The Bachelorette recap: Dropping the Ball(s)
The men get schooled by the Harlem Globetrotters, while one guy gets naked in an effort to prove that he's got the total package
Happy Tuesday, TV Watchers! I trust you all had a pleasant holiday weekend. Honestly, is there any better way to ease back into the drudgery of the work week than by spending two full hours of your free time watching The Bachelorette? I think not. Especially now that we’ve gotten the endless meet-and-greets out of the way and can move on to what we’re all here to see: Uncomfortable group dates!
We open on the Bachelorette Pad, where Jillian — looking like a Real Housewife of New Jersey with her big hair, bigger earrings, and enormous sunglasses — is lying in the sun reveling in her position as Queen Bee. ”Wait a second, there are 20 dudes living right outside my place right now, that are here for me.” The guys, meanwhile, are bemoaning their new living quarters, which, in all fairness, look like a cross between the Full Metal Jacket set and Peter, Greg, and Bobby’s room on The Brady Bunch. But hey, at least they get a hammock, a pool table, and all the apples they can eat.
Harrison arrives and tells the dudes how it’s all going to go down: there will be two group dates and one individual date, and anyone who gets a rose on the dates will get to move out of the Bachelor Barracks and into Jillian’s luxurious McMansion. With that, he drops off the date card, leaving Michael, Brian (aka Captain Douchebag), Brad, Sasha, Tanner P. (The Pervert), Wes, Ed, and Mathue to wonder where their group adventure will lead them. (I’m guessing their date won’t involve making body casts to raise money for testicular cancer — but a girl can dream, can’t she?) Dave — who got so endearingly tongue-tied last episode — can barely contain his anger at not being chosen for the first date. ”Have fun guys,” he says, glowering. ”Don’t screw up.” Unfortunately, by the end of the night, we’ll learn how deep this dude’s rage actually runs.
The party starts at the pool, natch. Captain Douchebag keeps his obnoxious salutations streak alive, greeting the Bachelorette with, ”What’s up, little hottie?” Spotting Jillian in her bikini and the rose on the table, Michael’s hormones begin to surge: ”I was immediately like ‘I want both of those things immediately.”’ (Just to clarify again, guys: Jillian is a person, not an object. Any questions?) Still, Jillian pulls Michael aside for some one-on-one time, and he can’t resist taunting his competition from the balcony: ”In case anyone is curious what her bedroom is like, I, uh, can let you know later.” Honestly, they should save some money next time and just film the entire show in a men’s room, because it’s just one big pissing contest.
Then suddenly, with a mischievous smile, Jillian climbs in the passenger side of a Mini Cooper and hightails it off the premises. The men mill around, helpless and dumbfounded, until Harrison arrives with an explanation: ”This pool party is over — but the race for Jillian’s heart is on!” With that, they’re divided into teams of two and told to hop in the Mini Coopers that have been product-placed in the driveway. The first team to correctly follow the clues to Jillian’s secret location wins a prize: Jillian herself! (Okay, so maybe I can see why they keep confusing her with an inanimate object.)
NEXT PAGE: Wes takes it to the bank
Tanner P(ervert) and Michael hit the road, screaming like teenage girls in their excitement — and to their credit, they are the first team to figure out that the map in their car tells them where to go. Jillian, who makes a pit stop at a jewelry store to pick out some diamonds for her date, calls her suitors to give them a hint about their next location. Tanner P(ervert) and Michael are so thrilled to hear that no one has found her yet, they start making so much noise that the howler monkeys at the Los Angeles Zoo are like, ”Guys, keep it down.” (”We freaked out,” admits Michael. ”I peed just a little bit in my bathing suit. I wish I wouldn’t have done that.” (Aaaand this guy is no longer my favorite. Sigh.)
The whole Amazing Date sequence goes on far too long, so let’s just recap some of the highlights: The teams arrive at a restaurant, where they’re instructed to change into some truly hideous tuxedos. Brad finds the next clue card in his pocket, which reads: ”If you want to win Jillian’s heart, your [sic] going to have to lay it all on the line…” Really, Team Bachelorette? Could NO ONE have proofread the damn card before you went to air? Eventually all the teams make it to the store, where Jillian’s best friends — those diamond necklaces — are waiting. Wes calls the necklace that Brad chooses ”too gaudy,” and the two are forced to settle the dispute like men… by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. Meanwhile, Jillian — having changed out of her bikini and into a somewhat ill-fitting strapless pewter dress — emerges in an old bank vault, where she and the lucky winner are going to have dinner.
Wes and Brad arrive first, and Brad rushes to mark his territory by putting the necklace around her neck — I’m with you, Wes, that thing is gaudy. (Side note: Couldn’t the styling team have picked a dress for Jillian that looked better with a diamond necklace? The yellowish-blue tones of the bejeweled décolletage completely clashed with the rocks around her neck.) To no one’s surprise but Brad’s, Jillian chooses Wes for the dinner date. And thus we get the inaugural ”He’s not here for the right reasons” accusation of the season. Turns out, most of the guys believe the prize Wes wants isn’t Jillian — it’s a music career that reaches beyond the confines of Chihuahua, Mexico.
Inside the vault, Jillian gets right down to business, asking Wes if he’s a ”relationship guy.” He tells her he’s had three girlfriends his whole life — and maybe ”a few” girls in between. (Key: ”Few” = ”Many, many more than a few.”) ”There’s something about him that I feel like I need to protect myself a little bit,” admits the Bachelorette. Of course, a few minutes later she’s admitting to Wes that she often falls for ”bad guys” — and sure enough, a few minutes after that she’s thrusting her face at his. (Side note: Why is Wes’ face so red? Did he forget his SPF at the pool?)
The next day, it’s time for the season’s first one-on-one date, which goes to… Jake the pilot! Jillian, looking like a cowgirl flapper in her black fringe dress and red boots, arrives at the Bachelor Barracks to collect her man. She and Jake hop in her hot purple convertible, with Jillian at the wheel. ”Are you a good driver?” Jake asks, a little tentatively. After a pause, Jillian responds, ”No! I’m a girl!” Call me foolish, but I’m going to choose to believe that Jillian is not pulling a Dumb, Helpless Girl act to be cute — she is, in fact, being sarcastic because she’s offended by Jake’s question. (Please don’t burst my bubble, okay? I ask you guys for so little…)
NEXT PAGE: The guys leave Jillian hanging
With that, they’re off to what the Bachelorette calls a ”total Jill dream date,” which apparently means dressing Jake up like a Cowboy Ken Doll and then dancing for him on the bar at the House of Blues. No music? No problem! ”I’ve always wanted to do this,” says Jillian, ”this Coyote Ugly thing.” Jake is as gentlemanly as he can be in such a skeevy situation. ”You have nice legs,” he tells the Bachelorette. Plus, he informs the viewers at home, ”I was a good boy. I didn’t peek up her skirt.” Um, gold star for you, then?
At dinner, Jillian subtly tries to determine whether Jake — like Wes the musician — is going to be on the road (or in his case in the air) a lot of the time. ”So with your job, do you feel like you get to spend a lot of time in other cities? Is it in and out?” Jake goes all Jedi mind trick on her, saying something that essentially translates into: ”Don’t think of it as me being out of town for days at a time doing God knows what — think of it as me flying you to Belgium for waffles.” In another brilliant move, he asks Jillian if she sees herself getting married at the end of this ”journey,” and just as she starts telling him how important marriage is to her, he lunges at her face like a hawk swooping out of the sky to snatch a field mouse from the ground. And she LOVES it. ”He totally blew me out of the water,” she tells us. All of a sudden, Martina McBride appears on stage to give the lovebirds a private concert. And of course, Jake gets the You’re Staying rose. (Or should I say the Your Staying rose?) As they sway to ”I Just Call You Mine,” Jake seems to be taking a mental trip down the aisle: ”If things keep progressing with Jillian and I the way they did tonight, I would love to be the guy that gets to put the ring on her finger.”
Not so fast, pal! We’ve got quite a few more dates to go before anyone puts a ring on it. The second group date — featuring Jesse, Mark, David, Mike, Simon, Kiptyn, and Juan — is all about athletic prowess. Tanner P(ervert) says Juan is going to have trouble winning in any kind of sporting competition, because he’s ”lacking a little testosterone.” (This from the guy who wore a tank top earlier in the episode that would’ve been too gay for the Village People. I’m just sayin’.) The gang heads to Venice Beach to play basketball — shirts vs. skins. Poor Simon, his pale English skin burning in the hot sun, misses shot after shot — but he’s endearingly comfortable with his lack of game. ”I’m rubbish,” he says jovially. The other men, meanwhile, continue to pile on Juan. ”His level is more about architecture and art and poetry and intellectual stuff,” sniffs Jesse. (In other words, ”Dude, what a fairy.”)
After disappearing over the hill, Jillian returns with… the Harlem Globetrotters! The team’s fancy tricks make the bachelors look like inept dorks, never more so than when the tallest Globetrotter lifts Jillian to the net — and then leaves her dangling in the air. The bachelors, ever slow on the uptake, just stand around uselessly, until Juan finally rushes to help Jillian down. (Who’s lacking testosterone now, fellas?) Dave, who is slowly revealing himself to be a boiling cauldron of repressed rage, is not happy: ”If I got to hit somebody, it’d definitely be Juan.” He goes on to explain — complete with a mockingly effeminate gesture — that Juan has the audacity to drink tea. As the group heads to the beach for a sunset stroll, Mike, realizing he hasn’t made much of an impression on Jillian, strips down to a Speedo and charges into the ocean, yelling, ”You only live once, boys!” And she LOVES it. ”That was frickin’ awesome!” she gushes.
NEXT: Captain Douchebag bares his… well, not his soul, unfortunately
Later that night, everyone gathers at a beachside hotel for cocktails. Simon arrives with a tray of shots, and Dave is immediately offended when he sees Juan — or, to be fair, when he claims to see Juan — pour his drink out. ”Guys like that should get beat up,” he seethes to the other bachelors. ”There’s no reason we shouldn’t tie him to a tree and beat the s— out of him… It’s man code.” (Hey Dave, you wouldn’t happen to have any relatives in Laramie, Wyoming, would you?) Juan, meanwhile, is busy charming Jillian during a one-on-one chat. With a steady, smoldering gaze, he tells the Bachelorette that her eyes are ”so green and piercing,” and that he wants to get to know her, to ”see what’s up.” And she LOVES it: ”He knows how to be a gentleman.” Kiptyn, however, makes a strategic blunder during his one-on-one by revealing that he’s never had his heart broken. Jillian responds with her favorite phrase: ”That’s crazy!” While it worries her ”a little bit,” Jillian is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt — and a kiss. ”I totally lose myself when I’m with him him. I forget what we’re talking about, and in fact I don’t even really care. I just want to make out with him.” But in a surprise move, she gives the rose to Mike for his bold Speedo maneuver.
At long last, the cocktail party is upon us. No sooner does Jillian sit down then Tanner P(ervert) grabs her foot and begins caressing it lovingly. Perhaps not realizing that he’s using his out-loud voice, Tanner moans, ”Dude, I love feet. They’re awesome.” Meanwhile, poor Robby, who was one of the four guys who didn’t get a date, tries to win Jillian over with booze — specifically a drink he created called ”The Rosmo.” But no sooner have they clinked glasses than Wes pulls her away. It’s a dick move for sure, and the guys aren’t having it. ”It just seems like he came on the show to promote his music,” complains Reid. When Robby politely complains to Wes about sabotaging his one-on-one time, Wes drawls, ”Just because I have a rose it doesn’t mean I’m going to slow down. If anything, you have to step it up.”
All of this tension is a perfect set up for… THE BALLOT BOX OF BACKSTABBERY! Anyone who saw last season of The Bachelor will remember this anticlimactic twist, in which contestants are told they get to vote someone out (but not really). Given that Wes can’t be voted out, things aren’t looking too good for Juan. Thinking quickly, Juan makes a beeline for Jillian and tells her how he’s never been a ”super-aggressive guy,” and that it’s really ”hectic” in the house, and the guys can get really ”loud.” In other words, ”Jillian, to call those other dudes hairless apes would be an insult to apes. I, however, am a sophisticated, sensitive stud with the soul of a Latin lover. Who would you rather marry?”
As if to prove Juan’s point, suddenly Captain Douchebag gathers everyone by the pool and begins stripping off his clothes. Then, as Jillian shrieks in horror, the Captain pulls off his underwear, shouts something like ”Jillian, will you accept this butt?”, and throws his stark naked self into the pool. His explanation? ”I want Jillian to see me as a versatile person.” (To paraphrase The Princess Bride: Dude, I do not think that word means what you think it means.) As polite as she is, Jillian cannot hide her discomfort; rather than providing the Douche with a kiss on the cheek as requested, she offers an extremely tentative hug.
NEXT PAGE: Whose dream of a fauxmance with Jillian dies a painful death tonight?
Once everyone has recovered from Brian’s full-frontal assault, they gather in the living room to hear Harrison read the results of the Unpopularity Vote. Third runner-up is Julien, followed by Dave — while Juan, of course, is the winner. (Or loser, I guess.) Just like last season, though, the whole thing is a total tease. Jillian, Harrison explains, can save Juan by giving him a rose — which she does. (At this point I’m hoping the producers will take a restraining order out on Dave, so he doesn’t smother Juan with a pillow in the night.)
At the rose ceremony, Jillian calls Jesse’s name first; I guess telling Jillian that he chose her over an extended trip to Italy was a smart move. Miraculously, Tanner P(ervert) gets a rose, despite the fact that Jillian now knows about his ”obsession.” And though he was majorly cockblocked by Wes, Robby manages to squeak by with a boutonniere. Unfortunately, the ”final rose tonight” did not go to my new favorite, Simon, but instead to Brad, Mr. ”Brains of the Operation.” (Cheerio, Simon, ol’ chap!) On the plus side, Captain Douchebag got his walking papers — perhaps, as he put it, because his pool antics revealed that he’s ”hung like a light switch.” (Shrinkage, you know.) And finally, Mathue and Julien — who, frankly, never made much of an impression — took the long lonely stroll out of Casa Bachelorette. Cheer up, guys — maybe you can have consolation sex with the bartender at the sequester hotel.
Okay, rose fans, speak up — what did you think about tonight’s episode? Is Dave’s rage out of control? Why in God’s name does Jillian keep giving Tanner P(ervert) roses? And is Wes there for the ”right reasons,” or is he an opportunistic liar? The fun doesn’t have to stop once you’ve posted your comments! Don’t miss Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog on PopWatch — this week, he answers your questions and explains that whole wet driveway situation from the season premiere. And check out the latest episode of Must List Live, in which Dalton Ross and Jessica Shaw debate the merits of the Bachelorette’s many suitors. Now, ladies and gents, let’s talk Bachelorette!