craig-the-bachelorette-ABC.jpgAfter the relatively tame premiere episode of “The Bachelorette” last week, this week kicks the drama and shenanigans up a notch. Yesssssss!

Chris Harrison informs the guys that it’s the standard two solo dates and one group date deal this week. Of course, some guys won’t get a date. The first solo date goes to … Eric.

Eric’s Date

It’s weird to hear a guy talk about “my fairy tale.” Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just odd. I find it cheesy enough when a girl says stuff like that, but he seems so sincere that it’s hard to make fun of him.

They head to the beach and make sand castles, which Eric says is now like they’ve built their first home together and then he says his face hurts from smiling so much. Oh, honey. You’re giving me diabetes.

A helicopter arrives to whisk them off and Andi voice-overs, “This is my first time being in a helicopter, on a first date no less.” Um, how in the world did she get through nearly an entire season of “The Bachelor” and never ride in a helicopter? That’s like this show’s go-to mode of transportation.

Anyway, this particular helicopter ride takes them from the beach to the top of Bear Mountain, where there is snow (and snowboarder Louis Vito). They bundle up and work on snowboarding, which Eric is fairly adept at and Andi … not so much. But they’re adorable together, especially when they go careening down the hill on a sled. It’s cute and sad to watch, you know?

eric-andi-bachelorette-ABC.jpgThat night while they eat, Eric tells Andi a legitimately scary story about being in Syria and being afraid that some militants were going to kill him for being there as a journalist. *shivers* This is so unnerving at times, knowing that he has passed away.

He also talks about how he wasn’t ready to get married until fairly recently, but seeing his siblings and friends get married and not change and still be themselves has made him much more interested in marriage. He gets the rose (duh).

And sorry Andi, but — stop with the stops. “Stopppppp.” Stop it.

Group Date

Brian, Marquel, Bradley, Craig, Brett, Patrick, Cody, Carl, Tasos, Josh, Ron, Marcus, Nick S. and Dylan get the group date and the call for them is to take part in an all-male revue called “Hollywood Men.” For the most part, the guys look totally into it, which is awesome.

There are three groups, Army men, firemen and cowboys, with Nick and Marcus chosen as soloists. Andi can barely contain her excitement about Marcus. It’s fairly amazing she hasn’t just started making out with him yet. What is also amazing is that Craig hasn’t started making out with Josh, since Craig is very excited about the moves Josh has and how hot Josh looks. Woo woo?

Awesomely, Andi’s besties from last season, Sharleen and Kelly are there to help judge the guys. Yay! I’m still Team Sharleen, she should be next year’s bachelorette if nobody good comes out of the next “Bachelor” season.

During the show, Nick S. bends over and accidentally gives Andi her very own prostate sneak peek. Yikes. And the Army men are introduced with “Ladies, let the invasion begin.” Um, that’s maybe not the word you should use. “Invasion” sounds a little aggressive for my taste. But Andi doesn’t care because Marcus is busy shaking what his mama gave him.

During the cocktail hour, Craig does the toast and he sounds like he’s already been toasting some all by himself, then in a little while later (with him sounding a little drunker with each passing moment) Craig starts talking again about how amazing and handsome Josh is.

josh-craig-bachelorette-ABC.jpgI mean, no arguments here. Josh is good-looking. But Craig, you gotta reel it in, dude. Does Josh need to sleep with one eye open, lest you Single White Male him. Seriously, look at this picture (right). Josh is shaking his moneymaker and Craig is like, “Yeahhhhhhh.”

But then Craig talks to Andi one-on-one and he wants to know which guys are her favorites. Um, is he looking for someone to bond with over his Josh love? Dollars to donuts that’s what he was fishing for.

Then drunky brewster Craig jumps in the pool in his clothes, because of course he does. Once he gets out of the pool, Patrick tries to talk to Craig and Craig shoves him into the stove and storms off. Craig is then taken home by production.

Andi gets all melodramatic about it, acting like this is making her question everything. Um, one guy got drunk because he’s a d-bag who can’t hold his liquor. Take a breath, lady. Also, we don’t all need to pretend like every guy is there for the “right reasons,” whatever we’ve collectively decided those are.

Marcus ends up getting the rose, which is not a shock. It’s more shocking he doesn’t get a fantasy suite card or a “go directly to the end” card or something.

Chris’ Date

The Iowa farmer gets a solo date, yesssss! They head for the Santa Anita horse racing track, which is … not my idea of a fun time, but they both look very dapper, Andi in a classy green dress and Chris in a … well, he shows up in a T-shirt, but it’s because the show has an array of outfits for him to choose from. Huge points for picking the bowtie and then for saying, “I feel like I’m ‘Pretty Woman’ right now.” Hee!

andi-chris-bachelorette-ABC.jpgThey are cute together, though I’m not feeling a huge spark just yet. But the chemistry is at least more real than the weird planted encounter they have with an old couple, what is up with that? Also, there are race horse metaphors — I picked a winner, drink!

At dinner, Chris recounts his previous engagement and how he did it because it sounded right in his head, but it didn’t feel right in his gut and eventually he broke it off. He also wins major points with Andi by saying that he was hoping the “Bachelorette” would be her. He gets the rose, of course.

Then they dance during a private concert by This Wild Life and share a kiss — is that Andi’s first kiss on the show? I think it is. Woo woo.

Cocktail Party

Andi shows up in a black sparkly dress that is absolutely killer. Nick V. takes his alone time and sets up a really cute mini-date, with a date card and everything, it’s adorable. How sweet is this guy?

Marquel talks to Andi alone, but I have no idea what he says because I can’t stop staring at his purple suit with plaid shirt and crazy floral tie and striped socks. It’s … an outfit. Definitely an outfit.

Brett does a sock puppet show, Tasos shows Andi how to break plates and yell “Opa!”, Josh uses the word “literally” twice three times in the space of 30 seconds. You’re on my watch list, buddy. But Andi doesn’t care because she starts smooching Josh before they re-join the party.

Craig finally gets a chance to apologize for getting all drunk the other night. He decides to do it in a song and it turns out
Craig can play the guitar, but he cannot sing. Like, at all. Cats start yowling out in the wilderness when he sings.

Rose Ceremony

The roses go to Chris, Eric, Marcus (already had), Ron, Dylan, J.J., Marquel, Andrew, Tasos, Josh, Cody (seriously, what?), Nick V., Patrick, Brian, Brett and … Bradley.

That means Drunk Craig, golfer Nick S. and fireman Carl are going home. Bummer about the hot firefighter Carl. Mostly because he was super hot. Look how he wears that gray suit with no tie and his top button open? Sex-say.

Next week: Two nights of “The Bachelorette”?! What did we do to deserve this?! Especially since Boyz II Men is there! Motown Philly, back again! And Andrew might have a girlfriend back home. Dun dun dun.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."