May 30, 2016
I have a question: What happened to the Bachelor pied–à–terre? You remember, that little guest house that was down the hill from the McMansion that contestants would sometimes sneak into, either to slip into the Bachelor’s bed in their bikinis and stripper shoes or to run around in their black boxes, banging their head into things while wearing the Bachelor’s motorcycle helmet?
One of the big selling points of the early parts of Farmer Teeth’s season was that the pied–à–terre was just down the driveway, so if any of the ladies were so inclined ~wink wink~ they could pay him a visit at any time.
We haven’t seen the pied–à–terre since. In fact, Ben the Bachelor and Jojo the Unicorn have both been hidden away in some hotel in Thousand Oaks somewhere, leading me to want to know what, exactly, Chris Soules and his harem did to that guest house? Did the Producers look at the decontamination costs and dent marks from the motorcycle helmet and just decide it would be cheaper to burn the whole thing down? I NEED ANSWERS.
Anyway, Jojo the Unicorn’s busy at this motel, musing at her good luck at being the Bachelorette, fixating not for the last time in this episode on how she wants the kind of love Ben the Bachelor and Friendly Skies found. (Methinks someone isn’t quite over it yet. Ahem.)
Over at the McMANsion, Chris Harrison explains to the man-apes that this week will feature two group dates and one 1-on-1 date before delivering the first group date card: “Lucifer, Toasted, Ali, Rocky, The Joker, All-4-Wells, Fun Robby, Fireman Grant, Boner, and Cowboy Luke: Let’s heat things up. HEART! Jojo the Unicorn.”
While the man-apes contemplate the meaning of this invitation, a limo pulls up into the driveway and promptly explodes, drawing the men out of the house to gawp and wonder — certainly, hopefully, in jest — whether Jojo the Unicorn was inside of it at the time and needs saving.
A fire truck then pulls up, carrying a Jojo the Unicorn in a tank top and fireman pants. As the men marvel at how “smoking” she is, Jojo the Unicorn pulls out a fire hose and extinguishes the limo fire, thereby kicking off one very long Freudian nightmare.
The man-apes and Jojo the Unicorn are loaded into the back of a fire truck — which is giving me PTSD from one very exciting birthday party we threw for my then 6-year-old, which involved an old fire truck giving rides around our neighborhood at full speed, sirens on, and little concern for the fact that our neighborhood is filled with low-hanging oak tree branches. It’s a minor miracle no one was hurt and/or we weren’t sued.
But I digress. The point is, the men are driven to a fire academy where they are given helmets and big pants and told they will do some firefighting training exercises. The three men who most impress the fire chief will then race to “save” Jojo the Unicorn. Whoever reaches her first will win some extra time with her. And in summation, this entire date was set up to give Fireman Grant extra time with Jojo the Unicorn, obviously. OH MY GOD, WAS BLOOMIN’ ONION RIGHT, AND THE PRODUCERS ARE BETTING ON THE CONTESTANTS?
Anyway, the man-apes go through the exercises which are super hard and very hot and makes poor All-4-Wells feel like he’s about to pass out. The fire chief orders him to have a sitdown, where Jojo the Unicorn joins him and all the other men look on jealously, lamenting that maybe if they’d gotten the vapors, they, too, would have had a chance to spend some time alone with
the prize Jojo the Unicorn.
After they run through the various exercises, the fire chief picks Cowboy Luke, Fireman Grant, and HILARIOUSLY, All-4-Wells to run the final course to “save” Jojo the Unicorn. Just to punish All-4-Wells, I suppose, for being such a weak lady-man. And this will shock you, I know, but the guy who runs these obstacle courses for a living is the one to win in the end.
At the after party, Fireman Grant spends his time alone with Jojo the Unicorn reminding her that he’s a fireman. Just so everyone is REALLY CLEAR, he’s in the saving lives business.
Jojo the Unicorn also spends time with All-4-Wells who shows her photos of his bloodhound, Carl, and Cowboy Luke who tells her that he was a military hero, NBD. In the end, Jojo the Unicorn gives the date rose to All-4-Wells for having weak knees and a low tolerance for heat.
Meanwhile, back at the McMANsion, our Villain Chad spends his days doing pull-ups with a packed suitcase dangling from his waist, and thinking about protein shakes. The other man-apes look on, bemused, our Bachelor Superfan, James S., going so far as to call him, “a gift from above.” We all agree, James S., the Producers most of all.
While Chad is dangling luggage, the rest of the men gather around Katy’s own James Taylor who leads a sing-along, the song roughly being, “Where did you go, Jojo? Don’t go, Jojo. Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo, Jojo. :||”
The next date card is delivered: “Person named Derek: Love is full of choices. Love, Jojo the Unicorn.”
So, apparently there is a contestant named “Derek?” I had so little memory of this guy that I had to go back to last week’s post to try to figure out who he was, and found this: “This guy is the equivalent of the teacher’s voice in Charlie Brown
cartoons. You know he said something, but it doesn’t much matter what it was.”
And I have to say, this date is the equivalent of the teacher’s voice in Charlie Brown cartoons: you know something happened, but it doesn’t much matter what it was. The pair make a series of “choices” which eventually lead them to fly to San Francisco and have a picnic near the Golden Gaaaaaaazzzzzzzzzzzzzz……
Long story short: she gives Charlie Brown’s Teacher the rose. NEXT.
Back at the house, most of the man-apes continue to sing “Jojo, A Ballad,” except for Chad the Villain and Lucifer who have become BFFs, bonding over protein shakes, and the fact that they don’t consider themselves “nice guys,” because “nice guys” are the real a-holes, which makes them, the self-proclaimed a-holes the actual nice guys. That’s just how logic works.
Also, Chad the Villain actually says the following thing: “If you were making a protein shake with the group of dudes here, and then, you know, you blended it up, half that dude protein shake would be, like, have zero chance.”
“DUDE PROTEIN SHAKE.” Everything has changed. Nothing is the same.
The final date card is delivered: “Aaron Rodger’s Younger Brother, Mr. Intensity, Santa, James Taylor, G.I. Joe, Chad the Villain: Prove your love to me and the nation. HEART! Jojo the Unicorn.”
The men are sent to the ESPN Los Angeles’ headquarters, where they go to the set of SportsNation which is a show that apparently talks about the sportsball. Don’t know, don’t care. The point is, they are there to compete in some dumb games, all the while being judged by the hosts of SportsNation, whoever they are. Don’t know! Don’t care!
The first game involves them doing their best end zone dances and they are uniformly terrible. Terrible! Just, no. terrible.
Then the guys have to make themselves dizzy before stumbling towards Jojo the Unicorn, to whom they have to “propose.” While the rest of the men tell Jojo the Unicorn that they were in love with her “the moment [they] met her” or that the day they met her was the “best day of [their] life,” Chad the Villain sneers that the man-apes are a bunch of children, that Jojo is a “real girl” who “wants to get engaged” and they are treating this like a joke.
When it’s his turn to spin and propose, he stumbles towards her and with zero preamble barks, “Will you marry me?” When Jojo the Unicorn and the SportsNation guys point out that he skipped over the whole part where he tells her what he loves about her, Chad the Villain doubles down on awfulness:
But wait! He’s not done!
The man-apes then endure a fake press conference, where the men give pat answers about Jojo the Unicorn being beautiful and fun and wonderful, but Chad the Villain is having none of that. The SportsNation guys ask him if he could marry someone who nags him, and Chad the Villain somehow makes Jojo the Unicorn and the rest of the men the unreasonable ones. “Look, I don’t know you, and I’m not in love with you, and I’m not going to be fake and say that I am,” he basically tells Jojo the Unicorn, “These guys aren’t in love with you, either, and if they are, that’s weird. What’s going to stop them from falling in love with the next girl that walks in? Haven’t y’all ever seen a pretty girl before?” Chad the Villain then tells Jojo the Unicorn that he doesn’t know if he wants to marry her yet, and Jojo the Unicorn is like, “YEP, MAKES GOOD SENSE.”
And it does, to a degree. Chad the Villain isn’t wrong: neither he nor any of these other guys can possibly be in love with Jojo at this point, that’s preposterous. And (sorta) good for Chad the Villain for challenging the Producers’ script and entire mythology here. Making people say they are “in love” and play silly games and run into burning buildings is not how people actually fall in love — spending time together and actually getting to know each other on an intellectual and emotional level, that’s how love happens. Call me crazy, but Chad the Villain isn’t entirely wrong here, this is all childish games and hoo-ha.
But that’s not the problem with Chad the Villain — the problem with Chad the Villain is that no one else likes him because he’s a complete jackhole. And in an interview, Jojo the Unicorn notes that Chad the Villain doesn’t seem to be getting along with the other men. At this point, any reasonable person would have every single alarm bell go off. But apparently the Producers have some sort of amazing brainwashing machine that they use to wipe every Bachelor and Bachelorette clean of common sense — that, or they deliberately chose people who naturally come common sense-free — because Jojo the Dummy here, thinks this is a sign that Chad the Villain is “honest.” Not untrustworthy, not duplicitous, not manipulative, but HONEST.
And what’s even more remarkable is that the hosts of SportsNation got a little too close to Chad the Villain’s Kaa eyes, too because in their “power rankings,” they put him at #2, after only James Taylor and his guitar. STEP AWAY FROM KAA’S EYES, EVERYONE.
(That, or the SportsNation guys, like myself, gave Chad the Villain credit for refusing to play along with the Producers’ narrative. You know, either or.)
At the after party, Jojo the Unicorn first visits with James Taylor who reads to her something he wrote marveling that he is even on this show even despite the fact that he doesn’t drink dude protein shakes or work out with luggage. He is very sweet, and maybe the best representative of Houston we’ve had on this franchise to date. (YES, I KNOW HE’S FROM KATY, but if people from Katy can tell folks they’re “from Houston,” we can claim Katy people as our own when we see fit.)
Eventually, Chad the Villain gets his moment with her where he is like, “I wasn’t being mean earlier, and I take nothing back. Hey, did I tell you that my mom died 6 months ago? Yeah, it was a bummer, but I’m totally over it now and have a tiny Maltese puppy.” And Jojo the Unicorn’s response is not, “Oh my God, you are an actual sociopath, a living breathing sociopath, I’m getting a restraining order,” but instead, “Awwww….”
Fortunately for everyone’s sense of justice and common decency, Jojo the Unicorn gives James Taylor the date rose. We are all able to breathe a little easier.
But only a little, because the final rose ceremony is now happening and Jojo the Unicorn seems fully invested in keeping Chad the Villain around for who even knows what reason. In fact, before she arrives, Chad the Villain sneaks out to the rejection driveway with a couple of drinks in hand so as to intercept her, and it works. She is sidelined by Chad the Villain for a short walk around the driveway, and then walks into the McMANsion with him to the rest of the man-apes’ shock and horror.
Not that Chad the Villain cares. He begins (and never stops) eating the entire crafts services’ selection of deli meats to keep his protein levels up, all the while explaining to the other man-apes that he just went out for some fresh air at the same time that Jojo the Unicorn arrived. It was a coincidence!
Then when Jojo the Unicorn visits with the other guys, Chad the Villain makes it a point to interrupt their conversations, just to remind everyone in the house who the king of the deli meats is.
After Chad the Villain interrupts G.I. Joe’s moment with Jojo the Unicorn, the other men “confront him” for taking time away from everyone else. But he dismisses them as being as dangerous as 1. a bunch of Care Bears and 2. a gang from West Side Story, which, GOD HELP ME, is really very funny.
And then he does it AGAIN! Chad the Villain makes a point to interrupt Boner’s time with Jojo the Unicorn, and G.I. Joe decides that this SHALL NOT STAND. When Chad the Villain finishes talking to Jojo the Unicorn, G.I. Joe tells Chad the Villain to quit lurking around Jojo, quit being a creep.
By this point in the night, Chad the Villain has had just enough to drink, and not enough deli meat to absorb it all, that he begins to fray, and threatens to knock G.I. Joe’s teeth out if he doesn’t back off. However, G.I. Joe, though short, is still a Marine, and doesn’t scare easily, and Chad the Villain finally skulks off after G.I. Joe calls him a “meltdown.” Which he is: just a meltdown waiting to happen. Tick tock.
Finally, FINALLY, the rose ceremony. Grab a handful of deli meat, men, and line-up.
Rose #1: G.I. Joe
Rose #2: Mr. Intensity
Rose #3: Fun Robby
Rose #4: Cowboy Luke
Rose #5: Someone Named Chase?
Rose #6: Aaron Rodger’s Younger Brother
Rose #7: Fireman Grant
Rose #8: Ali
Rose #9: Lucifer
Rose #10: Rocky
Rose #11: Santa
Rose #12: Toasted
Rose #13: Boner
Rose #14: Chad the Villain, obviously
Which means, goodbye The Joker. Pack up your props and terrible jokes and just go. Goodbye “Hipster.” Be honest, you were into The Bachelorette before it was cool, anyway. And goodbye, James S. Frankly, you were just one too many Jameses to keep track of. As the “Bachelor Superfan” in the group, I feel your pain at being passed over in favor of the season’s obvious villain, I truly do.
The Bachelorette airs on ABC on Mondays at 7/8 p.m.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.