So, we’re an hour in on Week 1, 126 of The Bachelorette and we’re already down one bachelor. Only 11 more to go! Yes, poor Brad got the “No date rose for you!” walk of shame out to the waiting taxi. To catch up on the details (and find out who won last week’s book swap and what this week’s giveaway is all about – check out Part 1 of my Bachelorette Blog over on USA Today!
Then hop back here because it’s time for, yes…The Mr. Bachelorette America Contest. I know, I cringed, too. Host Chris has ten of our bachelors at the famous Boardwalk Convention Hall, birthplace of the Miss America pageant and has informed the fellas that they’ll be having a little pageant action of their own. It was interesting watching the men try to not openly ogle the current Miss America given their potential future wife is standing right there with them. Even more fun was watching them try not to gulp when Chris announces they’ll get help from a ‘world famous’ pageant coach (who looks all of 12) who makes it pretty clear he’d rather be ogling the guys than Miss America.
Now, I have to say, if they were ever going to do something this potentially humiliating and make it actually entertaining to watch, they picked the right bunch of guys to do it with. These guys have already proven that they’re up for anything, they take it in stride and just own it. And I appreciate that.
So, they’re introduced to a table of props to help them figure out the talent portion of the contest. And what I love a LOT is that Juan Pablo picks up the baton and Des laughs, thinking he doesn’t understand what it is. Then he twirls it like a baton master, including toss and catch. HA! He gives us a camera wink and I love him even more. And then he goes with the bongos… Oh Juan Pablo.
However, while Ben has shifted to more Normal Guy last week and this, Naked Zak is taking Brandon’s recently vacated emo spot and making it his own. He chooses the guitar and shares with us that he’s written a song about Des. Oh…Zak. My finger hovers over the FF button, ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Ben loses all of his recently gained cool points as he attempts the rhythmic dance ribbon, Chris (is that his name?) dons heels.
Drew makes the droll observation that the whole thing is “it’s a devil’s brigade up there. It’s a hodgepodge of tomfoolery.” Did he really just come up with that? Is it a line from somewhere? And if so, should I be equally alarmed that he knew it? When he launches into Shakespeare, my worst fears are confirmed. Some guys could make that kind of hot. It turns out Drew is not one of them. It comes off more pretentious than sweet. Oh Drew.
The boys get help from Miss America with the talent portion, and I have to say, Invisible Chris totally cracks me up with his deadpan wearing of the high heels. And? What would a pageant be without the obligatory swimsuit competition. Perk! Suddenly, I am more interested in the proceedings. The FF finger retreats. Until I see the mankini Speedos. Oh…show. Boxer-brief-kinis I could do. But the brightly colored slingback? Just…way to ruin the fun. Yee.
Host Chris comes out looking awesomely fine in his very fine pageant host tux, totally making up for the matchy matchy outfit earlier. He lets the guys know that in addition to himself, Miss America, and their lovely potential future wife, they will also be performing in front of a live Atlantic City audience. Honestly, better and better, show. Better and better.
And the show begins…with the Q&A. The guys mostly do okay. Juan Pablo has a daughter?? Did we know this? How many other Other Dads do we have? Chris is totally adorkable with his answer and between that and the deadpan heels, I wish we could spend more time with this guy. Mikey? Eh, not so much. He gives this long spiel about how men are deep and want to be respected for their minds and emotions and how he’s tired of being a piece of meat…and then starts the talent portion by doing a striptease.
Say it with me Blog Babes….OH MIKEY!
Then, while I’m still trying to recover from shy Bryden doing pelvic thrusts at Des and the mayor of AC…gulp… Naked Zak sneaks out and shocks me by being pretty darn good with his song. Hunh. Who knew?
And it’s time for the swimsuit competition! Which was disappointingly, well, brief. Heh. Then it’s time for the results and the men crack me up by all holding hands and mock quiver with anticipation. Seriously, this is a pretty great group here. The second runner up is….Brooks! Who did a cute song and smashed his ukelele rock star like, then hammed it up pretty good for a very white skinned boy in the swimsuit comp. Naked Zak is first runner up… And, drum roll…the winner of the first (and last?) Mr. Bachelorette America contest is……? #Kasey, for his admittedly awesome tap dance routine, although…Kasey? #Really? #VeryDisappointedShow #Again
Post Pageant Pool Party…
Invisible Chris steps up and reveals his poet’s soul, which speaks to Des, who is a kindred spirit there. He reads a poem he wrote about their one on one time and I appreciate how hard that was to do. I like this guy. He keeps surprising me. Mostly because we never see him, so we’re always surprised when we do, but still…
Ben reveals that the past two episodes were totally a matter of being ignored by the editors and that he’s still the same douchey “I’m not here to make friends” dude he was before. Why is it the “I’m not here to make friends” contestants can’t understand that by their very inability to play the social game well, they have already doomed themselves. You’re either a likable person…or you’re not. Des might not get it in the context of this warped show set up, but she will in any real world context. As do all the rest of them. So future contestants? HEED THIS. Sheesh. You’re at Man Camp. Be a Good Camper.
Naked Zak makes time and plays for the date rose by playing the whole song for Des. He alternates between being okay guy and being emo Brandon guy. Ultimately the latter will do him in. Does the ploy work? Yep! The best part? Ben feels the sting of defeat. I am okay with this.
Yay! FInally it’s time for Handsome James One on One Date Time!
He’s not going to final in this…but I enjoy this guy. Des takes him on the Serious Date. They go on a flyover of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy and it’s a pretty emotional trip. If anything will bring them a chance to really bond, it may well be by experiencing something like this together. They are both moved, James clearly. Then they land and head into the worst of it, talk to one of the local couples whose life was devastated. The storm hit on their 38th anniversary, so Des and James give their date to them. It’s a great gesture and it means a lot to the older couple. It’s a brief respite, but meaningful. And I love how they show us the two of them on their date. How cute are they?? Oh Manny & Jan….we love you.
Des and James find a local pizza dive and do the Real Date thing, where you get into the meat of what’s important. Des talks about how challenging her life was growing up and how it gave her an appreciatation for what’s important. And then…oh James. He wants to be as open and honest, so he reveals that in a previous, long term relationship he was unfaithful. And, points for honesty, but given the set up he’s in, competing against a raft of other guys…really risky move to confess so early on. Admirable, but…yikes.
Back with Manny & Jan, they get a restored copy of their wedding album, then Des and James show up and give them the rest of their date, which is dancing to a private concert by (swoon) Darius Rucker. The parallel between Manny & Jan and this newly forming couple is sweet and fun to watch. One of the best Date Moments. I’d be happy if we could end the night here.
But no. First? It’s Rose Ceremony Time.
The gist of it is, Bryden is all convinced that he’s lagging behind in the race and maybe it’s time to cut bait. Des wants to use the time at the party to spend time with the guys who haven’t gotten the time to progress to where some of the men have. MG takes that opportunity to do a Flash Cards of Love thing with Des that both hokey and hilarious. I’m not sure that’s the way to really get to the deep place you need to be, but kudos for originality!
Zak w and James are safe. Brad is already gone. So…only one more goes tonight. Really? Sigh. I could easily cut five or six at this point, but this is where we are. So rather than tell you who all got roses, let’s cut to the chase. Who goes? Unsurprisingly, the also Invisible Not Naked Zach. Ah Zach, we hardly knew ye! At all.
Aaaand, there you have it. Down 2, still 11 left. When, when will it end? So…who do you love? Who needs to go? Who should Des end up with? Any favorites yet? Next week? Munich!!
And did you enter this week’s Bachelorette Book Swag Giveaway? If you missed it, check out Part 1 of my USA Today recap and slide on down to the end where all the entry details are. Then it’s time to settle in and DISH!! Tell me all…