You know what? Des is growing on me. I still think ultimately she was the wrong choice for Bachelorette. There were more beloved girls from Sean’s season. BUT she is growing on me a teensy bit and I am finally invested in this season. Can’t believe I just typed those words. I am sure I will regret them.
We find ourselves on Madeira Island, an outpost of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean off the Northwestern coast of Africa. I didn’t know much about this island – except for the dessert wines of the same name – so I was glad when a little cartoon plane flew over a little cartoon map and I could orient my little cartoon self. (These maps could use avatars from now on from the current season.)
There is such dramatic music accompanying shots of menacing waves in the intro that for a second I thought the whole episode was going to be a tight fury ball of angst, drama, tears, and bad deeds. But the episode was actually fairly tame. I don’t remember too much crying even. And although Des starts out with some serious Tammy Faye eyelashes, even her fashion and make-up do a bit of a turnaround (mostly)!
Des says “I’ve invited some girlfriends from last season” to something or other. Presumably we’re supposed to believe these three lucky ladies get flown to Madeira to actually help Des weigh in on the remaining suitors. If they help her though, we don’t see it. Des just describes each guy in such a generic, boring and irrelevant manner and Catherine, Lesley, and Jackie sip cocktails, ogle the men with binocs, and pretty much all sweat Drew. Which seems like such a rom com thing to happen: all the pretty girls liking the closeted gay guy!
It got mildly interesting when the girls were quizzing Des on who fit each superlative and they finally veered away from Yearbook-stock (Best Looking) for juicy (Biggest Package). And you know what? I really felt for Zak. Allll the other guys got a bunch of categories like Best Looking and Best Kisser and Best Body and Zak gets one measly superlative: Most Adventurous. It took me straight back to 8th grade when we were all on the bus home from Harper’s Ferry (that’s where Virginians go on field trips) and everyone was writing in a slam book and all my girlfriends got like Best Looking and Best Dressed and Most Want to Go Steady With and I got only one: Most Intelligent. And if you think I am bragging, please know that I had to share it in a tie with Erin M., and that I am pretty sure I got it because people felt bad I didn’t qualify for any of the superficial ones, ie the only ones that matter when you’re 13.
Was there a name for this date? Des and Brooks have really nice chemistry. Watching them feels like watching a real beginning of a real boyfriend-girlfriend thing. They are very comfortable and playful but also nervous and crush-y. I sort of liked that they were spending time on the date trying to describe where they were in their relationship, wanting a name for the part between Like and Love. What I didn’t like were analogies to being in the clouds (they drive up a mountain above the cloud line on the date) or breaking through clouds and the ultimate Stepping / Skipping / Jogging / Running / Finish Line barometer. Regardless, it was useful when later Des tells Chris Harrison she is “at the finish line” with Brooks. COME AGAIN?! Did a Bachelor/Bachelorette just reveal that there was one frontrunner and it wasn’t edited out? Somewhere a kitten just got shaved.
Brooks, however, feels like he is only jogging. Regardless, he is beaming when Des reveals her strong affections for him and fireworks go off. [Interesting side note about Madeira: they are known for the largest fireworks displays in the world. Wha? Why? Huh?]
Finally, I do NOT like Des’s short sparkle sequins skirt she wears for dinner. She wears another one later so either someone is hinting this a real trend thing happening or Des and Her Very Bad Taste are just trying to make it so (a la Paris Hilton’s foreheadbands which no one else on Earth wears except for Chantal Omari on Princesses of Long Island aka Mosr Amazing TV Ever).
Let’s Sea If We Can Find Love Here date with Chris
Chris is Des’s other fave so it’s not surprising he gets the next one-on-one. They yacht. I love typing that as a verb. Also, drumroll please-
I REALLY LIKE DES’S DRESS! It’s colorful and drapey in parts in a current way and appropriately summertime and an all around a win.
Chris and Des definitely have the physical chemistry thing down. They kiss lying on the yacht while yachting and with their bathing suit bodies all oiled up, it’s pretty hot. Also, Chris is losing his hair. Why do I not recall that for any other male ever on this franchise ever?
When they get to a deserted island, Chris pulls out a bottle so he and Des can write a poem together and send it off as a Message in a Bottle. It seems like the worst idea I can think of and I personally think they should just dry hump instead, but the producers of this show are so busy so we have to be tortured by what is currently the worst poem of the season, and the bar was low.
Other notable things from the date:
- Des wears another sparkle skirt to dinner
- Des toasts Chris first before he can say anything to her, which I think is a strong sign for something
- Des is diplomatic when choosing her words but clearly she is not that close with her family
- I can’t read my last note of their date- my handwriting looks like “14 laters farting”. Any clue?
Let’s Have Fun on Funchal date with Michael the Prosecutor
Some people yacht, others have to walk aimlessly around town. At least Madeira seems to be very pretty. And they offer crazy options for tourists, like tobagging down hilly streets! Is it just me or Michael’s voice/accent just a little grating? I kept thinking it was because he was from Pennsylvania somewhere (no offense) but then I pinpointed it closer to a gay but closeted New Jersey politician sound. Which means I need to youtube Jim McGreevy to remind myself what he sounds like.
Des and Michael eat at some pretty outdoor spot with strings of white lights overhead. Michael manages to stat-drop that he has convicted 700 people in his role as a prosecutor but I can’t stay mad at him as it sounds like a really bum deal the way his dad walked out on him right around the time he needed medical care for his then newly-diagnosed diabetes. I will give Michael credit for making a mature statement to the effect of that whatever happens, Des has shown him that there are great girls out there (who are not cheating, lying live-in girlfriends getting busted on Facebook).
I think their date ends with a fado singer.
… Heart Race 2 on 1 date with Zak and Drew
In summary, I must say this is one of the least awkward and awful 2 on 1s in this franchise- maybe the least. Meaning: the best! Props either to Des or the fact that Drew and Zak and self- described great friends, but there was nothing terrible about it. A lovely surprise.
We know going into the date Zak does not get the date rose because the episode previews had already shown him terrified and sweating profusely standing at the Rose Ceremony. Sloppy edited to give it away, but whatever.
The threesome races Go Karts, which looks really fun to me and I’m a little jealous. Drew uses a lot of hair gel, eh? (Gay!) (Or part-Italian!) Zak makes me nervous because he mentions he has been in love with Des for weeks, and we all know weeks is how long they have even been filming. I do like the book of paintings he makes her though. Just because it’s different than poetry and the usual crap. It’s interesting watching the two alone-time seshes because Des is immediately waaaayyyy more touchy and physical with Drew (Zak = “Most Adventurous”, Bachelorette Yearbook 2013).
Drew reminds us he has a mentally handicapped sister and also kind of tells Des he loves her. Date rose to Drew.
Des does something unpredictable and wears AN AWESOME DRESS!!! I can hardly believe it. They are no sequins or sparkles. Instead only a beautiful azure blue floor-length drapey but well-fitting number with a dramatic low drapey back. And clearly cups built into the front because if this dress can handle a bra, I don’t see how. Plus, Des’s make-up is NOT garish!
First Des has a sit-down with Chris Harrison where she basically says she is in love with Brooks. She says she can see Chris also as husband-material (that classic Bach terminology) but her words to be seem pretty specific. It’s surprising to me only because she seems totally head over heels for Chris when they’re together so I just wouldn’t have expected him to be in second place.
It’s worth mentioning that when Chris Harrison asks Des “What is it about Drew?”, her response is “He’s the best looking guy I’ve ever met!” Not sure hw that will go down later when she ends up with another guy!
Remaining roses to Brooks, Chris, and Zak which means Michael gets the boot. Take your diabetes and your 700 convictions and scram, Michael! JK. I liked him. Also it was sad that he called his mom from the Reject Limo to tell her what happened and how sad he was and his mom responde “Here we go again.” Moms!!
Hometowns. And Des’s brother lurks around a hotel lobby.