Fabrice: Bob D'Amico/ABC
Michael Slezak
January 31, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

”The Bachelorette”: The Frenchman surrenders!

On tonight’s episode, the remaining six bachelors wrote letters to Jen in an attempt to win one of two coveted one-on-one dates. Frenchman Fabrice, who pretty much signed his one-way ticket back to Paris by moping last week over getting chosen last at the rose ceremony, described Ryan’s winning letter as ”clichéd and impersonal,” then dubbed Jerry’s runner-up dispatch as the ”worst letter I’d ever seen in my life.”

With the bar set so low, I thought I’d try my own hand at the dying art form and send some missives to the men wooing Jen with their pens.

Dear Wendell,

I’d go out on a limb and say you’re my favorite among all of this season’s suitors. You’re the only one who’s made me genuinely laugh on a regular basis, and you’re capable of good conversation. That makes for really good TV. Unfortunately, Wendell, the producers would rather show anything besides good conversation: Bachelors talking to Jen about why she enjoyed their letter-writing skills? Check. Bachelors feverishly trying to hail cabs? Check. Bachelors playing with a coatrack dressed up like Jen? (God help us all.) Check.

Even worse, your special qualities seem to be lost on Jen as well. She’s referred to you as ”very determined,” ”very resourceful,” and ”a breath of fresh air.” These are terms you’d use to describe a diligent coworker, not someone you want to invite for an overnight visit in the fantasy suite.

Still, in tonight’s bizarre ripped-from-The Amazing Race sprint to the Empire State Building, you showed you’ve still got game. Giving your friend’s phone number to the cabbie and assuring him the guy would send $300 — overnight! — took chutzpah. But you’ll have to do more than convince a cab driver that you’re Mr. Sincere; it’s time to turn up the sexual tension with Jen. Ditch the yellow shirt. And go in for the kiss already. If you don’t shake the older-brother vibe soon, it’ll be too late!

Good luck,


Dear John Paul,

Tonight, you barely uttered two sentences, and you were infinitely more appealing than in any previous episode of The Bachelorette. You even got a rose! Now just keep those lips sealed — and get that omnipresent smirk off your face.



Dear Jerry,

I don’t care if half the people who post on EW.com think you’re hot, I know you’re auditioning for a recurring role on . . . well, pretty much any show on network television — or even basic cable. But you obviously have something going for you. After all, Jen still kissed you after you told her you have a crush on her ”in a very high school sort of way.” Eww.

Then again, at least that line didn’t sound like one of those canned comments that your night with Jen was the ”best first date I ever had ever in my whole life.” C’mon, Jerry. I know deep down you were seething because last week Febreze got a private performance from Vanessa Williams and all you managed with Jen this time was some jazz dude named Peter. Get real!

And keep your paws off our Bachelorette.


Dear Ben,

It was all over the second you announced, the ”process of writing a letter plays to my strengths.” As a ski instructor? Dude! Anyhow, I felt bad when you got all teary at the cocktail party and said your ”biggest regret is not getting to know Jen Schefft.” Well, don’t feel bad, neither have the rest of us!

All the best,


Dear Ryan,

Who are you? Where did you come from? And how did you manage to get into a hot tub and start making out with America’s sweetheart, Jen Schefft?

You can be honest with me: Did you slip Jen a bottle of Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper during your ride on top of a New York City fire truck? I saw a commercial during the break where this woman on a really dull date takes a sip of the intriguing new beverage and begins to hear that Muppets song ”Mahna Mahna.” (Doo doo, doo-doo-doo. Doo doo, doo-doo.) You know the one.

Yes, I realize Jen says she feels like she’s smiling whenever you’re around. You’re warm and caring and sensitive and you grin a lot and you’re a good listener and all that nice stuff. But I never even saw you before this week.

So, Ryan, what’s in the can?


Dear ABC,

Okay, you’re not a bachelor, but I have to tell you something: You are totally lame. Ever since the tremendously sensitive New York Post circulated a rumor that one of Jen’s suitors was secretly gay, the Internet has been abuzz with speculation as to which one secretly wanted to swap places with our gal Schefft. So what do you do? You grab the Post‘s gay bait and repeatedly tease that Febreze is going to ”come out” with a shocking rose-ceremony announcement, then douse loyal Bachelorette viewers with a weak payoff: the Frenchman taking himself out of the race because . . . he doesn’t want to marry Jen.

Maybe cheap stunts like this will keep viewers glued to their TV sets an extra 15 minutes, but how ’bout the rest of the season? Given The Bachelorette‘s ratings decline this year, do you really think you can afford to toy with our affections?

You’ve been warned,


Dear Febreze,

Okay, I know that you knew that Jen was sending you back to Anonymousville at the rose ceremony, so I don’t begrudge you the right to use your last 15 minutes as part of your audition reel (because you sure weren’t in this for love!). But if you were going to show a little emotional range for future casting directors, why not set the fabulous blue and brown Angela Adams rug on fire? Or shout some obscenities in your native tongue? Or declare that you were secretly in love with Josh, the hair-helmeted virgin that got eliminated last week?

You’re never gonna make it in Hollywood.

Bon voyage,


What do you think? Were you blindsided by Ryan’s emergence as a frontrunner, or did you see it coming all along? How do you feel about the Amazing Race-ization of The Bachelorette? Go ahead and write your own letter.

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