Alright folks. Remember last season when Kaitlyn got pummeled by like 8 different dudes? That was basically how my first day of residency went, so I apologize for making y’all wait for the recap. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. Even if you can’t, none of my patients died today, so I’ll chalk it up as a win.
With two Rose Ceremonies in addition to The Chad’s departure last week, we’ve Hunger Games’d our potential sperm donors from fourteen down to eight. This week brought us a single one-on-one date, a group date, and another two-on-one date to help JoJo come one step closer to deciding which of these dudes will be contractually obligated to propose to her. Let’s break it down:
One-on-One Date with Wells
After last week’s trip to scenic Uruguay, the crew packs up and heads to Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Traveling was one of the funnest things for me last season!” says JoJo and every girl who’s spent a summer abroad. The camera follows her as she wanders through the Argentinian streets, gazing longingly into the distance and stopping to pet random people’s dogs. Why does she do that? It’s weird. Cut that shit out.
Eventually JoJo rendezvous with Chris Harrison and they chat on a park bench. Did their flight get in before they could check into the hotel? Why is this happening on a park bench? It’s super odd. She tells Chris that she’s developing strong feelings for all of the guys that are left, and she’s starting to get nervous that she, like Ben, will fall in love with two people. I hope this is foreshadowing. There are very few things that give me a rush like a heart-crushing, final rose rejection from a Bachelorette when the dude already has a Neil Lane ring weighing down his pocket. It’s like heroin to me.
The dudes roll into Argentina looking like they’re fresh off a photoshoot for Buckle. I don’t mean that as a compliment. As they arrive at their hotel suite, the first date card is delivered and it reads “Besamé, besamé muchacho” and goes to my boy Wells. The rest of the bros are confused as to why JoJo is telling this muchacho to kiss her – all of the rest of them having been ramming their tongues down her throat since night one. Wells drops a bomb on them – he hasn’t kissed JoJo yet. The producers may as well have played crickets chirping after this confession; the entire room falls into a stunned silence. Alex giggles to himself, grateful he packed his step stool; his feet don’t always touch the ground when he sits, but damn it, at least he can climb up and reach JoJo’s lips. Jordan leans over to ask Chase if that means that Wells is a virgin. Jordan isn’t the sharpest.
As much as I love Wells, this isn’t a great sign. JoJo even kissed the guy with the cootie catcher on night one, so she’s down to swap spit with just about anyone. Homeboy needs to step it up. The two of them eventually depart on their date; we don’t actually see much footage of them strolling through the street markets of Buenos Aires. Instead we’re treated to a vapid conversation led by this season’s resident Mean Girls – Alex, Chase, Robby, and Jordan. Their dismay at Wells’s lack of oral affection persists. As the quartet sips wine and dishes, I have to remind myself that I’m watching The Bachelorette, not an audition tape for The View. These fucksticks need to find a better hobby. Or grow penises.
After buying JoJo some shitty street jewelry on ABC’s dime, Wells is led to a warehouse. Why does this show love taking people to dimly lit warehouses in foreign countries? If I learned anything from Breaking Bad, it’s that finding yourself in a place like that is the easiest way to get yourself and/or everyone you love murdered. It’s also why I no longer use Stevia. Once the two of them are inside, lights slowly illuminate what appears to be a crossover between synchronized swimming and softcore erotica, all suspended from the ceiling. Wells keeps looking for opportunities to devirginize his mouth; unfortunately being entertained by individuals simultaneously on the verge of drowning and fucking doesn’t appear to be that moment.
JoJo and Wells are approached by a man who explains to them in broken English that the purpose of this warehouse is for displaying performance art – and the rest of their date will consist of participating in performance art. I don’t know about the rest of you, but that sounds like a pretty awful time to me. I’ve sung karaoke twice in my life, and mercifully I have little to no recollection of either occasion. That’s why I hide behind my keyboard instead of walking down a treadmill attached to what appears to be a crane hook while pretending to get shot like Wells was forced to do. This is all happening, mind you, while JoJo gets whisked past him like she was someone you’d give your left nut to join the Mile High Club with.
After running on the Treadmill of Desperation, Wells tries to high five JoJo’s face. He follows up this smooth move with an equally suave kiss on the cheek. I imagine this is the feeling parents get when they realize their child is terrible at sports. No matter what he does, I’m going to always love him, but get your shit together, Carol. Eventually JoJo and Wells graduate to the Floating Ceiling Pool of PDA. Once inside the FCPoPDA, the pair is knocked back and forth by waves. JoJo is fawning all over Wells; it’s very apparent she’s on the verge of giving him an OTPHJ. She wants some action – and who could deny anything to JoJo in a bathing suit? Finally, just as the lights in the warehouse begin to come back on, signaling the end of their time in the FCPoPDA, Wells finally lays a tender kiss on JoJo’s well-used lips. Wells – 1, Virginity – 0. Afterwards, JoJo exclaims excitedly, “You did it!” like he was a child who, for the first time in his life, managed to use the big boy potty instead of shitting in his pants.
For the dinner and serious conversation portion of their date, JoJo and Wells go to some mansion; it probably has a great deal of cultural significance, but ABC knows better than to assume an American audience would give a shit about that. Wells starts their conversation by stating the obvious, telling JoJo “We’re probably pretty different people. I struggled with that for a while. I had this idea of what a perfect person for me would be, but those perfect people I’ve met in the past haven’t actually been perfect for me.”
I honestly expected JoJo to pounce on Wells right there, although that may have just been my own boner throbbing. She doesn’t soften and asks him about his last relationship. He tells her that it lasted for four years and somewhere along the way, the romance fizzled out; at the end, he realized that he and his ex were just best friends that lived together. In that moment, I knew it was over.
Wells’s confession solidified his position as the Fuhrer of the Friend Zone in JoJo’s mind. As her eyes well with tears for Wells, she says, “I think you are absolutely amazing, but I don’t think you’re the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with, so I can’t give you this rose tonight.” She walks him outside and says goodbye. As his car departs, JoJo stands on the sidewalk and cries a lot. At home on my couch, I sob like a baby.
The date ends with JoJo going back to the Warehouse of Performance Art and watching another performance in the FCPoPDA, because apparently the date must go on, with or without Wells. Although the cameras and other spectators surround her, she is strikingly alone. These producers are assholes.
Fuckboy Haircut Group Date
The next date card reads “Living La Vida Boca” and is addressed to Luke, Robby, Jordan, James Taylor, and
Napoleon Alex. Armed with their matching haircuts and trash outfits, the dudes meet JoJo in the La Boca district of Buenos Aires. Amidst the fuckboys, James Taylor reveals his feelings of inadequacy to the camera “I feel like I snuck onto this set.” Don’t worry JT, the rest of us feel that way too.
We don’t see much footage of the date; personally, I’m not terribly disappointed. After wandering around La Boca, wishing they were in JoJo’s boca, the dudes eventually play soccer with some locals. This happens every season – the show either runs out of money for real dates or just wants to use the locals’ talent to humiliate contestants season after season. This iteration of “White Boys Attempt Soccer” isn’t any different; they get their asses handed to them.
Eventually the group decides to takes penalty kicks – and whoever scores wins a kiss from JoJo. The producers really went all out on this date. Luke and Jordan were astonishingly terrible. In the most Robby move ever, he attempts to pay off the goalie, but even with cash, Robby is unable to get it in. I wonder if he’s run into that problem in other areas of his life.
In a twist that sends shockwaves all across South America, our resident self-deprecating Eeyore of a Bachelor James Taylor manages to boot in a goal. He gives JoJo a baby kiss in front of the other dudes before telling the camera “I’m on the train to ‘I love JoJoVille!’” Hearing him say that makes me want to find the tracks that lead to JoJoVille, lie down on them, and let that train run right over me.
For the evening portion of the date, the group heads to a cocktail party. James Taylor airs his insecurities again, telling the camera, “Luke and Jordan are definitely frontrunners, while I’m standing around saying ‘Hey JoJo, I’m over here!’” Ironically, while he’s confessing these feelings, Luke is busy giving JoJo feelings in her pants she hasn’t had since that sunset horseback ride at Girl Scout camp in 8th grade. James Taylor is like this season’s Tanner, except less funny and less attractive. Maybe he’ll shack up with Carly Waddell on Paradise this summer and they can write songs about their feelings.
Eventually James Taylor wraps up his pity party, wipes his tears from his gruesomely stitched eyes, and sacks up to talk to JoJo. What transpires next is perhaps the most asinine load of bullshit I’ve ever seen delivered on this show – and you know as well as I that we have seen some real gems. James Taylor tells JoJo that he cares a lot more about her than he expected to, and because of that, he needs to warn her that golden boy Jordan Rodgers may not be quite as perfect as JoJo imagines. Did Jordan indeed cheat on his previous girlfriend? Still unclear. Were there scandals surrounding his NFL career? Of course not – he barely even had a career. Is he an entitled, arrogant bastard who disagrees with others about the rules of poker? “DAMN STRAIGHT SKIPPY HE IS!” James Taylor screams for all, but mostly JoJo, to hear.
America is transfixed as James Taylor tells JoJo about Jordan’s condescension in their disagreement about poker rules. James Taylor continues, saying Jordan’s attitude reminds everyone “I’m a celebrity and people are going to listen to me because I have a billion watt smile and I’m in magazines.” He laments his misfortune as he continues, “If you go against what he says…you just can’t. It’s like he’s the ultimate source of wisdom.” Bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for him.
JoJo seems oddly concerned; it seems like she’s constantly trying to find reasons to question Jordan. That’s a sign of a healthy relationship, right? She starts this conversation like it’s an HR meeting, telling Jordan “It was brought to my attention that there was an altercation with you and James, and it was very unbecoming on your part. Having heard that, I want you to know that James is an amazing person and I don’t doubt that he’s telling the truth.” Translation: James Taylor isn’t smart enough to make this shit up and lie, and there’s a little part of JoJo that wants this to be true.
Jordan is taken aback, telling JoJo that James Taylor is one of his best friends in the house. Considering there are only seven dudes left, that’s quite the compliment. As soon as JoJo mentions the word “entitled” Jordan loses his goddamn mind. “I don’t think I’m better than anyone in the house. I’m not entitled! I’m the opposite of entitled!” If entitled means having won sports titles, I’d tend to take Jordan’s side on this one.
When Jordan returns to the rest of the dudes, his other Mean Girl compatriots sense something is off. It’s like they have ESPN or something. Jordan silently sits next to his soon to be ex-BFFL JT, swirling his white wine into a tornado of fury inside his glass. Unlike his turbulent vino, Jordan’s feelings aren’t trapped in a glass case of emotion. He asks James Taylor how his conversation with JoJo went, and specifically if he came up. JT confirms that he had discussed the poker game with JoJo, and had in fact planned to tell Jordan about it later. JT eventually rehashed what he said, and Jordan emphatically interrogates him about his specific use of the word “entitled.” It’s like we’re watching an episode of Judge fucking Judy or something. Once the conversation ends, Jordan turns his head to pout in silence, flipping his hair aggressively for emphasis.
Once JoJo returns to the rest of the dudes, she picks up the group date rose. Telling them “This rose is going to someone who makes me feel good and special and excited about the future. Unfortunately, it cannot be given to a manbitch, so Luke, will you accept this rose?” He does. As a reward for sitting through this shit, I offer myself Four Roses. I gladly accept it.
Two-on-One Date with
Gretchen Wieners Chase and Derek
After the group date card was read, Chase and Derek knew that they had been selected for the two-on-one date. I’ll admit, I think this combination was a swing and a miss. Noted PGP contributor Kyle Bandujo (@kylebandit13) agreed, sending me a text that said “I’d rather see Alex and Jordan play Russian roulette with a gun full of horse semen. And then the loser also has to drink the semen.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
When their date card arrives, it reads “It Takes Two.” It turns out this is a reference to the tango, because for their date they will be taking tango lessons. Chase shows up in a white shirt, while Derek opts for a black shirt with a blue blazer. Did he have an unfortunate luggage accident or is he colorblind? JoJo makes an interesting fashion choice herself; apparently she misinterpreted her own invitation. Thinking she was attending a costume party, JoJo arrived dressed as the dancing girl emoji.
The entirety of the tango lesson is watching JoJo alternate between gyrating on Chase and Derek. As soon as one of them pops half a chub, she sashays herself to the other. As she continues to be thrown from man to man I start to think this is actually either a preview of the Fantasy Suite or the longest intro to a porno I’ve ever seen.
As the trio walks in to the dinner portion of the date, JoJo tells the camera “Derek and Chase are both such great guys – I know I have to say goodbye to one of them, but I don’t know who!” Maybe she’ll get rid of them both and we can speed this shit up.
JoJo pulls Derek aside first. Something about him makes me cringe. JoJo tells him “We had passion on our first date, but since then I think you’ve pulled away, and you’ve gotten into your own head.” Derek replies, saying “I haven’t been open since my last relationship, but on the first night I met you I looked into your eyes and realized you’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. I’m absolutely falling for you.” That escalated quickly. JoJo reciprocates his confession of feelings with a warm look and a pat on the hand, saying, “I appreciate that.” Danger Will Robinson, danger.
JoJo’s conversation with Chase is completely different. She tells him that she has strong feelings for him, and that she’s afraid he doesn’t feel as strongly about her. It’s pretty rare in Bachelorette world to see the lead actively pursue one of the contestants, but it’s starting to be a theme with JoJo. She tells Chase that she needs reassurances from him just as much as he needs reassurance from her; this is the first time that I seriously consider that Chase could be a real power player down the road. She’s got obvious passion with Luke and is starstuck with Jordan, but it seems like she’s legitimately scared of losing Chase. Time will tell.
Once JoJo and Chase return to Derek, JoJo picks up the rose. She tells them, “I’m so lucky that I have two guys here for me – I can see a future with both of you. However, there’s only one rose. Derek, we reconnected tonight and I was so happy to see this side of you. Chase, you opened up to me and I can’t imagine that was easy; it opened my eyes up to a lot. With that being said, Chase, will you accept this rose?”
Chase accepts, and JoJo asks to walk Derek out. As he climbs into what was possibly the most jank as fuck van I’ve ever seen, he tells JoJo he hopes she finds her forever. The next few moments of the show are truly an example of pure cinematic genius. Granted, it’s not quite as good as The Winds of Winter, arguably the greatest hour of television ever aired, but this shit should at least be nominated for an Emmy. As Derek departs in the van, we see Chase and JoJo enter a magnificent concert hall where a string quintet is performing. They start to dance; the screen cuts back to Derek as he tells the camera “I thought I was enough. Apparently I wasn’t enough.”
As Derek’s eyes begin to turn a bit misty, we’re transported back to the concert hall. Above JoJo and Chase, an opera singer joins the quintet. Her melodic voice rings in the background as we see Derek again. “Don’t cry, Derek. Don’t cry,” Derek says to Derek. The music and melody in the background escalate in tandem with the level of tears in Derek’s eyes. Just as his tears burst forth from their dam onto the floor of a van which has surely seen its share of dead hookers, the singer burst into the chorus of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” from Evita. As if they are of one mind, the singer crescendos as Derek’s sobs escalate. His tears and this song are a duet I never knew I needed to see and will certainly never forget.
Although this week has already thinned the herd down to the six remaining dudes, there is still a Rose Ceremony scheduled. At this point, the remaining contestants have a 50% chance of getting the opportunity to bang JoJo. Let that sink in. JoJo arrives in a dynamite blue dress; I was disappointed by the neckline but it hugged her in all the right places. She tells the camera “This week was unbelievably emotional for me.” I miss Wells too, JoJo. Don’t forget that your choices can ruin our week as well. Quit being selfish.
There are three roses on the line tonight, so one more person must depart. Robby is the first to talk to JoJo, and although he doesn’t have a rose, he tells her “I can’t help but give off a confident aura. Plus, I wore my Spanx tonight, so that helps.” I hate him.
Alex Bonaparte snags the next conversation. After awkwardly kissing her neck, he bitches for a while about never getting a group date rose. Is he competing with Jordan for most entitled? JoJo tries to reassure him, saying “We do need more time to figure things out, but I don’t want you to feel like you’ve fallen behind. If you’re having trouble keeping up, we can slow down. I know your little legs get tired.”
The rest of the conversations were pretty boring. Jordan talked about how he’s not entitled for a while, and unsurprisingly JoJo took it hook, line, and sinker. I didn’t bother taking notes because it played out exactly like every other conversation they’ve had this season. Jordan’s ex-BFFL James Taylor took time with JoJo as well, telling her he came on the show to “fight for her.” They make out until our misery is ended by Chris Harrison announcing that it is time for the Rose Ceremony.
Luke and Chase already have roses. The remaining 3 go to:
1. Robby – 100% in love with JoJo, not 100% sure he’s into girls
2. Jordan – #JoJordanForever
Unsurprisingly, the final rose is between James Taylor and Alex. Just before making a decision, JoJo bolts out of the ceremony. She looks like Cinderella at midnight, dashing down the stairs of the palace. My initial guess was that the Argentinian street food had caught up with her and instead of leaving a glass slipper behind in her hasty exit, she was on the verge of leaving a trail of angry chocolate mudslide. It turns out instead of having diarrhea, she just had too many feelings.
After weeping to Chris Harrison, JoJo regains her composure and returns to the Rose Ceremony. Inspired by the generosity of Oprah, JoJo looks at James Taylor and Alex and shouts “YOU GET A ROSE…AND YOU GET A ROSE! EVERYBODY GETS ROSES!”
With this, we’re just past the halfway point of the season. The competition is getting fierce, the claws are coming out, and the testosterone is nowhere in sight. Next week is the most important episode yet, as the four left standing will be bringing JoJo home to disappoint their mothers and arouse their fathers at Hometown Dates in two weeks. See you then..