Episode 6

"I am on a very quick train and it's headin' to I-Love-Jojo town." —James Taylor, who speaks in lyrics.

We pick up in Buenos Aires, with Chris Harrison materializing to inform the men that for The First Time In Bachelor History, there will be a second 2-on-1. On second watch, I realized they immediately cut to the two guys who'll be affected by this...

Coincidence?

Upon Wells being handed the "Besame Mucho" date card, I had to laugh at all the discussion amongst the guys that Wells had not yet kissed the same girl they've all been kissing for weeks now. Best of all was Robby's overcompensating remark...

 We get it, Robby. You're straight.

We get it, Robby. You're straight.

Stop whatever it is you're doing and think about the fact that they're all talking about the same girl. Just to clue back into reality for a second.

 

WELLS' 1-ON-1

Jojo takes Wells to the show Fuerza Bruta...

...which I have a funny tidbit about. Andy was taken there by an ex-girlfriend and it was hands-down the worst thing he's ever seen in his life, and trust me, Andy does not mince words about things he's not a fan of. It was apparently so bad that early in our relationship he told me about it and it's become a running joke between us to compare things to Fuerza Bruta in terms of bad-ness. So needless to say, we were tickled pink to see it featured.

With all the pressure on Wells to "find the moment", it's no wonder there were a few misses along the way...

All in all, I only liked Wells more after his date, which is really saying something. He's so wonderfully normal, like a guy you would meet in real life and develop a crush on not because of his abs but because of his witty commentary. I loved how self-awarely and self-editedly he watched Jojo reach for the rose after their "dinner" date. I could be wrong, but it looks like a combination of standard nervousness, disbelief that he's even there in that moment, and watching himself from the outside...

I've felt that exact mixture of feelings while in his exact position, so maybe I'm projecting, but that's how it reads to me.

I already discussed this in this in my Flare recap, but I had to include this line of Jojo's as it stuck out to me both on the first and second watch: "It sucks because I think Wells is great and I think that the more time that I have with Wells the more he'll get relaxed and the more open he'll be. But at the same time I need to decide if I'm willing to keep trying to break through that wall with Wells." Like I said on Flare, I can't help but see that slow development and gradual wall-breaking as a positive thing, but of course, with the timeline on this show it stands to reason that it could be seen as a deal-breaker. Reason #1,044,926 why this show's premise/execution combo makes no sense.

Notice how there's no departure ITM with Wells shown... I figure this is because they couldn't get him to cry. Instead, the date closes with Jojo inexplicably returning to Fuerza Bruta alone for flashback-like B-roll of the activities she and Wells just shared, under the voiceover of Jojo wondering if she'll find what she's looking for...

On first watch I thought this was through-the-roof cheesy and couldn't imagine things getting cheesier. I couldn't have comprehended the cheesaliciousness awaiting on me on the 2-on-1. But first...

 

GROUP DATE

The day portion of this date was basic fun and games. The men all seem to get along swimmingly, so the focal point was mainly James Taylor's borderline extreme self-deprecation. But for the most part, the date looked like this:

Back at the hotel, Derek and Chase receive their 2-on-1 date card and, since Wells has left, are—gasp!—forced to read it themselves. At the beginning of episode, if you'd told me it'd down to these two guys, I'd tell you no way in hell would Derek be the one going home. But after they kept showing clip after clip of ITMs in which Derek sounded a bit too confident...

... as per The Bachelor formula, I knew it was nearly certain that Derek would be going home. :(

Back on the Group Date, James Taylor commits the cardinal sin of talking bad about a frontrunner (Jordan), and Jojo subsequently commits the cardinal sin of running straight to Jordan to confront him about it. Considering these two are close friends in the house, it's impossible not to consider the middle man orchestrating all this. It's obvious Jordan irked James Taylor during the rules discussion of their poker game, and clearly James Taylor vented about it to a producer at some point. Said producer likely nudged James Taylor to tell Jojo about it, under the guise of "looking out for" and "protecting" her. Obviously Jojo is a huge Jordan fan and was going to question him about it, causing Jordan to be pissed at his supposed close friend—not the producer who egged him on—and causing insta-drama on an otherwise pretty basic (read: boring) Group Date.

Someone recently asked me how the boutonnieres attach. They're magnets and apparently strong ones, as evidenced by their success with Luke's leather jacket. You can even see Jojo hesitate after attaching it, unsure if it would stay...

Luke also mumbles something about this leather jacket in the above clip but I listened to it about 30 times and still couldn't make out anything other than "leather jacket". :/ 

 

2-ON-1 DATE

As with all 2-on-1s, there's a lot of build-up with ITMs of the two guys and "stand off" shots like this...

... but honestly I was distracted by the legendary song they had as background music, Astor Piazzolla's Libertango. Seriously, if you're not familiar with this piece, go listen to Yo-Yo Ma kill it here. If that doesn't give you goosebumps there's something wrong with you.

The date activity is a love triangle tango. Nothing more needs to be said except to include this action shot:

 The guys' faces! 

The guys' faces! 

The first time I watched this date through I was pretty upset about Jojo sending Derek home, but upon a second watch I realized she is simply more attracted to Chase. I felt their 1-on-1 time with him on this date felt like her prompting him for her Words of Affirmation, when frankly he does not seem to be a naturally effusive guy, but their chemistry is undeniable. On one hand, there's a guy who she seems to know better (I'm not presuming to know for sure), who's telling her he's falling in love with her and giving her all the validation she could want. Yet, there she was, nudging another (more reticent) guy to give her a fraction of that validation. The choice she made is a wonderfully real and human one, and served as a metaphor of sorts for every woman in the world who's ever dated more than one man.

As Derek crawls into his black car, there's a funny shot of a crew member...

 So incognito.

So incognito.

Now for the aforementioned cheesaliciousness. While I was legitimately sad to see Derek go (he really was one of my favorites), I found his entire departure segment insanely hilarious. From the butchered performance of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina", the misplaced use of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina", and Derek's teary "Why am I crying?", to the masterful mashing together of all of the above...

Comedic perfection.

 

ROSE CEREMONY

During the Cocktail Party, another little snippet of Luke's great sense of humor—and by finding it so funny, Jojo's great sense of humor—is shown...

People like to ask me, "So is it real? Or is it scripted?" My usual response is that it's staged, not scripted. They can't and don't put words in your mouth, but they set up situations to encourage certain words come out of your mouth. Obviously, I can't speak for the lead's experience, but to me, this Rose Ceremony was a perfect example of why people could think this show is scripted. Even as a former contestant and one who insists the show isn't scripted, I couldn't help but find the following exchange unconvincing...

Like, first of all, it's safe to say both James Taylor and Alex were on the chopping block this week. (They weren't going to have the last two be, say, Luke and Alex, as it'd be too obvious who was staying and who was going.) And just by virtue of being on the chopping block in Episode 6, it's safe to say neither James Taylor or Alex are "winning" this thing. So why string it all out? Oh yeah, because Hometowns aren't until Episode 8. We still "need" another episode to drag out the narrowing down to Final 4. (For the record, I don't think anyone believed this double elimination feint for a second.)

As always, you can find my frontrunners over on my Flare Recap!

 

BEST DRESSED

This is a great season for contestants' showing their personal style. Runner up for Best Dressed is Robby with his Group Date evening ensemble...

I appreciate Robby's little statements like white buttons contrasting with his black-on-black layering, as well as his fabric flower boutonnieres. I love how unabashedly preppy Robby's looks are. He has such a distinct style and is consistent while being varied.

Best Dressed is Jordan with his look from the same date...

With this look, Jordan manages to look put together and dapper while appearing rugged and like he didn't try hard. There's something hipster-chic about this all-black look and those boots are perfection. 🙌🏼

 

WORST DRESSED

Not a bad look in sight this week. The remaining 6 guys don't seem to make sartorial mistakes!

 

JOJO'S LOOKS

For the Buenos Aires B-rolls and Jojo's chat with Chris Harrison...

This look really works. I love how this dress is very va-va-voom despite not being revealing at all. It's elegant and tasteful and the perfect, vibrant shade of red. I'm also impressed at how these sandals actually work with a fairly dressy outfit. (You may recall Jojo wore these with jeans in Episode 2 and they worked there, too.) And that crisp, cream coat... drool. Jojo's red dress is by ALC and sells HERE. Her coat is by Topshop but is sadly sold out (HERE). Her Dolce Vita heels sell HERE.

For her date with Wells...

There's nothing not to love about this look. It's well-balanced in terms of an oversized sweater and skinny pants, and with that sweater's sleeves, the look combines both fun and edge. Jojo's fantastic sweater is a no-name that her stylist picked up at a Monroe Boutique Conway, but there's no info online about it, so similar options above. Her Topshop jeans sell HERE, and her Ash boots (which you may remember from a whopping two dates in Episode 3) sell HERE. Her necklace is by The Woods (dammit) but there are similar-ish alternatives above.

As for her ring...

... her "Andi" ring is from Robyn Rhodes and sells HERE, and get 20% off with code "PANDA20".

In the evening...

I'm mixed on this look. I like the dress fine but I don't love it. There are a few too many sparkly two-piece bodycon dresses this season, so I feel like this look could have easily been swapped out for something with a different silhouette and we never would have missed it. That coat, however, is incredible, and I love how she wore it over her shoulders like a cape. Jojo's Wow Couture two-piece dress sells HERE. Her embroidered open-front coat is by Alexis but is sadly sold out (HERE), but there's a really cool cape with a similar silhouette (and which I happen to own) selling HERE. Her Ivanka Trump heels are still available, however, and sell HERE (on sale)!

For the Group Date, during the day...

Jojo really owns these casual-chic looks. I love how wearable her daytime looks are, while still being elevated and fashion-forward. The shining star of this look is that boot; I've never seen anything like it yet I feel it could be incorporated into just about any wardrobe seamlessly. Jojo's Ramy Brook sweater is sadly sold out (HERE) but there are similar options above. (It's also available as a tank HERE and in ivory HERE.) You may remember her Zara zipper leggings from Episode 2; they're still sold out but near-identical alternatives are above. Her Kat Maconie boots sell HERE.

In the evening...

This look is a top to bottom win and is my favorite look of the episode. It's sexy while really not showing much, and both feminine and edgy. I basically want every piece in this outfit. Jojo's T by Alexander Wang dress sells HERE and HERE and there's a sleeveless version (in black) selling HERE. Her BlankNYC vegan leather jacket is sold out (HERE) but there are two super similar options above. It appears Jojo now has at least 3 pairs of Stuart Weitzman's nudist sandals (we've previously seen her in the nude patent and nude goosebump nubuck versions)—her black ones sell HERE. (If you're a size 10, run over to Bluefly HERE as they're 30% off and these NEVER go on sale.) If $400 for strappy sandals sounds insane to you, Express has a near-identical pair selling HERE

For the evening of the 2-on-1...

I'm mixed on this dress. While I respect its little details and the effort to be different, I think it's trying too hard and not really succeeding. Case in point, I think it'd be more of a statement to just have mesh paneling OR the contrast straps, not both. Of course, I'm splitting hairs here. The dress is obviously pretty, but Jojo is more to credit for this outfit looking good than the dress is. Jojo's Noam Hanoch dress is sold out (HERE) but I've scrounged around and included the most similar-concept options I could find. Once again, her black Stuart Weitzman sandals sell HERE.

Last but not least is Jojo's Rose Ceremony gown...

I love it when they just go the whole nine yards and include a gown or two that, while not necessarily having a place in any of our everyday wardrobes, is fairytale-like and gorgeous and national television-worthy. I thought this dress fit her impeccably (her body looked ridiculous in it) and brought the drama in a classic, tasteful, and not-at-all prom-y way (which can oftentimes be the case). You know what would have made this look a perfect 10? Her hair, while gorgeous, looks the same as it did in every other look this week. A dramatic updo would have done this dramatic gown justice. :) But on the whole this look is beautiful and very Bachelorette-worthy. 😍 Jojo's gown is by Randi Rahm.

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!