Phuket, Thailand. Are you kidding me? I love it when they toss me a softball like that. Notwithstanding the fornicationy name, why does ABC seem to think that stiflingly hot and humid locations are the best places to stand outside and get pretend engaged? You’d think they’d shut that down or at least provide a tent with fans and misters in it after Roberto almost sweated to death after climbing 100 stairs in searing heat to ask Ali to marry him a few years ago. And his suit actually fit him.
We begin, as we usually do with this show, with a big set up from Harrison filmed live from the top secret studio located in an inconspicuous condemned warehouse in East Los Angeles. It’s like the Bat Cave. JoJo is in love with two “men,” it’s time to make a decision, what is she going to do? Oh, and the cast of Bachelor in Paradise is there, including Chad and his weird facial hair. So much for him being above it all.
|I'm going to threaten you after I eat my protein.|
Thank God for that lead-in, though. Without it, I just wouldn’t have been able to figure out what was going on as Andi . . . errr . . . JoJo walked knowingly amongst the grounds of the Marriott Guad-A-Lotta-Poontang Resort. She broods as she reflects on her love of metrosexual men who, like the grounds of the Marriott Guad-A-Lotta-Poontang Resort, are very well groomed.
Family time awaits. Mom has had, uh, a little plastic surgery and looks like Charo but appears sober (for the moment). She was so excited to see JoJo that her face almost moved. Dad is there looking like Mr. Whipple and her cheesy brothers and mute, less attractive and bitter about it sister complete the clan.
|Don't squeeze my daughter.|
|Cuchi, Cuchi! JoJo is getting married!|
Red Flag Number 1: JoJo tells us that Jordan is type of guy she normally goes for BUT this time it’s different. Sure it is, JoJo. See Sisyphus. Hell, just give Andi Dorfman a call and see how that worked out for her.
I’ve said this a million times (in writing) before: women make the mistake of going for a “type” in spite of a clear, well-formed conscience screaming in their ears not to do it and then they wonder why they are so unlucky in love. Like the aforementioned Sisyphus, the task of finding a mate quickly turns futile and tends to repeat itself with the same disappointing result. It would help JoJo if the next time she evaluated her poor relationships she'd realize that the only common denominator in all of them is herself.
Red Flag Number 2: Jordan was so enthralled at the possibility of meeting the love of his life’s entire family for the first time that he threw on a T-shirt and jeans. Even her brothers ironed their cute, matching khaki pants and polo shirts in anticipation of meeting him. The least he could do is mix in a collared shirt. Am I nitpicking? Possibly. However, the signs are always there, no matter how subtle.
Jordan meets mom and dad and his jeans fit the same as her mom’s. Mom predictably drinks and he gives everyone hats; a gesture that went over as well as a fart in an elevator.
Mom and JoJo show off their shoulders and Mom busts his balls a bit. Look, she may be half sober and full of Botox but Mom had some serious game when it came to sizing him up. Mom is concerned. He’s an attention-getter (read: Playboy and Cheater). Mom thinks they’re too much alike (read: self-centered). I’ll give credit where credit is due. She knows her daughter . . . and likely knew a guy or two like Jordan.
Red Flag Number 3: When Mom drops the honest analysis, JoJo rationalizes her feelings and talks herself into a bad relationship. Granted, she’s a grown woman who can choose to ignore advice, but when the advice hits directly at the heart of the matter and is from her own mother, at least not considering it probably isn’t wise.
Red Flag Number 4: Mom and Dad both bring up JoJo’s “trust issues” to Jordan who seems unfazed by it all. It was all he could do to throw out a canned answer in order to placate them and deflect any pressure from himself before NOT asking for her hand in marriage. More about this later, but I thought this was a deal breaker for JoJo, no matter how he attempted to justify it.
You know what, I thought. Phuk It. Oh, and thank God we were spared the ball busting of the brothers like we had to watch with Ben. My guess is that they asked him for Packers tickets. All in all, I thought Jordan put on a good show and it was apparent (in hindsight) that JoJo was trying to sell him rather than show him off. Red Flag Number 5.
Robby. Yaaaaaaay, Robby!
First, let me ask all of you if any of you in the history of the entire franchise have ever seen anyone as “ALL IN” as Robby was when it came to JoJo? The guy night as well have been going over Niagra Falls in a barrel.
From his perfectly pressed khaki short shorts, open-toed sandals carefully accenting his fresh pedicure, and all the way to his cute white linen blouse, he was prepared to meet “Mom” and “Dad”.
Proving he wasn’t delusional, Robby tells us that he’s excited that he gets to meet his “potential future in-laws”. Sufficiently groomed with perhaps a hint of Just for Men in his angular beard, Robby and his bouquet of fresh flowers for Lady Botox turn on the charm.
Red Flag Number 6: Realizing almost immediately that Robby is the polar opposite of Jordan, Mom says he’s “gentle and soft.” Again, the Botox clearly hasn’t gone to her brain. Mom is astute.
Red Flag Number 7: The brothers meet with JoJo. They love Robby. Was it me or did they look like a gay couple? The alpha brother drops a not so subtle dig at Jordan saying that JoJo needs to be sure that the man she picks is ready for marriage and “not someone that is just your New Year’s Eve date.”
Granted, the entire family seemed a bit controlling and over-protective of her—almost to the point of outright manipulation, but I got the feeling that they’d seen her make a few bad choices in the past. I give them all a pass out of sheer concern. They clearly love her and that’s more than a lot of people get from their family.
Mom meets with Robby and pretends that she is concerned. I was waiting for her to ask him, “are you sure you aren’t interested more in one of JoJo’s brothers?” Robby sells it—hard. Again, sincerity is hard to fake (ask Jordan) and he was clearly putting all of his flowery cards on the table.
Red Flag Number 9: Robby actually drops “Dr. Fletcher” and “Mrs. Fletcher” and calls JoJo by her full name. Nice work. Jordan looked like a putz and if there was a quintessential moment where the contrast was glaringly apparent between the two, that was it. She clearly told both of them that it was of paramount importance for her father to be asked for his blessing and Robby stepped up to the plate while Jordan simply ignored it. Huge difference.
Dad cries and JoJo tells us that this is so Phuking hard.
JoJo arrives to the family compound solo in cork wedges. Mom looks like JoJo twenty years after a divorce and a drinking problem.
Red Flag Number 10: The family is behind Robby. Well, we really didn’t know what the mute sister thought, but my assumption is that she was at least a tepid “yes” when it came to Robby. After all, she needed some hair and makeup advice and Jordan certainly wasn’t going to be good for any of that. She’s less attractive than JoJo and you could see the resentment dripping off of her non-highlighted hair down to her non-professionally selected wardrobe.
Then JoJo begins to use the word “confused.” A Lot.
First of all, she mistook certainty for confusion. Her conscience was telling her that Robby was the logical, most reliable, and most solid pick. However, she’s more physically attracted to Jordan and she’s willing to ignore the fact that she has direct knowledge of him cheating on his prior girlfriend (Red Flag Number 11) and concealing all of the facts from JoJo when she asked him about it (Red Flag Number 12).
Now if you’ll remember, I gave him a pass on glossing over that little misdeed early in their relationship. However, that’s still a puzzle piece she needed to deal with at this point. The bottom line is that Jordan is her “type” and Robby was a risk in no other way than the fact that he wasn’t Jordan. Jordan might lie about another relationship but the biggest thing she risked Robby lying about was using her Aveda products in the shower.
Enter poor decisions.
Robbie date. He tones it down with a white T-shirt and cute blue shorts. Maybe they were culottes (remember those?)
|I used your Tea Tree Shampoo. I'm sorry.|
Beach date. Blue Lagoon swim session and a cold meatloaf story. Very weird, but it shows he’s not thinking about red carpets or free stuff. He probably was looking forward to meeting Ellen DeGeneres and dancing down the aisle in his white slippers, but we can’t really fault him for dreaming a bit, can we?
Dinner. White sandals, khakis, gray t-shirt.
In my humble guy opinion, this is when JoJo really began to lean to Jordan’s side of the fence for good. Prior to the dinner, I think she was emotionally torn because she’s a nice person and did not want to hurt Robby. However, he laid it on very very thick at dinner. He was TOO ready to settle down and have kids. I don’t think she thought much past the red carpets, free stuff, and the trip to see Ellen. She told herself that Robby was everything she wanted, but realized at that moment that it wasn’t what she wanted.
Jordan date. In a symbolic twist Jordan wears a black shirt to Robby’s white. Boat ride.
She lists every red flag I mentioned above, plus a few more: Trust issues, didn’t ask for her hand like she asked him to do, family thinks he’s a player, they’re too much alike, she’s not sure he’s ready . . . And then she proceeds to ignore all of it. That was almost painful to watch.
White wine on the secluded beach. “We talked about this in our overnight.” The look of concern on her face that he didn’t ask for her hand was apparent. The truth was right in front of her nose and she ignored it. Not a good start. Dude, how clear is it? He fumbles around the subject but manipulates her enough to make her feel guilty about it. She’s confused for the 100th time in an hour.
She ignores the fact that he’s ignored the one thing she told him was important to her. She again labels it “confused.”
Robby showers and Peppermint Patties his hair before putting on a Peppermint Patty outfit and meeting Neil Lane. He actually had on a green shirt, black shorts, and sandals.
|If you marry me we can register at Sephora.|
|Dear JoJo, If you marry me, we can register at Sephora|
Incidentally, I’d like to give a shout out to my friend, reader, and commenter on the blog for making Peppermint Patty a verb in one of her emails to me about Robby’s hair. She gets the credit for the usage. Solid.
Jordan begrudgingly fake calls her dad to ask his permission to marry his daughter. Mom and Dad give fake permission after being bribed with free mimosas and Botox touch ups at the resort spa.
Red Flag Number 13: In spite of his awkward end run around JoJo’s only request Jordan still drops a “Joe and Soraya” instead of a Dr. and Mrs. Fletcher.
They both write love notes to her. Jordan’s looked like a five year old wrote it and Robby’s was about as neat as his beard. You know Robby dotted his I’s with hearts.
She throws on the Fay Wray dress and her sparkly shoes. She gets the notes. Jordan reads the letter aloud and so does she. Stupid. She eats it up. Then she reads Robby’s letter and loves it but breaks down crying about it.
Red Flag Number 14: Robby’s letter is all about her, her happiness, and what he can give her in a marriage. Jordan’s was all about him, what she meant to him, and how she affected him.
I began to wonder if JoJo was colorblind. She ignored every sign put in her way. Even God must have been shrugging his shoulders.
Robby is first into the sweatbox. Elf shoes and a horribly fitting suit. As I said earlier, I don’t think anyone has been that committed to a final ceremony in the history of the show. He’s like the Anti-Womack. He swung for the fence but failed to realize that JoJo had a mean knuckleball. I think we all felt sorry for him but he handled it with class.
Jordan shows up. Then she finalizes her mistake.
Well, there it is. Another season in the bag. Don’t bug me about BIP. I’m still pondering.
Thank you all again for the comments, the time you put into reading, and the smile you put on my face when I hear about a line you liked or an observation that hit home. My life is far more interesting with all of you in it. Take care of yourselves, enjoy Bachelor in Paradise, and keep reading. DP