The bachelors are railroaded by Wes' blunt admission that he's using Jillian for publicity, and Tanner P(ervert) strips down for love
Credit: ABC

Guess what, Bachelorette fans? We’ve made it past the halfway point of Jillian’s ”journey.” Take a moment to congratulate yourselves for getting this far. Now take a moment to ask yourselves this question: Do any of the five men left really qualify as suitable mate material for our beloved Bachelorette? I think we all know the answer to that, but before we issue a verdict, let’s review the evidence.

It’s another lovely morning in Whistler as Harrison greets the final eight bachelors in the hotel. He tells them the particulars of the week — one group date, two one-on-one dates, and the five who make the cut get to take Jillian home — and then orders the guys to pack their bags. It seems that our peripatetic Bachelorette is on the move again, and this time she’s taking the guys on the Rocky Mountaineer for a picturesque train ride across British Columbia. (Side note: How is it possible that Tanner is 30 years of age and has never been on a train? Do they not have rail travel in Brownfield, Texas?)

Jillian is still feeling a little glum after the whole Ed situation, so she gives Robby the first one-on-one date. Robby? Really? As you may have learned from our Bachelor Burning Questions gallery, both the producers and the Bachelor/Bachelorette have a say in which contestants get the one-on-one dates — and this seems like a case where the producers’ wishes outweighed Jillian’s. She’s never once exhibited any real interest in him. Not that Robby has noticed — he’s ”walking on air” and excited to impress Jillian with his cocktail making skills. She gives him with a chaste peck on the cheek and this ringing endorsement: ”When I’m around Robby, I feel like I’m five or 10 years younger.” (Last week she said Michael made her feel like she was ”19 again.” Jillian, you’re only 29! What’s gone wrong in your life to make you feel so old?)

At dinner, Robby says his dad ”couldn’t be happier” that his son went on a reality show to find a mate, because none of his three siblings are married yet. ”They call it the Descant curse… Every one of them think that I’m going to be the one to get married first.” The Bachelorette is encouraged, but she still needs to find out if Robby is ”ready to start a family” soon. Yes, because who wouldn’t want to have children with a 25-year-old bartender who’s ”kind of in between jobs right now”? Anyhow, Robby vagues it up and says he’s ”just looking for someone to be with.” Unfortunately that’s not enough to keep him on board. Explains Jillian, ”I’m not sure he’s thought about where he’s going to live and how he’s going to pay the bills.” Cue the screeching brakes! It’s time to throw Robby from the train. In a rare act of kindness from Team Bachelorette, the Rocky Mountaineer comes to a full stop before ejecting the spurned suitor. ”I guess the Descant curse to not get married is alive and well,” sighs Robby, ”because here I am on the damn train tracks.”

Ok, that was slightly entertaining. Still, so far this episode has been lacking in the drama department. The producers have definitely noticed, because all of a sudden they’ve decided to turn Wes’ jackassery up to 11. All season Team Bachelorette has been positioning Wes as a lying, manipulative jerk who’s only there to further his ”music” ”career” — and he’s given them plenty of material to fuel their symbiotic relationship. But up until now they’ve used a firm editing hand to keep his jerky antics from going over the top. All that changed tonight.

NEXT: Wes peels off his skin to reveal the reptile underneath; Tanner peels off his pants

Just before Wes strolls into Jillian’s room (which, by the way, looks like it was decorated by a 12-year-old Moroccan girl), he lays his intentions bare. ”If there’s anybody here for a hidden agenda, it would probably be me, because I’ve been working on an album for over a year… I have nothing to lose. I have everything to gain. So I kind of just slip right back into Jillian mode.” Honestly, I don’t really care whether any of these guys were offered money to appear on the show, because there are plenty of fame-seeking narcissists out there who would be more than happy to play to the camera for free in exchange for a little exposure — and Wes is one of them. ”The fame that I get from this, it’s almost like I taste it and I eat it and it comes inside of me and it becomes a part of me,” he bloviates, rubbing his chest in egomaniacal ecstasy. ”I got records to sell.”

Enough of that silliness — it’s time for the last group date, a.k.a. the I Need to Tell Her How I Really Feel Date. The guys follow Jillian off the train and head toward beautiful Emerald Lake for some snowshoeing. Tanner P(ervert), who’s probably been having bare foot withdrawal given the cold weather, scrambles for a fetish fix by helping Jillian put her snowshoes on, and it seems to do the trick for him even though she’s got heavy boots covering the objects of his desire. The group plays a spirited game of hide-and-seek in the snow, and then Jillian pulls Jake aside to tell him that she likes him a lot even though the haven’t spent much time together lately. He responds with the six words all women long to hear: ”You’re a lot like my mom.” But just as he’s working up the courage to tell her how he feels, Michael leads the bachelors in a charge to bust up Jake and Jilli’s romantic moment. Jake is chagrined: ”Shame on me. It sucks. I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to. I wanted to kiss her and I didn’t.” Too late, pal, because now Kipper’s got his hands on your lady! Kiptyn goes on in his marble-mouthed way to tell the Bachelorette that he likes her and he’s not one of those people who ”want what they can’t have,” and when someone shows interest in him, it makes him more attracted to them. Translation: ”I know you’re hot for me, and I like it.” So once again he manages to sound arrogant, even as he’s trying to be flattering. And she LOVES it. They make out on the furry pillows. (Side note: What the hell is that gold pimp watch Jillian has on? Did Flavor Flav have a garage sale?)

Michael, realizing he’s getting his but kicked by the ”front-runners” on the date, decides to ”step it up a notch” by asking Jillian an inappropriate question in front of the group: ”What do you wear when you sleep?” Her answer — underwear and a tank top, unless she’s loaded, in which case it’s just undies — elicits a creepy grunt from Michael and the admission that he sleeps naked, with his underwear around his leg just in case the camera crew comes knocking. Tanner P(ervert), who has an uncanny ability to make an uncomfortable situation even worse, then decides to show Jillian what he sleeps in by pulling down his pants to reveal some extremely tight tighty-whities. ”That’s what daddy wears, right there!” And because she is a lady, or tries to be, Jillian cannot admit to LOVING it. ”I just don’t want to see somebody’s package yet. I’m not ready for that yet,” she says. ”Although it was huge, I don’t need to see it again.”

NEXT: Wes hauls ass, and Reid has horny ears

For some reason, Jillian rewards Tanner’s behavior with some one on one time. Of course, he immediately grabs her feet and begins rubbing them lasciviously. He’s so enthralled with Jillian’s tootsies, he can’t keep his mind on the conversation at all. When Jillian tries to tell Tanner why they haven’t had a one-on-one date, he interrupts her with ”Your feet are soft as s–t!” When will this guy learn that a relationship built on ”this little piggy” simply can’t last? Soon, it’s Michael’s turn for some alone time, and he’s no fool — if s’mores don’t get Jillian in the mood to kiss him, nothing will. Jillian admits that she’s ”still looking for that physical connection” with the diminutive break dancer, and informs us that ”something needs to give me a sign that I need to keep him around.” Given that the scene ends with nothing more explicit than a fireside snuggle, I’m guessing the sign never came.

Meanwhile, for some ridiculous reason, Tanner decides to reveal to the bachelors that he started Girlfriendgate: ”I was the guy who let Jillian know about the whole girlfriend situation.” Wes, of course, is pissed. ”I can’t stand a tattletale.” And since that’s not enough to make it clear to everyone that he’s a Bad Guy who’s there for the Wrong Reasons, Wes spells it out for them: ”I’ve already made it six shows now, you know what I mean?… I’ve already sang my song that I wrote for Jillian. I frickin’ serenaded her. It’s a no-brainer. I’ve got what I wanted. If I can get a little publicity on TV, I can haul ass, or I can stay and try to get the girl.” Yep, it’s clear that Wes’ time is going to be up soon — otherwise why would Team Bachelorette use all of their ”he’s a jerk” ammunition now? Finally, in the gratuitous hot tub scene, Jillian gives the rose to Kipper. Tanner and Jesse look pissed, and poor Michael is so devastated he cries in his confessional.

This is just too depressing. Let’s move on to one of Jillian’s ”happy places,” Lake Louise, where she and Reid are going snowboarding for their one-on-one date. Now’s the time to determine whether what Reid calls their ”playful” relationship can progress to something more serious. For the first half, though, it merely progresses to ”painful,” as Reid falls on his butt again and again while Jillian tries to teach him how to snowboard. The Bachelorette is pleased that Reid’s willing to make a fool out of himself, and afterwards she treats him to a nice hot toddy by a cozy fire in the lodge… Oh no, wait, sorry — she actually treats him to a frosty mug of beer in the biting wind on a bench made out of ice. He manages to tell her that he wants to be in love and that he wants a ”normal, happy family” someday, but that’s about as deep as the conversation goes. Pretty soon, it devolves into kissing and giggling about Reid’s extremely mature theory that red ears signify high blood pressure or horniness.

The duo heads inside to thaw out, and that’s when the date gets interesting. Finally, we learn why the guys keep referring to Reid as ”neurotic”: Apparently he’s a hypochondriac germaphobe! When Jillian presents him with a romantic fondue dinner, Reid explains that the whole concept of fondue freaks him out because he somehow thinks the raw meat contaminates the boiling hot oil. And she… LOVES it? ”Reid is not afraid to tell me what his imperfections are, and in turn it makes me a lot more comfortable around him.” Though Jillian is ”a little bit worried” that she and Reid don’t have a lot in common, he gets the rose and a ticket to the final five.

NEXT: Michael makes a passionate plea to stay

At long last, the Love Train pulls into Banff, and Harrison, looking dapper in his rose-ceremony suit, greets the gang at the station. During his preliminary chat with Jillian, the host dances around the Wes question, asking Jillian if she’s worried about the ”stigma” that is associated with musicians. (Key: ”stigma” = ”tendency to be shameless self-promoters and carriers of venereal disease.”) Shockingly, Jillian says she is not worried: ”Wes is the kind of guy who, I don’t think he knows how to lie.” Uffda. With Tanner, though, she wishes he’d use his time with her ”more efficiently” and focus less on the other guys and more on ”him and I.” It seems like Michael might also be trouble because he’s too young and perhaps not ready to settle down. Oh, come on Jillian! Give the little guy a chance!!

When Jillian walks into the room, Michael looks like he’s going to barf, and it only gets worse when the Bachelorette stops the ceremony to call him out: ”Michael, can I borrow you for a second?” Outside the ballroom, Jillian reveals for the first time that she’s ”falling for” Michael, which makes her nervous given that he’s only 25. And bless his compact little heart, Michael makes the sweetest plea for his romantic survival that we’ve heard all season: ”Jillian, I’m telling you — I’m not a guy that needs to know a lot of girls. I have not had a one-night stand, I don’t do that… The one thing I’m missing in my life is the forever person, you know?” And what do you know — it works!!!!! The Bachelorette keeps the break dancer in the game, and decides to boot Tanner and Jake instead. Hallelujah — true personality triumphs over perversion and bland good looks! Tanner is ”heartbroken,” which he expresses with a lot of bleeped expletives, while Jake is ”blindsided” and confused. ”What was it?” he whispers to the Bachelorette. ”Can you tell me?” All she can say is, ”I just felt like it wasn’t right,” because ”You are really freaking boring” probably would have been a little too harsh.

We’re in the homestretch, folks. We’ve got so much to look forward to: A trip to Spain, Michael finally gets some smoochie time, and Jake returns to confront Wes about his alleged girlfriend! I am so freaking psyched! What about you? Will Jillian finally realize that Wes is a snake? Who makes it to Spain? And will Ed return or is that just wishful thinking? Post your comments now! And don’t miss Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog — this week, he gives some behind-the-scenes details about Robby’s embarrassing trackside ouster, and defies ABC by revealing a raunchy one-liner from Tanner that the network censored. Ok, my fellow rose lovers, let’s talk Bachelorette!

Episode Recaps

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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