Episode 5

“Sounds like you want to make a big cut tonight.” - Chris Harrison, somberly.

 

The men moved into their Marseille Intercontinental digs and did a halfway decent job of acting like they hadn't just spent the night in that very suite and were seeing it for the first time:

Being on the Bachelor/ette is basically drama class.

Being on the Bachelor/ette is basically drama class.

Some were more in character than others:

Marcus and Chris need to work on "excitement".

Marcus and Chris need to work on "excitement".

The Intercontinental apparently didn't get the memo that there were still eleven guys because the requisite U-shaped seating arrangement didn't come close to accommodating them. But how adorable is Dylan in the morning, post-acting exercise, sitting on the floor with his hair semi-swept back?

It's time for that haircut, Dylan!

It's time for that haircut, Dylan!

This episode brought me unparalleled joy in the form of direct-look-into-camera moments. Nick, who you all know by now is my favorite defiant contestant, delivered it first:

And what one-on-one departure would be complete without forcing the guys who aren't on the date to assemble in one place and joyously wave goodbye?

A rare camera + producer shot!

A rare camera + producer shot!

JOSH'S ONE-ON-ONE

There's something about Josh and Andi together that makes me feel like they're the male and female versions of each other. Like, they could ALMOST be brother and sister if it weren't for their obvious chemistry. When they were saying "Merci, merci, merci", I felt like they could be the same person.

Either because of or in spite of that – I can't be sure which – these two are damn cute together. I LOVED when he asked what sport she'd be good at and she responded with "mind games" and they both broke into wild laughter:

Back at the house, Patrick just. can't. believe. the date card doesn't say anything. He just. can't.

He can't.

He can't.

If there's invisible ink to be found, fear not, at least one of these savvy detectives will find it:

Oh, Patrick.

Oh, Patrick.

Meanwhile, Andi backhandedly compliments our favorite Jock, saying one must "be careful" with a pretty face like his:

The best rebuttal Josh can muster is a too-serious face and a very convincing, "Mm-mm":

This is his trustworthy face.

This is his trustworthy face.

After Andi shockingly presents Josh with a rose that evening, they're "treated" to my favorite romantic staple on this show, another private concert:

Nothing like making out four meters from the performer of the music you're dancing to:

It must be said, though, that I thought Ben Fields was really good.

It must be said, though, that I thought Ben Fields was really good.

GROUP DATE

Patrick still just. can't. about that bewildering blank date card:

In Mime School, when Andi starts hinting that the boys might be forced to work the streets, the look on Marcus' face is so unbelievably priceless that I googled "how to make an animated .gif" just to illustrate this.

Here's the thing: NO ONE has been subjected to more humiliation than Marcus. On his first date he had to perform a solo pilot-themed strip number. Second date, he had to "sing" Boyz II Men's I'll Make Love To You. Third date, his hotly anticipated one-on-one, he was forced to face his phobia of heights on national television and rappel down the side of a 30-story building. And now, fourth date, just watch him assess Andi and the Mime Teacher with a look that says, "You have got to be fucking kidding."

Patrick: “I’m extremely nervous because they take their miming very seriously here in France. This is like full contact sport."

Bone dry or completely sincere? I DON'T KNOW.

Bone dry or completely sincere? I DON'T KNOW.

What's cuter? Marcus' mime for "nervousness", or the fact that right afterwards he explains, "That's nervous."

It's a tie. Marcus is the cutest.

It's a tie. Marcus is the cutest.

Back at the hotel, Brian, who is presumably literate, hands his date card to Josh, who spent the night before making out with the girl who Brian will go on his date with, so that Josh can be the one to inform Brian that he, too, will have the opportunity to make out with said girl:

Marquel turned out to be an almost disturbingly good mime:

He subjected the millions of Bachelorette viewers to dangerous degrees of adorableness:

JJ also delivered in the cuteness department with a quality old-man trout pout:

The evening portion was such a mess I can't be sure what happened exactly. I'll attempt to summarize:

After Eric's departure the week prior, Andi was upset. Nick, confident in his relationship with her, left the guys to comfort her. This means he's the villain. Tonight, the guys start needling him because they're irritated by his confidence. Patrick says it's hard to know what Nick is thinking (?) and that he doesn't behave like a gentleman:

Nick asks for an example of his ungentlemanly behavior and Patrick impressively fires back with "arrogance". Unfortunately for Patrick, if Nick is arrogant (which I don't think he is) it's because Andi’s preference for him has put him in a position that justifies it, and it’s obvious to all that Patrick will be going home long before Nick does.

A highlight:

Cody: "Let me ask you this: Do you think you're a frontrunner?"

Nick: "Eh, probably."

And Cody gives a direct-look-into-camera with this face:

Sorry, y'all. I know we're being told to hate on Nick right now but I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid. First of all, I strongly doubt that he even responded with "Eh, probably" to Cody's question. Notice how the camera doesn't actually show him saying that? After my own experience, having watched what I knew I'd said get cut and replaced with things I'd said in other moments in other weeks, I can tell you production is very resourceful when it comes to making their audience believe something about somebody.

That said, I hope I'm wrong and that he did say, "Eh, probably" because it's entirely true and I think it's amusing that anyone would take issue with it. 

Nick is way too self-aware to be overtly arrogant around the other guys. Do I think he's confident in what he has with Andi? Yes, absolutely. And if there's one thing I know from my Bachelor experience, it's that the people who are terrified they're next on the chopping block – because they usually are – tend to act out on the ones who aren't. Cody's obvious panic later when he finds out three guys are getting cut proves my point.

Let's all take a moment to appreciate Chris' direct-look-into-camera!

I'll admit that Cody has grown on me. He's WAY more intelligent than he looks and than I initially gave him credit for. But for him to take issue with Nick mocking his thankfulness is missing the mark. 

These guys live with each other 24/7. They sleep right next to each other, sit next to each other on planes, eat every meal together, are held captive in hotel suites together, and are coerced into talking to and about each other several times a day. It is inevitable they will rub each other the wrong way; it is literally what is designed to happen. 

My guess? All the guys rib each other each and every day. Therefore, Nick and Cody rib each other. Nick is confident regarding Andi and Cody is not. Therefore, Nick's teasing hits a nerve with Cody in a way that Cody's teasing can't with Nick.

Also, lest you think I'm just biased, I jokingly say “hashtag grateful” all the time because it’s such an overused, thrown-around term. You can be thankful and grateful and appreciate your lot in life without constantly preaching about it. 

Anyway, back to the evening date. Nick has damage control to do and clearly has his work cut out for him:

What better way to win over a stony-faced Bachelorette than with a shoddy poem? Just watch it work its stone-melting magic:

Marquel, who is proving to be as dignified as he is good at miming, confronts Andrew over the alleged "blackie" comment. Andrew then proceeds to contort his face into various grotesque expressions of shock...

... and disbelief...

... all of which are met with an elegant, discerning, and well-dressed:

Methinks the lady doth protest a teensy bit too much:

Someone's guilty.

Someone's guilty.

BRIAN'S ONE-ON-ONE

I'm afraid I have almost nothing to say about this date. Everything about it was contrived. From the movie advertising to the serious lack of chemistry between Andi and Brian, the whole thing just seemed so forced.

I'm afraid Brian's ranking with Andi screams "filler" to me. Don't get angry at me! I'm not saying Brian is filler. I'm saying, compare how she speaks to and kisses Brian to how she does Josh, Marcus, or Nick. 

I think this show needs to evolve with its audience. We can tell. Just eliminate more people early on and develop more in-depth relationships with the fewer men remaining. We want to watch real chemistry, not the forced or phoned-in variety.

 

ROSE CEREMONY

Chris Harrison: “You wanted to talk?”

Andi: “Uh, ye-eah.”

I find it amusing that we're made to believe Andi suddenly wanted to cut three whole guys this week. If you think about it, it's an identical scenario from last season. In Episode 5, in Vietnam, there were 11 girls left. And how many girls did Juan Pablo cut? Three, of course.  (The fateful day my dear Kelly Travis went home)

That's quite a coincidence. I think the rigamarole of making a big deal about this cut was a bit unnecessary.

I had to laugh when Patrick, obviously goaded to discuss Andi's delay, fumbles out: “It shows she’s taking this really serious.”

Which is met with Josh's too-serious face, a face I'm starting to see he does a lot. The face growls, "Oh, of course she’s taking it serious."

This face wilted poor Patrick.

This face wilted poor Patrick.

You knew I couldn't see Patrick off without quoting his GOLDEN farewell speech: “The problem that occurred is that she didn’t get to fully experience ME." (He naturally gestures himself)

"It’s unfortunate, it truly is, because I’ve heard from multiple people, not just girls, that I have qualities that are really paramount when it comes to being a husband.”

The other guys have only heard it from girls.

The other guys have only heard it from girls.

SIDE OBSERVATIONS

Marquel is the best thing to happen to this show in a long time. It started with his night one black-and-white cookie and finally came to a head this week. He addressed what has been an elephant in the Bachelor room since the franchise's inception: Race. All while managing to remain composed, respectful, and incredibly eloquent. I'm all for Marquel marking the end of "token" contestants. #MarquelForBachelor, anyone? 

If he manages looks like these on his own, just imagine the fashion his stylist-assisted season would bring.

If he manages looks like these on his own, just imagine the fashion his stylist-assisted season would bring.

There are rumors that Marquel has joined the Bachelor in Paradise cast. Here's hoping those are only rumors because being affiliated with that, um, less classy affair would be detrimental to his chances of becoming Bachelor. Which, if I'm honest, are already slim. There are still several more weeks for the producers to prime someone else's image for our oblivious embrace.

 

I was mesmerized watching Dylan be mesmerized by his own fingernails:

I've so been there.

I've so been there.

BEST DRESSED

There were some solid showings from the guys this week but my favorite was actually Ben Fields' grey-on-grey. I loved his unusual Peter Pan collar and tie/handkerchief combo.

A very close second goes to Marquel for his impeccable – and consistent – ability to successfully mix ballsy colors and patterns.

 

ANDI'S LOOKS

I may have had mixed feelings in weeks prior but this week was a near clean sweep of fashion wins.

THAT TOTE. I HAVE TO HAVE IT:

I love pretty much everything about her day look with Josh. It's breezy and feminine yet functional. And I've said it before and I'll say it again: This girl SLAYS the white skinny jeans.

She knocked it out of the park again for the evening portion:

I loved this slinky gown so much I made two collages of it:

It's tasteful and elegant but sexy as hell. The plunge, the tiniest bit of sideboob, and the side-swept hair. She looks like a million bucks. This whole date was a 10/10 in the fashion department.

Her daytime outfit for the Mime group date was also on point:

I love the French lace blouse and how she chose a black bra to peek through it. The half pulled-back hair is so pretty and ladylike. And those ADORABLE heels. 

Her evening look was decidedly less soft but brought the sex appeal:

I love the combination of a glittery mini with a tight but fully covered up top. It's the perfect amount of skin. And the slick ponytail, too. She looks ace. Another 10/10 for this whole date. 

Her daytime date with Brian was also a win:

I'm partial to this All Saints Cargo leather jacket because I happen to own the near-identical Conroy. (FYI, Free People makes a terrific and much more budget-friendly vegan one)  It instantly makes any outfit edgy. She looks effortless, which suited this low-key (but otherwise womp-womp) date.

This whole week was flawless save for this Rose Ceremony look:

It's not that there's anything wrong with it... It's hard to put my finger on what it is. I love a dramatic, messy side braid but I feel like this one belongs with a different outfit. 

The dress is obviously couture and intricate but that doesn't make me love it. It's too fussy and I really don't love the corseted back in addition to all the black sequined flower appliqués that are happening. Its saving grace is the fact that it fits her like a glove and the use of black and navy. (A chic color combination I think is very modern and underrated)

 

DRINKING GAME WORDS OF THE WEEK

1. Stahp

2. Connection

3. Perfect 

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!