Crashing waves! Mountains! Boats! This week on Desiree's reality TV journey for love, "The Bachelorette" crew has traveled to the island of Madeira, which, as we're frequently reminded, is off the coast of Portugal. And -- shocker! -- everyone thinks it's the perfect place for romance/love/happiness.
True BFFs Spy On Dudes Through Binoculars
Des and her five remaining men yell "Madeira!" a bunch of times while sitting on a boat. We learn that there will be three one-on-one dates and one two-on-one date this week, but no one will be eliminated until the rose ceremony. Post-James debacle, Des' confidence is "shaken" so
she the producers invite some of her gal pals from Sean's season -- Catherine, Jackie and Lesley M. -- to Madeira for cocktails and girl talk (ya know, lady stuff):
--Catherine reports that she and Sean are still BFFs and in love and rooting for Des.
--Des tells the gals that Brooks is fun but might not be ready for serious commitment, Michael is a prosecutor (clearly she feels strongly about him), Zak is adventurous and Drew is the sweetest.
--Des worked in bridal -- remember, she does have a job -- and she might be engaged soon! Crazy town!
--The dudes come down to the pool, and Catherine and Jackie whip out binoculars to do some reconnaissance, like any good BFF would.
--Jackie likes Drew, but they all wonder why Brooks is wearing a tank top. "They all look very athletic," states Lesley.
--Des says that she's kissed a lot of the dudes but that Drew is the best kisser and has the best body.
--The girls wonder something that ABC decides to bleep out. I'm assuming it was an inquiry about how well-endowed or how good in bed the boys are, because Des responds by saying "They're all gonna be great lovers." Finally, a Bachelorette who doesn't pretend that sex doesn't exist -- and admits that she might sleep with more than one of her suitors!
V-Neck + Clouds + Bad Metaphors = Almost In Love
Brooks and his hair get the first one-on-one date of the week. He wears a v-neck under his button-up shirt, because it's practically a uniform. He and Des drive off in a Smart Car into the clouds (literally, since they are going up a very, very tall mountain trail). They make tons of awful, signature "Bachelorette" metaphors like "I'm on the road to falling in love," and Brooks tells Des that things are just "easy" for them -- he doesn't even have to think about when to put his hand on her leg in the car! Ya know, the important stuff! After several more "Cloud 9" and "breaking through the clouds" love metaphors, Des and Brooks yell "we're on Cloud 9!" and Des decides she's in a fairytale again. Everyone watching can't decide whether to gag a little or fall asleep from boredom.
Post-clouds, Des and Brooks dress up for a candlelit dinner and get down to some serious chatting. Brooks is nervous about introducing Des to his parents because his mom gets really attached to his GFs. They also decide to make up some "adjectives" to describe the path between like and love but actually choose verbs. Brooks feels like he's "jogging" toward the "finish line," while Des admits that she's "running." Brooks is a little bit behind Des in his love process, but he still wants her to meet his fam. Once he tells her this, fireworks go off and they make out. Totally true love.
We've Reached Peak Poetry, People
Chris -- who has quietly become a frontrunner -- gets the second one-on-one date. Whereas Brooks feels some trepidation about his potential love, Chris is sure that he's already there. The other dudes watch creepily from above as Chris and Des head to a boat, and Michael threatens to break Chris' fingers ... because that's funny? Meanwhile, Des and Chris get into bathing suits and can't stop talking about how they're soooooo physically attracted to each other. "The physical chemistry we have -- it's pretty legit!" says Chris.
After they get off the boat, Chris and Des talk for a bit and then decide that they should write a collective poem and put it in a bottle for someone to find. (Pro tip: No one ever wants to find that bottle.) Everyone watching cringes as they destroy the art of poetry, but Chris thinks it "feels right." Chris apparently started "The Bachelorette" as a skeptic but now he's a believer ... because, love. After poem #1 is thrown into the ocean, they head to dinner and Chris readies himself to confess his love to Des via poem #2. After a short discussion about their respective families, Chris reads "Individually Defined" (yes, that's the title of his poem) aloud, and at the end it says, "I love you." In return, he gets to make out with Des and walk around holding hands with her.
All The "Feelings" And "Qualities"
Michael, the overly-aggressive federal prosecutor, gets the last one-on-one date, but it's painfully obvious to anyone who's been following this season that this is the lawyer's last hurrah. Des thinks Michael has "all the qualities" to be a great hubby. Michael and Des explore the city and pretend to enjoy jewelry shopping together, while Michael tells the camera that Des has 48 perfect qualities. "I was meant to go on this journey," declares Michael. "You're so nice," says Des. Yikes.
Over the course of the date we learn that Michael's dad left his family, he went through a bad breakup that was precipitated by him seeing some Facebook photos of his GF with another dude about two years ago, he still has diabetes and he doesn't want his tombstone to read "world's best prosecutor." Luckily for Michael, since he took time off from his "dream job" to go on reality TV, I highly doubt he will ever be declared "the best." Michael feels lots of feelings, and then he and Des watch a Portuguese woman sing. This is not true love, but the producers try to trick us into thinking Michael might have a chance to sneak through to hometowns.
Sketches Are Less Painful Than Poetry
By process of elimination, Ken doll Drew and shirtless Zak are left to go on the two-on-one date. All the dudes sit around wearing different colored v-neck t-shirts until Zak and Drew head to the race track for their date. "I'm in love with Des ... I've known her for weeks," says Zak, really driving home how "real" this show is. After Des, Zak and Drew zip around the race track once, Des pits the boys against each other and promises a small prize to the winner. Zak wins and the prize turns out to be the first slot of one-on-one time with Des. Hip, hip hooray!
Zak feels a "crazy intensity of love" but doesn't wanna confess it quite yet, so he settles for showing Des a sketchbook full of drawings of all their "milestones" (a.k.a. the destinations the "Bachelorette" producers took him to) together. Zak really wants Des to meet his family, and for entertainment's sake, everyone watching really hopes she does.
Drew thinks that this date is "the most pivotal day of [his] life." (Drew, I'm so sorry.) He tells Des that his fam will love her, and he really wants Des to meet his severely mentally handicapped sister. He feels like Des has known him his whole life and confesses that he's "fallen" for her. He's rewarded with an intense make-out session and the first rose of the episode. Zak is crestfallen.
Pre-Rose Jitters And A Chris Harrison Pow-Wow
All the dudes pack, and ABC tries to make this process seem dramatic when it is, in fact, not. Chris (not Harrison) dresses up in a suit jacket with the collar partially popped, Michael is scared and Des wears a blue dress that does NOT include sparkles! Before she can start handing out meet-the-family roses, she needs to check in with the ever-wise Chris Harrison.
During their tete a tete, Des tells Chris that she doesn't want to hurt anyone, but she's going to have to. We're reminded, yet again, that Des was poor and didn't go to Europe as a child and that Drew is a very pretty dude. Then sh*t gets real, and Des confesses that she's in love ("at the finish line") with Brooks but isn't sure he's there yet, which is scary. She also could see herself with Chris, though, because he's stable. (Hmmm... Chris is starting to look like a very viable candidate for next Bachelor if he doesn't win this season.) "That's complicated," says Chris Harrison. "Welcome to The Bachelorette," responds Des.
Ready To Meet The Parents?
The remaining five boys gather outside, and Chris Harrison congratulates Drew on his rose, reminding the rest of the dudes that one of them will soon be heading home. Then Des arrives and tells the guys that they're all "amazing." So "amazing."
SAFE: Brooks, Chris and Zak. (Drew already has a rose.)
ELIMINATED: Michael. Because, duh.
Michael claims to be heartbroken but keeps it classy and wishes Des the best. He sheds some requisite tears in the car leaving Madeira and then proceeds to call his mom. "Here we go again," she says. Oy.
Next Week, On Hometown Dates...
Cheers! Brooks' giant family! So many hugs! So many families! Zak's crazy family! Chiropractic adjustment! Tucks shirt into her pants! Drew's mom! Difficult for Brooks! Des' brother! Des' brother sees Brooks! Des' brother is a creeper!
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