‘The Bachelorette’: Czechmate

The Bachelorette
June 25, 2012

St. Emily and the slowly thinning manherd invade Prague, Czech Republic for the final dates before the Dreaded Hometown Dates. And I suppose if Prague can survive Hitler and the Soviets, it can survive The Bachelorette. Maybe. When the men arrive, SURPRISE! Chris Harrison is actually there to greet them (glad to see you managed to roll out of bed this week, Harrison) and inform them that this week there will be three 1-on-1 dates, one group date, and only one date rose to be given on the group date. Mixing it up!

At the manherd’s hotel, the date card is delivered: “Cal Naughton, Jr.: Let’s Czech out Prague together … St. Emily.” Smug Chris, who hasn’t had a date since Charlotte — not that anyone noticed because YAWN and WHO CARES — has a complete snit that he did not get the first 1-on-1 date. And I only mention it because it becomes something of a pattern. A completely insane pattern.

St. Emily arrives at the hotel to escort a “stoked” (ugh, hate that word, HATE IT) Cal Naughton, Jr. She is wearing, LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH, a button-down blouse, a blazer, sequined shorts and cowboy boots. She’s all office receptionist from the waist up and a cowgirl celebrating New Year’s Eve from the waist down? I DO NOT EVEN KNOW. Listen, LISTEN. I am in no way a fashion plate. My entire wardrobe is courtesy of Target, with a few select pieces from J. Crew, when I’m feeling fancy. So I am not one to judge someone else’s clothes, not in any serious sort of way. BUT GURRRRL, NO. You have a reported $350,000 wardrobe budget. $350,000!!! You could buy multiple houses with the amount of money they gave you for clothes, and this is how you dress? GO BACK TO YOUR HOTEL AND TAKE OFF THOSE RIDICULOUS SHORTS AND COWBOY BOOTS. OR TAKE OFF THAT WORK BLOUSE AND BLAZER. AND COWBOY BOOTS. SOMETHING. SOMETHING HAS TO GO.

emily bachelorette coboy boots and shorts.jpg
Money well spent, everyone!

~deep calming breaths~

St. Emily walks Cal Naughton, Jr. around Prague using the DK Eyewitness Prague as their guide. (At least she has decent taste in books.) They see the cathedral and the astrological clock tower, which is third-oldest in the world and the oldest that actually works and you know what? If you have 10 minutes to read my logorrheic post, you would be better served to watch this amazing video celebrating the 600th anniversary of the clock and its history. It’s one of the most amazing things you’ll ever see, promise.

There! Wasn’t that better than the stupid Bachelorette?

So St. Emily and Cal Naughton, Jr. wander around Prague and yell “ENGLISH? ENGLISH?” at the Czechs who are trying to sell them things, and Cal Naughton, Jr. is murmuring about how he’s “falling more in love with her,” and they go to some statue where they are supposed to “rub the lady and the dog” which sounds much dirtier than it actually is. Aas it turns out, it’s also full of dramatic irony because “rubbing the dog” (still sounds gross) is supposed to be a symbol of loyalty — or something — and St. Emily, she knows that Cal Naughton, Jr. is keeping a secret from her.

A Very Important Secret, in fact! So important, in fact, that Chris Harrison has to fly back to Los Angeles to The Bachelor mansion to sit us down and calmly explain it to us. It seems many years ago, Cal Naughton, Jr. happened to briefly date one of the show’s producers. Which, you know, is a pretty remarkable coincidence! Certainly worth mentioning in a, “Wow, this is so crazy, I went on a couple dates with our producer, what a small world!” kind of way, right? And yet, Cal Naughton, Jr., he does not do that. And it makes St. Emily very nervous. Why isn’t he mentioning it? she asks the producer, as the producer mics her. The producer assures St. Emily that it really was no big deal, and that Cal Naughton, Jr. might just think it would be weird to mention it now, who knows. But St. Emily, she’s not buying it.

Which makes the conversation St. Emily and Cal Naughton, Jr. have about loyalty, honesty and trustworthiness so cringe-inducing and HILARIOUS. The thing about Cal Naughton, Jr. is he’s trustworthy to a fault, he’s almost too honest, he explains. O RLY, says St. Emily. HUH, says St. Emily. TELL ME MORE ABOUT HOW OPEN AND FORTHCOMING YOU ARE.

And apparently he does, but completely off-camera, as Chris Harrison explains from The Bachelor mansion. St. Emily and The Producer and Cal Naughton, Jr. sat down together with no cameras or microphones and they explained to her that, No, seriously, it was no big deal. And apparently this is all it takes for St. Emily to be satisfied, because the next thing we know, she and Cal Naughton, Jr. are on a boat and she’s apologizing to him for not giving him the benefit of the doubt and kissing him and talking about their future. So, good luck, Rest of the Manherd! It would seem Cal Naughton, Jr. can do no wrong — even lie by omission to St. Emily. It is fairly obvious the result of this show has already been determined, and we’re just going through the motions on our way there.

AND LET ME JUST RANT FOR A MOMENT HERE: GURRRL, NO. Cal Naughton, Jr. seems like a perfectly nice guy, and probably a fine match for St. Emily — far better than Wombat was ever going to be, certainly. But this is the second time we’ve seen him do something weasely (the first time being when he didn’t stand up to Kalon Dru-Zod), and St. Emily has let him off the hook again, with very little explanation. I wasn’t there for the conversation between the concerned parties, and obviously do not know the facts of the situation; there might have been a good reason why he didn’t feel the need to tell her that he dated one of the producers. I CAN’T THINK OF ONE OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD, BUT SURE. I SUPPOSE THERE IS THAT POSSIBILITY. But if you allow me to gaze into my crystal ball here for a moment, I predict that after St. Emily chooses Cal Naughton, Jr. — which she will — they will be engaged for a year or so, but will never get married. He keeps too many secrets, he lacks enough spine, I just don’t see him really stepping up and being the man or father that St. Emily is looking for. And that’s really sad because like I said, she clearly likes him and he seems like a perfectly nice guy — just not exactly marriage material. And if I were one of St. Emily’s friends, which I am not, I would tell her to contact his ex-girlfriend because I suspect she might have some insight to share with St. Emily. /RANT

Back at the hotel, the men receive 1-on-1 date card #2: “Wolfboy: In Prague, all you need is love … St. Emily.” Smug Chris kicks a wall and pouts in a corner.

Wolfboy and St. Emily walk around Prague and go to something called “The John Lennon Wall” where young Czechs under communist rule would write grievances against the government and paint Lennon-based graffiti to the irritation of the regime. There, St. Emily and Wolfboy paint a boat on the wall. I do not know. I do not know! What does that even mean? Back in the day, the regime refered to those that painted on the wall as “alcoholics, mentally deranged, [and] sociopathic,” and I am inclined to agree if this stupid boat painting is any evidence. A boat? A boat. St. Emily and Wolfboy then go to some fence where lovers apparently leave padlocks as a symbol of eternal love, but they can’t get their lock to close because neither of them are particularly bright SYMBOLISM.

The two then have dinner in a dungeon (and I happen to know where the producers can get a free lock if they were inclined to do us all a huge favor … ), where Wolfboy yammers about his ex-girlfriend who cheated on him. So here’s the entirety of what we know about Wolfboy so far: dead grandparents, cuckold. Seems like quite the catch!

Back at the hotel, Smug Chris is going increasingly wild-eyed and panicked at the possibility of not receiving the last 1-on-1 date, and is clearly making the other men nervous — like, remove all the sharp things from the kitchenette nervous. The group date card arrives: “Dallas Sean, Doug the Dad, and Smug Chris: Let’s find our happily ever after,” and Smug Chris goes from being smug to full-blown psychotic. While Psychotic Chris distracts the other men with his ever more vaguely threatening and irrational behavior, Dallas Sean goes wandering into the night looking for St. Emily. This involves him running through Prague yelling, “ST. EMILY! ST. EMILY!” because he has no idea where she is staying and the producers aren’t telling him, for laffs. Eventually he “finds” her (the producers grow bored and lead him to her) in an alley, where he explains that he just had to spend a little alone time with her before their group date. They grab a drink, kiss on the street, and St. Emily makes a lot of vague noises about what a nice guy he is.

Time for an awkward and terrible group date, everyone! Load up into this carriage, we’re going to a 13th century castle where we will stand around and stare at each other balefully for several hours! So much fun! At the castle, St. Emily takes Doug the Dad aside to give him one last chance to say or do ANYTHING that will make him more interesting. Instead, he crosses his arms over his chest, thanks her for bringing him here, and talks about what an “old-fashioned” guy he is. And with that, she leads him out to the courtyard where she very gently explains that she has been waiting for him to open up, waiting for him to do something, like kiss her, for crying out loud. And completely misreading what is happening here, Doug the Dad goes for that kiss and it all happens in slow-motion like a terrible car crash where you know it’s coming but you also know that there is nothing that you can do to stop it or save yourself and everyone yells, “GURRRRRLLLLL NOOOOOOO!!!” but it’s too late. It’s all much too late. Oh, gurl, no. St. Emily just shakes her head sadly and sighs, “Out. Get out. Just go.”

Doug the Dad gets into the waiting Cab of SingleDadhood, where he moans about how his “girl radar” is off, and worries that he and his son will be alone, together, forever. There might have been tears, which, no. NO SIR. Pull it together, and quit embarrassing your son.

St. Emily returns to the remaining men: Dallas Sean and Psychotic Chris, whose eyes have grown wilder and redder over the course of the date, and seriously, someone should be put on Pointy Objects Duty for the safety of Psychotic Chris and the others. St. Emily produces two keys, and explains that since there is NOTHING ELSE TO DO IN THIS BORING CASTLE, they’ll kill some time with a little game: whomever’s key opens some door somewhere gets the first alone chat with St. Emily. Big stakes, you guys.

Dallas Sean and his Big Key (gross) win the chat, sending Psychotic Chris into a conniption. Dallas Sean and St. Emily say nothing of consequence, no big romantic moments are shared, but Psychotic Chris doesn’t know this, and so he paces like a mad animal and talks about how “crazy” he is becoming, and how he is going to DEMAND TO KNOW WHY ST. EMILY DID NOT GIVE HIM A 1-ON-1 DATE. HOW DARE SHE. Sure enough, when St. Emily returns, he berates her for not giving him a 1-on-1 date since Charlotte, and St. Emily is like, “Dude.” She then brings both men back together and promptly gives Dallas Sean the rose on account of him not behaving like a psychopath. Psychotic Chris glowers with what can only be described as homicidal rage. Someone back at the hotel needs to confiscate all the pillows and shoelaces before he returns, I am not even kidding.

Justin WannaBieber receives the final date card: “Justin WannaBieber: This is your chance to pull at my heartstrings. St. Emily.” Justin WannaBieber, like his friend Cal Naughton, Jr., is “stoked.” NO. FIND ANOTHER WORD TO DESCRIBE YOUR EXCITEMENT. “STOKED” WILL NOT STAND.

Nor will the fringed booties that St. Emily is wearing on this date, which: $350,000! THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.

The two go to a puppet shop where they play with super-creepy puppets, including appropriately enough, a super-creepy Michael Jackson puppet. IT WAS THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH, Y’ALL. NEVER FORGET. Eventually, they pick out two puppets that are supposed to be the two of them but look nothing like them? And then Justin WannaBieber runs back inside and buys another puppet that is supposed to be Little RickyBobby Jr.? Which is a sweet gesture, but I don’t know where any of this is headed?

To a library. They are headed to a beautiful, old library to play with their puppets. Naturally. This is a very good use of this classic, and no doubt civically important library: to shut it down for public consumption so as to allow two grown adults to play with puppets on a foreign dating show. Absolutely, yes.

And so Justin WannaBieber uses the puppet to sort of tell St. Emily that he loves her and wants to adopt a dog with her, and this is all perfectly mature and reasonable and exactly the way adults who might be getting engaged within a few weeks should behave, sure. OH, WAIT, I MEAN THIS IS “PLAYFUL.”

Later, they lie on the floor of the library and talk about their families, which is, again, a very good use of this library space, and what it was clearly intended for. St. Emily asks if, in the event she does visit his hometown, will she meet his parents. Justin WannaBieber explains that, in fact, she’ll meet some of his siblings but not his parents because they are in “South Carolina, committed to some stuff for a few years.”





I mean, I’m sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for what his parents might be doing in South Carolina: missionary work, taking care of a sick relative, hanging out on the beach … something. But the way this is worded, that they are “committed to some stuff for a few years,” sounds not a little sinister, right? A little culty, maybe?

He then goes on to say that his family is “very private.”



St. Emily then asks what he would do if his family didn’t like someone, and Justin WannaBieber flatly explains that he broke up with a girl once because his parents didn’t like her.



But it’s not enough to scare St. Emily, because the next thing you know, they are planning their future together: both would rather not live together before getting married, both want kids RIGHT NOW, and Justin WannaBieber is most certainly closing in on second place behind Cal Naughton, Jr.

Finally, Rose Ceremony Night. The men are driven to some sort of palatial estate in fancy cars, and Psychotic Chris is in full, meltdown psychosis, realizing that he acted like a spoiled 6-year-old on the group date, and has probably ruined everything. IT IS ALL RUINED. Not helping matters is that Wolfboy is extremely confident that his date went superwell, so Psychotic Chris is certain he’s going home: his only chance is to talk to St. Emily and apologize for his terrible, terrible behavior.

BUT, HA HA, NOPE. Because St. Emily has already made up her mind, and there will be no cocktail party tonight. Line up, manherd. Let’s cull you already.

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

Psychotic Chris interrupts the ceremony and asks to speak to her, because what does he have to lose, right? What is the very worst that could happen here? Outside, he apologizes for taking everything so personally, and acting like a child and not being more respectful towards her and her feelings. And with that, he heads back inside to be eliminated.

Rose #3: Psychotic Chris

OH SNAP. YOU DID NOT SEE THAT COMING, DID YOU, WOLFBOY? He most certainly did not, despite having nothing to offer St. Emily other than stories about dead grandparents and cheating girlfriends and a handful of tattered funeral cards. Still! He didn’t inspire the producers to find an English-speaking doctor in Prague who would be willing to prescribe Thorazine at a moment’s notice, so he did have that going for him.

See you later, Wolfie! It’s amazing you lasted this long, frankly! Now, onto the Dreaded Hometown Dates and the humiliation of innocents who had the misfortune of being related to these halfwitted mesomorphs.

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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