Welcome to a special two-part edition of The Bachelorette. The special event (which is apparently what they are calling burning off episodes of a lackluster season these days) is kicking off on what is traditionally the Lord’s and/or Brunch’s day, but Andi’s journey to find love stops for nothing. Not even pancakes. Last week, the prettier Perry Mason whittled down her bevvy of beaus to a sorta skeezy sweet sixteen of well-gelled gentlemen. She is confident that her husband — or at least someone willing to slip a Neil Lane diamond on her finger on national television — is in that group.
Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:
First Date: Nick, who you may remember from such places as two weeks ago when he won the coveted First Impression Rose, is the lucky lad who gets the first one-on-one date. Andi takes him for a bike ride through Santa Barbara, where he notes, “You can feel the chill energy.” They bike to a mountain where they hike until they come across a well-placed bottle of wine. As they drink wine and watch the sunset, Andi says that she can see that Nick has someone vulnerable inside, making it sound like his sensitivity is a delicious nougat filling. At dinner, she uses all of her well-honed cross-examination skills and then hands him a rose.
Group Date: Here’s the list of men invited on the group date: Brian, Marquel, Cody, Tasos, Brett, Ron, Bradley, Josh, Eric, Andrew, Patrick and Marcus. If you have any idea which one of these overly-groomed gentlebros is which, well done, you! A +. Their date card reads, “Let’s Start Things Off On The Right Note,” which apparently can very easily be interpreted to mean: OMG we are singing with Boyz II Men!!! because one guy walked into the venue, saw the band and said, “I knew it!,” which is endearingly stupid. As everyone gawks and geeks out over the fact that Boyz II Men still perform, dear departed Eric admits that he touched his “first butt” to a Boyz II Men song. (DRINK.) The contestants are instructed to sing “I’ll Make Love To You” and they are seemingly determined to make Boyz II Men regret this decision for the rest of their lives (or until they cash the paycheck). Some of the men can flat out not sing, which does not in the least slow their roll. The opera singer makes children cry with his singing, which is less surprising than the fact that he is still on the show.
The After-Party: Andi pranks Cody, the personal trainer with TinTin hair, and accuses him of having a girlfriend who is a stripper and then laughs really hard at her own joke. Eric is feeling anxious about his Feelings (DRINK). Marcus is developing Real Feelings for Andi and earns himself a merit badge and a first kiss. Josh, the baseball player with perfect teeth and an accent scarf, kisses her more and earns the Group Date Rose. This is the point in the show where the hygiene-minded audience members start hoping Andi gargles with Purell between make-out sessions. Marcus throws some serious side-eye at Josh, but then develops a philosophical streak and assures us all that everything happens for a reason, a sentiment that presumably does not extend to the opera singer’s outfit.
The Second Date: JJ, the pantspreneur who made up a job description and then disappeared from the show, is back for for a one-on-one date with Andi. For the day’s activity, they are going to grow old together. Sadly, Doc Brown doesn’t show up with a Delorean time machine, but instead they use all the powers of make up to remind themselves to use sunblock . Once dolled up in liver spots, pearls and presumably Depends for authenticity, they head out to troll some perfectly nice people at a park. They take some selfies, ride some scooters and show those younguns how it’s done. Then Grandpa popped some Viagra and tried to slip Grandma his Werther’s Original in the playground and made everyone feel uncomfortable.
A Sudden Departure: Ron gets a phone call and starts packing a bag. One of his friends passed away and he wasn’t in the mood for The Bachelorette shenanigans anymore.
The Impending Drama: Dylan, a floppy-haired accountant, really wants to tell Andi his story, but settles for telling it to friendly farmer Chris. It’s a tragic story about two of his siblings dying of drug overdoses, which is dark and personal and not necessarily first date material. He really wants to tell Andi, like, now.
The Cocktail Party: There’s drinking, there’s gossiping, there’s kissing. Then, while Andi and Eric are having a private moment, a delivery of flowers arrives. The flowers are from Nick, which is a very classy move that not only touches Andi’s heart, but also completely throws Eric from his game. Andi ditches him and goes to find her flower genie.
Bachelorette Milestone: Nick has “genuine real feelings about Andi.” Marcus is “moving in the direction of love with her.” So they make out in the shadows. Gargle, Andi, gargle!
Bachelorette Milestone #2: Someone may not be in it for “the right reasons.” During the show, Andrew, the social media manager with the constant smirk, got some digits (no, not the middle one) from some hostess at some restaurant and bragged about it to his competition. When JJ and Josh confront him, he bolts, leading the two men and camera crew on Cops style race through the house. Don’t worry, no white wine was spilled. He returns later and gets yelled at for awhile.
The Rose Ceremony: Marcus and his Feelings get the first rose. Brian, Marquel, Tasos, Cody, Patrick, Farmer Chris, Eric, Sad Dylan, and the final rose, of course, went to Andrew so The Drama could continue.
Who Went Home: Brett, the hair dresser, and Bradley, the opera singer, who cries as he says that he “loves to love and loves to be loved” and can’t believe that he “made himself vulnerable” and Andi still sent him packing. Sounds like a great opera in the making.
Best Reason To Come Back Tomorrow: Looks like things get really real and you wouldn’t want to miss that.