I call this week’s episode “Open Mouth, Insert Bachelor.” Over the last ten years I’ve seen all sorts of things, but for some reason, this week, a few of the guys said and did things that you just shouldn’t do when courting a woman.
Chris got the first date this week, and fortunately for him, he wasn’t one of the guys who shot himself in the foot. There aren’t a lot of extreme dates this season but Chris and Emily got a great one. Emily told me later she thought Chris looked a lot like Gerard Butler. I found it amusing how much she gushed over how good-looking she thought he was. It was entertaining to see how uncomfortable it made Chris because he obviously felt the same about her.
Once again I loved how public this date was, right there in the middle of downtown Charlotte. Emily and Chris hit it off immediately and had great chemistry. By the time they got to the Luke Bryan concert (which was awesome, by the way) it was like they had been dating for months. Chris got the first real, legitimate kiss from Emily, but how it happened is very interesting and brings up a recurring theme this season. The guys are so thoughtful of Emily and the fact that she’s a single mom that they’re almost too respectful, if that’s possible. Emily was sending signal after signal for Chris to go for it but he ended up waiting ‘til the end of the concert and at that point he still asked her for permission. In the end he got the kiss and definitely got Emily’s interest. The date couldn’t have gone much better.
The group date was next and this turned out to be a very pivotal date, especially considering how early we are in the season. This was due in part to the fact that Emily’s friends are around to help her out and in large part to how insanely bad some of these guys are at the whole “speaking out loud” thing. I absolutely loved Emily’s friends and how they basically used and abused the guys for their own personal enjoyment, making them dance, do pushups and undress. It was hysterical to watch these poor men jump through the hoops trying to impress them.
Ryan was the first to make a couple of major mistakes this week. First he thought it was a good idea to go over and interrupt Emily talking with her girlfriends. It wasn’t. Then he took this bad move to a whole other level when he laid some stunning knowledge on the ladies: He told them that if Emily gained weight after they married things would change, and that he would love her but he wouldn’t love on her as much. You know, it’s one thing to think like that, but he took it to a whole other level by actually saying it to her and her friends. Ryan, you have some digging out to do! Alessandro also made some interesting comments to Emily’s friends; I’ll cover those a little later.
That night at the group date party, Tony was mentally and emotionally done. I thought it was cool how Doug tried to reach him as a dad and Emily tried as well, but his heart just wasn’t in this and she saw that. The funny thing was that Emily was being so kind to him and so careful of his feelings you almost couldn’t tell that she was sending him home. I was worried he wasn’t going to get the message, but in the end he did, and rightfully went home to his son. Speaking of Doug, you got a glimpse into his story and saw a little bit more of what makes him the man he is. Sean got the rose on this group date and probably deserved it after Emily’s friends sexually harassed him all afternoon.
Emily’s date with Arie was incredible from start to finish. First of all, Emily had a crush on Arie from the moment she met him. Secondly, Dolly Parton and Dollywood hold a very special place in Emily’s heart. She’s a fan and really looks up to the type of person Dolly is. As you could see, Emily was completely caught by surprise that Dolly had agreed to appear on our show. She was amazing. Everybody on our entire crew that met her loved her. It was incredibly sweet of her to sit Emily down and talk to her like she did. If I ever give up my deliberation room duties I might have to call Dolly to fill my spot. As good as Chris’ date went, this one went even better. Part of that was Emily getting to meet Dolly, but it had much more to do with her getting to be with Arie.
The cocktail party leading up to the rose ceremony brought us more priceless moments from the guys this week. And by “priceless” I mean “incredibly rude and thoughtless.” I was happy for Travis that he finally got to say goodbye “Shelly,” the egg. My favorite part of the goodbye to Shelly was the other guys going pouring out some of their high-end vodka for a fallen ostrich.
Kalon has been a lightning rod for attention from the start but up to this point he’s been stirring it up with the guys and never with Emily. Tonight, though, Kalon was talking a mile a minute and not listening at all to Emily. He started out with this little gem, telling Emily “I’ve never had to share much in my life.” Then, when Emily had the audacity to try and speak during this conversation he told her, “I love it when you talk but I wish you’d let me finish.” Emily put it best when she said later, “I like tall, skinny, and funny. I don’t like tall, skinny, and condescending.”
As if Emily hadn’t endured enough this week, she then sat down with Alessandro. He immediately shot himself in the foot when he told Emily that he would consider a life with Emily and her daughter a “compromise.” This is something every woman longs to hear, by the way. But what you hadn’t seen until the end of the show was how bizarre Alessandro acted in front of Emily’s friends. The golden tidbits started with him admitting to have dated his cousin (third cousin), followed by other great admissions like cheating and having one-night stands. And the bizarre behavior didn’t stop there. Alessandro had also used some of his down time at the house to build some sort of psychic refuge, complete with homemade crosses and candles. (I’m not kidding.) After Emily picked her jaw up off the ground she kicked Alessandro’s butt to the curb so fast it made his third cousin’s head spin. By the time we got to the rose ceremony Emily had already dismissed so many guys, only Stevie was sent home.
There was one more incident that didn’t seem like much that will be talked about later. That moment where Emily ran into Arie in the hall and they shared a kiss will have a ripple effect through the house, especially for Ryan. We had to cover a lot this week and it’s only getting better as we move forward and the stakes are raised. I hope you enjoy the earlier start time. We’re going to stay with that the rest of the season. Have a great short week and I’ll see you next Monday night in beautiful Bermuda as the travel begins. For more insight and news on the “Bachelorette” go to our website and as always you can find me on Twitter @chrisbharrison.
Emily’s Bachelorette blog on people.com