Welcome back to the weekly recap of The Bachelorette where we count down dingbats, douchebags and dirty dogs as Emily Maynard plucks them off one by one like they are nothing more than errant eyebrow hairs. Emily is looking for love and a father for her daughter, Ricki, and she has decided that reality television is the best means to an end. Emily didn’t find love in London, where she kicked alien life form Kalon back to his shiny planet in the sky as well as some guy who cried a lot and some other guy left and, well, read the recap. This week Emily and her finely coiffed gang travel to Croatia, a little country whose tourism board must have shelled out a lot to lure the production crew there.
Let’s see whether the roses had any thorns this week:
Best Investment: Croatia’s tourism board got a lot of bang for their …er let me Ask Jeeves what currency they use. Ah, the tourism board got a lot out of their kuna, because the first five minutes of the show are spent with Emily and the scrum of sausages in sweatshirts oohing and ahhing all over the beautiful scenery with lines like “the only thing more beautiful than the scenery is Emily.” All of which brings to mind the important question: How do you say ‘gag me with a spoon’ in Croatian?
Biggest Missed Opportunity: Emily invites Travis on a one-on-one date with a card that suggests they look for love “beyond the wall.” And then they fail to make a single Game of Thrones reference for the entire date. They didn’t even go dragon hunting (Have you seen my dragons? Have you seen my dragons?) instead opting to just eat ice cream. As if Emily eats empty calories!
Biggest Mystery: Who is Travis?
Strangest Attire: In the hotel, the men have nothing better to do than mull over Travis’ chances of making a match with Emily. Their banal conversation is only to avoid making eye contact with Ryan, who is wearing a teeny tiny square neck undershirt of indeterminate origin. Is it orthopedic? Did he borrow it from Emily? Did he rob a Croatian tween?
Kiss of Death: As Emily and Travis wander the streets of Croatia, Emily notes that Travis is “just the sweetest.” Meanwhile Travis repeatedly tells the cameraman (who probably doesn’t care) that he could see himself with Emily from now until forever. I hope by “forever” Travis just meant “until the end of dinner.”
I Am The Eggman: Over dinner, Emily sips her wine and smiles politely as she grills Travis about his past relationships. He assures her that everyone he ever dated was just like her. That doesn’t sound like he has a life-size Emily doll at home at all! Unfortunately, Emily just couldn’t find a spark with Travis, and when there’s no romance, there’s no rose. Emily claims it was hard to let Travis go, but it wasn’t, especially since now that I’ve Googled him, I know that Travis is the chucklehead who carried an egg around the house for the first two weeks. Coo-coo-ca-chu.
Biggest Ego in Croatia: When the second date card arrives, it reveals that Emily is going on a second one-on-one date with pro trainer and beard sculptor Ryan. He doesn’t let this go to his head or anything. He promises that he can manipulate the situation and get the girl, no problemo. That may come across as egotistical, because it is.
Most Blatant Cross Promotion: Emily takes her group date to go see a Disney/Pixar movie. How on earth did ABC manage that? And what a surprise, everyone loved it! The men even sit in a sharing circle and make comparisons between the plot of Brave and The Bachelorette. Under their sharp analysis, it appears that the plots are exactly the same except that Emily is blonde, the men use a lot of styling products, and instead of archery they swap spit. Brave is a family movie, right?
Most Multicultural Event: Adding to the family fun times, at the end of the movie the men all strip (it’s not Magic Mike, guys!) and put on kilts. This is not for fun or fashion, but rather because they are all competing in the traditional Scottish Highland Games in the middle of Croatia. Guess Scotland was too cheap to pay the producers to film there.
Least Sexy Moment: As a shout-out to Croatian custom, the men all ride donkeys to the site of the Highland Games. It turns out there are few things in this world less attractive than men in kilts riding donkeys. Knowing things like this is exactly why we are supposed to travel.
The Biggest Loser: The first event in the Highland Games is to toss the bag piper player into the loch. Then, archery, which is not just a game, but another opportunity for the men to mention Brave again. This is followed by the caber toss and the log straddle, something else to do with logs, and then singing the log song from Ren & Stimpy. Sean won the games by breaking the log with his smile, but the winner of the Brave-branded cup was Chris, who actually lost everything.
Group Hug: After the games, Emily and her six beaus head to a posh locale for some quiet conversations. Emily and Arie sneak off first. They appear to have a real connection, mostly because they are connected lip-to-lip for most of their on-camera time. Later Jef, who may have sold the extra “F” in his name for hair products, adorably tells Emily that “he’s freaking crazy about her.” Then they kiss and Arie pops up to yell, “Sloppy seconds!” and gives Jef a wedgie. Don’t pretend Arie is not that type of guy.
Most Awkward Moment: Emily wants to give Chris the group date rose for being one of the kindest, sweetest, most handsome men she’s ever met (in the last five minutes) but in order for her to do that, she has to grab the rose from where it sits right in front of all the guys she was just kissing. After pinning the rose on Chris, she kisses him under the watchful eyes of both Jef and Arie, who are probably trying to remember if they took their Valtrex.
The Second Date: Much to the horror of all the other men, Emily has invited Ryan the pro trainer with the George Michael beard for yet another one-on-one date. Ryan is such a sleazy rider that Emily can barely keep a straight face as he says things like, “The world is our oyster, and you’re the pearl.” The second the door closes behind him, the men all collapse under the weight of cheesiness.
TMI: As Ryan gets ready for his big date, one of the men announces that Ryan “plucks his finger hair.” Is that a thing? Actually, don’t tell me if that’s a thing. I don’t want to know.
Worst Aphrodisiac: While the date card made it clear that there would be oysters on the date, Emily seems shocked that they actually get on a boat, go oystering, and then she is expected to eat one. She tries, spits it overboard and then smiles at the captain, “That was delicious!”
Best Out of Context Quote: “Swallow it! Swallow it!” —Ryan trying to get Emily to eat the oyster.
Second Worst Aphrodisiac: Ryan’s mouth. Both in that he keeps opening it to say groan-worthy things and constantly mentioning his need for a trophy wife. When Emily balks, he calmly states, “Every man should believe his wife is a trophy!” And also, he has sculpted his facial hair so elaborately that he looks like a topiary.
Worst Use of Paper: Ryan spent some time journaling and wants to share the 12 qualities he seeks in a wife. Then he reads all 12 of them. Emily looks unimpressed, which isn’t one of the qualities Ryan is seeking in a wife.
Biggest Turn Off: Ryan is funny, great looking and a good kisser, but his list was so revolting (that’s my word) that Emily tells him the first thing on her list would be a loving family. And that wasn’t on his list at all. They don’t want the same things, so she’s not giving him a rose. Ryan just sits there blankly.
Most Deserved Standing Ovation: Ryan doesn’t accept her dismissal. Instead he tells her that she is making the wrong choice and that he is just right for her. She tries to explain her reasoning, but he keeps cutting her off, which undoubtedly confirms her decision. Ryan stares at her some more, but she holds tough. Ryan finally accepts his dismissal. Let’s all take a moment and give Emily the round of applause she so rightly deserves. It doesn’t matter that this was filmed six months ago.
Biggest Head-Scratcher: Lest you think Ryan takes his rejection as the need for potential introspection, let’s be clear: No. Instead he announces that he doesn’t think it is possible that Emily will find a man on the show. He just hopes that the producers show the real Ryan; he doesn’t want to be portrayed as an arrogant ass. Wait, what?
Sneakiest Maneuver: Arie pulls a page out of Courtney Robertson’s book and does an end run around the rules and goes to visit Emily at her lodging. He just wants to congratulate her on her good judgment on getting rid of Ryan. Of course, this is one of those conversations best had in bed, naturally.
The L Word: Arie is in love with Emily. He said it.
One of Those Less-is-More Moments: Emily tells Wolf that he needs to open up, so he tells her about his dead grandparents. Instead of backing away slowly from the weirdo, Emily and Wolf kiss. Well, I guess that’s one way to get him to stop talking. She still refuses to call him Wolf, though. That’s just embarrassing.
The Birds and the Bees: Emily has to remind single dad Doug that she’s a girl and that she likes to be pursued. Doug blushes. She grabs his arm, puts it around her and tells him to snuggle or else. Doug blushes some more. He says he’s shy, and Emily tells him to get over it or go home. But, you know, nicely.
Best Excuse to Go Home: Doug may be shy when it comes to making moves on the ladies, but when it comes to talking about his son, he’s all emotion. But his paternal tears are just laying the groundwork for his future “I’m glad to be leaving” speech.
The Rose Ceremony: Chris is safe with his pity rose pinned to his chest. Emily then calls up Sean, Jef and Arie, leaving the Wolfman and Humble Doug on the fence. Emily drags it out for awhile and then she turns on her heel, walks out of the room and goes to give the rose to Chris Harrison. He is single now!
Biggest Fake Out: Emily isn’t pinning a rose on Chris. Instead she just needs some assurances from Chris that what she wants to do is okay. She returns, near tears, but instead of slashing and burning her crop of man meat, she gives out two roses, meaning that both Wolf and Doug are safe. Booo! I mean yay, drag out the inevitable!
Next Week: The group is heading to Prague where kissing, actual fireworks and figurative fireworks are all on the agenda.