It’s Week 3 of "The Bachelorette" and we are down to 16 guys in women’s tank tops.
Chris arrives at the mansion with the first of two group-date cards. The “Love Is A Battlefield” date goes to Chris, Brian, Drew, Michael, Brooks, Brad, Mikey T., Brandon, Zack and Ben. Let the battling begin!
After a quick limo ride in a stretch SUV, the guys are greeted by Des covered in pink lycra. Instead of being treated to a Pat Benatar concert, the guys are introduced to the men of the National Dodgeball League. Unbeknownst to most people, there is a professional dodgeball league. The overzealous commissioner of the league introduces himself and explains that the league is made up of “serious” players. How serious can they be? The game can be summed up with the 5 D’s of dodgeball, which according to Patches O’Houlihan are “dodge, dip, dive, duck and dodge.” Just ask Ben Stiller. It’s a good thing Brandon wore his lucky orange headband. That should scare the bejeezus out of the professional dodgeball players.
After sizing-up the pros, Michael G., who becomes more feminine each week, refers to them as “very intimidating looking fellows holding dodgeballs.” Uh, Michael, real men don’t use the word “fellows.” After a lot of “balls whizzing by my face” references, Des’s men get their girly butts kicked by the real men of the National Dodgeball League. Chris Harrison shows up and tells them that the professionals have sufficiently humiliated them, and it's time to play against each other. The guys have been “randomly” assigned to two teams, and the winning team will get more time with Des.
The red team consists of Mikey T., Michael G., Brooks, Chris and Brandon; the blue team is Ben, Drew, Zack, Brad and Brian. Des is excited to watch the guys play dodgeball because she likes to watch men in their natural state. Nothing says "back to nature" like an intense game of dodgeball.
Speaking of nature, the men arrive at the dodgeball field dressed like fifth graders going to field day in their two-sizes-too-small Soffe shorts and knee socks. No man ever looked sexy in soffee shorts. Brandon exchanged his lucky orange headband for a red one, and Brooks put his hair up in a pony tail to keep his longs locks out of his eyes. I’m assuming he keeps a hair tie on his wrist for just such an occasion. Speaking of hair, Michael G. must have gone back to the mansion and set his in curlers before the game because his hair looked fabulous. Clearly, he didn’t spend the time waxing his chest; he is the only guy with hair sticking out of his tank top. Michael G.’s dodgeball strategy is to hide behind Mikey T. to avoid messing up his hair.
After a manly Red Team cheer and a "not so manly" Blue Team jig, the battle begins. The blue team wins the first game after going “balls to the wall.” The red team wins the second game. The third game, according to Michael G., is for “all the marbles.” Again, not a manly thing to say, dude. Speaking of marbles, at the start of the third game, Brooks goes down in what looks like a kick to his marbles. Fortunately for Brooks, his family jewels are safe, but his finger is broken. Off to the hospital he goes.
Despite Brooks’ injury, the game must go on -- because, according to Drew, “this is do or die, this is game 7 of the World Series, it’s intense, it’s palpable.” Take it easy Drew: we know it's for all the marbles, but no matter how hard you try, this pathetic game will not turn into the World Series. In the end, Drew’s intensity pays off and the Blue Team emerges as the dodgeball victors. Michael G.’s hair holds, but he cries because he lost the marbles. I have clearly lost my marbles, because I am sitting and watching this stupidity. Good news, Michael! Des was tricking you and all the guys get to come on the date, even the losing red team. Damn, I was hoping to have to listen to Michael whine all the way back to the mansion.
Speaking of whining, we find out that Brooks has been taken to the hospital via ambulance with sirens blasting and lights a-flashing. We next see Brooks on a gurney in the Emergence Room, where he is getting oxygen because he passed out in the ambulance. Grow a pair of marbles, Brooks -- it's just a broken finger! Put a Hello Kitty band-aid on it and get back in the game. It’s not like your shin bone protruded through your skin during an NCAA basketball tournament. Even that guy didn’t pass out. I think you can handle a finger bone alignment. I had three human beings come out of my body and I didn’t pass out or require oxygen. And one of them was almost 10 pounds!
Group Date - Evening
The games are over, but the date must go on. Brad gets some alone time with Des, and just in time; he has something he has to get off his chest. After a lengthy and unnecessary lead-in, Brad’s big reveal is that he has a three-year-old son named Maddox who lives with him full-time. Sorry Brad, but Ben beat you to the “exploiting your child for personal gain” angle. Brad does, however, use his son to explain a domestic-violence charge and restraining order filed against him by his alcoholic baby mama. Sure Brad, we believe you. If that weren’t bad enough, Brad reaches a new low when he tells Des that he would not have left Maddox “if anyone but you were the Bachelorette.” I just threw up a little in my mouth. Putting everything else aside, Brad, who are you and where have you been the past two weeks?
Meanwhile, Chris is getting impatient. He takes Des to a private spot he “found” -- the rooftop of the hotel -- and they talk and bond. It’s looking really good for Chris until Brooks arrives at the hotel in a Vicodin-induced haze, holding his broken finger up in the air and wearing his Red Team uniform (obviously, no one at the hospital had the heart to tell him that his team LOST). Brooks and Des sit under a purple blanket, talk and kiss. It is obvious that Des is into Brooks, marbles or no marbles. Although Brooks got the group-date tongue, Chris gets the group-date rose and a private concert with some unknown lady singer. They dance and kiss. No one cares.
Back at the mansion, a date card arrives and Kasey gets the coveted one-on-one date
Crazy Stephanie and Cheating Brian
The next morning, Des is relaxing on the couch wearing skin-tight, hideous flesh-colored pants, when the phone rings. It’s Chris Harrison with some “bizarre” news. Chris has forgotten the #1 man code rule -- bros before hoes -- and is clearly about to throw one of the guys under the bus.
Des immediately heads to the mansion and calls Brian and his hot pink t-shirt outside for a chat. Des questions Brian about his last relationship, and he assures her that it was over a long time ago. As the words are leaving Brian’s lips, Chris Harrison is escorting Brian’s ex-girlfriend/girlfriend Stephanie through the mansion. In one of the most dramatic, staged, phony, set-ups to date, Stephanie, who has taken way-too-much Adderall, goes off on a hysterical, fast-talking, tear-provoking tirade. She screams at Brian for lying to her and for not caring about Donovan, (“Don’t you care about Donovan, my son, my son Donovan).” She is also a little upset about him dating six or seven other girls, including a stripper. For a guy with a crooked face, Brian does OK for himself. Stephanie goes on and on, and not even Jerry Springer could stop her. Brian may be a louse who hooked up with her two days before he came on "The Bachelorette," but can you blame him for flying to the other side of the country to get away from her?! Stephanie is a lunatic. ABC better make her the next Bachelorette, because that’s the only way she will ever date again after admitting on national television that she threw rocks in Brian’s face.
Eventually, Chris’s eardrums shatter from Stephanie’s high-pitched squealing, and security guard Paulie escorts Brian to his room to pack and then out the door back to Baltimore. The cleaning people must have had the day off, because that room is a pigsty!
After Brian leaves, Chris and Des head into the mansion and tell the guys what just went down -- like they weren’t all listening at the back door. Des demands to know if anyone else has any secrets. Twelve seconds of silence later, Des and Kasey finally leave for their date.
As soon as Des leaves, the guys start talking about Brian and Hurricane Stephanie. Michael G. struggles to open a jar of pickles, while Brandon has a breakdown in the kitchen. It seems that Brandon’s mom was not only an alcoholic, but also brought home a lot of guys who Brandon fell in love with. Sadly, these men abandoned him and his mother. Brandon says he loves Des and doesn’t want anyone leaving him anymore. Someone call security guard Paulie back -- Brandon needs a hug.