It’s day 2 of this week’s “Bachelorette’’ doubleheader. Chris Harrison announces that the men will be leaving Chez Bachelor for the very exotic locale of … Connecticut. Huh? Marquel is irrationally excited for the trip but most of the guys can’t really get it up for winter in New England (yeah, try living here).
The First One-on-One Date
Boston boy Dylan is cheated out of a glamorous vacation and instead spends all day with Andi one state over from home on the Essex Steam Train. The pair exchange awkward conversation as the suburban sprawl rolls by, but Dylan is clearly preoccupied with how to tell Andi about his past.
Fortunately, the producers have prodded Andi to give Dylan an opening and she complies. Dylan shares that his sister passed away of a drug overdose 4 years ago and his brother passed away in similar circumstances last year. Because she is a human being and not a stone, the story moves Andi to tears.
After swearing it’s not a “pity rose,’’ Andi offers Dylan the much less patronizing sympathy rose. Dylan seems like a sensitive guy who has coped admirably with a lot of tragedy, but he happens to have zero chemistry with our Bachelorette. Still, he’s happy to get the rose and we’re happy for him.
The Group Date
What else can we do in Connecticut? Andi wants to see someone “get sweaty and look like a man.’’ Basketball it is. A group of professional female basketball players join the eleven guys (Chris, Brian, Nick, Tasos, Marquel, Andrew, Pat, Nick, Eric, JJ, and Cody) for a friendly scrimmage. Josh must have WNBA trading cards at home or something because he actually recognizes all the players! A man with genuine respect for female athletes? Love it!
After our suitors get completely schooled by the pros, the men are split into two teams to play for Andi’s heart. Clearly there’s excess testosterone flowing because they’re all trying to kill each other. In the end, the Rosebuds triumph over the Five of Hearts. The losing team, in addition to being emasculated, has to head back to the mansion for cold showers and, according to Marquel, to “eat some cereal or whatever losers eat.’’ But what do winners eat Marquel? Please say it’s cookies.
Brian, a former basketball player and now-coach, caught Andi’s attention during the game. During the post-game victory party, he nails a half court shot and Andi’s hormones go bezerk. She’s hoping for a kiss from him but Brian chokes at the critical moment.
Poor Brian gets relegated to fluffer as Nick takes full advantage of Andi’s sexual frustration with some smooching of is own. Looks like the warm-up act was better than the big show though: Coach Brian wins the group-date rose as the evening draws to a close.
The Second One-on-One Date
Andi finally gets Hot Marcus alone. Their mission, which they choose to accept: rappel 30 stories down the side of the Mohegan Sun casino. Brief nerd note: studies have documented a “misattribution of arousal’’ phenomenon where a person is more attracted to her companion during fear-inducing activity. Explains why the “Bachelor’’ franchise is big on extreme sports. This particular date seems like a waste of the show’s budget, however, as Andi would be turned on by Marcus in a basket-weaving class. Maybe give the date to Dylan next time.
Once in her harness, Andi turns into a babbling, terrified mess. Marcus tries to distract her by asking about her mom. “She plays Mah Jong,’’ she manages. “It’s a Chinese game, correct?’’ asks Marcus primly. They survive the adventure, and Marcus wins major points for being brave and supportive.
At dinner, Marcus covers the rose with a napkin because it makes him nervous, but by the date’s end it is safely secured in his lapel. While slow-dancing at the concert of yet another white guy we’ve never heard of, Marcus confesses to Andi that he’s falling in love with her. Well, that was fast. Future perfect husband or future recipient of a restraining order? You make the call.
Before the Rose Ceremony
The final cocktail party starts as usual with champagne all around and Andi in a sparkly gold number. Brian sneaks some early alone time. He’s been working up the courage to kiss Andi since he blew his chance on the basketball court and finally seals the deal. Andi: “Thank God!’’
Uh oh, perfect Eric is suddenly looking not so perfect. Andi told him on the group date that he wasn’t opening up enough, but after a lot of thinking Eric has realized it’s actually Andi who’s not opening up. I mean, he did tell her about Syria. Then to really drive the knife in, he clarifies, “I came here to meet a person, not a TV actress.’’ Eeeeeeeeek. Andi goes ballistic and Eric is thrilled that the “real Andi’’ is back. Unfortunately the real Andi no longer likes Eric. “I can’t fight for someone who doesn’t believe in me,’’ says Andi, choking back tears, and they agree that Eric should head home. It’s uncomfortable to watch but good for the producers for not sugarcoating his exit.
Eric has clearly struck a nerve and a seething (and somewhat overreacting) Andi announces to the group that anyone who shares Eric’s view can share a cab home with him.
After the commercial break, Chris Harrison announces to the viewers that in lieu of showing the rose ceremony, Andi and Chris will have a short talk to pay tribute to Eric’s memory. It’s well-intentioned, if a bit jarring, particularly after Andi and Eric’s last interaction.
Chris then tells us that Tasos was the sole elimination at the rose ceremony. This leaves Chris, Nick, Patrick, Andrew, Marquel, Josh, Cody, and JJ who join Dylan, Brian, and Marcus in the final 11.
Post-Show Power Rankings
1. Hot Marcus takes the top spot this week proving that he’s not only hot but also knows how to help a lady down the side of a skyscraper. Andi asks what many viewers are thinking, “Is there a single bad thing about Marcus?’’
2. Despite minimal airtime this week, Josh hangs on at number 2. We see a lot of potential in ya, kid.
3. Sleeper hit Brian, whose name we didn’t know until this episode, sneaks onto the list with his skills at both b-ball and kissing. Nice to see the field opening up a bit!
4. Andi still digs Nick for some unfathomable reason so he makes the list for the fourth week in a row.
5. Marquel may not have gotten a one-on-one date yet but he’s the funniest guy here. Actually, forget him and Andi. Marquel for the next Bachelor!
Hope the two-day “Bachelorette’’ marathon was enough for y’all! It’s two whole weeks until your next fix on Monday, June 16.