“I don’t know, it must have been the roses. The roses or the ribbons in her long brown hair. I don’t know, maybe it was the roses. All I know is I could not leave her there.” The Grateful Dead, It Must Have Been the Roses
Just for anyone who doesn’t know me, I am a proud lover of all things Bachelor Nation. I count myself among the most die-hard of the OG fans, but even I couldn’t watch the season with the fisherman guy all those years ago. It’s the only full season I’ve ever missed, although, full disclosure, I had to cut and run on Juan Pablo a few episodes before the finale too, because I just couldn’t hear “It’s okay,” one more time. But aside from those small lapses in viewership, I have been a loyal fan from the beginning. And not because it’s particularly good, even, and certainly not because I buy into the fairytale that it’s a successful way to find a lasting relationship. It’s virtually the same every season- someone who isn’t “there for the right reasons,” combined with “the most dramatic rose ceremony yet” and a lot of douchebaggery and whining in between. I mean, I don’t know about you, but that’s all I’m really looking for from my reality television- something to entertain me while I drink wine and judge. So with that, I welcome you to my weekly Bachelorette recap. I would have started last week, but it was the first one and nothing much ever happens in that one besides meeting all the contestants and, if you’re anything like me, copious note-taking to come up with your pics for the season.
So that brings us to episode 2. They open on a shot of the men at the mansion, and all I could think was So. Much. Hair. Gel. I’m guessing that house smells strongly of protein powder and Axe body spray. Anyway, they bring in Date Card #1 and the men included are Luke, Will, Evan, Daniel, Vinnie, Ali, James F, Wells, Robbie and Grant (I think- at this point I am not familiar with any of them, but I’m pretty sure those are the correct names.) Evan was reading out the names and got a little giddy when he read his own, and all I could think was, “Evan’s hair. Evan’s outfit. Just Evan,” A hard no on him, all around, for me. Anyway, I can’t quite recall the cheesy intro to the date that “JoJo” (the producers) wrote on the date card, but it doesn’t matter. I was sure it was going to be something lame that would pit the guys against each other for “extra time” with JoJo, and in typical Bach format, it did not disappoint.
The men are met with a limo that’s on fire, and then we see JoJo emerge from a fire truck wearing an outfit that would do nobody any good in an actual flammable emergency, but girlfriend looked hot in it. I could go back on this statement at any moment, but unlike the past few bachelorettes, JoJo doesn’t annoy me yet. Again, it’s very early in the season, so that could well come back to bite me in the ass, but so far, I find her earnest and cute. So basically, they set up these drills to have the guys compete as “firemen.” Lucky for Grant, who is an actual fire fighter. Not so lucky for Wells, a sprightly radio DJ, who struggles physically and has to be looked at by the paramedics. But the joke’s on you, macho men, because Wells actually gets a little personal attention from JoJo to make sure he’s okay. Anyway, after a while they announce the three who get to compete to “save” JoJo from a burning building. The three lucky guys are Grant the fireman and Wells the wimp, as well as Luke, a war veteran. As I’m watching, I’m thinking two things- A) Grant had better win or I think he should give up his fire fighting gig and B) isn’t it slightly irresponsible to be setting pretend fires and wasting so much water during a drought? But color me far from an environmentalist, so I continue to watch. And Grant wins. As well he should.
So they go off to the cocktails and chit chat portion of the group date, and JoJo enters wearing what can only be described as a two-piece white crop top sweater dress with cut outs. It can only be described like that because that’s exactly what it is. I have never seen anything like it. I’m not sure what the outfit is all about. Luckily she has the body for it, but someone in the wardrobe department should be looking for a new job. Anyway, Grant and JoJo talk and connect and they share a kiss. Not much else happens on the group date except that Luke is already creepily jealous. His leather jacket, pompadour and bad attitude is giving me Dylan McKay vibes, and not in a good way. Eventually it’s time to hand out the rose and when JoJo gives it to Wells, Luke is not happy.
Meanwhile, back at the mansion, the other guys are having a weird, homoerotic shirtless singalong in the pool, led by James Taylor and his ever-present guitar. And by “other guys” I mean everyone except for Chad. Chad is too busy strapping his suitcase around his torso and doing pull ups. No joke. He’s also completely against all these guys thinking they are “in love” with JoJo so quickly and is very vocal about it, which leads to speculation that he’s not “there for the right reasons.” I have to say, I agree with him that it’s pretty fast to be making wedding plans, but come on, dude, you knew what you were signing up for. And in no way does that statement mean I am sympathetic to anything that comes out of Chad’s mouth. I think he’s pretty vile and misogynistic, and he eats way, way too much meat. But more on that later.
Another date card arrives, and Derek gets a one-on-one. Basically, JoJo arrives in the requisite bachelor franchise convertible and together they have to make choices: sky vs sea, north vs south, etc. Long story short, they choose sky and then north and fly to San Francisco. Everything about this date is a snooze. They get to know each other during a little outdoor picnic where they share a kiss, but they seem to have zero chemistry. Later they go to dinner and she shows up in an evening gown and he’s wearing a cardigan. Just indicative of what a terrible fit they are. They have the usual talk about past relationships (I personally think she talks about Ben way too much) and it seems that Derek is closed off, apparently because he tends to get dumped a lot. Sexy first date talk. Not much else happens, but he gets a rose and they kiss some more. But I don’t personally see him sticking around much longer. I could be wrong, but I’ve watched this show A LOT and kind of know how they edit things when someone isn’t going to be memorable.
Back at the house, date card #3 arrives. This date includes Jordan, Christian, James Taylor (minus his guitar, but it might show up later), Alex, Chad and Nick B. It should be stated that the entire first part of the episode is setting Chad up as this season’s resident douche, and his behavior on the date does not disappoint. They go to ESPN to be on some show with some guys named Max and Marcellus, perhaps (if it’s not on Bravo, I don’t know it) and for some reason, these two TV hosts are going to give out challenges and rank the guys for JoJo. I feel like this is a whole set up for JoJo to have a future career in broadcasting. Nothing really noteworthy happens, except that they have a fake “proposal challenge” and Chad calls JoJo “naggy” during it. And then he prepares to kind of go on a rant about how he can’t say what he loves about her because he barely knows her. Again, accurate, but dude, know your audience. This is what you signed up for.
The “power rankings” come out from the two sports guys and they are as follows: 1) James Taylor (even without his guitar), 2) Chad (even despite his dickish behavior) and 3) Alex (who is about as tall as my 3-year-old). They all get to have some extra time with JoJo, who shows up in a godawful furry shirt. Her wardrobe department needs to be fired.
James Taylor reads her a terrible poem. She fake cries. Those two are never going to sleep together. Alex seems nice but I agree with Chad (again- why do I keep saying that?!!? Chad is the WORST), he’s too short for her. And her one-on-one time with Chad feels like he read that terrible book that was out a few years ago (I think it was called The Game or something) where the author encouraged men to be mean to women and hit on their friends to become a “player.” Overall, not a great date for JoJo. But then suddenly, Chad opens up about his dead mother, the dog she left him and some more personal stuff, and then she seems kind of into him. Chad and JoJo kiss and I wonder if his patchy beard smells like meat.
She goes back to the group to talk to everyone a bit. Shockingly, James Taylor gets the rose. He’s very “Gosh darn. Aw shucks” about it and I personally find him terribly unattractive. But different strokes, folks. And Chad, needless to say, is NOT happy. I think he feels like he wasted the dead mom story and should have kept it in his back pocket for another time when it would be more effective for him.
Before the cocktail party, Chad waits outside so he can see JoJo first. They have an awkward chit chat. The guys get mad and confront Chad as he stuffs his face with meat. Nobody likes Chad. It’s clear that the producers want us to know that he’s this season’s villain. I mean, he’s a pretty clear target. First of all, his name is Chad. Simply google the name Chad and you’ll quickly find a great deal to back up the assertion that anyone with that name is automatically a total dick. Chad Kroeger (Nickelback- need I say more?), Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill superdouche) and Chad “Ochocinco” (who changed his last name to that because he incorrectly thought it was the Spanish version of 85, his jersey number). According to Reddit, “Chad is always the quintessential douchebag name.” (My apologies to any nice guys named Chad. That’s assuming of course there are any.) Add to that the sheer volume of meat he ingests during the cocktail party (he forgot to have his protein shake, bro), the general ass-baggery and the aggression he later displays with the other guys in the house, of you’ve got yourself a perfect storm- Bachelorette enemy #1. And just when I think he’s all muscles and cold-cuts, he pulls out a Westside Story reference to make fun of the other guys. #layers #layersoflunchmeat
As the night goes on, Chad gets drunker and more annoying. He interrupts everyone during their alone time with JoJo. Evan almost cries (even more of a hard no on him.) Alex gets angry and he and Chad almost come to blows. But they make it to the rose ceremony (Chad walks in eating. Again. How is there still meat in the house, Chad? Have you not eaten it all????) and again, JoJo brings up Ben. Too much Ben talk, girl. We all saw last season. It’s not a good look on you. (All this Ben talk might be the thing that turns me against her this season.) There are a few questions of who is there “for the right reasons” and in a “dramatic moment”, Chad gets the final rose. Of course he does. Even if she’s not into him at all, the producers still have a show to make and they can’t get rid of the resident villain in week 2. The eliminations are James S, Brandon and Will, I think. Again, I don’t think I know anything about any of them and had to actually look up their names after it was over.
So to recap, so far I don’t see any major front runners, except maybe Jordan and his overly styled hair. Chad is the resident A-hole, and by the looks of what’s to come, that’s only going to get worse. And JoJo is a gorgeous girl, but her sylist needs to kick it up a notch. I’m hoping for more drama, poolside sing-a-longs and creative use of luggage by Chad, the meathead we all love to hate. Signing off until next week, when we are sure to see “the most dramatic rose ceremony yet.”