Tonight launches the dates, group and one-on-one, as well as the first signs that Hannah’s oversized teeth will become impossible to watch. One group date will have the guys competing in a pageant, apparently because that’s the only way Hannah knows how to evaluate people.
She’ll judge the proceedings along with “runway expert” J. Alexander, and drag queens Alyssa Edwards and Alaska. Not as impressive as the judge who ruled that Congress can most certainly subpoena whatever the hell they want from the president, but they’ll do.
Hannah was in the audience last night for American Idol, a pageant of unattractive people who have even less talent than Miss USA contestants. There Ryan Seacrest told her to pick Peter the Pilot. He and I agree on that, although Ryan may not cosign my opinion that Alejandro Aranda sounds like a castrated Leo Sayer.
According to Newsweek, which stubbornly insists it’s a source of news, Luke P. is this season’s villain. This, despite his bio noting that he’s “a good Christian boy” who experienced a religious awakening in college—and it wasn’t even divinity school. The fact that he admires Tim Tebow does distinguish him as the Snidely Whiplash of sports fans.
In other developments that should be ignored when we’re on the brink of war with Iran and experiencing the largest measles outbreak since Alabama was a threat only to those prone to overindulging in MoonPies, Hannah appeared this week on Live with Kelly and Ryan to defend The Bachelorette. Kelly Ripa has made no bones that she finds the show “creepy” and “gross,” and that Chris Harrison is even less appealing a host than Philbin. But Hannah insisted that the franchise was one of “the most empowering things” she has ever experienced, largely because she thinks A Room of One’s Own is about choosing wall colors.
Onto the show. Hannah craves real conversation with the guys, and to know “the real you,” even though not one of them has his original teeth. The men just want to drink a lot and leer. Chris comes to the mansion to remind them how serious Hannah is about finding love, despite her strong resemblance to a Chatty Cathy doll.
The group date names are announced, and the chosen repair to the venue in a nervous hillalia (not sure that’s actually a word, but my mom used to say it). Hannah intros the judges for the pageant, who are resplendent in dramatic ensembles and eyelashes like a cartoon kitty. The guys just look nervous, especially after they see the tiny Speedos, no bigger than a dowager’s hanky, in which they must parade around for the swimsuit portion of the competition. The objectification is on the other foot now, isn’t it?
Mike admires the drag queens’ confidence, so he dons a pair of red heels and prances around .Another guy learns to juggle, one sings a song about Hannah, and there’s the option to perform an act with a rubber chicken. it’s like The Gong Show without Jaye P. Morgan to class things up.
A live audience of giddy women is in attendance for the show. One by one, the men drop their robes and march down the runway with a mere six inches of stretchy cloth covering their genitals like Michael Jackson’s glove. There’s twerking and other movements that you would not like to see in proximity to a pre-school. Luke P., the Christian guy, is last to flaunt his muscular bod before the screaming ladies, which does not even slightly resemble what Jesus would do.
Next comes the talent portion. The guitar-playing Southerner throws everyone off with his seasoned talents. No baton twirling or arias for Luke P., though. He uses this opportunity to announce he has given Hannah a piece of his heart, and wants to hand the rest over like a sandwich he couldn’t finish. He’s starting to fall in love with her, he announces. Then he comes over and smooches her in front of God and everyone. Maybe it’s performance art? Alaska is envious, as are several states on the Eastern seaboard. Luke wins the pageant.
That night, the group gathers in front of a fire pit to discuss the events of the day. Hannah thanks them for being bold and making her feel like a queen, which is just what Camilla said to Prince Charles after he finally divorced Diana. Luke P. pounces quickly, hauling Hannah away from the group. The other guys are unimpressed with his earnest declarations of love at this early juncture. They’re all waiting until there’s at least a dozen positive reviews on her Yelp page.
Hannah is also put off by Luke’s passion. After all, they haven’t known each other even 48 hours. I had more reason to feel close to the AAA guy after he charged my battery last month. Luke says he started have strong feelings for Hannah before they met, just as I did with Paul Michael Glaser. They kiss. Returning to the group, Luke insists he will fight for what he wants, even if everyone else thinks he’s a wingnut.
Back at the house, the one-on-one date card arrives for Tyler G. He is stoked, man.
Hannah continues to review the remaining inventory until it’s time to present the rose. She gives it to Jed, the singer/songwriter from Nashville who will next be seen on The Voice. Luke P. is visibly dismayed, as his only other options are Survivor or 90 Day Fiance.
Next day is Hannah’s one-on-one with Tyler G. First she sits with all the guys so they can see the helicopter approaching to whisk the couple away. I bet the neighbors just love that. After a cacophonous flight in which they can barely converse via headphones, the couple alight in a wooded area to find a pair of ATVs waiting. They can really get to know each other now as they don helmets and mount separate roaring machines. Also, Hannah chose to wear all white to drive oversized tires through the mud. Tyler doesn’t need to consult a dry cleaner to question that decision.
Afterwards, they discuss the feelings associated with going on a reality show date, as if it were as common an experience as being bar-mitzvahed. Later, as they meet up on the roof of some hotel, Hannah reflects on how much she enjoyed the date. Everything from the helicopter ride to his hair gel felt so natural.
Tyler rambles on being being vulnerable, which she finds bold and attractive. She tells him how as a girl, she always wanted a family, a career ,and to help people, not necessarily at the same time.
“What’s the point of all this if you can’t make the word a little better,” Tyler reasons. He does his part by auditioning for reality shows. Hannah hands over the rose, impressed that he was true to himself and has a great set of abs.
For the next group date, Hannah wears shorts briefer than AG Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report. They are going to a roller derby rink so she can see how the guys handle competition, teamwork, and head wounds. The guys lace on their roller blades, enter the rink, and start piling up like Democratic presidential candidates.
Back at the house, Cam is sad not to be on a group date. He plays the harmonica mournfully despite having a free pool, several TVs, and a gym at his disposal. I hope they paid him for contributing to the sound track.
Fred Willard is on board to judge the roller derby. The teams are orange vs. green, similar to Trump vs. Bernie, only with more people yelling impotently from the sidelines. Following astronomical liability insurance premiums, the green team wins. Tyler C. is unmoved by this failure, confident there is time to make up for the loss, possibly even by standing upright while in Hannah’s company. In a Tyler vs. Tyler showdown, he would win for cuteness.
The party heads out to their cocktail hour, which is good since they’ll need to self-medicate after the day’s violence. Dustin describes himself to Hannah as quiet and shy, but his aggressive kissing tells another tale. Peter tells her he is a hopeless romantic who wants to start an amazing life with the awesome Hannah, and some flight attendants on the side.
Then a mysterious car arrives. Cam is crashing the party, possibly hoping the others are too bruised to fondle Hannah properly. She is perplexed by his appearance, but that might be because she can’t recall if he’s in the cast. The other guys are resentful at this show of arrogance. Tyler C.’s cardigan, which he apparently borrowed from an arthritic retiree, is even more upsetting.
After talking with Hannah, Cam leaves with the understanding that she wants a man who is bold and defies conventions, despite the fact that she thinks a convention is the 2020 ComicCon. But then the rest of the guys confront him in the street, which looks like a scene from West Side Story performed by stay-at-home dads from Danbury.
Hannah gives the rose to Dustin because he kept getting back on his feet after falling so often in the roller rink. Apparently, his tongue wasn’t injured during the action.
Time for the Rose Ceremony gathering. Hannah is upset when she faces the group, but perhaps her Spanx are chafing. Tearfully, she thanks them for making her feel special, but remains defiant, saying, “This is me right now.” It’s also her during PMS. The whole process is so scary for her, she reveals, but she is grateful for the opportunity to make out with so many wonderful men, probably none of them virgins.
One guy invites her to scream to release pent-up emotions she’s been repressing since her junior high algebra class. They are interrupted by Cam, who promised himself he will adhere to ABC: Always Be Cam. It also spells the end of him for me.
Tyler C. flatters her by describing her super specialness as being like coming out of the tunnel for a football game. Hannah likes that he has opened up to her. Somewhere Freud is positively giggling.
Now, with Luke P., she has him open his shirt before they make out on a tabletop. “Luke P. is the dessert,” she explains happily. He ain’t your grandma’s Jello mold. Then Jed comes upon the scene, and is rattled.
Hannah feels she should do something about this awkward moment, other than send Luke for a cold shower. She finds Jed to apologize, and they giggle together about the whole silly situation. The tender moment marks huge progress in their relationship of 17 minutes.
The 22 remaining men gather solemnly for the Rose Ceremony. Hannah announces how hard this is, especially since she forgot to bring a measuring tape. The first rose goes to Tyler C. He is followed by Garrett, Devin, and Connor S. Then come Luke P. and who? Kellan? Colin? And Luke S. Next are Mike, Peter, and I hope, Davy and Micky. No, it’s Kevin, then Jonathan, Joey, and Matteo. Cam is anxious. Now comes John Paul Jones and Uri? It can’t be, so I don’t know. The final rose goes to Cam, of course. He’s bold, you know.
Hannah hates to tell someone it’s not meant to be, which is something I say to Best Buy salespeople all the time. Then, as Hannah is doing an interview afterwards, Luke P. busts in and invites her to sit on his lap. He just wanted to spend more time with her in front of a camera crew.
Luke P. must tell Hannah that it feels like everything stops when he is with her. It’s all 100 percent real, he murmurs. Just look at page 187 in the script. They smooch and paw at each other. “You can trust me,” Luke assures her. Be prepared. There’s a quiz next week in Foreboding 101.