This week on "Bachelorette," Desiree Hartsock met the families on the hometown dates. Judging by her ITMs and discussions with Chris Harrison, it's obvious that Des is just going through the motions.
Last week, with five guys left on the show, Desiree told Harrison that she had reached the "finish line" with Brooks, and that she was in love with him. This week, in an ITM, she said that she loved Brooks. Then, in her conversation with Harrison, she said that she was hopeful for a proposal at the end, with Brooks.
Never has the show been so transparent about the lead's favorite. Sure, Brad Womack broke franchise protocol by telling Emily Maynard that he was falling in love with her, but at least his connection with runner-up Chantal O'Brien seemed believable.
Is Desiree giving away the ending too soon? I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, fans were livid when DeAnna Pappas allowed Jason Mesnick to get down on one knee before she dumped him. Fans felt that she had unfairly led him on.
On the other hand, Desiree and the guys have a show to put on, and it's a bit anti-climactic to see that she has already made up her mind so early.
Is the network trying to preempt the spoiler sites? Instead of "who will Desiree choose," the story going into these next few weeks seems to be, "is he as into her as she is into him?"
Last night on the show, Harrison commented that the guys were throwing themselves at her, and that if they stopped the show right now, there would be four proposals. I'm not so sure about that. While Zak, Drew, and Chris S. seemed ready to put a ring on it (literally in Zak's case), Brooks doesn't seem to be so into it.
Last week, when Brooks talked about the stage between "like" and "love," he described it as "stepping," while Desiree described it as "finish line." And this week, he was the only guy not to drop the L Bomb (the "I Love You.")
On the one hand, I could understand being reluctant to propose to a reality TV show girlfriend after 8 weeks. But it's quite obvious that these two are not on the same page as far as where their relationship is going. She's on the express train, while he's riding local.
According to Reality Steve, Brooks does seem to have issues with commitment. Last week, Steve posted pictures from December 2011 that show Brooks hooking up with a 51-year-old woman, while he was in a relationship with a girl named Jennifer.
Poor Zak! He was really putting himself out there this week, probably not realizing that Desiree already had her heart set on Brooks.
Zak did start to grow on me in recent weeks. Sure, he was a wacky exhibitionist with crazy eyes, but underneath (or over) that nudity, he actually seemed to be an intelligent and thoughtful person. The fact that he once considered becoming a priest showed that he has a heart and that he thinks about life's bigger questions.
And he was a refreshing departure from so many franchise stereotypes. He wasn't the squeaky-clean cookie cutter ideal "Bachelor" type, nor was he the one-dimensional token train wreck.
Painful singing aside, Zak's family was my favorite. They seemed really open, funny, and accepting. I have to give the mom cool points for having a sense of humor about her son's shirtless debut on the show. She also had a funny moment when she asked Des to give Zak a rose and to end the show right now.
Drew did win me over a bit because of how sweet he was with his sister, but I still don't see romantic chemistry between him and Desiree. I think she admires him for what he went through, but that doesn't necessarily translate to sexual chemistry.
And while Brooks seems a bit too detached and nonchalant, Drew seems a little too into it, to the point where it feels contrived. After six weeks, he's already talking about how she's his "soul mate." He's kissing her with a lot of physical passion, but it looks one-sided. Either he's playing up the sympathy/future "Bachelor" card for the viewers, or he's a naive guy who's in love with the idea of being in love.
It was refreshing to see Chris S. finally make it through a date without reciting poetry. Though looking back, I think I would have preferred poetry to what we saw in his father's basement. I'm all for holistic treatments in the right context, but seeing a close-up for Chris's nasal cleansing was a bit much. Good thing that "Bachelorette" airs after dinner time. Otherwise I would have lost my appetite!
Over a game of catch at a baseball field, Chris and Des joked about how "you're a great catch." Later, Des told his family that he was "potential husband" material. When a lead character describes someone as "husband material," "great future father" or having "all the qualities I'm looking for," that's usually the kiss of death. It means that this person is a suitable paper match, but ultimately not the one.
Speaking of kiss of death, brother Nate is back, and ready to "get in their heads." But Desiree isn't having it. Given what happened during her hometown date with Sean Lowe, she's reluctant to let him meet her suitors.
She did the right thing by putting him in his place. After all, it's her decision, for better or worse. But I'm thinking about what a shame it was that her loose canon brother had to unleash his ire on Sean, a guy who probably didn't deserve it. I would have loved to see him go off on one of Desiree's many unsavory suitors (Bryden, Brian, James, Mikey, Michael, Ben, or Brooks) instead.
Did Desiree send the wrong guy home this week? Is she making a mistake with Brooks? How much of a role will her brother play when the final 2 guys meet her family?
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