This week's episode of The Bachelorette starts off somewhat untraditionally, being that we're filming in Emily's hometown of Charlotte, NC. She meets up with friends to discuss "last night," when she met all 25 eligible bachelors. No other contestant has had a group of friends to gossip with, so this is new to us.
Ryan gets the first date card, and Emily ushers him into her SUV. Ryan wonders if he's going to be jumping off a bridge or flying around in a helicopter (because he's obviously seen past seasons of the show), but no! He's taking part in a normal day in the life of Emily -- acting as "Snack Mom" to daughter Ricki's soccer team. So, Ryan slaps on an apron and bakes some cookies.
Ryan calls Emily's skinny jeans and perfectly curled hair "momwear," which makes every female over the age of 13 cringe, each for different reasons.
Their first date was cute, but I think a romantic date was needed before diving into a daily routine. Thankfully, dinner was more date-like, and the two engaged in some witty banter. One more surprise! Emily's favorite band puts on a
private concert for her, Ryan, and 200 screaming fans lined up behind velvet rope.
Group date time!
The bachelors are informed they'll be performing with The Muppets to raise money for Emily's ex-fiance's charity fund. I totally understand the whole connection Emily has to her ex-fiance, but it seems to be brought up a whole lot -- so much so that it might be inhibiting her from showing the men she's ready for a new relationship.
The guys sing, dance, and "act" on stage with Emily, who says she's a bad singer but doesn't actually sound so terrible. She calls up Ricki to sing "Rainbow Connection," which is a personal favorite of mine, but the whole date felt a little too Sesame Street for adults looking to form lifelong bonds. I did love Chris Harrison's chuckle with Statler, though.
Emily continues the date that evening and shares some more time with the guys. She gushes to Chris that she thinks he's very attractive, and she tells Jef with one 'f' that she's been looking for him and basically feels like he's ignoring her, which, surprisingly, seems to catch him off guard. Stevie and Emily dance to music only they can hear, while some of the guys snicker childishly in the stairwell. Kalon cuts into Stevie's one-on-one time, but throws a temper tantrum when Aaron tries to steal her away. Emily actually calls his concession mature, and I cringe. She must be confused.
The guys bicker a bit, and it seems like the drama between Stevie and Kalon might be our only hope for some excitement here. Kalon also had some words with Doug, who told the guys to seriously think about dating a woman with a child.
Joe gets the second one-on-one date, and the two fly to Greenbriar, a beautiful old country club of sorts in West Virginia, for a quick indoor swim. Fast-forward to the dinner portion of the date, and Emily struts down the spiral staircase looking like "an elegant Southern girl that [I] couldn't take my eyes off." He must mean off of, but probably hung out with Jef with one 'f' right before he left.
The conversation doesn't wow Emily, who tearfully sends Joe home, as she doesn't see him fitting into her life. The (unnecessary) fireworks shot off into the sky upon his departure do, however, wow her, as she watches Joe's limo pull away.
Cocktail party time!
Emily chats with some of the guys, and the same scene unfolds season after season: the guy who was already given a rose steals one-on-one time away from the other men, who haven't seen the bachelorette in days, and hissy fits ensue.
In this case, I'm referring to Ryan, who plays up his writing skills yet again and presents Emily with a seven-page
novel letter that should have scared the bejesus out of her. But she loves it, even as Tony awkwardly stands in the corner and listens to the entire letter read aloud.
Arie had a brief but impressionable conversation with Emily, and Kalon revealed that he was 26, not 27, like his screen credits show.
Emily doles out the roses, and two men are sent home -- Aaron and Kyle, and I think they are twins. No? Could have fooled me.
Toasts all around, and I'm ready for next week's episode -- Travis's egg is thrown from the stairs! Emily and a bachelor kiss! Ricki might actually speak!