Alright, happy Bachelor Monday, yall! Hope yall had a fantastic weekend celebrating the birthday of the best nation on earth. Tonight, you can continue to indulge your alcoholism with a foolproof excuse – you’re watching The Bachelorette.
Regular readers know that I write weekly Bachelorette recaps for a great little company called STAG. [By the way, disclaimer: this post is not at all related to or endorsed by STAG. If you’re offended by the snarkalicious glory herein, you can take it up with me.] Really, really “vintage” readers might remember that I started this blog writing Bachelorette recaps here on my own site. [I was fresh out of college, with no job and more snark than I could keep to myself. It was only natural.]
Today, I figured we could pregame for tonight’s r
ed wine binge reality TV indulgence with something that I’ve actually never done before:
A guest post. On The Bachelorette. From a male perspective.
Enter my friend, Drew….
Drew and I worked together leading the First Year Experience (“orientation”) program for our university during our last two years of undergrad. Fantastic experience, lots of funny stories, and more educational than probably 85% of my classes.
Part of the reason Drew and I worked so well together was because his sense of humor made mine look somewhat normal. (And if you know me in real life, you know that’s quite a feat.)
Anyway, I know Drew sometimes watches The Bachelorette, and when I’ve shared past posts on social media, he’s had the most hilarious responses. When I had the idea to get a guest post from a guy, Drew was the obvious choice. Real talk: I snorted with laughter when I read his post. It was like Miss Piggy, but much less ladylike. Obviously, it would be unethical of me to withhold that kind of hilarity from my readers, so without further ado, I’ll hand it over to Drew…
He left that world behind, said he wouldn’t go back. His loved ones told him to stop: they said it was too dangerous. His friends looked away, their eyes pleading for him to keep that part of his life a secret. But on one fateful day he receives a communique asking for him to get back in the game, dutifully he returns…
I return to The Bachelorette.
Okay, so enough of my being dramatic, The Bachelorette is certainly dramatic enough already. Right? I was asked if I could provide a secondary perspective on the events of this season, both in retrospect and as a male viewer. As fellow guys can probably attest, The Bachelor/Bachelorette is definitely a guilty pleasure because in the public perception it is a bizarre dating show about “love”, but the reality is that this show can appeal to the primal man because it is at its very core a show in which we can observe Darwin’s survival of the fittest. Does this sound crazy? It isn’t. We tune in each week to watch the hunkiest/hottest people (read: virile/fertile) compete to woo a suiter by any means necessary. I wouldn’t be surprised if between the kick boxing and sumo wrestling the eligible bachelors were asked to strap on antlers and ram each other.
Two more points before we delve into this season. I promise I don’t watch The Bachelor from a weird biologist perspective, I watch because I love the awkward tension that can arise in situations like this week’s two-on-one date. How can anyone not love the awkwardness of a third person toasting to “us”? Second, I once read online that the most popular television program among the wealthiest Americans is The Bachelor; not Antique Road Show, not Amish Mafia, and not The Illuminati’s Secret to Wealth. My theory is that wealthy Americans enjoy watching the exotic and extravagant dates and use these to plan out their Labor Day weekend. As a capitalist, idealist, and romantic I also like to live vicariously through these dates.
Let us reflect on this season and see whether there is hope for Kaitlyn (spoilers: I doubt it).
In the premiere episode Kaitlyn and Britt both agreed that their husband was in “The Mansion”, I postulate that only one of these women may actually be correct. The other woman actually doesn’t know that in that house are a number of creepy, possessive, self-absorbed, smug, and or simple-minded men of varying levels of attractiveness who are candidates to be her doom. A little melodramatic sure, but please join me as we travel back in time to revisit a few pivotal moments during Kaitlyn’s journey to discover why I believe she will NOT find her “happily ever after”.
She Who Does Not Wash, aka britt
I have to agree that having the men vote out the bachelorette really does steal any power from the women and completely objectifies the whole situation in a counterintuitive move for the show…but oh, man. It was delicious to watch the women squirm in the background as one woman was complimented; props to the camera people for their staging. Watching Britt be hugged while Kaitlyn awkwardly shuffles in the background was fantastic.
I also relished in the moment as men said “I’m team Kaitlyn” or “I’m 100% Britt”. Sure you are, until one of them is gone. When Tony explains “the Universe wills us together” to Britt was weird, but it was gold when he repeated his exact same mantra to Kaitlyn. I knew instantly that Tony would be what I call a “Producer’s Pick” (which is to say someone who receives Chris Harrison’s blessing and is protected by the reaping of the Rose Ceremony to be the Designated Weirdo).
If you read the above paragraph and confused “reaping” with “raping” then you might have unconsciously remembered Ryan M. (aka: the season drunk). I typically enjoy trying to guess who will have the first meltdown but Ryan M. stole my opportunity by being drunk before the show even started.
He might as well have pulled up in the back of a cab missing an earring and a little puke stain on his shirt. But, ah, the fun of “I’M HORN-DOGGING IT NOW!” as he stumbles into the pool or when he – this was the best – calls out that car-pool as “stupid” (ha, the reaction of the driver: “You don’t even know who I am!”) comes to an end as soon as he drunkenly says “I’m gonna rape you.” Woah. Somebody needs to dial Mickey Mouse’s head hunters because someone just threatened to rape on an ABC show, I think it is generally safe to say that threatening rape doesn’t go over well, particularly in a room seemingly half composed of personal trainers.
Last season I thought Britt was attractive until I learned more and more about her; that she is overly-emotional, super needy, and does not shower. Last season we learned she sleeps with full make up on, apparently she does not even need a geisha neck pillar and magically uses her pillow without it turning into a Ronald McDonald. I really appreciated the moment when Britt is given Kleenex and this happens:
Kaitlyn: “What did he give you?”
Britt: “This”, holding up a small package of tissues, “He said I needed it.”
Kaitlyn: Squinting, “Soap?” (Dang, burn! Kaitlyn instantly won my vote here.)
I did appreciate Brady being straightforward and being willing to leave the show to find his woman, he seemed authentic and sane but with enough bohemian vibe that I think he and Britt can enjoy baby-wiping each other clean.
Episode 4 / Week 3
In my opinion the best episode of the season, we had sumo wrestling, a horror room (not the rose ceremony room), Sex Ed, and a bromance.
Really guys? You thought you were just going to sumo wrestle each other, did you get kicked too hard during the previous week to figure you would go against real sumo wrestlers? They put on their sumo diapers, which is fun in theory, revealing in practice. Personally, I would be down to try sumo wrestling, but watching this episode I had to change my mind. There is nothing appealing to grapping with a sweaty fat man while baring everything. As Kaitlyn explained, she could see all of Joe’s goods (hmm, maybe that’s why he is still around). So I imagine – because if I were Kaitlyn, I would, too – she probably inspected each of her male suitors.
Poor Ben Z. had the least romantic date possible; he and Kaitlyn were supposed to go through a horror room simulation thing called The Basement (which is exactly where Jared would feel at home). Kaitlyn probably heard “horror room” as a homophone and got all excited, but it turned out to be a freaky locked room guarded by terrible creatures; birds. Kaitlyn has birds/mockingjays tattooed on her body but she was terrified of a pigeon! Kaitlyn must have more repressed issues than Batman because at least he was an orphan. I also really appreciated how ABC added a disclosure to explain that this horror-room does not usually contain living animals, ABC upped the ante on their own. I also do not believe that Ben Z. and Kaitlyn would have survived that room because I got the sense that they would have been hopelessly trapped until they got gassed.
Next up was a group date to another horror-room, a Sex Ed classroom filled with child actors. The poor guys had no idea that the next Macaulay Culkin might be in this next room. The children asked the most awkward questions imaginable, I knew it had to be a set up because no public school has such small class sizes and no private school would outsource their Sex Ed to complete strangers without verifiable credentials (except for Hogwarts, which regularly recruits sketchy individuals to teach and has a name that does not exactly exude confidence that students will not contract an swine-related-STD).
I appreciated the emphasis on known external body parts “This is the anus” – pause -“this is the anus” – pregnant pause – “this is the anus?” But Ben H. comes swinging and somehow, inexplicably, made Sex Ed less awkward and romantic. I was surprised and Kaitlyn was probably like, “Kids, want to see how sex works?”
what does a “former investment banker” do, anyway?
Oh, JJ. Your teeth look like miniature tombstones meant to grind up caveman food and your face looks like it perpetually has what I will refer to as “fratboy confusion.”
You even have that fratboy pudge (which, hey, I certainly have no room to judge because I’m not one of the 18 personal trainers this season). “Former Investment Banker” can mean a lot of things: you Madoff’ed with a lot of money (ha, get it?), you lost your license for selling rancid batmeat under a bridge, you got caught in the office with a coworker as you gave them your floppy disc. What “Former Investment Banker” does not mean: you are gainfully employed.
brokeback or bromantic?
So needless to say, maybe JJ found a sugar daddy in Clint, but I think the reality was that JJ and Clint had a harmless bromance. Bromances are becoming increasingly common and I don’t think this is a bad thing. I think it is important for guys to have solid friendships with other guys, there is a real need for positive male interaction and affirmation. I really do sympathize for guys who grow up without a brother or close male friend because there is something about having an uncomplicated guy friendship; when you can slug someone, trust them completely, and play Halo in your boxers together. Clearly most of the guys usually get along with each other; it would be hard to travel the world with a bunch of likeminded dudes (dude, lets lift, tan, and do our hair together) and not develop friendships (even if they “hate seeing her with other guys”).
At rose ceremonies these rivals hug each other goodbye. I was not a hugger until going to a Christian college and even then I think hugging should be reserved for friends, these guys are not going to hug unless they have mini-bromances. Clint’s transformation from seemingly decent guy to all-bark-no-bite “villains got to vil” (totally stealing that line) happened overnight in my opinion and I believe it resulted from a sense of vulnerability. I thought Clint was in the lead and I think he did too until whatever happened happened, then I guess he decided to cut his losses and go full villain. Being a reality TV villain comes with notoriety, guest appearances in the audience of Dancing with the Stars and guest roles on Sesame Street so I think Clint decided to go all out. Unfortunately this meant hamming it up and working the innuendo to fuel speculation that he and JJ had a “thing.”
I wanted to give these two a couple name like Branjelina or Rodham-Clinton, but the best I came up with was “Cli-JJ” which sounds like what Oprah would get checked at her gynecologist. I do not doubt that Clint and JJ may have assisted each other with back shaving/sunscreen/whatever in the shower, but Clint’s sly little grins tell me he wholly knew that his goal was to make the other guys squirm (I’m sure at least one guy was probably thinking “JJ, JJ, JJ. Why can’t I have a bromance?”). Their bromance was probably benign and transformed into a malignant representation of drama, but Clint was right: a “villain’s got to vil”.
The ele-faun-t in the room…
Gross, I despise Nick. He is weasely looking, not attractive, conniving, and a total tool.
In case you didn’t catch it: I DON’T LIKE NICK. Even when I was watching Andi Dorfman’s season (the prosecutor who kept saying “stop” as “stahp” and always meant “please, continue”), I hated Nick and could not understand why he was still around. Some people, I have discovered, have a sort of intangible charisma or animal magnetism that does not correlate to their appearance, Nick must have this in droves as a result of his extracting pheromones from the puppies he keeps chained in his basement at home.
(I will say, however, that when I visited Chicago I did go out of my way to visit the Milwaukee Fish Market simply because that was a hometown date on Andi’s season and it was the only place on Yelp I actually recognized. Great chowder.)
Nick appears a quarter of the way into the season but his ghost lingered from the very beginning when Chris Harrison promised yet again that “THIS WAS THE MOST DRAMATIC SEASON EVER.” In those very spoilerly why-are-there-previews-mid-episode previews the viewers catch a glimpse that Nick may return and that Kaitlyn sleeps with someone and “I’M NOT A BAD PERSON, I JUST MADE A MISTAKE.” I knew, deep down, that Kaitlyn had violated sacred bachelor rules and slept with Nick. I knew because Nick was slimy and if he could weasel his way into this season he could weasel his way into Kaitlyn’s bedroom for “conversation” (bachelor parlance).
“Hey guys, can we take a vote? Who is cool with Nick butting in and joining us?”
1 Aye (Kaitlyn), 8 Nays (Guys, though JJ’s spot in the social pecking order just improved…“the enemy of my enemy” and “the devil you know” and all of that.)
“Cool. Nick joins us next week.”
To the Camera Later: “I hope the guys will be nice to Nick.”
(I was so happy to see Crazy Ashley S. from the previous season. I am convinced she was a part of a secret government experiment code-named Mesa Verde because she kept uttering that name like she was in a trance. A hyper-violent paint-ball trance.)
No way, these guys already have a hard enough time tolerating guys spending time with you. It is as absurd as telling a pack of wolves “Hey, I decided I also want to feed this deer a piece of steak, please be nice to it.” Except this deer is evil incarnate so I really, really wanted guys to have a hissy fit (totally justified though) and leave. I wanted to watch Kaitlyn holding onto Shawn’s ankle with her mascara running down her face as he walks out on her. But alas, no, the guys do not protest. Each of them probably thinks “Well, I am mentally checking out. Kaitlyn is a waste of my time, but if I want to be the next Bachelor I need to look supportive and at least make it to the final four.”
Intrigue in Ireland
Kaitlyn and the Bachelorette crew treat us to two hours of tears because the men are getting anxious and Kaitlyn is convinced every single conversation is going to be about her and Nick playing “where is Nicky?” (Which to be clear, I can totally imagine Nick’s smug little demon face wedged through a wooden door he just axed. After all, as Kaitlyn says “It’s, like, a legit castle. There was a queen who visited and it’s supposed to be haunted.” Haunted, you say? It sure will be after Nick visits, but I digress.)
Kaitlyn totally manipulates every conversation in which she feels the tinges of regret and conviction for having slept with Nick. She cries everytime someone gets serious with her and then twists the conversation to about how Shawn(Shaun?)(definitely not Sean)(the more I type his name the less real his name looks) is being insecure. Which, yes, Shaun is being a bit of a baby, but the entire time I can see Kaitlyn processing “I slept with Nick. I’m carrying the antichrist and Shawn knows.”
But the moment that stood out to me most was when Kaitlyn responds to Ben H. about that “thing that happened” and she says her biggest mistake was “affirming Shawn”, really? Kaitlyn, no, what has been blowing everything (no innuendo intended) was your “Laying with a Leprechaun.”
Oh, but wait, Chris Harrison decides to “even the playing field” (aka: the production team decided other guys need to have sex with Kaitlyn because apparently Nick has the advantage.) Chris justifies this by explaining “it is important to have that intimate time with each other before moving on to the big step of meeting families.” Oh, right, because intimacy is not the bigger step or even a big step? Kaitlyn’s response really puts to words what we already know “well, intimacy is where I would naturally go before meeting families”, nice. Words I am sure my own mom would love to hear from a lady “I prefer to sex up a guy before I meet the family, gives us something to talk about.” Meanwhile, Nick smiles smugly thinking (Nick 1, Everyone Else 0).
Sidenote regarding musical men in harem pants:
Also, even though Cupcake Chris has beady little rat eyes…
…he sang “A Whole New World” Aladdin duet with you. In my book, by which I mean the Disney movies from which I have a totally healthy, holistic, and age-appropriate definition of love, a duet should seal the deal.
Evil Incarnate, aka Nick
Seriously, he smugness is unmatched in television villainy. He literally appeared on a couch with like two women draped over him. He might as well have been petting a white cat and asked Frau to activate the “laser.”
Joe thought he was signing up for cable when he met with ABC, poor guy.
Frankly his lack of crazy is probably the only reason he hasn’t been kicked off. I think Kaitlyn keeps him around so she can believe she is a good person, they have zero chemistry.
Serial Killer/Pet – Jared
Even though I’m a firm believer that beards are cool and most guys are, Jared your beard needs to go. It accentuates your face by making you look reptilian and like you were unable to shave because Kaitlyn doesn’t have a vanity in the bushes outside her window. I give you props for being the smallest guy in the boxing ring and taking a beating like a champ, seriously, but you are Kaitlyn’s pet. She even lets you ride shotgun in her Mini Cooper on the way to lick a rock.
Which I always imagined the Blarney Stone to be more like a meteor with ancient inscriptions, not a wall you’re supposed to kiss upside down. Swapping spit with thousands of people is even less cool when done upside down, then again I’m sure all of the Bachelor contestants have already resigned to using the same toothbrush because they already taste each other’s meals left behind on Kaitlyn’s teeth.
Elongated Ryan Gosling
Shawn Listen, we get it. You’re ripped with icy blue eyes and swoopy blonde hair.
You’re also really tall. Your personality, however, means that a husky with frosted tips, on stilts and a weight lifting regimen has you beat.
My Last Horse in the Race – Ben H
A normal guy without the weird idiosyncrasies.
Even if you do look like young Donny Osmund, you are the only person I would trust to… teach Sex Ed to my kid. Sure, because you survived child actors and Sex Ed while also making a move on Kaitlyn, bravo.
Final two: Jared and Nick.
Kaitlyn has to explain to Nick that his hypnotism no longer works on her because she replaced her contact lenses. He freaks out and goes all psycho killer like he did on Andi’s season, Jared pushes him off a cliff but keeps a lock of curly hair to add to his “trophy collection”.
Kaitlyn then decides she can’t settle for a pet like Jared and calls Brady hoping he changed his mind.
Brady and Britt get married and become spokespeople for Axe Body Spray.
Alright folks, was that the funniest thing you’ve read all year or what? Show Drew some love in the comments below, and let me know who your predictions are!