At the end of the first part of this two-part spectacular, Chris had called Chad aside to have a little man to cave-man chat. Inside, the air of expectation that Chris will send Chad packing is thick, only to be dissolved by disappointment when Chad comes back and offers the group assembled some sort of an apology.
It’s not enough for Evan who demands a better apology AND a new ugly shirt. Chad says he’ll chuck him twenty bucks and glares at Evan who gulps a couple of times before skulking back into the corner.
So it is left to weedy little Wells to take on the mediator role. “All we want is to be sure that you won’t crush our skulls with a hand weight while we’re sleeping.”
“That’s not going to happen,” says Chad, adding ominously, “As long as you leave me alone.”
And so the tone is set for a ripper of a day.
It’s not long before JoJo arrives for the pool party, just a regular old day of doing shots, floating around on inflatable flamingos and the odd spot of synchronised diving. The diving is just too sporty for Evan who emerges from the pool with a bleeding nose. The fingers of accusation are immediately pointed at Chad, who is metres away sucking in some protein.
“The guy bleeds just thinking about me,” observes Chad. who has thus far been on his best behaviour.
JoJo in the meantime is connecting one-on-one with her guys by balancing precariously on inflatable kiddie’s pools and playing guitar badly. It’s not too long before Chad takes the opportunity to have a chat. JoJo is keen to get to the bottom of why Chad was so rude to Evan at the end of the last group date.
“Well, if you have any interest in Evan, it makes me wonder what the hell I’m doing here. I mean, do you want steak or do you want ice-cream?” I get Chad’s point. I can’t figure out why Evan’s there either, but before JoJo can respond, old Ice-cream himself, fresh from spending the past two hours shoving toilet paper up his nose, interrupts the conversation and asks JoJo for some time. Chad, on his best behaviour, has no choice but to back off.
Chad reckons that 97% of the guys in the house are using their one-on-one time to bag him. He is 100% right on that front. It’s Derek who breaks the news about the security guard to JoJo. Incidentally, he must be the worst security guard ever as we haven’t laid eyes on him once since the pool party started; either he is useless, or Chad has eaten him.
Chris rocks in to say that the pool party is over and that JoJo is going to go and spruce herself up for the rose ceremony. Chad is mysteriously absent. The camera cuts away to him, sitting by himself in the scrub, possibly fashioning a shank out of a tree branch.
JoJo is scarcely out the door when he returns from his sojourn with nature and immediately takes Derek aside.
Derek gesticulates nervously as Chad takes him to task about moving out of the shared bedroom and dobbing to JoJo about the security guard.
“What’s your problem with me?” asks Chad.
“Perception is reality, dude,” gulps Derek, wildly drawing circles in the air. Then in a final attempt at bravado, Derek tells Chad that he would dob on him again, if JoJo asked the question.
All is tense at the rose ceremony. Even Evan, safe with his group date rose pinned to his chest, is having a hard time appearing smug, but all of the men are quietly confident that Chad will be gone.
JoJo is back and there’s no mucking around. Grant gets the first rose. Then Derek (I’m stifling a yawn). Jordan. Luke. Robbie. Wells (Well, well!). James F (as in “who the F is he?”. We’re into the fourth episode and I don’t think I’ve laid eyes on him before). Vinnie. Daniel. Alex.
There is one rose left and four men.
“Chad. Will you accept this rose?”
Chad. Chad? CHAD! Oh yeah!!!
Gone are Christian, Nick and hirsute, sweaty, pianist Ali.
To spice things up and get rid of the drama, JoJo has decided to pack up the men and leave the mansion for good. She says that’s why, but we all know it’s part of the formula. She says she’s hoping for a fresh start, a clean slate. Someone tell her she’s dreaming.
But if there is any hope of a fresh start, there’s no better place to try it than Nemacolin, Pennsylvania.
JoJo arrives in an open cockpit, vintage mail plane and I notice that once again the producers have forgotten to budget for hair ties. I have this fleeting image of an Isadora Duncan scenario where JoJo’s hair gets all tangled up in the propeller and, scalped, she is flung out of the mail plane to her doom.
Meanwhile the men steer themselves via four-wheel drive over a muddy track to a mini-mansion on an outlying part of the Nemacolin Woodland Resort. They admire their new lodgings.
“I relate to it,” says Evan. “It’s manly and rugged. I really feel comfortable.” Yes, Evan. That’s just like you.
Then the first manly and rugged thing the group does is go out on the balcony, shout out JoJo’s name in unison and raise their hands to the sky.
James F finds the date card which offers a one-on-one date to Luke.
Luke and JoJo go dog sledding which gives them the perfect opportunity to cuddle under a blanket. They arrive at a clearing where Luke is forced to chop wood to fire up the hot tub. He is an enthusiastic chopper and cuts so much wood that the water is too hot for JoJo to hop into. Luke, always the gentleman, risks third degree scalding to his calves to hold JoJo until it has cooled down enough for her to sit and sip her champagne. Later they go to dinner where Luke tells her a sad story about his mate who died in Afghanistan and JoJo gives him a rose. Then there is the obligatory performance by a country artist and the usual awkward dance, made all the more awkward because this one is in front of an entire crowd of theatre-goers – the entire population of Nemacolin, Pennsylvania.
Back at the mini-mansion, the men speculate on the possibility of a two-on-one date. Alex can think of nothing worse than a two-on-one date, unless it is a two-on-one date with Chad. Hmmm, do I sense some foreshadowing here?
Chad, who has given himself a new nickname – “The Chadberry” (both rugged and manly) – isn’t too keen on the prospect either, but it does appear that he has tempered his attitude.
“I’m not going to be the one to start things…” muses the Chadberry.
“…but I’ll be the one to finish them.” And just like that, Chadberry is a dried up muffin ingredient and Chad is back.
Anyway, the next group date card arrives and in no surprise at all, everyone’s name is on it – except for Chad and Alex. Can’t wait.
So the next morning, all the other blokes head down river on a paddle boat to meet up with JoJo. They spy her while they are still paddling about a hundred metres from the shore and start their ritualistic chorus of her name.
They are off to some sort of American football challenge. Substitute that for rugby league or union or any other ball sport and the generic features of this challenge are the same. Some “legend of the game” will rock up and put the men through some sort of drill involving running with tyres and propelling themselves at giant phalluses, before being divided up into two teams where the team full of ninety pound weaklings will somehow overcome the testosterone and brawn to win a group cocktail hour with their gal.
It’s quite perverse that in an episode where everyone is concerned about being beaten up by Chad, they are quite keen to get pummeled here, and it is not long before James Taylor’s eyebrow has sprung a crimson leak and JoJo squeals with delight. What with those weird tops, it’s like a cross between male lingerie footy and The Hunger Games.
The contest gets under way and soon enough, Evan’s nose starts to bleed, as though the very thought of anything this manly and rugged instills his circulatory system with an uncanny fear and it tries to flee his body. All seems lost for his team until some sort of miracle happens – Evan (“I spell win E.V.A.N”) catches the ball, and this means that professional swimmer, Robbie, and ex-football player Jordan (though technically Jordan played for both teams, hmmm…) manage to scrape together a win.
It’s all a bit boring really, because despite all the manliness, the game is missing something. I can’t put my finger on it…oh yes I can. Chad. The game was missing Chad. How I long for the opportunity to see what he could have done in a situation where he was actually able bang some heads together!
But he’s not there. He’s back at the mini-mansion, sitting on one end of a couch with Alex at the other end and a pathetic looking rose recipient, Luke, sitting in the middle like a forlorn mediator while the other two wave their dicks at each other.
At the cocktail party, Evan’s smugness knows no bounds. After such a manly and rugged display, the rose is his. But it is Jordan who wipes the smile off Evan’s face when, having finally admitting to JoJo that he has feelings for her, gets the bloom.
The two-on-one date card has arrived threatening that Alex and Chad will both be going into the woods, but only one of them will come back. This could mean that one will be sent home, or maybe one of them will be eaten by a bear. Now if it came down to a bear wrestling challenge, I reckon my money would be on Chad (he could devour that in one helping and spit out its fur and make himself a pair of uggies), but if it has anything to do with romance, I suppose it will be Alex, given that Chad lacks…tact? Impulse control? Any idea about romancing a woman?
At the prospect, Chad goes all Robert De Niro.
“You got a problem with me?” he De Niroes at Alex. By this time the losing football team are back and half of them raise their hands.
“You and I are polar opposites,” offers Alex.
“Yeah. Coz’ you’re a whiny little bitch!” Oooooh, burn!
Chad offers to take it outside and sort it out. Alex says he could lay Chad out, but doesn’t move. Everybody else twitches uncomfortably. Even Daniel doesn’t come out in defence of Chad. Once again Wells offers to be the voice of reason (which is a little incredulous given that he is still wearing his puffy sleeved footy blouse). But Chad storms out.
The day of the two-on-one arrives, and while most of the men are quivering in anticipation of the undoing of Chad, Evan is all worried that Chad’s Vulcan-nose-bleed-mind-warp trick might make JoJo keep him at the expense of Alex, even though Alex is going to be wearing his lucky American flag socks.
Before leaving on the date, Chad just can’t resist having some bizarre rant at Jordan, threatening to track him down after the show and eat alive any future children he may have.
Alex and Chad meet up with JoJo and she tells them they are going on a hike. They walk an eternity through the woods pausing only to randomly lop branches off trees with an axe, before eventually arriving at a huge flat rock in the middle of the river, where the three of them sit in stony silence (Haha! See what I did there?).
“Hey,” says Chad. “Have you ever floated down the river. That’s all we’ve got in Oklahoma.”
“Sounds fun,” replies JoJo with the despondence of someone who has just watched their sled dog being shot.
His tale of Oklahoma shenanigans is so engaging that she takes Alex off for a quiet chat and it is about ten seconds before he starts off-loading about Chad.
JoJo confronts Chad, who implodes, admitting that he does want to stalk Jordan for the rest of his life and JoJo goes off to think, precariously leaving the two men alone.
“Not happy, Alex..,” threatens Chad.
“All you do is bark. I’ve hated you since that ESPN thing.”
“Really. Life ain’t all blueberries and paper planes.”
“What did I ever do to you except call you a piece of shit?” reasons, Alex.
“The hay is in the barn.”
“No it’s not. The pigs are in the castle.”
Suddenly, Maxwell Smart emerges from his bushy hiding place. “The blue jay sings most sweetly at midnight.” Alright, so the last bit didn’t happen, but it makes about as much sense as the preceding conversation.
JoJo gives the rose to Alex, says a curt goodbye to Chad (I’m gonna hunt Curt down and wear his teeth as a necklace, thinks Chad) without even giving him a hug. Chad’s Bachelorette journey is over.
AND HE IS MAD. Not just in a lover scorned type of way, but in the whole Jack Nicholson in The Shining kind of way.
“Either she’s an actress or a complete BLEEP!” he says to the trees. Please, Chad! More context clues! I think it had three-syllables, but I’m stumped. “And now I have to hunt down Alex…”
Back at the mini-mansion, a balaclava clad production assistant enters with the stealth of a ninja, if a ninja had twelve sets of eyes firmly fixed on him.
He drags Chad’s suitcase out of the house and there is much rejoicing and cracking of champagne.
But Chad, carefully following the trail of branches he had lobbed off trees earlier and using the moon and the stars for navigation, insanely whistles to himself, inching ever closer…
It isn’t on camera, but surely Evan has proposed a toast, Macduff-like to “this dead butcher” and the room is alive with whisky and mirth…
…until there is a knock on the door…
…and a scratching of fingernails on glass…
Chad is BACK…and…
To be fucking continued. AAAAGH!
Tonight’s blog has been sponsored by the complete works of Stephen King and Chap Stick (if you must pash 12 bristly faces, make sure you come prepared).