The Bachelorette Takes On France, Race Relations

Source: ABC
Source: ABC

We’ve only had a one-week break between The Bachelorette episodes, but I feel like I haven’t seen this show in ages. Who are these contestants? I remember most of them. I think? Oh well, it doesn’t matter, because our Bachelorette Andi makes a big cut this week, sending the men home without their dinner a cocktail party or anything. It’s actually kind of refreshing, because this season is dragging along, if you ask me. It was time to scale it back and really get to know some of the more interesting men. And I’d say that Andi did that – except that she sent my favorite home. Marquel, I will miss you and my offer still stands to drink wine and watch Netflix any time you want. Marry me. Anyway, let’s get to this week’s dates, shall we? We’re in Marseille, France, The Perfect Place To Fall In Love until they go to Aruba or something. Before the first date, Andi sits down with Chris Harrison for a little chat. He’s like, “We’re in France!” and she’s like, “STOOOOP.” It goes on like that for a while.

andi-dorfman-stop
Source: ABC
Source: ABC
Source: ABC

First date: Josh

Once they arrive in France (and yell, “France, ba-by!” a bunch of times like guys, you’re in Europe not Vegas) the men receive their first date card. Unfortunately, it’s completely in French. Since we literally just saw Andi tell Chris Harrison that she doesn’t speak any French, I think it’s pretty funny that we’re still pretending she writes these things. Anyway, it says “Josh” up top, so the men deduce that Josh has the first date. They’re smart that way. Josh and Andi both want to get a little deeper on this date, although I think Andi might be the only one who means mentally. She’s afraid that her relationship with Josh only consists of kissing and moaning and stuff. She wants to try and talk in between.

Source: ABC
Source: ABC

Dramatic interlude

We’re barely into Josh and Andi’s date at all when we cut back to the hotel. Nick, Marquel and JJ are talking about how much they dislike Andrew. JJ, who accused Andrew of getting a waitress’s number a couple weeks ago, now has some more disconcerting news about the social media manager. It seems that during the first rose ceremony, when Marquel and Ron both received roses, Andrew nudged JJ and remarked, “Wow, like, she gave it to the two blackies.” JJ insists that’s exactly what he heard…then he says okay maybe it was “black guys,” but he definitely thinks he heard “blackies.”  Regardless, it’s not the greatest comment, although obviously “blackies” has a certain racist ignorance to it that really takes the cake. Marquel is, of course, not thrilled. He feels disrespected and angry and kind of hurt, too. He’s really struggling with what to do about this. It’s difficult, he says, to be reminded that no matter what kind of person he is, some people will only register him as a black guy. And the thing is, he’s not banging around the hotel yelling and causing a scene. He’s just quietly dealing with it, trying to do what’s right for himself while remembering where he is and what’s at stake. It’s ridiculously mature and something we almost never see on reality TV, especially when a heated subject like race is involved. Marquel decides, for the time being, to think on it and not confront Andrew.

Source: ABC
Source: ABC

First date (again): Josh

Back on Andi and Josh’s first date, the couple goes to see French things, but mainly they just sit around and talk. It’s kind of boring, to be honest, although Andi finally confronts some of her more complicated feelings about Josh. She doesn’t outright say it, but it seems like she dated an athlete in the past and he cheated on her. She says “the athlete lifestyle” like, 500 times. Is that a thing, like being a vegan? Josh says all the right things. How sincere is he? I don’t know. He doesn’t read phony to me so much as stupid, so I consider his lack of depth to really just be about his whole “brawn over brains” thing. But maybe he’s full of it. What do I know? Luckily for Josh, my opinion doesn’t matter, only Andi’s – and she’s eating his lines up with a spoon. He had a girlfriend! She kissed another man! He quit playing ball because he wants a family! Andi decides that Josh passed the talking test. He gets the rose and then they make out. Amour!

Source: ABC
Source: ABC

Second date: Group

Andi sure is getting tricky with these date cards. On the group date, she invites Chris, Marcus, Marquel, Andrew, JJ, Nick, Patrick and Dylan and the card says nothing at all. It’s just blank with a coy “♥ Andi” at the bottom. It turns out that her card said nothing because the men will be spending their day…learning to mime! Oh God, mimes are the worst. The bachelors are not really excited about this and neither am I – mimes are just between clowns and talking dolls on the creepy scale. But I guess when in France, do as the French do, and the French invented the pantomime. Andi tries to spin this as learning non-verbal communication, but let’s be serious: she just wants them to look stupid. And boy, they look stupid. After donning the traditional mime uniform (striped shirt, suspenders, hats, white gloves) they hit the streets to scare tourists and make babies cry. No really, Marquel makes a baby cry. I know what you’re feeling, young baby.

Source: ABC
Source: ABC

Overall, the men try and make the best of it, hamming it up for children in the crowd and trying to make Andi laugh. In a particularly sweet gesture, JJ grabs Andi and pantomimes their first date together. You guys, JJ the pantsapreneur is really winning me over. The only guy who doesn’t try and make the best of it is Nick, who spends most of the day wearing what can only be described as Stank Face. He is not having fun and dammit, he is not going to have fun. “Why pretend this is fun?” he asks, demonstrating a logical, yet terrible attitude. Andi is rather disappointed that he doesn’t at least make an effort. Later at the cocktail party, Cody comes out of nowhere and starts attacking Nick for his ‘tude, basically accusing him of acting like a superior pr*ck. And honestly, I can see that. I like Nick’s frank, matter-of-fact way of approaching this situation – he’s not going to pretend that this is a natural, romantic process for him. It’s weird and it’s hard and he doesn’t enjoy a lot of it. But then again, I can definitely see him acting like a snot. He thinks he’s a front-runner and it pisses Cody off.

Source: ABC
Source: ABC

Even later (this date goes on forever) Nick and Andi discuss his discomfort, as well as the fact that some of the guys don’t like his attitude. Andi’s a little wary of Nick – is he being manipulative? – until he reads her a sh*tty poem and she melts into a puddle of Andi-goo. I wouldn’t get too superior Nick, that was a seriously terrible poem. Finally, Marquel decides to confront Andrew for his alleged “blackie” comment. Unlike Cody, who gets totally riled up in a storm of testosterone (I hate guys like Cody, FYI) Marquel approaches the situation calmly and maturely. He doesn’t yell and he doesn’t make a scene – even more, he doesn’t bring Andi into it. It’s completely level headed and in my eyes, it makes him so much more impressive of a man than someone like Cody, who throws his weight around and gets aggressive the second he feels threatened. Even when Andrew totally denies all of it, Marquel just says his peace and then walks away. “I will not stand for that,”  he says and then leaves. It’s so great. Like, I wanted to applaud. On Tuesday, Time wrote a great piece on why Marquel should be the next Bachelor and I have to say, I support this idea wholeheartedly.

Other notable moments on the group date: JJ steals one-on-one time on the ferris wheel and gets some smooches for it. Marcus says he loves Andi again because Marcus is creepy and desperate. JJ gets the group date rose. Amour!

Source: ABC
Source: ABC

Third date: Brian

Oh God, you guys. This date is so boring. Brian and Andi spend the evening having what is essentially an extended commercial for The Hundred-Foot Journey, coming soon to a theater near you. It takes place in France and it’s about cooking, so naturally the two of them attend a private screening of the fim and then…cook! This should be a pretty simple, no-fuss date, right? Except that Brian hates cooking. I mean he really, really hates cooking. Brian loves basketball. Yay basketball, boo cooking. He no like. Want to play ball. The second he gets into the kitchen, he clams up, giving quiet one-word answers to Andi’s inane questions (“Are you a cheese guy?” oh God, kill me).

Andi is not thrilled. In the movie, it was so romantic! This is decidedly not romantic. Meanwhile Brian is like, “Remember last week with the basketball? Basketball is romantic! Me love basketball! We play again? No? Boo Brian sad.” Finally, the two of them sit down to eat and realize that neither of them can cook for sh*t. The food is gross and flavorless. It would be funny if this entire date wasn’t so lame and awkward. The couple decides to hit a cafe instead, enjoying steaks and beers like real Americans who are in France.  Even though he’s a huge bore and will never cook a meal, Brian gets the rose. Amour!

Source: ABC
Source: ABC

Rose ceremony

After what feels like three or four years, it’s time for the final cocktail party. Going in, JJ, Josh and Brian all have roses. The rest of the men are very eager to get some time with Andi – Chris especially seems intent on talking to her about something. But we don’t get the chance to learn what – Andi drops the bomb that there will be no cocktail party. Dun dun dunnnnn. The men are disappointed! Scared! Anxious! There are feelings and emotions! But Andi has made up her mind and she will be sending three men home. There’s little fanfair, just roses: Marcus, Nick, Chris, Dylan, and…Cody. REALLY!? Ugh, gross. Cody gets the final rose, which means that Patrick, Andrew and Marquel will be going home. That is SO LAME. Marquel gave her cookies! Oh well. Maybe he can be the next Bachelor, if ABC has the balls to book a black man. Fingers crossed, Bachelor Nation!

Source: ABC
Source: ABC

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