After a two-week hiatus (i.e. forever in “Bachelor’’ world!) since our last stop in Connecticut, our love-seeking contestants continued east, landing in Marseille, France. Andi has read the Wikipedia entry on Marseilles and tells us that it’s an exciting port city on the Mediterranean with a lot of, umm, culture and stuff.
First things first. Chris Harrison, in a very European turtleneck, meets up with Andi at a very European cafe for a little heart-to-heart. “Are you falling in love?’’ he asks. Andi responds with her trademark “Stoppp!,’’ followed by expletives and the shocking admission that she’s falling for more than one guy. Chris generously pretends this is interesting information and not a basic premise of the show before wishing Andi luck with her dates this week.
The First One-on-One Date
The date card arrives and it’s all in French, but Josh doesn’t care that he can’t read it as long as his name is on the top. Despite having snagged more makeout time with Andi than anyone other than Nick this season, this is Josh’s first solo date! Andi’s been saving him up for a rainy day and that day is here. They shop for picnic goodies, board a sailboat, and then head off onto the open seas.
Meanwhile back at the house, JJ reveals that Andrew referred to Marquel as a “blackie’’ and expressed surprise that Andi chose him and Ron, who is also black, in the first rose ceremony. How many more bombs is house pot-stirrer JJ going to drop on people this season? He’s like the Gretchen Weiners of the house (that’s why his floppy hair is so big — it’s full of secrets). JJ later admits to the camera that Andrew may have said “black guys,’’ not “blackies.’’ Either way, Marquel is justifiably upset and the incident isn’t exactly going to help with the franchise’s bad reputation with diversity.
Back on the date, Josh is facing bigotry of his own. Bigotry against the historically disadvantaged group consisting of handsome, charming professional athletes. “People judge before getting to know you,’’ he complains to Andi. He really doesn’t want Andi to think of him as an athlete, he insists, after casually dropping into conversation his exact position in the MLB draft.
Andi is confused. She worries that Josh is too much like past boyfriends of hers who haven’t been faithful. But Josh swears he’s different; he’s looking for a real commitment: “The next person I say ‘I love you to,’ I want to marry.’’ It’s two minutes of one of the hardest sells we’ve see on the show — and Andi duly purchases everything on the table. Josh gets the rose for delivering his pre-prepared speech without losing eye contact, and the two end the night slow-dancing to a private concert by Ben Fields.
The Group Date
Next up: a visit to group date hell, where nine guys (Chris, Marcus, Marquel, Andrew, Pat, Nick, Dylan, JJ, and Cody) have to dress up as mimes (top hats, suspenders, and white gloves) and perform for the poor unsuspecting citizens of Marseilles.
The crowd is not impressed, but all the guys get into it and give miming the old “Bachelorette’’ try. All the guys except Nick, that is. Nick doesn’t seem to understand the first rule of group dates: pretend you’re enjoying whatever ridiculous activity the producers throw at you. Andi picks up on his vibe, commenting “Salty, salty Nick’’ and shaking her head.
Later in the evening, various men continue to act like boys as the post-mime cocktail party is dominated by fights over silly and not-so-silly things. Cody, who is rocking more cleavage than Andi, is mad that Nick has been bragging about being the frontrunner and generally being a douchebag, a sentiment shared by most of the men. Farmer Chris reluctantly relays the Nick complaints to Andi, as does Cody (though a bit less reluctantly).
With two reports of bad behavior, Andi calls a “come to Jesus’’ meeting with Nick in which she confronts him about his bad attitude on the date and his conflict with the other guys. His responses are unconvincing, and Andi starts to wonder (finally!) if Nick is manipulating her. Then Nick pulls out a “poem’’ he wrote for her (does it count as poetry if there’s no rhythm or verse and your name is signed at the bottom?) and she melts into a puddle at his feet. God, this guy is an evil genius. It’s going to take a lot more than Cody’s roid rage to get rid of him.
And after a lot of soul searching, Marquel confronts Andrew, while JJ cowers in the corner and focuses his attention on his shoes. Andrew denies all claims and Marquel accepts his word, while making clear that he would never stand for such comments. Marquel’s handling of the situation proves again that he is a total class act.
In the midst of all this drama, JJ steals Andi away for a ride on an jumbo Ferris wheel with views of the city. Without his old-man makeup, Andi seems way happier about going in for a proper kiss. JJ nabs the group-date rose for the simple fact of avoiding a confrontation with anyone, and with that this painful date comes to a close.
The Second One-on-One Date
Coach Brian lands a culinary-themed one-on-one date with Andi, which begins with a private screening of the new Disney film, “The Hundred-Foot Journey.’’ Brian is adorably enthusiastic about everything Andi suggests. Movie? OMG, my favorite thing in the world! Go food shopping in the market? I could just die of happiness!
But Brian’s enthusiasm fades as soon as he gets into the kitchen and finds he has to help cook dinner. Fun time is over, real world experiment begins. The plan is a lovely meal of frog legs (in case it hasn’t been made clear enough that we are in the foreign country of France). Brian, who is a take-out kind of guy, becomes incredibly awkward from just being in the presence of food preparation. Andi, in turn, is frustrated that her cooking isn’t stirring up passion in him. She muses, “If I was a man and I saw my woman cooking, I’d come up behind her and . . .’’ Oh we know what you would do, Andi, you little horndog.
Their meal turns out as unpalatable as the cooking experience, so the pair go out to eat instead. Andi finally manages to shame Brian into kissing her, saving the date from total disaster. He gets a tepid rose offer as a reward. Confidence renewed, Brian takes Andi back to the kitchen for some more kissy time, proving that there’s at least one thing he can do well in that room.
The Rose Ceremony
With an exhausting slate of dates behind us, it’s cocktail party time. Or is it? Andi has another sit-down with Chris Harrison and tells him, no cocktail party needed, she’s ready to send three guys home ASAP.
Cutthroat, we like it.
The roses go to Marcus, Nick, Chris, Dylan, and Cody, who join Josh, JJ, and Brian on the next leg of the journey. Andi says au revoir to Andrew (good riddance to shady rubbish), Pat (who are you?), and Marquel (big mistake, Andi, HUGE).
Post-Show Power Rankings
1. Josh is perfectly walking the line between hot athlete and fragile romantic. This guy’s in it to win it.
2. Nick, we give you credit, you will not be unwedged from your spot. You’re awful, but an expert at manipulation. And if a shrewd mind like Cody thinks you’re the frontrunner, who are we to argue?
3. Coach Brian’s stock began to fall when they got in the kitchen, but he makes a late stage comeback to keep a spot in the rankings.
4. Farmer Chris didn’t get much screentime this week, but we love that he is “the nicest guy in the world,’’ and always looks like his jacket is too small for his delightfully broad chest.
5. JJ and his silly preppy pants are our Mom’s favorite. This gets him on the Power List but isn’t getting his kissing sessions with Andi past G-rated anytime soon.
Next week, for those of you who like routine, we’re back to our regular weekly dosage of “The Bachelorette’’! See Andi and company take Venice on Monday, June 23 at 8pm.