‘The Bachelorette’: The secret word is ‘BOLD’

The Bachelorette
May 20, 2019

We begin the episode with Hannah reminding us that she’s here to find “real love” and “real conversation” and “no bullshit,” before demanding that the men give her that “real good real” which I don’t even know what she’s talking about and I assumed was from a song lyric but then I Googled it and nothing came up but then I saw a gif that suggested that she was saying “real cool real” so I Googled that … and still nothing came up. I just … OK.

Chris Harrison swings by the McMANsion and drops off the first date card with another warning that HANNAH IS TAKING THIS VERY SERIOUSLY SO THEY MUST BE ON SERIOUS BUSINESS TIME, TOO.


“The Dude; Nick Viall, Jr.; Mike Johnson; Guitar Guy at the Party; Pizza Heart; John Paul Jones; Humphrey Bogart; Shower Jesus: I’m looking for my Mr. Right — Hannah.”

The men are loaded up in a van and taken to what I assumed would be a challenge based on the 2015 Sam Rockwell/Anna Kendrick film, but is actually a man pageant (mangeant?) to be judged by three of my all-time favorite people:

Miss J.

Alyssa Edwards:

And Alaska Thunderfuck:

The pageant will consist of two parts: a talent portion, and a catwalk in which they wear nothing but a speedo … which is a talent in and of itself.

The men work on their talents with Miss J, Alyssa, and Alaska for a while, and honestly, that’s the show that I wanted, just two hours of these dumb chunks of testosterone and insecurity being critiqued by Miss J and these two hilarious queens. Alas, far too soon we are squeezing the men into speedos and bathrobes and shoving them out on stage.

And for the most part, the men approach this potentially mortifying experience with humor and good grace. Pizza Heart, John Paul Jones, and Mike Johnson, in particular, make the most of the catwalk:.

Slapping ass:

Flipping hair:

And twerking:

But it’s Shower Jesus who wins over the judges with his dumb chest.

Even the other guys compare him to a Greek god and say they are embarrassed to be on the same stage with him.

Next up is the talent competition, and these doofuses ride unicycles and play trumpets poorly and walk in heels, but it’s Guitar Guy at the Party who takes this round when he performs an original song written for the situation called, “Mr. Right.” Clever.

And then Shower Jesus, who doesn’t appear to have any talents aside from self-admiration, bodybuilding posing, and chest waxing, takes the microphone and declares that he is falling in love with Hannah, right there for Miss J, God and everyone to hear.

It’s absurd. And errrrrrrrrybody knows it. Nevertheless, Miss J, Alyssa, and Alaska declare Shower Jesus the winner of the Mr. Right pageant because they want to get into that speedo.

Before we get to the cocktail party, I want you to count along with me how many times the word “bold” was said in this episode. I think I only began noticing after the pageant (and I don’t want to go back and rewatch please don’t make me rewatch*) but the word BOLD is obviously the producers’ PeeWee’s Secret Word this season, the word that they feed to both The Bachelorette and the Bachelors as the quality that they she is looking for in a man: BOLD! and genuine and themselves and honest and here for the right reasons and BOLD!

Hannah starts the bold boulder rolling by announcing that they all proved how bold they are in unique ways …

and that she wants to thank them all for being bold …

… and making her feel like a queen.

Mike Johnson toasts to “people just being real honest  — this is love, forever, not just fifteen minutes,” because he is a shady bitch.

Hannah first speaks with “Mr. Right,” Shower Jesus (who had no idea he was being shaded, obviously), and asks him how he could possibly be falling in love with her after having spoken to her for, what? fifteen minutes? total? And he insists that he started falling in love with her during Colton’s season — which is a completely insane thing to tell someone — and that he’s never felt a connection like the one he has with her.

Hannah shrugs that she guesses she asked for someone bold …

… and he’s bold …

… so who’s she to argue that he’s falling in love with her in 48 hours?

Shower Jesus returns to the other men, where Mike Johnson is like, “Since my earlier shade went over your dum-dum head, let me be very clear with you: I think you’re a dog and that you’re messing with Hannah’s emotions and I need to know how it is you think you are starting to fall in love?”

Shower Jesus calls this a “phenomenal question,” before explaining that he knew from the first cocktail party and he is going to fight for her with everything he has. And if that means lying to Hannah’s face and telling her that he is in love with her without ever really having a conversation with her and then being weirdly aggressive and possessive of her and her time then so be it.


Meanwhile, Hannah has a boring conversation with Guitar Guy at the Party where she congratulates him on having an actual talent. Later, she gives him the rose because she’s the type of girl who makes dumb guys with guitars think that it would be a really good idea to start playing it in the middle of the party.

Back at the McMANsion, the next date card arrives: “Dr. Freud: Falling in love can be messy. Hannah.”

The next day, Hannah arrives at the McMansion and spirits Dr. Freud away in a helicopter off into the mountains where they ride ATVs in the mud for a while. After, they have dinner on the roof of the Roosevelt Hotel where he assures Hannah that though it may not be traditionally masculine to vulnerable or genuine, he’s going to be anyway. WOW. SUCH BRAVE. MANY RISK.

Hannah tells him that she thinks being able to express how one feels is bold …

… before talking about her big dreams: something vague about being a mom and having a career. ENLIGHTENING. And with that, she offers Dr. Freud the date rose and he accepts.

At the McMANsion, the men receive the final group date card: “Not a Virgin; Milk Guzzler Johnny Appleseed (whom I am calling that because, as Foolish reader Jordan reminded me, I had somehow managed to overlook the fact that this guy’s bio claims that he’s a sperm donor who has fathered one hundred and fourteen (114) children which HOW DO THEY EVEN ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN? YOU GUYS. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. I need him to go on a one-on-one because I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS); Guitar Hero; Parlez-Vous Français?; Fumbles; The Tony Robbins Fan; Footloose; Champagne Baby; Pilot Peter; Arnold Palmer: Let’s get our love on track. Hannah.”

This means three men are not going on any dates this week: Vanilla Ice; Fence Jumper and The Car Auctioneer/Winemaker. Vanilla Ice is not chill about it AT. ALL.

As for the group date, Hannah meets the men at a roller derby rink where she explains they will be competing, and Parlez-Vous Français?, God love him, he explains that he doesn’t rollerblade. Girl, neither do skaters in roller derby.

The men put on skates and are kinda taught how to skate — it’s not pretty — before gearing up and competing in front of a screaming crowd and Fred Willard. We learn the rules of the sport from Chris Harrison, and I quote: “Each team has a jammer, who is the one who scores the points.” That’s it. That’s the entirety of the explanation you’re going to get.

The Tony Robbins Fan was this “jammer” for a bit, until he fell and hurt his ankle and had to leave the game. And then one team wins, and one team loses, and Footloose was on that losing team, but he’s OK because he’s pretty sure they showed Hannah that they were bold.

But, win, lose, it’s all meaningless because it’s not like the losing team is sent back to the house or anything. Which is a shame because had the prize had been even more explicitly about time with Hannah, the winning men would have been even more hysterical over what happens next.

So, at the cocktail party, Hannah visits with the injured Tony Robbins Fan first, where explains that he’s naturally a very shy and quiet person, but that he’s trying to be bold for her.

And Pilot Peter notes that he might have been her pilot when she flew out to California to do the show. Cool.

Meanwhile, back at the house, Vanilla Ice is still pouting about not being chosen for a date this week and explains that he’s more motivated than ever to create time with her and show her he can be bold.

To that end, Vanilla Ice rolls up to the date in his 5.0 with the ragtop down so his hair can blow**, while explaining that he has to A-B-C: Always Be Vanilla Ice, and that this is a very Vanilla Ice thing to do. He then bursts in on Hannah and Not a Virgin’s conversation with a bouquet of flowers and a demand that she talk with him. Hannah clearly finds this rude — because it fucking is — but agrees to chat with him for a second. There, she tells him she knows it is hard to not be on a date, and this jackass starts talking about how he’s trying to not over-“HANNAHlyze” things.

Hannah thanks him for thinking of her and then sends him out to the interview cameras.

There, Vanilla Ice is earnestly explaining that he had to come see Hannah because he knows she’s looking for a man who can be bold …

Meanwhile, the other men, who have learned that Vanilla Ice is there taking up their time, are VERY NOT HAPPY WITH HIM, and discuss how disrespectful it is to them and to her, and Guitar Hero adds that it has a very “stalker vibe.” He’s not wrong.

So, while Vanilla Ice is giving his interview, Footloose marches outside to tell him what a douche he is, followed by Arnold Palmer who tells Vanilla Ice that the one thing Hannah is looking for is someone who is confident and bold …

… but that’s not what this is. He is followed by Fumbles, who tells him he’s stepping on other people’s toes, only to be informed by Vanilla Ice that their “toes don’t matter.”

Back inside, Hannah has run out of time to talk to all of the men, so she gives the pity consolation rose to The Tony Robbins Fan for spraining his ankle.

The next night is the rose ceremony and cocktail party, and as Hannah arrives in the limo, the music and her demeanor are incredibly somber — to the point that I was certain she was going to walk into the house, announce that her grandmother had died, and that the cocktail party was canceled. That’s the mood.

Instead, she comes inside, bursts into tears, and tells them that they have made her feel special and lucky and that she is sad she is going to have to send some of them home. That’s it. That’s why she’s crying.

Hannah is taken aside first by Fence Jumper who I am renaming Vocal Fry BECAUSE WE AS A SOCIETY DO NOT TALK ENOUGH ABOUT HOW DUDES CAN HAVE VOCAL FRY, TOO, IT’S NOT JUST WANNABE KARDASHIANS.  Vocal Fry, like Vanilla Ice, did not go on a date with her that week, but unlike Vanilla Ice is completely cool with it and they have a nice little chat and kiss.

Hannah then explains in an interview that these men need to know what they are getting with her: a woman who is strong, emotional, real and bold.

Next to take Hannah aside is Fumbles, who suggests that they let out a primal scream to relieve some of the stress. Fumbles explains that he is in the Army National Guard, but before their conversation can go further, Vanilla Ice comes out and interrupts them, insisting he has something special planned for the three of them.

Out on the dumping driveway, Vanilla Ice has created a heart out of rose petals, inside of which he invites Hannah and Fumbles to sit with him. He then presents to Hannah some chicken nuggets, and pulls out a ring box, inside of which he offers her honey mustard.


Fumbles returns inside and tells the other men about this, and needless to say, they are not amused by his weird “chicken nugget ceremony.” When Vanilla Ice joins them inside, Fumbles urges Vanilla Ice to go fuck himself, a sentiment he punctuates by throwing a handful of chicken nuggets at him.

Hannah, meanwhile, is making googly eyes at Footloose who compares the way she makes him feel to what it’s like to come out of the locker room tunnel on game day. There are many, many ways in which Hannah and I are different people, but one of them is that she loves this metaphor, whereas I would have been like, “Listen Footloose, you are very handsome in that Bravo’s Southern Charmed kind of way, and you do seem like a nice enough guy, but I can tell you right now, this is never going to work out between us because college sportsball is literally my very least favorite thing in the entire universe.”

Next, she receives a back massage from Shower Jesus that involves unzipping her dress.


After, she suggests that he take off his shirt so that she can give him a massage. This inevitably ends with Guitar Guy at the Party walking in on Shower Jesus stripping down, because OBVIOUSLY, IT DID. Even if they hadn’t been in the middle of a party with twenty other men all looking for an opportunity to talk to her alone and just waiting to interrupt her conversation with someone else, the producers would have made sure that SOMEONE walked in on this scene — it would have been reality television malpractice if they hadn’t.

But also, Jesus Christ, Hannah is dumb.

So Guitar Guy flees whatever this scene is, and after several minutes of Hannah just saying, “FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK,” she eventually goes and finds Guitar Guy at the Party, sits down next to him, says that this is very awkward, but that it wasn’t what it looked like. (It absolutely 100% fucking was, though.)

Guitar Guy, to his enormous credit, jokes that he noticed that there are a lot of guys wanting to talk to her, is that weird? Before realizing that what he should have done instead of running out of the room: dropped trou. They both think this would have been HILARIOUS, and the tension, it is relieved.

It’s time for the rose ceremony, so the dummies line up and Hannah arrives talking about how hard this is and how much she respects them and blah blah. So here I have to point out that during the ceremony, the men yammer about each other, as they always do, and I always ignore because who the fuck cares. But because of tonight’s special secret word game, I’ve made some adjustments.

Rose #1: Footloose
Rose #2: Arnold Palmer
Rose #3: Not a Virgin

Shower Jesus begins talking about how Vanilla Ice is going to go home tonight because Hannah is nonstop talking about being bold …

… but Vanilla Ice is the wrong kind of bold.

Rose #4: Vocal Fry
Rose #5: Shower Jesus
Rose #6: Humphrey Bogart
Rose #7: Nick Viall Jr.
Rose #8: Mike Johnson
Rose #9: Pilot Peter
Rose #10: Fumbles
Rose #11: Pizza Heart
Rose #12: Champagne Baby

Vanilla Ice, meanwhile, argues that he’s the type of guy who goes all in when he wants something. Hannah doesn’t want someone passive; she wants a bold man.

Rose #13: Johnny Appleseed
Rose #14: John Paul Jones
Rose #15: The Dude
Rose #16: Vanilla Ice

Which means we must say goodbye to The Car Auctioneer/Winemaker, which means we will never solve the mystery of what, exactly, his family’s business is. We also say goodbye to Guitar Hero, who was, thanks to his comment about Vanilla Ice’s stalker vibe for the briefest moment there, my favorite. And we must also say goodbye to Parlez-Vous Français? whose rollerskating skills were as strong as his French. Adieu.

But we’re not done with the episode! Because first, Vanilla Ice offers a toast to “my future best friend, Hannah Ayala!” (which he helpfully explains is his last name) before declaring, “You’ve got to be bold, fellows!”

“Got to be bold.”

As Hannah slips off to do her post-tape interview, Shower Jesus sneaks off behind her, while Vanilla Ice is STILL yammering about how you “got to be yourself, and real and bold …”

… and this pushy motherfucker right here, Shower Jesus, he interrupts the interview so that he can talk to her some more. But it’s awkward? Because there are cameras? But there are always cameras? So it’s not clear why this is any more awkward than any other interaction? IT JUST IS.

Hannah asks him again about saying that he’s falling in love with her and he once again insists that it is 100% real while promising that she can trust him.

Say goodbye to the men who have been eliminated:

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Here are the men along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” The Beast. All nicknames subject to change when I — or one of you — think of something better:

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*This is how much I love you: I went back and rewatched, and during the pageant, there is one time that Hannah says that she just wants the men to be bold …

Which brings our “bold” total in this episode to eighteen (18). GOD DAMMIT, GET A THESAURUS.

**Actually, they just had a van drop him off.

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