Curse You, The Bachelorette, For Making Me Actually Like Emily Maynard

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At the beginning of the season, I never would have believed this day would come, where I would actually begin to respect and appreciate Emily Maynard, but here it is, only four weeks in to The Bachelorette, and I've fallen in like with her.

I'll admit that at first, she came off as a bit vapid to me. I thought she was a little two-dimensional, shallow, and vaguely unintelligent, but as it turns out, she was just awkwardly meeting twenty-five strangers at the same time on national television. Sometimes I forget that other people (even extra-attractive ones) have the same concerns that I do, so I'll be looking at someone who's had six glasses of wine, going, “Why is that person acting so strangely and talking so loudly?” Or when I'm meeting someone for the first time, I'll be like, “Gosh, this person is very odd; she doesn't seem at all comfortable.” It's a very silly habit of mine, but it's ongoing and it made me forget that Emily is actually in a very uncomfortable situation, and that her full personality is not likely to shine through immediately.

That said, she's making huge progress. I was super impressed with her last week when she sent Tony home to see his kid, saying she didn't want to waste his time if it wasn't right, and I continued to be more impressed with her this week. More on that later. First we get to pack up and go to the first stop on The Bachelorette‘s world tour — Bermuda. In addition to the scenery, the date situation changed this week as well, as there was a one-on-one date, a group date with eight guys, and a two-on-one date, where a rose is given out in the middle of the date, and only one guy makes it to the end. The one-on-one date went to Doug, the single dad who got the First Impression Rose.

The two of them went tinkering around the island, shopping, and to dinner. Throughout the day, Emily felt like he was ‘holding something back from her', so she tried to get to know him beyond his ‘perfect guy, perfect dad' exterior by asking him what an ex-girlfriend would say his worst traits were. His answers were annoyingly perfect — “I spend too much time with my kid”, or just weird — “She'd probably say I didn't wash her car enough.” Ummmm, okay? But Emily impressed me here for the first time by not being totally satisfied with his responses. She noted that they were tough questions, and that she put Doug on the spot, but she said “I don' twant the perfect answer, I want the honest answer.” Good for you, ladypants, I think that's the right way to go about this. Of course, she did automatically undo some of that good work by answering, “I don't work out” when Doug asked her to share some of her worst traits. Ugh. That's either a lie and I'm angry or life's not fair and I'm angry, because she has an essentially perfect body. Shut up, you bitch.

The group date this week had eight guys on it, divided into two teams of four, who raced sailboats to win a more intimate date with Emily. The yellow team won, letting Arie, Jef, Ryan, and Kalon go out to dinner with Emily, while the red team, Chris, Sean, Charlie, and Travis had to go home sad and argue with each other a little bit about the differences in maturity between a twenty-five year old guy and a thirty-year old guy. Chris got all riled up because he said there wasn't a difference. Doug said the only reason he thought that was because he himself is twenty-five, and I'm extremely inclined to agree with Doug. There's a fancy little rivalry developing there, that I'm sure producers will be excited to take advantage of in the future. Meanwhile, back in DateLand, Kalon was on film for approximately fifteen unmemorable seconds, Jef got the group date pity rose for not kissing Emily on the beach when she wanted him to, Ryan got preachy and manipulative and super unattractive at Emily about kissing Arie in the house…and Arie got to make out with Emily's face. A lot. Proving he's still the undeniable favorite.

The sad sacks who got the two-on-one date this week were John and Nate, two guys who have had little to no air-time between them, so it's a safe assumption they're both getting weeded out soon. Tonight was Nate's night to go, though, hopefully due less to the fact that he teared up when mentioning his family and friends, and more to the fact that he mispronounced ‘quinoa'. Oh but excitement! I discovered Emily's “tell”…a behavior that reveals whether or not she likes a guy! I'm so proud of myself! When Emily's not feeling it with a guy, particularly if he's being emotional, she's great with him — really sweet and subdued, calming him down, but — she talks to him like he's a little kid! Key words to look for are “sweetheart”, “honey”, and “awww”. This is how I knew halfway through the date that John was going to survive and Nate was eighty-sixed. Watch for it, it's real.

And now we head back to the mansion for the Rose Ceremony and some ubiquitous male jockeying, most notably between Chris and Doug  and Arie and Ryan. Chris dislikes Doug for his accurate opinions about maturity, so he takes Doug outside to immaturely tell him so. Basically Chris is having negative feelings toward Doug, and is still young enough that he feels, “This person is a bad and wrong person!” instead of “Oh, I just don't like this person. Perhaps I shall avoid him.”

Also notable: Emily kisses Sean more, and unless my eyes deceive me, he's a perpetrator of what I call the ‘Tortoise Head'…a lot of present but dormant tongue action, like a turtle poking its head out of its shell. And just…leaving it there or prodding you gently with it. Also don't blink, or you'll miss Emily's first? only? conversation with Alejandro, who's STILL never gotten a one-on-one date, and didn't even get a group date this week. I'm assuming he's leaving soon? The kid's only twenty-four.

Perhaps the most interesting revelation of the evening was the exact source of Ryan's sketchiness,which I've struggled for a couple weeks now to put my finger on — he wants to be the next Bachelor. How do I know this? Because he's an idiot and told Michael about it, on-camera. (Michael? Who's that?! Don't worry, he gets eliminated this week. Belated spoiler alert.) He says he sorta likes Emily, but feels like he's here for “a higher purpose”. Oh, like being a self-centered douche nozzle. Got it. Thank you for clarifying. But Emily impressed me again (I promised we'd get back to it) by revealing in her one-on-one with Chris Harrison that there are certain people she knows aren't completely sincere, and who think they're fooling her more than they actually are. Chris pressed her, I'm sure assuming she'd be vague or coy, but she readily admitted she was talking about Ryan, and when he was surprised by her candor, she said, “Just ask me, I'll tell you the truth!”, a sentiment similar to one she'd made earlier during SailboatTime, and one that I'm pretty happy about, because it means she wants to give the guys a chance to get to know her as well. That she's not expecting them to just blindly propose at the end of these weeks. Props, lady. Props.

The final eliminated gentleman this evening was Charlie…a BroSquad member, but one who hadn't distinguished himself of late and who cried in the car after his team didn't win the sailing challenge. So while I'm sad to see him go, I'm not surprised. I'm hoping next week we finally shed Kalon, Travis, and John, so we can focus on the drama and intrigue without the dead-weight. No new gents were kissed this week, and no fists flew. So my reality TV addiction didn't quite get its fix. I'll leave you with a BroSquad Check and see you in London next week, which was revealed as the next destination in this worldwide tour.

We're a man down for the second week in a row, but still rolling with a strong crew:


Godspeed next week, gentlemen. Do me proud.

(Image: celebdirtylaundry.com, buddytv.com, tvrecaps.ew.com)