Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on week four of Desiree Hartsock’s season of The Bachelorette (original air date: Monday, June 17, 2013).
We kick off this week’s episode at the Penis Pad, where apparently the dress code is v-necks and hoodies. Host Chris Harrison arrives to address the remaining 13 men and let them know they’re heading to douche capital Atlantic City for their next dates.
Already in Atlantic City, Des strolls the boardwalk terrifying seagulls while her voice over talks about how excited she is to “move forward” with her dude harem. Upon arrival, Kasey announces that it’s like “Las Vegas on the ocean!” #shutupKasey
The date card arrives and the first one-on-one goes to dumb-face accountant Brad with the secret hot body. Des and Brad head out to the boardwalk for various shenanigans including wandering through the back rooms of a candy shop to thief some chocolate and break a bunch of health code rules.
Meanwhile, Zak W. is creeping on their date from high above in the hotel suite, and is devastated when he spots Des and Brad on the carousel because “things always happen on the carousel” apparently. Oh is THAT why I keep getting knocked up at carnivals? Food for thought.
Later on, Des and Brad curl up next to a fancy sand castle and Des is wondering if there’s a connection there or if she’s just into his good dad qualities. They reconnect at the Absecon Lighthouse for dinner and things are stalling a bit on the conversation side, so they drink more wine.
Back in the Handsome Hotel, a group date card arrives for Brooks, Bryden, Zack K., Kasey, Drew, Juan Pablo, Zak W., Mikey T., Ben, Michael and Chris. Therefore, James will have the one-on-one date card later on the trip.
We’re back at the restaurant and things are getting even more awkward between Des and Brad. It seems that when they’re not hanging out near carnies and salt water taffy, they have nothing to talk about. They head up to the top of the Lighthouse (is this really the best setting for a potential rejection?) and Des tells Brad that something was “missing” and that she doesn’t see a ‘forever’ connection. Brad is sent home to hang out with his son Maddox. They hug forever and Brad parts with a nice “I hope you find what you’re looking for.” Moving on.
Time for the group date and everyone meets up at Boardwalk Hall. Hugs all around for Des the “mystical creature” (ugh Brooks you’re the worst). Host Chris Harrison and the current Miss America (please don’t make me google her name, I’m tired) greet the menfolk and announce that they will be competing in a Mr. America-style competition. Bring on the oiled up abdominals AMIRIGHT? They meet their pageant coach and head off to prep for the talent portion of the competition. I would’ve assumed Juan Pablo’s talent would be unhooking a woman’s bra by just being in the same room as her, but it turns out he’s super good at twirling a baton (not a euphemism). Zak W. goes for the guitar (groan) while Chris gravitates to the high heels. Drew describes the whole thing as a “hodgepodge of tomfoolery” and becomes my favourite for about 5 minutes (sorry Chris).
Miss America coaches the dudes for the interview portion where Mikey T. shines (for once), and then it’s time for the most important part: the swimsuits. Juan Pablo is confident in his speedo prowess. Chris Harrison arrives, looking totally boss in a suit, and announces that the pageant is going to be in front of a live audience. Balls!
The competition begins and Kasey is up first for the interview portion. He’s asked if he’s a ‘giver’ or a ‘taker’ in a relationship and he’s a definite giver. Nailed it. Zak W. says he would be ‘fire’ over ‘water’ and Brooks would be a lion if he were an animal. Chris fumbles a date question and we find out that Juan Pablo has a daughter (we didn’t know that yet, right?). Mikey T. defends his meathead persona and good god can we get to the bathing suit part already???!!! During the talent portion, Kasey reveals his tap dancing skills (or lack thereof) in the world’s brightest pair of red pants, Mikey T. does a shirtless headstand (BUT YOU JUST SAID YOU’RE MORE THAN A HOT BODY!), Brooks creepily sings and plays the ukulele, Drew performs a Shakespeare scene, Chris strips down to boxers and a pair of heels and does something with hula hoops, and Bryden humps the stage with a tie around his neck. Zak W. does a great John Mayer impression and then it’s time for swimsuits. Yays. It’s ab-tastic! And the most I’ve ever liked Ben. Kasey is crowned the winner (for realsies), but the biggest injustice is that we never get to see Juan Pablo in the bathing suit competition. Devastated.
At the post-pageant COCKtail party, my lady boner for Chris instantly disappears with this sentence: “I write poetry, actually.” And then he reads some of it. “Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!” shouts my vagina. Then Des kisses him. I’m hoping she does this so that he shuts up but I think maybe Des was into the bad poetry (an oxymoron). Crap. Chris was my favourite. Maybe he’ll redeem himself? Meanwhile, the dudes are all hating on Ben (particularly Michael and Zak W. who comment that after trotting out his son during week one, Ben talks more about his bar than his son). Whatever Ben is saying. it’s working on Des because she can apparently see him as a future mate.
Back in the hotel room, James is relaxing in a bathrobe, drinking wine and mentally preparing for his solo date with Des. I kinda assumed his pre-date prep involved more push-ups.
Zak W. decides to spend his few minutes alone with Des playing her the rest of his pageant song (there was more?), and Des almost pulls a face muscle trying to act like she’s into it but still – much to my amazement – offers the date rose to him. WHAAAAT?
The next day, James and Des venture out on their one-on-one date. A departure from the usual fun-filled dates on The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Des and James do a helicopter flyover of the Jersey Shore with a Red Cross rep names Jackie to view the damage from Hurricane Sandy. Side note: I melted a little when James introduced himself to the Red Cross lady and said “pleasure to meet you ma’am” all cute and polite.
They survey the devastation in Seaside Heights and both Des and James tear up. They eventually touch down in the Heights and meet a lovely older couple – Manny and Jan – who were affected by the hurricane. They’re also big fans of Desiree! Manny and Jan tell their hurricane survival story and it’s so heartbreaking. They spent their 38th wedding anniversary in a shelter. Des and James decide to send Manny and Jan on their romantic dinner date back in Atlantic City. Manny and Jan head off in a limo and we see them enjoying dinner (“here’s to you baby,” Manny toasts Jan). It’s a really good thing that I’m an attractive crier (snort). Des and James, meanwhile, are having an equally cute time chowing down at a neighbourhood joint. James confesses that he cheated on his previous girlfriend 5 and ½ years into their relationship. He swears he would never cheat again and Des seems disappointed but still smitten.
Back on Manny and Jan’s date, they are presented with a wedding album that the Red Cross has helped restore. They are soon joined by Des and James and then that guy from Hootie and the Blowfish (who I for some reason thought had been murdered like 8 years ago) serenades them. Des presents James with the date rose and everyone dances.
Time for the pre-rose ceremony COCKtail party. Michael feels like it’s make or break time for him. Frankly, I’m surprised he’s still around. He really feels like a spare. He sits down with Des and tells her the reasons why he likes her so far with visual aids and they kiss for a bit. Bryden, meanwhile, reveals that his feelings are falling behind where they should be, and he really wants to get some alone time with Des to figure out if he even wants to continue on the Bachelorette journey (yup, I utilized the most overused word on The Bachelor/Bachelorette aside from ‘fairytale’). Des would be devastated if Bryden left – he’s one of her early faves! Chris tells Des that he’s excited about where their relationship is going and he asks her about being away from her family. Des talks about taking care of herself financially and her independence and circle of guy friends. After a weird talk about maybe being BFFs, Desiree and Chris kiss and put that notion to a rest. Bryden finally gets his alone time with Des and tells her straight up that he was on a high after their first date but it feels like things have been ‘falling behind’ since then. I half expect Des to send Bryden packing but instead she tells him that she wants him to stay and that she feels a connection. Bryden’s still there, though, when Des gives her ‘I’m going off to decide which one of y’all heads home in the Sad Sack Limo tonight’ speech.
The rose ceremony begins and roses are handed out to Chris, Brooks, Juan Pablo (I love how she always asks him in Spanish – I would just ask him by pointing at his crotch and mouthing ‘I want’), Drew, Michael, Ben, and Kasey. When Des calls Bryden’s name, he goes all statue for what seems like an eternity before finally claiming his rose. The last dudes standing are Mikey T. and Zack. K. Ultimately, Zack K. is let go. Meh. I’ve forgotten about him already.
Until next week! Des and the crew are off to Munich, Germany.