‘The Bachelorette’: Making it up as we go along

The Bachelorette
June 18, 2012

Thanks to The Bachelorette, here’s exactly everything I know about Dubrovnik, Croatia: it looks like a beautiful ancient fortress on the sea; it’s clearly a medieval city with big walls and cobblestone (and marble!) streets; they have ice cream; there are a lot of cats — so, so many cats, cats just all over the place; it can sort of, kinda stand in for Scotland if it absolutely must, which it actually shouldn’t have to since they were all about a 4-hour train ride from Scotland just last week. Thank you, The Bachelorette! Don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re not educational! (You are not educational.)

St. Emily has packed up little Ricky Bobby, Jr. and sent her home with the nanny because presumably little Ricky Bobby, Jr. has actual school to attend, and can’t just abandon first grade to go sit in international hotel rooms while her mother dates a pack of muscly dimwits. St. Emily explains that this allows her to “focus on the guys,” which, SPOILER ALERT! does not work out so well for the guys.

The manherd is brought into town via oyster boat while they make a bunch of noises about how cool Dubrovnik looks, how it is “breathtaking and amazing” and how it is “the perfect place to fall in love,” because they know about as much about Dubrovnik as I do.

Apparently, Chris Harrison had to go back to the States, perhaps to deal with ~ahem~ personal issues, because the manherd is met at the hotel by St. Emily herself, where she delivers the first date card to Eggy: “Let’s look for love beyond the wall … St. Emily,” so obviously they will be having a Pink Floyd-themed date. HA HA HA I kid. They actually just wander around the city, eat pistachio ice cream, try to stand on some chunk of the wall which seems both disrespectful and dumb and I am not buying that this is yet another local custom that determines luck in love or whatever nonsense the producers made up and fed to St. Emily, and dance in alleyways as a native-garbed local plays a lute. So boring. So very very boring. Come to think of it, maybe this is a The Wall-themed date because right now I am “Comfortably Numb.” BOOM. PINK FLOYD JOKE, DELIVERED.

The two then go to dinner in some back alley somewhere, because they don’t have restaurants in Dubrovnik? There, Eggy opens up a bit about his heretofore unmentioned broken engagement: he doesn’t know that either he or she did anything wrong, it just wasn’t meant to be. Reading between the mealy-mouthed lines I would presume that what this actually means is that Eggy freaked out and broke off the engagement. But he then reveals that this all happened two years ago, and since then he has not dated, instead focusing all of his time and energy on fostering ostrich eggs, so I’m guessing she dumped him. Sadly for Eggy, history is about to repeat itself, because St. Emily decides that despite Eggy’s cheerfulness and their burgeoning friendship, she just doesn’t like him like that. No rose for you.

Eggy wanders Dubrovnik in tears, mumbling about how much this “sucks,” and hurling his umbrella onto the street. Hey, thanks for littering, jerk. I’m sure the people of Croatia are just thrilled to clean up your petulantly thrown trash.

Back at the hotel, the group date card is delivered to the man-herd: “Lasting love requires bravery: Wolfboy, Doug the Dad, Dallas Sean, Justin WannaBieber, Smug Chris, and Cal Naughton, Jr.” which means that Pineapple Head and his ladies’ tank top and facial hair which is becoming its own character over the course of the season will be going on the remaining 1-on-1 date. ME KNOW HOW TO GET GIRL, Grandpa Simpson Head grunts. ME MANIPULATE. JUST BE TRUTH, Grandpa Simpson Head declares. The rest of the manherd glares in his general direction.

St. Emily meets the manherd in town and announces that they are going to enjoy a sneak peek of Pixar’s (Disney/ABC’s) new film Brave, which just so happens to open this Friday in theaters everywhere! WHAT A COINCIDENCE. The producers then force St. Emily and the men to compare the film — about a young woman who rejects her parents’ wishes that she marry one of three suitors, and instead seeks to determine her own fate, which leads her on a series of adventures, NONE OF WHICH INVOLVE DATING — to St. Emily’s situation on this ridiculous reality dating series. Nice try, but nope. If anything, from what I understand, Brave, a feminist and inspiring story for young women that assures them that their destiny is in their own hands and not determined by marriage, is the exact antithesis of The Bachelorette. But who needs “facts” when there is synergy to be exploited, right?

ANYWAY. After the film, St. Emily hands each of the men a kilt and announces that they will be reenacting the only part of the film that resembles The Bachelorette, and will be participating in their own Highland Games. In Croatia. Even though they were in Great Britain just last week. Listen. I’ve not been to Croatia, but from what they’ve shown of it on this episode, it is spectacular. That said, I have been to Scotland, and I can assure you it is also gorgeous and romantic and “the perfect place to fall in love” or whatever nonsense they instruct the contestants to say every five minutes. So, if they are going to have this Highland Games-themed date, why not just have it … in the Highlands? All I can think is that the producers had long ago made plans to film in Croatia when somewhere along the line, Disney scheduled Brave’s opening date and called the producers and were all, “SCRAP THE OYSTER-FISHING GROUP DATE. We’re going to fly out a bagpiper and a bunch of kilts. AND WE DON’T CARE THAT CROATIA DOESN’T LOOK ANYTHING LIKE SCOTLAND, MAKE IT WORK.”

And they do (sorta). Because wearing kilts wasn’t humiliating enough, the men have to ride in to the Highland Games field on donkeys. St. Emily explains that Croatian men ride donkeys into battle, or at least that’s what the Croats told the producers, for laffs.

First game: archery. Everyone manages to hit the target but poor Smug Chris who has no idea how to shoot a bow and arrow and stands all awkwardly and everyone laughs at him and he misses the target completely, and I am feeling for poor Smug Chris because I, too, never once hit the archery target the entire 9 weeks we did it in 9th grade P.E.

Second game: log toss. The men have to carry what appears to be a telephone pole which they then have to hurl into a field with the intention of flipping it over, end to end. Unsurprisingly, elvin Justin WannaBieber is unable to accomplish this, while Dallas Sean is so enormous, he actually snaps his telephone pole like a twig. Smug Chris, he is unable to flip his telephone pole, either, and is now 0 for 2.

Third game: tug of war, kinda. Two men sit opposite of one another, holding a stick between them, and the goal is to pull one’s competitor over to your side. This must be much more distracting and uncomfortable when the kilts are being worn in the traditional fashion. Smug Chris chooses to go up against burly Doug the Dad rather than pixieish Justin WannaBieber because he is not very bright. And with that, Smug Chris comes out of the Highland Games with a perfect losing record. However, when it is time for St. Emily to choose who wins the Highland Games trophy, she gives it to Smug Chris, for irony.

At the after party, St. Emily visits with Cal Naughton, Jr. and kisses him. St. Emily visits with Justin WannaBieber and kisses him. But neither of them receive the date rose, which goes to Smug Chris, for irony.

Back at the hotel, Pineapple Head’s date card arrives: “The world is our oyster …” ME PERFECTIONIST, says Grandpa Simpson Head. ME KEEP THINGS FRESH. ME SHAVE ME FACIAL HAIR INTO DISTRACTINGLY COMPLICATED PATTERNS.

And this will surprise you, but the other men, they don’t care for Pineapple Head. They call him a jackass, note that he takes 3 hours to get ready, and — this is neither an exaggeration nor something I made up for the hahas — he shaves his finger hairs. Which, taken with his ridiculous haircut and whatever is happening with the hair on his face (WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE HAIR ON HIS FACE), actually makes a sort of sense: it is clear he has a whole mess of weird hair issues. Chris Harrison is still missing, so St. Emily has to go collect Pineapple Head from the hotel herself. THE WORLD OUR PEARL, WAIT, NO, OYSTER. YOU PEARL, grunts Pineapple Head at St. Emily while the other men snicker and roll their eyes and do their best to not openly laugh at him.

St. Emily and Grandpa Simpson Head drive along the Croatian coast (ME GOOD DRIVER. ME SAFE.) before coming to an oyster fisherman who takes them out on his boat. And this is one of the only other things I actually know about Croatia and Croatians: they love the oysters! In New Orleans, there is a sizable Croatian population who came here to be oystermen. In fact, TRAVELER TIP: next time you go to New Orleans, go a little bit out of the way to nearby Metairie, and go to Drago’s, a seafood joint started by a Croatian family. There, order the charbroiled oysters. You will send me love notes, promise. St. Emily, however, is not a fan of the oyster, and refuses to eat the one offered to her fresh on the boat. Instead, she spits it out over the side, and I am more disappointed in her than ever. FOR SHAME, ST. EMILY.

The two walk around with a picnic basket for a while but never appear to eat anything in it. YOU BE GOOD TROPHY WIFE, Pineapple Head tells St. Emily. St. Emily narrows her eyes at him.

That night, Grandpa Simpson Head arrives at dinner wearing turquoise shoes, because of course he does. I do not even know where one finds turquoise mens’ dress shoes if one felt the need to have turquoise mens’ dress shoes, but this is just one of the many ways Grandpa Simpson Head and I differ, because I can not think of a single situation in which turquoise dress shoes (mens’ or womens’) would ever be appropriate. Because they are never appropriate. Never. St. Emily shows up wearing a gold formal dress, teasing Pineapple Head that if he is going to keep insisting she’s the perfect trophy wife, she’s going to dress the part. ZING, ST. EMILY.


  1. LOYAL

(I actually think we skipped over #3, but you get the idea.) St. Emily, she is unimpressed, and slowly explains to Pineapple Head that the first thing on her list would be having a “loving family,” not a perfect one. And that’s why she’s not giving him the date rose. OH SNAP.

THIS SHOCKING, says Grandpa Simpson Head. YOU CHANGE YOU MIND. Uh, no, says St. Emily. YOU GIVE MORE THOUGHT, YOU MAKE WRONG CHOICE, grunts Pineapple Head. Yeah, no I didn’t, says St. Emily. YOU GIVE ME CHANCE, insists Pineapple Head. Nope, says St. Emily. You and your stupid hair and stupid five o’clock shadow and stupid shaved fingers and stupid turquoise shoes, you go home now, goodbye.

Pineapple Head heads into the Rejection Cab, muttering about what a bad decision St. Emily has made. GREAT MEN GET DOWN, THEY GET BACK UP, he declares. YOU NO PORTRAY ME AS JERK. ME BLESSED, NOT ARROGANT, he instructs the producers. See you on Bachelor Pad, Pineapple Head! I’m sure the announcement about you joining the cast will be made any minute now!

And at the hotel, the manherd celebrates as Pineapple Head’s luggage is removed. Cal Naughton, Jr. decides that eliminating Grandpa Simpson Head was probably pretty hard on St. Emily, and taking a page out of Courtney the Villainess’ page book, he should go swing by her place and undress check in on her. And so he does and they cuddle in her bed and she jokingly gives him Pineapple Head’s rose and they kiss and they kiss and they kiss and then he goes home, goodnight. And am I just imagining things, or did the promos for this episode suggest that Cal Naughton Jr. actually went to her room to tell her something terrible about one of the other contestants? I didn’t imagine that, did I?

Chris Harrison manages to get onto a plane and arrive in time for the rose ceremony where St. Emily bluntly tells the cameras that she can’t decide whom to eliminate: Wolfboy or Doug the Dad. They’re both so boring, how does one choose! Wolfboy goes for the pity angle, and takes St. Emily aside to show her his grandparents’ funeral cards that he carries around with him in his wallet. St. Emily makes sad faces. She then sits with Doug the Dad who says a bunch of self-deprecating stuff and still hesitates to kiss her. So hard to choose! Can she eliminate both? Is that an option?

Rose time!

Rose #1: Dallas Sean
Rose #2: Justin WannaBieber
Rose #3: Cal Naughton, Jr.

St. Emily marches outside to Chris Harrison and does not say something along the lines of, “how many more of these men aren’t here for me,” or whatever it was that was suggested in the incessant promos all week long which, as noted above, made it look like Cal Naughton, Jr. showed up at her door to tell her about Pineapple Head and his big plans to be the next Bachelor, which, as we now know, did not happen at all, ABC PROMO DEPARTMENT (this is me, shaking my fist at you, again). Instead, St. Emily whines that she can’t choose and doesn’t know what to do.

She then heads back inside and apologizes to everyone and makes a bunch of noises about how hard this is and how she can’t decide and Doug the Dad and Wolfboy mentally prepare what they will tell the cameras as they get into the Rejection Cabs when PSYCHE! Chris Harrison enters with two roses, because: ha ha, no one is going home, hooray?


The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC, and requires copious amounts of red wine to get through.

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

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