To the maybe four of you who read this blog, I am so sorry for this beyond delayed recap.
My excuses aren’t great. I’m wrapping up internships, searching for a full-time job, having a slight quarter-life crisis and listening to a lot of depressing music that makes me question why I feel the need to obsessively recap romantic reality shows and, in turn, makes me question my own romantic inclinations towards sad men in eyeliner… anyway, the point is, I feel somehow lighter as summer comes on like a gigantic wave of swamp ass and, dare I say, excited to while away some hours on a heavily-scripted, intellectually insulting and downright fun reality show.
So here’s what you didn’t really miss these past few weeks:
This episode picks right up where last week left off. EntrepreKupah finally leaves and an exasperated Kaitlyn still has a rose ceremony ahead of her! Our hero Tony the Healer hopes he will get a rose, and confides just how much he’s risked in coming to The Bachelorette.
And wouldn’t you know it? Kaitlyn’s final rose goes to Tony. Kaitlyn rationalizes keeping Tony around by saying, “He seems like a very sweet guy who’s kind of been through a lot.” So it’s like when people adopt a troubled dog that they don’t really have the time or patience for, but they don’t wanna seem like an asshole for giving it back so they just keep it.
The next group date is sumo wrestling. 1,000 Percent JJ couldn’t be more excited. Quoth JJ: “I-I really love Japanese culture. I love sushi. I love… I don’t know anything about sumo. But, uh, I think it’s gonna be fun.”
Gay single dad Jonathan talks about watching the professional sumo wrestlers fight and how “You felt, like, this power of man meat just running into each other.” I think Jonathan needs to record himself for a day & hear how he sounds to other people. Peace, Love & Tony surprisingly rises to the sumo challenge and is of course immediately floored by a 500-pound Japanese man. His pride is almost as bruised as his eye was in week one. He tries to play it off, telling Kaitlyn he didn’t want to be a part of an aggressive group date in the first place, because that’s not who he is.
He really lays it all out for her: “I see the world through the eyes of a child, I have the heart of a warrior, and a gypsy soul.” (I should mention that Tony says this exact monologue twice during the episode).
Ultimately Tony the Healer, our light and leader through dark times, chooses to leave the competition. The word “heartbroken” can’t even begin to touch how I feel. All I can say is may your journey lead you to all the universe’s puzzle pieces, brother.
Clint, who I’d started to change my tune on, actually proves to be more like the mean jock in an 80s movie I originally thought he was. He makes no effort to get alone time with Kaitlyn or even acknowledge her for that matter, believing that she’ll come to him if she really likes him. When his utter lack of ability to play the game yields no rose for him, Clint is dismayed and says that he might not have feelings for Kaitlyn after all. But there is a good chance he’ll still stick around… you might even say a 1,000 percent chance.
The time comes for Kaitlyn’s one-on-one with Ben Z. who Kaitlyn can only describe as a “big handsome man.” I have no idea who he is beyond that. His backstory is that his mom died, which is really enough to constitute a personality on The Bachelorette.
Their date is “a live escape room experience.” Essentially, they’re trapped in a creepy basement for an hour and have to figure out how to escape. The Bachelorette paints this date as an intimate way to “build trust,” rather than the the stressful, absolute nightmare it really is. The two make it out of the basement by discovering the secret code, “ROSES,” which is so dumb. They didn’t even have to look around for clues. They could have just sat and guessed different words associated with the show like “JOURNEY,” “CONNECTION,” or “THE RIGHT REASONS.” Ben Z. gets a rose and is safe.
At the next group date, Kaitlyn has the bachelors give a sex ed lesson to a group of elementary schoolers because it’s cute to let some ding dongs in V-necks clumsily give children their introduction to sex. Even if they are child actors, it’s upsetting.
Ben H. steals the show by bringing Kaitlyn up for his lesson and doing a reenactment of a sperm fertilizing an egg. Sweet, twinkly music is played and there are close-ups of the children’s faces as they sit in wonder. Last I checked, a man pretending to be a sperm in front of a group of children is just weird, but apparently it’s just the ticket to Ben H. earning a rose. Back at the house, the guys poke fun at Clint and JJ having a bromance. The show half paints it as being a dramatic, forbidden love and half paints it as a big joke. I think at this point in reality TV, we’re supposed to assume that everyone is an actor and everything’s scripted. Clint and JJ are certainly playing to the cameras and trying to get as much screen time as possible, but I think their infatuation with each other is probably real. I mean, look at that body language. You can’t tell me these two haven’t touched each other in their swimsuit areas.
The episode concludes with Clint pulling Kaitlyn aside to schmooze and ensure that he stays in the house (so he can hang around with JJ, he admits to the cameras). Kaitlyn seems to buy into his ruse, but will the other guys stand for it? Find out…
Enough of the bachelors confide in Kaitlyn about Clint not being there for “the right reasons” that she decides to confront Ol’ Helmet Hair. She can tell he’s full of bull and realizes that he “just isn’t her husband.” Good for you, Kaitlyn! I mean, I’m not sure a dozen “fitness professionals” with dumb tribal tattoos and hot tub-related infections are husband material, but you go girl!
Kaitlyn announces that Clint is leaving the competition and JJ demands Clint apologize for wasting everyone’s time and emotional energy. JJ obviously has some misplaced anger. What’s the saying? “You always hurt the one you love”?
JJ tries to smooth things over, but it’s too late. A betrayed Clint tells JJ to “get out of his face, bro” or something, and they have a pretty sexy, heated argument before Clint leaves in a huff.
I shit you not, moments later, a crying JJ tries to get it together by smacking himself in the face.
After the emotional and unexpected departures of both Kupah and Clint, Kaitlyn decides to forgo a rose ceremony for yet another week (gettin’ real tired of your shit, Bachelorette).
Chris Harrison announces that everyone will be leaving the luxurious, sprawling mansion in the sun-soaked valley for a hotel in wintertime New York City, where the weather is seasonally appropriate. Everyone pretends to be excited. Kaitlyn pensively looks out on the waters surrounding NYC as she heads to the first group date of the week. Someone I was watching with pointed out that if Kaitlyn is riding that particular ferry, it means she’s staying in Jersey.
The group date is a rap battle, emceed by none other than Doug E. Fresh, who seems to have a lot going on these days. Everyone sucks at rapping, unsurprisingly. The best of the night turns out to be Max Headroom doppelgänger, Corey, if that tells you anything. Nick, the runner-up from the previous season of The Bachelorette, attends the rap battle. It is revealed that he and Kaitlyn “talked” over texts—I shudder to think of all the winky face emoticons—and he came to New York to make some real life winky faces at her. On a related note, if there were a shit-eating-grin emoticon, then I would never have to post another picture of Nick ever again. Feelings towards Nick seem to be divided amongst viewers. Some think he is a genuinely humble guy, but I think he’s playing at shyness—badly. He hammily shrugs his shoulders and giggles “nervously.” His eyes dart back and forth as if to ask “Am I pulling this off?” before he expertly leans in for some tonsil hockey. Nick just gives me slimy vibes. Like a 30-year-old man working at Best Buy who hits on teenage girls. I see right through his “I’m just a nice, regular guy. Look at my Neville Longbottom face and weird hairline” routine. I don’t trust him coming onto this show a second time, especially in the middle of a season.
Kaitlyn, however, is smitten by Nick. Her perpetually glazed over eyes open slightly wider whenever he’s around. She cackles at every profoundly uninteresting thing he says and is generally giddy in his presence. This fucking tool who dresses like a 12-year-old and sits in the most douchey way possible.
Kaitlyn informs the bachelors of her intentions to bring Nick into the fold. They are not happy. The mentality seems to be “I’ll share a girlfriend with 15 other guys I don’t particularly like, but I’ll be damned I have to share her with that asshole!” I get their thinking—”We were here first,” etc.—but they’re already on a dumb show with dumb rules. Just embrace the free bar and enjoy the ride.
Kaitlyn goes on a one-on-one date with Jared, who I can tell should register as handsome, but there’s just something undeniably ratlike about him. I think it’s that he’s so pointy. Those tiny sharp eyes, that tight jaw. Really, what’s shocking about his appearance is that he doesn’t have claws. The two have the Metropolitan Museum all to themselves for an evening and there are lots of nice shots of them in formal wear pretending to look at exhibits. Kaitlyn is wearing a gown with “beautiful Neil Lane jewels.” Neil Lane is a jeweler I’ve only ever heard name-dropped on The Bachelorette, which means his market must exclusively be sad white women with no imagination who drink too much wine. Anyway, I looked into Neil Lane and this was his response when asked what happens to the engagement rings of The Bachelor series after couples split:
“What happens afterwards? I don’t know. If they break up, the ring goes to ring heaven. There are a bunch of rings in ring heaven and God is watching them—and probably trying them on!”
The next group date is a faux audition for the Aladdin musical on Broadway. Everyone has to learn a dance, sing a few bars from “A Whole New World,” the works. It’s a disaster. And probably my favorite group date since the stand-up.
Chris “Cupcake” BRINGS IT. He learns those steps like he had an overbearing stage mother and puts his heart into “A Whole New World” like it was the first song he ever made out to at a cast party. He wins the audition and he and Kaitlyn get to play walk-on roles in Aladdin that evening. Literally. They walk onto the stage and walk off… still cooler than any date I’ve ever been on. The episode ends with Nick entering the hotel, ready to win love and rival JJ for Most Punchable Face. How will the bachelors take his late entry into the competition? Find out…
This very moment!
“Yeah,” says Nick. “Something about interchangeable, maritally-motivated women in infinity scarves with blindingly white teeth just gets me goin’.”
What Nick actually says when defending himself is that “Kaitlyn’s a pretty cool chick” he wants to get to know. Joshua the welder steps in and asks, “Is she a cool chick or is she an amazing woman to you?” DAAAMMMMNNNN! I thought Josh was cute before, if not in a dopey midwestern way, but now I’m full-on gunning for him. What balls. What honesty. What a sweet, earnest, unfortunate accent he has when serving up some truth. Josh for the win.
Before the rose ceremony, several of the bachelors express their uncertainty about Nick to Kaitlyn. When they did this in previous episodes, such as with Clint, it resulted in Kaitlyn asking the bachelor in question to leave. But Kaitlyn is clearly attracted to Nick as the dark horse of the competition and the other guys squealin’ on him like petty schoolboys just makes Nick hotter in Kaitlyn’s eyes. Homegirl likes a bad boy. We should’ve realized this as soon as we saw that she had not one, but two sparrow tattoos.
Funhouse Mirror Ryan Gosling Shawn B. gets real with Kaitlyn and says that her bringing Nick into the group has made him question her. He implores her to see through Nick’s act and says that he “hoped she was smarter” than that.I think this was just a poor choice of words on Shawn B.’s part, but Kaitlyn shoots him a piercing gaze that I can only equate to a look a boy gave me in elementary school when I accidentally revealed to the class that he tweezed his eyebrows. Could this be Shawn’s fall from grace?
Those dismissed at the rose ceremony include Gay Single Dad Jonathan (about time!), Corey Headroom, and Ryan B (kind of a bummer—he had a cute Book of Mormon face). Everyone’s now in San Antonio, Texas. Apparently they traveled there at some some point in the episode. I don’t even know anymore.
Kaitlyn and Ben H. go on a one-on-one. I noticed Ben H. right from the beginning because he has the sort of boyishly handsome face I’m always drawn to. And I hated Ben H. right from the beginning because those boyishly handsome faces are often attached to assholes. Ben H. actually seems like a mild-mannered, thoughtful person, but I have to believe, for my own protection and well-being, that guys who look like him are awful people. So, god, Ben H., why are you such an asshole?!
I was watching with a friend who pointed out that Ben looks a lot like Peter Brady, which is an AMAZING CALL. And definitely points to a pattern in my aesthetic preferences, as I once had a crush on Peter Brady… I should be more specific; I had a crush on Surreal Life era Christopher Knight.
Anyway, Kaitlyn and Ben H. enter a two stepping competition. Another nightmare date The Bachelorette has made a reality. Ben and Kaitlyn have a candlelit dinner afterwards and he “really opens up,” i.e. lets her do the talking and makes vague mention of a recent breakup. Apparently that’s enough for Kaitlyn and she gives him a rose. I feel you, girl. I’d give that face all the roses.
The next group date involves writing and performing mariachi songs for Kaitlyn. I think The Bachelorette is just running of out helicopter-related dates. All of the guys perform off-key, borderline racist songs that are equally low quality. Then that rascal Nick, who is last in line to perform, gives himself a slight edge by serenading Kaitlyn from the balcony. It’s a cheap move, but he really knows how to take things to the NEXT LEVEL. Guys, that was bad. I’m sorry. It’s 1 AM. I’m so tired.
Back at the ranch, Joshua asks Kaitlyn to cut his hair. He’s really feeling the pressure of shiny, new Nick in the group and wants a chance to connect with Kaitlyn in a completely unique way. It doesn’t go well. Kaitlyn’s a good three Percocets in and straight up shaves off a whole chunk of his hair. Josh must swallow his pride as his attempt to woo Kaitlyn has backfired in more ways than one; his move contributed absolutely nothing to his already feeble connection with Kaitlyn, who immediately sneaks off for some smooches with mack daddy Nick, and Josh is left with a haircut that does no favors for his big Idahoan melon.
Poor Joshua. He’s so unsettlingly honest in his approach to the game. He tries so hard to be noticed, to be romantic, to woo, and is left with nothing. Meanwhile, all Nick has to do is show up and Kaitlyn is putty in his small, probably sweaty hands.
Josh goes to Kaitlyn to express his mistrust of Nick and admits that nobody in the house much likes or trusts him. Kaitlyn does not want to believe this and puts all the pressure on Josh: “So everyone is lying to my face?” she asks. Poor Josh is flustered.
He doesn’t want to get his friends in trouble, he just wants that cock Nick to go home! Who could blame him? But Kaitlyn seems eager to expose Josh for a liar. “Sure, I probably won’t marry Nick,” she thinks. “But I haven’t even seen his penis yet! Give me, like, a day, dude.”
She goes to the other bachelors and asks if they really feel, as Josh said, that Nick shouldn’t be here. Of course, everyone is a big pansy and says they’re cool with it. This puts Poor Josh in quite the pickle; he was just trying to tell some truths, but now he looks like the big liar. And to rub some salt in the wound, Kaitlyn immediately offers Nick a rose right in front of Josh’s face!
Kaitlyn and Shawn B. go on a one-on-one kayaking date. And the fun just keeps on comin’.
Shawn scores some points with me by sticking up for Joshua, saying that he had good intentions in talking to Kaitlyn and that some of the guys, himself included, were just afraid back him up. Go ‘head, Doofy Ryan Gosling! DRG also cries some strong, beautiful man tears later in the date, so he’ll be sticking around for awhile. I predict a Top 3 spot for him, at least.
Back at the house, Ian is feeling ignored. We initially feel bad for him, since he has a handsome face and a whole sad backstory about being in an accident and learning to walk again.
Ian goes on to say that he doesn’t find Kaitlyn interesting, he could do better than her, he’s dated girls hotter than her, etc. Why, Ian? Why? Couldn’t you just pretend to be a quietly suffering hero for just a few more weeks?
It is the dawn of the next rose ceremony and Ian can’t hold his feelings of superiority in any longer. He pulls Kaitlyn aside to lay his most sparkling gems on her, including but not limited to:
“I came here expecting to meet the girl who had her heart broken and was devastated by Chris Soules, not the girl who wanted to get her field plowed.”
“I feel like you’re here to make out with a bunch of dudes on TV.”
“I really see you as a surface level person.”
This show is a soap opera. And I sincerely hope Kaitlyn loses her shit on Ian next week.
And I will be giving you weekly recaps from now one because this has been exhausting. For me and for you.
Updates that don’t matter:
Britt and Brady are officially dating and no actual person cares! Britt says, “I’m getting so excited to bring him to meet my family.”
Yes Britt, I’m sure your family will be thrilled that you’re dating a singer-songwriter who’s just tryin’ to get started in his mid-30s and share the mediocre piano rock “melodies inside him” with the fedora wearers of the world.