The Bachelorette cast and crew went to London for this week's episode, and what had been advertised as the climax of the entire episode -- that one contestant appeared to refer to single mom Emily Maynard's daughter as baggage -- was, in fact, the most anti-climactic moment of the season.
The London setting made for beautiful scenery, with Bachelorette crews showing off many of the more familiar sights. Maynard was sick during this episode, with a raspy voice to prove it. But the show must go on.
She had a one-on-one date with Sean, which was every inch the romantic cheese-fest we expected it would be. Maynard's one-on-one date with Jef, on the other hand, appeared more scripted and forced than the historical facts she spouted throughout the episode. Watching her with the baby-faced 27-year-old was like watching a woman get cuddly with her kid brother.
The doomed contestant who used the baggage term, it turned out, was Kalon, and the guy who reported him to Maynard was Doug, a single father. Maynard promptly sent Kalon packing. She later scolded the hopeful suitors for not alerting her to his comment and accused them of not having her back, failing to acknowledge (at least on camera) the huge favor Doug did her.
It wasn't hard to see Kalon go, as he hasn't exactly shown his sweet side during his time on the show. He's talked down to Maynard and even shooed her away at one point during this episode. Though he didn't deny referring to Maynard's six-year-old daughter Ricki as baggage when confronted by the other contestants, the other contestants might have blown the whole thing a bit out of proportion.
[Baggage has] a negative connotation when it's brought up like that, he told the other guys. All it is is a responsibility.
Had his record been cleaner this season, and had he used a more respectful and deferential tone when speaking to Maynard, he might have been saved from himself.
The real highlight of the episode -- and the season so far -- was the amateur Romeo & Juliet production Maynard and the contestants put on. They even had a small audience of onlookers.
It's times like these when the Bachelor franchise proves its real entertainment value. Sure, as Maynard said, part of being a parent is being a big kid, hence the guys dressing up in costume and spouting off Shakespeare lines they probably didn't understand. What's more fun than watching a bunch of macho-seeming guys make fools of themselves?
Arie appeared to struggle most with this part, especially since he had to play Juliet's nurse while wearing a dress and a braided wig. The race car driver emphasized that he is not an actor and said that reading Shakespeare's famous play was like reading a foreign language.
Doug also played the nurse role for a different scene.
I'm going to give it my everything, he told the cameras while wearing his special nurse hat. He deserves something for his efforts.
Travis, being his jokester self (remember, he was the one with the egg), joked that reading Shakespeare was no big deal, that that's what people do in Mississippi, while Ryan's cry of O my love had everyone in stitches, including Maynard, whose Juliet was supposed to be unconscious in their scene together.
In the end, Alejandro would be the other casualty of the night. He took the elimination like a gentleman and told Maynard it was nice to meet her. The tears that Maynard would have hated to see came later in the car.
Next up: Croatia! This season has been a real feast for the senses and it looks as if it's about to get better.