The Bachelorette: 90s Throwback and One Extremely Offensive Pair of Pants

This week, ABC is generously giving us a double dose of The Bachelorette, with one full-length episode last night (Sunday) and another tonight. Honestly, it feels like Christmas.

So this week began with an exciting announcement from Chris Harrison that the dates with Andi will all be taking place in… drum roll please… none other than the tropical, exotic locale of Santa Barbara, CA, but the guys stay put in the house in L.A. until called up to bat. Clearly this is a ploy on ABC’s part to save a few Gs: why put up all the guys at a hotel in Santa Barb when you can, like, bus the relevant ones down for the day and leave the rest at home?

First up for a one-on-one date is Nick V., who mystifyingly is still being referred to as Nick V. even though Nick S. kicked the bucket last week. He’s cautiously optimistic for his date with Andi, which includes a bunch of “normal, everyday things” such as aimless walking in the sand, riding bikes on a boardwalk, and dinner outside of a local courthouse (#TBT to Andi’s career). Ah, yes, soo normal—show me a date where they do laundry, go grocery shopping, fight over who gets to do the dishes, and pick each other’s noses when needed (okay, that might just be me) and then I’ll call it a “normal, everyday” date.

“We have a lot in common in a philosophical sense” –Andi on Nick V. #reaching.

Nick V. invariably gets a rose, followed by a sloppy-ish kiss. She’s deffos feeling it but I don’t know, something about Nick V. seems a bit distant. Or maybe he’s just wiped out from all of his heavy philosophizing.

Next up is the group date, where all of the guys excluding Chris-the-Farmer, Captain Underpants (i.e. J.J. the Pantsapreneur), and One-Face-Dylan pop over to Santa Barbara for an explosive singing session with none other than Boyz II Men. This is more like Boyz II Men II Extremely Sad Case of What Happens When Celebs Are Past Their Heydays.

The idea here is for the guys to croon along to one of the group’s biggest hits, I’ll Make Love to You, at a Boyz II Men “concert” (read: fifty saddos that ABC cajoled into gathering outside with the promise of free TV exposure and possibly free snacks). I think Bradley-the-opera-singer might have had a mini orgasm when Andi announces that the group date challenge is singing. The other guys look effing terrified, and once they start “practicing” we realize why: They. All. Can’t. Sing. For. Beans.

But Marquel is determined to overcome his genetic predisposition to sounding like a wounded animal: “I’m gonna serenade the f**k out of her.” Whoa there, tiger.

It’s actually sort of hilarious to watch, especially at the performance when Bradley “takes control” and actually sounds like a nail slowly, methodically scratching its way down a chalkboard. Congrats, Brad, you just effectively killed the one potential thing you had going for you! Best of all is Andi, who in one talking head literally just starts speaking the words instead of even attempting to carry a tune.

The men’s voices were so bad that Andi must have been driven to drink/ shoot heroin/ dabble in E following the performance, because girl is hopped up on something intense during the date’s cocktail party. She’s suddenly struck with a major case of bedhead, crazy eyes, and an apparent inability to keep her hands off of any of her one-on-ones throughout the night. “Playful Andi” even comes out, when she pranks Cody into thinking she’s been told he has a GF, and then concludes with “…and she’s a stripper!” followed by maniacal laughter. Andi, so playful right now, Andi. The upshot of this strange moment is that I’m suddenly reconsidering Cody, he’s kind of hawt.

We also see her covered with at least five different blankets throughout the party—ostensibly to protect against a potential peep show, thanks to her barely-there minidress—so it’s clear that ABC skimped on the housing this week to feed Andi’s affinity for ever-changing bedding accoutrements.

Back at the brothel, a date card arrives whilst the remaining contestants are enjoying a nice manly soak in the hot tub to shake off the stressful day of sitting around doing absolutely nothing. Dylan actually thinks he has a shot at a one-on-one with Andi, which is cute, but the date card goes to J.J. The Pantsapreneur. Wouldn’t it be soo tongue-in-cheek if he showed up to the date in shorts?

In actuality, he shows up to the date in possibly the fugliest pair of pants I think I have ever seen, complete with different-colored booty pockets—but then am humbled later on when he REALLY wears the fugliest pair of pants I have ever seen the next night to the rose ceremony, when he decides to bring paisley back in a big way—and I’m like please, J.J., be a little more obvious that you’re using this show as an opportunity to publicize your “brand”. It turns out not to matter what J.J.’s wearing, because the couple is promptly whisked away…to be transformed into old people!

Yes, with the help of new clothes, an impressively professional stage makeup job, applied age spots, and wigs, Andi and J.J. turn into Old J.J. and Old Andi. Watching the process is kind of fun, except it seems to take about 72,000 hours and I wonder how many weeks long this date is going to need to be for them to actually spend time together, since the transformation process happens separately. And J.J. is enjoying the hair and makeup attention a liiiiittle too much here.

When the two finally meet back up approximately a week and a half later, there’s a lot of jumping around and squealing while each party checks the other out. J.J. informs us in a talking head that he thinks “Old Andi looks hot”—Reverse Cougar alert. The “elderly couple” then sets out to alarm the entire outdoor population of Santa Barbara, as they amble up to unassuming minors enjoying the sunshine and engage in fakeout-hijinks such as suddenly stopping to toss a football, turning cartwheels, and making their motorized wheelchairs go too fast. They also both insist on speaking in gravelly tones the entire date, so seemingly are under the impression that all old people suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. If Andi’s date with Nick V. was “normal, everyday things,” I guess her date with J.J. is “normal, everyday things for old people with a death wish and a severe case of COPD.”

Ride, Old Andi, Ride.

Amidst all of these confusing revelries, we’re directed back to the house where things sober up when Ron receives a phone call. For a contestant to be on the phone is a Big Deal, so the guys all casually gather in the living room to discuss and debate what might be happening. Ron seems agitated, waving away the cameras and storming around, and we eventually find out he’s leaving because a close friend died. Geez. Between this and the constant heartbreak that is watching scenes of Eric, there’s more death on this show than in the new season of Game of Thrones. Between this news and my maybe-crush on Cody, I was so not ready for this tonight, you guys.

Andi is blissfully unaware of Ron’s abrupt departure as she and J.J. somehow remove the pounds of stage makeup in time for dinner—NO idea how they did that, but it’s impressive. There’s a rose, a kiss, and insistences on both sides of a real connection. To me this one screams “friend zone”—come on, would a girl really let a guy she likes see her with wrinkles and wearing knee-highs on a first date? I don’t think so!

Finally we’ve arrived at the cocktail party, where Drama. Goes. Down. Some convoluted story comes out about Andrew scoring a chick’s number at a restaurant the guys went out to their second or third night in L.A., which he proceeded to brag about to the guys and which J.J. and Josh M., apparently co-heads of The Bachelorette Etiquette Enforcement Agency, feel is Not Cool. They decide to confront him, and he very reasonably walks away. I’m totally with Andrew on this one: it happened at the beginning of filming when he barely knew Andi (so what’s changed, amiright?), and J.J. and Josh M. are being whiny and annoying.

Also, these two are possibly the least intimidating guys on the show to incite a confrontation: whatcha gonna do, Josh M., blind Andrew with your ridiculously fake white teeth if he doesn’t tell the truth? Maybe J.J.’s planning to punish Andrew by sewing him into a pair of pants? Oooh, I bet Andrew’s shaking in fear! If J.J. and Josh M. really wanted to throw some muscle behind this threat, they would have brought along Cody. Omg, I’m obsessed.

Eyes are rolled and meaningful looks exchanged between the wo-men when Andi calls Andrew’s name at the Rose Ceremony while Brett and Bradley say (or in Bradley’s case, trill) goodbye to Andi, so it seems like The Evil Andrew will live to score scraps of paper from eligible women for another week! The injustice! The horror!

…Or will he? Cue previews of scenes for tonight’s episode featuring Andi crying, waving her arms, and saying tearfully “This is real to me. Every day this is real to me.” Ruh-roh. Be sure to tune in tomorrow to find out what happens!

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