Welcome back to Mouthful of teeth’s weekly Bachelorette recap where I’ll break down Michelle Young’s search for a fiancé and all the loveable (and cringey) steps along the way.
This is week 2 of Michelle’s “journey” and she got her first taste of real drama in the house. Jamie tried his best to ruin all the good will I threw him last week and the men suffer because of it.
Before we get to our new villain, we need to realize that…
The men are not smarter than a fifth grader
The first group date of the season is usually cheesy and plays into the lead’s singular personality trait. Katie had a sex positivity workshop so, naturally, Michelle brought the guys into the classroom.
ABC was damned if they were going to fly out her actual students however, so the kids that make up the judges’ panel are 3 (really talented) child actors.
The boys going back to school are:
- Cocaine Rick
- Peter the Pizza Pie Guy
The first few challenges quiz the boys on basic math, science, and spelling prompts. This had a lot of potential for laughs, but Romeo was the only one that realized he was on a game show.
When Michelle asked her boyfriends how many times a day it was acceptable to call her beautiful, Romeo was the only one to write something other than infinity. He took the clever route of counting the seconds in a day and working back from there. I can’t tell you if the math checked out, but kudos to him for being inventive.
The correct answer, however, is around 5.
By the time you’ve called someone beautiful 5 times, you need to switch it up. Otherwise, you either don’t know another compliment or have Memento disease.
The only significant moment of the date came when Will spelled “Peter” when they were supposed to spell “narcissist.” I guess grade school-level burns are acceptable when you’re taking a spelling test.
The Night Portion
I was ready to launch a diatribe about how shabby these men dressed for the evening portions of every date, but there seemed to be a beach theme at the hotel? There was sand, but the island vibes ended there.
Don’t worry though, the men still dressed poorly.
Peter wore a teal shirt with pink palm trees that they probably sell in Eastern Europe with the description “Florida-Themed.” Will was possibly wearing athletic shorts. Olu was the best dressed man with a burnt orange sweater-shirt and white slacks that made him look like a University of Texas cheerleader.
Michelle picked up the slack with a cute royal blue dress. It cut off at the high-thigh and had a loose flow that didn’t spill over into scandalous. Not that I (or any of the men) would’ve minded, but we have to play to ABC’s 90’s-era purity standards.
As Michelle was frenching the youngest 26-year-old alive (Brandon), the boys were really starting to get upset with Peter our Pizzapreneur.
Greg S. called him an “insecurity supernova” and it’s easy to see why. Peter got into a full blow shouting match with Will over his brutal insult (calling him a name in front of the kids).
Peter claimed that a narcissist is “someone who doesn’t think literally anybody on this planet Earth exists other than them,” (sic) which isn’t true, nor does it make sense.
Will ended the fight with the single greatest line in the history of the show: “What do you have for me besides the slice bro.”
I applaud Will even if I don’t think he’s long for this season.
Michelle brought him aside to explain that he can’t shout like that anymore and she gave the date rose to Brandon just to spite him (although he was probably 4th in line to receive it anyways).
a rocky relationship
Jamie seemed destined for top-3. He had a good smile, a grown-up face, and enough intelligence to stand out early-on.
Now, I see it was all a ruse. Jamie is our new villain, but just like in the movies, we need a charming back-story turned wrong to sell it.
Michelle greeted him for their date in a hot pink athletic two-piece that made the rest of the men literally exclaim with horniness.
Jamie responded by saying repeatedly in confessionals that he’s not all the way sold on Michelle and if the date goes badly, he might leave. That’s a very reasonable thing to say in the real world, but not on ABC’s the Bachelorette. He should thank his lucky stars he got the first one-on-one.
The pair drove out to Joshua Tree National Park for some rock climbing, which seemed really fun. Michelle is an athlete (more on that later) and these sporty dates are clearly the easiest times for her to come out of her shell.
After making it all the way to the summit and sharing some champagne (which sounds like a horrible post-workout drink), Jamie finally had a chance to show some personality. He, instead, opted to tell her she has “a strong sense of self.”
That, paired with his night 1 claim that Michelle “smiles with her soul,” makes me believe he’s full of lines, but not much substance beyond that.
Trauma porn alive and well on this season
I’ve written on this before, but sharing trauma for validation is a really bad habit on this show.
Michelle herself, is one of the key contributors to this problem. She tells the boys continually that they need to stay vulnerable with her to advance a relationship, which feeds into this exploitative practice.
The show created a framework where contestants are expected to share their most painful stories for the “enjoyment” of the audience. In return, they receive a rose and stay on the game show another week. I understand, these conversations are important to happen in a relationship, but when you microwave a courtship on TV, it’s going to be more callous than necessary.
As much as I don’t like Jamie, he’s one of the biggest victims of this vicious cycle.
In the name of vulnerability and authenticity, Jamie shares a brutal story about his mother’s suicide. It was clearly a formative experience for him and probably makes up a lot of who he is today, I just hope he was as ready to share it as ABC was to televise it.
Michelle is understandably pretty broken up about it and shares a pretty endearing moment afterwards…that naturally led to a rose.
But, we don’t have time to be sad about it because it’s time for country music superstar Caroline Jones. That’s right. The show went all out to book the 12th most popular “Caroline” on Spotify to sing her new single about vague love.
After such a heavy dinner, the audience needed this corny interlude as much as the couple did.
Did you know Michelle used to play basketball?
If you thought the teacher bit was going to get old this season, worry not because basketball is too.
I watched Michelle’s (much better produced than Katie’s) trailer for this season, so I knew she played basketball. But I didn’t know the lengths to which it made up her personality. She played D1 college hoops and she’s still got the touch.
Unfortunately, it means she was a sports kid.
Sports kids grew up differently than the rest of us. I played nearly every sport my high school offered, but I wasn’t good enough to be in that echelon. Those kids went to special camps for their sports, woke up early to go train before their school-organized sports, and they bonded with each other over their sporty weirdness.
There’s nothing wrong with being a sports kid. Strike that, there definitely is because you don’t build relationships the same way everyone else does. Both platonic and romantic relationships tend to pop up around your shared activity. I understand not every sports kid does this (my Mom was a sports kid and will hate this part), but Michelle clearly is.
The second group date was a basketball scrimmage with an unlucky cast of guys that included Joe.
Joe was Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball in 2011, which is a lame thing to care about if you aren’t also a high schooler, but Michelle swoons over it. Turns out she was the runner up to Ms. Basketball that same year.
The rest of the date revolves around the pair guarding each other closely and shooting a basket every few minutes. It’s very sexual and very weird for people who flirt without playing sports.
Unsurprisingly, Joe wins the date rose and we don’t have to care about basketball until next week.
Cocktail party fits
I haven’t been a fan of everyone’s fashion so far this season, but one thing I can’t call it is boring.
Michelle wore a bright purple dress with a box-shaped cut in the front and not one, but two leg slits. We’ve seen many high-leg slits, but choosing to do it on both legs might be a first. She was still beautiful mind you, so much so the boys clapped when she walked down the stairs.
It felt a lot like when people who clap for the pilot when they land the plane. Why do that, you weirdos, it’s something these people do multiple times a day.
The men brought the real flair for the evening.
Mollique got around my rules that specifically require a tie with some savvy accessories. He rocked a double-chain necklace with an “M” as well as a monogramed pocket square and a lapel pin that connected further down the jacket. I was a big fan of this look and it was the best of the night.
Will wore a red tie with a black undershirt and silver suitcoat, which made him look like struggling casino owner in Atlantic City.
Paradeep wore a plum suit that was modern with a traditional Indian twist. In substituted a western lapel for a high collar that made him stand out in a good way.
Rick, Joe, Nayte, Olumide, Martin, and Brandon all declined to wear a tie, while two of them couldn’t even be bothered to put on a button up. In Brandon’s defense, his Mom wasn’t there to iron his shirt so what choice did he have.
The most surprising look came from Jamie who wore a bright burgundy jacket with black lapels. Adding in a black undershirt and black tie (another terrible combo) and the look is complete. He looks like he dressed up as the devil.
Jamie’s big reveal
That was a fitting costume for the shenanigans he was about to pull on our dear Michelle.
Jamie invented a story about Michelle being seen with a “light skin baller” back in Minnesota to tell some of the other guys. He’s clearly trying to gin up some discontent amongst the other men and make them believe Joe had an unfair advantage.
No one agrees with him, thankfully, and the bait went untaken.
Jamie wasn’t discouraged, however, so he took his concerns to Michelle in a scheme so destined to fail, I’m surprised it didn’t blow up in his face right there. Jamie told Michelle the same story with the added lie that “all the guys in the house are talking about it.”
He even insinuated that the contestants were negatively judging Michelle’s character in light of the news.
A shitty rumor like this predictably ruined Michelle’s night and she went off to have a well-deserved cry. Don’t worry because Tayshia swooped in with some sage words: “that’s tough”
But, Michelle isn’t one to just leave a rumor unaddressed so she confronted her guys. She told them exactly what Jamie told her and was shocked to see no one step forward and claim responsibility for a crime no one committed.
So, with their girlfriend pissed and nowhere to be found, the guys hunt for the truth.
They immediately saw through Jamie’s plot and even though they still don’t know he’s responsible, they know exactly what happened and start to shit talk him mercilessly.
This led to the best part of the episode: watching Jamie get hurt by his fellow contestants but remain quiet and seemingly apathetic. His face undercuts every utterance of “I don’t care” in his confessionals.
So, there you have it. Jamie’s our new villain, but don’t get comfortable. His scheme sucked and he’s going to be exposed in the first 20 minutes of next week’s episode.
The good news about getting so mad you cancel the cocktail party is that it’s still dark out for the rose ceremony. I’m sure it’s still 3am, but that’s significantly better than last week when we finished at noon.
Here’s who made the cut:
- Landlord Joe
- Cocaine Rick (now go take a shower)
- Chris G.
- ABC’s the Bachelor
- Peter the Pizza Pie Guy
Here’s who’s going home:
- Daniel the firefighter
Similar to last week, this episode was a little boring.
Not that I didn’t enjoy it, far from it. Learning more about our cast and lead is an enjoyable experience on its own. The only downside is that doesn’t lend much time to complete meltdowns, like we saw last season.
But, soon we’ll leave this horribly ugly hotel for exotic locales and Jamie will be on the first flight home so there’s much to look forward to.