Hello wonderful people!
Quick apology to those of you who were expecting a blog post last week, unfortunately I had all four wisdom teeth out on Tuesday, and all the “oh you lost all your wisdom” jokes aside, while I may have felt a little bit like Post Malone, it turns out watching Tayshia and Zac on Codeine isn’t the most conducive to writing effusively about trashy television! The teeth are gratefully doing a little better, and what better way to celebrate the avoidance of dry sockets than sinking my remaining teeth into what was a rip-roaring episode last night!
Last week’s episode was uneventful on the whole. Ben stripped naked during an arts and crafts group date, Blake Moynelangelo thought a good way to commemorate his time with Tayshia in clay form was to sculpt a model penis, and Eazy was unceremoniously dumped after not displaying the requisite courage on a ghost hunting date. The episode did however bubble up to a nice crescendo with the long-awaited confrontation between Bennett and his troublesome son Noah.
Last night’s episode was anchored by this very same drama with Tayshia mediating the two boys as they traded rather personal, but not unfounded barbs. Her initial interjection was a horrified: “Is this the kind of boy drama that goes on between you two?” No Tayshia, usually its Bennett and the boys sitting uncomfortably around a cookie, perhaps rap battling or playing pin the Rolex to the plebeian’s wrist – academically-steeped psychological trait-shaming is usually relegated to weekends when the jet is in the shop. She followed this up by asking “what’s in the box?” and I must say, it really sucks that Deal or no Deal is an NBC franchise because there was some great potential for Howie Mandel to have overseen the box open and big reveal of Bennett’s Bloods bandana, some old socks and a psychology text book!
The little breakout sessions (wow, I never thought Zoom speak would make it into common parlance but here we are) gave Bennett his chance to hit Tayshia with some emotional intelligence speak. Bennet said “What is far more important to me than IQ is EQ” – Ed and his 800 SAT math score might have something to say about that. Bennett clearly read this book and has referenced the four pillars of emotional intelligence in every conversation he’s had from the depths of the lockers into which he was stuffed in middle school, to his Bagatelle brunch dates in NYC. He’s like the kid who read the first three chapters of Hillbilly Elegy and can’t wait to tell you about their deep and profound understanding of middle Appalachian anguish; or the guy who took a Films of Alfred Hitchcock class in college and now can’t watch a murder scene without saying “Psycho inspired that.” (Wait, that’s me)
Noah went for the Victoria F approach to crisis management – cry uncontrollably at the first hint of potential vulnerability. Why even entertain the possibility of mis-choosing the fight or flight instinct when you could just cry under pressure? Ultimately Bennett got sent packing but Noah was very foolishly counting his mustache hairs before they had bristled – turns out smirking and dancing on Bennett’s grave when Tayshia comes back is not what she was after!
The cocktail party continued with some genial interactions between Tayshia and her men. Zac followed up their one-on-one date last week by presenting Tayshia with one of the pictures from their wedding shoot. I was wondering what they were going to do with all of those photos… I was envisaging a situation similar to teams that have championship t-shirts made but don’t win the championship so the shirts get shipped off to Africa and brainwash children in Chad into thinking that the wrong team won. Turns out African children aren’t being subjected to strange wedding photos of unmarried reality TV stars, and Zac is just hording the pictures in his room.
The rose ceremony was introduced by an absolute clanger of a line from Ed. “If I don’t get a rose tonight and it’s a result of Noah being Noah then I’m gonna be insanely mad” – Ed, newsflash buddy, the only reason you’re still there is because you get the people going with your thick neck and questionable attachment to Tayshia – and maybe because of the night of “bonding” you and Chris shared a couple of episodes back. If you’re Ed, trying to blame your departure on Noah is like trying to pin the start of WWI on Hungarian illegal beaver poaching downstream on the Danube… yes it’s an issue, but never gonna happen.
JoJo rocked up for the rose ceremony. Quite what her role on the show in Chris’s absence has been is unclear, but it was Too Little Too Late and time to Leave (Get Out) for Spencer (who did some Usain Bolt pose on the way out), Ed (who kissed Tayshia (on the cheek) for the first time on his way out – we Stan a true king) and Demar. Noah made the toast: “Cheers to real love with a real woman” which is what I would imagine Pinocchio saying right before he proclaims he’s “a real boy!!”
The Bachelorette can’t take its contestants on high-flying international trips this time around, but it’s very clear that instead of throwing darts at maps and stocking up on tanning oil, the Bachelorette producers are catching feelings, not flights this season. Two weeks ago it was race-relations in America, last week addiction and rehabilitation took center stage and Ben’s exposé about his failed suicide attempts was the latest instalment of “let’s take-on real life difficulties and destigmatize conversations around pervasive but uncomfortable issues in America on national television.” Ben was incredibly candid about his struggles, and Tayshia rewarded his candor with a rose and a private Adam Hambrick concert. (It was lucky that Tayshia asked “ever had a private show” to Ben about their intimate gig and not to the men on the polygraph test… Noah in particular strikes me as a huge strip club guy)
The polygraph group date was certainly an interesting phenomenon, and something I think that every season’s contestants should be subjected to. I was a little perturbed at Tayshia’s blind willingness to treat every response as gospel truth. Now maybe a polygraph test conducted by a professional federal investigator in a controlled environment, asking strategic, probing questions can help expose some truth; but JoJo from a previous season of the Bachelorette strapping a heart rate monitor on a couple of dudes, plugging it into her polygraph test for Mac desktop app and asking them sex questions? A little less credible. There was an enormous discrepancy between the difficulty of questions that the guys had to answer. JoJo seemed hell-bent on dunking on Noah’s sexual prowess, whereas Brendan, Riley and Zac were subjected to far stiffer examinations. Zac really saved his ass after the fact with the sixth grade Bowl-a-rama cheating story, however I wonder if his tune would have changed had he had to tell that same story under the watchful gaze of the polygraph!
Tayshia sent all of the group date men home without giving out a rose and lo and behold what was waiting for her when she got back to her room? Slippery, slimy, snakey Bennett back from the dead. As soon as Tayshia’s polygraph exposed her regret at sending someone home I just knew that something was up with Bennett (have timestamped text receipts if you don’t believe me.) He had this sweet and sappy aura about him and like the true toxic king he is, hit her with the I love you after remonstrations and gesticulations of his intense regret and sorrow. Bennett probably left the bubble, saw that B-Bar was permanently closed, and was like fuck it, might as well stay and risk it all, there’s nothing left to live for in New York. Whatever happened, boy are we in for a spicy ride next week.
Only Ben is confirmed for hometowns – for the rest of the men, its squeaky bum time!
Until next week