‘The Bachelorette’: Going Maverick

The Bachelorette
November 2, 2021

It’s a new week of dates, and though Michelle is frustrated to have learned that some men are supposedly questioning her and her character, she’s also ready to move on and date some dudes. 

Kaitlyn drops off the first date card and urges the men to make the most of their time with Michelle. “Backflip; Mr. Pantless; NBA Draft; Double Dribble; Clay-Doh; Doggy Daddy; Ghost; Moveable Feast; Swaggy; and Pizzapreneur: I want a man who isn’t afraid of the danger zone.”

The men are taken to the Palm Springs Air Museum where they meet with Michelle who is driven up in an old airplane. Cool? I guess? A nearby hangar opens up revealing Top Gun: Maverick stars Jay Ellis and Glen Powell — you know, those household names Jay Ellis and Glen Powell. The men pretend to be SO EXCITED to see them! TOP GUN! THEY’VE HEARD OF TOP GUN! IT’S THAT MOVIE THAT CAME OUT WHEN THEIR PARENTS WERE IN JUNIOR HIGH! WITH THE HOMOEROTIC VOLLEYBALL SCENE! YOU KNOW, TOP GUN!

Very Famous Actors Jay Ellis and Glen Powell explain that they are going to put the men through some training exercises and will pick one “maverick” who will be rewarded with something special with Michelle. They then send the men away to go put on some Party City Sexxxy Pilot costumes and then have them walk in slow motion in front of some airplanes.

I am 100% certain the Navy kicks you out if you show up like this:

While the men do some warm-up exercises, Backflip takes the opportunity to take Michelle aside to check in with her and make sure she’s feeling alright after being blindsided the night before. Michelle is all, “OK, look at you being a considerate human being … ”

The men are then strapped into a centrifuge that simulates the g-forces pilots experience. Basically, it’s a puke machine. And while spinning inside said Puke Machine, the men are instructed to profess their feelings for Michelle. Swaggy, who admits to having a weak stomach, watches in horror as each man climbs in, spins around, and tries to come up with some nonsense to stay at Michelle without vomiting. Moveable Feast jokes that he’s seeing three of her — which isn’t a bad thing, he adds; Pizzapreneur says something in Italian, who knows what, probably something about his pizzerias.

When it’s Swaggy’s turn in the Puke Machine, he does his level best to not throw up, while yammering something in Spanish. Nearby, Pizzapreneur grumbles that Swaggy just stole his whole schtick. However, when Michelle asks if he needs a puke bucket, Swaggy responds by saying he just needs her, winning the point.

Finally, the men are going to “dogfight.” And by “dogfight,” I mean play a game of King of the Hill with pool noodles. The men are paired against each other with the final battle being between Swaggy and Pizzapreneur. Swaggy overwhelmingly wins, shoving Pizzapreneur off the matt quickly and conclusively, humiliating Mr. Pepperoni.

In the end, Megastars Jay Ellis and Glen Powell announce that Swaggy is their maverick. He wins a bomber jacket and some alone time with Michelle, while Pizzapreneur tantrums in an interview that HE’S A SELF-MADE MAN WHO DOESN’T HAVE TO KNOCK OTHER PEOPLE DOWN SO AS TO SHINE. Alright. Ok. It was a competition, my dude. Sorry he didn’t throw it to you to make you feel better.

At the cocktail party, Clay-Doh takes Michelle aside and spins her around in a circle.

Doggy Daddy tells her that he’s catching feelings for her; and Michelle tells Ghost that he’s not the loudest guy in the room and she likes that about him.

So obviously cut to Pizzapreneur and Swaggy screaming at each other. Again. Pizzapreneur calls Swaggy a coward and bully, and Swaggy offers to push Pizzapreneur back down again just for laughs. Pizzapreneur, bless him, snaps at Swaggy that he “changes life one slice at a time.”

The other men:

Meanwhile, Michelle visits with Backflip and tells him that it really touched her when he checked in on her and notes that he seems to have some unexpected depths, before shoving her tongue down his throat.

While Swaggy is visiting with Michelle, Pizzapreneur takes the bomber jacket and puts it on, insisting that it looks better on him. He then adds that the jacket is a symbol of Swaggy’s “disrespect” towards him, before taking the jacket and throwing it into a nearby pool.

When Pizzapreneur returns to the other men, he’s all too happy to brag about what he just did, adding that Swaggy deserves to feel what it’s like to be disrespected. When Swaggy returns, he immediately notices that the jacket is missing and the other men tell him what Pizzapreneur — who is now visiting with Michelle — did. Doggy Daddy agrees that Pizzapreneur is an asshole, but urges Swaggy to keep his cool. As long as he just sits there calmly, he’ll be regarded as the bigger man. But Swaggy is understandably pissed and visibly emotional, and goes to look at his waterlogged jacket.

When Pizzapreneur comes back to the group, he tries to make banal small talk about how Michelle “makes [him] feel” but Clay-Doh is like, “Yeah, absolutely no one gives a shit. Hey, did you throw Swaggy’s jacket into the pool? Did you ever think that this might get back to Michelle? How this might impact her?”

Pizzapreneur is basically like, “Mind your business,” and it ends there. Even when Swaggy returns, no one, including Swaggy, says anything, demonstrating showing more restraint than Pizzapreneur deserves.

Finally, Michelle offers Backflip the date rose before taking him away to go dance to “Take My Breath Away” as performed by a string quartet. Elsewhere, Swaggy fishes his jacket out of the swimming pool.

Back at the hotel, the next date card arrives: “Granny Smith: Love is about letting go. ♥ Michelle.” Granny Smith packs his suitcase (which is usually used to foreshadow someone’s doom) and notes that he isn’t the tallest or most handsome, but he does bring the biggest heart and smile. Y’all, it is going to be SO SAD when she breaks this guy’s heart in a few weeks.

On their date, they play truth or dare. First, Michelle is blindfolded while Granny Smith feeds her different things; they handcuff themselves to each other before searching for the key that will release them; and eventually it escalates to the point where Granny Smith is dared to streak the hotel lobby while Michelle yells through a bullhorn, “THIS IS OUR JOURNEY!” and the other men and hosts watch.

They then head to her suite where they talk some “truths.” Granny Smith reveals that his biggest fear is dying before becoming a father and husband; Michelle reveals that hers is being “complacent.” There’s some kissing.

That night at dinner, Michelle talks about her parents’ marriage, again, and Granny Smith reveals that he was raised by a single mother, who is his hero. Michelle agrees that her mother is also the strongest person that she knows, and talks about how she used her privilege to protect her father in certain situations. Michelle adds that in a previous relationship, a stranger called her the “N” word, and her partner — who was not a person of color — basically told her to get over it. He couldn’t understand where she was coming from, and she felt like she shouldn’t have to justify her emotions or reactions. Granny Smith agrees and notes that she makes him easy to be himself and to trust her, to trust them.

Michelle tells Granny Smith she would “apple-lutely” love it if he would accept the date rose, which I’m pretty sure is illegal since she is not a dad. He accepts the rose, obviously. And I don’t hate this man? He seems like a big sweet teddy bear? GRANNY SMITH, PLEASE DO ME A FAVOR AND DO NOT GO TO PARADISE. I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE IT IF YOU GO TO MEXICO AND REVEAL YOURSELF TO HAVE BEEN AN ASSHOLE THIS ENTIRE TIME.

That’s right, I’m talking to you, Ivan and Brendan.

At the hotel, the final date card arrives: “Reality TV Virgin Villain; Selfie Stick; Spoken Word Poet; Hand-Slappy; Someone Named Mollique; Schoolboy; The Bed Guy; Le Romeo: I want a man who can express himself. ♥ Michelle.”

The next day, the men are taken to a theater where a man is doing … oh Lord, preserve me … spoken word poetry, and Spoken Word Poet is all, “OHMYGOD IT’S RUDY FRANCISCO!!!”

You know, world-famous spoken word poet, Rudy Francisco!

Anyway, you can see where this is going: the men have to write some poetry and then perform it in front of everyone. Thankfully, we do not see much of anyone’s poetry, because apparently, even the producers have their limits to the degree to which they will torture us. The Bed Guy brings Michelle up on the stage when it’s his turn to read; Spoken Word Poet is, unsurprisingly, THRILLED about this challenge; and Le Romeo makes a Romeo and Juliet reference because he’s a hack.

As for Reality TV Virgin Villain, he chooses to tell some meandering story about a girl going into the woods and something about a rabbit. And I don’t think it’s that he didn’t understand the assignment, as one man suggests, but rather, that he didn’t want to do it, and he just didn’t care. Narcissism is a hell of a drug.

Michelle also writes and reads a poem about being the “token Black girl” and receives a standing ovation from the men even though her lack of respect for internal rhyme is almost painful.

At the cocktail party, The Bed Guy tells Michelle that her poem resonated with him: he was 5’2″ until his junior year, (“THE HORROR!” the blogger gasped, straightening up to her full 5’2 3/4″ height.) and he had braces. He adds that he’s very attracted to her, and in fact, he knows it’s a cliché, but he’s never felt this way about someone before.

While the other men visit with Michelle (Le Romeo reveals he wanted to be like Spock when he was little; Spoken Word Poet jokes about blending in with the couch; Selfie Stick offers her a Kente cloth), Reality TV Virgin Villain monologues about how he has this in the bag and that he really doesn’t have any competition here.

So imagine his surprise and the narcissistic injury he endures when Michelle offers the date rose to The Bed Guy instead!

After the end of the date, Reality TV Virgin Villain is so incensed, he vents to a producer that he is not in the same league as these other men, and that he is surprised that after a nationwide search, this is the best group of guys they could find. In addition to that, Michelle, she is clearly in what he calls “Spring Break Mode” which he declares is a turnoff for him.

And I just want to pause here and briefly discuss both Reality TV Virgin Villain and Pizzapreneur and how they are classic examples of how Narcissistic Personality Disorder manifests. The narcissist’s ego can simply not abide being humiliated or rejected (just look at how Former President Big Lie is still insisting he didn’t lose the election despite all the evidence to the contrary). Hence, Pizzapreneur could not stand being made the butt of a joke by Swaggy, and then further embarrassed by being defeated by him in a physical competition. He insisted repeatedly both this week and last he was being “disrespected” by Swaggy, which is a term that becomes particularly loaded when it’s a white man wielding it against a man of color.

As for Reality TV Virgin Villain, while it seems contradictory, narcissists are actually deeply, pathologically insecure. Therefore, they can never be rejected: they have to be the ones to reject. So, remember when Reality TV Virgin Villain received the first one-on-one date card last week, his response was to announce that really, he was going to be judging whether or not she was a good fit for him, and not the other way around, as a way to protect himself from any potential rejection on her part. (I’m sure his confidence was additionally shaken when the producers told the cast preemptively that they need to pack their bags ahead of the one-on-one, in the event that they do not receive the rose.) Then, this week, when he did not automatically receive the date rose, he turns it on her, accusing her of being immature and trashy, of being “on Spring Break.” It’s a way of cushioning his own ego: he didn’t receive the rose not because he’s unworthy, but because she is.

And this is a long way to go to say fuck both of these guys, and if you ever notice similar behavior in a potential romantic partner, RUN THE OTHER DIRECTION AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

Alright. That’s enough armchair psychiatry for one post.

So, the rose ceremony. Michelle arrives and chats with Doggy Daddy first, and he suggests that they just run away together. Michelle is like, “I’m down,” and takes off her heels and the two of them go running off into the desert together. KEEP GOING, YOU CRAZY KIDS! DON’T STOP! THEY CAN’T CATCH YOU IF YOU STOP!

Sadly for both of them, they return to the set, and Michelle visits with Moveable Feast. He’s been doing some logic puzzles over the past week, and reveals to her his conclusions:

A. The men in the house were absolutely not questioning her character, he didn’t hear it happen once.

B. But someone, one man, told her that they were.

C. Ergo: the man claiming the men were questioning her must have been the one questioning her.

Michelle is like, “Oh damn, now that you say that, it was Reality TV Virgin Villain who came to me saying y’all were talking about me and Ghost … WELL, HUH.”

After chatting with Michelle, Moveable Feast informs Doggy Daddy and Hand-Slappy that it was Reality TV Virgin Villain who told Michelle this. Doggy Daddy stops the conversation to invite Reality TV Virgin Villain to join them so that they aren’t talking behind his back, demonstrating again that he is the most mature person on this cast.

So, Reality TV Virgin Villain enters the conversation and Doggy Daddy asks him flat-out if he was the one who put it in Michelle’s head that they were all questioning her.

Reality TV Virgin Villain:

Eventually, Reality TV Virgin Villain starts talking about how he just wanted her to know that this open questions about whether or not she and Ghost knew each other before the show was out there, that it had become a character in the room, and that if it wasn’t addressed, it would lead to speculation on the audience’s part. Doggy Daddy is like, “What the actual fuck are you talking about, the viewers? Fuck the viewers!”

They join the other men who question why Reality TV Virgin Villain didn’t cop to being the one to tell Michelle about people questioning her, and he’s all, “It’s not about the individual who told her,” and “this is not constructive,” and “wait, what was the question again?”

Michelle eventually joins them and Reality TV Virgin Villain explains what is happening … sorta. He admits that no, there wasn’t a single individual in the house questioning her character; it was more that people were speculating that Michelle and Ghost knew each other before the show, and that turned into its own monster.

Michelle notes that Reality TV Virgin Villain added that bit about how his friends in Minnesota were talking about having seen her with a light-skinned guy, so why did he put these two stories together? He tries to claim it was “preventative,” but Michelle points out that all it did was create a monster that didn’t already exist.

She then takes him outside where she like, “You’re the one who put this story out there, I don’t trust you, you hurt me, you’ve got to go.”

And with that, she puts him in the Go Home and Watch More Reality TV Shows and Learn a Thing or Two Van.

She then lines the rest of the men up to hand out the remaining roses:

Rose #1: Ghost
Rose #2: Moveable Feast
Rose #3: Selfie Stick
Rose #4: Doggy Daddy
Rose #5: Hand-Slappy
Rose #6: Spoken Word Poet
Rose #7: Schoolboy
Rose #8: Clay-doh
Rose #9: NBA Draft
Rose #10: Le Romeo
Rose #11: Swaggy

And that means Double Dribble, Someone Named Mollique, Mr. Pantless (Who, honestly, I forgot was still around. Has he said a single word on camera this season?) and, yes, the Pizzapreneuer are all going home. Go back and change some more lives, you asshole.

The Men Who Have Been Dumped by Michelle:

The Men Who Are Going to Soon Be Dumped by Michelle:

The Bachelorette airs on ABC on Tuesdays at 7/8 p.m.

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