The Bachelorette – Season 8, Episode 2 – Emily Maynard puts her men to the test with the help of some Muppets. (From ABC)Remember in Dangerous Minds how Michelle Pfeiffer was all, “I’m not your usual teacher” and used her leather jacket and karate and Bob Dylan lyrics to break through to the gang? Last night’s episode of The Bachelorette was kind of like that, only with chocolate chip cookies and the Muppets and some band called Gloriana.
Yes, in case you didn’t get the memo, this season of The Bachelorette is no usual treadmill of base jumping and skiing down hills in San Francisco. There is a child involved people! Little Ricki! Like the kid in I Love Lucy, only she’s a girl and lives in Charlotte! And that changes everything. So now we’re on the same page, let’s get this thing going.
Despite corporate salesman Chris’ Yoda-like attempt to use the force to magic up the debut one-on-one date card (“Date card, please have my name on you” he intoned), it was retired football player Ryan who would be first up.
“It was not necessarily a surprise,” he said of his status as Emily’s premier draft pick. “Just like going to a ball game, I’m never expecting to lose.” We’ll admit, we’re also unsurprised by his winning streak—he’s a trained professional who now plays against people at the gym he owns, right?
Ryan also seemed convinced he had a sixth sense: “I have a feeling it’s going to be something incredibly special,” he predicted of his date with Emily, apparently thinking along the lines of Up. “Maybe a hot air balloon ride, that’d be pretty cool.” But Ms. Stand and Deliver had other plans: “You’re going to help me bring in groceries,” she revealed, before enlisting Ryan in her snack mom mission: baking treats for Ricki’s soccer team.
In between glancing out the window to check if a helicopter was on its way, Ryan did his best to be engaged in Emily’s domestic challenge, but made sure to let the producers know that despite his talent for sampling cookie dough, he was still game for adventure. “Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be taken away on a jet or whatever else,” he said, to clear up any lingering confusion.
As a reward for Ryan’s compliance in the kitchen, Emily slipped out of her “mom clothes” (aka clothes, aka a sporty light blue hoodie sweater, black skinnies, and flats) and into an asymmetrical, painted-on fuchsia lace number (above right), for a fancy dinner in town, and an impromptu concert with an optimistically named country band called Gloriana for dessert.
One not-at-all-awkward slow dance on a dais (while all of Charlotte taped the couple on their cameraphones) later, it was time for the group date, and a date card wrapped in an impenetrable riddle.
”Let’s set the stage for love,” it read. Pooling their powers of deduction, the men correctly concluded there was a theatrical production afoot. Luxury brand consultant Kalon greeted the invitation with weirdly formal confidence, “I embrace the theater—I was Pinocchio in my first grade play.” We had a feeling that wooden artificiality came with practice.
Without further ado, the men were schooled in the art of a Muppet Variety Show by none other than Miss Piggy, Kermit, and Fozzie Bear themselves, heralding a slew of Emily fashion moments: a grey stretch jersey dress paired with a hoodie and glimmering geode earrings, a stunning green and blue patterned cocktail number with a sweetheart neckline, a Vegas-ready silver sequin mini-dress with spaghetti straps, a grey T-shirt with a sassy pink sequin skirt, and finally the coup de grace: a figure-hugging long-sleeved black dress, with transparent netting and lacy rose detail. It was no wonder Kermit (thus far, our favorite suitor of the bunch) was smitten. Figures, all the good ones are taken.
Back at the house it was time for the producers to desperately seek out conflict, no easy task with this bunch, who would later greet Chris Harrison with a “heah buddy, where you been?” and offer hooting cheers of approval when their bromantic interest got picked for a rose. But wait! How about some good old-fashioned dad rage, aimed at that prissy one no one likes, what’s her name again? Courtney? Oh right, Kalon (pictured right).
After the man known as “Chopper” made the mistake of alleging that charity director-cum-realtor Doug had taken a leave of absence from his full time fathering position in order to be there, Doug unleashed some good old fashioned Dad rage. “Just stop right there,” he warned, adding ominously, “Take a second, think about it, seriously.” Oooh, think about it seriously? That’s one step away from being very disappointed! Kalon, you better check yourself before Doug takes away your keys/allowance.
Meanwhile, Emily’s date with field energy advisor Joe, a spa trip to West Virginia resort Greenbrier, was similarly unexciting. After swapping her flouncy gold dress for a frilly black and white bikini and a swim in the pool, Emily cued up a pageanty outfit change (a hot pink hot mess that looked like it had a run-in with a bedazzler) in order to break the news to her date: she would not be giving him a rose. Joe, forgetting which reality show he was on, relied on his parting words for the Apprentice, “Thank you for the opportunity.”
After Emily took in a fireworks display for one, it was out with the Matthew McConaughey lookalike and onto the rose ceremony and her next pageant dress: a floor-length royal purple frock ornamented with gemstones and accessorized with emerald-green chandelier earrings.
Despite being cornered by Ryan and forced to read his seven-page epic poem (which bore a striking resemblance to the one Doug’s 11-year-old son Austin wrote: “I’m so thankful. I’m glad I was able to write you. I can’t wait to see you again.”) Emily managed to squeeze in some talk time with a few of her other suitors. Arie shot to our number one position on the basis of the fact that he didn’t brag about playing Pinocchio in the first grade, didn’t bore us with a letter, didn’t use the word "embrace" or encourage Emily’s overuse of the word "awesome." He didn’t confess his undying love, and didn’t use his kid as his trump card. What did he do? He inoffensively chitchatted about Scottsdale. Be still our hearts.
There was a rose ceremony too, but to be honest there’s still too many of these dudes to really notice who gets eliminated—although we will say we were disappointed to see the biology teacher go. His glasses were cool.
(All images ABC)
See more photos from Episode 2: