I had no idea that this season would offer two love stories for the price of one—Andi and a dude still TBD, and Craig and Josh. Though Craig self-destructed before he could get his happily ever after with Josh, Andi is still hopeful that her husband is in the Bachelorette Mansion.
The first date card shows up at the mansion, and Eric is the lucky recipient of the season’s first one-on-one date. They drive a convertible to the beach, build sandcastles, do backflips, and then board a helicopter bound for the top of Bear Mountain. Isn’t this the Southern California motto: swim in the morning and ski in the afternoon?
They’re greeted by Olympic snowboarder Louie Vito, who could not be less enthused about being a part of this date. Except for when he got to couple skate with Andi. Hey Louie, leave some room for Jesus, buddy. Eric, however, is ready to step up and guide Andi down the mountain. Dude’s good at everything. They snowboard, sled, and sip hot chocolate, and it is adorable. Eric seems like a truly sweet, passionate, and genuinely great guy, and it’s really heartbreaking to watch their date knowing that he tragically passes away after filming the show.
Back at the Bro Headquarters, the group date card comes and warns the men they’re going to have to “bare their souls.” One man pipes up and asks how “bare” is spelled, and I am impressed that he knew there was more than one spelling.
The bros roll up to Hollywood Men, which prides itself on being the only “upscale, fully choreographed show for ladies in the Los Angeles area.” (Their website is now stored in my work computer’s browser history). In other words, “Magic Mike: The Bachelor Edition” is going down. The men are raising money for “Bachelor Gives Back” which then, according to Andi, gives the money to “charities.” I mean, if half-naked MackleRoid here was raising money for YOUR charity, you’d probably ask to be anonymous too.
The men are divided into three groups: cowboys, soldiers, and firemen—except for Marcus and Nick S. who are singled out as stripping soloists. Nick S. drew the short straw and got stuck with the robot costume, while Marcus dressed (and then undressed) as a sailor. The men learn some “choreography,” oil up their abs, and Craig stuffs his briefs with a washcloth. All in a day’s work, folks.
To their credit, most of the guys handle the whole situation with a pretty good sense of humor. Craig, however, slowly but surely loses his shit. He begins to unravel after seeing Josh in his skivvies. At first it seems like he is intimated by Josh’s manhood, but it quickly becomes apparent that Craig is actually harboring some serious lust for Josh’s aforementioned manhood. He comments, through a crazed smile, that Josh is the “total package” and steals glances his way throughout the entire striptease. I mean, do you, Craig, but maybe The Bachelorette is not the show for you. More on Craig later…
Marcus loses a bit of his smarmy swag when forced onto the strip stage.He does his best to, ahem, rise to the occasion, and caps off his performance with a Michael Jackson inspired breakdance-esque move.
Unfortunately, Marcus’ whole performance was half-hearted, like that time my homegirl Britney Spears staged her comeback two years too early at the VMAs. You’ll get ‘em next time, BS.
At the cocktail party later that night, the men seem relieved to be fully clothed and ready to unwind with a cocktail, or in Craig’s case, ten cocktails. Lowered inhibitions were the last thing Craig needed, and he spends the night slurring about Josh’s abs and swimming in his clothes. He’s every dude you went to college with, is he not? I half-expected him to start chanting “PIKE! PIKE! PIKE!” and challenge Andi to see who could shotgun a beer faster. He shoved one of the pledges in the kitchen and dude, he’s totally gonna get the house put on probation by the campus Greek council if he doesn’t cool it already.
Josh uses his one-on-one time with Andi to insist that he isn’t your typical former pro-athlete. At what point will Josh realize that it would be a lot easier to look past those stereotypes if he a) stops bringing it up and b) offers up what he is currently doing for a living? If he is looking for a new career, he could probably make it down in Disney World playing Gaston, signing autographs for little girls by day and creeping on Cinderella by night.
Andi was not impressed with the bro times happening in the pool and the producers take Craig home to sleep it off. Wish we could’ve seen him in the van professing his love to the producers (“You’re like, the coolest, dude! The COOLEST! *Burp*) and binge-eating fistfuls of cool ranch Doritos in his room. Marcus seizes the opportunity to swoop in and charm Andi. She dug it and gave Marcus and his inner-thigh muscles the rose.
It’s Chris’s turn for a one-on-one date and he doesn’t stop sweating for the rest of the episode. He shows up to the racetrack in head to toe pastels and is greeted by Andi, who looks lovely and retro in a Derby-ready outfit. She leads Chris to a room with a clothes buffet so he can change out of his v-neck and flip flops.
After only a few minutes in the VIP suite at the racetrack, some actors playing “Elderly Couple in Love” question Andi and Chris about their “relationship” and share some nuggets of wisdom. This sets the stage for all the lovebirds to make some cliché analogies about love, such as likening choosing a spouse to “betting on the right horse.” I’m not much of a gambler, but I’d hope that one would might approach those two things differently.
The rest of the date checks off all the boxes—a chat about Feelings, a private concert by a no-name band, some making out, a rose, etc. It’s all fairly vanilla.
Back at the mansion it’s almost rose ceremony time, and the dudes are chomping at the bit for one last desperate chance to win Andi over. Craig shows up in a three piece suit with a guitar in tow, Haircut puts on a puppet show, Marquel swings and misses with a bold attempt at pattern mixing, and the opera singer…is still here? (Seriously, who else already forgot about him?)
In the end, there’s only room for sixteen brochachos. Craig gave it all he had, but the apology song he wrote wasn’t enough for Andi. It’s not clear whether it was the robot costume or his participation in Craig’s drunken shenanigans, but Nick S. is sent packing, too. Also, someone named Carl goes home? That’s the most hipster firefighter I’ve ever seen. He was putting out fires before you even knew what fires were.
Next week, we’re treated to two back-to-back episodes, because Chris Harrison hates you and wants you to lose your job and neglect your personal life.
We’d put a dollar in every single one of your G-strings,
B, K, and J
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