Following a premiere episode that can perhaps be best described as the Dale Moss Experience, The Bachelorette further launched into its double season on Tuesday evening with one of the most awkward, mesmerizing dates in the show’s history. And not in a fun way. Clare Crawley, ready to canoodle and sip cocktails with a few contestants, brought her very first group date to a La Quinta courtyard to finish off their day of performative declarations about “feelings” and “emotions.” However, upon a lull in the group’s chitchat — the universal signifier for someone to, um, “steal her for a sec” to get some coveted private time — the silence lingered. And lingered some more. And, like David Byrne’s sense, just never stopped.
“Does anybody want to step up to the plate? Don’t everybody jump at once. That was sad. Oh, my God,” Crawley finally exclaimed, before Bennett (wealth management consultant and Schmidt incarnate) swooped in. The duo retreated to a private room to talk, but Crawley’s feelings of irritation persisted, especially since her alleged future husband Moss was present for the group date. “I want to apologize,” she told Bennett. “I just want to be present, and I want to be right here, but I’m not somebody that holds stuff in. And if I hold it in, it just stirs and stirs. It’s like, ‘Why didn’t those guys get up? Why didn’t they do or say anything?’” Crawley walked back, cocktail in hand, to confront the contestants and fire the following missive:
I really couldn’t concentrate and focus on talking with him because I’m a little bit taken aback. I’m sitting here making a toast and then there was the longest, awkward silence. And I just sat here and was embarrassed. Does anybody want to spend time with me? If you guys all wanna hang out with each other, you can do that, and I can go home and go to bed. At the end of the day, I’m a woman and I want my man to show me you care. The truth of the matter is it just hurt me.
The men apologized for their various budding bromances, with one of them assuring Crawley that “you’re crazy to think that we didn’t all come here for you.” Moss, for what it’s worth, also said that he “felt like shit” for not trying to form a few sentences. Maybe the poor fellas were just nervous?