Greetings, fellow residents of Bachelor Nation! How was your Memorial Day weekend? I hope that you all enjoyed long weekends, remembered the fallen troops who gave their lives for us (Memorial Day weekend is about more than just the premier of official white jeans season! Though I LOVE white jeans season), and ate/drank a bit too much.
Speaking of drinking too much, on Monday night we enjoyed episode 2 of Rachel's season as The Bachelorette and there was definitely drunken drama! The line of the night goes to loving father/professional wrestler Kenny, who said, "these white dudes are kind buggin' right now" and all of Bachelor Nation cheered.
If you prefer to HEAR two Bachelor Nation lifers chat about this episode, listen to The Fantasy Suite, my and Dava Krause's amazing Bach podcast here.
But to start at the beginning...
The episode opens with Rachel waking up after the "first night" (which lasts roughly 16 hours) and playing with her dog Copper (who has a mysterious leg injury THAT IS NEVER explained! Will we EVER know the truth about CopperGATE?) while the guys perform their legally mandated "RACHEL!" group scream off the Bachelor Mansion upstairs deck.
Chris Harrison maps out the week for them: 2 group dates and a 1:1 date, roses up for grabs on all dates, don't fuck it up.
The first date is about how Rachel is looking for husband material (I LOVE her attitude in all of this--she KNOWS she's a catch and aint afraid to say it!) and the guys invited are Dean (white guy with blinding teeth, 25), Jack (white guy who seems allergic to ties and personality), Jonathan (white boy tickle monster BOOOO), Blake (white dude sorta redhead drummer guy who I do NOT like), Iggy (husky Asian guy who is HOT but maybe not that interesting?), Kenny (black guy Vegas wrestler who is a CONTENDER for sure), Fred (black guy, hometown hottie), and Lucas (white guy who feels like a character from The Chapelle Show who is "The Whitest, Corniest White Guy Of All Time").
They head out to a grassy field where Rachel is BBQing in a sundress. The crew enjoys a bunch of Moscow Mules (SO hot right now!), a playful football game, and Blake establishes that he knows "the real Lucas" and that "the one person who could ruin this for him is me" (which I think is quite generous, Blake. Surely Lucas's horrendous personality and inability to chill out could serve to ruin this for himself, ya know?). Blake never says it outright, but I read online that Lucas and Blake were both on WE TV's "Ex Isle"--a reality TV show in which exes live on a deserted island after a 3 hour tour or something? Really, who cares--but HOW PATHETIC is it that TWO dudes from a LAME reality TV show on a completely unpopular network (sorry "WE TV" but legit who are you?) are reunited on a DIFFERENT reality TV show? THIS is truly what's wrong with our country.
The second part of this group date is the Husband Material Challenge, a set of stations that each guy must master, and that course is overseen by Bachelor Nation residents Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis! Oh man I bet this is an episode of The Bachelorette that Demi Moore WON'T be watching. The stations are dad duties: changing a dirty diaper, strapping the baby into a Baby Bjorn and wearing it, vacuuming, clogging a drain, finding a diamond ring, setting a table, picking up flowers. Ashton and Mila supervise and at the end, things come down to Kenny vs. Lucas. You can tell that EVERYONE is rooting for Kenny, but somehow Lucas wins it all (well, not really "somehow" so much as he nearly drowns his baby and then clotheslines Kenny). Rachel puts a "winner" medal around his neck, but unlike the winner of most other challenges in other seasons, Rachel and Lucas don't get any alone time, which made me laugh. He won't be around long.
I must say, I am not and have never been a big Ashton Kutcher fan. I know that he charmed America during his turn on "That 70's Show" and the sociopaths who enjoy prank shows LOVED his show "Punk'd" (wherein wealthy people were lead to believe that bad things had happened to them for up to 15 minutes of anxiety then they had a big reveal that HA HA HA this is just professional jagoff Ashton Kutcher messing with you! Fear not, rich celebrity, your Miata convertible was NOT filled with horse dung--it's fine! You're still rich! You will ALWAYS be fine! Economic insecurity, police brutality, being crushed underfoot by the inherent violence of capitalism--those things will NEVER harm you!! Hahahhaha isn't that great TV programming?). ALAS, I gained a small iota of affection for Mr. Kutcher during this episode, ONLY because he flatly REFUSED to understand or enjoy or go along with "Wahboom" and for that, I respect him.
Meanwhile, back at the house singer/songwriter Lee is extremely tiresome and Will has noticed!
At the group date after party Rachel rocks a VERY low cut black dress with zipper edging down the front V neck and a zipper horizontally up the leg. She's also sporting a red lip and looks fierce. To be polite, Rachel pulls Lucas aside first (since he won, so she probably HAD to) and he reads her a moronic poem that concludes with him mis-using the word "entail." While Lucas is away, Blake tells the other guys on the group date that he knows Lucas from a "previous encounter" (is that what they call a previous reality TV show nowadays because it sounds like they hooked up) and that Lucas is NOT here for Rachel, he just wants to be on TV, and he has been peddling this weird "Wahboom" garbage for 3 years. None of this surprises ANY of the guys.
Rachel gets 1:1 time with each guy and Jack acts like a pussy, Jonathan spends all their solo time talking about diaper changing (why no more tickling, Tickle Monster?), Iggy makes boring conversation, Fred insists that he has matured, and Blake informs Rachel that Lucas is full of shit and not here for the right reasons. Dean, the 25-year-old who I have been mocking for his teeth size/brightness, turns out to be pretty playful and charismatic, and he and Rachel get along great. Blake and Lucas nearly come to blows, which inspires Kenny to walk off in search of Rachel because...
Rachel and Kenny have a fantastic conversation and share a sweet kiss, but the date rose goes to Dean who then makes the STRONGEST move in Bachelorette history and WALKS HER TO THE CAR! I know it seems small and obvious which is why it is SO STUNNING that no one has thought of this before! I mean, no one has, right, my fellow Bach heads? It was SO suave! Yes yes yes, Dean-o--talk my hand, walk me to the car, lead me in, then tap on the door. GOOD LORD I SUDDENLY LOVE DEAN!! WTF????
The next day, Peter (white guy, facial scruff, dark hair) and Rachel have a 1:1 date (well, 1:1 + dog) in Palm Springs, CA, one of my FAVORITE places in the world. I spent my 35th birthday at the Ace Hotel + Swim Club resort in Palm Springs and I love that place so much. They attend "Bark Fest" which is like a Coachella for dogs (but with less drugs).
That evening over "dinner" (drinks served at a table with plates that will never be used), Peter and Rachel talk about their shared gap toothed smiles (that conversation was a dentist's dream as far as free promotion) and the fact that they have BOTH seen therapists. Ha! That made me laugh. He seemed anxious to share this tidbit and he even called it a "relationship therapist" which felt like a weird way for him to qualify his need to get some counseling. Dude, let it rip! Everybody's in therapy! Aint no shame! Rachel gives Peter a kiss and a rose and they watch some fireworks. In keeping with the animal date theme, Rachel says she's a "smitten kitten for Peter" which is SO cute! Rachel can do no wrong! She's just so damn charming and lovely!
The next day is the "SWISH" group date and the gang is Will (pretty forgettable), Jamey (white guy who has said nothing except that he thinks he has a good face and hair), Diggy (YES! Handsome black guy from Chicago, rad glasses), Alex (white guy with accent who likes to hang out with his parents and with strips of raw meat), Adam (white guy who is cute but will never live down the creepy doll thing), Lee (singer/songwriter/nightmare), Matt (white guy from CT who arrived in a penguin suit and seems bland), Eric (black guy who arrived in a tan suit and seems intense), Josiah (black guy, lawyer, cute), and DeMario (black guy, lil intense).
The crew assembles at a gym where Rachel is rocking an effortless Sporty Spice look (love it) and DeMario is laying it on THICK. Then outta nowhere, who arrives but hit actor featured in AIRPLANE!, Kareem Abdul Jabbar (who apparently also spent some time playing hoops before he BROKE THROUGH as a brilliant comedic actor). Kareem is hugely likeable and trots out some inspirational tidbits about how teamwork is important in life and in love yadda yadda yadda. The guys work on some drills under the watchful eyes of Rachel and Kareem and we spot a budding romance between Rachel and DeMario, so YOU KNOW something bad is about to happen.
The dudes split up into 2 teams (purple vs. white) and have a super mini basketball game in front of a "packed house" (apparently the new definition of "packed house" is when 3 out of 5 sections of dinky high school bleachers are full). One team wins and another team loses (who cares which is which, ya know? Such is life. You must go through winter to appreciate spring, you must suffer some injustices to appreciate good things, there is a season to everything, yes I am turning into a hippie dippy weirdo between these parenthesis) and post-game, the teams retire to the locker room while Rachel takes selfies with fans.
One girl sits Rachel down and drops a bombshell--her name is Lexi she's wearing an unflattering, white girl flesh toned shirt (WHY DO THEY DO THIS?) and a SCRUNCHIE on her wrist (did anyone else notice that?), but she didn't stop Rachel for fashion advice (though she should), she stopped her to share the news that she and DeMario dated for SEVEN MONTHS until he GHOSTED her to go on The Bachelorette. DeMario never dumped her, never communicated what was going on--he simply ditched town and then Lexi and her beloved scrunchie saw him on TV in After the Final Rose. Wooooooow. Rachel immediately gets DeMario from the locker room and he walks into the gym probably thinking that he's getting a rose then he sees Lexi and says "ohhhhh!!" as if he recognizes her, then changes course and says "who's this?" Oh fuuuuck you, DeMario. THEN, as if he can't make himself look any worse, in response to Lexi's insistence that he still has the keys to her apartment, he was in her bed mere weeks before he went on the show, he says "SHE IS PSYCHO."
Calling a woman "psycho" is the favorite move of low key misogynists who are trying to pull a fast one on a woman, but want HER to seem like the irrational, crazy, problem one. And people are finally calling it for what it is--manipulation, gaslighting, and a trick used to make a woman feel afraid to point it out when a man is treating her like shit. The fantastic parody Women's Magazine website Reductress has one of my favorite takes on this:
I'm Sorry I Was Being So Crazy While You Were Treating Me Like Shit.
Rachel gives them both time to talk, but DeMario has NO leg to stand on. DeMario claims that this situation is "personal life stuff" which pisses off Rachel because THIS--THIS RIGHT HERE--THIS SHOW, THIS is HER personal life stuff. She remains calm and asks DeMario a few questions to try and make sense of the situation, then she looks at the texts on Lexi's phone (at Lexi's urging). Rachel simply asks DeMario, WHY did you cut off communication? Why didn't you simply TELL Lexi what you were doing or where you were going?
Then Rachel says something that I would like to have painted on my friggin' accent wall so that I review it every morning, "I'm not there to be played, I'm not here to be made a joke of" and I was screaming YESSS GIRL! She closes with, "I'm really going to need for you to get the F out" and she walks off. Now THAT is how it's done, my friends. If it SEEMS sorta fishy and weird, IT IS, so trust your gut and WALK AWAY from ANY dude who seems dishonest or opportunistic ESPECIALLY if he refers to his ex-GF as a "psycho."
At the afterparty, Rachel looks gorgeous in a gunmetal, silk, sparkly slip dress and most of the guys work hard to make her feel safe, that she can trust them, and that she is protected, but Josiah does it the most and the best and is rewarded with a rose.
The next day it's RAINING and the weather matches the somber mood in the house, which Iggy phrases by saying "there's a theoretical cloud over the house." Ummm buddy, actually there's probably a REAL cloud over the house but perhaps you mean there is ALSO a METAPHORICAL cloud over the house. Good Lord where do these people learn to talk so dumb?
The men get ready for a rose ceremony and Rachel arrives in her best dress yet--black, floor length, sleeveless with KILLER gold edging on the arms/neckline, plus a gorgeous gold belt. It's like a 70s disco dream and you KNOW how I love my 70s style clothing. She chats excitedly with Bryan (chiropractor who got First Impression Rose last week) and is slowly getting her groove back after the DeMario drama when who shows up in the Bachelor Manse drive way but DEMARIO!! Goodness gracious can anyone simply leave this show with their tail between their legs, or must they ALL return in order to save face, only to make things even worse?
A security staffer greets DeMario and brings Chris Harrison down to the driveway so that he and DeMario can talk. Chris Harrison goes up to the house to fill Rachel in on what is happening and a few guys overhear, so THEY head down the driveway also.
We were left with a dramatic "TO BE CONTINUED" so we'll have to wait and find out what happens next week but I am PRAYING for a giant, street brawl that's DeMario versus Everyone.
See you next week, friends!