Okay, here we go:
Kaitlyn wakes up to find out this wasn't a dream – she's actually the Bachelorette. She may find out it was a nightmare soon enough, but it's definitely not a dream. She stands at the window doing that thing she does with her lips, squeezing them together to make them look fuller. It's cheaper than collagen.
She tells Chris Harrison she can't stop "feeling the connection" with guys. This manifests itself in kissing and, as we'll find out later in the season, well, more than kissing: she gets lucky. Foreshadowing when she tells Harrison she feels so lucky.
The show's graphics editors are making things easier for me, supplying nicknames for the fellas. They've assigned "Cupcake" to Chris, the dentist. I wish they did that with everyone. But he's the only one who gets one. Tanner is simply Tanner. To us, remember, he's Tissue Tanner.
Here's Britt sitting cross-legged on her hotel bed (with her shoes on, the slob) tearfully calling her mom on speaker phone. She tells her she's coming home. She's having trouble processing. She says she hasn't even unpacked her bags, but I don't see why that's a big deal since, as she said, she's coming home. Something fishy's going on. I'm sure they'll find something for her to do.
Back to the mansion. That can't be all with Britt. A hug? We'll see her soon, no doubt. Harrison leaves the first group date card with the guys. Dancing Daniel, Balloon Boy (Justin), Love-Man (Jared), Cory or Corey, Tissue Tanner, Kupah-dupah, Ben Aitch, and Ben Zed are all going boxing. That's my educated guess based on the highlights and the date card that says, "I see this ending with a ring." Get it?!
The men hop in a stretch limo and toast themselves. Nothing like a little alcohol before strapping on the gloves for some fisticuffs.
So the conceit behind this activity is that Kaitlyn wants to gauge who will protect her and is willing to fight for her. Chivalry is alive. The women's movement? Not so much.
Ali tells the guys "H and S, head and shoulders." Then I'm sure she said, "That's what Cassius said." But that can't be right. Her dad's birth name was Cassius Clay, but I know Kareem Abdul-Jabbar resents it when people call him Lew Alcindor, so I'm guessing I just misheard.
Kaitlyn noticed the guys who came over to talk to her during training. She also noticed who didn't: Kupah-dupah. He was off in his own world.
Ali tells them they're going to get in the ring and fight each other. Everyone looks surprised like they didn't see that coming. Tissue Tanner says he's never been in a fight in his life. This'll be good.
Kaitlyn peeks around the corner to watch them change into their boxing gear, the perv. We see Love-Man Jared shirtless. He's the first man in 19 seasons to display hair on his chest.
Tissue Tanner, the auto finance manager, is dreading the whole thing. He says, "If I get my face messed up, Kaitlyn might send me home." I'm staring at him on pause and wondering if he has specially built fun-house mirrors at his house that make him look better looking than he is.
It's a single-elimination tournament with the loser out and the winner moving on. They don't say that the winner gets anything other than bragging rights, though. No guaranteed alone time with Kait.
First match is Ben Zed, the heavy favourite (6'2", 225 lbs), versus Dancing Daniel (6'3", 195 lbs). They go at it hard. Daniel gives a good effort but loses. He is man enough to make fun of himself later with some pre-emptive verbal jabs.
Next up Beach Volleyballer Corey (6', 175 lbs) vs Balloon Boy Justin (5'11", 211 lbs – wowza). It's a brawl but they don't show us who won. Boo.
Ben Aitch (6'4", 196 lbs) vs Love-Man Jared (6', 170 lbs) and the Love-Man knocks Big Ben to the canvass.
Tissue Tanner (6'3", 195 lbs) vs Kupah-dupah (6', 205 lbs). They throw in the towel and stop the fight declaring Kupah the winner.
Onto the semifinals. Ben Zed against Corey. Zed drops him, moving on to the finals probably against Kupah.
Love-Man Jared vs Kupah and it's an upset! The Love-Man floors Kupah.
The main event now. Jared tells Zed not to take it easy. Famous last words. Zed says if he loses, his football buddies would never let him live it down so he won't let that happen. More famous last words.
Jared, though, walks on his own. He tells somebody he's okay, he just got hit in the back of the head. Those two thoughts don't usually go together. The medic shines lights in his eyes and says they're not responding as quick as they should be. He recommends being sent to the hospital but all Love-Man wants is to see Kaitlyn. He doesn't get to hang out with the rest of them that night.
She sits down with the killer, Ben Zed. He tells her he's only been in one or two fights in his life. He doesn't say what happened to the other guy in those battles. But Kaitlyn likes the duality. He's like a "hunk of meat." She feels something with him. No doubt she feels protected.
He tells her he loves cooking and tailgates. Kaitlyn looks away and says to herself, "Tailgates, yes," as if she's just remembering what she's been taught about American culture. (It's not a thing in Canada.)
He tells her his mom passed away when he was 14. He's opening up about feelings and Kaitlyn is "intrigued" by him.
She sits with some others. She's with one sockless gentleman (I still haven't got a handle on their faces yet) when a note arrives. She reads it and is set back for a second. She says, "That's weird." She doesn't know what the heck is going on but excuses herself to go deal with it.
The note said, "Come downstairs right now. I need to see you." She walks outside and sees yellow shorts and Converse runners. It's Love-Man Jared. He says, "I'm so sorry I'm missing this." Um... why? 1) Why is he missing it if he's not in the hospital? 2) Why didn't he just come upstairs and join them since he's not banned from the place? He asks her to take a walk.
His story has changed. Now he says Zed hit him square on the bridge of his nose, which is located precisely not at the back of his head. This is like the Kennedy assassination with all the conflicting head points. The doctor told him he needed rest but "they" told him he could stop there and try to get Kaitlyn downstairs so he could see her. Does this mean he's not allowed to climb stairs? He is allowed to kiss, though. So they do. He says it was worth every punch he took and every black eye. He definitely has a concussion and is confused because I'm looking at his two eyes and neither is black.
The next date card arrives back at the house. It's a one-on-one for Clint (nickname pending).
But first there's a rose to give out on the group date. Balloon Boy thought their conversation and connection were evident, but Kaitlyn evidently thought it was better with Zed. She tells him she respects him and is excited about what's going to happen. They seal it with a kiss. She loves a man who can concuss another man with one blow to the head.
Now the season's first one-on-one date. She drives Clint in a red Mercedes. He's the guy who drew a picture of Chris Harrison on a triceratops. They arrive at a villa. She tells him they're doing an underwater photoshoot. No bathing suits, though. No, not starkers, either. These are formal shoots. Being underwater just gives the photos a more surreal look.
At the pool, Kaitlyn and Clint take the plunge. They take some shots and eventually get their first kiss under water. It's their first kiss anywhere, actually. Clint thinks there will be some more kisses in store. With Kaitlyn, I'd say that's a sure bet.
A new date card arrives. It's JJ the Hockey Puck, Detroit Jonathan, Steel Rose Joshua, Dr. Cupcake Chris, Run Ian Run, Moonshine Joe, and Tony the Healer, who looks stunned at the news. This must be the comedy date because the card says, "I'm looking for a man who will stand up for me." The Hockey Puck is gaining a reputation as the mouthpiece who'll say anything for air time. He's hoping the Healer goes home. I'm just giddy at the prospect of seeing both these humourless guys attempt standup.
Clint is a pretty cool customer. So far he's my favourite. Or Shawn B., whom I've already forgotten.
Meanwhile, the Healer is asking one of the others what to expect. Apparently someone real. The Healer is looking for someone who's open. The other guy's suggestion is, "Instead of Britt, say Kaitlyn." Yes, the Healer actually mixed those names up but he's "definitely here for her."
Kaitlyn tells Clint she's looking for a best friend but one she has a romantic connection with. She describes him as "a hunk of a man." We get it. She likes hunks. She gives him a rose. And guess what, you guys? They kiss! She must really like him. It was next-level stuff, according to Kaitlyn. This wasn't ordinary underwater Clint or above-water Clint. This was rooftop Clint. She says it might the best first date she's ever had in her life. It's definitely the best first date she's had on this show.
Now the comedy date. Kaitlyn says every guy she's dated has had a good sense of humour so that's a must. However, it didn't work out with all those other guys, now did it? Maybe she should rethink her priorities.
She walks into the empty comedy club on amateur night day and is greeted by Amy Schumer. Schumer, who I saw perform live about a month ago, says Kaitlyn is her favourite person who's ever been on the show. I got my first genuine laugh in perhaps ever in this show (and certainly the biggest) when Amy said, "I love Kaitlyn. She's, like, just super-cool and someone that I could really be friends with. And I want to spend the rest of my life with her." She also asks Kaitlyn if she would be mad if she (Amy) hooks up with two of the guys.
The annoying Hockey Puck says standup is something he's always secretly wanted to do. Good. Someone I can really root against. Even more so when he boldly proclaims there will be a rose on his jacket by the end of the date. And doubly so when he pulls an ever-so-hip Wayne and Garth reference out of his hip pocket to say, "We're not worthy!" about meeting Schumer.
The confident Hockey Puck chimes in with, "What do you call a bull that's sleeping? A bull dozer." Boom! Nailed it! (In his mind.)
Amy brings in help for the guys: Nikki Glaser, Rachel Feinstein (who opened for Schumer when I saw her here last month) and Bridget Everett, who I'm not familiar with.
Kaitlyn says the way to her heart is a good knock-knock joke. Wow.
Nikki tells Run Ian Run he's got to mention that he looks like the Old Spice guy. I don't know who that is. Amy tells Dr. Cupcake he should make fun of his shirt because it's toothpaste coloured. He then has a pretty good one (don't know if he got help with it): "This is actually the number-one dentist-recommended brand of shirt."
The Hockey Puck tells Amy his pickup line when he goes to pick up girls is, "Hi, I'm JJ, divorced with a kid and I live with my parents." It's funny because it's true. He then says he sometimes feels like he's too smart for 90 percent of the audience. Amy tells him he's not. Then she tells us, "JJ's a sweetheart. He's just missing, like, charisma and humility and a sense of humour... Maybe when he sees the show he'll reflect a little bit on himself and not be such a turd." Touché.
Steel Rose Joshua: "Hi. So I'm a welder. But when I try to impress people I'm a steel infusion specialist. And when I really want to impress them, I say it with a whistle: I'm a ssssteel infusssssion ssssspecialist. And that'ssss not the only thing I can do with my tongue."
Detroit City Jonathan is pretty natural up there. He takes the mike out of the stand and walks around: "How's everybody doing tonight? Everybody having a good time?" Didn't hear any jokes, though.
Dr. Cupcake: "Hey guys... So I'm... I'm really nervous. What I learned today is that I am not funny. We had four mentors that were supposed to teach us how to be funny... As I'm reading [my jokes] off, their face goes from a forced smile to sheer terror. And they back away like it's a crime scene." And he does act-outs! Applause break. "The only advice they have is like, 'If it's not going well, unbutton your shirt.'" So he unbuttons his shirt. Lost me with that one.
Now the Hockey Puck's turn: "For those of you who didn't leave and book an appointment with your therapist after what Tony just did, thank you for sticking around." That gets a good laugh. But just about anything would have after Tony's "set."
Moonshine Joe: "I am from Kentucky and obviously if you couldn't tell from my accent then you're fucking deaf." I bet they were all wishing they were, anyway.
At the after-party, Steel Rose Joshua tells Kaitlyn he's a "love virgin" meaning he's never been in love before. But he charms her by being funny about living with his two dogs, who aren't very good conversationalists and don't care how his day was.
The Healer is going on with his new age mumbo jumbo. He says he'll open himself up fully but still pay attention to the signs the universe presents. He tells her he was really scared of her and that he had a connection with Britt. Kaitlyn seems to shut down. But he sensed a deep connection. He talks and talks. There's no laughter from Kaitlyn, who craves a guy with a sense of humour. He's doomed.
Another date card. But nope. It's the guys playing pranks on Justin, the Balloon Boy. Someone knocks on a wall and Justin goes to the door. Several times this happens. Jared, who seems to be back and in full strength, described him as a bumbling idiot.
The Hockey Puck tells Kaitlyn about his three-year-old daughter. Kaitlyn is attracted to him talking about her. He pulls her in and kisses her. He tried to drag it out as long as possible. She coldly tells him, "Thank you for doing that." So romantic.
But the Hockey Puck gets the rose! Go figure.
So that's three punks who have roses: JJ, Clint and Ben Zed. At the cocktail party, Hockey Puck takes Kaitlyn away first. The guys wonder if that was a power move or a dick move. I'm going with the latter.
He tells her he's not there to win friends and that's he's lost about 18 of them. Probably not a good move, but I'm all for it if it gets him out of the running.
He goes back to tell the guys he knows he's the most hated man in the house but he's not sorry for taking her away like that. To the camera, he says, "More than anything right now I'm feeling just smugness wrapped inside of cockiness wrapped inside of confidence wrapped inside of 'I just talked to the girl and you didn't'... Man, the jealousy that I think has manifested itself in some of the guys... This isn't church camp. I didn't come here to make guy friends." That always works.
Run Ian Run takes Kaitlyn through a speed dating situation. He gives her a mini-bio and quickly mentions he went to Princeton and ran track. Then he grabs her by the neck and kisses her. First visible tongue action of the season.
Kupah notices that he and Jonathan, both African-American, don't have roses (forgetting that Ian doesn't have one, either). He says, "I don't want to be here any longer than I have to be if I'm the minority guy that fills a quota." He asks her if he's made any kind of impression. She throws it back in his face, asking if he feels he's really put himself out there. She says she thought he didn't notice her. It gets intense. He means well but he's coming off poorly to her. He's saying this conversation is their first connection. She replies with, "To be honest, I actually felt a connection until right now." She says she didn't know he questioned her that much. Kupah's shocked. "I didn't expect that," he says. But he knows where he stands now. "Listen, this isn't going to help my case at all, but I want to be here because I'm already committed to the whole process of being here and opening myself up... You're a very attractive woman. Your eyes are awesome. You're a pretty girl. And then you have this personality that's awesome. You're witty and sarcastic and that's dope. I want to be here. I want to build on this situation. I can't imagine our story wouldn't be just as cool if you were like, 'When I first met him, it was a little bit weird but like, bam, once we hit third gear, it was like so amazing.' So hopefully I'm around long enough for that."
Can you imagine how Andi would have reacted to Kupah?! He would have been outta there five minutes ago.
Kupah's back with the guys telling them about what went down. Kaitlyn is in the next room and overhears everything he says. He's not saying anything bad – just describing exactly what happened. She gets up and walks in saying, "You don't have a quiet voice, I'll tell you that." Then she asks to speak to him. Uh-oh. Her inner Andi is coming out, I can sense it.
She thinks Kupah's upset. I didn't sense it. She leads him out the front door and says, "I'm sorry, I'm going to have to let you go." Again he says, "Wow, I didn't expect that." He says it's not fair. She says it's not fair to keep him when she's completely lost her connection to him. She didn't like that he went to the guys and talked, but what does she expect him to do? He wasn't badmouthing her. More he was badmouthing himself.
He takes a sip of his drink and says, "I don't want to go home. I think you're hot. I mean you're sexy. You're pretty." She smiles and says, "There's more to me than that." He says, "I know! But I like all that other stuff." She says it's bad if they're already in this position. He takes another swig, shakes his head and says, "I don't think it's bad."
"No, I'm telling you it's bad," she says.
"I mean, I hear you but I don't think it's bad," he says. "I think that people need to figure things out. I'd rather have this conversation with you now than have it in two months."
But she stands firm. Says sorry and gives him a half-hearted hug. He says good luck, takes a drink and walks off. He doesn't cooperate with the producer asking him questions. His booming voice reaches Kaitlyn inside the house. He says, "Just ask me the questions and let me go home. I'm upset I didn't get a rose. I'm upset she sent me home. I'm upset there's no connection. Whatever." Kaitlyn is worried Kupah's going to punch the producer so she walks out.
To be continued!
I think she's over-reacting. He's just upset and didn't want to go through the questioning. I don't sense any violence coming at all.
So no rose ceremony in this episode. They really like putting them at the beginning of episodes now.
Over the credits, we see Britt and Brady about town. He asks her to be his girl. She accepts. I think they needed to do this out on the town so there would be conflicting reports about who the Bachelorette would be. If there was a report of Kaitlyn out with guys, someone else could report, "But we saw Britt kissing some guy, so she must be the Bachelorette." Makes no nevermind. She's done with.
Or is she?