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‘The Bachelorette’ Recap: A Bunch of Protein Shakes in a Blender

It’s week two of “The Bachelorette.” No more first impressions. Saint Nick’s suit is off. We’ve even gotten our giggles out about Evan being an “Erectile Dysfunction Specialist.” So what better way to end a three-day weekend than two hours watching some good ol’ awkward man-drama?

All great stories have villains. This season of “The Bachelorette” features Chad. Chad has big muscles. Chad loves to work out said muscles. And since I’m not going to pretend to know the first thing about related matters, I’ll just take the other bachelors’ word for it — Chad is a “meathead to the max!” In fact, as it turns out, he’s a literal meathead. This guy loves his protein. But more about Chad later.

Date One: Burning Love

On this week’s episode, JoJo goes on two group dates, and a one-on-one date with almost all of the remaining contestants. In the first group date, the men dress up like firemen and compete in a challenge in order to “save JoJo’s life.” This segment also features way too many “hot” puns. In case there was any confusion why this particular date was chosen, JoJo spells it out: “Firefighters are hot, so this is great,” she says. Good point.

Wells, not the finest physical specimen of the bunch, seems like he’s having some trouble. He might actually need a medic. But Wells’ near medical emergency goes from embarrassing to a serious advantage when he pulls the sympathy card and scores some one-on-one time with JoJo. “This is all just a ploy to have you talk to me,” he jokes while lying on the ground, pale as a ghost, just trying to maintain consciousness.

Wells recovers in time for the final challenge. The final three competitors are as follows: Luke, a war veteran; Grant, an actual firefighter; and Wells. Grant ends up winning the challenge, and some precious time alone with JoJo. “My time with JoJo just went completely up in flames,” Luke exclaims, simultaneously expressing his disappointment and sneaking in one last excruciating pun.

In the end, Wells gets the group date rose, proving that the challenge itself was even more pointless than anyone could have imagined. But to quote the wise sage, JoJo, firefighters are hot, so this was great.

Date Two: Derek Who?

The next date card arrives at the house to announce that the first one-on-one date will be with Derek who, over the course of the date, proves to be entirely dispensable.

The two get to choose their own date adventure. Sky or sea? They both pick sky. “That was our first decision together,” JoJo says enthusiastically. “That was so good.” The date ends in San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge.

Derek is agonizingly dull. He explains that he grew up in a town in Iowa of about 8,000 people, which begs the question: did he know Bachelor Nation’s very own Chris Soules (season 19)? I once had a roommate who grew up in Iowa and he told me everyone who lives there knows each other. If anything, they must have hung out while playing hooky from public speaking class because Derek is just not great in front of a camera. Still, JoJo eats it up, and Derek lives to see another week.

Date Three: ESPN Zone

In a nice moment of Disney synergy, the second group date brings the guys to ESPN’s SportsNation where they will compete in a series of challenges, and be power-ranked by hosts Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley. Jordan says he’s nervous because Marcellus is usually biased against quarterbacks, which is ABC’s way of reminding us that Jordan “played in the NFL” just like his brother Aaron Rodgers.

But this date is really all about pitting the guys against Chad. When asked to profess his love for JoJo during the first challenge, he tells her that she is “starting off a little naggy.” The other men are horrified. Especially when the rankings are revealed, and Chad takes second place behind only James Taylor, who ends up getting the group date rose.

About That Chad Fellow

Throughout the episode, Chad is edited to seem like the villain, but is he actually that terrible? Probably not. As JoJo finds out when she gets some alone time with him, Chad’s protein shake has many ingredients. He tells her that his mom died about six months before, and he inherited her tiny dog, which seems to catch JoJo’s attention. In a cutaway scene he says that he is really starting to develop feelings for her.

But as for the other guys, there’s a real rift. “They’re trying to make me look like an a–hole, but I’m just out here calling it like it is,” Chad says, revealing the major flaw in his plan: Chad’s trying to take down a show that knows exactly how silly it is. His attempts to claim sanity may prove to be misguided.

Rose Ceremony

Leading up to the rose ceremony, Alex is livid. “It’s something right out of a horror film,” he says when Chad interrupts him to talk to JoJo — something that is objectively nothing like a horror film. Alex says that if Chad gets a rose, it would ruin everything that the roses stand for. Chad’s rose would “symbolize garbage.” “You’re a meltdown,” he says to Chad at one point.

But, of course, Chad gets a rose (and in the teaser following the episode we are promised that next week’s two episodes on Monday and Tuesday will feature “Double the Chad”). Say goodbye to James, the Bachelor Superfan; Brandon, the Hipster; and Will. We hardly knew ye.

Was Jordan overlooked this week? Does Alex have a shot? Do you think Chad is actually a villain, or just trying to “tell it like it is”? Weigh in below.

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