The episode opens with Chad, knocking on the door of Bachelor mansion, just after everyone in the house has finished doing shots to celebrate his elimination. Canadian Daniel of “try to be less Hitler and more Mussolini” fame lets Chad in.
And then nothing happens. And by nothing, I mean they don’t break out into a brawl, which would have been bad (but also what the promos had us expecting). Chad grips Jordan’s hand a little too long and a little too hard, and then as everyone is turning to leave Evan, rushing from the background yells, “Do you have your wallet on you because you owe me a shirt!” (Really Evan?!) At this point of the series I find Evan very annoying but I struggle to describe what I find annoying about him without sounding like a jerk, so I’ll leave it there.
With that, Chad walks back out into the night, and The Bachelorette as we know it ceases to exist. First, the honeymoon period: Alex arrives back to the house to thunderous cheers. A massive plate of cupcakes emerges and soon every guy in the house is wearing one of those cone party hats none of us have worn since we were five. There are sparklers and champagne and it looks as if the Cavaliers have just won the Playoffs and this is the team’s locker room after the game. Well, maybe with a little less champagne. Alex, the man who vanquished Chad, is the conquering hero. I believe he is even hoisted upon his teammates’, I mean cast mates’, shoulders.
Then there is the first rose ceremony/ cocktail party of the night (we had two in one episode!) and we have to try to remember why all the guys who already have roses have them because their dates aired two weeks ago before Chad-aggedon. I believe Jordan and Luke already have roses. Both of them have steamy make-out sessions with Jojo during the cocktail party. They are the clear front-runners it seems. Wells, (probably my favorite contestant this season), notes that one good thing about Chad was that he gave them all a common enemy to unite against. Luke makes a pointed remark to Evan that some guys (Evan) aren’t taking their opportunities with Jojo, so he is going to have his second one on one time with Jojo of the night. Evan looks dumbfounded. How quickly the alliance is breaking apart.
Then comes the rose ceremony and Jojo lets a couple guys go, one of which is Daniel the Canadian, who says “this can’t be based on looks because if it were, I would still be in it!”
Next they are off to Uruguay. Jordan (golden-boy brother of Aaron Rodgers) gets the first one on one date. As Jordan’s date with Jojo begins we are shown cuts of the guys telling us they don’t trust Jordan and that they don’t think he is here for the right reasons. The fraternity is further unraveling. Also, the guys all recognize that Jordan has been a frontrunner for weeks even without going on a one on one, so now that he has a one on one, they are all screwed.
The only thing of note from Jordan’s date (besides that they both look like swimsuit models) is Jojo says she ran into someone who knows Jordan because they “run in the same circles” and that person told her Jordan was not a good boyfriend to his ex. First of all, how is it that all the people on these shows know each other? Second of all, when did she have a chance to run into one of Jordan’s friends? I thought she was busy filming a reality show? Anyway, cheating is implied, and she asks him flat out if he cheated on his ex. He denies it, but meanwhile his cheeks are turning red. There is some more conversation but I am distracted by seems to be heavy editing because Jojo’s position is different in each shot of her. That’s all. Then they kiss, a lot.
Meanwhile, back on the ranch, a bunch of the guys are hanging out while Vinny-the-Barber cuts one of the guys’ hair. (Was it Alex?) It is a cheesy seeming setup but also a kind of cute scene of male gossiping. The less cute part is that the producers seemed to think that by pretending this is a real barber shop, they can plausibly get In Touch magazines into the hands of the contestants without making it seem like a setup. But anyone who watches the Bachelor franchise (ok, anyone who watches and reads all the blogs/ listens to all the podcasts…) knows that contestants are not allowed to use their phones, watch tv, or read the news while on the show. And yet, Wells and Evan just happened upon these magazines in this fake barbershop.
Anyway, the magazine features a story from another Chad in Jojo’s life – the guy she dated before she went on The Bachelor and the same ex whose letter Jojo read during her hometown date with Ben. This Chad claims that Jojo was still with him during the filming of the Bachelor and that she is still in love with him. Therefore, she is not on the Bachelorette for love, she is in it for the Wrong Reasons! The guys spend many hours doing a close reading of the article. (And who can blame them — it’s the only thing they’ve been allowed to read in weeks!) Then Jojo comes home from her magical date with Jordan and is in the midst of spouting happy love refrains when a producer shoves the magazine in her face and demands she comment.
I have never watched Unreal, but I just read a great write-up of it and now feel like an expert on the behind the scenes machinations of these shows. I feel vindicated to see such blatant producer manipulation on screen. I wonder if the producers knew that this season was at the risk of becoming too boring, so they decided to bring in this controversy. Maybe they were the ones that got Chad to write his article in the first place!
After reading the article Jojo cries a lot. Then she puts on a long grey robe and goes down to talk to the guys. They tell her: no worries, we believe that you are here for the right reasons. Don’t cry.
And that’s it for the drama.
Next up the group date in which a bunch of guys go DUNE BOARDING (!!!) with Jojo. This is snowboarding but on sand dunes. It looks amazing. Well, except that the guys’ tumbling wipeouts remind me of when I wiped-out during my second (and so far last day) of snowboarding and gave myself a concussion.
Anyway, Derek, silent man of the first one-on-one date of the series, is feeling insecure because he started off the series with a huge head start but now the other guys have caught up. This makes sense to me. I would have felt the same way.
Derek tells Jojo that he does not feel as good about their relationship as before and that he does not want to fall behind. Jojo says something like, me neither, and they kiss. Then Jojo gives him the group date rose saying, this one goes out to someone who needed “reassurance.” Alex, who had just told viewers that, “getting a group date rose is an ambition that I’ve always had” (?!) is clearly disgruntled.
Back at the house, Alex completes his journey from anti-bullying crusader to bully, by cornering Derek and badgering him about the rose “in his lapel.” “Doesn’t Derek feel ashamed of himself for getting a rose for reassurance?” Also, how many times do they have to say ,“Rose in his/my lapel?” I think the phrase was said twenty times in five minutes.
For the last date of the episode, Robby has a one on one date. The amount of grease he puts in his hair and the amount of pink that he has been wearing had me convinced that he was pretty smarmy character. However, over their dinner of untouched steaks, Robby tells Jojo that after his best friend died in a car accident he decided to change his life (by quitting his job, breaking up with his girlfriend, and coming on the Bachelorette). I admire people who seize the day so I take this as a positive. Another thing of note — before the start of the date, Jojo aggressively pets a dog on the beach. I hope it was a producer’s dog and not a stray because even I, who loves dogs, knows you can’t go around petting strays!
Finally, we come to the final rose ceremony of the night. Before the ceremony, Derek confronts the “mean boys” clique of Alex, Jordan, Chase, and Robby and they deflect him by saying he is “petty”. Maybe there is something I’m missing here, but Derek is looking much more attractive to me this episode, and the rest of them look like jerks. My faves — Grant, Wells, and Luke — are not in the mean boys clique, and that makes me happy.
But then comes the rose ceremony and Jojo sends Grant home (no!!! I was holding out hope for him). She also sends Evan home (again, I don’t want to be mean, but it was time), and Barber Vinny. Now we get to watch a bunch of blond, preppy guys vie for Jojo’s affections in the coming weeks. Well, at least we’ve still got Wells.