Roberto knocks it out of the park
Before we dive in to last night’s episode, I wanted to comment on the sad, sad news that Ed and Jillian are no longer on the radar for a future televised wedding on ABC during sweeps in the fall. You have to admit that it was pretty smart of the public relations department to try and sneak in this tidbit of information as the nation (or women in my office) continues to hash out the details of Vienna and Jake’s custody battle over her dog.
It’s not like we didn’t see it coming. I personally blame the green shorty shorts.
Speaking of proposals that will more than likely be broken before a certain Bachelorette declares that her signature colors are lemon and canary…
The following information you are about to read is of personal opinion. However, if you or someone on your Twitter account happens to personally know, sort of know, friends with the nephew/former classmate of, thought you saw in the grocery store buying New Moon on DVD or have a Jazzercize instructor that looks exactly like one of the Bachelors on the show…none of this is personal and I’m sure they are all lovely people.
We begin with Ali reflecting in Los Angeles on how she has literally fallen in love around the world. As she packs silver glittery shoes in the suitcase next to one of many off-the-shoulder Flashdance tops, she proudly pronounces that she is crazy about the four remaining guys on the show.
Home Town Date One
Ahhh Roberto. We hear the swelling crescendo from a Mexican guitar. We see him looking relaxed under a grove of trees at the University of Tampa. His pearl snap is crisp. His eyes are shining. His chin dimple is glorious. Ali runs to meet him. He greets her with a sexy, “Que pasa?” Ali tells him she loves pasta and they begin making out in front of the co-eds cutting through the quad on their way to physics class.
Roberto reminds the viewing audience that he used to play baseball both collegiately and professionally. He escorts Ali to the field and presents her with one of his old jerseys. Ali jumps up and down and screams like a girl at a New Kids on the Block concert. And by “girl” I mean me circa 198mumble at the Oil Palace in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Ali: “I was soooo like excited to like wear Roberto’s jersey. I can still smell the sweat in the polyester. But I don’t mind. Because he’s sweet. And so’s his sweat. Sweet sweat. Where was I? Oh yeah. I feel like Roberto’s proud wife like in the stands or something.”
And then it happened. The moment we’ve all been waiting for since the teasers from last week. Roberto trots onto the field wearing a baseball uniform.
That sound you heard was a collective sigh from women around the world.
There are no words to describe the moment dear readers. I rewound and watched five times to try and convey the sheer sexiness of Roberto. It astounded me that there wasn’t an ounce of chach in any of the footage. Only confidence (rewind), brilliance (rewind) and tight pants (pause).
Ali spots Roberto jogging up from right field. She screams OMG roughly 20 times and begins chasing him around the diamond like a fanatic fan who has just spotted Donny Osmond at Disney World. And by “fanatic fan” I mean my Mama who doggedly stalked the 7os star through Adventureland, Fantasyland and Tomorowland until she tragically lost him in a crowd waiting for the three o’clock parade.
Roberto sidles up behind Ali and teaches her how to swing a bat. Ali does not complain. They make out. He teaches her how to throw a ball. Ali is beside herself. They make out some more. She wraps her legs around his waist and he begins running bases while Ali is attached to him like a barnacle on the S.S. Roberto.
Ahhh Roberto. Strength AND stamina!
After their workout, they stop and eat hot dogs and peanuts on the pitcher’s mound. Roberto presents Ali with a special gift…his baseball card. Ali verbalizes with certainty and passion what every normal red-blooded woman…and some men…are thinking at that moment. “YOU ARE SMOKING HOT!”
Ahhh Roberto. En fuego indeed.
Ali asks Roberto if he is nervous or embarrassed about her meeting his parents.
Roberto nervous? Por favor.
Of course Roberto doesn’t want Ali to feel pressure, so he humors her by hinting that he’s a bit nervous that his mother might call him by his pet name…Robertito.
Ali: “Well I’m nervous.”
Roberto: “Por qué mi flor?”
Ali: “Like, I don’t know anything about like your family. Like will they like me? And like, what if your mom puts like tons of jalapeños on my nachos? Like I don’t like jalapeños. Plus…you’re really hot.”
Roberto: “Silencio chula. Mi familia is awesome. Do not worry. My Dad is an ex Army Ranger. My Mom was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in 1973. They will love you because we do not know any other way to live. You will see.”
We meet Roberto Senior, two Olgas and…
SWEET BABY JESUS ROBERTO HAS A BROTHER! The clouds part and angels sing the “Hallelujah” chorus seconds before we learn that the brother has a wife.
Roberto tells the camera that his father’s opinion is important. He steals Senior away for some alone time to discuss the amazing journey he has been on thus far:
Senior: “Do you like her?”
Roberto: “We’ve had a great time.”
Senior: “I’m sure it’s hard not to have a good time in Portugal mi hijo. You are a big prize in my mind. Of course she will be happy. She has been fortunate enough to be in your presence for an extended about of time. Did you let her smell you? The Martinez pheromones are extremely potent.”
Roberto: “I gave her a jersey.”
Senior: “Well then. There’s no going back. I know she will be happy. It’s inevitable. I just want to make sure you are happy.”
Roberto thanks his father and Senior finds Ali in the Roberto is Awesome Trophy Room. She senses the pressure and begins to wonder if this is what Frank feels whenever she is within a three-mile radius.
Senior: “There’s no doubt that you just met a tremendous human being. What are your goals?”
Ali: “I want to own a business and be successful in my career.”
Senior: “Roberto’s job might take him different places. Can you give up your dreams to support him? He’s accomplished a lot and has a lot of goals. He dreams big. Can you sacrifice?”
In a moment of brilliance, Ali channels her inner 1950s submissive housewife and tells Senior all she wants to do is whatever makes Roberto happy. She peppers in some talk about what’s best for their family and that she will do anything to help further his career.
In a seedy bar somewhere on the outskirts of Franklin, Tennessee, Ty throws a fresh long neck of High Life at the television screen.
Roberto receives his mother’s blessing and finally the support of his father. In celebration, the entire family breaks out into spontaneous salsa dancing right there in the living room. We learn that the elder Olga is hot and has impressive calf muscles. We see that Roberto’s hips are just as perfect as his chin dimple and I’m moved to encourage all the men reading this recap to LEARN TO DANCE if you don’t already know how.
Home Town Date Two
Cape Cod Chris
Cape Cod Chris is strolling down the beach, waiting for his beloved to arrive. It’s like a post card for a rainy day in the Cape. The picture is perfect. Complete with black Labrador named Jenny.
Chris greets her with a hug, burying his face in the nape of her neck. They throw a tennis ball for Jenny, Ali ruins another pair of leather boots, they talk about how he’s lived on this beach since he was four months old as he points out a couple of whales having sex in the distance.
If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
Cape Cod Chris walks Ali to his Cape Cod house and shows her pictures of his Mom. He’s sad that she will never get to meet his future wife. Ali thinks this is so sweet and hugs it out in the den. They retire to the front porch to sit in rocking chairs where they pretend to be an old married couple.
Ali: “So dear. How was your day?”
CCC: “It was tough. I need a beer.”
Ali: “Here you go. I have one in my purse.”
CCC: “I hope it’s a Belgian white!”
Cape was geeking out that Ali was playing along. But you could see a switch flip when he genuinely looked her in the eyes and explained that he wouldn’t have brought her back to meet his family if he wasn’t sure.
CCC: “I haven’t been ready to bring anyone back since my Mom passed. I know how happy my brothers are. I’m jealous. I want someone who makes me smile and happy. Nothing else matters. You make me smile and happy and I like that a lot.”
Ali is so smitten, she flings the Cape Cod quilt Chris’ great-great-grandmother pieced together onto the ground, crawls up into his lap so they can make out.
Eventually Chris’ family arrives and big hugs shared. Pops scolds Ali for “stealing his roommate” and the sisters-in-law rally around the brothers and dab their watery eyes with their ring fingers.
Ali announces that they brought the family some wine from Portugal and the entire brood issues forth a unified “YAY!”
What a great family.
CCC: “Just get Megan and Sarah bombed and they’ll love you forever.”
Such nice girls!
The sisters-in-law notice that Ali is wearing the dentist bracelet and each show off their trinkets. Megan wears the Mom’s bracelet that has the family motto inscribed on the side: Love is the only reality.
Kudos to the ABC intern for talking the Cape Cod family into adopting this slogan five seconds before the camera crew arrived. Because that HAD to be scripted.
At dinner, Pops shares the story about how he and Marjorie met for the first time. The kids lean in with anticipation as if they’ve never heard the tale before.
Pops: “I walked into this bar. I was 22 and Marg was 19 with a fake id. She told her friend that she was going to marry me. What can provoke such a sense of chemistry?”
All the kids cry. Ali does her best “aw shucks” facial expression and even whips up a single tear or two. Chris is done. I am done and have decided that I could marry either Chris or the dad if they asked me tomorrow.
Ali and Pops have some alone time. He is extremely interested to learn that Ali left her job to be with her ailing grandmother…just as Chris left his to take care of his mother.
Ali: “Huh! I never thought of it that way!”
My guess is that Ali never thought of it that was because it was, in fact, not that way. I’m just saying.
She allows Pops to talk on and on about how his kids are great but Chris is extra special. He wants to see him happy. The sisters-in-law agree. They think Chris deserves someone who will love and support him. It’s his time.
This is when I realize that Cape Cod Chris is about as real as anyone we’ve ever had on a reality show. He’s too normal. And that bothers me. Because I’m afraid Ali’s going to jack him up with her drama. RUN CHRIS RUN!!!
Later Chris reveals to his Dad that hopes Ali doesn’t “pick” him but that she genuinely falls for him. He wishes his mom was there…because she always just knew. Pops assures Chris that she has orchestrated the entire thing from “up there” and encourages him to be himself. After teary hugs goodbye, Cape takes Ali up to a random two-story tower and makes out passionately.
Chris: “Damn…you’re cute.”
He is so adorable. And again…so normal! Where are the tarot card readings, hippies or dead birds that need burying in the back yard?
Third Home Town Date
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Apparently in Green Bay, they don’t bury the dead. The stuff and display them. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
We find Kirky in a random gazebo with a cow standing next to it. Kirky yells, “HOLY COW” when he sees Ali running up to him in her signature yellow jacket. That’s symbolism at its finest people. Before any words are spoken, they make out for five minutes.
Ali explains that Kirk grew up in a split household and that his parents don’t speak to each other. She figures this is why he has issues with trust. She immediately signs up online to get her counseling degree from the University of Phoenix.
First up, Ali will be meeting Kirk’s dad, stepmom and adopted sister whom we’ll call Katya.
Kirk rolls in the front door and Katya flings herself on him with reckless abandon. Kirk sweetly hugs the girl who is crawling up his core and then passes her off to Ali who looked like she would rather be anywhere but there. A quick peek at Roberto’s baseball card she keeps hidden in her back pocket, and she is ready to face the afternoon again.
Before Ali has a chance to take in her surroundings and register that Katya is giving her dirty looks, Kirk’s dad asks if she would like to see the basement.
It is at this point that Kirk should have intervened. But no. Kirk wishes her luck and the camera follows Ali to an unmarked door.
Dad: “Would you like to go down first?”
Just as we are trying to think of other words that convey the creepiness of the entire exchange, Ali begins OMGing. Thanks to spoilers from previous episodes, we already know that she is down in the carcass basement living Bambi’s worst nightmare.
Dad: “This is what I do. It’s taxidermy.”
Ali: “How many have you stuffed?”
Dad: “Oh thousands. I bring animals back to life.”
As the viewing audience is treated to the carcass tour, several things come to mind. First, he never actually said that taxidermy was his business. Is this a hobby? Does he kill animals for sport and then stuff them for decoration? Because let’s face it…most of the animals were normal mounts, but a few in mix were not your typical hunting trophy.
Case in point: the caribou foot
Who mounts a caribou foot and then rubber cements googly eyes to the front and calls it a masterpiece? I’ve never been into a home that proudly displays their stuffed squirrel collection. So help me if the family pet cocker spaniel is on a purple velvet pillow forever “living” with them in the back of the basement…
And if that wasn’t enough, the dad opens up the freezer and educates Ali on all the random animal parts, appendages and pieces he has homed next to the freaking Vanilla Bean Blue Bell Ice Cream. What in the world?!
Dad: “Can I interest you in a Bomb Pop?”
Ali: “Er. No thanks. I prefer my frozen treats not to be tainted by animal bits.”
Dad: “Oh that’s a bag of animal teeth. I met this cool guy online from Massachusetts. I give him all my teeth and he gives me a portion of the proceeds from these cool bracelets he makes.”
After secretly wishing his Dad knew how to salsa or speak another language other than woodland creature, Kirk has the ABC mandated “do I have your blessing?” talk with his father. The dad gives his blessing and immediately begins working on a dove arrangement for the wedding. Kirk takes Ali across town to meet his Mom, Grandma Arlene (who made TWO kinds of potatoes for dinner) and his sister Tonya. Kirk says that watching Ali with the women in his life was surreal. It was if they had been together forever.
Ali and Mom retreat to the family room for some alone time.
Ali: “Kirk has told me amazing things about you. You are his angel. You fought for him.”
Mom: “Yes. We LIVE STRONG. I noticed he was wearing his bracelet. Until two days before he left for California, I never took mine off either. But then I found it broken in my bed.”
Ali: “Was it the mold?”
Ali: “Did it get caught in your braces?”
Mom: No Ali. It’s you. You are the link. I don’t need to protect him anymore. That’s your job. You guys are meant for each other.”
Annnnndddd there it is. What we’ve just witnessed is the proverbial nail in the coffin. Any time a parent declares that they “know” or “can feel” or have “a good sense about people”…you can rest assured that person is going home.
Ali: “Kirk has a lot of love in his life. He’s a lucky guy. That will help so much when I ditch him at the rose ceremony.”
Home Town Date Four
Right off the bat, we are wondering what in the hell Frank is wearing? Between the JCPenney cardigan, the ginormous scoop-necked wife beater, knock-off jacket from the Army surplus store and girly skinny jeans with embroidered pockets, I was lost. Ali goes for a more nautical look with her navy and white top with matching pants. Frank was more the Tennille to her Captain.
Ali runs to meet him. He whispers her name…as if he’s reciting the lines of a play. They board a boat to cruise around Chicago. Ali loves that he is funny and is up for doing ANYTHING in life because he too is career challenged.
Our Bachelorette looks forward to making out on the boat, but Frank chooses to be all “Frank” and talk about his feelings and how this is a hard situation to be “stuck in.” He whines and laments that he has faith, yet she could send him home tomorrow.
Ali pulls his ringed thumb out of his mouth and demands that he mans up.
Ali: “Don’t think of it that way. You need to think you ARE the one for me. And then figure out if I’m the one for YOU. Stop analyzing everything to death and just live in the moment.”
We all cheered our television screens and lifted our glasses to Ali. FINALLY!
And in a moment of deliberate foreshadowing:
Frank: “I just want to find out if Ali and I are meant to be. I’ve been dying to find my true love, but I’m not entirely confident. I want to know if we can fall in love and spend our lives together.”
Both thoroughly depressed in the SUV ride to Frank’s house, Ali looks tired and Frank looks like he’s about to throw up. Frank leads Ali into his home that he shares with his parents and everyone cheers and hugs and heads to the dinner table. Dad thinks they look good together. Mom, in her smoker’s voice, tells Ali that she fits right in.
Unlike her parents, the sister doesn’t care if Frank continues to live there for the rest of his life. She is not getting a good vibe from her brother.
Frank: “We have such a great time together, but how far does that take you? Is what I have forever? Or another amazing relationship that I will ultimately decide that this isn’t the best?”
Sister: “I want you to take time to think about what you’ve been through and what you’re about to go through.”
Ali compares her relationship with Frank to question marks—which raises another red flag for the sister.
Sister: “Frank is emotional, vulnerable and scared. Does that sound like happily ever after to you? Isn’t there someone else you feel more connected to?”
Ali breaks out the Roberto baseball card and the sister begins fanning herself.
Dad: “Son. I like her a lot. She’s a good person. She seems genuine and is a lot of fun. Sounds like you really like her. You should pursue this hard. And even move to California!”
Frank: “That’s one way to look at it dad. I want to be married. It’s going to happen. But love is such a complicated thing. I’ve been really stressed out lately. You know—they say that love don’t come easy…”
Like an oscillating fan in hell, Our Host Chris Harrison is a breath of fresh air. He commands the environment as he strolls over to the limo to retrieve Ali. We marvel at his strength and will power to refrain from sarcastically leaning over to smell Ali’s bosom which has sprouted a dozen pink roses from her dress. He escorts her to the reflection room sponsored by Pier One.
OHCH: “Let’s begin with Roberto. He’s one fine specimen Ali. We’ve never had a contestant like him. How’s that baseball card treating you?”
Ali: “I know, right?! He looked sooooo good in his uniform.”
OHCH: “He reminds me of a young Harrison back in the day. He will do well. What about Chris?”
Ali: “His dad was really sweet. They know how to love.”
OHCH: “I bet Roberto knows how to love, but will get to that next week in Tahiti with the fantasy suites. What about Kirk? Can you get over the creepy dad?”
OHCH: “And just to be fair, I have to ask you about Frank. Are you aware that he is totally annoying with his ridiculous insecurities?”
Ali: “It makes me nervous that he might not be that into me.”
OHCH: “I say go with your gut Ali. Or just take a look at next week’s spoilers. Do you feel that your husband is in that room right now?
Ali: “I feel scared.”
OHCH: “Not an answer to my question.”
Ali: “I feel stronger about them than I did about Jake.”
OHCH: “Are you ready to send Kirk home?”
Ali: “It’s going to suck to hurt someone I really care about. But I don’t want my babies to have mold disease.”
Ali begins crying.
OHCH: “Are you crying? Seriously? This is a no-brainer. Geez. Take a moment and suck it up. When you’re ready, come join us. But I have reservations (checks his pimped out watch) at the Chateau Marmont in an hour so don’t take long.”
Ali enters the room looking extremely pouty. We don’t know if it’s because she’s annoyed that she has to let Kirk go or if she’s confused by Frank’s ensemble of choice for the rose ceremony. She makes it clear that this is NOT about families that include taxidermist, Russian siblings, moms who wear Bumpits or asbestos poisoning. This is about compatibility and baseball cards.
It’s not surprise that roses go to Roberto, Cape Cod Chris and Frank.
LIVE STRONG Kirk. May the mold not be with you.
Ali tells the guys that her heart is broken but she knows that it will be mended in Tahiti. Next week, Ali rides in a helicopter (shocker!), Roberto takes it to the next level (do you think he packed his uniform?) and Frank tells Ali that they need to talk (drama queen). None of us are shocked when Frank reveals he is a bi-sexual and wants to pursue a relationship with a charming male dancer he met while reflecting in Paris that one summer.
My best guess is that Ali feels the most connection with Frank, wants to like Chris more than she does and doesn’t think she’s good enough to land a man like Roberto. She’ll end up pulling a Womack and not choosing anyone. Chris will be the next Bachelor and Roberto will be unfazed and continue his trip up the State Farm ladder of success.
Until then, I’m all about the shame, not the fame,