Reality TV

The Bachelorette Awkwardly Handles Eric Hill’s Exit, Other Depressing Stuff On Two-Part Special

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

On the first part of this Very Special Two-Night Event of The Bachelorette, pretty much nothing exciting happened. Like, at all. Nick and Andi went on a date and had fun. Ditto with JJ. Boyz II Men were there and everyone sang songs. Andrew may or may not have gotten a waitress’s number and bragged about it, but no one told Andi. The guy with the lamp went home. All in all, not terribly shocking. I guess they are making up for that with part two, which wasn’t so much shocking as it was weird. But we will get to that later. First, we travel with the contestants to Connecticut. “I can’t believe we’re in Connecticut,”  Dylan actually says, which no. Shut up, please.

First date: Dylan

Unfortunately, Dylan does not shut up, because the very first date card belongs to him. As he gets ready, the other men question Dylan’s chances at a rose. Dylan is kind of stuck in his own head. If you recall from part one of this Very Special Two-Night Event, Dylan randomly opened up to Chris (the contestant, not the host) about how his sister passed away from a drug overdose. Shortly after that, his brother OD’d as well. He didn’t die from the overdose itself, but he was left brain dead and has since passed on. It’s a very, very sad story, but maybe Dylan shouldn’t be on television so much as in therapy? Just a suggestion. He seems to be very close to this tragedy, as in, I don’t think it happened too long ago. Oh and hey, did I mention that Dylan also recently got out of an eight-year relationship? Yeah. He found out that she got engaged the day after his brother’s funeral. God, can this guy’s story get any worse? I cannot imagine being on TV after a series of events like that. Dylan doesn’t seem like a head case or anything, but he definitely seems to be in pain. The pressure of nationally televised dating might be too much. But hey, whatever, I’m no shrink!

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

It takes a while for him to open up. He and Andi spend the day riding the Essex Steam Train. They have it all to themselves and it would be very romantic, but Dylan is quiet and there’s a lot of long silences. Finally, at dinner, Andi gets him to spill his story. Dylan tells it almost methodically, like he’s going through the events of someone else’s life. God, it’s sad. Again, I wonder if he’s not too broken for this show right now. Andi, of course, cries because how can you not? He begs her not to give him the rose because she feels bad and she swears that she wants him around. I have to wonder, though, how you could send someone away after that. Regardless, Dylan gets the rose.

Second date: Group

For the group date, Andi is ready to incite a little competition amongst the men. What better way to do that than a basketball game? Ugh, I hate basketball, FYI. But Brian is immediately pumped. “This is my game!” he will say, four hundred or so times. If you recall (and I’m sure you don’t) Brian is a high school basketball coach. He knows how to win or whatever. The only speed bump in Brian’s road to success? Five massively tall, massively talented WNBA players. At first, the guys are put to the test against the women. Spoiler alert: the WNBA players slaughter them. I mean, it’s embarrassing. Andi finally takes pity and lets the guys play each other.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

The bachelors are divided into two teams: The Rosebuds and The Five Of Hearts. Haha, get it? Roses? Hearts? Aw. So The Rosebuds – Cody, Andrew, Nick, Marquel, Eric and Brian – all get professional jerseys with the team name across the chest. The Five Of Hearts – Chris, Patrick, JJ, Tasis and Josh – get like a pile of old t-shirts that some intern drew crooked hearts onto with puffy paint. What gives? Of course, between Brian’s coaching experience and the fancy uniforms, the Rosebud team is destined for victory. The Five Of Hearts are sent home to cry into their puffy paint while the others get to stay and have dinner with Andi.

Of course, Brian is on cloud nine. He takes Andi back to the basketball court and even makes a clean shot from center court! It’s impressive! But then he totally blows it and doesn’t go in for the kiss. GO FOR THE KISS, BRIAN. Andi is practically throwing her panties at him, but he doesn’t pick up the signs. Poor dude. I kind of feel for him, even though he gets the date rose. I also feel for Eric, who is struggling to connect with Andi. Despite their awesome first date, both of them feel like their relationship has stalled out. Eric, shockingly, doesn’t really like how formal and ceremonial their dates are. Well honey, you’re on a TV show. Andi tries to get to know him better and it’s painful to watch, knowing the outcome. Even though he opens up, you can tell that both of them are still a little frustrated at their lack of progress.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Third date: Marcus

Hey guys, did you know that you could make a parallel connection between a fear of heights and a fear of falling in love? THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAS NEVER OCCURRED TO ME. Luckily, The Bachelorette is here once again to show me how two crazy kids can jump off a building and kiss, thus proving that Facing Your Fears Together Shows Us That Love Is Real And If You Take A Leap Of Faith Together You Won’t Die Sad And Alone. That was the message, right?

I am not even going to bother going through this. Guess what? Marcus and Andi are scared of heights. HOLY COW. They rappel down a building. OH MY GOD. They are scared – but they do it together! Blah blah blah, ropes, kissing, no one dies. Marcus, who is probably about ten notches too into Andi at this point to be sane, vomits his emotions all over her. They have dinner, they dance to a sad concert from John Pardi (Who is John Pardi? I do not know) and he declares, “I’m falling in love with you!”  It’s their first date, guys. Yikes. Andi gives him the rose, though.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Rose ceremony

This is where things get really awkward. First, let’s go through the good stuff: Andi gets a letter from a secret admirer, but we don’t know who it is. She’s all smiles over it, though. My money is on stalker Marcus, not gonna lie. Brian finally gets his kiss. Well done, Brian! Marquel practices self-defense with Andi and I still think he is hilarious and dreamy. I am a sucker for a great sense of humor. Pretty sure Andi has him in the “friend” category, though. Then…okay, this is the awkward part. Eric pulls Andi aside and asks for some one on one time – but it’s not for romance. Eric is kind of pissed. See, he thinks Andi’s earlier accusation that he didn’t open up to her is BS. He feels like he did open up, telling her about his travels and his near-death experience in Syria. I have to agree with him. I think Andi just lost interest. But Eric isn’t finished: he goes further, saying that Andi is the one who isn’t being real with him. “I feel like you’re not being Andi with me,” he tells her. “I came on this to meet a person, not a TV actress.”  OUCH.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Now it’s Andi’s turn to be pissed off. And guys, this is so weird because then they fight and she cries and Eric is sent home – right then and there. It’s the last time he and Andi ever spoke to each other. We all know that he died soon after. We all know that this was the last moment he had on the show with all of the friends he made. It’s uncomfortable and sad and just plain yucky. I see why the producers decided not to cut it out entirely, but I don’t know why we had to dwell on it quite so much. Andi confronts the rest of the contestants, still crying. “Every day, this is real to me!” she rages and then huffs off. And this would be really juicy if, you know, Eric wasn’t dead.

After that, the show abruptly cuts off. Instead of showing the rose ceremony (where apparently, Tasos was also sent home – bye, Tasos!) we cut to Andi and Chris Harrison. They share some sad words about Eric and you can tell that Andi is full of regret and guilt over how they left things. On a show like this, you can always count on a second chance at closure. In the back of her mind, they could hash it out at the Men Tell All special. But she and Eric won’t ever get that chance. It must be hard for her, although I have to admit that this whole thing feels like it’s too much. I don’t actually believe that the rose ceremony would’ve been disrespectful or tacky. It’s what happened. Eric went home and showing the rest of the show won’t change that. It’s tragic that he died, but I sort of feel like the show is milking it at this point.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

The Bachelorette will be back in two weeks with more kissing, more fighting and…mimes? Ugh.

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