OH MAN. That girlfriend confrontation! Did it feel almost nostalgic to any other longtime viewers the way it did to me? An alleged girlfriend storyline is pretty old school in this franchise (I think this dates back to Jillian Harris’s season?), and the Other Woman actually coming ON the show feels like deja vu, à la Desiree’s season. And wow, was this particular alleged girlfriend no shrinking violet.
I understand that Lexi felt jilted and wanted revenge (that much was certainly clear), but she came off as no walk-in-the-park either. Her crassness and inability to stop speaking over others when it wasn’t productive or helpful sort of counteracted her credibility. Ultimately, though, the proof was in her phone; I suppose she could say whatever or behave however she saw fit.
So, DeMario The Dirtbag. First, he was obviously caught red-handed and the whole thing was cringe-worthy. Like, when Rachel was scrolling through Lexi’s phone I was thisclose to covering my eyes. But to me, having Lexi in the wings wasn’t even DeMario’s worst transgression. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if half the men on this season have some lady on the side they occasionally hook up with (or at least try to hook up with). You’re telling me the last woman any of these men had sex with was their ex-girlfriend, which had to have been a substantial amount of time ago for the break-up to not seem either concerningly or suspiciously recent? Give me a break. None of these guys are hurting for a date, and people have sex on dates.
The difference is in the ethics. An ethical player makes sure his or her partner(s) know where he or she stands; they’re not leading them to believe a parental meet-and-greet is around the corner. Thus, it wasn’t so much DeMario’s “wrong reasons” that gave me chills, but rather the familiarity and ease with which he lied. That shit-eating grin turned horrified, turned innocent: “Hey, who’s this?” It was as though he was flipping through a Rolodex of scenarios and corresponding lies. What I would have liked was to see him just own up to that relationship being exactly what it was: some sort of casual sex buddy, emphasizing it wasn’t serious and they both always knew it. But that’s where he lost me. Last night, he lied right up until he couldn’t lie any more, and then he was trapped there by his own lies from months ago. Had he been an ethical player and not led Lexi to believe what they had was something meaningful, I might’ve been defending him here today. But nope. There’s guilt in passivity, too; if he knew Lexi was growing attached and seeing herself as his girlfriend, to allow that when you know you don’t reciprocate those feelings is also not alright. Either way, DeMario The Dirtbag he is.
My Top 4 predictions based on last night are…
1. Peter, 31: Rachel was not shy about her interest in Peter. The first 1-on-1 recipient is almost always a major frontrunner, and it’s hard to imagine a Bachelorette who’s been more excited about a guy than Rachel is about Peter this early on. The only thing that gives me pause about Peter is how dreamy he is. Like, I can’t imagine a world in which he doesn’t know that and it innately makes me wary of him. Dreaminess and likely-coinciding conceit aside, Peter does nothing wrong. He’s a good sport, has a good attitude, loves dogs, and seems into Rachel. As I said in my video recap, I love how not instantly “in love”-seeming he is. There is a sense of equality there, like they’re both intrigued and excited but still feeling things out. I always look for that and they’ve got it.
2. Bryan, 37: Like clockwork, the First Impression Rose recipient didn’t get a date the first week. It’s so standard that Rachel, FIR recipient herself, bonded with Bryan over it. Bryan isn’t going anywhere and likely has a quality 1-on-1 coming his way in Week 3 or 4.
3. Dean, 26: I was super close to putting Dean in my Top 4 last week and now I’m mad at myself for not doing so. His time with Rachel is never glossed over and I think he’s got legit frontrunner potential. My only issue is that I wish he were a few years older; I’m just not sure I see Dean being ready for marriage and kids in the next few years. That said, his kiss betrays his baby face. For me, theirs was the kiss of the season so far. HOT.
4. Josiah, 28: If you watched my Morning After video, above, you know where I stand on Josiah. I maintain that he’s super accomplished and has got an incredible story. I can also picture him being surprised by how hard he starts to fall for Rachel. But this early on, and I admit I’m hyper-sensitive to this, I find the way he speaks to Rachel a bit too ‘for-television’ for my liking, especially when contrasted with how he speaks with the men in the house. Regardless, Josiah is a major player this season and will be around for a long time.