Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on week five of Desiree Hartsock’s season of The Bachelorette (original air date: Monday, June 24, 2013).
The Penis Parade arrive in Munich, Germany (mostly clad in pastel-coloured hoodies) and clearly some of these bros have never even been on a plane before. They’re blown away by the ‘cool’ buildings and all the history. For Desiree, this is her first time in Europe and she’s really excited to say ‘thank you’ in German to everyone she meets.
Host Chris Harrison addresses Desiree’s man harem in a tony square, but it’s not all good news: this week will include the dreaded two-on-one date where Des will have to choose one man to send home during the date. The men then head to the hotel where the first solo date card goes to Chris. Turns out he can totes read German. This almost makes up for his ‘I write poetry’ bullshit last week. Almost.
The next day, Chris and Des wander Munich attractively and blah blah blah about looking like tourists. Back in the hotel room, Bryden is once again going on about wanting to (maybe, possibly) leave. Poor James is pretending to give a shit and ultimately Bryden decides he’s heading home. Boo. I had Bryden pegged for final 3.
Back on their date, Chris and Des pull a Lady and the Tramp spaghetti move on a stick of meat and fumble around Munich being adorable. They try on some lederhosen and dance polka in front of strangers. Cut to Bryden, who at this very moment is on a mission to track them down so he can tell Des he’s leaving. Because he couldn’t wait until he was actually supposed to see her to let her know? Dick move, bro. Bryden soon finds Des and Chris, and much to his credit Chris is super cool about letting Bryden steal Des away for a few minutes. (Side note: I love how the men on The Bachelorette often become friends – even though Chris was obviously surprised to see Bryden on his date, he still went in for the man hug).
Meanwhile in the Bro Hotel, the menfolk are all atwitter about Bryden’s bombshell exit plan and Zak W. is day drinking (respect).
Bryden and Des cop a squat and Bryden drops some truth: he’s out. They part ways and Des tearfully makes her way back to Chris. They get back into their date groove at a brewhaus, but Des is visibly upset (not so much that Bryden left but more because he came all the way to Germany and THEN left). Chris reassures her that he’s around for the long haul, and they down some massive beers.
The group date card arrives at the hotel and all the dudes are hoping to hear their name called, signalling that they’re not on the horrible two-on-one date later in the week. Juan Pablo, James, Kasey, Zak W., Brooks, Drew and Mikey get the good news. Michael and Ben, therefore, will be on the two-on-one. Michael G. finds Ben “repulsive” and says it’s time to “murder” him or something equally testosterone-fuelled. Yeah, I just went back and checked: Michael says it’s time to “murder” Ben. Alrighty.
Later that evening, ‘Princess’ Desiree and Chris arrive at a fancy (and very echoey) castle for a candlelit dinner. Desiree likes that she feels comfortable with Chris and that they don’t have to force anything. Chris likes that he gets to spend the evening with Des and doesn’t have to worry about life in the hotel: what time he has to go to bed, the other men, or brushing his teeth (seriously, he says this).
Des tells Chris that she struggled to get affection in her last relationship. Her ex wasn’t into being, you know, nice. Chris has written Desiree some poetry and I could tell you what he said but poetry makes me want to punch a thousand faces so I walked away. Much to my chagrin, Des LOVES this kind of crap so they kiss forever and she rewards Chris with the date rose. In true Bachelorette fashion, they are then treated to a private concert by some singer whose name I can’t be bothered to google. Des is a smitten kitten and Chris is “falling in love”.
It’s group date day and it’s time to climb Zugspitze. Sounds…tall. Des and her dudes head up the peak on a gondola while the music swells and they all marvel at the majestic trees and scenery. Once they reach the top, they are assaulted with the sounds of yodelling and meet up with a yodelling teacher (that’s a thing?). Oh god I could listen to Juan Pablo try and pronounce “yodeller” for the rest of my life. Then it’s time to sled down the highest peak in Germany. Drew slams into Des from the rear (no pun intended) and everyone has a blast.
Back at the Bro Hotel, Ben and Michael are lounging in über awkward silence waiting for the details of their two-on-one date. Knock, knock. Chris answers the door and reads the date card: “Two guys. One rose. One stays. One goes.” Somewhere a producer is laughing his ass off and referring to himself as the ‘Dr. Seuss of date cards’.
Des and her dates make their way to a ginormous igloo and Des tells the men that if they’re not feeling it (meaning her) they should ‘pull a Bryden’ and get the hell out. Someone who doesn’t want to get the hell out is creepy smile Brooks, who’s the first to pull Des away for some private time. Brooks tells Des that for the first time he’s trying to slow down and live in the moment. Then it’s Mikey’s time to shine, and he decides to spend it making a snow family with Desiree. Zak interrupts them with some drinks and a pathetic yodel. He also reveals to Des that at one point he was contemplating becoming a priest, and he wound up in Germany for some soul searching and decided to abandon his holy mission. Does anyone else catch that quick shot of Zak holding out his hand to help Des up and her totally ignoring it? Just me? Ok. Moving on.
Without Ben around to shit on, some of the dudes (mostly Drew) decide to turn on James, who they feel has gotten a bit too big for his britches since his one-on-one date last week. Brooks finds James “cutting” and “vulgar”, and then he creeps on their makeout session. James is apparently falling in love with Desiree, but that’s not enough to earn him the date rose. That goes to (a very surprised) Brooks, who James describes as his “polar opposite”.
Next up is the always awkward two-on-one date. Federal Prosecutor Michael seems pretty convinced that Desiree has chosen him to go up against Ben on this particular date so that he can help her “expose” Ben for what he really is: a manipulative douche canoe. Also, he refers to the date as ‘Armageddon’. Cheery! After a lot of handsome (potential) goodbye hugs, Ben and Michael are off. They ignore eachother in the limo while Michael’s voiceover reiterates the fact that Ben hasn’t mentioned his son since week one, and instead has been talking about how good being on The Bachelorette is for entrepreneurs.
Michael and Ben meet up with Des at Lake Tegernsee, and Michael tells Des she looks beautiful (in German). Well played, sir. This is the most I’ve liked Michael. He’s a man on a mission. Des announces that they’re going to brave the polar bear plunge. Ben isn’t really into it, but he’s admittedly competitive so he decides to do it. Jokes on them! Des has no intention of jumping into the freezing cold water. Instead, they head out on the water in a hot tug which is basically a floating hot tub. Thank you to The Bachelorette for introducing me to hot tugs. It’s a real game changer. My new mission in life is to always be in a hot tug. This is a minor adjustment to my previous mission which was to always be on a yacht. Preferably Jay-Z’s.
So Michael is really shining on this two-on-one date and I kind of love it when he puts Ben on the spot about the relationship that, um, led to his son, Michael also manages to bring to light that Ben hasn’t spoken to his son since arriving in Germany. Des cottons on to the tension and the fact that Michael is trying to “push Ben’s buttons.” Ben somehow manages not to flip on Michael, and credits his Christianity for that restraint.
While all this is going down, Kasey, Brooks, Drew and Chris are hanging out and the conversation quickly turns to James, who allegedly was boasting the previous night about how him and Mikey would be banging everything in sight once the show was over. Also, James (again allegedly) is vying for a spot in the final four so that he can become the next Bachelor. Uh oh. Drew and Kasey are particularly fired up about the whole thing, and they’re worried that once Des finds out (not if, when) she may just “give up on the whole thing.”
At the world’s most awkward dinner, Des, Michael and Ben crowd around a teeny tiny table drinking wine and trying not to bump elbows while they pretend to eat. Des acknowledges that since one person is being sent home during this date she wants to spend alone time with each of them in order to make her decision.
Almost immediately, Michael lays into Ben about his inability to form friendships in the house. Translation: Ben, you no nice. Desiree looks super uncomfortable and tries to steer the conversation away from the man drama and she steers it right into Shitstorm Junction. When she asks the men what traditions they would want to start with their future families, Ben plays the Christian card: he wants to go to church every Sunday. Michael immediately reveals that while all of the other men went to church on Easter, Ben didn’t participate. Also – ALSO – Michael says that Ben didn’t talk to his son on Easter. Ben excuses himself from the table and Des gives Michael the ‘I can’t believe you did that’ eyes followed by the ‘I can’t believe you did that’ speech. Michael tries to explain that he was simply trying to expose Ben for what he truly is: a fraud and a dickbag. Outside, Ben says he’s “done being nice.”
So Desiree is pissed and Michael feels like he’s fucked up and that his chances of getting the date rose have “gone up in flames.” Des heads outside to chat with Ben, who should win an Oscar for his performance. He spins the whole thing into a ‘I’ve never had anyone question my faith, question me as a father’ deal and Des seems to eat it up. “I want to hang out with you,” Ben tells her.
They go inside (apparently it’s freezing balls in Germany at Easter time) to speak further in private, and Ben says that the reason he doesn’t call his son a lot is because his son always wants to know when he’s coming home and some other bullshit. So now Des wants to speak to Michael alone (in the dungeon, natch) to find out if Michael is just being a loser or if there’s something really off about Ben. Michael relays that Ben is a condescending know-it-all in the house and that he has made some comments about using his Bachelorette ‘fame’ to further his career. Michael adds that he feels very strongly about her, and tries to make Des understand that he’s only behaving this way to make it clear top Des that Ben isn’t a good guy.
Des, Michael and Ben reunite around the world’s tiniest table, and although Des believes Ben “is a great father” and a “great person,” he’s the one sent packing. Gasp! Desiree says she would love to walk Ben out but he turns her down and storms around the grounds swearing like a trucker. Michael is amped that “justice has been done.” Des eventually catches up to Ben who says that though he thinks she’ll regret sending him home he respects her decision. They hug it out and he’s off in the Reject Limo. Ben goes on a rant to the camera man, saying “what, you expect me to sit here and look unhappy?”. Oh shiz.
The rest of Desiree’s man harem is waiting around to see whose bag is being whisked away and they are THRILLED when they see it’s Ben’s suitcase.
Back on the date, for about half a second I feel bad for Ben until he says that the higher ups at the show better be careful who makes it farther, otherwise they won’t have a good candidate for the next Bachelor. Whoa. He sighs, all head-shakey, that they “could’ve had the single dad from Texas” to be the next Bachelor but now Ben is leaving too soon for that to happen. He then actually has the nerve to wave at the camera and say: “Hi Hollywood!” What a fuck face.
The next night, Des arrives at a castle where this week’s elimination rose ceremony will take place, and she’s greeted by Chris Harrison who’s all “what a week, huh?” You don’t say, Chris. You don’t say. When Chris tries to find out who Des likes best by asking who she would kiss right now if she could only pick one person, the first name Des mentions is Brooks. Blah. Then she rehashes the whole Bryden leaving thing and says she feels she can trust the men who are left (!), so much so that she doesn’t need a COCKtail party tonight to decide who to send packing back to the States. So it looks like the ‘truth about James’ won’t come out tonight. Drew is gutted: he was leading the charge on that front tonight.
We head immediately into the rose ceremony where the man sent home is – not surprisingly – meathead Mikey.
So, “snake in the grass” James is around for another week. Meaning next week is going to be all about the men trying to oust James and other tomfoolery.
Until next week!