Last week, America’s heart broke as DeAnna bid a tearful adieu to Richard, a grateful one to Ron, and mostly just tried to remember Paul’s name as she ushered him out the door. And tonight we are promised the most dramatic drama, or some such, in the history of ‘The Bachelorette’! Nine winsome swains remain!
Robert, Jason, and Fred, by virtue of their general rosiness, are moved out of the Outhouse into the Big Girl House. Chris warns us that this week will contain not only a solo date and a group date, but a two-on-one date as well. (Ooh I know this one! Marshana wins!) Apparently the solo date is something that must be "earned" by the man who writes and performs the best original song for DeAnna.
Jesse confessionals that his two weakest points are writing and singing, so I think it’s a safe bet that he’s going to win. Graham has suddenly remembered that he is, in fact, Adam Levine of Maroon 5. Fred, up first, rhymes "again" and "husband." Robert allegedly has some sort of singing experience, but mostly mumbles; Sean is actually kind of cute; a lot of the guys talk their way through. Brian is very excited about his offering, which is entitled ‘Midnight in the House of My Pain.’ No, I’m not making that up! Jesse gets down on one knee and sings and giggles, and wins the solo date. A suit and tickets to "a formal serenade" appear at the Outhouse, and Jesse promptly begins to freak out. The other guys instruct him in proper suit-buttoning etiquette, which is kind of darling, actually. They limo to a private concert with Natasha Bedingfield, who does not instruct them to feel the rain on their skin – though that would have been awesome – but does sing what is presumably her latest single. DeAnna and Jesse really seem to connect; she clearly genuinely cares about him, whether or not her feelings are romantic, and she gives him a rose.
The group date card arrives for Brian, Twilley, Sean, Jeremy, Graham, and Jason: "gentlemen, start your engines." (For those of you counting, this means that Fred and Robert will be sharing the two-on-one date with DeAnna.) They load onto a huge RV and drive out to a racetrack, where they dress up in racing suits (racing suits? driver suits?). Each man gets three laps in a stock car, and the fastest man wins. Brian, right off the bat, can’t start the car, lurches into gear and gets a leg cramp. Jason drives, well, like a dad. Graham drives like a guy who doesn’t own a car, which he doesn’t. Jeremy doesn’t do well and gets upset about it; in the end, however, it’s bemulleted Sean who wins. DeAnna, in Tory Burch sunglasses, takes the wheel and predictably outpaces the boys. Jeremy pulls DeAnna into the RV for some alone time while the other guys drink out of blue go-cups and call him a d-bag.
Graham interrupts Jeremy and DeAnna’s talk, and DeAnna confessionals that she a. has strong feelings for Jeremy and b. really wants to remove Graham’s clothing as soon as possible. Well, she doesn’t use those words, but my GOD is she coming on to him strong. She actually uses the phrase "well, are you going to kiss me or aren’t you?" DeAnna! Manners! Graham refuses, on the grounds that he doesn’t want to be one of a group. (As I asked Shayne, last season – what show did you think you were on, sweet cheeks?) She tells Graham that she is "dying" for him to kiss her, and that she feels that he’s breaking her heart by not putting himself on the line. To me, a guy like Graham is risking a lot more by holding back physically and admitting that he’s hurting than by pawing at her, but DeAnna has yet to ask my opinion. In the end, "roughneck" Sean gets the date’s single rose.
The next day, the guys, bored, decide to throw a party. This party seems to involve putting together children’s furniture from Ikea. They even go so far as to make invitations for DeAnna and the three guys staying at the house – oh, the kiddie table is for those three guys. Very funny, Outhouse guys. Robert’s placecard (they made placecards?!) reads "Bobbie", which incenses him and prompts him to start flinging patio furniture, Marissa Cooper-style. Robert has now elevated himself from "unmemorable" status to "this week’s Ron" status. DeAnna feels uncomfortable from the start, as even the beer pong portion of the party takes on bizarre Edward Albee-esque overtones. Robert goes inside to take a powder, and DeAnna chases after him to figure out what the beep is wrong with him. He tells her that "someone" told him that it would be "unwise to go into tonight with the mindset that he was going into tonight with." DeAnna starts crying and talking about her broken heart, while some of us (viewers!) are just so confused – I mean, who said what to whom about what now? DeAnna goes back to the Big Girl House while the guys stand around, as confused as you and I. But as long as Graham is standing around with his shirt off, I’m not going to be the one to complain.
Fred and Robert pack and climb into the limo for their date with DeAnna: dinner at a mansion in the Hollywood Hills. Robert tells a story about the most romantic thing he’s ever done that ends with "and it took me six and a half months to pay it off." You stay classy, Robert. He tells DeAnna that he’s going to kiss her and she says "ohhhh, maybe here!" and points at her cheek. Heh. DeAnna asks him how he deals with problems in a relationship and he says that he communicates well, which – technically, pouting like a toddler in a corner isn’t communicating. This guy grosses me out. I have a feeling she’s actually going to send them both home: Robert for being gross, and Fred for falling into the friend zone. Fred is very sweet and very genuine, but she has as much chemistry with him as she did with Richard last week. She tells Robert that she cannot give him a rose tonight, and walks him to the door. Is he drunk or just sunburned? Fred leans back and sighs relievedly. Too soon, fella! DeAnna is – and you just won’t believe this, gang – broken-hearted that she doesn’t have romantic feelings for Fred, although he has said and done everything she feels she wants in a husband. The guys back at the house are really shocked to see Fred’s baggage go. Jason greets DeAnna with a hug and asks her about her day; the two of them have such sweet chemistry together, but I just don’t know if she has romantic feelings for him the way she does for Jeremy or Graham.
So does this mean she can only send one guy home at the rose ceremony? You know she wants both Brian and Twilley gone. DeAnna is wearing an obscene amount of eye makeup – a courageous choice for a woman who cries as freely as DeAnna does – and Jeremy immediately pulls her aside to apologize for the other guys’ actions at the party yesterday. Brian makes a pitch for himself and I see his mouth moving but the only thought in my head is "is that grey? is it highlights? what is with his hair?". Twilley is wearing a shiny lavender tie with a really absurd knot, and he knows he’s rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic here. Graham is really trying to level with DeAnna, who is spending an awful lot of time moistening her lips and tilting her chin up and closing her eyes. Everyone puts on their swimsuits and plays around in the pool until old spoilsport Chris comes out to summon DeAnna for the rose ceremony. (In related news, Graham is once again shirtless. And for this I thank the good people at ABC.) Only one man is going home tonight, and that man is…wow, she IS mad at Graham, isn’t she? But that man is Brian.
Next week: clip show!! I mean, DeAnna Tells All! Followed by a lot of very shirtless men, plus Twilley.
Well, darlings, let me have it. What did you think? Are you as befuddled as I am that Twilley still survives?