June 17, 2013
Prep some tranquilizer darts, clean out the cages and lure the manapes inside: we’re going to “beautiful” Atlantic City, which according to one of the manherd is like “Las Vegas on the ocean,” in that it is more like “Reno on the ocean.” Prepare to make the biggest little mistake of your life, Princess Desiree!
Upon arriving in New Jersey, the manherd is released from the airplane’s cargo hold, assess the hotel suite and WOOOOO! it up until the date card arrives: “Wishbone: Let our love shine through, Princess Desiree.” The rest of the manapes have a sad that they did not receive the coveted 1-on-1 date and are left to console themselves on their hotel tire swings, hooting mournfully.
Wishbone and Princess Des, meanwhile, spend the day on the boardwalk, riding shoddy carnival rides in the cold and playing crummy carnival games in the cold and eating salt water taffy and stealing chocolate-covered pretzels off of factory lines while the women who are making them ARE STANDING RIGHT THERE and riding on carousels in the cold and sitting on sand castles in the cold. Get off of that sand castle, you two! Someone worked really hard on that sand castle for you to just come and sit on it and stare blankly into the distance and not talk to each other.
That night, Wishbone and Princess Desiree have dinner in a light house, and she tries to pry out of him what he’s looking for in a woman, other than someone who is “sweet” and “great” which isn’t exactly specific. Wishbone responds that he doesn’t like people who “can’t be serious ever,” because he likes “to chill and they’re constantly like, ‘muhhhhhh …'”
That is literally what he grunted. Verbatim.
The rest of the conversation:
Wishbone: “But you seem like — you’re so amazing. Like…”
Princess Des: “Really?”
Wishbone: “Yeah. So … um.”
(Drink, both of them.)
Wishbone: “I keep thinking about our uh … pshew!” (Hand motioning upwards.)
Princess Des: (Nervous laughter.) “The um …”
Princess Des: “Slingshot! Oh my gosh. That’s cool.”
Giving Tracy and Hepburn a run for their money, these two.
Princess Desiree decides that she’s had just about as much of this scintillating conversation she can handle, and leads him up 37 flights of stairs to the top of the light house where she announces, “Good news! You get to see your son Maddex [sic] tomorrow!”
Why she couldn’t tell him that at ground level will have to remain a mystery.
While Princess Desiree was committing pretzel misdemeanors and denying little Maddex [sic] a new mommy, the next date card arrives: “I’m looking for Mr. Right: Mumbles, Private Buster, Zack K. Hashtag D-Bag, Drew Who is Not Brandon, El Zorro, Nipples Jr., Family First, Prop Daddy, Wilford Brimley and Big Pun.” The manapes, using simple arithmetic, determine that Marionette Face will be going on the last 1-on-1 date.
The manapes meet her in front of some old theater on the boardwalk where Mumbles compares her to a unicorn; which, no, that’s Sparkle Pony, Mumbles. Sparkle Pony is a unicorn made of rainbows and insecurity (and I’m sure is still on the market if things don’t work out with Princes Des), Princess Desiree is a Disney Princess, one of the pre-feminist-era ones who likes to draw pretty pictures of dresses and talk to woodland creatures. Don’t get it twisted.
So, Princess Des leads the manapes into the theater where Chris Harrison and an ALL-BUSINESS, NOT-KIDDING-AROUND-HERE Miss America Mallory Hagan are waiting.
Background: ABC kissed and made up with The Miss America Pageant last year after dumping it in 2005, and so now we get to enjoy the fruits of synergy. Look for the Miss America 2013 Pageant on ABC sometime in September with 100% fewer manapes!
So, we all know where this is going: We’re going to have us a Mr. Manaperica pageant, because it’s always hilarious when the gender paradigm is shifted and boys do girl things. To this end, the men will have to compete in the following categories: talent, interview, and swimsuit but not evening wear because apparently that is a step too far.
The men are given a table full of suggestions for the talent competition: batons, hula hoops, roller skates, tap shoes, ukeleles, guitars, high heels — which, interestingly and perhaps tellingly, Big Pun, who earned his nickname by pulling a dumb joke on the first night with shoes and then declaring that he wanted to “get off on the right foot” immediately grabs.
Miss I’m-Not-Kidding-Around-Here America takes the men aside and preps them for the interview session, lest they pull a “Create education better” or “Like such as South Africa and uh, the Iraq, everywhere such as.” BECAUSE MISS AMERICA WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY OF THIS MISS USA IDIOT CRAP. NOT ON HER WATCH, MISTERS.
That taken care of, Chris Harrison passes out the bathing suits and announces that it’s time to get this travesty on the road. Their judges will be Miss “DON’T EMBARRASS ME UP THERE OR I SWEAR I WILL PULL OUT YOUR FLIPPER” America; the poor, unsuspecting mayor of Atlantic City who has already surived one natural disaster in the past year; and Princess Desiree.
We begin with what they are calling the “interview” but if we’re to get all technical up in here — and we will — these are really the “personal questions” that traditionally come at the end of the pageant, long after we’ve talented, swimsuited, and narrowed the field down to the top 10 and vaselined them into their evening gowns. But I guess with the Mr. Manaperica Pageant we’re just going to throw formalities out the window, which shouldn’t surprise me since they never even told us if this is a glitz pageant or a natural one, so why should we be going by the rules now?
Hashtag D-Bag who seems to be wearing some sort of sweater suit jacket for his “outfit of choice” is asked if he’s a “taker or a giver” in a relationship, and he’s like, “well, I’m a taker of this softball question: I’m a giver, DUH.” Nipples Jr., given the choice of fire or water, says that he would be fire, as if that means something. Mumbles describes himself as a “lion, the king of the jungle.” Big Pun, asked how he could improve his relationship skills, burbles “I could take her out to dinner more times than necessary, wait that sounds bad, I mean like twice or three times a week and I think we can relate this back to education, and how we are continuing to try to strive … to … figure out how to create jobs right now.” El Zorro reveals that he has a daughter (wait, what?) and is looking for a woman who is a good dancer. And Family First complains about being treated like a piece of meat, and not being appreciated for the sensitive and emotional creature he is at his core.
The talent portion of the evening begins with Hashtag D-Bag coming out and telling some made-up nonsense about attaching scraps of metal to the bottom of his shoes as a small boy in Oklahoma before “tap-dancing” a little shuffle across the stage. Family First rips off his clothes and does shirtless handstands to better reveal his soul. Mumbles sings about how he needs a spray-tan and then destroys an innocent ukelele. Drew Who Is Not Brandon performs some sort of soliloquy, who even knows. Big Pun swings hula hoops on his arms while shirtless and in high heels. Private Buster thrusts his pelvis at the mayor of Atlantic City. And Nipples Jr. sings some overly sincere song about a girl going through the “crash course of love.”
The swimsuit portion closes the pageant, and, again, I can’t help but point out the lack of standards here, what with some men in long board shorts and others in Speedos, THIS IS NO WAY TO RUN A PAGEANT. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO COMPARE THE MEN’S “FITNESS” IF THEY ARE ALL WEARING DIFFERENT THINGS?
Finally, the winner is announced: Mumbles is the second runner-up; Nipples Jr. is the first runner-up and in the event that the winner can not fulfill his duties (LOOKING AT YOU, VANESSA WILLIAMS), will step in to be Mr. Manaperica 2013. And Mr. Manaperica Grand Supreme is …. Hashtag D-Bag. Somehow.
But just because you won the crown and the trip to Space Camp, Hashtag D-Bag, doesn’t mean you’ve won the date rose. And so the manherd are sent off to a “pool party” at the hotel where Big Pun shows his “serious side” by reading Princess Des some of his amazing poetry:
I knew on top of that hotel right then and there
My feelings for you were building and real
The skeptic in me to be found nowhere
Yes. Yessssssss. More, please. While this is obviously brilliant, I don’t think we can nominate you for the Nobel Prize in Literature with merely three lines, Big Pun.
Private Buster grouses to the cameras about how much he hates Prop Daddy, which is becoming a common complaint amongst the men, but hasn’t yet being backed up by anything aside from Prop Daddy sitting with Princess Desiree in full view of the other men. Look, I want a villain as much as the next contestant, but so far Prop Daddy’s biggest crimes are being smug and talking to Princess Desiree. This a Ti-Polar does not make, my dears. Try spending three months in hotels with a woman who deliberately throws herself down staircases and screams at you about her uncontrollable eyebrows and then we’ll talk.
Nipples Jr. plays the rest of his stupid song for her, something about selling their souls and sailing into the sea of love and rejoicing and opening their eyes? I don’t know. Frankly, it’s too many mixed metaphors for me, but it’s sincere enough for Princess that she gives him the date rose, the end.
Alone back at the hotel, Marionette Face eats chocolate-covered strawberries while sitting in a bubble bath. Yep! Definitely! This is not off-putting at all, Marionette Face! The date card arrives: “Marionette Face: Can our love weather the storm? Princess Des.” And Marionette Face contemplates what this could mean while resting in an oversized bathrobe, drinking champagne and looking for all the world like a comically overdrawn super villain.
The next morning, Princess Desiree meets Marionette Face at a helicopter because we’ve reached the helicopter date stage of the competition apparently. But don’t get too excited: it’s not all helicopters and picnics, not yet. The two are joined by some lady from the Red Cross, because this is actually a Very Serious Helicopter Date, in which they are going to be flown over the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and have the feels — also known as “disaster tourism.” So they fly around for a while, and frown at the storm-torn beach and piles of rubble and that one roller coaster that is still in the ocean, but! has an American flag perched on top, so U!S!A! U!S!A! U!S!A! Marionette Face and Princess Desiree explain in somber tones how seeing the ocean roller coaster with their very own eyes has really bonded them.
Red Cross Lady then walks them through Seaside Heights and introduces them to an older couple, Jan and Manny, who rode out the storm in their attic, lost everything, had to be rescued by the cops and the Red Cross and spent their 38th wedding anniversary in a hurricane shelter.
And, look, I don’t want to be callous. We down here on the Gulf Coast, we know from hurricanes and how destructive they are. We have all the sympathies. BUT WHAT WERE YOU DOING IN YOUR BEACH HOUSE DURING THE HURRICANE, JAN AND MANNY? You were told to evacuate! Specifically you and everyone in Seaside Heights were told to GET OUT and go to higher ground! Your governor called people like you, people who chose to ignore the evacuation orders, “stupid and selfish” and you know what? HE WAS RIGHT. You put first responders in danger when they had to come rescue you, not to mention the whole part where YOU COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED.
And so, while I think it’s sweet that Princess Desiree and Marionette Face have decided to give you their “date” in Atlantic City so that you can have an anniversary dinner, and I think it’s moving that the Red Cross went out of their way to recreate your wedding album that you lost in the storm surge, and while I think you are an adorable couple who have lost way too much (and probably could have used Princess Desiree and Marionette Face’s help with sheetrocking more than a stupid dinner at the House of Blues), I have to point out that YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN IN YOUR HOUSE DURING THE STORM IN THE FIRST PLACE AND I HOPE YOU LEARNED YOUR LESSON.
AND YES, THIS APPLIES TO YOU, KATY. IT’S HURRICANE SEASON. YOU SHOULD JUST GO AHEAD AND EVACUATE NOW.
Alright, so while Manny and Jan enjoy Princess Desiree and Marionette Face’s generic dinner in Atlantic City, Princess Desiree and Marionette Face have what turns out to be a much more interesting and authentic dinner at some pizza joint. There, Marionette Face decides that it’s time to come clean about his past, and confesses that … he cheated on his high school girlfriend this one time. HORRORS! Princess Desiree makes some concerned faces and worries that temptations might be a problem for ol’ telephone pole neck over here, but somehow, through the power of their bond forged after looking at storm damage together, she manages to power through her misgivings and chooses to appreciate his honesty.
They drive back to Atlantic City, and meet up with Jan and Manny for whom they have one more big surprise: HOOTIE! SANS BLOWFISH! Jan and Manny are like, “Great?” and everyone dances for one song, and Princess Desiree gives Marionette Face and his tree stump of a neck the date rose for being so “trustworthy,” which is certainly not foreshadowing anything.
Finally, the cocktail party, which seems to be taking place in one tiny hotel room for some reason. Could they not rent out a hotel bar? Did they spend all their monies on the Red Cross helicopter and roller skates? In any event, sometime between thrusting his loose seal at the mayor of Atlantic City and the cocktail party, Private Buster has developed some doubts about his feelings for Princess Desiree which he goes around the party telling any man who will stand still long enough to listen. I bet he was in charge of strategery when he was in Army because this is just a good plan.
After Princess Desiree has some terribly boring conversations with Wilford Brimley and Big Pun, too boring to recount here, certainly, Private Buster approaches her with his concerns. But instead of telling him to pack his bunk, she convinces him to stick around for some reason. Maybe to give his hair another week to grow out? Who even knows.
And with that, it’s time to thin the manherd.
Rose #1: Big Pun
Rose #2: Mumbles
Rose #3: El Zorro
Rose #4: Drew Who Is Not Brandon
Rose #5: Wilford Brimley
Rose #6: Prop Daddy
Rose #7: Hashtag D-Bag
Rose #8: Private Buster
Rose #9: Mikey
Which means, sorry, Zack K. who never earned a nickname because he was so bland. But:
Quick programming note: Alas, I shall not be recapping next week’s episode. Mommy needs rest (drinky) time. I will be back for the July 1 episode, promise. See you then!
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.