Welcome back to The Bachelorette. It’s still early enough in the competition that we don’t know anything about this Whitman’s Sampler of chuckleheads, yokels and gel-bots, except for the fact that they have all made some questionable life choices. What wonders lie beneath this vast sea of look-alike man meat? Will there be hearts of gold, hearts of darkness, deep thoughts or merely sausage awaiting Emily Maynard as she tries to find a suitable partner to help raise her child? The only way to find out is to watch. Hold me?
Let’s find out who made Emily’s heart go pitter-pat this week:
Most Momentous Moment: Chris Harrison earns his paycheck by showing up and reading the rules to the bachelors. And then something momentous happens as one of the muscle-bound meatheads mutters: “This just got real.” That’s right, it’s the first “this just got real” of the season. I wonder if Hallmark makes a card?
First Date: As Chris leaves, the first date card arrives. The lucky winner? Ryan, a man with carefully sculpted hair who may or may not be a personal trainer. In front of the other men, Ryan daintily asks Emily if he can hold her hand. She consents and allows Ryan to escort her to his car, making sure she doesn’t muss his hair .
Best Notion of Romance: Emily invites Ryan to her house to help bake cookies. That is not a euphemism. She is snack mom for her daughter’s soccer game and she needs his help. In order to save this damsel in distress, Ryan needs to wear a frilly apron and bake a few dozen cookies. Luckily Ryan almost manages to convince himself that, “Making cookies can be romantic.” No, Ryan, eating cookies is romantic. Or at least that is what I’ve managed to convince myself.
Weirdest Line to Draw: Emily drives up to the soccer game with Ryan in the passenger seat. She explains that she is a really protective mom and doesn’t want him meeting her daughter yet. He nods understandingly and she leaves him in the car, remembering to crack a window. If she’s such a protective mother, why is she toting television cameras to her kid’s soccer game?
Most Revealing Statement: During the course of their tête-à-tête, Ryan proudly states, “I’ve had two relationships that meant something to me.” For those playing along at home that would seem to imply he also had a bunch of anonymous hook-ups that didn’t mean anything. But now that he’s played house with Emily and managed to find her attractive while she wore “mom clothes” and cooked, he’s willing to give this thing with Emily a go.
Proceed With Caution: Emily is concerned that Ryan is too perfect and too attractive. He reminds her of Bachelor Brad, but seriously, he’s worst: He’s Jake Pavelka with bigger pecs.
Lamest Concert: Ever wonder what the worst way to see a concert is? How about standing on a dais elevated above a crowd of gawkers who need to get back to their geocities accounts already? Pretty awful, right? Yet that’s how Ryan and Emily catch a semi-private Gloriana show. They dance carefully on the petite platform while the gathered crowd records them for their awful blogs.
The Group Date: Emily sends a date card that reads “Let’s set the stage for love,” which sends paroxysms of panic into the hearts of Alessandro, Tony, John, Jef, Charlie, Kyle, Chris and Aaron. For his part Kalon, the luxury brand consultant, embraces the stage. At the theater, Emily thanks them for coming and explains that the event is a fundraiser for her dead fiancé’s namesake charity. The romance is palpable. Adding some much needed wow factor to the date, Kermit and Miss Piggy arrive to star in the show.
Watch It, Frog: The house is packed for the Muppet Bachelorette crossover show. While the show is raising money for a good cause, you have to wonder if it’s worth exposing Piggy and Kermit to whatever cooties this group of randy gentlemen are incubating. I mean, Kermie could go from hugging Kyle or Alessandro to hugging a child, and surely that won’t do. Won’t anyone think of the children?
My Favorite Muppet Moment: Statler sits in the audience of the fundraiser and notes, “That wasn’t half bad.” To which Chris Harrison replies, “No, it was all bad!” “Wait where’s Waldorf?” asks Statler. “He called in sick.” “Wish I’d thought of that.” You and me both Statler. I’m pretty sure Statler and Waldorf are my spirit animals. That said, the show was terrible. Not only were the bachelors forced to tell jokes of their own (“What did Kermit say to Miss Piggy when she ate all the cookies? Don’t be such a pig!”) as no one laughs. Then Charlie, the guy still recovering from a head injury, says something suave and earns a standing ovation and a remark from Emily about how she feels so proud of him. Sorry Charlie, you seem to have tapped into Emily’s mom-side. You’re never getting the girl.
Post Date Drinks: After the show, Emily takes her daughter home, changes into something less comfortable and then heads out to meet her many, many suitors for a nightcap. The men all jockey for her attention, but Stevie makes the biggest move, getting her to dance like an awkward eighth grader. Adding to the juvenile atmosphere, the other contestants spy on them from the stairs while elbowing each other in the ribs and Beavis-laughing, “Heh heh.”
Most Middle School Moment: Emily wants to like Jef and Jef wants to like Emily, but they are stuck in some serious junior high drama. You see, Emily tried to catch Jef’s eye and he didn’t notice and she ended up feeling like somebody’s “annoying little sister.” Once he assured her that he liked her, she gave him the group date rose. Because she is 12. Runner up? Stevie and Kalon fight like metrosexuals over the last tube of hair gel.
The Second Date : Emily has selected a guy named Joe for the second one-on-one date to the stately Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. Emily used to come here with her family and she has a lot of memories that she wants to sully by bringing in some random soon-to-be-eliminated dude. Fun fact: Emily got her first makeover at The Greenbrier. Undoubtedly the hotel has a plaque commemorating that occasion. They walk the grounds, put notes in the so-called Love Clock and talk deep talk.
The Territorial Markings Begin: Back at the Man Manor, Kalon manages to both lounge in the pool and piss off Chris by pointing out that he put being a dad on hold to come on this here reality show. Doug points out that 1. Shut up, Kalon and 2. He’s just on the show looking for a new mommy for his son, and everyone knows reality television is the only way to do that.
A Sad Farewell: Joe is telling Emily everything she wants to hear. He says he will pack his bags and go anywhere she says to go and start a life together. So Emily tells him to go ahead and pack his bags, but not because he is winning, but because she is sending him home. He was nice and sweet, but there were no butterflies. I do wish Emily had done Joe and the women of the world a favor and recommended he get a haircut.
Cocktails with the Weenies: After her fateful second date, Emily heads to the Man Manor for a pre-Rose Ceremony cocktail party. She reminds the men that Joe went home not because he wasn’t a great guy with bad hair, but because she couldn’t see herself living with that hair in five years or competing with her husband for hair product space in the bathroom. The men nod knowingly while hiding their hair products in the plants.
An Awkward Interlude: During a quiet moment alone, Ryan reveals that he’s more than just a carefully teased head of hair atop some biceps and presents Emily with a very long heartfelt letter that he insists she read aloud right then and there. Unfortunately Tony had followed them into the room hoping to steal Emily away and ended up getting trapped like a squirrel and has to sit and listen to the whole poignant essay before being able to break in and stop the insanity.
Most Important Fact: Kalon has a Louis Vuitton luggage. Also when Emily asks him, “What makes you think a girl is worth a serious shot with Kalon?” He replies, “It’s that feeling that you get right here” and he doesn’t even smirk a little. Then the men accuse him of showing off his “big vocabulary.” Anything sounds dirty if you use enough quotes.
The Rose Ceremony: Despite ousting Joe, Emily still has to eliminate two men because all the single ladies are calling her out for hogging. In the most surprising move of the season (all two episodes!) Emily gives Kalon the first rose. Louis Vuitton luggage is a big draw for a lot of ladies. The men all groan, which is a tell-tale sign that a lot of serious talks with Emily about whether Kalon is there for the “right reasons” or not will eventually happen. Stevie shakes his head in deep disappointment in Emily’s choices, but he probably just wishes he too had Louis Vuitton luggage and a helicopter and whatever industrial strength lip balm Kalon is using to make his lips so shiny. Following Kalon’s big score are Arie, the racecar driver, and Michael of the long hair. Nate, who I don’t recognize at all; Sean, the needy insurance salesman; Jef; Chris, the single dad with the precocious son; Travis, who is like a stranger to me; Tony, the other single father; John; Alessandro, the Midwestern Brazilian; Charlie, who I don’t want to call head injury but what else is there to call him?; Alejandro the Colombian; Happy; Grumpy; Dopey; and Doc, and then there is just one rose left.
The Final Rose: Emily gives the final rose to Stevie, not only because the producers are probably making her keep him around for all the fun Stevie-Kalon drama, but also because she may need a DJ for her daughter’s birthday party. Emily doesn’t make passes at guy’s who wear glasses, so Aaron will have to go back to winning the title of hottest teacher at his Long Beach high school. Kyle joins him in the limo, because as it turns out, they are heading to the same destination. Yes, Kyle is also from Long Beach. I’m starting to think that Emily is an anti-Californian. Someone alert the Anti-Defamation League!
Next week Emily goes out with Arie and Chris and Sean and that guy cries. Also an egg gets smashed, but most important: Dolly Parton will be making an appearance.