Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on week two of Desiree Hartsock’s season of The Bachelorette (original air date: Monday, June 3, 2013).
We start the episode with host Chris Harrison ushering the Penis Parade into their new digs, and applause thunders when they learn they will be getting a visit from Des. The first solo date goes to Brooks (what a bullshit name), who’s super pumped to spend some one-on-one time with a “ball of mystery”. Meanwhile at the Princess Pad, Desiree is sketching something and then gets ready for her date. Is this going to be a thing? Des sitting around sketching all the time? Because if you were to put a camera in my apartment to capture my down time you’d be physically startled at what you’d see: me drinking red wine out of a plastic cup (too busy for dishes), slamming down a hot pocket (or 4) and wearing Lululemon pants to appear athletic while reading articles about workouts I’ll never try in real life. THAT’S REAL LIFE.
For their date, Des and Brooks head to a bridal boutique, where Brooks outfits himself in something from Dumb and Dumber. It’s leprechaun green, and I’d be willing to bet that Des WILL get his lucky charms. She tries on a bunch of wedding dresses, but apparently it’s only a little awkward because she is a wedding dress designer after all. Clad in a wedding dress and tux, they drive to a cupcake truck where Des is molested by a female fan and then fed a cupcake by Brooks. Afterwards, the duo takes a scenic drive to the Hollywood sign and then sit on it; more specifically, on one of the “L’s”. With the sun setting, Des talks about coming into LA to go to school and Brooks talks about having his heart broken in the past and his willingness to take another risk. Typical Bachelorette banter. The music swells, they kiss. I’m bored.
Later, Desiree pretends to get them lost in a sketchy area of LA (we can tell it’s sketchy because Brooks says there is graffiti – bone chilling!), but really they end up on some closed-off bridge with purple chandeliers and a dinner set up. Brooks gets a bit emotional when Des questions him about his parents’ divorce. He gives some stock answer but basically something went down with his dad. Desiree gives Brooks a rose, thus ensuring he will stick around for another “magical” week. But wait – there’s more! Some band I’ve never heard of (seriously, who are these Bachelor/Bachelorette bands??!!!) called Andy Grammer (?) serenades the smooching couple.
The next day, Desiree ventures out onto her first group date. The men folk arrive at a mansion and spot a few luxury cars on the grounds. Des announces that they’re going to star in their own rap video. Groan. Soulja Boy strolls out and it’s clear that this shit is going to get real. [P.S. Soulja Boy’s real name? DeAndre Cortez Way. Love.] The men start free styling some lyrics at varying degrees of success. Soulja picks his main crew – Brandon, Michael G, Ben and James – and they’re off to prepare a video for a song called ‘Right Reasons” or some nonsense. As in ‘we’re here for the right reasons’. The other dudes have been relegated to back-up dancers, and a choreographer named Kance runs them through some routines. Oh the horror! Clearly these men were not selected for the show based on their dancing prowess. As the main crew begin reading the lyrics to the rap, they quickly realize that the song is a nod to former Bachelorette contestants who demonstrated devious, weird and just plain embarrassing behaviour. Clever producers.
Desiree returns in a cropped denim top and denim short shorts and starts shooting the video with different guys, starting with Ben which makes the other dudes a tad jealous. At one point she comments she’s “glad to see that looks and personality can combine” when it comes to her potential future husbands/contestants. Brandon is fretting about his scene and having to jiggle his junk in front of Des. He flubs lines like it’s his job. I think my favourite part is that they have to blur out his, erm….area… because it’s too hot for tv or something.
After the rap video shoot, it’s time for Des and her dudes to drink. Hallelujah! Zak is the first to score some coveted private time. He admits to being a bit of a douche on the first night but somewhat redeems himself from the whole shirtless spectacle when he presents Des with an antique blank journal that has an inscription from a father to his daughter. ‘A’ for effort, Zak. Des strikes me as the journaling type. Lots of feelings and doodles, you know. Zak really doesn’t want Desiree to see him as the shirtless clown. And it seems to be working.
Brandon, meanwhile, really wishes everyone would stop caring about the rose and just ‘be themselves’ and chillax already. He throws in a butterfly reference somewhere in there that makes zero sense but his dumb face is kind of appealing so I let it slide. Ben is also gunning hard for a rose, and is rubbing some of the other men the wrong way in the process. He interrupts Mikey’s chat with Des (Mikey: “Oh what have we got here?”) and is rewarded for his douchebaggery by scoring his first kiss with Des after getting permission (Ben: If you don’t mind”). Brandon – perched like a gargoyle atop the house – is totally gutted when he spots them kissing. Devastated.
Michael G. (he’s a FEDERAL PROSECUTOR???!!!) scores points with Des by talking about how much he respects the women in his life. Yawn. Mikey decides to ‘clear the air’ by telling Ben the gets a ‘politician vibe’ from him. Mikey claims that Ben is a different dude (re: nicer) when the cameras are rolling. Ben handles himself really well and they seem to hash it out.
And we’re back on the group date where Brandon is feeling a lot of feelings. A lot. He finally grows a pair and pulls Des aside for a solo chat where he launches into his family history (dad ran away, mom was a drug addict, he basically raised his siblings), and then sells himself to Des as the potential perfect husband and father. Here’s my issue: Brandon seems like a decent dude but when people pour out their whole life story so early on it strikes me as a teensy bit manipulative. Like he’s trying too hard to form an insta-bond by basically shouting MY LIFE WAS HARD TOO directly into Desiree’s mouth. Ben is awarded with the date rose, and this is met with crickets. “Welcome to group date!” chirps Desiree.
The next day Desiree and Bryden venture out on their one-on-one date and it’s a road trip. Last week I commented that Bryden seemed a bit generic, but here was a definite instant attraction there. Also, I think he looks a bit like Desiree’s brother…just me? The duo pit stop for snacks (genius!) and talk about how awesome California is. The scenery! The ocean! First stop: Matador Beach. There’s kite flying and frolicking. At one point Des yells “I’m the Queen of the world” and somewhere James Cameron is doing a face plant.
They head further North to Orange Grove and do some orange picking and Desiree has to explain what brie is. I literally stopped breathing. HOW DOES HE NOT KNOW WHAT BRIE IS? HE LIVES IN THE WORLD, RIGHT? Gawd. I think if I’d been on that date I would’ve literally stood up, pointed at him, said ‘NOT OKAY’ and stormed off.
Later Desiree and Bryden enjoy a nice outdoor candlelit dinner in Ojai where Bryden reveals he was in a horrible accident in college and was “pretty messed up for awhile” and oh good there are pictures. Seriously, he busts out pictures of the accident and him in the hospital. Well, on the bright side his accident motivated him to join the army (a dream of his) and he did that after he got all better.
Oh it just hit me – Bryden looks a little like Aidan from Sex and the City? Similar mouth? Just me?
Anyhoodle. Bryden wasn’t ready for a relationship before and used the army as a scapegoat but those days are over. He’s ready to share something with somebody, y’all. Bryden gets the date rose. Hooray! Then it’s the cliché late night swim surrounded by candles. After what seems like FOREVER (seriously….FOREVER) they finally kiss. And I’m pretty sure it only happens because Desiree says “Just kiss me already!” Ha. I like her gumption.
At the pre-rose ceremony cocktail and cockblock, Desiree arrives and announces that all the men look “adorable”. I can practically hear their penises deflating. She’s had an “amazing week” and feels like the “luckiest girl ever.” Michael G. scores some early one-on-one time and tells Des that he has diabetes. His moment is short-lived, however, because Ben swoops in to steal Des away. Oh and he already has a rose so the other men are incensed about the robbery. Ben and Desiree get to kissing outside, while inside the men are fuming.
When Ben heads back inside he’s confronted by a bunch of angry suits. Michael G. and Mikey, in particular, go off on him. Ben thinks they just don’t get it, and it’s a “dangerous form” of not getting it. Whatever that means. Some of the biggest Ben haters gather to chat about how Ben had mentioned the show benefiting business owners (he owns a bar and maybe could use The Bachelorette to expand to 5 bars?). While they’re chin-wagging, Brian carries Desiree over to the couch to get “more serious” with her. Desiree asks him about previous relationships. Brian confesses that his most recent relationship ended a few months prior but probably should have been over earlier than that. He also says he comes from a divorce-free family and reminds Des that she’s ‘in the driver’s seat’.
Chris Harrison arrives to break up the party and Des starts the rose ceremony by saying that so many of the men are “husband material.”
James, Kasey (#hewasinvisiblethisweek), Dan (didn’t even remember there was a Dan), Juan Pablo (meow), Brad (is he new?), Chris, Brian, Zak. W., Drew, Mikey, Zack K., Michael G. and lastly Brandon (who looked about ready to shit himself) receive roses.
Alas, Robert, Nick M. and Will are sent packing. Damn. I liked Robert. And Will managed not to high five her upon leaving. That kind of restraint could’ve served him better in week one. Sayonara, dudes.
Desiree reiterates how lucky she is and toasts to the “Right Reasons!”.
Until next week!