'Bachelorette' recap: Men vie for Des with magic tricks, tanned abs

'Bachelorette' recap: Men vie for Des with magic tricks, tanned abs
Desiree Hartsock, this season's star of "The Bachelorette," high-fives host Chris Harrison on the first night at the show's mansion. (Rick Rowell / ABC)

Thank goodness this thing is back, guys. Monday nights were getting really hard. I was biding my time watching “Newlyweds: The First Year” on Bravo, and let me tell you, that show does not inspire hope in everlasting love.

Luckily, Desiree is here to restore my hope in fairy tales and rainbows and unicorns and love. That’s right, this season’s theme is Cinderella -- Des’ journey from rags to riches. It’s a little cliche, but hey, at least it’s not “On the Wings of Love.” (Jake Pavelka: You still haunt my dreams.)

Mah’ gurl rolled up to her new Malibu mansh in her Honda, which I loved. Alas, driving down PCH in such a pedestrian car would not do for a Bachelorette, so the producers promptly replaced her ride with a subtle aqua Bentley. After taking in the grandeur of her fancy new digs -- she had candy jars on her bedside table like a Kardashian sister! And two empty notebooks to sketch bridal gowns in! -- Des jumped in her car for her first joyride.


She must have packed a handful of outfit changes in her big new trunk, because we then saw Des in the requisite “Bachelorette” intro montage. Dude, I feel for these people during those things. “Try on this hideous pink cowboy hat!” I imagine the producer telling Des. “How about those heart-shaped sunglasses -- get it? 'Cause it’s romantic, damn it! Now go run in the ocean and chase the seagulls. Just do it! It looks quirky!”


After Des finished lrollerblading leisurely down the Santa Monica boardwalk, we got a sneak peek at some of the fine gentlemen preparing to head to the mansion to meet our lucky lady. First up? Bryden, an Iraq war veteran who joined the Army after he got his heart broken for the first time. His dog's his best friend. He was also genetically engineered by the government to make women swoon!


Other potential suitors included Will, who said he is one of the few black guys who do Bikram yoga; Nick, a tailor/magician -- yes, that’s right, ladies, the combination you’ve always dreamed of; and Zak, a dude in the oil and gas business who hails from “the middle of nowhere,” where there must be spray-tanning salons, because dude was glistening.


Soon, it was time for some of Des’ possible hubbies to arrive at the Bach pad. And within seconds, the embarrassing gimmicks and awkward jokes began.

My favorite was probably Kasey, who said he works in “social media” and Google stalked -- er, “looked up” -- Des on the interwebs, where he came across “all these amazing hashtags” about her. He went on to suggest a few hashtags of his own, which included #MarriageMaterial and #LetTheJourneyBegin. As a Tweeter myself, Kasey, I’d advise against that last option -- don’t want to waste 19-of-140 precious characters on a hashtag alone, now do we?

Kasey made me feel mildly uncomfortable, but at least he didn’t perform some horrible shtick. A dude named Diogo turned up in a full knight’s suit of armor. Zak, spray-tan guy, arrived shirtless and remained that way throughout the entire cocktail party. Larry, an ER doctor, tried to show off his dance skills but dipped Des incorrectly and then cursed himself out for the mistake for the rest of the evening. And Nick, the tailor/magician, transformed a paper rose into an actual rose using fire. (Not gonna lie: It was kind of impressive, and I’d consider hiring him for a party.)

Oh, and then there was Jonathan, who set up a faux fantasy suite where he said he hoped to “try to kiss [Des] on the mouth.” Super sexy! Unfortunately for Jonathan, Des wasn’t so into going into a dark room with him. Even after he asked her to do so three times. So she sent him home before the rose ceremony, and then he said he was sad because his “love tank” is empty. A line he totally stole, by the way, from Vicki Gunvalson of the “Real Housewives of Orange County.” Don’t even try to play Vick-ster like that! WHOO-HOO!

The most controversial move of the evening, however, came when single dad Ben brought his 4-year-old son, Brody, along with him for the first night. Actually, the guy forced his poor, adorable son to exit the limo before him and told him to hand Des a flower. Although the child was so cute he made ovaries ache nationwide, I wasn’t down with Ben’s gimmick. Mostly because he seemed aware of the fact that he was using his son to score points with Des. And it worked! She gave Ben the first rose. Why you gotta be such a sucka, gurl?

Predictably, Ben seems like he ends up being the sleazebag of the season -- you know, the guy that the dudes in the house rat out to Des for “being there for the wrong reasons.” It’s also possible he has a girlfriend/fiancee who strongly resembles Olivia Munn who turns up at the house to chew Ben out. Nonetheless: Dramz!

Meanwhile, almost all of the lame dudes got sent home after the cocktail party, like knight-in-shining-armor and magic trix. So did Larry, who I felt a little bit bad for.

“I probably practiced that introduction 50 times, and of the 50 people I did it with, only two of them had any problem at all,” Larry lamented of his failed dance moved -- da dip. To the 50 people Larry practice-dipped, if you’re out there, please share your stories.

Anyway, so those were all of the weirdos, but here are the guys I don’t hate/think make it far solely through season promo stalking:

Brian. He looks like a more attractive Jake Johnson from “New Girl.” He’s a financial advisor, and that’s pretty much all I gots right now.

Robert. Apparently he invented the concept of sign-spinning? You know, hiring people to advertise your company by spinning an arrow-shaped sign outside of your business? I question the validity of this but still find him endearing. And Des totally had a glint in her eye when he stepped out of the limo.

Brooks. He has long hair, which I enjoy, and is in a lot of the season's sizzle reel. Maybe the producers are just trying to play me, though. Those tricksters.

Drew. He’s very earnest and uses a lot of hair gel. Possibly the one who rats out Ben to Des? Gotta love a man who defends his lady’s honor!

So yes, I'm putting my final four out there early. That's what the real devotees do. And if you send me spoilers, I will not react kindly. Until next week!