The Bachelorette starts tonight, so get your goddamn walls down.
For those who don’t know Emily, here’s her backstory in a nutshell. She was engaged at 18 to a racecar driver named Ricky. We’ll call him Ricky Bobby. Ricky perished in a plane crash on the way to a car race. Emily was supposed to be on the plane, but didn’t go because she felt sick. Then she found out she was pregnant with Ricky Bobby’s baby. She birthed a daughter named Ricki. We’ll call her Little Ricki. Tragic story, no words, thoughts-and-prayers, etc, etc…
|This woman is ready to fall in love.|
Anyway, she won The Bachelor on Brad Womack’s second go-round, but that relationship fell apart (WHAT?!?!?) amid reports that Brad had a violent temper. The word violent is ours. Although we don’t actually know he was violent. Allegedly. Whatever, he had a temper. Also allegedly. Now Emily is ready for her third crack at forever-and-ever love and we’re declaring her ready. And we’re ready. It’s time to fall in love.
We saved the most embarrassing shirt for first. But even beyond that tablecloth on his back, Kyle comes first because this pose really sets the tone for what’s to come. Super plaid shirt. Super white face. Thumb in pocket. Not a single woman saying to herself, “that’s the man I want to give my forever to.”
Do you see what John did here? He dropped the plaid shirt, but he doubled up on the thumbs in pockets. Savvy. This guy is sticking around.
The best thing about John is his comprehensiveness. He doesn’t go for brief mottos like, “Because I’m worth it” or “All for One, One for All” or “Give me liberty or give me death.” No, that’s not John. Because John’s motto is, “You only live once, experience as much as possible so you can be a great story teller to your grandkids.”
Hey granddaddy, can you tell me a story?!?!
Why sure, sonny, of course. I was in Acapulco in 2001 with my high school buddies and we met this group of girls from outside of Detroit. I think they went to Michigan, although it may have been Michigan State, I’m not sure. Actually, on second thought, it was most likely Michigan State. They weren’t that bright. Anyway … wait, what was I saying?
Predicted Name: Shawnn
Actual Name: Kalon
Our reaction to that being his name: Completely unsurprised.
Why he won’t win: Because he misunderstood when the producers said, “We’re looking for someone with white jeans.” They meant white genes.
Speaking of white genes…jkjkjk.
Race is usually a sensitive subject for people. But not on the Bachelor, where race is not the color of your skin, but the complexity of your plaid shirt. “I have a dream,” said Chris Harrison from atop a helicopter in 2002, “that my twenty-five little bachelors will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged just by how white they are, but by how plaid their shirt is.”
We admire Lerone’s courage. GTOG is on Team Lerone.
|The Full Ames Brown|
We love Ames, but we aren’t letting our walls down on this one. A week ago, he was not on the Bachelor biography page. Now he is, along with some retreads we don’t care about like Bentley, Ryan, and Blake. The show does this all the time — they make last minute changes to the online roster to get people whispering, but then the person’s actual appearance on the show turns out to be a big gimmick.
Ames should not be a gimmick. Never. Ever.
But even if Ames is taken advantage of, or concussed, or both, there is no question that he should be given — nay, he has EARNED — a place on this show, even if it’s in some sort of Love Consultant position where he guides and protects Emily’s heart on her journey to find her true spiritual counterpoint and, when necessary, gives her that delicate love under the magnolia tree that only Ames can give deliver. Very few men have the capacity to love like Ames does. Whatever ABC has in store for Ames, he will be ready. And so will we.
I’m going to give you 5 facts about Michael and a fill-in-the-blank. These are actual facts from his actual biography.
1. Michael’s first favorite artist is John Mayer.
2. Michael’s second favorite artist is Bruno Mars.
3. Michael’s third favorite artist is Justin Timberlake.
4. If Michael could be anyone for a day, he’d be Ryan Gosling because he is “young, talented, and powerful.”
5. Michael “loves surprising people.”
Michael is ____.
Brent is a 41-year old technology salesman who doesn’t appear to be particularly good looking. But take it from us. Don’t sleep on (or with) Brent.
With 41 years of life comes 41 years of love. This man has loved before, and he’s been hurt before. He’s just looking to love again.
(Side note: Ames can cram 41 years worth of love in between two sunsets).
Charlie’s bio is one of the ones that was taken off the ABC website for no apparent reason. Here’s what it would have said.
Favorite food: I like peanut butter and jelly because it reminds me of love.
What is your greatest achievement to date? I played college football at Tennessee Chattanooga and I recovered a fumble. It was my own fumble, but I recovered it.
What is your favorite holiday? Christmas Eve, with Christmas a close second.
If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be? Nobody, I’m pretty in love with myself.
Charlie is from Tennessee and he’s a “recruiter” so you know he’s just a big ball of charm. That’s everything to Emily. He’ll be around for a while.
This year’s award for Broadest Shoulders Skinniest Waist goes to …. Chris, who I’ve stared at for 10 minutes trying to think of something to say and have to settle on: This guy creeps me out.
(Side note: A girl I know told me that Ames showed her the greatest love she’s ever felt. And she’s never even met Ames).
|The Power Ballad|
Here’s a guy who knows how to put a thumb in a pocket. And here’s a guy with staying power.
Is it the I-just-did-50-pushups-before-this-picture faux-swell he has going on? Nope. Is it the wavy locks that leave open the possibility of a bald spot? Nope. Is it that I might have the same watch? Could be, but still no.
No, it’s much simpler. David is a singer-songwriter. And we’ve gone about 4 seasons without a true pour-my-heart-out-my-walls-are-down-oops-I-didn’t-get-the-rose-ummm-this-is-embarrassing power ballad. It’s coming.
|The Washington Capital|
You could sit me down under Ames’s magnolia tree and tell me that this doesn’t look like a guy who plays for the Washington Capitals and models in provocative poses with phallic objects and I would simply not believe you.
Have to give Doug a ton of credit for breaking from the mold and going with the fingers in the pocket with the thumb exposed. It’s a risky move, and a little too transparent for my taste, but it should be enough to get a rose on the first night.
I respect Randy’s fashion choices — wearing a vest that’s made out of his pants — but I don’t respect his dishonesty. He says that his favorite memory is “Sunday morning Packer Games,” with “Games” capitalized in the original. The Packers don’t play their Games in the morning, Randy.
But here’s the real reason Randy can’t win. This is from his bio:
I hate it when my date:
Doesn’t get my jokes.
What is your biggest date fear?
Sitting there with nothing to talk about.
What is your motto?
Nothing is so bad that you can’t get through it. Enjoy life.
Seriously, Randy? “Nothing is so bad that you can’t get through it” is your motto? That’s not something you say on TV. That’s something you say when you’re losing your virginity.
|The Fitness Model|
Jackson is a male “fitness model,” which is more commonly referred to as The Male Butterface.
I don’t like Jackson, and it’s because of his shirt. Who does he think he is, Ames? Who is he to wear Ames’s patented three breast pocket, two shoulder flap, two arm pocket, two random arm snaps shirt?
(Side note: Ames opened an organic shirt factory in Vietnam and pays everyone $33/hour plus benefits and a matching 401k plan).
Jean-Paul, the 35-year-old marine biologist from California …. well, that’s enough to make it abundantly clear that this man has no chance of winning Emily’s true forever love.
“Hey Ricki babydollbabygirl, this is John Paul, like the Pope, and he’s going to be your new daddy. He says that if he could have one super power, it would be Pacifier powers, and not something cool like G.I. Joe or Transformers or Navy Seals, and that he wants to rid the world of wars and guns and big explosions. Now I know you’re wondering whether he wants the terrorists to win, but that’s big girl talk and you’re still my little angel. And you’re God’s angel. Don’t let anyone ever forget that.
|The Risk Avoider|
Aaron, age 36, biology teacher.
Here’s what we learn from Aaron’s bio: He hates dancing. He’s never had a conversation that was stimulating, funny, and thought-provoking at the same time. He’s shy when it comes to making contact with women and chooses to wait for them to pursue him. He “prepares too much for the future” and doesn’t live for today.
Forget wondering whether his emotional walls are down — I’m not sure Aaron has ever been outside the walls of his gated community. But if you don’t think he’s coming in Walls Up then tearing those walls down, then you don’t know how walls work. We know our walls, and so does Emily. She loves his maturity, the way that she feels protected by his layered cash-value life insurance policies, his whole life policies, his term life policies, and his annuities.
Alejandro is a mushroom farmer, and he’s Columbian. Little Ricki probably thinks mushrooms are yucky and Emily recalls only going to Columbia once when she went on a middle school field trip and took the elevator to the top of the Washington Monument.
(Side note: Ames spent 6 months cultivating mushrooms in Ecuador and once revived a dying portobello using nothing but a coffee stirrer and a piece of gum).
Emily will like Alejandro because he is South American and that will be exotic to her. But it will also be scary. Little Ricki will not be spending any time in Bogata, especially once Emily finds out that the three things Alejandro would want with him on a deserted island are a knife, duct tape, and a picture of his mom.
Physically, this guy is in Emily’s wheelhouse. He’s the perfect combination of country, metro, and shaggy — Countroggy, if you will. We could sit here in our ivory tower and make fun of this guy’s hair, or his hair, or his tan, or his hair and how it looks with that shirt and that tan, but instead we will say this. This guy has potential.
EXCEPT: His name is Alessandro and he’s a grain merchant in St. Paul. That suggests that he isn’t Southern. Not sure what to make of this guy. Our walls are up.
|The Jean Girard|
Arie is a pretty-boy racecar driver with a foreign accent whose motto is “Drive fast and take chances.” In other words, this guy is Ricky Bobby’s nemesis.
Arie will evoke powerful memories of Ricky Bobby when the producers make Emily fly to a race track in the same model private plane that Ricky Bobby crashed in to go racing with Arie while he talks in Netherlandese and they discuss how racing is just part of who Arie is. But ultimately, his greatest strength (racecar driver) will prove to be his greatest weakness (racecar driver).
Ryan is a pro sports trainer from Augusta, GA with the jawline of a comic book super hero. He bores me.
(Side note: Ames once read a book to twelve different first grade classes at different schools at the same time. All in person).
Sean, the insurance agent, has Male Crazy Eyes. His eyes say he’s hiding something and his face says “I’m belittling my girlfriend in public but I’m going to smile while I do it so as not to make a scene.”
Speaking of crazy eyes, let’s take a stroll down Crazy Eyes Lane..
|The Missed a Spot Shaving|
Not a fan of this guy for at least a baker’s dozen reasons, but chief among them are his occupation (Party MC), name (Stevie), and complete lack of confidence and shelf-assuredness. Look at that thumb. It’s barely in the pocket. If you’re going thumb in pocket you need to really get that thing in there. It looks like he was trying to go full hand in pocket but missed. Speaks volumes.
(Side note: Ames once put his thumb in his pocket, but it was to feed a baby panda he rescued from poachers in China).
Winning The Bachelorette is not about actually falling in love, it’s about knowing how to play the game. Tony, the lumber trader, knows how to play the game.
Asked, for obvious reasons, “What is your favorite journey?” he replied, ” Life! It’s definitely a journey, and I love everything it has to offer!”
This guy is in it to win it.
|This Guy is Named Travis and Probably has a Southern Accent; Therefore, He Might Win|
Sven, the Photographer: That’s it! You are beautiful! You are a beautiful man! Now shove your thumbs in your pockets!
Travis: No, I can’t do that.
Sven: No, do it, it is so beautiful!
Travis: Have you seen how tight these jeans are?
Sven: Are you saying no to me, the great Sven!!!???
Travis: I told you, it’s too tight.
Sven: I cannot work like this! This is exasperating! Jennifer!? Jennifer can you come here please?!
Jennifer: Yeah, what’s up?
Sven: This guy is saying that his pants are too tight to put his thumbs in his pocket.
Jennifer: Hmm, are you sure you can’t fit them?
Travis: Yeah, I’m sure, I’ve been trying for 10 minutes.
Jennifer: Ooohh, ok. Well, can you just leave your hands hanging?
Sven: I simply cannot, and will not photograph a man whose hands are merely hanging by his sides. It’s unfathomable!
Jennifer: Right. Ok, Travis, can you fold your arms?
Sven: No! The purple is too pure! We musn’t block any of it.
Jennifer: Okkkk, ummm, what if you just put your hands on your legs like they’re in your pocket, but they’re actually on top of your pockets?
Jennifer: Yeah, give it a shot.
Travis: Alright….like this?
Jennifer: Great! How’s that, Sven?
Sven: I will take this photograph, but I refuse to continue working in these conditions.
|This Guy Is An Actual Person|
I know, right?
He looks like one of the super skinny male models for some hipster t-shirt company where you sit there and say to yourself, 1) I am better looking than this guy; and 2) I’ve never met a man who aspires to look like this.
Oh also, his name is Jef. With one f.
I don’t know what to make of Joe, mainly because I no longer care. But he says in his bio that he is country and city at the same time. Show us, Joe. Don’t tell us.
I like a Hometown of John (The Storyteller), Charlie (The Recruiter), Tony (The Journeyer) and Travis (The Travis). I think Tony gets cut before Fantasy Suite night, and Charlie underwhelms Emily. Travis pulls it off in the end, ousting John because on a second glance at John he looks kind of boring.
-John – receding hairline signals maturity. From Missouri, which means he’s not a southern man, but he ain’t no yankee, neither. Prefers solo sports, because he likes pressure, and Emily loves alpha males. He wants grandkids, so get busy, little Ricki.
-Sean – Blond hair, blue eyes – check. From Dallas – check. Insurance agent – check.
-Lerone – What? Isn’t it obvious?
-Arie – A racecar driver from the Netherlands? Thank you, reality tv gods. This is almost to wonderful to contemplate.
Fantasy Suite: John, Sean, and Arie.
Final 2: John and Sean
Hometowns: David, Lerone, Sean, John
Fantasy Suite: David, Lerone, Sean
Finals: Sean and David