Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where each week Andi takes another step on her journey to find love among the well-groomed masses of man meat curated for her by the show's producers. It's very natural. This week the group heads to Italy, which, much like Connecticut, is the perfect place to fall in love. With hometown dates on the horizon, the tension and competition is ratcheting up. It's very exciting.
Here's what happened on The Bachelorette:
First Date: Cody is the only one who hasn't had a one-on-one date yet, so the entire gaggle of guys expect Andi to choose him for the first date. Instead, she opted for Nick. She explains that this is her journey to love and she needs to do what she thinks is right, which is very Kelly Taylor of her. Plus, she probably doesn't want to be alone in public with Cody, because his elaborate manscaping would reveal the flaws in her own skin-care regime. Nick and Andi play Venetian tourists doing all those Venetian tourist things. Then Nick and Andi ruin thousands of years of superstition by kissing as they glide beneath Venice's famed Bridge of Sighs, proving that it does not, in fact, guarantee everlasting love. Because these two? No. He's dead behind the eyes and eventually she will realize that. Later, to reinforce every Venetian stereotype, a masked Andi floats up to meet a tuxedoed Nick for dinner in a heavily frescoed palazzo. This may be the first jealous-worthy date of the season. That is, until Andi lays into Nick about her feelings that he was an arrogant jerk who deemed himself the "front-runner." He says it's hard to imagine that anyone else has a connection with her like he does. He swears the men are his friends, but he's not going to quash his feelings to make them feel better. Andi softens when he stares at his toes and blushes and tells her that he is falling in love with her. Girls are silly like that. She gives him the rose. Sucker.
Suave Update: Suave is scraping the bottom of the Bachelor barrel and giving Renee Oteri a makeover. If you stopped to ask, "Who?" — that is the point exactly. She was one of the many lucky ladies who got to bring Juan Pablo Galavis home to meet mom and dad. I forgot my kindergarten teacher's name to bring you that factoid.
Worst Analogy: As they don Venetian masks, Nick makes a gag-inducing speech about how he was "masking his feelings for Andi" and is now "unmasking them."
The Big Mystery: Andi gets another note from her still unnamed secret admirer. It's not a haiku, so Nick is out. It's not about himself, so it's not Josh. It's not on Indiana Pacers stationery, so Coach Brian is out, and it's not written in tears and suntan oil, so it's not Cody. Maybe Farmer Chris?
Best Group Date Ever: The six men on the group date (well, specifically, Farmer Chris, four wannabe men and a pantspreneur) wander the streets of Venice until they stumble into a dark dungeon-like space, where Andi announces that they are all going to take a lie-detector test. Doesn't that sound fun? The men visibly pale and a few start sweating. Two men straight out of central casting for burly Italian types administer the tests, asking such burning questions as: Are you here for the right reasons? Are you ready for marriage? Do you want kids? Do you wash your hands after you use the restroom? Dylan goes back to the hotel with some mysterious stomach ailment (probably after hearing that someone answered "No" to that last question.)
The Worst Results Ever: The proctors report that at least three men lied during their tests, but Andi told two lies, so they all deserve one another. Andi busts her results open and reveals that she lied when she said she thought everyone was there for the right reasons. Instead of finding out which of the menfolk have their pants on fire, she decides to tear up their results, so now we will never know which of the men murdered their sister's hamster in second grade. We were robbed.
The After Party: While Cody and Nick sit in the sauna together, Andi bravely walks up cobblestones in high heels to drink wine and make out with five men consecutively. She deserves some serious merit badges for that. During the party, Coach Brian administers his own lie-detector test. They make out. Marcus tells her that he considered leaving, but stayed for her. They make out. Josh borks his alone time and gives Andi cause for doubt. They do not make out. Her batting average improves when Farmer Chris confesses that he is her secret admirer. They make out and he gets the Group Date Rose. FarmersOnly.com is really missing out with this guy. Then Andi leaves, and the men sit around to talk about their feelings. Needless to say, Italy has a lot of whine.
Second Date: Cody finally gets to go on a one-on-one date with Andi and King Chucklehead, as he is fondly known around these parts (my couch), is convinced that if Andi spends just a few minutes of alone time with him they will definitely fall in love. The producers help him out by setting him up in Verona, Italy, a.k.a. the hometown of fictional overly dramatic teenagers Romeo and Juliet. They recreate a few famous scenes (skipping the suicide pact, natch) and then hole up to answer letters that lonely hearts across the world write to Juliet. Cody announces that he's very emotional, and Andi nods politely and pats him on the back when they leave. Clear sign of no chemistry, whatsoever. At dinner, to prove he's both vulnerable and ready to get down and dirty, he wears a deep V tee to show his cleavage. He almost redeems himself writing his own letter to Juliet all about Andi. He tells her that he wants to be bold for her. He wants to hug her and squeeze her and "roll around with her." He goes on and on about how much he likes her and wants to get to know her and never notices that she's crying and they are not tears of joy. She confesses that she just wants to be friends. His Tintin hair wilts a little at the news. He is shocked (shocked!) to be going home.
The Cocktail Party: Despite already having a rose, Nick cock-blocks everyone at the party by grabbing Andi before she could make the obligatory rounds of the room and pulling her into a room to make out. The men do not approve, and not just because of the germs. Dylan is particularly upset, because no one remembers that he is on the show. Also because he got sick and couldn't stick around the Group Date long enough to remind Andi that he exists. Coach Brian reads her a letter. They make out. Marcus announces that he is in love with her. They make out. Josh tries to mend the damage he did in their last conversation and assures her that he does have strong feelings for her. Andi and Chris Harrison have an intense heart-to-heart about her feelings and her heart. She is doubting the process, which is just one of the five stages of being The Bachelorette.
The Rose Ceremony: First rose goes to Dylan, which is unexpected and hopefully he comes with his own bottle of Purell. Coach Brian takes the second rose. Marcus comes in third, and Josh takes the final rose.
Who Went Home: JJ, who was looking a little rough around the edges this evening, is leaving to continue pursuing his dream of being a pants tycoon and not just a pantspreneur. Andi gives JJ the same spiel she gave Cody. Namely, she's just not that into him. Riding in the dump truck to be deported back to the States, JJ bemoans the loss of the future mother of his future children that he can leave his pants empire to when passes away to the great pantsadise in the sky.
Best Reason to Come Back Next Week: Before we head into hometown dates, Andi's path to love leads the hunky herd to Brussels, and they pack all the drama into their carry-on bags.
Best Misunderstanding: The heavily accented lie-detector proctors wanted to know whether the men had ever fought in public, but every single one of the men misunderstood the question and thought they asked, "Have you ever farted in public?" Every single one of them said yes. Bet Andi wishes she hadn't torn up those test results now!