We didn’t waste any time getting to the first group date, mysteriously titled “Love is a Battlefield” on the date card. (Hear that, Pat Benatar?) The guys are greeted in a warehouse by the Commissioner of the National Dodgeball League (yes, it’s a real thing), where the pros WHIP the balls at all the guys. It’s actually pretty funny to watch. Desiree can barely contain her excitement, as she looks forward to the thrill of the competition and the guys fighting for her honor. Really? I don’t think the dodgeball guys gave two hoots about them, or Des, as there wasn’t even a glimmer of recognition of the show amongst them. (We’re here to PLAY, man!)
In the first of what were many memorable “Michael-isms” from tonight’s episode, Michael says he “can’t wait to let a few balls rip and take some guys out.” Let’s hope his courtroom skillz as a federal prosecutor are better than his dodgeball lingo.
Chris Harrison took pity on the guys getting beaten by the pros and split the group into two teams. Mikey, Michael, Brooks, Chris and Brandon were on the red team;
Ben, Drew, Zack, Brad and Brian were on the blue team. As if wearing short shorts and tiny tank tops in their team colors with matching headband wasn’t enough, the Bachelorette short bus dropped the guys off in the middle of an outdoor mall with a bunch of Asian tourists taking pictures of the match. Apparently, nobody told Michael that this was ridiculous.
Michael: “This isn’t my grandfather’s kind of dodgeball. This is a cargo cage death match.” Winner takes ALL, indeed.
Michael again marvels at all the balls whizzing by his face in the “free for all” that was this game of dodgeball. He has the speech patterns of a senior citizen and the bod of a ’80s meathead.
The blue team took the first game, and red took the second. (It was best of three.)
I was already at the edge of my seat, biting my fingernails down to the quick, and Michael only added to the drama. “This is for all the marbles. And by marbles, I mean all the minutes with Desiree later tonight.” Thanks for clarifying.
Poor Brooks seemed to take the brunt of the dodgeballs, getting nailed in the crotch and ultimately breaking his finger. Which led to the most DRAMATIC. HOSPITAL. MOMENT. EVER. Seriously, the guy got admitted to the ER and hooked up to IVs and an oxygen tank a la Tierra the Tierrable from Sean’s season. For a BROKEN FINGER. (In all fairness, he apparently passed out while they re-set his finger, but still…this is why women have the babies.)
After Brooks was taken off the field, Mikey T tried (unsuccessfully) to rally the guys, like in “Lucas”, that touching, coming-of-age Disney movie starring the dreamy Corey Haim and Charlie Sheen, before the drugs. “This is for Brooks!” Mikey yelled.
Drew, who’s crazy-intense and slightly hyberbolic, compares their mall demonstration as “do or die” time, “this is game seven world series, bottom of the ninth. It’s intense, it’s palpable. There’s really no substitute for it when your heart’s on the line.” Seriously? How insulting to real athletes.
Zack K won it for the blue team, and they were excited for a good 30 seconds until Desiree invited all the guys to the after party, since there really are no losers. Except for most of the guys there. Des was very concerned about Brooks and the salvageability of his finger. (It’s a FINGER, for crying out loud! It’s not like he’s a guitarist or hand model.)
During their private time, Brad tells Des he has a haunting past that he has to confess, like, right now. He has a 3-year-old son named Maddox (yo, Brangelina!) He’s a full-time dad, since his ex had a drinking problem (his words, not mine). And he has a domestic violence charge against him, which was dismissed. Good to know.
Chris took her to the roof for a little one-on-one time, and Desiree thought it was the most magical and creative idea ever – so much so, she gave him the rose. Des says the little things are what are most important to her, which is why she goes on these ridiculous dates, because it’s, you know, the little things.
Meanwhile, Brooks arrived at the cocktail party with a giant bandage on his hand. Des melted. Here, witness for yourself the depth that is their connection:
Brooks: By the way, you look amazing.
Des: Oh, thank you!
Brooks: You’re entirely welcome. Kiss me.
I love the fact that he kept the red headband on the ENTIRE TIME. Totally committed, I tell you!
Des gave the rose to Chris and they went to private concert by someone with a record to sell. Des and Chris did some serious 8th grade slow dancing and making out. All the guys were watching the “private” concert in the courtyard, which wasn’t awkward at all.
The next day, Des is busy journaling away when the cell phone on the countertop rings. Des walks over, like it’s totally normal and they’re allowed to have access to technology which clearly they’re not. It’s Chris Harrison, with some “bizarre news” about one of the guys. Turns out Brian has a girlfriend! Mr. “Right Reasons” had a girlfriend!!!!!
Chris Harrison doesn’t want Brian to get away with this and essentially tells Des to nail his balls to the wall.
Meanwhile, Kasey’s excited for his date, sculpting his fauxhawk and has no idea what’s about to go down. Poor Kasey. Poor, sweet, darling Kasey.
Des asks Brian to speak with her privately outside (with the cameras), and asks him if their conversations have been sincere. “I want to make sure that you’re here for the right reasons.” (Dude, you said you were here for the right reasons! You even rapped about it in a painfully embarrassing music video last week!) Meanwhile, Chris Harrison comes through the house with Brian’s girlfriend in tow, and she is PISSED. We learn that Stephanie and Brian were “on a break” but he said he wasn’t going to see anyone else, that he was going to California for a business trip, and they’d slept together right before he left for the show. Chris Harrison looked especially hurt, “Dude, what about what you told us at casting?” Stephanie admitted to throwing rocks at Brian’s face and Des kicked him off the show, and he was escorted by an “enforcer” who threw his shit into bags while Stephanie wondered what she was going to tell her son. Stephanie gave Des a hug and rode back to the airport in a limo, while Brian got to ride in a van. (You’d hate to be the TSA agent in the middle of that, am I right?) Here’s hoping they were on different flights.
The guys are outside enjoying the California sunshine, and Ben is wearing the GAP girls black tank top that I’m pretty sure I wore in the 8th grade. It’s like when a guy buys too-small t-shirts to make the gun show look bigger than it really is, but lamer. Because I actually had that in my closet.
Once again, Brandon made the whole thing about himself, saying he can really relate to what Stephanie’s son is going through because he’s had a lot of guys come in and out of his life dating his single mom and leaving. Um, hell-o? That’s why you don’t bring every random person you date around your kids. It’s clear Brandon has some pretty serious abandonment issues, and I think he would be better served by some therapy rather than a one-on-one date with Des.
Poor Kasey tried to salvage what was left of their date. “I’m here for the right reasons!” he assured her. They danced on the side of a skyscraper in harnesses. I’m sure the office workers really loved it. And the window washers hated them, too. Then they ate dinner on the rooftop of the building where they danced. The Santa Ana winds kicked up and started blowing things around, so they stripped down to their swimsuits and cannon-balled into the pool, because that’s what you do in a wind storm. And they promptly froze their asses off. They toweled off and shivered on the fire escape, where Kasey earned the “team player” rose. What a shitty date.
The second group date was Cowboy Bootcamp where they learned Western stunts from the new movie “The Lone Ranger.” (Hello, movie tie-in date – I was wondering when you’d join the party!)
They learned important life skills like how to fake fight, draw a pistol and lasso a hay bale. Some guys took it a tad too seriously *ahem* James *ahem* who said, “The lone ranger rides for justice, but today, this lone ranger’s riding for Desiree.” (James ultimately got the rose.) The most exciting part of the date was Dan’s pants split while he tried to mount the horse.
Juan Pablo won the Lone Ranger badge and got some time alone with Des to watch the movie “The Lone Ranger” and enjoy “some popcorns” together.
Other things I noticed:
- Zak is either not being entirely truthful about his age or he’s a hard 31.
- James is so pretty, but he’s really Captain Obvious. He’s like (pointing at rose on his lapel): This represents I like her and she likes me. Ok, Forrest. Go get yourself a chocolate and pipe down.
- Ben REALLY likes his GAP girl tank top because he wore it two days in a row.
Ben’s Lady Tank must’ve given him extra confidence, because he intercepted Des in the driveway of their “pool party” and asked her to take him on a drive, like a puppy. Mikey T peered through the bushes and saw this go down, and he was less than pleased. When they got back, Mikey T confronted him calling Ben a “liar” and saying that “liars bother me, and he deserves a punch in the face.”
Michael, who’s been entirely too silent for this last hour, piped in: “I can’t tolerate being lied to. You can’t unscramble that egg.” (What?!? What does that even mean?)
Ben to the camera: “It’s called the Bachelorette for a reason. It’s not called ‘Let’s make friends.’”
True, Ben, but it’s also not called, “Let’s Raid a Teeny Bopper’s Closet and Wear All Her Clothes,” either
Brandon is clearly this season’s Kasey “I’ll Guard and Protect Your Heart.” He’s so out of touch with what’s going on, he says, “These are the best days of my life.” He told Des that the Brian thing really got to him because his dad abandoned him when he was 5. And how he got really attached to a parade of men his mom dated. Brandon said he’d never hurt Des or take her for granted. He then told her he’s falling in love with her even though they haven’t talked much. NOOOOOOOO! You’ve known her for what, maybe, a week? You NEVER say that!!!!!
You could see how uncomfortable she was getting, particularly when he grabbed her to “tell her a secret” and planted one on her instead. Brandon, oblivious to all this, is so blown away by how “perfect” and “meant to be” they are. Going into the rose ceremony, Brandon said he’s “never felt so confident” – and feels amazing. And then he got sent home. I really felt bad for him when he said, “once again, someone left me.” Time for therapy, buddy. For real. Dan also left, so they shared the courtesy van to the airport.
Michael says the drama with Ben is just “par for the course.” (Love a curmudgeon in a hot body!)
Next week, the Bachelorette party bus heads to Atlantic City, where the guys compete in a Mr. America pageant, the guys continue to hate Ben, and Des proclaims that she wants “a love that can light the darkness.” I want more wine.