"The Bachelorette" Rose Rundown: Horses, big hands and a rough second hour
Rachel dropping fire on dopey dudes. Idiots who needed to go NOW actually getting eliminated. Ellen DeGeneres! For an hour, last night's episode of "The Bachelorette" was pretty great.
Unfortunately, "Bachelorette" episodes are two hours long.
Let's start with the good half. The show started with Rachel and her herd of hilariously overprotective beaus confronting DeMario at the front gate. I didn't get my dream scenario of Rachel cackling it off and then having a Beyonce dance party with Copper – but I suppose I got the next best thing. After DeMario stumbled out an apology – complete with some Hallmark quote about pain – Rachel countered with a calm yet crushing, "What I saw was a boy; I'm looking for a man." She then boy bye-ed her way back into the mansion while "Bachelorette" producers swept up the napalmed remains of what was once called DeMario.
One dumb drama cleaned up, one was still to go: Whaboom Guy versus Blake the aspiring drummer. During some one-on-one time, a well-hammered Lucas pulled the "he eats bananas while watching me sleep" card – a time-honored classic – which flabbergasted Blake into even more whining. It's frankly impressive how he became more annoying than a guy whose catchphrase irritated Ashton Kutcher and already earned a sponsorship as hell's official elevator music.
Luckily, their story ended in perfection: With Blake and Lucas remaining and only one rose to go, Rachel chose ... Diggy! The two losers then shared a final verbal confrontation outside, a display of bad fighting at its best as they hurled insults back and forth, convinced each one was an impressive crushing final blow instead of another can of kerosene dumped on their respective apocalyptic clown-car fires. Forget Rachel; this is the ultimate love connection for the season. I hope these two have many wonderful days ahead, watching each other sleep while menacingly eating bananas.
While Blake and Lucas argued over whose underpants had the most impressive skid marks, Rachel went on her first group date of the episode: a trip to "Ellen" for a taping. It wouldn't be Ellen without dancing, so after some questions about kissing (that Bryan was far too eager to answer), the guys were sent into the crowd to give the audience a shirtless show. Or, in Alex's case, bludgeon every sentient human being in a five-mile radius with his frenetic "Magic Mike" on fast-forward abs and hips. It was as if he'd been waiting his entire life to shake his junk at an elderly bookclub. Still, he certainly made his impression and snagged the rose at the end of the night.
His victory, however, was overshadowed by the sad ballad of Fred. The guy seemed genuinely heartbroken that he was one of the few guys on the group date who hadn't gotten a kiss yet – which might've seemed possessive or demanding, but Fred was just so ... Fred about it, talking all soft-spoken and sad about Rachel only seeing him as that little school punk. Still, he was determined to get his kiss, and after awkwardly asking permission, he got it – complete with a happy dance.
Unfortunately, Fred was the only one dancing. From the moment lips locked, Rachel was enjoying none of it. That kiss was 10 long seconds of nope, so she took her old school chum aside and told him she just couldn't see past their past. It was a fair, fine and honest break – BUT WHY'D SHE HAVE TO TAKE THE ROSE WITH HER!? Brutal, Rachel. That's some Nick-level cold-bloodedness. At least Fred took it well – and it was tragically entertaining.
Sadly, that was the end of the entertainment portion of the evening, replaced by boredom during Rachel's one-on-one date with ... Anthony? There's an Anthony on the show? I guess so – though even after their day on the town, I'm not convinced he exists. Make no mistake: He seems like a nice, affable guy. Unfortunately, nice people often make for bad television – even more so when they're forced on horseback down Rodeo Drive because ... puns? The date was more odd than endearing – and that was even before Rachel's horse decided to take a dump all over their day and the store's floor.
The date ended with a scenic dinner on a hill, some bland conversation and a surprise live performance of smooth jazz – because apparently "The Bachelorette" didn't feel it had lulled its audience to sleep quite yet.
Even the show seemed bored by their solo date, cutting back to the mansion for some harrumphing between Eric and the guys about the former's lack of confidence in his time with Rachel, which then turned into a lack of confidence about her seriousness about the show. We've strayed a long ways away from your cute dancing with Rachel on the "Bachelor" season finale, Eric.
For reasons unknown to rational minds, Eric's conniption fit turned into "a thing" – just in time for some mud wrestling, judged by some of Rachel's best friends, who ABC is still trying to convince us are her former "Bachelor" rivals. Indeed, Raven, Jasmine, Shark/Dolphin Girl and, yes, Corinne all came back to help judge the boys get down in some rather chunky looking mud.
Kenny obviously had the upper hand in the contest, staying charming while pounding dudes into the dirt – quite literally. Yet he somehow slipped up in the final round and lost to Bryce – who I was shocked to discover, after some quick Wikipedia-ing, is a contestant on this show. His loss should be easily forgiven after busting out of his shirt and busting out some moves from his old Chippendales days for Rachel. Less forgivable? Bringing Corinne back on the show and giving her a non-speaking role!
Instead, Raven was tasked with passing on the bad news to Rachel: Bryce and Lee told her on the ride over (in between pole dances; big night for objectifying dudes!) that Eric is there for the wrong reasons. Or that he's not "experienced" enough to be in love? Frankly, I have no idea why anybody was mad at anybody by the end. All I know is that Rachel went against the advice of her "best" "friends" and gave the second group date rose to Eric. Drama over for the night, then, right?
Why, of course not.
During their one-on-one sessions, both Iggy and Lee complained to Rachel about Eric being the dreaded "not here for the right reasons," causing Rachel, like the strong and capable lawyer she is, to confront Eric about the claims. He denied them ... and then did the worst possible thing by calling an all-bro meeting to wail to the guys – especially Lee. The Nashville guy just could not get enough of spinning Eric in enraged circles, and by the end of Monday night's episode, he was basically crying out for a villain cat to stroke while he was trolling poor Eric into a tizzy.
I'd say it was fun, but next week, it looks like accusations of racism – and not unfounded ones – are headed Lee's way. Plus, there are hints of him messing with Kenny. And you just don't mess with America's favorite wrestler/former Chippendale/single dad/t-shirt murderer.
It took an extra week, but Rachel officially kicked DeMario to the curb this week. Meanwhile, Whaboom Guy, America's least favorite aspiring drummer and some guy named Jamey, who was apparently around, were all axed the old-fashioned way, while Fred successfully got a kiss ... and then the boot.
Pole dance? Mud wrestle? Tell sweet family stories? IS THERE NOTHING THIS SAINT CAN'T DO!?
Alex came out a little eager during the Ellen group date, slapping his pelvis on every single grandmother in the Ellen studio audience – and probably a few camera operators too. Thankfully, he calmed down a bit and reached an appropriate level of TV talk show hamming during "Never Have I Ever." By the end, Rachel didn't even have to give him the rose; it was obvious he was the winner of the group date, showing a lot of personality and making a good impact on Rachel Monday night.
But still probably too much impact on those poor studio audience grandmas.
3. Jack Stone
I guess this spot should go to Anthony for snagging the one-on-one date, but I don't think it's a promising sign that the most memorable part of their time together was horse turds. So I'm giving this spot to my irrational favorite contestant, JACK! STONE! – mostly because I don't think JACK! STONE! is going to be around much longer for me to do this.
Eric's definitely in trouble next week, but I – and this week's episode – already spent too much time discussing his mental breakdown Monday night, and we already know how Eric feels about his name in other people's mouth.
So let's talk about Tickle Monster's giant spindly Tim Burton hands – and in particular, WHY DOES HE HAVE THEM?! Unless it's a reference to Ludacris' "Get Back" music video, stop this. I suppose we should be thankful, though, he didn't attempt to tickle anyone in the Ellen studio audience, or else we might have had a display of afternoon talk show violence "The Jerry Springer Show" could only dream of inciting.
There are probably hundreds of ways to describe a blank model facial expression combined with rubbing one's finger and thumb together. Concrete-haired male model Brady decided "booger roll" was the best option. Nice call, "Zoolander 2."
Three weeks into the show, and Adam's only definable personality trait is his evil "Conjuring" doll,which thankfully didn't make an appearOH DAMMIT, THERE HE IS AGAIN!
Oh hi, Wisconsin!
Madison boy Peter was mostly a no-show, and unfortunately the chunky mud for the wrestling bout wasn't Real Chili.
Line of the night
An extra round of applause to Rachel's just vicious execution of DeMario.
"That was a boy; I'm looking for man." FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRE #TheBachelorette— Matthew Mueller (@aManAboutFilm) June 6, 2017
A guillotine would've been kinder.
Does forcing your mom to watch two hours of shirtless dudes gyrate on the Ellen show, in a mud pit and on a stripper pole count as a late Mother's Day present? Or a late birthday gift, in my sister's case? Asking for a friend.
Anyways, we could've had the city of Nashville in our basement basement rooting on the Predators in the Stanley Cup, and I still don't think it would've match the volume of the ladies' cheer when both Lucas and Blake were shown the door. Common sense doesn't normally win out over cheap drama on these shows, so we all drank heavily to that. Now if only Rachel could snag one of Tickle Monster's giant mitts and backhand-slap him off the show.
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