The Bachelorette, episodes 3 and 4: things are getting weird

eric

This week we were subjected to a super-sized dose of ABC's The Bachelorette:  two hours on Sunday night and two hours Monday night.  Oy vey.  A lot of feelings have already developed (if you believe these clowns) and a lot of kissy face has commenced.  No hot tubs so far though - I'm happy to report that.  Most importantly, this is the combination of episodes that brought us to the culmination of Andi's relationship with Eric Hill, the 31 year old guy from Utah who recently passed away in a paragliding accident. eric

I didn't really want to talk about Eric here - this blog is silly and meant to be light-hearted and sarcastic.  I can't imagine how his family must be feeling about all this.  But his exit from the show was very interesting and is yet another example of seeing the premise of this show starting to crack and split apart, like a baby bird poking out of an egg.

Andi and Eric went on a successful date in week one and seemed to hit it off great.  He came off as an educated, interesting and down to earth person.  They seemed to have a connection.  We learned this week however, that their connection waned since that date.  Andi brought up to Eric after the basketball game that she was worried their "relationship" was stalling out and went on to point out that he was not being very open with her about his personal life.  He took this in stride and used the opportunity to talk more about his family (which must have been so comforting for them to hear considering the circumstances) and what they meant to him.  Andi seemed pleased with his sharing.  Jump ahead to the cocktail party prior to the rose ceremony and we have a different story.  This is where it got way too real for Miss Andi.

During his one on one time with Andi prior to the rose ceremony, Eric decided to make it very clear that he realized that it was not him who wasn't being open and authentic - it was Andi.  He didn't think she was opening up to him at all.  She got a little defensive as he was trying to make the point that she acts the same with everyone and shows a very canned/staged persona in the house and on the dates.  I think he was honestly trying to say that he wanted to see more of the "real" Andi - which is completely fair - however, once he started referring to her as "fake" and "like an actress," that was when the wheels came off Andi's bus.

Now, granted, I don't begrudge Andi for being defensive when Eric told her she was putting on an act.  If she was honestly trying her best to be authentic within a show that is an inauthentic as this one is, she most definitely would be offended at being called out.  I think this Eric guy was feeling the pain of being caught up in this mess; in the faux reality of it all.  He was trying to suss out a relationship with someone who as a rule has to spread herself thin, while being clever and adorable and pretending to like people she doesn't for the sake of the cameras and the production and even to protect their feelings.  I can totally see how she could become so "exhausted" in four short weeks, as she said many times during the conversation.

And that my friends, is the rub.  This show can bring a lot of positive things to the feet of those who participate in it, and sometimes even love (although often not with the person selected at the end), but it's like emotional boot camp for those who have real feelings and thoughts about what's right and what's normal.  The quest to find "true love," (or even just "like") among all the B.S. of a ratings producing television GAME SHOW is a huge contradiction -- and must be a giant disconnect to anyone coming into this naively thinking it's all for love.  It's not.  It's all for drama.

So, anyway, getting back to the episode.  Andi and Eric get into a tiff about her fakeness and she ends up asking him to go, saying "obviously this isn't going to work out."  That's an understatement.  The disconnect between them is obvious.  We watch Eric leave and get in a cab.  Several weeks later he will have his tragic accident.

The episode  ended with a sit down with Charrison and Andi.  Charrison tells us that out of respect for Eric and his family ABC has decided not to air the rose ceremony (FYI Tasos went home).   Instead Charrison has a discussion with Andi about what happened with Eric and what he was like.  I guess this was the right thing to do, especially since it gave her a chance to explain what happened, but to me it all felt very contrived.

Other notes from this week's episodes:

-  Nick and Andi are smitten.  Still not sure how I feel about Nick.  He seems down to earth, but I also find him rather cocky. -  Josh is very aggressive.  I still think he is coming on way too strong, but we'll see.  She seems to dig it. -  Brian -- sweet Brian -- is SO in over his head.  I thought he was going to come unglued after his do-over kiss with Andi on the bball court.  His teenage fantasies coming to life! -  I thought the date with JJ was silly and fun, but this guy seems too straight laced for Andi.  And those pants!  (Yes, I know, I'm the Goldilocks of Bachelors.) -  Does anyone really think that drama with Andrew is real?  Doesn't it seem obvious that they are purposefully riling everyone up to think this guy is a sham?  We need a bad guy after all.  I haven't really cared for that guy, but in his defense, it's not really that outrageous to show off a little if some random person gives you their number.  That' s big news in my book (granted, I don't have a lot going on).  It's definitely braggadocious but it's not unusual or evil like they are trying to make it out.  I'm sorry - I don't buy this one.  Maybe the guy is just a dick?  It's highly possible that 90% of the other guys are dicks too.  Now THAT's reality! -  OK that wasn't nice - I take it back.