bachelorette fozzie bear 'The Bachelorette': The Greenbrier's Love Clock does not chime for one bachelorBefore any dates, we get to see “Bachelorette” Emily in her natural habitat (or as natural as it gets on a show like this) – hanging out with the moms of Ricki’s friends. That’s actually kind of fun, we never get to see this kind of behind-the-scenes stuff of a person’s life when the production is in Los Angeles. Too bad it’s so short, honestly. 

Ryan’s Date

The first guy tapped for a solo date is Ryan the trainer with the bad hair. Emily shows up fro the date in a sweater and pants and we agree with Arie – she looks even better that way than all dolled up. With a girl THAT pretty – the makeup and the fancy dress can be too much. So with just regular hair and less makeup and casual clothes, she’s like a freaking knockout. It seriously is kind of overwhelming how attractive she is. Anyway.

The date starts off by unloading groceries at her house and Ryan is kind of like, “What?” – um, dude, you’re getting to see her HOUSE. This is so much better than a fancy date, get with the program, dummy. They bake cookies for Ricki’s soccer team and Ryan makes a big deal out of wearing one of her aprons – he wants to get this done quickly so he can start looking like a man again. You know what’s less manly than wearing that apron and baking cookies? Your hairdo and that pre-distressed frat boy t-shirt.

Thumbs down so far for Ryan. His comments that today is so special and an honor rings a little false for us – are we biased just because we don’t like his d-bag hair?

For part 2 of the date, Emily takes Ryan to dinner and she has a very pretty berry-colored dress. At dinner, Emily expresses that she doesn’t want to fee like someone’s prize at the end of a game. Well, this may not be the show for you – one thing the bachelors definitely do have over the bachelorettes usually is their competitive spirit. It’s not just about love, it’s about winning.

Then Ryan actually shows some balls by saying he’s wondering if Emily will let a man into Ricki’s life where he can treat Ricki the same way he treats the other kids they have, because he thinks there should be no difference. It’s a serious question and he gets a little back in our good graces after that. Emily says she is ready to have someone else be in charge for awhile – that is an OK sentiment, we think. Being a single mom at such a young age was probably pretty tough, even with all the money she has (or Ricky’s family has). Ryan gets a rose, which is not a surprise.

After dinner, they dance to Gloriana, a country band, while all these Charlotte-ians that ABC is probably poking with cattle prods to make them scream stand around and take pictures. It’s … actually kind of weird and awkward.

Group Date

The Group Date is for Nate, Alejandro, Alessandro, Tony, Michael, John, Jef with one F, Charlie, Kyle, Chris, Aaron, Stevie and Kalon. They head to a theater to put on a show for a benefit for the Ricky Hendrick Center for Intensive Care at the Levine Children’s Hospital. And the MUPPETS ARE THERE! Seriously, that is the coolest thing this show has ever done. Tony’s like, “Holy s***!” Exactly, Tony. Holy s***, indeed.

Charlie is freaking out, though. He’s not just nervous, he’s got some serious fear-of-public-speaking thing going on. The guys are split into dancers, singers and comedians and Charlie is in the comedy group, which is like the worst for him. Poor guy. Stand-up comedy? Yikes. I mean, he is like in tears with fear. Aww.

Meanwhile, back at the Bachelor Plantation (it’s not a Manse this year, folks. We’re in the South after all), the guys who know tell Joe about Charlie’s accident and having to reconstruct his face, re-learn how to speak and read, etc. etc. And they hope he can put himself out there – that is the sweetest thing, y’all. It’s so nice to see them be supportive of each other. Love it.

Back at the theater, Charlie stops by Emily’s dressing room to talk about his issues and say he doesn’t think he can do the stand-up. So Emily puts him in the “Rainbow Connection” group and all is fine. Well, not that we wanted to see the poor guy put through the wringer, but that was a bit of an anticlimactic finish to that mini-saga.

It’s Time to Play the Music, It’s Time to Light the Lights

For the show, the dance number is first and it’s OK. We thought party MC Stevie might get to show off his moves a little more. Chris Harrison is in the audience with Statler and the jokes aren’t that good, but it’s still kinda funny.

The stand-up segment features Kyle and “Wolf,” who flop pretty bad. Yikes. But then, the Miss Piggy Live talk-show segment welcomes Aaron, Jef with one F and Charlie to the stage and Charlie immediately panics. Um, seriously, why would you do that to him?

His question is what would he tell a woman when he wants to impress her. He is visibly nervous, but he says, “I would remind her every day how beautiful she is, how special she makes me feel and how lucky I am to have her in my life.” Good answer, Charlie!

Emily says she was like a proud mama when he did that, which – probably not the exact sentiment he was going for. This is not a Greek tragedy, after all. Heh.

Now it’s “Rainbow Connection” time! Great song. Emily brings Ricki on stage to sing. But what happened to the guys who were supposed to sing? Huh. Could they not pull it off? Oh wait, here they are.

So, probably not the group date they all had in mind – nobody really spent that much time with Emily because she was like the MC of the event. But anyway.

At the cocktail party, all the guys are suddenly very interested in the rose and taking their one-on-one time with Emily. Some notable ones include Jef with one F being accused of playing hard-to-get by Emily, which – good strategy. She’s probably not used to that, so it should intrigue her and keep her attention.

Stevie dances with her and Charlie spies it, then goes to tell the other guys so they can come laugh too. That’s not exactly cool –  mind your business, don’t be mean. But Kalon decides to “cut in” and that’s exactly the wrong person to interrupt Stevie, his hackles immediately go up. Plus, he seems a little drunk.

Kalon sits down and then Aaron wanders up and Kalon very politely asks for 2 more minutes because he literally just sat down. Aaron, like a big jerk, says no. So Kalon lets her go with Aaron. Seriously, how is Kalon the villain? He’s obviously confident, but he’s been very polite so far.

When Kalon relays this story to some of the other guys, drunk Stevie butts in saying Kalon did the exact same thing to him. Not exactly, drunkie. You had already been dancing with her for awhile. Kalon had, as he said, literally just sat down with her. I can’t believe I’ve been defending butt-chin-helicopter-guy so much, but seriously – I’m on his side so far.

Stevie then drunkenly says, “I don’t like you” and Kalon responds with, “I wouldn’t like me either if I were you, bro.” That is like the BEST response ever. Seriously sick burn and just so matter-of-fact – it’s a very innocuous thing, not even a d-bag comment to make.

Kalon then rationally says he wants to be the guy who talks to Emily and gets a rose (which yes, so does everybody) and Stevie’s just like, “OK, awesome.” Because he has no comeback and is so insecure and feels so, so threatened by Kalon. It’s actually kind of sad to watch – it’s like a high schooler wrestling a pro. Also, do you notice how Kalon has a glass of water in his hand and Stevie just seems drunker with every passing camera shot? Don’t get drunk, guys. That is so unattractive.

The Group Date
rose goes to Jef with one F, which is interesting. Clearly, his strategy of playing hard to get and not being so desperate and so gushing over her has worked. Hmmm. I’m torn on how I feel about Jef with one F – is he being for real, or is he being a mastermind and playing games? What do you think, fans?

Joe’s Date

Joe goes on his date in a fugly pink and blue shirt with black pants. Oof. Emily flies Joe to The Greenbrier in West Virginia, Emily’s home state. They are driven there in a very cool vintage car, very jealous. And it turns out Greenbrier is this incredible sprawling estate – it’s where Emily went growing up for her “Dirty Dancing” vacation. Makes my annual family vacations to a lake in Minnesota seem so small time.

Meanwhile, back at the Bachelor Plantation, the guys talk about kids and jumping into a fatherly role. Doug speaks up that being a father is a big deal and tells the guys to make sure they’re ready in their hearts and that nothing is more important to him than his son Austin. Kalon points out that Doug is here, putting being a dad on hold and Doug obviously balks at that. Kalon tries to explain himself, but Doug won’t let him get a word in edgewise.

Now, Kalon should not have even poked that hornet’s nest, but one thing that is a bit refreshing – Emily has caught way more flack in the media for agreeing to be the Bachelorette than Jason Mesnick did when he was the Bachelor. Like somehow it’s more wrong for a mom to do this than a dad. So yay for the gender equality.

But I’m torn on Kalon’s comments. He does have a point – the people that come on this show who have kids are signing on to leave their kids for up to six-seven weeks (if they stay on the show). That’s six weeks away from your kid, when the kid is staying at grandma’s house (or wherever). And if Kalon were just randomly saying this with no provocation, then I might think that was a little uncalled for.

But Doug started getting a little preachy to the guys about making sure they’re “ready in their hearts” and so Kalon reacted to that bit of hypocrisy – a guy who is telling THEM to make sure they’re ready and nothing’s more important than his kid just chose to leave his kid for up to six weeks. It’s a legitimate thing to point out. Kalon probably shouldn’t have – as Sean ominously says, Kalon speaks before he thinks sometimes and it might get him in trouble – but I don’t actually think he was out of line. Perhaps Doug should not have been so high and mighty and Kalon wouldn’t have pointed that out to him – and Doug’s reaction, instead of calmly explaining how he’s not putting his dad role on hold, says to me that Kalon’s comment struck a nerve. Perhaps Doug’s been having those same thoughts himself? Just something to think about.

If Kalon is supposed to be the big villain this season, they aren’t doing a very good job of editing him as such.

Back on Joe’s Date (seriously, I kind of forgot there was even a date going on), Emily is once again in a stunning berry-colored dress. At dinner, it’s very surface-y. “Where do you see yourself in five years” is so job interview. And they don’t seem to have much spark. Emily then says in an interview that she doesn’t feel butterflies with Joe. Nope, don’t see it either, Ems. If I were her, I wouldn’t give him the rose.

They put some wishes in the Love Clock. Joe’s wish is all schmoopy and very cliched, Emily’s wish is that she learned from the past what will stand the test of time.

Emly then admits that she just didn’t meet The One with Joe, so she doesn’t give him the rose. She starts crying about it, then says some kind of wishy-washy stuff about how she doesn’t see where she and Ricki fit in in his life. That’s not it – he just said he’d pick up and move for you. The problem is there is no spark there.

Joe takes it like a champ, he’s very understanding. Emily keeps saying she wasn’t the right fit for him, but she actually means that the other way around.

Cocktail Party

Emily looks even better in royal purple than she did in berry. I much prefer her in bright colors to the gold/beige stuff.

The always-happens incident goes down where a guy who already has a rose (Ryan) is talking to Emily and single dad Tony decides he will stand for that. So Tony goes in the room where they are hanging out and has to stand there while Emily reads a letter aloud that Ryan wrote to her. Awk-ward. And for real, it goes on for like five minutes.

Emily admits in a talking-head that it was a very sweet letter, but Ryan should’ve picked a better time to give it to her. Seriously, dude.

But Tony finally gets his chance to talk to her about being a single dad, which she didn’t know yet. It doesn’t exactly look like the sparks fly, though – it’s more like they’d be friends and set up a playdate for their kids.

Kalon gets some alone time and the guys don’t like it. Stevie flat-out says Kalon is not the guy for her and he never will be, so hwy bother? God, he has issues. Sean then remarks that Kalon “uses his vocabulary” to show his dominance or some such nonsense. Yes, God forbid somebody act smart. Stevie even remarks, “Just the way he talks, he seems like a rich kid” and Wolf says, “I have a rule – if you have Louis Vuitton luggage and you’re a dude? You’re a [bleep].”

Oh, really? That’s your rule? It sounds more like you’re just insanely jealous and have decided to make fun of whatever you can. It’s like – everybody wants to hate him, but they really can’t come up with a good reason why. Yes, he’s rich. Yes, he’s well-spoken. Yes, that’s a huge threat. But get over it, guys. Mind your OWN business and stop looking like bratty teenagers.

You know, Nate has gotten very little play so far. We’d like to see more of him, because he’s one of the best looking guys in the house.

Rose Ceremony

Emily has to cut two guys – if it were me, I’d cut Stevie and Aaron (Aaron for being a jerk about those 2 minutes Kalon asked for). Emily gives roses to Ryan, Jef with one F (already had), Kalon, Arie, Michael, Nate, Sean, Chris, Doug, Travis, Tony, “Wolf,” Alessandro, Charlie, Alejandro and … Stevie. Darn. Almost nailed it. Instead, it’s Aaron and Kyle. Huh. Kyle was kind of a non-entity, don’t really know why it wasn’t him. But there is no way she’s attracted to Stevie – the show has got to be forcing her to keep him for the drama aspect.

Next week: Arie and Chris get one-on-ones, while Tony seems to be having a crisis of conscience about being there.

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."