Episode 3

"I never thought I'd be in this position. Like, I've never been so locked into one girl. Like, getting visions of her, thinking about her." —Eric, accurately summing up the contestant experience

 

 

LAST WEEK'S ROSE CEREMONY

We pick up with a cliffhanger where Rachel eloquently shuts down a very talkative DeMario. I thought it was wise that he returned to take responsibility for his actions and attempt to unsully his reputation, but it would have been more effective to just voice what he'd learned rather than trying to return to the mansion. Anyway, surprising nobody, it turns out he'll be on Paradise this Summer so evidently he's still got both damage control and airtime on his mind.

The Rose Ceremony continues and with it, the Blake E vs Lucas feud. I loved how Rachel handled Lucas' ridiculous but disconcertingly bold-faced lie about Blake E hovering over his bed consuming bananas. Her ability to keep a straight face is downright impressive...

Out of 20 men, the two just happen to end up right next to each other. You know, just by coincidence...

I know there's probably a ton to this relationship that I don't know about, but as an outsider it felt like Blake E was only hurting himself being so hung up on Lucas. Lucas was never going to go far, so who cares about his "wrong reasons" for being there? Just live and let live and let the cookie crumble naturally. The ability to co-exist with people you don't like (no matter what you think their reasons are or how deep or far back your hatred for one another runs) is essential in the Bachelor experience. Restraint is your friend.

I was THRILLED Rachel sent them both packing. All too often one guy in a feud (usually the more villainous one) gets to go way further than he should, when we all know there's no real relationship potential. I thought it demonstrated Rachel's lack of patience for man drama bullshit, and I dug it.

 

FIRST GROUP DATE

Rachel takes 6 of her guys to tape an episode of Ellen, where the host echoes what my own friends tell me season after season...

A number of you have expressed anger that Bryan said, "He got my sloppy seconds" when Will seconded Bryan's comment that Rachel's a great kisser. It amazed me how offended people were by this. Okay, so it wasn't in the greatest of taste, but he was obviously just trying to be funny. I saw it as clearly meant to diss Will, not Rachel, as it's just a stupidly-worded expression to say he got there first. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but to me this is not the battle to get up in feminist arms about and is certainly no reason to suddenly despise Bryan, who has otherwise done and said nothing offensive.

Naturally, because they're just pieces of man meat whose purpose is to be ogled and objectified...

I mentioned this in my The Morning After video, but HOLY COW can you imagine if the women on The Bachelor were expected to do anything even remotely similar to these two group date activities? This reminded me of Andi's "Magic Mike"-themed Group Date in that you'd-get-shot-if-you-ever-made-women-do-this sort of way. The Bachelor gets consistent flak for being sexist but when you shine a light on The Bachelorette and what the men are (routinely!) expected to do (and how it's seen as just normal and funny), it suddenly doesn't look so bad.

 It must be said, though, that  Alex  was hilarious.

It must be said, though, that Alex was hilarious.

This date focused a lot on Fred and his supposed 20 year crush on Rachel. I appreciate the romance of that in theory, but I don't really buy it in this instance. He showed up Night One with their old yearbook, but her reaction to his arrival suggested that they haven't seen each other since they were kids. If it really has been such a longterm crush, that is one seriously one non-aggressive, SLOW play.

That said, based on the following, maybe Fred's game could use some work in general...

A lot of you have asked for my thoughts on Fred. There's really nothing not to like about him. He came off sweet and soft-spoken—which, combined with Rachel's memory that he was a "bad kid", is certainly intriguing—and he seemed to be well-liked by the other men. In terms of the show, of course there's an automatic story if they knew each other when they were kids. That story is even juicier if (if!) he's been crushing on her all these years. So, considering Eric's quote at the top of this page, imagine marrying their history with an environment that encourages such laser-like focus on her. It's easy to see how a mild curiosity could quickly morph into "falling in love". That's why my heart wasn't breaking when he was sent home right after being so elated to have finally kissed her. To me, those emotions reside only in that alternate universe. And if his didn't, he should've made a move in the last decade.

Of course, when sending Fred home, Rachel is forced to feels compelled to bring the Group Date rose with her, because obviously the humane way to send someone home is to first get their hopes as high as possible by letting them think they're getting that rose. Psyche!

That is so Ben H.

 

Meanwhile, back at the mansion and leading into Anthony's 1-on-1, we catch our first glimpse of Eric having reservations about Rachel, because foreshadowing...

 

ANTHONY'S 1-ON-1

I have nothing bad to say about Anthony. He seems smart, he's drama free, and appears to be very sincere. But mark my words, Anthony is not going to the end this season. First, we weren't even shown his Date Card segment. No arrival of, reading of, or reaction to a first 1-on-1 Date Card? This almost never happens...

Next, the whole date felt super glossed over. It was basically a few Rodeo Drive boutiques that were willing to let horses in their shops and that had made some arrangement to get on TV. And then in the evening, the only conversation shown was Anthony describing being rich in love growing up, and having had a good father and wanting to pay that forward. Their interaction was sweet but unremarkable and on the whole even felt sloppily edited. For example, what the hell did Rachel pull out of her pocket here...?

*** UPDATE 06.10.17: Taylor informed me that Rachel is pulling out a hand warmer to share with Anthony. That is helpful, but even with the hand warmer, my argument that this was glossed over remains!

Second, and this was hard to capture as a .GIF and without sound, but Anthony's sentence about losing control didn't even come out of his mouth, but rather as he was shown licking his lips....

Also note how Rachel says "I like you, too". I don't think those words are insincere, but I'm not getting "I can see myself marrying you" vibes in the slightest.

My point is, this 1-on-1 felt like the red-headed stepchild of this episode and was neglected on many levels (particularly in the editing room) and, while I like Anthony, he will not be the future Mr. Lindsay.

After Anthony returns to the mansion, the drama with Eric begins. I'm going to state straight-up that I don't think Eric was in the wrong whatsoever. First, it's annoying as hell when an uninvited party crashes a conversation to tell you that you're wrong. I get that Iggy wanted to defend Rachel, but it wasn't necessary, especially since one of the people in said conversation was Anthony, who just spent the whole day with her and certainly knew her better than Iggy. (My point being, if anyone needed to defend Rachel, it'd be Anthony, which he didn't, because Eric wasn't attacking her!) Second, if you consider what Eric is actually saying, you realize he's 100% right...

Okay, so it's heresy to merely suggest that the lead is phoning it in with any of his or her contestants, but - DUH - of course they all are with at least 80% or so of them. It would be both impossible and a total waste of energy to attempt to give two dozen suitors the same kind of attention. Every lead has to pretend they're into more people than they are and that's just the nature of the show. Juan Pablo got a lot of shit for not showing enough interest in the women he wasn't interested in (yes, you read that right), but is that not the most authentic way to be the lead? And wouldn't you want to know where you stand rather than be patronized and led on right up until the rug is pulled out from under you? The fact that Eric's voicing these concerns only makes me like Rachel more because it means she's not leading anyone on unnecessarily. Iggy's "defense" of Rachel was pointless (not to mention inaccurate), and given that he later told her he defended her, ultimately felt like a grandiose gesture with which to earn brownie points.

 

SECOND GROUP DATE

Nothing really to add here about this (highly entertaining) mud wrestling date that I didn't address in my The Morning After video. Except to point out that, when covered head-to-toe in mud, Kenny is a dead ringer for The Thing...

I had to make a .GIF of how deeply irritating Lee's personality type is. First, his "I'm being straightforward" reminded me of a tweet I recently liked. Also, I loved how wonderfully and exasperatedly Eric responds with a simple, truly straightforward, "I'm so confused!"

Like I said at Flare, if you're going to target or confront someone, fine. But don't flank your passive aggressive statements with "I love you"s. Is there anything worse than "I love you, but—", or "I'm sorry, but—"? UGH.

And as if the UGHs could not be any more emphatic...

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😒

 

 

ROSE CEREMONY

Iggy, "maddened" by the fact that Eric has a rose while he doesn't, deems it his responsibility to throw Eric under the bus more than was already done on the Group Date. He opens with describing the Eric situation, while Rachel, being the coolest, most realistic Bachelorette ever, responds with...

Of course, to convince her, Iggy stretches the truth by saying Eric's comments were specifically about Rachel not being genuine (which, based on what we saw anyway, isn't true). However, when confronting Eric later—"like an adult" as he put it—he said Rachel specifically asked who made those statements (as though he opened with the statements and not who made them), and that he answered Eric. Of course, this is simply not true, as we JUST saw him open the conversation, where he LED with his reservations about Eric. Not very "adult"-like to me. Also note how Iggy too brings up Eric's "growth"...

Sounds an awful lot like Iggy and Lee have had a discussion about the ways in which their dear, beloved Eric can "grow", doesn't it?

Again, like I said at Flare, there are few things more deeply irritating than being treated like a subordinate by your equal. It's annoying when anyone inserts themselves and their opinions in your private conversation, à la Iggy, or when someone passively aggressively tells you about how much "potential" you have, à la Lee. What place do Iggy and Lee have telling Eric the ways in which he should "grow"? If you don't mesh with a person you're forced to live with, as Blake E should've done with Lucas, just avoid them and mind your own damn business. 

You guys know by now I am always careful to observe the where-there's-smoke-there's-fire rule. I realize that based on all this smoke, it is possible Eric has some maturing to do, but frankly I haven't seen that, while I have seen behavior from both Iggy and Lee that would irritate and even anger me. In fact, I've found Eric's responses to Iggy and Lee to be super reasonable. And regarding his shouting later on... well, you could argue his biggest mistake is letting them get under his skin, especially since it only further incentivizes the guys to provoke and needle him. But other than that, it's safe to say I am staunchly #TeamEric.

Finally, a fun observation! I thought it was cute when Rachel unexpectedly entered the mansion looking for Eric and the men all hopped to attention. Their reaction to her roaming freely really demonstrates how rarely it happens. (Usually the lead is seated somewhere and the contestants take turns approaching them.) I also find Diggy's facial expressions endlessly entertaining...

As always, my Top 4 predictions based on this episode are over at Flare.

 

BEST DRESSED

A casual look shout out goes to Bryce with his cable knit sweater...

I have a strange affinity for pale, knit sweaters on men. The coziness of this sweater and that shawl collar just looked so nice to me, and if I want to see my man wearing something a guy on The Bachelorette is wearing, that guy deserves a Best Dressed mention.

Best Dressed this week is Dean with his hardly shown but very slick ensemble...

This reminds me a bit of his Night One look, except with the florals on his shirt instead of his tie. Again, I loooove it when a man pulls off florals. He looks ever so dapper. Nicely done, Dean!

 

WORST DRESSED

It pains me to lump sweet Anthony in the same category as Lee, but my Best/Worst Dressed sections are never personal...

This color. It is not good. There is nothing understated or in good taste about this color. Especially with a suit, it comes off way too magician-like for my liking. :(

FASHION REQUESTS

Gina asked about Raven's backless bodysuit she wore on the mud wrestling Group Date...

I wasn't able to find Raven's exact bodysuit, but there are VERY similar ones selling HERE, HERE, and HERE. There's also a bathing suit version, which I love as the style really feels more bathing suit-y to me, HERE.

Mikaela wanted to know about Diggy's lobster tee...

This was an impressive spot as the only shot of it was when the guys were playing cards. *** UPDATE 06.11.17: Diggy tells me his shirt is from J. Crew but it's sadly sold out (HERE). There is a near-identical one selling HERE. I also have to link out THIS shirt I found in my search because it's just too cute not to.

 

 

RACHEL'S LOOKS

On Ellen, Rachel wore a cold shoulder mini dress...

I like this dress a lot. It looks fresh and modern but still easy and wearable. Rachel's "Lauren" dress is by Ramy Brook and sells (on sale!) HERE. If the price is still too steep, the same dress but in a different color is going for $100 less HERE, and there's an excellent look-for-less (for only $23!) HERE. Rachel's JustFab "Andreja" heels sell HERE.

In the evening...

I loved this jumpsuit. It is SEXY, especially in that unexpected navy color, and I love the balancing of exposed skin up top with the full-coverage, wide leg pants down below. Rachel's Jovani jumpsuit sells HERE. Rachel's necklace is by none other than The Woods, making it both pricey and not available, but I found a look-for-less HERE.

For her 1-on-1 with Anthony...

I'm sorry to say I liked almost nothing about this look. Actually, that's not true; I liked just about every piece, but not together. That bomber, for example, I'd rather see dress up something sleek and black. Rachel's lace bomber is by Three Dots and sells (on sale!) HERE. I couldn't ID her exact JustFab booties but did manage to find a very similar pair selling HERE.

In the evening...

The shining star here is that PERFECT coat. The dress is nice, but the simplicity, draping, and elegance of that coat has me wanting it bad. Rachel's "Juno" dress is by Cinq à Sept and it's super on sale (both in white and in Rachel's "emerald" color) HERE. Her Mackage coat sells HERE but if the price is too steep, there's a great (super on sale) look-for-less HERE.

For the second Group Date...

This look isn't reinventing any wheels but it looks like something she might actually wear by day, so for that reason I like it (especially on a show where she's glammed up so much). Rachel's "Lena" henley is by Three Dots and while her exact style is sold out in white, it's still available in other colors (and on sale) HERE. There's a near-identical white one by the same brand (also on sale) HERE. Her jeans (which she also wore on her 1-on-1 with Anthony) are by Paige and sell HERE. I couldn't find her exact camo jacket but there's a very similar (and both cute and reasonably-priced; I'm considering it for myself) one selling HERE.

In the evening...

This was easily my favorite look of the week. I LOVE the sophisticated grey-on-grey pairing and how there's that peekaboo of skin in an otherwise quite covered-up look. I also love how the dress is ultra sleek and fitted, yet the coat has an oversized, almost masculine feel. Rachel's two piece dress is by Alice & Olivia and sells (on sale!) HERE (top) and HERE (skirt). There's a very similar look-for-less set selling HERE. Her DSTLD coat is still available and very reasonably priced for what it is (HERE), but nonetheless I found a look-for-even-less HERE.

 

Until next week, fellow pandas!