Previously on the Bachelorette: There was a man named James and he may have dreamed of a party on a boat. Adults argued about this in Barcelona.
With the amazing stakes magically higher than the incredible ever, the crew heads from Barcelona to Madeira. Despite the show sort of framing it like they just hopped on a yacht and popped over there—because, you know, Europe, it's all close together—Madeira is about 500 miles off the coast of Lisbon, and Lisbon is about 750 miles from Barcelona. One can only hope they took a boat.
Anyway, here it is, blue and bountiful. "I want to go to there, " someone—I think it is Chris—actually says. You only see about three other people on this island, so presumably they all got a warning and escaped.
The gentlemen explore the very plasticky resort setup (of course). "This is built for love," Drew notes, as though the Keebler elves played a hand in it. At the hotel, built for love, they will be entreated with the comforts of either two twin beds shoved together, or a double bed that is going through mitosis.
Poolside, the producers have invited three previous Bachelor contestants on a free vacation to Madeira, so they can lightning-round judge the remaining five dudes. This group includes the apparent winner from last winter, who's named Catherine and cannot be bothered to put down her drink to hug Desiree. I am a big fan of hers.
It's clearly just the way the chairs were arranged, but it seemed like Desiree and Catherine were drinking with two local children.
Anyway, this is just a big setup to get Dez to play yearbook superlative committee (smartest, sweetest, most athletic) while the others scope out the situation. Which is the most entertaining thing that's happened all summer.
Hilariously, one of the first clips is Chris testing the water temperature before he gets in.
This is actually Dez's reaction (one assumes, it's bleeped out) to being asked which of the contestants is best endowed—yes, Catherine asked that—and to which Dez says, Chris. Here are some other bits of this:
- "Why is Brooks wearing a tank top?"
- "I got most huggable in high school." "Did you?" "Yeah, [gesturing], boobs."
- "Did you kiss a lot of people?" "You kind of have to."
The whole thing is basically like Little Women. But time marches on, and Catherine and those other two disappear into the ether. The deal here is that there are three solo dates, one "two-on-one," then she boots somebody, and then next week she meets the remaining guys' families.
First up is Brooks.
They tool around the island in a SmartCar, up to these cliffs, the edge of which they stand way too close to in my personal estimation.
They drive on ("I am on the road to falling in love with him," Dez notes in the voice over, smash cut to that goofy little car on the road), up into the (literal) clouds:
It ends up weirdly looking kind of like a scene from the Last Temptation of Christ.
"We didn't just break through the clouds, we had a breakthrough in our relationship," one of them notes (it could have been either, maybe they said it in unison), as harp strings pick up.
While up on that rock, they drink and talk about how wretched it is that there aren't adjectives (sic) between "like" and "love." I mean, there are plenty of verbs. Adore, admire, delight, fancy, and so forth. That topic is reexamined at dinner later that evening, when Dez proposes these "adjectives":
- Finish line
Three verbs and a noun, so: close enough. Dez is running. Brooks is jogging, which is neither on her list nor an adjective.
Brooks and Dez are then entreated to, like, a full-replay-of-the-War-of-1812 worth of fireworks, which I'm sure everyone remaining on the island appreciated.
Back at the hotel, Chris is called up for the second date.
The crew spends an awful lot of time milling around the hotel this week. I guess, you…work out and then…drink? Watch movies?
So they head out to a deserted island.
En route, Chris applies sunscreen just to Desiree's back on her request, and then they makeout as is their wont.
Once out on the island, they have a picnic and write a poem to put in a bottle, and that's not me being cute about them drinking. They actually write a poem together and put it into a bottle and throw it in the water (seems a little environmentally unsound to me tbh).
Chris, to his credit, actually asks this woman questions about herself, and really seems like a pretty good guy. They go back (I guess?) and eat dinner at a table approximately the size of a snare drum. Chris tells Desiree that he loves her, and I don't know, y'all, she seems pretty into it:
Michael, the federal prosecutor who somehow is still on this show, and Desiree go on this terrible date, on which he dresses preppy, and she dresses like a vagabond who stole an afghan. They eat some exotic fruit and get dragged around the streets of Madeira on a wicker couch from a Southern grandmother's porch.
I'm sure there's some tradition here, but it looked like the producers ran out of stuff for them to do and paid two bellhops to push them around for a while. Michael and Dez also check out some sweet Madeira street art that appears to be Chris making out with the Portuguese street singer we see after dinner:
I would give you more of this date, but frankly, the only person who found it more boring than me is Desiree.
They walk around after dinner and there are random musicians ready and attired like so, which is how I've always pictured Europe.
Enough of that. Obviously Michael is getting cut. The final round is a "two-on-one" date with Zak and Drew, who will be go karting with Dez.
"It does not feel like a normal two-on-one at all," Dez notes during this situation, which is…I mean, what does her life look like a normal basis? What is normal? What is normalcy?
Anyway, there's a race and Zak destroys Drew. The race, the go karts, and I guess this whole setup is really just a pretense and prelude to a lot of day drinking.
Zak uses his time alone with Dez to show her some drawings he's prepared.
And Drew uses his time alone to make out with her.
"This is the most pivotal day of my life," Drew actually says somewhere around here. He actually says that to the camera, not, like, emotes it through his game.
Okay, so, brass tacks: Dez and Chris Harrison do their first sit-down chat about the guys. She's really into Brooks (he's not as into her as she is into him, though, so…there you go), she's pretty into Chris, and she thinks Drew is hot. When asked what makes him special, she says, without blinking, "Drew is the best looking guy I have ever met."
She cuts Michael, which you can—no I don't even need to. "The relationship's growing differently," is how she does it, and claps him on the back, like, "Well, good luck, bucko." It's better in your head, I promise.
Next week on the Bachelorette!