dolly parton emily maynard bachelorette abc 'The Bachelorette': Dolly Parton is Emily Maynard's real true loveOn the latest “Bachelorette,” there are some foot-in-mouth moments but it’s not the blow-up we were expecting.

Chris’ Date

Chris gets the first solo date and that’s probably good, since he’s been such a whiny baby about not getting the First Impression Rose or the Group Date Rose. Emily makes him scale a building in downtown Charlotte to get to their dinner. Heh.

Emily makes a very far-fetched metaphorical comparison of scaling a building to wanting a man who stays right by your side – everybody drink! Except me, so drink two! Meanwhile, ABC still wants us to believe Emily’s some kind of Charlotte celeb who draws a crowd everywhere she goes, so there are people down in the street cheering them on. Uh huh.

At dinner, Emily talks about how intimidating Chris is because he’s so cute and then she’s pretty floored that he’s 25 and he has to reassure her that he’s ready and willing to be a husband and a father. So he gets a rose and then Emily takes him to a Luke Bryan concert in what appears to be a blocked off street that is once again flanked by hundreds of adoring Emily fans.

Like a huge dork, Chris asks Emily, “Can I give you a kiss at the end of this song?” and she tells him to try it and find out, so he kisses her. Well, there you go dude. Maybe he will stop obsessing now? Probably not.

The Bachelor Plantation

Tony is really homesick for his young son. Then the date card arrives and it’s for Charlie, Alejandro, Stevie, Ryan, Alessandro, Sean, John “Wolf”, Michael, Doug, Jef with one F, Tony and Travis.

The Group Date

On the group date, Emily takes the guys to a park and instead of organizing a game of football, she walks off and goes to get four of her girlfriends who are going to size up her men. This … doesn’t seem like a great idea. 

Tony and Doug talk to a couple girls and they like that both of those guys are dads. And then – Travis. He’s carting around an egg and weirdo Wendy asks him if he fertilized it himself. Ew, lady! She also says to Wolf, “Have you ever cheated on a girl. Don’t lie!” Wow, she is abrasive.

Then the girls get completely gross, asking guys to do pushups and take their shirts off. Oh lordy. If my girlfriends behaved this way towards a guy I was interested in, I would disown them.

Seriously, Sean is talking about his faith and Wendy is like undressing him with her eyes. Then she says, “Do you work out a lot? Yes, you do. Don’t lie! You’d look good in a cape. Or spandex” and then she makes him strip and THEN she sits on him while he does pushups. Uh, Wendy is looney tunes and obviously a little hard-up.

When that horror show is finally over, Emily has brought a bunch of local kids to the park. Where did ABC just get these kids to be on the show? Did they hold-up an orphanage? Maybe Chris Harrison just took some candy and a white van to the local mall. Heh.

Jefff impresses Emily by going down a slide – it’s because he’s a giant kid himself, duh. Then Ryan inserts himself into Emily’s conversation with her girlfriends instead of playing with the kids and then makes a huge mistake of saying he’d have a problem if Emily got fat once they were married. He would still love her, but not love ON her as much. Ew, dude. You are super gross. What in God’s name would possess you to express that out loud? And the fact that you even think it makes you pretty disgusting.

Does he know what happens when a woman gets pregnant, even if she gets back in shape later? Also, he has d-bag hair. Ditch him, Ems. Hopefully there is some portentous editing when Ryan says he’s confident he’s getting a rose.

At the party after the kid portion of the date, Doug tells Emily about his single father with epilepsy who died one night because he didn’t want to spend their grocery money at the doctor. Oh my god. That made me cry a little. Holy crap. That is … wow. That is heart-wrenchingly sad. Goodness.

Meanwhile, Tony is struggling with missing his son and Ryan seems concerned, which is a slight point back in Ryan’s favor. He talks to Emily about it and cries a little and she reassures him, telling him it’s OK to focus on yourself sometimes. Well, it is – becoming a parent doesn’t mean you NEVER do anything for yourself ever again, but also, that might make him feel worse at this point.

Tony talks to Doug about it and he admits it’s crossed his mind to go home. He then calls his son and cries some more. It really seems like this is not the thing for Tony – Taylor is having a ball, playing games and having fun with grandma and grandpa or his mom or whatever and Tony is a wreck because he’s not there. If Tony really felt something for Emily, this wouldn’t be as hard. So perhaps Tony should pack it in.

And then Tony cries about how Taylor asks, “Where’s dad? Where’d he go?” and Tony goes, “What do you tell him?” Uh, you tell him you’re on a trip or an adventure and you’ll be back soon. You’re not in Afghanistan, dude. It’s not like you have to prepare Taylor for the possibility that you might not come back or something. Clearly, this is too much for Tony.

Emily talks to Tony about how she thinks she should send him home because he’s so upset about all this. She says one day, he’ll make a wonderful husband to some lucky lady and then Tony leaves. Yeah, that’s for the best.

And then the rose goes to Sean, who is very pleased.

Arie’s Date

As Emily and Arie leaves, Chris says he finds it hard to believe anybody has the connection with her that he has. Uh, does anybody get just a tinge of weird stalker vibe from Chris? He brought bobbleheads, he got mad he didn’t get the First Impression Rose, he obsesses about kissing her … he’s giving me an uh-oh feeling this episode.

Anyway, Emily takes Arie to Dollywood, which is kind of awesome. Aria says, “I didn’t even know Dolly Parton was into that sort of thing.” Uh, into WHAT? Theme parks? Who’s not into theme parks? Also, it’s not as though Dolly is there like running the log ride or twirling cotton candy. What a weird thing to say. Though it would be pretty amazing if Dolly randomly showed up there sometimes to work a ring toss booth or something.

Then Emily makes Arie sit on a stage and “write a love song,” which is so dumb. And of course, Dolly is there to perform and Emily acts surprised. Do you think she’s really surprised? It’s hard to tell. But either way, Emily is obviously a huge fan of Dolly’s (and who’s not, really?), so it’s cute to see how pumped she is.
Dolly wants some girl time with Emily, and talks about how she’s been with her husband almost 46 years. Wow. And Emily astutely tells Dolly she wants to find someone she likes just as much as she loves. That’s a great little philosophy.

At dinner, Arie talks about when he seriously dated a woman who had two kids and it went south because he wanted more kids and she didn’t, but he says it did prepare him for being ready for kids because he loved those kids. That’s cool. And he gets the rose and they make out a bunch.

Cocktail Party

Kalon gets his alone time first and as they talk, Emily does talk over him a lot, which is funny because that does annoy me personally. The talk turns to kids and Kalon admits that embracing someone else’s kid is a big step because he always imagined his first child would be his biological child – which is a valid thing to admit and points for honesty, instead of just spewing the party line about how great taking on someone else’s kid will be.

Emily pipe
s in with – what if your mom had met someone and he wanted his first kid to be his own. And Kalon says, “I love it when you talk but I wish you’d let me finish.” And Emily’s smile freezes. He goes on to say that he’s been thinking about it and his mom instilled in him that you can’t always control everything and whatnot. But Emily’s feathers are ruffled.

Mine would be too – that was a super snotty way to put that. It’s fine that she bugs him when she interrupts, because she did it like four times before that moment in the conversation and that is a huge personal pet peeve. But Emily probably didn’t even realize she was doing it and he could’ve said that much nicer to her. If a guy said that to me, he’d be lucky if I didn’t just get up and walk out. The difference is – Emily’s rudeness was accidental, that rudeness is on purpose.

Travis finally decides he needs to get rid of the stupid egg schtick, so he and Emily take the egg out front and they break it. So that seems like a great metaphor – I brought this egg to symbolize my protecting of you and Emily and now we’re going to break it. *sigh* That was a bad idea from the start.

Now Alessandro gets his alone time and this is one of the best trainwrecks I’ve ever seen on the show. He calls having kids “a compromise” like six times and Emily is obviously bugged about that – she even gives him chances to explain himself and make his comments better, but he can’t read a room AT ALL because he keeps burying himself.

Yes, marriage is a compromise. In a partnership, you must compromise – you don’t always get your own way. And when you have kids, you may have to compromise things, like your vacation in favor of your kid’s braces. But having a kid isn’t a compromise – it’s something you want. As Emily says, it should be a bonus, not a thing you settle for.

Frankly, I’m glad this floppy, greasy-haired dude is burying himself. No, looks aren’t everything, but at this stage, they are a huge part of it and we couldn’t really figure out the attraction with Alessandro from the get-go. He kind of skeeves me out, honestly. Get the hook!

And then Emily, who is NOT messing around, asks Alessandro to leave right then and there. That is awesome! Emily is so much better on her own season than she ever was on Brad’s season. You go, girl. Also, get a haircut, Alessandro. And maybe rethink that patchy facial hair.

But she makes out with Arie and that seems to make everything better. Ryan is shocked (SHOCKED!) to see Emily and Arie kissing. Because Ryan doesn’t see Arie as a threat, you see. Because Arie’s not super buff with a d-bag haircut, which clearly Ryan thinks is the way to all women’s hearts.

Sean gets some alone time and he talks up his dad some more (that’s so great) about how he knows how to be a great father because his dad was such a good role model. He also says Ricki would be his child if he ended up with Emily, which is just what she wants to hear right now. Yeah, he’s a keeper. It really seems sincere, he won’t stop talking about his dad and how much is dad loves his mom and how much his dad was a good father, which is awesome.

So, this wasn’t the “baggage” blow-up episode. I thought for sure it would be.

Rose Ceremony

Since Tony and Alessandro are already gone, only one of the remaining guys is leaving. I’m putting my money on someone we haven’t seen much of yet, like Alejandro or “Wolf.” Chris, Sean and Arie already have roses, and so the remaining 10 go to – Jefff, Charlie, Doug, Michael, Travis, Alejandro, Ryan, John, Kalon and Nathan. Oooh, Stevie is going home! I’m really glad she’s giving Nathan a chance because we have barely seen him all season and he’s super cute, so I want to find out if he can put his personality where his looks are.

Not crying too hard over Stevie’s departure. He’s a big weirdo and this week we didn’t have any Stevie-Kalon drama, so that must have run its course.

Before the show is over, Ryan talking-heads again about how shocked he was to see Emily kissing Arie. Because Arie is more of a “dainty man” and Ryan is more of a “physical” guy. Oh. My. God. Dude, he drives a racecar. And he’s legit – he’s driven in the Indy 500, which is like the Super Bowl of Indy car racing. Your trip through the pro football league in Europe is not exactly the Super Bowl. Maybe you should back that testosterone down a notch, d-bag haircut.

Next week: Bermuda! And possibly the first two-on-one date, oooh. And apparently “d-bag” doesn’t just apply to Ryan’s haircut.

: Alessandro dated his third cousin. Oh boy. He’s nobody’s first choice, Wendy.

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."