The second night of The Bachelorette's back-to-back Chadfest wasn't quite as eventful as Monday night's episode. It turned down the heat slightly, reducing the tension from a boil back to a simmer. But it's probably going to explode now that Chad's back at the resort after being eliminated, holding everyone hostage until he's allowed to duel Alex to the death or whatever it is he wants.
But before we got to that cliff-hanger, we had to resolve the previous cliff-hanger of Chad's acknowledgement of wrongdoing, which he did in the most noncommittal way possible, and the postponed rose ceremony, where we said goodbye to Ali, Christian and Saint Nick. After that, JoJo and the remaining contestants were off to Pennsylvania for the first stop on The Bachelorette's world tour. Chad and Alex went on the world's worst double date and we thought we'd seen the last of Chad until he came back to wreak more havoc. In between, there were plenty of awkward moments.
Let's get to them.
9. Evan's Nemacolin Woodlands Resort testimonial
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort sponsored the Pennsylvania trip, so the show awkwardly inserted a commercial into the show where JoJo and the boys talked about how much they loved the place (these Bachelor and Bachelorette product placements often contain some variation on the phrase "A great place to fall in love," and this one was no exception). The commercial was mostly fine, whatever, but there was one super weird moment at the end when Evan described the resort as "It's manly, rugged. There's just something about it that I really feel comfortable [sic]." Evan is overcompensating so hard for not being as traditionally masculine as most of the other guys on the show and it's embarrassing. Evan, just be yourself! You're not rugged, and that's fine! If you like the spa, own that you like the spa. You could even make a joke out of it, like "I had a great massage in the spa. I invited Chad to join as a way to smooth things over between us, but he wouldn't do it because the masseuse said she wouldn't give him a happy ending."
8. Derek is caught in Chad's crosshairs
In the previous episode, Derek had switched rooms in the house to get away from Chad. In this episode, Chad overheard Derek telling JoJo about it so he confronted his former roommate about snitching after the pool party. It was awkward from the jump, because though Derek is afraid that Chad will do something crazy, he's not so intimidated that he won't stand up to him and make him look ridiculous. "Are you shaking my hand?" Derek asked when Chad made a put-'er-there-like gesture. "Not yet," Chad answered gruffly/comically.
Chad opened his request for Derek to stop talking about him in typical Chad fashion: "Whatever guy like me stole your girlfriend, it wasn't me," he began, which Derek called him out on, saying "that right there is why we have an issue." Chad's communication skills are terrible. All confrontation, no negotiation. Derek came off well in this exchange. He seemed reasonable and articulate and calm. I hope he sticks around for awhile.
7. JoJo and Luke can't just watch the band
During JoJo and Luke's one-on-one, they went to see some band play. In a break from tradition, though, it wasn't a private concert, and there was an audience there. But the band was not going to upstage The Bachelorette, so the production had JoJo and Luke stand on a riser directly in front of the band, blocking anyone from having an unobstructed view and forcing the band to effectively perform directly to them anyway. And they didn't even pay attention to the band. They just made out the whole time. Rude. Sidebar: this was the least boring one-on-one so far this season, and it was still pretty boring. Once Chad goes this show is going to be a snooze.
6. Evan keeps getting bloody noses
Evan got not one but two bloody noses this episode. What is that about? The first time was while he was swimming and the second while he he was playing football, so maybe he gets exercise-induced nosebleeds? The first time it happened, JoJo joked "was that you, Chad?" which is the funniest thing I ever remember JoJo saying. "Apparently Evan bleeds just thinking about me," said Chad.
5. The drama before the two-on-one
The guys were going at Chad relentlessly before he and Alex went on their two-on-one with JoJo. The night after the football group date, they were all sitting around busting on him. Grant called him a coward who talks a lot but has no conviction, and when he got up and walked away, Grant called him a coward again. Chad was like, "Come on outside, then" and Grant didn't move. It kind of seemed like Grant was undermining himself. The next morning, Jordan was antagonizing Chad, and Chad said he would find him at home after the show was over and beat him up. It crossed a line. Chad is, in the immortal words of Charlie Murphy, a habitual line-stepper. Soon after, when they were all sitting around waiting for Alex and Chad to be summoned for their date, Chad walked into the room and sat down and they all sat in silence. Chad smirked. Even Daniel seems to have abandoned him by now.
4. JoJo caught between a rock and a meat place
Chad and Alex got in a helicopter and were flown to meet JoJo for a hike deep in the woods. They're both Marines, and the tailored nature of these group dates (the firefighting date that Grant won, the football date that Jordan won) is becoming grating. Alex hates Chad even more than Emily hated Olivia on The Bachelor last season, so this date is even more tense than their two-on-one. JoJo sitting between them on a blanket, all of them silent, Chad trying to talk, and then falling back into silence. The tension was almost visible. She went off with Alex for some privacy and he told her about Chad threatening Jordan earlier that day. That seems to be the straw that breaks the camel's back, because Jordan is going to win and she can't have anyone messing up his beautiful face. If Chad finds Jordan after the show is over, JoJo will be there, too, and she can't have that kind of scene. She then talked privately with Chad, and he couldn't explain himself. He went back to the blanket, where he and Alex had an amazing conversation where Chad was dropping some brilliant non sequiturs: "Life ain't all blueberries and paper airplanes, nahmean?"; "Drink a glass of milk." "I don't like milk." "Well you should, milk's delicious."; "Pigs are in the castle." Chad's chance with JoJo was crumbling, but he didn't lose his sense of humor.
3. Chad gets eliminated...
JoJo was uncommonly harsh with Chad as she told him he was no longer wanted. "I don't think that you're the person that you say you are," she said. "I don't think that the way you behave and resort to violence is something that's acceptable. I don't want somebody that threatens other people, that can't get along with other people, and thinks that physical violence is the way to solve things." Smart move, JoJo. If he's like this now, I don't want to imagine what he's like at home when the cameras are off. Then he called her a "f-----g retard" in his confessional. Very bad look.
2. ...BUT HE'S STILL THERE!
After Alex and JoJo left Chad in the woods by himself (and the camera crew), he apparently wandered around in the woods until it got dark, then went back to the house, which is an unprecedented event after a group date elimination and a truly insane turn of events. If Chad is so dangerous, why would the producers allow him to return to the house while he's mad and emotional and inclined to get violent? It's irresponsible. On the other hand, maybe this whole angry meathead thing is an act and they knew he wasn't actually going to do anything. That would be awkward, too, because it would mean The Bachelorette has been lying to us even more than usual.
1. The presence of Ben Roethlisberger
There were a lot of things wrong with Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's appearance during the group date at Heinz Field. One, he only seemed to be there for like 15 minutes before taking off. He didn't even stay for the game. It was a painfully perfunctory appearance. Two, he was like "One of these guys is Aaron's brother, right?" referring to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Jordan's brother. Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger are peers. Jordan Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger are not. Roethlisberger is a two-time Super Bowl champion. Jordan never played a snap in an NFL game. Jordan was basically a former professional reduced to babysitting a bunch of pee wee players in front of his more successful big brother's work friend. But most importantly, having a man twice accused of sexual assault on a show where a woman is the reward for winning a competition is just another disgusting reminder of the prevalence of rape culture and misogyny. Beyond being awkward, it's callous. Sorry to get serious in a column that's mostly about pointing and laughing at asinine behavior, but this was a huge mistake on the show's part.
The episode ended on another cliff-hanger, and we'll have to wait until June 20 to find out the resolution to the Chad saga. I'm going to drink protein shakes every day and try to set a new personal deadlift record until then so I'm strong enough to handle the craziness.