoy just hanging out with the guys, and DeAnna felt ignored. So she confronted Robert and then took him outside and basically broke down in front of all the guys. She said that she is giving her all to this process and she isn’t getting as much from some of the guys in return. And that they’re just going to have to understand that she may make connections with other guys and kiss other guys, and yadda yadda yadda. She had a point, but didn’t it feel like she was really just yelling at Graham? She was still very burned about his rebuff at the racetrack and just had to unload. Graham seemed to get the message; he opened up at the rose ceremony and she got her kiss. And he got a rose.

NEXT: A double-elimination date

Turned out neither Robert nor Fred had the recipe for love in what was teased Bachelor/Bachelorette-style as ”the most shocking date ever.” After she dodged Robert’s totally awkward come-on by giving him her cheek, she again pulled a Brad Womack and told Robert, ”I have to say goodbye to you.” Ouch. People, there’s gotta be a softer way. Can you imagine someone breaking up with you like that? When she returned from putting him in a limo, a relieved Fred gave her a hug, not knowing that her ax would fall on him next. Man! And that’s exactly how Fred took it, like a man. Not like the gobstruck Robert, who was so blown away by how poorly he read his connection with DeAnna that he couldn’t sit up straight in the limo. He said he was ”not used to rejection” and was ”destroyed.” As he told us it would be a while before he could open up to another woman like that, he shed a tear and turned his face our way to make sure we saw what a sensitive soul he is. I know, I know. I seem pretty hard on Robert, but he just came off as a little slimy to me the whole time. Too much of a smooth talker.

At the rose-ceremony cocktail party, everyone was emotionally drained (the guys never expected both Robert and Fred to leave), and they got one last shot at spilling their guts to DeAnna. Then she let them all cut loose by turning the cocktail party into a swim fest. (The lengths men will go for one woman. Seven shirtless guys and one girl in a Jacuzzi? No awkwardness there.) They all had a blast until host Harrison showed up with his knife, wineglass, and suit to break up the party. Since Robert and Fred were both sent home, DeAnna just had to cut one more guy. To put Graham in his place, I guess, she gave a rose to Twilley, leaving Graham and Brian to dangle in the wind before she sent Brian home.

Next week, we’ll get a special ”DeAnna Tells All” segment before the gang heads off to Palm Springs. Not sure why we need this, but I guess with these two-hour episodes they don’t want to wrap up things too quickly. Quite frankly, I’m not sure I need to hear DeAnna’s thoughts right now. I feel she’s been pretty up-front throughout the show.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to hearing DeAnna tell all, or would you prefer more Palm Springs time? Anyone else pretty impressed that DeAnna beat all the guys’ times at the stock-car race? How great was Jason welcoming DeAnna home from her Robert-Fred date with open arms and a caring ear? Will sensitive Graham make it to the end? And will Twilley finally get put out of his misery in the next episode? Will there be tears? (From Twilley?)

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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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