Bachelorette Recap: White Tanks are the New Black Tee
Emily heads to Croatia with only eight men left after six weeks of weeding out the superfluous mushroom farmers and luxury brand consultants from the herd. Those who remain have a small window of opportunity to show their true colors, since approximately 43 minutes have been dedicated to pimping the blatant product placement of ABC’s parent company Disney’s new PIXAR movie “Brave.”
Our bachelorette is in rare form this episode, giving and withholding roses as if there isn’t even a production schedule that must be followed.
I like this girl more and more every week I watch.
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.
We begin with a shot of Emily schlepping her own empty turquoise luggage up the ancient city streets of Dubrovnik. For someone who has an official blanket bearer in her entourage, I found this exercise rather odd. I begin to pay attention to the voiceover and learn that Ems has shipped Little Ricki back to the Americas so she can focus more on her one-on-one time with the guys. Meanwhile, the guys arrive on a boat, bursting with excitement and taking in the general splendor of the view as they adjust the removable wool lining from their “You Raise Me Up” outerwear line as seen in the dreary streets of London last week. Charcoal grey is the new black and Groban is the new Ralph Lauren twice removed. One F Jef was the lucky suitor asked by producers to deliver the tired, canned line from seasons of yore:
OFJ: “Croatia is the perfect place to fall in love.”
They exchange bro talk at the hotel when Emily arrives in skinny jeans, tall brown boots, nude colored shirt with accompanying golden crystal bedazzlement poncho looking ensemble. She pulls the date card from her back pocket as our hearts deflate upon the realization that there will more than likely not be a Harrison sighting until the rose ceremony.
First One-On-One Date
“Let’s Look For Love Beyond the Walls”
Sweet Trav pulls on a pink plaid shirt and his bedazzled Rascal Flatts jeans, careful to not appear too matchy/matchy to Emily’s own bejewels but just enough matchy to subject subliminal messaging through his wardrobe that suggest they compliment each other, yet remain individuals. Emily announces that they will be wandering around Dubrovnik for the better part of the day before reciting 101 fun facts and figures according to inside cover of her Frommer’s Guide to Croatia travel book. After purchasing a cross, eating pistachio ice cream and dancing a jig to the music of a three-string fiddle, Emily notices a TOP PICK star by something called the “Balancing Stone” and the pair head off to Main Street to test their romantic fate.
There’s a stone that sticks out from a wall and all you have to do is balance on it. Once balanced, you are encouraged to remove your shirt or jacket. If you remain balanced with a bare torso, you will be lucky in love. It appears harmless enough until it takes Travis four times to conquer the beast. I guess the combination of embarrassment in his inability to stand on said stone and the wave of relief he experienced when he finally did it enabled him from remembering the part where he was supposed to go topless. Emily didn’t forget.
Emily: “He never took off his shirt, which is disappointing. I’ve been wondering what’s underneath that pink pearl snap.”
Sadly, that’s for the egg’s eyes only.
Trav is completely in awe of this first date and tells the camera in numerous confessionals that he feels like they’ve been going out for years. They have so much in common. She is exceeding his expectations. He’s completely blown away.
I too, am completely blown away because the scene has switched to the hotel where the bros are discussing Travis’ likelihood of returning with a rose and it’s all I can do to contain the sheer euphoria I feel when I spy Ryan sporting an extremely feminine white tank top that I am almost positive hails from Anthropologie’s spring collection. It is evident that the garment is also on backwards. If he were practicing a routine for his Chippendale try-out, the tank would be more traditional and made of thin material for easier rip-away quality. If he was dressing up like Richard Simmons, the tank would be bright green and he would have matching shorts with hot pink piping. One can only conclude that he actually chose to wear the exact same tank top that Miley Cyrus is probably wearing right now.
Unbelievable and awesome. Unbelawesome.
Back on the street, Travis is still waxing and waning about the wonder that is Emily. On a scale of eight, this date is a 10! On a scale of six, his chach factor is a 12. But there’s also an adorkable factor that doesn’t go unnoticed. And everyone knows that dorks are the coolest people ever, yet often find themselves permanently residing in the Friend Zone.
Emily tells him that she’s grateful for his smile and joyful spirit, thanks him for the firm friendship they’ve created and asks him to be the official mayor of her Friend Zone until One F Jef’s arrives in a few weeks. She puts the rose down, picks up an umbrella and bids him adieu as he walks the lonely cobbled streets of Dubrovnik. Before reaching the unmarked rejection van, he throws the umbrella to the ground, preferring the sting of the bitter rain and hoping that Mother Earth’s sweet nectar will wash away the pain.
Annoyed that he chose to forgo the umbrella, the producers are forced to find sanctuary in a Dubrovnikian bookstore so that Travis can dry off and give his rejection confessional through bursts of snotty tears and dry heaving chokes of agony.
Trav: “That hurt. That hurt a lot. Rejection sucks with a capital SUCK.”
Lincee: “You knew her for five minutes. Suck it up buddy. With a capital SUCK.”
I found it interesting that the group date card arrived at the door perched on a black plastic IKEA table. Was it impossible to not secure something more historically Croatian?
One F looms over the guys as they settle in to listen for their names.
Ryan: “The name on the card that is NOT called will be the guy who gets the one-on-one date.”
Thank you Captain Conspicuous. It’s a relief to have confirmation that the tight tank isn’t inhibiting blood flow to your brain. Carry on.
“Lasting Love Requires Bravery”
One F Jef
Ryan basks in a green glow of envy before promising to the camera that he will manipulate the situation and get the girl in the end. Ahhhh! There’s nothing like the smell of arrogance in the morning.
Personally, PIXAR had me at “Toy Story” and I feel it’s unnecessary to heavily advertise their new films, especially during a reality show about someone finding true love in the span of eight weeks. I thought the producers were reaching when they took a cue from “Brave” and made the bachelors compete in the Highland Games as suitors did in the movie. Of course, after several gratuitous shots of Doug and Sean changing into kilts and sleeveless, tight Under Armor shirts my mind was quickly distracted by bulging biceps and six pack abs. A few rounds of archery, tree tossing and human tug-of-war never hurt anybody!
Emily: “You guys look good.”
One F: “We feel good.”
Lincee: “I love this guy!”
The kilted men mount their donkeys bareback (were they provided cups?) and head into the field of battle. There was a bagpipe, several medieval weapons and a grand sweep of confusion over Bachelor Nation as we try and recall snippets of junior high World History in search of any connection between Croatia and what appears to be the preparation for a re-enactment of one of the minor scenes in “Braveheart.” After 10 minutes of Highland Games frivolity and absolutely no explanation from our resident trip advisor Emily, you grapple with the thought of discussing the perplexing details unfolding before you by asking other members of the watching party if you missed an animated map of a little airplane making dots to signify the travel from Croatia to Scotland. Fearing humiliation, you Google it first, confirming that there is no coloration between the two before casually commenting that the network’s desire to blatantly introduce product placement is a shame. Then you confess your Googling and all laugh because everyone was thinking the same thing.
Or was that just me?
Chris was first to volunteer to throw a tree and failed miserably. Sean actually broke his log. Insert dirty joke here. Next, Chris actually challenged Doug as his opponent in the tug-of-war. Basically, guys sit feet-to-feet, both hold on to a stick and try to pull the other one up and over without developing a hernia first. Sean commanded this exercise as well. Finally, everyone has a go at the archery tournament and most do okay. Except, of course, for Chris. His attempt was pitiful at best.
Even though Sean looked hot performing all of the above tasks, Emily gave Chris the “bravery cup” which is equivalent to the white honorable mention ribbon that all kids in elementary school receive for simply participating in field day. Emily explains that she’s not looking for brawn. She just needs someone to hold her blanket forever and always.
Chris gets some alone time on a bale of hay with Ems and a double rainbow appears overhead as they kiss.
Raise your hand if you thought of Cape Cod Chris? Me too.
Later that night, Emily arrives in black sparkly dress and emergency black blanket. She makes sure Sean knows that he was totally hot tossing wood (insert dirty joke here) earlier in the day and encourages him not to lose confidence before sneaking away with Arie.
Arie was on fire this week. After being scolded for not having Emily’s back in London, he decided to have her back against a wall on a secluded cobblestone street and made out with her during the group date. She and every other woman watching appreciated the romantic gesture.
Well played Arie. Well played. You can back me up against a wall anytime…wait, what? Where was I?
One F Jef takes a chivalrous approach by giving Emily his jacket AND a blanket before telling her that what he is feeling is what novels are written about (adorable).
Emily: “Why did you take so dadgum long to kiss me?
OFJ: “I was scared.”
Emily: “I thought you were down playing it.”
OFJ: “Right. That’s it. That was totally my plan. Can I tell you a secret? I’m crazy about you.”
Love him. Especially in a kilt.
Emily giggles and they make out under eight blankets. It was sweet.
Later, Chris is the first to admit that he’s falling for Emily and that he’s in this forever. She grants him the date rose for his honesty and I scratch my head in confusion. Perhaps Chris will be joining Travis in the Friend Zone because I just don’t see this going anywhere close to where Sean, One F and certainly Arie are willing to take it.
Second One-On-One Date
“The World Is Our Oyster”
The boys make fun of Ryan for taking three hours to get ready every day. Chris explains that his primping regime includes chest waxing, leg shaving, five o’clock shadow sculpting, finger plucking and general musking of various body parts. He joins the men in the living room. Everyone “hoodies up” as Ryan begs someone to wish him luck on his one-on-one. None do.
Emily arrives, managing to not choke on the testosterone.
Ryan: “The world is our pearl!”
Emily: “Or oyster. Whatever.”
Ryan: “It’s our oyster and we’ve found the pearl. The pearl is you.”
Emily: “My you have all the lines, don’t you?”
I believe the last time I rolled on the floor laughing that hard was that time Ryan wore a tank top from the Sarah Connor “Terminator” collection. Remember that? It was backwards.
The guys do an impressive job of both holding in their laughter and not punching Ryan in his embellished jaw line. He leaves his duffel bag of bathroom supplies at the back door chock full of apricot scrubs, body butter and luxury brand shampoo and conditioner Kalon accidentally left in the shower. Once they are out the door, six grown men burst into hysterics before taking turns shaving their naughty bits with his straight razor.
Emily lets Ryan drive, laughing as little old ladies and a goose with a line of goslings behind her pass Ryan with honks and squawks. He balances a fine line between angel and devil. Emily notes that they have a lot of chemistry, but then he says something stupid that makes her question his intentions.
Ryan drives them to a dock where they board a boat while an old man scours for oysters. He cracks open the shell and encourages the pair to suck up the muscle before allowing the slimy organism to slide down their gullet. Emily looks mortified as Ryan reminds her oysters are aphrodisiacs.
Emily: “This ain’t exactly putting me in the mood.”
Ryan barks at her to suck the oyster (with a capital SUCK I’m sure) and she slurps the slug into her mouth and lets it sit there. Rookie mistake. Never bite it. Hold your nose. Swallow. Chase with Dr Pepper. Everyone knows this.
She stands with wide eyes and begins to spastically shake her head. The non-English speaking Croatian executes a flawless universal sign for “throw up” and Emily spits the oyster back into the ocean.
Circle of life people. Which makes me think of the “Lion King.” Then I think of animation. Which leads to PIXAR. Then “Brave.” CURSES TO YOU DISNEY AND YOUR CLEVER PRODUCT PLACEMENT.
Ryan does a good job explaining to Emily exactly what he means by her being a great trophy wife by the mere fact that she’s decked out in head to toe gold sequins at dinner.
Ryan: “You can’t go around looking like that and not expect to be presented as a trophy. Wait until I get to plan the dates. You’ll be there…[wink, wink]. I hate that I didn’t get to dress up in a dress, ride a donkey and throw some sticks for you. I would have liked the competition. Instead, I was home all day and wrote out a list of demands I need in a wife.”
Emily waits to hear “doting mother” listed somewhere between logical and sexy personality, but it never is mentioned. She gently breaks the news that she will not be giving the rose to Ryan. And he gently breaks the news that she is making a huge mistake.
I stood up at this point, anticipating certain victory.
He follows Emily’s rejection with every trick in the book he’s ever used to “close the deal” with previous relationships and one-night stands.
Ryan: “I’m shocked. You’re not giving this enough time and thought. Why do you have tears? Are you crying?”
Emily: “This is the first time that I’m not sure if I’m making the right choice.”
Ryan: “Then give me a chance to show you the man I am.”
Emily: “I don’t know.”
I sat down, anticipating the tragedy of defeat mixed with the hope of another future tank top sighting at the very least.
Ryan: “You make right decisions and wrong ones. Time will tell.”
Emily: “It’s hard to put into words what I feel. It doesn’t make sense.”
Lincee: “Put the rose down, Emily. Walk away.”
Ryan: “I’m right for you. Don’t you see that?”
Emily: “I don’t know if it’s insecurity or just the difference between us.”
Lincee: “Stay strong. Resist the pheromones. RESIST THE MUSK.”
For more than a second, ABC leads us believe that Emily is going to change her mind, but she ends up sticking to her guns. He doesn’t understand her decision. I don’t understand his blue suede shoes, but that is neither here nor there as I frantically scramble to turn on “We are the Champions” in a victory march. It made a perfect soundtrack to the boys high-fiving each other in sweet elation as the dude in all black came to retrieve Ryan’s toiletries. I’m glad my TV has a slow motion button.
As he pulls away, he asks the camera crew to please not edit him to look like an arrogant ass.
Say hello to the newest contestant on “The Bachelor Pad,” ladies and gentlemen!
Taking advantage of Little Ricki being halfway across the world, Arie wisely decides to “find” Emily after her date with Ryan so he can console and applaud her for giving him the boot. Producers encourage her to remain in her trophy dress as the ABC make-up artist touches up her rouge and mascara. Arie arrives and Emily escorts him to the living room where he commends her for being such a great judge of character. He admits that he would have told her about Ryan’s tendency to be a bit on the egotistical side, even if she had given him a rose. We miss the transition from the living room to the bedroom and find Arie all snuggled under a million blankets and Emily still in what has to be the most binding dress known to man.
Not thinking, Emily confesses that he is going to love where they are going next week and Arie sheepishly asks, “So I’m getting a rose tomorrow?” She quickly hands him Ryan’s rose and insists that he not tell anyone that she gave it to him. “Now you’ll have two!” she giggles. Then they make out.
Let’s get a spoiler alert next time, shall we?
Emily arrives at the rose ceremony looking like a human version of sands through the hour glass. Just go with me on that description people. She lays all of her cards out on the table for us and admits that both Doug and Wolf are on the bubble. And if someone held a white tank top to her head and made her decide right now, she’d pick Wolf to go home.
It’s crazy how ABC is giving us a little peek behind the emerald curtain, no?
Wolf shows up to the competition just in time by pulling his grandfather’s funeral card from his wallet and sharing a sweet story about it was nine years to the day that he had his heart attack. He apologizes for playing it too cool and promises to pursue if she gives him another shot.
She quickly changes her mind and announces that Doug might be the one going home. She gives him permission to feel her up and thanks him for being so humble before giving him permission to let his confident side come out to play. Doug thanks her for the input and then breaks down in confessional about missing his son…his baby. He made Tony’s breakdown look like a guy trying to pull off a dainty tank top while crying over a balcony. It was very moving.
Our Host Chris Harrison arrives to collect Emily and everyone (read: me) notices his immaculately coiffed hair. Along with Chris, Emily hands roses to Arie, Sean and One F Jef before taking the longest pause ever, dramatically turning and rushing out the back door to find Harrison. Both Doug and Wolf appear to be having early signs of a heart attack as Emily swishes up to Our Host to tell him that she doesn’t know what to do.
Harrison reminds her that there are NO RULES in “The Bachelorette,” she hands Harrison the rose and walks back in. For a moment, I thought that Emily had essentially just given Our Host the final bud of the evening. Smart woman. Clearly, it had been the most dramatic rose ceremony ever. Until …
Harrison walks in with a second rose on a silver platter. I wonder how far the ABC intern had to go to find another rose and stick pin? Doug and Wolf are safe.
Emily lets the guys know that they will be in Prague next week…the perfect city to fall in love. Contestant Chris has a melt down, One F gets it on with Emily in a library and Arie is outed for formerly dating a producer on the show.
What do you guys think? Is One F Jef a contender? Will Emily forgive Arie? Will Roz sue the network for being kicked off for a similar accusation as Arie? Do you have a sudden desire to purchase a white tank top? Sound off in the comments!
All about the shame, not the fame,