‘The Bachelorette’: The least suspenseful rose ceremony, ever

The Bachelorette
July 25, 2011

Pack your backless shirts and tube socks and bikini tops (but no bras, who needs them), we’re headed to Fiji. As Dr. Tube Socks is flown onto an island, she stares contemplatively out the window and helpfully explains that Fiji is a “tropical paradise,” the ultimate place to fall in love, totally unlike Hong Kong or Taiwan or Thailand, where she’d previously been certain she’d fall in love. It’s been a long journey for Dr. Tube Socks; there have been masks and jokes about her chest size and concussions and, of course, DOT DOT DOTs, but she now knows what she’s looking for in a husband and not a moment too soon, because I can’t take much more of this.

Dr. Tube Socks reminds us that these are very important dates, the first time she will finally “be alone” with the men, which is just a gross euphemism for “having the sex.” With whom will she “be alone?” MONTAGE TIME.

  1. Ben the Wine Dude: He paints elephants on orphanage walls! Which we get to enjoy YET AGAIN! He is goofy and playful and sincere and honest and has been through a lot! (Been through a lot = cries constantly about his dead dad.)
  2. Constantine: Just like Ben the Wine Dude, minus all the personality and even the slightest interest in Dr. Tube Socks.
  3. J.P.: There is a strong emotional connection there, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s the best looking of these three, and the fact that he has removed that whole, “don’t you think it’s time for a haircut?” question by just shaving his head and being done with it already.

The first of the gross, gross, so very gross overnight dates is with Ben the Wine Dude. But before they can go get gross together, Dr. Tube Socks is surprised by a knock on the door, and even more surprised to find Ryan, the guy she was pretty sure she dumped in a park in Taiwan, standing there. Is this some sort of joke? A test? DOES SHE HAVE TO DUMP EVERYONE TWICE OR SOMETHING? IS FIVEHEAD HIDING BEHIND A PALM TREE SOMEWHERE? What is going on?

Ryan explains in that good-natured Golden Retriever way of his that he is a stalker just couldn’t walk away, there was too much unsaid between them. He went home, and went back to work, and got back into the swing of things, but he just couldn’t stop thinking about her, and how they never really had a chance. So after constructing a small shrine to her built around a few hairs he brushed off her shirt this one time he called Chris Harrison and asked for an opportunity to see her again, and Chris Harrison was like, “HOW FAST CAN YOU GET ON A PLANE TO FIJI, GIFT FROM THE RATINGS GODS?” So he put on his astronaut diapers, packed some some duct tape and rope and flew all the way here because he wants her to consider giving him another chance, maybe the passion will be there this time? And even Ryan, even tone-deaf, just-not-getting-it Ryan, can see that Dr. Tube Socks is scanning the room for the nearest exit, so he urges her to not answer now, he wants her to consider it, and then come find him and talk things over. Finally, he leaves and Dr. Tube Socks dead bolts the door behind him.

Onto the date with Ben the Wine Dude! Dr. Tube Socks meets Ben the Wine Dude on a pier, and points out the yacht that they will be spending the day on, as if this were all her idea and she’d spent the previous day booking the trip and buying snorkel equipment and making the snack and mixing cocktails on the boat. LOOK, this has always nagged at me, though, this stupid pretense these shows insist on, that the Bachelor or Bachelorette comes up with these dates, and that there isn’t a team of production assistants and travel agents making arrangements weeks ahead of time. WHATEVER.

On the yacht they talk about the home town date and how nervous Dr. Tube Socks was to meet his mother, and Ben the Wine Dude mumbles something about how his mother and sister surprised him — which isn’t the same thing as saying that they actually liked Dr. Tube Socks — and then he starts going on and on and ON SOME MORE about how much he’s changed through this whole experience. That’s when they start rubbing sunscreen all over each other and I REALLY WISH THEY’D JUST GO AHEAD AND RUB SOME IN MY EYEBALLS BECAUSE UGH.

Back on land, Ben the Wine Dude makes a bunch of noise about how he’s going to tell her he loves her tonight, he’s ready, he’s soooo ready, he’s never been so ready to tell someone that he loves them, he’s going to do it, seriously, he’s totally serious, love, “I love you, Dr. Tube Socks,” that’s what he’s going to say. And so over dinner Dr. Tube Socks questions him about what it would take for them to go to the next place — presumably the We Get Engaged to Get Married place — and he announces that he is “on his way to the whole I love you thing.” Which, you get technical points, Ben the Wine Dude, you did say the words “I love you,” BUT YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE, MISTER. Still, good enough for Dr. Tube Socks, who hands him Chris Harrison’s weird invitation to the fantasy “be alone” suite, and Ben the Wine Dude is all, uh duh, yeah. He then explains to the camera that he isn’t going to tell Dr. Tube Socks that he loves her tonight, because why should he when he’s got the fantasy suite key right here, BAM. And so they go to the fantasy suite, where they splash around in the pool for a while until Ben the Wine Dude carries her up to the room and fortunately we stop there but I still kinda wish I had some of that sunscreen in my eyeballs.

The next day? Sure, we’ll say the next day, Dr. Tube Socks greets Constantine for their date. And the first thing out of his mouth is how he needs a haircut. IT’S BECOME SELF-AWARE. Somehow, this is the first helicopter date of the entire season, which I am not sure I actually believe. Dr. Tube Socks is all, “You’ve never been in a helicopter before?” NO, DR. TUBE SOCKS. BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN ON A SEASON OF THE BACHELOR GENERALLY DON’T TRAVEL VIA HELICOPTER. Most people haven’t been to Fiji or done Thai boxing or danced with the JabbawockeeZ or dated 25 people at the same time, so you know, perspective, lady.

They fly around in the helicopter for a while, which is the perfect date for two reasons: 1. Having to communicate with one another through those headphones keeps Dr. Tube Socks from having to try to make small talk with this walking mop and 2. It provides for the BEST SHOT EVAR: Poor Ryan standing on the beach, watching the helicopter fly overhead. RYAN UPDATE: He has not heard from Dr. Tube Socks yet. SADFACE HERE.

bye ryan bye bachelorette

The helicopter takes Dr. Tube Socks and Constantine to a waterfall, where Constantine is all, Huh. Dr. Tube Socks asks if he wants to go jump in, and he’s like, Sure, I guess. And so they splash around for awhile until they find the dead bodies still strapped into their airplane seats and that Haliburton case which they fight over for a while, but you shouldn’t waste your time, Constantine because SPOILER ALERT: all that’s inside is a stupid toy plane.

At a picnic on the shore, Dr. Tube Socks confronts Constantine about the pace of their relationship, and actually makes some salient points with him, noting that he looked at some 108 houses before he bought one (was it inside a giant foot?), and that maybe the pace of this whole experience isn’t right for him. Constantine responds with a shrug and then stares off into the distance, because he’s so, so bored.

They have dinner together, and after some dancing around the subject, Dr. Tube Socks just comes right out and is all, “Look, are you into me or what?” Constantine approaches the podium and explains that we are nearing the deadline for raising the debt ceiling, and that it’s long past time for Washington to act like grown-ups, they need to compromise and take a balanced approach to our ever-increasing deficit. Ryan then comes out and accuses Constantine of just wanting a blank check and explains that it’s time to force government to be responsible and make some hard choices just like small-business owners do every day. And then Constantine mumbles something about respecting Dr. Tube Socks too much to go to the fantasy suite with her to “be alone,” and they say their goodbyes in the least surprising and most anti-climatic exit ever. As Dr. Tube Socks tries, and fails, to look a little sad for the cameras, Constantine heads back to his hotel room and packs his toiletries and grabs his luggage and leaves? In the middle of the night? On Fiji? Does he think he’s going to get a cab in the middle of the freaking jungle at 11 p.m.? Good luck with that, Hairdo.

Dr. Tube Socks suddenly remembers, Oh, right! Ryan! I have to go dump him again! And so she heads to his room, where he has been keeping busy cutting out pictures of her from US Weekly and OK! Magazine and pasting them into a giant collage waiting to see her. She explains that while Ryan is very nice and very handsome, she DUMPED HIM FOR A REASON. OK GOODBYE. AGAIN.

As she stomps off, Ryan consoles himself that he will find true love one day. It will happen. It will happen. It will happen. It will happen, he repeats to himself, in a not-at-all-creepy kind of way. And now, if you will excuse him, he has an astronaut diaper to change, and a conversation he needs to have with some producers about being the next Bachelor.

bachelorette hdeart hands

Dr. Tube Socks seems genuinely excited to see J.P. for their date, and warns him that there have been some surprises this week, but J.P. DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT. J.P. just wants to get on the Fantasy Island plane and go to the beach and splash around AND NOT TALK ABOUT “SURPRISES.” OR THE OTHER GUYS OR ANY OF THAT, THANKS. They head to a private island, where they go on and on about how they are finally alone, aside from the camera crews who bust out the underwater cams for this adventure, the better to catch shots I’d just rather not see, I suppose.

bachelorette underwater camera no thank you

They have dinner in what J.P. insists is in “the middle of the jungle” but appears to be on a pathway in the middle of a resort somewhere. There, Dr. Tube Socks explains that she sent two men home this week, and for the briefest of moments, J.P. clearly seems to think he’s the last man standing. And curiously, I’m not sure if that’s relief or panic that crosses over his face… Dr. Tube Socks explains that yeah, Constantine left, so what, who cares. The more interesting surprise is that someone came back. Poor J.P. immediately assumes that it is Bentley, because duh, but she explains that it was that doof Ryan whom she just sent right back home again to bore someone else with his hot water heater talk.

After confirming that J.P. wants to win this because he wants to be with her, and not just to beat Ben the Wine Dude (Which, and I can’t believe I am about to say this, but our little Tube Sock seems to have actually grown a brain somewhere between California and Fiji! Between this very astute observation, and somewhere along the line realizing that Constantine could not be less interested in her, I’m actually impressed by Dr. Tube Socks’ reading and understanding of the peculiar situation she is in. What did they feed her on that Air Pacific flight?), Dr. Tube Socks offers J.P. Chris Harrison’s invitation to the fantasy suite, which he readily accepts. And really, isn’t that all we need to see? We’re all grown-ups, we know what happens in the “fantasy suites,” we certainly do not need to be there when Dr. Tube Socks changes into “something more comfortable” and we certainly don’t need to be on the next pillow as they chew on each others’ faces. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, GET OUT OF THE FANTASY SUITE, CAMERAS. YOU ARE BEING GROSS. OUT. GET OUT.

Presumably the next day, Dr. Tube Socks meets with Chris Harrison to explain that even though Constantine pretty much negated the need for a rose ceremony, she’s going to have one anyway because the producers said she had to she wants to give Ben the Wine Dude and J.P. the opportunity to make their choices, too. After all, it’s not enough to just offer the rose, they also have to say yes. I think that might actually be a koan.

Dr. Tube Socks still goes to the Glamour Shots Alcove of Needless Contemplation, mostly so that she can turn Constantine’s picture down. R.I.P. Constantine. Now go get a haircut. Chris Harrison, in the meantime, explains to Ben the Wine Dude and J.P. that they are about to have The Least Suspenseful Rose Ceremony, ever! because, well, no one really knows. They have to fill up two hours somehow?

Dr. Tube Socks emerges and is like, Alright guys, time to go through the motions:

Rose #1: Ben the Wine Dude. Surprise, he accepts it.
Rose #2: (After a long, unnecessarily dramatic pause while Dr. Tube Socks stares at the rose in her hand AS IF TRYING TO DECIDE TO WHOM TO GIVE IT) J.P. He manages to accept it without sarcastically noting, “Hey! You remembered my name! We haven’t had sex in 18 hours or so, so, you know, I was WORRIED THERE FOR A MINUTE,” like I would have, but this is just yet another reason I am not a contestant on The Bachelorette. That, and I’m a married heterosexual woman.

It all comes to a end next week, kids! The Men Tell All special will be on Sunday at 8 p.m., and the season finale, in which hopefully Dr. Tube Socks gets engaged after fighting with her heavily-tattooed sister, will air Monday at 7 p.m. on ABC. And then all we have to look forward to is Bachelor Pad. Make sure you start stocking up on Valtrex now, y’all.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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