On The Bachelorette this week, Rachel went on her first round of dates with a little help from her famous "friends" Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Of course, none of them have the star power of new kid on the block Copper, Rachel's dog, who managed to steal the show with his leg in a cast. It's been two weeks and Rachel still has not explained what happened to Copper's leg, despite telling Peter that she was going to tell him the story. Who cares about all these boring dudes' stories? We want to hear about Copper!
The action started the morning after the first rose ceremony. Everybody was hungover, and the whabooms didn't have as much force. The first round of dudes went out for their group date, which turned out to be an obstacle course to prove that they were "husband material." Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who Jack Stone fawningly described as "the most perfect couple in Hollywood right now," were on hand to officiate. The obstacle course required the guys to change a diaper, put a baby in a BabyBjorn, vacuum, pull a long strand of hair out of a clogged drain, fish an engagement ring out of a sink full of dirty dishes, set a table for a romantic dinner and finally bring Rachel a bouquet of flowers. Lucas, aka Whaboom, won the challenge after stiff-arming runner-up Kenny to get ahead in the final sprint. As part of his victory celebration, he wanted Kutcher to do a "WHAAABOOOM," but Kutcher didn't understand. Kunis hilariously explained it as "it's the sound that he makes." Lucas demonstrated, and Kutcher didn't like it. When Kelso thinks your energy is too much, maybe you should dial it down.
Blake E. was bitterly resentful of Whaboom's presence, and that boiled over into anger when he won. Blake E., you see, knows Whaboom from outside the show. His roommate is Whaboom's ex-girlfriend (whom he's in the process of evicting). That's not the whole story, though. They were actually both on a WE reality show called Ex Isle last year where exes hang out at a resort in an attempt to gain closure. So when Blake denigrates Whaboom for wanting to be on TV, take it with a boulder of salt. Whaboom's annoying, but at least he's transparent about Not Being Here for the Right Reasons. The poem Whaboom wrote Rachel was actually kind of sweet. Blake is just a petty creep.
Dean got the group date rose after Rachel reiterated that she loved the "I'm ready to go black" line he used on her, and she admitted she actually wanted to say that to somebody herself.
Next up was Rachel's first one-on-one date of the season with Peter. It went so well that it was kind of unmemorable, which is how it always goes on good one-on-ones. They bonded over their gap teeth, which wasn't great TV but felt like the kind of conversation that people who are falling for each other feel good about having. Peter has emerged as the early frontrunner, though, as Rachel is clearly into him and he came off really well. Shout out to him for openly talking about how therapy helped him. He seems quietly confident and secure in himself, unlike someone else.
I am of course talking about DeMario, who seemed like a likely candidate to get the second group date rose until his girlfriend showed up. The basketball group date was hosted by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who, two months before this was taped, wrote a column about how The Bachelor was killing romance. But like so many of us, he eventually got sucked into Bachelor Nation (Kareem and I have something in common in that we are both paid to like The Bachelorette).
DeMario was the best basketball player -- he could even dunk! -- which impressed Rachel, because she likes athletes. And he was cocky in a fun way. But then after the game, his girlfriend showed up and she was furious. She told Rachel about how DeMario didn't even break up with her to go on the show. They had been dating for seven months and then he ghosted her for a few days. The next time she saw him, he was on TV giving Rachel an engagement ring on After the Final Rose. Rachel went and got him, and he did not handle the confrontation well. At first, he pretended to not even know who she was, and then he called her a psycho, and then he kept changing his story (he didn't have a key to her apartment because he mailed it to her). But she had the receipts, and she showed Rachel texts he had sent her about how he was going to be a better man for her from a few days before he left for The Bachelorette.
Rachel was totally done with DeMario by this point.
"I'm really gonna need you to get the f--- out," she told him. "I don't like being f---ing embarrassed. I can't even look at you right now." It was an angry side of Rachel we hadn't seen before, brought out by the show's first time mistreating her. I suspect that part of why she was annoyed and wanted to go home was the show blindsiding her on-camera. Instead of a producer coming to her and saying, "hey, we found this out about DeMario," she was thrust into a dramatic scene. She felt embarrassed. Just because Rachel knew what she was getting into doesn't mean she likes all of it.
But the cocktail party after the game gave the other guys a chance to step up and be there for Rachel and act like they all didn't dump somebody to go on the show. Josiah got the group date rose.
Later, before the rose ceremony, DeMario came back to the house to apologize to Rachel and beg for another chance. Chris Harrison relayed DeMario's message to Rachel, and she was curious to hear what he had to say. TO BE CONTINUED!
Next week we'll get that rose ceremony and see what happens with DeMario. Hopefully she doesn't let him back.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.