“The Bachelorette” is down to eight eligible bachelors, with this week taking the suitors and Andi Dorfman to beautiful Venice, which looks like it’s in the running for the most romantic place on earth.

The first one-on-one kicks off immediately upon arrival in Venice and Nick gets the call. He’s excited to be able to redeem himself after what a jerk he was last week (my words). The other guys are less than thrilled that Nick is getting a second solo date before Cody has even had his first. Yeah, that always stinks.

nick-v-andi-the-bachelorette-ABC.jpgNick’s Date

After a gondola ride, he and Andi basically get to just enjoy the city, walking around and marveling at the architecture and ambiance; it’s really nice. Then they get some food and Andi probably asked for a, “Piece a pizza,” but it sounds like she tells the vendor, “Pizza pizza,” like the old Little Caesar’s commercial, which would have been pretty awesome, actually.

After some fun times, Andi wants to get down and dirty about whether Nick is in this for real, or if he’s arrogant and thinks he’s above it all. Honestly, our hunch is he’s some of both — he likes Andi, but he also can’t believe he’s on this show and thinks some of it is dumb (which it is, sometimes). If some dude wanted us to dress up and be a mime on the street with 8 other girls who are also vying for his affection, it would be a definite, “Yeah, no.”

Either way, at this point Nick doesn’t really say much. Instead, they visit the Bridge of Sighs and do some smooching underneath, which supposedly means they’ll have eternal love. Andi seems somewhat reassured about Nick, but she still has some questions for dinner that night.

At dinner, Nick and Andi have pulled out all the stops, wardrobe-wise. Wowza. Andi looks like a million bucks. Nick looks … nice, but also kind of like a waiter. Either way, Andi does not shy away from asking Nick why Cody doesn’t like him and why he had such a bad attitude on the group date. Nick says he got his feelings hurt when Cody called him arrogant. He also says he doesn’t like being called a “frontrunner.” Hmm.

Andi doesn’t love that, but he explains that he doesn’t want to think about other guys having connections with her. That makes sense — “frontrunner” implies he’s near the front of a pack of guys, which is what this show is, but nobody needs the idea of a competition thrown in their faces.

He then wins major points by saying he’s “definitely falling in love” with her. That’s just what Andi wants to hear, so things are A-OK between them now. He gets the rose, of course, then they head out to a masquerade ball (which isn’t really a ball because there’s no one else there) and Nick talks about “masking” his feelings for Andi and taking his “mask” off and there are so many metaphors! Drink up, gang.

The Secret Admirer

This anonymous admirer sends Andi a third note — did we see note No. 2? Because we only remember the first one. Either way, you know who we hope it is? Chris Bukowski. Remember how we joked about him stalking her around the world? Maybe it’s not a joke. (We’re mostly kidding; it’s probably not him. But wouldn’t that be amazing?)

Group Date

The group date is for Josh, Brian, Dylan, Marcus, J.J. and Chris, which leaves Cody with his first one-on-one. The guys are super pumped for him, it’s always so adorable how good of friends the guys on “The Bachelorette” seem to be.

Of course, their delight quickly fades when they find out the group date is visiting a medieval castle and being put through lie detector tests. Ruh roh. Chris is particularly nervous because he says he’s been hiding something from Andi. Double ruh roh! Say it ain’t so, Iowa farm boy!

Andi submits to the test first and says that she’s falling in love and that she believes her husband is among the remaining guys. Meanwhile, outside, the guys are talking about the test and Chris is very quiet, while Josh can’t stop asking questions about the test. That might be a bigger red flag than Chris “hiding” something (which, spoiler alert, turns out to be innocuous).

The tests are shown via montage, with Dylan admitting he has slept with over 20 women and that he doesn’t wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom. LOL. Seriously, we laughed out loud. Oh, poor guy. Kudos for being honest, dude.The 20 women thing? No judgment. As long as everybody’s a consenting adult and you’re being safe, do your thing. But will Andi care?

THEN! It turns out what Chris was hiding is that he’s the secret admirer. Awww. The results turn out to be three men told no lies, one man told two lies and two men told three lies — and Andi told two lies! Dun dun dunnnnnn.

But Andi’s lies are not serious — Italy is not her favorite country and she doesn’t think all the guys are there for the right reason. Boring. What about the guys’ results? Andi rips them up! Ridiculous. They should post the results online for us viewers. What a great activity with an entirely lame payoff.

Josh takes this as a sign that Andi trusts him, but he has seemed to be sweating this entire process, so he’s probably just breathing a sigh of relief. Hmph. Josh is the one hiding something.

That night at the cocktail party, Brian and Andi administer lie detector tests on each other by feeling each other’s pulses. It sounds dumb, but it’s actually pretty cute and memorable. Good job, Brian.

Meanwhile, Josh, J.J. and Chris discuss the secret admirer thing — Chris, bee tee dubs, is a terrible liar. He can barely express his “disbelief” that someone would do that and then says, “Chances are we’ll never know.” Oh, sweetie. You can cross “international spy” off your list of possible occupations. But we love your slouchy-necked sweater. We’re also digging Josh’s kicky scarf.

Later, Marcus tells Andi that he considered leaving the show before his one-on-one date. It’s some kind of wake-up call for her? Because she almost lost him or something? Who knows? It’s weird. Are you that shocked, Andi? It’s a weird process — one that you left yourself, though admittedly it was after a seemingly horrible fantasy suite date. We’d be more shocked and/or worried if someone said they had never considered leaving.

And then the Josh thing comes to a head when he brings up the lie detector test to Andi, saying that he thinks Andi should just
trust him and he felt like she didn’t him she made them take the tests. It makes Andi wonder what he’s hiding … you and me both, sister. He’s been shaking in his boots since this date started because the test made him nervous. Also, he uses literally wrong — you do not “literally” think only about Andi all the time. Blech, I’m not a fan of Josh.

Andi is now wishing she had read the results. Again, you and me both, sister. What were you thinking? One guy told three lies. Weren’t you curious what those three lies were? Bet you money that was Josh, from the way he’s been acting.

However, the sour Josh taste is washed away by Chris admitting to Andi that he’s her secret admirer. Before he can even say it, she giggles and says, “I knew it!” Aww. Yeah, Chris is the best. He gets the rose, which is delightful.

But then! J.J. decides it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy.

J.J. is sick of everybody being excited for other guys’ successes, like when they get dates or when they get roses. He doesn’t want them to keep acting all buddy-buddy. Interesting. To be honest, we much prefer the typical guys’ “good sportsmanship” way of things to the girls on “The Bachelor” being catty and mean (not that guys are nice and girls are catty, but on these shows … that’s kind of the norm).

It’s not that J.J. doesn’t have a point, but the way he says it — seemingly out of nowhere, almost angry? It’s weird. And Chris rightly points out that J.J. doesn’t have to be happy for him getting a rose, but J.J. also doesn’t have to criticize the other guys for being nice. For real, calm down, fella.

Cody’s Date

In fair Verona we lay our scene, with a very cool and creative date where they are answering letters that people from all over the world have sent to “Juliet.”

OK, but, you know what? ABC lost a huge opportunity here by not putting Chris on this date. He’s the secret admirer. He’s the letter-writer. They should have told Andi they would pick out the person for this date and then surprised her with Chris and then he could admit he’s the man behind the letters. C’mon, production. We expect more from you.

Anyway, Cody writes back to a guy and gives him some lovely advice about believing in yourself and being yourself around the girl you like. Hey, look at you, Cody! Admitedly,  his muscle-man looks (and pushing the limo up the driveway) made us pre-judge him to be a meathead and he’s not.

It’s at this point, we get an email from our cousin, “Oh, I know what it is that Cody reminds me of … a smiley-face sticker.” Nailed it.

At dinner, as they walk up the hill, it looks for a moment like Andi forgot her pants. Maybe they’re in the pantsapreneur shop. And in another fashion faux pas, Cody’s coat is making our eyes hurt. Is that a Magic Eye jacket?

Either way, Cody is declaring his love (in his own special way — “roll around with you”, what?) and Andi starts crying because she’s not into Cody. You can just tell. He’s super sweet, but she’s not feeling it and Cody’s not going to get the rose. He takes it like a champ, though. See you, Cody! You turned out to be way cooler than initially thought.

Cocktail Party

The beautiful hits just keep on coming as the men are delivered to the party in old-school Bentleys. Fancy. Also, it’s hard to get invested in this cocktail party since Dylan is likely going home regardless, barring some crazy incident with one of the other guys.

Though, speaking of that, Nick ferrets Andi away before she can even say hello to any of the other guys. The guys are irritated because he has a rose already, while Andi’s panties are bursting into flames because of Nick’s take-charge effort.

Their kiss is admittedly pretty hot, but it is also a bit of a jerk move when you have a rose to monopolize the bachelor/ette’s time. He hasn’t seen her since their one-on-one, so he naturally wants to spend time with her, but he also could have hung back a bit. Of course, then we wouldn’t have any drama, so.

As more guys take one-on-one time, J.J. gets a smooch, Brian reads her his “10 Things I Hate About You” letter and then Josh and Andi hash it out about the lie detector test. He says he’s trying to make it clear that he has strong feelings for her, but you still have to wonder why his panties were in such a twist about the lie detector test. Hmmm.

Rose Ceremony

Andi dishes with Chris Harrison, who is disappointingly not wearing a thick turtleneck sweater even though they’re sitting by a crackling fire. What could be better? Shame on you, Chris.

Anyway, Andi admits to wishing she had read the lie detector test results, though Harrison says she made the right decision. Speak for yourself, Harrison. She also says she’s kind of confused about Josh after how the test aftermath went with him.

So who is going home? Our money was on Dylan, but shows what we know because he gets the first rose. The rest of them go to Brian, Marcus and Josh, which means J.J. the pantsapreneur is going home. The plinky-plunky strains of heartache play as he says his goodbyes.

Next week: Brussels! Who is going to miss out on hometown dates? And Nick and Josh are being possessive, drama!

The outtakes are amazing. Apparently the guys thought the Italian man who quizzed them on whether they had ever “fought in public” actually asked, “Have you ever farted in public?” Funny made funnier when they all looked embarrassed and say “yes.”

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."