Andi and the guys "perform" with Boyz II Men on an aggressively atonal group date, and JJ gets just plain aggressive with Andrew.

By Kristen Baldwin
June 02, 2014 at 05:03 AM EDT
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Remember when Sunday used to be the Lord’s day, rose lovers? This week, though, I’m pretty sure God recused himself to avoid being associated with “part one of a special two-night Bachelorette event.” Not that I’m blaming Him.

Anyhow, we kick things off in Santa Barbara (#NotOneMore), where Andi awaits the guys at a luxurious product placement resort. (The guys can barely muster a smattering of applause when Harrison reveals their destination. Dude, we don’t even get to leave the state?) Nick’s name is on the first date card, so he packs up and meets Andi for bike riding and a hike to Lizard’s Mouth. While Andrew and Marcus think Nick is too much of a “skeptic” to be a real contender, the shy Software Sales Executive tells Andi he has a crush on her and feels like “a 12-year-old boy” around her. (So, like, mumbly and obsessed with video games?)

At dinner Andi makes it her mission to “dig deeper” and figure out why Nick is still single… when she really should have spent her time digging into what Nick was thinking buying that jacket. “Really — shoulder and chest pockets? And what’s with the upturned collar? Are you shielding yourself from some kind of psychic windstorm only you can feel? Maybe you have a fever – you’ve got on three layers and I’m just fine in my sleeveless dress…” Andi’s archeological dig into Nick’s past unearths some interesting relationship fossils: a 7-and-a-half-year romance that began when he was 18, and a “very immature” romance when he was 27, which resulted in a 60-second engagement. Though the words “very immature” and “27-years-old” don’t really belong together, Andi decides that she and Nick “have a lot in common — kind of, like, in a philosophical sense.” More importantly, Nick is the kind of guy Andi feels like she can change: “I think that if I develop real feelings for him that I can turn him into a believer.” What woman doesn’t like a fixer-upper? Totally a good plan, counselor. Rose him!

Brian, Marquel, Cody, Tasos, Brett, Ron, Bradley, Josh, Eric, Andrew, Patrick, and Marcus, please assemble at the Music Academy of the West to await your group date surprise. As the guys file into Hahn Hall, they’re greeted by the harmonious stylings of Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris, and Shawn Stockman. A giddy Marquel can’t believe it –“What? It’s Boyz II Men up in there!” – while Eric (God rest his soul) offers the sound bite of the night: “I’m pretty sure I touched my first butt to ‘I’ll Make Love to You’ in seventh grade.”

Naturally that’s the song Team Bachelorette has chosen for the guys to sing — and given that it’s an incredibly difficult tune requiring tremendous range and harmonizing skills, they all fail in a reliably spectacular fashion. “We’ve got maybe two [guys] that can carry a tune,” says Boyz’s Shawn Stockman. “Yeah, carry it up to the water and drown it!” Wanya interjects. (Am I allowed to choose a favorite Boy II Man? If so, it’s probably going to be Wanya.) Let’s play a quick game of aural word association and see if your answers are the same as mine, rose lovers. Cody: Laryngitis. Brian: Peter Brady. Ron: Just a friend. Marcus: A disembodied singing robot mouth. Andi: “Oh, she sucks.” (Okay, Wanya is now officially my favorite Boy.)

NEXT: “Is black a color?”

Surprise, surprise, it turns out Andi and the guys will be performing “I’ll Make Love to You” in front of a live (but God willing not paying) audience. Bradley the opera singer is psyched, but he’s not nearly as excited as Marcus. “This is the band we grew up with!” he gushes. “It’s an adrelenan rush.” (Adrelenan? Is that a drug the kids are doing these days?) Once they’re up on stage, the guys gamely belt out the song, smiling as the crowd laughs and films the entire atonal ordeal on their cameras on cell phones. For the most part, though, the guys know they’re terrible — I think my singing may have taken a rose away from me!” admits Josh — which is oddly endearing.

Speaking of oddly endearing: Andi, why have you kept Cody around so long? I mean, that thing he does with his hair is kind of impressive, but still… “Cody is a lot of fun. He’s always cracking jokes,” the Bachelorette explains later that night, before her cocktail-party chat with the personal trainer. “We have a very similar sense of humor.” To prove it, she decides to punk Cody during their one-on-one time by confronting him with made-up rumors. “There are a few guys that have said you have a girlfriend,” Andi tells him. The poor guy to look even more confused than usual, until the Bachelorette belts out her punchline: “…And that she’s a stripper!” Cody’s red-faced relief is arguably adorable, as is his smitten-kitten confessional later. “When she pulled that little prank on me, that was cool because it just shows that she was thinking about me,” he says, beaming. “She put a little time into it.” People, help me out here: Am I seriously rooting for Cody now?

The rest of the night passes without incident, with the exception of this exchange:

Marquel: “Favorite color?”

Andi: “Is black a color?”

Marquel: [smiling slyly] “Duly noted.”

Sorry, Marquel — black may be the Bachelorette’s favorite color, but in this case you should always bet on white. The white baseball player, that is. In fact, Andi is so into Josh that they’re already having cute little lovers’ squabbles over his tendency to do the white man’s overbite. “I hate when you do that face!” Andi chides him between smooches. But secretly she must LOVE it, because Josh gets the rose.

Okay, pants man, you think you can out-stud Josh? It’s one-on-one date time with JJ the “pantsapreneur.” And perhaps because JJ’s got the weirdest “job” description of all the guys, Andi’s saved the weirdest date for him as well: A fun-filled afternoon wearing old-people makeup! That said, it’s really only poor JJ — buried under a bald cap and copious fake wrinkles – who looks remotely elderly after emerging from the make-up chair. Andi just looks like someone gave her a blotchy spray tan and a silver wig. Once they’ve changed into some “old clothes” and affected wobbly senior-citizen gaits, though, Andi and JJ manage to convince some bewildered Santa Barbarans to take their photo. Okay, sure, this date is hilariously lacking in real-world applications, but I’ll admit Andi and JJ do genuinely seem like they’re having fun together. More like friend fun than romantic fun… but for now, “the quirky individual” gets the rose. (Enjoy it while you can, JJ. No way you’re making it to the end.)

NEXT: Good God can this season get any sadder?

We interrupt Andi and JJ’s date to add an extra layer of sadness to this already somewhat morbid season of The Bachelorette: Ron has decided to leave due to the death of a close friend (sorry to hear it, sir), and now Dylan has decided it’s time for him to tell Andi about losing his brother and sister to drugs. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know when he’ll have the chance, since he didn’t get a date this week. “I’d rather tell her on a one-on-one, not in a five-minute conversation,” he laments to Chris.

Indeed, the cocktail party isn’t really conducive to serious conversations. Not even lighthearted chit-chat is safe from awkward interruptions, as Eric finds out that evening during their cocktail party sit-down. A few minutes in, a black-clad crewmember arrives bearing a vase of flowers for Andi. They’re from Nick, bless his little sneaky underdog heart. And she LOVES it. “Nick is a clever guy,” admits Eric, as he watches Andi read the enclosed note from Nick with a dreamy grin on her face. “I got cockblocked by a bouquet of flowers,” he tells Team Bachelorette later.

That’s probably better than being cockblocked by a pantsapreneur, though. JJ claims that during the group date last week, Andrew asked a restaurant hostess for her number and then bragged to the rest of the guys about it later. (Much like the alleged “secret conversation” between James and Mikey on Desiree’s season of The Bachelorette, the events of Hostessgate apparently took place off camera in the transpo van.) So JJ enlists Josh to be his bodyguard and then they both pull Andrew aside to confront him about his roguish behavior. “We’re all here for the right reasons,” says Josh, grimly. “And we want to make sure that you are.” Andrew listens, considers for a moment, and then gives Josh and JJ the verbal finger. “I’m not going to engage in this, I’m sorry,” he responds, and then turns and walks away. And he just keeps on walking back into the house and up the stairs and into his bedroom, where he slams the door in the face of JJ’s whiny, incredulous indignation: “Are you seriously doing this? Like, seriously? Like, really, really?”

Really. Andrew insists that JJ and Josh executed the “attack” because they see him as a “threat,” but even so, Andrew’s committed to being the bigger man. “I am the kind of person who will give each and every person the benefit of the doubt,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if they’re a dork, it doesn’t matter if they’re an asshole, it doesn’t matter if they’re nerdy. That’s who I am.” In this case, Andrew tells Josh, he was the victim. He was just minding his own business when some hot restaurant hostess just handed him her number. What was he supposed to do? JJ and Nick, who were both in the van, call bullshit, and you don’t have to possess Hannibal Lecter’s high-powered perception to see that Andrew is, in fact, lying his ass off.

NEXT: Official “Y’all” Count results revealed

For now, though, Andi’s blissfully ignorant about all the testosterone-related shenanigans going on in the house, and she launches into the rose ceremony after telling the guys how “grateful” and “thankful” and “lucky” she feels to have so many stand-up dudes vying for her hand. The roses go to Marcus, Brian, Marquel, Tasos, Cody, Patrick, Chris, Eric, Dylan (Thank God! He looked like he was going to have a nervous breakdown if he had to wait any longer), and… Andrew, naturally. Adios, Bradley and Brett! And Bradley, don’t think of it as you not being good enough for Andi – think of it as you not being interesting enough for TV. There’s a difference.

So, rose lovers, part one of this week’s “journey” is complete. Before you take a power nap and hydrate in advance of part two tonight, answer a few questions for me: Will poor Dylan ever get his one-on-one? Who’s more annoying, Andrew or JJ? Why does Andi make a duck face when she’s listening? And am I going deaf or did Andi actually not say “stop”/”stop it” once tonight? (Official “Y’all” Count: 6.) Don’t forget to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog over on PopWatch. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to petition ABC to give Boyz II Men their own reality show. Those guys are awesome.

Chris Harrison hosts the romance reality contest series. Will you accept this rose?
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