Saltwater in the woundDes's first date was with Brad, the guy who, last week, unloaded the fact that he was once accidentally arrested for domestic violence while trying to take his drunk ex-girlfriend's car keys from her. (Note to future contestants: You may want to wait until the second date to reveal such info.) Brad and Des are like two kids in a candy store as they visit a saltwater taffy factory and swipe chocolate covered pretzels. Later, they ride the famous Steel Pier carousel and settle into a life-size sand castle. Sounds like the recipe for a perfect date, right? Unfortunately, there's no sparks during their dinner in a lighthouse. Des isn't feelin' it, and it's painfully obvious. Exit one rose-less bachelor.
There he is, Mr. AmericaNow for some real fun. Chris Harrison is hosting this year's Miss America pageant (oh, how I miss Bert Parks), so now it's time to pimp America's oldest beauty pageant with a "Mr. Bachelorette America" contest. Oh boy. The Situation, Ronnie, and the other "Jersey Shore" guys have nothing on this batch of oiled-up meatheads as they parade around shirtless and answer thought-provoking questions like, "What kind of animal would you be?"
Of course, the talent competition is the highlight of the show. Here we see tap dancing, high-heeled hula hooping, strip teasing, and ukulele smashing. (That'd be Brooks, who's no Tiny Tim, by the way.) Kasey wins the pageant but not before the insightful Drew describes the whole mess as "a hodge-podge of tomfoolery."
Cinderella storyNext up, things take a more somber turn on Des's one-on-one date with James. The two board a helicopter to get an aerial view of Hurricane Sandy damage along the Jersey coast. Pretty heavy stuff, especially for a show based on fluff. Later they meet up with a couple, Manny and Jan, who lost their home during last year's superstorm, and Des, er -- "Bachelorette" producers -- play Cinderella for the couple by giving them a dream date that includes a lavish dinner and a private concert by Darius Rucker. Meanwhile, Des and James grab a couple of slices at a cheap pizza place, where he feels compelled to tell her how he cheated on his ex-girlfriend of five years. (Once again, it may be best to wait until at least the second date to drop such bombshells. If you get one, that is.)
By the way, James does get one -- a rose, that is -- and so does everyone except Zak K. Meanwhile Bryden gets a case of anxiety as he starts questioning if this group-dating gig is for him. Perhaps next week's trip to Munich will change his mind.
Watch the full episode now:
"The Bachelorette" Season 9 airs on Mondays at 8 PM on ABC.
More from this contributor:'The Bachelorette' Week 2: Des Gets a Bad Rap
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