The Bachelorette: Everybody Hates James…And Ben…And Bryden

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Desiree Hartsock on The Bachelorette Munich Germany Season 9 Episode 5Welcome to another week on The Bachelorette, where you're guaranteed to get your weekly? monthly? yearly? quota of fairy-tale references filled in a mere two hours of contrived fake dating! Hurray! We're in Munich this week, and Desiree Hartsock has never been to Europe before, so prepare for many wide-eyed gazes and breathy gasps. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.

The first one-on-one date goes to Chris, with whom Desiree happily wanders the city, chattering animatedly. They get a map and have to play the tourists, trying to navigate their way through the city just like they're navigating the early days of their relationship! What fun! Back at home, Bryden is worrying about his lack of strong feelings for Des, and decides to do the only reasonable thing — interrupt her date with Chris to tell her he's leaving the show. Cool cool, glad to hear you're not gonna start any drama or anything. So he's looking for them, and meanwhile Chris is effusing, “It's my first time and it's her first time. It's perfect.” (He's talking about Europe, pervs.) And then he makes the mistake of saying, “I don't think anything could ruin this date.”

Enter Bryden, to ruin this date. He steals her away and tells her he has to go because he doesn't like her enough, and even though she seems okay with it, by the time she gets back to Chris she's all teary. Of course. She says she's not gonna let it affect her date, but Chris actually impresses me by encouraging her to talk about it with him. So they do, and then they make kissy faces and go to a palace for a dinner that looks exactly like every other dinner ever on The Bachelorette ever. Small table, big room, shiny chandelier, wine. Bing bang boom. Chris is extra excited because he says, “I don't have to worry about what time I go to bed. I don't have to worry about brushing my teeth.” What? Who are you?

In their conversation, Des shares that she's realized that she needs to be with someone expressive, and Chris obliges with a poem he wrote about her. Blerg. No thank you. But Des likes it, because she gives him the rose and they slow dance at the surprise piano because we almost forgot! And it's week five, so Chris is obligated to say he's falling in love with her, which he does. Des hasn't said anything, but he says she “doesn't have to say it. She says it through her kisses, says it through her eyes. This is real, this is happening.” Oof.

The group date is: Juan Pablo, James, Kasey, Zak, Brooks, Drew, and Mikey, and they're going up a mountain. I spotted snow, so I bet myself a million dollars I'd hear the phrase ‘snow bunny' before the end of the episode, but guess what! I only had to wait ten seconds to collect my winnings from myself! The group goes to the top of the mountain, where they encounter a yodeler, and then sled down. It looks super fun, but everyone keeps commenting that it's pretty dangerous as well. Des wipes out and Drew crashes into her and says, “I love watching Des have fun!” Maybe I'm watching different footage, but I'm pretty sure all she's doing is repeatedly saying “I can't steer” and squealing as she flies into the snowbank.

After a brief snowball fight, everyone goes to THE COOLEST ICE MANSION. I wish we could've abandoned the whole stupid date for a little bit and taken the camera around it. It was that cool. But oh well. Des sits down with everyone and tells them not to waste her time like Bryden did, then goes off on the usual little solo rendezvous. She makes out with Brooks, who decides he wants the group date rose for the first time, and I decide I want it for him too, because I like him more and more each week. Mikey also thinks he deserves the rose, which is completely insane. During their one-on-one time, Zak comes outside to sing at them, and for the first time I realize whom he reminds me of: The Situation from Jersey Shore. In their conversation, we learn he was supposed to be a priest, which I completely can't imagine.

Desiree's next solo encounter is with James, and while he's away from the group we get to hear everyone's reservations about him. Nobody really likes him, and they think he's playing Des because he behaves so differently with her and with them. GUYS. IS HE HERE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS OR ISN'T HE? I need to know these things and so does Des, OMG who is gonna tell her? Brooks goes to break them up, but sees them kissing instead and gets lots of weird feelings in his tummytown. In the interview, James says he's falling in love with her, but Brooks gets the rose and James gets real grumpy about it, saying he's the polar opposite of Brooks and that Des is ‘hard to gauge'. I don't like James.

In a cruel twist, last night's episode also included a two-on-one date, where two men enter, and one man leaves. The unlucky winners are Michael and Ben, and in case my description was less than illuminating, the idea is that there's only one rose on the date, and whoever doesn't get it goes home immediately. Yowzers! And made doubly exciting by the fact that these two guys haaaate each other. Or Michael hates Ben, anyway. He says he doesn't even want to look at him, but luckily, decides in his head that Des must have picked him to go on this date because she wants him to expose Ben's true colors to her. Very Sherlock Holmes-y, and also, COMPLETELY INSANE. He's using words like ‘cross-examining' and ‘impeaching' and phrases like, ‘Today Ben will be found guilty of impersonating a Southern gentleman.' I am so goddamn excited right now, but how is this guy thirty-three?

Their date is by an icy icy lake, where Des pretends she wants to take the polar bear plunge. They get all stripped down and in robes and then no just kidding, what a funny joke! They're gonna take a hot tug instead, which is basically just a pot of hot water that scoots around the lake like a boat. It seems pretty awesome, if only Desiree knew how to steer it. That seems to be an ongoing theme of this episode.

Back at home, all the guys are talking about James again. He was apparently heard saying that if he makes it in the top four, he'll have lots of opportunities in Chicago, including meeting women with whom he can, and I quote, ‘make intimate settings on his boat.' I think Drew is well-meaning, but he also seems like a pretty big weirdo.

Back on le hot tug, Michael and Ben are going at it pretty hard, and Michael is embarrassing himself to a pretty severe extent. Des keeps saying how uncomfortable the tension is making her, but Michael keeps bringing up Ben's religion and his parenting skills, and trying to call him out. And what's lame is that even though I don't like Ben, he's actually really holding his own in the argument, and it's Michael who is pissing Desiree off.

Even after they get off the water, the argument continues at dinner, with Michael refusing to give it a rest. I'm pretty positive he's going home off this date, especially after Ben storms off and Des goes after him. She says she's considering sending them both home if they don't cool it, but relaxes slightly after she gets alone time with both of them and Michael behaves slightly more rationally. She's gonna give the rose to the one who she can see a potential future with and that's…Michael. Whaaaat? You blindsided me, Des! Ben is really upset about going home, because he wanted to be the Bachelor, but it'll be okay as long as they get to go somewhere to get drunk.

Recapping with Chris Harrison, we're reminded that Desiree has kissed a ton of guys. She says of everyone, Brooks and Zak are best. Meanwhile, out in the mansion, the guys are planning to take her aside and warn her about James during the cocktail party…little do they know she's about to cancel it, because she's already made her decision. She doesn't need it, guys, and she doesn't want to put you through it when she's already made up her mind!

Going into the Rose Ceremony, Chris, Brooks, and Michael have roses, and she calls out the rest of the guys in the following order: Zak, Kasey, Juan Pablo, Drew, and James. James?! No! Dash it all! And Juan Pablo is obviously only still in there because he's hot. But I digress, as poor sweet Mikey has been eliminated, and has to say his goodbyes and shake his head wonderingly.

Until next week! See you in Barcelona! I bet Des will feel like a princess.

(Image: ABC)