On to the dates! First up is Brooks (who by the way looks a little like Tom Brady when Tom's hair was way too long...)
Then, they do something even more ridiculous. They hike to the Hollywood sign IN THEIR WEDDING ATTIRE. Um, what?? It's not like a short walk on a sidewalk from the road to the sign. I hope she wasn't wearing heels.
They hang out on the L and have a nice chat. I was wary of Brooks before this date, but I like him. They seem good together. And Des has her first kiss of the season. Afterwards, she drives him through the semi-ghetto of LA, down a closed street to-- surprise! A table set for a romantic dinner that looks like it's in the lighting department of Lowe's with all the chandeliers hanging from the bridge. Dinner is good, and Brooks opens up about his parents' divorce and relationship with his father. He gets the rose. And of course there's a surprise concert by Andy Grammer. Brooks is maybe the most awkward dancer ever, but Des doesn't care.
Next up is the group date. A bunch of dudes whose names I'm not going to learn yet are on this date. They meet up with Soulja Boy to make a hip hop video called, "For the Right Reasons." And here is where I gave in to my strong desire to fast forward... Apparently there was some awkward attempts to rap, some weird situations, and about 427 uses of the phrase "the right reasons." Moving on.
After the rap session, the gang goes to some rooftop to hang out and chat. Zak comes out swinging with an antique journal as a gift for Des with a sweet inscription from the original owner. Who knew that Naked Guy had a soft side?
The Bachelorette always shows that dudes are just as petty and dramatic as girls. "He stole Desiree away from me!" "I don't know if he's here for the right reasons... I'll have to figure that out." "I'm not gonna be the guy to squash the butterfly." Blah blah blah. But the creeper award of the night goes to Brandon (from whose lips came the tale of the butterfly...). While Ben kisses Desiree, Brandon is watching from somewhere just hoping that Des doesn't pick a guy who is not here for the "right reasons."
Since Ben seems to be the front runner, the rest of the guys hate him. Duh. Mikey takes the lead and confronts Ben-- because that always works... But it seems to settle them both (for now). Brandon has a sad story, and I feel for him. I really do. But the guy is SO intense that it seemed weird. Des likes him though. Ben gets the rose (while the other guys shoot eye-daggers at him...).
Our final date of the night goes to Bryden. Des picks him up in her beautiful blue Bentley...
... and whisks him off on a road trip to El Matador beach, an orange grove, and Ojai. These destinations are less than two hours from LA/Malibu, so I don't know if I'd call this a true "road trip" but whatever...
They have a lovely time at the beach (although struggling to fly their kite on the 10' stretch of beach that they land on...) and fish taco stand. Then they pick oranges in a grove on their way to Ojai, and finally stop at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa for a romantic, candlelit dinner. (And I've got to say that if ever there was a place in California that I wanted to visit, it would be Ojai. It just looks SO beautiful.)
Bryden seems like a fun guy (despite his horrific car accident story and visual aids). He gets the rose. No doubt about it. And then.... our first hot tub/pool of the season!!! Quickly followed by our first hot tub/pool makeout session of the season. ps-- I loved her line "just kiss me already." Hahahaha
And finally it's time for the cocktail party and rose ceremony. There's your usual jockeying for her time, whining about not having enough time, fretting that Desiree is going to send them home without getting to know them, etc. And of course the anger at a guy who already has a rose "stealing her away" from someone who doesn't. I feel like I've seen this somewhere before. Fast forward...
Can we talk about Des's dress for a second? I liked it at first glance. But then I saw the back. And the sequin detail that looked almost camo-like. Weird.
Guys not getting a rose are Will, Robert, and Nick, none of whom I knew anyway. Adios, fellas!
So, after the first week of dates, who are your favorites?? I'm not settled on any of them just yet, and I kind of like it that way for now.