The group wakes up on Madeira Island, Portugal, which according to them is, the “hidden pearl in the Atlantic.” I desperately hope someone from the tourism bureau’s paying attention to the “Bachelorette,” because apparently the palm trees, island breezes, crystal blue waters and breathtaking rock formations don’t sell themselves. Promotional consideration must be exchanged, I say!
This week, there will be three 1-on-1 dates, and one 2-on-1 date. A rose will only be given out during the 2-on-1, and nobody goes home before the rose ceremony (unless they feel like it.)
Catherine, the winner of last season’s “Bachelor” and losers Lesley and Jackie (who was she, again?) arrive to help Des drool over the guys and fawn over Catherine’s ring. Catherine says she and Sean are BFFs and totes happy. Des says she’s falling in love with more than one guy and she should know, because she’s worked in bridal “her whole life” – or, like, 5 years. The girls watch the boys frolic in the pool (with binoculars, totally normal) and yell from the balcony that they should take their shirts off. The boys oblige.
Golden Boy Brooks gets the first 1-on-1. Brooks says this is the date where things go “to the next level” and they decide if they want to be boyfriend/girlfriend/married. They drive around in the electronic equivalent of a golf cart and Brooks uses the word “pensive.” Not much happens until they arrive at their mountaintop picnic (natch). As they’re driving, Des says she’s “on the road to falling in love” with Brooks, and Brooks says, “sometimes you are past like and not yet to love, so I’m definitely in the clouds trying to find out how I feel” as they set up their picnic among – you guessed it – the clouds.
Des and Brooks marvel about how they feel at ease with each other. Brooks says he doesn’t have to think about putting his hand on her leg. (Wait, you have to think about it? That’s something you actually think about?) “Welcome to cloud nine,” they toast each other (or, as they say, “Let’s cheers!”) Have either of them ever been on a plane? Cuz it’s pretty much the same thing. I’m pretty sure you passed through the clouds yesterday on your way to Portugal from Spain. But, I digress.
Des gets all moony talking about Brooks. “We didn’t just break through the clouds, I feel that Brooks and I really had a breakthrough in our relationship.” Blerg.
Des also does math on this date: “Picture like, the best dream you’ve ever had, times that by ten, and then live in it. That’s where I am! This is the fairytale I signed up for.” (I’m no math whiz, either, but I know you don’t “times” anything past the fourth grade, it’s called multiplication. ) But, potato, pa-taw-toe. To make their point crystal clear for the slow ones on this journey, they clasped hands and shouted from the mountaintops, “We’re on cloud nine!” And, with that, my wine glass is empty.
At dinner, Brooks wore an old man striped cardigan with a jean shirt and black tee underneath it. They talked about family, and he said his wife will be absorbed into his family, kind of like they’re a giant roll of Bounty and she’s a wine stain. “Let’s cheers to that!” (Still annoying.)
They try to define where they are in the whole relationship journey. As it’s explained (painfully, and twice, this episode), the steps are: stepping, skipping, jogging, running and hitting the finish line, which is love. She says she’s running toward the finish line with Brooks. Brooks tells the producers he’s not there yet, so maybe he’s galloping/limping at this point? It’s not entirely clear.
Chris got the second date, where they went on a yacht and had a picnic on a deserted island. Drew, showing that he has the emotional maturity of a 10-year old, called Chris a “lucky duck” for getting a boat ride. (Yep, TOTALLY ready to get married.)
On the boat, Chris the down-to-earth, practical mortgage broker asked Des if she’d applied sufficient sunscreen. They had a picnic among the wildflowers and talked about how reserved yet carefree Des’ friends would say she is. (Do they know what these words even mean?) Chris just so happened to have a “message in a bottle” kit in his pocket, so they could write a poem for someone to find/clean up. Unless it’s in Portuguese or has cash inside, I’m thinking whomever finds it won’t give a shit. Curious what they wrote? I know you are – so here it is:
“Experiences we share together — keep the memories close to heart – so that with time — our love never parts. No matter the distance or hours away – know that I’m out there somewhere thinking of you – just as the waves crash into the shore – I long for the day I’ll be with you forevermore.”
I know what you’re thinking: how could he not rhyme fart with heart?!?!?!? Hey, Chris – littering for love? It’s still littering, no matter how well-intentioned it is. Read your poetry to an otter who’s cut him/herself on your love bottle. Yeah, I’m sure they don’t really appreciate it, either. For the second date in a row, Des wears a sparkly skirt to dinner.
Chris gets right down to business, asking how many kids she wants. Des says she’ll pop out three or four, Chris wants a built-in playgroup. They discuss whom she’ll meet on the hometown date. Chris decides he must tell her that he’s falling in love with her. RIGHT. NOW. He starts sweating and kicking over things, and pulls out a poem he wrote for this very special occasion, titled, “Individually Defined.” It sometimes rhymed, it mostly didn’t. She was totally moved. He’s already picking out their China patterns. He’s way more into her than she’s into him.
Michael and his magical hoodie scored the final 1-on-1 date. He decided to switch things up with a green gingham button down shirt. I’ve been trying to put my finger on what bothers me about him and I think a big part of it is that he talks like a Valley girl when describing his “magical feelings.” (again, his descriptors, not mine.) “It’s a dream come true to have a full day of Desiree,” he says. SHUT. UP. Can you imagine listening to that the rest of your life? Then they had a picnic on his shirt. After that, they took a “toboggan” ride down a paved road (read: wicker sofa on a skateboard with two members of a barbershop quartet wheeling you down.) “This has just been such a rollercoaster ride just like when you’re falling in love there are just things that are out of your control…Love is a wild ride.” Oh, Michael!! You’re so literal.
They had “the talk” about what they wanted in life, and Michael says he doesn’t want “World’s Greatest Prosecutor” on his Tombstone, he wants pepperoni instead. He credits Des with helping him learn to love again. He’s also more into her than she’s into him.
Drew and Zak get the 2-on-1 date, or as I call them, Goofy and Goofier. Zak walks around the room, preparing for the date, with his sketchpad. (Wait, he sketches too, now? WTF?) Zak says he’s 100 percent in love with Des. This isn’t getting awkward at all. The clue on the date card said “race” and sure enough they wind up at a go-kart track, where Des asks the guys to race for her heart. I was so happy the guys weren’t comparing the race track to love, but then both of them start talk about how racing brings out adrenaline and how that’s similar to the feelings of falling in love. I didn’t catch all of it because I was refilling my wine glass (it doesn’t fill itself). Zak “won” the race, which really means he won a great big glass of nothing. They have a picnic, and Drew tries to psych himself up for telling Des that he, too, is in love with her.
Drew says this is the most pivotal day of his life. (Really? How sad.) He says this is a statement of his future intentions with her. (Really? I thought it was a date at go-kart track.) If he wasn’t so much fun to look at, I would find him really creepy. Drew gets all gushy, saying, “I’ve never had this feeling with anyone, it’s like you’ve known me my entire life. It’s the best feeling in the world.”
During their alone time, Zak pulled out his sketchbook for Des where he recapped their relationship through the magic of Crayola. (He drew abs and a boat.) Des gave Drew the rose. Here’s another Drew-ism for the road: “If you can’t fall in love in a place like this then you’d better check your pulse because you’re probably not breathing anymore. This is built for love.” Oh, Drew. Oh, pretty, pretty, Drew. Stop talking, please.
Before the rose ceremony, Chris Harrison pulled Des aside for a chat, mostly because they had an extra 7 minutes to fill before they could start the rose ceremony. There were no tears up to this point, so that’s a good sign. Des explains her love walk/skip/run thingy to Chris Harrison and says that she’s “hit the finish line” with Brooks. She tears up talking about how she feels about him, because Brooks just “gets” her. (So much for a tear-free episode.) Chris Harrison asks if they can just pack it up and call it a day, but Des says that she’s keeping her mind open about Chris.
At the rose ceremony, Brooks, Chris, Zak and Drew got roses. Michael was sent home. Michael said he was ready to commit to her for the rest of their lives, which probably was a large part of why he went home. She also used the “F” word in her kiss off speech – foundation of friendship. Michael said he’s going to have a hard time dating after Des because “no girl’s going to be able to match up to you.” No, Michael, the reason you’ll have a hard time dating is because you’re a douche who says shit like that. He said some variation of “I think the world of you/I wish you the best” no less than four times in a minute. Then, in the SUV on his ride out of there, he called his mom. Good choice, Des! He hadn’t even gotten onto the highway before he got all Norman Bates. I think this was a Bachelorette first, where a guy was on the phone with his mom two seconds after getting eliminated. His mom had the best line of the night, though: “Here we go again.”
Next up, hometowns! Zak’s family puts on a talent show, there’s a dancing penguin, and Chris’ dad gives her a chiropractic exam, where he tucks her shirt into her pants. Hysterical!