Alright folks. Even though I thought I already blew my TV load this week getting double-teamed by the NBA Finals and The Battle of the Bastards on Game of Thrones Sunday night, ABC made me put on my big boy pants and sack up for another two hours of man drama. ABC overcompensated for blue-balling us with last week’s Bachelorette drought, because in addition to the departure of Chad, this week brings us a cocktail party, a Rose Ceremony, two one-on-one dates, the return of Other Chad, a group date, and another goddamn Rose Ceremony. I’m already exhausted just from typing that. Let’s break it down:
A Farewell to
Big Arms Chad
Two weeks ago on Chad’s an Asshole, we saw JoJo make the decision to boot Chad back to the booming luxury real estate market of Tulsa, Oklahoma. After his rejection, Chad stomped his way through the backwoods of NoOneCares, Pennsylvania to the dudes’ cabin; the screen cut to black as Chad stroked the glass on the door like he was Rose getting porked in the back seat of a car on the fucking Titanic.
Instead of picking up right at that steamy moment, we are instead treated to a glimpse of the dudes celebrating The Chad’s departure. Wells eulogizes him, telling everyone that “We’re here to honor arguably the worst person we’ve ever met.” The dudes take handfuls of Chad’s leftover protein powder and scatter his protein ashes into the wind. I know I take my fair share of artistic liberties with these recaps, but this is 100% accurate. Even I can’t make this shit up. Exclaiming “Death to tyrants!” Wells punts the protein powder container into the woods, and in so doing, punts himself right into my heart.
After their celebratory funeral, the dudes head back into the cabin, where they are confronted by Chad, who is apparently finished lightly caressing the window. They inquire about his date, and he tells them about Alex tattling on him to JoJo. Again, he seems confused, saying, “A girl doesn’t understand when you back a guy into a corner with fifteen or twenty dudes, he just has to do something.” No one puts Chad in the corner.
Jordan makes an attempt to bury the hatchet with Chad, most likely to avoid any unannounced visits to his house in the future; I doubt that Chad fights by Anchorman rules, and Jordan can’t afford anyone damaging his face, or more importantly, his hair. His apology is about as successful as his NFL career. Chad tells him, “I’m going to say what I’m going to say. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. When you all attack me like you did, the only think I can think to do is get physical.” The Chad can think?
As Chad and Jordan continue their dick-measuring apology contest, Daniel leans against the wall in the background with a sly grin on his face. You can see in his Canadian eyes that he’s overwhelmed with the potential for his own meat consumption now that Chad is leaving. I’m honestly surprised that The Chad didn’t absorb Daniel for power by now; I guess he just wants to be 100% made in America, and I respect that about him.
Evan chimes in, asking Chad “Do you have your wallet on you? You still owe me for that shirt.” It’s unclear if Evan was ever compensated, so someone graciously set up a GoFundMe page for his red v-neck. You can contribute here.
Eventually Chad departs, taking with him our greatest source of entertainment over the past month. Paradise can’t come soon enough. Once Alex returns, the rest of the dudes resume their party, serenading the pint-sized Marine with a rousing rendition of “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead” given that it is a traditional celebratory anthem of his Munchkin heritage before lifting him over their hands and chanting “RUDY!” until the wee hours of the morning.
As everyone files into the cocktail party, Wells points out the obvious: Now that Chad is gone, the dudes no longer have a common enemy. His absence immediately disrupts the status quo in the house, and their implicit truce is shattered. It looks like from here on out it’s every man for himself, which makes for some prime Monday night viewing.
Chase is the first to pull JoJo away. They climb into massive bubbles and proceed to bump into each other. Is it just me or is that in no way romantic? If I traded places with Chase within thirty seconds I would have sweat through my suit inside that clear, suffocating plastic prison and begun dripping all over JoJo. It would not be cute. I would not get a rose.
Robby steals JoJo away next. He tells the camera that he feels his relationship with JoJo is miles ahead of the rest of the dudes and that he’s “100% falling in love with her.” It’s been four weeks and you’ve only ever been on group dates, so I’m a little weirded out. He takes JoJo to a fountain, where they make a wish. He won’t tell her what he wished for, but hinted that it was a shiny object that would be arriving in forty-two or forty-three days. Is that metal dildo from Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on backorder again? That’s the only shiny object I can see Robby having any use for, because there’s no way he’ll end up needing a shiny Neil Lane engagement ring when this is over.
James F. reads her a poem he wrote; if he submitted it to a high school English teacher it probably would have gotten a solid B, unless it got mixed in with the AP class, in which case he’d be looking at a C+ at best. As he finishes, JoJo feigns emotion, wiping a nonexistent tear from her eye. In my business, we’d call that a poor prognostic indicator.
Luke jumps on the “falling for you” train as he tells JoJo that his heart beats faster when he’s around her. It also beats faster when he thinks about her when he isn’t around her; that makes sense, because most people’s heart rates increase when they masturbate, Luke. Way to slip your shower secret in there, buddy. As she returns, Jordan snags her, telling her that since he already has a rose, he doesn’t want to take up too much of her time. She disagrees, telling him, “Well, you should!” As she says that, Jordan slams her against the wall for an aggressive make out session, yards away from the other dudes. It’s a power move. JoJo appears to be a big fan.
As JoJordan untangle their tongues and return to the group, Chris Harrison tells everyone that the cocktail party is coming to an end. JoJo addresses everyone, telling them “I need to go think about this decision. I also need to change my panties after what just happened behind that wall. Hot damn, Rodgers.”
Given that the Bachelorette drought over the past two weeks has felt like a literal eternity, I had to look up on my own recap to see who had already gotten roses – it’s Jordan, Luke, and Alex. The remaining eight go to:
1. Derek – At this point in the episode, I’m drawing a blank.
2. Robby – Zero real dates, 100% in love.
3. Chase – Not Jordan
4. Wells – Destroyer of Brotein. Next time I’m in Nashville, I’m going to Bumble BFF and pray to any god that will listen I find him. I want to be in his squad.
5. Grant – Handsome Squidward
6. Vinny – He gets less screen time than Jorge the Bartender does on Bachelor in Paradise. I’m starting to think he may low-key be the coolest dude on the show, and we’re just not getting to see any of him. I want answers ABC, and I want them now.
7. James T – The producers are legally obligated to keep him around until his stitches come out.
8. Evan – WHY GOD WHY
This means that in addition to The Chad, we’re also saying goodbye to James F(ucking awful poet) and Damn Daniel the Canadian. In his exit interview, Daniel reveals a profound truth about JoJo, telling the camera “She must be going about this based on personality, because my personality is shit. It definitely isn’t based on body, otherwise I’d still be there.” Tough break, Daniel.
After the Rose Ceremony, JoJo tells her dwindling posse that their time in Pennsylvania is coming to an end. Their next destination is Uruguay and the dudes seem ecstatic, mostly because pretty much anything is an upgrade from East Fucksville. I’d wager my left nut that most of these dudes couldn’t even spell Uruguay. Hell, I can barely spell Uruguay.
One-on-One Date with Jordan
As the dudes arrive at The Grand Hotel in Punte del Este, the first date card arrives. It’s addressed to Jordan, and reads, “Let’s seal the date.” Silence abounds as the other dudes are jealous that Jordan went into the last Rose Ceremony with a rose and is getting even more time with JoJo now. Do they not understand she’s not that into the rest of them? It’s getting pretty obvious.
Jordan leaves for his date and walks down a dock, where the camera catches JoJo sprinting to him at full speed. It’s like watching her throw herself at Ben all over again; she’s snailing after him hard. She tells him that they’re getting on a yacht, and Jordan exclaims “Wow! I’ve never been on a yacht before!” Does your brother hate you? He may not actually have his own yacht, but I’m sure he has access to one.
They make out on the deck of the yacht for a while. Jordan alternates between stroking JoJo’s face and his own hair. It’s unclear which he cares about more. Eventually the yacht stops by a beach with a shit ton of seals barking around, and the two of them throw on some wetsuits and jump in. We don’t actually get to see them swimming with the seals, and I’m not sure if it’s because no one wants to see JoJo in water unless she’s wearing a bikini, or because more important things were happening back in the dudes’ suite in the hotel.
While JoJo and Jordan are frolicking in the ocean, Vinny is doling out free haircuts. What a team player. In true beauty salon fashion, someone (read: a producer) has slipped a few tabloids to the dudes to peruse as they wait on their fresh fades; without The Chad to stir up drama the rest of the season will be boring as shit and the franchise can’t afford to bring Nick Viall (aka Pubehead McGee) back for the third time. Inside the mag is an article about JoJo and an interview with her pre-Bachelor ex-boyfriend, who is also named Chad. I’m sensing a trend here.
Our first introduction to the OG Chad was during JoJo’s hometown date with Ben Higgins; he sent her roses and tried to win her back in a blatantly producer-rigged segment. In the article, he claims she continued to sneak around with him while she was filming The Bachelor and that the real reason she agreed to become the Bachelorette was only to become famous. While I don’t think he’s being completely honest here, he’s probably not totally wrong.
This article apparently destroys whatever shreds of sanity the dudes had managed to cling to until this point. With their collective undies in a bunch, they spend the rest of the day debating whether or not JoJo is there for the “right reasons.” Spoiler alert – no one goes on reality television for the right reasons. Wake up and smell the Instagram endorsements, dipshits.
Back on the date, JoJordan has fast-forwarded to dinner and serious conversation time. Yawn. Jordan tells JoJo that he’s “falling in love” with her, an escalation from just “falling for her” last week. Apparently this distinction is monumental to JoJo. She chooses this moment to drop a small bomb on him, and reveals that she met a girl he used to date in Dallas, and this girl talked some shit to JoJo. She asks Jordan if he ever cheated on this girl, and he manages to say “There was no physical cheating.” Is that like Bill Clinton saying “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”?
JoJo continues to press Jordan for answers. She asks why he’s ready for marriage now, as opposed to when he was dating this other girl. He stammers around a bit, saying “Well, I’m not in the NFL anymore. She was around on the roller coaster of me being at both my best and my worst. I was immature, but I’m not a cheater. If I was a cheater, I would probably still be in the NFL.” I may have added that last part. JoJo buys it, probably because he’s saying what she wants to hear. She gives him the date rose, they dance in the street and make out, and I shut my eyes for a little siesta.
Upon returning to the hotel, the producers start to interview JoJo about her date. She’s ecstatic, so naturally they have to destroy her happiness by tossing the tabloid with OG Chad’s article in her lap. She reads it and is devastated. To add insult to injury, the producers tell JoJo that all the other dudes have read this shit as well. She storms off and throws a small tantrum in her room. During her breakdown, I learned two things: JoJo is an ugly crier, and her breasts look phenomenal in that tight white dress.
Eventually she pulls herself together enough to go cry in front of the dudes. She confesses that much like The Chad, OG Chad brought her to a bad place, but she truly did love Ben and wants to find love again. She assures them she isn’t faking anything; in fact she’s saving all her faking for
marriage the Fantasy Suite. Good Guy Vinny pipes up, saying “I’m sorry that you have to deal with this.” He quickly glances from side to side before whispering, “The producers told me I could come to Paradise if I showed everyone that article.”
Sand Boarding Group Date
This week’s group date is for Luke, Derek, Chase, Evan, The Last James Standing, Good Guy Vinny, Grant, Wells, and Alex. Their date card reads, “I can’t sand to be away from you!” As these nine dudes get ready for their date, Jordan and Robby relax at the spa. They talk shit about the other dudes while getting pedicures and facials. Totally normal. I doubt that’s the first facial Robby has taken. Probably won’t be the last, either.
JoJo meets the dudes at the Valizas Sand Dunes, where they learn they’ll be spending the day sandboarding. I fucking hate sand, so this would be my nightmare. I’d be like the girls on The Bachelor who say “I don’t really like to do activities” if I were on this date. Sand just gets everywhere, you can never get it off, and in general it ruins lives. Evan seems to agree with me, telling the camera, “I’m going to get another bloody nose today.”
We don’t really see much of the sandboarding, probably because they are all terrible. A few of the dudes do well; Wells cruises down the dunes without any problems and Alex manages to do a backflip, although he loses his board in the process. In a side interview, Derek tells the camera that watching JoJo with the other dudes makes him jealous, “Which is good, because it means I actually care.” Does this mean that Derek isn’t here for the #rightreasons either? Alex seems to have some doubts about Derek, telling the camera that he thinks Derek is calculating and jealous. Pot, meet kettle. Now that Chad is gone, it seems that Alex has already picked a new target.
Much to everyone’s relief, a storm cuts the sandboarding short. After showering, and I assume spending an inordinate amount of time extricating sand from every orifice of their bodies, the dudes meet JoJo for a cocktail party. The majority of the time is spent with everyone telling JoJo they don’t care what OG Chad said about her in that magazine. It’s touching. It’s also boring as shit. I miss Chad. Hell, I even miss Daniel. These dudes are all a bunch of weenies.
Derek establishes himself as the King of the Weenies, telling JoJo he is afraid their relationship is falling behind, and he doesn’t want that to happen. JoJo is like “Yeah, me neither.” It seems like whatever they’ve got going is rock solid. Sparks are flying everywhere. I’m being facetious; I’ve seen more convincing romance in Disney Channel Original Movies. Something more may have happened during their conversation, but I was out of wine and that was way more important.
While Derek is alternating between groveling and being so boring I want to die, Alex takes another opportunity to talk shit about him. Earlier in the night, Alex told JoJo that he “could see myself falling in love with you.” He tells the camera that “Getting a group date rose has always been an ambition of mine.” Really Alex? Always? Can you show me in your kindergarten scrapbook where you said you wanted to get a group date rose? Dream bigger, man.
Unfortunately, Alex may have to wait a little longer for this particular life goal to come to fruition; this group date proves that sometimes the squeaky wheel does get the grease – if by grease you mean a group date rose. JoJo tells the group that this rose is meant to reassure Derek that JoJo hasn’t forgotten about him. Alex is enraged, telling the camera “My mind is blown. He’s an insecure little bitch.” While Derek may indeed be an insecure little bitch, Alex is definitely a mean girl.
One-on-One Date with Robby
The last one-on-one date this week goes to Robby. His date card reads “Love is within our reach.” As JoJo waits for Robby to arrive, she plays with a stray dog on the beach. I feel like this is ill advised; I don’t know what kind of animal regulations Uruguay has but I feel like this could end super poorly. She tells the camera “When I’m with Robby it’s like puppy love, but it could turn into something real! Its like a little schoolgirl crush.” I’m confused, JoJo – who is the schoolgirl in this scenario, you or Robby?
Eventually Robby shows up, and he and JoJo play hide and seek in some weird rocks on the beach. I have no idea what is happening. Robby tells the camera “I know I love JoJo.” Normal first date vibes. There is nothing alarming about this. They go to a cliff overlooking the ocean and decide to jump into the water. As they get undressed, there are some voiceovers about taking risks and love and feeling safe with one another – it’s the same bullshit that happens every time a date includes something remotely athletic or dangerous. I’m too busy watching JoJo sport her bikini until I notice Robby and his pineapple print Chubbies – I came very close to buying the same pair this year. If I had the misfortune of doing that, I would be burning them and untagging any photos of me wearing them instead of writing this as we speak. They jump into the water, Robby is unfortunately not gashed upon jagged rocks or eaten by a shark, and they make out.
Back at the hotel, Alex and Chase confront Derek about getting a rose, insisting it was out of sympathy instead of attraction. I really don’t get their angle – Derek did bring up feeling like things were falling behind, but ultimately it panned out for him, so Alex and Chase just come across as butthurt at this point. I’m also surprised they had this conversation face-to-face instead of doing it over 3-way calling after their parents were asleep.
Leading up to dinner, Robby tells the camera, “I hope it doesn’t freak JoJo out if I tell her I love her on our first date.” Lot’s of people confess their love on first dates, Robby. Quite a few of them end up with restraining orders, but I’d love to see you roll those dice. At dinner, Robby tells JoJo that he’s here for one reason, and one reason only – for love and for her. In case you didn’t notice, that’s two reasons.
Robby tells JoJo that about a year ago, his best friend was driving home and drove off a bridge and died while he was texting his girlfriend. This conversation escalated quickly, and I am not drunk enough to deal with something this heavy. Confronted with the realization that the future is not guaranteed, Robby quit his job, broke up with his long-term girlfriend, and moved to a new city. Therapy may have been a better option. He goes on to say that he would feel bad hiding something from her, and saying that he’s fallen in love with her. JoJo smiles, and says “Thank you” before slowly pushing the rose toward him, making sure she had an escape route in case Robby made any sudden movements.
Robby is not dissuaded. He tells the camera “Well, she didn’t say she loved me, but I got a rose. That’s like the same thing, right? Maybe she’ll love me someday. I can make her love me”. Well, he told the camera most of that. The rest was just an interpretation of the crazy look in his eyes. The two of them head down to a questionable looking abandoned beach and make out. All I can think about is the fact that there are almost certainly used heroin needles underfoot. Hard pass.
The remaining eleven dudes trek through a rainy twilight to the cocktail party. There seems to be a lot of tension in the air; the group is rapidly shrinking and the camaraderie bolstered by their mutual disdain of Chad has been stripped away. After stewing over his conversation from the previous day, Derek decides to ask Alex, Chase, Jordan, and Robby to step outside and talk with him for a moment. He calls them all out for being mean girls and shaming him for getting the group date rose. This entire conversation is asinine. Alex tells him he’s being too sensitive, Chase reminds him that neither he nor Alex have roses and therefore have more important things to focus on than Derek’s hurt feelings, and Jordan simply laughs him off. As they return to the other dudes, Luke asks about the conversation, and the Mean Girls tell everyone what Derek said. Everyone grumbles. They’re all little bitches.
Chris Harrison arrives with some sobering news – JoJo has cancelled the cocktail party; her decisions have already been made. I’m thrilled – the thought of watching more of these dudes’ whiny bullshit is less appealing than working at one of Evan’s boner clinics. Chris goes on to tell them that three of them will be leaving after the Rose Ceremony. Across the room, sphincters tighten.
Jordan, Derek, and Robby have roses. The remaining five go to:
1. Luke – War Veteran, also aboard the Loving JoJo Train
2. Chase – He’s definitely the Gretchen Wieners of these Mean Girls. Still not Jordan.
3. Alex – Quit trying to make Regina George happen. It’s not going to happen.
4. James Taylor – Still has stitches, still needs that Bachelor insurance.
5. Wells – Please be friends with me. I’m really good at brunch.
This means that in addition to already losing The Chad, James F., and Daniel, we’re also saying goodbye to Grant, Evan, and Good Guy Vinny. Vinny ironically gets more screen time during his exit interview than he did during the previous four episodes combined. According to People, all three of these dudes will be on Paradise so this isn’t goodbye, it’s see you sometime on or after August 2nd.
We’re treated to some footage of some of the upcoming dramatic twists, and it seems like JoJo pulls a Ben and falls in love with two dudes. It’s still up in the air who the two lucky ones will be, but one thing is for certain – her dress for the finale is fire. Next week is my first week of being an actual doctor, so I can’t guarantee that the recap will be done as early as usual, but don’t fear, it’ll get done. The gang is heading to Argentina next, so I’ll see you then..
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Image via John Naffziger