Before we begin: Reader, if you are looking for my essay about jealousy and positive mantras, it's right below here. Feel free to read both! OK, let's get to smack-talkin!
Last night was the last gasp of Memorial Day weekend and a last gasp for 3 guys living in the Bachelorette mansion. Chris Harrison mapped out the week's activities at the start of the episode: 16 guys were still in the running and this week they had 1 group date, and 2 one-on-one dates.
The first one-on-one date went to Chris (squinty eyes, hot guy from Chicago) and the card said, "Love is a steady climb." I was hoping they'd end up watching a Hannah Montana DVD and crank up, "The Climb" (a song by Miley Cyrus that makes me cry and I wiiiish I were kidding about that), but The Bach franchise is know for its literal interpretations, so of course Emily and Chris literally CLIMBED a building. They suited up in harnesses and helmets (not a hot look for ANYONE) and scaled a 3 story building while lightning crashed and love metaphors (about "holding on" and "not letting go") swirled around them. They finally reached the top, where they had drinks and talked. Emily learned that Chris is ONLY 25 years old (ONE YEAR YOUNGER THAN SHE IS!!!!) and was openly weirded out by that. Chris casually said, "Yeah, I'm just a tiny bit younger than you," which was a graceful way to handle her anxiety about the fact that he was (probably) born when she as 8 months old. Emily and Chris then head down to the street level (via the elevator this time--phew) where Luke Bryan is waiting to play a concert in the street. Normally, I would rip any singer who performs on reality TV to SHREDS, but I love country music and I dig Luke Bryan. So as much as I want to snark it up, I'm going to encourage you to listen to Drunk On You and enjoy the sweet country twanging. Chris is given a rose and a smooch from Emily at the end of the date.
Up next is the group date that crew is comprise of Charlie, Alejandro, Ryan, Stevie, Allesandro (who is almost always grouped with Alejandro and I'm convinced that the two international dudes are interchangeable to the producers), Shawn, John aka Wolf, Michael, Doug, Tony, Jef, and Travis. The guys meet Emily at a park where Ryan thinks that they are going to play football and he is FIRED UP. Ryan is slowly revealing himself to be a bad guy and as he gets worse, his facial hair gets more and more Color Me Badd-inspired. By the end of this thing he'll probably have a nose tube or a chin strap and perpetually pursed lips (I PRAY!). The park day isn't about the 'ole pigskin, though--it's about Emily's 4 closest friends getting to know each guy. Get ready for surprise interviews, losers! The interview montage includes clips of Stevie popping and locking as though his dance skills aren't a deal-breaker (dude, this isn't America's Next Dance Crew), Ryan performing push-ups for the gals, Sean talking about his faith and then taking off his shirt for body inspection, and Doug making a hella good impression with his serious father talk. Speaking of serious fathers, Tony is having a hard time being away from his 5-year-old son and he calls the tyke multiple times during the episode. I get that he's Tony's kid and Tony cares about him a ton... but Tony seems a touch codependent to me.
Emily and her ladies reconvene to chat and Ryan interrupts them to say hello. He makes a joke about what would happen if Emily gained weight and it does NOT go over well. Nonetheless, the friends say that their favorites were Doug, Sean, and Ryan.
Once the interviews are over, the crew gets dressed up for a cocktail party after the day's events. Tony calls his son FROM THE COCKTAIL PARTY and then weeps in an alley. What the heck is going on here!? Emily comes out and talks him down, then says he should go home. He agrees and hops a cab. Emily chats with each of the other guys and has a great conversation with Sean, who has mastered the slow burn (despite his sociopathic blonde bully hair). Sean and Emily get along famously and she gives him the rose from that challenge. Ryan is surprised that he didn't get a rose and I'm guessing his thoughts were something like, "How am I not getting every rose, every time? I used to play pro football and umm, has she seen my body? Hello?" Oh Ry Guy, every rose has its thorn, am I right? (I don't even know what that is supposed to mean, but I'll jump on any chance to quote Poison.)
The next day, Arie (the race car driver) and Emily have a one-on-one date and they fly to Tennessee to visit DOLLYWOOD! Yes, Dolly Parton's southern-style theme park is where Arie and Emily really connect and she mentions that Arie is a LOT like her ex. Interesting. I always assumed that her ex was probably more of a thug, but I guess not. The plot thickens! Arie and Emily go into a darkened theater where they meet Dolly Parton. Yes, THE Dolly Parton. Emily explains that she loves Dolly and Dolly doesn't care what people think and Emily loves that, and now I love Emily a little bit more for loving Dolly. Between Miss Piggy last week and Dolly Parton this week, The Bachelorette is a brilliant showcase of iconic blondes! Hell yeah!