With just eight men left and four needing to go, the Evil Genius Producers (EGPs) got things going very quickly with one of my favorite – dare I say best? – Group Dates ever. Four of Michelle’s students played with and interviewed the guys for the right to get a 1-on-1 with Michelle. Such a cute and clever idea.
Martin, aka Frosty, did not make friends and influence people.
This is called foreshadowing, boys and girls.
On the other hand, the kids really liked fort-building Clayton, who may or may not have admitted to ever having passed noxious fumes in Michelle’s proximate area. In a shameless promotion of Clayton as the Next Bachelor, he won the 1-on-1. This whole thing was really odd. After only being ninth in total screen time (per the awesome people @Bachelordata https://www.instagram.com/p/CWgYNT6v2-i/), he finally gets some significant screen time. But it’s clear to all of Bachelor Nation that he and Michelle have ZERO chemistry on any level, an observation validated by her not giving him a rose and sending him into the Limo of Shame.
Except, wait! Cut to a scene of Clayton weeping – or whatever he was doing – over sweet farewell notes written by
the EGPs the children. He came off looking even lamer IMO. The way the EGPs handled his story arc was very odd.
The next group date involved milking cows and shoveling, uh, cow stuff. Brandon is excited to not have his name on the Date Card, which means: 1) he gets the 1-on-1 and 2) he doesn’t have to milk cows and shovel, uh, cow stuff. I feel you, Brandon.
At the after-party, Nayte goes in for the “I’m falling for you,” and Michelle reciprocates.
And then we have more of Frosty, who apparently has not heard the adage, “What do you do when you get yourself into a hole? Stop digging.” He shares with the guys his feelings about Michelle being “immature” for not moving on from childhood issues. This analysis comes from a guy who has already referred to a whole class of women as “high maintenance.”
Michelle calls him out, and Frosty’s response is to keep digging his hole.
Having been read for filth, Michelle sends him and his gaslighting narcissism to the Limo of Shame, where he keeps digging his hole by gaslighting her some more. Good riddance.
That brings us to Brandon’s 1-on-1 [cue Tommy James and the Shondells (or Tiffany) I Think We’re Alone Now]. On a scale of one to ten, ten being totally, utterly, completely, irrefutably, undeniably, unquestionably, incontrovertibly staged, how staged do we think that date was?
The whole thing did nothing for me. I guess it was an homage to the teenage years of being alone in the house with one’s GF/BF? While I have no reason to doubt that Michelle did teenage things as a teenager, it just looked silly watching her and Brandon doing these things as adults. And acting so poorly, trying to pretend it wasn’t all staged.
All that said, it ends with Brandon getting an early, unofficial hometown date and a meeting with the parents where Mom went right in:
This provoked a snarky comment by My Daughter Cassandra (MDC):
“Good starter question.”
After chaste time in Michelle’s old bedroom, lots of kissing while wearing her Dad’s swim trunks – that felt borderline creepy to me – and things going so well with the parental units, Brandon drops the L-word that evening. This whole date felt like a LOT way too early. The EGPs were really selling Brandon as a serious contender, but I feel like this is the setup for The Devastated Guy trope.
The episode ends with a “KMD” – my new name for a canceled cocktail party in honor of my dear friend and loyal follower of these Musings, who is bemused by this phenomenon. The no-surprise winners of the Hometown Dates are the season frontrunners Baller Joe and Nayte. Brandon already got his official hall pass after his 1-on-1. And Rodney, with all his sincere feelings, overtook Dinner Table dude for the last spot in the semi-finals.
Now that we’re in the closing minutes of a close game, it’s tougher to see who will make the winning play. I still feel like it’s Baller Joe vs. Nayte with nice guys Brandon and Rodney not making the championship game. But maybe one of them pulls an upset and gets to The Finale.
See you next week.
P.S. Tonight’s viewing wine.
P.P.S. The sad news came out that Tayshia and Zac are toast. Add another couple to the scrap heap of Bachelor franchise relationship history.
 Indisputably, unarguably, absolutely . . .
 A pet MDC phrase.