The Bachelorette Season 11, Episode 6: Does Anyone On This Show Understand Where They Are?
I've taken to DVRing The Bachelorette and watching 30 minutes into it so I can skip commercials. Why use DVR if not for the sole purpose of skipping promos for the TV show I've seen a thousand times? (I'm looking at you, Astronaut Wives' Club.) Tonight, however, while I was sipping a glass of wine and catching up on gossip websites when I got home from work, my college BFF starting texting me — “you HAVE to turn it on and catch up — you are not going to believe what happened!” So, natch, I got curious. And tonight, I'm here to say that I regret DVRing and will be renouncing the practice because live-tweeting this episode would have been so, so, so much fun. Seriously, it's like watching kindergarteners in the guise of grown men fumble around with their emotions. No one knows how to share! If you, rightfully so, had a few glasses of wine and WTF-ed along with me last night … you're ready to discuss. Let's recap!
I came into this episode with one burning question: what was going to happen with Nick? The producers teased his entrance into the Bachelor “house” (I use that term sparingly because as of right now, they're purely nomadic) for two hours straight last week, so I figured there were going to be a few fires to put out. And there were … but not immediately. As soon as Nick walked into the hotel room the men, the room fell silent until Tanner started interrogating him. FYI, beginning your tirade against an unwelcome house member generally shouldn't begin with “we've all read the tabloids.” Nick, while being extremely suspicious and on my radar, is actually honest about what he's been up to — went on a few dates with Andi, nothing came of it and now he's here to win over Kaitlyn. Brutal, conniving, but to the point. Snaps for Nick.
Joshua gets legitimately angry about Nick referring to Kaitlyn as a “cool chick” rather than a “beautiful woman.” Sure, I can see where you're coming from but isn't the entire reason Kaitlyn is the Bachelorette and not Britt is because she is, in fact, a “cool chick”? Your competitors have called her worse, cool it. Speaking of cool it, Tanner basically put Nick on an on-the-spot interview about his intentions with Kaitlyn. It reminded me more of a crowd of angry brothers determining whether or not a date is good enough for their little sister rather than grown men vying for a grown woman's heart. Tanner asks question after question, and it's like, cool it, Clarice Starling, this is an ABC reality show, not the CIA.
We finally arrive at the cocktail party and we already know that Justin, Jared and Chris are safe from the firing squad. While everyone is getting ready for the cocktail ceremony, we hear the same voiceovers from the top candidates (Shawn B. amongst them) about how nervous they are that Nick's there. Sure, you have cause for concern, but maybe channel that into winning Kaitlyn over rather than whining to the camera especially since, as my best friend puts it, “Nick Viall looks like a Spencer Pratt knockoff.” She's not wrong. Point proven:
Tonight's cocktail party is held at the lovely(ish) Citi Field, in Queens, New York a.k.a. my hometown! A hometown date just for me — why did I not know they were there? I could have swooped in and taken Shawn B. for myself. JJ, in his usual overcompensating manner, refers to it as a “grandiose stage.” Dude, it's a baseball park in Flushing. The guys tell Kaitlyn that they want to focus on her rather than Nick being in the house; loosely translated, “I need to get a rose tonight.” JJ snipes Kaitlyn away from the rest of the group to take her for a walk on the field and runs the bases with her in his arms, which is pretty cute, but it's JJ, so all points go out the window there. Every time Kaitlyn gets alone time with a guy, they warn him that Nick is two-timing her. Every time! What happened to trying to focus on a relationship? Shawn warns her that she needs to be smarter — amateur move, never say that to a woman (or anyone, for that matter) — when it comes to Nick. I can feel Shawn getting the Britt Nilsson First Impression Rose Curse, and I'm hoping this gets shut down ASAP.
Joke's on JJ, because the rose ceremony takes place on the field so they were going to be there anyway. Everyone is guessing that it's going to be a difficult rose ceremony — really? Are you sure? Because Nick is taking someone else's rose so it's one hundred percent going to be a difficult rose ceremony. Kaitlyn sends Corey, Jonathan and Ryan B. home and the dates continue on to San Antonio, Texas.
I have to agree with the guys at this point that if Nick gets a one-on-one date, it's totally messed up. I agree with these men on virtually nothing, but I can side with them on that. She can at least wait until the next week. The reality TV gods spared us because Ben H. got the first one-on-one date of the week and she took him line dancing. Cruising through San Antonio in a red pickup truck, Kaitlyn and Ben drive to the oldest dance hall in Texas where they get two-stepping lessons from world champions — at least, I think they were world champions. Do they have world championships for two-stepping? Need I remind you that while Kaitlyn is a professional dance teacher, Ben H. couldn't even master stepping left to right on beat while on the Aladdin date, so you can see where this date is going.
Kaitlyn maintains that if they can't have good chemistry on the dance floor, then there's no way they'll have chemistry in real life. I can back this up: my high school boyfriend couldn't dance, and refused to almost any time I asked, and I'm single now, so. There you have it, folks. But enough about me — can we talk about the wonderful line-dancing woman they interview for the two-stepping segment? She's basically the rapping grandma from The Wedding Singer, and I love her so much. Kaitlyn and Ben H. last surprisingly long in the two-stepping competition, way longer than I thought they would … they even get tapped out old-school style, just like in Grease, except nowhere near as exciting and sans an exciting villainess like Cha Cha DiGregorio.
We all know that no one-on-one date is complete without a deeply personal and troubling story, so Ben opens up to Kaitlyn about his last long-distance relationship that failed miserably due to “losing the chase.” These are Ben's ex's words, not his. Yikes. Can you imagine someone telling you that? “You're too invested in our relationship, so byeeee.” Of course, he gets a rose. (For once, I don't mean that in a snarky way, I really love Ben H. and I hope he stays on the show for a while.)
The second group date card arrives at the house: Justin, Jared, Ian, Chris, Tanner, Joe, JJ, Ben Z., Joshua and Nick will be joining Kaitlyn on the next outing. Nick's response? “I'm feeling as good as I can.” I'm sure you are, considering everyone in the room is wishing you away to the cornfield. Kaitlyn's hint hints at a man in uniform but what she didn't specify was that it would be a mariachi band uniform. The guys show up to the date where almost immediately they're serenaded by a child who can't be a day over 11. Little man, where are your blue papers? I need to see your AT-18! (Yes, I googled it. Yes, those are NYS working papers. I didn't bother navigating the Texas government website.) His name is Sebastian de la Cruz, and he is a delight. He tells the guys that they'll be writing mariachi songs dedicated to Kaitlyn and that he'll be around to help them because they're going to need it. I can't wait to see what Joe and Joshua come up with, because even though my heart belongs to Shawn, they're quickly becoming my favorite contestants on the show.
What I don't understand is why they keep making these poor guys sing or dance or act on every episode so far! Between the rapping, the show tunes and now the mariachi band … these guys can't carry a tune. I mean, I know that the point of the competition is to basically embarrass them until they go home, but enough Assault on Precinct My Eardrums, k?
The guys end up performing in full mariachi regalia and I don't even know what most of them sang about. I think Jared referred to himself as a Frito and Joe asked Kaitlyn to mariachi him. I thought Joe had it in the bag, until Nick brought her up on the balcony and serenaded her with a truly funny song (in a truly tone-deaf voice). Say what you want about him, but the guy isn't afraid to put it all out there. I mean, he's had enough practice at this point, right?
Now, I lost track of what happened when they got back to the house. I was refilling my wine glass, so forgive me on that one, but for some reason Kaitlyn gives Joshua a haircut and shaves half his head. She doesn't even finish the job because she freaks out after she gives him a bald spot. Once you start a job, you have to finish it even if the guy you're sort of dating ends up bald afterwards. You can't just give someone a one-sided Mohawk! It isn't right!
Josh pulls Kaitlyn aside — the guys refer to him as a ticking time bomb, so we knew this was coming soon — to give her a piece of his mind about Nick Viall. I agree that Nick has shady intentions, but further underlining the point I made earlier, if you call out every single guy who gets in your way in the competition, eventually it's going to reflect poorly on you. I take it Josh has never heard the adage, “what Susie says of Sally says more of Susie than of Sally,” but too little too late, I guess. He acknowledges this, even, saying that “no one wants to be that weasel who throws someone under the bus,” and yet, this is what this entire crew has been doing all season. A little disappointed in you, Season 11, not gonna lie.
Unfortunately for Josh, the contestants' allegiances don't necessarily align with his own and no one stands up for him after Kaitlyn demands that they tell her the truth during the date. She maintains that she wants honesty the entire season, and once someone gives it to her, no one else will stand up and support him for fear of not getting a rose. Ben Z. feigns complete ignorance when Josh begs him for support and my heart goes out to Josh, it really does, because he ends up looking like a total jackass in front of every other guy on the date. Everyone is shady in The Bachelor Universe– you need to question everyone! That's how it is! Has he never watched this show before? Of course, Kaitlyn gives Nick the rose because after the way everyone else acts, can you blame her? (I can, but I begrudgingly accept her reasoning.)
Of course, since Shawn was the only one who didn't go on a group date this episode, he gets the second one-on-one of the evening! Kaitlyn tells the camera she loves the way he smells, and immediately realizes how creepy it sounds. Yep. Very creepy. Maybe not if you were a 16-year-old girl writing in her diary, but definitely if you're saying it on national television. Maybe I'm just bitter. They go out kayaking and spend the day outdoors, sitting by the water with a picnic, when he brings up the guys not standing up for Josh at the house and defends him to Kaitlyn. I guess it's nice that he made it a point to support him at some point — because I think we can all tell that Josh is a good dude — but still, it weirds me out that he wouldn't vocalize his support where it matters. I think I'm getting too into this show.
Going into this date, I had the strongest feeling that Shawn was going to drop the L bomb … which he completely, totally, 100 percent does! He tells Kaitlyn he's falling in love with her (classic Britt, but let's not go there just yet). And, as I said earlier, it wouldn't be a complete date without a personal story, so he tells Kaitlyn about the time he almost lost his life in a car accident. Upon completion of the story, he tells Kaitlyn he's falling in love with her and she tells him she feels the same way. I love when it's reciprocated, otherwise it's just super cringeworthy. She even tells the camera, “I feel like I just heard my husband tell me that he loves me for the first time.” But the date's not over. They go on a midnight boat ride complete with a fireworks show. Just like The Notebook, except in the dark and with pyrotechnics rather than a midday rain storm and hundreds of swans. Right? Anyone?
Back at the house, Hurricane Ian is brewing. I have never seen this many people quit the show (granted, I haven't been watching for very long, but I feel like four people is a pretty high amount). He says — and I'm paraphrasing here, but you get the point — “the Alamo is famous for its last stand, and we're in San Antonio, where I'm making my last stand.” I literally laughed out loud. I wonder how long he wanted to quit the show. I imagine the producers were like, “Okay, sure, you can quit, but hang on a second. We're going to San Antonio in two weeks, so YOU CAN'T QUIT UNTIL WE MAKE AN ALAMO JOKE!”
We're at the cocktail party, and we know that Ben H., Nick and Shawn are already safe for this week. Ian's angry voiceover casts a cloud over the whole shebang — choice quotes include, “I'm not here to play games,” “She's not half as hot as my ex-girlfriend,” “she's only here to make out with people,” “I just don't find her interesting,” and my personal favorite, “I can get laid at home as much as I want.” Ian, please, tell us how you really feel! Kaitlyn takes Jared to her room where we get another L-word tossed around. I mean, he is the Love Man, so I'm surprised he didn't say it before anyone else did. Kaitlyn really is pulling a Chris Soules at this cocktail party. The camera cuts to her kissing a whole bunch of guys and Ian completely slut shames her for it. Meanwhile, I'm sitting at my kitchen table like, YES, this is the entire reason anyone goes on this show in the first place!
Ten dollars goes to anyone who can guess where this episode ends. If you guessed “to be continued,” you're right and I applaud you, but I'm sorry because I can't pay you. Because I'd have to pay everyone. Because that is how this show is ending EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. I guess we'll have to wait to see the aftermath of Ian's legitimately brutal teardown of Kaitlyn and the Bachelorette system in general. Until next week!
Thoughts & Feelings
Do you think the B. in Shawn's name stands for Body? *fans self*
Jared reminds me of a celebrity (shocker, just like the rest of the cast) but I can't figure out who. It might be Criss Angel, but I also think it might not be. Tweet me @mkennn and tell me what you think!
Is anyone else quite literally LOLing their way throughout this whole season or is it just me? Every single line of my notes says “LOL @ (insert contestant's name here)” Spoiler alert: it's usually JJ.
Do you think Ian is the Kelsey of this season? Discuss.
Texts from my Editor
“You know the Mets are needing $$ when they use The Bachelorette for marketing purposes.”
“Kaitlynn's drinking a whiskey cocktail at dinner — just gained even more respect for her.”
On Ian's fall from grace at the group date: “He's clearly an overachiever. Someone needs to tell him that mariachi is not a talent that's needed in life.”
Meghan is a recent graduate of SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Personal and Professional Communication. You can find her at the nearest Chipotle tweeting about Drake, her sorority little and Project Runway.