The Bachelorette Recap: Mr. America

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Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock is looking for a man who's there for all the right reasons. Will she find him among the men remaining in the competition? 


What she'll definitely find is a group of guys willing to embarrass themselves in a Mr. America pageant in attempt to win her over and prove their eternal, undying love.

At least until the next bachelor is chosen. (You can go ahead and check out The Bachelorette spoilers to see who she chooses. We don't mind.)

Let's go ahead and break down this week's antics with our THG +/- recap!

Desiree Hartsock Bikini Photo

Chris Harrison arrives at Casa de Testosterone to tell the remaining 13 men they all need to pack their bags. They're headed to Atlantic City! Plus 4.

At the condo in Atlantic City, Brad gets the first one-on-one date. He, like Ben, has a son. But he's not a douchebag using his kid as leverage like Ben, so there's that. Plus 2.

The guys are all concerned that Brad is too reserved for Desiree Hartsock, that he won't be able to cut loose and show her his fun side. They have no idea!

He's relaxed and comfortable and there's chocolate! Plus 5 for chocolate!

Zak can look down from the guys' hotel room and see Des and Brad on their date. So he stands at the window and watches them like a crazy person. Minus 5.

Down on the beach, someone has built an epic sand castle for the two to share some champagne and snacks. Des asks Brad what kind of girl he usually dates and he says he doesn't really have a "type." He's looking for someone who's a nice person and who will be a good mom for his son. Conversation kind of halts at that point.

At dinner, Des asks him if he has any pet peeves. He doesn't like it when people can't ever be serious. Since she's such a goofball, this is probably goodbye to him. If he doesn't get the rose, it's curtains for Brad. 

This dinner conversation is so painfully awkward. Horrifying to watch kind of painful. Minus 7. While Brad and Des are scaling a light house, the other guys are taking bets on whether or not Brad's coming back to the hotel at the end of the date. They say no.

And they are right. Desiree doesn't give Brad a rose.

There are man tears. He's not an unattractive crier, so he has that going for him.

Now that Desiree has sent Brad packing, it's time for the group date. The only guy not in attendance on this date is James who will get the next one-on-one date by default.

Des on Date

Desiree's fun event for their group date? A pageant. The Bachelorette's Mr. America pageant. Plus 20.

Michael often dreamed of becoming Mr. America as a young kid. Of course he did. Minus 4.

Christopher Dean, world-famous pageant coach, is here to help them. I think he might be 12, so I'm not exactly sure how he got world-famous at this. 

Juan Pablo knows how to throw a baton. Plus 4. Chris rocks some incredibly sparkly, incredibly high heels. Plus 8.

Mikey's disappointed that the bathing suit he's been assigned for the swimsuit portion of the competition is bigger than the one he originally planned to wear. Minus 3.

Not only will the guys be performing for Desiree and Chris, they'll be performing for a full audience inside the Boardwalk Hall. Fabulous! Plus 4.

Brooks is super nervous. It's cute.

Kasey's up first. Ms. America asks him if he's a giver or a taker in relationships. He says he's a giver. He likes to show love and affection and if both people give in a relationship, the relationship works. Plus 5.

Zak says that he would rather be fire than water. Brooks wants to be a lion. Chris flubs his answer, maybe on purpose. Juan Pablo reveals that he has a daughter and wants his woman to be a good dancer.

Mikey thinks that women only see men for their bodies. But they cry inside, too. BWAHAHAHA.

And now for the talent portion of the night.

Kasey pretends to tap dance while Mikey, who's sensitive inside, strips. Brooks sings a terrible song and smashes his ukulele. Ben ribbon dances and Drew recites Shakespeare. Chris hula hoops in his high heels and Bryden pelvic thrusts in the mayor's face. Minus 15.

Zak steals the show by writing and performing an original song. Plus 10.

During the swim suit competition, Mikey bounces his pecs and Brooks makes her laugh. Plus 4.

The second runner up for the competition is Brooks! Zak W. gets first runner up! Kasey steals the show and wins the crown and bursts into faux-man tears! Plus 10.

The group date continues around Desiree's rooftop pool. She makes a toast to the fun day they've all had and hopes that will continue. 

Bachelorette Preview Pic

Chris gets the first private time with her and reveals that he writes poetry. So does Desiree. After he reads her one of his poems, she pulls him in for a kiss. Plus 4.

None of the guys are fans of him, especially Bryden. Ben keeps saying he's here to meet an amazing woman and not make friends. He doesn't know who's had one on one time with Desiree because he's not the kind of guy who wants to see what's going on. But he wants to show what's going on.

He steals Des away for alone time and then parks the two of them right in front of all the other guys. Minus 12

When Zak's turn with Desiree comes, he finishes the song he used during the talent portion of the pageant. It works and he gets the rose. Plus 8.

Desiree and Zak

James is ready for his one-on-one date with Desiree. When she walks in to pick him up, Ben jumps up to hug her. Minus 3.

Instead of an "over the top and extravagant" date, they're going on a helicopter ride with a Red Cross member to see the Jersey Shore to see the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. 

James and Desiree are overcome with emotion.

After their helicopter ride, they go on a walking tour of the area and learn about the recovery efforts in place to help rebuild the shore. They talk to a couple who lost their home in the storm.

Jan and Manny have been married for 38 years and spent their anniversary in a Red Cross shelter. Desiree and James decide to give up their date that evening and send Jan and Manny to Atlantic City to celebrate their life together. Plus 30.

James and Desiree find a local place and have pizza and beer while Jan and Manny experience the fairy tale dining of the usual date.

Desiree talks about her parents and how Jan and Manny remind her of them. James feels the same way. And because he feels the same way, he decides to be honest with her about his past. 

He cheated on his last girlfriend after 5.5 years together. Minus 25. But he was 18 and a freshman in college. Which means he started dating that girl when he was 13? 12 and a half? 

He's ready to make a commitment now though and knows that he would never cheat again. Desiree is quite disappointed by his revelation.

Back at the fairy tale date, someone presents Jan and Manny with a recreation and restoration of their wedding photos, which was one of the few things they were able to take when them when they left their home. It's sweet and now they have those pictures to share with their grandchildren. Plus 10.

Desiree Hartsock and Brooks Forester

James and Desiree eventually make their way back to Jan and Manny and the four of them share a glass of wine and some champagne. Manny tells Desiree that she and James would make a great match. But she hasn't given him the rose just yet.

Darius Rucker makes a surprise appearance to give a private concert for Jan and Manny. Desiree and James sit around the table and she says she's glad she shared that experience with him. Then she gives him the rose for being so honest. Plus 8.

Jan and Manny take off and Desiree and James stay to dance to Darius. He says he didn't expect to meet such a beautiful person by coming there and they kiss a lot. 


Now that the dates are over, it's time for another cocktail party and rose ceremony. Bryden's not sure if he's feeling it and isn't sure he can accept a rose if Desiree offers one. Uh oh. 

Michael gets the first alone time with her and presents her with a "gesture," which is an acrostic poem. Which isn't really a poem at all. Minus 5.

He ends his poem with his own initial, G, instead of hers. And then he kisses her. 

Bryden tells the other guys that he's not sure he's okay with the way things are going. Brooks seems okay with Bryden taking himself out of the competition. 

Chris gets the second private meeting with her and after a quick joke about being in the friend zone, she kisses him. Plus 3.

Lots of kissing. Lots and lots of kissing.

Desiree Hartsock Bikini Pic

Bryden finally gets his moment with Desiree and talks about a million miles an hour. He thinks they're behind where he wants to be and wonders if she sees any potential in the two of them. She tells him to focus on what he knows and not what he may perceive, which is apparently that Des isn't that into him.

Bryden still isn't sure what he'll do.

He doesn't have much longer to debate, however, because it's time for another rose ceremony. Joining James and Zak W. and living to see another date are:

  • Chris
  • Brooks
  • Juan Pablo
  • Drew
  • Michael
  • Ben
  • Kasey
  • Bryden
  • Mikey T.

It's the end of the journey for Zack. But hey, he can add "Competitor in Mr. America pageant" to his resume, so there's that.


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