I’m on a bit of a rollercoaster with Drew. On one hand, he’s such an arrogant bro with an almost comically evil cackle (which they’re not afraid to play on repeat), making for something of an ideal villain. As opposed to supervillain Chad from JoJo’s season, Drew seems to have plenty of friends in the house yet chooses to make fun of only whom he deems weak. It’s very immature high school behaviour that has me sincerely doubting his much-touted “confidence,” but unfortunately, it also represents a sliver of real life. After all, how many Chad-like folks could we name in real life? I would be the last person to deny Chad’s entertainment factor, but I find Drew’s villain less otherworldly and therefore more investable as a viewer. The way he preyed on Chris I think we’ve all seen at some point in our lives, which—to be clear—he should be (and I think is being) condemned for. Yet, while he’s pompous and a ham, he—unlike Chad—is something of a good sport. He rapped though it was severely out of his comfort zone, danced in a public square in Jamaica, and gave this week’s “spa date” a valiant effort. I couldn’t have agreed more when he went into his 1-on-1 time with Jasmine wanting to know if she was someone he would want, as opposed to the ever-popular tradition of blindly assuming (or behaving like you assume) the lead is God’s gift to men. His arrogance flickers back to healthy confidence now and again and has me nodding in agreement. I noted when Jasmine said of Drew, “I can see this soft interior to his very hard exterior,” which on a personal note is one of my favourite things about men: their two personas. (I’m not talking Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde proportions, but rather the behind-closed-doors, true and soft side of a man, versus what he presents to the rest of the world. As a woman I find that private side the most fascinating and enjoyable thing to uncover.) Now, I’m not sure whether I should credit Drew or the producers for allowing us to see his other dimensions, but I like it; it’s great TV, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I’m happy Drew has stuck around this long. The previews suggest, however, that his villainy isn’t limited only to Chris and that he rubs other guys—even his bro pal Kevin W??—the wrong way in Morocco. I still stand by what I’ve said… for this week, anyhow.
Speaking of Chris, he was an early favourite of mine. I think he’s sweet and soft-spoken and means incredibly well, but I found myself frustrated with him in the last few episodes. In Chris’ dwelling over Drew and criticizing him for gloating about his Group Date rose as though it were a competition, it began to feel like Chris himself made it a competition. “I’m going to step it up tonight and show Jasmine my romantic side”, he declared. Step it up?? How about showing some true curiousity about her, getting to know each other on a human level, and, if the moment feels right, going in for a kiss? His “there’s two things I’d like to give you today” approach felt painfully rehearsed and unnatural. I can’t help but think Chris is a tiny bit clueless when it comes to women and gauging their interest level and timing. Based on body language and overall familiarity, in no way did it seem like Jasmine would be (or should be) responsive to a kiss from him. Don’t get me wrong; obnoxious gloaters like Drew are a royal pain in the ass—especially when you have to live with them—but they can only upset you as much as you’ll let them. Chris let Drew get to him.
My frontrunners this week…
1. Mike, 29: He’s back! Mike’s 1-on-1 did not disappoint me. It was full of laughter and banter and an easy chemistry. There’s something commanding about Mike. To me, he is what true confidence looks like (versus Drew). His funny observations are never at anyone’s expense and the development of their romance didn’t feel forced or rushed. Jasmine seems drawn to Mike, which I totally understand. In my notes I wrote: “The chemistry with Mike is weirdly natural, like they’ve been dating awhile.” After last week’s blip, I’m back to putting my money on Mike.
2. Mikhel, 28: I loved when Mikhel said—and was shown saying—“I get so shy in front of the cameras.” Obviously, I could totally relate and was frankly jealous they aired the footage of him saying this; it made him endearing instead of just awkward-seeming. There were no big developments on the Mikhel front this week, but last week’s excellent 1-on-1 is still fresh on my mind and I still see him being one of the last guys standing.
3. Kevin W, 32: While it’s easy to dismiss Kevin W’s jealousy with the typical “he knew what he was getting into” (a popular line thrown at all contestants, including yours truly), I feel for the guy. I’m reminded of when I spoke with Becca about her experience on Chris’ season versus Ben’s season. She said that with Chris, she definitely liked him, but she didn’t feel competitive or jealous or anything. Meanwhile, with Ben, those romantic feelings proved to be a lot stronger, and thus those unpleasant corollary feelings came on a lot stronger, too. This was particularly interesting to hear, since my only experience was similar to hers with Chris and I never understood why folks got so jealous. So with Kevin W, we could scoff at his jealousy and say, “Duh, it’s The Bachelorette,” but it’s more a testament to his connection with Jasmine being real. In his own words, “The problem I’m having here is I didn’t think I’d like her this much.” He definitely stays, as Jasmine even said that they have “this very strange, almost unexplainable connection.”
4. Thomas, 30: Honestly, I thought about leaving just a Top 3 this week, but I figured I’d slot Thomas in 4th and explain why I don’t think he’ll be the last man standing. Many of you know Andy and I are good friends with Michael G (Desiree’s season) who, as an eligible bachelor in New York City, has the best dating stories. (I could sit and listen to them with popcorn, they’re so good.) At one point, Michael went on several dates with a lovely lady who he liked a lot, but when it came down to it, there was something missing. “What was it?”, I asked (between imaginary handfuls of popcorn). His response? “I don’t know… she just wasn’t… funny. She laughed at my jokes, which was nice, but she didn’t make me laugh.” As an aside, I thought this was an interesting parallel to the age-old belief that only women care about men being funny. It’s also incredibly true; whether or not the person we’re with is actually funny, we need to find them funny. So back to Thomas, I think Jasmine likes him and is definitely attracted to him, but if he makes her laugh, I haven’t seen it. Oh, and about that singing… Thomas’ song was used to show his ability to “goof off and have a good time”, but singing in a semi-serious way—he certainly wasn’t trying to (nor did he) sound bad—a PREPARED song was not goofing off in my eyes. This felt contrived and more for his sake than hers, overall. Oh, and don’t think I missed him saying, “When people look at me they think I’m just an international model, but Thomas is many things and they’re about to find out.” I mean, who says that? Third-person-speaking, International Model Thomas, that’s who.
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