Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where this week Desiree Hartsock is whisking away her bevy of beaus to the beautiful Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. While it feels like Des’ journey to the heart of corniness has just started, in fact, home town dates loom large. Whoever gets sent home tonight will not only suffer from a broken heart, but will miss the opportunity to show America their mom’s good china and carefully vacuumed living room upholstery. After a rough few weeks for Des, who barely survived the whole James-is-a-giant-tool incident from last week as well as the Bryden-quitting-in-the-middle-of-the-show moment from the week before, has to date all five remaining men in a two-hour period. Hopefully, society won’t judge her too much and Madeira will bring Des some much needed opportunities to use as many metaphors for love and marriage as possible.
Here’s what happened this week on The Bachelorette:
Best Use Of Bachelor Leftovers: Because there are still approximately 72 men left in her harem, Des needs help. So she calls in a lifeline to help her decide who among them are winners (and who are wieners). The good people of The Bachelor can’t be bothered to have Des’ real friends sign releases, so instead they invite past losers Jackie and Lesley and winner Catherine (from Sean’s season) to help rate the man meat. Apparently, Chris is the most athletic, Brooks has the best eyes, Zak is the most adventurous and Drew has the best body, a fact Lesley confirms by creeping on him in the pool via binoculars.
Best Reason To Win: If you, like me, ever wonder why Catherine won Sean’s heart, perhaps part of the reason lies in the fact that the one question she asked, which happened to be about the men’s anatomy, got bleeped out. Sean is a lucky man.
First Date: Des’ first date of the night is a second date with Brooks and his hair. Because their date involves driving a Smart Car through the mountains, it seems the couple are contractually obligated to use as many metaphors about the road as a relationship as possible. For example, Des is “on the road” to falling in love with him, while Brooks isn’t sure of their destination, but is excited for the journey. Three can play this game: You are “driving me crazy” with weak metaphors, show!
The Most Metaphorical: As the date continues, so do the metaphors. Brooks muses that with Des, he is past ‘like’ and not quite at ‘love,’ but definitely in the clouds, which is apt because they are in the clouds too! Des makes a toast while Brooks announces, “Let’s cheers to that!,” which seems like a sign of some deep immaturity. Then they make several Cloud Nine references, none of which were about the Evanescence song.
Second Date: Des and Chris go on a second date. Because Madeira is a small island, Des and Chris are unable to escape the watchful prying eyes of the rest of the men. So they make the only logical choice and head out to sea, where they can have some alone time with a camera crew.
Most Impressive Move: Riding the waves on the prow of the boat, Des and Chris do NOT reenact that scene from Titanic. Truly, a Bachelorette first!
Most Believable Moment: Chris and Des have a strong physical attraction documented by the fact that they spend half the date rubbing sunscreen on each other. Just like Kurt Vonnegut said.
Corniest Moment: How is this date different from all other dates? Because on this date Chris and Des write a poem together. They shove it into a bottle and send out to sea to give hope to some poor soul trapped on a desert island (or choke a sea turtle who mistakes it for a fish). Can someone go to whitehouse.gov and write a petition to ban impromptu poems stuffed inside bottles and flung into the sea? Do it for the sea turtles.
Bachelorette Milestone: Chris has fallen in love with Des. But he’s too nervous to tell her and develops about 8,000 nervous tics before blurting it out via (of course) a poem just a shade shorter than the Epic of King Gesar. Awww, but also gahhh. Obviously, Chris’ mom has to Stanley Steemer the carpets, because Des is definitely meeting the parents. (That’s not a euphemism.)
Third Date: Michael the Federal Prosecutor finally gets a one-on-one date. But considering that she dated everyone else twice before she dated Michael once, things aren’t looking so good for Michael. After wandering the streets of the city, Michael opens up over dinner, even talking about his deadbeat dad, which is usually a sure-fire winner, but not tonight. Even a surprise flamenco concert doesn’t seem to inspire Des.
Fourth Date: Because Desiree can’t be seen going on five dates in a two-hour time span, her fourth date is actually a very wholesome threesome with Drew and drilling-fluid engineer Zak. Because this is a two-on-one date, a rose will be handed out because someone has to be publicly humiliated at least once per episode or else The Bachelorette will lose its FCC license. (Guessing!)
Most Culturally Appropriate Activity: Respectful of Madeira’s cultural heritage, Des, Zak and Drew take part in the traditional Portuguese sport of go-kart racing. Zak wins, but also loses, because Des gives Drew the rose for finally opening up to her.
Most Surprising Trait: Before he lost, Zak presented Des with a scrapbook he made of their experiences together, including drawings of his abs. That’s right, Zak’s a scrapbooker.
Best Reason To Go On The Bachelorette (Not Including Canada Goose Coats): Des appears to really hate cocktail parties, because once again she opts not to have one, preferring to use her time to publicly announce that she is having feelings for multiple people. Chris Harrison nods in understanding, because he, too, has feelings for multiple people (hairdresser, masseuse and spray tanner). He then gently reminds Des that she used to be broke and had never traveled anywhere, but now — thanks to the largess of The Bachelorette and her willingness to publicly date multiple men – she has seen the world!
Most Telling Question: Desiree thinks Drew is the best-looking guy she has ever met, plus he’s sincere in everything he does and she can see the kindness in his eyes. The eight-pack abs don’t hurt either. She pronounces him definitely husband material. Chris Harrison sagely nods before asking, ‘Is he husband material for you?’ Clearly, Chris Harrison shares my suspicion about Drew. Namely, that he can only be married in 13 states and the District of Columbia right now.
The Rose Ceremony: With Drew safe, Brooks gets the first rose. Chris gets the second and Zak gets the third, meaning Michael gets the boot, which is hardly a surprise.
The Classiest Departure: Michael handles his farewell very well, telling Des that he thinks the world of her and wishes her the best. He also notes that he appreciates the fact that she was honest now instead of waiting until he brought her home to meet his family. For a kicker, he adds that he’s going to have a hard time dating anyone after her because she’s the best. After that speech, no one should ever doubt Michael’s ability to win over a jury.
Harshest Cut: Unsatisfied with giving Michael a classy departure, the producers had Michael call his mother from the limo of shame.
Biggest Shock: For some reason, Chris Harrison’s did not get a chance to utter his only line of the night — a.k.a. “This is the final rose of the night.” Someone is getting fired!
Rest assured the editor & producer that took out my line “This is the final rose tonight” will never be heard from again #thebachelorette
— Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison) July 9, 2013
Best Reason To Come Back Next Week: Hometown dates mean you get to judge the contestants’ mom’s interior-decorating skills.