Mistrust is in the air as Andi and her remaining men travel to Venice, but it's nothing two Italian dudes and a polygraph test can't handle.

By Kristen Baldwin
June 24, 2014 at 05:03 AM EDT
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Ciao, rose lovers! Welcome to the picturesque city of Venice, Italy. Are you ready to put France behind us? Nick sure is. “I sucked on the last group date,” he admits, prompting all of America to reply, Dude, you suck on every date.

For now, though, Andi is ready for a fresh start. “I missed y’all!” the Bachelorette trills at her eight remaining suitors, who gather awkwardly around her. Even more awkward? Andi’s about to announce who’s getting the first one-on-one date… herself. (Okay, last week the card was blank and this week it’s non-existent… did the production assistants go on strike or something?) Everyone—including Cody—expects Cody to get the solo date since he has yet to have one, but the honor goes to his condescending frenemy, Nick. “Enjoy Venice!” Andi calls over her shoulder as she and Nick walk away, leaving Cody in the semi-circle of sympathy. “I feel like I’m kind of like the pet dog of the group,” he complains. “I’m just kind of being drug along.”

Andi knows her decision made most of us want to throw something at our television, but she’s like, BACK OFF, Y’ALL, this is my journey! She still has questions about Nick—and she wants answers. “There was something that just didn’t sit right about last week,” she explains. “I need to see, can I move on with this guy or can I not?”

[Insert product shots of the Abano Grand Hotel here]

So Andi and her unpopular choice stroll hand-and-hand through the streets of Venice, at one point stopping to allow a hungry flock of flying rats to crawl all over them in a scene that will absolutely be on high rotation in my nightmares. (Nothing says romance like disease-ridden street birds, amirite?) For a while everything’s all pizza and gelato and masquerade masks, as Andi doesn’t yet have the courage to tackle the primary question at hand: Is Nick a dreamboat or a douche bag? Fortunately her date mans up enough to broach the subject during a gondola ride. After last week’s rose ceremony, Nick says, “I woke up the next morning for the first time afraid of, like, maybe losing something special.” Survey says: You should be worried! “If you say you’re gonna do better, then I guess I’ve gotta wait for you to do better,” replies Andi, letting Nick know with her tone that should she choose to continue their relationship, she will always, always have hand.

Night falls, and Andi emerges from the shadows wearing a noisy, strapless black-and-gold ball gown with an asymmetrical neckline and fish-tail skirt. Obviously, the dinnertime interrogation she has planned for Nick is a black-tie affair. “Last week, I didn’t know if I had just missed something or if I was just reading everything wrong. I was like, ‘Is my sweet little Nick that sweet anymore?'” Nick puts on his sheepish, I’m-just-a-lonely-little-puppy-dog face (yes, I know I just called him a sheep and a dog, but you get it) and has the audacity to tell Andi that Cody hurt his feelings by calling him arrogant. Not one to be manipulated by a sympathetic witness, Andi continues her line of questioning: “Do you think you’re a front-runner?” Oh man, that’s a classic lose-lose situation if I’ve ever seen one. If Nick says yes, he’s arrogant. If he says no, he’s essentially telling Andi he doesn’t feel like there’s something real between them. Well played, counselor. Well played.

NEXT: We learn a terrifying truth about Dylan

Nick’s solution? A combination of evasion and flattery. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have the connection that we have,” he tells the Bachelorette. “It is hard to imagine anyone else having that with you… When I see you, I see someone who will make me a better person.” Oh God, is he going to start improvising more stanzas of his hideous poem from last week? Thankfully, no—this is all just a lead-up to the big finish: “I can confidently say I am definitely falling in love.” And she LOVES it. With that, the date rose makes the short trip from its little tray to Nick’s lapel.

The next day, Andi wakes up to note number three from the PA who should have been writing the date cards her secret admirer, so she decides to kill two birds with one stone on the group date. She leads the guys to the Castello Di Monselice and announces that today’s activity will be all about honesty (but don’t worry, it’s inadmissible in a court of law): It’s lie detector test time, y’all! Andi has enlisted “two of Italy’s finest experts” in the art of administering polygraph tests, which really should put them at ease given the stellar reputation of the Italian justice system. Still, Chris is nervous. “There’s something I’ve been hiding from her,” he confesses. “I had a plan to tell her, but I didn’t really want to have it come out during a lie detector test.”

As a show of good faith, Andi goes first. (She answers yes to all the interrogator’s questions, including—what the hell?—”Is Italy your favorite country in the world?” Way to pander, lady.) Then it’s the guys’ turn. Here’s a quick summary of the most scandalous things we learned:

Josh: Once cheated on a test.

Marcus: Prefers brunettes over blondes.

Dylan: Slept with more than 20 women and doesn’t wash his hands after going to the bathroom. Which one’s worse? Hard to say—but either way he’s dirty. (Coincidentally enough, Dylan’s unsanitary ways are catching up with him: He pulls Andi aside to say he’s got some sort of stomach bug and needs to go back to the hotel. Karma—and the fecal-oral route—is a bitch, bro.)

And, oh yeah, Chris is Andi’s secret admirer. That’s the secret he’s been keeping? Oh Lord, who cares. Dylan is Patient Zero! At least Chris can take comfort in knowing that he’s not the only one who’s been creative with the truth. Once the results are tallied, the bald man reports that only three guys were completely honest on their tests – one guy, meanwhile, lied twice, and two guys lied thrice. Even Andi is alleged to have fibbed two times, a revelation that delights the guys immensely… until they learn that the machine says she doesn’t believe all the guys are there for the Right ReasonsTM.

Naturally, though, Andi decides to tear the results of the guys’ tests up rather than reading them because she wants all of her potential husbands to know she trusts them. I find this extremely upsetting—now Andi may never learn the truth about Dylan’s disgusting bathroom habits!

[Insert shot of Cody and Nick uncomfortably sharing a sauna together here]

At the cocktail party, Brian takes the lead, literally and figuratively, by stealing Andi away and then administering a cutesy lie-detector test of his own, one that includes the all-important question: “Do you want to make out?” When Andi demurs, Brian gets all Perry Mason on her ass: “You’re lying!” They make out.

NEXT: Josh pouts, Chris hulks out, and Cody gets his moment

Marcus, on the other hand, takes a more serious approach, telling Andi that he once considered leaving the show because he wasn’t sure if the experience was “right” for him. But then, lucky for her, he decided to stay because he doesn’t want to “live with regrets.” Andi totally falls for it. Props to you Marcus—you somehow found a way to neg the Bachelorette and yet still come across as sensitive! Somewhere, Mystery and his fluffy hat are very proud.

When Josh finally gets his alone time with Andi, he protests a little too much about the polygraph shenanigans—”I feel like a relationship is built on trust,” he pouts—which of course leads the Bachelorette to believe that he has something to hide. “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel like our relationship was going in the right direction,” Josh tells Andi, who snaps back, “You’re right—you wouldn’t be here!” So let’s review:

Repeatedly insisting that you’re not a man-whore like other “pro” athletes x (Bitching when you’re asked to tell the truth)2 ÷ totally distracting scarf = Way to fulfill your own prophecy, dude!

If only Josh could be more like Chris—a.k.a., a man who couldn’t lie his way out of a wet paper bag. Seriously, the guy almost pulled a muscle trying to act nonchalant earlier in the evening when Josh and JJ were speculating about the identity of the secret admirer. And even though Andi ripped up the lie-detector test results, Chris feels the need to confess: “I haven’t been fully honest with you. And, uh, I was afraid that you were going to have to find out about that via [pause] the, the lie detector test. And um… [even longer pause]” Andi bursts out laughing. “Do want me to help you? You’re the secret admirer!” Of course she LOVES it, and Chris gets the date rose.

The Bachelorette walks away, but the camera crew hangs around to eavesdrop on the guys’ party post-mortem. And oddly enough it’s JJ, not Josh, who wins the night’s Sore Loser award after Brian offers a simple pleasantry—”Good for you, Chris”—to his rival. “I am, like, getting a little sick of everybody, like, congratulating everybody else on getting roses,” he gripes. “We shouldn’t be happy to see somebody else get a rose.” Oh quit your whining, pants boy. No one wants to hear it—especially Chris. “Then don’t celebrate!” he barks at JJ. “Sit there and be sour grapes. I could give a f— less, buddy… Your f—ing true colors will shine throughout this whole process, and people will see that.” WHOA! Who knew Chris the farmer had the heart of a poet and the temper of a New Jersey nightclub bouncer? Perhaps I should be concerned that I now find him 4,000 times sexier than I did just a few minutes ago… but nah, I’m just gonna go with it.

One more date to go, rose lovers. I’ll be honest with you, I’m a little worried for Cody. After all this build up about how long he had to wait for a one-on-one date, it seems like there’s only one logical narrative conclusion: heartbreak and a ride home in the Reject Gondola. In a cruel twist, Andi takes Cody to the Club di Giuliette, an organization that answers letters from lovelorn folks the world over who are seeking advice from Shakespeare’s fictional heroine. Seriously, Team Bachelorette? You’re going to give the personal trainer the date that involves writing? That’s a low blow.

NEXT: The deep V-neck tee returns!

Cody tries his best to pen an inspiring response to “Jason,” but it basically boils down to “Be yourself and it’ll all work out.” (Yeah, like that ever works.) Andi politely ooohs and ahhhs over Cody’s letter, but her smile is too reserved to mean anything but Friend Zone. Not that Cody notices: “To realize how much she realizes how much I would appreciate this date, it just made me feel good.” Wait—what? Oh, never mind.

What in the holy hell is Andi wearing to dinner? For a split second I thought she had on white short-shorts over flesh-colored lycra leggings. And for God’s sake, Cody, a deep-V-neck T-shirt is not appropriate dinner attire, even if your chest is freshly waxed. I’m just going to keep focusing on these atrocious outfits because watching Cody read his love letter to Andi, who clearly isn’t feeling him, is just way too uncomfortable. The poor guy’s romance radar is so busted; he keeps professing his feelings for her—and his weird desire to “roll around” with her—even after she starts crying tears of I’ve-gotta-dump-this-guy misery. Eventually she interrupts and breaks the bad news: “I can’t take you to next week, it’s not fair.” Sorry, Cody. But don’t worry—your luggage will be waiting for you at the airport.

Cocktail party time! In a dick move, Nick—who already has a rose—pulls Andi away first, much to the disgust of the rest of the guys. But Andi? She LOVES it. “He missed me, he wanted it—come get it,” she giggles. “We barely made it around the corner before he just kissed me. Mmmm! That is a man.” Dylan, he of the queasy-stomach and the poor hygiene, arrives to commandeer the Bachelorette, and from there it’s off to the one-upmanship races: Marcus drops the l-bomb; JJ goes for the immediate make-out; Brian reads a poem called something like “I hate that I’m a big p—y”; and Josh offers what can best be described as an angry apology about the lie-detector date.

Excellent work, all of you! No wonder Andi tells Harrison that her week in Venice was only “okay.” (Question: What was that loud bang after Harrison and Andi’s chat? Did a door slam or did some poor crew member reach a breaking point and collapse?) In the end, Andi pins roses on Dylan the Dirty, Brian, Marcus, and (of course) Josh, leaving the stubbly pantsapreneur heartbroken. We’ve reached the point in the season where the dumpees must endure a quick chat on the Shame Bench before they can leave, and during JJ’s talk with the Bachelorette she tells him they’re just not “on the same page” in the Book of Like. Later, pretty boy! Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll get to humiliate yourself some more on Bachelor in Paradise… but I doubt it.

Mmmm… Brussels, home of delicious sprouts. Now I’m hungry. But before I go marinate some crunchy goodness in balsamic, I want to hear what you thought of tonight’s “journey.” Is Chris the farmer endearingly macho or is he manifesting some serious rage issues? Is Andi ever going to realize that Josh is definitely manifesting some serious rage (and jealousy) issues? And has anyone in the history of anywhere not actually farted in public? It’s okay, the comments section is a safe space. Be sure to check out Chris Harrison’s exclusive blog over on PopWatch, too. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to book a “Bachelorette Romance” package at the Abano Grand.

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