Sorry folks, I'm tardy to the party. Things got away from me this week. I watched the show on Tuesday instead of Monday, plus I drank too much wine so I had to re-watch in full.
Anyway, we're back and a lot happened. We went from Pennsylvania to Uruguay (I doubt anyone's ever said that before); had two, count 'em TWO, rose ceremonies; two 1-on-1 dates; a group date; and a whole bunch of bullying.
Let's get to it!
Back in Pennsylvania...
Last we saw, Chad got the boot and Alex got the 2-on-1 date rose (by default, methinks). But if you thought we'd seen the last of Chad you are way too naive to be watching this show. No, our friend Chad is wandering through the forest like the Big Bad Wolf himself, looking for someone to devour. He ends up back -- or shall I say: led back by his producer -- at the guy's place where they have moved on from celebration shots to scattering Chad's protein powder "ashes" across the lawn.
Sidebar: If you don't love Wells after that hysterical faux eulogy of his you have a black heart.
Anyway, they finish up, head inside to eat cereal and all of a sudden hear a knock at the door. Who could it be???
It's Chad! Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wives!
What follows is the most anti-climactic "confrontation" ever. Jordan tries to get Chad to apologize to no avail (duh). Probably the most interesting (and most idiotic) thing that happens is bear-poker Evan tells Chad he owes him a new shirt.
Dude, stop. Just stop. Now I want to punch you.
Finally, Chad goes away and Alex comes back from wherever they were keeping him. He's greeted with a hero's welcome and gets a plate of perfectly good cupcakes smashed in his face. Is that a thing?
Jojo - in a very old school Princess Leia type number - plays tonsil hockey with the likes of Chase, Robby, Luke and Jordan while the other guys stand around like chumps.
Roses go to:
Vinny and finally,
Going home are James F (who writes a lovely poem but is way too bland) and Daniel - the pool jumping Canadian who likes to play with his hose. Don't let the door hit you in the ass, fellas!
And we finally learn that we are getting the hell out of Pennsylvania and heading to...Uruguay.
Hmm...interesting choice. Hope they bring their bug spray!
1-on-1 Date #1: Jordan
The guys get to their hotel and we get right to it. First 1-on-1 date is for Jordan. No one cheers for him. I'm guessing everyone can sense that JoJo wants to rip his pants off and he's enemy #1 at this point.
JoJo's got her jeans panties on for this date and they are something to see...especially when she jumps up and straddles Jordan like he's a fire pole and she's escaping from a burning building. They head out on a boat and spend the day making out and swimming with seals in some very cloudy water.
At least it's not pigs though, amirite?
Back at the hotel...
Vinny is giving the guys complimentary hair cuts (a little more off the top on everyone please Vinny!) when out of nowhere the guys whip out a copy of In Touch magazine that just happens to have a big spread about JoJo and her ex boyfriend from Dallas. Where oh where could that have come from? Hmm...
Anyway they learn from the article, which was an interview with JoJo's ex, all kinds of tawdry stories claiming JoJo never loved Ben, was seeing Chad the whole time and was on The Bachelorette "for all the wrong reasons."
I don't know if it was because these guys had been cut off from the rest of the world for a month but they seemed to take all this info at face value and started getting all hot and bothered that JoJo was fooling them all.
What is wrong with these guys? In Touch is crap. Don't they know you can only trust US Weekly? Get it together!
Back on the date...
JoJo and Jordan are on their dinner date and JoJo gets right to it. She tells Jordan she met his ex girlfriend and heard some things about him that were not so flattering.
Sidebar: Is this the first time a lead was not only given the name of one of her Bachelors in advance of the show, but also got a meet and greet with said Bachelor's ex?? ABC seems to be trying extra hard to create drama this year.
Jordan takes a VERY slow sip of his drink and takes it head on. As much as I give him credit for admitting that he was focused 100% on his career and didn't treat his on again off again girlfriend the best, he immediately bristles (and denies) when JoJo asks if he cheated.
Um, that's not what we heard Jordan.
Moral of the story here: the producers told JoJo about Jordan. She had to confront him. He explained it away. JoJo still has a mad crush on him. To call Jordan the front funner at this point is a no brainer.
Back at the hotel, JoJo's producer ruins her post-date-bliss interview to share with her the In Touch magazine spread. Needless to say, there are a lot of tears, and a hot under the collar JoJo stomps down to the guys' room to reassure them she is, in fact, there for the right reasons.
Was it just me or was this whole bit a total waste of our time? You're suspect ABC.
This date is for Luke, Derek, Wells, Alex, Chase, James T, Grant, Vinny and Evan.
The group heads out to a desert mountain to do a little sand boarding. Watching these dopes try to surf down the hill is amusing/cringe-worthy. But the real story is back at the cocktail party where the nice guy shine has worn off many of the guys.
Alex in particular, now that he doesn't have Chad to direct his hostility towards, is on the rampage and his new target: Derek - our sweet, blue eyed, Jim Halpert look-alike who wouldn't hurt a fly. You see, Alex thinks Derek is weak. And Marines don't like the weak.
So what does he do? He starts bullying Derek. Accusing him of manipulating JoJo to secure the pity vote (and in this case the pity rose). He thinks Derek's need for reassurance from the Bachelorette is the most annoying thing since, well, Chad was around eating meat and picking fights with him. Hmm...if this seems like apples and oranges, that's because it is.
I think we have our new villain, my friends. Bullying is not cool. Sure, Derek is a sensitive guy. And this show is probably extremely difficult to navigate as a sensitive and more introverted person. Plus you are competing with 10 other guys for the approval and attention of a woman on a reality show where you are locked in a house WITH those other guys. It can't be easy. Sure they all signed up for this, but you know as well as I do that no one really knows what they are getting into agreeing to this nonsense.
So anyway, Derek is just trying to get to know JoJo and to get some reassurance after he had the first 1-on-1 date (which actually is pretty routine. The first one to go on the 1-on-1 date usually goes through this same insecurity at this point every season). And this is apparently annoying the shit out of Alex, who was probably raised and trained to suppress all of his feelings and instead portray himself as a Trump-loving, alpha-aggressive, intimidating, eater of the weak and meek who is probably just overcompensating for his short stature and his small....hands.
Anyway Derek gets the group date rose and we have Alex in the lead for bully of the year, with perhaps Jordan and Chase coming in second and third.
1-on-1 Date #2: Robby
We start out on yet another beach, this time with Robby and a cute doggie. Can the dog stay?? No, I guess not. Robby and JoJo strip down to their swim wear and jump off a very scary cliff together. No way she didn't lose her top. Later they head to the obligatory dinner that they never eat and after a bunch of small talk Robby professes his love for JoJo.
Not only is this only his first date with her, this is only episode 5. They've been in the house only about a month. And he's in love with her? I hope JoJo is as frightened by that as the rest of us are.
Sidebar: Lest us not forget, Robby is the one that in the original promos the guys accuse of having a girlfriend back home.
As the guys wait for JoJo, we see a nervous Derek tip-toe around the other guys like he's scared they're going to shove him in a locker. So what does he do? Asks a handful of them - by name - to have a private chat. Oh, Derek, WHY???
He proceeds to tell the mean girls he doesn't appreciate the comments they made about him in home room last period and he doesn't want to wear pink on Wednesdays any more. They all basically bully him some more and laugh it off.
Bullies gotta bull.
JoJo bags the cocktail party - which I always appreciate - and gets right to the rose ceremony. We say goodbye to Grant, Vinny and (finally) Evan. They all cry a lot - which is interesting. The other interesting thing is the way JoJo says goodbye to Vinny - it's almost as if they had a connection that ABC either didn't catch or didn't care to show us.
If it feels like we (and JoJo) are being manipulated this season more than ever before, it's because we are.
Next stop Argentina.
My front runners: Definitely Jordan, who JoJo has mad chemistry with; Luke, although I'm getting a little worried his feelings are way too intense for JoJo and he's not showing any real personality; Derek, who clearly JoJo has a connection with; and for now, Chase, who hit the big time last week but came off as one of the mean girls this week.
See ya next week for episode 6, which I'm here to remind you is typically the most dramatic episode of the season!