The continuing series commenting on ABC's The Bachelorette from a man's point of view. Our own Matt Truck (@BroTruck) watches the show with his wife and awards points based on many factors, all of which test whether or not the act on the show is "Bro Council, Approved." Each positive "manly" act gets a +, while - points are deducted for things that aren't as flattering to your manhood. You can check out the ground rules here.
Our tour of Europe continues, as the quest for love moves to Barcelona. Serious frequent flyer miles are being racked up among the suitors, which is some consolation for only one guy getting picked at the end of all this.
Drew gets the first one-on-one date. This is really the first time that we're getting significant Drew screen time, which is strange given that this cat was an early front runner to be the next Bachelor if he didn't get picked (more on this later). Drew and Des take to exploring the city, which includes eating tapas. I'll give Drew props here, as he graciously eats without complaining (+1). Have you ever eaten tapas? My wife knows not to take me to one of these restaurants. Half a plate of food for double the price? No thanks.
Drew and Des go to dinner through an abandoned hole in the walkway. Before getting into the heart of the meal, Drew steals Des away from the cameras to kiss her in the walkway. Nothing says "love" like sprinting with a girl wearing stilettos, but at least Des dug the romance (+1). After the romantic moment and getting the rose, Drew uses his date time to tell Des about alleged comments from James about being the next Bachelor if things with Des don't work out. Talk about a let down (-1).
For the group date, Brooks, Chris, Kasey, Michael, James, and Juan Pablo play soccer against members of a women's professional soccer team in Spain, and get absolutely walloped. Kasey, upon seeing the group of women they'd be playing against, laughs heartily (Humble pie, -1). Michael, hailing from Miami, represents his LeBron love across the Atlantic, wearing a headband for no apparent reason other than sports fandom (+1). Brooks properly refers to soccer as football (When in Rome, +1). James, selected as the net minder, repeatedly shies away from the ball in net (-1).
In the night portion of the group date, Kasey, Michael, and Chris confront James about his comments (keep with me, we'll revisit this). Des sends the guys home early to talk to James to clear things up. Tears and confusion ensue. The night ends clear as mud.
James comes back to the hotel suite, as Des needs the night to process everything. James walks in to the hostile environment like the '80s Lakers into the Boston Garden. The guys are shocked to see him back, and can barely hide their surprise. James counters with retiring to his quarters.
Zak W. gets the second one on one. He meets Des drawing a cathedral in a town square, only to stop in her line of site and pose like Lou Ferrigno in Pumping Iron (+1). They then go to an art studio to sketch a live model, and then they draw each other before heading to dinner a cave. Des seems smitten, and Zak W. seems like a curious guy.
Back at the hotel, we go to round three of the James saga, as Drew has a sit down with James. Unfortunately for Man Points purposes, this story line dominated the episode. Fortunately for the Man Points writer, I have a column to explain my thoughts.
Here's the crux of the argument: allegedly when coming home from a group date and the cameras/mics were off, Mikey T. and James were having a discussion about life in Chicago, and James said something about how, if things with Des didn't work out (i.e. he wasn't picked), if he made it later in the show the "worst thing" that could happen would be him getting a shot at being the next Bachelor.
My view on this is two-fold. First, in no way, shape, or form is this dating process even close to real life, and dating relationship risk management suggests you had better know your downside. If a guy is involved with a girl, and she doesn't reciprocate fully (or is dating 5+ other gentlemen who are your roommates, for that matter), isn't it prudent to think "Hey, maybe I'd better be careful and look for the bright side in all of this"? Second, even if that was said, James did own up to it, even telling Des what he meant by it.
When my wife and I started dating early on, I talked with her and said "When boy meets girl, one of three things happens: They get married; They break up amicably; Someone gets hurt. All three of these are equally likely at this point, but I'm really interested in you and want to see where this goes." I walked away thinking this was a great conversation and that it showed my commitment to her, since I wanted to press on even knowing that something bad could happen. She walked away hearing "He's going to break up with me." While I wouldn't recommend this strategy to anyone (although it gives us a good laugh three and a half years later), I think it shows that guys commonly try to assess relational downside in the early innings of a relationship.
Kasey, James, and Juan Pablo get sent home. What follows is the most confusing preview I have ever seen for how this season wraps up in coming weeks. You know I'll be watching!
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