Oh, Bachelorette, why must you be two hours long? I still have to make dinner and read a manuscript tonight, but we also have to go to Marseille in search of true love! (Or, in the spirit of the evening, l’amour vrai.) What’s a girl to do? Type faster.

Andi tells us that she’s never been to France before, but Marseilles is the epitome of European charm. And speaking of charm, here come 11 galoots hooting and hollering as they roll into their suite at the Intercontinental. Right away, a date card arrives for Josh. JJ goes to read it, but it’s in French…which none of them speak. Voyons si votre amour peut tenir le cap… [Let’s see if your love can stay the course.] Josh also has no clue what it means, but he just cares that it has his name on the envelope.

Andi is sitting at a little sidewalk cafe tres charmant, when Chris Harrison (perhaps for tonight he should be ‘Arrison?) arrives in his best French turtleneck. He plops down long enough to say, “OMG are you in loooooooove?” and she giggles and demurs before confessing that she is falling for more than one guy. Shocker.

Time to go out with Josh! They stroll around the harbor, and Andi tells us that she has something exciting planned–well, they’re near water, so of course it’s a yacht. That said, it’s pretty cool…it’s sort of an old-fashioned, sloop-y kind of sailboat, perfect for playing “Titanic” and shnoogling. Josh talks about his ball playing days, and says that he gave it up so that he could start a family. He’s standing behind her with his arms wrapped around her all romantic-like, but has to keep rubbing his eyes, presumably because the wind is whipping her hair into them. Will Andi still love him when his corneas are all scratched?

Group date! Who’s on the list? Marquel, Marcus, Chris, Cody, JJ, Dylan, Nick, Patrick and Andrew are chosen. And all it says is “Love, Andi.” No clue.

Back with Andi and Josh, they are now at Les Calanques, a rather amazing cliff formation (or what Andi calls “these great rocks”) to watch the sea and have a little pique-nique. She is so into this guy–I think you can tell because they’re actually having real talk. She’s genuinely trying to get to know him, rather than just asking, “But how do you feeeeeel?” However, she tells us in a talking head that she’s still trying to “get a read on Josh.” She says she’s been burned by her experience with Juan Pablo, where the chemistry overwhelmed her and it was way too late when she realized she could never be with him. So Josh gets the third degree, I guess.

Cut to Le Ranch, where JJ is telling Marquel (with an avidly listening Brian and Nick) that he heard Andrew say at the first rose ceremony: “She picked the two blackies.” Marquel is understandably appalled and the others all agree that Andrew would simply deny it (of course he would!). In a talking head, JJ tells us, “I heard ‘blackies.’ Maybe he said ‘black guys,’ but…I wasn’t that drunk.” Marquel tells us of his plan to confront Andrew, but first he has to collect his thoughts. What? Not flying off the handle instantly? Marquel, what show do you think you’re on?

When we come back from commercial, it’s night, and Marquel is alone, being interviewed. There’s genuine disappointment and sorrow in his voice as he explains that it’s frustrating and depressing to know that with some people, no matter how you treat them, they have “a certain idea of you.” He’s getting a little emotional, and this is actually the most thoughtful I’ve ever seen a Bachelor/ette contestant about a real issue (whether or not the actual line in question was spoken). He’s laughing through tears as he says, “It’s crazy to think that the first thing people are going to recognize about me is, ‘Oh hey, he’s the black guy,’ but that’s the reality of it.” He walks back in from the thinking & crying balcony and we see he’s wearing hotel slippers, which somehow makes it all more poignant.

We cut back to Josh and Andi, who pull up to a chateau? Monument? City Hall? They’re rightfully awed by the architecture, and then “discover” their sweetheart table for dinner a deux. Andi says that despite their chemistry, and all the talking they did that day, she doesn’t feel that they got deep enough. She hopes they can do so now. She calls Josh on being a little guarded, and he says she can ask him anything, but she’s also a bit annoyed that she’s doing all the work. But then they talk about athlete stereotypes (Andi has dated them before), and Josh tells Andi that he hasn’t been in a relationship in five years. This leads into the story of his last serious relationship, where his girlfriend was always worried he’d be cheating on her because he was on the road. This is enough for Andi–let the smooching begin!

Then they stroll down to the plaza where Ben Fields is playing. When I saw tonight’s ep description, I thought it said Ben Folds was the guest musician, and I thought I must have him pegged totally wrong if he felt The Bachelorette was the right direction for him at this point in his career.

Ben Fields
Ben Fields
Ben Folds
Ben Folds

They’re slow dancing (and I applaud this Ben Fields fellow for choosing a ballad that you can actually slow-dance to, unlike those mid-tempo songs that wind up with the couple awkwardly hopping back and forth).

 

 

 

Group date! Everyone’s out to visit Marseille, and I guarantee you that all the locals are scorning these 9 shorts-and-hoodie-clad buffoons. (Except for Marquel, who is still sharp and wore big-boy pants and a shirt.) Andi tells them she’s taking them so a place key to French culture, and work on their communication…mime school. Seriously, show? France has 400 national cheeses, but this is too cheesy. On the plus side, the class is nearly silent (with the exception of talking heads). Just as one guy says, “At least we’re just in a dance studio where no one can see us…” Andi and Prof. Mime announce that it’s time to go perform in the streets! We cut away just in time to stop my eyes rolling out of my head.

Back at Le Ranch, Brian is getting the second one-on-one date card! He’s super excited. That’s it.

The guys are all in mime garb (although I see they didn’t have enough berets to go around, so some of them have porkpies, bowlers, and even a top hat) and Cody is the first to say “I’ve got my mime on my money and my money on my mime.” Yes, Cody! “Mime” and “mind” rhyme! Very good!

Unsurprisingly, the passersby hate these idiots, and mostly ignore them. There’s a cute little kid who plays with Marquel, and Andi appreciates it. JJ incorporates Andi into his mime, which she likes. Cody’s dancing around with Andi in his arms (which doesn’t actually appear to be a mime, but whatevs), and all the guys are making the best of it…except for Nick. He’s pouting and sulking and being a baby, because he doesn’t WANNA be on a group date. I’m miming tears right now. In a talking head, Andi’s all, “I get it, but suck it up, dude.” I agree.

Lie Down

After a hard day’s mime, the guys deserve a few cocktails in a cave, which I assume is some sort of catacomb-turned-nightclub. JJ, pantsapreneur-strategist extraordinaire, seizes the opportunity to create a private romantic moment with Andi by whisking her outside to the giant ferris wheel in the plaza. She is suitably impressed, and the harbor is beautiful at night.

Back at the party, the guys are talking strategy and smack. Cody’s decided to call out Nick for being smug and cocky, and the others dogpile on. They’re mad at Nick for saying (in a previous party) that he thinks he’s closer to Andi and though at first he tries to demur, they insist on asking him point-blank, “Do you think you’re the front runner?” He says yes, and they all decide this is a clear indication of his guilt. Huh? I hate when these idiot contestants (male or female) harass another contestant into answering a question and then attack them for not giving the answer they wanted to hear! Cody’s like a dog with a bone, but we’ve moved on to Chris and Andi.

Andi has realized that there’s a weird tension when she gets back to the party, and then Chris in his one-on-one rats out Nick, making her suspicious. Next up is Cody, who also bitches about Nick. Of course, to Andi he says, “Nick’s a great guy, I’m not gonna say anything about Nick, but for him to make fun of me…”. Ugh, you whiny babies! You all suck. Finally, Andi and Nick get their sit down, and he tells Andi he had fun, which she denies. She tells him she wanted him to have more fun on the date, and it’s hard for her to watch him pout. He tries to play it off like he just wants to be with her alone, but she’s not sure–especially because “two of the nicest guys in the house” just called him out to her. Mind you, Andi does not seem to be reflecting at all on all the JP dates she went on where she went off to cry in a corner until JP came to console her.

Now it’s BullyGate: Andi asks him about what he said to Cody, and Nick owns it all and says he apologized. Andi tells us in an interview that although he said all the right things, and the same story as Cody, somehow it was downplayed in his version. Well, duh! Nick changes the subject by whipping out some free verse all about what he sees when he sees Andi. Hey, Nick, we know Desiree’s guy Chris, and you are no Chris. (Thank god.) Andi is swayed by poetry, and says, “Are you gonna kiss me or what?” Cue making out. Nick 1, Cody 0.

But forget all that kid stuff, because it’s time for some real beef: Marquel has issue with Andrew. Supposedly, in the first rose party of the season, Andrew referred to Marquel as “Blackie.” Of course, heaven forfend Marquel discuss this only with Andrew, in private–he calls him out on the Couch of Boredom and Recrimination. He tells Andrew that he heard that he said, “She picked the two blackies.” Andrew immediately denies ever having said it, but Marquel has planned his speech and wants to finish it regardless of its target. Mind you, Marquel didn’t hear him say it–someone else told him Andrew said it. Andrew protests vehemently, and while Marquel doesn’t exactly say he believes Andrew, he explains that as “a man of respect,” he wanted to air it publicly, and he will not stand for any racist language (nor should he). But now he considers the matter closed.

Andrew is distressed, and tells Andi that Marquel was upset about “something someone told him he said,” but doesn’t tell her what it was. He instead says that he’s having doubts about being on the show because of all this. Andi realizes that there are too damn many feels on this date, and she didn’t realize how many frail egos she’d have to be bucking up. This is the exhausting part, honey.

Too Many Feels

At last, it’s time for the group date rose, and Andi gives it to JJ–largely because he’s the only one who didn’t come crying to her about some playground nonsense. Nick wanted the rose as a sign that they’d “taken another step,” but instead he sees that it’s JJ who’s taken that step. Oh noes!

At last, it’s the next day and time for Brian’s one-on-one with Andi; they’re both psyched, him because he gets a date, her because it’s guaranteed to have less drama than yesterday. It’s supposedly a cooking date, but they start out strolling down a narrow lane to a “cinema,” and decide to see a movie. This conveniently-placed “cinema” is in fact a little screening room with a couch, two glasses of wine, and a product-placed movie called The 100-Foot Problem or something [ed. note: it’s Journey, not Problem. Desole]. I wasn’t paying attention, but it’s about cooking somehow. You can IMDB it.

The movie “isnpires” them to cook, so they stroll through the market buying ingredients at the baker, the vegetable stand, the fromagerie…OK, actually that would be awesome. French markets are the best. At the fishmonger’s stand, they’re enjoying some raw oysters when Andi just happens to tell the guy, “In the movie we just saw, they ate sea urchin!” Of course he happily serves them up a ripped-from-the-ocean urchin, which they graciously eat, but hate. This is this season’s scorpion-on-a-stick, apparently.

Now that they’ve gathered all their ingredients, it’s time to cook! And what might they be cooking in Marseille? A bouillabaise? A cassoulet? No, of course not–it’s frog’s legs. At least they didn’t have to mime it.

In the kitchen, Brian is freaking out because he doesn’t know how to cook, and apparently it’s impossible for any of these guys to have an experience when they don’t already feel expert at it. Andi is telling us in voiceover that all of the lovely energy she shared with Brian all day dissipated as soon as they got into the kitchen. He seems to hate cooking, or fear it, and he completely shuts down. He’s barely meeting Andi’s eye, he’s lost the ability to flirt with her, and they work in silence. Andi is bummed–especially when she tries to engage him about his favorite foods. He says that his mom makes amazing mashed potatoes, and she gamely asks how his mom makes them. He snaps, “I don’t know! I don’t make ’em, I just eat ’em.” All righty, then.

Be that way

 

The frog legs are done, and they serve them up with a salad. Andi cuts the lettuce leaves with a knife, so I’m giving her a demerit, too. They sit down to eat, but after a handful of bites, they admit that their meal is terrible and go out to eat instead. Heh. Boeuf bourgignon it is!

Brian realizes that his loss of confidence was a problem, and he has to salvage it now. He confesses to Andi that he regrets not having seized an opportunity in the kitchen to kiss her, and she’s all, “Yeah, what’s up with that?” He fumbles and bumbles but eventually catches her (repeated) snaps and leans over and kisses her. She feels that despite the awkwardness, their chemistry is still good and she gives him the rose. To seal the deal, he whisks her back into the kitchen of the bistro (a spotless, empty kitchen, I will add) to kiss her in the kitchen like he should have the first time.

We’re down to the last twenty minutes, so now it’s serious! Andi arrives at the Chateau Pont-Royal in a chauffeured car, and her hair is done a la Elsa from Frozen tonight. (It’s very pretty, if big.) She’s come to pay a call on our pal and host, Chris Harrison, for some serious business. The gentleman have also arrived, all suited up and loaded for bear.

serious cat
Serious Cat is Serious.

Andi tells Chris that she doesn’t even want to have a cocktail party tonight! She’s thought about it, and doesn’t want to keep a bunch of guys just because she’s “supposed to.” Let’s go straight to the rose ceremony! Meanwhile, a bunch of the guys are telling the camera that they really need some one-on-one time with Andi tonight. Too bad, so sad. Andi’s already picked three guys to send home, so up and at ’em!

The guys are doing obligatory couch narration, and Andrew (or Patrick?) says that it’s a sign that Andi’s taking it seriously. Josh jumps on him like Andrew/Patrick was insulting her somehow, and gets awfully aggressive–probably because he already has his date rose, and thus has no skin in this game.

Dear Rising Star: No, I am not downloading an app to vote on a new passel of talent show idiots, even if Josh Groban seems like an earnest host. I love my reality TV, but not enough to give it access to my iPhone. Also, I feel like I just watched some sort of product beta testing live. Ugh.

But it gives us a sneak peek of “an exciting new show…Bachelor in Paradise!” Starring Weeping Crazy Clare!!! Yay! This is totally NOT a new show–it’s Bachelor Pad, but on a beach this time. However, it also stars the initially crazy, but ultimately hilarious Michelle Money. It looks just like you think it will–it’s basically the tramp stamp on the Bachelor franchise’s lower back–but puts me in mind of the grandfather and supreme leader of this sort of programming, Temptation Island. That is the alpha and omega, always.

Chris greets the guys in a sombre mood, as though he’s there to tell them all they have cancer, and then ushers in Andi, who whispers “Hiiii” in her best sex-kitten vocal fry. (And her hair looks huge now. Seriously, that can’t all be hers.) She explains that she just wants to cut to the chase, and picks up her first rose. It’s for…Marcus. Next are Nick, Chris, and Dylan (who?). Josh, JJ and Brian already have roses, leaving only four guys left. The final rose is for…Cody. Blech! Seriously? He looks like a penis, I’m sorry.

So it’s goodbye to Marquel, Andrew, and Patrick. Andrew is out first and complains of being bullied in the house. Oh, shut up, dude. Next is Patrick, who professes surprise and says that “the problem that occurred is that she didn’t get to experience me. I’ve heard from multiple people, not just girls, that I have the qualities that are paramount…” Enough, Patrick. She dumped you because she was afraid you were going to kill and eat her on your first one-on-one date. Marquel looks the most stricken, and in fact, tears up in his exit interview. Awww, Marquel! I want you to find love too. Maybe not on a reality show, though.

The remaining eight men are waiting to hear what their next destination will be, and it’s…Venice! Well, that will be utterly beautiful to watch, I’ll give ’em that. Fancy cars! Gondolas! Juliet balconies! Lie-detector tests? Just another day in Italy with your eight best guys…until then, may you all receive roses!