Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where Desiree Hartsock has narrowed the field of suitor-contestants from 25 to three. Drew, Brooks and Chris are still in the running to be America’s Next Top Bachelor and, perhaps, Des’ future fiancé. But before we can watch a young man propose to a woman he barely knows — because he signed up for a reality show on a drunken whim (guessing!) — we must first survive the gauntlet known as The Men Tell All. Tonight, we will see the Jilted Lover, the Confronted Cheater, the Scorned Single Father — and more of the various species that populate The Bachelorette. There will be tears, jeers and protestations of guilt and innocence, but mostly there will be a lot of sighing and watch-checking, because this is a two hour show with 20 minutes of content. We watched, so you could watch Royal Baby news.
Here’s what happened when The Men Tell All:
The Creepiest: Chris Harrison and Des decided to crash a Bachelorett-viewing party, but instead of knocking on the door, they lurk outside and stare in the windows.
Least Realistic: Chris and Des crash two more parties. None of which involve people watching the show alone in the dark, pants-less, eating Pringles with one hand and drinking merlot with the other. Which, I assume, is how the majority of Americans in my living room watch this show.
Most Proven Results: To continue their party-crashing, Chris (the host, not the contestant) and Des head to New York City to prove to viewers that this show’s meat grinder-like process has a track record of occasionally ending up in marriages. They meet up with all three couples that have emerged from the show’s many, many, many seasons. First, they meet Ashley and JP; then Jason and Molly from Season Three, with their new baby; and, finally, Trista (without Ryan in sight) from way back in Season One.
Worst Advice: Former Bachelorettes Emily Maynard and Ali Fedotowsky return to the show that made them (in)famous to give Des some tips for surviving the dreaded Men Tell All firing line. Don’t listen to them Des: one chose Jef and the other dumped Roberto.
Biggest Duh Moment: Federal prosecutor Michael tells the gathered audience that the men actually get along great, and for some reason the cameras focused on the conflicts.
Most Impressive: James is able to laugh off an entire clip reel featuring him getting slammed by pretty much everyone in the house for five minutes straight. Probably safest to assume he’s drunk.
Truest Line: Jonathan – who you may remember as the clearly drunk dude who kept trying to take Des to the Fantasy Suite during the first episode – thanked the audience for not booing him. And Michael zinged, “They didn’t remember you.”
Least Shocking Moment: Strangely, Bryan – who was ousted from the show when it turned out that he had a secret girlfriend at home – didn’t show up to get yelled at on national television some more.
First in the Hot Seat: Ben, the single dad who trotted his adorable son out of the limo and immediately made everyone hate him. He rightly gets booed.
The Men Tell All Milestone Reached #1: Ben is the first to remind us that he wasn’t on the show to make friends.
The Men Tell All Milestone Reached #2: Brandon told Ben that he didn’t belong on the show because he wasn’t there for the right reasons.
Biggest Reveal: Ben’s baby mama approached one of the other contestants in Vegas (where all 100 percent completely legitimate things happen) and told him that Ben was a terrible father who cheated on his girlfriend. Ben denied it all, though.
Most Impressive Camera Work: While sitting in the hot seat, professing his attempted love of Des and defending his actions on the show, James claims he was being “prosecuted” — and the camera never cut to Michael.
Most Tedious Exchange: With James on the hot seat, the conversation naturally turned to his ouster in a heated and monotonous exchange between Kasey, Mikey and James. Here’s the recap: Blah-blah integrity, blah-blah character, blah-blah eyebrow waxing, blah-blah right reasons, blah-blah sincerity, blah-blah The Bachelor. It went on for approximately ten hours with Emily Maynard even breaking ranks to tweet about how incredibly long the argument went on.
Hottest Hot Seat: The Venezuelan soccer player Juan Pablo took the title of Fan Favorite despite rarely being on camera. The audience is also stacked with women wearing “I HEART JUAN PABLO” shirts. Should we start our campaign now to make Juan Pablo the next Bachelor?
Worst Use Of Bronzer: Zak was spray-tanned to one degree shy of Oompa Loompa, setting off his white teeth to the point that Chris Harrison almost had to put on sunglasses to interview him. If you’ve seen that episode of Friends where Ross gets his teeth whitened you will have a general idea of the effect.
Weirdest Keepsake: Zak wrote Des a poem in invisible ink.
Biggest Missed Opportunity: Chris gets Zak in the hot seat and fails to ask him some pressing questions: What is a drilling-fluid engineer? And what does it have to do with sno-cones?
Best Roll: Des called Jonathan a disgrace to all men and no one called her out for unnecessary roughness. Then Jonathan apologized for starting her journey off on the wrong foot. Des then called out Ben for his arrogance. And he apologized. Then she accused James of manipulating her. And he apologized (sort of).
Most Awkward Moment: Zak announces that he wrote a song and Des blurts, “Oh no!” and then has to sit there awkwardly as he sings a mournful tune about moving on while surrounded by candles. Several women in the audience tear up. Which is embarrassing for everyone involved.
Truest Statement: Des said that Zak has “always been a positive light.” She’s talking about his teeth, right?
Best Reason To Come Back Next Week: The most dramatic finale in Bachelorette history, a line even Chris Harrison couldn’t say with a straight face, while swearing it to be true …this time. For real. He really means it. Stop laughing.