“Marry him, or marry me. I’m the one who loves you baby, can’t you see? I ain’t got no future or family tree but I know what a prince and lover ought to be.” Spin Doctors, Two Princes.
Hello everyone. Welcome to another edition of my weekly Bachelorette recap. I have to say, I was pleased that this week delivered way more than last week, which isn’t saying much, but it was a big improvement. I still miss the antics of everyone’s favorite carnivore Chad (don’t think those two quick BIP promos didn’t have me counting down the minutes until August 2nd, when my favorite trashtastic installment of the franchise premieres) but at least they gave us something to talk about this week, even if only Alex’s gem of a “gaucho costume” and all the bickering about who is, and is not a “front runner.” So let’s get to the episode.
Once again, we open in Buenos Aires. At least we were spared the geography lesson this week. JoJo recaps the previous rose ceremony and says she needs more time with the guys before deciding on hometowns. She also mentions, again, that she is afraid that she might potentially “fall for” two guys, much like Ben’s dilemma in the previous season. I think that’s putting a pretty optimistic spin on the word “love” after only knowing the guys for a grand total of about two months and juggling them all the while, nonetheless, but she’s a romantic. Or delusional. Either way, girlfriend is in it to win it.
The guys all talk about the “shocking turn of events” at the rose ceremony as well, and the focus is on Alex, saying he needs more time with her cause he’s the only one who has yet to have a one-on-one. And wouldn’t you know it, in a case of perfect timing, in walks Chris Harrison, with the news that this week will contain three one-on-one dates and a group date. However, none of the one-on-ones will have roses up for grabs, so the pressure is off. And better still, he has date card #1 in his hand, and it goes to…you guessed it- Alex. The card says, “Alex, I gaucho on my mind.” Maybe I’ve seen too many episodes of this show, or maybe the editors need some new tricks, but I knew exactly how this was going to go down. Well, I mean, except for Alex’s ensemble, which we will get to in due time, but is a rare Bachelorette moment that has never been rivaled and will likely never be topped in the “looking like an idiot” department. But more on that later.
So JoJo and Alex drive to the countryside in what is most possibly the most awkward car ride in history. They thumb wrestle. They eat chips. They talk about the countryside and the trees. Good God, it’s so boring. He prepares a strange freestyle “rap.” They have about as much vibe as two teachers chaperoning the class trip to a farm. And even JoJo has to acknowledge the elephant (squirrel, maybe? Alex is too tiny to be an elephant) in the room. She says she’s “comfortable with him” but has a “hard time connecting with him romantically.” Just like I’ve said since day one, but anyway… They arrive at their destination and JoJo tells Alex (in possibly the worst Spanish accent I’ve ever heard) that they are visiting an “Estancia” which (in her exact words) “I think it means ranch.” What do you mean, you think? The producers gave you the info. You know what it means. It’s a good thing she’s so pretty.
It turns out they are there to learn the “gaucho way,” and according to their guides for the day, “You cannot become a gaucho. You must be born a gaucho.” But not so fast, says ABC, and they dress Alex in an outfit so laughable, it has to be seen to be believed. Which is why I included a picture. I just thought my description couldn’t possibly do it justice, and if you didn’t have the pleasure of seeing it last night, it’s really something to be seen. I’m here for you, people. The minute he walks out in that outfit, I said out loud (to nobody, mind you, because my husband is out of town and I watched the episode alone), “That’s it. Rose or no rose, he’s getting sent home on this date.” And to make it worse, JoJo mistakenly wore heeled boots and she is towering over him. Poor, sad little gaucho man. They ride horses and learn the “gaucho way” and their chemistry is nil. And his outfit definitely isn’t helping. And Alex, in that oh-so-poetic way with words he has, sums up his feelings by telling her, “You look, um, like something out of a Ralph Lauren model… uh, magazine.” Huh? JoJo says she feels a connection. Her mouth may be saying the words, but every other fiber of her body language begs to differ.
They watch the actual gaucho “break the horse” by appealing to his heart. They both get fake teary. And then they lie on top of the horse, like he’s a pillow, and eventually make out right on top of him. It’s the weirdest date. And he’s still wearing the floppy hat. Alex thinks they are falling in love. And they kiss more. While still spooning the horse. Just before dinner, she says she “needs to have the hard conversations with Alex.” Good luck with that.
JoJo is very covered up at dinner. Now that I think about it, she’s been very conservatively dressed this whole episode so far. Not a navel or a shoulder or a sprinkling of cleavage to speak of. They talk about how he seemed more relaxed and open, he said he’s “done letting that cloud of doubt hang over” his head, blah, blah, blah. They talk a little about the possibility of hometowns and out of nowhere, he blurts out that he’s in love with her. And the look on her face says it all- that gaucho has got to go. She tells him that their date was the best time she had with him but that she didn’t feel excited when he told her he loved her. She feels they are “not on the same page.” And she sends him home. See ya, shorty. He seems angry and that Napoleon complex we’ve seen glimpses of a few times seems to rear its ugly head again. She thought she was being respectful by sending him home now instead of in a few days at the rose ceremony. He does not agree. They have a frosty goodbye and an awkward hug as he climbs into a rusty pick-up truck for his final departure. No limos in Argentina? As he leaves, she has a meltdown and keeps saying, “I don’t know how to do this.” I mean, it’s your second time on this show. You don’t have the tiniest clue how it works? Don’t get me wrong- she seems sincere. It’s just that I have very little sympathy because she’s not exactly a first-timer. She gets the process. And I still say she should have sent Alex and James Taylor home last week. But that would have left them one week short of material, and the producers have a show to make.
Meanwhile, while JoJo and Alex are at the “Estancia,” the other guys board a rickety bus and head to an unknown destination. While on the bus, they do an annoyingly staged “rap” about JoJo. Do the producers write these things for them? Because I find it hard to believe that this is how grown men spend their time. Chase, of all people, beatboxes. It’s terrible. They stop at a sketchy-looking local barbecue joint and Jordan whines like a little girl because apparently, he’s a “picky eater.” Shocking. But I’m inclined to agree with him on this one; the food looks disgusting. It’s just chunks of meat festering in the Argentinian sun. Where is Chad when you need him? Once they leave the meat joint, they go to some fancy polo lounge. They are delighted. Luke is wearing the skinniest of skinny jeans and ankle boots, as usual. He declares this the perfect place for him to solidify his relationship with JoJo. Date card #2 arrives, and wouldn’t you know it? It’s everyone’s favorite golden boy Jordan. It says, “Jordan, let’s toast to love.” James Taylor is pissed.
Jordan “dresses up” for his date in shorts and a v-neck tee. But he still gets a limo. Sorry about that, Alex. He and JoJo take a private plane to Mendoza to taste wine. It’s very clear she’s into him, as it always is when they are together. They pretty much make out the entire flight. He’s just so smug. Ugh. Once at the winery, they crush grapes. With their bare feet, as you do. But watching them take off their shoes and put their dirty feet in the barrel and squish around makes me kind of rethink the giant goblet of Argentinian Malbec I just poured not ten minutes ago. And then they drink the foot grapes, straight out of the barrel. So gross. And then they get in a hot tub, for some reason. And there are just all these cats roaming around. It’s very strange.
At dinner, they talk about hometowns and Jordan says he wants her to “meet mama.” He tells her he hasn’t brought a girl home in years. When she asks about his family and who she will meet, he tells her his brother Aaron won’t be there. There is apparently a rift between the two of them and they don’t communicate much. He says Aaron hasn’t stayed close to the family and that he “doesn’t think” Aaron even knows he’s doing the show. Of all the seemingly insincere things he’s said since this season started, that has to be the biggest BS of all. Every magazine reported that “Aaron Rodgers’ brother” was on the show. His ex wrote a scathing instagram post about it, and she trains Aaron’s celebrity girlfriend. There is simply no way he doesn’t know. He goes on a bit to say he’s always been compared to Aaron and never felt good enough but that “football didn’t define him.” And then he tells JoJo he loves her and “doesn’t want to mess it up.” She has a very different reaction to this news than she did to Alex’s heartfelt declarations. They make out pressed up against a brick wall. It’s definitely not the first time they’ve done that this season. At least they have a lot of chemistry.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, the other guys call Jordan a “front runner” but question his sincerity. Chase and Luke think Jordan is “fabricated.” Then date card #3 arrives and it’s for Chase, James T and Robby and says, “Let our love soar.” Robby calls himself a “front runner” and then calls the group date rose like he’s Babe Ruth calling his shot. They are all jealous of Luke’s one-on-one, but Robby doesn’t seem worried. He’s confident he will get the save at the group date.
On the day of the group date, the rain spoils the initial plans, so instead they hang in a hotel suite for the day. JoJo calls it a “perfect slumber party.” They order a bunch of greasy hotel food and James tries to see how many french fries JoJo can shove in his mouth. And almost hurls in the process. And the dude wonders why he’s stuck in the friend zone. She then makes the guys massage each other, and they play charades or pictionary or something and then she suggests a rousing game of Truth or Dare. Honestly, all the dates were super budget this episode. Not sure what the producers were thinking. Maybe Chad’s meat consumption put them in the red for the remainder of the season. The dare is that Robby has to strip down to his undies and roam the halls. It reminds me of the things we did on high school volleyball trips when we used to stay in hotels. Except these people are adults. And it’s on TV. Robby complies, but says his grandmother isn’t going to be happy. “Sorry ma-maw,” he says, before running up and down the halls basically in the altogether. Then they all crawl in a bed to watch the Brazilian Bachelor while James Taylor tattles that Robby has been known to stare at the hot locals on occasion. And JoJo’s reaction is telling- she pays no attention to James as he tells her this, but gets jealous that Robby would check out another girl.
She and Robby go outside and play grab-ass and talk hometowns. It comes out that he broke up with his longterm girlfriend only four months prior. She’s surprised by this and not sure he’s over it enough to want to get engaged should he be the last man standing at the end. He assures her that “my priority is my love for you.”
Chase and JoJo go in another room together, and as usual, Chase is having trouble putting his feelings into words. He says he’s scared but ready to bring her home to meet his family. And then, pretty much out of nowhere, he says he “wants to spend forever” with her. After telling her he “likes” her. Not loves- likes. Wtf?
James and JoJo sit down for some alone time and while she wants to talk hometowns, he says he has something more important to talk about. He’s not sure if she has a physical connection with him, to which her response is exactly what the girl who wants to be into you because she thinks you’re good for her would be: “You have every quality I would want in my husband and the father of my child.” Except for the quality of actually wanting to have sex with him, that is. She goes on to say their strength is an “emotional connection.” Emotionally connect all you want guys- she’s never going to let you see her naked, songbird. Still, he’s delusional and thinks he’s getting the rose. (Spoiler alert- he’s not.)
Back in the suite, the rose sits among the remains of chicken wings and sliders and greasy fries that may or may not have a little of James T’s vomit on them. Seriously, how long has that food been sitting there? The guys all eyeball the rose and Robby and James have a debate about “front runners.” I swear, if I never hear that phrase again after this season, it will be completely fine by me. Robby is mad that people are betting on Jordan over him and doubting his connection with JoJo. And in walks JoJo to prove him right, handing the rose to Robby and making him the only safe one going into the rose ceremony. Suck on that, Jordan! James looks like he might cry. Chase looks- well- blank, as usual. The two of them have to peace out while she spends some alone time with Robby. And again, there is no limo waiting for the group date losers. They have to pile into a budget-looking Rent-a-Van. Insult to injury. Low blow, ABC.
Next up is JoJo and Luke’s date, which also seems horse-themed. Again, she is fully clothed. She’s into Luke though. He’s talking to her about his ranch days and breaking horses and she’s listening to it like it’s Shakespeare. But on this date, I don’t find him as creepy and intense as I usually do. He kind of seems like he’s in his element. But of course, he’s wearing ankle boots. Standard. She’s into how much of a “man” he is, which he apparently demonstrates to her by being good at “skeet shooting.” She is not so good at it. But they make out and talk hometowns and he says he’s excited to bring her home to his family.
After their date, she decides she doesn’t need a cocktail party, so they head straight to the rose ceremony. Chase thinks he or James is going home. I say James, for sure. Nobody is happy about no cocktail party. Except for Robby, who already has a rose. She enters in a cocktail dress that’s oh-so-sparkly, but still very covered up and says she has to “follow her heart.” She gives roses to (in this order) Luke, Jordan and Chase. But quick side note, just to address something that has always bothered me; does Chris Harrison really need to come and inform us that “this is the final rose tonight” when there are only three roses up for grabs? That guy is way overpaid. Anyway, I think her choices speak volumes- it’s basically a physical connection versus a connection with someone who is “good on paper” and even in a situation like this, where the claim is that there will be an engagement at the end, the physical chemistry always wins. James Taylor never had a chance, but especially not when he started shoving those fries down his gullet.
They talk on his way out. She once again tells him, “you touched my heart” which is really just code for “you’ll never touch my lady parts.” They both cry. He is actually very sweet in his final moments with her. Now I kind of feel bad for making so much fun of him the whole time. Oh, but now he’s crying, like, way too much. Dial it down a bit, dude. And just like I said last week, she should have sent both Alex and James home then. It was clear she was never into either of them. But then what would they have done to get to hometowns? I guess the show has a scheduled time slot and needs to air a certain number of episodes.
We see a teaser for next week’s hometown episode, and it looks like the main plotlines are the Rodgers brothers’ estrangement and some rumors about Robby’s former girlfriend. At one point, JoJo sobs, saying her “heart is broken.” I, for one, can’t wait, if only because it brings us one week closer to the train wreck that is sure to be Bachelor in Pardise. But I have to say, I will miss Alex’s gaucho costume. That was the best laugh I’ve had in a good, long while. Until then, I’ll be watching my two new favorite guilty pleasures- Dating Naked and Famously Single. And I think I just lost a few brain cells typing that, never mind how many I lose actually watching. See you next week.