‘The Bachelorette’: Sleeping on the job

The Bachelorette
November 9, 2021

It’s another new week in an endless repetition of weeks, and with it, the dates are switched up. This time there will be TWO one-on-ones and one group date. And the first one-on-one goes to the frosted-tipped Backflip who made an impression on Michelle when he actually spoke to her during one of last week’s group date. “Backflip: Let’s get love back on track. ♥ Michelle.”

And before we move on, let’s talk about Backflip for a hot second:

Oh, and NBA Draft reminds us that Backflip was good friends with Reality TV Virgin Villain, so he’s not to be trusted.

Right, so, at first, while waiting for Backflip to arrive at their date, Michelle is shot standing around at a wind farm:

And y’all, I was SO EXCITED. When each season begins, I go to the resort’s website and see what activities are available so as to try to guess what they’ll be doing on the dates. And you guys, one of the “local attractions” suggested by the resort is a drive-yourself windmill farm tour. Just look how excited these children are to look at … giant windmills! SO EXCITE!

I, like these children and their very smug father, was VERY EXCITED to see how they were going to turn a self-driving tour of a windmill farm into a romantic date. Would they have to scale a windmill to have a picnic at the top? Would they bungee off one of the blades? Or would Hannah show up and give them the keys to a windmill and encourage them to go to town?

But, alas, it was just an interstitial shot.

The real date is at a race track where Michelle and Backflip race and drift a couple of BMWs.

After driving some cars for a while, they go sit in a giant tub of water in the middle of a room of tires —  SEXXXXXY! — and discuss the turmoil from the night before involving Reality TV Virgin Villain. And this bleached idiot, he defends Reality TV Virgin Villain as being “a hell of a man.”

Michelle understandably is not impressed by Backflip’s affection for Reality TV Virgin Villain, and wonders if Backflip is second-guessing her decision to eliminate him. In any event, things aren’t looking great for our frosted friend.

That night at dinner, Michelle calls him out on it, telling him that she felt like he was trying to
“shut [her] down” and questioning her choices. Backflip is immediately like, “I AM BAD AT COMMUNICATING AND I SWEAR I’M WORKING ON IT.” Backflip then gives his sob story: he has trouble expressing emotion because: he was raised to be a man in the United States his dad. Michelle connects with this, noting that she only started really being able to express herself in college, and oh no, she gave him the date rose.

Back at the hotel, the group date card arrives: “Swaggy; Spoken Word Poet; Hand-Slappy; Schoolboy; Selfie Stick; Granny Smith; NBA Draft; The Bed Guy; Clay-Doh; Ghost; Le Romeo; and Doggy Daddy: Surrender to love. ♥ Michelle.” The name left off the card is Moveable Feast who receives the last one-on-one date.

Upon hearing that he did not receive the second one-on-one of the week, Doggy Daddy says out loud, mostly to himself, that he’s “not stressing,” and that he knows a one-on-one is coming; not today, maybe, but another time.

Meanwhile, nearby, Schoolboy SEETHES.

So the next day, the twelve men — which is too many men — are given gift bags, and inside they find individual pajamas: onesies, robes, Schoolboy gets the Risky Business: a button-down shirt and tighty whities.

Once they’ve put on their outfits, the men are taken to the resort’s theater where Michelle greets them and informs them that they are going to have a “slumber party.” There’s popcorn, candy, ice cream sundaes, teddy bears, foot massagers, games, and the men LOSE THEIR DAMN MINDS. They are all really into it; so into it, in fact, that they completely ignore Michelle.

And honestly, I kind of get it? I’m not excusing the men for ignoring Michelle — that’s just rude — but I do suspect that this was the first time for most of these guys, if not all of them, that they felt they had permission to indulge their inner-12-year-old girl. The fact that they were doing it together as a unit reduced the stigma, and prevented any single one of them from feeling singled out for not acting “manly.” And I wonder if in a way, talking to Michelle would actually shatter that sense of protection and remind them that they are in a situation that is the opposite of what is expected of them as men in our culture.

ANYWAY, Michelle is super hurt that no one is bothering to talk to her and thinks long and hard about just calling the whole thing off. Instead, she powers through it, including the part where the Bella Twins from WWE make the men have a teddy bear fight. It’s dumb and Michelle could not care less. Ultimately, the team with Hand-Slappy; NBA Draft; Le Romeo; Selfie Stick; Clay-Doh and Doggy Daddy win the cocktail portion of the date, and Swaggy; Spoken Word Poet; Schoolboy; The Bed Guy; Ghost; and Granny Smith are sent back to the hotel to think about their sins.

When Michelle joins the winning team for the cocktail party, she’s like, “HEY, JACKASSES, DID Y’ALL FORGET SOMETHING DURING THE DATE? SOMETHING LIKE ME?” She goes on to point out to them that they all ignored her during the date, and as she expressed during the poetry date, not being seen is KINDA A THING WITH HER.

All of the men:

Michelle takes Doggy Daddy aside first, and he’s all, “I’m really sorry I made you feel shitty,” but that’s about all he has to offer. Le Romeo similarly tells Michelle that he acknowledges that he did not give her the attention he wanted to. Clay-Doh insists that he can be better than he has and that she should feel seen every time she walks into the room.

But it’s NBA Draft who understands the assignment: he tells her that when she revealed that she didn’t feel seen by the men, it reminded him of his sisters. Specifically, it reminded him how as Black women they have felt isolated and not worthy of love, because of the shitty, racist culture we have here. He becomes weepy discussing how he spent his life telling them that they are beautiful and lifting them up and assuring them that they can do anything. He is apologetic for being emotional, but he insists that he feels her, he hears her. In return, Michelle tells him that she appreciates him, as a Black man, being open and emotional and that he makes her feel seen.

Obviously, she gives him the date rose.

The final date is Moveable Feast’s one-on-one, and the card apparently read: “The sky’s the limit. ♥ Michelle.” But don’t worry, there are no bullshit, “throw-yourself-off-a-bridge” or “climb-the-side-of-a-building” or “fling-yourself-from-a-plane” nonsense. They just take a tram and then go on a hike in the mountains.

As they hike around, they smell trees and talk about how “peaceful” it is. Eventually, they come across the entire point of the date, a “wish” box (which is not a thing), where people are encouraged to “take a wish and leave a wish.”

Michelle explains that before they can leave their own wishes, they have to read through all the existing wishes? Which again … not a thing. But if they don’t read through all the wishes, they’ll never get to the planted wish from a son to his dead father, wishing that he could see the man that he has become. Moveable Feast becomes emotional and tells Michelle that his father passed away three years ago. They then leave their own wish in the box: that they fall in love by having the hard conversations.

That night at “dinner,” Moveable Feast opens up more about his father’s passing: apparently, when Moveable Feast was 17, he discovered his father was having an affair. He chose to tell his mother, and three days after Christmas, his parents split up. His dad was severely depressed for many years, and then three years ago, he died. For a long time, Moveable Feast blamed himself, and so reading that “wish” earlier in the day hit pretty hard. But it also was a reminder to not hold back. Michelle, obviously, offers him the date rose, because my God, can you imagine if she didn’t after all that?

Finally, it’s Rose Ceremony time, and when Michelle arrives at the cocktail party before she can get a word out, Schoolboy marches up to her, hands her a drink, and announces that HE “HAS SOMETHING TO SAY. At the last cocktail party, Michelle told the men she didn’t feel seen on the group date, and that’s really galling, especially since there are some men here who think they have it in the bag. They’re clearly not showing Michelle the effort she deserves, and they should make way for the people who are really there for her.”

Now … wait …. wasn’t Schoolboy also on that date where none of the men — not just the ones who won the teddy bear fight — NONE of the men paid attention to her?

Yes. Yes, he was.

Michelle thanks him for speaking up and agrees that it has been an emotional week for her. Additionally, she adds, no one has it “in the bag.” Not even close. With that, she joins the men, and The Bed Guy asks to speak with her first. But then here’s Schoolboy being all, “No, I’m going to talk to her,” and Michelle agrees to go with this little twerp, promising The Bed Guy that she’ll talk with him next.

As you can imagine, none of this is helping Schoolboy make friends among the other men.

With his time alone with her, Schoolboy tells Michelle that she deserves to be in a relationship in which she gets back what she puts in. He then tattles on Doggy Daddy, noting that when the one-on-one card arrived and it didn’t have his name on it, his response was it didn’t matter because he knows he will eventually get one. He’s sorry to have to be the one to tell her, but he thought she deserves to know, he says as he goes in for a kiss. Michelle, though, grabs him by the shoulder and leads him out of the room in one of the smoothest rebuffs I’ve ever seen.

I mean, just look at this:

Michelle takes Daddy Doggy to talk and informs him that Schoolboy did name names: specifically his, saying that he made a comment about being sure he’s going to get a one-on-one. And she’s not sure how she feels about that. Doggy Daddy isn’t sure why Schoolboy is singling him out but notes that he can’t control how other people feel about him.

Michelle then lectures him on the fact that none of them should take anything for granted, and that she shouldn’t have to be lighting fires under the men to want to be with her.

Doggy Daddy is, understandably, pissed at Schoolboy for ruining the good thing he thought he had going with Michelle and asks Schoolboy to go take a quick walk with him to talk some things out.

Alone, Doggy Daddy asks Schoolboy why the hell he singled him out — why did he just have to spend all of his time with her defending himself from things that Schoolboy accused him of? Schoolboy, being a little bitch, tries to blame Michelle: she just probed and probed and probed, so he had to tell her! What choice did he have! Schoolboy then, hilariously, suggests that Doggy Daddy should “worry about [himself]” before telling Doggy Daddy to calm down and asking him, “are you going to put your hands on me?”

Dear reader, I assure you, Doggy Daddy was in no way threatening little man here.

Doggy Daddy demands to know if Schoolboy has anyone else on his list that he’s going to run to Michelle with, and Schoolboy insists that he does not. Doggy Daddy leaves the situation exasperated and calling Schoolboy “a fucking dweeb.”

In an interview, Schoolboy claims that he didn’t intend to single out Doggy Daddy, he just came in on his white horse and saved her from the “castle she was stuck in.”

Michelle chats with some of the other men, including Ghost who brings her snacks and who apologizes that she felt unseen on the group date. He had me at “snacks.”

Rodney also is apologetic and tells her that he knows he owes her more of himself. The Bed Guy also notes that he knows he can do more, and she assures him that he does make her feel special.

Outside, NBA Draft and Moveable Feast, both of whom have roses, ask Schoolboy if he actually thinks he’s getting a rose tonight, and he’s like “Yep!” And NBA Draft is like, “Alright, I guess we’ll see.” And Schoolboy is all, “I guess we will.” And NBA Draft is like, “I guess we will.” And Schoolboy is all, “Aright.” [REPEAT FIFTEEN MORE TIMES]

Then it’s time to hand out the roses:

Rose #1: The Bed Guy
Rose #2: Selfie Sick
Rose #3: Ghost
Rose #4: Granny Smith
Rose #5: Clay-Doh
Rose #6: Hand-Slappy
Rose #7: Doggy Daddy
Rose #8: Schoolboy

Which means Swaggy, Spoken Word Poet and Le Romeo are going home.

GIRL, YOU ARE SENDING HOME THE WRONG WHITE CHRIS. Look, listen, I don’t like spoken word poetry either, but Spoken Word Poetry at least came off as a nice guy and not a complete douchebro!

And Le Romeo! He’s smart! That’s a rare commodity in this crowd! And the kids — remember the kids? the only people within 100 yeards of this show who had any sense whatsoever? — the kids loved Le Romeo! You’re just going to send him home?

Ugh, fine. And I know you got mad at Backflip for doing the same thing earlier in the episode, but I am definitely questioning your judgment right now, honey.

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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