These Are The Best Things

Best might have been an overstatement

Bachelor in Paradise is The Best Thing, Not Kidding

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I had no intentions of writing a single word about Bachelor in Paradise. I still don’t really have intentions of writing about it, because I think being intentional about that type of thing is where promising young people take sharp left turns. I simply can’t help myself; last Monday I experienced two unexpectedly delightful and simultaneously cringe-inducing hours of television. I would like to tell you about them with the genuine hope that you will watch this show, bearing in mind that I do not recommend you watch anything else within The Bachelor franchise. Just this one.

I might give off the impression that I’ve been watching The Bachelor for years, but I am nothing if not a bit of a liar. The first time I ever even remotely watched any Chris-Harrison-hosted programming was Ben the Boring Bachelor’s season, and that was only because he looked like Francine from Arthur, and I’m always intrigued by women like Courtney, the Bill Belichick of Bachelorettes, who care exactly 0% about what people think of them, including the man they claim to love. Rather, I might call Courtney the Patrick Bateman of Bachelorettes (fine, the Scott Disick of Bachelorettes), but it doesn’t have as much of a ring to it. [Ed. note: I have not yet read her book and I am practicing a very low level of self-punishment every day until I do.]

All of this to say, I’m actually still somewhat of an Intermediate-level  Bachelor viewer, and I was assuming Bachelor in Paradise would just be like whatever the hell Bachelor Pad was, except Chris Harrison could talk about it at dinner parties less shamefully and finally get to wear the Tommy Bahamas Formal Collection that’s just been collecting dust in his closet. Even without ever having watched Bachelor Pad, I can tell you that Bachelor in Paradise is nothing like it. Because Bachelor in Paradise is the effing best.

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It takes the excellently idiotic premise of The Bachelor—finding love by competing with people for it—but adds on more individuals of each gender, and makes sure they’ve all been scorned by this exact process in the past, so as to breed extra self-consciousness, self-loathing, competiveness, and humping in open bodies of water. It is highly successful on all four fronts.

The premise, just in case you’re still not in: the premiere began with six male rejects from Bachelorette seasons, and eight female rejects from Bachelor seasons; Chris Harrison basically tells them that they have to find love each week to stay in the game, AKA, you have to pair up for a Rose Ceremony at the end of each week, and if you aren’t chosen, you have to leave Paradise (which technically means leaving a single bed and ABC-mandated celibacy, but whatever). In the premiere, the six men chose their future life partners, eliminating two women and evening up the numbers. Next week the women will choose; each week, when the numbers are evened up, new former Bachelor(ette) rejects will be brought on to ensure that at least one former reject can be rejected anew by this hateful, hateful television program.

It is demented and hilarious. Let me tell you everything about it in list format, because this show, even less than its origin stories, has5absolutely no plot. The 5 Best Things That Happened on Bachelor in Paradise:

Lacey is back and I think she just got her boobs: When I started high school in the Texas public school system, two large middle schools came together, and therefore the two groups of kids who didn’t yet skip school, and took AP classes, and very incorrectly thought we were hot shit also came together to be friends and try not to get in the middle of any cafeteria fights. I will always remember one of the boys from the other school saying a few weeks into Freshman year that one of the girls from his middle school who was my new friend had grown boobs over the summer and must not have realized it, because she was still wearing the same shirts, only they were looking a little different these days. And it was true—like Lacey’s, her boobs were not shy.

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And like my friend, at 25 years old, I think Lacey has only recently discovered that she is smoking hot…if she has even realized it at all. If you are only a casual viewer of this franchise, you might not remember Lacey because she was eliminated on the first night of Juan Pablo’s season. But I remember Lacey, because she was the girl who was my age and owned a nursing  home. She also had, like, 10 adopted special needs siblings, so I predicted she would make it to Hometowns no matter what, but at that time, I did not know that Juan Pablo was a dick. My mistake.

So, Lacey, who owns a nursing home, has probably spent her entire life giving to other people, and who I don’t remember being quite this hot last go-round, was clearly a little scarred by being cut loose so early in her first try at The Bachelor. And this time she has a plan: have every guy be attracted to her. But because she does not yet realize her own power, she thinks that means taking every guy she’s attracted to into the ocean and straddling them for a while. But what she doesn’t realize is that all she needs to do, at least for the first week, is look exactly the way she looks.

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No matter, because her method works perfectly fine for the time being, and she immediately—as in, day one—hooks Marcus the Stripper and Robert the Guy Who Thinks He Invented Sign-Spinning Marketing that was eliminated first round in Des’ season.

Lacey doesn’t know that she “gets it,” but she is the only woman that “gets it”: My very favorite thing about Lacey’s storyline of liking two guys at the same time and making out with them all over the place, is that all of the other women can’t stop talking about how bad that makes her look; and all the men can’t stop talking about how good she looks. Because, truly, men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and every time one of these women says a variation of “men don’t like that,” or some analogy about giving the milk away for free, somewhere, a feminist gets her wings (or a new pair of Warby Parkers, or something).

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I’m not saying every man is solely attracted to boobs, or even that every man there was all over Lacey just because she was down to make out; I’m definitely not saying it’s bad to be down to make out. Like, I’m pretty sure that’s what they say on these casting calls: “Will you quit your job for reality TV, do you have any STDs, and are you down to make out?” I’m saying it’s part of pack mentality to prey on the weak and this is an actual quote from sweet, sweet Lacey while deciding between two men: “I’d say I’m 80/40 right now.” Would you? Is that what you would say, Lacey? Either Lacey got injected with that Scarlett Johansson drug from Lucy where she can access more of her brain than everybody else, or she’s not exactly handling the finances at her nursing home.

I love Lacey. On her date with Robert, she wears her hair like Martha Washington and even though you can’t see it, I’m 90% positive the back is secured with one of those crusty plastic clips you use on hot rollers, and that is a joke that only a very specific subset women will understand. But you know I’m right!

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Marcus is having a hard time right now: Marcus recently had his vulnerable heart shattered into a million pieces, and now he has taken his sensitive spirit to Bachelor in Paradise, where rumor has it, he gets engaged (to Lacey, not kidding), but logic would suggest, is the worst possible thing he could be doing. Marcus even says that it’s probably not his best move right now, and that he’s not over Andi, but for some reason he’s there. I have a theory that Marcus is easily coerced and the producers long ago realized they can get him to do anything. For example, remember when “he decided” a fun pre-meeting-his-family activity would be to strip for Andi at 10 AM in an empty night club. Well, on BIP, “he decided” he should take a sad solo night dip in the ocean in nothing but his bright red briefs, which might as well be made out of seasonal holiday saran wrap.

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It should be noted that Marcus must be one of those people who is more attractive in real life, because he comes off perfectly handsome on TV, but these women, like Andi before them, act like he’s damn Michael Fassbender and they can hardly keep their hands off his package. And yet, they all stare on merely salivating at his heartbroken skinny dipping, only to watch Lacey shows up literally out of nowhere and mount him until he’s not sad anymore. Lacey is our queen.

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BIP production might hate Clare: If you heard anything about this show, or even if you watched all two hours, exactly one thing left the biggest impression: Clare had an extended conversation with a raccoon. No, scratch that, Clare had an exteneded and tearful conversation with a producer, and the editors made it seem like she was talking to a raccoon.

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It is deserving of every Reality TV Editors Are the Best Kinds of Assholes Emmy in existence (which is to say none, but the Emmys should really get to work on that for this exact moment).

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AshLee still has crazy eyes, and they’ve potentially gotten crazier: I wrote a short little profile of what AshLee has been up to since she stared Sean dead in the eye, said, “Whatever,” when he broke up with her. In my head AshLee was a bit of a hero for that move, and she’s definitely still an icon, but I had forgotten just how nuts she is. She is so nuts. And so not afraid to share that fact. She straight up tells the cameras that she’s been following Graham the Nice Guy on social media and knows they would be a good match, so she decided to come on the show when she somehow figured out that he might be coming too, and her plan is to make him fall in love with her.

She locks him in with her crazy eyes pretty quickly, because her crazy eyes, along with the rest of her, are beautiful. But when Clare gets the first date card and innocently asks Graham if he might like to go with her, AshLee, um, loses her shit.

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She locks herself in a bathroom to cry for a while, trash talks Clare, accuses Graham of not even being able to “stay loyal for 24 hours,” and then won’t speak to him when he tries to figure out what’s going on. She has known him for 24 hours.

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After she calls Clare a slut, and Clare cries to a raccoon for a while, Clare offers to take someone else on the date so that AshLee can have the time with Graham. Clare, while still hard to listen to, is coming off like roses here, which will not be at all helpful when AshLee tries to kill her in her sleep.

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Michelle K is a person I don’t know who is also terrifying: Perhaps Clare should have gotten Michelle K. on her side for protection because as Michelle Money says, “She has this look like she’s plotting to kill you and your whole family.” She most certainly does, but before any homicide gets underway, Michelle K. volunteers to leave the show during the first rose ceremony because she didn’t make a connection with anyone, then says a lot of weird stuff in the limo about maybe having already found love. None of that matters because the “Next Episode On” goes thusly:

1. Chris Harrison shows up at Michelle K.’s door.

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2. Someone is in there that shouldn’t be.

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3. That someone attempts to no longer be there.

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4. THIS.

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Consider me intrigued.

Bachelorette Catch-up, Fantasy Suites: “He’s Good in Bed, and by That I Mean, He’s Contractually Obligated to be in My Bed”

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Perhaps I’ve been too hard on Andi. Maybe she isn’t the soulless queen I’ve made her out to be, hell bent on making every man tangentially involved with The Bachelorette fall in love with her. No boom operator is safe, no crafter services assistant, or executive producer, or Iowa farmer…hell, Chris Harrison has probably been asking her to run away with him since the moment she flipped Juan Pablo the bird for spending their whole Fantasy Suite evening talking about the time he met Kenny Chesney at a Dolphins game.

But tonight, Andi actually showed a little remorse for leading a guy to believe she would be down to spend the rest of her life sowing the literal and figurative seed with him, and then sent him packing on a one way Spirit Airlines ride back from the Dominican Republic to Iowa with nothing but drunken memories and the legacy of a kick ass family to show for it.

Naw, I’m just kidding, she wasn’t sorry. Andi 100% still counts making Chris fall in love with her in the win column of the pro/con list her Vulcan mind most assuredly keeps of this whole reign of terror. When Andi arrives in the D.R., she can’t stop saying how glad she is that “they’re all here.” Any person who is excited about the prospect of breaking one of her three boyfriends’ hearts based on three hours of trying to speak Spanish to locals and eight hours of aggressive spooning surely has a few screws loose. Excited about sex three nights in a row with what are basically strangers? Sure. Excited that that sex will define the rest of your life, and not even in the baby sort of way (now, that would be a twist). No way.

  • Drink every time Andi says, “so, I figured we would…” when what she really means is, “so, the producers suggested we go cave diving to prove our love, and I countered with a hike + still using the “love is about both leading and following” metaphor, and we compromised on a helicopter ride + warm moscato on the beach.”
  • Drink every time you think Nick might take off in a sprint if it means not having to say words out loud anymore.
  • Squint your eyes, look out into the distance, and take a swallow of some dark liquor on the rocks every time you ponder, “How the HELL did Josh end up with that speaking voice. Like…what exactly is going on here? Also, do you think he dies his hair that black? Could that be natural? Are the Murrays descendants of the Baratheons?”
  • Finish your boxed wine every time Andi averages banging one dude a day for two days in a row.

The Fantasy Suite is both the saddest and best thing that the Bachelor franchise has going for it, which is to say, it’s the entire show in a vacuum. For starters, there’s no proof that it’s a suite. I have seen no kitchenette, no pullout couch, and no safe in the closet where I can keep my valuables.

Secondly, and certainly less important than the suite facade: this is the first time in their entire relationship that these two people who are considering getting engaged in seven days have ever, for a single moment, spent time completely by themselves. And no one knows better than Andi that once there’s no longer a producer saying, “Uh huh, but let’s just say you were ready to get married, and hypothetically that this girl is the one for you, then what would you say to her?” things can kind of take a turn. Before contractually-obligated-coitusing, this is what Andi is thinking of her three boyfriends:

Josh: Andi describes how fun and easy it is to hang out with Josh, but she says it in a way that seems like she’s describing how fun middle school shoplifting is until you get caught. She acts like Josh—who is a person who has spent his whole life willingly standing in his brother’s shadow—flew to the Dominican Republic to spend four days playing Solitaire in his hotel room for any reason other than to spend one day with the woman he loves (for a small appearance fee). Let your guard down, Andi! Let your heart love, and please, dear goodness, don’t let it love Nick!

Chris: Andi spends most of her “and then there’s Chris” time talking about how cute he is and what a great family he comes from, which is fine if you’re talking about how you chose your dentist, but a little impersonal when speaking of your future farmer husband.

Nick: Andi’s favorite thing about Nick is how skeptical he has been throughout the process. Is she aware that that’s a terrible quality? I’m not saying everyone should look through the rose-colored steroids that Cody viewed the experience with, but maybe not pouting all the time would be a fun feature in your life mate.

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Can you tell I’m rooting for Josh? If you’re rooting for Nick, a. take a long hard look at  the picture above and your life, and b. you might want to skip the next few paragraphs because your homeboy wrote a fairy tale for a 27-year-old lawyer, and wore a neon baseball tee to the beach. (If you’re rooting for Chris, you’re a masochist of the most non-voilent degree.)

**NICK**

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SURPRISE ALERT: Nick’s got a body on him. That will be the only pleasant reveal of this date! [Ed. note: Also, Andi’s kind of a creep.]

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Bachelorette Catch-Up, Hometowns: Love Her, Or Else

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Hello and welcome the best time of the year: when we gather ‘round our televisions to watch a uniquely unfulfilling polyamorous relationship take the next step (S-E-X) on television. We don’t get to watch the deed, but we know it’s happening, sort of how it doesn’t seem like anything has happened to make all these bros fall in love with Andi, but they’re definitely telling her they have, and if they don’t tell her, well, I hope they enjoy a life of loneliness and non-ABC mandated sexual relations.

But before we get to Fantasy Suites, we must reflect upon Andi’s visits to her four boyfriends’ hometowns. I would apologize for my absence over the last few episodes, but until hometowns, the stakes could not have been any lower. Nick and Josh have had this Final 2 in the bag from the moment Andi and Josh realized they both speak in that uniquely…urban?…cadence when tipsy, and Nick wore that polka dot tie for limo introductions. It must have been that (evil) look in his eyes. Not to mention, girl was ready to bang all these dudes like three weeks ago, so this has all just been a countdown to Chris-Harrison-Prompted throw pillow sex, anyway.

My only regret is that I didn’t appropriately document the passing of Marquel. I don’t mean to imply that he died, but Andi definitely became dead to me when she retracted her little T-rex arms with no boutonniere for America’s sexiest UFC-fighting cookie monster at the end of Week 5’s Rose Ceremony. WEEK 5! I’m sorry, Dylan, with the hair and the Eeyore sad eyes, needed to stick around longer that Marquel? Now, I appreciate Andi not leading his sweet spirit on any more than she needed to, but I do wish, for my own sake, he could have stuck around longer, if only to show those other bros how to wear a scarf in Italy. Speaking of…

  • Drink every time someone is wearing a scarf and looking dumb (so, drink every time anyone but Andi or Marquel is wearing a scarf).
  • Drink every time Andi defines manhood by some archaic masculinity construct, but you don’t care because DUDE LOOKS GOOD ON A TRACTOR.
  • Finish your drink and reflect on your childhood in your dream journal if someone kisses their mom on the mouth.

Out of appropriate respect, let’s pay brief tribute to our Fallen Bros, now eligible for their Bachelor in Paradise placement exam:

Cody: I mean, for real, HGH Macklemore was there until the Final 8—he beat two-thirds of the other bros. Andi looked at 17 other men, and thought, “Naw, this guy with the plunging neckline and childlike wonder in his eyes could be my future husband before they could.” Somewhere, Tasos is bitterly shaking his head.

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Brian: I feel the same way about Brian as Leslie Knope does about turtles: “No opinion.” (Except like LK, I do have an opinion, and it’s inexplicably negative and kind of skeeved out, but I’m not trying to be that person ragging on a high school basketball coach on their blog. I’m already that person with a blog. Gross.)

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Dylan: Do you think Dylan stuck around as long as he did because Andi just totally forgot he was there? He must have been really great behind closed doors, because the bros seemed to love him, but that guy is a one-way trip to Snoozeville, and that lame joke seems like exactly his definition of humor.

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JJ: I started out real strong in JJ’s court, but as time when on I just kept thinking…why does he always look wet? Like, always straight out of the shower.

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Marquel: What does one say about Marquel? He was the first guy on this show, maybe ever, that I laughed with, not at. And then he got thrown that racist bullshit and he handled it with some straight up Audrey Hepburn class. Take a moment to reflect back upon Marquel calmly telling Andrew that he wouldn’t stand for racism, and then vulnerably telling the cameras that he doesn’t just want to be The Black Guy…he’s so much more than that. [Ed. Note: SO MUCH.]

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And now compare that to Cody getting his stripper briefs way in a twist because Nick teased him for being “Mr. Thankful Guy.” Marquel for President of ABC Programming! #sniffles

Reflecting upon all of Andi’s Fallen Bros, here’s the thing: Andi is a little scary. I’ve put my theory on the record—both here and to any of my friends who would listen in a westbound DC Uber after a few 4th of July beverages—that Andi has a lot more riding on making someone fall in love with her than the average Bachelorette. So, she just went about making everybody fall in love with her, for numbers sake. And she was successful. Generally with a Top 8 or so, there are at least two dudes who are only there for the Heinekens and homoerotic pickle chases.

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(A real thing that happened.)

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But all of these guys seriously think they’re marrying Andi, (in addition to the pickle stuff). She’s made each one of them feel like they have a special relationship with her, and she really does not seem worried about not returning their L-U-V feelings. It’s been so clear for so long who the final two were going to be, but Andi’s acted just as whimsical and guy-fun (different than girl-fun) which each bro…because they all needed to love her. And she has sent each one of them home with no qualms, one by one, interior limo lights shining in their eyes until they weep like toddlers not yet capable of understanding their emotions.

Andi might be dead inside. Frankly, it’s refreshing.

And now it’s time for her to go meet the families of the four boyfriends she has left, even though she made up her mind who she was choosing somewhere between the limo introductions and Chris Harrison lingering a little too long around the small of her back as he escorted her into the first cocktail party. But why not taunt a few families with her perfect daughter-in-law charm and good genes first? At least that means we got to meet Chris’ family, and therefore, suddently realize that Chris was a (not real) contender for Andi’s love. More on him in a second…

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Six Hours of Torturous Love with Andi and Her Boyfriends

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I’ve made two huge mistakes in my personal Bachelorette journey: 1. I watched three episodes of The Bachelorette without publicly expressing any form of commentary, causing what can only be described as rose-mantic constipation; 2. in the last two weeks, I’ve watched six hours of The Bachelorette — four of them all at once — causing what can only be described as nausea.

So much has happened in those six hours, I hardly know where to begin. Should I start with Craig getting hammered on Trader Joe’s Prosecco, stripping down to his skivvies and jumping in the pool like the true accountant he is? It should certainly be discussed that Chris Harrison has taken up saying “fellas” all the time and recently received a lap dance from Sad Dylan that made him question the very foundation of his life. Should we discuss Good Guy Brian sinking a love basket from half court? How about Normal Nick and his hypnotizing averageness? Or maybe we just go ahead and call this sucker a wrap, because if Josh M. hasn’t already gotten at least some OTP action, then my name isn’t Jodi E. Walker [Ed. note: Should you not put your whole name on the internet? Is that how identities get stolen? I’m assuming a hacker would take one look at my internet identity and think, “Nah,” so I’mma keep it there.]

No, no, we’ll hit all these points, but I think I shall begin with the bit of Bachelorette theory that has stolen more of my brain cells than any other while watching Andi try to find Love or Something Like It™: Why did Andi go ape shit on everyone when Eric (why did it have to be Eric?) told her she was reading a little HGTV-host? A theory, for your consideration…

OK, all cards on the table, I’ve done a lot of fast forwarding through Eric’s segments. As a single person who has suddenly found herself the same age as a few of these bros (and potentially older than damn Canadian Marcus and his luscious, luscious chest hair), this show makes me sad enough as it is. Topping that off with the most sparkly eyed bro of all passing after filming…that’s a lot to take. But then they’re going to send that bro off in the 15-Passenger Van of Shame as one of the main plot points this season…why you gotta play me like that, Chris Harrison?

So yes, Eric, the man that we know was in a fatal accident after he was dismissed from the show, is also the man that dropped this little bomb on Andi: “I came on this to meet a person, not a TV actress.” Oh shit. Oh no…we’re about to see this recently deceased man get torn apart on television for calling a reality TV actress a regular TV actress. Was Eric a little too aggressive in his accusations against a woman he doesn’t know at all? Yes. Was Eric telling Andi the last thing she wanted to hear? Yes. Has Eric since passed away? THE MOST IMPORTANT YES. Was this bit necessary? Could we not have gotten A Very Special Moment with Chris B. Harrison informing us that Eric chose to leave the show (with a small but furious shove from Andi)?

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ABC thinks we did need to see this moment because ABC thinks Andi screaming “I am EXHAUSTED. I am so exhausted!” is an endearing moment for our plain tuckered out Bachelorette. And while they are wrong, and it is certainly not endearing, it does explain a lot about this deeply confused woman. Our Bachelorette is not confident in the decision she’s made to be on The Bachelorette. She left a very good job and reputation as not-a-reality-TV-star for a chance to find love on a reality TV show that has about a .01% success rate. More marriages have formed on Survivor and The Real World — both shows where people regularly don’t bathe themselves for weeks — than have come from The Bachelor(ette) franchise.  

Former Assistant District Attorney Andi Dorfman has a lot riding on this. The only thing that can possibly save Andi from returning to a life of Atlanta shame – a city already full of shamed reality TV women – is to actually fall in love on this show that seems specifically designed to ruin that very institution. And girlfriend’s got a clear tactic: make everyone fall in love with her. Anyone who’s lived a little life knows that “the one” is some mumbo jumbo bullshit; it’s just which one you find first. It would be reasonable to assume that Andi could spend the rest of her life with at least one of these meatheads, if she can ensnare them all long enough to figure out which meathead could work. But Eric threw a curveball: he didn’t fall in love with her.

Andi is not a Des or an Emily or any of the other Bachelorettes who came before a time when my mind chose to retain their names…I really think Andi has convinced every single one of these bros that they could fall in love with her, or if they’re poor, sweet, naïve Marcus, that they already have. But she missed one with Eric — cue freakout to end all freakouts.

I get that Andi’s under a lot of pressure to meet her future husband so everyone at her 10 year high school reunion isn’t all “Hey, remember when you quit your awesome job to find love, and now you’re still not in love, but also don’t have an awesome job, and Kate Mackie still beat you for Prom Queen?” But, I would recommend she take the screaming at guys who didn’t tell her she was a fake to about a two. Because no one screams at Marquel. Speaking of Marquel, let’s do a quick check-in with the remaining bros before this week’s episode where we see if Andi can recover from going full-we-were-rooting-for-you-we-were-all-rooting-for-you on her boyfriends, plural.

The Fallen

Episode 2: Carl the Sexy Firefighter, Nick S. with the Jokes, and Craig Who Probably Tried to Light His Farts on Fire and Then Wrote a Song About It But It Wasn’t Enough

Episode 3: Brett Who Only Recently Realized He Was On a Television Show and Bradley the Not-Murderer Opera Singer (please don’t murder me) Whose Boyz II Men Group Date Segments I Had to Fast Forward Through Out of Sheer Secondhand Embarrassment

Episode 4: Eric Who Was Regretfully Dismissed; Tasos Who GOT THE SHAFT

The Frontrunners

Nick V.

Normal Nick, where will we land on you? Either Nick is a guy who thought he was signing up for an average round of speed dating in Wisconsin, and somehow found himself on one of the biggest reality show franchises out there, or the man is a manipulative evil genius. He looks and seems so average, it’s disconcerting. You know who doesn’t go on reality TV? A normal, average person. It’s refreshing that he might just be a an average guy selling software everyday who wanted to mix it up, but didn’t Andi only want guys who were coming there looking for a 1/25 chance at falling madly in love with her? And she’s about to choose the guy who came there thinking this process was a bunch of junk and then accidentally wooed the hot girl by not being totally in love with the way she stood on a driveway in a prom dress she got at Dillard’s? Something is going to go terribly wrong here. My theory: Normal Nick’s 10 siblings are a lie and he actually has 10 children by 10 different women. Stay tuned.

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Josh M.

Can we just give this thing to Josh M.? Andi wants to jump his bones, take engagement pictures in boots and a sundress, leaning against a fencepost somewhere, and have little UGA babies with this guy already. Does she really have to have a cliff diving/3rd-place-X-Factor-contestant  solo concert date with Cody before she can do that? Josh M. still hasn’t had a one-on-one date which is awesome for two reasons: 1. He wants one so bad; 2. It’s like Andi is doing some weird foreplay with him because she so clearly wants to spend more time with him, but just doesn’t want to give him what he wants. Instead, she just makes out with him while 15 of her other closest boyfriends are within arm’s reach. Andi might be kind of a freak.

Marcus

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Oh Marcus, you sweet, delusional, beautiful little bronze medalist. I would never claim to be a Bachelor anthologist, like I would for say, MTV’s The Challenge, but a fourth-episode “falling in love” admission has to be a record. I mean, not even AshLee with the crazy eyes from Sean’s season did that. And that girl’s eyes looked like they could microwave a brick. Of course, they don’t hold a candle to Marcus’ beautiful eyes, which are so beautiful, Andi seems to have trouble remembering how the force of gravity and her panties are supposed to work every time she sees him. So, to level the playing field I guess, Andi made Marcus conquer his fear of heights by rappelling down the side of their hotel in Maine while the other guys watched them out of their own hotel room window. This is a super weird show.

The Rest

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I’ve noticed that Andi tries really hard to cater her one-on-one dates to activities that each specific bro will actually enjoy, which is something most Bachelorette’s don’t have the brain capacity for if they also plan to speak words on their dates. It was a laid back and normal date for Nick, a date to make Marcus seem like less of a delicate flower, and something calming for Dylan. For JJ“Oh, why don’t we dress up like old people and go frolic around a park in our liver spots!” It was so, so weird, and I loved it. I mean, I hated it, but I loved that JJ was the only person who would have heard that date setup and not immediately thrown the deuces and hightailed it out of there on there on the production-provided motorized scooter. But, like me, JJ is just awkward enough to not realize when things are super awkward.

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I know exactly three things about Marquel: he loves cookies, he works for The UFC, and he very occasionally sounds like a tenor Charles Barkley. Those things, combined with him obviously being a very funny, DTP bro, make him my favorite non-contender.

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Listen…Brian might not be the handsomest guy, or the tallest, or the most successful; but Brian is a high school basketball coach who just got to live out a John Hughes film on national television. His sweet personality finally got him noticed by the hot girl, he scored the winning basket, fumbled his romantic opportunity, and recovered in fine form, all ending in a makeout session on the bleachers. How dare we begrudge Brian this moment just because he has as much chance of winning as that guy who started dropping f-bombs on his way out on the first night. You go, Brian…you go.

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It’s official: everyone wants to punch Andrew’s face as much as I do. Apparently, some of the non-group-date men on the first episode were released to the nearest Ruby Tuesdays for dinner and Andrew got a hostesses’ number…and then bragged about it. His story is that she just gave it to him; you know, how you’re always pulling out your memo pad to give your number to smuggest looking guy in a group while you’re at your place of work? All adds up. The other bros are on a mission to noogie him into confession. They’ve yet to break him, but they’ve also yet to tell Andi, probably because she seems kind of on the verge of a nervous breakdown and it’s only Week 4. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT???

I live every day in fear of the moment Cody, aka, HGH Macklemore will be asked to leave the Bachelorette mansion…and I simply cannot believe that day has not come yet.

I find Chris very endearing, and would put money on him crying within the next two episodes — that guy just has a lot of feelings. I really enjoyed his, “Let’s slap some lipstick on this pig,” in reference to getting dressed up for his one-on-one date with Andi, but that was about as far as the enjoyment of that date went. Andi seems like she needs someone to fight with a little bit, and Chris seems like he probably tells his cows bedtime stories.

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I want to have sympathy for Dylan, and I guess that I do, but that is absolutely all I have. Guy is a draaaaaaaaag.

OK, Patrick definitely wrote Andi that Secret Admirer letter, right? I could spot his Superman jawline through even the haziest of filters. I have this sneaking suspicion that Patrick might pull a Catherine Giudici and suddenly win Andi over in Episode 8 because he’s incapable of looking her in the eye, or expressing human emotion, or however Catherine finally got Sean. Why else would they put any sort of emphasis on that letter that appeared to have been faxed to Andi from 1995?

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Tune in this week to see if Andi can power down her Crazy after losing control of her game journey she can’t lose to find love.

The Best of 50 Cent on Reddit, A Little Late

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**Edit: I wrote this a week ago and didn’t post it because even when a bus from New York to Ohio (oh yeah…they have those) says it will have WiFi, it will not. It will, however, drop you off in a Cincinnati parking lot near a casino, so when your friends pick you up, they will be reminded that everything you do is super sketchy for no good reason. Even late, I still think it’s important for anyone who missed 50 Cent’s Reddit AMA to be informed that he threw that pitch ”just a bit outside” due to chronic masturbation.**

I do not understand Reddit, and I’m almost certain that if I ever invested any more than 10 minutes trying to understand it, I might not ever see my family again. [Ed. note: I just read the "Life Ruining Secrets" thread for an hour.] I don’t know what people are doing on there all day…I think gross stuff? Actually, it’s definitely gross stuff.

Of course, Reddit is also the home to some of our society’s most important discoveries, like the post that revealed the Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, or people offering their real-life accounts of hooking up with famous musicians (and best slightly adapted fanfiction — I’m looking at you “And there he was…Harry Styles, at my hotel door with a cupcake” girl). For those threads, curated and tailored to just the kind of sick entertainment I need during my coffee break, I am appreciative, and need more (I’m looking at you, Darius Rucker groupie). I am mostappreciative to Reddit, however, for it’s famous person AMAs.

For the uninitiated, that’s an “Ask Me Anything,” where famous people to whom you might want to ask questions, let you. And then they answer your questions…thoroughly! You know, the ones that aren’t dick-related, etc. Some of the best have been people like Snoop Dogg/Lion — “untouchable_face: Hey Snoop, why do you carry an umbrella? A: fo drizzle” — Louis C.K., and Bill Murray. People…like Curtis James Jackson III, aka, 50 Cent, the East Coast rapper who seems as opposed to using the past tense as he is to both the plural and possessive s/es…a powerful grammatical stance.

These are 50’s best AMA answers while promoting his new album, Animal Ambition (I recommend reading all of them in his voice, aloud):

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50 Cent, lover of books…his own books.

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You might think that the only thing 50 Cent and I have in common is our inability to quit Eminem, but you would be wrong: we also share the same affinity for children cereals and adult rappers, and will not stand for adjunct questions added after the fact by your stupid, excitable boyfriend, animatedradio.

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50 Cent is the living embodiment of “Ignition (Remix).” I’m sorry, you’re trying to tell me there will be a pool party; and after the pool party, a second party; and after the second party, a deconstructed version of that previous party; and after the deconstructed second party, a fireworks party; and we’ll only just be getting to dinner at that point?? If I have not eaten dinner by 10 PM, that is precisely when I will start to give a fuck, because it’s my birthday.

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What does Arya Stark say to the Lord of Death? “Not today.” What does 50 Cent say to the Lord of Death? “I get how this works and I’ll see you soon, but for now, here’s a $20, please leave me in peace while I eat this expensive, shitty Chinese food.”

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Unlike LunaLoveBad, I am so nervous. So nervous.

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Hey, do you think 50 Cent wants you to know he likes women?

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Because he does…he likes women. AND THEIR BUTTS.

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snoop_dolphin: 1, 50 Cent: 0, and just a little to the left.

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From everything I have assessed while reading this AMA, I can tell you that one thing is definitively  true: whether Aziz Ansari actually saw this go down or not, 50 Cent at some point in his adult life did not know what a grapefruit was. There is no other reason to use such a defensive “lol.”

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I stand corrected about that defensive “lol.”

BONUS: To quote Alison Krauss, 50 really said it best when he said nothing at all…

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Well…

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We’re waiting.

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Answer the damn question, 50.

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ANSWER IT!!!

BONUS x 2: 50 Cent’s response to someone posting this:

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No, 50…thank u.

The Bachelorette, Esq.: She’s Not Very Well Traveled

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My question before getting into this season of The Bachelorette, aside from a prolonged theory that Chris Harrison is rapidly shrinking, was if Andi would be entirely too intelligent for this hedonism, or entirely too boring. The difference between The Bachelor and The Bachelorette is that when you get a bunch of romance-hungry, reality TV women together, you mostly end up with a collective obsessive personality disorder that could destroy humanity; when you get a bunch of sure-I’ll-do-it-if-there’s-booze reality TV dudes together, it’s pretty much a countdown to that head shaving scene in The Wolf of Wall Street. Andi, with her power ponytail and incessant need to wear blazers, didn’t really seem like the type who would be down for that.

But after watching an hour and a half of our nation’s new Manic Pixie Prosecutor, the answer seems to be a) no, b) I’m an idiot, you can never be too boring for this show – we all remember Des, who opened her eyes for maybe 20% of that season, and I could have watched the episode where she wept on a dock in a backwards shirt for daysdays, and c) Andi will be neither of those things as the Bachelorette. [Ed. note: Except boring. She’ll probably be boring.]

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It’s easy to remember this chick as the astute, well-spoken young woman who put that potentially sociopathic, yeah-OK-also-dad, jackass Juan Pablo in his place. But let me briefly remind you of how Andi’s time on the Season That Killed Love and Robbed Clare of Her Trust In Men actually went: cute arrival, a little bit of flirt-fighting, cry, cry, cry, cry, sexy one-piece, cry, cry, entered into a night of contractually obligated former-pro-soccer-player sex off camera, anger, anger, anger, confrontation in front of camera. Andi had a stellar ending to her time with Juan Pablo where she informed him exactly where he could put his stories about meeting D-list celebrities in his “office,” the Miami Marlins stadium. But before that – like seriously, minutes before that – she was letting him meet her family.

I like the girl, I think I would follow her on Instagram even if we only sort of knew each other in college, but Andi is a damn emotional rollercoaster before she lets her logic kick in. It stands to be hilarious. I laughed so hard at her crying speech on the This Season On – “I am EXHAUSTED. I am so exhausted!” – I briefly questioned my own humanity. But no…anyone who is preaching about taking something seriously while surrounded by upwards of 12 boyfriends is allowed to be laughed at. I think that’s the entire premise of Sister Wives. So join me, won’t you, in laughing at the perfectly pleasant season fine of The Bachelorette, Esq. that will soon devolve into a puddle of man sobs. And Andi sobs. And — fingers crossed — Chris Harrison sobs. There may be a moment here, where I talk about cookies for about seven paragraphs. I just hope that you can bear with me. Alcohol could help, so…

  • Drink every time Andi gives a non-consensual hug (but like, small sips, because I don’t want you to die).
  • Drink twice every time a bro says something they won’t be able to live down once they go back to their home-bros…home-bros never understand.
  • Drink every time you realize that you have failed in your life, because even after all of your hard work, even after years of school, countless internships, and working your way up…you’re still not a security guard on this show, and you still don’t get to laugh at bros, steal their flowers, and potentially get to rough them up a little bit every day of your life. Cheers to Joe the Security Guard!

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Read More

The Mysterious Case of Andi and Her ‘Bachelorette’ Bros

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Red alert, you guys…The Bachelorette is back. She’s got a post-graduate degree, a dad named Hy who eats reality show men for breakfast, and she once ripped out a Venezuelan man’s intestines through his “Es-okay”-sputtering mouth hole with only the strength of her words and the terrible, terrible sex they had on the pile of throw pillows Chris Harrison told them was a Fantasy Suite. It’s only been two months since she left our screens in a whirl of lycra and justified pouts, but Andi has returned, and she’s ready to date a bunch of dudes polygamy-style, make out with half of them, have sex with three of them – yeah, girl’s down to party – and, fingers crossed, find all the personality that Des accidentally dropped in the Bachelorette limo the last time they hosed it down with Lysol and antibiotics to drag it up the Driveway of Awkward Doom.

Des: “Hey, have you guys seen a pink glittery makeup bag with rhinestones, I swear I had it in here. It has all of my personality in it and my bangs brush.”

Chris Harrison: “Des, we’ve gotta get moving…we accidentally allowed the guys in the limo to have two glasses of champagne and their limited body fat can’t handle that much alcohol. They’re either about to start vomiting or making out with each other.”

Des: **blink…blink**

And with the return of The Bachelorette, hopefully comes a return of life on this blog that claims to be the superlative of all Things. I didn’t think writing for a living would mean that sometimes, I don’t get to write the things I want to write most. But in those times, you just have to look to Tumblr and say, “I’m not ashamed to admit that the thing I want to write most right now is 3,000 words about a bunch of bros claiming to have size 13 packages feet,” and get down and dirty on some Bachelorette bios. A muse is a muse, you know? I have no qualms admitting that Photoshopping out “5 notes”and sending some of these posts in as though they were published articles is what inadvertently moved my single, cocktail-party-less ass to New York almost a year ago. Life is a journey, you guys (Drink!).

Speaking of New York City, if you’ve ever spent any amount of time here, you know that you can’t walk two feet without having the smarmy faces of the cast of Southern Charm (with an honest scribbling of, “they white as a motherf—ker” over Cameran’s seersucker dress), or the dilapidated bodies of Survivor schemers catching your attention at every turn. And yet, I’ve caught hardly a glimpse of Andi’s perfectly groomed eyebrows on my urine-filled street corners, my commercial-filled DVR, or upon the pages of my truly terrifying internet history. [Ed. note: When you’ve googled Nick Lachey as many times as I have, they put you on a special list.]

The noticeable lack of marketing and quick scientific poll I’ve run amongst my friends to see if they knew The Bachelorette was premiering has me a little concerned. Did one epic, but stomach-churning season of The Bachelor permanently damage this franchise? Did Juan Pablo ruin televised love competitions for everyone? Hopefully not. Hopefully ABC is just trying a different approach, laying things on a little thinner after the Juan Pablo Fever epidemic of 2013. “There was bad salsa dancing everywhere. It spread so fast — there was nothing we could do!” 

With so little marketing in comparison to past seasons, I’m more curious than ever about the 40 hours of television I’ve already committed the next three months of my life to. I have so many questions! Who won’t be able to lock it up about being single father? Which limo intro will make me hide in the deepest depths of my couch cushions? Are we going to be dealing with a 50% ratio of young lawyers, and if so, will any of them have survived law school with their souls intact, and if so, will any of them be able to stop talking about how awful law school was, and if so, will any of them not secretly be snorting something in the bathroom? Also, how many secret Mormons? Will there be any attempts to trap Andi in a makeshift fantasy suite a la that guy who looked like a crazier-eyed Patrick Bateman on Des’ season? Speaking of, will Des drop by? Will she be able to put life back into her eyes? Will she have rediscovered her signature bangs? Will she design Andi’s wedding dress when she marries Wyl/Kyler/Shuane/Der’k in a year’s time? I NEED ANSWERS!!!

And we’ll get them all tonight on the premiere of the season that will either redeem The Bachelor(ette) franchise, or sink it into a grim future of 12 more seasons, four more ABC weddings and six more divorces. [Ed. note: Math checks out.] ABC took their sweet ass time releasing the official contestant bios, but it finally went public last week, which means it’s time to pick out The Top 10 Most Interesting Bros (according to a questionnaire they probably filled out by hand, three whiskey sours deep, in whatever Hollywood warehouse ABC wrangled them into after scouting them at the Nautica outlet and Stockholm syndrome-ing them into believing this was the only way they’d ever find the beautiful wife, white picket fence, and little twins named Gennipher and Tym Jr. they’ve always dreamed of)

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If you gave me three chances to guess Cody’s name and told me I could win a million dollars if just one of the guesses was correct, I would guess “Cody” all three times. And then, I would bet all one million of my winning dollars on the fact that this guy has dabbled in at least a bit of amateur stripping. But, can I shoot you straight? Even though his confusing facial hair situation makes him look a little punchable…I’m kind of rooting for Cody. He seems pleasantly dumb, and I think that could be good for Andi, who has proven she gets slightly overwhelmed by people who make her feel complex emotions. Cody keeps it simple. Cody voluntarily ends most of his sentences in exclamation points or smilies with equal signs as eyes. He might not have a lot going on upstairs, but if that makes this his Most Embarrassing Moment, I’m fine with it: “Seventh grade wrestling — I actually pinned myself. Yes, I did cry!”

Two notes: I did not see that em-dash coming, and methinks Cody’s tear ducts have only gotten looser since “seventh grade.”

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Nick S. is either a widower with two or more children, terminally ill, or in possession of the greatest personality known to man, and I’ll tell you why: there is no other way a partially balding man was cast on this show. Don’t misunderstand me, I find Nick S. very attractive; I would swipe all kinds of right on Tinder for him, and just hope the color of that v-neck was a one-time thing. But I never thought I would see the day when ABC would allow a man with any physical attribute that could possibly keep him from playing a superhero on The CW into their Illustrious Mansion that Jake Pavelka Built. You keep defying the laws of reality TV, Nick S., and you just might find yourself an engagement that last three months, until it slowly fizzles out and dies on the cover of second-tier tabloids. Romance!

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I would like to put it on the table that I am highly attracted to JJ, and it’s making it difficult for me to a. adequately make fun of him, or b. assess his compatibility with Andi, a woman who is not me. Do I think he’s actually telling the truth about being 6’5”? Yes, I do. Am I hoping there’s more where that shawl collar came from? Indeed, I am. Am I somehow charmed by him calling himself a Pantsaprenuer? If he got through “the hard parts,” and is making a living off pants, then yes. C’mon, they are pretty cool.

JJ is my pick to win, and Imma be a little T/O’d about it.

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Ron is from Israel, and has impeccable music and television tastes. Ron is uniquely handsome, has a name that doesn’t fit him, dislikes when people try too hard, and manages to sound intelligent, unattached, and a little confused as to how he found himself filling out this questionnaire in between six former European soccer players in hoodies at noon on a Tuesday. Ron is the new Sharleen. I look forward to him being too good for all of this.

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There is nothing to note about Brett except that hair. He is possibly a wonderful guy, but I dare you to to look a this picture without your brain screaming, IS THAT HAIR??? You all see it, right? I have so many Carol-Brady-neck-hair related questions: Can a hairdresser have a mullet? Is this going to be part of his limo introduction? Will he offer Andi a pair of sheers and sacrifice his biblical Samson strength as a token of commitment to their Pinot-Grigio-fueled love? WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE BACK OF BRETT’S NECK?

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Here’s the thing about Craig: that at-a-glance bio is not doing his crazy any justice. Take a look at his extended questionnaire. I truly don’t think I have ever seen anyone reveal more insane information in fewer words. His most embarrassing moment? “Dressing as a stripper and stripping for my uncle’s 50th birthday! OUCH!” Um, what the hell, Craig? “Ouch”?! Did he pinch you? Was the rest of you family there, physically trying to stop you? Were you in the middle of a brain aneurism? Why, Craig? WHY? The most romantic gift he’s ever received: “A book of pictures of our relationship and a story underneath! It is awesome.” You’ve got to cut that present tense shit out, Craig. And finally, his worst date memory: “Puking on her =( ” Do these guys not have access to a colon punctuation? Is the Shift key missing on the PC they’re passing around?

If Craig is as boring as his picture bio, he will be gone the first night; if Craig has as much going on in his personal life as his extended bio indicates…a new star will be born tonight on ABC, 9:30 p.m. EST.

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Josh M. is a former professional baseball player; Josh M. is the brother of all-star UGA – Andi’s alma mater – quarterback, Aaron Murray; Josh M.’s teeth appear to be formed from a sheath of diamonds and clouds; Josh M. is all over the promos, but not too prominently featured, and he is very serious about finding love; Josh M. was created in an ABC laboratory specifically for Bachelorette Andi. He would never tell her it’s okay when it’s clearly not okay. Ladies and gentlemen, meet your next Bachelor. 

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JASON! Don’t you just want to scream Jason’s name at him? I hope he’s excited about just everything. Look at those music choices. Jason either googled “various music genres” and then picked an artist from the top three results, or Jason is all, “I LOVE MUSIC, I JUST CAN’T CHOOSE!” and further, “EACH HAIR ON MY HEAD IS A PRECIOUS MEMORY, HOW COULD I POSSIBLY CUT ANY OF THEM?!” But Jason also has a serious side. He’s not just your average prettyboy, M.D., shampoo model. What would he not do for love? “Forsake [his] family.” JASON…Andi will be asking you to repel into volcanoes for love, live in a frat house while she dates your friends for love, and probably take a few dozen helicopter rides for love…but she won’t be asking you to forsake your family for love. She won’t do that.

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We’re all observant adults here, right? We can address that ABC is a piece of shit and will only ever cast two contestants of color at a time on this show taking place in 2014. Well, Marquel is throwing a curveball at them, and appears to be one of Andi’s top contenders according to his airtime in the This Season On. He also might be the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. If Marquel is allowed to wear a kickass textured blazer in his bio shot, why are Chris S., Chris W., Matt M., Matt R. Josh. B., Josh C., and Josh T. all wearing heathered v-neck tees? Why is Marquel the only one pulling out all the stops (other than you JJ, I see you, JJ)? Marquel has dynamic tastes in movies, a mysterious Master’s degree, and possibly entered my mind via Inception to answer his “typical Saturday night”: “Netflix, cookies, and a glass of wine.” Dear ABC, please don’t give Marquel a bad edit. We, the nation, beg of you.

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Steven, the Snowboard Product Developer might have the single greatest answer to the only question worth anyone’s time on this godforsaken questionnaire the ABC interns keep forgetting to update:

Meatloaf said he would do anything for love, but he won’t do that. What will you not do? 

"I won’t switch my cell phone carrier because I am grandfathered in with unlimited data.”

Take every bloggers job ever, Steven, you are snarkier than all of us. I hope they give you your own sanitized limo when Andi inevitably sends you home on the first night.

And yet, I will still blog, hopefully with Steven as my ghostwriter. If you promise to watch with me so I don’t get so embarassed I cry, then I promise to recap Andi’s season of The Bachelorette with 40,000 words and no consistency whatsoever. Meet me back here for the cringe-filled limo introductions, broken man-sobs, steroid speculation, and — first things first — figuring out what the hell is going on with Brett’s hair. Seriously.

It’s OK, But in That Sociopath Sort of Way

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Everyone remembers exactly where they were for the most pivotal moments in their lives; what they were wearing; maybe even a sense memory like how it smelled. I was wearing a blue Ralph Lauren polo that I thought would make me fit in when I moved into my fratty college (it totally did). It smelled like rain when I de-boarded the bus on my first solo trip in Japan. And I was sitting in my living room, eating pretzels and Nutella the night I realized: Man, that Juan Pablo guy? Kind of an asshole.

There were four hours of The Bachelor last week. FOUR HOURS. Things I can do in four hours: Put off exercising for three and a half hours. Eat two meals. Tell Juan Pablo how much he sucks. But for Andi, that probably still wouldn’t be enough time, so let’s get down to a brief recap of El Bachelor meeting the family of four women whose names he’s only recently learned (but literally, that’s the only thing he knows about them).

Nikki’s Family: Nikki’s family is a delight. The way Nikki comes across on this show has not been particularly appealing. She seems funny, but like the mean kind of funny where she might tell me, “Oh my gosh, I love your dress, it really hides all of your problem areas.” But she’s in her element in her hometown visit, seeming much more down to earth than when she’s making steam come out of Clare’s ears. She takes JP to get some good ole southern barbeque, and I’m not going to dwell on it, but he says, “I had a blast eating Nikki.” They do some mechanical bull riding so Nikki can see how much of a man Juan Pablo is, but mostly so she can watch and think about eating him. They ride the bull together on the slowest setting, and I’m really not old enough to be watching this.

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Finally, they go to meet her family and they are just the cutest little things. They’re sweet and attractive and rich-seeming, and really, what more could you want from the family of one of your four girlfriends? Her dad seems like he might just be the most delightful man in the world and I find myself wondering if he’s single while her mom is still in the same camera shot. In addition to being precious, he’s also logical: he tells Juan Pablo that if he’s not 100% about Nikki at the end of this, he’d prefer he didn’t propose to her. But it’s her decision to make, and he trusts her to do right by herself. All signs point to this family having raised Nikki well enough to make the right decision here: GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE, THIS MAN IS POISON! We’ll see.

Andi’s Family: A real theme of these home visits seem to be the women wanting to test how tough Juan Pablo is. Maybe it’s because the type of woman who goes on The Bachelor who might also be the type to judge a man on his ability to provide for his family, and Juan Pablo’s job is technically getting Venezuelan baseball players to sign bats and then, like, FedEx-ing them back to Venezuela (or something). So, if Juan Pablo being able to successfully shoot a gun is what it takes for him to win Andi’s heart, by golly he’s doing to do it. And by “do it,” I mean he will hit the target once for every 900 times she hits the bullseye dead on with a 9mm. Juan Pablo, I’ll…make a man…out of yoooooou!

Andi’s family is much less precious than Nikki’s family, but much more entertaining, in the way that her dad hates Juan Pablo’s stinkin’ guts. Andi’s father’s name is Hy, he sits down to a man-on-man chat with a liquor drink and he asserts his dominance thusly:

“Is it Juan or Juan Pablo?”

“Uh…Juan Pablo?”

“Hmm…”

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El bachelor is el toast. When Juan Pablo asks Hy if he would accept him and Mija Camila into his family if he asked Andi to marry him. Hy is kinda like, Well, IF you stop dating the three other women you’re dating and IF you ask my daughter marry you, then MAYBE I’ll give you my blessing. Until then, beat it, asshole. To which Juan Pablo responds, “K, that’s great.” And it really was.

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Renee’s Family: Listen, let’s not talk about Renee. Renee is too nice and too normal; and looks too good in shorts and her eyes are too pretty; and her son is too precious and too mature to be dealing with any of this bullshit. And now she’s engaged! At least one engagement is going to come out of this train wreck. 

Clare’s Family: I just have to say this about Clare; I am living in absolute fear that she’s going to show Juan Pablo that DVD her dad made for her future husband before he died. Like, I can barely look at her without yelling at the TV: Don’t you show him that DVD, Clare – YOU GUARD YOUR HEART, CLARE!!! I don’t think she’ll show it to him; it’s just that she talks about the DVD so much and I can’t quite figure out why the editors would include those clips if it wasn’t going to come up at some point. I really can’t figure much out about this season, but I am totally clear on one thing: there is no successful marriage coming out of it, SO DON’T YOU EVER SHOW HIM THAT DVD, CLARE.

If I’m feeling this protective of Clare, a person I can barely tolerate listening to because she repeats everything she says three times with slightly different vocal infections – “I would say yes in a heartbeatin a heartbeat…in a heartbeat” [ed. note: if you have to repeat something that many times, you’re trying to convince someone of something, and it sure ain’t me] – then I totally understand how her five older sisters would be protective of her. But there are a few things I can’t understand, like why none of her sisters look anything like her, or why her mother looks like some sort of beautiful Latina saint, but her sister Lauren looks like she might murder someone by violent and unorthodox means. 

Clare can thank Lauren for one thing: making her seem WAY less crazy by comparison! When she said, “I’m not going to let you manipulate mommy,” I let out an audible “aguhghhah” [ed. note: you’re a grown ass woman, Lauren, enough with the “mommy” stuff]. When she stood up to hover over Clare and her mother while Clare tried to explain how she’d fallen in love, I became visibly afraid that she might lose control of her powers like Jean in X-Men: The Last Stand and just straight up incinerate everyone with her crazy eyeballs. But when she went in the corner and starting petting that dog like Dr. Evil and every once in a while whisper-hissing “hey, Clare” just so Clare knew she was there, I just had to fast forward the rest. I assume that no one died and Clare was eventually able to talk to her own mother in peace.

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Obviously, following the home visits, Renee went home, because Renee had fourth place written on her forehead from the moment she stepped out of the limo. But, I must say, it’s pretty shitty that they made her leave her son to go to LA or wherever, just to have to fly back to Florida the next day. But I’m very glad to know that she’s engaged so we can avoid any of this:

Obviously, following the home visits, Renee went home, because Renee had fourth place written on her forehead from the moment she stepped out of the limo. But, I must say, it’s pretty shitty that they made her leave her son to go to LA or wherever, just to have to fly back to Florida the next day. But I’m very glad to know that she’s engaged so we can avoid any of this:

Female Bachelor fans: “OMG, Renee should be the next Bachelorette!!!”

Potential dickhead Bachelorette contestants: “Uh, I was kinda, uh, hoping it would be, uh, Andi.”

Speaking of Andi, after she got over that whole “I’m ALMOST falling in love with Juan Pablo” thing, she turned out to be one smart, angry cookie.

A Brief Summary of All Non-Andi Events: Clare isn’t sure if she should accept JP’s invitation to the Fantasy Suite because Juan Pablo has put her under the impression that it’s her responsibility to make sure he stays in line for his daughter, because she’s some sort of Siren that he can’t resist, and she mustn’t force him to bring shame on his family with her seductress ways. But apparently four-year-old Camila will understand that Overnight week is different, so they can totally shack up this time, that’s well within the realm of Juan Pablo’s Book of Ever-Changing Doin’ It Rules. She tells him she’s loving falling in love with him, but she says it like a baby, so I don’t know if it counts.

Nikki wears only a bikini top while she rides horses with Juan Pablo, which is so illogical, I can’t trust anything else that happens on their date (except, I did appreciate that she didn’t even pretend to hesitate on whether she was accepting his Fantasy Suite invitation). But it’s just time to get down to it…

Things did NOT go well on Juan Pablo and Andi’s overnight. Or at least that’s what Andi thinks. Please take a moment to compare how each of them are feeling the morning after their Overnight:

Juan Pablo: Waking up this morning, I’m so happy about Andi. We had a great night together. We freaking talk and laugh for hours. Hours. Like, hours.” [ed. note: What did I say about the thrice repeat?]

Andi: Waking up this morning, I could not wait to get out of the fantasy suite. The fantasy suite turned into a nightmare. I saw a side of him I didn’t really like. The whole night was just a disaster. I hope he did not think that went well. I really hope he did not think that was a good date.

That’s what you get for having hope, Andi. APPARENTLY Andi had about 15 epiphanies in the Fantasy Suite last night and none of them were of the “taking her to a whole new level of being” variety, if you know what I mean. “There’s just no filter with him, and him having zero filter comes across as just him not really caring. He thinks that he can say whatever he wants to say and everyone’s going to laugh and still fall in love with him and it’s all fun and games. But it gets to a point where it’s just offensive.”

HOT DAMN, WHAT HAPPENED IN THERE???

Instead of recording a video to tell Juan Pablo how much she wants to marry him like the other girls, Andi records a video that basically says: I suddenly realized you suck, and my thoughts cannot be contained by modern technology, come talk to me in person…Ass Munch. [ed. note: Summarization by me.]

I was so sad when this happened to Des with Brooks, but I am so excited for it to happen to Juan Pablo. Because I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was that was so terrible about him — other than all the hair tucking and “it’s OK”-ing – until Andi eh-splained it to me. And, well, it’s pretty much that he’s all hair tucks and “it’s OK”-ing. He never asks her about herself, he only talks about how great he is, and when she tries to go deeper, he just goes in for more besitos. When she relays this message to him, he tells her “it’s OK.” She says, no it’s not OK. Because him being totally fine with her breaking up with him, when he was formerly considering asking him to marry her, means that he never really cared in the first place.

And he didn’t! This guy does not care. He doesn’t show a speck of emotion the whole time Andi is trying to sort out what the hell they’ve been doing for the last nine weeks that she’s been “missing weddings” and, you know, not being an Assistant District Attorney at age 26. Juan Pablo tries to prove that she probably doesn’t know anything about him either: “Well what religion am I?” “CATHOLIC” #lawyered

And the nail in the coffin, he tries to blame a “joke” about it coming down between Andi and Renee last elimination, and Andi being there by default [ed. note: I need some documentation of this Fantasy Suite conversation STAT!!!] on not knowing the word, “default.” “I don’t say ‘default.’ That word, default, out of my mouth is hard, because I don’t have that word. I say, ‘You barely made it here.’” Ohhhhh, Andi just must have misunderstood! He didn’t say she was a default! He just said she just barely made it here, WHICH IS SO MUCH WORSE! This guy is a douche hat.

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Andi hits the road to go be a smart, attractive woman elsewhere and JP wraps the breakup up thusly: “Am I disappointed? Maybe a little bit.” I will give Juan Pablo only the slightest bit of credit, which is, I don’t understand why Andi would have suffered through thinking all of these things, and presumably letting Juan Pablo tell her “it’s OK” in the Biblical sense, when she could have just told him all this when he was actually being a jackass, and maybe tried to work on it. But she didn’t. And it was helpful in showing her true colors. So, props to you, girl, I’ll see you on The Bachelorette.

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Clare, Nikki, I’ll see you two on the Final Rose, where neither of you will be winners, no matter the result.

Stay tuned for another picture grab of Women’s (Faces) Tell All (hint: it’s just going to be pictures of Kelly)

What Happens in the Ocean…(Ruins Lives, Destroys Families and Haunts You Forever)

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I’d like to lie and say I haven’t been keeping up with El Bachelor because I’ve just been Tom-Cruise-in-The-Firm levels of busy. And while that is true, and I am fearful that my employers might be plotting my murder because I just couldn’t follow the rules, really, it’s mostly because this season hasn’t been that interesting (save Sharleen the Harbinger of Reason and Kelly the Maddest Talker of Dog-Loving Smack there Ever Was). That is…UNTIL NOW. Dirty Ocean Sex!

Confession: I’ve been a total Juan Pablo apologist. I like to watch him as the Bachelor because he’s really not that good at it. It’s fun to watch him go dead in the eyes as soon as one of the women starts talking about her broken family or fear of being vulnerable, blah, blah, blah. The truest thing he’s said the whole season is that he doesn’t see this as a journey, but as an adventure (ahem, adventura). 

Journeys have end points. Journeys start with 25 women and end with an engagement; they’re a Point-A-to-Point-B-with-a-couple-of-helicopters-and-Southeast-Asia-excursions-in-between-type-of-thing. Adventures are just a little something cool to do. And if you happen to accidentally fall in love with a pediatric nurse along the way, that’s fine, but mostly it’s just **Woohoo! Besos! Making women who are scared of heights conquer their fears!** This guy is not here for the end game; he’s here to get famous, get laid, and hopefully not ruin anyone’s life in the process. He is failing tremendously. It’s awesome.

Let’s get into Monday’s episode of The Bachelor and see how much lady shaming we can accomplish before Clare propels herself into the Hell Cave:

  • Drink every time Kelly says exactly what you want to say, but she says it better and with a much a crazier look in her eye.
  • Shotgun a beer every time Juan Pablo has Dirty Ocean Sex with a woman and then blames her for bringing shame to his family. And then use that discarded beer can + a lock of his hair (email me for more details) to make a JP voodoo doll and we’ll all personally see to it that he never has Dirty Ocean Sex again.
  • Take the tiniest sip of your beverage every time a woman worries she’s not getting enough time with JP. Double drinks if JP secretly assures that woman she’s making it to Fantasy Suites because he wants do the nasty with her and not feel guilty about it, unlike the DOS situation.

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This week, the ladies are traveling from South Korea to Vietnam to meet back up with their very own Venezuelan Carmen Sandiego. They seem to be even more convinced that they’ll need kimonos here than they were in Korea, and yet, they’re still need 0% kimonos. Andi more or less says she’ll cut a bitch to get the next one-on-one, which of course, means it goes straight to Single Mom Renee!

Renee, not always one to let her emotions flow free, loses her mind and it’s pretty sweet to see someone that excited about going on a date. I usually feel a little more like I want to throw up, and try to reschedule at least four times before I go on a first date. But not Renee; JP gets her so excited “he makes [her] hands” hurt, which seems like some sort of innuendo I’m not old enough for yet. Cool your jets Renee, Juan Pablo will not be easing the yearning in your loins hands anytime soon. 

“I can’t wait to make her enjoy the day and meet the world.” – Juan Pablo (this includes sitting on a docked boat for roughly an hour)

Here’s what I like about Renee: she plays it real, real cool. She’s going on a date with a guy she likes? Cool. She wants him to kiss her and he doesn’t? Better luck next time. Producers make her wear an extremely form-fitting Vietnamese dress while she’s sweating her ass off? Sure, just make sure it compliments her eyes. She’s so laid back that she makes Juan Pablo seem interesting simply because he doesn’t spend 85% of their date reassuring her that the time he picked one of his other 10 girlfriends to talk to first on their polyamorous date doesn’t mean he likes her any less. I mean, that is totally what it means, but she’s not that worried about it.

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They pretty much only talk about their kids and being single parents, but that’s also the most engaging thing JP’s done all season. He’s always asking these women to open up to him, but when they do, it’s generally met with a hard Kardashian blink, and then a lot of stroking invisible locks of hair out of their faces. With Renee at least, he holds up his end of a conversation about the only thing he seems to know how to talk about in a semi-serious manner: Mija Camila. And now, Mijo Ben. 

After a pretty laid back one-on-one, ABC finally releases the women from their five star hotel cage and lets them explore Vietnam with Juan Pablo. Most hilariously, this includes him walking up to a local man and inquiring where he and his nine girlfriends of varying heights and appearances can grab some Vietnamese eats. The man eyes up the ten strangers and INSISTS! that they must come into his home, conveniently located behind him, harvest his garden and reap what they sow…or something. It all culminated in a deliciously fresh-looking meal, prompting Cassandra to say that we should really have these things (farms) in America. The road to becoming a 21 year old Former NBA dancer is not an agricultural one.

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Once they transition to the sitting-outside-in-dresses-on-chilly-evenings portion of the date, JP takes the opportunity to pull Clare aside first for some alone time, even though he’s been making out with her most of the day because she doesn’t have any friends and therefore got to be his paddle boat partner. Kelly says, “Clare knows what she wants and she’s here to get it. Can we hate her for that? I mean…yes, we can.” DRINK! Kelly is the best.

Juan Pablo takes Clare to his personal suite where she straddles him in his personal pool for the most of the group date. And even though he keeps not giving Renee any of his sweet, sweet nookie, he’s totally willing to make out with Clare. Kelly says maybe they should just go down there and give Clare the rose: “You think they’ve made it to second base yet?” Drink! I’ll miss that dead look in your eyes and your professional love of dogs when you’re gone, Kelly. KELLY!

How do you solve a problem like Sharleen? Well, Sharleen solves the problem of being in a really weird circumstance where she’s dating a man that she sees for about an hour a week by making out with him, tongue-first, every chance she gets. And if ever he pulls away, she just makes her face go totally slack and won’t talk to him until he makes out with her again. It’s an interesting strategy. It’s the strategy you use on someone that you don’t want to keep dating, but you don’t quite want to stop making out with either, because he’s a hot slice of Venezuelan pan. We’ve all be there; you get you some, Sharleen.

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After making out with Clare, and then Sharleen (but not Renee – never Renee), JP spoons with Andi on the beach while she complains about not getting to spend time with him, and then, “next thing you know, sucking face again…sorry mom.” You’re not sorry, Andi. But you will be when you realize you’re just the third tongue of the night. Clare, the First Tongue, gets the rose, and after everyone trucks it back to the hotel and sits on the same couch for a while pretending to be happy for her, she makes her Courtney Robertson play. Oh boy, does she make her Courtney Robertson play.

You see, Clare, who is from California, says she’s never been in an ocean. It’s one of her goals on what must be the easiest Bucket List of all time. Also included: going to a Chili’s; seeing a movie in a theater; and competing on a reality show. So, Clare sneaks out, circles back by JP’s suite, and asks if he might help her accomplish this innocent little ocean goal…at 4 a.m. Hasn’t anyone every told you nothing good happens after midnight, JP? Apparently not, because he says yes and takes Clare out to those mysterious Vietnam waters faster than you can say, “Don’t forget protection!”

The producers are not prepared with a lens to capture exactly what’s going on in the ocean, other than a lot of straddling. That’s kind of Clare and JP’s move. But here are some things that they say about their time together:

  • “Oh my gosh, Clare. She’s on fire…the waves were wild, but we got a little wild too.” - Juan Pablo
  •  “WE JUST WENT FOR IT. And I don’t regret it. Pure bliss in every way <suggestive eyebrow raise>.” - Clare
  • “You know when a baby giraffe is born and they have those wobbly legs…” – Clare #WHAT

So, I mean, say what you want after the fact, but those two heavily implied that they had Dirty Ocean Sex. They went into the water where the cameras couldn’t see them, did at least some form of The Nasty, and were very pleased with themselves, as one generally is after one has found a way around The Bachelor’s weird sex rules and finally gotten it on after what must be an uncomfortable amount of frenching. Remember these facts. They will not always seem so tried and true.

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After his definitely-sex-or-something-like-it romp with Clare, Juan Pablo takes Nikki on their one-on-one date. At one point he tells her he’s tired because he didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. Because he’s an asshole.

Nikki is a lot more serious than I thought she would be when she was introduced as a pediatric nurse. I like her because she’s kind of mean and will say when she thinks something the show is making her do sucks. But she, uh, also doesn’t seem like that much fun. And what do you do with the not fun girls? Make them jump off shit!

Nikki, who is very afraid of heights, must rappel into a deep cave (called “Hell”) to prove her love for Juan Pablo. After he informs her of this very fun date activity, she stops being able to say any word in the English language except those of the f—- variety. It’s delicious, and I actually thought she might make it through the whole segment without making any “jumping into love” metaphors until…“I gather some courage and I take that first step. This is a lot like falling in love.” Damnit, Nikki, no it is not! But the man of her dreams is making her do this thing to prove her 3-week love for him, so…”I either live, or I die, or I poop my pants.” To be fair, those are not mutually exclusive; A or B could still very easily pair with C.

After a few mild panic attacks, they arrive at the bottom of the cave and share a sweaty kiss. I know it probably seems like I have a lot of problems with this show, but the only thing I can really never get past, is how they’re always making the women go on these sweaty first dates. No one is trying to show all their sweat cards right off the bat. That’s really more of a fifth date reveal when you’ve already hooked them with your witty repartee and sexual prowess (get as sweaty as you want, Clare).

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They have a fancy dinner where Nikki exposes all but one inch of her upper thigh and talks about how much she loves kids, and that’s really all it takes. “I’m liking her heart a lot…this is a potential wife right here.” Perhaps it’s a this point when Juan Pablo realizes that his future wife might one day watch him have Dirty Ocean Sex with another woman on the day before their first date – no, the day of their first date – and thinks it’s backpedaling time. Luckily, he has an entire cocktail party to ruin someone’s night and, potentially, ensure she’ll never trust a man again – “If you think you might be right for the next Bachelor, go to ABC.com to learn more!”

The remaining 11 women arrive to the beautifully lantern-lit cocktail party and Juan Pablo tries to chat it up with the group, but they’ve all recently realized they’re dating the same man, so it’s a little awk. He informs them that three women will be going home tonight and they very hilariously cut to Danielle who raises her eyebrows like, “Should I just go ahead and go? Or do I have to sit here and drink Moscato for the next six hours?”

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You’re in it for the long haul Danielle because JP has to give Andi little besos, tell Cassandra he likes her because she’s gorgeous, continue to be baffled and masochistically intrigued by Sharleen and…

…finally, FINALLY, kiss Renee. He keeps repeating the same sentiment over and over, that she has a son and he has a daughter and he wants to respect that. This is an awesome thing to say because it implies both that he has very little respect for most of the other women, AND that he’s not only going to let his six year old daughter watch this, but is also under the impression that Renee, a rational adult, will allow her eight year old son to watch a TV show where she’s a poor man’s Sister Wife. 

He says “I don’t want Ben to be pissed at you or pissed at me,” and Renee’s all, dude, my eight year old kid is never going to see this and if he eventually sees it when he’s older and we’re theoretically married, he’ll probably be more annoyed by all the funny business you’re doing with these other hussies. Convinced by that logic, and hypnotized by her eyes, JP goes for it while Renee is still talking and, well, it’s kind of romantic.

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It would be more romantic if he didn’t immediately proceed to shame Clare’s very existence in 5, 4, 3, 2…“That was the right moment to kiss Renee but…maybe it was a mistake the other night taking it too far with Clare.”

Yeah, maybe. But it’s not like you can take it back, so…oh, you’re going to tell her it was a mistake? You’re going to pull her aside and first ensure that she hasn’t told the other women (gross), and then tell her you shouldn’t have done whatever the hell you did with her in the ocean because you have a daughter and you needs to be respectful to her, mostly implying that Clare shamed your 6 year old by wanting to swim in the ocean with you? Cool. Clare falls to pieces and JP won’t stop telling her to look at him and stop crying. You know, how when you’re really upset, you like to look right at the person who’s upsetting you and have them tell you that your emotional response is inappropriate and unwarranted? And how it’s even better when you’ve recently been intimate with them? Romance!

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I don’t particularly like Clare, but I live for her eventually getting around to this point: “There was no miscommunication; there was no misunderstanding…if he didn’t think it was right, he shouldn’t have done it. I would have respected that.” Clare is a childless free agent, and she didn’t do anything wrong by luring Juan Pablo to sea with a simple request. If he’s feeling guilty, just deal with it like we all deal with things we wake up feeling bad about…a. don’t do it again, b. pretend it never happened, or c. decide that this is something your morality fence now encompasses. The latter is how I started watching this show in the first place. Shotgun beers for everybody.

Clare comes back sobbing uncontrollably, so everyone knows something is wrong, but the Rose Ceremony must go on. “Tonight the mood definitely changed. Things got tense.” Thank you Chris B. Harrison, I don’t know what we would do without your deft and ample guidance. Per his normal information delivery method, JP leads with, “What can I say?” Well, you could start with, “I’ve been a bit of a prick” and end with “I’ll be a better boyfriend for all of you – everybody gets a rose tonight!”

But he doesn’t. He sends Danielle, Allie and – NOOOOOOOO – Kelly home and they all handle it far too graciously. My vote is for Kelly to host the next season of The Bachelorette and talk mad smack about all of the bros competing for love. Wait — that’s the best idea I’ve ever had. I’m signing off with that (and the hope that Juan Pablo doesn’t ruin any more lives next episode).

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The Language of Love: Wow, she smells good!

Hola and lo siento for the delay, mijos; I’ve had to professionally recap things like Teen Wolf and The Real World all week, which are television programs about about teenage werewolves and hedonistic idiots, respectively. And by professionally, I mean I was technically earning money (but shaving years off my life and my pride) by watching shirtless man-boys turn into wolves. Because that’s how the world works now. Truly, these are the days of our lives!

And I’m sure this last week has been long for you too, as we’ve all be suffering from that hot and sexy disease that Chris Harrison so confidently deemed, Juan Pablo Fever. The symptoms: wavering between if you find someone incredibly attractive of incredibly awkward, illogical attempts at speaking Spanish, occasional rashes, of course, this face:

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Lest you try to forget that Juan Pablo is the sexiest damn Bachelor in 18 seasons, ABC will remind you at every turn. No lingering shot on his abs is to close, no force-feeding you his devoted paternity too blatant. They even seem to have given him a sexy job because, as I recall, his employment on Des’ season was “Former Pro-Soccer Player (secret Miami Club Promoter)” and now he’s a “Sports and Entertainment Consultant,” paling around with professional baseball players. What’s he consulting them on? Probably the language looooooove (and board shorts).

I’ve got to say, my hopes were lukewarm for JP’s stint as the main man in my life [ed. note: Yeah. That’s right. Two hours every Monday makes him the main one. Keep your judgmental and correct thoughts to yourself, thanks.], but…I’m kind of into it. He’s seems a little excited, a little weary, and mostly confused: just like I like my men. Juan Pablo tries to explain how he found himself wearing ABC’s pink v-neck, passed down from generation to generation: “I’m in this situation because America wanted me to be the Bachelor.” 

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What he means is that ABC recognized him as the 50 Shades of Grey to every other former bachelor’s generic beach read. He’s walking fanfiction for the people who have never heard of fanfiction. The lusting women who practically threw their panties on stage at Des’ Men Tell All episode don’t want another born-again-no-fantasy-suite Sean. They want the fantasy suite in episode three! And they certainly never wanted Ben Flajnik. Only Kris Jenner wants Ben. And, like, maybe Arthur the Aardvark in a moment of confusion.

No, JP is the new Bachelor and none of these women were disappointed when they heard the news. They googled “how to be a step mom,” re-upped their birth control ‘scrip and spent the whole plane ride to L.A. plotting how to make Juan Pablo fall in love with them: either by using his ESL language barrier to trick him, or by being completely charming in their first exit-the-limo introductions. All but about two of them will have to fall back on the language thing because, woof, those limo intros. But before we get to those. DRINK!

  • Every time Juan Pablo has sexual chemistry with someone who isn’t a contestant. Double drinks for dudes!

  • For every time JP says “Wow” do a pushup, just to even things out. Ha, just kidding, I would never want you to do that! Just, like, lick a beer can or something. Because if you take a sip every time, you’ll die. If you take a half sip, you’ll die. If you take a quarter sip, you might just make it out of this alive, but not without first calling your ex boyfriend and telling him you’ve moved on, his abs have nothing on Juan Pablo’s.

Before he can get started on his journey to lov—HOLD THE PHONE! Imma give you back the mic in a second, but Juan Pablo just threw out the biggest Bachelor change of all time. What about when Brad just didn’t pick anybody, you ask. Bigger, I say. What about when Sean went rogue and handed out his roses throughout the cocktail, party you ask. BIGGER, I say! Juan Pablo refuses to call this a “journey.” JUAN PABLO REFUSES TO CALL THIS A JOURNEY. If you’re going to ruin my whole life, why don’t you just do it to my face, JP?! The fact that he thinks of this more like an “adventure” than a journey just shows…this kid’s gonna get eaten alive.

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–– Back on the phone. JP calls up Sean the Former Bachelor (“Who else I was gonna call?”) to give him some love advice and I can’t focus on a damn thing he says because they’re so busy flirting with each other (drink!). Oh, you know how to tango, Juan Pablo? Maybe you could show me. How many of them did you kiss, Sean? Maybe you could show me. “I had a lot of hard nights where I couldn’t sleep, Juan Pablo.” MAYBE YOU COULD SHOW ME, SEAN!

That is only a very slightly altered version of events. After soaking up all the advice (and possibly ruining a marriage – sorry, Catherine, there’s always season 19 of The Bachelorette), it’s time for JP to put little Camiiiiiiila in her pa-yamas and go meet the 25 loves of his life. Wait, what’s that Chris Harrison? The 27 loves of his life?! Care to explain why you’re including two extra women? No? You’re right, why would you? This is your world, we’re just living in it. [ed. note: You’ll get yours one day, Chris Harrison!]

JP brings it in with CH (drink!) and tells him that he’s excited about his journ adventure but he’s a little nervous because he doesn’t like hurting people. Well buckle up, amigo, you’re about to meet the 27 most emotionally volatile people of your life:

Amy L, 27, Local News Reporter, wearer of this shirt: Amy L starts off an unusual trend of mostly straightforward introductions. No props, no knight’s armor, just awkward, awkward banter. It takes about four girls before Juan Pablo speaks above a whisper, 12 girls until he can remember to kiss them on the cheek without the producers reminding him from stage left, and he never quite gets the hang of not eye-effing the sh— out of every single one of them [ed. note: Excuse me, but it’s true.]

Cassandra, 21, Former NBA Dancer: Everything about Cassandra on paper screams train wreck. She’s 21. 21! Do you know what I was doing when I was 21? I can’t tell you because THOSE are the kinds of things you should be doing when you’re 21. You shouldn’t be trying to fall in love with a 31 year old DAD, no matter how smoking hot he is [ed. note: the Fever, it’s catching]. And how are you a former anything at 21? A former fetus, sure. A former founder of an iCarly fanblog, probably. A former NBA Dancer…well, that does actually seem to make for a good match with a Former Pro Soccer player on paper, but in real life, it means you’re both jobless. And that’s no way to raise Mija Camila. I say all of this because Cassandra makes no other impression except that she’s beautiful and awkward. The editors use the cricket noise and everything, because the editors are assholes.

Christy, 24, Marketing Manager: I’ve already put it on the table that I think Christy might be a homicidal stalker obsessed with Juan Pablo. Her subtle white-gown-and-tiara-like-headband bride motif do not dissuade me from that belief.

Christine, 23, Police Support Specialist: Christine is wearing a lovely green gown, is from Miami and brings a cute little present for Camila that she somehow presents non-awkwardly. She’ll have a stiletto through the heart within the hour.

Nikki, 26, Pediatric Nurse: Nikki is the one that asked about drunk dancing in her bio. Nikki is a nurse of precious children. Nikki uses this fact to have JP use a stethoscope on her, which actually means she innocently guides him straight into second base. Nikki is winner.

*WOW count: 10; JP’s thought-of-the-moment: “No more limos…”*

Kat, 29, Medical Sales Rep: Kat comes out, asks Juan Pablo to teach her some salsa moves, follows his lead and arranges a date for inside. Patti Stanger would be proud.  JP’s thoughts: “She smells good. Very good.”

Chantel, 27, Account Manager: I thought that Chantel and JP had a very just-friends chemistry, but the way he checked her out for a full 30 seconds as she walked away suggested otherwise.

Victoria, 24, Legal Assistant: Victoria wore a kick ass yellow dress, is Brazilian and tried to get JP to speak Portuguese. Turns out, two languages is his working limit.

Lucy, 24, Free Spirit: I can’t do it. What, with the flower headband and the no shows and the calling herself a hippie all the time? I don’t think that’s a thing that hippies do. And I don’t believe Lucy. You know why she gets to be a free spirit? Because her parents are rich! You SHOULD have some worries by the time you’re 24. You should be thinking about where your health insurance is coming from. Especially if you’re gallivanting around with no shoes on and probably having sex with a guy who’s having sex with 12 other women (I just know the fantasy suite will come earlier on JP’s season). I’m going to tell you what your best friend, Kate Upton, who HAS a job, won’t: get your act together.

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Danielle, 25, Psychiatric Nurse: Well, I’m glad we’ll have one of those on hand, especially considering the *This Season On* bathroom breakdown. 

Lauren S, 26, Music Composer: Lauren S. Fred Flinstones a piano up a very steep hill to show Juan Pablo her music passion. She’s so embarrassed about how poorly it goes that it takes the embarrassment-pressure off of my shoulders and makes me like her a lot more.

Chelsie, 24, Science Educator: Chelsie wears lab goggles (that are just fake Forever 21 hipster glasses) and pretends to do a science experiment with JP, but ditches it halfway through in favor of just “having chemistry instead.” They do not. 

Elise, 27, First Grade Teacher: Elise hugs Juan Pablo, tells him they have so much in common, and then immediately leaves. Always keep the tricks guessing, Elise!

Ashley, 25, Grade School Teacher: Ashley speaks in her first grade teacher voice the whole time but, frankly, I felt a touch reassured about my decision to invest two hours in Juan Pablo when she stuck a little gold sticker on his lapel and whispered, “I think you’re doing the right thing by being here and trying to find your wife.” That was, of course, immediately sucked out of me dementor-style with…

Clare, 32, Hairstylist: You may remember Clare as the hairstylist who said she’d never been on a vacation because she’s never made time with her job. I’m not saying that’s not a time consuming job. I’m saying you can take a vacation from any job. Even being a hairstylist. Especially being a hairstylist. Anyway, you actually don’t remember any of those things because now you only remember that Clare is the one that showed up looking like she was pregnant in her gown, and didn’t ever really assure Juan Pablo that it was a fake baby bump. I just knew she was going to pop a soccer ball out of there but, nope! She just walked away into her second fake trimester. And you know what? Juan Pablo LOVES it. Actual quote: “You look gorgeous with the belly.”

Alli, 26, Nanny: Alli plays a little fútbol with JP, but mostly looks simultaneously exactly like Eva Mendes, and nothing like her at all.

Amy J, 31, Massage Therapist: OK, all cards on the table, I’ll probably be single when I’m 31 too. There’s nothing wrong with it. You haven’t found the right guy yet, you’ve been focusing on your career, whatever. It’s fine. Amy J is the type of person who makes me lose all of my principals and think, “Ah yes, I see why she’s still single.” Amy J is terrifying. Beyond having an orgasm via her profession in her intro package, the main move of her limo introduction is to open her eyes as large as possible (so, huge), stare straight into JP’s ojos and say: “I’m here for you. Because it’s you. And I can’t wait to get to know you.” To both note that you have not gotten to know someone yet and in the same  breath tell them that they’re the one for you is a special breed of crazy: a Bachelor breed.

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Renee, 32, Real Estate Agent: Renee seems very sweet and she and Juan Pablo connect in that awkward latching-onto-any-single/divorced-living-soul way you might expect at a PTA meeting. But I really wish she would stop saying “single mommy.” Unless she’s saying “single mami,” in which case, totally fine.

Lauren H, 25, Mineral Coordinator: Lauren H’s first mistake: not immediately explaining what a mineral coordinator is. Her second mistake: everything she does once inside the house.

Maggie, 24, Personal Banker: Maggie is the type of person who has “American by birth, Southern by the grace of God” written in bubble letters somewhere in her house, and I just really don’t have a lot of time for it. Neither does JP, evidently.

Kelly, 27, Dog Lover: You guys, believe it or not, I dabble in the internet from time to time, and I read somewhere – although I’m unwilling to dig deeper – that Kelly is actually a dog rescuer and not just a general “dog lover.” But I still have to judge her for, a. Listing that as her occupation, and b. Not knowing that she was stealing the title from a much more famous doglover.

*WOW count: 300; random voice in the approaching limo: “Are you crying?”

Lacy, 25, Nursing Home Owner: Lacy brings JP a prescription and tells him to “take two and think of her.” I don’t like the implied date rape, but I do like that Lacy owns a nursing home at age 25. That’s a specific passion.

Alexis, 24, Communications Director: Alexis is very precious and seems to be a tipping point for Juan Pablo – “but she’s cute, too!” – when he realizes he can’t just judge this on looks alone. I mean, he can for like the first two eliminations, but this is a particularly attractive cast. Probably because they all look alike. [ed. note: ‘cept you Sharleen, we’ll get to you Sharleen!]

Kylie, 23, Interior Designer: Kylie is the problem with The Bachelor. That’s not to say that The Bachelor only has one problem; that’s to say that The Bachelor has 1,000 problems and every single one of them is personified in Kylie. She is 23 and already desperate to find love and/or fame. She is clearly a fan of the show and already so obsessed with Juan Pablo, a man she’s never spoken to, that she runs up to him, says, “Oh my god, I’ve been dying to hug you,” hugs him and runs inside without looking him in the eye, learning a single thing about him, or telling him a single thing about herself. Kylie is the worst.

Sharleen, 29, Opera Singer: Sharleen is everything right with The Bachelor. That’s not to say that there’s anything right with The Bachelor, that’s to say that Sharleen came on this show and made something right. She and Juan Pablo have the kind of conversation – you heard that right: a conversation! – that you might expect to have with a stranger the moment you meet them. I truly believe that Sharleen knows nothing about JP, in the same way that he knows nothing about her and they meet each other in a very honest moment. She’s kind of cold and awkward and beautiful; 4,000 more words on Sharleen to come.

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Andi, 26, Asst. District Attorney: I’m not sure how you become an Assistant District Attorney by the time you’re 26, but it’s probably not by being and intern when you’re 25, so I’m officially out of the running. JP turns into a 13 year old boy talking to his best friend’s older sister when talking to Andi. He’s, uh, very attracted to her. I didn’t respond well to her high-ponytail, high-power lawyer shtick in her intro package, but I like how natural she was in her limo introduction.

*WOW count: 2,600 [ed. note: j/k, that’s my word count]; Juan Pablo’s (I assume season-long) mounting anger at Chris Harrison: “How I’m gonna do this, huh? How I’m gonna send people home?”*

I like Juab Pablo as the Bachelor a lot more than I thought I would because he’s lot worse at it than I thought he would be. He’s bad at remembering names, the English as a second language, though charming, makes for a lot of awkward pauses, and he mostly seems attracted to the women who seem cool and smart and normal, and will make for terrible television. He’s totally creeped out my how much everyone’s eyes on him make him feel like a piece of meat, but he can’t stop thanking everyone for being there. Ever the club promoter, he even pulls out his Bose speakers for a one-groom-all-bridesmaids dance party. It’s pretty cute. 

And then the night drags on for what I’m sure is 10 hours, and everyone starts dissolving emotionally and physically. There are really on two things to note from the cocktail party:

1. Lauren H isn’t exactly over her ex-fiance leaving her six weeks into their engagement. The moment everyone starts applying their bitch-face to battle it out for one-on-one time, Lauren H realizes she’s not quite as confident as she thought she was. You know, if you can measure confidence on your ability to steal a man away from another woman at three in the morning to have a five-minute conversation. Girl just weeps all over the place, to anyone who will listen, mostly the cameras. It’s never totally clear what she’s crying about, she’s just having one of those moments where you look in the mirror and see that you’re about to cry and then you can’t stop. But when you do it, you’re by yourself, and when Lauren H did it, her bathroom mirror was America. 

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Someone finally sits her down on an outdoor couch and sends a completely exhausted Juan Pablo to talk to her. She’s gotten her makeup in tact and it seems like she might have a chan—what’s what? She’s going to tell him that she just ended and engagement a few months ago, start balling and assure him that she’s “totally over it.” Alright, well-handled, then. JP looks like this through the whole conversation:

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2. Sharleen is a BAMF. Just the BAMF-iest of all Bachelor BAMFs (given, her only competition is Mikey T!). JP loves Sharleen. What’s not to love? She’s elegant, she’s a different kind of beautiful than all of the rest of the women, she has an interesting, successful life and, of course, she’s not into him at all. Every man’s dream. After a pretty awkward conversation about her life abroad that is probably 1000x more interesting than anything anyone else has told him all night, he excuses himself. Sharleen knows what’s coming; we know what’s coming; the other women know what’s coming: First Impression Rose.

But the awkwardness we sensed? Yeah, Sharleen sensed it too. And she’s not so sure she should keep trying to date a guy she isn’t feeling a connection to. This is a real life thing!!! This reality show is giving us some little sliver of reality, right NOW. Sharleen has gone on her first Tinder date with Juan Pablo, it was fine, he’s totally into it, and she’s not sure. Does she tell him the truth and turn down his offer for brunch next Saturday? Does she ignore his text and pretend she just didn’t see it until a few weeks later when she wants a booty call? Or does she pound through with the comfort that a ton of people have fallen in love over time and not within the first 10 minutes of meeting someone. She chooses the latter but not before pausing for what feels like an hour before accepting Juan Pablo’s First Impression Rose with an elegant shoulder shrug and, “Sure.” Sharleen keeps it so real.

Finally, at 5 a.m., it’s time for the Rose Ceremony and JP pretty much presents them in order of how much he likes the women, because he really does not know how to do this yet: Clare, Nikki, Andi, etc. It goes down without a hitch, oh, except for that time KYLIE (foreground) THOUGHT HE CALLED HER NAME AND WALKED FORWARD, BUT WHAT HE REALLY SAID WAS “KAT” (background).

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And then he couldn’t even be like, “Naw, it’s fine, you take this one, girl” because Kylie wan’t getting a rose. Because Kylie told Juan Pablo she dreamed about him before she ever came on the show. Because Kylie is the worst.

Note: I used the official Bachelor website for this to make sure I didn’t spell any of the Lindzis or AshLeys wrong and, you guys, they’re doing this thing where they black out the photos of the women who don’t get roses and listing their “status” as “eliminated,” like they’ve DIED. It’s awesome.

ELIMINATED: Alexis, Amy J (phew, no murder this season!), Ashley, Christine, Kylie, Lacy, Lauren H (best oF luck, sister, maybe look up Zak W, the Fluid Drilling Engineer from last season), Maggie and Valerie.

Next time: Awkward group dates! Can’t. Wait.