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Whaboom Goes the Dynamite on ‘The Bachelorette’

The Lucas and Blake E. feud comes to a head, DeMario tries to return, and ABC once again dabbles in confusing, unnecessary censorship

(ABC)
(ABC)

There are two types of humans who appear on The Bachelor/Bachelorette. There are those who appear in hopes of boosting their personal brand, and there are those who believe that the show is a genuine method of finding love in spite of the fact that the winning couple almost always breaks up quickly. (Pour out a drop of your Bachelorette-branded The Final Rose rosé for Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell, who recently proved the question mark in their spinoff series, Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?, to be eerily prescient.)

This season brought us perfect manifestations of both. There’s Lucas, whose profession is listed as “Whaboom” in honor of the catchphrase he coined and wears on his shirt. In reality, he’s an awful comedian, and if you don’t believe he likes inserting his personal brand into things, check out his Instagram page, where he posted a video of himself ruining his college graduation and literally inserted caricatures of himself into pictures from the Olympics. And then there’s Blake E., who is so incensed with Lucas making a mockery of The Bachelorette’s love-finding process that he anoints himself the Anti-Whaboom Party candidate, vigorously stumping to Rachel about why Lucas must go.

The episode opens with the two contestants in conflict. Lucas goes so far as to tell Rachel that Blake stood over him during the night and ate a banana. Blake, with the satisfaction of a prosecutor who’s just gotten a defendant to reveal his own guilt, proclaims that this story must be a falsehood, because he’s on a no-carb diet. Both men sense that a reckoning is approaching, and both argue why the other must be eliminated and explain how disappointed they would be to be eliminated instead. But both are under the false impression that it’s a one-or-the-other situation. Instead, they each get eliminated.

As the pair give their goodbye interviews, they realize they’re within earshot of each other, which leads to what might be my favorite moment since I started watching this show: Lucas and Blake, the two worst contestants from this season, screaming at each other after being eliminated.

At one point, each of them yells “I’M A CLOWN” at the other one, which just about sums it up.

It’s tough to tell who looks dumber: Lucas, who brought his cringeworthy stand-up routine to a national stage in an attempt to sell T-shirts — “I CAN BE FUNNY! YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT FUNNY LOOKS LIKE! I KNOW WHAT FUNNY IS!” — or Blake, who can’t grasp the pointlessness of using serious logic and reason when debating a troll, even after doing so got him kicked off of a reality TV show. “You’re the Whaboom clown! I’m the nice gentleman!” Blake screamed as the words — and the last shred of his dignity — sputtered off into the ether.

Both guys were too extreme in their adherence to The Bachelorette’s two belief systems. Blake spent the entire time focusing on Lucas, and therefore inextricably linked himself to Lucas in Rachel’s eyes, leading to his elimination. (This seems to happen to a contestant, oh, once per season.) And Lucas overplayed the Whaboom stuff, which definitely hurts — his brand would have benefited from him staying on the show longer. Even the least memorable contestants on this show can rack up like 200,000 Instagram followers just by being handsome and staying on the show until close to the end. By making his entire run on the show Whaboom-related, Lucas probably hurt his chances at actually getting people to like him enough to buy his stuff.

Thus ends the Whaboom Wars. There were no winners.

Biggest Loss: Kenny

The men mud-wrestle for Rachel’s affections, which is good because we get to see Kenny, a professional wrestler, body slam a regular human.

This was a previously agreed-upon body slam, right? Like, I think Kenny’s opponent genuinely wanted to be body slammed by a pro wrestler.

Sadly, the mud-wrestling doesn’t benefit Kenny’s style. From what I can tell, his strength as a pro wrestler is doing cool flying stunts; in the mud pit, he isn’t allowed to leave his knees, so he loses to Brady.

It’s stunning: Kenny, who makes his living as a professional fighter, lost to a random human. Overall, though, I really don’t get wrestling — why would anybody watch a bunch of guys employing fake personas for a television audience as part of a staged competition unless there were rose ceremonies involved?

Poorest Seduction Tactic: Fred

Fred spent most of his brief time on this show dealing with the fact that Rachel remembered him from his childhood. At first, he used this to his advantage, reminding her of their past interactions by showing her their old yearbook. Later, he fought it, realizing Rachel might not want to hook up with a man she visualized as a boy. Anyway, in Week 3 he seals his fate by meekly asking Rachel if he can kiss her:

The problem was that Rachel saw him as a child, owing from when she was his camp counselor and he was a mischievous boy. Maybe he could’ve overcome this by showing how much he’d grown, finding a way to sweep her off of her feet and make her forget about her past perceptions. Instead, he asks for permission to do romance. He was trying to be chivalrous, but he ended up playing right into Rachel’s memories.

Rachel sends Fred home, which is a real bummer, because the class gets to start going on field trips next week.

Second-Poorest Seduction Tactic: Will

Here’s Will trying to impress Rachel by playing basketball on a kids’ basketball hoop.

(ABC)
(ABC)

You might remember there was basketball on last week’s episode, and Will was on the winning team. She gets it, man — you’ve played basketball before!

Also — and not that Will knew this at the time — but Us Weekly reported last week that Rachel dated Kevin Durant in college. (In case you only read The Ringer for Bachelorette coverage, here is what Kevin Durant does.) I don’t think you’re going to impress Kevin Durant’s ex with your Fisher-Price hooping, dude.

Third-Poorest Seduction Tactic: Alex

Look, there were a lot of poor seduction tactics this week. Here is Alex using an appearance on Ellen to thrust his shirtless body at an older lady who does not appear to be consenting to the thrusts:

Most Impressive Athletic Performance: Brady’s Hair

After mud-wrestling, it remained intact:

(ABC)
(ABC)

Strangest Editing Choice, Redux: The Poop Censor

For the second straight week, poop was censored on The Bachelorette.

(ABC)
(ABC)

Who decided we needed to be protected from this?

This episode’s droppings come from a horse rode by Anthony, who goes rollin’ down Rodeo Drive on a horse alongside Rachel. They go horsing into some shops and buy their horses horse cupcakes from a vending machine. All this for one pun about the fact that a famous shopping street is called “Rodeo Drive.”

Honestly, though, I’m happy to bring it up so that I can say that Anthony is going to win because IT’S FINALLY MY TIME TO SIMULTANEOUSLY YELL ABOUT NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS FOOTBALL! I predict Anthony wins unless he has to play anybody from Ohio State, or Michigan, or Wisconsin, or … look, I don’t like Anthony’s chances, OK, but I’ll root for him until the day I die. Go Cats.

Weakest Comeback Effort: DeMario

Last week’s episode ended with a cliffhanger — DeMario had a girlfriend when he went on the show, and she showed up to a taping to confront him. In an all-time Bachelorette moment, Rachel kicked DeMario off the show on the spot. But as Chris Harrison and his team of producers are wont to do, they allowed DeMario to find his way back to the mansion so that he could interrupt a rose ceremony cocktail hour to try to talk Rachel into letting him back on the show.

He gave her an impassioned speech, explaining how he’d learned a major life lesson from the way things went down, and how true he was, and how honest he was, and how sorry and great he was. He explained that he’d talked to his Uber driver, who told him that if he really loved Rachel, he could not take no for an answer.

But then he took no for an answer. Rachel sent him on his way as firmly as she could. Goodbye to DeMario, who pulled off the impressive feat of making it seem like he cheated on somebody who was also dating 30 other men.

Most Fragile: Eric

A lot of the latter half of this episode was about Eric, who was mad. I came away from the episode confused about why exactly Eric was mad, so I had to rewatch it. Here’s my best attempt at tracking his various beeves:

  • He’s disappointed that Rachel hasn’t reached a deeper connection with him even though he’s emotionally available.
  • He wonders if Rachel’s lack of connection with him is because she isn’t taking the show seriously enough and just wants to be famous.
  • He gets mad when Iggy approaches him to ask exactly what he’s upset about.
  • He gets madder when the people he got mad at tell Rachel that he was mad about various things.
  • It all ends with him screaming, “THIS IS ABOUT ME! MY NAME IS IN YOUR MOUTH!”

Society has regrettably decided “cattiness” is a female trait, but without fail, the dudes on The Bachelorette always manage to be exponentially more petty than their counterparts on The Bachelor.