If Mongols were to storm the set of ABC’s ‘The Bachelorette’ during tonight’s episode and murder the cast and crew, I shall not be surprised. The teaser footage suggests that anything can happen. Dez could find love, Dez could get rejected, Dez might even find a renewable energy source. This show has no rules. We’re crawling to the finish line like a snail in the desert and our slime trail stretches back for miles. It’s time for Dez to have sex with three men and then dump one of them. It’s Fantasy Suite week. It’s the Bachelorette.
I’m not going to lie to you guys, I thought the finale was tonight. ABC keeps branding this as a 2-part finale. So, there’s this part and then next week’s part. Why stop there, ABC? Why not call the season a 10-part finale? Jerks. Did you know that the word ‘jerks’ could be a sentence on its own? My computer doesn’t.
Dez (she’s Dez now) has narrowed down her husband hunt to three forgettable contestants; what’s his name, Brooks and that guy. If you’ve ever spent time in an Emergency Room waiting area, or attended a lecture on Art History, you know how long 2 hours can be. While physically impossible, this show stretches 2 hours into 4 or 5 hours. This show has no rules; therefore, rules of nature also do not apply.
We begin the night with lots ‘o’ footage of stuff we’ve already seen. ABC continues the anticipation of terrible things to come by showing the terrible things that have happened this season; Dez getting dumped by the nice Army guy, Dez dumping some of her boyfriends, people being there for the wrong reasons.
We get footage of Dez at her luxury resort thinking about these moments while staring off into the ocean. I wasn’t positive that Dez was going to think this week but, we get proof. I’m grateful to the ABC camera people for capturing the thinking. Dez says, “I’m so excited to stay at the Veranda resort in Antigua”. That was my yearbook quote.
Dez thinks about Drew, Chris, and Brooks. You see and hear her thoughts because she tells them to Bachelorette producers. These producers are taping the whole thing. They show us it.
We cut from Dez thinking to Brooks talking. Keep up! Brooks hasn’t told Dez he loves her (gasp). She says that they have the sort of love that is unspoken. Whatever gets you through the day, Dez. She says, “I picture him as that fun-loving goofy father”. Who the hell has a fun father? Father’s shouldn’t be fun. Fathers need to make sure that you do your Math homework. Kids don’t need goofy. Serial killers have goofy Dads.
Drew gets the first date in Antigua. They’re in Antigua. ABC makes sure everyone is constantly saying ‘Antigua’, because that’s where they are. They’re in Antigua. They drive an Antigua jeep. They make out in their jeep.
The jeep pulls up to a prearranged Antigua party. Drew says, “These are the kinds of things we’d do if we were married”. That’s right, Drew. Marriage is all about calypso drums and parties. That’s all marriage is. You never spend 17 minutes in a your car, parked in front of a Walmart, arguing about whether or not kitchen molding has to be the same color as the kitchen floor (it doesn’t). There’s none of that. It’s all hot tubs and oceans. Marriage is easy. You never walk extra slow to take out the garbage, just for the quiet.
When they’re done having fun, Dez and Drew talk about the fun time they’ve had. Then, they make out. There is Antiguan slurping. Drew thinks that he has found his soul mate. What are the odds? She was on TV and he found her!
When we come back from commercial, ABC puts a banner at the bottom of the screen to remind us that Dez and Drew are in Antigua. I had almost forgotten. The couple makes out in the rain, by the fire. They made the poor Bachelorette interns make a fire in the rain. I’ll bet Adele is all, “Damn straight!” Dez and Drew can’t eat dinner outside by their intern-made fire, so they go inside to show how flexible they are, rain-wise.
Dez and Drew escape to their Fantasy Suite. Um… Dez hands Drew the Fantasy Suite card while they’re in the Fantasy Suite. It’s a strong move by Dez. Get him there first, then hand him the card. Drew agrees to have sex with Dez.
Drew wants to be Dez’s husband. He says, “I’ve spent what feels like an eternity with her”. It hasn’t quite been an eternity. It’s been 9 weeks. We’re 18 minutes into this episode and it feels like an eternity so I don’t argue.
Dez and Drew go into the bedroom in which they will have sex. They’re followed by a couple of camera guys and a boom mic guy. They remark how romantic the bed is, covered in rose pedals. These interns had to start a fire, cover the bed in roses, AND light 600 candles. As Drew and Dez slurp very loudly on the bed, Drew tells the camera guys to leave so that he can have sex with Dez. The camera guys leave. Dez and Drew have sex.
Brooks is going to have the final date of the evening, but ABC skips ahead for a bit because Brooks isn’t ready to confront Dez on some doubts he’s having. He goes back to his family to talk to them about Dez and love and Antigua. Brooks’ Mom and sister nod a lot as Brooks talks. It seems to be helping.
Brooks doesn’t want to propose to Dez if he isn’t sure that he loves her. Brooks’ sister says, “At this point, you should know if you love her”. So, if you’re keeping score at home, 9 weeks of dating a woman who is also dating dozens of other men is the correct amount of time in which to determine whether or not they are your future wife.
When it is determined that Brooks doesn’t love Dez yet, his family convinces him to dump her on National Television. They say that it’s the right thing to do. I agree. I nod my head at home.
Chris has the next date. They meet on a beach in Antigua. They’re picked up IN A HELICOPTER!!!!!! The helicopter flies over Antigua. We see it. Chris says, “Dez and I are living on top of the world”. It’s not even a metaphor because the helicopter is up really high. Of course, Chris could have been referring to his feelings. I’m not sure, now. Chris is hard to read. If only he presented his statement in ‘poem’ form.
Chris and Dez land on an island to drink giant fruity drinks. They talk about Chris’ family and how much they love Dez. That’s amazing. Chris’ family loved Dez 3 hours after meeting her! What the hell is Brooks’ problem?
Chris and Dez lay on the beach to make out. Producers make sure that they’re properly positioned on the beach to have the waves wash over them as they slurp. I can see the production playing out; Chris and Dez make out, some guy with a clipboard taps Dez on the shoulder and says, “Can you guys scoot down a few feet so the waves can wash over you?”
When they’re done slurping in the ocean, ABC sits them down at a table near the loudest bugs on planet Earth. Chris begins a serious discussion about his future in Seattle while bugs or frogs have loud, screechy sex in the background. Chris asks Dez if she’d move to Seattle with him if he wins the Game Show. Dez says that she likes living in San Diego. It’s uncomfortable. Eventually, Dez agrees to move to Seattle. Then, they make out. Keep up!
We’re almost through the date and Chris hasn’t read a poem yet. I tried not to mention it. It’s like talking to a pitcher about a no hitter (sports quota filled). Dez pulls out the Fantasy Suite card and hands it to Chris. He reads Chris Harrison’s invitation for the two of them to have sex in a really nice room that interns have littered with rose pedals. Chris accepts Chris Harrison’s invitation to have sex with Dez. I grab a tissue because this romantic crap always makes me cry.
On the way to Romper Room, Chris pulls out a poem. He reads it. We hear it. His poem doesn’t even really rhyme. I’m willing to consider that women like poetry but, I’m pretty sure that the poetry has to not suck. At least, while Chris reads his poem, the bugs screech loudly in the background. These Antiguan bugs, they’re tough poetry critics. After the poem, Chris and Dez make out in a pool. Jesus, this show is an hour and fifteen minutes of making out. It’s like super-edited porno.
Brooks has the next date. We’ve been warned that this will be dramatic and painful. Dez spends some time on her balcony thinking about her man before the date. While her voice extolls the virtues of Brooks, ABC shows her putting clothes on. It’s… really awkward. I get that sex sells but, why do they need to show her putting on shorts? Is she cool with this? Did she have to sign a form, agreeing to put on shorts in front of sweaty camera guys and America if she were to become the next Bachelorette? We’ll never know… or care.
Before Brooks picks Dez up to dump her, he stops by Chris Harrison’s hotel room to talk about the best strategy in dumping his Reality TV girlfriend. The hotel room is in Antigua. Harrison steps up his game with some serious head-nodding. He’s a pro’s pro.
I’ll warn you now not to read any of this. There is no content. It’s horrendous television.
Brooks lays out that he’s not sure if he’s in love with Dez. Harrison nods. Brooks is close to deciding that he won’t take this any further. Harrison nods some more. It’s gripping. I grip. Chris Harrison asks Brooks to describe love. Brooks says, “I don’t know how to describe it, Chris”. We go another week without having love described for us.
Finally, Brooks agrees to dump Dez on TV. Harrison confirms the dumping. It is to be. Brooks will dump Dez. Even though the dumping has been confirmed, Harrison continues to beat a dead horse with more questions about love and dumping. He asks Brooks how he feels about dumping Dez. Brooks cries and talks. There is crying and talking. Keep up! The music selected for this boring scene is random piano key banging. This segment of television is 12 minutes too long. Here’s an idea, ABC, make the show an hour long so you don’t have to torture us with pointless ‘Chris Harrison’ interviews.
After Brooks decides to dump Dez, we get video footage of him sitting on a chair and thinking about how he’s about to dump Dez. He fixes his hair and thinks. There’s a ton of thinking, guys. You have no idea.
Next comes the dramatic nightmare we’ve been teased about the entire season. Dez is about to cry more than a 3-month old baby with an empty stomach and wet shorts.
Before Dez arrives, we get a little more ‘Brooks Thinking’ footage. This guy just thinks constantly. Dez tells the camera how excited she is for her date with Brooks. Her friends at ABC do a good job of not warning her at all that she’s about to have her rib cage split open, followed by her heart being ripped out her chest. ABC is a real pal.
Brooks hugs Dez and cries because he’s going to dump her. Dez knows something is up. He practically drags her over to a pier so that he can dump her on a bench by the water. It’s a good place to dump a girl. That must have been what he was thinking of.
The dumping is not quick. Apparently, ABC’s editor is on vacation. There is mindless rambling from Chris and head-nodding from Dez. He talks for 3 minutes before he even gets to the dump part. Brooks tells Dez that she’s everything he wants and that he’s happy to have met her. I’m guessing he’s never dumped anyone before. That’s not a good start.
Brooks admits that he doesn’t love Dez when Dez isn’t there. Dez cries. Brooks cries. There’s crying. No one finishes their sentences. Snot starts coming out of noses. No one can talk because everyone is crying. ABC doesn’t pause their cameras because we are forced to see snot and tears and whispery apologies for dumping people who date 24 additional people.
Dez gets mad at Brooks for dumping her. It’s a natural reaction. She hides her face and cries some more. Now there is snot all over her hands. We’re seriously 14 minutes into this dumping and ABC is not letting us off the hook. It’s so painful. It’s just crying jags. They’re in Antigua, by the way.
Dez tells Brooks that she loves him and that he was the one who was going to win the Game show. He’s all, “Dude! Why didn’t you tell me?” I immediately think of the other two boyfriends and how, after they win the Game Show, they’re going to watch this entire scene with their new fiancé and ask, “Hey, what was that whole ‘I love you Brooks’ thing?”
ABC goes to commercial and comes back with the same camera shot of two vapid people on a bench in Antigua, crying about getting dumped on TV. There’s more “Why did you dump me?” and “Sorry I dumped you”. Brooks sits weird while dumping Dez. He sits so his body is almost horizontal. Dez swears. ABC bleeps it. That was close.
I can’t really type everything said but, it sounds like this, “Words, sniff, sniff, love, words, sniff, sniff, sniff, love, words.” We’re now 34 minutes into the worst thing to ever happen. I could have spent this time sanding a cabinet or learning to kick box or eating a bowl of aspirin.
When the dumping is done, Brooks holds Dez while piano guy bangs away at some ‘Dez got Dumped’ music. Brooks cries into the camera and apologizes about breaking Dez’ heart. There’s a lot more snot.
There’s another commercial break but they’re still not done! Brooks walks Dez down the beach so we can hear more sniffling. This is torture. ABC gives us subtitles of their post-dumped relationship talk. Dez breaks down again so we get more snot and crying. Brooks’ shirt is basically ruined. They hug one last time and ABC microphones pick up their heart beats, or producers added synthetic heart beats in post-production. I wouldn’t put that above them.
Because one of the contestants dumped the star of our show, there is no Rose Ceremony. It’s just Dez walking away and crying. She produced enough snot in the one-hour dump scene to insulate a 4-bedroom house. I guess Dez did find a renewable energy source!
Brooks talks to himself about how bad he feels. If he really felt that bad, he could have just hired a fake girlfriend to come onto the show and yell at him about a fake relationship that never happened. That way, no one would get hurt. Brooks gets into his confessional limo to repeat the things he said during the dumping.
Dez tells the camera that she can’t give the other two Game Show contestants the love that they deserve. She tells the camera that it’s over. I wish so badly that she was telling the truth and that I didn’t have to watch a 3-hour finale next week.
The scene closes with Dez on a pier, thinking about being dumped. The last sound we hear is snot being sucked back into a nose by Dez’s lungs. I never thought I’d say this but, I don’t want to hear that sound again.
Next week, I get to recap the 3-hour finale, unless a cable holding a traffic light snaps and the light swings down through my windshield and smashes my skull through the car seat. Here’s hoping!
Greg Bauch is the author of ‘Frank Dates’ which isn’t one of Chris’ poems so, what’s the point?