Desiree walks into mansion and says, “I love you all in your normal clothes!”…scanning the room and all I see are black muscle tees and jeans. Come on, guys, get creative, huh?
One-on-One Date: Brooks — “I’m waiting for a sign”
Desiree puts Brooks to the test…hopping in a wedding dress on the first date is one way to scare a guy off. Apparently an aspiring bridal gown designer,she wants to show him this side of her. Either that or she’s fearful this show won’t end in a white dress so hey, might as well get to try some on while you can, right? After trying on some ridiculous tuxes, Brooks dons a dapper tux and he and Desiree take off in her Bentley to pick out some wedding cake at a dessert truck slash get the public in a frenzy probably believing she just up and married some guy. Their last stop is a short hike to the Hollywood sign for a romantic conversation where Desiree shares the significance that the Hollywood sign holds in inspiring so many people to pursue their dreams (cue the “welcome to hollywood, what’s your dream?!” commercial). Brooks says he’s had love that he can’t fully explain except to say that he “couldn’t breathe” and doesn’t want to bring her to tears. Well, that’s a bit alarming. In any case, they have their first kiss, which I must say is in a pretty stellar location and doesn’t seem terribly awkward. Later that night, Desiree drives Brooks to a shady neighborhood and takes a wrong turn down a closed road where she insists he act as an accomplice in moving road barricades. Sure, why not, right? There he finds that a bridge has been closed down, a chandelier hung and a table for two set up for a romantic dinner. Over dinner Desiree shares a bit about her family and when she asks about how he dealt with his parents’ divorce, he chokes up a bit but is at least able to spin the totally downer story about how he was super pissed at his dad for years and had a full-blown yelling match…he learned not to take time with family for granted and how he wants to be with his wife and kids. Apparently it’s enough to save him and he gets a rose. They kiss casually when yet another surprise awaits them — a live concert on the bridge by Andy Grammer (seriously, who of you could have named that guy?). At first I think hey, Brooks isn’t such a bad dancer…but then I’m proved wrong as he continues to dance. It’s always awkward watching just two people dancing with no one else around. And, what do I always say? When in doubt, make out. Works. Every. Time.
I’ve decided Brooks reminds me of a tame Russell Brand.
Group Date: Dan, Juan Pablo, “myself” (I don’t know who you are, card reader), Zack K., Will, Brian, Drew, James, Mikey, Zak W., Nick, Michael, Brandon, and Ben — “Who’s here for the right reasons?”
Mansion, sports cars and Desiree in a tight dress in heels. What else could this be but a rap video, right? And it is. Soulja Boy. Funniest thing ever: Juan Pablo in a hat and gold chain. Sadly, this is all we’ll see of Juan Pablo all episode. Go ahead, press replay. The guys have to freestyle rap and I hate every minute of it. Excruciating. And I can’t even drink because I’m pregnant. I pity myself. Go ahead, enjoy your wine. The guys who did the best at making a fool of themselves get chosen to star in the video — as past Bachelors and Bachelorette contestants. Super funny, actually. I’m laughing more than I’m cringing, which is always a good sign. Poor Brandon is having a hard time, which probably isn’t easy without pants.
- After the wrap of their awful rap, Zak W. gets some alone time with Desiree and he brings her a gift that he found at an antique store — a vintage journal with a lovely inscription. He felt he needed to show her his serious side since he showed up shirtless. Good call, dude.
- Brandon kinda lost me at the “love is like a butterfly and I don’t want to squash it” speech.
- Mikey T. is pissed that Ben swoops in and steals Desiree. James and the other men speculate whether Ben is, in fact, there for the right reasons. Ben asks Desiree if she has any questions about his son, Brody, and she says she’s not scared off. (What about the baby mama?) Instead, Ben asks if he can kiss Desiree. Ugh, I hate it when they ask.
- Creepster Brandon is squashing his own butterfly as he spies on Desiree and Ben sharing their first kiss.
- Mikey decides to pull Ben aside to confront him about the politician vibe he gets. Mikey says he wants to feel like they’re friends and not fake. Ben says he doesn’t want to stab anyone in the back. And then they bond by complimenting each other’s shoes. End of discussion.
- Brandon is psyching himself out and gets a little emotional telling Desiree his life story about raising his siblings and how he can’t wait to have a family of his own. Coming on a little strong there, bud. Desiree says she sees kindness but she looks a little bewildered. Brandon declares he has fallen “in like” with Desiree.
Ben gets the rose from Desiree for “using his time wisely.” (read: kissing)
One-on-One Date: Bryden — “Road trip!”
Desiree is excited to take Bryden up the California coast since he’s from Montana and has never been to California. They stop at a beach. They try to fly a kite, but it doesn’t work. Splash around in the water, but it’s cold. Next they stop at an Orange Grove/in Orange Grove/somewhere to pick oranges, and lastly they stop at one of my favorite places — The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Mumbles and I stayed there for my birthday a few years ago and it was delightful. I’d definitely recommend it to a friend. They have a romantic dinner date under a bunch of lanterns hung from a big, majestic oak tree. Super dreamy. Over dinner Bryden shares that he was in a very bad car accident in college — he brought photos of the wreck and some of his injuries. He joined the military soon thereafter and says it was a dream of his to serve and that the accident has shaped who he is. Bryden says he has used the military as an excuse not to get close to anyone but now he’s ready to share his life. He is very barbaric looking but Desiree seems to like what she sees enough to give him a rose.
In the hot tub after an excruciatingly long time staring into his eyes and agreeing with whatever it is he was muttering, Desiree finally just demands that Bryden kiss her already. She knows this military man is good at taking orders. He obliges and at least they can laugh about it. Geez.
Michael, the federal prosecutor, is telling Desiree a very heartfelt life story about being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when Ben saunters over to steal Desiree away. Ben with the rose. And the cockiness. He makes some reference to Desiree about their kiss being a secret. Maybe he thinks he got the first kiss? Oh, that’s cute. Michael and the other guys are pissed and confront Ben about being a slimeball but he’s got nothing to say. So, the gents ask to take the conversation outside. Mikey seems like a guy’s guy. A good friend. Ben, on the other hand…well, who tries to lie to a federal prosecutor? I mean, really.
Brian, super sweaty guy, has a generic conversation with Des. Not even sure why I’m mentioning it. It was super vanilla.
- Juan Pablo
- Zak W.
- Zack K.
Going home: Will, Robert, Nick M.
Next Week: rappelling down a building, horses, dancing, westerns, rooftops, jumping in pools, making out, lying and deceit, men in tank tops, an ambulance, and another woman.
And, for your uncomfortable viewing pleasure: