HuffPost staff writer Natasha Burton and her boyfriend, Greg St. Clair, live together, which means that Monday nights he can either resign himself to the office, or watch "The Bachelorette" with her. He chose the option that wins him more brownie points (watching "The Bachelorette," of course). Every Tuesday, they'll share their respective thoughts on the latest episode.
Have your own opinion about what went down? Sound off in the comments.
THIS JUST GOT REAL
Natasha: In the words of contestant Doug, "The Bachelorette" just got real this week. In addition to the continued development of male egos, the week two also brought us two one-on-one dates, a group date and The Muppets.
Greg: We also got a new catchphrase, courtesy of Doug, as he put trust-fund baby Kalon, a.k.a. Helicopter Guy in his place: "Just check it, bro." I plan to use this in everyday conversation as much as possible.
Natasha: Who are you? Ice Cube? Before you "wreck yourself," let's talk about week two.
THE COOKIE TEST
Greg: Here's a summary of Emily's one-on-one date with Ryan: 1) Unload groceries. 2) Bake cookies in an apron. 3) Suffocate in a parked car while Little Ricki plays soccer.
Natasha: Ryan thought he was going on a hot air balloon ride or in a plane, but no ...they went to her house to see if he could HANDLE HER LIFE AS A "SNACK MOM." Could you imagine, having to "run all my errands with me," to quote Emily?
Greg: This date was my nightmare. It was more emasculating than having to switch over to "The Bachelorette" during an NBA playoff game (Go OKC!). "The cookie test," as Emily called it = worst test ever.
Natasha: Ryan seemed okay with it, and I quote: "I feel like today we've definitely connected ... It's not just in your head, it's all out here in my head too and around us."
Greg: Whoa there, Jack Handy. Either he's on a higher level of consciousness, or he has seven brain cells.
Natasha: Emily rewarded Ryan's efforts by picking him up for dinner in an Aston Martin and letting him drive.
Greg: Best part of the date.
Natasha: And then they got to the deep stuff. Emily was worried about Ryan looking at the show as a game, and at her as the prize.
Greg: Emily's biggest fear about relationships is that men play games... so she goes on a competition-based reality show to find true love? Also, Ryan, just so you know, there is a prize: Getting to carry her groceries when this is over.
EVERYONE FEELS THE RAINBOW CONNECTION
Greg: On the group date, the guys put on a show -- I use that term loosely -- for Emily's charity, with "The Muppets." If I paid to attend a charity event presented by these no-talent ass clowns, I would ask for my money back. Where is the bungee jumping? The helicopter rides?
Natasha: Two wonderful things came out of this segment: First, the revelation that Miss Piggy would be an excellent Bachelorette. The second was Chris Harrison filling in for one of the grumpy Muppets. Classic.
Greg: Stevie (the Party MC) was psyched. At one point, he exclaimed, "I can't believe I am actually dancing with a Muppet!" Now you know how your prom date felt.
Natasha: Charlie showed his vulnerable side by opening up to Emily about his accident and his (very logical) fear of having to do impromptu stand-up comedy. I thought he was getting the date rose. But, no, Emily misguidedly gave it to Jef after he ignored her all day.
Greg: Jef seemed SHOCKED that he got the rose. He knows that he is out of her league.
Natasha: I think he's playing the mysterious angle. I don't get why Emily makes awkward comments like, "I feel like your annoying younger sister."
Greg: When he said "This is probably the best talk anybody has had with her yet" was he referring to the super awkward conversation they had about being super awkward?
Natasha: Yes. And thus began what seemed like this episode's refrain: "We just had the best connection ever." Emily should just pick Kermit.
Greg: He was the funniest guy of the episode.
Natasha: And he nearly got the first real kiss of the season. That says something.
NICE GUYS FINISH (SIXTH TO) LAST
Natasha: Unlike Ryan, Joe got to go in a private plane for his date. Emily took him to West Virginia to what looked like the East-Coast-rich-people equivalent of Disneyland. Emily said pretty early in the date that something was missing. More dooming phrases followed: "Joe is such a sweet guy," (which she must have said about 500,000 times), and "Joe makes me feel really comfortable." Then, she asked him where he sees himself in five years.
Greg: Joe: "I want to be happy." Emily: "What does that mean?" Joe explained that he would go anywhere she wanted him to. Emily is disappointed that Joe is actually nice and into her.
Natasha: She just tried to find everything wrong with this answer. Then, she started crying and said that she didn't see how he could fit into her life. Goodbye, Joe.
Greg: THIS is why she ended up with Brad last season.
Natasha: Ah ha! So you were paying attention!
THE STRATEGIES EMERGE
Natasha: The cocktail hour showcased Ryan and Kalon working two very different angles to win Emily's heart. First, Ryan had a very special present for Emily -- a seven-page love letter.
Greg: When you give a girl a love letter, you shouldn't creepily present it like, "I made something for you. Are you excited!? It's like Christmas!"
Natasha: What made this whole thing weirder, and I didn't know that you get weirder than giving a girl a pages-long note and making her read it to you out loud, was the fact that Tony walked in right as Ryan gave Emily this "present." He didn't want to be rude and interrupt, so he just stood there and watched.
Greg: Tony made a good segue after he finally got time with Emily, saying, "I told him to write all of that." But then derailed and just started talking about his love for "The Muppets."
Natasha: He thought that he and Emily had a rainbow connection. Which I think was better than Kalon's lack of connection. He tried to woo Emily by saying that he "can't relate" to girls his age. Which is code for "I'm a pretentious douchebag."
Greg: Kalon, here is some free advice: If you want to get a girl to like you, don't say you are like an old man trapped in a young man's body. Twenty-six-year-old women don't want to think of old men... or their bodies.
EVERYTHING'S COMING UP ROSES -- BUT ONLY FOR 16 OF YOU
Natasha: In the end, the following men got roses: Kalon, Arie, Michael (who Emily didn't talk to once), Nate, Sean, Chris, Doug, Travis (he's still here?), Tony, John, Alessandro, Charlie, Alejandro and Stevie (yes, the Party MC made the cut).
Greg: Aaron got cut but he nailed his exit interview Kevin Durant-style with some post-NBA-game nerd glasses.
Natasha: And then there was some other guy, Kyle, I think.
Greg: Who? Get pumped for next week's episode, which will apparently include creepy circus rides, Dolly Parton, extreme sports, some terrible country band, and rope climbing.
Natasha: Looks like Tony is the first guy to cry on camera and Emily smashes an egg. Could it be that of a -- gasp! -- ostrich? Cue ominous lighting sound effects and close-up shots of stock-photo roses!
Natasha and Greg will be documenting all of "The Bachelorette" romance, drama and inevitable awkward moments, so check back every Tuesday for their recaps. Below, they've put together some of the best quotes from the latest episode. Vote for the one that you think is the most ridiculous.
Follow Natasha Burton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NatashaNBurton