The Bachelorette Watch: James Ain’t A Giant Peach

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Nick Ray / ABC

Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where Desiree Hartsock is looking for love — and we all get to watch. This week, Des heads to Barcelona, a city she declares is the “perfect place to fall in love.” But who are we kidding: she says that to all the cities. This week, though, according to the preview clips, Des’ journey to heart of dorkness will be sullied by drama. Turns out, the men are determined to tell her that James isn’t there for the right reasons. Apparently when James wasn’t in a bubble bath, feeding himself strawberries and, presumably, waxing his eyebrows and finding shirts that fit over his head, he was plotting ways to  become the next star of The Bachelor. Tsk tsk.

Here’s what happens on The Bachelorette:

First Date: Drew, who looks like he stepped off the pages of Hanes underwear ad in a JC Penney catalogue, gets the first date-card of the evening. Des announces that while Drew is reserved he is also passionate about romance. She knows this because he travels with a large cache of Harlequin romance novels?

The Big Reveal: Over tapas, Drew tells Des that he, too, has a dark family secret: his father is a “recovered alcoholic” who is “big in the AA movement.” Drew doesn’t tell many people that (perhaps due to the whole ‘Anonymous‘ aspect?), but he’s willing to tell Des and, thus, all of us. But that’s not all: Drew’s father also has cancer. Des doesn’t hand Drew the rose right then, but you can tell it’s coming.

Best Surprise: In the middle of an intimate romantic dinner, Drew tells Des to get up and come with him. He grabs her hand and leads her down a stone alley, much to the surprise of the cameramen, who are forced to grab their cameras and tag along as Drew pushes her against and starts kissing her.

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Biggest Buzzkill: After their hot minute in the alley, Des gives Drew the rose. Once his future is secure, he dares to tell her about James’ plans for his future. He apologizes, but tells her anyway: James is not here for the right reasons.

Group Date: Everyone gets invited on the group date, except for fluid-drilling engineer Zak W., who Des has decided she wants to spend some quality time with. The activity? Soccer. Advantage: Juan Pablo, former professional soccer player.

Biggest Idiots: Des announces that she won’t be wearing her cheerleader uniform and watching the men play this time. Instead, she has a team of her own. When the men see the women enter the field they make a slew of PG-rated disparaging comments about the women. Brooks called them “Girl Scouts,” while Michael, the federal prosecutor, smirks that, “It’s wrong to hit a woman, but it’s not wrong to hit a soccer ball away from them.” Obviously, the women smoke them like counterfeit Cuban cigars.

Biggest Switch-Up: Apparently the Fantasy Suites are happening before the final dates this year. During the group date cocktail party, Des takes Chris to a bedroom and …reads him a poem, which for ersatz poet Chris, is a Fantasy Suite.

Worst Use Of Time: While Des gets some canoodling time in with Chris, Brooks, and Juan Pablo, eyewitness Kasey and professional arguer Michael decide to confront James about his aspirations. While Kasey was the one who heard the comments, it’s Michael who leads the charge. James adamantly refutes their accusations with an abrupt “F#$* you!” handed out in triplicate.

The Confrontation: Des decides not to give out a group date rose and instead kicks the men out and forces James to talk about their feelings, which is probably the most realistic portrayal of an actual relationship ever on this show. His defense? James blames everything on the dearly departed Mikey the Plumbing Contractor. When that doesn’t cut it, he blames the other men and claims they are all jealous of their connection. Then he turns on the waterworks. He seems fun.

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The Twist: James cries in the limo, but –surprise!–he’s not heading home, he’s heading back to the apartment. The men are all gabbing about him when he steps off the elevator. The result is one unanimous thought bubble: Awkward!
Second Date: Des needs a break from the drama, so she’s ready for an art-filled date with Zak. They spend the afternoon drawing, which gives Zak the chance to say, “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours” — and it’s not a dirty joke. Zak’s portrait of Des is so hysterically awful it provided one of the first real laughs on this show, possibly ever.

Best Double Entendre Of The Night: A male model comes in, dressed only in a black bar on his nether bits. After studying her portrait of him, Des mutters, “I feel like I draw heads bigger than their supposed to be.” That’s when Zak gets the idea to be the next male model. He drops trou and strikes a pose earning a smile from Des and a rose, for sure.

The Confrontation, Part II: Since the show’s producers are always more than happy to beat a dead horse (figuratively, PETA), James tracks down Drew so they can yell at each other for awhile. And so they do. Then, when the men are all gathered into a sharing circle with James awkwardly squeezed on the couch tighter than he is squeezed into his lavender button up shirt, Des comes in to talk to James. Again. They have the same conversation, because none of us have anything better to do than watch this discussion on repeat. They cry, they hug, James comes out with weird matching sweat stains on the front of his shirt.

Ad Nauseum: Because Des has once again cancelled the cocktail party and there is 20 minutes left in the show, the show returns to the topic of James’ statement. After several go-rounds, Chris finally blurts what everyone has been thinking: “Just because you’re here doesn’t mean you become The Bachelor!” Then the men flick back their gelled hair, un-tuck their color-coordinated v-neck t-shirts and get into it again.

The Rose Ceremony: Since Zak and Drew already have roses, there are only three roses to hand out tonight. Fellow poet Chris gets a rose (so the couple can continue to write each other poems like high schoolers), followed by Brooks. With only one rose left, Kasey, Juan Pablo, Michael and, of course, James all look nervous.

The Final Rose: Prosecutor Michael gets the rose. Wait, Michael over Juan Pablo? Can someone call an ambulance for Des? She’s obviously having a breakdown.  As James gets carted to the airport in a minivan, he whines that he got bullied. Don’t worry, James, it gets better.

Best Reason To Come Back Next Week: The scrum of men move to Madeira! There are helicopters! Drew makes Des cry!

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