But first, bro-mergency.
After Kaitlyn drags Clint outside to give him the proverbial boot, he's feeling super confident and ready to pull some power moves. When she calls him on his shit, he starts talking about his deep affection for JJ because, bromance.
But when Kaitlyn takes him inside to say goodbye to the other guys, JJ throws Clint under the bus by telling him he should apologize to everyone.
Clint's all like, "Yeah! Oh, huh? Are you talking to me, bruh?" As my jaw is currently on the floor (for the fourth week in a row), I'll defer to Tanner: "If you're going to be a dick, be a dick. But don't be a dick and then throw your best friend under the bus. That just makes you an unloyal dick."
I think we can all agree the takeaway here is, "Don't be a dick." But JJ, who is shaping up to be a real master
baiter manipulator, runs outside to try to save face with the man he intends to be besties with forever. Oopsie though, Clint is having none of that.
"Nut up or shut up, dude, because I'm going to kill you."
Yikes. Guess the honeymoon period is over. JJ just doesn't know how to quit Clint, so he beelines to some unsuspecting shrubbery to dissolve into a fit of man tears.
It may literally have been the most dramatic breakup in Bachelorette history. Or, you know, the world.
There's little time to linger on Clint's angst-filled departure, though, because harbinger of doom Chris Harrison is all too eager to get this rose ceremony on the road. That's right — despite going rogue to pick guys off left and right, Kaitlyn still has to play by the books a little.
Oh, wait, no. No, she doesn't. "I've taken it upon myself to cancel the rose ceremony," she says after a super secretive meeting with Harrison outside.
Or they could be playing paper, rock, scissors. One can't be sure. Regardless, all the dudes are super excited about the canceled rose ceremony.
Oh, wait, no. No, they aren't. Kaitlyn has to remind them this is a good thing before they so much as clap. Eesh, tough crowd.
But yay! There is a silver lining. They'll be packing their bags because the kitschy travel romance portion of the season has begun. First up? New York City.
The first Big Apple group date card comes, teasing Jonathan, Justin, Ben Z., Corey, Ryan, Tanner and Shawn, "Let's keep our love fresh."
Meanwhile, Kaitlyn rides a ferry across the harbor, musing how she just hopes this week is "smooth sailing." Which, coincidentally, is what the captain of every doomed ship in history probably said shortly before going down.
Oh, those clever Bachelorette producers and their cinematic metaphors. The next day, the group date guys discover — surprise! — they'll once again be putting themselves (and let's be real, their dignity, too) at the mercy of the public. This is a rap battle date, y'all!
Pro? Doug E. Fresh is the date mentor. Con? This
might be is most definitely the most un-urban group of guys to ever hit a rap stage. Admits Shawn, "I come from Nashville, Tennessee. I listen to Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan... so I should probably figure out how to dougie in the next 10 minutes."
Or, my personal favorite from JJ, "I have literally listened to zero rap music in my entire life. I listen to Broadway show tunes."
Doug E. Fresh is a pretty awesome mentor, especially since he waits until he's out of earshot to talk about how the crowd is basically going to rip them to shreds.
Up first are beefcake Ben Z. and Tanner. As much as I'd love to give this one to Ben Z. because he's frickin' adorable, this round goes to Tanner for this gem: "She's too small for you, bro; she could fit in your pocket. Plus, for a really big guy, you've got a very tiny rocket."
In the battle of Jonathan vs. Ryan, Ryan is the easy winner. "Hanging out with all these guys on this group date feels a little bit like a bad episode of Kate Plus 8." 'Cause, really, any man who can work a Kate Gosselin reference into a rap battle is a winner in my book.
Corey doesn't even have to defeat JJ. He obliterates himself when, in front of a crowd full of NYC women, he tells Corey to "go back to your New York City hoes." That couldn't have played out any better if I'd written it.
But the big winner here is, no surprise, Shawn. Shawn. Swoon. "First things first, let's get this out of the way. Your hair? Just ask — I'll help you one day," he goads Justin, before finishing him. "You say you're a big-time personal trainer. Kaitlyn: His body, my body... no-brainer."
*Still fanning myself*
Kaitlyn doesn't spend a ton of time thanking the guys for the selfless sacrifice of their egos, though, as a little bird (read: producers) informed her that Ashley I. was in the crowd. Kardashley, y'all. Kardashley is cameo'ing and, more pressing, she's in the company of Nick Viall.
For the record, though, Kardashley looks flawless. Kaitlyn and Nick seem super chummy, which she clearly figured viewers might assume as she launches into an explanation. "Nick is from Andi's season, and we struck up a friendship on social media."
Uh-huh. "I just can't believe this is happening."
Uh-huh. "I don't know what I am going to do!" As my skepticism grows by the
minutesecond, Nick tells Kaitlyn he couldn't stand the thought of having not met her and her possibly getting engaged.
Uh-huh. My eyes literally hurt from rolling them so much. In fact, I rolled them so much during this segment, I'm 86 percent certain this actually happened:
And, while we're on the subject of cult late '80s horror flicks, I feel like Nick should stop hogging the spotlight already.
As the guys file up to the boat for the cocktail party, those poor boys have no clue what they're about to walk into.
Kaitlyn starts by saying her heart is pounding, in case the guys weren't worried enough about bad news this season. Then she launches into the saga of her and Nick's social media history.
Shawn, Tanner and Jonathan — who make no pretenses about being watchers of past seasons — know exactly who Nick is and are not amused.
Shawn asks Kaitlyn if she isn't confident her husband is already in the room, and she says she is. But Corey with an "e" counters, "That didn't sound confident." And he should know a thing or two about confidence — he's wearing slacks the color of salmon.
Shawn says that Kaitlyn bringing another guy in at this point makes him question everything they already have. Then he orders another drink. Or seven.
Kaitlyn leaves the guys to process the information. And, by that, I clearly mean sneak away to make out with Nick.
C'mon, are we seriously saying these two had never met — or at the very least spoken on the phone — before this?
I mean, really?!
No, seriously, you guys. Really?
Then, Kaitlyn pops back in to hand out the group date rose, saying, "A lot of stuff happened this week... a lot of twists and turns." Translation? "I didn't actually spend enough time with anyone to merit this rose, so I'm going to give it to Justin, since he's giving me a hall pass with Nick."
Shawn is still not amused.
Neither is Tanner, who points out, "Given the context of the night it might be the least meaningful rose of the show." That's a loaded statement there, brother. Thankfully, Jared's date card comes soon and semi-breaks the tension.
In her hotel room, Kaitlyn calls Nick and asks him to meet her before her date with Jared (classy!) to chat about his status. She then has some deep personal turmoil, which we know, thanks to the gloomy weather montage going on in the background.
She needs advice so — duh! — she heads to a salon no one has ever heard of to glean the sage wisdom of... Ashley the Onion Picker.
Who, in all actuality, did have some pretty solid insight. Naturally, Kaitlyn ignores this insight and heads straight to Nick to invite him on the show.
I'm trying to be open-minded about Kaitlyn's decision, but every time I look at Nick, I imagine what I'd say to him if we ever met. It goes pretty much exactly like this:
But I digress. Jared — who looks sexy in a tux despite his inexplicably patchy facial hair — arrives at the Met for his date with Kaitlyn. He can't stop gushing over her, and the 13-year-old version of myself wants to print him out and poster him to my wall.
Unbeknownst to him, however, Kaitlyn is totally thinking about Nick the entire time. See — here's her "just nod and smile" face.
Things get even more bleak when she interrupts their dinner to ask what Jared thinks about Nick. His response? "I don't get very much time with you, so I like to focus on us." Nailed it.
They somehow manage to pull the date from disaster, ending on a positive note by making out. Natch.
Then they take a little helicopter ride over the city, after which Jared gushes to the camera about how this could be the night he fell in love with Kaitlyn and knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. (*Until you watch the playback and realize she was thinking the same thing... about another dude.*)
Back at the hotel, Ian, Chris, Joe, Joshua and Ben H. get the group date card, which — uh — playfully says, "Let's play!" No sooner do they read it than they arrive at the Broadway theater where Aladdin runs. They get to sing and dance for a faux audition, and even pop out of those super fun below-the-stage hatches.
Normally, I'd be pissed about having "A Whole New World" stuck in my head, but, in this case, it's drowning out the memory of Nick and Kaitlyn's loud kissing noises. Besides, I was distracted by the anticipation of suspecting Kardashley was going to spring out of one of those hatches clutching an ear of corn, screaming, "Me! Meee! I'm Jasmine! I'm the Disney princess, gosh dammit !"
Alas, 'twas not so. None of the guys are all that musically inclined, including Joshua, who appears to be giving Kaitlyn the Heimlich maneuver.
Over-actor that he was, Chris "Cupcake" wins the chance to appear on stage for, ohhhh, 3.5 seconds with Kaitlyn during the evening production of Aladdin. It was magical.
Later, they make out backstage. He's still wearing
Bieber Hammer harem pants.
After their theatrical debut, Kaitlyn takes Chris for a stroll around NYC, culminating with what Chris describes as climbing "a million flights of stairs" to get to the "23rd story," which is "sacred" and "the center point of the universe."
Have we checked the possible lineage between Ashley Onion and Chris? Can someone get on that, stat?
Back at the hotel, the other guys dread Nick's imminent arrival. Nick, for his part, drags a suitcase through Times Square and, really, who does that?
But, as the old expression goes, villains gotta vill.
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