On Tuesday night's fourth episode of The Bachelorette, JoJo and her suitors finally left the Bachelor mansion in Los Angeles to explore the globe. She and her harem of men could voyage to any place on the planet to kindle their potential love for each other. This is one of the most exciting moments of any season of The Bachelor -- with the world at their feet, to which of the world's magnificent, romantic locales will they go?
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the romance capital of the world!
Pittsburgh is a fine and surprisingly pretty city whose inhabitants and emigrants love Pittsburgh more than I love anything. It's not a bad place! That said, if somebody had the option of taking me any place on the planet for romantic purposes, all expenses paid, with the world as our oyster, and we ended up within 100 miles of Pittsburgh, I'm breaking it off.
Eleven of the remaining 14 men went to Heinz Field to play a game of 5-on-5 football, with the winning five securing a date with JoJo. This was great news for Jordan Rodgers, the ex-Vanderbilt quarterback and younger brother of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. While earlier this year we saw Grant, a firefighter, participating in (and easily winning) a firefighting competition, it was deemed unfair for Rodgers to be on one team or the other, so he played all-time QB and got to go on the date with JoJo regardless of who won.
It was the best performance Rodgers will ever have on an NFL field. YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT, BETTER THAN THE 2012 MUSIC CITY BOWL, IN WHICH VANDERBILT BEAT NC STATE IN THE TENNESSEE TITANS' STADIUM.
Somehow, when The Bachelor makes random people play sports, the results are always instant classics. On last season of The Bachelor, the U.S. women's national team coached contestants in one of the greatest soccer games ever played, an overtime stunner in the Rose Bowl. And the blow-for-blow battle fought in this football game will stand the test of time. There was a clear underdog in the fight, but against all odds it turned into a thriller that will go down in the annals of reality television show football history. Please, listen to some NFL Films music and read every word for the next few paragraphs in a very deep, meaningful NFL Films voice.
The gentlemen of The Bachelorette appear to be athletic paradigms, handsome gladiators in the peak of their physical prime. (You're reading this in an NFL Films voice, right? Otherwise that sentence was unnecessarily dramatic.) And then there's Evan, the erectile dysfunction doctor who wore his eyeblack like a Nelly bandaid and kept getting nosebleeds:
But Evan proved to be a gritty Wes Welker type willing to fight through head trauma for the good of the team. After the blue team went down 14-0, they rallied back to tie the score at 28. After all, when things are looking down, who better to pick things back up again than an erectile dysfunction expert?
With the score tied at 28, all eyes turned to Rodgers for a game-winning touchdown pass. But to everybody's surprise, Derek from the blue team made a defensive play that will be played on Bachelorette football highlight reels for decades to come:
In a game of two-handed touch, few defenders would attempt to strip the ball and risk not recording a tackle. But Derek saw his chance at glory, and he seized it. The blue team were champions, and even Evan's awful celebrations seemed justified.
For whatever reason, Bachelor Sports bring out the best in the show's competitors, be they ex-SEC quarterbacks or twerpy boner doctors. With everything on the line, they fight their hardest, and the results are legendary. (Either that, or the show edits less-than-exciting pickup games to make them seem like the greatest sporting events of all time. We'll never know!)
The football players were helped in their football playing by ex-Steelers Brett Keisel and Hines Ward as well as by very much current Steeler Ben Roethlisberger, who sat on the side eating Cheez Doodles while Keisel and Ward coached everybody up.
(Two things were weird about Roethlisberger's appearance. Firstly, he asked which one was Aaron Rodgers' brother. Ben, it's the guy who looks like he's played football before and LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE AARON RODGERS.
Secondly, and significantly more importantly: Why is Roethlisberger, who has been accused of sexual assault twice including a 2010 incident that earned him a six-game suspension, on this show? This show is dumb, but at its core it's about searching for romance in a healthy, consensual way. Roethlisberger has been accused on multiple occasions of trying to use physical force to obtain sex. He's never been convicted or even tried, but The Bachelorette does not need somebody to have been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to not include them on the show. They didn't need an NFL player present to make it cool that they were playing football in an NFL stadium, and if they wanted one there are plenty of famous players on the Steelers alone who have never been accused of sexual assault. Roethlisberger's presence was unnecessary and uncomfortable.)
* * *
Elsewhere, The Bachelorette sent two Marines who hated each other into the woods with machetes and told them only one could come back.
There is nothing as good on The Bachelorette as the 2-on-1 date, where two people are sent to a location and ONLY ONE MAY RETURN. The contestants stop playing nice when they realize one of them has to get abandoned in the wilderness and start glaring at each other. In this case, it was two people who weren't playing nice to begin with. We have Chad, whose strategy has been to work out, eat turkey with his bare hands, and yell WANNA GO OUTSIDE whenever confronted, and we have Alex, who has been the person most vehemently opposed to Chad. (He has also been called tiny by Chad. To be fair: He's a tiny guy.) The two have already nearly fought, and now they're in the woods with large woods knives.
Surprisingly, nobody dies. Although Chad physically challenges about a third of the cast members here -- by my count, he has told Alex he'll knock his teeth out twice, told Evan he would kill him, told Jordan he would find his home after the show's end, asked Derek if he wants to GO OUTSIDE, and asked Grant if he wants to GO OUTSIDE, although I'm sure I've left out a few -- he got in a grand total of zero actual fights. When Alex fully explained the depth and breadth of Chad's physical threats, JoJo kicked Chad off the show. He got in this sweet line before leaving:
JoJo: You threatened to beat people!
Chad: Yeah, so they would be quiet.
THAT DOESN'T JUSTIFY IT! THAT KINDA MAKES IT WORSE!
Here is Chad's apparent guide to life:
1. Act like an asshole
2. Tell people to mind their own business when the topic of his blatant assholery arises
3. Challenge anybody who doesn't "mind their own business" to a fight
4. Challenge anybody who asks why he keeps challenging people to fights to fights of their own
5. Declare himself the winner when these fights do not occur.
Chad probably walked away from The Bachelorette thinking he went 5-0 in fights because he challenged five people to fights and nobody wanted to fight him. In reality, he fought zero people and punched a door so hard he bled. He fought zero fights, and still lost a fight. He also lost every competition he took part in on the show, as a result of his repeated belief that his quest for JoJo was too noble to be sullied by games seemingly unrelated to his romantic pursuit for her heart. With all that losing, I guess you could call Chad a loser.
Chad's descent from somewhat aloof guy to I'LL MURDER ANYBODY WHO SAYS IT'S WEIRD THAT I'M THREATENING TO MURDER PEOPLE was incredible television, although I'm genuinely scared for Chad. I hope his behavior was brought on by the weirdness of being on a reality TV show, because he seems confused by the way everybody else in the world acts and angry when people inquire about his confusion. Confused and angry is a frightening way to go through life. If he wasn't such an obvious asshole, I'd almost feel bad for him.
I'd say goodbye to Chad, but the promo at the end of the show made it seem as if Chad will be back. The producers of this show are very aware we want to see Chad do violent things -- they promo'ed this episode by showing Chad walking around menacingly and saying he needed to physically hurt people and splicing it with videos of Evan's bloody noses and James' football injuries to make it seem like there was an actual fight -- and they tried to make it seem like Chad will do violent things in the future. But, well, he doesn't actually seem interested in actual fighting.
THE CRANBERRY QUOTIENT
The Cranberry Quotient is our method of ranking forced positive reactions to cameos by semi-celebrities, named after contestant Jared's breathless acceptance of Bachelorette Kaitlyn's claim that the Cranberries were her favorite band.
After Luke and JoJo's 1-on-1 date, the two walked into a Dan and Shay concert.
There are a bunch of fans at this concert hall in the middle of the Pennsylvania woods -- hmm -- and they all have their iPhones out to film the concert! But they're not really filming the concert -- they're filming Luke and JoJo.
Nobody mentions who Dan and Shay are, and everybody in the crowd seems primarily to care about the star of a TV show that won't be on TV until three months after the concert.
Cranberry Quotient: 4.3 out of 10
BACHELORETTE POWER RANKINGS, EPISODE 4
(Remember, these aren't power rankings of who will win, but rather power rankings of who will actually win by getting invited onto further Bachelor-related TV shows and therefore continue living in a semi-vacation with free booze and appear on TV often enough to get enough Instagram followers that you can make side money hawking shirts and beauty products.)
It's always good to have a contestant who makes you fear for the life of other contestants, and for a second there, I really thought Chad was going to murder Alex with a machete. He'll thinks everybody has wronged him, and it seems like he'll get his vengeance, on this show or the next.
I might seem like I'm overcovering Jordan because this is a sports website, but he really seems like he might win this show?
Robby earned points for me by leading JoJo to a pool table and sweeping the well-placed pool balls off the table to accommodate his make-out session. I've always wanted to do this, but most of the pool tables I come across are in bars, and to passionately sweep the balls out of the way for a makeout session, I'd have to a) wait for my turn to play pool, b) ask the winner of the previous game if they wouldn't mind waiting for me to do making out, c) pay $2 in quarters, d) organize the pool balls into a triangle, e) passionately sweep the balls out of the way for a makeout session. Kinda defeats the purpose.
It takes a bold man to go for a strip in a game of 2-hand touch. I reward boldness.
Wells delivered a scathing post-game breakdown of why his teammates were the reason he lost at football. I wish actual football players would do this more often.
Luke explained more of his past than he ever has -- he played football at West Point before serving in Afghanistan. I found his player bio!
Jumped in the pool with a suit on...
AND HAD A DIFFERENT SUIT TO GO TO FOR THE ROSE CEREMONY IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS
That's dedication to sartorial splendor *and* to cannonballing excellence.Really impressive.
Y'all see those America socks?
Jordan defined the 2-on-1 date between Alex and Chad as A FIGHT FOR AMERICA (even though both were in the Marines) and Alex emerged the clear winner, presumably because of those sweet-ass socks. I will follow a man in unnecessary/unusual America garb into the sun.
9. James Taylor
He gets a lot of credit for playing football in this after suffering an eye injury:
I really think The Bachelorette's medical staff worries more about head trauma than the NFL does.
If only Chad had heeded Daniel's Mussolini advice. No word on which dictator Daniel has been attempting to be.
I think this is going to be the last article where there are people who I don't have anything to say about! But for now...
12. Nick B.
Remember what I was saying about how I'll follow someone in unusual and unnecessary America garb into the sun? NICK GETS IT:
Sadly, he is outpaced by Jordan in the patriotic bathing suit department.
JoJo's Persian mom might have secretly been hoping JoJo would pick the Persian guy. Sadly, it didn't work out.
With the simultaneous departure of Christian and Ali, four of the show's five non-white competitors have now been eliminated. Half of the show's total competitors have been eliminated, but 80 percent of the non-white people have.
I still know nothing about Vinny!
Valiant performance on the football field and he made some funny jokes. But I still just don't like this guy's face? Like, I strongly disapprove of the way his face is shaped. It makes me uncomfortable and I don't like it.