Stop reading now if you don’t want spoilers on week seven of Desiree Hartsock’s season of The Bachelorette (original air date: Monday, July 8, 2013).
We open with the dwindling Penis Parade in Madeira Island, Portugal, and they’re on a boat with Des who is pointing at everything in sight. Michael is praying for his first one-on-one date. Des, meanwhile, is ready to put the whole James mess behind her and focus on narrowing down her man harem to just those four whose families she will meet on hometown dates next week. This week there will be three one-on-one dates and one two-on-one date; however, no one will be sent home on the two-on-one though there will be a rose up for grabs (the only date rose of the week). The men explore their beautiful villa for the week while Drew comments that Madeira is “built for love.”
Surprise surprise, guess who’s waiting by the pool for Desiree? Jackie, Catherine and Lesley from Sean Lowe’s season! I think it’s pretty cool that Catherine and Des are friends considering that Des was devastated when Sean sent her home last season and Catherine, of course, went on to get engaged to him. Des asks Catherine how her and Sean are doing and Catherine describes it as a “whirlwind” with her “best friend.” The ladies start chatting about the remaining five guys. Desiree describes Chris as “supportive.” Brooks is “adventurous and fun” but might not be ready for commitment. Michael is a “genuine guy,” Zak is “reflective” and Drew is “sweet” but might lack some spice.
The Penis Parade appear by the pool for the obligatory ogling, and Catherine literally scopes them out with binoculars (that’s my girl!). Jackie thinks Drew is dreamy, and then encourages Brooks to pop that tank top right off. He gives an awkward chuckle and keeps his shirt on. Good.
What follows is another rapid fire question round to Des, courtesy of the lusty female peanut gallery:
Then there’s a bit of a bleep bleep situation during which I’m fairly certain the question asked is ‘who has the biggest dick?’ and Des barely hesitates before answering Chris. She adds that “they’re all going to be great lovers.” Somewhere in a Costco in middle America, a low ranking Bachelorette producer is buying an economy pack of condoms. The anti-family family pack. Get it? GET IT?.
Desiree heads out on her first one-on-one of the week with Brooks. It’s been awhile – Brooks was the first guy to get a one-on-one date way back in week two. Brooks says that today is all about “taking it to the next level.” Some of the other menfolk comment that it’s obvious that Desiree and Brooks have a particularly strong connection. The dating duo make their way first to the edge of a cliff and then take a scenic drive that takes them above the clouds. There, they spread out a blanket and drink some wine and talk about how “easy” and “natural” their connection is. Desiree’s voice over announces that she’s “falling in love” with Brooks. They make out while the clouds swirl around them.
Meanwhile, the next date card arrives and it’s for Most Athletic winner Chris. He’s thrilled and name checks Tiger Woods for some reason (ick).
Back on their romance-a-thon, Desiree and Brooks are heading into the dinner portion of their date. Desiree toasts to one of the ‘best dates ever’, and Brooks talks a lot about (and tears up over) his family. Then they circle around whether or not they love each other and the final verdict appears to be that Des is slightly more into Brooks than vice versa. Brooks says in his private interview that he’s “a little bit behind in my emotional process.” They meander outside for a fireworks show and Des is clearly feeling a bit vulnerable after her dinner table quasi-confession of love because now she’s asking Brooks if he would want her to meet his family. Keep it together Desiree! She breathes an audible sigh of relief when Brooks confirms that he’d “love it” for that to happen and Des seems reassured.
The next day Des arrives to pick up Chris, who’s really hankering to take Des home to meet his family. But first: this date. And it’s on a yacht. Seriously, I know I say this a lot but I really need yacht friends. Chris and Des certainly have the physical attraction thing down pat, and Chris thinks it’s “hot”. They do yacht-y things for a bit.
The final one-on-one date card arrives and Michael is thrilled that it’s for him. His first solo date with Des! As a result, Zak and Drew will be on the final date of the week which is a non-elimination two-on-one.
Chris and Desiree arrive on a deserted island, disembark the yacht and hunker down over a picnic lunch. After chatting for a bit they do the whole message in a bottle thing and OF COURSE it’s a poem. A tandem poem, which somehow seems worse. Maybe because it’s two people actively choosing to write poetry. On purpose. On camera. For real. I just…can’t get into it.
At dinner, Chris is psyching himself up to tell Des he’s falling in love with her. Immediately after the standard pre-dinner toast, Chris asks Desiree how big of a family she wants. Des likes the idea of three or four kids.
[Side note: did anyone else hear Chris say that it’s great to have a few kids because then they can play together and don’t necessarily need to have other friends? Weird.]
They do the back and forth ‘I hope you meet my family’ bit (during which Des says that her parents only ever met her high school boyfriend), and then Chris kicks over a side table and sweats profusely. And OF COURSE he’s written yet another poem, this one titled “Individually Defined.” Ok so this one I actually listened to (a first!) and it wasn’t terrible. AND it ended with “I love you.” Giddy with love/lust/a buzz from all that wine, Des and Chris stroll hand-in-hand through the town and marvel at how much they like kissing each other. Real groundbreaking stuff.
The next day Des and Michael venture out on their first real date, which mostly involves trying on necklaces and speeding down a hill in a toboggan of sorts steered by two men, symbolizing the ‘wild ride’ that love is. Michael feels he was “meant to go on this journey” and confesses that his last serious girlfriend cheated on him and he was, of course, devastated. It so happens that Des is the first woman he’s been sweet on since then. Y’all – Michael thought he would never.love.again. This is when I may have said “awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww” out loud. And by ‘may have’ I mean I did. And I also might have slow clapped a little bit. I didn’t expect this must chemistry between Michael and Desiree – their past interactions seemed to mostly be contentious and involved him shit talking one of the other dudes (primarily Ben and James). Michael is certain that his mother will love the shit out of Des, but has no relationship with his biological father. Des thinks Michael is totes husband and father material, and she’s more smitten with him than ever.
The next day, Drew and Zak are fake amped for their two-on-one date. After an over-enthusiastic “let’s make it happen” from Zak, they’re off. Zak is 100% in love with Desiree, apparently, so he’s focused on getting the date rose at the end of the afternoon. They meet up with Desiree at a go-kart track. After a friendly go around, Des puts Zak up against Drew in a race and Zak (of course) wins by a mile. As a reward, he gets the first private time with Desiree and uses it to show off some drawings he has made to “recap” their time together. They are bad. After a relatively quick kiss by Desiree standards, they head back to where Drew is sulking on a picnic blanket. Drew brings it during his one-on-one time. He brings out the big guns: telling Des his family is already in love with her (presumably from seeing her on Sean’s season of The Bachelor) and talking about his mentally handicapped sister whom he really wants Des to meet. Drew adds that he’s “never had these feelings before” and he knew that him and Des would get on really well right from the start. The clincher? Drew tells Desiree that he’s fallen in love with her. Cue the kissing atop a stack of go-kart tires and Des whispers “I’ve fallen for you” into Drew’s mouth. Zak is confident that he’s going to get the rose but of course it goes to Drew, securing his place in the final four.
Before the rose ceremony can begin, the men are packing their shit up just in case (as they do every week), and Chris in particular appears almost unhinged with nervousness. Host Chris Harrison (where has he been hiding this week?) sits down with Des to dish the dirt and she confesses that she’s in love with…Brooks! Groan. Chris Harrison is all ‘I’m so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ but I bet the producers are not so enthusiastic; after all, there isn’t supposed to be a clear frontrunner until it’s down to the final 2 men (and even then the episodes are edited to keep the audience in the dark until the final moments). We’re dumb like that sometimes. Desiree isn’t afraid to be hurt, she claims. Which is good because Brooks is, after all, the only dude who hasn’t said he’s in love with her. She also admits she’s falling in love with Chris. He’s a safer bet, I think.
So it seems like the men in danger of being sent home are Michael and Zak. Michael and Des had a great date this week, but was it enough to push out Zak? I feel like Des and Zak are the least likely to end up as a couple but maybe she’s, I don’t know, curious enough to meet his family? The first roses go to Brooks and Chris, predictably leaving Michael and Zak in the ‘bottom two’ so to speak.
Ultimately, Michael is rejected.
Before he heads off in the Loser Limo, he tells Des he was ready to commit to her. Michael also says he thinks the world of her and has nothing but respect for her and also that she has four great guys left. A class act, that Michael!
In the car, Michael cries and drops this truth bomb: “It feels like my heart just exploded in my chest”. And then he calls his mom (which I had presumed was against the rules) and she’s kind of the most adorable mom ever from what we hear. I would bet money that “passionate” and “caring” Michael will be balls deep in ladies down in Miami. Balls deep. Another one bites the dust.
Until next week! Hometown dates!!!!