TIME

The Bachelorette Watch: 11 Things We Learned When the Men Tell All

ABC

Andi and the gang look back on their time together before she picks her man. Some people get emotional and, oh, theres a live ultrasound!

Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where Andi Dorfman’s journey to love leads her through an Axe-sprayed Scylla and a spray-tanned Charybdis venting their issues on prime time on a two-hour special where the men tell all.

According to host Chris Harrison, Andi wracked up more “I love yous” than any contestant in The Bachelor‘s history. She left a lot of heartbreak in her wake, but before she can be toasted and roasted by the detritus she left behind, Chris has a surprise for the viewing audience who, apparently, “won’t believe this will be on TV, but it is.” With that warning, ringing in your ears, here’s what happened on The Bachelorette, “The Men Tell All”:

Nothing Is Sacred: Before the men can tell all, Bachelorette Ashley and her prize, JP, are on hand to announce that they are pregnant. But that’s not all! In a Bachelor first — and by that they mean an all-new low for a show that has made a weekly ritual of throwing nearly nude strangers into hot tubs together — Ashley and JP are going to find out if they are having a Bachelor or a Bachelorette on live TV. To expedite the process, Ashley has a hole cut in her maxi dress and the ultrasound technician douses her with gel right there on stage and they broadcast the ultrasound onto the monitors. And? It’s a bouncing baby Bachelor! Bigger question: Are they really this desperate for attention? Or did they sign airtight contracts denying them privacy for the rest of their lives or, perhaps, are we all truly on this journey together?

Accent Scarves Are All the Rage With the Reality Star Set: When the men are paraded into the set, they are all wearing accent scarves, and it’s hard to tell whether it’s a joke or they are just a very fashion-forward crowd.

It’s a Toss-Up for Mr. Congeniality: Marquel and Farmer Chris got the biggest cheers from the crowd.

The Producers Really Want Us To Watch Bachelor in Paradise: Not only did they show five extra-long commercials filled with bikinis, tears, sirens and Drama with a capital D, but they also brought some of the cast members to the show to sit in the audience and smile prettily like we won’t see them tearing each others’ hair and hearts out in a few weeks. Chris Harrison did his part by asking both Marcus and Marquel if they would like to find love “in paradise” with an almost straight face.

Silence Is the Best Policy: As the men rehashed whether or not Andrew made a racist comment, Andrew mangled his own defense by seemingly mixing up the show’s two lone men of color, saying he “really appreciated how Ron handled ” the situation, when, in fact, it was Marquel. It’s like he somehow managed to hit bottom and started digging.

Marquel Should Be the Bachelor: While it’s unlikely to happen, as he was cast on The Bachelor in Paradise, Marquel would have been an incredible and charismatic Bachelor. During his moment on stage with Chris Harrison, Marquel admitted that he thought Andi friend-zoned him, but in hindsight realized that he didn’t take enough initiative with Andi. Then he handed out his now trademark black-and-white cookies to the audience. Forget The Bachelor, Marquel for President!

Marcus Is Still Sad: He teared up watching his own highlight reel.

Farmer Chris Is the Best: He’s chiseled, charming, upright and downright mature. If he’s not the next Bachelor, he should be the spokesmodel for FarmersOnly.com.

The Audience Is Crazy: A woman — who was undoubtedly planted in the audience by the producers — interrupts the Chrises’ conversation, storms the stage and introduces herself to Farmer Chris. Chris Harrison shrugs and goes along with it, asking the woman — who claims she came alone to the show all the way from Toronto — if she wants to go on a speed date with Farmer Chris during the commercial break. She says heck yeah and gets comfy on the couch in her tiny romper and high, high heels.

The Lie-Detector Results Were Not Destroyed: During a group date in Italy, the men had to take a lie-detector test. Andi destroyed the results, though, but the producers saved a copy. Turns out that three men lied during their tests: Marcus, Dylan and Josh. Marcus claimed he slept with fewer than 20 women, which was a lie. Dylan said he prefers brunettes, which is not true. He also lied about the fact that he’s ready for marriage. What did he not lie about? That he doesn’t wash his hands after using the bathroom. He claims to use hand sanitizer instead, but tiny bottles of Purell are going to be hard to see in his Tinder profile.

Bloopers Are Still the Best: We learned that Coach Brian has a fear of pickles, Andi uses nose spray, a group date rose once got stuck on a silver tray and Farmer Chris does not know how to say “confident.”

Best Reason to Come Back Next Week: Andi’s dad finally makes his triumphant return to television to slap some sense into Nick, Josh and, hopefully, Andi as she tries to decide between Josh, who makes her feel “happy and hopeful,” and Nick, with whom she had an “immediate connection and attraction.”

MORE: RECAP: The Bachelorette Watch: Three’s a Crowd in a Fantasy Suite

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RECAP: The Bachelorette Watch: Three’s a Crowd in a Fantasy Suite

ABC

Andi and the three remaining contestants head to the Dominican Republic for some intimate time at the Fantasy Suites

Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where Andi Dorfman re-enacted The Hunger Games, substituting Cupid’s arrows for Katniss’s, but with equally deadly results. As the show heads to its inevitable conclusion (couch time with Chris Harrison discussing what went wrong), the herd of finalists have been winnowed down from a gazillion to merely three: former baller Josh, dead-behind-the-eyes Nick and Farmer Chris, who undoubtedly knows a few things about what happens to the cows left in the herd.

This week, though, everyone wants to be part of the flock — because it’s Fantasy Suites week! As the foursome head to the beautiful Dominican Republic (yes, Josh, they have baseball there), Andi finally gets to spend some quality alone time (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) with Nick and Josh and Chris, all on national television. Will she decide to be a role model for younger chaste women and publicly announce that she is planning to save herself until marriage and just cuddle on the bed amid the artfully strewn rose petals? Will she learn from her mistakes with Juan Pablo? Or will she cheerfully spend the night with three men while her nana watches at the retirement community? The only way to find out is to read on.

Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:

The Men: As Andi reflects on her options she notes that she loves that Josh “just has that dark hair, tall build.” Strangely didn’t mention the cord attached to his mother. One thing she appreciates about Nick is that “when he kisses, he kisses” which is exactly what a long and healthy marriage is based on. She thinks Chris would be “an amazing father and amazing husband.” The “for someone else” is silent.

Nick: Helicopter alert! Nick and Andi fly into a private island for what Andi deems “an adult romance,” which the MPAA deems rated PG-13. After some initial kissing, canoodling and over-the-shirt groping, Andi remembers that she’s a prosecutor and grills Nick about his past breakups. She needs to know how he handled them so she doesn’t have to put him on suicide watch when she dumps him for someone without an accent scarf addiction later. Nick fumbles toward saying the L word, but only manages something about that lady show on Showtime. Andi suggests they make out in their snorkel gear instead. Later, during a romantic beach dinner, Nick writes Andi a fairy tale about two children being eaten by a witch, a story that would be preferable to the one he actually wrote about their love story. Seriously, Nicholas Sparks thought it was a bit much. Then they make out under a tree despite the fact that Nick is wearing pink pants. Nick manages to get Andi’s tongue out of his mouth long enough to finally professes his love for Andi and she replies, “I love hearing that,” which is just what everyone likes to hear. Then they head to the Fantasy Suites and make out on a couch right inside the door for our viewing “pleasure.”

Josh: After a long night with Nick, Andi showers (hopefully) (in Purell, hopefully) and heads out to meet Josh in Santo Domingo. Josh is very excited to see her, but not as excited as he is to watch a bunch of kids play baseball. Andi has arranged for him to watch some Little Leaguers practice because she knows he’s into that sort of thing. Josh is impressed that she pays attention and knows he likes baseball. That’s what happens when you mention something 6,000 times per episode, Josh. Later, he gets handsy while they sip from a coconut on a bench. Josh tells Andi that he told his family that he loves her. Since his family really likes to do things together, they are probably all watching from a hotel on the island, unless his brother has a football game going on. At dinner at a resort, Josh tells her that having that half-hour photo op with the kids makes him really want to have a lot of kids — possibly with her as he loves her and wants to marry and can really see her as his wife. After he accepts her Fantasy Suite proposal fireworks go off, both literally and metaphorically. Then they make out in the private pool in the Fantasy Suite.

Chris: After two all-nighters in the Fantasy Suites, some evil producer decided that Andi’s third date should involve horseback riding, even though she is very clear about the fact that she doesn’t like horses or horseback riding or even Chris all that much. She mentions several times that she’s not sure she’s at the Fantasy Suite point in her relationship with Chris (which is sad because I have a great “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” farming adage all teed up). While he is the sweetest and most romantic contestant, with the sneaky secret-admirer business he pulled off, sweet gestures and general charm, he does have one big turnoff: Iowa. Iowa is preventing Chris from … um, explaining animal husbandry with Andi in the Fantasy Suite. 4H didn’t prepare him for this. After the producers decide they have enough footage of Andi on horseback, they let her have a picnic under a tree with Chris and play yet another rousing round of his family’s favorite pastime, Ghosts in the Graveyard, which is basically hide and seek with a creepier name (hide and eek?).

After lunch, they have dinner at yet another romantic resort and talk about Iowa. A lot. It soon becomes apparent that Andi is not so much an Iowa fan as just trying to delay telling Chris that she’s just not that into him. She finally breaks it to him that it’s not Iowa, it’s you. She’s just not feeling it, because he is nice and sane and open and kind and operates on a reasonable plane of human emotion. Farmer Chris fights back tears as he is sent home to tend his crops and sow the seeds of love with a different woman, one who doesn’t mind living in a town the size of a grapefruit. (Fine, pomelo.) As a farmer, Chris knows a thing or two about the circle of life and how it’s sometimes necessary to thin a herd. He can think about it on his tractor or while he shreds the “Chris Loves Andi” banner in his thresher. It’s hard to believe Andi turned down the lifetime of free babysitting that Chris’ mom offered as part of the deal. She will undoubtedly regret it. Or not…

The Rose Ceremony: Despite the fact that there are only two contestants left and two roses to hand, the show must kill time with a Rose Ceremony ostensibly staged to prove post–Fantasy Suite that the men are really committed to finding love with Andi. Shockingly, they both are. Nick says their love is “amazing” while Josh is 100% certain that she’s going to be engaged to him next week.

Best Reason to Come Back Next Week: Andi’s scary father Hy is making his return to television!

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Brian Williams’ Dark Secret: He’s The Bachelorette’s Biggest Fan

Remember, fans: You are not alone

+ READ ARTICLE

The couch at a late-night talk show is the place where celebrities go to confess their sins, poke fun at themselves and admit their most embarrassing moments. Last night, on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Brian Williams managed to do all three simultaneously. The NBC anchor didn’t admit to not sorting his recycling or eating trans-fats, but rather, something far more pernicious: He came clean about the fact that he’s a huge fan of The Bachelorette.

It turns out that Williams — one of the most trusted names in the nightly news — has deep feelings about who current bachelorette Andi Dorfman should choose as her life mate. (“Life” being the time between the final rose, the televised marriage proposal and the time the couple hits the couch with host Chris Harrison to talk about what went wrong.)

“My wife and I are up to speed,” Williams confessed to Meyers, without a hint of embarrassment. “We have our own opinions about Andi and as Juan Pablo kind of divided us viewers, I think, into separate camps — Juan Pablo was a troubled man — and Andi has a huge choice to make and I think home visits will prove a lot. And after tonight, Seth, I think this will be a kind of new era going forward.”

“It’s gonna be an exciting night,” Williams said. And it was.

MORE: Death and the Maiden: How The Bachelorette Is Handling the Death of Eric Hill

MORE: RECAP: The Bachelorette Watch: Hometown Dating

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RECAP: The Bachelorette Watch: Hometown Dating

ANDI DORFMAN, CHRIS
Andi travels to Arlington, Iowa, to visit Chris and his family Matthew Putney—ABC

The death of contestant Eric Hill is revealed to Andi and the bachelors

Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where each episode beautiful bachelorette Andi Dorfman walks further down that yellow brick road of love and other pheromones to the Emerald City, a.k.a. the Fantasy Suites. This week her journey takes her to four towns spread out across the nation, all of which, much like Connecticut and Brussels before them, are the perfect place to fall in love while accidentally ticking off your future mother in law when you refuse a second helping of her famous Waldorf salad, an incident that will come up at every family potluck until the inevitable divorce. Sounds fun, right?

Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:

Nick in Milwaukee: To convince Andi that she should call Milwaukee home, Nick gives Andi a cheese hat, which probably did not come from Saks Fifth Avenue. Then, instead of taking Andi on a Laverne and Shirley–themed date, he just takes her on a tour of a brewery that has bravely made a Nick-and-Andi beer, which undoubtedly tastes both bitter and treacly. Then Nick tries to persuade her to declare her love of the Green Bay Packers. She won’t do it, though, because she is a woman of principles and Falcons fandom. This jovial rift will be great material for Nick and Andi’s annual Christmas letter to second cousins on both sides of the family.

Nick finally takes her home to meet all 793 family members who each wear accent scarves just like Nick. (Perhaps Costco had a bulk-buying discount?) The family home has a Pinterest-worthy wall full of gilded frames, lined up symmetrically, featuring all the family members. At his family home, Andi feels comfortable enough to admit that she only gave Nick the first-impression rose because she felt sorry for him. Everyone laughs while Nick remains dead behind the eyes. Nick’s sister tells Andi that he loves her, which would be incredibly juvenile, except that the sister is also wearing an accent scarf, which is the unmistakable sign of maturity. Another sister comes in to grill Andi, and Andi swears Nick is the Laverne to her Shirley (or more likely the Squiggy to her Lenny). Finally Nick’s mom starts crying because she knows Nick will make a great husband, because he was a very attentive son. Andi passes the final round of her inquisition by naming everyone in the framed pictures. As she bids farewell to Nick, he fumbles at the finish line and won’t say “I love you.”

(MORE: Death and the Maiden: How The Bachelorette Is Handling the Death of Eric Hill)

Chris in Arlington, Iowa: Farmer Chris’ hometown has a population of 758, which this day goes up to 759 with the addition of Andi. It’s a broad, brown wasteland, which is about 500 miles from the closest Frappuccino. Andi is, inexplicably, “super excited” to visit, but clearly not to live. “What would I do here?” she asks Farmer Chris, who pauses before pointing out that “there’s an opportunity to be a homemaker.” Andi resignedly doesn’t bash him in the head with her Louboutin nor book a bus out of town, but instead declares, “I’m not as city as you think. My family has a lake house in Alabama, and I hunt!” Cue the plane flying a “Chris Loves Andi” banner, which she declares is the cutest thing he’s ever done. Then they make out while Andi tries to get reception on her iPhone.

After an obligatory tractor ride on his big green John Deere, Farmer Chris takes Andi home to meet his family, who size her up like a 4-H entry. (Granted all the families on hometown dates do that, but on a farm it’s done with a more professional eye.) Chris’ sisters sell him hard, but his mother Linda is already sold. She tells Andi that they’ll make beautiful babies and she’ll babysit. Free babysitting is a great reason to get married. According to Linda, Andi has gumption, and she’s a tough cookie so she could make it on a farm. Then Linda says she loves Andi and Andi gives her a rose. Not really, but she may marry Farmer Chris out of guilt!

Josh in Tampa: Despite Josh’s inability to register human emotion, he is still the front-runner (maybe), and Andi is “super excited” to meet his family. Josh takes Andi to the baseball diamond. Did you know that Josh was a former professional athlete? Don’t worry, he’ll mention it a few dozen more times just to make sure it sinks in. Despite mentioning baseball every few minutes, Josh claims it’s hard for him to think about baseball because it makes him itch in a way that no amount of Lotrimin can help. So it’s special to bring her here. Andi thinks he looks hot when he plays baseball. Josh explains that he quit baseball to be there for Aaron, his brother, who is getting ready for the football draft. Then Andi goes to meet Josh’s family, which is just the solar system that revolves around the sun, a.k.a. his brother Aaron. Mom, dad and sister all remind Andi that Josh will be expected to attend all of Aaron’s games on the weekends and that the whole family plans to go to all the football games wherever they are. It’s pretty much like that Twilight Zone episode where everyone does everything the little girl says or else they die, but, you know, about football. Josh’s dad warns Andi, “You’d be marrying a family.” Then they all play family football.

Marcus in Dallas: Before Marcus takes Andi to meet his family — and he never brings anyone to meet his family — he recreates their Magic Mike group date by dressing up like a sailor and stripping for her. Not at all creepy! Marcus announces that he is madly in love with her. Andi smiles politely. Andi is only the second girl to meet Marcus’ family (no word on what happened to the first one). Apparently there is “a lot of love in the family despite the struggles,” which Marcus hinted at earlier. At the family homestead, Marcus’ sister worries that he’s overcaring, which he is, but his brother tells him just to go for it, even though Andi is clearly overwhelmed by all of Marcus’ Big Feelings. Playing for the cameras, Andi claims that “life with Marcus would be a fairy tale,” and as every faithful reader of the Brothers Grimm knows, fairy tales always end well. Marcus says Andi is his soul mate and that he’s ready to propose.

The Sorrow and the Pity: Instead of heading to a cocktail party for last-minute canoodling, Chris Harrison brings Andi and the four remaining men together to break the news about the death of contestant Eric Hill. It’s sad and somewhat unnecessary as the show has already done two tributes to Mr. Hill, and showing Andi’s reaction to the news is teetering toward exploitation territory (specifically, how Eric’s tragic death affected her and the show not, say, him and his family). Anyway, Andi is crying as she thinks about how the last time she saw Eric she yelled at him and kicked him off the show. Everyone else sits there feeling awkward, stunned and sad. Andi splits to take a breather only to return and talk about life and out, out brief candle and whatnot. The whole crew comes in and hugs everyone, puts the cameras down to come and hug, which makes it all so much stranger. Read more thoughts about how The Bachelorette handled the death of Eric Hill.

The Rose Ceremony: While the last time the show discussed Eric’s death, they cut out the rose ceremony, now, with Fantasy Suites on the line, they opt to awkwardly segue from tragedy to roses and romance. The show must go on! Andi has decisions to make about who she wants to sleep with in the privacy of a publicly aired prime-time television show. Since she already spent the night in a Fantasy Suite with Juan Pablo Galavis, it can only go up from there. The first rose goes to Josh. Farmer Chris gets the second one. The final rose goes to Nick, meaning that Marcus is no longer in the running to be America’s Next Top Dancing With the Stars contestant. Marcus cries as Andi assures him that he was open and vulnerable but a little too open and vulnerable. Andi prefers the dead-behind-the-eyes types like Nick and the emotionally stunted like Josh or the strong silent type like Chris, not the overly sensitive verging on bunny boiler type like Marcus.

Best Reason to Come Back Next Week: Fantasy Suites!

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RECAP: The Bachelorette Watch: Who Is Getting a Hometown Date?

ANDI DORFMAN, JOSH M.
Andi's one-on-one date with Josh is in the quaint town of Ghent Geert Vanden Wijngaert—ABC

If they survive dates with Andi, the guys will be bringing her home to meet their mom next week on hometown dates

Welcome back to The Bachelorette. This week is a very big deal, because whoever survives the rope climb, pole bridge, hammer dodge, spider walk and the pipe slider over a pit of lava will earn his freedom. O.K., fine. That’s not true, but you can’t fault anyone who would prefer to watch Sasuke meets The Running Man over watching Bachelorette Andi Dorfman read aloud from Belgium’s Wikipedia page: “Belgium is very unique, a melting pot, it has a lot of different languages, it has French, Dutch and Flemish.”

Yes, The Bachelorette has seemingly been bribed by Belgium’s accent-scarf and chocolate industries to bring its international key party to Belgium’s cobbled streets. The six remaining men are on high alert (or at least Josh’s pecs are) because if they survive the wall climb of death … er, delightful dates with Andi, they will be bringing her home to meet their mom next week on hometown dates.

Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:

First Date: This week, host Chris Harrison earned his salary by showing up to the gents’ hotel room, cutting through the miasma of body spray, self-tanner and aftershave, handing out the contractually obligated accent scarves and reminding the men that hometown dates are next week and that there are no date roses and only one group-date rose. Before leaving on his one-man tour of Brussels’ finest mussels, he handed the first-date card out. Last week, Marcus committed a Bachelorette no-no and told Andi that he was considering leaving, but stayed for her. Normally that would result in a summary dismissal, but instead, Andi invites him out for the first date and a Taste of Brussels, which is apparently what the kids are calling it these days. Andi and Marcus eat, drink and talk about Marcus’ feelings. He has been journaling in his big-boy diary, and the process made him realize that he has real feelings for Andi. He adjusts his accent scarf and tells Andi that he is falling in love with her.

Andi tries to get the details about Marcus’ family before their hometown date. Marcus’ eyes go dark as he tells her that his dad abandoned the family and that his mom “did the best that she could.” Marcus then airs all the family’s dirty laundry and tells Andi that his grandparents “beat the best into her, literally, and that’s how his mom did it to him.” He fixed his relationship with his mother and she stayed up all night crying to him and now he sees his mom at least once a week. Andi can’t give him a rose, but pretends that she is excited to meet his family. Then they make out and Andi declares that Marcus “is a man, a total-package man.”

The Drama: A new date card is dropped off and when Dead-Behind-the-Eyes Nick realizes that his name is not on it, he gets in touch with his inner Courtney Robertson and springs into stalker mode. In a scene straight out of a Lifetime movie, he marches to the hotel’s front desk and tells the clerk that he lost his key and can’t remember his room number, but it’s under the name of “his wife,” Andi Dorfman. The clerk shrugs and gives him the key to Andi’s room. Hopefully the hotel’s Yelp page has now been updated to include something about the worst security ever. Nick runs upstairs to act out every scene from every Lifetime movie ever. Andi is surprised to see him, but happily agrees to go for a walk with him even though it breaks the fake rules of the show. They make out while walking the streets at night and Andi deems the breach of personal space and security hot, mistaking Nick’s all-encompassing creepiness for “passion.”

Second Date: It seems clear that Josh is the season’s front-runner. He and Andi had an instant and easy chemistry and as they both live in Georgia, they could avoid all the awkward conversations about which one is uprooting their lives to live closer to some random they met and dated on national television. However, Josh is not being forthcoming about his feelings and Andi (and the producers) are determined to make him declare his love before hometown dates. Andi is concerned that he will break her heart if she doesn’t hear that he is falling in love with her in the first four dates. Josh gets so far as to tell her that he is looking forward to her meeting the family, that he is nervous, that he is serious, and that he has “feelings for her,” but he won’t say the L word. Finally, in a castle in Ghent, he admits that he is falling in love with her. He is rewarded for his efforts with a make-out session in front of yet another band trying to avert their eyes while playing a private concert.

The Group Date: Farmer Chris, Coach Brian, Dead-Behind-the-Eyes Nick and Sad Dylan are escorting Andi on a tour of an old monastery. They are warned that the ground is sacred and kissing is verboten and one can only hope that someone tries to slip one in and God himself smites them, Old Testament–style, which would make for seriously must-see TV. Andi reminds them that there is a rose on this date, and the men are all determined to win it. Farmer Chris and Andi re-enact the only scene from Ghost that anyone remembers. They are allowed to sneak in a few kisses, because the pottery barn is off the monastery premises. Dylan’s alone time with Andi is glossed over, which does not bode well for him. Coach Brian has a “strategy for winning” that he probably wrote down on a clipboard and is moving away “from his game plan.” It’s just too bad he can’t wear an accent scarf and a whistle simultaneously. He tells Andi that he is falling in love with her. Sadly, he has never said those words before. He deems it a good feeling, which he squelches by dumping Gatorade on himself. Andi smiles politely. Nick tells Andi he knows he is going to marry her, because he knows she loves him too. Andi thinks that was hot and not creepy and hands him the rose while the other men make gagging noises. The men are swept away so Andi and Nick can have some alone time. As the men grouse that Nick is not there for the right reasons, Andi and Nick make out in a restaurant. When Nick finally returns to the hotel room, the men glare and grumble at him for prioritizing “the strategy” over Andi.

The Cocktail Party: Farmer Chris is determined to get a rose and bring Andi home to meet the cows. He tells her that he lives in “a really small town in Iowa, but it’s beautiful.” Dylan promises that he will propose to her in three weeks. Coach Brian tries to convince Andi that Harrisburg is worth a visit, but gives up when Nick interrupts him and steals Andi away. Nick cries to the camera that he found “that person.” (Presumably he means the person who will bring him to fame and notoriety.) Farmer Chris makes one last play: he tells Andi that he forgot to do something important and kisses her. Andi is a sucker for that sort of thing.

The Rose Ceremony: Nick has a rose already, and it’s no surprise when Josh and Marcus are handed roses on their dates. The final rose goes to Farmer Chris.

Who Went Home: Coach Brian is going to have to come up with a few new plays and Sad-Backstory Dylan will have to find someone else to woo on a train in Connecticut. (By the way, in case you think Andi is heartless for dismissing Dylan, when he read this week’s date card to the men, he prefaced it by saying, “Are you girls ready?” So he was dismissed for cause.)

Best Reason to Come Back Next Week: Join us for Oedipal Fun Time when it turns out that Josh’s mom looks an awful lot like Andi!

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RECAP: The Bachelorette Watch: Italian Cheese and Whine

ANDI DORFMAN, NICK V.
Andi and the gang head to Venice for some typically touristy activities Barbara Zanon—ABC

To be clear: Romeo & Juliet would never have been on The Bachelorette

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!

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TIME Television

Marquel Martin Should Be the Next Bachelor

ABC

The hit show has never featured a man of color as its star.

On last night’s The Bachelorette, three contestants were cut short on their journey to find love with reigning Bachelorette Andi Dorfman. One of those contestants was Marquel Martin, a funny, charismatic and attractive man with a dazzling smile who, according to his bio on ABC, likes to spend his Saturday nights with “Netflix, cookies and a glass of wine.”

Martin also happens to be black.

There have been 18 seasons of The Bachelor and 10 of the The Bachelorette, and not one of the stars has been a person of color. The show also has a tendency towards tokenism — each season they hustle out around 25 attractive potential mates and inevitably there are only a few people of color in the mix. In all 28 seasons of the shows, no person of color has ever made it past the early rounds of dating. When black contestants such as season 17′s Robyn or this season’s Martin do make it through a few dates, they are eliminated well before the final rounds — no hometown dates, no nights in a fantasy suite and no person of color has fallen on their knee to slip a Neil Lane diamond on anyone’s finger.

The show has a diversity problem. And thanks to a 2012 lawsuit, ABC probably knows it.

While the lawsuit filed by two prospective contestants who alleged they were rejected because of the color of their skin was dismissed on the grounds that casting decisions are protected by the First Amendment (Bachelor casting decisions clearly being on the forefront of the founding fathers’ minds when drafting the amendment), in the court of public opinion and ABC’s own fan community, it’s time for the franchise to make some changes.

In the past, when asked about whether there would ever be a non-white bachelor or bachelorette, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette producer Mike Fleiss claimed that people of color just “don’t come forward.” But now there’s affable, attractive, and church-going Marquel Martin.

While ABC traditionally has stuck to a pattern of choosing the next cycle’s star from the runners-up, they broke with the practice to bring us Juan Pablo, who was plucked from mid-season when Desiree had the good sense to give him the boot early on. While Desiree clearly knew something the viewing audience didn’t know about Juan Pablo, the experience shouldn’t dissuade ABC from choosing another mid-season castoff.

There’s no doubt that Martin would be the ideal candidate to star in the next season of The Bachelor, and not just for diversity’s sake. He has a giant smile, an impeccable sartorial sense (pink checkered shirts with red ties!), and names Coming to America as one of his favorite films. During his brief time on The Bachelorette, Martin not only showed more personality and charm than the last four Bachelors combined, but he also proved himself worthy of rooting for. He cried over lost love on national television and coolly handled a potentially complicated conversation about race with another contestant. He also brought Andi an entire tray of cookies, including a black-and-white cookie, which not only shows his good humor about race relations, but also his incredible taste in desserts:

Plus, as a now-former contestant, he’s already proven that he is willing to undertake a journey to find love in front of a home audience tweeting while eating Cheetos in their sweatpants. If, as in the case of Juan Pablo, there’s footage we aren’t seeing that shows the “real” Martin, it’s unlikely that he could be any more disagreeable and gruff than last season’s Bachelor. And if he is, well, Juan Pablo proved that villains can translate into big ratings. The show survived jaw-clenching pilot Jake Pavelka, walking snooze button Ben Flajnik, hot tub enthusiast Bob Guiney, and even two helpings of Bachelor Brad Womack. There’s no doubt that the franchise can survive potential interracial canoodling if that’s the network’s unstated concern. If there’s any doubt about that, ABC need to look no further than their own 10 p.m. offering, Mistresses, which has almost nothing but interracial hookups.

The real question, though, is whether the franchise can take a step on its own journey towards diversity and inclusiveness. It’s the twenty-first century, and the ability to look for love and hot tub makeout sessions on national television shouldn’t be limited to clean-cut white people.

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TIME Television

RECAP: The Bachelorette Watch: French Connections and Disconnections

CHRIS, ANDREW, CODY, PATRICK, MARCUS, DYLAN, ANDI DORFMAN, JJ, NICK V., MARQUEL
Bachelorette Andi takes nine men to a professional mime for him to coach them on his silent art Patrick Aventurier—ABC

Andi and her suitors ship out to Marseilles, France, for a bit of romance, mime and an alleged racist remark that causes all sorts of drama

Welcome back to The Bachelorette, after Andi’s journey to love was put on a brief hiatus last week and we were treated to an interview with Hillary Rodham Clinton instead of the mating ritual between a pack of oiled-up man meat and one lucky lady. This week the remaining chumpy contestants get shipped out to Marseilles, France, to be temporary expatriates and annoy the French population while trying to woo Andi in the land of l’amour. Andi says France is the perfect place to fall in love, which is the exact same thing she said about Connecticut, so don’t let it go to your head, France.

Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:

The Talk: Because they are in France, Chris Harrison wears a turtleneck for his check-in with Andi. Chris asks her, “Are you falling in love?” Her response is bleeped, but not due to spoilers, but because love makes her curse like a drunk-in-love sailor. Chris asks the mandatory follow-up question, “Is it with just one guy?” She laughs, hahahaha, because why fall in love with one spray-tanned sausage link when you can fall in love with the whole kielbasa?

Worst Cross-Promotion/Best Hair: Andi and ex-Bachelorettes Catherine and Desiree earn some extra cash for their backup-plan safety nets by loitering around the set of a Suave ad together while Andi gets Rose Ceremony hair ideas. On cue, Andi coos, “Maybe the next time I see you, I’ll be engaged!” And then the full-grown women squeal and show off their Neil Lane diamond rings like they are in a Mad Men–era focus group.

First Date: Former professional baseball player, current pleated-khaki wearer Josh gets the first-date card of the evening. Andi takes him out for some light yachting and one can only hope someone gets Talented Mr. Ripley-ed. Their attraction is evident in all the PG-rated groping and slightly off-camera canoodling, yet Andi is concerned because Josh is too much like every other guy she’s dated in the past. She gets over it pretty quickly when they eat dinner in an actual castle, and no one makes a fairytale reference. She hands him the date rose and as yet another band performs an awkward concert for two, Josh announces that he is “well on the path to falling in love with Andi.”

Group Date: On their en masse date, JJ, Chris, Cody, Marquel, Dylan (who?), Eric, Nick, Andrew and Marcus are instructed in the fine art of mime. Why? Let a Bachelorette Love Metaphor explain: because communication, including nonverbal communication, is the key to a relationship. While Andrew is concerned that he doesn’t have previous miming experience (unlike the rest of the men, apparently) he manages to hone his craft. Once they are suitably in touch with their inner Marcel Marceaus, they are sent to mime up a storm in a public square, frightening the locals, making babies cry and trying to make Andi notice their mad mime skillz.

The After Party: While JJ takes Andi for a ride on a ferris wheel, small-shirt enthusiast Cody accuses Nick of the ultimate offense: thinking he’s a front-runner. When Andi returns she finds her menfolk in an uproar. She pulls Farmer Chris aside for the details and, bless him, he can’t lie worth a lick and immediately confesses to all the tension. Instead of downing cocktails and engaging in egregious flirting, Andi plays house therapist, inviting the men onto her couch to vent instead of canoodle. When it’s Nick’s turn, he bottles up until she asks him, “If I was your wife, would you tell me?” He starts babbling. Then he reads her a mash note he wrote and they start making out. If we learned anything from Desiree’s season it’s that women are suckers for poetry. JJ earns the group-date rose for his magical miming and carnival ride.

The Drama: JJ, the insistently still-titled pantspreneur, tells Marquel, a.k.a. the sole remaining black man in the house, that during the first Rose Ceremony, Andrew the skeevy social-media manager sucked his teeth and noted that Andi gave roses “to the blackies” after she gave Marquel and Ron roses. Obviously that is horrifyingly offensive and Marquel takes it very personally, as he should. He mulls his options and apologizes as he tears up on camera over this disgusting display of racism. Not one to hold things in, he coolly confronts Andrew at the group-date cocktail party about what he heard. Andrew immediately and vehemently denies ever saying it. Despite Andrew’s protestations of innocence, Marquel gets his speech out. Andrew calls BS on the whole thing and swears that he said nothing like that. Marquel doesn’t know whether Andrew is telling the truth or not, but he said what he needed to say and found his peace. Whether he was telling the truth or covering a lie, Andrew isn’t pleased about getting called out, and tells Andi that the drama is interfering with his ability to fall in love. Anyone feel bad for him? Anyone?

Second Date: For his one-on-one date, Coach Brian is invited to cook up some love with Andi (good thing he’s not allergic!). But before they can cook, they have to watch a product placement for the film The Hundred-Foot Journey, which is produced by Oprah and Steven Spielberg, so definitely needs The Bachelorette‘s promotional power. After watching the film, they head back to someone’s apartment to cook a romantic meal. Coach Brian is so close to scoring but whiffs it instead. He retreats to a corner of the kitchen and grunts that he has no idea how grandma makes her mashed potatoes: “I dunno how she makes ’em, I just eat ’em.” Strangely Andi doesn’t find his demeanor especially attractive. While Brian fumbles, A-student Andi manages to slip in three more The Hundred-Foot Journey references. After they realize they are terrible cooks, they head to a local brasserie where a plate of beef helps Brian think about what he’s done. He apologizes for not making a move on her in the kitchen, so they make out at the table and she hands him a rose.

The Rose Ceremony: Andi and her Rose Ceremony–ready Suave hair have decided that she doesn’t need to talk to anyone and cuts the cocktail party out of the equation. She has three guys she wants to cut loose tonight and she wants to get down to business, because she knows what she wants and which relationships are moving forward. She’s come to name names. Specifically roses go to: Marcus, Nick, Farmer Chris and Dylan (who?). Coach Brian, pantspreneur JJ and baller Josh already have roses.

The Final Rose: The last rose goes to Cody, the personal trainer with the penchant for tight shirts and Tintin hair. That means Andrew, the seemingly skeevy social-media manager Patrick — who blames his dismissal on the fact that “she didn’t get to experience me” — and Marquel are all being sent home. Undoubtedly the women of America are lining up to comfort Marquel in his time of need.

Best Reason to Tune In Next Week: The group is heading to Venice! Sorry, Connecticut and Marseilles, Venice is the perfect place to fall in love.

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TIME Television

RECAP The Bachelorette Watch: Connecticut Yankees In Andi’s Court

...In which we say goodbye to Eric Hill

Welcome back to The Bachelorette. Tonight, the show is taking their sausage factory on the road. First stop? Connecticut, which is “very romantic” according to Andi, who has apparently never been anywhere else ever. On the plus side, Connecticut gets some A + marketing materials out of this appearance and someone in Hartford is undoubtedly re-writing their press releases to say “Come to Connecticut, as seen on The Bachelorette!”

Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:

First Date: Dylan, the floppy-haired sad-eyed accountant, finally gets some alone time with Andi so he can tell her his tragic tale. He wears pleated jeans for the occasion. As Dylan waits for his moment, the sad music of sadness plays as Andi interviews that her date with Dylan has been fine, but she hopes he can open up a bit. Well, her mouth says “open up,” but her slightly panicked eyes say, “I hope he chills out before his head explodes all over my borrowed leather jacket.” At dinner she tells him that she wants to see “the real Dylan” now, not later. So he cries as he tells her the deeply sad story that he told Farmer Dan yesterday: his sister overdosed and his brother followed soon after, which is extremely sad, but if this is weighing so heavily on your mind that you’re crying on a televised first date, why are you on a dating show? Go home and grieve. As Andi cries along with him, he tells her that he doesn’t want her to feel bad for him. She’s touched that he was willing to open up to her. She gives him a rose, because how could she not?

The Worst: The one thing no one should forgive The Bachelor franchise for is their use of transportation and extreme sports as metaphors for relationships. To wit, Andi announcing that she’s hoping the train ride with Dylan will help their relationship “pick up steam.” Must we? Really?

Group Date: The date card says, “You got game?” and Brian, the basketball coach, is very excited when it turns out they are going to play basketball. After all, the state’s marketing material says: “New England is the birthplace of basketball!” A few members of the WNBA come out to play for both marketing purposes (shout-out to the Chicago Sky!) and to scrimmage with the men. The athletes wear their uniforms, but Andi, who is contractually obligated to look hot at all times, wears a v-neck version and short shorts. To win the prize (a date with Andi, natch) the men don’t have to lose to the women, but have to play against each other. They face off 5-on-5, the Rosebuds versus the 5 of Hearts, who are wearing their hearts on their jerseys or something. Then we watch a basketball game and it’s tied at the half, but the Rosebuds destroy them thanks to Basketball Brian and Marquel. The winning team got dressed for a relatively chaste 5-on 1 date with Andi, while the sore losers stuffed themselves in their lockers.

The After Party: At the winners’ group date, Andi pulls Eric aside for a chat; she thinks their relationship “has stalled” since their first date. He agrees, and says that he doesn’t like the formality of the situation. She shrugs, because dating in weird situations is the crux of this show. She also thinks he’s holding back, so he settles in and tells her about how much he loves his family and about his Mormon upbringing and… just drink, because he’s charming and erudite and self-reflective and full of life and love. So: drink. Anyway, Basketball Brian sinks a half-court shot, but while he has game, he doesn’t have Game and doesn’t bother kissing the girl. Nick V. doesn’t have that problem, though, and they make out for awhile.

The Second Date: Andi hates heights, but agrees to repel down Mohegan Sun anyway. She has a full-on panic attack on the wind-swept, freezing cold roof, but manages to squeeze out a few metaphors like how it’s a “leap of faith” for their relationship. Marcus murbles about how he is scared, but is determined to be the “man in the relationship” and talks her down the side of the building, just like they would do everyday if they were married. They repel past the men in their hotel room and make out on the ropes. She’s proud of herself and proud of Marcus for “being protective,” which is a trait she is seeking in a mate. Over dinner, he opens up and she hands him a rose. She thinks he’s “flawless,” which seems like a good time to link to this.

The Cocktail Party: Before the shindig, Andi got a love note from a secret admirer and we got a historical reenactment of the anonymous scribe writing it. It was very A&E. Then she hits the cocktail party and tries to divine the sender, but no one confesses, so she gives up trying.

The Drama: Eric has had a realization. He thinks he has had been very open with Andi, but doesn’t think she has been open with him. He says that he came on this show “to meet a person, not a TV actress,” and apparently those are fighting words. He thinks she has a “poker face” on most of the time and that he isn’t seeing the real her. She starts crying, because apparently “poker face” means something extremely mean in her world, like he kicked a kitten and called her fugly, when he really just said she hid her emotions well, which really isn’t that bad. She defends herself against charges that she’s being fake and assures him that she is aware of the cameras everywhere, but is fully committed to the process. They agree that this isn’t going to work out and with a curt “Thank you for your time.” “Same.” Eric leaves the show. He interviews that he is disappointed, because despite their misunderstanding, he saw potential. Plus, “love leads to family and those two things together are what life is all about.” As you do a shot, think about this: Not to speak ill of the dead, but coming on The Bachelorette and expecting authenticity is patently ridiculous, or at least reveals a deep misunderstanding of the concept of reality television.

The Reality: Chris Harrison interrupts the regularly scheduled Rose Ceremony to talk about Eric Hill. As America just watched Eric’s final scene on the show, Chris deems the Rose Ceremony trite in light of the grandiose finality of death, which is true. He and Andi sit in a room and have a serious talk about Eric, the impact of his life on their lives and on the show and, ugh, just drink. Here are more thoughts on Eric Hill and The Bachelorette.

Who Went Home: Tasos, whose untimely departure and tear-filled farewell speech, will be left up to our imagination. We can only hope he gave her one of his diamond earrings Breakfast Club style.

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TIME relationships

This Is The Bachelorette’s Scientific Formula to Make Couples Fall in Love

Dating lessons I learned from this week's Bachelorette: why you should always skydive, rappel or bungee jump with your dates

Monday night’s Bachelorette featured a date that rose lovers have come to cherish as an ABC classic. The adrenaline-pumping “So you wanna marry me? Do something terrifying to prove it” date. In this episode, Andi made Marcus rappel down a ridiculously tall building — one of their greatest fears! — to make sure that he’s capable of love.

While a high-octane-activity date might not seem like a fair compatibility test, there are many reasons why producers have at least one every season. First off, phobia-inducing situations make for great TV — the more crying, the better — and provide perfect fodder for some truly terrible metaphors: “I’m jumping out of this plane and into his heart.” (Drink.) “Like this bungee cord, love catches you when you fall.” (Drink.) And in Andi’s words, “It’s leap-of-faith day.” A literal leap of faith. (Seriously, just down the whole bottle.)

The second reason? Science.

“Doing very, very high-octane kinds of dates definitely can bond you together more than a mundane, run-of-the-mill one,” says Dr. Diana Kirschner, psychologist and CEO of Lovein90Days.com, striking fear in all suitors who have to settle for a picnic. “What happens is that adrenaline is released that mimics the feelings of falling love.”

And it doesn’t end there. Staring into your partner’s eyes for stability during the terrifying descent causes an increased release of oxytocin, a bonding hormone. “If a person is frightened and literally clinging to a protector, a knight, they actually have the experience of being saved by this person,” Kirschner says. “Certainly it’s not going to make for lasting love, which is a whole other ball of wax, but at that moment you are bonded together and will associate a scary-turned-pleasurable high and relief and excitement with the other person.”

Because after successfully finishing the dangerous-seeming event, both partners will experience a pleasurable burst of dopamine.

“This corroborates the advice Ovid gave young men: take your date to the gladiator fights if you want sex,” says Dr. Elizabeth Saenger, a Harvard-trained psychologist and former matchmaker for upscale professionals. “Actually, he didn’t say it quite so crassly, and he said it in Latin, but that was the idea.”

Fear can trick the brain into feelings of attraction.

Saenger cited a 1974 study by Donald Dutton and Arthur Aron that identified instances of misattributed arousal. In it, researchers placed an attractive woman at the end of a “fear-arousing suspension bridge” and a “non-fear-arousing bridge.” According to Saenger, “Men who crossed the wobbly bridge rated the women as much more attractive than men who crossed a stable bridge.”

This supports the James-Lange theory of emotion, stating “We are afraid because we run.” In other words, emotions are interpreted based on a physiological reaction to events.

But do you really want to fool your brain into thinking that you’re more emotionally connected with someone than you actually are?

And that brings us to why you maybe shouldn’t make your date jump out of a plane (or something) for you:

Apart from the risk of creating a false sense of attachment, the No. 1 biggest reason not to force an early date into a terrifying situation is because, well, it’s terrifying. And if a partner is legitimately phobic of heights, as Bachelor(ette) contestants often claim they are, then forcing him or her to rappel down a building can be a very bad idea indeed.

In the wise words of Dr. Saenger, “Dealing with phobias on a date is, to use a favorite word of psychologists, ‘inappropriate.’ It is also plain stupid, and can be unethical.”

Bachelorette contestants are, by definition, risk takers. Who else would be willing to broadcast their love lives on national TV? But in the real world, maybe stick to a boring dinner instead.

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