Having already kicked off the extraneously haired and unremarkable duds during Episode One, Andi is finally ready to get down to business. The guys who remain are eager to make an impression on the woman who they unanimously lauded as “hot, cool and down-to-Earth.” (Good! NO ONE came here for a frigid, flying uggo.)
The honor of the first one-on-one date goes to Eric the Explorer, who neither teaches Andi useful Spanish phrases, nor owns a talking backpack. They spend a morning at the beach, ride a helicopter to the top of Bear Mountain, go snowboarding, and finally enjoy an intimate dinner in a rustic cabin, all while discussing how amazing this date is.
I was about to keep being all smug and go “YEAH BUT WHAT IS THIS DUDE’S SOURCE OF INCOME EXACTLY,” but then I googled him and found out that Eric actually died in a paragliding accident shortly after the season finished filming. So, I am a monster, and will just say RIP Eric; he really was handsome, engaging and sweet.
LET’S CLEANSE OUR PALATES WITH SOME MAN BOOTY! The first group date was a multi-dude strip tease, because as Andi says, “this really could be the beginning of an incredible love story.” It is revealed that Craig is this season’s “Wait, This Guy Is Gay, Right?” as he comments on Josh M’s studliness with a combination of envy and animal need.
After a good spray tan and muscle oiling, they’re ready to go! The announcer kicks off the show by saying, “This house is on fire! Somebody call 9-1-1!” A group of sexy firefighters gyrate onstage in skimpy uniforms that would provide little protection against the flames. Still, anyone left inside the invisible burning building will at least die happy. The firefighters are followed by cowboys and army men – because why wouldn’t you sexualize military invasions on an episode that airs on Memorial Day?
Marcus got a rose for dancing with confidence, but also humility. After the show, proceeds were donated to a never named charity and the group set off for the mansion. While Andi is commandeered for a series of solo chats, Craig gets Greek Week wasted on the memory of Josh M’s miracle abs. He gets so drunk he jumps in the pool with his clothes on. Naturally, Andi is disappointed that he isn’t taking love very seriously. How dare he make a mockery of a group date that began with a choreographed strip tease?!
Will a one-on-one date with Iowa Farmer Chris cheer her up? YES. They head to the horse races and sip mint juleps in fancy clothes. An old couple asks Andi and Chris how long they’ve been together, even though a better question would be “why are you surrounded by a camera crew?” Now that the audience has been beaten by the subtle hint that THIS COUPLE OBVIOUSLY KNOWS WHAT LOVE LOOKS LIKE SO MAYBE CHRIS WILL WIN THIS WHOLE THING, GUYS, the duo is treated to a private concert by some band. It’s supposed to be romantic, even though making eye contact with the bass player while slow dancing on a first date sounds like a social anxiety emergency. But they kiss anyway, so maybe I’m a doofus!
Andi heads back to the group for more quality time, and Craig totally has to figure out how he’s going to make amends for his boozy nincompoopery. Meanwhile, Andi kisses Josh M., which probably makes Craig insanely jealous. She also talks to Nick V., who got the first impression rose for being boring, and he proceeds to be boring again and just talks about his parents or whatever. Like, why is this guy such a nerd for his family?! Do they love him so much they won’t tell him to stop wearing gingham shirts?! He ought to take a cue from Other Josh and get a smooch by being all, “DON’T stereotype me as some dumb athlete cuz there’s so much more to me than that!”
But finally, CRAIG HAS A PLAN! He sings an apology song to Andi that goes, “I messed up last night/I had too many fireflies/I bared my junk to 13 other guys/but I hope and pray that it’s all right/oh Andi/please let me stayyyyyy.”
But the damage was done. Identical vowel sounds with different ending consonants does NOT a rhyme make. Craig got the heave ho, along with two other forgettables.
Here’s hoping he’ll find love. His Josh M. Andi is still out there somewhere!