Let’s open with some establishing shots of Marseilles, and holy cow is it nice. I want to take my Lovely Better Half there so we can pretend it’s what the rest of our lives will be like, as opposed to the way they are now – up to our elbows in diapers and having our ears blown out by a screaming baby every night. Just kidding, I love the little guy, especially when he sleeps…quietly. Anyway, they show a private jet landing on a runway and then switch to the guys walking through the airport, implying that the producers flew them over on Chris Harrison’s private G5, when we all know these guys were riding coach on Spirit Air. Skeevy Andrew smugly points out that he’s spent time in St. Tropez and Monaco. A quick note Andrew – normal people visit places; pretentious douche bags “spend time”.
Chris Harrison meets Andi at a café, and he’s wearing what looks like a chainmail turtleneck underneath a blazer – perfect for both a casual lunch and storming the Bastille. They talk about whether or not Andi is in love, and of course she is, and of course it’s with more than one guy. Actually, she’s in love with one guy that’s a Frankenstein conglomeration of Josh’s body, Nick’s personality, Brian’s lips and Marcus’s sparkling eyes and gentle, baby-like hands.
First date card comes. It’s in French so no one knows what it says; Josh is the lucky winner. Skeevy Andrew says he’s sick of group dates and he needs to show Andi who he really is. Don’t worry, Andrew. You’re going to show all of us who you really are by the end of this episode. Josh compares the importance of today with the Superbowl, but please, whatever you do, don’t stereotype him as the typical athlete. They walk to the harbor and…it’s a boat date! This is, hands down, my absolute favorite date. Boats pretty much guarantee action, and if I had a boat, I would never date on land. As if to prove my point, Andi and Josh start groping each other before they’re even out of the harbor. He takes a break from exploring her mouth with his tongue to talk about how he was a 2nd round pick, and he kicks ass at tennis and golf, but again, he’s not your typical athlete. He tells Andi he quit because he wanted a family, but the truth is out there, my friends, for anyone who has a spare 15 seconds to use the Google. He hit .175 for 5 years in Single A and never made it to the major leagues. Then, he played football as a walk-on at University of Georgia, where se saw sporadic playing time. Impressive, sure; but not quite the same thing as giving up your pro career to start a family.
Later, they meet for dinner at some chateau and there’s much hand-wringing and many questions, and it all boils down to the fact that Andi got burned by a guy exactly like Josh, and she’s a little gun shy about trusting him. He tells her everything she needs to hear – he hasn’t felt this way in years, he finally feels like he can love again, etc. Andi’s still not sure if she believes him, but he’s really hot and she really wants to make this work, so she makes out with him some more and gives him the rose. But wait! Impromptu concert! Ned Fields? Len Fields? It’s some guy with a guitar that LBH has just fallen in love with. Josh and Andi dance and she’s ready to hit up the fantasy suite tonight.
Next, it’s time for a ménage a neuf, aka group date. Marc, Dylan, Chris, Cody, JJ, Marquel, Nick, Patrick, and Andrew are all up, and the card is blank. They meet in a public square and it’s time to get mimey! These poor guys are getting hammered this year. Stripping, singing, miming – there isn’t a single one of these things I’d want to do on camera. The basketball game was the one thing that was in their comfort zone, and they still got their asses kicked. Tough season. The boys get in costume, and they look predictably ridiculous, except for Marcus…
…who could look pretty wearing a burlap sack. (That actually sounds a little weird now that I read it a second time. Whatever, I’m leaving it). The guys start miming, and there’s a lot of this:
And, unfortunately, a lot of this:
The crowd is totally unforgiving, but I’ll give the guys credit. As with every ridiculous group challenge before, they flounder around a lot but they make the best of it. Everyone, that is, except Nick, who doesn’t do anything. I can’t really blame him; he’s an expert in the art of Machiavellian manipulation; miming is clearly beneath him.
They meet later that night for cocktails, and JJ, pulling a page from Nick’s book, immediately pulls Andi away and takes her to a Ferris wheel for a good 45 minutes or so. There’s a beautiful view of the city, and it’s all very romantic, so he moves in for the kiss, and Andi looks like she’s trying to jump out the gondola. JJ could shower her with diamonds and rose petals, but she is just NOT into him. Back at the chateau, the other guys, obviously bitter about Andi being gone for the better part of an hour, decide to gang up on Nick again. Cody loses his shit and rants and says “homie” a lot, and Nick looks at him like he’s a lunatic. Then, like every season before, they all start bitching to Andi about Nick. Seriously, it happens every season, and every season these guys look like a bunch of whiners. Andi’s worried that Nick might be acting differently with her than the guys, which I have never understood. Do you act the same way with your boss that you do with your boyfriend? I don’t drink copious amounts of scotch and swear like a sailor with my mom, just like I don’t talk about baby clothes with my buddies. Every normal person does this; it’s called knowing your audience. Anyway, Andi questions him mercilessly; he plays it off like a pro and then pulls out the emergency romantic poem that he saves specifically for situations like these. Andi jumps on top of him, problem solved. Nothing fazes this guy. Then, just because her mouth isn’t quite exhausted yet, she mauls Marcus for a little bit, too. Anywhoo…JJ gets the rose for his Ferris wheel stunt, and Nick the Assassin makes a mental note to have him killed in his sleep.
(edit: One of the many differences between the Bachelor and the Bachelorette occurred to me after I posted this. On the Bachelor, whenever a girl inevitably tries to warn a guy about the “bad seed” in the house, the Bachelor’s eyes glaze over and he starts thinking about how he’s sending the informer home that very night. But when Andi caught the first inkling of drama, she was like “Tell me everything! Tell me now!” Maybe I’m looking at this wrong way and this is a viable strategy for the guys to use. Looking back, it got that sleazy guy sent home from Desiree’s season and basically ruined any chance he might have had at being the next Bachelor. Which opened the door for Juan Pablo, but that’s a disaster for another day. Maybe Cody and Chris and the rest of them are making the right move. But I’m telling you now, in no uncertain terms: if you’re a girl competing for the Bachelor, don’t tell him anything. Seriously, he doesn’t give a shit what’s going on in the house. He just wants to get in the hot tub and grab your butt.)
But, as with every episode, there has to be some “big drama”, and tonight it’s between Marquel and Skeevy Andrew. Earlier, JJ, Brian, Nick and Marquel were shooting the breeze before the group date, and JJ tells everyone that during the first rose ceremony, after Ron got his rose, Andrew leaned over to him and said “Whoa, she gave it to the two blackies.” Needless to say, Marquel is very offended. Of course, because he’s thoughtful and dignified, he takes some time to contemplate things rather than immediately walking into the other room and knocking Andrew into next week. In the interview, Marquel gives an extremely heartfelt monologue that essentially culminates with “Judge me for me.” He is visibly upset by the whole thing and honestly, we should all be upset with him. While Andi is with Marcus, Marquel calls Andrew out. Andrew denies it vehemently, even managing to sound angry at being accused of saying something so offensive. Marquel takes him at face value, and though he’s not positive who he can believe, he feels that he’s said his piece and he’s not going to waste any more time thinking about. Personally, I just wish there was some way to go back and see if Skeevy Andrew was lying? Oh Wait! My Lovely Better Half recorded the first episode, and through the magic of DVR, we can actually see what happened! Here’s Ron getting his rose:
And In case you’re having trouble seeing it, here’s a close up of Andrew and JJ in the back row:
Now, this doesn’t prove he said anything racist, but a) he definitely said something, b) the timing looks awfully suspicious and c) JJ doesn’t strike me as the type of guy to make shit up – a little weird and dorky, sure, but he’s not a liar. This is where the producers have yet again dropped the ball. This happened during a rose ceremony; that room is mic’ed up like the Nixon White House. There’s no way they can’t go back and listen to what Andrew said. I don’t know Andi personally, but I’m willing to bet she’d like to know if one of the guys left was a racist prick. Pull the tape. On a side note, do you think if JJ lies, his pants catch fire? (Think about it, it’ll come to you.) On another side note, I stumbled across these little gems while I was fast forwarding through episode 1:
“I got a little captain in me!”
You do have a little captain in you, Drunk Craig. And don’t you ever let that little captain go. [sniff…]
Coach Brian is up for the second one-on-one – “I’ve got the recipe for love”. They meet in a wine cave to watch some romcom that Disney is distributing and ABC needs to pump for the parent company. Shockingly, they both LOVE it! They love it so much that they decide to reenact the movie by shopping at an outdoor market and cooking a meal together. To say that Brian is more comfortable on the basketball court than he is in the kitchen would be the understatement of the century. He’s so out of his element that he can’t even talk, and the whole scene is outright painful to watch. Andi looks miserable, the food comes out terrible, and they decide to go out for dinner, because if they have to spend one more minute in that apartment, Andi is going to stab Brian in the eye with a dinner fork. He opens up a little at the restaurant – a little too much, actually. He babbles so much that she has to practically beg him to kiss her. She not only opens the door for him, she fires up a strobe light and yells his name through a bullhorn. Eventually, he takes the hint and kisses her, and Andi gives him the rose. Though, she has to be wondering if he’s going to need a compass and a road map on their wedding night. This guy has NO game.
Andi (with her hair looking just plain weird) meets with Chris Harrison at his summer chateau. Being on his own turf, Chris has ditched the armored turtleneck for a more traditional suit. Maybe he’s worried about assassination attempts in public spaces? Did he do something to piss off the French? Who knows. The guys talk about how they’re looking forward to spending time with Andi and letting her know how much they really want to be there and….no such luck. It turns out Andi (like everyone else watching) knows it’s down to Josh, Marcus, Brian and Nick and wants to get to the hometown dates ASAFP. She cancels the cocktail party and raises the cut to 3 guys. This girl is cold blooded. She probably asked to cut everyone, but ABC still needs a couple weeks worth of air time, so she’s contractually obligated to string a few guys along a little while longer.
Off to commercial break and it’s a sneak peek at Bachelor in Paradise! Half-naked, cray cray, Bachelor rejects getting drunk and hooking up on a tropical island? Score! Too hot outside? No problem! Take your clothes off! Getting stir crazy after being stuck on a rock in the middle of the ocean for weeks? Enjoy our open bar until you either have sex or start a fight with someone! It’s so wrong, that it’s right in every possible way. I hope Chris from Emily Maynard’s season hangs out in a rowboat offshore for 7 days and tries to talk his way onto the show.
Back to the rose ceremony. Already pinned:
Josh – Andi wants to make babies with him, she’s just not sure she wants to live with him
JJ – there’s a party in his pants
Brian – umm, I really need to take charge, and I think Andi wants me to take charge, so I’m going to think about taking charge at some point, and maybe when I do decide to take charge, I’ll try to give her a kiss, because I’ve heard that trying to kiss a girl is part of taking charge, and I’m going to do it soon – I promise! – if I ever get up the nerve.
Marcus – he’s so pretty and his voice is as gentle as the wind beneath a butterfly’s wings
Nick the Assassin – he’s controlling her mind
Farmer Chris – I’m just so gosh-darned relieved!
Dylan – I’m a little surprised she’s making him hold out hope for another week considering the baggage he’s hauling around
Crazy Cody – Don’t disrespect me, homie!
Skeevy Andrew, who’s sticking to his story. He knows this show is filmed, right?
Patrick, who tells us he’s heard from many people, not just girls, that he’s quite the catch. Not just girls? Did Andrew tell you that first night together?
Marquel – I know I didn’t pick him for my top 4, but I hate that he’s going home the same week as Skeevy Andrew. I even hate that he has to share a shuttle with him back to the airport. Marquel throws out a solid pitch to be the next Bachelor. Smart, good-looking, polished – step up, ABC. At least put this guy in the discussion.
I’m sticking with Josh, Marcus, Nick and Brian as my front runners, though Brian fell behind a little bit this week. There’s probably one perfect guy in there if you mash them all together.
Next week: Venice! Drama! Lie detector tests! The guys look nervous, except for Nick. Nick makes lie detectors look nervous.
Until next time…