I’ve been living alone for the past 8+ weeks, and there are certainly certain perks that accompany this solo habitation situation. There are the classics like being able to eat the Cheesecake Factory takeout 3+ nights a week, and not having to worry about spreading a deadly virus to more at-risk members of my family; and then there are the lesser-known and lesser-appreciated premiums, like not having to face the crippling disappointment of your parents after announcing at the dinner table that The Bachelorette is the only item on the night’s entertainment agenda. Imagine their further horror still, when the first group date was “The grown ass man challenge” – Let’s jump in
Now I can’t have been the only person who was a little disappointed at Bennett’s lack of air time last week; but to say that he made up for it in the latest episode, is failing to grasp just how all-consuming the Bennett show was during the grown ass man challenge. He grabbed the bull by the horns and dragged that bronze motherfucker all the way from Wall Street to the La Quinta Spa and Resort! His declarations that he is in the “upper echelon of being a grown ass man” and that he is “definitely the smartest,” were unsurprising coming from a guy who owns more pairs of suede loafers than times he’s eaten instant ramen in his life, but his performances in the math and spelling portion of the challenge were comical. Bennett clearly wasn’t mixing it up with the hockey players in the notorious Harvard gut “time-telling through the ages” and his wording-of-the-question gripe was emblematic of a self-proclaimed intellectual who has lost a step. Yes, Bennett spelled Limousine incorrectly, but at least he didn’t spell it like Ed, who hit us with a limosuine, which sounds like a failed Shark Tank proposal that provides limo services for pigs!
The next portion of the manly man contest was another shining moment for Bennett who was unable to compete in the tug of war contest due to a mystery knee injury sustained whilst playing football. A couple of things here. I would be surprised if Bennett’s parents had let him within 500 feet of a football field growing up (in any case, football and polo practice were at the same time so riddle me that one Bennett!) Bennett is also the kind of guy who had non-invasive meniscus surgery after slipping on black ice in middle school and then proceeded to tell everyone he could have played free safety at TCU if it wasn’t for his prior orthopedic ordeals. Much more medical malfeasance to come, but really Bennett? I suspect the real reason is that he doesn’t own a pair of shoes with the requisite amount of tread to excel in tug of war!
Bennett ultimately won the grown ass man challenge after whipping up a smoothie and tossing a couple of donuts on a plate for Tayshia’s breakfast in bed. Clearly the Bachelorette producers are keen to show America’s youth that intelligence and physical prowess pale in comparison to robing up and tossing a couple of donuts on a plate, a sentiment that probably had Waffle House employees across the country rejoicing at their newly endowed supreme manliness!
Ed won the man baby award and rationalized it by explaining that Tayshia “knew he could take it.” He named it Carlos, unsurprising for a guy who has almost certainly seen The Hangover triple digit times and proffers his health insurance sales pitches by asking would-be clients to join his Blue Cross Blue Shield wolf pack! I guess what happens at the La Quinta stays at the La Quinta; except for the shame of receiving the man baby award; that shit stays with you.
Now say what you want about Ed (that he’s kind of a square, his legs are somewhat avian and that he has less neck than his namesake from 90-day fiancé) but he is really growing into his role this season. He’s the only guy crushing beers, he’s holding this baby, he has major chunky-but-chiseled vibes with a penchant for skipping leg day and he’s a serial complainer. The funny thing, is that I simply cannot imagine him ever kissing Tayshia, or any girl for that matter! He spends all of his time with Tayshia venting about how Chasen wants to beat the wheels off of him and always ends their interactions with an awkward, face-to-shoulder hug. I also don’t think I have ever seen anyone work out more un-athletically than Ed curling and shrugging those dumbbells – and this is coming from the guy who got cramp carrying two (big!!!) bags of potatoes in from the car last week… I don’t really know what he’s still doing here largely because he has about as good a chance of winning as I do of receiving a message from Victoria F that isn’t prompted by a $75 Cameo transaction.
The whole Chasen-Ed drama is super dumb, but perhaps the best thing to emerge from the whole thing is the unlikely axis that is forming between Bennett and Ed. As if to further emphasize the parallel universe that he inhabits, Bennett, aged 36, yes, thirty-six, said of Ed: “the guy got a perfect math SAT so he can talk circles around Chasen” when defending Ed’s position in their who-is-there-for-the-more-right-reasons-off. Maybe it’s a salient point to bring up a standardized test that Ed, also 36, took 18 years ago, but I’m not surprised that Bennett, who has spent more time telling people of his prior academic exploits than he clearly has spent learning how to tell the time, finds this tidbit compelling! I don’t think anyone has asked me my SAT scores since I squeaked over the athletic eligibility threshold to get into college, but glad to see Bennett is laser-focused on real life KPIs here!
The grand finale of the episode was supposed to be the Wolverine vs chicken legs showdown in the wrestling ring. I loved that whenever the camera panned to Ed’s face during the wrestling masterclass scene, he looked like he had just lost a bet and had to perform some brutal, jackass-style forfeit. Unfortunately, likely prompted by his new bromance with career-ending-knee-injury Bennett, Ed lubed up for the big bout and then proceeded to back out due to chronically dislocating shoulders (that didn’t seem to be dislocating when he was shrugging a house earlier in the episode… hmmm.) The wrestling scene was all fun and games (especially all 145 lbs soaking wet of Joe going up against former NFLer Eazy) until Noah entered the ring, and Chasen legitimately tried to murder him.
I don’t want to dwell on Smokeshowgate too much, but the fact that Chasen was widely ridiculed for his use of the, admittedly rather puerile term, but kept doubling and tripling down on its use displayed a level of originality that hasn’t been on display since Pitbull rhymed Kodak with Kodak!
Noah was invited on the group date after arguably the most successful fence jump since Colton guilted Cassie into dating him for six months! Noah is 25. I am also 25. That is still sinking in, because I view this show as designed for 36-year-old healthcare salesmen who have been unsuccessfully throwing the kitchen sink at Instagram models and girls in-line at Jamba Juice, and not 25-year-old young bucks with very questionable mustaches… A cynic would say that Noah, a travelling nurse, didn’t really fancy a rough few months in the Covid ward and so went on the show as a pseudo draft dodge, but who am I to say, maybe the temporary closure of Hair of the Dog hit some people harder than others? He had to get rid of his mustache, and the process denied Ben the opportunity to enact his masterplan to “relax” with Tayshia. You snooze you lose buddy!
Until next week people!