Week 8 of The Bachelorette: Predictable Surprises

Week 8 of The Bachelorette brings the drama right away, with the conclusion of last week’s “to be continued” rose ceremony. The last thing we saw was Luke finally saying “I’m in with  love you” as opposed to the other strange iterations he had tried (“My heart is out there”). The unconventional move makes for a slightly more intriguing rose ceremony.

The final rose ends up in Chase’s hands, meaning that Luke is going home. This is surprising, because Chase is nice but pretty wooden from a personality standpoint. Chase is a safe pick, but there really doesn’t seem to be much spark. Luke’s elimination was a shocker in some ways. It seemed like he was gaining some real momentum and was right up there with Jordan. The chemistry was much more palpable between Luke and Jojo. The cynical take on this elimination is that he may have been eliminated now to preserve his image and provide a graceful exit so he might be a future “The Bachelor”. He’s got all boxes checked for that role: audience familiarity, good backstory, and he’s a total smokeshow. Supporting this theory is the fact that Jojo seems much more broken up about this elimination than I expect she will be wth Chase or Robbie. Regardless, in his own words, last week “his heart was smiling”, this week “his heart is frowning”.

Jojo and the remaining three men jet off to Thailand. What a great place for things to get freaky in the fantasy suites!

Week 8 of The Bachelorette

Robbie shows up for the first one on one date in some kind of rickshaw. Robbie’s self-inflicted controversy with his ex has left him as a damaged candidate. It seems like it would take a big effort to get Robbie to the final rose, which doesn’t seem possible for a guy that is pretty much always coloring within the lines romantically. Even the note from his dad seems very fabricated. It is not a home run move. But none-the-less, the invite to the boom-boom room comes out (revealing some gorgeous penmanship from Chris Harrison). Robbie accepts, obviously. Jojo expresses some feelings for Robbie that seem significantly stronger than what we’ve seen so far. Then we get the clichéd shutting door shot, and that’s a wrap on that date. I’m sure they just brushed their teeth, watched some Fallon, and hit the sack early since Jojo has another big day tomorrow with Jordan.

Some spunky upbeat Thai music tells us that Jordan and Jojo are about to have some fun! As they hike up a mountain (and give some consideration to defiling a temple) they seem like they have known each other for a long time. They have a more solid foundation for a relationship than the other guys. Part of that might be because Jordan may have accidentally stumbled upon the formula to win Jojo over. He’s been careful with his words and not overstated his feelings like the other men have. This is a perfect approach with Jojo, who is clearly still impacted by what happened during her time on The Bachelor when Ben went too far with his words. How almost all the other suitors missed this is baffling in hindsight.

Week 8 of The Bachelorette

We continue to put Jordan at the top of our power rankings each week, and a big part of that is not how he treats Jojo, but how she treats him. Jojo continues to ask Jordan much tougher questions than the rest of the suitors. Jojo did not ask Robbie about what he thought the next year of his life looked like. And the tough questions continued this week. Jordan never seems to nail the responses, but survives each week and stays ahead of the other guys based on the other strong aspects of their relationship. This week he starts to pull out some more affirmative language. He’s locked in. The young pair are headed to the fantasy suite.

Jojo continues to demonstrate that she is, at minimum, a decent person by genuinely caring about the feelings of all the remaining men, knowing that two will be disappointed. That’s about as classy a move as you will see on reality TV.

Jojo and Chase’s date has a different feel to it. Chase is really into all this, and Jojo maybe isn’t. Chase even comments “I can’t believe I am here”, which is a reference to the location he’s finding himself in, but it would be just as apt for him still being on the show. Chase gets some fish slime on him early in the date. Mmm, warm weather fish market slime. That does not go away easy. As they swim together on a secluded beach we see that Chase is pretty inked up. That is the first thing about Chase that has surprised me throughout the whole show.

Speaking of surprising, Robbie pops by during Chase’s date. It’s a bold move, but it doesn’t seem fully appreciated. It highlights a difference between Robbie and Jordan: Robbie is trying really hard, while connecting with Jojo comes more naturally to Jordan.

Chase gets a fantasy suite invite. Which kind of seems like it might be more in the name of equality than in attraction. Jojo’s kicking the tires on all the cars she’s considering. Even the lemon that is Chase. But when he drops the L-bomb things go south. Similar to Alex’s date a few weeks ago, Chase forces Jojo into admitting she’s not as into him as he is her. And with that, Chase’s elimination basically unfolds right there in the fantasy suite. And Chase does not react well to situation. It’s a tough spot for both of them, but Jojo tries really hard to help him cope and Chase does nothing to let her off the hook for the inherent guilt in her decision. This is what people tune in for though.

The rose ceremony looks like an open and shut case with two guys and two roses remaining after Chase’s apparent departure. But in a “twist” Chase reappears to try and reconcile with Jojo and compete for a chance to make it through to the next round. It prompts a synchronized nervous sweat wipe from Robbie and Jordan. But let’s be real, there was no chance Chase gets back in after his reaction. He does save face to some extent.

And so we have it. We’re down to Robbie and Jordan as the final two suitors. What makes that particular matchup interesting is that there were a number of weeks where they seemed like genuine friends. Or at least pretty friendly. That’s gone now.

ELIMINATED

Luke: He was a strong competitor and probably deserved to be in the final two. See above for our theory on why things didn’t pan out like that.

Chase: He was vanilla enough to make it pretty far. But there was never the same spark. With even a slightly different makeup of suitors it’s possible he wins. But he was overshadowed by some more dynamic personalities. Did anyone else see that monkey following him out?! How did that end?

POWER RANKINGS

Jordan: The elimination of Luke leaves a pretty clear path for Jordan to win this thing.

Robbie: He’s hanging in there, but he has the unfortunate distinction of being the guy that most viewers would most like to see get disappointed.

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