Week 4 of The Bachelorette followed a “to be continued” ending from week 3’s two-part Chad-bonanza, so it only feels right to start there and work into this week’s proceedings.
The Bachelorette really got their money’s worth out of Chad Johnson (he’s still just the second craziest Chad Johnson in pop culture, btw). He played the villain role perfectly, but also delivered some surprisingly frank sentiments at times. My favorite came right at the end of Chad’s run, when he and Alex (I’m sure with no coercing by the producers) are forced to spend a few awkward moments together:
Chad to a visibly upset Alex: You should chill out, drink a glass of milk or something.
Alex: I don’t like milk.
Chad: You should drink milk, milk is delicious.
And that’s how Chad became the next spokesman for dairy. Which would be good because he’s now off the show (though we learned a few days later that he’ll return for Bachelor in Paradise).
In hindsight the whole issue of Chad being violent and making some pretty serious threats toward the other suitors is a good example of how TV gets in the way of reality in “reality TV”. After Chad really started hulking-out initially and began punching doors, threatening Evan, and kind of menacing everyone, Evan tattled on him. Which was technically the right thing to do, but I doubt many viewers would say they respect Evan for it. He’s just an all-around wiener. Chris Harrison’s response is comically hollow and clearly designed to allow Chad’s reign of terror to continue unchecked until the end of the episode. Harrison essentially says: “Ok, this sounds serious, if I see anything he’ll be sent home”. But why on earth would we expect Chris Harrison to see any of this? He only pops in for about 15 minutes a day. What about the other employees of The Bachelorette, you know, the camera operators and producers who are there around the clock. They are even filming Chad while he sleeps! They see everything! Do their observations count for nothing? If only they had some of those threats on film… If that were the case it would be one of the most well document cases of assault (which it definitely meets the criteria for in California law) in the history of the penal system. An open and shut case. But that will never happen because it’s all reality TV nonsense of course. But it was fun. Adios Chad. We’ll meet again.
So as this week’s episode picks up with the recap which is essentially “ding dong the Chad is dead”. But of course he’s not gone. Like some kind of hateful salmon he finds his way back from whatever remote location they unceremoniously left him at in the woods. This is juxtaposed against the rest of the guys celebrating his departure. They really hit all the slasher movie tropes, the whistle, the fingers on the glass, coming out of the dark woods. But then when the confrontation comes things kind of fizzle. Jordan tries to make peace, which was probably a lot easier knowing Chad was on the way out. Evan tries to hit Chad up for a new shirt, which is just another wiener Evan move. And then he’s gone. For now at least.
Here are the quick hitters from early in the episode when all the guys seem to get about 4 minutes with Jojo: Chase and Jojo get in the giant plastic ball, that’s a very specific fetish and she seems to be into it. Robby seemed like a real pretty boy tool at first, but he may be ok. Minds his p’s and q’s. James F drops a poem. That’s a desperation move. Clearly. Luke is exhausting, but I suspect that his whole deal is working for a few ladies out there. We’ll see if Jojo is one of them. Wells is wise, he predicts the power vacuum created by Chad’s departure. Jordan gets down to some high-school style making out in the hall. Bold. That’s a frontrunner’s move. Oh yeah, Vinny’s still here.
Rose ceremony time! EVERYBODY SHUT UP! It’s happening!
Daniel: “Obviously my personality’s shit”. You will be missed. We can only hope you are in production talks for your own show.
James F: Yeah, that seems about right.
Surprise Survivors (for now…)
Vinny: Vinny!? Still?!
Evan: DAMMIT! I guess Evan is now getting the producer’s rose with Chad out of the picture. Would have strongly preferred another week of Daniel’s word salad over Evan’s whining.
And then off to Uruguay! Where we quickly find out that Jordan is getting the one-on-one date. But you could sense right away this date would introduce some cracks in his frontrunners status, not cement it. Woof, and no sooner does he depart than the Jordan-bashing begins. Chad might have been Jordan’s best friend because he was really keeping the heat off him.
Is Vinny just here to keep the other guy’s looking on point with their hair? Ok, now I get why he’s still around. The show is saving a ton of money by having him do that in place of a hired stylist.
Things get considerably weirder when some conveniently introduced rumor mags bring doubt about Jojo into the guy’s minds. As this is happening, we literally get to watch Alex’s transition into a semi-villian. Black shirt? Check. Stubble? Check. Slicked back hair? Check. Here we go.
Meanwhile, on Jordan’s date, Jojo confronts him about past relationships. The words in Jordan’s explanation of his past relationship failures and current intentions are all right, but the delivery lacks some conviction. Jojo really grills him, which may be more of a sign of her interest in Jordan than real distrust. He seems to escape the date unscathed (and with a rose), but he’ll still have that target on his back for the other guys.
Jojo’s reaction to the rumor magazine is perfect and should be the standard response for anyone who finds themselves in one:
“Ew, are you kidding me?”
“Why are you showing me this?”
To which the answer is: drama. Kind of a BS move by the show runners to use unsubstantiated tabloid gossip to forcefully inject bachelorette drama. Being in one of those magazine’s is bad enough. Being slut-shamed about it on national TV is really low. Nobody deserves that. This was a dark point in the show and it’s disappointing they felt they needed to do it at all.
That sand dune thing looked fun. Shortly after, Luke becomes the first to cash in by playing the “I’m not the douchebag that wrote about you in the tabloids” card. Derek opens up enough to get the date rose. Alex and his newfound facial hair start talking a lot of crap, as predicted. His diminutive stature makes him a much less effective villain than Chad and his own insecurities seem to be on display.
Robby and Jojo jump into the ocean together. Which provides an opportunity to remind us he was an Olympic swimmer. We can just assume he was overshadowed by Michael Phelps and that’s why we’ve never heard of his swimming career? Robby drops the first “I love you”. Jojo “appreciates” it. Rose earned, but he pulled out a lot of tricks to get it.
Derek’s chat with the “high school clique” doesn’t go as well as he might have hoped. It’s a sign of weakness. He’s exposed himself, and even without Great White Chad that’s dangerous, the others can still smell blood in the water.
More eliminations! Another pseudo-surprise.
Evan: Thank you! Way too much screentime for a non-contender from the start. Though we just learned he’ll be joining old friend Chad on Bachelor in Paradise, presumably to continue trying and get that money for his shirt.
Vinny: It makes sense. Expect to see the other guy’s hair game fall apart in future weeks.
Grant: Well, there goes the last minority candidate. Race is touchy on these shows and we won’t go in depth here. But we have thoughts on this.
None. The fat has been trimmed. We are now down to just serious candidates. Next week’s cuts will be considerably harder than these.
- Jordan: He’s getting the frontrunner treatment now: tough questions from Jojo and some smack talk from the guys. But he also seems to be genuine friends with Robbie.
- Robby: Prom tuxedo model looks with a personality that is thus far vanilla enough to win a show like The Bachelorette. His Spanish is… muy bad.
- Chase: Chase may have been grown in a lab by The Bachelor’s team of scientists.
- Derek: He’s still sweeter and nicer than the rest of the guys. That will either be his downfall or salvation.
- Luke: He’s still a little wormy, but he seems to continue to be in the right place at the right time.