Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where there are still 16 bachelors vying for a chance to lock lips with Emily Maynard. Emily has devised a series of dates to help winnow the herd of man meat and find the one man who will be a loving and supportive partner to her, as well as a father figure to her daughter Ricki (and who will perhaps one day sign the papers so Ricki, too, can star on a reality show). It’s the circle of life. Last week Emily cut loose a couple of walking sausages whose names are already rose petals in the wind .
Let’s see which waste of hair gel Emily uses as a paving stone on her path to love this week:
First One-On-One Date: Instead of summarizing Emily’s private date with Chris, I thought I would just run the numbers. Here are the stats of Emily and Chris’ one-on-one date in which they are forced to scale a building in order to eat their supper:
Number of harness jokes: 3.
Mentions of harnesses looking slimming: 1.
Uses of climbing-a-building-as-a-metaphor of relationship: 2.
Mentions of Emily’s attractiveness: 2
Chris’ age: 25, which is a red flag for Emily as most 25-year-old men aren’t ready to take on a woman with a child. Chris assures her he’s ready for a big commitment. He’s pro-family and he’s pro-Emily, so he gets the date rose.
Kissing Lessons: The producers stop traffic on a Charlotte street so Luke Bryan can perform. It would be a private concert except for the fact that the streets are lined with putative Luke Bryan fans eager to gawk at Emily slow dancing with Chris. Then Chris shows his age by asking if he can kiss Emily, when clearly he should have just kissed her. Emily suggests he just try it sometime to see what happens. I hope all of Chris’ exes find this highly amusing.
The Group Date: At this point in the competition, it’s too early to name a front runner. It’s also too early to name any of these nearly identical rippling-pec, tight t-shirt, overly gelled meatsicles apart. Maybe next season they’ll color code these chumps. Emily and her cleavage greet the gents as they ogle her and the football she’s tossing around like a manicured Mike Ditka. She is grinning at the prank she is about to pull.
Best Prank Ever: The men all think Emily is going to take them on a romantic picnic, but instead she gestures at her friends, who look like the judgiest playground mommy clique ever and could clearly give the harpies over at UrbanBaby a run for their money. They all sit glaring at Emily’s walking man mob. Emily introduces the glowering women in their Chico’s separates and Tory Burch flip flops as her best friends and tells the men to go ahead and chat with the lovely ladies.
Best Parenting Test: The moms make Stevie, the Jersey party DJ, do the worm, because clearly ’80s dance skill are a prerequisite for any good father. Then he hands them some business cards because their kids’ parties aren’t going to entertain themselves.
The Winner: Sean is a “genetic gift to the world” according to one of Emily’s friends. He drones on like a beauty pageant contestant about faith and family, until Wendy — the spicy one — makes him take his shirt off and do push ups. He may be attractive, but you wouldn’t want to sit next to him on an airplane. He is a Christian insurance salesman after all. The women choose Doug the dad and Sean as the day’s winners.
The Big Test: Just when the men think they’re back to safely ogling Emily, a minivan pulls up and eviscerates itself like a disconsolate sea cucumber in pleated khakis. The men drown in a sea of children. Emily wants them to entertain the kids so she can judge their parenting skills. One question: who gives their children over to a sea of strange men?
Biggest Foot in Mouth: Ryan crashes Emily’s girl time and then announces in front of her friends that if Emily got fat, he would still love her, but he wouldn’t love on her as much. Awkward silence ensues as her friends all cock their heads and stare at him until he leaves.
The Dad Dilemma: After the date Tony is struggling with being away from his kid. Let’s not judge Tony for his decision to leave his child to find
fame love on a reality show, but we can judge him for his choice in sweaters. Doug kindly gives Tony a paternal pep talk, which doesn’t do much. Then Emily comes out ostensibly to cheer him up and talk, but instead she sends him packing. Emily pretends this is for Tony’s benefit, and he seems happy to go, but really it’s because his choice in sweater suggests a pattern of questionable life choices.
The Group Date Rose: Sean gets the rose for backing up his family values rhetoric with an actual interest in children. Unlike, say, Alessandro.
Second One-on-One Date: For Emily, Dollywood is the happiest place on earth. Arie sets out on his mission to win Ricki a prize and consequently Emily’s heart.
Missed Opportunity: Emily and Arie both get points for not using their roller coaster ride as a metaphor for a relationship. Secretly, though, I’m a little disappointed in the show’s writing department.
Best Guest Appearance Ever: Emily gets very close to swearing when she sees Dolly Freakin’ Parton on stage and armed with a guitar. Dolly sings a song written just for the occasion about how “true loves finds a way.” Then Dolly pulls Emily aside for some girl talk. It’s a bit adorable how much Emily likes Dolly, but who doesn’t like Dolly? Crazy people, that’s who.
Weirdest compliment: Emily announces that Arie reminds her a lot of her dead fiancé. Apparently that’s a good thing, because she makes out with him on the carousel.
Best Facial Expression: At the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, Kalon cuts Emily off to tell her, “I love it when you talk, but I wish you’d let me finish.” The look on Emily’s face is a priceless example of a nice Southern girl clearly thinking: WTF. Later Emily interviews that she likes men who are “tall, skinnny and funny, but not tall, skinny and condescending.” And yet she was engaged to Brad Womack.
Dr. Kevorkian Visits The Bachelorette: During the park-side interrogation by Emily’s friends, one hero told the idiot with the egg to finally give it up. So during the cocktail party he invites Emily to come help him set little Shelly free. In the show’s first assisted suicide, they smash the egg all over the front walk while bidding Shelly farewell. Inside the men all pour a little out for Shelly. Not sure if I’m more appalled by the egg abuse or the alcohol waste.
Worst Pitch: Emily pulls Alessandro aside for some chitchat and immediately regrets her decision, as he starts talking about being the chief in the family and how he’s a gypsy. He considers family a compromise. Emily is rightly appalled. She thinks her daughter should be considered the biggest bonus ever in a relationship. He disagrees, so she shows him the front door. Oh god, please don’t let Alessandro reproduce so he can’t pass along the genetic possibility of that hair, ever. The shiny bowl cut dies with you!
Cold Comfort: Emily is upset after staring at Alessandro’s hair for an hour (is it contagious?!) so she runs to Arie for comfort. Forehead kisses ensue followed by mouth kisses. Soon they are making out in full view of the other men. What’s that on Arie’s back? A giant target.
The New Frontrunner?: The best antidote to an ass is a nice guy with solid morals. Yeah, Sean the insurance salesman pulls Emily aside to tell her that for the past 28 years, his dad has shown him how to be a perfect father. He could step into that role right now and if they were to get married, Ricki would be his daughter. Emily beams at him, but doesn’t make out with him like she did with Arie.
The Rose Ceremony: Chris, Sean and Arie already have roses and since Emily can’t give them more roses, she has to hand them out to the others. Jef gets the first rose, followed by Charlie, Doug the dad, Michael, Travis a.k.a. Egg Man, and Alejandro. She gives Ryan a rose probably as some disincentive to ever gain weight. John, who I don’t recognize at all—in fact I suspect the producers added later via the magic of CGI—also gets a rose. Kalon manages to get his foot out of his mouth long enough to accept the rose. Why is he still here? Maybe Emily wants to borrow his lip gloss.
The Final Rose: Emily looks contemplative before she calls out Nate’s name, meaning that Stevie, the New Jersey party DJ who did the worm, is finally going home. The producers pretend that this is a great loss to the competition—after all, who will lead the nightly round of Brickhouse now that Stevie’s leaving? Stevie bemoans that he saw something in Emily that he wanted to pursue—a.k.a. boobies.
Things to look forward to next week: As it turns out, Ryan may not be there for the right reasons. Can you believe it? Come back next week when the men debate this shocking turn of events.