The Bachelorette 11, episode 1: the set-up of this circus (Part I)

Photo courtesy of usmagazine.com

Photo courtesy of usmagazine.com

The first thing out of Charrison's mouth tonight: "How did this happen?"

That's a great question Charrison. You and ABC got some 'splainin' to do.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but The Bachelorette was created to give a well-liked woman who came close to finding (or did find and was left brokenhearted) love on The Bachelor a chance to see if she could find love if she was given a similar set up. Sort of empowering right? (I said sort of.)

And it was pretty successful. Sometimes.

Trista, the OG Bachelorette, and her hubbie Ryan are still together and have a family. Desiree and Ashley are both married to their choices and starting families. Out of ten seasons that's a solid 30% success rate. 

Compare that to The Bachelor. Out of 18 seasons, Jason Mesnick and Sean Lowe are the only former Bachelors still with their chosen ones. (I didn't count Chris Soules because it's only been 6 months; all signs point to them breaking up).  That's only an 11% success rate folks. 

Problem is - and this is the only problem ABC cares about: the ratings. And the last season with Andi was one of the lowest watched seasons of The Bachelorette. That means they need to shake shit up (lucky us) even though it was crystal clear the live audiences, the viewers and the Twittersphere all wanted Kaitlyn to be anointed the next Bachelorette. An open and shut case right? 

Not so fast, Team Kaitlyn! Charrison claims the audience was hot for not only Kaitlyn, but Britt Nilsson as well. Which I call bullshit on.

And I was right. Turns out the folks who were hot for Britt were the potential Bachelorette contestants i.e. the guys.

From Charrison's mouth last night: "When we were interviewing the men, they were truly divided on who they could fall in love with, Britt or Kaitlyn. And since the feelings were so strongly split, it seemed unfair to make that decision for the men. Instead we thought it would be best to have the men meet both women and then have them decide who would ultimately become the Bachelorette."

Britt is gorgeous. She's a man-pleaser. She's always smiling. She lavishes attention on the focus of her affections. Of course they like Britt! These are all things that men love. 

But Britt didn't deserve it! That's the thing that is bugging everyone. During Chris' season of The Bachelor, she was insincere; she was self-centered; she was not likable; she didn't even shower, for cripes sake! 

So there's all that, which is a lot. But it's all secondary to the simple fact that this controversial move is misogynistic. It's humiliating to both women. I'd be very surprised if either of them knew before signing contracts that they would be involved in something like this.

However silly and sexist you already think this franchise is (and yes, I readily admit that it is silly and sexist and not any sort of representation of "reality"), it has now sunk to new levels of silly and sexist and unreal. Becoming The Bachelorette was an opportunity that has, over the past ten seasons, been offered to one woman. And however silly it is, it has always been fair, and the woman was put squarely in the driver's seat. 

Photo from ABC's FACEBOOK

Photo from ABC's FACEBOOK

Not this season. This time around they are pitting two women against other and putting all the control back in the hands of the men. Girl power = gone. Power that is hard to come by on a show like this.

Charrison: "Will this be awkward and probably a bit painful?" (#understatement.) "Sure. But hopefully it will lead to a better chance for true love to blossom."

Sounds like BS to me.

Sorry for the rant - on to the recap

We start with montages of the two women's journeys to this point, which turns out to be ABC's version of what they want us to know about these two women:

Kaitlyn (#teamkaitlyn): "She's funny, sexy and sometimes completely inappropriate" and "Chris sent her away with a broken heart."

Britt: "She is sincere, emotional and very loving." She "fell in love with Chris on the first night, but in the end Chris didn't trust her intentions."

Emotional? Inappropriate?

"Two very different women but both want the same thing: to be the next Bachelorette."

From Kaitlyn: "I'm a sincere person and [Britt and I] are so different." "This is awkward and uncomfortable. It doesn't sit well with me."

From Britt: "I really want love and a husband and I don't want this taken away from me." 

So Kaitlyn is contemplative, nervous and uncomfortable; Britt is worried a mean lady name Kaitlyn is going to take this all away from sweet innocent Britt. Because it couldn't possibly be your own short falls that would deny you this opportunity could it Britt? Self-aware much??

OK next up are the "packages" they put together of some of the men they think we'd want to see. I am not going to recap this because as we've learned in the past, just because they do a package on a dude, doesn't mean he's even staying around. So it was a waste of ten minutes and 31 seconds of our time, let alone recap time. (Yes, I checked.) 

Charrison reminds us we are on a "journey to find love" as the limos with the ladies pull up the freshly hosed down driveway. 

Out pops Kaitlyn, looking a little overly made up but as beautiful as ever, tattoos proudly showing. Then Britt, who is actually less made up than usual and looks quite lovely.  

PHoto courtesy of fnewsen.com

PHoto courtesy of fnewsen.com

Kaitlyn looks nervous; Britt looks cocky.

Kaitlyn keeps mentioning how different she and Britt are. 

Oh, we know Kaitlyn, we know.

The Dudes

I actually jotted some notes down as the limos were emptying so I could keep everyone straight. Here goes...

  1. Ben H - cute; has a sponsor child (so does Britt!!);
  2. Jonathan - captain of Team Britt;
  3. Clint - has floopy hair (that's all I wrote);
  4. Ryan B - calls Britt a "Disney princess" (GAG);
  5. Jared - the self-named "Love Man;" has a super "L" t-shirt on under his suit; seems to dig on Britt; needs a haircut and a shave; 
  6. Kupah - says he's from Boston, but doesn't look or sound like he's from Boston; seems to want Britt as his next trophy wife;
  7. Brady - ambitious singer/songwriter from Nashville; has a weird accent or a lisp that I can't quite put my finger on; creeps me out; seems to dig Britt;
  8. Cory - from Texas; goes to Kaitlyn first but unleashes the compliments on Britt;
  9. Ian - tall, dark and handsome former athlete; tells Kaitlyn in her ear that he's there for her;
  10. JJ - "former" investment banker (curious); gives Kaitlyn a puck and tells her "I'd love to puck you" which of course K loves; does not have a puck for Britt;
  11. Ryan M - says he's a "junkyard specialist;" former boyfriend of Nikki Farrell (Juan Pablo's pick from The Bachelor); digs on Kaitlyn;
  12. Bradley - shows up with a tennis raquet and a headband and drops a line about a "love-love" match; from Atlanta;
  13. Daniel - fashion designer from Nashville; dances out of the limo; do I even have to say it?
  14. Josh - the stripper; goes right for Britt; strips off his tie and unbuttons his shirt and makes Kaitlyn feel his chest; K interviews "Britt, you can have him;" 
  15. Joe - the country bumpkin from Kentucky in serious need of a haircut; brings Kaitlyn moonshine;
  16. Justin - from Chicago; brings two big bunches of balloons and proceeds to suck in some helium in order to say his hellos to the girls; not particularly my favorite move;
  17. Tanner - very cute; from Kansas City; gives a pack of tissues to Britt because she cried a lot last season; Britt finds it sweet; Kaitlyn asks her "Is that soap or tissues?" Best line of the night;
  18. Shawn B - personal trainer from CT; looks like Ryan Gosling with bad hair; gives the girls a group hug; charms Britt but then tells Kaitlyn she's the one for him; Kaitlyn gets all the feelings;
  19. David - dark haired guy from Orlando; nothing else stood out; digs Kaitlyn;
  20. Corey - plays competitive beach volleyball; asks Kaitlyn if the offer to "plow her field" still stands;
  21. Tony - the healer with the Barry White voice; appears to have a shiner on his left eye; seems to like Britt but gives the exact same speech to both girls;
  22. Shawn E - pulls up in a rolling hot tub - a "car pool;" is interrupted by the official drunk guy of the show, Ryan M, who is hiding in the bushes heckling all of them; oh and Shawn is an "amateur sex coach" (note the "amateur" part);
  23. Chris - dentist from Nashville rolls up in a cupcake; I do not care for this so I dislike him instantly just on principle;
  24. Joshua - this guy is the Chris Soules of the season - lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere and is a welder; he seems to dig Kaitlyn;
  25. And finally, Ben Z - very cute fitness coach.

Whew, that was exhausting.

PHoto courtesy of ew.com

PHoto courtesy of ew.com

Charrison comes back to remind the girls that the guys will choose who stays and who goes. Um, no shit Sherlock. Do we have to be constantly reminded?

We jump into the house where we see most of the guys debating Britt vs. Kaitlyn. It's gross.

Kaitlyn starts off by addressing the guys with a cute joke; Britt doesn't get it and tells us this is the big difference between them. Britt feels she's more serious about finding true love. 

Of course she does, bless her heart.

My man Ian takes the bull by the horns and pulls Kaitlyn away first for some private time. Go Ian!

Justin grabs Britt to tell her he has a kid named Aerilleus. Then we see her with Ben, the sponsor child guy and Jonathan, the other guy with a kid.

She then gets time with Tony the healer and - surprise surprise - they seem to connect. And when I say "surprise" I mean "I'm not surprised at all."

PHoto from abc's twitter

PHoto from abc's twitter

Kaitlyn spends time with Clint - who I didn't get much of an impression of earlier. He's holding a portrait he says he drew himself of the person he knew would be on the show this season. And it's a drawing of Charrison riding a triceratops.

It's seriously amazing. (DRINK!)

Photo from abc's twitter

Photo from abc's twitter

Charrison shows up out of nowhere to announce that the voting booth is OPEN for business and the guys can put their roses in either Kaitlyn or Britt's box (heh). Tony makes the first run at the room and puts his hands on both boxes (heh heh) like he's waiting for a sign. Apparently he gets a signal from Britt's box (HEH!) and she gets his rose. 

Kaitlyn and Britt make a panicked effort to talk to all the guys, since they are fighting for the spot and all. Makes sense.

Sidebar: they've showed Corey (volleyball player; impressed Kaitlyn with his wit at the limo) twice now strategizing about what to do in order to stay and to "make it through." This makes me instantly dislike him.

Kaitlyn confesses to Kentucky Joe that she's super stressed. They seem to connect, but then Joe interviews that he will keep an open mind toward both girls and that it's a really tough decision.

#Firstworldproblems

PHoto courtesy of ibtimes.com

PHoto courtesy of ibtimes.com

Britt gets time with the "Love Man" who I have a very massive hatred of already. I want to cut his hair and make him eat a sandwich.

We already have some switchers: Ben H - originally Team Britt - is chatting with Kaitlyn and very sweetly asks about the meaning behind her tattoos while they hold hands on the couch; meanwhile JJ (the hockey puck guy on Team Kaitlyn) seems smitten with Britt and likes her dedication to getting married and having a family. Oh he also thinks she's a "smoke show" which is also very important.

Did I forget the Class Drunk?

I think Ryan M got into Kentucky Joe's hooch on the limo ride over. He's calling dudes "brah;" he's calling the girls "'hoes;" he's hiding in bushes;  he's picking fights; he's acting generally like a huge wanker. He's a hot mess. 

Next we see him sitting with Britt and putting his hands all up in her face. Jonathan tries to save her - to no avail - but then JJ manages to get her away from him. Then we see him offending Kaitlyn with some unsolicited grab ass. Oh dear.

But the biggest question is: will he jump in the pool? There's always one, right?

And Ryan M doesn't disappoint. He strips down into his undies - which very suspiciously look like a Speedo - and jumps in the pool. Then for our added pleasure he takes a spill getting out of the pool, then runs around the house (still in his underwear). He gets to the voting room where he picks up a rose and slams it against the wall violently. Yikes.

PHoto courtesy of morningafter.gawker.com

PHoto courtesy of morningafter.gawker.com

Next we see JJ (or is it Ben? I can't keep them straight yet) try to talk some sense into this moron. The response he gets for his trouble: “Why am I not raping you right now? That’s my whole thing" and I can't believe they left this in. This guy is AWFUL.

At this point ABC has FINALLY had enough (I guess our two Bachelorettes, because they aren't officially "The Bachelorette" yet, don't get that super power) and send a big guy whose name is probably "Tony" or "Vito" to tell Ryan that Charrison wants to talk to him outside. Ryan says "Who's Chris Hanson?" which makes me laugh. 

Long story short - Ryan gets the boot. He looks like he's going to try one last act of defiance in the form of clocking Charrison, but ends up getting into the unmarked van without incident. Good riddance.

Next we hear a bunch of "that guy wasn't here for the right reasons" and I finish my wine.

Back in the house, cupcake guy is diggin' on Kaitlyn and dudes are pressuring one another over which girl to vote for. Is this stupid or what? It's like the voting for Homecoming Queen all over again.

By the way, if you didn't already know that Jonathan is captain of Team Britt....

Actually there's no way you didn't know that. 

Kaitlyn calls this whole thing "excruciating and torture" and I wholeheartedly agree.

Photo courtesy of abc's twitter

Photo courtesy of abc's twitter

Next we see her having time with her main squeeze Shawn Gosling. They both seem smitten and swap stories about nieces and nephews and what not. He tells her again she's the reason he's there.

Britt on the other hand is getting chatted up by Brady - the singer songwriter who I'm quite sure is there to promote his music. Turns out he also used to play in the Cardinals minor league system. The Bachelorette is a safe haven for unsuccessful baseball players eh? Britt loves baseball! Of course she does. Then they talk about faith and I nod off until the end - where we see Vito breaking open the ballot boxes so Charrison can count the roses. And...TO BE CONTINUED...

Drat.

PHoto courtesy of abc.go.com

PHoto courtesy of abc.go.com

See you tomorrow for The Bachelorette reveal and good lord, hopefully we send at least 7 of these bozos home.