Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where Desiree has made it through the first cocktail party and is ready to get down to the serious business of finding long-lasting love. On reality television.
How do we know that Desiree is taking this process seriously? Because last week, Des booted a magician/tailor as well as a guy who showed up in a full suit of armor promising to get in touch with his inner Kasey Kahl and protect her heart. Clearly, she’s not here for fun or my personal entertainment. Instead, Des, who barely survived elimination by Bachelor Sean Lowe, is determined to find a knight in shining armor who doesn’t actually wear the armor. Or, just saves it for cosplay weekends.
Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:
First Date: Because Des didn’t hand out a First Impression rose during the inaugural cocktail party, the first date serves as an ersatz early indicator of Des’ type. Chris Harrison comes in and doles out the first date-card of the season. Des gives Brooks the honor of the first date. Do we know who Brooks is? No, we do not. The camera cuts to him and he’s a slightly long-haired marketing consultant who refers to Des as “a ball of mystery.” Can you smell the romance?
Scariest First Date Ever: The Bachelor/ette franchise has a long history of torturing contestants with bungee jumps, bridge walks and cliff climbing, but this time they outdid themselves. In case the men weren’t terrified enough by constantly being required to say things like “this could be the first date with my future wife,” Des takes Brooks to a bridal salon for their first date. To his credit, Brooks chooses his 15 minutes of fame over what one can only assume is his burning desire to run screaming for the hills.
Worst Use of a National Landmark: Des and Brooks take off from the bridal salon wearing their wedding clothes and head to a cupcake truck where they freak out The Bachelorette fans who recognize her and think she’s getting hitched. Then they head to the Hollywood sign to gawk and flirt and swap spit. To her credit, Des only says “I feel like we’re really newlyweds,” like, three times, max.
Bachelorette Milestone: First kiss. Brooks and Des make out on the Hollywood sign and Des swears she will “never ever forget” it.
Fairytale Count: 2
Best Horror-Show Set Up: Brooks is nervous as Des drives him through a neighborhood with razor wire on the fences and then makes him break through a Road Closed sign. He goes with it, because, you know, it’s reality television. They drive onto a bridge that is lit up in purple lights (like our of a Prince concert) and dinner is awaiting them. Then an axe murderer jumps out! Well, Brooks may prefer that to being grilled about his parents’ divorce.
Best Reason To Get a Rose: While ostensibly Brooks got his rose for opening up about his Feelings, it’s clear his copious use of hair gel contributed to the decision-making process. Seriously, his hair didn’t budge once despite being on a fairly windy bridge.
Group Date: The group date card queries, “Who is here for the right reasons?” Zak W., the guy who didn’t wear a shirt during the cocktail party and asked Des, “Will you accept these abs?,” knows that he is here for the right reasons (fleeting fame), but he can’t and won’t vouch for anyone else on this show. Only Des’ group date will separate the man-wheat from the boy-chaff.
Bachelorette Milestone: Not only did Brooks and Des share the first kiss of the show, but they also got the season’s first private concert where they got to dance awkwardly in the middle of a street (to music played by a band whose publicists are patting themselves on the back right now).
Best Group-Date Ever: Des’ mother will be relieved to know that Des has never “had to juggle dating 14 men before.” However, she is looking forward to finding love on the set of a rap video produced by Soulja Boy (who should lose all street cred for this). The name of the video? “For The Right Reasons.” Because, of course it is.
Best Show of Commitment: One of the lines in the rap song, spitted out by a man wearing a jock strap and a vest, is: “I’d never lose your number/It’s tattooed on my man part.” That guy is definitely here for the right reasons.
Worst Rap Song Ever (Including That One by Brian Austin Green): Botched lines, ridiculous costumes, clunky dance moves and The Bachelorette rapping over a slew of hair-gelled white dudes chanting, “The right reasons! The right reasons!” makes this the worst rap song. Ever. Yes, including the one by the Chicago Bears. Everyone involved should be ashamed. Especially Soulja Boy a.k.a. the number-one worst rapper on HipHop365’s Worst Rappers List. But, for Des at least, “the group couldn’t have gone any better.” Except for our eardrums, of course.
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The Redemption of Zak W: Zak the shirtless wonder doesn’t want Des to “think of him like a clown,” despite the fact that her first impression (and second, third and fourth) was of Zak as “the shirtless man.” Then he gave her an antique journal he found with a charming inscription and everything changed.
Bachelorette Milestone: The Villain is named. Is single-dad Ben the Tierra of this season? Perhaps. He rubs his competitors the wrong way, doesn’t care what they think about him because “he’s not here to make friends,” and during Des’ first date, whines that it’s hard to watch her drive away with another man. He also gets the second kiss of the season, the first man-to-man talk about his behavior towards his competitors, and the Group Date Rose, which does not win him any fans.
Second Date: Bryden, the veteran, gets the second one-on-one date with Des.
Biggest Red Flag: Brandon, who was rapping in a jockstrap and vest mere moments ago, spills his beans fully to Des: He doesn’t have any money, his dad left, his mom was a drug addict, he raised his family, skipping school to stay home with his baby sister. Des looks touched that he’s sharing all this with her. While it’s cool that Brandon owns his past, he may be less in need of a reality-show bride, and more in need of a good therapist.
Worst Impression of America: What must Juan-Pablo think of the United States?
Best Ad For California Tourism Ever (Including That One With Rob Lowe): Des takes Bryden, a Montana boy, on a tour of the California coastline including stops at the beach and an orange grove, before taking him to Ojai, a town Des describes as “small, cute and artsy” — just like her!
Getting to Know Bryden: Bryden opens up about a car accident that he was in when he was younger. Helpfully, he has some visual aids in his jacket pocket. It’s unclear whether he always has photos in his pocket or was prepped in advance for this conversation, but clearly that could never happen as this is a realit- television show. His openness gets him a rose.
Bachelorette Milestone: First hot-tub make out session! Des barks, “Kiss me already!” Bryden stammers, “Just go for it? Okay.”
The Cocktail Party: After hanging out with most of the men, Des is hopeful about her future as a reality-show bride. During the cocktail party, Michael, a federal prosecutor, feels it is incredibly important to tell Des that he has Type-1 diabetes. He manages to sound even more breathless than Brandon talking about his addicted absentee mother. Ben, who already has a rose, cut in on the convo, ensuring him the hatred of all the other contestants.
The Airing Of Grievances: As Ben canoodles with Des, the men have a bitch session about how selfish Ben is and how much they hate him. Michael, who didn’t appreciate having his Very Dramatic Unveiling of Diabetes Diagnosis getting cut short, goes to have a talk with Ben, bringing along some other guys including Mikey, the wide-necked plumbing consultant. Ben assures them that he is really here for Des, but Michael doesn’t buy it and says that Ben not only doesn’t get it, but declares, “it’s a dangerous sort of not-getting-it” (relax, counselor, this isn’t A Few Good Men) and insists that Ben is setting a bad example for his son. Ouch!
The Rose Ceremony: Des tells the men, “So many of you are husband material, which makes this even more difficult for me.” A bunch of men we haven’t seen before get roses first: James, Casey, Dan, Brad, Chris, Brian (who looks like the villain in an 80s movie), and Drew get roses, as do Zak and Zak, Mikey, Michael and his diabetes, and Juan Pablo gets his rose request en espanol. The final rose goes to Brandon who looks like he might pass out if he is abandoned by the love of his life (even if he’s only known her for two days).
The Rejects: Will, the only African-American on the show, is sent packing after getting friend-zoned; and Robert, the sign spinning ad exec. Nick M. is going home due to a poorly-fitting suit (guessing!). Meanwhile, Des makes everyone else toast to “the right reasons.” And their future rap royalties.
Best Reason To Come Back Next Week: We haven’t seen a helicopter this season. Also, someone gets injured and someone has a girlfriend.