There comes a time in every season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette where you sit and ask yourself, “Why is this attractive person with six to eight weeks of paid vacation time single?” Tonight, I listened to JoJo and heard her lay out the carefully constructed misinterpretation of romance that has led to her being single, sighed, and said, “Ugh, girl. Me too.”
This week, JoJo takes the contesticles to Buenos Aires, home of a thousand open-air markets and restaurants that were once Nazi mansions. We’re past the halfway point and the contesticles are starting to tell JoJo that they love her. What if JoJo ends up falling in love with multiple people? O! Sweet Irony! Hark! Ho! This week, The Bachelorette is breaking the mold and JoJo will be going on a one-on-one, a group date, and another two-on-one date.
The contesticles are feeling the pain and pressure of a two-on-one dates. Wells, especially, feels like his relationship is a little behind. His relationship is reading at a third-grade level and homie just got assigned The Phantom Tollbooth. Wells hasn’t even kissed a girl! I mean, he hasn’t kissed JoJo yet. Thankfully, his date card tells him that he’s got to bésame her already, muchacho! JoJo shows up in a big ol’ sweater and JoJo and Wells go on a date that has all the chemistry of seventh-graders at their first big school dance.
JoJo and Wells wander around a marketplace and avoid kissing. Then it’s time to go see the Fuerza Bruta, a performance-art piece that has also appeared on other reality shows like America’s Next Top Model, where Claire did a face plant onto the tarp and gave herself a concussion. That was everyone’s first thought seeing this date, right? My second thought was, Thank God Grant went home last week so he didn’t have to pretend to be shot while running on a treadmill for art.
JoJo and Wells flop around on a giant Mylar sheet in leggings. Wells thinks to himself, This is it! DO. OR. DIE, and finally smooches JoJo and she pops up and screams, “THAT WAS THE MOMENT, WELLS!” You really don’t want your first kiss to come with a congratulation speech afterward … from the girl. You don’t want an encouraging high five. It’s time for JoJo and Wells’s dinner date after their weird bullet-tarp date. Now is the time for Wells to let his true romantic side come out. While he’s describing his past relationship because a producer wrote “ASK HIM ABOUT PAST RELATIONSHIP” on JoJo’s napkin, he reveals that their romance just fizzled and they became roommates.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, the group-date card comes, and Luke, Robby, Jordan, James, and Alex are going to live la vida boca, and somewhere Ricky Martin gets his lawyer on the phone to go after that residual. That means it’s Chase and Derek on the group date. To which I say: WHO?
Wells admits that he knows that the initial sparks in a relationship fall away, leaving something more stable, and that’s what he wants.
This is where we get into the deep neurosis of JoJo. JoJo says that she’s looking for her “unicorn,” and she knows that when you look at your soul mate you’re always thinking, You’re so hot, and that the sparks never go away. Oh, dear, sweet little JoJo. A lot of people have said that JoJo has a thing for bad boys, or, to put it less delicately, “douchebags.” JoJo craves those “sparks.” As my therapist and Miranda Hobbes will tell you, “sparks” are just the fear that the other person is going to leave. JoJo spends all of her time trying to break these guys down and figure them out, and once she does, she feels like she’s accomplished something and rationalizes her attraction to dicks. No one gets them like she gets them. She’s basically treating men like Rubik’s Cubes, and once all the colors are lined up, she gets at that dick. JoJo, I’ve been there. Confusing the unpredictability and instability of a relationship that does not work with “sparks” and treating moments when you’ve pleased the unpleasable person as a victory. We’ve all been there. All that to say, JoJo doesn’t buy Wells’s practical and realistic view of relationships, and she sends him home without a rose.
Wells shrugs and hugs her. Yeah, dude. We’ve been there too. “Enjoy your douchebags.” JoJo goes back to Fuerza Bruta to ruminate on her struggle. She’s alone in a crowd of dozens. She’s crying again.
It’s time for the group date, and JoJo and the contesticles are going to challenge some street youths to a game of soccer after walking through an open-air market. Someone brings JoJo a pair of sneakers so she doesn’t have to play in her ankle booties. James is feeling some insecurity going into the group date. All of the other guys are grade-A hotties and he’s a grade-A doof that maybe has a new eyebrow scar. It’s time for a penalty kick challenge posed by the youths, and James wins and gets to kiss JoJo. He takes advantage of his momentum by telling JoJo at the group-date cocktail party that Jordan was kind of mean once during a game of poker.
James. C’mon, bruh. JoJo can’t bear to hear anything bad about the love of her life, er … just some guy named Jordan, and immediately confronts him about James’s accusations of being a little rude, I guess. Jordan literally laughs it off, and JoJo totally believes him because those abs. JoJo also tries to crawl inside Luke’s leather jacket to burrow next to him like a sloth baby. She cannot keep her hands off any of these high-haired Jim Carrey look-alikes. Jordan glares at James over his glass of wine like Cersei plotting a murder. Luke gets the group-date rose because JoJo is still living off him as a symbiont.
It’s time for the two-on-one date, and who are either of these guys? Derek is dark timeline John Krasinski and Chase is hung-over Jordan. Right? Derek and Chase go tango dancing with Jojo and have all the swagger and rhythm of two mannequins brought to life. This date is all about passion and trust and the iliac crest of the tango instructor. There are not a lot of dresses you have to get a Brazilian to wear. Derek is getting an overconfident edit, and because we’ve all watched reality-TV shows before, we know he’s going home. And because Chase frames his affection for JoJo as “opening up,” we know he’s getting a rose. Dang, this show is getting predictable. Bring back a Chad. Any Chad.
Derek goes home, and the shock of the event sends him into such a desperation spiral that he starts crying in the van to the airport and shouting, “WHY AM I CRYING? STOP CRYING.” Girl. Me too. Chase and JoJo walk into another random ballroom to find a chamber music quintet and Soledad Pastrami serenading them. Soledad is singing “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” while Derek has a full-on breakdown in the back of a rented passenger van. This moment is The Bachelorette equivalent of literally any moment on Game of Thrones. “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” will be this show’s “Rains of Castamere.”
It’s time for the cocktail party, and JoJo poses on various balconies in a blue gown that’s amazing and shows off some cleavage. She carries around a healthy pour of wine for the entire cocktail party. Alex talks to JoJo about the show, which is The Bachelorette equivalent of being on an OKCupid date and the guy asking, “So, how’s OKCupid treating you?” Alex. No one cares. Your head is a square. Where is your neck? Jordan tells her that he wants to be engaged and in love at the end of this, and JoJo likes that he’s talking to her.
It’s time for the rose ceremony to take place in the Sept of Baelor. Alex is so short and they put him next to Robby and James, who are both a full head taller than he is. The first rose goes to Robby and the second one goes to Jordan. It’s time to give out the final rose and JoJo dashes out crying into her contoured cleavage and asks the producers to prep some more boutonnieres. No one is going home. She’s keeping Alex and James for the visual balance. Alex is furious he didn’t even get a chance to win over James, and steam comes out his ears. James is just happy to be invited.
Next week: Napa?