Bachelorette Emily Recap: Polka, Pigeons and Pranks – Hooray for Hometown Dates!

Would it have killed ABC to dig up a few eligible bachelors who had families that liked to fly their freak flags? Between the ridiculously adorable nieces, pumpkin head nephews, dapper twin brothers, precious mothers and doting fathers, I found myself actually rooting for three of the four contestants while praying that the fourth wouldn’t go postal on the ABC Psychotherapist in the rejection limo, but instead, use his bobble head to process through his emotions in a healthy way.

With that said, if crazy is a necessary ingredient for entertaining television, last night’s episode was like a hearty helping of Quaker Oats rice cakes with a Styrofoam cup of tepid water and a serving of room temperature air on the side. Thank goodness for skull t-shirts, skeet shooting, road kill and a bleach-blonde woman who could easily pass for Emily’s older, more eclectic aunt who moonlights as a participant on the Real Housewives of Scottsdale.

SIMPLE DISCLAIMER
The following information you are about to read is of personal opinion. However, if you or someone you poked on Facebook happens to personally know, sort of know, is friends with the niece/former classmate of someone who is obsessed with the Hunger Games trilogy and looks exactly like one of the contestants on the show…none of this is personal and I’m sure they are all lovely people.

Before Emily leaves for her whirlwind tour of the United States, she makes a pit stop in Charlotte to check in with Little Ricki who has been busy making an inspired “welcome home” sign out of glitter glue and dry macaroni while perfecting the art of the bang braid as introduced by her mother during Hotter than Crap Brad’s 2.0 season. Little Ricki runs down the winding staircase, meeting Emily in the middle with a triumphant jump into her arms. Raise your hand if you thought Emily was THIS close to dropping her bundle of joy? My entire watching party collectively caught our breath and clenched our butts in anticipation of Emily’s tiny frame not being able to withstand the blow. Luckily, all was fine, tickle fights ensued and Little Ricki scored an invitation to sleep in her Mom’s bed.

While visions of sugar plums danced in her head, Emily made the routine end-of-the-night house checks (open/close blinds, lock door, leave key in door for robbers to snatch and grab…the usual drill) as a voiceover ran through the endearing qualities of each of the remaining bachelors.

Emily: “Chris is sweet, a great guy and very open.”
Translation: “He told me he loved me waaaaayyyyyyy too soon.”

Emily: “I can trust Jef. He’s so unique and special and unlike anyone else.”
Translation: “I’m scared to go out on a limb and give it a go with this guy.”

Emily: “There was an immediate connection with Arie. We were drawn to each other. I’m so attracted to him.”
Translation: “Arie is hot and he can kiss.”

Emily: “Sean has a great heart and I’m confident he would take care of me.”
Translation: “Sean is safe and I’m not sure I want the safe choice.”

CHICAGO
Chris

Chris stands in front of the camera, identifying this day as the most important one of his entire life. Currently, graduating college and signing the rental contract on his apartment are numbers two and three, but that’s not the point. The point is that he is ready for a family and wants to start his future with Emily yesterday.

As he waits, Emily “sneaks” up behind him, saying, “boo” in a monotone voice and pokes him in the ribs. They exchange “what’s up’s?” before wandering off to a pub to discuss all things Polish.

What’s up? Really? That’s the greeting you choose after weeks of not seeing the woman you love and with whom are in a serious, committed competition? I have a more romantic connection with Larry at my office. And I only see him once a month when he comes in to exterminate for crickets. It’s not like we all didn’t know, but this was one of many clues that Emily is just not in to Chris as he would believe.

Emily: “At the rose ceremony, Chris told me he was falling in love with me and I thought that was sooooo great. I see myself falling for Chris. In a, you know, not real sort of way. It’s more like I’m confident he would catch me should I literally fall over from my heel being stuck in a cobble stone street as a schlep my own turquoise bag. He’s great.”

Back at the pub, Chris explains that on a scale of one to Polish, his family is Polish. Emily understands, offering that on a scale of one to West Virginia hood rat, her family will use the kill shot if necessary.

I was reluctant to believe Chris’ above statement at first because everyone knows that Polish people eat sausage, which was mysteriously absent from his parents’ Last Supper-style dinner table. The macaroni and cheese made an appearance in the white Corning Ware dishes with the blue flowers on the side as seen on every dining room table since 1954, but no sausage? Curious.

In a thick Polish accent, Chris’ dad asks, “Do I sense love?”
Emily: “Absolutely.”
Lincee: “Note to the Poles…she was inferring to the love she senses for Arie’s tongue, One F Jef’s heart and Sean’s biceps. FYI.”

This is the first party foul I’ll call on Emily this entire season. You can’t give that hope to the Polish man because the first thing he’s going to do is pass it on to his half Polish son. And that son will move forward with securing the exact same polka band currently waiting for their cue in the back yard for the wedding reception.

His sister tries to give her a hard time, but she caves immediately from Emily’s Southern charm and annoyingly perfect skin. Everyone exchanges goodbyes and Chris walks her to the back yard where he proceeds to pour the love from his overflowing heart onto Emily who quickly shuts him up with a kiss.

CUE THE OOM-PAH MUSIC!

Suddenly, a spontaneous dance party erupts in the back yard and Emily is passed from lederhosen to lederhosen as a tuba player puffs out a familiar polka beat. She looks completely miserable in a “I-just-botched-the-final-interview” round of the Miss USA pageant sort of way.

UTAH
One F Jef

We learn that One F Jef’s family owns the Holmstead Ranch…a few hundred acres in Utah surrounded by national forest. We also learn that One F wears boxer briefs because his skinny jeans are the tightest I’ve ever seen.

Emily arrives at the Ranch wearing a darling cream pleated dress, brown belt and brown boots. He helps her into a dune buggy and she adjusts her Spanx and fluffs her skirt. It reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Steel Magnolias.

Truvy: “These thighs haven’t gone out of the house without lycra on them since I was 14.”
Clairee: “Well you were brought up right.”

Jef peels through the desert like a wild man as if to say, “Formula 1 what? Arie who?” I loved every second and by the looks of it, so did Emily. They arrive at an automatic clay pigeon trap. One F saunters up to the shot guns and shoots every pull. Emily adores the fact that he has a little bit of country in him that he’s been hiding. One F offers her a few tips.

She hits every one of hers too. She’s that girl.

Emily: “I may or may not have pretended to not know how to hold a shot gun.”
Jef: “She looked so hot shooting.”

It’s time to hang out in the oasis with the rest of the family. Jef’s older brother Steve assumes the patriarch lead since their parents are out of town doing charity work. Steve steals Emily away and asks some pretty important questions.

Steve: “I don’t doubt that you can fall in love fast. But I just need to know if you are both building your life on sound principles. And goals. What does it take to stay in love?”
Emily: “You have to go into it knowing that you may not like each other every day, but you do LOVE each other.”

This is all it takes for Steve to assess that Emily would be a perfect compliment to his brother. But he still has some important questions for Jef. Including the small fact that Steve has never once thought Jef was ready to settle down and definitely not ready to be an instant dad.

Jef: “I’ve never felt this way about other girls. This is so easy. It just makes sense.”

This is why I feel Jef is sincere, legit and completely going to get his heart broken in the end. But I’m not worried about him. He’ll have PLENTY of girls suddenly interested in clean water efforts in Africa, ranches in the desert and I’d be willing to bet the gun ranges are going to be crowded with single ladies in the very near future.

Meanwhile, Jef’s sisters team up on Emily to make sure she is ready and willing to uproot Little Ricki and move to the Ranch Oasis where she will be responsible for looking fabulous while raising and rearing miniature versions of One F Jef, Jr. with tiny mohawks and baby skateboards. Then they really lay it on thick in the cute factor division by sending in tiny munchkins with big hair bows and pacifiers. Emily and her uterus could be very happy here.

Jef takes her to a cliff that overlooks the south 40 of the Ranch, lays out his brother’s old dorm room comforter from 1998 and begins to read a letter he wrote to Emily after Prague. The phrases “help you chase your dreams” and “I love how you fit in my arms” are sweet, but he truly wins Emily’s affection when he includes Little Ricki in his soliloquy. He wants to teach her sports and tuck her in at night. It’s evident that Emily touched by the gesture. She loves that his personality is both humble and confident.

If ABC is smart, they’ll sign this guy up to be the next Bachelor. I’m not kidding.

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
Arie

Knowing that Emily is completely smitten by a man in a fast car, Arie takes a few spins around the track before inviting her to join him in the Formula 1. They separately comment on each other’s hotness (in Emily’s case, it was “stupid hotness”). She becomes all hot and bothered, so they do what they do best … make out between talking about important facts and details of their lives. We learn that Arie’s parents are “sooo European” and will probably need convincing that this relationship is legitimate. They prepare for the night’s festivities by drowning a bottle of wine before heading to the house, but never fear. Emily passes with flying colors until everyone begins speaking Dutch around her. I’m quite confident the twin brothers were discussing how one may have grazed a boob when he hugged Emily, but we’ll never know since Arie made it a rule that everyone had to speak English for the remainder of the evening.

Arie’s mom Mieke takes Emily to sit on the master bed for some one-on-one time. She admits that she watched Emily’s season and she wonders what exactly when wrong with Brad? Emily gives her canned answer of “I didn’t ask enough questions” before turning the conversation back to Arie…with his busy schedule, is he ready to commit?

Mieke: “I’ve been doing this for 31 years. Anyone can do it. I’m excited for you both. You will make me absolutely beautiful grandchildren.”

Arie, Sr. has a similar compliment: “I like her Southern accent. I hope you make it to the end.”
Arie, Jr.: “Me too. I’m definitely ready to propose to Emily.”

In the following scene, Emily and Arie are making out like high school kids on the front lawn with two minutes left until curfew. Since the entire date clocked around 10 minutes of air time, I assume the family dynamic was positive enough for Emily to imagine herself mugging down in Scottsdale, Arizona on a more permanent basis.

DALLAS, TEXAS
Sean

Sean stands at attention with his chocolate lab and boxer in a yellow and white striped t-shirt, grey shorts and Toms. Emily arrives in a frilly dress and they pick weeds disguised as wild flowers before the producers make them have a picnic facing the sun. The next several minutes are very distracting to me because this hot Texas boy looks the most unattractive I’ve ever seen him because he has to squint the entire conversation. I’m pretty sure he talked about a past relationship but all I could think was how I wish the ABC intern would give the guy a pair of Ray-Bans or something to help the brightness and if it happened to tone down the girliness of his shoes at the same time, so be it.

To make matters worse, sweet Sean went in for a big kiss with an open mouth and a little bit of tongue as Emily came on with a full pucker. These two HAVE to practice more if he’s going to perform anywhere NEAR the Arie universe.

Next up, Emily throws out some predetermined nonsense about how Sean must have skeletons in his closet and she needs to dig around to find out what’s wrong with this guy because nobody is that perfect.

They arrive at his parents’ house and we’re introduced to his mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law who have a couple of kids named Kensington and Smith. Did anyone else think about Downton Abbey and their excitement over the Olympic trials and pending games in London? Anyone?

Lady Kensington is the proud owner of a tricked out play house, complete with mail box and full kitchen. Little brother Smith plays dual roles of gardener and butler.

Sean settles everyone down on the patio furniture which has been pulled out to the lawn. He shares the big news that ABC had been teasing all night … he lives with his parents. Emily drops a concerned, “Cool” as he takes her up to his bedroom strewn with stuffed animals, dirty laundry and general filth. When he mumbles something about how he wished his Mom had time to clean up and the camera cuts to a half eaten cookie on a table, I suspected (read: prayed) that this was a prank on Emily. We all exhaled a huge sigh of relief when Sean admitted that he was kidding and then felt sorry for Emily again when his dad pulled out an armadillo from the oven, pretending it was dinner. I was both concerned that leprosy is airborne and wondered if they edited out the part where Emily sat on a whoopee cushion.

After winning the hearts of his parents, Sean takes her out front to practice kissing and bids her adieu as he walks her to the black departure SUV. As he watched her drive away, he realized that he needed one more round, so he decides to run through the neighborhood calling her name, hoping that the sound of his voice would compel the driver to stop and give him a second chance. The scenery wasn’t as romantic as when he did the exact same thing in Prague, but the gesture was nice.

ROSE CEREMONY
We’re back in Los Angeles! Our Host Chris Harrison pulls a few strings and scores a location for the rose ceremony at the Peninsula Hotel. I assume the franchise mansion is either still being decorated and disinfected for Bachelor Pad or the rose ceremony room has already been transformed into storage for crates of liquor, antibacterial lotion and extra closet space for Kalon’s luxury brand items.

Emily arrives in a stunning electric blue dress with rhinestone belt. Harrison is rocking a maroon tie. They adjourn to the lobby where Emily gives a five minute recap of the exact show we just watched less than an hour a go. Harrison asks Emily if she knows who she’s going to pick and Emily becomes choked up.

Emily: “It’s hard to dump a guy this week because they totally know that it’s because you can’t see yourself with their family. Look, I get that Arie’s mom probably made fun of my big hair, accent and the fact that I always lick my veneers when she was speaking Dutch to her family. And I know that there will be road kill jokes that will get old if I choose Sean. But I draw the line at polka dancing.”

Harrison escorts Emily into the rose room. Jef is in grey and Arie is in classic black. Sean chooses to subliminally say, “I’ve got this,” by not wearing a tie. Chris takes the opposite approach by wearing a tie so loud that I actually heard it say, “PICK ME” from my television.

Naturally the coveted buds go to Arie, One F and Sean. Chris begins to shake as Emily walks him to the post-rejection bench.

Chris: “I’m actually shocked. Is there an explanation?”
Emily: “Not really. My other relationships grew faster and deeper.”

Chris: “I TOLD YOU I LOVE YOU! How much faster could it have gone?”
Emily: “I just have to follow my heart.”

Clearly this news of his departure contributed to the major melt down both directly outside and moments later inside the rejection limo as it made its way back to a plane bound for Chicago O’Hare. On a scale of one to sloshed, I’d be willing to bet Chris ordered a tiny bottle of alcohol so the bobble head version of himself could get hammered on the way home too.

We only have three weeks left and the competition is actually pretty even as we head into the fantasy suite forgo card dates in the Caribbean. Who will be the final two? Does One F Jef have a chance? Do you think Arie will have the opportunity to propose? Is she really in to Sean? Sound off in the comment section.

All about the shame, not the fame,
Lincee

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