Rose hunting season is officially open.
So uttered one of the contestants on The Bachelorette this week, as Clare Crawley went on her very first group date and it didn’t take very long at all for things to get emotional, dramatic…
… and awkward.
To kick off the installment Riley, Jordan, Yosef, Ivan, Ben, Bennett, Zac C., Zach J., and Dale all went out with Clare.
The goal of the evening was to teach the men about the importance of love language — so they meet Crawley at Romeo and Juliet-themed location to act out the different ways to express their feelings.
While the affirmation exercise centered on the men trying to find the right words, everything was taken up a notch when blindfolds got broken out.
What better way to demonstrate the physical language of love, right?
"Obviously, we all are deprived of physical touch during quarantine, so this was a love language I was ready for," Clare said of all the groping.
It was evident right away, though, to everyone present, that Clare really just wanted to be touched by Dale Moss, who earned last Tuesday’s first impression rose.
"The hardest part about this group date is seeing other guys hug her and stuff," Ivan said on air. "That’s completely brand new."
Perhaps because she seemed so smitten with Dale right away, no one approached Crawley during the subsequent cocktail hour.
"Does anybody want to step up to the plate?" she said after an awkward silence. "Don’t everyone jump at once."
Bennett did eventually jump, but the general snub was apparent.
When Yosef offered to "speak for the group," Clare quickly shut him down.
"If you guys all want to hang out with each other, you can do that and I can go home and go to bed. At the end of the day, I’m a woman and I want my man to show me he cares.
"The truth of the matter is, it just hurt me."
Dale, of course, felt awful that his potential soulmate experienced any pain at all.
"You shouldn’t feel like that," he said. "I feel like s–t knowing you felt like that. I never want you to feel like that when you’re around. Never again will I restrict how I feel."
Eventually, the moment blew over — but not before Yosef called Clare "crazy" for thinking she wasn’t wanted — and Clare went about her night, spending individual time with each of the suitors.
She ultimately decided to give Riley the group date rose.
From there, it was time for Jason to go on a one-on-one date with The Bachelorette.
"To open up and share your deepest darkest secrets, that’s when I get scared," he said about being asked to write a letter to his younger self. "I don’t like that."
At one point, while sitting by the fire, Jason did get candid up about his past, revealing he has a tendency to avoid commitment after watching his parents fight while growing up.
Clare, who was proud of him for being so honest, offered him the rose.
For the second group date, the men played strip dodgeball — yes, strip dodgeball — and only members of the winning team could proceed to that night’s cocktail hour.
"She might see my man goodies tonight," Demar quipped. "If that happens, that’s the Lord’s will, right?"
The red team won and most blue team participants went back home with their heads held high and their hands covering their privates.
Except for Blake Moynes.
He crashed the cocktail hour because he wanted more time with Clare.
"I wanted to come in here and really show balls," he said about breaking the rules.
"I’m here for you and I’m going to these uncomfortable places internally to show you that. I know I’m going to take a bunch of heat for this, but I just don’t really care that much."
The men got pissed, Blake got thrown out — and then Brandon went and got himself tossed as well.
"I don’t really know anything about you," he told Clare. "I don’t obviously know you on a personal level. You’re just so beautiful, and I wanted to get to know you."
This seemed like a pretty honest and understandable admission, but it didn’t sit well with Crawley.
"I don’t think people have to know me on a personal level, but there’s a lot of guys here who say they like my drive, they like what I have to offer," she replied.
"I have a really great group of guys here and I think I’m going to have to focus more on them. I don’t think I want to pursue this anymore."
And, just like that, Brandon was kicked off the show.
Meanwhile, back at the residence, Yosef was pissed about the dodgeball date.
"My number one value is, have respect for myself and my daughter," he told the other men.
"I don’t want her turning on the TV and seeing her dad’s ass. It just seemed classless. There have been a couple of red flags and it definitely left a bad taste in my mouth."
He planned to bring up this issue with Clare at that night’s get-together, but she pulled Blake aside instead.
"I wanted to pull you aside because I truthfully didn’t expect you to show up last night," she told him.
"It was something that, again, I thought was amazing of you to do. I don’t want you to worry. I don’t want you to question anything."
Moynes therefore earned a rose for his actions.
"Everything you are doing is so right," Clare said. "I want you here."
The episode ended without a rose ceremony, with viewers kept in suspense… and wondering when Tayshia Adams will make her debut.
The Bachelorette airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8/7c.