Since Meghan Markle already beat Becca Kufrin to the world’s best bachelor, tonight Season 14’s Bachelorette will begin sifting through 28 lesser-known guys to find her own Duke of Feckless. The Minnesotan brunette was appointed to the role not long after artless clod Arie Luyendyk threw her over in favor of his second choice for a bride in the previous installment of the franchise.
Likely inspired by contemporary presidential rhetoric, this tragic scene was deemed by ABC as “one of the most gut-wrenching Bachelor breakups of all time.” The network wasted no time in exploiting the indignance of Bachelor Nation, not to mention romantic rejects everywhere, by offering Becca a second chance to be heartbroken by a different artless clod.
Organize your bingo cards and oil your protractors, as we get ready to monitor the progress of these specimens of Millennial manhood:
Alex, 31, a construction manager from Georgia; Blake, 28, a Colorado sales rep; Chase, 27, an advertising VP from Florida; Chris, 30, a sales trainer, also from Florida; Christian, 28, a San Diego banker; Christon, 31, who’s an actual kind-of celebrity—a former Harlem Globetrotter from Los Angeles; another athlete, pro football player Clay, 30, from Chicago—clearly it’s a big year for “C” names—Colton, 26, yet another former pro football player from Denver; Connor, 25, a fitness coach from Florida; Darius, 26, a pharmaceutical sales rep from California; David, 25, a Denver venture capitalist, which means he has no money of his own; Garrett, 29, a medical sales rep from Reno; and Grant, 27, an electrician from California.
Commence “J” names: Jake, 29, a marketing consultant from Minneapolis; Jason, 29, a senior corporate banker, which means he does have money, and it goes a lot further in Buffalo, NY; Jean Blanc, 31, a colognoisseur (!!) from Pensacola; Joe, 31, owner of a Chicago grocery store that is probably not Whole Foods; John, 28, a software engineer from San Francisco who probably does not work for Google; Jordan, 26, a male (ya think?) model, also from Florida; Kamil, 30—okay, get this—a “social media participant” from Monroe, NY; Leo, 31, a stuntman from Studio City, CA; and Lincoln, 26, a Los Angeles account sales executive. Did they only post for contestants on the coasts?
Then we have: Mike, 27, a sports analyst, probably on TV because we all do it from home, from Cincinnati; Nick, 27, an attorney from Florida. Rickey, 27, an IT consultant in San Diego; Ryan, 26, a banjoist and likely this season’s quietly sensitive soul, from Manhattan Beach, CA; Trent, 28, a realtor from Naples, FL; and finally, Wills, 29, a graphic designer from Los Angeles.
None of them is exactly an oil painting, but there are some Samson-haired types, several beards, a large proportion of POC, and 28 complete sets of cosmetic dental work. Also, Colton looks like he may have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Let’s hope Becca hits the mansion driveway running. Meanwhile, I’m adding Social Media Participant to my job experience on LinkedIn.
We begin with recaps of Becca’s grief, shock, and despair at Arie calling it off, which came bluntly on the heels of her joy at being asked for his hand in marriage. We don’t need to see this footage since it’s all seared in our collective memory like any television event that’s been over-hyped by the network. But Becca’s mom encouraged her to try again, just as if she had fallen off Mr. Ed instead of a horse that didn’t star in a cheesy TV show. She is confident that this time it will work, because men who appear on reality shows are not all the same one-dimensional, self-serving troglodytes.
Becca heads toward the mansion is a red sports car. Her biggest fear is that she’ll fall for someone and they won’t feel the same. That happened to me with every guy on a TV cop show in the 70’s. Former successful contestants join her to boost her confidence, and assure her she will succeed this time since she’s in charge. That hasn’t worked so well for women CEOs, though. At the least, maybe she can keep the Neil Lane ring this time.
Rachel Lindsay recommends acknowledging what you feel in real life, not just the plot of a Danielle Steel novel. The gals enjoy sharing in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Famewhores. Meanwhile, this ad for the movie Adrift makes me nervous for the inevitable one-on-one dates on a boat.
Becca prepares to meet the men, donning a silver and white halter dress with a low-cut back, and earrings borrowed from one of Liberace’s candelabras. First we meet Clay, who feels he doesn’t fit into the stereotypes of other football players. Maybe he only kneels for the anthem occasionally. Garrett likes all kinds of sports, but he is lonely for someone to fish with him, and probably to cook what he catches. Jordan is the model, whose brand is the “pensive gentleman.” Being handsome is a lot of work, he informs us. He clearly thinks about it often.
Joe, the Chicago grocery store owner, knows produce and looks forward to handling Becca’s melons. Jean Blanc, the fragrance expert, thinks Becca needs a man who smells good. Personally, I like a man who smells like money. Colton plays football, but was injured and apparently felt that trying out for a reality show was the best alternative to pay the mortgage.
Becca now approaches the mansion, speculating on whether her future husband will be there or is waiting til next season to audition. Chris blathers bland words of welcome as a direct deposit supplements his account by five figures. The first guy to arrive is Colton, who is built like a Sherman tank and hands her a phallic-shaped confetti-shooting device. Grant follows. He acknowledges what a cad Arie is. Then it’s Clay, who says Becca would be the best catch of his life. Unless she passes.
After him is Jean Blanc. He teaches her to say “let’s do the damn thing” in French, which she mangles, once again making our country responsible for enraging Macron. Connor asks her to close her eyes, then gets down on one knee to declare he’s ready for this, or that he opposes police brutality.
Next comes Joe, who forgot his grocery list. John tells Becca that his grandma found love overnight, but fails to mention it was during the war when people were in a rush to reproduce before they went off to fight. Leo flips his ebony pre-Raphaelite curls for her. It appears he does stuntwork only for Fabio. Jordan’s suit is too tight, despite the fact that he pensively selected it. Alex is unremarkable. When Nick greets Becca, he pulls off his race-car driver coverall, even though he’s a lawyer, to suggest he is not Arie in a shark’s clothing. The writers must have just taken Ambien.
Mike, whose man-bun says it all, brings a life-size cut-out of Arie so it can see how happy she is tonight. Just like Debbie Reynolds would have enjoyed a picture of Eddie Fisher on her mantle. Arriving in a mini-van, Garrett declares himself awesome dad material. He shows her the car seat and toys he has in the back. Becca is impressed with this confident approach, but I worry he might be a pedophile.
Blake rides in on an ox. He’s the one who brought a horse to the After the Final Rose show. A lover of vacuous animal metaphors, he tells Becca his feelings for her are as strong as an ox. This intro line resembles its droppings. Wills tells her he’s a closet nerd, which Becca finds appealing. Jason gives her a club handshake of some sort. Nobody ever brings flowers and chocolates, which never fails with me.
Kamil steps out of the car and calls her to his side, explaining that people in successful relationships meet halfway. The strong-as-an-ox line was better. Then Jake arrives, and it turns out Becca already knows him. This has been happening so often lately, they must finally have emptied the pool of shameless strangers. Trent appears in a hearse, saying he literally died when he heard she was the Bachelorette. I hope he has life insurance.
Inside, Jordan, who seems intent on proving he’s not gay, opines on everyone’s poor fashion choices, David appears in a chicken suit and offers poultry jokes. The ugly result of allowing unpaid interns to write. The last guy brings a gospel choir, which always helps on The Voice finale.
All the men are eager to get to know Becca more as they toss back liquor and wonder who will earn the coveted First Impression Rose and possibly a feel. They cheer as she finally enters the room to recount how she learned and grew from being dumped in humiliating fashion on TV. She also became expert at preserving her make-up during weepy interviews.
Becca first goes off with Connor to drink champagne and make small talk. She then sits with Clay, who suggests they play with. . . clay. Actually, Sculpey. He’s from a small town in Illinois without stoplights and, based on the figure he molds of her, also without arts education. She then joins Christon outside, where he asks her to hold up a basketball in front of a hoop. He rushes at her from behind, seizes the ball smoothly, and deftly dunks it. Becca now looks forward to joining him in the Fantasy Suite.
I can’t keep names straight. Jean Blanc (?) has a poem for her, and Joe tells her about stocking the shelves or some damn supermarket-y thing. Blake (?), in a pinkish jacket, discusses a failed relationship. He makes a real impression on Becca, who enjoys rehashing old heartbreaks. She’s like my grandma on Rosh Hashanah.
Next she sits with Lincoln, who gives her a bracelet. Jewelry always works, says I. David likes to live in the moment. Since he’s wearing a chicken suit in public, he might want to rethink that philosophy. Garrett teaches her to fish and gives her the gift of a feathery lure. Lord Byron wishes he’d thought of that.
Next we learn that Chris distrusts Chase, whose ex he knows. He tells Christon that she claims Chase is not there for the right reasons. That’s the earliest the Reasons Fraud charge has come up in any season. Chase aggressively refutes the accusation, claiming that ex wasn’t the one of several who say such a thing. The girlfriend is not named Chelsea, thank goodness. Then he goes to Becca to “get ahead” of the issue, much like Sarah Huckabee Sanders must do daily. That’s some Survivor-style straegizing. Nevertheless, Becca is concerned. Chase tries to mop up the damage like a high school janitor in the boys room after a big game.
Becca is all business., now determined to address Jake’s presence. She reminds him that he never showed any interest in her in the many times they’ve encountered each other before the show. Is he not there for the right reasons, either? What exactly are the right reasons, aside from free booze, an easy paycheck, and luxury accommodations for several weeks? She tells Jake she is sending him home. A shame, as he’s cute, seems reasonably intelligent, and his name does not begin with a “C.” He tries to talk her out of it. He’s a new Jake, he explains, transformed in recent years, much like Kanye West or the iPhone. She demurs, however, so off he goes. We’re down to 27 guys, and it’s only 9:30.
The other men are shaken by this unexpected development. Becca ain’t playin’, though. She’s here to find love and a lifetime partner, and there’s no time for thoughtful reflection or substantive discussion. She invites Garrett to accept the First Impression Rose. The madcap mini-van stunt has affected her judgment.
Time for the final rose ceremony, before which Chris appears momentarily to utter 327 words for a payout that would get you a full-summer rental in the Hamptons. Various guys have anxiety over whether they will make it through; others feel confident that they made a connection with Becca, showed they’re vulnerability, and are there for the right reasons. I just wish Starbucks wasn’t closing all its stores tomorrow for sensitivity training.
Does Becca buy her dresses from StyleWe? Such shapeless, cheap-looking shmattahs that don’t even look good on the models. Lincoln gets the first rose, followed by Blake, Rickey, and Jean Blanc, who makes me think of vin blanc even though he’s only half white. Then come Christon, Clay, and Wills, so Elton John won’t be making any phone calls.
Connor is called next, followed by Jason and John. Next she offers roses to Ryan, Alex, and Trent. Two more roses go to Colton and David the Chicken, which makes the men still waiting sneer in derision. Jordan gets the next rose, as do Leo and Mike. Chase is worried. Christian gets the final rose. Sorry, Chase.
Kamil is really embarrassed. Really embarrassed. He lost to a damn chicken. Now he must go back to participating in social media a broken man. His tweets will be vicious.
The remaining group will now set off for various foreign countries with beaches and mountains and crying and accusing people of being like Arie and anger at dishonesty. Even better, we have a virgin and someone taken away in an ambulance! All that’s missing is a Special Prosecutor. See you next week!