‘The Bachelorette’: Exploring the nether regions

The Bachelorette
August 15, 2022

The Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady is on the move again, this time headed to The Netherlands; specifically, Holland; most specifically, Amsterdam. And it was only just now in my forty-something year of life while I was typing out the word “Netherlands” that I had A Thought: “The Netherlands” sounds a lot like “nether regions.” This is because they are related to the same proto-Germanic root word meaning “down, downwards, lower, below, beneath.” The Netherlands literally means, lower land, or low country, and the nether regions are, of course, your lower bits.

And we are going down, folks.

(Also, Holland and The Netherlands, while used interchangeably all the time, are not technically two names for the same country. Holland is the region in The Netherlands where Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague are located, but you already knew that because you’re a smart smarty, unlike your trusty blogger who had to look it up.)

ANYWAY. Amsterdam.

Gabby and Rachel are in town chatting over a cup of coffee about how this is their last European city and the Dreaded Hometowns are next week. And as everyone well knows, the Dreaded Hometowns are VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS. (In that the Bachelorette will have three ultimately meaningless meetings with families, and one meeting with a family that could potentially be their future in-laws … but probably not.)

On the Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady, the one-on-one date cards are delivered to the men:

Team Rachel: “Goose: Let’s let our love bloom! Love, Rachel.”

Team Gabby: “Girl Dad: Let’s see where our love takes us. Love, Gabby.”


In Amsterdam, Jesse Palmer joins the women:

Gabby for 2024.

Jesse Palmer asks the women about the men they chose for their one-on-ones before asking how they feel about the upcoming Dreaded Hometowns. Gabby replies, “nauseous.”

Jesse Palmer takes Gabby aside privately to talk, noting that she seems particularly emotional that day. Gabby admits that this will be a hard week with hard decisions, and she has to start making those choices more logically. She then notes that she has to consider both Girl Dad and his daughter when it comes to the Dreaded Hometowns. So that’s ominous.

Eventually, it’s date time and Girl Dad joins her in the city. Gabby narrates that Girl Dad’s daughter is the luckiest girl in the world to have him be her father, and that it makes her love him even more.


Gabby has mixed feelings about becoming an instamom, and she and Girl Dad need to have a serious conversation. And by “serious conversation” she means she’s going to dump his ass.

After greeting Girl Dad and making small talk about the last time he was in Amsterdam (it was during the pandemic; everything was closed; it sucked), Gabby finds a bench for them next to the canal, and immediately bursts into tears.

Girl Dad:

Gabby assures him that he’s fine and shouldn’t be scared … but she thinks that they are in different places in their lives and it’s only going to be harder for them the further along they go. Gabby pulls the ol’ tried and true, “it’s not you, it’s me” and while technically that’s true, this is about Gabby’s mommy issues, it’s also about the fact that Girl Dad is a girl dad, that there is a kid involved. Gabby sobs that she’s terrified of being a mother and being bad at it. And she knows that if she were to meet Girl Dad’s daughter, she’d fall in love with her. She can’t risk that right now.

Girl Dad is in something of a state of shock, but does manage to say the right things: she’s going to be a great mother when the time comes; she should never be upset that she was truthful; he’s glad he met her; and whoever she picks will be very lucky.

They part ways: Girl Dad cries by the canal for a while; Gabby second-guesses what she just did.

And it’s sad! But it’s less sad if the Reality Steve rumors about Girl Dad stringing a woman along for a year and a half while seeing another woman and without telling her he had a child are true. I mean, who knows! Girl Dad seems like a really nice guy!

But it’s not a great look.

The next day, Rachel has her one-on-one date with that walking chin, Goose. She meets him in a field of tulips for The Most Dutch Date Ever: they pick tulips, they ride bikes, they eat cheese, they try on wooden shoes, they look at windmills.

But it’s not a Bachelor Nation date unless there is a hot tub in a completely inappropriate location — so you know what that means:

Serious question: IS IT THE SAME DAMN HOT TUB?

That hot tub has seen more of the world than I have.

But this is my favorite shot:

Do you see it?

The entire crew caught in the drone shot, waiting for Rachel and Goose to finish this dumb hot tub portion of the date? A+++ editing, kids.

That evening, Rachel and Goose meet for dinner at some museum — they don’t bother telling us which one, which, cool, thanks guys. But because I’ve got NOTHING BETTER TO DO, I poked around on The Google and found that it is the Rijksmuseum, home of the Dutch Masters.

Rachel is wearing a dress.

And y’all, it’s so bad, the show’s stylist had to address the criticism that he “hates” Rachel:

At dinner, Goose opens up about his past relationships, and how his last serious one left him broken, depressed and 85 pounds overweight. Goose reveals that he worked on himself through therapy, and Rachel nearly passes out from being so close to an emotionally actualized man. Rachel talks about going to therapy after that dolt Clayton’s season, and how therapy became her favorite part of her week.

This date is sponsored by BetterHelp.com.

Goose goes on to say that he has struggled, but that he now realizes that he deserves love, and that he can say with confidence that he is falling in love with her. Rachel offers him the date tulip rose, and then these two head outside to dance to a string quartet in the middle of the road, trying to get their fool selves run over by the bicyclists whizzing by.


Back on The Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady, Gabby goes to talk to the rest of her men, to explain why she dumped Girl Dad. She tearfully explains that she just isn’t ready to be a mother, and that this is very hard. The men offer her hugs.

The next day, these men meet Gabby in Amsterdam where she leads them into some sort of warehouse after warning them that she has something “crazy” planned and that they should lean in as far as they are comfortable.

Inside the warehouse, they are greeted by a whip-snapping dominatrix who explains that she’s there to help them communicate sexually with Gabby.

The men:

This gif has been waiting all its life for this very moment.

Our Dominatrix asks how many of them know how to treat a woman in the bedroom, and the men are all like, “Uhhhhh …” Dominatrix then explains that couples need boundaries, and demands that they come up with safe words:

Vanilla Ice: Pumpkin

Mr. Thoughtful: Albuquerque

Chick Magnet: Asbestos

Motherboy: Cruise Ship (I would have gone with Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady, but no one asked me)

Dominatrix goes on to ask them more … pointed questions (most of which are bleeped, so I’m just making educated guesses here): Does Motherboy enjoy performing oral sex? How often does Mullet masturbate? Has Vanilla Ice slept with more than 10 women? 20? 30? Over 100?

We do not receive answers to any of these questions.

The Dominatrix then has Gabby and the men tickle each other with feathers, before forcing all of the men to take off their shirts, be blindfolded, and then lie on the floor so that Gabby can put whipped cream on them, crack whips near them and pour hot wax on them.

That evening, back on the Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady, the men with the exception of Chick Magnet meet for the group date.

Except … Jesse Palmer is suddenly knocking on Gabby’s door with some news: Chick Magnet is actually a Covid Magnet, and has tested positive. Out of an abundance of caution they are going to get off of this floating petri dish cancel the cocktail party that night.

Jesse Palmer then informs the men that there has “been a situation with Chick Magnet” without actually explaining what the “situation” is, and informs them that the cocktail party has been canceled.

I have questions.

I mean, presumably, they told the men that Chick Magnet tested positive, and didn’t just keep it a secret that they had been exposed by someone that had been lying shirtless three feet from them just two hours earlier. And presumably, they were all tested at the same time as Chick Magnet and he was the only one who came up positive. And I guess this means Chick Magnet is now out of the running on the show. However, none of this is actually said, leading to a lot of people FREAKING OUT, and seeing conspiracies.

Anyway, as I said earlier: cruise ships, man. Don’t go on them unless you want a healthy dose of a contagious disease.

As for Rachel’s date, like the Bachelorette herself, it’s considerably tamer and cheesier. Literally.

Rachel meets the men in Edam, a small town famous for their cheese of the same name. Rachel explains to the men that in addition to loving chocolate, she’s really into cheese, and they taste a bunch of different cheeses in some sort of cheese festival in the middle of the cheese town.

At some point, Junior takes the opportunity to pull Rachel aside to chat and tell her how much he missed her, and tease that he’s looking forward to next week’s Dreaded Hometowns.

Bob the Builder, irritated that he didn’t think of this move first, grabs her when she returns and takes her to the exact same spot to make out some. Hoe origineel.


Eventually, we get on with the day’s activity: crowning the “Cheese King” of Edam. To this end, the men are ordered to strip off their shirts, and hold up a yoke (?) across their shoulders, balancing a cheese round on either side. They eventually add more and more cheese rounds until it’s down to Bob the Builder and Turtle left standing. Turtle drops his cheese a millisecond before Bob the Builder, who is thusly crowned the Cheese King of 2022.

That evening at the cocktail party, the men each spend a little time with Rachel: Junior tells her about his parents and how they haven’t approved of previous girlfriends; Boardwalk Carny tells her that his parents told him to not bring another girl home unless he was certain she was the one; Turtle talks about how much his family means to him; and Bob the Builder tells Rachel that he has no fear of introducing her to his family, and that he has no doubts.

Bob the Builder announces in an interview that he “hit it out of the park” and between his talk with her and being the Cheese King, he’s confident he’ll be receiving the rose that night.

Rachel gives Boardwalk Carny the rose.


As soon as Rachel takes her leave, Bob the Builder gives Boardwalk carny a terse, “congrats,” before stomping off to go cry to the producers that he “doesn’t fucking get it — I’M THE CHEESE KING.”

Meanwhile, Turtle tells the other men that Bob the Builder is acting like a real “baby back bitch.”

The people have spoken.

The next day is the rose ceremony. When the men enter the covered indoor swimming pool (?) where these ceremonies have been taking place, Team Gabby immediately notices that there are only three roses on the podium, dashing any hopes they might have had that all four of them were on their way to the Dreaded Hometowns.

Gabby Rose #1: Mullet
Gabby Rose #2: Motherboy
Gabby Rose #3: Vanilla Ice

Rachel Rose #1: Junior
Rachel Rose #2: Bob the Builder

Which means the men who must go away now are Turtle, just as we were realizing that he had a real sense of humor and actual personality, and Mr. Thoughful who was … nice? Maybe? I literally have no idea, they never allowed this man to speak. (Can he speak?)

The Men Who Are Soon Going to be Dumped by Gabby:

The Men Who Are Soon Going to be Dumped by Rachel:

The Men Who Have Been Dumped by Gabby:

The Men Who Have Been Dumped by Rachel:

The Men Who Have Been Dumped by Gabby and Rachel:

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

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