Desiree rolls up to her Malibu beach house and Chris Harrison is there to welcome her and gifts her with, not one, but TWO sketch pads. (So, what, she’s an artist now?) Cute baby pictures set the stage for this season – love and family are all Desiree desires. Hers is a Cinderella story, you see. And she makes reference to Cinderella, and fairy tales, eight times in the first 15 minutes. There’s also some discussion of a happy ending. #doubleentendresarefun (We’ll get to the unnecessary hashtags in a moment.)
Des says her connection with Sean was “perfect.” Ah, yes. Except for the fact that you were third runner-up, so there were three other women Sean thought were more perfect for him. Honestly, though, Desiree was really the only choice for this season’s Bachelorette. With AshLee – can you imagine? There are only so many Container Store dates/coordinating challenges the producers can plan. By the end of the season, we’d all know how to make hospital corners on beds and fold t-shirts better than any GAP employee out there. But we’d also be bored. To tears. (Des cried twice in the first hour, btw.)
So, Des it is – and the producers really went all-out, commissioning a cheesy theme song about what a beauty she is and how her hair gets tangled in the breeze or some shit like that. Chris Harrison hands her the keys to a powder blue Bentley convertible and she’s off! Off to rollerblade in a bikini on a boardwalk! Off to drive on the highway! Off to chase seagulls on a beach. “I’m hoping there’s a man who can control all this love.” “Starting tonight, my life is going to change forever.” Oh, dear. Buckle up, kids.
Chris Harrison promises there will be drama – oh, yes, especially when producers bring guys on the show who have girlfriends back home/unresolved issues. Hell-o? Screening, anyone?
We’re introduced to a few guys in their environment. First up is Bryden, the Iraq war vet with an unfortunate haircut from Missoula, MT. He has a German Shepherd and did a fist pump when he found out the Bachelorette was Desiree.
Next, we met Will, a 28-year-old banker/Bikram yoga devotee from Chicago. He says he gives out high-fives to random people on the street, but I’m pretty sure it’s just for the camera the day they filmed his bio. Otherwise, I’d have heard about him getting jumped.
Drew, the 27-year-old digital marketing analyst from Arizona played the family card pretty hard. He said he had to grow up at an early age – he’s a child of divorce, with an alcoholic dad and a mentally handicapped sister. #cuetheviolins #triplethreat
Nick R is a 26-year-old custom tailor/magician from Chicago. He has the best hyphenate in Bachelor/Bachelorette history!
Zak W. is a 31-year-old drilling fluid engineer from Texas who likes to expose himself to deer while drinking coffee naked on his balcony. I thought oil was liquid, so why the fluid distinction? Redundant much?
Robert is a 30-year-old “entrepreneur” from Los Angeles, who claims that he invented the concept of “spinning signs” – which I’m pretty sure anyone holding a large sign long enough winds up doing anyway so I don’t think you can say you “invented” it. He likes to go skateboarding with his one-eyed dog. (He gets a point for having a cool dog.)
Mike, a 28-year-old dental student from Dallas, TX, was in the air force and was born in London but doesn’t have any accent anymore. *yawn*
The guys start arriving in the limos. Here are a few of the more memorable ones –
First out was Drew, the digital marketing analyst, who was so nervous he forgot to introduce himself.
Then came Brooks, the 28-year-old marketing consultant from Utah – aka “he of the hair gel.” He also forgot to introduce himself.
Michael G, the federal prosecutor from Florida, thought it’d be cute to fish out Desiree’s penny from the fountain from last season, but apparently the maintenance crew already did that so he gave her a penny to make a new wish.
Kasey, the advertising executive from California, a/k/a the “Human Hashtag Generator” wiped his sweaty hands on his pants as he got out of the limo. He admitted to stalking Des online and gave her an earful of potential hashtags for their journey: #perfectbachelorette, #marriagematerial, #letthejourneybegin. My take? #noroseforyou, #shootmenow, #seriouslygohomealready.
Jonathan, the 26-year-old lawyer from Hickory, NC brought her a fantasy suite card and gave her a key. It was clever, but totally backfired because it was done in a very creepy way. If he’d given her a coupon for a free pizza and invited her to blow that popsicle stand to share a slice, that would be one thing, but no, he did the whole fantasy suite, “let’s go someplace dark and private” thing, and then wouldn’t let it go. (More in a minute.)
Next up was Zak W., who showed up shirtless, but kept his pants on. He asked Desiree, “Will you accept these abs?” She did.
27-year-old James from Chicago is a very intense advertising executive. He says he’s going to get fat and ugly, but says it’s ok if she does, too. (Take that, Ryan from Emily’s season!)
Larry the 34-year-old ER doctor from California says he loves to dance. He tried to spin Desiree and dip her, but ripped her dress. From that point on, he seemed defeated and moped for the rest of the evening. (After he’s sent home, he said he practiced that move with 50 people and only 2 had problems executing the dance move. 50 people? And nobody said that’s a stupid idea? Time for some new friends.)
Nick R, the magician who’ll conjure up a custom suit for you in no time, lit a napkin on a fire that morphed into a white rose.
Diogo, a ski resort manager from Lake Tahoe, was up next. He went full-knights of the round table – complete with armor that made it really hard to move. One of the gems of the evening was the judge-y look on Zak W (the shirtless guy)’s face when the knight wobbled in.
In one of the funnier-on-purpose moments, Chris, a 27-year-old mortgage broker from Washington, took Des’ hands, got down on one knee and asked her if it would be ok if he tied his shoe, as he didn’t want to trip. She laughed. It was a cute moment.
Juan Pablo, a 31-year-old former pro soccer player from Miami brought Des a piece of chocolate from Venezuela, his home country. *swoon*
Micah, a 32-year old law student from Colorado, wore a suit he cobbled together in honor of Des’ first night dress that she designed herself. (It didn’t go over well.)
Last out was Ben, a 28-year-old entrepreneur from Texas, who had his 4-year-old son, Brody, do his dirty work and give Des a daisy. He was very cute and Des ate it up. I’m sorry, but this would only work on the “Bachelorette.” If a woman had her kid come out of the limo with her, the bachelor would totally send the two of them packing right then. No need for grandma to babysit.
Des went into the house and the cocktail party began. Zak W, desperate for attention now that his shirtless gimmick has worn off, stripped down to his underwear and jumped in the pool to get Des’ attention. (Another guy took her away, so he froze his ass off in the pool, but he earned a rose for his efforts.) Kasey, of course, was shrieking, “hashtag streakage!!!!” His hashtag ass would be in the hashtag white van if I was giving out roses, but I digress.
Nick R scores the first one-on-one with his “trick” to “make Des disappear for a few minutes” by leading her outside. Brandon swooped in and gave Des his mom’s 7-year-sobriety chip to keep until the hometowns. Next up was Ben, who scored the first rose of the night by telling Des he has a good relationship with his son’s mom, and told her he loved camping and roadtrips, just as much as Des does.
Bryden told Des a story about how he befriended a 10-year-old kid during his deployment in Iraq. Boom! He gets a rose.
By this time, Larry is concerned that his ill-fated dance moves may have doomed him. He seems a bit off – either drunk or sleepy. Glad they didn’t have an emergency. “Is there a doctor in the house?” Only if I can execute the perfect dip.
Remember Jonathan? The guy whose fantasy suite offer crashed and burned the first time? Well, since it went over so poorly the first time, naturally, he tried it again. He said he didn’t think she “got it.” To prepare, he did some push-ups, lit some candles and said, “I’m going to try to kiss Desiree ON THE MOUTH.” Um, no. Is this guy serious? So creeper steals Desiree away from whichever guy she’s talking to. He tells her he’s been waiting in the fantasy suite the entire night, and wanted to try again. He tells her he’s nothing like her last boyfriend. An amused, if increasingly uncomfortable Desiree is all, “how do you know?” He doesn’t. So he says, “I have no filter.” Cue Desiree making an excuse to leave. Either Jonathan is drunk or has no clue what women want (or both). “She didn’t want to go to the fantasy suite. I don’t understand what’s wrong with her. I think I’m a pretty good catch… my mom says I’m good looking. My love tank has not been depleted for years. We’re looking at a very large love tank.” Yes, clearly. That’s what the problem is. Apparently, Jonathan did not get the message. He took her aside for a third time. At this point, Desiree is concerned where they were going and is undoubtedly glad this is all documented on film. He tried to lead her down a dark hall to his makeshift “Fantasy Suite.” Desiree told him he was making her uncomfortable and asked him to leave. Jonathan departed in a white van.
At the rose ceremony, Desiree sent a handful of guys packing. The magician’s chance at televised love went poof, and the ER doctor’s connection flat-lined. The knight outfit also fell flat. (Note to future contestants: leave the gimmicks at home. Unless they’re ah-mazing.)
So, what do we have to look forward to this season? More fairytale comparisons, castles, guys fighting over other guys “not being there for the right reasons,” someone has a girlfriend back home who shows up and is not pleased her boyfriend’s on a dating show, everyone hates Ben, lots of hand wringing, crying, and forehead rubbing. But at least there won’t be any hospital visits (at least from the promos)! Hooray!
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