Monday, June 15, 2015

Reality TV: The Bachelorette Season 11 Week 4 Recap and Thoughts

When we left off last week, Kaitlyn was on the warpath to take Clint down. We begin this week at the same point. Kaitlyn sits Clint down and they start hashing out what has gone wrong between them. I found this exchange even more confusing than the conversation with Kupah. Basically, it seems that Clint not actively pursuing Katilyn was a major set back for her, which she was getting over, until the other guys (13 of 15 guys a.k.a. everyone except J.J. and Clint) complained that Clint was different with Katilyn than he was with the group. I also noted that they complained about J.J. as well, but the focus for Kaitlyn was squarely on Clint and she seemed to either not care or not be bothered by J.J.'s involvement. So Kaitlyn makes it clear she doesn't trust Clint and is done with him.

While I've laid this all out and it seems straight-forward, I must confess that the whole situation was confusing to watch. We've just not seen enough of what's gone on in the house or Clint's interactions with the other guys (besides J.J.) for this to feel fully justified and satisfying as a viewer. There are too many unanswered questions. I'm of two minds about this: either everything the guys were saying was true and Kaitlyn's wrath was justified and there just wasn't time enough in the program to show it, or the producers wanted to use this story-line but didn't have the footage to back it up (ie: there wasn't enough footage of Clint being a d-bag or his behavior wasn't bad enough to warrant the hate and would paint the majority of guys in a bad light, which wouldn't work since Clint and J.J. are supposed to be the "villains").

After Kaitlyn tells Clint he's done, she leads him to the group to let him say goodbye. Here it gets even more confusing. The whole night it's been J.J. and Clint against the world, then the show makes it look like J.J. turns on Clint and says he should apologize. Then the two get into a super-heated argument and lots of insults and curses are thrown around. After Clint leaves, J.J. is shown crying and he smacks himself and calls himself names in an attempt to get over what just happened. J.J. and Clint's fight doesn't seem to be about what the show is trying to say that it is about (Clint's bad behavior/J.J.'s betrayal), so there are just more unanswered questions and confusion. There is also no Clint exit-ITM, which either means he wouldn't talk or production didn't get anything useable. All of this just makes me want to see what happens on the Men Tell All episode. The guys are shown later discussing what happened with Clint and J.J. and the guys are giving J.J. crap for dissing his BFF Clint.

With Clint gone, Kaitlyn is talking to the guys and apologizing for another night of drama when Chris Harrison shows up because it is rose ceremony time. Katilyn decides she needs to have a private word with Chris, so while they are gone, Ian starts taking polls about how the guys feel about their place going into the rose ceremony. I really, really liked Ian in the beginning, but the more he's shown on screen, the more he comes across as too serious and a stick in the mud. He's not as chill as I would like. When Kaitlyn and Chris come back, Kaitlyn announces that there will be no rose ceremony. She's obviously expecting the guys to be excited, and the reason they are not excited is because it means they have to spend another week with J.J., who, as I said above, they were also gunning for when they were complaining about Clint. The guys (except J.J., who is still visibly bummed) perk up when Chris Harrison reveals they will all be heading to New York City for the next week of dates. I thought it was pretty funny how the reaction to no one going home was so sour and yet going to NYC was met with cheers.

"I like you one is going home this week!"
"Um, guys, why are you not cheering?"
"You guys are going to NYC!"
So the cast arrives in NYC and everyone is excited. The first date card arrives and the chosen are: Jonathan, Justin, Ben Z., Corey, Ryan, Tanner, J.J., and Shawn. Everyone cheers when the names are called out, until they get to J.J.'s name. Lucky for J.J., he won't be the most hated guy in the house for long. The clue was "fresh" so the guys try to figure it out, and Jonathan gets pretty close with his guess about break dancing and "funky fresh." When the guys arrive at the date, they learn they are going to be part of a rap battle (we've seen how much Kaitlyn loves rap) and will be coached by rapper Doug E. Fresh, the name sake for the famous hip-hop dance The Dougie.

The guys are a bit baffled because most of them don't have a hip-hop bone in their body. Shawn even reveals that (though his hometown is listed as being in Connecticut) he lives in Nashville and is more of a country guy. (How many of these guys came from Nashville?! The number seems to keep going up.) They guys get to pick their battle opponent and they will perform on stage in front of a crowd. Shawn picks first and he goes for Justin and his 90s era hair. Corey picks J.J. and is confused as to why no one else picked J.J. considering Clint's ex-BFF is currently the least liked in the house. Ben Z. and Tanner get paired up, and Jonathan and Ryan are the last duo. The guys work on their raps and Kailtyn and Fresh try to help them.

Then it's time to battle. The guys look nervous and we get some info on J.J. - evidently he listens to Broadway show-tunes a lot. What. Even. Anyway, Doug E. Fresh goes on stage for a little introduction (the crowd is literally all white women, so we know they are here for the TV show, not the rapping), and while he's talking we see that off to the side of the stage is former Bachelor contestant Ashley I. She is sitting and speaking to none other than infamous whiner Nick V., loser of Andi's season. There are a few shots like this throughout the battle, just quick looks to see him and her sitting and watching. The first battle pair hits the stage and it's Ben Z. versus Tanner. Ben Z. goes for a little LL Cool J vibe and says Tanner, even with steroids, wouldn't look like him. Tanner fires back that Ben Z. is too big for Katilyn, except for his "tiny rocket."

Jonathan is next and is surprisingly uninspired (he calls Ryan boring). I say uninspired because of all the guys, he actually knew the words to the song Doug E. Fresh sang when he was introduced earlier. Ryan comes back with a slightly funnier joke that he feels like he's around a bunch of kids and feels like he's "on a bad episode of Kate Plus 8." Corey and J.J. are next. Corey is clearly having fun with it because he pulls is briefs out of his jeans so everyone can see them and puts on a knit cap pulled real low and is acting with some swagger. This was surprising because I would have expected him to be the stick-in-the-mud type, but he's a lot more fun than I realized. He goes for the obvious and asks where J.J.'s boyfriend Clint is (and in my opinion he had the best flow despite some stumbles). J.J. starts off kind of good (calls out Corey about working on Wall Street but being a sheep instead of a wolf) but then, in front of a crowd full of NYC women, he tells Corey (who is from NYC) to "go back to your NYC hos" and the crowd boos and J.J. is done. Shawn and Justin are last and this was my favorite because it was the funniest. Shawn goes for Justin's hair and even offers to help him one day, then he goes after Justin's career (personal trainer) and lifts up his shirt to show off his own set of impressive abs. Also, Shawn raps like he talks - slow. Justin comes back with the best rap of the night (joke-wise). He calls it "The Ryan Gosling and Matt Damon feud" which is great because it means the viewers aren't the only one who thinks of Shawn that way, then he says Shawn got the first impression rose because he was a "creepy-ass fan." I'd had the sense before that Shawn was pretty familiar with the show, so I guess that's true. He then goes for another Gosling-related barb, seen below:

So the date is over and Katilyn asks if she can go talk to Ashley I. Before I move on to the elephant in the room, I must say that Ashley I.'s makeup is different here than it was when she was on The Bachelor. Maybe less eyeliner or something? I can't put my finger on what exactly the difference is, but here she looks so much prettier than she did on Chris's season, so I'm excited to see her on Bachelor in Paradise soon. Anyway, when Kaitlyn gets over there, she sees Nick and is obviously pleased, if surprised, to see him (and meet him - everything I've read says they never met in person before he came to New York during filming). She and Nick go off to have a little conversation, and Nick says that he had to meet her and the fact that she could get engaged without him meeting her bothered him. Katilyn asks if he is going to stay and he says that is up to her. In her ITM directly after, she is so giddy at him being there, but when it comes down to deciding if he should come on the show, she gets more serious because that would put her and the other guys in a rough spot.

Nick has an ITM where he talks about liking her and wanting to stay. Kaitlyn bemoans the fact that the show is four weeks in and that he's late (basically saying the decision would have been much easier had he come around in week one or two). For the date after party, the group convenes on a boat and they guys look excited to be there but something is definitely up with Kaitlyn and they pick up on it. She tells them that another guy from an earlier season wants to come on the show and discusses why this is a tough decision for her. Tanner requests to know what the full extent of Kaitlyn's relationship was with this guy before the show, and her explanation seems satisfying and the guys don't seem too upset about it, UNTIL she reveals that the guy is Nick. Shawn instantly has SERIOUSLY? written all over his face and grills Kaitlyn on her confidence in the current guys (she says she's confident but then Corey says what everyone is thinking, shown below). There is some more back and forth and the date is all kinds of awkward and dour at this point. Kaitlyn excuses herself and the guys start talking.

I've questioned Tanner's being on the show several times (because he doesn't seem to have much personality or connection with Kaitlyn despite getting screen time) and now we find out why: he is a huge Bachelor/Bachelorette fanboy! At least, that is how he comes across. As soon as Kaitlyn is gone, he starts giving the other guys the details on what a scumbag Nick is, talking about Nick's actions on the After the Final Rose episode. While Tanner is saying all this in voice-over, we see Kaitlyn meet up with Nick on the dock. They are extremely comfortable with each other for having just met (he holds her close to him right away as they talk and she leans into him) and Kaitlyn is still conflicted but they kiss some any way. Now, despite what Kaitlyn says, I don't think she would have kissed him had she not been planning on bringing him on the show. Because if she had kissed him and didn't bring him on the show, she would have effectively been cheating on her group of guys with someone outside the show. It would be the same if one of the guys had a girl on the outside. BUT, I don't think there was ever any question as to if she was going to keep Nick around. Of course she was.

Anyway, we go back to the guys on the boat still discussing things, then we are shown the guys back at the hotel. They are talking about dates and then the next date card arrives and Jared gets the one-on-one. The guys are all excited for him, and he's excited. Jared is still clean-shaven, so yay! As a viewer, it was great to have this dramatic irony, knowing that once the rest of the guys got back, a bomb would be dropped. We go back to the boat and we get Justin giving his feelings on the whole Nick issue, and he says that one more guy isn't a threat and Justin gets the group date rose. I was actually surprised at his ease dealing with the situation. Maybe it was a put-on (though he said the same things in his ITM that he said in front of the group) but it came across sincere. Then in Tanner's ITM, he says this is the most meaningless rose in the history of the show. He's probably right.

We next are at the hotel with the date guys coming back and letting the other guys know what happened. The other guys are shocked as expected. Again, Joshua brings the funny with this gem, "Mother of God. Another dude? God." I love him. He makes me laugh every time he's on screen. Then we get Kaitlyn talking on the phone to Nick and more of her uncertainty, but she wants to talk to him in person so they make a date for after she gets her hair done. Kaitlyn goes to the salon and her hairdresser is none other than Ashley S! Ashley S. (who looks fab, by the way) isn't as crazy as she was portrayed on Chris's season (though that could just be while she's at work. We'll find out when she's on Bachelor in Paradise I guess.). So Ashley S. does spit some wisdom, which seems to confuse Kaitlyn even more about what she wants to do (but we know better). Something that is confusing: we see Ashley S. curling part of Kaitlyn's hair, but other than that she doesn't seem to be doing much. Then when Kaitlyn goes to meet Nick, Kaitlyn's hair is loose in the front with the back in a loose braid on the side. There is also a poof in the back, but it doesn't look so complicated that she'd have to get it done in a salon. I don't think this is a reflection of Ashley S.'s coif-ing skills, probably more a reflection of the producers wanting to get her in there and using the hair appointment as a ruse to do so.

So Kaitlyn meets Nick and tells him she would regret letting him go and he says he will stay for her. She is not moving him in that day, and she has to go to a date (her one-on-one with Jared), so they kiss and part. Kaitlyn meets Jared for their romantic date at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He's in a tux and she's in a gorgeous dress (I will be doing a post on her dresses later, fyi) and they get to have dinner amongst some ruins within the museum. Jared is clearly giving his all to this date, but Kaitlyn is distracted by the drama with Nick. She asks him what he thinks about the situation and he gives a very diplomatic and "I'm just here for you" kind of answer, then he makes a joke about him leaving, which makes her laugh and seems to lighten the mood enough that Kaitlyn can enjoy herself.

Back at the hotel, the guys are still discussing Nick and then the date card arrives. They are clearly relieved when Nick is not listed on the date, but the guys who haven't been on a date this week are listed (Ian, Chris, Joe, Joshua, and Ben H.). The guys are trying to move past the Nick issue. We go back to Jared and Kaitlyn's date and there are some sappy words between them, then Jared pulls out a poem and it is corny but cute because he includes humor, which is right up Kaitlyn's alley. There is kissing and then she gives him the date rose. Then they open a note from Chris Harrison that says a limo is outside and will take them somewhere if they don't want the night to end. They end up at a helicopter and get a aerial tour of the city, including getting up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty. The greatness of the date makes Kaitlyn question her decision to let Nick join (sure it does).

The following day Kaitlyn shows up at the guys' suite to tell them that Nick will not be on a date this week, but he will be moving in that night and will be part of the upcoming rose ceremony. The next time we see her she is meeting the guys for the second group date. The clue was "let's play" so she takes them to Broadway and the guys are going to be auditioning to be Kaitlyn's love interest in a bit part in the musical Aladdin (I wish we got to see how bummed J.J. was that he missed this one). We get to see the stars (Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed) sing and then the group starts learning choreography and a song. Ian does pretty well but most of the guys struggle with the dance. Chris is another contender because it is clear he is trying very hard to do well. We get to see them pop out on stage on star lifts, and that looked really cool. But then, another bomb is dropped: whoever wins the role to be on stage with Kaitlyn, that guy will be the only one continuing on the date and everyone else will return to the hotel. Next the guys have to sing "A Whole New World" to Kaitlyn, and most of the guys are not singers. Joe can't even remember the lyrics, so he makes up his own, which makes Kaitlyn laugh. Ian surprises everyone with how well he can sing, but the judges of the date (the stars and a producer or director, I'm not sure) think he wasn't connecting enough with Kaitlyn. Chris is last and he is a fan so he is ready to go and give it all he's got. He is very animated and really plays the part as well as sing decently if not perfectly, and the judges choose Chris as the winner. The rest of the guys are really disappointed but they stick around to watch Kaitlyn and Chris rehearse their very, very, very small bit part for the play. Joe, especially, is unimpressed because Kaitlyn and Chris mostly have to just stand there and smile for a handful of seconds.

We see a short clip of the guys at the hotel still discussing Nick and some rumors about him dating Andi after she and Josh broke up (pretty sure that was not true). They say that maybe his vice is Bachelorettes and that is why he keeps chasing them even though he already had his chance. There are shots of Nick pulling his luggage across New York City and him saying a chance with Kaitlyn is worth the wrath of the other guys. We remember how well he handled hate in Andi's season, don't we? (Not well, in case you didn't see it.) We return to the theater to see Kaitlyn and Chris getting dressed for their debut. Chris, like most guys, looks great with eyeliner. Despite not really having to do much on stage, they are still nervous to go out there in front of almost 2000 people. Of course, there is kissing backstage, then they are led up and out and there they are, part of the play. After, Kaitlyn and Chris go walking around New York. They go into a building and walk to the very top and are standing next to the New Year's Eve ball that drops in Times Square every year. It's pretty cool. More sappy words and kissing and Chris gets the group date rose.

And we are back to the hotel to see the guys discussing the best way to handle Nick when he arrives, which appears to be soon. Some of them want to hear what he has to say, but they all know he is a smooth talker since he has now worked his way on to two Bachelorette shows. Some just want to ignore him and others are ready to duke it out (though they were probably joking). We see Nick getting on the elevator and heading up (with a long shot of nothing but muzak and tension). He walks to the room, opens the door, goes inside, says, "What's up guys?" and THE END. No cocktail party, no rose ceremony, nothing. As a viewer, not having the rose ceremonies at the end is really frustrating and doesn't make for an enjoyable experience. I miss the format. Not having it makes the weeks blend together and I prefer clearer distinctions between one week and the next.

Note: I've removed Ryan M. since he was eliminated by production and added in Nick.

I've got to give it to the producers because the drama this season is top-notch, but messing with the format so much is annoying. This week's show had last week's elimination (Clint) and then we won't see this week's eliminations (or cocktail party) until next week. Won't that throw the whole rest of the season off as well? Yikes. Not looking forward to that. My week 4 is as follows:

Funniest: Joshua
Sweetest/Corniest: tie between Jared and Chris
Guy with hidden talents: Ian
Guy we finally know why he is still there: Tanner
Guy I wish I didn't have to hear his whining next week: Nick

Thanks for visiting!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading!