The Bachelorette Recap Week 7: The Producers, ARB’s Family Drama and Texas love

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The good news about Monday’s Bachelorette Hometowns episode? The ARB vs. Luke battle for JoJo’s heart reached peak ridiculousness. The bad news? Two of the four dates were boring AF, ARB and family spent the entire date talking about The Brother Who Shall Not Be Named (WITHOUT ACTUALLY SAYING ANYTHING) and they ended the episode with another pointless To Be Continued.

But hey, they don’t pay me NOT to write, so here we go…

MVP

The producers! In a show SO overly scripted that dropping a gossip mag defaming the star of the show DURING an episode came and went like a bad fart, Monday’s Hometowns episode was abhorrently overproduced and staged. The overt Aaron Rodgers references, having Robbie’s mom bring up the “right reasons” BS and the push toward Luke in the final date of the night were just appetizers for the grossest, most overt producer intervention.

I mean, seriously, you set Luke up as the rising hero, the Prince Charming in cowboy boots stealing JoJo’s heart in the final date. Then, she says, out of nowhere, she has to send Luke home, only to have Luke ask for a minute alone right before and THEN he tells her he loves her and she changes her mind completely? Because when there’s no drama about the final two (and there isn’t), you have to find some way to juice up the two episodes before the finale.

They’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

OMG

Luke, you are the winner (maybe)

We’ll get to ARB in a minute, but if last night’s “swerve” showed anything, it’s that the producers are trying to build the ARB vs. Luke drama by giving each a legit shot to win and at least one crucial flaw. The physical attraction between JoJo and Luke has been evident from the jump, but they’ve spent the past two episodes trying to show Luke is more than just great hair, a chiseled chin and an emotionless, empty soul of a human being with lips that barely move. I’ve been Team ARB from the jump, but last night’s date with Luke and family was enough to unnerve me at least slightly. JoJo fits into that whole Texas motif Luke has going and she very clearly would like to be not wearing clothes with him ASAP.

The question, of course, is whether Luke’s late-night love plea was enough to sway ARB out of the frontrunner spot. I’m still hesitant to name anyone other than ARB for that spot, but for the first time in a while (maybe all season), there’s at least a legit contender to the throne.

Jordan

 

The Rodgers Family drama

Here’s the thing about the Jordan-Aaron relationship: It was interesting when they didn’t talk about it, but it’s annoying as hell when all you do is dance around it without actually saying anything for 30 minutes. ARB legit said last night “it doesn’t need to be a topic,” but then JoJo (read: the producers) and the Rodgers family spent basically the entire date talking about how they don’t talk about or to Aaron. I get it. If Jordan won’t open up, if the family won’t open up, there’s nothing really there to talk about, but then, IDK, maybe spend more time on ARB and JoJo’s relationship instead? Crazy idea, I know.

I will say that ARB taking JoJo to his high school was the most real, “hey that’s something a normal person would do” date I’ve seen on this show. Also, we got another ARB-JoJo makeout up against a hard surface in ARB’s high school library, which led to my fiancee giggling and yelling, “Do you know the Dewey Decimal system?!”

Go away, Chase

I don’t have much to say about Chase’s date. It was dumb. He’s dumb. The whole thing was dumb and a waste of time. I’m fairly convinced JoJo enjoyed drinking with Chase’s mom on that ski lift chair more than hanging with Chase.

Also, I kind of felt bad for Chase’s dad. The entire family got a full dinner and hang session at his mom’s house, but JoJo and Chase spent 15 minutes in the undecorated basement of his dad’s lame condo. JoJo didn’t even get one-on-one time with his dad. SAD.

(Side note: Did Chase’s mom have that ski lift chair/bench thing already or did the ABC producers rent it? Can you buy one of those things on eBay and if so, does it come complete with a perfectly-placed faux-fur throw blanket?)

What are the right reasons?

Here’s the thing about Robbie and JoJo. There’s really nothing there. I mean sure, they’re attracted to each other and they seem like they have fun together, but all of this love stuff and talking about how great their connection is — it’s all bull.

(She couldn’t tell ARB’s mom or Luke’s mom that she was falling for them but she drops it to Robbie’s mom? Yeah, cool.)

But really, the worst part of this date was the constant theme of whether Robbie is over his ex and really there for JoJo (God I can’t believe I just wrote that). The truth is that JoJo got dumped by Ben at basically the same time Robbie broke up with his ex. And I haven’t heard Robbie dropping his ex’s name three times a week for the past two months. So, really JoJo, if you’re going to interrogate someone for not being over their ex, maybe you should stop comparing every guy to Ben and dropping his name every time you need to illustrate how hard it is for you to trust someone.

But that’s just me.

Robbie

Random notes

  • Luke met JoJo on the train tracks in what looked like an abandoned Old West town and it was the most normal intro to any of the dates. This ain’t the Notebook, guys. It’s OK to meet at someone’s apartment.
  • The original version of this recap contained roughly 17 inappropriate jokes about Chase’s childhood and divorce, but I chose to omit them for safety’s sake.
  • Did JoJo keep Chase around because he’s a salesman from Colorado?
  • Aaron Rodgers looks exactly like his mom — including the hair.
  • Who else noticed how fast JoJo turned on that southern accent for Robbie’s family and that Texas accent for Luke’s family?
  • Why did Robbie have plastic wine glasses inside of another plastic glass? Your familyI[ can’t be trusted with just ONE plastic glass?
  • I’m convinced Luke and his dad have never talked for more than 5 minutes at a time before the producers staged that talk Monday night.

Quote of the week

From the fiancee…

“Oh! It’s fantasy suites next week. They gon’ bang. Oh, they gon’ bang.”

JoJo suite‘TIL NEXT WEEK.

Nassar victim: Michigan State leader offered secret payoff

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LANSING, Mich. – A sexual assault victim of former sports doctor Larry Nassar confronted Michigan State University officials on Friday, alleging the school’s interim leader offered a payoff to settle her lawsuit and pressured her to do so without her attorney present.

Kaylee Lorincz spoke during a contentious board of trustees meeting, where interim President John Engler expressed regret over the university’s response to another woman’s federal lawsuit over the schools handling of rape allegations involving basketball players. Lorincz, who has said Larry Nassar sexually assaulted her when she sought treatment for back pain, said Engler and his attorney offered her $250,000 when the teen and her mother were at the school a few weeks ago to sign up to speak at Friday’s meeting.

According to Lorincz, Engler said to her, “Right now if I wrote you a check for $250,000 would you take it?”

Lorincz said Engler also claimed another Nassar victim had given him an amount she would consider to settle with the university. Lorincz said she felt “bullied” by the encounter.

Engler didn’t immediately respond to her comments. His spokeswoman, Emily Guerrant, said she was in the room during the conversation and does not remember Engler offering a dollar figure.

“My interpretation of the discussion was not that he was saying, `I’m offering you $250,000,”‘ she said. “It was a discussion about the civil litigation and how it was going on.”

Lorincz addressed Engler in a room brimming with protesters, parents and sexual assault victims of Nassar, now serving decades in prison for molesting women and girls and for possessing child pornography. Lorincz was among roughly 250 women who gave statements earlier this year during Nassar’s sentencing hearings in two Michigan courtrooms.

In a separate case, a woman filed a lawsuit Monday saying the university’s counselors discouraged her from filing a police report after three Michigan State basketball players allegedly raped her in 2015. She accuses the school of violating Title IX protocol and claims staff made it clear that “she faced an uphill battle that would create anxiety and unwanted media attention” should she report her rape.

The university’s immediate response to reporters asking about the lawsuit was to decline comment. But on Wednesday it issued a lengthy statement that detailed staff interaction with the woman.

The university faced criticism over that response from people who say it violated privacy laws.

Engler acknowledged Friday that the school “provided an unnecessary amount of detail” about the case, saying some people saw the response as “violating privacy expectations.”

Engler became interim president after Lou Anna Simon resigned in January hours after Nassar was sentenced to decades in prison for crimes involving Michigan State athletes. Students remain anxious over the future course of the university, which has yet to choose a permanent replacement for Simon.

In Friday’s board meeting, Engler attempted to steer focus toward celebrating milestones of the university’s graduating seniors but was frequently usurped by boos and jeers from a crowd clad in teal shirts with the phrase, “I stand with the sister survivors (hash)MeTooMSU.” Some Nassar victims wrapped their mouths with black bands that had the phrase “Silenced” scrawled over them.

Parents of victims were left in the lobby downstairs because their posters of their children’s faces were considered “signs” and thus barred from the meeting room. Protesters who were able to attend instead held up cellphones with childhood pictures of victims.

During the meeting, Engler proposed a 2.97 percent tuition increase, the third lowest in 20 years. Earlier he had teased the possibility of heavy tuition increases should the school’s lawsuits over the Nassar controversy continue to snowball financially.

During public testimony, Engler and his board were castigated for how he handled the public fallout over the past few months and repeatedly told to resign.

“You sponsored my assault,” dancer Morgan McCaul, a Nassar victim, said. “Your time is up. Resign.”

As McCaul’s testimony concluded, the crowd joined her in chanting, “Shame on you,” at the board.

Sportscaster Dick Enberg dies at 82

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SAN DIEGO — Dick Enberg, the longtime sportscaster who got his big break with UCLA basketball and went on to call Super Bowls, Olympics, Final Fours and Angels and Padres baseball games, died Thursday. He was 82.

Engberg’s daughter, Nicole, confirmed the death to The Associated Press. She said the family became concerned when he didn’t arrive on his flight to Boston on Thursday, and that he was found dead at his home in La Jolla, a San Diego neighborhood, with his bags packed.

“He was dressed with his bags packed at the door,” wife Barbara told the Union-Tribune. “We think it was a heart attack.”

Enberg retired in October 2016 after a 60-year career – and countless calls of “Oh my!” in describing a play that nearly defied description. He also was well-known for his baseball catchphrase of “Touch `em all” for home runs.

Raised in Armada, Michigan, Enberg’s first radio job was actually as a radio station custodian in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, when he was a junior at Central Michigan. He made $1 an hour. The owner also gave him weekend sports and disc jockey gigs, also at $1 an hour. From there he began doing high school and college football games.

During his nine years broadcasting UCLA basketball, the Bruins won eight NCAA titles. Enberg broadcast nine no-hitters, including two by San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum against the Padres in 2013 and 2014.

He said the most historically important event he covered was “The Game of the Century,” Houston’s victory over UCLA in 1968 that snapped the Bruins’ 47-game winning streak.

“That was the platform from which college basketball’s popularity was sent into the stratosphere,” Enberg said. “The `79 game, the Magic-Bird game, everyone wants to credit that as the greatest game of all time That was just the booster rocket that sent it even higher. … UCLA, unbeaten; Houston, unbeaten. And then the thing that had to happen, and Coach Wooden hated when I said this, but UCLA had to lose. That became a monumental event.”

Enberg’s many former broadcast partners included Merlin Olsen, Al McGuire, Billy Packer, Don Drysdale and Tony Gwynn. He even worked a few games with Wooden, whom he called “The greatest man I’ve ever known other than my own father.” Enberg called Padres games for seven seasons and went into the broadcasters’ wing of the Hall of Fame in 2015.

John Ireland, the radio voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, tweeted that “If there was a Mount Rushmore of LA Sports Announcers, Dick Enberg is on it with Chick Hearn, Vin Scully and Bob Miller. Rams, Angels, UCLA, NBC, and so much more. Was the first famous announcer I ever met, and he couldn’t have been nicer. Definition of a gentleman.”

Enberg won 13 Sports Emmy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and UCLA named its Media Center in Pauley Pavilion after Enberg this year.

“Kindest, most proactive possible treatment of newcomers in this business, for the length of his career,” broadcaster Keith Olbermann said of Enberg on Twitter. “What a terrible loss.”