Week 2 starts and, as they roll through the intro, I get the sinking feeling that this is Drunk Craig’s last week. I predicted second week after the first episode, but man, sometimes I really hate it when I’m right.
The boys tour the mansion for the first time. Craig heads straight to the kitchen to make himself a screwdriver that looks like 50% vodka (because it’s noon somewhere in the world) and proposes a toast to Andi. Chris Harrison walks in to lay out the ground rules and drop off the first date card. “I’ll see you all at the next rose ceremony!” he exclaims with a shit-eating on his face, because he knows he’s done filming for the week and we won’t see him for the next hour and 45 minutes. Seriously, how do I get a job like this?
Eric the World Traveler gets the first one-on-one date. Andi picks him up at the house (still no Bentley?) and they head out to a surprise location. On the way, Eric starts with the first of an endless string of amazing stories, something about camping with a witch doctor in Africa. She asks if he knows how to ride a motorcycle. But, of course he does! Eric rode across Africa for 6 months, probably on the way to hang out with his witch doctor. He’s one of those guys that always has a better story than you. You tell him you went mountain biking last weekend, and he says he did the same thing for 18 days across the Great Wall of China. You just can’t keep up.
They go to the beach and make sand castles, fly a kite and film Andi making sand angels from a very uncomfortable angle. I’ll hand it to the guy – he seems genuinely nice and looks good with his shirt off. I think Lovely Better Half uttered a barely audible “Oh my!” A helicopter shows up to whisk them away to another surprise location, and he makes an effort to act impressed, even though he’s really thinking, “Man, I just rode a helicopter into the Brazilian rainforest to lead a native uprising against logging companies two weeks ago!” They land on top of Bear Mountain and get snowboard lessons from some pro-snowboarder. Somewhere, Long Hair Steven from last week is kicking himself right now. “Dude, that was totally my date. Not stoked…” Anyway, Andi asks Eric if he’s ready to do this. He gives her a look like “Are you serious? I’ve been snowboarding since I was 3. Last winter, I boarded in the Himalayas with Buddhist monks.” Eric spends some time teaching Andi how to snowboard then does a few jumps for her. She finally realizes that this guy is a modern day Davinci and says, “He’s good at everything. Seriously, can we find something he can’t do?” No, Andi, you can’t.
Later, they sit down for an intimate dinner and Andi asks him what he’s not good at. He says playing piano and thinking of things he can’t do. Then she asks him a completely coached question about what happened to him in Syria. He tells an amazing story about being confronted by two militant rebel soldiers, which was going badly enough that he texted his parents goodbye. He manages to talk his way out of it, but it was a truly insane story. I said it last week, I’ll say it again: Eric is hands-down the most interesting guy on the show this season. Andi looks impressed, and if I’m honest, I think I’m a little gay for him, too. She shocks absolutely no one and gives him a rose, but instead of making out, they make s’mores. A bad sign for that illusive and arbitrary chemistry factor.
Back at the mansion, the next date card shows up. Basketball Brian’s name is read first, and he goes crazy, not realizing it’s a group date. The cheers get more subdued as the names keep coming. The card says “Get ready to bare your souls” and Drunk Craig asks how “bare” is spelled. Because, you know, it might be “bear” and they’re hunting polar bears or something. Of course, rather than going to a Jurassic-Park-style bear hunting reserve, they’re driven to a male strip club, where they watch some guys strip down to their underpants. LBH immediately says “This is gross. I feel so bad for these guys.” I guess I guess I can scratch those male exotic dancing classes off my bucket list.
The bachelors are split up into groups – 4 cowboys, 4 firefighters, 4 soldiers and 2 solo acts. The guys are looking none-too-thrilled, but hey, all proceeds go to Bachelor Gives Back, a non-profit organization that keeps Chris Harrison neck deep in champagne and bitches. Marcus is picked for the solo act, and he’s looking REALLY nervous, but Andi gives him a little pep talk, undressing him with her eyes in the process. Andi is a freak for Marcus, and I know it’s only week 2, but this is starting to look like his competition to lose. Drunk Craig spends a little too much time talking about how hot Josh is. Is it possible that he thinks he’s on The Bachelor right now, and he’s trying to find true love with Josh? Who knows? He decides to pack a rag into his shorts, because “it’s for charity” and he wants to make a good impression, so at least he’s thoughtful. Cody kisses his biceps and looks a little too excited about getting naked.
Showtime: Sharleen and Dog Girl Kelly from last season show up to help Andi check out some junk. The cowboys are up first. Drunk Craig fawns all over Josh again, which is starting to get uncomfortable. Next up, Nick S does the naughty robot, finishing up by mooning the crowd. Andi looks like she’s going to throw up, thus ending Nick’s journey for love. The firefighters come out next, stepping out into the crowd to do a little grinding-for-dollars. The ladies in the crowd are ready to rock tonight, by the way. Wedding rings are disappearing and dollar bills are flying. As LBH points out, it’s great that this show objectifies the men just as much as the women. The soldiers come out and it’s more of the same. For the big finale, Marcus walks on stage for his solo act and Andi just about melts into her seat. “I kinda feel he’s dancing just for me.” What a coincidence, Andi! Every time I’ve been to strip club, I’ve always felt like the girls were dancing just for me, too! Anyway, Andi loves him, a couple old ladies in the audience pass out, and Marcus kills it. Chris Harrison thanks everyone for paying for his next vacation with their donations, and we’re on to the group date night.
Andi starts pulling guys out for some one-on-one time. Why is no one talking about Basketball Coach Bryan’s black eye? He clearly got hit in the face by something, and no one is talking about it. Did he knock on Chris Harrison’s trailer door without permission and Harrison had to get medieval on him? I need to know. Josh M says he doesn’t want to be stereotyped as a typical athlete. Then why do you list your occupation as former athlete? Maybe that shouldn’t be your lead-in if you don’t want to be judged that way. Then he says he hasn’t gone out with a girl in 5 years, and actually pulls it off with a straight face. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. My player alarm is howling like an air raid siren right now. Mark my words: this guy turns slimy mid-season. The good news is Andi doesn’t look like she’s buying it.
The story of the night, however, is Drunk Craig. My man is lit up. He needs a shot. The robot sucked. He loves Joshes face (again – he knows he’s here for Andi, right?). Does anyone want a one-on-one with Andi? She’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen in his life. He’s pretty much rambling semi-coherently at this point. He finally corners Andi, and she seriously looks like the wing-woman, humoring someone’s wasted buddy so her girlfriend can hook up with the hot one. “Just be nice to him. I haven’t met a good guy in over a year. Don’t bail on me!” She tells Craig to ask her anything, and the most intelligent question he can think of is “What’s the worst thing about your parents?” And now we have some insight into the source of Craig’s drinking problem. Andi immediately starts making mental notes about who she’s keeping around tonight instead of Craig. In case there was any doubt as to whether this was his last week in the house, Craig decides to jump into the pool with his clothes on and flop around like a fish on a hook. He finishes off by starting a fight with Patrick and the producers decide to pull his plug. It was nice knowing you, buddy. I wish you hadn’t gone so hard so fast; it would have been nice watching you hit that open bar for a few more weeks. But, hey, if you ever make it out to San Francisco, let’s meet up for a few beers. I could use a big night out.
Andi tries to defuse the situation with the guys. She’s clearly stressed because she’s saying “y’all” a lot more than usual. Anyway, Hot Marcus gets a rose, and LBH is happy for another week.
While Craig is crashing and burning, the next date card comes, and it’s Farmer Chris’ turn to woo and romance Andi. “Let’s get our love on track.” Gee golly, he’s excited! He’s a good looking dude, but honestly, I’m thinking Andi wants a guy with a little more edge. He seems too goody-two-shoe for her. He heads out to Santa Anita fairgrounds where Andi is waiting in her “40’s glam” outfit. It’s a race track, sister, not a theme park. The producers hook him up with a suit and a bowtie, and the farm boy cleans up pretty well. She looks like she’s into him, then he says “I feel like pretty woman right now”, and she’s turned off again. They watch a race, their horse wins (there’s no chance the producers placed a $2 bet on every horse to make sure that happened). In a blatantly scripted piece of reality TV, they strike up a conversation with a “random” old couple who have been married for 55 years. They tell the story of how they met without looking at the cue cards too much, pass on some generic advice about love and it’s all very touching.
Andi and Chris have dinner in the clubhouse later that night, and Andi describes Chris as “so, genuinely sweet.” Uh-oh – sounds like the friend zone to me. On the plus side, she tells him that she’d rather hang out with a sweet, genuine guy than Drunk Craig. What she doesn’t say is that she’d rather rub baby oil all over a naked Marcus then spend the night with either one of them. He delivers the first sob story of the season, talking about an engagement he had to break off, and how he’s waiting for the right girl. She nods and smiles a lot, and she gives him the rose because he’s like a sweet little puppy, and you just can’t hurt a sweet little puppy’s feelings. But wait! There’s one more surprise! An impromptu private concert by This Wild Life! (That’s TWO fake random events on one date. The producers are flying a little close to the sun with this one). LBH thinks she actually knows this band, which would be the first time in the three years since she introduced to me to this show that either one of us has heard of whoever they get to sing. They slow dance in an area that’s roped off, I guess to keep the imaginary fans away. Then, in a shocking turn of events, she makes out with the guy like there’s no tomorrow. Maybe he is a little too sugary sweet, but looks go a long way in this world, and Andi figures he can’t talk with her tongue in his mouth.
Next up, is the cocktail party and rose ceremony. Andi shows up dressed like a disco ball. “Y’all, y’all, y’all…” and then she splits off to chat up the boys. Nick V gives her a date card and sets up the champagne and strawberries – nice move. They have a nice talk, but I think she likes Nick in a huggy kinda way, not a Marcus-rip-your-shirt-off kinda way. Brett plays with sock puppets, which is a huge improvement over giving her a lamp. I think. Andi and Tasos break plates. Josh M rambles and lays it on really thick, to the point that I’m positive Andi isn’t buying his nice-guy act anymore. But he’s hot, so she mauls him a little bit before heading inside to talk to Craig. Oh, Craig. He apologizes by singing a really bad song and playing some really bad guitar. She smiles and thinks “this, maybe, maybe, might have worked when I was 19, but you are so going home tonight.” Chris Harrison comes in to announce the rose ceremony. Third appearance of the night! [singing to myself] “He works haaaaarrd for the money! So haaarrd for it, honey!”
Eric, Marcus, Chris already have roses
Ron – who? Not kidding, now. Who is this guy?
Dylan – LBH thinks he looks greasy
JJ – pantsalicious
Marquel – he’s mixing every pattern possible with that suit tonight
Andrew – Patrick looks nervous again
Tasos – wedding planner and destroyer of plates
Josh – the athlete who doesn’t want you to know he was an athlete. But he was an athlete.
Cody, who looks more like a cartoon character every minute
Nick V – nice guy. Not making the hometown dates.
Patrick – whew! Andrew can breathe again
Bryan and his mysterious black eye
Brett, his sock puppets, and his gift of light
(“Gentlemen, this is the final rose. Which one of the interns is driving me home?”)
Bradley – Ave Maria
Carl the Firefighter, who looks like he’s going to cry and gives a half-hearted attempt to pitch himself for the next bachelor, realizing it’s way to early in the season for him to get the call.
Nick S the golfer, who looks like he’s going to cry and makes a slightly more desperate attempt to pitch himself as the next Bachelor, because he DOESN’T realize that it’s way to early in the season for him to get the call.
Drunk Craig, and I look like I’m going to cry. But he mans up and admits that he blew it, and he’ll have to live with that mistake for the rest of his life. Or until next boys night out. SHOTS!!
Next week – special two night extravaganza! It smells like love in the air!