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‘The Bachelorette’ Recap: Wait, Did Someone Really Just Dunk on Becca?

Literally. Also, why did a contestant dress up as a chicken? And why was the “social media participant” so terrible at being social?

ABC

It had been too long since I thought about how Arie was the worst Bachelor in the history of The Bachelor, but luckily, The Bachelorette opened with a video of new Bachelorette Becca with tears dripping off her nose after being dumped by Arie. The episode continues with more Arie bashing: Becca meets with former Bachelorettes, including Rachel from last season, who shouts “FUCK ARIE” and cleanses the house of his juju by burning sage.

Three contestants introduce themselves to Becca by citing Arie: Grant, the second man to emerge from limousines to greet Becca, simply laments how crappy Arie was; Nick steps out in a race car driver’s jumpsuit to mock the Indy 500 participant, then rips it off to reveal how different he is from Arie; Mike shows up with a cardboard Arie cutout, which I wrongly assumed he was going to rip to shreds — instead, he just told Becca that he wanted Arie to see how well she was living. (Mike’s PFF grade for bringing a life-sized picture of the ex-fiancé of the woman he’s pursuing, then picking the second-best method for using that cardboard cutout: 73.8.)

As it turns out, there’s nothing better for The Bachelor or The Bachelorette than a truly awful lead. Arie was boring, spoke weirdly, made poor choices, and ultimately was a terrible person, ensuring that the world could watch Becca’s heart break by inviting cameras in to film him dump her.

At some point, the focus of this season will have to shift from Becca’s egregiously crappy ex to Becca herself. And unfortunately, Becca seems wonderful: She’s charming, and has been excellent at sussing out the many weird, filmed social situations she’s been put in in the past year. We’re going to need some real doofuses to provide the drama here — and luckily the show seems to have delivered.

Biggest Misplay: Chase

Normally we have to wait a few episodes for the juicy stuff — bros feuding, accusations that some contestants aren’t on the show “for the right reasons.” But we got going strong right off the bat on Monday night, as the primary drama boiled down to a feud between Chase and Chris. Before the show, one of Chase’s exes, Danielle, sent Chris a text to warn him about Chase’s character.

For starters, it’s unclear exactly what Chase is being accused of — he “likes hanging out with his boys,” which, honestly, is a quaint complaint considering that usually when a contestant has to deal with an accusation from their past, it has to do with infidelity. And this level of hearsay wouldn’t hold up in court — why should Becca believe Chris, a guy she has never met, who is in turn relaying the word of Danielle, another person she has never met, and who, by the way, happens to be Chase’s ex?

What it boils down to is that there is a woman somewhere in Florida who has vague, but strong, negative opinions about Chase. Everybody should have one person out there with vague, but strong, negative opinions about them. Becca should have kicked Chris off the show for swooping in like a knight in shining armor to protect her from nothing.

But Chase botches the whole scenario. Instead of taking time to make a good impression on Becca, he awkwardly alerts her to the upcoming crisis right away, instantly putting a bad taste in her mouth. Chase calls Chris into the room to argue the case against him, but he doesn’t really dispel the non-substantial criticisms, as he leads with two main arguments. The first is that he barely dated this girl, and that he would’ve expected something like this from one of his two real exes. (Not exactly encouraging.) His second is a broad, “Hah, women, am I right?” — which doesn’t really fly either. The third is that he values The Bachelorette a lot because he has watched the show with his mom since he was 20. A years-long passion for reality TV doesn’t exactly disprove the premise that Chase is on the show for reasons besides finding love, and besides, Becca doesn’t seem like she wants an invite to his mother-son watch parties.

Becca gives Chris the final rose of the evening, an apparent “thanks for your brave service in snitchery” token. Chase gets the boot. I hope he and Danielle can work things out.

Episode MVP: Danielle, the Girl Who Narc’d on Chase

With a simple text, Danielle caused her semi-ex to get humiliated on national TV. I would have assumed the best-case scenario from a text like that was mildly influencing one contestant’s opinion of the guy she didn’t like. Instead, 80 percent of Chase’s screen time was based on dealing with a text message, and it was the eventual cause of his downfall. Man, what a power move.

Quickest Exit: Jake

The Bachelorette already boots about seven dudes on the first night — which is a bummer for whichever guys were dumb enough to quit jobs to appear on reality TV for an indefinite amount of time — but Jake didn’t even make it to the first cut.

Becca quickly identifies Jake as a guy she “semi-knows,” an “acquaintance”; they ran in the same circles in Minnesota. Becca also quickly remembers that even though she was mildly interested in Jake, there never seemed to be any mutual interest. She astutely notes the peculiarity of a man who never seemed interested in her until she was the star of a television show, and pulls him aside in hopes he can explain the situation.

Jake does not explain the situation — arguably, he makes matters worse by identifying a Christmas party as the first time they met, when Becca recalls multiple times they had met before that. Jake explains that he’s “a new Jake,” and comes close to crying. Jake feels he’s being unfairly maligned for his past: “Ask anyone who knows me,” he says. “I’m one of the most romantic people.” Unfortunately, Jake, Becca literally does know you, and has previously noticed how unromantic you were. She calmly asks him to leave, ending one of the shortest runs in show history.

Likely Season MVP: Jordan

On the night when you’re supposed to be making a memorable first impression, Jordan basically chooses not to talk to Becca. His introduction is generic and stilted, and although he insists his “playbook” was to instantly snag Becca, he gets usurped by another contestant, and later is irked when other contestants ask whether he plans to speak to Becca at all.

But that’s OK, because he feels it’s OK that he didn’t talk to Becca — it’s good, actually, because it meant she heard his footsteps, and “the tap of the shoes I’m wearing is the heartbeat of a gentleman.” He’s very proud of the clothes he’s wearing — he tells the camera that he believes his gray suit will make him “stand out,” even though the guy who walks into the room right after him is also wearing a gray suit. He repeatedly emphasizes that his fashion sense far surpasses that of everybody else in the room — he has a seafoam pocket square, while some men aren’t even wearing socks or belts. Jordan explains that his belief in proper fashion comes from his career in modeling, which doesn’t exactly check out — aren’t models supposed to look good no matter what they’re wearing, instead of believing they can only look specifically good in certain items?

Regardless, Jordan stands out as the most prominent personality in a house of generally cordial dudes. He’s conceited and willing to say outrageous things: “If I don’t get a rose tonight,” Jordan says, “it’s the biggest upset of all time.” And he shows up all over the season preview, yelling about things he doesn’t seem to need to yell about. Jordan seems awful, but the show will be more interesting with him around.

Best Gag: Christon

Christon is a professional dunker, which, somehow, is a real thing. He won a silver medal in dunking, which is a nice way of saying he lost a dunk contest to a Polish dude. After the contestant bios came out last week, I jokingly suggested that he might try to dunk on Becca at some point during the show. Sure enough, he dunked on Becca in the very first episode:

This is followed by another contestant exclaiming “HE JUST DUNKED ON THE BACHELORETTE,” which is a line I had always wanted to hear even though I never realized it. I think the rules of the show should be amended so that you automatically win if you dunk on the Bachelorette. Hoop’s gotta be regulation size, and if you commit a charging foul by knocking the unsuspecting Bachelorette over, you’re off the show for good, with no chance of being invited on Bachelor in Paradise. Danny Crawford will referee.

Christon follows the dunk up by telling Becca “a lot of guys will say they’ll jump over the moon for you, but I mean it.” Damn, that’s good. The dunk was good too. I’m in on Christon.

Biggest Missed Connection: David-Tiara

David is the dude who shows up dressed like a chicken. The bit here is that chickens say “p-KAWWWW,” and he turns it into “b-CAAAAA,” which he turns into “Becca!” You know what? I’ll allow it. He seems handsome and nice, although now he is the chicken guy.

My only regret is that he came to the show too late. The perfect match for him would have been Tiara, who appeared on The Bachelor two years ago with the title of “Chicken Enthusiast” and was eliminated on the first night. They could have made beautiful chicks together.

Most Suspicious Intro: Jean Blanc

Jean Blanc self-identifies as a “colognoisseur,” which somehow works: Becca immediately comments on how nice he smells after they hug.

In a less positive sequence of events, however, he leads off with a time-honored tradition: Saying stuff to The Bachelorette in whatever language they speak in their country. Jean Blanc is from Haiti, so he decides to tell her “let’s do the damn thing” in French. (Having a catchphrase is neat, having your catchphrase repeatedly parroted back at you seems like a bummer. Is Becca having fun yet?)

But I’m skeptical about his French. He says “faisons la putain de chose,” which, incidentally, is the first thing you get when you type “let’s do the damn thing” into Google Translate. It’s a fair translation — “putain de ____” works as “the damn ____” — but I’d like to note that he’s literally saying “we are doing the whore of things.” John White also pronounces “chose” like “shoes,” when it should be more like “shows.” I haven’t been this skeptical of a Bachelorette contestant’s language abilities since Bryan misspelled those words in his third-grade Spanish phrasebook last year.

Lie of the Night: Wills

Wills introduces himself to Becca by walking up and telling her that he is a “closet nerd.” Does he mean he’s a nerd about various types of closets? Surely, he isn’t saying that he’s hiding his nerdom. Because, like, saying you’re a “closet nerd” means you’re so afraid to share that you’re a nerd with the world, and so one knows about it. Here’s the thing: You can’t be a “closet” anything if it’s the first thing you tell everybody you meet.

Wills goes on to show Becca his “expecto patronum” tattoo. “Awesome, right?” he asks, or maybe tells her. It’s a Harry Potter reference, which you didn’t need me to tell you because the Harry Potter books are the best-selling book series of all time and one of the highest-grossing movie series of all time, and even if you’re one of the few who intentionally avoided reading the books or seeing the movies, you’ve probably encountered this surface-level reference somewhere. Anyway, how big of a closet does this dude have that he can fit all these ABC cameras inside?

Worst Entrance: Christian

The show wisely focuses primarily on the introductions of characters who will go on to play significant roles this season, which makes sense, because we’re supposed to get invested in the men who will keep us coming back to the show. However, I’m definitely more interested in the dudes whose brief impressions on Becca are so terrible that they get eliminated in the first night.

Like Christian, who is briefly shown twirling Becca around and telling her that he “has to see everything” while peeking at her ass. So many ways to introduce yourself to a woman, and Christian chose to make it clear that he needed to see Becca’s butt within seven seconds of meeting her to ensure he wanted to proceed. I’m sure he could’ve found out eventually whether he thought Becca had a worthwhile booty if he’d managed to stay on the show for a significant amount of time. As it stands, I hope he enjoyed his one and only look at her butt.

Biggest Choke Job: Joe

Joe is one of the contestants the show’s producers decided to film a stand-alone segment about. We learned that Joe is a grocery store owner, and that apparently the primary job of grocery store owners is to walk around their own store and identify which produce has gone bad. We also learned that Joe has a tremendous Chicago accent, which, combined with Becca’s Minnesotan accent of fluctuating strength, would set new records for Worst Overall Vowels by one combined couple.

But it wasn’t to be. When Joe exits the limo, he walks up to Becca and lets her know that he forgot what he was going to say to her. There’s an opportunity for a great save — “I swear, I had something planned, but you’re so beautiful that it took the words right out of my mouth,” or something — but Joe just lets Becca know that he messed up and walks away cursing at himself. Unsurprisingly, Becca eliminates him. He was, ironically, extremely forgettable. At least his grocery store won’t be littered with rotten produce now.

Worst Negotiation: Kamil

We knew Kamil wasn’t long for this show when his bio listed his occupation as “social media participant” — aren’t we all? — even though he seems to have an actual job in real estate. Kamil makes Becca walk over to meet him halfway between the limo and the traditional greeting spot in front of the house, noting that all good relationships are “50–50.” Then he makes Becca take a few steps farther, saying that he prefers it when relationships are actually “60–40” in his favor. Becca chooses to make it more of a 0–100 thing, eliminating him right away. “I fucking lost to a chicken,” Kamil says.

Well, yeah, dude. The chicken just made dumb noises, while you stipulated up front that any potential relationship would be like an unfair business deal in perpetuity.

Most Likely Season Winner: Colton

Colton checks all the boxes: He’s handsome — quote, from Becca, after seeing Colton for the first time: “He’s handsome!” He’s a former football player, and Becca is into football players. He’s kind and generous — he seems to work full time at his own charity delivering cute vests to sick children. We know he’ll stay on deep into the season — we see him admitting to Becca that he is a virgin, as he has been waiting for the right person to be physically intimate with. (Bummer for Aly Raisman.) And honestly, he just seems like a great guy — last week, I tried roasting Colton on Twitter, pointing out that an article had described him as “an NFL star” even though he never actually played an NFL game, and he thanked me, saying that authors who overhyped his career “do me no favors.” I … I think I’m in love with Colton?