Emily is keeping it real. As many times as Doug said "Check it!" last night, that is how many times in an instant Emily is checking herself, taking this thing seriously. The fact she sent someone home in the first week of dates lets us know she's not keeping any pity players at her North Carolina mansion. Except for Stevie.
I am SO sure the producers get three picks and they're using them to keep Egg Man, Stevie, and Chopper Guy in play. (Can't wait to see that egg toss next week!!)
So last night's episode began with some local news coverage on Emily. She's a local celebrity! She even has an entourage of foxy MILFs who meet her for foodless picnics! Would that we all had such a great support system.
Emily decided to keep it real by "dressing down" for a laid-back date with her first date card beau, Ryan. LOL Emily, I could show you a thing or two about dressing down. Emily admitted that she was wary of Ryan because he was wildly good-looking, like Brad, and we all "saw how that went." Emily talks about Brad all the time! She must know he's watching this, although in my imagination he angrily turns it off halfway through, adds another fist-sized hole to his den wall, and calls his Kiwi therapist's emergency number.
Ryan was totes cool about a first date that did not involve helicopters or rock climbing. The handsome Cinderfella helped with baking cookies while oohing and ahhing over how "this is what their life would be." Yeah, it's a real gritty hell, making cookies in a mansion. That's just the grim reality you face, Ryan. Maybe his pastor had told him if he could handle a date while dressed like a woman, his date would let him handle the woman under her dress, because he even wore a frilly apron like a good sport. And then at night Emily turned on the Southern Charm, putting on a kicky raspberry dress, pushing Ryan toward the driver's seat of a flashy car, and confessing she was ready to turn all the control over to the man in her life. I know, ladies, it makes our feminist hackles rise, but then she was all giggling, "Well not really I'm the one really in control but tee hee hee." We could ALL learn something from Emily's Southern Belle Wiles. Specifically: Tell the menfolks whatever they need to hear and then do as you damned well please.
On the group date she had a similar strategy, telling each guy that he was uber-handsome and made her nervous and she was head over heels. ALL OF THEM. But I'm getting ahead of myself, can we talk about this:
The Muppets mean a lot to me, and I was kind of angry to see them trotted out for ABC's amusement. I wonder if Frank Oz angrily turned off the TV halfway through the episode, put a fist-sized hole in his den wall, and then called Brad's Kiwi therapist. I also wonder if Ricki really "got" what was so special about singing with The Muppets. Or if she "gets" this whole Bachelorette process. What's it like to see your mom, looking better than any of your dolls, being surrounded by adoring strange guys? STRANGE guys.
I 100 percent agree with Emily involving Ricki, and I think it's absolutely awesome they're having a mom be the Bachelorette (especially in light of having had a single dad before—gender parity forevah!), but I hope Emily would also feel comfortable letting Ricki spend a couple weeks with her grandma until she boils these rubes down to a final two, because this if this show confuses ME sometimes in its tone (sexual? romantic? competitive?), it's hard to imagine what it would be like to process all that PLUS the idea of changing my perfect Mom-and-me two-person family unit. That must be a lot for Ricki to handle.
Ricki continues to be a huge talking point for the guys as well. Doug reminded everyone sunning at the pool to think twice about whether they were manly enough to be a dad and put Ricki first. Then he checked the hell out of Kaleyn for bringing up that he'd put his son second to pursue Emily. Check it! Doug gave up all his dreams for his boy at the age of 20 and now his 12-year-old son wants only one thing: for Doug to sex Emily up good and proper. Check it!
After the weird Muppets performance (which was also bizarrely humorless; the stand-up comedy, Miss Piggy's talk show—it's like the guys were allergic to wit or banter), the group date got SO MUCH WEIRDER. Ems and the guys were all in this really tall, multi-floor empty manse and Emily for some reason was always alone. She was actually trapped dancing with Stevie for possibly 20 minutes before one of the guys thought to cut in.
And then she got up all her courage and sought out Jef and CALLED HIM OUT on some RAW SH-T.
Wow, this exchange got real! She was asking Jef why he wasn't returning her gaze and he was getting so flustered and while on the one hand Emily seems to compliment EVERYONE, the fact she wasn't complimenting him but calling him out: pretty interesting. Either she's very intrigued by him (and who wouldn't be? Who didn't have a crush on Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science?! ), or maaaybe she wanted to see if he'd squirm when dealing with the reality of her. He definitely squirmed.
Is Emily as guilty as the rest of us in getting hung up on guys who don't seem that into her? They just seem so much more HONEST and PERCEPTIVE, the guys who look straight through us. What is this programming in our brains and how do we short-circuit it?
Emily protested that he made her feel like the annoying little sister. Even if he's around the same age, based on his Eco Water Bottle Business that seems entirely staffed by his own parents, I'm guessing he ranks a lot lower on the Scale of Authentic Experiences than Emily. And I doubt this guy is as interested in being a dad as he is in a year-long sojourn to Africa wearing TOM's shoes.
Also: Is Emily a millionaire? The West Virginia country club she grew up in was kind of insanely gorgeous and expensive looking. I'm sure Greenbrier's site is crashing all over the place today as hundreds of women decide to go stuff a list of demands into their love clock and schedule weddings at the pool. Emily's manic, sunburnt date was totally feeling it.
Emily burst into tears because looking at his happy, simple face and knowing she would have to kick him off the show was probably like looking into your golden retriever's eyes as you tie him to a tree at a gas station and then drive off with the rest of the family all staring forward. You can't feel bad, Emily, this is what these guys signed on for, your job is to just find a match! He was not your match! He combs his hair straight back! Don't feel bad! Don't cry!
You gave him the night of a lifetime! And a nice weekend in a mansion. There's a bus station in West Virginia with four empty pay phones he can make travel arrangements from. It's going to be okay.
As everyone knows, the real meat of each episode happens at the Rose Ceremony, where the threat of being axed from the house numbs the guys' better instincts and they start making huge, weird, splashy gestures to stay around for another three days. Poor Tony, remember how classy he was in not mentioning to Emily that he had a kid when he first met her? He wasn't going to manipulate her maternal instincts to earn points with her, he wanted her to be attracted to him as a man. Well, not anymore. I guess when he saw "Check It I'm A Dad" Doug get the first impression rose he realized it was time to put his trump card on the table and tell Emily all about his adorbs son.
The first hurdle? Standing awkwardly in the corner as Ryan, who already had a rose, made Emily read seven pages of semi-illiterate handwriting aloud. (His pastor dictated over the phone, reminding Ryan that if you write to your woman, she’ll never wrong you.)
The awkwardness!!!! AAARGH I thought only I did things this awkwardly!!! Tony should have immediately fled the room, but the second he decided to lurk around, he put himself in a position where the longer he waited to go, the more awkward it would be to leave. (And yet paradoxically it also became increasingly awkward to still be there. Hell. Hell. On. Earth.) We feel you, Tony, we feel you. He at least used the 20 minutes of awkward lurking productively and came up with a clever line about him telling Ryan to say all those things, I think it went straight over Emily's head (she has a lot on her mind), but they bonded over being parents. Sigh. You're in, Tony! Probably not but, I like you.
You know what's even sexier than being a parent and lurking in the shadows watching Emily read an intimate missive for 45 minutes? Being a hot single race car driver and mentioning offhand that you had a girlfriend with two kids. POW! Suave effing move. Arie: number one with a bullet. Seriously I think the show cast him first and then just surrounded him with the other dunderheads to make him just that much more appealing.
Two guys who look almost exactly alike got voted off. Sorry guys. If it makes you feel better, I think Emily voted you off so she wouldn't mess up your names. Big Love. Check it!
1. The Muppets! How did we feel about that?
2. Jef: Did he lose his cool when Emily turned up the heat?
3. What would you have done in Tony's position?
4. Kaleyn vs. Stevie: Who would you back in a street fight?