The Bachelorette Watch: Desiree Enters The Thunderdome Of Love (and Hashtags)

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Spray tan your abs, gel your hair, and pluck your roses — The Bachelorette is back! Who is this season’s lucky lady looking for love? It’s not Missee Harris, the woman who wanted to be the first African-American Bachelorette, but Des, née Desiree Hartsock, who was Bachelor Sean Lowe’s love detritus. She was the woman who was tossed aside in favor of Catherine, who eventually won the rose and Sean’s ABC-guaranteed (like the FDIC, but with moderately better ratings) marriage proposal. The woman whose brother spoiled her chances with all his truth-telling. The woman who was let go and then cried and begged Sean to keep her and told him that he was making a terrible mistake. While Sean has not yet come to rue the day, Des is ready to collect her consolation prize, move on up and into the spotlight and take the first few baby steps on her journey to love as The Bachelorette.

Avid Bachelor watchers will remember that Des lived in a tent as a child. Now, she has temporary housing in a Malibu mansion worthy of a ten-minute primetime real-estate-porn montage and the keys to a seafoam-green Bentley convertible. She’s living the Barbie dream, but instead of just one Ken, she has 25 suitors. All with dashing good looks, impressive CVs and, we can only assume, several rounds of STD screenings. But Des doesn’t want 25 men, she wants one man who will make her laugh and loves to cuddle. Aside from that low bar, all she wants is to “make someone happy.”

Host with the most (hair gel, not lines or reason to exist) Chris Harrison told Des that this process is all about not holding back, which, according to Chris was her problem with Sean. (Is “holding back” her brother’s name? Because that’s what was really Des’ problem.) Whatever her issue last season, Desiree is back and “ready to put a ring on it.” If that wasn’t enough to terrify a potential mate, she then name-checks Cinderella, uses the words “fairy tale” a lot, and tells Chris that she can’t wait to weed out the men from the boys (in the hot tub, presumably). What is her ultimate goal in this competition? A man on one knee proposing to her. All Chris will promise is drama, romance and, no doubt, at least one man who is not there for the right reasons.

Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:

Number Of Uses Of The Word “Fairytale”: 5

Important Dating PSA: Nick is a custom clothier who is also a freelance magician. Ladies, if I can impart one piece of dating advice it is this: Don’t date a magician. Or really anyone who wears a cape in any professional capacity. Nick does, however, have one the best job description chyrons with “tailor/magician,” but that doesn’t make him less embarrassing to introduce to your parents.

Best Job Description: Zak is a “drilling-fluid engineer,” which we can only assume is not a euphemism. Then again, anything is possible for a guy who appears on television naked.

Most Honest Self-Appraisal: Mike R. was born and raised in London, but somehow lost his accent. To his credit, he knows he would be at least 30 percent more attractive with it. While Mike was honest with himself about that, he was seemingly unaware of the fact that women are generally not turned on by trips to the dentist, because he wore his dentist outfit to the cocktail party.

The Tweetiest: The social-media guy who had the brilliant idea of creating (and sharing) special hashtags — as in: “Desiree, hashtag-marriage-material.” Hashtag, you are going home tonight.

The Good: Bryden, a vet who charmed Des with a story about his dog and a young boy he met in Iraq, and Juan Pablo, a former professional soccer player from Venezuela, who wooed her with his accent and mad soccer skills.

The Bad: Zak, who showed up shirtless (unless you count a thick coat of spray tan as a shirt) and asked Des, “Will you accept these abs?”; Diogo the man who stepped out of the limo in a full suit of armor (minus historically accurate codpiece); the banker who went down on one knee …to tie his shoe; Micah, a law student who designed his own ugly suit complete with “Designed By This Guy” on back, just begging for someone to add a “Kick Me” sign

50/50: The jury is still out on Robert, an “advertising entrepreneur,” whose claim to advertising fame involves sign spinning on a street corner. Pros: He has a nice smile and a one-eyed dog. Cons: Says things like “all signs point to love”; his patented move is to take his tie off, which is almost as impressive as sign spinning. Then there’s Brandon, who managed to prove himself simultaneously tragic and promising, by giving Des his mom’s sobriety chip and announcing that he just met his future wife.

First Rose: Ben, a Texas-based entrepreneur and single dad, got the first rose of the night. Des may have handed the rose to Ben, but it was really intended for his scene-stealing four-year old son, Brody, who charmed Des by handing her a flower and half-pouting, “I wish I could go to the party,” before getting handed back to grandma.

Worst Rose: Drilling-fluid entrepreneur Zak got a rose for dropping trou and cannonballing into the pool. Des gave him a rose for his efforts, but since Zak was not only dripping wet, but shirtless, she had no where to pin the rose other than his pants, earning Zak recognition for this season’s first under-the-belt action.

Boldest Move: Nick started the party by stopping it. He announced that he was a magician and was going “to make Des disappear.” If only he could make himself disappear, too.

The Boy Least Likely To: When Des stopped a heart-to-heart conversation to ask Larry the ER doc, “Are you sleepy?,” it was not a sign that things were going well. Was it that he couldn’t decide whether his glasses should be on or off? Or the fact that the good doctor just couldn’t stop apologizing for the fact that his attempted suave dance move failed hard and he almost ripped Des’ dress during their initial meeting? Or the severe lack of social skills? Either way, Des was not interested.

The Worst: “I have no filter,” blurted Jonathan, a lawyer, who was attempting to apologize for propositioning Des when he first met her. When she turned him down, he sulked that, “My love tank has not been depleted for years,” almost definitely a euphemism. Jonathan went on to create his own fantasy suite and repeatedly attempt to lure Des into it. She finally had no choice but to tell the creeper that he was making her uncomfortable and kicked him out. In the words of social-media expert Kasey, “hashtag fantasy suite fail, Jonathan.” While the white vans took him away, look for Jonathan at local watering holes asking women to deplete his love tank.

The Rose Ceremony: Desiree handed out roses to Brandon, Zak K. (which when said aloud sounds like Jackée, who would be a better life partner); Will, the Bikram yoga enthusiast (and only black man on the show); Brooks (who stole Dolph Lundgren’s hair); Juan Pablo, because, of course, Juan Pablo; Kasey, the serial hashtagger; James, who has a very serious side part (i.e. about to be voted Most Likely To Have A Bald Spot); Mikey, the plumber who is not from New Jersey and can’t figure out why everyone thinks he is; and a bunch of clean-cut white guys we’ve never seen before with names like Chris and Bryan and Robert and Dan and Brad.

Who Went Home: The ER doc, the magician/tailor, Mike the fake Brit/real dentist, and the man who showed up in a suit of armor and just doesn’t understand what is going on, because don’t all women want a knight in shining armor?

Best Reason To Come Back Next Week: Love, of course.

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