June 30, 2014
We’ve packed up the man herd and brought them to Brussels to eat some waffles, drink some beer and engage in some psychological warfare on Belgium before today’s big U.S. World Cup game. We may not win today’s game, but we’re going to leave some emotional scars on some Belgians courtesy of our dating reality shows before it’s all said and done, dammit.
This is the last of our group dates before The Dreaded Hometowns, and the men are informed by Chris Harrison that this week there will be one group date with a rose, and two 1-on-1 dates without roses, which, panic, strategy, worry, IMPORTANT DATES, whatever. All I’m left with is the disappointment we won’t be having one of those terrible, terrible, awkward 2-on-1 dates this season, the horrible realization that those 2-on-1 dates might be my favorite part of these shows, and the bitter acceptance that I am, deep down, a bad person.
The Texan Pole receives the first date card: “Texas Pole: Let’s get a taste of Brussels, <3 Andi." Andi explains that she gave Texas here the date because last week he confessed that he considered leaving early on and she wants to figure out him out. But she's not fooling anyone: he's one of the cutest ones left, and Andi wants to eat some mussels, drink some beer and make out with Mr. Boring But Pretty, and who can blame her. Because they literally have nothing to talk about for the majority of their date, other than Texas' alarming insistence that he is "in love" with her after a couple of dates.
And if that's not enough of an alarm bell for Andi — which it should be — that night over dinner, Andi asks Texas about his family and receives a weird, cagey answer. Basically, Texas' dad left his family when Texas was young, and Texas blamed himself.
But then things get REAL DARK when Texas sorta kinda admits that his mom was physically abusive towards him and his siblings? I think? Texas goes out of his way to promise that things are cool between him and his mom now, they talked it out, she was just dealing with a crappy situation the only way she knew how, yadda yadda yadda, he now sees her two or three times a week, seriously, it’s all good.
Which, great? I’m super happy that all worked out and Mom isn’t beating Texas anymore? But all I hear is a mix of sirens and a voice screaming, “GET OUT! GET OUT, ANDI! RUN AWAY AND NEVER LOOK BACK!” And it’s not that I think people who are raised in broken homes are irreparably damaged and that they can’t heal and move past their issues. But this backstory combined with Texas declaring that he is IN LOVE with Andi — something he did on their first date, let me remind you — suggests that Texas has got a lot of needs and it will probably require a relationship based on something more profound than a reality show to address them. Run, Andi. For reals, though.
Instead, Andi moons that it takes “a lot” to open up like this, and that he’s “the total package,” because she doesn’t want to eliminate ol’ Blue Eyes here, not yet. Not when there’s a fantasy suite coming up in a couple weeks, rwar.
Back at the hotel, Winner Josh receives the next 1-on-1 date card: “Winner Josh: Let’s Ghent it on.” When the other men realize they are on the group date, they shrug disappointedly — at least there’s the hope of receiving the security of the date rose, right? — except for Wesley Snipes, who decides he’s going to “make something happen.”
To this end, he steals a page from all the previous Bachelor villainesses and Dallas Sean, sneaks out of the man herd’s hotel room, and down to the lobby where he gives the desk clerk the stupidest story about having lost his room key, and that the room was under his wife’s name, and what was that room number again? AS IF ANY DESK CLERK WORTH THEIR SALT WOULDN’T BE LIKE, “UH, NICE TRY, WEIRDO, NOW I’M GOING TO CALL SECURITY ON YOU.” But because Wesley Snipes is accompanied by the camera crew of the production company that certainly booked a whole block of rooms, Desk Clerk is all, “Oh sure, here’s ‘your wife’s’ room number. Can I give you a key, too?”
Wesley Snipes knocks on Andi’s door and asks her to go on a walk with him, and she agrees even though he’s “breaking the rules,” and they go to a bar and make out on the street and Wesley Snipes declares that he’s going to make her his wife and Andi goes on about how they have “passion” and how she can “emotionally and physically feel what he is thinking.”
The next day, Andi takes Winner Josh to Ghent, a town that Andi describes as “one of the few cities not burnt down during the wars,” which, no? There are plenty of European cities that managed to survive both World Wars completely intact? But her point is it’s charming and old and there are geese parading around with clowns AND JUST THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MOMENT: OUR SOCCER TEAM IS ABOUT TO BE BEATEN BY A COUNTRY THAT DRESSES UP LIKE CLOWNS TO PARADE SOME GEESE DOWN THE STREET.
Come on, boys, don’t let us down today.
Anyway, they talk about whether or not Winner Josh has feelings (sorta), whether he can be vulnerable with Andi (sorta) and whether or not the fact that they both live in Atlanta is “too good to be true” (sorta). And somehow this is enough to erase the doubts Andi had following their last date when he threw a huge baby hissy fit about taking a lie detector test. Oh and they dance to some American band that was brought all the way over to Belgium for some reason, I didn’t catch their name because who cares.
The next morning, Andi brings the remaining men to Les ruines de Montaigle, castle ruins that are a metaphor for her future relationships with the whole lot of them, because, again, Winner: Josh.
They wander around the ruins for a bit, before she makes them drive her in some sort of pedal car contraption up to a monastery where Andi instructs them that she is not allowed to kiss any of them. Andi renders this rule immediately moot by then leading Farmer Teeth off the monastery grounds and into a “pottery barn”
to shop for some nondescript coffee tables and home accessories recreate Ghost, make out.
None of the other men are afforded these off-campus field trips, however, and are forced to make do with chaste conversations with Andi on park benches. When not not kissing her, the men spend their time freaking out about being sent home, and talking about how much they hate Wesley Snipes. OOH, THEY HATE THAT GUY.
Wesley Snipes, for his part, is all, “Haters gonna hate;” an attitude that he deserves because damned if Andi doesn’t give him the date rose.
With that, the rest of the man herd are returned to the hotel, while Wesley Snipes spends the remainder of the evening with Andi at some castle somewhere, Belgium is apparently lousy with them. There, they play a complicated game called “This or That” in which Andi has to choose between two things, like peanut butter or jelly, waffles or pancakes, and we finally get a glimpse of the exciting intellectual repartee these two share.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel room, the rest of the man herd gossip about HOW MUCH THEY HATE WESLEY SNIPES, no, like REALLY HATE HIM. OOH, THEY HATE HIM SO MUCH. WHY DOESN’T ANDI HATE HIM, TOO? While they are busily getting their hate on, Wesley Snipes returns to the hotel, and after a painfully awkward silence, Coach is like, “Hey, Dude, I’m not going to lie, we like TOTALLY hate you. You’re the worst.” The men then all join in, accusing Wesley Snipes of strategizing his entire play, of watching all the previous seasons of The Bachelorette and The Bachelor to figure out what got contestants the furthest along, and of talking more about game play than Andi. The man herd is pretty sure Wesley Snipes is angling to become the next Bachelor and, in conclusion, he is not here for “the right reasons.”
Wesley Snipes don’t care, though. All he’s got to do is brush this dirt off his shoulder and see Andi in his hometown.
Time for the rose ceremony cocktail party, and the remaining man herd is FREAKING OUT. Soon after arriving, Farmer Teeth takes Andi out to the gardens of whatever palace this is, and tells her about his small northeastern Iowa town of 758 people that she will have the pleasure to be bored in if she gives him a rose that night. Farmer Teeth also tells her that he’s falling in love with her, as is required at this stage of the game.
Coach also tries to take Andi aside for some private time, only to have Wesley Snipes come in and interrupt him because trolls gonna troll.
Farmer Teeth eventually returns to Andi, insisting that there’s one more thing that he needs to talk to her about, which for whatever reason makes Andi think he’s about to walk out to a car and leave. Instead he kisses her, to her great relief and slight bewilderment. Desperate measures for desperate times, people.
Finally, it’s time to line the man herd up for one final rose ceremony before the Dreaded Hometowns:
Rose #1: Winner Josh
Rose #2: Texas Pole
Rose #3: Farmer Teeth, so I guess the kiss worked.
Which means, goodbye Gordon Gekko. You really managed to last a lot longer on that Pity Rose than I would have ever guessed. But Andi doesn’t want to go to your hometown and awkwardly sit there while your mom and grandmom cry about your dead siblings, that just sounds like a bummer, man. And goodbye, Coach. You’re a nice enough guy, but ultimately you were out-handsomed by Winner Josh, Texas and Farmer Teeth and out-smarted by what appears to be a narcissistic, borderline sociopathic hamster. Whaddya gonna do? I mean besides:
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 7 p.m. on ABC.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.