Maybe it’s just me, rose lovers, but it seems like Emily’s “journey” is going by remarkably fast. Only seven guys remain as the Bachelorette’s love ship docks in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where the stairs are steep and the production assistants are too cool to carry Emily’s luggage. Of course, it’s also “the perfect place to fall in love,” as Jef points out. (At this rate, the only locations left on the planet that won’t earn that title will be Siberia and the Mall of America.)
Knock knock knock! It’s a Bachelorette at the door! Emily greets the guys at their hotel and hand-delivers the date card to Travis. I’m going to call it right now: Mississippi Boy is not getting a rose. Place your bets, everyone! Aaand let’s go to the videotape:
Having put on his best pink plaid shirt for the occasion, Travis meets Emily for a walking tour of the Old City of Dubrovnik, where he buys some kind of cross-shaped knick-knack and attempts to stand on the “Balancing Stone,” a magical rock jutting out of a building that grants luck in love to those who stand on it and undress. Unfortunately for Emily, Travis stays clothed. “I’m really bummed out Travis didn’t take his shirt off,” sighs the Bachelorette. “I’ve been wondering, ‘What’s underneath that shirt?’” A good ol’ country boy, that’s what! But will he ever be more than a friend to Emily? Back at the hotel, the guys are debating this very question. “I don’t think there’s anything romantic there,” declares Sean. Ryan, who has creatively manscaped some negative space into his facial hair, agrees: “I see the woman he’s with having kind of a funky, crazy personality too.”
Or, you know, a personality. (I kid! I kid! Emily has about 14 times the personality of your average Bachelorette.) Anyhow, dinner is a candlelit, private-dining-in-an-ancient-stone-courtyard affair, and Emily is certain that if sparks are ever going to fly between her and Travis, it’ll be now. She’s impressed by Travis’ assessment of why his previous engagement broke up (“I don’t think I did anything wrong, and I don’t think she did anything wrong… At the end, it just wasn’t right”), and shocked that he hasn’t dated in the two years since it happened. You can tell that Emily really wants to feel something, but the closest they get to romance at dinner is a friendly hug. And sure enough, when it comes time to deal with the rose, Emily sadly tells Travis there’s no motion in their ocean: “I don’t know if we have that romance. You know what I mean?… I can’t give you the rose tonight, I’m sorry.” The poor guy doesn’t even get the courtesy of a Reject Minivan; instead he’s condemned to walk alone on the gloomy streets of Dubrovnik, where he tosses his umbrella aside dramatically and does his crying in the rain. Perhaps he’ll stroll all the way back to Bachelor Pad – there is one slot left, you know.
The next day, Emily meets her group date crowd – Arie, Sean, Jef, Doug, and Chris – and treats them to a little product placement: A screening of Pixar’s Brave. With that bit of business out of the way, the guys learn what their date is really about: competing in “The Highland Games”! This requires them to strip down in the lobby of the movie theater and change into kilts and tight sleeveless t-shirts [insert gratuitous close-ups of boxer-briefs, bare pecs, and biceps here]. After sashaying htrough the town square, the men mount donkeys and ride to the playing field. “In Croatia it is customary for men to ride donkeys into battle,” explains Emily, citing the Encyclopedia of Things Team Bachelorette Made Up to Compound Contestant Humiliation.
NEXT: “He shaves his legs and plucks his finger hairs and stuff”