As a thin layer of vanilla protein powder dust settles on the post-Chad Bachelorette era, the show’s ever-meddling producers face an existential crisis. Now that this season’s de facto villain is off to a life of cutting grand opening ribbons at Crossfit gyms, they have to find some way to generate intrigue and convince us to entertain any outcome other than “Aaron Rodgers’ Younger Brother Jordan Rogers is going to win, because she so obviously likes him way more than anyone else, but we have to go through the motions with these other jamokes to fulfill ABC’s airtime needs.”
Of course, since The Bachelorette is (SPOILER ALERT) not a documentary about human relationships but is instead a loosely-scripted melodrama over which the producers exercise meticulous control, that task shouldn’t be difficult. But Chad’s star shone so bright this season that even the franchise’s seasoned veteran writers appear to be panicking a little. This week alone, they decided to:
- Give Jojo a seemingly endless array of progressively revealing dresses so absurd that a shellshocked Jenna finally blurted out “UHHH, HER BOOBS LOOK LIKE A BUTT.” She was not wrong. If these necklines keep plunging, every talking head shot of Jojo is going to be pixelated by Week 8.
- Have Alex the Tiny Marine pick random fights! First, he called Jordan Rodgers “fake,” which is a hilariously lame insult in real life but is somehow the most serious accusation one can make against a fellow Bachelorette contestant. Shortly thereafter, ATTM accused Derek (Tan Jim Halpert) of begging Jojo for a “pity rose,” whatever the hell that means. Alex is still a little too hyped about taking down Chad. I would say that someone needs to cut him down to size, but I’m worried that if that situation gets any worse, Jojo might accidentally step on him or something.
- Plant in the guys’ hotel room an In Touch magazine featuring an interview with Jojo’s ex (hilariously, also named Chad) in which he accused her of going on the show for fame, as if this would somehow differentiate her from anyone else who has appeared on multiple seasons of this franchise, but whatever. I loved Wells solemnly explaining that they had learned all this after reading “some magazines,” like it was not at all unusual for them to find a topical weekly English-language gossip magazine in their hotel in Uruguay. Ultimately, the guys decided the report was probably nonsense and that they loved her anyway, but the showrunners had to be happy with the solid 20 minutes of Sobbing Jojo that this deus ex machina yielded.
It’s not clear what the logical limit of this absurd producer intervention looks like, but we can only hope it involves live, multi-contestant cage matches on network television. In the meantime, Jojo cleaned house this week in not one but TWO rose ceremonies. It was a strong night for unattractive, insincere male crying.
Although the lead of each Bachelor and Bachelorette season gets hooked up with a wardrobe, contestants famously have to supply their own threads. Unfortunately for James F., the 34-year-old boxing club owner, he responded by outfitting himself exclusively in those morally repugnant dark-dress-shirt-and-contrast-color-tie combinations sold in plastic boxes at JC Penny. (Recall that had absolutely no problem jumping into the swimming pool fully clothed, which makes a lot of sense if he knew that he had 18 more boxes to go before he would even have to think about laundry.) To his credit, James F. made it further than anyone dressed like a high school football player at sophomore year homecoming SHOULD make it. Unfortunately, there can only be one James, and that belt now belongs to James T. alone. He probably gets the axe next week anyway, so whatever.
After Daniel stripped down to a banana hammock and jumped in the pool during the first episode, I thought he was the Token Way Too Drunk On Premiere Night Guy and would be out after the first hour. But once the producers realized that Daniel was the only human who could control Chad’s insatiable need to punch doors, they obviously made Jojo keep him around in the interest of everyone’s safety. Once Chad was gone, though, his sleeveless hoodie-wearing sidekick no longer served any purpose. Daniel seemed to understand this, accepting his fate with a shrug and a wonderfully nihilistic one-liner (“She’s obviously going for personality, and my personality is shit”) destined to become a staple of senior yearbook quotes for the Class of 2017. I bet he’s back for Paradise, if for no other reason to make sure Chad doesn’t go Lord of the Flies on everyone.
Alas, just one week after Jojo booted his archenemy, Evan is en route back to his Nashville erectile dysfunction clinic (or his “dick company,” as Chad so devastatingly referred to it). Evan had one of the weirdest character arcs in recent memory, growing emotional at times not because he seemed to care about Jojo all that much, but because her affection for him validated some kind of deeply felt need for acceptance within him. The guys seemed to sense this and rallied around Evan as their little mascot; at his rose ceremony, there were multiple supportive arms around his shoulders before Chris Harrison could even come out to deliver his coup de grace line. Unfortunately, as far as we know, he never got Chad to pay for the Ripped Shirt Heard ‘Round The Twitterverse, so Evan will have to continue his personal growth process off-screen and $20 poorer.
We all knew exactly what Chris Harrison meant when he dramatically announced that Jojo would skip the cocktail party and go straight to the rose ceremony since, in her words, she knew what kind of man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. “Not the erectile dysfunction doctor who looks like a bird, not DJ Vinsane, and, um, not Grant, because, well, no particular reason, really, but…what? Why are you looking at me like that?” With Grant’s elimination, the field now consists solely of guys who look like presenters at the CMA Awards, and television’s most glaringly obvious diversity problem officially extends another year. Sigh.
Take a moment to appreciate the majestic Vinny, a man who made it a full FIVE WEEKS on the show despite looking like a Vanilla Ice backup dancer, saying nothing of substance, talking like Michael Scott’s Prison Mike character, and sporting the worst haircut of any contestant, which is bad news given that he ostensibly cuts hair for a living. Only if it comes out that he has secret pictures of Jojo and the producers all wearing their Klan hoods together will his tenure make any sense whatsoever. Along with Matthew Dellavadova’s NBA career, Vinny’s Bachelorette run is your daily reminder that if you believe, anything is possible.
Previously in insightful commentary on today’s most pressing issues:
- Take A Moment, Say Your Goodbyes: Bachelorette Obits, Vol. 3
- Take A Moment, Say Your Goodbyes: Bachelorette Obits, Vol. 2
- Take A Moment, Say Your Goodbyes: Bachelorette Obits, Vol. 1
- Uselessly Premature Predicts For All 26 Bachelorette Contestants