For the last couple weeks, if you had only watched the actual episodes of The Bachelorette and not the “next week,” or “this season on The Bachelorette” segments that follow each episode, it would be understandable if you thought that Chad wasn’t that bad a guy. He seemed slightly more douche-y and meathead-y, than the others, but also decidedly smarter. When stated plainly that neither he nor any of the other guys could reasonably be in love with JoJo yet, he was correct. When the other guys got angry and decided to confront Chad, it was really because he had outplayed them and made them seem silly and immature. That confrontation did not go well as the other guys seem to lack the ability, or smarts, to properly be dealing with Chad. This week, however, Chad has begun to slip.
I feel compelled to, as a kind of disclaimer, acknowledge that “reality TV” is a misnomer, what we are seeing on The Bachelorette is not “real,” we understand that narratives are largely created by editing and the behavior of the subjects is guided, or maybe coerced, by the producers of the show. So when we comment on the people on The Bachelorette we are really talking about the characters they are playing. If we say “Chad is an asshole” we mean “Chad, the character presented to us by the producers and editors of The Bachelorette, is an asshole.” Having explained that: Chad is an asshole.
If I was an armchair psychologist, and I am, I would say that Chad has narcissistic personality disorder; he believes himself to be superior to the other candidates, and dismisses any area in which they might be his superior, i.e. he seems to have no special talent so he puts down the talents the others display like Jordan’s success at football and James Taylor’s musical ability. He suggests that the others don’t like him because they are jealous while exhibiting some serious signs of jealousy himself. He belittles others in order to validate his own superiority. He’s sees violence as a viable way to get people to do what he wants. Chad’s behavior this week was not acceptable, but may also not be his own fault; he seems completely unable to relate to others in an appropriate manner.
This week, as with last week, focused on Chad, but let’s begin with the beginning. There was a lot of Bachelorette this week and there is a lot to break down. First, Chase got to go on a one-on-one date with JoJo. The date is a trip to a hot (literally and metaphorically) yoga studio, in which the ersatz couple receive instruction in a number of exercises designed to bring their mouths and genitals as close as possible. Chase, who has yet to make much of an impression seems to have gotten some traction from the date as the two share a pretty hot kiss. After yoga the pair get to have a classic Bachelorette “serious talk” and then somebody named Charles Kelly and his band play a song clearly written for the first dance at weddings for them. JoJo gives Chase a rose.
Meanwhile we are treated to a brief sequence of Chad and Dan lifting weights together. Chad does not seem particularly drawn to Dan, but he does seem to like having a kind of subordinate to compliment him and that is a position Dan is more than willing to fill. Dan, for his part, brings his bizarre brand of homoeroticism to the relationship. I could watch a show just about these guys.
Then it’s group date time. A group of the guys including Evan, Jordan, James F., Chad, Ali, Vinny, Dan, Grant, Alex, and Wells go to a show called “Sex Talks” with JoJo, where they are asked to prepare and tell a story about their sex lives in front of a crowd. Heading out to the date, the rest of the guys are peeved with Chad who, after they are informed of the date, states that he does not want to go on a group date but would prefer to go on a one-on-one. The other guys almost certainly feel the same, with Jordan even saying as much in a talking head interview, but since it is Chad talking the comment is taken as a grave offense. Asking Bachelorette candidates to be creative and funny is a risky proposition, but the performances seem, for the most part, to go pretty well with a couple of exceptions. Mostly the dudes use the show as an opportunity to brag about their sexual experiences, with Wells talking about a threesome, and a couple others making sure to mention that they lost their virginity when they were 16. Evan decides that he will use his time on stage to imply that Chad’s shortness of temper is the result of steroid usage.
It is Evan who takes up the anti-Chad campaign this week and, while he is not wrong in his opposition to Chad’s behavior, he does come across as more than a bit of a turd; sniping at Chad with his “stand-up” routine and then insisting that it was “all in good fun” when confronted. When he and Chad have a brief alteration as they pass each other while he is sitting down after his “set” and Chad is headed to the stage, Chad tears Evan’s t-shirt, and so, on into the next part of the two-part episode. Evan continually insists that Chad replace the shirt. While he is around the other guys, Evan acts like a kid who gleefully joins the other kids in picking on one of their peers just because he is glad they are not picking on him. When he is not around the other guys, he is surreptitiously trying to get Chad removed from the show, first giving JoJo a me-or-him ultimatum, and then, when that doesn’t work, essentially “tattling” to Chris Harrison. The other guys seem happy enough to let Evan be the face of the anti-Chad movement, he is their sacrificial lamb, he takes the actions they want done and they are spared turning off JoJo by looking like undignified whiners. I might be projecting here, but when Evan gives JoJo his ultimatum she seems to be thinking “how about you both leave?”
For his part, Chad does not handle the situation gracefully. For his sexual storytelling piece he gets on stage, says “I need a volunteer, JoJo will you come down here?” Not exactly a volunteer, but playing along, JoJo comes down to the stage, Chad spits out some bullshit about not wanting to worry about the past and then goes in for a passionate kiss. To the delight of the other guys, JoJo turns away from the kiss, apparently not wanting to be used as a prop in Chad’s attempt to assert dominance. Chad storms off the stage, punches a door, and tells Evan “You’re going to die!” Point of note, a refutation of someone’s claim that you are using steroids should not begin with punching a door. When Evan (inexplicably) receives a rose after issuing his ultimatum, Chad refuses to hide his contempt, openly questioning JoJo’s decision to her face. In his defense, he seems pretty drunk. It is clear by this point that Chad is a toxic person now even Dan is thinking about jumping ship. Dan explains to Chad how Chad’s behavior reflects poorly upon those who choose to hang out with him. Dan’s point of reference is amazing:
DAN: Let’s pretend you’re HItler.
CHAD: Let’s not pretend I’m Hitler
After an asinine swing dancing date between JoJo and James Taylor, during which he, of course, takes the opportunity to serenade JoJo (God, his schtick is tired), it is announced that instead of the traditional cocktail party, the guys will spend the entire afternoon before the rose ceremony at a pool party with JoJo. This is apparently a very exciting prospect for the guys. The pool party kicks off part two of the two-parter and it goes without a hitch except for Evan’s unexplained bloody nose which JoJo, funnily, suggests is Chad’s fault. Chad doesn’t get the joke and protests that he is innocent of any wrongdoing. Then it’s time for the Rose Ceremony at which Christian, Ali, and Nick are sent home. I have a theory that the rose ceremony came at the beginning of this weeks second episode instead of the end out of a desire to gloss over the fact that, two of the remaining three candidates of color were eliminated, leaving Grant and a bunch of white guys to move on the show’s new location in Pennsylvania Countryside. This article, like three hours of The Bachelorette in one week, is beginning to run long, so I will tell the rest with bullet points.
- The first scenes in Pennsylvania feature JoJo landing at an airstrip in a biplane. I very much like the idea that she has traveled across the country in an open-cockpit single engine aircraft.
- JoJo goes on a one-on-one date with Luke who is either very soulful or has absolutely nothing going on behind his eyes, I can’t tell yet.
- The other dudes, with the exceptions of Chad and Alex, go on a group date with JoJo to play football at Heinz field, where they are met by Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, and Brett Diesel. The guys split into two teams for a football game with Jordan, naturally, as all-time quarterback. The winning team will get to spend more time with JoJo. This group date, like the other group dates, is dumb. Evan gets another bloody nose, James Taylor gets a cut above his eye. Neither injury is caused by Chad.
- The centerpiece of this week’s episode is the two-on-one date that is JoJo and Alex and Chad on a hike. Prior to the hike, Chad gets super angry at Jordan and threatens to track him down and hurt him once the show is over. Alex takes the opportunity to tell JoJo about said threat. JoJo tells Chad that Alex told her about said threat. JoJo takes time to think about the situation, leaving Alex and Chad alone together by a rushing river. The scenery, editing, and music combine to suggest that Chad may use this time to murder Alex. JoJo returns and announces that CHAD IS GOING HOME.
For one episode Chad was actually a compelling “villain,” meaning he was a truthsayer who rubbed the other guys the wrong way. Unfortunately he quickly transformed into an insecure and violent asshole and he got the boot. Se la vie. However, the “next on” segment suggests that Chad is not done with his fellow candidates. The Bachelorette’s producers are using every part of this particular buffalo.
- Jordan: Despite JoJo having “a hard time reading him,” she seems way into him.
- Robby: He’s mostly been flying under the radar but he and JoJo had a pretty hot-and-heavy makeout session on the pool table. He’s very handsome, he could be The Bachelor material.
- Chase: Another potential Bachelor. That yoga was real sexy.
- James Taylor: Ugh
- Luke: And another maybe Bachelor. He and JoJo went deep on their date.
Nick: Showed up the first night dressed as Santa Claus; he was not playing to win.
Ali: What a dreamboat! He never got a chance to shine.
Christian: My favorite, he didn’t really make much of an impression but seemed like such a nice guy.
Chad: I suspect that JoJo would have liked to have jettisoned Chad earlier, she seemed pretty put off by him prior to the rose ceremony, but the producers insisted he be kept around a while longer for drama’s sake. I also suspect that his rap would get pretty old were he allowed to stay around any longer
Evan: This dude’s a real weiner.
Vinny: Blandest of the bland white guys.
James F.: This guy? Still?